1 Monday, 10 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Jadranko
10 Prlic et al.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Today, on Monday, the 10th of November, 2008, I would first of
14 all like to greet the accused, the Defence teams, Mr. Scott and his
15 associates, as well as everyone else assisting us.
16 There is an oral decision I would like to read out. It is a bit
17 long, and I will read it out slowly.
18 Oral decision on the request to reconsider the oral decision
19 rendered by the Chamber on the 16th of October, 2008, regarding a new
20 subject addressed in the course of the Petkovic Defence
22 The witness, Mirko Zelenika, testified from the 14th to the 16th
23 of October, 2008. On the 15th of October, 2008, the Petkovic Defence,
24 through Ms. Alaburic, cross-examined the witness Zelenika. On the 16th
25 of October, 2008, in its oral decision, the Trial Chamber decided that
1 the time used for the cross-examination conducted by Ms. Alaburic to deal
2 with a new subject would be deducted from the overall amount of time
3 allocated to the Petkovic Defence.
4 On the very same day, Ms. Alaburic asked the Chamber to be more
5 precise with regard to the oral decision and contested it.
6 On the 20th of October, 2008, at the hearing, the Prosecution
7 responded to the Petkovic Defence request, and on that same day the
8 Petkovic Defence responded to the Prosecution.
9 On the 30th of October, 2008, the Petkovic Defence filed with the
10 Registrar an addition to the request. According to the Petkovic Defence,
11 the subjects addressed in the course of its cross-examination of the
12 witness Zelenika were not new subjects and corresponded to what the
13 witness had said in the course of examination-in-chief that was conducted
14 by Mr. Karnavas on the 14th of October, 2008, with regard to document
15 ID 02758. Having examined anew the transcripts of the 14th and 15th of
16 October, 2008, the Chamber notes that Ms. Alaburic covered what the
17 witness had said with regard to document ID 02758 in order to question
18 the witness about the combat of the ABiH in the Konjic region, about the
19 fighting conducted by the ABiH in that region, although the Trial Chamber
20 believes that in the course of the examination-in-chief, the witness's
21 testimony was mainly limited to reading the document, which was described
22 as a combat order. I quote:
23 "The Chamber agrees that it cannot confirm with certainty that
24 Ms. Alaburic actually addressed a new subject..." when referring to the
25 ABiH combat.
1 Given such doubt, the Trial Chamber believes that one should
2 grant the Petkovic Defence's request, and the Trial Chamber, therefore,
3 should not deduct time from the overall amount of time granted.
4 Therefore, the Chamber instructs the Registrar to reallocate the time
5 deducted for the examination of the Zelenika witness.
6 The Chamber notes that a subject referred to in a document that
7 was shown to the witness in the course of examination-in-chief does not
8 authorise a subject to address this subject in the course of the
9 cross-examination properly.
10 In addition, the Chamber informs the parties that when dealing
11 with a new subject in the course of the cross-examination, they should
12 inform the Chamber of the fact.
13 So in two words, the time that was deducted will be reallocated
14 to the overall amount of time granted to the Petkovic Defence; and in the
15 future when you deal with a new subject, inform us of the fact
16 immediately so that we can avoid any problems in the future.
17 That's what our decision was about.
18 Yes, Ms. Alaburic.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to greet you, Your
20 Honours, and everyone else in the courtroom; and the Petkovic Defence
21 thanks you for this decision.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Alaburic.
23 We now have a witness who will be testifying. Mr. Karnavas, no
25 MR. KARNAVAS: No problems, Your Honour.
1 If we could go into private session for, like, 30 seconds.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, private
3 session, please.
4 [Private session]
11 Page 34271 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, for the record, we're now in open
18 session. Thank you, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So in line 13,
20 page 5, "Mr. Khan "should be deleted and replaced with Mr. Karnavas'
21 name. But since Mr. Khan is internationally renowned, it's not
23 Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm not nearly as internationally
25 renowned as Mr. Khan, but, in any event, while we're making certain
1 introductions and dealing with matters, while the witness is being
2 brought in, I would like to say that one of our trial attorneys was
3 introduced to the Chamber some months ago. Ms. Hedvig Moe will be taking
4 the cross-examination of this witness.
5 And also, Your Honours, in the course of the testimony of this
6 witness, we expect one of our interns to sit in at least during part of
7 the testimony. She is not here at the moment. She is Laurence
8 Carrier-Desjardins, and we've been pleased to have her as an intern, and
9 as the Chamber knows, we'd like to have the interns in at least once or
10 twice during their internship, and I just wanted to make the Chamber
11 aware of that. And of course, you already know Mr. Bos.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
14 greets Ms. Hedvig Moe, who is also representing the Prosecution, and it's
15 with pleasure that we'll listen to her cross-examination in the
16 forthcoming days. And naturally, the intern can attend the hearing. She
17 can enter the courtroom as soon as she arrives.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I hope all the
20 technical equipment is functioning properly.
21 Could you please give me your first and last name and date of
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day. My name is
24 Zdravko Batinic. I was born on the 17th of August, 1955.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a mechanical engineer, and
3 currently I'm involved in security [as interpreted].
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, have you already
5 testified before a court with regard to the events that took place in the
6 former Yugoslavia
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my first time.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the
9 solemn declaration that the usher will show you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO BATINIC
13 [The witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. You may sit
15 down now.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to provide you with
18 some information, sir, but I believe that Mr. Karnavas has already
19 provided you with some information in the course of the proofing.
20 First, you will have to answer the questions that Mr. Karnavas
21 will put to you, and Mr. Karnavas will also show you some documents, for
22 sure. After that stage, the Prosecution will conduct its
23 cross-examination. But in the meantime, the Defence teams representing
24 other accused may also intervene in the course of the cross-examination
25 in order to put questions to you once Mr. Karnavas has done so. The
1 Judges who are sitting before you, the four Judges sitting before you,
2 may also put questions to you. This will naturally depend on the
3 documents that you will be shown, and the questions might be put in order
4 to clarify certain issues that are not quite clear.
5 Try and be as precise as possible when answering the questions
6 put to you. If you fail to understand a question, even if a Judge puts a
7 question to you, don't hesitate to ask the person putting the question to
8 you to rephrase that question.
9 Every one and a half hours, we'll have a 20-minute break. As we
10 started at 2.15, the next break will be at 15.45.
11 You have taken an oath, which now means that you're testifying on
12 behalf of justice, and that means you won't have any more contact with
13 Mr. Karnavas right up until the end of your testimony.
14 This is what I wanted to tell you, and naturally the Chamber is
15 at your disposal if necessary if you don't feel well, if you have any
16 questions to put to us.
17 That's what I wanted to tell you, and now I will give the floor
18 to Mr. Karnavas so that he can commence with his examination-in-chief.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, again, Your Honours.
20 Examination by Mr. Karnavas:
21 Q. And good afternoon, Mr. Batinic. First, I should correct
22 something on the record. Your current occupation is not in security but,
23 rather, insurance; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. I think that there was a inability to hear what you had
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Now, before I begin, Your Honours, I should note
3 that there are several documents that we wish to show to the gentleman
4 throughout the course of his testimony that were not initially in our
5 65 ter list, but we have disclosed them to everyone, and these are 1D
6 02961, which is the statute of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
7 This was disclosed last -- about a month ago. Then 1D 03104. These are
8 conclusions from the Gornji Vakuf Municipal Crisis Staff, dated 7 April
9 1992; 1D 03105, conclusions of the Gornji Vakuf Crisis Staff, this is 15
10 May 1992; 1D 03106, order of the Gornji Vakuf Municipal Crisis Staff
11 dated 15 May 1992
12 One of them is 1D 03107, an entry of 3 August 1992; another one of 1D
13 03108, an entry of 14 September 1992; and I'm told that there is -- and
14 that's it, Your Honours. So before I can use these documents, obviously
15 I must seek guidance from the Bench.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: And I should also let you know that it was over
18 the weekend that I received these documents.
19 MS. MOE: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, everyone
20 in and around the courtroom.
21 The Prosecution objects to the tendering of the diary notes of
22 Mr. Zdravko Batinic. What we've been provided with so far are the
23 excerpts that Mr. Karnavas referred to just now. There is also -- I
24 guess one of those is referenced in the proofing note that we got this
25 afternoon. Two of them are referenced in information that we got on the
1 weekend. Also, we have reason to believe that two other exhibits that
2 have been put on the Prlic 65 ter list previously are from the same diary
3 of Mr. Zdravko Batinic.
4 The Prosecution position is that when certain excerpts of a
5 journal are tendered into evidence or are to be tendered into evidence,
6 then the whole materials, the whole journal, should be disclosed to the
8 I believe a parallel can be drawn to previous Defence witnesses.
9 What comes to mind is Mr. Christopher Beese and Mr. Herbert Okun,
10 Prosecution witnesses, where the Defence position was that the diaries as
11 a whole, respectively, must be disclosed to the Prosecution, and they
12 were at the time.
13 So the Prosecution position is that the whole diary of
14 Mr. Zdravko Batinic should be disclosed. There cannot be only certain
15 excerpts that are picked by counsel that are tendered into evidence.
16 Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Just very briefly, if I may respond.
18 With respect to Mr. Beese, I don't recall that we had --
19 initially we were going to get everything but, rather, Mr. Beese
20 consented at the end; and the Trial Chamber's position always has been
21 that when it comes to certain diaries, because of the personal nature of
22 them, that some deference is due to the witness in deciding to what
23 extent they will provide portions of the diary. We don't have the entire
24 diary, so it wasn't as if, as is being characterized by the Prosecution,
25 that I picked through the diary. These were sort of during the proofing
1 sessions, the gentleman referred to his diary concerning a particular
2 issue, and based on that, based on his looking into the diary, we made a
3 decision at that point. But we did not get the entire diary ourselves.
4 Otherwise, we would have provided it to the Prosecution, as we did with
5 our previous witness, which I believe was Simunovic. We did provide the
6 entire diary, although we didn't use any of it except on redirect.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will deliberate.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Having deliberated, the
10 Chamber grants the request to have listed on the 65 ter list documents
11 referred to by Mr. Karnavas a minute ago.
12 As far as the schedule is concerned, the diary, rather, the
13 witness's personal diary, the Chamber will give a number for
14 identification of 1D 03108, and we request that the Defence and the
15 witness provide us with the remainder of the diary, with the exception of
16 personal information, personal data.
17 So, Witness, how many pages does your diary consist of?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know how many
19 pages exactly. I have two small diaries, and I'm not quite sure how many
20 pages there are.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you have a look at your
22 diary this evening, remove personal information or data from the diary -
23 for example, thoughts about your family, things of that kind - and
24 tomorrow you could provide us with the remainder of these diaries. We'll
25 photocopy them, and then Mr. Karnavas could transform this document into
1 a final document. So go through your diary this evening, see what
2 shouldn't be photocopied because it's personal, but everything that
3 concerns political problems, the Gornji Vakuf municipality, everything
4 that seems useful to you could be photocopied tomorrow. And the document
5 was 1D 03108, as I said.
6 Mr. Karnavas.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Two points in the matter.
8 Your Honour, first, I don't think it would be meritorious to
9 remove anything from the diary because you would have to cut it. The
10 original should stay as it is. As far as not designating which portions
11 should not be copied, I think that might be a more prudent way of going
12 about it, as opposed to razor-blading pages out. That's number 1.
13 Number 2, I haven't -- you know, I'm prepared at this point to
14 forego those exhibits if the gentleman does not want to disclose the
15 diary. I don't want to seem that we're putting him in a position where
16 he has to turn over something which he doesn't wish to turn over, so --
17 sorry, if that's -- so I would first want the witness to have that
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Batinic, you have heard
20 the comments by Mr. Karnavas. It's up to you. Either you believe this
21 to be a personal diary, and then you can tell us, "I prefer to keep it
22 such as it is," and this would then, ipso facto, mean that the two pages
23 or three pages - there are three pages - will not be tendered; or you do
24 not consider it in any way inconvenient and you can put on a piece of
25 paper which pages should not be photocopied because they refer to
1 personal issues.
2 By way of example - I don't know; it's just a hypothesis on my
3 side - let us assume that you have a conversation with your grandmother,
4 and you say that your grandmother is losing her mind or something like
5 that. This is something that we do not have to know. So then you will
6 ask these matters to be extracted from the diary.
7 So my first question is: Do you wish to have it disclosed or
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these are my personal
10 notes. I would rather them not be disclosed as a whole. Parts of the
11 diary that I considered could be useful for the Defence are with
12 Mr. Karnavas. As for the rest, I do not wish them to be disclosed to
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, he prefers not
15 to have the diary disclosed.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Your Honour. Well, that's a
17 personal choice that the witness is entitled to make, and we appreciate
18 the Trial Chamber allowing the witness to have that -- make that decision
19 on his own.
20 All right. I should also note one last thing, Your Honour, that
21 we did -- the gentleman did provide us with a map, and that has been
22 disclosed to everyone. We photocopied it. It's not as large, I think,
23 as the original one, but I think it does the trick. We have --
24 initially, the gentleman did a hand drawing, and we understand he was
25 able to provide us with a map. So with that -- and we will need an IC
1 number for this, for this map, when we get to it, Your Honours.
2 Perhaps --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have an
4 IC number for the map.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, we will see
7 later on for the number.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
9 Q. All right. Mr. Batinic, I understand you are a mechanical
10 engineer by training. Could you please tell us, when did you begin --
11 when did you finish your studies - on or about, when - and when did you
12 begin working in your profession?
13 A. I completed my studies in 19 -- no, I'm sorry, in 1987, and I
14 started working in my profession in mid-May in the springs factory in
15 Gornji Vakuf.
16 Q. And as I understand it, you are originally from Gornji Vakuf.
17 A. Yes. I was born in a locality called Krupa in the municipality
18 of Gornji Vakuf.
19 Q. And how long did you stay in that position, working for the
20 springs factory?
21 A. From mid-May 199 -- 1988 - I'm sorry - until the end of 1991.
22 Q. All right. And why did you stop working at the springs factory?
23 A. By decision of the Municipal Assembly of Gornji Vakuf in December
24 1991, I was appointed president of the Executive Council of the Municipal
25 Assembly of Gornji Vakuf.
1 Q. And how was it that you were able to be selected to be in that
3 A. Upon the proposal of the Croatian Democratic Union of
4 Gornji Vakuf.
5 Q. Can we then assume that you were a member of the HDZ of
6 Gornji Vakuf?
7 A. Yes, I was a member of the HDZ of Gornji Vakuf. I still am a
8 member of the HDZ.
9 Q. And when did you become -- when did you initially become a member
10 of HDZ?
11 A. On the 6th of June, 1990.
12 Q. And could you please tell us, at least up until the time that you
13 were appointed to the -- to be the president of the Executive Council of
14 the Municipal Assembly of Gornji Vakuf, what positions did you hold
15 within the HDZ, if any?
16 A. I was a member of the Municipal Board of the HDZ for
17 Gornji Vakuf, and I was president of the Executive Board of the branch
18 for a local community in Gornji Vakuf.
19 Q. And what about at the state level, the national level?
20 A. I was just a member of the HDZ.
21 Q. Now -- and we'll get to some documents about the HDZ. But moving
22 along, if you could please describe to us, very briefly, the functions of
23 the president of the Executive Council of the Municipal Assembly of
24 Gornji Vakuf.
25 A. The president of the Executive Council of the Assembly of
1 Gornji Vakuf was in charge of coordinating the work of the
2 Executive Council as the government of the Gornji Vakuf municipality. He
3 convenes meetings, assigns decisions and conclusions and opinions of the
4 Executive Council of Gornji Vakuf municipality.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I'm a bit puzzled by the title
6 "Executive Council of the Assembly of the Gornji Vakuf," rather than
7 "Executive Council of the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf." Is that a slip
8 of the tongue, or are these two different things, Mr. Batinic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, they are not two
10 different things. The Executive Council of the municipality is appointed
11 by the Assembly of the municipality. That's why I'm saying that the
12 Executive Council is a body of the Assembly of the Municipality of
13 Gornji Vakuf.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. So if I understand your answer correctly, the Executive Council
17 is subordinate to the Municipal Assembly.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And who makes the appointments to the members of the
20 Executive Council?
21 A. The appointments of members of the Executive Council, including
22 the president of the Executive Council, are made by the assembly of the
23 municipality in question, in this case, the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf
24 Q. Now, if you could please tell us how many members were there in
25 the Executive Council.
1 A. Eight members.
2 Q. And could you please tell us, how were the selections made or the
3 appointments? Who was appointed to those positions? We don't need to
4 know names, but as I understand it, it was on the basis of the political
6 A. By political agreement of the parties with the highest votes
7 after the first multiparty elections in the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf
8 HDZ was appointed the position of president of the Executive Council,
9 plus three members; and SDA had four members; plus, the SDA was given the
10 position of the president of the assembly of the municipality and the HDZ
11 the, position of the secretary. So all in all, the division was
12 four-four for the two parties, four Croats and four Bosniaks.
13 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that this was on the basis of the
14 results of the election. Were any positions allocated to SDP, for
16 A. No, they weren't.
17 Q. And is that -- was there a particular reason?
18 A. Yes. The results of the elections, after the 18th of November,
19 1990, showed that the Assembly of Gornji Vakuf had 50 deputies. 25 seats
20 were won by the SDA, 22 seats by the HDZ, and 3 seats by the SDP of
22 Q. All right. Now, before we go on to your functions and the
23 relationship that the Executive Council had with the Municipal Assembly,
24 if you could tell us whether -- what the system was prior to the first
25 elections. And by that, I mean was there sort of an executive council;
1 was there an assembly before that; and if so, how did it function?
2 A. Yes. Before the multiparty elections, there was a Municipal
3 Assembly of Gornji Vakuf, which had its president and its aldermen, and
4 there was an executive council with its members.
5 Q. And how were the members selected then? Was it based on party
6 line? Was it based on ethnic? Was it some other formula?
7 A. All the members were members of the League of Communists of
10 Q. Well, was it -- was there a representation of sorts on the
11 Executive Council to ensure that at least members of the community were
13 A. In Gornji Vakuf, the population consists of Croats and Muslims
14 and very few others, and the communists did make sure that there was
15 ethnic balance before the multiparty elections. So there was ethnic
16 balance in these bodies.
17 Q. All right. Now, let's discuss the executive council that you
18 were in. You indicated that one of your functions was signing
19 conclusions, signing appointments. Were those your decisions or
20 appointments or conclusions?
21 A. Those decisions were the decisions of the body of the
22 Executive Council as such. My duty was just to sign the documents or
23 conclusions or appointments made by the bodies.
24 Q. And would it be fair to say that this was a collective body?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, what was the relationship between the Executive Council and
2 the Municipal Assembly?
3 A. The Executive Council of the Assembly was duty-bound to report on
4 its work to the Assembly of Gornji Vakuf, and the Municipal Assembly, in
5 a sense, supervised the work of the Executive Board, assessed the quality
6 of its work. In other words, we were subject to their assessment, to
7 their opinion, and, in the end, to their decisions.
8 Q. Now, can you give us an exact date when you took up your position
9 as the president of the Executive Council?
10 A. The first working day in 1992, that is, after the New Year
12 Q. And for how long or up until what time did you serve in that
14 A. Until the 11th of January, 1993, inclusive.
15 Q. All right. Now, very quickly, if we can just -- if you can help
16 us out here. Did the Municipal Assembly continue to work all the way
17 throughout that period?
18 A. Yes, but in a changed form.
19 Q. And what form was that, sir?
20 A. By decision of the Municipal Assembly of Gornji Vakuf, a crisis
21 staff was formed for the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf on the 7th of
22 April, 1992; and the Assembly, by its decision, transferred all the
23 competences to the Crisis Staff of the municipality. That is the first
24 change. And on the 22nd of June, after a state of war was proclaimed in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina, all the competencies were passed on to the
1 Council for National Defence or, rather, the Council for National Defence
2 becomes the Presidency of the municipality with all the authority of the
3 Municipal Assembly.
4 Q. When you say "Presidency," are we talking about War Presidency,
5 for short?
6 A. Many called it "the War Presidency," but officially we called it
7 "the Presidency of the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf."
8 Q. All right. Now, let's go back to the Crisis Staff. First, could
9 you please tell us, who were the members of the Crisis Staff now that the
10 Assembly had transferred all of its powers to the Crisis Staff upon its
12 A. The Crisis Staff of the Municipal of Gornji Vakuf was formed on
13 the 7th of April, 1992, and it consisted of 15 members, 8 Muslims and 7
14 Croats. The president of the Crisis Staff was the president of the
15 Municipal Assembly, Mr. Mohammed Palic, a Muslim; the deputy president of
16 the Crisis Staff was the president of the Executive Council of the
17 municipality, Zdravko Batinic; and then it also had another 13 members.
18 Among them were presidents of the local boards of the HDZ and the SDA.
19 Q. All right. These other members, now, you told us they were the
20 presidents of the local boards. Had they been elected to the Assembly?
21 Were they Assembly members that were selected by the Assembly to sit on
22 the Crisis Staff?
23 A. I said, Mr. Karnavas, that among the other 13 were also the
24 president of the HDZ and the SDA, but the members were appointed by the
25 Assembly. So it was upon the proposal of the political parties that a
1 decision was made to appoint members of the Crisis Staff, and that is how
2 there was 8 plus 7 in favour of the Muslims, so a total of 15.
3 Q. Well, if I understand you correctly, then, it was the political
4 parties who actually made the selection of who would be on the
5 Crisis Staff, with the exception of the president of the Municipal
6 Assembly and the president of the Executive Council, who were
7 automatically members by virtue of their position. Did I get it right?
8 A. No, there -- it was not automatic. It was the proposal of the
9 political parties that were part of the government, and the Assembly
10 confirmed their proposals.
11 Q. But, Mr. Batinic, I just want to make sure I understand you. You
12 mean to tell me the political parties could have removed the president of
13 the Assembly and put somebody else to become the president of the
14 Crisis Staff, or is it that the president of the Assembly and the
15 president of the Executive Council, by virtue of their position,
16 automatically become members of the Crisis Staff, and the others are
17 selected by the respective political parties?
18 A. The statute of the Municipal Assembly did not envisage any
19 automatic appointments, and this was the first time in more recent
20 history that such a body was formed. And these 15 members were appointed
21 upon the proposal of the political parties, and it was logical that among
22 them, the president of the Assembly and the president of the
23 Executive Council should be included. That was only logical.
24 Q. All right. How often did the Crisis Staff meet?
25 A. On the day that the Crisis Staff was appointed, it met for the
1 first time in the evening hours and virtually on a daily basis after that
2 or maybe every other day.
3 Q. And was anybody on the Crisis Staff that was from the armed
4 forces, be it from one side or the other or both?
5 A. At that point in time, there were no members of the armed forces
6 on the Crisis Staff.
7 Q. Well, in Gornji Vakuf, was the HVO in existence at the time?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And what about -- so this is -- this is 7 April 1992; the HVO did
10 not exist in Gornji Vakuf?
11 A. On the 7th of April, 1992, the HVO did not exist in Gornji Vakuf.
12 We had an armed formation. We called it the Municipal Staff.
13 Q. All right. And who belonged to this Municipal Staff?
14 A. The Municipal Staff -- our Municipal Staff was composed of a
15 group of volunteers, mainly reserve officers of the JNA, as an operative
16 staff as of September 1991 and onwards.
17 Q. Now, you say "we." Who is "we"?
18 A. I'm sorry. I meant the Croats. The Croats had their operative
19 staff in Gornji Vakuf, the Croats.
20 Q. All right. Now, did the Muslims have something similar?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what was that, sir?
23 A. They had a crisis staff and groups within that crisis staff,
24 organised through the Patriotic League and the Party of Democratic
1 Q. All right. Did there come a time when invitations were extended,
2 be it to the Municipal Staff or to the Patriotic League, to assist in any
3 way the Crisis Staff?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Well, could you tell us about when and how?
6 A. At the first meeting of the Crisis Staff for the Municipality of
7 Gornji Vakuf on the 7th of April, in the evening, the Crisis Staff of the
8 HDZ of Gornji Vakuf municipality and of the Crisis Staff of the
9 Patriotic League to propose three operatives, each so that an operative
10 staff for the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf could be formed.
11 Q. And did that actually happen? Did it materialise?
12 A. Yes, it did take place.
13 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that you met that first night.
14 How often -- well, when it met, did the Crisis Staff have minutes, for
15 instance? Were minutes taken at these meetings?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And where were these meetings being held?
18 A. The meetings of the Crisis Staff for Gornji Vakuf municipality
19 were held in the premises of the president of the Executive Council of
20 the Municipal Assembly.
21 Q. Does that mean that was in your office?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that at some point, the
24 Crisis Staff becomes the Presidency or War Presidency. That was, I
25 believe you said, June 22nd. Were meetings held then? Did the
1 Presidency hold meetings?
2 A. On the 22nd of June, 1992, after a state of war was proclaimed in
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council for National Defence was transformed
4 into the Presidency of the municipality. That was in accordance with the
5 regulations in force at the time, and each meeting of the Presidency that
6 was held was held in my office.
7 Q. All right. And were minutes taken then?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you tell us how many meetings there would have been from,
10 say, June 22nd all the way until the 11th of January, 1993, when you
11 stopped being on the Executive Council or the Presidency?
12 A. According to my records, there were exactly 16 meetings.
13 Q. All right. Now, very briefly, if you could tell us, from the
14 time the Crisis Staff was formed all the way until 11 of January, 1993,
15 were there any incidents in Gornji Vakuf? And if so, I would like to
16 take them chronologically, one by one.
17 A. Yes. Unfortunately, there were incidents, some of them serious.
18 The first one occurred on the 20th of June, 1992, about noon
19 There was exchanges of fire in town and the first mortars that were fired
20 from the Muslim part of the town at the Croatian part of the town.
21 The second notable incident occurred in the night between the
22 24th and 25th of October, and it went on for several days with small
23 lapses, which are due to the behaviour of the commander of the
24 Territorial Defence, Mr. Farudin Agic. Several of their mortar shells
25 exploded in the Croatian part of the town.
1 Q. And was there any --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Mic, please.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. And was there an incident after that?
5 A. After these two mentioned incidents, the next incident -- or it's
6 better to say that that was the beginning of the war between the HVO and
7 the TO, which actually consisted exclusively of Muslims, started on the
8 11th of January, 1993.
9 Q. All right. And where were you in January 11th, 1993? Could you
10 describe that day, at least, and then we'll work backwards.
11 A. On the 11th of January, 1993, I came to my office, as usual, to
12 work. On that day, I and the new president of the Presidency,
13 Mr. Abdulah Garaca, had a meeting with the European Monitors in his
14 office. After that, I went home for lunch; and after that, I don't know
15 how, but the conflict started.
16 Q. And after the conflict started, how long did it last?
17 A. With more or less intensity, as long as the snipers were active,
18 this conflict came to an end on the 24th of February, 1993, in fact.
19 Q. Okay.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. All right. You'll need to speak a little slower so we can get
24 the full translation.
25 Okay. Now, just a couple of matters that I want to touch on.
1 First of all, were you a member of the HVO - and I'm talking
2 about the military, you know - were you a soldier prior to the 11th of
3 January, 1993
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you ever become a member of the HVO?
6 A. I did.
7 Q. At what point in time?
8 A. On the 30th of January, 1996, I -- 1993, I joined the volunteer
9 forces of the HVO.
10 Q. Okay. That was the 13th of January?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: I voluntarily joined
12 the HVO forces.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was on the 13th, correct.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. All right. And we can talk about that at some point, but what
16 about the HVO Gornji Vakuf, the civilian authorities? Were you a member
17 of the HVO Gornji Vakuf at any point in time?
18 A. If you're talking about the HVO as executive government,
19 Zdravko Batinic wasn't a member of that body in Gornji Vakuf.
20 Q. That's you?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Okay. Here you could say that you weren't, but -- all right.
23 Now, did it exist -- did the HVO, this executive government, if you will,
24 did it exist in Gornji Vakuf? And if so, could you please describe to us
25 how it existed ?
1 A. In Gornji Vakuf, the HVO government body, administrative body,
2 existed on paper. It had a president and three or four individuals who
3 were appointed by the decision of the president of the Croatian Community
4 of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban, and that was it.
5 Q. All right. Well, did this executive authority, this HVO
6 Gornji Vakuf, ever attempt to take over the Executive Council or the
7 Crisis Staff of the Presidency? Did it make any moves, political or
8 military, to take over those authorities?
9 A. No.
10 Q. To your understanding, did the HVO Gornji Vakuf have a police
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did it pass decisions on administrative matters, such as
15 A. As far as I know, it didn't.
16 Q. All right. Now, did you ever participate in any meetings that
17 were being held by members of the HVO Gornji Vakuf? And if so, could you
18 please describe them to us?
19 A. Yes, I did. I was invited to a number of meetings of the HVO as
20 a member of the executive authority, as the most responsible person
21 working in the municipal bodies of power, on behalf of the Croatian
22 people, naturally.
23 Q. All right. Now, who was the president of the HVO Gornji Vakuf,
24 this executive authority?
25 A. The president was Mr. Ivan Saric, the president of the HVO civil
2 Q. Okay. Did he hold another position at the time as well?
3 A. Yes, he did. He was the president of the Municipal Board of the
4 HDZ for the Gornji Vakuf municipality.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly asked to speak a little
6 more slowly.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
8 Q. I'm asked that you -- if you could speak a little slower, it
9 would be most helpful, and maybe enunciate. They're having a hard time.
10 Was Mr. Saric at the time a -- or you were a member of the
11 Presidency at the time, correct, when you were attending these meetings?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What about Mr. Saric? Was he also a member of the Presidency?
14 A. Mr. Ivan Saric was a member of the Crisis Staff of the
15 Gornji Vakuf municipality, and he was a member of the Presidency for the
16 Gornji Vakuf municipality.
17 Q. All right. Now, did Mr. Saric at any point in time try to impose
18 the will, his will or the will of HVO Gornji Vakuf, this executive
19 authority, upon that of the Crisis Staff or the Presidency?
20 A. No, he didn't.
21 Q. All right. Now, let's go back to these incidents that we spoke
23 You told us that the first incident happened on or about June
24 1992. Can you tell us, who was responsible, in your opinion, if you
25 know, for that incident?
1 A. As far as I know, the person responsible for the first armed
2 clash in Gornji Vakuf was Hanefija Prijic, also known as Paraga. He was
3 a commander of the Green Beret unit.
4 Q. Okay. Was this Green Beret unit also participating or assisting
5 in any way the Crisis Staff at the time?
6 A. All armed formations in the area of Gornji Vakuf were considered
7 by the Crisis Staff of Gornji Vakuf to be legitimate.
8 Q. All right. So are you saying -- well, was the HVO considered
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was the Patriotic League considered legitimate?
12 A. As part of the Territorial Defence, they were considered to be
14 Q. And what about these Green Berets under this fellow named Paraga
15 or aka Paraga?
16 A. I think that the Green Beret unit was founded and armed by the
17 Patriotic League, and they were directly linked to them.
18 Q. Was he from the area?
19 A. Yes. He was born in a settlement called Voljice in the
20 Municipality of Gornji Vakuf.
21 Q. Now, were there any units from Croatia there, HV units?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were there any individuals there who had come from Croatia
24 were participating in any armed force activity?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And who were they?
2 A. They were members of the Croatian people who had gone to war as
3 volunteers to the Republic of Croatia
4 aggression carried out against the Republic of Croatia
5 war in Bosnia
6 them, came to the territory in which they had grown up or to the
7 territory that their parents were from, so there was a significant number
8 of Croats from the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf. And as members of the
9 Croatian Army, they were in the Croatian Army, and then they went to
10 Gornji Vakuf and joined the units of the HVO.
11 Q. All right. When --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
13 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 I'm just asking for the time period here to be specified. The
15 witness -- the witness is talking about HV members, and I'd like to know
16 more about when that was.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: That was my next question.
18 Q. When did these folks arrive?
19 A. They started arriving at the beginning of April 1992. They
20 started to arrive in our territory.
21 Q. All right. Was there a particular unit; and if so, did it have a
22 name; and if so, what was it?
23 A. I don't know that there was a particular unit that had only such
25 Q. Was anyone in particular who was in charge, a commander?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Now, after the events in June, on June 20th, could you please
3 describe to us the atmosphere in Gornji Vakuf?
4 A. It's very difficult to explain this when there are two friendly
5 peoples who are involved in an armed conflict for the first time. There
6 is fear, suspicion, a lack of trust. This escalates. This is something
7 that had never happened before. This happened on the 26th [as
8 interpreted], and then there was fear, a lack of understanding. It's
9 very difficult to explain such a situation.
10 Q. When you say it happened on the 26th, when it happened on the
11 26th, which day -- which month are we talking about?
12 A. The 26th [as interpreted] of June, 1992.
13 Q. Was it -- I'm told that it's 20th --
14 A. 20th, the 20th.
15 Q. So I would ask you to please enunciate to make sure that we have
16 a correct record.
17 So -- all right. Now, were check-points put up in Gornji Vakuf,
18 and if so, by whom?
19 A. Check-points at the entrance and exit in Gornji Vakuf were set up
20 at three places: One in the direction of Gornji Vakuf to Prozor, one in
21 the direction of Gornji Vakuf in the direction of Bugojno, and one in the
22 direction of Gornji Vakuf towards Novi Travnik. At these check-points,
23 there were members of the HVO and of the Territorial Defence.
24 Q. All right. At that point in time, can you tell us whether the
25 HVO and the Territorial Defence were getting along? Were they
1 cooperating, coordinating?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right. To what extent?
4 A. After the HVO had lost Kupres, units of the HVO from the
5 Gornji Vakuf municipality held the defence line at the Radisa Mountain
6 the direction of Kupres. After a certain amount of time, the HVO units
7 were joined by Territorial Defence units at the same line.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: The clock should stop because now I'm waiting.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MS. MOE: Thank you. I'm asking for time specifics, again, both
11 on the check-points that were mentioned and also on this last portion on
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. What month are we talking about, because I thought we were still
15 on June 20th, 1992
16 A. The check-points that were held by the HVO and the Territorial
17 Defence were held from the beginning of April 1992. This was at the
18 entrance to Gornji Vakuf municipality and at the exit from that
19 municipality. Their cooperation at the defence lines in the direction of
20 Kupres was from May until the beginning of the January conflict in 1993.
21 These were the defence lines facing the Serbs.
22 Q. Okay. What year -- this is until the conflict of 1993?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. All right. Now, after the June incident, did those check-points
25 continue to exist, the same ones, or did -- were there additional ones?
1 A. There were no additional check-points. When a day or two later
2 the situation had become more stable, the forces of the HVO and
3 Territorial Defence were at the same check-points again.
4 Q. Now, did the Presidency ever make any efforts to find out what
5 exactly happened on June 20th, or 18th, 19th, 20th, those days?
6 A. The Presidency of the Gornji Vakuf municipality issued an order
7 requesting that an investigation be launched by the authorised organs of
8 the HVO and the Territorial Defence and the police station. They were to
9 investigate the reasons for which this incident had occurred on the 20th
10 of June, 1992. They were to determine who was responsible and who
11 started it.
12 Q. And was that resolved? Did they ever come up with a report?
13 A. Yes. They forwarded their reports to us as the Presidency of the
14 Municipality, a report which was written, and they said they weren't
15 fully in agreement with regard to the character of that incident, with
16 regard to the perpetrators or those who had started the conflict.
17 Q. All right. Now, the next incident that occurred around the 24th
18 /25th of October, could you please tell us what happened then, and for
19 how long did it last?
20 A. I have to go back two or three days.
21 Q. Well, go for it.
22 A. Okay. On the 19th of June -- I apologise. On the 19th of
23 October, 1992, there was some kind of an incident in Novi Travnik. In a
24 certain way, it increased tension in the territory of our municipality
25 too. On the 19th, the 20th, and the 21st and the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of
1 October, the structure of the civilian authorities in the Municipality of
2 Gornji Vakuf, the representatives of the HVO and the Territorial Defence
3 attempted to have daily meetings. Sometimes they had two meetings a day,
4 and they also had a peace march through the town. And they did all this
5 in order to prevent incidents from breaking out in our municipality. But
6 between the 24th and 25th, unfortunately, things got out of hand. Some
7 shells were launched by the Territorial Defence on the Croatian part of
8 Gornji Vakuf; and as a result, a conflict between the HVO and the
9 Territorial Defence broke out.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is once against kindly asked to
11 slow down.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. I'm being told to tell you to slow down, so please slow down,
14 enunciate, because it's very important that we get the full translation.
15 Did you participate in the peace march?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, after this incident or incidents, did the Presidency or
18 members of the Presidency hold a meeting to find out what had happened,
19 who did what to whom and why?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Were there any meetings held at the end of October concerning
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And could you please describe them?
25 A. On the 30th of October, 1992, in the old hotel, we held the first
1 meeting of the representatives of the Croats and of the Muslims. At that
2 meeting -- well, that meeting was attended by the most important
3 representatives of the Muslims and the Croats. There were commanders of
4 armed units who also attended, commanders of the HVO and of the TO, the
5 Territorial Defence.
6 On the following day, on the 31st of October, a similar body met,
7 and the purpose of this meeting was to try and calm the situation down,
8 to return to some kind of a normal life.
9 Q. All right. Now, at that meeting, did you learn who had been
10 responsible for starting the incident back on the 24th of October,
12 A. There were various assessments made. However, Farudin Agic gave
13 a statement, which was put in such a way that he, in fact, indirectly
14 admitted that the forces of the Territorial Defence had started the
16 Q. If you recall, could you please describe in greater detail what
17 exactly Mr. Agic said that led you to believe that it was the forces of
18 the Territorial Defence that had started this conflict?
19 A. Three or four days that preceded the 24th of October, 1992, well,
20 in the light of the conversations of the Croatian and Muslim leadership,
21 we tried to avoid incidents of any kind through these conversations. We
22 promised each other that TO units and HVO units would not be used against
23 Croats or Muslims. We promised each other not a single Command of the
24 HVO and TO would send any units outside the area of Gornji Vakuf. In
25 other words, we tried to guarantee for each other that such a conflict
1 wouldn't break out.
2 However, on the meeting held on the 30th of October, 1992
3 Mr. Agic said quite precisely, contrary to our agreement, a company from
4 Priboj [as interpreted] as been sent out, which together with Muslims
5 forces from Hara [phoen] attacked the HVO at the Medik [phoen] elevation.
6 He added that the situation was out of control, and then individual
7 commanders willfully took a decision, lost their nerves, and launched a
8 few shells on the Croatian part of town. They destroyed some routes on
9 the Prozor-Gornji Vakuf road. This was a direct admission of how the
10 conflict in Gornji Vakuf had broken out on that date.
11 Q. Now, you indicated that the next incident began on or about 11
12 January 1993, and before we discuss that incident, can you please tell us
13 what the situation was like in Gornji Vakuf, say, at the end of October,
14 beginning of November, all the way until January 11th, when the next
15 conflict began?
16 A. From the beginning of November 1992 up until the end of 1992,
17 things became more normal, although there was a lot of distrust, an
18 incredible amount of distrust. However, nothing happened that would make
19 one think that we could expect some kind of a new incident in the future.
20 However, in the period from Christmas up until the 25th of
21 December, until the 6th of January, in fact, 1993, there were incidents
22 which broke out because the Muslim representatives who would remove
23 Croatian symbols, insignia, that Croats would put up for Christmas and
24 the new year.
25 Q. All right. We're going to get to that when we look at some of
1 the documents, but let me just get a little ahead of myself because we do
2 have a document saying that flags of either side were not to be
3 displayed, and now you're telling us here that Croatian symbols and
4 insignia were being displayed around Christmas and New Year's. Can you
5 explain that? If there was a decision not to have those displays, how
6 was it that they went up around Christmas and New Year?
7 A. The definite decision that you are referring to had to do with
8 the period from the 24th of June, 1992, and the purpose was to calm down
9 the situation after the first incident that broke out in Gornji Vakuf on
10 the 20th of June, 1992. However, for Christmas and the New Year, Croats
11 in Bosnia and Herzegovina traditionally put out their national symbols.
12 In this case, the Croatian flag in Bosnia-Herzegovina had been put up at
13 a few sites in town. This irritated someone, and then Muslims and
14 members of the armed forces and of the Territorial Defence took those
15 flags down on several occasions.
16 Q. All right. Now, first, a point of clarification. You said the
17 Croatian flag, and some of us may think that this is the flag of the
18 Republic of Croatia
19 A. No, no. I said the flag of the Croatian people in Bosnia and
21 that you see on the flag of the Republic of Croatia
22 Q. All right. Now, prior to this incident, prior to Christmas, were
23 there any Muslim holidays? And if so, did the Muslims in Gornji Vakuf
24 display their symbols, their flag or what have you, in celebration of
25 their religious holiday?
1 A. Yes. On that year [as interpreted] before Christmas, the Muslims
2 celebrated Bajram or Gurban Bajram to be more precise, and there were
3 flags and symbols that they had put up in town. There was the green flag
4 with a half moon and the flag with the lilies, and no one touched them.
5 No one took them down.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I believe it's time for the break,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's quarter to 4.00,
9 and we will have our technical 20-minute break. We will resume in 20
10 minutes' time.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. All right. Mr. Batinic, we left off around 11 January 1993. If
16 you could briefly just tell us, to the best of your knowledge, what
17 happened on that day. I know that you went to work, you went to your
18 office, and I believe you indicated that later on that afternoon is when
19 the conflict broke out. Could you tell us, to your understanding, what
20 exactly occurred?
21 A. I have to say that I don't know what exactly happened or how the
22 conflict started on the 11th of January, 1993, in Gornji Vakuf, so I just
23 don't have enough information or knowledge to tell you that.
24 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that at some point, you did join
25 the HVO. Could you tell us about what time that was, what period of
2 A. On the 13th of January, 1993, in the evening, I was in a house,
3 which was about 150 metres away from my house and where the Command of
4 the HVO was situated to defend the part of the town inhabited by Croats.
5 According to information conveyed to me and which were not at all good
6 for the HVO, there was a danger of the breakthrough of the Muslim forces
7 into the Croatian part of the town. In view of the fact that my house
8 [as interpreted] and my family [as interpreted], inhabited by my small
9 children and my wife, was only some 150 metres away from the separation
10 line, I voluntarily placed myself at the service of the HVO, put on a
11 uniform, picked up a rifle, and became a member of the HVO armed forces.
12 Q. Perhaps it may be a good time at this point to look at the map
13 that you provided us; and so we could just very briefly inform the Trial
14 Chamber, I will not ask you anything in detail. Others can. They may
15 have more time to do so, but I -- perhaps if we could put it on the ELMO,
16 and you could help us out here a little bit.
17 I don't know if that's helpful for the Trial Chamber, but at
18 least can you tell us -- all right. First of all, where did you get this
19 map from?
20 A. I got this map as chief of Uskoplje municipality in the period of
21 1996 from a member of the peace-keeping forces stationed in the territory
22 of Gornji Vakuf Municipality
23 Q. We're going to need you to mark some areas on this map, so I'm
24 going to need to have you -- do you have a pen that's handy? Otherwise,
25 I can provide you with something. The gentleman behind you will provide
1 you with a magic marker.
2 Mr. Batinic, you're going to need to mark the map itself. All
3 right? If you could please first describe what it is that we're seeing.
4 A. We are seeing a map of Gornji Vakuf, the urban part of the
5 Municipality of Gornji Vakuf.
6 Q. Could you please tell us where your offices were located, where
7 the Executive Council met?
8 A. The municipality building was here [indicating].
9 Q. Okay. Just put an "M" there. Okay. Could you mark it with an
10 "M", please, because later on we will not be able to determine what
11 marking signifies what.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Now, where was your house at the time?
14 A. [Indicates] Here.
15 Q. Okay. Could you put an "H" there for "House"?
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Eventually, there was a confrontation line, as I understand it,
18 in Gornji Vakuf. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And could you please draw that? Where was the confrontation
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. All right. And you might want to put a "C" there so we know
24 later on that this is the confrontation line.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Could you please tell us where you were stationed or where you
2 were located when you were serving in the HVO?
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Now, were you there the entire time in that location?
5 A. For the first ten days, from the 13th of January until the 23rd
6 or 24th of January, 1993.
7 Q. All right. Why don't you put a "1," then. Put a "1" next to the
8 line so we know that this line signifies where you were initially.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. And after that, where did you move to? What location?
11 A. To the so-called industrial zone. [Marks]
12 Q. Okay. And where were you exactly located?
13 A. [Indicating]
14 Q. Maybe you could put a "2" around that circle so we know you that
15 were located there.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And perhaps you can tell us why you moved from your initial
18 position, designated as "1," to the industrial zone, which is designated
19 as "2." What was the reason?
20 A. When the forces of the HVO gained control of a strategic quarter
21 above the town of Gornji Vakuf - we called it the relay, which was
22 here [indicates] - then there was no longer any danger of the Muslim
23 forces passing through Glavica here [indicates] attacking the settlement
24 here [indicates], which was originally Croatian, and that is why the
25 decision was made --
1 Q. Let me stop you here, because we have to go step by step, because
2 saying "here" and "there" later on, on the transcript, is not going to be
3 very helpful. So we have to designate it on the map itself.
4 A. [In English] Okay.
5 Q. So why don't you tell us where the HVO was. Can you put "HVO" in
6 the locations where they were located? And then we'll do the same thing
7 with the TO.
8 A. [Interpretation] The HVO was situated in this part of
9 town [indicates], from the -- left of the confrontation line. [Marks]
10 Q. All right. And put "HVO" because you have an "H" already there.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. All right. And where were the Muslim forces?
13 A. Right of the separation line.
14 Q. Okay. Put down "TO." All right.
15 A. And here, too. [Indicates] [Marks]
16 Q. What's that second part where you have the "TO" again, the second
17 TO? What is that location?
18 A. An elevation point above the town of Gornji Vakuf where the TV
19 relay station was located.
20 Q. And is that a significant location? And if so, why?
21 A. From this position, one controls the entire territory of the
22 town. With fire from firearms, one could hit virtually anyone.
23 Q. All right. Now, let me go back to my initial question. You
24 indicated that you moved from location 1 to location 2, the industrial
25 zone. Why did you move there? What was there that made you and others,
1 I suspect, move to that location?
2 A. After a unit that was stationed in the industrial zone at the
3 beginning of the conflict had left, this area was left undefended by the
4 HVO. And since all Croatian-inhabited areas were behind the industrial
5 zone, it was necessary to protect this area.
6 Q. When you say "this area," we're talking about the area that you
7 circled, or is there more area than the one that is encircled?
8 A. From the road leading from Gornji Vakuf towards Bugojno passing
9 along the industrial zone, all the settlements behind that industrial
10 zone, which cannot be seen on this map, were inhabited by Croats.
11 Q. All right. Why don't you draw an arrow so at least we know
12 exactly where the Croats are inhabited. Draw an arrow in the direction
13 which they are located.
14 Perhaps we could give the gentleman -- I'm sure the Tribunal
15 could afford something more robust than the magic marker that we've
16 handed him.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. All right. Now, if you could please tell us, how long were you
19 in that location, number 2?
20 A. Until the 24th of February, 1993.
21 Q. Who else was there with you?
22 A. There was a group of Domobrans, as we call them, of some 20 men,
23 among them the former president of the Basic Court in Bugojno, teachers,
24 engineers, older people who were from this part -- of our part of town
25 who were not in other units of the HVO, in other words, the Home Guard.
1 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that that conflict began on or
2 about 11 January 1993
3 the 24th of February, 1993. You've indicated to us that there was a
4 separation line that we can see that you have drawn and designated as
5 "C." Can you please tell us at what point in time the separation line
6 went away.
7 A. At the end of February 1993.
8 Q. All right. So after 1993, there was no separation line;
9 everybody went back? Everybody could move around Gornji Vakuf as before?
10 A. Quite so.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Now, I have no further questions at
12 this time regarding this map. If the Trial Chamber wishes to ask any
13 questions ...
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a small technical
16 On the map, you have indicated the positions of the Territorial
17 Defence of the Muslims, I assume, the TO. At the time, was it not the
18 BiH army rather than the TO?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know exactly
20 when the TO or the army of the Muslim people proclaimed themselves to be
21 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is why I called them the TO,
22 because it was exclusively composed of Muslims.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And what was the
24 name of their leader?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume the commander of the TO
1 Staff was the commander.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But what was his name?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Fahrudin Agic.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Batinic, during that time that you were an
5 active soldier, did you ever have enemy contact? Did you ever have
6 within shooting range an enemy, someone from the TO, as you call it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the lines that we held as
8 defence, we were all exposed to small-fire arms. To small-arms fire, I'm
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I can understand that, but did any enemy soldier
11 come near? Did you ever have to reject an attack, actually, enemy
12 movement, or was it more a static situation such as we have reports from
13 periods during World War I?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the defence line that I was at,
15 there were no attempts by the Muslim forces to break through physically.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You want a number for this
18 document, Mr. Karnavas?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, can we
21 have a number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be given Exhibit number IC 00878. Thank
23 you, Your Honours.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Now, before we leave -- before we leave this, just a couple of
1 technical questions.
2 You showed us where your house was. On January 11th when you
3 went to work, did you know or did you expect that something was about to
4 happen that particular day?
5 A. I did not.
6 Q. Do you know whether anything was planned, pre-planned?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, of course you weren't a member of the HVO, the military
9 component. Who was the commander of the HVO?
10 A. The commander of the HVO in Gornji Vakuf was Mr. Zrinko Tokic.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe he has to sign the document, although I
12 don't -- technically, I don't think it's necessary, although somehow it's
13 become a tradition.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's not obligatory, but it's
15 always better to do more than not enough, so please sign the document.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If you could sign the document.
17 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
18 MR. KARNAVAS: And maybe put a date on it, too, so we know.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Mic, please.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: If you could date it also, Mr. Batinic. It's the
21 10th, I believe, 10/11.
22 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Usher.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Tokic, did you know him at the time?
25 A. Yes. I knew Mr. Tokic very well, and I can say that at the time,
1 he was a friend of mine.
2 Q. All right. And by the way, your offices, what side of town were
3 they located?
4 A. The building of the Municipal Assembly and my office were in the
5 part of town inhabited 90 per cent by Muslims in those days.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm going to need the assistance of the usher to
7 give you your documents, and we're going to start going through them in a
8 rather quick pace, and you can turn to the first document. It's 1D
9 02699, 1D 02699.
10 Do you recognise the document, sir?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. And what is it, sir?
13 A. This is the first statute of the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 passed at the founding assembly in Sarajevo on the 18th of August, 1990
15 Q. Could you please tell us whether you had attended that particular
16 assembly? You did indicate to us that you were a member of HDZ.
17 A. I was present at the founding meeting as an envoy of the HDZ for
18 Gornji Vakuf.
19 Q. All right. So I take it you are familiar with this particular
21 A. Yes, I am.
22 Q. Now, perhaps you could help us out here a little bit because one
23 of the central issues here is, of course, what was the HDZ, what was its
24 principles; and of course, later on that ties into the Croatian Community
25 of Herceg-Bosna. So if I could get you to look at Article 4, for
1 instance, in this document. Article 4, do you have it, sir? It may be
2 easier if you just look at the hard copy.
3 All right. Now, in Article 4, it says here that the BH HDZ shall
4 be active in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then it goes on to talk about that
5 the BH HDZ is a constitutive part of the united HDZ organisation whose
6 seat is in Zagreb
7 in mind that this is 18 August 1990
8 A. The HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 part of the planet-wide organisation of the Croatian Democratic Union.
10 Q. At that period in time, 18 August 1990, was Croatia an
11 independent nation?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And I take it the same goes with the -- with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. So you still had a Yugoslavia
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Okay. Now, what happened once the Republic of Croatia
18 independent, as did the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. The HDZ for Bosnia and Herzegovina was an autonomous political
20 organisation, active exclusively within the territory of Bosnia
22 Q. Thank you. Now, if we go to page 16 of the English document, and
23 I believe you might have it marked. I don't know exactly what page it is
24 for you, but it's titled "Programme Declaration of the Founding Assembly
25 of the Croatian Democratic Union
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, if we look at this, look at Roman numeral III.
3 Perhaps you can help us out here. It says here:
4 "In accordance with these starting points and opinions," the ones
5 that are referred to in 1 and 2, "the HDZ BH will focus on establishing
6 the constitutional and legal order of the original parliamentary
7 pluralistic democracy. Implementation of this order must be founded on
8 consistent adherence, without exception, to the general human rights
9 declaration, which was proclaimed 10 December 1948."
10 And then if we go all the way down to, for instance, A, B and C,
11 we see -- in particular, what interests me is number C:
12 "Diversity is inherent to a pluralist society, so the HDZ BH,
13 too, is pluralist in all its constituent and working elements."
14 What does that mean? Can you help us out?
15 A. This means that we, as a political party in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
16 advocated a pluralist society, a multiethnic state, for equal rights of
17 all three nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for equal rights of all
18 constituent peoples, that is, the Croats, Serbs and Muslims.
19 Q. Now, if we could go on to the next document, 1D 02798. I won't
20 ask you any questions concerning what is a constituent nation or peoples.
21 Others may wish to ask. I think that topic has been discussed at length
22 throughout the last three years in this case.
23 Do you have the document, sir?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. All right. If I could focus your attention to the lower part of
1 the first page where it says "Here..." -- well, first, let me ask you, do
2 you recognise this document? It says: "Election declaration of the
3 people of Gornji Vakuf Municipality
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right. Now, if we look at the last page or the end of this
6 document, we do not see a date. We see a reference in the very first
7 paragraph, but we don't see a date at the end. Do you know -- do you
8 have any idea on or about when this document was made?
9 A. The election declaration to the inhabitants of Gornji Vakuf by
10 the Municipal Board of the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina was issued by
11 the Municipal Board of the HDZ of Gornji Vakuf prior to the first
12 multiparty elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the eve of those
14 Q. All right. And, of course, you have seen this document before,
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In fact, how is it that I have it to show it to you?
18 A. All members of the Municipal Board of the HDZ of Gornji Vakuf
19 took part in the drafting of this document, which means I was also a
21 Q. All right. But how did I get a hold of it? That's my question.
22 I'm trying to lay a foundation without leading.
23 A. I gave you this document from my own archives.
24 Q. Okay. All right. Now, if we look at the -- if we focus our
25 attention towards the latter part of the first page, it says:
1 "Here are the basic principles of our election platform: By
2 voting for the HDZ, you will vote for ..."
3 And it talks about irrefutable sovereignty of BiH, equality of
4 the Croatian people as a constituent and state-building nation of BiH.
5 You then go on -- it then goes on to talk about economic, trait --
6 spiritual and cultural ties with -- between BH, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 And then it goes on to say:
9 "... transformation of BiH into a confederative, democratic,
10 multiparty and parliamentary state founded on the respect of human rights
11 and freedoms of all citizens who enjoy the same status and equality,
12 regardless of their nationality, religion or belief."
13 Could you please tell us, what exactly is this document talking
14 about, since you participated in this process at the time this document
15 was generated?
16 A. By this document, the Municipal Board of the HDZ of Gornji Vakuf
17 sent a message to their voters and calling them to vote and indicating
18 what the HDZ of Gornji Vakuf would be advocating and, generally speaking,
19 the whole HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 are completed and once we take part in the bodies of authority in the
21 municipality and the state.
22 Q. All right. If you go on to the second page, there are two items
23 that I'm sure may have piqued someone's interest in and around this
24 courtroom. This would be the same page for you. It talks about:
25 "Put an end to demographic discontent; a democratic revival of
1 the Croatian ethnic being -- putting to an end to the departure and a
2 speedy and full return of the Croats who have moved away."
3 What is meant by "to put an end to demographic discontent"? Some
4 may think that this has something to do with ethnic cleansing.
5 MS. MOE: I object to leading, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't know how this is leading.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, rephrase your
9 question in general terms.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: In general terms. Okay.
11 Q. What is meant by "demographic discontent"?
12 A. Before the first multiparty elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 given political persecution, unemployment and certain other reasons, the
14 Croats emigrated from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was perhaps for
15 political reasons or because they couldn't find work in Bosnia and
17 Q. And then if we go further down, it talks about --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. I would like
19 to understand what is meant by "demographic discontent," and I must
20 confess that so far I've heard that people left because of the economic
21 situation, and I cannot link that to the term "demographic discontent."
22 So if you could try to explain this term, I would be grateful, Mr. Puntic
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A significant number of Croats in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina had to leave Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 reasons. A significant number of Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 to go after bread outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina because at the time,
3 at the time of the communist period, there was discrimination when it
4 came to employing Croatians. So this demographic content mostly had to
5 do with this: Demographic renewal assumed that in a new Bosnia and
7 care of young families. They would provide incentives. When it came to
8 accommodation, they'd give them family leave -- give them maternity leave
9 that would last for one year, and so on and so forth.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So if I understand you correctly, in more
11 conventional language, what you mean by "demographic discontent," others
12 would call "discrimination on ethical grounds." Is that what you're
13 actually saying?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. All right. Well, let me -- let me perhaps add a couple of
18 questions to this one.
19 You indicated that the Croatian peoples were one of the
20 constituent nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Muslims and the Serbs
21 being the other two. Can you tell us, what was the percentage of the
22 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina among the population?
23 A. According to the census of 1991, in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were
24 17.3 per cent of Croats out of the total number of the population,
25 17.3 per cent.
1 Q. All right. Now, is there a distinction between being a
2 constituent nation and a national minority? And if so, could you please
3 tell us what that distinction is?
4 A. A constituent nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- well, the
5 constituent nations were the Croats, the Serbs and the Muslims; and they
6 were, in fact, the bearers of the statehood of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
7 as a constituent people, any one of those three peoples mentioned had the
8 right to expect that they could participate in government, that
9 government would be shared between the constituent peoples in an equal
10 manner. National minorities could not expect or count on being included
11 in this division of power, in sharing in government, and that's the
12 significant distinction that has to be made.
13 Q. And did that exist prior to the first free elections?
14 A. Yes, but as to what extent, when it comes to the Croatian people
15 -- well, at the time I hadn't spent much time in Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 so I could not really say, but I do know that people were unhappy with
17 the way in which they were represented.
18 Q. All right. Now, does there come a point where, with the
19 percentage, if it drops to a certain point -- you have 17.3, 1991 census.
20 If that percentage drops, is there the possibility that the Croats or any
21 constituent nation might lose its status as a constituent nation and
22 become a minority -- a national minority?
23 A. I don't know what the critical threshold is in terms of the
24 percentage of the population or, rather, of a given people in Bosnia
1 talking about constituent peoples here.
2 Q. All right. One last item on this document. Towards the end of
3 the page, it talks about the obligation of the existing system of
4 teaching alphabets and that the Latin alphabet, in the Croatian language,
5 should be used in the textbooks. Could you please explain to us, why was
6 this in the platform?
7 A. In this way, we were demanding that the Latin script be used in
8 schools and that our children in schools learn the Croatian language. We
9 wanted educational programmes to be in the Croatian language for our
10 children. We did not dispute the right that other peoples or, rather,
11 the other peoples had to organise the educational system as they desired.
12 Q. All right. Let's move on to the next document, 1D 02579.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we go on to the
14 following document: Witness, I've just had a look at the last document,
15 2798, and I compared it to the first document, 2698. The second document
16 was adopted the 22nd of September, a few days later, and the first
17 document was adopted on the 18th of August. And when we have a look at
18 the two documents, we have the impression that the second follows on
19 immediately from the first document. In the first document, Article 10
20 states quite explicitly that the HDZ is fighting to be included in the
21 European Union. In the second document, we have something to the same
22 effect. This is 1990. At the time, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina had
23 not yet been recognised as independent republics. At the time, we still
24 had the ancient -- the old communist system.
25 Since very explicit reference is made to the European Union,
1 would you say that there was a general consensus, at least at the level
2 of the HDZ, when it came to this idea of joining the European Union?
3 What would your opinion be?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All those who became members of the
5 HDZ and accepted the HDZ programme and its principles agreed with what is
6 stated under Article 10 of the first statute of the BH statute, and they
7 also agreed with everything that was in the declaration of their
8 programme. So the statute was accepted, and the principles according to
9 which the party should operate were also accepted.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When we see these
11 two documents and the role that the Croats had to play in the future, I
12 wonder why the Gornji Vakuf HDZ at the election held on the 22nd of
13 September, 1990, mentions the Croatian people; but you speak about Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina
15 What happened to the Croats from Serbia
16 the Croats in Serbia
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd just like to
18 correct something. This document mentions or refers to document 798. It
19 mentions the 22nd of September, 1990, which is when there was an
20 electoral assembly of the municipal organisation of HDZ for the
21 Gornji Vakuf municipality, and this document was drafted later on, just
22 before the first multiparty elections held in Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 other words, at the beginning of November, 1990. This document had to be
24 based on the statute of the HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the
25 principles contained in the programme of the HDZ in Bosnia and
2 spiritual and civilization matters, well, in a certain way we are
3 confirming our roots in Europe
4 sense, belong to the West.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you haven't answered
6 my question. Why did one deliberately leave out the Croats in Serbia
7 Why is there no reference made to them?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are an organisation that is
9 active in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
12 Q. If we go on to the next document, 1D 02579. 1D 02579. We see
13 this is the political charter of the HDZ BH, and if we look at the end of
14 this document, we see "Mostar, November 1992." And it's signed by the
15 HDZ Central Committee Chairman Mate Boban.
16 Were you aware of this document, sir, at the time when it was
18 A. I saw it after it was drafted.
19 Q. And you provided me with this document, as well, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Now, if we look at paragraph number 3 -- Roman numeral III,
22 again, we see that the Croatian Democratic Union is in favour of
23 immediate cessation of war in BH and for the internal structure of BH
24 based on the following principles:
25 "1. BH is a sovereign, independent and
1 internationally-recognised state;
2 "2: BH comprises three constitutional and equal nations, the
3 Croats, the Muslims and the Serbs;
4 "3. HDZ BH is in favour of internal structure based on the
5 principles established with the European Community and agreement reached
6 between Tudjman and Izetbegovic."
7 And then it goes on to say:
8 "Croatian Democratic Union is in favour of BH as a state of three
9 constitutive units as the only solution that will guarantee all the civil
10 and national rights of the Croats."
11 If you could please explain that to us. What is meant by this,
12 and why the reference to Tudjman and Izetbegovic?
13 A. The HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Croatian Democratic Party,
14 from the time it was founded up until the very present day was in favour
15 of an independent and integral Bosnia and Herzegovina as stated in this
16 charter, but the structure was to be different from the structure
17 envisaged by others. The structure was to be such that the Croats in
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina would also be content. Three constituent peoples
19 had the right to have equal rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and when
20 reference is made to the Tudjman-Izetbegovic agreement, the Agreement on
21 Friendship and Cooperation from July is what they have in mind, July
22 1992, when reference was made to the constituent units in the area of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. All right. Let's go on to the next document, which is -- it's
25 1D --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question.
2 Here, again, I have the same concern I expressed a minute ago
3 with regard to the Croats from Serbia
4 important one because it's been signed by Mr. Boban - he signed it in
5 November 1992 - in this document, in paragraph 3, reference is made to
6 the three constituent peoples, the Serbs, the Croats and the Muslims, but
7 no reference is ever made to Milosevic. Reference is made to Tudjman and
8 Izetbegovic, and it seems that one is leaving aside the Serbian issue,
9 whereas the Serbian issue was at the heart of the problems in Bosnia
11 Republika Srpska. You exercised political power, so how would you
12 explain this?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when this political
14 charter was drafted, Bosnia and Herzegovina was an independent and
15 internationally-recognised state, and this charter explicitly refers to
16 the agreement signed by President Izetbegovic, as president of the
17 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the president of the
18 Republic of Croatia
19 presidents agreed on certain positions that had to do with the internal
20 structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and given that at the same time a
21 similar agreement had not been signed with the president of Serbia
22 Mr. Milosevic, it was not possible to make reference to this issue in the
24 MR. KARNAVAS: A couple of follow-up questions.
25 Q. At that point in time in history, was the entire BiH a free
2 A. It depends on your perspective. In our opinion, it wasn't. For
3 the Croats and Muslims, the entire of Bosnia-Herzegovina was not free.
4 Q. All right. What had the Serbs or the SDA -- the SDS, what had
5 they done prior to the -- to Bosnia-Herzegovina being declared
6 independent, prior to the referendum?
7 A. I know that prior to the referendum on an independent
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the 28th and 29th of February, 1992, some kind of
9 economic communities had been established or, rather, they'd already -
10 roughly speaking - defined the area to be covered by Republika Srpska.
11 Q. All right. Unless there are any other questions, I'll move on.
12 If we go on now to the next document, 1D 02700, now we're into 17
13 December 1993. Again, this is a statute of the Democratic Union. Do you
14 recognise this document, sir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, I want to focus your attention to paragraph 10 -- to
17 Article 10, I should say. That would be on page -- bottom of page 2, top
18 of page 3 in English. And in particular, again, for continuity's sake,
19 to see how the HDZ is progressing, how their platform is moving, 10.1, it
20 talks about to ensure the rights of the Croatian people,
21 self-determination, statehood, independence, sovereignty. So you see
22 that, sir, right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And it also talks about -- that Bosnia-Herzegovina consists of
25 three equal constitutive nations: Croats, Muslims and Serbs. You see
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And then if we go to 10.2, it talks about:
4 "... to further the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna as a
5 democratic parliamentary multiparty state that shall guarantee and ensure
6 all constitutional rights and liberties to each of its constituent
7 nations and to every citizen, irrespective of race, nationality,
8 religion, political persuasion, gender, or social status."
9 Now, I want to focus your attention to the word "state," because
10 if we look at paragraph 10.1, it talks about Bosnia-Herzegovina, and now
11 here we see that the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
12 multiparty state. Can you please help us out here?
13 A. Yes. This statute was adopted in December 1993, and it confirms
14 the continuity of the policies pursued by the HDZ in Bosnia and
16 independent and integral state, but it was in favour of a Bosnia
18 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At that time, there was the Croatian
19 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, which in the opinion of the HDZ of Bosnia and
21 states of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. Unless there are other questions, I'm
23 going to move on for the sake of time, although I do point out, at least
24 for the record, 10.4, that's for Judge Trechsel, given the earlier
25 question regarding demographic discontent. That may be of some interest.
1 Otherwise, I'll move on.
2 The next document is 1D 02580, and do you recognise this
3 document, sir?
4 A. Yes.
6 a signature, but do you know where this document came from?
7 A. This is a political declaration from the HDZ in Bosnia and
9 before this assembly, or perhaps it was adopted at the assembly on the
10 17th of December, 1993.
11 Q. All right. Now, we can see from the very first paragraph it
12 talks about the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and so that would at
13 least help us out here and -- as to what months and thereafter this
14 document would have been generated. But let me focus your attention on
15 Roman numeral I, the third paragraph - that's on the first page for us in
16 the English - because it talks about the HDZ BiH is campaigning for a
17 democratically-organised Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna which
18 guarantees and ensures all rights and freedoms to each of its citizens,
19 regardless of race, nationality, sex, religious views, political
20 convictions, or social status. It then goes on to talk about
21 preconditions of halting the exodus of Croats and ensuring the return of
22 expellees, refugees and displaced persons.
23 Now, sir, could you please help us out here. At that point in
24 time, since you were a member of HDZ, what were the aspirations of HDZ,
25 and are they accurately reflected in this political declaration?
1 A. The aspirations of the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina were expressed
2 very frankly in this political declaration. In certain areas inhabited
3 by Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats felt more threatened than
4 most of the Croats who lived in the territory of the Croatian Republic
5 Herceg-Bosna, and that's why it is explicitly stated here that the HDZ
6 will take care of Croats throughout the territory of Bosnia
8 Q. All right. If we go on now to the next document, 1D 027 --
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If you allow, Mr. Karnavas, I would like to ask
10 a question in this context, but it's a bit more general, perhaps, in
12 Mr. Buntic [sic] --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Batinic.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Batinic, I'm sorry, was the Croatian
15 Republic of Herceg-Bosna a multiethnic state? What was the position of
16 Muslims in Herceg-Bosna? Were they a constituent nation, or were they
17 rather a minority, if you know.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croatian Republic
19 Herceg-Bosna did not have its border area. We had an area where many
20 Croats lived, and we called it the Croatian Republic
21 that area, there were Muslims, as well, and the Muslims a constituent
22 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Maybe we'll be hearing more about
24 this in the course of the evidence. Thank you.
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas, I also would like to ask a
1 follow-up question here as regards to that statute. Statute, yes.
2 In Article 4 of the general provisions, and the second part of
3 that Article 4, it is the following, and I quote:
4 "HDZ BH shall be an integral part of the overall HDZ
5 organisation, with seat located in Zagreb."
6 Now, my question is how Mr. Batinic would interpret this
7 particular sentence and this Article 4, since then the Croatian
8 Democratic Union
9 located in Sarajevo
10 which I quoted, that that very organisation shall be an integral part of
11 the overall HDZ organisation, that is, that one which was created and
12 which was functioning in the Croatian Republic
13 explanation is to be given by Mr. Batinic in terms of the independence of
14 the HDZ BH or if there was any kind of dependency, being dependent upon
15 the centre which was located in Zagreb
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. Mr. Batinic, you need to look at the very first document that was
18 introduced. That was 1D 02699, dated 18 August 1990. We were now in
19 1993, but I believe the question goes to this particular document,
20 Article 4.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: With due respect, Mr. Karnavas, I think it
22 refers to the document 1D 02700. At least, there in Article 4 we have
23 this reference to Zagreb
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't sure which document we were referring to.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Prandler should actually -- 2700?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
2 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
3 I refer to the same document which was before us, that is, the
4 statute in Croatia
5 statute, Mostar, 17. procinca, in 1993. So it is what I am -- what I
6 quoted, actually, in the Croatian language -- [Interpretation] Article 4.
7 [In English] It is what I quoted, the second part of Article 4, so that
8 one which I asked if there was any kind of, quote/unquote, "dependency";
9 of the HDZ upon the centre and the leadership, quote/unquote, "in
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the HDZ of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina operated autonomously in the territory of Bosnia
14 its activities with the HDZ in Croatia
15 founded and for several years after that, we considered ourselves to be a
16 component of the planet-wide HDZ, as the HDZ had its branches in Europe
18 To be more precise in interpreting this statute, I cannot be, as
19 in each of our statutes, including this one, it says that the authentic
20 interpretation of this statute can be given by the Presidency of the HDZ
21 for BiH, that is, the Presidency at the time, or the commission for
22 statutes authorised by the Presidency and the president.
23 JUDGE PRANDLER: Well, frankly, I am not truly convinced by the
24 answer, but I leave it as it is, and I believe that there are certain
25 question marks still left as far as the relationship between the - if I
1 may say so - the mother organisation, which had its headquarters in
4 study, probably, by anyone who is interested.
5 Thank you.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, there should be a clarification.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please. As we
8 are addressing a very important issue, there are several questions from
9 the Judges.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, excuse me. I would
11 like to know the origin of this important political declaration that
12 we're examining, 1D 02580. Which organ of the HDZ drafted this important
13 political declaration? I see at the bottom of the page of the last page
14 in English, it says "central board." And when I look at the statute of
15 the HDZ, Article 28 in document 1D 02500 [as interpreted], among the
16 bodies I do not come across the central board. So which is the authority
17 which drafted and promulgated this political declaration, which is of
18 great importance?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in Article 28 of the
20 statute, dated the 17th of December, 1993, it is clearly stated that the
21 following bodies of the HDZ and BH, the Assembly, the Presidency, the
22 main Board, the Central Board, the Executive Board, the Commission for
23 Statutes, the Coat of Armour and the Auditing Board. If this mentioned
24 declaration in document 580, the Central Board is mentioned, then this is
25 a body of the HDZ which actually drafted and promulgated this political
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, I'm told that in Article 28,
3 number 4, it should -- it's been translated "central committee," but it
4 should read "Central Board." In the original language, it's "Central
5 Board," so that may be of assistance.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Oh, I see. It's a problem of
7 translation, then. Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to come
9 back to the previous question by the Judge [as interpreted] that the HDZ
10 should become an integral part of the HDZ in Zagreb, and you answered
11 something. Your answer opened up a path of reflection. You said that
12 the HDZ was planet-wide, saying that there was HDZ organisations
13 everywhere, Australia
14 organisation like, for instance, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
15 then there was the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, of Hungary, the
16 Communist Party of France, et cetera, et cetera, in its planetary
17 dimension did the HDZ envisage that the seat of the HDZ should
18 automatically be in Zagreb
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot say that we
21 were a satellite in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't think that we were a
22 satellite of the HDZ of the Republic of Croatia
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, something is
24 wrong with the sound. There's a mix-up.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll handle it. Apparently --
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] We are hearing some very
2 nasty comments from the translation booth, like, "Tudjman's vassals,
3 Zdravko Batinic, satellite." So, please, this is what I heard, and all
4 the others who can confirm this, from the translation booth, which
5 indicates the personal political views of the interpreters, as Tudjman's
6 vassals, Batinic was a satellite, and some other things along those
7 lines. This is impermissible. If necessary, ask the others who are here
8 present who could hear this when the microphone was turned on. So the
9 interpreters are joining in with political views and assessments, and at
10 this point in time I require an investigation, and I want the
11 interpreters to be checked out.
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was
13 listening to the B/C/S booth, and I must say that what General Praljak
14 has said is true. Obviously, the interpreters were having a private
15 conversation in which they were making comments which certainly are
16 inappropriate. The terms mentioned by Mr. Praljak were used and some
17 others, and there was also some cynical comments regarding the witness
18 that we have in the courtroom. And I believe the witness must have heard
19 this, who is listening to the B/C/S, and all of us who are switched on to
20 the sixth channel could hear this. So I'm just confirming the
21 truthfulness of this.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, thank you. And I was going to react before
24 General Praljak did to confirm exactly what General Praljak indicated and
25 my other colleague has indicated because of Ms. Tomanovic [sic].
1 At this point time in light of what is happening, I think we
2 should take a break because I think that it's disrespectful and it's
3 really abhorrent that at least now the Croats that are being tried in
4 this Tribunal seem to be singled out by at least some of the
5 interpreters. It may be -- it may be that something needs to be done,
6 such as only those of a particular nation should be interpreting in this
7 particular trial. Now, I think that would be devastating to this
8 institution, but if, in fact, there are those within the booth that think
9 that this is a laughing matter and where the gentleman himself can hear
10 these comments, then I dare say this is a sad day for international
11 criminal justice. And I just think that the best thing is take a break,
12 perhaps look into the matter. We can take an early break. But I do
13 think that this is unacceptable, and I believe the clients need to have a
14 time-out for themselves to compose themselves.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
16 We are grateful for this information. Maybe it's a bit of a
17 consolation to the parties, in particular to the Defence, that the Judges
18 have remained immune of all and any such comments because we do not
19 listen to that language. So it has remained outside. This
20 notwithstanding, I am quite shocked, I must say, of this, and I'm sure
21 that the Chamber will deal with it.
22 I would, as I have the floor, make an observation to the
23 transcript. And on page 67 -- no -- yes, 67, line 21. Judge Antonetti
24 has referred to Judge Prandler. I have heard this. And it just says
25 "Judge" here. And as Mr. Mindua had spoken previously, I think it would
1 be better to put this clear so that we know.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, we are at your hands, but I do
3 think that, again, it is very difficult to get witnesses here, precisely
4 because the way some of them perceive this Tribunal to be acting. I'm
5 not saying that those perceptions are accurate, but I do think that it's
6 very difficult at times to get witnesses here, to put ten days of their
7 life away, to be prepared, read documents, come here, answer questions
8 under very difficult circumstances. And if the gentleman did indeed hear
9 what apparently others heard in his own language, obviously at this point
10 in time he must be wondering how or why he is here. You know, why is he
11 bothering to come here to give evidence if those who are within this
12 institution are mocking him, are mocking his heritage, are mocking his
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, what did you hear in
15 your own language?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard somebody laughing, saying
17 that Zdravko -- in these words, "Zdravko Batinic, a satellite," and some
18 other words. I thought somebody in the courtroom was saying this.
19 Fortunately, they were not. But what Mr. Karnavas said, and Mr. Praljak
20 before him, is truly unacceptable.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one
22 sentence. When he said, "to all intents and purposes," it's not so. I
23 heard it, and I heard exactly what I said, laughter, with the words
24 "Tudjman's vassals, Batinic is a satellite -- Tudjman satellite,"
25 laughter, "ironic," and "out of order."
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to
2 have a 20-minute break.
3 Somebody wishes to intervene?
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, I would.
5 I would like to comment on Mr. Karnavas' expressions that
6 witnesses that come here put ten days of their lives away. I think it's
7 not a proper expression. They come here, they perform a duty, and I
8 don't think one should intimate that to them entirely lost time.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it's not lost. I don't mean to say that it
10 is lost, but they're away from their families. They're away from their
11 work. They're not getting compensated to be here. Trust me,
12 Judge Trechsel, when I say that at least the witnesses that we bring over
13 have to read a lot of documents, which is not very pleasant, and being
14 questioned, even by myself on direct examination, can be intimidating,
15 let alone being cross-examined. So that's what I meant. It is a public
16 service. I agree.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. You can be assured of that, but then life
18 is not only pleasure, and even toils are a part of life and can, all in
19 all, have something rewarding, I think. So --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. But at least when they do come here,
21 they should be treated properly.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But potential witnesses should not be told that
23 "If you come to The Hague
24 of your life away." I think it's not encouraging, and we have to
25 encourage them.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, we do have to warn them they're going to be
2 here for a while.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Just a moment or two.
5 I am also, as Judge Trechsel said, for better or worse, not in a
6 position to directly comment on what was or was not being said in the
7 translation booths or what was interpreted or not. I do note that the
8 best record we have at the moment is what the witness himself, when asked
9 by the Judge, "What did you hear," it wasn't very much. I mean, if that
10 was the answer of the witness, he didn't indicate very much of any
11 particular significance, other than the use of the word "satellite." I
12 don't know -- again, I say I'm not in a position to comment, but I will
13 observe for the record that when the witness was asked, it didn't seem
14 particularly -- it did not seem particularly problematic.
15 Be that as it may, whatever was said or not said, I think it's a
16 gross overstatement and generalisation to then say that the Tribunal as a
17 whole displays an anti-Croat bias. I think that's completely
18 objectionable. It should not be heard in this courtroom.
19 Mr. Praljak, when I'm finished, you can perhaps have the floor,
20 if the Chamber wishes to give it to you.
21 It is completely improper to say that.
22 As far as the hardship on witnesses, Your Honour, I'm sure the
23 Chamber will understand that every witness who comes here, including the
24 many of the Bosniaks that came during the Prosecution case, come at
25 considerable inconvenience and difficulty, as do the internationals, for
1 that matter. So it would be improper to leave the impression -- two
2 impressions on the record: Number 1, it's a gross overstatement and
3 I think irresponsible to suggest the Tribunal is an anti-Croat tribunal,
4 number 1; number 2, what Mr. Karnavas said about witnesses can be said
5 about witnesses in general. Indeed, it may not be the most pleasant
6 experience for everyone, but that applies across the board to all
7 witnesses of every stripe, ethnic group, and political persuasion,
8 Your Honour.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric.
11 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm convinced
12 that this discussion is being recorded, and it would be a good idea for
13 us to get a recording of this conversation. The Prosecutor is not
14 telling the truth. There was even more said than what Mr. --
15 General Praljak said and Mr. Batinic and others in the courtroom here.
16 A second point I wish to make here. Some witnesses who need to
17 come here know years in advance that they are due to come. Be they
18 victims or not, participants in that war, they have lost their -- their
19 health has worsened, and my Defence has already noted that several
20 witnesses will not be able to come because they're living with this
21 trial; they're living with affected health. And when a witness is
22 insulted in this way, it is unacceptable. This is an honourable act.
23 Regardless of why those witnesses are coming here, they are witnesses of
24 justice. They're not all professionals. They're not all intellectuals.
25 They're ordinary people - I'm talking partly on behalf of my witnesses
1 who will be coming here - who do not have great careers behind them, and
2 one does not pay attention to the fact that for years they have been
3 reflecting about these proceedings, and the rewards they get are shameful
4 compared to some other rewards that are received by people here.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak, just for a
6 few seconds, and then we will have a break because this could go on
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I did not say that what I
9 heard meant that the Tribunal or the Prosecution is anti-Croat. That is
10 something I didn't say. The Prosecutor must have heard this alone. He
11 often begins by saying, "I don't know, but ..." I think when someone
12 says, "I don't know," one should keep quiet. If you didn't hear it or
13 understand it, then, respected Mr. Prosecutor, keep quiet because things
14 you don't know you should keep quiet about.
15 Secondly, I clearly quoted not just the words but something that
16 cannot be noticed from the recording, which makes a distinction between
17 the written word and the spoken word. I will be referring to this later
18 on when talking about transcripts.
19 I conveyed truthfully and precisely what I heard. There were
20 things I didn't quite understand, so I left them out. It is my opinion
21 that the translation service is not suitable for interpretation. By
22 their attitude towards Tudjman's vassals and Tudjman himself, this can
23 lead to a whole series of misinterpretations. These may not be obvious
24 but may emanate from their way of thought.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have already
1 said this and repeated it. You have intervened three times. Everyone
2 has understood the issue.
3 We're now going to have a 20-minute break, and we will resume in
4 20 minutes' time.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So, first of all,
8 a correction should be made. I'd like to provide you with some
9 information with regard to what was said a while ago.
10 The head of the interpretation department has replaced the
11 interpreter and will be looking into the matter, will be conducting an
12 investigation. That's all I can say at this point in time.
13 My colleague has a correction he would like to make.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I would just like to point out
15 something for the sake of the transcript. On page 67, line 3, with
16 regard to the BH statute, I spoke about document 1D 02700 and not 2500,
17 so that's a correction I would like to make to the transcript.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, sorry. I was on my feet just a
21 moment ago. Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please go ahead.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm happy to say that what Your Honour
24 has said has very helpfully rather preempted and implemented what I on
25 behalf of all Defences on this particular point, because we've discussed
1 it over the break, was going to propose, that there should be some sort
2 of inquiry or investigation into this matter.
3 May we just add this, Your Honour, that discussions over the
4 break -- and I'm not going to get at all into what's said. I certainly
5 didn't hear a single word myself, nor would I have understood it. But
6 without going into that at all, there is certainly reason to think that
7 perhaps something slightly worse was said even than has been ventilated,
8 but we don't know that for sure at the moment, Your Honour.
9 But, Your Honour, we do suggest specifically, as part of this
10 inquiry, that counsel and the accused, so far as they do have some input
11 on this and do hear something, but the accused, through their counsel,
12 that we, the Defences, should all be invited to submit to whoever is
13 conducting this inquiry what we believe was said. That does seem to be a
14 proper part of a proper inquiry into this particular matter.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The
16 audio-recording is available to everyone, so the audio-recording should
17 be consulted.
18 Mr. Karnavas.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Batinic, I want to take you back to a remark that was made by
21 Judge Prandler on page 66, line 15, in discussing the statute, which was
22 1D 02700, and upon your answer Judge Prandler indicated: "... The other
23 organisation which had been created in Herzegovina."
24 And from that I took to mean, since we're talking about the HDZ,
25 that at least in the mind of -- unless this was a slip of tongue, that at
1 least in the mind of some, the impression is that HDZ was a Herzegovinian
3 So let me ask you, was HDZ BH, was that an order created in
5 A. No. The HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina was established in Sarajevo
6 and it was for the entirety of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. Now, if I could take you on to the very last document, which is
8 1D 02701 [Realtime transcript read in error, "02001"]. This is the last
9 document dealing with the HDZ. This is another statute. This is Mostar,
10 10 July 1994
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. And I don't want to spend too much time on it, but
13 other than to make reference to the programatic declaration, as it said
14 in English. That would be on page 21 in the English, 21, page 21 of this
15 document. It's towards the end of your document, sir. It's the
16 programme, essentially. I'm going to be looking at page 22. And at the
17 very -- and this would be under Roman numeral II, where it says:
18 "Basic goals and tasks of the Croatian Democratic Union of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as set out in the programatic principles of the goals
20 of the Croatian Democratic Union, accepted on the first general
22 And then it lists four items. Number 1, it says:
23 "To ensure the right of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 to self-determination and statehood, independence and sovereignty in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state union or constitutive nations."
1 Can you please explain that to us?
2 A. This statute was adopted in 1994. The policies of the HDZ in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina continued to be pursued, and this political
4 declaration at the end of this statute refers to the desire we had,
5 because usually declarations state one's desires and intentions, the
6 desires and intentions of political parties. We wanted a Bosnia
8 Croatian people, as well, as we can see.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. Unless there are any questions, I'll move
10 on to the next topic.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, perhaps a correction to the transcript,
12 because the document is indicated as 1D 02001. I have spent most of the
13 time looking for it. In fact, I think it is 1D 02701.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: That's absolutely correct, 1D 02701. 1D 02701.
15 And I was referring to page --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: 21.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: -- 21 and going on to 22.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: And it lays out the principles. All right.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, to follow up on what
21 was just said, have a look at Article 2, which is very clear. It would
22 appear the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina will have its headquarters in
24 the headquarters of the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina will be located in
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Is there an explanation? I guess that's the reason why it's
5 being pointed out. I mean, we can all read that. Is there an
6 explanation, well, now on July 10, 1994
7 liberated," versus earlier? Do you have an explanation? If not, we'll
8 move on.
9 A. There's a very simple explanation for this. Having signed the
12 was established between our two peoples, but war continued against the
13 Serbian forces. At the time, Sarajevo
14 possible to enter Sarajevo
15 Q. All right. Well, let's go on to the next chapter, which deals
16 with the HDZ Crisis Staff, Gornji Vakuf. That's how I've titled it, at
17 least, for convenience sake. The first document --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. My attention is attracted to this
19 Article 2, where I read of a confederation with the Republic of Croatia
20 and it is a bit puzzling. I wonder, Mr. Batinic, whether you could
21 comment on that. To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a
22 confederation between Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the one hand, and the
23 Republic of Croatia
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, there is no
1 confederation of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the
2 Republic of Croatia
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. I wasn't prepared to go into the
6 Washington Agreement, but we can, Your Honours, if --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We can leave it at that, Mr. Karnavas. I'm
8 sorry. It probably was known, but I know not all I should.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: But It's -- I'm told that we could find it in
10 Exhibit 1D 01530, Your Honour, if that may be of assistance. 1D 01530,
11 which is in the exhibits already.
12 Q. If we go on to the next chapter, which is 1D 00485, 1D 00485, and
13 we can see from this particular document -- first of all, do you
14 recognise the document, sir?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. All right. And if we look at the end -- at the end of this
17 document, we see President Stjepan Kljuic. I take it you knew the
18 gentleman, correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. Now, let's look at the preamble. It says:
21 "A session of the Security Council of the Croatian
22 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina was held on 18 September 1991
23 First of all, can you tell us what, if anything, happened -
24 noteworthy, that is - on that particular day in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 18
25 September 1991?
1 A. Yes. On the 18th of December [as interpreted], 1991, the Serbian
2 aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina commenced when the Serbians
3 attacked the village of Ravno
4 Q. All right. Thank you.
5 A. Croatian village of Ravno
6 Q. Yes. Now, could you please explain to us, what is the Security
7 Council of the Croatian Democratic Union?
8 A. The Security Council of the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a body
9 that was supposed to take care of the safety of the Croatian people in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina at a period of time when it seemed certain that
11 the Serbian forces would launch an active aggression against
13 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, I don't want to go into this in any
14 detail because I don't have the time, but if we could go to
15 paragraph number 4, or item number 4, I should say, we can see that
16 Stjepan Kljuic, it says:
17 "... shall contact the leadership of the SDA without delay and
18 ask them to state their policy, but the Crisis Staff shall develop an
19 action plan with or without SDA and take specific steps in this
21 So now we have the words "Crisis Staff," and we could see that
22 earlier. What exactly to your knowledge was being asked of Kljuic to do,
23 and why?
24 A. As the president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 Mr. Stjepan Kljuic at the time was told to establish contact with the
1 political leadership of the SDA, the Party of Democratic Action, and
2 having done so, to establish how the political leadership of the Muslims
3 through the SDA Party saw how Bosnia-Herzegovina should be defended
4 because they're prepared to participate. Why they're prepared to
5 participate? Because the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 commenced on that day when the Serbian forces attacked the Croatian
7 village of Ravno.
8 Q. Now, let's go on to the next document, unless there are any
9 questions. I'll go on to the next document, which is 1D 00477. 1D
10 00477. And this is for the benefit -- to see what SDA was doing. This
11 is dated 13 June 1991
12 National Defence of SDA has formed on Monday, 11 June, in Sarajevo." And
13 it's signed by Hasan Cengic. Did you know Mr. Hasan Cengic?
14 A. Not personally, but I know many things about him.
15 Q. Well, who was he at the time?
16 A. Hasan Cengic was a close associate of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic at
17 the time. They both served prison sentences for being involved in the
18 Young Muslims Movement. Later, he became the main logistics officer of
19 the ABiH and dealt with obtaining weapons and equipment and financial
20 means from Arab countries.
21 Q. All right. Now, obviously, this is several months before the
22 previous document, when HDZ forms its Crisis Staff, and I pointed out
23 number 4 where Kljujic is instructed to go talk to the leadership of the
24 SDA. Let me ask you one simple question.
25 At the time, were you aware that the SDA had already formed this
1 Council for National Defence? Was it known?
2 A. We found out about it a little later, a little after this date.
3 Q. All right. Can you -- do you recall, about when did you find
5 A. Midsummer 1991, approximately.
6 Q. All right. Now, let's go on to the next chapter. This has --
7 just for convenience sake, it's titled "Kljuic and the Livno Question."
8 If we go to document -- let's see. I'm sorry. I have to make sure that
9 I don't make references to the documents that you handed over, but let me
10 first ask you a question.
11 Were you in Livno at all when the matter was discussed, that is,
12 the so-called Livno question?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And could you please tell us, why -- what is this all about?
15 What was the question about, and why there was a controversy over it?
16 A. Please, just tell me what the document number is.
17 Q. All right. Well, the problem is -- I don't want to make
18 reference to your notes because I can't use your notes in this courtroom
19 because we can't use your diary. It's either all or nothing, I'm afraid,
20 so you're going to have to go with your memory, although I will direct
21 you at some point -- I will direct you at some point to P00117. That may
22 be of some assistance. P00117.
23 All right. Now, do you know why everyone convened on this
24 particular meeting?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. Would you please tell us, and rather quickly, because I really --
2 I have limited time.
3 A. Just a couple of sentences with regard to what took place a week
5 On the 2nd of February, 1992, in Siroki Brijeg, a meeting of the
6 Central HDZ Committee [Transcript read in error, "SDA Central Committee"]
7 of Bosnia and Herzegovina was held, an expanded meeting of this body, and
8 there was discussion about the referendum on independence of Bosnia
10 most of the members of the Central Committee of the HDZ in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and this expanded version.
12 The president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina was criticised for
13 not having sufficiently coordinated work with the HDZ representatives in
14 the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Q. Slow down a bit, Mr. Batinic. This is very important because we
16 already have one area where it says "SDA Central Committee," and we know
17 we're talking about the HDZ.
18 So -- all right. There was an issue with the coordination. What
19 was the problem? Get to the issue.
20 A. The problem was a problem that concerned the referendum by the
21 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a referendum that people had voted
22 in. Most of the members of the Central Committee of the HDZ of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not agree with it. Mr. Kljujic was criticised for
24 not having sufficiently thought through the issue, in political terms.
25 He hadn't made enough effort and hadn't coordinated the representatives
1 of the HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He hadn't coordinated his
2 activities. Such an issue shouldn't have been put forth at the Assembly.
3 The representatives of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina shouldn't have
4 supported such an issue in the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Why?
5 Because the referendum at the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 according to most of the members of the Central Committee, was
7 prejudicial to the internal structure of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather,
8 according to the members of the Central Committee of the HDZ in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the referendum concerned an issue inside Bosnia
11 longer had the support of most of the members of the Central Committee;
12 and as a result, he resigned.
13 When the committee continued to sit -- well, the committee met
14 seven days later in Livno, and at that meeting the question for the
15 referendum was formulated, and it was supposed to be put before the SDA,
16 and an attempt was to be made in the Assembly to change the issue, the
17 result. Unfortunately, the representatives of the SDA were not in favour
18 of changing the issue.
19 Q. All right. Now, we know, from having heard from previous
20 witnesses, that at some point Kljujic was no longer the president of the
21 HDZ. Could you please tell us, how did that come about?
22 A. Mr. Kljujic resigned at the session of the Central Committee of
23 the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Siroki Brijeg on the 2nd of February,
24 1992. He had understood that he no longer had the support of that body
25 when it came to leading the HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Instead of "to
2 change the issue," it should state "to change the question."
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Now, just getting -- let's look at this one document, P00117.
5 This is 9 February 1992
6 version, we can see the proposed -- we see, under item 3: "Referendum on
7 sovereign and independent Bosnia and Herzegovina," and we see the
9 "Are you in favour of a sovereign and independent Bosnia
11 Muslim and Serbian peoples in their ethnic areas," and in brackets it
12 says "(cantons)?"
13 Was that the question as you recall it?
14 A. I was at this session of the Central Board of the HDZ of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Livno, and in my diaries I made a note of the
16 question: "Are you in favour of a sovereign and independent Bosnia
18 Muslim and Serbian peoples?" I'm not claiming that this text before us
19 wasn't drafted as such, but what I heard is what I put down in my
20 personal diary.
21 MS. MOE: The witness is referring to his diaries, and as Counsel
22 Karnavas said as we started after the recess, it's got to be either/or or
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Sir, let me lay a foundation. Are you testifying on the basis of
1 your memory?
2 A. I'm testifying about this on the basis of my memory and also on
3 the basis of what is contained in my personal notes.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, it's kind of difficult to
5 unring the bell. I don't know whether he remembered that in advance and
6 now he's looked at his notes, but in any event, he was entitled to
7 refresh his memory even before coming here. We're not using his notes,
8 which were taken contemporaneous at the time, and I can ask him that
9 question, but he's testifying from his memory.
10 Let me go on to the next question.
11 Q. With respect to cantons, since we do have the word "cantons" in
12 this particular question, so whether it was inclusive or whether -- in
13 the original question or whether it was part of an explanation, what was
14 meant by "cantons"?
15 A. No one was very clear about that or said anything about this. At
16 the session, when the matter was discussed, cantons were discussed in
17 general terms or, rather, national areas, and no one mentioned any
18 figures when it came to cantons or any areas. In this question, in this
19 referendum for Bosnia and Herzegovina, all I wanted to do was to see what
20 the internal structure should be if it was also to suit the Croatian
21 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 Q. All right. Now, you talked about there was a previous meeting on
23 2nd of February, 1992. Were any foreign guests at that meeting that you
24 recall, that you recall?
25 A. At the session of the Central Board of the HDZ of Bosnia and
2 distinguished guest was the president of the Executive Committee of the
3 HDZ for the Republic of Croatia
4 Q. Do you recall -- I want you to testify from your memory. Do you
5 recall what, if anything, he said at the meeting? In other words, did he
6 address the attendants, and if so, in what capacity, and what, if
7 anything, he might have said that sticks out in your mind today.
8 A. Mr. Stjepan Mesic took the floor on a number of occasions. The
9 essence of what he had to say as the president of the Executive Board for
10 the HDZ for the Republic of Croatia
11 express the official position of the HDZ in Croatia, and according to the
12 official position, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina should support
13 the referendum with regard to an independent and sovereign Bosnia
15 Q. All right. Well, since he was present and since the question or
16 the essence of the question was being discussed, did he take a position
17 one way or the other with respect to the question, or was he simply
18 urging people to just go and vote, irrespective of the nature of the
20 A. He expressed the official position of the HDZ of the Republic of
22 Executive Board of the HDZ in the Republic of Croatia
23 acts that were carried out in the policies of the HDZ in Croatia. So
24 there was no incitement here, as you put it. This was just the official
25 position of the HDZ in the Republic of Croatia
1 With regard to the referendum, since you have touched on this
2 issue, I have to emphasise the fact that all the members of the Central
3 Committee board who were present or the Central Board who were present
4 were in favour of a referendum of an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 but they wanted the question to be rephrased. The question put at the
6 referendum, according to them, should have been rephrased.
7 Q. All right. Now, if we look at the last document in this bundle,
8 which is 1D 00410, 1D 00410. This is from a text by Miroslav Tudjman.
9 It's a compilation of various documents, and if I could draw your
10 attention. For us in the English version, it would be at the very -- at
11 the right-hand top of the page, it says "141, Cutileiro plan proposed HDZ
13 MR. KARNAVAS: This would be the fourth page, Your Honours, the
14 fourth page.
15 Q. Do you have that document in front of you, sir?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And, of course, we can see that the source of this document -- in
18 the footnote, it says "HINA." Do you know what this source is?
19 A. The Croatian Information News Agency.
20 Q. All right. And it appears that Miro Lasic, the head of the HDZ
21 delegation, is made reference to, as well as Mate Boban. And if we look
22 at this text, it says that the -- under paragraph 2, the:
23 "Basic HDZ demand in maintaining BiH within its historical
24 borders, which are today's borders, as well as an independent and
25 sovereign state of three constitutive and sovereign nations and citizens
1 who live in that territory. According to the HDZ proposal, Bosnia and
3 sovereignty; one would belong to the cantonal authorities, and the other
4 to the central confederative authority. Every authority would be
5 sovereign in its own domain."
6 I want to skip the rest of the part. There are some interested
7 passages in the next paragraph, but due out of time, I won't cover that.
8 But if we go to the third-from-the-last paragraph, the paragraph third
9 from the bottom, it talks about a model for the government status, which
10 HDZ deligacy proposed in Lisbon
11 sovereign world in different variants: United States of America,
13 Can you please tell us, having looked at this document, whether
14 what is reflected in here as far as the future governmental status of BiH
15 is consistent with or inconsistent with HDZ's policy as you understood it
16 to be when the negotiations were taking place concerning the Livno
18 A. This is absolutely in line with the programme declaration of the
19 HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in line with the proposal for the
20 referendum proposed by members of the Central Board of the HDZ for
22 Q. And, finally, before we leave this Livno question, the referendum
23 question: At that meeting on the 2nd or, later on, on the 9th of
24 February, were there any maps, any documents, draft constitutions,
25 charters, statutes, anything that would assist the participants in
1 figuring out what it was that the Croats were asking?
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right. If we go on to the next chapter --
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, if we could just take a little detour.
6 Your Honours, I have 1D 01530, which is the Law on the
7 Ratification of the Preliminary Agreement of the Establishment of the
8 Confederation between the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
9 Republic of Croatia
10 look at.
11 Unless there are any questions regarding the confederation issue
12 that was discussed earlier, I'll go on to the next chapter, "Arming the
13 Muslims." That's what the title is. It doesn't necessarily mean
14 anything special, but 1D 02445. 1D 02445. This is 8 April 1992, we can
15 see, and this is from Srebrenik municipality.
16 Q. Do you know where Srebrenik is?
17 A. The Municipality of Srebrenik
19 Q. And can you please tell us what the makeup of this municipality
20 is, based on the nationality quota?
21 A. According to the population census of 1991 for Bosnia and
23 30.000 of which stated that they were Muslims.
24 Q. All right. And over here -- now, during that period of time, do
25 you have any firsthand knowledge whether the Republic of Croatia
1 providing military assistance to municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
2 particularly municipalities that were predominantly made up of the Muslim
4 A. I do not have firsthand knowledge of this, but it was common
5 knowledge that the Republic of Croatia
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina with weapons and equipment in order to defend
7 themselves from the Serb aggressor.
8 Q. Let's look at the next document, which is 1D 02443. This deals
9 with Konjic. And if we look at the end of the document, we will all
10 recognise the gentleman's name, Dr. Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic. I think I
11 got it right. This is dated 12 April 1992, and correct me if I'm wrong.
12 I don't want to lead you too much, but is Konjic next to Jablanica?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you happen to know what the -- based on the census, more
15 or less what the makeup of Konjic municipality was?
16 A. Konjic municipality had a majority Muslim population.
17 Q. And did you know this gentleman that is mentioned as the
18 president of the Crisis Staff?
19 A. No.
20 Q. All right. We'll go on to the next series of documents, and this
21 deals more in line with Gornji Vakuf, so that's why I titled it just
22 that. And as I understand, it's a very -- we'll start off with 1D 03104.
23 This is dated 7 April 1992
24 bottom that it's by the president of the Crisis Staff, Muhamed Palalic.
25 Did you know Mr. Palalic?
1 A. Yes, I knew him very well.
2 Q. And up until what time, period of time, was Mr. Palalic the
3 president of the crisis staff?
4 A. Mr. Palalic was president of the Crisis Staff and president of
5 the Presidency of Gornji Vakuf municipality until the 16th of November,
7 Q. All right. And prior to becoming the president of the
8 Crisis Staff, what position did Mr. Palalic hold?
9 A. Mr. Palalic was president of the Assembly of Gornji Vakuf
11 Q. All right. Do you recall whether you were present during this
12 particular meeting, 7 April 1992
13 A. I remember perfectly well. I was present at this meeting of the
14 Crisis Staff because the meeting was being held in the evening of the 7th
15 of April, 1992, and during that same day the Crisis Staff for
16 Gornji Vakuf municipality was formed pursuant to a decision of the
17 Assembly, and Mr. Palalic was appointed president and Zdravko Batinic
18 deputy president, in other words, myself.
19 Q. Okay. Now, just very quickly, on the first item, it talks about:
20 "Group of operatives consisting of three representatives of the
21 Crisis Staff of the Croatian Democratic Union, Gornji Vakuf Municipality
22 HDZ Committee, and three representatives of the Crisis Staff of the BiH
23 Patriotic League of the Gornji Vakuf municipality ..."
24 Do you see that part?
25 "... give a proposal for the compositions of names for the
1 operative staff..."
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. " ... the operative staff of Territorial Defence."
4 Could you please explain to us, what was the operative staff of
5 Territorial Defence of the Gornji Vakuf was about? What was its
6 functions, or what was its functions supposed to be?
7 A. Three representatives of the Crisis Staff of the HDZ for
8 Gornji Vakuf municipality and three representatives of the
9 Patriotic League were meant to set up an operative staff for Gornji Vakuf
10 municipality, which would work on the mobilisation and defence of
11 Gornji Vakuf municipality against Serb aggression.
12 Q. All right. Unless there are any questions from the Bench --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Mic, please.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Unless there are any questions from the Bench, I
15 will go on to the next document, which is 1D 03105. This is dated now 15
16 May 1992, and this is a conclusion. And we see at the -- this
17 conclusion, it says; it's from the Crisis Staff:
18 "A joint command or a military coordinating body between the HVO
19 Command and the Municipal/Territorial Defence."
20 Did that ever occur; was this conclusion ever materialised; and
21 if so, to what extent ?
22 A. Yes. It came about in the form of a military coordinating body.
23 The Command of the HVO -- of the armed forces of the HVO for Gornji Vakuf
24 municipality and the Command of the armed forces of the TO coordinated
25 their activities along the defence lines for the Municipality of
1 Gornji Vakuf.
2 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D -- well, let me
3 ask you this before we go to the next document because this may be of
4 importance: How long did that cooperation last? Up to what point?
5 A. Until the 11th of January, 1993.
6 Q. All right. Of course, you did indicate that prior to January
7 11th, 1993, there were the two incidents, the one in June and then the
8 one in October, and so I guess it begs the question: If the cooperation
9 was ongoing, why did those two incidents occur?
10 A. It is hard to explain this. I said a few sentences linked to the
11 20th of June, 1992, and the 24th of October, 1992, but after these few
12 days, these forces resumed coordination along the defence lines on the
13 mountain of Radus against the Serb forces.
14 Q. At that point in time, who was the head of the HVO and who was
15 the head of the Territorial Defence?
16 A. In the -- from the 15th of May, the commander of the HVO for
17 Gornji Vakuf municipality was Mr. Pero Medandzic [phoen], and the
18 commander of the armed forces of the TO was Mr. Fikret Musa.
19 Q. All right. Now, if we go on to the next document, which is 1D
20 03106, we see this is an order, again, by the president of the
21 Crisis Staff, and it says here:
22 "For employees of all enterprises, organs and public institutions
23 who have been in some way engaged in the defence of Gornji Vakuf,
24 certificates of their engagement shall be issued by the
25 Municipal/Territorial Defence Staff, the police station and HVO for the
1 purposes of regulating their employment rights."
2 Very quickly, could you please tell us, what exactly is this
3 order about? Why were certificates needed to be issued by the
4 Territorial Defence, the police station and/or HVO?
5 A. The war was ongoing. Many members of the HVO and of the TO and
6 the expanded composition of the Public Security Station were engaged in
7 these units, and they had to abandon their work posts; and so that none
8 of the executives of enterprises or public institutions could fire
9 someone because they were not coming to work, it was sufficient for the
10 mobilised member of one of these formations to bring a certificate from
11 that formation, saying that he was engaged militarily, and this would
12 mean that he would have all rights from employment as well as some sort
13 of compensation or salary. In other words, this document recognises that
14 the armed forces of the municipality such were the HVO, the TO and the
15 Public Security Station.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, just a slight detour.
17 On November 1, 2006
18 and he indicated that he had been the chief of Staff for the Territorial
19 Defence up until the end of March of 1992, and then he was relieved of
20 his duties by a Municipal Assembly decision. And then he indicates that
21 the president of the Executive Committee, Mr. Miro Batinic, had the
22 authority to take a decision to allow him to continue performing his
23 duties for a certain period of time, which is why he continued to be the
24 chief of Staff. And this can be found on the transcript page of 9340 to
25 9341. These were in responses to questions posed by Ms. Alaburic.
1 Now, first of all, is there a Miro Batinic? And if so, who is
3 A. There are several Miro Batinics in Gornji Vakuf, but none of them
4 were president of the Executive Council of the Municipal Assembly of
5 Gornji Vakuf.
6 Q. But you were the Batinic that was back in the end of March,
7 beginning of April, correct, 1992?
8 A. I believe that Mr. Agic had me in mind.
9 Q. All right. Now, just a point of clarification. Did you have the
10 authority to take a decision to allow him to continue performing his
11 duties as chief of Staff of the Territorial Defence after -- after a
12 decision having been passed by the Municipal Assembly?
13 A. No, I did not.
14 Q. Now, at some point, although you will confirm that he was the
15 chief of Staff of the Territorial Defence up until the end of March 1992?
16 A. Mr. Agic was the commander of the Territorial Defence Staff for
17 Gornji Vakuf until the 11th of April, 1992, when, by decision of the
18 Crisis Staff for Gornji Vakuf municipality, he was replaced, and
19 Mr. Mladen Kovacevic was appointed to that position.
20 Q. All right. Now, he indicated again when he testified on
21 page 9226 that Mr. Mladen Kovacevic only remained in that position until
22 about mid-May, between 15th and 20th of May, 1992, and that he went on to
23 join the HVO, he thinks, sometime around October 1992.
24 Let me put it to you very simply. To your recollection, how long
25 did Mladen Kovacevic remain in that position, and is Mr. Fahrudin Agic
1 correct in his testimony under oath?
2 A. Mr. Mladen Kovacevic did not leave the official position of
3 commander of the TO Staff in the period Mr. Agic is referring to. He
4 retained that position as a member of the Presidency of Gornji Vakuf
5 municipality until the 11th of January, 1993.
6 Q. All right. But again, because there may be some confusion, when
7 I asked you earlier who was commanding the Territorial Defence and who
8 was commanding the HVO, I believe you said a Mr. -- the name escapes me
9 right now. Fikret Musa, was it, or -- did I get it right?
10 A. Yes, you're right. Fikret Musa.
11 Q. All right. Well, if I got it right, who is the head of the TO?
12 Is it Kovacevic, or is it this fellow Musa?
13 A. De jure, as a member of the Executive Council of the Municipal
14 Assembly of the 11th of April, 1992, it was Mladen Kovacevic; but
15 de facto, the commander of the armed forces of the TO was Mr. Fikret
17 Q. And to your recollection, was Mr. Kovacevic attending meetings of
18 the Crisis Staff of the Presidency when they were being held during the
19 period of from the time of his appointment all the way to the time when
20 the Presidency stopped meeting or in January 1993?
21 A. Mr. Mladen Kovacevic took part regularly at all meetings of the
22 Executive Council of the Municipal Assembly of Gornji Vakuf, for which he
23 was a member, and he regularly attended meetings of the Presidency of the
24 Gornji Vakuf municipality, of which he was also a member.
25 Q. And did he ever become a member of the HVO? And if he did, do
1 you know -- do you know about what time that would have been?
2 A. Yes. Mr. Mladen Kovacevic did become a member of the armed
3 forces of the HVO in January, roughly about the same time as I did.
4 Q. And we've got to go with years. Sometimes it helps.
5 A. January 1993.
6 Q. All right, because I warned you during the prep session that I'm
7 going to be pressing you for precision when it comes to time.
8 So 1D 01683. 1D 01683. Here -- the next couple of documents are
9 rather similar. We see this is dated 17 June 1992. This is a permit.
10 We see that the stamp, "Joint Staff of the Gornji Vakuf SO," and we see
11 this is issued to a conscript - we see the gentleman's name - who would
12 be heading to Split
13 this permit about, and why was it necessary for a conscript to have a
14 permit to go to Croatia
15 A. The Crisis Staff of Gornji Vakuf Municipality passed a decision
16 on prohibition of military conscripts leaving the municipality, and a
17 conscript could leave the municipality only if he was given a permit by
18 the HVO, the TO, and those who were not military conscripts of the
19 Crisis Staff of Gornji Vakuf. That is why this permit was necessary for
20 this conscript.
21 Q. All right. And again, refresh our recollection a little bit,
22 because we can see it says: "Joint Staff of the Municipal Territorial
23 Defence." What are we talking about when it says here "Joint Staff of
24 the Municipal Territorial Defence"?
25 A. It refers to the fact that, as I said a moment ago, de jure, the
1 commander of the Staff of the TO was Mladen Kovacevic, a Croat, whereas
2 de facto the commander of the armed forces of the TO was Fikret Musa, who
3 commanded the youth of the armed forces of the TO.
4 Q. All right. And we have enough time just for two more documents,
5 because they will ask --
6 MR. KARNAVAS: There will be just one question, Your Honour.
7 Q. If you just look at 1D 01685, which is the next document, and 1D
8 01684. Both of these documents, which are permits, are basically very
9 much the same as the one that we just saw; and I take it if I were to ask
10 you questions, you would give me the same answers with these particular
11 documents, as well, correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I know it isn't easy, but I'm trying to save some
14 time, and I do appreciate not getting an objection so we can squeeze
15 those two documents in.
16 That's it for the night, Mr. President, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Karnavas, you
18 have used two hours and thirty-five minutes, which means you have another
19 hour twenty-five minutes left and some twenty or so documents to show.
20 Sir, we will be meeting tomorrow in the morning, which means that
21 we all come back here tomorrow morning at 9.00. I wish you all a good
23 The hearing is adjourned.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
1 November, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.