1 Monday, 23 November 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 For the next witness, there was -- were objections from the
13 Prosecution to have the 92 ter statement admitted into evidence, and just
14 to cut matters short, mainly because it's -- it's rather expert evidence
15 than evidence of a witness of fact, at least in some of these paragraphs.
16 Meanwhile, the Chamber has received a supplemental information
17 sheet in which at least sources are mentioned of certain data.
18 Who on behalf of the Prosecution will deal with the witness?
19 MR. CARRIER: Good morning, Mr. President. I'm dealing with this
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Does the supplemental information sheet change
22 anything in the objections?
23 MR. CARRIER: It actually does. Number 4 and 5 on the
24 supplemental information sheet for MM-017, there's an explanation about
25 paragraphs 16 and 17 and a reference to D420.
1 Mr. Kuzmanovic entered this exhibit, D420, on the
2 25th of June, 2008 through Ambassador Galbraith. When I received this
3 supplemental information sheet yesterday evening, I looked at the page
4 references given at number 4 and 5, 3D00-1291 and 1292 and realised that,
5 in fact, what's been uploaded as the English translation of this document
6 is not the same as what the Croatian version of that document is.
7 So, in fact, what he's relying on is only in B/C/S at the moment,
8 and it calls into question the whole translation for --
9 JUDGE ORIE: D420.
10 MR. CARRIER: -- D420. So that's a simple thing.
11 And just while were on the topic of translations, initially we
12 received Mr. Pejkovic's statement in English, and it was printed off, and
13 I've been working off that copy -- and I only raise this, Your Honour,
14 because -- well, there's two points. Number one, I know Your Honour and
15 the Bench in general rightly demands a certain degree of preciseness.
16 What was filed in the 92 ter motion is actually a different translation
17 in English as well with no notification to the Prosecution that that had
18 been an updated translation. So what I've been working off of does
19 differ slightly in terms of how the sentence structures are, et cetera.
20 So even for the filing that we did in response to the 92 ter, we were
21 working off the old translation. The paragraph numbers are the same, but
22 it is troubling when we don't get notice that translations are being
23 replaced with new translations.
24 The number one on the supplemental information sheet is -- as
25 well, Mr. Pejkovic indicates that paragraph 4 of his statement comes from
1 the 65 ter 3D00723. Looking at that range - I think that was also
2 identified in our motion. However, I just wanted to point out that one
3 of the items on the potential exhibit list is 65 ter 3D00843, which is,
4 again, an updated version that actually fills in the rest of that chart
5 with new numbers and presumably that relates to number 7 on the
6 supplemental information sheet, wherein Mr. Pejkovic indicates that in
7 his -- the data in his statement relating to tables and numbers come from
8 a database.
9 So presumably that's what he has been using to generate these
10 numbers. And, again, the Prosecution's position is that that is another
11 demonstration of his expertise and a further indication that this isn't
12 transparent; we don't know anything about where these numbers are coming
13 from, how they're being generated. And so we would ask that
14 65 ter 3D00843 also be another one of the items that Mr. Pejkovic not be
15 permitted to refer to during his testimony. And given number 7 on his
16 supplemental information sheet, we also have issues with paragraph 11 and
17 paragraph 8 because if he is saying that he generated the numbers from
18 database, that is problematic.
19 There's also an indication here that was disclosed apparently in
20 another case over six years ago. I wasn't here then. I didn't know
21 anything about this. And there's no notice other than what I got last
22 night from the Markac Defence. I haven't had a chance to open that
23 because what I did find in the system is just that it consists of a
24 number of -- diskettes somewhere. I don't have access to that.
25 And just the last point, number 8: Mr. Pejkovic indicated that
1 he was supposed to be testifying at the OTP's request in the Milosevic
2 trial -- again, I got this last night, so I've done what inquiries I can
3 with the Case Manager on that case as well as with one of the other
4 lawyers that worked on that, and they had never heard of Mr. Pejkovic.
5 So I don't know anything about that.
6 And then lastly, just in number 7 again: I don't know or on what
7 basis he has any information about when things were supplied to the OTP
8 and RFAs, et cetera, but that is another matter.
9 Anyway, those are the issues that were raised by that,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 This witness was never designated as an expert, and this witness
14 is not an expert. This witness is a fact witness.
15 The OTP has been aware that this person has been a fact witness
16 since we filed our witness list in May 2009.
17 With respect to the translation issue, which I believe is a side
18 issue, what CLSS provides, if that's different from the draft
19 translation, It's not something that we do. It's not something that we
20 are aware of. We provide a draft translation in our 92 -- in our 65 ter
21 submission; all that stuff goes to CLSS; it comes out; it gets translated
22 however they translate it; it gets uploaded into the system. I don't
23 know how that works, but that's the system, and that's the system that
24 we're dealing with. So whether there are any slight differences in what
25 the translations may be, I'm not aware of. I'm working off of the CLSS
1 translation, not off of the 65 ter translation.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Do you ever provide the draft translation to the
3 other parties?
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: When we filed our 65 ter list in May, we
5 provided them with draft translations which had not been translated by
7 JUDGE ORIE: Was it clear that at a later stage you used the
8 final translations. Is that something the OTP should have known?
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: You know what, Your Honour, I'm not aware of
10 that. I can't --
11 JUDGE ORIE: This is not an awareness question. It is a
12 normative question. Should they know?
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sure they should know; it's in the system.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's a simple and short answer.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: We have --
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers]... You should know because
17 it's in the system. That's a --
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: We had the same issue with the first protected
19 witness where a key word was mistranslated that we weren't aware of, that
20 no one else was aware of. We had the same issue with the date of a
21 witness statement which was so obvious that it was one date and it was
22 translated as another date. So those minor mistakes for us are troubling
23 because obviously we are relying on CLSS to provide an -- I mean, if we
24 also have to read the translated document again from CLSS to ensure that
25 it's accurately translated, that's just a huge workload for us.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, if you receive, at an early stage, a
2 draft translation, is it visible that it's a draft translation not a CLSS
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: You know, I can't tell that you off the top of
5 my head, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But that's, of course -- that is very important.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I can talk to my Case Manager and let you know,
8 but I don't know off the top of my head.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because awareness of possible changes depends
10 on awareness of the provisional character of the translation.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The draft report is what we filed in May, and
12 the corrected version of the -- or the CLSS version is what we filed with
13 the 92 ter statement.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That is not an answer to my question as you
15 certainly are aware of.
16 Can you see, from the draft translation you provide -- can you
17 see that it's a draft so that you should be at notice that perhaps if,
18 later on, a final translation is there that there may be difference.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't know that, Your Honour. I didn't ask
20 that of my Case Manager.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, often we see, in grey -- see we draft or
22 provisional translation you can use that shadow-type of printing
23 technique which we often see as a matter of fact. Is that visible in one
24 way or another on the draft?
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I will let me co-counsel just --
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The initial translation does note that it's a
3 draft translation. And when CLSS translated -- translates the document,
4 there is an additional notation, which we don't provide, which is on the
5 bottom of the statement. For example, in the 92 ter statement, if you
6 look at the bottom of the first page in English, and I don't know if the
7 Court has that. If we --
8 JUDGE ORIE: What we have is 3D04-1913-ET, 0/B --
9 [Overlapping speakers] ...
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour. That shows that
11 the document has been translated. At least what we are aware of from
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 Mr. Carrier.
15 MR. CARRIER: If I can just correct Mr. Kuzmanovic on one point.
16 He says that the first one indicated it was a draft. I'll provide a copy
17 to Your Honours if you'd like. It doesn't say draft on it anywhere.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Does it somewhere at the bottom, because I --
19 MR. CARRIER: I just looked at it, no. It doesn't.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then the first thing is that Mr. Kuzmanovic will now
21 tell you where you can see that it's a draft. If you put it on the --
22 Could it be put on the ELMO so that we can see ...
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, we don't have that with us right
24 now, so I can't answer that question. Every single translation that
25 we've sent to -- in our 92 ter or in our 65 ter submissions were not
1 final translations. They aren't final until CLSS says they're final.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that was not my question. My question was
3 whether it was visible from that one that it was a draft rather than a
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I was told by my Case Manager that it was
6 visible. I'll check it.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, give me one page of -- the cover page.
8 If have you one, then we could have a look at it.
9 MR. CARRIER: I believe Mr. Waespi just stepped out to get a
10 copy. So if we could take a moment, and we could put it on there.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently you have noted there are some
12 differences. Is this -- does it affect the substance? Not to say that
13 we should not be very precise, but at the same time, of course, primary
14 concern is how to proceed, whether we can do that on the basis of what
15 you've seen, or whether you claim that we can't.
16 MR. CARRIER: Your Honour, I'm -- just given -- I understand how
17 important it is to be precise, and it is very difficult in these
18 circumstances. For instance, just as an example, in the translation, the
19 first one: Instead of saying 8.000 Serbs left during Flash; it had
20 80.000 Serbs. Different structures have been moved around in terms of
21 wording. And then obviously when you get this -- when I finally figured
22 this out yesterday when I was just trying to match up pages in order to
23 be precise and realised that the one that was uploaded in the system was,
24 in fact, different. And it was obviously a problem for me. I just --
25 I'm not confident that I'm in a position to cross in a way that would not
1 create a lot of stop and go. So, I mean, if you were to be finished in
2 chief today and just had some time to make sure and go through it.
3 The problem is you prepare, you prepare, you do a summary, you
4 work off of what's been provided - there's no indication that it's a
5 draft - and then on the day before to find out that it's different is
6 troubling. And it does create huge difficulties when you're trying --
7 when the questions have been drafted. I need to go back through all the
8 questions. I tried to do that to the best of my ability, but I'm not
9 confident that I've been able to do it, unfortunately. It is difficult
10 to cross-examine someone and put precisely what they said and have to go
11 back and figure out whether you have to change everything. And I just
12 haven't had a chance to do that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, you're both masters this morning and
14 judging on the matters I raised but not answering my questions.
15 I asked you whether you claim that we can't proceed, and I took
16 it from your answer that you said, Well, let's see what happens in chief,
17 and then it's all cumbersome, it's all problematic. That's clear to me.
18 Can we proceed with the examination in chief in view of you -- apart from
19 what will happen after that?
20 MR. CARRIER: I think in conjunction with the mistranslation with
21 the fact that, as I indicated, D420 is not correct either which is also
22 something I was working heavily off of. It was on their exhibit list.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We'll come to D420. But on the basis of what --
24 MR. CARRIER: I think together it makes it -- it basically makes
25 it virtually impossible for me to cross today, confident that I can refer
1 to the documents that are going to be relied upon that were relied upon,
2 according to Mr. Pejkovic as of yesterday, documents that we, in our
3 filing, identified as potential sources. And then again, I haven't had a
4 chance to go back through the filing either, Your Honour, to make sure
5 that that is fully accurate, given that D420 was referenced. I don't
6 know -- I haven't had a chance to have anyone do a new translation of
7 that or have a look at the translations.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. CARRIER: You understand the point, obviously, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I understand the point. I also understand that your
11 position is that do you not feel that you would be ready to cross-examine
12 the witness on the basis of what you have got until now but whether that
13 changes through the day or by tomorrow is still to be seen.
14 MR. CARRIER: Yes. And it would also depend, obviously, on the
15 outcome of the Prosecution's motion on this statement as it stands now.
16 I don't know where that is going either. So that may have an impact.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Next point, D420, Mr. Kuzmanovic. That seems not to
18 be just a -- is it just a translation issue, or is it that -- I mean a
19 different text in English sometimes is apparently another translation of
20 the same original, and sometimes it is because the original is different.
21 MR. CARRIER: The original is different. The numbers are
22 different. And even the bottom of the first page of D420 says
23 April 2000. That's the date of the document. The numbers that
24 Mr. Pejkovic is relying on and that he's referenced -- and if you look at
25 the pages he's referenced in the B/C/S, those are updated as May 2000.
1 So unless --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's already in your responses, isn't it?
3 MR. CARRIER: [Overlapping speakers]... right. Well, no --
4 JUDGE ORIE: This is what I say -- yes, but I saw -- for some
5 documents already that you say, Well, we have problems there because it
6 is covering the different time-periods.
7 MR. CARRIER: Expect what I realised when I got the filing last
8 night, the supplemental filing, and specifically numbers 4 and 5, on the
9 supplemental filing, when I looked -- when I first looked at the English
10 translation, I was trying to find knows pages. And then I realised they
11 were B/C/S references. I looked at the B/C/S references, and I saw that
12 the charts that Mr. Pejkovic reproduces in whole that were identified in
13 the -- in the OTP's objection to the statement actually are found in the
14 B/C/S version, and they are updated to May 2000, which is not the case
15 in -- in the English translation as it stands.
16 So it is a different document. Obviously when you get it at 5.30
17 last night and you look at it, not speaking B/C/S and it's a 50-page
18 document, I have no capacity to accurately go through and figure out
19 whether the wording's the same. I mean, the numbers are different and
20 the wording is presumably different.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, here the issue is raised not as an
22 updated translation but just a different document.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The translation, Your Honour, I have been
24 informed has been done, and it is going to be uploaded today into
1 Mr. Pejkovic can obviously tell the Court regarding his
2 information and what he received regarding the database that's located
3 partially in D420.
4 I was also informed by my Case Manager that the updated
5 translation of the Rule 92 ter statement was in May of this year, meaning
6 that the document was available since May of this year. The official
7 filing that we made 12 days ago -- this wasn't notice that counsel
8 received yesterday or the day before. The official filing of the 92 ter
9 statement was 12 days ago. So that's the document that we're going to
10 work off of in our examination-in-chief. We did not receive any
11 objections regarding this 92 ter statement till after business hours on
12 Friday. So, obviously, we had to look and see what had this was all
14 The first time it was raised specifically as to what the
15 Prosecution was objecting to was after business hours on Friday. I let
16 Mr. Waespi know that I wasn't really happy with that kind of notice,
17 given the fact that the witness was potentially to start testifying on
18 Friday. But, obviously, we went over the -- we went over the issue with
19 him and provided the supplemental information sheet as a means to try to
20 resolve, since we don't the time to file a formal response the issue
21 related to this witness.
22 On the 9th of September it was downloaded, the official
23 translation, September 9th. So it's not an issue that this just happened
24 Friday, or Thursday, or whenever.
25 So with respect to the notice issue, you know, a simple phone
1 call or simple discussion either before or after court would have been
2 very easy to deal with. Instead we got a motion, you know, late Friday
3 night letting us know that this witness is actually an expert and we're
4 objecting to various portions of his statement. Obviously the
5 supplemental sheet was provided in an attempt to deal with that issue in
6 a timely fashion so that this witness can go forward today.
7 I wanted to let -- advise the Court with respect to the
8 Prosecution's motion. As I said, this witness is a fact witness. He
9 will testify about his own work and the work of his office. This witness
10 is not getting a -- an outside party getting a set of documents and
11 interpreting them. He was intimately involved as the head of Office of
12 Expelled Persons and Refugees in dealing with this issue from December of
13 1991 all through September of 2005.
14 The data upon which he will testify comes from the database which
15 was provided in its entirety to the Prosecution. You can ask
16 Mr. Pejkovic that yourself. I personally saw the letter. Geoffrey Nice,
17 he has that letter with him, Your Honours, the letter from the
18 Prosecution going back and forth asking for this information.
19 When Mr. Nice asked the Croatian government for who would be the
20 witness -- or who would be the person or office that we'd need to contact
21 regarding this information, it was Mr. Pejkovic. So if the Trial Chamber
22 wanted to call a witness on this specific issue and ask the Croatian
23 government, Please provide us with a witness who would testify on these
24 issues regarding refugees and returns, Mr. Pejkovic would be the person
25 who was designated.
1 The -- as I stated earlier, the database was provided, the entire
2 database, to the Office of the Prosecutor in 2003. I would like to
3 add --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could I take it step by step.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure.
6 JUDGE ORIE: There was some dispute about whether the witness was
7 requested to testify. From what you are now telling, should I understand
8 paragraph 8 to be the following: The OTP requested that data would be
9 given and the name of a potential witness provided to the OTP?
10 Is that -- or was there any --
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I have the letter in -- or the witness has the
12 letter in B/C/S, Your Honour. I don't know if he brought it with him
13 today. We can -- we have no qualms about producing that letter so the
14 Court itself can see what exactly was requested. Mr. Pejkovic himself
15 told us yesterday during the meeting for the supplemental information
16 sheet that he was requested to testify at the Milosevic trial. So -- and
17 it was in conjunction with production of the database.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now whether he would testify as an expert or
19 as a witness of fact, is that -- you haven't seen the letter?
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: There is no specific request that he testify as
21 an expert in any letter.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Is he personally addressed, or is it the government
23 who is addressed to provide --
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: There's both, Your Honour. There's both.
25 Because since he was the person charged with this job and with the
1 database, it eventually went through the Croatian government in a RFA and
2 then directly to Mr. Pejkovic in a form of a letter from Mr. Nice, so --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. We'll have a look at that.
4 Yes, Mr. Misetic.
5 MR. CARRIER: I hope -- I'll ask -- we'll see if the witness
6 brought the information with him. If he didn't, we can get it at the
7 first break.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we move to the --
9 Yes, Mr. Misetic.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I just wanted to -- if can I be
11 assistant with respect to D420. In the original Croatian and in the
12 English version, they both say they're from April 2000. So to me it
13 seemed like there was a suggestion from the Prosecution that the English
14 is a different document and says April while the Croatian must be a
15 document that is after April. And, in fact, they both claim to be from
16 April 2000.
17 The second is that from my -- just from looking at --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just then -- because if there's dispute about
19 that, let's have a look.
20 The original uploaded as D420 gives as the month and - forgive my
21 pronunciation - is as the "tavanj."
22 MR. MISETIC: "Travanj" is April.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, yes, it's R -- "travanj." That's April.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier --
1 MR. MISETIC: There was one other point, Mr. President. Then
2 Mr. Carrier can respond.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. MISETIC: It looks to me like the English translation of this
5 is the actual Republic of Croatia
6 if you look at the English translation, it first of all doesn't look like
7 a typical one done for the purposes of this case. And, secondly, in the
8 left hand column, you see what appears to be a binding or a binder and
9 that it came out of an original binder. So if there's an issue with the
10 translation, it looks like both the original and the English are both
11 original Croatian government documents.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although apparently the one uploaded as a
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It appears that way, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Mr. Carrier, let's try to keep matters simple. April. April.
17 MR. CARRIER: I don't speak Croatian, so I was just going by the
18 fact that the numbers were updated from May. If you just look at, very
19 specifically, what he is referencing in his supplemental statement,
20 those -- one of those pages, and if you look at the corresponding pages
21 in the English translation, you see all the numbers are different.
22 Whether or not the rest of the text in the 50-page document is different,
23 I don't know.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, data from an April 2000 report,
25 could they cover anything which dates from May 2000 as well?
1 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I apologise, Your Honour. My Case Manager was
3 addressing something to me. I will look.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What Mr. Carrier says it's not D204 because it
5 covers a time-period which is beyond April 2000.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: D240, you mean, Your Honour?
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, the new one.
8 MR. CARRIER: 420.
9 JUDGE ORIE: D420. I'm sorry, yes.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: 420, we all had it wrong.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's Monday morning. That's no excuse, by the
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Off the top of my head, Your Honour, I can't
14 tell you that without -- without -- we can ask the witness that, but off
15 the top of my head, I can't tell you without having all the stuff in
16 front of me. I'm sorry.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Next issue. Let's focus on paragraph 18: expert
18 evidence, opinions. Let's read:
19 "On the basis of these data, it is evident that the Republic of
21 in Croatia
22 Mr. Carrier says this is opinion and this is not fact. And that
23 he has -- let's just focus on 18 because that seems to be the -- for you,
24 Mr. Kay, the most striking example in your view of expert evidence, isn't
1 MR. CARRIER: Yes. Mr. President, it's the summary and the words
2 based on these data which now has indicated he has also compiled from the
4 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph 18, objected to because it is expert
5 evidence rather than evidence of a witness of fact.
6 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I think the issue here is whether
8 or not this witness can make a conclusion based on the data that his
9 office compiled. I don't think that's an expert issue. We've had
10 testimony from many other people in this case, and I can at this of a
11 specific exhibit right now involving the chart that was used for evidence
12 of destructed -- destroyed and burned houses, P421. There was a lot of
13 information in that chart in which the people who were testifying
14 concluded that there was a great deal of burning and looting going on
15 based upon that chart's analysis. And now all of the testimony came in,
16 and non of those people were expert witnesses.
17 On the contrary, in this particular instance, Mr. Pejkovic is the
18 person whose responsible was to deal with refugee, refugee returns, and
19 the like. And I think a simple statement in his first sentence is -- is
20 probably, if you read the statistical data, self-evident. And I don't
21 think it goes into the realm of expert testimony at all.
22 For example, we had Mr. Theunens who was an expert. He was an
23 outside person who came in and reviewed all the documents and then made
24 opinions based on the documents. Here this is the not the case. This
25 witness was involved in compiling these documents; he did this work on a
1 daily basis for almost 14 years; and it is very relevant and a factual
2 issue for this witness to be able to make a statement like he did in the
3 first instances - I will slow down here; I think I'm going too fast - of
4 paragraph 18, I think, is quite relevant. And it doesn't go into the
5 realm of expert testimony.
6 We also had, for example, the list of dead bodies, P421. That
7 was another issue in which there were objections. And the testimony came
8 in about that list, and that was used as an example of either the
9 Croatian government failing to do anything about it or the Croatian
10 government condoning it.
11 So I just wanted to use those examples, Your Honour, to take one
12 sentence in the first sentence in paragraph 18 and claim that that
13 automatically somehow makes this person an expert witness, I think, is --
14 is the wrong avenue. This person dealt with this database, compiled this
15 database, worked with it on a daily basis for 14 years, and I don't think
16 there is any other person in terms of witnesses that can come close to
17 the level of knowledge and experience with respect to this issue on a
18 factual basis than this witness.
19 And that's our position on paragraph 18, Your Honour.
20 And I might add that, you know, obviously if the Prosecution
21 doesn't think that this statement has any validity or any truthfulness to
22 it -- or not necessarily truthfulness but has some issues to deal with,
23 it can be dealt with to probe his credibility and his knowledge in
24 cross-examination. That's the whole point of cross-examination.
25 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is not immediately in a position to
1 compare all this. This brings me back into my mind the issues of
2 Mr. Sterc, where the Chamber took it on a -- on a paragraph by
3 paragraph basis. And I think the Chamber, in that case, proceeded by
4 instructing the parties to examine Mr. Sterc as factually as possible so
5 as to see what he could tell about his own experience. For example, how
6 the data were collected. Of course, one of the problems is that there
7 was not a lot of -- a lot of source information available here, which may
8 have caused part of the problem.
9 Mr. Carrier.
10 MR. CARRIER: Mr. President, I do have the original translation
11 that was provided to us now.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you could just show it --
13 MR. CARRIER: [Overlapping speakers]...
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if we could just have a copy for a second.
15 Madam Usher, could you please assist.
16 MR. CARRIER: And just as one example, Your Honour, in
17 paragraph 7, although it's a number and it could have been compared - I
18 don't -- haven't had a chance to go through everything - but instead of
19 8.000 Serbs being -- leaving Croatia
20 are numbers you compare and you think of as you go through all the other
21 material obviously, so.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That seems to be primarily in the realm of errors.
23 And not to say that they are not important, but that is a different
24 category from where -- a mistake is something different from a --
25 systematic source of confusion. That's --
1 MR. CARRIER: I think, if you had a chance to read both, you
2 would see that actually even the sentence structure, et cetera, is quite
3 different throughout in every single paragraph, almost sentence to
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, you said from the original witness
6 statement you could see that it's a draft declaration. I'm looking at a
7 copy. Could you assist me in where I find that?
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, all I have in front of me is the
9 official translation of September -- that was uploaded September 9th.
10 I don't have the other document.
11 MR. CARRIER: I can provide Mr. Kuzmanovic with a copy.
12 JUDGE ORIE: This is the original one. I inquired as to whether
13 it should be -- should have been clear to the OTP that they could expect
14 an updated translation, because this being only a draft version.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 JUDGE ORIE: And you were ...
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, it is obvious on this document --
19 there is no specific designation on this document that was filed in
20 May that it's a draft translation. We did provide and upload on
21 September 9th, two months ago, more than two months ago, the translation
22 that we filed with our 92 ter statement, so -- and that's the official
24 So the answer to Your Honour's question is that there's -- in the
25 May 92 ter -- or in the May 65 ter filing, in which we filed all our
1 documents and statement, et cetera, there is no notation on this witness
2 statement in English that it's a draft translation. And, you know, while
3 that may be an issue as to whether or not "draft" should have been
4 written on this document, the -- the original -- the translation was
5 uploaded -- the official CLSS translation was uploaded on September 9th,
6 and that is what was filed with our 92 ter.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're repeating what you said before. I
8 specifically asked you this, Mr. Kuzmanovic, and then you, at that time,
9 confirmed, page 6, line 14, which was a mistake then, I understand.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, it was a mistake, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think the best thing I can do is to refer the
15 parties to transcript pages 21.130 up to and including 21.133. And I'll
16 just read small elements of that.
17 "The Chamber previously considered that parties are not
18 necessarily precluded from eliciting opinions from fact witnesses, that
19 clear lines cannot always be drawn between fact and opinion, and very
20 simple statements can also include elements of both. When a fact witness
21 offers an opinion as part of his testimony, the Chamber considers whether
22 that opinion has a factual basis in what the witness has personally
23 experienced and whether the witness needed any special knowledge,
24 experience, or skills in order to substantiate it."
25 I then continued by saying:
1 "In determining whether a piece of evidence can be admitted, the
2 Chamber further considers whether the evidence predominantly consists of
3 opinions or facts. However, when a witness provides opinions or
4 conclusions that are of an expert character, that is, they're required
5 that the person providing them has some sort of specialized knowledge,
6 skill, or training, the Chamber expects this witness to provide this
7 expert opinion in full transparency of the established or assumed facts
8 he or she relies upon and the methods used when applying his or her
9 knowledge, experience, or skills to form his or her expert opinion.
10 Whenever possible, the parties should be given the opportunity to test or
11 challenge the factual basis and methodology on which the expert has
12 reached his or her conclusions."
13 And then it continues with the minimum degree of transparency
15 The Chamber takes the view at this moment that we find ourselves
16 in a situation where it cannot be said that the statement is one purely
17 of a witness of fact. And whether or not the 92 ter statement can be
18 admitted or not, will be decided by the Chamber, after we've heard the
20 And, therefore, Mr. Kuzmanovic, you will not be surprised that
21 the Chamber strongly encourages you to shed light, especially on factual
22 basis what was personal observations. So to see whether, at the end, the
23 statement or parts of the statement do meet the requirements for a
24 witness of fact and if some opinion evidence slipped in, whether that
25 then fully meets the requirements. Apart from that, it has not been
1 presented as an expert report, but if there are elements of expert
2 evidence in there, whether it meets the requirements which apply when
3 we're hearing expert evidence.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's well understood, Your Honour.
5 Mr. Mikulicic will lead this witness, and obviously will take those
6 issues to heart.
7 I wanted to also inform the Court and the parties that D420 with
8 the table translations, 3D06-0604, have been updated.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What was and what is the time assessment for
10 this witness? I don't know whether the present situation has changed
11 anything in this respect.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, we presume three sessions, but I
13 could deal with it, I think, by the end of the day.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's ask Madam Usher to escort the witness
15 into the courtroom.
16 Yes, Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. With regard to the issues
18 concerning the numbers and the numbers set forth in this document, I just
19 ask the Court and Chamber, in making a decision on these numbers, to
20 harken back to P176 which was the compilation of burnt houses that was
21 talked about by Mr. Ermolaev, Mr. Marti, Mr. Anttila, and others, where
22 that -- it would appear that the Prosecution is taking a different
23 position here, standing behind the reliability of this counting system.
24 Where, if the Chamber recalls, and I know it's been a long time ago --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think that we went with quite some detail into how
1 these numbers --
2 MR. KEHOE: We did.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- numbers were established.
4 MR. KEHOE: We did.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And at this moment, in this report, the emphasis
6 seems not to be primarily on how the data were gathered.
7 MR. KEHOE: Well, it's interesting you mention that because I was
8 just reviewing some of the transcripts on this score, and I was trying to
9 get behind -- from the Prosecution -- trying to get behind how these
10 numbers were, in fact, gathered, and we were unable to do so. We can
11 take this up at a later date, Mr. President. I note that the witness is
12 in the courtroom at this juncture.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Good morning, Mr. Pejkovic. Can you hear me in a language you
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pejkovic, before you give evidence, the Rules of
19 Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration, of
20 which the text is now being handed out to you by Madam Usher.
21 May I invite to you make that solemn declaration.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: LOVRE PEJKOVIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Pejkovic. Please be seated.
2 Mr. Pejkovic, you'll be first examined by Mr. Mikulicic.
3 Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
4 But before we do so, I'd like to return the initial statement to
5 the Prosecution. From your answers, I take it, Mr. Kuzmanovic, that
6 there is no need to verify whether I had the same document in my hands as
7 you had.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: There is not, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Mr. Mikulicic.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Pejkovic. Before we begin,
14 you have a binder in front of you. Can you tell the Court what it is?
15 A. It's my statement and official reports from 1995 and 2000 that I
16 need, because there are so many numbers that I cannot recite them off the
17 top of my head.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honours, if
19 Mr. Pejkovic should use these documents, I would always first turn to the
20 Court and ask for permission for him to look at a document. Is that all
22 JUDGE ORIE: That's all right.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, for the record, tell us your full name.
25 A. Lovre Pejkovic.
1 Q. What is your current occupation?
2 A. I'm currently a member of the board of a private business,
3 Markson Investments.
4 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, do you remember giving a statement in our law
5 office to this Defence team on the 11th of May of this year?
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Can I ask for document 3D00893.
7 Q. You will see your statement now, Mr. Pejkovic. Could you
8 identify your signature and confirm that it was the statement you have
9 given to the Defence team of General Markac?
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Last page, please, so we can identify the
12 Q. Is this your signature?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When you were giving this statement, the information you provided
15 to the Defence of General Markac, is it correct to the best of your
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If I asked you the same questions today, would your answers be
19 the same?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I tender this
22 statement now, with a reservation just made, we could MFI it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, I take it that the objection stands.
24 And it follows from the ruling of the Chamber earlier how to proceed that
25 this document will be MFI
1 MR. CARRIER: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1825, marked
4 for identification.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Mikulicic.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, yesterday afternoon we discussed
9 again the subject of your testimony, and then you made a supplemental
10 statement where you explained the sources of your knowledge concerning
11 the information you provided.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can we show this supplemental
13 statement via Sanction because it hasn't been uploaded into e-court yet.
14 Q. Then I would like you, Witness, to identify the statement.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Bottom of the page, please, so we
16 can see the signature.
17 Q. Is this your signature, Mr. Pejkovic? Is this the supplemental
18 statement you gave to the Defence of General Markac yesterday afternoon?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Depending on the fate of the first statement, I
21 would also tender this supplemental information sheet to be marked for
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
24 MR. CARRIER: I actually have no objection to this being
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I think it is -- the probative value and
2 the relevance of this supplemental information sheet, I would say,
3 depends on the decision to be taken in relation to the -- to the 92 ter.
4 So, therefore, I suggest that it will be marked for identification. It
5 is it now on the record that, as such, there is no objection to it but
6 that we have it marked for identification for the time being.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] We could say it has a permanent
8 nature. For the record, it is now in e-court, and it is 3D06-0622.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And it receives, Mr. Registrar, what number?
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1826, also
11 marked for identification.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, MR. Registrar.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, be so kind and tell the Court how your professional
15 career came to be linked with the office in which you worked from 1991
16 through 2005.
17 Could you describe your career?
18 A. In November 1991, the then deputy prime minister, Dr. Mate Granic
19 invited me, together with another group of people to a meeting and asked
20 me -- asked us to organise an Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees
21 of the Republic of Croatia
22 22nd November, 1991
23 obligation, I started to work in setting up this office from the very
24 first day. I remained in it until the 20th September, 1995.
25 I cannot see the transcript in front of me. Could it be switched
2 Q. Meanwhile, Mr. Pejkovic, to facilitate our communication, we need
3 to make a pause between questions and answers.
4 You said you stayed there until the 20th September, which year?
5 A. 2005. In that time, I discharged various duties. But I became a
6 full-time employee on the 1st of December, 1995, as a senior advisor. My
7 next position was chief advisor. And then I became deputy chief of that
8 office. And finally, on the 30th of May -- sorry. 30th January, 1996, I
9 became chief, which I stayed -- and later, when it was incorporated into
10 the ministry, I -- I became deputy head of ODPR, and I stayed there until
11 the 20th September, 2005
12 Q. We see that it's a government office. Tell us about its position
13 in the executive authorities. What is the position of that office
14 relative to the executive authorities?
15 A. Well, the person superior to that office, the immediate superior,
16 is the deputy prime minister. And above him stands the prime minister.
17 At the beginning, it was Dr. Mate Granic.
18 Q. What is the main function, the mission, and the purpose of
19 establishment of that office?
20 A. The purpose was to provide care and accommodation for all
21 displaced persons and refugees who, at that time, in end 1991, found
22 themselves in Croatia
23 I have to say that there had been, even before, a system of
24 social security in Croatia
25 refugee and displaced persons crisis was of such a scale that it required
1 a special body that would have immediate contact with the government in
2 resolving the serious problems facing Croatia at the time.
3 Q. What mechanisms were at the disposal of the office? I mean,
4 human resources and material resources as well as the legislative
6 A. There was a decree on the status of expelled persons and
7 refugees; the decree under which the office was set up that was in end
9 On the 15th of January, 1992, the Sarajevo cease-fire was agreed.
10 The arrival of the UNPROFOR into Croatia
11 that the end of the war was not far, and it would put an end to the
12 occupation of our occupied territories. And the expelled persons, those
13 who had been expelled from Croatia
14 able to return to their original areas of residence.
15 At the binning, there were no big investments into the
16 organisation and equipment of the office because we did not think at that
17 time that it would need to exist longer than the summer of 1992.
18 However, now in hindsight, we all know what actually happened.
19 The UNPROFOR arrived; the state of occupation was cemented; and during
20 the man date of the UNPROFOR which was primarily to return the refugees
21 to their homes, another 12.000 persons were expelled. More than 600
22 persons who remained in the area were killed. And not a single expelled
23 person returned.
24 All these things that I said a moment ago placed new demands on
25 our office. And pursuant to government decisions, all the available
1 accommodation for tourists on the Adriatic
2 for our employees, all temporary accommodation for builders and workers
3 was turned over for refugees. In 1992, the aggression and occupation
4 against Bosnia-Herzegovina started, and that created a exodus of its
5 population, Bosniaks and Croats and Muslims, via Croatia, so that towards
6 the end of 1992, at one point, we had 750.000 persons expelled either
7 from other areas of Croatia
8 At that moment, Europe
9 humanitarian crisis. And a part of refugees, primarily from Bosnia
11 number stabilised around 450.000 displaced persons and refugees in the
12 care of the Republic of Croatia
13 To deal with this, the office had a personnel of about 80 staff
14 and another 200 assisting, through 103 social security centres in
16 So around 280 persons were more or less directly involved into
17 the process of caring for refugees and displaced persons. That does not
18 include all the NGOs that arrived in Croatia at the time to help with
19 this problem.
20 Q. Keeping records of such a great number of people was rather
21 complicated, wasn't it?
22 A. It was a very delicate and very difficult task because it was not
23 only about counting them, it was about identifying people and enabling
24 parts of their families, away from Croatia, to find out where their
25 families were, enabling them to either reunite either in Croatia or in a
1 third country, which was primarily a humanitarian issue. And then,
2 information about their numbers: where they were accommodated, their
3 status, their age group, all this information was needed in order to
4 organise normal schooling. We have to say that not a single child missed
5 a single school year in Croatia
6 schooling and to enjoy free-of-charge health care.
7 You understand the organisational difficulty this involved but
8 also the financial difficulty. We had to organise extra censuses, the
9 first one of which was in 1992. And, at that time, we counted 247.271
10 expelled persons.
11 Q. Just a second, excuse me for interrupting you. But tell us where
12 were these data recorded; what did a refugee file, to call it that way,
13 consist of; and where was that kept?
14 A. For each person who was covered by the census --
15 MR. CARRIER: Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Carrier.
17 MR. CARRIER: I apologise. I just -- he got cut off. I was
18 actually interested to hear about the different censuses and how they
19 were compiled. Is there any -- he got cut off there by Mr. Mikulicic.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: I suppose I am allowed to conduct direct
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, your question was rather broad whether it
23 was -- whether keeping of records of such a great number was complicated.
24 That, of course, asks for a rather broad answer as well. But I think
25 you're entitled to -- if the answer goes into the direction which you're
1 not heading for, that you cut off the witness.
2 At the same time, we know that Mr. Carrier then at a later stage
3 will ask the witness about these data. So therefore, for the
4 understanding of the evidence, it would be advisable if we would hear
5 that from the witness now. But I'm not -- you're not under any
6 obligation to do it, but you're invited to let the witness finish his
8 MR. MIKULICIC:
9 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Pejkovic, I have to look at the record
10 again, because I forgot what I asked you.
11 The question was how was this huge collection of data archived,
12 and how did a basic file of each of the expelled person look. And how
13 was it organised? I was interested in the technical aspect.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
15 Witness, when you started explaining about the census where
16 you - because I heard the first figure of 247.000 - where you actually
17 more or less repeating what we find in paragraph 4 of your statement in
18 which you refer to the census of expelled persons in April 1992, the
19 refugee census in March 1993, the census of expelled persons and refugees
20 in June 1994, and the re-registration of expelled person, returnees and
21 refugees in March /April 1997.
22 Is that what you wanted to refer to?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: I was just going through my direct examination
25 towards that goal and towards that explanation. And I have in mind, and
1 I will go through it with the witness, but just in a couple of minutes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps, then, the best answer to
3 Mr. Carrier's objection would have been, I'll deal with all the details
4 in my next questions.
5 Then Mr. Carrier would immediately have sat down.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, what I wanted to know before we
9 move on to my next question was what was the methodology of recording the
10 information about the refugees and how was it all processed in the
11 technical sense?
12 A. When we had a census, we listed families. And for each family
13 there was a family sheet in which individual information for each family
14 member were recorded. And we had a set of about 80 answers that we
15 wanted to collect with each such registration. Each expelled person
16 received an identification card with a photo, and that was his personal
18 The information was processed by being entered into a database.
19 Q. When you say "a database," do you mean physically, that you had
20 archives where those cards were collected? Or do you have something else
21 on your mind as well?
22 A. To be clear, we had a database in the sense of archives where the
23 files were held in hard copies, but there was also an electronic format
24 database that we had in a computer.
25 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, what was your personal role in connection with the
1 database and the systemisation and the handling of this database?
2 A. I started working in the office after being the director in
3 charge of the automatic data processing in Ljubljanska Banka, a bank that
4 was operating in Zagreb
5 professional who was in charge of organising this kind of work.
6 Q. Let us now return to the issue of the numbers and the figures
7 which you mention in paragraph 4 of your statement.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: And before that I would ask the Registry for
10 In a second we will see this document on the screen,
11 Mr. Pejkovic. And, in connection with that, I will ask you for an
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, I could ask one clarifying question
14 to start with:
15 You talked about family sheets, 80 questions, and, therefore, I
16 take it 80 answers on those sheets. Now, were they filled in by the
17 family members themselves, or were they interviewed and was the family
18 sheet completed by some official person?
19 Could you tell us how that was done?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, an authorised person
21 who was interviewing the expelled person providing the data would collect
22 the answers, and if the person had any personal identification, and then
23 some of the data was copied from them, and eventually the person would
24 sign it, because it was a kind of statement in which the person provided
25 all information about himself or herself and their family.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I believe we have
4 Sanction on, Mr. Registrar. Yes, that's it. Thank you.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, now you can see a table. If you
6 look at the Croatian version, it says, at the top:
7 "Registered expelled persons and refugees in the Republic of
9 Mr. Pejkovic, are you the author of this table?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you please tell us what was the purpose of compiling this
12 table and how did you compile it?
13 A. This table is the result of all the reports which were published,
14 beginning in January 1992. And practically, to this day, they are still
15 being published each month. And in order to present all this to the
16 government and to the international community, every month, towards the
17 end of the month, we would provide statistical data in a report that
18 showed the number of expelled persons and refugees who were accommodated
19 in the Republic of Croatia
20 from our statistical database.
21 Q. If we now return to paragraph 4 of your statement. And when you
22 said that in April 1992 the total number was 247.278 expelled persons, so
23 almost 250.000, I can see in the table in the columns for 1992, the month
24 of April, that the number is 247.278 expelled persons.
25 So is this the piece of information that you talked about?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And likewise, Mr. Pejkovic, according to other data that you
3 mention in point 4 of your statement, when you talked about year 1993 and
4 further on, do you also make reference to the information from this data
5 which you compile yourself?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wish to tender
8 this table into evidence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
10 MR. CARRIER: Mr. President, I raised this objection this
11 morning, and I object to the use of this document for precisely this type
12 of reason.
13 I'm confused because on the supplemental information sheet,
14 D1826, which has been MFI
15 data that he's using there actually came from a different document, which
16 is 3D00723. Now Mr. Mikulicic has shown him this document which he said
17 he produced and that's where he got this data from.
18 And, again, this goes back to the whole problem that we don't
19 know how this data was collected. What he is actually referring to is
20 not transparent. And it's not clear exactly what the methodology was to
21 produce it. He produced that chart or he produced the one in
22 3D723 [sic], but I object to the admission of the document.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I could easily go to clarify that
24 questions on a -- let's say, more time-consuming way. And, therefore, I
25 would kindly ask the Registrar the document that Mr. Carrier just
1 mentioned 3D00723.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic --
3 MR. MIKULICIC: May I?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, what Mr. Mikulicic suggests is that
5 before the Chamber decides on admission and on your objection, that he,
6 by some further questions, will clarify the issue which are you have
8 MR. CARRIER: Okay. I was just -- I was waiting for the ruling
9 itself before we kept proceeding.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will delay the decision on admission and
11 will first hear the further questions Mr. Mikulicic will put to the
13 MR. MIKULICIC: I understand, Your Honour.
14 [Interpretation] Could I please see on the screen the document
16 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, do you recognise this document?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you please tell us in a few sentences what this is.
19 A. This is one of the reports that the office issued, or published,
20 and this is it a report from July 1995, which was sent to the Government
21 of the Republic of Croatia
22 proposal of certain measures which would be taken afterwards in order to
23 provide care to expelled persons and refugees.
24 Q. Was this report approved and adopted by the government?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was there another addressee, apart from the -- Government of the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 A. This was a public report for general use. This was distributed
4 to all representatives of the international community. That was why an
5 English version was also produced. And it was then distributed to the
6 embassies to the Republic of Croatia
7 that were present in Croatia
8 everyone else.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I will have around ten minutes'
10 questions referring that report, so if maybe that would be a convenient
11 time to take a break before my next line.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It is a convenient time to take the break. The
13 break will be a little bit longer due to technical problems. We resume
14 at 11.00.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry. Your Honour, I
16 apologise. Before we leave, I have one general question that I would
17 like to ask of the Bench to ask of the Prosecution and why it was not --
18 why wasn't the database and the information related to the database and
19 the fact that this was witness was sought as an OTP witness in a
20 different case relate to us in any Rule 66(B) or 68 disclosure?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, could you -- it seems that where you said
22 you verified that and nothing was known, apparently there was some
23 correspondence. Perhaps we should ask the witness whether he has the
24 correspondence with him and give you, then, an opportunity to verify that
25 during the break and then to see what the answer is.
1 MR. CARRIER: In that respect, obviously, I got notice of this
2 last night and I -- as I said before, I did what I could. So we just --
3 at this point, no one has any information on him being a potential
4 witness for Milosevic.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, I think Mr. Kuzmanovic, at this moment,
6 is not claiming any bad faith on your side personally but would rather
7 have a response, a Prosecution response, irrespective of any personal
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Could I ask you, Mr. Pejkovic, We do understand that you have
12 been in contact with the Office of the Prosecution as a potential witness
13 in the Milosevic case. Is there any correspondence you have with you at
14 this moment which would confirm that?
15 Would you be willing to give us -- well, not the Chamber, but to
16 give a copy so that Mr. Carrier has an opportunity to review that -- you
17 get your original, you will get that back. But that at least we can copy
18 it so that Mr. Carrier can prepare an answer to a question.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, just so I'm perfectly clear,
20 there is no written request for him to be a witness. He was asked
21 telephonically to be a witness. The documentation he has is regarding
22 the database. And then, after that, he was requested to be a witness.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any further --
24 Do you have any further details -- from whom did you receive a
25 call for the purpose of exploring the possibility of you appearing as a
1 witness in the Milosevic case; do you remember?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I received a call from
3 our Office for Cooperation with this Tribunal, and I responded to this
4 invitation. Mr. Osorio, who is the representative of the OTP in Croatia
5 asked me in the presence of our head of office whether I was willing to
6 testify in the Milosevic trial, which I accepted.
7 JUDGE ORIE: It was not a telephone conversation, but it was a
8 direct conversation?
9 THE WITNESS: No. It was face-to-face.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, in the presence, as you said, the head of your
11 office. That was Mr. Osorio. Do you remember when it was?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think sometime around the year
13 2000. But I am not certain. If I had been preparing for that, then I
14 would be able to check it in my files.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Was it before or after Mr. Milosevic was arrested
16 and transferred to The Hague
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was before Mr. Milosevic's
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Carrier, does this give sufficient --
20 And could you show us -- if you would be willing to give a copy
21 of the letter so that we are better able to see what happened at the
23 If would you give that to Madam Usher. Then we will have now
24 first a break. And as I said before, we need half an hour. We will
25 resume at five minutes past -- no, apparently we are not yet at that
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, just so you know, all the documents
4 are in B/C/S, so none of them are in English.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I take it that if these are letters that
6 Mr. Carrier will find someone who at least has some understanding of what
7 the letter says.
8 Isn't it, Mr. Carrier?
9 MR. CARRIER: I will do that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. CARRIER: And if I could have the letter referred to on
12 page 12 by Mr. Kuzmanovic from Geoffrey Nice, as well, which he said he
13 saw personally. If I could just have that too.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Could you give all the letters you received from The Tribunal in
16 view of a possibility that you might be called as a witness. If there
17 are more letters, we would like to have them all -- or at least
18 Mr. Carrier would like to review them all.
19 We will have a break, and we will resume at 10 minutes past
21 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.14 a.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
24 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 I have had a chance to look at some of the letters, not all of
1 them. There is -- I think because LiveNote was down, there was some
2 confusion about handing them over to us. So, I did the best I could, but
3 I still need more time to go through --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I don't expect you to immediately -- but it
5 seems that at least there is some correspondence in which this witness is
6 specifically addressed not to say as an invitation to be a witness but at
7 least there has been some correspondence which -- the Chamber received a
8 copy. We didn't ask for it. But since we got it, we had just a glance
9 at it. Nothing more, nothing less.
10 Mr. Mikulicic, are you ready to proceed?
11 MR. MIKULICIC: I am Your Honour, thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then please do so.
13 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Pejkovic, before the break, we saw that
14 report from July 1995 on the screen.
15 Can you tell us, in two sentences, what it is about and what your
16 role was in drawing up this report?
17 A. The report was made in order to inform the Republic of Croatia
18 and the public on the status of expelled persons and refugees at that
19 moment in the territory of the Republic of Croatia
20 Q. What part did you play in drawing up the report?
21 A. As one of the leaders of analytical section within that office,
22 practically generated all the tables from the database, and they form an
23 integral part of this report.
24 Q. I will ask you to help us define certain categories mentioned in
25 this report. The same categories that are often referred to in this
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can we move to page 3D03-0269 and
3 in English 3D03-0309. It is a few pages further on. That's it.
4 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, here in this report, at the very beginning, certain
5 categories are defined. So I would ask you if could you just briefly
6 inform the Bench about these definitions.
7 How is the category of expelled persons defined, according to
8 this report?
9 A. The displaced persons are citizens of the Republic of Croatia
10 were banished by the ex-JNA, and rebelled Serbs from the occupied
11 territories of the Republic of Croatia
12 Croatian-occupied areas because of demolition of their homes, terror,
13 shelling, and other war consequences. So they fled to another part of
15 Q. And returnees are defined how?
16 A. The returnees are the persons who returned to their homes. But
17 we must know, as I mentioned, that there was a separation zone. But in
18 the depth of territory behind the separation zone, there was a huge
19 number of demolished houses, and the people who fled that area became
20 displaced persons. But with the coming of UNPROFOR, the reconstruction
21 began. So they returned to other areas of Croatia into their homes which
22 were now reconstructed.
23 Q. How would you define refugees?
24 A. According to the Geneva
25 On the one hand, those are Croatian citizens that had fled from the
1 Republic of Croatia
2 foreign nationals who fled to Croatia
3 threat to their lives. In this case, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 who fled to -- to Croatia
5 was, at that time, Serbia
7 Q. And finally we have the category of refugees in transit which is
8 self-explanatory but still ...
9 A. Part of the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to
10 secure admission by European states. But to get there, they had to be
11 pass through the Republic of Croatia
12 free passage towards Austria
13 they could get to the embassies where they would take care of all the
14 paperwork necessary for admission into a third country. And they would
15 spent in Croatia
16 We did not have to take care of them for a very long time.
17 Q. In all these categories of people, your office took care of all
18 of them?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How was it financed?
21 A. The office was financed by the government through the budget and
22 through humanitarian aid that arrived. It was partly institutionalised.
23 For instances, the European Union assisted through its ECHO programme,
24 and that was aid in food. Various European countries provided financial
25 aid through reconstruction and maintenance of refugee centres, such as
2 the countries. But this was never more than 10 per cent of all our
3 budget spending for refugees. We practically needed 550 million dollars
4 per year, or thereabouts.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, let me try, in order to avoid that
6 I'm misunderstanding the evidence.
7 Do I understand that where you asked "expelled persons" and the
8 witness answered, at least it was translated, as "displaced person," that
9 expelled persons/displaced persons, that's one category which, where
10 apparently the word "prognanika" is used. Is that the same category,
11 expelled or displaced?
12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry. Category "prognanici" is -- is category
15 "displaced person" in -- in English version.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: But we could ask --
18 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time -- at the same time, if I look at
19 paragraph 4, first bullet point, I see -- and that perhaps has created
20 the confusion. I see that it is translated as expelled persons. And
21 your question was translated to us as about the category of expelled
22 persons, how they were defined - page 41, for me, line 16 - and the
23 answer then starts with:
24 "The displaced persons."
25 Apparently expelled and displaced is used in a similar sense.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Microphone not activated]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, then, and I'm now addressing the witness, do I
3 understand that the expelled or displaced persons that a category of
4 people that moved within the internationally recognised borders of
6 Is that the main distinctive element in the definitions?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is a fact that
8 there is a terminological confusion when we speak of refugees and
9 displaced persons. The term "displaced person," "prognanik," is now in
10 use. Prognanik is identical to displaced. The confusion comes when we
11 translate it into English. Do we use properly displaced or expelled,
12 expellee? Whereas, refugees are those who came from a third country into
14 JUDGE ORIE: So the category refugees is different? That is
15 "bjelice" which, then, is those coming from outside of Croatia
17 will have a totally wrong understanding of the evidence.
18 I think it is clear to me.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, you said you kept records about
22 that as well. What was the ethnic structure of the population of
23 displaced persons and refugees?
24 A. Speaking of the total population of displaced persons and
25 refugees, the majority were Croats, because, in the occupied territory,
1 practically all the Croats who lived there --
2 MR. CARRIER: Mr. President.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And according to the 1991 census --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
5 MR. CARRIER: Thank you. I apologise. I wanted to stop before.
6 My understanding in the beginning was that Mr. Mikulicic was going ask
7 permission of the Bench first before the witness read, and I noticed he
8 was just reading, so ...
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I didn't notice that. But if is he reading
10 from a hard copy of the same document, but please ask him, Mr. Mikulicic.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: I will do so.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, now when you are talking about
13 ethnic structure, you are referring to the 3D -- page that ends with
14 0271. 3D03-0271, of the Croatian version. And 3D03-0311 in English.
15 That's a part of the report that deals with this subject. It's better
16 for the Trial Chamber to have the statistical part of the report before
18 A. There were over 93 per cent Croats among displaced persons and
19 refugees, around 2 per cent -- just over 2 per cent Serbs. That includes
20 Serbs who did not agree with the Serb aggression and who were also
21 expelled from their places of residence which they had shared with
23 It's a changing number, and we can discuss daily movements as we
24 monitored them in our database. But a person looking from outside can
25 wonder what kind of numbers are these. They keep rising and falling.
1 Yes, because some people were coming and others were leaving. Some
2 people were displaced persons in Croatia and then found alternative
3 residences in European countries. Some of them returned from European
4 countries and back to Croatia
5 yes, there were daily movements, and we monitored them, and included that
6 in our reports.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could we now move on to Croatian
8 3D03-0274, and in English 3D03-0314.
9 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, could you tell us a few words about the status and
10 the rights of displaced persons and refugees listed in this report. You
11 see this on the screen. Give us a brief comment.
12 A. Under the decree on the status of displaced persons and refugees
13 that later became law --
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues]... is on his
15 feet, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
17 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm just -- I still have
18 concerns about the reading. I notice that he has his book, Mr. Mikulicic
19 did say he was going to ask permission. I didn't hear permission being
20 granted. If he is referring to us on the screen --
21 JUDGE ORIE: No. But I do understand that what actually happened
22 is that Mr. Mikulicic did put questions to the witness and he earlier
23 said that, in view of numbers, he would need to consult documents and
24 that he is quoting from this same document, which is on our screen at
25 this moment. And that became, at least, clear to me. We earlier, the
1 page we saw earlier was page 5 of the -- page 5 of the English
2 translation of this report and e-court numbering.
3 So I take it that at this moment that the witness is telling us
4 about this document which is a document underlying some of the data which
5 we find in his statement.
6 MR. CARRIER: So, then, on that note, perhaps it is not necessary
7 to have a book open. And I can see from here there's handwritten notes
8 on paper, and I --
9 JUDGE ORIE: If there are any handwritten notes, then you are
10 invited to close them and only to look at those documents we are aware of
11 that you're looking at them.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Just for the sake of clarification, I could ask
13 the witness what is this handwritten notes that he has in front of him --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you can ask him to --
15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Overlapping speakers]... page of that document so
16 it has --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, as long as I do not know what is written,
18 then, it could be anything.
19 If you want to ask him, you can do so. And why he thought it
20 relevant to -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, I can also see that on the left empty page of the
23 document there's something handwritten. What is it?
24 A. I wrote a reminder for myself, that, in 1992, the UNPROFOR
25 arrived. Their principal mandate was to ensure a cessation of
1 hostilities and the return of refugees. However, during their tenure,
2 not a single refugee returned. Around 600 persons were killed, those who
3 had stayed in occupied territories, and an additional 12.000 persons were
5 JUDGE ORIE: Did you write this before you arrived in this
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Because it sounds almost literally the same as your
9 testimony earlier today.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I prepared last night
11 for giving evidence, and while doing that, I looked through the
12 background material and made a few notes so that I can focus on them.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please not consult any further notes,
14 unless we are aware of it.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
17 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Pejkovic, on the screen in front of you
18 is a part of the report from 1995 which talks about the status and rights
19 of displaced persons and refugees.
20 I would ask you to explain to the Bench what was their status and
21 what were their rights, and where did these rights and the status come
22 out from?
23 A. The government of Croatia
24 of displaced persons and refugees, which was later turned into a law by
25 the parliament. The displaced persons and refugees had right, the right
1 for the necessary accommodation. And for this reason, practically all
2 the vacant rooms in hotels and other tourist resorts were used for this
3 purpose. Then they had organised meals provided to them. Also,
4 financial assistance, in particular, for those who were accommodated
5 privately with their families. And of the total number, which was
6 between 400- to 450.000 refugees, some thousands were accommodated in an
7 organized manner, whereas the others were staying with their families.
8 Then they also had the right to free health care, the right to
9 education, the right to humanitarian aid. And there were also special
10 categories of those who were in need; for example, persons who had been
11 exposed to sexual violence. They had the right to social psycho-social
12 assistance. Then all earlier detainees or prisoners who had spent the
13 greater part of their time in detention or in camps, whether it was in
15 social and psychological assistance.
16 Q. As for the extent and scope of assistance that was provided to
17 displaced persons and refugees, was it equal to everyone in these
18 categories, or was there a difference concerning their ethnic
20 A. No difference was made on the basis of either of the criteria
21 that you mentioned.
22 There was only a difference as to whether someone was a citizen
23 of the Republic of Croatia
24 this, and these rights are regulated differently in every country.
25 But as for the basic rights, which I mentioned, everyone was
2 Q. You have mentioned that certain obligations to this category of
3 people followed from international legal documents.
4 A. Certainly. Croatia
5 refugees and the Additional Protocols. Even before Croatia became
6 independent and was recognised, we invited the UNHCR to come and help us
7 and instruct us and train us so as to deal with everything that was new
8 to us. This was aggression where we had to take care of thousands of
9 people, and we asked for help. And I must say that the first office of
10 the High Commissioner for refugees was next to my office in the same
11 building. And from the first day, we cooperated with them; they assisted
12 us; and together, we were doing this. This was the first time that
13 something like this was happening in Europe, this great movement of the
14 population. And we were resolving this together.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, your line of questioning seems to
16 move away from what we see as a 92 ter statement and also the relevance
17 of -- apart from one or two questions you put to the witness, seems to be
18 rather small. And the Chamber further wonders whether there's any
19 dispute about whether those who were displaced within Croatia, well over
20 90 per cent being Croatians, whether they were taken care of properly,
21 health care, et cetera, and whether there was any problem in status of
22 refugees and whether the Conventions were applied properly.
23 Is there any dispute about this? And I'm talking about those who
24 were displaced within Croatia
25 MR. MIKULICIC: May I answer, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And I'm asking whether there is any dispute about
3 MR. MIKULICIC: May I answer, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: No. I'm first asking Mr. Carrier whether there is
5 any dispute about these facts.
6 MR. CARRIER: No.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Could I answer now, Your Honour?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: My intention was first to depict the Chamber
11 broader context of these events. And second, to be frankly, Your Honour,
12 I'm not aware what facts are in dispute what facts are not in dispute
13 because this question is ongoing category in this proceeding.
14 So something that was in dispute ten days ago, now it is not.
15 And vice versa. So to be on the save side, I am doing like this. But I
16 will move from that topic, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But, still, it's unclear exactly what was in
18 dispute as far as you refer to what was two weeks ago.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: The intention of the Croatian government as it
20 refers to the question of refugees and the expelled persons as it
21 concerns to their ethnicity.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I said one or two questions were relevant that. Was
23 exactly the one I had in mind, whether any distinction was made between
24 Serbs and --
25 MR. MIKULICIC: I will move on.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- Croats.
2 Mr. Kehoe.
3 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I think the question that the Chamber
4 asked is a good one, given there is some question as to what the position
5 of the Office of the Prosecutor is on this issue. It has this case where
6 it does or presents months of evidence concerning what happened in
7 Operation Storm but has very little or takes no account of what happens
8 on the efforts made to return.
9 And, frankly, I know that within the Defence, and I'm sure the
10 Chamber shares this, there is some confusion as to see what the Office of
11 the Prosecutor's position is with regard to these individuals. And in
12 discussions with my colleagues, and we've all shared this concern, that
13 is why we have raised this. And this is come up at various times. And
14 it's a direct result from the lack of clarity on the position of the
15 Office of the Prosecutor.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It was not only a good question by the Chamber, but
17 it isn't even a question that has been answered by now.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Mikulicic.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: I will do so, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, you mentioned the role of UNHCR,
21 and we'll talk more about that later on.
22 Now I wish to return to a part of your statement in which you
23 refer to exact data, which we can find in paragraph 4 of your statement
24 where, for example, you mention that the census of displaced persons
25 conducted in April 1991 is either the result of 247.278 displaced
1 persons. The question was asked whether this number came from, so I will
2 ask to you explain that.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: But, before that, if we could see, within the
4 document we have on the screen, the page in Croatian 3D03-0286, that is
5 to say, in the English version, page 3D03-0326.
6 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, we can see tables in front of us. They're an
7 integral part of this report for the year 1992 and 1993. That's what is
8 on the screen right now.
9 Can you tell us what was the methodology when composing these
10 tables? And as for the information in the tables, did you use them when
11 you were giving the statement to the Defence team of General Markac?
12 A. The data that we can see on the screen are the result of the data
13 processing from the database. This was permanently followed and
14 occasionally we made censuses because this population was such that it
15 was constantly on the move. So all the data which I can see in front of
16 me now were used when we talked during the interview in connection with
17 the Defence of General Markac.
18 Q. And your personal role in producing these documents was what?
19 A. It was to organise the census, then to process the data, and to
20 present the data in the tables which were then integrated in the reports.
21 One of the reports is this one from the month of July 1995.
22 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, when compiling these tables, did you add any --
23 it's difficult to formulate this without formulating a suggestive
24 question. Did you add any of your ideas, or was it simply a technical
25 list of data collected on the ground?
1 A. This was just a collection of the data from the ground. I must
2 say that all the data is something that the OTP also has. All the data
3 was provided to the OTP. And by a simple method, the Prosecutor can find
4 the same data that you can see here in the table. Not on the basis of
5 tables but of individual data which we submitted to them. We submitted
6 1.070.000 items. That was in 2003. And each item had about
7 80 attributes from which the same data can be drawn, the same data that
8 we arrived at in 1995 and included in this report.
9 I must say that representatives of the Prosecution visited our
10 office. They also inspected our files. That is to say, the dossiers
11 that you asked about. At the time we had 703 metres of files, that is to
12 say, the family sheets that contain all the individual data, as well as
13 the entire correspondence pertaining to each case were included in the
14 individual files. All of that was offered for inspection. And I'm
15 saying here under an oath that there was no manipulation with any data.
16 I also wish to inform the Honourable Court that in 1997 we worked
17 on the reregistration of the displaced persons and the USA bought the
18 computer system and donated it to the office, and the office established
19 a direct link to the UNHCR to this database. So since 1997, the UNHCR,
20 as the leading UN agency for refugees, has direct access to our database.
21 Q. Now that we have data from 1992 on the screen, I wish to ask you
22 to focus on the month of April. The figure mentioned here is 247.278
23 displaced persons. That is the figure which you mention in your
24 statement in paragraph 4.
25 A. That was the result of the census which was conducted at that
1 moment in the month of April for the Republic of Croatia
2 Q. Thank you. Now I would ask you something about this report,
3 Mr. Pejkovic. What were actually the two main problems of the crisis
4 with displaced persons and refugees that your office was faced with?
5 What were the problems relating to the occupied territories, the
6 possibility of return, and also considering the standard of accommodation
7 and the status of displaced persons?
8 A. At the moment when this report was drawn up, the population of
9 displaced persons was dissatisfied with the developments and the lack of
10 possibility to return. Areas of Croatia were still occupied. The
11 UNPROFOR was in these areas. The displaced persons began to form
12 associations. They became, in a way, a political force which was openly
13 expressing its views and became a partner to the government and other
14 political factors and wanted their return to be enabled as soon as
15 possible. It was normal that no one was happy about being displaced.
16 You can never compensate anyone's home with any -- with anything. The
17 government was faced with this dissatisfaction of the displaced persons,
18 and it was also becoming a real heavy financial burden to finance all the
19 displaced persons.
20 And thirdly, the displaced persons were accommodated in hotel.
21 For example a place like Opatija, which is a real tourist gem in Croatia
22 all hotels in that town were filled with refugees in 1995. So
23 practically until that point hotels could not work normally. They could
24 not be open for tourists. There were many complaints by hotel
25 enterprises because they had lost profit. They wanted damages
1 compensated, also compensation for the damage made by the refugees. They
2 were threatening with lawsuits. They were asking for interests. And
3 these were all problems about providing care to refugees and displaced
4 persons in the Republic of Croatia
5 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
7 have a number assigned to this document.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I'd first like to put a few questions in
9 relation to the questions you put to the witness and some of his answers.
10 You took us to April 1992, and you explained that the number of
11 247.000 displaced persons was the result of a census.
12 Now, the numbers for January, February, and March, what were they
13 then based on?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the office had
15 22 branches across Croatia
16 doing their own statistics, and they sent it on a monthly basis to us at
17 the central office. And on the basis of this data, we established the
18 data included in this table.
19 As I said, because of the fluctuation of this group of people, at
20 one point we decided that a census should be conducted because we simply
21 believed that the figures do not match the actual situation on the
22 ground. It was wartime, and it was not possible to have reliable data at
23 every given moment, but the data was as presented here.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But, of course, what I'm looking at, that from
25 March to April 1992, the number of displaced persons goes down by
1 110.000; whereas, in that same month, the number of refugees grows with
2 some 175.000, which, I take it, is the result of reassessing the
4 Were there really such changes, or is it just a matter of
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we are talking
7 about the category of displaced persons, we did that census because we
8 realised that this data from March do not reflect reality. And that's
9 where we did the census. And the census established a lower number of
10 displaced persons. However, as far as refugees are concerned, that was a
11 moment of massive in-flow of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia
12 And these are records showing how many people came into the
13 Republic of Croatia
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But were how were the date then -- well, let's
16 say the 356, if I read it well, from March, displaced persons -- you
17 earlier told us that registration took place on the basis of interviews,
18 80 questions filled in by a, what I understood to be a competent person,
19 and then signed. How could that suddenly, well over a hundred of
20 thousand, what went wrong either in the -- must have been something wrong
21 in the registration, isn't it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We started registering displaced
23 persons and refugees as they came in. At that time we did not have a
24 personal identification card for everyone. People were simply
1 Now, when a person went from Zagreb to Rijeka, he appeared there
2 practically as a new displaced person because he was not accompanied by a
3 unified -- uniform identification number.
4 Now, when we did the census, we found that the system was not
5 properly functioning. It needs to be adjusted. And that's why this
6 decision was made, to create a unified, integrated list of displaced
7 persons. And this number, 300-something thousand, turned out not to be
8 true, because many of them were simply off the records now.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So, therefore, the initial system of
10 registration was not accurate.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At the beginning, it was not
13 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you say that as far as refugees was concerned
14 there was a huge influx of refugees. But could it be that, already in
15 March 1992, that there were already far more refugees than registered,
16 the 16 and a half thousand?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, Your Honour, we did
18 not -- we were not doing a re-registration of refugees. This figure for
19 refugees was arrived at in the same way as the figure of refugees up to
20 April. We just collected data about their registration through regional
21 offices throughout Croatia
22 refugees in the same way as we did it for displaced persons. These were
23 two independent jobs done at two different times.
24 However, April 1992 was the moment, indeed, when a massive exodus
25 of refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina started.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And do you have an explanation for the big
2 change in numbers in April 1993?
3 There the number of refugees which drops by -- well, well over
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have these numbers next to
6 me, but I think in 1993 we, again, did a -- a listing of refugees.
7 That's how I explain this huge discrepancy, which occurs also with
8 displaced persons.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, as a matter of fact, it did not occur with
10 displaced persons in 1993. Let me give you the numbers for March and
11 April 1993. Displaced persons, March, 252.000; displaced persons for
12 April, 250.000. So approximately the same, a slight variation.
13 Refugees, March 1993, 386.000; April 1993, 269.000, a difference
14 of some 115.000.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think we made a census of
16 refugees as such at that time.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Which then shows that the numbers were by some
18 30 per cent wrong before, as they had shown to be wrong in relation to
19 displaced persons, similar percentage, in 1992? Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. Until
21 we started applying the same methodology that we used for displaced
22 persons, we had this error with refugees, and you can see it from these
24 JUDGE ORIE: Was there ever any census done any later, 1994 or
25 early 1995?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last census made was in 1997,
2 when we did a complete re-registration of all displaced persons and
3 refugees. And, at that time, we put in place a system of daily
4 monitoring for every displaced person and refugee. Technically, that
5 meant that every displaced person or refugee had to come in once a
6 month --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me stop you there. I was interested in
8 knowing whether a similar correction through a census would have taken
9 place until mid-1995.
10 These census, was that similarly 80 questions or -- I mean -- and
11 was that on the basis of an interview, or did persons report themselves
12 on paper? Could you tell us how the census was held technically?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, technically, authorised
14 persons took the census; whereas, displaced persons and refugees were
15 invited to present themselves. The census took no less than one month.
16 Among displaced persons and refugees, there was quite a large
17 number of illiterate people who were not able to provide any kind of
18 written statement. It had to be taken by an authorised person, a
19 census-taker. It was read out to them, they would sign it, and they
20 would receive a copy of this registration form for their own personal
22 JUDGE ORIE: Would that include also some 80 questions, or was it
23 more limited?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. Around 80 questions.
25 We collected identifying information, information on ethnicity,
1 faith, educational attainment, employment record, whether someone had
2 been in captivity or not, sexually abused or not, what happened to other
3 members of their family, whether they were alive, whether their
4 whereabouts had been known, whether they had been killed, whether any
5 family member was in a camp, their former address --
6 JUDGE ORIE: I earlier asked you about people being interviewed
7 and having to sign for the result. Did you, at that time, refer to the
8 census in your answer; or did you refer to the registration, which we
9 find in this list not corrected yet by the 1992 census and the 1993
10 census for refugees?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We always collected similar
12 categories of information according to a list we received from the UNHCR.
13 They had more experience, and they helped us make the questionnaires and
14 develop a methodology of integrating that data. Of course, as time went
15 on, we got more experience ourselves. We tried to improve on our own
16 work and improve the quality of information we received.
17 JUDGE ORIE: What now explains the rather big differences here
18 and there where the registration and the census were apparently taken by
19 competent people, not just self-reporting. Do you have any explanation
20 as to why the registration went so much wrong and where the census
21 corrected in such a -- well, substantial way, the outcome of the earlier
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We're talking about the same people
24 all the time. But even before the registration, they were registered in
25 the census.
1 The problem lay, however, with the central methodology of
2 processing the data. Someone who lived for a month in Zagreb
3 to Split
5 left a certain place, they were not taken off the records. They just
6 appeared again in -- in records in another place. It would be the same
7 as if I wanted to change my place of residence. I would have to
8 de-register in Zagreb
9 that, I appear as registered twice, in Zagreb and in Split
10 the flaw was.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any chance that we -- you would get
12 benefits by not de-registering in one place and by registering in another
13 place, that someone, displaced or refugee, would enjoy twice a benefit?
14 Is that ... that is, I do understand a possibility, which ...
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is a fact that
16 this possibility existed. In order to eliminate it, we moved to a
17 different system of payment to savings accounts. Then, out of the total
18 number of beneficiaries, which was around 190.000 persons receiving
19 financial aid, we found 92 cases of abuse.
20 With the new system, there was one savings account for one
21 person. And when we integrated all the data and introduced a unique
22 identification number for each person, it was no longer possible for
23 people to get double benefits, as was the case before. There were
24 92 cases of such abuse, fraud.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And when was this new system introduced? Can you
1 give us a year?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was in 1997.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So up to 1997, the registration was such that
4 in order to get double benefits, that people might have registered more
5 than one time.
6 Thank you.
7 Mr. Carrier, Mr. Mikulicic asked this document to be tendered
8 into evidence. Any objections?
9 MR. CARRIER: No.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1827.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I think it has sufficient substance on its
13 own not to be dependant fully on the admission of the 92 ter statement.
14 Therefore, D1827 is admitted into evidence.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, let me try to wrap up this subject
17 raised by the Honourable Judge.
18 You were actually learning on the job. This was completely new
19 to you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In the methodology of collecting and processing data, you
22 necessarily find some disproportions and had you to adjust.
23 A. Yes. We reacted immediately.
24 Q. The Honourable Judge pointed out significant discrepancies
25 between months. In the course of 1992, 1993, 1994, until 1997, did they
1 occur regularly to the same extent?
2 A. No. This took us all by surprise. Nobody had expected
3 aggression or the war, and there were no logistics to begin with for
4 coping with these huge numbers. Do you know what 300.000 people means?
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Can I ask for D214 now, please.
6 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, I will now show minutes from a meeting of the
7 government of Republic of Croatia
8 decree on return of displaced persons and refugees to newly liberated
9 areas was adopted?
10 MR. MIKULICIC: That's 3D00-0688. That is to say, D214. And the
11 page is 3D00-0688.
13 Q. So the government, at its session, adopted a decree by which it
14 regulated the return of displaced persons and refugees to the newly
15 liberated areas?
16 First of all, let me ask you if you're familiar with this
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And secondly let me ask whether you participated in any way in
20 the preparation of the text of this document?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you tell us how?
23 A. Well, the basic idea behind this document was to stimulate the
24 return of displaced persons to their homes, because, as I said, the
25 displaced persons had, by this time, already become a political force and
1 requested some benefits for themselves, and now by the operations Flash
2 and Storm the preconditions were provided for them to be able to return,
3 and therefore a decision was made to organise this return, to organise
4 reconstruction so that as soon as possible the displaced persons could
5 return to their homes.
6 Q. What was the effect of this decree? What was the impact it had
7 on the population of displaced persons and refugees?
8 A. It was partly administrative. Because, on the basis of this
9 decree, we cancelled the status of a certain number of displaced persons,
10 especially to those whose homes were less damaged from the first to the
11 third category, and those who received financial assistance so they could
12 return to their homes. While, on the other hand, we had a situation that
13 the entire liberated area could not receive all the displaced persons and
14 refugees because of the situation there.
15 So we had to take into account that if someone was returning and
16 had children who were enrolled in schools there had to be conditions for
17 the children to continue education. If we are talking about the
18 categories of people who in need, such as the elderly people, whether
19 they would have health care and social welfare provided, all of that was
20 very difficult to secure at the time. And the results were not as the
21 government expected, that there would be a return en masse and very
22 quickly to the newly liberated territories.
23 Q. You indicated you were closely cooperating with UNHCR. I will
24 now show you a document, and that is the statement of Ms. Sadako Ogata.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: And that's D690, please, and if we could please
1 see page 4 of this document.
2 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, did you know Ms. Ogata. Did you have contacts with
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. I will show you where Ms. Sadako Ogata, on 10th October, 1995
6 gave a statement in Geneva
7 which had to do with the conference about the former Yugoslavia. We'll
8 look at paragraph 2 on page 4 where she says that she must emphasise the
9 importance of having internationally recognised humanitarian principles,
10 and, first of all, it must be voluntary. The return must be voluntary.
11 Mr. Pejkovic, we also -- implementing this internationally
12 recognised humanitarian principle in your work with displaced persons and
13 refugees [as interpreted]?
14 A. We always implemented this principle, that the return must be
15 voluntary, that the person returning has to be well-informed what he will
16 find upon return, and that the return must be safe and must be
17 sustainable. These are the fundamentals which we applied and tried to
18 implement in connection with entire population, whether it was internal
19 displacement and people were returning to other parts of Croatia, or
20 whether they were coming from abroad, or whether they were coming from
22 Q. You anticipated partly some of my questions, but let's move
23 through that briefly.
24 Ms. Ogata says also that, in addition to the precondition that
25 the return must be voluntary, she also says in the second paragraph that
1 the return must be organised, and it has to take place in stages. She
2 also says that she believes that were three stage, the first stage was
3 the return of people displaced internally within Croatia and Bosnia
5 former Yugoslavia
6 left for other countries. She means European and non-European countries.
7 Were these principles which Ms. Ogata sets out herein, during the
8 conference in Geneva
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. CARRIER: [Previous translation continues]... Sorry,
11 Mr. President. I just want to make sure that Mr. Mikulicic takes care
12 not to lead on these points. If he could ask the witness what he knows
13 about the different things before putting what Ms. Ogata says about
14 certain things.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You are invited not to lead the witness in this
17 MR. MIKULICIC: I will do so, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, you mentioned, as one of the preconditions for the
21 return, the issue of safety, the safety of returnees. Can you please
22 tell us --
23 A. I haven't heard you.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues]... problems with
25 our earphones.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Can you hear me now?
2 A. Can I hear you now.
3 Q. You mentioned that one of the preconditions was also the safety
4 of returning refugees who were going back. Can you please comment on
5 that considering the situation in 1995 after the conclusion of
6 Operation Storm in the newly liberated areas?
7 A. In the newly liberated areas, in 1995, we immediately found out
8 that some population had remained there. We conducted a census of them.
9 And we established that there were around 10.000 difficult cases. These
10 were mostly the elderly, the weak who had remained there; and complete
11 care needed to be provided to them. They stayed in isolated areas
12 because practically there was no public transportation available
13 whatsoever. And I'm saying all this just to show you what the situation
14 was like in this entire area.
15 With the assistance the various governmental and non-governmental
16 organisations, we provided for them, and the greatest probably was how to
17 make sure that they would survive the winter, because they were alone
18 without family members and without anyone who could help them. It was
19 very difficult to work because practically the whole territory was
20 vacated and devastated, and it was difficult to guarantee a great degree
21 of safety or security to anyone and especially the sustainability of
22 return at that time.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I will now ask for the document
24 3D01-0841 to be shown on the screen.
25 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, as for the persons who were refugees from the
1 Republic of Croatia
2 how could they do that at the time? What were the modalities for their
4 A. As for the refugees who had left the Republic of Croatia
5 possibility to return was connected with their possession of Croatian
6 personal documents. Whoever had Croatian documents was free to leave the
7 Republic of Croatia
8 As for the persons who did not hold any Croatian documents,
10 were separated because of the war, and one of the basic principles of
11 humanitarian law was to enable family reunion. And, on the other hand,
12 to provide assistance to difficult cases. These are the AVIs, in
13 English, the elderly and the frail who had remained in Croatia to make it
14 possible for their younger family members to return and practically take
15 on, themselves, the care about their parents, brothers, sisters, their
16 immediate family members, in other words.
17 And in very short time we received a great number of requests for
18 a return that was immediately after the Storm, that we started receiving
19 these requests. The sources were various embassies that people contacted
20 who then forwarded that to the government of the Republic of Croatia
21 the government forwarded it to our office. Then there was the office of
22 the Government of Croatia in Belgrade
23 sent their requests, stating their wish to return. And there were also
24 family members within Croatia
25 family members be allowed to return to the Republic of Croatia
1 there was the return of these people through the humanitarian principle
2 of family reunion. That also started immediately after the conclusion of
3 Operation Storm.
4 Some of these people had taken refugee in Bosnia or Serbia
5 persons used the opportunity to leave to Hungary or Austria. They would
6 then conduct our consolute or embassy. They would be issued with new
7 documents and then returned to Republic of Croatia
8 But the majority of them were in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in Serbia
9 Q. An individual request for return could also be filed with
10 international organisations in addition to the addresses that you
11 mentioned, wasn't that so?
12 A. Yes, yes. Our office cooperated closely with UNHCR, and any
13 request could be submitted to the UNHCR, wherever it had an office, in
15 There were UNHCR offices everywhere. And then UNHCR also had a network
16 of NGOs that were working for it and practically visited refugees and
17 offered them this possibility to apply for return.
18 In Serbia
19 also worked a lot on making it possible for the refugees to return. That
20 was among the refugee population within Serbia itself.
21 Q. Does that mean that persons who also did not have Croatian
22 personal documents could submit applications as you have described?
23 A. There was nothing barring a person from submitting an
24 application. Of course, the processing of applications was much easier
25 and much faster if they also submitted identification papers together
1 with an application. Because then it was possible to process it more
3 Q. But what if they did not have Croatian identity papers?
4 A. If they did not have them, then there was a possibility for them
5 with cooperation with UNHCR. We organised go-and-see visits. Such
6 persons could come to Croatia
7 state of their property, visit certain offices on the ground, obtain the
8 documents that they needed. And all of this was organised together with
9 our Ministry of the Interior, which provided security during these visits
10 and allowed people to cross the border on the basis of lists that they
11 had. They issued identification papers to such persons on the ground.
12 And on the basis of this, once they returned, they could decide whether
13 they wished to return or not.
14 I must point out that in some municipalities in Croatia we had
15 problems because the complete files had been taken away: the registers
16 of births and of deaths, the registers of citizens, the land registries,
17 ownership registries. And it was only around 2004 that some of these
18 documents were returned to the countries, and then we could start working
19 with this in the proper manner.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I could see the clock. If I may
21 have additional five minutes to complete this portion of my examination,
22 that would be.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at transcribers, interpreters.
24 Five minutes, Mr. Mikulicic.
25 Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, you told us that the requests to
2 return to Croatia
3 the office of the Government of the Republic of Croatia
4 diplomatic ties had been established at the time. You can see now one
5 such request submitted by Mr. Jovo Opacic. You cannot see what's at the
6 end, but it was submitted in the month of February 1996 where he
7 submitted the request saying that he wished to return to Croatia together
8 with his family, his wife, son, two daughters, and his mother.
9 Do you recognise the format of this form as a form that was in
10 use at the time?
11 A. Yes. And I'm personally familiar with this particular request.
12 Q. Maybe, if you could say just a few words so that the Bench would
13 know Mr. Jovo Opacic. Who was he, was he a public figure?
14 A. He was a public figure. One of the co-founders of the
15 Serbian Democratic Party. He was also for a while the president of the
16 Red Cross in the so-called Krajina and, of course, his application for
17 return was interesting to all of us especially his explanation as to why
18 he wished to return to the Republic of Croatia
19 Q. I'm reading from what's at the bottom of the page. Mr. Opacic
20 said that Croatia
21 graves of his and ancestors were, and that together with his family he
22 wanted to return there.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: If we could turn, now, to the second page, we can
24 see the attachment to the form where he addresses the Government of the
25 Republic of Croatia
1 on page 2 of this document, where he states that he had left Croatia
2 his wife and two minor children in 1995 contrary to his will, and that
3 was part of the general exodus which was the crown of the pathological
4 policy of Slobodan Milosevic and his Bolshevik branch office in Knin,
5 with a goal to hide their own responsibility for the war in Croatia
6 to impose a new genocide against Serbs to Croatian people.
7 Mr. Pejkovic, do you remember if this individual request for
8 return was approved?
9 A. Yes, it was approved and Mr. Opacic really did return to Croatia
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Could this document please be assigned a number,
11 Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
13 MR. CARRIER: No objection.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1828.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
17 Mr. Pejkovic, do you remember when the return was approved?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell you precisely,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]... approximately.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometime, I think, in 1998.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any documentation, since the application is
23 there, is there any documentation, Mr. Mikulicic, which would allow
24 verification of -- of the further events in this case?
25 MR. MIKULICIC: I will try to find it, Your Honour. Out of the
1 top of my head, I have no recollection of that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed. Oh I said --
3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Overlapping speakers]... yes, yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please do not proceed; that's my request.
5 We will have a break, and we will resume at 1.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.38 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, please proceed.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejkovic, before the break, we were talking
11 about the application to return by Mr. Jovo Opacic.
12 Do you remember how many individual returnees there were in the
13 last -- in the second half of 1995 and on in 1996? What kind of numbers
14 are we talking about?
15 A. We are talking about several thousand persons. I don't have the
16 statistics before me. But the procedure was set in place by that time;
17 people could make individual applications for return and family reunion;
18 and they received approval to return. And on of basis of that approval,
19 they crossed the Croatian border and returned to their families. That
20 was just before the programme for the return of displaced persons and
21 refugees was adopted.
22 Q. You mentioned that your office organised go-and-see visits
23 dealing with individual returns. Could you explain what kind of visits
24 these were, and why they were organised?
25 A. I've said before at that one of the conditions for return is that
1 it is of one's own free will. But their decision must be well-informed.
2 In order for people to be properly informed into what conditions they
3 would be returning, we organised, together with the UNHCR, these visits
4 for potential returnees to come, view their property, see their families
5 and friends, and find out first-hand about the situation into -- in
6 places where they would be returning, get documents during that visit,
7 return to their places of exile, and then make a final decision whether
8 we wanted to return.
9 We organised a great number of these visits, enabling individuals
10 from larger groups to come and then inform their fellows on the
11 situation. A person going on a go-and-see visit was not going for their
12 own purposes only but in order to go back and return -- go back and
13 inform another 20, 30, 50 people, so that they can make their own
15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask for D682, page 5.
16 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, I'll now show you a report entitled: Human rights
17 situation in Croatia
18 is 5 March 1997
19 You stressed several times that the return has to be voluntary.
20 Let us look at paragraph 16 of this UN Security Council report. I will
21 quote it in English.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues]... refugees in
23 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of some 337.000 Croatian refugees now
24 in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, roughly 35.000 (roughly 10
25 per cent) have expressed an interest in returning immediately to Croatia
1 It is believed, however, that this number would increase if conditions of
2 personal and economic security for Croatian Serbs in the former sectors
3 were to improve."
4 From this report of the UN Security Council, we can see that,
5 according to the 1997 census, in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
6 around 10 per cent of refugees, expressed interest in immediate return to
7 Croatian. Does this correspond to your information?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
9 MR. CARRIER: I'm just trying to see where the 1997 census is,
10 and I may have missed it.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: The report is from March 1997. The paragraph 16
13 "According to the data from the population census of
14 refugees ..."
15 So was really my conclusion that this census is from 1997, not
16 from 1998 or 1999 because the report is previous.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we could ask the witness perhaps. I don't know
18 when exactly the 1997 census took place.
19 Could you tell us when were the results known, Mr. Pejkovic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a census conducted in the
21 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It's not a Croatian census. It does
22 include Croatian refugees in the territory of the FRY.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so we're talking -- and we haven't seen any FRY
24 census yet. I'm not asking for it, but ...
25 MR. CARRIER: I think I have access to a summary perhaps of that
1 information which I can try to make available perhaps during my
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you deem fit to do that, yes.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: All in all, it's a question of UN report from the
5 Security Council from March 1997, and credibility and exact of the
6 figures that has been raised in this report.
7 Q. [Interpretation] However, I'm asking you, Mr. Pejkovic, if this
8 number, around 35.000 people in 1997, who, according to the
9 UN Security Council expressed interest in return to Croatia, matches your
11 A. Until that time, we received around 30.000 applications for
12 return, including 14.000 applications for real return; whereas, 16.000,
13 approximately, were property-related applications that did not involve
14 actual return. This seems to correspond to this number here for
15 potential returnees.
16 Q. Do you have any reason to doubt these statistics?
17 A. I don't agree with this number, 337.000 people registered as
18 refugees in the Republic of Yugoslavia
19 that number, and ultimately it was proven that it was not accurate, just
20 as there was some inaccuracy in our own numbers that we later adjusted.
21 Q. If we turn the page to see paragraph 19, it mentions the
22 agreement on the normalisation of relations between the
23 Republic of Croatia
24 August 1996.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] It's D412, already an exhibit.
1 Q. It says here that the agreement, with the consent of the parties,
2 Article 7, the parties committed to ensuring the return of refugees and
3 displaced persons, including the return of their property or a just
5 What did this agreement on the normalisation of relations do?
6 A. I was a member of the commission entrusted with the
7 implementation of this agreement and Article 7. And its most important
8 effect on the population of displaced persons and refugees was that a
9 protocol was signed on the organised return of refugees between what was
10 then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia
11 of everyone to their homes, with compliance with the basic principles.
12 The voluntary principle, safety, and viability of that return.
13 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Pejkovic, that until the signing of this
14 agreement in August 1996, there had been no conditions for organised
15 return, only individual returns?
16 A. Correct. Individual return had always existed as such, but
17 organised return, supervised by both governments, was not current until
18 this agreement was signed, including this Article 7.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: If we could now see D428, please.
20 Q. I will show you, Mr. Pejkovic, a programme for the return and
21 care of refugees and displaced persons that was adopted at the session of
22 the Croatian parliament at the end of June 1998.
23 Are you familiar with this programme, Mr. Pejkovic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you, on the basis of your open experience and the work you
1 were doing, tell what you say was the importance of the adoption of a
2 Programme for Return?
3 A. The Programme for Return was adopted after lengthy discussions
4 and contrary opinions relating to the return, particularly the return of
5 Serbs to the Republic of Croatia
6 Programme for Return were predominant in the end, and what was envisaged
7 here was the return of all persons who were in the category of refugees,
8 according to Geneva Conventions, so that they could return to Croatia
9 once again by using their right to return in an organised manner.
10 The return depended on an individual's free will. And on return,
11 it was stipulated that all of them would be equal and everyone would have
12 the same rights. If their homes were damaged, they had the right for
13 them to be reconstructed. If their homes were settled by somebody else,
14 then they were entitled to be provided with care until their homes were
15 vacated. Again, they were entitled to financial aid and all other
16 benefits that followed from this status.
17 Practically with this programme, all Croatian citizens were now
18 in the same position.
19 Q. If we had a look at point 5 of this programme, which is on page 2
20 of this document, we would see that the programme was also coordinated
21 with the representatives of the international community. And it is
22 mentioned here which representatives theses were: the UNHCR, the UN DP,
23 the UNICEF, and so on and so forth. Is it correct that your office,
24 which was in charge of these issues, coordinated its work with these
25 international representatives, or was it just something on paper?
1 A. The implementation of the entire programme was to be done by the
2 government of the Republic of Croatia
3 and departments which took part in the implementation of the return.
4 Those who provided assistance and monitored the whole problem was
5 UNHCR, plus other organisations, the OSS, which was particularly in
6 charge of security, as there were usually problems about the returns. So
7 it was to report about the security issue. On the basis of this
8 programme, every individual who was returning received a receipt about
9 the plan for return, and the UNHCR was also provided with these receipts.
10 So they knew for every individual when he or she would be returning, who
11 had approved the return, or if not, why that was the case.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: If we could please see 3D00721.
13 Q. We have said that international community was present in one way
14 or another. And now I will show you a statement by the president of the
15 Security Council dated the 2nd of July, 1998, relating to this topic?
16 Firstly, it is noted that the general security situation in the
18 following, I will quote this in English:
19 [In English] Examination welcomes the adoption by the Government
20 of Croatia
21 and accommodation of displaced person, refugees, and resettled
22 persons ... and calls for its prompt and full implementation at all
23 levels, including the application of discriminatory property laws and the
24 establishment of effective mechanisms allowing for owners to recover
25 their property."
1 Mr. Pejkovic, what was your experience from the time with the
2 reaction of the international community to the programme for the return
3 and also the conclusion of the agreement guaranteeing the return of
4 private property that was concluded with the Federal Republic
5 of Yugoslavia
6 A. The entire Programme for Return in the legislative part, which
7 defines the procedures and processes for return, was written in
8 cooperation with the international community. And this is why such an
9 opinion of the Security Council was expressed because practically we had
10 accepted and adopted whatever the international community requested at
11 the time. And it was all implemented through the Programme for Return.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would ask for a
13 number to be assigned to this document.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
15 MR. CARRIER: No objection.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1829.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
19 When quoting the Security Council, Mr. Mikulicic, you have drawn
20 our attention to the relatively stable situation. The quote starts with
21 "therefore." The "therefore" does not relate to the stable situation
22 but, from what I see in this document, refers to concerns expressed by
23 Security Council on a number of matters which are explicitly mentioned.
24 Since you did not read the "therefore," is it -- was it your
25 intention that we should focus only on what you did read, or was it by
1 mistake that you left out the "therefore"?
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I'm afraid I cannot follow you. I
3 was quoting the sentence which begins:
4 "The Security Council notes that the overall security situation
5 in the Danube
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: I cannot see the word "therefore" here --
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers]... no. That's the previous
9 paragraph to which you have given apparently some importance. The quote
10 in the next paragraph starts with:
11 "The Security Council therefore welcomes the adoption by the
12 government on Croatia
13 And then the part you quoted.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: I see.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The therefore relates to the beginning paragraph in
16 which the Security Council expresses grave concerns --
17 MR. MIKULICIC: I see your point, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- for a few matters.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: I omitted by mistake.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so you didn't want not to draw --
21 MR. MIKULICIC: No, no. Not at all, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- attention to what preceded. Thank you.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] If we could please see the
25 document D420 now.
1 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, now we will see a document which is already in
2 evidence. And this is a report on the implementation of the
3 Programme for Return and care for the returnees displaced persons and
4 refugees from the month of April 2000.
5 My question is are you familiar with this document?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]...
8 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President. I just wanted to note
9 that I'm not sure what my friend is going refer to. But earlier today,
10 Mr. Kuzmanovic notified the Court on record that it -- this document was
11 being update. My understanding is that it has been updated with 18 pages
12 on the end which consists of charts and text. In addition, during the
13 break, given the other problem that was identified, apparently there are
14 also portions that are in the English that aren't in the Croatian or
15 B/C/S text either.
16 So just to put on the record my concerns with the document
17 globally at this point.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Certainly keep that in mind. And, of course,
19 it's -- the Chamber cannot predict how Mr. Mikulicic will deal with it,
20 whether he will pay specific attention to portions that come as a
21 surprise to you or whether he would ignore those portions and focus on
22 other matters. I do not know yet, and, therefore, let's first see how
23 matters develop. But it is it on the record.
24 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. Apart from the 11th standup of
2 my learned friend during my direct examination, if my learned friend
3 would have patience, then he will realise that I will go only through a
4 couple of introducing pages in that document.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Which are the same in the old version and the new
6 version what from what I understand.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: That's right. Correct.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, sometimes it takes some age to
9 develop patience.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
12 [Interpretation] If we could, please, move to page 3D00-1246 of
13 this document in the Croatian version. And in the English version, it's
14 page number 3D06-0102.
15 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, before the intermezzo, you said you were familiar
16 with this document, wasn't that so? Can you tell us what was your role
17 in connection with this document?
18 A. On the basis of the Programme for Return of displaced persons and
19 refugees, a commission for the implementation of this programme was also
20 established, and I was the chairman or co-chairman of this commission.
21 And the result of the commission' work, was, among other things, the
22 document which I see on the screen in front of me. So practically it was
23 drafted under my supervision.
24 Q. At the very beginning, under number 1, it is mentioned what are
25 the documents that are necessary for the return and that guarantee a
1 return to all persons without any conditions or any waiting.
2 If you see this list of documents, is there anything you wish to
3 point out, in connection with these documents, that you noticed in your
4 work at the office as being indicative in any way?
5 A. I can just say that it is mentioned that there should be the
6 operational procedures of return signed between the Croatian government,
7 UNTAES, and UNHCR, which enabled the return of people to the Danube
8 region. That is to say, the Eastern Slavonia. And by this, the peaceful
9 reintegration of Eastern Slavonia and the Danube region in the Republic
10 of Croatia
11 again the overview of the results of this mission, which was successful
12 for the UN in the Eastern Slavonia region of Croatia.
13 Q. Mr. Pejkovic, tell us, what was the importance in the work that
14 you were charged with, that is to say, the programme for the return of
15 displaced persons and refugees. What was the importance of communication
16 with neighbours, because here we are -- we see that the two-way return is
17 being discussed. So which factors were important?
18 A. These processes were never one way. They are, by their very
19 nature, two-way processes. If we consider the situation which is easy to
20 imagine: If I had come from Bosnia-Herzegovina and was staying in your
21 house, and you had fled to Eastern Slavonia and you were in somebody
22 else's house, and this person was waiting in Zagreb to return to this
24 So without the possibility for everyone to go back to their
25 homes, additional tension would be created. There would be a conflict
1 between states, who did more, who did less, who was working faster or
2 slower, who had more obstacles to return, and who had fewer obstacles.
3 And I have to say that Croatia
4 what it had to, but eventually, with some resistance which existed, and
5 which we must be aware of, this was adopted as part of the state policy,
6 and it was regulated through laws, and we did really implement that.
7 In addition to this, we managed to achieve that with constant
8 monitoring from the international community and a great number of NGOs
9 which were also monitoring everything that was taking place on the
10 ground, pointed out to us our mistakes and errors. But whatever we were
11 do, we were doing in good faith and a wish to enable everyone to return
12 to their homes. Whenever a mistake was pointed out to us, eventually we
13 did our best to overcome that.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] If we could please see page 2 of
15 this document now, both in the Croatian and English versions. And I want
16 to refer to a segment of the text in passage 3, talking about the
17 procedures of the return. When I said the seconds page, I meant the next
18 page. It's page [Previous translation continues] ... [In English] 7 in
19 Croatian and 3D06-0103 in English version.
20 So the next from the previous one. That's the one. Thank you.
21 Q. [Interpretation] We can see here that the Office for Displaced
22 Persons was responsible for this, and that was your post, to put it that
23 way, in cooperation with UNHCR, the Ministry of the Interior, and
24 Ministry of Justice, as well as the administration and local
1 What was the role of these two ministries in this process as well
2 as the role of the local self-government? You have told us about the
3 role of your office and the role of UNHCR, but can you please explain the
4 role of these other bodies?
5 A. The role and the task of the Ministry of the Interior was that,
6 on the basis of a received application, it checked the status of a person
7 as regards his or her citizenship and then to check if the person was in
8 the criminal records. If that was the case, then we would address the
9 Ministry of Justice to check what this was about so that we could inform
10 the person who had submitted the application what kind of charges there
11 existed and whether this person would be arrested by the police upon
12 return to Croatia
13 And we wanted to avoid fear being spread through the population
14 of refugees, that they were all on some sorts of lists and they were all
15 accused of war crimes. I must say that some persons were really on the
16 lists of persons accused of war crimes. We had several cases in which
17 persons, after this kind of information, provided a written statement
18 saying that they were informed they would be arrested when crossing the
19 Croatian border but that they had not done anything and that, before the
20 court, they would prove their innocence. And several such people did,
21 indeed, return and did prove their innocence.
22 I have to say that this was, of course, monitored closely by the
23 international community, each such case, when there was such prosecution
24 in place.
25 Q. The registration and organisation of the return is described
1 here. It is mentioned that the persons who had left the Republic of
3 which way. Under item 1, it's mentioned that they can submit it to the
4 relevant diplomatic mission of the Republic of Croatia
5 country. The persons who did not have Croatian documents should
6 personally contact the closest diplomatic mission. And then, under
7 item 2, they could get in touch with UNHCR or the Commissariat for
8 Refugees in Serbia
9 Persons of Republika Srpska.
10 This manner of applying for return was implemented previously in
11 the Republic of Croatia
13 A. Yes. It was applied even before. But the procedures that had
14 been prescribed before were now written into the Programme for Return.
15 Q. Let's move to the next page.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Last paragraph. And one more
17 page in English.
18 Q. This paragraph deals with the return of Serbs from Yugoslavia and
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina that started back in end 1995, before the
20 endorsement of the Programme for Return. Even then, there existed a
21 procedure for those who did not have any documents to return for the
22 purpose of family reunions. Part of such returns were not organised, and
23 it was not officially monitored.
24 During field checks, and in the course of the implementation of
25 the programme, some of such returns were registered. But some returnees
1 who had not yet registered yet had to be. It is the estimate of European
2 monitors and UNHCR that there are around 20.000 unregistered returnees
3 between 1995 and 2000.
4 Can you explain to us the basis for such a comment in your
5 office's reports?
6 A. Our office dealt with organised return. We dealt with those who
7 submitted applications, who were unable to return based on such
8 applications, and whose return was monitored. Every citizen of Croatia
9 was thus able to come to Croatia
11 anyone. Through our field-work, we noted a great number of such
12 returnees, mainly because they applied to international organisations
13 working on the ground to get humanitarian aid or livestock or assistance
14 with household needs. And jointly we reached the number of roughly
15 20.000 persons who had returned but had not registered. We wanted to
16 register them in order to have them listed as returnees, in order to also
17 give them the official status of returnees so that they could receive
18 some benefits that we were available to provide.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues]...
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: And I will just inform the Chamber that I would
22 probably have another 30 minutes tomorrow.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that information.
24 Mr. Pejkovic, we will adjourn for the day. I would like to
25 instruct you that you should not speak with anyone about your testimony,
1 whether that is testimony you have given already today or testimony still
2 to be given tomorrow or the days to come.
3 Is that clear?
4 Then --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then we adjourn, and we will resume tomorrow,
7 Tuesday, the 24th of November, quarter past 2.00, in Courtroom III.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day
10 of November, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.