1 Wednesday, 4 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
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 Tuesday [as interpreted], 4th of March, 2009. Good
14 morning, Mr. Pusic. Good morning, Mr. Praljak and Mr. Coric, good
15 morning to Defence counsel, and all the representatives of the OTP under
16 the helm of Mr. Stringer, and good morning to all the people assisting
18 You have two IC numbers, don't you, Mr. Registrar?
19 THE REGISTRAR: That's right, Your Honour.
20 Some parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered
21 through Witness 2D-AB. The list submitted by 2D shall be given
22 Exhibit IC 937, and the list submitted by the Prosecution shall be given
23 Exhibit IC 938.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We're going to have
25 a new witness. You will have two hours for Mr. Stojic. The Prosecutor
1 will have two hours, and the other Defence counsel will have one hour.
2 Without further adieu, let's have the witness brought in.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
5 Please state your surname, first name, and date of birth.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dragan Pinjuh; 1963.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What date, precisely?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 13th of December, 1963
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
10 occupation, sir?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the moment, I'm retired.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] From the army, from what?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was your rank?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Major.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, have you had
17 an opportunity to testify before a court of law or is this going to be
18 the first time?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the solemn
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: DRAGAN PINJUH
25 [The witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Please sit
3 I think that Ms. Nozica explained to you how this is going to
4 take place. She's going to ask questions of you and submit some 20
5 documents. Thereafter, the other accused [as interpreted] representing
6 the other accused, if they think it's useful, will ask questions
7 themselves, and then you have the OTP representatives on your right-hand
8 side who are going to have the same time for their cross-examination as
9 Ms. Nozica had for her examination-in-chief. And the four Judges in
10 front of you may also ask questions of you, based on the documents we are
12 So this is what I wanted to tell you.
13 You now are a witness of the Court. In other words, you probably
14 will continue your testimony tomorrow, but you're not supposed to have
15 any contact whatsoever with anybody.
16 If you fail to understand a question, do not hesitate to ask for
17 clarification or for the question to be rephrased.
18 If you're not feeling well, tell us so, and I'll have the doctor
19 come straight away to have you examined. Otherwise, we can have a short
20 break. But that's just in theory. So this should enable your testimony
21 to unfold as smoothly as possible.
22 You may proceed, Ms. Nozica.
23 MS. NOZICA: Good morning, Your Honours, and everybody else in
24 the courtroom.
25 Your Honours, calculating the time left of the Stojic Defence, I
1 shall endeavour to be as quick with this witness as possible so that we
2 can divide the time up among the other witnesses.
3 Examination by Ms. Nozica:
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pinjuh.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, I'd just shortly like to go through your CV and the
7 posts you occupied, so I'll take it in order, and you'll just tell me
8 whether what I'm saying is correct.
9 You went to the Vocational Machine and Technical School
11 the additional police training course. On the 18th of September, 1991
12 you were engaged as a reservist of the MUP of BH in Sarajevo. On the 6th
13 of April, 1992, you became the commander of the Pofalici Company within
14 the frameworks of the TO in Novo Sarajevo in Sarajevo. At the beginning
15 of June, 1992, when the HVO was established in Sarajevo, you became the
16 commander of the battalion of the HVO in Novo Sarajevo. On the 29th of
17 December, 1992, you were appointed the deputy president of the brigade of
18 the HVO -- correction. I meant to say "deputy commander" of the brigade
19 of the HVO, called Kralj Tvrtko in Sarajevo. From the end of April 1993,
20 you found yourself in Medjugorje, and up until that time you otherwise
21 lived in Sarajevo
22 your duties as deputy commander of the HVO, the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade, and
23 until December 1993, you were placed at the disposal of the office for
24 the defence of Grude.
25 From December 1993 onwards, you relocated to Mostar to take up
1 your duties there as commander of the unit for the protection and
2 security of facilities and individuals of special importance of the MUP
3 of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. In 19 -- yes, that's right.
4 In 1997, you became employed in a private firm, a security firm, and in
5 1999 you got a job in the National Security Service of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And after that, in 2005, you retired.
7 Are all -- is that information correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, at the beginning of June, as we said reading out your
10 CV, when the HVO of Sarajevo was established, did you -- were you
11 appointed to a post?
12 A. Yes. I was appointed commander of the Novo Sarajevo Battalion,
13 and I was appointed by the then president of the HVO, Velimir Maric.
14 Q. In addition to the battalion in Sarajevo, at that time were there
15 other -- any other HVO battalions?
16 A. Yes. There was one in Sarajevo
17 its seat at Stup, Ilidza municipality. There was the 2nd Battalion in
18 the Novi Grad municipality, and the 4th Battalion in Centar, the
19 municipality of Stari Grad.
20 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, was a brigade, an HVO brigade, established in
22 A. Yes, a brigade was formed in December 1992, and its name was
23 Kralj Tvrtko.
24 Q. Do you know who appointed -- who was appointed commander of the
25 brigade and who that was?
1 A. The brigade commander became Mr. Slavko Zelic, and he was
2 appointed by the president, Mate Boban.
3 Q. Do you know when the other officers were appointed and in what
4 way, how they came to be in the Command of the brigade?
5 A. At the proposal of the command of the brigade, Slavko Zelic, the
6 Command of the brigade was appointed, and the head of the Defence
7 Department, Mr. Bruno Stojic, made those appointments.
8 Q. Can you tell us, please, to the best of your recollections, when
9 that occurred?
10 A. That was at the end of December 1992.
11 Q. In addition to this military section of the HVO in Sarajevo, was
12 there a civilian section of the HVO, and if so, as of what date?
13 A. Yes, it did. There was the Municipal Council of the HVO as a
14 civilian body, as a civilian council, and with the Defence Department in
16 Maric. And later on, Mr. Slavko Zelic was appointed president of the
17 Croatian Defence Council in Sarajevo
18 appointed in March 1993 by the president of the HVO, Mr. Jadranko Prlic.
19 Q. We are talking about 1992 here; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now I'd like to ask you to look at the binder. If you haven't
22 been provided with it, you will be. And I'd like us to look at some of
23 the documents we've -- referring to the events and appointments we've
24 just been discussing.
25 Witness, would you look at document 2D 1185 now, please, and that
1 should be the first document in your binder.
2 Have you found it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So this is a letter to be handed to Mr. Slavko Zelic in person,
5 and it is from the head of the Defence Department, Bruno Stojic. The
6 date is the 5th of December, 1992. And from this letter, we can see that
7 Mr. Zelic had already been appointed commander of the brigade by
8 Mr. Boban, as you said, and he is being asked to send in a list of the
9 Command, the persons to take up their positions in the Command, with all
10 their CV and data, so that these individuals could be appointed. And it
11 says that the brigade will be named the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade.
12 Now, do you know that Mr. Slavko Zelic did indeed do this and
13 send in a proposal for the men to make up the Command?
14 A. Yes, and Slavko compiled this proposal.
15 Q. And now take a look at the next document, which is 2D 1177. And
16 tell me when you've found it.
17 A. I've found it.
18 Q. This is a letter of appointment by Mr. Bruno Stojic, dated the
19 29th of December, of the Command of the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade in Sarajevo
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you are under number 1 as the deputy commander. Now I'd like
23 you to turn to the second page, where we can see that the document was
24 sent to the Brigade Command, the Main Staff, and what is particularly
25 important, to the Personnel Department.
1 Now, Mr. Pinjuh, do you know that the Brigade Command was kept a
2 record of, and in the Personnel Department of the Defence Department in
4 A. As far as I know, yes.
5 Q. I'd like you now to look at the next document, which is P 1778,
6 P 1778, as I said, and this is the 33rd session of the Croatian Defence
7 Council, as we can see from this document. And I'd like to ask you to
8 turn to page 5 in both the English and Croatian versions. And I'd like
9 to emphasise that the date of this session is the 1st of April, 1993
10 And on page 5, under item 8, we see that in the HVO of the
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then on the second page, we have the entire Presidency, and
14 the HVO commissioners in the various municipalities, Stari Grad, Novo
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. So that is, in fact, the decision taken by the HVO HZ-HB on the
18 appointment of the Presidency, when Mr. Zelic was appointed president;
20 A. Right.
21 Q. I'd like to ask you now, Mr. Pinjuh, to explain to the Trial
22 Chamber how the battalions and HVO brigades or, rather, the Kralj Tvrtko
23 Brigade was distributed in Sarajevo
24 A. The HVO units in Sarajevo
25 Battalion held its line in the area of responsibility of the Stup
1 settlement. The 2nd and 3rd Battalion held the line along the Miljacka
2 River, the Novo Sarajevo municipality towards Malin Vor, and the 4th was
3 the Protection Battalion providing security for various facilities and
4 had the role of intervention as an intervention battalion.
5 Q. This deployment and disposition of the battalions of the HVO
6 Kralj Tvrtko Brigade or, rather, battalion, was that in agreement with
7 the BH Army?
8 A. Yes, that was done in cooperation and in agreement with the
9 BH Army.
10 Q. And for how long did this line along the Miljacka River
11 said -- how long did it exist?
12 A. Until the 6th of November, 1993.
13 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, could you explain to the Trial Chamber now how
14 important this line was, especially that line along the Miljacka River
15 that you mentioned which, as we can see, was held by your battalion?
16 What was its importance, in terms of defence? How important was it, in
17 terms of the defence of the city of Sarajevo
18 A. That line was right in the center of the city of Sarajevo between
19 the Novo Sarajevo and Centar municipalities, and if the line fell, then
21 very different and the military positions would be very different, and
22 the city might even have fallen.
23 Q. The line was on the Miljacka River
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, can you please tell me what was the ethnic
1 composition of the Kralj Tvrtko HVO Brigade?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, before Ms. Nozica
3 addresses this issue, I'm now discovering things with you. I didn't know
4 at all that until November 1993 the HVO was in Sarajevo in agreement with
5 the ABiH, so this is something that comes into play and that I wasn't at
6 all aware of, which might change quite a few things indeed. I must ask
7 you follow-up questions.
8 If I understand properly, it was during this siege of Sarajevo
9 the Serbs; is that right?
10 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the common enemy, HVO -- I
12 asked you something, but we didn't get your answer on record. I'll ask
13 you again.
14 Sir, it was during the siege of Sarajevo by the Serbs? So please
15 answer that.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that was during the Serb
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In other words,
19 until November 1993, the HVO and the ABiH had a common enemy, the Serbs?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In purely military terms,
22 because you had somehow the space in Sarajevo spread between you, and you
23 said just as well you were there because otherwise Sarajevo would have
24 fallen quickly. As the four HVO battalions and ABiH were spread, who was
25 your counterpart on the ABiH side? Who was your counterpart?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Mustafa Hajrulahovic, Talijan,
2 was the commander of the 1st Corps, and his deputy was Vehid Karavelic.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it was Mustafa, whose
4 surname was not put on record, who was your counterpart. Does this mean
5 that on a daily basis, there were telephone or physical contacts between
6 the HVO and the ABiH in order to face the Serb enemy?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we did cooperate in a number
8 of sectors, military, logistics, and as needed in some other sectors as
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI [Interpretation]: And was this some permanent
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was constant when we were
13 holding the line.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When did it cease?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 6th of November, 1993
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for all your answers.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 I would just like to ask to make a correction.
19 Q. You said Mustafa Hajrulahovic, Talijan, was the commander of the
20 1st Corps; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And Mr. Kraljevic was his deputy; is that correct?
23 A. If I remember correctly, he was his deputy and later commander.
24 Q. And when he was deputy, that was his rank, and you cooperated
25 with him?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. I asked you about that earlier, but now that His Honour, the
3 Judge, put that question, you had joint meetings and coordinated in all
4 important things?
5 A. Yes. Commander Zelic mostly did that.
6 Q. Were you present at those meetings?
7 A. Occasionally when I was in Sarajevo
8 Q. And this disposition, this deployment of the units that were
9 holding the line around Sarajevo
10 1st Corps of the Bosnia-Herzegovinian Army; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I'm going to ask you like that, and you can tell Their Honours
13 because they don't know that perhaps. Do you agree that one of the lines
14 that the HVO was holding was one of the most important lines at the time
15 when the HVO was there, in view of the geographical layout, because in
16 that section the line of separation was a river?
17 I cannot hear you. What you're nodding is not good enough. We
18 would need to have that on the transcript.
19 But now my colleague is on her feet.
20 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Good morning to Your Honours, and everyone in and around the
22 courtroom, Witness.
23 I would have to object to the line of questioning by Ms. Nozica
24 here, and I get up to object to leading question. And, in particular, on
25 page 12, line 9, the question is asked: "Do you agree that one of the
1 lines ..." And I would ask for counsel to phrase her questions more
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Thank you, thank you,
6 thank you, I will rephrase.
7 Q. How important for the defence of the town of Sarajevo -- I
8 already asked you that, but I'm asking you because of the geographical
9 nature of that line. What was it, in terms of its layout, the line that
10 the HVO was holding?
11 A. The line was very important for the defence of the town of
13 municipality, the Serbian Army had entered Grbavica, which was the urban
14 part of the town, and that is where the Miljacka River flows. On the
15 other side, there were the Marshal Tito Barracks, where the JNA Army was
16 still situated. And then two kilometres further along was the border
17 with the Serbian army towards Vogosca, so if the line fell the area of
18 Grbavica would join up with the lines in Valesici and Gornji Pofalici,
19 and that is why -- and the barracks, Marshal Tito, and that is why the
20 town would be cut in two parts, because the line -- that was why the line
21 was important. And otherwise the town would have been cut in two parts.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there were
23 International Observers there. Were they aware of that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We had our own officer,
25 liaison officer, who was with the UNPROFOR.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, your liaison officer
2 would explain to the UNPROFOR everything about the cooperation?
3 Everybody was aware?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We are now going to move to the numbers. We are now talking
7 about figures that are known to you. Can you tell me the strength of the
8 HVO Kralj Tvrtko Brigade and what was the ethnic composition of the
10 A. The Kralj Tvrtko Brigade was some 1800 men strong. The ethnic
11 composition was 50 per cent members of the Croatian ethnicity, and the
12 rest were Bosniaks and Serbs, as well as representatives of the ethnic
13 minorities, such as the Hungarian, Czech, Roma, Jewish, and others.
14 Q. Can you please tell me the weapons that your brigade had?
15 A. Our brigade was an infantry brigade, and it had infantry
16 weaponry, for the most part.
17 Q. And how was this weaponry obtained?
18 A. With organising the defence and the formation of units in
20 through the MUP or the TO. Later, with the liberation of the barracks in
22 the B and H Army units.
23 Q. And can you please tell me, in 1992, did you receive any weapons
24 from the HVO Mostar Defence Department?
25 A. From what I know, the logistics support and weapons and
1 ammunition did come from that area.
2 Q. Can you briefly tell me how it came into the town, physically?
3 And I don't want to put leading questions, but was the town at that time
4 already under siege by the Serbian Army?
5 A. Which period are you talking about?
6 Q. The end of 1991 and later, end of 1993.
7 A. It usually came by military routes via Igman.
8 Q. Can you explain to Their Honours what that means, via military
9 paths? Did somebody carry it, transfer it?
10 A. Mostly, it was physically carried by -- on foot.
11 Q. Can you please tell me if this provision of supplies and weapons
12 from Mostar -- was the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina informed about
13 that, and did you do this in cooperation with them?
14 A. Yes, they were informed about it, and they didn't pose any
15 problems for this kind of thing to us.
16 Q. You said that the HVO in Sarajevo
17 the UNPROFOR?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you please tell me who that was?
20 A. That was Mr. Anton Rill.
21 Q. Anton Rill. Can you tell Their Honours, based on your
22 experience, if you know - I'm interested in only what you know - what was
23 the task of that officer, liaison officer? What did he do that you knew
25 A. Well, it was our intention, through the liaison officer with the
1 UNPROFOR, to inform the UNPROFOR about all that was happening in the HVO
2 and in the town of Sarajevo
3 of Sarajevo
4 Q. Sir, did you remain in Sarajevo
5 in December, you were appointed deputy commander of the Kralj Tvrtko HVO
6 Brigade. Were you in Sarajevo
7 A. No. In late 1992, pursuant to a decision of the brigade HQ, was
8 sent to the Mostar area, to the Defence Department, in order to secure
9 logistical support for our brigade in Sarajevo.
10 Q. Did you go out of Sarajevo
11 A. I left in January under military police escort.
12 Q. We're talking about 1993 now, are we?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what you say, military police escort, was that somebody from
15 your brigade?
16 A. Yes, it was the brigade military police.
17 Q. When you -- did you -- let me ask you this: In this period up to
18 January 1993, did you have any communications with Sarajevo
19 Mostar? Excuse me. Were you able to communicate with Mostar from
21 A. We didn't have any direct connections, only communication through
23 sometimes through the high representative who worked in the high-ranking
24 bodies of the authorities.
25 Q. When you came to Mostar, who received you?
1 A. When I came to Mostar, we went to see the chief of the Defence
2 Department and his deputy, Mr. Bozic, and that day we also met
3 Mr. Praljak.
4 Q. And what was the topic of these meetings that day in Mostar?
5 A. We informed the gentlemen about the situation and all that was
6 going on in Sarajevo
7 and equipment.
8 Q. And did you receive any support or promises from Mr. Stojic and
9 from Mr. Praljak?
10 A. Yes, we did receive support, and everything that they told us
11 then was later implemented.
12 Q. Did you explain to them which positions the HVO was holding in
14 A. Yes, we told them what our positions were.
15 Q. And did you receive support, in terms of that, to continue with
16 these activities?
17 A. Yes, we received full support for our participation in the
18 defence of the town of Sarajevo
19 Q. After this meeting, did you take any steps in order to obtain the
20 materiel and equipment required for the defence of Sarajevo by your
22 A. After the meeting, we organised a convoy to transfer weapons to
24 needed, and requested the necessary passes from the 4th Corps. Then we
25 brought the weapons in.
1 Q. Where did you bring them in?
2 A. We brought the weapons to the relocated Logistics Centre in
3 Kiseljak. That was the one for the HVO of Sarajevo. And then we
4 organised the transfer of that to Sarajevo
5 Q. When you say the Logistics Centre in Kiseljak, was this a
6 logistics centre of your brigade, the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Could you please explain to the Chamber why it was necessary for
9 you to have a logistics centre in Kiseljak? What were the reasons for
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to get
12 back to the visit you made in January, where you met Mr. Stojic, Bozic,
13 and General Praljak. According to what we understood, you asked them for
14 their support, for logistical and arms support. When you addressed them,
15 did you address them as Croats from Herzegovina or were you addressing
16 the Republic of Croatia
17 to, exactly?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HZ-HB HVO Defence Department.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A subsidiary question: Did
20 they tell you that they could provide you with equipment, or did they say
21 that you needed to wait? What did they say, exactly?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They said that they were supporting
23 us and that we should go to the Central Logistics Centre in Grude, headed
24 by Mr. Ante Jelavic, and to see what we can get, what they had available.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So that's what you did?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. And my last question was what this Logistics Centre in Kiseljak
4 was, and why was it in Kiseljak, and you said it was a logistics centre
5 of your brigade. I asked you why it had to be located in Kiseljak.
6 A. We made a decision to set up a logistics centre in Kiseljak
7 because it was the closest to Sarajevo
8 warehouse, where we would assemble the weapons and the required materiel
9 and equipment and distribute it to Sarajevo
10 Q. Witness, to make things absolutely clear, in Sarajevo -- you
11 couldn't enter Sarajevo
12 A. No.
13 Q. All right. Fine. Now, after leaving Sarajevo, did you leave
14 anymore times for -- to procure materiel and equipment?
15 A. Yes. In March, we needed anti-armoured devices because tanks
16 were used against us, so we needed some anti-armour devices, and we
17 organised another trip to the Logistical Centre to try and procure those
19 Q. Witness, before we move on to this other trip of yours, are we
20 talking about the 1st January and December and -- January and February of
21 1993, was that when Sarajevo
22 equipment and food, and was that indeed the most difficult time in
24 A. Well, that year was a terrible year.
25 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 I'll again have to object to leading questions. I'm asking for
2 counsel to phrase her questions more openly.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, please avoid
5 leading questions. What I'm interested in are the answers, not so much
6 the way questions are put. As a judge, I know how to weigh the
7 questions, whether they are a leading question or not. The Prosecution
8 feels this is a question of principle, so please rephrase your questions
9 so that we don't have objections.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
11 understand that completely, and we did raise the same objections during
12 the Prosecution case, so I'll do my best not to ask leading questions.
13 Q. Anyway, what was the end of 1992 like and the beginning of 1993
14 in Sarajevo
15 the military activities, the humanitarian situation, electricity, water,
16 and all the rest of it?
17 A. During that period, Sarajevo
18 It was a very cold winter. There was no heating, no electricity, no
19 water either. It was very cold. All the stocks that we had had been
20 exhausted, food stocks and everything else, and it was a truly difficult
22 Q. Was that one of the reasons for which you were given this
23 assignment to try and procure material and resources from the HVO Mostar
24 for the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade?
25 A. Yes. We had enough manpower, but we needed logistics, logistical
1 support, mostly. We had enough long barrels, but not food and all the
2 rest of it. We kept having a shortage of food, medicines, and many other
4 Q. Could you explain briefly what your second trip was like and what
5 happened along the way, en route?
6 A. Well, I decided to set out on that journey again. We set out,
7 and we came across a check-point before entering Konjic municipality, a
8 check-point that wasn't there before, and we were stopped there by
9 members of the BH Army. And after inspecting our documents, they allowed
10 us to pass through. And at Jablanica, we came across another
11 check-point. We showed our IDs again, talked to the men there, asked
12 that they let us through, and they did. So I realised that there were
13 check-points set up along that free part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. And that was the first time that you saw these check-points?
15 A. Yes. The first time I went, there were no check-points, and I
16 had no problems.
17 Q. You had permission from the 1st Corps of the BH Army and all the
18 necessary papers and documents showing that you were going from Sarajevo
19 and that you were a member of the Sarajevo HVO; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you reach Mostar?
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 Q. And did you undertake any measures to organise a convoy?
24 A. We went to Grude. We were put up in Citluk. We went to Grude,
25 the Logistical Centre there, and tried to see how many anti-armoured
1 vehicles we could procure and to see how we were going to transport them,
2 bring them in.
3 Q. And what did you do next?
4 A. As we did our best to procure the material we needed and to see
5 how we were going to get them to where they were needed, through the
6 media and in talking to people, we see -- saw that something was
7 happening in that general area, that there were conflicts and clashes
8 between the HVO and BH Army, skirmishes, especially in Konjic.
9 Q. And what period was that? You said you set out in March, but
10 what period are you referring to now?
11 A. It was the end of March and beginning of April 1993.
12 Q. Did you hear anything specific about what happened in Konjic at
13 the end of March?
14 A. At the time, I was in Citluk and I heard there that the BH Army
15 had attacked HVO units in Konjic.
16 Q. All right, thank you. And regardless of that, you decided to
17 return to Sarajevo
18 A. No, we decided that we couldn't, given the present circumstances,
19 take the same route back, so we returned the weapons -- or, rather, we
20 left them in Grude.
21 Q. But did you set out towards Sarajevo
22 A. We waited for a time to see what the developments were going to
23 be, and after some time had passed we decided to go back to Sarajevo
24 because that's where we came from.
25 Q. Well, tell us who set out on the journey?
1 A. Well, we received some humanitarian assistance first in
2 Siroki Brijeg to take to the defenders' families, some food and things
3 like that, and then we loaded them up into a truck and set out for
5 Q. I see. The 15th of April, 1993?
6 A. I think that was the date, yes.
7 Q. And what happened along your route?
8 A. Well, the logistics people and the military policemen, with a
9 small truck, went in front of me. I followed them. And before entering
10 Jablanica, the road was closed at a check-point, and I was stopped by the
11 BH Army. And when I got out to explain to them that I had all my papers
12 in order, a member of the BH Army hit me with his rifle-butt. He hit me
13 in my face. And they then took me to the Jablanica police station, and
14 they took my side-arms and vehicle, and seized my documents and told me
15 to wait, that I was to speak to their security officer.
16 Q. Did he come? Did you have that conversation, that interview?
17 A. Several hours later, he did appear, and we did have that
18 conversation. Well, interview.
19 Q. What happened afterwards? Were your papers and vehicle returned
20 to you?
21 A. No, my side-arms and vehicle were not returned. The papers had
22 to be checked out, and I had to stay there for several days while they
23 inspected my papers.
24 Q. So did you stay there?
25 A. I was on the premises of that police station all the time,
1 waiting, waiting every day for my documents to be returned so that I
2 could continue my journey towards Sarajevo
3 ultimately be able to reach Sarajevo
4 realised that I wasn't going to be allowed to pass, that the conflicts
5 had already begun, and I decided to take another route and go back to
7 Q. And did you do that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Fine. Now, after that, you said that that was -- that you set
10 out for Mostar on the 15th of April; right? So that was sometime around
11 the beginning of May. Have I calculated that properly?
12 A. Well, the end of April.
13 Q. I see, the end of April 1993. Where did you go to Herzegovina
15 A. I went to Medjugorje.
16 Q. I see, Medjugorje. Tell me, please, after that, did you ever go
17 back to Sarajevo
18 A. No.
19 Q. And you live in Herzegovina
20 A. I live in the Mostar area, but I have a house in Sarajevo, where
21 my father lives, so I very often go to Sarajevo and travel between Mostar
22 and Sarajevo
23 Q. All right. Now, with respect to logistical support, I'd like to
24 ask you to look at some documents. 2D 1195 is the first one. I think
25 that's the next document in order in your binder. 2D 1195 is the number.
1 Have you found it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, this is a letter from the commander of the Kralj Tvrtko
4 Brigade, Slavko Zelic, on the 25th of February, 1993. He is sent to the
5 Main Staff in Mostar -- it's been sent to the Main Staff in Mostar. And
6 from the first part of that letter, we see that he says that the HVO of
8 equipment for the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade, and he says that the results are
9 minimal because they weren't able to organise a sufficiently secure
10 channel for bringing in those resources. So was that the reason for your
11 trip, as you said earlier on?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In the second part of this letter, we see that there was very
14 good cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior of Sarajevo, and
15 suggestions are made that certain persons from this ministry, together
16 with the HVO, could procure some weapons. Did you know Mr. Drina Faruk,
17 Nedzad Cengic?
18 A. As for Mr. Drina Faruk, I have heard of him, his name is
19 familiar, but I haven't heard of Nedzad Cengic.
20 Q. All right. Now, at the end of this letter, it says:
21 "Our needs are based on 1.000 completely unequipped soldiers with
22 regards to the position which we are currently holding in our area of
23 responsibility at Stup and Dobrinja, we feel the greatest shortages in
24 anti-armour resources. With current equipment, the brigade which
25 consists of 1650 men, divided into four battalions, possesses 250 barrels
1 and very scarce quantity of ammunition."
2 And then the 60-millimetre mortars are mentioned, and two
3 hand-held rocket-launchers for which they need ammunition.
4 Now, Mr. Pinjuh, do you know that those were the requirements and
5 the needs, and is that what you've been telling us about so far, that
6 those were the reasons for your trips?
7 A. Yes, that was what we needed in order to hold the line.
8 Q. And from this letter, we can clearly see the HVO Kralj Tvrtko
9 Brigade, cooperation with the Main Staff of the Defence Department in
10 Mostar; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now I'd like to ask you to look at the next document, which is
13 2D 1178. Would you explain what this is to Their Honours?
14 A. Yes. Well, because of the logistical needs for materiel and
15 technical equipment, we used this occasion to procure food and clothing
16 for the families of the defenders of Sarajevo, so this is a shipping
17 record which we received from Caritas at Siroki Brijeg.
18 Q. Now, Witness, the food mentioned here, was it transported in a
19 truck that you said went out together with you on the 15th of April,
21 A. Yes. Later on, I learnt that they managed to reach Kiseljak.
22 Q. Let's just go back a bit. So that's when you were held back at
23 Jablanica, right, and the truck managed to get through to Kiseljak?
24 A. Yes. I don't know how they managed to do that, but I assume they
25 had the papers necessary from the humanitarian organisation.
1 Q. Witness, after April 1993, as you yourself said, you were not --
2 no longer able to return to Sarajevo
3 whatsoever with members of the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade in Sarajevo, and if
4 so, what were your contacts in the coming period? And we'll limit
5 ourselves until the 6th of November, 1993.
6 A. Well, the only contacts that I could have with the HVO of
8 Ljubuski. I would make an appointment for having a conversation with our
9 liaison officer, and I would come in at that time, and with the radio
10 Hamms, I would be connected and I would ask whether there were any
11 wounded and things like that.
12 Now, in August I mentioned Mr. -- I met Mr. Slavko Zelic in
13 Grude, so I talked to him personally about what the situation was like in
15 Q. Just to refresh our memories, could you tell the Trial Chamber
16 again what Slavko Zelic was at the time after April 1993, at the time
17 when you met him?
18 A. He was president of the Croatian Defence Council in Sarajevo
19 Q. So that's the civilian part, the civilian section; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And what did he tell you? What did he say the situation was like
22 in Sarajevo
23 A. He said that it was -- it had become impossible to have the HVO
24 in Sarajevo
25 that the HVO soldiers should become part and parcel of the BH Army, that
1 they should be one and the same army.
2 Q. So when you saw him, and that was at the end of August, you say,
3 1993, did he tell you which lines were still controlled by the HVO in
5 A. As far as I understood him, it held the same lines, but he did
6 tell me that the line along the Miljacka River
8 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, what happened on the 6th of November, 1993, in
10 A. On the 6th of November, the BH Army launched an attack on all
11 positions, and the headquarters of the HVO of Sarajevo and the brigade,
12 and disarmed the HVO and the brigade, and they arrested all their
14 Q. Do you know who was arrested, specifically?
15 A. The president of the HVO, Slavko Zelic, was arrested; the brigade
16 commander, Ivan Vulic; along with a few other people that I can't tell
17 you the names of now. I can't remember.
18 Q. As you were in Mostar yourself, or, rather, Medjugorje at that
19 time, tell me how you came to learn about this?
20 A. First of all, the information came to me through the media, on
21 the news bulletins, and later on people talked about it -- or, rather, it
22 appeared in the press, and we heard what happened in Sarajevo.
23 Q. Just to correct line 9 of page 28, you said Vulic, I believe, was
24 the name you mentioned, Slavko Vulic.
25 A. No, Ivan Vulic was the name, and Slavko Zelic.
1 Q. I see, thank you. So you heard about this on television, right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And do you know what happened after that with the Kralj Tvrtko
4 Brigade in Sarajevo
5 A. The brigade was transformed into the B and H -- into a B and H
6 Army brigade, which was called the Hrvatska Brigada, and the commander
7 who was appointed to the brigade was --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So was the HVO Brigade in Sarajevo abolished, practically?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right, very well. Now I'm going to ask you to look at some
13 documents about that.
14 Can we please look at document 2D 01 --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm trying to
16 understand how the brigade you belonged to was transformed. It turned
17 into the Croatian Brigade of the ABiH. From what we understand, there
18 was an attack on the positions of the HVO on the 6th of December, and
19 people are captured and disarmed. Everybody was disarmed. When the
20 Croatian Brigade was formed, were there weapons handed over to the Croats
21 again, were they told that they were a Croatian brigade as part of the
22 ABiH? Is that how things happened or not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 6th of December, in the
24 morning, a special unit of the B and H Army and the police attacked the
25 positions and the headquarters of the HVO. After that, members of the
1 HVO were arrested and taken to certain rooms, such as the Alija Alagic
2 School in Novo Sarajevo, which is where they kept them detained. And as
3 I later found out, a lot of people were beaten, abused. They were forced
4 to swallow the Croatian markings that they wore. The Croatian flag was
5 taken down and thrown away. Then those people were individually placed
6 in the new brigade which was part of the B and H Army, and it was named
7 the Hrvatska Brigade, probably for some political reasons that I'm not
8 aware of.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when the ABiH took control
10 of the brigade, were there casualties, dead or injured people?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no dead. I know that
12 there were some wounded, yes, and some people were beaten. When the
13 disarming took place, the HVO did not put up any resistance, any military
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. But this line that was
16 occupied by the Croats, was it held by the same people or were Muslim
17 ABiH soldiers put there to replace the HVO unit?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I heard, other units were
19 brought there to guard that line, and then later this new brigade was
20 supposed to again take up some of those lines.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Please continue, Ms. Nozica.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. Witness, let us first make a correction. On page 29, line 16,
25 you said that this intervention against the brigade was carried out by
1 the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army and the MUP. We don't have that in the
2 transcript, that the Bosnia
3 intervention in relation to the HVO brigade.
4 A. Yes, special units of the MUP.
5 Q. Can you please explain this? The newly-formed Croatian Brigade,
6 did it have a completely different status and composition than the HVO
7 Kralj Tvrtko Brigade? Can you please explain the status and composition
9 A. It had a completely different position within the B and H Army.
10 It was exactly the same as any other unit or formation within the B and A
11 Army. I think it had some sort of a number, 141st or something
12 Infantry Brigade. We were part before of the units in the Bosnia
13 Herzegovina Army, but this new brigade was a part of the B and H Army.
14 Q. And was the HVO unit practically part of the armed forces in the
15 defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, we were always considered to be a part of that.
17 Q. If I understood you correctly, the newly-formed brigade was a
18 brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can we now look at a few documents about these events. These are
21 documents 2D 1193 -- can you please tell me when you find the document?
22 A. I've found it.
23 Q. This is a letter from Mr. Boban. Through Mr. Pogarcic, his
24 adviser, that he's sending to General Francis Briquemont, the commander
25 of UNPROFOR. The document is dated the 2nd of October, 1993, so this is
1 before all of these events?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In this first part of the letter, Mr. Boban writes about the
4 ultimatum that evidently the 1st Corps issued to the HVO at that time,
5 and it talks about how important the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade was in the
6 defence of Sarajevo
7 a large percentage, in terms of the overall percentage of the Croatian
8 population, which is 8 per cent, and how many Croats were killed in the
9 conflict, and he's asking for these activities to be stopped, the ones
10 that were leading to the abolishment of the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade, and the
11 consequences of what -- of that, if that were to happen. And it says
12 this is one of the most openly-addressed public calls to ethnic cleansing
13 and genocide against the Croats. Later, did this actually take place?
14 The ultimatum was not withdrawn, and after that did it actually happen
15 that the brigade was abandoned, abolished, and that never existed again?
16 A. Yes, the brigade was abolished, and you can see on the basis of
17 this letter that the heads of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna were
18 informed about the steps that the B and H Army would take in relation to
19 the Sarajevo
20 Q. Can you look at 2D 01188? That's the next document. The
21 Presidency of the HDZ City Board is sending a letter on the 9th of
22 November, 1993, to the president of the B and H Republic and the
23 prime minister of the republic, but you can see from this first part that
24 it was a kind of public proclamation, where also all the events of the
25 16th of November, 1993, are explained. But there is something very
1 interesting that is said here about the attitude of the armija before
2 these events, and this is somewhere in the second paragraph, third
3 sentence, where it says:
4 "For the contribution of the Croats in the defence of the city,
5 as well as exceptionally good cooperation, 15 days ago the commanders of
6 the HVO units were commended publicly by Dr. Karavelic, the commander of
7 the 1st Corps ..."
8 This is the gentleman that you mentioned who for a while was the
9 deputy commander and then the commander?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Does this not indicate, in fact, Mr. Pinjuh, without us going
12 into any kind of speculation about why the Bosnia-Herzegovina Army did
13 that in that particular period --
14 MS. MOE: Your Honours, if I may, I apologise for my interruption
15 again, but once again there is a leading question from counsel on
16 page 33, line 2: "Does this not indicate, in fact ..." And I again ask
17 for more openly-phrased questions.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]
20 THE COURT: You are right. Please rephrase your question,
21 Ms. Nozica.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Sir, does this document indicate that cooperation up until 15
24 days before the events with the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army was
1 A. I am convinced that it was professional from our side.
2 Q. All right. I'm going to ask you to look at the next document.
3 This is 1D 2173. And please tell me when you've found the document.
4 A. I found it.
5 Q. All right. This is another document.
6 I would like to ask the Prosecutor to turn her microphone off, if
7 possible. We are being disturbed, and we can also hear everything, and
8 that is not quite good.
9 Anyway, this is another document from the 9th of November, 1993
10 signed by Stjepan Pocernja [phoen]. It's sent to the president of the
11 republic, Franjo Tudjman, Mate Boban, Jadranko Prlic, Mr. Slobodan
12 Praljak. They are all being informed about what happened with the HVO
13 Kralj Tvrtko Brigade in Sarajevo
14 us? You knew about what happened?
15 A. Well, it was publicly known with what had happened in Sarajevo
16 and everybody began to react, whoever was concerned about it, and they
17 asked for protection of the Croatian people in Sarajevo.
18 Q. According to your knowledge, did a large number of Croats move
19 out of Sarajevo
20 A. I think that this did have an effect on the relationship between
21 Croats and Bosniaks in Sarajevo
22 to leave Sarajevo
23 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at document 2D 01179.
24 Witness, can you please tell us what this is about? What is this
1 A. This is a document issued in 1997 about all those who were --
2 Croats who were killed defending Sarajevo.
3 Q. We have three HVO, HOS, and the Kralj Tvrtko Croatian Brigade
4 insignia. I'm only going to ask you about HOS. At the time when you
5 were a member of the brigade, the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade, did you cooperate
6 in Sarajevo
7 A. We knew that it existed, but we did not think it was necessary
8 for them to -- well, we thought a it would be good for them to join the
9 HVO brigades, but actually they continued to operate under the direct
10 command of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand properly,
12 because all this is very complex, the HOS was under the direct command of
13 the ABiH, was it?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was part of their forces under
15 this name.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who was the commander of the
17 HOS in Sarajevo
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Matanovic, something like that.
19 I'm not quite sure, but it's something that is easy to find out.
20 Matosin, something like that. I knew who it was at the time.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And this HOS unit, I guess that
22 there were also Croats?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, mostly Croats and Bosniaks.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they were mostly Croats and
25 Bosniaks. Do you know the ratio?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that there were more
2 Bosniaks than Croats, because the Croats mostly took up the high-ranking
3 or leadership positions within the HOS, and that the Bosniaks, who
4 accepted the HOS programme, constituted its forces.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where were the HOS units
6 deployed in and around Sarajevo
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that they had lines
8 that they were holding. I think that they were billeted in a school that
9 was used as a temporary war facility, and they were billeted there, they
10 were staying there. I don't know what sort of tasks they were carrying
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Now, we have a list, as part of this document, that lists the
15 members of these three units. This is a list of what?
16 A. These are the defenders of the HVO who were killed, and then the
17 HOS defenders, and the defenders of the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade. All of
18 them were defending Sarajevo
19 was later disbanded.
20 Q. When we're talking about the members of the Kralj Tvrtko HVO
21 Brigade who were killed, the data refers mostly to 1992, and they
22 indicate the number of those killed from the Croatian Kralj Tvrtko
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Sir, we have 100 names here in this list. Are these definitive
2 A. I think this is a document from 1997. Today, I think we have a
3 complete record and that there were many more ethnic Croats who were
4 killed in the defence of Sarajevo
5 Q. Now I'm going to move to a topic that deals with the convoy of
6 citizens who left Sarajevo
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I believe Ms. Nozica
8 made a mistake.
9 I'm looking at the list of these hundred individuals who were
10 killed. I can see that some were killed in 1992, others in 1993, and
11 also in 1994.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are three coats of arms, one
13 for those killed in 1992 and 1993 as members of the HVO, those who were
14 killed in 1994 were members of this new brigade that was part of the
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina Army, and there were some members of the HOS as
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you know, were most
18 of these people killed in 1992, in 1993, or in 1994?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most of them were killed in 1992
20 and 1993.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I asked you to look at 2D 00454. Witness, I would just like you
24 to tell me when you find the document.
25 A. I have found the document.
1 Q. This is a document of the 7th of April, 1994. It's already
2 become an exhibit, so it's not necessary to go through it. I'm only
3 interested in one thing. You mentioned the liaison officer of the HVO in
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, April 7th, 1993.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. When the convoy of citizens was leaving Sarajevo, did you, the
8 HVO Brigade in Sarajevo
9 when this was going on?
10 A. Any time a convoy was organised, our military police from the
11 brigade was charged with taking the citizens to the convoy from wherever
12 they were departing from in Sarajevo
13 the humanitarian organisations, if they needed any assistance.
14 Q. To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Rill, did he have the task of
15 ensuring free passage for the convoy further on, upon leaving Sarajevo
16 A. Well, if he was included in the convoys, then that would have
17 been one of his --
18 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to avoid to do the same again and
19 again, but I would also like you -- to ask you, Ms. Nozica, and also the
20 witness, really to slow down, to speak only after a break after a
21 question, and then answer, because it is -- it cannot be followed. And
22 it was by this Bench many times stressed that it is in your interest that
23 everything should be recorded completely, which is in your interests for
24 us to read and to know.
25 Thank you.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, I am
2 doing my best, and looking at the transcript as well, and I see that the
3 questions and answers are being recorded. But I assume it's a little
4 more difficult to interpret.
5 Q. Now, I asked you yesterday to make pauses, Witness, between my
6 questions and your answers, but we get carried away, I suppose. I was
7 asking you about what you knew about the role of Mr. Rill or, rather, the
8 liaison officer, upon the convoy leaving Sarajevo. Do you know what his
9 duties were in that regard?
10 A. His duties were to inform UNPROFOR about the convoy and to try
11 and get permission for its free passage through areas held by the HVO for
12 destinations in third countries or in Croatia.
13 Q. Let's look at 2D 1190 now, please.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. You've
15 just said something in passing very quickly. It may have escaped
16 everybody, but for me, because I'm listening to your every word.
17 If I understand properly, there were convoys leaving Sarajevo
18 People would get into buses, because we can see there are numbers of
19 buses, and these people would leave Sarajevo. And then you added
20 something, but very quickly, so quickly that it was difficult to follow.
21 You said that these people might go to Croatia
22 Does this mean that there was or there were people, Croats, Serbs, or
23 Muslims, I don't know, going from Sarajevo
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, those convoys were.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So these convoys were
2 organised. And did these people leave in order to go somewhere safe or
3 did they go for other reasons? You see, I'm very cautious in asking you
4 all these questions.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those people mostly went to take
6 refuge somewhere where it was safe, because they were mostly civilians;
7 women, children, and elderly persons.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that they
9 mostly went for safety reasons. So the people who would leave, did they
10 leave because they had decided to go or was there a plan, an agreed plan
11 for them to leave?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this was done under
13 the Red Cross organisation, the convoy. So as the lists were drawn up
14 stating -- now, who drew up the list stating who had the right to leave
15 in a convoy, I don't know.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You think that it was organised
17 by the Red Cross?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mostly, they were the protagonists
19 of this.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] We have just a little time before
22 the break, but we can look at the next document, which to a large measure
23 explains what Judge Antonetti was asking us about, and the document is 2D
25 Q. Have you found the document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This is, in fact, a very long list of persons travelling to
4 children, the elderly, and the infirm, and it is organised by the Red
5 Cross of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So this is an enormous list, and it says
7 "Trnis, Split
8 enormous list of names; right, Mr. Pinjuh?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You recognise individuals on that list who left with the convoy,
11 so let's look at page 26 now, please, and let me remind you that on
12 page 26, there is the name of Mate Krasic. Do you know that he left?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, this document doesn't have a date. It's an enormous
15 document. There are children, children who are chronically ill, children
16 from various institutions, orphanages and so on, and a large number of
17 vehicles with the license plates. Now, could you tell the Trial Chamber,
18 under this name "Mr. Krasic," and perhaps anything else that you know,
19 when this convoy was organised in Sarajevo and when it left? Yes, go
21 A. I think this convoy was organised sometime in November 1992.
22 Q. Was there perhaps a family member of yours leaving in the convoy?
23 A. I think that was the convoy that my father left in.
24 Q. He's not on the list? We tried to find him, but you can explain
25 to us how that took place, the lists and so on.
1 A. When it came to my father, as an elderly man he was no longer
2 able to -- we were no longer able to help him in Sarajevo because we were
3 taken up with our military duties, so I requested that he be included in
4 the convoy so that he could leave Sarajevo
5 Q. Just one piece of -- more piece of information. On page 51 of
6 this document, the document is signed by --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that your father was
8 an old man. How old was he?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was born in 1930.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he was 62, 63. Well, that's
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he's my father, so --
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
14 Q. But he wasn't a recruit or anything, so did you need permission
15 and papers from the authorities, allowing you to leave?
16 A. Yes. My father was retired in 1984 as an invalid.
17 Q. All right. Can you identify the author of this document on
18 page 51? It says "Pero Butigan." Do you know the man, and do you know
19 whether he was the president of the Red Cross at the end of 1992, as you
20 say, when this convoy left?
21 A. What page did you say?
22 Q. Page 51.
23 A. Yes, I've found it, and I know the man personally, I know Pero
24 Butigan personally. He was the president of the Herzegovina Red Cross.
25 Otherwise, he was a neighbour of mine in Sarajevo.
1 Q. And it says here that 2.075 individuals left on that particular
2 occasion, and we have some additions with lists of children's names. So
3 you know that, do you, that this was a very large convoy?
4 A. Well, it was certainly a large convoy, and I know that it reached
5 its destination.
6 Q. All right, fine.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Now, I might have 10 or 15 minutes
8 more after the break, so I'd like to know whether we're going to take the
9 break now, because I'm moving on to another area, my last area.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
11 a 20-minute break now.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, were you a member of any associations or
17 organisations linked to the rights of the defenders in
19 A. Yes. I was a member of the Organisers of the Defence of the HVO
20 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I am the secretary of that organisation. Let
21 me explain what kind of an association that is. The association is
22 based -- or, rather, is bent on fighting for the rights of the fighters
23 of the Croatian Defence Council, the defenders, and to protect the truth
24 about the homeland war. That is the main -- and the dignity of the
25 homeland war. That's the main premise, and that where any laws that are
1 passed, are passed in agreement with and looking out for the defenders.
2 Q. As a member of this association, were you included in the
3 drafting of any provisions regulating the rights of the defenders?
4 A. We always advocate suitable provisions to regulate the rights of
5 the defenders, so yes.
6 Q. Are you a member of this association on behalf of the defenders
7 of the HVO, the defenders of Sarajevo
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would you now take a look at document 2D1182, please. Have you
10 found the document?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It's a decree for pension requirements of members of the former
13 Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and civil servants and
14 employees of the former Federal Ministry of Defence, amendments to the
15 decree on entitlement to an old-age pension under favourable conditions,
16 et cetera. Would you explain to the Court what kind of decree this is?
17 A. This is a decree which the Government of the Federation
18 proclaimed in order to enable former members of the Army of the
19 Federation, higher-ranking commanders, generals, brigadiers, and
20 defenders who had received decorations, that they can be entitled to an
21 old age pension under favourable conditions.
22 Q. Now, does this decree regulate -- does it say what decorations
23 are necessary, what commendation comes under the category which would
24 enable persons to gain benefits?
25 A. Yes, this decree did stipulate the decorations, medals, and so on
1 would allow people to an entitlement to an old age pension under
2 favourable conditions.
3 Q. Look at Article 1, please, now of this decree, and does it state
4 specifically what those commendations include?
5 A. Yes. Article 1 -- no, Article 1 does not specify, but they are
6 listed under the law, the law governing decorations and commendations,
7 and that law was passed in 2005.
8 Q. Now, point 2 of Article 1, does it mention that particular law,
9 the law you just mentioned, the Law on Special Rights of Recipients of
10 War Commendations and Decorations?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You also said that the decree regulates, and this what it says in
13 point 3 of Article 1, which military positions entitle people to this
14 kind of pension?
15 A. Yes, that is enumerated here in Article 1.
16 Q. Now let's take a look at Article 7, and could you please tell us
17 what the dead-line was for responding to this decree?
18 A. They were duty-bound of complying by the 31st of March, 2007
19 it stemmed from the day the law was published in the Official Gazette.
20 Q. Now could we look at 2D1181, and could you explain to the Court
21 what that was about? 2D01181 is the number of the next document.
22 A. This is the same decree published again by the Government of the
23 Federation in the Official Gazette due to certain changes, or, rather,
24 amendments to this -- to the decree, but it specifies more or less the
25 same rights.
1 Q. Look at Article 4. Is the dead-line, the date, changed?
2 A. Yes. The dead-line for putting in a request has been extended to
3 2007, the 3rd of September.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, 2D1180 is the next document number I'd like us
5 to look at. Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber what this
6 document is, and what does it actually explain?
7 A. This is a document issued by the Federation Government or,
8 rather, the Ministry of the Defenders of the Government of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and these are all the duties carried out by the
10 defenders of the homeland war, and all of those who participated in the
11 war would have special terms for retirement. And these are now those
12 participants from the Croatian Defence Council.
13 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber where all the names of
14 the establishment duties and the ranks are listed that refer to the HVO?
15 A. They are under item 3 and 4, where it is stated precisely at what
16 level of the unit the person commanded and what their establishment rank
17 was, based on which their retirement pension calculation was carried out.
18 Q. According to this regulation, could anybody receive early
19 retirement by the head or minister of the HVO Defence Department?
20 A. According to this regulation, they're not listed, so they could
21 not achieve their right to early retirement.
22 Q. All right. Let us look at the last document, and that is
23 2D01183. Would you please explain to the Trial Chamber what this law has
24 to do with this previous regulation that we looked at?
25 A. This is the Law on Special Rights of Recipients of War
1 Decorations and Awards and Their Family Members, and it provides for the
2 decorations that are included in these rights, and they would be
3 receiving remuneration, up to 50 per cent of the average salary in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So those who were given these awards and decorations
5 would have a right to that, as well as they secured their rights pursuant
6 to the previous regulation that we looked at, the right to retirement.
7 Q. Could you please clarify for the Trial Chamber, even though this
8 is obvious, when was this law adopted and who adopted it? And this is on
9 the last page.
10 A. This law was suggested by the Government of the Federation, and
11 it was adopted by the Government and the Council of the Federation, and
12 it lists the awards on the basis of which these rights can be granted.
13 Q. And in which article is this referred to?
14 A. This is mentioned in Article 2 of this law.
15 Q. I'm just going to remind you that in the document 2D1182,
16 Article 1, referring to decorations and the declaration or the regulation
17 on beneficial retirement, is referred to also in Article 5, so could you
18 please look at Article 5 now?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Are these decorations listed here, and can you please explain to
21 the Trial Chamber what this means? There are two tables here. Can you
22 explain them?
23 A. The decorations are listed here which were given to members of
24 the Bosnia-Herzegovina Army, this is the first column, and the second
25 column are decorations given to members of the Croatian Defence Council.
1 And based on that, they secured their right to a supplemental monthly
3 Q. Now we're talking about document 2D1183 in the e-court
4 collection. Let us please wait until that appears on your screen, 1183,
5 Article 5.
6 There is the Order of the Croatian Tree Foil, the Order of Ban
7 Jelacic, the Order of Nikolas Subic Zrinski, the Order of Prince Domagoj
8 With Necklace. Who would receive these decorations? Who awarded these
10 A. They were awarded by the Republic of Croatia
11 forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. And those listed on the left-hand side, that would be the Order
13 of Freedom, the Golden Lily Badge, who was awarded these decorations --
14 who awarded them?
15 A. This was awarded by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, does that mean that the right to this benefit,
17 retirement, was granted under the same conditions both to members of the
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina Army and the HVO?
19 A. Yes, they were granted this right under equal conditions.
20 Q. And, finally, you, as a member of the association that you
21 referred to earlier, do you know if members of the HVO and the
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina Army were granted the right according to this decree?
23 A. Yes, they have been granted and have secured this right. Those
24 who were awarded these decorations are receiving these pensions.
25 Q. Other than these who received the decorations, is the retirement
1 benefit granted to persons in the military hierarchy in the positions
2 that we saw in the document 2D1180?
3 A. Yes, they also have been granted this right to military pension.
4 Q. I would just like to ask you this: I was given information that
5 on page 48, line 6, in the transcript the word is missing "Bosnia
7 A. Where is that?
8 Q. No, you don't have to worry about that. That was your answer or,
9 rather, my question. I asked you if the -- both members of the Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina Army and the HVO had the same right. In line 6, we are
11 missing the word "Army."
12 Witness, thank you very much for your answers.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have finished my
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a follow-up
16 question for you on the law and decree we have just seen.
17 I discover the existence of this text today, unfortunately. Had
18 I been made aware of it beforehand, I could have put questions who came
19 to testify before you, people who were involved in the political life of
20 the country, but this is not the case, and we are faced with these
21 documents at the last minute. This is why I'm putting this question to
22 you. I don't know whether you will be able to answer this question. I
23 hope you can, because you told us a while ago that you had been the
24 secretary of an association of people who got together to defend their
25 rights to a pension after the war. Therefore, in this capacity I believe
1 you have some understanding of these matters.
2 By looking at the law which was adopted in Parliament, which is
3 on document 2D1183, in Article 1 it is said that this applies to people
4 that have died or who are missing, members of the BiH and members of the
5 HVO also, for their role as servicemen between the 18th of September 1991
6 and the 23rd of December 1995. Did you attend these Assembly sessions
7 when these were discussed in Parliament or not?
8 A. Yes, this law was discussed in Parliament and was adopted in both
9 chambers of the Federation Assembly or Parliament.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you follow what was going
11 on in Parliament?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not engaged in any way in
13 reference to this law on military decorations.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you had followed what was
15 going on in Parliament, well, then we would have had this on the
17 We had as an exhibit a decision by the Constitutional Court, who
18 declared the HVO illegal. It would be interesting to see what this
19 decision contained, since the HVO had been declared illegal, since the
20 HVO had played a part in defending the country. So this was probably
21 addressed in Parliament. It would have been interesting to get an
22 insight into this. But since you didn't follow this, you are unable to
23 answer. We may be able to elicit answers from other witnesses who will
24 come at a later stage.
25 Now, this is my last question. You, yourself, did you receive a
1 pension? Because you had been an HVO fighter in Sarajevo for some time,
2 you may have received a decoration. I don't know. Whatever the case may
3 be, are you currently receiving a pension or will you receive a pension?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
5 retired on the basis of the decoration, the Order of the Croatian Tree
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are getting a pension
8 because you were a combatant and part of the HVO and a member of the
9 Croatian Clover, the Order of the Clover.
10 So I shall now put the question to other Defence counsel.
11 Mr. Coric's Defence counsel.
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no
13 questions for this witness. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Ibrisimovic.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, it's been a while
18 now since we've heard you.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
20 Honours. I believe I did speak yesterday, or said a couple of words, at
22 We have no questions for the gentleman, but we do wish to thank
23 him for coming here to give his evidence. And we wish him good luck and
24 safe travels.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 The Defence of General Praljak also does not consider it
4 necessary to question this witness, and I would also like to thank the
5 witness for coming here.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The Defence of General Petkovic
8 does consider it necessary to put some questions to this witness, because
9 I believe that we have an exceptionally rare situation to hear somebody
10 who was in Sarajevo
11 and Herzegovina Army, and who can provide some relevant information to us
12 about the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. My questions are going to deal
13 with the clarification of two statements by the witness. Another topic
14 will be the attack of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the MUP on
15 the HVO Brigade in Sarajevo
16 deal with some regulations about the defence in Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 see at what age somebody could be engaged in the army, and some other
18 issues pertaining to the Law on National Defence.
19 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
20 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, my name is Vesna Alaburic, I'm an attorney from
22 and I would like you to clarify one of your statements, as it seemed
23 very, very important to me.
24 When you spoke about your second exit from Sarajevo or departure
25 from Sarajevo
1 check-points near Konjic and Jablanica, you said how mostly you were
2 surprised because the check-points were in the free territory of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The statement was recorded on page 21. Can you
4 please tell us, Mr. Pinjuh, whether these were Army of Bosnia and
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Does that mean that you meant in the area that was under the
8 control of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was considered free
9 territory, in your opinion?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. You also mentioned today how, for you, it was not in
12 dispute that the HVO was a component part or an ally in the armed forces
13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was on pages 30 to 31 of the transcript.
14 Did I understand you correctly?
15 A. Yes, you understood me correctly. I was convinced that we were
16 an integral part of the forces of -- the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 Q. My colleague showed you a decree earlier. You don't need to look
18 for it. I'm going to tell you, on the basis of the transcript, what
19 document this is. 2D1181. And in that document, Mr. Pinjuh, it says
20 that the decree refers to, I quote:
21 "Members of the former Army of the Federation of Bosnia and
23 of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
24 Mr. Pinjuh, can you please tell us, according to what you know,
25 was there ever any dilemma that the HVO and the Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 Army were equal components of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 A. In all the regulations, they are treated as equal.
3 Q. Earlier, His Honour Judge Antonetti put a question to you about a
4 decision of the Constitutional Court, this is page 50 of today's
5 transcript, which allegedly proclaimed the HVO as an illegal
6 organisation, and His Honour Judge Antonetti asked how come that members
7 of the HVO were granted certain rights. I'm going to ask you to clarify
8 this Constitutional Court decision of the Constitutional Court of
10 If you know, did this decision refer to the constituting the
11 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna so that the Constitution would then
12 say that that decision on the Constitution of the HZ-HB was illegal?
13 A. I really don't know anything about that document. I cannot
14 answer that question.
15 Q. Are you aware that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and
17 organisation, either a civilian or a military organisation, would be
18 declared an illegal one?
19 A. I don't know when the Constitutional Court adopted that decision,
20 I really don't know, but I know that the lines that we held in Sarajevo
21 in 1992 and 1993 we were holding with the agreement -- I mean, we were
22 entrusted with guarding a certain part of Sarajevo.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, Witness, in my set of documents, and I'm going
24 to begin with document 3 in that set, and this is number 4D1266 -- take a
25 look at that document, please, because I am following on from the
1 examination-in-chief, in which you said, Mr. Pinjuh, that in August 1993,
2 you talked to the commander, Mr. Zelic -- yes, Zelic, and he told you
3 that the BH Army wanted to disband the HVO Brigade in Sarajevo. And also
4 we saw a document, 2D1193 was its number, in which at the end of -- at
5 the beginning of October, Mr. Boban, among other things, speaks about the
6 danger of abolishing the HVO Brigade.
7 Now let's take a look at this document together. This comes from
8 the Security Administration of the Supreme Command Staff of the
9 Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is dated
10 the 26th of September, 1993. It is signed by the chief, Jusuf Jasarevic.
11 To start off with, please, Mr. Pinjuh, tell me whether you knew
12 the Supreme Command Staff of the BH Army and that it had a Security
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And is this name familiar, Jusuf Jasarevic?
16 A. No.
17 Q. All right, fine. Now, did you have any knowledge of information
18 at all to the effect that the Sarajevo Brigade would be the subject of
19 special interest and processing by the Security Administration of the
20 Supreme Command Staff?
21 A. I think that they did that continuously. They had intelligence
22 surveillance of our units on a continuous basis, and I think that they
23 took our members, the members of units, for interviews as well.
24 Q. All right. Now, in that document, let's look at page 2, and I'd
25 like to draw your attention there to a particular section at the end of
1 the first paragraph. The Security Administration notes that the
2 irresponsible relationship and attitude of the HVO soldiers to defence
3 tasks on the right bank of the Miljacka River
4 duty at night, allowing the Serbs to pass through, and so on and so
5 forth, that is what is referred to.
6 Now, tell me, Mr. Pinjuh, you told us that the HVO Brigade in
9 despite what the Security Administration says here about HVO soldiers?
10 A. I stand by what I said, that the HVO defended the line
11 professionally and did so successfully.
12 Q. All right. Now look at the next document, 4D1500 is the number,
13 and it is an order by the commander of the Main Staff, Rasim Delic, dated
14 the 28th of October, in which, in point 1 it says:
15 "Disband the HVO Main Staff of the City of Sarajevo with the
16 headquarter support units and all HVO municipal staffs established on the
17 municipality of the city of Sarajevo
18 And then under number 2, it says:
19 "The former Kralj Tvrtko HVO Brigade is formed from the
20 territories of...," and I shall skip that part, "shall be renamed and
21 recorded from now on under the name of the Kralj Tvrtko Croatian
23 And then they go on to say that this Kralj Tvrtko Croatian
24 Brigade is hereby placed under direct command of the BH Army 1st Corps.
25 And in point 4, it says that these tasks should be implemented
1 immediately. And under point 2 of Chapter 4, it says that the Croatian
2 Brigade should be entered in the schedule of the basic mobilisation plan
3 of the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 section, straight away.
5 Now, having seen this order, Mr. Pinjuh, can you tell us whether
6 that was the order by the commander of the BH Army stating that an attack
7 should be launched on the HVO Brigade in Sarajevo, to have that brigade
8 disbanded and renamed into a Croatian brigade and put under the 1st Corps
9 of the BH Army establishment?
10 A. From this order, yes, we could say that that was their intention.
11 Q. Now let's look at the next document, which is 4D1714, and that's
12 the last document in my set. Once again, the Security Administration of
13 the Supreme Command Staff of the BH Army. It is dated the 25th of
14 November, 1993, and here we have an analysis of what has been achieved,
15 what was done. Let's try and focus on some points that I consider to be
16 most significant, because it's rather a long document and we don't have
17 time to go through the whole of it.
18 Anyway, in the introduction, it says that:
19 "The associate forces of our army and the MUP carried out a
20 blockade of the HVO Main Staff and units, and parts of the defence lines
21 in Sarajevo
22 Tell me, please, Mr. Pinjuh, is that precisely what you described
23 earlier on, whereby the special MUP units and the BH Army attacked HVO
25 A. Yes, those were my -- that was my information.
1 Q. Now we come to the next observation made. After all the plan
2 measures were implemented to disband the Main Staff --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic. This may be again a
4 linguistic point.
5 In this report, I read the words "carried out a blockade on the
6 HVO Main Staff and units, and parts of the defence line." You have used
7 the word "attack." Is it one and the same word in Croatian? If not, it
8 might be interesting to know the difference.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can tell you my
10 thoughts on those words now, and concepts, and perhaps Mr. Praljak, as a
11 well-known linguist, could explain this better. But let me tell you of
12 my understanding of this.
13 An attack can be launched in different ways. You can carry out
14 an attack in different ways. You can carry out an attack by blocking
15 someone in a facility or feature, or at a certain position, and then make
16 it impossible for that other party to act in any way, and then as that
17 party surrenders, you disarm them, and then go ahead that way. Now, in
18 my opinion, what happened in Sarajevo
19 Of course, there can be other types of attack with shooting and
20 more aggressive taking control of a territory, if the party wish to
21 block -- puts up resistance.
22 Now, as the witness said there was no armed resistance, that
23 means that this type of attack, which is called here a blockade, was put
24 in place, and the BH Army and the MUP units achieved their goal that way.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 Mr. Pinjuh, can you confirm this? Is this the way you understood
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's how I understood it.
4 And I think that the Geneva Conventions were violated on captured members
5 of the other side, where they were beaten, taken into detention, as
6 expressed in these reports, and everything took place on the day when the
7 blockade was put in place; and the leadership of the HVO, President Zelic
8 was arrested, so was Commander Vulic, and part of the leadership was --
9 were also arrested.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We've had that. As I'm concerned, you can
11 continue, Ms. Alaburic, but I don't know whether the President wants --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 Witness, it may be more complicated than you think. I'm sure
14 that you don't have all the material available to you. You call this an
15 attack, but there could be another aspect to it.
16 Did you know that there was an international conference being
17 held in Geneva
18 you know that or not?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You didn't know,
21 for instance, that as part of that work, it was envisioned that, say, HVO
22 units would be incorporated into the ABiH and that ABiH units would be
23 incorporated into the HVO? Did you know that or not?
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but
25 can we clarify one point here? The Vance-Owen Plan was not to integrate
1 them, that is to say, the HVO units in certain areas into the BH Army and
2 vice versa, but to resubordinate them, so for something to happen which
3 actually did occur in Sarajevo
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
5 One last question. Did you know, sir, that Mr. Prlic sent a
6 letter to Mr. Izetbegovic along those lines?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know Mr. Prlic, no.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You did not know. Very well.
9 Ms. Alaburic.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Now, let's see what the Security Administration goes on to say
12 further on, and the next sentence in that same paragraph is this:
13 "After that, all planned measures were carried out to disband the
14 HVO Main Staff and to transform its existing brigades into the Croatian
15 Kralj Tvrtko Brigade under the command of the 1st Corps."
16 Tell us, please, Mr. Pinjuh, is that precisely what happened, to
17 the best of your knowledge?
18 A. Yes. The brigade was established later on, the Kralj Tvrtko
19 Brigade, and it was under the command of the 1st Corps.
20 Q. And now the next sentence reads as follows:
21 "A staff of this brigade was created and a commander appointed,
22 and the appointment of other commanders is ongoing, as well as the
23 take-over of defence lines held by the former HVO."
24 Tell us, please, Mr. Pinjuh, to the best of your knowledge, does
25 that correspond to what the realistic situation was?
1 A. I think that when they established the brigade, it did carry out
2 the orders of the 1st Corps.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 2, roughly the middle of the second
4 paragraph, it says as follows, that:
5 "Seven members of the Main Staff of the HVO were arrested in
7 brackets: Slavko Zelic, Ivan Vulic -- Ivan Vulic, V-u-l-i-c, V for
9 A. Kokar, it was.
10 Q. Yes, Vinko Bosnjak, Zeljko Jukic -- Vinko Bosnjak, Zeljko Jukic,
11 and Zeljko Maric.
12 Now, tell us, Mr. Pinjuh, to the best of your knowledge, were
13 those indeed the commanders of the HVO Brigade in Sarajevo who were
15 A. Ivan Vulic was the brigade commander. Tomislav Kokar was the
16 assistant for security. Vinko Bosnjak was the chief, and Slavko Zelic
17 was the president, and Zeljko Jukic was the deputy president of the HVO
18 in Sarajevo
19 Q. Now, it goes on to say that a criminal report was filed against
20 Slavko Zelic and that the other persons expressed the obligatory loyalty
21 to the BH Army and were included into the newly-formed Croatian
22 Kralj Tvrtko Brigade through the appropriate operative measures. Now,
23 tell us, is that true, was a criminal report filed against Mr. Slavko
25 A. I think so, yes, but I'm not quite sure.
1 Q. All right, fine. So you don't know what happened next, do you?
2 A. I think that Ivan Vulic, as brigade commander, was never engaged
3 in the newly established brigade.
4 Q. All right. Fine. Thank you for those answers, Mr. Pinjuh.
5 And now I would like to ask you, as somebody who was in Sarajevo
6 and closely cooperated with the BH Army there, to try and help me
7 understand some documents better, and these documents are already
8 exhibits, they've already been admitted into evidence, but I think it
9 would be an important thing for the Judges to see them.
10 The first document is 4D409, and that is a decree law on the
11 Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Pinjuh. Can
12 you help us to understand Article 2 of that decree law better? And this
13 is how it reads:
14 "The Republic's armed forces shall comprise of the Army of the
15 Republic, herein after the Army. In the event of war, the Armed Forces
16 shall be, in addition to the Army, the police and armed units which shall
17 be placed under the united command of the Republic's armed forces."
18 Paragraph 2:
19 "The armed units described under para 1 herein shall be
20 considered to be workers engaged in securing enterprises and other legal
21 entities and the employees of the Customs Service and other frontier
23 My question to you, Mr. Pinjuh, is this: If we wish to define
24 the status of the members of the armed forces of the BH Army, which in
25 these proceedings can be of importance, that is to say, whether somebody
1 has the status of a POW or not, then in a broad manner we should try to
2 establish whether somebody was indeed a member of the armed forces or
3 not. So am I interpreting this correctly, that this concept does not
4 only refer to the soldiers of the BH Army, in the narrow sense of the
5 word, but to all persons enumerated here as being members of the armed
6 forces? If you can't comment on that article, we can move on.
7 A. I think this second paragraph relates to the persons who had a
8 work obligation; that is to say, they weren't directly in the military
9 units, but they had a work obligation.
10 Q. So are you saying that work obligations were considered to be a
11 contribution and part and parcel of the country's defence?
12 A. Absolutely so.
13 Q. All right. We'll be able to see that in the next document, which
14 is 4D408, which is a decree law on defence, the defence of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'm going to ask you, Mr. Pinjuh, about some
17 For example, in Article 5 of that decree, it says that the
18 Republic, through its ministries and other Republican organs in the area
19 of defence, in the realm of defence, directs the resistance of the people
20 during wartime.
21 A. I apologise, but I haven't found that yet.
22 Q. Very well. It's Article 5.
23 A. What page is that?
24 Q. It says page 5 of the Official Gazette, but look at the article,
25 sir. It's Article 5, and the document number is 4D408, and it's on
1 page 2. You'll find Article 5 on page 2, and it says: "Directs the
2 resistance of the people in wartime."
3 And I'm interested in that, the resistance of the people in
4 wartime. Tell us, please, Mr. Pinjuh, does this provision have anything
5 to do with the total national defence concept and social self-protection,
6 as was in place in the former Yugoslavia
7 A. Well, I don't know if I can answer that question, how the
8 Territorial Defence was organised. I'm not sure I know how to answer
10 Q. I wasn't asking you about the Territorial Defence. I was asking
11 you about the concept of total national defence and social
12 self-protection, that concept.
13 A. Well, yes, that was a concept that was mentioned in the former
15 conducted, and so on.
16 Q. That according to that concept, each citizen of the country,
17 after a certain age, had a specific role in the defence of their country,
18 they had special rights and duties?
19 A. Yes, I knew that.
20 Q. All right, very well. Let us now look at Article 51. Let's see
21 at what age did a person start having certain duties.
22 It says here:
23 "All citizens between 15 and 60, men, or 55, women, have the
24 right and obligation to train for defence -- to attend training."
25 Mr. Pinjuh, I'm interested here, at this age of 15. Did you know
1 that was the age in Bosnia and Herzegovina at which a person could start
2 being trained for the defence of the country?
3 A. No, I didn't know that.
4 Q. In these proceedings, we very often had --
5 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 The last line on questioning from Counsel Alaburic, to the
7 Prosecution, seems to be outside the scope of the direct examination, so
8 we're asking for an explanation on that. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you are asking
10 questions, and I fail to see the relevance of those questions. Maybe
11 this is not the right witness for them. If you want to waste your time,
12 you're free to do so, but I don't think this is the right witness for
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you'll permit me
15 an explanation.
16 We have spent a lot of time in this courtroom discussing whether
17 under-age persons were detained in Heliodrom, Dretelj, or in any of the
18 prisons under the control of the HVO, and I think that this question,
19 asking what happens with under-age persons and what their role was in the
20 defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is one of the key questions in these
21 proceedings. If you think differently, I am very sorry, but I really do
22 consider this to be one of the main questions, and I believe that it is
23 my task in these proceedings to prove that people of 15 did have certain
24 duties in the defence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And I would like to say
25 that up until 2000, this was totally in accordance with the International
1 Convention on the Protection of Children in Times of War, and so on and
2 so forth.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understood you, and I'm going
4 to show that I understood, because I'm going to ask the witness. Were
5 they individuals aged 15 or 16 who were combatting with you in Sarajevo
6 15, 16, or 17?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not accept under-age members
8 in the brigade. We took care that we accepted only those as members who
9 had served their military term of duty in the Army of Yugoslavia.
10 Yes, Madam Prosecutor.
11 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President. The remark from the
12 Prosecution did go to the line of questioning being outside the scope of
13 direct examination, so that was our concern, and I don't think that
14 counsel has replied to that.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will see
16 whether some time should be deducted from Ms. Alaburic's time and
17 credited to the time for examination-in-chief.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, basically I have
20 finished my cross-examination, in view of the fact that the witness said
21 that he's not aware of these regulations about the age limits. I have no
22 intention of putting him -- to him any questions about the armed forces
23 of the -- of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Mr. Pinjuh, I would like to thank you for your questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One follow-up question. Let's
1 go back to document 4D1266, drawn up by Jusuf Jasarevic.
2 Sir, it's an ABiH document, isn't it, showing the views of the
3 party that was the adversary of the HVO. Have you found the document?
4 I'm interested in the second line there, where Mr. Jusuf mentions
5 clashes between the HVO and the ABiH in Central Bosnia and in the Neretva
6 Valley. When I saw that word "clashes," I asked myself what it meant
7 precisely, because I don't know what word was used in your own language.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Okrsaj".
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] "Okrsaj." I see. Does that
10 mean skirmishes or conflict? From your point of view - we know that at
11 some point in time you were in Sarajevo
12 fighting between the HVO and the ABiH, was that "okrsaj" for you, just
13 sort of every now and then some skirmishes and then there would be a
14 lull, or did you have large-scale actions?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the scale of the
16 conflict was in the theatre in the different municipalities in Central
18 beginning of the conflict, lines were set up right at the start, and
19 everybody was holding those lines until further notice, and then we had
20 clashes at those lines. But I'm really not aware of the details.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I want to record on the
22 transcript that an official ABiH document mentioned skirmishes.
23 Let me move to the last document, 4D1714. Towards the middle of
24 the document, earlier on Ms. Alaburic put a question to you, saying that
25 there was a criminal report against Slavko Zelic for six alleged crimes,
1 but she did not read the rest. It also appears that the three liaison
2 officers were involved or were mentioned in the report, because the ABiH
3 seems to incriminate Anton Rill for aiding the enemy.
4 We've never seen Anton Rill. This is the first time we've heard
5 about him. Was he that close to you that one could be led to believe
6 that he was "collaborating" with the HVO, or was he neutral? Would he
7 just report to his chain of command the information he would get? Why,
8 in your view, is he being incriminated by the ABiH?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Anton Rill was a liaison officer of
10 the HVO with UNPROFOR, the HVO Sarajevo, so he set up cooperation between
11 the UNPROFOR and the Croatian Defence Council in Sarajevo.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why is he being incriminated by
13 the ABiH?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that there was a lot of
15 propaganda here and unfounded accusations.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you think it's propaganda.
17 Very well.
18 Is the Prosecution ready to start with their cross-examination ?
19 MS. MOE: We're entirely in your hands, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you can start, and then
21 we'll have a break at 12.30. Since you have two hours, we can continue
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just like a
24 clarification. Perhaps I didn't understand sufficiently, but I think
25 that in the beginning you said that there would be enough time allocated
1 for the cross-examination, the same amount of time that was allocated for
2 the examination-in-chief. And so in view of the fact that I had used
3 only one hour and fifteen minutes, does that mean that the Prosecution
4 will have that same amount of time for the cross-examination or that
5 original starting period of time that was allocated?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Bench is going to discuss
7 the matter.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My colleagues would like the
10 Prosecutor to state their views.
11 Madam, here is the problem: Mr. Stojic's Defence had scheduled
12 two hours. The Trial Chamber issued a decision granting two hours to the
13 Stojic Defence and two hours to the OTP, but the Stojic Defence realised
14 that two hours may be too much. It could be a waste of time that could
15 be better used with other witnesses. Therefore, the Stojic Defence
16 decided to shorten its time and use only one hour and fifteen minutes.
17 Now, they say, "Well, if I used one hour and fifteen minutes, there's no
18 reason why the Prosecution should have two hours." So that's the
20 What is your view?
21 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 The Prosecution view is that the time we have been allocated is
23 two hours for cross-examination, and we stand by that, but it might very
24 well be that we will be able to finish in a shorter time.
25 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Oh, I didn't see you. You are
2 at the back. Usually, you are a front-bench, but you are the last one in
3 the classroom today.
4 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, perhaps relegated for naughty --
5 Your Honour, perhaps relegated for naughty behaviour. One never knows.
6 But, Your Honour, in relation to this issue, it is my respectful
7 submission that the spirit behind Your Honour's previous ruling, that
8 there should be a symmetry between the time afforded for
9 examination-in-chief and the time allocated for cross-examination, should
10 be honoured, not only as an incentive for all parties to be diligent with
11 the amount of time they use, and not to be wasteful or profligate with
12 time, but also when one looks at the mischief.
13 If the Defence have considered it appropriate to cut down
14 examination-in-chief and restrict it to those matters that are most
15 relevant in one hour and fifteen minutes, consistent with the spirit of
16 Your Honour's clear decisions, the Prosecution should be expected to
17 be -- fully challenge that evidence in the same amount of time.
18 Your Honour, let's put it differently. If, prior to today, we
19 had formally -- I'm sorry?
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, if prior to today we had formally varied
22 our witness list and sought to cut down the amount of time we needed with
23 this witness, it would be completely expected and natural, in my
24 respectful submission, that Your Honours would have given a consequential
25 order which should have reduced the time available for cross-examination
1 to the other Defence teams and also to the Prosecution.
2 Your Honour, we are reviewing our witness list, and it may well
3 be the case that in times ahead, we may well try to cut down the amount
4 of time we need with certain witnesses. I can't give any undertaking in
5 relation to that at this moment, but we are certainly endeavouring to do
6 that. We don't want this trial to drag on indefinitely. But in relation
7 to this matter, it is my primary submission that one hour and fifteen
8 minutes has been taken by lead counsel for Mr. Stojic in this case,
9 consistent with the whole spirit underlying your decisions on the
10 allocations of time, the Prosecution should be given one hour and fifteen
11 minutes for cross-examination.
12 Now, Your Honours, if, as an accomplished advocate, some
13 tailoring needs to be done by the opposing party, that's quite usual.
14 It's quite common place to an advocate and it can be done on one's feet,
15 but if any prejudice is occasioned, I would invite Your Honours that we
16 can take an early break, my learned friend can be given the 20 minutes,
17 and in that break she can decide again what are the areas she wishes to
18 focus on in one hour and fifteen minutes to test the credibility of the
19 witness that has been called on behalf of Mr. Stojic.
20 Your Honour, unless I can assist you further, those are my
21 submissions on this matter, but I would ask that cross-examination be
22 limited to the amount of time used by the Defence for Mr. Stojic.
23 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Mr. Stringer. I was just standing to my
24 feet to say that the Petkovic Defence supports what's said by Mr. Khan,
25 and, Your Honours, to regard the time provisionally allocated to the
1 Prosecution as rigid is contrary both to the underlying rationale of
2 Your Honour's directions, and also to what's an important element of all
3 the directions been given that Your Honours have assured all of us and
4 assured Your Honours yourselves throughout this trial that these
5 guide-lines were to be applied with flexible according to the
6 circumstances. And inflex --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Stewart please speak up for the
8 translation. Thank you.
9 MR. STEWART: That's the first time in my life I've been asked to
10 do that, but I certainly will.
11 To apply the guide-line without that flexibility in this
12 particular case is contrary to the underlying rationale and, in the end,
13 will be wasteful.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may also be heard on the part of the Defence.
15 I support the previous submissions, but I should also wish to
16 bring to everyone's attention, especially the Trial Chamber's attention,
17 that in the past, whenever the Defence has gone beyond the stated time
18 limitations, the Prosecution has always demanded -- demanded, and I
19 underscore that word "demanded," that their time also be increased. So
20 now that the Defence is taking less time because they've streamlined the
21 direct examination, they've perhaps cut some portions of it to save time,
22 for whatever reason, means that now the Prosecution's time should also be
24 So I think this is in keeping with the spirit and letter of your
25 previous rulings, and I think we cannot have inconsistent standards, one
1 applied to the Prosecution and one applied to the Defence.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Then Mr. Coric's --
4 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm going
5 to say just a couple of sentences.
6 The first one is that I agree with everything that my colleagues
7 have said, and the second one is that I do recall that on several
8 occasions, when the Prosecutor completed his examination of the witness
9 earlier than provided for on the list, the Presiding Judge said the
10 Prosecution used this amount of time, so the Defence has this amount of
11 time, always awarding the same time to the Defence as the Prosecution
12 used, unless there was special permission for the Defence to get more
13 time, but that always had to be specially approved.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] For the record, Your Honour, I'd
15 just like to say that I completely stand by my colleague and the
16 arguments that he has put forward.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you may
19 intervene. Then we'll have a break, and we'll issue our decision.
20 Yes, Mr. Stringer.
21 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President, and I appreciate the
22 opportunity to address this issue, because it obviously could relate to
23 subsequent witnesses as well.
24 It's interesting that this has only happened for the first time
25 today, despite our having been in Defence cases for -- and through with
1 Defence witnesses for many months. I don't think it's necessary for the
2 Trial Chamber at this moment to issue a broad, definitive ruling as to
3 what's going to happen every time that a direct examination ends earlier
4 than was previewed. We spent a lot of time and a lot of writing on
5 hypothetical or abstract issues.
6 My suggestion is that since this is a new issue, let's think
7 about it, without making any across-the-board rulings, and, most
8 importantly, let's see whether the Prosecution needs more than an hour
9 and fifteen minutes to cross-examine this witness. If that turns out to
10 be the case, we'll ask for more time and the Trial Chamber can issue a
12 It might -- as my colleague Ms. Moe has already said, it might
13 turn out that we don't need the entire two hours, and so let's just be
14 flexible. Let's consider this witness and the Prosecution's needs today,
15 rather than engaging in a broader debate that might turn out to be
16 completely moot.
17 So that's my suggestion. Thank you.
18 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours, I, of course, as always,
19 listen most attentively to what my learned friend --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Khan, you know that we
21 don't like to have rebuttals, and this is already a response to a reply,
22 and that can go on forever, because then Mr. Stewart is going to want to
23 speak because in the meantime he may have thought of some things, same
24 for Mr. Karnavas, and here we go again, so this can be Wimbledon.
25 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I'm not a serve and volleyer, but it was
1 our application, my objection. Normally the opposing party can respond,
2 and I'm simply being asked an opportunity to reply. There has been a
3 response by Ms. Moe, and of course then by Mr. Stringer. And so I think
4 it's fair, as it is my objection, I have the last word.
5 Your Honour, this matter can be dealt with summarily. Of course,
6 the Prosecution have significant resources, and of course it will not
7 prejudice them that much to engage in a tennis match of filing of
8 motions, but this is a very straightforward issue which is predicated on
9 the existing jurisprudence of Your Honours, of Your Honours. I don't
10 think it, as a matter of principle, is appropriate to say -- to say,
11 well, let's see if the Prosecution need to use the time, and if not it is
12 moot. I think it's right to set, at the outset, what is the time
13 allocated by the Prosecution.
14 Now, Your Honours, the one hour fifteen minutes is a ceiling, it
15 is a limit, it is not a floor. Of course, if the Prosecution wish to sit
16 down after 15 minutes, that's their prerogative, but it's only right and
17 proper that before standing up and conducting a cross-examination, the
18 Prosecution should know the order of the Trial Chamber, and the Defence
19 should know exactly how much cross-examination time the party is being
21 Your Honour, as I said before, this issue is -- and my submission
22 on this issue is completely based upon the jurisprudence and the logic
23 behind Your Honours' previous findings and rulings. But it's quite often
24 the case that parties say they need five hours to cross-examine a -- to
25 examine a witness, and Your Honours say, no, two hours is appropriate.
1 As a matter of logic, the converse also should follow.
2 Your Honours have seen the scope of examination-in-chief, and I
3 would ask that one hour fifteen minutes be ordered as the appropriate
4 time given to the Prosecution to cross-examine, and the matter can be
5 dealt with by way of an extemporaneous oral decision without a delay in
6 this matter.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have a 20-minute
8 break, and we'll issue our ruling after the break.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.28 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will hand
12 down its oral decision.
13 The Trial Chamber would like to remind all and every one that the
14 Stojic Defence said that since they had had an hour and a quarter, they
15 wanted the OTP to have the same amount of time. As a follow-up to this,
16 other Defence counsel supported Ms. Nozica's request. The Prosecutor
17 replied and stated that he wanted to be allotted the time that had been
18 initially allocated, i.e., two hours, whilst stating that if need be, the
19 OTP could cut down on its time quite substantially.
20 The Trial Chamber would like to remind all and every one that in
21 its guide-lines, it had stipulated that the Prosecutor would have the
22 same amount of time as what had been allocated for examination-in-chief.
23 In this particular case, the Trial Chamber feels that in light of
24 the examination-in-chief and in light of the questions put by other
25 Defence counsel, that it is appropriate in this case to allocate an hour
1 and a quarter to the Prosecutor.
2 The Trial Chamber would also like to ask Defence counsel, in the
3 future, if they intend to change the time allocated in the time they
4 need, to let everybody know beforehand so that the Trial Chamber can take
5 all appropriate decisions.
6 The Trial Chamber would also like to ask the Prosecution, in the
7 event that a given witness may require extra time, to seize the Chamber
8 of this matter by providing its submissions and spelling out why this
9 extra time is needed.
10 Therefore, as far as this particular witness is concerned,
11 Ms. Moe, you have an hour and a quarter. Since you have seven documents,
12 I think you have ample time.
13 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Cross-examination by Ms. Moe:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pinjuh. My name is Hedvig Moe.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. I am a lawyer with the Prosecution, and I will be asking you some
19 I'd first like to you look up one of the documents in the binder
20 that you discussed with Ms. Nozica, and that would be the binder that
21 you've already looked at, the bigger one, and it's number 2D01185.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's the first document in the binder.
24 MS. MOE:
25 Q. You've found it, Mr. Pinjuh?
1 A. Yes. Just a moment, please.
2 Q. That document you already discussed with Ms. Nozica, and it is a
3 document signed by Bruno Stojic. It's from the Defence Department. And
4 we see, up in the left-hand corner, that it's dated December 5th, 1992,
5 in Mostar, and to the attention of Mr. Slavko Zelic, and it regards --
6 considers the appointment of Mr. Zelic to the commander of the brigade
7 that you were with at the time. And this document, did I understand you
8 correctly that it was received at the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade at the time?
9 A. Yes, you understood me correctly.
10 Q. And would the document have been received at the brigade on or
11 around or right after the date that it was written or sent off, being
12 December 5th, 1992
13 A. You're probably right.
14 Q. How was it received? How was it sent and received at the
15 brigade? We can see, as I said, that it was signed by Mr. Stojic, and I
16 wonder what means of communication that was used. Was it fax, was it
17 regular mail?
18 A. I think somebody brought it to Sarajevo, but I'm not sure who.
19 Q. So you are saying you think it was delivered by hand, by a
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Another document that you also looked at with
23 Ms. Nozica, and that has number 2D01777. Sorry, 2D01177.
24 Do you have the document, Mr. Pinjuh?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. As I mentioned, you talked to Ms. Nozica about this one as well.
2 This is -- this goes to appointments to the Command of the brigade that
3 you were with, and you are mentioned as number 1, "deputy commander,"
4 I think it should be; is that correct? And we see up again on the
5 left-hand side, that it's dated December 29th, 1992, in Mostar, and we
6 can see on page 2 of the document that again it's a document signed by
7 Mr. Bruno Stojic. And next to his signature, we can see that it says
8 that it's to be delivered to the Command of the Brigade of Kralj Tvrtko,
9 as well as the HVO main headquarters and the Personnel Administration.
10 Was this document also received at the brigade?
11 A. When I left Sarajevo
12 document and brought it to the brigade.
13 Q. So it had not been sent or delivered to the brigade beforehand;
14 is that what you're saying?
15 A. No, no, it wasn't sent. I delivered it.
16 Q. And where did you -- where did you pick it up?
17 A. The Personnel Department of the Defence Department in Mostar.
18 Q. And then you brought it to Sarajevo
19 by me?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So that means you picked it up at the Defence Department in
22 Mostar; correct?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. And that's where Stojic had his office; right?
25 A. That was where the Defence Department was and that's where
1 Mr. Stojic was as well.
2 Q. Thank you. So when you say you brought it back to the brigade,
3 when was that?
4 A. Sometime towards the end of January 1993.
5 Q. Was that when you came back from a trip to get resources for the
6 HVO Brigade in Sarajevo
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. One more document, still in the same binder. It's
9 number 2D01195. This is also a document that you discussed with
10 Ms. Nozica. We see that this one is signed by Slavko Zelic, the
11 commander of the Brigade of the Kralj Tvrtko, and we see up to -- on the
12 left-hand corner that it's going to the main headquarters in Mostar, and
13 it's dated February 25th, 1993, in Sarajevo
14 correctly that this document partly goes to the reason for your trip to
15 get resources for the brigade?
16 A. Yes. On the second occasion, we asked for the same resources.
17 Q. Did this document arrive in Mostar at the HVO HZ-HB headquarters?
18 A. It was protocoled, registered, so I think so, yes.
19 Q. And where do you see that it's registered in Mostar?
20 A. I apologise. I thought it was the protocol in Mostar, but it
21 says "Kralj Tvrtko Brigade." That's the seal. So I don't know. I
22 wasn't in that convoy.
23 Q. So what you're referring to, just to clarify that, that's the
24 stamp up on the right-hand side of the document, and that refers to it
25 being sent from the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade in Sarajevo; correct?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. And then you might have answered it already, but just to get a
3 clear reply again: Was this document received in Mostar at the HVO
5 A. I assume that it was, because the people who took this document
7 Q. What do you mean by "the people who took this document"?
8 A. Well, I can see here that Damjan Moro, a commander of the brigade
9 military police, left with this, and I met him in Mostar.
10 Q. So where it does say that Moro left with this document?
11 A. I don't know. I know that I met him, I met Moro, who had left
13 Q. So am I understanding you correctly that you knew Moro was going
14 on this convoy, you met him, and you think that he brought the document
15 with him from Sarajevo
16 A. Reading
17 by him.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly be asked to speak up.
19 Thank you.
20 MS. MOE:
21 Q. I'll move on to another document, Witness, and this is in the
22 little blue binder that you just got, the one on your right-hand side.
23 So in the little blue binder, it's number 2D00996.
24 And I'm being asked by the people assisting us here that,
25 Mr. Pinjuh, you please speak into the microphone so they can hear you for
1 the interpretation.
2 This is a document that you can see, on the first page in the
3 B/C/S version and on the second page in the English version, is signed by
4 Bruno Stojic again, and on the first page we see that it's dated March
5 the 1st, 1993. It's just one page in the B/C/S version.
6 A. [In English] Number?
7 Q. It's 2D00996. You first have the English version, and behind the
8 English version is the B/C/S version of the document. Do you have it
9 there, Mr. Pinjuh?
10 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. As I said, we can see that it's signed by
12 Mr. Bruno Stojic, and up in the left-hand corner we see it's dated the
13 1st of March, 1993. And towards the end of the document, we can see that
14 it's going to the HVO main headquarters and to the Command of the
15 Kralj Tvrtko Brigade. Can you see that, Witness?
16 A. Yes, I can see that.
17 Q. Did you receive this document at the brigade in Sarajevo?
18 A. I can't answer that with any certainty, but I think that we ought
19 to have received this document.
20 Q. Why do you think you ought to have received this document?
21 A. Because the document indicates how mobilisation should be
22 developed of the brigade, and organised.
23 Q. So this is information that you assume that the brigade had,
24 don't you?
25 A. I assume that, yes.
1 Q. And can you say anything about how you assume the document made
2 it to Sarajevo
3 A. I assume somebody brought it.
4 Q. So if you look just above, where it says that it's going to be
5 sent to the main headquarters and to the Command of the Kralj Tvrtko
6 Brigade, it says:
7 "Summary from amendments of the mobilisation development to be
8 delivered to:"
9 Can you see that? And is that the reason why you think it was --
10 it was brought by a person to Sarajevo
11 A. Well, if it arrived in the Personnel Administration of the
12 brigade, then I assume somebody brought it there.
13 Q. Okay, thank you. A document that goes to a bit of a different
14 issue. We're still in the little binder that you have in front of you,
15 and it's number 2D01196. It's a bit further to the back. It's the last
16 document, it should be. 2D01196.
17 Do you have the document, Witness?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And this is, as we can see from the date on the left-hand corner,
20 it's from 7th of November, 1993, and it says : "To the attention of the
21 HVO Main Staff Mostar." That's to the right, the right-hand corner, and
22 to the Citluk Forward Command Post. And if you go look at the -- to the
23 end of the document, it is signed by Colonel Ivica Rajic. Can you see
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And Ivica Rajic, he was with the HVO, was he?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In Kiseljak; is that right?
4 A. In Kiseljak, right, yes.
5 Q. If you go to point or number 2 in the document, that refers to
8 "According to the information we have, the Croats in Sarajevo
9 that is, Kralj Tvrtko Brigade, has been disarmed ..."
10 And it goes on about that same topic. What I want to ask you
11 about, though, is the last sentence of that paragraph, and it says:
12 "We will obtain more information about the events in Sarajevo
13 from the XY side and forward it to you."
14 The XY side, that's the Serbs, isn't it?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer. We
16 didn't hear him.
17 MS. MOE:
18 Q. You will have to repeat your answer, Witness, because the
19 interpreters didn't hear you, so we didn't get any interpretation. So
20 could you please repeat what you said to my last question, which was
21 whether -- or I said: The XY side, that was the Serbs, wasn't it?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. You don't know. You've never seen references to the XY side in
24 any HVO documents?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So when it says here -- it refers to these events in November
2 1993. We can agree on that, can't we, that you've been also talking
3 about the 6th of November, 1993 disarmament of the Kralj Tvrtko Brigade;
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. And then Rajic says:
7 "We will obtain more information about the event in Sarajevo
8 And do you also agree with me that that should be the same event,
9 what happened on the 6th of November, 1993?
10 A. Yes, that is the event.
11 Q. And then he says that he will obtain more information about this
12 event that happened from the XY side. Who is the XY side?
13 MR. KOVACIC: The question is asked and answered, Your Honours.
14 This is my objection.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the question was asked
17 MS. MOE: I wanted to, Mr. President, if I may, I wanted to ask
18 the witness in the context of the actual document here, to see if we
19 could get closer to an answer to what the XY side reference might be.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Context is absolutely the same. In the first
21 instance, the paragraph of the document was read and the question was put
22 and answered, and now again the same story, asked and answered.
23 MS. MOE: If I may, Your Honours, my question was: Is the XY
24 side a reference to the Serbs. The witness said he didn't know. I'd
25 like to ask him an open question to try and find out if we can establish
1 who the XY side was. So I'm trying to get that question answered.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: At this point, Your Honour, it calls for
3 speculation. Now we're asking the witness to speculate. If the witness
4 doesn't know, he doesn't know. You have to move on. She has to accept
5 the answer and move on, as opposed to trying to pose 50 questions, try to
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, the witness
8 said he didn't know, and I myself, I wondered -- I wonder who this XY
9 side was. One could think they were the Serbs, but the witness said he
10 didn't know. So please continue. We've heard other witnesses.
11 Please continue.
12 MS. MOE:
13 Q. Let me ask you a different question, then, Witness. Did the HVO
14 and the Serbs in Sarajevo
15 were there?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, again, when she says "Serbs," what
17 does she mean by "Serbs"? Are we talking about residents of Sarajevo
18 are we talking about some military unit? What is it?
19 MS. MOE: Let me rephrase.
20 Q. Did the HVO and the VRS in Sarajevo
22 MR. KARNAVAS: At which point in time are we speaking of? When
23 was the VRS operating in Sarajevo
24 siege? I mean, in some cases, the Prosecution is prosecuting the VRS
25 commanders for the siege of Sarajevo
1 was a unit of VRS operating in and around Sarajevo at the time when the
2 HVO was also working in conjunction with the ABiH?
3 MS. MOE: I'll rephrase again.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, one moment.
5 You only come occasionally to the courtroom, so you're not that familiar
6 with the proceedings. I just wanted to inform you that basically
7 constantly or continuously we have objections by the Defence counsel when
8 the time-period fails to be mentioned. Sometimes it is relevant;
9 sometimes it is not.
10 So now that you know that, think of it when you put questions,
11 but keep in mind at all times the issue of time. Well, we know that 1991
12 is not 1992, 1992 is not 1993, and 1993 is not 1994, et cetera. We know
13 that the witness stayed in Sarajevo
14 1993, and then he left Sarajevo
15 he doesn't.
16 This date is the 7th of November, 1993. You should first ask him
17 where he was on that date, because if he was in Zagreb, or in Paris
19 and, thereafter, ask questions with a time-period to avoid objections by
20 the Defence, which is a waste of time.
21 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 The foundation for my question was meant to be the time-period
23 that the witness was in Sarajevo
24 well, spring of 1992, that's when his involvement with the HVO Brigade
25 started, and he was there until April 1993, or end of March, beginning of
1 April, 1993. So I will refer to, then, the Serbs, by the "Serbs" I'll
2 refer to the Serb military, let me put it that way, and I'll ask again.
3 Q. While you were with the HVO Brigade of Kralj Tvrtko in Sarajevo
4 did you share -- did you and the Serb military share information?
5 A. What period do you mean, specifically, in 1992?
6 Q. I can break it down. Let's say first from April 1992. Let's
7 start there. April 1992 to June 1992, did the HVO Kralj Tvrtko Brigade
8 or, excuse me, the HVO brigade or battalion that you were with, did you
9 share information with the Serbs during that period?
10 A. No. In that period, we did not have any contacts with the Serb
11 Army, none whatsoever.
12 Q. So am I understanding you correctly that you didn't give them
13 information and you didn't receive information from them, because there
14 was no contact; is that what you're saying?
15 A. No, no.
16 Q. So that is what you're saying?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Let's go to June 1992, say, to October 1992. During that time
19 did the HVO in Sarajevo
20 Serb military?
21 A. I don't know that the HVO shared information with the Serb Army
22 in June 1992, no. If you're thinking of my brigade, no, absolutely not.
23 Q. So I'm understanding you -- am I understanding you correctly that
24 your brigade, during that period, did not share information with the
25 Serbs; correct?
1 A. In that period, we did not have a brigade. We had a battalion in
2 the -- in Novo Sarajevo that had its assignments.
3 Q. So are you relating your answer, then, to the Novo Sarajevo
4 Battalion, and you're saying the Novo Sarajevo Battalion did not share
5 information with the Serbs?
6 A. Yes, I was the commander of Novo Sarajevo. No, no.
7 Q. How about the other battalions; did you hear about any of those
8 sharing information with the Serbs?
9 A. I don't believe that in the difficult position that prevailed in
11 Q. Sir, does that mean you didn't know about any sharing of
12 information with the Serbs during that period?
13 A. I certainly didn't know.
14 Q. My last question was related to up until October 1992. We know
15 you stayed there until end of March, beginning of April -- I don't
16 appreciate the comments coming from the accused.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're quite right. Please
19 MS. MOE: Thank you.
20 Q. Going back to where I was: We stopped at October 1992 with my
21 last question, and you were there until March/April 1993. Was there ever
22 a time that you know about sharing of information between the Serbs and
23 the Croats, and then I'm speaking about the military forces that were
24 stationed there?
25 A. All I knew was the humanitarian route in the area of Stup, to
1 leave that area leading to Kiseljak, and nothing else.
2 Q. Okay, thank you. Just one clarification. Am I right in
3 understanding, from your examination or the examination by Ms. Nozica,
4 that you were not in Sarajevo
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question on
6 this document.
7 Witness, we know that you were not in Sarajevo in November, that
8 we know, but this is quite a striking document in many a way. I'd like
9 to hear your view, as a former battalion commander.
10 This Colonel, Ivica Rajic, is writing to the headquarters on the
11 7th of November to address the issue of Vares, that of civilians and
12 soldiers in Vares, and I'm amazed because he seems to be interested in
13 the situation in Sarajevo
14 learned - we don't know how - he learned that the Tvrtko Brigade was
15 disarmed, that there is a new commander, and so forth, and it appears
16 that he's requesting from the headquarters to seek information on the
17 events in Sarajevo
18 Kiseljak. He's interested in what's happening in Sarajevo, but I suppose
19 he has other tasks to deal with. Do you have an explanation or not?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I can understand, in
21 Kiseljak there were refugees from Sarajevo
22 Kiseljak, and probably when these things were happening, those families
23 asked for someone to give them information about what was happening in
25 only reason for something like that, because that is not in his area of
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So your explanation is that on
3 account of the situation in Sarajevo
4 that could some impact on the refugees going to Kiseljak; is that your
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the refugees were from
8 they could have requested to find out what was going on in Sarajevo, to
9 see what was happening to their family members in Sarajevo. These are
10 refugees from Sarajevo
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this could be an
12 explanation. Thank you.
13 Yes, Mr. Praljak.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour
15 Judge Antonetti, you said that in this document, it says somewhere that
16 Ivica Rajic was asking from the Main Staff to give them information from
17 side XY. It doesn't say anything like that. They already have
18 information from XY and are passing that information to the Main Staff,
19 and are asking for some completely different things from the Main Staff.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you said has now been
21 recorded so that we can understand better.
22 Yes, Madam Prosecutor.
23 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. One more question to this document, Mr. Pinjuh.
25 We have established that it is from Ivica Rajic, that he signed
1 it. And it's correct, isn't it, that the Sarajevo HVO forces, they were
2 within the zone of responsibility for Rajic?
3 A. I think that Rajic was the commander of the brigade in Kiseljak,
4 and Sarajevo
5 it's a group. The military authorities or competencies were separate.
6 Q. Thank you. Just one clarification.
7 You've been talking about the events in Sarajevo at the beginning
8 of November 1993, but you don't have any personal knowledge of those
9 events, do you, being out of Sarajevo
10 A. This is information that I heard through the media, and then
11 later, after a considerable amount of time, from the participants who
12 were in Sarajevo
14 MS. MOE: Thank you.
15 That concludes my cross-examination.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Prosecutor.
17 You have examined all the documents you had in your folder.
18 Ms. Nozica, do you have any redirect?
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just need to
20 have two clarifications. I think that that is quite important.
21 Re-examination by Ms. Nozica:
22 Q. Mr. Witness, I would like to ask you to rely on the electronic --
23 on e-court. You are going to get document 2D996 in e-court. This is a
24 document, the development of mobilisation of the armed forces. The
25 Prosecutor asked you if that reads "Sarajevo." You said you didn't know.
1 But I would like to ask, kindly, to tell us if there is any information
2 here, such as the code of the unit of you -- that you had and that you
3 knew of in the time that this document was drafted?
4 A. The code referred to here is the one that is mentioned here. I
5 don't know exactly what our brigade code was. I guess it was this one.
6 Q. Was the brigade supposed to have a code?
7 A. Well, if it's something that a higher instance sought, then it
8 should have had one.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document, in
10 reference to His Honour Judge Trechsel's question. I would like to go
11 back to that. During the question by my learned friend Ms. Alaburic as
12 to what was going on in Sarajevo
13 attack, could it be considered an attack.
14 Q. So I would like to ask you, in my binder, to look at document
15 2D1188. I think that that is the seventh document.
16 Witness, the third sentence says this was a document that we
17 saw --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes we don't have any of the
19 documents that Ms. Nozica is referring to.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. -- when did the attack happen, and you responded to something
22 about that. The document says all the guards have been disarmed, as well
23 as the units holding the line of responsibility and the HVO Command
24 arrested. The special units, first of all, of the corps were entrusted
25 with the task in facilities of the HVO, left visible traces of vandalism.
1 They were -- members of the HVO were physically mistreated. Some
2 individuals had pistol barrels pushed into their mouths deliberately.
3 Metal Croatian and religious insignia were put into the mouths of others
4 for them to swallow. They trampled Croatian flags, destroyed
5 communications equipment, smashed the doors, robbed the treasury. Food
6 was stolen or destroyed. Is this sufficient?
7 Witness, did you hear that this is what was going on on that day?
8 This is how this attack was proceeding that day on the headquarters of
9 the Kralj Tvrtko HVO Brigade?
10 A. I found out from the media that this aggression on the
11 Kralj Tvrtko Brigade and the leadership of the Croatian Defence Council
12 was conducted. Later, I heard numerous stories from those members who
13 were actually there. These were my friends, my comrades-in-arms. After
14 a while, I found out many of the things that were happening that day.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir.
16 Your Honours, I have no further questions for this witness.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one follow-up question.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is true that upon reading
21 this document, we are amazed. We can see that the ABiH and the HVO that
22 were side by side against the Serb forces, well, there was a rather
23 exceptional event in November, but -- when the HVO was disarmed, but
24 apart from that there were mistreatment of HVO soldiers, the rifle is put
25 into their mouths, they are being beaten, there are acts of vandalism,
1 et cetera.
2 You told us that you had comrades-in-arms that told you that.
3 What do you put down this blind violence to? You have fighters that
4 fight side by side against a common enemy, and then they turn against
5 each other and then commit all that is being stated here. Maybe there
6 are things that are exaggerated here, but if what has been written is
7 right, what do you put it down to?
8 A. I can just make an assumption, if you wish to hear it.
9 I, as a Croat from Sarajevo
10 of Croats in Sarajevo
11 consequences of the fact that they moved out and of everything that after
12 that happened in Sarajevo
13 This is my assumption.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's all you can answer,
15 nothing but this assumption.
16 I thank you, sir. On behalf of my colleagues and in my own name,
17 I thank you for coming to testify as a Stojic witness in The Hague.
18 Thank you for your contribution for truth to be established.
19 I wish you a safe trip back home, and I wish you enjoy your
21 The usher is going to escort you out of the courtroom.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are not going to sit
25 tomorrow, that's the schedule, so that we can work. The Trial Chamber
1 has already issued 661 decisions. You can imagine the work behind it
2 all. We've got some decisions underway. You seized the Trial Chamber
3 constantly. There are not many of us to face this avalanche. There are
4 four Judges and a few assistants, and we are faced by the entire OTP with
5 all their troops, the 12 Defence counsel, plus their assistants and
6 advisors, and people working with them. There are not even 10 of us, and
7 there are at least 50 of you, so you can imagine the amount of work that
8 represents, and we have to be up to the task.
9 So we do our best, in the best available time. We do endeavour
10 to hand down our decisions as quickly as possible, but some time-periods
11 have to be complied with, in terms of responses. We've got to comply
12 with that. But just remember that we have, to date, issued 661
13 decisions. And just a few days ago, we filed a decision on the
14 presidential transcripts. That was really a massive amount of work.
15 So, please, think it over when you file a motion. It has to be
16 useful and necessary, because that's the problem we're faced with.
17 Ms. Nozica, you have scheduled four witnesses for next week.
18 I've looked at it very closely. It would be really desirable -- I've
19 told you that already, but it better be said again. Mr. Cengic for the
20 12th of March, he better be available already on Wednesday, the 11th of
21 March. You never know, even if you scheduled one hour, there could be a
22 procedural issue. So with regard to Mr. Masic, no problem, Monday and
23 Tuesday. We'll start with Mr. Bato on Wednesday, and then if we could
24 finish Wednesday with him, we could start Mr. Sandic [as interpreted]
25 already on Wednesday, and he could go into Thursday. So do your best,
1 your level best.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, I am
3 almost sure that next week we will have three witnesses, and I'm going to
4 do my utmost. But you have confused me a little bit. I don't recognize
5 my witnesses by what is written in the transcript, but I know who is
6 supposed to appear next week. No problem, no problem.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ivo Masic, Ahmet Bato, and
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Cengic. Our names, Bosnian names,
10 are very difficult. I know that. I'm going to try, on Wednesday -- the
11 first witness is coming regularly for the proofing. After that, I'm
12 going to try to have these other two witnesses ready for Wednesday. If
13 we finish with the first one, we can start with the second immediately on
14 Wednesday. Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would be ever so
17 Nothing to say, Mr. Stringer, no question?
18 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps a warning. I'm --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
20 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 I'm just reflecting on your remarks about the number of decisions
22 that the Trial Chamber has issued so far in these proceedings. It's
23 regret -- with regret that I -- I'm just going to alert the Trial Chamber
24 to the high likelihood that the Prosecution will, today or tomorrow
25 morning, file yet another motion with respect to the existing state of
1 witness summaries with the witness scheduled to come on the 16th of
2 March, Mr. Bandic.
3 You've seen, in previous submissions, the correspondence from the
4 Prosecution team to the Stojic team, where we identified a number of
5 remaining witnesses, where we specified precise parts of the summaries
6 for them and asked for further elaboration to know not just about what
7 the witness will say, but to know more about what, in fact, the witness
8 will say. We received somewhat of a supplemental summary for Mr. Bandic.
9 I believe it was last week. We consider that it is not sufficient.
10 The first inclination would be to write another letter to the
11 Stojic Defence to see whether we can work it out, but we're really
12 mindful, especially in light of the decision that we received from the
13 Trial Chamber yesterday in respect of this witness, that the Trial
14 Chamber, and rightly so, is concerned about these sorts of requests
15 coming in late, just before the witness testifies, and the perception
16 that the Prosecution has been dilatory, that it has not brought these
17 issues to the attention of the Trial Chamber sooner.
18 And so rather than engaging in what we -- our concern would be
19 additional fruitless correspondence with the Stojic team and that would
20 only delay our bringing this issue to the attention of the Trial Chamber,
21 we will, today or tomorrow morning, file a submission pointing out
22 specifically what the Prosecution regards as insufficient in respect of
23 the existing summaries we have for Mr. Bandic.
24 So I say that with regret. I know it's difficult for the Trial
25 Chamber to get these.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, if there is a motion, we
2 shall look into it. But would it not be better for you, Ms. Nozica, and
3 Mr. Khan, to get together around a cup of coffee and for you to tackle
4 the issue altogether in order to settle it? Because look, what's going
5 to happen, you're going to file a motion, you're going to have a response
6 by the Defence, but if you could sort it out together, that would be
7 really much better.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wish to say that
9 I'm very sorry that my learned friend thinks that it's a fruitless or
10 futile correspondence. We do react. I have information that additional
11 summaries have been made for five witnesses, and I would like to ask for
12 a little patience from my learned friend, if he hasn't received it, I
13 mean, it's already been sent, and if it hasn't been sent, it will be sent
14 today or tomorrow, at the latest, and I believe that he will get all the
15 answers today or tomorrow morning, at the latest.
16 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I do apologise.
17 It is correct, I believe, that we have responded to all
18 correspondence that's been addressed to us by the Prosecution. I do
19 agree with my learned friend, Mr. Stringer, that this state of affairs is
20 most regrettable. We have said on numerous occasions it was completely
21 avoidable, given that we have filed our 65 summaries months ago in March
22 of 2008. But on the eve of testimony to constantly barrage a Defence
23 team with motions of this sort is nothing short than destabilising and
24 disorientating, given that we have many other matters to deal with. We
25 are forward-looking, and to constantly have to cope with the huge
1 resource of the Prosecution on these - what I am forced to submit now -
2 are on some occasions, at least, approaching vexatious, and even
3 frivolous motions, is a matter of the utmost regret.
4 Your Honours, I do invite my learned friend to address any other
5 correspondence he wishes to us, and as the state of the record discloses,
6 we will try, in good faith, to respond. But sometimes one party or the
7 other - it may apply to both the Prosecution and Defence - want more and
8 more and more. Now, this does not make it correct or make it
10 Your Honours, I do give my learned friend now notice that once I
11 receive his hopefully informal correspondence, I intend to -- or we
12 intend to file, on behalf of Mr. Stojic, an order -- or an application or
13 motion to the Trial Chamber which will be similar in scope to a
14 prerogative order of prohibition, to prohibit the Prosecution to file
15 motions of this nature, and this is -- this will be predicated upon a
16 previous submission of Mr. Stojic that a waiver has taken place because
17 the Prosecution did not do, in a timely fashion, that which they were
18 expected to do, and to raise these issues at a pre-trial conference.
19 They should now be estopped and prevented, by an order of
20 prohibition, to file these motions at the very last opportunity, because
21 to put it bluntly, it makes it almost impossible for a small Defence team
22 to respond and prepare for trial in the days and weeks ahead.
23 Now, Your Honours, we are, and it's a matter for my learned
24 friend, if he wishes to, on this issue accept, there has been, I believe,
25 a genuine effort on the part of the Stojic team to respond to inquiries
1 made by the Prosecution, and I'd invite him to do that. And on previous
2 occasions I have said, on behalf of Mr. Stojic, that unilaterally,
3 irrespective of any motions, we are trying to supplement and give further
4 information when we have it, and I think we have -- we have done that, in
5 part. We have given summaries even of witnesses that the Prosecution
6 have not requested additional information.
7 So, Your Honour, all these matters can be decided in due course.
8 It is a matter of regret, but as the issue has been raised by my learned
9 friend, Mr. Stringer, quite properly, I do give the Trial Chamber notice
10 of our intention, once we've seen his correspondence either by way of a
11 bilateral correspondence out of court or by way of a formal motion, the
12 choice of course being his and that of the Prosecutor. It is our
13 intention to file a motion seeking a prohibition of the Prosecution to
14 engage in motions which they, no doubt very sincerely, very sincerely,
15 believe are with merit, but we say are completely without merit, are
16 untimely, and have the effect of destabilising a small Defence team
17 funded by legal aid, with the limitation of resources that that brings,
18 to the extent that it is affecting the ability of the Stojic team to
19 properly and diligently present a defence case, because it is constantly
20 seeking to put out fires presented by the Prosecution or lit by the
21 Prosecution on eve of testimony.
22 This state of affairs, I emphasise as robustly as I can, was
23 completely preventable if the Prosecution had, in a timely fashion,
24 raised objections since March 2008, and to do so now is causing us very
25 severe prejudice.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer -- I shall give
2 you the floor, Ms. Alaburic.
3 Mr. Stringer, when I addressed the issue of the 661 decisions a
4 while ago, I didn't think you were going to bring this problem up again.
5 A few weeks ago, I told you, Mr. Stringer, and I told Mr. Scott
6 that you needed, right away, to look at the summary list of the 65 ter
7 witnesses, the upcoming witnesses, and say, Well, for this witness, I
8 don't agree with this and that and that, and that is missing, to avoid
9 this kind of situation arising. You're all professionals, you're all
10 excellent professionals. The Trial Chamber then has to rule on these
11 matters, and this would not occur if you were able to talk to each other,
12 whether it's the Defence or whether it's the OTP. We understand full
13 well. Nonetheless, you're all lawyers, and you should have the interests
14 of justice at heart.
15 Things have to move ahead quickly and efficiently, and we
16 shouldn't waste our time. Rather than filing written motions, the best
17 would be to discuss it among yourselves and only seize the Trial Chamber
18 when you cannot find a solution.
19 In this particular case, it seems, Mr. Stringer, that you have
20 been too quick to respond. From what I understood, I may be mistaken,
21 but Ms. Nozica has already prepared her replies, which she was going to
22 put to us or give us tomorrow morning. I always listen to Mr. Khan very
23 carefully, like I do every time Mr. Khan takes the floor. The OTP should
24 not destabilise the Defence teams automatically. I don't know whether
25 this is the case. This is what Mr. Khan believes, anyway.
1 You have completed your case, the Prosecution case. It's now up
2 to the Defence, with their limited means, to call their witnesses. There
3 are three lawyers and three assistants perhaps, so it's a very small
4 team. And if you swamp them with motions all the time, they won't be
5 able to manage all of this. This you should understand. And we have to
6 guarantee the fairness of the trial and the equality of arms.
7 So let's wait and see what Ms. Nozica has to say, but only seize
8 the Trial Chamber if you can't do otherwise.
9 MR. STRINGER: If I could offer just a few brief remarks in
10 reply, Mr. President.
11 We took the Trial Chamber's admonition to heart last month when
12 it directed the Prosecution to go back over the summaries. We wrote a
13 long letter to the Defence, and we sent it to them on the 3rd of
14 February. A copy of the letter was provided to the Trial Chamber's legal
15 officer. Here we are now, more than a month later. We've got a little
16 bit of supplemental information in about Mr. Bandic, but in our view it's
17 not sufficient. We waited until we received the Stojic Defence team's
18 exhibit list yesterday, one day late, in order to try to factor that in.
19 We still believe that the information provided does not put us in the
20 position we're entitled to be, in terms of knowing, not verbatim, but in
21 general what the witness is going to say about a number of very important
22 issues, particularly the SIS investigation at Stupni Do. We don't know
23 what he's going to say, and that information still has not come across to
25 Here we are, a month later. The Defence now are saying that
1 we're late. Well, if we're late, it's because we've been waiting, and
2 we've been dealing, through correspondence, with them, and yet we're
3 still not in the position that we believe we ought to be.
4 In light of Mr. Khan's remarks about their seeking to prohibit
5 the Prosecution from filing motions, I don't know that we can work this
6 out with the Stojic Defence team, and I regret to say that I think that
7 it will be up to the Trial Chamber to have to resolve all these issues.
8 I'm happy to meet with Mr. Khan, or Ms. Nozica, or any member of
9 their team over coffee, but that's not going to give us the summary that
10 we have to have in the courtroom, in the event the witness goes beyond
11 the scope of a summary. It doesn't -- that sort of informal chat just
12 doesn't put us in the place that we need to be when the witness is in the
13 box and we are getting ready for a cross-examination or we are listening
14 to a direct examination. And so I'm happy to meet with them and to raise
15 these issues personally with them, but in light of the remarks made,
16 we're certainly not doing this to destabilise anybody. We're just trying
17 to be prepared, and that's all. And in our view, we're not prepared,
18 still, in respect of Mr. Bandic, even though this was raised with the
19 Defence team for Mr. Stojic over a month ago in the correspondence we
20 sent to them.
21 Thank you.
22 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, I'm always delighted to spend any time
23 in the company of my learned friend --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Khan, we will have to stop.
25 I shall be in this courtroom in a few minutes' time, so we only have a
1 few minutes left.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Khan.
3 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, I'm most grateful.
4 I would be more than delighted to take my learned friend up on
5 his offer to sit down over a coffee and to discuss these issues with him,
6 even if he's willing to accept, and I'm happy to pay for the coffee, but,
7 Your Honours, we have responded in a timely fashion. To the best of my
8 knowledge, the correspondence referred to by my learned friend was
9 responded to by the Stojic Defence team on the 10th and on the 13th, so
10 that the information given has been provided. That's the first point.
11 The second point, Your Honour, is this: that my learned friend
12 states that in the event of testimony going beyond the 65 ter summary,
13 there is prejudice. Well, that is rather anticipatory. What I would
14 rather invite Your Honours to consider is this: We have sought to
15 endeavour to comply with our obligations under 65 ter. We have sought to
16 supplement, wherever we can, both when the Prosecution have asked for
17 more information and since this issue became a rather heated issue
18 between the parties, we've looked at matters again and are working on
19 these issues, but, Your Honour, what I would ask is that perhaps
20 witnesses can come without what we say are needless motions by the
21 Prosecution. After the examination-in-chief is concluded, if the
22 Prosecution can establish or persuade Your Honours that they are really
23 prejudiced by a matter that they were not aware of and they were not
24 familiar of -- familiar with, at that point Your Honours can grant some
25 time for an adjournment for them to be prepared. Your Honours, that's a
1 very fair way of doing it.
2 But, Your Honours, to keep flooding us with an incessant barrage
3 of motions is destabilising. I'm saying this is a tactical device on
4 behalf of my learned friend, Mr. Stringer. I know him too well to say
5 that he would descend to such tactics. I'm sure that it's based upon a
6 sincere belief that they are entitled to more and more, and of course
7 they want statements in reality. But, Your Honours, if there is a
8 modicum of merit -- a degree of merit in what the Prosecution say, that
9 mischief or that prejudice could be surely remedied by the Defence after
10 the witness has been heard, being given a few moments of time, depending
11 upon what the issue is, to prepare, prior to conducting their
12 cross-examination. Your Honour, that's the way of dealing with it in a
13 fair and proper manner.
14 Your Honour, the final remark is this: Your Honour has heard
15 today that the witness that has concluded his evidence. It may perhaps
16 be pertinent to note that the Prosecution filed several motions in
17 relation to this witness, and in these motions the Prosecution's constant
18 averment was that this witness was not relevant. And, Your Honour, all
19 those motions, of course, we have to respond to.
20 Now, Your Honours, you have heard the evidence today, and of
21 course it's for Your Honours to decide if that evidence was relevant or
22 is a complete waste of the Court's time, but the simple point is: Be
23 that as it may, when a motion is filed by the machinery of the Office of
24 the Prosecution, the small wheel that is available the Defence must move
25 at a frenetic pace in order to respond and protect, to the best of our
1 abilities, Mr. Stojic's rights to a fair trial.
2 Your Honour, those are my remarks. I'm very happy to speak to
3 Mr. Stringer on this issue. We're very happy to try to give as much
4 information as we have, consistent with our obligations under the Rules
5 of Procedure and Evidence of this Court.
6 And the final remark is: Any prejudice suffered can be remedied
7 without a constant barrage of motions by some time being given once Your
8 Honours have seen whether or not prejudice is occasioned to a party in
9 reality, as opposed to this theoretical spectre that is constantly being
10 raised by, in my respectful submission, my learned friends from the
12 Your Honours, those are my remarks on this issue. I hope they
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, we know that your
15 client wished to be here when Mr. Bandic is coming. That is all right,
16 is it; your client will be here in two weeks' time?
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my client will be
18 here precisely pursuant to your decision. He arrives on Sunday, so my
19 client will be here when Mr. Ivan Bandic is examined, and everybody in
20 this courtroom knows full well that we're very interested in hearing --
21 in having my client, General Petkovic, hear the testimony of this
23 And since Mr. Stringer raised the question, I'd like to inform
24 the Trial Chamber of the following fact: Yesterday, we received a list
25 of exhibits which the Defence of Bruno Stojic intends to present to
1 Mr. Bandic and discuss the documents with Mr. Bandic. However, among
2 those documents there are certain orders signed by my client and certain
3 documents sent to my client, and from this we can conclude, without any
4 doubt, that Mr. Bandic will be mentioning General Petkovic and talking
5 about him, and I'd like to tell the Stojic Defence today that we would
6 like to have information about the facts that the witness will be
7 discussing and presenting relating to General Petkovic and the Main Staff
8 in the portion which relates to General Petkovic. And I do believe that
9 we'll be able to agree on these points with the Bruno Stojic Defence.
10 We know the difficulties that face them. We don't want to exert
11 any pressure on them, and it will be sufficient for us to receive the
12 information in the course of the proofing session of Mr. Bandic. And if
13 we receive them 24 hours prior to the examination-in-chief of the
14 witness, we will be ready to start our cross-examination straight away.
15 But if we don't receive that information, then we might need to ask that
16 the proceedings be deferred, a stay in the proceedings, until we're able
17 to prepare.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, you have just heard
20 what Ms. Alaburic has said. You must avoid adjourning and asking the
21 witnesses to come later. If Ms. Alaburic says she doesn't have enough
22 information to conduct her cross-examination, this could be an issue, so
23 please settle this among yourselves.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really will try and
25 do the best I can. I have some technical problems, but we will respond
1 to Ms. Alaburic's request. And if -- when it comes to time, now, when I
2 have a proofing session, whether I can provide all the information
3 prior -- 24 hours prior to his coming into court, I don't know. Well,
4 they can recall the witness for the cross-examination. But as I say, I
5 will do my best to comply.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I don't know how
8 you prepare to hear your witnesses. The easiest would have been to ask
9 the upcoming witness to provide you with a short summary of the items he
10 or she wishes to discuss in light of the position he or she held at the
11 time, so then you have a good work tool. If you wait for the last
12 minute, then you will have a problem. So that's for you to do, that's
13 your problem.
14 I'm sorry to say that the Rules in this case did not enable the
15 Bench to handle this energetically before the trial started.
16 Unfortunately, all these problems are due to this. If all of this had
17 been settled beforehand, we would have gained a lot of time.
18 Unfortunately, this is not the case.
19 It's now time to stop. I thought we would have stopped earlier,
20 but we finish at the usual time.
21 We shall meet again on Monday at a quarter past 2.00.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Monday, the 9th day of March,
24 2009, at 2.15 p.m.