1 Thursday, 23 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, everyone in and around the
8 courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
9 et al.
10 Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Today is Thursday, the 23rd of October. Good afternoon to the
13 accused, the Defence counsel, and the OTP representatives, together with
14 all the people assisting us.
15 Witness, yesterday you told me that you had a problem about
16 today. When is your flight scheduled?
17 WITNESS: MARINKO SIMUNOVIC [Resumed]
18 [The witness answered through interpreter]
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have been informed
20 by the appropriate unit that the plane will leave at a quarter to 5:00.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, let's make sure you can
22 take that flight.
23 Mr. Prosecutor, you have 42 minutes left.
24 MR. LONGONE: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Thank you very much.
25 Good afternoon, everyone in and around the courtroom.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Longone: [Continued]
2 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. Yesterday, we were referring to Exhibit 1D 02651, and I don't
5 think that the witness don't have any binders, any exhibits with him. If
6 the usher can please assist on that. The small binder is the one with
7 the -- the small has the Defence exhibits, and the exhibit I'm referring
8 to is 1D 06251.
9 I will ask to you, sir --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: 2651 as opposed to 6251.
11 MR. LONGONE: 2651, right.
12 Q. And I will ask everyone in the courtroom -- I will ask you,
13 Witness, if you can please pull out that exhibit from the binder, because
14 we're going to talk about it. If you can -- or keep it there with you.
15 And the other exhibit that we referred yesterday was -- which is --
16 A. [No interpretation].
17 MR. LONGONE: And in the Prosecution exhibit, maybe the usher can
18 assist, is P7319, 7319.
19 Q. Sir, just to recover from yesterday, you have told us that the
20 documents essentially were the same, one was bearing the signature, one
21 of the copies, the copy of the Prosecution, and the other difference was
22 that the one bearing the signature was a document that was submitted to
23 the competent ministry for Herceg-Bosna, and the other one was a copy
24 that you have that you provided to the Defence about the activities of
25 the Red Cross Mostar during 1993.
1 A. If I may, I'm not quite done leafing through this. I want to
2 make sure if there are any discrepancies in it. You have my
3 reservations, but I don't know if anyone else has altered the text.
4 Perhaps it's important for me to go through both documents again, but if
5 you don't deem that necessary, then I can tell you that I see a
6 discrepancy right on page 1, and I explained what the discrepancy was
8 Q. You already mentioned that yesterday.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. So we are going to -- for the purpose of the
11 cross-examination, we are going to follow the document of the Defence, 1D
12 02651, and we don't have any discrepancy there. And, sir, you have told
13 us that you were familiar with the Red Cross mandate through brochures,
14 leaflets and documents that were forwarded to you or to the Red Cross in
15 Mostar by the International Committee. This is what you have said on the
16 20th of October here in the courtroom at page 33429, line 10 to line 13.
17 And you also have mentioned that regarding the contacts that you had with
18 the ICRC, that you had contacts with the ICRC and with the delegates of
19 the ICRC who were in charge of cooperation in your area either through
20 meetings and conversations on your premises, on the premises of the Red
21 Cross, or through meetings in their offices that were in various
22 locations, both in Mostar and outside Mostar. And that's at page 33433,
23 line 1 until line 13.
24 Going through this exhibit, sir, we can see that in the summary,
25 in the brief summary in the report of the activities carried out by the
1 Red Cross in Mostar during 1993, in page 3 of the English version, bottom
2 of the page, and page 1 and 2 of the B/C/S version, page 1D 51-0744 and
3 0745, starting with: "Radilo ...," it says:
4 "We had to work without the support of others, and instead of
5 them, we were the caretakers."
6 And then it goes on saying that:
7 "Many embarrassing things happened in relation to humanitarian
9 And there is a reference in page 4, second para of the English
10 version, and page 2, third para of the B/C/S version, starting with:
11 "Krveni ...," saying that:
12 "There was assistance to the Red Cross and its activities. And
13 the distribution of messages," it also said, "the tracing service was
14 blocked by the ICRC because of inapplicable reasons as of the day of the
15 outbreak of the war between the Muslim-Croat conflict on the 9th May
17 If we continue with that preface on page 5 of the English
18 version, sir, and the last para of page 3 of the B/C/S one, the page is
19 1D 510746, at the end of the introduction report, sir, you hoped -- on
20 that report was called and you signed the report, that the municipal and
21 higher Republic authorities would give you more space and participation
22 in the joint effort to bring the conflict to an end, and that would be no
23 hungry, neglected, or forgotten population. Otherwise, it would be a
24 joint mistake and no one, no one, would forgive "us" for that, as it was
25 well known -- it was well known how the international factor would react
1 in such a case.
2 And if we go through the report, sir, we that in attachment 1 of
3 it, of this report, there is a report on the tracing service dating for
4 the period January 1st, 1993 to December 31st, 1993, and they say that
5 the work has been done according to the Geneva Convention of the Red
6 Cross, and basically says that the activities consisted in distributing
7 family messages to the ICRC, reunion of separated families, making
8 records of missing and imprisoned persons.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Longone, could you get a bit closer to the
10 microphone, please. You're difficult to understand.
11 MR. LONGONE: Yes, sir. Yes, Your Honours. Shall I repeat the
12 last part of the ...
13 Q. So the attachment 1 was referring to the activities of the
14 tracing service, and then it mentioned -- listed three of those
15 activities; distribution of family messages to the ICRC, reunion of
16 separated families, and making records of missing and imprisoned persons.
17 And at the end of that section, you have the activities of reunion of
18 separated families, and after that, in page 8 of the English version, it
19 says -- it's page 6 of the B/C/S version, and the paragraph is starting
20 with: "Slusva vacinja [phoen]," and it says:
21 "This service regularly kept records on cases when seriously and
22 slighted wounded persons were exchanged, as well as in the cases of
23 blockade and information on persons who got killed, who were murdered."
24 It refers to exchange, you know, of civilians from Vojno that
25 went to the Muslim side, 54, and below that it says that:
1 "Detailed information of these events can be found in the
2 archives of the tracing service in the book of minutes."
3 And at the end of that same page, you have the register of
4 missing and imprisoned persons, and the third paragraph, starting with:
5 "Ovaj slusva [phoen]," I think, or "all the data are in the database
6 computer as well as in the written form. In the time of the breaking out
7 of the Muslim-Croat conflict, this service made a complete register of
8 missing soldiers and civilians when the Office for Exchange and Missing
9 And other Persons of Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna have not been
10 found yet. This register is used by the committee of HVO in direct
11 negotiations with the Muslim side."
12 Sir, in reference to the reports that you received from the ICRC
13 and regarding this yearly report from the whole 1993, were you aware of
14 any report from the ICRC on the use of detainees held by the authorities
15 of the Croatian Republic
17 A. Information of the International Committee of the Red Cross was
18 not available to us. We were just complementing their information in
19 relation to missing persons, missing persons identified through the
20 messages that were exchanged, or maybe some other people reported them
21 missing. We were putting together a list of missing persons in Mostar
22 municipality and further afield as well, needless to say. Whoever came
23 to Mostar could have reported someone as missing. The report would then
24 have been recorded, and the International Committee of the Red Cross
25 would try to trace people together with us. We'd send out messages, and
1 then we'd normally receive confirmation to the effect that a person could
2 be recorded as missing. So that's what all of our activity was about.
3 Q. Sir, I'd like you to address your attention, and you can keep
4 those documents with you, to Exhibit P284, it is the first exhibit in the
5 smaller binder -- sorry, the bigger binder from the Prosecution, 284.
6 The bigger binder, the bigger binder, please. That one. Maybe you have
7 to close it first, the binder. Yes, that's it, and it's in the very
8 beginning. 284, 284. Exhibit 284. You can take the binder with you so
9 you can look at it. All right.
10 Sir, this is a report from the ICRC about the use of detainees
11 held by the authorities of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
12 in dangerous conditions. It goes -- it expands throughout the whole
13 period, or part of it because you were the president of the Red Cross for
14 11 years, but -- in Mostar, but from July 1992 to October 1993. And if
15 you go through the pages of this exhibit, sir, at the introduction, page
16 2 of it, and it would be page 3 of the B/C/S version of it, it says that,
17 regarding the practice in relation to detainees to warring conditions
18 would put their physical integrity at risk, it says that the Croatian
19 Defence Council, HVO, uses detainees, for such work has not only been
20 noted by ICRC delegates visiting detention centres, it has also been
21 confirmed by representatives, ICRC delegates visiting detention centres,
22 it has also been confirmed by representatives of the HVO on various
24 Do you recall any of your personnel, sir, confirming this
25 practice of using -- on putting at risk the integrity of detainees?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. We're going to object to the line of
2 this questioning, Your Honour.
3 This report, first of all, is not addressed to this gentleman's
4 place of work, it's not addressed to the Mostar Municipal Red Cross.
5 It's addressed to the HVO, first of all. Second of all, there's some
6 foundational issues that need to be addressed, because he's not working
7 for the ICRC. He's just pointing to a section where representatives of
8 the ICRC saw this particular practice. Now, if he wants to rephrase the
9 question, I don't have a problem, but the way it's phrased, it's
10 improper. It assumes facts not in evidence, and it makes attributions
11 that are not appropriate.
12 MR. LONGONE: Sir, my question was very clear. I didn't say that
13 the report was addressed to you --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. I just made an objection. I'd like a
15 ruling. It just doesn't mean that counsel just begins to rephrase or
16 re-asks the question. I'd like a ruling, I'd like an instruction.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you are raising
18 an objection on procedural grounds. You can see it's an important
19 document. It's a Prosecution document, so your interest is that the
20 witness should say something, rather than hinder the Prosecution. It's
21 in your own interest, unless you don't understand.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I don't understand this practice. When I
23 raise an objection, it has nothing to do with procedure, and if it did do
24 something with procedure, it doesn't mean that we just simply ignore it.
25 Whether it's procedure or substance, once an objection is raised, there
1 is a response to the objection and then there needs to be a ruling.
2 Otherwise, I don't have a record. It has nothing to do with whether this
3 is their document or our document. What I'm objecting to is the form of
4 the question. He points to a part of the document that says "ICRC," then
5 he asks the question as if he's a member of the ICRC. That's what I
6 object to.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, your objection is
8 recorded. Prosecution, do ask a prior question. Ask whether the witness
9 was aware of the document. If he wasn't aware, ask him whether he was
10 made aware of the contents of the document, whether he was aware that
11 there were detainees used as human shields, for instance, because I think
12 that's your purpose, isn't it? So take it step by step.
13 MR. LONGONE: Yes, Mr. President.
14 Q. Did you hear the President? Could you please answer the
15 question, sir?
16 A. I heard the question. I understand the reaction. We were not at
17 all familiar with any of the activities of the International Committee of
18 the Red Cross involving prisoners or, for that matter, anything else to
19 do with their status, their stay there, their work in those prisons. We
20 knew nothing about that. If we had known, we probably would have had the
21 mandate ourselves to be there, but we didn't have that sort of
23 Q. Sir, in the same -- in the same page 2, it says that -- the last
25 "The following observations have been made," it says in the year
1 in Mostar, and you see it says:
2 "The most dangerous places being Santiceva Street, the ICRC also
3 received several allegations about the use of detainees as human shields
4 with HVO soldiers firing from behind them," Santiceva Street in Mostar.
5 Sir, did you recall or any of your staff from the Red Cross in
6 Mostar tell you about Bosnian Muslims use in Santiceva Street in Mostar
7 as human shields or in danger of forced labour there?
8 A. I was not aware of that. We had too many other things going on,
9 and this kind of information did not reach us.
10 Q. Sir, so did the ICRC -- didn't raise this to you in any of the
11 meetings that you have exchanging information about people that are
12 missing or killed or wounded for exchange purposes that you have in the
13 report that you mentioned?
14 A. Look, I'll repeat this. We kept records of missing persons based
15 on reports from their next of kin. Their next of kin would come to us,
16 the Red Cross. They would fill the appropriate forms. They would convey
17 to us any information about the circumstances under which a person went
18 missing, and this is how each and every one of those cases started.
19 Anything that had to do with prisoners, any issues to do with what was
20 the mandate of the Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red
21 Cross alone now, this was not something that the ICRC ever raised with
23 Q. Sir, you're saying that you're receiving from the ICRC they will
24 convey to you, sir, any information about the circumstances under which a
25 person went missing. Here, there are references to people that are
1 missing, basically, because they have been used -- or that people are
2 being used in forced labour and that people has been used as human
3 shields and soldiers firing from behind them. When you received that
4 information of people that were missing, about the circumstances in which
5 they were missing, you never received any information from them about
6 that? You said that you didn't know anything about that. You were in
7 Mostar from 1992 until 1998, and you don't know anything about Bosnian
8 Muslims being used in Mostar as human shields and being killed, as
9 president of the Red Cross of Mostar?
10 A. I will have to go back to our procedure, in terms of
11 record-keeping, because it is quite apparent that this is not understood.
12 There was the form of the International Committee, and then a
13 person arriving to report one of their next of kin missing. They would
14 fill out the appropriate form. The form would then be handed over to one
15 of our officials, and there were very specific questions being asked of
16 those persons in those forms. There were 20.000 such persons in that
17 book alone. We categorized the missing according to the respective
18 circumstance. That was all that we were looking into. We didn't deal
19 with the reasons people went missing. We just wanted to convey all these
20 messages, because we were receiving information from all over. Many of
21 these missing persons later proved to not be missing at all.
22 It's just that sometimes people were not aware of the fate of
23 their next of kin, and then they would send this information to one
24 address. The message would then travel back, and the person found would
25 be removed from the missing persons list. There were people who were
1 kept in these files and still recorded as missing, and there were always
2 calls that were being sent out to track these persons down. Information
3 would be checked by passing it on to other members of the missing
4 persons' families to see if they were perhaps still there, were they
5 still alive, were there anything that could still be done to trace that
6 person, that sort of thing. What you're asking me about, we did not
7 select information the way you suggest. We didn't select information in
8 the way that you now want to elicit from me, and that is why I am
9 entirely unable to reply.
10 Q. Sir, if you see in the same report, on page 4, under "Legal
11 obligations of detainee authority," it clearly says that:
12 "Whether combatants of civilians, the use of detainees for labour
13 in dangerous places or for work of a military nature is expressly
14 forbidden by the 3rd and 4th Geneva Convention of the 12th of August,
16 And on page 6, sir, you have, below the title "ICRC
17 Representations," a list of representations that the ICRC has made and
18 the authorities there. You can see the names. I'm not going to go
19 through all of them, but you can see there Mate Boban, Colonel Blaskic,
20 Berislav Pusic, General Petkovic, and page 7 of the same report you have
21 the conclusion saying that the authorities of the Croatian Republic
22 Herceg-Bosna are in breach of their international humanitarian
23 obligations by using prisoners to work on the frontline. Violations of
24 international humanitarian law have been numerous since the beginning of
25 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and have resulted in hundreds of injuries
1 and dead."
2 And then there is the ICRC recommendation, which basically says
3 to stop with that practice.
4 Sir, would you, as president of the -- as the former president of
5 the Red Cross Mostar from 1992 until 1998, would you agree with the
6 report of the Red Cross Committee that those were unlawful practices?
7 A. I can't possibly judge this report. Firstly, I've never seen it
8 before. Secondly, it wasn't addressed to the Red Cross. The
9 institutions invoked in the document could perhaps give you an assessment
10 as to whether that actually happened or not.
11 Q. Sir, let's move to Exhibit P02579.
12 A. I'm sorry. Can I send this one back or --
13 Q. You can do that.
14 A. Would you please repeat the number for me? Thank you.
15 Q. Yes. P2579. And you don't need to move them out from -- just
16 take the binder with you, sir. Just take the binder with you. You don't
17 need to move them out, so we can go quicker. 2579.
18 If we can address attention to paragraph 11, that's in
19 page R022-4797 of that report.
20 Do you have it now?
21 A. The number is for the English version, and I need its
22 translation. I'll see what I can find on the screen. Yes, I've got it,
23 if that's what you're talking about.
24 Q. Paragraph 11, sir, of that exhibit, and you have the page in
25 B/C/S, it says:
1 "On the 23rd May --" this is a report from the European Committee
2 of Service, the European Community of Service, ECMM, from the 23rd to the
3 30 May, 1993
4 that time, and it reports that:
5 "On the 23rd May, Grude reported that ICRC has reported that two
6 Muslims were arrested by the HVO in the ICRC office in Mostar this
7 morning while they were completing family message forms. There were no
8 ICRC delegates present, only local staff. ICRC will protest
10 Sir, you were saying that the ICRC couldn't or had problems in
11 distributing messages, family messages. Do you recall any incident of
12 Bosnian Muslims arrested while they were trying to send messages to their
13 families in Mostar in May 1993?
14 A. I have already told you that the ICRC was not distributing
15 messages. Those messages could be filled out in the offices of the Red
16 Cross or you could take them home and fill them out, and you could bring
17 them to any of the addresses to be forwarded further afield. What
18 context did you take this out from, I really don't know. I don't know
19 what you're talking about. The situation was different at the time.
20 Q. Sir, my question was -- it was very simple. Do you recall any
21 incident where Bosnian Muslims, when they were filling up messages,
22 family form in Mostar, were arrested by the HVO? Do you recall any
23 incident? That was my question. Yes or no?
24 A. I've never seen this before. I have no information about this
1 Q. Let's go to Exhibit P02321, then. Sir, this is an order dated
2 12th May 1993 from Mostar. It was shown to you or it was referred to you
3 before by counsel. You told us before that you had been a couple of
4 times in -- earlier on, and here in the order, it says that:
5 "At the intervention by Marinko Simunovic, representative of the
6 Red Cross, and with the authorisation from Mr. Berko Pusic, Mustafa
7 Mujezinovic shall be released immediately:
8 "The above-mentioned was taken over by Mr. Marinko Simunovic,"
9 and there is your signature, sir, in the document, and it's signed by
10 Stanko Bozic, the warden of the Mostar Central Military Remand Detention
11 in Heliodrom.
12 Was this Bosnian Muslim person taken out by you at the Heliodrom,
14 A. Yes, I took him over, yes.
15 Q. You did succeed to release this person from the Heliodrom. You
16 went there to Heliodrom and you release him?
17 A. I had a good reason for that. When I learned that this gentleman
18 is the man who received me as a refugee, me and my wife, before my wife
19 left to rejoin our children, I was so excited and moved and I sought ways
20 to help this man get out.
21 Q. Was he in a good shape, his physical condition, this person?
22 A. He was just upset for being there. Otherwise, his health
23 condition and everything else was in good order.
24 Q. Did you see, sir, other detainees at that time?
25 A. No. This person came and met me outside and got into my car. I
1 never entered the area where he had been before.
2 MR. LONGONE: Let's move to another exhibit, P04352.
3 Q. This document, do you got it, sir?
4 A. 4398? 4352.
5 Q. 4352. This is a document dated Mostar, 20 August 1993. It's
6 addressed to Mr. Bruno Stojic from Mr. Stanko Bozic, actually, and, sir,
7 in your report it said that the ICRC was not distributing or block the
8 distribution of messages from the Red Cross. That's what it says in the
9 report from 1993. And here it says that:
10 "I am writing you to inform you of the visit of the International
11 Committee of the Red Cross to the Central Military Remand Prison and the
12 objections they made to me.
13 "On 11 August 1993
14 the detainees, and the following two days they took messages. When they
15 finished their work in the prison, a representative of the delegation,
16 Mr. Franco Faro, and I, as the prison warden, had a conversation.
17 Mr. Franco pointed to the following wrongdoings and violations of the
19 of food; bad conditions in solitary cells.
20 "And the representative of the ICRC warned that he was obliged,
21 the warden, to make sure that these wrongdoings are not repeated in the
22 future or he will be reported to the International Tribunal. On the
23 contrary, the number," and then the warden says: "On the contrary, the
24 number of wounded and killed at the workplace is increasing by day.
25 Although I, as a warden, do not decide on taking detainees to work, the
1 authorities were handed over to Mr. Vladimir Primorac, I will be held
2 responsible before the International Tribunal. Please help us to resolve
3 this problem in this new situation so we could protect the Central
4 Military Remand Prison, the HVO Command and the interests of our whole
6 And then it's signed by Stanko Bozic.
7 Sir, when you pick up this person that -- this Muslim person that
8 gave refuge to you and your family, did he told you about all these
9 wrongdoings? Did you have a discussion about that, about the conditions
10 in the Heliodrom?
11 A. I apologise. I have to clarify one situation relative to the
12 role of the state committee and the information in our reports.
13 In the International Committee --
14 Q. I understand that. My question was: You picked up a person that
15 was arrested at the Heliodrom. I am the one putting the questions.
16 Excuse me, sir. We don't have that much time, otherwise I would allow
17 you, but my question was: We see all these enunciations. Did the person
18 that you pick up told you about all the situation and wrongdoings that
19 were going on?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but I
22 have an objection to this answer. The witness --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will answer. There is no
24 problem. This person did tell me things. That person felt embarrassed
25 because there were a lot of people in the same room. Nothing else had
1 happened to that person while he was there.
2 MR. LONGONE: Sir, let's move to Exhibit P7787, 7787.
3 Q. You have it with you, sir? So the first page of this document is
4 a report regarding the situation at the Heliodrom. It's dated 3 February
5 1994, and this report relates to Bosnian Muslim detainees originally at
6 the Heliodrom during 1993.
7 Now, sir, the second page, this is signed by Marjan Biskic,
8 assistant to the minister. And regarding the information, you have --
9 this report is written because of a letter, a representation made by the
10 ICRC, you can see at the end of it, saying that, on page 7 of the English
11 version, that:
12 "The ICRC could not visit all the persons detained by the
13 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna authorities, since a lot of them were
14 at various locations under the compulsory work order."
15 And then you see a reference also, copy to Marjan Biskic,
16 Berislav Pusic, and Vladislav Pogarcic, in B/C/S 01566928 to 29. And if
17 we move back to the document to the beginning, to the information, to the
18 report after the first page, that's page 2 of the English version, at the
19 end of the second paragraph, after making reference to 60 prisoners of
20 war, it says that:
21 "Elmir Djasvin [phoen], killed when he was performing forced
22 labour, Elvedin Obradovic, and Osman Elezovic, who were wounded and
23 admitted at the Mostar wartime hospital," were they still there, that's
24 the hospital in the part of the town that your Red Cross was. And then
25 if you go down, it says:
1 "Through the intelligence work, in cooperation with the operative
2 of the Mostar centre," it says that a certain person from the HVO
3 Engineers Platoon is keeping a number of prisoners of Muslim nationality
4 at the Centre 2 in Ricina Street location."
5 That's in Mostar, sir. Do you have any of these incidents,
6 Bosnian Muslims that has been wounded and taken to the Mostar hospital,
7 because you were -- in your report, you referred to donations of blood
8 for those that are victims and being attended at the hospital in West
9 Mostar, and people being detained also in Mostar, Bosnian Muslims. Do
10 you recall any of that, sir? "Yes" or "no," that's my question.
11 A. No, I don't remember ever having mentioned that in any of our
13 Q. Let's go to the following exhibit, 080 --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Longone.
15 Witness, the question was not whether you had put that in the
16 report. The question was whether you had heard of this. Have you heard
17 of --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood it was that the
19 gentleman actually said that it was contained in a report of mine, and I
20 have no knowledge about that and I never wrote anything to that effect in
21 any of my reports.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I will not check now, because maybe I am in
24 MR. KARNAVAS: There's some confusion, Your Honour, there's some
25 confusion. The question was inartfully put. He made reference that in
1 his report, he talked about donation of blood. That's what that issue
2 was. And the way it was translated and when you hear it, I guess, it
3 would appear that the gentleman thought that this -- these incidents were
4 included in his report. So that's where the confusion lies. So it could
5 be if we take it step by step, instead of trying to bully the witness
6 into an answer, we might get someplace.
7 MR. LONGONE:
8 Q. Sir, my question: Do you recall any Bosnian Muslim that was
9 wounded because of being used as human shield at the use at the
10 frontlines at Mostar and been taken to the West Mostar Hospital
11 the Red Cross was giving blood donations? Do you recall any of them
12 being treated there, sir, and blood given to any of them? "Yes" or "no,"
13 that's my question.
14 A. Again, I must say that I did not work at the hospital. There's
15 no way for me to know who was admitted. I was involved with the work of
16 the Red Cross, and the way you're putting things, one might assume that I
17 could be at ten places at the same time.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Longone, you have
19 approximately five minutes left, at best.
20 MR. LONGONE:
21 Q. Let's continue with Exhibit P08078. 8078, Witness, 8078.
22 You have the document with you, sir?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. This is a letter sent from the ICRC on the 16 March 1994 to
25 Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, Marjan Biskic, Mr. Jadranko Prlic, prime minister
1 from the Croatian Republic
2 commander of the HVO headquarters, Pasovina. Sir, in this letter they're
3 referring to people detained in Vojno on the -- from 8 November 1993
4 until 28 January 1994
5 were transferred from Roloc [phoen] earlier on to Vojno, and clearly you
6 can see there what happened to them. They were abused at the frontlines
7 again. Prisoner had to bang his head on a stone until bleeding. He was
8 then beaten with a metal bar. On different occasions, prisoners had to
9 do exercises, pushups and leap-frogs. They had to bark like dogs. And
10 there are names of people being involved in these abuses.
11 And then the second page, referring to the ICRC at the bottom of
12 it, mention allegations that prisoners were ill-treated in Mostar, again
13 in Mostar, not at the Heliodrom, in Mostar, and forced to work on the
14 frontline. And then you see what they were doing to them. One was
15 killed by a sniper at the frontline, Jasmin Emir.
16 Isn't it true, sir -- and then you see at the end that:
17 "In view of the above, ICRC would like the authorities to make
18 the necessary inquiries concerning these allegations. ICRC is willing to
19 provide the authorities with the detailed allegations summarised above."
20 Isn't it true, sir, that the ICRC was trying to do their best to
21 assist in stopping all these crimes and trying to see where these people
22 were being taken? Because in the report there are allegations that the
23 ICRC were not doing their work. This is what you allege in your report
24 of 1993.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I'm going to object unless a foundation is
1 laid. How can -- this report is not addressed to the gentleman. He
2 needs to lay a foundation. He's trying to get the gentleman to commit
3 that the ICRC is trying to do their job. How can he possibly answer this
4 question unless it's put to him whether he knows what the ICRC was doing
5 or wasn't doing?
6 MR. LONGONE:
7 Q. Sir, did you know anything about -- anything about Vojno? Did
8 you know anything about Vojno camp or Vojno frontline? You mentioned
9 Vojno in your report being exchanged Bosnian Muslims at Vojno.
10 A. Believe me, I repeat for the third time, anything that had to do
11 with the detainees, those who were arrested, that was the mandate of the
12 International Committee from my today's perspective. I would be happy to
13 say that it would have been good had we received these reports. Maybe we
14 could have acted differently. But they kept these reports to themselves,
15 and I've never seen them before. What is recorded here, I cannot either
16 confirm or deny. I am not in a position to do that because I was not
17 informed about all this.
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 We are getting the same questions all over again, and that's why
20 we receive the same answers. The witness has already told us his opinion
21 about the ICRC.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have answered all
23 these questions, but you've just said something which could prove useful.
24 You said that the ICRC did not inform you about the problems they had.
25 Do we need to infer from this that the people working for the ICRC did
1 not phone you up to let you know that they had problems? They didn't
2 tell you anything whatsoever? You knew nothing about the concerns of the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not in this area, no. We could
5 not even inquire whether there were any problems. They were very strict
6 about their mandate, and no delegates were allowed to talk about any of
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me take a very simple
9 example. Take the case of a particular family that goes to see the
10 delegate of the ICRC and says to them, "My husband is in prison. What
11 can I do about this?" The ICRC delegate didn't phone you up then to tell
12 you that, "I have heard that such-and-such a person is detained"? You
13 knew nothing about anything?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they did not react that way,
15 Your Honour, not at all. We did not have any contacts with this regard.
16 We did not discuss the subject at all.
17 MR. LONGONE: Mr. President, this is my last question. It is
18 related to the question you put to the witness and what I said in the
19 beginning of this cross-examination today.
20 Q. And in the beginning of your testimony, sir, you said that you
21 received documents that were forwarded to you by the International
22 Committee. They are -- in the mandate of the ICRC, there are two main
23 points. One is related to humanitarian aid, the one is the tracing of
24 people, the missing of people, the treatment of detainees, and that's
25 what you mention in your report of 1993. And then the second thing you
1 said, sir, and that I read to you was that you had contact with the ICRC
2 and with the delegates of the ICRC who were in charge of cooperation in
3 your area either through meetings and conversations "on our premises or
4 through meetings in their offices that were in various locations both in
5 Mostar and outside Mostar." You were --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down, Mr. Longone, please.
7 MR. LONGONE: My apologies.
8 Q. You were the president of the Red Cross, Mostar, from 1992, June,
9 until 1998. You said the ICRC was on the ground in Mostar during 1992,
10 1993, monitoring and assisting your work, and your answer today, sir, is
11 that you don't remember anything, as the president of the Red Cross in
12 Mostar in that time, 1992 to 1998, you don't remember anything about
13 mistreatment of prisoners, the arrest of Bosnian Muslim people, the
14 evictions, the deportations of them, any harassment to the
15 [indiscernible], anything about the people working for the social welfare
16 office that were arrested in the Heliodrom that were providing to you and
17 preparing the coffee for you, as you mentioned in the beginning of this
18 examination; you don't remember anything? That's your answer today, sir,
19 you, as the president of the Red Cross, Mostar?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, excuse me. How do you answer that
21 question? I think his answers to all these questions have been put and
22 have been answered.
23 MR. LONGONE: Could please the witness have the opportunity to
25 MR. KARNAVAS: So I object to the form of the question. There
1 are numerous questions being put, there are facts that are being assumed.
2 If that's his closing argument he can make it at the end of the trial.
3 MR. LONGONE: These are not closing arguments. All these are
4 questions put to the witness and the witness answer it during the
5 testimony here in the Tribunal, and Your Honour knows very well that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, so the question
7 put by the Prosecutor is a very lengthy question, because he addresses a
8 series of issues that have already been addressed. This is a question of
9 a general nature that recaps everything, recapitulates everything.
10 So you say you don't remember anything, and the witness will
11 answer. What do you have to say to this, Witness?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'm prepared to
13 answer. I understood the question.
14 Whatever was outside my mandate, and the institutions that the
15 gentleman is asking me about, which were not within my control, and the
16 situations that happened of which I knew nothing, I can't remember such
17 things. I can't remember such institutions and events. There's no --
18 nothing to jog my memory, because I never knew anything about them. Most
19 of the questions contained within that long question had to do with other
20 things than my institution and my mandate. That is why the Prosecutor is
21 putting it to me that I can't remember things. I can't remember things
22 if I wasn't there, if none of my men were there, if I wasn't informed, if
23 I did not receive an official report, or if I did not receive subsequent
24 information so as to be informed. I do have an answer, and that was my
1 MR. LONGONE: Thank you, Witness, and no further questions, Your
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a few questions. There may be some
6 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
7 Q. Let me begin with, first, that you were shown an ICRC report, and
8 that was document P00284, and of course we could see, on the very front
9 of it, where it says that this is a confidential report that is intended
10 only for the authorities to which it is submitted, and it goes on. I'm
11 going to ask you one concrete question.
12 Did the ICRC share this report with you at the time?
13 A. No, I never received this report.
14 Q. Did they invite you to any meetings where they were participating
15 or talking with any officials or anybody concerning the issues that were
16 shown to you in this particular report?
17 A. No.
18 Q. You were then shown another report, and that's from the ECMM, and
19 you were shown I believe it was paragraph 10. I saw a reaction from the
20 Bench, which is why I'm going to ask you this question, because again it
21 makes reference to the ICRC. I want to know: Did the European -- the
22 ECMM, these monitors, did they come to you and share their report with
23 you and the contents therein?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did the ICRC have a separate office or did they share the same
1 office as the Mostar Red Cross?
2 A. We were separate, separated. The office of the ICRC was at a
3 different address.
4 Q. Well, there was a reaction from the Bench which seemed to me, at
5 least, that they found your answer to be incredible, that is, that you
6 would not have known that somebody working for the ICRC would have been
7 harassed or picked up by the authorities, so I'm going to put it to you
8 concrete and squarely.
9 Did the ICRC ever complain to you about those activities that
10 happened in their office, which was not where your offices were located?
11 A. Not to me.
12 Q. Yesterday, you were shown a report by this fellow Mazowiecki. I
13 have a problem pronouncing his name, but you saw the report. Did this
14 fellow from the UN, did he ever come around and meet with you in your
15 office to look at your statistics or participate in any meetings at the
17 A. No, never.
18 Q. Well, did he ever show up at the coordinating committee meeting
19 to say, "Wait a minute, let's look at this data. I'm hearing thousands
20 and thousands of people are fleeing. Let's look at your data"? Did he
21 ever show up at any of those meetings so he could get the collective or
22 individual views, in front of everybody, as far as the numbers of people?
23 A. No, he didn't, ever.
24 Q. Now, you were at the meeting. As I understand it, you made notes
25 in your notebook. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That note was shared with us, and we shared it with the
3 Prosecution; right?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please speak into the
6 A. I allowed everyone to make copies. There are no secrets in that
7 notebook. The work of the Red Cross was no secret.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Now, let me look at -- let's look at
9 1D 02813. This is an excerpt from your notebook. This was translated
10 last night, Your Honours, or this morning, based on the questions that
11 were raised.
12 Q. Do you recognise this paper?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And whose handwriting is it, sir?
15 A. Mine.
16 Q. Okay. Now, I see that there's some figures there. Let's start
17 off, first of all, do you know about when this -- these figures or
18 this -- when you made this -- made these notes?
19 A. I made these notes on the 30th of November, if I'm not mistaken.
20 I'm not sure if this is a "2" or a "3." Perhaps we should magnify this,
21 but I think it's a "3." However, we don't have the right sheet of paper
22 on the screen. This is not the information, and these are not the
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]... hard copy, so just work with
25 me on the hard copy. I'm trying to get you out of here.
1 A. [In English] Okay.
2 Q. So let's look at these figures.
3 A. [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. Please explain these figures to us so we understand.
5 A. All right. At the meeting of the coordinating committee, we
6 received word of the numbers of people in West Mostar, and this is the
7 information, a total of 47.558 citizens, 39.614 domicile, 7.474 displaced
8 persons, and 470 refugees. The ethnic breakdown of the total: 34.430
9 Croats, 9.928 Muslims, 2.460 Serbs; other, 823. If you look at this
10 page, you have the percentages there; 72.17 Croats, 20.84 per cent
11 Muslims, 5.16 per cent Serbs, and the rest is probably negligible, so
12 there's just a blank square there. It also tells us that, if we look at
13 the total number, children between the age of 0 and age 7, a total of
15 MR. LONGONE: Counsel is referring to an exhibit which is a diary
16 of the witness, and it's dated 30/11/1993
17 we have is the one of 30 April 1993
18 the testimony of the witness to be included. And if counsel wanted to
19 discuss more items of this thicker agenda with the witness, they should
20 have provided that to us before so we can have a look at it and be able
21 to respond to it.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, it's good trial advocacy practice
23 that when you receive notes, even when they're not in your own language,
24 to have -- to examine them. They have B/C/S speakers. I would have at
25 least looked at them, through a B/C/S speaker, to find out what's in the
2 Secondly, the note, this part which was translated and has been
3 provided to everyone, it's based on his cross-examination. That's the
4 essence, and that's the art of rebuttal or redirect.
5 MR. LONGONE: Your Honours, I'm receiving -- I mean, I'm being --
6 or the Prosecution is being accused, and there are a lot of different
7 ways that counsel have addressed the Prosecution, and this is the
8 B/C/S -- the original documentation that we are talking about. Do you
9 think I'm ready to read this, that any of our B/C/S translators can help
10 us now to do this translation?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Those were provided months in advance,
12 Your Honour, months in advance, and this was based on testimony that was
13 elicited yesterday. We discreetly went through one page, and we
14 translated the one page based on the numbers he provided yesterday.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] let's not dwell on this issue.
16 During cross-examination, the witness, based on the special
17 rapporteur's report, mentioned those figures, and I myself raised the
18 issue by asking a question, and the witness provided the figures that we
19 have now. Based on this, Mr. Karnavas took the evidence out of his book,
20 his notes, that he did not invent these figures because they come from
21 the diary for the day of the 30th of November, 1993.
22 Where do these figures come from, we don't know, but they are
23 written in here.
24 Please continue, Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. My next question: Where do these figures come from? How was it
2 that you put them in your notebook?
3 A. Well, given the fact there was a representative of the social
4 welfare centre at the meeting and the centre was keeping records, this
5 information reached us through that particular institution.
6 Q. All right. Now, let me go to one other document, revisit this.
7 I brought it up. It was again brought up on cross-examination, but I
8 want to make sure that we're clear on this point. And this is 1D 00754.
9 If I could have the usher to assist us, I would be most grateful.
10 This is to help the gentleman finding the document.
11 And I just want to get back to -- I know we've looked at this
12 document on many occasions. I'm not interested in Article 1. The Judges
13 can read it. They can decide how to interpret it, based on the
14 testimony. But on Article 2, I do want you to provide us some more
15 complete testimony.
16 It says here:
17 "Internally-displaced persons who have moved from one local
18 commune in Mostar municipality to another shall return to their original
19 local commune, if it is liberated, and re-occupy their former dwellings
20 (own houses, flats, et cetera), which are now available ..."
21 Now, when we are talking about internally-displaced persons,
22 yesterday you gave us a rather nice definition and explanation of what a
23 local commune is. What are we talking about, "internally-displaced
24 persons," in the context of Article 2 of this particular decision?
25 A. As far as this section is concerned, it was the aspiration of the
1 authorities for those people, who were able to return to their own
2 liberated areas and actually had houses or flats to which they could
3 return, to do so. It was precisely based on our records and on the
4 records of the social welfare centre that --
5 Q. We understand all of that, but I want -- what do we mean by
6 "internally displaced" versus "displaced persons"?
7 A. A person, for example, from local commune A, because of enemy
8 activity, had to travel to local commune B. The house that this person
9 used to own in the previous local commune had been destroyed, so this
10 person now had nowhere to go back to. After the situation had calmed
11 down and things were back to normal, and the house was still there, this
12 decision ordered this person to indeed go back to their homes.
13 Q. So are we talking about Mostarians, basically, people from Mostar
14 municipality? Is this what we're referring to when we say --
15 A. Yes, yes, from the entire Mostar municipality.
16 Q. All right. Not from other municipalities?
17 A. No, only internally-displaced persons.
18 Q. And as I understand your testimony from direct, some of these
19 individuals were double-dipping, were receiving aid twice, and that was
20 one of the other motivating factors, based on your testimony on direct.
22 A. Yes, there were cases like that.
23 Q. All right. Now, you were asked a series of questions today about
24 whether you saw anybody on the frontline being used for this or that.
25 Your work, as I understand your testimony, was primarily dealing with
1 disbursing humanitarian aid. Is that right?
2 A. Yes, to a very large extent. There were other activities; blood
3 donations, for example, first aid, and everything else that we mentioned
4 in our report. But for the most part, our job was about humanitarian
6 Q. All right. Well, let's talk about blood donations, because the
7 implication is that since one of the functions was blood donations, you
8 would have known what is going on in the hospital. Where was the blood
9 being donated, how was it controlled, and to what extent were you aware
10 of who was going to the hospital either to give blood or who was at the
11 hospital receiving medical attention?
12 A. At the hospital, there was a special ward or department for
13 transfusion, and the Red Cross tried to raise the awareness of the
14 population in terms of donating blood, in terms of becoming donors. The
15 hospital would draw up a plan, together with us, in relation to a
16 specific local community for all those who were prepared to go and donate
17 blood to do so. Our objective and our mission was to raise their
18 awareness, was to explain to them that this was a good deed and that they
19 might save other people's lives by donating blood.
20 We kept records of these donors. The hospital staff, the
21 hospital, would check blood samples, check the blood type and everything
22 else that one does when dealing with blood donations and how it is then
23 distributed or used.
24 Q. All right. To what extent -- to what extent were you or your
25 staff going up to the frontline, to the separation line where there was
1 activity, to carry out your own work?
2 A. We didn't have access to the confrontation line or the frontline
3 at all during the actual war operations. This would have been too
5 Q. Well, I mean, the implication is that since you're the Red Cross,
6 obviously you would have known what's happening on the frontline, if
7 anything, and that you would be able to make these reports to the ICRC.
8 Did you ever drive down -- up and down the boulevard that was dividing
9 the city to figure out what's happening, who's doing what to whom and
11 A. No, no, I never did that.
12 Q. All right. Now, Monday it was put squarely to you that you are a
13 member of the joint criminal enterprise, that you were deliberately
14 trying to deny Muslims humanitarian aid. It was put to you fairly and
15 squarely. It's there on the transcript. It was on Tuesday. Not
16 yesterday; the day before. And I want to ask you one concrete question.
17 MR. LONGONE: Your Honour --
18 MR. KARNAVAS:
19 Q. Were you deliberately trying to deny Muslims humanitarian aid,
20 either you individually or in your capacity as the president of the Red
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Longone.
23 MR. LONGONE: Your Honour, I wanted for the record, the Office of
24 the Prosecutor are not saying that this -- we want the transcript
25 reference regarding where the Prosecution said that this gentleman is a
1 member of the joint criminal enterprise. We didn't say that.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: He didn't have to say it. He put to the --
3 MR. LONGONE: Then don't say it.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: He put to the witness -- he put to the witness
5 that the Mostar Municipal Red Cross was trying to deny humanitarian aid
6 to the Muslims. It fits well within their theory, it's the overall
7 theory, and I'm putting the question to the witness: Did he ever try to
8 deny Muslims humanitarian aid, and if so, to describe it to us.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Longone, you never said
10 that, did you?
11 MR. LONGONE: I never said that this gentleman was a member of
12 the joint criminal enterprise, and I want the reference from the record
13 of these accusations that counsel has just made to the Prosecution.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: By implication, Your Honour, by inference. They
15 never -- they don't have to say that the person is a member of the joint
16 criminal enterprise. It's by their accusations. That's why yesterday I
17 objected to the way they're characterizing Croats. It's collective guilt
18 that --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you do a bit less shouting, Mr. Karnavas,
20 please. It would be --
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise.
24 Q. Did you or your organisation ever try to deny Muslims or anyone
25 else humanitarian aid?
1 A. Esteemed attorney, Your Honours, I'm free to say this loud and
2 clear here today. The Mostar Red Cross did its job to the best of its
3 ability. There has been a lot of evidence here that confirms that,
4 irrespective of people's ethnic backgrounds, and without meaning to
5 deprive anyone of aid. I will stand staunch and I will defend this truth
6 anywhere, any time.
7 Likewise, I would like to thank everyone, all the people who were
8 working with us at the time, all those the whole world over who were
9 helping us accomplish our mission.
10 Q. One final question. When -- after the Washington Agreement,
11 which is 1994, and after the Dayton Agreement and thereafter, all the
12 time up until you completed your work with the Red Cross in 2003, where
13 were you -- where were you employed, in what city?
14 A. In 1998, I was appointed chief secretary of the Federation's Red
15 Cross, and I remained in that position until 2003. As a representative
16 of the Mostar Red Cross, I became a member of the working group whose
17 mission it was to set up the federal Red Cross. On behalf of the
18 Herceg-Bosna Red Cross, in keeping with all the agreements that were
19 signed, I was actually involved in carrying out tasks envisaged in the
20 agreement. As soon as the conditions were right to set up a society at
21 the federal level, I was again a member of this inter-ethnic entity
22 contact group with another colleague of mine from the Federation. We had
23 a total of 33 meetings with the Serb side, the Red Cross of the Republic
24 of Srpska, and we succeeded in preparing an Assembly of the Red Cross --
25 the Society of the Red Cross of Bosnia-Herzegovina, thereby making
1 international recognition possible. From Day 1, from the day I joined
2 the Red Cross, I was actually involved in accomplishing its mission, on
3 the one hand. On the other, I was involved in institutionally organising
4 the Red Cross from the municipal level all the way up to the federal
6 Q. And when you were trying to organise it at the federal level, was
7 that out of Mostar, or was that out of Sarajevo, or someplace else?
8 A. It was out of Mostar, until such time as the Red Cross was
9 established, actively through these meetings, with the representatives of
10 other municipal organisations from throughout the Federation. We reached
11 all the elements -- or, rather, we accomplished all the elements in order
12 to set up an assembly and set up a Red Cross for the Federation.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, sir. I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, thank you. Now,
15 please get out quickly so that you can catch your plane.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank you. I thank you very much
17 for your patience. I thank all of you who have been asking me questions
18 over the last days. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With regard to
22 next week's schedule, as you know, we'll start at 9.00 in the morning,
23 and we are to have two 15-minute breaks so that we can finish at 1.00.
24 We shall resume at 2.00 in the afternoon to finish at 4.00. And in the
25 afternoon, we'll have 15-minute breaks as well, because there's another
1 hearing, more or less, covered by the media scheduled to start at 4.00 in
2 the afternoon, so we can't work after 4.00. But we'll have more than
3 five hours and a half of hearing and then we'll have the rest of the week
4 and the week thereafter.
5 Is that right, Mr. Karnavas?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, and I did have one bit of news for
7 the Trial Chamber, in light of yesterday's letter that we received from
8 the Prosecution. Actually, we had made a decision prior to receiving the
9 letter, and I did communicate with the Prosecution our position, and I'll
10 do so on the record and for the Trial Chamber's convenience as well.
11 We have looked at our case, and of course we are very mindful
12 that we need to reserve certain hours, and of course the following
13 witness is a rather complicated witness and we may need to use an extra
14 hour with him. We don't know. But be that as it may, we have decided,
15 after consultations with our client as well and looking at the case map
16 that we've been preparing ever since we began this odyssey some two years
17 ago, that we will not be calling the four 92 bis witnesses that have
18 testified in previous cases before the Tribunal. There are four of them.
19 As for the remaining four, a question was raised earlier today by
20 the Prosecutor, and I told him that our position is not to call any of
21 them, but to merely submit their one- or two-page statement to the Trial
22 Chamber, and I'm still waiting for the one to arrive, and when we get it
23 we will present it to everyone.
24 But, again, the four that have previously testified that we had
25 on our list, we are withdrawing. So and that -- and I only mentioned it
1 now on the record to ensure that if you are discussing scheduling
2 matters, you can factor that into your -- into the programme.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So with the remaining
5 schedule, there's going to be a gap in early December, since Radovanovic,
6 this expert, is scheduled to testify in the week of the 24th to the 27th
7 or 28th, but Mr. Stringer said that he would be in a position to
8 cross-examine that witness. So we're going to have a gap in the
9 beginning of December.
10 We understand that the Stojic Defence cannot call their first
11 witness named Davor if they haven't first heard Cvikl. We know that the
12 report, in B/C/S, will only be translated in two months' time. It means
13 that they won't have this report available by the 22nd of December.
14 Davor has to be after Cvikl, I can understand that, but I'm now turning
15 to the Stojic Defence.
16 Don't you have other witnesses that are not so dependent on
17 Davor, that could, for instance, be called earlier in December? Don't
18 you have that kind of witness?
19 Mr. Khan.
20 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, firstly, I'm grateful for the opportunity
21 to address this question. It was an issue which we wanted to discuss and
22 seek the guidance of the Trial Chamber.
23 Of course, you are in possession of the letter, Mr. President,
24 addressed to the Trial Chamber, dated yesterday, from Mr. Stringer.
25 Your Honour, the first point is this: That we are looking
1 forward, on behalf of Mr. Stojic, to starting our Defence case. He has
2 been, of course, sitting in this dock for a long time, and he's looking
3 forward to the opportunity to clarify some misunderstandings and some of
4 the misconceptions of the Prosecution case in the course of the defence
5 that he's putting on, and the sooner, in many respects, the better.
6 Your Honour, we are -- let me make it crystal clear. We are very
7 happy to start on the 1st of December, notwithstanding the fact that as
8 things stood earlier this week, it was anticipated with the schedule that
9 we then understood was in place that we'd be starting in January.
10 However, we are adamant, in our respectful submission, that our witness,
11 Davor, Marjan, must be our cornerstone witness, he must be the first
12 witness that we call.
13 Your Honour, on the 20th, Mr. President, you yourself put it very
14 succinctly, and I quote from page 20:
15 "Witness Davor," that is Marjan, "is in strategic terms important
16 because he will be the cornerstone of your Defence strategy and the rest
17 will come after that."
18 That was put, of course, in crystal-clear terms by my learned
19 leader in her submissions on this issue.
20 Now, this Defence strategy hasn't been simply cobbled together in
21 the last few months. It certainly pre-existed my joining the team at a
22 very late stage. My learned leader has the strategy in place from the
23 beginning of this Defence case, and in my respectful submission a very
24 significant margin of discretion must be given to the team -- to the lead
25 counsel of each team as to how they are putting their own case.
1 Now, as I understand it, so important is the expert witness
2 Marjan, it would be the most efficient use of time and the appropriate
3 relief would be to allow us to call this witness on the 1st of December.
4 Now, there is, after Cvikl has testified. The expert report of Cvikl was
5 distributed to the parties, the Defence and the Prosecution, on the 10th
6 of October. By the 1st of December, the Prosecution would have had 51
7 days to consider that report. It's just nine days shy of the two months
8 that the Trial Chamber are ordering as a period of reasonable time to
9 prepare. Now, that does not, of course, address the issue of the
10 translation into Croatian. That, itself, was an application by the
11 Stojic team to Mr. Karnavas, that it was required to be in Croatian.
12 Your Honour, there are two options, in my respectful submission,
13 that could address that particular difficulty. The first is Your Honours
14 may collectively wish to direct the Registry to prioritise this report,
15 because it would have ramifications to the whole scheduling of the Trial
16 Chamber, and ask them to make this available, for example, the last week
17 of November. They would still have three weeks plus to prepare that
18 expert report. That's the preferred option, in my respectful submission,
19 that the Registry be told this is a very important document, it's one
20 that would have significant implications on the scheduling and the usage
21 of court time, and therefore it's not beyond the wit of those in the
22 translation services. They are very efficient and they are very capable.
23 No doubt, they are very overworked. But if they could be directed to
24 prioritise that document, that's my primary application and my preferred
25 option in relation to this matter.
1 The other option, however, is given the best use of court time,
2 and of course we are very much alive to the efficient use of court time
3 in the Stojic team, at least that is our hope and our endeavour, my
4 learned leader has told -- has informed me that the other option is that
5 we sit down with our client in the Detention Unit, with a translator, and
6 go through that document orally with him. So that's the fall-back
8 We put forward these two different options in a very sincere
9 attempt to overcome the hurdle of the Cvikl testimony, but it's because
10 of the extreme importance, in our submission, that we start our case with
11 the witness of our choosing to pursue the strategy chosen by the lead
12 counsel responsible for this case, and in our respectful submission it's
13 a reasonable and proportionate response to overcome the difficulties that
14 are in place. It would ensure that the court time was properly utilised.
15 We would start on the 1st of December, Cvikl gives evidence the week
16 before, and in our submission, all of this could work quite nicely and
17 neatly to make sure that the time between the 1st of December and the
18 12th of December is not cast to the wind.
19 Your Honours, I hope that is of assistance.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the two options suggested
21 by the Stojic Defence are most interesting, but they do depend on the
22 Prosecution's position regarding Cvikl, indeed.
23 We'd like to know when you would be ready to cross-examine Cvikl.
24 That's the problem, that's where the problem lies, Mr. Stringer.
25 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President, and good afternoon, Your
2 I thought it was settled, the Prosecution was going to begin its
3 cross-examination of Mr. Cvikl on the 12th of January, and I can assure
4 the Trial Chamber that we are not going to be in a position to address
5 this witness any earlier. I think, actually, if the Trial Chamber's had
6 an opportunity yet to review his report and the materials that accompany
7 it, I think there's -- the 12th of January is a tall order, to be honest,
8 in our view, but the 12th of January is absolutely the earliest at which
9 time the Prosecution's ready for Mr. Cvikl.
10 And then just continuing off of what my learned friend Mr. Khan
11 has just been saying, if I understand correctly what's being proposed is
12 that the Stojic -- well, I guess I understand that, in fact, the Stojic
13 Defence still are adamant that for their strategic reasons, Mr. Davor
14 Marjan has to testify after Mr. Cvikl. So if that is, in fact, the case,
15 then I think there is no way that he can testify before the middle of
16 January. That's the Prosecution position.
17 Today is the 23rd of October. We haven't seen the expert report,
18 it's not been filed yet, and so certainly there's no way that the
19 Prosecution is going to be in a position to consider Mr. Davor Marjan as
20 a witness during -- at any point during the month of December. I can
21 assure the President of that.
22 So as the Prosecution sees it, it has to be the witness Cvikl
23 beginning on the 12th of January and then with the Stojic expert,
24 Mr. Davor Marjan, the week following Cvikl, at the earliest. We still
25 think that it's -- I guess if I could add one final point.
1 We don't understand the link between these two expert witnesses.
2 They're being called by different parties. One is an economist. The
3 other one is apparently going to testify about the structure of the
4 Department of Defence of the HVO. So it's not at all clear to us, based
5 on what we've been told, why these two experts are linked in this way in
6 which it's absolutely necessary to call one after the other. But, again,
7 we haven't seen the Stojic team's report, and so we're all a little bit
8 in the dark about what the witness is going to say. I can only assure
9 the Trial Chamber that the Prosecution must insist on Mr. Cvikl coming
10 the week of the 12th, which is the minimum amount of time we need. If
11 the Stojic expert is to come, he has to come after Cvikl, and again we
12 don't see that it can necessarily be fatal for other witnesses to be
13 called by the Stojic team during those two weeks or so in December.
14 And just one last point on the 92 bis witness -- witnesses that
15 the Prlic team does intend to call, because I -- I mean, again, we
16 haven't seen those either, we haven't seen those letters, and we
17 understand, I believe, what the nature of those are, but we haven't seen
18 them, and I don't want to create expectations that there will not be --
19 that the Prosecution will not take a position that any of those don't
20 have to come. It's quite possible that the Prosecution may review those
21 and take the position that one should come or more. I don't know. So
22 that may, in fact, put us in the position of considering whether any of
23 the remaining Prlic witnesses would need to come. So I don't want to
24 prejudice the Prosecution position in respect of these four remaining
25 92 bis witnesses, because we may ask the Trial Chamber to bring one or
1 more of those, depending on what those statements say. But in respect to
2 the two experts, it has to be after the first of the year, as far as the
3 Prosecution is concerned. We would ask the Trial Chamber to consider
4 whether other witnesses from the Stojic case can nonetheless be brought
5 to testify in December.
6 Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, there's one point we can
8 do nothing about. The Prosecutor has just said that he will not be in a
9 position to examine Cvikl before the 12th of January. It's on the
10 transcript. As you have just said that Davor can only come after Cvikl,
11 we have a second date for him.
12 Mr. Khan, we have another problem. Your expert, Davor, I haven't
13 seen the report yet. Is it going to be filed soon?
14 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, as I indicated, I think, two or three
15 days ago, I gave an undertaking on behalf of Mr. Stojic that that report
16 would be filed by tomorrow, and in fact I sent an e-mail just a few
17 minutes ago to the Prosecution similarly indicating that that expert
18 report would be filed tomorrow.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the second issue is
20 concerned that was raised by Mr. Stringer, he feels that other witnesses
21 could come and testify before Davor. You are saying that this is
23 MR. KHAN: Well, in my respectful submission, of course I'm
24 always extremely grateful for the very experienced and very sincere
25 advice of the Prosecution, but in this particular case, trespassing as it
1 does to the Defence, it's perhaps better to leave it to the Defence as to
2 how it seeks to run its case.
3 Your Honour, the test, in my respectful submission,
4 articulated -- the test articulated by my learned friend, that
5 interposing other witnesses prior to our expert, Marjan, would not be
6 fatal of course is completely erroneous. It's not a test at all. It
7 needn't be fatal. It's of course for the Defence to decide how to call
8 its case. And, Your Honour, it sometimes is very infantish and -- to
9 say, well, this happened to the Prosecution and this is what happened on
10 another case, to support a particular argument, but of course they
11 were -- we are ready to start on the 1st of December, within the
12 parameters that we've articulated. We do submit that they are
14 There were quite a few occasions, at least after I joined the
15 Stojic case -- the Stojic team in which the Prosecution didn't have
16 particular witnesses available of their choice, and one week was put
17 aside or a few days were lost in the trial calender, and at least I never
18 stood up and said, "Well, the Prosecution should bring somebody else." I
19 left it to the Prosecution and their experience how they should put on
20 their case to the best of their ability. And I think that same
21 privilege, that same right, in fact, should be enjoyed by Mr. Stojic.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think Mr. Prlic wanted to
23 say something.
24 Mr. Prlic.
25 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Just a very brief
1 intervention, Your Honour. Everyone wants to say something for the
2 record. I would just like to state one sentence for the record.
3 I will not go into the merit of who is right and who is wrong,
4 procedurally, of who has sufficient time and who doesn't, does something
5 right translating or not. But as a matter of principle, I -- all six of
6 us are hereby condemned to another month of prison.
7 This trial began when my child was born in 2004, in March 2004.
8 My child is about to start going to school, and we will not have seen a
9 judgement rendered yet. Therefore, all the time that passes for you is
10 more or less business as usual. Sometimes business is good, sometimes
11 not so good, but that's not my concern. But we have been spending all
12 this time in prison, Your Honours.
13 Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
15 make an early warning, something that has already been shown to be the
16 case in this trial. We are losing pace, to a large extent, and the trial
17 is foreseen to be finished by the end of next year. What about us,
18 accused number 3, accused number 4, accused number 5, accused number 6?
19 What if we run out of time, what if we end up in dire straits and then
20 number 5 and number 6 don't have sufficient time to do the job properly
21 because there was someone at this point in time who required a 40-page
22 translation and lost two months doing that? And Mr. Prlic, it's not a
23 single month, it's two months for a mere 40 pages. My own team submitted
24 600 pages for translation recently. It was actually done over a 15-day
1 This is just the evidence of two witnesses from this case, and
2 that's for us who are working on it to get into this in detail. It's not
3 just for us, it's for a more general purposes. The cost of a single page
4 is 15 euros, just to put that on the record, and thank you for hearing me
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 Mr. Coric, I can reassure you, don't be concerned as far as
8 number 5 and 6 are concerned. You have been allotted some time, and you
9 will have some time, and you will be able to present your case. Even if
10 the trial is not finished next year, it will be carried over into the
11 following year. You will have enough time to call your witnesses.
12 Of course, it is clear that things are going on for longer. This
13 is something which we all come to realise. Personally, I would have
14 preferred this trial to be finished already. Unfortunately, we are
15 dependent on a series of factors, we are all dependent on a series of
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, I must fully agree I am of the same opinion
18 as Mr. President. We will not rush over any Defence. That is completely
19 out of the question. The Defence of the proceedings has an absolute
20 priority for this Chamber, and we will never sacrifice it to speediness,
21 the more so as while, on the one hand, we understand your plight and the
22 difficulties that you experience, and on the other hand I have also heard
23 Defence speakers say that they wanted a fair trial even if it took a bit
24 longer. So this is a very difficult balancing exercise.
25 Now, as to the specific question, just not to have missed a
1 chance, although not with great hope of a positive result, I would like
2 to ask whether any other Defence would see the possibility of filling
3 that gap we are facing in December. I am fully aware that it is rather
4 unlikely, and, please, no Defence ought under any circumstances feel to
5 be under pressure. But in case one of you ladies and gentlemen sees a
6 possibility to bring in some evidence during these two weeks, I think it
7 would not -- there's no absolute need that we proceed in the
8 chronological way.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak might wish to call
10 some witnesses.
11 Mr. Praljak, you have the floor. Seize this opportunity.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] They keep telling me I
13 shouldn't. I wanted to make a proposal to take a note to appear as a
14 witness and for everything I say to be recorded. That was the sort of
15 agreement that we have.
16 But, Your Honour, Presiding Judge, Judge Antonetti, with all due
17 respect, there is no way you can guarantee that we shall actually be
18 extending this trial. You want that, and at least speaking of myself, I
19 told you I didn't mind the length of trial. When I said I didn't mind,
20 well, I'd rather for the trial to go on, rather than compromising its
21 fairness, but you have the big fish and the Security Council, the big
22 fry, and they took a decision to shut the door on this Tribunal, and then
23 perhaps this whole trial should start all over again in a different court
24 of law. Despite our best efforts, for international justice to continue,
25 this just might happen, and then they could tell you, "Listen, gents, no
1 way you can wrap this up, shall we now all go home, please." Thank you.
2 This is a very realistic possibility that we're looking at. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're quite right, that would
4 be a possibility, theoretically speaking. At any time, the Security
5 Council may decide to stop everything, but we have no information about
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to stop now, because
22 the tapes have run out. We shall meet again, therefore, on Monday as
23 planned. I hope that you will all strive to make things advance quickly.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.03 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Monday, the 27th day of
1 October, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.