1 Thursday, 30 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning, Your
8 Honours. Good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom. This is
9 case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic et al.,
10 thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
12 Mr. Registrar.
13 Today is Thursday, October 30, 2008. I wish good morning to
14 everybody, to the accused. I see that Mr. Pusic is not here. I wish him
15 a prompt recovery. I wish a good morning to the Defence counsel, to
16 Mr. Scott, and Mr. Kruger, his deputy, and also everybody else assisting
17 us in this case.
18 First of all, I would like to issue an oral decision, a formal
19 oral decision since we've already discussed the matter, but we needed to
20 be more specific in issuing an oral decision, so I will read slowly.
21 Oral decision regarding the Prosecution request to delete
22 Mr. Neven Tomic from the Defence witness list or alternatively to
23 postpone his appearance before the Court until such time a more
24 comprehensive 65 ter summary and its discussion with Mr. Cvikl are
1 On October the 15th, the Prosecution filed a motion to forbid or
2 postpone the appearance of witness Neven Tomic until such time a more
3 comprehensive 65 ter summary is provided and its discussions with Milan
4 Cvikl are disclosed. The testimony of witness Neven Tomic began on
5 October the 27th, 2008
6 2008, the Prlic Defence informed the Trial Chamber that it did not have
7 the statements relating to discussions between Neven Tomic and Milan
9 First of all, the Chamber recalls that it had already declared
10 moot the application made by the Prosecution to receive a more
11 comprehensive 65 ter summary in its oral decision issued on October 20th,
13 Secondly, and having heard the response of the Prlic Defence, the
14 Chamber has decided to dismiss the Prosecution's application regarding
15 the communication of discussions between Mr. Neven Tomic and Mr. Milan
16 Cvikl. Since there was no notes, they can't be disclosed.
17 I would like now to have the witness brought into the courtroom,
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, while the witness isn't here there is
20 a matter that can be conveniently dealt with.
21 Your Honours may recall that the Defences -- or four of the
22 Defences jointly filed a motion I think it was on the 10th of this month
23 relating to use of exhibits by the Prosecution and introduction of new
24 exhibits during cross-examination. There has been a response from the
1 Your Honour, the response as the initial motion is just under
2 4.000 words. It's a fairly meaty document. Your Honour, it does call
3 for a reply. We do need leave for a reply, and we ask you if Your
4 Honours would give us that leave.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Given the interest
7 of this issue, of course you are granted leave to reply.
8 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Tomic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The cross-examination will now
13 continue. I give the floor to Ms. Alaburic.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good morning to you.
15 Good morning to everyone in the courtroom. Mr. Tomic, good morning. I
16 think I have about 20 minutes left in light of the fact that the Defence
17 has slightly more than four hours all told, but before we continue with
18 the cross-examination I would just like to respond to the objection
19 raised by my colleague Mr. Scott that 63 leading questions were asked and
20 that the witness said yes 63 times in response to those leading
22 The questioning of Mr. Tomic and his responses have shown that
23 the discussion about economy and money would lead us to the very essence
24 of the case and will help us determine the centres of power that existed
25 in the HZ HB, and his examination has shown that those centres of power
1 were located primarily in the municipalities whose presidents were at the
2 same time members of the legislative body of the HZ HB.
3 It is quite clear to me that the responses given by this witness
4 are not something that the Prosecutor is happy to hear, and that is why I
5 see Mr. Scott's response as an attempt to diminish the importance and the
6 value of Mr. Tomic's testimony. That is why I do not take seriously the
7 objection raised by Mr. Scott that each yes or no answer is a worthless
8 answer to a leading question, because if --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thought you'd finished.
10 Please continue.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to provide some
12 more explanations. I think this is a major issue because Mr. Scott has
13 repeatedly raised such objections.
14 If we ask the witness if in 1993 Croats and Muslims signed a
15 peace agreement and then the witness says yes, I think that this is not a
16 worthless question to a leading -- worthless answer to a leading
18 If a Judge tries to sum up the witness's testimony and then asks
19 the witness if this is a correct interpretation of his testimony and then
20 if a witness answers yes, this is correct, I don't think again this is a
21 worthless answer to a leading question regardless of who actually asks
22 the question.
23 The witness has replied affirmatively to a number of facts which
24 could be deemed as notorious in this case, and that is that the
25 representatives of the Bosnian Croats and Muslims signed the Washington
1 Agreement, that the Washington Agreement envisaged a joint government
2 based on the principle of parity, that this agreement envisaged a Joint
3 Command over the two armies, the BH army and the HVO, again based on the
4 principle of parity. The fact that is also uncontroversial is that Alija
5 Izetbegovic at one point signed the Vance-Owen Plan, so is the fact that
6 the HVO HZ HB at one point became the government of the Croatian Republic
7 of Herceg-Bosna, the functions held by Mr. Boban are not in contention,
8 and I will not now list all of those facts that I firm believe are
9 notorious by this time.
10 Some of the affirmative answers provided by this witness had to
11 do with his previous evidence or statements, and some of the answers had
12 to do with the documents that were shown to this witness. The contents
13 of these documents make it possible to evaluate the accuracy of the
14 answers provided by this witness, and we can conclude that the answers
15 are fully in line with the contents of the documents shown to the
17 In light of all that I have now said, it appears that perhaps it
18 was not quite clear to Mr. Scott and maybe to some others. Well, I will
19 now show the witness a document that we have discussed both during the
20 examination-in-chief and the cross-examination.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Before we move on,
22 we must provide some kind of an answer to what you said. First of all,
23 I'll give the floor to Mr. Scott and then the Trial Chamber will add
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning to each of Your
1 Honours, and good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom,
3 With great respect to my friend Ms. Alaburic, the comments -- her
4 comments on the merits of the case and the merits of the substance of the
5 answers has absolutely nothing to do with the procedural point that the
6 Prosecution feels is very important. Ms. Alaburic very capably gets on
7 her feet and starts arguing the merits of her case. I was proving this,
8 this will show the crux of the case, this will show this, this will show
9 that. That's completely, completely irrelevant for this purpose.
10 The issue here is a procedural one. It's a matter of fundamental
11 fairness in the way that the trial is being conducted, with great respect
12 to the Chamber, and it's the Prosecution continuing view and we know the
13 Chamber's ruled but we will continue to make a record on this with the
14 greatest respect to the Judges, that this is a fundamentally unfair
15 procedure to the Prosecution.
16 It is -- I have called it before, I may have said it in this
17 courtroom, I may have not. The manner in which the co-accused are being
18 allowed to put questions to witnesses is I would consider it the perfect
19 unfairness machine. It is the perfect unfairness machine. It's hard to
20 imagine a less fair process.
21 Additional time is given to the Defence which doesn't count
22 against their time. The Prosecution gets no additional time. With this
23 witness the Prosecution gets 12 hours, four of which are not count
24 against anyone's time. The Prosecution gets eight hours. The Defence is
25 allowed to proceed by leading questions to a friendly witness, again no
1 additional opportunity for the Prosecution to be able to respond, no
2 additional time for the Prosecution to be able to respond to that, no
3 indication from the co-accused as to what the nature of that examination
4 testimony will be.
5 Therefore, we're close with this witness and I predict there may
6 come with a time with future witnesses, for example, where the
7 Prosecution will have to ask to suspend or delay cross-examination, its
8 cross-examination so it can have adequate time to respond to issues
9 raised for the first time with no notice, because there is no notice,
10 from the co-accused. There are a variety of issues, Your Honour, that
11 are raised by this procedure, and it is indeed -- it is, I would say,
12 very close to the perfect unfairness machine to the Prosecution. No
13 time, no -- leading questions to a friendly witness, just a whole host of
14 matters. It would be hard to design a less -- a less fair system to the
16 Now, again the -- Ms. Alaburic' comments on the merits have
17 nothing to do with the arguments here, and it has nothing to do with
18 Prosecution's happiness or not happiness with the answers. That is
19 really insulting, frankly, when any counsel makes that point. I don't --
20 I'm sure no one in the courtroom cares if Ken Scott with the Prosecution
21 is happy with the answers or not just as I don't care whether the Defence
22 is happy with the answers or not. That's completely beside the point.
23 We're talking here about procedural, fundamental procedural matters and
24 fairness to the parties and fairness to the Prosecution and its ability
25 to receive a fair trial.
1 There is a very substantial difference, there is a very
2 substantial difference and Judge Trechsel at least has observed this
3 himself on some occasions that is very substantial difference in an open,
4 narrative answer by a witness in which many things come across, nuance,
5 limitation, qualification, detail. Perhaps the witness is uncertain.
6 Well, I can say this much but I can't say that. All sorts of things that
7 come out in a narrative answer that you do not -- neither the Chamber nor
8 the Prosecution gets when the answer is simply yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Don't do it 63 times.
10 MR. SCOTT: I won't do it 63 times, I'll stop there. It's a
11 fundamentally different process and all you have to do is compare the
12 answers given by anyone. It's not just Mr. Tomic but any answer which he
13 says well, I can't say that or I'm not sure or maybe I can say this much
14 but more or no. It's a completely different process, Your Honour, and
15 that is what we're working with here and that is why this process, with
16 the greatest respect to the Chamber, is unfair and frankly not only
17 unfair to the Prosecution but deprives the Chamber, deprives the Judges
18 of valuable evidence that it doesn't get by simply yes, yes, yes, yes,
20 So, Your Honour, that's -- that's our position. I would also
21 note just in passing, although it's not our fundamental position at this
22 time, that the question put now, the pending question, as it were, about
23 the Vance-Owen Plan, excuse me, was not a topic raised by Mr. Karnavas as
24 far as I recall. We talked about the Washington Agreement some. I think
25 we talked about Dayton
1 about the Vance-Owen Plan which is again an example of the point of
2 questioning by the co-accused on topics that were not raised for which
3 the Prosecution has no notice. I didn't -- let me just be very clear.
4 Over the past week I have not -- I have been trying to guess -- the
5 Prosecution is put in the position of trying to guess what the cross --
6 what the testimony might be with no information as to the question of
7 what the co-accused will be. Now the Vance-Owen Peace Plan has been
8 raised. I am not prepared, and I'm not asking anyone to shed tears, I am
9 not prepared to conduct cross-examination on Vance-Owen Plan. I haven't
10 put Vance-Owen Plan documents in our bundles. I can't do that on 10
11 minutes' notice. I can't give the Chamber 15 copies of hard copy
12 documents on the spur of the moment on topics that are just raised.
13 It raises a variety of points, Your Honour, and I think on that
14 particular question, and that's when I rose to my feet, it was
15 inappropriate. Counsel is clear, there maybe some things that are not
16 disputed, some basic facts of the case, so to speak. If they're not
17 disputed, you know, counsel can't have it both ways. They're either
18 disputed or they're not disputed, but if they're not disputed they don't
19 need to be put to the witness simply by leading questions. No one -- no
20 one in the courtroom questions that Mate Boban was the president of the
21 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, no one. It's absolutely undisputed.
22 So it's -- there's no point in putting -- there's no point in
23 saying well, I'm only going over matters that are not disputed. If
24 they're not disputed there's no reason to put them to the witness.
25 So Your Honour with that all that, that states our concerns and
1 the position of the Prosecution on these matters. Thank you.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, if I may just have one moment.
3 We've taken up 20 minutes of time now in front of the witness on this
4 issue. There is a continuing objection from the Prosecution to these
5 matters. I don't think that it's necessary to stand up all the time. I
6 would suggest, I would suggest, because there are some valid points that
7 are being made on all sides, I don't necessarily agree with everything
8 that everybody is saying, but this is a sort of procedural issue that
9 should be dealt with perhaps through a special hearing, either 65 ter
10 outside the courtroom, but I just think that to have these sort of
11 objections and procedural issues raised over and over again while the
12 witness is here away from his family and home, and we're trying to get
13 the evidence on and the witness back, I just think we're wasting a lot of
14 valuable time in the courtroom. Though I do take everybody's point at
15 hand, but we may just want to deal with this at a separate hearing.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please allow me. I
17 think I do have the right to respond to the second round of the
18 objections raised by Mr. Scott. The time that I will take up to do that
19 can be deducted from my time allotted for the cross-examination, because
20 I fully agree with what Mr. Karnavas said about not keeping the witness
21 longer than necessary here in The Hague.
22 As far as leading questions in cross-examination are concerned, I
23 think that Mr. Scott is unjustified in raising this issue yet again after
24 the Trial Chamber has already ruled on this issue and allowed leading
25 questions in the cross-examination by the Defence. I think that our
1 learned friends from the Prosecution, by re-raising this objection,
2 insult the Trial Chamber.
3 If the Prosecution believes that the decision by the Trial
4 Chamber is not fair or lawful, the Prosecution can ask the Trial Chamber
5 to take into account, to consider the issue once again and then take
6 further measures. Until this is done, I move that the Trial Chamber
7 prohibit the Prosecution from raising the standing objection again and
8 again during the cross-examination of the Defence. And I would like to
9 also note here that the Prosecution has here mixed up the issue of
10 friendly witnesses and leading questions in cross-examination. We have
11 already dealt with this in a motion that we filed.
12 Secondly, as regards the time allotted to the cross-examination
13 to the Prosecution and the Defence, I object once again, and I protest
14 against the fact that the Defence is treated as a whole. I don't want
15 the Petkovic Defence to be treated as such. I would like to -- us to be
16 treated as a single entity, separate entity. In accordance with the
17 Rules of Procedure and Evidence each of the accused is accorded the same
18 right in this case as if they were tried separately. The Petkovic
19 Defence is not happy with the time allotted for its cross-examination
20 because we only have six -- one-sixth of the time that the Prosecution
22 Secondly, as regards this objection raised by the Prosecution in
23 which they claim they are not accorded a fair trial, I would like to
24 remind the Judges that no international covenant on human rights or any
25 other international treaty does not guarantee the Prosecution the right
1 to a fair trial. The right to a fair trial is the one that is given to
2 an accused, and that is why there are different procedural mechanisms in
3 place to protect the rights of the accused to the presumption of
4 innocence and other rights.
5 As regards the concern expressed by my learned friend Mr. Scott
6 that the Judges might be misled regarding some questions and answers,
7 well, I don't doubt that the Judges will be able to give proper weight to
8 each and every answer including those given to leading questions. I'm
9 fully cognisant of the fact that answers provided to leading questions
10 are less well valuable than those given to open-ended questions, but I
11 also know this: If an answer given to a leading question is corroborated
12 by a number of documents and answers given by other witnesses, then the
13 answer given to these leading questions -- question has great weight.
14 As regards the part of my cross-examination that deals with the
15 Vance-Owen Plan, I have to say that I did not ask a single question. I
16 do not intend to ask any questions about the Vance-Owen Plan. I will ask
17 this witness about the plan for the visit to the municipalities in April
18 1993. Once I'm done with this document it will be quite clear that I'm
19 not raising the topic of the contents of the Vance-Owen Plan, but I will
20 follow up on the part of the cross-examination where we determine that
21 the witness visited parts and municipalities of Herceg-Bosna and was
22 aware of the situation in the field.
23 This is all I have to say in my response. I would like to thank
24 you, Your Honours, for the time you've given me.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On those numerous issues that
1 were raised and which go in various directions, the Chamber has already
2 issued decisions, provided guidelines. The Chamber ruled that the
3 accused, the co-accused, can during the cross-examination ask questions
4 to the witness of another accused.
5 Now, this raises the issue whether leading questions should be
6 asked or, rather, neutral ones. On that issue, since it is a
7 cross-examination within the Anglo-Saxon exception of the term, questions
8 may be of a leading nature, but if it is a cross-examination, i.e., the
9 follow-up questions on first cross-examination, then of course questions
10 should not be leading.
11 And, Mrs. Alaburic, you are right. You are right. We give more
12 weight to the answer to a question that's not leading and less weight
13 when the question was leading. This is a technical matter, if I may say
15 Mr. Scott observed that 63 times the witness said yes. In order
16 to avoid this maybe you should use another method, i.e., when you've
17 listened to the witness's answer, you could try and sum up the question,
18 sum up the answer, and then ask an open question so that the witness has
19 the opportunity to say yes, no, or to provide other information.
20 Take an example: Document 1D 02003. You could have said this is
21 a document that wasn't used by Mr. Karnavas although he initially planned
22 to do so, it is a programme of the visits in the various municipalities,
23 can you have a look at the document. Then the witness will say yes.
24 Then you could ask could you please tell the Trial Chamber what this
25 document is about and then the witness will say well, this document is a
1 programme for ten visits organised by various people including me and so
2 on and so forth. Then you could ask the witness why were such visits
3 organised and then the witness will answer, well, this document talks
4 about municipalities 3, 8, and 10, and then we-- we distributed those
5 municipalities among themselves, and then you will say what about these
6 municipalities, what are there, and then you will be talking about the
7 Vance-Owen Plan, and then you ask what is this plan, according to you,
8 and then maybe you can conclude this line of questioning with a question
9 that may be leading: Isn't that proof that this document shows that as
10 of the 9th of May you implemented the various aspects of the Vance-Owen
11 Plan and then he will say yes or he will say no and then maybe he will
12 supplement his answer.
13 It is a technical issue. My colleague Judge Trechsel would like
14 the floor.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to go back to the issue of leading
16 questions, but first I look at what in the transcript on page 11, lines
17 20 and following to 25 is written down, and I've heard that you have
18 actually said that.
19 I wonder, Ms. Alaburic, whether you are really serious in saying
20 that, that there is no fair trial for the Prosecution but only for the
21 Defence. You are right if you refer to the covenants, but we have a
22 Statute, and I would have supposed that you know the Statute, which in
23 Article 20 clearly charges the Court, the Chamber, with seeing to it that
24 the trial is fair. And we have a number of case law, very clear-cut case
25 law of the Chamber of Appeals of this Tribunal which clearly says that a
1 trial cannot be fair if fairness is granted only to the Defence.
2 So I am really surprised that you could tell the Chamber
3 something like this. And if you're talking about disrespect to the
4 Chamber, I think this is closer than what you accused the accusation, the
5 Prosecutor of doing. I'm a bit shocked, I must say, by such words.
6 Now, as to leading questions, we have already decided that
7 leading questions should not be posed in the so-called cross-examination
8 when in fact it is nothing but the continuation of direct, and at one
9 point you have said, and I think it was in relation to document 1D 02003,
10 there is one document Mr. Karnavas didn't have enough time to cover so
11 I'll take it up.
12 Now, where is fairness if you pretend that in direct Mr. Karnavas
13 would have had to ask open question, whereas now you taking over the same
14 document and the same issue are allowed to ask leading questions? That
15 defies any logic and any concept of fairness. And indeed basically the
16 accusation is right in saying that you should when you go in the same
17 direction as the main counsel to his witness, then you should not change
18 the modes and ask leading questions all through because that would really
19 be unfair.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, for these
21 clarifications and the positions you have put forward. If you allow, I
22 will reply to the considerations and the position of His Honour
23 Judge Trechsel.
24 First about document 1D 02003. If you look at all documents
25 which the Defence of Mr. Prlic has handed in for the interrogation of
1 this witness, you will not find that document among them.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Ms. Alaburic. Could you stay with
3 the facts? I have not said that it had been put. I have quoted you.
4 You said Mr. Karnavas didn't have the time to go into this document. You
5 can look it up.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I literally
7 said, and I carefully pick every word I utter in this courtroom, I said
8 that this document was initially prepared for the interrogation of this
9 witness, but it was left out from the last chart, and as I think that
10 this document contains some important facts, I shall deal with it. These
11 were my words literally, unless they were rendered differently in
12 English. If that is the case, I will listen to the tape once more and
13 ask for a correction of the transcript.
14 As for the interrogation of the witness about that document, I
15 must first say that my questioning about this document had only started,
16 then we started speaking about various things. I have not completed
17 questioning the witness about this document.
18 I was interested in whether the witness remembers that the
19 programme was adopted, whether he remembered the government session where
20 it was adopted, whether he really visited the municipalities, and the
21 document reads that the intention was to familiarise the people on the
22 ground with the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. Therefore, I think that this is
23 not a leading question but simply a joint reading of the document.
24 Secondly, about the right to a fair trial --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, with all respect I think now you
1 are discussing the decision of the Chamber and you should -- yes, of the
2 Bench, and you should not do that. I'm thinking back of what
3 Mr. Karnavas reasonably said, and I think you should continue with the
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Honourable Judge, I care much
6 about your opinion, and I appreciate your position, and if you say that
7 you're shocked by anything I said, I have the purely human need to
8 explain, and this is about the fairness of the trial and the right to a
9 fair trial. That's a topic we could discuss for hours, a topic with
10 which I have dealt extensively in my country.
11 In my opinion there is a difference between the right to a fair
12 trial as a guaranteed human right and the right of a citizen and the
13 notion of a fair trial in the sense of devising a concrete procedure and
14 setting rules for it.
15 When we say the right to a fair trial, I always understand that
16 to mean a human and civil right, and such a right in no country is
17 guaranteed to the Prosecution but only to the indicted.
18 If we discuss another concept, namely fair trial, then an
19 elementary rule is that procedural rules must be defined so that both or
20 several parties to a proceeding have the same right to be able to prove
21 their arguments.
22 I believe that our understanding of these terms does not differ.
23 I do not question the -- that -- I don't put it to question that this
24 procedure should be fair toward all parties to the proceeding, including
25 the Prosecution. We would not be satisfied with the proceedings if the
1 Prosecution did not have the right to put forward all its arguments in
2 enough time and elaborate them the way it thinks fit.
3 I would like to remind that the Defence of General Petkovic has
4 always supported the Prosecution when it asked for additional time to
5 question one of its witnesses or asked for -- for additional time for new
6 witnesses once it had been denied to them. We have always reacted in
7 such a manner.
8 I believe that we have clarified all possible misunderstanding
9 and that we can continue to question the witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mrs. Alaburic.
11 Continue your cross-examination.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That said, if you address a new
14 topic which has not been addressed by Mr. Karnavas, put questions that
15 are not leading.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will do that, but
17 when I return to this document, I will say why I think that this document
18 bears upon the topics raised in the direct examination.
19 WITNESS: NEVEN TOMIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
22 Q. Mr. Tomic, yesterday I thought about your replies to my questions
23 and tried to evaluate them, my questions that were leading, and you
24 mostly answered yes or no, and I thought -- I think I've shown why
25 nothing else was possible, but I think that my question and your reply
1 were left suspended in midair, so to speak, why you, when we speak about
2 the highest of priority you meant the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
3 the part that it concerned the HZ HB. You answered affirmatively.
4 Please look up document 1D 1934 in my set of documents. That is
5 your document on the functioning of the financial system, dated August
6 12, 1993. Would you please read to us the end of the last sentence in
7 the second paragraph.
8 A. "As such conduct is on the rise, at least since the collapse of
9 the newly established system, we are forced into discussion with heads of
10 finance departments of municipal HVOs at a meeting held on 4 August 1993
11 in Ljubuski and subsequently at a meeting with representatives of
12 municipalities held at Siroki Brijeg on 5 August to warn them of such
13 conduct and consequences it may cause for our community, which may
14 eventually affect the defence of the areas of the Croatian people in the
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
16 Q. Please slow down for the sake of the interpretation. Tell me,
17 Mr. Tomic, why are you mentioning the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
18 this document or to be more precise the defence of the area of the
19 Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. In our activities we never neglected the fact that the areas in
21 which the Croatian people lives is part of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it
22 is -- it constituents part of the state of the Republic of
24 Q. Thank you. Let us return to the document where we stopped our
25 cross-examination, and that's document 1D 02003, and that is a programme
1 of the visit to the municipalities which adopted by the HZ HB on April
2 the 9th, 1993.
3 Tell us, Mr. Tomic, in the direct you were answering to questions
4 pertaining to the establishment of a joint government headed by
5 Mr. Jadranko Prlic about the correspondence between Jadranko Prlic with
6 Alija Izetbegovic about the establishment of that government. Tell me
7 how that to do with the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan or with
8 some other territorial organisation.
9 A. It had to do with the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan.
10 Q. Is it visible from this document what your duties were?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us which the -- they were?
13 A. Our duty was to go to these provinces, that is the municipalities
14 and the provinces put forward by the Vance-Owen Plan and to familiarise
15 them with the content of the Vance-Owen Plan and to prepare the heads of
16 the municipalities for the reorganisation of the system in line with the
17 Vance-Owen Plan.
18 Q. Did you at the HVO meeting before going to the ground, did you
19 speak about this organisation of work and the Vance-Owen Plan?
20 A. Yes. The meeting took place on the 3rd of April, and the -- it
21 was about the programme adopted on the 9th of -- which was later adopt on
22 the 9th of April and prepare everybody who had to be involved.
23 Q. After this visit to the municipalities, did the HVO HZ HB plan
24 to -- plan any other activities for the implementation of the Vance-Owen
1 A. This was an initial activity that we had to launch so as to
2 implement the agreement. Subsequent activities depended on whether or
3 not the basic issue was implemented, namely the establishment of the
4 central government at the republican level.
5 Q. As you participated in these activities, did you personally
6 sincerely believe and want the Vance-Owen Plan to be implemented?
7 A. I have said so already. We really were very sincere in our
8 intention regarding the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan or any
9 other plan that would put an end to the war, because we knew that in the
10 long term we would be unable to preserve the system which was created as
11 a temporary one.
12 I said that in 1994 we had 130.000 budget beneficiaries, speaking
13 about salaries only, and any other solution of -- for the functioning of
14 the system would have been a more favourable variant. That's why we had
15 a genuine interest in the implementation of such a plan and at this time
16 the Vance-Owen Plan.
17 Q. Thank you very much for your answers. There is another topic
18 that I feel, Mr. Tomic, you are the best witness to address this with.
19 In the examination-in-chief you mentioned that the political
20 option that the Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina advocated was a
21 centralised state based on the principle of one man, one vote. Is this
22 what you said verbatim to Mr. Prlic's Defence counsel?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Please tell us, what was the option that was advocated by the
25 Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. The option that was advocated by the BH Croats was put forward at
2 the time when the referendum, question for the referendum for the
3 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina was being formulated. The BH Croats
4 supported the independence, and they wanted and they expected that
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina would be established as a community in which all three
6 constituent peoples would have equal rights. This has always been our
7 political option.
8 Q. Let us clarify this community of three constituent peoples. Did
9 that mean that the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina would have to be set
10 up as a federation?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have moved on to another
12 subject. I would like to stick with the document we saw a while ago
13 before talking about constituent people. This is a follow-up.
14 Now, you shared the work out when you went to visit these
15 municipalities. You went to the third [Realtime transcript read in error
16 "Serb"] municipality. I can see here that Mr. Prlic was asked to go to
17 Mostar. I realise that this programme of visits was then cut down and
18 should only last three days. Was this because a briefing had been
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you allow me, let
21 me correct the transcript. At line 9 it is stated that you said that
22 Mr. Tomic was charged with going to Serb municipalities. The -- what we
23 received in the Croatian interpretation is the province number 3.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The third municipality.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I said debriefing, not
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the plan envisages that those
3 activities should end by the 16th of April for a very simple reason, in
4 order to be able to plan further activities of the HVO HZ HB, because its
5 members were supposed to go out in the field and the effort was made to
6 do all this within a certain period of time in order to be able to
7 continue with the activities, the sessions of the HVO HZ HB. It was my
8 task to go to the municipalities in province number 3. Unfortunately, at
9 that time there was only one municipality that was controlled by the
10 Croatian Defence Council, the municipality of Orasje
11 Posavina, and together with Mr. Stipo Ivankovic who hails from that area
12 I went there and I spoke to the people in the municipality of Orasje
13 took that opportunity to check how things were functioning on the ground,
14 especially in terms of the financial system. All the more so because
15 this area was an island where -- an isolated area where the HZ HB
16 regulations were in force. This area, it was the easiest for that area
17 to move on to the application of the Vance-Owen Plan in terms of the
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What I'm interested is -- in is
20 this: In Orasje how did the municipality receive this plan? They must
21 have asked questions. Was this an advantage or not? Would all the
22 problems be solved with this plan? What did the future hold?
23 The people you met, were they enthusiastic? Were they skeptical?
24 Did they have reservations? Were they reticent when you exposed this
25 plan to them? What did they tell you?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The area of the Bosnian Posavina is
2 well-known for the cooperation between Muslims and Croats in the defence
3 effort, and really there were no obstacles for the implementation of this
4 plan based on the response of the people from the municipality of Orasje
5 and the people who had fled there from other municipalities in province
6 number 3 who were now staying in Orasje. That was my perception after my
7 visit there.
8 Let me just illustrate, give you an example. The boats that were
9 used to take us from Croatia
10 the HZ HB and of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and at that time I
11 would say there was a great deal of positive anticipation. They felt
12 that this would put a stop to any tensions and would make it possible to
13 build the system as it was envisaged in the Vance-Owen Plan.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You must have held a meeting
15 with Zubak, Valenta, Buntic, Perkovic, Maric, Prlic, and other people
16 during your visit. Was there an overall impression which people shared
17 after this visit? Were people very favourable towards this plan, had a
18 moderate view, were reticent? What was the general feeling about this
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The general impression was
21 positive. For the most part the remarks made had to do with the parity,
22 that we should insist on the parity that was envisaged in the Vance-Owen
23 Plan, but the feeling was that the Croats were ready to implement the
24 Vance-Owen Plan.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Let me follow up on what His Honour Judge Antonetti said to
2 conclude this topic. What was this internal organisation of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina that the representatives of the Croatian people in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina wanted? I'm talking about the period in -- period of
5 1992, 1993.
6 A. Well, this was a system or an organisation that would take on
7 board the fact that the Croats, despite the fact that they were in the
8 minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina, would get a solution that would
9 guarantee equal rights to them, that they would be equal with the other
10 peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. In other words, that they should not be out-voted -- or, rather,
12 that there should not be a state based on the principle of one man, one
13 vote, which would lead to them being out-voted. Did I understand you
15 A. Yes, correctly. That is why I said that there was this corollary
16 to the referendum question that the Croats used when they expressed their
17 free will at this referendum. Yes, an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina,
18 but which would not result in less rights for Croats and that would have
19 been the result if the one vote, one man principle would be applied.
20 Q. Mr. Tomic, you used to be an official in the youth organisation
21 in the old system.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can we then conclude that you were quite familiar with the
24 Yugoslav political system?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Now I would like you to help me explain to the Judges something
2 that I think is very important. How come that Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 the socialist Yugoslavia
4 after Yugoslavia
5 accordance with the views presented by the Croat representatives? And we
6 know that the representatives of Serbs had the same or similar views.
7 Let me ask you this question I'm sure that you'll be able to
8 answer. In socialist Yugoslavia
9 that was called the League of Communists of Yugoslavia?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you please tell us, this League of Communists of
13 of Yugoslavia
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. An integrative factor in the Yugoslav political community. Do
16 you recall the Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, that
17 the Slovenian delegation left and the Croatian delegation left the hall
18 but remained in Belgrade
19 A. Yes, I do remember this event.
20 Q. Do you remember the comments at the time that this marked the
21 beginning of the end of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and most
22 likely the beginning of the breakdown of the Yugoslav society, the
23 Yugoslav state?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Tell us, at the time when Yugoslavia
2 factor in Bosnia-Herzegovina or was there no such integrative factor in
3 terms of some political organisation or any other institution? Perhaps
4 let me ask you another question.
5 In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the League of Communists, did it have
6 the kind of personnel policy that made sure that Croats, Muslims and
7 Serbs and representatives of other peoples would have -- would be
8 assigned to various functions on the principle of parity?
9 A. Yes. That was the case. I know that in Mostar, the Mostar
10 municipality, the president of the socialist league, the president of the
11 trade union, the president of the municipality, the president of the
12 youth organisation, the president of the war veterans organisation, those
13 were the functions where the League of Communists decided whom to
14 appoint, and this was done on the basis of the ethnicity. And if the
15 mayor or the president of the municipality was a Croat at one point, he
16 was succeeded by a Serb or a Muslim and the functions were rotated in
17 this manner. Out of the eight functions three belonged to Croats, three
18 to Muslims, two to Serbs, and there was this rotation in addition to this
19 so that each people had their representatives in the government.
20 Q. Was this a way to ensure the equality of all the constituent
21 peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. In this manner this was implemented in that system.
23 Q. At the first multi-party election in Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 the end of 1991 the nationalist parties, the ethnicity-based parties won.
25 A leading question but you can also say no. Does that mean that at that
1 time in Bosnia-Herzegovina the integrative factor that could through the
2 personnel policy or in any other way would guarantee the equality of the
3 constituent peoples disappear, that they disappear at that time?
4 A. Well, at that time the parties that won the election for all
5 intents and purposes started taking care of their peoples within Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina
7 Q. Do you recall the amendments to the constitutions of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina
11 I'll let my colleagues correct me if I'm wrong but by the end of 1991 the
12 rule was that three representatives should be from the Muslim ethnic
13 community, two from the Serb community, one from the Croat community and
14 there would be one representative of other ethnic groups, and at one
15 point this solution was replaced by a provision that the Presidency of
16 the BH should comprise two representatives of each constituent people,
17 Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, and one representative of other ethnic
18 groups. Do you recall that?
19 A. I know that the Presidency was constituted in this manner, but I
20 don't recall those changes. I do remember that there were two Croats,
21 two Muslims or Bosniaks, and two Serbs and one representative of other
22 ethnic groups of Yugoslav.
23 Q. Could you please tell me whether the representatives of the Croat
24 people wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina to be set up as a complex state
25 comprising several constituent units and that each of those constituent
1 units should be set up in such a way that the criterion of ethnicity be
2 taken into account and that then those constituent units would reach a
3 consensus at the state level and decide on all key national interests and
4 rights on the basis of this consensus which would prevent the
5 representatives of any of the peoples from out-voting the representatives
6 of the other peoples?
7 A. Yes, in that context.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this has completed
9 my cross-examination.
10 Mr. Tomic, I would like to thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Tomic, I have a follow-up
12 question. I was very interested by the question asked on the Communist
13 League of which you were a member and on the issue of disintegration
14 linked to the 1991 elections, and in the questions and answers you
15 provided I felt that the political parties which took part in the 1991
16 elections were parties based on ethnicity rather than on particular
17 political or economic platforms.
18 According to you, what was the reason for this, for the fact that
19 some parties were more based on ethnicity than on political platforms?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My personal opinion is that the
21 Communist system over a long period of time tried to build an artificial
22 nation, the Yugoslav nation and eliminating other nations or ethnic
23 groups in the process. In other words, the number of Croats, Serbs, and
24 the Muslims would decree at the expense of the Yugoslavs whose number
25 would rise.
1 This concept, of course, engendered a certain degree of
2 dissatisfaction, but while the Communist Party was strong and while it
3 had mechanisms of coercion at its disposal the function -- the system
4 functioned, but it engendered a great deal of dissatisfaction, discontent
5 among the people, particularly if we add to this mix that -- that
6 religious communities were excluded from public life, and this caused
7 some frustration for them, and I think that at the time when this system
8 in Yugoslavia
9 first of all, that the forces that had suffered this frustration got
10 stronger, and they simply destroyed this concept that the Communist Party
11 had been building for such a long time.
12 Let me go back to Mostar to illustrate this point. According to
13 the 1991 census, there was a substantial percentage of Yugoslavs in
14 Mostar. It was a city where there were four or five barracks of the
15 Yugoslav People's Army. In accordance with this concept advocated by the
16 Communist Party it was an integrative factor. It was a key element of
17 this sense of Yugoslavdom.
18 There was Soko defence industry in Mostar. People from all other
20 pre-election campaign was under way, at the city stadium we had the same
21 number of followers or people who had come to follow the campaign for all
22 the parties, the SDA, the HDZ, the SDS, but the same also went for the
23 Reformist Party and the SDP
24 the Communist Party.
25 So this was a phenomenon in Mostar that told me that people
1 didn't know how to -- what to decide and how all this would come out, but
2 the -- when the election results came in you could see that there was a
3 landslide victory for the ethnicity-based parties. So the question was
4 over a course of maybe 15 or 20 days between the rallies that were
5 organised by the SDP
6 gone? Because those parties did not get the votes of the Yugoslavs at
7 the municipal election. The people voted for -- as I've already
8 explained to you, the group of frustrated people, and after the elections
9 the picture that emerged gave a clear right to the SDA, the HDZ, and the
11 participate in the establishment of the government. Something similar
12 happened at the level of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. See how
14 a non-leading question can lead to a very long answer?
15 Who is next?
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
17 morning to everybody in the courtroom.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Tomic. Mr. Tomic, you can
20 confirm that we've known each other for a number of years and we know
21 each other well, but we haven't spoken about the documents I'm about to
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. That means I'll need a little more time, but as I'm going to
25 dwell upon matters regarding financing almost exclusively, I believe that
1 this will shorten the procedure.
2 Before I start, I would like to follow up on the question asked
3 by Ms. Alaburic about the organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina according to
4 the wishes and the -- and the visions of the three peoples in
6 You said what the wish of the Croatian people was. We know that
7 throughout the conflict there has been this disparity between the
8 interpretation of the Sarajevo
9 on the other hand about the organisation of the future
11 If you could, briefly outline to the Chamber whether that problem
12 still exists today. You used to take part in politics, and nowadays you
13 are a citizen, and I know that you're -- you are still interested in
14 politics. You are a political person.
15 The problem of Bosnia
16 to the continuing conflict of these concepts in Bosnia, is it still
17 around in spite of all the declarations of agreeing to the present-day
18 organisation of Bosnia
19 with realising the position it was -- it has been promised since 1992?
20 A. My personal view of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina today is
21 completely in accordance with the high representatives of the
22 international community especially the High Rep and other people who had
23 been involved in matters in Bosnia-Herzegovina before. The political
24 situation is very bad. The satisfaction of all three peoples due -- the
25 elections held so far has asserted -- have asserted the domination of
1 ethnic parties, which to me shows that there is still dissatisfaction
2 with the organisation of the state and that there are continuing attempts
3 to strive for protection through strengthening ethnic homogeneity instead
4 of opting for people with a programme and a vision that are able to
5 introduce Bosnia-Herzegovina into the community of European peoples and
6 the international community.
7 We keep speaking about constitutional change, and it's a fact
8 that the Croats are marginalised in Bosnia-Herzegovina with regard to
9 their influence. Bosnia-Herzegovina under the Dayton Accord was
10 organised as a compound of two entities. In the federation there have
11 been changes as compared to the Washington Agreement which guaranteed
12 parity and protection, but in the federation that principle has been
13 abandoned due to the demands by the Bosniak side arguing that a
14 significantly smaller people cannot be allotted the same number of
15 ministers as the Bosniak people. So it's the same old story which
16 resulted in the fact that instead of parity in the government, we now
17 have disparity, and there's a situation in which Croats can be
18 down-voted. That's the reason why the chamber of peoples in the
19 federation often stops legislative initiatives, thus protecting the
20 constituent quality of peoples. And this then hinders all activities.
21 At the state level the Bosniaks are trying, just as I said when
22 we were establishing the federation, I was a member of the first council
23 of ministers that was established after Dayton, and after long debates
24 and when the Serbs from the Republika Srpska started participating in the
25 state structures and once a law was adopted for Bosnia-Herzegovina, a law
1 full of compromise, there was resistance to the implementation or
2 enforcement of these laws, because immediately after the publishing of
3 the laws the Bosniak side wanted them to be amended and to the effect
4 of go -- moving into the direction of a normal civil state, as they said,
5 and this resulted in the construction on the part of the Serbs at state
6 level and also on the part of the Croats, who felt that this was another
7 step away from the parity brought about by Dayton.
8 For example, when the first council of ministers was established,
9 there were two co-presidents, a Serb and a Bosniak, and the -- a Croat
10 was the vice-president. The Croat could never chair a session, but
11 instead one week, the sessions would be chaired by a Serb and the other
12 week by a Bosniak, a Muslim.
13 What followed were the activities of the Bosniak side to change
15 mobilisation on the Serb political scene which rose to defend Dayton
16 the present situation is the following: The Bosniaks still want to build
17 a centralised state based on the principle of one man, one vote. The
18 Serbs, fearing that the Republika Srpska could be abolished, are
19 threatening that they will obstruct and no longer take part in the work
20 of the authorities. So they are dissatisfied and in conflict with their
21 partner, with their former partner in government, because the government
22 was formed by a coalition of three parties. And the Croats are
23 dissatisfied because they're part of a federation in which they feel they
24 haven't resolved the issue they have always wanted to resolve based on
25 the principle of equality. They now try to assert that at state level,
1 but there -- there they come into conflict with the Bosniaks because --
2 who think that this is an issue to be dealt with and which is resolved at
3 the level of the federation.
4 So the situation is very difficult and complex, possibly the most
5 problem-ridden ever since Dayton
6 and reform-oriented legislation and financial help from the international
7 community, the World Bank, the European Bank, the IMF, et cetera, but the
8 political -- that political issue is the issue of all issues still.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tomic. You basically explained, I would say
10 briefly explained this complex political situation.
11 Can we then say that the issue of the position of each people in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, bearing in mind the various views of the leaders of
13 the Bosniak, Croatian, and Serbian peoples are still in existence the
14 same way as they were in the 1990s?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. To explain it to the Chamber, you mentioned the council of
17 ministers several times. Under the Dayton Accord this was basically the
18 government at state level, wasn't it, the only institution with executive
20 A. Yes, the council of ministers became the state government after
22 Q. All right. Let us now continue with the questions about
23 financing. You explained to us during direct that these issues as
24 feeding the budget or channeling the re -- the funds from the budget was
25 being debated at government sessions. I will show you one of the -- some
1 minutes from these sessions for you to say whether the problem was almost
2 identical throughout 1993 or including the end of 1992. The document is
3 P 00950. These are the minutes of the government session held on the
4 23rd. This is barely legible, but anyway, it was in December 1992. You
5 were present at that session, weren't you?
6 I'll refer to page 4 in the Croatian version at 10, and it's on
7 page 7 of the English text. This is basically the first fully legible
9 The principle how funds were requested by some departments and
10 how they were approved. The HVO HZ -- "At the proposal of the HVO HZ HB
11 Defence Department a decision was issued unanimously setting aside.
12 "The sum of 50.000 Croatian dinars ...
13 "The sum of 30.000 Croatian dinars for assistance to the
15 And now what follows: The sum of 90.000.000 Croatian dinars is
16 to be set aside as an advance payment for the Defence and 15 million for
17 the Department of the Interior, and at the end it says these funds will
18 be paid out of the HZ HB budget until the end of the year.
19 Can you please explain whether this was the principle of the
20 distribution of funds based in 1992 and did you expect at the end of the
21 year that possibly in the following year you will have the funds that you
22 will be able to grant without down payments?
23 A. This is the end of the year. We started raising or collecting
24 funds from customs and part of the taxes due to the poor functioning of
25 the SDK. That's why I'm saying part of the funds, and that's when we
1 started to allocate funds at the sessions of the HVO HZ HB in accordance
2 with the resources available and in accordance with our estimates of what
3 we would be able to raise by the end of the year, which was important for
4 the department of defence and the department of the interior to be able
5 to plan, because they were the most significant budget beneficiaries.
6 And this -- that's why this reads that the funds will be paid out until
7 the end of the year. Obviously we didn't have them at our disposal at
8 that time.
9 At that moment it was still too early to start thinking about a
10 classical budget for 1993, but that's why we introduced the system I had
11 mentioned earlier of monthly and quarterly plans for the departments to
12 enable us to allocate the funds raised reduced in proportion or not.
13 Q. I have another document, the minutes of the government session
14 dealing with this. I believe that before the break I'll be able to
15 complete that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before -- before we move to
17 another document, I'd like to dwell on this one, because there is
18 something that I find very interesting.
19 Mr. Stojic takes the floor at some stage and said that the
20 military courts are not functioning, and he explains that there are 1.000
21 police reports waiting to be dealt with and this is causing a problem in
22 investigations. And he also referred to detentions, and of course
23 there's also a problem there because there aren't any judicial decisions.
24 Following Mr. Stojic's intervention, it seems that judges and
25 prosecutors would be appointed, that's at the very end of the document,
1 in order to try and address this situation. Of course appointing judges
2 and prosecutors have financial implications, budgetary implications, and
3 so on.
4 So we are now in December 1992. It will take some time before
5 all these people are appointed and before the system starts running
7 According to you, was the system going to work again? And I'm
8 talking specifically about military courts. In other words, during the
9 year 1993 were you told of problems related to the fact that there
10 weren't any prosecutors, that there weren't any judges, that there was no
11 investigation, that there was no money? Were you told that there was a
12 problem in that area?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were informed by the heads of
14 the defence department about the drafting and about the impossibility to
15 punish those who had left their units or the battlefield because there
16 was no judicial system in place.
17 I believe that it was only during that month that we allocated
18 some funds to the judicial department for the reconstruction of
19 buildings, because in Mostar the buildings were badly damaged. There
20 were no windowpanes, et cetera, and this was -- these funds were meant
21 for the re-establishment of the judicial system.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that you made an
23 effort, but my question is was it working or wasn't it working -- or
24 wasn't it working, or wasn't it working properly?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my opinion it was functioning
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is now 10.30. We need to
3 have a break. We shall have a 20-minute break.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Tomic, with regard to the functioning of the judiciary that
9 His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you, could you please confirm whether
10 the reason for what you say that it never functioned properly, was one of
11 the reasons the permanent persistent lack of funds in the justice system?
12 You told us that the lack of funds was pervasive throughout the HVO
13 system, but did this lack of funds reflect as one of the factors to the
14 overall functioning of the judiciary?
15 THE INTERPRETER: The microphones are off for the witness. Could
16 they please be switched on.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Well, I have already
18 said that some of the -- part of the jurisdiction of the budget of the
19 HVO HZ HB was to fund the district courts, the district public
20 prosecutors' offices, the municipality's financed municipal courts.
21 Those municipal courts did not exist in each and every municipality
22 before the war. Mostar was the centre in this context, I would say, and
23 in Mostar there was a problem with the facilities that had to be
24 reconstructed. Money was needed for that. There was the personnel
25 problem, too, because lots of people left. The first to leave were the
1 Serbs who had taken part in the judiciary. Most of them left, followed
2 by many women who left together with their children and families as
3 refugees. And also there was this issue of salaries, wages for those who
4 worked there. It was a persistent issue when it came to providing
5 conditions for the proper operation of the judiciary.
6 Q. In addition to the wages was there also a problem of equipment
7 and appropriate premises, adequate premises where judicial organs could
9 A. Well, I did mention that buildings had sustained damage, and the
10 HVO HZ HB first provided assistance to the judiciary by funding the
11 reconstruction of some of the facilities and also by providing money for
12 the wages and also some basic texts and equipment such as computers.
13 Q. Thank you. Can we now move on to the topic that we raised
14 earlier. Could you please look at document P 01137. It is the next
15 document in the Defence binder.
16 These are the minutes from the meeting of the HVO HZ HB session
17 of the 15th of January, 1993. I note here that you were not present at
18 this meeting, but could you please look at page 3 in the Croatian
19 version, item 6. That's at page 4 in the English version. We are
20 talking about the very same things that you mentioned when you talked
21 about the submission of the quarterly proposals.
22 Let me just read this. I'm sure that you went through these
23 minutes later. Do you perhaps recall of this development?
24 It says here at the top of the page, page 3 in the Croatian
25 version: "The draft financial plan of the Defence Department of the HVO
1 HZ HB for the period from the 1st of January to the 31st of March, 1993
2 is submitted by the Defence Department of the HVO HZ HB.
3 "Following a discussion of the said draft, the following
4 conclusion was unanimously reached:
5 "We must exert maximum efforts to ensure salaries for members of
6 the armed forces and the settling of their material expenses."
7 Mr. Tomic, does this fully confirm what you've told us about the
8 quarterly plans, financial plans, and can we see from this that there
9 still isn't enough funds because the conclusion states that maximum
10 efforts must be made to ensure that those funds are obtained?
11 A. Well, this conclusion was passed in accordance with the valid
12 decree on the budget that funds should be planned for quarterly periods.
13 The defence department did submit this request, and it was obvious
14 that -- that this request could not be complied with. And in this
15 context, this conclusion gives an incentive to make this effort to obtain
16 the funds that could then be channeled into at least part of the salaries
17 and material expenses of the personnel of the armed forces as indicated
18 here in the conclusion.
19 Q. Could we now look at how this proceeded, what the financial
20 situation was when it came to the financing of the defence effort. The
21 next document is P 01324. These are the minutes from the HVO session.
22 The date is the 27th of January, 1993. You attended this session. The
23 page reference is 2 in the Croatian version, page 3 in the English
24 version where it says, before the agenda is discussed, before item 1, it
25 says: "Finally the head of the Defence Department, Mr. Stojic, asked the
1 HVO of the HZ HB for assistance in materiel and technical equipment,
2 particularly special purposes equipment, protection equipment, in
3 addition to implementing the financial system as soon as possible so that
4 the assistance could be realised."
5 Mr. Tomic, we can see here that some 13 days later Mr. Stojic
6 again presses the issue about implementing the financial system, making
7 it operational, because it is obvious that there are some problems in
8 terms of financing the defence. Do you agree with that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let us look at the next document. That would be document
11 1D 01183. Yes, it's correct in the transcript. These are the minutes
12 from the HVO session. The date is the 18th of March, 1993.
13 Mr. Tomic, I picked and chose some, just some of the documents to
14 make sure that these problems persisted throughout the year. So now
15 we're in March. You were present at this session.
16 Can we please look at -- we can see on the agenda under item 4:
17 "Draft Decree on the protection of military persons with a military
18 disability caused by the war at the time of an imminent threat of war or
19 the state of war in the area of the HZ HB."
20 This item is discussed at page 4 in the Croatian version, and
21 it's page 2 in the English version.
22 Could we now look at the procedure, how things were proposed by
23 various departments. We can see that this draft decree on the protection
24 of disabled war veterans when there is an imminent threat of war or a
25 state of war in the area of the HZ HB, and there is also the draft decree
1 on a one-off financial assistance. Both were submitted by the defence
3 Mr. Bozic, Mr. Slobodan Bozic, notes that in accordance with the
4 previous conclusion of the HZ HB HVO, drafts of the above-listed decrease
5 have been composed, and an opinion on them must be sought from the
6 finance department of the HZ HB HVO.
7 And now we can see that in items A, B, C, and D Mr. Zubak
8 proposes certain amendments. And then it goes on to say: "The decree on
9 the protection of disabled war veterans and the decree on one-off
10 financial assistance were adopted unanimously under the following
11 conditions: The HZ HB HVO Defence department and the regulation
12 commission of the HZ HB HVO should add legal and technical details to the
13 decree in accordance with the above-listed objections. The date of
14 implementation is the 1st of April, 1993."
15 Let me now move on to the conclusion, and this is the conclusion
16 of the HVO. "Organise and collect information on the payments made to
17 members of the armed forces of the HZ HB on these reasons," and then it
18 says that the decree shall be implemented on the 1st of April, 1993
19 this will be done after information on the payments has been collected
20 and recorded. And in item 3 the defence department, the department of
21 the interior and the subdepartment of labour, social welfare and family
22 are tasked with implementation of item 1.
23 Mr. Tomic, is this a good example of the way in which the heads
24 of departments proposed the draft laws or other legal instruments that
25 the HVO had to finally pass? Was this how it was done? A draft is
1 submitted, it is discussed, if there are any proposals or any remarks
2 this is done, and then this is all reaffirmed in the conclusions.
3 Can we say that this was the methodology how the proposals or
4 drafts by certain department heads were actually adopted?
5 A. Yes. This was the way that I described earlier.
6 Q. Can we then conclude, Mr. Tomic, that the heads of the
7 departments or departments actually depended on the debate at the
8 sessions of the HVO or, in other words, that each of their proposals,
9 draft decrees or recommendations for personnel appointments were up for
10 and that changes and demands could be made and that their drafts and
11 proposals would then not be adopted in the way that they were tabled?
12 A. Yes. There was this possibility. The head of a department
13 tables an appointment or a draft decree at the session of the HVO where
14 it is debated. If the majority is opposed, then the head of the
15 department can decide to withdraw the document that was tabled or any
16 other proposal, draft a new one or take on board the remarks or
17 criticisms that were made, you can see that Mr. Zubak here dealt with
18 some legal details, and incorporate them in the final version of the
19 decision. And then after this is taken to the vote it becomes a document
20 of the HVO HZ HB.
21 Q. The HVO could also make suggestions as to what needs to be
22 amended, reaffirm this in the conclusion, conclusion and order that this
23 be done in that manner; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could we please look at page -- at the last page just to confirm
1 something about a document that Mr. Karnavas asked you about. We can see
2 that item 11 at the last page of the minutes indicates that an amount of
3 5 million is set aside for the purposes of the Sarajevo HVO, the
4 municipal HVO.
5 For the transcript we saw the document 1D -- 1D 02114 allocating
6 those found the Sarajevo HVO, and we can see that this was done at this
7 session of the HVO.
8 Let me ask you just one brief question regarding the Sarajevo
9 HVO. At that time, from the time when the aggression against Sarajevo
10 started up until the end of 1993, the HVO defended Sarajevo together with
11 the BH army against the Serb aggressors, against the city itself and
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now I've moved on to October. Let me show you the document that
15 was already shown to you by my colleague Mrs. Alaburic. That's document
16 P 505799 [as interpreted]. P 0 -- let me repeat. P 05799. That's the
17 minutes from a session of the HVO. The date is the 9th of October, 1993
18 The reason why I'm showing you this document, apart from the fact that
19 you were present at this meeting, together with the document 1D 1934, let
20 me remind you it's not in my binder but that's your letter, your report
21 about the functioning of the financial system that you submit on the 12th
22 of August, 1993. And Judge Trechsel asked you in this regard whether
23 anything changed after this warning of yours, and you said that something
24 did indeed change, and I will ask you to what extent, because I will --
25 in light of the fact that at this session on the 9th of October, 1993
1 now I'm talking about page 2 in the Croatian version, that would be page
2 3 in the English version, that's conclusion number 3 where the HVO passes
3 a conclusion on the basis of the single financial system to ensure that
4 payments are made into the budget in order to pay salaries to the troops
5 in accordance with the standard criteria. Not a single state organ,
6 public or other enterprise may start out paying salaries before the
7 troops have received their salaries.
8 I wanted us to -- I wanted you to tell us clearly how much things
9 changed, objectively speaking, after this letter that you sent, because
10 it appears to me that based on this document and other documents that
11 followed that qualitatively speaking, no major changes occurred?
12 A. Well, this was yet another appeal or an attempt to exert pressure
13 to ensure that the system would finally become operational. And as I
14 said, through the 1994 budget, satisfactory steps were taken. Up until
15 that time we're talking about makeshift solutions, one-upmanship with the
16 municipalities that were trying to cover up funds that they had. And
17 also they used funds in an improper manner.
18 Q. Mr. Tomic, you said something quite interesting yesterday, that
19 after some unfortunate events on the battlefield, militarily speaking,
20 the municipalities would always try to keep the money for themselves and
21 would try not to pay them into the budget of the HVO. Did I understand
22 you correctly?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was this yet another thing that affected the defence effort and
25 affected negatively the effort to defend the parts of the HVO that were
1 under attack?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We're about to conclude this topic. Let me just confirm what you
4 said. That's document P 06689. This is a document sent to the
5 presidents of the HVO by the president of the government. That's the
6 16th of November. The government of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna is
7 already elected, and the prime minister, Mr. Prlic, states in the first
8 passage -- I'm sure that you've seen this document. Appeals or urges the
9 municipalities and the ministries to make this financial system
10 operational because this was causing great problems to the government
11 that had just been formed; is that right?
12 A. Yes, precisely.
13 Q. Thank you. Let me now move on to a different topic. Could you
14 please look at document 2D 00891. It's a session of the HVO dated the
15 9th of April, 1993. You attended this meeting. I would now like to go
16 through this with you to see how and what authority heads of the
17 departments had within HVO.
18 Page 8, first passage. That would be page 6, third paragraph in
19 the English version.
20 It says here: "At the proposal of the Defence department of the
21 HVO unanimous decision was made about entering into contracts with the
22 metal processing company Uzor in Siroki Brijeg about the manufacturing of
23 the shells to be signed by the head of the defence department of the HZ
24 Hb according to the prices and quantities listed in the contract."
25 Do you remember such a conclusion being passed?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now I'm going to put questions to you in relation to the next
3 document, 2D 00980. This is a decision on the conclusion of a contract
4 with the mentioned company authorising the head of the defence department
5 to conclude this contract. Mr. Tomic, on the basis of this one can see
6 that the HVO in respect of such contracts gave authority to heads to sign
7 contracts like this, is that correct?
8 A. Well, I think that this was an exception. At the proposal of the
9 head of the defence department, because I think that it had to do with
10 the first contract, and it was a privately owned company, too, so that
11 was the reason why this proposal was made to make such a decision by the
12 HVO HZ HB, because at that time there were -- there was no public
13 procurement and there was no other way of dealing with things in a
14 transparent fashion, especially in relation to private companies.
15 Q. Before that, I would like to correct something on page 47, 18.
16 The 2D 00980. That is the actual reference. And then I'm going to ask
17 you when this system of public procurement and checking the system as
18 such started operating.
19 A. It was incorporated in the budget for 1994 as an obligation.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Tomic, during the direct examination you were
21 shown a decision on the implementation of Article 25 of the law on
22 customs and tariffs in the territory of the HZ HB at the time of an
23 imminent threat of war and state of war, and that was a document that you
24 are certainly familiar with. I did not put it in my binder. 1D 00019.
25 In Article 4 of this decision it is stated that the armed forces
1 of the HZ HB and the RBiH are exempt from paying customs duty on goods
2 that are imported and that are used for the development of these
3 services. So this tax exemption or customs exemption pertain to the army
4 and -- of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well; right?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. Did this decision pertain to gasoline, crude oil, fuels? Were
7 these the goods that were being imported?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The HVO and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were they exempt from
10 turnover tax in respect to these goods too?
11 A. Turnover tax follows the provisions of customs regulations. So
12 if there was an exemption from customs duty, then the same applied for a
13 turnover tax.
14 Q. Were there gasoline stations in the HZ HB where fuel was provided
15 for defence needs and was this recorded? Do you know that?
16 A. Most of the gasoline stations were mobilised by the
17 municipalities and for the most part these were formerly socially own,
18 state-owned gasoline stations. And many units actually took fuel there
19 by handing in appropriate documents that they had received from their own
20 logistics people.
21 Q. The managers of these gasoline stations, did they have to keep
22 precise records as to how much fuel they issued for defence purposes so
23 that they would be tax exempt and customs duty exempt for those
25 A. Exactly.
1 Q. Do you remember that there was some abuse and that some gasoline
2 stations pretended to have issued more fuel to the HVO precisely in order
3 to dodge these tax obligations and customs duty obligations?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now let us look at document P --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica, I just note that you are leading,
7 leading, leading, leading and this is not a different matter. It isn't
8 the same line as the main interrogation and so it would be preferable if
9 you could come back to open, more open questions.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I did not
11 realise that I was putting leading questions. I give the witness the
12 possibility to explain what his knowledge is in respect of every one of
13 my questions. I did not proof this witness, and of course I depend on
14 the witness himself in terms of the progress I can make.
15 Q. Have you found document P 01410? This is an order from Mr. Bruno
16 Stojic showed several times here in the courtroom, and he is issuing
17 Mr. Andabak an order to take over the complete business documentation of
18 gasoline stations of Peric Ljubuski, Dodig-Citluk and Bosnjak Posusje,
19 Dodig-Citluk and Bosnjak Posusje, in order to ensure payment of sales tax
20 and in that way secure funds for financing units of the Croatian Defence
22 This document was submitted to you, I see down here. Do you
23 remember anything in relation to this document? And then I'm going to
24 show you further on the documents that relate to that.
25 A. Yes, I remember, of course, the entire situation in this regard,
1 because practically this was a takeover of the powers of the finance
2 department, because they were in charge of collecting turnover tax.
3 However, these are three privately owned companies, gasoline stations,
4 that is, that had not been mobilised. There was information and so on
5 and so forth they were not paying all taxes, that they were handling this
6 in a different way, and the municipal department of the municipalities of
7 Ljubuski, Citluk, and Posusje had not established this. This is the
8 period before the financial police was established. This point in time
9 regulations had just been adopted and they -- the police started working
10 in the first quarter of the year.
11 After the documentation was compiled, certain reports were made.
12 Finally this documentation was sent on to the financial police and the
13 financial police dealt with these cases fully and they made decisions
14 that were in accordance with the regulations prevailing in HZ HB.
15 Q. In relation to your question I'm going to put -- in relation to
16 your answer I'm going to put a few questions to you. The records of fuel
17 issued to the HVO, were they supposed to arrive to the defence
18 department, to logistics there? Did they have to have records of all
19 quantities that had been issued in order to see whether these were
20 actually the quantities that were supposed to be issued in accordance
21 with the orders?
22 A. If the orders for taking over fuel were issued by the defence
23 department or its services then that would have to go to the defence
24 department to see what the situation was, to see what the documents
25 issued were on the one hand and the fuel issued on the other hand.
1 Practice showed and we had orders from municipalities that also made this
2 possible, and for the most part this was not sent to the defence
3 department of the HVO.
4 Q. Tell me, please, if the defence department received information
5 that some gasoline stations are showing larger quantities of fuel and
6 that those that were in the original orders, were they duty bound to ask
7 for a check of the work of these gasoline stations and the taxes paid?
8 A. Precisely. That was the procedure involved.
9 Q. Would you tell me in this specific case the head of the defence
10 department, did he actually carry out these checks or only if he received
11 information that something irregular had happened, did he only ask for
12 documentation then in order to establish what it was that was irregular,
13 is this the gist of his order?
14 A. Finally that is its nature. These documents would ultimately be
15 dealt with by the financial police of the HZ HB.
16 Q. Excellent. Let us look at another document now. Let us see if
17 that is the document that would tally with what you said just now. That
18 is the next document 2D 01475. This is a handwritten document, minutes.
19 I don't know whether you remember it and whether you have ever seen it.
20 Inopetrol Posusje, was that actually Bosniak Posusje?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The next one is circle Medjugorje. Is that Dodig-Citluk from
23 that list?
24 A. Precisely.
25 Q. And we also have Peric Ljubuski and that can be seen in the other
1 document. This shows that the actual amount involved was 1.184.798
2 Deutschmarks that was paid or, rather, this much less. Do you remember
3 that this was roughly the amount involved and do you remember that it was
4 paid in subsequently?
5 A. After the financial police dealt with this case file, and it was
6 the meritorious institution because you see even the right names of the
7 companies are not mentioned here but, rather, the surnames of the owners,
8 whereas on this paper we see the actual names of the companies involved.
9 Also, there's a remark down here circle Medjugorje duty to pay taxes on
10 outgoing wholesale invoices to check against the invoices of the SDK. So
11 this remark already says that this amount is not certain and it has to be
12 checked against the invoices of the SDK of Mostar. The financial police
13 dealt with the matter. They issued appropriate decisions, and they paid
14 a certain amount. It was less than this, but it was a significant amount
15 at the time.
16 Q. Tell me, please, was this time also the time when the HVO had
17 this chronical problem of financing? It has to do with the beginning of
19 A. Exactly. And this reaction of the defence department, that is
20 how I understood it, was practically yet another attempt to ensure even
21 more resources and to show on the other hand that there is an intensive
22 search going on and that all methods would be resorted to in order to
23 ensure resources for the budget of the HZ HB.
24 Q. Thank you. I would like us to look at the next document. We
25 finally have only two more documents to deal with, and this is a topic
1 which indeed was not raised in the examination-in-chief and I am indeed
2 in the hands of the Trial Chamber as to whether they are going to take
3 this time away from my own time, and it has to do with procurement of
4 weapons from Croatia
5 around, having the HVO sell some weapons to Croatia.
6 Mr. Tomic, I'm just going to make a brief introduction as to why
7 I'm asking you this. The reason is that the indictment says that Croatia
8 provided material assistance fully to the HVO HZ HB. There are documents
9 that speak to the contrary, but in respect of this topic I'll just ask
10 you briefly.
11 Did you know, Mr. Tomic, that the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 at the very beginning the war in 1992, those who were living abroad, do
13 you know whether they paid certain amounts of money for the defence of
14 these areas and for the defence of Croatia? Could you briefly tell the
15 Court whose citizens were working and living abroad for the most part?
16 I'm referring to Croatia
17 the largest amounts of money?
18 You said that at that time the system was not functioning, the
19 payment system, so what accounts were used to have this money paid?
20 A. We saw in the decisions of the municipalities that they all went
21 after a particular source of revenue and that is our workers who were
22 temporarily employed abroad. Also through associations of citizens from
23 their own municipality that existed throughout Europe and in America
24 They asked for help, and Mostar had prepared this kind of a document
25 asking for help. However, when we started working on the budget of the
1 Croatian Republic
2 incorporate on the revenue side donations from our people, from the
3 diaspora throughout the world who were calling and saying that they were
4 willing to help their homeland. Most of the Croat -- Croatian diaspora
5 is originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, what was said then was
6 that an agreement had been reached with Croatia that these resources
7 should be centralised. So that people from municipalities and
8 Herceg-Bosna and the Republic of Croatia
9 same people and associations living abroad. So in that context we never
10 planned for these resources in the budget as donations from the diaspora.
11 These resources were allocated to a special account or to a multitude of
12 accounts in banks in Austria
13 by authorised persons from the Republic of Croatia
14 I know from the contacts that we had that Mr. Jozo Martinovic,
15 who was at first the Minister of Finance in the government of the
16 Republic of Croatia
17 who was the minister for immigrants when this project started. Later on
18 he became the minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia
19 Q. Mr. Tomic, even if these citizens wanted to make payments to
20 banks in Mostar or in HZ HB, to banks there, did these banks function at
21 all? Could they do it?
22 A. Until the Croatian bank DD in Mostar was established and its
23 operations with foreign countries, it was impossible to make direct
24 payments in the territory of HZ HB
25 account in Croatia
1 Q. Can you just tell us so that we could be as specific as possible,
2 when was Hrvatska Banka, the Croatian bank established in Mostar?
3 A. The operations towards the end of 1992. The operations vis-a-vis
4 foreign countries started towards the end of the first quarter of 1993.
5 Q. Mr. Tomic, on the basis of what you've been saying so far, can I
6 conclude that the resources that were coming from Croatia were in fact
7 the money that was paid by citizens who originally hailed from
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, paid as their assistance the HVO? Can it be
9 interpreted that way?
10 A. Certainly.
11 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to object to that question unless there is
12 a foundation for this witness being able to account for every dollar,
13 every kuna or every dinar coming from [Realtime transcript read in error
14 "to"] Croatia
15 don't really think he can do that, so I object to speculation.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We've taken note of your
17 objection. Please continue.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I'm done with this topic, and now I will ask you based on two
20 documents how things functioned between Croatia and Herceg-Bosna. Let us
21 look at document P 01511.
22 These are the minutes of the 16th session held on the 18th of
23 February, 1993. I'm referring to the conclusions on page 1 in the
24 Croatian version. Actually, it's page 2, but they are both -- in the
25 Croatian version they are both on one page. And in the English version.
1 I don't know if you were present, but this reads: "The defence
2 department of the HZ HB HVO is to make a request for the most essential
3 goods from the Republic of Croatia
4 in order to be reimbursed through the HZ HB Elektroprivreda and HEP."
5 Mr. Tomic, if you read this conclusion by itself, it follows that
6 HZ HB delivered electric power to Croatia and got something in return so
7 that the electric power was not delivered for free.
8 A. Yes. This happened in the situation when the Elektroprivreda
9 HZ HB had delivered power from the power plants Busko Blato and Capljina,
10 and so the Croatian side had to pay for that. It is for -- it goes back
11 to previous periods when power was delivered from the area of HZ HB.
12 Q. Can you tell us what HEP is?
13 A. HEP is a Croatian -- the Croatian electric power company from
15 paid to the HVO HZ HB through the delivery of goods of Croatian
16 producers. Those are mostly meat products by Pik Vrbovec and other goods
17 produced in Croatia
18 As the finance department needed to account for that compensation
19 between HEP and Elektroprivreda as well as HVO HZ HB, this was a request
20 to submit a list of products that we could send to the Croatian side,
21 that is HEP, so that they could make us an offer for this compensation.
22 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, just to interrupt and for
23 what it's worth but I would like the record to be as accurate as
24 possible, I don't know if I misspoke or if it was a question of
25 translation, but in any event it's left the page now but on page 55 of
1 the transcript today at line 24 and 25, when I stated my objection, what
2 I meant -- what I intended to say, whether I said it or not I don't know,
3 but every kuna or every dollar coming to -- it's recorded in the
4 transcript as coming to Croatia
5 to say if I did not was every kuna or every dinar coming to Bosnia
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Now that the transcript has been corrected, we can move to the
9 next document. Please take a look at document 2D 01476. Can you
10 remember anything -- and I'll try to remind you. This is an invoice
11 dated 15th of April, 1993, submitted by the defence department and its
12 head Bruno Stojic to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia
13 the provision, procurement and production department, based on a contract
14 dated December 10th, 1992, and it follows from this invoice that the HVO
15 or the defence department is selling to the Ministry of Defence of the
16 Republic of Croatia
17 accessory kit as well as an aircraft cannon with spare parts, tools, and
18 an accessory kit. The prices are set here. They amount to a total of
19 471.460 Deutschmarks.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica --
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] It's not extremely important but
23 I think it's three cannons and two aircraft cannons and not one each, if
24 you look at the document.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree. It's about three land
1 cannon and two aircraft cannon. I failed to say that but it is obvious
2 from the document.
3 Q. Mr. Tomic, can you remember anything regarding this document?
4 A. The defence department, like all budget beneficiaries, could
5 generate some own revenue. For that revenue -- that revenue was part of
6 the report on the financial aspect of the budget that is submitted to
7 the -- submitted at the end of the year so that the finance department
8 could not directly see how this revenue is generated except for the total
9 sums that were mentioned in the relevant documents in their total value.
10 And these were the amounts that were part in the annual reports.
11 Q. Mr. Tomic, I'm not showing this document to you only to show how
12 much revenue was generated in this way. I would like to know why this
13 came about. First to see that the -- there was a business relation
14 between -- in place and to show that the HVO, having drafted this
15 contract on the 10th of December, 1992, is giving some of its equipment
16 to Croatia
17 for an offensive in the war.
18 Can you -- do you agree with me that we can conclude as much from
19 this document with regard also to the information that you had about this
20 revenue having arrived to the defence department?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. This concludes my interrogation.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I? I would like to ask one or two more
24 questions. You were asked whether you were aware of this transaction and
25 your answer was rather general. Were you aware, do you remember this
1 transaction, these five guns?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that concrete
3 transaction from the time it took place, but it was mentioned in the
4 financial report of the defence department for the year 1993, and it is
5 part of the own revenue, a chapter of their overall revenues.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I would be interested to know what
7 kind of guns these were and where they came from. Were they produced
8 within the area of HZ HB? Were they used material? Were they new? Can
9 you tell us anything about that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I cannot say much
11 about that.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] If you permit, we will have a
14 Defence witness, Mr. Stojic, who will explain what kind of cannon this is
15 about. We only asked the witness what he was in a position to know.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's perfectly all right. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Tomic, I'd like to ask you
18 a much more general question on the basis of this document. This
19 document shows a link between the HVO and the Republic of Croatia
20 However, my question is focused on the relationship from the Republic of
22 To your knowledge did the Republic of Croatia
23 whether official or not, to the HZ HB at that time? Regular loans with
24 documents? I could give you examples. For instance, a loan in 1998
25 between the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and an African development
1 fund. So these things happen in international law. You can have loans
2 between states and other states or between states and institutions.
3 So to your knowledge did financial links exist between the
4 Republic of Croatia
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No contractual relationship existed
6 between the Republic of Croatia
7 based on the funds raised from the diaspora. Those accounts, as I said,
8 were in Austria
9 The people who were authorised to manage those accounts did not
10 channel that aid to the HZ HB. That aid came from other sources, and the
11 money that was on foreign accounts in convertible currency was used for
12 the defence of the Republic of Croatia
13 For example, I've already said that at the moment when the
14 accounts were opened Mr. Martinovic was Minister of Finance and Mr. Susak
15 was the minister of emigres. They went to foreign countries and lobbied
16 among the Croatian emigres to send money. And it went through these two
17 persons, not institutions.
18 Mr. Susak later became the minister of defence of the Republic of
20 Filah [phoen] or other places where these accounts were.
21 Mr. Martinovic, after, when he was no longer Minister of Finance
22 went to the Privredna Banka where he had come from also and was in the
23 position to influence the use of those resources, and if he would sign an
24 order for a certain amount in Croatian dinars as aid, the Privredna Banka
1 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreters cannot follow. Could
2 the witness repeat once more slowly, more slowly.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, perhaps he could repeat the last
4 part of the answer. It was very clear that at some point the translation
5 stopped. So if you could go a little slower.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. It's about that part
7 when Mr. Martinovic, when he ceased to be minister went to the Privredna
8 Banka Zagreb, and he still remain a signatory together with Mr. Susak,
9 authorised to withdraw money from that account. And the transfers that
10 came to that account for any reason, and the reason must be stated for a
11 transfer to be effected, the -- they used the resources at their disposal
12 such as the interest payable on the part of the Privredna Banka. And
13 those amounts in Croatian dinars were then forward as aid to the HZ HB,
14 and the Privredna Banka, instead of buying foreign currency in the
15 market, would simply cover that amount from the account in Filah.
16 So that -- in other words, that was a compensation of the -- the
17 amounts that they had remitted and which stemmed from the donations of
18 emigre Croats.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the budget of the
20 HZ HB is concerned I assume there were documents relating to the budget
21 which all and everyone can see, and that I'm -- in these documents I'm
22 sure we can see revenues and expenses columns. And if there were
23 revenues that were -- did not come from the budget, this would be
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you transfer budget items to
2 other budget items? For instance, amounts that were allocated to a
3 particular budget item for X, Y, Z reason, you would reallocate those
4 amounts to other items. Did that ever happen? What I mean is perhaps
5 defence items.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I must say that for 1992 and 1993
7 there was no real budget in the sense you are using the word. The budget
8 was only formed for 1994. And when a reallocation of funds was necessary
9 that exceeded the planned amounts by 10 per cent or more, the budget had
10 to be rebalanced, especially if the amounts from the current reserve of
11 the budget are not sufficient.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm now turning to
13 other Defence counsel. I don't know how much time you have had so far,
14 two hours, perhaps. I'm about to tell you. Two hours and 26 minutes.
15 One hour 17 minutes for the first Defence team and one hour 19 minutes
16 for the second Defence team. Ideally we should be able to finish today
17 so that the Prosecution can start its cross-examination next week. That
18 said, this will be very tight. I hope there won't be too many
19 objections. I had hoped we could be sitting on Wednesday, but that will
20 not be the case. We will only be able to have a hearing on Monday and
21 Tuesday, which will make it very short. At 1.00 on Tuesday there's a
22 Plenary Session for the Judges to elect the president and adopt two
23 articles amending the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. I hope that this
24 will be finished by a quarter past 2.00. As far as I'm concerned, I will
25 be standing at the door at 14 minutes past 2.00.
1 So what is it to be?
2 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. As far as
3 I know, it's only the General Praljak Defence that will be
4 cross-examining this witness, so I expect that we will not have to go
5 beyond today. The cross-examination by General Praljak's Defence will
6 pertain to the answers the witness gave in the examination-in-chief at
7 pages 33707, lines 16 through 24; 33708, line 18 through 25; 33709, lines
8 22 through 25; 33713, 33714, 33738. Those are the pages in the
9 transcript. The date is the 27th of October. So the first day of the
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Pinter:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Tomic. Let us go back to
13 1992 to Mostar to the situation that prevailed in Mostar in early --
14 let's say up until mid-1992. I would like to ask you to look at document
15 1D 00909 which is in the small binder that you have in front of you. I
16 will now ask you whether you were aware or whether you knew Mr. Slobodan
17 Lang, Dr. Slobodan Lang.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you have an opportunity to meet with Dr. Lang?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you please tell us when?
22 A. It was -- well, we first met in May in Mostar. I think it was
23 the logistics centre that was set up in the basement of a building in
24 Mostar. The building was called Lesnina, and that's where I met
25 Mr. Lang, who told us about his experience from Dubrovnik, and that's
1 what stuck in my mind. That's why I remember his visit to Mostar.
2 Q. Thank you. Now I would like you to look at this document, which
3 is entitled the "Drama of Mostar, the 9th and the 10th of May 1992." It
4 is signed by Dr. Lang, among other signatories, and I would like to ask
5 you this: Do you recall this claim and can you confirm it that all the
6 barrels were trained on the town on the 9th of May and that the town was
7 encircled? I mean Mostar.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You mentioned this, but would you agree with me that about 65 per
10 cent of the civilians had left Mostar at that time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you confirm that the civilian structure that had been
13 inherited from the previous system either did not exist or was not
14 functioning, was in disarray?
15 A. Yes, that's what I was talking about.
16 Q. Is it true -- is it true that on the 7th of May the town was
17 completely cut off in terms of telecommunications? 1992, yes. I'm
18 talking about 1992.
19 A. Yes, I do know that this was in early May, and I assume that the
20 date is correct.
21 Q. At that time that we're talking about in May?
22 A. Yes, in early May.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, the speakers are kindly
24 asked not to overlap.
25 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
1 Q. It says here and I don't know if you can remember that, but at
2 any rate, that in the afternoon on the 9th an artillery attack was
3 launched on Mostar and that it last for almost 24 hours and that several
4 thousand shells were fired. Do you recall that, the atmosphere, the
5 situation, the shelling of Mostar?
6 A. Yes, I do remember the situation. Now, whether it was on the 9th
7 or the 10th, I can't really play that back in my mind, but I do remember
8 this action that is described here, an attempt to launch a tank attack
9 from the south. And I remember that the HVO members repelled the tank
10 attack, and I know that it was about that time.
11 Q. Fine. Thank you. As you go through this document were you able
12 to read the other claims about the ambulances that were no longer there,
13 about the burial of those who had been killed in the Liska park?
14 A. Yes. In fact, one of my family members was buried in the Liska
15 park because it was impossible to carry out the regular funeral.
16 Q. So can you confirm that the claims made in this letter or report
17 by Dr. Lang tally with what you experienced, saw, went through?
18 A. Well, I have to apologise, I haven't read this through. But up
19 until the middle of page 2 it reflects in its entirety the atmosphere as
20 it prevailed in Mostar. I can go on to the end.
21 Q. Yes, please do.
22 A. Because I have not seen this document before. Yes.
23 Q. So you can confirm.
24 A. Yes, it does correspond with the situation as it was in Mostar at
25 the time.
1 Q. Thank you very much. I have only one question for you, and then
2 with the permission of the Trial Chamber General Praljak would like to
3 talk to you about the year 1992 and the situation in Mostar and the
4 events in Mostar and in Hercegovina. Let me just ask you this: Do you
5 know who Radoslav Zovko is? Have you heard of him?
6 A. Is that Radoslav Zovko -- I think there was a friar or a priest,
7 his name was Radoslav Zovko.
8 Q. Yes, that's right. Have you heard about the "Mostarski Dnevnik,"
9 the "Mostar Diary"?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Now, with your permission General Praljak
12 would like to continue the cross-examination of this witness regarding
13 the situation in Mostar and in Herzegovina
14 which he himself took part and has direct knowledge of.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, before I give the
16 floor to General Praljak, I have a few questions based on this document.
17 These events occurred on the 9th and 10th of May, 1992.
18 Sixty-five per cent of the population, according to this
19 document, this amounts to 70.000 people, left Mostar. These people who
20 left Mostar, I assume among those people there were both Croats, Muslims
21 and maybe Serbs. Did some of these people come back again or did they
22 leave for good?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this exodus all people left
24 because they wanted to take care of their families. The male members of
25 the family would put their families up in some hotel or with their
1 families in Western Herzegovina, Croatia, or wherever further afield,
2 would -- and then they would go back in order to try and protect their
3 property, houses, apartments, to be there and to take part in the
4 defence. And then as operations in Mostar after the liberation from the
5 JNA and the reservists subsided, some of the family members came back but
6 then they left again when the conflict broke out between Croats and
7 Muslims in Mostar.
8 Nowadays in Mostar, the bottom line, to use the financial term,
9 is that today most of the people who had come back are Croats. A part of
10 Bosniaks had come back and some of the Serbs had also come back.
11 As far as the residents of the city itself, the urban population,
12 for the most part Muslims went back to Sarajevo, not to Mostar because
13 they couldn't find their way around in the new circumstances.
14 Some of my best friends who were Bosniaks preferred to go back to
16 rural population that imposed their values. The refugees had come in
17 from all over Bosnia
18 heroes and they had a negative attitude towards the return of the
19 original residents of Mostar, and that's why most of them decided not to
20 come back to Mostar but to go to Sarajevo
21 As far as Serbs are concerned, lots of Serbs, the urban Serbs
22 from Mostar, remained in Belgrade
23 As for Croats from the urban population, quite a few of them
24 remained in Zagreb
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I notice that from Hum,
1 Orlovac, and "forteca," the Hum hill, I mean, shots were fired, and
2 according to the document religious buildings were hit in the process,
3 dioceses, cathedrals, churches. As far as you know, the shelling by the
4 Serb artillery, do you know whether they damaged any mosques?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: All the mosques or some mosques? Since you
7 were the mayor of Mostar in the year 2000, you know this town pretty
8 well. Maybe you could tell us whether all the mosques were hit or just a
9 few mosques?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time I participated together
11 with my colleagues in Mostar writing a book about the urbicide in Mostar
12 and there was an exhibition in Split
13 aid, and in this document you can see the images of the damage caused to
14 all public buildings in Mostar, and I think that most of the mosques had
15 been hit. The minarets were torn down on some of them or had suffered
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were an author to this book
18 "Urbicide," were you? This is a book we have seen already. I see that
19 this document talks about the Old Bridge
20 for this Trial Chamber.
21 When the Serbs fired shots, as far as you know do you know
22 whether the Old Bridge
23 didn't fall in 1992, but was it slightly damaged, seriously damaged, only
24 damaged in part?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was some damage, and I
1 remember that timber and tyres, car tyres, were used to protect the
2 bridge from further targeting.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question, and I believe
4 my colleague would like to put questions to you also.
5 I can see in this document that the authors of this document,
6 Mr. Slobodan Lang, talks about the press and seems to indicate, at any
7 rate, in May 1992 that -- that no foreign journalist, be he or she,
8 Bosniak or a Croat, on the spot in paragraph 2. So it seems that nobody
9 could recount what had happened. Was that the feeling you had also, that
10 the international press or national press had not been allowed in and was
11 not present when the shelling occurred?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's my impression. And one
13 of the first projects that we had in the Special Purpose Council was to
14 procure equipment for the Mostar radio station that we obtained through a
15 donation by a company from Croatia
16 you could at least hear the reports from Mostar that could then be
17 rebroadcast by others, because in Mostar the media were just not present.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, my question was initially
19 a twofold question, but the Presiding Judge has put the first part of the
20 question. I'd like to get back to the 9th and the 10th of May. The
21 document says that it's really dramatic for Mostar, the events that are
22 described here, and that this is really and truly dramatic. The
23 artillery started shelling on the 9th and only stopped shelling four
24 hours later.
25 We have heard a lot of witnesses in this court stating that the
1 JNA was one of the most powerful armies in the world with extremely
2 well-trained officers, well-versed in the laws of war and humanitarian
4 THE INTERPRETER: Humanitarian law issues, interpreter's
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] If I understand correctly, the JNA
7 had essentially targeted civilian, medical, religious and cultural
8 buildings, amongst others, the Old Bridge
9 The problem I have here is the terms used, "essentially
10 targeted." Do you agree with this?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever was destroyed was
12 designated the key target, because if something was targeted -- if
13 something was hit and destroyed, then obviously it was a target, and
14 since practically all the public buildings were hit, then that was the
15 conclusion, that they were indeed the main target.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Because during a war there is what
17 is called collateral damage. Would the civilian buildings be considered
18 part of this collateral damage?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know there were no
20 military operations launched from the town itself. There were no major
21 gun emplacements, artillery pieces that were fired, no resistance was
22 offered from those buildings by, for instance, firing those cannon. And
23 then the JNA -- then you could say that the JNA's returning fire and
24 destroying those gun emplacements. That was not the case.
25 They were firing on the civilian targets in order to exert
1 pressure on the civilian population to make them flee the city in as
2 large numbers as possible.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] There it is. That was my
4 question, what was the purpose of this operation, but you have already
5 answered this question. Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems, looking at the
7 document, this is -- is in the part of the document which mentioned the
8 9th and the 10th of May. It seems that the Serbs lost three of their
9 tanks. Does this mean that there was fighting between the Serbs and the
10 forces opposing the Serbs since I see here that three tanks are
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it involves the attack
13 that I mentioned that I know happen at that time when they set off with
14 armoured vehicles from the south along the Bulevar, that is to say the
15 street going through the middle of town. On the south they were stopped
16 by the members of the HVO.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. My last question
18 and we will have the break afterwards and Mr. Praljak can take the floor
19 after the break. He will have ample time to put his questions.
20 The question I would like to put to you has to do with the media.
21 We can see that there were no journalists there. This is what this
22 document states.
23 In the following months, apart from the radio stations were the
24 media able to cover any of these events, and if that was the case, who
25 was writing about this?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in the later stage, except
2 for Radio Mostar, another radio station started operating in the eastern
3 part of town, that is to say after the conflict between the Bosniaks and
4 the Croats. For the most part it involved bulletins, if I can put it
5 that way, of individual units. That is to say there weren't any printed
6 newspapers or periodicals from the area of the HZ HB.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. We
8 shall have a 20-minute break.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
12 The Court will give the floor to Mr. Praljak, and we will like to say
13 that Mr. Praljak is allowed to ask questions along as they relate to his
14 area of expertise.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your
17 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Tomic. Do you know me from
19 earlier on? Yes?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Please look at 3D 03096. This is the "Mostar Diary" of
22 Mr. Radoslav Zovko. I'll try move on as fast as possible without
23 overlapping, though, because I have to refer to individual pages. And
24 the diary has to do with the first half of 1992 in Herzegovina and
25 Mostar. At that time you were in Mostar; right?
1 A. Right.
2 Q. In order to be as brief as possible, I'm going to make a
3 reference in Croatian to the page number. Please look at page 36.
4 Friday, the 10th of January, 1992, the attack on the train in Mostar. It
5 says: "Two railway workers were wounded, one Muslim, one Croat, because
6 reservists opened fire at a freight train."
7 As you were there day in, day out, did you know about this?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Let's look at the next page, that is page 39 of the Croatian
11 On the 24th of January, 1992, a referendum was voted for in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Assembly was in session, and the main
13 problem was to have a referendum for an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 it says the Serbs blocked the work of the Assembly by leaving it and
15 today they're doing it by filibustering.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, we have a little problem. We are
17 also a little delayed because you only give the number of the Croatian
18 version, which means that then we must look at what date you speak about
19 and then we must try to find this in the English version, and the first
20 entry you have mentioned, 9th of January, does not figure in the
21 translation, so we are a bit lost. The second, neither. Ours starts
22 with the 25th of January. Well, it says "Attack on train," but we don't
23 have the date. And then 24 January, we don't have.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated].
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'm going to read the
2 date, although you don't have it, but also read the heading like
3 "Referendum voted for in Bosnia-Herzegovina" so then you will know what
4 I'm referring to.
5 Q. And it says further on: "Nevertheless, after midnight the Serb
6 delegates withdrew and the Assembly continued working normally. Decision
7 on having a referendum was made."
8 Are you aware of this fact, these endless sessions of the
9 Assembly, the obstruction by the Serbs and so on?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. "Hunger knocking at the door," right underneath. The 25th of
12 January, 1992. It says here that the Yugo dinar was depreciated again by
13 400 per cent. And then there is a reference to salaries, and finally it
14 says: "Many of our young men joined the Croatian army or the police for
15 patriotic reasons but also for the money, because life here is hard."
16 Did you know that?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. We'll see later on what Mr. Zovko says in terms of what the value
19 of these different currencies are. For example, these salaries of about
20 5.000 Yugo dinars, was that approximately about 50 Deutschmark? Can you
22 A. I think that was it roughly in that period. One Deutschmark, 65
23 Yugo dinars. That would be it approximately.
24 Q. Thank you. Page 41. "Caritas in action." That is the 28th of
25 January, 1992. It says the diocese and Caritas in Mostar is working at
1 full steam. There are a lot of paupers and people on the brink of
2 poverty." Further on Zovko says: "Quite honestly perhaps there may be
3 among them some who are feigning or maybe smuggling, but it's difficult
4 to sort it out all the time." It also says there is problems in the
5 distribution of food because some friars are running their own separate
6 charities, they don't want to join the central one because it wouldn't be
7 right if everything were all right. And then he makes a reference here
8 to Mr. Zovko and then also that there was quite a bit of hunger in Mostar
9 right then and also that there was this problem of these private
10 Caritases run by individuals.
11 A. Yes. There were queues, people queueing up for food.
12 Q. The next document is right down here, that is the 31st of
13 January, 1992. It says: "Who is guarding what?" And it says that the
14 reservists are holding both barracks, both airports and that they took
15 control of the Austrian bunkers and fortresses on Velez and its slopes,
16 Hum Orlovac and they're roaming the hill around Miljkovici and Krivodol.
17 Did you know that, that already then actually the reservists had taken
18 all the hills around Mostar?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Page 42, let's have a look at that. Cannons at Hum, the 3rd of
21 February 1992, it says the reservists have rolled out tanks onto Hum and
22 the surrounding hills. Their intention is obvious on the basis of what
23 happened to Ravno. Can you confirm that?
24 A. Yes, the tanks -- or rather the tanks and cannons were on Hum and
25 in Podvelezje and so on.
1 Q. Let's move on --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, I'm sorry, it seems that we are
3 hearing the testimony of Mr. Zovko. If fact, we have a witness here who
4 is a special in finance matters and you put to him a diary of someone of
5 whom we know not much. He may have an acute memory or not. He may be
6 putting down what happens. It may all be true, but I do not quite see
7 what the Chamber gains by the witness saying yes to what you read to us.
8 Mr. Kovacic.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Please, please, please.
10 Your Honour Judge Trechsel, first of all this man here is a man who lived
11 through the experience and destiny of Mostar. The fact that you want him
12 to be a financial expert only, that may be your wish, but my wish is to
13 ask this man some questions. He had to take his family out of Mostar
14 because of the terror that reigned there. He also buried a family member
15 at the cemetery there, and he is not just an expert witness in finance.
16 He is first and foremost a man who took part in all of this, and he is
17 familiar with what is being avoided for months now in this court, and
18 that is where all of this is taking place, all of this that we are
19 discussing in the field of finance. What is happening is a brutal
20 aggression which is clearly depicted here in an all-embracing and
21 comprehensive way.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ...
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Please, please allow me,
24 Judge Trechsel.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The bench regulates --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- the proceedings here and neither the
3 Prosecution nor the Defence nor the accused nor the witness. It is only
4 the Bench who is in charge. I mean, you are just reading a book and the
5 witness says yes, yes, yes. We've had that before, and we have said many
6 times, not only me, that we do not gain much. If you want to ask him
7 questions, ask him questions and prompt him to speak of his experience
8 and not just to -- to nod to an experience someone else has put down in a
10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you asked Mr. Praljak
11 about the reasons why he is referring to that and he has stated those
12 reasons. I just want to add a procedural --
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have not asked --
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Very well, I will go back to that.
15 I wish to refer to a procedural reason. According to the instructions
16 issued by this Trial Chamber, there is a mechanism in place for adducing
17 evidence. The Defence believes that this book is a relevant piece of
18 evidence, proof of the situation in Mostar in 1992. The witness knows
19 about this because he was there at the time. We are checking this
20 document. We are trying to establish its authenticity. Tomorrow through
21 the so-called IC list we are going to tender this document into evidence.
22 Why? Because the Defence can present its arguments in the final brief
23 that -- to the effect that what this witness has been speaking about and
24 other witnesses, too, all of that happened within a particular context.
25 To put it in simple terms, the HZ HB tried to establish civilian order at
1 the time when chaos prevailed in town. You don't know that. You haven't
2 seen that. You have only heard parts and pieces of that. We are trying
3 to make a synthesis there. There is no better evidence than this kind of
4 book like a diary. It is a live person who wrote this and now we have a
5 live witness, a man who was there and who can confirm whether this
6 corresponds to his knowledge. If it does correspond to his knowledge,
7 then obviously this is authentic evidence. That's the core of the
8 matter, and I believe that it is relevant to establish whether the
9 HZ HB -- or, rather, the HVO HZ HB functioned in lab conditions, in a
10 septic atmosphere, or in a real-life situation or, rather, the chaos of
12 In conclusion, I have to say please look at the conclusion. Look
13 at the incriminations in the indictment, the conduct of the so-called
14 members of the JCE, specifically the HVO HZ HB from the 1st of September,
15 1991, and already by now we have seen through the evidence that in 1992
16 nothing happened in relation to the Muslims who are depicted as victims
17 in the indictment. So that was not there. We have to show that 1992 is
18 not a relevant year in the indictment in respect of the way it has been
19 portrayed in the indictment. It is for you to assess the evidence, the
20 Trial Chamber, but we are duty-bound as the Defence to present this kind
21 of evidence. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, please continue,
23 but you're not going to review every single entry in the document, I
24 hope. Just take a few examples and then ask brief questions to the
25 witness and that will help to provide the witness longer answers maybe.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I understand
2 that procedure is an essential part of the legal system, but at least ten
3 times so far, I have tried to show what Mostar was like after the
4 destruction inflicted by the Yugoslav People's Army and the reservists --
5 reservists. When I tried to introduce as evidence a book, you refused
6 that. And I am now trying to hear from the witness whether he has read
7 these pages and whether to the best of his knowledge by virtue of his
8 having lived there he can corroborate that this is true. And I will be
9 contented if this is admitted as evidence, because this is about the most
10 essential things in the whole war, what is being avoided here in this
11 court, namely desperation, fear, hunger, exhaustion, chaos, misery, et
12 cetera. These were the conditions under which I and everybody else
13 sitting with me here functioned, and this is an essential element which
14 is currently being swept aside, and a case is built upon the assumption
15 that there was a state in place, that there was peacetime, et cetera.
16 If you let me, I will be -- I'll finish in four minutes. I was
17 down there, and I can testify, but you give me 54 hours and the war
18 lasted two and a half years. I cannot -- without witnesses I cannot
19 explain the truth based on facts. So please allow me either to ask for
20 four or five questions from here or globally to ask the witness how many
21 aeroplanes flew over those areas, how many women and children they
22 killed. I'm asking for instructions, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of the book you
24 can say the following to the witness: This diary describes a series of
25 events on specific dates. I will take four or five examples of such
1 events, and then you can talk about what happened on the 8th of April,
2 1992, or what happened on another day. Then he can confirm whether the
3 events actually took place, and when he has then you can ask him another
4 question and say, "Do you share such-and-such point of view?"
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I will obey.
6 Q. So, Witness, a book has been presented to you, I hope that you
7 have seen it before, from which I submitted to you some excerpts up until
8 the 19th of June, 1992, which is on page 94, the last page, and I'm going
9 to ask you a few more questions, something that has nothing to do with
10 the facts that are only on paper.
11 Page 42, "Roadblock at Balinovac." The --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot find the relevant
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, the interpreters have lost track.
16 The interpreters do not know where you are reading from and they stopped
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'm referring to page 42.
19 The date is 4th of February, 1992. "Blockade at Balinovac."
20 Q. Zovko says the following: "People have grown so sick and tired
21 of this tension with the reservists. They almost don't care any more if
22 a war starts. They just want this tension and uncertainty to come to an
24 Witness, tell the Bench about the psychological situation
25 prevailing in Mostar with regards to the activities of the reservists of
1 the JNA.
2 A. The situation was chaotic. The people were under pressure
3 because on the surrounding hills heavy armaments were deployed.
4 Reservists were roaming the town in their vehicles, and they were -- they
5 went to inns and pubs and initiated conflict. They were firing from
6 their weapons. People were coming out of their houses and buildings,
7 gathered on the streets, and it was highly charged, the situation was
8 highly charged.
9 Prices rose at a breathtaking pace. There was ever-less
10 merchandise and the prospect of people being paid for their work were
11 getting slim. On the other hand, the reservists were receiving their
12 salaries from the JNA and with freshly printed money they would buy the
13 last goods available in Mostar, and the merchants could not renew their
14 stock with Yugoslav dinars.
15 The overall atmosphere was full of uncertainty and depressing.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Page 43 in the Croatian text. "No petrol again. Another petrol
19 crisis, none to be had by ordinary people while some are getting it due
20 to their connections." And then it reads that 1 Deutschmark corresponds
21 to 85 Yugoslav dinars. Was that really so?
22 A. Yes. The exchange rate deteriorated all the time and there was
23 daily inflation.
24 Q. Please go to page 50 of the Croatian version. The 5th of March,
25 a Thursday. It reads: "Situation calmer." This now reads 1
1 Deutschmarks corresponds to 150 Yugo dinars. We can see inflation isn't
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Below that, the next heading "Bozo Lasta killed in Tasovcici. At
5 2200 hours at the Capljina bridge one Bozo Lasta was killed
6 gratuitously." Do you know there have been some incidents where people
7 were killed by paramilitary forces without any reason, so drunken,
8 reservists would kill someone?
9 A. Yes. I have already said that there was much shooting and there
10 were victims. And an even greater problem was inadequate information,
11 and for that reason a snowball effect was created. So -- which resulted
12 in much psychological tension among the citizens.
13 Q. Please go to page 53. It says: "Friday, 20th of March." The
14 heading is: "The Chetniks are surprised. The Chetniks seem to have
15 learned that in Croatia
16 people will flee. However, no one is fleeing from Jasenica, Rodoc and
17 Krivodol." Is it true that the people were not so easily frightened and
18 that they resisted the aggression by using weapons they had mostly
19 procured themselves?
20 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that.
21 Q. The next heading reads "Provocations." In the night of the 20th
22 of March -- of the 20th and 21st of March, the JNA strafed the little
23 chapel at the Miljkovici cemetery and et cetera. I believe that you know
24 these details?
25 A. Yes, I'm familiar with the incident at Miljkovici which is in the
1 Mostar municipality and I heard the rest from the information that was
2 around at the time.
3 Q. And it says further on that the -- under the next heading the
4 Serbs have continued to shell Hrasno and environs, people are feeling
5 from -- towards Stolac and Capljina, as it was. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. Chapter -- or, rather, page 57. We're talking about the 4th of
8 April, 1992
9 shot dead with five bullets for no reason at all. You witnessed that; is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Then there is the 7th of April.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may add a question. What does it mean,
14 Mr. Tomic, that you witnessed this killing of a baker?
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Are you forbidding me to ask questions?
17 MR. KOVACIC: No. No. [Interpretation] I would just like to
18 suggest that the transcript did not accurately record -- record the
19 answer of the witness. The witness said yes, I witnessed such incidents
20 and not that incident, and therefore it is logical that you asked your
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. Can you then tell a killing that you
23 actually witnessed, where you saw someone being killed?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say that I saw that
25 killing, but -- but that such things were happening at the time. I was
1 informed of that, because I lived in Mostar at the time. My office was
2 200 metres away from the spot where that baker was killed, and that's why
3 I remember that there was such an incident, but I was not present when --
4 when the man was killed, and I never testified about that.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That -- that's a bit technical, you
6 see, that we use the word witness, hearsay witness, things like that.
7 Thank you.
8 Please continue, Mr. Praljak.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Below that you will find that Alija Izetbegovic proclaimed a
11 general mobilisation at Herceg-Bosna, did that this morning. Did you
12 know that general mobilisation was declared and that the aggressor was
14 A. Yes. I think that -- that happened in this period.
15 Q. Please go to page 58, the 7th of April, 1992. The night of the
16 6th to the 7th of April was a real night of war in Mostar. From the
17 north and south camps, the VJ kept Orlovac and Jasenica under barrage of
18 fire. Croatia
19 Croats in BiH. Early this morning at 6 hours 22, VJ MiGs attacked
20 Listica. Six persons were killed. Citluk was also attacked from the air
21 but I don't know if there were casualties. Listica is Siroki Brijeg,
22 isn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know -- there is a series of such things in these texts?
25 But do you know that the VJ MiGs regularly bombed Siroki Brijeg, Citluk,
1 Livno, and Grude, in such a manner as to kill women, children, elderly
2 people in areas where there were no armed forces and no resistance?
3 A. Yes. At the time the aviation of the Yugoslav People's Army was
4 active at the time. When we drove to Herzegovina via Makarska we drove
5 without headlights so as not to attract their attention. We were advised
6 not to put on our -- our headlights.
7 Q. Now we are moving to the 9th of April on page 60. This is very
8 important. "Last night in Mostar was filled with gunfire. From the
9 airport the VJ fired at Ljuti Dolac, Slipcici, and Krusevo with a
10 multiple rocket launcher." And then the underlined part. "Our commander
11 Perko ordered a retreat of our troops via Goranci. The troops saw that
12 as treason, refused to obey the order and stayed in town, resisting the
14 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the sake of the
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you know that Mr. Perak [as interpreted] was a former officer
18 of the Yugoslav People's Army who later on fled to Serbia and obviously
19 he was placed there to issue the order to abandon Mostar and thus
20 abandoning both the military and the civilians? Do you know of that?
21 A. Yes, I do know that, especially after this refusal to obey the
22 order and after they left the town I can confirm that this was indeed
24 Q. Thank you very much. Let us now move on to the 13th of April,
25 1992. That's at page 62. "Capljina and Livno under attack. The
1 Yugoslav army is attacking Slipcici, Citluk, and in Bosnia Visegrad. And
2 then it says from -- starting at 1525 hours the VJ attacked Capljina with
3 a barrage of fierce artillery fire. The town is ablaze. Mogorjelo
4 Hotel, the church, the mosque and many other buildings have been damaged.
5 Jasenica is on fire. The army is either arresting or killing our people
6 around town and the surrounding villages. Pavo Gagro was found at Buna
7 with his throat slit." This tallies with the information that you
8 provided earlier; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. Pavo Gagro was the father of some well-known businessman in
10 Mostar. I knew them through my work in the revenues department, and I
11 remember this when he was found with his throat slit. Allegedly it was
12 determined later that his neighbour, a Serb, actually murdered him.
13 Q. Fine. Let's see what else we'll find. Easter, 19th of April,
14 1992. That's at page 66. "Perisic is destroying Mostar."
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, Mr. Praljak is kindly asked
16 to give the interpreters some time to find the actual reference and then
17 read slowly for the purpose of correct interpretation.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. "A pilot called and said that he had been abducted but then he
20 went back --"
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we really did cannot find
22 this text.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. "At 1700 hours a pilot who had been abducted called from Sarajevo
25 saying that he had deserted the Yugoslav People's Army, but Perisic
1 continues with fierce artillery fire against Mostar, because this is not
2 about the abducted pilots, his aim is to take control of Mostar. From
3 Juzni Logor they fired at the bridge, the Hasan Brkica bridge. There
4 were dead and wounded passers-by. Perisic completed his crime against
5 Mostar at 2020 hours. We did not celebrate the whole evening mass and
6 Easter because nobody had come on account of the shooting."
7 Sir, was this the situation in Mostar throughout those months?
8 And we will go through some other entries so throughout those months.
9 A. I do recall this Easter, because as I said in my previous
10 testimony when the tank truck exploded I organised for my parents to take
11 my sister's children and my daughter to Makarska. Two weeks later my
12 wife who remained in Mostar, and myself, we went there to visit them
13 because it was Easter, for Easter holidays, and we went taking the only
14 route that was still usable, the Gorancik route through Goranci. It was
15 constantly exposed to fire from the artillery piece on the Hum hill.
16 After Easter we wanted to go back to Mostar because my wife also
17 wanted to go back to town. We came to Goranci, the village above Mostar,
18 and at that time the last entry point where one could get into Mostar and
19 out of Mostar was closed because of the shelling. We remained there
20 almost a whole night waiting, and that's when I took my wife back to
21 Makarska and she remain there with the children while I went back to
22 Mostar again at night using the Goranci road during a lull in the
24 So this was the atmosphere that prevailed in Mostar at that time.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
2 Q. At page 66 again, the 21st of April, "Eight hours of fighting.
3 Hum was hit. He says in Mostar they are mopping up snipers and rumour
4 has it that they include Muslims and Croats who are committing these
5 crimes for money."
6 Do you know that in the chaos and fear that reigned there were
7 snipers operating and that it took a lot of work to catch some of them,
8 and some of them were killed? There was looting, robbery, and Fra Zovko,
9 Friar Zovko lists all that. Do you know that?
10 A. Yes, I do. I know that in particular in Centar 2 that
11 neighbourhood, it's a residential neighbourhood with a lot of apartment
12 buildings, that snipers were active there as is described here.
13 Q. As regards this road, the only one that was still in use and what
14 it looked like, at page 67 Friar Zovko left town and he says: "I got out
15 of Mostar." That's the entry. And he says: "I drove along the Goranac
16 road, I was on top of Cim and nobody was shooting. I said the prayer of
17 contrition several times."
18 He talks about fence -- fences broken down, damage to the road,
19 and he says, "I'm driving. I step on the gas." And he says, "I hope for
20 a death more than for life."
21 Coming from a priest, does that tell you what kind of a
22 psycho-social situation the people were in in Mostar?
23 A. Well, that road, I mentioned it, I said that I used it too. The
24 well-known Goranac dog leg is a very well-known place. It's such a sharp
25 curve that you have to slow down to 20 kilometres per hour in order to
1 get through it and this dog leg bend was constantly exposed to an
2 anti-aircraft gun firing from Mount Hum
3 Roulette. You didn't know whether you'd be able to get out of there.
4 And the people who used the road drove too fast and accidents happened.
5 People got killed either in accidents or because of shells. So taking
6 that road was a gamble. And I understand what he means when he says that
7 he's hoping for death more than for life.
8 Q. Well, we will we have a major point at page 69, the 27th of April
9 1992, "a new so-called Yugoslavia
10 Mostar, Ilici and Cim came under heavy gunfire. At 1400 hours VBR fired
11 at Krusevo, Biograci and Jare." And then at the end of this passage
12 Friar Zovko says this and I'm going to ask you this: "There is a lot of
13 hustle about mobilisation. Some people fled to Germany, some people fled
14 to Croatia
15 to be mobilised and they will not volunteer to be mobilised. It seems
16 that the HVO military authorities are still very weak." Is this true,
17 and how could any authority, any government be strong given the
19 A. Well, this is the period where for all intents and purposes the
20 Crisis Staff lost any touch with reality and could not manage anything
21 any more and on the other hand the municipal HVO staff operated in the
22 circumstances that prevailed in the town and it is quite logical that
23 issue -- that the issue of mobilisation was not dealt with in accordance
24 with any regulations at that time.
25 Q. Let us look at the 1st of May, 1992. That's page 72. "Two
1 defenders were killed in last night's attacks on Capljina. The Chetniks
2 blew up the bridge on the Neretva in Capljina. At 1700 hours all hell
3 broke loose again in Mostar. The cathedral and the Franciscan monastery
4 were hit. Two persons were killed."
5 Let us look at the 2nd of May 1992. This is a topic that has
6 been discussed at length in this trial. Friar Zovko here talks about his
7 view of international interference and he's talking about fierce fighting
8 in Sarajevo
9 will report everything to the European Community in Portugal but the
10 Yugoslav army is not afraid of anyone. The Chetniks are trying to take
11 control of the TV transmitter at Vlasic. Three defenders have been
12 killed and a number of them have been wounded. The Sarajevo TV now
13 covers only Sarajevo
14 towards Belgrade
16 A. Yes. The repeater at Mount Velez
17 Mostar to receive the signal from BH TV was switched off and now faced
18 the other way by the JNA.
19 Q. Let's look at what Friar Zovko has to say further down. This
20 evening having just returned from Lisbon Alija Izetbegovic was taken
21 prisoner by the Yugoslav People's Army in Sarajevo. And he goes on to
22 say: "A foreign army in a foreign country has taken the country's
23 president prisoner. This is unprecedented. The USA, Germany
24 responded with mild notes, but Serbs are not afraid of notes. The
25 reaction to the death of the Belgian observer near Cule, that's near
1 Mostar, is far below expectations. Europe and the USA
2 powerless or do not want to do anything."
3 To your knowledge was this the prevailing feeling among the
4 people regarding all those negotiations, promises that were made,
5 interference, that in fact nobody didn't want to do anything, couldn't do
6 anything against everything that the JNA did? Well, you know yourself,
7 from Vukovar, Dubrovnik
8 A. Well, the question of impotence, unease, pressure, but first of
9 all powerlessness, this is something that was present and it appeared
10 that no help was forthcoming and all the talks at that time, all the
11 agreements that were reached starting with those that were reached while
13 people did not expect any help to come from any quarters because it
14 didn't -- nothing, no effort resulted in any protection for the people to
15 give them their homes, jobs, food.
16 Q. Let us look at page 73. The 3rd of May, 1992. "European
17 Monitors are leaving Mostar." It says, "One person was killed and 13
18 were wounded in the fighting in Mostar last night," and then it goes on
19 to speak about Slavonski Brod which was suffering at the hands of the
20 same aggressors. And then it says that, "Chemical agents were thrown on
21 Siroki Brijeg and the bishop's palace and the hospital in Mostar was
22 fired upon." Did you know that the bishop's palace was almost completely
23 razed to the ground and that hospital was targeted?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. And then the 4th of May, 1992 just further down, "Aircraft attack
1 Ljubuski yesterday, killing two and wounding five persons."
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have 10
3 minutes left.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Well, everything here is
5 really the most important, because we would go on -- we should go on day
6 from day to see how the situation developed and then we could talk about
7 reconstructing the events in their entirety.
8 Q. Could you please look at the 6th of May, 1992, and that's just
9 one thing I want you to look at. "Bishop's palace set on fire." Do you
10 know that at that time bishop's palace was burnt to the ground and then
11 it says here that, "General Perisic requested that the Mostar HVO and the
12 Territorial Defence withdraw to the right bank of the Neretva River
13 else he would send aircraft to attack Mostar." Do you know that he was
14 actually blackmailing people into negotiations in this manner?
15 A. Yes, I do know that.
16 Q. The 9th of May, 1992. That's at page 77. "St. Peter and Paul
17 church set on fire." Do you know that this church was burnt to the
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. "Ten buses full of women and children left Mostar today as
21 refugees." Is that true that refugees, women and children, were leaving
22 Mostar every day, especially women were desperate to keep their children
24 A. Well, according to me that was one of the reasons why Mostar was
25 targeted with shells and gunfire to make people leave. And this
1 escalated in particular after the bishop's palace and the St. Peter and
2 Paul church were set on fire and they burnt to the ground.
3 Q. Could you please look at page 80. Well, it says, "The Chetniks
4 are firing at Krusevo and Sretnice again and then it says it is peaceful
5 in Mostar. They're hunting for snipers and they have already killed
6 three of them."
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note we cannot follow at this
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said already that in
10 Centar -- Centar 2 there were such examples and they were hunting snipers
11 down in the buildings.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Were those usually snipers that we found in apartments that were
14 own by the military?
15 A. According to the rumours that circulated at the time, most of
16 those snipers were operating from apartments that were military -- owned
17 by the military. They would find weapons in the blind boxes, where the
18 blinds were pulled up above the windows. That's according to rumours.
19 Q. Let me now read for the 19th of May, 1992, to complete.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the 19th of June,
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. "Bijelo Polje is liberated, the conflict between the HOS and the
24 HVO." Do you know that by that time not only Mostar but also Bijelo
25 Polje were liberated?
1 A. Yes, I do know that.
2 Q. It says here, "There are mostly Muslims in the HOS in
4 "Muslims are settling their accounts. They say that the Muslims are
5 settling their accounts under the Croatian name, torching Orthodox
6 churches and looting and torching Serbian houses." And he says, quite
7 fairly, "This information about the HOS should be checked whether this is
8 the truth or just rumours circulated among people." Do you know that at
9 that time the HOS was already chock full of Muslims and it was for all
10 intents and purposes out of HVO control and was operating on its own?
11 A. Yes, I know that there were many Muslims in the HOS and that the
12 HOS was a formation that everybody was afraid of. They engendered a lot
13 of fear and unrest in the town.
14 Q. Mr. Tomic, do you know just one more thing, that's my last
15 question, do you know that on the night of the 12th to the 13th of June
16 the Serb forces, whatever that might mean, killed 114 Croats and Muslims
17 in two locations at Uborak and Sutina. 88 victims fell at Uborak and 26
18 at Sutina?
19 A. Yes, I do know about those crimes.
20 Q. Do you know whether at that time or one year later anyone wrote
21 anything or told the world public about that, wrote any reports anywhere
22 in the world?
23 A. I don't know that.
24 Q. Do you know that in June it was first the right bank of the
25 Neretva River
1 then the left bank and that in this manner the town was liberated from
2 the hands of the reservists?
3 A. Yes. That's what it's called, the June dawns. That's how this
4 is celebrated.
5 Q. Do you know that from the positions that Serbs held facing
6 Nevesinje could shell Mostar whenever they felt like, whenever they got
7 drunk enough to do that?
8 A. Yes. Well, there was sporadic shelling from those positions, and
9 when we could no longer see them in Podvelezje, the Podvelezje area that
10 had been liberated in those actions, they continued doing so.
11 Q. Do you know that at that time I commanded this zone of the
12 Croatian Defence Council, and do you know that I commanded -- I was in
13 command of the operations to liberate the right and the left bank of the
14 Neretva River
15 A. Yes, I do know that.
16 Q. Thank you very much.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
18 hope that this will be admitted into evidence. If you don't, then I will
19 use it in my own testimony to --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could we please finish the
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] At page 66 of the record today --
23 Your Honour, Mr. President, at page 68 of the transcript you asked the
24 witness about the mosques that were torn down in Mostar, and he gave his
25 answer, but right at the beginning of this answer he mentioned the book
1 "Urbicide." I would just like to note for the reference that we had this
2 document here. Witness Puljic spoke about that. That's 3D 00785 and/or
3 1D 02951. And you refused to admit this into evidence because we were
4 unable to provide page references. That was through Witness Puljic. And
5 we in the meantime tendered it into evidence again with the pages. We
6 want to do that because Witness Puljic explained how the book was put
7 together. So it's not about pages, it's about the whole book. And here
8 the witness again mentioned this book "Urbicide," and he said that he
9 took part in drafting this book. So I hereby supplement my motion that
10 is still pending.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kovacic.
12 It is now past the time we should stop. We shall meet again next
13 week on Monday at a quarter past 2.00.
14 Witness, you will be staying here for a few days. I hope you'll
15 make the most of these few days in Holland
17 We shall meet again on Monday at a quarter past 2.00.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 3rd day
20 of November, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.