1 Monday, 29 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Today is Monday, 29th of September, 2008. Good afternoon to the accused,
12 the Defence counsel, Mr. Scott and his team, and all the people helping
13 us out.
14 Today we're going to have a witness. He is going to come in a
15 minute, but before he does I will give the floor to the registrar because
16 he had a few IC numbers for us.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. Some parties have
18 submitted lists of documents to be tendered through Witness Kozulj,
19 Ilija. The list submitted I 1D shall be given IC 00856. The list
20 submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit number IC 00857, and the list
21 submitted by the Prosecution shall be given Exhibit number IC 00858.
22 Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
24 Mr. Kovacic, I believe you wanted to intervene.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you
1 for having given me the floor. Good afternoon to Your Honours. Good
2 afternoon to all in the courtroom.
3 Your Honours, I would like to seek permission to file a response,
4 namely on the 11th of September, the Defence teams of General Praljak and
5 General Petkovic filed a motion to review the Trial Chamber decision of
6 the 4th of September. This decision regulated the right of the OTP for
7 additional examination of Defence witnesses. This examination would deal
8 with subjects that were not dealt with in the direct examination.
9 Actually, it is an interpretation of Rule 90(H).
10 On the 25th of September, the OTP responded in writing, and after
11 we looked at the response, the Defence teams of Generals Praljak and
12 Petkovic prepared a brief response to the response filed by the
13 Prosecutor. We believe that a response is needed, especially in view of
14 the argumentation that should be put forth with regard to a few questions
15 that were dealt with in the response of the Prosecution. Therefore, we
16 ask the Honourable Trial Chamber to allow us to act accordingly.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall consult my colleagues.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, after discussing
21 the matter, the Trial Chamber gives you leave to reply.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With regard to the
24 schedule. We are sitting today, and we'll be sitting on Wednesday. On
25 Wednesday, exceptionally so, we shall finish at 20 past 1.00, not as
1 usual as quarter to 2.00 but at 20 past 1.00 because the Judges are to
2 meet with personalities, VIP, from the Security Council. This is the
3 reason why we shall finish at 20 past 1.00.
4 With regard to the witness today, Mr. Karnavas, how many hours
5 are you planning for your direct examination?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President; good afternoon,
7 Your Honours; good afternoon everyone in and around the courtroom.
8 We had scheduled the gentleman for three hours. We will
9 endeavour to do our direct testimony in less than that.
10 Now, if I say two hours then you're going to hold me to it, so
11 that's why I'm not giving you an exact figure, but I hope within two
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Perfect. Let's have the
14 witness in.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 WITNESS: MIROSLAV PALAMETA
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. I hope
19 the interpretation is working okay. Can you please give me your first
20 name, surname, and date of birth.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm Miroslav Palameta. I was
22 born on the 1st of November, 1949.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a current
24 occupation? If so, what is it?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a university professor, a full
1 professor at the university of Split
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Professor, have you had an
4 opportunity to testify before a court of law, be it international or
5 national, or is this the first time you're going to testify?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, this is
7 my first time.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the solemn
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Please be
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Professor, some information.
16 You are a Defence witness. You have been called by the Prlic Defence,
17 and I suppose that prior to coming here you met with Mr. Karnavas as part
18 of the proofing for your testimony. Therefore, you will initially answer
19 questions put to you by Mr. Karnavas, and he may have some documents to
20 submit to you.
21 Following this initial stage, the Prosecutor, you can see two
22 people but only one is going to ask you questions as part of
24 It also is possible for other Defence counsel, since there are
25 six accused in this trial, but for Mr. Prlic there will be another five
1 Defence teams, they, too, might put questions to you as part of their
3 You have three Judges. Usually there are four of us but one of
4 us is absent. These three Judges will also have questions for you at any
5 time. Usually we make an effort -- sometimes we do ask questions when
6 there is a document being shown to you, but afterwards, depending on the
7 momentum and on the situation or based on the document we'll have
8 questions, especially if the document is part of a binder with tens and
9 scores of documents. So then we decide to ask you straight away, but in
10 theory it would be better if the Judges had their questions after the
11 parties have examined you, but it is on a case-by-case basis.
12 Do endeavour to provide specific answers, but you are a
13 university professor. Therefore, I have no fear in this respect.
14 If you fail to understand the meaning of a question, do not
15 hesitate to ask for clarification. And even if a Judge were to put a
16 question in awkward fashion, do not hesitate to ask him to reformulate
17 because Judges are not perfect. They're not infallible either.
18 We have breaks every hour and a half. We break then for 20
20 You have read out the solemn declaration. Therefore, from now on
21 you are a witness of justice, of the court. You will therefore have no
22 further contacts with Mr. Karnavas until the end of your testimony. You
23 should finish on Thursday. Since tomorrow is a UN holiday, we will not
24 be sitting tomorrow. You will have to stay in The Hague, but it is a
25 very pleasant city, so I'm sure that you will be happy to have a bit of a
1 day off tomorrow.
2 So without further ado, let me greet Mr. Karnavas again, and I'll
3 ask him to proceed.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Again, good afternoon
5 to everyone in and around the courtroom.
6 Examination by Mr. Karnavas:
7 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Palameta, if you could begin by telling us a little bit
10 about your background, your educational background. We can go rather
11 quickly. I do understand that you began with your first degree in -- in
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Well, tell us what did you study, and briefly tell us the
15 rest of your educational background.
16 A. In 1972, I got my degree from the faculty of philosophy in
18 language and literature as my minor. After that I went to Herzegovina
19 and I worked at a secondary school in Stolac, Capljina, Ljubusko,
20 Ljubinje. All of these are small towns on the east and -- to the east
21 and west of Neretva.
22 In 1981, I got my Masters Degree in the field of Philology. Then
23 I applied for a doctorate at the university in Zagreb and then I
24 transferred to the university in Sarajevo; and in 1984 I got my doctorate
25 again in the field of philology throughout this time, I worked at the
1 secondary school in Stolac and then in 1989, I started working at the
2 school of pedagogy in Mostar and after of that --
3 Q. Let me interrupt you here. First, you don't need to lean
4 forward, otherwise you're going to be very tired by the end of the
5 evening. So you can lean back. The mics can pick you up, but you may
6 have to speak a little louder.
7 Secondly, if you want the chair raised, we can raise that because
8 I know you are a big man. You can be assisted. Do you want it raised or
9 are you comfortable where you are?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Okay. Thirdly, everything is being translated. Now, I know that
12 you're very eloquent, but you're going to need to speak a little slow so
13 as to not tire out those who are translating you, okay?
14 A. Thank you.
15 Q. Okay. Now, we were at 19 -- 1989. So pick it up from there.
16 A. In 1989, I started working at the academy of pedagogy in Mostar.
17 After the first multi-party elections, I was offered a position at the
18 republican Ministry of Education in Sarajevo. I worked there for about a
19 year from 1981 until 1982 as under-secretary. That is the third-ranking
20 official in the ministry.
21 Q. Now, this would be 1991 until 1992.
22 A. Yes. 1991 until April 1992. As I lived in Stolac with my
23 family, every Friday I would go home for the weekend and then I'd leave
24 on Sunday. Then I could no longer return. That is to say I could not go
25 to Sarajevo
1 stayed in Stolac. I stayed with my family.
2 Q. Let me stop you here.
3 A. All right.
4 Q. First of all, what month are we speaking of?
5 A. The very beginning of April.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. April 1992.
8 Q. All right. Now, before we continue with the story, let's back up
9 a little bit. First you told us that at one point you were in Mostar
10 working at the academy there. Please tell us exactly what you were
12 A. I taught the methodology of teaching languages and literature.
13 At that time the language involved was called Serbo-Croat or
14 Croato-Serbian. That was the subject that I taught. In actual fact, it
15 has to do with how you teach.
16 Q. All right. And before that, if you could tell us what sort of
17 courses you taught.
18 A. Before that I worked at a secondary school, and I taught Latin.
19 I also taught literature and the Croato-Serbian or Serbo-Croat language.
20 That is what it was called.
21 Q. Right. Okay.
22 A. Officially, right?
23 Q. We got that part. When you were teaching I take it you -- when
24 you were teaching Serbian Croatian or Croatian Serbian you were teaching
25 grammar, orthography, that's what you were --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay, all right. When you went to the Ministry of education and
3 you were the deputy secretary, I believe, is that what you said that you
5 A. I was the under-secretary.
6 Q. Okay. Now, what exactly were you doing as the under-secretary
7 for the Ministry of Education in Sarajevo at that time?
8 A. As for these administrative affairs, the position of the
9 under-secretary in the ministry meant that he was actually head of the
10 ministry itself. He took part in certain meetings that have to do with
11 preparing bills that are then translated by lawyers into the language of
12 law, responding to issues that crop up in the field and things like that.
13 However, it was also possible to be on certain commissions. That
14 depended on the government itself who would be appointed as member of a
15 particular commission. That would basically be the work involved.
16 Since this government was conceived on the basis of a principle
17 of equal representation of ethnic groups, as a representative of Croat
18 interests I raised questions if I believed that Croatian interests were
19 not being put forth properly. That is also what was done by the Serb
20 representative and the Muslim representative was actually the minister
22 Q. All right. Concretely -- and again you don't need to lean
23 forward. Sit back and relax or you're going to get tired. Just speak a
24 little louder or move the mics a bit forward.
25 Now, were you involved in any commissions at that time, and if
1 so, could you tell us concretely what exactly you were involved in? What
2 sort of subjects were --
3 A. I remember that at that time, I think it was in 1991, I was a
4 member of a commission that was supposed to examine the situation in
6 ground that were a threat to law and order. Certain incidents occurred.
7 Krajinas were being established, and we needed to send a commission to
8 the area to see what was going on. There was a Serb representative, a
9 Muslim representative, and I was there on that commission. We attended
10 different meetings out in the field. The report we compiled we actually
11 never submitted because it was not topical as a war broke out. The
12 actual state of war broke out. So this was this other commission that I
13 worked on briefly, namely the commission on language, the constitutional
14 commission that was supposed to provide proposals as to how to resolve in
15 the constitution the name of the language of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. Okay. So this issue came up as early as 1991.
17 A. It could have been at the very end. I don't remember exactly
18 whether it was the beginning or -- no, it was the end of 1991. A meeting
19 was held, and on behalf of the cultural societies that existed then
20 representing the culture and interests of respective ethnic groups,
21 Alija Isakovic was there, then Professor Kovacevic on behalf of Prosveta,
22 the Serb society; and I was there on behalf of Napredak, the Croatian
23 society, and we discussed certain issues related to naming the language.
24 Q. All right. Hold on. We're going to go step-by-step. You
25 mentioned two individuals, that they were there on behalf of the Serb
1 society; is that correct? Or was one of them on behalf of the Muslims,
2 or there was no Muslim representative?
3 A. I do apologise. Alija Isakovic was there on behalf of Preporod,
4 the Muslim society. Professor Kovacevic represented Prosveta, the Serb
5 so the. I was there Miroslav Palameta on behalf of Napredak, the Croat
6 cultural society.
7 So what was discussed was the name of the language as it would be
8 stipulated in the new constitution.
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Karnavas. I
10 would like only to ask Professor Palameta if you would kindly tell us the
11 equivalent of those three names, that is the Prosveta and also the
12 Napredak, I believe, and the third one was the Muslim paper. It is not
13 Napredak. Do I not find it. But anyway if you tell me --
14 THE WITNESS: Preporod.
15 JUDGE PRANDLER: So then the English equivalent I mean after
16 translation of those three societies, if you would be able to repeat
17 again the three names. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Preporod.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. Okay. What does that mean?
21 A. Renaissance, renewal.
22 Q. Okay. And that was for whom?
23 A. Then Napredak, the -- well, Preporod was the Muslim cultural
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. Napredak, which is "progress." That was the Croat society.
2 Prosveta, well, that's a well-known thing.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters notes education, enlightenment.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. Okay. We don't know it that's why we're asking.
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: That's okay Judge Prandler? Okay.
8 Q. All right. And these societies existed prior to the election?
9 A. Yes, these societies existed for a long time. They had been in
10 existence for a long time; however, sometime in 1948 and 1949 they
11 stopped operating or perhaps even before that. Then they were
12 reactivated in the beginning of the 1990s.
13 Q. Okay. We don't need to go through the historical part of that.
14 If you could just tell us now, because --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, there is a great deal of
16 background note and we cannot hear the speakers.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric.
18 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I think it would be fair when
19 we are talking about the names of the respective society Napredak was not
20 the name of the society. It was the Croatian cultural society of
21 Napredak is the full name and that would be right.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. The gentleman who
23 intervened is quite right. The Croatian cultural society Napredak, the
24 Serb Cultural Society Prosveta, and the Muslim Cultural Society Preporod.
25 I do apologise for not having provided the full names.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. All right. Now that we have the full names and we know what they
3 mean, perhaps you could tell us concretely what exactly were the issues.
4 You said that what -- you talked about the constitution and the language.
5 What exactly was the issue of the language?
6 A. The fundamental issue that had to be resolved was the name of the
7 language. The old model which was the constitutional solution
8 previously, i.e., Croato-Serbian or Serbo-Croatian was considered to be
9 exhausted, spent, and a new name had to be provided. The proposal of the
10 Croatian cultural society, Napredak was that the language be called
11 Croatian in the constitution. The proposal of the Serb cultural society
12 Prosveta or rather Professor Kovacevic was that the language be called
13 the Serbian language.
14 At that point in time, Mr. Alija Isakovic did not express his
15 opinion on how the language should be called, on what it should be
16 called. He said that everybody had the right to call his or her own
17 language by the name of the people they belonged to.
18 THE INTERPRETER: "Well, that's what I said," interpreter's
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I mentioned all three ethnic
21 groups, and I mentioned the name of the language -- or, rather, I said
22 the Croats will probably call their language Croatian, the Serbs will
23 call their language Serbian, and the Muslims can call theirs whatever
24 they like. But Professor Kovacevic said I was not speaking on behalf of
25 anybody but the cultural society Napredak and that this was a moot point.
1 I am not a linguist, and I could not speak on behalf of others.
2 There was somebody there whose job this was. I listened to radio
3 broadcasts at the time and there was a professor, Musamir Reuzic [phoen],
4 a very eminent and renowned professor from the faculty of philosophy who
5 said in a radio broadcast dedicated to this constitutional issues and
6 issues of language that the language should be called Bosnian Croatian
7 Serbian in various combinations with the words in different order, but
8 this had not been decided yet. It was still a public debate which was
9 ongoing and no name had as yet been determined.
10 MR. KARNAVAS:
11 Q. Let me stop you right here because in the transcript it says that
12 he, meaning Alija Isakovic, was the with one that had made the proposal
13 of each nation having the language called after their nation, and then if
14 we listened on --
15 A. No. I said that.
16 Q. All right. Okay. Now, if we could continue at this point. So
17 was that proposal that you -- the one that you had heard over the radio,
18 was that something that was discussed? Was it adopted?
19 Okay. Let me ask that question again. You indicated that you
20 had heard a very prominent member make a proposal as to what the language
21 should be called and my question was was that proposal discussed? Yes,
23 A. Yes, yes. It was a radio broadcast, and the professor spoke on
24 this broadcast in Radio Sarajevo.
25 Q. Right. But I'm saying in the commission, did the commissioners
1 discuss it, you and the others?
2 A. I did not engage in this debate further. I thought that
3 professors of language would be more competent to discuss this issue,
4 because after this intervention of mine which was perceived as incorrect,
5 I adopted a low profile in this respect, and then Professor Kovacevic
6 continued the discussion.
7 Q. Let me stop you here then. Well, did the -- did anyone from the
8 Muslims come up with a proposal as to what they wanted their language to
9 be called? I know that there was a society of Muslim intellectuals.
10 That's what they called themselves. Did they or any other society of
11 Muslims come -- come up with any proposals as to what the language could
12 or should be called?
13 A. Yes. This was in 1992, in the autumn of 1992, actually -- or,
14 rather, in December.
15 Q. Okay. I'm speaking about the commission, the commission that
16 you're in.
17 A. In this commission I never heard anybody say that the language
18 could be called by a third name. We had only two meetings, in fact.
19 Q. Was the issue ever resolved?
20 A. Not by this commission, no.
21 Q. All right. Now, did the commission ever issue a report on its
22 discussions with respect to what language should be adopted in the
24 A. The commission did not continue to meet, because as early as
25 January, the Serbs adopted their own constitution. This was in 1992.
1 And in this constitution they called their language the Serbian language.
2 Q. All right. All right. Let's pick up, then, from April 1992 you
3 indicated that you had gone -- that on the weekends you would go back to
4 Stolac and at some point in early April 1992 you were unable to go back.
5 Could you please explain -- that is from Stolac back to Sarajevo. Could
6 you please explain why you were unable to go back?
7 A. All links with Sarajevo
8 encircled, and it was simply not possible to return there. It was also
9 very difficult to leave Sarajevo
10 was the minister at the time, called me up in Stolac asking me if I could
11 escort his wife who wanted to go towards Split and then on to some
12 European country. There was already this problem in Sarajevo that one
13 could not leave or return.
14 Q. All right. Now -- so what did you do? And we need to move
15 quickly because that's not the real essence of the testimony. So what
16 did you after in April 1992? You couldn't go back to Sarajevo. What did
17 you do?
18 A. I remained in Stolac, and then I was called from the Crisis Staff
19 of the HVO. They asked me to join them, so I did.
20 Around the 10th, there was already an attack on Stolac -- or,
21 rather, the units of the Yugoslav army --
22 Q. In what month?
23 A. -- and the irregular Serb forces entered Stolac.
24 Q. All right. Mr. Palameta, I'm going to have to caution you as I
25 did during the proofing session that we need to be as precise as we can
1 with times. So when you say the 10th, we weren't around Stolac on the
2 10th whatever month it was and whatever year. So you need to be precise.
3 Was it the 10th of May, June, July? What month are we talking about and
4 what year?
5 A. It was the 10th of April, 1992. The units of the Yugoslav army
6 and the Serb irregular forces entered Stolac on that date.
7 Q. All right. And what did you do?
8 A. After this it was agreed in the Crisis Staff that the population
9 should be evacuated quickly, that portion of the population which was not
10 able to fight, that some sort of resistance should be mounted if
11 necessary, and in accordance with this men were stationed with weapons in
12 certain places near settlements.
13 However, when the women, children, and the elderly had already
14 crossed the river Neretva, and they did that in Pocitelj, the HVO units
15 simply melted from the field, and this happened over a period of over two
16 or three days. And I left at that time, likewise.
17 In the area of Neum, Metkovic, and the Croatian Primorje area
18 where refugees were accommodated several of us from the Crisis Staff
19 worked on providing accommodation for these people and endeavouring to
20 prepare the existing units so that they could return to Stolac when the
21 time came.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Professor, one minor question
23 on my part. You explained that the Serbs entered Stolac on the 10th of
24 April, 1992, and that at the level of the Crisis Staff you did what was
25 necessary. I'm interested in the following because this is at the very
1 heart of the Trial Chamber's concerns. This Stolac municipality, did you
2 of your own accord react to the events, or did you receive instructions
3 from somewhere else? Was your Crisis Staff a Crisis Staff that took
4 actions in view of the situation that necessitated a reaction because the
5 Serbs were entering Stolac, or did you act on instructions from outside?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge there
7 were no instructions coming from outside. At that point in time, we had
8 to respond to the situation. Nobody expected that the Serb units would
9 pass through Stolac. That was my impression. That's what I know from
10 that time.
11 There was an agreement between the Croatian and Muslim side that
12 this would not be allowed. However, people did expect something similar
13 to happen because in the area, as far as I know, there was already a
14 build-up of the forces of the Uzice and Titograd Corps. They were in
15 Berkovici, in Stolac municipality, and in neighbouring --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't want to go into detail,
17 but you just mentioned something. You said that the reactions came from
18 the Croats and the Muslims. This means that in Stolac, in April 1992,
19 there was a bloc made of Croats and Muslims against the Serbs. Was it
21 A. That bloc was something that didn't actually exist. There was
22 just the idea that joint resistance should be mounted, but it never
23 actually materialised at any point. All these ideas were put aside by
24 the Muslims as far as I know, but I was not personally involved in those
25 agreements. I was just told that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for all this.
2 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor, and I apologise for
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
5 Q. Now, a couple of points to follow up. What did you do exactly in
6 the Crisis Staff, and number two, how long were you in there? In other
7 words, give us the period, from this month to that month, or this month
8 to that year.
9 A. This was from April until my return in the summer of that same
10 year. We returned to Stolac in June, the 13th of June that is. The same
11 year, yes, in 1992.
12 Q. All right. Now, did you remain working with the Crisis Staff
13 after June 13th, 1992
14 A. I did not work in the Crisis Staff, in fact, but instead there
15 was a form of social or community work in which my colleagues, Muslims
16 and Croats, participated dealing with certain issues of humanitarian aid.
17 These were issues not linked to wartime activities but, rather, to an
18 attempt to normalise life, because the refugees had started to return
19 from the seaside and from the places where they had been.
20 Q. And did the -- did the Muslims return as well?
21 A. When refugees were leaving Stolac there weren't many Muslims
22 among them. When the Croats left, I remember there was an agreement that
23 the Muslims should also be invited. The Muslim neighbours should be told
24 that the Croats were leaving, and if they wanted to come along they
25 could, and many did. But if Pocitelj, there was a SDA organisation.
1 Pocitelj is a town on the river Drina
2 they should not go any further but that they should return to their
3 homes. So at that point in time there were no Muslims returning from the
4 seaside except for perhaps just a few, a small number. I can't tell you
5 what the number was precisely, but it was mostly Croats.
6 Q. All right. Now, when exactly did you stop working with the
7 Crisis Staff?
8 A. In the course of the summer of 1992 I stopped working in the
9 Crisis Staff.
10 Q. What did you do after that?
11 A. After that I mostly devoted myself to my work at the university,
12 because as early of June after Mostar was liberated, in June 1992, there
13 was a meeting at the university on how the next academic year should be
14 organised, the teaching, the examinations, which were to be organised in
15 Siroki Brijeg and Mostar.
16 Q. All right. And how did that go? How successful were you?
17 A. Well, we did as well as could be expected under the
18 circumstances. You couldn't really work in Mostar because there was
19 constant shelling from the surrounding hills and from the positions held
20 by the Serbian army, and for this reason examinations and lectures and
21 classes were organised in Siroki Brijeg, a place which is about 20
22 kilometres away from Mostar.
23 And under the circumstances, we did quite well. The professors
24 who had to go from Mostar would take a car or a bus every day and return
25 in the after noon
1 from Mostar did the same. And the other students who could come from the
2 free areas and areas where there was no combat, they would gather in
3 Siroki Brijeg in an area -- or, rather, in a building which was actually
4 the building -- the club of the Croatian cultural society Napredak. Then
5 it became a students' dormitory, and then when the war broke out,
6 Napredak prepared this building as a sort of lecture theatre.
7 Of course it wasn't really an ideal place for academic work, and
8 the town itself couldn't provide the students with everything they
9 needed, accommodation, a library, and so on, and it couldn't provide
10 their teachers with that either.
11 Q. All right. We're going to go step-by-step here. I'd prefer if
12 you would just give us shorter answers to my questions and I'll try to
13 keep my questions rather narrow.
14 Now, we do -- we've heard testimony that the name was changed,
15 the name of the university was changed. Do you recall what the name was
16 changed from to?
17 A. The university in Mostar used to be called the Dzemal Bijedic
18 University. This was the name of a politician. And I remember that even
19 before the war there were many initiatives to have the name changed,
20 because Dzemal Bijedic, although he was a nice man, a pleasant man, was
21 not really an intellectual. He had never written a book. So even before
22 the war there was this idea that the name of the university should be
23 changed. So now the name was changed. To the best of my recollection,
24 the commission included the general secretary and three professors, two
25 Muslims and two Croats.
1 Q. What was --
2 A. And this was declared on the 25th as the new name of the
4 Q. Okay. Well, what was the name of the university then? What was
5 it changed to? What was my original question.
6 A. It was called the Mostar University
7 in Mostar. That was its new name.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. And in order for us to move along rather
9 quickly, you know, when I ask you what, it's okay if you just give me the
10 what part of the answer. Then I'll follow up with a why so I can have
11 the explanation. That would -- we can move rather quicker that way.
12 Now, language. We heard testimony that the language was changed,
13 the use of the language was changed in the university as well as in
14 schools, and it was now the language of Croatian. Is that correct and,
15 if so, why did that occur?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. This happened for a very simple reason.
17 During the war the name of the language, Serbo-Croatian or
18 Croato-Serbian, caused revulsion among people because this part of this
19 name, Serb, was the name of the enemy in war. In January 1992, the
20 Republika Srpska in its constitution omitted the Croat component from the
21 name, and they called their language Serbian. So for this reason the
22 Croats called their language Croatian. They simply deleted that part of
23 the name which mentioned Serbs.
24 Q. All right. Now, again I'm going to take this step-by-step
25 because this is very critical. So my first question regarding this is:
1 When the name was changed, did -- were any efforts made to import a new
2 language called Croatian? In other words, what was being taught in
3 Croatian, assuming it was a separate language, and I'm not suggesting
4 that it was not, were efforts made to now bring in a new language with
5 new textbooks regarding grammar, orthography, a dictionary, at that time?
6 A. No. No.
7 Q. All right. My next question then is: Was there a reaction, to
8 your knowledge, by the Muslims at the time, because before the change of
9 the language there was Serbo-Croatian or Croatian-Serbian, now it's
10 called Croatian, did they object to the change of the language and, if
11 so, could you please describe to us to what extent you're aware of any
12 objections raised by Muslims and by whom in the Muslim community?
13 A. Allow me to add something to my response to your previous
14 question, because perhaps it's not clear to our audience.
15 The issue of naming the language as Serbian or Croatian is
16 something that existed in the constitution of 1946. Not just the
17 constitution of Yugoslavia
18 was changed, so in 1974 it was changed to Croato-Serbian or
19 Serbo-Croatian, but the name Croatian already existed, as did the name
20 Serbian in the first constitution after World War II in socialist
22 imported. The name simply fluctuated in the area itself.
23 As regards your question about whether I heard any reactions, no,
24 I didn't hear of any reactions to that issue -- or, rather, to the
25 introduction of the name of the Croatian language. The first time I
1 heard a reaction to that was in 1993.
2 Q. All right. Well, let's talk about that then. When was it in
3 1993, and how did you -- how was this reaction expressed to you, if it
4 was expressed directly to you.
5 A. After the summer of 1992, I was invited to the newly established
6 office for education in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as the
7 deputy head, and I did both jobs at that time. I continued to teach at
8 the university as well.
9 Sometime in March, towards the end of March 1993 or perhaps in
10 early April, I'm not sure of the exact date, I was invited to go to
11 Mr. Jadranko Prlic's office, and then Mr. Prlic himself spoke on the
12 phone, and he said that some Muslims from Mostar had arrived in his
13 office. It was a delegation headed by Mr. Jahic, and they had an
14 objection to the school curriculum, and he said that this delegation
15 would be coming to see us, to explain to us what their objections were.
16 On that occasion Mr. Prlic asked us to try to find the best possible
17 solution to this problem.
18 About half an hour later, Mr. Jahic arrived with three or four
19 other people. I don't know their names, and they didn't say much.
20 Mr. Jahic said he had a major objection, because in the curriculum for
21 literature there were no Muslim writers, and Muslim writers should be
22 included in the curriculum. I replied that this problem could easily be
23 resolved, that they should simply deliver to us a list of the names of
24 authors and the names of literary works to be incorporated into the
25 curriculum and that could be the end of this discussion.
1 After this I consulted -- or, rather, he consulted the people who
2 were with him - I don't know what they were saying - and he said there
3 was another problem, that Muslims could not study the Croatian language
4 in school. I replied that this was a problem that I personally could not
5 resolve at that point in time. The -- it's one thing to change the name
6 of a subject and another to intervene in the programme, but that he as a
7 high-ranking official in his own party could initiate a discussion with
8 the partner party, the HDZ or the HVO, and offer to them a solution
9 whereby the name they chose for the language could be used in those
10 schools where there was Muslim population; or the name could change
11 depending on the school population.
12 And we agreed that those persons who were in charge of developing
13 the curricula, and those were the people in the institute for language
14 and literature, should discuss this and come up with the list. That is
15 to say that a few days later this meeting did take place. However, the
16 list that we had discussed was not submitted.
17 One of the members of the delegation presented the entire
18 curriculum for secondary schools that was supposed to be changed in
19 actual fact, the entire curriculum. I found it a bit strange that there
20 was no mention of what we had discussed earlier on.
21 At that meeting, of course, it wasn't language that was
22 discussed. What were discussed were other suggests, history and
23 geography namely. Then we called in people who dealt with that.
24 However, there was no positive outcome of this meeting, and my impression
25 was at that time that actually a solution was not being sought. The
1 things that happened after that proved me right. Actually, in that area,
2 that is to say Mostar and further to the south, clashes started between
3 the BH army and the HVO. So the well-known developments of Mostar
4 started taking place. Offices were moved from the front line where it
5 was dangerous to be.
6 That is what I recall. That is what I recall now. That is what
7 was brought up during this discussion on language and literature.
8 Q. All right. Let me go back and clarify some points, again
9 step-by-step. So there's no need to give lengthy answers at this point.
10 First of all, when did the school year begin? I mean, you told
11 us when this meeting took place, late March, early -- late March, early
12 April 1992, but when had the school year begun that year?
13 A. I think that the school year, as far as I can remember, in 1993
14 was supposed to start only sometime in the month of April of 1993.
15 Q. Okay. Maybe you missed my point. There was a school -- when
16 they arrived, the school year for 1992/1993 was ongoing; correct?
17 A. Yes. In those localities that were not areas where there was
18 military engagement. I think that at that point in Mostar there wasn't
19 anything that was going on.
20 Q. You really have to help us out here though. When had the school
21 year begun, because you're saying that they came towards the end of the
22 school year, if the next school year, 1993/1994 is about to start
23 sometime in April, but when did it start?
24 A. It started in the autumn. It's supposed to start in September,
25 and that's when it started in those localities where there were no
1 military operations.
2 Q. September what year, sir?
3 A. 1992.
4 Q. Okay. And the proposal now that they were making, late March,
5 early April, was that an entire curriculum for the 1993 to 1994 school
6 year or for the one that was ongoing and was about to finish? Which of
7 the two?
8 A. It was the curriculum that included all years. That is to say
9 that it was the general curriculum that cannot be adopted within a short
10 span of time. That was the problem that related to years 1, 3, and 4.
11 The proposal did not state for what year it was, and it wasn't stated
12 that it was for the year to come. It was supposed to be incorporated
13 straight away in the existing school year, if I remember correctly.
14 Q. All right. Well, what would -- what would the problem have been
15 to, say, have this curriculum for the 1993/1994? 1992/1993, we
16 understand that year's almost over, but why not take that curriculum that
17 they were proposing and maybe work with that for the following year, that
18 is the following academic year from 1993 to 1994? What was the problem
19 with that?
20 A. Actually, that curriculum was one that I had devised myself a few
21 years before that for all of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was a proposal for
22 all of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it meant that schools in -- that schools
23 in Republika Srpska were supposed to work on the basis of that
24 curriculum, that is to say including Serb, Muslim, and Croat children.
25 So the content was quite different than it would be at this moment.
1 Q. All right. Mr. Palameta, maybe we're not -- we're missing
2 something in translation.
3 The Muslims are dissatisfied. They come with -- they complain
4 that they're not teaching any of the Muslim writers. Okay. Then they
5 propose a curriculum. You say it was unrealistic. Now I'm asking you to
6 explain to us how it would be unrealistic for you to adopt that
7 curriculum for the 1993 to 1994 year. What made it unrealistic in
8 your -- in your eyes? That's what I'm asking. Be as specific and as
10 A. That curriculum was not acceptable in that situation. It still
11 included some things that we might term ideological. Also, the
12 curriculum included some things that were there as a compromise. As I've
13 already mentioned, Serbian writers were included, although they didn't
14 have to be there, although some actually were there. In this curriculum
15 there weren't any more Muslim writers, but we had agreed that the
16 delegation would bring a proposal of literary works and authors that
17 should be included in the already existing curriculum.
18 Another matter now. There was no insistence whatsoever on
19 resolving the situation at that very moment. I was just an observer. I
20 was just observing the discussion that took place among the people who
21 were in charge of these particular subjects. I did not get the
22 impression that they did want to reach a final agreement.
23 Q. All right. What about the issue of language? Did that issue
24 come up, and were any proposals made at that time as to what their
25 language -- what their language should be called?
1 A. At that moment there was no mention whatsoever of language.
2 Q. All right. Let me go back a little bit. You indicated that you
3 were deputy head for the office of -- on education. Who was the head,
4 the head of office?
5 A. Professor Hasic was -- no, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. You're talking
6 about Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. So it was Minister Hasic.
9 Q. Actually, I apologise. I'm speaking -- you indicated that you
10 were the deputy head of the office for education for the Croatian
11 Community of Herceg-Bosna, or did I get that right?
12 A. I said deputy head. I think I said that, deputy head.
13 Q. All right. And that's what I said. I don't know whether it was
14 translated, but when were you deputy head? From when to where -- from
15 when -- from what period did you start and when did you end?
16 A. From the autumn of 1992 all the way up to sometime in 1994 when
17 the Croat community -- or, rather, the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna
18 ceased to operate. This was after the Washington accords.
19 Q. So did you participate much -- you would have participated in the
20 Croatian Republic
21 that point?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. And what position did you hold then?
24 A. At the time of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, it was called
25 the head of the office and deputy head of the office. At the time when
1 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was proclaimed then that office was
2 called the ministry, and I was the deputy minister at that point in time.
3 Q. All right. And just briefly could you please tell us during this
4 period what sort of issues were you involved in as deputy head, deputy
6 A. I personally was also the assistant for higher education. There
7 were people who dealt with elementary education, with secondary
8 education, with culture. The main role of the entire ministry was to
9 confirm certain curricula, to pass certain decisions in the given
10 situation. There was a war going on, and we were functioning in special
11 circumstances. All the decisions that were passed were of a temporary or
12 provisional nature. The key thing was to distribute money, that is to
13 say finance schools and universities, to secure these funds and the
14 allocation of these funds and conditions for teaching as such. These
15 were the main things that we dealt with, myself included.
16 Q. Now, just -- we're going to go through some documents at some
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I apologise. I see
19 you want to move on to something else, but I have a question.
20 Witness, I'd like to go back to the question of the change in the
21 name of Mostar university. I want to make sure I really understood you
23 I note that from the fall of 1992 to 1994 you were deputy head of
24 the national education system as well as professor at Mostar university.
25 Is that it? You were deputy head in charge of education, and you were
1 also a professor. Very well. Thank you.
2 You know -- do you know when the university of Mostar
3 name of Dzemal Bijedic? What was it called Dzemal Bijedic University
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember exactly when that
5 happened, but at any rate it is certain that that was the name of the
6 university for ten years before the war started, but I don't know
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you. After Mostar was
9 freed, according to my notes, to what I noted down, and what you told us,
10 the university changed its name; and you said that this was motivated by
11 the fact that this Dzemal Bijedic was not really a great writer or a
12 great academic. I'm a bit surprised, because throughout the world there
13 are many names of universities. Sometimes they're called after generals,
14 heads of States, professors, a bit of everything, actually, from every
15 walk of life, and it seems to be the case with this Dzemal Bijedic as the
16 name. And then in 1992 people note that because this person is not an
17 academic and does not have enough publications, the name has to be
18 changed. Was that the only motivation, or do you believe there were
19 other motivations?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were other motives involved
21 too. I just mentioned what the reasons why that were being fluctuated by
22 way of responses to the situation. Names of universities and schools
23 were not supposed to be burdened by ideology any longer. For the most
24 part these names had come from a group of names with a strong Communist
25 prefix; that is to say Dzemal Bijedic and other names that were used for
1 naming institutions were for the most part either Communists or Partisans
2 during the Second World War. That is to say Communists yet again.
3 Another thing, by your leave, Your Honour, this had happened at
4 other universities as well throughout the former Yugoslavia. Names were
5 changed that had an ideological dimension belonging to the former system.
6 So that was the case in Mostar as well.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if I gave a sufficient
10 MR. KARNAVAS:
11 Q. Thank you. And I take it --
12 A. Thank you.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... also bore the names of
14 Communists, that identified with the previous system?
15 A. Certainly.
16 Q. Right. And I believe Titograd
17 name from Tito, or did it exist prior to 1945 as Titograd?
18 A. Titograd
19 and then after 1945 it was named after Tito. Now it is being fluctuated
20 as Podgorica again. It is called Podgorica. Then in neighbouring
22 Kardeljevo. It was named after the Communist ideologue, Kardelj.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. We'll talk about the change of the names a little bit later more
1 concretely, but I want to move on at least very quickly before the break
2 and finish with your background. After you left being the deputy
3 minister in the Ministry of Education, what did you do? That would have
4 been 1994, I believe. Just very briefly if you could tell us your
5 background thereafter.
6 A. After 1994, I worked as a professor only at the faculty of
7 pedagogy in Mostar, because in the meantime the academy of pedagogy was
8 formed into a faculty of pedagogy. I worked there.
9 After that and after the Dayton Accords, I was a member of the
11 diplomacy was being discussed, I was also put forth as a candidate for an
12 ambassador in some country. The country involved was Italy. I accepted
13 that, and I spent almost four years there as the ambassador of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then I went back to university, because I --
15 Q. Okay. Let me stop you. Let me stop you here. Again, it's
16 critical that we have these dates, these years. You have to work with
17 me, Mr. Palameta. You have to work with me on the dates.
18 From what time? When were you appointed, and when were you
19 relieved of your ambassadorship in Italy?
20 A. I would have to remember very specifically, because I must say as
21 far as accurate dates are concerned, I simply cannot operate with that
22 kind of thing. I have to try to remember now.
23 Now, I think it was in 2007 that I was appointed, in the autumn.
24 I am sorry. I am sorry. It was 1997. That's what I meant. And then I
25 went to Italy
1 Q. Okay. And how long did you stay in Italy? When did you return?
2 A. I stayed there for almost four years. That is to say three years
3 and a few months.
4 Q. And when did you return, sir? What months and what year? That
5 would be 2002 sometime?
6 A. No. No. I think it was 2001. The autumn of 2001.
7 Q. Okay. All right. And then you went back to teaching, and did
8 you take up another post at some point?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. And that was to the Vatican
11 A. Not at that point in time. I worked as a professor, but then
12 they made an offer to me yet again to go into the diplomatic yet again,
13 this time to the Vatican
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Holy See. This was in --
15 Q. How long --
16 A. Three years and about eight months.
17 Q. Again, from when to when? About. Give me a season. A season in
18 the year would do.
19 A. All right. It was on the 13th of February, 2004.
20 Q. Until?
21 A. Until 1st of November, 2007.
22 Q. Okay. So those would be complete mandates, as I understand it.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Thank you.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, this may be a good time to take a
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely. It's very timely.
3 Mr. Karnavas, you've used up an hour so far, for your
5 We will now have a 20-minute break, so let's adjourn for 20
7 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Court is back in session.
10 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Okay. Mr. Palameta, we're going to go through some documents and
13 I believe there's a binder for you. I'm sure the Trial Chamber as well
14 as everyone else will be relieved we don't have too many documents. So
15 we'll try to go through these rather quickly.
16 The first document is P 00312, and that should be the first
17 document in your binder. If you look at it, it's titled "Report."
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. 4 to 12 July, 1992
20 fact. And have you had a chance to see this particular document, sir?
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. And if we look on page 5 in the English version, we see your name
23 there, and where you make a few comments.
24 Now, have you had a chance to look at -- to read this report, to
25 actually read it?
1 A. Yes, I have read it. I have, yes.
2 Q. And do you recall being at that meeting or meetings?
3 A. Yes. Yes, I was there.
4 Q. All right. Now, according to the Prosecution's theory, in this
5 particular document Franjo Tudjman is expressing the territorial
6 ambitions of Croatia
7 involved in organising and establishing the government of the Croatian
8 Defence Council. That's their position. That's how they interpret this
10 If you could please tell us to your understanding what was this
11 meeting about and to what extent were you participating in this
12 particular meeting, and please be brief.
13 A. At this time. In the summer of 1992. Several ministers from the
14 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina who are mentioned here were on the free
15 territory; and they represented themselves as the government of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the free territory. I was the third-ranking man in
17 the ministry. I wasn't that important, but I was with them, and at that
18 time certain things had to be done for Sarajevo, which was encircled, and
19 particular ministers had particular tasks in this respect.
20 There followed a visit to Zagreb, Ljubljana, Split
21 can see from this transcript, the tasks mentioned here concerning
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina such as, for example, opening an office in Zagreb
23 which was opened and which became the first embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 in a neighbouring state, this was in fact the only possible exit from
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the only place we could go and ask for assistance.
1 I think this is a presidential transcript, in fact, and as we can
2 see here the delegation met inter alia the then-president of Croatia
3 Tudjman. The conversation held in Vila Zagorje was a conversation which
4 I and others perceived as a discussion, an exchange of information, not
5 any sort of instruction-giving; and there was nothing in these comments.
6 And I discussed this afterwards with my colleagues. There was
7 nothing in this discussion, in President Tudjman's office except for
8 things happening on the ground and certain problems that had arisen. And
9 I should mention that most of these people were members of the HDZ, which
10 only three months previously, before the outbreak of war, had been part
11 of the same party in the former Yugoslavia
12 issues were discussed. This was just after the war had broken out.
13 Soon after that, I don't know when exactly because I wasn't a
14 party man, there was a separate party established for Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 a separate HDZ party.
16 We all saw this discussion and perceived it as a situation in
17 which information was exchanged.
18 Q. All right. Now, speaking of the HDZ, have you ever been a member
19 of the of HDZ?
20 A. No, never.
21 Q. All right. Now, we see from this particular discussion that it
22 took place in July 1992. So keeping -- keeping in mind what the
23 Prosecution indicates or how they perceive this meeting to have occurred,
24 let's focus on the next document, 1D 02149.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before that, Witness, I have a
1 couple questions to ask you. Do you remember this meeting with
2 Mr. Tudjman which occurred after an official visit made by a number of
3 officials who met with Mr. Tudjman? Obviously you do remember this
4 meeting, but I have a technical meeting about it.
5 When you met with President Tudjman, were you standing up or were
6 you sitting around the table, you know, sitting around a table, and was
7 there your name on the place where you were sitting?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were sitting around a table.
9 There were no nameplates, no designated seats. The person who brought
10 the delegation in simply said, "Please take a seat round the table."
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Do you remember
12 taking the floor? In the English version, page 5, we see your name, and
13 there is something written under your name. So do you remember taking
14 the floor?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I do.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said, and I'm summing up,
17 that war was not -- war with the Muslims was not necessary, that you
18 would rather be for parliamentary discussions as a solution.
19 So you were in favour of negotiations rather than war. Is that
20 what you said?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] More or less, yes. I said
22 something like that. If I may explain the situation and what this looked
23 like. The host gave each guest an opportunity of saying something. I
24 did not expect to take the floor, to be invited to take the floor; so my
25 brief discussion was something that referred to other things that had
1 been said at the meeting, something that I felt should be added. I
2 thought it was just protocol, just common politeness to give everybody a
3 chance to take the floor. I was quite surprised to be invited to take
4 the floor myself.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So now I come to
6 the crux of my question. At one point in time Mr. Mesic spoke up. You
7 know who Mr. Mesic is, of course.
8 You don't have to look at the document. I will tell you exactly
9 what he said.
10 Mr. Mesic took the floor, and he said that in several places
11 there was no longer any authority, that the HVO had re-established
12 authority in these places where civilian entities had been elected. Then
13 he adds: "We recognise the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
14 Do you remember Mr. Mesic officially saying that, that he
15 recognised the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not for a single moment did any of
17 us doubt that Mesic and the others who were there did not recognise the
18 sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Croatia had recognised
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina sometime in April, at the very beginning of the
20 recognition of that country. So Mr. Mesic's statement was quite normal.
21 It was quite expected. It was just part of a speech, well, that was
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, other people
24 took the floor after Mr. Mesic and I will skip them, but I will return to
25 what Mr. Tudjman said at one point in time.
1 You were there. You attended this meeting, so maybe you remember
2 this. Mr. Tudjman said, and this is on page 7 in the English version,
4 "We need Herceg-Bosna," and he adds: "We do not recognise HOS,
5 the HOS." He says, "They are provocateurs from an independent -- for the
6 Independent State
7 Did you hear Mr. Tudjman criticise those who wanted to set up an
8 independent state? Do you remember this accurately? He seems to
9 criticise those who belong to the HOS.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I remember that
11 criticism by Mr. Tudjman, and you can see it in this document which is a
12 transcript. I remember that he reacted -- well, his facial expressions
13 and gestures when HOS was mentioned showed his reaction; and what it says
14 here, I understand that criticism of the HOS in this case was based on
15 the fact that the HOS by its appearance, uniforms, conduct, was strongly
16 reminiscent of the World War II Independent State of Croatia; and the
17 units that were and remain unpopular and unacceptable and which the
18 enemies of the new State of Croatia at that time were constantly evoking
19 to obstruct the creation of an independent state in order to create a
20 negative image and with the intention of working against all the ideas of
21 that new state, and that's how I understood President Tudjman's
22 intervention and his reaction.
23 In historical terms, the HOS had certain aspirations to the
24 territory of the World War II Independent State of Croatia, and this
25 referred to Bosnia-Herzegovina also. So, in this case, it was a topical
1 subject for discussion among those present at this meeting.
2 His reaction did not surprise any members of the delegation. It
3 was nothing new or unusual. I think he shared the opinion of all the
4 others in that respect.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You answered my
6 question. Thank you.
7 I wanted to ask you whether his reaction led to any surprise or
8 comments, and you just said no.
9 Mr. Karnavas. You have the floor.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
11 Q. If we go to the next document, 1D 02149, 2149. That's the second
13 We see that it says: "To the participants and organizers of the
14 symposium on historical, cultural and artistic relations between the
15 Muslims and Croats," and we see that it is by Dr. Jadranko Prlic, but we
16 don't see a date, and we don't know who -- what the symposium really is
17 all about and who participated other than Mr. Prlic wanting to thank the
18 participates for the symposium which was called "Return to the origins."
19 So can you -- do you know whether -- do you know anything about
20 the symposium? Yes or no?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. Can you tell us, please, about what time, to your
23 recollection, was this symposium held?
24 A. To the best of my recollection, we -- my colleagues and I always
25 commented on current events, and sometime in August 1992 a symposium
1 under this title was held in Zagreb
2 from Mostar, Mr. Sancevic, who was later the first ambassador of Croatia
3 in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Sefko Omerbasic; the Zagreb mufti. Then there was
4 Sevko Tankovic, who at the time was the president of the SDA in Croatia
5 And I don't remember all the names. There were others.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. I'm not sure about the other persons who attended the gathering,
8 but at any rate that was the title of this gathering that was held in
9 August, and this is what I know about it.
10 Q. All right. Do you know what, if anything, was discussed at this
11 symposium? What was the purpose of it? I mean, we can see from the
12 letter, but if you can tell us first-hand the extent to which you were --
13 you know.
14 A. This was meant to underline the positive links between the Croats
15 and the Muslims throughout history, the creation of a friendly atmosphere
16 between these two peoples.
17 Q. All right. Let's -- we're going to move on to another topic
18 unless there are any questions from the Bench. We'll go to the next
19 document, and the next topic deals primarily with the issue of language.
20 Keeping in mind what you've already told us during the first
21 session let's look at 1D 00468. 1D 00468. It's dated 24 February, 1993
22 That is decree. We can see that it's from Sarajevo. A "Decree on
23 defining of revised section of constitution of Republic of Bosnia
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. Now, if we -- if you go to Article II, we see that Article
2 II states quite clearly that there are three nations in Bosnia, the Serbs
3 the Croats and Muslims. Fan we look at Article IV. It says:
4 "In the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia
5 i.e., Croatian Serbian language with the 'ije' pronunciation is the
6 official use both in Latin and Cyrillic script."
7 Now, you had indicated that at some point the constitution
8 included Croatian and Serbian as language. That's not reflected in this
9 particular constitution; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, you can't see this here because this is just a copy of the
11 constitutional solutions from 1974. There have been no interventions in
12 the text regardless of the fact that in December immediately prior to
13 this the most prominent professors and writers, mostly Muslims, asked
14 that the name of the language be declared for Muslims to be the Bosniak
15 or Bosnian language.
16 A large number of writers, in fact all the well known names of
17 writers, journalists and public figures signed this demand; and on the
18 22nd of December, 1992, the Muslim intellectuals who signed themselves as
19 I think the wartime Muslim intellectuals or something like that sent a
20 letter of a similar content, but as you can see no solution was included
21 here but, rather, the solution from the constitution of 1974 has simply
22 been copied into this text.
23 Q. All right. Now, let's look at the next document. 3D 00182. And
24 again keeping in mind your earlier testimony when you told us late March,
25 early April 1993 you were approached concerning the curriculum at the --
1 for the schools, here this letter is dated 8 March 1993. At the bottom
2 we can see the name, "President Zijad Demirovic." Do you know who this
3 person is?
4 A. At the time I heard about him. He was the president of the
5 regional SDA committee for Bosnia-Herzegovina. His name was
6 Zijad Demirovic.
7 Q. The regional the president of the SDA regional -- regional SDA
8 committee for all of Bosnia-Herzegovina or just Herzegovina?
9 A. Only for Herzegovina
10 Q. All right. Now -- and we see this is addressed to the Ministry
11 for Science and Education. Have you had a chance to look at this
12 document, sir?
13 A. Yes, yes, I have.
14 Q. All right. And in looking at the document, what conclusions can
15 you draw?
16 A. Looking at this document, one can draw several conclusions.
17 First of all that Zijad Demirovic, on behalf of the most powerful
18 political organisation of the Muslims from Herzegovina considers that the
19 language, which at that point in time was being called Serbo-Croatian or
20 Croato-Serbian as in the old constitution was unsuitable and unacceptable
21 for the Muslims.
22 Secondly, there was a need for this to be changed.
23 Thirdly, in this text he complains to the persons responsible,
24 the persons in the ministry and in politics, because they have not raised
25 this issue since this issue is giving rise to various problems including
1 ethnic intolerance. Likewise, he felt, as did the Muslim intellectuals,
2 that every people has the right to call their language by their own name.
3 This is the usual practice throughout the world.
4 Those are several points that spring to mind.
5 Q. Okay. All right. Now, if we look at the next document then,
6 1D 00469. This is 8 April 1993
7 time of your meeting. Here this is a decree with the force of law on
8 suspending of execution of Article 4 of the constitution, the same
9 article that we just saw, and Article 1 reads: "In the time of war
10 regulation of the Article 4 of the constitution of the Republic of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina
12 So it seems that there is -- they're amending the constitution.
13 And could you please explain -- how do you interpret Article 1? I know
14 that you're not a lawyer, but how do you interpret this?
15 A. Yes, I am not a lawyer, and I'm not sure whether those who
16 adopted this decision had the right to do so, but in any case this
17 decision suspends the constitutional provision concerning language in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and a vacuum is created in this respect because
19 nothing else is provided to replace it. What had existed before is being
20 suspended and room is being opened up for something that is yet to come.
21 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. If we go to the next document 1D 00470. Now we're in August, so
25 several months later. We have another constitutional amendment. I guess
1 you could call it this. This is, "in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 standard literary language with the 'ije' pronunciation of constituent
3 nations which is an appointed by one of three terms: Bosnian, Serbian,
4 Croatian, will be in official use."
5 Were you aware of this change when it was made back in August of
7 A. Yes. I wasn't aware of it in this form, not precisely, but I
8 knew that this was happening, that three names had been introduced for
9 the language in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The constitutional provision implies
10 that there is one language bearing three different names. That is in
11 fact the constitution solution to this issue.
12 Q. All right. Well, I want to make sure that I fully understand
13 this, and I want focus you as far on that period of time. Not today but
14 on that period of time when we have this introduction, assuming that it
15 is correct, constitutional, legal, call it whatever you want, when they
16 say, Now the language will be Bosnian, at that time was this a separate
17 language, a different language with a new grammar, orthography,
18 dictionary, than the one that had been used, say, on the 29th of August,
19 1993, the day before?
20 A. To the best of my knowledge it was only then after this decision
21 was adopted that the standardisation of the Bosniak or Bosnian language
22 began. It was only at this point that books began to be written which
23 are a prerequisite for the beginning of standardisation. I'm referring
24 to the grammar which was published at that time in 1994 and the
25 orthography which was published, the book about orthography which was
1 published at the same time.
2 What I read about this in the papers published by the institute
3 for language in Sarajevo
4 in 1994.
5 Q. Okay. And has this -- has the standardisation been completed
6 and, if so, when was it completed?
7 A. Standardisation is a long process, especially when it comes to
8 language, and it cannot be completed in such a short period of time. I
9 therefore consider that it's still an ongoing process. The
10 standardisation of the Bosnian or Bosniak language is still ongoing.
11 Q. All right. That will be it for now. Well, just one -- one quick
13 Back in -- on December 26, 1992, at the 182 session in the
14 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we can seen in this
15 courtroom before part of a transcript - it's under 1D 02663 - where there
16 was a discussion at the time and where Izetbegovic was noting that a
17 commission should be -- should be established in order to figure out what
18 sort of name to give the Muslim language.
19 Were you aware that these discussions were taking place at the
20 Presidency level in December 1992?
21 A. I didn't know that.
22 Q. All right. And you spoke earlier about some intellectuals
23 sometime around that period who had -- who had -- Muslim intellectuals
24 who had been talking about adopting the name Bosnian or Bosniak or
25 something to that effect, and earlier you told us that there was this
1 commission that you had participated in, albeit up until April 1992, and
2 I want to go back and again ask you when you were on this commission, did
3 these intellectuals or this committee of intellectuals of Muslims, did
4 they ever come up with a concrete proposal to name their language Bosnian
5 or Bosniak?
6 A. Well, I've already said that this commission that I took as an
7 illustration of what it was that we were doing did not go on for very
8 long. There were one or two meetings.
9 At these commissions there were no proposals for a name, so I
10 don't know whether a name was provided in any official setting for the
11 language of the Muslims, especially not Bosniak or Bosnian. In private
12 conversations, though, of course I did hear things.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. I'm --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Professor, let's go back to the
15 work done by this commission. You told us that there were two meetings,
16 and you were a member of the commission. Did you take part in the work
17 done by this commission?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the name of the ministry and the
19 Croatian cultural society Napredak, I worked on that commission. As far
20 as I can remember, I have already referred to all the things that the
21 commission discussed.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Of course the commission that
23 met twice tackled some issues but that was a long time ago. As far as I
24 can remember, when the issue of the three languages was raised, Bosnian,
25 Serbian, and Croatian, did the commission members, you included since you
1 were part of it, did you deal with these issues -- this issue on the
2 basis of the territory, or did you look at it from the perspective of the
3 nations, the peoples?
4 Let me take an example, a very specific one. In Croatia
5 the Krajina region with Serbs in it. Did the commission look into the
6 language used by Serbs in Croatia
7 have entailed? So did you have to look it -- at it from the people's
8 perspective, or did the commission only work on the territorial issue, as
9 it were? So if you had the republic as an entity, was it possible for
10 some to use the three languages regardless of the territory or regardless
11 of the people? So in a nutshell, was the territorial issue the main
12 drive behind the work of the commission, or did you just look into the
13 fact that a Serb in Croatia
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I noticed then
17 and what I'm certain of, almost, is that none of the professors on that
18 commission or beyond that commission ever spoke of any territorial
19 reasons. So in this case we can talk about this subject matter from a
20 purely scholarly point of view. However, those discussions would not
21 lead us to speedy solutions, I believe, because scholars invariably
22 quarrel over things like this.
23 So in response to your question, there were no territorial
24 reasons that would motivate the speakers to name the language on that
25 basis. It was exclusively the right of every people to give the language
1 their own name.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
4 Q. We're going to be switching to another topic, and this deals
5 mostly with regulations. Of course, the first two documents, let's go
6 through the first one 1D 00199. 1D 0199. This is dated 9 December 1992
7 we see "a decree on secondary education in the Croatian Community of
8 Herceg-Bosna during the imminent threat of war," and of course a couple
9 of things that we might want to focus on.
10 If we look at Article 75, for instance, dealing with financing of
11 secondary education, it says: "Secondary education will be financed from
12 the HZ HB budget; funds shall be issued to the account of the Secondary
13 School Fund for the administrative body for the education of the
14 HZ HB...."
15 Now, before we go on to talk about the rest of the document, if
16 you could tell us prior to the war, who funded secondary education? At
17 what level was it funded?
18 A. Secondary education was financed at the level of the republic in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war.
20 Q. All right. Now, to your knowledge and understanding, did the
21 state government or the republican government, whatever you want to call
22 it at the time, did they come with any money to this area in order for
23 the secondary -- the schools, you know --
24 A. Yes, precisely.
25 Q. But did they come at this particular time? In December did they
1 come from Sarajevo
2 A. I'm sorry, could you repeat that.
3 Q. Okay. In 1992, December, we have this, and I'm wondering whether
4 you could tell us if the government in Sarajevo was fulfilling its
5 financial obligations to the secondary schools in this area by financing
7 A. I said a few moments ago that that's what they did before the
8 war. However, in 1992, the ministry from Sarajevo and the government had
9 no contacts whatsoever with the other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 outside Sarajevo
11 point of view, was quite ineffective. There was no possibility for that
12 kind of thing to be done. So the ministry from Sarajevo did not finance
13 this -- or, rather, schools outside Sarajevo
14 Q. All right. Well, let me go on to the next document and then I'll
15 probably ask you a question that goes for both of them. 1D 00200. 1D
17 This is again 9 December 1992
18 education in the area of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna." And if
19 we look at Article 7, for instance, it talks about the funds necessary to
20 achieve "the needs and interests of society set out in Article 6 of this
21 decree shall be allocated from the budget of the Croatian Community of
22 Herceg-Bosna and from municipal budgets."
23 Again let me ask the same question that I asked with respect to
24 secondary education. How about primary education prior to the war? Who
25 was funding primary education in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. Also the republican budget.
2 Q. All right. And I take it just as with the secondary education,
3 nobody from Sarajevo
4 particular area at this particular time?
5 A. You are quite right.
6 Q. All right. Now, I just want to look at this last -- second to
7 last Article, Article 82. Perhaps you could comment on this very
8 briefly. It's at the last page. Article 82. It states: "When this
9 decree enters into force of law on primary education (Official Gazette of
10 the SR BH/Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina/ ...) shall cease
11 to be valid."
12 And again I want to ask you I guess a question that would go to
13 both these two decrease, 1D 00199 and this one 1D 0200, if you could tell
14 us why was it necessary under the circumstances to draft these decrees?
15 Why couldn't the schools, elementary and secondary, simply continue to
16 function as they had been just prior to the war?
17 A. Quite simply for the reasons we've already referred to. The key
18 thing regarding education, both secondary an elementary was the financing
19 of it. So those who finance it have to be confirmed by regulations. So
20 at that moment the ministry from Sarajevo
21 that. Therefore, it was only logical that somebody else would have to do
22 that, somebody who would pay for the education involved and finance it.
23 In this case it is the HZ HB.
24 Q. All right. Well, let's look for comparative purposes, because
25 the whole issue of Croatisation has coming up. So if we could look at as
1 an example, for instance, what was happening in Tuzla. Let's look at
2 1D 00235, and along with this I will be looking at the following
3 documents as well with which is 1D 00236, but let's start with 1D 00235.
4 December 1992. This is the 19th. That is 10 days, 10 days,
5 after the decree that we just saw, the two decrees from the Croatian
6 Community of Herceg-Bosna, and this is a "Decision to take over the
7 rights of Founder with regard to the School of Commerce
8 organisation/ in Tuzla
9 at this particular decision, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And from this particular decision can you tell us what is
12 happening? What is this decision all about?
13 A. Actually, it is one and the same thing. The question is who the
14 founder is going to be and who is going to finance what is going on in
15 the school itself. That is to say, who is going to finance the teaching
16 process. In this case, it is the town of Tuzla or the municipality of
18 communicate with the ministry so the ministry cannot carry out these
19 obligations. Again it is the same situation that we saw in the case of
20 HZ HB.
21 Q. All right. Just to make sure that I full I understand this and
22 forgive me if I'm asking a silly question, but is this a new school that
23 is being founded or is this one that already existed and now there's just
24 the takeover of it, because by taking over now they take over the
25 responsibilities of doing that which the State was incapable of doing,
1 that is, financing it?
2 A. This is a school that already exists, and it is being transformed
3 at the very same time. So these are two different things. It is being
4 transformed, but it already does exist de jure and de facto.
5 Q. All right. And if we go to the next document, 1D 00236. Okay.
6 Have you had a chance to -- this is a decision, 19 December, 1992.
7 Again, ten days after the decrees from Herceg-Bosna. This is a "Decision
8 to take over the rights of Founder with regard to the Secondary
9 Electrical Engineering School Centre in Tuzla and transform it."
10 Have you had a chance to look at this document, sir?
11 A. Yes, I have had a look.
12 Q. And just to sort of save some time, is this decision similar to
13 the one that we just saw?
14 A. Yes, absolutely. It is the same pattern, the same reasons. So
15 it is the municipality of Tuzla
16 founder so that the school could function.
17 Q. Right. And now I guess the question that needs to be asked.
18 What is the difference between what Tuzla is doing ten days after what
19 was being done by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
20 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may object at this point. I think
21 the witness is being asked to speculate on this.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if I -- I believe I've laid a foundation for
23 the last hour and a half. The gentleman worked in the Ministry of
24 Education. He's worked in various schools. He understands the system
25 perhaps better than any one of us here, including those of us who have
1 gone to schools in that area. So I think if anybody's qualified to give
2 an answer is this particular gentleman. We're not asking him to
3 speculate. What we're asking him is base on the text itself --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Professor, or
5 Under-Secretary for Education, you've heard this question. Can you
6 answer Mr. Karnavas's question without speculating, however? As long as
7 you have enough knowledge to give a specific answer based on the
8 knowledge you have of this very specific field.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed this is the same thing. If
10 we look at the text from a substantive point of view, the key thing in
11 these two texts and in texts that have not been referred to, and there
12 have been other cases of this kind, namely where the ministry of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina could not meet its obligations, then the municipal
14 structures of government would take upon themselves to become the
15 founders so that the school curriculum and the school itself could
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. Thank you. Thank you, sir. Now we're going to switch to another
19 topic, and it primarily deals with schools but slightly different. So
20 I'm going to first refer to a document on 1D 00438. This is -- we had
21 talked about the names, and so I wanted to get that out of the way, so I
22 put this at the very top of the pile, because you were asked some
23 questions, especially from the Bench, with respect to one name, the name
24 of the university.
25 Here we have a decision dated 16 September 1992 on changing the
1 names of a number of primary schools. So if we just look at the very
2 first one. The Braca Simic primary school is called 1st Primary School
4 Now, could you -- and then we go down. 2nd Primary, 3rd Primary.
5 We can see the names being changed.
6 First of all, in changing the names to 1st, 2nd, 3rd Primary
7 School, was that political in any way or would it be neutral?
8 A. If we look at all of these names that we can see here, that is to
9 say the names of the schools, then we will notice that certain schools --
10 or, rather, certain names are indifferent, ideologically speaking,
11 whereas others have a strong ideological undertone. For example, the
12 25th of May is Tito's birthday. The 14th of February, again one of the
13 dates. Then the name of Franjo Kluz is the name of a Communist
15 Most of the names that appear here are actually -- actually have
16 an ideological dimension or an ideological connotation. Some of these
17 names, the Simic brothers, that is something different. There are
18 writers here, Braca Simic, Svetozic Corovic, Hamza Humo.
19 Q. I'm going to stop you there. I'm going to beg you to please
20 listen to my question first and then we'll go step-by-step.
21 A. Thank you.
22 Q. So my question has to do with what the schools were changed to
23 the names. We see 1st, 2nd, 3rd. They were changed. Now, calling a
24 school the 1st Primary School of Mostar
25 political connotation to that, ideological or national?
1 A. No. No. No. These names are quite indifferent from that point
2 of view.
3 Q. All right. Now, looking at the names, can you pick any of the
4 names that are, say, Croat?
5 A. Braca Simic.
6 Q. Okay. And who was he?
7 A. These are two renowned Croatian writers who hailed from
9 poet and critic. They lived in the beginning of the 20th century. Simic
10 died in 1925 or thereabouts. His brother went on. He lived a lot
11 longer. At any rate, ideologically from every conceivable point of view
12 these persons are indifferent.
13 Q. All right. But they're Croat.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. Also Franjo Kluz is a Croat.
17 Q. All right. Now --
18 A. The Ribar brothers are Croats.
19 Q. Again let me just go step-by-step. It's important for me. It
20 may not be for you.
21 With Franjo Kluz, who was he?
22 A. Franjo Kluz was a Communist activist and he was a fighter, I
23 think in the war. But anyway, he was a Communist activist at any rate.
24 Q. Okay. Now, the next Croat that you see, who is he?
25 A. Well, Franjo Kluz and then the Ribar brothers. The Ribar
2 Q. Okay. Who are they?
3 A. Well, during the Second World War they were very well known as
4 they cooperated with Josip Broz Tito. One of them was the president of
5 the youth organisation, if we could put it that way. He was the leader
6 of the youth. He was considered to be very revolutionary. I think he
7 got killed in 1943 in an incident of suspicious nature.
8 Q. We're not going to go through all the names but suffice it to say
9 there is a list of not just Croat but also Muslim and Serb names that are
10 being changed; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, one last question with respect to this document. The names
13 that were chosen for these particular schools, 1st Primary, 2nd, 3rd and
14 what have you, how were they chosen, if you know?
15 A. This has to do with Mostar and what I heard when I asked about it
16 later. I think that it had to do with the previous names of the schools
18 Sometime in the 1970s these names were adopted, the ones that
19 were being changed now. Instead of the existing ones that had been there
20 earlier on, the 1st Elementary School, the 2nd Elementary School, these
21 are names that had existed before the 1970s.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now we're going on to switch subjects a little
23 slightly, still sticking with schools.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. We have a
25 few questions.
1 Witness, I just looked at this decision on the change of names
2 taken by the Mostar HVO president, Mr. Topic. If I understand properly,
3 before this decision was made, did the schools have names?
4 For instance, the Braca Simic school? Does that mean that each
5 school had a name, and the Mostar HVO changed all the school names? Did
6 they do that in a neutral way by giving each school a number, 1st Primary
7 School in Mostar, 2nd Primary School, and so on and so forth? Does this
8 mean that well-known Croatian figures were removed, that also famous
9 Communists' names were removed in order to make the schools absolutely
10 neutral? Is that how this document should be interpreted?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally, Your Honour, would
12 interpret this document in a similar way to the way you've interpreted
13 it. The names of the schools mentioned here had already existed until
14 the 1970s in this neutral ideological sense. Then the sponsors of the
15 new proposal that had to do with these new names, most of which were
16 ideologically marked, well, they were simply replaced by the previous
17 names. The HVO Mostar simply returned the old names that had been in
18 existence in Mostar.
19 At the same time, there was a de-ideologisation of the names
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understand, after the
22 Second World War, after 1945, was it so that the schools were numbered,
23 and then in 1970, I suppose that was with Marshal Tito, he must have
24 decided to change things by Croatising some schools. And then Mr. Topic,
25 on the 16th of September, 1992, de-Croatised the schools. He returned to
1 the previous system. Is that so?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I may say so -- well, you
3 are not quite right in everything you've said. It is not Tito that had
4 anything to do with the naming of schools. Even then it was done by the
5 municipal authorities. However, in the 1970s it was done by the
6 committee of the league of Communists of the Communist Party.
7 In the post-war period the names of the schools mentioned here in
8 Mostar were probably set as such so that there would not be an ethnic
9 affiliation that was readily discernable. Since Mostar was a
10 multi-ethnic city they simply wanted to avoid any king of connotations of
11 this kind. However in the 1970s came the Communist ideologisation.
12 At any rate, people who were members of the League of Communists,
13 well, they had to be; and they were in agreement with the then district
14 committee of the League of Communists, and they adopted this list of
15 names where there are not only ideologically marked names but also a few
16 names that were names of renowned writers who were relevant to
18 Svetozar Corovic, Hamzo Humo, Osman Dzikic in actual fact were all people
19 from Mostar. They were either born in Mostar or they were active in
20 Mostar. Most of the other names are completely ideological from a
21 Communist point of view.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand. I understand. I
23 didn't know that until 1970 there was this committee of the League of
24 Communists which had changed the names, and now one understands better
25 thanks to you what happen. But in 1970 one does see that there are two
1 currents to Communists and the names are going to appear, and some famous
2 Croat writers, but in 1970 was there no name of no famous Muslim which
3 could be on the list of the names for schools? Was there none? Or
4 Serbs, Serbians, names, Serbian names. Was there any? Was there none?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, yes, there were. The
6 names listed here, the ones I've read out, are famous names in the
7 literature of the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. If I may add --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
9 continues] ... we have here is there a Muslim name, a writer who -- who
10 has been [indiscernible], or a Serbian?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, yes. Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who, for instance?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Svetozar Corovic is a Serb.
14 Hamza Humo is a Muslim. Osman Dzikic is a Muslim.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there we are, very well.
16 Very well. You have perfectly answered my question. I think my -- one
17 of my colleagues had a question to ask.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, witness. Mr. Karnavas,
19 excuse me. Witness, about this document, 1D 00439 -- 38, sorry, 438, I
20 did understand the system, I think, the former names for Muslim,
21 Croatian, and Serbian names which were introduced around 1970 by the
22 Communist League were replaced, and I find this system extremely
23 intelligent to put these names, but I have two small questions to ask.
24 The first is at the bottom of the list could you explain to me what is
25 this new name, primary school Blagaj, and primary school Podvelez. At
1 the bottom of the list, the last two lines.
2 Of course I'm speaking of the English version. I don't know
3 about the Croatian text or in B/C/S.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the B/C/S version there is a --
5 yes. The school previously called Omer Maksumic in Podvelez is now
6 called the primary school in Podvelez. Could you please repeat your
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I see. So it was the name of the
9 place which was kept, was it, local name?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, sir, yes. Precisely so.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. It's the name of the
13 My second question now is that in the English text, second page,
14 Article 2, last line I translate in French what I see: "The other
15 primary schools keep their present name."
16 Could you give me a few examples of the names which were kept and
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, at this point in
19 time I can't. I just don't remember that information.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I think -- I think we -- we're clear on this
24 Q. But going back to that one question that was posed about
25 Croatisation during the Tito years, would it be fair to say that there
1 was no such thing -- there was no such tolerance on the part of Tito
2 allowing any nation, let alone the Croat nation, of trying to Croatise
3 any area?
4 A. The term "Croatisation" is very strange to me. I understand it
5 as a metaphor, but it might have a different significance in a court of
6 law. I think one cannot apply it here. But with respect to your
7 question concerning these names here, they do not have ethnic
8 connotations. The names of the writers listed here have associations
9 with a different context, a local context. These are people who are
10 writers of the local Herzegovina
11 and that is why these names were used, not because they were Croats,
12 Serbs, or Muslims.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. If we go to the next document, 1D 00600.
14 1D 00600. And I'm told that there may be an error, Your Honours, that
15 you may not have this document. I don't know. If you don't, we can put
16 it on the ELMO. Or e-court, sorry.
17 Now, this is 25 July 1992
18 A. July.
19 Q. It's 25 July 1992
20 form of certificates for final year of schooling." And of course if we
21 look at Article 2, it does say that there will be a logo, the HZ HB logo,
22 "Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina," and the exact title of the school shall
23 be printed below the logo. My question is why was it necessary to
24 passing such a decision at that time? Why couldn't they just simply
25 issue certificates as they had been doing in the past?
1 A. One of the reasons is the appearance of the form on which school
2 reports are issued. In the middle of these forms there used to be a big
3 five-pointed star and a coat of arms with factory chimneys, and in the
4 heading it said "Socialist Republic
5 negative reactions among people, and I think this was in fact the key
7 Q. All right we go to the next document 1D 00620. It says 16
8 September 1992. This is on issuing diplomas by elementary and secondary
9 schools. And if I were to ask you why was this necessary, I take it you
10 would give me the same answer. You had the big star there representing
11 an old system that had now been replaced, a system that evoked strong
12 memories and emotions. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. Let's go on to the next document, 1D 00627, 16
15 September 1992. This is a decision to prohibit political activity in
16 economic, social, and military organisations. And if we go to Article 1
17 it says:
18 "Any form of political activity is hereby prohibited in
19 educational, cultural, religious and economic organisations, civic
20 associations and military units because political activity is not
21 envisaged in their programmes and scope of activities."
22 Now, some may understand why you do not want that in military
23 units, but given that you no longer have a socialist Communist system,
24 why not have political activities in schools and what have you? Why is
25 there need for such a decision? If you know, please explain.
1 A. This sort of decision, in my view, is well thought out. The
2 prohibition of such activities in school, which would be educational
3 rather than ideological institutions, is quite understandable. This
4 decision adopted in an area where there was constant combat activity
5 because Mostar and other areas of Herzegovina that were affected by
6 artillery fire coming from the hills was intended to prevent politicking,
7 and it was quite logical.
8 Q. All right.
9 A. It's quite logical and expected, and in my view well thought out.
10 Q. All right. 1D 00683. This is December 16, 1992. This is a
11 decision to cover temporary -- to cover transportation costs, to cover
12 transportation costs. And it talks about monthly passes for daily
13 teachers, professors and students in Mostar municipality for travel from
14 their places of residence to the given educational institution.
15 Why was this necessary?
16 A. At that time the -- well, people were poor, had no money.
17 Transport had to be provided. It had to be -- it had to be subsidized or
18 paid in full, and this was traditional and had been traditional even
19 previously. Even before the war, transportation for schoolchildren and
20 students was subsidized by the municipality. This also refers to
21 students [Realtime transcript read in error, "witness"] traveling to
22 Siroki Brijeg in this case. They had had rights even before this as they
23 do throughout Europe
24 students and their parents.
25 Q. Now, in the transcript it says witness travel. We're talking
1 about student travel. Student travel to Siroki Brijeg. That's where the
2 exams were taken if I understood your --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter said students.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. All right. Thank you.
6 A. Student travel and travel for professors going to Siroki Brijeg.
7 Q. All right. And in Siroki Brijeg that's where the exams were
8 given at one point. Is that why they're having to travel, or was -- were
9 classes also being held in Siroki Brijeg until you moved to Neum?
10 A. In June, on the 25th of June, after the liberation of Mostar, at
11 the first meeting at the university it was agreed that exams should be
12 held in Mostar for those students who were in Mostar and in Siroki Brijeg
13 for those who came from other places other than Mostar and that classes
14 for the first and second year should be organised there. That's why
15 professors and some students going to lectures had to travel.
16 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D 00744. This is
17 a document that's dated 1 April 1993
18 above it says 1 April 1992
19 This is a decision to support the report of the commissioner for
21 Have you had a chance to look at this document, and can you
22 please tell us exactly if you -- if you know, what is this about, this
24 A. Yes. This refers to April 1993. As classes in Mostar in primary
25 and secondly schools could not be organised because of frequent artillery
1 fire on the town and the school year was drawing to a close, the normal
2 school year, the one that had been envisioned and only two and a half
3 months were left in the school year, it was requested that the
4 headmasters of schools should provide safe premises for pupils and
5 students and that they should be there, the teachers should be there; and
6 it was up to the parents to decide whether and when they would send their
7 children to those classes.
8 Q. All right. All right. If we go on to the next document,
9 1D 00751, this is dated 15 April 1993
10 terms in the elementary and secondary schools for the academic year, and
11 it says 1992/1993, and we see if we look at Article I the first term is
12 from 7 May 1993. The second term shall end -- I'm sorry, the first term
13 ends on 7 May. The second term ends on 11 June, and the third term ends
14 on 16 July 1993
15 Why was this decision necessary under the circumstances, if you
16 know? Please explain.
17 A. The regular school year consists of four trimesters. Those are
18 three-month periods, and in this case, the president of the government
19 who is proposing this decision in this brief time that is left from the
20 15th of April, 1993, to the 16th of July the same year, is trying to
21 organise in a systematic way these trimesters in which classes should be
22 held so that the pupils could move on to the next academic year. This is
23 the structure of normal school year which has here been reduced to the
24 days that are left in the -- from the month of April to the month of
1 Q. All right. And finally in this batch of documents 1D 01499.
2 Again if we could -- this is for comparative purposes. This document is
3 13 August 1993
4 we've seen thereafter. This is an order from a Dr. Safet Cibo, and it's
5 the Jablanica municipality Assembly War Presidency. Can you please
6 explain to us what is this order about?
7 A. Jablanica was under the control of the army of Bosnia and
9 refugees and a large number of school-age children. The -- whoever
10 proposed this decision is asking for something similar to what was
11 organised in Mostar, for classes to be organised in the period of time
12 envisioned here in this decision.
13 Q. Okay. Prior to the war who would be issuing such an order?
14 Where would it be coming from? Would this be at the municipal level,
15 regional level, or at the republic level?
16 A. This sort of order would be issued by the ministry in Sarajevo
17 before the war. It would come from the competent republican organ in
18 charge of primary and secondary education.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. In the period of time in question, as in the case of Tuzla
21 other places, the ministry in Sarajevo
22 encircled. There was no communication, and there was no possibilities of
23 financing these schools. So the issue was who could provide the
24 logistics and organise the classes and cover the costs of this
25 educational process, pay the teachers their salaries and so on.
1 Q. Okay. One final question before we probably will have to take
2 the break, but you had indicated to us that you had worked at the
3 ministry in Sarajevo
4 encircled, it was cut off, but did the Ministry of Education dispatch any
5 of its colleagues, any of your colleagues, any members of the ministry of
6 education, to go around the country to come, say, in Mostar with any
7 orders, any instructions, any resources on how to finance these
8 programmes, any certificates? Go ahead.
9 A. I only know that in the summer of 1994, as late as that,
10 Mira Merlo, a sales servant from the ministry left Sarajevo and she
11 visited some schools in Konjic and some other places, maybe in Jablanica.
12 She found my wife's telephone number, my wife was a refugee, and told her
13 that she had left Sarajevo
14 relatives at the seaside. And that was my only contact with someone who
15 was directly in charge.
16 Q. So I take it the answer is no. Up until 1994, nobody came during
17 this period. We're talking 1993, 1992.
18 A. That's correct, yes. Nobody came.
19 Q. All right. And I guess one -- it begs one more question because
20 we know that around that time internationals were there, some
21 international organisations such as the United Nations and other NGOs.
22 Did they by any chance come around with resources, a printing press so
23 you could print certificates, money so you could fund the education,
24 costs for the transportation, proposals for a new educational curriculum?
25 Did any internationals come to provide any such assistance to your
1 understanding? I'm talking 1992, 1993.
2 A. Nobody offered that kind of assistance.
3 Q. And I take it if it had been offered would you have accepted it?
4 A. Certainly. We would have been very happy.
5 Q. All right. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are just going to break for
7 20 minutes now.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.42 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
12 Q. Now, let's about on to another topic, going back to the changing
13 of the name streets just very quickly just to get this over with.
14 If we look at 1D 00439. This is already in as an exhibit. It's
15 a decision on the change of the names of the streets; and we see from
16 Article I it says priority, the names of the streets in Mostar with
17 Yugoslavian and ideological meaning will be changed. Do you see that,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And if we go to the next document, 1D 0440. Again, this is
21 already in as an exhibit, but these are background questions. Now, this
22 is decision on the appointing of a commission for the change of names of
23 streets in Mostar. This is 6 November 1992
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And now I want to show you this document, which is not an exhibit
1 yet, 1D 00662. This is 20 November 1992
2 establishment of a commission to name and rename streets and squares in
3 Mostar municipality.
4 And, sir, I'm going to ask you if you could look at Article I,
5 Roman numeral I, and see of the nine names if you can identify any Muslim
6 names on this commission and, if so, please point them out.
7 A. Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic is one. He is the vice-president of the
8 commission. Kerim Cisic, a member of the commission. Nijaz Berhamovic,
9 a member of the commission. I think Zlatko Udovicic, a member of the
11 Q. All right. Thank you. And that concludes that section, and then
12 finally I just want to go to the very last chapter which deals with
13 university -- the University of Mostar
14 show you is 1D 02804. And we can see it's dated 21 August 1993, and it
15 says here: "List of employees who wish to continue their work at the
16 University of Mostar
17 Now, at this particular time, 21 August 1993, were you employed
18 at all in any capacity with the University of Mostar
19 A. As I have already said, all the professors who had links to the
20 university and wanted to work got together at the university in June
21 after the liberation of Mostar and decided that in September the
22 examinations would begin --
23 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Professor Palameta.
24 I still try to find the previous document which -- which Mr. Karnavas has
25 introduced as 662, but I do not find 662 but only 612. So I wonder if it
1 was meant that the document 612, which is the [B/C/S spoken], et cetera,
2 et cetera.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: That's not it. It's 1D 00662, and we can -- it
4 should be in the e-court system. And I can provide, if Madam Usher
5 wishes to come --
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: Sorry, I found it.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. All right.
8 Q. Now, if we look at this document, we're in --
9 MR. KRUGER: Your Honours, if I may -- I apologise.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. KRUGER: I apologise to Mr. Karnavas for the interruption.
12 Your Honour, the question that was posed is that this document, which is
13 going to be shown to the witness, dates from 21 August 1993. If
14 Mr. Karnavas could perhaps just clear that up, because I'm not too
15 certain whether that's accurate looking at -- that it emanates from a
16 stamp while all the signatures which appear on this document are dated in
17 1992. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 MR. KARNAVAS:
19 Q. Now, sir, going back to what I was -- my previous question, you
20 were answering it, I believe, at the time, and you indicated -- I asked
21 you whether you were associated in any way with the university in Mostar,
22 and I believe you were in the process of answering that question, but to
23 cut to the quick, the answer is yes.
24 A. Certainly, yes.
25 Q. All right. Now, are you familiar with this document?
1 A. Yes, I am familiar with this document.
2 Q. All right. Let's just look at number 1, for instance. We see
3 the name.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We see the faculty. We see the address, and then we see a date,
6 then we see a signature. So we have the dates.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Here we have 23 November 1992
9 you please explain the dates and the signature.
10 A. The first date which we see in the stamp signifies that the
11 document was verified and prepared for signing. The signing began on the
12 23rd of November when per number one Berislav Crnjac from Mostar an
13 assistant lecturer at the faculty of civil engineering entered his
14 details in the form.
15 Q. All right. And what was the purpose of this -- of this list? I
16 mean, we can read the title, but if you could help us out a little bit.
17 What was the purpose of making this list?
18 A. The intention of this list was to obtain information showing how
19 many staff members the university would have at its disposal for the
20 beginning of classes in autumn. That's one thing. And the second reason
21 was as it was still a war zone, everybody had some sort of assignment, so
22 that expressing their wish to continue working at the university they
23 were able to free themselves of other duties, whether military or
24 otherwise, that they had been assigned. Those are the two main reasons.
25 Quite simply to see what staff the university had at its disposal and for
1 the people who wanted to work at the university to be able to be released
2 from other obligations.
3 Q. All right. Now, have you had a chance before coming here to go
4 through the list and to look at the names and to see, at least as of the
5 date of the signature that we see on the far right corner, how many
6 Muslims are -- Muslim names do you find in this particular document?
7 A. In this document there are about 90 or more Muslim names, about
8 15 Serbian names. Most of the professors who were Serbs had left Mostar.
9 Several Jewish names, and a certain number of Croatian names.
10 Q. All right. Now, have you had a chance to identify the numbers,
11 because we see at the far left each name has a number. Do you have the
12 particular numbers of those you believe are Muslim names?
13 A. Well, I can tell you now. Number 4, number 5, number 8, number
15 Q. What about number 10?
16 A. Yes, number 10 also. And number 9 as well.
17 Q. All right. I'm not going to go through this --
18 A. Number 19. I can't see the numbers very well, but, for example,
19 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48.
20 Q. All right. I think we get the point. I don't think that we need
21 to -- unless the Trial Chamber wishes to have every single name or number
22 read out, we can move on to the next document. I think we've made the
24 Do you know, by any chance, whether all these individuals
25 continued to work at the university throughout this period, that is,
1 after November or December 1992?
2 A. I don't think they all continued to work at the university.
3 Q. Do you know -- do you know if anyone was dismissed as a result of
4 being of a particular nationality? I mean, in other words, that was the
6 A. I can assert that no one was dismissed as a result of being of a
7 particular nationality. I don't think anyone was actually dismissed from
8 the university in that period of time, at least I'm not aware of anyone
9 being dismissed.
10 Q. All right. Well, what if a particular professor failed to show
11 up? In other words, he signed, he wanted to continue, but then simply
12 didn't show up for weeks or months at a time. Would that person continue
13 to be on the list, continue to receive a salary, continue to tie up a
14 post which he was not taking advantage of?
15 A. For a while that person would continue to be on the list and on
16 the payroll. If he didn't come to collect his salary, then the salary
17 was not paid out. There was no one to pay it to. But when classes
18 began, somebody had to teach, but no one was dismissed from their duty in
19 six months. I can't recall any such instance. I don't remember anyone
20 losing their right to be employed at the university. None of the
21 professors. All the professors who turned up later and who contacted the
22 university later on in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, even if they were not on
23 this list were taken back, and they were reappointed to the post they had
24 held before the war. I'm not aware of anyone being rejected.
25 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, P 00714. P 00714.
1 This is a decree on establishment of the work of University of Mostar
2 during war or imminent threat of war, and I believe it's November 6,
3 1992. And of course if we look at Article 2.4, it says: "The language
4 used at the university shall be Croatian." And I believe we answered
5 that question, have we not? Or do you want --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. And again -- but I just want to make sure I'm crystal
8 clear. When it says that the language shall be Croatian, is this a new
9 language or is it the same language but just a different name?
10 A. The Croatian language is a very old language. Croatian
11 literature goes back to the early Middle Ages. That is when the name of
12 the Croatian language began to be used. There was no new language called
13 the Croatian language. If you are referring to the language taught in
14 schools, then in this period the same textbooks, the same grammar books
15 that had been used before continued in use. For example, the Babic
16 grammar, which was used in schools even before the war throughout all of
18 Q. All right. Well, let me go about it another way. The language
19 that says here shall be Croatian, prior to November 6, 1992, what was it
20 called? And I'm talking about in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 A. According to the constitution of 1974, the language is called
22 Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian.
23 Q. All right. Now, incidentally, this -- the University of Mostar
24 who was funding it?
25 A. In 1992 and 1993? Is that your question?
1 Q. Well, let me ask you -- let me withdraw that question and ask
2 another question instead.
3 Prior to the war, who was financing the university that was now
4 called University of Mostar
5 A. The fund, the republican fund at the ministry. So it was the
6 republic which financed the work of all the universities in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina and all institutions of higher education.
8 Q. All right. Now, if we look at Article 30 in this particular
9 document, Article 30, it says, "Financing." Do you see it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. It says:
12 "Funds for the work of the university shall be provided from the
13 budget of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the revenue earns
14 through the university's own operations and other sources of funding in
15 accordance with the valid regulation of the Croatian Community of
17 Can you please explain to us why is it that the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna is now undertaking the funding of the
19 university at this time?
20 A. For the simple reason that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
21 at that point in time was the only entity able to finance the university.
22 It issued this decree. There was no other source of funding. The
23 republican fund was simply not functioning at that time.
24 Q. All right. And I failed to ask you a question earlier. I asked
25 you about the professors being -- whether any of them were dismissed.
1 Can you please tell us whether any students were turned away because of
3 A. No. That never happened.
4 Q. All right. Now, if we look at Article 31 it says here:
5 "This Decree shall enter into force immediately, and it shall be
6 applicable during the state of war, or until the socio-political
7 organisation of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been finalised
8 and its legal system established."
9 Now, let me ask a foundational question. Were you aware of this
10 document at the time, that is, when you were involved with the university
11 and then when you were also at the same time, as I understand it, the
12 deputy head of office for education -- or department of education, I'm
14 A. Of course. Of course I was aware of it.
15 Q. Now, how do you explain Article 31? What do you understand it to
17 A. Like all the decrees pertaining to education, this one also was
18 provisional. All the decrees issued at the time were provisional until
19 the authorities were normalized and communications established, as
20 happened in 1994. In every case it was always thought that agreements
21 would be reached on Bosnia-Herzegovina as the common state of all the
22 three peoples living in it and that it was simply a question of time, and
23 as soon as the war was over things would take that course. No decision
24 issued by the university, and I have never seen any other decision by any
25 other organ in Bosnia-Herzegovina which did not include
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina in its heading. The stamp of the university, all the
2 university documents bear that name.
3 In this decree, it had to be a decree because it was temporary,
4 it was provisional, and it was replaced by the law on the university
5 later on, and this -- this was then a permanent law, not a provisional
6 one. And always it's pointed out that this is provisional until the
7 system of Bosnia-Herzegovina is established.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. If we look at 1D 02115. This is February
9 26, 1993, and it says -- it's a conclusion. Under number 1 it says:
10 "Consent is given for the organisation of an educational process for the
11 first year." Under number 2 we see that some money totaling 60.000 DM, I
12 take it that means Deutschmark, equivalent in HRD, which I would take to
13 mean the Croatian dinar.
14 And then if we go to number 5, which is probably what is most
15 important it says:
16 "Students coming from families of killed members of the Armed
17 Forces HZ HB are exempt from paying the participation fees contained in
18 item 4 of these Conclusions."
19 I guess my question to you is, first, what is this document
20 about; and secondly, number 5, does this mean that only Croats or members
21 of the HVO, students coming from families where -- of killed members of
22 the HVO are exempt? How do you interpret number 5, and how, more
23 importantly, was it applicable at the time -- was applied at the time,
25 A. Allow me first to answer the first question you put. This
1 document refers to the organising of classes in Neum. It's very
2 important to know why classes were organised in Neum. We've already
3 explained that because it was impossible to reach the university in
4 Mostar safely, exams and classes were relocated to Siroki Brijeg.
5 Siroki Brijeg, however, did not have the elementary requirements
6 for students to stay there, attend lectures, for teachers to stay there.
7 There was no restaurant or canteen there, for example. And even had
8 there been, it would have had to have been paid for. So one of the main
9 reasons was to move to Neum -- that was one of the main reasons why the
10 move to Neum was made, where there were hotels and where both local and
11 visiting professors could stay and conduct the classes in peace. The
12 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina approved certain funds to pay the hotels
13 for accommodation, food, and other expenses, and in the decree it says
14 that students had to pay 50 marks.
15 Q. Let me stop you here. You said the government -- the government
16 of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved certain funds. So are we saying
18 A. No, I didn't mean -- I didn't mean that. I meant Herceg-Bosna.
19 Q. Okay. All right. And please slow down so that the translators
20 don't make any mistakes as a result of your speed. So you're the
21 contributing factor of this, so slow down, please.
22 A. Thank you. The answer to your second question concerning the
23 exemption of students having to pay these 50 German marks and it says in
24 Article 5 -- or paragraph 5 that these are students coming from families
25 of killed members of the armed forces of HZ HB. The HVO was the only
1 formation at that time which was legitimate -- the legitimate armed force
2 in the area, to the best of my recollection, and HVO units had among
3 their members not only Croats but also Muslims and some Serbs as well.
4 So all those who had this right and also in similar cases they were
5 really able to enjoy this right. But in practice anyone who did not have
6 money, they didn't have to come from a family of a killed member of the
7 armed forces. Nobody even raised this issue with the student if they
8 were unable to pay whoever the student was. No one was sent back from
9 Neum because they did not have 50 German marks.
10 That's my answer to your question.
11 Q. All right. If we go on to the --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. If we go on to the next document, 1D 02802. This is dated 15
15 October 1997, and it's a decision, and we see that it says, Article 1:
16 "At her ... request, Djulsa Bajramovic ends her employment by
17 consent as of 9 May 1993
18 Now, before I ask I my question let's look at the next document,
19 which is 1D 02801. We see a decision on giving consent to term 1998
20 employment. Article 1:
21 "Consent is hereby given for the undisputed termination of
22 employment of Djulsa Bajramovic at the Faculty of Education of the
23 University of Mostar
24 And again we can see that dated 31 October, 1997.
25 So could you explain to us if you know how these decisions came
1 about, and how can somebody consent to terminate their employment in 1993
2 some four years later?
3 A. I have seen a few such documents, and I wondered what this was
4 about. The answer was that persons who continued working at the faculty
5 after May 1993 did not have those years of service recognised by the
6 retirement and pension fund. They had to actually terminate their work
7 relationship before the Muslim-Croat or Croat-Muslim conflict in order to
8 regulate this. That was the explanation that was provided to me and that
9 I'm providing to you now. So in such cases deans would try to
10 accommodate the employees involved, and then the rector would verify the
11 decision and you can see that on another document. You can see a
12 signature. Quite simply they tried to accommodate people who had had
13 that kind of problem.
14 Now, how they regulated the matter altogether that is something I
15 don't know. It's probably the retirement fund that could give you an
16 answer to that.
17 Q. Now, from looking at the name can you tell us whether this was a
18 Croat, Serb, or Muslim name?
19 A. Yes. It's a Muslim name.
20 Q. A let me ask you one final question. Do you know whether this
21 particular individual worked after this? I know we see that this is a
22 consent for termination, but did they work after this period?
23 A. She submitted her request in 1997. She had already retired. She
24 had retired earlier on. In order to regulate her pension - that's what
25 they explained to me - she had to ask for the termination of her
1 employment to be ante-dated. So the date of the 9th of May, 1993
2 placed here. So it's a four-year difference.
3 Q. All right. And I guess my question is did she work -- did this
4 particular person -- I know that they wanted, for whatever reasons, 9 May
5 1993 to show that the person stopped working at the university, but my
6 question is very concrete. Do you know for a fact whether this
7 particular individual worked after May 9, 1993?
8 A. I'm not sure. I cannot really give an answer to that question.
9 Q. All right. Now, if we go to the next document, 1D 00421. And we
10 see that this -- do you recognise this document?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What do you recognise it to be?
13 A. This is actually a photocopy from a book that was published to
14 commemorate 100 years of university education in Mostar. So these are
15 two pages from the text that was then written by the then-rector,
16 Franjo Ljubic.
17 Q. All right. And have you had a chance to look at this document
18 and to see whether the information that is conveyed in this document
19 is -- is accurate?
20 A. I remember having reviewed the document now and having read it
21 earlier on. There is nothing that would be contrary to the truth to the
22 best of my knowledge. I believe that the information contained in this
23 document is accurate.
24 Q. All right. Well, I don't want to go through the entire two
25 pages, but let me just focus your attention to the part of the text where
1 it refers to footnote 9. That may help you locate the text. And let me
2 just read part of it. It says --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: And this would be, Your Honours, on the second
4 page. After the title page, that is, on the left-hand side, the last
6 Q. "In the beginning of the academic year 1992, 1993, the name and
7 the official language were changed. The majority of professors,
8 associates, workers, and students of the Bosniak, Jewish, Serb, and other
9 nationalities supported the decision. They continued to work and study
10 at the university. A great number of professors, non-Croats, during and
11 after the war have been deans," and then it lists the names of the
12 particular deans. And at the faculty level as vice-rectorate and at the
13 university senate?
14 Then if we look at footnote 9, it does say:
15 "Only few professors of the Bosniak national, former Muslims,
16 disapproved the introduction of the new official language (but not the
17 name of the university). They did not want to participate in the
18 educational process, discouraging students from the university. It
19 seemed odd that such an event happened in October 1992, six months before
20 the Croat-Muslim conflict broke out and two years before the
21 establishment of the Bosniak language. As a major group -- as a minor
22 group, they were not able to persuade other professors and associates
23 (non-Croats) not to take part in the education process. They could not
24 make students not to enroll and study at the university."
25 And I guess my question now is, sir, is how accurate is this, and
1 if you could please elaborate a little bit.
2 A. Obviously Rector Ljubic knew who had reacted. I personally had
3 not heard any reactions to that effect from any professor with regard to
4 language. I did not hear of any such thing. Rector Ljubic, who was a
5 professor at the time, probably knew these things better and certainly
6 had more information about this. His statement that the number is very
7 small speaks in support of that. So it is not a big number.
8 Also, I do not know about cases of them trying to talk students
9 out of doing this. I cannot say. Rector Ljubic would know that better
10 than me. However, perhaps I didn't pay enough attention to the footnote.
11 In general terms, it does seem logical to me on the basis of the
12 elements that I was aware of and that I had heard of from other people.
13 No one complained to me personally in respect of such matters.
14 Q. All right. Thank you very much, sir. I want to -- I appreciate
15 your testimony. I have no further questions at this time. Thank you
16 very much.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in relation to this
18 last document I have one small ancillary question to ask. I'm a bit like
19 Diogenes, who was walking in Athens
20 people were asking him what are you doing and he said, "I'm looking for
21 the human nature." So without these documents I'm trying to find the
22 truth about these documents and to know exactly what happened in order to
23 really understand the situation.
24 So in this document which deals with 2.000 -- 1992 to 2002, I
25 discover out of the blue, I didn't know, that April 7, 1992, apparently
1 Serbs shelled the student housing as well as the faculty of economics,
2 and in this document we see that Major Momcilo Perisic, over Radio
3 Mostar, announced that these two building had been shelled.
4 And we discover that he made this announcement because five
5 pilots were kidnapped or would have been kidnapped. So this is of course
6 very marginal compared to this document, but I would like to know whether
7 you were aware of this event, because when someone announces that a
8 faculty building and a student housing building is going to be shelled,
9 that's not peanuts, you know. And when we discover the cause, when we
10 look, General Perisic seems to say that it is because some pilots had
11 been kidnap.
12 Had you heard about this event that these -- at the time?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this sentence of this
14 general of the Yugoslav army had become a very well-known thing.
15 Everyone working at the university had become aware of it precisely
16 because of its cruelty. No one could have expected this kind of
17 statement to be made. When it was broadcast, it didn't cross anyone's
18 mind that it would actually be carried out.
19 I wasn't in Mostar at the time, but I know how my colleagues
20 reacted. Indeed there was firing.
21 As for the five military persons that he is speaking about, to
22 this day no one knows who the said persons were. Quite simply this was a
23 threat that had to be motivated by something in this broadcast. Namely
24 they -- it is there, and it remains as an image of what was going on in
25 Mostar. That wasn't the case only then. The faculty was shelled and
1 civilian buildings too. That went on for years. That was the reason why
2 the faculty moved and why the schools didn't start working.
3 I cannot give you any more details in this respect.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this answer to my
6 Let's now see what we have in store for cross-examination. We
7 have questions? I've consulted with my fellow Judges, and we had
8 assessed that an hour should be enough for all other Defence teams, but
9 who will -- who is going to ask questions? I see General Praljak on his
11 Mrs. Nozica, any questions on your Defence team?
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you,
13 Your Honour. Mr. Stojic's Defence team will have no questions, although
14 it is not my turn; but I think that Mr. Ibrisimovic would be the first,
15 so I think that we should go by the right order for the future.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Ibrisimovic. I
17 think I understood --
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
19 continues] ... thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Then who's next? No questions
21 for Mr. Coric?
22 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have no
23 questions. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What about
25 General Petkovic? Mrs. Alaburic?
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, General Petkovic's
2 Defence will have no questions for this witness.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic for
4 General Praljak.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, General Praljak
6 informed me during the break that he would have a very brief question
7 that came to his mind during the examination. We didn't manage to
8 discuss it at any length, so I suggest that you allow him to put the
9 question and you will assess how relevant it is. I assume it is.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well with. In order -- in
11 order not to have no problems, this is in line with his competence;
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Well, quite frankly, I did not
14 fully understand it, but the general told me that he only needed two or
15 three questions very simply.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes. Yes.
18 Quite simply as someone who was at the academy for theatre, film, and
19 television, and who was taught by Dr. Bratoljub Klaic, one the greatest
20 experts in this field when I studied language and literature, and since
21 we talked about language earlier on, and this is a topic that probably
22 reemerge, and the professor gives me a good opportunity to put four
23 questions over five minutes it won't go on very long.
24 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
25 Q. Professor, good afternoon.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. You heard that it is language and this problem that it is
3 going -- that is going to re-emerge in this court time and again but I
4 have the following questions four. Do you know the following names:
5 Marin Drzic, Petar Hektorovic, Petar Zoranic, Marko Marulic, and
6 Semata Relkovic [phoen]?
7 A. Yes, I know these names.
8 Q. Do we consider them to be the classics of Croatian literature?
9 A. Yes, particularly the first ones you referred to.
10 Q. So Drzic, Hektorovic, Zoranic, Marulic; right? In the order that
11 I enumerated them, they wrote so many works. For example, Dundo Maroje,
12 Ribanje i Ribarsko Prigovaranje by Hektorovic; Planine, the first
13 Croatian novel by Petar Zoranic; Judita by Marko Marulic; is that
15 A. Yes, that is correct. These are Croatian Renaissance authors
16 from the 15th and 16th centuries.
17 Q. Please, my last question -- or, rather, the one but last. Tell
18 me, highly educated persons in Croatia
19 literature or the literature of the Yugoslav peoples, when they read
20 these works can they understand them in their original form?
21 A. I'm not sure. In order to understand any one of these authors,
22 it is hard to provide an answer in the affirmative, namely that a person
23 could understand. One had to know the language that was spoken at the
24 time in Dubrovnik
25 Language of Split
1 authors. So no comment -- or, rather, without any comments provided it
2 would be hard to understand.
3 Q. As you studied literature, do you know whether an English person
4 can understand Shakespeare without any problem, and can a Frenchman
5 understand Cornee and Racine without any problem?
6 A. I'm not sure they would understand Shakespeare or Milton as
7 readily as they would understand contemporary authors. So without
8 comments again you couldn't understand a text like that.
9 Q. Well, well, we have other Englishmen here who we could ask some
10 other time.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Of course when the time comes I'm going use this as well. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's now time to
14 adjourn -- almost time to adjourn, actually. I believe that Mr. Karnavas
15 used up two hours and 40 minutes, but the registrar will give us the
16 exact count.
17 On Wednesday we're sitting in the morning, and we will start with
18 the cross-examination by the Prosecution. I believe Mr. Kruger will be
19 in charge of the cross-examination. Is that it, Mr. Kruger?
20 MR. KRUGER: That is correct, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, Mr. Kruger,
22 you've got a whole day to get ready, an entire day to get ready, and I'm
23 sure that way you'll be able to really prepare. You're very lucky.
24 So we'll meet again on Wednesday, 9.00 a.m. Have a good evening.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day of
2 October, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.