1 Monday, 25 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case number, please.
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 We'll now be proceeding with our hearings, and I would like to
12 greet the accused, the Defence, the Prosecution, and everyone else
13 assisting us.
14 First of all, I have a brief oral decision that I would like to
15 read out. It is a request for clarification that concerns the Stojic
16 Defence's request to have the English translation of document P 05955
18 On the 18th of July, 2008, the Stojic Defence filed a request to
19 have the English translation of document P 05955 corrected. This
20 document was admitted into evidence on the 11th of December, 2007,
21 pursuant to a decision on the request for admission into evidence of
22 documents presented by the Prosecution. To requests relating to the HVO
23 Herceg-Bosna concerned.
24 The Stojic Defence seems to be requesting that a new translation
25 of the entire document, P 05955, be made given that there is allegedly an
1 error that -- in the date that the document bears at least in the English
2 translation of the document.
3 The Chamber would like the Stojic Defence to specify whether it
4 is requesting a new translation of the entire document or whether it is
5 simply requesting that CLSS verify the date of the document.
6 So what is Ms. Nozica's position?
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. Good day to
8 everyone in the courtroom. To be quite specific, the Stojic Defence only
9 wanted --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Speak a little
11 more loudly because the interpreters cannot hear you.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you for that warning.
13 Good day once again, Your Honours. Good day to everyone in the
14 courtroom. The Stojic Defence requested that the date alone be
15 translated. I can't remember the problem. I think it was the month,
16 that's obvious in the translation and in the original document, but I
17 think it would be good to have an accurate translation. Thank you very
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well then. Thank you.
20 We'll check the date in that case.
21 As far as the witness who is to appear is concerned, Mr. Martin
22 Raguz, I believe that the Prlic Defence needs four hours, the other
23 members of the Defence will have two hours, and the Prosecution will have
24 four hours.
25 Is that correct, Mr. Karnavas, and let me greet you again.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President, and good afternoon,
2 Your Honours. Good afternoon to everyone in and around the courtroom.
3 That is correct, we asked for four hours. We believe we will
4 need all four hours. I should note that the witness upon arrival
5 indicated that he had to be in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday -- Friday
6 morning if at all possible. We would request at this time if on Thursday
7 we could switch to morning as opposed to the afternoon if it's possible.
8 I understand Judge Antonetti is sitting in on the Seselj case on
9 Thursday. If we could swap, if that is possible, I'm not demanding, I'm
10 just making this request, this would allow the witness to catch an
11 afternoon flight in order to make it to Sarajevo or Herzegovina where he
12 has some rather important business concerning his current position.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Unless I'm
14 mistaken, I believe that we are sitting in the morning, so that should
15 not pose a problem.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe we're sitting in the afternoon, but if
17 we're sitting in the morning that's fine too.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, very well. We'll do
19 our utmost to fulfil your request.
20 If there are no other issues to deal with, we will now call the
21 witness into the courtroom. I will ask the usher to call the witness
22 into the courtroom now.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. You understand
25 French? Very well. Could you tell me your first and last names and your
1 date of birth, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Martin Raguz, the 2nd of March,
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where were you born?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born in Stolac, in Bosnia
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm currently a representative in
10 the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, have you already testified
13 before a Tribunal with regard to the events that took place in the former
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my first time in the
16 Tribunal. I gave a statement in Sarajevo
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you please
18 read out the solemn declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down
23 I'll provide you with some information first. First of all, you
24 will have to answer questions that Mr. Karnavas, whom you have surely
25 met, will put to you. Once this stage has been completed, the other
1 members of the Defence representing other accused may also put questions
2 to you as part of their cross-examination. The four Judges who are
3 sitting before you may also intervene and put additional questions to
4 you; this will depend on the documents. Once this has been completed,
5 once this has been done, the Prosecution, who are to your right, will
6 also put questions to you as part of the cross-examination; and if
7 necessary, Mr. Karnavas may put additional questions to you, may
8 re-examine you.
9 We'll do our best to make sure that you can return to your
10 country on Friday because we are aware of the fact that you have other
11 tasks to deal with there. Try and answer the questions very clearly and
12 precisely. If you don't understand the sense of the question, ask the
13 person who is putting the question to you to rephrase it. And every one
14 and a half hours we'll have a break. In an hour and 20 minutes, we'll
15 have a short 20-minute break. If at any point during the proceedings you
16 don't feel well, don't hesitate to ask us for a break. Naturally, the
17 Chamber is to here to deal with any requests that you may have.
18 You've just taken the solemn declaration, which means you are
19 testifying on behalf of justice. This means that in the following days
20 you shouldn't have contact, any more contact, with the Prlic Defence. I
21 wanted to point this out to you.
22 Having said that, I will now give the floor to Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours, again.
24 WITNESS: MARTIN RAGUZ
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examination by Mr. Karnavas:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Raguz. I'm going to begin by asking you some
3 general questions about your background before we go into the relevant
4 documents that we have set out for your testimony. If you could please
5 just tell us very briefly the education that you have received.
6 A. Having completed secondary school in Stolac, which is where I was
7 born, I graduated in political science at the Zagreb University
8 I then attended the same university and completed two post-graduate
9 courses there, but my profession now is that of a political scientist.
10 Q. All right. Now, just very briefly I want to cover your
11 professional background. We're mostly interested in your background from
12 1991 and thereafter, but if you could briefly tell us after graduating
13 the sorts of posts that you held.
14 A. Well, first of all when I returned to Stolac I worked in the
15 Stolac local administration, I worked there for three years; and then in
16 1984 I went to Sarajevo
17 you mentioned, I became a professional consultant, I went to work in the
18 Association of the Socialist Youth, the youth organization, that's what
19 it was commonly called in the former Yugoslavia, or rather, in Bosnia
21 1980s, just before the democratic changes in Yugoslavia. That
22 organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina in fact became the first
23 alternative in that regime in relation to the communist party in power at
24 the time. And in that organization the -- there was the appearance of
25 the liberal democratic party and my first political position was held in
1 that party. I was its deputy president. And as events unfolded, as the
2 war broke out in the former Yugoslavia
4 leadership left Sarajevo
5 aggression was launched against Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the course
6 of the aggression I participated as a representative of that party in
7 forming a joint government. It was formed by representatives of seven or
8 eight parties, and I was a member of that first government of Bosnia
10 social affairs, and refugees.
11 Q. [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Karnavas, please.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. Let me stop you here, if you could help us because the dates may
15 be important. And I'm going to ask you to slow down a little bit because
16 the translators are going to -- are working very hard.
17 So at what point in time were you appointed to this particular
19 A. In 1992, I think it was in June.
20 Q. Okay. And for how long were you in that position ?
21 A. I was in that position officially until 1993.
22 Q. All right. If you could please describe for the Trial Chamber
23 what exactly this ministry did, in more particular what exactly you did
24 during that period.
25 A. Well, my main task within that ministry was in fact to deal with
1 the humanitarian catastrophe and the consequences suffered by Bosnia
3 when the government was formed in June Sarajevo was under blockade, it
4 had been attacked and it was under a blockade, communications were
5 minimal or non-existent but that ministry at the beginning established a
6 system together with local and international humanitarian organizations a
7 system to deal with the terrible humanitarian situation. We had been
8 surrounded, conditions were terrible, shelling was constant, and under
9 such conditions there were about 100.000 people, women and children, who
10 were constantly under sniper fire. It was necessary to somehow ensure
11 that aid was distributed and to satisfy the minimum needs of the
12 population. We concentrated on Sarajevo
13 us to communicate with other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. That was my next question. To what extent was your ministry,
15 since this is the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to what extent
16 was your ministry able to provide this sort of assistance to other areas
17 that were in need of such assistance during this period of time?
18 A. Given what I have said with regard to the situation in Sarajevo
19 given the impossibility of establishing communications, and given the
20 fact that we were under a total blockade, the means that we had at our
21 disposal were very limited, almost minimal.
22 Q. All right. Now, you said that you were in Sarajevo. Did there
23 come a time when you left Sarajevo
24 A. The first time I left as a member of the government was in August
25 1992. I was then a member of the governmental representation or
1 delegation of the first conference on victims of war. It was organized
2 in Geneva
3 Ms. Sadako Ogata. Afterwards, I returned to Sarajevo and subsequently I
4 left for similar reasons and I would then return in the new year, 1993, I
5 left to see my family whom I hadn't seen, and I went to Bosnian new year
6 then. And then in 1993, given that the government which I was a member
7 had an office of its own in Zagreb
8 that given the fact that humanitarian needs were increasing, I thought
9 that I would be able to work there more efficiently. And so I spent that
10 period in Zagreb
11 Q. All right. Just to be more precise for the record, when was it
12 that you left Sarajevo
13 A. I can't say that I moved there because on 14 occasions, together
14 with my family, I had changed my address during the war and after the
15 war. But during that period, I think it was the 28th of December, 1992
16 it was just before the new year in 1993.
17 Q. All right. Now, when you were in Zagreb still working in that
18 capacity, could you please explain to the Trial Chamber what exactly you
19 were involved in.
20 A. Well, during that period of time in the Republic of Croatia
21 apart from the displaced persons who had moved within Croatia itself,
22 given the fact that war was waged in Croatia, well there were 100.000
23 refugees and Bosnia and Herzegovina there. Most of them passed through
24 the Republic of Croatia
25 with first aid, they would be given the means of communicating with their
1 families or with humanitarian and other organizations. So I had contact
2 with this population, with refugees and displaced persons, I had contact
3 with international organizations who provided aid and assistance, and I
4 had certain other duties to carry out. I had signed certain agreements
5 for the government since it wasn't possible for these agreements to be
6 signed in Sarajevo
7 for the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 Q. All right. And if I could ask you, how long did you keep that
9 position, this is working for the government of BiH?
10 A. As I have already said, the government workload, given the
11 political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was becoming more and more
12 complex -- well, its workload was increasing; and that government had
13 concentrated on one part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the main
14 political interests that were established in Sarajevo. So at the
15 beginning of 1993 my engagement in the government had been significantly
16 reduced because of that governmental position. In a certain sense,
17 instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to work more efficiently
18 outside of Sarajevo
19 the population and of that country, we in a certain sense were pushed
20 aside. And during that period, spring 1993, just before the conflict
21 broke out between the Armija and the HVO, well it was in fact already
22 quite clear that that government was conducting policies that were mostly
23 determined in Sarajevo
24 Q. Okay. Let me just -- if you could keep your answers a little
25 more direct. When were you officially relieved or you left your position
1 with the ministry for the BiH government? If you could give us a month
2 and a year, that might be helpful.
3 A. I think it was in July 1993.
4 Q. Okay. And prior to -- prior to July 1993, if I understand your
5 previous answer, you were essentially pushed aside; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, prior to July 1993, did you at any point become engaged with
8 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
9 A. On the 31st of May, 1993, I was appointed as the deputy head of
10 the office for refugees and displaced persons of the HZ HB, the Croatian
11 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
12 Q. All right. And did there come a time when you actually became
13 the head of the office; and if so, when?
14 A. Yes, that was on the 1st of December, 1993.
15 Q. Now, we're going to speak more in-depth about this period, but I
16 want to fast-forward a little bit. If you could tell us up until which
17 point in time were you the head of the office. You were appointed on
18 December 1st, 1993
19 A. I headed the office until the establishment of the government of
20 the Federation after the Washington Agreement when I was elected deputy
21 minister in the government of the republic and the Federation for
22 refugees and social welfare in Sarajevo
23 Q. All right. Again I want to take it step by step to make sure
24 that the Trial Chamber understands your background. So you held this
25 position as head of the office after we have the Croatian Republic
1 Herceg-Bosna until the establishment of the Federation, and then you
2 begin working for the Federation and more or less doing the same thing,
3 the same sort of work. Is that correct?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And how long did you hold that position?
6 A. I held that position until the peace agreement for Bosnia and
8 end of 1995.
9 Q. All right. And after that, did you in any way continue to
10 function or to carry out functions dealing with humanitarian assistance
11 and aid, displaced persons, and what have you for Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 for the state, that is?
13 A. Yes, in the year 2000 I was elected the first minister of the
14 then-formed ministry for human rights and refugees at the level of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Council of Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Now, let's go back, if we can,
17 to on or about May 31st, 1991, just very briefly if you could tell us
18 what exactly you found when you got to Herceg-Bosna. And please keep in
19 mind -- I mean 1993, I'm sorry. Please keep in mind that what we're
20 going to try to do for the Trial Chamber is to split your time into two
21 periods, one when you're the deputy and then later on when you're the
22 head of the office. This way it might be more convenient for the
23 Trial Chamber to follow your testimony.
24 So upon your arrival when you are appointed as deputy head of the
25 office, could you please tell us what exactly you found.
1 A. I found an extremely complicated humanitarian situation which
2 became more and more complicated as time went by, in view of the fact
3 that the war was intensifying and in view of the overall difficult
4 humanitarian situation throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, as most of the
5 people tried to save themselves through the territory of the Croatian
6 Community of Herceg-Bosna and through which most of the refugees were
7 received and supported, they received the first instructions as to the
8 possibilities for further accommodation and the situation as regards aid.
9 In general, all this mostly went through the territory of the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
11 So the number of refugees increased on a daily basis coming from
12 all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. The humanitarian needs increased, and
13 military operations were escalating throughout the territory. And I came
14 across people who under those difficult circumstances were working to try
15 and deal with the situation, to try and help the people. And in view of
16 the graveness of the war and the ineffectiveness of the government
17 institutions in Sarajevo
18 and Herzegovina
19 link together. And therefore my arrival there also was in the interest
20 of strengthening the system and for the government and the bodies of the
21 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna to manage to deal with the challenges
22 they were facing.
23 Q. All right. If I could ask you, who was the head of the office at
24 the time?
25 A. Mr. Darinko Tadic.
1 Q. Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber how large of a
2 staff did you find and what sort of resources, financial resources or
3 other sorts of resources, did Mr. Tadic have at the time?
4 A. There were about 25 to 30 people who were organized to work in
5 five departments for care, for humanitarian aid, for relations with
6 humanitarian organizations, for reconstruction, and the office had very
7 limited resources at that stage.
8 Q. All right. Now if I could just -- a couple of quick questions.
9 First of all, we know by this point in time you've had some experience
10 with humanitarian aid. When you first got your position in Sarajevo with
11 the ministry, with this particular ministry, could you please tell us to
12 what -- what sort of specific experience did you have in this field?
13 A. At the beginning of the war in Sarajevo, I cannot say that I had
14 a great deal of experience in the area. But the war in Sarajevo and the
15 clash with the reality of the situation in Sarajevo and the search for
16 solutions under those circumstances gave me the experience to deal with
17 those matters more effectively.
18 Q. All right. So it was basically learning on the job, as they say;
19 is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, when you got to Herceg-Bosna, did you notice whether the
22 international community, whether the -- whether it was an NGO or whether
23 it was any of the UN organizations, did they provide any technical
24 assistance, that is, perhaps some personnel there to assist in giving
1 A. Yes, there were -- they were there. Most of those humanitarian
2 organizations were represented, especially the key ones like the UNHCR,
3 the International Committee of the Red Cross.
4 Q. All right --
5 A. But they too developed their own infrastructure, and as far as
6 I'm aware they did not provide that infrastructure and put it at the
7 disposal of the office.
8 Q. All right. Now, very briefly we're going to go through the
9 documents, but obviously from your experience both as deputy and head of
10 the office if you could please explain to us how the office was
11 organized, first, within the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. How did
12 it fit in in the organizational chart sense?
13 A. The office was founded pursuant to a decision of the Croatian
14 Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as an office,
15 which was to ensure the implementation of the decree which was also
16 adopted relative to the status of refugees, displaced -- and displaced
17 persons in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. And later, as the
18 whole structure gradually improved its organization in view of the
19 conditions, it became an office of the government of the Croatian
20 Republic of Herceg-Bosna for refugees and displaced persons. A similar
21 organization, I must say, was established within the framework of the
22 ministry in Sarajevo
23 1992 a directorate was established for refugees as a government agency
24 for humanitarian aid.
25 Q. All right. If you could please describe to us the difference
1 between an office and a department, because we know that there were
2 various departments in HVO and you told us that this was an office.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So could you please describe the difference between the two and
5 also tell us to whom you were responded -- the office was responsible to
7 A. The head of the office, first Mr. Tadic, and then later on when I
8 was nominated we were not members of the government with any rights to
9 make decisions. We were not equal to ministers in the government. We
10 attended government meetings, especially when the agenda items referred
11 to the activities of the office. And by decision, we were responsible to
12 the government.
13 Q. All right. When you say "to the government," was there any
14 particular individual or was it this collective body, which of the two?
15 If you could be rather very concrete on this issue.
16 A. The government as a body which made decisions.
17 Q. All right. So, if -- I want to make sure I'm very clear and I
18 don't want to lead you in any way, but was it the government which would
19 issue a decision to the office, and then based on that decision, the
20 collective decision taken, it would be the office that would execute it.
21 Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. All right. And again, we're going to go through the documents,
24 but as I understand it there is rather concrete legal instruments that
25 set out the rights and obligations of the office; is that correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Now, as I understand it also, there were rules as far as how this
3 office were to operate; is that right?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And could you please tell us who drafted those rules -- yes.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas, there's one point I
7 would like to clarify.
8 Witness, it appears that the office was not attached to a
9 ministry. Is that the case or -- that is to say was it directly under
10 the authority of the government or was it attached to a ministry -- to a
11 department, I'm sorry?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was independent, but it relied
13 on the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare but it was independent.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you please explain what "relied" to means?
15 What do we have to understand?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This department made certain
17 decisions regulating the work of humanitarian organizations, their
18 registration, record-keeping. And in view of the fact that we directly
19 communicated with humanitarian organizations, it was only logical that we
20 needed to cooperate closely with respect to these issues. But we were
21 not subordinated to that ministry, as I have already said.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That would mean that the ministry could not give
23 you any directives or orders?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On its own, no.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. Okay. And I think we need to be careful, Mr. Raguz, describing
3 departments as ministries. I think it's departments, so if we could use
4 the same terminology so not to confuse some of us. So this office, as I
5 understand it, is directly responsible to this collective body called
7 A. Correct, and I accept your suggestions and advice.
8 Q. Okay. Now, if you could -- I think we can start now by just
9 going through the documents. It may be a good time since we have lots to
10 go through. The first chapter, if you want to call it that, deals
11 with -- deals with the RBiH.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: And, Mr. Usher, if you could assist us here for a
14 And, Your Honours, we have -- we're providing you with a list in
15 the chronological order. It's only one binder. We're providing you with
16 a list so that -- to make it as easy as possible. I think it won't be
17 that confusing. This was just prepared and we hope that the list does
18 provide some assistance, so any feedback would be welcomed.
19 Q. The first document I want to go through is 1D 02734, if you could
20 look at it, sir, and -- that would be the first document in your binder.
21 We can see it's from Oslobodjenje. We all know what it is. It's dated
22 18 June 1991
23 liberal party of which you told us you were the vice-president. Is that
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Now, I just want to focus the attention of the Trial Chamber at
2 the very last paragraph in this document, this is for the purposes of
3 letting the Trial Chamber know your position, your stated position back
4 then in 18 June, 1991
5 question. It is reported that: "Martin Raguz, vice-president of the
6 Liberal Party of BH, spoke of the over-casual use of concepts of
7 dissociation, cantonisation, or regionalisation of BH. Citing the
8 constitution of the Socialist Republic of BH and amendments made to it,
9 Raguz said that it was well-known that Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 sovereign republic and that its territory was indivisible."
11 Was that your stated position back then, sir?
12 A. Yes, it was, but I must make a comment if I may.
13 Q. Please do.
14 A. There is no doubt at all that then, and even today, I was in
15 favour of respecting the integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and
17 for its integrity. But then and now I was in favour of a democratic
18 constitution which would regulate internal relations within Bosnia
20 transcript read in error "quality"] of nations and citizens of Bosnia
22 Q. [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. If we could just get this out of the way because there was a
1 question as late as last month concerning what is a constituent person or
2 what is a constituent nation. If you could tell us what is it when we're
3 talking about nations or constituent peoples in BiH so we have one clear
5 A. I absolutely believe that we do have such a definition. In the
6 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and also
7 in annex 4 of the Dayton Peace Agreement in its preamble, it is clearly
8 stated that the peoples, that is, Croats, Bosniaks, Serbs, together with
9 all the other citizens constitute Bosnia and Herzegovina, which means
10 that they are the constituents of Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 Q. All right. Thank you. If we go to the next document, 1D
12 00942 --
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps for the -- the record on line 18 you
14 find the principle of "quality of nation," it should probably be
15 "equality" but there might have been a misunderstanding so it's better to
16 put that clear. Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
18 Q. Mr. Raguz, on 18 it talks -- it says here -- the record says the
19 principle of quality of nations. That's --
20 A. Equality.
21 Q. All right --
22 A. That is what I said.
23 Q. Right. And of course that principle, since it was mentioned, is
24 rather important because not every nation has the same percentage of
25 population; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And so if a nation, let's just say the Croat nation which I
3 believe had 17.2 or 3 per cent, for it to be equal mechanisms had to be
4 within the constitution that would ensure that within the distribution of
5 political and administrative offices the Croats would receive their
6 proportionate representation; is that correct?
7 A. That is correct. According to the official census of 1991 there
8 was 17.8 per cent of the population were Croats.
9 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D 00942, and we've
10 seen this document before, Mr. Raguz, so we don't have to dwell on it too
11 much. It's dated, if we look at the second page, on 26 June 1992, and we
12 see that it is a platform for activities of the Presidency of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina in conditions of war. My first question is: You
14 being the vice-president of the liberal party might know whether your
15 party was in any way involved in the drafting, or overseeing the
16 drafting, or participating in the drafting in any way of this particular
18 A. This platform was adopted by the then-Presidency of Bosnia
20 can't remember that the parties had any real possibility of influencing
21 that platform.
22 Q. And just very briefly, if we look at the second paragraph on the
23 first paragraph under topic 1: "What kind of Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 Let me read one sentence and ask you to provide us with some input. It
25 says here: "The Republic is constituted on the principle of civil
1 parliamentary democracy, which above all implies a market economy, party
2 pluralism, and human rights and freedoms."
3 Now, based on that could you -- well, first could you please
4 analyse that for us and tell us in your opinion what exactly is being
5 said in this particular sentence on what kind of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 there should be.
7 A. I think that the passage you have just read and which relates to
8 the principles of parliamentary civil democracy, this term "civil," in
9 view of the nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was superfluous. It would
10 have been quite sufficient to say the principles of parliamentary
11 democracy because in those days in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even
12 today, there is fierce political dispute regarding the constitutional
13 nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This term, "civil," in Bosnia
15 precondition of a unitary form of regulation of the state, and we have
16 already said that the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina is a state of three
17 peoples within which the national interests cannot be achieved merely
18 through the concept of one man/one vote. So that this platform, even
19 though it was meant to be the political basis for the activities of the
20 Presidency and the government at the time, in this way reduced the
21 political scope and possibility for the broader commitment of
22 representatives of other parties and, I would also add, of other people.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. If we go to the next document, 1D 01773, again
24 we've seen this document before, but I just want to dwell on a couple of
25 points if you have it. We see that this is a platform for regulating the
1 relationship with the Republic of Croatia
2 first page, under item number 3 it says: "Regulating the positions for
3 the centres for acceptance of humanitarian and other assistance arriving
4 to Bosnia and Herzegovina through the territory of Croatia
5 keeping, and transport."
6 Under item 4 it talks about opening an embassy in Zagreb
7 item 5: "Regulating the status of refugees from RBiH on the territory of
10 And under item 6 it talks about "the Republic of Croatia
11 provide assistance to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in food and
12 construction material."
13 One simple question, based on your experience at the time having
14 lived in Zagreb
15 the head of the office in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, were
16 you able to observe whether the Republic of Croatia
17 the sort of assistance that this particular platform was requesting from
18 the Republic of Croatia
19 A. When I have a look at this document now, I think that all these
20 items, opening humanitarian logistics centres, embassies, and regulating
21 the status of refugees, assisting Bosnia and Herzegovina, et cetera, I
22 think the Republic of Croatia
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to carry out what has been stated under
24 these items. I could draw your attention to the agreement between the
25 president of Croatia
2 that Croatia
3 reception of refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Q. Okay. Now --
5 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, counsel.
6 Mr. President, is it possible the witness could indicate the date
7 or the time-frame in which this platform and the previous exhibit were
8 being circulated because I've been looking. I'm not seeing a date on
9 this, and I think it would be useful at least to know in general terms
10 the time-frame that these platforms relate to.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may very briefly, Your Honour, the first
12 document which is 1D -- pardon?
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's dated 26 June 1992.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I was just about to say that.
15 The second platform which I assume Mr. Stringer is mostly
16 concerned about, doesn't have a date; however, however, if we look at the
17 next document which is what Mr. Raguz already began to talk about, which
18 is July 21, 1992
19 being addressed in the platform for regulating relations with Republic of
21 I don't know if that assists Mr. Stringer; however, we will also
22 see later on some documents -- we will also see later some documents that
23 show that logistics centres were, indeed, established. Also, I should
24 point out that Mr. Primorac who testified here, Judge Trechsel, you were
25 absent at the time, did indeed comment on this as well. I don't believe
1 Mr. Stringer was in court at the time. But I believe it would be
2 roughly -- you know, if we -- the way we see these documents based on
3 Mr. Primorac is that one deals with the other. So if I could go on to
4 the next document, and then if Mr. Stringer still has an objection or a
5 concern, we can deal with that.
6 Q. If we can look at the next document, P 00339, and this is the
7 agreement on friendship and cooperation between the Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republic of Croatia
9 this on many occasions but it never hurts to go over some of it. At the
10 very -- on the second page under item 1 it talks about the establishment
11 of a constitutional political system of the country that would be based
12 on constituent units in the establishments of which due account would be
13 taken on national, historical, cultural, economic traffic and other
15 If we go to item 3 which is on the following page, there, as
16 Mr. Raguz as already indicated, in this agreement it says: "The state
17 delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina," that would be Izetbegovic and
18 others, "expressed their gratitude to the Republic of Croatia
19 received and provided for refugees from the Republic of Bosnia
21 Then the next -- the very next paragraph, still within item 3 it
22 says that: "... the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic
23 of Croatia
25 construction of refugee centres in safe zones in Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 and the return of refugees from the Republic of Croatia
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
3 And I believe that's all we need to address at this particular
4 time with this particular witness.
5 Sir, when we look at this friendship and cooperation agreement,
6 in particular this item 3 that I've just spoke about or just read, to
7 your understanding was -- was this part of the agreement materialised
8 between BiH and the Republic of Croatia
9 A. Are you referring to item 6?
10 Q. I'm referring to item 3, item 3, item 3 -- item 6 talks about the
11 armed component. I'm not -- we've discussed this, but item 3, what I
12 read out, where Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia
13 providing -- now, based -- because we're dealing with matters that you
14 were directly involved in.
15 A. You're referring to this document 00339, item 3; is that it?
16 Q. That's correct.
17 A. Throughout that period of time, regardless of how difficult the
18 situation was, how difficult the subsequent conflicts were, action was
19 taken with regard to all these issues. It's true that the logistics
20 centres in Croatia
22 and through these centres it was possible to obtain the greatest
23 percentage, the greatest amount, of humanitarian aid for Bosnia
25 were carried out through the Republic of Croatia
1 refugees to Bosnia and Herzegovina was mostly carried out through the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, which is 1D 01935, 1D
4 01935, I believe we've seen this document as well. On page 1 we can see
5 from the second paragraph that it says: "... proceeding from the
6 Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina
8 document that we have just seen, "and following talks between the
9 delegations of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of
11 Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations ..."
12 If we look at the last line on this page: "... have agreed to
13 sign this annex," and if we turn the page and look at the annex and just
14 to focus our attention on item 2, again reinforcing what you indicated
15 before, it says here: "Once more we underline the need to increase
16 efforts in order to find a political solution to end the war and to
17 further the principle of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an equal and integral
18 community of three constituent peoples."
19 Looking at item 2, is that what -- is this the stated position of
20 the Croats as far as you -- as far as you know, the Croats of
22 A. That's correct. That was the principle -- also referred to the
23 referendum in which the will of the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina with
24 regard to the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina was put to a test. The Croats
25 opted for this approach, in fact, for the sovereignty of
2 Q. All right. And if I understand you correctly - and of course
3 this is already -- these are already facts in evidence in your testimony,
4 that is, under item -- if we look at number 2 it certainly does not
5 comport with the platform that we looked at, which was 1D 00942, that one
6 section that we read, the second document. In other words where it talks
7 about a civil parliamentary democracy is certainly not consistent with
8 item 2 of the annex to the agreement; correct?
9 A. Well, the platform doesn't contain such explicit provisions on
10 the character of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is why I said that it was
11 limited in relation to its possible effects. This was the foundation at
12 the time, and it's also the foundation for future stable relationships in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina and for a future stable Bosnia
15 Q. Now, one item that, again since we're on the Republic of Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina
17 perhaps you could give us a comment on, and it comes from Lord Owen's
18 book, and it's on 1D 01552, it's a rather discrete issue, it's on -- if
19 we look at the third page of this particular document and in English if
20 you see, Your Honours, at the left side of the third page, 264, I'm
21 referring to that particular passage up there, the first -- here Lord
22 Owen is commenting and he's saying that: "When I asked Izetbegovic, that
23 is, why he did not let Muslim children and their mothers leave Sarajevo
24 he retorted that the British would never have let them leave London
25 during the Blitz and seemed genuinely surprised when I told him how
1 Churchill's government arranged for children not only to leave London
2 to go as far afield as Canada
3 If you could tell us, based on your experience having lived in
5 the policy of the government or Izetbegovic's policy, if you were aware
6 of, and whether we can rely on what Lord Owen is telling us here as far
7 as what Izetbegovic's strategy was.
8 A. As I've already said when describing the humanitarian situation
9 in Sarajevo
10 extremely difficult. All I can do is repeat this. We all know that
12 established for providing humanitarian aid after the Berlin air corridor
13 a lot of innocent people were killed, a lot of women and children were
14 killed. Whether this was politically necessary, well I wouldn't want to
15 go into that issue. But it is a fact that the government in Sarajevo
16 wanted the local and international public to focus on such matters for
17 their own political objectives.
18 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D 00898, again we've
19 seen this document but perhaps you could help us out a little bit. This
20 is a decision. It's dated 17 November 1992
21 government of the RBiH, Mile Akmadzic. And in the decision it appoints
22 and authorises Dr. Jadranko Prlic, the president of the Croatian Defence
23 Council, to represent the government of the Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina in a number of ways. And if we look at under item 2
25 at these little bullet points it talks about: "Achieve full cooperation
1 with logistic centres in the territory of Republic
2 RBiH government ..."
3 The next bullet point: "Maintain all contacts with relevant
4 organs of the Republic of Croatia
5 and people."
6 Next: "Cooperate -- coordinate all measures issues by the RBiH
7 Government and the Croatian Defence Council ..." and so on.
8 Based on your -- prior to arriving to Herceg-Bosna, did you have
9 any contact with Dr. Jadranko Prlic?
10 A. Yes, on several occasions I was a member of the government that
11 appointed and authorised Dr. Jadranko Prlic to deal with issues that you
12 have mentioned.
13 Q. All right. Well, before coming -- before coming -- I want to
14 make sure that I'm clear with your answer. While you were serve -- while
15 you were with the ministry for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 you told us that in May 31, I believe, 1993 you left Zagreb. And so you
17 were in Zagreb
18 that period did you have any contact with Dr. Jadranko Prlic?
19 A. Yes, during that period of time and while I was in Sarajevo
20 Q. Okay. And could you tell us ever so briefly the -- how did you
21 find Jadranko Prlic? How did he behave in that capacity?
22 A. I would say that the government appointed Dr. Jadranko Prlic for
23 a number of reasons, first and foremost because it was possible for him
24 to work outside of Sarajevo
25 because it was obvious that he was quite capable to organize matters,
1 also when he was deputy head of the executive committee in Herceg-Bosna.
2 Q. All right. Thank you. If we now -- and I'm told that the
3 translation was a bit off, and let me pose the same question. Perhaps
4 you can give us the answer again because I don't want to lead you in any
5 way as far as what you might have said. The question was basically: How
6 did you find Dr. Jadranko Prlic? How did he behave in the capacity that
7 he was serving, that is, as president of the HVO he was now given a
8 mandate by the government of the RBiH to assist in certain issues which
9 of course touched upon issues that you were working with at the time.
10 A. I'll repeat what I said. I think that the government had good
11 reasons to appoint Dr. Prlic since he was good at organizing matters, and
12 this appointment was carried out - I can see this now - in the autumn of
13 1992. This is on the basis of what the Croatian Defence Council had done
14 to receive refugees, organize humanitarian aid, so the organization was
15 to have a broader function for the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, for
16 the interests of Bosnia-Herzegovina, given the fact that Dr. Prlic even
17 before the war and at the beginning of the war demonstrated that he had
18 all the necessary qualities to carry out such duties.
19 Q. All right, if we could go on to the next chapter unless the
20 Trial Chamber wishes to have a break at this point. I leave it to --
21 we're not going to finish within the next ten minutes but I can continue
22 if I can get some guidance.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a break now. We'll
24 have a 20-minute break.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.36 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume with the
4 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. The next document that I want to show you, Mr. Raguz, is actually
7 in the previous chapter, I omitted to mention it, it's 1D 01943, 1D 01943
8 very briefly, and I'll connect this later on. This is a letter from
9 President Tudjman to the president of the Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic,
10 dated 12 February 1993
11 "In order for this cooperation to be achieved, I propose that the
12 Ministries of Foreign Affairs immediately take necessary steps to
13 establish bilateral and multilateral committees for every branch of the
15 And it goes on. To your understanding, did the two ministers of
16 foreign affairs, that is, for Bosnia-Herzegovina and for the -- for
18 eventually involved in in Herceg-Bosna?
19 A. I think that they played significant role and that they got
20 involved in these issues too and the issues that are referred to in this
22 Q. And the two foreign ministers that I'm speaking of, that would
23 have been Mr. Silajdzic for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Dr. Granic for the
24 Republic of Croatia
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Now if we go to the next document, 1D 01232 and the next series
2 of documents we'll be dealing with -- yes.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have a question to this document.
4 Witness, have you ever seen it before?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Let me go back to
6 the document. Can we return to the document.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It is document 1943.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correspondence between presidents
9 or the presidents of Croatia
10 public, so this was accessible to the public.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This does not exactly answer my question. My
12 question was whether you personally have ever seen this letter before?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is correspondence between
14 presidents. I wasn't a member of the Presidency, so I didn't receive
15 such correspondence. But I believe that it is authentic. I'm familiar
16 with this correspondence.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps you can or you cannot answer the
18 question. What puzzles me is that in a letter from the president of
20 establish bilateral, and now comes the enigmatic formulation, or
21 multilateral committees. Do you have any ideas, any suggestions, what
22 the multilateral side might refer to?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have an idea. I have a
24 clear idea of the fact. Both countries had been affected by the war.
25 Both countries had a need to carry out reconstruction, to cooperate in
1 all fields, so that concerns their economy, infrastructure, energy, and
2 everything else. So this is all placed in the broader context, the Alps,
3 the Adriatic
4 official policy of all countries in the region and of the European Union
5 regard to that region.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Microphone not activated].
7 Thank you, that's quite convincing. Thank you.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
9 Q. If we go to the next document. As I've indicated, we'll be
10 dealing with a series of documents on the laws on displaced persons and
11 refugees. It's 1D 1232, 1D 01232, if you have it, sir, and we can see
12 from the preamble that this relates to the Government of the Republic of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And if we look at the very last page, for the record
14 it's dated 6 October 1992
15 deputised for the president of the Presidency, and you could confirm that
16 Mr. Ganic at this point was a member of the Presidency; correct?
17 A. Yes, correct.
18 Q. Now, just were you familiar with this particular piece of
19 legislation at the time, sir?
20 A. Yes, it was issued by the government I was a member of, and this
21 was officially declared by the Presidency, the War Presidency, it was a
22 decree law.
23 Q. All right. Now, we don't have to go through the entire document
24 because we'll be able to do that on our own, but I thought perhaps we
25 would touch upon a couple of issues that might be of some importance. If
1 we could look at, for instance, Article 17, and in particular what I'm
2 interested in where at the very last part of the sentence it talks about
3 persons over 18 years of age. If you could just look at Article 17 and
4 please tell us what exactly does Article 17 stand for?
5 A. Article 17 relates to the obligation of the competent body that
6 issued decisions on the status of displaced individuals, and it had to
7 inform the responsible or the competent organ of individuals of 18 years
8 of age. So the municipal organ had to be informed of obligations that
9 individuals over 18 years of age had.
10 Q. All right. Now, if we go to Article 23 it says here: "The
11 competent state organ that has summoned a displaced person for military
12 or work obligation shall inform of the summons the district office of the
13 municipality in the areas which the displaced persons has his or her
14 place of residence."
15 And before looking or commenting on Article 23 we should also
16 look at the previous article, Article 22 which says: "The rights under
17 this decree of a person who has been recognised the status of a displaced
18 persons shall cease when such a person is summoned by the competent state
19 organ for military or work obligation if for the duration of such
20 obligation he/she receives remuneration according to special
22 So if you could comment on these two articles because it would
23 seem that perhaps those who are of military age are seen to have a
24 different status?
25 A. That's correct. Individuals who have work or military obligation
1 and as a result have other rights -- well, their rights are curtailed
2 pursuant to this decree.
3 Q. Well, was it possible under this decree for someone to be both a
4 displaced person if, for instance, he was within the age -- the military
5 age and had a particular obligation -- a military obligation? In other
6 words, could he be 18, 19, 20 years old and say he wished to enjoy the
7 status of being a displaced person but simply refused or didn't want to
8 participate in his military obligation, you know, sit out the war as it
10 A. Generally speaking, that was not possible.
11 Q. Okay. And you if we look at Article 27 -- yes.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If you allow me just an additional question.
13 Reference is made to summons here. Can you tell the Chamber
14 whether this means an individual summons addressed to the person in
15 question by name or does it include general summonses, all male persons
16 between that and that age are called under arms?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a general approach that was
18 taken, so you can see here that the municipalities or district offices
19 that are referred to in this decree passed by the government of the
20 republic in charge of regulating status issues.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. And can you please tell us whether there was a general
24 mobilisation announced in BiH; and if so, at what point?
25 A. It was announced.
1 Q. Can you give us a date?
2 A. Now, exactly when --
3 Q. What about a year, can you give us a year? Was it 1991? 1992?
4 1993? 1994?
5 A. It certainly wasn't in 1991 because we were late in many things.
6 So I believe that this was in 1992.
7 Q. All right. Now, if we look at just very briefly at Article 27,
8 the third paragraph, it says here that: "Displaced persons may be
9 accommodated in reception facilities, social centres, or host families."
10 If you could tell us, what is a reception facility?
11 A. Excuse me, but could you repeat which article we are talking
13 Q. The article was 27 and it's the third paragraph, it's only one
15 A. The reception facilities were places where the persons were
16 initially received, that is, the persons who were expelled or displaced.
17 From these reception centres to collectives, to host families. This is
18 the whole spectrum of possibilities for accommodation of these persons.
19 Q. All right. And then if we go back now to Article 21 where it
20 talks about refugee status of a person from a war-ridden area would
21 cease, and if we look at under item 3: "If he/she refuses the offered
22 organized accommodation or other forms of organized assistance ..."
23 If you could please explain that to us. I mean, why couldn't
24 somebody simply demand to be in an apartment, a sea-side hotel, or some
25 other convenient location as opposed to being placed in a centre with
1 other people, perhaps less convenient, less accommodating?
2 A. This means that the bodies in charge of the reception and the
3 regulation of the status of displaced persons and refugees, and these
4 were mainly at the level of municipalities, they would have enormous
5 requests and problems with respect to accommodation and they had to
6 investigate enormous efforts to find appropriate accommodations. So it
7 is quite understandable for this paragraph 3 to figure here, which says
8 that -- which refers to organized necessary accommodation or temporary
9 accommodation, because that was the only accommodation that it was
10 possible to offer people at the time. That is what the conditions were
11 like in those days.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, if we go to the next document,
13 1D 01410, 1D 01410, we see this is a decision on matters concerning the
14 status of citizens of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Republic
15 of Croatia
16 the prime minister was Jure Pelivan. Just a couple of points. If we
17 look at Article -- well, Roman numeral I, it says: "The Embassy of the
18 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Republic of Croatia
19 "Shall approve departure to other countries to citizens of RBH with the
20 status of displaced persons or refugees and compulsory military or work
21 service in the territory of Croatia
22 Could you please tell us why was the embassy, to your knowledge,
23 involved? Why was it -- should it have been involved in this matter or
24 these matters?
25 A. There were agreements between the two countries that we have
1 already referred to, agreements on cooperation in the area of
2 humanitarian affairs between the Republic of Croatia
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina in dealing with the status of refugees, and one of
4 the decisions is the one here, whereby the return was sought of the
5 citizens of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina which were under
6 military obligation and the intention of the decision was to have them
7 returned to Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is under Roman numeral IV. Because
8 a large number of people benefitting from the status of refugees wanted
9 to leave on their own initiative, disregarding their military
11 Q. All right. And under -- if we look at Roman numeral IV, and that
12 was my next question and I'm gratified that you went to it, it talks
13 about collection centres for the organized return of citizens to the
14 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina with military work obligations. And
15 if we look at the locations now, it talks about: "... Zenica, Tuzla
16 Visoko, Jablanica, Konjic, and other locations named by the Ministry of
18 If you could please tell us to your understanding, these
19 particular locations, who was controlling them at the time?
20 A. These locations, Zenica, Tuzla
21 were under the control of the Armija, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Q. Thank you. To your knowledge, were men of military age actually
24 sent back from Croatia
25 military obligations based on this particular piece of legislation? Are
1 you aware of that?
2 A. As far as I know, they were. To what extent and in what numbers,
3 I don't know exactly.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. If we look at the next document P 00 --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this document, which
6 to me is of great interest, first of all at the time, you yourself, did
7 you have any personal knowledge of this decision?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this period of time, I was still
9 a minister in the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
10 and I didn't have direct knowledge of this decision but I have looked at
11 it and it contains the same provisions as those passed by the Government
12 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When one reads the four
14 chapters of this decision, a jurist could come to the following
15 conclusion. First of all, it appears that there are citizens of the
16 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia and who, if they don't
17 return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, should have the status of refugees in
18 the Republic of Croatia
19 line with the will of the Government of the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina to have a
21 legal status of refugees in Croatia
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Chapter 2 only says that the return
23 of refugees and displaced persons should be made possible, those who are
24 residing in the territory of Herceg-Bosna to the municipalities in which
25 the security situation allows it. So it doesn't refer to anything else.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps the witness is looking at the wrong
3 Q. We're going document by document and the President is referring
4 to 1D --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
6 Q. -- 1D 01410. So unless I indicate that we're moving to another
7 document, we'll stick with -- so if you could kindly look at that
9 A. I beg your pardon, I thought we'd finished with this document and
10 we were moving on to the next one.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I was still talking about
12 the first document, 1D 01410.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thank Mr. Karnavas for
15 realizing this.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me which
17 paragraph of this decision you were referring to because I was looking at
18 another document? Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Chapter 2. I was referring to
20 chapter 2, which says that: "The citizens of the Republic of Bosnia
22 it is impossible to travel or for reasons of safety, shall be awarded
23 refugee status in the territory of the Republic of Croatia
24 therefore my question is whether the government in Sarajevo, wasn't it
25 encouraging Zagreb
2 chapter 2 appears to indicate, which would explain the role of the
3 Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia. Is that the way one could
4 read this?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, one could. So chapter 2 does
6 provide for the possibility for the embassy in Zagreb, pursuant to this
7 provision, to further regulate the status and rights of refugees
8 depending on the transport or security situation.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question, I go back to
10 paragraph 1, a text may mean a lot of things but it appears that the
11 refugees who are in the Republic of Croatia
12 countries, but it would appear that the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
13 that case needs to approve such travel. Does that mean that this
14 document envisages a mechanism for the departure of refugees from Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina
16 other countries, Denmark
17 but on condition that the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina approves such
18 a departure? Is that what this text indicates?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, correct. That is how it was.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I add a little question, referring to
21 paragraph, numeral II Roman. We read the words: "... return to the
22 free territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina ..."
23 What does that refer to? Which is the free -- which is the not
24 free at that point in time? We are in September of 1992.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is the area that I spoke about
1 in the introduction. This is the view from Sarajevo as to what is free
2 territory. I cannot fully interpret what was meant by the free territory
3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina from that standpoint at that time, but judging
4 by paragraph 4 of this decision you can see which towns are being
5 designated to receive those persons and this speaks for itself, those are
6 Zenica, Tuzla
7 would be received.
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: I still have a question in order to finish with
9 this decision, again concerning paragraph 2, and it says that: "Citizens
10 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina who are unable to return to the
11 free territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina either because
12 it is impossible to travel or for reasons of safety shall be awarded
13 refugee status," and again I repeat this, "shall be awarded refugee
14 status in the territory of the Republic of Croatia
15 Now, my question is the following. It seems to me rather strange
16 that a third country, in this case Bosnia and Herzegovina, actually in
17 a -- in this kind of decision makes a reference in imperative that "shall
18 be awarded refugee status" in another country, in a third country, in
19 this case in Croatia
20 agreement between the two governments, but in this case a reference
21 should have been, as a matter of fact, referred to and -- or was it
22 another type of agreement which was not made public?
23 So my question to you, sir, if -- how come that the Government of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina made a decision which was supposed to be actually
25 applied in a territory of another state?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your question is quite appropriate.
2 All I can say is that through the logistics centres and this office for
3 refugees which the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 set up in Croatia
5 independently, that is, by the organs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, without the
6 participation of the Republic of Croatia
7 agreements of a working nature, some of them of a contractual nature, but
8 they should have indicated which ones they're referring to.
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Still a further clarification. You can see that
11 we are interested in these matters. Paragraph 2 refers on -- refers to:
12 "Citizens of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina ..."
13 That is the citizenship irrelevant -- is it correct to read it as
14 being irrelevant with regard to nationality, so that Croats, Serbs, or
15 Bosniaks are equally covered, at least in theory, by this decision; or is
16 there an implied limitation to Bosniaks?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 you, they are citizens in the sense of their citizenship. And if you
19 look at the text, one cannot say that it refers only to Bosniaks but all
20 of them are being advised we see where -- to go we see where in paragraph
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Mr. Raguz.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, to follow-up on the
24 question of my colleague, it is true that for a jurist to see paragraph 1
25 where there is an automatic granting of refugee status, one must believe
1 that there were either bilateral agreements or verbal agreements between
2 the ministers of foreign affairs or even between Tudjman and Izetbegovic
3 to regulate the status of these refugees who are in Croatia. Or
4 Mr. Tudjman must have said, We'll give them this status, which would
5 explain why the text leads to the conclusion that this was automatic. Is
6 this acceptable as an interpretation?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have already answered that
8 question. It is not logical that the status of refugees in the Republic
9 of Croatia
10 is the state which is hosting the refugees that should decide.
11 Similarly, I also said that Croatia
12 organize and assist and take care of refugees from Bosnia and
14 were days when Croatia
15 persons, of which several hundred thousand from Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 so that practical moves had their reasons if the aim was to deal with
17 those matters more effectively.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it seems to me that
19 most of these questions emanate from problems in the translation of this
20 document. Paragraph 2 is definitely incorrectly translated, and it's a
21 serious mistake. According to the original text it follows that
22 paragraph 2 regulates the status for those citizens of the Republic of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina who are in Croatia
24 of refugees. And then it is stipulated that if those persons are unable
25 to return to the free territory for transport or safety reasons, so the
1 meaning is quite different, whereas in English it says that those persons
2 shall be awarded -- should be given the status of refugees. So that is
3 quite wrong. It is obvious that the intention of the government is to
4 deal with those who already have the status of refugees in the Republic
5 of Croatia
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kovacic, you
7 have raised a problem there. Perhaps we can deal with the problem asking
8 the witness to read chapter 2 and then the interpreters can interpret for
10 So, Witness, could you read for us chapter 2 in your own
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The citizens of the Republic of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina who are situated in the territory of the Republic
14 of Croatia
15 return to the free territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 due to transport difficulties or for safety reasons."
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This means that in the
18 translation that we have just heard it would appear that the citizens of
19 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina have the status of refugees -- who
20 have this status are the persons who cannot return. That is what is said
21 in the version in your own language, whereas the English translation
22 could be misleading. There's a difficulty which we have tried to
24 Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, thank you, Your Honours,
1 and thank you to my colleagues.
2 Q. I just wanted to go back to the question that Judge Trechsel
3 asked and I'm terribly grateful to that question, because if I understand
4 correctly what you indicated based on the question that was asked of you
5 because you pointed to Roman numeral IV, it would appear, since we're
6 talking about citizens of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
7 that would be Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, if they are of military age
8 they are to be sent to collection centres that are provided by the
9 Ministry of Defence to those territories that are for all intents and
10 purposes controlled by only one of the nations, and that is the Muslims
11 at the time, the Army of BiH, Zenica, Tuzla, Visoko, Jablanica, Konjic.
12 Is that correct? Is that my understanding of your answer based on the
13 question posed to you by Judge Trechsel?
14 A. That's correct. I've already explained this.
15 Q. Okay. All right. Now, if we go to the next document P 00553 --
16 and I should say before I ask you the question on this document initially
17 Judge Antonetti -- President Antonetti had a question of you whether you
18 were familiar at the time with the decision. And he -- Judge Antonetti
19 was referring to the previous decision, that is, dealing with the
20 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And would you like to answer that
21 question now, were you familiar with this -- with that decision at the
22 time -- the previous decision, that is, you know, 1D 01410? Were you
23 familiar when you were the minister --
24 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that decision.
25 Q. All right. Now -- and then you indicated as part of your answer
1 that to your understanding this particular decision is very -- that is,
2 P 00553, is similar to the one dealing with the Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?
4 A. I linked this up to the decision on the status of refugees
5 because that's the title of both decisions, that is document 1D 01232.
6 It's a decree law on displaced individuals and refugees issued by the
7 Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this was adopted by the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
9 Q. That's right. Okay. And if we go on to the next document now,
10 1D 01198, this is a document from the Stolac municipality and this is
11 1 December 1992
12 document and again make a comparison and can you comment on it?
13 A. This decision was taken on the 1st of December, 1992. At the
14 time I was minister in the government in Sarajevo, and as far as I can
15 see this decision also regulates the status of refugees and military
17 Q. All right. And let's take, for instance, Article 2 just as an
18 example. It says: "Refugees who are in the territory of Stolac
19 municipality, i.e., in one of the local communes in Stolac municipality,
20 shall be obliged to report to the welfare commissioners or the defence
21 commissioner of the local commune ..."
22 To your understanding why would it be necessary for them to
24 A. Well, for these very reasons --
25 Q. All right.
1 A. -- that concern the status of individuals who had military
2 obligations, that had to report to the representative of the local
4 Q. All right. And if we -- if we look at Article 4 it does say:
5 "Refugees and military conscripts shall be obliged to report to the
6 Stolac Defence Office immediately ..."
7 That's what you're referring to; correct?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. All right. If we go on another example, P 02144, P 02144, and
10 this is the Mostar municipality, and we see this is a decision on status
11 rights of refugees, expellees, and displaced persons. And we can see
12 this is a redacted text. For the Trial Chamber, we've seen a couple of
13 other documents related to this but this is the redacted text. And we
14 see at the very first sentence under Article Roman numeral I: "In the
15 territory of Mostar
16 be issued to persons between the age of 0 and 18, men over the age of 60
17 and women over the age of 55 ..."
18 And it goes on. And then it goes on the following paragraph it
19 says: "The card from paragraph I of this item is of a temporary nature
20 and is valid until such time as the United Nations High Commissioner
21 finds adequate accommodation for expelled persons and refugees in
22 countries and in areas where there are no war operations ..."
23 Now, this document is dated 29 April 1993. Obviously from your
24 testimony it's prior to your arrival. Did you become aware of this
25 particular decision?
1 A. At the time -- well, I wasn't there, but I could comment on this
2 decision and say that in a manner similar to the decree it regulates the
3 status rights because municipal organs would decide about the status of
4 rights on the basis of the general rules that had been adopted.
5 Q. All right. And if we look at Roman numeral II as another example
6 it says here: "Displaced persons from the Mostar municipality territory
7 who have come from one local community to another must return to the
8 territory of their own local community which has been liberated to the
9 premises that they used before, owned houses, apartments, and so on, and
10 which they can now use; however, if they cannot use these now they will
11 be accommodated in collective accommodation."
12 Looking at Roman numeral II, can you please tell us whether this
13 is similar to the sort of legislation that was adopted by the Republic of
15 A. It's similar because reference is made to the return of
16 individuals to liberated territory to places that have been liberated and
17 to premises that were previously used by them. But if such premises
18 aren't available to them, if they can't return to their buildings, they
19 will be provided with collective accommodation. That was common
21 Q. Okay. One more matter for a second if I -- before we move on.
22 If we look at -- and I failed to ask you this question because I thought
23 perhaps it was self-evident, but the reference in Roman numeral I to
24 persons of the age of 0 to 18 and then men over 60 and women over age 55,
25 do you know why these years, these ages, are picked?
1 A. Well, I can do no more than comment on the fact these are the
2 usual individuals who had military or work obligations.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. That was what I was looking for, and I didn't
4 want to lead you to it. I thought it was -- we know this already by now.
5 But if we look at the next document P 07677, and this is the last
6 document in this chapter. It's dated 25 January 1994. We're moving
7 ahead in time. The second page we see that your name, head of office,
8 Martin Raguz. This is directed to the Government of HR HB Ministry of
9 Defence. The subject: "Inquiry into the status of military conscripts
10 while exercising their rights as refugees or displaced persons."
11 And of course I don't want to go into this -- I don't want to
12 read this in any great detail, but if we look on page 2 just for the
13 record and for the Court's assistance we see where you're posing four
14 sets of questions. And if you could please comment on this particular
15 document. What is it? What are you trying to achieve?
16 A. Well, this is a document that was forwarded in 1994,
17 significantly later than the documents that we have been discussing. But
18 at a time during which a lot of displaced persons and expelled persons
19 were are arriving in the territory of Herceg-Bosna and the sentence for
20 social work or the Red Cross offices in the municipalities had to
21 confront these practical issues in relation to dealing with the status of
22 expelled persons and displaced persons, this had to do with individuals
23 who were arriving there as expelled individuals, but they were in fact
24 under the obligation to report to the municipal bodies for defence in
25 order to regulate the issue of their military obligation. So these were
1 practical issues that concerned how one could bring these matters into
2 line and how one could coordinate them.
3 Q. It may be -- if you could answer this question. I believe you
4 indicated earlier, and of course in this answer you seem to make
5 reference to the fact that it was up to the municipal bodies. Could you,
6 as the head of the office, order a municipality to allocate certain
7 premises or take on certain number of refugees or make certain
8 distributions to refugees that were -- or displaced persons who were
9 arriving in a particular area?
10 A. The office did not have the role of subordinate body, but we did
11 cooperate with municipalities. We assisted to the extent that this was
12 possible for us to find accommodation for this large number of
13 individuals and to take care of them. But as to the locations and the
14 way in which they were received, this was decided by the municipalities
15 and on the basis of their possibilities.
16 Q. All right. And would it be fair to say that some municipalities
17 were affected more than others?
18 A. Yes, with regard to the pressure exerted by refugees and their
19 arrival, yes.
20 Q. And what about resources, for instance, could we also -- would
21 that also apply to resources, that some municipalities were perhaps
22 better equipped or better capable of providing resources than others?
23 A. On the whole we can talk about the resources that were available
24 at the time. You always have some municipalities that are more
25 developed, that have a stronger infrastructure; that was the case before,
1 today, it will always be the case. Naturally all the municipalities in
2 the HZ HB made a contribution when it came to receiving refugees. I'll
3 give you the example of Posusje, a small municipality of not even 16.000
4 inhabitants, and in a two- or three-year period it received or took care
5 of over 120.000 individuals and made it possible for one to continue
6 dealing with the problem. That's just one example and I could provide
7 you with other such examples.
8 Q. All right. Now, if we go -- we're going to switch topics -- yes.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In that case I would like to dwell for a moment
10 with this relationship between your office, the government, and
11 municipalities. You said quite plausibly that your office could not tell
12 municipality to put at the disposal of refugees such and such a building,
13 but more generally could you, as it were, assign to a municipality a
14 certain amount of refugees or generally order a municipality to take care
15 of and accommodate so and so many refugees being then within their
16 purview and the competency of the municipality to decide, with your
17 assistance, perhaps, on how they are going to implement this? Would that
18 be a description that would correspond to the reality?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, a municipality acting with our
20 assistance -- well, I could say that such assistance functioned.
21 Otherwise, one wonders how tens of thousands or hundreds of [as
22 interpreted] thousands of individuals could have been received. The
23 burden was on the municipality, but it was for the office to coordinate
24 the aid and the correct distribution of the burden throughout the entire
25 territory to the extent that this was possible.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
2 MR. KARNAVAS:
3 Q. But let me go back to make sure. The question was rather -- was
4 compound, not that I'm complaining about the question. But the first
5 part is: Could you order a municipality to receive certain amount or
6 this -- these refugees that were coming? One thing to coordinate, but
7 could you actually order Ljubuski, Siroki Brijeg, Stolac to say these
8 refugees coming from Central Bosnia will -- should be here, let's try and
9 find some accommodations, that's the situation, so could you order?
10 A. I didn't issue any orders nor was I able to do so, but people
11 took into consideration level of coordination, mutual assistance, but
12 there were no orders issued, this is not how we worked and this was not a
13 possible way of working for me.
14 Q. Well, let me just go one step further, did the legislation
15 provide you with the authority, perhaps you wanted to reach a consensus
16 and didn't want to issue orders, but did the legislation provide you the
17 authority to issue an order to a municipality?
18 A. You can see in this decree on the status of refugees in the HZ HB
19 that it's the municipal organs that decide on the final status of these
20 individuals. This was within their purview. So if a municipal organ did
21 not issue such a decision, I, or rather, the office couldn't issue an
22 order requesting that such status be granted them. There were no legal
23 provisions, or rather, there were no decrees, to be more specific, that
24 allowed us to subordinate others in such a manner. But it is a fact that
25 through cooperating we managed to find answers to these issues.
1 Q. All right. And I guess since we -- since I asked you that
2 question and you made reference to a particular decision, if we could
3 look at again P 00553 and look at Article 3 that says here: "Displaced
4 persons of the territory of HZ HB
5 cards issued by the municipal HVO office for social welfare and
7 And was that what you were alluding to, that it was up to the
9 A. Yes, yes. That's that.
10 Q. And if I could ask you, at the state level - because we did
11 discuss this briefly, which is when you indicated that it was up to the
12 municipalities - is that how the legislation for Republic of BiH
13 well, was it -- did they leave it up to the municipalities to designate
14 the resources or did the state or the Government of RBH have the
15 authority to actually issue orders to municipalities to allocate
16 resources for particular refugees, if you know?
17 A. Well, if you see item 17 in the decree, the Government of the
18 RBiH, we've already discussed this, it says that the district office that
19 has decide on the status of displaced or expelled persons, it says that a
20 district office decides on the status of such persons that in Article 13
21 it is quite clearly stated that these district offices are organized as
22 organizational units of the directorate outside the headquarters of the
23 directorate in Herceg-Bosna. We did not do it in this manner.
24 Q. I need you to first tell us the number of the document. So are
25 we referring to 1D 01232 for the record?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And so from here, from this particular legislation, you're
3 pointing us to Article 17; correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And what other article did you wish to point to our direction, is
6 that Article 13 that you indicated?
7 A. Article 13.
8 Q. Okay. And so from this example we can see that the Government of
9 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 the municipalities to be involved in these sorts of decisions; is that
12 A. That's correct. That's what Article 24 also states. It says the
13 district office that has decided to recognise a person as having a
14 certain status shall issue him or her with an identity card proving that
15 the person has that status. It's 1D 01232, Article 24.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. If we can move on now because we will have the
17 documents at our disposal to look at. Now, if we go to 1D 01233, we're
18 switching topics now and we're going to be talking about abandoned
19 apartments, 1233, if you have it. I'm told that maybe we have a wrong
20 number on it but I have 1233. My apologies to everyone. I'm told that
21 it's 1D 01223, and this is the decree law on abandoned apartments of the
22 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: May I proceed, Your Honours?
24 Q. Okay. Are you familiar with this decree, sir?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. And if we look at, for instance, Article 5 it says that:
2 "Municipal administration organs are in charge of housing affairs" --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, just to get the record -- yes,
4 it's corrected, it's 1223 and not 1233 as was above --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: My mistake, Your Honour --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, mine also because I could have been seen
7 that it has been changed in the meantime. Thank you.
8 MR. STRINGER: I'm going to have to follow on e-court. I don't
9 have a hard copy, it might be one of the 40 or so documents that were
10 added late --
11 MR. KARNAVAS: We have a hard copy.
12 MR. STRINGER: Okay. We're grateful. Thank you.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: And in the event that there are other documents
14 that the Prosecution doesn't have, we'll be more than happy to provide
15 them to them. Our apologies.
16 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. Okay. If we -- can you please comment on this decree very
19 briefly. What is it about?
20 A. The decree regulates which organs shall determine which flats
21 should be considered as having been abandoned. It states how they should
22 be regulated, the municipal organs, administrative organs, that deal with
23 housing issues responsible for this.
24 Q. All right. If you look at Article 1 it talks about: "Pursuant
25 to the Law on Housing Affairs ..." and it says that: "... a tenancy
1 right holder shall temporarily forfeit the right to use his apartment if
2 he vacated the apartment together with members of his household after
3 30th of April 1991."
4 Could you please tell us, if you know, why somebody forfeit his
5 rights if he simply abandoned his apartment?
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas -- sorry, I have -- please, go
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From then on there was a war and
9 people looking for the safety for themselves and their family,
10 particularly the areas that were directly affected, were frequently
11 forced to abandon their apartments in order to save themselves or they
12 may have done that for some other reasons.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. But why are they temporarily forfeiting their right to use the
15 apartment? I mean, that's my question. They leave. Why are they
16 forfeiting their tenancy right albeit temporarily?
17 A. Because then that apartment is used to accommodate refugees and
18 displaced persons.
19 Q. Okay. And we can see that now on Article 2, if you look at
20 Article 2 very briefly we also see it indicates --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There's a difference in
22 the dates between the B/C/S and the English.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. If you could tell us what the date is of this decree, sir,
25 because we see at the very last page it says 15 June 1992 in the
1 original. Could you please tell us what the date is.
2 A. I think it is the 15th of June, 1992, as is stated here.
3 Q. All right. If we just look at now, very briefly, Article 7,
4 paragraph -- the first part, the first paragraph under Article 7: "An
5 apartment which, on the basis of a decision referred to in Article 5 of
6 this Law, has been designated abandoned may be given to use on a
7 temporary basis to an active participant in the struggle against the
8 aggressor in Bosnia and Herzegovina or a person who has remained without
9 an apartment as a result of the imminent threat of war."
10 So going back to Articles 1 and 2, this provides sort of the
11 explanation why; would that be correct?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. All right. And then if we look at -- it does talk about housing
14 that was from the former JNA and it appears that that sort of -- anything
15 dealing with former JNA apartments or accommodations, the Ministry of
16 Defence would be in a position of making those allocations; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. And a portion -- if we look at Article 9, again going
20 back to our previous set of questions concerning municipalities and their
21 active participation in these sorts of issues, Article 9 says: "The
22 municipal administration organ in charge of housing shall allocate
23 abandoned apartments for temporary occupancy, and in those municipalities
24 in which such an organ does not exist, then the Ministry of Spatial
25 Planning, Civil Engineering, and Environmental Protection, and for the
1 former JNA ..." we see it's the "Ministry of Defence."
2 For Article 9, can we conclude that when it comes to these issues
3 it's up to the municipal administration organ to deal with as opposed to
4 the state?
5 A. That is correct, only if it's not functioning but in any case
6 it's up to the municipal authorities.
7 Q. All right. Now, if we look at -- we're going to go through some
8 of these documents very quickly and some will be for --
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas, I stopped asking a
10 question because you continued with your -- with the other articles as
11 well. I would like to ask the following question or questions, rather,
12 that there are many, in a way, criteria here under which apartment could
13 be considered as temporarily abandoned. Article 2 and Article 3 list at
14 least five I would say criteria on that matter. There is -- as far as
15 the legal remedies are concerned, Article 5 contains something here to
16 say that in the penultimate line or penultimate paragraph, rather, of
17 Article 5, it say, and I quote: "An appeal shall not stay the execution
18 of the decision ..."
19 And one paragraph above that one says: "On appeal against a
20 decision made," et cetera, "may be submitted to the Ministry for Spatial
21 Planning, Civil Engineering, and Environmental Protection."
22 Now, my question is actually to Mr. Raguz, if he would be able to
23 explain that this particular decree law, how did it operate? Because
24 frankly there are certain criteria which are a bit strange, for example,
25 in the second paragraph of Article 2 it says that pursuant to this law an
1 apartment shall be considered abandoned if weapons or ammunition were
2 found there for which an appropriate permit may not be obtained in
3 conformity with the law, et cetera.
4 So this particular provision suggests that most probably the
5 authorities entered into the apartments before really making the decision
6 if they were abandoned or not and as another paragraph what I already
7 quoted said that there was no -- I mean, even an appeal shall not -- had
8 not stayed the execution of the decision. So I frankly see here certain
9 inquiries and problem of, if I may say so, arbitrary decisions on behalf
10 of the authorities. So my question is to Mr. Raguz, if he would be able
11 to tell us, under which kind of legal remedies of which have been
12 achieved a kind of proper application of this law, and if he could tell
13 us some examples how did this decree law operate and what was -- what are
14 the consequences of this decree law.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. This decree was passed
16 on the 15th of June, 1992. I had still not been elected to the
17 government, that means before I was nominated to the Government of the
18 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As for the criteria and the
19 procedures, I can only repeat that the municipal administrative bodies
20 were authorised to decide on which apartment was abandoned; and only if
21 the municipal body is not functioning, then it was the responsibility of
22 the Ministry for Spatial Planning, which was also the second-degree body
23 in the case of appeal pursuant to Article 5 which does not stay the
24 execution of the decision.
25 As for the criteria you yourself referred to Article 2, and I can
1 only comment on this decree because I did not take part in its drafting
2 and adoption. Article 2 refers to an aspect which does not relate merely
3 to ownership but also that an apartment may be declared abandoned if it
4 was used for an illegal purpose. So these are very broad criteria which
5 give a great deal of manoeuvring space when a decision is made as to
6 which apartment is abandoned or not. That is as much as I can say about
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you very much, Mr. Raguz.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. If we go to the next document, 1D 00530,
10 this is a decree with a power of law on amendments to the decree with the
11 power of law on abandoned apartments. So now we see that it's been
12 amended. The date here is the 11th of September, 1992, just a couple of
14 Q. If you could look at, for instance, Article 5, and Article 5
15 refers to Article 7, paragraph 3 of the law that we just -- the decree
16 that we just saw. If you could look at that a little bit, please give us
17 an opinion of what it attempts to regulate.
18 A. You're referring to Article 5, or rather, generally to the
20 Q. Right. That's correct. I'm interested -- because it says here
21 that: "'... the head of the Supreme Command Headquarters assigns for
22 temporary use to members of the Republic's Army and family members of
23 soldiers killed in the combat against the Republic aggressor.'"
24 The republic's army I suspect is the RBiH, so it would mean that
25 only those soldiers serving in that particular branch of the army enjoy
1 any benefits.
2 A. Yes, that is how it is according to this decree and Article 5.
3 It is the head of the Supreme Command headquarters who is the
4 decision-making body and who assigns for temporary use to members of the
5 republic's army and family members of soldiers killed in combat against
6 the aggressor on the republic. So these are amendments to the previous
7 decree that we referred to. These are amendments to the decree I
8 commented on a moment ago.
9 Q. All right. And just a -- just one minor point I guess, Article 7
10 it would appear that the amendment to Article 9 that it says in a
11 decision regarding the end of the state of war is made and the tenancy
12 holder from Article 1 of this decree does not start using the apartment
13 again within a period designated under Article 3, that person essentially
14 is considered to have permanently abandoned his -- the premises. In
15 other words, he -- it's not a temporary loss, it's a permanent loss. Are
16 we to understand that the state -- the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is
17 leaving it up to the municipalities at some point to decide on revoking
18 these property rights?
19 MR. STRINGER: I object to the leading question, Mr. President.
20 Could the witness just be allowed to comment on the document.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I stand corrected on that. Perhaps I
22 did transgress over a bit.
23 Q. If you could just answer, what -- how would you interpret Article
24 7, the amendment to it, that is?
25 A. All I can do is read this. When the term expires under paragraph
1 1 of this article the tenancy holder uses -- loses his right which will
2 be established by decision of the competent body. We know who that is,
3 that is the municipal administrative body, and the second degree is the
4 ministry. And by these amendments, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
5 Command may also give apartments for use. So when we're talking about
6 the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command, it is of the Army of the
7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. Okay. If we could look at the next document 1D 01157, 1157, and
9 here we're going to look at what's happening in Tuzla municipality. This
10 is just to give us an idea of what's happening elsewhere. It's dated 21
11 May 1992. Under Roman numeral I it says: "All persons who illegally
12 moved into abandoned flats in Tuzla
13 move persons and things out immediately in order to implement a Crisis
14 Staff order to seal abandoned flats."
15 So this would be consistent, for instance, what we've seen
16 before that it's up to the municipality, correct?
17 MR. STRINGER: Objection to the leading question, Mr. President.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, we're not in front of a jury, and
19 we've already established the fact that he's indicated well over half a
20 dozen times that it's up to the municipality.
21 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the rules and guide-lines issued by
22 the Trial Chamber have -- leading questions. I've, I think, been fairly
23 restrained in my objections. I haven't objected at times when counsel's
24 been trying to move forward, but here I think it's an appropriate
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on, Your Honour. I'll rephrase. I'm
3 trying to be more refrained these days.
4 Q. From Roman numeral I what can we conclude? It's rather obvious
5 but please tell us.
6 A. So this is an order signed by the president of the Crisis Staff
7 of Tuzla
8 abandoned flats in Tuzla
9 immediately to implement a Crisis Staff order to seal abandoned flats.
10 So we see that it is the municipality who is issuing orders in dealing
11 with these matters.
12 Q. All right. 1D 00853. Again, we're dealing with Tuzla
13 dated 8th July 1992
14 immediate family members of those killed or seriously wounded from the
15 TO, Territorial Defence, and MUP ministry. Have you had a chance to look
16 at this particular order, sir?
17 A. I have seen it, and it is in a way an elaboration of these
18 decrees, and it is stated here that members of the immediate family
19 members of those killed or seriously wounded from the TO or the Ministry
20 of the Interior have priority. And this is regulated at the level of the
21 municipality again.
22 Q. Okay. And by way of example, if we could look at Roman numeral
23 IV, it says: "In order to resolve housing issues from sub-item 2 of the
24 previous item of the order, the municipal secretariat of urban planning
25 and environment protection will make available the required number of
1 abandoned apartments by summary procedure. The procedure is to be
2 implemented in line with the decree law on abandoned apartments,
3 (Official Gazette of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, number 6/92)."
4 What do you understand Roman numeral IV to mean, sir, just very
6 A. I have already commented this by saying the municipal
7 administrative body, in this case the one in charge of spatial planning,
8 is placing at the disposal of those in need the certain -- the necessary
9 number of apartments to implement this decree. So we can see consistency
10 in the regulations which clearly indicate that the procedure has been
11 shortened and that it is the municipalities who have to carry it out.
12 Q. If we look at the next document, 1D --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll see the next document
14 after the break. We're now going to have a 20-minute break.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.54 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Raguz, if we go to the next document, I believe it's 1D
20 00606. This deals with the Mostar municipality. It's a decision on ways
21 and means of allocating the temporary use of apartments that have been
22 abandoned. Have you had a chance to look at this document dated the 24th
23 July 1992?
24 A. Yes, I can see it.
25 Q. All right. And just very briefly, would you comment on this
1 particular document relative to the other documents that we have seen.
2 Is Mostar doing anything different, for instance, than the other
4 A. No, I think that the same issues are being regulated here. In
5 fact, here in Articles 12, 11 the criteria are a little broader with
6 regard to how this should be done. The purpose is the same.
7 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D 00613, again this
8 is the Mostar municipality and this is a decision to evict all illegal
9 tenants from flats formerly owned by the JNA in the territory of the
10 Mostar municipality, and I believe this would be 16 September 1992 or at
11 least that's when it was adopted. And can you comment on this document,
13 A. The situation we have here is identical, it has to do with taking
14 a decision at the municipal level and this is a situation that concerns
15 evicting all illegal inhabitants, and the situation in Tuzla
16 is dealt with in an identical manner. In a certain sense order is being
17 introduced in this field.
18 Q. All right. And what about 1D 00618, which again deals with
19 Mostar municipality. And this is a decision to amend the decision
20 governing the conditions and procedure for temporary allocation of homes
21 abandoned by owners former owners without valid reasons?
22 A. At the time disposing of the property of members of the former
23 JNA was an issue, and we can see how this was regulated in various areas,
24 and all I can say is that these decisions taken at municipal level were
25 taken at the same time or such decisions were taken at the same time in a
1 broader area, a wider area, from Tuzla
2 regulations that were adopted in HZ HB are, in fact, regulations that
3 were also in effect in the territory under the control of the Government
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the same time.
5 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, counsel, I apologise for the
7 Mr. President, I don't have a translation of this document in my
8 papers, and it appears from e-court that there isn't a translation in
9 e-court at least not on the screen.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Which document then, sir?
11 MR. STRINGER: I think it's 618 and then also possibly 613, the
12 previous --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I can provide -- we can provide our copies.
14 We apologise, we don't know what --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges have the
17 MR. KARNAVAS: We certainly don't wish to give the impression
18 that we're in any way -- Mr. Usher, if you could assist us.
19 MR. STRINGER: I understand. Sir, I can even -- they don't
20 have the translation in e-court either, so I can't even see the document
21 now on the screen and so there's no way for me to follow at all. I
22 appreciate the hard copies.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, this certainly is not intentional. I hope
24 certainly none of the members of the Trial Chamber think that we're
25 intentionally trying to keep the Prosecution in the dark.
1 MR. STRINGER: I'm not suggesting that.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I realize that. I just hope no one's mind goes in
3 that direction.
4 Q. Now, based on your previous answers, sir, I take it that would
5 stand for the next two documents and that is 1D 00625 which is a
6 conclusion to amend the conclusion on the implementation of decision, and
7 then of course 1D 00749 which is another decision to move out persons.
8 That would -- so your previous answer would go to these two documents as
9 well; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct, but here the priorities are established and
11 priorities established in categories referred to in the provisions that
12 we have been discussing. It has to do with the families of those killed
13 and wounded.
14 Q. All right. And would it be fair to say that that status of
15 individuals, family members, that is, of those who were killed while
16 defending in their respective armies, was Mostar unique in providing or
17 allocating housing resources for those families or was that happening in
18 other municipalities as well?
19 A. No, it wasn't a unique case. This was common practice in other
20 municipalities. As I have already said, most of the premises in the HZ
21 HB and Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were concerned -- rather,
22 premises that were under the supervision of the Government of Bosnia and
24 Q. All right. Finally if we look at 1D 01512, we're going to
25 fast-forward to 3 May 1994
1 comparison purposes. Here in this particular decision it says:
2 "Citizens from the municipality of Konjic
3 Mostar -- in Mostar, Prozor, and other municipalities who are
4 accommodated in the abandoned houses and socially owned flats in the
5 municipality of Jablanica are hereby instructed to vacate them within ten
7 "The same applies to citizens of Jablanica who have houses or
8 flats in the area of Jablanica municipality.
9 "Failure to comply with this decision shall result in these
10 citizens being moved out and stripped of their status of displaced
11 persons or refugees."
12 Can you please explain to us this decision by the Jablanica
14 A. Well, there are two things that are important here. First of
15 all, you can see that this emphasized what I have continually been
16 claiming. Dealing with such issues was a matter for the municipalities,
17 they were responsible for such issues; and secondly, the municipals took
18 decisions in accordance with their possibilities and they sought certain
19 solutions to deal with the enormous amount of refugees arriving in those
20 municipalities. They issued decisions of this kind, this one in
21 Jablanica -- well, you can see that it has to do with the eviction of
22 individuals from abandoned homes and of stripping them of their status as
24 Q. All right. If -- we're going to switch topics unless there are
25 any questions from the Bench I'm going to move on to another topic, and
1 we're going to go through a --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a minor follow-up
3 question. You say that it's a matter of evicting individuals from
4 socially owned flats, so I draw the following conclusion. The flats that
5 were socially owned with regard to these flats -- well, there were
6 individuals evicted from these flats. But as far as private property is
7 concerned, if someone was the owner of a flat and then sees some foreign
8 person, some stranger settling in his flat, did the public authorities
9 agree on having this individual evicted from the flat?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this document, 1D 00749, we
11 commented on Mostar and Jablanica, so this document refers to Mostar. In
12 Mostar a decision was taken on evicting all illegally -- all illegal
13 tenants, so it has to do with all those who illegally moved into the
14 flats of others. This means that the municipality wanted to respect the
15 rights of owners and to act against individuals who illegally moved into
16 flats in Mostar.
17 The second decision concerns those who regulated in Jablanica the
18 status of refugees or displaced persons in temporarily abandoned houses,
19 and the decree made this possible. It was in accordance with the law,
20 and the municipality assessed that the situation which allowed them to
21 have such a status no longer existed and they were told to leave the
22 premises and to return, otherwise they would be stripped of their status.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. But, Mr. Raguz, perhaps you didn't quite listen to the
25 President's question because it -- the question dealt with private
1 ownership versus socially owned flats. At that point in time, were there
2 privately owned flats in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. Most of the flats were socially owned, but I can't say that there
4 were not any privately owned flats.
5 Q. Okay. And when we're talking about socially owned flats, could
6 you please tell us what constitutes a socially owned flat? Who owns it
7 and how does one get tenancy rights to such a flat? Just very, very
9 A. Well, look, it's not really my area but it's quite clear that
10 what was socially owned was clearly understood as well as how flats in
11 the former Yugoslavia
12 would be allocated by municipal or state structures, institutions, or
13 socially owned companies. This would be done on the basis of their own
14 criteria, it would be done autonomously on the basis of the regulations
15 that allowed one to allocate tenancy rights to certain individuals.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as percentages are
17 concerned, because given what others have testified the Judges believed
18 that there was a certain amount of private property; but now you seem to
19 be saying that most of the property was socially owned. So in terms of
20 percentages, what percentage of property was private, 10, 20 per cent, 5
21 per cent, 1 per cent?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if we're discussing the issue
23 of flats, 10 to 20 per cent at the most, at least at the time. I'm not
24 referring to privately owned houses but to flats now, but this is a
25 question that should be verified. One should check the statistics. It
1 wasn't something that concerned my field of work. What the percentage
2 was with regard to socially owned flats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 don't know. I've told you what I thought about that.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
6 Q. Now, we're going to go to another chapter and this deals with
7 ODPR, the Office of Displaced Persons and Refugees. We're going to go
8 through some legislation to start with, and of course if the
9 Trial Chamber has any questions perhaps as we go document by document I
10 would invite the Bench to jump in.
11 The first document is P 00846, this is a decision on establishing
12 the office of the refugees exiled and displaced persons, that's how it's
13 written. And this is for the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. It's
14 dated 27 November 1992
15 did there come a time when you became of this particular decision, sir?
16 A. Well, I'm familiar with the establishment of that office and it's
17 clear that given the tasks it was allocated in this decision and the
18 needs that existed, its establishment was well-founded.
19 Q. All right. Now, if we look at Article 4 just very briefly we do
20 see that it provides that the office is chaired by the head of office who
21 was appointed or relieved by the HVO HZ HB, and then it says that the
22 office shall be run by the secretary who was appointed to and relieved by
23 the HVO HZ HB upon recommendation of the head of office. When you
24 arrived was there a secretary running the office, as is provided under
25 Article 4?
1 A. Yes, there was a head and there was a secretary.
2 Q. All right. Now, I notice that in here it doesn't provide for a
3 deputy head or the position that you ultimately got, I think it was on
4 31st of May, 1993; correct?
5 A. Yes. In the first decision this isn't something that was
6 planned, that's correct.
7 Q. All right. And if we look at Article 6, just very briefly, it
8 tells us at least that the office had various departments. And of course
9 the one that I'd like to comment on very briefly is under number 4, the
10 department for analytical work. Perhaps you can inform us, what does
11 this particular department -- or what did it do?
12 A. Well, this department - and that concerns the other five - is
13 regulated by the rules that's referred to in the documents, the tasks of
14 each of the branchs is clearly defined, the tasks of this branch were the
15 following, keeping records of the numbers of expelled individuals and
16 refugees, records of the needs that existed. So this entire system of
17 information and of analysing priorities existed. One had to prepare the
18 background so that one could act efficiently, assist people, and take
19 well-founded decisions.
20 Q. All right. And just again before we leave this one document, if
21 we look at Article 9 I had asked you earlier whether rules were adopted,
22 and here we see Article 9 it says: "Rules on order on the internal
23 structure and method of work of the office shall define the tasks
24 performed by organizational sections referred to in Article 6 of this
25 decision ..."
1 And the very last sentence says: "The rules of order on the
2 internal structure and methods of work of the office shall be passed by
3 the head of office with the approval of HVO HZ HB."
4 Who drafted the rules to your understanding?
5 A. The first rules were drafted by the head of the office, as is
6 stated here. The rules of the internal order and the methods of work of
7 the office shall be taken by the head. This is the usual procedure in
8 governmental institutions, not only here. The rules on the work of the
9 organs shall be taken by the people who lead those organs with agreement
10 of the government. That was also the case in the government I was a
11 member of in Sarajevo
12 Q. Right. And that was the point of asking the question, to make
13 sure that the Judges realize that the procedure that was in the past
14 continues to be used here. If we look at P 0093, P 00093, the next
15 document in your bundle, here it's titled: "Rules of the Internal
16 Organization and Working Methods of the Office for Expelled Persons and
17 Refugees," and at the preamble we see at the very top it says: "Pursuant
18 to the provisions of Article 9 of the decision ..." And we just looked
19 at Article 9.
20 Sir, are these the rules that were in place and you were using
21 when you arrived in May 31, 1993
22 A. Those rules were in force then.
23 Q. Okay. And unless there are any questions from the Bench I'll
24 move on to the next document. I'll just ask you one other question. If
25 the rules needed to be amended, that could be done internally, that is,
1 by the office of course with the approval of the HZ HB?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. All right. Okay.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And this analytical department as well as the other departments,
6 as I -- if you could help us out, were statistics being kept, records
7 being made; and if so, if you could tell us what sort of records were
8 being made, statistics taken, and for what purpose?
9 A. Statistics were kept, and that shows how many refugees and
10 displaced persons there were, and how many expelled persons there were,
11 these are the three categories that had been established in accordance
12 with the decree on the status of displaced persons, refugees, and
13 expelled persons. Records were kept on the distribution of humanitarian
14 aid, records were kept on the needs these individuals had so that one
15 could take appropriate action when it came to assisting them, providing
16 them with food and clothes, so we worked for the governments -- for the
17 government, and tried to assist all these individuals. And these reports
18 were sent as stated in the decision on establishing the office about once
19 a month unless it was necessary to submit such reports more frequently.
20 Such reports were submitted to the HVO and to the government.
21 Q. All right. Thank you. And now if we look at the next document,
22 P 03079 just very quickly, we see that this is a decision on your
23 appointment as deputy head of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
24 Croatian Defence Council office for expelled persons, refugees, and
25 displaced persons, and again consistent with what you told us it seems it
1 says here Mostar, 31st of March, 1993. This was the decision upon which
2 you obtained your position; is that correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And this decision, I -- we see that it is signed by Dr. Jadranko
5 Prlic, but who in fact took the decision?
6 A. The HVO took the decision, the HVO of the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna at a session that it held dated the 31st of May, 1993.
8 That's the session at which the HVO took that decision.
9 Q. All right. And I don't want to lead you, but based on your
10 answer can we conclude that you were appointed by the HVO and not by
11 Dr. Jadranko Prlic in his capacity as president of the HVO?
12 A. We've already discussed this, the fact that the HVO appointed me.
13 The HVO is a collective body, and that the office was responsible to the
14 HVO as an institution.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, if we go to the next document, 1D
16 018 --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you were appointed by
18 a collective organ, by the HVO. As you have told us, you held
19 ministerial positions and you are currently a deputy, so you know how
20 these appointments work, you know what the procedure is. Does this mean
21 that in your opinion Mr. Prlic, who signed your appointment, in fact had
22 to sign what the collective organ had decided? So do you think -- would
23 you say that he could have opposed your appointment? Did he have such
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, the HVO, as of the case
1 for all governments, would state what they thought about members.
2 Dr. Prlic, Dr. Jadranko Prlic, presided over those sessions. He was in
3 favour of my appointment because he believed that I could be of
4 assistance given my qualities, given the institutions, and the difficult
5 humanitarian situation in Herceg-Bosna. He had no reason to be against
6 my appointment, and we know how governments take decisions, on the basis
7 of a majority vote. The government could have decided by a majority not
8 to appoint me, but they unanimously decided that I should be appointed.
9 So naturally this decision was then published as a decision that has been
10 taken. That's the case in all democratic countries.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. And just to make sure that you fully answered Judge Antonetti's
13 question, assuming -- let's assume for the purposes of this question that
14 Dr. Jadranko Prlic opposed your appointment but there was a unanimous
15 decision -- I mean, there was a majority decision to appoint you. Could
16 Dr. Prlic as president, in his capacity as president of the HVO, keep you
17 from being appointed to the position? And this is just as a technical
18 matter for the record. It has nothing to do with whether he liked you or
19 didn't like you. This is for our record-keeping purposes.
20 A. I really believe I answered this question with precision, but
21 I'll repeat. The government made the decision; had it not made the
22 decision, it could not have been published. If the government makes a
23 decision, Dr. Jadranko Prlic as the president cannot oppose the
24 publication of that decision or any other decision that has been made if
25 you're asking me a general question.
1 Q. Okay. All right.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I think unless the Trial Chamber needs further
3 clarification, I'll move on.
4 Q. Okay. 1D --
5 A. I'm sorry, I have to add, all decisions are made in the same way
6 not just this decision on my appointment.
7 Q. Right, right --
8 A. That is how decisions are made by all governments and I was a
9 member of several governments. The agenda is defined first, there's a
10 discussion, and members of the government state their opinions on the
11 agenda items, be it a government decision or an appointment. And
12 governments are stable for as long as they have a majority in
13 decision-making. And of course the prime minister will sign a decision
14 that has been already taken by a majority vote. This applies to any
15 place in the world. If he is in a minority, he cannot challenge the
16 decision, he can only dissolve the government. So I think this question
17 relates to normal functioning of governments that act as collective
19 Q. All right. Thank you.
20 A. So if you wish, we can continue the discussion about this. I'm
21 at your disposal.
22 Q. I think you answered the question. I just want to go back and
23 ask one more question to make sure that we all understand. The
24 process of this collective body, which functioned as an executive, okay,
25 the way it was functioning and the way it was structured, was that
1 consistent with the way the government functioned prior to Bosnia and
3 obviously you as a student of political science would know -- would know
5 A. Yes, it functioned in the same way. In Sarajevo the director of
6 the directorate for refugees of the government department and the
7 government department for humanitarian aid in the Government of the
8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were appointed in the same way.
9 Q. All right. What I'm saying, as far as the collective body and
10 the way it functioned, for instance, prior to Bosnia-Herzegovina becoming
11 independent at the municipal level, for instance, did they have
12 collective bodies that very much operated in a similar fashion as the HVO
13 HZ HB or was it some sort of different system? Because some of us come
14 from a rather different system where, you know, there would be a
15 president who actually has the ultimate say.
16 A. You are asking me about the solutions within the former
18 Q. No --
19 A. This could take some time, or rather, you are asking me about
20 local bodies within that system.
21 Q. Mr. Raguz, this is not a trick question. Basically what we're
22 trying to figure out here and make sure the Trial Chamber understands,
23 the system that -- this collective system of governing that was adopted
24 by HVO HZ HB, whether it was unique, something that was created,
25 improvised, for instance, a new wave system, or was it something that was
1 consistent with the pre-existing system even prior to the break-up of the
2 former Yugoslavia
3 come from usually they don't have collective bodies, the mayor, the
4 governor, the president, he may have a cabinet but he exercises the final
5 say. That's the point I'm trying to get at.
6 A. There were no improvisations. Such solutions did exist, as I
7 have already said. This practice exists even today and that is the
8 practice in most countries that have governments as bodies of executive
10 Q. All right. Thank you. If we go on to the next document --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment.
12 Witness, the question put to you by Mr. Karnavas is of
13 fundamental importance for us to be able to appreciate the
14 responsibilities of various parties. We are in this courtroom, we come
15 from different systems, and you lived in ex-Yugoslavia with the communist
16 regime and there was this principle of collectivity. However, in our
17 countries there's a governor, there's a president, there is someone who
18 is a symbol of power on his own. And for us, the question is whether the
19 HVO was a collective, and the president of this was just the carrier of
20 the pen who signed documents and who reflected the position taken by the
21 collective, or according to you was the president of the HVO someone who
22 could in certain areas exercise his own powers? For example, if he
23 didn't like you for some reason, couldn't he have said to the collective,
24 I don't wish Mr. Raguz to be appointed to that position, and then
25 everyone would accept, or rather, is it the collective that could impose
1 its opinion on the president of the HVO in some cases, even when he's in
2 the minority? This is a key question which in my opinion you haven't
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said and I will repeat, Dr. Prlic
5 was the president of the HVO as a collective body which made decisions at
6 its meeting, and rather than he himself making decisions as president of
7 the HVO, and I said this with precision and I'm repeating it again, and I
8 don't think I was vague, I was absolutely clear, of course the authority
9 of the president of this body may have some influence over the quality of
10 the decisions made, and of course like all the other members of that body
11 he has the opportunity to express his opinion about each and every issue
12 and to provide guidance to the extent that the other members of the body
13 accept such guidance. But decisions are taken by a vote of government
14 members on each of the agenda items, and that is the practice of
15 governments where there is a president, a parliament, and the executive.
16 I was a member of several governments and we always have to vote. And
17 once a decision taken, it is published and signed. The situation is
18 absolutely clear in that respect.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Raguz, do you know who proposed you for that
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In these documents you could have
22 seen that Dr. Jadranko Prlic was appointed by the Government of the
23 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a man with the ability to assist
24 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina in coordinating aid. And in those
25 contacts we cooperated well, and at his proposal, and I think
1 Mr. Akmadzic --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, obviously I have not made my question
3 sufficiently clear. My question was not regarding the appointment of
4 Dr. Jadranko Prlic, it was the appointment of Mr. Martin Raguz --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I just wanted to say that
6 we knew each other from this previous communication, and I believe that
7 it was upon the proposal of Dr. Jadranko Prlic that I was appointed.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. If we look at the document 1D 01803, this is a report, we can see
11 that it's signed by Dr. -- Darinko Tadic as the head of the office. It's
12 dated 3 June 1993
13 reference to having visited or organized a food convoy for Croats in the
14 village -- villages around Jablanica and Konjic, five trucks. And then
15 if we go to the second paragraph there are some basic characterizations,
16 and he indicates that: "The situation in the Croatian villages was found
17 to be worrying; people feel alone and helpless ..."
18 He then goes on to say: "In the towns of Konjic and Jablanica
19 themselves, Croats are in reservations. They have no freedom to move, no
20 right to work, telephones have been cut off, and lately they have only
21 been able to go out to mass. In other words, they are hostages ..."
22 Now, this would have been -- I realize this was immediately after
23 you arrived, but can you comment on Mr. Tadic's report with respect to
24 his characterizations?
25 A. I can say that the situation deteriorated daily, and not only in
1 Konjic but in many other locations and that the situation became worse
2 every day, and that was one of the reasons why I was appointed to the
3 office and I was expected, together with the other members of the office,
4 to react and to assist these people and everyone else in need.
5 Q. All right. If we look at the next document, P 03092, this is a
6 decision taken by the HVO on 21 June 1993 on establishing the
7 headquarters for organizing and work coordination on caring for displaced
8 persons and refugees. And we see from Article 2 the rights and
9 obligations, and then on Article 3 we see the various persons that have
10 been appointed. We see your name as number 2. We see Kresimir Zubak,
11 who is the president of the headquarters. Could you please tell us,
12 first of all, what were the headquarters?
13 A. The headquarters was what is defined in Article 2 of this
14 decision, a team set up to coordinate activities regarding humanitarian
15 aid and care for the refugees because the situation -- when this decision
16 was taken to form the headquarters was on the 21st of June, 1993
17 situation was quite alarming because hundreds of thousands of refugees
18 appeared on a daily basis and the influx continued. And clearly,
19 coordination was needed between the government offices and other
20 institutions and ministries so that this burden could be borne jointly
21 and effectively.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic.
23 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Overlapping speakers] because the witness
24 said hundreds and thousands of refugees on a daily basis, and in English
25 translation it was put hundreds of thousands on daily basis, so instead
1 of "of" it should be "and" because that wording was used by the witness.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Dr. Prlic.
5 Q. Now, just one question before we go off this document.
6 Mr. Zubak, who was the president of the headquarters for organizing and
7 coordinating the work, what position did he hold other than the one that
8 we see in this particular decision?
9 A. He was the vice-president of the HVO.
10 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D 00931, and here
11 is a conclusion taken by the HVO signed by Dr. Jadranko Prlic, and it's
12 dated 19 July 1993
13 item 1: "The Department of Internal Affairs is obligated to assure two
14 employees for the needs of the Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons,
15 with the purpose of control of loading of the humanitarian aid in Split
16 and Ploce."
17 Can you please tell us why it would have been necessary for this
18 conclusion to have been made, if you know?
19 A. The reason was, I think that was the Makarska agreement, when an
20 agreement was reached between the Government of the Republic of Croatia
21 and the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO
22 how the flow of humanitarian aid could be facilitated and how these
23 humanitarian aid convoys could be protected, and the procedure of loading
24 speeded up so that -- so as to make sure that this was indeed
25 humanitarian aid. So I think that this conclusion was issued pursuant to
1 that agreement as an obligation of the HVO.
2 Q. All right. Thank you. If we go on to the next document,
3 1D 01672, and these are minutes from 22 July 1993 and I want to focus
4 your attention primarily with respect to item 2, which is: "Report on
5 the staff of the organization and coordination of work in accommodating
6 and caring for expelled persons and refugees." And if we look at the
7 second page - in English that is - but under item 2, it says: "In
8 connection with the decision of the Kakanj municipality HVO to evacuate
9 the Croatian population from its area to the territory of HZ HB
10 letter of Konjic municipality HVO ..." and it goes on.
11 And then it says: "In the ensuing discussion, it was agreed to
12 evacuate and find accommodation for 6 to 7.000 Croats from Kakanj and
13 around 1.000 Croats from Konjic."
14 And then it goes on to say: "The municipal representatives from
15 the Office for Expelled Persons and Refugees must submit information on
16 the possibility of accommodating newly expelled persons ..." and so on
17 and so forth.
18 In this trial, Mr. Raguz, there's been some allegations that
19 there was reverse ethnic cleansing, that Croats from Central Bosnia were
20 being driven out by the Croats themselves, by the Croatian Community of
21 Herceg-Bosna. To your -- could you please give us your opinion. This
22 event here, what was the result -- why were these people being evacuated
23 and was reverse ethnic cleansing occurring to your understanding?
24 A. Absolutely not. These people, when we're talking about 7.000
25 Croats from Kakanj, at the time when this was being discussed at
1 headquarters they had been expelled from Kakanj three and a half months
2 ago and they were in Vares living under impossible conditions. So for
3 four months already they were without essential requirements and for them
4 this was a matter of existence, and since I dealt with these matters for
5 a long time you should have seen the appeals for help and the letters
6 that reached us, not only from Kakanj, Vares, and Bugojno and other
7 places, where due to the enormous exodus -- and I should like to remind
8 this Court and all of you that from the outbreak of the war in Bosnia
10 means more than 50 per cent were either expelled or displaced, and this
11 was the greatest exodus in modern European history. And it is a fact
12 that in these parts, that is, Kakanj, Vares, and Central Bosnia, due to
13 the influx of a large number of refugees from areas which were under the
14 control of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs, a large number of Bosniaks,
15 Muslims from Eastern Bosnia, sought shelter in Central Bosnia.
16 And within a short space of time in those areas of Central
18 increased two-fold within a period of one or two months. And we know
19 that in those days conflict was escalating in this area, and to move
20 these people was actually to save their lives.
21 Q. All right. I think that will do, Mr. Raguz. If we go on to the
22 next document, 1D 02141, this is dated August 16, 1993, and it's signed
23 by Dr. Jadranko Prlic. And here it says that two individuals -- three
24 individuals "... the expert associates of the Office for Displaced
25 Persons and Refugees for the Government of the Republic of Croatia
1 the working visit to the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna on the
2 subject of joint activities related to displaced persons, social, and
3 humanitarian issues."
4 And then he goes on asking that they be given the necessary
5 working conditions, security and what have you. Can you please explain
6 to us, if you know, why it was necessary or why these individuals from
7 the Government of the Republic of Croatia
8 A. This was around the 18th of August, 1993, a period I've already
9 referred to, when the humanitarian situation deteriorated. These were
10 people with some prestige. There were humanitarian workers who were
11 experts in the field, and I think this is an indicator showing what was
12 being done within the territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
13 to engage the best people for this purpose in the most difficult times.
14 And we have already seen from several agreements between the Republic of
16 were agreed fundamental principles for cooperation in the humanitarian
18 Q. Well, let me go back and ask you a question that I believe you
19 asked during the first session. You indicated that there were --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Have I done something wrong?
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to stop you, Mr. Karnavas, I just
22 wanted to flag that the translation has not been yet finished, then you
23 started to speak. Thank you.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Can I start -- okay. Very well.
25 Q. Let me go back to a question that I'd asked earlier. I believe
1 it was during the first session. You indicated that there were these
2 international organizations, including UNHCR. Here we see three
3 representatives of high quality from the Government of the Republic of
5 provide any experts to work in the office itself? I'm not saying write
6 reports to the UN, but actually institute in office in order to assist in
7 making minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day decisions as the
8 humanitarian crisis was unfolding with all these hundreds and [Realtime
9 transcript read in error "of"] thousands of people coming your way?
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's again "hundreds of thousands" instead of
11 "hundreds and thousands" in the record.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no such support for the
13 office except for an exchange of information regarding the distribution
14 of humanitarian aid and the overall situation which occurred at
15 occasional meetings. So this kind of support was -- direct support was
16 not given to the office. There were no such offers nor any such
17 practical solutions.
18 MR. KARNAVAS:
19 Q. All right. If we look at the next document, 1D 021 -- yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, as someone who
21 exercised a certain position in this office for refugees, you were on the
22 ground, you were able to see what was happening, did you have the feeling
23 that the UNHCR played its role well because when I saw this document
24 which I was not aware of and which I discovered just now, how is it
25 possible that three experts are brought in from Croatia when the UNHCR
1 had its own experts? Why one had to resort to people from Croatia
2 there were other people who could have fulfilled the same role? And I
3 asked myself whether the UNHCR was present throughout. What do you think
4 about that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The UNHCR was present with its
6 offices in this area. It had an office in Medjugorje and Jablanica. Let
7 me just say that the UNHCR closed its office in Jablanica in April 1993
8 on the grounds of the need to protect its own staff at a time when there
9 were a large number of expelled Croats and refugees in that area and an
10 indication that they would be evacuated. So the work of the UNHCR cannot
11 be assessed or described in a single sentence or with a single question.
12 They certainly were significantly involved in the delivery and
13 distribution of humanitarian aid, but they had problems with their own
14 organization and their own offices in those days.
15 So the situation was so complicated that the UNHCR closed its
16 office and in April 1994 it closed one of its offices in that area and
17 there are documents to show this. And there are various reports from
18 various UNHCR offices with different data which one could seriously look
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On page 90, line 1, it should
21 be 1993 and not 1994.
22 Mr. Karnavas, we have another five minutes left.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
24 Q. When you say on line 90, 2 you said: "And there are various
25 reports from various UNHCR offices with different data which one could
1 seriously look into or should seriously look into," what did you mean by
2 that? And I mention this because one hears UNHCR, UN, they tend to think
3 perhaps, you know, things are all consistent, proper, and correct.
4 A. If you study the reports from the ground prepared by UNHCR
5 offices in that period, you will see that they didn't have the
6 opportunity to exactly assess what would happen with the refugees and the
7 expelled persons, which I believe was rather the reason than any
8 intention to make distinctions depending on peoples or territories. And
9 we were repeatedly instructed by the UNHCR regarding various issues and
10 we sought to react adequately, and in our communication with them - and I
11 may also say that regarding this question of expulsion of people, in this
12 case Croats from Konjic, Jablanica, or Bugojno, we didn't have the timely
13 support nor timely information from the UNHCR.
14 And in the reports regarding the statistics on the movement of
15 refugees and the state of refugees in various areas, let me tell you --
16 let me give you the specific example of Mostar where, according to one of
17 the UNHCR offices, a written report stated that up until the 9th of May,
18 that is, the conflict in Mostar, there were close to 20.000 refugees and
19 displaced persons. And the UNHCR confirms in that report that data were
20 kept until then for the area of the whole of Mostar, which means all
21 refugees and expelled persons in Mostar are on both sides, if we may put
22 it like that, then the UNHCR says that after data records were kept for
23 the two parties separately that in the statistics 16.000 Bosniaks went
24 missing, whereas in fact these were data that applied to both parties.
25 Q. We will get into that in more detail tomorrow.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't believe I can ask any more questions in
2 light of the time. I suspect we will see each other again tomorrow at
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will resume
5 tomorrow. According to me, Mr. Karnavas, you have about one hour and 15
6 minutes left.
7 So, sir, you will come back again tomorrow afternoon. The
8 hearing will begin at 2.15, and I shall do my best to ensure that we can
9 work on the morning of Thursday. Thank you. The hearing is adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
12 August, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.