1 Wednesday, 22 April 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Prlic and Coric not present]
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
8 call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
12 et al.
13 Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 This is Wednesday. I greet the accused and the counsel, also the
16 witness, and the representatives of the Prosecutor's office, and all the
17 people who are helping us in and around the court.
18 The Registrar has to give us a number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 2D has submitted its response to the Prosecution's objections to
21 its documents tendered via Witness Davor Korac. This list shall be given
22 Exhibit IC989.
23 Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 Before I give the floor to the witness, please, speak slower than
1 usual, because the interpreters have some problems. Thank you for all
2 the efforts you may make to make things better.
3 WITNESS: IVAN BAGARIC [Resumed]
4 [The witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, I greet you
6 also, and have you floor.
7 MR. LAWS
8 and everyone around the courtroom this afternoon.
9 And good afternoon to you, Dr. Bagaric.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Laws:
12 Q. You told us on Monday that you were a doctor and that you were
13 also a politician; is that right?
14 A. Yes, you can put it that way.
15 Q. All right. I want to ask you a few questions about politics, if
16 I may, and I want to start with a meeting in Tomislavgrad in December of
17 1991. All right? And what I want to start by doing is just to make sure
18 we've got the right Ivan Bagaric, because you told us about another
19 document that you thought that there might have been somebody else with
20 your name in Herceg-Bosna at the time. So if you'd start, please, by
21 looking with me at the first document in the binder you've just been
22 given, P00089. Binder 1, I'm so sorry. All the documents are in
23 binder 1. What we have in binder 2 are the transcripts from
24 Dr. Bagaric's testimony in another case.
25 So if you would look with me, please, Doctor, at P00089, and
1 you'll see that at page 1 that we're at a meeting of the 27th of December
2 of 1991, chaired by Dr. Franjo Tudjman, but if you'd turn on to page 20,
3 and it's actually a very few pages in because we've taken out the
4 intervening pages that don't concern us today, if you turn just one, two,
5 three, four, five pages, you should find a page that has at the top an
6 excerpt from the minutes of the 2nd regular session of the Presidency of
7 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Can you see that?
8 A. On page 20, yes, if that is that.
9 Q. All right. And what's happening here, as we're going to see, is
10 that a colleague of yours called Mr. Kostroman is reading the minutes of
11 a meeting that took place in Tomislavgrad on the 23rd of December, 1991
12 all right, and towards the foot of the page he has a list of names of
13 people who took part in the discussion. Can you see that?
14 A. No, I can't. Just bear with me for a moment. Let me try and see
15 what we're talking about. It's in Tomislav --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
17 continues]... which makes our interpreting quite hard.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it, yes.
19 MR. LAWS
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... it's on the same page in the
21 B/C/S/ as it is in English, and it's page 20, and we have a list of names
22 there. The session was chaired by President Mate Boban. Can you see
23 that? And then three lines up from the bottom, we have your name, or a
24 name that is also yours, "Ivan Bagaric." Can you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And is that you who was at a meeting in Tomislavgrad in
2 December of 1991, Dr. Bagaric?
3 A. I attended a lot of meetings. I don't know which one is this. I
4 would have to be given a moment to look at it. Maybe I can explain, and
5 this will be a direct answer to your question, if you give me a minute to
6 explain things.
7 Q. Well, I can give you any time you'd like to explain things, but I
8 want to just get clear whether it's you or not. Tomislavgrad, I think,
9 is your hometown, is it not?
10 A. Well, I believe that this is my name at the foot, because it says
11 "Ivan Bagaric." However, I would have to look at the whole thing more
12 closely in order to be able to properly recognise it.
13 Q. I understand that, and we're going to look at some of the things
14 that were said at that meeting. And if you're in any doubt about whether
15 it's you or not, you've only to tell us. I want to be clear with you
16 whether that Ivan Bagaric is you. All right? Some of the other names
17 there, Dario Kordic, Ante Valenta, Ivan Sarac, who you told us, I think
18 in answer to a question by Judge Mindua, had become the head of the
19 Ministry of Health and was a friend of yours; yes?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel speak into the microphone.
21 The counsel's microphone is covered by his binder.
22 MR. LAWS
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't understand your
24 question. Are you asking me whether my name is Ivan Bagaric, indeed, or
25 whether I was the one attending the meeting? It says here
1 "Ivan Bagaric." This is probably me. However, until I have a closer
2 look at the thing, I can't say that for a fact. It says "Ivan Bagaric"
3 here. My name is Ivan Bagaric. Your Honours, I attended a lot of
4 meeting, and this may well have been one of them.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may try to assist. Mr. Bagaric, are you
6 aware of any person in Herzegovina
7 would attend such meetings, and who happened to have the same name; or
8 have you not heard of another Ivan Bagaric who would attend such a
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course I'm not the
11 only Ivan Bagaric. There is lots of them. The name is very common, the
12 family name is very common. However, judging by the other names, I would
13 assume that this was indeed me. I've already said that, and that's why
14 I'm saying that I don't understand the gentleman's question, because I
15 already confirmed that this was probably me.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
17 MR. LAWS
18 Q. Can we turn the page, then, please, and see what was being
19 discussed here. Item 1:
20 "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna congratulates the entire
21 people on achieving our historical objective - the establishment and
22 final international recognition of the Republic of Croatia
23 And you see that?
24 A. Yes, I can see that.
25 Q. And then in the next paragraph, congratulations to Dr. Tudjman?
1 A. Yes, I can see all of that, yes.
2 Q. And then in item 2:
3 "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna has once again confirmed
4 the will of the entire Croatian people of Herceg-Bosna expressed on the
5 18th of November, 1991, in Grude, taking the historic decision to
6 establish the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which serves as a legal
7 basis for the entry of these territories into the Republic of Croatia
8 Can you see that?
9 A. Yes, I can see that. However, Your Honours, I have to comment.
10 May I be allowed to comment upon what you have just read out and asked me
11 whether I see it or not?
12 Q. It's a matter entirely for Their Honours to decide, whether you
13 can comment at this stage.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, perhaps you
15 can -- if you don't want to answer the question, perhaps you can pursue
16 something else, if you don't think it's worthwhile.
17 MR. LAWS
18 asked for permission to speak. I don't want to deny him. It's for the
19 Court to decide.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you wish to answer, give
21 your answer, please, Witness, but briefly.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's
23 incomprehensible, when it says here that a decision is being made which
24 says: "... as a legal basis for the entry of these territories into the
25 Republic of Croatia
1 which such a decision was made, and I don't think anybody else has. I
2 don't know that this was ever voted on and decided on, because a
3 statement of this kind, which is a nonsense and even at that time was
4 never spoken aloud, I don't believe that we ever voted on that, that we
5 ever decided that. I don't remember this conclusion. I don't remember
6 any of the other things, but they are quite logical. However, this
7 particular thing is totally illogical and incomprehensible.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I did not intervene before the
9 witness answered. However, maybe the witness should be explained the
10 nature of this document which is in front of me -- in front of him. You
11 can see on the page before that Mr. Kostroman, which the Prosecutor
12 started talking about, conveyed conclusions from some other sessions or
13 meetings. Maybe we could take things one at a time. Maybe we could ask
14 the witness whether he attended the session, whether the conclusions of
15 some sort were made, whether he saw them or not, and then present them to
16 him, because this is not meetings of -- this is not minutes of a meeting.
17 These are just conclusions that were presented by Mr. Kostroman.
18 I just wanted to say this, and maybe this will be of some
19 assistance both to the Prosecutor and to the Trial Chamber to see what
20 this is all about.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I never --
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. The interpreter, you wanted to
23 translate --
24 THE INTERPRETER: No, this was finished. This was the beginning
25 of the witness's answer.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. Your suggestions, Ms. Nozica, are fully
2 sensible, but this is now for the Prosecution to decide what they want to
3 ask him, and I think we should not interfere with that.
4 But what the witness should be told: This document in no way
5 speaks about any vote taken, about any decision taken. It only speaks
6 about the foundation of an organisation which, in the opinion expressed
7 here, could be a legal basis for any further decisions which, however,
8 clearly have not been taken, and it's not said that they have been taken.
9 So the nonsense is -- there's no nonsense in that sense.
10 Excuse me, Mr. Laws. Please go on.
11 MR. LAWS
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, I
13 apologise. It was said that a meeting was held and that conclusions were
14 arrived at. You can see it in the transcript, and this was the reason
15 why I intervened. Minutes were taken. Maybe you can look at the
16 document from the beginning. The minutes were taken by the following
17 persons, and one of them was Mr. Bagaric, and it says further on:
18 "Pursuant to the overall and quality debate, the following conclusions
19 were arrived at ..." This means that these were conclusions that
20 somebody made, and that's why I intervened, because I wanted to be sure
21 that the witness participated in the meeting and whether he participated
22 in the conclusions being made, and then conclusions should be listed from
23 1 to 10.
24 This is my intervention, because this is an interpretation of
25 some minutes.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your colleagues have the floor,
2 so ask your questions from the Prosecution, since the witness had told us
3 under oath that he believes that never item 2 was discussed in his
5 MR. LAWS
6 Q. Dr. Bagaric, let's see if item 10 was ever discussed in your
7 presence, shall we? That's at page 24. Can you see item 10, Doctor?
8 A. 4 or 10?
9 Q. Item 10. It's at page 24. Do you have that paragraph, Doctor?
10 A. Item 4 is on page 22.
11 Q. No, item 10 on page 24.
12 A. [In English] Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. And there it says:
14 "The legitimacy of Alija Izetbegovic, president of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to represent the Croatian people in public is hereby
16 revoked." It goes on to say why. Do you remember being at a meeting
17 where anything of that kind was said?
18 A. I apologise. Please bear with me. Yes. Well, yes, this was on
19 the 27th of December, 1991. Absolutely, Your Honours, I don't remember
20 any such conclusion. However, I would still be willing to understand
21 this conclusion which was brought at that time, because that was the time
22 after the Serb side set to fire, destroy, and kill the entire Croatian
23 village of Ravno in Herzegovina
24 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not the president himself, when he said
25 that this was not his war, that he was not going to take part in it.
1 I was one of the deputies in the Parliament of Bosnia and
3 elections in 1990. I personally objected to such a position taken by
4 Mr. Izetbegovic because he was representing the Bosniak Muslim people and
5 in a certain way he represented the entire Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, at that time he was not representing the
7 Croatian interests. I personally, at a meeting in Sarajevo, in the
8 Parliament, and there are a lot of people who can testify to that, I
9 asked Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, President, Sir, I would like to perceive you
10 as my own president as well, and in order to be able to do that, I would
11 have to have you represent our interests as well, and so on and so forth.
12 So one of the attendees of the meeting was also Father Ferdo
13 Vlasic, and I remember that meeting clearly. That meeting was a very
14 informal meeting, and that person, during the time of communism, Your
15 Honours, spent about 18 years in prison. He was a true Croatian and
16 Herzegovinian Mandela. Together with Alija Izetbegovic, he was in
17 prison. I asked him to get in touch with the president at the time,
18 because I was just one of the deputies who issued very important
19 documents for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I wanted him to -- well, if you
20 so wish.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue.
22 MR. LAWS
23 Q. Dr. Bagaric, I've waited patiently for you to answer the
24 question, but now we're talking about things that are a long way from
25 this meeting, and I'm asking you --
1 A. But they have a lot of bearing, a lot. No, I have to -- I have
2 to react here. I have to react. This is -- but this is not true, this
3 is not correct.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you consider this very
5 close to the matter. The Prosecution think this is not relevant or very
6 far away from it. Wait until the other questions are asked so that we
7 can see what the position -- here you have spoken quite a while, and we
8 have to understand the problems in this matter. We didn't know that you,
9 yourself, had spoken in Parliament in Sarajevo to President Izetbegovic,
10 so this is now in the transcript.
11 MR. LAWS
12 Q. Dr. Bagaric, we're going to spend a little time, you and I, this
13 afternoon, and if it comes to it, tomorrow as well. At the end of that,
14 you're going to be given a chance by Ms. Nozica to explain the things
15 that remain to be explained. All right? You're not going to be deprived
16 of an opportunity to speak. But in the meantime, I'm going to be asking
17 you, I hope, some quite clear questions, and it's going to help me, and
18 perhaps you as well, if we can just try and stick to answers that reflect
19 those questions. Is that all right with you? Thank you very much.
20 Now, this document that we have been looking at is, as I showed
21 you at the very beginning, a tape-recording that was made on the
22 27th of December of 1991, in which matters that had been discussed at a
23 meeting in Tomislavgrad in December -- 23rd of December, 1991, were read,
24 and at page 19, we can see how the reading begins. Can you see, in the
25 middle of the page, it's Mate Boban speaking, and he says:
1 "I would like to ask that the conclusions be read and then
2 perhaps raise some points for discussion and arrive at the truth from the
3 region itself, that is, from the people, rather than airing my opinion or
4 anybody else's."
5 And Mr. Tudjman says:
6 "All right. Please continue. Please introduce yourself for the
8 And then Mr. Kostroman starts to read. He introduces himself,
9 and over the page he says what he's reading; an excerpt from the minutes.
10 All right? And this is where we started with you, as you now believe it
11 is, present at the meeting whilst these matters are discussed.
12 So far, Dr. Bagaric, do you and I agree?
13 A. I apologise. You are reading from page 19 in Croatian; is that
15 Q. What I just read to you is page 19 in the Croatian, and in the
16 middle of the page President Tudjman asks Mr. Kostroman to introduce
17 himself for the record, and he says:
18 "I am Ignac Kostroman, secretary of the Croatian --"
19 A. Tudjman, you're saying Tudjman?
20 Q. Yes. [Overlapping speakers]. It's the 27th of December. It's a
21 meeting presided over by Mr. Tudjman at which the minutes from the
22 meeting in Tomislavgrad are read. I apologise if that hasn't been made
23 clear enough to you so far, but that is the position.
24 A. God, himself, would not be able to understand this.
25 Q. Well, Dr. Bagaric, I'm looking around the room, and -- I suspect
1 that everybody here understands it and that you do too, so let's not
2 waste time with speculating about God's abilities.
3 The 23rd of December meeting was one at which you were present,
4 in which -- in which, Dr. Bagaric, people were outlining their views so
5 far as they related to Herceg-Bosna and what it was intended to do;
6 that's the position, isn't it?
7 A. But I don't understand.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Try and help us. We have a
9 document here, a document of 127 pages, and the Prosecution communicated
10 to us some parts of it. But as I understand the problem, there is a
11 meeting on the 27th of December, presided over by Mr. Tudjman, and a
12 delegation which is from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this meeting is in
14 Prosecution will tell me if I'm right, one mentions a meeting which took
15 place a few days before on the 23rd of December, that is to say, four
16 days earlier, in Tomislavgrad, and during that meeting you were
17 personally present on the 23rd of December. And during this meeting of
18 the 23rd of December, apparently, there are several points or items which
19 were on the agenda which were discussed. This is how this document
20 features, which in fact contains two things; one meeting of the 27th of
21 December, during which there is the reading of a meeting of the 23rd of
23 Do you understand a bit better the problem?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Precisely, that's what
25 I didn't understand, because I was confused by -- how come Tudjman is
1 suddenly in Tomislavgrad? I thank you for this clarification.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. And in the
3 27th of December meeting, among the attendees you have Tudjman, Boban,
4 and possibly others, but that we do not know, and apparently you were not
5 in Zagreb
6 Prosecutor, I don't know if I managed to shed light on this for
7 everyone, because this is somewhat complicated.
8 MR. LAWS
9 Q. You understand the position now, Dr. Bagaric, and the true
10 position is this: At that meeting, the intention of Boban and others, so
11 far as Herceg-Bosna was concerned, was discussed. And you were there,
12 and I'm going to suggest to you that you knew full well what the aims of
13 Mate Boban and others were.
14 A. My answer is no, because you said that Mr. Boban had expressed
15 certain intentions. I don't remember the term you used, but I didn't
16 understand it. I was an MP, a deputy in the Parliament, and as a deputy
17 I attended certain meetings that were related to the organisation of the
18 defence of the Croatian people, and at that time also of the Muslim
19 Bosniak people. Such meetings I attended quite frequently.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, for the Prosecution
21 this is -- this document is a very important item, because it's in the
22 indictment, it's in the pre-trial brief. Item -- in item number 2, it's
23 clearly written that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna somehow
24 confirms that it wants to enter, so to say, the Republic of Croatia
25 This was besides expressed on the 18th of November, 1991. Apparently you
1 did attend that meeting. So if you say that this was never discussed, we
2 have an issue, because it would mean that this document was forged, so
3 either you lie or the document lies.
4 So do you understand that what you're saying is of the utmost
5 importance, because according to the document that we have, there was
6 this debate where there was yourself, Kostroman, Boban, Kordic,
7 et cetera. So there were many of you, and this issue, which is paramount
8 for the Prosecutor's case, is debated -- presented, debated, and adopted.
9 Earlier on, you said it wasn't, so I'm getting back to you. Are you sure
10 this was never discussed?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that I did
12 attend one meeting in Tomislavgrad, and I suppose this is the meeting,
13 which was also attended by those people from this group that we have
14 referred to here. However, I can't say that each and every of these
15 points were not discussed, but I don't remember. I say with full
16 responsibility I don't remember discussion on this point, and especially
17 that this conclusion was made, because from that point of view it was
18 dumb and unclear, and even more so from today's point of view. But I
19 personally don't remember it, anyhow.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can carry on, Prosecution.
21 MR. LAWS
22 Q. 2.51.15[Previous translation continues]... you don't remember it.
23 I'm going to have to suggest to you that it's quite something to forget,
24 when you're at a meeting and fellow politicians and leaders are talking
25 about acceding to Croatia
1 That's quite something to slip your mind, isn't it?
2 A. You are not right, Mr. Prosecutor, because there are two things
3 involved here. It is one thing to recall Mr. Izetbegovic at the time
4 from representing Croats politically, and it is another thing to take a
5 decision to accede. Looking from the point of view of that time, I quite
6 understand that dissatisfaction was expressed about Mr. Izetbegovic, and
7 there might have been even public releases to that effect, but as far as
8 this conclusion is concerned, I don't agree that there was any discussion
9 of this nature. I don't remember that, at least, and I'm stating that
10 before this Court with full responsibility and before God.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Bagaric. I'm not sure whether
12 you have heard and understood what I have told you earlier this
13 afternoon. If you look at this text, this text is not a decision to join
15 are quite right. That is not what this text says. This text says, We
16 founded the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, which would be a legal basis
17 from which eventually to jump into Croatia, but it is not a decision to
18 jump and to join. Maybe if you reconsider this, you can agree that or
19 remember that this was actually said.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right, Your Honour.
21 However, I really don't recall this, no.
22 MR. LAWS
23 Q. Dr. Bagaric, I'm going to suggest to you simply this: that you
24 were not in any doubt at all about what the aims of Mate Boban and
25 Herceg-Bosna were. They were nationalist aims. They were going to
1 accede to Croatia
2 A. No. That would mean, in that case, that for me, as a
3 representative, as a deputy, Mate Boban was God, to whom we did not dare
4 say a word or oppose. That means that Ivan Bagaric, as an MP in the
5 Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a "yes" man. But as far as
6 Ivan Bagaric was concerned, that was never the case, and that includes
7 that particular point in time.
8 Whether Mate Boban had certain intentions or not, I don't know.
9 Possibly. But nobody ever officially presented that to me, nor did I
10 ever think, Your Honours, that this would happen, simply because it was
11 impossible to realise, it was impossible to implement, and I was aware of
12 that even then.
13 Q. Well, whether it was possible or not, it was certainly going to
14 be something that would cause a great deal of displeasure among many
15 Muslims in the population that was claimed as Herceg-Bosna, was it not?
16 A. No. No, no, because that region that proclaimed itself
17 Herceg-Bosna was a region which, when the state had collapsed or even
18 when it was obvious that it would eventually collapse, we wanted to
19 defend ourselves however we could, and therefore we assumed certain
20 autonomy so that we could take decisions in order to be able to organise
21 defence. I was there, and you weren't. It was in keeping with the
22 constitution at the time.
23 You said that I was a politician. I am primarily a doctor, but I
24 accept that I was acting as a politician then. You had the right, in
25 defence, to join others. That sort of joinder was legitimate. It was
1 the will of elected representatives, and I did participate in organising
2 the defence of areas where Croats were the majority and where there were
3 also Muslim populations, in order to oppose an overwhelming enemy, which
4 were the Serbs. Later, there were victims, of course, due to the
5 aggression that was caused by Serbs, by the Serbian Army. That is the
7 I lived it, and my family suffered through it and paid the price,
8 and my brother, whom we mentioned yesterday, got killed defending Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina
10 and laid his life there.
11 Q. We heard about that and we're sorry for that, but --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you've provided a
13 lengthy answer to the Prosecution's question, but I'm interested in the
14 following, because this is the first time we've had a member of
15 Parliament, who was at the Sarajevo Parliament. What you've just said
16 today was said by you in the Parliament, was it, by you or by others, and
17 do we have written records of addresses by members of Parliament on the
18 very topics you're dealing with today?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've always said that.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but as a member of the
21 Sarajevo Parliament, when you take the floor, is there a record, is there
22 a transcript of what you say? For example, you said, Well, I challenge,
23 or, I address Izetbegovic. When you asked that question in Parliament,
24 perhaps you provided an answer. Is there a written record of your
25 question, and was that answer also recorded, and have other MPs like you
1 developed that thesis on the issue of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, thank
3 you for giving me this opportunity to answer this question, because
4 I think it's very important. I think you really need to understand this
5 for any further discussion. I am really in a hurry to go back to my
6 obligations, but this is more important than my obligations and
7 engagements or anything else.
8 It was a time when Serbs openly assaulted Croatia, shelled both
10 begin in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At that time, I sat in the same Parliament
11 as Alija Izetbegovic, Stjepan Kljujic, and Radovan Karadzic.
12 Radovan Karadzic, I stress. I rose to the rostrum on one occasion, and
13 there must be a record of that, because it was obvious that the war would
14 begin, that Serbs were preparing for war. They were doing the job in
16 and plain for everyone to see. So I came to the rostrum and I said, You
17 are there. Radovan Karadzic, representing Serbs; Stjepan Kljujic,
18 Croats; Alija Izetbegovic, Bosniaks; come up here and say that there
19 would be no war.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, I've given you plenty of
21 time to answer, but my question was fairly specific. Is there a written
22 record of the debates in the Parliament in Sarajevo? And you say, I
23 don't know. Do you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps absolutely --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you saying it is possible?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I can't know. I have no
2 way of knowing.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure whether these records
5 are still in existence, but it would be very important to look at them to
6 see just who said what in Parliament. But I am proud of what I said.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you ought to know the
8 following: In this court, the procedure is not set by the Judges. It's
9 up to the parties to provide evidence, the Prosecution, the Defence. Had
10 I been running this procedure, the first thing I would have done would
11 have been to look at the transcript of the debates in the Sarajevo
12 Parliament, with Karadzic, Izetbegovic, yourself, Kljujic, et cetera, but
13 I do not have such documents.
14 Please carry on, Prosecutor.
15 MR. LAWS
16 Q. We're going to move away from that meeting to the next year,
17 Dr. Bagaric, September of 1992, when you were offered a job within the
18 Herceg-Bosna Ministry of Defence to be the head of the Health Sector.
19 September of 1992. All right?
20 A. Which document is that?
21 Q. You don't need a document for it. It's 2D00702. We don't need
22 one. You know you were appointed in September of 1992.
23 A. Well --
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Counsel, I'm sorry. We haven't
25 heard your question yet, but I still want to be precise. It wasn't a
1 ministry. It was the Department of Defence. I would appreciate
2 precision in the names of various agencies. It was not a ministry, at
3 least not in that month.
4 MR. LAWS
5 Q. In September of 1992, Dr. Bagaric, you were approached and
6 offered a post within the Herceg-Bosna Department of Defence; all right?
7 Who offered you that job? Who was it who got in touch with you?
8 A. I'm sorry, Your Honours, but I really cannot give such short
9 answers here.
10 I was an MP to the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I
11 was offered the post of head of the Health Sector much, much earlier.
12 I've already said that we doctors had organised a medical service much
13 earlier than September. Local representatives in Sarajevo and others
14 offered it to me when we were organising the defence of the region. It
15 was not actually an offer, it was an appointment, but that appointment
16 was already in place. Nobody was offering it to me. This was just a
17 renaming. When other appointments were made, I was appointed to this
18 post. That much is true.
19 Q. All right, Dr. Bagaric. Let me ask the question more broadly.
20 Who was it who first invited you to take any sort of job, role, position
21 of responsibility, within any part of the Herceg-Bosna apparatus of
22 state? Do you follow that question? You were a doctor and you were a
23 member of Parliament, and then somebody asked you to become involved in
24 some way with Herceg-Bosna, and I'm asking you who it was.
25 A. Those were my colleagues, MPs -- representatives, that is, and
1 there were over 40 in Sarajevo
2 were talking and when we were aware that the war would indeed start, and
3 we discussed who could do what. And I, being a doctor, they said that
4 since I was an MP and a doctor, it would be good for me to make
5 preparations for assistance to the wounded and such.
6 Q. Would you please try now to answer the question, giving us
7 perhaps some names of the people within Herceg-Bosna who asked you to
8 become involved in organising the Health Sector? Just some names; not
9 your colleagues. Who were they?
10 A. They were doctors, Dr. Ivan Sarac, Marko Frankovic, then a
11 gentleman -- I believe Boskovic is the name. I haven't seen him in a
12 long while, also a doctor. Then a gentleman by the name of Markovic,
13 also a medical doctor. Ante Bosniak, a dentist from Citluk.
14 Nevinka [phoen] --
15 Q. You were able to give us a number of names, and that helps us a
16 lot. The first is Dr. Ivan Sarac, who was also at the meeting in
17 Tomislavgrad in December of 1991 and, as you said, went on to become the
18 senior official within the Health Department. But these were people at a
19 similar level to you, weren't they? Who was it above you who was able to
20 give you the very important job that you told us about yesterday?
21 A. It was not a job; it was a duty. I did not get employed there,
22 and I did not receive a salary. It was a duty.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor is
24 asking you a technical question. He's asking who appointed you or
25 offered you the job. Either you know or you don't. If it's Mr. Stojic,
1 you say it's Mr. Stojic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, formally speaking, I don't
3 remember. I don't know. It was not Mr. Stojic. I don't know who it
4 was, who formally did it, but I know that Mate Boban as well is one of
5 the MPs in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because I met up
6 with Boban at the Parliament and he was probably at the same meetings, so
7 it could have been him. I don't remember if anyone formally appointed
8 me, but as I said, it was a duty, not a job.
9 MR. LAWS
10 Q. Yes, and we all appreciate the difference that you're trying to
11 draw, I'm sure. But is the short answer that it was Mate Boban? Can we
12 not just cut to the chase? Isn't that the position? Mate Boban asked
13 you to do this job, end of story. That's it, isn't it, Dr. Bagaric?
14 A. No, no, no. I was an MP, on an equal footing with other MPs.
15 Therefore, it transpired from a discussion among MPs who were also
16 physicians. Mate Boban could not have made the offer because he's not a
18 Q. Dr. Bagaric, I really don't want to spend very much more time on
19 this, but you don't have to be a physician to appoint somebody who's
20 going to assist Bruno Stojic in that way, do you? It's not a sensible
21 answer that you've given to this Trial Chamber, is it? And you're a
22 sensible man, Doctor.
23 A. If you can be satisfied with my answer that it could have been
24 Mate Boban, I've given it to you. It could have been Mate Boban, as far
25 as the formal appointment is concerned, but I'm trying to explain how the
1 proposal came about.
2 Q. You give it and you take it away. Not interested in that. I'm
3 interested in your appointment, and you give the name Mate Boban, but
4 then you want to take it away again, and it's just wasting our time.
5 Mate Boban gave you the job, and he gave you the job because you were a
6 trusted person who shared with him many of the goals of Herceg-Bosna.
7 That's the simple answer, isn't it?
8 A. No.
9 Q. All right. Well, I'm going to suggest to you, before we turn to
10 look at some of the details of the evidence that you've given in the last
11 two days, that that is what lies behind you, as a doctor. You are a
12 doctor and a politician, and you are a politician of a particular
13 character in 1991 and 1992 and 1993, a loyal and trusted politician,
14 intimate with Boban and with others who were key to Herceg-Bosna. That's
15 you, Dr. Ivan Bagaric, isn't it?
16 A. No, no. I was not loyal to Mate Boban. I was loyal to the
17 people who elected me, that is, the Croats of Tomislavgrad municipality.
18 Q. When you gave evidence on Monday -- I'm going to turn away from
19 that now, and I'm going to come back to it at the end of what you and I
20 have to say to one another. When you gave evidence on Monday, Doctor,
21 you said that when you visited Sovici/Doljani, you said, To my great
22 satisfaction, no crimes had been committed against the civilians there,
23 and that this was confirmed by the Muslims to whom you spoke. Do you
24 giving that answer?
25 A. I remember the gist of my answer, but I'm not sure I said that
1 exactly in that way. I'm not sure. Why? Because Muslim commanders
2 accused us, and that includes me, as a physician, saying, Your army, your
3 troops raped our women, victimised our civilians. But eventually when we
4 got there, we saw that it was not like that. I'm not saying that not a
5 single civilian was killed. At that time, I wasn't really aware. But
6 when we came there, the people whom we found there and that expressed
7 their satisfaction, speaking to us and to the Muslim representatives,
8 including Mr. Halilovic, and we went there and we were satisfied that the
9 truth was not exactly what we had been told.
10 Q. I'm going to ask you to pause there, if you wouldn't mind,
11 Doctor, because the question that I asked you was whether you recalled
12 giving the answer that it was to your great satisfaction that no crimes
13 had been committed against civilians and that the Muslims had confirmed
14 that. And I think you and I are agreed that that was the gist of what
15 you were saying. It may not be the absolute word-for-word answer, but
16 that's the gist of it. And you gave evidence to a very similar effect at
17 this Tribunal in the case of Tuta Stela, did you not?
18 A. I testified in the case of Tuta Stela about the so-called general
19 circumstances. I don't remember that this was discussed. However, if
20 this had been discussed, then my -- the only answer I could have provided
21 was along these lines, because that's how things transpired. And I will
22 never forget what happened and how it was.
23 Q. Well, it was discussed when you gave evidence, and I'm putting to
24 you, and maybe you'll just agree --
25 A. It's possible.
1 Q. -- that the gist of what you were saying in the Tuta Stela case
2 was the same; that you went to Sovici, Doljani, and that you spoke to
3 people, and you were pleased to find out that really there were no
4 complaints against the HVO. That's what it came down to in your evidence
5 here on Monday, and very much the same thing some six years ago. All
7 A. Correct, it is possible. If I was saying anything at the time,
8 then I would have been saying the same things I'm saying today.
9 Q. That's right. And the six years that elapsed since the
10 Trial Chamber in that case delivered its judgement, have you troubled at
11 any stage to have a look at that judgement and to see whether it might be
12 that your state of knowledge of events in Sovici/Doljani is inadequate?
13 A. I said that I had testified about general circumstances. I did
14 not testify about Tuta or Stela [as interpreted] because I did not know
15 them. Of course, I never investigated the --
16 Q. Did I ask you that? Did I once ask you that? Just have a look
17 at the question.
18 A. Yes, you did. You did, you asked me that.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise to the Prosecutor. The
20 witness is answering the Prosecutor's question, and he should be let to
21 do so. His last sentence was that he didn't know these people and he
22 never investigated, and he was about to answer your question, but he
23 should have been allowed to do so.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor has
25 asked you a very specific question. He says six years ago you testified,
1 there was a judgement, and the Prosecutor is asking you whether you read
2 the judgement, and, if so, if this changed or would change your
3 conclusions. So it's quite specific.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am sorry. I never read the
5 judgement, and nothing can modify my memory and my feelings, because my
6 feelings are even more important than what I remember, the feeling that I
7 had when I was there.
8 MR. LAWS
9 Q. To say that nothing could modify your feelings about it is --
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Don't interrupt me, please, Doctor, while I'm just finishing my
12 question. I'm doing my level best not to interrupt you when your answers
13 run to many, many lines. But you've just said nothing can modify your
14 memory or your feelings, and I'm going to ask you whether historical fact
15 is not capable of altering the way that you view events in
17 A. No. You want to represent me as a person without feelings. You
18 said that I had just said that nothing can change my feelings. I did not
19 say that. If a crime had been committed, and I did not know about it, I
20 would still feel comfortable, this is not correct. I said that nothing
21 could change my memory and the feeling that I had at the time. I
22 experienced what I did, and I was happy to see that nothing of the kind
23 described by the Muslim commanders had happened there.
24 Here, every word is being weighed, and for my own sake, for the
25 sake of this Trial Chamber and this Tribunal, I would like to provide a
1 very clear answer to every question of yours. Please, stop putting words
2 into my mouth if I never said them.
3 Q. Later, perhaps you'll get a chance to check, but I used your
4 words, not my own.
5 Dr. Bagaric --
6 A. Very well.
7 Q. -- at paragraph 238, the Trial Chamber describes a number of
8 events that had taken place in Sovici and Doljani. They say that the
9 Muslim houses in the area were burnt to make sure that there would be no
10 return of the Muslim population. They say that Muslim religious sites,
11 like the mosques in the area, were systematically destroyed. All right?
12 And that had taken place, the destruction -- just wait a moment. The
13 destruction of the houses and the destruction of the mosque in Sovici had
14 taken place at the time that you arrived with the joint mission on
15 4th/5th of May.
16 Did you see houses that had been razed to the ground and rubble
17 where the mosque had been?
18 A. I didn't see that, Your Honour. I arrived in an UNPROFOR
19 vehicle, under protection. I was brought in front of the school. We had
20 a meeting there, and nothing of the sort -- I don't remember having seen
21 any of that. If I'd seen any such thing, I would have remembered. I am
22 saying what I heard at the meeting from the people who were also
23 attending that meeting and who had been detained in that school. There
24 were detained Muslim Bosniaks, and we spoke to them, and this is what I
25 am talking about. Later on, we got back into the APC and we left.
1 And as for the area that the Prosecutor is mentioning, whether
2 something of the kind happened immediately after we had left, I don't
3 know that, either. I'm not saying that all that the Prosecutor is
4 mentioning could not have happened there. However, at that meeting I
5 don't remember anybody having raised that as a problem. I don't remember
6 having seen anything of the kind, any of us.
7 The most important thing for me was that the civilians who were
8 there told us that there had been no mass killings, large-scale rapes,
9 and all the other things that I feared I would possibly find there and I
11 Q. The people that you were talking about in your last answer, the
12 people with whom you had a discussion about mass killings and large-scale
13 rapes, they were the villagers of Sovici/Doljani and the surrounding area
14 who by that stage had been held captive in the schoolhouse for more than
15 a fortnight. Are you seriously saying they had no complaints about the
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned friend.
18 I believe that there has been a misunderstanding of the previous answer
19 of the witness. He said that the people did not complain of mass
20 murders, rapes on a large scale, and I therefore believe that part of my
21 learned friend's question, where he says that the witness discussed mass
22 murders with the people, and rapes, is simply not fair, because this
23 contains a statement that the witness never uttered.
24 MR. LAWS
25 Monday of this week, and we can all check the transcript, this witness
1 gave evidence that the Muslim population of Sovici, in the schoolhouse,
2 were complaining about their own side not having sent them sufficient
3 help. They were complaining that the army, the ARBiH, hadn't sent them
4 the help they wanted, and not a word about any complaint to do with the
5 HVO. The question, I submit, is a fair one, and I'm going to repeat it,
6 if I may.
7 Q. There were no complaints, then, about the HVO; do we have that
9 A. I believe you misunderstood me. If we're going to be fair,
10 completely fair, I see what you're saying. It's not that they complained
11 that the army had not sent them any help. They complained because they
12 had been betrayed by the army commanders. And I'm paraphrasing.
13 Somebody told them, Don't worry, launch an attack. Maybe not an attack,
14 but in military terms, something, We will then come to your aid. And
15 this didn't happen.
16 I'm talking about a conflict, and it was not the insufficient
17 help because somebody had attacked somebody else. The civilians were
18 very dissatisfied with the Muslim commanders, with Halilovic, and I don't
19 remember that they ever expressed any dissatisfaction with anybody else,
20 or maybe I wasn't there if such dissatisfaction was expressed. From what
21 I could hear, there was no such dissatisfaction at all.
22 Q. You've just expressed again the view that I was putting to you
23 and which Ms. Alaburic suggested might be unfair. I think we can all see
24 that that is your view of things and that the question that I put to you
25 was not unfair. No complaints about the HVO, and so you come here in
1 2009 and say what you said about your great satisfaction there were no
2 complaints and no crimes committed against civilians.
3 The people that you spoke to --
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object to that. Is that commentary,
5 or is that evidence, or is he summing up? I think what his view is --
6 MR. LAWS
7 extremely difficult and complex web of answers that the witness has
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, he can do that in his final brief, not
10 during the --
11 MR. LAWS
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I believe that last commentary was
13 commentary for final brief and not part of a question.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, please ask your
16 MR. LAWS
17 Q. The people who you were speaking to in that schoolhouse, who were
18 prisoners of the HVO, were later to be put onto buses and transferred to
19 an area near to Gornji Vakuf, and I'm going to ask you to look at an HVO
20 document with me, please. It's P02372. It's a little bit further on in
21 the same binder that you were given earlier today. Do you have that
22 document, Dr. Bagaric?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. You can see that it's over the name of somebody called
25 Marko Rozic and that it is from the Jablanica municipality defence
1 office, and it calls itself a decision. It's dated the 13th of May of
2 1993, and under Roman I, it says:
3 "All movable property and real estate of the Muslims that
4 emigrated shall be considered to be spoils of war and it shall belong to
5 the HZ-HB Croatian Defence Council."
6 Can you see that?
7 A. Yes, I can see that item.
8 Q. And this Trial Chamber has heard evidence of villagers from that
9 locality who were transferred, and who came back, and who found that
10 their property had been taken, and that was being done, Doctor, in order
11 to ensure that the Muslim population would not want to return.
12 And the question that I'm going to ask you is: Having looked at
13 some of this evidence and that document, do you want to change your
14 feelings about Sovici/Doljani or is the position, as you said a while
15 ago, that nothing could change your view of it?
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection to the
17 question, because the witness --
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this time -- this type
19 of examination, Your Honours, I have a right to object. This is an
20 inappropriate questioning. The conclusions that the Prosecutor tries to
21 draw only irritate the witness. If we want to irritate the witness, if
22 we want to aggravate the witness, if we don't want the witness to answer
23 the questions -- I can see Judge Trechsel not approving with what I'm
24 saying, but I will still bring my point home.
25 He did not say that he could not change his feelings about what
1 happened. He explained very clearly that the feeling that he had at the
2 meeting and what he learned at the meeting at the time cannot be changed.
3 The witness is now being portrayed as ruthless and insensitive to things
4 that might have happened and he did not know about. This is an
5 inappropriate type of examination, and that's why I'm objecting.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, Ms. Nozica, your
7 intervention is totally inappropriate for the following reason: The
8 witness has given his position. Since the beginning, he is not changing
9 this position. All right, very well. We have understood very well his
11 The Prosecution, who is doing his job, he has his own thesis
12 about it, and he shows a document to the witness. Everybody can read it,
13 everybody can see it. Muslims have seen their house taken by the HVO.
14 The Prosecution tells him to look at this document, Does this document
15 change the way you feel about the events? That's all. He answers, No,
16 or he can say, I'm discovering this now. This is the debate. You are
17 objecting because you don't like this.
18 I will make you note, Ms. Nozica, that during the four hours you
19 have been using, never the Prosecution has asked for the floor. He let
20 you do your job, and you did it quite well. Let him do his job properly,
21 and the Judges will decide.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. I accept
23 your position and your opinion, but then obviously the Trial Chamber has
24 not understood what the witness actually said. The witness said, I have
25 feelings about the fact -- facts and what I heard at the meeting. He
1 never -- and what I saw on that day. He never said that nothing could
2 change his feelings if there were things that he never heard or saw, and
3 that's why I'm intervening. Now he is being asked whether this could
4 change his feelings, and he said that his feelings arise from what he,
5 himself, heard and saw, and that's why I intervened. Otherwise, I would
6 not have intervened, because I understood from the Prosecutor's questions
7 that he is trying to portray the witness in a completely different light.
8 MR. LAWS
9 First of all, I'm not remotely trying to irritate the witness.
10 The witness has, on two occasions at this Tribunal, given a version of
11 events at Sovici/Doljani which the Prosecution say is from an entirely
12 fictional world, and we're allowed to address that. That's what I'm
13 doing, and I'm going to move on to the events of May, if I may.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just be heard for one second.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I answer the question, please?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could be heard for just one second, because
17 I think the problem is, if I could just summarise it, is that the
18 Prosecution is mischaracterising the witness's testimony and that he's
19 using that as a predicate in order to formulate his next question, and
20 that is, if you go back and you listen to it very carefully, look at the
21 transcript, it is exactly -- it is a technique that is used by common-law
22 lawyers when they want to trick a witness, and this is not the purpose of
23 this procedure. So I would appreciate it if my learned colleague would
24 be very careful in not mischaracterising the witness's testimony when he
25 sums up and uses it as a predicate, as a basis in formulating a following
1 question, in looping.
2 MR. LAWS
3 what the purpose of calling this witness to deal with Sovici/Doljani was.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, even under the
5 assumption that you were trying to trick the witness, you have
6 professional Judges on the Bench; therefore, it is not possible. I shall
7 not enter -- I will not enter in this question. I listen to the
8 question, I listen to the answer, I watch the witness, and this is how I
9 proceed. And I have the documents in front of me.
10 Therefore, Witness, you are a doctor, you're a deputy, a member
11 of Parliament. You have high functions. You understand the meaning of
12 the question from the Prosecution, and under oath you have been with
13 UNPROFOR in Sovici with Halilovic and General Petkovic. You were in this
14 school, you saw the people who were there. You got back into the vehicle
15 and you left. That's what you told us, and I am just noting what you are
16 giving is your own version. The Prosecution just said that he takes
17 issue with what you say. Therefore, this is clear.
18 What do you say now?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I actually
20 did not answer the Prosecutor's question -- the last Prosecutor's
21 question before the interventions of the counsel. He asked me whether I
22 would change my feelings after having seen the decision, and it is
23 exactly as the counsel put it. I said very clearly that nothing can
24 change the feeling and the memory that I had at the time, there and then,
25 so many years back, because my memory is still vivid. Why? Because I
1 was afraid that the stories were true, because if they had been, I would
2 have been sad, it would have been terrible. People would have been
3 killed, and that would be just the beginning of a long and sad story.
4 However, when I see this order, this decision, and if things were
5 as they are described herein, which I don't know anything about, then of
6 course any normal person -- I don't know whether this decision is
7 militarily correct or whether there is -- it is correct to take
8 somebody's house as a spoils of war, but I believe that nobody's house
9 can be spoils of war. And of course, I'm sorry if things happened in the
10 way described in here, in this decision.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would just like to make one observation.
12 I think in these many objections, Ms. Alaburic was just talked
13 down by Ms. Nozica, but I think you have not -- you're not insisting.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me just say that
15 my learned friend Nozica has priority because Dr. Bagaric is her witness.
16 That's why I retreated. But I really wanted to say exactly what my
17 learned friend Nozica said, so there's no need for me to add anything to
18 her words. She summed it up pretty well.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Fine. I fully agree to the reaction of our
20 President of the Chamber, but there is one point which I think is to be
21 criticised in the question of the Office of the Prosecutor, of Mr. Law,
22 and it's on page 31-32, where you said, Mr. Law:
23 "And this was being done, Doctor, in order to ensure that the
24 Muslim population would not want to return."
25 And I think there you're going a bit beyond what is in the
1 document and giving interpretation which is yours, and it's not correct,
2 I think, to put that to the witness as if it were an accepted fact.
3 MR. LAWS
4 Prosecution say that's the inference to be drawn.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 MR. LAWS
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please continue.
8 MR. LAWS
9 Q. In the following month, Dr. Bagaric, May of 1993, large numbers
10 of Muslim residents of Mostar were taken from their homes and put into
11 the Heliodrom. You know that, do you not?
12 A. I know of the Heliodrom.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are not answering
14 precisely the question. The question of the Prosecution is fundamental.
15 He is asking you, Do you know, are you aware of the fact that people were
16 taken to the Heliodrom? And you answer, I know the Heliodrom. So the
17 question was much more precise. He wanted to know if you knew -- if you
18 were aware of the fact that people had been taken to the Heliodrom. This
19 is the substance of the question.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew of the situation. I knew of
21 the final situation, which was that people had been brought to the
22 Heliodrom, a lot of people had been brought there, a lot of Muslims and
23 Bosniaks. Under what conditions, under what circumstances, I don't know,
24 because I never saw that with my own eyes, and I cannot answer the
25 question in any other way. I know of the Heliodrom, I knew of the
1 Heliodrom, and I know that people had been brought there, that people
2 were there. I know that, and that's the only fact I know.
3 MR. LAWS
4 a moment, please, if we may.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please, closed
7 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
24 MR. LAWS
25 Q. Dr. Bagaric, Witness 2D-AB had a memory of it being you who had
1 first asked him to go to the Heliodrom immediately after the arrest that
2 had taken place in the early part of May in Mostar. He remembered it as
3 you, Dr. Bagaric, who had told him to go down there. Does your memory
4 accord with his?
5 A. If he said so, I will agree. I was with him almost every day,
6 and we provided each other with instructions or commands -- or, rather,
7 not commands, we did not command each other. If that's his testimony,
8 then I can agree with that.
9 Q. If you can remember for us, please, how you came to learn that
10 large numbers of people been detained at the Heliodrom. Who was it who
11 told you so that you could tell Witness 2D-AB that he should go to the
13 A. Your Honours, one could say that you could not hide the fact that
14 a city is ablaze. It was a notorious fact. My colleagues, doctors, were
15 talking about that. And if we are talking about the same thing, it was
16 the beginning of an open conflict in Mostar with the BH Army on the one
17 side and the HVO on the other side, so we're talking about major
18 developments in Mostar at the time.
19 Q. I understand that, but the position was this: People had been
20 taken from their homes, including, as this Trial Chamber has seen, large
21 numbers of doctors, put in the Heliodrom, and you appear to have said to
22 2D-AB that he should go there, and you agree that he may well be right.
23 Were you saying that that was just from your general information, as
24 somebody who was in Mostar at the time, or was the position that somebody
25 asked you to go there or, rather, to send 2D-AB there?
1 A. I don't remember that anybody asked me to do that. I repeat, it
2 was a major development. I can't be sure, after so much time, when I was
3 there, but I believe that it was significantly later. I spoke about that
4 yesterday -- the day before yesterday. I really can't remember, sir, how
5 this transpired. I can't remember the details of this.
6 Q. You also told us that when he came back, and he had found it an
7 upsetting visit, when he came back he told you and other people in the
8 Health Sector what he had seen there; do you recall that?
9 A. Well, I really can't remember that specific moment, but I believe
10 that I was provided with a full picture, that I was provided actually not
11 a full picture but a general picture of the situation over there, about
12 the needs to intervene, to monitor the situation, as it were, and so on
13 and so forth.
14 Q. He recalls that it was in the Health Sector, having come back
15 from the Heliodrom, and he was telling people, including you, what he had
16 seen, he told us what he had seen, that he had seen people who were very
17 afraid, people who didn't know why they had been put into prison, and
18 people who were overwhelmingly Muslims.
19 Now, I want you to cast your mind back for us, please,
20 Dr. Bagaric, because that's an extraordinary turn of events in the life
21 of any city, isn't it?
22 A. I've already said that this was the beginning of an open conflict
23 in Mostar. It was a big event, something that I had feared all the time.
24 Everything pointed to that, and it did happen, and this was one of the
25 consequences of that development.
1 Q. The question that I'm asking you -- the question that I'm asking
2 you is there for everybody to see; that he recalls that he was telling
3 people in the Health Sector what he had seen.
4 MR. LAWS
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps it may be good, because of the guidance
6 previously provided by the Trial Chamber, for the gentleman to read from
7 the transcript what exactly was said, and give us a page number, and what
8 have you. That this way, the gentleman would actually hear the words,
9 and this may be of some assistance. I don't mean to interrupt or
11 MR. LAWS
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Procedure, sir. We have procedures here.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. It's time for a break.
14 During the break, Prosecutor, you can seek and look for the exact
15 transcript of 2B [as interpreted] so everyone is aware of what was said.
16 So we'll have a 20-minute break now.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Prosecutor, so I'm
20 sure that you have found the exact words uttered by Witness 2B [as
21 interpreted], so, please, you can read them out to Mr. Bagaric.
22 MR. LAWS
23 posed by Judge Antonetti at line 9, the question starting at 15:
24 "When you left the Heliodrom, did you tell your superiors, I'm
25 going to the prison -- I'm going to the Heliodrom, I've met people whom I
1 knew, and these people didn't know why they had been detained? Did you
2 tell that to your superiors, and if you did, what did they then tell
4 And the witness said:
5 "First of all, of course I did tell them. That was my duty, that
6 was my duty to tell them, and when I went down there, as you've already
7 heard, well, Dr. Bagaric told me to go down there."
8 And, Dr. Bagaric, you were Witness 2D-AB's superior, were you
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. So I hope that we're all agreed. I want to ask you whether you
12 agree with his recollection that when he came back from the Heliodrom, he
13 reported to you about what he had seen.
14 A. Well, I can't agree or disagree with his recollection, but I can
15 say that if he says it happened like that, that it was a man who
16 performed his task professionally and with whom I cooperated very
17 closely, so I have reason to believe that whatever he said, it is roughly
18 true or exactly true.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Doctor, when I asked the
20 question to that witness, what I had in mind was the situation of your
21 Muslim colleagues, and I asked that question and I thought I knew that he
22 had colleagues who had been detained, so it was quite important.
23 Let's imagine we Judges here find some of our colleagues have
24 been arrested. It's quite an important event, which you do remember. So
25 when you heard that your Muslim colleagues were arrested, it must have
1 struck you, you as well as all the Croatian doctors, and you must have
2 asked yourselves, well, why did they arrest them?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I mean, I have to be
4 perfectly precise and honest. At that time, at that moment in time in
5 the beginning of May, I am not sure that I already knew that the doctors
6 were there. (redacted) had told me, then it's probably true. However,
7 I don't recall that moment.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on. We need to redact
9 this, because you've pronounced the name of the witness. And since there
10 were protective measures, I'd like to ask the Registrar to draw an order.
11 You can proceed.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. So I suppose, although
13 I'm not sure, that my colleagues who were detained at the time were
14 Mr. Stranjak and Mr. Hadzic, I believe. And I'm not sure whether they
15 were formally at the HVO or not and what the circumstances were, but I
16 know for sure that these physicians were absolutely certainly at that
17 centre later, and with them - how shall I put it? - we did an important
18 job there, because they remained to work at Heliodrom. And for every
19 physician, and certainly me, when we heard the news first, it must have
20 been unpleasant.
21 MR. LAWS
22 Q. Well, I'm going to come to doctors in just a moment, but I was
23 asking you about when the Witness 2D-AB came back and reported to you,
24 and you said that, well, you're not sure, but if he said that that was
25 right, it was probably right, but you don't recall at the moment. That's
1 what you said --
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... line 18.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If you'd look in the bundle, please, at the document P02315. Do
6 you have that document, Doctor?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You can see that it's over the name of a colleague of yours about
9 whom you've already spoken, Dr. Ante Kvesic; is that right?
10 A. Yes, Ante Kvesic.
11 Q. This is a list -- the heading of the document is a list of the
12 employees of the Mostar HVO regional field hospital and their family
13 members who were taken away from their flats. It's a list that contains
14 106 names. It would --
15 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] My learned friend, I'm
16 sorry, I'd like to say that we have the wrong document on the screen.
17 Document 3315 is on the screen, and the Prosecutor wanted 2315. I've
18 been warned from behind, and it's true we have the wrong document on the
20 MR. LAWS
21 witness has the right document.
22 Q. Were you aware, sir, of these people being detained at the
24 A. Quite honestly, I don't remember this list, but I do know for
25 sure that Dr. Kvesic, who was the director of the hospital, took care of
1 that and he was in charge, and he knew what happened to all of the
2 people. I don't know which of these people are doctors, although I see
3 that some of them are, one, two, yes, and who were family members.
4 And another reason why I'm not qualified to speak of this
5 document is that at that time, due to a particular set of circumstances,
6 I was not in Mostar on -- I was not in Mostar on the 11th of May. I was
7 there on the 5th May, but at that time not. I think I was on the road.
8 This was after my visit to Canada that had been arranged much
9 earlier, and the procedure of getting the visa took quite a long time.
10 So I spent quite a long time in Canada
11 with my colleagues and with my superiors. That's why I can't be
12 qualified to speak of this. But I hold that if Dr. Kvesic signed it, I
13 suppose that in this incident some doctors and family members were taken
14 away, although I don't know, really.
15 Q. Help me, please, Dr. Bagaric. Are you saying that you were or
16 were not aware that in May of 1993, a large number of civilians in Mostar
17 were arrested and taken to the Heliodrom? Were you aware of that in
18 May of 1993 or were you not aware perhaps because you were in Canada
19 on the road?
20 A. I said I was aware of that, of course I was. But I spoke of this
21 document in particular dated 11th May, and I said I wasn't sure.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on, Dr. Bagaric. Please
23 be accurate. We find out, because I didn't know that you were in Canada
24 in May. When did you go to Canada
25 you leave and when did you come back?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think -- I think, but I'm not
2 sure, that sometime on the 15th, I had already arrived in Canada, and I
3 stayed at least 20 days, at least; two days more or less, but that's the
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which means that on the 9th,
6 10th and 11th of May, you were in the area, in the Mostar area?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in the area of Mostar when
8 that first clash happened. I cannot tell you the exact date. If that
9 was before the 15th, a few days before the 15th, then I certainly was
10 there. Was it on the 9th?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when, on May the 11th,
12 Dr. Kvesic - sorry about the pronunciation - draws that report stating
13 that there are 106 persons belonging to the medical profession, in the
14 broad sense of the word, who were expelled from their flats and brought
15 somewhere, we know that there are several doctors, and there are names,
16 and there is the 12th and the 13th, et cetera, this is quite a
17 significant event which affects the medical community, so you must have
18 been informed on the 11th of May. It cannot be differently.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I've already said
20 that I remember the incident, the event. I remember that some medical
21 staff and family members were taken away. But this was signed -- this
22 was dated on the 11th of May. It doesn't mean that the event happened on
23 the 11th. I don't know when the document was created, but I know of the
25 MR. LAWS
1 Q. Whenever you came to know about it, Dr. Bagaric, the position was
2 that the HVO had been taking people who had not done anything wrong and
3 had been putting them in a prison just outside Mostar; can we agree about
5 A. Well, people were certainly taken away and out of Mostar to
6 Heliodrom. That is indisputable. That's my answer. But certainly, if
7 you let me finish, I can't go into the guilt of -- guilt or innocence of
8 any of these people, but I suppose certainly that a large number of these
9 people could not have been guilty of anything.
10 Q. You don't -- you do not, in your heart, seriously believe,
11 Dr. Bagaric, that of this list of 106 doctors and their family, and other
12 medical staff, that we're dealing with a list of wrong-doers who had to
13 be detained? You don't believe that at all, do you?
14 A. No, no, no, that's not true. I see these names. If it's true
15 that these people were Mila, Maja, and the physicians, Safiqa [phoen],
16 Azra, Latifa, I believe that they were not wrong-doers, that they had not
17 done anything wrong. I'm saying that I can't be sure that some of these
18 people did not do anything wrong. I don't know about that, in fact. I
19 know of the event, I know that these things happened, that indeed
20 physicians, and I'm talking primarily of physicians, were taken away to
21 the camp, or rather the prison, or whatever.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Doctor, if some, as you said,
23 could have been wrong-doers, but I'd like to draw your attention to
24 32 and 37. Look at this. These are children. How do you account for
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see this. Of course,
2 children. But normally, Your Honours, I've already said if women were
3 taken away, if children, as we see, were taken away, then certainly there
4 could have been no reason, unless the reason was to protect those people
5 from the conflict. That, I could understand. Of course, I could not
6 understand it in the broader context, whatever reason was preferred.
7 MR. LAWS
8 Q. You were in this period, Dr. Bagaric, regularly meeting with
9 Bruno Stojic?
10 A. Quite honestly, I don't remember meeting with him regularly at
11 that time. I'm sorry, but could you help me? When was the first day of
12 the conflict in that month? Was it the 5th, the 6th? What was the date
13 of the open conflict in May?
14 Q. I'm dealing now very specifically with Bruno Stojic; all right?
15 I want you to focus on him for a moment. You told the Trial Chamber,
16 either yesterday or the day before, that you had meetings with him as the
17 need arose. Did you ever discuss with Bruno Stojic the events that had
18 led to people being imprisoned in the Heliodrom?
19 A. In that period, in that particular period from the date when it
20 happened until this date, I certainly was unable to discuss it with him,
21 because I was already away in Canada
22 when I came back, I not only talked to Bruno; I discussed it with many
24 Q. Well, you'd have been back in June, you told us, and this would
25 still have been a very big story in Mostar in June, these arrests.
1 Heliodrom was to continue, as we're going to see, for many, many months
2 after this. Did you at any stage have a conversation with Bruno Stojic
3 about what was happening and why people were being detained in the
4 Heliodrom prison?
5 A. When I returned, I think this group of people had already been
6 released, and as far as I remember -- or perhaps the majority had been
7 released, so I don't remember any discussion with Bruno Stojic
8 specifically on this topic, or anyone else, for that matter, because by
9 the time I returned, I believe most of these people had been released.
10 It was the initial period of that first conflict, and then things calmed
11 down. The circumstances were no longer that dramatic.
12 Q. Well, as I think we are agreed, and as we're going to see,
13 whatever the position with the doctors and their families might have
14 been, the Heliodrom continued for many, many months, and I'm going to ask
15 you the question again and give you another opportunity to answer it.
16 During that time, did you ever have a conversation with Bruno Stojic
17 about what had led to people being detained in the Heliodrom?
18 A. Your question relates to the entire period, doesn't it, from the
19 beginning of Heliodrom until the end?
20 Q. I used the word "ever." I hope it was clear to you. I've used
21 it twice. Did you ever have a conversation -- just let me finish, and
22 we'll get it absolutely clear. Did you ever have a conversation with him
23 about this topic?
24 A. I think I did, I think, but I think I also spoke to a great
25 number of people, not only Bruno Stojic. I must admit not too often,
1 because we didn't meet very often, except at collegium meetings.
2 Q. What did Bruno Stojic say about why people were in the Heliodrom?
3 A. I can't really interpret now what Bruno Stojic said, or what I
4 said, or anyone else. However, I believe that my discussions related to
5 the situation, such as this case, that things should be improved,
6 redressed, to the best our ability to influence things, but the security
7 situation was so disrupted in Mostar that you couldn't know what was --
8 what the right thing to do was and what to decide. I think that was the
9 gist of whatever I could have discussed with Bruno Stojic or anyone else.
10 Q. I'll try that question one more time. You've said that you can't
11 really interpret now what he said, or what you said, or anyone else. Can
12 you help us at all with what Bruno Stojic said about why people were in
13 the Heliodrom?
14 A. I don't remember specifically. It was an open conflict, and it
15 was impossible to control the overall situation in the region or to
16 protect either Muslims or Croats, because the hostility was open and
17 deteriorating. I don't remember this detail specifically.
18 Q. Is that going to be your answer to my question?
19 A. I would, I would stick to that answer.
20 Q. Did you know that there was a forced labour programme within the
22 A. After my return from Canada
23 Heliodrom for the first time sometime after my return from Canada and
24 assessed the situation for the first time. I had heard by then,
25 especially from reports by our physicians who were working there and from
1 talking to them, that indeed there were certain incidents involving
2 prisoners who were sent to perform certain jobs. With a certain delay, I
3 did hear about these things, but I was not directly informed, no.
4 Q. Your colleague, Dr. 2-AB [sic], has told this Trial Chamber that
5 he suspected there was a forced labour programme, had suspicions about
6 it, and that he told you about his suspicions, and the transcript is
7 page 37648. And that would accord with your recollection, as you've just
8 described it to us?
9 A. I repeat, I heard it from my colleagues, doctors. I can't say
10 that it was him or any particular individual. These doubts existed,
11 these suspicions existed. And these things happened to a certain extent,
12 but I don't know on which scale and how often they happened. I don't
13 know any particular details.
14 Q. He was concerned because with his experience of the
15 Geneva Conventions, something that you've talked about, he knew it was a
16 war crime, and he recalled a conversation in which he said to the warden
17 of the Heliodrom, Stanko Bozic, that he should be careful because it was
18 a war crime. With the suspicions that you had, what did you do,
19 Dr. Bagaric?
20 A. I have to repeat. I was head of the Health Sector of the
21 Croatian Defence Council, the Medical Sector, somebody who was in charge
22 of that particular field. And relating to the organisation of the Health
23 Service, I regularly received I don't know how many reports, but I never
24 had reliable information about what you're asking me about until the
25 people who were sent to perform certain jobs were wounded and then sent
1 for treatment to the Mostar Hospital
2 informed were informed.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm going to ask you a
4 technical question.
5 In the Defence Department, headed by Mr. Stojic, because he was
6 number one, would he summon meetings with several people to discuss
7 questions? Would he summon you and other people to say, We have this and
8 this problem. This is the situation. We have the Heliodrom. There are
9 detainees. What do we do? Was this the way he worked, or was everything
10 partitioned and you were not aware of the existence of a general policy,
11 you would only take care of your 25 staff members, because you said there
12 were 25 staff members, and there were no so-called thematic [Realtime
13 transcript read in error "fanatic"] meetings or meetings on very
14 significant issues? Could you tell us how this was organised? If
15 Mr. Stojic were to testify, I'd ask the question directly, but for the
16 time being I'm not aware at all of how this was organised. This is why
17 I'm asking the question.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just for the -- regarding the record, page 51,
19 on line - what was it? - 22, an amusing misprint, because it said that
20 there were no so-called fanatic meetings. "Thematic" was the word, not
21 "fanatic." Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I talked about thematic
23 meetings and not fanatic meetings. So, Witness, I'd like to thank my
24 colleague for spotting the typo.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. Your Honour, Mr. President,
1 I'm talking about the time after my return from Canada. It was a time of
2 open hostility and war, and at that time I really don't recall a single
3 meeting that I attended. I don't think the collegium even met at that
4 time, and quite honestly it was a time of great turmoil. Nobody knew
5 what the next day would bring. People worked each in their own sector
6 and did whatever they thought best. I, being in charge of my
7 Health Sector, had my hands full, and I really don't recall any
8 discussion on this topic in that period. And I don't think there were
9 any thematic meetings at that time, or perhaps I didn't attend them.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.
11 MR. LAWS
12 Q. Did you at any stage raise with Mr. Stojic your concerns over
13 whether there might be a forced labour programme at the Heliodrom?
14 A. Well, let me go back to what I've just said. In a certain way, I
15 focused and concentrated entirely on the health work, and I thought if
16 the medical staff could help improve the situation, including on this
17 point, I informed Mr. Stojic of that intention.
18 Q. Well, for the people who were being injured and killed as a
19 result of the Heliodrom labour programme that they were going to need
20 medical help, but you were also a brigadier in the HVO, and it was that
21 organisation that was using people from the Heliodrom to perform
22 dangerous, life-threatening work.
23 If you had suspicions about it, wouldn't it have been the most
24 natural thing in the world for you to say to Bruno Stojic, You know, I'm
25 not sure, but I think we might have a problem at the Heliodrom?
1 A. We all knew that we had a problem at the Heliodrom, in terms of
2 all the aspects of the situation. I'm coming back to the part where you
3 said that people got wounded, and to be honest, during the initial
4 period --
5 Q. I wonder if you could just focus on forced labour and people
6 being taken out of the Heliodrom to work, rather than telling us about
7 all aspects of the situation, which you know is not what I'm asking you.
8 Why don't you just try?
9 A. As a physician, as the chief of the HVO Medical Corps, I did not
10 have any reliable information to that effect. I never heard that
11 something of the kind was happening.
12 Q. I wonder if you would look, please, at the document in the binder
13 that you were given earlier today and you still have in front of you.
14 It's P04352, and it's a letter dated the 20th of August of 1993, over the
15 name of Stanko Bozic, and it's addressed to Bruno Stojic, and it's headed
16 "Military Secret." And it's writing -- Stanko Bozic writing to
17 Mr. Stojic to tell him that there's been a visit by the International
18 Committee of the Red Cross, and can you see that the items that are said
19 to be in violation of the Geneva Conventions within the Heliodrom are,
20 number 1, "sending detainees to work," and then they go on to talk about
21 food and bad conditions. I want to ask you --
22 A. I can see that.
23 Q. -- from the other end now. Did Bruno Stojic ever say to you,
24 Dr. Bagaric, you have people from your section going into the Heliodrom.
25 Any information about sending detainees to work? Did he ever raise that
1 topic with you?
2 A. Well, of course Bruno Stojic knew that our doctors did go to the
3 Heliodrom, and if my colleague (redacted) -- I apologise. If my colleague
4 said that -- I apologise. I believe that this has to be redacted.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, this has to be
7 Will you continue, please, Mr. Bagaric.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During that period of time when he
9 left, and later on when I left, of course that Bruno Stojic knew that,
10 and it was our intention, in a certain way during those tortured and
11 difficult times, to carry out a humanitarian intervention with a view to
12 protecting health in the area. I believe that it was not just him who
13 was well informed about the whole situation, that there were others.
14 MR. LAWS
15 Q. It may be just the interpretation, but I'm not clear -- genuinely
16 not clear what you're saying there. In the English, it says:
17 "During that period of time when he left, and later on when I
18 left, of course that Bruno Stojic knew that, and it was our intention, in
19 a certain way during those tortured and difficult times, to carry out a
20 humanitarian intervention."
21 Can you just answer the question for me? Are you saying that
22 Bruno Stojic knew or did not know that there was a forced labour
23 programme within the Heliodrom?
24 A. I did not say that, no. You asked me initially whether I
25 informed Mr. Bruno Stojic -- this is your last question, whether I
1 informed him that we, as physicians, when it came to the establishment of
2 healthcare in the Heliodrom, and I said, in answer to that, that he must
3 have known that.
4 And now on to your question as to what Bruno Stojic knew, what he
5 knew before the report on the 20th of August, I really don't know. I
6 don't know that Bruno Stojic knew that people over there were forced to
7 do physical labour. I don't know whether he knew that or not.
8 Q. Well --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Dr. Bagaric, you have
10 here in front of you a letter, the letter which the director of the
11 prison sent to Mr. Stojic. This letter is important because it reveals
12 that Mr. Bozic has a warning about the future, has questions about the
13 future, perhaps concerning this Tribunal, and he says, I don't want to be
14 responsible or liable. Therefore, he concludes also by saying that all
15 this must not in any way be reproached to the commander of the prison or
16 the commander of the HVO, in the interests of "our people."
17 Therefore, this is a very alarming letter, because it speaks of
18 breaches of the Geneva Conventions, it says that there are detainees
19 working outside. So a document as important as this one of the 20th of
20 August, you never heard about it? You never heard anything about it,
21 because a person who is responsible was actually thinking of the Tribunal
22 and of the possibility of being indicted. You never heard about that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I answered the
24 Prosecutor's question and I said that I didn't know, and I didn't know
25 whether Bruno Stojic was aware of that before the 20th of August. I was
1 talking about that period of time. But it is clear that if Bruno Stojic
2 received this paper, then on the 20th of August he became aware of that.
3 But I was talking about the period before that period, so I'm not sure.
4 There's no way for me to know what he knew about those things
5 very specifically. I, as a doctor, subsequently learned that people were
6 wounded when taken to do certain jobs, and I heard that as a doctor,
7 looking after people in the hospital. I heard it in the hospital from
8 people who were there after a certain period of time.
9 MR. LAWS
10 Q. Let's just turn the page with that document, if we may. Sorry,
11 part of what I said was cut off there, and that's my fault.
12 Can we just turn the page, and can you find the sentence that
13 begins: "After the Red Cross's departure, we were not able to remedy
14 these wrong-doings." Can you see those words? It's about six lines from
15 the bottom of the letter. And the next sentence reads -- do you have
16 that, Dr. Bagaric?
17 A. I apologise. Is this in Mr. Bozic's document? Just a moment.
18 Please bear with me.
19 Q. "After the Red Cross's departure, we were not able to remedy
20 these wrong-doings. On the contrary, the number of wounded and killed at
21 the workplace is increasing by the day."
22 So I'm going to come back to the question that I asked you a few
23 moments ago. Did Mr. Stojic ever say to you, Well, Dr. Bagaric, you have
24 people going into the Heliodrom. Can you help me with whether people are
25 being wounded and killed? The people that you have going into the
1 Heliodrom are doctors, who might well learn of things of that kind taking
2 place. Did Mr. Stojic ever --
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
4 MR. LAWS
5 there's an objection to the form of the question.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, I would object to the form of
7 the question. The witness said if Bruno Stojic had received this letter.
8 First of all, we should learn about what the witness knows about whether
9 Bruno Stojic received the letter, and then we could proceed. In the
10 transcript, just a moment, I'm going to draw attention to the correct
11 page, it is page 56, line 9, the witness said, "if Bruno Stojic received
12 this paper."
13 MR. LAWS
14 asking the witness whether Bruno Stojic ever raised with him the contents
15 of it. That might help us on the issue of whether he received it, and it
16 might be relevant to the case more generally. In my submission, it's a
17 perfectly fair question which the witness can answer, if he chooses to
19 Q. Did Stojic ever say to him, Anything from your inspections that
20 can help me as to whether it's true that people were being killed and
21 injured on forced labour at the Heliodrom?
22 A. I said why my men went there, and I personally. And as for your
23 specific question, what you're asking about, I don't remember. I don't
24 remember that this ever transpired.
25 Q. The reason that your men went there is totally unconnected to the
1 answer to my question, which is: Did Bruno Stojic ever raise it with
2 you? It's not a hard question, Dr. Bagaric. You are, I respectfully
3 suggest to you, capable of telling us whether the truth is that he did,
4 or he didn't, or you can't remember.
5 A. I claim with full responsibility that I don't know.
6 Q. You don't know whether Mr. Stojic ever said to you, Just down the
7 road, there's a place where I've heard people are being killed and
8 injured? You just don't know whether that's the position?
9 A. I don't remember that Bruno Stojic ever told me that.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please be asked not to
11 overlap. Thank you.
12 MR. LAWS
13 Q. The truth is, I'm going to suggest to you, that this was
14 something that was not a secret to anyone. It was well known, and it was
15 tolerated because it was useful. And that's the truth about this, isn't
17 A. No. I said that this was a well-known matter. It was well known
18 that people were taken for work. But I also said that I learned that
19 only subsequently. I learned that from the professionals in the war
20 hospital that I would encounter from time to time who would tell me about
21 people having been treated there.
22 I said clearly that I don't remember that Bruno Stojic ever said
23 to me, Go there because people are being wounded over there. I repeat, I
24 was in charge of the Healthcare Service, which means that if people were
25 anywhere, working or soldiering, of any ethnic affiliation, we
1 intervened, as physicians, as the Health Service, so it would have been
2 totally superfluous for him to tell me, Somebody has been wounded, you
3 have to go and assist them. That would have been unnecessary, and that's
4 what I said.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your answer enables me to
6 continue on a matter.
7 Just let's take an assumption, a concrete case, so that everybody
8 can understand the problem. Imagine a case of a prisoner who is doing a
9 certain job or work. I don't qualify it as forced labour. He goes from
10 the prison, outside the prison, to do a job, and then he is injured by a
11 bullet and he is taken to the military hospital where he is going to be
12 immediately treated by a doctor. If, for instance, he's received a
13 bullet in his lung, the bullet is going to be extracted and so on. We
14 know, because we've been in this case for years and we know all the
15 details, we know that normally when somebody is admitted in hospital,
16 there is the name on the book, the register, the date of his entry, the
17 first diagnosis which is made, for instance, wound to the chest by a
18 bullet, and then there is also who the person is, a soldier, civilian,
19 prisoner. Normally, one will indicate "prisoner." The doctor, the
20 surgeon who is going to operate upon him and extract the bullet
21 automatically knows that it is a prisoner who has been injured by a
22 bullet outside the prison.
23 This information -- this doctor, shouldn't he convey this by the
24 chain of command to say that he, as a doctor, he has operated upon a
25 prisoner who normally was supposed to be in a prison and not receive a
1 bullet outside of the prison, or be hit? If there is a report of this
2 type, did you have any knowledge of that, yourself, because there hasn't
3 been only one person injured, there have been several persons injured and
4 there have been several people killed? So this is a -- have you seen or
5 heard any sort of report of this kind which would have come to you
6 through medical channels?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand your question. The
8 war hospital in Mostar, which was in the very centre of the city and
9 which treated the wounded, any wounded, all wounded, I believe that at
10 that moment the physicians who treated a patient didn't know the
11 circumstances of their wounding. There were -- was a lot of wounded,
12 different pathology. I spent most of the time in Mostar or in the field
13 all over the place. My office was in Mostar.
14 However, during that period of time I don't remember ever having
15 received a report speaking of somebody who was wounded while performing
16 certain work. It was only later on when I read some reports, but that
17 was much later. The reports were issued by our physicians who went
18 there, and I learned from the reports that such wounding did happen, but
19 it was a time when it was a notorious fact that things like that could
20 have happened.
21 However, I don't want to dwell upon the circumstances. I'm not
22 questioning how things happened. Somebody could have been working within
23 the camp and still be wounded because it was all a war zone, or maybe
24 they could have been taken to the front-line to work, I don't know, on
25 the protection of what shall I call those lines and be wounded like that,
1 but that was only later, subsequently. Such cases, I believe -- I don't
2 believe that they were that frequent, but it was later on when everybody
3 was in a position to learn about that.
4 MR. LAWS
5 Q. Would you have a look, please, at document P05465. P05465, a
6 little further on in your binder.
7 A. [In English] Yeah, I saw it.
8 Q. Thank you. This is a document dated the 29th of September of
9 1993. Again, it's over the name of Stanko Bozic. This time it appears
10 to be directed to you, Dr. Bagaric. Can you see your name there?
11 A. [Interpretation] I can see my name, yes, and this does refer to
12 me, if the document was sent directly to me. Actually, this document was
13 sent directly to me. However, I had already seen the document in my
14 first testimony. I don't remember this document precisely, but I know
15 exactly what it is and how it was, and I am willing to comment upon it,
16 Your Honour. I'm willing to comment upon it, because I believe it's very
18 Q. Doctor, Stanko Bozic has some concerns. In particular, he tells
19 you that there are difficulties and problems encountered regarding the
20 treatment of some severely wounded and sick inmates, due to inadequate
21 accommodation, insufficient material and medicaments. And he wants you
22 to arrange the transfer of sick people, and he points out that there's to
23 be a visit by the Red Cross, and that's another good reason to move those
24 who are sick out of prison and into a hospital. All right?
25 A. Yes, I can read it in the document, exactly.
1 Q. How did you think, when you got that letter, that people in a
2 prison might be severely wounded?
3 A. I've already said that this was on the 29th of September. I'm
4 talking about the 29th of September. I remember this document from the
5 previous case, where -- during which I testified. I beg your pardon.
6 No, this is very important, the date is very important, because when we
7 are talking about the month of June, Your Honour, it's not the same.
8 It's not the same, whether it is June, July. This was a time of chaos,
9 this was also a chaotic time. However, a bit later and before this
10 document was issued, we had already carried out various interventions.
11 The Prosecutor, I am not going to say that he did it
12 intentionally. I understand that he wants to state his case and tries to
13 discredit me as a witness, but I believe that you should know that before
14 this document was issued --
15 JUDGE PRANDLER: Dr. Bagaric, as a witness, first of all, let me
16 again ask you what I have done already before, that you should speak
17 slowly and to wait a bit after questions, et cetera. But my second and
18 probably equally important remark is that you should not, in a way,
19 criticise the Prosecutor. He's doing his job. You have to answer the
20 question. If you are not satisfied with the form of the question, then
21 of course you may mention this, and then the Chamber is going to take a
22 decision about it. But again I say that, as usual, you have been
23 speaking quite, in a way, as an extended way, but please try to
24 concentrate on the question itself.
25 Thank you.
1 MR. LAWS
2 Q. The question was this: How did you think, when you got that
3 letter, that people in a prison might be severely wounded?
4 A. I never said that I had received this letter. I never claimed
5 that I remember this letter. I remember this letter from the previous
6 case in which I testified. At that time, I objected to this letter,
7 although I respect Mr. Bozic, and I would like to express my respect for
8 the way he looked after the people at a very difficult time. However,
9 what I'm saying is -- is that it is very important, and it doesn't matter
10 whether I see the letter or not. What matters is that two very important
11 documents have been skipped here, and they were all issued in August.
12 Before this letter, we had already done a lot in providing health service
13 at the Heliodrom. There are two documents -- I will go back to your
14 question. I understand. I'm coming back to your question. I apologise,
15 I apologise.
16 MR. LAWS
17 just confine ourselves to this document.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Dr. Bagaric, the Prosecutor is
19 asking you questions about a document, and I want to be fair. I'm not
20 taking sides. I just see that when you received this document, you
21 couldn't infer that these people had been wounded outside the prison,
22 because there is nothing said about forced labour in the document.
23 Simply, the director of the prison calls your attention on the fact that
24 some detainees are wounded and have to be treated, and strangely,
25 curiously, at the one-but-last paragraph, he uses nearly the same words
1 as those used in the letter of the 20th of August, and between the letter
2 and this, there have been exactly 148 other documents from the prison.
3 This is number 722, and in August 574, so there were 148. And despite
4 the time span during several weeks of 148 documents, he literally lifts
5 this same wording of his preceding letter, and he doesn't speak of the
6 Tribunal and he doesn't speak of forced labour, but he underscores the
7 question of the health situation of wounded detainees and asks you to
8 take the necessary steps.
9 So the Prosecutor was asking you, Have you been aware of this
10 document, have you known about this document, and you have answered this
11 document was already talked about during another testimony. And what we
12 are interested to know is whether, on the 29th of -- you had in your
13 office this document in front of you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 29th of September, not the
15 29th of August. You mean the 29th of September, don't you, 29th of
16 September? I don't remember this document. However -- however, if you
17 will allow me, I would still like to say a sentence that I believe is
18 very important.
19 My colleague, whom I mentioned very often here, (redacted)
20 (redacted) was a much more relevant source of information than Mr. Bozic,
21 when it came to treatment, medical care, the supplies of medicines and
22 medical supplies. Even before this date, we had already carried out a
23 forceful humanitarian intervention in order to provide everything that
24 Mr. Bozic is complaining about in this letter. Even before that, we
25 transferred the sick and probably the wounded. A relationship was
1 already established between the prison and the hospital in Mostar. It
2 was already well known who was doing what already at that time. So if I
3 received reports from (redacted) that a medical point had been established
4 there, that people were being examined and treated, that doctors were
5 engaged there, and I myself issued an order that this is how things
6 should be done and implemented, then I believe (redacted) and my
7 colleagues. I personally was not very concerned and worried by this
8 report, as regards the healthcare, because I knew that it was being
9 applied and it was under full control, very firm control.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, one has to redact
11 the name of the doctor which features several times on the transcript.
12 MR. LAWS
13 Q. As I understand it, you're saying you're not sure whether you got
14 it, and we appreciate that. Could you look, please, at the words that
15 are three lines above the entry enclosure, the list of the wounded and
16 sick. You can see a sentence which reads as follows:
17 "I kindly ask you again to use your influence to have this issue
19 Dr. Bagaric, there isn't, with respect to you, I'm going to
20 suggest, any getting away from it. Stanko Bozic was telling you, in this
21 letter and on other occasions, that people in the Heliodrom were wounded,
22 needed medical attention, and the question that I asked you I don't know
23 how long ago is one that, in the circumstances, I'm going to ask for your
24 help with again.
25 Can you help us whether you knew, now, having looked at that, and
1 the word "again," can you help us with whether you knew --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have to intervene, because
3 the question of the Prosecution is formed in such a way that, from a
4 medical point of view, you might be mistaken.
5 We all have this letter in front of us. This letter
6 distinguishes between two categories, the wounded detainees and the sick
7 detainees, and contrary with what the Prosecutor says in the sentence he
8 quoted, it's only about the sick, not the wounded.
9 So medically speaking, can one infer this: The wounded people
10 have been treated properly and put back in prison under medical help, but
11 for the sick people, no, you don't know what illness, when you see this
12 letter perhaps you don't have the medicines or the equipment, and he
13 requests they're -- that they are admitted in hospital, because they
14 already come from the hospital? So if they come from the hospital, it's
15 not necessary to send them back to the hospital. But for the sick, maybe
16 they need to be admitted in the hospital, so shouldn't there be here a
17 medical reading of this letter?
18 While the Prosecutor seems to take the two aspects together, that
19 is to say, the wounded and the sick, my impression in this letter, that
20 is, the wounded treated in the hospital, it is not necessary to send them
21 back to hospital, while the sick, yes, it is necessary. Could you
22 interpret or read this letter in this way or the way the Prosecution
23 reads it? I'm asking the question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. To your question, which
25 is absolutely correct, I would like to provide a very concise answer.
1 Mr. Bozic says here, when it comes to the treatment of a certain
2 number of seriously sick and wounded persons who have been brought in,
3 due to the inadequate conditions of accommodation and the lack of
4 medicines and medical supplies, during that period of time, and I'm
5 saying this before you, Your Honours, at that time in the centre, we
6 provided not only a medical point, but even beds. I'm not actually sure
7 about that. However, we had a medical point. I don't know whether this
8 was in this particular period of time, but I believe so. I'm not sure.
9 I believe that we even had accommodation for our doctors who were
10 detainees. That's one thing.
11 And then, secondly, when it says "move the sick and provide them
12 with hospital care," that was a common occurrence. Very often, doctors,
13 detainees, Muslims, would very often determine who among the detainees
14 could not be treated in the prison but rather in the hospital, and
15 whenever that happened, whenever they requested that, those people would
16 be sent for treatment to the hospital, and I'm claiming that with full
17 responsibility here. Sometimes they may have been delayed, due to the
18 overall situation. However, eventually they would be sent to the
19 hospital. I remember that I intervened several times, not many times,
20 maybe a couple of times, when they could not deal with that at the level
21 of the hospital and the prison.
22 On the other hand, when he's talking here about again using your
23 influence, I would like to explain and say that this was absolutely as
24 I'm going to tell you. If I had received this letter from Bozic, this
25 could have been only the first letter from him, not the second. Why is
1 that? Because he says here this is in the spirit of the Croatian
2 language, and that was something that we often used -- I use it myself
3 often whenever I write a letter to somebody. In the first part of the
4 letter, he says, I'm sending you this letter to inform you about this and
5 that and the other and so on and so forth, and then he continues to say
6 this and he finishes by saying, I am addressing you again, which means
7 for the second time in the same letter, not in the second letter.
8 Sir, I am convinced that this was the first letter -- if I ever
9 received it, that this was the first letter from Bozic, I'm convinced,
10 and that the second part or the latter part of the letter actually
11 follows up on the first part of the letter. This -- soon after that we
12 intervened in order to see what was actually going on there, although I'm
13 not even sure that we ever received this letter, or maybe that
14 intervention of ours coincided with the letter. I really don't know, but
15 there are other documents that can confirm what I have just told you. I
16 remember that intervention of ours, but I don't remember this particular
17 letter, not at all.
18 Q. Turn over, please, to P05503, which is a letter written by a
19 commission that includes 2D-AB. And we can see on page 3 of the English
20 that it is addressed both to you personally and to Bruno Stojic, and
21 I think in one of your earlier answers you were saying, Well, compared to
22 Stanko Bozic, I'd rather have the information from 2D-AB. And here, sir,
23 you have it under the heading "Proposed Measures." At item 4, it is
24 proposed by the commission that the seriously ill and wounded should be
25 transferred to the Mostar HVO War Hospital
1 A. Yes, I can see it. It's a very important document. I can see
2 it. May I answer this?
3 This is not a letter from some commission. This is the letter
4 from the commission of the most reliable people for whom I am a superior;
5 Dr. Sandrk, Dr. Curic, et cetera. If you compare this to the previous
6 letter, where Mr. Bozic writes that he is dissatisfied because there is a
7 lack of medicines, and he wrote that letter on the 29th September, if we
8 look at this letter carefully, it is possible that this intervention of
9 ours coincided by chance. But it says the infirmary of the centre is
10 well supplied with medicines and medical supplies. I'm sorry, but I
11 really believed Sandrk, Kolak and Curic more than anyone else.
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I waited for
13 the witness to finish his answer. I have a technical objection.
14 I already informed the Prosecution and I said that there is a
15 mistake in the translation of the stamp, and I expected this error would
16 be corrected, but I can see again that the wrong translation of the stamp
17 is being used again. It's the stamp on the first page of the document.
18 In the English version, it says that it is the Department of the Defence,
19 and below that the Administration of Military Police. And in the
20 original, we see that it's the Defence Department; no mention of the
21 military police. I was told before that it would be corrected. I'm
22 talking about the front page.
23 MR. LAWS
24 investigated. Can we just stick with the issue of people who are
25 seriously ill and wounded and who need to be transferred to hospital.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not understand,
2 the question has not been asked, but in order to concentrate and for the
3 sake of time, I really think the witness should be allowed to finish and
4 tell us who was attending during this meeting. The previous document was
5 of the 29th. The current one is the 30th. The information contained is
6 different. If this is not done, I will do it in re-examination.
7 MR. LAWS
8 objection. The witness was asked a very specific question about item
9 number 4, and he started by telling us about the composition of the
10 commission, and then went on to talk about the infirmary. It's a
11 question that can be dealt with very easily.
12 Q. We can see in this letter, this report, Dr. Bagaric, coming to
13 you, that your colleague, whose word you esteem, is reporting to you that
14 there are seriously ill and wounded people within the Heliodrom, and I'm
15 going to come back to the question that I asked you a while ago. When
16 you got that report, did you think to yourself, How are people being
17 wounded in the Heliodrom? This isn't people whose wounds have been
18 treated in hospital and have come back to the Heliodrom. This is people
19 who need to go to hospital. Weren't you concerned to know what they were
20 doing there?
21 MR. LAWS
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours -- I'm sorry? Right,
24 no problem. I would just like to ask the Prosecutor where he sees, in
25 point 4, that these people were wounded in Heliodrom. Where can we see
1 that in point 4? I just want to say that something is implied in the
2 question that is not there in point 4.
3 MR. LAWS
4 to be transferred to hospital from prison. Whether they were wounded in
5 the prison, outside the prison, they are people who need hospital
6 treatment for their wounds. They are in prison. I suspect we all agree
7 that they should not be in prison. The witness was receiving information
8 to that effect.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, in paragraph 4 it
10 is said that the seriously ill and wounded should be transferred to the
11 Mostar Hospital
12 wounded were wounded when working outside the camp, but possibly.
13 MR. LAWS
14 moment. What I'm saying is, when this witness received this information,
15 did it not occur to him to wonder why people were being wounded whilst
16 they were in the Heliodrom or wounded and then being taken to the
17 Heliodrom rather than to hospital? It's a fair question. He's come to
18 tell us that, in his opinion, the medical care was very good. These
19 documents, we suggest, show the contrary. And I can be allowed to ask
20 him that question, in my submission, and I would appreciate an answer.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
22 Doctor, can you answer the Prosecution's question?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We can't see anything from this. I
24 quite agree with what you said, Your Honour, but I'm here for the
25 Defence, but more than anything I am here for you, so that you are able
1 to take the right decision sometime in the future.
2 On this document, I was trying to show certain things that really
3 need to be understood, and it's difficult to understand them without
4 taking into account the whole situation that preceded this. It's very
5 important to note that at one of the collegium meetings in that month, we
6 discussed -- and this is the only meeting I remember discussing the topic
7 of Heliodrom, and until then we physicians had already intervened, and we
8 were a constant presence there. This is, in fact, proof, Your Honour,
9 that we continually, constantly monitored the situation, except for
10 Dr. Curic, who was there. And in addition to the medical point that was
11 organised there, in addition to all that, I sent those three physicians,
12 and they were not sending me this report as to a stranger. They know
13 very well who sent them there. I sent them as a follow-up of our
14 constant monitoring. And you see here below it says: "Enclosed, command
15 of the Health Centre of the 8th of September, 1993."
16 That is two days prior. That command, that order, is an order
17 that I personally signed. So they offer here a very important
18 instruction, how to proceed. They appraise everyone of the problem.
19 They send it to the office of the president, the Defence Department, the
20 Main Staff, the Health Sector. Why did they write "Health Sector"?
21 Because I sent them. The Office for Exchange, et cetera, and even the
22 director of the centre. They say that he was there together with them
23 during the inspection. And Dr. Pehar was there, who was outside the
24 brigade, and the other doctor who was working at the infirmary. So at
25 that time we had continuous supervision at Heliodrom.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Doctor, we have this
2 document saying that three doctors -- three doctors draft a report, and
3 in item 5 state that the seriously ill and wounded must be transferred to
4 the war hospital. Say I'm Mr. Mate Boban, I receive that report, because
5 that's sent to him, and I see item 4 and, okay, think, Well, this is
6 Mr. Bagaric's responsibility because he's a doctor. I'm Mr. Stojic, I
7 receive that letter, I look at item 4, and I say, well, this is a medical
8 question which is the responsibility of the Medical Sector, so this is
9 what I think. What do you think of that? I'm Mr. Tole from
10 headquarters, I can see it's medical, This is not my area of my
11 competence, it is the area of Dr. Bagaric.
12 So you're on the front-line there, and this is what the
13 Prosecution wants to ascertain. What did you do?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, we complied with this.
15 I don't remember specifically a specific document so as to be able to
16 show you, but I claim with full responsibility that within a day or two
17 this problem was solved. My commission and my people said that this
18 needed to be done, but not only that. They wrote many things with a view
19 to improving the health situation.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Dr. Bagaric, you're here as a witness, and your
21 task is to answer questions. Do you remember what the question is here?
22 The question is: Did you inquire -- did you wonder how come there are
23 these people wounded in Heliodrom? Why were they wounded? That is the
24 question. You talk at length around and beside, but you do not answer
25 the question. So would you please be so kind and to limit yourself to
1 precisely answer the question which is asked of you, full stop. When the
2 Prosecutor wants more comment, he asks you.
3 MR. LAWS
4 Q. Dr. Bagaric, you've just finished telling us that you would have
5 acted on this within a day or two and the problem would have been solved.
6 Would you turn, please, to document --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm a bit astonished, Mr. Laws. You asked the
8 question many lines ago. Now I ask the witness to answer the question,
9 and instead of letting him answer --
10 MR. LAWS
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- or wait whether he does, you go on.
12 MR. LAWS
13 thought you were giving him an instruction for the future, and I'm
14 turning to the next document in the sequence.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, the question is still unanswered.
16 MR. LAWS
17 witness would like to answer it --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes.
19 MR. LAWS
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I should -- I mean, I want to
22 It was a time where wounding was such a frequent occurrence in
23 all parts of town. Wounding, as wounding, did not cause surprise, or
24 wonderment, so on the 30th of September it was abundantly clear to
25 everyone that prisoners are used from time to time. I think that
1 everyone knew that prisoners performed certain jobs around the detention
2 centre, that shells were falling around, that people were exposed to risk
3 and got wounded. What was more important to me was to assess the
4 situation and redress irregularities than to go into the nature of
5 disease and wounding. The medical approach was more important.
6 MR. LAWS
7 document P502 --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on. Witness, there is
9 something important in this document, item 7, because obviously the
10 members of the commission wanted to place you under supervision, because
11 look at item number 7. They state that the Department of Defence had to
12 be informed of measures to be taken by the 1st of October at noon, and
13 then they add the reference to the fax number. So it is that
14 commission's view that there is an emergency and that action needs to be
15 taken. And earlier on, you said, Well, I did act, because everything was
16 settled, and this is important. Do you confirm that you have taken all
17 the necessary steps to implement this commission's recommendations?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under item 7, we have the telephone
19 number at my office. It's my office. We didn't leave this item 7 and
20 send it to the office of Mate Boban so that he reply. We wanted to
21 appraise him of the problem, and everyone was to address problems at
22 their level. So with regard to the health situation, of course that care
23 existed. We got information, what was done and how much progress was
24 made, and we constantly monitored that situation.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But, Doctor, by this answer do
1 you mean to say that it was up to Mr. Boban to give the green light,
2 because we are talking about medical issues?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. We didn't ask
4 him whether -- to intervene or not, medically. We wouldn't have asked
5 him, ever. We intervened without anyone's permission because it was a
6 priority, and this order wasn't created in agreement with Boban.
7 MS. NOZICA: Your Honour, if you allow me. Perhaps the
8 translation of item 7 is wrong that appears from your question, because
9 in item 7 it says:
10 "Inform the Defence Department on the aforementioned measures."
11 That's the telephone number for reporting on the measures taken.
12 We got translation from French that you asked, Were you informed of these
13 measures? On the contrary, this point provides the possibility for
14 others to inform the Defence Department.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that was our telephone to
16 which people could report on the measures.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Doctor, listening to you, the
18 doctor drafting the report suggests measures, and he's the one to
19 implement those?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He is the one who would
21 supervise their actions, their implementation. It doesn't depend on us
22 at the Health Sector. It depends on the doctor in the 3rd Brigade. It
23 depends -- it says, look, that the centre is in a very bad state. How is
24 it possible for prisoners to be used for labour, whereas the centre
25 itself is not clean and tidy? We came to the centre, and we put the
1 health situation of the people there under constant supervision, and to
2 the best of our abilities, we were rather successful. For that part, I
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Fine.
6 MR. LAWS
7 Q. Thank you. Could we turn to document P05812. P05812. It's a
8 letter dated the 11th of October of 1993 to Bruno Stojic, and I would ask
9 you, please, to find the paragraph numbered 2. You'll see that at the
10 foot of the letter, it's over the name of Stanko Bozic. Can you find
11 paragraph 2, Doctor?
12 A. I think so. Please quote. I think so, yes.
13 Q. It says that there's severe wounding and other suffering of the
15 "A. A large number of wounded detainees need the kind of medical
16 attention that can only be administered at hospital, which we are unable
17 to provide."
18 Then it goes on to deal again with the problem of supply of
19 medical equipment and so forth.
20 Can we try to take this one quite shortly? You agree with me
21 that if Stanko Bozic is right, then the problem of people with wounds who
22 need hospitalisation is continuing?
23 A. Speaking of this segment of health security, of course the
24 situation was not ideal either there or in Mostar, certainly not.
25 Mr. Bozic is not right when he speaks of the Health Sector, with two
1 doctors at the centre, plus extra doctors from outside who report to us
2 at the same time and say that from the point of view of health support
3 and health protection, the situation is quite satisfactory. Of course,
4 in other circumstances it would not have been satisfactory, but for that
5 situation that prevailed there, it was different. Our representative
6 talked tete-a-tete with the doctors who worked there, and then in
7 cooperation with our physicians they kept improving and improving the
8 measures. There was always room for improvement.
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: Yes, Mr. Laws, I would like to ask a question
10 about this very paragraph issue refers to. That is on the English text,
11 of course, page 2, paragraph 2, and I don't know why, but there are two
12 As there, and the second one I am referring to, and there is a remark.
13 And I would like to ask the witness to concentrate on that remark, and it
14 is being stated, and I quote:
15 "The International Committee of the Red Cross visited the SVZ on
16 the 10th, 11th and 12th August 1993 and pointed out a number of
17 irregularities that also constitute violations of the Geneva
19 And here is the first item, sub-point A, which says that:
20 "The use of detainees for work."
21 We have already -- end of quotation. We have already talked
22 about the possibility -- rather, we talked about the very fact that there
23 were wounded detainees there, but of course it was not clear what was the
24 causes of their wounds, et cetera.
25 Now, I wonder if you have -- this report was, of course, sent to
1 you, and -- rather, to Mr. Bruno Stojic, but you received it as well, and
2 I wonder if you have not looked at it at that time and if you had -- if
3 you had done anything to, in a way, to see to it that the detainees
4 should not be used for work. It is my question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour, but I have
6 here a document that was sent to Bruno Stojic. That's what's written
7 here. And the next document that you're probably referring to begins
8 with item 2, but it has no heading. Is that the same document, or
9 perhaps the pages are not properly organised in my version? They must
10 be. Just a minute. In my version, I have 1, then 6 and 7 and 8. That's
11 what confused me. The last page should be -- should come last, and in my
12 version it's in the middle. That's what confused me.
13 So this document was received by Bruno Stojic and Zarko Tole.
14 This is the 11th of October, a long time after the setting up of that
15 centre for isolation or prison. So if this indeed happened as
16 Stanko Bozic is saying, then all those who should have known about it
17 certainly knew.
18 I'm trying to say that my job, as a doctor, was first of all to
19 organise health protection inside, and that people who needed medical
20 assistance should be brought to the hospital. And I guarantee here that
21 it all functioned well even when I was not there, because everyone had
22 their very clear assignment. But, of course, I don't remember who was
23 wounded, how, and what kind of injuries they had, but I say with full
24 responsibility that under the circumstances, we created excellent
25 conditions for medical staff.
1 Once, I spoke to one of the detainees, who was a physician
2 himself, who told me openly, We did a great job, and he was referring to
3 me and himself and all those who were there.
4 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you. Dr. Bagaric, at the same time I
5 would like to refer back to an earlier document which we have seen and
6 which was addressed to you by Mr. Bozic, and in that he makes reference
7 to the impending visit of the ICRC delegation, and therefore he asks you,
8 and of course other colleagues, to do something with the wounded. So
9 these two documents are very much interrelated, and that is why I asked
10 you this question. I am not quite convinced that you have, in a way,
11 taken care at that time about the -- I mean, not personally you, but I
12 mean your service, if you had done the necessary actions and took the
13 necessary actions either to take care of the wounded, but of course I
14 also took note of your answer. Thank you.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm sorry. Before we
16 get too far ahead, I just want to say that not the entire answer of the
17 witness is recorded. On page 79, he said the document is addressed to
18 Bruno Stojic, if he ever received it. It's very important to me, and
19 it's not on the record.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I need, if you allow me to, to
21 provide a clarification with regard to what the honourable Judge said,
22 for the sake of the full truth.
23 The first letter by Bruno Stojic on the 29th September, where he
24 says there is not enough medicine, and on the 30th of September our
25 commission goes out and, together with him, inspects the situation, and
1 they say that the supply of medicines is quite adequate, so it looks --
2 this looks to me like a standard form letter. There is a shortage of
3 medicine, there is no shortage of medicine, et cetera. I appreciate his
4 concern, but, Your Honours, it was more important to me what physicians
5 have to say about that.
6 And, second, the first thing was written on the 29th September
7 and the second thing on the 11th of October, quite a while after. By
8 that time, every sick person and every wounded person was transferred for
9 proper treatment. I don't know if there were any more woundings after
10 that, but if there were, we intervened; if not me, personally, those who
11 had the assignment.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to take
13 a break for 20 minutes.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.51 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.11 p.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, Mr. Laws, you have
17 the floor.
18 MR. LAWS
19 Q. Dr. Bagaric, I'm going to ask you a few very short questions, and
20 can we try and make a little progress with "yes" or "no." They're going
21 to be very easy.
22 Is it right that you never went to the Dretelj prison?
23 A. Never.
24 Q. Thank you. Is it right that you never went to Gabela?
25 A. Never, it is right.
1 Q. And it's the same answer for Ljubuski?
2 A. Same answer.
3 Q. But your colleague, Dr. 2-AB [sic], was going to each of those
4 facilities, was he not?
5 A. This is in line with what I was already talking about. We were
6 continuously monitoring what was happening in the detention centres and
7 prisons, and so on and so forth. We engaged local physicians from the
8 local units regularly and continuously. Within the detention centres, we
9 formed the points which employed detainees doctors, (redacted)
10 (redacted), was in charge of the coordination of all these
11 tasks, and I regularly received his reports and together talked with him
12 I talked about that, and that's why I didn't go there myself. And the
13 gentleman whom you mentioned, he did, because that's -- that was part of
14 our agreement.
15 Q. Yes. And he was going there in his capacity as a member of your
16 staff, your subordinate, to write reports which came to you and to the
17 Health Sector; is that right?
18 A. It is true that he submitted reports and he sent them to several
19 addresses. Based on his reports, I also issued certain commands and
20 orders with regard to the improvements that he thought were necessary.
21 Q. Would you turn, please, to document P04756?
22 A. 04?
23 Q. 04756.
24 A. [In English] No, I cannot find. [Interpretation] I apologise to
25 the Trial Chamber. Can I say one thing that is very important? I
1 omitted saying this before, and this is the last time I'm asking you for
2 such thing. I've noticed something very important that I would like to
3 deal with, and it refers to the previous document dated 11 October 1993,
4 issued by Mr. Bozic.
5 Mr. Bozic writes about something based on which the Judge could
6 conclude that nothing had been undertaken. However, I adhere by my
7 previous words and I continue repeating that we continuously monitored
8 the situation.
9 However, in item 2, Bozic himself says what the Committee of the
10 Red Cross on the 10th/11th of December saw and what they pointed out. It
11 says "taking prisoners to work." Secondly, the quality and quantity of
12 food and improvements. Number 3, bad conditions in solitary cells. None
13 of the three things fall within the purview of the healthcare sector or
14 the doctors that were in charge of implementing that. This is very
15 important and it should be recorded.
16 He is talking about the healthcare situation, I understand his
17 concern. However, this report issued by the Red Cross confirms that what
18 he's talking about, from the medical point of view, was not the way he
19 describes it. And I would like to finish with that, and I apologise for
20 this intervention. So we are talking about his document, that document
21 that we discussed previously. I'd like to thank you. Thank you very
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for these
25 MR. LAWS
1 Q. Well, since you raise it, Dr. Bagaric, of course it was not your
2 role to feed the detainees within the HVO prisons, but your section
3 learnt that they were being inadequately fed and that they were becoming
4 malnourished as a result, didn't it?
5 A. Yes, there were such problems, and it is true that an order was
6 issued to remove that problem. This is not a direct healthcare issue,
7 but it could have an impact on health, and this was sent to the warden,
8 to the doctors who were there, and to all the others who were in charge
9 of that issue. This was a direct recommendation by our commission to do
10 that, and according to what I know and the subsequent reports, you can
11 see that the situation with that regard considerably improved at the
12 Heliodrom. There was still certain problems every now and then, but
13 generally speaking, that problem was being dealt with and finally became
14 rather satisfactory.
15 Q. We spent quite a lot of time with your colleague 2D-AB on the
16 topic of nourishment. The position in other centres, do you agree with
17 me, was simply appalling? We can take it as quickly as that, can't we ?
18 A. According to his reports, I can't say that the situation was
19 appalling, but it was not satisfactory. Every now and then, it was not
20 satisfactory and efforts were made to remove all the problems, to point
21 to the problem and help with that.
22 Q. I don't want to do the same exercise as I did before, but not
23 satisfactory is one thing. People were reduced to shocking physical
24 states as a result of their detention by the HVO. That's what it comes
25 down to, isn't it? You know that, don't you, Doctor?
1 A. I heard that some people were indeed quite malnourished.
2 Q. And so if we look, please, at document P04756 --
3 A. Please repeat the number. I apologise.
4 Q. I think we turned it up just a few moments ago. It should be the
5 one open in front of you. These are the minutes --
6 A. [In English] Yeah, okay, okay.
7 Q. These are the minutes of the heads of the Defence Department held
8 on the 2nd of September, 1993
9 turn to see item 4, we can see that you were there?
10 A. Yes, I was at the meeting.
11 Q. And I think you looked at this briefly when Ms. Nozica was asking
12 you questions. Under item 3, and it's page 4 of the English and it's
13 page 3 in the B/C/S, we have an entry:
14 "Military prisons are another example of very bad work. The head
15 took the floor and said ..."
16 Can you see those words?
17 A. Please continue. I'm looking, and I'm sure I'll find it.
18 Q. You're looking, good.
19 "My opinion is that we have two military prisons."
20 Can you see those words?
21 A. I'm listening. Go on, go on.
22 Q. "Heliodrom -- Heliodrom and the military prison Ljubuski. As for
23 the other places where detainees are held, Gabela and Dretelj, I do not
24 consider them as military facilities and refuse to personally endorse the
25 work of these institutions."
1 Can you see those words?
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 Q. But your colleague, Witness 2D-AB, had been inspecting those
4 facilities as your subordinate as a member of the Department of Defence,
5 hadn't he?
6 A. Yes, a member of the Health Sector of the Defence Department.
7 Q. So did it not strike you as odd in that meeting that the head of
8 that department was saying, actually, that they weren't his
10 A. Again, I have to elaborate. I won't be long, I promise. I see
11 that your time is very precious.
12 I remember that meeting. That was the first time that I heard of
13 the form of something being military or non-military. This follows up on
14 my yesterday's words, when I said that I didn't know whether something
15 was a detainee centre, a central prison, an isolation centre or whatever.
16 It was at that time that I was able to make a distinction between a
17 central prison in Ljubuski, and in that case the head had in mind the
18 Defence Department that he was in charge with, and he was talking about
19 his responsibility, or the responsibility of the Defence Department. And
20 as for the other centres, he believed that he -- or he actually didn't
21 know what that was all about, he didn't know who was behind them, and so
22 on and so forth.
23 However, Your Honours, I, as a physician, and I'm talking from
24 that point of view, I really did not care and it didn't make any
25 difference as to who had established any of them. I don't know whether
1 there are any documents signed by anybody about their establishment.
2 What mattered to us was to be present there all the time in order to
3 improve the healthcare and the condition of health.
4 Two months before this meeting, until the end of the year, you
5 will find all the 20 documents talking about efforts that were made in
6 order to improve the situation. When Mr. Stojic says that he does not
7 deny their existence, he's talking more about the formal responsibility,
8 who should be formally in charge of each of them, and that's how I
9 personally understood his words. That's what I believed at the time.
10 Q. Well, who was going to be in charge of them if not him?
11 A. Honestly, I don't know, especially from the position of the times
12 which were as they were. And all the time as we're talking about that,
13 you have to bear that in mind that the situation was really difficult,
14 and I claim with full responsibility that nobody could control the
15 overall situation.
16 I personally, when I said that it was not the Defence Department,
17 I said that yesterday or the day before yesterday, what I meant, I was
18 talking within the context of never having heard that a decision of that
19 sort or -- was either made or signed by the Defence Department. I never
20 saw such a decision. Nobody put me abreast of any such decision. Nobody
21 ever asked for my opinion. Given the area of responsibility of certain
22 units and the doctors who, in one way or another, looked after the
23 healthcare needs, there we established our contacts with them and the
24 detained doctors. I personally issued an order to establish points later
25 on, and before that, the supervision was constant. And this is all I
1 know about the responsibility, and which detention centres belonged to
2 whom and who was responsible, and when I say "responsible," I mean in
3 charge of.
4 Q. Just the previous month, your colleague 2D-AB had been in
5 Dretelj, and now the person who's the head of his department is saying he
6 doesn't endorse that facility. Didn't it at the time strike you as odd,
7 as unusual, 2D-AB had been working on behalf of the department?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, at this point I'm going to object.
9 First, it's been asked and answered. He's already indicated that
10 as a physician, he did not hear as far as who was responsible for the
11 facilities. As a physician, he cared for the individuals. So I think
12 the question has been asked and answered.
13 MR. LAWS
14 physician, is not really the question. The question is: What did he
15 think when Stojic said it was nothing to do with him?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: He's already asked and answered that question as
18 MR. LAWS
19 satisfactory. He's talked about a large number of other details and not
20 answered that question. It's a straightforward question. He hasn't
21 answered it at all.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I leave it for the Trial Chamber to decide.
23 But as far as I understand, he answered to the best of his ability.
24 Whether it's satisfactory to the Prosecution or not, that's another
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are right, Mr. Karnavas,
2 this is another matter.
3 Mr. Laws, you can continue.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I just wish to say that I do not agree with this
5 decision. I think the Prosecutor would have been right to go on. But I
6 guess that I'm in a minority, but just for the record.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no, not at all. There must
8 be a mistake between Judges. We are not forbidding the Prosecution to
9 continue. If he wanted to insist on the problem, he may continue. I
10 didn't say the opposite. On the other hand, I just wanted to hasten on
11 what Mr. Karnavas had said.
12 You may continue, Mr. Laws.
13 MR. LAWS
14 Q. Cast your mind back, Dr. Bagaric. You're in a meeting with the
15 head of your department, and he's saying, Those prisons aren't anything
16 to do with me. Didn't it strike you as odd that the same department had
17 been inspecting them? That's the question that I've asked. Could you
18 try to answer it, please?
19 A. Yes, absolutely, absolutely. At that meeting, I didn't find
20 anything strange. Personally, it really didn't matter to me who was
21 responsible for what centre. I knew, even at that time when we were at
22 that meeting, Your Honours, that our doctors and me personally, although
23 I was not directly responsible, it was not my direct responsibility;
24 however, I knew that we had undertaken all the measures that I've already
25 spoken about at great length. I personally issued orders to do this,
1 that, or the other. The gist of that was a continuous healthcare and
2 surveillance, and my -- the person in charge was my colleague, and you
3 know who it was.
4 And now the answer to your question, how did he go there. He was
5 in charge of preventive medicine in the Service for Hygiene and
6 Epidemiology in all the units of the Croatian Defence Council. All the
7 facilities which were in the areas of responsibility of these units were
8 also his responsibility. For example, he would go and inspect the
9 brigade, and he would also inspect, for example, a refugee centre which
10 was within that brigade, or a detention centre. And together with his
11 colleagues, doctors, he regularly controlled the healthcare situation
12 there. That would be my answer to you.
13 Q. Very well. Can we turn to the topic, please, of humanitarian
14 aid, about which you spoke at some length yesterday and the day before,
15 and I want to understand what your position is.
16 You're here saying that you helped East Mostar with medicine and
17 with supplies?
18 A. Yes, I said so, whenever I could, and even if I could do more, I
19 would have. I'm very sad and I'm very hurt that my proposal that I
20 tendered was not adopted, because there would be less war and less evil
21 if it had been adopted. If the hospital in the centre of town could have
22 been used as a joint hospital, that would have put an end to the war in
24 Q. You blame the international organisations for not doing enough to
1 A. I didn't blame them. I am grateful to them. We had a little
2 celebration of three years of war healthcare after the war, and I
3 officially recognised their efforts. They are the people who had left
4 their homes in Europe
5 whatever they did, I will be eternally grateful to them. However, I
6 believe that some of those organisations could have been much more
7 efficient. This is my experience, and I would like somebody to look at
8 that and to see how humanitarian work could be improved in the future.
9 This is what I was talking about.
10 Q. The word that you used was "disappointed" in them, in the
11 international organisations?
12 A. I may have been disappointed every now and then, but now I've
13 told you something that I believe is the closest to the truth.
14 Q. And you also added, and it's the transcript page 82 of that day's
15 evidence, that the Muslims didn't want to cooperate because they would
16 not have been able to enjoy the reputation of victims. Do you recall
17 saying that?
18 A. I know what you're talking about, but this is not what I said. I
19 said that I was always wondering how come there was no reply from the
20 other side. When I asked UNPROFOR and the International Red Cross and
21 the international representatives whether we were going to do something,
22 for example, when I met as the person number one -- I am sorry to be
23 sidetracking here, and I say with full responsibility that I offered very
24 many times to meet to -- with the person number one on the other side,
25 and this never materialised, and I wondered why that was. And I assumed
1 that the doctors of the BH Army were not the ones who blocked those
2 talks. I believe that it was somebody else. A politician very high up
3 above them made those decisions and told them that they couldn't do that,
4 because if you do that, then Croats will not be as evil as they wanted us
5 to be at the time, because that was the message that they wanted to send
6 to the world about the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is so
8 Your Honours, to this very day, Croats are -- do not enjoy a
9 satisfying situation. During the war, Croats were halved in Bosnia
11 And if we were an animal species that was halved, I believe that we
12 would --
13 Q. Well, I am going to have to stop you there, Dr. Bagaric. You're
14 now telling us about the reduction in Croat --
15 A. I apologise.
16 Q. -- population, and I'm asking you about something that you said
17 and asking you to confirm that part of the blame for what happened in
18 East Mostar must be placed at the door of the Muslims, themselves. And,
19 in essence, that is what you're saying, is it not?
20 A. That's not what I said. At least that's not how I said it.
21 Q. Well, what part of it have I misunderstood? A politician --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: That's my whole point, Your Honour. He's
23 misstating the record. He talked about they were getting orders from the
24 higher up, so he's blaming higher political officials.
25 MR. LAWS
1 MR. KARNAVAS: So if he's going to say Muslims, which we're
2 talking everybody. It's like saying Croats or Serbs or whatever. You
3 know, there's a big difference between the people and some high-level
4 officials that are calling the shots. So if he wants to be precise and
5 if he wants to get a precise answer from the gentleman, and not make him
6 appear as if he's trying to be evasive, which seems to be part of the
7 tactic here, then I suggest that he asks precise questions.
8 I know the tactic, Your Honours. This is what happens: The
9 witness doesn't want to answer because he sees Muslims in the general.
10 He's talked about political authorities at the very top. So I would
11 kindly ask for the Trial Chamber to direct the Prosecutor to be precise
12 when quoting what the witness has stated.
13 Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, yes, that's
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in your previous
17 answer, was it an accurate, specific answer, or does it need to be
18 complemented because Mr. Karnavas has taken the floor? Had you fully
19 answered the Prosecution's question or did you want to qualify and to add
20 things to your answer?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think counsel interpreted my
22 position correctly. I think that's the problem, that's where the problem
23 lies. I cannot blame the Muslims. I'm blaming the leadership, which was
24 making political decisions at the time, decisions that were affecting
25 people on the ground, the Croats and Muslims at war. That's what I
1 meant, and that's why, when the Prosecutor asked the question the way he
2 did, I said I believed it was not entirely true.
3 MR. LAWS
5 Q. Are you saying that somebody with political influence over the
6 people living in East Mostar, somebody in that position was trying to
7 bring about a situation where the people in East Mostar would not be
8 helped? Is that the effect of it?
9 A. If one side of Mostar is suffering, both sides are affected, but
10 one is affected more. We were faring better on the east than the other
11 side. If one side has all the possibilities to resolve the problem of
12 the other side, and the other side is not responding, I said I held that
13 someone up there on the political level must have decided that this
14 should not be done. That's what I meant, and I have nothing to add.
15 Q. Thank you. I'm going to explore with you, in the course of the
16 rest of today and into tomorrow, a completely different proposition,
17 Dr. Bagaric, and it's this: that the HVO brought about the conditions in
18 East Mostar and they saw to it that those conditions remained appalling
19 for month after month. That's the case that I'm going to put to you. Do
20 you understand that?
21 A. I understand, but I don't accept. I don't think that is the
22 truth, at least not the entire truth. The whole truth would be that
23 before the conflict in Mostar, there had been a conflict in the valley of
24 the Neretva River
25 a horrendous crime, not only in Grabovica but in that entire area, and
1 step by step they were advancing toward Mostar. Therefore, if it had
2 transpired, and I'm speaking as someone who was there all that time and
3 who never knew whether they would live to see the next day, if the Muslim
4 forces had been a little stronger, they would have taken Mostar and
5 continued on to Capljina, because their politicians were not even ashamed
6 to say it openly. So the whole situation was caused by that conflict,
7 which was pure war. If there had been no resistance from the Croatian
8 side, from the Croat side, then this would have happened entirely
9 differently. And I'm sorry that these things happened at all, of course.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm mindful of the
11 time, because I absolutely want your evidence to be over by tomorrow, but
12 there is something important on which I need to respond.
13 You say that if the Muslims had taken Mostar, they could have
14 gone on until Capljina, and you said that this didn't happen on account
15 of the resistance. Does that mean that had there not been a resistance
16 from the Croats, the Muslims would have taken Mostar and would have taken
17 control over the whole territory?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm convinced of that.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll look into military
20 aspects with General Praljak when he testifies. I'll come back to that
21 matter then.
22 Prosecutor, you can go on.
23 MR. LAWS
24 Q. I want to look with you, please, at the blockade of East Mostar
25 as I'm going to call it, and at the difficulties that there were in
1 getting aid and supplies into East Mostar. All right? That's the topic,
2 and I'm going to start, please, by looking at two documents from the
3 Defence binder that you were provided with on Monday, the larger binder,
4 and we're going to look just a little bit at the position in West Mostar
5 We start with 2D00714, please, 2D00714.
6 And, Dr. Bagaric, can you help us, please. Towards the end of
7 the first paragraph on the first page, we have a sentence which reads:
8 "During the previous week, the Central Medicines Depot received
9 four valuable shipments of humanitarian aid ..."
10 Can you see that?
13 the top, you can see on the left-hand margin there's the number "20.000."
14 Can you see that?
15 A. Yes, yes, I can see it now.
16 Q. So during the previous week, the Central Medicines Depot, this is
17 of the hospital on the west bank, received four valuable shipments of
18 humanitarian aid, totalling around 20.000 Deutschemarks in value; yes?
19 A. Yes, it's written there.
20 Q. Immediately before that is:
21 "The supply of medicines and medical supplies at the HVO
22 RB Mostar is satisfactory."
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Next sentence?
25 Q. The sentence immediately before:
1 "The supply of medicines and medical supplies ... is
3 All right, so that's --
4 A. Yes, yes, I see it.
5 Q. That's the week 7th to 13th September. If you turn on, please,
6 to 2D00738, that's a document in which you're reporting to Bruno Stojic
7 for the week August 3rd to August 10th, and again medical materials and
8 medicines supply for the war hospital HVO Mostar is satisfactory. And
9 then in the past week, the Central Drugs Warehouse of the Main Medical
10 HQ, Croatian Community HB, accepted eight valuable drug shipments from
11 donations worth around 500.000 Deutschemarks?
12 A. Yes, I can see that.
13 Q. And the position so far, as access to Mostar for supplies coming
14 to the hospital on the west bank, was that if people wanted to send
15 assistance to you, they could?
16 A. Yes, that's correct, but at this point I have to tell the Court
17 what the truth is about this 500.000 Deutschemark.
18 After the war, I was president of the board of the hospital in
19 Mostar. These 500.000 Deutschemark -- this was written by those who sent
20 us the medication, but out of those 500.000, we actually had some losses
21 to dispose of that rubbish. I don't know the exact figure, but I know
22 that the hospital spent a lot of money, and I'm not making this up. It
23 was in the newspapers at the time. This was medication whose shelf life
24 had expired. A truck comes from Germany
25 there. And you even have to say, Thank you. But we still had stocks of
1 that after the war, and it cost us a lot to take it to waste disposal
2 facilities in various places. But the Prosecutor is right, we were in a
3 much better situation as far as medical supplies are concerned than the
4 other side in Mostar.
5 Q. But those shipments had no difficulty getting through to you, did
7 A. They were unusable, most of them. The overwhelming majority of
8 these medicines were unusable, but of course we received shipments of
10 Q. You were in, as you say, a much better position on the west bank
11 than was the case on the east bank?
12 A. Correct, I agree.
13 Q. Is the reason for that that the HVO controlled access to Mostar?
14 A. I think the better question would be: Was this caused by the
15 war? And the answer is yes, the war is the real reason. In the
16 circumstances, the west side of Mostar had a hinterland, a large area in
17 depth shielded from the war, whereas the east side had a front-line
18 running through it, and of course under those circumstances it was
19 difficult to get through to the east side of Mostar. That's common
20 knowledge. And it didn't depend only on HVO, whether something is able
21 to get through or not; it also depended on the other side. That's where
22 the front-line was.
23 Q. The HVO could agree for a convoy of humanitarian aid to come
24 through its territory and to the east bank or it could withhold that
25 agreement; is that not the case, Dr. Bagaric?
1 A. I don't know. It's a very tricky question, so I can't answer
2 with a yes or no.
3 Q. Well, have a look with me, please, at P04527 [Realtime transcript
4 read in error "P024527"], it's in the same binder that you're -- no,
5 sorry. It's in the smaller binder that you had today, the Prosecution's
6 binder, P04527 [Realtime transcript read in error "P024527"].
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what we can see there is a document dated the 26th of August
9 of 1993, and it's headed "Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
10 Defence Department, Military Police Administration, Mostar." Can you see
12 A. I can see that.
13 Q. And the order is to this effect:
14 "On all border crossings and in the entire territory controlled
15 by the 5th Military Police Battalion, ensure a free passage, freedom of
16 movement for personnel carriers, foreign journalists, humanitarian
17 organisations' officials, and all other citizens who possess movement
18 clearances signed by the following individuals."
19 Then we have a list of names. Bruno Stojic is somebody who can
20 grant one of those permits, Slobodan Bozic, from whom we've heard,
21 Ivo Lucic, Mr. Praljak, Mr. Petkovic, Mr. Tole, and then at number 9,
23 A. Yes, that's me, my name.
24 Q. And that's definitely you?
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, because I'm so meticulous sometimes.
1 Page 89, line 12 and 13, two times a wrong number appears for the
2 document. The "2" must be omitted. It is P04527.
3 MR. LAWS
4 Q. Dr. Bagaric, you were one of those who could give authorisation
5 for humanitarian organisations' officials to pass through the territory
6 of Herceg-Bosna, according to this order; is that right?
7 A. That's not right. Your Honours, this -- first of all, I have
8 never seen this document before, but it doesn't matter. I was certainly
9 one of the people -- I was the person who led the Health Sector. I
10 frequently begged people for this or that.
11 What does this mean? Physicians come from various places and
12 want to pass through to the hospital, and of course since it was a war
13 zone, people's documents were checked and their movements were checked.
14 I was personally the one who frequently asked for such approvals, and
15 people naturally thought that I could provide certain signatures for our
16 medical needs. But if you look at this carefully, it says "at all border
17 crossings." They were not towards the East Mostar, they were towards the
18 Republic of Croatia
19 transfers of our patients to other hospitals.
20 What I said about this Ms. Sally Baker, whoever addressed me and
21 I was able to help, I always helped, but those were individual requests
22 and they were not frequent, because it made no sense to ask a doctor for
23 that. So that was primarily for the purpose of ensuring or providing
24 medical assistance.
25 Q. When the HVO wanted to deny access for humanitarian aid, it was
1 very straightforward. They simply didn't grant a permit. That's the
2 position, isn't it?
3 A. I don't think it was exactly that way.
4 MR. LAWS
5 this tomorrow, but that might be an appropriate moment.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In terms of time, you have
7 another hour and 40 minutes, approximately. The Registrar is going to
8 calculate this, Prosecution.
9 Witness, I have noticed that your answers are very long.
10 Tomorrow, since we're all concerned with time, I'll ask you to be shorter
11 in your answers and try and avoid political reasonings. I know that
12 you're a politician and that you're a good speaker, but please be
13 extremely concise so that the Prosecution can ask a question and have a
14 specific answer, so that he can move on to something else quickly. So
15 please make an effort. But I'm sure you will manage.
16 I'll give the floor to my colleague.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I apologise to the parties for being absent
18 tomorrow due to an academic engagement.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There will be no extra time.
20 Your evidence will finish tomorrow. The Prosecution will have an hour
21 and 45 minutes. I hope that he will endeavour to reduce time. I'm sure
22 that the Stojic Defence has additional questions, redirect questions, but
23 I hope that this will take place very quickly.
24 So I wish you all a pleasant evening, and I'll see you all
25 tomorrow at 2.15.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
3 April, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.