Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20991

1 Tuesday, 20 June 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the

7 declaration.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

9 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

10 and nothing but the truth.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you'd like to take a

12 seat. Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

14 Your Honour


16 Examined by Mr. Naumovski:

17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Buntic.

18 A. Good morning.

19 Q. Could you first of all just tell us your full

20 name?

21 A. My name is Zoran Buntic.

22 Q. Mr. Buntic, you prepared this outline which

23 we have provided to the Trial Chamber and the opposite

24 bench but you have compiled also a different outline

25 which had about 100 paragraphs and 27 pages?

Page 20992

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. The outline which we have provided to the

3 Trial Chamber is a summary of your previous outline?

4 A. Yes, it only contains the essential elements

5 from the previous ones.

6 Q. From the more comprehensive outlines which

7 you have prepared, we have omitted all the parts which

8 the Trial Chamber has already had enough opportunity to

9 hear about the historical and political.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. This is the analytical part, the -- including

12 the legislature, legislation such as the constitution

13 and the defence law?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You are married, you have five children and

16 you are a lawyer?

17 A. Yes. And two of those are only 15 days old.

18 Q. You graduated in Ljubuski on statement in

19 courtroom in Bosnia-Herzegovina from high school and

20 you completed the school of law in Zagreb where you

21 graduated in 1978?

22 A. Yes, I graduated in 1978 and following that,

23 I worked in Citluk in three different companies in the

24 period between 1978 and 1988. Between 1989 and 1992

25 when the war broke out, I had my own law practice in

Page 20993

1 Citluk and after the war, I assumed new duties.

2 Q. Between 1990 and April 1992, you were a

3 member of the Croatian Democratic Party?

4 A. Yes, I was a member of the Croatian

5 Democratic Party between 1990 and 1992. I also should

6 point out that I was never a member of the HDZ either

7 the HDZ-BiH or the HDZ in Croatia.

8 Q. In the summer of 1991, the local municipal

9 assembly in Citluk appointed you as one of the members

10 of the Crisis Staff?

11 A. Yes, this was immediately following the

12 crisis after the tanks were stopped at Siroki Brijeg,

13 more precisely in Polog. And the crisis staffs were

14 set up everywhere in western Herzegovina, and I was a

15 member of the Crisis Staff in Citluk, and I was also

16 there as a member of -- as a representative of the

17 other political party.

18 Q. In addition to this duty as member of the

19 municipal Crisis Staff, between March and May 1991, you

20 were the deputy commander of the brigade of the

21 battalion which held the line?

22 A. Yes, I was deputy commander of this battalion

23 which was deployed in the Neretva River Valley.

24 Q. And that was an HVO battalion?

25 A. Yes.

Page 20994

1 Q. You were then asked to become a head of the

2 justice department in the newly formed civil HVO in

3 Citluk?

4 A. Yes, I had spoken to Mr. Mate Boban who came

5 to -- who had come to Citluk and offered me this

6 position and it is true that I was appointed by the

7 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna to be the head of

8 justice department in the civilian HVO, but it is also

9 true that I never assumed this duty right away, but

10 rather stayed with my Brotnjo battalion until the 26th

11 of August until the area between Mostar and Stolac was

12 liberated.

13 So I really only assumed the duty of head of

14 the justice department, I took it on -- after August

15 26th even though the appointment formally started on --

16 around the 15th.

17 Q. Mr. Buntic, if you can just wait a little bit

18 with your response because we need to have all your

19 answers interpreted.

20 And just one more question. Mr. Boban signed

21 the letter of appointment of you as the head of justice

22 department?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You were also a member of the personnel

25 commission of the HVO, and Mr. Dario Kordic was a

Page 20995

1 member, also a member of this commission. This

2 commission was established on 18 November 1991 [as

3 interpreted], and Dr. Jadranko Prlic, president of the

4 HVO, signed this decision?

5 A. As far as I can recall, the president of this

6 commission was Mr. Vladimir Soljic. I also am not

7 aware of the fact that this commission ever met. I'm

8 not aware of any decision that it ever adopted.

9 Q. Just one additional follow-up question. Your

10 department and other departments appointed deputies and

11 other officials independently or through this

12 commission?

13 A. This commission was never consulted, and as

14 far as the executive part of the HVO is concerned, the

15 heads of these departments were offered certain

16 proposals. They went to the HD HB meetings and they

17 would then confirm.

18 Q. Just one correction for the record. You

19 referred to 18 November 1992, and the record reflects

20 1991.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And then in December 1993 you were elected

23 the president of the HR HB Judicial Council?

24 A. Yes. I was in this duty between December

25 1993 and August 1996, that is, until this body was

Page 20996

1 dissolved. And I continue to -- and now I have my own

2 law office in Mostar, Buntic & Associates.

3 Q. Very well. We will now move to your time

4 line and beginnings of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 First we will deal with the heading called "Prelude,"

6 paragraphs 9 and 10, Your Honours.

7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, there is no need

8 to deal with paragraphs 9 and 10, which are a matter of

9 history. You can deal briefly with paragraphs 11 and

10 12. Again, these are matters of history. There's no

11 need for any lengthy evidence on those. And move on,

12 if you would, to page 3 as quickly as you can.

13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

14 Your Honour. We will move swiftly.

15 Q. Mr. Buntic, a couple of questions regarding

16 the quiet occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if we can

17 call it that way. After the beginning of the war in

18 Croatia and Slovenia, the JNA transferred or moved all

19 its arsenals from Slovenia and Croatia to

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

21 A. Yes. After the conclusion of the war in

22 Slovenia, all military equipment was moved to Bosnia

23 and Herzegovina, and then at the end of 1991 the JNA

24 moved out of Croatia and was strategically deployed in

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And Sarajevo, as the capital of

Page 20997

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, became cut off from the other

2 centres: Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar, Zenica. The

3 communications were cut off. And I would like to say

4 that this was a quiet occupation, whereby about 70 to

5 75 per cent of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina

6 was occupied.

7 Q. Mr. Buntic, Their Honours have heard a lot

8 about the events at Ravno. We will not dwell on it.

9 You pointed out in paragraph 12 that for you in

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the war began in September 18,

11 1991, when the JNA captured the strategically important

12 Dubravska plateau in the municipality of Stolac, from

13 where the attacks were then launched on Ravno and

14 Zlatina and Dubrovnik?

15 A. Yes. Somewhere around the 18th.

16 JUDGE MAY: No need to go into this in

17 detail. Yes, let's move on.

18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you. A

19 couple of words on the political misunderstandings

20 towards the end of 1991.

21 Your Honours, we prepared a bundle of eight

22 documents which we will use in the examination of

23 Mr. Buntic, and I would like to tender them now and

24 then we will refer to them later.

25 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked

Page 20998

1 D279/1.

2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Buntic, I would just like to ask you a

4 couple of questions about this political

5 misunderstanding in 1991. After the constitutional

6 changes in July of 1990, the Bosnian Croats were in a

7 precarious condition, constitutionally speaking. They

8 had no possibility to adopt their own decisions because

9 a two-third majority was needed. So either alone or in

10 alliance with the Muslims, they were not able to affect

11 constitutional changes?

12 A. Yes. On the 31st of July, amendments to the

13 constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina were adopted,

14 and the constitutional changes were only possible if

15 two-thirds of the both houses of parliament voted for

16 it. And without two-thirds majority, no constitutional

17 changes could be adopted. And the constitution had to

18 be adopted at that time, because up until then there

19 was a single-party system, a communist system, and no

20 changes could be introduced, because the assembly could

21 not reach a two-thirds majority on any decision. That

22 is, the SDS blocked and obstructed both houses of the

23 BiH parliament. It also obstructed the work of the

24 assembly and the presidency.

25 Croats were in an especially awkward position

Page 20999

1 because they had no majority. They could not prevent

2 changes or effect changes. And even together with

3 other ethnic groups, they could not do so. That means

4 that short of consensus, they could not effect any

5 rights. Muslims or Serbs could do so, but Croats could

6 not do it, either alone or with Serbs or Croats. That

7 is --

8 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you

9 Mr. Buntic, not out of discourtesy but as you will

10 appreciate, we've heard a very great deal of evidence

11 in the last 16 months in this trial and there is much

12 that we know about.

13 It's also important that witnesses just deal

14 as concisely as possible with the questions that they

15 are asked. So could you concentrate on the question

16 and then answer it as briefly as possible and we will

17 be able to finish your evidence, of course, more

18 quickly and you will be able to get away.

19 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

21 Your Honour.

22 Q. Mr. Buntic, just as a reminder, in Tab 1 of

23 this bundle we have provided are the amendments which

24 we have just referred to. We need not go through them

25 individually; they speak for themselves.

Page 21000

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Let's move on. This is the formation of the

3 ad hoc Crisis Staffs. According to the laws and

4 individual statutes in municipalities, it was provided

5 that in the case of immediate threat of war which may

6 result from an outside aggression, the municipal

7 assemblies would be dissolved, abandoned and their

8 roles would be taken over by the War Presidencies?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. However, in the specific case something else

11 happened, the occupation was conducted by the --

12 carried out by the JNA which at that time was the only

13 legal military organisation in the territory of the

14 former Yugoslavia. In other words, this was not a

15 foreign aggression but rather an aggression or an

16 occupation from within. In other words, you legally

17 speaking had no way of introducing these War

18 Presidencies?

19 A. Despite the warning from the bench, I believe

20 that I need to make a --

21 JUDGE MAY: No, you will not digress,

22 Mr. Buntic. Let counsel ask you the questions and just

23 answer them, please. It's a matter for this Trial

24 Chamber to decide what is relevant and important here.

25 As you've heard, this case has been going on

Page 21001

1 a very long time. We've heard a very great deal of

2 evidence. Now, counsel knows what the issues are, and

3 he will ask you the relevant questions and could you

4 kindly confine your answers to the questions.

5 Mr. Naumovski, would you ask your question

6 again?

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Of course,

8 Your Honour.

9 Q. As I said, Mr. Buntic, provided that this was

10 not a foreign aggression but rather an internal

11 aggression, the attack was carried out by the JNA which

12 was supposed to have protected the population. Legally

13 speaking, there was no provision for introducing a War

14 Presidency so that you Croats and also Croats in

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina established Crisis Staffs?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. The municipal assemblies appointed the same

18 persons to the Crisis Staffs which would have been

19 appointed to the War Presidencies had they been able to

20 establish them?

21 A. In most cases that was so.

22 Q. And people from various political parties

23 took part in these staffs. In other words, all the

24 parliamentarian parties so to speak in --

25 A. Yes, and some people based on their position,

Page 21002

1 the president of the civilian protection, the president

2 of the municipal council then the president of the

3 municipal assembly.

4 Q. Regardless if these Crisis Staffs were

5 established or not, the basic duty, the basic

6 constitutional obligation of the municipality was to

7 protect, to defend its own territory.

8 A. Yes, this obligation issued both out of the

9 SFRY constitution and the Bosnian constitution and the

10 law of defence both federal and the republican, that

11 is, all these documents were provided for this.

12 Q. Some of these documents have been provided in

13 the Tab 8 of the bundle, especially the law on defence

14 of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is

15 that correct? This was provided in paragraph 8.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Through this internal aggression, there was a

18 split between the old legal system which existed and

19 the reality on the ground?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. That is the legal system which was still in

22 force at the time did not correspond to the reality of

23 what actually had happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

24 A. Yes, there was a split. According to some

25 constitutional provisions, I have to say that the armed

Page 21003

1 forces of the SFRY consisted of two components. One

2 was the JNA and the other was the Territorial Defence.

3 Part of the constitutional provisions obliged

4 people to serve with the JNA but there were also duties

5 to serve with the Territorial Defence and it -- and the

6 municipalities also were obliged to set up defences of

7 their own territories.

8 So the federal and republican constitutions

9 were now in collision as were the federal and

10 republican law of defence and it resulted in a general

11 legal chaos.

12 Q. Since you referred to the Territorial

13 Defence, the Territorial Defence in the territory of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina was, for the most, part disarmed

15 because the JNA took away the weapons which was legally

16 owned by the republic, that is, the state

17 municipalities?

18 A. Yes, if one component of the armed forces

19 disarmed the other component of the armed forces, it

20 took away weapons which legally belonged to the

21 municipalities and locally-based companies. It was

22 clear how it was all going to end; that is, the

23 attitude of the JNA towards its other component became

24 very clear.

25 Q. Just to conclude this topic, in short, the

Page 21004

1 Croats and Muslims in the summer of 1991 set up Crisis

2 Staffs and started to prepare against the aggression

3 which was inevitable?

4 A. I would say that this job was finished by

5 September where in all municipalities were Muslims and

6 Croats were in the majority.

7 Q. A while ago you mentioned that there was an

8 absolute real and legal chaos in the territory of the

9 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina primarily because there

10 the work of all hitherto legal authorities was blocked;

11 is that so?

12 A. It is common knowledge that on the 15th of

13 October 1992, the SDA [as interpreted] members left the

14 parliament and did not come back to it so that the

15 parliament of BH was completely blocked. And all the

16 same thing happened with the assembly because the Serb

17 representatives quit both the assembly and the

18 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina so that it was

19 impossible to convene sessions and take relevant

20 decisions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It means that all the

21 legal institutions of the state were blocked.

22 Q. And of course, we found this reflection not

23 only among the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina but the

24 overall legal life. This legal chaos, if I may call it

25 that, did not however end up in anarchy because ways

Page 21005

1 were sought to organise new institutions, different

2 institutions, which would organise life not only across

3 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina but primarily in the

4 individual municipality.

5 A. One could define this as disorder, disarray.

6 You cannot really call it anarchy. And when some

7 institutions were blocked, the people looked for other

8 institutions through which they could arrange civilian

9 life in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10 Q. I do not know if it was your slip of the

11 tongue or the problem here. It was obvious that the

12 members of the Serb Democratic Party left the

13 parliament. It is page 14 line 6.

14 A. And in the face of this unusual situation,

15 all the sides begin to form their social institutions,

16 that is HVO, then the Muslims formed the Patriotic

17 League and so on and so forth.

18 Q. Since the legitimate legal state institutions

19 were blocked in order to prevent general chaos in the

20 society, new institutions were formed to regulate

21 civilian life and ensure at least the minimum function

22 of civilian life?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. But the military part was also formed so as

25 to organise that duty, which is both, and the basic

Page 21006

1 territories because of the attacks by the JNA and part

2 of the SDS?

3 A. I have already said that the Crisis Staff,

4 that is, the military organisations were set up in

5 municipalities with Croat and Muslim majorities

6 sometime until the end of the -- September 1991.

7 Q. Yes. We can move on to the information of

8 the Croat Democratic Community of Herceg-Bosna, this is

9 paragraph 19, Your Honours.

10 The Chamber already knows, Mr. Buntic, that

11 the Croat Community Bosanska Posavina was formed and

12 then the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna was formed in

13 Grude in November 1991?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. This decision was then amended in the session

16 of the Presidency of the HZ HB on the 3rd of July,

17 1992.

18 A. Yes, there were some amendments.

19 Q. As head of the department for Justice and

20 Administration, you participated in the sessions of the

21 HZ HB and you were therefore present also at those

22 fundamental crucial sessions which took a series of

23 decisions and adopted various regulations?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. At this session of the HZ HB Presidency held

Page 21007

1 in July 1992, HZ HB was then set up as a kind of

2 regional government within the Republic of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina to resolve the problems that we

4 just -- that we spoke about a moment ago?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. So on one hand, its task was very briefly to

7 ensure the conditions for a defence against the

8 aggression and on the other, to ensure the minimum

9 organisation of the other part, the civilian part of

10 life?

11 A. One needs to mention that between the 3rd of

12 April 1992 until the 26th of -- 20th of June 1992,

13 there was no electric power across Herzegovina, there

14 was no water, there was no telephone lines; that is,

15 they were cut off. There was food shortage, tremendous

16 inflation, and somebody had to regulate those matters

17 and ensure some minimal living conditions for those

18 people so that -- so as to avoid an exodus of people

19 from that area.

20 Q. The Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna began

21 ever more active as the central authority weakened.

22 The less efficient was the central government because

23 the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina was falling apart, the

24 more -- was the HDZ becoming more?

25 A. I should say until August of 1992, the Croat

Page 21008

1 Community of Herceg-Bosna passed almost no decisions

2 nor did the civilian part show any signs of particular

3 activity, and the institutions of the HZ HB began to be

4 more animated as of latter August 1992 onwards, rather,

5 after that session held on July 3rd when documents were

6 signed.

7 Q. Let us remind the Court it is the time when

8 the Bosnian Serb army is already holding about 70 per

9 cent of the territory of the then Bosnia-Herzegovina?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. During this evolution that you are talking

12 about, the evolution of the HZ HB in October, that is,

13 as of this session on the 17th of October, the things

14 were then completely separated, that is, the civilian

15 and the military part -- wing of the Croat Community of

16 Herceg-Bosna parted company, didn't they?

17 A. Yes. Perhaps it was -- no. It is not

18 perhaps. It is certainly a very unhappy choice of

19 name, because HVO was the term of the -- for the

20 military -- denoting military parts of the Croats

21 there. And it was also decided that the civilian part

22 of the HZ HB should be called the civilian HVO. But

23 one must tell one thing from the other. There was the

24 civilian part and its presidency, and we call it

25 conditionally, perhaps, the government or the executive

Page 21009

1 board of the Croats, that is, the presidency of the

2 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, which needs to be

3 distinguished from the Croat Defence Council, which was

4 the name of the units of the Croat Community of

5 Herceg-Bosna.

6 Q. You, the Croats, in point of fact, by

7 organising yourselves, tried to preserve the rights

8 that you enjoyed also under the former constitution of

9 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those

10 rights were basically also the -- served as the basis

11 for your political programme?

12 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina is the state of three

13 peoples, and that is clearly defined in the

14 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Croat

15 Community of Herceg-Bosna, practically. There was an

16 attempt to ensure an equal constitutional position of

17 the status of Croats in the Republic of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

19 Q. When the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna was

20 founded, it incorporated parts of 30 municipalities.

21 In this case, as you know, it is alleged that HZ HB

22 also incorporated some areas where the Croats of

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have the majority.

24 A. Correct. These are the territories of some

25 municipalities, but they are not whole municipalities.

Page 21010

1 The decision on the foundation of the HZ HB refers to

2 parts of some municipalities.

3 Q. At the time when you prepared the summary, we

4 discussed it because of the translation into English,

5 and this word, "parts of territories," could also --

6 can be called differently. Parts of territories, of

7 individual territories, that would make it more clear

8 to understand, isn't it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And it happened, and I believe we already had

11 an opportunity of telling that to Their Honours because

12 of the historical -- my colleague is also telling me

13 that I also have to slow down a little bit. Thank you

14 very much. Excuse me.

15 It happened because of the historical custom

16 of Serbs, if I may call it that, to organise

17 municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina so as to always

18 have Croats a minority in a municipality. So you gave

19 us the example of Ravno, which was 100 per cent Croat,

20 but because it was part of the municipality of

21 Trebinje, there were only about 4 per cent of Croats in

22 that municipality?

23 A. Yes. After the municipality of Ravno

24 was annexed to the municipality of Trebinje, then --

25 and their -- the percentage of the Croats was only 4

Page 21011

1 per cent, even though before this annexation the

2 municipality of Ravno had only 4 -- was a hundred per

3 cent Croat. There are many other such examples.

4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] We are both

5 being warned.

6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, would you both

7 slow down, please.

8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Mr. Buntic,

9 will you please help me not to speed too much, because

10 the transcript will not be clear. And don't answer

11 immediately, until my question has been interpreted.

12 Q. It is not in the transcript now. It doesn't

13 have to be repeated. You agreed with me what I've just

14 said, only you explained it further, but I really do

15 not think we need to explain it particularly.

16 Mr. Buntic, the Croat Community of

17 Herceg-Bosna incorporated parts of 30 municipalities

18 with a Croat majority or in which one can organise

19 defence efficiently?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And there were those areas where you had the

22 majority or where you ranked the second in size?

23 A. I believe this was so in almost all the

24 cases.

25 Q. A few words about the evolution of the Croat

Page 21012

1 Community of Herceg-Bosna, even though we've already

2 said a word or two about that. When the Croat

3 Community of Herceg-Bosna was proclaimed on the 18th of

4 November, 1991, it was a political organisation created

5 to represent and protect, we could say so, the interest

6 of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

7 A. Yes, that is why it was founded.

8 Q. However, a few months later, the Croat

9 community was practically inactive for several months,

10 isn't it?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. However, as we have already said, as the

13 central government weakened, so the internal

14 organisation of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna

15 grew. And during that evolution, first the Croat

16 Community of Herceg-Bosna, in April 1992, set up the

17 military organisation, that is, the military part of

18 the HVO?

19 A. Correct. On the 8th of April, 1992.

20 Q. Then in May, that is, 15 May 1992, the

21 civilian wing of the HVO was set up -- these are its

22 beginnings -- when some civilian functions were

23 gradually embarked upon.

24 A. As I have said already, provisional executive

25 authority was set up, that is, the executive part of

Page 21013

1 the presidency of the HZ HB, called the Croat Defence

2 Council.

3 Q. The meeting that was held on July 3rd, 1992,

4 in point of fact reorganised the civilian and the

5 military part, and following that the civilian wing

6 began to operate as a provisional wartime regional

7 authority under emergency conditions but within the

8 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

9 A. Yes, I would call it provisional executive

10 government.

11 Q. Within the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

12 A. Yes, within the territory of the Republic of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

14 Q. Tell us, please. I do not want to lead you

15 here, because there could be an objection. Was the

16 foundation of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna a

17 secret or was it publicised?

18 A. The founding of the Croat Community of

19 Herceg-Bosna was commented by both the president of the

20 HDZ at the time, Stjepan Kljuic, and then

21 vice-president of the HDZ Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Mate

22 Boban, a day or two after the foundation, and these

23 comments were published in the paper Oslobodenje on the

24 20 -- no. I think one or two days after its

25 proclamation.

Page 21014

1 Q. In the exhibit that we attached to your

2 summary, 2 and 3 include excerpts, fragments, from

3 articles referring to the foundation of the Croat

4 Community of Herceg-Bosna. These are articles from the

5 press?

6 A. Yes, these are articles from the paper called

7 Oslobodenje.

8 Q. So there was -- we can't even speak about

9 anything clandestine there. It was -- the founding of

10 HZ HB was quite open. At that time Oslobodenje was the

11 most widely read newspaper in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The

12 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, at its session on the

13 28th of November, 1991, recognised the legitimacy of

14 both the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and the Croat

15 Community of Bosanska Posavina; is that so?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And more than that, it also supported and

18 made the initiative for other organisations to be set

19 up in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

20 A. And it was also made possible for other

21 municipalities to join, if they wished to do so, the

22 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.

23 Q. My colleague warns me of something in the

24 transcript. We said that the Croat Democratic Union of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina recognised the legitimacy of these

Page 21015

1 Croat communities that I've just talked about.

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. It's an imprecision in the transcript, so all

4 I wanted was to correct that.

5 So we are paragraph 29, the establishment of

6 the armed forces. You've already explained that in

7 part. And by and large, as the Court already knows,

8 the military part of the HVO was set up on the 8th of

9 April, 1992 as a provisional body, which then tried to

10 coordinate the activities of the existing defence

11 forces in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina formed

12 until -- by that time already. However, there was a

13 lack of coordination to bring them all together.

14 A. I have already pointed out that the municipal

15 Crisis Staff had been set up before that.

16 Q. Yes. When we spoke about this HVO, it was

17 set up only as a provisional organisation, having to do

18 with the war, with the imminent threat of war, isn't

19 it?

20 A. I think that all the documents adopted by the

21 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and the documents

22 adopted by the HVO, every one of these documents has

23 the wording to show that it is a document which is only

24 temporarily in force during the threat of war.

25 Q. In these territories in which it was formed,

Page 21016

1 the task of the HVO was to defend whom? Only the

2 Croats or all the citizens living there?

3 A. Not only was it its task; it also provided

4 that defence by and large.

5 Q. Excuse me. I don't understand you. All

6 citizens or only the Croats?

7 A. All citizens.

8 Q. So regardless of the ethnic, national,

9 whatever, religious, or other difference?

10 A. All without any difference.

11 Q. We've just mentioned the Territorial Defence;

12 however, we did not say why did you Croats -- in fact

13 were rather mistrustful of the Territorial Defence.

14 Perhaps now is the time to say something about that.

15 A. The commander of the Territorial Defence in

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina was a Serb. I think his name was

17 Vasiljevic. And the paradox of the Territorial Defence

18 is testified to by the fact that all the armaments were

19 turned over to the other component, that is, the

20 Yugoslav People's Army, and the fact that from the

21 funds, from the resources of the Territorial Defence,

22 Commander Vasiljevic paid the salaries of those in

23 service who had occupied the state of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So that is, I believe, sufficient

25 reason not to trust the Territorial Defence.

Page 21017

1 Q. Moreover, I think that in the territory of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina it was common knowledge that the TO

3 was largely controlled by Serbs. That was the

4 additional reason for this lack of confidence.

5 A. I think that that was the structure

6 throughout the armed forces of the former Republic of

7 Yugoslavia, that the military personnel was structured

8 so that over 60 per cent of them were Serbs and

9 Montenegrins and all the others accounted for the rest

10 of that.

11 Q. Now, you have given us some of the reasons

12 for which you Croats believed that the TO could not

13 defend successfully, protect the interests of the Croat

14 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

15 A. Well, simply, the name was neither

16 appropriate nor adequate for the Croat people in

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

18 Q. It is not in dispute that the presidency of

19 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- the decision was

20 signed by the then-president, Alija Izetbegovic, that

21 it set up a new Territorial Defence on the 9th of

22 April, 1992?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. However, at that time the army of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not yet exist as such?

Page 21018

1 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was

2 established only as late as the 6th of August, 1992.

3 Q. So what was the bulk of the forces at the

4 time?

5 A. The bulk of the forces were units called

6 either Territorial Defence or the units called the

7 Muslim Patriotic League.

8 Q. So these components, especially the Patriotic

9 League, became the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that

10 so?

11 A. The Territorial Defence of

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Patriotic League, and the HVO,

13 by a decision of the presidents of Bosnia-Herzegovina

14 on the 6th of August, were proclaimed to be the legal

15 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina defending the Republic of

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

17 Q. So we can say equal parts of the armed forces

18 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

19 A. Yes, correct.

20 Q. Let us dwell for a while on this organisation

21 of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna. The

22 organisation took place at the session of the

23 presidency of the HZ HB on the 3rd of July, 1992. The

24 session, therefore, brought about the reorganisation

25 and also introduced some temporary institutions which

Page 21019

1 were not in existence before that. For instance, you

2 set up new, if I may call it, supreme authority; you

3 introduced the title of the president of the Croat

4 Community of Herceg-Bosna.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And at the same time the president of the

7 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna became the supreme

8 commander of the armed forces; is that so?

9 A. Yes, the supreme commander of all armed

10 forces.

11 Q. The Court already knows that both these

12 duties were discharged by Mate Boban. But tell us,

13 please: Did Mate Boban, as the president of the Croat

14 Community of Herceg-Bosna and the supreme commander,

15 have any vice-presidents, or is it that such a post did

16 not exist?

17 A. No, the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna never

18 had any vice-presidents. That post has to be

19 distinguished from the role of the president of the

20 Presidency of the HZ HB.

21 Q. Yes, that is my second question. One of the

22 decisions taken by the session on the 3rd of July 1992

23 was also the decision that the Presidency of the Croat

24 Community of Herceg-Bosna should grow into a fully

25 legislative body, if I may call it that, of the Croat

Page 21020

1 Community of Herceg-Bosna; is that so?

2 A. Yes, it was a body which adopted

3 regulations.

4 Q. And the Presidency of the Croat Community of

5 Herceg-Bosna was headed by the president, and in this

6 case, it was also Mr. Mate Boban except that the

7 president of the Presidency of the Croat Community of

8 Herceg-Bosna had two vice-presidents; is that so?

9 A. It is anything that the vice-presidents were

10 then named, it was Mr. Dario Kordic, who is here, and

11 Mr. Bozo Rajic.

12 Q. The duty of the president of the Presidency,

13 and we have to emphasise the distinction between this

14 duty and the president of the Croat Community of

15 Herceg-Bosna so his duties were of parliamentary

16 nature, they were to translate into life the programme

17 of the Croat Democratic Union and so on and so forth,

18 isn't it?

19 A. I would say exclusively of a parliamentary

20 nature.

21 Q. You are familiar with the provisions of the

22 rules on the work of the Presidency adopted in October

23 1992; is that so?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. There are only two articles, the 15th and the

Page 21021

1 20th which briefly mention vice-presidents of the

2 Presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna. Do

3 they have any other duties apart from those

4 parliamentary duties as we call them?

5 A. Pursuant to those rules, they have no other

6 duties.

7 Q. In other words, vice-presidents of the

8 president of the Presidency can substitute for the

9 president. They can convene meetings and do things

10 that have to do with the house rules and orders of the

11 Presidency?

12 A. Yes, they can substitute for the president in his

13 absence and they can help assist in preparation for the

14 meetings of the Presidency.

15 Q. I would like to refer to Exhibit D181/1

16 paragraph three in that regard, and the last question

17 Mr. Buntic in this paragraph three or heading three,

18 sorry. D181/1, Tab 3.

19 Does this position give any executive power

20 within the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 34. We're moving

23 along, Your Honours.

24 The Presidency met only two more times, we

25 are talking about the HZ HB Presidency. Once was on 14

Page 21022

1 August 1992 and 17 October 1992. Both times in order

2 to adopt significant legislation.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. In the session of 17 October 1992, the

5 Presidency of HZ HB transferred its legislative powers

6 or they delegated it in instances that cannot be

7 delayed -- I'm quoting you in paragraph 34 -- and to

8 this executive body only for the duration of the war;

9 is that correct?

10 A. Yes. And after 17 October, the Presidency of

11 HZ HB never passed any further legislation. The

12 legislation was then adopted by the executive branch,

13 that is, the HVO.

14 Q. Later -- earlier we talked about the session

15 of 3 July 1992, the Presidency was created, that was

16 the commander in chief of HVO, and I think you were

17 denied the opportunity to say that this is when the

18 main staff of the military HVO was established which

19 was subordinated to the Presidency -- which was the

20 commander in chief?

21 A. With this revised, amended provision, the

22 main staff was set up and the commander in chief, that

23 is, the president of the Croatian Community of

24 Herceg-Bosna was its superior commander.

25 Q. Mr. Buntic, with the internal Croatian

Page 21023

1 Community of Herceg-Bosna and initially we said all

2 this was done in order to organise the entire life in

3 Herceg-Bosna, we see that all these rules were

4 conformed to the BiH constitution and laws?

5 A. We tried to -- we tried to follow all the

6 legislation, the -- that is, of the Bosnian and even

7 the federal legislation insofar as it was possible.

8 Q. Amendment 42 of the BiH constitution adopted

9 on 21 April 1989, municipalities could join together

10 into a community of municipalities for certain purposes

11 or needs?

12 A. Yes. In addition to the constitution and the

13 law of defence, both allow the possibility for this

14 kind of joinder for the purpose of defence.

15 Q. In your outline in paragraph 36, you said

16 that the RBiH Presidency itself concluded that new

17 forms of governmental structures were needed outside

18 Sarajevo and it created certain regional governments or

19 districts, "Okruzi" in Croatian?

20 A. Yes, such districts were created for the

21 areas of Zenica, Tuzla and Bihac which was very similar

22 to the internal organisation of Croatian Community of

23 Herceg-Bosna.

24 Q. So it was concluded that this was one of the

25 most effective ways to organise local territorial

Page 21024

1 units?

2 A. There were no other possibilities because

3 Sarajevo was cut off from these other urban centres;

4 Mostar, Tuzla and Zenica, and because of the inability

5 to maintain physical communication between these

6 various regional centres.

7 Q. Referring to the evolution of this, the

8 president of the HVO executive after May 15, 1992 was

9 Mr. Jadranko Prlic?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Initially there was a single vice-president.

12 First it was Stipo Ivankovic, but in a session of 17

13 October 1992, the Presidency of the HZ HB appointed two

14 additional vice-presidents, Kresimir Zubak and Anto

15 Valenta?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. A few comments, Mr. Buntic, on the detached

18 department of the RBiH in Mostar and, Your Honours,

19 this is paragraph 38. Their Honours know that in July

20 1992, Presidents Tudjman and Izetbegovic held a meeting

21 but after that meeting, you met with the RBiH Minister

22 of Justice; is that correct?

23 A. That was less than a month after -- following

24 that meeting.

25 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what was the

Page 21025

1 purpose of this meeting, that is, as your -- as head of

2 the justice department of the HZ HB with the republican

3 Minister of Justice?

4 A. The purpose of the meeting was the

5 functioning of the judicial system in the conditions of

6 war and with Sarajevo being cut off from the other

7 centres, we were wondering how to set up the judicial

8 system within the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

9 we also talked about the detached department of the

10 RBiH Supreme Court in Mostar.

11 Q. This meeting did not result in any written

12 agreement?

13 A. Yes, because at that time, the minister was

14 not authorised to sign any documents on the agreement

15 reached.

16 Q. But during the discussions you held, was it

17 agreed that it was absolutely necessary to set up

18 these -- the departments of the Supreme Court not only

19 in Mostar but in other towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina so

20 that the legal system, judicial system could operate at

21 all?

22 A. The best proof is what the government of the

23 RBiH did, that is, its Presidency. Shortly thereafter,

24 detached departments were established in Bihac and

25 Tuzla because Sarajevo was cut off and so these

Page 21026

1 departments were established in Mostar and Tuzla and

2 Bihac.

3 Q. If I may remind you, there was one also

4 established in Zenica.

5 A. Yes, that is correct.

6 Q. So these newly-established departments worked

7 on equal footing with the one in Sarajevo.

8 A. They were all departments of the RBiH Supreme

9 Court.

10 Q. Perhaps we can further clarify this issue.

11 The judges elected to the departments in Tuzla Bihac,

12 Mostar, and Zenica, to whom they were giving oath, to

13 what the representative of which body?

14 A. It would be the head of the district. If it

15 was in Tuzla, the president to the Tuzla district, and

16 if it was in Bihac, it was at the head of the Bihac

17 district.

18 Q. And these districts were -- are the new

19 territorial units set up based on the model of the

20 HZ HB.

21 A. We can say only conditionally this was set up

22 by the HZ HB but it was similar, I would say.

23 Q. Just to conclude this topic both Croats and

24 Muslims in the territory which they controlled were

25 forced to establish such departments because they were

Page 21027

1 unable to communicate in Sarajevo where the republican

2 Supreme Court had its seat?

3 A. Yes, and that was the main reason why this

4 solution was offered because there was no other way to

5 implement the legal system.

6 Q. We can move on to the next topic, that is the

7 RBiH Constitutional Court decision on the

8 unconstitutionality of the HZ HB. Your Honours, we are

9 moving to paragraph 39.

10 Mr. Buntic, you are aware that there were

11 witnesses here who gave evidence that HZ HB was

12 proclaimed unconstitutional in a decision of 14

13 September 1992?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Could you tell me, as head of the HVO

16 department of justice, did you ever receive any notice

17 or were you ever offered an opportunity to take part in

18 these proceedings in this RBiH Constitutional Court?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Had you been notified and had you had an

21 opportunity to come to Sarajevo, would you have, in

22 this session, represented -- your side, that is, the

23 HZ HB as the head of its justice department?

24 A. Yes, had that been possible, that is, to come

25 to Sarajevo which I very much doubt was possible at the

Page 21028

1 time.

2 Q. Can you tell me whether you or any other

3 official of the HVO ever received an official copy of

4 the decision of the RBiH Supreme Court?

5 A. No, we never received an invitation to take

6 part in this debate or the decision which was rendered

7 as a result of it.

8 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] One moment,

9 Mr. Naumovski, please.

10 In relation to paragraph 39 with regard to

11 the Constitutional Court, I'd like to put the following

12 question to Mr. Buntic because, after all, he is an

13 experienced lawyer and he was the lawyer within the

14 civilian wing of the HVO.

15 Could it be that he never had the opportunity

16 to hear about the creation of a Constitutional Court

17 because a decision relating to the creation of a

18 Constitutional court could not to be compared with

19 secondary courts, usually such a decision will have

20 some major repercussions on political life. So does

21 that mean that he didn't hear of the decision being

22 adopted?

23 A. It is correct that I had not heard that --

24 that had I not heard that such a decision has been

25 passed. I spent with Mr. Trnka in Neum, spent three

Page 21029

1 days discussing the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

2 he was a member of this body. I talked to the judicial

3 branch and this decision was never mentioned to me. I

4 had contacts with judges of the Supreme Court Drasko

5 Vuleta and Mirko Pogdanovic and no one ever told me

6 personally that such decision existed.

7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Sir, you

8 never received information from another source, have

9 you, it may be that these people didn't speak to you

10 directly, but have you heard about it from another

11 source just because it was public knowledge?

12 A. I heard about this decision in 1996.

13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] In other

14 words, between 1992, yes, indeed, 1992, from the 14th

15 of September 1992 until 1996. So for four years you

16 never heard about it?

17 A. No.

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] That's very

19 surprising given that you were involved in legal

20 matters. Thank you.

21 A. You're welcome.

22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Mr. Buntic, perhaps we can take this a step

24 further based on what His Honour Judge Bennouna just

25 asked. Insofar as you know as the head of the justice

Page 21030

1 department, did anyone ever ask that this decision of

2 the Supreme Court be implemented?

3 A. I'm unaware of any such activity.

4 Q. In this context, the persons with whom you

5 later spoke not only did not tell you about this

6 decision but never asked you to have this decision

7 implemented.

8 A. I said that I learned about this decision in

9 1996 when we were first in a position to receive

10 official gazettes from RBiH, and having received copies

11 of these -- of the official gazette, I learned about it

12 and I am sure that had anybody wanted it known that

13 this decision was adopted, that they would have

14 disseminated this information but I'm unaware of it.

15 Q. Having -- I would just like to refer to the

16 bundle, it is the pertinent portions of the

17 constitution and that is the provision of the

18 constitutional provisions and the rules of Supreme

19 Court of BiH with its amendments are in Tabs 6 and 7.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. So these regulations regulate the issues

22 which we have just addressed?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Speaking of the judicial system, the

25 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Page 21031

1 confirmed certain decisions of the HVO on the

2 appointments of judges to courts within the Croatian

3 Community of Herceg-Bosna, that is, until this decision

4 of the unconstitutionality.

5 A. I believe that there were certain

6 confirmations adopted even after this decision.

7 Q. I would like to refer you to Tabs 4 and 5 of

8 the exhibit we have introduced. One is a decision of

9 the Presidency of the 23rd of August of the election of

10 judges of the military -- district military courts and

11 somewhere in the middle, there are -- there is a list

12 of judges appointed to the district military court in

13 Mostar.

14 A. That is correct.

15 Q. And the decision in Tab 5 is a decision of

16 the RBiH Presidency of 7 September 1992, and in Roman

17 numeral VIII paragraph, there are appointments of the

18 judges in the higher court in Mostar; is that correct?

19 A. That is correct.

20 Q. Very well, thank you. Just in conclusion,

21 were these judges elected or appointed to positions in

22 courts of the HZ HB confirmed by the Presidency of

23 RBiH?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Mr. Buntic, as an experienced legal expert

Page 21032

1 and lawyer, I think that you would be the right person

2 to know and ask this, even to date, the federation

3 courts still apply and implement the regulations

4 adopted by the HZ HB.

5 A. Precisely, all regulations of the Croatian Community of

6 Herceg-Bosna/HZH-B/ are being applied which have not been replaced

7 by federal regulations. So all the regulations adopted by the HZH-B

8 are treated equally to the regulations adopted by the BH

9 Republic. So the supreme court does not make any distinction

10 between the laws which had been passed by the HZ HB and the ones

11 which were adopted by the Federation.

12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] The witness

13 is a lawyer. He might be in a position to explain why

14 such legislation, such laws, are being applied, because

15 it often happens that law is applied in order to avoid

16 a legal vacuum. Until such law can be replaced by another

17 type of legislation, this often happens. There are even

18 cases when independent states keep applying, for instance,

19 colonial legislation, in order to avoid a legal vacuum.

20 But that doesn't mean, by doing so, that they do admit

21 or acknowledge a colonisation. However, they do apply

22 colonial rules or laws because they want to avoid a legal

23 vacuum. Is it here the purpose -- do you want to avoid

24 some kind of legal vacuum, and was it done in order to

25 -- by applying the previous legislation to Herceg-Bosna?

Page 21033

1 A. It is correct that Herceg-Bosna implemented

2 the regulations both of the Federal Republic of

3 Yugoslavia and the regulations of the Republic of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But in the areas where it had

5 jurisdiction which were affected by the war, it had to

6 legislate there. And even to date, even as we are

7 meeting today, if no new federal legislation had been

8 introduced, there is still old laws that are being

9 implemented.

10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] You are not

11 answering my question, Mr. Buntic. My question was:

12 They are applied, there are in force these laws of

13 Herceg-Bosna in order to avoid a legal vacuum; is that

14 the reason? That was my question.

15 A. That is correct.

16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Mr. Buntic, can you please tell us whether

19 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, that is, the

20 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, were ever supposed

21 to be internationally recognised entities?

22 A. No.

23 Q. From the very beginning of the establishment

24 of the HZ HB, what did the basic documents all refer

25 to? What supreme authority was to be recognised?

Page 21034

1 A. In all -- all documents adopted by the HZ HB

2 always stipulated that these were provisional documents

3 in the conditions of war, that it is an entity that is

4 going to persist so long as there was the war or

5 immediate threat of war. It never had an ambition to

6 become an independent state and never asked for it.

7 Q. And whose supreme authority was to be

8 recognised?

9 A. That of the Republic of Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina.

11 Q. Can you tell me now: The Croats in Bosnia

12 and Herzegovina, and all other citizens of the HZ HB,

13 were they citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina or were

14 they citizens of the Croatian Community of

15 Herceg-Bosna, as was sometimes -- it was sometimes

16 contended here?

17 A. There is no document that reflects that

18 position of the HZ HB.

19 Q. In other words, you were all only the

20 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

21 A. That is correct.

22 Q. Were there any official border crossings

23 between the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and the

24 areas controlled by the Muslims?

25 A. No. There were no official border crossings,

Page 21035

1 and this is also reflected in all the documents adopted

2 by the HZ HB.

3 Q. I have a feeling that we have made good

4 progress, but perhaps we can fit in another few

5 questions. This is paragraphs 45, 46, relations

6 between the Republic of Croatia and the HZ HB.

7 As Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you ever

8 consider the constitution of the Republic of Croatia as

9 your supreme law?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Could such a law have any legal force in the

12 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Were other parts of the legal system of the

15 Republic of Croatia -- and I refer to the supreme court

16 and other bodies -- have any influence on the legal

17 system within Bosnia and Herzegovina?

18 A. No.

19 Q. You were the head of the justice department

20 until 28 August 1993, until the Croatian Republic of

21 Herceg-Bosna was established. Can you tell me whether

22 the HZ HB in that period ever applied, implemented, any

23 piece of legislation of the Croatian Republic?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Did you have any meetings with any officials

Page 21036

1 from the justice department of Croatia with whom you

2 discussed the legislation in HZ HB?

3 A. I never met with the head of the justice

4 department of the Republic of Croatia, either

5 officially or unofficially.

6 Q. And later on, when in December 1993 you

7 became -- you assumed your new duty, did you, in your

8 new position, have any meetings or contacts with

9 representatives of the judiciary of the Republic of

10 Croatia?

11 A. No. I never officially or unofficially met

12 with the president of the judicial council of the

13 Republic of Croatia.

14 Q. And the last question from this -- on this

15 topic. As the head of the justice department, did you

16 ever receive any orders or suggestions from the

17 Republic of Croatia what you should do in your job?

18 A. If we never met, then I never could have

19 received any such orders or suggestions.

20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,

21 this may be a good moment to take a break before we go

22 on to the next topic.

23 JUDGE MAY: It's 11.00. We'll adjourn now.

24 Mr. Buntic, would you remember in this

25 adjournment, and any others there may be, not to speak

Page 21037

1 to anybody about your evidence until it's over, and

2 that does include members of the Defence team. Could

3 you be back, please, at half past 11.00.

4 THE WITNESS: Very well.

5 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.

6 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

9 Your Honours. Your Honours, we've reached paragraph

10 47.

11 Q. Mr. Buntic, we can continue. Tell us,

12 please: Was there any policy, plan, law, regulation,

13 anything in the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna or the

14 HVO which would expose any ethnic group to any kind of

15 persecution or discrimination?

16 A. I do not know of any such plan. I know that

17 there was no such regulation.

18 Q. In view of the duty that you discharged, you

19 practically socialised with all the people who meant

20 something in the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna; is

21 that so?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Had there existed any secret or real plan

24 about some systematic persecution or discrimination,

25 persecution or discrimination of Muslims, of others, of

Page 21038

1 non-Croats, wouldn't you know about that, either

2 officially or from contacts with people who took the

3 most important decisions in the Croat Community of

4 Herceg-Bosna?

5 A. I would have known, had it existed.

6 Q. Had such a plan existed, would you ever have

7 been a person to put such plans through?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Tell us, please: Was the objective of the

10 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna the creation of any

11 ethnically homogeneous territory?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Was it, at any decision-making level that you

14 attended, either in the HVO government or anything, was

15 there ever any mention about resettlements within the

16 HZ HB of any people?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Tell us, please, if in the Croat Community of

19 Herceg-Bosna there was a plan or was -- or did it

20 happen in practice that Muslims were excluded from

21 government at any level?

22 A. No.

23 Q. So if I understand you well, there was no

24 plan to create a monoethnic state, in inverted commas,

25 "state," of course.

Page 21039

1 A. No.

2 Q. You mentioned an interesting fact in your

3 summary in paragraph 48 whereas there was some clashes

4 between the HVO and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in

5 some parts of Bosnia, in Tuzla, Bihac and other places,

6 in other places, they fought jointly against the

7 aggressor, that is, the army of Bosnian Serbs?

8 A. Yes, even that.

9 Q. You told us a while ago that there was no

10 discrimination of Muslims by the authorities but you

11 also meant the judiciary, didn't you?

12 A. In the first place in the sector for which I

13 was responsible.

14 Q. A certain number of judges were Muslims, even

15 Serbs and even some other peoples not counting Croats,

16 of course, were also judges and presidents of courts in

17 courts which operated in the Croat Community of

18 Herceg-Bosna?

19 A. In Mostar, there was quite a number of --

20 there was a larger number of judges of Muslim ethnicity

21 than Croat judges.

22 Q. In paragraph 49 you give us some examples,

23 for instance, Mr. Semir Puzic was a judge and also the

24 president of this department detachment of the Supreme

25 Court in Mostar?

Page 21040

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And Enes Memic was the president of the

3 military court in Mostar?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you also quoted the example of Mrs. Ziba

6 Nozic who was the president of the municipal court in

7 Mostar?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And all told, even your deputy, Aid Glavovic

10 was a Muslim and he was responsible for the punishment

11 policy. So without going any further, these are the

12 examples for which you draw the conclusion that there

13 was no discrimination against Muslims?

14 A. Correct. In addition to these Bosniaks

15 mentioned here, the Serbs who had stayed back in Mostar

16 and had been judges before that continued as such so

17 nobody was dismissed from his office of the judge

18 because of his ethnic background.

19 Q. Of course since some Serb judges and other

20 people left, quit, left the areas of the HZ HB, there

21 were a number of vacancies in the judiciary?

22 A. Yes, by and large because until 1991, these

23 places were held by people of Serb ethnicity. In

24 Mostar and in Herzegovina, Serbs had a

25 disproportionately large number of posts compared with

Page 21041

1 the number of the population of that ethnicity living

2 in the region and, naturally, when a large number of

3 those judges left, one had to fill those vacancies.

4 Q. And you did that by -- after, of course,

5 people applied for these posts for the Croat

6 applicants, you requested some consent of the civilian

7 HVO and for the Muslims, you requested the consent of

8 the Muslim side, didn't you?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And it was after such consents were given

11 that you decided on the appointment of those applicants

12 to different posts as judges?

13 A. Well, the proposal then went to the

14 Presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and

15 the Presidency was the one which appointed judges.

16 Q. And the last part in this part of your

17 examination, and these are the official positions and

18 powers of Dario Kordic.

19 We have practically touched upon both of his

20 duties but let us just clarify it. In the Croat

21 Community of Herceg-Bosna according to your knowledge,

22 as you told us, he held two posts?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. First, he was the vice-president of the

25 Presidency of Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna; is that

Page 21042

1 so?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. We do not have to repeat the difference

4 between the president of the Croat Community of

5 Herceg-Bosna and the president of the Presidency of

6 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna as indicated in

7 paragraph 51A. Perhaps just in one word, the duties,

8 the powers of the vice-president of the Presidency of

9 the HZ HB were of parliamentary nature as we have

10 already said.

11 A. Yes, we have already said that.

12 Q. And together with you as one of the five

13 members, Mr. Dario Kordic was a member of the personnel

14 commission of the HVO?

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. You have already told us that this commission

17 never sat in practice, and that you don't know of any

18 decisions that it took.

19 A. I cannot recall a single meeting of that

20 commission.

21 Q. Tell us, please, as the vice-president of the

22 Presidency of Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, was

23 Mr. Kordic also one of numerous members of the

24 legislative body, that is the Presidency of the Croat

25 Community of Herceg-Bosna which was the decision-making

Page 21043

1 body as we have already said?

2 A. Yes, he was a member of the Presidency and

3 one of the vice-presidents of the Presidency.

4 Q. And to explain to Their Honours, prior to the

5 adoption of those fundamental rules and regulations, it

6 was until the 17th of October 1992?

7 A. Indeed, after that date, the Presidency did

8 not adopt regulations.

9 Q. Tell us, please, if Mr. Kordic, as a

10 vice-president of the Presidency of the Croat Community

11 of Herceg-Bosna as one of the members of this

12 legislative body, did he have any powers to intervene

13 in military matters, in judicial cases or any other

14 walk of life? Did he have any such powers as a member

15 of these bodies?

16 A. No.

17 Q. We have already said that the president of

18 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban, did

19 not have his deputy as such.

20 A. Correct, he did not.

21 Q. It is paragraph 53 where you said that it is

22 important to emphasise which office Mr. Kordic did not

23 hold. So Mr. Kordic was the vice-president of the

24 Presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna but

25 not the vice-president to the president of the Croat

Page 21044

1 Community of Herceg-Bosna.

2 A. Correct. The president of the Croat

3 Community of Herceg-Bosna did not have a deputy.

4 Q. As the head of the department for justice,

5 did you ever hear in these sessions of this body of the

6 HVO or in your private contacts with various

7 individuals, did you ever hear that Mr. Kordic held any

8 military duty or position or a role?

9 A. I know that Mr. Kordic was not a member of

10 the main staff. Also, I never heard that he was a

11 member of the operative staff for Central Bosnia,

12 military, I mean.

13 Q. Yes, I understand. But did you ever hear

14 that regardless of the fact that he was not a member of

15 these bodies that you mentioned, did you ever hear that

16 he discharged any military function in any capacity

17 whatsoever?

18 A. I have already said that he was not a member

19 of any of these staffs. Likewise, in the executive

20 part, Mr. Kordic did not participate, so he did not

21 participate in the executive bodies.

22 Q. Perhaps just one more question in this

23 regard. Did Mr. Kordic ever participate in the design

24 of the strategic policy during the life of Croat

25 Community of Herceg-Bosna except as a member of that

Page 21045

1 body which was responsible for the adoption of

2 regulations?

3 A. I did not hear about any such activity of

4 his.

5 Q. Tell us, please, we are talking about these

6 relations and relationships. Did Mr. Kordic, as the

7 vice-president of the Presidency of the Croat Community

8 of Herceg-Bosna, was he superior to the president of

9 the HVO, Dr. Jadranko Prlic, either de juro de facto?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Was he your superior as one of the heads of

12 the departments of that government as it is

13 colloquially called?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Did Mr. Kordic have any duty in that

16 executive body Croat Defence counsel?

17 A. No. He was a member of this commission, and

18 we have already noted that it never met.

19 Q. And this leads us to one of our final

20 questions. Did he ever, to your knowledge, participate

21 in decision-making at the highest level, I mean, in the

22 highest ranking institutions of the Croats in

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

24 A. Except in the Presidency that we have already

25 spoken about, he did not take part in government

Page 21046

1 sessions or any executive bodies, that is, I do not

2 know that he attended any such meetings of the HVO.

3 I'm referring to the executive part.

4 Q. We have already told Their Honours that the

5 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna was increasingly

6 developing its organisation with the weakening of the

7 central authority and that, I guess, means that in

8 cooperation of ever larger people in the territory

9 covered by Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. Within that context, did the office which

12 Mr. Kordic held until 28th of August, 1993, that is,

13 vice-president or deputy of the president of the

14 Presidency of the HZ HB, did his role increase or

15 decrease in view of the increase of the number of

16 people?

17 A. In relation to the executive part and all

18 that that we talked about, no, I think it was -- that

19 it decreased.

20 Q. And perhaps my last question, Mr. Buntic, you

21 have already told Their Honours that neither the Croat

22 Community of Herceg-Bosna nor the Croat Republic of

23 Herceg-Bosna were to become independent entities but

24 only parts of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

25 A. Correct.

Page 21047

1 Q. Since you were the head of the department of

2 justice in those hard critical county times, as you

3 told us, in the territory of the Croat Community of

4 Herceg-Bosna, you, as you told us, enforced a whole

5 range of laws in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

6 which were already in effect for some time?

7 A. Yes. In practical terms, all the laws of the

8 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the

9 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina remained in force except

10 that we made some amendments as to the terms and

11 similar things in view of the circumstances that

12 prevailed.

13 Q. And my last question: You have already told

14 us the decisions that you took in the Croat Community

15 of Herceg-Bosna referred to its provisional nature

16 within the system of the Bosnia-Herzegovina.

17 A. Indeed, all these regulations say that there

18 are provisional documents in force during the threat of

19 war and the imminent danger of war, and that they make

20 part of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21 Q. And my last question: The enforcement of

22 laws adopted by the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, its

23 decisions and so on so forth, is also an example

24 testifying to the fact that you Croats recognise the

25 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Page 21048

1 A. I think this means direct recognition of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina because the courts enforced the laws

3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and also of the Federal Republic

4 of Yugoslavia, those that were in force, yes.

5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you

6 Mr. Buntic I have no further questions. Thank you,

7 Your Honours.

8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if

9 I may, just one or two questions.

10 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

11 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Buntic. My name is

12 Kovacic and I represent the accused Mario Cerkez. We

13 have not had an opportunity to meet before with you.

14 I would like to ask you, since we have you

15 here as an expert, would you agree, Mr. Buntic, with a

16 general statement that the municipalities within the

17 organisation of -- within the administrative

18 significance item of the Socialist Federal Republic of

19 Yugoslavia played an important role in the organisation

20 of government in the SFRY?

21 A. In the beginning, I tried to point out that

22 detail, that is, the federal constitution, the

23 constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of

24 Yugoslavia, and the constitution of the Republic of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the national defence law, the

Page 21049

1 federal one, and the republic law on national defence,

2 not only authorised the municipalities but also bind

3 the municipalities to take certain defence measures in

4 case of attack of war and even run, organise the

5 Territorial Defence as a segment of all the national

6 defence so it wasn't only the right, it was also a

7 duty.

8 Also the national defence law envisages a

9 possibility of setting up a community of municipalities

10 for a more efficient defence against any aggressor.

11 Q. So in other words, in matters of defence, not

12 only in other segments of life, in SFRY at the time,

13 before the disintegration of the state, municipalities

14 were an important link in this system; we can agree

15 about that?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Mr. Buntic, just one more question to try to

18 clarify one matter for those present here. Would you

19 agree with me when I say that when the legal vacuum set

20 in, when the central government of the Republic of

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina fell through after it proclaimed its

22 independence, but because of the -- because of the

23 circumstances, of the conditions, it simply could not

24 exercise its power because of the chaotic relations,

25 because the whole system fell through. Following the

Page 21050

1 Serb aggression, you told us today they took 70 per

2 cent of the territory. When did the municipality then

3 become -- the key moment which managed to maintain some

4 kind of order?

5 A. I'd say that of all the official, lawful,

6 legitimate bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- I have

7 already said that all the official, lawful, legitimate

8 bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina were blocked because the

9 Serb Democratic Party quit those bodies. They simply

10 could not take any valid decisions. They could not

11 comply with the legal duties with regard to defence.

12 So that only some of the municipalities complied with

13 their legal and constitutional duties; not only rights,

14 but also their duties. And in fact, that was the only

15 way to preserve the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a

16 state, or rather the remaining 30 per cent of its

17 territory.

18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you

19 very much, Witness Buntic. I have no further

20 questions.

21 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:

22 Q. Mr. Buntic, the tab number 5 which you

23 presented, and as evidencing appointments of persons to

24 the judiciary in Mostar, confirmed by President

25 Izetbegovic, the date on that is what date? What is

Page 21051

1 the date of that Sluzbeni List, which is the Bosnian

2 official gazette? Would you tell me, please?

3 A. I cannot remember, but I know that some

4 appointments in military and civilian courts were

5 confirmed.

6 Q. Permit me, please, then, just to tell you

7 that what you have presented us shows a date of Friday,

8 18 September 1992. You yourself saw this particular

9 document. You were aware of these appointments, having

10 seen the document; is that correct?

11 A. No, I did not learn it in this way, because

12 at that time we did not have any communication with

13 Sarajevo, nor could we get the official gazette from

14 Sarajevo. It was physically impossible.

15 Q. Then how did you learn it?

16 A. I learnt it at a later date.

17 Q. How much later?

18 A. Well, say, in 1994, maybe 1995.

19 Q. I just wanted to point out and ask you if you

20 had read the same -- or if you had been aware that in

21 that very same Sluzbeni List, the very same official

22 gazette which has been tendered into evidence here as

23 Z216, if it's before everyone, the very same Sluzbeni

24 List of 18 September 1992 announces the decision of the

25 Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which,

Page 21052

1 as I indicated, has been brought before this Court

2 already in evidence.

3 At the time you learned of these

4 appointments, were you also informed about the same

5 Sluzbeni List having this particular item?

6 A. No. I've already said in my previous

7 evidence that I received various issues of the official

8 gazette of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina sometime

9 in 1996. And I learnt about the appointments of the

10 Judges when they were -- when they received the

11 documents to that effect. The decision of the

12 Constitutional Court, whether it had been served on

13 anyone, I do not know. Not to me. And I already told

14 you how I learnt about it.

15 Q. Oslobodenje has also been presented by you,

16 at least an article in Oslobodenje. Did you read about

17 the decision which was published in its entirety, in

18 its entirety, in Oslobodenje?

19 A. You should distinguish between the different

20 periods. The period of 1992, the October of 1992

21 period, was not a period when copies of Oslobodenje

22 could be distributed outside of Sarajevo. It couldn't

23 have been read outside of Sarajevo.

24 Q. This Court had had a faxed copy sent to --

25 has in evidence a fax copy that was sent. Perhaps your

Page 21053

1 correct personal delivery may or may not have been

2 difficult. Did you have a fax machine?

3 A. Yes, in my office I did have a fax machine.

4 Q. And you did not receive a copy of anything,

5 so much as an announcement about this decision, whether

6 it was Oslobodenje, a summary from Sluzbeni List, at

7 the time it was handed down?

8 A. No.

9 Q. How, then, would the persons whose names

10 appear as being confirmed in Sluzbeni List to the bench

11 in Mostar have learned about their confirmation, which

12 was only published in Sluzbeni List?

13 A. I said that the decisions on appointment are

14 being delivered to the individual judges, as well as

15 published in the official gazette. They are simply

16 delivered to them, and I think that the same practice

17 is also in force here.

18 Q. Perhaps I'm not understanding you. If a

19 judge in Mostar can have a decision delivered to him or

20 her from Sarajevo, or a Sluzbeni List delivered, why

21 could you not have gotten the same medium afforded to

22 you? It's just not clear.

23 A. I'm also not clear on what period you're

24 referring to. I'm talking about the decisions

25 delivered to the judges in 1994 and 1995, after

Page 21054

1 Sarajevo was unblocked. And also I said that as a

2 private lawyer, I ordered all the back issues of the

3 official gazette in 1996, and I received them, and from

4 those official gazettes I learned about the decision of

5 the Supreme Court.

6 Q. No, no. I'm talking not about back

7 editions. I'm talking about judges who would have

8 needed to know that they were appointed or removed in

9 September of 1992. How did those persons know that

10 they could continue on the bench? What you've provided

11 shows a number of appointments and a number of

12 resignations. How would they have known about this,

13 which was emanating from Sarajevo?

14 A. I'm not sure that we're talking about the

15 same period. I'm talking about 1994, 1995, and

16 obviously you're referring to 1992.

17 Q. The entire question has revolved around

18 several items which were published in the very same

19 Sluzbeni List of 18 September 1992, and only that time

20 period at this point. How would these persons have

21 learned about their careers and decisions which

22 affected their careers if you didn't know about

23 decisions that affected your career? It's just not

24 clear.

25 A. I'm not clear about it either, because if I

Page 21055

1 say that they learned about these decisions in 1994,

2 you are -- you seem to want me to say that I knew about

3 it in 1992, so I don't know what we're talking about.

4 Q. Well, I'm really not sure that you can --

5 we're probably not going to get very far on this, but I

6 find another point in this document, the Sluzbeni List,

7 about the appointments that are confirmed by President

8 Izetbegovic. The courts in Mostar, the high courts,

9 were in existence already. These were courts that had

10 been part of the legal structure of the Republic of

11 Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's correct, isn't it?

12 A. Correct. That is correct.

13 Q. And therefore, what President Alija

14 Izetbegovic is doing in this Sluzbeni List is

15 confirming appointments on territory that he still

16 deems to be his sovereign territory; isn't that

17 correct? It has nothing whatsoever to do with anything

18 selected by Herceg-Bosna, nothing.

19 A. I don't know what Mr. Izetbegovic had in mind

20 there.

21 Q. In your ordering the back editions of Narodni

22 List, did you check through the November 1992 Narodni

23 List to realise that the first judicial appointments,

24 the very first judicial appointments made by anyone in

25 Herceg-Bosna were in November 1992, not September 1992,

Page 21056

1 or not earlier?

2 A. No.

3 Q. No, you didn't check, or no, you don't know?

4 A. There are several questions involved here, so

5 let's break them down. One of the judges in the higher

6 court or military district court in Mostar did not work

7 because they had been appointed by Mr. Alija

8 Izetbegovic. They worked and they were appointed on

9 the basis of decisions of the presidency of the HZ HB.

10 And whether President Izetbegovic confirmed them or not

11 would be something that they only learned subsequently,

12 like I did. That's one thing.

13 The presidency of the HZ HB did also appoint

14 judges prior to November 1992. These were appointments

15 of judges to regular courts but not to the military

16 courts, because the decision of the military courts was

17 only adopted on 17 October 1992, and the appointments

18 of judges to the military courts could only have taken

19 place after that, after they were set up.

20 Q. Perhaps you're not understanding my

21 question. My point is that the only things that are

22 published about appointments in Narodni List show after

23 November 1992 for regular judicial positions. Not

24 military ones; regular ones. That's point one.

25 The second one is: These courts existed and

Page 21057

1 President Izetbegovic was doing that which was his

2 legal and elected right to do. He was appointing

3 persons, was he not, to exist in courts?

4 A. I already said: I cannot know what President

5 Izetbegovic had in his mind. What he thought, I have

6 no idea. We know what he did, which is in the

7 documents that we had in front. No, I do not

8 speculate.

9 Q. Let me ask you this: Where is the document

10 that shows these appointments come from Herceg-Bosna?

11 You were able to produce this document. Where is the

12 document from the country to which you belong?

13 A. If that is necessary, I don't think that

14 there is any problem to it being delivered. I think it

15 was published in the official gazette of HZ HB. It's

16 all in there.

17 Q. Okay. Perhaps it can be brought at some

18 point later. That would be fine. Thank you.

19 The political party to which you belonged,

20 I'd like to just discuss it for a moment to make sure

21 that it is quite clear that it is not related to the

22 HDZ. It, in fact, was the Croatian Democratic Party.

23 And who was the principal founder of that party,

24 please?

25 A. The president of this party was another

Page 21058

1 colleague of mine, Mr. Tomislav Zelic, from Ljubuski.

2 Q. And the original party, can you give a little

3 bit of background about its platform, please?

4 A. The political platform of the party was the

5 modern integral Bosnia-Herzegovina, which would be

6 organised in a decentralised way. Since three

7 different people lived there, it was to be organised

8 into three cantons or three republics or three

9 regions. That was, in essence, the programme or the

10 platform of the party.

11 Q. Who was Marko Veselica?

12 A. Marko Veselica was the president of the

13 Croatian Democratic Party which was established and

14 which is active in the Republic of Croatia. But the

15 Croatian Democratic Party was separately organised in

16 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It had its own organisation

17 and its own president, who was Mr. Tomislav Zelic.

18 Q. And this was the party at one time, was it

19 not, of General Slobodan Praljak?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. This party has been viewed as more

22 conservative, to use a conservative word, more to the

23 right, than the HZ HB. What was it that attracted you

24 to this type of party, to that platform?

25 A. That is your opinion, not mine.

Page 21059

1 Q. The issues on family and boundaries were

2 central issues on the platform of the party; population

3 control, issues like that. Was that something that you

4 were concerned about?

5 A. I didn't understand the question.

6 Q. One of the central issues on the platform of

7 this party was centrality of family and population

8 control. This is described, essentially, in a book of

9 parties in Croatia. It is taken from a book from

10 Zagreb. Can you comment on why that would be

11 attractive to you?

12 A. For me, the family is the highest good that a

13 man can ever produce.

14 Q. And population control?

15 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure we're being helped

16 in this case by hearing the witness' views on that.


18 Q. May I move on to one other thing. The three

19 cantons that you discussed, they were based on ethnic

20 divisions were they not, ethnic divisions?

21 A. No.

22 Q. What were they based on?

23 A. They were based on the constitution of the

24 former Yugoslavia and the constitution of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, both constitutions provide for

Page 21060

1 certain rights and some of certain experiences.

2 The federal Yugoslavia consisted of six

3 republics and had six constituent groups, and Bosnia

4 was -- had three ethnic groups and it should be divided

5 into three cantons.

6 It never says anywhere that those three

7 cantons should have been monoethnic. You will never

8 find such provisions.

9 Q. You made a comment about regionalisation

10 of -- the term was regionalisation of some of the

11 municipalities. You indicated that it occurred in

12 1992. I just want to ask you if you are familiar with

13 information that came to this court through document

14 Z12 which is a document dated 23 August 1991.

15 In this document, Mr. Buntic, is the first

16 evidence of regionalisation of the municipalities which

17 were ultimately to be formed into HZ HB. Were you

18 unaware of this?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Can you explain then why you gave a date of

21 1992?

22 A. Here in this document, I don't see the year.

23 I see the date 23 August, and also it states that this

24 is a document produced by the Presidency of HDZ. And

25 as I was not a member of that party, I was not in a

Page 21061

1 position to know what their views were, and I don't see

2 the year. The copy that -- in the copy that I have in

3 front of me, the year is not legible.

4 Q. I do apologise for the quality of the copy.

5 The English translation which was made from a proper

6 copy does indicate 1991, and the very opening

7 paragraph, if you note, does refer 6th of August 1991.

8 So although you were not a member of the

9 HDZ-BiH, you claim, can you tell me, please, how Mate

10 Boban approached you to occupy such a high position?

11 What was your relationship with Mate Boban that he

12 would approach you?

13 A. When I gave evidence, I said that in the

14 period between April and June, I was the deputy

15 commander of the Brotnjo battalion. This is a unit

16 that held the front line against the Yugoslav People's

17 Army, the Serbian army from the 20th of December, 1991,

18 until the 6th of June, 1992. The Serbian army, that

19 is, the JNA and the Serbian troops were never able to

20 break through that line that -- this was one of the

21 first -- the first units established in

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this was an unit which was

23 actively involved in the liberation of areas east of

24 the Neretva River in the operations between 6th and

25 25th of June, and I was the -- I came out of that

Page 21062

1 campaign as a successful military commander.

2 Q. Is that an answer to my question? Is that

3 why Boban approached you because you were a successful

4 military commander? What about your legal skills?

5 A. I was an equally successful lawyer in the

6 period between 1989 and 1992 with a law office which

7 still has five lawyers and six administrative staff

8 working for it.

9 Q. Did you know Mate Boban before you were given

10 this position?

11 A. We would meet in Citluk because at the time,

12 I'd say between February 1992 and February 1993, the

13 HVO command was mostly in Citluk because of the

14 position of Citluk, the proximity to Mostar, at

15 somewhere between the end of January and the latter

16 part of June 1992. So we would meet in Citluk.

17 Q. Perhaps if you could answer how you met him

18 initially, it would be helpful. Did you know him

19 socially, personally, are you related?

20 A. No. We had not known each other before nor

21 are we related in any way.

22 Q. Would you describe, please, how you were

23 contacted for this position?

24 A. I cannot recollect exactly, but it was a few

25 days before the 15th of May, I think it was the evening

Page 21063

1 we met in the Citluk municipal building at a meeting

2 which was attended by Milan Lovric the then president

3 of the Citluk municipality. In addition to him, Vinko

4 Juricic, he is the president of the Crisis Staff, was

5 there.

6 They called me sometime after 8.00 at night.

7 I was in the Brotnjo battalion command at the time.

8 They called me up and they talked to me about the

9 establishment of the civilian HZ HB, an executive body

10 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and would I

11 accept the position of the head of the justice

12 department, that was their first offer, or to become

13 the secretary of HZ HB, that was the second offer.

14 That is how I was approached.

15 I told them that I would accept it but that I

16 will remain in my position until the end of the

17 operations which were in progress, it was called the

18 "June dawn" which included the liberation of the

19 municipalities of Stolac and Ston, and I remained with

20 my military duties until the end of the operations and

21 only assumed the duties of the head of justice

22 department after the operations were finished on the

23 20th of June, 1992.

24 Q. That was your choice was it not to defer

25 taking up the new position. You could have gone if you

Page 21064

1 wanted to, could you not have?

2 A. I could have assumed the position on the 15

3 May, but I, as I said, I chose to remain in my position

4 at the time until the 20th of June. That is in my

5 military position.

6 Q. You could have remained a soldier, could you

7 not have, and also assumed this position? You simply

8 chose to stay at a front, did you not?

9 A. Yes. I remained on the front line as a

10 soldier until the 20th of June, 1992.

11 Q. Your comment about a discussion you had with

12 Judge Trnka of the Constitutional Court of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

14 A. Yeah.

15 Q. What is --

16 A. Yes, I did mention it.

17 Q. Would it be common practice, for example, if

18 you were meeting with a judge, a judge of a very

19 esteemed body like the Constitutional Court, to break

20 into a discussion about decisions that had been handed

21 down by that court?

22 Do you think a judge should take the

23 initiative to tell you who, as a lawyer, should be

24 informed about decisions that his or her court has

25 rendered? Is that how you practice law in Mostar?

Page 21065

1 A. I don't understand the question. A judge in

2 a high position, why is the head of the justice

3 department on a lower position? I don't know if you

4 confused the hierarchy here.

5 The fact is that in the period of the 20th to

6 24th December, 1992, I worked with him on the

7 development of the Vance-Owen Plan provisions and over

8 the period of three days. He just didn't find it

9 necessary to talk to me about this decision. I don't

10 know whether it was his duty, but the duty of the court

11 was to invite the parties to a discussion, and then

12 following this debate, to deliver to them the

13 decisions.

14 Q. That's a separate question. My question is:

15 Why would you expect a judge to talk to you about a

16 decision he has already handed down?

17 A. I told you that I hadn't even expected --

18 these copies of these decisions should have been

19 delivered through the mail system, and this was not

20 done or at least I am not aware of it having been done.

21 Q. You mentioned early in your testimony that it

22 was your opinion that the Croats were getting a bit of

23 a, as it were, a raw or unfair deal because of their

24 numbers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they were always

25 doomed in your opinion, to be outvoted.

Page 21066

1 Why did you not push for an alliance with the

2 Muslims with whom the Croats and Muslims could have

3 outvoted the Serbs on virtually any issue? What

4 stopped you? What was the problem?

5 A. We were prevented by the constitution and the

6 constitutional provisions which I quoted for you, that

7 is, Muslims and Croats together did not have a

8 two-third majority so they could not effect any

9 constitutional changes if the constitution is what you

10 are referring to.

11 Q. Well, I'm referring to the usual practice of

12 coalitions and when there were joint presidencies and

13 joint bodies, coalitions were the rule not the

14 exception, and things could move. Why was it so

15 difficult at that time? Why was your idea of a remedy

16 to simply go out and set up a separate government?

17 A. That idea never existed. The Croatian

18 representatives in the BiH parliament advocated the

19 preservation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the BiH

20 parliament could adopt no decision because Muslims and

21 Croats could not produce a two-third majority so they

22 could not effect any constitutional changes, and the

23 Serbian representatives, as I stated previously,

24 boycotted it, not only the work of the parliament but

25 also of the government and the Presidency of the

Page 21067

1 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina by separating themselves

2 out of those bodies.

3 Q. Are you then suggesting that for all time,

4 the Serbs got whatever they wanted, it was virtually

5 impossible for any act or legislative action to be

6 passed because of this? Did this persist for all

7 40-something years of the existence of the SFRY? Is

8 this possible?

9 A. We're not talking about the SFRY. I think

10 we're talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina here and the

11 constitution of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the

12 position of Croats in the Republic of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think that that is what we are

14 talking about.

15 Q. [Microphone not activated] ... was this very

16 short-lived institution, having just got its

17 independence -- perhaps you can explain what was

18 different in the way things -- very briefly because the

19 court has had a fair bit of evidence about the history,

20 but in terms of legislative success and legislative

21 enactments, is there historically a record of great

22 dissatisfaction by the Croats about this process?

23 A. There is a major discontent of the Croats

24 with the status in the former Yugoslavia, that is true.

25 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me for just a moment.

Page 21068

1 Q. Did every law require two-thirds majority or

2 was it just the law on changing borders that was

3 required, that required a two-thirds majority? Can you

4 explain, please?

5 A. Don't talk to me about the change of

6 borders. There was no mention of the change of

7 borders. It was the change of the constitution.

8 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Buntic, may I stop you for a

9 moment please. I have questions I'd like to ask you,

10 and if you don't know the answer, I'd be grateful if

11 you'd just tell me, but I'd like to get the answer to

12 my question.

13 A. Thank you. Please do ask your question.

14 Q. My question was, did every piece of

15 legislation require a two-thirds majority or was it

16 just legislation on the changing of borders in the

17 republic? If you could help us with that I would be

18 very grateful.

19 A. To change any constitutional provision, I am

20 talking about constitution, not about laws. Perhaps

21 it's the interpretation, excuse me. I heard you talk

22 about laws and I talk about the constitution. To

23 change any constitutional provision, a two-thirds

24 majority was required.

25 The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was

Page 21069

1 defined as the Communist and Socialist Republic in

2 which the League of Communists was the only party and

3 the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina could not change

4 that provision because it did not have a two-thirds

5 majority.

6 Q. Was there no attempt to assist

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina in its reformation of its system?

8 Was it so optimal to pull away, abandon a country, a

9 government of which you had been a part, you yourself,

10 and that's part one? And so that I don't confuse you,

11 and forgive me for making it a long question, but you

12 yourself suggested that there was changes as of April 9

13 in the structure of the Territorial Defence, I mean,

14 there was an attempt to deal with the need to change.

15 Why did your particular group of people make

16 a decision not to go along with the government of

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Can you explain this, please?

18 A. Because it was not physically possible.

19 Q. Explain.

20 A. I, in Mostar, could not go to Sarajevo. I

21 physically had no access to Sarajevo. Physically,

22 literally, Sarajevo was a city under siege which the

23 Yugoslav People's Army kept under siege, and you could

24 not enter Sarajevo. I couldn't go to Sarajevo.

25 Q. So you are suggesting that the municipalities

Page 21070

1 which were part of Herceg-Bosna would be justified in

2 this type of separation because they were cut off

3 physically from Sarajevo. Is that what I'm

4 understanding?

5 A. That's what I was saying all the time, that

6 there was no physical communication of any centre with

7 Sarajevo, not Mostar alone, but Bosniaks for the same

8 reason set up districts of Zenica, Tuzla and Bihac so

9 that those districts would take over decision-making in

10 various matters and organisation of life in these

11 territories, because the government in Sarajevo could

12 not physically communicate with those parts of the

13 country.

14 Q. Now, what about Kiseljak which was part of

15 Herceg-Bosna, and where BH command was based. They had

16 communication with the government in Sarajevo. They

17 had fairly regular meetings with the government in

18 Sarajevo. Why is it that one municipality of HZ HB was

19 able to communicate other than physical distance?

20 What's the difference? Kiseljak is what, 20 minutes

21 on -- from Sarajevo?

22 A. Yes. I don't know, I do not know how

23 somebody in Kiseljak communicated with somebody in

24 Sarajevo. Yes, it's true, it's about 30 kilometres

25 away from Sarajevo. They are very near. How they

Page 21071

1 communicated, I don't know. I have no knowledge of

2 that.

3 Q. The personnel commission that you were

4 referring to in point four of your summary, it was a de

5 jure on paper commission, was it not?

6 A. I think that there is a decision on the

7 establishment of the commission so it did exist de jure

8 but I do not remember that it ever meant in position.

9 Q. So de facto it really was nothing, but de

10 jure it existed. Is that a fair statement?

11 A. My statement is that I do not recall it

12 convening any meeting and nominating anyone to any

13 duty. So that is my statement.

14 Q. Why then was it put on paper? What was the

15 purpose in enacting it? What was the purpose of the

16 exercise?

17 A. Why was the decision taken? I suppose one

18 could explain it for a long time. Perhaps their

19 presidency and government often debated why was this

20 person appointed, why not that one; why two individuals

21 from this one municipality, not from another one. And

22 so perhaps it occurred to somebody that a personnel

23 commission should be set up which then ought to take

24 care of an equitable number of heads or deputies or

25 whatever from all the municipalities. I suppose that

Page 21072

1 was the purpose of the commission. Its chairman was

2 Mr. Soljic. And the chairman convened some meetings

3 under its statute. If the chairman does not convene

4 such a meeting, then the commission simply does not

5 meet.

6 Q. Can you then indicate to the Court -- because

7 we were presented by both the Defence and by the

8 Prosecution with a large number of legislation enacted

9 by the Herceg-Bosna government. Can you tell us,

10 please, which were real, which were actual ones that we

11 should believe had a purpose and which were window

12 dressing? In other words, there were a lot of de jure

13 ones. How many of the ones that we know about would

14 also have no real -- I know you don't know what we know

15 about, but how many of the named official commissions

16 and positions are really meaningless and, in fact, have

17 a de facto side to them? Can you help us with that?

18 A. I don't really think I'd help you, because it

19 would probably require -- and when I say this, I mean

20 regulations, why did some regulations take root and why

21 others didn't. It is easy to speak now why was

22 something applied there and why wasn't, but think back

23 to those times when there was no electricity, no

24 telephones, when schools were closed down, where court

25 did not work, when court buildings were destroyed. Go

Page 21073

1 back to that time. It is not the time when 20

2 politicians would sit down and spend half a year

3 discussing an act to be passed or not to be passed. It

4 was a time when you had to take decisions on the spur

5 of the moment because the next day it would be simply

6 too late.

7 Q. That time period would have been -- I think

8 you said it was up to June or so in 1992, right? I

9 think that's what your original testimony was: up to

10 about June 1992?

11 A. No, I wouldn't put it that way. The war

12 ended on the 22nd of December, 1995. Officially, on

13 the 22nd of December, 1995 is when the end of the state

14 of war was proclaimed in the Republic of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16 Q. We're talking about conditions. I believe

17 you earlier referred to conditions in Herzegovina, and

18 you gave -- I'm sure I could ask to have it read back,

19 if need be, but I'm confident it was a June 1992 or so

20 date that things were really difficult. Do you confirm

21 that or is there another date you'd prefer giving?

22 A. Yes, true. I remember that the most

23 difficult period was between the 3rd of April and the

24 20th of June. That was the hardest time of all.

25 Q. And I think you mentioned that there was no

Page 21074

1 electricity and that nothing was working.

2 MS. SOMERS: I wonder if I could ask for a

3 video, a very brief video, to be shown. There is a

4 transcript available. I'm sorry. It is Z163.2,

5 please.

6 [Videotape played]

7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] This is --

8 However, life denies them. In the territory of the

9 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, life is more or less

10 normal. There is buying and selling and trading in

11 cars and televisions and stoves and refrigerators.

12 But to explain this, one has to explain what

13 is the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna. It was

14 established on the 18th of November. In Article 1 it

15 says that it is a political, cultural, economic and

16 territorial entity, so not a new state. But by the

17 recommendation of those [indiscernible] organised units

18 of the Croat people. The latest decisions from Grude

19 following the same lines.

20 It has become necessary to take individual

21 regulations, that is, to fill in legal voids occurred

22 by virtue of the decision of the authorities and bodies

23 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. These are the laws on national

24 defence, and this decision, regulation, was taken on

25 the armed forces of the Croat Community of

Page 21075

1 Herceg-Bosna, the decision on rights and duties of

2 members of the Croat Defence Council, decision of the

3 takeover of the resources of the JNA, a decree on the

4 transfer of ownership of property of the occupier and

5 the decree on public enterprises. The adoption of

6 these regulations and other regulations taken by the

7 presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna

8 created the conditions for the normal unfolding of

9 other forms of life.

10 MS. SOMERS: First of all, I must apologise.

11 This copy quality is not good and the original that I

12 had seen is much, much better. You were much younger,

13 Mr. Buntic, in that picture. But if I can ask you --

14 A. Yes, true.

15 MS. SOMERS: The date on the newspaper -- if

16 the audio people could possibly, just so we can date

17 this, zoom back, I would appreciate it. Is it possible

18 to go back to the frame where the newspaper -- very

19 close up. It should read, I believe, the 7th or the

20 11th of July, 1992, and it's a Herzegovinian

21 newspaper. Is it doable?

22 Also in this video -- yes. Let's see if we

23 can zoom up. We were able to do it yesterday. I don't

24 know if we're able to do it today. Right over in the

25 corner. I'm so sorry that it's bad quality. I can

Page 21076

1 bring a later one in. I don't know if there's any way

2 to actually get it to stop moving, but it does

3 indicate --

4 JUDGE MAY: Well, if there's any dispute

5 about this, it can be resolved.

6 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. I'm terribly sorry

7 about this quality.

8 Q. The currency that is shown as well is the

9 Croatian dinar. Can you tell from that picture? Is it

10 the Croatian dinar that's being exchanged? Were you

11 able to observe that? The meeting that you were at was

12 a meeting that was also attended by -- we saw Dario

13 Kordic, and although I know that the video is terrible,

14 Mate Boban was there. Were you able to observe that?

15 Did you see Mr. Boban in the picture as well? Yes.

16 Anto Valenta. And what was the purpose of that

17 particular meeting in July of 1992?

18 JUDGE MAY: I thought it was 1993, according

19 to the transcript. The date given is 1993.

20 MS. SOMERS: It should be a year earlier.

21 They're referring to a time a year earlier. July of

22 1993 would have been probably --

23 JUDGE MAY: Somebody should have a look at

24 this over the adjournment and we will see if that's

25 correct. Perhaps the Defence could have a look too,

Page 21077

1 Mr. Naumovski.

2 MS. SOMERS: The date is incorrectly done.

3 If the Court would permit me, I will try to get this

4 corrected hereafter. I think it's an important piece

5 of footage to see, and I'll get this corrected. It

6 should be 1992, and we'll have to zoom in a bit.

7 Q. Only one point. If you're able to tell the

8 Court what type of meeting that was and what it was you

9 were discussing, I would be grateful.

10 A. Well, it's eight years since, so I cannot say

11 with certainty, but I think it was the meeting of the

12 presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna which

13 adopted the regulations that are mentioned. So a

14 decree on the armed forces and regulations that are

15 mentioned here. I believe it was the meeting of the

16 presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna at

17 Grude, in the hotel in Grude. I think that was the

18 meeting and this was the -- these were some comments on

19 the regulations adopted by that meeting. I think

20 that's what it was about. So possibly, very likely,

21 this is the tape of that meeting of the presidency of

22 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna on the 3rd of July.

23 MS. SOMERS: The translation that I have

24 indicates that was established on 18 November of last

25 year, so that would have been 1991. So this is, in

Page 21078

1 fact, 1992, and I will clear this up to the Court. My

2 apologies.

3 Q. One of the points that was very strong was

4 the suggestion that things were pretty good there, that

5 things were running normally. Was there a difference

6 among various municipalities in Herzegovina? I mean,

7 Grude is close to -- they're all close to each other;

8 is that correct?

9 A. I was referring to the period which preceded

10 this one, so between April 1992, early April 1992, and

11 June, end of June, 20th of June. And I said that in

12 those areas, and I'm referring to the whole

13 Herzegovina, there was no electricity, no water, no

14 telephones.

15 After the liberation of Mostar and Stolac,

16 and it ended on the 20th of June, during those 20, or

17 perhaps even 10 days, after that we already had

18 electricity, we had water, and telephones too. So that

19 the progress -- schools were closed until the 20th of

20 June. All the civilians had been evacuated. Towns

21 were empty. There wasn't a single civilian in any

22 Herzegovinian town, because they were all shelled.

23 They were all subjected to horrible artillery attacks.

24 So there were towns without any civilians. In

25 Herzegovina you couldn't find a man in civilian

Page 21079

1 clothes. And that period ended on the 20th of June.

2 After the liberation of a large territory,

3 after the repulsion of the Yugoslav People's Army to

4 some 20 kilometres east of the Neretva, the civilian

5 life began to return. Somebody had to organise the

6 beginning of work of schools; somebody had to give

7 salaries to professors, to teachers, to soldiers, to

8 the -- because the government in Sarajevo could not do

9 that, physically; not because they didn't want to, but

10 they simply could not. How to organise that life? How

11 can children go to school?

12 Q. I don't want to put you in any disadvantage

13 and I will make every effort to get the corrected date

14 to indicate that it, in fact, is July of 1992, if for

15 just a moment you will accept that. Is it possible

16 that within a two-month period of time there could be

17 such a, as it were, a blooming in the desert, that

18 things could be in such good condition as was shown in

19 this video? This was -- I believe it was Radio -- or

20 I'm sorry. If I can just ask the source of it. It was

21 broadcast, though, I believe, from HTV. It's an HTV

22 broadcast, Croatian TV broadcast.

23 A. I don't know. From this perspective I

24 suppose it is very difficult to imagine certain

25 situations; for me, for you, and for the Court, I

Page 21080

1 suppose. In June, after two months of hell, I went on

2 an official visit to Split and I saw lights and saw hot

3 water. You don't know what that means. And so now

4 probably it's very difficult to speak about that from

5 this perspective. Even in those -- if we in those 20

6 days managed to set up civilian life, if we made some

7 progress, if people came back, if civilians came back,

8 if dozens of thousands of people could go back to their

9 Siroki Brijeg, to their Ljubuski, to their Stolac, to

10 their Mostar, dozens of thousands of people, isn't that

11 a major step forward? For me it is, a tremendous step

12 forward, a tremendous progress. If children could

13 start school, that to me is a tremendous progress. If

14 to you that's not a progress and if you don't see any

15 progress in it, then I'm sorry; I'm sorry I came here.

16 JUDGE MAY: Now, there's no need to talk to

17 counsel in that way, Mr. Buntic.

18 Yes, let's move on now.

19 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.

20 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

21 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Somers, we shall adjourn

22 shortly. We have to take a slightly longer than normal

23 lunch break. We'll come back at 2.45 and we shall then

24 go on till 4.15. And I must ask you to bring the

25 examination to a close before then.

Page 21081

1 MS. SOMERS: Of course I will.

2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Five more minutes

3 now.

4 MS. SOMERS: Yes. Thank you very much.

5 Q. There was a description in your summary of

6 Herceg-Bosna and also the Patriotic League as a social

7 institution. I believe it would have been point 17 and

8 18. Can you please explain that? If you could clarify

9 how the government of Herceg-Bosna could be considered

10 a social institution, given the types of institutions

11 that were set up, it might clarify things for us. Can

12 you explain the term, perhaps?

13 A. What else could it be? In my evidence, I

14 already mentioned the number of constitutional

15 provisions and laws, emphasising the duty of citizens,

16 that they had to organise themselves and defend in case

17 of occupation of the country. So that is one part

18 relative to the defence of the country. And the duty

19 of every municipality, by statute, to organise, to

20 mobilise TO units from its territory and defend its

21 territory.

22 On the other hand, if we have military units

23 which do not have civilian control, how do you imagine

24 that situation? How can you have troops without

25 civilian control, and unless you have official state

Page 21082

1 institutions which are not blocked, which can work, and

2 which can control those troops? The Bosniaks did the

3 same thing. They set up their Crisis Staff through the

4 Muslim Patriotic League and through the HVO.

5 Q. Are you suggesting that there was a necessity

6 to establish a complete set of parallel institutions,

7 which is, in fact, what happened, based on all the

8 legislation we have seen, as a response to difficulties

9 being experienced by the central government? Was that

10 the perceived remedy, in your mind?

11 A. No. And I've already testified about that

12 too. The matter is as follows: If you have the

13 possibility to -- if it is possible for the legal,

14 legitimate civilian authorities to operate, then it's

15 all right; if not, then it's anarchy. And any

16 situation is better than anarchy. The civilian life

17 needs to be organised.

18 Q. Are you suggesting that institutions which

19 are set up by essentially a coup or a putsch are better

20 than anarchy? Is that your point?

21 A. I don't see why you claim that these

22 organisations were set up by a putsch. They are fully

23 constitutional, legal, and lawful categories. Madam,

24 take the constitution of the Federation of Yugoslavia,

25 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Take the federal

Page 21083

1 law, national defence, take the Republican national

2 defence law, study them, and then you will see that

3 these are no putschs, that this is simply compliance

4 with the duties and rights prescribed by the

5 constitution. Study the constitution. The

6 all-national defence is chapter 7 in the federal

7 constitution and chapter 6 in the Republican

8 constitution, so study well those provisions, see what

9 are the duties of municipalities, what they're bound to

10 do in case of aggression and occupation. Do study that

11 properly, and then you won't be talking about illegal

12 actions, about putschs, about coup d'etat, and so on

13 and so forth. Study the law.

14 JUDGE MAY: You are not to make speeches.

15 You may well disagree with counsel, but, Mr. Buntic,

16 would you remember that you're giving evidence to the

17 Court.

18 If you simply answer the questions, we will

19 get on more quickly. If you disagree that it was a

20 coup or putschs, you can do so firmly, but you must do

21 so courteously, and also in as few words as possible.

22 Yes, I think we will adjourn now. 2.45, please.

23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.



Page 21084

1 --- On resuming at 2.50 p.m.


3 Q. Mr. Buntic in relation to the relationship of

4 HZ or HR HB to the Republic of Croatia, you indicated

5 that insofar as you were concerned, you had no dealings

6 directly with any Croatian or Republic of Croatia legal

7 person.

8 Are you aware of the intricate nature of the

9 relationship between the Republic of Croatia and

10 Herceg-Bosna, be it the community or the republic, that

11 was set forth very clearly in a document which this

12 Court has seen and only part of which I will ask to

13 have shown to you.

14 The number is Z2717 and will only be a very,

15 very small part of it. The English would only be from

16 pages 11 through 17 and if the Croatian is difficult to

17 access I would be happy to give the usher my copy. The

18 Croatian would be 5/1 through 6/3. To make it easier,

19 I shall just quickly but hopefully comprehensively read

20 to you when Ignac Kostroman refers to a meeting.

21 Now this meeting, Mr. Buntic, is a stenogram

22 taken from a meeting in President Tudjman's office in

23 Zagreb held on the 27th of December 1991. Among the

24 attendees were Mate Boban, Dario Kordic and a number of

25 other people whose names you probably will recognise.

Page 21085

1 The particular portion is a reference by

2 Mr. Kostroman as secretary both of the Croatian

3 Community of Herceg-Bosna and administrative secretary

4 of the Croatian Democratic Union of BiH. The points

5 that I want to ask for your familiarity with are a

6 reference first of all to a meeting in Tomislavgrad

7 held 23 December 1991, the minutes of which were read

8 at this meeting of 27 December.

9 Turning two pages to page 13 in the English,

10 which would be item two in both English and Croatian,

11 item two, point two, Mr. Kostroman reads from the

12 minutes which, by the way, were signed off by Mate

13 Boban, Bozo Rajic and Dario Kordic. He reads as

14 follows, "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna has

15 once again confirmed the will of the entire Croatian

16 people of Herceg-Bosna expressed on 18 November 1991 in

17 Grude taking the historic decision to establish the

18 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna which serves as a

19 legal basis for the entry of these territories into the

20 Republic of Croatia."

21 The next point I'd like to raise is in item

22 three. "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

23 recognises the full legitimacy of Dr. Franjo Tudjman as

24 president of the Republic of Croatia and president of

25 the Croatian Democratic Union to promote the interests

Page 21086

1 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna both among

2 international factors and during interparty and

3 inter-republic agreements on the establishment of the

4 final borders of the Republic of Croatia. The Croatian

5 Community of Herceg-Bosna endorses the Croatian union

6 of Bosanska Posavina in taking the same decision on

7 behalf of the community."

8 If you would go down to item four,

9 please. "President Mate Boban, vice-presidents Bozo

10 Rajic and Dario Kordic and secretary Ignac Kostroman

11 are here by authorised to represent with the full

12 legitimacy the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna at

13 the meeting in Zagreb on 27 December 1991 (also in the

14 future regarding further activities of Herceg-Bosna and

15 the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina.)"

17 If you would please go to item 10 in the

18 English, it is page 15. "The legitimacy of Alija

19 Izetbegovic, president of Bosnia and Herzegovina to

20 represent the Croatian people in public is hereby

21 revoked because his recent actions or lack of them have

22 facilitated and supported the Serbian army's attempts

23 at establishing BH military training ground for the

24 attack against the Republic of Croatia.

25 Acting on behalf of the HDZ, the Croatian

Page 21087

1 Community of Herceg-Bosna would not have given its

2 consent for the extension of Alija Izetbegovic's term

3 of office as president of the BH Presidency had there

4 been regular personnel or personal consultations with

5 the party."

6 If you turn to the line just above item

7 14: "On the same day, the Presidency of the BH HDZ made

8 official both Croatian communities." Item 14, "All

9 Crisis Staffs of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

10 are ordered to increase the defence readiness of the

11 Croatian people immediately because of the imminence of

12 war in our territory. Crisis Staffs must remain in

13 constant contact with the Crisis Staffs of the Croatian

14 Community of Herceg-Bosna and obey their instructions

15 and orders."

16 And then the last portion is simply the

17 signature which would be in English on page 17 below

18 item 19 signed by Mate Boban and vice-presidents Bozo

19 Rajic and Dario Kordic.

20 This particular document makes it very clear

21 that the HDZ and, by extension, the HDZ BiH, controls,

22 creates, runs Herceg-Bosna. Was this --

23 JUDGE MAY: That's the first question.

24 Before you ask the witness anything else, you'd better

25 see if he agrees with that or not.

Page 21088

1 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Judge. I will.

2 Q. That being the position that appears to be

3 evident from the passages which I have read, is this

4 consistent with your understanding of the purpose for

5 which Herceg-Bosna was created?

6 A. No.

7 Q. How does your understanding differ?

8 A. I have presented my views as regards all

9 official documents of the HZ HB, the acts and

10 regulations that it adopted, as well as in all other

11 documents the legally elected organs of the Republic of

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina are recognised, and the HZ HB, all

13 its bodies, its presidency and other bodies, advocated

14 the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but with a

15 provision to change and adapt certain provisions, to

16 find a solution which would include all three ethnic

17 groups, regardless of whether these would be three

18 provinces, three cantons, or three republics. Those

19 were the solutions which can be found in all legal

20 official documents.

21 I cannot comment on this document. I was not

22 present at this meeting, as you can see from the

23 signatories, and I was not present at any HDZ session.

24 I don't think that I am the appropriate witness to

25 comment on any decisions taken by the HDZ, because I

Page 21089

1 was never present at any of their sessions.

2 Q. As a high-ranking official of Herceg-Bosna,

3 the question becomes: Was there an agenda, perhaps, of

4 which you were not aware? You have indicated, earlier

5 this morning, that that which is de jure is not always

6 that which is de facto. Is it possible, Mr. Buntic,

7 that you did not know the underlying goals of the state

8 to which you had given allegiance? Is that possible,

9 given what you have just seen?

10 A. I only saw excerpts from a document. Since I

11 was not in the meetings, since I have not been shown

12 the entire document, I cannot comment on parts of it.

13 I don't think that I'm the appropriate witness to do

14 so. I don't have the entire document; I only have

15 excerpts which are pulled out of context, and I never

16 attended the meeting.

17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Indeed.

18 However, a question could be put to the witness. The

19 following could be asked of Mr. Buntic: Since you say

20 that you are unable to comment on what has just been

21 read out, you could at least tell us how you react, in

22 the face of what you had stated earlier on. I think

23 this is what is being required of you. You came with a

24 certain amount of statements which were very direct,

25 straightforward, and devoid of nuances as to

Page 21090

1 Herceg-Bosna, as to its role and its creation and

2 objectives, and you are now being given a document and

3 you are being told this is what has been stated. So

4 you are being asked to react, because, after all, you

5 came here to testify. And you're not just testifying

6 in one way; you are here to testify and tell the

7 truth.

8 A. My response to this document -- if I

9 understood you correctly, two questions were asked.

10 First of all, did I know about this document. The

11 answer to that question is no, I did not know about

12 it.

13 The second question is what is my attitude,

14 what is my position to what you have just read to me.

15 And I can tell you that again I did not know about this

16 and such a document never appeared in any of the

17 sessions that I did attend. So this was never an

18 official policy of any body of which I was a member,

19 that is, either of the HVO or the HZ HB.


21 Q. In other words, no de jure pronouncement came

22 to your attention on this matter? Do I understand you

23 correctly: No de jure pronouncement came to your

24 attention on the facts contained in these passages?

25 A. I was talking about the documents compiled by

Page 21091

1 the presidency and the HVO as the executive body of the

2 HZ HB.

3 Q. Assuming the accuracy of what Ignac Kostroman

4 has written here, does it shock you that so much power

5 is given, for example, to Dario Kordic, to act well

6 beyond the capacity of a legislator? Does that

7 surprise you, as a lawyer, as someone who deals in de

8 jure information, de jure practice?

9 A. Again, this is a document produced by a party

10 over which I had no influence, of which I was not a

11 member, and whose meetings I never attended. So I have

12 to come back to that. I can comment on the documents

13 adopted by the -- produced by the presidency of the

14 HZ HB and by the executive bodies of the HZ HB, but,

15 please, I cannot make any comments on the party

16 politics, party meetings, and documents which I had no

17 access to. And I never had access to this document

18 before, and I think that I have commented on my

19 position on this document already.

20 Q. I would like to ask you for a point of

21 clarification. We accept that you were not a member of

22 the HDZ. You were, however, a very high-ranking

23 official of the entity which was created and run by the

24 HDZ, albeit you were not a member; that is accepted.

25 Does it concern you to know that this was the agenda of

Page 21092

1 a body of which you were a very high official? That is

2 my sole question. If you can answer it, fine; if you

3 can't, we'll move on.

4 A. I can answer the question. In a community,

5 in a region -- we're not going to talk about a state --

6 there can be one, five, ten, fifteen different parties,

7 and whatever transpires in a meeting of a party does

8 not amount to a document of a region or state or some

9 such entity.

10 Q. You were, however, present at a meeting of

11 Herceg-Bosna on the 29th of April 1993, I'm sorry, I

12 just want to get the number of it. Sorry for fumbling,

13 I had it in my hand. It's Z846, please.

14 This meeting, if everyone has it, was held in

15 Citluk on the 29th of April 1993. Your name is listed

16 as being a participant and, in fact, the persons who

17 summarised the highlights of the meeting have

18 attributed to you on page four of the English

19 translation paragraph. May I ask you, please, several

20 questions about this meeting.

21 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness find the

22 paragraph.

23 MS. SOMERS: Certainly. Let me see if I can

24 find it for you in Croatian.

25 THE INTERPRETER: Could interpreters have a

Page 21093

1 copy, please?

2 MS. SOMERS: Yes, I would be happy to give

3 the interpreters my copy if we could put my copy on the


5 Has the witness been able to get to the

6 Croatian edition okay?

7 JUDGE MAY: Can we have it on the ELMO? What

8 page in the English is it?

9 MS. SOMERS: In the English, please, page

10 two. Mr. Bruno Stojic is speaking.

11 JUDGE MAY: Has the witness got it? Have you

12 got the passage?


14 Q. Where Mr. Stojic is speaking under

15 Mr. Boras. First one comment that Mr. Stojic makes and

16 he is speaking as one who is -- is he based in

17 Herzegovina during the time period of 1992 to 1994? Is

18 he at all times in Herzegovina?

19 A. Mr. Stojic?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Mr. Stojic is saying, "All reports from the

23 field indicate that Muslims have not accepted the

24 statement." Now the statement is referred to above.

25 He then goes on to specify that they are

Page 21094

1 attacking Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, Konjic, et

2 cetera. They are carrying out ethnic cleansing and a

3 lot of allegations are following. My question is: How

4 is Mr. Stojic, who is situated in the field, I'm sorry,

5 situated in Herzegovina able to get these reports from

6 the field? How does information manage to make its way

7 back to him in Herzegovina yet it's more difficult for

8 other people to get it in Herzegovina? Could you

9 explain that or help us understand that?

10 A. I will try. I believe that the military

11 headquarters, that is, the defence department had

12 separate communications systems, field telephones or

13 something that I'm not familiar with. But I know that

14 the military did have their own communication system

15 which sometimes works, sometimes did not work. I think

16 that the defence department at that period which is the

17 period between 1992 and 1994 was better informed than

18 other HVO departments, so there. But in what way...

19 Q. Accepting that, would not matters of great

20 import that were received successfully by the defence

21 department be communicated to the other ministries or

22 departments of Herceg-Bosna, would it not be expected

23 that if they got a piece of hot news that was important

24 to the functioning or existence of Herceg-Bosna that it

25 would be communicated? Would that be a logical

Page 21095

1 expectation?

2 A. Correct. This was one of the ways for the

3 defence department to transmit information it had and,

4 as you can see, the head of the defence department

5 informed the meeting, the question here. And the

6 ministry of defence occasionally did issue or --

7 reports to the executive branch, the HVO on the

8 political and other situation in the territories.

9 Q. Recently when your colleague or your

10 subordinate, Mr. Perkovic, was here, the Court heard

11 evidence on the fact that from Busovaca, a dispatch

12 about the creation of Herceg-Bosna found its way into

13 the official file of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia

14 and Herzegovina. Would that dispatch from Busovaca

15 logically also have made its way up to Herzegovina?

16 A. It depends on the period you are referring

17 to.

18 Q. July 1992.

19 A. July 1992, yes, it was possible.

20 Q. Moving on, a Mr. Ivan Saric, also on page

21 two, speaks below Mr. Boban.

22 JUDGE MAY: Could we have that on the ELMO,

23 please?

24 MS. SOMERS: It's on page two Mr. Usher and

25 it's the passage where Mr. Ivan Saric is speaking.

Page 21096

1 Q. Could you tell us if you know if it is Saric,

2 or do you know? I may have a bad translation.

3 A. Yes, Mr. Ivan Saric was a medical doctor. He

4 is a physician by profession. I'm not sure, but I

5 believe he was the assistant head for health services

6 or something like that.

7 Q. And what was his role in a political

8 meeting? Was he a representative also, a municipal

9 representative?

10 A. I don't think he was a representative of

11 Tomislavgrad from where he originally came, but I

12 believe that he was present at a meeting because of his

13 influence in the health care affairs. That is what he

14 specialised in in the HZ HB.

15 Q. Would you have any idea why he then might be

16 commenting as follows: "What we succeed in defending

17 with the military will be ours."

18 A. Well, isn't it like that in every war? Isn't

19 it like that in every war?

20 Q. Then he was participating in this meeting in

21 somewhat of a political capacity, that would be fair to

22 infer from the comment? You were at the meeting,

23 perhaps you could enlighten us.

24 A. As you can see, this meeting was not a

25 meeting of the Presidency but of a broader circle of

Page 21097

1 persons. I cannot recall it now, but evidently this

2 was not the meeting of the Presidency. Perhaps it was

3 an extended meeting to -- which brought together

4 various officials but it is difficult for me to say, it

5 was eight years ago.

6 It is difficult to remember but I can I think

7 that there were quite a number of people who were

8 members of the Presidency and a number of people who

9 were HDZ officials. But what the meeting was extended

10 with, I don't know. Evidently there were more people

11 here than in the Presidency or that part of the HVO.

12 Evidently, there was a larger number of people than

13 their number.

14 Q. One of the persons at the meeting was

15 Mr. Anto Valenta, whom you know. I believe you also

16 served on a commission with him, but I will ask you

17 that in a moment. But if you'd look, the English would

18 be page three.

19 Mr. Valenta is speaking of events in Travnik

20 and Vitez commenting that, "The Muslims are against the

21 HZ HB, the Vance-Owen Plan and the Croats. The Muslims

22 have opted for war. It is necessary to postpone the

23 conflict with the Muslims, to wait for the decision of

24 the UN Security Council, to wait for the reaction of

25 America regarding the Serbs. Warned about the gravity

Page 21098

1 and strength of the Muslim attack from Zenica on Vitez

2 and Busovaca."

3 At that meeting, why was Valenta indicating

4 that the conflict was within the control of certain

5 persons within the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,

6 that they, in fact, could control when a conflict would

7 erupt? Do you recall any further discussion about that

8 point? It's an interesting point, is it not?

9 A. I didn't quite get what you are driving at.

10 If you are referring to this text here in Mr. Anto

11 Valenta, as far as I can see, he issues a warning here

12 to all those present at the meeting that the areas

13 mentioned here, Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca are absolutely

14 encircled, that they are fully encircled. That is what

15 he is warning about, as far as I can gather from this

16 text.

17 Q. Perhaps you can help me understand my reading

18 of it and maybe I'm wrong is that there is an element

19 of control over when the conflict with the Muslims will

20 end or begin, rather, and that element of control lies

21 in the hands of some people at that meeting. That was

22 my point. Have I misread that?

23 A. I did not understand it in the same way as

24 you did.

25 Q. Okay.

Page 21099

1 Your comments are on page 4, and you're

2 after, I believe, Mr. Bozo Rajic's comments. It's page

3 4 of the English. You are recorded as having said: Is

4 of the opinion that many mistakes were made, first of

5 all, regarding Muslim and Croatian refugees, with

6 various consequences. You are quoted as -- or you are

7 noted as having said that units will carry out part of

8 the job, wherever necessary -- Central Bosnia,

9 Konjic -- but you ask: How are we to retain the

10 territory and manage it? You are thinking that a

11 ceasefire must be arranged and negotiations held at

12 once. You think that it is necessary to continue and

13 intensify military, defensive preparations. You think

14 that we, meaning the body gathered there, I presume,

15 have to work specifically on the evacuation of the

16 Croatian people in an organised manner from Zenica, as

17 well as from other areas toward Travnik and Vitez, the

18 Croatian provinces. You think that it is necessary to

19 demand the recall of all foreign diplomats for whose

20 presence we, I presume meaning the people at that

21 meeting, or HZ HB, have not given our approval. You

22 think that it is necessary to take an inventory of

23 staff and that it is necessary to procure qualified

24 staff to implement the Vance-Owen Plan. You think that

25 this demands more aggressive, consistent, and better

Page 21100

1 quality propaganda in HZ HB, RBH and the world.

2 Could you comment, first of all, on the

3 evacuation of the Croatian people. From where did you

4 see the need to evacuate? When it says, "from Zenica

5 as well as from other areas," which other areas were

6 you referring to?

7 A. This needs to be viewed in the light of the

8 fact that this meeting took place two or three days --

9 that is, in the wake of my visit to Central Bosnia.

10 Zubak, Zuljevic and I went there together. We tried to

11 tour Central Bosnia. We went up there, we took stock

12 of the situation. We were using SFOR vehicles. And we

13 barely escaped with our lives there, because fire was

14 opened on these vehicles in Konjic. And this is not

15 the first time; it was the second time to open fire on

16 places where I was. That is an answer to the question

17 why I never went to Sarajevo. When I was living in

18 Sarajevo, fire was opened on a helicopter. And when we

19 were coming from this tour, fire was opened on the

20 vehicle that -- the SFOR vehicle that we were using.

21 So we came to Zenica, I believe the St. Elijah

22 church, because that was the only place we could get

23 there. All 13 parish priests had been driven into the

24 church. The president of the HDZ Zenica had been

25 detained. We received the report that 30 people had

Page 21101

1 been killed and 500 of them were in a camp in a mine.

2 We talked in Zenica how to treat those people

3 and whether those areas could be defended, that is,

4 whether Zenica could be defended. Having drawn my

5 lesson after all that happened, after the fall of

6 Jajce, when all the Croats displaced from -- after the

7 fall of Jajce ended up in hotels on the Adriatic,

8 rather than in Central Bosnia, where they should have

9 stayed and defended it, and I recommended to avoid that

10 happening with Zenica. And if they were expelled from

11 Zenica, not to marshal them towards the Adriatic or

12 other countries, but to keep them in those

13 territories. And that is why Travnik or Novi Travnik

14 were mentioned as the closest places where these people

15 should be kept. Women, children, and all those who

16 were not able-bodied, thank God, should have been sent

17 to other areas, but able-bodied men are not sent abroad

18 when there's a war going on.

19 Q. However -- and thank you for the explanation,

20 but can you tell me, please: It says "from other

21 areas."

22 A. You're welcome.

23 Q. It appears that there was not yet a need to

24 evacuate. Am I correct from this? This was an

25 anticipation on your part. You were thinking ahead at

Page 21102

1 this point in time, which was, oh, 13 days after --

2 A. Attack.

3 Q. There was already or you were anticipating

4 something?

5 A. There was already a concrete danger. The

6 HDZ -- the Zenica HDZ president was detained two or

7 three days before that. His escorts were killed a

8 couple of days before that, men who were escorting

9 him. We received the report that some 500 men were in

10 a camp in a mine and that there were already 30 people

11 dead. After that, we could only expect an attack. I

12 don't know what else could one expect.

13 I believe that Zubak also spoke about that,

14 because he headed the team which went to Central

15 Bosnia. I don't know whether in this report which I

16 have in front of me there is also Zubak's report. Can

17 we please look at it, because he led the delegation; he

18 was the head of the team which went to Central Bosnia.

19 Q. What was the date of your trip to Central

20 Bosnia, please?

21 A. I told you, I cannot really remember after

22 all the time, but it was on the eve of that session.

23 Could it have been two or three days, I can't really

24 remember, but it was right before this meeting. It was

25 right before this meeting, a couple of days before it.

Page 21103

1 That is all I can say.

2 Q. A point of reference, perhaps. Was it before

3 or after the HVO massacre at Ahmici in Vitez?

4 JUDGE MAY: That is a matter of controversy.

5 Was it before or after the 16th of April, 1993?

6 A. I think it was after that. That's what the

7 date seems to indicate.


9 Q. While you, as a high-ranking official of

10 HZ HB, were travelling in Central Bosnia, was there a

11 discussion about what had happened at Ahmici, any

12 version of the story, whether A attacked B or B

13 attacked A? Was it discussed in the group in which you

14 were travelling or with anyone with whom you met in

15 Central Bosnia?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. What was the nature of the discussion, if you

18 can help us, please?

19 A. The discussion -- we condemned it in the

20 discussion. We went there all together. As I said,

21 Mr. Zubak, Mr. Zuljevic, and myself. And Mr. Zubak was

22 at the head of the delegation. And we knew that that

23 indeed happened, that is, there was a conflict and that

24 the outcome of that conflict was a large number of

25 civilian casualties. I will repeat here what I said

Page 21104

1 then, that I was sorry about that. I'm sorry for every

2 civilian. I'm sorry for every man who dies in a war,

3 in particular if it is a civilian or a helpless and

4 defenceless individual.

5 Q. Did you, as a person grounded in the law,

6 feel the need to have this matter investigated?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you take any measures toward that end?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. What did you do?

11 A. Yes, yes, yes. During that visit I also went

12 to the courthouse and the prosecutor's office in

13 Vitez. I spoke to the prosecutor there, saying that

14 all the legally prescribed measures should be taken by

15 the prosecutor's office in order to investigate all the

16 circumstances and effects of what happened, that is, to

17 investigate all the consequences of the Ahmici event.

18 I spoke to the prosecutor -- let me just think. The

19 name, the prosecutor's name escapes me, but it was the

20 prosecutor in the military prosecutor's office, and he

21 had his seat in Vitez. I'm trying to remember the

22 name, but it simply escapes me now.

23 Q. Do you recall what representations were made

24 to you by that prosecutor about what he or she would

25 do?

Page 21105

1 A. The prosecutor knows what he's supposed to

2 do. I suppose he knew what was within the realm of

3 possibility, that is, to request a report from the

4 military police, the police was to investigate all the

5 circumstances, and then report to the military

6 Prosecutor and then he would know how to act upon it.

7 Q. Is it fair to assume that you asked to be

8 kept informed about the progress of this investigation

9 as you were clearly concerned about it?

10 A. I wasn't the only one who was concerned about

11 it. Others were concerned about it. That is, all

12 three of us who were there were very much concerned

13 about the incident and we requested that it be analysed

14 and clarified, and I was the one who went to the

15 military Prosecutor's office in Vitez and talked about

16 it.

17 Q. Did you have any further correspondence or

18 communication with that prosecutor about the

19 investigation from that point until today?

20 A. From that moment, I did communicate with the

21 prosecutor. On about two occasions I called him by

22 telephone so as far as we could do that and, he told me

23 that he had ordered the military police to investigate

24 all the circumstances of that case and that he had not

25 received the report from the military police.

Page 21106

1 Q. As of today's date, have you ever received

2 any report or gotten word from that prosecutor or any

3 successor prosecutor that the investigation was done

4 with some result, if you know?

5 A. No. I did not receive any report.

6 Q. One other point on here that I would ask you

7 to clarify -- well, your comment or the comment that is

8 attributed to you about recalling all foreign

9 diplomats, why would the approval of apparently the

10 officials of Herceg-Bosna be necessary for foreign

11 diplomats to function, can you explain that, please,

12 quickly I think because we are time conscious but...

13 A. I don't really. Perhaps we're talking at

14 cross-purposes, they are not permanent diplomats, it's

15 Bosnia-Herzegovinian diplomats in the world. There

16 wasn't a single Croat amongst all the diplomats in the

17 diplomatic core of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is what it

18 means. Because here we are talking all the time what

19 the Croat side has to do regarding the implementation

20 of the Vance-Owen Plan signed by Bosniaks and Croats,

21 and that certain measures need to be taken in terms of

22 the personnel policy, because we have to set up the

23 government to set up the parliament, and to have a

24 joint government. So have not two, but perhaps 200 or

25 350 men.

Page 21107

1 And in the diplomatic missions at the time,

2 there wasn't a single Croat representing in

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So Bosnia-Herzegovina outside to

4 the world was represented by one people only, and that

5 is not the state of one people, it is the state of

6 three peoples.

7 And here so we're saying what the

8 diplomatic -- what can be achieved by -- through

9 diplomatic channels and the consequences of that

10 because the world was receiving the information of one

11 side only because the other side could not send out any

12 information whatsoever.

13 Q. Just so I understand, if Bosnia-Herzegovina

14 as an integral sovereign nation composed of three

15 constituent peoples has, as its representative, a

16 Muslim or a Croat or a Serb, that Muslim, Croat or Serb

17 could not represent the interests of the Croat people?

18 A. How could he if he's at war? Can you, when

19 you are in a war, represent your enemy, represent his

20 interests? It simply won't wash.

21 Q. You made a point earlier about the

22 relationship of Herceg-Bosna to Republic of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina and you have suggested over and over again

24 that, in fact, that Herceg-Bosna was a part of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Can I ask you then, would it be a

Page 21108

1 ludicrous assumption, if that were the case, then that

2 Alija Izetbegovic would be considered a commander in

3 chief of, let's say, the HVO and that Mate Boban could

4 be considered a commander in chief of the ABiH if, in

5 fact, they were an integral country?

6 What would the influence of two separate

7 leaders be over the opposite army, a parallel hostile

8 army if, in fact, as it were as you represented it to

9 be?

10 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, we know what the

11 situation was. We've already talked about it. We are

12 talking about the situation when all three sides are in

13 a conflict. Why -- how can I conceive that Alija

14 Izetbegovic is the supreme commander of the HVO for a

15 year and then that Mate Boban takes over. That would

16 have been quite logical to me. Not because it's

17 logical but because it is so prescribed by the

18 constitution.

19 The constitution prescribes that the supreme

20 commander, that the president of the Presidency rotates

21 every year, however, the constitution was violated and

22 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic stayed in that position for three

23 years. He could have held that post for one year.

24 Q. I'd like to ask the usher show, just for a

25 brief review, a document Z1385.1. It is in English

Page 21109

1 only because it came in English only. It was sent

2 initially in English only.

3 What you have before you is a document which

4 was sent to Brigadier Ramsey, Chief of Staff, UN

5 command in February of 1994, 22nd of February, 1994.

6 The content of it is partially relevant. What I'd like

7 to ask you about, because it comes under, although it

8 appears not to be the signature of Dario Kordic, it is

9 on behalf of Dario Kordic by a person whose name I have

10 difficulty discerning.

11 The way it was sent, it perhaps was a --

12 simply typed up in somewhat halting English, but it

13 refers to an incident in Busovaca which Zoran Maric

14 from Busovaca municipality was charged to handle and

15 which Mr. Kordic apparently thought fit to intervene

16 and it is the ending on the last page that I'd like to

17 ask you about.

18 Again, it was sent to Ramsey. There was no

19 comment, apparently it was just accepted and is signed

20 off as vice-president of the Herceg-Bosna Bosnia

21 parliament and assistant to the chief of staff HVO HQ

22 command of Herceg-Bosna with a Travnik seal, Department

23 of Defence.

24 Is it common in your practice particularly as

25 a legislative overseer to see someone use a legislative

Page 21110

1 title on a document sent directly to the

2 highest-ranking military person in the International

3 Community, arguably, the content which is fairly petty

4 but indicates a great deal of knowledge but on the

5 ground matters. Is the ending, the salutation, the

6 signing off common? Have you seen that before?

7 A. If you mean the seal, then, yes, but the

8 signature here, I can hardly say anything. I'm not

9 really sure what Mr. Kordic's signature is. I couldn't

10 testify expertly about this. I do not think this is

11 his signature. And the titles --

12 Q. [Microphone not activated]... his signature.

13 It appears that someone signed on his behalf, but it

14 came out under his name and it was delivered to BH

15 command.

16 The question is simply the way it is signed

17 off with a title which, on a de jure basis, would seem

18 bizarre. I think Perhaps I'm wrong, please correct

19 me. Have you seen this before?

20 A. Well, it's not common, it's not common.

21 Q. Z341.11, please. This document is in both

22 English and Croatian, I believe. Is there a Croatian

23 edition, the Croatian will be provided through Narodni

24 List.

25 Quickly, if I may, this is a -- from Narodni

Page 21111

1 List of September of 1992 it's a first issue and this

2 concerns the statutory decision on the temporary

3 organisation of executive authority and administration

4 in the territory of the Croatian Community of

5 Herceg-Bosna. I would like to ask you to look at

6 Article 3, please. "The HVO and the HZ HB and every

7 HVO member are accountable to the Presidency of the

8 HZ HB."

9 Are you familiar with this provision?

10 A. I am.

11 Q. My question to you is: Earlier you indicated

12 that Mr. Prlic would have been higher than Mr. Kordic.

13 Mr. Prlic, however, was an officer of the HVO only,

14 Mr. Kordic was a member of the Presidency.

15 As a lawyer, do you see it perhaps

16 differently if you look at this revision that as a

17 member of the Presidency, Mr. Prlic would have been

18 subordinate to -- as an HVO official, Mr. Prlic would

19 have been accountable to Mr. Kordic as a member of the

20 Presidency. Would that be how legal people in HZ HB

21 would look at that?

22 A. Well, de jure you may be right, but I know in

23 England about Tony Blair, I do not know any member of

24 parliament from the United Kingdom. I don't know any

25 one of them.

Page 21112

1 Q. Okay.

2 A. That the HVO is accountable to the

3 Presidency, but there are some 50 men who decide in

4 sessions, none of them can take any individual

5 decisions.

6 Q. In another case, a related case, there was

7 testimony that was given that a Smiljko Sagolj, who was

8 President Tudjman's legal advisor, if I am correct, in

9 fact, drafted these provisions. Are you familiar with

10 or are you aware of that? Do you know that?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Thank you. We'll move on to the next

13 document so we can finish. This would be Z2318. And I

14 think it's comprised of two documents, it should be --

15 it was originally part of Z1345.1 just so that the

16 registry knows and it was not tendered at that time but

17 it was part of the -- it should be -- it is from March

18 1993, it is in Narodni List.

19 This concerns, and I ask you this because

20 perhaps you didn't have this in front of you when you

21 were looking at the points 44 in your summary in

22 discussing border crossing, and if you didn't have

23 these things it maybe skipped your mind.

24 But, in fact, Article 6 of the March document

25 which talks about it is a decree on border crossing and

Page 21113

1 in the border area of the Croatian Community of

2 Herceg-Bosna in times of war or the immediate threat of

3 war. Do you recall this legislation generally as a --

4 as de jure legislation? Have you found it? If not I

5 can give you my copy. It's in Croatian.

6 A. I haven't. Is this document titled decree.

7 Q. Let's see, yes, it's translated as decree.

8 It's Uredbu?

9 A. Uredbu in Croatian.

10 Q. Are you familiar with this?

11 A. There is a number of decrees relating to

12 these matters. Would you have a more specific --

13 Q. My question is: Are you familiar, I'm sure

14 you can't hold in your mind everything, but are you

15 familiar with the border crossing decrees, and when you

16 wrote your summary, had this simply skipped your mind?

17 It would be page 122 if that will help you, 122, number

18 6, March 1993.

19 A. I am not aware of official border crossing

20 within the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina if this is

21 what you were referring to.

22 Q. But you accept that this is, in fact,

23 legislation of Herceg-Bosna. Article 7, just below the

24 paragraph to which I was referring, and actually I'd

25 like to ask you one quick question. On Article 6

Page 21114

1 before we move on, "Local border crossing are crossings

2 used by citizens of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

3 in order to sojourn in a certain zone of the

4 neighbouring state or by the citizens of the

5 neighbouring state for crossing the state border in

6 order to sojourn in a certain zone of the HZ HB."

7 Is my reading of two separate, as it were,

8 entities, HZ HB and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

9 incorrect as set forth here? There seems to be a

10 reference to two separate entities. Have you found

11 it?

12 A. No, not yet, not yet. I am trying to find

13 it. I'd like to -- I would like to, if you can help

14 me.

15 MS. SOMERS: Mr. Usher, I would be happy to

16 give you my copy first six and seven. They are circled

17 in pencil, and I'd like to move on as quickly as I can,

18 please.

19 Q. I've circled it for you, Mr. Buntic.

20 Have you been able to read it through,

21 Mr. Buntic?

22 A. So far as I can see, this is in reference of

23 the border crossings of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and

24 only the border area is here defined, and the rules

25 within the border zone.

Page 21115

1 Q. Did you draft this? Did you draft this?

2 A. No.

3 Q. If you would look, please --

4 A. These are decrees from the jurisdiction of

5 the Ministry of Finances.

6 Q. Looking at Article 12, which would be --

7 MS. SOMERS: Mr. Usher, if you don't have it,

8 I can give it to you right now in Croatian, to make it

9 easy.

10 Q. I shall read it quickly. "Citizens of the

11 RBiH carrying weapons and ammunition into or out of the

12 HZ HB shall report the weapons and ammunition to the

13 border police or the military police at the state

14 border. Authorisation from the relevant administrative

15 body of the HVO HZ HB shall be required when carrying

16 weapons and ammunition across the border. If the

17 weapons and ammunition from the foregoing," et cetera,

18 et cetera.

19 Do you recall this provision, again on

20 matters concerning borders? Does this refresh your

21 memory a bit on it? Just "yes" or "no" is fine, so I

22 don't hold you up in this.

23 A. These are regulations from the area of

24 finance, and I wasn't interested in that. But I think

25 it refers to the border crossings into Bosnia and

Page 21116

1 Herzegovina, and it refers to the confiscation of

2 weapons. This is a routine matter done at any border

3 crossing. I don't know why it would be any different

4 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Perhaps I'm not fully

5 focused, but I don't know why.

6 Q. So the view is that it's another state.

7 Moving on, please, Z2321. Because you've

8 indicated you don't have as much familiarity with the

9 financial aspects, I simply will ask you a quick

10 question.

11 MS. SOMERS: And if the usher would like my

12 Croatian edition, I'm glad to give it.

13 A. I think I found it.

14 Q. Okay. Otherwise you're more than welcome to

15 this.

16 My question to you is: This April 1993

17 section of Narodni List discusses essentially special

18 legislation dealing with the import of goods from the

19 Republic of Croatia. No other state appears to have

20 any special legislation, but it does talk about

21 Republic of Croatia. Are you familiar with this? Did

22 you have anything whatsoever to do with the drafting of

23 this, or was there any discussion about the special

24 status for Croatia with the territory of Herceg-Bosna?

25 A. Yes. We discussed it in the meetings of the

Page 21117

1 government, the HVO. Not once, but on several

2 occasions. It is a fact that the goods imported from

3 Croatia had special status, as did the goods imported

4 from the Republic of Macedonia. I think that it only

5 had a 1 per cent duty. I don't see why this is so

6 special. The government did debate this, and I

7 remember the debate. Croatia and Macedonia had a

8 special status.

9 Q. And is Macedonia indicated in the legislation

10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina? I only saw Croatia. Did I miss

11 something?

12 A. I believe that it is mentioned. Perhaps if

13 you peruse the document.

14 Q. Z414.1. Mr. Buntic, this particular document

15 is a document which is simply based on an instruction,

16 as it were, that came under your hand. And because I

17 do not have it in English, I will not ask certainly for

18 it to be admitted, but it's a document I would just ask

19 the usher to give to you, which talks about seals and

20 stamps, official stamps and seals of Herceg-Bosna, just

21 to show the witness, because this particular 414.1

22 appears to be based on his dealings with seals, coats

23 of arms.

24 Looking at 414.1, how often did you have

25 to -- first of all, do you recognise this decision

Page 21118

1 affecting the school in Bugojno or affecting these

2 particular areas, among them the school and then

3 Bugojno? Is this something you recall?

4 A. I don't know what the school in Bugojno

5 means. I see that this is a decision on the

6 manufacture of the seal, with the coat of arms, yes.

7 It was issued by the Department of Justice. I did sign

8 it. And yes, this document is a document that I

9 personally signed and that falls within the

10 jurisdiction of the Justice Department. But I don't

11 know what was the reference to the school in Bugojno

12 all about.

13 Q. I don't think it has any particular

14 significance. It's more that there is a special seal

15 that existed for the Croatian Community of

16 Herceg-Bosna. And the particular instruction that you

17 have in front of you -- which I don't think the Court

18 would necessarily be interested in, but perhaps I can

19 have it translated, if so -- indicates that there is a

20 format, a description, a legal description of the seal,

21 and that it, in fact, sounds very much of that which is

22 used in Croatia, just by description. Is that fair to

23 say? A coat of arms that bear a certain resemblance to

24 certain Croat coats of arms, or the Croat coat of

25 arms. It seems to be listed there. Is that a fair --

Page 21119

1 okay. Thank you.

2 I'd like to ask you about three bits of

3 legislation. It's part of Exhibit Z1464.4 from Narodni

4 List of February 1994, and if it is not -- it's in --

5 it is a -- yes. It concerns, if the usher could show

6 it to you -- I don't know. Was it distributed as part

7 of the -- okay. Does everyone else have it?

8 My question: There is a section on page

9 323B, the decision appointing Zlatko Aleksovski from

10 Zenica. It says a graduate, I believe sociologist, and

11 he's appointed as the director of the detention centre

12 in Busovaca. Now, this legislation from Herceg-Bosna

13 is quite specific about persons appointed to camps or

14 detention centres and location. Was this typical of

15 the practice in Herceg-Bosna as to specify names and

16 particular camp locations? This would be Kaonik,

17 presumably, in Busovaca. This Court has had a lot of

18 evidence, so we don't need to get into the details of

19 Kaonik, but just -- is it typical to list the

20 appointment in this way?

21 A. This is the way how they were supposed to be

22 nominated.

23 Q. On the issue of camps in the territory of

24 Herceg-Bosna, there is a second document that is behind

25 it. It is a -- it is some commentary by persons from

Page 21120

1 this Tribunal, made from interviews, investigative

2 interviews, with Mate Boban, the late Mate Boban, and

3 with Valentin Coric. Mr. Coric, on what is marked as

4 page 8 of this four-page document -- it's 5, 6, 7,

5 8 -- comments that -- he mentions you, and he says:

6 "There are laws governing all these offices

7 and their functions. A representative of the division

8 of public -- presumably public administration and of

9 justice is Zoran Buntic. You can find him by the

10 heliport."

11 What was the heliport? Was that in Mostar?

12 Is that where your office was? Was it in Mostar?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Was Mr. Coric incorrect about the location of

15 your office when he talked to the Tribunal?

16 A. The office, that is, the official premises

17 and the offices of the Justice Department and

18 administration, were for a period of time in the Ero

19 Hotel, and then the School of Machine Engineering. I

20 don't know the exact number, but in one of those two

21 locations. That is where the Justice and General

22 Administration Department was always operating from,

23 either the Hotel Ero or the School of Machine

24 Engineering.

25 Q. Were you at all times, from at least mid-1992

Page 21121

1 all the way through, let's say, the end of 1993, very

2 early 1994 and February of 1994, were you at all times

3 physically in an office in Mostar?

4 A. That is correct. Physically I was in the

5 office in Mostar. And again, it was one of the two

6 locations which I have just mentioned, either the Hotel

7 Ero or the institute of the School of Machine or

8 Mechanical Engineering.

9 Q. Can you indicate very quickly how far the

10 Hotel Ero or the other location where you may have had

11 an office would be from the helidrome, the actual

12 heliport? Just kilometres, if you can give an

13 estimate.

14 A. Seven or eight kilometres.

15 Q. Looking at a document which is labelled from

16 May 1994, it would be also a Narodni List. I just want

17 to ask you a quick question about it. It's page 682 of

18 number 18. It's a decision and it talks about some

19 decisions of the Presidential Council of HR HB. It

20 indicates that there's kind of a -- it looks like an

21 expert panel or commission that was formed, and you

22 were a member. It says: Zoran Buntic and Anto

23 Valenta. Is that correct? Do you recall serving on

24 this particular council or committee? And this was on

25 cantonal demarcations, boundaries, borders of cantons;

Page 21122

1 is that correct?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. There is a document -- sorry. Pardon me one

4 minute -- from an ECMM report, which is also part of

5 a -- dated 26 February 1994. There appears the number

6 R0133 -- I'm sorry -- 0131113. It is only in English,

7 but I do want to ask you very quickly, where there is a

8 comment:

9 "According to Zoran Buntic, president of the

10 Court Council of HR CR HB, the CR HB representatives on

11 the Working Group Mostar has created another Working

12 Group."

13 Then it goes on, and then the comment is:

14 "Mr. Buntic stated he does not understand

15 why the map suggested by Pellnas ..." That must be Bo

16 Pellnas, is that correct, Mr. Bo Pellnas? "... differs

17 so much from the Owen-Stoltenberg plan, as the latter

18 considered Mostar as the CR, or HR HB capital."

19 Could you comment on that. You supported and

20 worked on Owen-Stoltenberg, did you not? You favoured

21 that plan?

22 A. I said that we participated -- I think that

23 in my examination-in-chief -- we did take part in it,

24 and these are the people listed there. Anto Markotic

25 [phoen] and Anto Valenta were there representing the

Page 21123

1 Croatian side; Moca Borogovac, Mr. Trnka, and a third

2 gentleman representing the Muslim side. We were

3 working on the organisation of provinces further to the

4 Vance-Owen Plan, and also the constitutional -- basic

5 constitutional provisions based on the Vance-Owen

6 Plan. After the adoption of the Stoltenberg Plan --

7 that is, both Croats and Muslims accepted the

8 Vance-Owen Plan, and the Stoltenberg Plan was accepted

9 by the Croatian and Serbian sides and rejected by the

10 Muslim side. And I need to point out that the Croatian

11 side was the only side who accepted all the plans put

12 forward by the International Community.

13 Q. But neither worked, neither came into being?

14 A. I don't see that the HZ HB is to be faulted

15 for that, either myself or Dario Kordic, who was there,

16 who was sitting there.

17 Q. Thank you. The one point that I wanted to

18 ask: The division of Bosnia into three ethnic groups,

19 as it were, under Owen-Stoltenberg, that is not

20 substantially different, is it, from the basic cantonal

21 division of the party, the Croatian Democratic Party, I

22 believe, that you were initially -- or that you were a

23 member of. In other words, the three divided ethnic

24 groups was pretty much the pattern that you saw as

25 appropriate for Bosnia; is that correct?

Page 21124

1 A. If you're asking me for my personal position,

2 I still believe that this was the best plan for Bosnia

3 and Herzegovina, yes.

4 Q. And because we have four minutes, I want to

5 just ask you: The post-Washington and, to some degree,

6 post-Dayton, although it is not in our time frame of

7 aspects of Herceg-Bosna, there is an Exhibit Z2821. I

8 wanted to ask for your comment on it. And then there

9 will be one last document after that and then we are

10 finished.

11 This document is only in English because it

12 was a document from the United Nations mission in

13 Bosnia and Herzegovina which, from time to time,

14 selects interviews or open-source material that it

15 considers relevant to its mission. And from Slobodna

16 Bosna, of 26 January 1997, Kresimir Zubak was

17 interviewed, and the point about which I'd like to ask

18 you is on page three. Several questions are put to

19 Mr. Zubak and there is a paragraph which begins, "A few

20 days after the RBiH government ceased to function,"

21 meaning as part of a federation, "we passed the

22 decision to dissolve the HB government and its

23 ministries, but some other institutions and services

24 have remained simply because we have not built these

25 institutions and legislation in those fields at the

Page 21125

1 federal level."

2 And then it goes on to say, "As to the second

3 question, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,"

4 meaning post-Dayton, "does not have state features as

5 HR HB had -- police, army, financial, and customs --

6 all of which have been transferred to the Federation."

7 Bearing that in mind that there was an

8 abolition dissolution of the Herceg-Bosna structures

9 required under both Washington and Dayton, I would ask

10 you to turn -- or I would like to ask you about an

11 allegation that was made about a Dayton violation that

12 institutions in Herceg-Bosna were violating the ban on

13 a customs policy. Are you familiar with --

14 JUDGE MAY: I'm afraid I'm not following it,

15 and I think your time is up.

16 MS. SOMERS: Okay.

17 Q. May I finish that question simply by

18 asking you to comment briefly on what the arrangements

19 were for the abolition, the dissolution of the

20 Herceg-Bosna institutions, so the Court can know that.

21 A. The House of Representatives, and we're

22 talking -- we're now referring to the HR HB, not the

23 HZ HB. After the Dayton Accords adopted the decisions

24 to transfer some of its authority to the Federation of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, some to the Republic of

Page 21126

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HZ HB, which had been

2 established on 18 November 1991, ceased to exist and

3 had no more jurisdiction, and the new HZ HB was

4 re-established as a cultural and social association,

5 but this was only in 1995 or later.

6 After the Washington and Dayton Accords, the

7 House of Representatives transferred its powers

8 partially to the Federation, partly to the central --

9 to the Republic, and partly to the cantons.

10 Q. So if there was a ban on any kind of customs

11 activity by HZ HB and it were found to have been

12 passed, it would be a violation. That would be a fair

13 assessment, legally?

14 A. I don't -- in 1995, 1996 there was no HZ HB;

15 it didn't exist. HZ HB existed until 1993. It ceased

16 to exist in 1993, when the Croatian Republic of

17 Herceg-Bosna -- that was on the 28th of August 1993.

18 So I don't know where the reference to HZ HB comes

19 from. Perhaps it's the newly formed HZ HB, but it has

20 no jurisdiction over any customs policies.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, I think we have the point.

22 Yes, thank you, Ms. Somers.

23 Yes, Mr. Naumovski. Any questions?

24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very briefly,

25 Your Honours.

Page 21127

1 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

2 Q. Mr. Buntic, several times a question was

3 asked how Bosnia was to be divided into three

4 republics, three cantons, and so on and so forth, but

5 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan and other plans all said that

6 Bosnia consisted of cantons, that is, union of three

7 republics, or some other way; is that correct?

8 A. All plans for Bosnia-Herzegovina offered

9 different solutions for Bosnia-Herzegovina, starting

10 from Cutilliero's plan, which was the first one. It

11 presumed a different internal structure of

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina than the unitarian one through

13 Vance-Owen Plan, Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, Washington,

14 Dayton Agreements, which means that all the agreements

15 which were signed, which were not signed, which were

16 accepted and not accepted, and finally the Dayton and

17 Washington Agreements did not divide Bosnia up; they

18 simply offered a different solutions for its internal

19 structure.

20 Q. Very well. Thank you. The question was

21 asked about borders. We spent a lot of time on this,

22 and in your summary, paragraph 44, the -- [Technical

23 difficulties].

24 JUDGE MAY: We are getting the French

25 translation. Mr. Naumovski, can you -- you were going

Page 21128

1 to ask a question about borders. Would you ask it

2 again, briefly, please.

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, very

4 briefly, Your Honour. Is it all right now?

5 Q. Mr. Buntic, you told the Court explicitly

6 that there were no official border crossings between

7 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and the territories

8 which were controlled by the Muslims. Is that so? Is

9 that correct?

10 A. Correct. I do not know of any border

11 crossing official or any other within the Republic of

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

13 Q. The decision on border crossing which was

14 shown you, you tell us, refers to border crossing

15 between the state, between states, the Republic of

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia; is that

17 so?

18 A. It is, and in other parts, that decree

19 mentions the citizens of the Republic of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the state of

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22 Q. Just one detail. A part of the territory of

23 the HZ HB is the border area of the Republic of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the border crossing between

25 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republic of

Page 21129

1 Croatia are; is that so?

2 A. Yes. It is in the narrow border belt towards

3 the Republic of Croatia. For the most part, it has its

4 longest border with the Republic of Croatia.

5 Q. We can move on. Z414.1, it's the seals and

6 the description of the seals. A while ago you were

7 asked about the Croatian coat of arms, which, we can

8 agree, there is only one historical Croatian coat of

9 arms, not several.

10 A. True, for the time being.

11 Q. Now, it also says the text of the seal needs

12 to be first, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the

13 first line, and then Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,

14 and then whatever other text.

15 A. Correct. As in all the other documents.

16 Q. So this is what you said during your morning

17 testimony about the -- about HZ HB being a part of the

18 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

19 A. Correct, as confirmed by the seals.

20 Q. Mr. Anto Valenta was mentioned today. Now,

21 just one side question. You must be following the

22 events in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you know that

23 Mr. Anto Valenta is still a member of the border

24 commission of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, regulations

25 of borders with neighbours?

Page 21130

1 A. Yes, I believe he is with Mr. Obradovic.

2 Q. Thank you. A great deal was said today about

3 the document that you didn't really have an opportunity

4 to read through, and you believe that it is a document

5 of the HDZ, it is a document of December 1991. So my

6 question is: Were there different political options

7 prior to the referendum held on the 29th of February,

8 1st of March, 1992 [as interpreted], among the members

9 of all three peoples?

10 A. One should probably say that in 1990 or 1991,

11 all three peoples were discussing all possible options

12 of the structuring of Bosnia-Herzegovina and

13 possibilities of its survival, all three peoples

14 discussed these matters, not only one people, all three

15 peoples discussed it. And I believe that should be

16 placed within this integration of Yugoslavia, all three

17 peoples were thinking about that future and the future

18 organisation on the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

19 different options were on the table.

20 Q. Simply a correction for the transcript, the

21 referendum took place in 1992 rather than 1991, as it

22 says here. So my question is: At the time when this

23 document Z2721.1, when it was made during those

24 discussions, that is, during that meeting

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not an independent state, was

Page 21131

1 it?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time was still,

4 legally speaking, a part of Yugoslavia which was

5 falling apart, which was disappearing?

6 A. In formal legal terms, yes, it was a part of

7 Yugoslavia.

8 Q. Document Z846 it is a meeting in Citluk. The

9 transcript shows that from Central Bosnia was -- that

10 Central Bosnia was represented by Ivica Santic from

11 Vitez, Pero Krizanac from Travnik, and Mr. Anto

12 Valenta.

13 Will you agree with me that Mr. Dario Kordic

14 did not represent Central Bosnia at the meeting as far

15 as you can remember?

16 A. I cannot remember if he was there, really. I

17 don't remember. If he was present, I don't remember.

18 I don't think so. I think he wasn't. I don't remember

19 it was too long ago.

20 Q. Right, that's logical, but the minutes speak

21 for themselves. You also mentioned the investigation

22 or rather your conversation with the prosecutor I will

23 give you the name so perhaps that will jog your memory

24 if that was the gentleman?

25 A. I believe his first name was Marinko, but I

Page 21132

1 can't remember his last name.

2 Q. Marinko Juncevic [phoen], isn't it?

3 A. Yes, it is.

4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well,

5 thank you. Your Honours, I think that that will be

6 all, thank you very much, thank you for your patience.

7 Thank you, Mr. Buntic.

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Buntic, that concludes your

9 evidence. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give

10 it, you are free to go.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

12 MR. NICE: May I now raise a couple of

13 matters after the witness is gone.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

15 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I also have a

16 matter, a 20-second matter, an application to add one

17 witness to our list.

18 [The witness withdrew]

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 MR. NICE: There is one witness listed for

21 tomorrow, the first expert, Jankovic, is listed for

22 Thursday. I made preparations to deal with him on

23 Thursday, and I wouldn't be in a position to deal with

24 him tomorrow. We may, therefore, run out of evidence

25 tomorrow because tomorrow's witness won't be very

Page 21133

1 long.

2 Second point, if I am fortunate enough to be

3 assisted by an expert on Thursday, and the same applies

4 next week, by experts next week, may they sit in court,

5 please?


7 [Trial Chamber confers]


9 MR. NICE: The next point, I have now a

10 report from the Dutch laboratory about the audio tape.

11 It's a wider report than simply to deal with where the

12 tape's been. It's a very comprehensive report and

13 deals with more comprehensively than did Koenig, the

14 Defence expert report, so I'm proposing to serve that

15 today notwithstanding the fact that I wouldn't have to

16 serve the balance of it. Maybe we could deal with the

17 tape tomorrow if we otherwise don't have evidence to

18 deal with.

19 JUDGE MAY: We'll see how we get on.

20 MR. NICE: On Thursday's second witness is a

21 witness called Cavara who had been an affidavit

22 witness. I didn't notice at the time we discussed him

23 for reasons that I can explain, but he's never been on

24 the Defence witness list. That came about in this way,

25 if you recall, the first time we drew to your attention

Page 21134

1 that there was an affidavit witness who was not on

2 their list, although we'd had to face opposition to any

3 additions to the list, the Chamber decided that for

4 affidavit witnesses, the list maybe didn't apply.

5 Cavara comes in as an affidavit witness and

6 the Chamber's decision was that he shouldn't be giving

7 evidence via affidavit, but it's still technically the

8 case that he isn't a witness who's been added to the

9 list. So that may be something that can be dealt with

10 by Mr. Sayers.

11 Not for this afternoon, but perhaps for

12 tomorrow again, if we run out of evidence, the witness

13 Dr. Pavlovic is, I think, due to come next week, and

14 although the Chamber made a clear decision about

15 whether he could give evidence as an affidavit witness,

16 it invited the Defence to consider carefully whether he

17 was going to be admissible for other reasons, and it

18 may be, I don't know, it may be it's not possible but

19 it may be possible to deal with that as an argument

20 before the witness travels here tomorrow and perhaps

21 they'd like to think about that. And in the same way,

22 please, we now only have notification of witnesses up

23 to the end of next week so we are now well short of a

24 fortnight for witnesses. I hope you may have, please,

25 a list of which witnesses are coming the week after

Page 21135

1 next because our minimum entitlement is for two weeks

2 of witnesses.

3 Thank you.

4 MR. SAYERS: Responding to the last point

5 first, Mr. President. Of course, I think we've been

6 giving batting orders of every Wednesday for the two

7 weeks in advance of that, and that's what we will try

8 to do. I believe that the Prosecution has been

9 notified of the witnesses for this week and for next

10 week, and tomorrow I'll try to alert them as to the

11 witnesses for the week after that, and I don't

12 anticipate a problem in doing that.

13 With respect to Dr. Pavlovic, we have

14 considered the position. We have looked at the

15 documents, and our conclusion is that he is basically

16 simply being produced to authenticate documents. He's

17 not being produced as an expert. He wasn't the

18 personal physician for Mr. Cicak, who is the witness at

19 issue; he simply sat on the work fitness assessment

20 panel to make the decision that he should retire.

21 JUDGE MAY: It may be sensible, though, if

22 there is an argument that his evidence is inadmissible,

23 that we hear it before he starts. So if there is a

24 convenient moment tomorrow, we'll do that, and we'll

25 also hear about the tape insofar as we can.

Page 21136

1 MR. SAYERS: If this is an extensive, report

2 I'd like to consider it. And if I can respond

3 tomorrow, then I certainly will, Mr. President, but if

4 it's an extremely extensive report, we would appreciate

5 a little bit of leniency in that regard.

6 Tracking down the list, Mr. Cavara, obviously

7 we're in the Court's hands. The Court required him to

8 attend to testify in person. He's prepared to do that.

9 We've made arrangements for him in the last few days,

10 and he will be here -- I believe he's actually arriving

11 tonight. So he will be here to be prepared in our

12 office tomorrow afternoon and, if possible, if we run

13 out of evidence.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll hear him.

15 MR. SAYERS: Very well. And then the

16 application that I mentioned is for a witness who'd

17 last, in my estimation, about 15 minutes. His name is

18 Ivo Marusic, and he will talk about the document that

19 was introduced by the Prosecution in the

20 cross-examination of Major-General Filipovic in our

21 case and others.

22 He is a gentleman who signed, as a chief of

23 the Busovaca defence office, an award for Mr. Kordic,

24 the order of King Petr Kresimir IV, with sash and

25 morning star, and since that issue has been raised in

Page 21137

1 our case, we would appreciate leave to add him to our

2 witness list.

3 Obviously, he's not going to affect the

4 estimate that we've given to the Court regarding when

5 our case may be over. In fact, if I might, I'd just

6 like to update the Court.

7 JUDGE MAY: Just on the matter of the award

8 of the order, that's the sort of matter which I could

9 have thought could be dealt with by agreement. If

10 there's a statement from the witness or something of

11 the sort, perhaps you might serve that, save the

12 witness coming to say something which I can't believe

13 there's going to be very much dispute about.

14 MR. SAYERS: I would have thought not, and I

15 will try to --

16 JUDGE MAY: See if you can resolve it in that

17 way, yes.

18 MR. SAYERS: In connection with the closure

19 of the case for Mr. Kordic, we are presently thinking

20 that it would be closed during the week of July 17th.

21 It might trickle over to the first day or two of the

22 week after that, but I don't think so. I think it's

23 the week of July 17th.

24 JUDGE MAY: So far you've been on target, so

25 it's likely that you will remain there.

Page 21138

1 MR. SAYERS: I believe we will.

2 JUDGE MAY: Unless anything untoward

3 happens. Talking of which, you have put in an

4 application, which I'll deal with in this way, relating

5 to evidence on the week of July 10th.

6 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

7 JUDGE MAY: We will grant it for the 11th and

8 12th. That does mean that you've got to get through

9 four witnesses?

10 MR. SAYERS: I don't think that will be a

11 problem. There are two witnesses that are very short.

12 They are in the nature of people that were

13 incarcerated. One, I believe, was -- one's

14 incarcerated in the music school. We hoped we could

15 bring him earlier, but that didn't work out. The

16 second witness talks about the discrete incident in the

17 Kacuni checkpoint and was present when two people were

18 killed at that checkpoint.

19 The third person is the last of the so-called

20 national case witnesses. Mr. Zuljevic, his testimony

21 will be very short. And the fourth person is the

22 person that the Court indicated it would wish to attend

23 in person or to testify live, Mr. Stipac, and I would

24 not anticipate that his testimony will be all that

25 lengthy.

Page 21139

1 Now, I'll also say that we're not sure that

2 we can get Mr. Stipac there because he's relatively

3 infirm and aged, but we'll do our best.

4 JUDGE MAY: Certainly for the 11th and, if

5 necessary, finishing on the 12th.

6 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I would not anticipate

7 that that would be a problem getting all four

8 finished. We've been fairly expeditious, I think, in

9 direct, and we will continue to be so.

10 JUDGE MAY: Dealing with the witnesses, if

11 you finish July 17th, the Friday is the 21st; that

12 would leave two weeks before the recess beginning on

13 July 24th.

14 MR. SAYERS: That's why I wanted to bring it

15 to the Court's attention, so we could have Mr. Cerkez

16 start to put on his case immediately.

17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, yes.

18 I think, Mr. Nice, we've heard from you. I'm

19 sorry. Of course, we'll hear from you again. It's

20 Mr. Kovacic's turn.

21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I

22 do not really know if it's wise to take the floor now,

23 because we are pressed for time. I could do it easily

24 tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But since you

25 mentioned the calendar and the planning, I would have

Page 21140

1 to follow up on that, but I do not know whether you

2 think it -- would it suit you now or perhaps some other

3 day this week?

4 JUDGE MAY: It is getting on, but if you

5 would have in mind that it seems that we'll be calling

6 on you to start your case on the 24th of July. But if

7 there's something you want to raise about that, do so

8 at a convenient moment; it may be tomorrow.

9 MR. KOVACIC: I will be very short tomorrow,

10 probably three or four minutes. Since we raised that

11 issue two weeks ago, I guess, I did some job and now I

12 have some answers.

13 JUDGE MAY: We'll hear about it later, then.

14 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.

15 MR. NICE: I was simply going to say it's now

16 obvious that, of course, the defence for Kordic knows

17 the witnesses not only for the 10th of July but

18 probably the witnesses right up to the end of case.

19 We never provided less than six weeks, and I

20 think as recently as November we provided the batting

21 list up to the end of the case. In fact, it would

22 assist us to have longer than the bare minimum for two

23 weeks, and there's no reason why we shouldn't have,

24 frankly, the whole list, and we'd ask the Court to

25 order accordingly.

Page 21141

1 JUDGE MAY: We'll have that in mind. One

2 final matter about the calendar. We have provisionally

3 listed another case for the 4th of November. At the

4 moment -- it may be possible to deal with the matter in

5 another way, but at the moment we would have in mind to

6 finish the evidence in this case before then.

7 We will discuss this in due course and allow

8 representations, but it may be sensible to have a break

9 while we hear the -- as much as we can of the other

10 case, a month or so. During that time, parties would

11 be expected to get their final representations ready,

12 and then in the run-up to Christmas we would hear any

13 final evidence, rebuttal case, rejoinder, and hear

14 final submissions.

15 I mention that that, at the moment, is the

16 sort of programme we have in mind.

17 MR. NICE: Very well, thank you.

18 JUDGE MAY: We'll hear submissions, if need

19 be. Yes, half past nine tomorrow.

20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

21 at 4.38 p.m., to be reconvened on

22 Wednesday, the 21st day of June, 2000,

23 at 9.30 a.m.