1 Thursday, 23 April 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Coric and Prlic not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please call the case,
8 Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
10 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
11 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 So this Thursday I greet the accused, the counsel, and all the
14 representatives of the Prosecution offices and all the persons who assist
16 [No interpretation]
17 It would be very useful if we could break around 4.00. We would
18 have 20 minutes' break, and we would resume at 20 minutes past 6.00 [as
19 interpreted], and we could finish at 6.00 if possible.
20 The Prosecution.
21 MR. LAWS
22 everyone in and around the courtroom.
23 WITNESS: IVAN BAGARIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Laws: [Continued]
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bagaric?
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Sir, the document that we were looking at yesterday, which was
4 P04527, and we were looking together, you and I, at the names of the
5 people who had the authority to grant free passage and freedom of
6 movement for, amongst other things, humanitarian organisations.
7 We saw you at number 9. We saw the names of some of the accused.
8 At number 3, Ivo Lucic, a gentleman who was also at the Tomislavgrad
9 meeting that we looked at the very beginning of my questioning of you
10 yesterday in December 1991. Do you remember that?
11 A. You mean the meeting?
12 Q. Yes. Ivo Lucic, the gentleman there at number 3, he was also at
13 that meeting that we spent some time looking at, the meeting in
15 A. I remember the meeting. I was at the meeting, but I'm not sure
16 that Ivo Lucic was there also. I don't remember Ivo Lucic being there.
17 Q. Well, I'm not going to take our time to check it now. We have
18 the document, and the transcript will show.
19 At number 8, Veso Vegar, was the head of the administration for
20 information and propaganda; is that right?
21 A. I don't know whether that is right or not. I believe that he was
22 in charge of the department that I was in charge of addressing the media
23 or talking to the media, something to that effect.
24 Q. Thank you. I wanted to ask you about him, because do you recall
25 when we looked at a document that Ms. Nozica showed to you, the document
1 in which the ABiH write to you asking for aid? It's our
2 document 2D00122. It's in -- I'm so sorry. It's in -- perhaps if we
3 could just bring it up on the screen. 2D0122. This is the letter from
4 Arif Pasalic that we looked at that's dated the 9th of June and which
5 appears to have led to you sending a quantity of medicines to the east
6 bank. Do you recall that? Can you just look with me at the first
7 paragraph of the text of the letter where it says:
8 "Considering that through the media you announced the medical
9 cooperation and aid to the wounded and sick persons, we hereby address
10 you as follows."
11 Can you help us just a little bit with that, please, Dr. Bagaric.
12 The letter seems to be suggesting that the HVO, perhaps the HVO medical
13 staff to whom it's addressed, but certainly the HVO, have been announcing
14 through the media that they'll help the other side. Was that what was
15 going on in June of 1993?
16 A. On the 9th of June, and this was on the 9th of June, I already
17 spoke about this document, and I said that prior to that, we had offered
18 help to the east side, and I suppose that this is the answer to our
19 previous offer of cooperation, the cooperation that I have been talking
21 Q. Now, Dr. Bagaric, yesterday, I'm not criticising you in any way
22 at all, but you and I perhaps spent longer dealing with some topics that
23 then was necessary, and the President of the Tribunal asked you last
24 night if you could just try to answer the question that I'm asking you,
25 and the question is this: Where we see Arif Pasalic writing that someone
1 on your side has been making announcements through the media about giving
2 aid and medical cooperation, I'm asking you if that had happened, that at
3 about this time in 1993, on behalf of the HVO, announcements were being
4 made in the media to that effect. I'm not asking you a question that
5 could be answered by the answer that you gave.
6 A. Yes, yes. On the 9th of June, of course I can't say whether this
7 was announced at that time. However, I assume that our openness for
8 cooperation was made known through the media, and then the response to
9 that was this request, I suppose.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you help us as one of the people who was in
11 Mostar dealing with these issues, was Veso Vegar himself involved in
12 announcements of that kind?
13 A. I don't know. I wouldn't know that. I assume that this was
14 aired on one or the two radios without Veso Vegar, because both the west
15 side and the east side had their respective radio stations, and --
16 Q. All right. Thank you. Can I put this to you, you have a think
17 about it and then you tell us what you think: In the summer of 1993,
18 aid, medical aid, humanitarian aid, had become a political issue. What
19 do you think about that, Dr. Bagaric?
20 A. Yesterday I spoke about that, and I said that to a certain extent
21 the east side, i.e., the Muslim leadership, in a certain way did not
22 match our request -- our offers for assistance, and I thought this was a
23 political issue. I thought that such orders for non-implementations
24 arrived from the top of the political leadership. That's what I was
25 talking about.
1 Q. Thank you. And it had become a political issue for the HVO as
2 well, hadn't it?
3 A. I believe that I'm convinced, rather, that this was never an
4 issue that the HVO had a position similar to the position of the other
5 side in this particular case. So I wouldn't say that the answer is
6 positive, no.
7 Q. The international community were making representations in a
8 number of different places, but those representations were to the effect
9 that East Mostar should be assisted, and you, the HVO, and those with
10 control of the aid to Mostar, you knew about that, didn't you? And you
11 were under pressure, weren't you?
12 A. I personally was under no pressure, and I can only speak on my
13 own behalf. Whoever addressed me from the international community in
14 terms of the transport of the wounded or some other activities, I helped
15 as much as I could.
16 Your Honours, when I addressed the generals who are present here
17 today and when I conveyed the message of the others who needed my help,
18 then I was given their support, and I was able to provide that help. I
19 don't know of any other requests of the sort.
20 Q. Well, I'm going to suggest to you that there was pressure, both
21 locally and at international level, and I'm going to ask you to look with
22 me, please, at this document, P05080.
23 A. [In English] I will find it. It's okay. Yeah.
24 Q. It's another presidential transcript, and this transcript tell us
25 that Mate Boban is at the presidential palace of Franjo Tudjman on the
1 15th of September, 1993, and the delegation of the Croatia Republic of
2 Herceg-Bosna is welcomed by him, and he goes on to say, does
3 President Tudjman, that Croatia was under pressure, official pressure,
4 from the EU as a whole and from individual states. And we're going to
5 see the topics in just a moment:
6 "Over the past 14 days, I received at least five or six Official
7 Notes from the European Union, the United States of America, France, and
8 Germany. They all requested that we make as many concessions to the
9 Muslims as possible, and they all threatened us with sanctions because of
10 the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 "They even went as far as sending us a warning that they would
12 cancel our special-guest status at the European Council Assembly."
13 And then these words:
14 "In such, they clearly put your camps and humanitarian convoys
15 and so on in the first place."
16 Can you see that?
17 A. I can see that.
18 Q. And that is a record of Mr. Tudjman telling the Herceg-Bosna
19 delegation that he's under a great deal of pressure because a lot of
20 different countries in the EU are very concerned, particularly about the
21 camps, and we dealt with them yesterday, and about humanitarian convoys.
22 And I want to ask you this: Isn't the position that pressure of that
23 kind, as relayed by Tudjman to Boban, made its way down to the ground in
24 Mostar and that from time to time of course some aid was allowed through?
25 That's the true position, isn't it?
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to you
2 and to my learned friend Laws. It seems to me that it's necessary to
3 point out something that my learned friend Karnavas pointed out as
4 happening; that is, laying the factual basis for a question, and in that
5 way to 2D122, which is Bruno Stojic Defence document is tied with events
6 which took place in the summer of 1993 and then the next question refers
7 to the month of September 1993. The Trial Chamber knows only too well
8 that on the 30th of June, 1993, was the break point in the relationship
9 between the HVO and the BH Army. And any question that ignores that fact
10 or makes an attempt to portray something that was happening in the summer
11 of 1993 as something that was happening in June of that year simply is
12 not correct. I believe that this should be recorded, and I would kindly
13 ask the Trial Chamber to intervene in that sense.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Alaburic. You needn't
15 say so. The Judges are perfectly informed of this. If you want to say
16 it in a very open way, you could come back on this question. Here we've
17 lost three minutes for nothing. Would please continue, Mr. Laws.
18 MR. LAWS
19 course, is an argument that could be advanced, but it doesn't go anyway
20 to suggesting that the question is improper. I'm talking about pressure
21 being applied, and the witness understands that, and the Trial Chamber
22 has a full grasp of history, and in the interests perhaps of moving
23 along, I just wanted to say that.
24 Q. Now, Dr. Bagaric, in East Mostar you --
25 A. I apologise. I don't know what is it that I understand or
1 appreciate. You're saying that I understand something, but what is it?
2 Q. I was answering an interruption made by one of the counsel, not
3 by you, and I'm going to continue now by asking you questions if I may,
4 Dr. Bagaric.
5 Dr. Bagaric, the position in East Mostar was - I don't think you
6 disagree with this - a very, very poor one so far as the plight of the
7 civilians was concerned. We're not disagreeing about that, are we?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have an objection. In a question
10 worded in this way, we have to contain a reference of time. It has to
11 be -- contain a when. We all know that the events were happening at a
12 speed of lightning, that the characteristics of the conflict changed
13 gradually from one day to another.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, the document which
15 the Prosecution is using concerning international pressure is a meeting
16 of the 15th of September, 1993. Therefore, the answer is in the
17 document. What's the purpose of intervening? Of course the question has
18 to do with the 15th September 1993 and not January.
19 MR. LAWS
20 Q. If we can just try and move on, Dr. Bagaric. The position was
21 that from time to time during the course of the East Mostar civilians
22 being very largely cut off from aid, from time to time the HVO allowed
23 material through. And before anybody interrupts, I'm talking about the
24 position as it was from June of 1993 through to April of the following
25 year. That's the position, isn't it, Dr. Bagaric?
1 A. At that time nobody fared well, in Mostar, either on the east
2 bank or the west bank. It was less good on the east bank than on the
3 west. And the same applied to the entire Central Bosnia, especially when
4 it came to Croats. This was a period when the situation was not good due
5 to war operations, of course.
6 Q. The position was that from time to time you sent them medicines
7 and some other material, but it was not enough, not enough, to go
8 anywhere near to changing the situation in East Mostar.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object to that, and I'm going to
10 start objecting because the assumption is that there was enough to go
12 He needs to lay a foundation. Where is it that he could show --
13 because he's -- he's now putting his case that there is enough. Where is
14 the foundation that there was all this overwhelming aid that was
15 available for both sides?
16 MR. LAWS
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Here also you're intervening at
18 the wrong moment. The Prosecutor has his own thesis concerning the
19 medicines. There weren't enough because they were blocked by the HVO.
20 This is the Prosecution's position. Let the witness answer. Let him
21 answer. What he will say will have much more weight than whatever you
22 may say.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: He can put that question as long as there's a
24 foundation. When there is no foundation, it's pure speculative.
25 MR. LAWS
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the basis is the
3 indictment. Everything is in the indictment and the preliminary motion.
4 He's not inventing the question. He's just asking questions on what he
5 has in his mind, the indictment and its development in the preliminary
7 MR. LAWS
8 said that there is no foundation. Yesterday I looked at two documents,
9 2D00714 and 2D00738, in which this witness describes the position so far
10 as medical supplies to the West Mostar hospital as being satisfactory,
11 and that's the position. It's not wrong. We looked at it, and I'm not
12 going to take up any more time. So we can --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.
14 MR. LAWS
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.
16 MR. LAWS
17 Q. All right. Let's look at then, please, some of the things that
18 you did and some of the things that were suggested, and let's look at
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you did not answer the
21 question of the -- of Mr. Laws because Mr. Karnavas interrupted. The
22 Prosecutor has a idea about the medicines. What do you answer: Do you
23 agree with what the Prosecutor says or do you disagree?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, international organisations,
25 including the Red Cross and the UN regularly went to the east side of
1 Mostar, or at least very often, and from the east side we no longer had
2 requests for medicines. I assumed at the time that they did not have any
3 particular need for any specific medicines. That is my opinion, because
4 as of then, we never received any more requests for medical supplies or
5 medicines, and I state that with full responsibility.
6 MR. LAWS
7 Q. Can we look at P02782, please, Doctor, which is under seal. And
8 in this report we can see -- forgive me. We can see that the author is
9 dealing with the east side at number 3. He's had contact with the east
10 side hospital and has been provided with a list of urgent needed material
11 and medicines:
12 "We've arranged for the west side hospital to obtain the
13 medicines tomorrow, tomorrow morning."
14 You looked at that with Ms. Nozica:
15 "HVO sanitary services have promised to take care of some part of
16 the material, oxygen, et cetera, if the east side provides the empty
17 bottles and pays for it (50 bottles equals 2 .000 Deutschmarks)."
18 And then part of the offer that you were making at this time:
19 "They have offered again to take care for all the wounded people,
20 Muslims or Croats, including people from the east side."
21 Can you see that?
22 A. Yes, I can see that.
23 Q. Can we turn the page, please, and look at the conclusion that the
24 EC monitors had about that. It's item 6 under "Assessment." Can you see
1 A. Yes, I can.
2 Q. "At present, the transport of wounded people from the east side
3 to the west is totally impossible due to the snipers. If the east side
4 hospital is not provided with the material and medicines needed, it will
5 be closed."
6 All right? And then we continue:
7 "Yesterday, the ethnic cleansing on the west bank of Muslim
8 families by HVO still went on. Strong protest against this action should
9 be taken."
10 So it was this gentleman's view that the offer that you were
11 making was just one that was impossible, because people didn't want to
12 travel from the east for fear of being shot by snipers. All right? That
13 was his assessment. Was that the position, in fact, on the ground in
14 East Mostar as you understood it to be in June of 1993?
15 A. I repeat, in the month of June, on both the east and the west
16 side of Mostar, there was a war, and nobody could guarantee anybody
17 anything. However, I repeat that in the offers that we sent from the
18 hospital, let me remind you we offered the Red Cross to enter our
19 hospital, that the UNPROFOR protected the hospital and made it an
20 ex-territorial area. If this had happened, nobody would have been
21 wounded or killed -- and killed, and everybody who would have been
22 transported to the hospital would have enjoyed full safety. Nobody
23 responded to our offer, and I don't know why.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please. Microphone,
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say for the record
2 that I did not show the witness this document, although my learned friend
3 says I did. I just want that on the record. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Nozica.
5 MR. LAWS
6 Q. Let's look at the next document, which is also under seal and
7 which deals with the topic that you've just been answering about, P02923.
8 It's another report by the EC Monitor Mission. It's dated the 24th of
9 June, 1993, and it has a record under item 5 of you having a discussion
10 with the EC monitors about the proposal of exchanging doctors with the
11 hospital of the east side. Can you see that?
12 A. Yes, I can see that.
13 Q. What was happening, according to this document, was that, first
14 of all, it had been proposed by someone, not you, that there should be an
15 exchange of doctors with the hospital of the east side, and you said no,
16 that was not going to be accepted:
17 "...will not be accepted until we achieve the freedom of
18 movement for the HVO doctors that are obliged to work in the BiH
19 hospitals in Travnik, Konjic, and Zenica."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I can see that. I can see what it says there.
22 Q. Thank you. And then you come up with an alternative which is
23 this proposal that you have told us about in which a quite separate
24 hospital should be set up which could help everybody. Yeah? Open the
25 old hospital of Mostar, use it as a war hospital for everybody, Muslims
1 and Croats and everybody would be treated under international
2 supervision. That's the proposal you were making; yeah?
3 A. Your Honour, this is a very important document, so please allow
4 me to comment on it briefly, because as I say, it's very important.
5 In point 3 it says:
6 "Mr. Ivan Bagaric deputy chief of the Medical Corps." So I was
7 not the deputy, I was the chief. It doesn't mean that I wasn't at that
8 meeting, although I, myself, don't remember this particular meeting;
9 however we had contacts with the international community on an almost
10 daily basis. So if these people have signed this document, then I do
11 believe that I was there, but what is important here to mention is the
12 following: It says that Bagaric said, under point 5, that he would not
13 accept until freedom of movement is ensured for the HVO doctors. And I
14 say with full responsibility here and now that it is impossible that I
15 uttered those words.
16 Now, what could I have said? It is this: When we offered to
17 have our doctors from the west bank go to the east bank, nobody agreed to
18 go, not a single person, not even the Muslims. The Muslim Bosniak
19 physicians, they didn't agree to that either. So Ivan Bagaric, during
20 the war, did nothing by force. I didn't force anybody to do anything.
21 It is true that I requested, because I had a lack of cadres and
22 physicians, and I said the Muslim Bosniaks had many more doctors in
23 Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla and so on, because they were the big centres; and
24 that our people, when I say our people, I mean our doctors, asked to
25 leave those areas; but the Bosniak side did not allow them to do that.
1 And so I did request of the international community to allow them
2 to go out, to leave, because in that case we would have gained a great
3 deal and the Muslims would not have lost much. And if you look at the
4 text that follows, I say here you have a hospital in the middle of town,
5 but I stayed here with full responsibility not to have that hospital
6 opened -- it's not that this hospital was to be opened. Why? Because it
7 was already open. It was a hospital in which we worked throughout the
8 war right up at the front line, and that was the substance of my
9 proposal. If we were able to work that way, then others could -- could
10 as well. If we treated patients, others could do that the same. If we
11 guaranteed work for our doctors, then the international community could
12 as well following my proposal.
13 So that's my comment on this document.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor.
15 MR. LAWS
16 Q. The gentleman with whom you were having dealings on this topic
17 gave evidence in this Trial Chamber. His name was Mr. Van den Grinten, a
18 Dutch officer. Do you remember him?
19 A. I don't remember him, but if the gentleman testified, then I'm
20 quite willing to believe that that is the document in question; so that
21 is quite possible, but as I said, I don't remember the man.
22 Q. What he had to say about your proposal of the two sides having
23 treatment in a joint hospital was that it was not realistic, not
24 realistic. That's what he said. That is a quotation from the
25 transcript, and it's page 21168.
1 A. May I be allowed to comment just briefly?
2 Q. Yes, of course.
3 A. Because it's very important.
4 Q. Of course you can.
5 A. It's possible that the gentleman said so, that those were his
6 comments, that he reported it that way, but I know that a long time ago a
7 man once said he -- he turned, and I know that somebody killed him. I
8 know that someone once said that you could go to the moon, and they said
9 that he was a madman, but man did fly to the moon. So I might have been
10 mad, too, and I was because I went ahead of my time or -- or I went in --
11 I was in the forefront.
12 Now, I apologise for the vehement way in which I spoke yesterday
13 when we were discussing politics, but when I'm speaking about this
14 subject I know what I'm saying, and I'm saying this before this august
15 Trial Chamber; and I'm telling you how it was, and I say that with full
16 responsibility. It was a poor assessment by the officer.
17 Q. Well, he said -- he said that it was in the wrong location and
18 that it couldn't be -- well, you said yourself it was right on the front
19 line. It couldn't be secured.
20 A. No, no, no. Excuse me. No, no, sir. [Interpretation] Your
21 Honours, that's the crux of the matter. Had the proposal been accepted,
22 the Muslim Bosniak side couldn't have attacked the hospital. Do you know
23 what the hospital looks like on the other side? If you were to look at
24 Mr. Goldstein's report, and he was the member of the IPPNW, that is the
25 international organisation for the struggle and prevention of nuclear war
1 and winner of the Nobel prize, he described what the hospital looked like
2 and published it. It was bullet riddled. It was destroyed and so on and
3 so forth. But it carried on working. And that had that been accepted,
4 that would not have been the case. The hostilities would have ceased, of
5 course, over a period of time; but the situation would have changed,
6 that's for sure. And I had support here from Mr. Bruno Stojic and the
7 generals here, and nobody could oppose it. Had they opposed it, then I
8 think I would have let the whole world know, published it worldwide. It
9 would have gone to the United Nations to complain if somebody had tried
10 to prevent it on the Croatian side.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I don't mean to say
12 that intervene because I do not want to waste time, but yesterday and
13 today, this is the first time we've heard this, you stressed the fact
14 that according to you had the medical issue been settled, the hostilities
15 would have ceased; and you connect all the developments to the fact that
16 no solution was found to the medical issue.
17 This thesis may prove true, but nobody has ever said that to us.
18 You're the first one saying this to us. You may be right, I'm not saying
19 you're wrong, but what you're saying is interesting. Right. I wanted
20 this to be on record for this -- for -- so it's clear to everyone for
21 what you're trying to say.
22 MR. LAWS
23 Q. Would you turn the page, please, in the same document and look at
24 the very last sentence of the final page. It's under the heading
1 "We think that the HVO is not willing to deal with humanitarian
2 aid for the east bank."
3 All right? That's --
4 A. What document is that?
5 Q. The same one we're looking at, the one in which your offer of a
6 joint hospital was made. Exactly the same document. We haven't turned
7 the page. I can give you the number again it's P02923. P02923.
8 A. 2923 you say.
9 Q. I do.
10 A. [In English] Excuse me.
11 Q. It's all right. It's never easy to find your way around. The
12 last page of that document we were looking at a moment ago has at the end
13 a sentence that I want to draw to your attention. Do you have that
14 document now?
15 A. [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I've found it, yes.
16 Q. And what it says is:
17 "We think the HVO is not willing to deal with humanitarian aid
18 for the east bank."
19 Right? Can you see it says that?
20 A. Yes. That's what it says. That's obvious in that sentence, but
21 I don't know how he came to that conclusion.
22 Q. Well, I'm going to put to you exactly how he says he came to that
23 conclusion --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on, Prosecutor. In the
25 translation I can see the English word "we think." In the French version
1 the French interpreters say we "estimon". That's a French word. There's
2 a difference between "we think" and "nous estimon," we estimate. When we
3 think, it is a hypothesis; and we say "nous estimon," you draw a
4 conclusion on the basis of a situation. The English word "we think," how
5 can it be interpreted? What was the meaning given to it by the drafter?
6 Does he say "we think" as a hypothesis or is it we conclude as an
7 assessment, an estimation. I want this to be on the record to avoid any
8 mis -- or any diverging interpretation.
9 MR. LAWS
10 its page 21055 of the transcript and this very sentence was put to him by
11 Mr. Stringer when asking him questions. Mr. Stringer asked, it's line 6:
12 "Read him that sentence, we think the HVO is not willing to deal
13 humanitarian aid for the east bank. Why did you say that at that time?"
14 He asks and the answer is:
15 "Well for the same reasons I just explained to you. Coming with
16 such a kind of proposal," and when we look at the transcript, he's
17 referring back to the proposal to open the hospital, "means that you're
18 not really willing to solve the problem on the local level."
19 Q. And I hope, Dr. Bagaric, you've been able to follow that
20 explanation. The -- I --
21 A. [Overlapping speakers] I do apologise, but I don't understand
22 what you said. I don't understand the explanation. It's not logical. I
23 do apologise, of course.
24 Q. Let me try to put if in a different way. When people needed help
25 in East Mostar, you're suggesting opening a new hospital wasn't going to
1 help a single one of them get any kind of help of any sort. That's the
2 position, because it was unrealistic and --
3 A. Heaven forbid.
4 Q. And you've used the comparison of somebody wanting to fly to the
5 moon. That all depends what technology you've got available to you and
6 what period you're living in, doesn't it? For you to say that in the
7 summer of 1993 was unrealistic.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,
9 I'd just like to make an objection. Mr. Laws is using the term "new
10 hospital," whereas the witness has said a number of times that it was a
11 building which existed as a hospital, and the proposal was that that same
12 building, that same hospital, be turned into a joint hospital. So let's
13 be precise on this matter.
14 MR. LAWS
15 Q. You've got the point, Dr. Bagaric, haven't you? Your proposal
16 wasn't one that was going to help anybody. There was no way that the two
17 sides were going to set up a hospital of that kind, and saying it wasn't
18 going to assist a soul, was it?
19 A. I don't agree with that. Absolutely not. I don't want to take
20 up more time, so I'm not going to expound on that point any more.
21 Q. All right. Can I ask you, please, to turn with me to document
22 P04346. It's another document that is under seal. It records a meeting
23 between ECMM and a gentleman named Bozo Raguz. Did you know Bozo Raguz?
24 A. Mr. Bozo Raguz, in the political and military sense, means
25 nothing. I don't know the man. At least at that time he wasn't somebody
1 who was known. Bozo Raguz, no, I don't know him. I don't think the man
2 exists, and that this name and surname has been used for someone else,
3 that it's a mix-up of names.
4 Q. He does exist, and he is an HVO liaison officer, and in other
5 documents that we have he's referred to a colonel, if that assists. But
6 anyway, let's -- let's assume that there's somebody with his name. He
7 appears to have been a mathematics teacher before the war, and he
8 appeared anxious to help and gave a history lesson to the gentlemen whom
9 he met in Mostar. He also had something to say on the topic of
10 humanitarian aid, and I want to know, please, whether you heard similar
11 things being said by members of the HVO in Mostar in the summer, autumn,
12 winter of 1993.
13 If you look at page 2 in the B/C/S, it's also page 2 in the
14 English, at little (d).
15 Do you have that paragraph, sir?
16 A. Yes, I've found it.
17 Q. On humanitarian convoys he said that Mr. Prlic was now in charge
18 of policy, and then this:
19 " ... how can we allow humanitarian aid to pass to the
21 Can you see those words?
22 A. I see what it says here, yes.
23 Q. On the face of it, that is an HVO liaison officer giving
24 expression to a point of view very different from yours. Do you agree?
25 A. I really do apologise, Your Honours, but I really can't comment
1 on this. I can't comment on a document I know nothing about or this man
2 who says something here. I don't know how to answer that. Bozo Raguz,
3 as far as I'm concerned, does not exist, and I really don't believe that
4 there was anybody who did anything there, least of all anything important
5 by the name of Bozo Raguz. I don't know anybody by that name. I don't
6 think he existed. And then it would appear that he said that Prlic said
7 something. Now, Prlic is intelligent enough not to say anything as
8 stupid as this. I know the man, and that is what I think.
9 Q. Do you mean -- sorry, do you mean intelligent enough not to say
10 something as stupid as this -- in what context do you mean that, please?
11 A. Well, what I want to say is this: I'm saying it in the context
12 of the fact that a humanitarian convoy, a support to the civilian
13 population was something that we needed, too, in Central Bosnia; and the
14 Muslims needed it on the east bank, and that had both -- both sides
15 worked on that subject seriously, we would have had humanitarian aid, and
16 we wouldn't have found ourselves in the position we did. I apologise. I
17 know we don't have time, but I have to say how we organised this route to
18 Central Bosnia, the white road as we called it, and a humanitarian convoy
19 to prevent the disappearance of Croats in Central Bosnia because they
20 were no longer able to maintain their position militarily. We tried to
21 help them and turn the eyes of the world to the suffering of the people
22 over there and that the Muslim Bosniaks on the east bank were suffering
23 as well, but nobody about that, and that's the difference whereas both
24 sides suffered.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... before we lose the question
1 completely with you telling us that both sides suffered, which, if you'll
2 forgive me for saying so, we all know; when you said it's now 15 lines
3 ago in the transcript that Prlic was intelligent enough not to say
4 anything as stupid as this, what did you mean by that, please? Just ell
5 us what you meant by saying that Mr. Prlic was intelligent enough not to
6 say something as stupid as this?
7 A. Well, I think it was stupid to prevent a convoy here. It's the
8 humanitarian convoy as support to the civilian population. I think that
9 was stupid.
10 Q. Well, again we're not going to disagree about that, but the
11 sentiments expressed by Mr. Raguz, whose identity you doubt, but the
12 sentiments expressed by him, "how can we allow --"
13 A. Never heard of him.
14 Q. No, you said that. "How can we allow humanitarian aid to pass to
15 the aggressors," was that a -- was that a sentiment that you ever heard
16 anywhere else amongst any member of the HVO?
17 A. I apologise. Could you repeat that question, please? I really
18 didn't understand it. Not that I didn't understand it. I wasn't
19 concentrating hard enough.
20 Q. Bozo Raguz - you never heard of him - he is expressing there the
21 view that --
22 A. Never.
23 Q. Yes. We are agreed about -- he may not have heard about you, but
24 it doesn't mean you don't exist, Doctor, does it?
25 He expresses the view, Dr. Bagaric, that it was a mistake to
1 allow humanitarian aid to pass to the aggressors, how could they do that;
2 and I want to know whether the true position is that was a widespread
3 view held by members of the HVO so far as East Mostar was concerned.
4 A. Whether it was the widespread view held by members of the HVO as
5 far as East Mostar is concerned. So air asking about who it was the
6 widespread view.
7 Q. Yes, I am.
8 A. I'm not sure I quite understand you, but I think -- I think --
9 yes. I think that this observation here by somebody, by a man whom I
10 don't know at all, cannot be held to be relevant, and it cannot reflect
11 on the whole of the HVO. So that's my comment, and I don't wish to say
12 any more.
13 Q. The Judges will have to decide whether it's relevant. The
14 question for you is whether that's a view you heard expressed by the
15 HVO -- by HVO members who you knew and spent each day with in Mostar.
16 MR. LAWS
17 times now. If there is a genuine objection, it might have come earlier.
18 Could the witness answer it and perhaps then counsel can say what she
19 wishes to say, because with the greatest of respect, sometimes the
20 witness takes his lead from what is being said by counsel and that's not,
21 with respect, the way forward in these proceedings. I have asked it a
22 number of times and I've been very patient. I'm just giving him this
23 last opportunity, and I invite you, Mr. President, just to --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Witness -- hold on,
25 Ms. Nozica. Let the witness answer. The question is not complicated.
1 You can answer.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that was the dominant
3 position. There was certainly people who had their own reasons and who
4 had suffered and had their frustrations and who displayed enormous
5 hostility towards the opposite side and vice versa, of course, but that
6 wasn't the dominant position, the position that prevailed.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise but I
8 want to draw your attention to the fact that on page 23, line 21 and 22,
9 this same answer was already given, that is to say the witness answered
10 the same way he's just answered now.
11 MR. LAWS
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, perhaps you should
13 move on to something else, but I'd like to draw your attention,
14 Prosecutor, to the way you interpret Mr. Raguz's words as reported in the
15 document, in paragraph (d) of -- of two political activities. Apparently
16 Mr. Raguz says that Mr. Prlic is in charge of policy. That's one thing.
17 And Raguz adds, and we. It doesn't say Prlic. It says we. We can be
18 himself. Prlic, we don't know. You agree with this. So we can
19 encompass Prlic, Raguz, but also others, and that's it.
20 MR. LAWS
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right, okay fine.
22 MR. LAWS
23 statements. I made that very clear. The witness said that Prlic wasn't
24 so stupid as to say something of that kind, but that's a different
25 matter; but I completely agree with what you said, Mr. President, moving
2 MR. KARNAVAS: The witness also said that Prlic wasn't the type
3 that would hold that point of view.
4 MR. LAWS
5 out what the witness said.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: The moment you start characterizing the witness's
7 testimony, that's the moment that I begin to also characterize it because
8 that's what the witness indicated.
9 MR. LAWS
10 sort it out.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Okay. You're all in
12 agreement that we may encompass several persons, and we don't know
13 exactly whom. We all agree on this.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes.
15 JUDGE PRANDLER: In general, I'm in agreement with you,
16 Mr. President; but I would like to make it clear that probably it would
17 help if the interpreters would read actually -- or, rather, our witness
18 would read in Croatian that particular paragraph (d), which now says:
19 "U vezi sa humanitarnim konvojima, rekao je da je gospodin Prlic
20 sada zaduzen," et cetera. So I would like to ask you, Dr. Bagaric, to
21 read in Croatian paragraph (d) and then let us ask the interpreters to
22 translate it, of course, in accordance with the original Croatian text.
23 Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] (d):
25 "As regards humanitarian convoys, he said that Mr. Prlic was now
1 in charge of the position as regards 'how can we allow the passage of
2 humanitarian convoys for the aggressors'."
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but the
4 original is English, not the Croatian, and we have to make a distinction
5 here. In the English there is this word "we," whereas in the Croatian,
6 that word does not exist. The English version has to be --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] -- the one that is considered the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Laws, shall we proceed with
11 something else?
12 MR. LAWS
13 Q. We can leave this topic in just one moment, Dr. Bagaric. The
14 position in East Mostar we're agreed is a poor one, a very poor one that
15 produced suffering. We don't disagree about that, you and I.
16 A. I was not in East Mostar. I was never there. But I know that it
17 was difficult. It was not good. Nobody had a good time there. It was
18 the same all over Mostar, but it was particularly bad in East Mostar.
19 Q. The conditions there were brought about, I'm going to put to you,
20 as a result of actions by the HVO. Expelling Muslims from the west bank.
21 You agree that happened, don't you?
22 A. Now, these are two things that you are asserting. You said.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... just one. Expelling Muslims
24 from the west bank happened, didn't it, into East Mostar?
25 A. It happen because of the war, because of the hell. And this also
1 happened in East Mostar and happened to Croats there. Whatever happened
2 on one side was reciprocated on the other side, and that was the case
3 everywhere in Mostar. I repeat, the situation was bad all over Mostar,
4 and that's why the war had to be stopped, be put an end to.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am really
6 embarrassed to have to do what I'm going to do for the first time in the
7 courtroom. I'm looking at my learned friend Mr. Scott. I'm looking at
8 his facial expressions, at the mockery in his eyes, at sneers on his face
9 as he's listening to the witness's answers, which is really embarrassing
10 for the witness. I've been looking at him constantly, and I think that
11 this should be stopped. The witness should be provided with optimum
12 conditions to be able to his questions. This is a gentleman who is
13 rather quick, but he reacted vehemently while I was examining him so --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
15 continues] ... and listen carefully the question with your ears and there
16 won't be any problem.
17 Right. Mr. Laws.
18 Mr. Bagaric, look at me. Don't look at Mr. Scott or Mr. Laws --
19 Mr. Scott.
20 MR. LAWS
21 Q. Having expelled Muslims from the west to the east, the HVO saw to
22 it that their supply routes were cut off. Do you agree with that?
23 A. I don't. This was a result of the war.
24 Q. And then shelled that area and deployed snipers against its
25 people. That's the truth, isn't it?
1 JUDGE PRANDLER: Let me ask the accused not to -- not to make
2 comments loudly. If he wants to speak, Mr. Praljak would like to speak,
3 let him ask us to let him give the floor.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you will have an
5 opportunity to speak on this, so it's not necessary for the moment to say
6 anything. The Prosecutor is putting his case. You have another one. So
7 it's not necessary to engage in a debate now. In a few days you will be
8 talking to me and all this will be debated. Today there is a doctor who
9 is bearing testimony. There will be some military aspects, certainly.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour,
11 Judge Antonetti. I was not going to object and so on and so forth.
12 However, when I examined witnesses, you limited me very carefully, and
13 you asked me precisely what questions should be put to various people.
14 The doctor was supposed to talk about different things, not about
15 sniping fire. Now he's being asked whether people were expelled by
17 This person hasn't a clue about that. This was never raised in
18 the examination-in-chief.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Right.
20 MR. LAWS
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Laws.
22 MR. LAWS
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... please, and I'm very nearly
24 finished. Can we turn back, please, back to where we started, which is
25 you as a politician and a doctor, all right, Dr. Bagaric. Would you turn
1 please to P06379, the binder in front of you.
2 A. [In English] Yes.
3 Q. This is an extract from the Official Gazette for the 3rd of
4 November, 1993, and it's decision on the appointment of the commission
5 for investigating war crimes in the territory of the Croatian Republic of
6 Herceg-Bosna; all right?
7 A. [Interpretation] Well, I can see the document, yes. I can see
8 it, yes.
9 Q. Did I understand you to say what that you were not sure that that
10 Ivan Bagaric at number 6 was you, or having thought about it, do you
11 think that is you?
12 A. I did give it a thought, Mr. Prosecutor. It says Ivan Bagaric
13 here, and it is on paper. However, nobody ever gave me that paper. I
14 never participated in any commission of the kind. Nobody ever informed
15 me about this commission, and I am claiming this with full responsibility
16 before the Trial Chamber. If I can be of any assistance, then I can say
17 that this Ivan Bagaric here, as it says, there's a colleague of mine
18 whose name is Ivan Sarac, and the two of us got mixed up very often. We
19 were close. We were both doctors. We were both deputies in the
20 parliament in Sarajevo. He was in charge of the civilian health care. I
21 was in charge of the military health care. We cooperated. So this may
22 be a typo, a mistake. I don't know anything about this. I never saw
23 this document before I came here. I never saw it before that.
24 Q. At number 9 is Mr. Kostroman, who was the gentleman who we saw
25 took the minutes of that meeting in Tomislavgrad that we started with
1 yesterday at 2.15 that you were at, someone you had known a long while by
3 A. No, that's not the case. I did not know Mr. Kostroman either
4 long or well. I would not have signed the minutes then. I would not
5 sign the minutes now because it was a nonsense. Anybody who wrote that,
6 even if it was Kostroman, what he wrote was a sheer nonsense.
7 Q. This was a commission set up to investigate crimes against
8 Croats, and it was only interested in crimes against Croats, wasn't it?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object. He's indicated
10 he hasn't seen the document, he doesn't know anything about this
11 commission, he didn't participate in this commission; so now posing
12 questions at this point in time is an absurdity and a waste of time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Either you have some elements
14 who contradict what the witness have said, because the witness answered
15 Ms. Nozica saying he didn't know anything about this committee or
16 commission, he never heard about it, and he just discovers this document.
17 So either you have some elements which says that he's lying, which show
18 that he's lying and you can show them to me or you pass to something
20 MR. LAWS
21 somebody at number 9 who was a political acquaintance of his for over two
22 years, apart from that I've nothing to show that it's him, but we submit
23 that's a perfectly sufficient foundation for us to say that -- that it
24 might be him and then ask him about it.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if he's indicated he doesn't know
1 anything about it, what's the purpose of asking? And then not only that,
2 but he's putting the spin as far as what the document pertains, pertains
3 to. So how can he possibly comment? It's an absurdity. In no
4 courtroom -- I don't think that they would allow this in the UK. They
5 certainly wouldn't in the United States, and we both come from a common
6 law system. This is an utter absurdity at all.
7 MR. LAWS
8 with the name Michael Karnavas on it, I could ask Mr. Karnavas some
9 questions about it. I wouldn't have to give up as soon as he says,
10 That's not me. Otherwise -- otherwise prosecutions would be very short.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Everybody agrees on the fact
12 that you may ask questions because there is the name on this document
13 which shows that legally he was a member of the committee. Now, the
14 question is did he take part in meetings of this committee? He says he
15 didn't. Therefore I'm going to give you another example.
16 A Judge of this Tribunal a few months ago was elected at the ICC,
17 but he hasn't yet been installed there. It's not because there is name
18 on the document that this means that the person question has taken
19 office. So maybe in his case is most probably him on this document, but
20 if he hasn't been in a meeting of this committee or commission what more
21 can he say? Unless you have documents to show it, then show them.
22 MR. LAWS
23 ruling, Mr. President, but the Judge in question would almost certainly
24 know of his appointment. This is published in the Official Gazette
25 together with names, one of which is somebody that this gentleman knows.
1 All I want to do is explore with him whether it's really him or not. We
2 had this yesterday, that we were in some doubt that he was there in
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No. No, Your Honour. I apologise.
5 The question was whether the objective of this commission was to
6 investigate war crimes committed over Croats and then my learned friend
7 intervened. How can anybody know what the objective of commission was if
8 he never worked in that commission? That was the intervention, and since
9 that intervention everything becomes nonsensical.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You raised your hand. Did you
11 know anything about this document which was published in the Official
12 Gazette? This is the only question I'm asking now.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. The times are hard.
14 I never saw an Official Gazette in Herceg-Bosna. I never looked at any
15 Official Gazettes, and I claim with full responsibility that never handed
16 me this document. If this commission ever existed, then I'm not that
17 person. It must be somebody else. I was never a member of that
18 commission. I never heard of it, and I claim that with full
19 responsibility before you here.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Laws.
21 MR. LAWS
22 Q. All right. I'm going to leave the committee, Dr. Bagaric. See
23 if you can help me with this, I want to follow through on with your role
24 of politics: In June of 1994, on the 11th of June, 1994, is it right
25 that you were part of a delegation of Bosnian Croats who went to meet
1 Franjo Tudjman to discuss the Washington Accords?
2 A. I believe I was. I apologise what was the date?
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just want to draw
4 your attention to the fact that the date is outside of the scope of the
5 indictment. I don't know whether the Trial Chamber can issue a ruling or
6 a decision on that, but I believe that we are beyond the indictment on
7 this -- at this moment.
8 MR. LAWS
9 indictment and I hope it was clear I'm looking at his political career.
10 I'm sorry.
11 Q. You were part of that delegation in which the Washington Accords
12 were discussed amongst the Bosnian Croats with President Tudjman; is that
14 A. Your Honours, I was a deputy in the parliament of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and on one occasion President Tudjman invited all the
16 deputies, everybody who could have a bearing on the further developments
17 with regard to this agreement. I was, indeed, at a meeting. I don't
18 know whether it's the meeting that the Prosecutor is referring to. If
19 you can show me any documents, then I will tell you immediately whether I
20 was there or not.
21 Q. Your answer's quite sufficient. The position is this: You had a
22 political clear involved with Herceg-Bosna from 1991 through to 1994,
23 didn't you?
24 A. Not true. My political career started in 1990 and ended in 1998
25 in Bosnia, and I did what I told you about. I discharged certain duties,
1 and I was part of the structures while the Croatian Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna existed, and I contributed. But let me stop there. This
3 will take us too far. I don't want to do that.
4 Q. I generally don't think we're disagreeing. You were part of the
5 political apparatus of Herceg-Bosna for the period with which we are
6 concerned. Perhaps before and perhaps after, but for the period with
7 which we're concerned, you're there as part of the politics of
8 Herceg-Bosna and its political apparatus. You agree with that, don't
10 A. Neither yes nor no. I can't say that I was. I did not feel like
11 part of the political apparatus, because I was dealing with the wounded
12 and the sick. That was my duty. In formal terms, I was -- because I
13 remained a deputy. There were no new elections. No new deputies were
14 elected from 1990, so I remained a deputy.
15 Q. And at the same time as you've said, you were dealing with the
16 injured and the sick, and with people who died, no doubt, in your care.
17 A. No. No, not with people who died, no. People who died, no. I
19 Q. Patients --
20 A. That was not the job of --
21 Q. We can't agree about anything, Dr. Bagaric, but let's agree with
22 this then: You were dealing with the injured and the sick. Is that
23 enough for you if I leave out the word "died"? You were dealing with the
24 injured and the sick.
25 A. Indirectly, yes. I did not treat people. I just organise and
1 supported the system that implemented health care. I personally did not
2 treat people, although I am a physician. There was no time for me to
3 treat anybody. I didn't have the time.
4 Q. The system that was allowing you to treat them was the same
5 system that was adding to their number, wasn't it, in the camps and in
6 East Mostar and at Sovici, the three areas that you have testified about.
7 That's the truth, isn't it?
8 A. No, it's not.
9 Q. And you, sir, knew that to be the position and you went along
10 with it. That's also the truth, isn't it?
11 A. No. I knew that the situation was difficult, that it was war and
12 that my people and Bosnia-Herzegovina was under threat; and as a deputy
13 in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I participated and I agreed to
14 participate in the defence of the state and the people; and I did that
15 all the time.
16 Q. And the state that you were assisting was, to your knowledge,
17 committing crimes against people, wasn't it? You knew that it was in the
18 camps, you knew that it was in East Mostar, and you continued to play
19 your part politically nonetheless, did you not?
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise.
21 Your Honours, I apologise.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel, you intervene
23 precisely in the moment when the witness should answer a question which
24 the Prosecution was -- had a right to ask. I don't understand why you
25 are on your feet. Let the witness answer. It's in your interest. You
1 immediately ask for the floor, and you read the transcript. We will have
2 the impression that you influence the answer. Let the witness answer.
3 That's what I don't understand. Why do you -- are you on your feet, or
4 there is a mistake somewhere?
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thought you would
6 intervene. I was mistaken then. My learned friend just said that this
7 witness was not an accused. If this kind of question may be put to the
8 witness, then I obviously am mistaken. I don't know what I'm doing.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First, the Prosecutor didn't
11 say he had committed crimes. He told him, "To your knowledge, crimes
12 were committed." He didn't say that he took part or participated, unless
13 the Prosecution -- can you ask your question again, Mr. Laws.
14 MR. LAWS
15 it's a question which is one that doesn't appeal to those opposite, and
16 so there's not going to be an answer. The witness has now been told
17 precisely what to say and what not to say.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want to answer. Why not?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The witness is going to
20 answer it. He is going to answer it.
21 MR. LAWS
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness will answer.
23 Mrs. Nozica.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. I really
25 kindly ask you to look at the way the question was worded. If the
1 witness was asked whether he was on the side that started and continued,
2 and your country was that -- if what I said was not correct, then you are
3 allowed to reprimand me, but I totally believe that the witness has been
4 put in the position of an accused with this question. The witness has
5 not listened to anybody so far. He can say what he wants, but I'm
6 duty-bound to say what I've just said.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Alaburic.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I have an intervention, just one
9 word in my learned friend Laws's question. It's in line 23 and starts
10 with the following words in English:
11 [In English] "And the state that you were assisting was ..."
12 [Interpretation] I object to the word "state," because this word
13 implies that this witness will confirm that Herceg-Bosna was considered a
14 state. This will then be used as proof that it was a state within a
15 state and can this be clarified, please.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I had the same objection as my
17 learned friend Alaburic. However, even before that, look at the line
18 before that. The Prosecutor asks on page 35, 23, "and the state --"
19 immediately before that in lines from 18 through 22 this witness
20 explained that this was a war and that his people in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, and he's talking about his duty and mandate as a deputy in
22 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So the witness is talking about
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Prosecutor is trying to turn the tables
24 on the witness.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That if we had a halfwit in
1 front of us, yes, then you should intervene; but we have here somebody
2 who studied, who is a member of parliament, who has got responsibilities,
3 who understands the questions and was going to answer it. So answer,
4 please, Witness.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honours. I said this
6 because of the witness, because the witness has been entrapped. I don't
7 have any doubt that everybody else has understood and that everybody else
8 knows what this is all about.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, answer the question.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, when we are talking about
11 duty of a deputy, and when I'm talking about being a deputy, I'm talking
12 about being a deputy in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was
13 a republic at the time, which is now no longer a republic. After the
14 Dayton Accords, it's only Bosnia-Herzegovina. And when I said my people
15 then I meant the entire Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and whoever
16 was living there.
17 When I assisted and organise things, this was done at a time,
18 Mr. President, when there was a fully blown aggression by the Serbs, and
19 Bosniaks and Croats organise the resistance together. Later on the two
20 victims, unfortunately, conflicted, which ended in a very detrimental
21 outcome, and I never contributed to any of that. On the contrary. I
22 tried as best as I could to reduce the suffering. We organise the health
23 care service which assisted and helped everybody irrespective of their
24 ethnic affiliation and which involved people of all ethnic backgrounds.
25 And when it comes to the detention centres, camps, or whatever you want
1 to call them, I claim before this Trial Chamber with all responsibility
2 that doctors, not me specifically, but there were doctors who were in
3 charge of those detention centres; but when we saw that nothing was in
4 place for such events and for such developments, then we called people
5 who knew what to do. Then we set up teams within the centres. We
6 supported the teams from the outside. And before this Trial Chamber, I
7 claim with full responsibility that we helped prevent a large-scale
8 suffering of the people in the camps at the time when hatred was -- when
9 camps were rife with hatred, and thank God we have prevented epidemics
10 that might have taken higher toll. And with the help and the support of
11 all the others, I claim with full responsibility that the health care
12 takes credit for that. And if God forbid things would have continued, I
13 would still have been helping. I would still be assisting. I really
14 don't understand what is my mistake.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just an intervention
16 with respect to the record. As far as I was able to see, the
17 interpreters translated all this in excellent fashion, everything that
18 Dr. Bagaric said, but on page 39, line 9, when he spoke about these
19 events it says and for such developments the witness used the word
20 unexpected, "neocekivani," unexpected developments; and I think that that
21 word unexpected is very important for the Trial Chamber to be able to
22 weigh up the evidence.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have answered the question
24 of the Prosecutor. We agree, don't we?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. LAWS
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Laws. We are
3 now going to break for 20 minutes, and we will see for redirect after 20
5 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, I give you the
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Re-examination by Ms. Nozica:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bagaric, I'm going to deal with several
12 topics, the first of which is that proposal of yours, the one you spoke
13 about, that the hospital on the east bank, with the help of the
14 international community, be converted to a joint hospital -- yes, the
15 west bank. I misspoke. Anyway, a hospital which would treat all
16 patients, all people sick both from the east and from the west bank.
17 Now, could you tell the Trial Chamber once again where the
18 hospital was located on the west bank, how far it was from the front
19 line, and so on?
20 A. The hospital, which I meant and which you're talking about now,
21 was located several hundred metres or even less, a couple of hundred
22 metres, from the front line, quite literally; and it had other
23 facilities, too, which could have been used had the proposal been put
24 into effect. So the hospital worked throughout that unfortunate
1 Q. That was supposed to be my second question. You say it worked
2 and was operational throughout the conflict; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Bagaric, did it treat everyone, all citizens and soldiers
5 regardless of ethnicity? Did everybody have access to health care and
6 protection during the war, to the best of your knowledge?
7 A. Never ever during the war did I hear about anybody being withheld
8 medical treatment on ethnic grounds or religious grounds. The hospital
9 treated everybody across the board. And had it been otherwise, I would
10 have heard about it. I would have known about it, and that's why I can
11 say that I don't think anything like that ever happened.
12 Q. Mr. Bagaric, you said that it was shelled all the time. I'm just
13 taking you slowly through what you've already said. We have enough
14 topics to discuss, and I'd like to give you an opportunity to answer if
15 you didn't have the time to do so before this. So what was its situation
16 like at the end of the war?
17 A. As it was in the encirclement it was in, the kind of environment
18 that it was in, I can't say that it was shelled with one or another type
19 of weapon, but it was considerably damaged, and that went on throughout
20 the conflict. And at the end of the war, it was in a very sorry state.
21 I know that instead of the windows and the glass, they put plastic
22 sheeting and so on. So, yes, it had its scars.
23 Q. Mr. Bagaric, Judge Antonetti asked you about your observation to
24 the effect that if the hospital, according to your proposal which you
25 made on several occasions, were to be transferred into a hospital to
1 treat both the sick on the east and the west bank, and if security was
2 provided for it by the international forces and controlled by the
3 international organisations, then it could have influenced, let me say
4 this in the mildest terms, it could have influenced the course of the
5 war. Now, because of Judge Antonetti's question, and he said that this
6 was the first time that anybody of ever mentioned this in the courtroom,
7 to explain why you considered that it could have influenced the course of
8 the war. Why did you say that?
9 A. Had that happened, well, that would have been a sign to everyone,
10 to the Croats and Muslim Bosniaks, showing them that serious attempts
11 were being made to stop the war. That's the first point.
12 And secondly, with the hospital functioning and in such a
13 sensitive place, then it would have been necessary to stop the fighting
14 in that area; and that in turn would mean that the military activities
15 would have been vastly reduced, the activities going on in that district.
16 So had this been accepted, had the proposal been accepted, this could
17 have been a point, an area from which trust would have grown, the seeds
18 of trust would have grown and spread and had a positive influence both on
19 Central Bosnia, because Central Bosnia, let me just repeat this, just as
20 Nova Bila, the hospital in Nova Bila was in poor position in just the
21 same bad position as East Mostar was, and perhaps even worse because they
22 were put up in a church, which was quite inadequate. The facility was
23 quite inadequate, and they didn't have the type of support from the
24 international community. They received aid, too, but I think that this
25 side, that is to say the east bank, was under greater supervision and was
1 more in the focus of attention.
2 Q. Mr. Bagaric, we heard during the cross-examination conducted by
3 my learned friend that the assistance you offered to the hospital in
4 East Mostar -- well, we heard about that, and that this was due to
5 political pressure. Now, we saw without a doubt throughout the documents
6 that you did provide that assistance and aid. Just let me finish,
8 We looked through the documents, and my first question to you is
9 this: Was this kind of aid and assistance -- was more aid and assistance
10 given than we were able to show from the documents we presented?
11 A. Yes. I am quite convinced that there was more aid and
12 assistance. However, all the aid, whatever it was, or -- was
13 significant, but also symbolic. It wasn't enough to solve the problem of
14 the east bank, far from it, but it was an important gesture, and its
15 importance went beyond the quantities, and it had nothing to do with
16 international pressure.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a follow-up question.
18 Quoting from my memory, I don't have the exact documents or references,
19 but it seems to me that in the East Mostar hospital there were Croats who
20 were treated, and also some Croats had been made prisoners. They had
21 been treated by the East Mostar doctors. Were you aware of that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do believe that that was the
23 case, especially people who were incarcerated, who ended up in hospital,
24 were certainly treated. And I remember on one occasion the UNHCR, when
25 we asked to see what had happened to one of the prisoners, one of our
1 prisoners, because the International Red Cross said he was in hospital,
2 they said that they didn't have enough blood for a blood transfusion for
3 him; and I remember that we sent a large quantity of blood so that he
4 could be given a blood transfusion. I know that they had problems on
5 that score, so that's how I know that they did take in our people. When
6 I say "our people," I mean of our ethnicity, Croatian.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second follow-up question
8 also quoting from memory, but I happen to have a good memory. There was
9 a doctor in this East Mostar hospital who lived in West Mostar; and he
10 had an ID card which enabled him or allowed him to cross, so to say, the
11 front line. So he'd leave West Mostar, went to work to the hospital,
12 came back to West Mostar, et cetera.
13 Were you aware of that or not?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, I must
15 say I didn't know about that. Now, if that happened, it happened from
16 time to time. There was certainly periods when it was very difficult to
17 implement this, but I do know that there were doctors who, for example,
18 were on the west bank but continued working on the east bank. And I know
19 that one of my colleagues, when I worked in Sarajevo after the war in the
20 Ministry of Health he was working in the ministry together with me after
21 the war he said that a surgical team would go from Sarajevo to help the
22 hospital out. So there was a certain amount of communication both ways
23 but limited.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Bagaric, we were discussing the aid and assistance which you
1 said was very real, but you also say that it was symbolic. Can you
2 explain to the Court about the Nova Bila hospital? It was under siege by
3 which army?
4 A. The BH Army. The siege was manned by the BH Army throughout.
5 Q. And what larger hospitals of the BH Army -- or, rather, of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina were close to this hospital in Nova Bila?
7 A. I think that's a very important question. The hospital in
8 Nova Bila, Your Honours, well, Nova Bila is part of Travnik municipality.
9 Let me say that first, and Travnik had a big important hospital during
10 Yugoslavia, the times of Yugoslavia, and it was a very modern hospital,
11 and the distance between the two was perhaps some 20 kilometres. I can't
12 be quite sure. Perhaps less.
13 Q. But the town of Zenica is close by. Did it have a hospital? How
14 big was the hospital, and was that hospital under BH Army control as
16 A. Zenica is a large town, and it had a hospital, and it was about
17 half an hour's drive away. It was a very large general hospital with
18 many doctors and a large medical staff.
19 Q. Now, the doctors from these two hospitals, did they provide
20 blood, medicines? Did they take in patients from the Nova Bila hospital
21 as you did, taking in patients from the hospital in East Mostar?
22 A. Well, I can't say either yes or no here. I don't know that
23 anything like that ever happened.
24 Q. Do I understand you to say that you never knew of them providing
25 any help along those lines? Is that what you said?
1 A. Yes, that's what I meant. And I mean the hospital in Nova Bila.
2 Q. Yes. That was my question. Now, to the best of your
3 recollections, what about the other enclaves? What was the situation
4 like there, Turija, Zabrdje, Kiseljak?
5 A. Zepce.
6 Q. Yes, Zepce.
7 A. Well, each of those enclaves in it's own way had its own story to
8 tell and its own unfortunate circumstances. And when speaking about
9 health care there, I know for sure that it was at a primitive level
10 because they didn't have sufficient quantities of doctors let alone
12 Q. Now, I'm going to carry on dealing with these issues, and I'd
13 like to apologise to the Trial Chamber because I'm going to bring up some
14 documents that we've already seen. I prepared some of them yesterday,
15 because I knew I was going to need them.
16 Anyway, my learned friend started out from putting to you that
17 the aid you gave, you gave as the result of political pressure exerted
18 upon Croatia, and he expressed this in quite precise terms. He said that
19 this happened from June onwards. So he said the summer, the summer
20 onwards. Yes, go ahead.
21 A. I think it's important for me to say the following: Of course
22 Croatia in a way endeavoured to bring the conflict to an end. That was
23 in the Croatian interest. However, I say with full responsibility here
24 before this Trial Chamber and in public and before my colleague and in
25 the eyes of God that that has nothing to do with any pressure, pressure
1 per se as such, the support that we wanted to give and did give and
2 always tried to provide.
3 Q. Mr. Bagaric, what you've just said now, let's take a look at that
4 through documents and look at the documents that I'm going to put up on
5 e-court. We looked through them together. First of all, 2D318 [Realtime
6 transcript read in error, "2D138"] and it's --
7 A. I'm sorry, you -- you never showed me that document.
8 Q. Maybe I didn't, but just listen to me. It is the public
9 statement signed by you, Ivan Bagaric, and Dr. Nusret Dzeko, and it is
10 dated the 23rd of April, 1993. It's the public announcement. And there
11 was no political pressure, and we see from this document that you tried
12 to resolve these problems jointly. Am I right in saying that?
13 A. Absolutely. That is continuation of the story dating back to the
14 end of 1992 when I tried to establish contact with the opposite side, and
15 the only person who was accessible at that time was in Dzeko, the chief
16 of the Medical Corps of the 4th Corps, and I asked that we hold a meeting
17 and state that we health workers did not wish to take part in the war.
18 We do not support the war, and we asked that the victims of the
19 aggression, Muslims and Croats, should be -- do everything in their power
20 to prevent a conflict, and if a conflict did break out that the doctors
21 and entire medical staff should try and work together and help everyone
22 regardless of ethnicity.
23 Q. Mr. Bagaric, take a look at document 2D319, please. And before
24 we see it on e-court, I would like to remind you that it is your order
25 appointing a surgical team for Jablanica and after the conflict with the
1 BH Army there in that area; do you remember that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The document will come up on our screens in just a moment.
4 A. Yes, I know what that's about.
5 Q. And this is May, too, 1993, far before the period --
6 A. Before the conflict in Mostar but after the conflict -- well, not
7 conflict -- well, yes, let's call it a conflict. After the suffering of
8 the Croats in Konjic, Trusina, Kostajnica, Sajonica [phoen], Busce
9 [phoen], Trusina, and the other places there. So after that, because you
10 could -- you could still go up there. You could still go to Jablanica.
11 Q. As we can see this happened in the month of May 1993. That is
12 before the summer of 1993.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And now I would like to make a correction. On page 47, line 8,
15 the document number should be 2D318 rather than 138 as it has been
16 recorded, although we have seen the correct document in e-court. And now
17 let's look at P2291. And let me remind you that the date is 11 May 1993,
18 and this is an approval to send blood with the help of the Spanish
19 Battalion, and you commented about this and said that this was part of
20 the assistance sent to the hospital in East Mostar; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is. However, from distance, I can't be sure whether this
22 is exactly what we have just discussed recently. In any case, I can't
23 tell you exactly what this is but this is it.
24 Q. We are going to have another document regarding the dispatch of
1 A. In that case this is not it. This is something else.
2 Q. Now you're confusing me. This is a dispatch of blood for the
3 hospital in East Mostar. Is that it? You confirmed that on
4 examination-in-chief, did you not? In the first sentence.
5 A. I -- I believe so.
6 Q. Mr. Bagaric, look at 2D455. My learned friend showed you what
7 Mr. Tudjman said at a meeting, the meeting that was held on the 15th of
8 September, and he said at that political pressure was exerted and that
9 you did what you did under political pressure.
10 A. What 15 September?
11 Q. 1993.
12 A. I apologise. This could have only been in 1994.
13 Q. Mr. Bagaric, please trust me just for a moment. Let's not call
14 up the document again. The date is -- or the year is 1993. However,
15 look at your own request. This is your request on the 16 of September,
16 one day later, and in this request the last sentence is very important.
17 You say here:
18 "We kindly ask you to help the Muslim side for the treatment of
19 civilians, especially women and children, in the war hospital in Mostar
20 and in the other HVO hospitals."
21 So this is not the idea of a joint hospital. You're offering
22 treatment in the hospital in Mostar.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Bagaric, if this was done because of a political pressure,
25 how can that be tied to the last sentence where it says:
1 "We are doing this for only one reason, which is humanitarian
2 reason. Therefore, we kindly ask you not to make any political
3 connotations to this."
4 But if you had done things under political pressure, wouldn't it
5 have been logical to exploit this offer of yours in political -- in
6 political --
7 MR. LAWS
8 with respect.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please try to be neutral.
10 Thank you, Prosecutor.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Could the Prosecutor please turn off
12 the microphone. The objection was correct. Let me rephrase.
13 Q. Did your final message have a political background or a political
15 A. No. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any political
16 pressures. I'm not -- it is not my intention to waste your time.
17 However, all this time I'm trying this think what kind after meeting took
18 place in Zagreb. I believe that I never attended any meetings in Zagreb
19 in 1993. I attended meetings in Zagreb in 1994 after the signing of the
20 Washington Peace Accords.
21 Q. Mr. Bagaric, ignore the meeting. Ignore the meeting. The
22 Prosecutor showed you a document about the meeting that Mr. Boban
23 attended together with Mr. Tudjman on the 15th of September, 1993. This
24 is P5080, if you will. It was shown to you during cross-examination.
25 Just a moment, please. You asked me what the document was. I'm trying
1 to clarify.
2 And in that document you see that Dr. Tudjman said that there was
3 a major political pressure put to bear on Croatia, and with this regard
4 my learned friend questioned you and asked you whether you, yourself,
5 because of the political pressure, as of the summer 1993 onwards,
6 assisted and offered assistance as may be seen from the document. So
7 this is the link. Does that make you any more clear?
8 A. Yeah. Well, yes, I was confused. I thought that -- that the
9 gentleman was talking about a meeting in which I participated. I never
10 knew about this meeting between Boban and Tudjman, and I never received
11 any instruction from anybody, and no link could be established between
12 the two.
13 Q. And just two more documents about you further activities. The
14 first one is 2D333. This is your order to send an ambulance to
15 Mrs. Sally Baker to help her transport the wounded from the left to the
16 right bank of the Neretva. I want to present this as another type of
17 activity which took place on the 15th of September, 1993.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On the day when the meeting took place it would not be possible
20 for you technically to be aware of the meeting?
21 A. This has nothing whatever to do with the meeting,
22 Mrs. Sally Baker, and we prepared this much earlier. The preparations
23 had lasted for days.
24 Q. And now look at 2D00328, another document that we have already
1 This document confirms that the war hospital -- or, rather, its
2 transfusion service issues a certain quantity of blood.
3 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
4 Q. Mr. Bagaric, and finally although you have already spoken about
5 this, but let's bring the matter home. When it comes to extending your
6 hand or extending assistance to the wounded on the other side, were your
7 colleagues governed by any political reasons?
8 A. Never. Nobody ever exerted any pressure on me, and I never did
9 those things as a politician. I did them as a physician who was involved
10 in that war, and before the war was -- happened to be a politician.
11 Q. And now let's move on to the topic of detention centres and
12 questions with this regard. Could you please look in my pink binder. I
13 have put together some very important documents about some of the things
14 that you mentioned. They are in a chronological sequence. Could you
15 please look at 2D754, which is a report.
16 A. Yes, I can see that.
17 Q. It arises from this report, Mr. Bagaric, that an on-site
18 inspection was carried out in -- at the Heliodrom pursuant to a telephone
19 conversation with Stanko Bozic, the head of the SV.
20 Mr. Bagaric, can you confirm that this was how your service for
21 infectology and epidemiology, whenever they received a call or an
22 invitation they would go and do what was necessary?
23 A. There were already doctors there. There were already physicians,
24 local physicians there. However, when an intervention was needed at a
25 higher specialist level, we had that service. Then we intervened, and
1 this is a just an example of how this was done.
2 Q. I'm asking you this, Mr. Bagaric, because of the document that
3 the Prosecutor showed you, and you said that you don't know whether you
4 received it or not from Mr. Stanko Bozic. We will come to that document
5 as well. However, in e-court you will see another document which was
6 subsequently introduced, and this is P4145. You will see it in e-court.
7 P4145. Very well. We have the correct document.
8 This is your first request. I've already showed you that
10 A lot was said about the transport of the wounded and sick from
11 the Heliodrom and how that should have been done. I'm drawing your
12 attention to the last line in which you said:
13 "Until we have the -- an ambulance for the Heliodrom, please use
14 the vehicles of the operation zone South-East Herzegovina and the war
15 hospital in Mostar."
16 Was it how things were done?
17 A. Yes, that's how it was done, and my departure to Canada was
18 linked with the purchase of ambulances that we did not have. The
19 Croatian Community over there offered to help us. This did not happen
20 before the end of the year. We always lacked vehicles. We had a
21 shortage of vehicles all the time. We could not deal with the problem,
22 and this is actually a proposal submitted by the unit there how to
23 resolve the problem or how to deal with the problem temporarily.
24 Q. Just for further clarification, can we say that this was on
25 12 August 1993?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you please look at the second document in my pink binder,
3 which is 2D412. Mr. Bagaric, this is your order dated the 28 September
4 1993; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. This will appear very often in subsequent document. My learned
7 friend Pinter asked you whether this document was ever forwarded to the
8 Main Staff. You said no, and it's obvious from the document itself; am I
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And now in temporal sequence --
12 A. Can I be allowed to say something very briefly?
13 Q. Go on.
14 A. Your Honour, in the English translation here I have noticed that
15 already. After -- there is a question mark, and here it should say
16 18 August. Our order, therefore, was issued on the 18th of August.
17 There is a question mark here showing that the -- the date was illegible,
18 and I believe that this should be corrected.
19 Q. Mr. Bagaric, please look at the Croatian. The date is illegible?
20 A. But I know what it is.
21 Q. Well, if you say so, we will make a correction in the document,
22 and we're grateful for your intervention. It was indeed on the 18th
23 of August. Very well.
24 Could you please look at P5465. This is a letter of which you
25 said that you don't know whether you received it. Mr. Bagaric, your
1 order were issued a day -- one day before. The previous order was issued
2 one day before.
3 A. Yes, you're right. I believe so.
4 Q. It was the day before?
5 A. Yes, one day before.
6 Q. This regulates the transport of sick, which was regulated
7 pursuant to your request dated 12 August; is that correct? This is
8 document P4145.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, as to whether this document was ever sent to you or not,
11 let's look at the following document, which is P5503.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Just one day after the letter sent by Mr. Bozic, which we don't
14 know whether you received it or not. It says that there was a
15 three-member commission, including Mr. Stanko Bozic, and that there was
16 an inspection.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Does it say anywhere in this document that Mr. Bozic points to
19 anything that refers to the document that he allegedly sent and which you
20 may have received or not? Is there anything that would point to that
22 A. Just bear with me for a moment, please. Only the part in which
23 it says: "Seriously wounded and sick should be transported to the
24 regional hospital." I believe that this is the only reference. And the
25 rest was all the result, i.e., there was no reference to any existing
2 Q. Mr. Bagaric, I asked you at the beginning whether this type of
3 transport of sick and wounded was also regulated pursuant to your order
4 issued in August.
5 A. As far as I know, and as far as I can remember as I sit here
6 today, this was being dealt with between the hospital and the operation
7 zone, and I intervened only if something was not functioning properly.
8 Q. As my learned friend showed you yesterday, this document was sent
9 to several addresses, to the Main Staff included, and my learned friend
10 asked you about your order and whether it was submitted to the Main
11 Staff. I would like to ask you whether an attachment to this document is
12 your order dated 28 September 1993.
13 A. Yes. That's what it says here.
14 Q. And now let's look at the first page, and I'll tell you why. We
15 saw several documents which were addressed to Mr. Bruno Stojic, and we
16 will come to them. First of all, on the original of this document my
17 learned friend [indiscernible] intervened regarding the stamp that was
18 erroneously corrected in English. This is not it. This was properly
19 corrected. Can you look at the receipt stamp. Is this the receipt stamp
20 of the Croatian Defence Council of the Defence Department in Mostar?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So there is a receipt stamp showing that it was received in the
23 Defence Department.
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: Ms. Nozica.
25 MS. NOZICA: Okay.
1 Q. [Interpretation] We have spoken about these documents which the
2 situation, and this was insisted by the Prosecutor, and now I'm going to
3 draw attention once again to a document that you have before you which is
4 P5035. This is a report by the Spanish delegation --
5 A. I apologise. Can you repeat the number of the document?
6 Q. P5035 should be the next in your binder. I'll draw your
7 attention to item number 7, which is a visit to the detention camp at the
8 Heliodrom. The documents that we have seen so far were produced in late
9 September 1993, and this one was -- is dated 14 September 1993. Let me
10 just draw your attention to item 7 and the part of this document where it
11 says there are two outpatient clinics. This is the penultimate passage
12 on page 6:
13 "There are two outpatient clinics with one physician each and
14 several medical staff. There are no health problems."
15 A. I can't see that. I apologise. What is the page in Croatian?
16 Q. It is page 6 in Croatia. Item 7 penultimate page on --
17 A. I can see that.
18 Q. There are two infirmaries with one doctor, no health problems; is
19 that right? Is that what was noted here?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Bagaric, did you know that the military structures --
22 that someone from the military structures sent teams of doctors to solve
23 problems to -- in the central military prison and the Gabela and Dretelj
25 A. I don't understand your question.
1 Q. Do you know that some other teams of doctors, apart from the ones
2 that you contacted with, were examined, the detainees and prisoners in
3 Gabela, Dretelj, and Heliodrom?
4 A. The doctors who were there worked there. The doctors who were
5 incarcerated there, as well as doctors from outside, from the brigades
6 which covered the whole territory and also the military district and
7 doctors -- or, rather, not doctors but Dr. Ivan Curic, first and
8 foremost, who was a specialist and the head of department, as support to
9 all this.
10 Q. Can you take a look at the next document, P3197, please.
11 A. Yes. I can see that.
12 Q. This is an order by Mr. Nedjeljko Obradovic dated the 3rd of
13 July, 1993, and here it is what it says:
14 "In order to ensure health care for the prisoners that doctors'
15 commission should be set up for the medical care and examination and
16 treatment of prisoners for the prisons in Gabela, Dretelj, and Heliodrom,
17 Mostar, and pursuant to the following order:
18 "After examining the prisoners, those who are the most needy,
19 those who are the sickest or those who should be released or be sent for
20 treatment to note them down and send in a written request to me and the
21 chief of the Medical Corps of the 1st and 3rd HVO brigades will be
22 responsible for the excuse of this order to me."
23 So are those the persons, the doctors that you said also provided
24 medical care? But we have the mention of a medical commission here.
25 A. Yes. That does refer to those doctors, although I have to
1 acknowledge that I've never seen this document before.
2 Q. Mr. Bagaric, this is an exhibit. This document is already an
3 exhibit. I'm not asking you to confirm the authenticity of the document,
4 just to say whether it is the same team of doctors.
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. The transcript had stopped for a moment, and I'm trying to
8 Now, Dr. Bagaric, I'm going to show you two documents that you
9 saw yesterday during the cross-examination with short questions. The
10 first one is P4312. It should be the second document. 4352 is the
11 document number, 4352.
12 A. Yes, I can see that.
13 Q. I don't think that that's the right document. Ah, it will come
15 Now, I'm going to ask you some brief questions about that
16 document. Has it got a stamp showing that it was received?
17 A. No.
18 Q. You said yesterday that if Bruno Stojic had received this
19 document, and I'm going to ask you now, did you ever talk to
20 Bruno Stojic, and did he ever tell you anything which would relate to
21 this document?
22 A. No, never. I don't know about that.
23 Q. And let me ask you directly, do you know if Bruno Stojic ever
24 received this document?
25 A. I cannot know that. There's no way that I can know that.
1 Q. All right. Now, the next document is P5812. Have you found it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I have to repeat the question. Has it got a registration stamp
4 or stamp saying that it was received?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you ever talk about anything which would allow you to
7 conclude that Mr. Stojic had received this document?
8 A. I don't have that information. I don't know.
9 Q. At the insistence of my client to make everything quite clear and
10 to make certain once again, let's look at the document that you have once
11 again, or you can look at it on your screen. It is P5503. So that we
12 can have a look once again what that stamp of the Defence Department
13 looks like, the registration stamp. Have you found it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let's go back to document P5812 now. You spoke about this
16 document yesterday. You said you knew nothing about it, but you did
17 offer a comment -- or, rather, you commented on some of the details
18 contained in this document, and, Mr. Bagaric, you also said that it was
19 only at the collegium of the Defence Department, on the 2nd of September,
20 that you heard of the distance between military prisons, right, and the
21 place -- or, rather, the centres where the prisoners of war were being
22 held, right? Or, rather, that you couldn't differentiate between the
23 two; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, I'd like to draw your attention to the following. Although
1 we see that there was no incoming stamp that proving that Mr. Stojic
2 received this, however, look at point 3 and what the document says there,
3 what Mr. Bozic says, point 3. The unresolved status of the central
4 military prison and an appointment should be made for the person who will
5 be in charge of the prison, and then it says:
6 "The prison cannot be organised on the basis of two
7 organisational wholes but must function as one entity, one whole."
8 Now, Mr. Bagaric, did you know that this SVZ or central military
9 prison was a military prison for members of the HVO who had committed
10 crimes? So a classical type of military prison. Did you know about
12 A. Well, I can't be quite precise. I don't know. I really can't
13 give you a right -- a proper answer. I don't know.
14 Q. Very well. I won't insist upon that then.
15 Now, Judge Antonetti asked you something yesterday which I
16 considered to be very important, and it was about the -- well, you were
17 shown a document about the fact that doctors had been detained after
18 1993, and Judge Antonetti asked you how you experienced this. I'm going
19 to ask you about your direct knowledge about the conduct and behaviour of
20 doctors, the doctors who were on this side or the Bosniak doctors who
21 were on this side and crossed over to that side, because we were
22 discussing whether a doctor can be detained, or whatever, or merit being
23 detained, heaven forbid, but were there situations of that kind?
24 A. May I just be able to say one sentence and then I'll answer your
25 question? With the Court's indulgence may I have the Court's permission
1 to make a comment. I think the witness who testified more than one, two,
2 or three days that it would be very useful for one and all if there were
3 to be an institute for correcting erroneous quotations, which means -- or
5 When I sleep on something, then perhaps I would rethink something
6 that I had already said, and I think that I should be given the right to
7 put myself right, to correct what I had already said. And yesterday when
8 I said that most of these people here I assume were not guilty of
9 anything because that was what the Prosecutor wanted to hear.
10 He asked, "Are they guilt?" So I want to correct myself, because
11 I haven't seen the names. I hadn't seen the that child you saw. So the
12 correction I would like to make when I said that nobody is guilty until
13 something is proved, particularly not with respect to women and children.
14 That is understood.
15 Now, so far as this question is concerned -- now, to answer your
16 question, I can't speak about names now, and I don't wish to speak about
17 names. They were my colleagues, doctors. However, I do know for certain
18 that a lot of complaints were made with respect to one doctor that was in
19 charge of a whole area over there and under whose command our people
20 alleged that a lot of -- well, lots of things happen, crimes and so on.
21 Now, I heard about this. I can't say whether that is the truth of the
22 matter or not, but I also heard that one of our colleagues, our doctors
23 who was in the HVO, during that night or day when there was the
24 turnaround, where weapons were turned on their colleagues, he took his
25 colleague, a doctor, a Croat, he took him into custody. He arrested him.
1 Now, this colleague of ours who was arrested survived. Nothing happened
2 to him, but he was incarcerated. He was held in detention, and that's
3 something I heard at that time.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Bagaric, I'm not going to insist upon this, but when you
5 spoke that first doctor, just tell us what area he worked in.
6 A. Bijelo Polje, that general area, around Mostar. Oh, you mean the
7 first doctor. Well, Konjic and that general area, from Sarajevo towards
9 Q. So the first from the Konjic area and the second example was
10 Bijelo Polje; right?
11 A. I think so.
12 Q. Let's just look at one more document.
13 A. I'd like to apologise and say that I have no personal evidence
14 and proof of that. I just know that those were the rumours going round.
15 Q. Yes, I do respect that, Witness. I understand that, and I --
16 there's no need for you to speak about proof and evidence, but here's a
17 document that can. 2D857 is the number, and it is the last document in
18 my binder. Have you found it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And it is a request for launching an investigation against --
21 well, it's the 22nd of July. That's the date of it. You have an
22 indictment there, and the first name is Samir Kreso.
23 Now, let's look at page 3 of that document. Let's turn to
24 page 3. And let me remind you that on the first page it says doctor who
25 was a member of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Battalion. HVO 2nd Brigade,
1 1st Battalion, member of.
2 Now, in this indictment mention is made of the fact that this
3 particular gentleman, on the 30th of June, 1993, from Zlatic, Dragan's
4 house tricked Rajic, Filip, and took him away; and after arresting him,
5 wounded him, took him in an unknown direction, then set a house on fire.
6 Well, you can all read that. Anyway, tell us, Mr. Bagaric, I
7 don't want to ask you whether you know this man and the event, but from
8 this it follows that he was a doctor who was a member of the HVO and
9 after that, on the 30th of June crossed over to the Muslim side and
10 joined the Muslim army and then committed what he committed here.
11 A. That's what it says here, but I really don't know anything about
12 this, whether that was the case or not.
13 Q. All right. Fine. Now I'm going to conclude my examination with
14 some political questions as my colleague did, as my learned friend did,
15 because I haven't addressed that matter yet.
16 Could you explain -- well, we heard here in court many times when
17 the document from the meeting was shown and the conclusions that you said
18 weren't made which insisted that Mr. Izetbegovic said, "This is not our
20 Now, since you were an eye-witness to these events, you were in
21 Sarajevo at that time, you were in that general area, how was this
22 understood among the Croatian people, the Croatian population, and why
23 was there such a strong reaction from the Croatian people, and in what
24 context and when was this statement made?
25 A. Mr. Izetbegovic uttered those words as the president of the
1 Presidency or member of the Presidency or whatever, the man who
2 represented Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as such he represented the Croats as
3 well, the Croat -- the Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 And he made the statement during the aggression against the
5 Republic of Croatia, and this was, in fact, a terrible insult but also a
6 message to the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and it had a
7 terrible ring, because I think it happened, although I can't actually
8 claim that, it came after the attack on the village of Ravno, which,
9 Your Honour, Mr. President, it is a village in the Dubrovnik hinterland
10 with a Croatian majority. It is in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in the true
11 sense of the word genocide was committed there, because all the
12 inhabitants of one of the hamlets, and there were a number of those, were
13 killed. I think seven elderly men or women. They were killed. And that
14 really happened. And I heard certain interpretations that were different
15 implying other things with respect to his statement. But regardless of
16 all that and if we leave that aside, it was a terrible thing to hear. It
17 was a terrible thing for the Croats to hear generally, and particularly
18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. Now, my learned friend of the Prosecution said that you from
20 1991, and you put him right and said that it was from 1990, that you held
21 some political functions, and I'm going to ask you very precisely. Were
22 you in 1990 first a deputy in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Let's take things in order.
24 A. As a young physician, due to force of circumstance, with war
25 looming, at the first free elections I was indeed elected a deputy or
1 member of parliament in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. And that could be considered to be a political post; right?
3 A. Yes, that was a political post.
4 Q. What did you say? As of roughly March 1991 you joined the main
5 Medical Corps; is that right? 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then you became the chief and then the assistant to the
8 minister, and you worked as a doctor; right? Just let me finish. You
9 worked as a doctor. So during that time you weren't a politician. Am I
10 right in saying that?
11 A. Well, my mandate had not expired, although I didn't deal in
12 politician. I dealt in health care and protection, and I worked in the
13 medical centre as a doctor, and from my elections in 1990, I worked in
14 the health centre in Tomislavgrad. So I did practical work as a doctor.
15 Q. Mr. Bagaric, will you let me finish, please. I want to look at
16 your functions after the signing of the Washington Accords. You were
17 elected assistant minister for health of the Federation
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
19 A. That's right. After I completed my specialist training, I worked
20 as assistant minister for the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
21 field of health protection.
22 Q. You worked in Sarajevo, did you, at the time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did you meet your colleagues who were in the BH Army? I have
25 to ask you that.
1 A. Very often.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and not
3 overlap. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're going too fast, and
5 interpreters have problems. Please slow down and wait before you answer.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Mr. Bagaric finds
7 it hard to wait for me to end my questions.
8 Q. Mr. Bagaric, could you please wait and then answer my question.
9 How were you received as a doctor who spent the wartime in the HVO? How
10 were you received by politics in Sarajevo, who at the time were in the BH
11 army? Did you have any problems or were you respected? Were you held in
12 high esteem, and are you still treated the same way?
13 A. I had studied in Sarajevo, and I had met a lot of my colleagues
14 while studying, and when I returned after the war, I met many of them in
15 Sarajevo; and I have to say with a lot of satisfaction that it never
16 happened that any of them and although we were on two different sides in
17 one part of Bosnia-Herzegovina that in any -- any of -- that none of them
18 had any objections to my work. They all told me that they had heard of
19 my attempts to do good. That's how things were, and I had contacts. I
20 still have contacts, and I believe that this is a nice story with some of
21 the doctors who had left Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are Bosnian
22 Muslims. They live abroad. One of them lives in America, who never
23 fails to send me a Christmas or an Easter card. He was here recently.
24 And many other such people, and I am thankful to God that I have that
25 image and many of them enjoy my respect because they acted as doctors in
1 very dire times.
2 Q. Thank you very much. That's why we called you as a witness.
3 Mr. Bagaric, this brings my additional examination to an end.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
5 continues] ... colleagues. I wish to thank you. You have come at the
6 request of Mr. Stojic to bring your help to find the truth, and you have
7 my best wishes for your return in your country; and I will ask the usher
8 to accompany you until -- to accompany you to the door of the --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I apologise
10 for having spoken more and faster than I should have, and thank you for
11 bearing me -- with me.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we break, I would like
13 to speak to Mr. Vasic [as interpreted] and Mr. Praljak. I looked at the
14 24 finders which you produced with the list for Mr. Praljak's testimony,
15 and I have noticed that many documents were not translated. Is it when
16 Mr. Praljak will use these documents will we have the translations,
17 Mr. Kovacic?
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the documents that
19 will be used Mr. Praljak's testimony will be translated or should be
20 according to plan. Our team adds translations into e-court on a daily
21 basis. If they are not there already, it doesn't mean that they won't be
22 there within five or six days. And as you well know, Dr. --
23 Mr. Praljak's testimony's going to take a while.
24 In any case, we not going to be using documents, which are not
25 translated unless we're faced with something critical. In that case, we
1 are going to present the original of such a document, and we will take it
2 from there. We are aware of our obligation. You know that our sources
3 are limited, that our access to the translation service is limited, but
4 we are doing our best to translate as much as possible.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, Mr. Kovacic, since I've
6 been preparing for the hearing for Mr. Praljak for quite a long time, I
7 have noticed the following problem: When he testified in the Naletilic
8 case, and when he answered the cross-examination questions led by
9 Mr. Scott himself, he said that when two documents were submitted to him,
10 that these documents were forged. So personally, I would like to have,
11 and perhaps my colleagues would also like to have, a list of those
12 documents which you deem yourself as being forged.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. My mistake.
15 We did not make any particular plan -- plans to prepare such a
16 list. I know what you're talking about. However, a list can be
17 produced, because we're dealing with only a few documents that we believe
18 are forgery. I'm sure that you will remember that we filed a submission
19 about the document, which we are going to deal with.
20 As far as I can remember, the moment there are a couple of such
21 documents. We will put them on a separate list.
22 Mr. Praljak, I believe, will know better what this is about.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
24 Your Honours. Whenever somebody says "a couple" or "a few," I find this
25 very difficult to grasp. A couple is two, and documents may be one, two,
1 or three. As far as I remember, and I have believe I do, Mr. Scott
2 showed me just one document in passing, as it were, and for which I
3 claim, and I remember my words, I said that this is not my style, this is
4 not my manner, this is not my handwriting, and this is not my signature.
5 And although this was done in a haste, I still remember that there was a
6 signature, and the person who forged the document tried to imitate my
7 signature. The letter R in my family name Praljak is somewhat curved and
8 not curved in the way I write it, and I have that on hundreds of
9 documents. So this is a very obvious forgery.
10 And there's another document that I remember is a document that
11 somebody else falsified to show that on the 8th of November, 1993, in the
12 evening, added something at the end of Mr. Mijo Jelic's request and
13 approved that detainees should be taken to work.
14 As a general and Main Staff commander, I would never added
15 anything on Mr. Jelic's document. I never approved that anybody be taken
16 to any kind of work let alone to the front line; and also I'm going to
17 demonstrate where I was on the 8th and on 9th in the afternoon and in the
18 evening before I left that area around 7.00, half past 7.00 on the 9th
19 after having handed over duty to General Roso.
20 As I know, there are two documents. Let's be clear on that.
21 Let's make sure that there are not two documents.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic. Mr. Kovacic, if,
23 and I say if, in the hypothesis that those documents had been forged, how
24 is it possible that those documents were found in the Zagreb archive,
25 official archive were precisely there in official archives? Did you make
1 an inquiry? Did you try and understand how those documents ended up
2 there and that they were submitted?
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, obviously we are going
4 to provide very detailed argument in our final brief, and during our
5 Defence case we're going to provide all the necessary facts that will
6 allow us to tackle the issue in the final brief. However, in brief
7 outlines I can give you the gist of the whole thing.
8 As you may well know, and the Prosecutor certainly does, the
9 documents issued by the HVO HZ HB and HR HB, arrived and nobody has ever
10 confirmed how they arrived. The fact is that these documents did arrive
11 in the Republic of Croatia, and if I tell you the area now, I may be
12 mistaken. However, it was sometime in the late 1990s. At the beginning
13 of the year 2000, the Prosecutor and then the Defence cases that were
14 working on the contemporary cases were given access to those documents.
15 It is not known exactly. There are rumours and speculations, but
16 nothing is -- has been proven for a fact where the vast amounts of
17 documents, and we're talking about several -- tens of thousands of
18 documents, where they had been from the Washington or the Dayton Accords
19 until the moment when they turned up in Zagreb.
20 In this courtroom, the Prosecutor has produced documents showing
21 that in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia, among the intelligence
22 services and during their competition work there were some conspiracies.
23 I don't intend to try and prove that there were or there weren't.
24 Obviously there were groups and individuals who throughout all that
25 period between 1994 and 2000 expected to be indicted or were afraid that
1 they would be indicted. There were those who harboured their interests
2 to either cover up their traces or to implement somebody or something of
3 the kind. I can't speak of that, and I can't prove anything.
4 However, there's a fact that I -- that I intend to prove. There
5 is a signed and certified statement issued by the then-administrator of
6 the Croatian state archives from which it arises that the documents of
7 whose authenticity you are deciding here are not authentic only because
8 of the fact that they bear the stamp of the state archive. It is only
9 that stamp that will confirm for a fact that the document was located in
10 the Croatian archive in the HZ HB contingent, and that it was copied
11 there. Whether the document is authentic, how it had arrived in the
12 archives, it is something that nobody knows, and we're going to talk
13 about that during our Defence case.
14 There are a few more details. I don't want to bore you with any
15 of them. However, we will bear that in mind.
16 There is one more technical thing. In our pre-trial brief and
17 then during trial on one occasion we proposed an argument that was never
18 responded to, and the argument is as follows: Since both sides to these
19 proceedings are dealing with tens of thousands of documents, you know
20 that only too well because a lot of them end up being admitted into
21 evidence. Both sides only deal with the copies of these documents, and
22 those copies are the first, second, third, or even tenth generation. If
23 any of the sides, either the Prosecutor or us, want to challenge the
24 authenticity and the originality of a certain document, in my position,
25 which is in keeping with many national jurisdictions, then the
1 challenge -- the sides should produce an original. For as long as we all
2 agree that a copy is probably a credible copy and as good as the
3 original, then it's okay. However, this is an accusatory proceedings,
4 and if one side says, No, this is a forgery for this or that reason, that
5 has to be stated, then the other side should be asked to produce the
7 In the brief -- in the submission that has just been mentioned
8 and in which we challenge the authenticity of the document that
9 Mr. Praljak has just mentioned in his oral submission, a document where
10 he signed his name under another signature, we demonstrated that it is
11 really a -- very simple and easy to falsify a document of that kind.
12 I repeat, my position is that when a document is challenged the
13 other side has to be asked to produce the original and that applies to
14 both sides equally. If the Prosecutor challenges our document we'll try
15 to prove its authenticity through a witness or maybe we'll be able to
16 produce the original, but that has to be binding on both sides.
17 Obviously you have to decide that at the end of these proceedings, and I
18 would like to thank you for your patience.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Perhaps we leave it at
20 this stage. Perhaps we will have an opportunity to take a look at the
21 documents challenged when your witness or Mr. Praljak testifies.
22 Mr. Praljak, very shortly, what did you want to say?
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, I would
24 like to ask you -- well, the way in which the documents arrived and were
25 archived and what do we mean by archives, well-ordered archive and so on,
1 that you provide it because I worked to form an archive of the Croatian
2 army after I returned in November; and I know quite a lot about archives
3 and what can be considered archive material and so on.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Now, for the interpretation, we're
5 talking about two archives. One is the Croatian State Archive, and that
6 is the main source both for the Prosecution and the Defence. The other
7 archive that was mentioned a moment ago, that General Praljak mentioned,
8 and that is also where some documents were found, although to a lesser
9 extent, is the Croatian military archive. That's quite a different
10 institution. It's a different institution altogether. So they should be
11 kept separate.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Ms. Nozica, for
13 next week, we have the next witness, two hours for the in chief, an hour
14 for the other Defence teams, and two hours for the Prosecution.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. The
16 witness has arrived. This witness had some health problems last time. I
17 haven't seen him yet. He arrived this afternoon, but since he's here I
18 hope everything will be in order and that we stand trial ready for
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. If there are no
21 additional questions, I'll adjourn, and we'll meet Monday at 2.15.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.33 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Monday, the 27th day
24 of April, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.