1 Thursday, 13 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Coric not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you call
8 the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, everyone in and around the
10 courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
11 et al. Thank you Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 On Thursday, the 13th of November, 2008, I bid good morning to
14 the accused, the Prosecution, counsel, and the witness, of course, whom I
15 will not forget, and the registrar, the usher, and the court reporter.
16 Let me first read an oral decision before we continue with the
17 testimony of this witness, because next week we're going to have
18 Mr. Tomic, and the Chamber is going to render this decision which is
19 rather long, so I'll go slowly.
20 Oral decision regarding the question of the Prosecution to be
21 given an additional 1 hour, 35 minutes for the examination of Witness
23 At the hearing of the 12th of November, 2008, the Prosecution
24 requested 1 hour and 35 additional minutes for the examination of Witness
25 Tomic, who will be appearing from the 17th to the 19th of November.
1 In support of its request, the Prosecution said it needed to
2 raise precise issues with witness Neven Tomic, and the time would be
3 longer than the time left to them, that is, 2 hours and 17 minutes. The
4 question has to do with the federation between Croatia and Bosnia
6 In more general terms, the Prosecution also refers to a
7 disequilibrium between the total amount of time given to the Defence to
8 examine and cross-examine witnesses on the one hand, and the time
9 allotted to the Prosecution for the cross-examination of a witness.
10 The counsels of Stojic, Praljak, Petkovic, and Coric objected to
11 the request of the Prosecution.
12 In a preliminary manner, the Chamber recalls that in line with
13 guiding line number 5, the Prosecution has for the cross-examination a
14 hundred per cent of the time allotted for the examination-in-chief. As
15 for the time available for the cross-examination conducted by Defence
16 counsel, the Chamber has ruled that they should have a total - that is
17 all the Defence teams conducting cross-examinations - 50 per cent of the
18 time allotted for the examination-in-chief.
19 The Chamber presents in detail the motives behind such a decision
20 based on the guiding line for the presentation of evidence dated on the
21 24th of April, 2008, and refers the Prosecution to those grounds
22 developed in that decision. This guiding line was confirmed by the
23 Appeals Chamber by the decision of the 18th of July, 2008, a decision
24 prompted by an appeal by the Defence of Petkovic and Praljak and not by
25 the Prosecution.
1 The Chamber does not find that there is any imbalance in the
2 implementation of this guiding line.
3 The witness Neven Tomic appeared before the Chamber from the 27th
4 to the 30th of October, 2008, and on the 3rd and 4th of November, 2008.
5 According to the calculation of time as communicated by the registrar,
6 the Prlic Defence used 8 hours, 6 minutes for the examination-in-chief of
7 this witness. The Defence counsel 2D, 3D, and 4D used a total of 3 hours
8 and 17 minutes for the cross-examination. Finally, the Prosecution used
9 5 hours and 49 minutes for the cross-examination of this witness, so that
10 the Prosecution has available 2 hours and 17 minutes to complete their
11 cross-examination. However, at the hearing of the 4th of November, 2008
12 the Chamber, on an exceptional basis, allotted 2 hours to the Prlic
13 Defence to proceed with additional examination of the witness. The Prlic
14 Defence, therefore, had globally used a total of 10 hours and 6 minutes.
15 The Chamber notes that under these circumstances, in order to establish a
16 fair balance, it is appropriate to grant the Prosecution the additional 1
17 hour and 35 minutes requested.
18 The Chamber therefore grants the request of the Prosecution. So
19 the Prosecution will have a total of 3 hours and 52 minutes to continue
20 and complete their cross-examination.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Just for clarification for the record. I want to
22 make sure we're abundantly clear on this. I indicated that I would need
23 about two hours for redirect examination. Therefore, your findings, I
24 believe, are incorrect that I was granted two hours. I indicated I would
25 need about two hours.
1 Now, in light of you giving the Prosecution an hour and a half, I
2 will probably need one additional hour. So I'm asking at this point
3 three, perhaps as much as four hours for redirect examination. The
4 problem is every time you cave in to the Prosecution's whims and fancies,
5 this is what happens.
6 They're asking for additional time without having made a proper
7 basis. It should be at the conclusion, it should be at the conclusion of
8 their cross-examination that they should make that -- that request that
9 they need additional time. If you go back, if you go back and you look
10 at their cross-examination, they waste 60 per cent of it initially going
11 over material that's already in the record. They then come at the end of
12 their time and like Oliver Twist with cup and can; then they say we want
13 more time. This is a ridiculous way of allocating time in advance prior
14 to them at least putting on the cross-examination.
15 In the future, what I will be doing is I will be objecting on the
16 grounds that the material has been covered on direct examination and,
17 therefore, they're wasting their time.
18 Your Honour, I want to make sure we understand ourselves very
19 clearly. I do not object when they cover ground already established on
20 direct examination because the way I see it is they're wasting their
21 time, and now what you're doing is you're giving them more time. You're
22 encouraging them. That's what's happening, and your findings are
23 absolutely incorrect. And therefore, I'm putting down my marker at this
24 point in time that I'm going to need at least an additional one hour
25 based on additional time that you gave them, which I think is unfounded
1 based on the reasonings that they gave.
2 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, the one thing we mustn't do, of
3 course, is make a submission immediately after ruling by Your Honours,
4 which amounts in substance to an appeal. Your Honour, we would just like
5 to say on the record, and this we know already from brief discussion, is
6 the position of Ms. Nozica and Mr. Khan's client that the decision Your
7 Honours have just delivered with great respect is deeply flawed in the
8 way that you have equated the various times. But Your Honour, I'm not
9 going to argue it as if it were an appeal, but it is absolutely deeply
10 flawed. What we do do is we strongly support Mr. Karnavas in everything
11 he said in relation to further time for re-examination because it must
12 follow, Your Honours, that when the Prosecution has more time for
13 cross-examination, if -- and if they don't, then why are they having more
14 time, if they do cover more ground of substance - because we certainly
15 hope they will; otherwise, the whole thing will have been a wasteful
16 exercise - if they cover more ground of substance, then necessarily in
17 fairness the Defence counsel who is re-examining must be given
18 appropriately more time to cover the ground. Otherwise, justice just
19 didn't done because in the end, it isn't a question of timing. After
20 all, Your Honours' decision is recognising these matters as guidelines.
21 Your Honours must give, with respect, Mr. Karnavas the fair time he needs
22 to cover the ground, to be reviewed, of course, ultimately after the
23 cross-examination when we see whether this extra time has in fact led to
24 covering ground of any further substance.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. I'll be ever so brief. But I do think
2 given the comments that have been made, there has to be some, again,
3 balance injected into the record.
4 First of all, I'm grateful to the Chamber for the time, and I
5 want to be very clear that the first thing I say is thank you for the
6 additional time to all the Judges.
7 Having said that, I suppose in many respects I'm not particularly
8 happy with the analysis of the Chamber, either. The Prosecution -- so I
9 guess we're all unhappy this morning. I'm happy with the final result.
10 I'm not so happy with the Chamber's analysis. I do think that there is
11 an unfairness being practiced on the Prosecution in general. The
12 Prosecution will continue to state its concerns, as we feel that we are
13 duly obligated to do so, but I'm most grateful for the additional time of
14 this particular witness.
15 Your Honour, Mr. Karnavas's comments are really, well,
16 unfortunate. I'll leave it at that. I don't think we used our time
17 improperly. I think we covered helpful material, and I think ultimately
18 the Chamber hopefully found helpful and will continue to find helpful is
19 that with conducted -- is any examination conducted with 100 per cent
20 efficiency? Probably not. It's the nature of the beast. There's a
21 matter of art, not science, but you -- to say that it was covered in
22 direct is -- doesn't say anything. Of course things were covered in
23 direct; hence, the scope of direct; hence, cross-examination. So -- but
24 that doesn't mean the Prosecution nor the Chamber has to accept what
25 the -- whether the case put by the Defence in their direct or the answers
1 given by the witness. We don't have to accept that at face value. Of
2 course we can go back and challenge that, so that just doesn't go
4 Now, if -- you know, to turn back on the Defence what has just
5 been said to the Prosecution, if at the end of the cross -- all the total
6 cross-examination, Mr. Karnavas with articulate a reason for additional
7 time for redirect, of course he can -- he can attempt to do so, but I --
8 I must observe that say -- to say baldly and as a general matter that if
9 the Prosecution has -- is given an hour and 35 minutes of additional
10 time, which is still substantially less time than the Defence took,
11 substantially less, that for -- in return for an hour and 35 minutes, he
12 gets an hour, almost equal amount of addition many time in redirect, is
13 frankly preposterous.
14 Again, I'll end where I started by saying I thank you to the
15 Chamber, to each of you Judges for the additional time, and we will
16 proceed, and I hope you will find the time well used. Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Let me give you an example, a concrete example.
18 Yesterday, we were talking about constituent peoples. It seems every
19 time we have a new Prosecutor in here, we go through the same ground. It
20 happen with Ms. West. It happened a while back with Mr. Stringer. They
21 don't have the singlest clue about what a constituent nation is.
22 For three years, we've been talking about this. Now, if you go
23 back and you look at the transcript with Judge May, who is a very
24 experienced Judge from England
25 transcript, he would cut off counsel and say, Counsel, that's already
1 been established, move on. Counsel, that's already been established,
2 move on. Continually, throughout the process, he kept reins.
3 Now, I've been keeping my powder dry because if the Prosecution
4 wishes to waste their time on cross, that's their time. I'm not going to
5 interfere. But now I'm put in a position where I continually will have
6 to object on the grounds that they're going over established facts,
7 wasting their time, in order to wear down the witness to then ask for
8 more time, showing you statistics, and with statistics somehow claiming
9 that numbers should be equated, and that's not how trials are conducted.
10 I find it very odd that this is the approach that has been taken, and
11 just as the Prosecution said yesterday, well, I think I need an hour and
12 a half more without giving a basis, that's the foundation that I give for
13 saying I need one more hour because they're going to -- going to
14 additional information; and with that, I think at this point I'm going to
15 make an oral submission for interlocutory appeal on this issue because I
16 think we are opening up a Pandora's box.
17 Part of my redirect examination has to directly contradict
18 matters that were brought up by the other Defence. That's why I think
19 the Trial Chamber is moving rather hastily in granting this request by
20 the Prosecution who simply shows numbers, brings out the violin, and all
21 of a sudden we're supposed to feel sorry that they're being hampered. My
22 client has been waiting for years to get a fair trial. This is not
23 turning out to be a fair trial.
24 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we raise the question, what's
25 Mr. Scott so worried about? Presumably by getting more time for
1 cross-examination, he's expecting and hoping to strengthen his case and
2 get more material out of the witness. In those circumstances, why is he
3 so dismissive of, then, Mr. Karnavas having more time for re-examination?
4 Because the more Mr. Scott does achieve out of cross-examination, the
5 more clear it is that, in fairness, the Defence should have time for
6 re-examination. And what is Mr. Scott so scared about? If he's going to
7 get what he wants out of -- out of cross-examination and if it is going
8 to be solid evidence, then why isn't he more relaxed about allowing
9 re-examination because then -- well, Mr. Scott, I'll sit down, and then I
10 will allow you to stand up when I sit down which I --
11 MR. SCOTT: I'll wait --
12 MR. STEWART: But I'll sit down, Mr. Scott, because I don't
13 really much care for the practice, with respect, Your Honours, of two
14 counsels standing up in court at the same time. So I'm going to sit down
15 and give the floor to Mr. Scott.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Stewart. Your Honour, I didn't intend
17 to respond further, but those comments are extremely personal and I
18 think, again, highly unfortunate. I'm sorry --
19 MR. STEWART: I will stand up to counsel and make an exception.
20 Of course they're not personal, Your Honour. Mr. Scott happens to be the
21 lead Prosecutor making the submissions for the Prosecutor. I do claim I
22 rarely, if ever, and I'd like to claim never, I do not make personal
23 comments about counsel in this court. I challenge anybody to find on the
24 record that I've adopted that practice. No. Mr. Scott is the
25 representative of the Prosecution, and everything I say is a submission
1 about the Prosecution. But of course I name him as a courtesy because he
2 is the counsel submitting on behalf of the Prosecution at this moment.
3 Mr. Scott, through Your Honours, no, of course it's not personal. Please
4 accept that assurance.
5 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: If I might have the floor, Your Honour. If I might
8 have the floor for a moment since the Defence have once again gone on --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the interpreters.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
11 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I would like to be heard.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott. Mr. Scott.
13 [Overlapping speakers]
14 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. I would like to have the floor when
15 everyone else is finished. I'm being patient.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Prlic, then.
17 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do not wish to
18 make any comments regarding the ruling. It has not surprised me. You
19 can give the Prosecutor all the time in the world, and that will not
20 assist him. Already in the initial stages of the proceedings, I gave up
21 my rights to an effective trial to give time to the Prosecutor to prove
22 something that I do not think can be proven in any way. So I'm not
23 talking about the merits, but I wish to speak about the grounds and
24 argumentation for this decision.
25 My request is that this piece of paper given by the Prosecutor
1 should be given an IC number. Why? It is my opinion that it is a
2 paradigm of the overall proceedings here, and unfortunately, also of the
3 manner of decision-making.
4 Look at the arguments. The same applies to your ruling. You say
5 the Defence, and that is flagrantly incorrect. There are Defences here.
6 There are six Defences here. We accept adding up apples and pears. I
7 don't know who wrote this paper, maybe Ms. Tabeau. These things are
8 incomparable. A comparison is made by the time used by the Defence in
9 the cross-examination with the time used by the Prosecution in this part
10 of the Defence case.
11 First of all, my Defence did not have a single 92 bis or 92 ter
12 witness, so only viva voce time is not comparable.
13 Furthermore, as an example of lengthy examination by the Defence,
14 the Witness RA has been cited, and this is a witness who admitted his --
15 confessed his guilt, and a part of the document was his admission and the
16 facts established on that occasion.
17 Therefore, these are things that cannot be compared. I'm talking
18 about the arguments given in this case.
19 What I wish to say is that my Defence counsel, and I believe the
20 others, too, wish to be treated individually. I asked for the separation
21 of the indictment twice. The Chamber rejected this both times. I did
22 not write the indictment. I did not confirm it, but I request to have
23 the same rights as the other accused. I do not wish to have a sixth of
24 the rights enjoyed by the late Milosevic, Momcilo Perisic, or Seselj. No
25 one agrees with that, not even the people I have mentioned, and that is
1 why this is not my problem. It's a problem for this Tribunal.
2 And let me say once again, you can give all the time you wish to
3 the Prosecutor. He uses it mostly to undermine the credibility of all
4 the witnesses that are being brought here. That is common to all of
5 them, from the first to the last, for the presidents of states, for the
6 prime ministers, for ministers, ambassadors. Perhaps Bosnia
8 and I represented it. It is perhaps not like Switzerland, the United
9 States, France
11 The Prosecutor may address a request for compromising material
12 for a particular witness from a country in the region, and they have to
13 find something. If they don't, then the Prosecutor can say that that
14 country is not cooperating.
15 [In English] I have the right to say that. This is very
16 important issue.
17 [Interpretation] The Prosecution can say that country is not
18 cooperative, and then the ability of that country going to the European
20 So to summarise, I would like an IC number to be given to this
21 piece of paper because I think it is a paradigm of all the arguments that
22 are being presented in this case. Thank you.
23 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning to everyone
24 in the courtroom. Good morning, Your Honours.
25 I apologise to Mr. Scott, though I was on my feet before him, but
1 he said he would speak at the end. I just wish to make one point.
2 I know the ruling is such as it is once it has been made, but
3 something is not clear to me once again. We had an earlier decision
4 regarding instructions how time would be calculated, and it was said that
5 the time given to the Prosecution for the cross would correspond to -- a
6 hundred per cent to the time for the examination-in-chief, but with
7 today's ruling we have a slightly different situation. That is
8 calculating the time used by the Defence in the direct examination, and
9 we are told in advance the amount of time that will be used in the
11 I'm referring to a hypothetical situation when the Defence will
12 not know until the Prosecution completes their cross-examination how much
13 time that Defence will need for redirect, particularly as we have already
14 seen during the cross-examination of the Prosecution that certain issues
15 are being raised with the permission of the trial that were not covered
16 in the direct because they are relevant.
17 For example, myself. When presenting Mr. Coric's Defence, I will
18 not know whether I will need a redirect and how long it will last. So if
19 my redirect is lengthy because of something said by the Prosecution, then
20 Mr. Scott or somebody else may get on its feet and say the Defence is
21 having so much time and I had so much and then I wish some -- to have
22 some additional time. So this is leading to a vicious circle.
23 I appeal to the Chamber to reconsider its decision and see where
24 this could lead us in the future.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
1 MR. KHAN: I'm happy to wait until after Mr. Scott has addressed
2 the Court. I just want to note that after he speaks, I would ask for
3 five minutes to make some observations.
4 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. If this is going to go on
5 and on, with all due respect, I'd like to hear all the Defence comments,
6 and I'll respond all at one time. I've been sitting here waiting. I
7 think I'm owed that much.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Khan, conclude and
9 then Mr. Scott will conclude, and we'll stop there because we are here
10 for a witness, and for the sake of this witness it's necessary that he
11 thinks we have him in mind, and at the moment we're evidently not
12 thinking about the witness. So Mr. Khan, do proceed so that Mr. Scott
13 can then conclude, and then we will bring the witness into the courtroom.
14 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'm much obliged. The
15 last comment of my learned friend is perhaps indicative of some of the
16 problems in this courtroom. It is: "I think I'm owed that much." This
17 case, this trial, and this institution is not about the rights of
18 individuals. It's about, obviously, the fair administration of justice,
19 and one does see a tendency, and I would respectfully submit an extremely
20 unfortunate tendency, in this courtroom to reduce matters completely
21 unnecessarily down to the personal sensibilities of the actors in the
23 This is not about -- this case is not about Mr. Khan or
24 Mr. Karnavas or Mr. Scott. It's about facts that Your Honours are
25 deciding, and counsel that are as experienced as the advocates in this
1 courtroom and certainly as able and capable as my learned friends for the
2 Prosecution really should -- all of us, all of us should have somewhat
3 thicker skin than perhaps we have shown in this case thus far.
4 One can trenchantly and robustly criticise one's opponents
5 without it being viewed as a personal assault or an ad hominem attack.
6 Of course, arguments should be politely constructed, but vivid language
7 can be used, and personal offence should not be taken, because what it
8 does, it wastes time, it distracts, and it adds heat to the courtroom and
9 lends no light whatsoever.
10 Your Honour, yesterday I made a submission and Your Honours have,
11 of course, ruled, but it's well known the saying that there are lies,
12 darned lies, and statistics; and one cannot reduce a fair trial to a
13 simple mathematical formula. Your Honours, I won't say more about that,
14 but on behalf of Mr. Stojic, we do join my learned friend Mr. Karnavas in
15 supporting an oral application for interlocutory leave to appeal given
16 the reasoning, not the ultimate decision only, but the reasoning of the
17 Trial Chamber in coming to this decision.
18 I would concur, with respect, to my learned friend Mr. Stewart.
19 For the life of me, I cannot see why there is any prejudice to the
20 Prosecution. Well, firstly, I don't know why the Prosecution are
21 apparently a little bit -- are so concerned about matters, but in the
22 event that additional time has been given, Your Honours have made a
23 ruling that the Defence -- each Defence team has a certain amount of
24 time. If Mr. Karnavas and later on if we decide in re-examination that
25 in the interests of justice additional time is needed - and we're not
1 asking for additional time globally; we're simply saying we'll take time
2 from another witness and use it in re-examination - why that would
3 prejudice the Prosecution, why that would be somehow inappropriate. I
4 simply do not see it, Your Honours.
5 Your Honours, a margin of discretion always must be given to the
6 Prosecution as they know their case, and a margin of discretion must be
7 given to the Defence. We are not simple labourers hauled off the streets
8 without knowledge. There are some very experienced advocates here, and I
9 think the way a courtroom will work is sometimes to give trust to the
10 parties when they say they do need additional time because they know
11 their case better than anybody else. And so, Your Honours, I would ask
12 that a significant margin of appreciation be given when Mr. Karnavas asks
13 for additional time or later on if we ask for additional time.
14 My final point, and again, it's an awful American saying, but I
15 will say it. You know, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the
16 gander, but -- well, I'm not keen on it, but, Your Honours, Mr. Scott, my
17 learned friend --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you translate this in an understandable
19 language because --
20 MR. KHAN: Yes.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- I understand the words, but there must be
22 some meaning behind it.
23 MR. KHAN: Well, Your Honour, I think it's parity of treatment.
24 It's parity of treatment, to put it --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 MR. KHAN: -- more succinctly and in, perhaps, English. But,
2 Your Honours, yesterday I mentioned that the application as it was
3 constructed based on statistics was unfounded because grounds had not
4 been put forward. That was my argument yesterday.
5 Today, my learned friend very correctly, very correctly said,
6 well, if Mr. Karnavas wants additional time he should put forward
7 grounds. Well, I agree with that. But then the Prosecution should
8 really put forward grounds that are not only predicated upon statistical
10 Your Honour, it has been said in this courtroom before, and there
11 may well have been more than a scintilla of truth in it - I don't deviate
12 from that possibility at all - that some parties sometimes cry you a
13 river. They were the words used, cry you a river. Well, if that
14 proclivity is present for the Defence on occasion, one should not close
15 one's mind to the possibility that the Prosecution may also cry you a
16 river on occasions talking about their huge difficulties and the lack of
17 time. But that emotive argument about being owed time and the unfairness
18 shouldn't be a distraction to the substance, to the merits of a case put
19 forward by a party; and one must always go back to legal principle.
20 Your Honours, you do have a ruling. You've made a ruling in the
21 past about allocation of time. You have made a ruling about the Defence
22 allocation of time. I don't see any prejudice or reluctance or argument
23 against giving the Defence additional time in re-examination if they have
24 that time of their own in advance. It is for the Defence to best decide
25 how to present its case, and if they subtract time from a witness that's
1 to come in the future, to add time to a matter that they think is that
2 important, Your Honours, in my submission, should be very slow to
4 Your Honours, those are my submissions on this matter.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. I suppose
7 just to be consistent with the information we provide the Chamber about
8 time and just to illustrate the point, this morning the Prosecution made
9 very abbreviated and very measured comments that were not -- in no
10 fashion personal at all to counsel; and so far, until I just stood up
11 again, the Prosecution's comments were three minutes, three minutes. The
12 Defence total time taken was 23 minutes. So about -- about eight times
13 as much as the Prosecution's time. The point is made yet again.
14 I disagree, Your Honour, fundamentally with Mr. Stewart. He says
15 it's not personal, but when Mr. Stewart stands up and says I don't know
16 -- such things as I don't know what Mr. Scott is so afraid, that's
17 personal. And then when Mr. Khan gets up and makes similar things about,
18 we should have a thicker skin, nobody should -- we shouldn't be saying
19 these things, and then turns around and says -- talks about the
20 Prosecution, Mr. Scott crying a river, I submit to you this morning, Your
21 Honours, that the people who have been personal this morning throughout
22 have been the Defence, not the Prosecution, and then had the gall, and
23 then had the gall to criticise the Prosecution, and every comment --
24 personal comment this morning has come from the Defence side.
25 Now, coming back to -- coming back to the merits, and I want to
1 address some of the broader comments made. If the Chamber at one point
2 wants to set time aside for other arguments, we can do that. I'm not
3 going to address Mr. Prlic's comments. But Your Honour, this is a
4 tempest in a teapot. What I said and what should have been heard and
5 none of this was really necessary is, I'll say it again: I understand
6 redirect flows from cross-examination. I understand that. Of course it
7 does. That's the whole purpose of it. And I said a few minutes -- I
8 said 23 minutes ago, I said 23 minutes ago, before the Defence started
9 talking, that if Mr. Karnavas does need some additional time flowing from
10 my hour, 35 minutes, of course he will ask for it, and he may be entitled
11 to it. I hope I -- I hope I make some points on cross-examination. I
12 certainly hope I do. And if Mr. Karnavas needs a few more minutes, then
13 he can ask for that. My only -- the only observation I made that
14 apparently has led to all this is that to stand up and say because the
15 Prosecution gets another hour, 35, I will need -- I need to basically
16 have the same time again, an hour, for additional redirect is I think --
17 I'd say preposterous and I think probably it is preposterous. That's the
18 only comment I made. I don't rule out the possibility that Mr. Karnavas
19 may seek a few additional minutes to respond to the additional time given
20 to the Prosecution, for which, again, I'm most grateful.
21 Thank you, Your Honours.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the Office of the Prosecutor --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, we'll stop there.
24 This is a game of ping-pong, of table tennis. We have fully understood
25 the problem. If you want to add anything else to the situation, well,
1 I'll summarise the problem.
2 Mr. Prlic wants an IC number for the document. He asked for that
3 yesterday in the afternoon. We'll deliberate about that.
4 There are two requests for interlocutory leave for appeal by
5 Mr. Karnavas and Mr. Khan given this matter. We would like to have these
6 requests in writing because the Chamber will take a written decision on
7 the matter, as it's an important problem, so we need these submissions in
8 writing, these requests in writing.
9 The Prosecution will have 3 hours and 52 minutes as we have
10 decided. Mr. Karnavas has requested four hours. The Chamber will
11 deliberate about this on Monday, and we'll see whether he has the need
12 for four hours for additional questions. We'll see about that. We'll
13 discuss this among ourselves.
14 Now, Mr. Stewart, I don't want to prevent you from speaking.
15 Perhaps there was something else you wanted to address. If that is the
16 case, I'll give you the floor, but if you just want to go over what we
17 have been saying, it won't be necessary. It's for you to judge what you
18 want to say.
19 MR. STEWART: [Previous translation continues] ... what I was
20 going to say was intended to help to calm down the situation, but Your
21 Honour has done that, so I have nothing more to say. Thank you. Thank
22 you for the opportunity. I -- I don't take it now. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Stewart.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. We have almost lost 45 minutes by
25 now, and if I say "lost," I must say we have not much -- heard much today
1 that we haven't heard many times even before, so I did not think this
2 very fruitful. I have, I must say, some hesitation in -- in -- that the
3 custom that seems to come up that every decision of the Chamber gives
4 rise to long discussions. It's not really what the administration of law
5 is about.
6 I would just like to recall to Mr. Karnavas what he said
7 yesterday, and you find this on page 43, lines 9 and 10. I quote: "I
8 hope that I wasn't in any way suggesting that the Prosecution should
9 not," and here a word is missing, I think it's "get additional time."
10 Thank you.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: But I did also -- to be fair to me, I did say that
12 they need to put their case forward, and as I argued yesterday and today,
13 they haven't provided sufficient grounds other than statistics. So that
14 was -- it was in that context.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam Prosecutor, I
16 greet you again, and I give you the floor, and let's proceed in such a
17 way that the witness can leave at the end of the day.
18 MS. MOE: Certainly, Mr. President. Good morning. Good morning,
19 Your Honours. Good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom, and
20 to Mr. Batinic.
21 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO BATINIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Cross-examination by Ms. Moe: [Continued]
24 Q. If we go to March 2001, Mr. Batinic, did you hold any positions
25 within the HDZ at that time?
1 A. Good day to everyone, first of all. In March 2001, I was the
2 vice-president of the HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Q. And a man named Ante Jelavic, was he the president of the HDZ at
4 that time?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object to this line of questioning.
7 It's a waste of time. Where is the relevance? How does it fit within
8 the indictment? How does it go to challenge this gentleman's credibility
9 as to what occurred back in 1992, 1993? I'm objecting on the grounds
10 that later on when they run out of time, they'll be asking for additional
11 time as they've done with Mr. Tomic.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't see the purpose of the
13 question, but the Prosecutor certainly has other questions that will
14 follow, so let's wait to see what she'll say.
15 Please proceed, madam.
16 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President, and I will not be asking for
17 additional time with this -- with this witness, just so that's clear.
18 Q. Mr. Batinic, were you banned from political activities by the OHR
19 in 2001, and was Ante Jelavic as well?
20 A. Yes, that's true. There was a decision from the High
21 Representative of the 7th of March, 2001, according to which I was banned
22 from engaging in politics. But with your leave, I would like to provide
23 you with an explanation. May I?
24 Q. We'll get to that. I just have a few questions before we get to
25 that decision itself.
1 Is it true that you and Mr. Jelavic were banned much on the basis
2 of the same alleged facts put forward by the OHR?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: What are the alleged facts, Your Honour? How is
4 the gentleman supposed to guess what she's talking about? Yesterday we
5 were talking about the OSCE, which is a different organisation than OHR.
6 MS. MOE: I'm now talking about the OHR. It's a different
7 decision. This is a state-level decision, and I can go directly to -- to
8 the decision removing Ante Jelavic from his position that he had at the
9 time. These are decisions made by the OHR, not by the OSCE, just to make
10 that clear.
11 Q. Could you please look at the small binder, Mr. Batinic, that you
12 have there, and look up P 10662, please. Do you have the document, sir?
13 A. I have now.
14 Q. Now, we see that up in the right-hand corner, it says that the
15 date is 7th of March, 2001, and it has the logo of the office of the High
16 Representative, and the deadline -- excuse me, the headline is:
17 "Decision removing Ante Jelavic from his position as the Croat member of
18 the BiH Presidency." And he was the Croat member of the BiH Presidency
19 at the time, wasn't he?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We go down to the decision. You see that a bit further down. It
22 says the following: "The decision is to remove Ante Jelavic from his
23 position as member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to bar
24 him from holding any official elective or appointive public office and
25 from running in elections and from office within political parties unless
1 or until such time as I may, by further decision, expressly authorise him
2 to hold or seek the same."
3 Do you recognise this decision regarding Jelavic, Mr. Batinic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'd just like to read out a couple of portions from this, and
6 I'll ask you some questions in relation to that, and I'll ask you to go
7 to page 3 of the B/C/S version, please, and that's the top of page 3 in
8 the English version.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is it, Mr. Praljak?
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
11 Judge Antonetti, while this political examination is in course and this
12 political trial is continuing, allow me to remain in that room of mine
13 over there. I don't want to participate in this --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Try and act in this
16 political way in America
17 we're taking away the right to elections here without any proceedings.
18 This is not understandable in Europe
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Listen to what I have to say,
20 Mr. Praljak. Sit down. Madam Prosecutor is cross-examining the witness,
21 Mr. Prlic's witness. As you are well aware, she has the right to test
22 the witness's credibility, which is what she is doing. Her objective is
23 to discredit the witness in -- in the courtroom. It's a well-known
24 technique. She's doing this on the basis of certain documents that I
25 didn't know of. Allegedly, this individual, the individual concerned,
1 was barred from participating in elections, and now the High
2 Representative also took a decision, so that's what was explained to us.
3 The witness said he was going to tell us what his point of view is. So
4 let's wait to see what the witness has to say in response to the
5 Prosecution's questions. I want to know why the High Representative
6 barred him from engaging in political activities. This is not totally
7 inoffensive, so let's remain calm and wait to see how things develop.
8 That's the game. That's our practice. In your country, in my country,
9 we would proceed differently; that's for sure, but this is how we proceed
10 here. I didn't invent the rules. I'm applying the rules.
11 Madam, unless I'm mistaken with regard to what you want to show
12 or to demonstrate, please continue.
13 MS. MOE: Thank you --
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may. I
15 appreciate the fact that you fully explained the situation to my client.
16 You also explained why you are allowing this line of questioning, which
17 appears to be irrelevant [Realtime transcript read in error, "relevant"]
18 to me and to my client, in spite of the fact that the Prosecution is
19 trying to address the issue of credibility for this witness or the lack
20 of credibility, but my client Mr. Praljak made a suggestion. He asked
21 you to make it possible for him not to listen to this part of the
22 examination. He finds it tantamount to torture. So since you provided
23 him with this explanation, perhaps it will be good to ask him whether he
24 would still like to remain outside of the courtroom until this part has
25 been completed. But I think it's his right to request to leave the
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you for that
3 explanation, Your Honours. Your explanation is the reason for which I
4 don't want to listen to this. In the world today, given all the
5 international resolutions, one accepts that without sentence, without a
6 trial, in a certain country one can bar the person a right to vote or to
7 participate in elections. I can't understand that this is being
8 discussed. I feel ashamed because there's a military and
9 incomprehensible administration there. The rights of this world, of this
10 Tribunal, of France
11 for example, you without any laws, you don't have any rights. You don't
12 have the rights of the citizen to be elected if you haven't been
13 sentenced, if you don't have a criminal record. It goes back to the
14 French Revolution. I understand that the Prosecution wants to ask this,
15 but having fought for certain rights for many years and the right to such
16 a trial, well, in that light I don't want to participate in this while
17 this lasts, so please let me leave the courtroom. Because contrary to
18 the Prosecution who wants to discredit the witness, I'm supporting the
19 idea that the witness had certain rights, that the witness is a good man.
20 Political opinions are being sanctioned in a Hitler-like decision.
21 Please let me leave, not to listen to this.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you want to leave the
23 courtroom, do so. I thought it would be better for you to stay here to
24 listen to the witness's answer, but if you want to leave the courtroom
25 for a while, go ahead. I'm not against that.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, Your Honours, here is the problem
2 with what you're allowing the Prosecutor to do in this case. It's not a
3 matter of trying to discredit the gentleman's credibility. You're now
4 opening up an entire new issue, which perhaps most of you, if not all of
5 you, are unaware you're doing.
6 Now we're going into the politics in BiH post-Dayton and the
7 aspirations of the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina to be treated as an equal
8 nation, which they feel they have been disenfranchised as a result of
9 being put together in this federation where effectively they no longer
10 choose their own leaders.
11 This entire issue with Jelavic has to do with the Croats feeling
12 that if Bosnia-Herzegovina is to survive, they should have a third
13 entity. So there could be a Republika Srpska. There could be an entity
14 for the Bosniaks and an entity for the Croats, and that's why the
15 underlying issue behind Mr. Jelavic is this.
16 And so now, it seems that we're into -- we're engaging into an
17 area which has nothing to do with the trial itself, and I would -- that's
18 why I ask, where are the parameters? At what point do we stop and say
19 1994, 1995. Now we're into 2001. How does this gentleman's rights
20 affect his credibility? He wishes the place where he was born to be
21 termed "Uskoplje" because that was the Croat name used before the Turks
22 came into the area during the Ottoman Empire, and he's willing to have it
23 called Gornji Vakuf/Uskoplje. For a variety of reasons, OSCE sanctioned
24 him. Jelavic was elected, elected democratically. And when the nations
25 that are running Bosnia
1 disenfranchise him. For what? Exercising his right to speak and his
2 right to promote what he believed are the aspirations of the Croats in
4 These are political issues. These have nothing to do with this
5 trial. We're here to see whether the Prosecution can prove its case, and
6 that's why I'm suggesting that before we go into this area, we need to
7 figure out, where are the parameters? Because then you're forcing us to
8 put on a defence on issues that deal with politics, that deal with
9 post-Dayton implementation, that have nothing to do with this case, with
10 this indictment.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecution -- Madam
12 Prosecutor, a minute ago it was clear. I asked you whether the
13 cross-examination had to do with the credibility of the witness. It
14 seems that you said yes. Mr. Karnavas got on his feet and said it's a
15 political matter.
16 Madam Prosecutor, is this a matter of politics, or are you
17 testing the witness's credibility? Mr. Scott can perhaps answer that.
18 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, and I apologise to my
19 colleague who is obviously extremely capable, but because of the long
20 history of these issues in this case and because of some of the comments
21 that have been made my lead counsel on the other side, I think it's
22 appropriate for me to address the matter, with the Court's indulgence.
23 Thank you.
24 Your Honour, this is not a new issue, and the fact that
25 Mr. Karnavas hopefully, whether he intended to or not, perhaps has
1 assisted the Chamber in seeing, in fact, the direct relevance of this
2 issue. What this shows and what Mr. Karnavas has just, indeed, explained
3 to the Chamber is the utter consistency of this political view and
4 political Chamber, or political - excuse me - programme, political
5 programme from 1991 to at least 2001 to create a Croat entity. We go
6 back to the Livno question -- excuse me. We go back to the Livno
7 question that we've seen again in the last few days, February 1992. "The
8 formulation of the referendum we want is one of each constituent people
9 in three separate areas (cantons)." It's exactly the same, and the only
10 thing the Prosecution has said in response to Defence allegations along
11 the way that this isn't, you know, this is not -- this is not relevant.
12 This was only a temporary thing. It was only during the war. We never
13 intended to do this. It's all been a long-term consistent programme, a
14 third entity. A third entity. And that's the point. And this -- and
15 as -- so that's one reason it's relevant.
16 The second reason it's relevant is because it does go to the
17 credibility of this witness. This -- the Chamber should know and -- you
18 know, I'm not asking the Defence to agree with us. The measure is not
19 whether anyone across the courtroom agrees with the Prosecution's case or
20 not. I suspect they don't agree with the Prosecution case, but it does
21 go -- we submit it does go to the credibility of this witness. This
22 Chamber, the Judges, each of you should be able to -- should know in
23 assessing the weight of this witness's evidence these matters. This is a
24 witness who was highly Partisan, who has participated over time in the
25 same Croat cause to create a third entity that goes back to November
1 1991: We want our sovereign Croatian territory, and the international
2 community rejected that. Now, the Defence may not like that, but the
3 people that the United Nations, the European Union, and the international
4 community put in place to enforce Dayton
5 and this man, the documents show, violated an act, committed and engaged
6 in anti-Dayton activity. The Prosecution submits it goes to his
7 credibility, and the Chamber should have the benefit of that information
8 in assessing the evidence.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the third entity, first of all, has
10 to do within the context of BiH. That's number one.
11 Number two, how is it that the Serbs get to have Republika Srpska
12 and the Croats cannot have their own entity? That's the issue now that
13 we're getting into. This is a political issue. So let's take a country
14 in Western Europe that may have three different speaking nations - let's
15 say Italian, German, French - and we're going to disenfranchise one of
16 them and say, No, two of you are going to be in one. That's -- now,
17 effectively you had Mr. Tomic who said, Look, the federation wasn't being
18 implemented the way it was envisaged. The Croats are still entitled to
19 have political aspirations as a constituent nation. Having political
20 aspirations is one thing. How did that go to his credibility as to what
21 he was doing at the time that he testified about? Pose one question.
22 Did OSCE or did OHR or did any other court issue any decisions against
23 the gentleman for any activities that he carried out in 1991, 1992, 1993
24 when he was holding those positions for which he was testifying? That's
25 the real issue, and what I'm afraid of -- and I'm perfectly capable of
1 discussing these issues because I worked in Bosnia. They're very
2 complicated, but we're turning this into a political trial. We're going
3 away from what we're here for, and even if, even if in 2001 or 2006 - and
4 I will show you a document later on about what is happening today in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina - even if the Croats today aspired to have a third
6 entity within Bosnia-Herzegovina that guarantees their constituent rights
7 as a constituent nation, it is not a crime; and that's why I think you
8 have someone like General Praljak who feels offended by this sort of --
9 of a process because now we're politicising this trial.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may --
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since we've
12 raised the issue, I will speak quite calmly without any value judgements
13 as to what was happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina and why and who is to
14 blame regarding the war, et cetera. The fact remains that one day in
16 Holbrooke placed before the delegations a divided-up Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 in which one people, the Serbs, were allotted 49 per cent of the
18 territory after everything that had happened, and they were told, Here
19 you are. This will be called Republika Srpska. Bosnia-Herzegovina is
20 not even a republic. It's just called Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Two peoples, the Croats and the Bosniaks, received 51 per cent of
22 the territory with 43 per cent Bosniaks and 18 per cent Croats. So you
23 add it up. So after everything that happened and, after all, you know
24 quite a bit about it, the international community divided up Bosnia
1 that we've seen from dozens of documents, the HZ HB sought only equality,
2 and the thought that they might be entitled to certain cantons is being
3 treated here as a crime. Isn't that absurd logically? If that is so,
4 let's bring Holbrooke and Clinton, because they -- we were forced to make
5 a federation in Bosnia-Herzegovina covering 51 per cent of the territory.
6 This was after Srebrenica. It was after aggression, after Perisic, after
7 everything that we have seen here for two years. Surely one's brain
8 stops because it is so illogical. It is the logic of primary school.
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina has been forcibly divided, statehood, the right to
10 self-determination that was given to the Republika Srpska. You know what
11 a republic is.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, everyone knows
13 what you are saying, so it's not a revelation. What I think is important
14 is for you to wait and hear what the witness will say regarding the
15 problem raised.
16 I give you the floor, madam. Yes, Madam Alaburic.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, good morning to
18 everyone, to Your Honours, and everyone in the courtroom. I feel it
19 necessary on behalf of General Petkovic's Defence to say a few sentences
20 for the simple reason that I think Scott has misrepresented the contents
21 of certain documents, and I feel such misrepresentation at this point in
22 time can have far-reaching consequences for the continued deliberations.
23 Mr. Scott said that Dayton
24 in Bosnia-Herzegovina was impermissible. Such a submission cannot be
25 found in the Dayton
1 which I am familiar. At the time, no discussion was conducted about the
2 third entity because a year and a half earlier on after the Washington
3 Agreement, the Croatian people agreed to enter into a federation with the
4 Muslim federation. So this is a misrepresentation.
5 I think it is not in dispute that the Albanian people of Kosovo
6 had the right to separate from the state of Serbia.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I interrupt you because I must state for the
8 record that now we are hearing political speech after political speech,
9 and this is an abuse of the publicity of this trial. These are all
10 questions that can be discussed, and every opinion has pros and cons, but
11 this is not the forum to do it, and I hope that the Prosecution will
12 limit this line of questioning to the necessary. I think that a lot have
13 been shown now. I think the Chamber has got an impression of what the
14 political attitude of our witness is. As Mr. Karnavas has rightly
15 pointed out, this is not something which is really directly going to his
16 credibility. It shows his political views, but we think have abundantly
17 heard what they are, and I would really wish that we could go on and
18 terminate the questioning of this witness.
19 I'm not silencing you, but I want this to be on record because
20 I'm really feeling uneasy now.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I
22 fully understand your need to interrupt this debate, but your
23 intervention was along the similar lines when you said that my colleague
24 spoke along political lines. So I think your intervention is simply to
25 stop a political debate. But Mr. Scott was not interrupted when he
1 presented his political view that the Defence is saying that Herceg-Bosna
2 was a temporary situation in the interest of the defence, and then he
3 went on to say that its aim was a third entity, which was prohibited in
6 I just wish to respond that a single political aim in itself
7 cannot be a crime, and the attempt to organise a state as a federation,
8 confederation, or anything else in itself cannot be a crime, but it is
9 quite impermissible that Mr. Scott should be allowed to present certain
10 political aims as a crime in itself.
11 I would have plenty more to say on this issue, but I will sit
12 down in the interest of the witness.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to correct the
14 record. When I was speaking at the beginning of this discussion on page
15 24, line 18, the transcript says that this line of questioning is
16 relevant in the opinion of myself and my client. That is not true. On
17 the contrary. I said this line of questioning was irrelevant.
18 But since I'm on my feet, let me add: On the basis of this
19 discussion from the Prosecution on, you have finally seen for yourself
20 that it is irrelevant. Let us stick to the rules, and let us do that.
21 There are two possible reasons in theory and according to the law
22 why the Prosecution may in the cross raise issues that relate to events
23 far outside the scope of the indictment, much later than the indictment.
24 It is either the question of credibility, and I think you've already
25 ruled about that on the basis of Judge Trechsel's comments, or is it a --
1 or is it a continuation of something that happened in April 1993? But
2 that is nonsensical. Then we have a sui generis form of mens rea, but we
3 don't have actus reus
5 As for credibility, I'm not sure that it has been clearly stated
6 that this witness is not mentioned in this document. He's not mentioned
7 by name, nor does it refer to him; and we all know that as a result of
8 these moves by the office of the High Commissioner, certain punitive
9 measures were made and some people were acquitted, and in one case there
10 is no ruling. So I repeat, there's no relevance to this line of
11 questioning, and this is an example of a waste of court time.
12 Your Honour, in view of the discussion, I feel that his last
13 comment -- the last instruction he was given is not clearly translated.
14 I don't think he was told that if he wishes to leave he may do so. Thank
16 The document I'm referring is P 10662, P 10662.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber
18 believes that the witness should respond. It's fine to listen to all of
19 you, but what is important is the witness.
20 Mr. Scott, you're going to reintervene to prolong the discussion?
21 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, with great respect, that's exactly
22 the problem. The Defence goes on and on. Everyone in the courtroom
23 becomes impatient. The Judges become impatient, and I understand why,
24 then when minutes and minutes later the Prosecution finally has a chance
25 to be heard, then, Oh, it's -- the Prosecution's going to take more time.
1 We've taken less time this morning than anybody else in the courtroom,
2 substantially less. Now -- so yes, I do want to be heard. I do want to
3 be treated fairly. I want the Prosecution to be treated fairly.
4 Now, first of all -- first of all, I'm not expressing any
5 political view. I've not expressed any political views this morning at
6 all, and I'm not going to start now. Number one.
7 Number two, a number of the Prosecution positions have been
8 completely misstated, completely mischaracterised. I'm not going to go
9 through them one by one, but I've heard counsel after counsel get on
10 their feet and completely misstate the Prosecution's position and
11 intentions and objectives. Number two.
12 Number three, the Prosecution -- well, first let me go back. It
13 does go to credibility, Your Honour, and to that -- to a very limited
14 extent, I disagree a little bit with Judge Trechsel. It does go to
15 credibility and bias. It goes to -- it goes to the Prosecution submits
16 -- the Chamber will ultimately, of course, give the weight to every
17 witness that they think is proper, and the Prosecution submits that in
18 weighing -- in weighing the evidence of this witness, the Chamber should
19 have this information, that this is a witness which we submit - the
20 Chamber may disagree, but the Prosecution is entitled to put its case -
21 we submit is a witness who is part and parcel, with great respect to the
22 witness, of -- of this particular programme and -- and that we've seen,
23 and the Prosecution -- the Chamber should be aware of that. It doesn't
24 have to be a crime. It's a particular political view. It's a particular
25 political bias. It doesn't have to be convicted of a crime to be
1 relevant. It's information that the Chamber should have.
2 Now, finally, Your Honours, finally, and -- and then -- and
3 again, a response to Judge Trechsel's comment, and I take it fully on
4 board. I'm not at all -- you know, sorry, Judge Trechsel. I'm not
5 picking on you, but it's -- we never intended to belabour this point.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You may also pick. The others may pick on me.
7 You have the same rights.
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel. I try not to, and I think
9 the record -- well, the record will speak for itself. My only comment,
10 Your Honour, is -- my only comment on that, Your Honour, the Prosecution
11 never intended to belabour these points. My colleague has hardly had the
12 opportunity this morning to put questions. We've put a few questions to
13 the witness about a couple of documents. Had -- we would have been over
14 by now. We would have been over by now if she would have simply been
15 allowed to put a few questions. I've seen her outline. I've seen her
16 outline. She only asked a few questions. She hasn't had a chance.
17 Maybe belabouring it, but if we can please proceed. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That is why I wanted her to
19 take the floor immediately.
21 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. I'd like to go back to the document where we started out,
23 Mr. Batinic. That's P 10662, the decision removing Ante Jelavic from his
24 position on the BiH Presidency. And what I wanted to do was to read out
25 the reason for the ban, and I'd like you to go to the B/C/S version, page
1 3, please, and it's the last paragraph, and it's the third last line, it
2 should be, that starts with "Mr. Jelavic's unconstitutional behaviour."
3 "Mr. Jelavic's unconstitutional behaviour culminated in his
4 participation at what amounted to a party rally held at Mostar on 3rd of
5 March, 2001, when those who participated were encouraged to make what was
6 referred to as a 'decision' on the establishment on the" -- excuse me --
7 "the establishment of an unconstitutional and illegal parallel structure.
8 Mr. Jelavic must have been fully aware that this 'gathering' under the
9 name of a Croat national assembly was incapable of making legal
11 Were you present at this gathering, Mr. Batinic?
12 A. I was.
13 Q. I'd like to move to the decision that bans you from holding
14 public and party offices, and that's actually -- it's a 1D document.
15 It's number 1D 02800.
16 MS. MOE: Maybe the usher can be of assistance.
17 Q. Do you have it, Mr. Batinic?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. This is a similar decision on the layout. We see up in the
20 right-hand corner it's the same date, 7th of March, 2001, and it's again
21 from the office of the High Representative, and it says: "Decision
22 banning Zdravko Batinic from holding public and party offices." And I
23 take it you recognise this decision, do you?
24 A. I do. I recognise it.
25 Q. And if we go down to the decision itself, there's a headline
1 saying "Decision," it says: "To bar" -- "Decision to bar Mr. Zdravko
2 Batinic from holding any official elective or appointive public office,
3 and from running in elections, and from holding office within political
4 parties, unless or until such time as I may, by further decision,
5 expressly authorise him to hold or seek the same."
6 And it says in the same paragraph that you also cease forthwith
7 to be vice-president of the HDZ BiH.
8 Those were the contents of this ban, weren't they?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And if we go to the reasoning of the ban - that's continuing from
11 where I was reading - it says: "Mr. Batinic has so conducted himself as
12 to make it clear that he does not respect the institutions set up under
13 the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 has thereby seriously obstructed the implementation of this Agreement.
15 "On Friday, 2nd of March, 2001, the day before a 'gathering' in
16 Mostar under the name of a 'Croat National Assembly' the High
17 Representative issued a public appeal in which he clearly stated that any
18 individual found to be engaged in illegal or anti-Dayton activities,
19 including the establishment and maintenance of parallel structures, will
20 be liable to sanction in accordance with my mandate." That should be the
21 OHR mandate. "Activities aimed at undermining the legal institutions of
22 the federation and state will not be tolerated."
23 That gathering in Mostar, that's the same gathering as was
24 referred to in the Jelavic decision, isn't it?
25 A. It was not a gathering. It was the Croatian National Assembly on
1 the 3rd of March, 2001.
2 Q. But it's the same -- same -- the same incident or the same event
3 that is referred to in the Jelavic decision, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, it is. Not just Mr. Jelavic. There were others too.
5 Q. And it goes on to say in the decision, and I'm reading from where
6 I stopped before asking you the last question: "Mr. Batinic deliberately
7 chose to ignore this warning and the repeated calls of the international
8 community that all should work within the legal institutions of the
9 country. The purported 'decisions' taken at Mostar on 3rd of March,
10 2001, are without legal effect but nevertheless represent a serious
11 attempt to disrupt and undermine the constitutional order which prevails
12 in the federation and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 "Mr. Batinic has chosen to accept the position as so-called
14 vice-president of the Croat self-government. By taking a leading
15 position in support of such behaviour, Mr. Batinic must personally bear
16 responsibility for his acts."
17 It's correct, isn't it, that you did accept the position of
18 vice-president of the Croat self-government as it says here?
19 A. Quite so.
20 Q. Is it also correct that the ban, this ban, was -- was lifted in
21 whole in 2006 by the office of the High Representative as part of the
22 closing-down process of that office?
23 A. The office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina has
24 not been closed, and they decided to lift the ban on political activity
25 of individuals who had been sanctioned. I assume they realised that they
1 had been wrong all that time.
2 Q. That ban -- sorry, the lifting of the ban, that didn't only apply
3 to you, did it? That applied to everyone that had been banned except for
4 the persons who were banned for - let me call it - ICTY-related reasons?
5 A. All the persons covered by the decision of the High
6 Representative were relieved of this ban or the sanctions, and they were
7 restored their basic human and civil rights.
8 Q. And just one more short question before I assume the Trial
9 Chamber would like to have a break, but the OHR did not only ban Croats,
10 did it? They also banned Serbs and Muslims?
11 A. The OHR issued such bans to representatives of all three peoples
12 in Bosnia-Herzegovina; but in relation to the total numbers of these
13 peoples, the Croatian officials were the ones who had the most sanctions
14 in relative terms.
15 MS. MOE: It would be a good time for the break, I believe, if
16 that's in the Trial Chamber's mind?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We'll have a 20 -minute
19 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume.
22 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Based on something you said right before the break, Mr. Batinic,
24 I'd like to show you one document, and that is number P 10663. That
25 should be in the second binder. So in the -- in the smaller one. It's P
2 That, Mr. Batinic, is, as you can see in the right-hand corner,
3 again, from the 7th of July, 2006, and that's the decision lifting the
4 ban from office within political parties in the removal decisions issued
5 by the High Representative. And that should be the decision lifting the
6 ban -- the whole of the ban that also applied to you. Isn't that
8 A. That's quite correct.
9 Q. And I'd like you to look at the decision itself, and it should be
10 in the fourth paragraph of the decision. It says the following: "Noting
11 that pursuant to the GFAP and the Conclusions, the High Representative
12 has exercised his authority to remove officials from public office, thus
13 far, on 160 occasions."
14 Does that comply with your understanding that that number is
16 A. I don't know whether the figure of 160 is correct, but I believe
17 that the office of the High Representative knew the exact figures, and
18 this is what they put down.
19 Q. Before the break, when I brought up this lifting of the ban with
20 you, you said that -- and I'm quoting, "I assume they realised they'd
21 been wrong all the time..." as I understood it referring to the OHR, then
22 realising that they'd been wrong in applying the bans.
23 I'd like to go to the next page of the document, please, the
24 document you have in front of you. And in the English version, it's the
25 second full paragraph on page 2 starting with "Profoundly convinced..."
1 It should also come up on the screen in front of you, Mr. Batinic.
2 And the OHR says as part of this decision to lift bans that it
3 is: "Profoundly convinced that the broad prohibition contained in the
4 Decisions removing public officials was necessary to meet the challenges
5 confronting Bosnia and Herzegovina in its bid to restore peace, build
6 institutions, consolidate national identity, bridge ethnic divides and
7 work towards regional integration, all at an accelerated pace to overcome
8 the retrograde momentum of the country's past."
9 So here the office of the High Representative sets out that they
10 thought it was necessary to imply these bans. Do you have any comment to
11 that based on what you were saying before the break?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, what is the relevance of all of this,
13 what he may think about what the OHR was doing at the time? The
14 gentleman did ask for an opportunity to explain why he did what he did
15 and was not given the opportunity. Now he's being asked to comment about
16 the office of the High Representative and their decisions. I don't see
17 the point. Perhaps the question should be, Why were you banned? What
18 were the crimes? What were the crimes for which you were banned? That's
19 the real reason.
20 MS. MOE: If I -- if I may --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He'll have the possibility of
22 expressing himself. For the moment, I'm still waiting for his answer,
23 but let the Prosecution proceed, and if the Prosecution doesn't put the
24 question to the witness, I will.
25 Madam Prosecutor.
1 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll rephrase my question.
2 Q. The OHR says here that it thought it necessary to ban these
3 people, didn't they?
4 A. Well, that's what they have noted here.
5 Q. But your opinion is that that was wrong?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, he should be given an opportunity to
7 also read the part where they say: "... mindful, however, that the
8 sanctions of a removal imposed against public officials pursuant to
9 powers vested in the High Representative constitute an extraordinary
10 measure interfering with certain rights of the persons concerned." We're
11 talking about human rights. We're in Europe. This is modern day. So
12 perhaps he should be given an opportunity to read that because that may
13 go into his answer that he gave prior to the break. Let's be fair to the
15 MS. MOE: With all due respect --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, your comment is
17 only relevant to the extent that the witness was never familiar with the
19 Witness, have you already seen this document before, or is this
20 the first time?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we received the
22 decisions the High Representatives -- or High Representative individually
23 when it came to decisions barring individuals from exercising political
24 authority or participating in governmental bodies in Bosnia and
1 decision of this kind. I have heard about it, and many could download
2 this decision from the website of the High Representative, but we didn't
3 receive this decision individually. I just had a brief look at it, and
4 the essence was that on the 31st of December, the ban was to be
5 terminated. I didn't go into all the details, I have to admit.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may add a small point, and I am
7 a-addressing you, Mr. Karnavas. I also know a bit, something about the
8 European human rights system. Interference is not at all the same as the
9 violation. There are interferences all the time, so perhaps it doesn't
10 quite have the weight that you seem to allocate to this word. Thank you.
11 Please continue.
12 MS. MOE: Thank you, Judge Trechsel, Mr. President. I wasn't
13 planning to go into any other portions of this document. I'll leave it
14 in the Trial Chamber's hands if the Judges have questions to the witness
15 on this.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, I have a
17 question. We saw this morning -- after a lot of meandering, we saw a
18 decision from the High Representative, not the one that we have before us
19 at the moment but a different one, banning all those who attended the
20 Mostar meeting from being politically active; and here in 2006, there is
21 a decision from another High Representative which revokes this decision.
22 It refers to the prior decision, as well, but in fact the ban has been
23 lifted here, and the decision states that there's reconciliation, the
24 European Union, et cetera, et cetera, to be considered.
25 You experienced all of this first-hand. You were concerned
1 personally. So what reasons would you give for this change? First, you
2 were banned from participating in politics; then the ban was lifted.
3 What I would like to know is, in your opinion, what were the objections
4 that were made against you exactly?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, I'd
6 like to start from the beginning since yesterday in the afternoon the
7 Prosecution tried to discredit my testimony when referring to the
8 Decision of the Elective Council for the Organisation for Security and
9 Cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. May I?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 The decision of the council of the OSCE dated the 20th of July,
13 1998. The decision of The Electoral Council of the OSCE dated the 20th
14 of July, 1998, in which I was banned from participating in the bodies of
15 government in the Gornji Vakuf municipality. I was also banned from
16 appearing as a candidate on the list of the HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 just before the general elections in 1998, and I won't go on about that.
18 This all had to do with the failure to implement the results of the
19 elections in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf after the first local
20 elections held after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was in
22 Why was I not prepared to implement the results of the election
23 in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf? On the 29th of December, 1993, the
24 Assembly of the Croatian Republic
25 amending the names of the municipality and town of Gornji Vakuf. It was
1 to be changed to Uskoplje. On the 30th of March, 1994, at a session of
2 the Constitutional Assembly of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 a constitution for Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the Federation of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina
5 constitution entitled "Transitional Solutions." In Article 5, paragraph
6 1, it states the following: All the laws and other regulations and
7 judicial rules in force in the federation at the time that this
8 constitution enters into force shall remain in force to the extent that
9 they do not contradict the provisions of these constitutions, whereas --
10 and until the legal authorities do not decide otherwise.
11 Before the first local elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1997,
12 not a single joint body of government in the Federation of Bosnia and
14 which referred to amending the name of the municipality and town of
15 Gornji Vakuf, which was to be called the town and municipality of
16 Uskoplje. All we did was request that the elections should be held for
17 the municipality that was to be called Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, as a rule I understand
19 things quickly, and I'll summarise the problem. Your municipality on the
20 29th of December, 1993, adopted an amended name. Gornji Vakuf was called
21 Uskoplje. On the 30th of March, 1994, the federation at its meeting of
22 the Constitutional Assembly stated as you have said in chapter 9, Article
23 5, paragraph 1, that everything that had been adopted previously would
24 remain in force; and as a result, in constitutional terms, the change of
25 name was confirmed, but this is not something that the High
1 Representative liked, and he then decided to impose sanctions on you.
2 But the High Representative, didn't he have the possibility of contesting
3 the constitutional text that was adopted?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the electoral
5 commission took the -- the decision in 1998, not the Office of the High
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but this commission,
8 didn't it have an appeals procedure or procedure that would have allowed
9 them to control or supervise how legal this decision was?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't aware of that possibility
11 at the time, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue? I apologise.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 With regard to the decision of the High Representative in Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina
18 other colleagues of ours on the 7th of March, 2001, this is all related
19 to the session of the Croatian national parliament in Mostar on the 3rd
20 of March, 2001. With regard to this matter, I would like to state the
21 following: Prior to the general elections held in Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 in the year 2000, for reasons that were not clear to us Croats, the head
23 of the organisation for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the organisation for
24 European security and cooperation adopted a decision according to which
25 the rules and regulations for elections of deputies were being changed,
1 for the election of officials of that nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which had a two-chamber
3 parliament, there's the House of Representatives and representatives are
4 directly elected through elections, and there is the people's house or
5 chamber which protests the vital interests of the people in the
6 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 In his decision, the head of the European Organisation For
8 Security and Cooperation terminated part of the constituent nation of the
9 Croatian -- constituent nature of the Croatian people in Bosnia
12 Travnik in October 2000. At this Assembly in Novi Travnik, all important
13 deputies were present. They had been elected at the previous elections,
14 and these were deputies came -- that came from municipalities and from
15 the state, the representatives from the Croats; there were
16 representatives of the Catholic church and of cultural associations of
17 the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 That session, a declaration was issued on the rights and on the
19 positions of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Somewhat
20 later, a decision was adopted according to with the Croatian people in
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina should be called to participate in a referendum.
22 The Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina had a referendum on the 11th of
23 November, 2000. Over 90 per cent of the Croats who had come of age
24 participated in the referendum and voted for the declaration on the
25 rights and the positions of the Croatian people in Bosnia and
2 After the general elections that were held in November 2000, the
3 HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina won over 90 per cent of the Croatian votes
4 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In spite of that fact, the HDZ in Bosnia
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 In the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is an article that
8 states that municipalities and counties can link up in order to cooperate
9 on an economic and cultural basis and for other reasons. The Croatian
10 national assembly at its meeting of the 3rd of March, 2000, adopted a
11 decision on associating municipalities and counties in which the
12 inhabitants were mainly Croats or where the Croats were well represented.
13 These decisions were supposed to enable some institutions of strategic
14 importance for the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina to -- to
15 survive, as they were to participate in financing these institutions. I
16 have the Croatian university in Mostar in mind, the Croatian radio
17 television of Herceg-Bosna and certain other institutions of particular
18 importance for the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 The Croatian national assembly and the decisions that it passed
20 in Mostar on the 3rd of March was the expression of the political opinion
21 of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in that expression
22 of the political opinion of the Croats, one wanted to warn everyone who
23 dealt with Bosnia and Herzegovina that the basic rights of a
24 constitutional people in Bosnia and Herzegovina were under threat and
25 someone would have to deal with the issue. However, the international
1 community through its then High Representative, Mr. Petritsch, acted as
2 it did. They even selected us in a certain way and said that we were
3 trying to overturn the constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 Mr. McNair, a Canadian prosecutor, we were taken to trial at the
5 court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Chamber was composed of two
6 international Judges and one Muslim Judge. This was supposed to be in
7 our favour. After a certain period of time when they failed to provide
8 evidence for the prosecution, the prosecution itself withdrew in March
9 2005. They gave up or, rather, the Judges, the trial decided to put an
10 end to the trial against Ante Jelavic, Zdravko Batinic, Ivo Andric,
11 Zuzanskic [phoen], Marko Topic, and Petar Milic.
12 That would be all I have to say about this, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answers.
14 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Just one clarification on what you were just saying, Mr. Batinic.
16 You referred to a trial, but that's different from the ban by the OHR,
17 isn't it?
18 A. It is closely linked, Madam Prosecutor, as the decision of the
19 High Representative says that it was anti-constitutional activity.
20 Q. But it was not the High Representative that brought a trial
21 against you or, in fact, no trial was brought against you in the end, was
23 A. I don't know how to tell you in different terms. We were accused
24 on the basis of the fact that the High Representative removed us on the
25 basis of anti-constitutional activity, and we were put on trial; but as
1 they were unable to prove anything, they withdrew the indictment
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The prosecutor, was he an
4 international prosecutor or a national? And the Judges, were they
5 nationals or internationals?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at that point in time
7 an indictment was issued against us by the international prosecutor,
8 Mr. McNair, attached to the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
9 trial chamber consisted of three Judges. Two were foreigners or, rather,
10 they were not citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one as I said to
11 console us, a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina but a Muslim, a lady.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Moe. We can't see each other. A
13 related question.
14 What was the charge? Of what crime were you indicted, accused?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't answer, Your Honour, this
16 question of yours. It wasn't clear to us, either, what we were charged
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Sometimes that happens,
20 MS. MOE: Thank you, Judge Trechsel. I'll move on to what is
21 planned to be my last document that I'd like to show the witness.
22 Q. And that is, Mr. Batinic, number P 10621. It's a newspaper
23 article. Do you have it, Mr. Batinic?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. And that is a newspaper article from Oslobodjenje from the 1st of
1 March, 2001. So that would be right before these decisions by the OHR,
2 time-wise, and it says: "Gathering in protest against Kordic and Cerkez
3 judgement..." And it's a gathering that's supposed to have taken place
4 in Busovaca. Were you present at this gathering?
5 A. I was present at this gathering.
6 Q. Have you seen this particular article before?
7 A. No. I don't read Oslobodjenje.
8 Q. Okay. I will read out -- this is about the gathering, the rally,
9 and I'll read out some portions, and I'd like to ask you some questions
10 in relation to that.
11 It starts with saying that it's from Busovaca, and it says: "The
12 president of the Croatian Democratic Union and member of the BH
13 Presidency, Ante Jelavic, said that from Wednesday, the BH Federation
14 would become a 'Bosniak entity' and called on Croats in BH to go to
15 Mostar on Saturday to celebrate the session of the Croatian National
16 Assembly, at which historic decisions would be adopted."
17 Do you recall, Mr. Jelavic making that comment or something
19 A. I can't remember precisely what our president, Jelavic, said. We
20 were there next to one another. I paid more attention to what others
21 were saying, as I was familiar with the views of President Jelavic.
22 Q. But this reference to go to Mostar on Saturday and reference to
23 the session of the Croatian National Assembly, that's the same - I'll
24 call it an event to try and be neutral - that was taking place on the 3rd
25 of March, 2001, that we've seen references to in other documents, as
1 well, isn't it?
2 A. Yes. On the 3rd of March, the Croatian National Assembly met in
3 Mostar, and it's not illogical that the president should call on those
4 present to attend the rally.
5 Q. I'd like to read out a different excerpt, and that should be in
6 your B/C/S version, should be the third column and the second paragraph,
7 I believe. In the English version, it is on page 2, and it's the first
8 full paragraph, and it says the following: "Jelavic called on the
9 Croatian people to come to the HNS, Croatian People's Party, Assembly on
10 Saturday to celebrate the session in the name of Kordic, Blaskic, Cerkez,
11 and all the other Croatian prisoners at which historic decisions will be
12 adopted that will mark a new phase in Croatian freedom and equality."
13 I'll first ask you if you remember Mr. Jelavic making that or a
14 similar -- a comment to that -- a similar comment at the rally.
15 A. I can't confirm that. I don't remember the exact words used by
16 Mr. Jelavic or anyone else who spoke at that meeting.
17 Q. When I asked you about Mr. Jelavic's previous comment, the one I
18 read out, you said that you were familiar with those views of his. Were
19 you familiar with these views of his as well?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, Mr. President, I'm going to ask for the
21 relevancy. I don't believe this line of questioning was allowed or was
22 conducted when -- for the Kosovo case, for instance, the Haradinaj, who
23 was also allowed while on provisional release to politic, none of this
24 while they were holding mass rallies for him -- proclaiming him to be a
25 hero as the others that were being tried. What is the relevance of this,
1 years later with the testimony that he has given about the time that is
2 relevant to the indictment? I really fail to see the purpose of this.
3 I'd like a ruling at this point in time, Your Honours.
4 MS. MOE: Mr. President, I'll be moving on. My general view is
5 that this goes to the credibility of the witness, and I'll get to him in
6 particular as well.
7 Q. A little bit further down, Mr. Batinic, it says, and that's
8 about -- well, a little bit further. It's about two paragraphs further.
9 It says: "In the main square in Busovaca where several thousand
10 protesters had gathered, Ante Jelavic put forward the proposal to declare
11 the Croats detained at The Hague
12 Was that your opinion, as well, Mr. Batinic?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Again -- again, Your Honour, I'm going to object
14 to this line of questioning. What does Jelavic have to do, what he
15 thinks? What is -- I mean, I'd like a ruling, Your Honours. I made an
17 MS. MOE: My question --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor has just asked
19 the witness what he thinks, whether he agrees.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: But what does it have to do with -- why is this
21 relevant to the trial?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Why is this relevant to the trial? That's the
24 whole point. I'm objecting because I want a ruling. It is not relevant
25 what Jelavic thinks, and since when is a public gathering impermissible?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: [Overlapping speakers] [Previous translation
3 continues] ... [Microphone not activated]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, there's a press
5 article dated March 2001 which we have just discovered. There's a
6 meeting following the judgement in the Kordic and Cerkez case. The
7 witness is present. Jelavic is present. The journalist is telling us
8 things. Maybe he's wrong. Maybe he's adding things. But as the witness
9 was present, the Prosecutor is asking whether this is right. The witness
10 says, "I don't know. I don't remember exactly what Mr. Jelavic said."
11 Then the Prosecutor continues and asks him what his opinion is about
12 this. Perhaps he has a point of view. Perhaps he hasn't.
13 What is your intervention for? It is he who is testifying, not
15 MR. KARNAVAS: My intervention, Your Honour, is because we need
16 to take control over this trial as to what is it that we're trying? Are
17 we trying Mr. Jelavic for his political views?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's the Judges who are
19 ensuring control and not you.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, then why are we discussing
21 Mr. Jelavic's political views held at a rally in 2001? If you could
22 point out to me where in the indictment Mr. Jelavic is and how his views
23 in 2001 regarding a -- a decision made by this Tribunal, how that fits
24 in. Many people are disappointed about the judgements that come out. So
25 what? They're entitled to express their positions. But what does that
1 have to do with this gentleman's credibility as to what he saw, what he
2 heard, what he did in 1991, 1992, 1993? That's the relevant period of
3 his testimony. That's my objection.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam Prosecutor --
5 your objection has been recorded in the transcript. Please continue.
6 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. My question, Mr. Batinic, was based on the quote that I read out
8 to you that Jelavic had put forward the proposal to declare the Croats
9 detained at The Hague
10 whether that was your opinion as well.
11 A. We never had a serious discussion about that matter. I'm not
12 sure that Mr. Jelavic said this, and if he did - which, I repeat, I'm not
13 sure he did - it was because of the atmosphere at such a meeting. And
14 generally, let me tell you, rallies of large numbers of supporters of a
15 particular policy, all kinds of things can be said. What is important is
16 the official policy, which is established at bodies and written down in
18 Q. Thank you. There is -- there is a quote from you in this
19 article, or it's a reference to what you said, and that is if you go to
20 page 2 of the article, page 2, so that would be the next page from what
21 you're looking at right now, and it's the last paragraph in the first
22 column. Do you see your name there? Last paragraph in the last column.
23 Can you -- did you give an interview to Oslobodjenje, or did you
24 take the floor, so to speak, and make a speech at this rally in Busovaca?
25 And I'll read it out to you. I'm just asking you first if you can
1 remember being interviewed or making a speech at this rally.
2 A. I didn't give an interview in those days that the beginning of
3 March 2001 to Oslobodjenje. I did speak at the rally in Busovaca.
4 Q. I'd like to read out what it says here that you said, and I'll
5 ask you a question after that. And it says: "Zdravko Batinic,
6 vice-president of the BH HDZ, told the leaders of the world that the
7 Croats could not be broken during the war, let alone in peacetime, and
8 that Kordic's and Cerkez's sentences once more confirmed doubts about The
9 Hague Tribunal, that not a single act had been proved and that they had
10 tried the policies and the people. "
11 And then there's a quotation mark starting, and this refers to
12 you: '"These sentences have been handed down to all of us. We reject
13 the qualifications presented in court about the HDZ being a nationalistic
14 party, about the HVO being an aggressor force. This is a heinous
15 frame-up by some people in the international community. We are proud to
16 have participated in gaining Croatian freedom,' Batinic said.
17 "He said that Croats must put up fierce resistance to these
18 international leaders through wisdom and Croatian unity."
19 Is that -- that's what you said at the rally, wasn't it,
20 Mr. Batinic?
21 A. I spoke at the rally in Busovaca. I didn't send any message to
22 any international leaders. I was addressing those present, and it is
23 true that I said - and that is what I still think - that we are not a
24 nationalist party, that is the HDZ of BiH. We are a peoples, a national
25 party of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Croatian council was
1 not an aggressor against Bosnia-Herzegovina, because I as a member of the
2 armed forces of the HVO cannot be an aggressor in the country in which I
3 was born, in which I live, and in which I work. It is my country.
4 Q. Am I understanding you correctly, then, that these statements
5 repeated in Oslobodjenje attributed to you, that's what you said at the
7 A. I cannot confirm that they took down precisely what I was saying,
8 because bear in mind that the journalists of Oslobodjenje are mostly
9 Bosniaks and that they mostly write things that correspond to their
10 political views regarding the positions of the Croatian leaders. But the
11 essence is what I have just said, and I stand by that.
12 Q. Just one more excerpt then, Mr. Batinic, that I'd like to show
13 you. Can you recall Mr. Praljak being present at this rally?
14 A. I don't remember that General Praljak was present. He may have
15 been, but I don't remember him.
16 Q. I'll read out one more portion to you of the article and see if
17 that refreshes your memory, and that's the third column on the same page,
18 and you can see there's a headline: "Including Stipe Mesic," and it
19 says: "In his usual way, retired HV General Slobodan Praljak first held
20 a brief history lesson about the last war and said that 'Alija
21 Izetbegovic broke through to Central Bosnia after the Bosniaks had been
22 slaughtered like cattle in Srebrenica.'
23 "He added that Robert Barry was not the Croats' ruler, that Mate
24 Granic cannot set up cantons in BH as he has done, and that the Croats do
25 not recognise Stjepan Mesic."
1 Do you recall Mr. Praljak making that statement at the rally?
2 A. Madam Prosecutor, I said a moment ago, I don't remember that
3 General Praljak was present there. Then how can I remember his words?
4 Q. I will leave it at that.
5 MS. MOE: And that concludes my cross-examination. Thank you,
6 Your Honours.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may [overlapping speakers] my redirect, Your
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please. I have
10 a follow-up question.
11 Witness, the phrase that General Praljak may have said, I don't
12 understand what it means. In the, text in the B/C/S, could you read it
13 again, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll do my best, Your Honour.
15 "Retired General of the Croatian army Slobodan Praljak, in his usual way,
16 in addition to a brief history lesson regarding the last war, said that
17 Alija Izetbegovic had reached Central Bosnia when the Bosniaks had been
18 slaughtered like cattle in Srebrenica.
19 "He added that the Croats' ruler is not Robert Barry, that Mate
20 Granic cannot make cantons in Bosnia and Herzegovina as he has done, and
21 that the Croats do not recognise Stjepan Mesic."
22 End of quotation.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I will just pick up --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I didn't know that we would get
1 this far, but we have.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, hope springs eternal.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I had a lot of fear about it.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
5 Q. Just to help translate this part or at least clarify what
6 General Praljak is saying with respect to Srebrenica, that was what had
7 occurred with the Serbs and what happened to the Muslims in Srebrenica at
8 the time or that actually began in 1992. There was an incident in 1992,
9 1993. There were -- that drove Muslims out of Srebrenica, that area; is
10 that correct?
11 A. No, it's not correct, Mr. Karnavas. In 1992 and 1993, the
12 Muslims were in Srebrenica. They were slaughtered in 1995.
13 Q. All right. In 1995 they were slaughtered, but when they moved
14 towards Central Bosnia, the Serbs did drive Muslims to Central Bosnia as
15 refugees, did they not, as they were setting up the Republika Srpska?
16 A. Correct, Mr. Karnavas. Most of the Bosniaks or Muslims, as they
17 were known at the time, were expelled from Eastern Bosnia.
18 Q. Robert Barry was the head of OSCE at the time?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Granic was associated with setting up the federation, which had
21 envisaged cantons, did it not?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. And it says here, the Croats do not recognise Stipe Mesic. Mesic
24 is from the Republic of Croatia
25 to say is that the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina do not recognise Stjepan
1 Mesic, who is from another country, after all?
2 A. That's right. We didn't vote for Mesic. Therefore, he is not
3 our president.
4 Q. Okay. And when you say "our president," meaning those of us in
6 A. I mean the majority of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the enormous
8 Q. All right. Let's go back a little bit because your credibility
9 has been challenged, in other words, that you were lying about 1991,
10 1992, 1993, what you did, what you saw, what you experienced as a result
11 of political thoughts or activities post-Dayton. So first, let me ask
12 you this question. I'll go through them very quickly. The OSCE decision
13 that we saw yesterday, were you given a hearing? Did you appear before
14 this commission to actually give testimony, and were witnesses there to
15 testify against you or on your behalf?
16 A. Never did anyone talk to me, not any one of those who finally
17 made the decision to remove me from the bodies of authority of Gornji
18 Vakuf, and especially not when they made the decision to bar me from
19 being a candidate on the HDZ list prior to the general elections, and
20 finally, something the Prosecution didn't mention but I will, all these
21 documents, Your Honour, I gave to the Defence counsel so that everyone
22 can use them. I have nothing to hide.
23 Q. And they would have been translated for the Trial Chamber's
24 convenience, as well, some of them.
25 Now, as far as -- as far as the OHR, did OHR provide you with a
1 process, some due process, a hearing of some sorts prior to
2 disenfranchising you, in a sense, taking your right away to engage in
4 A. Never did anyone call me, hear me, or discuss the matter with me.
5 Q. Now -- and before we go to the judgements that -- or the
6 withdrawal of the charges that you spoke of, for the period that you
7 testified about, that is, the period that's about this indictment, 1991,
8 1992, 1993, were you charged at all, either by OSCE, Barry and company -
9 in this case it would have been Judge Finn Lynghjem who was running the
10 subcommission for elections on behalf of OSCE - or OHR, were you ever
11 charged for any illegal activity that you carried out in 1991, 1992,
12 1993, especially when you were acting as president of the Executive
13 Council and as a member of the Crisis Staff and Presidency up there in
14 Gornji Vakuf?
15 A. No. None of the people you mentioned or any other bodies did
17 Q. Now, you spoke of a -- the withdrawal of the charges. If we
18 could focus your attention to 1D 0 --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Usher, I will need your attention -- your
20 assistance here.
21 Q. If you could -- if you could look at 1D 02782. It's -- should be
22 the third -- the third document in the binder. And -- do you have it,
23 sir? 1D 02782. Have you found it?
24 A. Yes, I have.
25 Q. All right. And over here it talks about, this is a document
1 which says it requests to withdraw the charges from the indictment. And
2 if we look at the first paragraph, do you see your name there?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. All right. And of course, we see the date of this is 8 March
5 2005. Was this the document that you were indicate -- you were talking
6 about earlier, about the withdrawal of the charges from the indictment?
7 A. It is.
8 Q. And if we look at the following document, which is 1D 02783. 1D
9 02783. Here, we have a ruling, and it's by a Steven Swanson. Under the
10 statement of reasons, we see the indictment number KT-291/04.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: And if we go to the previous document, Your
12 Honours, you'll see that right above the name of Mr. Ante Jelavic.
13 You'll see the same. It's a bit hard to find, to locate.
14 Q. And it was based on this ruling that the charges were completely
15 withdrawn against you; is that correct?
16 A. That's quite correct.
17 Q. All right. Now, irrespective of your political views and
18 position concerning the internal organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina held
19 in 2000 -- in 1997, 1998, 2001 or even today, does that in any way,
20 shape, or form change the substance of your answers to the questions that
21 were posed to you on direct examination or from the Bench or from the
22 Prosecution concerning the events of 1991, 1992, 1993?
23 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I came to testify here at your invitation. I
24 came to testify truthfully and to inform you of what I knew and of the
25 events I had participated in.
1 Q. And your political views, the views that you hold today, for
2 instance, or as of 2001, do they in any way change the substance of what
3 is contained in the documents that were contemporaneously made back in
4 1991, 1992 that we saw and which you were participating in? The
5 documents I'm referring to are those that were generated by the
6 Presidency, the Crisis Staff, the Executive Council. Do your political
7 views alter in any way the substance of what was contained in those
9 A. They don't alter the substance in any way.
10 Q. Now, going back to the OSCE, the first document that we saw
11 yesterday when they went after your credibility, we saw a gentleman --
12 another gentleman's name, Abdulah Topkic, I believe. Topcic.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And who is this gentleman?
15 A. Mr. Abdulah Topcic was the president of the SDA party as of the
16 first multi-party elections held in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as of 1990,
17 in fact; and he was also the president of the SDA in 1998. That's a year
18 in which reference was made to the electoral commission of the OSCE.
19 Q. Now, during that -- those events back then in 1997, were you and
20 Mr. Topcic somehow were trying -- were you trying to undermine the
21 democratic process in any way in Gornji Vakuf?
22 A. No. As far as I'm concerned, I wasn't trying to do that. I just
23 insisted on using the name of the municipality, of using the name
24 Uskoplje, too, because historically speaking, that was correct.
25 Q. All right. Now, yesterday there was some questions asked of you
1 about the Croats aspiring, I underscore that, aspiring to be a
2 constituent nation. That's how it appeared from the Prosecution, and you
3 told us that there was no need to aspire, that the Croats were in fact a
4 constituent nation as were the Serbs and the Muslims, now Bosniaks, in
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina; and in fact, you said every square inch or foot
6 or metre in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 So -- and then you were asked some questions about the -- the --
8 what was envisaged by the HDZ platform. So now I want to show you a
9 document, 1D 00398. This is the -- goes to the Cutileiro Plan. And we
10 don't have the -- I'm told that we don't have the B/C/S, so I will read
11 that part for you and see -- and then ask you to comment on it. My
12 apologies for not having it -- having it in your language.
13 It says at the beginning, it says --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: And I'm reading from page 24, Your Honours.
15 You'll find that on the top left-hand corner.
16 Q. It says: "In Bosnia
17 composed of three constituent units based on national principles and
18 taking into account economic, geographic, and other criteria."
19 It then goes on to say that the existing border would continue.
20 And then it says: "Sovereignty resides in the citizens of the Muslim,
21 Serb, and Croat nations and other nations and nationalities who realise
22 it through their civic participation in the constituent units and the
23 central organs of the republic."
24 And let me read one other part before I ask you the question.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: On page 26, Your Honours, a couple of pages
1 further down where -- where the title D. The constituent units.
2 Q. "1. Within Bosnia and Herzegovina, constituent units would be
3 established, which are defined in part E below."
4 If we go to part E, it reads: "A working group will be
5 established in order to define the territory of the constituent units
6 based on national principles and taking into account economic,
7 geographic, and other criteria."
8 Now, could you please tell us, how different is what is proposed
9 by Cutileiro at this time, one of the international players, and what was
10 being -- what was part of the platform for HDZ?
11 A. In our opinion, there was no difference. This Cutileiro Plan or
12 proposal for the internal organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 our political thoughts and proposals that we put forward when it comes to
14 the internal organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Q. Let me go on to the next document, 1D 00526. This deals with
16 the Stoltenberg -- it should be the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. And again, I
17 must apologise. I don't have the Croatian version, but I will read the
18 relevant parts. They're very short, and hopefully you'll be able to
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, if we could -- if I could draw your
21 attention at the very -- at the top of the page. It's 286, 286 of this
22 particular document, and you'll see under Roman numeral I, it talks
23 about -- it says "Constitutional agreement of the union of republics,
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina."
25 Q. And it says, I'll just read the first part: "The constitutional
1 agreement of the union of republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina is set out
2 in appendix I hereto." And then it goes on about this agreement.
3 Now, if you go further down and -- and we go to appendix I, and
4 that would be on 290. It started off with Article 1 under "The union of
5 republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina..." we see it says: "The union of
6 republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina is composed of three constituent
7 republics and encompass three constituent peoples..." I underscore
8 "constituent" so we don't have to, hopefully, deal with this issue again.
9 "... and the constituent peoples are, according to Article 1 by
10 Owen-Stoltenberg, the Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, as well as groups of
11 others. The union of republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be a
12 member of the state of the United Nations..." And it goes on.
13 And then if we turn to Article 2 under Roman numeral II, which is
14 the constituent republics and their responsibilities, it says:
15 "Each of the constituent republics shall adopt its own constitution which
16 shall provide for democratic forms of government including democratically
17 elected legislatures..." and so on.
18 And then if we look at Article 3, it says: "All government
19 functions and powers, except those," "except those assigned by the
20 constitutional agreement to the union of republics of Bosnia and
22 constituent republics."
23 MR. KARNAVAS: And finally, Your Honours, if you go to page 29 --
24 294 and on to 295, we see under Roman numeral V, "Human rights and
25 fundamental principles."
1 Q. And -- and so my question now to you, sir, is having just read
2 parts of this agreement that was being proposed by the internationals,
3 which recognised that there are three constituent peoples, nations in
5 being advanced by the HDZ at that time? How different is it?
6 A. I don't have a Croatian version of the Cutileiro -- or, rather,
7 Vance-Owen Plan, but in the light of what you have just said, there is
8 absolutely no difference between the platform of the BH HDZ and this plan
9 for the internal organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 Q. And I was reading, actually, from the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. The
11 Vance-Owen is slightly different, but --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- [overlapping speakers] basically what we're talking about --
14 essentially what was in the platform is in these proposals by the
15 internationals themselves, right?
16 A. Yes. I would just like to emphasise a very important fact. In
17 each peace plan, it was explicitly stated that it was a peace plan for
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there was an attempt to find a solution for
19 its internal organisation, and it was explicitly stated that the
20 constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina were the Croats, Serbs, and
22 Q. One final question. There won't be any need to go to any of the
23 other documents. Just one final question. Sir, at the time that you
24 were serving in the Executive Council for Gornji Vakuf, did you do
25 anything to undermine the lawful authorities of Gornji Vakuf of which you
1 were a member of?
2 A. No, Mr. Karnavas. I did my utmost. I acted to the best of my
3 ability and strove to ensure that things ran smoothly in the area of the
4 municipality of Gornji Vakuf, that they ran normally. We wanted to have
5 good cooperation between the two ethnic groups, and we didn't want any
6 incidents to break out. I really did my utmost.
7 Q. And have you testified truthfully here today, yesterday, and the
8 day before, and the day before that?
9 A. I made a solemn declaration, and I have spoken the truth.
10 Q. I want to thank you, Mr. Batinic, for coming here to give your
11 evidence. Good luck, and have a safe trip back home.
12 A. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll ask my colleagues whether
14 they have any questions, follow-up questions.
15 Very well. Mr. Batinic, I would like to thank you on behalf of
16 my colleagues to have come to testify here and to answer all of the
17 various questions put to you by Mr. Karnavas, by the Defence, by the
18 Prosecution, by the Judges. I wish you a safe trip home, and I will now
19 ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, and I
21 would like to greet everyone here.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As everyone knows, according to
24 the schedule for next week, we'll have Mr. Neven Tomic on the 17th and
25 18th. We should conclude with him on the 18th, and we should hope that
1 there won't be any objections or various problems that will require
2 additional time.
3 Mr. Tomic is very busy. He's already been here once. He's
4 coming here for the second time now, and I think that Monday and Tuesday
5 should be sufficient for us to conclude with the hearing of this witness.
6 The week afterwards, after that week, well, there shouldn't
7 really be any problems that week.
8 Mr. Scott, are there any other matters you would like to address
9 apart from the matters addressed this morning?
10 MR. SCOTT: There was just a few more points I really wanted to
11 make, Your Honour. No, Your Honour, I think we're done for the week. I
12 think everyone wants to be done for the week. Thank you very much.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for
14 Judge Antonetti, please.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I was saying that I hope
16 everyone will have a good rest for next week. We will commence our
17 hearing on Monday at 2.15. Thank you.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.11 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 17th day
20 of November, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.