1 Monday, 17 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
10 et al.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Today is Monday. Good afternoon to all the people in the
14 courtroom, to the accused, the Defence counsel, Mr. Scott, Mr. Kruger,
15 and their associates and their manager, and all the people helping us.
16 Mr. Registrar, you have four IC numbers for us first.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
18 Some parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered
19 through Witness Batinic, Zdravko. The list submitted by 1D shall be
20 given Exhibit number IC 00881. The list submitted by 2D shall be given
21 Exhibit number IC 00882. The list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit
22 number IC 00833. The list submitted by 4D shall be given Exhibit
23 number IC 00834, and the list submitted by the Prosecution shall be given
24 Exhibit number IC 00835.
25 Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 There seems to be a virus going around, so if one of the accused
3 doesn't feel well, of course he's authorised to leave the courtroom, if
4 he feels the need to do so.
5 I first have to hand down an oral decision as to the request for
6 translation for the expert report by witness Cvikl.
7 On the 10th of October, 2008, the Prlic Defence filed, pursuant
8 to Rule 94 bis, an expert report written in English by Milan Cvikl. At
9 the hearing of the 15th of October, 2008, the Prlic Defence requested the
10 Trial Chamber to instruct and direct the Registry to have the report
11 translated into B/C/S for the needs of the Prlic Defence. The Stojic
12 Defence joined the motion.
13 The Trial Chamber notes that the expert report was filed well
14 past the date of the 31st of March, 2008, which was the initial deadline
15 set by the Trial Chamber; that therefore the request for translation is a
16 late one.
17 Furthermore, the Trial Chamber notes that this report was drafted
18 in English, one of the two working languages of the Tribunal, and that
19 the counsel and co-counsel respectively for the Prlic and Stojic Defence
20 have a perfect command of English. Therefore, they are in a position to
21 convey the contents of the report to their respective clients and to
22 receive instructions from them for them to carry out the
23 cross-examination of Witness Cvikl, if the latter is to testify. The
24 Trial Chamber, therefore, is of the view that the accused Prlic and
25 Stojic do not suffer any prejudice if the Trial Chamber decides not to
1 order the Registry Translation Service to have the expert witness report
2 translated into B/C/S.
3 As a result, the Trial Chamber decides that it is not for the
4 Registry Translation Services to translate the expert report into B/C/S,
5 but that, if need be, the Prlic Defence have to have it done.
6 Mr. Khan, I believe you want to say something to us.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one point of clarification, Mr. President.
8 The request to have it translated was not for our benefit. It
9 was for the benefit of others, and it gives the impression that somehow
10 we're shifting the burden. But we were trying to make it available to
11 those who wished to have it. But we take the -- we accept the oral
12 ruling as it is.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
14 Mr. Khan, did you want to say something?
15 MR. KHAN: Your Honours, I'm grateful. And good morning,
16 Mr. President, Your Honours.
17 Your Honours, we received this morning a consolidated response by
18 the Prosecution to the applications -- yes, Your Honours, this should be
19 closed session. I do apologise.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, let's move to
21 private session.
22 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 Ideally, the Prosecution would finish their cross-examination
24 today. The Prosecution has under four hours, if failing objections we
25 could make it, and tomorrow Mr. Karnavas could have the time he needs for
1 redirect. I said "ideally speaking." Of course, we don't know what's
2 going to happen.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
5 WITNESS: NEVEN TOMIC [Resumed]
6 [The witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're delighted to see you
8 again. As you know, you're coming back into this courtroom to finish the
9 end of cross-examination and redirect. If all goes well, the Prosecutor
10 should finish today with his cross-examination, and tomorrow Mr. Karnavas
11 could have his redirect, so that by Wednesday you can return to your
12 normal life.
13 Mr. Scott, you have the floor. You may proceed.
14 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
15 Honours, all of you. Good afternoon to counsel and all those in and
16 around the courtroom.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
18 Q. And good afternoon to you, Mr. Tomic. And again as others have
19 said, welcome back.
20 Sir, just to start with some procedural -- very quickly with some
21 procedural matters and just so the record is clear, I assume we know what
22 the answers are, but can we understand, sir, that since the last time you
23 were here on the 4th of November, you have not talked to anyone about the
24 testimony you gave last time or the testimony that you might anticipate
25 giving today or tomorrow, you haven't spoken to anyone about that; is
1 that correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And I take it, sir, that you have not reviewed any documents or
4 any materials of any sort in connection with preparing to testify since
5 you were here last year [sic] on the 4th of November.
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Sir, I think we need to quickly review, if we can, so -- since
8 you were here some more than ten days ago, just quickly where we were.
9 Among other things, sir, on the 4th of November I had shown to
10 you a document of a record of a meeting with President Tudjman on the 8th
11 of January, 1992, which, for the record, is Exhibit P00108. Perhaps if I
12 mention it to you, this was the meeting with President Tudjman also
13 involving Mr. Franjo Boras and the Bosnian Serb leader, Mr. Koljevic.
14 You might remember it. There was a part of the transcript which I did
15 not cover at the time and entirely my oversight, and if we could look
16 that again which I think will also serve at the same time to essentially
17 bring us back up to speed. If I can ask you -- I think all the
18 binders -- if we could have all the ushers -- thank you very much. In
19 binder -- it's Exhibit 00108. I think that will be in the first binder.
20 If I can ask you, sir, in that transcript -- and again I'll
21 remind you that in all of this so-called presidential transcript
22 material, the page numbers in both English and the Croatian language
23 versions should be the same. So if I refer you to page 9, it should be
24 page 9 in both versions. And, in fact, I will ask you, please, to go to
25 page 9. This is -- this was Mr. Koljevic continuing to talk -- excuse
2 On page 9, sir, about the second paragraph beginning on that
3 page, it says:
4 "Therefore, we proposed a confederal status for Bosnia
5 as the first stage in which, if one views it constructively, the Croatian
6 national community and the Serbian national community could have free
7 confederal ties with Croatia
8 If you'll then go to the next page, page 10, just continuing that
9 same discussion, and the first paragraph on page 10 it continues:
10 "Of course, we can speak principally about Bosnia and
13 desire and if that proves feasible. Likewise, in this broader Serbian
14 and Croatian area, it seems to us - I spoke with Radovan Karadzic about
15 this last night - we both think that this could be the beginning of an
16 overall settlement of Serbo-Croatian relations. If we don't solve these
17 relations, then, if I may say so, there is no end.
18 "Then the rest in this political crisis would be far easier."
19 And then if I could ask you, please, to go on over to page 41.
20 And again after language intervention, that is, by Mr. Koljevic, the
21 second paragraph under his name, Ms. Koljevic says:
22 "First, I think that we should follow this road politically
23 because a certain social acceptance, a climate, should be created. In
25 were Bosnians and Herzegovinians, so it is a little discomfiting to say
1 whether you are a Serb or a Croat. We have to put an end to that
3 Now, skipping to about halfway down through the next paragraph,
4 Mr. Koljevic continues:
5 "We studied the map and those municipalities, and then we saw
6 that the same thing had been done with the Croats and with the Serbs. So
7 these enclaves, which can be established on the municipal level, they
8 should be delimited, and then we should see what can be done with the
9 transfer, what can be accomplished by agreement, and we should institute
10 fair exchanges and create an agency for the civilised transfer of
11 property and population which will be in the interest of those people.
12 The term 'homogeneity' was, as you know, vilified in Yugoslavia. Why
13 should it be something terrible for people to live with people who are
14 closest to them?"
15 And that brings us back, sir, if you go over to the top of
16 page 42, to where we were, and that's where we read when you were here
17 last. President Tudjman comes back into the conversation and says, in
18 response to what was just said:
19 "Wherever national problems so conceived emerge as they did with
20 us, that was resolved from World War I and World War II, that was brought
21 to a conclusion by exchanges."
22 Now, that's the topic we were generally talking about, if you
23 will, the demographic issues and the organisation of Bosnia and
25 to you Exhibit P08623, which you may wish to turn to. You may not have
1 to, but just so you know what I'm referring to. That was the statement
2 that I showed you about -- that Mr. Pogarcic had made. You may remember
3 that. And among other things, in that interview Mr. Pogarcic said that
4 as long as an ethnic group was not more than 10 per cent of the
5 population, they can function as an ornament and "can even serve as proof
6 of the will to create a multiethnic society."
7 Now, moving forward based on that, if you look back at
8 Mr. Pogarcic's article again, which is again P08623, one of the things
9 that Mr. Pogarcic says in that statement, which I didn't read to you
10 today but we looked at it the last time, he said that all three of the
11 ethnic groups, Serbs, Muslims and Croats, during the 1991 to 1995 period
12 "ethnically cleansed territories wherever they could." And do you
13 agree -- I was wondering, do you agree with that statement that all three
14 of the ethnic groups, if you will, ethnically cleansed territories
15 wherever they could?
16 A. I wouldn't agree.
17 Q. In terms of ethnic demographics, isn't it true that the
18 Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership took a number of steps throughout this period
19 1991 to 1995 to increase the number of Croats in a desired area and to
20 reduce the number of Muslims in that or those areas; isn't that correct?
21 A. No, it isn't.
22 Q. Isn't it correct, sir, that in fact there were even housing
23 projects that were established and implemented for the specific purposes
24 of increasing the Croat population in certain areas?
25 A. Those were projects that were developed following the Washington
1 and Dayton Accords, when some people decided that they would not be
2 returning to the areas in which they were minorities. They were provided
3 aid, in terms of building their own homes wherever they chose.
4 Q. Well, let's turn next, then, to Exhibit P08545, which will be in
5 the second binder. P08545. And, sir, this is a record of another
6 meeting in the offices of President Tudjman, on this occasion dated the
7 27th of March of 1995. And I'd like to direct your attention, please, to
8 page 14.
9 Now, some parts of this relate to another topic, but rather than
10 come back to this transcript again, I'm going to try to deal with this
11 particular document at one time, if we can.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I just have a standing objection, as of last week,
13 that anything that goes outside the four corners of the indictment, the
14 period of the indictment, you know, that should prohibit the Prosecution
15 from going into those areas. Again, I just want to make sure that I'm
16 very, very clear, because I think the Prosecution is politicising this
17 trial and now we're prosecuting the implementation of the Dayton Accords.
18 And if that is the case, then I do think that we need to desperately have
19 a hearing about this to determine whether we should file any appropriate
20 motions as a result of the expanding of the indictment with the
21 acquiescence of the Trial Chamber.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We had this discussion last
23 week. The Prosecution explained very extensively what their position
25 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 And just so the record is clear in response -- I appreciate the
3 Court's ruling, but just so the record is clear, in case it may come up
4 again: Since the last time Mr. Tomic was here -- I went through his
5 testimony to date, and I have 14 pages of excerpts of his direct
6 examination referring to the Washington Agreement and Dayton, 14 pages of
7 transcript excerpts, so Mr. Karnavas went into these topics extensively,
8 if there's any doubt about that.
9 Q. Sir, if you look on page 14, toward the bottom, where there is a
10 passage attributed to Mr. Prlic, it says:
11 "Mr. President, not to burden you with too many facts, and the
12 president of the party here has here presented 56 various facts, I think
13 the main question today is one of overall political relations. I will
14 just say a couple of sentences about that at the end. Since I am the
15 prime minister and deputy prime minister who ruled in the Federation, in
17 picture of the current situation. At this moment, those free areas of
18 the Federation function as two state entities and as two completely
19 separate states within its internal structure. They are the Croatian
20 Republic of Herceg-Bosna
21 Therefore, these are territories controlled by the Republic of BH Army
22 Excuse me:
23 "Therefore, these are territories controlled by the Republic of
24 BH Army. Why do I say two states? According to all the constituent
25 elements, these are two completely different states. For instance," and
1 this is something we talked about extensively when you were here before,
2 "the usual customs procedure is undertaken when goods from HB,
3 Herceg-Bosna, enter that region and is the same procedure when goods
4 arrive from Germany
6 Now, skipping down toward the end of that full paragraph,
7 Mr. Prlic continues --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I would ask that he be allowed to
9 read the entire passage. If he's going to cherry-pick from this, I would
10 expect that he allow at least the entire passage of what Mr. Prlic is
11 saying. This is proper procedure, and it should be transferred -- the
12 burden should not be transferred on redirect, especially when you are
13 granting more time to them and you are not granting more time to me
14 within the overall time frame that you have allotted me. This is
15 fundamentally unfair.
16 MR. SCOTT: Well, to respond, Your Honour, number 1 --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, do respond.
18 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 First of all, this practice -- and Mr. Karnavas -- the Chamber
20 well knows by now this is something Mr. Karnavas says every time, and we
21 have the same discussion every time.
22 We can't read the entire documents, and Mr. Karnavas, in his
23 cross -- in his direct examination, excuse me, with this witness, with
24 the witness last week, did exactly the same thing. He takes a document
25 and he puts to the witness those parts which he wants to put to the
1 witness. And then he turns around and says the Prosecution should not be
2 allowed to do the same thing. Now, that's just not the case, and it's
3 not improper procedure, and there is no issue here about the time given
4 to Mr. Karnavas.
5 The Chamber's indicated already that it apparently intends to be
6 very liberal with the amount of redirect given to Mr. Karnavas, so I
7 don't think there's an issue about that at all.
8 But in any event, in any event, the procedure that I follow is
9 completely the proper one and the accepted practice.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: It's not a matter -- Mr. President --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, one moment,
12 please, one moment.
13 The Trial Chamber dismissed your objection. Through this
14 witness, it is important for the Trial Chamber to know how he perceived
15 what Mr. Prlic may have said. So rather than waste time on knowing how
16 the question was put, whether it merits an objection, I think it's better
17 for everybody to focus on the very text. That is what matters. And it
18 is in the very interests of Dr. Prlic. He said something, but the
19 witness may as well confirm or deny or give the specification.
20 You, in your redirect, you will have the opportunity to go back
21 to the issue.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, the text speaks for itself, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, you raised an objection. The
24 other party answered. The Chamber has told you that it has taken a
25 decision, and that's it. We are not going on to have these endless
1 discussions. Last Thursday morning was really an abyss of loss of time.
2 That's it. There's a decision, Mr. Karnavas, and please, Mr. Scott,
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I will continue to object as long as
5 the Trial Chamber allows the Prosecution to take text out of context. He
6 should be allowed to look at the entire text.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have made that point, and you can object
8 every time.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Sir, where I left off, and if you go to the end of that
12 paragraph, Mr. Prlic continues:
13 "They still do not have salaries, and salaries, yes or no, are
14 the foremost political issue here, and they will not be able to enter
15 that process. This will be extremely important later when we talk about
16 the Federation, with the problem being exceptionally complex in a
17 technical sense, I believe viewed statically, it cannot be resolved at
18 all. Mr. President, as far as the Federation is concerned, nothing has
19 been done so far in the functional sense. Not a single function of the
20 Federation has been developed."
21 And I just note for you, sir, and the courtroom, this is March
22 1995. This is a year after the signing of the Washington Agreement:
23 "Not a single function of the Federation has been developed.
24 Therefore, these are all just a few psychological effects. It exists or
25 it does not exist. However, not a single function of the Federation has
1 been established, developed, or implemented. Because of this, officials
2 in the Federation normally have found themselves in the situation where
3 their authority and posts are being jeopardised, and that process is the
4 way it is. They assess that within this time frame, the Croatian
5 Republic of Herceg-Bosna would grow stronger, contrary to their primary
6 aim. They have two primary aims at this moment. The first is to topple
7 the Croatian Republic
8 to the sea. So these are the two basic aims."
9 Can you confirm, sir, that by November -- excuse me, by March of
10 1995, based on your involvement in these issues and the various senior
11 positions that you held at the time that you've described to the Judges,
12 that in fact by March 1995, essentially nothing substantial had been done
13 to establish the Federation, it was not functioning?
14 A. As I said before during my evidence, when the Croatian
15 representatives arrived in Sarajevo
16 Agreement began, as well as the attempt to build up the Federation.
17 Likewise, as I've mentioned, we drew up analyses to see how the financial
18 system would be functioning in BH-controlled territory and HVO-controlled
20 I, as the finance minister of the Republic and the Federation,
21 tabled a proposal to the government of package measures that were to be
22 adopted. My own ministry prepared a total of 26 regulations covering
23 that area, such as customs, taxes, budgetary law and so on and so forth.
24 However, there was obstruction --
25 Q. That is not --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I object to the interruption. It was
2 an open-ended question. He's entitled. He said nothing was developed.
3 He didn't say by whom. Now that he doesn't like the answer, because now
4 he's realising that it was the Muslim authorities of Sarajevo that
5 refused -- that refused to implement the Washington Accord. They totally
6 did not want a federation to exist. What they wanted was a unitary
7 state, and that's what they were trying to do. That's what the witness
8 is trying to explain and I object to the interruption. We can't have it
9 both ways, we can't have it both ways.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good. Mr. Witness,
11 please proceed, please complete, because you were discussing the 26
12 regulations, you will explain, and the Prosecutor interrupted you. So
13 please complete what you were going to say, why the 26 regulations did
14 not see the light of day.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those regulations were passed, but
16 the basic question was not resolved about the establishment of the
17 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; what army, what about the police?
18 According to the Washington Agreement, the police was set up at the
19 cantonal level, but we cannot now finance the budget of the state, and in
20 accordance with the Washington Agreement, first a law on police had to be
21 passed, a law on the army, the laws regulating the beneficiaries of the
22 budget, and pressure was exerted in this sense. And we talked about the
23 media reports in an effort to create the impression that Croats were
24 opposed to the implementation of the Washington Agreement.
25 However, no regulations defining this area that I was talking
1 about, the budget, the expenditures, the institutions of the Federation,
2 was passed [as interpreted], because the Bosniak side was not interested
3 in establishing the Federation before it knew what would happen with the
4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was its only goal. And this was
5 why pressure was exerted for the funds to be channeled into the budget of
6 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But where were they supposed to be
7 spent? And this was the basic reason why these regulations were not
9 Later on, when we insisted for the establishment of the
10 Federation for -- for the governments of the Federation and the Republic
11 to be divided, the process was able to move on. Let me give you an
13 In accordance with the Washington Agreement, it was envisaged
14 that there would be the Central Bank of the Federation of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the currency, the Federation of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina was to have its own currency. At no stage did the
17 Bosniak colleagues want to pass the law on the Central Bank of the
18 Federation, but they said, well, there is the National Bank of the State
19 of the Republic of Herzegovina
20 on the implementation of the Federation, and we insisted that the law on
21 the Central Bank of the Federation be passed. Of course, this document
22 never saw the light of day, and that is one of the reasons why there was
23 this continuous obstruction and this creating of the atmosphere of the
24 impression that Croats were trying to obstruct it. I'm talking about
25 people who came to Sarajevo
2 MR. KARNAVAS: One minor correction. On page 16, line 15, the
3 gentleman indicated was not passed. As it reflects now in the
4 transcript, it says "was passed." It should say "was not passed."
5 Page 16, line 15.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Coming back to that part of the transcript that more directly
9 relates to the issue that we were on, in terms of demographics and some
10 of the ethnic issues, if I can ask you to go to page 18 of the record,
11 and this continues to be Mr. Prlic speaking, and the first paragraph
12 starting at page 18, Mr. Prlic says:
13 "As regards the conference, one speaks of the emotional and basic
14 ties with Herceg-Bosna. That is why this is important, I tell you, most
15 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not feel emotional towards BH, our
16 integral group here, ourselves, do not feel it is our state. I know
17 this. I was at the talks on Thursday and Friday, on the other side of
18 the table. Therefore, that is the only significant and emotional charge
19 and we must bear it in mind at all times. That is why I believe that
20 what we say politically, confederation as the precondition of this," and
21 that's something we're going to hopefully get to today, as has been
22 mentioned to the Judges, the topic of the confederation, and Mr. Prlic
23 says: "That is why I believe that what we say politically, confederation
24 as the precondition of this, is that we must make it operational through
25 the appropriate decisions and test, let us say, the will of the Muslims."
1 Then continuing at the bottom of that page, the last line on
2 page 18:
3 "And the third issue, Mr. Markovic, as the projects we have
4 mentioned to you, it is the construction of a thousand individual housing
5 units in the areas of Capljina, Dubrava, Stolac, and the southern part of
6 Mostar which we believe will strengthen the Croatian spine in that
7 exceptionally important area."
8 And that brings me back, sir, to the question we were a few
9 moments ago. Wasn't that specifically being done to increase the
10 Croatian population and demographics in those areas, as a way of
11 maintaining Croatian control in those areas; correct?
12 A. It was a pragmatic response to the situation and the number of
13 refugees in those areas, refugees who lived in other people's apartments
14 and houses, and they had to leave those houses and apartments. And the
15 alternative solution that was offered to them was for houses to be built
16 for them there, because they did not want to go back to those places for
17 the most part in Central Bosnia from where they had left.
18 Q. Isn't it correct, sir, that the HVO authorities and many Croats
19 of Herzegovina
20 A. Well, you cannot generalise. In the areas where fighting was
21 fierce and where there were victims in people's families, the wounds were
22 still fresh and it was difficult to act politically to make the people go
23 back to their -- to the places where they used to live immediately.
24 Q. Sir, there was a great deal of concern among the Herceg-Bosna
25 leadership, was there not, about Muslims coming back or returning to the
1 so-called Croat areas?
2 A. Muslims lived in Croatian areas until the war broke out between
3 Croats and Muslims. So they were there, and the basic problem was the
4 relationship of the victims, the people who suffered, and this was the
5 general problem that prevented the return of the people.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, this issue that
7 is important, we see that Mr. Prlic intervenes before Mr. Tudjman, and
8 the date is after the Washington Accords.
9 The situation that you experienced, because you were minister of
10 the Federation, the ethnic groups, the Serbs, the Muslims and the Croats,
11 owing to the BiH offensive, were there areas taken by the Muslim armed
12 forces where the Croats were to remain and did not allow the return of
13 the Croats? Do you have knowledge of any situation where theoretically,
14 within the framework of the Washington Accords, there were to be
15 significant changes, by way of an example, if you know any?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we constantly received
17 information about the attacks on the returnees in Central Bosnia, parts
18 of Jablanica. Those are people who were there as refugees, Muslims.
19 That was their reaction. So this was an atmosphere where the blood was
20 still boiling in people's veins after the conflicts that had taken place.
21 So we're talking about those areas where Croats were supposed to return,
22 in particular in Central Bosnia around Travnik, where we would receive
23 information to that effect. And I mentioned Jablanica, Doljani, those
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. So you cite the case of
2 Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. And you mentioned the -- if you will, the Muslims' reaction to
5 some of the returns in Central Bosnia. But, sir, it was the same on the
6 Croat side concerning so-called Muslim returns, wasn't it? There were
7 many people, including people, I put it to you, in the HVO leadership who
8 were opposed to the Muslims either staying or coming back to these
9 so-called Croat areas; isn't that true?
10 A. Well, I've already noted that the situation was so fresh in
11 people's memories, and there was mutual situation of this kind.
12 Q. Let me ask you to go to Exhibit P08848, which will be in the
13 second of the large binders. P08848.
14 If I can direct your attention to page 3 of this record of a
15 meeting involving, among others, Mr. Prlic and Mr. Tudjman. Mr. Prlic,
16 on page 3:
17 "With regards to the return of people, Central Bosnia, Sarajevo
18 Posavina and that part, he asked me whether all of that would be
19 successful. I gave him that book. He said, 'We should meet again many
20 times before the perfect peace is restored.'"
21 Skipping to the next paragraph, he says:
22 "He asked me what I thought about that. I told him that the
23 Croats did not want to return to the areas with the majority of the
24 Muslim population."
25 Next page:
1 "I gave him my example. I did not want to bring my daughters to
2 the predominantly Muslim town, because I am afraid that they might get
3 married to the Muslim guys. This is how I look at it, as a parent."
4 Now, that's what Mr. Prlic said, and isn't that a commonly-held
5 view among the Croats of Herzegovina around this time?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, this is 1998. What does this have to
7 do with the indictment? You know, I'm objecting on the grounds of
8 relevance. I would like to hear what the relevance is. Why is this
9 relevant to the indictment? We keep talking about Croats. Now we're
10 vilifying all of the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He talks about, you
11 know, the Herceg-Bosna leadership. Who are the leaderships? What is the
12 relevance of all of this?
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, among other things, Your Honour, it goes to
14 Mr. Prlic's state of mind and attitudes in this regard, number 1.
15 Number 2, the witness just said a few moments ago, and I thought it was
16 quite interesting and actually quite connected, because he was
17 attributing these emotions to the fresh wounds, if you will, the fresh
18 wounds after the 1993-1994 war. Well, we can see here that apparently
19 those feelings remained the same even by 1998, some years after these
20 fresh wounds, which undoubtedly were significant, but it's entirely
21 relevant and goes directly to the witness's testimony, Your Honour.
22 Sir, that was --
23 MR. KARNAVAS: May I get a ruling, please? May I get a ruling?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the view of the Chamber, it
25 is relevant and fully acceptable, all the more so since Mr. Prlic
1 continues indicating that, "I think that the visit of the Pope here is
2 important." So this also seems to be linked to the Pope's visit.
3 Witness, were you aware of that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, aware of what?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Of the visit of the Pope that
6 was likely to improve the situation.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was the president of the
8 state committee for the Pope's visit to Sarajevo, and I knew about those
9 activities. And his arrival was supposed to be a political message, a
10 message of support to the Croats to stay in Bosnia, to remain there,
11 because Croats, as the smallest ethnic community, after all that they'd
12 been through, felt some fear that they would not be able to remain in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a constituent people in the areas where Muslims
14 were in the majority. They did not -- didn't have schools in Croatian,
15 and children were not coming back, for the most part. People who were
16 going back were the elderly, who just went there to guard the property.
17 So I think that the lobbying for the visit of the Pope was an important
18 effort -- an important project for the people in -- for the Croatian
19 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina to remain there.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Mr. Tomic, I come back to the original question some minutes ago
22 before the objection from Mr. Karnavas.
23 The view expressed by Mr. Prlic, when he said, "I told him that
24 the Croats did not want to return to the areas with a majority Muslim
25 population, I did not want to bring my daughters to the predominantly
1 Muslim town," that was a view held not only by Mr. Prlic, but by a number
2 of people in the HVO Herceg-Bosna leadership even by 1998; isn't that
4 A. I think that Mr. Prlic here expressed the fears of many people,
5 many Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, when he said that. I know that this
6 is not his view, as far as his family is concerned, because as far as I
7 know, his brother was married twice, both of his wives were Muslims, so
8 family-wise there are no problems there. But there was this fear that
9 existed, and this was a way to convey those concerns. It was just an
11 Q. It was -- if you can go to page 8 of the same document, please.
12 President Tudjman, in this conversation, Mr. Prlic at one point
14 "My dear Jadranko," referring to him by first name:
15 "My dear Jadranko, Zubak is one line, you are another, those down
16 there are third one, and that's the problem."
17 And Mr. Jadranko Prlic says:
18 "Mr. President, I do not belong to any line. I have listened to
19 your advice."
20 And just repeating that at the end of that paragraph he says:
21 "I do not belong to any line. I have been implementing what you
22 were telling me all the time."
23 In your close association with Mr. Prlic through this time, and
24 learned when you were here before that you were I think it fair to say
25 close friends and close professional associates, if I can say
1 "professional," in government, et cetera, you were very close to
2 Mr. Prlic. And does this not accurately state, indeed, his actions and
3 views at the time, that this was he followed what President Tudjman told
4 him to do? Or to quote his own words: "I have been implementing what
5 you were telling me all the time"?
6 A. Mr. Prlic is pragmatic by nature, very much so, and in his
7 relations with President Tudjman, that was the stance that he took in
8 order to get the information, because all the negotiations that were
9 going on and all the information that came in came in, for the most part,
10 through Zagreb
11 President Tudjman was a correct one.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there's something
13 that is lacking for us Judges, at least as far as I'm concerned. It
14 seems that this conversation between Tudjman and Prlic is linked to the
15 departure of Zubak. What happened? What happened with Zubak?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zubak founded a new party. He left
17 the HDZ and founded a new party. That was called "The New Croatian
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And why did he leave the HDZ?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Throughout this time, the HDZ
21 functioned as a movement of the Croatian people in Bosnia and
23 the membership, if you look at how it functioned. I gave you my example,
24 where I became a member of the Presidency of the party ex officio,
25 although I never actually became a member of that party. And then, at a
1 later stage, when there was a period of peace, when Bosnia and
3 different views and visions as to how things should go on from there,
4 expounded by various people. And Zubak was the first to actually leave
5 the HDZ and to find a new party. Mr. Prlic did the same thing at a later
6 date, and there were others that followed. Be that as it may, new
7 parties were created in Bosnia and Herzegovina, new Croat parties.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic created what, what
9 party? What party did he create?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic founded a party that was
11 called "The European Movement," something like that, and it was a
12 multiethnic party. It was not a Croat ethnic party.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And given Mr. Zubak created
14 his party, Mr. -- his party, what did Mr. Tudjman have to say to that? I
15 mean, did he see all this powerlessly? I mean, how did he react to all
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't give you an answer to
18 that question, because I really don't know how he saw that, but I do know
19 that, in effect, every new party weakened the Croat chances in Bosnia
21 community, were still bound to the HDZ as the first party that was set
23 Two years ago, a new party, the largest so far, was founded.
24 This party is called "The HDZ 1990." So it's the same name with the
25 addition of "1990." At the local elections that were held recently, its
1 results were much worse than the original HDZ's.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. If we can turn next on this same topic, continuing on to
5 Exhibit P08489. P08489, which will be in the second binder. This is a
6 further record of a meeting involving President Tudjman and others on the
7 24th of November, 1995, actually quite close in time to one of the
8 earlier records we looked at.
9 If I can direct your attention, please, to page 6, which again
10 will pick up with Mr. Prlic talking. Page 6, a few lines down in the
11 first paragraph on that page, Mr. Prlic says:
12 "In that connection, our basic demand to the Muslim side has a
13 particular gravity, so we would ask you to try to resolve it with
14 Mr. Izetbegovic. It's about addressing the question of demarcating the
15 borders between the 'velezupe,' or cantons as we now call them, within
16 the framework of the Federation. You know what our interest is in that
17 respect. Under the Vienna
18 included in the Federation territory, because in any case that process
19 has to be met. It's vital also because of the next conclusion, and it's
20 about the return of refugees and displaced persons, where we find
21 ourselves, whether we like it or not, in a defensive position, bearing in
22 mind that the Muslims are staying, that the Muslims don't have any other
23 homelands to fall back on, and even at the price of far lower standards
24 of living, they will stay and fill up our areas. That's not the case
25 with the Croats, and in accordance with our national priorities we must
1 ensure that when it comes to demarcation, we safeguard those areas in
2 which - I wish to say this perfectly openly - we are keen to have a
3 majority Croatian population."
4 Then continuing over to the top of page 9, please, and Mr. Prlic
5 continues on this topic, the top of page 9, please. Mr. Prlic says:
6 "And the third aspect is support in the demographic sense. We
7 discussed that at Dayton
8 ourselves, and we must secure funds for Drvar, either on a credit basis
9 or some other way, we are securing these areas for Croatian families to
10 live there and be there. We have to secure funds for the families who
11 tomorrow should be living in Ivanjica, between Dubrovnik and Trebinje, in
12 that belt that belongs to the Federation. But there won't be any
13 Croatian people, regardless of what the borders are, we won't be able to
14 fully realise the interests that were the reason in the first place why
15 we ended up drawing these borders in this part of the territory,
16 regardless of all the arrangements that are mentioned, that we
17 anticipated over a long, probably quite a long time."
18 And you'll go then on the topic to page 14, bottom of page 14
19 where Mr. Bender comes into the conversation, and I will ask you, sir, a
20 couple of questions about this when I put these passages to you. Bender
21 says at the end of that paragraph above "president," he says:
22 "I would like to ask for a concretisation of the national
23 programme of protecting marginal territories, in addition to Dubrovnik
24 through Num and so on, to Central Bosnia, because if we don't concretise
25 this, I'm afraid that the Croats will drain out from these areas and then
1 we don't need either the Federation or Bosnia and Herzegovina. I hope
2 that with plentiful help from the Republic of Croatia
3 task to the satisfaction of Croats."
4 Sir, isn't it correct that throughout this time period, this
5 continued to be a major concern of the Herceg-Bosna and HVO leadership,
6 and that was the issue of the demographics in so-called Herceg-Bosna, and
7 there was a concern about the loss of Croat population and an increase in
8 Muslim population; correct?
9 A. No, this is not in reference to that. This is the period after
10 the Federation had been defined as a number of cantons. The Drvar area,
11 after the combat operations in the area, remained undefined. Did it
12 belong to the Federation or not? How would that area be organised? And
13 this was the question.
14 A large number of refugees, Croat refugees, had arrived in Drvar
15 to settle there. Aid became necessary in order to enable those people to
16 live there. We needed funds to build accommodation for them. We needed
17 a school system to be up and running. A modicum of economy, so to speak.
18 There was a lot of forestry there, timber processing and so on and so
20 This is not about Herceg-Bosna. This is the situation in the
21 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina following the operations during which
22 these areas became part of the Federation. But it had not been defined
23 yet which canton they would fall under.
24 Q. Let's continue on this same record and see what President Tudjman
25 says on this topic. If I can direct your attention to page 30. Page 30,
1 please, and it picks up at the second line of the page, President Tudjman
3 "Yes, they have preserved a complete Bosnia, but one where, on
4 the demarcation line there'll be created four kilometres. But you
5 interpret what the Croatian people got. So the Croatian people also got
6 territories that they didn't have, so Grahovo, not just Kupres, but
7 Grahovo, Glamoc, Drvar and Jajce, territories, then, that are of
8 strategic interest for the Croatian state. And it's clear that here
9 we're to try, like down there at Stolac, to try through settling people
10 there, you'll create," and he goes and talks about "Mr. Susak has already
11 told you about a decision to put certain military unit in an area to
12 cover these things and secure things for the future."
13 The next paragraph, Mr. Tudjman goes on to say:
14 "Don't lose confidence. Gentlemen, we've succeeded. We've
15 succeeded in getting not just Herceg-Bosna, which is what we had, what
16 we've got - we can say that among ourselves - half of Bosnia, if we're
17 good at governing, if we govern cleverly."
18 Going to the top of page 31 , President Tudjman continuing on,
19 first paragraph on that page:
20 "And, of course, in the Federation again, and on the basis of
21 past experience, you have to demand that every Croatian municipality
22 holds out and is autonomous, self-governing, or in places where Croats
23 are scattered around, in places where they can't hold out or don't want
24 to, get them to move to these territories that we're interested in so
25 that in every respect, and in respect of the population itself, they take
1 on a Croatian character."
2 Sir, I put my question -- the same question I put to you a few
3 moments ago, after seeing what President Tudjman says. It was a
4 continuing demographic policy of President Tudjman and the Herceg-Bosna
5 leadership to work the demographics in such a way and to move population
6 in such a way as to maintain Croatian control in certain desired areas;
7 isn't that correct?
8 A. We must go back to the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina
10 system, the media, and so on and so forth, a number of other areas as
11 well. This is about Drvar and Bosanska Grahovo, about these two areas.
12 They are here becoming part of a canton that has a Croat ethnic majority,
13 the so-called Livno canton. Within the canton, these people had their
14 own schools with teaching in the Croatian language. They had their own
15 media and such like. It wasn't the same --
16 Q. Excuse me. It's not just about Livno. It talks about Kupres,
17 Jajce, Central Bosnia. You can't limit what President Tudjman has said
18 to those particular areas you just mentioned. In fact, Tudjman says,
19 "We've succeeded in not just getting Herceg-Bosna, but half of Bosnia
20 we govern smartly"; correct?
21 A. So this was an expression of support to the Croatian leadership,
22 telling them to join in the effort to build Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was
23 also a message saying that a solution could be found. I'm talking about
24 a canton that was predominantly Croat and also a canton that had parity
25 with the other towns in it. The schooling was cantonal level at the
1 time, education was, and this was one of the important factors in terms
2 of having people return to the area.
3 Q. Sir, in the course of your testimony when you were here
4 previously, you made a number of references or comments about the Tuzla
5 municipality. Just one question on that, I believe.
6 Just to be clear, during the period April 1992 to April 1994,
7 April 1992 to April 1994, were you ever in Tuzla
8 A. No.
9 Q. And just not on Tuzla
10 the same question, for example, about Zenica. Were you ever in Zenica
11 during the period April 1992 to April 1994?
12 A. I was passing through in 1992, October 1992.
13 Q. Is that the only time that you were passing through or in Zenica
14 during that two-year period?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You were asked some questions about money that was flowing from
17 the Croatian Ministry of Defence to Croatia
18 documentation. And you made reference in that part of your testimony
19 that, to your knowledge or in your view, this money was coming from the
20 contributions from the Croatian Diaspora. Do you recall that part of
21 your testimony?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, sir, I'm going to put to you -- I'm putting to you now that
24 unless you've seen or unless you've been personally involved in some sort
25 of a very detailed and exhaustive accounting of all that money, you have
1 no way of saying, do you, that all the money that was flowing through the
2 Ministry of Defence came from diaspora contributions?
3 A. I had received information from Mr. Martinovic, and he was one of
4 the signatories of those accounts. It was based on that that I said that
5 the money had arrived in these accounts, and these accounts were opened
6 in banks outside Croatia
7 Defence ministry or through a number of other channels that
8 Mr. Martinovic or Mr. Susak, as the signatories of those accounts, made
9 sure were available.
10 Q. Sir, I'll repeat my question to you. Sir, there's no way that
11 you can tell these Judges, under oath, that all the money that went to
12 Herceg-Bosna or the HVO through the Croatian Ministry of Defence came
13 from diaspora contributions, can you? You simply have no way of telling
14 the Judges that?
15 A. I told you how I learned this. I wasn't keeping track of those
16 accounts, and I wasn't the one doing the accounting.
17 Q. In connection with Mr. Prlic and the positions he held, and
18 you'll recall that the last time you were here you -- we looked at one of
19 his business cards, and in fact he had a cellphone number and a telephone
20 number and a fax number, and on that business card he described himself
21 as the president of the Croatian -- excuse me, the president of the HVO
22 HZ-HB; is that correct? Do you recall?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And I take it, sir, that in your experience, and working closely
25 with Mr. Prlic, when he met people, when he met international officials,
1 for example, I suppose he did not introduce himself as the convener of
2 meetings, did he?
3 A. I don't think I understand.
4 Q. Well, did he introduce you, "Hi, President so-and-so. I'm
5 Jadranko Prlic, I'm the convener of meetings"?
6 A. I know nothing about that.
7 Q. And I suppose at these meetings he never introduced himself as,
8 quote, "the signer of documents."
9 A. I really don't understand your question.
10 Q. Sir, when you heard --
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this line of
12 questioning. We've heard witnesses over and over again talk about what
13 the function was of the president of the -- of an executive authority, be
14 it at a municipal level or at this level. I find these questions
15 offensive, and I think that I would expect that the Trial Chamber would
16 find them equally offensive at this point, three years into this trial.
17 I think that this is the better time -- there are better ways to use up
18 his time that the Trial Chamber has been so generous in giving him.
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
20 Your Honour, my questions are entirely serious. Representations
21 have been made about what powers and authorities Mr. Prlic had, and
22 I think it's appropriate to know how did he hold himself out to the
23 world. And I suspect, as I'm putting the questions to the witness, he
24 didn't introduce himself as, "I convene meetings." My question is
25 entirely serious.
1 Q. Sir, did you ever hear of Mr. Prlic explain himself or his
2 position to international officials or others, that his position in
3 Herceg-Bosna was, quote, "to sign documents"?
4 A. Mr. Prlic was the president of the HVO HZ-HB, and that is
5 precisely how he introduced himself.
6 Q. Now, did you come to know that throughout this period of 1992 to
7 1994, that Mr. Prlic, among other things, had a number of ongoing
8 dealings with the Serb -- the Bosnian Serb authorities?
9 A. I did not know that there was permanent contact. I know that
10 some information would occasionally arrive, but I knew of no permanent,
11 ongoing contact.
12 Q. I'm not sure where the word "permanent" came from. It wasn't in
13 my question. My question was: Did you become aware that from time to
14 time, perhaps increasing over time, Mr. Prlic had dealings and
15 negotiations with the Bosnian Serb authorities? And I take it the answer
16 is, "Yes."
17 A. Yes. At a later stage, there were contacts, as far as I know.
18 Q. Let me ask you to go to Exhibit P10718, which will be in the
19 third binder. P10718. And I'm told that the translations for those who
20 might want to look in the B/C/S, that those translations were distributed
21 today that we've been able to obtain since the last time. But, in any
22 event, P10718.
23 Sir, this is a BBC
24 refers to Mr. Prlic being involved in negotiating for prisoner exchange
25 with the Serb authorities. About halfway -- well, not quite halfway down
1 the page, Mr. Prlic is said to have said he expresses his gratitude on
2 behalf of the Croatian side to the people of the Serbian Republic
3 help they have extended the Croatian civilians and fighters who had to
4 leave the Travnik area due to the attack by the Muslim army.
5 And then in the next paragraph after the reporter or interviewer
6 speaks, he talks about arranging an exchange of prisoners on an
7 all-for-all basis.
8 Can you remind the Judges what it meant, in terms of when you
9 negotiated a prisoner exchange, what "all-for-all" meant, and that was in
10 contrast to what?
11 A. I'm not exactly an expert on exchanges, but I think "all-for-all"
12 means all prisoners on one side were exchanged for all prisoners on the
13 other side.
14 Q. And I take it regardless of the numbers on each side. So even
15 though it might be -- one might be turning over 10 and the other side
16 might be turning over 50, but rather than a one-for-one, that's the
17 purpose of saying "all-for-all"; is that correct?
18 A. I assume so, yes.
19 Q. Now, in this same article, it's not only actually Mr. Prlic, but
20 it makes reference to Mr. Petkovic's involvement in these matters. And
21 if you go down toward the bottom of the document, Mr. Petkovic is
22 indicated -- is reported here as talking about these -- some people that
23 have been taken prisoner, apparently. He says:
24 "After their detainment, a different treatment would not be in
25 accordance with what you have said. Therefore, they are civilians in my
1 eyes. They are in uniform. I hope they will be treated as civilians and
2 that they will be returned to us."
3 Did you have any knowledge of that area around this time, that in
4 June 1993 -- about any Croat soldiers who had come into the custody, if
5 you will, of the Serbs around that time, and the issue of how they should
6 be treated?
7 A. As far as I know, there were Croats from Kupres who had been
8 taken prisoner. There was a lot of pressure being exerted by the public,
9 pushing for their release. Some of them were listed as missing, as a
10 matter of fact. There was a very powerful association of parents and
11 families that kept exerting pressure, sending letters, making public
12 statements, in a bid to find their missing relatives.
13 Q. In this same topic, would you go, please, next to P10717, which
14 should be close by, the document immediately preceding the exhibit, I
15 believe. This is another BBC
16 referring to the topic of prisoner exchanges and again discussing
17 Mr. Prlic's involvement.
18 In the third paragraph of this document, it says that apparently
19 the Croat side had refused to release even the 90 Serbs brought to the
20 exchange from Livno, in Western Herzegovina.
21 Do you have any knowledge as to why the Croats on this occasion
22 refused to release the 90 Serbs?
23 A. I don't know anything about that.
24 Q. And the next paragraph, it refers to 500 Serbs who had been
25 released in the -- from the area of Tomislavgrad in October of 1992. Do
1 you know anything about the release of those Serbs in October of 1992?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you know, sir, that throughout this time period, Mr. Prlic,
4 as president of the HVO HZ-HB, was engaged in prisoner exchange
5 negotiations with the Serbs?
6 A. I know that Mr. Prlic had contacts with the Serbs. It was about
7 making sure those people received assistance, and this was probably done
8 under pressure from the families who were looking for their relatives,
9 all them wanting to get their relatives released.
10 Q. Can I ask you to next turn, please, to P10711. That should also
11 be close by, P10711, another BBC
12 September, 1993, concerning talks between Mr. Prlic and the Bosnian Serb
13 authorities on a number of topics, including freedom of movement, passage
14 of convoys. It's in binder number 3, but it should be -- it should have
15 been close by to the 10711.
16 My particular question about that, other than the -- you don't
17 have it?
18 A. Not there.
19 MR. SCOTT: Can we have the usher's assistance, please. Binder
20 3, 10711.
21 Okay. I'm told, Your Honour, that the documents the witness
22 would have been looking would probably have been loose today, and that
23 may be the basis of the confusion.
24 Sir, if you could either find it, or if I could ask you to assist
25 us, please, by looking at the screen in front of you. You'll see the
1 same document. In the interests of time, sir, I really just have one
2 particular question about the document.
3 In the -- toward the bottom of the page, the last paragraph that
4 is attributed to Mr. Prlic, you'll see Mr. Prlic's name in brackets, and
5 toward the end of that paragraph he says:
6 "The Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
7 the territory of former Bosnia-Herzegovina be people open to cooperation
8 and negotiations to ease tensions."
9 And my question to you, sir: Was it common for the HVO and
10 Herceg-Bosna leadership around this time in September of 1993 to refer to
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina as the former Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. It wasn't being referred to as the former, in the sense of no
13 longer being there. The reference was to the previous Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had not been agreed, in a manner of speaking
15 upon, and which was not the expression of the will of all its
16 inhabitants, and that's why the term "former" was used here; not in the
17 sense of a country no longer being around.
18 Q. What had not been agreed, according to the will of all its
20 A. The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the changes that ensued in
21 terms of government, in terms of the Presidency, in terms of Parliament,
22 all these were unilateral changes made by Sarajevo, and that is what the
23 term "former" refers to. It doesn't suggest that this is a country that
24 is no longer there. It means that this is a state that was developed and
25 set up and established, but not all of the peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 were really involved in this process.
2 Q. Sir, it says here -- there's no reference to the government. It
3 says -- it's referring to territory. The territory had not changed, had
4 it, or had it? Is your position that the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 had changed by 30 September 1993?
6 A. No. We're talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina, we're talking about
7 a state which is within its Avnoj borders. However, colloquially, the
8 term "former" was used, in the sense of the former authorities, a state
9 that was not established since its establishment. This is not about new
10 territory. This is always about Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it is former,
11 former meaning one still seeks a structure that would suit all of its
13 Q. Well, sir, that's what you say now, but I will leave it at that.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to the commentary, Your Honour. You
15 know, he can just move on with the questions. He's not here to provide
17 MR. SCOTT: To hear Mr. Karnavas say that, Your Honour, is truly
18 astounding, given the amount of running commentary that he provides on a
19 regular basis, but I'll move on.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you've got two minutes
21 before the break.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. If I could ask you to go next to P10709, sir. It should still be
24 in the third binder, if you have that, 10709.
25 Sir, this is a BBC
1 talking about certain meetings between Mr. Prlic and the Bosnian Serb
2 authorities. It refers to a two-day visit to Banja Luka. Mr. Prlic,
3 among other things, states that the Serbs in this area had never been at
4 war. And in the third paragraph of that document:
5 "... as the frontlines were frozen and the ceasefire was in force
6 in all theaters of war."
7 Can you confirm to the Judges, please, that as of October of
8 1993, there was no active large-scale fighting between the Croats and
9 Serbs in the area of Herzegovina
10 A. I can't say for sure, but I don't know.
11 Q. You don't know. You can't -- you have no basis at all? You
12 can't tell the Judges about the general state of affairs during that time
13 between the Serb -- Bosnian Serb armed forces and Croat armed forces?
14 Sir, isn't it correct -- let me put just it to you this way,
15 then. Isn't it correct, sir, that for many months around this time, in
16 fact, there had not been any significant armed conflict between Serbs and
17 Croats in most of the areas of Herzegovina
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I would like to raise an objection.
20 Given the question, I think my learned friend is misleading the
21 witness. The first time around, the way my learned friend phrased it, it
22 was about Prlic, among other things, saying that the Serbs in this area,
23 meaning Banja Luka, that the Serbs -- it should obviously read "Serbs and
24 Croats" - the Serbs and Croats in this area were never fighting, and then
25 it goes on. If it goes like that, then this is about Banja Luka. And
1 then the questions move on to Central Bosnia, Herzegovina
2 so forth. We had many separate wars in Bosnia, and we all know this is a
3 notorious fact.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, was it a general
5 question or did it have to do only with Banja Luka?
6 MR. SCOTT: It was a general question, Your Honour. I
7 introduced --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT: I introduced the topic by simply referring to the
10 first paragraph, but I believe by the time we get to the third paragraph,
11 we are speaking more generally. And that was my question to the witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Witness, can you answer
13 the question, this general question? As the Prosecutor put it, in that
14 period there was no major conflict or fighting between the Croats and the
15 Serbs. What do you have to say to that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not privy to any
17 detail, where was this and so on and so forth. I really can't recall.
18 As for this document, it's about the Banja Luka area. There were a large
19 number of Croats living there. My family -- rather, my father hailed
20 from Banja Luka. His family lived there. And there was no fighting, in
21 the sense of a war being waged there. I think it was in reference to
22 that particular segment. I don't know about the rest of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina or anything sporadic going on elsewhere. It wasn't my
24 place to monitor such developments. But, again, right now I simply can't
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a 20-minute break.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
4 --- Upon commencing at 4.12 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we resume with the
6 testimony, let me give a short oral ruling regarding the request made
7 orally by accused Prlic for an IC number to be given to a written filing
8 by the Prosecution in relation to time.
9 During the hearing of 13th November 2008, accused Prlic asked the
10 Trial Chamber to give an IC number to a written submission by the
11 Prosecution distributed during the hearing of 11 November in support of
12 his request for additional time for cross-examination of Witness
13 Neven Tomic. This written submission contains a comparison of the total
14 time used by the Defence teams in order to examine and cross-examine
15 Witnesses Neven Tomic, E.A. and Zoran Perkovic, on one hand, and the
16 overall time used by the Prosecution for the cross-examination of those
18 After deliberation, the Trial Chamber dismissed -- decided to
19 dismiss this request, because IC numbers are only given to evidence
20 discussed and tendered into evidence through a witness. The filing in
21 question does not belong to either category. Therefore, it cannot be
22 given an IC number.
23 Very well. Let's have the witness brought in.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: While the witness is coming, Your Honour, in light
25 of your ruling, I did file a motion for certification. At this time, I
1 make an oral request that that be part of -- that that be attached as an
2 exhibit to the motion for certification. And I can file an amended
3 version to that, if that would assist. That's it.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good.
6 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Tomic, we were on and still are on Exhibit P10709, the 5
9 October 1993 article. There are still several aspects of that I would
10 like to talk to you about.
11 We were talking about whether there had been conflict around this
12 time between the Croats and Serbs, but perhaps we can come back to that
13 in a few minutes. But also in that same -- the last paragraph that we
14 were talking about before, the one that I referred you to that says: "As
15 the frontlines were frozen ...," it then goes on to say and attributes to
16 Mr. Prlic a statement about the economic cooperation between the two
17 states, referring to the Serbian Republic
18 Srpska, and the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
19 Was it your experience around this time -- well, let me ask you,
20 Mr. Tomic, is that the terminology you used in the fall of 1993, to refer
21 to Herceg-Bosna as a state and the RS as a state?
22 A. No state prerogatives were used in the Herceg-Bosna nomenclature,
23 and this is just a journalistic description.
24 Q. Sir, going to the last paragraph of this very same article, it
25 says that Mr. Prlic said: "... Now the Republic has all the features and
1 powers of a state."
2 Do you disagree with Jadranko Prlic?
3 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you're referring to. What
5 Q. The last paragraph, if you will, of the same article that we've
6 been looking at for the last few minutes:
7 "Speaking about the development of the Croatian Republic
8 Herceg-Bosna, Prlic said that now it was a republic with all the features
9 and powers of a state."
10 Now, do you agree with that or do you disagree with
11 Mr. Jadranko Prlic's assessment?
12 A. You cannot say that it had the characteristics of a state. At no
13 time did Herceg-Bosna have this element.
14 Q. In the preceding paragraph, the statement is attributed to
15 Mr. Prlic that says:
16 "As we were not --" and he's referring, obviously, to the --
17 well, from the context of this article, to the Serbs, and he says:
18 "'As we were not able to live together, we should continue to
19 live as neighbours,' Prlic said."
20 I put it to you, sir, that statement by Mr. Prlic sounds
21 amazingly similar to the statement by Mr. Koljevic in the presidential
22 record we looked at earlier. "We can live together, but not on top of
23 each other." That was also Mr. Prlic's view, wasn't it?
24 A. I can't say what was said here. I know, from my contacts with
25 Mr. Prlic, what his thoughts were on this matter, so this is not in the
1 context of what Mr. Koljevic was saying. This was about a visit to Banja
2 Luka and the efforts to help the Croats who remained in Banja Luka, the
3 costs of medical treatment and various other problems that they
4 encountered. So this part is given from the point of view of the
5 journalist. He's the one describing the situation. But knowing what
6 Mr. Prlic's positions were, what his thoughts were on this matter, to me
7 this is contradictory to what his thoughts were.
8 Q. Well, sir, you've said something similar to that a number of
9 times now this afternoon, and I want to come at it this way: I put it to
10 you, sir, are you suggesting that with a given audience on a given day,
11 Mr. Prlic would say one thing and on a different day Mr. Prlic would say
12 something different?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I object to the form of the question.
14 Is the Prosecutor now claiming that these are his actual words and that
15 the journalist accurately described what was said, if indeed anything was
16 said? We don't have a tape-recording, we have nothing to verify this. I
17 object to the way the question is formed.
18 Now, if he wishes to rephrase it and to say that Dr. Prlic would
19 say one thing on one occasion and another thing on another occasion,
20 that's fine. But to now claim that these are his held positions, I
21 object to that.
22 MR. SCOTT: Well, two responses, Your Honour.
23 Number 1, there's no reason, at face value, not to take the
24 article at face value. We simply cannot assume that it is not correct,
25 number 1.
1 Number 2, number 2, I'm happy to put the question as suggested by
2 Mr. Karnavas.
3 Q. Sir, in your experience, and again as a close friend and
4 colleague of Dr. Prlic, is it your experience that depending on the
5 circumstances and depending on the audience, Mr. Prlic might say one
6 thing on one day and something completely different to a different
7 audience under a different circumstance on another day?
8 A. I have to say once again I know his views of those issues, and in
9 this text, this is a Tanjug text that is carried by the BBC. It's
10 originally from a Belgrade
11 reports were written and quotes were made that may have been or may not
12 have been actually the quotes of what was being said.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you said had not escaped
14 me. We don't exactly know who is with the Tanjug agency and what is part
15 of the BBC
16 Mr. Prlic or if it's the BBC
17 terms of press, a press agency, when it hears something, it quotes it
18 between -- puts it between inverted commas, and here there's no -- this
19 last sentence, there's no inverted commas or hyphens, so we can assume
20 that it's either the journalist who is making this conclusion or the BBC
21 What do you think of that? You, in your previous duties, were
22 used to dealing with the press. What is your view on the matter?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To be quite specific, when it comes
24 to this text, this is a text produced by the Tanjug news agency from
1 In my line of work in Bosnia-Herzegovina over the past 15 years,
2 I cannot believe what they're saying in situations of this kind. You saw
3 the text published in "Oslobodjenje" that was tendered in the course of
4 my testimony where some statements were made and some accusations levied
5 against me, and I know that this was not true, but this was a report
6 published by a newspaper that supported one option, and Tanjug supported
7 the option to turn the Republika Srpska into a state. And they used
8 every opportunity to say that Republika Srpska is and should be a state,
9 and regardless of everything else, that was their main goal. And this is
10 why I'm so skeptical about this quote really being attributable to
11 Mr. Prlic.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. Sorry, I asked you --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. -- few moments ago. We won't come back to it just now, but I
18 mention it so that it is in the context of the question I'm going to put
19 to you, about the absence of substantial armed conflict between the Serbs
20 and the Croats in Herzegovina
21 period, at least the second half of 1993. I just put a marker on that,
22 and I'll come back to it in a moment.
23 Now, is it correct that in accomplishing the Croat goals in the
24 second half of 1993, Mr. Prlic and others in the HVO leadership felt that
25 a military victory over the Muslims was essential, that basically there
1 was no way forward at this time, at least not a good one, for the Croats
2 unless a clear military victory could be achieved over the Muslims?
3 A. I was not aware of this position on the part of Mr. Prlic. I
4 knew that he always said that the conflict should cease as soon as
5 possible, and because the Croats were the smallest community, in the long
6 run they stood no chance in any such conflict, prolonged conflict. This
7 was the way that I saw his position.
8 Q. And you also understood, did you not, that the position of
9 Mr. Prlic and others in the HVO leadership were that Croats should be
10 moved or concentrated from some parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina to others,
11 which could be made or would remain, based on those movements, Croat
13 A. We never considered this as a position of the HVO. The position
14 was that Croats must be helped and that those who leave their homes must
15 be provided with adequate accommodation, alternative housing.
16 Q. Let's go to Exhibit P06454. P06454 would be in the second
18 This is a record of a presidential meeting in the offices of
19 President Tudjman on the 5th of November, 1993, and I'd like you to first
20 please turn to page number 30, top of the page, simply if you will to set
21 the scene that we have Mr. Prlic speaking. At the top of page 30,
22 Jadranko Prlic says:
23 "I think that this meeting is extremely important. The
24 highest-ranking officials of the Republic of Croatia
25 Republic of Herceg-Bosna
1 dialogue on the overall situation that we are in ..."
2 Now, if I can ask you, please, to go to page 36. Toward of the
3 top of that page, and I'll represent to you this is still -- the record
4 will show -- the transcript will show this is still Mr. Prlic speaking.
5 Mr. Prlic:
6 "I think that at this moment a military victory is necessary to
7 restore both the situation and the state of mind. I think that it is
8 clear --" excuse me, "I think that is clear and does not need to be
9 explained at all. Whether it is Mostar, whether it is Vakuf or this
10 action that is being planned up there to connect Kiseljak with Busovaca.
11 "We must move closer to rounding off territories. As a
12 government, last spring we defined both the proposals and the
13 conclusions, even with regard to moving certain brigades from some areas,
14 which would include moving the population from those areas and
15 concentrating it in certain directions that we think could become and
16 remain Croatian areas.
17 "We would like this solely in the pragmatic sense. I know that
18 the efforts are directed towards every Croat remaining and living where
19 he is now.
20 "But there is pragmatism, there is a concentration of forces,
21 there is everything else. You, as a soldier, know that quite well."
22 Could you please go on to page 38. The bottom of page 38,
23 Mr. Prlic continues:
24 "As for relations with the other two sides, I am in Velika
25 Kladusa tomorrow, God willing, for talks with these two sides. We must
1 play a game with the Serbs because of these enclaves, because that is the
2 only way to keep them alive at all, and to enable them the military
3 strength to protest themselves against the Muslims."
4 Let me pause there. What Mr. Prlic is talking about here, isn't
5 it correct, sir, is the necessity of Bosnian Croats to move across
6 Serb-held territory; isn't that correct?
7 A. I've already stated that the HVO did not discuss this, the
8 relocation of brigades and so on. This was not a topic that was
9 discussed by the HVO.
10 Q. Let me restate my question, sir. Perhaps it was mistranslated or
11 perhaps I misspoke.
12 The reference when Mr. Prlic says: "We must play a game with the
13 Serbs because of these enclaves, because that is the only way to keep
14 them alive at all," he's talking about the necessity of the HVO and
15 Herceg-Bosna authorities and forces to move across Serb-controlled
16 territory; correct?
17 A. I don't know what it entailed, I really don't.
18 Q. "And as for the Muslims, obviously a game will have to be played
19 on two cards, playing different people on one and on the other a card,
20 and probably yourself," referring to President Tudjman, "or some
21 high-ranking official from Croatia
22 will coordinate that gang."
23 Now, playing two cards with the Muslims, isn't that a little bit
24 like saying one thing one day and saying something different another day?
25 A. I don't know what this is about, because I was not part of it and
1 I couldn't really explain this.
2 Q. Sir, I'm going to challenge you on that. You were a senior
3 member of this government for a period of time. You sat in virtually
4 every meeting of the HVO HZB [sic] during this period. You were a close
5 friend and colleague of Mr. Prlic. I put it to you, sir, you could
6 not -- you cannot tell these Judges that you did not know the policy of
7 the HVO on these matters at that time. Can you, sir?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object, and it goes back
9 to my fundamental objection at the beginning.
10 He's asked to comment about a conversation that is taking place
11 where the gentleman was not present. Based on that, unless he's being
12 given an opportunity to read the entire transcript, how is he expected to
13 comment, in light of what he said, he wasn't there and he doesn't know?
14 So that's the fundamental problem that we have here.
15 I understand that the Trial Chamber doesn't wish for the
16 gentleman to take up valuable court time in reading that, but if we want
17 to be fair to the gentleman, then I suggest that either you instruct the
18 Prosecutor to withdraw the question or rephrase it in a manner in which
19 he can answer. But how can he comment about a meeting at which he wasn't
20 present? He's asked to look at a line here and a line there. None of us
21 would be able to do that, even the members of the Bench.
22 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Mr. Karnavas has unfairly
23 stated my question.
24 It is not uncommon practice, and I'm sure Mr. Karnavas and I dare
25 say every lawyer in this courtroom has done this in this trial, you cite
1 a few examples, you a cite particular example on this occasion. I then
2 worked from the specific to the general, and I challenge Mr. Tomic, given
3 his position, given his close hands-on involvement in these matters
4 throughout this time period, I challenge him that it is not credible for
5 him to say not whether he knew this particular conversation, but the
6 policies of the HVO touching on these topics during this time, and I
7 challenge him that is not a credible situation.
8 Q. Now, sir, you knew what the position of the HVO HZ-HB was, didn't
9 you, because you sat in on the meetings, you voted on decisions, you
10 provided the financing? You did all those things, sir, and you cannot
11 sit here and tell these Judges that you did not know what the
12 [indiscernible] of the HVO was during this time.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you please reframe from hitting the
14 podium, because this becomes reinforced for the mic.
15 MR. SCOTT: My apologies, Your Honour.
16 Q. Sir, my question -- my apologies for thumping the podium.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With the objection, I lost the
18 thread. Could you repeat your question to the witness.
19 Let me say that we have a transcript that starts following what
20 happened at [indiscernible]. This is page 1, where Tudjman explains why
21 there's this meeting, and then we don't have pages 2 to 30. And then
22 Mr. Prlic speaking for a few pages, and then it continues, because there
23 are 113 pages, and the document that we have before us is very
24 fragmentary. But speaking from memory, I know that we've already seen
25 this document on various occasions. The Judges are fully informed of the
1 tenor of this document.
2 Before Mr. Scott repeats the question, I just have a minor
3 technical question for you.
4 We have seen several meetings held by Mr. Tudjman that last hours
5 on end. There are dozens of pages. Here we have 100 pages. Is this
6 common practice with you, to have such lengthy meetings?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It all depended on the topic. I
8 attended a couple of meetings that were not that long, but ...
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because earlier on we saw a
10 document. I can't remember the number of it, but it was the first
11 meeting with Mr. Susak, starting at 10.00 in the morning and ending at
12 4.00 in the afternoon. The second meeting with Tudjman, starting at 6.00
13 in the afternoon, and Tudjman said, "Well, you didn't have anything to
14 eat." So the 6.00 meeting must have lasted into the night, so obviously
15 nobody had a bite to eat. So for participants, it would take the whole
16 day. And this is not the only example. We've seen several documents
17 showing that the meetings would last for hours on end. So it was just a
18 theoretical question, was it useful, or was it customary for you to speak
19 for a long time?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as far as we could see from
21 the transcript, this was an occasion where everybody wanted to say
22 something. That is why it took such a long time. I did not attend many
23 of those meetings. Just one of them lasted a little while longer, but
24 the rest were acceptable.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Scott, put the
1 question again, because we lost track of it.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 I must say, Your Honour, it's difficult to conduct -- we're kind
4 of back to some old ways of trying to conduct an examination, and then
5 literally right in the middle of a question, I'm waiting for an answer,
6 and then things go off in another direction, with all respect to the
7 Chamber. I try to lay a foundation, I put the question, and then we move
8 off on to something else.
9 Q. Sir, I come back to the question I put to you some time ago that
10 was hanging at the time of the other questions put by the President.
11 Sir, I put to you that you knew full well what the policy of the HVO
12 HZ-HB was during this time period throughout 1993. You sat in on these
13 meetings and you were a close associate and, I dare say, confidant of
14 Mr. Prlic. You attended some of these presidential meetings yourself in
16 the HVO, and you knew that policy was as stated, among other things, in
17 this record that I've just referred you to. Correct?
18 A. No, that is not correct. I've already said that the HVO had, as
19 its primary task, the defence and protection of the Croats in the areas
20 that were part of the HZ-HB. That was the concept. That's what I have
21 explained a number of times here in court.
22 I also want to add that at official sessions of the HVO, there
23 was always the same concept. No other concept was ever presented. Of
24 course, peace talks affected the debate, as did the situation on the
25 battlefield. A large number of refugees, things that had to be dealt
1 with on a daily basis, but the policy of the HVO was clear.
2 Q. Sir, you've said that repeatedly, but now I come back to the
3 question I put to you a few minutes ago. Are you then suggesting, sir,
4 that -- you say this is what you heard Mr. Prlic say, but I put to you,
5 again, if that's your position, we've now seen a number of instances
6 where Mr. Prlic, I put to you, had said something quite different.
7 I think Mr. Prlic expressed one thing to you and held -- in fact, held on
8 other occasions expressed another view. Is that how the Chamber should
9 understand your testimony?
10 A. I cannot offer a judgement on the basis of what I see here. I
11 know that there was a series of situations where pragmatic solutions had
12 to be found in order to resolve this basic political issue that I was
13 talking about. How are we to look at it today, after so many years have
14 passed, I really cannot conclude that.
15 Q. Sir, you used the word "pragmatic." Let's go back to page 36,
16 and the Chamber well knows and the lawyers in the courtroom know that
17 these records are transcripts of recordings, of a recording system that
18 was operated in the offices of President Tudjman, and on this day
19 Mr. Prlic is recorded as saying, on page 36:
20 "We must move closer to rounding off territories. As a
21 government, last spring," that would be the spring of 1993, "we defined
22 both the proposals and the conclusions, even with regard to moving
23 certain brigades from some areas, which would include moving the
24 population from those areas and concentrating it in certain directions
25 that we think could become and remain Croatian areas. We would like this
1 solely in the pragmatic sense."
2 Skipping down again: "This is pragmatism."
3 And that's exactly the sort of pragmatic solution that you said
4 just a few moments ago just now was necessary; correct?
5 A. As for this paragraph, I said that I was a member of the Cabinet
6 in spring, not in October when this was going on, but I was in spring.
7 And I know that the government never discussed any programme for the
8 relocation of the brigades or of the population.
9 Now, as to why Mr. Prlic said that, in what circumstances, this
10 is the question that he can answer. I know that at the sessions that I
11 attended, no such positions were taken.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I allowed the witness
13 to answer. I didn't want to object. But as you have said, we don't have
14 all the pages of the minutes here in front of us, and we don't know the
15 context of this debate. Is this a reference to some specific effect, an
16 emergency situation that had to be dealt with, and hence the reaction
17 that is ascribed to Prlic, or is this about the policy in general? We
18 can't say that, on the basis of the minutes that we have. Well, at least
19 we have the date for the minutes, and we could compare it with the events
20 in the field that we talked about here.
21 My learned friend from the Prosecution knows the dates, and he
22 knows the answers that he might expect, but this is out of context here,
23 and the connotation it gets might be completely wrong.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, on page 36 Mr. Prlic
25 said the following. He said: "I believe that a military victory is
1 necessary." We've been working at it for nearly three years, so we know
2 a lot of things. We've heard many witnesses, seen many documents. We
3 know that there was an offensive by the ABiH in Central Bosnia. We know
4 that, unfortunately so, unfortunately for the Croats, they're going to
5 have positions, be it in only in Vares, where there are close to 15.000
6 Croats, 5 to 15 Croats, they're going to leave Vares. It seems as though
7 the military situation was a very worrying one, and here we have Prlic
8 saying, "I believe that a military victory is necessary."
9 As far as you know, back then in November was the HVO able to
10 prevail in front of the ABiH, or did they need help from the Republic of
12 was expecting an answer from Tudjman to this question raised by
13 Mr. Prlic, but as a matter of fact, following his intervention, we have
14 Mr. Sancevic speaking.
15 This being said, you were no longer a minister in November. We
16 know that. But from what you know, back then, militarily speaking, was
17 the HVO able to win victory or not? This seems to be called upon by
18 Mr. Prlic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you'd asked any Croat at the
20 time, they would all have told you the same thing. A victory was
21 required to regain hope, to stop the flood of refugees, to simply allow
22 people to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was against this backdrop
23 that the discussion occurred.
24 I really can't say at this point whether the HVO had the military
25 might to achieve that or not, because that was not my area, nor indeed
1 can I judge that sort of issue. I simply don't have sufficient
3 I do know one thing, and it's simply enough. Every day, you are
4 being told that people are leaving this town or that town. Under the
5 circumstances, this was something that appeared to us almost as a
6 mission, it being a good idea to improve the atmosphere that prevailed
7 among the Croats and stop the migrations.
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may place a
9 remark on the record. Otherwise, this will head in a different
11 When the witness started answering your question, he said,
12 "I think that all Croats would agree with that," and he also said, "at
13 the time," and he said a victory was required to consolidate. You heard
14 what he said. And what the transcript says, "a victory was required,"
15 which might mean the overall victory, but he said something entirely
16 different. And I think this should be clarified with the witness.
17 Otherwise -- well, my learned friend is suggesting that maybe I was
18 premature in this.
19 Well, yes, it seems that the key word was not translated. The
20 witness, at the beginning of his answer, said at the time -- any Croat at
21 the time probably would have said the same thing, that a victory was
22 required. A victory, a victory, in the sense of something being
24 [In English] Only one victory is needed, this is what the witness
25 said, only one victory is needed.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What did you say, exactly,
2 Mr. Tomic? Do you remember?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A victory, a victory, not in the
4 sense of a final victory. A victory somewhere along the frontline, quite
5 simply in order to regain the confidence and for people to stop thinking
6 about leaving. There was panic now, and everyone was preparing to leave
7 their respective areas, especially those in the border areas with the
8 BH Army close by.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand properly, in
10 November 1993, as you see it, the morale among the Croats was rather low.
11 They had lost confidence because there was an influx of refugees, there
12 were specific events; is that what you're saying?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about yourself, were you
15 confident or not?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a concern that it
17 wouldn't be possible to control the numbers of refugees, in the sense of
18 being able to put them up in the sense of getting sufficient supplies for
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a question that's just
21 crossed my mind, and then I'll ask Mr. Scott to proceed.
22 In November, Vares was totally evacuated from the Croat
23 population. We've seen documents in which there is mention of the need
24 to put up and send these people everywhere. We've seen several documents
25 to this effect. As far as you know, the Croat -- were the Croat
1 intelligence services aware that there was a major-scale offensive by the
2 ABiH? And in the affirmative, why did they fail to intervene in a
3 transparent and visible way? It may be that you don't know. If you
4 don't know, I'll put the question to the military members that are
5 scheduled to come for other Defence teams, so I could put that question
6 then. But at your level, given the level of disarray, the fact that
7 Croats were leaving in the thousands, why did the Republic of Croatia
8 fail to intervene militarily in a visible and official way?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I simply don't have sufficient
10 information to answer that question.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we'll ask the question
12 of military people.
13 Mr. Scott.
14 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Your Honour, before I begin questioning again and my time with
16 the witness, there's been a number of comments now for some minutes that
17 I've not had a chance to respond to.
18 On the issue of the transcript, Your Honour, and this is not
19 questioning -- this does not go to questioning the witness, you know,
20 we've had this same conversation any number of times. Let me just make a
21 couple of things again clear.
22 The Prosecution's position has been, since Day 1, and it's still
23 the same today, that when the transcripts were admitted, they should have
24 been admitted in toto, partly for these very reasons, so there wouldn't
25 be argument about what's on one page and what's on the previous page.
1 That's been our position all along, it's still our position, and in fact
2 in terms of the recent position by Mr. Karnavas on adding additional
3 material, on much of it I don't think the Prosecution will object,
4 because it's always been our position that the entire transcript should
5 be admitted. Now, having -- which prevents anyone from taking anything
6 out of context.
7 Now, having said that, number 2, as we've said many times,
8 Your Honour, that there's simply no way that we can cover -- read every
9 transcript in full with every witness who comes into this courtroom or
10 that we can put all 120 pages of every transcript in your binders. You
11 have four binders now. How would you like to have ten? How would each
12 of you like to have ten on the Bench, ten binders? These are
13 necessities, this is the way it is, it's the way we've practiced in the
14 last three years, and it is not helpful for anyone to stand up and say,
15 "Well, we've got to read the whole thing, we should have the whole
16 transcript." We just cannot do it, Your Honour, under these
17 circumstances, I put. And the Defence has done exactly the same thing.
18 They've used parts of the transcripts that they wanted to use. The
19 Chamber wants to set days aside which we'll sit and we'll read from
20 page 1 to page 110 of every transcript, but I think the point is made,
21 Your Honour.
22 Now, returning to the witness:
23 Q. Sir, isn't it correct that throughout this time Mr. Prlic -- the
24 topic generally we're talking about is Mr. Prlic's dealings with the
25 Serbs in negotiations during this time period, and you knew, didn't you,
1 that he was engaged in ongoing discussions with the Serbs, especially in
2 the fall of 1993, on a wide range of topics and he was reporting that to
3 the HVO HZ-HB, wasn't he?
4 A. Yes, I did know about some of his contacts with the Serb side.
5 Q. And, in fact, you knew that he was at one point negotiating
6 agreements with something called the Autonomous Province of Western
8 Serb Republic
9 A. I wasn't up to date on that.
10 Q. Can I ask you, please, to Exhibit P10707 in binder number 3,
12 Sir, while you have that and -- this is an article reported by
13 the BBC
14 that were mentioned earlier, I note that the source of this article
15 originally apparently was the Croatian TV Satellite Service in Croatia
16 given at 1830 Greenwich Mean Time on the 7th of November, 1993.
17 Now, Mr. Prlic, in this discussion -- or in this article, there
18 is discussions about his meetings involved with these individuals and the
19 entities that they represented, including Mr. Lukic, the prime minister
20 of the RS, and there's also reference to his giving his support to a
21 joint statement issued by Fikret Abdic and the president of the Croatian
22 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban, and the declaration signed in
24 negotiations and signed documents in November 1993?
25 A. I heard about that in the media.
1 Q. Well, did you recall Mr. Prlic reporting back during the meetings
2 around this time about these negotiations, about his dealings with the
3 Serbs and about the dealings with Mr. Abdic's authorities, so-called?
4 A. I wasn't a member of the government at the time. Therefore, I
5 can't remember whether this was, in fact, the case or not.
6 Q. Wasn't it true, sir, that throughout this time period again,
7 Mr. Prlic was in regular and frequent communication with the Bosnian Serb
8 leadership, including travel to the various locations to meet with them,
9 by use of the telephone, by use of the fax? Mr. Prlic was having
10 extensive dealings with the Bosnian Serb leadership, wasn't he?
11 A. I don't know to what extent this was an ongoing contact. I know
12 about the visit to Banja Luka, I know about what the media said, but I
13 have no idea about whether the nature of this was ongoing or not.
14 Q. And did you know that he was involved, again, with negotiating
15 prisoner exchanges with the Serbs?
16 A. I did mention a while ago, when we talked about that report, that
17 there was a lot of pressure being exerted by families, by people from
18 Kupres who were in captivity. There was a lot of pressure for them to be
20 Q. If I can ask you, sir, to go to Exhibit P06581, P06581, in binder
21 number 2. Binder number 2, 06581. This is a record of another
22 presidential meeting in Zagreb
23 And, Usher, if you can assist us by taking the witness to page 3.
24 At the top of that page, President Tudjman starts by saying:
25 "Did you have a meeting by Karadzic?"
1 Mate Boban:
2 "No. Tomorrow is the government meeting."
3 Then going on to Jadranko Prlic:
4 "It was like this. I went up there. There was some
5 complications in crossing," et cetera, et cetera. "When I arrived in
6 Banja Luka in the evening, there was change and some talks, and we sent
7 that fax" - and given some issues raised about communications, I
8 underline the word "fax" - "Which said that it was today on Thursday."
9 Going on down:
10 "The told me they received it on Sunday, that Komarcia [phoen],
11 Komarica," excuse me, my apologies for pronunciation, "wrote that part by
12 hand, that things to be further clarified over the phone. On Sunday
13 evening, I was down there in Kladusa, down there according to their
14 statements," et cetera.
15 Now, if you go to page 7, please, page 7, again Jadranko Prlic:
16 "As regards these Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 was going on with them. We agreed on that, you know that, and they have
18 delivered their part."
19 And then he goes on talking about the Croats to Banja Luka:
20 "This is work obligation and they cannot be prevented in that.
21 They pick apples, and that's better than their going to the army. There,
22 those are some of the essential things."
23 Now, sir, I'm wondering, based on some of the answers you've
24 given us in the last few minutes, is it your position or is it your
25 understanding, based on seeing this, that Mr. Prlic reported more
1 information about his dealings to President Tudjman in Zagreb
2 reported to the HVO government in Mostar?
3 A. I can't conclude that based on this. For as long as I was a
4 government member, we had information on what Mr. Prlic knew, and for a
5 while after that I was no longer a member of the government and I really
6 can't comment in relation to that.
7 Q. Sir, I'm going to end this section, if you will, by going back to
8 the question I put to you some minutes ago now, and based on having seen
9 and been through a number of additional documents.
10 Isn't it correct, sir, that by February 1994, there had been no
11 substantial armed clashes between the Bosnian Serbs and the Croats for at
12 least the preceding seven months?
13 A. I really can't say exactly, in relation to that period, about
14 these military operations, as I pointed out before. I know, for example,
15 when there were clashes at Usora, but what the extent of those clashes
16 was or the exact timing, I really can't say. It wasn't my duty to keep
17 track of those clashes. I do know, however, that at Usora there was
18 information relating to an attempt to put a stop to the Serbs'
19 breakthrough, but I really can't put up a timeline for you that you could
20 rely on.
21 Q. And did you also know around February, the first part of 1994,
22 that Mr. Prlic was negotiating with the Serbs to -- Bosnian Serbs to
23 connect the power transmission lines of both the Croats and the Serbs?
24 A. I really can't say, in relation to this period.
25 Q. Can you look, please, at P10705.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm still on this
2 meeting. We'll, of course, have the opportunity to return with other
3 witnesses to this document, but it's an important document, because this
4 meeting is held on the 10th of November, 1993, and plainly we discover
5 two things; that Mr. Tudjman knew absolutely nothing about the Stupni Do
6 matter, asking who this rage [as interpreted] is and then the destruction
7 of the old bridge. It's the same position by Tudjman, who inquires and
8 who asks questions.
9 Now, in your view, was Mr. Tudjman well informed of what was
10 happening in Herzegovina
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think he did have
12 sufficient information available to him. I don't know about the quality
13 of his information, but --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're assuming that he had
15 the information, but you can't say anything further?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't say, because that
17 wasn't --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good.
19 Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Sir, looking, please, at P10705, an article again from the BBC
22 Monitoring Service, 15 February 1994
23 involvement in negotiating an agreement to connect the power transmission
24 lines. And because of the time factor, what I particularly want to
25 direct your attention to is the third paragraph, where it is stated in
1 this article -- actually, the information is attributed to the Bosnian
2 Serb leader, Lukic:
3 "There have been no clashes between Bosnian Serbs and Croats
4 already for all of seven months, which is an example of how clashes can
5 be avoided in war, Lukic stressed."
6 And I put to you one final time, Mr. Tomic: Don't you know and
7 isn't it a fact that this statement by Mr. Lukic is correct, that as of
8 February 1994, there had not been any substantial clashes between the
9 Bosnian Serbs and the Croats for the previous seven months?
10 A. I've answered that question a number of times already. I don't
11 have the timeline, and I can't confirm that. I know that there were
12 clashes at Usora, but I cannot define a timeline for you exactly as to
13 how and when this went on. I do know that this was a place where for a
14 long time there were clashes between us and the Serb forces.
15 Q. All right. Sir, changing topics, unless there's any follow-up
16 questions from the Judges on that last document or two, changing topics,
17 sir, to -- going back to some things we touched on earlier last time, but
18 I want to tie back in to some other questions I want to put to you,
20 Sir, you may recall that we looked at a number of documents the
21 last time, including one of the records of the Livno meeting from the 9th
22 of February, 1992. And I suggest we don't need to look at it, but for
23 the record, in particular, P00117, which you saw last time and which
24 I think the Judges have seen a number of times. Sir, the language of the
25 referendum that the people in attendance of that meeting voted for, the
1 formulation they wanted was -- it said the following:
2 "Are you in favour of a sovereign and independent Bosnia
4 Muslim and Serbian peoples in their own ethnic areas (cantons)?"
5 That was the formulation that the HDZ central board meeting in
6 Livno on the 9th of February, 1992, that's what they wanted; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that continued to be, sir, was it not, the position of the
9 HVO and Herceg-Bosna authorities throughout this time period, 1992, 1993,
10 into 1994, was an organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of
11 separate ethnic areas, so the Croats would have their area, the Serbs
12 would have their area, and the Muslims would have their area? Wasn't
13 that the desired model?
14 A. We can't define these as pure ethnic areas with Serbs, Muslims,
15 or Croats alone in them. We were discussing majority areas populated
16 predominantly by one, the other, or the third ethnic group.
17 Q. Three ethnic areas, not necessarily pure, but three ethnic areas,
18 that was the desired structure; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can I ask you, please, to go to Exhibit P00498. P00498, which
21 will be in the first binder.
22 Sir, this is another record of a presidential meeting in Zagreb
23 on the 17th of September, 1992. I'd like to direct your attention,
24 please, to page 26.
25 On page 26, Mr. Prlic states to those assembled:
1 "I want to say that we are holding firm on the lines of defence
2 of the Croatian territories in Herceg-Bosna. I have exact information
3 here about the Bosnian Posavina which has formally not yet been
4 associated into Herceg-Bosna. We're going abroad tomorrow, and we shall
5 solve these questions too. At this moment, due to a shortage of
6 technical means, we are not ready for offensive operations, especially in
7 regard to Kupres," et cetera. "Otherwise, we are holding firm on the
8 line which is over 500 kilometres long."
9 Sir, in your experience, and this was true at the HVO HZ-HB
10 meetings, was it not, Mr. Prlic was quite well informed on the military
11 situation, and in fact in this situation he could provide quite specific
12 information to President Tudjman, couldn't he?
13 "Due to a shortage of technical means, we are not ready for
14 offensive operations. Otherwise, we are holding firm on the line which
15 is over 500 kilometres long."
16 Now, you told us the last time that -- let me just put something
17 further and I'll come back to you.
18 You told us the last time you were here, sir, when I asked you
19 about Mr. Prlic's management style, you said he was a man who dotted his
20 "i"s and crossed his "t"s. Do you remember that?
21 A. I don't think that these are my words.
22 Q. I asked you that question, sir, and I believe the record will
23 show that you said, yes, Mr. Prlic was a talented administrator, paid
24 attention to detail. And I believe I put to you, and if we had the time
25 I would put to you the transcript page, I put it to you he was the kind
1 of person who crossed his "t"s and dotted his "i"s, and I believe, sir,
2 that you agreed. But in any event, you would agree, would you not, that
3 Mr. Prlic in fact was well informed about the military situation in
5 A. Well, I don't recall this phrase, whether I used this phrase.
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Well, this is an attempt to confuse
7 the witness. This phrase, to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s, this is
8 not something that was said by the witness, but this was -- this was
9 quite properly translated in this way, however. But now this is an
10 effort to confuse the witness, because the phrase that is used in
11 Croatian is not something that is inherent in our language. The
12 witness's words were translated in an appropriate manner into English,
13 but now when they are back-translated, they are confusing the witness.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What do you mean to say?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I wanted to say is that the
16 quote, as it was given back to me by the Prosecutor, this was not
17 something that I said. This was not the phrase that I used, because I
18 don't say to dot the "i"s in my language. And now whether this is a
19 conclusion of my discussion of my position, it's a completely different
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I could, the question was posed by
22 Mr. Scott in that fashion. I know for a fact that he -- that he -- but
23 obviously it might have been -- something was lost in translation. But
24 I can verify that Mr. Scott did, in fact -- asked the question whether he
25 was the sort of person that crossed his "t"s and dotted his "i"s. Now,
1 whether -- and as I recall the answer, Mr. Tomic did say that he did
2 cross his "t"s, something to that effect, and I can find the passage. I
3 read it yesterday, in fact. But, again, something must have been lost in
4 translation. But the problem is, I think, is that the witness objects to
5 a question being formulated by the Prosecutor, then being turned out --
6 then the Prosecutor claiming that this is the witness's words. I think
7 that's where the confusion may lie. I'm not ascribing any, you know, ill
8 intention on either side.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, thank you, thank you, Mr. Karnavas. I
10 know, indeed, Mr. Scott and the Defence, Mr. Kovacic, this is a dispute
11 of words with no relevance at all. You can very well ask Mr. Scott,
12 well, do you want to ask without using this image?
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, before I do that, Your Honour, before I do
14 that, there has been so much about -- discussion about -- and I do
15 appreciate and thank Mr. Karnavas for his candour in indicating that I
16 did, in fact, put the question. In the record at 34105-106, the question
17 was put -- and, Mr. Tomic, just so you can put your own mind at ease, you
18 may want to listen to this as well.
19 Question: "All right. Well, my question to you is focusing more
20 on Mr. Prlic than the premises of the -- the premises or the operation of
21 the office. Would you say, in your experience, that Mr. Prlic is a
22 very -- in fact a very competent, in fact very talented administrator?"
23 Answer: "Yes."
24 Question: "Would it be fair so say that Mr. Prlic is the type of
25 person who we might say -- and, forgive me, I don't know if it will -- I
1 don't know if you have it in your language, but we might say the type of
2 person who dots his 'i's and dots his 't's?"
3 Answer: "Yes, that's what he always tries to do, to dot his 'i's
4 and crosses his 't's."
5 Witness's own words.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, it is not the witness's own words;
7 it is the translation, and we have many times made the experience that a
8 good translator will translate one figure of speech to a corresponding
9 but not literally identical figure of speech in another language, and
10 another interpreter will then maybe translate back by using the figure of
11 speech which he translates, and then it's uncomprehensible. So I really
12 think go on and let's forget about the "i"s and the "t"s.
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, Judge Trechsel, I'm sorry, but, you know, this
14 is the trial record, what it says, whatever we have. Is there anyone who
15 doubts the content or the concept of what was put to the witness and what
16 the answer was? He was a talented administrator who paid attention to
18 Q. Can we agree on that, sir?
19 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to confirm what
20 Judge Trechsel has just said.
21 This is the first time, two minutes ago, that this phrase, in the
22 English language, was translated literally into Croatian, to dot the "i"s
23 and cross the "t"s, and the witness has not yet heard it yet in
24 courtroom. This was the first time that he heard it. I think that we
25 really have to cut this whole debate short.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We spent ten minutes.
2 Witness, the question was very simple. Was Mr. Prlic informed of
3 the military situation? That's it.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that a certain volume of
5 information was available through the joint meetings that we had. But as
6 for the operations themselves, the planning, as far as I know, he did not
7 have any information about those.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT: I appreciate, Your Honours, the assistance of so
10 many, and I will move on without belabouring the point further. I hope
11 the point is clear, regardless of the particular metaphor that one might
13 Q. Sir, let me direct your attention on to page 28 of that same
14 document. Excuse me a moment.
15 Sir, continuing on, on page 28 Mr. Prlic gives essentially a
16 rundown of the various positions of the three parties, actually:
17 "The Serbs want an association of states in Bosnia and
20 state based on this is no state. That is the Serbs' option. The
21 Muslims' option is what the previous speakers suggested, said, but
22 essentially and personally, it is a civic and unitary Bosnia and
24 Then he goes down below and he talks about the Croat position:
25 "The Croats, at least the soldiers in the Croatian Defence
1 Council and the people who are involved, the organs of authority, have a
2 clear political aim. It has been clear to me ever since I became
3 involved in this and since I have been in this post, that is, the
4 constituting of Bosnia and Herzegovina through three national units.
5 Now, sir, that's fully consistent with the language of the Livno
6 formulation, if you will, that I put to you a few moments ago, correct,
7 three national units?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, he does -- Mr. Prlic does say "with
9 the principles of the European Community." That's in the text, keeping
10 in mind that it is the European Community that is driving the negotiating
11 formulas. And this is a critical aspect of what he's saying. So if
12 we're going to pose that question, perhaps it should be added, "Did
13 Dr. Prlic promote the initiatives of the internationals, especially the
14 International Community, with respect to how Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 should internally be formulated?"
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, this is argument and commentary. This
17 is exactly --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It is, Mr. Scott -- this is a place where it is
19 really easy to put in the full quotation, and that's what Mr. Karnavas --
20 so I would say let's not quarrel.
21 MR. SCOTT: I'm happy to read it entirely, Your Honour. Everyone
22 in the courtroom has it. I'm sorry, no, there is no misleading anyone in
23 the courtroom about it. But, you know -- well:
24 "Since I became involved in this and since I have been in this
25 post, this aim is the forming and ordering of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
1 accordance with the principles of the European Community, that is, the
2 constituting of Bosnia-Herzegovina through three national units."
3 Now, having read the entire thing, it's still my position what
4 Mr. Karnavas says is argument and commentary in front of the witness, and
5 that is my position. He says that, but that's his position. And I'm not
6 suggesting that the Prosecution agrees with that, or the witness, for
7 that matter. We don't know. So there's no reason for it.
8 Q. Now, sir, my question to you was specifically: That was what
9 follows dead on, the formulation as expressed by the HDZ central board
10 gathered in Livno on the 9th of February, 1992, the organisation of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina in three separate ethnic units or, as said here,
12 three national units; correct?
13 A. I have to add to this, that I have already --
14 Q. No, sir.
15 A. No, not fully, not fully.
16 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honours. How many times, again, in
17 the last two and a half years and during the Prosecution case did
18 Mr. Karnavas say, "Answer the question, yes or no," and I think I'm
19 entitled to the same process as was afforded to the Defence.
20 Q. My first -- I'll give you -- I'll let you clarify, sir, I'll let
21 you add, but my question --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please try and answer as the
23 question was put to you, even if you don't like it, but that's it,
24 because in the case of the redirect the Prosecutor is entitled to put a
25 leading question that answers "yes" or "no," "I don't agree," or "I don't
1 know," and then according to your answer, depending on your answer, the
2 Prosecutor may supplement if need be.
3 Mr. Scott, you may resume.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Sir, this is the third time -- at least the third time I've asked
6 you this question. The formulation put forward here by Mr. Prlic on the
7 17th of September, 1992, some nine months after the meeting in Livno in
8 February, that -- those formulations are, for all practical purposes, the
9 same, aren't they? Three national units, each people in their own
10 separate ethnic areas (cantons), three national units; correct? It's the
11 same basic structure, yes or no?
12 A. No, because here it is through and not in separate units
13 inhabited by only one people. And in the minutes, it goes on to say that
14 the only criterion will not be the ethnic composition of the population.
15 We should also take into account geographic elements, transportation. So
16 we're not talking about -- the goal is not ethnically-pure units, so this
17 is the context where I differ.
18 Q. Sir, we already had this discussion. You corrected me, yourself,
19 or you suggested earlier that the Livno question was similar, that it
20 didn't necessarily mean pure ethnic areas but three primarily, you said a
21 few minutes ago -- again, if we have to take the time to go back in the
22 transcript, what the Livno question was calling for was majority ethnic
23 areas. Now, that's exactly the qualification you gave 20 or 30 minutes
24 ago, and that's the same qualification you can make now, if you want.
25 Nobody in the courtroom said "ethnically pure," but the structure was
1 three national units, correct? Or do you not believe what Mr. Prlic says
2 on the 17th of September, 1992?
3 A. Yes, what was said here was, but the entirety of what was said
4 was the policy pursued by the HVO HZ-HB.
5 Q. Going on to page 29 -- Your Honour, I think we may be coming up
6 on a break, but perhaps I can finish with this document, if the Court
7 will allow.
8 Sir, if you can on to page 29, just a few more items, or one or
9 two more items from this, this is Mr. Prlic continuing, and toward the
10 bottom part, not exactly the bottom, but toward the bottom of that page,
11 you'll find this passage at the end of one of the paragraphs:
12 "There is still no political agreement regarding the relations
13 between the Croats and the Muslims. These relations," and again we're
14 talking September 1992. "These relations are becoming ever more tense
15 and certain conflicts are looming. Personally, I think it would be
16 impossible to avoid conflicts entirely."
17 And he goes on about trying to send some letters, et cetera.
18 Now, isn't that a position not only held by Mr. Prlic at that
19 time, but didn't you and others in the HVO leadership hold similar views?
20 You knew, based upon the positions being taken around this time, that
21 essentially a conflict between the Croats and the Muslims was virtually
22 inevitable, didn't you?
23 A. This is not about the military conflict, the way I see it. At
24 that time in our day-to-day work, we saw the reactions and we encountered
25 conflicts when it came to the implementation of the regulations on the
1 ground. In all the segments, finance, justice, et cetera, there were
2 tensions, and that caused problems. And this is the way I see it, in
3 that context.
4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if you'd like to take the break.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fifteen-minute break.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 5.56 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
9 Mr. Registrar, how much does the Prosecutor have left?
10 Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Sir, I'd like you to next, please, look at Exhibit P10701 in the
13 third binder. P10701.
14 And while you're looking at that, sir, this is again a BBC
15 Monitoring Service publication dated the 26th of April, 1993
16 question to you is this: In about the middle of that -- there's only
17 about two paragraphs. In the second paragraph, it says:
18 "The president of the HVO of the Croatian Community of
19 Herceg-Bosna, Jadranko Prlic, spoke about the latest clashes between the
20 HVO and Muslim forces at today's press conference (one of the regular HVO
21 press conferences held in Mostar every day)."
22 Were you familiar with the general practice of the HVO
23 authorities to, in fact -- can you confirm that there was something like
24 a daily press conference?
25 A. As far as I know, they were not held on a daily basis.
1 Q. Approximately how often?
2 A. Well, I couldn't tell you exactly, but I know that the HVO HZ-HB
3 did not hold those conferences all that often. After our sessions, there
4 were press releases.
5 Q. And who were the principal spokespersons for the HVO HZ-HB at
6 these press conference -- press conferences?
7 A. I've already said that you couldn't even say "principal
8 spokespersons," because there were not many of those press conferences.
9 I really don't know.
10 Q. Sir, I'm going to put to you that they were, in fact, much more
11 regular than you apparently indicate. Apart from Mr. Prlic, who else
12 would speak at these conferences?
13 A. I don't know. I really couldn't tell you.
14 Q. Would you look, please, at P10706. This is a BBC article dated
15 the 6th of May, 1993, based on a story coming out of the Croatian TV
16 Satellite Service in Zagreb
17 Herceg-Bosna, says it was marked in Mostar today, the 4th of May:
18 "In the presence of the president of Herceg-Bosna, HVO,
19 Jadranko Prlic and several other HVO officials, radio director Zlatko
20 Prienda stressed that all transmitters, which would enable Croatian Radio
21 of Herceg-Bosna to be heard throughout Bosnia would be erected in the
22 next few weeks."
23 Again, sir, wasn't it the case that at press releases, press
24 conferences, statements to the media such as this, Mr. Prlic was very
25 often the person involved in making such statements; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And can you tell us, do you recall that it was indeed around this
3 time, early May 1993, when further steps were taken to establish and
4 operate something called the Croatian Radio of Herceg-Bosna?
5 A. Yes, the Croatian Radio of Herceg-Bosna was established by a
6 decision of the HVO HZ-HB in order to broadcast information throughout
7 the HZ-HB, in light of the fact that up until that time there were mostly
8 local radio stations active there.
9 Q. Sir, you recall, do you not, that around -- we talked about this,
10 the meeting -- the HVO HZ-HB meeting on the 3rd of April, 1993, and you
11 agree, do you not, that around the 3rd of April, 1993, Herceg-Bosna, the
12 HVO authorities, issued what became was -- or became known as an
13 ultimatum to armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina to either subordinate
14 themselves to the HVO or to leave those areas, so-called Croat areas, by
15 the 15th of April, 1993. Correct?
16 A. Yes. It was within the framework of the implementation of the
17 Vance-Owen Plan.
18 Q. But you knew, did you not, that there were a number of documents
19 and conditions in connection with President Izetbegovic's signature of
20 that document which had not yet been resolved; correct?
21 A. Yes. That was in the correspondence between Mr. Prlic and
22 Mr. Izetbegovic.
23 Q. And in fact, though, and if we can look -- if I can direct your
24 attention to P10675, P10675 in the third binder, please. And while
25 you're looking at that, sir, I'll just tell you and I'll say for the
1 purposes of the record, this is a collection of four articles, one dated
2 the 4th of April, 1993, from Reuters News, a second one from Financial
3 Times, dated 20 April 1993
4 7 April 1993
5 1993, all reporting on what's described in, I believe, each of the
6 articles as the HVO ultimatum with the deadline 15th of April, 1993.
7 Let me direct your particular attention, please, because of the
8 time limitations that we have. If you can go to the Christian Science
9 Monitor article, which is, I believe, sir, the third article in your
10 binder -- in that bundle, please, excuse me.
11 Toward the end of that -- well, about two-thirds through the
12 overall article, at the bottom of the English version on the first page,
13 for those reading in English, it says:
14 "Mr. Prlic concedes, nonetheless, that the HVO ultimatum could
15 lead to bloodshed. 'We expect everything. We don't want this struggle,
16 we don't have any reason for this struggle,' he says."
17 Would you agree with that statement, in terms of further
18 confirming that there was, indeed, this ultimatum, and would you
19 confirm -- would you confirm and agree with Mr. Prlic, that it was known,
20 given the circumstances, that quote, anything -- something to the effect
21 of, excuse me, anything could happen?
22 A. First of all, I don't think that this was an ultimatum. That's
23 not how I see it. I consider this to be a step in the direction of the
24 implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan. And this was not Prlic, the
25 president of the HVO, as indicated in this text, but as the
1 prime minister, as he was designated at the time.
2 The situation was difficult already at that time, and it was
3 expected that the signatories of the agreement would make an effort to
4 implement this, and the statement made by the Defence minister that
5 followed later, Mr. Rajic, must also be seen in this context. So I don't
6 think that this was an ultimatum with an ultimate goal of causing a
7 conflict. This was more -- I just wanted to say that this was mostly an
8 expression of the desire to implement this agreement as soon as possible
9 and to move over to another stage in the activities in Bosnia and
11 Q. Well, you may not want to use the term "ultimatum," sir, but you
12 would agree, would you not, that it was the statement of a position with
13 a deadline, the deadline being the 15th of April, 1993; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And if we go back to the first article before we need to move on,
16 the Reuters article, the fifth paragraph on that page in that article
18 "The HVO set an April 15 deadline for Bosnian President
19 Alija Izetbegovic to sign a joint communique ratifying the withdrawals,
20 creating a common high command and certifying there were no Muslim-Croat
21 territorial disputes."
22 And skipping a paragraph, it says:
23 "If Izetbegovic fails to sign this agreement by April 15th, the
24 HVO will unilaterally enforce its jurisdiction in Cantons 3, 8 and 10,
25 the statement from the HVO headquarters in the southwest Croat stronghold
1 of Mostar warned."
2 Now, those are both true and accurate statements, aren't they?
3 A. I don't know about the latter statement.
4 Q. Let's go on, sir, to the so-called Medjugorje Agreement which you
5 spent some time discussing with Mr. Karnavas.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, we just saw that
7 there were three press releases, and my eye was caught by the AFP release
8 in Zagreb
9 that the HVO had a spokesperson, Mr. Veso Vegar, and allegedly this
10 person said, and this is being quoted by the AFP agency, that this is
11 resolutely an ultimatum. "We can't wait indefinitely until the peace
12 plan is implemented."
13 So the HVO spokesperson says here that this is an ultimatum, and
14 you said it wasn't. Well, did you know this Mr. Veso Vegar?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. However, Mr. Veso
16 Vegar was not a spokesperson for the HVO HZ-HB. He was a spokesperson of
17 the military component.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he was a spokesperson for
19 the military component. I see.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Just one question further on that. When you say this spokesman
23 for the military component, Mr. Vegar was the spokesperson for the HVO
24 Main Staff; correct?
25 A. I know he wasn't with the HVO HZ-HB. We had a service that was
1 run by another person.
2 Q. Well, perhaps you'll answer my question, sir. You were there in
3 Mostar throughout this time period. You were one of the central figures
4 in the Herceg-Bosna government. You knew Mr. Vegar, and you knew, sir,
5 did you not, that he was the spokesperson for the HVO Main Staff? It's a
6 very simple question.
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. SCOTT: Now, unless there's additional questions, Your
9 Honours, I'll move on to the next topic. Thank you.
10 Q. Sir, you started -- I made reference just a few moments ago to
11 the Medjugorje Agreement, and let's just try to clarify a few things.
12 There's a reference to "Medjugorje Agreement," but isn't it correct, sir,
13 that at least on the political or governmental side, at best, there were
14 some conceptual discussions at the meeting on the 18th of May, 1993,
15 which never, and I emphasise the word "never," resulted in a signed
16 written agreement?
17 A. I'm not familiar with any details regarding that.
18 Q. Well, sir, you -- excuse me, sir. You testified about this at
19 length in response to questions from Mr. Karnavas. Now, you knew then
20 but you don't know now, or how do you explain the fact that you could
21 talk about it when you were here ten days ago, but now you don't know
22 anything about it?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, if perhaps the question was
24 rephrased. I mean, how is one to interpret what are the conceptual
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: What is exactly -- I mean, if you could be more
4 concrete, perhaps the gentleman might be able to be of assistance.
5 MR. SCOTT: I'll try, thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
6 Q. My question was simply, I think, rather simple, and was
7 ultimately this, sir: Isn't it correct, at least on the political or
8 governmental side, there was never a signed written agreement? I put it
9 to you, sir, that there was one meeting on the 18th of May. Certain
10 discussions were had, and concept. There was never any signed written
11 agreement; yes or no? There either was or there wasn't. There's nothing
12 in between.
13 A. If there is something that is called the Medjugorje Agreement,
14 then probably there was an agreement like that. I inferred this based on
15 the correspondence between Mr. Prlic and Mr. Izetbegovic.
16 Mr. Izetbegovic invokes the --
17 Q. Has anyone ever shown you a document that says this is the
18 Medjugorje Agreement with the signatures of the parties? Not "probably,
19 there probably was one." Did you ever see one?
20 A. I've never seen a document like that. And the same applies to a
21 million other documents or agreements that were there and that we were
22 being informed about.
23 Q. And, sir, you would agree, would you not, just on these things
24 generally, that what was being discussed, the establishment of
25 governments and structures, there were many loose ends, if you will, and
1 again I guess I'm not sure how that will translate, unresolved items
2 remaining after the meeting on the 18th of May, 1993; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I believe you testified that one of the things you were critical
5 about was that you were critical of Mr. Izetbegovic and the Muslims for
6 wanting to start work at the provincial level first, instead of
7 concerning the central government. But I put it to you, sir, wasn't that
8 exactly the same position as Mate Boban, that Mr. Boban wanted to start
9 with the provincial governments, just as Mr. Izetbegovic did? Do you
10 remember that?
11 A. What context?
12 Q. Of any discussions to go forward with anything -- the concepts
13 discussed on the 18th of May, 1993.
14 A. One thing that wasn't questioned was the establishment of
15 authorities in the cantons. What was questioned was the resolution of
16 the previous issue, which was the establishment of state authorities, who
17 will bankroll the army, who will bankroll the police, and how the
18 breakdown in terms of authority between the cantons and the central
19 government. And this is the one issue that was not resolved.
20 As for establishing the cantons themselves, all this meant was
21 destruction of the HZ-HB, but not the establishment of the state of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina under the Vance-Owen Plan, and that is why this
23 activity had to be coordinated and a government had to be set up which
24 the cantons would then communicate with in terms of defining their
25 respective authorities down to the minutest detail. It wasn't just about
1 setting up cantons.
2 Q. Exactly, sir, and none of those things are resolved at one
3 meeting on the 18th of May, 1993, were they, and they never were resolved
4 because there never was an agreement; correct?
5 A. You have this meeting with several people in it. You can't
6 expect them to deal with a question such as establishing a state. That
7 is why you need a government. They have to communicate with other
8 levels, other authorities, and that brings the whole thing to a
9 conclusion. You can't just expect an agreement to define all the details
10 that need defining.
11 The Washington
12 successful in this, either, on their own. It wasn't until later on when
13 the government started operating that amendments were made to both the
15 Q. Sir, for exactly the reasons you just stated, for exactly those
16 reasons, there were so many things left unresolved, so many issues still
17 to resolve, based on one meeting, one day's meeting. Wasn't it a bit
18 premature for Jadranko Prlic to start sending letters describing himself
19 as the president of this so-called new government?
20 A. It wasn't premature. Mr. Izetbegovic himself, when he replied,
21 behaved this way. His name was nominated, he was put forward. Some
22 personnel decisions at a later stage in Washington had also been
23 pre-agreed, as it were.
24 Q. Sir, we don't have time to go through all the documents. I put
25 to you again, as you agreed just a few minutes ago, there was a
1 discussion and concept on one day, on the 18th of May, 1993, which never
2 resulted in any actual agreement, including any position held by
3 Mr. Prlic; correct?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to -- I object. This has
5 been asked and it's been answered. The gentleman did indicate that
6 Izetbegovic had responded to correspondence to Dr. Jadranko Prlic based
7 exactly on this particular agreement and nominations that he was asking
8 for, the sort of positions or ministries that Izetbegovic wished to have,
9 and there was correspondence to that. So I think we can move on. This
10 horse has been beaten to death.
11 MR. SCOTT: Well, I disagree with Mr. Karnavas, Your Honour. He
12 may think it's beaten to death, but I don't have to accept his position
13 on the matter.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do put your question, because
15 there were exchanges of letters between Mr. Prlic and Mr. Izetbegovic on
16 this subject. Well, the Prosecution has a specific point of view. Put
17 it forward.
18 MR. SCOTT: I agree with that, Mr. President. I'd agree that
19 there was correspondence. We saw that.
20 Q. And if you can look, please, sir, at 1D 01597. It will be in the
21 fourth binder, excuse me, so-called Defence binder. 1D 01597.
22 Sir, if you have that document, 1D 01597, this is one of the
23 letters that I think Mr. Karnavas showed you dated the 23rd of May, 1993
24 Now, just on some of the items we've just been talking about, if you look
25 at the very beginning of Mr. Prlic's letter, Mr. Prlic starts out, in
1 fact, by saying:
2 "Although I have only been verbally informed of the decisions
3 made at the meeting in Medjugorje ..."
4 Sir, doesn't what Mr. Prlic say there only a few days later, on
5 the 23rd of May, after the 18th of May, doesn't that in fact suggest to
6 you that there was no agreement or there was no written agreement,
7 because even Mr. Prlic himself says, "I've only been verbally informed"?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to the form of the question. How can he
9 answer this question?
10 MR. SCOTT: A very simple question.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Yeah, but look at the question, Your Honour. I
12 mean, how does he come up with this, that there was no agreement based on
13 that he was verbally informed? One can be verbally informed of an
14 agreement or informed in written form.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Excuse me. "Although I have only been verbally informed," does
17 that not suggest, sir, that Mr. Prlic had not, by that time, seen a
18 written -- a signed, written agreement?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: [Indiscernible] crazy.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Sir?
22 A. Yes, that's right, he didn't see that.
23 Q. Now, then in the -- down below in about the third paragraph, he
25 "I have prepared new facilities for the government offices, since
1 I am of the opinion that it cannot operate in existing conditions in
2 occupied Sarajevo
3 So, Mr. Prlic presumes to move this new government out of
5 The next -- skipping one paragraph:
6 "If I don't receive responses from the representatives of the
7 nations in the established time frame (Mr. Mate Boban has expressed
8 interest in the ministries of international trade)," et cetera, "I will
9 be forced to inform you to that effect."
10 Sir, isn't this one more instance that the Chamber has heard,
11 these Judges have heard a number of -- and seen a number of instances of
12 the HVO jumping the gun, getting way ahead of itself on where things
13 actually stood at the time?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, before he answers that question, he
15 should be given the opportunity to look at 1D 01600, which is Izetbegovic
16 responding to Dr. Jadranko Prlic. You have to read both of them
17 together. And having given the witness the opportunity to read both of
18 them together, then he can pose that question.
19 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. Perhaps I can conduct my examination and
20 Mr. Karnavas can conduct his examination.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're entitled to. The
22 Trial Chamber is aware of all the documents, because it has reviewed them
23 all. But you could have asked the question differently. You could have
24 asked the witness whether he had already seen these documents.
25 MR. SCOTT: Well, that wasn't my question, Your Honours. That's
1 why I didn't put it.
2 Q. My question was, sir: Isn't this another instance of the HVO, we
3 would say, and again whatever the Croatian translation might be, jumping
4 the gun, acting prematurely on things where there was no -- in fact no
5 agreement yet reached, in fact, and there never was?
6 A. No. I believe that this was merely an active approach to the
7 implementation of that agreement. It also expressed a desire to see the
8 Vance-Owen Plan implemented, as well as to stop the clashes.
9 Q. If you'll go, sir, to Exhibit P02613, P02613, in the second --
10 no, sorry, first binder. P02613. This is a record of another meeting in
11 the offices of President Tudjman on the 2nd of June, 1993, and on this
12 particular occasion, according to this record, President Tudjman, Defence
13 Minister Susak and perhaps others were meeting with perhaps, among
14 others, Lord David Owen. And I would like to direct your attention,
15 please, in particular to -- excuse me a moment, my apologies -- starting
16 at page 10. Starting at page 10, Mr. Owen says:
17 "We analysed the confederal solution which actually divides
19 a way to establish a viable Muslim state. You would in fact create some
20 kind of Palestine
22 Then going over to the top of the next page, Tudjman says:
23 "Who would never accept it, Europe or Lord Owen?"
24 "The Muslims, the Muslims would never accept it."
25 And then toward -- at the end of that page, jumping down, he
2 "But, whenever I analyse the tripartite division of BH, I think
3 it does not give enough to the Muslims. I think your people would want
4 to take more than they should or what the rest of the world would allow
5 them," next page, "that's one thing. It's enough to look at how Boban
6 interprets the provinces of Travnik and Mostar. He speaks about them as
7 if they were his, and that's how he started to behave. They were not
8 his. These are the provinces in which he will probably have certainly a
9 majority in the province of Mostar
10 province of Travnik."
11 And then going on to page 13, in the middle of the page, Owen
13 "I wouldn't want to give up on the idea to preserve BH, but I'm
14 certainly prepared to consider a possibility, if that is not possible, to
15 establish a viable Muslim state."
16 Tudjman: "As far as we are concerned, we too can influence the
17 Croats, but not slowly. We can influence the Croats to accept this
18 confederal. So to apply the Vance-Owen Plan with regard to the Croats
19 along those lines, such as Provinces 3, 8 and 10, this is roughly what in
20 1939 became part of the banovina of Croatia."
21 Now, sir, when we go back, again I wanted to read a broader part
22 so that I wouldn't be accused of reading too little, but didn't -- isn't
23 Owen at the top of page 12 telling Tudjman, once again, "You've
24 jumped --" you know, "Boban, you've jumped the gun. You've acted like
25 this is something that's already happened when in fact it hasn't
1 happened"? Isn't that, sir, the case with the way you've described the
2 so-called Medjugorje Agreement?
4 A. Yes, but this is not about the provinces. This is about the
5 establishment of state authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the
6 Vance-Owen Plan. It's not merely about the cantons. It's about the
7 overall authority being established.
8 Q. I'm sorry, I've intervened with you very, very little today, but
9 I'm putting the language to you specifically at the top of page 12. Now,
10 please, please assist me to this extent. Look exactly at the language,
11 what Owen says:
12 "It is enough to look at how Boban interprets the provinces of
13 Travnik and Mostar. He speaks about them as if they were his, and that's
14 how he started to behave."
15 That's my question. And that's, in fact, what happened, isn't
16 it? I mean, isn't that what happened in January 1993, in April 1993, in
17 May 1993? Sir, the HVO was always jumping the gun and doing what they
18 want to do, but there's no agreement to that effect; isn't that the case?
19 A. I don't think that is the case. This is based on the
20 Vance-Owen Plan, and the plan was confirmed. Therefore, this is nothing
21 more than an active role in terms of the implementation of the
22 Vance-Owen Plan. I declare that at the time the Muslim side was not
23 interested in its full implementation, simply because they didn't know
24 what the fate would be of the Bosnia-Herzegovina in its entirety.
25 Q. I put it to you, sir, that when you say that the Muslim side was
1 not interested in its full implementation, what you should say, sir, and
2 I put to you is the correct position, is that the Muslims did not agree
3 with the implementation as conceived by the HVO. Isn't that the correct
5 A. No.
6 Q. Let's go to Exhibit P10698, P10698 in the binder number 3. Sir,
7 this is an article -- a Reuters article dated the 28th of October, 1992
8 And we've gone back a bit in time, but for a reason. This is again
9 starting with a discussion about Lord Owen and Cyrus Vance. About
10 halfway down the first page, you'll see a paragraph, I believe, that
12 "But Jadranko Prlic, president of the republic declared by Croats
13 in the area of Bosnia
14 achieve a stable solution was to have three national units, whose parts
15 need not be physically connected."
16 Now, sir, again, doesn't this take us back to and can we agree
17 again that the position of the HVO and the Herceg-Bosna authorities, as
18 seen in Livno, as seen in other documents that we've looked at when you
19 were here before and again today, that the basic position was and
20 remained the establishment of separate ethnic areas? Correct?
21 A. I must say that there is this question that had been going on
22 since Livno. It was not about ethnically-pure areas. There was some
23 options, such as the cantons, on the one hand, or a unit, on the other,
24 that physically --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... specific. I'm talking about
1 this article and the statement attributed to Jadranko Prlic, not what
2 your own thoughts were at the time. Did Jadranko Prlic say then and
3 continue to say throughout this period that the solution was three
4 national units? Nobody said that they were 100 per cent pure ethnic,
5 anything about that. You continually say that. You said it about five
6 times today. The idea was three ethnic units, and that's what Mr. Prlic
7 told Reuters in October 1992, and that continued to be the HVO position,
8 didn't it? Yes?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If you look at Exhibit P10532, P10532 in the third binder. This
11 is a BBC
12 interview with someone named Miomir Zuzul. You knew Mr. Zuzul, didn't
13 you, and he was -- in his position at the time in August of 1993?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And if you look at the third paragraph of Mr. -- well, excuse me,
16 the article and the statements attributed to Mr. Zuzul, can you recall,
17 sir, that it was around this time, by August 1993 and the fall of 1993,
18 that there began to be discussion of another model, since the Muslims had
19 not agreed to three separate areas, of something that became known or
20 would ultimately become known as a Croat-Muslim federation?
21 A. I wasn't up to date on those activities at the time.
22 Q. Well, if you look at the third paragraph, it says:
23 "Asked why the Muslim idea of unification of Muslim and Croat
24 republics into a Bosnian and Herzegovinian union is not acceptable, Zuzul
25 said, 'it could hardly work,' and that it would be to the benefit of the
1 third side, that is, of Serbia
2 Do you remember -- do you recall that view being expressed, not
3 only by Mr. Zuzul but in general by the Croat side, in August and
4 following, 1993, that the idea of a joint Croat-Muslim unit, if you will,
5 was not feasible, it could hardly work?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, you have to look at the entire paragraph,
7 Your Honours, and the witness should also look at the very last line,
8 because it would drive the Serbs, you know, into the hands of the Federal
9 Republic of Yugoslavia
10 know, the carve-up of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's what it's talking
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You're commenting now.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: You're right. I apologise for that.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honours, I'm going to -- there have been
16 relatively few interventions, but I'm going to object to that. I mean,
17 that's Mr. Karnavas testifying. He can state an objection, but it's not
18 for him to argue what he thinks the document says, or means, or what it
19 should mean.
20 Q. Sir, my question to you remains. I'll just simply read it back
21 to you. Do you recall that view being expressed not only by Mr. Zuzul
22 but generally on the Croat side in August and following, 1993, that the
23 idea of a joint Croat-Muslim unit, if you will, was not feasible or,
24 Mr. Zuzul's words, "it could hardly work"?
25 A. I wasn't up to date or up to speed on that, on the community
1 being created at the time.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise for
3 this intervention, but I believe there is a misunderstanding that has
4 just occurred.
5 My learned friend Mr. Scott asked a question about a joint
6 Croat-Muslim unit, whereas Mr. Zuzul is talking about the unity of the
7 two republics, the Muslim and the Croat. Therefore, there is no talk
8 here of a single Croat-Muslim unit. Thank you.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Counsel. In the paragraph it says -- in the
11 third paragraph, it says:
12 "Asked why the Muslim idea of unification," making one, "of
13 Muslim and Croat republics into a Bosnia-Herzegovina union," being one,
14 "is not acceptable." I do believe that was the question put to Mr. Zuzul
15 and to which Mr. Zuzul says "It could hardly work."
16 Q. Sir, coming back to your previous answer, and -- sir, how can you
17 say -- how can you, as a member of this government, the finance minister
18 or the head of the finance department, and once again a very close
19 colleague and confidant of Mr. Prlic, someone who the HVO HZ-HB minutes
20 would indicate was heavily involved in these matters, how can you say you
21 wouldn't know what the position of the HVO was at the time on these
22 matters which had to be, had to be, sir, of great importance to you and
23 the leadership?
24 A. I know what the position of the HVO was. You asked me about the
25 position of Mr. Zuzul and other Croatian or Croat officials. I thought
1 you were referring to other officials from the Republic of Croatia
2 Q. Well, excuse me, sir, if that was the cause of confusion. I'm
3 talking about the HVO Herceg-Bosna leadership, those who were in the
4 government that you sat on in Mostar throughout 1993. Wasn't that the
5 position of the HVO government?
6 A. Our position was Bosnia and Herzegovina, through three units or
7 through cantons with ethnic majority populations, and from the beginning
8 until the end this was the position in the HVO HZ-HB.
9 Q. Didn't you --
10 A. Now, variants --
11 Q. Sorry, go ahead, go ahead.
12 A. It's okay, it's fine.
13 Q. Sir, during this time, and we're now moving into the fall of
14 1993, isn't it correct, sir, and I just want to put this general
15 proposition to you and I'll try to do it as clearly as I can - please
16 listen to my question - in the fall of 1993, did not those on the Croat
17 side, and for these purposes I'm including both Zagreb and the HVO
18 Herceg-Bosna leadership, I'm including both when I say "the Croat side,"
19 isn't it true that during the fall of 1993 the Croat side saw, if you
20 will, moving away from them, that the negotiations and political
21 discussions at the time were moving away from anything allowing or
22 setting up a Croat unit to something that ultimately became known as the
23 Federation? That's the direction things were going in the fall of 1993;
25 A. Well, things were going towards the establishment of the
1 Croat-Muslim federation in accordance with the Washington Agreement.
2 That was the result of the political negotiations.
3 Q. But before that fully happened, sir, isn't it correct that both
4 Tudjman and Milosevic tried to get the idea of partition, if you will,
5 back on track, that it was time to return to that concept that the real
6 solution was a partition of Bosnia
7 the second half of 1993, were once again calling for that position;
9 A. I did not witness that, and I don't know what to say about that.
10 Q. Sir, you didn't witness it, and I suspect you didn't witness a
11 lot of things that Mr. Karnavas asked you about. I'm putting to you, as
12 your state of knowledge and events, that was the case, wasn't it? You
13 became aware, in the political dialogue that was going on in the second
14 half of 1993 and as some of the concepts on the table, if you will, were
15 changing, you knew, didn't you, surely, President Tudjman taking such a
16 position, Slobodan Milosevic, that the idea was to return to a partition
17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you knew that, didn't you?
18 A. Through speculations in the media, but I never did get a definite
19 answer or position vis-a-vis this question.
20 Q. Well, let's go to Exhibit P10700 in the third binder, P10700, a 2
21 November 1993 article by a news agency that Mr. President says is a
22 highly reliable one, Agence France-Presse:
24 called Tuesday for resumption of the stalled Geneva peace talks on
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina with the participation of Britain, France
2 The fourth paragraph:
3 "The Croatian leader's proposal amounted to a rejection of
4 suggestions by international mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg
5 for a broader attempt to link all outstanding conflicts in the former
7 "The Geneva talks, brokered by the United Nations and the
8 European Community, and involving the warring Bosnian parties as well as
9 leaders from Croatia
10 after the Muslim-led Bosnian parliament rejected proposals to divide the
11 country into ethnic Croat, Muslim and Serbian mini-states.
12 "Tudjman said the conference, broadened to include 'countries
13 likely to effectively influence' the peace process, should keep the
14 earlier partition proposal as its starting point."
15 Now, you knew that's what was going on at the time; correct, sir?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I'm going to object, Your Honour. The
17 first two paragraphs that were read, they are interpretations of whoever
18 wrote this as to what was going on at the time. What they don't have
19 are, for instance, the discussions that we saw in the presidential
20 transcripts concerning Redman, the US's position of --
21 MR. SCOTT: This is commentary, Your Honour.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well that's why --
23 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry to interrupt.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: That's why I'm objecting, because right now the
25 Prosecutor is pointing to two particular paragraphs that are the opinion
1 of some unknown individual that I don't get to cross-examine here, I
2 don't get to confront. This is nonsense.
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, all sides have used press articles
4 exactly like I'm doing now, putting these questions to the witness, and
5 what Mr. Karnavas has just done again is stand up and give the answer for
6 the witness, who hasn't had a chance.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: He's given his answer.
8 MR. SCOTT: It's his commentary, his argument.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're right. You're right,
10 Mr. Scott.
11 Mr. Karnavas, you could have done that during the redirect.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Do what, Your Honour, do what? That's the
13 problem. You allow these sorts of -- going off into this area, and then
14 you limit me my time. It's not enough to say, "You can do -- spend as
15 much time as you want on redirect," if I only have 95 hours when I'd
16 asked for 150 and say, "Use it on redirect." Frankly, I don't see how it
17 is that the Trial Chamber can just sit there when he's reading two
18 paragraphs that are commentary. This is an analysis by somebody who
19 wrote this article. How can he then say these are facts? That's my
20 objection, the way he's trying to twist this article into believing that
21 somehow this is Tudjman's position. Why not give all the information to
22 the witness? That's my objection. And to say I can cover it on
23 redirect, I need five or ten hours on redirect to cover everything.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. My question to you, and I'll just read it to you again - please
2 listen to my question:
3 "Tudjman said the conference broadened to include countries
4 likely to effectively influence the peace process, should keep the
5 earlier partition proposal at its starting point."
6 Now, keep that in mind. A few moments ago I believe you
7 agreed -- you ultimately did agree, after I asked you several times, that
8 there was discussion around this time and it was being reported in the
9 media that indeed Tudjman and Milosevic had taken this position. Now,
10 that's correct --
11 MR. KARNAVAS: He didn't agree to that. I object again. This is
12 a mischaracterisation of the evidence. He never agreed to that.
13 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, can we go back a minute? Give me a
14 moment, Your Honour, and I'll go back in the transcript.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: And while he's at it, why not put something in
16 front of the gentleman --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you -- could you please moderate your tone
18 a bit?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise. We need --
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's all to your credit that you're engaged,
21 Mr. Karnavas, but the Chamber really doesn't need shouting at.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: While we're looking for that:
25 Q. Really, again, I've just quoted the language to you, I've read it
1 to you now twice. You and others in the HVO leadership, the people that
2 you met with practically every week at the government meeting, you were
3 aware of President Tudjman and Milosevic indicating -- stating taking
4 this position in the fall of 1993; correct? Whether you agree with this
5 document or not, I put it to you, as Mr. Karnavas said, put something
6 physical in front of you that might assist you, that might refresh your
7 memory, whether you agree with it or not, can you tell these Judges you
8 knew that was the position being put forward by Tudjman and Milosevic
9 during this time period, didn't you?
10 A. As I said a little while ago, I learnt about that through the
11 speculations in the media. That's where I read about it. I did not have
12 any direct knowledge of that, any documents, any information to that
14 Q. Do you recall, sir, around this time the German government
15 withdrawing its earlier support of the Tudjman government because, in
16 fact, for the very reason that Tudjman had gotten too close to Milosevic
17 on this issue?
18 A. I don't know about that.
19 Q. Would you go, please, to Exhibit P10702. P10702.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I'm going to object to this sort of
21 cross-examination. Where is something from the German government,
22 something official? We're using the press now. This is a profound way
23 of proving a case by an international organ.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas. Anything can be used as
25 evidence, Your Honour. It can be a bloody shirt, it can be a piece of
1 anything I've put in front of the witness, and the witness can clearly
2 say. If he says he doesn't know or he doesn't agree, he can say so, and
3 for that matter I don't have to put a single document in front of him;
4 I can simply ask him the questions. So Mr. Karnavas is just dead wrong,
5 and I wish he would stop being obstructionist.
6 Q. Now, sir, this is another article by Agence France-Presse, and
7 started on November 2nd, 1993, Zagreb
9 conflict, can no longer 'identify' with Zagreb because of the latter's
10 increasing alliance with Serbia
11 referring to a man named Hans Stercken.
12 In the middle of the page:
13 "Stercken, who arrived in Zagreb last Saturday for talks with top
14 Croatian officials, also criticised Croatia President Franjo Tudjman for
15 'trusting too much' his Serbian counterpart Slobodan Milosevic."
16 Now, do you remember around this time, sir, in November 1993, a
17 very important -- a very important government that was generally
18 supportive of Croatia
19 Tudjman-Milosevic partition initiative? Surely you were reading the
20 newspapers, surely you were watching television, surely you were
21 participating in these government meetings.
22 A. At that time, I was not in the government. And in the media that
23 I was able to follow at the time, I could not find any statements to that
24 effect. This document from the France Press Agency, well, this is the
25 first time that I see it.
1 Q. Sir, you keep saying you weren't in the government at this time.
2 When did you stop being the head of the finance department of
4 A. Well, when the Croatian Republic
5 I ceased being a member of the government.
6 Q. Sir, that didn't happen overnight, did it? It's just like we
7 were talking about earlier today. It takes time to do these things, and
8 the new government wasn't put in place until late November of 1993; isn't
9 that the case? If you need to, we can go to presidential transcript,
10 where President Tudjman picked the new government, if that will help you.
11 You continued to be a member of the government until at least late
12 November 1993, sir, and even after that, you were the deputy minister of
13 finance, weren't you?
14 A. Yes, I became the deputy minister of finance.
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, of course I'm in the Chamber's hands,
16 but I'm about to start a new topic and I do note that it's a couple of
17 minutes before 7.00.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have one hour fifteen
19 minutes left when we resume tomorrow.
20 Well, I have a fear because -- with all the objections. I was
21 expecting you to finish now. If Mr. Karnavas requires four hours, well,
22 the witness will have to return.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Based on the latitude that is being given to the
24 Prosecution and the continuing -- the continuing observations by the
25 Trial Chamber that I can just handle everything on redirect, at this
1 point in time I'm making an oral application for additional time beyond
2 that which has been allotted to me for my case. In other words, I'm
3 asking for another 10 hours to be added to the 95 hours that I was given.
4 I expect some consideration of this, because it would seem that the Trial
5 Chamber is under the impression that I can handle all of these things on
6 redirect, especially if we're going to be going into areas dealing with
7 the implementation of the -- not just the Washington Agreement, but also
8 the Dayton
9 I argued last week and I asked for a hearing at one point. We
10 were promised a hearing. General Praljak indicated that a hearing was
11 promised to us. We have yet to have that hearing.
12 At what point -- where are the contours of this particular
13 indictment? They keep growing over and over again. We are entitled to
14 know what it is that we need to defend against, and now we have allowed
15 the Prosecution to go into the implementation process of the Dayton Peace
16 Accords. In other words, we now have to defend that process from 1995
17 all the way to 2008.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good. Your request is in
19 the transcript.
20 It's 7.00 p.m.
21 that will resume at 2.15.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of November, 2008,
24 at 2.15 p.m.