1 Thursday, 12 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Petkovic not present]
5 [The Accused Coric not present]
6 [The witness entered court]
7 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you call
9 the case please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon Your Honours. Good afternoon
11 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
12 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I
14 wish to bid good afternoon to the accused, the counsel of the Defence and
15 the Prosecution, and everyone assisting us, and I will not forget to bid
16 good afternoon to the witness.
17 Regarding the schedule for this hearing, there is one hour 25
18 minutes left for Madam West. The Chamber is of the opinion, therefore,
19 that Madam West should finish her examination and then we can go until 5
20 to 4, after which we will have a single pause of 20 minutes, and then we
21 will resume for re-examination.
22 I should also like to ask Defence counsel to make objections only
23 that may be linked to errors in the transcript, or to really important
24 questions. Apart from that, please allow Madam Prosecutor to do her job,
25 in view of the fact that when there was an examination-in-chief there
1 were hardly any objections on the part of the Prosecution. I'll give the
2 floor to the Registrar, which I forgot there are a number of IC numbers
3 to be given.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. 4D and 6D has tendered
5 their objections to the list of documents tender by the Prosecution
6 through witness Slobodan Bozic. This list shall be given Exhibit IC 918
7 and 919 respectively. Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 Madam West you have the floor.
10 MS. WEST: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, and
11 everyone in and around the courtroom.
12 WITNESS: STIPO BULJAN [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examination by Ms. West [Continued]
15 Q. Good afternoon Mr. Buljan. Yesterday when we stopped, we were
16 talking about the extent of your knowledge about the events in Mostar in
17 1993 at a time when you were still living in Posavina. And you had
18 indicated in the course of your testimony that the relationship between
19 the Muslims Croats in Herceg-Bosna versus the relation in Posavina was
20 different. For the record that's page 36810. You had also said there
21 was a incident occurred in mid-1993, and I quote, "so it's of that time
22 that certain situations were somewhat different in comparison to the
23 situation in Posavina." On 36811, I had ask you whether you knew in the
24 latter half of 1993 that the Croats and the Muslims were fighting each
25 other and in response you said, "I heard that there were such problems
1 down there" and then later on in the page you said:
2 "In Mostar, at the time of the incident, there was a certain
3 amount of tension."
4 So in a certain sense there would be a reason for the difference
5 between the situation in Posavina and in Mostar. Sir, do you remember
6 that testimony?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Thank you. Twice in the testimony that I just summarised and
9 read out verbatim, you mentioned an incident, you said it twice. Would
10 you agree that the incident that you described in speaking about Mostar
11 is the event of May 9th, the mass arrest and detention of a number of
12 Muslims in Mostar?
13 A. I didn't have that particular incident in mind. I meant that
14 generally there was a cooling of relations during that period of time.
15 When I said that there were problems, I didn't have that particular date
16 in mind or that incident.
17 Q. And do you remember yesterday Judge Antonetti asked you a
18 question, he said:
19 "Given the events in May in Mostar, did these events have any
20 repercussions with regard to the HVO units involved in combat?" And your
21 answer was, "No." In regard to Judge Antonetti's question, the events in
22 May, what did you have in mind when you spoke about that?
23 A. All those activities that were happening down there, the tension,
24 the heightened tensions, had a minimum, I would say, effect, but they did
25 leave some traces in Bosanska Posavina. There were no conflicts. There
1 were no bad words, no problems, but it was discussed a little.
2 Q. All right. So is it your testimony that what was going on in
3 Mostar had no effect as to what was going on in the Posavina?
4 A. What was happening in Mostar did not have a significant effect on
5 what was happening in Posavina.
6 Q. And so you'll agree with me that when the Muslims and the Croats
7 were fighting each other in Mostar in 1993, the Muslims and the Croats
8 were cooperating with each other in Posavina?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. So in regard to the question that Judge Antonetti asked you, he
11 said, "did the events in Mostar in May have any repercussions with regard
12 to the HVO units involved in combat" and your answer was, "No."
13 Bearing that question in mind, I want to ask you a slightly
14 different question but it's the same subject matter. Did the events in
15 May have any effect on the number of Muslim soldiers who continued to
16 fight for the HVO in Mostar?
17 A. I don't think that there was any significant effect. All that
18 was happening that they heard and saw and that they were told about, I
19 don't think had any significant influence on them, on their remaining
20 there, their combat activities, or their activities in the HVO units.
21 Q. Can you look at 4D 01632. It's in the smaller binder that's
22 directly in front of you. Starts with 4D.
23 Sir, do you have that? This is a list of Muslim -- thank you.
24 This is a list of Muslim soldiers who were in the 2nd HVO Brigade in
25 Mostar who left on May 9th, 1993, and then also some of the subsequent
1 months. This first -- the first listing is about 117 Muslim soldiers who
2 left on that date, and then it's followed up by what appears to be maybe
3 a dozen soldiers who left in the following month. Now, although you've
4 testified that you don't think there was any significant, you've said
5 significant influence on them, that the events had no significant
6 influence on them, to what do you attribute this exodus, this exodus of
7 117 Muslim soldiers on May 9th in Mostar?
8 A. I said that those events, or rather heightened tensions in Mostar
9 and the surroundings, did not influence the combat readiness of units in
10 the theatre of war at Orasje. They didn't. Not to a significant extent.
11 Maybe negligibly, but that's not important. This unit is not from that
12 area, the one we are looking at now. It's directly linked to the region
13 we are talking about. I just simply see this list. Now, what motivated
14 them to withdraw from the HVO, is something I can't say. I don't know
15 why they did that.
16 Q. Mr. Buljan, yesterday you testified that you had heard about the
17 ABiH attack on the northern barracks on June 30th. Did that attack or
18 did that event have any effect on the number of Muslims who continued to
19 fight for the HVO and who might ultimately receive welfare benefits from
20 the HVO?
21 A. Could you please repeat the question for me.
22 Q. Yes. You mentioned yesterday that you had heard of the June 30th
23 attack; is that correct?
24 A. I heard of it.
25 Q. And did that attack have any effect on the number of Muslim
1 soldiers who continued to fight for the HVO in Mostar?
2 A. I cannot tell you with any certainty and to what extent. There
3 probably was some withdrawal from the brigades after that event.
4 Q. Do you agree with me if there were some withdrawals as a result
5 of that event, then there would also be an affect on the number of Muslim
6 HVO soldiers who would ultimately claim benefits from the HVO or claim
7 welfare from the HVO?
8 A. All members of the HVO, if they had proof that they were members,
9 and if they had the necessary documents, there was no reason why they
10 wouldn't get all the benefits and the remuneration that was due to them
11 in the HVO. Therefore, in the work I did, all members including those
12 who spent a month, two, or five in the HVO, regardless of ethnicity, were
13 entitled to receive certain benefits as prescribed on condition that they
14 have the necessary documents.
15 Q. Mr. Buljan, can you look at P 03019. And I believe this might be
16 in the first binder, the bigger binder.
17 This is the order dated June 30th, 1993. It's signed by
18 General --
19 A. Excuse me. Excuse me. I found a document P 03049, is that the
20 one we are talking about?
21 Q. No. 3019. There you go. This is a June 30th, 1993 order by
22 General Pekovic in which he is talking about reenforcing units and about
23 different brigades, but when you get to number 8 it says:
24 "All Muslim soldiers who are still active in some units should be
25 disarmed and isolated."
1 So, Mr. Buljan, my question for you regards welfare benefits. If
2 a number of these Muslim soldiers were disarmed and isolated in an all
3 effects were taken out of the HVO, could these same soldiers still later
4 apply for HVO welfare benefits?
5 A. If any of these soldiers were disarmed or isolated and left out
6 of the unit, if he had been a member of that unit and if he had -- was
7 wounded or killed, up until then he could apply for a certificate showing
8 how long he had been a member of that unit, and on the basis of that
9 certificate, he could receive all the necessary benefits.
10 Q. And yesterday you showed us a document, it was a combination of
11 the reports you had put together. I believe it was the end of 1995 in
12 which you looked at several defence administration, one being Mostar --
13 or at least one being Mostar, and in that, you counted up the number of
14 killed and wounded and missing. Do agree with me you had access to the
15 soldiers in Mostar who claimed welfare benefits?
16 A. At that moment, I did not. That was a period when we were
17 comparing lists, preparing documents, and whatever we had at the time was
18 presented. From then on, from the beginning of 1992 to the present day,
19 every member of a unit may apply for a certificate about the time spent,
20 what position he held, where he was wounded, how, and so on; so that even
21 today someone who has not realised his rights, he can get medical
22 documents and appear before a commission which will confirm that.
23 I said yesterday that the process hasn't been completed. There
24 are still people who were somewhere else, maybe they spent ten years in a
25 European country after wounding, and then they returned, and when they
1 returned they started to claim their rights.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. West, I hope I will not interfere
3 with your plan, but there are two questions that I think would be
4 interesting to have an answer to.
5 Mr. Buljan, first some while ago you have spoken about Muslims of
6 some of whom we saw a list, who left after May 9th. And you said they
7 continued to be entitled to benefits if they had the necessary papers.
8 Now, my first question is, was this also limited to damages - to take it
9 globally - that occurred while they still were members of the HVO before
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The efforts being made to
12 establish the damage suffered during their stay in the HVO, but again
13 under certain conditions during preparations for the frontline, the time
14 spent on the front line, and returning from the frontline. So if any
15 bodily injury was suffered during that period, it is possible to get
16 medical documents to prove this before a commission and eventually
17 someone can get the status of a war disabled or not if he doesn't have
18 any such bodily injury.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. You already started answering my
20 second question which would have been, what were the necessary documents?
21 And I take it from you that, of course, it must be proof of identity; and
22 second, there must be some medical documents establishing the causality
23 between the military service and the HVO and the damage that was done.
24 Were there any other documents that the Muslim, in this case, would have
25 to present?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what was first and
2 foremost was to -- for the victim to have a certificate which would
3 explicitly say that this person with his first and last name, father's
4 name, his ID number, where he was born, what unit he belonged to, which
5 battalion or company or platoon, and how he suffered damage, was it
6 during execution of the command of the commander or in some other way.
7 This is the first document. If wounding occurred, that same member would
8 have to go and see a doctor, because of the injury, of course, and with
9 the medical documents and this certificate on membership and the
10 circumstances under which he was injured, the commission would establish
11 what the welfare benefit would be depending on the degree of disability.
12 The minimum was 20 percent which would go up to 100 percent.
13 Then there was the first group with 100 percent disability and
14 the second group. Those were the essential document that needed to be
15 collected in the first stage. Later on, some other documents were
16 needed, an ID card, a birth certificate, and so on.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I was thinking of a document which
18 you have not now mentioned, so I suppose, but I want to make sure that
19 was not required and that would have been something like a certificate of
20 an honourable discharge, of a correct discharge, sort of a bye-bye letter
21 to put it very in a familiar family way, term.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I must admit that I
23 never asked for such a document. Someone could have spent 15 days in one
24 of the units and may have been very seriously wounded. He may have left
25 that unit and then come back five years later and we would solve his
1 problem. So no discharge letter was requested, but simply a certificate
2 showing his membership and the circumstances under which he was wounded.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Thank you. I much appreciate the
4 way in which you have answered.
5 MS. WEST:
6 Q. And, Mr. Buljan, just a follow-up on Judge Trechsel's question,
7 if there's an HVO soldier who is, for lack of a better term, kicked out
8 of the HVO, if they are evicted from the HVO, if they are fired from the
9 HVO, can that HVO soldier still receive welfare benefits?
10 A. If an HVO member -- you are talking about an HVO member, if he is
11 fired, then that is in another area of consideration. One may be fired
12 because of problems in the unit because of theft, various disciplinary
13 measures. But if we are talking about a healthy combatant, I'm unable to
14 give you an explicit answer. But if it's a victim, people who were
15 injured or wounded were never dismissed from a unit. There was a maximum
16 degree of tolerance, and regardless of when they left, the time spent
17 would always be recognised though there were commissions set up to
18 establish ability, but there was no coercion used to force people to
19 return to the unit if they had lower level wounds, for instance, a wound
20 that healed within 30 days or two months.
21 Q. Mr. Buljan, keeping in mind the May 9th document that I showed
22 you a few minutes ago, and this June 30th document that you have in front
23 of you now, would you agree that those two documents at least illustrate
24 that the number of HVO Muslim soldiers, at least in Mostar, appears
25 during the course of -- summer of 1993 to be getting smaller and smaller?
1 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, I don't know what
3 you are going to say but I'm listening.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] In spite of your instructions, it
5 is my feeling that I'm obliged to make an objection. The witness said
6 that he doesn't know anything about that event, and secondly which is
7 important which has prompted me to stand, the witness is asked to make
8 conclusions on the basis of certain documents. A witness, by definition,
9 is not in the courtroom to make conclusions. He is a fact witness. I
10 believe it is my duty to say this. I'm an officer of the court and
11 regardless of your instructions if such an infringement has been made, I
12 will object.
13 MS. WEST: May I continue?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Madam West.
15 MS. WEST:
16 Q. So, sir, my question regarded the with two documents you had
17 seen. One was dated May 9th, the other was June 30th. And would you
18 agree with me, this comes from your experience as being the head of
19 welfare in the Posavina, but then head of welfare for the republic that
20 these types of orders ultimately led to less numbers of HVO Muslim
21 soldiers in Mostar?
22 A. No, if I understand you correctly, Madam, persons who had
23 suffered, applied for their rights, if not within that month, then in a
24 year, five years' time, ten years' time and even today, so there's no
25 dispute. If they prove that they were members of one of the units which
1 no longer exist, and if they have the necessary documents, that can be
2 done even now. So in Posavina, there was no shortage of requests for
3 welfare benefits regardless of ethnicities. They kept making such claims
4 for awhile, he was a member of that unit, afterwards he could have
5 changed the unit or changed whatever.
6 Q. And you just said that in Posavina there was no shortage of
7 request for welfare benefits regardless of ethnicities. Can you tell us
8 whether that same theory applied in Mostar? Were benefits given
9 regardless of ethnicities in Mostar?
10 A. As the head of the welfare department, I was concerned with
11 having the proper certificate about the circumstances of the injury and
12 we are talking about the period from the beginning of 1993, 1994, and
13 1995. I'm talking about Posavina, but this applied later on as well.
14 The essential document was membership in the unit and the circumstances
15 under which the injury was suffered. Such a certificate was signed by
16 the brigade commander. Me as the head of the section and later head of
17 the department could only intervene with respect to the appearance of
18 that certificate requiring perhaps more detailed data or the form it
19 would take. That is what I could do, but I could not force any commander
20 to sign such a certificate or not sign it to change it, amend it, or not,
21 or to make any such request to the commander.
22 Q. Mr. Buljan, my question regards Mostar and not Posavina. You
23 said that in Posavina when you were the head, which is 1993, that welfare
24 was distributed without regard to ethnicities. My question, and you can
25 tell me if you do not have the capacity to answer this, is in 1993 was
1 welfare distributed to HVO soldiers regardless of ethnicities?
2 A. In 1993, benefits were proved for all wounded members of the HVO,
3 for families of those who had been killed and for the families of war
4 invalids. It was regardless of their ethnicity, but the condition was
5 that they should have some of the basic documents, certificate showing
6 the circumstances under which these individuals were wounded or killed.
7 Q. Your response you said for all wounded members of the HVO. Is it
8 your testimony that these benefits were distributed in Mostar in 1993
9 without regard to ethnicity? Do you have the capacity to say yes or no
10 to that question?
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Thank you. I'm not quite sure
12 whether this answer can really be -- this question can really be answered
13 by yes or no.
14 Witness, I'm not sure whether I understood you correctly, but one
15 of your last answers made me think this: You, your office looked at
16 whether the papers were there, if the papers were there, you granted
17 relief, payments, whatever. If there was no paper, there was no way
18 someone could get something from your office, which is an absolutely
19 normal administrative procedure.
20 However, I thought to have understood you as saying that you had
21 no influence on whether the paper was signed because this was done by the
22 commanders, by the military. So you can't perhaps not take a stand and
23 make any comment on in which way the commanders acted, whether commanders
24 the discriminated or not. The way I understand what you have told us so
25 far was beyond your control so you could not know about it. Please tell
1 me if I understood you correctly, and correct me if I understood you
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you've understood me
4 correctly. In 1992, for example, in order to obtain certain benefits, to
5 claim certain rights it would be necessary to have the relevant
6 documents. All those documents were issued by someone. I couldn't issue
7 a birth certificate. I couldn't issue a certificate of marriage. I
8 couldn't issue a certificate on circumstances under which someone was
9 wounded. So if a person came with the relevant document, the documents
10 would be examined and the procedure would be engaged and we would solve
11 the problem then. Whenever there were no documents, we tried to gather
12 the relevant document, supplement them if necessary, and once this was
13 done, then benefits would be granted.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MS. WEST:
16 Q. Mr. Buljan, Exhibits --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MS. WEST: Exhibits 2900604 through 624 are the documents that
19 you brought with you regarding the Posavina. So they were document that
20 you looked at yesterday, and you made the request for them. Do you
21 remember those documents?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. And you said that when you had certain information according to
24 which you would be testifying before this Court, you asked the
25 administration for those who were casualties in the homeland war office
1 for these types of documents from the Posavina. Is it your testimony
2 that you personally made the request?
3 A. Yes, I personally made that request.
4 Q. And I'm not going to go back to those documents. I've reviewed
5 them, and I'm going to give you a summary and tell me if this is about
6 correct. You requested documents for both deceased HVO Muslim members,
7 and you also requested documents for Muslim HVO members who became
8 invalids. And for the 101st HVO Brigade for deceased, I think I counted
9 about 102 Muslims; 106th Brigade, I counted 37; for Bihac, there was 5;
10 Brcko, there was 8; Derventa, there were 91; Odzak, there were 50; Tuzla
11 was 46; Gradacac was 249; and Bosanski Samac was 24. Separately in
12 regard to the invalids: Derventa was 132; Gradacac was 33; Modrica was
13 48; Odzak was 80; and Tuzla was 9. Is that consistent with your memory
14 reviewing these documents, those numbers; are they about right?
15 A. Well, one should add that the 102nd Odzak Brigade was included.
16 There should also be the 104th Samac Brigade, 105th Modrica Brigade,
17 there should also be the 106th Orasje Brigade, and 107th Gradacac
18 Brigade. And if you had the 108th in mind when you mentioned Tuzla then
19 that's correct, if not then the 108th HVO Brigade should also be
21 Q. Okay. Mr. Buljan, would you agree with me that it's those
22 numbers upon which you base your testimony that the HVO treated all of
23 its soldiers well, or equally regardless of ethnicity?
24 A. Well, no, I made that claim well because I could only get that
25 information from Orasje. I said that on the basis of my personal
1 knowledge. Yesterday I said I was the chief of the administration for
2 welfare from mid-1995 until 1998; and then for about two years, I was the
3 deputy director in the federal administration for soldiers from the area,
4 that was at the level of the Federation. So at that time for all HVO
5 members who had the relevant documents, welfare was provided in an
6 identical manner.
7 Q. So my question is, it's these document, these documents that you
8 requested for a certain reason -- strike that.
9 Why did you request these documents then?
10 A. The document is about an entire institution that provided welfare
11 for members of those units. I said that I was appointed in 1992 for the
12 chief of the department. All those who were worked there worked with me
13 and in a certain way I brought the document with me. They remained
14 there, I left. I could only get the documents from them. The documents
15 are still, in a certain sense, kept there, and they are not provided
16 easily. When I was the chief of the department or the administration,
17 there were more people who requested such documents --
18 Q. Sir, my question was why did you request these documents? What
19 was in your head when you decided to make a request for these documents?
20 What did you hope that they would show?
21 A. Well, these documents show how and in what way one acted, and it
22 shows how many casualties there were in that part of Posavina.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. I would
25 like my colleague's question to be correctly transcribed. The question
1 concerned the number of Muslims with regard to these documents as I
2 showed these documents. I don't think we are dealing with the number of
3 Muslims who were casualties, we are dealing with Croats and members of
4 other nationalities as well. These documents have been erroneously
5 interpreted by my colleague. So I just wanted to clarify this. These
6 documents weren't asked for only with regard to Muslims but it concerned
7 all those who were casualties regardless of their ethnicity, and that is
8 what the documents are about. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. West.
10 MS. WEST: Thank you, that's correct. The documents do include
11 Muslims, Croats, and other nationalities.
12 Q. Mr. Buljan, I'm going to have to ask you this question again
13 because I think I've misunderstood your answer. When you requested these
14 documents showing casualties of all the HVO soldiers, and you brought
15 them here and you made this request, you testified once you knew that you
16 would be testifying here, what did you hope that they would show the
17 Trial Chamber? How did you expect that he would be interpreted?
18 A. Above all, my purpose was to show how many casualty there were,
19 to show how they had been wounded. I wanted the documents to show how
20 long this lasted for, that the classifications were made in the way they
21 were made, it could have been done differently. Quite simply, tried to
22 gather certain information in one document in case one wanted
23 explanations. I worked in the office for a long time, and I can provide
24 useful answers with regard to that aspect.
25 Q. And since you've come here and testified that -- or part of your
1 testimony is that welfare benefits were given out without regard to
2 ethnicities, and particularly here are issues without regard to whether
3 somebody was Muslim or not, did you understand that this case involved
4 several municipalities that were not included in the Posavina?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you agree with me that what might be more relevant to our
7 focus here, our records for Muslim HVO soldiers who are from, say, Mostar
8 or areas that are in Herceg-Bosna?
9 A. I couldn't obtain such information when I came here. I said that
10 in a certain sense there were still confidential, not secret; but they
11 are simply not made available. I didn't make them available when I had
12 access to them. There were many who wanted to write books and to consult
13 those documents. I understand why these documents weren't provided, but
14 perhaps if someone else was in Orasje instead of the people I worked
15 with, if that had been the case, I don't think I would have even been
16 given what I was given.
17 Q. So my question regards whether those documents would be more
18 relevant, would you agree with me that they would be more relevant to us,
19 not whether you could obtain them or not. Do you agree that documents
20 for Mostar would be more relevant to this case?
21 A. Well, I don't know whether it would have been better for your
22 case if you had received documents that concern Mostar. They would have
23 been such as they are, and I simply cannot say whether it would have been
24 better for you to have such documents here. But the situation wasn't
25 clear in any military district. In all military districts, I think there
1 were casualties of various ethnicities.
2 Q. All right. Sir, I understand that you did not make the request
3 for the documents for the areas that are the subject of the indictment.
4 Is it your testimony that you could not have made that request?
5 A. No, I spoke to some people who work in those departments but I
6 understand that they didn't want to me give me that information because
7 others didn't provide that information apart from the information that I
8 managed to obtain, so to speak, on a private basis.
9 Q. Mr. Buljan, after seeing your request to the administration for
10 issues of HVO soldiers and victims in the Croatian war of independence,
11 we made the same request about one month ago. Can you look at P 10810.
12 10810. Mr. Buljan, I believe it's in the binder at your feet. Sorry.
13 You have that there?
14 A. 10810; is that correct?
15 Q. That's correct. Thank you. You should go after the tab, it's
16 10810 -- Mr. Buljan, I think you are on the wrong page. If you go after
17 the tab.
18 MS. WEST: Mr. Usher, maybe we could have some assistance.
19 Q. There you go. And the B/C/S is behind the English.
20 Mr. Buljan, I would just like to flip through these documents
21 with you, and this was a request that we made once we saw your request.
22 We made the same request, but we made it for the municipalities that are
23 listed in the indictment. I think that's a total of 28 municipalities
24 and as of yesterday we had responses from 11. So if you go to the B/C/S
25 which there's a Bates stamp that ends in 145. This is page 1 of the
1 English. It's a record from the Jablanica, do you see that? You have it
2 right there.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. This is a record --
5 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I would kindly ask [Overlapping
6 speakers] to provide us with information whether that was disclosed to
7 us. I made the fast checking via e-court, and I was not able to find it.
8 Perhaps it was too short check, but maybe we should be given this
9 information because I suspect, I'm almost sure, I'm not entirely sure,
10 but I'm almost sure that we did not got this as disclosure from the
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West.
13 MS. WEST: We received this night before last. I think it's in
14 the binders, the --
15 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, there is no doubt it is in binders, so we got
16 it yesterday, and we have it today. But that doesn't -- it is not in
17 accordance with the rule. This should have been disclosed earlier.
18 MS. WEST: Mr. President, we made a request of these documents as
19 a results of looking at their exhibits. There's no requirement that we
20 would have disclose these earlier. It's -- it would be quite unusual to
21 believe that we could have ever anticipated requesting these documents in
22 order to have disclosed them earlier. Again, they were requested as a
23 result of looking at the Defence exhibits. There's no way we could have
24 disclosed these earlier. Furthermore, this is on cross-examination.
25 They are not require to be on the 65 ter list. They go directly to the
1 issue of credibility of the witness and also in direct opposition to the
2 Defence case upon which this witness is purporting.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, go ahead.
4 MS. WEST: Thank you.
5 Q. Sir, in front of you, you have what is Bates staffed at the
6 bottom 145, this is a record from Jablanica and it says:
7 "In reference to your request attached find the registry file for
8 Avdo Velic." Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, you said it was my request. I didn't speak to this
11 Q. No, Mr. Buljan, I think there must be a misunderstanding. This
12 is not your request. This is our request. I just want to review these
13 documents with you slowly, if you can bear with that, then we'll talk
14 about them. So that is the first one from Jablanica. If you can go to
15 page 4 of the English, but it's 2147 of the B/C/S, it's Bates stamped
16 2147 at the bottom. This is a record from Vares in response to our
17 request, they gave us the record of Edin Brkovic. Do you see that?
18 A. Mm-hmm.
19 Q. You have to answer verbally out loud. Now, if you can to page 9
20 of the English which is Bates stamped 21540 of the B/C/S. That is record
21 from Stolac, and they responded from a one record of a Huso Obradovic.
22 Do you see that? I believe the witness is not getting translation.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the witness's
25 MS. WEST: The witness is not getting translation.
1 Q. Can you hear what I'm saying?
2 A. I can hear you now.
3 Q. If you go to the B/C/S stamped 2150, it's a record from Stolac.
4 When I say stamped 2150, you'll see a stamp of numbers on these records.
5 Every page has a number, and the 2150 is the last four digits. There you
6 go. So that's record from Stolac and they responded with a record of one
7 person which is Huso Obradovic. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, if you can go to page 2155 of the B/C/S which is page 18 of
10 the English?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Witness is kindly asked to speak a little more
13 MS. WEST:
14 Q. This is a record from Konjic and here they give us three names:
15 Edin Hrhotbegovic [phoen], Senahid Donjo [phoen], and Tomislav Markovic
16 [phoen]. Do you see those three names?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Now, if you go to 2159 of the B/C/S, page 23 of the English.
19 These are records from Busovaca, in which they give us two names, the
20 first is Elvir Cecic [phoen], the second is Alic Admir. Do you see
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. Go to the B/C/S 2163. This is the Fojnica records. 2163, they
24 indicate that they have no members of the Bosniak ethnicity who were
25 responsive to our request. Do you see that? You have to say it out
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Go to 2164. This is Kresevo. And they also indicate that they
4 have no records, and no one has ever received compensation on those
5 grounds, no response to our request, do you see that?
6 A. I do.
7 MS. NOZICA: I apologise, Your Honours. I apologise to my
8 colleague. Could we perhaps be a little more precise. In these
9 documents, I see that we are only dealing with soldiers who were killed,
10 not a single member of the HVO was killed of a Bosniak nationality was
11 recorded. We have two categories, so this is the page that my colleague
12 referred to it has to do with Kresevo municipality because the answers of
13 the various municipalities are different. Some concern war invalids, and
14 some concern those who were killed. So if we are going through this very
15 quickly, well, we should see what the answer is, in fact. Does it only
16 concern those who are wounded or does it only concern those who are
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, don't waste your time
19 and the Chamber's time which is precious. You asked for information on
20 Muslim soldiers from the HVO who were killed. The authorities on the
21 10th of February of this year sent you their replies. I've been through
22 these documents very rapidly, and I see that the HVO soldiers who were
23 killed in 1992, 1993, all this is spread over time. At least two of them
24 I see were killed outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina and so one may ask
25 oneself what they were doing there. So we are not going to examine all
1 the details for all these examples, but put your questions to the witness
2 to demonstrate what you, in fact, want to demonstrate.
3 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President. Just to be absolutely
4 clear, in the first instance, I may have misspoke. But these are not
5 records of HVO Muslim soldiers who were killed. The records of HVO
6 Muslim soldiers who were killed, and their families received benefits
7 from the HVO. So this is not a combination of those who were killed.
8 There are 11 municipalities as I said in the very beginning, and I was
9 going over those particular 11, but I can do this much more quickly.
10 With the Trial Chamber's indulgence.
11 Q. Mr. Witness, I'm just going to review these records and purport
12 to you what I believe they say, which is in Jablanica there was one
13 Muslim HVO soldier who was killed and whose family received benefits from
14 the HVO. In Vares there was one; in Stolac there was one; in Konjic
15 there were 3; in Busovaca there was 2; Punica [phoen] was zero; Kresevo
16 was zero; Travnik was zero; Grude was zero; Kakanjac was one; and in
17 Citluk was zero. Now, my question to you, Mr. Buljan, is would you agree
18 with me that these records paint a very different picture of the
19 dispersement of welfare benefits to the diseased Muslim soldiers than the
20 records that you brought from Posavina?
21 A. Madam Prosecutor, I don't see any approval for benefits. These
22 are just the number of those who were killed. There is no indication
23 that Avdo or whatever his name is received so much. There was just an
24 answer to your question that he was a member and that he was taken care
1 Q. All right. So you'll agree with me that these are members who
2 were ultimately taken care of by the welfare department?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you would also agree that these numbers that we have looked
5 at are significantly smaller than the numbers that you presented this
6 Court in the Posavina records?
7 A. I have no reason to doubt these numbers, but I must say that the
8 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina did not begin at the same time, the same
9 hour in all municipalities. Some waged war earlier, some later on, some
10 for longer periods of time and others for shorter periods of time.
11 Q. Sir, can you go to P 02945. I believe that's in the first
13 MS. WEST: Excuse me, my mistake, that is not in the binder. It
14 is a document that you were shown yesterday. And if we could have that
15 in e-court. It's P 02945. Thank you.
16 Q. Do you remember seeing this document yesterday?
17 A. Yes, I'm looking at it now. It is a command on appointments in
18 the Rama Brigade command; is that right?
19 Q. That's right. And you were shown it yesterday because you
20 pointed out that number 20 - and you don't have to look at it now - was
21 the social welfare clerk that was appointed by Bruno Stojic in this
22 particular command. Do you remember talking about that?
23 A. Yes, that is the order.
24 Q. Now, in addition to that one appointment, there's a total of 80
25 appointments in this document, and they are ranging from SIS officers, to
1 IPD officers, to artillery officer, intelligence officer, battalion
2 commanders. Mr. Buljan, is it fair to say that all these appointments
3 were made at the same time by Bruno Stojic, at the same time as the
4 social welfare clerk and they took effect at the same time?
5 A. I don't know. I can't confirm that, that this happened at the
6 same time and the clerk for welfare was not appointed by Bruno Stojic.
7 Q. Sir, yesterday when you spoke of number 20, that is listed on
8 page 8 of the English in this document, who was he appointed by?
9 A. This person was appointed, so this is in the brigade command. If
10 we are talking about this document, you said you were talking about the
11 welfare administration. Bruno Stojic did not appoint people to that
12 welfare administration.
13 Q. Okay. Mr. Buljan, all the things that you provided to the
14 disabled soldiers and the family of the deceased soldiers, whether it be
15 rehabilitation, hospitalisation, accommodation or just money, do those
16 things, it required that your department have money; correct?
17 A. Certainly.
18 Q. And so you had some type of budget; is that right?
19 A. We didn't have a budget. We had estimates made per month, and we
20 made requests for that sum.
21 Q. What was the source of funding for the welfare provisions and the
22 money for the families?
23 A. Well, the first funds which were allotted, I'll go back briefly
24 to Posavina as the head of the administration there were granted when
25 Derventa fell on the 4th of July, 1992. This was a small sum of money,
1 and my colleague commander and myself requested from Derventa
2 municipality to find ways, whatever ways to find the funds for us to
3 distribute to members of the army and the families of the killed.
4 Derventa fell, the army units were being reduced in numbers, and
5 we wanted to provide funds. The second time was when Bosanski Brod fell
6 and the whole municipality of Derventa on the 6th of October, 1992. I
7 was in the command in or Oreovac [phoen], it's a place in Croatia close
8 to Slavonski Brod, and the army was housed throughout that area in
9 abandoned schools and houses. I was visited by the representative of the
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina embassy, there were five or six people, and I, among
11 others, spoke to them and they offered assistance.
12 That group which came to visit us included my professor,
13 Avdo Halilovic, who taught Serbo-Croatia when I went to secondary school
14 in Derventa; and I told them that we needed certain funds to distribute
15 them to the men and that we intended to go back to the theatre of war in
16 Posavina so as to keep the soldiers there. He answered that he would see
17 what he could do and that he would let us know.
18 The next day he came and brought with him 90.000 German marks.
19 We took over that sum. The head of finance found somewhere else, I don't
20 know how, whether this may have been earlier savings in the municipality
21 from companies, I don't know, and we distributed those funds. Those were
22 the first remunerations.
23 Later on, the funds were provided through the brigades, they were
24 not on a regular basis. They were not large, and the first funds
25 collected through the department for welfare, which I signed was in
1 August 1994. And this was a letter that I addressed to the military
2 district or the head of the administration for welfare, I can't be quite
3 sure about that, whether it was towards the finance department or
4 military district or the finances of the welfare administration which was
5 then based in Citluk, I think.
6 Q. Mr. Buljan, did you receive any money from the Defence Department
7 in 1993?
8 A. We asked for funds through the finances of the military district.
9 Now, whether that came from the Defence Department or not, I cannot
10 answer with certainty.
11 Q. Okay. Can you go to 2D 01245.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, Ms. West, the last answer, Mr. Buljan,
13 perhaps this is a matter of translation. You were asked whether you
14 obtained money from Defence Department, and your answer says that you
15 requested money. But it does not said that you also received it. Could
16 you complete the answer.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, towards the end of
18 1993, that is the last quarter of 1993, funds did come through the
19 brigade commander who would make a request. I must be sincere, I don't
20 know where they came from, whether they came from the Defence Department
21 or somewhere else. Believe me, I don't know.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I believe you.
23 MS. WEST:
24 Q. Mr. Witness, 2D 01245. It's in the second binder, excuse me.
25 1245. This is an exhibit you actually looked at yesterday with
1 Ms. Nozica. And it's a letter to the Ministry of Defence in Croatia and
2 it regards remunerations for a soldier who was a Muslim soldier. Do you
3 remember looking at this?
4 A. Yes, I do remember.
5 Q. And the top of this letter says that it indicates that it's
6 responding to a letter from Croatia. It says: "With regard to your
7 letter," gives a number "of 14 July." Do you agree with me that this is
8 a response to something that Croatia was asking?
9 A. Yes, clearly it's a response to a request.
10 Q. Do you know why Croatia was asking about this?
11 A. I must tell you that it wasn't Croatia but the Ministry of
12 Defence of the Republic of Croatia, and I must say in those days there
13 wasn't a single institution that didn't have a special feeling towards
14 wounded soldiers and families of the killed. So I wouldn't be surprised
15 if there were other documents when any other institution may be informing
16 an official institution about certain funds.
17 I would often be addressed to with inquiries similar to these, so
18 clearly somebody had addressed somebody in the Ministry of Defence and
19 then that is how this letter came about asking the commander whether
20 those funds were paid out or not.
21 Q. Mr. Buljan, what do you mean by special feeling, that the
22 Ministry of Defence had a special feeling about this?
23 A. What I mean is that all institutions in all states had a kind of
24 specific view and opinion and wanted to assist soldiers. If this person
25 had addressed the Ministry of Forestry in the Republic of Croatia, I
1 wouldn't be surprised if a similar answer were to be received, to
2 religious institutions, the media, because simply everyone wanted to
3 assist in such circumstances.
4 Q. And in the case of welfare benefits, would that assistance
5 include paying for those benefits?
6 A. If a brigade, which had more funds, which was on its own
7 territory, which was able to obtain funds from certain sources, then it
8 may have made better remunerations in relation to other brigade. This
9 went on until funds started to be distributed through the welfare
10 department when everything was consolidated in one spot, and then every
11 rank received the same benefit for the same disability.
12 So until this welfare was organised properly, the distribution of
13 funds varied. So I can't tell you whether somebody in the 103rd Brigade
14 got less, than somebody in a 104th more. But when this started to work
15 in an organised fashion, it was all equal.
16 Q. Mr. Buljan, do you agree with me that the Ministry of Defence for
17 the Republic of Croatia paid for the welfare benefits for the HVO
18 soldiers of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. I don't know whether they paid for the welfare of soldiers,
20 members of the HVO in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I personally, through the
21 welfare organisation in the Republic of Croatia, would sometime request a
22 place to be found for rehabilitation or something like that.
23 Q. Let's go to P 10772. Binder number 1, the bigger binder. 10772.
24 And the front is the English, but I believe the last -- you just had it,
25 there you go. The last page is the B/C/S. And this is an interview with
1 Ivica Rajic, who was the prime minister of Croatia. I'm going to go to
2 the bottom of the English and the -- bottom first page in the top, second
3 page, and he speaks about coming into office, and he says:
4 "We've stopped transferring soldiers directly between the
5 Croatian Armed Forces and the Croat Defence council, the Bosnian Croat
6 component of the Bosnian Federation's armed forces. We have also severe
7 direct communications and control links between the two militaries.
8 Moreover, since signing a financial assistance agreement with the Bosnian
9 Federation in May, financial transfers between Croatia and the Federation
10 Defence ministry have become transparent. Croatia is not, however,
11 abandoning the Bosnian Croats. It is simply looking to find durable long
12 term solutions that balance their legitimate interests with those of
13 viable Bosnian state and of the countries Serb and Bosniak communities.
14 Croatia will continue --"
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please.
16 MS. WEST: Thank you.
17 "Croatia will continue to pay military pensions and disability
18 allowances to Bosnian Croats, but these payment will in future either be
19 made via the appropriate federal institutions or paid directly to
20 beneficiaries in as open a manner as possible. They will no longer be
21 channelled through shady, parallel structures."
22 Q. Sir, I understand that your response to my question about whether
23 you knew Croatia was paying for the welfare benefits for the HVO soldier
24 was I don't know, but subsequent to that period of time did you become
25 aware that this issue was in the newspapers?
1 A. Yes, I was aware of that. That it was discussed in the
2 newspapers. I must say that I, as head of the welfare department, never
3 sought any funds for the salaries of the members and wounded members of
4 the homeland war.
5 Q. Mr. Buljan, did HVO benefits include giving welfare benefits for
6 those soldiers who were not permanent members of the -- can you hear me?
7 Mr. Buljan, can you hear me?
8 My question is --
9 A. Yes, yes, I can. But I've lost the interpretation for a moment.
10 So could the last two sentences be reinterpreted for me, please.
11 Q. Yes, thank you. Did the HVO also pay welfare benefits for those
12 soldiers who were not permanent members of the HVO?
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really have to
14 intervene. My client and the others, other accused are reacting, but
15 this is a hypothetical question that it is impossible to answer to whom,
16 when, in what period, which HVO, who was paying it? I think it's an
17 imprecise question, so it should be made more specific.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam West, will you specify
19 your question.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Previous translation continues] ... interrupt
21 anyway. This question implies that there was the answer or that there is
22 evidence that there was something called permanent members or sorry not
23 permanent members. We don't know so far, nothing about that category.
24 So, of course, first, that should be established, then the second
25 question should be asked. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam West, please try and make
2 it more specific.
3 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I must remind you that you have
5 another 23 or so minutes left.
6 MS. WEST: Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Buljan, were there any soldiers fighting in the HVO in
8 Posavina when you were involved that were members of other armed forces,
9 for example, the Croatian army?
10 A. Yes, there were members and volunteers from the Croatian army in
11 Bosanska Posavina. They were mostly people who were born in Bosanska
12 Posavina or the environs.
13 Q. And when the HVO paid for their possible welfare benefits if they
14 were injured or wounded or killed, did that money come from Croatia as
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment. I don't like to
17 intervene but regarding the translation I have a little problem.
18 Madam West is asking you a question, were there soldiers in the Posavina
19 HVO who were members of other armed forces, for example, the Croatian
20 army. So the question is very precise. I'd like you to answer slowly so
21 there should be no mistakes in the translation . Please answer
22 Madam West's question but answer it with precision.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will do my best and
24 repeat my answer. There were members of the Croatian army who came to
25 the territory of Bosanska Posavina and who fought in Bosanska Posavina.
1 They were mostly born in Bosanska Posavina and before the war broke out,
2 they were somewhere in Croatia in one of the Croatian units.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me take advantage
4 of the pause, you have noticed correctly on page 32, line 21 and 24 there
5 is the answer that the witness said, "Yes, there were members and
6 volunteers." The witness didn't say that. Everyone listening, he didn't
7 say "and volunteers", he said "volunteers". That's probably why you
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that is why I put the
10 question to him once again. You are quite right, Madam Nozica. In
11 line 22 he said, "There were members and volunteers." I have made him
12 answer again more clearly and in his answer we don't see the word
13 volunteers anymore. So you see, sir, it's very important, perhaps you
14 don't realise it, but for counsel and for the Judges, it is important.
15 I wish to specify the question further. These soldiers who
16 belonged to the Croatian army, who were born in Posavina, did they come
17 to the HVO of Posavina as volunteers and were integrated in the HVO, or
18 as one might conclude from line 22, there were members of the Croatian
19 army and volunteers?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct that members of the
21 Croatian army who were mostly born in Bosanska Posavina came to assist in
22 the war in Posavina. When their village was occupied, they felt that
23 they could be of assistance and they came. Some of them would stay with
24 us for good, others would go back. And others would leave the army
25 altogether, some were wounded, some were killed.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You haven't understood my
2 question. What I wanted to know is did they come as volunteers or not?
3 That is the question.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They came as volunteers,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So they came as
7 volunteers. Madam west, continue, please. I said five to, so that we
8 should only have one break, so please continue and then we'll have the
10 MS. WEST:
11 Q. Mr. Buljan, when these Croatian army volunteers came to fight in
12 the Posavina, is it your testimony that some of them stayed and then some
13 of them returned to Croatia?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. And when they came to fight for the HVO, who paid
16 their salaries?
17 A. Those who were in the HVO, they were paid by the HVO when they
18 had the funds. The volunteers who were not members of the HVO, I don't
19 know who paid them.
20 Q. Can you go to P 00153. 00153. I think you have it right there,
21 it's behind it. Thank you. You have the B/C/S in front of you. And
22 this is a letter, it's a Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence letter
23 and it says:
24 "The request of the chief inspector of the Defence
25 General Martin Spegelj for sending a part of the soldiers and officers of
1 the operation zone Rijeka mainly Croats and Muslims ready to voluntarily
2 go to BaiHto help struggle of the people of the BiH has been accepted by
3 the top-ranking military authorities."
4 Says: "The general headquarters of the Croatian army concurs and
5 supports this idea, with the suggestion that this group for a start,
6 number 300 to 400 soldiers and officers."
7 It then says: "They are to be sent under the command of
8 Major Mustafa and other officers with different military equipment,
9 weaponry and ammunition. All who go, retain all the rights of HV
10 soldiers, including monthly salaries. They cannot wear HV insignia on
11 their uniforms, nor can they hold other documents used by members of the
12 HV. The task is an urgent one, and the execution of it is to be
13 commenced immediately. Should the situation develop favourably, sending
14 of other groups, i.e., reinforcements of this one, is not to be
16 Mr. Buljan, in your capacity as the head of welfare, you had
17 indicated yesterday that the soldiers to which you gave welfare benefits
18 also received salaries from their own units, and I'm talking about the
19 HVO units. Would you agree with me that the volunteers who came from the
20 Republic of Croatia were actually paid by the Republic of Croatia?
21 A. Well, this document signed by General Petar Stipetic supports
22 such an interpretation. As to whether that was actually the case, I
23 can't say. I don't know whether this was actually put into practice.
24 This is now the 1992, many things haven't been resolved at the time, so
25 quite frequently the documents drafted were not documents that would be
1 fully implemented.
2 MS. WEST: Mr. Buljan, thank you for your very candid answers.
3 Mr. President, I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. West. We will
5 now have the break that Mr. Karnavas so desires, and we will resume in 20
6 minutes' time.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
10 [The Accused Prlic not present]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon
13 Your Honours. As you can see, the absence of my client, Dr. Prlic, his
14 absence is as a result of having spent some time with him during the
15 break, going over an unofficial translation of your decision concerning
16 his supplemental to his statement. The concerns obviously are the
17 reasoning, the reasoning that the Trial Chamber has presented.
18 One, claiming that it looks too much like a expert report. Well,
19 one must forgive Dr. Prlic for being an intelligent human being and fro
20 having the education and the wherewithal to spend two years putting
21 together that report, in his way, in his fashion, of course, keeping in
22 mind that he has authored about a half a dozen to a dozen books.
23 Two, the Court's reasoning that we cross-examined Tomljanovich,
24 and this has been a sore point for us many, many months now. If you look
25 at the Popovic case they cross-examine witnesses for days and days. We
1 get hours, sometimes minutes. To say that we had adequate time to
2 cross-examine Tomljanovich is simply illogical, in my point, and I'm
3 trying to be as measured as I possibly can thinking back to the
4 complexity of the Tomljanovich report and the amount of time that was
5 provided. Frankly, it was shocking.
6 The third reasoning, you state is that Dr. Prlic could have
7 testified. Well, as we indicated, you don't give us enough time to put
8 on our witnesses and so what you want now is to say, Well, present less
9 evidence in your Defence and then take the stand, this way you don't have
10 to put together a 600-page report attacking William Tomljanovich, the
11 Prosecution employee, employee, who is called an analyst/expert.
12 So frankly for all of these reasons, Dr. Prlic feels that at this
13 point it is quite evident that the Trial Chamber is being rather
14 inflexible. The Trial Chamber could have very easily accepted the report
15 and then said, Well, not going to give any weight to it. But the
16 reasoning is rather -- is such that gives him great pause as to whether
17 he is getting a fair trial, whether the result will ever be fair, and
18 whether he will ever even have an opportunity to see liberty as a free
19 man again.
20 So for those reasons, he does not wish to participate for the
21 remainder of the proceedings. He did give me instructions that he wishes
22 for me to move for certification, and he would like me to do so at this
23 particular moment, keeping in mind that the Prosecution of course has the
24 opportunity to respond, but I am making an oral motion for certification
25 to appeal this decision, and of course pending the Court's decision on
1 that, Dr. Prlic will then consider what his other options are.
2 It is rather regrettable that Dr. Prlic who has not missed a
3 single second, who has not been disruptive, who has asked only a few
4 questions, very measured ones, who has made a couple of statements, again
5 very measured ones, should find himself in this position to the point
6 where he does not wish to participate any further in the proceedings
7 because it is his perception, and one that I share, that based on this
8 decision it appears that the Trial Chamber is extremely inflexible as
9 much as it claims to be very flexible, as much as it claim that is it
10 wishes to be fair, that from this decision it seems that any amount of
11 flexibility is merely words to be uttered but no deeds to be seen from
13 And so as a result of that, Dr. Prlic, as I've indicated, does
14 not wish to come out to participate any further. In keeping with what we
15 saw from another accused and that was Mr. Coric who obviously walked out
16 especially after the Trial Chamber in showing its flexibility to the
17 Prosecution said they could begin their cross-examination the following
18 day when 45 minutes was left on the clock, the Prosecution had months to
19 prepare the cross-examination, had spent three days plus more getting a
20 statement from that particular witness, and came up with a farcical, a
21 farcical excuse as to why cross-examination could not start on that.
22 That's why Mr. Coric left. That's why Dr. Prlic was upset as well, and
23 I'm sure others were; and now this decision coming on top of that
24 demonstrates to Dr. Prlic that perhaps the things that are to come have
25 already been predetermined.
1 I'm not saying that that is the case, but that is the perception
2 that is that is growing ever so more every day that this case proceeds.
3 And so I regret that I have to make these submissions, but these are the
4 submissions based on the instructions that I've been give. And as I've
5 indicated, please consider this an oral motion for certification of your
6 decision to deny his supplement to his opening statement. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Prosecution, I
8 don't know if you want to respond orally right now or whether you would
9 prefer to file written submissions.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. STRINGER: That was going to be my request, Mr. President.
12 It's -- without going to the substance of the ruling, I think that it's
13 likely that the Trial Chamber and ultimately the Appeals Chamber would
14 benefit if this were -- if, in fact, an appeal is certified.
15 And I don't know what the Prosecution position is going to be on
16 that point. But I'd suggest that the normal course, which is a written
17 application in which the Defence lays out its argument, why certification
18 in its view should be granted, would be appropriate. It would then
19 enable the Prosecution to file a written response, which possibly both of
20 which the two parties positions on this would be of benefit to the
21 Trial Chamber in the ruling that it ultimately issues.
22 And so our preference or our suggestion would be understanding
23 that Mr. Karnavas and his client are feeling strongly at the moment, that
24 we proceed with written submissions on the application for certification
25 to which the Prosecution then would file its written response.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I frankly would wonder whether it
3 would not be also preferable that Mr. Karnavas put his request in
4 writing. After all the proceeding is relatively formal, and there are
5 very specific reasons to be raised. You have said a lot of things,
6 Mr. Karnavas, but it is not really in the form of such a request for
7 certification. I'm sure it can be done tomorrow morning, knowing your
8 proficiency, and I would feel safer than taking a decision on the basis
9 of your oral submissions today.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: We will do that, Mr. President, Your Honours. I
11 was acting on instructions to make that oral request, and also to pass
12 along my client's sentiments which I've done so. Perhaps more vigorously
13 than might have been expected of my client, but, nonetheless, the record
14 has been made, and yes we will be filing something in writing. Thank
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Kovacic, I
17 think there's something that you wanted to say.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I thank you, Your Honours, for
19 allocating a minute to me. Today at the beginning of the hearing, to be
20 more precise at 1430 hours, we filed a request for an IC number. We
21 objected to the suggestion made yesterday by the Prosecution -- not
22 yesterday's suggestion, but the suggestion for tendering a document into
23 evidence in relation to Mr. Bozic on the basis of your decision on the
24 guide-lines dated the 24th of April, chapter 8, guide-lines 8, in fact,
25 paragraph 32, item 1D, it say that is we should have done this at the
1 beginning of each hearing. As you can see from what I have said, we were
2 15 minutes or rather 17 minutes late because the hearing begins at 1415
3 hours. The beginning, I think one understands the beginning in a
4 flexible way. For technical reasons, we weren't able to send the mail
5 before half past 2, although everything was ready in the morning, so I
6 would be grateful if you could admit this into evidence and if an IC
7 number could be provided so when you do decide on this suggestion please
8 bear this in mind. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I'll confer with my judges
11 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, the microphone is on and while you were
12 conferring, perhaps I can just point out as well we did also, on behalf
13 of Mr. Stojic, file a motion, I think, just before Your Honours came in
14 objecting to the Prosecution bid to tender as an exhibit the interview
15 that they conducted with the last witness, so I would join the
16 application that Your Honours do receive that application and consider
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If, in fact, the
20 Chamber said that it was necessary to file the document before -- just
21 before the hearing, well, under certain circumstances if it's a little
22 late, half an hour late, we won't dismiss such a request because it's a
23 few minutes late. So the Chamber agrees to this suggestion and as usual
24 we will demonstrate our flexibility. Could the Registrar please provide
25 us with a number. Just a minute we'll first have a number,
1 Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. The Praljak Defence's
3 opposition to the Prosecution's exhibits entered through witness
4 Slobodan Bozic shall be given number IC 920. Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Praljak, is
6 that why you are on your feet?
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's
8 something called Sense that functions within the Tribunal. It's some
9 sort of official organisation that informs the public in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in writing and through images and the public is
11 informed about the events before the Court, before the Tribunal. I'd
12 like to read out an article, a recent article that concerns the
13 following: I quote:
14 "Two days later after the 21st, so on the 23rd, the then
15 commander of the HVO Main Staff Slobodan Praljak issued an order that is
16 as follows: Sort out the situation in Vares and don't do any mercy to
17 anyone. When carrying out the order, the HVO units under the command of
18 Ivica Rajic killed 31 civilians of Muslim nationality in Stupni Dol."
19 So when carrying out my order, that's what it says here, under
20 the command of Rajic, it's from the Sense organisation, this is what the
21 public in Bosnia and Herzegovina can read. As the official version of
22 what was discussed here, I'm not going to go into how this was presented
23 here about the time-frames we referred to and so on and so forth, but
24 this is biased. It publicly provides incorrect information, and it's an
25 act of media lynching and this is being systematically done by Sense.
1 This has been the case for years. This can't continue, you've seen those
2 documents here. You've seen the dates. You've seen the time when
3 everything was forwarded. And you will take a decision at the end that
4 is going to be your decision, but at least several million people have
5 had access to this information here, guilt has been established,
6 judgements have been handed down, families and entire people has to live
7 in such conditions since we can't speak to journalist. The Judges has
8 forbidden us from doing this. I think the Registry, the Prosecution, and
9 the Judges themselves should ban such things or punish such things
10 otherwise there is no purpose to this case. We could conclude this case
11 tomorrow. Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have publicly
13 corrected this information. Your counsel can obviously contact any legal
14 body to correct false information. I don't where this press agency is
15 located but there are legal procedures that make it possible to act
16 because one has violated the presumption of innocence, that principle.
17 It's important that evidence is not erroneously conveyed and the
18 Chamber mustn't draw the wrong conclusions. So we'll see what we can do
19 because our mission is also to ensure that the presumption of innocence
20 is a principle that is respected, that you should see what the procedures
21 are, you should consult your counsel and see what you can do with regard
22 to this press agency that misrepresented the information or document that
23 was referred to in the course of the proceedings.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour,
25 but, you see, what I think you could do is that this shouldn't be called
1 the Tribunal. They are hiding behind the word "Tribunal." I wouldn't
2 like to quarrel with the media journalists and their interpretations, but
3 it says here Sense Tribunal. That is you, the Prosecution, the Registry,
4 and international organisation that is endeavouring to establish the
5 truth. This is impermissible, but all the media falsehoods, the lies,
6 the fabrications is something I wouldn't go into. I've lived long enough
7 to know that. I would just suggest that the word Tribunal be redacted
8 because that represents you, and you are included under the word
9 Tribunal, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic should address the
11 officer of the court. The article, something we are not familiar with,
12 we don't know anything about it. So if your lawyer is here, he can
13 communicate it to the Chamber, and we'll see.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I actually, I have the feeling that it is not
15 really a matter which directly comes under the authority of the Chamber.
16 It's a matter probably to be dealt with the court Registry, maybe the
17 president of the Court, but it is of a greater importance than what this
18 Chamber does and I suggest, although it's not really for me to do much in
19 that sense, but I would suggest that Mr. Kovacic really address the
20 Registry and takes the necessary steps, he probably knows much better
21 than I do, what the steps are.
22 I share your feelings, Mr. Praljak, that this is outrageous, and
23 I'm sure something can and will be done to it. This is not, I think, any
24 lack of goodwill of the Chamber, but it's just a matter of the
25 organisation. And I see you do not insist that it's us personally who
1 act, but I think something must be done and will probably be done.
2 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, one separate matter going back to page
3 42, line 14, notice that an IC number was given to my learned friend's
4 motion. The motion filed by us was filed just before 2.15, and I stand
5 to be corrected, perhaps we don't need an IC number because we properly
6 filed it; but I just wanted to alert the Registrar to that fact if we do
7 need an IC number one has not been given so far.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic,
9 independently of what my colleague has said, I, in my personal name would
10 like to have the mentioned article.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. And I
12 thank Judge Trechsel. In any event, thank you for your good advice. We
13 will certainly take steps. My client has clearly explained what it is
14 all about, and he believes, and I agree with him, that it would -- that
15 it is a good idea for the Chamber to be informed about it. The agency,
16 Sense, as Mr. Praljak has said is not a component part of the Tribunal,
17 but it is factually in the building of this Tribunal. It has its own
18 office, and the design of their web page is such that any reader who is
19 not familiar with the detailed structure of the Tribunal can objectively
20 consider it to be an organ or an agency of the Tribunal.
21 And in the press, in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, for your
22 information, this is stated that this was such and such a thing was
23 published by an agency attached to the ICTY, the Sense agency. But, of
24 course, if you were to ask them, they would say we are independent, we
25 have nothing to do with that, but we will, of course, consider the
1 possible steps to be taken with respect to Sense.
2 But I just wanted to add one more sentence. You have noticed
3 that there is a certain degree of dissatisfaction in this courtroom.
4 Your Honour Judge Antonetti has referred to it a couple of days ago.
5 Much of it can be attributed to the length and fatigue, but these are
6 details that affect the condition of the accused. These are a million
7 details which contribute to the whole picture. And things like this have
8 an impact too, and we must bear this in mind. And if necessary, we will
9 seek the assistance of the Chamber regarding further steps regarding this
10 and similar documents. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to bring the
12 witness in for re-examination. Mr. Karnavas, a question of a technical
13 nature. Your client authorised you to represent him, did he not?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I beg your pardon, I wasn't -- I apologise.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me repeat my question. Did
16 Mr. Prlic authorise you to continue to represent him because the witness
17 is coming back?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, he has. And as I've indicated he was waived
19 his presence. He is not withdrawing.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That was my understanding.
21 Very well.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, we apologise for
24 keeping you waiting a little longer than planned because the pause was
25 longer than we envisaged because we had some procedural matters to deal
1 with. Madam Nozica will a have some additional questions for you, and I
2 give her the floor.
3 Re-examination by Ms. Nozica:
4 Thank you, Your Honours, I will have an additional question with
5 regard to a single document, very briefly. It was used in the
6 examination-in-chief. I haven't prepared it, and I apologise for this.
7 It is in my binder for the examination-in-chief. We are all very well
8 familiar with it. It is the third from the back.
9 Q. Mr. Buljan, you don't have to look for it. You will see it in
10 the e-court. I would like to call document P 04756.
11 Mr. Buljan, you were asked several times by my learned friend
12 whether welfare was provided to members of the Muslim nation after the
13 events, and I repeat, after the events of the 9th of May, and the 30th of
14 June, 1993. I should like to ask you to take a look at this document
15 which you have seen during the proofing. This is a document dated the
16 2nd of September, 1993 after -- which means after both these two events
17 in Mostar.
18 Let us look at page 5 of the Croatian version which is page 7 of
19 the English version. So I'm referring to the part that I showed you in
20 the direct examination. The new structure has been adopted and the
21 conclusion was adopted that families of killed members of the HVO of
22 Muslim ethnicity continued to be provided benefits.
23 Mr. Buljan, is this report from the collegium of the Defence
24 Department an information that you had and that corroborates what you
25 said that Muslim members of the HVO were cared for even after the events
1 of the 9th of May and the 30th of June, 1993?
2 A. I understand the question. I can confirm with full
3 responsibility that the organisation of welfare applied to all members of
4 the HVO regardless of their ethnicity up to this date and after this
6 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Buljan. I have no further questions.
7 Thank you, Your Honours. That brings to an end my re-examination. Thank
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Buljan, on behalf of my
10 colleagues, I wish to thank you for coming at the request of one of the
11 parties to testify. I wish you all the best upon your return to your
12 country and success in your future work. I'm going to ask the usher to
13 be kind enough to accompany you out of the courtroom.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica, for next week we
17 have two witnesses who have been planned. Unless I'm mistaken, you said
18 that these witnesses will come, the distribution of time has already been
19 indicated. On the Prosecution side there are no problems regarding the
20 summaries. You are not going to come and tell us at the last minute that
21 the summaries will not allow you to do the cross-examination,
22 Mr. Stringer.
23 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we -- the Prosecution has been in
24 contact with the Stojic Defence about the summaries that we identified
25 that we believe need to be improved. We've done it informally by letter,
1 and I have the expectation that this matter will be resolved without the
2 need to resort to rulings of the Trial Chamber. The witness for next
3 week is one of the witnesses, and I believe that sufficient information
4 has come in and that there are not going to be any witness summary issues
5 related to that witness. It was my understanding that we only had one
6 witness for next week and not two, if I could add.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. My learned friend
9 is quite right, I wish to say that Mr. Stojic's Defence will do its best
10 to cooperate with our colleagues from the Prosecution. All the requests
11 coming from them, which we consider to be well-founded, will meet with
12 our understanding.
13 Your Honour we have one witness for next week, Veso Vegar, who
14 will be examined for three hours, and as far as I understood you, we will
15 not have a break on Wednesday. We will be working on Wednesday and not
16 on Thursday. So this witness can stay in the courtroom for three days.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Except if we need to continue
18 on Thursday, we will continue on Thursday. If we finish on Wednesday, we
19 finish, but one never knows; it may be necessary to continue on Thursday,
20 but for the moment Thursday is free. So there will be no problems, I
21 hope. In that case I'm going to adjourn. I wish you all a good day and
22 we meet again next week.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.47 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of
25 February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.