1 Wednesday, 3 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 [The Accused Coric not present]
6 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
11 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Today is Wednesday, and I would like to greet the witness, as
14 well as all the accused here, the Defence counsel and the OTP, as well as
15 all those who assist us in this courtroom, including the court reporter
16 who provided a tremendous performance yesterday because she worked both
17 in the morning and in the afternoon session. Thank you very much to her.
18 We are going to start now with the cross-examination of the
19 witness that will be conducted by Mr. Bos, and good morning to Mr. Bos.
20 And you have the floor.
21 MR. BOS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
22 Honours. Good morning, everybody in and around the courtroom.
23 WITNESS: ZORAN PERKOVIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Bos:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Perkovic. Mr. Perkovic, I'm going to have a
2 couple of questions for you, and I've organized it in such a way that
3 will go in chronological order through the evidence. So I'll start with
4 some questions on your background.
5 Now, you testified that in 1988/1989 you were president of the
6 youth organization of the Socialist Federal Republic of Bosnia and
8 A. Yes, in 1988.
9 Q. Can you tell us, who was your predecessor in that organization?
10 A. My predecessor was Mr. Milos Jelic. He was the president of the
11 youth organization in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Jadranko Prlic was ever president of this
14 A. At the level of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I know
15 that he was not the president of the youth organization at that level
17 Q. When did you first meet Mr. Jadranko Prlic?
18 A. We met in 1988, so the first time we met was when I was the
19 president of the youth organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 Q. And what was Mr. Prlic's function at that time?
21 A. He was the president of the Executive Board in the Assembly of
22 the Mostar municipality.
23 Q. And how well -- was this just one meeting, or did you have more
24 meetings during that period with Mr. Prlic?
25 A. We - I as the president - had to deal with the issue of the
1 employment of two of our colleagues whose term of office had expired,
2 they were from Mostar, and that was the reason why I met with Mr. Prlic
3 who was at the time the president of the Executive Board of the Municipal
4 Assembly. He asked me to help him, but I think that we only met just a
5 few times in the period up to the war.
6 Q. So -- and then the next time that you worked closely with
7 Mr. Prlic was during the war when you were a member of -- president of
8 the Commission of Regulation; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. That's when I met him for the first time in this first
10 period when I came to Herzegovina
11 Q. During that period of time, were you well acquainted with
12 Mr. Prlic?
13 A. No, it was just an acquaintance.
14 Q. Did you ever work with Mr. Prlic after -- after the war, after
15 the Dayton Agreements, in any function?
16 A. After the Dayton Agreements, up until my arrival in the foreign
17 ministry, I had two jobs, as I've already said. I was the deputy
18 minister of justice and administration in the last cabinet of the
19 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and, at the same time, Mr. Prlic was
20 also a member of that cabinet, government, which means that for a while,
21 for about a year and a half, we were in the same government. He was the
22 minister and I was a deputy minister.
23 Q. Okay. Now, let's go back again to 1990. This was a time when
24 you ran for the BiH Presidency as member of the SDP; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. The Presidency of the SDP nominated me for this position,
1 member of the Presidency.
2 Q. And is it correct that Mr. Ivo Komsic was the leader of the SDP
3 at that time?
4 A. The president of the SDP in BiH was Mr. Nijaz Durakovic; Ivo
5 Komsic was a member of the SDP Presidency. Together with me, or I
6 together with him, we were candidates for the post in the BiH Presidency
7 representing the Croatian people.
8 Q. Now, you've testified on Monday that your involvement with the
9 SDP party in 1992 subsided, that's the word that was in the transcript.
10 What was the reason for this? Can you explain how you were -- got away
11 from that party?
12 A. After leaving Sarajevo
13 and the SDP branch there virtually ceased to exist. And throughout this
14 time, from 1992 until 1995, for all intents and purposes in the area
15 where I was, which is the area of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
16 any kind of a party politics virtually ceased to exist. So that was one
17 of the reasons, a key reason. And upon my return to Sarajevo, the
18 circumstances and the people in the party changed substantially, and I no
19 longer saw myself as a member of that political party.
20 Q. Now, from 1990 to April 1992, you were the assistant minister for
21 administration in the BiH government in Sarajevo; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And then you left Sarajevo
24 when you left in April, did you resign as assistant minister or were you
25 fired from that job? Can you explain what happened in relation to that
2 A. I asked my minister to approve my departure from Sarajevo because
3 my family, my wife and my son who was one year old, were in Livno, and I
4 asked for some short time off to take care of my family, to find some
5 accommodation for them, and in general to see to their bare necessities.
6 When I left Sarajevo
7 at the time, in April, when I decided to leave Sarajevo for a couple of
8 days or maybe a week or two.
9 At the time when I left, Sarajevo
10 was able to leave Sarajevo
11 town was not blocked yet. But a few days after I left, Sarajevo was
12 completely blocked. It was impossible to go back. In an unorganized
13 manner, it was possible to do so, only if the trip back were organized by
14 UNPROFOR or in some other way.
15 I knew that as a Croat I didn't stand a chance of passing through
16 the blockade without being arrested by the Serb forces that besieged the
17 town. And then in August 1992, for reasons that I've already explained,
18 I went back to Sarajevo
19 Q. Let me stop you there --
20 A. -- and, well, you know how the story progresses from there.
21 Q. Because in that meantime, before you go back to Sarajevo
22 August 1992, you do some work for the Livno municipality and then later
23 on you become involved in drafting legislation for the Croatian Community
24 of Herceg-Bosna.
25 I'm just wondering, was it not a problem for you that you still
1 had a position in Sarajevo
2 consider that a problem? Did you inform, for example, the Sarajevo
3 people in Sarajevo
5 A. Throughout that time, up until my return to Sarajevo in August,
6 all those tasks that I was supposed to do, my job, I did as part of my
7 work obligation because that was my wartime assignment. I was not paid
8 for the work that I did; and as every other person under that kind of
9 obligation, I merely performed the tasks that were given to me in
10 accordance with my wartime assignment.
11 So, throughout this period my -- I was employed with the Ministry
12 of Justice and Administration in Sarajevo. I think that was the case up
13 until October 1992, when my employment was terminated in the Ministry of
14 Justice and Administration, at least that is what I can see in my work
15 record booklet.
16 Q. So when you came back in August 1992 in Sarajevo, your position
17 was -- you were still the assistant minister, and it was only in October
18 1992 that somebody else took that job; is that how I should understand
20 A. No. When I returned to Sarajevo
21 assistant minister, was occupied by another person. Another person was
22 appointed. And I was offered to retain employment but at a lower level,
23 and I did not accept that offer, so that in the end, I think it was in
24 early October, my employment was terminated.
25 Q. Now, just one question about your functions after the war.
1 You've testified that from 1995 until 1999, you were chef de cabinet for
2 the president of the BiH Federation; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. But I just want to make a small note. In that period, the
4 president and the vice-president of the Federation rotated over a period
5 of one year. So I was always the chef de cabinet -- or rather, one year
6 I was the chef de cabinet of this person who was the president of the
7 Federation, and then the next year I was again the chef de cabinet of the
8 same person, but at that time he was the vice-president of the
10 Q. Very well. Now, during this period, were you ever a member of
11 the federal commission of missing persons, the Bosnian Croat side?
12 A. The commission for missing persons at that time had professionals
13 working there and also representatives of other institutions who were
14 also on the commission. I was never a professional member of the
15 commission, but for a while I represented the state institutions that
16 nominated me and I was a member of that commission in that capacity.
17 Q. And did you work with Berislav Pusic in that capacity?
18 A. Yes, I worked with him.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to object.
21 This goes beyond the scope of the examination-in-chief. I never heard
22 any mention of Mr. Berislav Pusic's work in the examination-in-chief, and
23 that is why I never asked any questions in my cross-examination.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Bos, during the
25 examination-in-chief, the situation of Mr. Pusic was never mentioned.
1 MR. BOS: No, Your Honours, I don't intend to take this further.
2 I just want to -- I think it's important for the Chamber to know that
3 this witness, you know, worked together with Berislav Pusic. That's the
4 only information that I intend to reveal here. I'm not taking this any
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Please move on to
7 another topic.
8 MR. BOS:
9 Q. Mr. Perkovic, you've stated that in April 1992 you left Sarajevo
10 by train because, you know, the siege hadn't started. Now, in August
11 1992, when you got back to Sarajevo
12 an UNPROFOR plane; am I right in understanding? Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And at this time you flew together with the president, Pelivan,
15 who was also in this plane. Did Mr. Pelivan at that time -- was he in
17 A. As far as I can recall, he was in Herzegovina, too.
18 Q. Now, is it correct that during this period and also throughout
19 the war that UNPROFOR planes could go in and out of Sarajevo?
20 A. In the period while I was in Sarajevo, that was from August until
21 November, the end of November, UNPROFOR planes could not fly for a month
22 and a half because one of those planes had been downed; and after this
23 incident, all flights were suspended. It was possible that there were
24 longer or shorter breaks in this service, but I recall this particular
25 suspension very well.
1 Q. Very well. So there may have been suspensions, but all in all, I
2 mean, there were UNPROFOR flights going in and out of Sarajevo; isn't
3 that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And did it happen more often that government officials from the
6 BiH government would, you know, use these planes in order to move around
7 in Bosnia-Herzegovina or outside Bosnia
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, can we be a little more precise of
9 government officials. I mean, it's one thing for Mr. Izetbegovic; it is
10 another for functionaries, you know, simple bureaucrats, who make the
11 system move.
12 MR. BOS:
13 Q. Well, let me put it this way, Mr. Perkovic, you were on this
14 plane going to Sarajevo
15 could take this plane to Sarajevo
16 officials on your level on occasion fly with UNPROFOR flights?
17 A. As far as I'm concerned, the prime minister put me on this flight
18 because on the list of Mr. Pelivan's associates, they put my name on it.
19 I think that lower-level officials could not get on to those UNPROFOR
20 flights without the backing of the highest institutions of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the state. There was a clear procedure in place,
22 and it was clearly defined who can ask to use the planes to get into
24 What you asked me about, it was impossible to use those planes to
25 fly from one place to another within Bosnia-Herzegovina; they were not
1 used for this purpose at all.
2 Q. Now, when you went back to Sarajevo
3 stayed there until about December 1992, and then you again went to
5 A. Yes. I remained there up until the end of November 1992.
6 Q. How did you get out of Sarajevo
7 A. A liaison officer, Vladimir Pogarcic, he was in charge of
8 liaising with UNPROFOR, he put me on the list as a member of the
9 delegation that was leaving Sarajevo
10 conference. So that's how I got out of Sarajevo, as a member of that
11 delegation, although in effect I was not.
12 Q. And where did that plane fly to?
13 A. It was Sarajevo-Split, so I got off at Split
15 Q. Now, on Monday you testified that throughout the war, there was
16 contact between the republican institutions in Sarajevo and the
17 institutions of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and later the
18 Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Do you recall that evidence?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Now, one of the things you stated was the following, and I'm
21 reading from the transcript of the 1st of September, page 89: "It was
22 the nature of my work, and I was working with the regulation commission
23 at the time. I was probably among the people who had the least contacts
24 of that nature. People working across the various departments were
25 probably encountering more opportunities to meet all sorts of people
1 working with the BiH administration. My own experience based on these
2 contacts was very positive and satisfying in every way."
3 Do you recall this evidence?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Now, did these officials of the BiH administration from Sarajevo
6 did they come to Herceg-Bosna or did officials from Herceg-Bosna also go
7 to Sarajevo
8 they meet?
9 A. For the most parts, those meetings took place outside of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina
11 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first months of the war had its
12 office in the Palace Hotel in Zagreb
13 meetings took place in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. I don't
14 think that in the first months of the war that any of the HZ HB officials
15 was able to get into Sarajevo
16 using UNPROFOR; and to my knowledge, this did not happen.
17 Q. So you say the first months of the war. Did that change later
18 then? Did there come a time that it was possible to get into Sarajevo
19 and can you tell us around what time that was?
20 A. At a later stage, this regime for getting into Sarajevo by plane,
21 by UNPROFOR planes, was a bit more lax. And it was also possible to get
22 into Sarajevo
23 was - convoys started getting in and out of Sarajevo by land, and they
24 brought in supplies, food, and so on.
25 Q. But I'm just going to press you on this one. When you say "at a
1 later stage," can you give an approximate month or --
2 A. I said that I left Sarajevo
3 that period it was possible to get in and out only by air. I know, I
4 recall, that later on those convoys were able to get in and out of
6 have anything to do with this at all, so I'm just telling you this on the
7 basis of my recollection.
8 Q. Very well. And besides meetings between the BiH administration
9 and the Herzegovina
10 other ways, for example, by telephone or by fax or by satellite phone?
11 Was it possible to communicate?
12 A. As far as I know, in July -- or rather, in September 1992, there
13 were three satellite phones in Sarajevo
14 the prime minister of the republic, another was in the office of the
15 president of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the third was in
16 the offices of a businessman who used to be an interior minister of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. To my knowledge, those were the only three satellite
18 phones in existence in Sarajevo
19 operators, and I tried to get in touch over ham radio to let my family
20 know that I was alive because my family had not heard from me for three
22 Q. And did you manage to get this touch with them?
23 [French on English channel]
24 A. -- that I sent -- or rather, the messages that those ham --
25 [French on English channel]
1 A. -- tried to send --
2 [French on English channel]
3 A. -- never reached Livno.
4 MR. BOS: I'm getting some French translation.
5 Q. But it seems that the message never got through; that's I think
6 what we can read from the transcript.
7 Now, you've testified on Monday that you also had several
8 meetings with BiH government representatives in 1993. You spoke about
9 the assistant minister of justice and the assistant minister of interior,
10 and then you also referred to a meeting that you had with Mr. Ivo Komsic
11 in Medjugorje; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you tell us again, first of all, approximately when did that
14 meeting take place and what was discussed at that meeting?
15 A. Are you asking me about the meeting with Mr. Komsic?
16 Q. Yes, I am, yes.
17 A. I had only one meeting with Mr. Komsic at the Annamaria Hotel in
18 Medjugorje. I was invited to that meeting because a message had been
19 left for me that I found as I went back to my office that some
20 individuals were inquiring after me. When I came to the Annamaria Hotel,
21 that's the name of the hotel, I met Father Petar Andjelovic and a member
22 of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Komsic.
23 They told me that they came to have a word with me because in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the post that was reserved for a Croat
1 representative. They told me that on the basis of the votes I received,
2 I was the next one in line who was supposed to take over that position.
3 They told me also that they had just come from Zagreb where they had
4 informed President Tudjman of this intention of theirs. He, the
5 president, was not acquainted with me and had no objection to that. They
6 also told me that they had agreed on this with President Izetbegovic and
7 that they were only waiting for my consent.
8 My reply was that I was taken by surprise by this offer because
9 due to poor communications, I wasn't aware of the fact that Mr. Kljuic
10 had resigned from his post as member of the Presidency of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I asked them to give me some time to think it over.
12 After a short while, after I mulled it over, I told them that I had the
13 courage to take that job on, on condition that this matter be discussed
14 with the highest officials of Herceg-Bosna, primarily with Mr. Boban. My
15 position was that I wanted to make sure that this was agreed upon and
16 that guarantees would be provided for my family that was in Herceg-Bosna.
17 To my knowledge, this agreement was reached; however, it was
18 never implemented. I did not regret it much because the wartime
19 situation was quite difficult. This was not implemented for the
20 following reason: When the Croat side in Herceg-Bosna consented to my
21 being engaged in this way, Mr. Kljuic changed his mind, re-assumed his
22 post as member of the Presidency because he went back to Sarajevo
23 overnight he had been re-appointed. With hindsight, I think that this
24 was a mere bluff based on their expectations that I would not be
25 accepting the post.
1 Q. Do you know why Mr. Kljuic changed his mind? Did you find out?
2 Did it have anything to do with your being -- that, you know, with the
3 fact that you would take his position?
4 A. I heard stories that were hearsay. I never heard a story from
5 Mr. Kljuic. The story was that some other deal had been reached with
6 Mr. Izetbegovic, most probably on the basis of their assessment of
7 Mr. Kljuic being more forthcoming for cooperation than I.
8 Q. Just one last question: When did you have that meeting with
9 Mr. Komsic in Medjugorje, approximately what month in 1993?
10 A. I don't have the exact recollection. I think it was sometime in
11 October 1993. As for these talks that were held with me about me taking
12 the position in the Presidency of BH, Mr. Ljubo Lucic published a book
13 which contains a detailed description of these meetings and the
14 discussions taking place in Sarajevo
16 Q. Very well. Okay. Well, we'll leave this topic aside.
17 I'm now going to ask you again some questions about the period
18 1991, dealing specifically with the period prior to the February 1992
19 referendum, when you were the assistant minister of administration in the
20 BiH government.
21 And I'm going to ask the usher to put a quote from your evidence
22 in the Kordic case on the ELMO in relation to this period. It's correct
23 that you testified in the Kordic case in June 2000, Mr. Perkovic?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Now, on the screen, there will appear a quote from your evidence
1 in that case, and it's both in the English and in the B/C/S language.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: [Microphone not activated]
3 MR. BOS: The reference is on the bottom of the quote.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: May we have the page number, please?
5 MR. BOS: The page number is 20665, and it's the 7 June session.
6 Q. Now, it's on the ELMO, but maybe I'll just read out the quote and
7 I'll do it slowly.
8 "Q. Can you tell me, please, did you know Mate Boban's position
9 on the future of the territory of Herceg-Bosna? What was your
10 understanding of his position, if you knew?"
11 Then your answer: "It is important to distinguish between two
12 different periods here, the period of the proclamation of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent state in carrying out the referendum
14 and, on the other hand, the period after the referendum was carried out
15 and after Bosnia-Herzegovina was proclaimed an independent state.
16 "In the period up to the proclamation of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an
17 independent state, the Croat political leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
18 different alternatives in terms of viewing the Bosnian-Herzegovinian
19 crisis and also the fate of the Croat people as a constituent people in
20 this Republic.
21 "After the proclamation, after the proclamation of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent state, Mr. Boban signed three peace
23 plans on behalf of the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Cutileiro Plan,
24 the Vance-Owen Plan, and the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. All these plans
25 included that area into the territory of the State of
2 Do you recall this testimony?
3 A. Your reading it out has refreshed my memory, and I do believe
4 that this is what I said.
5 Q. Now, I'd like to focus on when you talk about the different
6 alternatives in terms of viewing the Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis that were
7 discussed by the Croat people in 1991. Can you elaborate a bit on this,
8 on what kind of alternatives were proposed by the Croat leaders during
9 this period?
10 A. In this statement of mine, I referred to Croatian politicians.
11 There was a whole spectrum of Croatian politicians who were from
12 different political parties which viewed the position of the Croat people
13 in Bosnia-Herzegovina differently. Thus, for instance, the Croatian
14 politicians from the SDP, the Social Democratic Party; and I counted
15 myself as one of those, Mr. Komsic, and others. We believed that
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the process of the break-up of Yugoslavia was
17 supposed to be an independent state with a decentralised administration
18 within Bosnia and Herzegovina with more efficient structures, state
19 agencies, and so on.
20 The Croat politicians from the HDZ probably held different views
21 on the issue of decentralisation, which was formulated in their
22 aspirations for the so-called cantonisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 The politicians of the Croat people from some other parties, such
24 as the party of Mr. Markovic, the erstwhile prime minister of Yugoslavia
25 evidently held the following view, to my knowledge: That the internal
1 system of the republic should be retained in the model that was
2 previously espoused; that's to say, to have the centralised republican
3 authorities and then local authorities on the other side.
4 In a word, the Croat politicians held different views on what the
5 future system of Bosnia-Herzegovina should be, and this large spectrum of
6 positions was later manifested in the development of the Constitution of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina after the multi-party elections were held.
8 Q. Was one of the views the idea of establishing the borders of a
9 Croatian Banovina, meaning that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina would actually
10 be -- become part of Croatia
11 was called the Croatian Banovina? Do you recall whether that idea was
12 also being expressed as an population; and if so, by whom?
13 A. In the period up to the start of the war, I attended several
14 meetings of the Croatian Democratic Party in the capacity of the
15 assistant minister, as a leader of the Croat people in that ministry. To
16 my knowledge, none of these meetings discussed that particular idea, that
17 particular solution. Therefore, I attended only a couple of such
18 meetings, but none of them discussed the option of the Croatian Banovina.
19 Q. But are you acquainted with or are you familiar with this term
20 "Banovina"? Was that something that came up during that period?
21 I mean, let me ask you this: Do you know the term the
22 "Banovina"? Was it something that was discussed during this period
23 either in the newspapers, not necessarily in meetings that you attended,
24 but in general as something that was an issue discussed by some Croat
25 political leaders?
1 A. I was not aware of such discussions. As for the term, I'm quite
2 familiar with it because I am familiar with the history of that general
3 region, and, in particular, of the history of the Croat people in the
4 territory of the former SFRY.
5 Q. So is it your evidence that you never -- during this period, you
6 never read in the newspaper or you never saw on television Croat leaders
7 discussing this particular idea of the Banovina? Is that your evidence,
8 that you'd never heard about that in 1991?
9 A. Your question did not refer to newspapers, and I didn't even talk
10 about anyone mentioning the term in the press or not. I told you that
11 none of the official meetings I attended in that period of time included
12 discussions on the Croatian Banovina. We received in Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 all the papers, newspapers, published in Croatia and Serbia
14 all the Herzegovina
15 It was difficult to read through all that and be aware of
16 everything, and I do not exclude the possibility that someone may have
17 discussed it and that it was published in the newspapers. I was
18 referring to the conduct of the bodies and agencies that formed part of
19 the government, of the state.
20 Q. Do you know which political parties supported this idea of the
21 Banovina, or can you mention any name of somebody who supported this
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection to the form of the question. He never
24 indicated that a particular party supported. So if he wishes to rephrase
25 it as to whether a political party supported it, that's fine; but the way
1 the question is phrased, it assumes a fact that's not in evidence.
2 MR. BOS: Well, I'm happy to rephrase it in the way that
3 Mr. Karnavas has suggested it.
4 Q. So do you know whether there was a political party supporting
5 this idea and during this period?
6 A. I don't know of a single political party in Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 that supported this idea.
8 Q. Very well. Let's move to another topic. We had a long
9 discussion on Monday about the terms "teritorija" and "podrucje," and I'd
10 like to come back to that topic which I'm afraid we'll have to do one
11 more time.
12 Now, let me try to summarize what you testified about this. You
13 seem to be saying that there is a legal distinction between the term
14 "teritorija" and "podrucje," and you're saying "teritorija" refers to an
15 area in which a government exercises authority, as opposed to the term
16 "podrucje" which is translated more as area and which can be an area
17 within a territory. Would that be a good summary of your evidence?
18 A. Since you're asking me, I'll try and repeat what I said on
19 Monday. I said, first of all, that there is a legal and layman's
20 understanding of these terms, and the two or not the same. When I spoke
21 of territory, I said that in my view, territory is an area with clearly
22 defined borders over which sovereign authority is exercised. When I
23 spoke of area, I said that the borders of an area are not as clearly
24 determined. And that in that context, area is part of an area which
25 isn't clearly defined, it doesn't have clearly defined borders, whether
1 they can deviate one kilometre to the left or to the right. And it was
2 in this way that I distinguished between the two terms; namely, territory
3 and area.
4 Q. Very well. I'm going to ask you to look at an exhibit, and I
5 think the binder of exhibit is next to your desk, and it's an exhibit
6 that --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Bos. If I look at the transcript
8 and I have heard it like this, page 20, line 7, 8, 9. I'm quoting what
9 is written here. "When I spoke of an area, I said that the borders of an
10 area are not as clearly determined. And that in that context, area is
11 part of an area which isn't clearly defined ..."
12 Now, I find this a bit strange. You say "area is part of an
13 area." Did you mean area is part of a territory, or did you use the term
14 "podrucje" twice?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying to remember. I don't
16 know if I've been precise enough, but I believe that a minute ago I
17 explained my view of the definition of territory and area, and that it's
18 the same that I explained on Monday. If the borders of an area are not
19 clearly defined, you have, let's say, a surface area, space, which isn't
20 clearly delineated with certain markers, then, of course, we can consider
21 this area to be part of territory since territory has clearly defined
23 MR. BOS: Judge Trechsel, I think one of the problems of the
24 confusion is that the interpreters, you know, may not know exactly how to
25 translate, or, well, they may know but which may be different from what
1 Mr. Perkovic thinks on how to interpret this term into English.
2 Q. Let's move on to 1D 02011 which is a Defence exhibit that was
3 shown to you also on Thursday [sic]. You'll find the number on the tabs,
4 Mr. Perkovic. It's 1D 02011. Maybe the usher can help you.
5 A. Can you please enlarge this?
6 Q. It's the fourth document from that one. Now, you were shown this
7 document yesterday as well. It's a report; and if we look at the last
8 page of the report, it bears your signature on page 6. And it's a list
9 of the various decrees that I think your commission reviewed before they
10 were adopted. Is that correct? This is in the period January to June
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. If we look on this -- have a closer look on this list and then
14 particularly on the original B/C/S version of this list, and if we look
15 at the titles, you will see that the terms "teritorija" and "podrucje"
16 are really being used interchangeable, I would say. For example, just
17 listing the ones where the reference is made to "te ritorija," number 2,
18 number 10, number 11, number 13, number 18, number 25, number 27,
19 number 30, number 39, number 40, number 43, number 49, and number 50.
20 And in all those laws, there's a reference to the term "teritorija," and
21 then in other laws, again, there's a reference to the term "podrucje."
22 Now, is it correct that the decrees on this list were all
23 reviewed by the Commission of Regulation of which you were the head of?
24 A. In my response -- or rather, let me first answer your question.
25 I think that under our procedure the regulations commission was
1 duty-bound to advance an opinion on each and every draft decree, which I
2 believe it did. I can't say that it was done in every case but in most
3 of the cases.
4 Q. Very well. And -- but given your evidence this week about the
5 distinction between "teritorija" and podrucje," wouldn't you agree that
6 if we look at this list that according to your theory, all these decrees
7 should have had the term "podrucje" and that every decree where it says
8 "teritorija" is basically a wrong term in the title of the decree? Would
9 you agree with that?
10 A. I tried to explain this yesterday when I said that in the
11 procedure of passing decrees in that period up until the time when the
12 Croatian Republic
13 in place; whereas, in the republic, there were six or seven such filters.
14 So such omissions are possible. Unfortunately, these are not the only
15 omissions that there are.
16 As I read those decrees and regulations, I saw that there were
17 many technical omissions that should have been prevented. But given that
18 there were only three of us working there and that two of my colleagues
19 had never done any work in administration, it was only to be expected
20 that there would be omissions on the part of this commission, and we see
21 that this was indeed the case.
22 And I think that the use of the word "territory" is contrary to
23 the fundamental decisions of the HZ HB which all contain the term "area,"
24 "podrucje," and I think that this was an omission on the part of the
25 commission. In other words, I was responsible because I was the head of
1 the commission. I was responsible for the omissions.
2 Q. Very well. I'd like you to look at another document which is
3 Exhibit P 00019.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just dwell --
5 MR. BOS: Yes.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- for a moment on this which has always arose
7 my interest.
8 You have admitted that your commission committed an omission, but
9 there was someone else who first drafted this who also seems to have
10 mixed up the terms, so there's already two now; isn't that correct?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you look at those decrees, Your
12 Honour, you will see that for the most part they come from the so-called
13 economic departments, departments where there were no lawyers working.
14 When we talked about those terms yesterday and the day before yesterday,
15 I said that in everyday parlance many people, intellectuals, people with
16 come education, but people who are not legal professionals use those two
17 terms as synonymous, interchangeably.
18 So I can't rule out the possibility that when these decrees were
19 being drafted in various departments, this term might have been used by
20 people who saw the two as being identical because they never thought
21 about the legal use of these terms.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Were these decrees not ultimately adopted by
23 someone else than your commission? Your commission didn't formally adopt
24 them, did it?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The regulations commission merely
1 provided its opinion about the draft decrees; and when I now admitted
2 that there was an omission on the part of the commission, I assume that
3 in the opinions that we provided regarding the decrees when -- where
4 there was this mistake that this was not pointed out, the fact that an
5 improper term was used there. And as we analysed the regulations of the
6 HZ HB, we saw that those decrees were tabled before the HVO of the
7 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and that the HVO of the Croatian
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna adopted these legal instruments.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So that was the third opportunity to take note
10 of this incorrect, as you admit, incorrect terminology; and at the HVO, I
11 suppose there were some lawyers around and wouldn't they at least have
12 read the title?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Between the institution proposing a
14 regulation and the institution adopting the regulation, there was only
15 the commission, and it is not an incident that such a complicated
16 procedure was in place in the republic for passing or adopting
17 regulations. We were aware of it, but unfortunately we did not have the
18 resources in terms of personnel, finances, and so on, to set up such a
19 control mechanism.
20 That is why I say that such omissions on the part of the
21 commission were quite likely, and most of the members of the government
22 were not lawyers and they did not really have to know all that. And this
23 is the case even today. Members of the government do not have to be
24 aware of all the legal nuances in the meaning of some terms.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Bos, please continue.
1 MR. BOS: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
2 Q. Witness, can I ask you to have a look at another exhibit which is
3 P 00019; it's probably all the way in the front of the binder.
4 Now, this document, while you're trying to find it, is the
5 Constitution of Croatia
6 that was published in the Narodne Novine and the English translation of
7 it was an English translation from the Croatian government -- from the
8 Croatian parliament.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Before any questions are asked, may we ask for
10 relevance of this particular document being shown to the gentleman and
11 why. As I understand it, the gentleman has not worked for the Republic
12 of Croatia
13 examination. So if we could have at least some sort of guidance as to
14 why this document is being shown, unless it's for comparative purposes,
15 in which case perhaps we should bring in the Constitution of Hungary,
17 the relevance of this?
18 MR. BOS: The relevance is, again, on the term "teritorija" and
19 "podrucje" and how this term is being used in the Croatian Constitution.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: In that event, I definitely object. We're talking
21 about apples and pears. One, we're talking about the Republic of
22 Croatian which is a country. Here, we are talking about a community
23 which was provided for in the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So,
24 with that respect, I do object to this line of questioning.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to the Chamber, we
1 have an issue with the terms of "teritorija" and "podrucje." The
2 Prosecutor is trying to clarify this with the witness, and in doing so he
3 submits a document from the Croatian parliament. And I suppose that on
4 the basis of that text, the Prosecutor is going to ask the witness if the
5 terms used in that particular document are terms that are generally used
6 in law.
7 This is your purpose, Mr. Bos, isn't it?
8 MR. BOS: Well, Your Honour, yes, and the Croatian constitution
9 is written in exactly the same language as the laws that Mr. Perkovic
10 drafted. And this is purely a language issue, so I really do not see why
11 we cannot use this document.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Here's what's happening. I understand that the
13 Prosecution's theory is the Croatian Community is a state within a state.
14 We even heard members from the Trial Chamber at occasion heard that it
15 was a state or a para-state. We object to that. Now we're trying to say
16 here's a constitution of a country, and we're going to use their terms
17 where they're describing their territory of a country recognised by
18 the UN versus a community where it never asked the UN for any
19 recognition. And it had specific reasons, it was temporary in nature,
20 it's very clear, and I don't think it's appropriate. That's why.
21 Now, if they can show somewhere in the constitution that they're
22 referring to an area within Croatia
23 that area, that's one thing, but this is what I object to. And I
24 understand that we have a goal in mind and we're going to try to reach
25 that goal, and I understand what's happening over here, that they want to
1 give the Trial Chamber the ability to tick off the boxes.
2 I'm saying: No. This is not an appropriate method. Now, I
3 would like to hear from the Bench how this comparison can be made.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 MR. BOS: Purely a language issue, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber dismisses the
7 objection. It is in the transcript, it may be used later on by
8 Mr. Prlic's Defence if they so wish, but it is the opinion of the Chamber
9 that you should carry on. So please, Mr. Bos.
10 MR. BOS:
11 Q. Mr. Perkovic, can I draw your attention to Article 2 of the
12 constitution, and let me read out the third paragraph of this article:
13 "The Republic of Croatia so exercise in accordance with
14 international law sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the maritime areas
15 and the seabed and subsoil thereof of the Adriatic Sea outside the state
16 territory up to the borders with its neighbours."
17 Now, Mr. Perkovic, if we look at the B/C/S version of this
18 particular part of Article 2, is it correct that it's referring to the
19 term "podrucje"?
20 A. If I may ask you to show Article 3 in the Croatian language, if I
21 can see it on the screen, please.
22 Q. Well, you will have a hard copy in the binder, Mr. Perkovic. We
23 can have it on the screen, but on the back of the English version is the
24 B/C/S version. I'm sorry. We've organized it the other way around, so
25 first the English version and then the B/C/S.
1 It's Article 2 and then the third paragraph. Do you have it in
2 front of you?
3 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this is fully consistent with what I have said.
4 In Article 3, there is mention of the exercise of the jurisdiction of the
5 Republic of Croatia
6 article, the term "podrucje" is properly used --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat this answer.
8 MR. BOS:
9 Q. Mr. Perkovic, Mr. Perkovic, the interpreters didn't catch you, so
10 I'm afraid you will have to repeat your answer.
11 A. The example that you showed, paragraph 3 in Article 2, is fully
12 consistent with what I have said. In paragraph 3, it is stated that the
13 Republic of Croatia
14 "podrucje," and in the area of the Adriatic Sea outside of the state
15 area, "podrucje," up until the borders with its neighbours.
16 So the term "podrucje," area, is used here to define a coastal
17 area outside of the territory of the Republic of Croatia
18 this definition, because this area in the coastal area is not strictly
19 defined in terms of its borders as is the border of the Republic of
21 have said in my explanation.
22 And just one more note, I think that it would be quite
23 interesting to look at - I'm sorry that you don't have it - if we're
24 talking about legal terminology that is in use in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
25 in the Croatian language and all the regulations are published in that
1 language, you should have shown us the constitutions of the cantons,
2 including the Croat cantons, so that we could see what terminology is
3 used when the borders of those cantons are being defined.
4 Q. Well, Mr. Perkovic, thank you for your answer, but I'm going to
5 disagree with you on this one. When we read this article, and
6 particularly the last part of the third paragraph, it says: "... the
7 subsoil territory of the Adriatic Sea outside the state territory up to
8 the borders with its neighbours."
9 Now, as far as I am concerned, the state territory here means the
10 complete territory of Croatia
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object. The counsel now is
12 testifying. We can -- you know, he can put that in his closing argument,
13 but this is an improper form of the question. If he wishes to put it in
14 the form of a question, that's different. I saw no inflection, rather
15 than this was a declarative statement, and I took that to be a closing
17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, you made a statement.
19 You could have asked a question. You could have said: If I tell you
20 that, do you agree or disagree? And he may have answered you: I
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in light of the
23 objection raised by my learned friend Mr. Karnavas, I didn't want to
24 interrupt earlier. But at page 26 at line 14 to 17, there we have a
25 question of my learned friend Mr. Bos, where he says that the Croatian
1 constitution uses the same language as the laws that Mr. Perkovic
2 drafted. It's again the counsel testifying. He's simply testifying
3 here -- [Microphone not activated].
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] It is a fact that needs to be
7 MR. BOS: I was referring to the Croatian language --
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, just to
9 draw your attention to the translation of this provision in paragraph 3
10 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia
11 to stress that in the Croatian text, the term that is used is "drzavnoga
12 podrucje," "state area." And in the English version, this has been
13 translated as "state territory." So, again, we have a situation where
14 the term "podrucje" is translated into English as "territory."
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I had not failed to notice
17 Mr. Bos.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise for taking up the
19 time, but only one line of my objection is now on the transcript. It
20 appears that my microphone had gone off although the light was on.
21 So, for the record, let me repeat that my learned friend
22 Mr. Prosecutor, I didn't want to interrupt him earlier, but my learned
23 friend at page 26, lines 14 through 17, we have his question recorded as
24 follows: He claims that the Croatian constitution is written in a
25 completely -- in the same language as the laws that Mr. Perkovic drafted.
1 And I claim that this is counsel testifying about facts, because
2 the question whether the Croatian language as used in the Croatian
3 constitution is completely identical with the language that was in use in
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Croatian language in 1993/1994, it's a fact
5 that has to be established. This is testimony; it's not a question.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Witness, you speak the
7 language which in this Tribunal is called B/C/S. According to you, when
8 you drafted a text for Herceg-Bosna at the time, if you compare the
9 language you used then and the language which is used in the Croatian
10 constitution, is it the same language or is it a different -- or are
11 there differences?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I always say that I speak the
13 Croatian language as an ethnic Croat. And the language that Croats speak
14 in Bosnia and Herzegovina is called the Croatian language by us;
15 although, to a certain extent, this language is different from the
16 Croatian language used by most of the people in the Republic of Croatia
17 Linguistically speaking, let me give you an example. I know, for
18 instance, that in the Republic of Croatia
19 for what we call "arhiva," "archive." In Bosnia
20 said, we use the term "arhiva" for "archive," and we feel that "arhiva"
21 is also a Croatian word that is part of the Croatian language. There are
22 other differences.
23 But when the decrees of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
24 were being drafted, we tried to draft them in the Croatian language in
25 accordance with our usage and the usage of our parents, fathers, and so
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Final question: Imagine you
3 would have had to draft the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia
4 just a hypothesis, would you have used the exact terms which are now used
5 in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have used the Croatian
7 language in the same way that I use it when I write today.
8 And to give you a striking example, in the place where I was born
9 that we discussed at length yesterday, in Livno, at the main square there
10 is a monument to the Croatian King Tomislav. And when this monument was
11 being restored five years ago, the term "hiladujgodisnjica" was used
12 instead of "tisucgodisnjica" for a "thousand." And Croats from that area
13 put that in because, they thought and they felt that "hiladujgodisnjica"
14 is a word that we have been using for centuries in Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 for the number of 1.000, and we thought that this was part of the
16 Croatian language.
17 And I have yet to see a single piece of legislation or regulation
18 in the Republic of Croatia
19 only use the term "tisucgodisnjica." So there is a difference in the way
20 in which you look at things.
21 I'm sorry. I forgot to switch off my mobile phone.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So there is a difference, not a big
24 difference, but there is a difference also in legal terminology that is
25 in use in the Croatian language in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as opposed to the
1 legal terminology that is used in the Croatian language in the Republic
2 of Croatia
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic.
4 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Unlike the previous people who spoke here in courtroom, I would like to
6 say that I think that the witness does not have the requisite expertise
7 to provide an answer to the question why the term "podrucje" was used in
8 Article 2 instead of the term "teritorija." This is a term that has to
9 do with the international law of the sea.
10 I'm not an expert so I couldn't -- and I also can't testify here
11 and I couldn't provide you with a correct answer. But I do remember that
12 this was at issue at the time that the term "podrucje" was used advisedly
13 in light of the provisions of the international law of the sea, and an
14 expert for this area of the law could provide you an answer.
15 Also, it would perhaps be wise to look at Articles 32 and 33 to
16 assist us because again the term "teritorija" is used, and this is an
17 article that all of us would be able to understand better given our legal
18 background, including the witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Let's proceed, Mr. Bos, because personally I want this to be on
21 record. I do think that this is not a very important issue.
22 MR. BOS: And I was about to move away from the issue.
23 I can see that Mr. Praljak was on his feet and I see also that
24 it's almost 10.30, so maybe Mr. Praljak can say something or we can maybe
25 have the break now.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I know that you've
2 already taken the floor on linguistic issues and semantic issues.
3 The floor is yours.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 You have heard my colleague explain this. You can say or you can use the
6 term "area" to describe somebody's occupation. You can say he is working
7 in the area of mathematics, law, or medicine. I don't want to waste your
8 time, but these are two completely terms, and the context of the terms
9 are based on the usage in any given language. And this is the only way
10 in which we can get at the sense and the contents of a term.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 It's 10.30. We're going to have a break because it's time, and
13 we'll resume in 20 minutes' time.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The court is back in
18 Mr. Bos.
19 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I would like you to look at another document, which
21 is P 00302, and this document is the founding document of the Croatian
22 Community of Herceg-Bosna, the 18 November 1991 founding document.
23 You have the document in front of you? I would like to focus
24 your attention to --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- to Article 2 of this document, which reads: "The Croatian
2 Community of Herceg-Bosna shall consist of the following
3 municipalities ..." and then we have a whole list of names of
5 Now, what we see here is there are two municipalities, and one of
6 them is Skender Vakuf where between brackets there is another name,
7 Dobratici - sorry for the pronunciation - and the other one is the last
8 one, Trebinje, and then in brackets Ravno.
9 Now, is it correct, Mr. Perkovic, that Dobratici and Ravno were
10 actually areas in Skender Vakuf and Trebinje?
11 A. Yes. These are parts of the municipality of Ravno
12 municipality of Skender Vakuf.
13 Q. So you're saying parts of the municipality of Ravno
14 municipality of Trebinje?
15 A. Ravno is part of the Trebinje municipality, and Dobratici is part
16 of the Skender Vakuf municipality.
17 Q. Very well. Now, Mr. Perkovic, doesn't it imply that if specific
18 areas are being mentioned here as being part of the Croatian community,
19 that for the other municipalities, the full territory would be part of
20 the Croatian community?
21 A. We're talking about an original document from the 18th of
22 November, 1991, where the community established in part of an area where
23 this -- these people live, and the areas of Dobratici and Ravno gravitate
24 in organizational terms towards this community. However, if we look at
25 the time-period and if we look at Article 2, then we'll see that an
1 enormous part of the areas inhabited by the Croats, which is the subject
2 otherwise of this document, is not regulated by this particular decree,
3 such as Posavina -- Bosnian Posavina and other large areas such as Zepce.
4 So this is an 18th of November document where Dobratici and Ravno
5 were set up as separate organizational units of the party, of the
6 political party. As I said at the start of my answer, at that point in
7 time - and this was confirmed by the Government of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina - this particular aspect of organizing was viewed as
9 organizing along the political party line.
10 Q. You didn't really answer my question, but maybe I can phrase it
11 differently. According to you, the municipalities, other than Skender
12 and Trebinje, would this particular decision have meant the complete
13 territory of the municipalities or parts of these territory?
14 A. I repeat, the emphasis was on the political party organizing.
15 There was the basic structure of the HDZ in Ravno and basic structure of
16 the HDZ in Dobratici. Since these two organizations were present in the
17 area, that's the reason why --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Mr. Perkovic, Mr. Bos now has
19 started off by saying, "You have not really answered my question," and I
20 think he has a strong point. Now, you should not repeat what you have
21 said before, but you should actually answer his question because you make
22 us lose a lot of time otherwise.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Therefore, we're talking about the
24 organizing in parts of the territory of the municipality or the area of
25 Skender Vakuf and the area of Trebinje.
1 MR. BOS:
2 Q. Now, maybe I have not been clear, and I will again repeat the
3 question. My question concerns the other municipalities listed in the
4 article, not Skender Vakuf and Trebinje.
5 In your opinion, did the drafters of this decision intend to
6 include the full territory of the municipalities as part of the Croatian
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
8 A. As far as this decision is concerned, the entire territory of
9 these municipalities was included in the Croatian Community of
10 Herceg-Bosna in terms of the political party organizing because there
11 were municipal party structures based in individual municipalities, and
12 the areas they covered as political party structures were identical to
13 the areas of municipalities themselves. And I was referring to HDZ
15 Q. So, well, I'm trying to understand your question [sic]. So can
16 we take it from your question [sic] that you're saying that the Croatian
17 Community of Herceg-Bosna at that time was the entire territory of the
18 municipalities listed in Article 2?
19 A. Yes, save for the municipalities of Trebinje and Skender Vakuf.
20 Q. Very well. Very well. Okay. I think we can skip the following
21 exhibit, and then I would like to move to another topic which is the
22 constitutional legitimacy of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
23 And I would like you for that to refer to document 2D 00594, and
24 this is a document that you were shown also I think on Monday.
25 It's all the way in the back, Mr. Perkovic. Do you have the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you recall this document from Monday?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Now, I'd like to focus your attention under item 2, and in
6 particular the second paragraph, and maybe I'll just read it out to you:
7 "Based on mentioned opinions, as well as propositions and
8 opinions which were voiced during the discussion, the Government
9 determined that Decision on implementation of Croatian Community of
10 Herceg-Bosna and Decision by Regional committee of HDZ Bosnian Posavina
11 were not reached according to procedure specified for creation of social
12 political communities, neither they contain regulations which could
13 produce any kind of legal effects such as implementation of the
14 institutions of the authority because they lack elements of the
15 government institutions."
16 Now, would you agree with me with what's been said here is that
17 the BH government, you know, may have not found that the HDZ wasn't
18 illegal -- the HZ HB was an illegal organization, but, nevertheless, that
19 they could not be considered government institution because they lacked
20 elements for that purpose? Is that how I should understand this
22 A. The government finds in this paragraph that you've quoted that
23 the HZ HB has not been established and does not operate as a
24 socio-political association, community. Under the then-system, the
25 levels of the municipality, town, and republic were considered to be
1 socio-political communities. The government of the HB --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: BH.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- believed that the HZ HB did not
4 fall into this category of being a socio-political community and that the
5 decision it adopted does not show any intentions of it exerting authority
6 as a state has authority. And in line with this, the government goes on
7 to conclude that on the basis of this, there is no need for the
8 government to discuss this at one of its meetings.
9 This is something that I said, that the government did not
10 consider this to be any sort of state authority in view of who the
11 founders of that structure were, and in view of the fact that the HZ HB
12 as -- or rather, that the HDZ BH as a legitimately established political
13 party in the BH was entitled to use whatever forms of political party
14 organizing it sees fit to use.
15 On the basis of this, the government found that there was --
16 there were no grounds for the procedure of the assessment of the
17 constitutionality of this decision to be instituted.
18 Q. It's exactly on that last point that I wanted to come back to,
19 because it's correct that you drafted an opinion on this issue which I
20 think is the opinions that have been referred to here in this document.
21 And in your opinion, you included that the BH government in
22 relation to the legality of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, that
23 this community was not an illegal form of organization and that there was
24 no basis for a complaint to be filed before the constitutional court. Is
25 that correct?
1 A. I participated in the development of the draft of this opinion,
2 as I said, together with another colleague of mine. Under the
3 constitution of Bosnia
4 government meeting, under the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
5 government ex officio, once it finds that the constitution has been
6 violated, is duty-bound to initiate the relevant procedure before the
7 constitutional court.
8 Given the fact that the government has not taken any steps after
9 having considered this decision, it is only logical to conclude that the
10 establishment of the Croatian Community HB at the time in November
11 1992 -- or rather, sorry, 1991 was not considered to be
13 Q. Now, we've just saw the founding document of the Croatian
14 community was adopted on the 18th of November; and so this document, as
15 you say -- this meeting in the BH government was held on the 21st of
16 November. So I presume in that period, between 18 November and the 21st,
17 that in those two days, you and your colleagues actually drafted this
18 opinion on the basis of the document -- the founding document that we
19 just saw before; is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Now, I would like you to look at Exhibit P 00476, and this is, in
22 fact, the constitutional court decision which was published on the
23 18th of September, 1992.
24 P 00476, it's again somewhere in the beginning of the binder.
25 MR. BOS: Maybe the usher can assist to get the document in the
1 binder, P 00476.
2 Q. Now, let me ask you first, have you ever seen this decision of
3 the constitutional court?
4 A. Yes, once, but I believe it was after the war in 1996 or 1997
5 that I had the occasion of reading it for the first time.
6 Q. Now, it's dated 18 September 1992. At that time, you were in
8 left again in December 1992. So when this decision was published, you
9 never noticed that? You were in Sarajevo
10 simply didn't get your attention?
11 A. No. Upon my return to Sarajevo
12 learned that another individual had been appointed to my position. I
13 requested that I be given an opportunity to return to my post. I said
14 that I had practically no business to discharge in Sarajevo for two
15 months, save for arranging the regulations that were relevant.
16 So, given that I was outside of these institutions, I was unable
17 to access such information. If you're not receiving Official Gazettes,
18 then I don't think you're able to get informed since at the time the
19 newspaper stands were closed. And I believe all those who were present
20 in Sarajevo
21 able to get by this information unless I had been part of the government
23 It is for this reason that I saw this decision only after the
24 war, since I was interested in the statement of reasons laid out in that
25 decision of the constitutional court.
1 Q. Very well --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have described your activity as, I quote
5 from page 41, line 7, " ... arranging the regulations that were
6 relevant." I must confess that I cannot understand what this refers to.
7 Can you explain more precisely what you did.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry, Your Honour, I do not
9 understand your question. Are you asking me what it was that I was doing
10 in Sarajevo
11 to or something else?
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No, that's right. I quote again what you are
13 written down here as having said. I quote from the end of line 5, page
14 41: "I said that I had practically no business to discharge in Sarajevo
15 for two months, save for arranging the regulations that were relevant."
16 It's this last half sentence that I would be grateful if you could
17 explain what it means.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Upon my arrival in Sarajevo
19 spent the first 15 days trying to arrange with my colleagues amendments
20 to the regulations then valid in the BH which had to do with the
21 organization of the judiciary in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Since I did not accept the position that was offered to me, which
23 was at a much lower level, and in view of the fact that over these 15
24 days I didn't have any other engagements because it was impossible to
25 leave Sarajevo
1 subsequent two months, and I was hoping that I would be able to find a
2 way to leave Sarajevo
3 neither in the Ministry of the Administration nor was I doing anything
4 else, except for trying to find a way to get out of Sarajevo.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 MR. BOS:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Perkovic, let's have a closer look at this decision, and
8 particularly the first part of the decision. Now, what we see here is
9 a -- it starts offer with a whole list of decrees from the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna. There's nine in total. And then there's the
11 statement of reasons which starts by saying: "On July 1992 on its own
12 initiative, the constitutional court initiated proceedings for the
13 evaluation of the legality and constitutionality of the above-mentioned
14 general enactments."
15 Do you see that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, would you agree with me that decision is based on nine
18 enactments of which one of them was the decision on the establishment of
19 the Croatian community of 18 November, the first one; whereas, you would
20 have based your opinion on the first document only, wouldn't you agree
21 that the constitutional court did not only evaluate this one decision
22 but, in fact, nine subsequent -- eight subsequent decisions of the
23 Herceg-Bosna community?
24 So, in fact, the constitutional court evaluated this at a time
25 that Herceg-Bosna was much more developed than at the time that you
1 rendered your opinion? Would you agree or know that?
2 A. We're discussing the period of time of just under one year after
3 the establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. In that
4 period of time, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna evolved as it did;
5 and for that reason, the quality of the relations within the HZ HB at the
6 time when it was being examined by the constitutional court following the
7 18th of November -- on the 18th of November and in the subsequent period
8 differed greatly.
9 When we were discussing the areas covered and the organization of
10 the structure, well, that was a rather different situation that we had in
11 September 1992 compared to the situation when the founding enactment was
12 adopted. At that period, in 1992, the HZ HB had taken upon itself the
13 role of defending the Croat people in that area.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Perkovic. I think we're going to leave this
15 document aside now.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
17 To your knowledge, Witness, the constitutional court at the time
18 and still today, was it in a position to examine such cases of its own
19 accord, or was it necessary for the government or political party to
20 seize the constitutional court? Based on the legislation at the time,
21 were the judges of the constitutional court allowed to act of their own
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The procedure of the evaluation of
24 constitutionality before the constitutional court, as far as I can
25 remember the provisions of the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, could
1 be initiated by the highest authorities in the country; namely, the
2 parliament, the Assembly, that is, of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the
3 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Most often, the procedure was
4 initiated pursuant to a proposal or the initiative of the Government of
6 When it comes to this particular decision, I wish to note that a
7 number of important provisions which concern the mechanism according to
8 which decisions are rendered by the constitutional court were not
9 honoured, primarily the entitlement of the party proposing or adopting a
10 given enactment to give its opinion before the constitutional court.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The constitutional court was in
12 a position to give its evaluation after having decided to examine the
13 matter proprio motu; that's my question. Was that possible?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under the Constitution of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was possible. I believe that the constitutional
16 court could initiate the procedure proprio motu and render a decision.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I now want to move again to August 1992, and I want
20 to read out again a part of your testimony from the Kordic case and see
21 if it jogs your memory.
22 This is page number 20587 of the testimony of 7 June 2000 in the
23 Kordic case, and I'll read out the parts which I'm interested in:
24 "When the war began in Bosnia-Herzegovina, relevant contacts with
25 representatives of financial institutions were maintained so that in
1 August 1992 at Siroki Brijeg, that is, the Croatian Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna directly, the prime minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Jure
3 Pelivan, and the minister of finance of the Government of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Mustafa or Mahmut Logo, I'm not sure, came to
5 that Siroki Brijeg.
6 "At that meeting held at Siroki Brijeg the discussion, the
7 discussion also broached the subject of the issue of Bosnian legal
8 tender, and those gentlemen showed a specimen of what that future
9 currency of Bosnia-Herzegovina should look like."
10 Do you recall this evidence, Mr. Perkovic, and do you recall that
12 A. Yes. I remember the meeting with Mr. Pelivan and Mr. Logo. The
13 meeting was held in Siroki Brijeg and was attended by the Croatian
14 officials from various institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina who happened to
15 be in the area. I do recall that a number of issues were discussed
16 including Mr. Pelivan, prime minister of the HZ HB, showing us the
17 prototype of a BH bank note and telling us that very soon that legal
18 tender would be placed in circulation.
19 Q. Do you recall who from the Croatian Herzegovina community were
20 present at that meeting?
21 A. I can recall some people who held appropriate posts in the organs
22 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think that it was Mr. Bozo
23 Misura, who was head of the general services of the organs of the
24 republic; Mr. Miroslav Palameta, who was the deputy minister of education
25 of Bosnia and Herzegovina; I think that there was also Mr. Mariofil
1 Ljubic, who was the deputy president of the BH parliament; and there were
2 some other people. I can't recall all of them, but I know that there was
3 a certain number of people there at that meeting, people who held
4 appropriate positions in Sarajevo
5 Q. And when Mr. Pelivan came with this specimen of a new BH currency
6 and came with that proposal to introduce this currency, what was the
7 reaction of the Herceg-Bosna authorities who were present at that
9 A. At this meeting, the meeting that we're talking about,
10 Mr. Pelivan just outlined briefly the activities that he and the people
11 in the Government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina were engaged in;
12 and in the context of this short briefing that he gave us, he showed us
13 this specimen and he said what I've just told you, that preparations were
14 underway to circulate BH currency.
15 The focus of the discussion was on reaching an agreement about
16 the return of the Croatian personnel to their jobs in Sarajevo or an
17 alternative solution proposed by Mr. Pelivan as the prime minister, which
18 was that part of the state administration be relocated from Sarajevo
19 Zenica. We all participated in the debate about this proposal, and we
20 supported it because we knew that it would be much simpler to do this
21 work in Zenica than in Sarajevo
22 because of the overall situation in Sarajevo, it was impossible for the
23 entire administration to simply move because that would mean that they
24 would leave the capital in the lurch. But we thought that there could be
25 a good compromise for just some elements of the administration to leave
1 and to start working in Zenica.
2 All of us who worked in the organs of the republic at the time
3 told Mr. Pelivan that we were prepared to resume our posts and to
4 continue working on our old jobs in a new location if an agreement were
5 to be achieved to that effect.
6 Unfortunately, ten or 15 days after that, that was on the eve of
7 my departure to Sarajevo
8 the same plane as Mr. Pelivan. But on my arrival in Sarajevo, I
9 immediately realized that there was not support of this idea that was
10 mooted by the prime minister. So, at that meeting, there was no debate
11 about the way in which this money were to be circulated, there was just
12 this brief instance when the prime minister showed us the specimen.
13 But the prime minister had a number of meetings in Bosnia
15 discussed at one such meeting.
16 Q. Just in order to clarify what you've just said, when you say that
17 the Bosnian Croat authorities reacted positively to the proposal, this
18 was when you were talking about the proposal to open an office in Zenica,
19 but I was specifically asking you about this proposal for this new BH
21 Did they -- at least that's how I understood your answer, and
22 correct me if I'm wrong. But did that also include -- were they also
23 positive to that proposal for the new BH currency? Can you clarify that.
24 A. I told you that this was a meeting with the representatives of
25 the Croatian people that were in the organs of the republic in Sarajevo
1 I did not speak about the Bosnian Croat authorities. I spoke about the
2 representatives of the Croatian people who worked in the organs of the
3 republic in Sarajevo
4 And since the new BH currency was not discussed at all, I told
5 you what was on the agenda of that meeting, and let me repeat it once
6 again. It was the expectations raised by the prime minister that we
7 should all go back to our jobs and his idea that a part of the
8 administration should move out to Zenica. The entire meeting with us --
9 the entire meeting with us was spent discussing how best to ensure the
10 functioning of the administration outside of Sarajevo.
11 Q. So, well, sorry that I may have misunderstood, and I'm just going
12 to clarify and hopefully ask it one more time. So that meeting was not
13 with members of the Croatian community, but these were all Croats from
14 the BiH administration in Sarajevo
15 I should understand it?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Well, let's move then to --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we move on, Your Honour, I do wish to point
19 out that the gentleman gave a more fuller explanation in his testimony
20 during the Kordic trial. The Prosecution read approximately from lines 3
21 to line 16 of page 20587, but the gentleman did go on to state that for
22 whatever reason that currency was not used, that coupons were used
23 instead, and, of course, German marks.
24 So I do wish to put -- so either the entire page or the entire
25 question and answer from that section of the Kordic trial should be
1 introduced into evidence, or at least the gentleman should be given an
2 opportunity to comment on that or at least make sure to validate that
3 that is exactly -- that that is the entire answer to the question being
5 And I state this because otherwise it gives the impression that
6 you have the government of Sarajevo
7 currency, then the Croats in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna using
8 other currency, thereby giving the impression that the idea was pushed
9 aside by the Croats in the Croatian community when, in fact, the Bosnian
10 dinar never came into circulation as it had been expected. I think that
11 is the complete story.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, following this
13 objection, can you confirm that as part of your testimony in the Kordic
14 case you gave the information Mr. Karnavas has just provided?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The fact is that this
16 currency was not used even in the areas controlled by the BH army.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
18 Mr. Bos.
19 MR. BOS:
20 Q. Mr. Perkovic, moving to another topic again. On Monday, you
21 testified that the HVO was to be seen as a necessity or an alternative
22 for the state institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina that ceased to
23 effectively function in the region of Herceg-Bosna. Do you recall that
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Do you recall that the BH government around August 1992 rendered
2 a decree to establish a district system in order to control and govern
3 the full territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 remember that the BH government rendered this -- well, came with this
5 decree to implement districts in the Bosnia-Herzegovina area?
6 A. Yes, I do know that this decree was passed.
7 Q. Maybe you could have a look at the text of the decree, which is
8 1D 00509. Do you have it?
9 A. Can you please assist me and tell me where is it.
10 Q. Somewhere in the back of the binder, 1D 00509, and the usher will
11 assist you. Now, we see here it's dated 13 August 1992, a decree with
12 the power of law on establishment and work of districts, and let me just
13 read out Article 1:
14 "By means of this Decree, Districts as special socio-political
15 communities shall be established to function during the state of war (in
16 further text: Districts), as well as their names, centres, and
17 territories, their rights and duties, the organization and scope of
18 competence of District bodies and district executive bodies and district
19 bodies in the organization and preparation of citizens for armed fight in
20 the territory of District
21 the organization and work of District."
22 Now, you've stated that you've seen this decree. Is it correct
23 that in October 1992, there was an amendment to the decree because I
24 think initially, if we look at Article 6, the decree was -- set up seven
25 districts; and then, in October 1992, they reorganize this and it became
1 ten districts. If you look at the one-but-last page of the document,
2 you'll see the amendments to this decree. It's on --
3 A. Yes, that's correct. The decree from October 1992 amended the
4 original text of the decree.
5 Q. And if we look in this list of ten districts, we see under
6 number 4 the district of Mostar and under number 10 the district of
7 Livno. And would you agree that the municipalities listed for these two
8 districts in general, maybe not fully, but covered a lot of the area
9 which was covered under Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
10 A. When we're talking about the Livno district, because it's smaller
11 so let's take that as our starting point, in the Croatian Community of
12 Herceg-Bosna, there was no area of the municipalities of Glamoc, the
13 municipality of Glamoc, in fact. So if we're talking about the Mostar
14 district, practically all the municipalities in the area called Eastern
16 municipalities of Bileca, Gacko, Ljubinje, Nevesinje, Trebinje, with the
17 exception of Ravno, the area of Ravno.
18 Q. Very well. That's what we saw on the document. Now, Witness,
19 would you agree with me that this decree that was rendered here by the
20 BiH government was a serious attempt of the BiH government to sort of
21 control and govern the full territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 at war?
23 A. It is my deep conviction that this is an unconstitutional attempt
24 on the part of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina because the issue
25 of the internal organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the issue of
1 the number of socio-political communities or the level of socio-political
2 communities is provided for in the constitution of the Republic of Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina
4 has a force of a law could not change the internal structure of the
5 government in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 And let me go back to the question that was asked before the
7 break. I think that the constitutional court of Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 should have reacted either proprio motu or at the proposal of another
9 institution in the same manner in which it did following the decisions
10 enacted by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna if it really had been
11 its intention to protect the provisions of the Constitution of the
12 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. Very well. Okay. That's -- that is your opinion. Could I ask
14 you to look at document 1D 02565. It's another Defence exhibit, and this
15 is a document dated the 23rd of February, 1993.
16 And you will see that -- you will see that the document, the
17 first two pages -- I'm sorry, you're still --
18 MR. BOS: Again, maybe the usher can help. It's document
19 1D 02565.
20 Q. It's, again, near the end of the binder, Mr. Perkovic. If you
21 have the document, you will see that the first two pages are letters.
22 The first one is --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
24 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't
25 know, please interrupt me if this is not important, but I did not have
1 the Prosecution documents before, and I have managed to read the previous
2 document only now. That's document 1D 00509.
3 I managed to read Articles 1 and 3 in the B/C/S version, in
4 Croatian, and I could see that the terms "podrucje" and "teritorija" in
5 the Croatian are rendered as "territory" in the English version.
6 This is of particular importance in Article 1, 3, paragraph 3,
7 because we can see that a distinction is drawn in the same manner in
8 which it was done in the HZ HB documents we looked at earlier.
9 Perhaps it would be best for the witness to read the text of this
10 article -- of this document, Articles 1 and 3, in Croatian. This is an
11 official document of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this distinction is
12 clearly visible. That's why I think it would be a good idea, to clarify
14 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'm going to ask to have this done in
15 re-direct. This is again -- you know, I would really like to continue
16 with my evidence, and this is really a matter which should be dealt with
17 in --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel pause for the interpreters
19 between questions and answers, please. Thank you.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Is there a ruling on that?
21 MR. BOS: I know my --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I know there is a shaking by one of the Judges,
23 but is there a ruling, because if there is an objection. I do think this
24 shouldn't be dealt with on my time. This is something that the Court
25 should deal with on its time.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is an objection. What I
2 meant is that during the break, I looked up the words in a Serbo-Croatian
3 dictionary, Cambridge
4 please use it. And as to the translation of the word "podrucje," there
5 are three words, territory, region, area. This is it. So the three
6 English words are used to render "podrucje."
7 Now, Mrs. Tomic has just told us that this was translated into
8 English as "territory." Well, no wonder, because this is in the
10 What we can do is refer this to the translation service where
11 there are competent people who will provide us with the accurate
12 translation of this term; otherwise, we may go on about this for hours
13 and hours. My colleague will ask the floor and say some things, Mr. Bos
14 will say, and other counsel will say something. It's going to go on for
15 days. We have this relevant language service, the CLSS, and they should
16 be providing us with the answer.
17 Now, this being said, if the Defence thinks that this is of
18 paramount importance and that the whole trial is based on this term,
19 you're entitled to summoning a linguistic expert who will be testifying
20 for hours and days to talk to us about this.
21 Now, let's proceed, Mr. Bos.
22 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Mr. Perkovic, you have the document in front of you, I can see.
24 Now, you'll see that the first two pages are --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- letters, sort of cover letters for the document, that then
2 follows on the third page which is -- and maybe we'll just see.
3 The first letter is sent to Mr. Demirovic; the second cover
4 letter is sent to Mr. Pasalic, commander of the 4th Corps; and copies of
5 that letter are sent to the CSB, Mr. Ramo Maslesa and Mr. Jadranko Prlic,
6 as the plenipotentiary of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, I'd like to focus your attention now on the documents
10 starting on the third page, which is a document from the Government of
11 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 And the Prosecution thinks this is an important document, so I'm
14 going to read out a large part of the document so this may take a while.
15 But I think it's important that we get this on the record, and I'll start
16 with reading the second paragraph of that document and you can follow
17 from the hard copy:
18 "In accordance with the latest information" -- and this is a
19 document dated 25th of February, 1993, and it's starting on the second
21 "In accordance with the latest information from the districts,
22 obtained until February 25th, 1993, the district organs had been formed
23 in the following districts: Bihac, Gorazde, Tuzla, and Zenica; in Banja
24 Luka, Doboj, Sarajevo
25 formed for these districts, and this commissions perform the function of
1 the Presidencies of these districts."
2 THE INTERPRETER: Next page on the original, please.
3 MR. BOS:
4 Q. "Mostar district for the territories of the following
5 municipalities," and I won't read out all of them, but then also, "and
6 Livno district for the territories of the following municipalities ...
7 are not in function yet."
8 And then third paragraph, and I will read that in full:
9 "Because of the familiar reasons that are in the first place of
10 the political origin and that relate to the setting up of the authorities
11 of the so-called 'Herceg-Bosna,' the constitution of Mostar and Livno
12 districts did not begin immediately, in accordance with the positive
13 regulations of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 "However, the Government of the Republic of Bosnia
16 Mr. Mate Boban on 29 September 1992, in which, when speaking of the issue
17 of setting up of these districts, the following was said among other
18 things: At the beginning of the war, in very complex situation in Mostar
19 and Livno regions, the temporary organs of Herceg-Bosna were formed. The
20 Agreement between the Republic of Croatia
22 of Herceg-Bosna would be harmonized with the legislation of the Republic
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, we propose with the aim of
24 harmonization of practice of organization of war organs in the whole
25 territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you should instigate the
1 proceedings of renaming of temporary organs of Herceg-Bosna for Mostar
2 and Livno regions into the district organs of Mostar and Livno districts,
3 in accordance with the mentioned decree. At the same time, it is
4 requested from Mate Boban in this letter that he proposes the candidates
5 for the most responsible functions in the organs and bodies of these
7 Sir, do you recall that around this time in February 1993 that
8 the BH government was putting this proposal to implement these Mostar and
9 Livno districts which hadn't been implemented yet?
10 A. At the time these events unfolded, I was not aware of them;
11 however, I came to know something about these initiatives at a later
12 date. Therefore, I can say that the initiative to establish districts
13 was something I got to know about later but was not aware of at the time.
14 Q. So when did you get to know about and in what context, can you
15 elaborate on that?
16 A. I got to know about them perhaps a month or two after the
17 initiative had been forwarded in the context of the information we
18 received on matters concerning the internal organization of the BH
19 institutions, and especially on those matters where different opinions
20 were espoused. There was this one meeting discussing the internal
21 organization of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and all these debates were closely
22 linked with various peace plans that reached us, one after the other.
23 We had information that the Bosniak side regarded this matter --
24 or rather, wanted this matter to be resolved through the establishment of
25 districts, which would be the regional forms of socio-political
1 communities, which in the view of the Croat side remained to be
2 centralised a form of organization, or if not centralised at least
3 insufficiently decentralised.
4 Q. Now, if we look at the text, there is a reference to an agreement
5 between the Republic of Croatia
6 dated the 1st of July, 1992.
7 Now, I've been trying to trace down this agreement, and I think
8 that this agreement is, in fact, the agreement of the 21st of July, 1992
9 And I would like to show you that document which is P 00339, and this is
10 the agreement on friendship and cooperation that was signed on that day.
11 MR. BOS: And maybe we can have a look at the text of that
12 agreement, which is in the binder as well, P 00339.
13 Q. Mr. Perkovic, do you recall that around the 21st of July, 1992
14 that this agreement was being -- well, was being signed by the
15 republic -- by Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Franjo Tudjman, this agreement on
16 friendship and cooperation?
17 A. This agreement received extensive media coverage so that
18 practically every citizen in the area who followed the Croatian press or
19 the Croatian TV was able to know that an agreement on friendship and
20 cooperation had been signed between the two countries. Later on, some
21 ten days later perhaps, I was able to read the text of the agreement.
22 Q. Could I focus your attention on item number 6 in the agreement,
23 and then in particular the second part of item number 6; and, again, I'll
24 read out this part:
25 "Provisional civil authorities established in wartime conditions
1 with the scope of the Croatian Defence Council will be made to conform as
2 soon as possible with the constitutional-juridical system of the Republic
3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and talks pertaining to this matter will be
4 initiated immediately in the spirit of the principles stated in Point 1
5 of this Agreement."
6 MR. KARNAVAS: If he could be given an opportunity to look at
7 point 1 since that's part of what he's being asked to comment on.
8 MR. BOS: Very well.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: There you go. Thank you.
10 MR. BOS:
11 Q. And I can read out point 1 as well, if need be.
12 Point 1: "The President of the Presidency of the Republic of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the President of the Republic of Croatia
14 agreed that the future state system of Bosnia and Herzegovina will
15 proceed from the principle of full equality of the three constituent
16 nations: Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The constitutional-political
17 system of the country will be based on constituent units in the
18 establishment of which due account will be taken of national, historical,
19 cultural, economic, traffic, and other elements."
20 Witness, would you agree with me that what's raised in point 6
21 is, in fact, exactly, you know, the point that the BiH government was
22 making in that document in which they pressed about the setting up of the
23 Livno and Mostar district, that, in fact, there was an agreement between
24 Mr. Tudjman and Mr. Izetbegovic that these districts could be set up?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, there are several reasons at least why I cannot
1 agree with this statement of yours, and I'll focus on the most important
3 With this agreement, the presidents of the two countries have
4 agreed that the constitutional political system of the country would be
5 based on constituent units. The powers given to the districts clearly
6 show that the districts are not constituent units because the definition
7 of a constituent unit dictates the way in which it is to be conformed to
8 the constitution.
9 Second, it is highly unusual that the issue of the definition of
10 socio-political communities should be covered by the bodies of the
11 defence. From the documents you've showed to me, we can see that it is a
12 letter that the Ministry of Defence sent to the government of Bosnia
14 ministries, as far as I remember, this did not fall at all within the
15 remit of the ministry of defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Even more unusual is the fact that in the second document you
17 showed that me, the communications issue is resolved through the State
18 Security Service. I'm particularly surprised by the fact that the
19 documents you showed to me suggest that these documents be delivered to
20 Mr. Prlic and Mr. Boban. As we know that by that time for several months
21 already, pursuant to the decisions of the constitutional court which you
22 asked me about a moment ago, the HZ HB is a non-constitutional entity.
23 Therefore, I wouldn't see on what basis these organs would be
24 communicating with Mr. Prlic and Mr. Boban. Would they be communicating
25 with them only as with BH citizens since they did not have any other
1 political roles than those in the HZ HB? At the same time, in that area
2 there were Croat citizens who held certain republican positions and
4 In sum, it is evident from all the documents that were shown to
5 me that there did not exist either the intention or the wish for a
6 solution to be found about the internal system of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 between the Croats and Muslims on the principles of equality which would
8 have been acceptable to both these peoples and which would have made
9 possible an adjustment or a transformation of the organs of the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna in the way suggested in the agreement signed by
11 Messrs. Izetbegovic and Tudjman.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, something caught my
13 attention in your answer, and I would like to check if you said what you
14 said. You said that the three constituent units require decisions to be
15 taken by way of consensus. I heard you say this.
16 Does that mean that decisions in Bosnia-Herzegovina required a
17 agreement from the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, although there might be
18 disagreements on some issues, which would have meant that all the
19 decision-making would have been blocked in the state? Is that what you
20 actually meant? Every decision made by the Presidency or by the
21 legislator required unanimity among the three constituent units, Muslims,
22 Serbs, and Croats. Could you elaborate on this.
23 You have touched upon it briefly in your answer and you were
24 answering another question, but this really caught my attention because
25 listening to you I thought if one of the constituent units disagreed,
1 this would block the whole system. So is this what you actually meant?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Presiding Judge, in my answer,
3 I did not mention a -- any number of constituent units. I didn't mention
4 three constituent units. I spoke of an undefined number of constituent
5 units; there could have been five, seven, or ten of them.
6 I spoke of the basic principle, which is that the issue of the
7 internal system of a country, particularly a multi-ethnic country such as
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina where constituent peoples live and a country which has
9 its constituent units, that a consensus should be achieved; and on the
10 basis of a consensus, the mechanism for decision-making can be defined.
11 It is precisely such solutions that we have today in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the level of the state and sometimes they require
13 that the procedures be quite lengthy, but they espouse the basic
14 principle on which today's Bosnia-Herzegovina rests, which is the
15 equality of the constituent peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 From the way these districts were formulated and the way they
17 were supposed to be established and the numbers in which they were
18 supposed to be established as well as the powers which they were supposed
19 to have, we could see that the decision on this had already been taken.
20 The Croat side was practically only asked to accept what has already been
21 defined without giving any suggestions on the issues. And the carrot
22 given to them was that Mr. Boban or Mr. Prlic, as far as I remember,
23 would be allowed to offer their own cadres who would be ethnic Croats to
24 govern these districts.
25 This approach is quite contrary to the intentions and the spirit
1 in which the Izetbegovic-Tudjman agreement on friendship was signed. It
2 is particularly contrary to Article 1 which we've just been referring to.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this accurate and
4 exhaustive answer.
5 MR. BOS:
6 Q. In relation to this topic, let me show you one more document
7 which is 1D 01972. It is a Defence exhibit which again will be probably
8 in the back of your binder. Do you have the letter? It's not dated, but
9 it starts off -- it's a letter signed by Mr. Prlic and addressed to
10 Mr. Zlatko Lagumdzija, the vice-president of the Republic of
12 It begins by saying: "In your letter without number of 3 March
13 1993, you informed me of the conclusions of the Government of the
14 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the foundation and putting
15 into operation of the Mostar and Livno districts."
16 Would you agree with me that this letter by Mr. Prlic is an
17 effective response to the documents that we just saw before?
18 A. The letter is not dated. We can't see when it was sent.
19 Q. No, we can't, but --
20 A. But one could infer that this might be a reply to the document
21 sent earlier. Although, in those documents that were sent earlier, I did
22 not observe that it was Mr. Lagumdzija, the prime minister, who sent the
23 letter to Mr. Prlic. I believe that it was a third party that was asked
24 to send the letter to Mr. Prlic. Nevertheless, one could assume that
25 this was an answer to or a response to those documents.
1 I apologise, but I also observe the absence of any signatures,
2 and this begs the question of whether this is an actual document.
3 Mr. Prosecutor, there is no date, no signature, we only have the heading,
4 which makes it very difficult for me to say whether this is, indeed, a
5 letter by Mr. Prlic and whether it was ever sent.
6 Q. Well, Mr. Perkovic, this is a Defence exhibit, so I think we
7 could presume that if the Defence submitted this evidence that this
8 letter is, in fact, an authenticated letter.
9 But looking at the content of the letter, would you agree with
10 the position -- with the response Mr. Prlic is making in this letter?
11 A. Labouring under the assumption that this letter was sent,
12 Mr. Prlic deals with one aspect of the problem which seems very important
13 to me and which is the gist of what I was discussing a moment ago.
14 That's item 4 of the letter which says that: "The establishment of the
15 Mostar and Livno districts has not been prescribed in the Constitution of
16 the HZ HB [as interpreted] or other enactments signed during peace
17 negotiations by both Muslim and Croat delegations in Geneva and New
19 The constitution of the BH was definitely not signed either in
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, on page 64, line 12, the gentleman
22 said the Constitution of "BiH," as opposed to "HZ HB." Line 12, you will
23 see. We all know that HZ HB did not have a constitution.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter corrects herself.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. BOS:
2 Q. Just one last question on this letter, Mr. Perkovic: How do you
3 think that a letter like this would have reached Sarajevo --
4 [French on English channel]
5 Q. -- it must have been around March 1993 that this letter was being
6 sent to Mr. Lagumdzija.
7 A. There were several ways. It could be sent through international
8 representatives, representatives of UNPROFOR who enjoyed at least some
9 freedom of movement throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. It could have been
10 handed over to the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zagreb, for instance,
11 or to some other BH embassy in the world. It could have been delivered
12 to one of the officials of the republican organs who happened to be in
13 the area. Just as Mr. Lagumdzija or Mr. Demirovic used to send some
14 other documents to their own officials in the area with the request that
15 the documents be forwarded to Mr. Boban.
16 In other words, some sort of a roundabout mechanism could be used
17 to make sure that a letter reached Sarajevo
19 MR. BOS: Unless the Chamber has any other questions on this
20 topic, I would like to move to another topic.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We don't have questions, but
22 this might be a right time for the break, the last break for this
23 morning. So we'll have a break and I'll ask the registrar to count the
24 time during the break.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
3 Mr. Bos, you have the floor.
4 MR. BOS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Witness, I'd like you to have a look at another document in the
6 binder probably near the end it's 1D 02018, and this is a 3 July 1992
7 decree on public enterprises in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
8 Let me read out Article 1 here:
9 "In the interest of socio-economic development and the protection
10 of nature and natural resources of the Croatian people and other peoples
11 in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Presidency of the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna has adopted a decree establishing public
13 enterprises in the following areas of activity," and then we see a whole
14 list of activities: "Production, transmission, and distribution of
15 electrical energy... water management ... forestry ... mining ... postal,
16 telephone, and telegraph services ... rail transport ... road
17 transport ... official journal of the Croatian Community of
18 Herceg-Bosna ... information activities, radio, and television ... and
19 special purposes industry."
20 Just on that point, (j), special purposes industry, what kind of
21 industry would I have to think about here?
22 A. [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
24 MR. BOS:
25 Q. You will have to switch on your microphone.
1 A. The special purposes industry mainly comprises military industry,
2 the manufacture of arms and all sorts of equipment important and relevant
3 for the armed forces.
4 Q. Now, it says here in the first line that they adopt a decree in
5 establishing these public enterprises. Now, would that mean that these
6 enterprises were established, or does it, in fact, mean that these
7 enterprises already existed and were taken over? How should I read the
8 term "establishing" here?
9 A. The other term synonymous of "utemeljiti," "establish," is
10 "osnovati," "to found." In other words, this decree with its contents
11 prescribes the areas in which these public companies are to be
12 established. What follows from there is the obligation to prepare the
13 founding documents of these public companies which are to be deposited or
14 filed with Registry of the relevant court.
15 Q. So would that mean that these enterprises did already exist or
16 did not exist at all? Let's say, for example, let's take water
17 management activities, any enterprises that wouldn't be established,
18 would that be a completely new enterprise, or would that be a enterprise
19 that already existed and then would be taken over by the Croatian
20 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
21 A. This means that a new company is being set up as a new legal
22 entity which is registered at such with the court registry; so, in other
23 words, it is a new public company that is being set up.
24 Q. You're saying a legal entity, but does that mean that -- maybe I
25 can describe it -- let's phrase it this way: Would that mean that the
1 whole company didn't exist yet, that there is still -- that there weren't
2 any employees, that there wasn't any building, whatever, and that
3 everything had to start from scratch, or are you talking simply legally,
4 that they were taken over legally or established legally?
5 A. According to the valid regulations in the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina which had been taken over and applied in this period,
7 all the socio-political communities and authorities could establish
8 public companies. There were municipalities which were able to establish
9 public companies all the way up to the republican level.
10 Here, we have the authorities of the Croatian Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna passing regulations which create the legal prerequisite
12 allowing these bodies to establish no public companies as legal entities.
13 In other words, the establishment of these companies as new legal
14 entities did not make the existence of existing public companies null and
16 Let's take as an example the power supply company. If the
17 company of Elektroprivreda, power supply company, of Croatian community
18 of Herceg-Bosna was set up, this did not preclude the existence of the
19 Bosnian power supply company. What was being set up here was a new legal
21 Q. Is it your evidence, then, on all these items that are listed in
22 item 1 that the Croatian communities created new entities aside from the
23 existing BH enterprises on all these -- you know, on all these things
24 like energy, electricity, water, postal, so is it your evidence that the
25 BiH enterprises of these public utilities still existed and that the
1 Croatian community simply established aside from those existing public
2 utility companies new companies; is that your evidence?
3 A. Yes, precisely that.
4 Q. And that's on all these matters that are listed?
5 A. The decree creates a possibility for public companies to be
6 established in all these fields or branchs. Some were, in fact, set up
7 quite soon thereafter; whereas, for some other fields, I don't know that
8 they ever set up a public company. For instance, I know that the public
9 company of Elektroprivreda, power supply company, of HZ HB was set up.
10 But I don't know that in the mining industry the possibility of a
11 public company being set up had ever been used. I don't know that a
12 public company was ever set up in the mining industry or in the field of
13 information. To my knowledge, the HZ HB TV was never set up and never
14 made operational, unlike the HZ HB radio. However, that said, in most of
15 these branchs public companies were set up.
16 Q. Well, I won't push this point any further, but maybe then I'm
17 going to ask you to look at another exhibit which is 1D 00196.
18 This is an exhibit dated January 1993, and it concerns
19 regulations on the registration of vehicles of the internal affairs
20 department of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Now, I'd like to
21 focus your attention on Article 3, and let me read out this article:
22 "Under the terms of these regulations, police markings shall be
23 the following: A combination of colour blue number 5013 and colour white
24 number 9010 in accordance with the RAL catalogue of colours for vehicle
25 registration; a plate with police written on it; police number plates;
1 and a drawing (emblem) or a police badge sticker ..."
2 Then I'll stop there.
3 "The plate with police written on it, the number plates, and the
4 police badge image must be made in such a way as to reflect light."
5 Then if I then can show you Article 13, which again describes:
6 "The form and size of digits and letters on police number plates and
7 plates with police written on them shall be identical to the size,
8 colour, and form of the number plates prescribed by the regulations on
9 vehicle registration, except that the letters and digits shall be blue.
10 "The registration markings shall be written in the left or upper
11 part of the number plates and shall consist of three digits, while the
12 vehicle registration number also consisting of three digits, shall be
13 written in the right or lower part of the number plates. In between
14 shall be the coat of arms of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
15 which shall be the same size, colour, and form as the civilian number
17 Then, well, you can read the rest yourself.
18 Now, would you agree with me that these are very detailed
19 regulations on how the signs of a police car needs to be, you know, on
20 the markings of a police vehicle in Herzegovina?
21 A. Well, yes, these regulations provide for the entire appearance of
22 registration plate, of a license plate. That's true.
23 Q. You've testified that legislation during this period was all
24 temporary legislation needed in order to -- you know, for wartime and for
25 a time of war. Can you explain why a regulation like this needed to be
1 put in place? It seems to me that you can hardly consider this as
2 something which is really important and that, therefore, a temporary
3 regulation needs to be established.
4 Can you just explain, what is the importance -- I would assume
5 that in January 1993 police vehicles were -- the existing police vehicles
6 were well known and recognised by the people living in Herzegovina
7 was there a need, first, to change it; and, secondly, why was there a
8 need to regulate all this?
9 A. Let me respond to your question backwards. The issue of
10 regulating in detail, every public document and registration or licence
11 plates are a kind of a public document is traditionally dealt with in
12 this matter. When you stipulate the way in which a birth certificate
13 should look, the format of a birth certificate or a citizenship
14 certificate, every segment of this document is stipulated in greatest
15 detail. Let us say that this is part of a tradition in the drafting of
16 the regulations that pertain to the way in which public documents are to
17 be produced or, let's say, other documents that make it possible for
18 somebody or something to be identified. In this case, we're talking
19 about the identification of a passenger vehicle.
20 Going back to the second part of your question, why this had to
21 be done, this had to be done for a very simple reason because the
22 republican regulation that was in force until the war broke out in Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina
24 of the police vehicles, should bear the sign of a five-point star, a
25 symbol of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the symbol of
1 the former SFRY. So the very same symbol, sign, that caused the organs
2 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna to be set up in order to mount
3 a defence against those who bore this symbol, the five-point star, on
4 their caps as they mounted this aggression against this area. So
5 wouldn't it seem logical to you that institutions and bodies of the
6 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna should change this symbol?
7 And in this context, when the insignia were changed, the symbols
8 and signs were changed, and this went for all of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 including the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Sarajevo
10 of arms was changed. It was quite logical for those symbols and signs to
11 be changed because the population did not want to accept those symbols,
12 not only on the police vehicles but in other aspects of life.
13 So this is why this was changed.
14 Q. So if I understand what you're saying, then, for the Muslim
15 population living in the region of Herceg-Bosna, they would agree that
16 these symbols on the police vehicles were to be changed into symbols from
17 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
18 A. No referendum was organized on this issue, so I cannot speak in
19 general whether the Bosniak population agreed with that or not. But I do
20 not know of any case in which a Bosniak or other non-Croat would protest
21 or anything else or ask either during the war or afterwards not to drive
22 a vehicle bearing those symbols. Perhaps one could say that during the
23 war the people were too afraid to protest, but the same symbols were in
24 use for almost two years after the war ended, and I'm not aware of a
25 single case in which there were any objections, complaints, or protests
1 against those symbols on anyone's part, including persons who were not
2 ethnic Croats.
3 Q. Let's move to another law. Now, first of all, yesterday you
4 testified I think that -- you said that wherever possible in drafting
5 legislation from the Croatian community, wherever possible you tried to
6 follow the existing provisions, albeit the SFRY legislation or the BiH
7 legislation; is that correct?
8 A. I said that we had tried to stay in line with the regulations of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina that were valid at the time. I was not talking
10 about the regulations of the former SFRY.
11 MR. BOS: Let's look at Exhibit P 01579.
12 Q. It's probably somewhere in the front of your binder. Now, this
13 is a March 1993 decree on border crossing and traffic in the border area
14 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna in times of war and immediate
15 threat of war, and what I'm interested in is Article 1. I think I'll
16 read it out again:
17 "The Law on Border Crossing and Traffic in the Border Area," and
18 there's a reference to the SFRY Official Gazette, "which became part of
19 the Republic's legislature by the Decree with the Force of Law of the
20 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, "and there's a
21 reference to the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina, "shall apply
22 in the territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, provided that
23 its provisions are not in contravention of this Decree or other
24 regulations based on this Decree."
25 Now, I'm interested in that last sentence. Was this a sentence
1 that was often used whenever you would have a decree where you would
2 apply the decree in combination with existing BiH legislation?
3 A. Well, you can see how the regulations were adopted, this is the
4 usual method, and you can see here that this is a federal regulation, a
5 regulation of the former SFRY, which was first adopted by the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina as its regulation; and then the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna adopted it as a republican regulation. And in the last
8 sentence you can see the legal standard, where it is stipulated that this
9 regulation, which now has the status of a republican regulation, the
10 regulation of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, shall apply with the
11 exception of the articles -- provisions that are in contravention of
12 other articles contained in this decree.
13 In other words, if any article of this adopted law is in
14 collision with any of the articles of this decree, this decree shall have
15 primacy in application.
16 But now that you ask me this, I would like to remind you of Avery
17 important thing, Article 2. I think it's very important because it gives
18 us an answer to the question that we've been discussing over the past
19 days and today, where it is indicated that this space was the territory
20 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of the Croatian
21 Community of Herceg-Bosna. This is just a small contribution on my part
22 to this debate about territory and area.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
24 microphones in the courtroom be switched off. It appears that somebody's
25 microphone is switched on.
1 MR. BOS:
2 Q. Okay. So if I understand your evidence, and I think that's what
3 you said that is based on the language in Article 1, it appears that the
4 regulation -- the provisions of the Croatian community would prevail --
5 yeah, would prevail over the existing BiH legislation?
6 A. Yes, if these provisions or regulations were in conflict.
7 Q. Now, doesn't that, in other words, mean that the Croatian
8 community by adopting regulations, it could adopt to the extent that it
9 actually suited the Croatian community, and that whatever didn't suit
10 them they would issue a decree or regulation on?
11 A. Well, this was a relatively short period of time in which a legal
12 system of a country that had broken up had to be adopted, and this system
13 took 50 years to build. In technical terms, in terms of personnel, it
14 was impossible for all the legal instruments, primarily laws of that
15 country, to be analysed and then to take all of those who were
16 unacceptable - and many were unacceptable because they reflected the
17 previous social and political system, social self-government - to change
18 them accordingly.
19 But it was not possible, there was not enough time to amend them
20 by adopting detailed regulations; and this is why this standard was used,
21 stipulating that this is being adopted but that any provisions that are
22 contrary to the key issues regulated by this -- by a given decree shall
23 not apply or that the solutions contained in the given decree shall be
24 given primacy.
25 So this was simply the same method that was used also at the
1 level of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In April 1992, I myself
2 took part in this exercise, where in a single issue of the Official
3 Gazette all of the federal regulations were adopted, the federal
4 regulations that the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 adopted; and the same legal standard was applied. It was stated that the
6 federal regulations shall apply unless they are in contravention of the
7 relevant republican regulations.
8 So the same legal standard was applied in this decree and in a
9 number of other decrees passed by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
10 when the regulations were adopted.
11 Q. Thank you. Okay. Well, let's move again to another topic which
12 you've touched upon also in -- on Monday and Tuesday, which is the
13 supremacy of the HVO Croatian community over the municipal HVOs. Maybe
14 you can look at Exhibit P 00303. It's an exhibit that you saw before.
15 So this is the statutory decision on the temporary organization
16 of executive authority and administration in the territory of the HZ HB,
17 and I'd like to focus your attention again on Article 14 and 15 which
18 deals with the supremacy of the HVO and which reads: "The HVO shall
19 supervise the work of its departments and municipal HVOs. The HVO may
20 use its supervisory power to annul or abolish individual legal acts
21 passed by the bodies referred to in the foregoing paragraph."
22 Then in Article 15: "In a municipal HVO, if a municipal HVO has
23 passed a decision or performed an act violating the basic legal
24 provisions of the HZ HB, the HVO has the right and duty to dissolve the
25 said municipal HVO. The mandate of all HVO members shall cease on the
1 day the decision to dissolve the separate HVA is issued, and the HVO
2 shall propose members for the new municipal HVO within eight days of
3 having dissolved the old one."
4 I think you testified about this on Monday or Tuesday as well;
5 and from what I understand from your evidence, you were saying, yes, that
6 it's correct that de jure the Croatian community had such powers to
7 supervise the work of the municipalities, but that de facto this was
8 different. Is that correct?
9 A. This article created a legal basis for inspections to be carried
10 out by or supervision to be carried out by the HVO. In the period that
11 we're talking about, the situation was different. In reality, this kind
12 of supervision could not be done and it was not done.
13 Q. To your knowledge, were ever decisions issued by the HVO,
14 referring to Articles 14 and 15? So, in other words, was there ever a
15 regulation by the municipality annulled or abolished by the Croatian
17 A. In Article 14, paragraph 2, it is stated that the HVO shall have
18 supervisory power of the municipal bodies of the HVO. Individual
19 administrative acts are acts that the municipal authorities pass at the
20 request of natural persons or legal entities.
21 Let us assume that one such act, legal act, was passed at the
22 request of a citizen, of a natural person, and that person is then
23 unhappy with the solutions contained. That person is unhappy with the
24 way that their right is being defined there. There are two models for
25 supervision. One is to control this individual legal act through the
1 mechanism of appeal. If you ascertain that the rights of the citizens
2 have been violated, you as the second-instance body have the power to
3 annul this act or to amend it, to pass your own act, to rectify the
5 The second model that exists in the legal practice of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina is to supervise, exert supervision, through
7 inspectorates. A citizen can resort to an inspectorate and complain that
8 the municipal authorities violated their rights. For a year and a half,
9 this was my job: You go out, you verify the complaints filed by the
10 citizens, and if you ascertain that they were valid, you take appropriate
11 legal measures, legal remedies, all the way down to the termination of
12 employment of the person who violated the rights of the complainant.
13 When I said it was impossible, in fact, to implement this kind of
14 supervision on the part of the HVO, I was talking about the fact that for
15 a long time the Croatian Defence Council did not have at that level, the
16 level of the HZ HB, inspections, inspectorates, although legal requisites
17 were in place for them to exist. They did not exist, nevertheless,
18 because there were no personnel, trained personnel, who could do this
19 kind of a job.
20 Yesterday, in answer to some of the questions, I said at one
21 point that we saw that when the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
22 adopted the Law on Administrative Procedures, which made it possible to
23 have a two-instance system and made it possible for the citizens to
24 appeal against the decisions of the municipal authorities, to rectify any
1 And there was also a third possibility, when the HVO HZ HB learnt
2 about some decisions passed by the municipal authorities, which in its
3 opinion were in contravention of the regulations of the Croatian
4 Community of Herceg-Bosna and did so sua sponte, I am aware of several
5 such instances when the HVO HZ HB ascertained that the municipal
6 authorities did pass regulations that were in contravention of the
7 regulations of the HZ HB, and then the HVO HZ HB intervened and those
8 decisions passed by the lower-level instances, the municipal HVOs, were
9 then annulled, they were made invalid.
10 Q. So, looking at the last part of your answer, where the question I
11 put to you was, "Were decisions ever annulled," it seems that you are
12 saying, yes, it did happen that the HVO HZ HB annulled or abolished
13 decisions of municipalities; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Maybe if we can look at P 00431 in your binder. Would you agree
16 with me that this is such a decision which you've just talked about that
17 would render invalid part of a municipality decision? Would this be an
18 example of that?
19 A. Yes. Here, we have an example upon such decision when the HVO
20 intervened and invalidates a decision of a municipal decision or part
21 thereof, the part that the HVO deemed to be unlawful because it is
22 violating the regulations of the HZ HB.
23 Q. And if we can look at another exhibit which is P 02248, this is a
24 decision on the invalidation of the decision on mobilisation of
25 material-technical goods in the municipality of Mostar
1 24 March 1993
2 Again, would this also be an example of such a decision?
3 A. Yes. This is one of the several decisions that I know of.
4 Q. And if I can now ask you to look at Exhibit 1D 01611, that's
5 probably in the back of your binder. These are minutes of the Croatian
6 Community of Herceg-Bosna, session 45, held on the 12th of June, 1993
7 and I'm particularly interested in item number 9: "Discussion on the
8 implementation -- discussion to implement the mobilisation in certain
10 If we can go to item 9 which is on page 3 of the English version
11 of the document, let me just read out the first paragraph of item 9:
12 "The head of the defence department HVO HZ HB, Mr. Stojic,
13 informed the session on how the mobilisation was proceeding. The
14 mobilisation was proceeding rather well in certain municipalities (for
15 example, Capljina, Stolac, Bugojno, and Gornji Vakuf), but it was not at
16 the required level in other municipalities (for example, Mostar,
17 Ljubuski, Citluk, Posusje, and Grude). This was the reason to hold
18 meetings in Citluk and Grude and make personnel changes in some
20 Then it continues, and then on the conclusions: "1, the decision
21 assigning members of the HVO HZ HB to monitor the implementation of
22 mobilisation in municipalities is hereby amended and reads as follows,"
23 and then we get a group of names and then a list.
24 On the next page, I'll read out number 5: "By the end of the
25 week, hold a working meeting with the presidents of the HVO on the
1 implementation of regulations on the territory of the HZ HB."
2 Now, would you agree with me, Mr. Perkovic, that this is an
3 example where you can see that the HVO clearly had supremacy over the
4 municipalities and was very much involved in the operation of the
6 A. Regarding item 9, I don't know what personnel changes are
7 referred to here, but I am absolutely or mostly sure that those were not
8 the decisions of the Croatian Defence Council of the HZ HB and about any
9 personnel changes that were implemented by the HVO HZ HB.
10 Second, we don't see from here that the personnel changes
11 referred to the changes within the municipal Croatian Defence Councils or
12 to personnel changes within the defence offices within the
13 municipalities, and you will agree that these are as different as chalk
14 and cheese. So the issue of personnel changes in the defence offices
15 were not within the jurisdiction of the Croatian Defence Council of the
16 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. So this would be my comment
17 regarding Article 9.
18 It is not contested, and this is what I have been repeating in
19 the course of my testimony, that the Croatian Defence Council had various
20 contacts with the heads of the municipal HVOs and that sometimes meetings
21 were held with the leaders of the municipal HVOs. That gave them an
22 opportunity to fix some things, to get a fuller picture, or perhaps to
23 exert pressure on the municipal HVOs to improve their efficiency in
24 performing some tasks.
25 But the HVO HZ HB did not avail itself of the mechanisms
1 contained in the decree that made it possible for them to remove from
2 office the members of the municipal HVOs, and that was not because it was
3 felt that all the municipal HVOs were doing an excellent job. Quite the
4 contrary was the case. The prevailing belief was that it would be a very
5 good thing to perform some changes in some municipal HVOs, but I think
6 that the HVO HZ HB did not have the political power to do so.
7 So there were legal prerequisites to do it, but there was no
8 political power to actually do it at that time simply because the leaders
9 of those municipal HVOs were superior to the HVO on a different basis, by
10 virtue of the fact that they were members of the Presidency of the HZ HB.
11 Q. Just on item number 5 -- point number 5 under item number 9, when
12 they talk about holding a working meeting with the presidents of the
13 municipal HVOs, did that happen more often, that there would be working
14 meetings with the presidents of municipalities on the implementation of
16 A. What happened most often, what was most often the case, was that
17 some members of the HVO of the HZ HB would meet with the municipal HVO
18 leader. It was customary practice to go out into the field, as the word
19 goes, in a delegation numbering one to three members that would discuss
20 the relevant issues, the issues relevant to that particular municipality,
21 with the municipal leaders. Most often [as interpreted], meetings
22 comprised the entire HVO HZ HB and the municipal HVO on the other side.
23 I do not rule out the possibility that a couple of such meetings
24 took place with the municipal HVO in Mostar, but for the most part the
25 contacts were carried out through a delegation of the HVO HZ HB and the
1 relevant HVO municipal structure or by having a representative of a
2 municipal HVO structure coming to visit the HVO HZ HB.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm told that on the record, page 82, line 15, the
4 gentleman said, "rarely meetings comprised of," as opposed to "most
5 often, meetings comprised." I don't know, I'm told that this is what the
6 gentleman indicated. Perhaps he can repeat that part of his answer,
7 whether it was "most often, meetings comprised the entire HVO HZ HB and
8 municipal HVOs," or "rarely," which of the two.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Witness, do you
10 confirm this point or you don't?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not following the transcript,
12 so I'll repeat. I said that meetings that included the entire HVO HZ HB
13 and the entire HVO municipal structures took place rarely. I only know
14 of a couple of such cases. Most of the time such meetings were held
15 between the delegations of the HVO, on the one hand side, and the
16 municipal HVOs or the leader of the municipal HVO or other important
17 officials of a given HVO municipal structure.
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. Mr. Perkovic, let's move again to another topic, and I want to
20 discuss with you briefly now about the HVO camps, and for that I will
21 again refer to part of your testimony in the Kordic case. This is on
22 transcript page 20684 of 7 June 2007
24 "I'm not denying, and I already said that, that at the local
25 level there were such treatments of civilians, non-Croat population.
1 This cannot be justified by war operations, and also there is no for that
2 in the legislation of Herceg-Bosna."
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, there must be a
4 problem because Mrs. Tomic is standing up.
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 I will not be going into what the testimony of this witness was in the
7 Kordic case; however, in this case, in the examination-in-chief, this
8 topic was not touched upon at all and this is completely beyond the scope
9 of the examination-in-chief. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Bos --
11 MR. BOS: [Previous translation continues] ... I think, under
12 Rule 90, I'm entitled to visit evidence which is relevant to the case.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to consult my
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Rule 90 stipulates that
17 during cross-examination, you can only refer to points that were broached
18 upon during the direct examination, but a party is entitled to dealing
19 with other matters, and I'm going to read this out to you:
20 "Cross-examination shall be limited to the subject matter of the
21 evidence-in-chief and matter affecting the credibility of the witness,
22 and, where the witness is able to give evidence relevant to the case for
23 the cross-examining party, to the subject matter of that case."
24 It's Article 90 (H), so there's no need for a translation. You
25 can read this in your language, and it states that a party during
1 cross-examination is entitled to asking questions on the basis that
2 points that were dealt with during the direct examination regarding
3 credibility but also for things which are to do with the cause of the
4 party; in this case, it's the indictment. It is broad. You can either
5 interpret this strictly or broadly. I personally interpret this
6 restrictively, but the Chamber interprets this broadly, so you are
7 allowed to ask your questions.
8 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I be allowed to
10 remind you that at one point of my cross-examination, I ventured into
11 dealing with a topic that was not covered by the examination-in-chief,
12 and I also quoted Rule 90 because I deemed that the topic was important,
13 and that in view of the indictment and my case, I was entitled to examine
14 on that topic. The position of the Trial Chamber on that occasion was
15 different. If I may remind you, you invoked the guide-lines and passed a
16 decision that I should not be allowed to cross-examine on this issue;
17 rather, that this would be considered as part of our case and should be
18 deducted from the time of General Petkovic.
19 I believe that the situation we are faced with at present should
20 be dealt with in the same way because we should honour the equality of
21 arms. Since the Prosecutor has already exhausted the time they had for
22 their cross-examination, I think that the same principle should apply as
23 was applied in my case.
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me add one thing.
25 In accordance with Rule 90(H) that you have just referred to,
1 particularly in view of the last paragraph, (ii), it is quite evident
2 that in this case, the Prosecutor should file a request to be allowed to
3 examine on a topic that was not covered by the examination-in-chief and
4 to explain what their case is, and why they believe that in this case
5 they should be allowed to go beyond the scope of cross-examination -- of
7 Only once the Prosecutor has stated his reasons will the
8 Trial Chamber be in a position to render a decision on this, though
9 admittedly the Trial Chamber does have the discretionary power to make a
10 ruling, but should first hear the Prosecutor and his argument. The
11 Prosecutor only said that he invokes Rule 90 but did not state his
12 reasons for doing so. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In our ruling the 24th of
14 April, 2008, on the guide-lines, paragraph 7, guide-line number 3, as to
15 the rules governing cross-examination, it is reminded that pursuant to
16 Rule 90, cross-examination may deal with a matter that has not been
17 raised in direct examination, and there is a footnote, decision on the on
18 the mode of interrogating witnesses, the 10th of May, paragraph 13. I
19 disagreed with that paragraph, and this is the reason why paragraph 8 was
20 added, which I'm going to read out to you:
21 "Nonetheless, the cross-examination dealing with a subject not
22 raised in the direct examination is not a cross-examination strictly
23 speaking, but an examination resembling the direct examination."
24 Footnote, decision 10th of May, 2007, paragraph 13: "As a result, the
25 rules applying to direct examination must be respected. Consequently,
1 leading questions shall not be permitted in this type of examination."
2 This means, Mr. Bos, when asking questions on the camps which
3 were not raised during direct examination, you are not entitled to asking
4 leading questions, but you should proceed as if you were carrying out a
5 direct examination. This is what our decision -- our Chamber ruling
6 states on 24th of April, 2008.
7 Well, let's not open this topic because it's time; and in 25
8 minutes' time, I will have to be in Courtroom III. We shall be resuming
9 tomorrow at 9.00. According to the Registry's calculations, you've used
10 up three hours and 15 minutes. So, roughly speaking, you have an hour
11 and a three-quarters still. So this is what I had to say to conclude
12 today's session.
13 I wish you a good day, and we'll see you tomorrow.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 4th day of
16 September, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.