Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2761

1 Tuesday, 30 May 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call

7 the case, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good

9 morning to one and all. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor

10 versus Prlic et al.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Well, we know the

12 Prosecution, Defence. We have the witness here. And of course good

13 morning to all the other people in the courtroom.

14 As you know that today we are sitting in two sessions, the morning

15 and in the afternoon as of 4.00 p.m., especially as the witness to be

16 examined is arriving. But I've been told that the -- his plane is

17 arriving at 7.00 p.m., which means we'll hear the witness tomorrow

18 morning.

19 Now, as far as the Defence is concerned, you have three hours left

20 for the cross-examination. If you use those three hours prudently, we can

21 finish this morning or around 1.00, 1.30, perhaps, and then we won't have

22 to sit at 4.00 this afternoon, have an afternoon session.

23 So we're going to have this morning's session certainly, and

24 tomorrow's session, Wednesday, 9.00, with the next witness. And I'd like

25 to remind you that tomorrow's witness - I have done the maths - the

Page 2762

1 Defence has five hours and a quarter. So in theory, if you use your five

2 hours, 15 minutes of cross-examination, we should be over with our work

3 tomorrow with the second witness, which means automatically that we won't

4 be having a session on Thursday morning because we will have run out of

5 witnesses.(redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)We're going to have a session not at 9.00 but at

8 2.15. So it will be the Tuesday session starting at 2.15, which will give

9 us all a chance to have a good rest.

10 There you have it. We're not going to waste any more time.

11 Having said that, I'm going to give the floor to Counsel Kovacic. I think

12 he has a few more minutes of question time left.

13 Mr. Kovacic.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, you're

15 right, I have very little time left, but I'm sure we'll get through it in

16 the time you've given us, because I have consulted with my colleagues.

17 I'd like the registrar to have under Sanction, played under

18 Sanction on the monitor some photographs that I'd like to show you.


20 [Witness answered through interpreter]

21 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic [Continued]:

22 Q. Good morning.

23 A. Good morning.

24 Q. I don't have to introduce myself; we started the cross-examination

25 yesterday. I'd like to show you some photographs of Mostar immediately

Page 2763

1 after the Yugoslav army was suppressed from Sarajevo. We haven't seen

2 these in the courtroom yet, and you as the mayor of Mostar and as a real

3 Mostar man born and bred, who I am sure have remembered every bit of

4 destruction the city suffered to tell us whether that is what it was like.

5 We have quite a number of photographs to see and our time is short. I'll

6 just show them one by one slowly, go through them slowly one by one, and

7 then we can comment at the end with a few words. And I'd just like to ask

8 you to tell us to stop if you think that some of the photographs don't

9 relate to that -- that time or that they're not the right photographs.

10 But as I say, I claim that these are photographs of the situation --

11 depicting the situation in Mostar up until the point the Yugoslav army was

12 pushed out, and the damage that was done during that time when the army

13 attacked Mostar.

14 So that, then, is the old bridge. We've seen that. Perhaps just

15 a brief comment. Yesterday we said that there was some sort of

16 protection, protective covering on the bridge. Is that it, for the

17 passers-by, the pedestrians?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. The old bridge once again. This is Kula Tara right next to the

20 old bridge?

21 A. Yes. It's part of the old bridge, in actual fact.

22 Q. On the other side?

23 A. Yes, that's right.

24 Q. Thank you.

25 A. This is a broader view, depicting one of the towers. And this is

Page 2764

1 the approach to the road towards the old bridge.

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)Kujundziluk, this is right next

4 to the bridge?

5 A. Yes, this is the approach road with ancient shops which lead

6 directly onto the old bridge itself.

7 Q. Is that the same quarter?

8 A. Yes, the same quarter, and this is a characteristic building and

9 room from which you could see --

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please.

11 Mr. Registrar, I would like to have the following line struck: From lines

12 1, 2, 3 and 4 from page 4. Please continue.

13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. As I was saying, this is the same quarter.

15 A. Yes. That's it. It's difficult to identify the exact location,

16 but, yes, indeed that is part of the area leading up to the road and

17 bridge.

18 Q. The same quarter?

19 A. Yes. This is a detail, in greater detail. It's the other side,

20 once you've crossed over the old bridge.

21 The same thing again.

22 And this is a little further away from the old bridge.

23 New housing blocks, residential buildings in Donja Mahala.

24 This is the school in Donja Mahala.

25 That's the railway bridge in Bacevici.

Page 2765

1 Q. We spoke about bridges yesterday and you said that all the bridges

2 except for the old bridge had been destroyed.

3 A. Yes, that's right. I think there were seven.

4 Q. So this is the railway bridge.

5 And the air force bridge, as it was called.

6 Hasan Brkic bridge.

7 Hasan Brkic bridge from another angle.

8 Once again Hasan Brkic bridge, a detail of it.

9 A. Yes. That is Lucki bridge, one of the old bridges built during

10 the Austro-Hungarian times.

11 This is the central bridge in the centre of Mostar.

12 Yes, that's the same bridge on the other side.

13 This is the Carinski bridge.

14 Q. What side was Carinski bridge on in relation to the old bridge;

15 upstream, downstream?

16 A. Upstream from the old bridge you have Tito's bridge, Carinski

17 bridge -- no. Yes, and Lucki bridge. So I think that would be right.

18 Q. All right. Fine.

19 A. This is the railway bridge to the north, on the railway line

20 running to Sarajevo. And the bridge in Vojna. This bridge served as a

21 communication line between two settlements in the northern valley of

22 Mostar.

23 Q. You mean north of town?

24 A. Yes, north of town. This is the Neretva Hotel, along Tito's

25 bridge, which we saw a moment ago that was destroyed.

Page 2766

1 Q. So that's the centre of town.

2 A. Yes, that's the centre of town. It's called Musala. And in times

3 past, it was the central square.

4 And this is an annex to the Neretva Hotel.

5 Q. That was destroyed as well, as we can see.

6 A. Yes. This is a newly built hotel, the last new hotel that Mostar

7 built.

8 This is Hotel Bristol. There's an old part to the hotel. This is

9 the new part. It is across the water from the Neretva, and the two hotels

10 were linked by Tito's bridge.

11 This is the Hit department store. It was a hit, if I can put it

12 that way; a modern department store.

13 Q. Now we've seen all the bridges -- not bridges, I'm sorry, I meant

14 hotels. Was there any large hotel left standing that wasn't bombed?

15 A. Not in the sense of a classical hotel but only as an old people's

16 home, and it's called Hotel Ero.

17 Q. All right. We're going to see a few other buildings. This is the

18 department store and the commercial centre.

19 A. Yes, the commercial centre, the shopping mall that was built.

20 This is a more modest department store.

21 Q. Very well. What's this?

22 A. This is the street called Mostarski Bataljon in the centre of

23 Mostar, and mostly all the buildings in the centre had shops downstairs on

24 the ground floor. And living quarters upstairs.

25 Q. I see. This is the same area, is it?

Page 2767

1 A. Yes, it is. This is the primary school that is a little more to

2 the north of the Neretva and Bristol Hotels.

3 This is -- it says "Kirurgija," but we call this the new hospital.

4 Q. We're going to see a number of hospital buildings, but we have not

5 included those that suffered minor damage. So I'm just going to ask you

6 something about this set of buildings. This is the new hospital, as you

7 said. This is the health centre, Dom Zdravlja.

8 Now, do you happen to remember other medical institutions that

9 suffered damage?

10 A. Well, I don't -- I don't think any building was left intact, but I

11 can't tell you what all the damage to the different buildings was now.

12 Q. Thank you. Now we have a few religious buildings. This is the

13 Mekteb.

14 A. Yes. It was the symphonic orchestra building, musical institution

15 of late, used that way. And this is the interior of that same building.

16 Q. We once again have Marsal Tito Street?

17 A. Yes. We called that one of our main streets.

18 This is part of the Marsal Tito Street in the south of town.

19 Q. We see a whole series of houses that have been completely

20 destroyed. Now, was that at the beginning of the conflict or, rather, the

21 beginning of the attack by the Yugoslav People's Army or what?

22 A. I really can't say. I'm not quite sure.

23 Q. All right. Fine. Now, this says the building of the military

24 command.

25 A. I don't know about that particular name, but I do know that that

Page 2768

1 was the building we had held our Assemblies in.

2 Q. You mean the Municipal Assembly meetings?

3 A. Yes, that's right.

4 Q. I think that at some time during history that building might have

5 been called the military command building.

6 A. I don't know about that.

7 Q. But when it was destroyed, it was the municipal administration

8 building?

9 A. Yes, it was the municipal administration building and the Assembly

10 hall where the Assembly sessions were held.

11 Q. Thank you. Is that the same building?

12 A. Yes, that's the same building but viewed from the other side.

13 This is the Svjetlost bookstore, which might have been across the

14 road from the previous building we saw.

15 Q. All right. Fine.

16 A. Yes. This is an old school once again in that same street, Marsal

17 Tito Street. You can see it on the map today.

18 And this is another building there.

19 This is a building that has been renovated. It is right along the

20 old bridge and you can see how it's been reconstructed.

21 Q. It's also the Mekteb?

22 A. Yes, it is. And today it is a museum in Herzegovina.

23 And this is a building that we used, we had financial -- part of

24 our financial administration there.

25 Q. The social accounting service?

Page 2769

1 A. Yes, the social accounting service and other financial offices.

2 Now, this is the Razvitak department store. It was a

3 mixed-purpose building. On the ground floor there was a department store

4 and above that there were apartments. Due to the force of the destruction

5 and explosion, there was a big fire and now none of the top floors exist.

6 They all had to be knocked down. So you'll be able to see the department

7 store on the ground level and then all the rest cleared.

8 And this is another shop in Marsal Tito Street.

9 Q. This is the railway station in the same street, is it?

10 A. Yes. It's at the beginning of Marsal Tito Street. Well, not

11 really the beginning, but we refer to that whole area as Tito's Street,

12 and this railway station is at an entrance where the new railway station

13 was built and the bus station. And that's still in a pretty bad state.

14 It doesn't look this bad as it does on the photograph, (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 Q. Yes. This is another residential building.

17 A. Yes, it is also residential building on Tito's Street also.

18 Now, this is our historic square, Musala.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.

20 MR. SCOTT: I request to go into private session for a moment,

21 please.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

23 [Private session]

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 2770











11 Pages 2770-2771 redacted. Private session.















Page 2772

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 [Open session]

6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,

7 Mr. President.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. We're in open session.

9 You have a photo before you. To the best of your recollections,

10 can you date this destruction, destruction done to this building? What

11 year would that be?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot say with precision. But I

13 should like to again refer to this document on the ecocide and urbicide of

14 the area of the city of Mostar, and there one can find in very explicit

15 and detailed terms all the facts about the urbicide which occurred after

16 the pull-out or, rather, the expulsion of the Yugoslav People's Army from

17 the city.

18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. It is hard to make such a distinction, a temporal one, but,

20 Witness, today when we started looking through these photographs, I asked

21 you that if you knew that some of these photographs referred to some

22 destruction in the later stages of the war, to say so.

23 A. I cannot say with precision. I cannot give you an answer to that.

24 Q. Okay. Let us go on and see whether these are the buildings that

25 are in question.

Page 2773

1 When we went through the bridges --

2 A. Well, as far as the bridges are concerned, I can say that they

3 were destroyed during the conflict.

4 Q. About the Old Mostar zone, did you say that that was also

5 devastated during the conflict? Are you sure about that?

6 A. Yes, I am.

7 Q. Do you know what building this is?

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say "the conflict,"

9 which conflict are you referring to, between which two sides?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are referring now to a period of

11 conflicts between the defensive forces of Mostar and the Yugoslav People's

12 Army.

13 THE INTERPRETER: And the Yugoslav army; interpreter's correction.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. This is the Vakufski Dvor, the Vakufski mansion, the Brace Fejica

16 Street. What part of the city is this?

17 A. This goes on from the very centre, the very core of downtown

18 Mostar.

19 Q. The magistrate's and the police building in the same section, in

20 the same street?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. This was in the period while you were mayor of the city. Do you

23 recall that?

24 A. Yes. We had the land registry in that building.

25 Q. And it was destroyed during the attack of the Yugoslav army?

Page 2774

1 A. I cannot claim that.

2 Q. You were the mayor of the city at the time. Do you recall that

3 the building in which one of your administrative sections was was actually

4 destroyed, and you cannot date it?

5 A. No. No, I cannot, simply because you are asking me to give you a

6 bit of information that I just cannot give you from -- I cannot glean from

7 the overall wholesale tragedy which befell Mostar. I cannot pinpoint that

8 particular bit of information.

9 Q. Yes, but, Mr. Gagro --

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Counsel Kovacic asked

11 you a very precise question. He said you were the mayor of the town, and

12 there's a building here that is next to the magistrate's office and

13 police, and it was destroyed, and you say, yes, it was destroyed, and then

14 you added a detail, and you said, "In that building we had the land

15 registry department."

16 Now, counsel is asking you who bombed that building and caused the

17 destruction, and then you say, "I don't know."

18 Now, at the time, you yourself were the mayor. Who was the

19 aggressor in Mostar?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Yugoslav army was.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Could there have

22 been anybody else apart from the Yugoslav army that could have been doing

23 damage of this kind at the time?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Then by deduction, a

Page 2775

1 process of deduction, who caused this destruction?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If that happened in that particular

3 period, it could only have been the Yugoslav army.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.

5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. The same section, the shops in this street, do you know at what

7 time that was shelled?

8 A. No.

9 Q. The same part of the city, the same zone.

10 A. No.

11 Q. Can you assist us, Mr. Witness? As a born and bred man from

12 Mostar, you obviously had many acquaintances and friends and so on, and

13 someone was deprived of their house, of their car, of their other property

14 every minute in that period. So could you please help us by referring to

15 such events in order to try and recall the exact period. Of course I'm

16 aware that it is difficult for you to exactly know the time each

17 particular building was destroyed or blown up, but you lived there, and

18 you are perfectly able to associate these events or to place a date on

19 some of them.

20 A. But I repeat, you insist on a detail for a specific destroyed

21 structure, one building, whereas Mostar suffered a wholesale catastrophe,

22 a global one, as it were.

23 Q. All right. And precisely that catastrophe, we can see that the

24 city was in a terrible state.

25 A. Yes, it was, and this is what I said initially.

Page 2776

1 Q. And I agree, but I'm trying to actually define the situation up to

2 the point when the defensive forces of Mostar expelled the Serbs from

3 Mostar, including their artillery, and prevented further damage from

4 occurring. I'm trying to depict a situation in which you were the mayor

5 and that you yourself described for us yesterday. I'm trying to describe

6 the circumstances under which this happened. So please try and link these

7 things. I know that it is difficult. And please do try to recall some of

8 the events at least for some of the buildings depicted in some of these

9 pictures, whether they were destroyed in the first wave.

10 A. Why do you not accept -- would you not accept this explanation

11 that I'm giving you, that we have documents, photographs of each destroyed

12 building, and we presented that in a study which the city offered under

13 the title "Urbicide of the City of Mostar"?

14 Q. As regards that particular paper, my Defence team has used

15 different sources. The variety of sources are precisely from that paper

16 that you're referring to.

17 A. So you could have actually specified precisely the documents that

18 the paper identifies and the dates.

19 Q. We could have done that, and we will be able to do all sorts of

20 things, Mr. Witness, but please, I'm only trying to make the best use of

21 your presence here as a witness for you to assist us on the -- in

22 discussing the subject at hand.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, yes, we have

24 someone on their feet.

25 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

Page 2777

1 Drawing on my poor experience from some of the previous sessions, please

2 keep track of the time because I don't want to have my Defence team

3 constrained in terms of time, and please stick to the agreed schedule.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Bear that in mind,

5 Counsel Kovacic.

6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I accept this objection, but I

7 actually could not have assumed that discussions of this sort would have

8 come, about especially as refers the sources of materials. I thought that

9 the witness was aware what the sources were.

10 Q. But all right then. So your position is the same in respect of

11 any future photographs I might show you. You are quite certain that they

12 -- so, please, if you are certain that they were destroyed at the time

13 that I imply, please just confirm that.

14 This is the Mujaga Komadina building. Also in the centre of the

15 building, the Herzegovina building in the centre. Do you remember when

16 that building was destroyed?

17 Let us go on. These are residential blocks. Where is Crnica

18 settlement relative to the city?

19 A. It is on the right bank across from the Brothers Fejic. This is

20 the central zone but on the right bank.

21 Q. Thank you. So these are a couple of industrial facilities and

22 buildings. Yesterday you mentioned the damage they had suffered too.

23 Extensively. This is the main post office on Mose Pijade Street, the

24 residential building in the Carina settlement. Also the same settlement,

25 other residential buildings; the youth centre Rondo, that is in the Rondo

Page 2778

1 area; the archives of Herzegovina that is at Mejdan; the residential and

2 office building, also in Mejdan. The residential and office building in

3 Avenija.

4 A. I can say about this one because we were there on the -- all the

5 Crisis Staff -- or the Crisis Staff was there, rather, so it is possible

6 for me to say.

7 Q. This one, you mean?

8 A. Yes. That is actually proof that we were shelled there.

9 Q. And who did the shelling?

10 A. The Yugoslav army did.

11 Q. Thank you. That -- that is -- this is in the vicinity, the Tekija

12 -- is it in the vicinity, this residential building in Tekija?

13 A. No, it is not.

14 Q. Very well. The Luka residential quarter?

15 A. Yes. That is the southern part of the city.

16 Q. Luka again, the residential buildings, residential buildings of

17 1st of May, residential buildings in the Semovac settlement. The office

18 and living quarters in the same zone. The residential and administrative

19 building in the same zone.

20 The Kresin Sokak, which part of Mostar that?

21 A. That is the old party of the city.

22 Q. Also residential quarters. Do you recognise this?

23 A. No.

24 Q. This is the same area of the housing building of the residential

25 buildings. Now here we have Balinovac. What part of town is that?

Page 2779

1 A. It's the Western part, extreme western district of Mostar, towards

2 Citluk.

3 Q. So this exit towards Citluk and Siroki Brijeg is an important

4 road, is it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. This is the Cim building. It's a catering establishment. Can you

7 describe it?

8 A. This road was the only communication that the town was left with.

9 If you wanted to go outside the town under siege, and 500 metres up

10 towards there are serpentines. It's a hairpin bend road and this is an

11 area where the Yugoslav army held positions or held -- targeted all those

12 wanting to enter and exit the town, and as I said yesterday, 15 civilians

13 were killed in that way, 15 citizens of Mostar.

14 Q. As we can see, a series of buildings were destroyed.

15 A. Yes. All the buildings in that vicinity.

16 Q. Thank you. This is Jesenica.

17 A. Jesenica to the south, the southern reaches. Near today's

18 Heliodrom. And you have the airport opposite.

19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have more photographs

20 to show, religious buildings, commercial buildings, but we need 15 more

21 minutes of time for that. I don't want to take that time for the -- from

22 the other Defence teams, although I think that it would be important for

23 us to see, but we'll find a different occasion. But I'd like to tell you

24 that on page 3 at the beginning of the transcript, line 13, it should

25 read, or we should be more precise, and it says the army, reference was

Page 2780

1 made to the army, whereas it was the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA, as

2 is the usual term used. Or abbreviation, if you like.

3 Mr. Gagro, thank you for cooperating. Thank you.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The next Defence

5 counsel.

6 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll go next, Mr. President, and I'll try to be

7 somewhat brief.

8 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:

9 Q. Good morning, sir. From looking at the photographs, Mostar looked

10 a little bit like Dresden after World War II.

11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his answer, please.

12 The interpreters could not hear him. Could the witness --

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what happened when the last

14 attack took place.


16 Q. Right. Now, from looking at the -- from looking at the

17 photographs, it would appear that, at least at that particular time in

18 Mostar, not a whole lot of things were --

19 A. I'm not getting the image on my screen. Do I need to press a

20 button or something?

21 Q. Probably you need to press LiveNote, but I don't know if --

22 perhaps you could be assisted. I'm not going to be referring to

23 photographs. I just want to talk a little bit about what we saw.

24 It would appear to me that at that particular time in Mostar life

25 was pretty hard.

Page 2781

1 A. Yes, absolutely correct.

2 Q. Looks like maybe you didn't have electricity all the time.

3 A. At the beginning, we did our best to see that the utilities were

4 functioning, including electricity, until there was such large-scale

5 destruction that we were just not able to ensure that they were

6 functioning.

7 Now, if I might be allowed to add. I know that in our attempts

8 the Yugoslav People's Army blocked our main transformer station supplying

9 Mostar with electricity, and in an attempt to have it repaired, we asked

10 the international observers to help us out. And when we were approaching

11 that facility, when a representative of the international community

12 appeared in white, dressed in white, he was killed.

13 Q. Okay. And I take it, along with electricity, you could say the

14 same thing for running water; that wasn't available all the time?

15 A. We were lucky, because the main supply and the drinking water

16 supply came from the western side, from the Cim area, so that we were able

17 to ensure proper supplies for the town. It was only where -- in the areas

18 where the bridges were destroyed that we weren't able to resume water

19 supplies for that side.

20 Q. That's right. That would have been for the other side, for the

21 east side.

22 A. Yes, the other side. Right.

23 Q. Okay. Now, I want to clarify a couple of points that were

24 mentioned yesterday and today as well with respect to your position at the

25 time. You told us yesterday that there were elections, and as a result of

Page 2782

1 the elections you were a member of the Assembly; correct?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. And as I understand the system as it worked back then, then

4 members of the Assembly would vote among themselves for various

5 candidates, and of course, as a result of those elections among the

6 Assembly members who were elected, you were elected president of the

7 Assembly.

8 A. Yes, but the coalitions were already well known; who had the

9 majority in parliament, in the Assembly, and who had the possibility of

10 being elected, and that's how the candidates were put forward. And I said

11 that the three national parties, HDZ, SDA, and SDS, had formed a coalition

12 following the example of the same way of organisation for the parliament

13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mostar entered into a coalition which -- the HDZ

14 of Mostar entered into a coalition with the SDA and SDS, and they won the

15 majority - 65 per cent - and they thought they could put forward their

16 candidates with realistic possibilities for them becoming the top men in

17 the Assembly.

18 Q. Right. Now, I just want to stick on -- discuss a little bit about

19 the technical aspects of your position and the other positions, because

20 there may have been some misunderstanding created yesterday when they kept

21 referring to you as mayor of Mostar. You, sir, were actually the

22 president of the Assembly; correct?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. Okay. Now, below the Assembly you have the Executive Board;

25 right?

Page 2783

1 A. That's right.

2 Q. The Executive Board has a president?

3 A. That's right.

4 Q. The president is more like the mayor as opposed to the president

5 of the Assembly.

6 A. Yes, but he wasn't given those competencies.

7 Q. Okay. Now I just want to explain a little bit as I understand it

8 from my work when I was up in Brcko and I had an understanding of how the

9 system was working. As I know it - and correct me if the system was

10 different in Mostar - at that particular time, the -- the Executive Board

11 was responsible for coming up with a plan as far as what legislation

12 should be drafted. Of course it would be coordinated with the Assembly,

13 but that was part of the Executive Board's responsibility through their

14 departments; correct?

15 A. Yes, that is correct. They proposed certain decisions which we

16 verified, and then they would implement them.

17 Q. Right. Now, when you say "we," that would be the Assembly;

18 correct?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. Now, you as the president of the Assembly, unlike, say, in other

21 countries, you didn't have any real special powers other than one vote

22 like everyone else; right?

23 A. Yes, yes.

24 Q. Of course there has to be a president or at least somebody who

25 would represent the Assembly, and that would you as the president.

Page 2784

1 A. Right. I was called the first among equals.

2 Q. Exactly. And you could say the same thing about the -- the

3 president of the Executive Board. He was first among equals as well, was

4 he not?

5 A. Yes, but in the sphere of his authorisation and remit.

6 Q. Exactly. And being first among equals doesn't mean that you get

7 to make decisions on your own that would affect everyone else; right?

8 Okay.

9 A. Right.

10 Q. Now -- now that we've clarified that and now that we know that you

11 weren't the mayor and we know a little bit about what the functions of the

12 president of the Assembly are, I want to talk about the Crisis Staff. As

13 I understand it - and again, correct me if I'm wrong - as I understand it,

14 the law as it existed back then provided for a situation where a Crisis

15 Staff could be created in the event of emergency situations.

16 A. Yes. It was always assessed as to how far the institutions of

17 power and authority in a local community could function.

18 Q. Right. But in other words, it wasn't something that you would

19 have to improvise, you'd have to -- it wasn't something that you had

20 created, this Crisis Staff. It was already built into the system and, in

21 time of need, it would activate itself; correct?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. And the whole purpose of having a Crisis Staff is so that you

24 don't have a hundred Assemblymen, as you would have in Mostar, trying to

25 make a decision, because decisions need to be made on a rather quick

Page 2785

1 basis; right?

2 A. Right.

3 Q. And would it be fair to say - and again, correct me if I'm wrong -

4 that while the Crisis Staff is operating, for all intents and purposes the

5 Assembly is no longer functioning as it were, or as it had been.

6 A. I've already said that.

7 Q. I just want to make sure we're all clear, that's all. All right.

8 Now, you told us yesterday that your understanding and belief and

9 memory, sometime around the middle of February of 1992 the Crisis Staff

10 was established; right?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. And as I understand it, normally speaking, the Crisis Staff would

13 be composed of the president of the Assembly, the President of the

14 Executive Board, the chief of police, maybe the chief of the Territorial

15 Defence, and maybe a few others; right?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. In this instance, if I understood you correctly, you indicated

18 that in Mostar, along with you there were members of the various political

19 parties. And I mention this because I couldn't help but notice

20 Mr. Hadziosmanovic's name there. Ismet. I'm sure you know him very well.

21 He was a member of the Crisis Staff; right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And he was the head of the regional SDA party but also, you know,

24 the president of the SDA for Mostar.

25 A. Yes.

Page 2786

1 Q. And normally someone holding that position, being the party leader

2 and with all its responsibilities, normally they don't have an executive

3 role to play; in other words, being a member of the Executive Board. They

4 have other functions, party functions; correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Okay. Now, I want to talk a little bit about -- go through very

7 quickly, if we could, some of these decisions just so we can have a sense

8 of what was happening. And before I do that, I just want to see if you

9 would agree with the gentleman that testified here before, someone by the

10 name of Pejanovic. He testified in open court. He lived on the east

11 side. He was a fireman. He was the head of the fire department. You

12 might even know him.

13 A. Yes, I do know him personally.

14 Q. Right. And he had indicated that it was around the 11th of May,

15 1992, that he left the east side, but in actuality, it was around the 13th

16 or so of May, 1992, when -- when more or less the east side was overrun by

17 the JNA and everyone crossed over, more or less, to the west side. Would

18 that be correct, the timing of it?

19 A. Could you tell me what it was he said exactly?

20 Q. Well, he had indicated that at least he left his post on the 11th

21 of May because of the heavy attack, and around the 13th or so people were

22 fleeing. And in fact, during some rather brilliant cross-examination from

23 Mr. Praljak, if I may say so, he brought out the fact that folks as they

24 were fleeing from the east to the west were actually jumping into the

25 Neretva and having to swim over. There was that kind of a panic going on

Page 2787

1 as they were trying to get away from the JNA forces that were attacking.

2 Would that be a correct assessment of the situation?

3 A. That is right, yes. Correct.

4 Q. Okay. Now, having that date in mind, I want to fast forward a

5 little bit, or go back a little bit. As I understand it -- I have a

6 decision here that appears -- you signed, and if we could have it on the

7 ELMO -- or on the e-court, I apologise. It's 1D 00494. It's a decision

8 dated 12 December, 1992.

9 A. I'm sorry, but I don't have it on my screen.

10 Q. We're going to wait, okay? I'm just giving you sort of the

11 warm-up. When you -- do you see it on the screen?

12 A. Yes, I can see it now.

13 Q. Do you recognise this document?

14 A. Could I read the whole -- see the whole document on the screen?

15 Q. Sure. And I even have a hard copy for you if you like.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Now, do you see the -- do you see your name there?

18 A. I do.

19 Q. Is that your signature?

20 A. It is.

21 Q. Okay. So there is no dilemma that you are the author of this

22 particular document, or you signed this document.

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. And this is a decision dated 12 April, 1992, where you in your

25 capacity as the commander of the Crisis Staff establish -- or you appoint

Page 2788

1 a commander for the Territorial Defence of Mostar, and the gentleman's

2 name is Hasic; is that correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And it would be fair to say, would it not, if we look at the

5 preamble, it says that this is pursuant to a decision by the Presidency of

6 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it's dated 9 April, 1992. Right?

7 A. Right.

8 Q. And I take it - and correct me if I'm wrong - that perhaps you

9 waited so long in making this appointment because you were waiting for

10 some sort of a decision from the Presidency of the Republic of

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was located in Sarajevo; right?

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. Right. But if I understood you correctly, the JNA came in in

14 November or December of 1991 and all hell was breaking loose -- or

15 September. And if we go on, September, October, November, December,

16 January, February, March, and it's not until April that the good folks in

17 Sarajevo wake up and decide that folks in Mostar should activate the

18 Territorial Defence and appoint a commander; right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Okay. All right. Now -- rather strange, don't you think, that

21 they would wait all this long?

22 A. Well, we just followed orders from them.

23 Q. I understand. But what I'm saying is rather strange that the

24 folks back in Sarajevo --

25 A. You would have to ask the gentlemen who functioned that way over

Page 2789

1 there. You'd have to ask them.

2 Q. Okay. And I take it around this time, too, all hell is breaking

3 loose around Sarajevo, too, because they're under siege, aren't they?

4 A. If I may be allowed to say that we'd already lost all the weapons

5 we had, that the Territorial Defence had of the Municipal Assembly of

6 Mostar at that time. The JNA had already done its best to take our last

7 bullet, the last bullet that we had in our warehouses as a reserve to

8 activate the Territorial Defence. And let me also add that the citizens

9 had bought all that with their own money, purchased it all with their own

10 money.

11 Q. Right. And --

12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, might I have -- might I have a

13 clarification, because I'm a bit confused.

14 On line 14, the question says that at that time finally they, the

15 folks in Mostar, appoint a commander.

16 MR. KARNAVAS: Right.

17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That gives the idea that this document is

18 appointing a commander. As I read the translation of the document, the

19 document authorises the commander, who already exists, to name aides.

20 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.

21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Maybe I'm wrong, so I would like you to clarify.

22 MR. KARNAVAS: And it could be that you're absolutely correct, but

23 let's go through it.

24 Q. A Territorial Defence existed prior to this point in time;

25 correct? I mean, I don't want to get into a long discussion about the All

Page 2790

1 People's Defence and what have you, but in essence a Territorial Defence

2 would have existed in every municipality including the Mostar

3 municipality; correct?

4 A. Absolutely.

5 Q. Okay. Through this document, through this decision, it says here

6 that you're authorising this gentleman, Hasic, to appoint his aides and

7 other workers. Was Hasic at that particular time, was he already the

8 commander of the Territorial Defence?

9 A. I'm not quite sure whether we in the Crisis Staff had already

10 proclaimed Hasic commander of the Municipal Staff, if this decision refers

11 just to the fact that he should appoint and put forward his co-workers,

12 which was necessary for them to be able foundation properly.

13 Q. All right. So can I take it at least -- can I take -- can I

14 understand this decision at least to reflect the fact that even if Hasic

15 was a commander at the time, he did not have the requisite aides in order

16 to carry on the functions of a -- of the Territorial Defence of Mostar?

17 A. I have to say that we could activate our Territorial Defence --

18 or, rather, had we been able to do that, everything would have functioned

19 differently. But we were left with just 200 active policemen who carried

20 weapons. All the rest was beyond our reach.

21 Q. Right. But I guess -- and I -- I just want to draw a couple of

22 points on this. One, your decision is based on a decision that was made

23 in Sarajevo at the Presidency level 9 April, 1992; correct?

24 A. Yes, that's right.

25 Q. We already know that as early as September, 1991, the winds of war

Page 2791

1 are blowing in a southerly fashion from the Republic of Croatia, and

2 they're coming down to Mostar; right? Not to mention there are some other

3 ones raging from south to north, you know, or from other directions,

4 because even Sarajevo is under siege at this point; right?

5 A. All I can say is that I agree with what you've just said.

6 Q. All right. And I -- and I guess I'm asking whether you find it

7 rather strange that Alija Izetbegovic, the president of the Presidency,

8 who is supposed to be in charge of this country and looking after the

9 welfare of everyone, including the Croats, why on earth is he waited until

10 9 April, 1992, to react?

11 MR. SCOTT: Objection, Your Honour. Several objections. I

12 realise this is cross-examination, but for a long time now these questions

13 have been overly argumentative. Counsel's putting his -- making his

14 closing argument rather than putting questions to the witness.

15 Secondly, as Mr. Karnavas has said the last couple of days, this

16 question assumes facts not in evidence. There is no evidence whatsoever

17 about what Mr. Izetbegovic was doing during this time, no evidence. So

18 what Mr. Karnavas has just said is nothing more than a wild assumption.

19 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, we know from the witness that

20 nothing was done be Mr. Izetbegovic. I merely asked if he knew. Now, if

21 the gentleman doesn't know, I'll move on. Maybe we'll hear it from

22 Mr. Kljujic or some other witness, but I'm perfectly happy to move on if

23 the Court feels that the Prosecutor's objection should be sustained.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to clarify this

25 question, this decision that you signed where the commander of the

Page 2792

1 Territorial Defence of Mostar is authorised to appoint aides, people to

2 help him in his tasks, you signed this decision on the 12th of April.

3 However, after that, in this same document, refer to a decision of the

4 Presidency of -- in the preamble of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the integration

5 of all forces in the republic.

6 Now, was that not linked to the creation and establishment of the

7 BH army, which led to the fact that in fact the Territorial Defence was

8 included into the BH army? Was this not -- decision not taken in that

9 context? Can you explain that to me, please? Because in your decision,

10 you refer to the decision of the Presidency, which we don't have in front

11 of us, but you also mention the fact that it has to do with the

12 unification of all the armed forces, because the proclamation of a state

13 of war had already been made. So wasn't this the moment when you were

14 pooling all available resources? So you as the signatory, what can you

15 tell me about that?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We just did the job and assignment

17 that we received from the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. But that doesn't say

19 -- tell me anything to execute assignments. Which ones, pursuant to this

20 order?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no. I think it was more a

22 formal matter. It just stated matters officially. We knew what we had to

23 do. The Territorial Defence didn't exist any more. The people existed,

24 but there were no weapons. We didn't have the weaponry that we ought to

25 have had, so it was all too late.

Page 2793

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But could you look at the

2 document in B/C/S, please, because the English document, the English

3 version, don't seem to reflect what it says in the B/C/S.

4 I looked at the addressees, the list of addressees of your

5 decision, and in the B/C/S document we see that you were sending copies to

6 MNO Sarajevo. After that it says MUP BiH Sarajevo, and then RSTO

7 Sarajevo. Whereas in the English version, in the English translation, it

8 says -- ah, yes, I see, it's on the second page. I should have looked on

9 the second page. Yes. Right.

10 But anyway, this order, you were informing Sarajevo about it

11 because it was an important order; isn't that right? Otherwise, why would

12 you have informed Sarajevo about the order?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we were just fulfilling our

14 obligations.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So addressee number 5, MNO, what

16 is that?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's the Ministry of National

18 Defence.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There you have it, the National

20 Defence Ministry.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Ministry of Internal Affairs is

22 the next one.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Fine. If you were

24 informing the Ministry of National Defence in Sarajevo, that means that

25 your decision was related to the question of the armed forces.

Page 2794

1 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].

3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, and I hope to clear up a

4 lot of this, because I dare say, with all due respect, there were some

5 assumptions perhaps that were made in the questions posed that do not --

6 are not reflected in some of the documents.

7 Q. Let's take it a step back. I just happen to have this

8 proclamation of immediate threat of war, okay? Perhaps we can put it on

9 the ELMO -- oh, it's already in. I apologise. It's 3D 00275. Perhaps we

10 can see it. And I have a copy --

11 A. I cannot see it.

12 Q. Okay. [Interpretation] Take it easy. [In English] Okay. We

13 don't -- apparently we don't have it in B/C/S, but I'm sure we have some

14 fantastic translators and interpreters who are assisting us, and they

15 could help us out here. So perhaps I can read slowly, and it could be

16 translated for the gentleman.

17 Sir, this is -- if we look at the bottom, it says -- we have a

18 date 8 April, 1992. If we go to the top, we see it's from the Official

19 Gazette. The preamble reads: "Pursuant to provisions of amendments ...

20 of the constitution of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

21 and on the recommendation of the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of

22 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina, at a session held on 8 April, 1992, issued the following:

24 "Decision on the proclamation of an immediate threat of war.

25 "I. An immediate threat of war is hereby proclaimed in the

Page 2795

1 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

2 Mind you, again, this is 8 April, 1992, and you've already

3 indicated - not just you but others - that the JNA had been actively

4 engaging in war activities in Bosnia as early as September. We'll go on.

5 "II. During the immediate threat of war, the Presidency of the

6 RBH shall be expanded to include the Chairman of the RBH Assembly, the RBH

7 Prime Minister, and the Commander of the Territorial Defence of the

8 Republic."

9 Sounds like they're establishing a Crisis Staff themselves,

10 doesn't it?

11 A. That is correct.

12 Q. Then we go to Article III: "During the immediate threat of war,

13 the RBH Presidency shall issue decrees with force of law and decisions on

14 appointments and dismissals which will be submitted for approval to the

15 RBH Assembly as soon as it is able to meet."

16 These are emergency measures that are normally taken; right?

17 These are normally taken under emergency situations; right?

18 Now, I take it --

19 A. Right.

20 Q. I take it it is based on this that you then ask, in your decision,

21 for Mr. Hasic -- you say, "... is hereby authorised to appoint his aides

22 and other workers necessary -" and I underscore that word "necessary" -

23 "for the functioning of the Mostar municipal Territorial Defence Staff."

24 Now, from that it would -- I mean, if we use a little logic, I can

25 only suspect that the Mostar Municipal Territorial Defence was not in fact

Page 2796

1 functioning, which is why you're issuing this decision based on what the

2 folks in Sarajevo have done for him to get going and appoint the necessary

3 personnel for the functioning of the Territorial Defence; right? Is that

4 a yes?

5 A. I agree.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. [No interpretation].

8 Q. I didn't get the translation on that. I'm sorry --

9 A. They didn't have the state of facts clearly presented to them.

10 Q. Right. Well, and as you've indicated, by this point all the

11 weapons from the Territorial Defence have been taken, so it's a bit like

12 closing the door -- the barn door after the horses have run out, if you

13 get my expression.

14 A. Yes, I do.

15 Q. Now --

16 A. I understand what it is that you're targeting at, and that was

17 objectively so, but what can one do? Life was a quite different matter,

18 and we were forced to organise ourselves in a different fashion

19 altogether, organising ourselves as we were enjoined upon to do, and of

20 course we had to handle the everyday situations as best as we could.

21 Q. I understand it, and, sir, don't think for one moment that I do

22 not appreciate the difficult situation that you were in, nor am I being

23 critical. I'm just bringing out certain facts that were brought upon you,

24 not that you created.

25 Now, if I could look at -- if we could look at another document,

Page 2797

1 because now we have -- we have a decision to Hasic. If we could look at

2 1D 00495.

3 Here - and this may help with one of the questions raised by the

4 president -- okay. I'm told that we cannot find it. We have it for the

5 ELMO in your language. Okay. Here it is.

6 All right. If you could just sort of rest your eyes on this

7 document a little bit.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Okay. We see that the date is 17 April, 1992. So that is five

10 days after you've already made the decision. Okay. It takes Mr. Hasic

11 five days in the middle of this chaos, in the middle of this emergency

12 going on, it takes him five days and he makes his appointments, and could

13 you tell us, sir, where does he send this notice to?

14 A. I cannot see the top of the page.

15 Q. Okay.

16 A. Actually, to the Republican Territorial Defence Staff of the

17 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Republican Territorial Defence

18 Staff, sent by the Municipal Staff of Mostar, the Territorial Defence

19 Municipal Staff of Mostar about these appointments, according to our

20 order.

21 Q. Okay. And that republican staff, is that in Sarajevo, by any

22 chance, or is that in Mostar?

23 A. No, it is not in Mostar. It is in Sarajevo.

24 Q. Okay.

25 A. All the institutions of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina were

Page 2798

1 concentrated in Sarajevo.

2 Q. Okay. So if I get this -- if I get it right, you issue a decision

3 being the Crisis Staff commander for Mr. Hasic, and then Mr. Hasic, after

4 waiting five days, makes his appointments, doesn't notify you and instead

5 notifies Sarajevo. Is that -- is that what I can conclude from this

6 document? Because I don't see you on the mailing list.

7 A. It probably wasn't that important that we should be informed.

8 Q. You don't think it was important?

9 A. We knew that that particular segment of the defence of Mostar

10 could not function.

11 Q. Right. Which then brings us to the April 29th decision, because

12 by this point it would appear that you're reaching out to the only

13 available realistic option, and that is the HVO; right?

14 A. That's right. And, actually, we said so by our decision.

15 Q. Exactly. So -- and you could see why I'm bringing these out. You

16 see, I'm stringing it along because it seems by the 29th you have no

17 choice, and in fact, thank God, there is an option out there to assist in

18 the defence of Mostar.

19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, again I'm going to object to the

20 argumentative nature of these questions. This is argument.

21 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on, Your Honour.

22 Q. Now, if we look at this decision, and this is P 0 -- yes.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]. [Interpretation] It

24 mentions the members of the STO and the fact that they were changed. Does

25 this mean that -- yes, it's working now.

Page 2799

1 It says there's the former OPSTO, and there's a list of 13

2 individuals. Does this mean -- this means -- or does this mean that the

3 former one was still functioning?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it does. Formally, yes. The

5 appointment of new people had not been resolved, but it was reorganised.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this body was restructured.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.

8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. And since you brought us

9 to that point, I guess maybe I should spend a little more time on this

10 document. Again, 1D 00495.

11 Q. If we look at the first seven names that Mr. Hasic appoints, he

12 puts himself first as the commander. Then we see chief of staff. That's

13 a pretty important position. Chief of security, medical service,

14 quartermaster service, financial service, personnel and mobilisation.

15 It seems to me that if he had to appoint all these people, that

16 Territorial Defence, for all intents and purposes, was on paper only and

17 wasn't functioning; correct?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. And is it not correct, sir, that you as the commander of the

20 Crisis Staff, along with the other members of the Crisis Staff, should

21 know of these appointments and should be kept abreast of what the

22 Territorial Defence is doing, because after all, it's based on your

23 authorisation, your decision, that he's having to make these appointments;

24 right?

25 A. Yes, our decision. That's correct.

Page 2800

1 Q. And based -- at least based on this piece of paper that we have -

2 again, 1D 00495, Mr. Hasic's appointment list - it would appear that you

3 are not served with a copy and you are not notified even though you are in

4 Mostar, Sarajevo is under siege, and somehow he manages to communicate

5 with Sarajevo but doesn't have the wherewithal to communicate with you,

6 the commander of the Crisis Staff?

7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, again I'm going to object and this time

8 let me illustrate exactly the point very specifically. The witness

9 already answered the previous question. If you look at page 39, line --

10 line 14, Mr. Karnavas puts the same question, he's just put this question,

11 and at line 20 the witness answers "Yes, our decision. That's correct."

12 The question has been answered. Everything that follows after that is

13 simply an argument by Mr. Karnavas.

14 Now, I object. I know it's cross-examination, but I object to

15 continued argument. The witness answered the question and then

16 Mr. Karnavas makes a speech.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, this is proper cross-examination. I'm

18 trying to assist the Trial Chamber here. But I'll move on to the next

19 decision.

20 Q. Now, we have the decision on the 29th, and since we're running out

21 of time, I don't want to take the time on going through the preamble, but

22 obviously there is a preamble there which sets out the reasons why you're

23 having to issue this decision; correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Okay. But one cannot help but notice that in this preamble you

Page 2801

1 notify, or you alert everybody, the whole public, that the decision is

2 made in part because Mostar is under partial occupation; right? It's

3 right in the preamble that Mostar is under partial occupation.

4 A. Right.

5 Q. And in fact, it was. It had been; right? Okay.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And --

8 A. We were very realistic in appraising the situation that we had

9 found ourselves in.

10 Q. Right. Right. Now, we -- I don't want to spend too much time in

11 here with this document, but if we look at it very briefly, you obviously

12 -- I want to focus a little bit on point VIII, more specifically the very

13 last or the second to last article. It says: "The crisis --"

14 A. Could I have it on my screen again, please.

15 Q. It's P 00180. I apologise. I'm labouring under this new

16 technology. Okay. That's not it yet. We're going to get to it.

17 A. Okay.

18 Q. I believe that's it.

19 A. What item did you say I should look at?

20 Q. Item VIII. We can see it right here. Right there.

21 A. Item VIII, yes.

22 Q. I'll read the English and follow along. If you need to correct my

23 translation, you go ahead. "The crisis headquarters of the municipality

24 of Mostar shall -" I underscore the word "shall" - "establish as soon as

25 possible the temporary Executive Council which will ensure the functioning

Page 2802

1 of the government bodies of the Assembly of the municipality of Mostar."

2 Right?

3 A. Yes, that was logical, because with its number, the Crisis Staff

4 could hardly service the overall requirements of life in the city.

5 Q. I totally understand you. And we have the nine members. But, you

6 know, it strikes me a little bit -- I must say a little odd that assuming

7 -- assuming your memory serves you right that the Crisis Staff was

8 established as early as February 15 - on or about - 1992, here we are

9 April 29th and it's only through this decision that the Crisis Staff at

10 least recognises that it needs to set up a temporary Executive Council.

11 I'm sure there is some reason, but you can see that perhaps there was a

12 lag of time between the establishment of the Crisis Staff and this

13 decision.

14 A. Well, you see, we had not been aware of how long the crisis

15 situation would last. And had it been able to resolve it over a short

16 period of time, there would have been no need to transform the basic

17 structures which actually managed the functioning of the city and its

18 life. And that is what we had been expecting, that things would calm

19 down, that this calamity would bypass us. So we waited for the nick of

20 time, as it were, to actually assess that it was indeed necessary to

21 reorganise the structures managing the life in the city, and that is the

22 reason why that was so.

23 Q. You were able to function in peacetime, but under this situation,

24 you were not able to function.

25 A. Yes. I'll have to draw your attention to one fact, and I'm

Page 2803

1 speaking from a personal angle. I did my utmost to establish

2 communication with the Yugoslav army. As part of that, we co-opted into

3 our Crisis Staff the commander of the Mostar garrison, Mr. Pantelic, who

4 was present when difficult situations were being discussed, and we wanted

5 to cooperate with him in order to address certain critical moments, and he

6 was ready to do so. He was very cooperative.

7 But to understand the entire situation, when the Titograd Uzice

8 Corps and its forces arrived, that was absolutely outside the control of

9 our own garrisons. So that communication between General Torbica, who was

10 the commander of that corps and had his command post in Kifino Selo, which

11 is 40 kilometres away from Mostar, so that we were unable to communicate

12 at any time. But through Mr. Pantelic, as our official garrison

13 commander, we had his assistance in establishing such communication. I

14 cannot tell you in detail how that actually evolved, in every single

15 detail, but it was difficult.

16 Q. Okay. If I understand you correctly -- and I don't know where we

17 are with the break, but if I can just understand you correctly, don't

18 assume that I'm being critical, because I'm not, but as the events were

19 unfolding, you were doing your utmost to keep danger at bay, negotiating,

20 you know, walking that tightrope, and then at some point, as you say, the

21 Montenegrin reservists come in -- or you say Titograd; I assume that's who

22 you're referring to -- and by that point now you're at the precipice and

23 there is no room to manoeuvre. It seems you were doing your best for

24 several months to try to resolve the situation peacefully and then, all of

25 a sudden, you found yourself with no other choice; correct?

Page 2804

1 A. Correct. I can say that I'm proud to have been able to manoeuvre

2 for such a long time at the expense of personal misunderstandings, with

3 falling out with many of my associates who didn't appreciate my reasons,

4 because I managed for us to avoid this conflict, and we did this for a

5 long time prior to the Presidency's proclamation of the immediate threat

6 of war.

7 Q. I agree. I agree, and --

8 A. Very well.

9 Q. And you should be commended by that.

10 MR. KARNAVAS: And right now I think we need to take a break.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree. We should have a

12 break now. It's half past ten. We'll have a break until 11.00 since we

13 need a half-hour break for technical reasons. We will resume at 11.00.

14 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.

15 --- On resuming at is 11.02 a.m.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume.


18 Q. Okay. I have a few more questions. I'll try to hurry up.

19 Now, getting back to this decision of April 29th, again, if we

20 focus our attention on paragraph VIII, again I just want to make sure that

21 I understand it. What it's calling for is the establishment of an

22 Executive Council which actually would be sort of like an Executive Board

23 to run the day-to-day business of the Mostar municipality; is that

24 correct?

25 A. That's correct.

Page 2805

1 Q. Okay. And -- and of course that's necessary because the Crisis

2 Staff itself can carry out that function.

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday we looked at a document. It was P 00190.

5 And this was the document that was a decision issued by the HVO appointing

6 a Special Purpose Council, if you recall that.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Now, just -- if we could look at this document for a second. It

9 shows that -- first of all, it's dated May 7, so that would be

10 approximately six or seven days after your decision; right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And can we assume -- can we assume that in spite of the emergency

13 situation and the raging of the war in Mostar, at least as of May 6th the

14 crisis headquarters had yet to establish an Executive Council as it had

15 mandated in its own decision of 29 April, 1992?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. All right. So even though you told us yesterday you had not seen

18 this particular decision, you nonetheless commented - and correct me if

19 I'm wrong, and I'm going to paraphrase a little bit - you thought, based

20 on what is contained in the document, the tasks that this Special Purpose

21 Council undertakes are vital and necessary under the circumstances.

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. And if we look -- if we look at some of the names -- for instance,

24 the first name, Neven Tomic, you know who he is. Right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2806

1 Q. Prlic of course we talked about, and some of the others, including

2 at the very end we see Camil Salahovic, also known as Limi, correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And Camil Salahovic, just for those of us who don't know him, was

5 at this point in time the vice-president of the SDA in Mostar; correct?

6 A. I'm not certain, but I think you might be wrong.

7 Q. Okay. Would he be a close associate of Mr. Hadziosmanovic at this

8 time and period?

9 A. I don't think so.

10 Q. Okay. All right. Now, the names of these people here, if I could

11 use a word, technocrat, would it be fair to say that these individuals

12 bring with them a collective body of knowledge and skills necessary for

13 running the day-to-day affairs as if they were in fact part of an

14 Executive Council as was mandated by the decision of 29 April, 1992?

15 A. I'd say that under item 2, the task of the council for the needs

16 of the Mostar municipal staff in the HVO is as follows -- well, with

17 regards to these tasks, unfortunately it doesn't mention or, rather, it

18 neglects the Crisis Staff of -- the HVO Crisis Staff of Mostar

19 municipality.

20 Q. All right. Okay. Fair enough. Be fair to say also that the

21 Crisis Staff has neglected the folks of Mostar because here it is six days

22 later and the HVO is having to at least establish a Special Purpose

23 Council to carry out the functions that the Crisis Staff should have

24 carried out perhaps long before this -- this period.

25 A. Yes. You could understand it in that way, but I wouldn't agree

Page 2807

1 with you.

2 Q. Okay. Now, the HVO was entrusted with protecting the city,

3 protecting the citizens, and fending back the JNA and the aggressors,

4 right?

5 Q. And in doing so obviously they would need resources; correct?

6 A. Absolutely.

7 Q. They would need to look to the municipality, to the Crisis Staff,

8 or perhaps to a non-existent Executive Council to provide them at least

9 with the necessary resources to carry out the task that was given to them

10 by the Crisis Staff; correct?

11 A. That's correct. Could you just show me a document that they

12 addressed to the Crisis Staff, however, with such request? I would be

13 grateful if you could do this.

14 Q. I agree with you on that, but then again you must show me a

15 document where the Crisis Staff establish an Executive Council. Because

16 again, if we could go back - and I don't want to be critical - but if the

17 Crisis Staff was established back in February 15, 1992, as a result of a

18 crisis, and here it is April 29 we have a decision, and then as late as

19 May 7th still there is no Executive Council, you would agree with me at

20 least there is a need -- there is a need for a Special Purpose Council,

21 especially - especially - when the town is in essence in flames, is

22 burning.

23 A. I'd like to tell you about how I perceive these events. It's not

24 as if we didn't have any resources, you know. With this decision, we

25 would just verify to confirm all the functions that were essential in

Page 2808

1 order to make sure that the town was supplied and secure, but throughout

2 the entire period of the Crisis Staff's activities, certain things

3 functioned properly.

4 Q. I agree with you. And certain things were lacking, and certain

5 things were needed; right?

6 A. [No interpretation].

7 Q. Okay. And we can argue about the establishment of the Special

8 Purpose Council, but you in fact, sir, indicated that what it was tasked

9 to do was vital and necessary under the circumstances. Okay.

10 A. Correct.

11 THE INTERPRETER: And could the witness please speak up when

12 answering the questions.


14 Q. You have to speak up a little bit. You have a very soft voice.

15 A. Very well.

16 Q. Now, just to remind ourselves, this is May 7th. The next document

17 that we looked at yesterday was dated May 15, 1992, and -- and this is

18 P 00209.

19 Now, we have it in the system, however, I would kindly request to

20 put the -- a cleaner copy in your language on the ELMO, because I think

21 the preamble is hard to read. Perhaps with this clean copy, and of course

22 if it -- first we'll look at it. We'll see if it is a true and accurate

23 copy, if it reflects that which it is supposed to reflect, and then I'll

24 ask you some questions.

25 Okay. Now, if you could look at it, sir. Look at it carefully

Page 2809

1 and tell us whether that is the same document that we talked about

2 yesterday, the one that was signed by Jadran Topic. This was the order

3 disbanding the Crisis Staff.

4 A. I think so.

5 Q. Okay. And would you agree with me at least that at least the copy

6 I provided you - not that I want to take any particular credit - but at

7 least mine is a little bit more readable and you'll be able to at least

8 help us out here. Right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. All right. Having said that, perhaps you could glance at it. And

11 I don't want to go into it in great detail because we'll be able to read

12 it and hopefully we'll have it translated, because I see the English

13 translation is lacking, certain words being illegible, it's fair to say

14 that this preamble, does it not, sir, give us sort of a historical

15 context, a background of what preceded?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Okay. Now -- and so from this preamble we can see that at least

18 at the state level and, even somewhat at the local level, there is an

19 understanding and perhaps an appreciation that there is a dangerous

20 situation that needs to be rectified and that as a result the HVO has

21 taken it upon themselves to disband the Crisis Staff and to more or less

22 take over the activities; correct?

23 A. I don't know what you base such an assumption on.

24 Q. All right. Well, remember we started with -- we started with

25 Mr. Pejanovic. May 11th to May 13th he was talking about. And we talked

Page 2810

1 about right around this period of time, because this is May 15th, we

2 talked about people having to swim the Neretva, rather fast and cold body

3 of water, as they're trying to escape from east to west. And it's within

4 this context.

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. That's what I'm talking about. So at least you could -- we could

7 agree that one would appreciate the urgency in the situation in trying to

8 establish some sort of working order in Mostar under these most difficult

9 circumstances; correct?

10 A. Very well.

11 Q. All right. And as I understand it, sometime in June, unlike what

12 the Prosecutor said yesterday that the JNA left, they were chased out;

13 right?

14 A. Very well.

15 Q. They were chased out by the HVO and others.

16 A. Yes, I agree with that.

17 Q. Okay. Now, I want to make sure that there's no misunderstanding

18 on one point, and perhaps I'm the cause of this confusion. At the state

19 level at this particular point in time, at the state level, BiH, such as

20 it was, there is no military force to speak of, is there? There's no, you

21 know, JNA, you know, for BiH; right?

22 A. No.

23 Q. All we have are Territorial Defences; right?

24 A. That's right.

25 Q. And in some places, as in Mostar, for instance, first the weapons

Page 2811

1 were siphoned out by the JNA, and virtually these municipalities were left

2 to fend for themselves, to try to protect themselves. So in other words,

3 there's nothing that they can look at in Sarajevo. They may be able to

4 send a telegram to say here is the list of people we're appointing, but in

5 essence Sarajevo can't do anything for Mostar at this period of time;

6 right?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. Okay. And in fact, that is why -- that is why you reach out on

9 April 29th to the HVO to help out, and indeed they do help out; right?

10 A. Right.

11 Q. Okay. Good. Now, I just have a couple of -- a couple of other

12 matters, very quickly. More like a point of clarification, if anything.

13 Yesterday -- yesterday you were reminded by the Prosecution of a

14 particular document. It was a conclusion -- it was a conclusion from the

15 Herzegovina Regional Community, topical regional community meeting that

16 was held on 12 November, 1991. Do you recall that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You attended that -- you attended that meeting. You attended the

19 meeting.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And by the way, I'm speaking of 1D 00487. Now, I've been to some

22 of these meetings. Not party meetings, but I've been to similar kind of

23 meetings where normally a sheet is passed around for all the participants

24 to write their names and maybe even sign their names so we know who was

25 all at the meeting; right?

Page 2812

1 A. Right.

2 Q. And the fact that you've signed in that you were present doesn't

3 necessarily mean that that signature carries any weight with respect to

4 any conclusions that were found or purported to have been found later on;

5 right?

6 A. That's a correct interpretation.

7 MR. KARNAVAS: If you'd put the third page on the ELMO for the

8 signatures.

9 Q. Now, if -- if -- okay. Now, the way -- okay. And that's your

10 signature, by the way, we were talking about, number 22?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. Okay. And all this signature means --

13 MR. KARNAVAS: And, Madam Usher, you can just relax. I don't

14 think I'll need you any more for right now.

15 Q. But that signature, all it reflects is that you were present;

16 right?

17 A. Right.

18 Q. Okay. Now, normally the meetings that I attend to similar to

19 these sorts of meetings, the first thing that happens is you might have a

20 discussion on whether you're going to adopt the minutes of the previous

21 meeting; correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And that's to make sure that when a conclusion or minutes are

24 drafted later on, post-meeting, that those who might agree to it have an

25 opportunity to read it, analyse it, and make sure before they say yes or

Page 2813

1 no that they know exactly what they're agreeing to or not agreeing to;

2 correct?

3 A. That's correct.

4 THE INTERPRETER: And could the witness again be asked to speak up

5 because the interpreter is having difficulty in hearing his answers.

6 Thank you.


8 Q. You have to speak up, all right?. Don't be shy around here.

9 We're all friends.

10 A. I didn't deny that.

11 Q. No, I know that. Now, the last thing I want to point out is this:

12 You're -- assuming you didn't agree to these conclusions, can we also not

13 assume that none of these names that are on this piece of paper

14 necessarily agree or disagree with these conclusions, based on the

15 signature itself on the sign-up sheet?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. Okay. And so -- and I don't want to give away anything because

18 we'll have to wait for other witnesses to come, it might be that we have

19 to wait to see what other documents are generated after this particular

20 meeting to see what, if any, of these conclusions were actually adopted or

21 proposed, adopted, and implemented; right?

22 A. Right.

23 Q. Okay.

24 A. And we shall also see who signed them.

25 Q. Exactly. Exactly. Okay. Sir, I want to thank you very, very

Page 2814

1 much. I hope it wasn't too painful.

2 A. You're welcome.

3 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm reminded, Mr. President, I'm supposed to

4 introduce some documents. There are three documents --

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Do so but rapidly, please.

6 MR. KARNAVAS: 1D 00487, 494, 495. Thank you, Mr. President and

7 Your Honours.

8 Thank you, sir.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.

11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. [In

12 English] The following exhibits are therefore tendered and admitted today

13 with the following references: 1D 00487, 1D 00494, and 1D 00495. Thank

14 you, Mr. President.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Kovacic, I forgot to

16 mention the photographs.

17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wanted to save time

18 and do this at the end. I also suggest the photographs be given an IC

19 number, and I'll provide the registrar with a CD and hard copy of the

20 photographs, that they can be integrated in the system. Thank you.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And there are no documents you

22 want to deal with?

23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No. We have no other documents.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, could

25 you deal with the IC number for the photographs.

Page 2815

1 THE REGISTRAR: The bundle of photographs presented today will

2 bear the reference IC 00021. Thank you.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's have the next

4 Defence team now, then.

5 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:

6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gagro, good morning to you. My name is Vesna

7 Alaburic, attorney from Zagreb, and here I'm Defence counsel for General

8 Milivoj Petkovic.

9 My questions will require a little less time than my colleagues

10 because we've clarified many issues, but before I go ahead with my first

11 question, I'd like us to clear up one of your questions which was recorded

12 on page 12 of the transcript, lines 12 to 16. When Mr. Kovacic showed you

13 photographs from the publication, Uziteit [phoen], you were asked what

14 that publication was and it says here that urbicide occurred after the

15 Yugoslav army had left town. That's what the record says. Now, can you

16 explain to us -- explain this to us? Did you mean that the book was

17 compiled after the army had left Mostar and the book contains photographs

18 of buildings which were destroyed by the Yugoslav army?

19 A. Well, I don't know who interpreted this otherwise, but that's the

20 fact as it says. Urbicide is a document compiled after the Yugoslav army

21 was expelled from Mostar.

22 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, at the time when you were performing

23 your functions in Mostar, did you ever meet General Milivoj Petkovic?

24 A. No, I didn't. I can say unfortunately I didn't have the pleasure

25 of meeting him.

Page 2816

1 Q. Well, during the time that you had -- were going about your

2 functions, did you ever hear of General Milivoj Petkovic?

3 A. No. Although I like the name, and I assume you know why.

4 Q. I can well believe that. Now, in view of the fact that you didn't

5 know my client nor did you hear about him during the material time, the

6 time you're telling us about, I'm going to ask you a few questions because

7 I do consider that your knowledge and experience will help us clarify

8 certain parts of the indictment. So I'm just going to make a short

9 introductory address and say that in the indictment and the counts against

10 our clients, it says, first and foremost, that the Croatian Community of

11 Herceg-Bosna was proclaimed by extremist nationalist elements of the HDZ

12 of the BiH, and then it goes on to say that with the establishment of the

13 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna a joint criminal enterprise started of

14 ethnic cleansing and aiding and abetting ethic cleansing of the Muslims,

15 and then it goes on to say that in the joint criminal enterprise members

16 of the municipal members of the organs of power and authority took part as

17 well as member of the HDZ, and all that beginning with November, 1991.

18 So since at that time you held prominent posts in the municipal

19 organs and were a member of the HDZ yourself, I'm going to ask you a few

20 questions in that regard.

21 You told us, and this was recorded yesterday on page 15, line 1,

22 of the transcript, that you supported the idea of a Herceg-Bosna; is that

23 correct?

24 A. Yes, that is correct.

25 Q. Now, do you consider yourself to be an extreme nationalist of the

Page 2817

1 HDZ?

2 A. No, I don't.

3 Q. Would you agree with me when I say that the idea of a Herceg-Bosna

4 was supported by all members of the HDZ?

5 A. Absolutely correct.

6 Q. Would you also agree with me when I put it to you that the idea of

7 Herceg-Bosna was supported by plebiscite by all Croats living in the areas

8 of the municipalities that are associated into Herceg-Bosna?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, in view of the fact that the political party, the

11 Croatian Democratic Union in the indictment in a certain way is said to be

12 an organisation which gave shape to some criminal enterprise, and you were

13 a member of that political party, I'm going to ask you to comment parts of

14 the statute of the Croatian Democratic Union, and may we have the document

15 on e-court. The Prosecution number is 00013. P 00013. And could it be

16 shown -- could we see pages 2 and 3. Pages 2 and 3, and the page begins

17 with the purpose for the establishment of the Croatian Democratic Union of

18 BH. May we have page 2 displayed, please.

19 Perhaps it would be simpler if we were to place the document on

20 the ELMO. May we have the technical booth's assistance. Pages 2 and 3 we

21 need. Thank you, here we have it.

22 In Article 10 of the statute, point 10.1. It says the following,

23 that the HDZ, among other things, will strive for the embodiment of

24 statehood and sovereignty of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

25 Is that so? Was that how it was, Mr. Gagro?

Page 2818

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. In point 10.5, it says that the Croatian Democratic Community will

3 strive for the linking up and inclusion of Bosnia-Herzegovina into the

4 European Community of Associated Nations.

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. On the next page, page 3 --

7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they do not have the

8 English version of this document.

9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. So we're looking at page 3, point 10.8, which is rather a lengthy

11 point, but there are certain sections which I consider to be very

12 important, so I'll read them out. It says the following: "The HDZ of BiH

13 will endeavour to implement its programme in a legal manner, proposing

14 constitutional, legal, and socio-political changes for the faster

15 emergence from the crisis and the gradual implementation of full

16 parliamentary democracy. The HDZ-BiH is resolutely in favour of including

17 -- having BiH included into the European Community and the modern

18 integration of the world. Everything must be done along those lines to

19 have BiH take part in the Alpe-Adria community and that that should be as

20 efficacious as possible and demand that BiH be accepted into the union of

21 European Regions, ARE. All efforts and goals of the HDZ-BiH should be

22 geared towards realising the social -- to realising social freedoms and

23 justice, morals and work, especially the happiness and well-being of all

24 peoples -- of all people without any differences who consider BiH to be

25 their homeland.

Page 2819

1 Q. Was that how it was, Mr. Gagro?

2 A. Yes, and it was on this basis that we in fact compiled this

3 document, and that's why I supported it.

4 Q. Tell us, please, on the basis of this statute and programmes and

5 principles of this kind, would it be proper to conclude that the political

6 party known as the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina fully wished to see a

7 sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina as a member on an equal footing of

8 international associations and the international community in general?

9 A. Yes, we said that clearly through our statute and you've just read

10 that out.

11 Q. Thank you very much. Could you tell us, please, Mr. Gagro,

12 whether today in Bosnia-Herzegovina political discussions are being held

13 about a unitary set-up for the country?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Tell us, is one of the options for a unitary establishment and

16 organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina one of them?

17 A. That is one of them.

18 Q. Would one of the solutions be the existence of three national

19 entities?

20 A. That is one of the variants as well, yes.

21 Q. And is there a third option, to retain the present solution with

22 two entities?

23 A. There are solutions of that kind being bandied about as well.

24 Q. Is there another solution linked to a proposal from Republika

25 Srpska to follow the example of Montenegro and organise a referendum, one

Page 2820

1 of the options too?

2 A. That is the latest one, the latest option. And the Serbs having

3 lost Montenegro are proposing that option and exerting pressure on the

4 international community to give some thought to that about Kosovo, a

5 solution for Kosovo, which is looming on the horizon.

6 Q. Thank you very much. Now, tell us, all these concepts, all these

7 options for an internal structure of the country, are discussions being

8 held quite openly about all those as variations, the pros and cons being

9 stressed?

10 A. Yes, absolutely. But I think that the situation in the HDZ is

11 seeming to loom up again in the same relationships that existed before

12 this unfortunate conflict, and today too we have divergencies within the

13 HDZ itself over a concept of a solution for the future, that is to say how

14 Bosnia Herzegovina should be established and organised in the future.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly be asked to slow down,

16 please, and make pauses between question and answer, thank you, for the

17 benefit of one and all.

18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Not only in the countries of the former Yugoslavia but in other

20 countries too, is it usual that within one political party there are

21 different views of one and the same problem?

22 A. Yes, that is correct. That's the democratic principle, yes.

23 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, Mr. Gagro - and this was recorded on page

24 48 of the transcript, lines 9 to 11 - there was just one sentence in which

25 you mentioned the contribution of the Bosniaks in raising tensions in

Page 2821

1 Mostar and the entire region as well, and you mentioned that it was only

2 later that you happened to learn that the Bosniaks, too, or, rather, the

3 Muslims at that time, tried to organise themselves and realise some of

4 their goals. Can you clarify what you meant?

5 A. Well, it's like this: Just as we Croats in the HDZ before, and

6 today, too, had differences of opinion and divergent opinions about the

7 political rules and policy to be pursued within a party and in discussions

8 amongst parties, so also the Bosniak side had different options which were

9 not only always unanimously accepted. That is why I said that their

10 options were not always the same and supported by one and all.

11 Q. Could you be a little more precise and tell us what those options

12 were and who the protagonists of those options were, ones which did not

13 contribute to co-existence between the Muslims and Croats?

14 A. Well, I can tell you quite openly, Mr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic, who

15 was president of the Regional Board of the SDA of Mostar was a member of

16 the Crisis Staff, our Crisis Staff. However, the replacement of the

17 Crisis Staff meant that Mr. Hadziosmanovic was replaced too, and the new

18 temporary government - let me put it that way because I don't know what it

19 was actually called - accepted and took in other Bosniaks without the

20 original Bosniaks, the Bosniaks who had originally participated and been

21 members of the Crisis Staff. So that would be an answer to your question.

22 Q. I'm not sure I followed you there. Did you mean to say that

23 Mr. Hadziosmanovic was somebody who was an extremist and opposed to

24 cooperation?

25 A. No; quite the contrary. He was very cooperative. Yes, he was

Page 2822

1 very cooperative until the situation escalated, and he had opponents for

2 other options, and that's why they endeavoured to eliminate him.

3 Q. Can you name the people who were opponents to Mr. Hadziosmanovic?

4 A. Well, I don't think I would like to name the people and enter into

5 these inter-party debates.

6 Q. Thank you. That's all from me, Mr. Gagro.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Just a very brief question

8 following on from what you said a moment ago. You said that you regretted

9 not having met General Petkovic and that Mr. -- you had sympathies for

10 Mr. Petkovic. Could you explain those sentiments. You mentioned some

11 sentiments that you had with respect to Mr. Petkovic.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said referred to the fact

13 that we had the same name. So that's why I felt this affinity towards

14 him. We have the same name. But this is the first time I see

15 Mr. Petkovic, here today in the courtroom.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel Alaburic.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.

18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but

19 just one slight intervention with respect to the transcript. On page 60,

20 line 1, I think there was -- the answer was mistakenly recorded about some

21 topical relationships within the HDZ, so that in line 3 of that answer on

22 page 60, it says: "[In English] ... today too we have divergent SIS

23 within the HDZ ..." [No interpretation]. [Interpretation] It's been

24 recorded as SIS, S-I-S, which is a secret service, intelligence service.

25 That's wrong.

Page 2823

1 THE INTERPRETER: It's not SIS, it's divergencies, the plural,

2 interpreter's note.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, would you like to

4 tender any documents? The statute and the HDZ document, would you like to

5 have that tendered? And there are several articles within that statute.

6 You were referring to just certain parts, beginning with Article 8. We

7 don't have articles 8 to 7 -- 1 to 7.

8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It's like this, Your Honour: The

9 statute was adopted as Prosecution Exhibit P 00013 and we already

10 discussed it. We discussed it when we listened to expert witness

11 Mr. Donia.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So that document is

13 already in evidence, and the number is P 13. Thank you.

14 The next Defence counsel.

15 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

16 Cross-examination by Mr. Jonjic:

17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Gagro, I'm going to be asking

18 you several questions as Defence counsel for Mr. Valentin Coric.

19 Yesterday during your testimony, and today too, in describing the

20 situation in Mostar at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992, you said

21 that the situation was fairly chaotic as far as the functioning of the

22 town was concerned.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You also mentioned that the level of destruction of the town was

25 considerable, and I'm talking about destruction during the Greater Serbia

Page 2824

1 occupation or occupation by the Yugoslav People's Army and the struggle of

2 the town to defend itself and become liberated.

3 A. Exact -- that's exact.

4 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] May we see document 5D now 01091. If

5 we don't have it in the e-court, then perhaps we can put it on the

6 overhead projector.

7 Q. Do you see that document, Mr. Gagro? You can probably see it in

8 its entirety, and we can all see it partially. This is a comment of

9 General Perisic of 19 of April, 1992, which instructs the artillery units

10 of the Yugoslav army to shell targets in the city; is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Tell me, the targets which are indicated here under item 2 are in

13 fact civilian targets. These are parts of the city.

14 A. Can you be more specific?

15 Q. Cim, Ilici?

16 A. Yes; Cim, Ilici, Donji Brijeg, Bijeli Brijeg, Donja Mahala.

17 Q. These are city sections?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Tell me, the 19th of April was Easter according to the new

20 calendar, it was the Catholic Easter. Do you remember that the shelling

21 took place on that Easter day?

22 A. There have been so many instances of shelling that I really

23 couldn't tell whether it was Easter or any other day for that matter.

24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell me, at that time in that period,

25 which is to say March and April, 1992, as the Crisis Staff president you

Page 2825

1 met on a number of occasions with UNPROFOR representatives, did you not?

2 A. Yes, I did.

3 Q. These meetings with UNPROFOR, however, did not yield much fruit,

4 so that on the 29th of April a decision was adopted whereunder the Crisis

5 Staff was entrusting the HVO with the defence of the city; right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. One of the signatories of that document is Dr. Ismet

8 Hadziosmanovic as well?

9 A. Yes, he is.

10 Q. Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic at that time was the president of the

11 city organisation, the municipal organisation of the SDA of Mostar?

12 A. I suppose also of the regional one.

13 Q. The regional one as well, okay.

14 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Can the registrar please display on

15 the ELMO document 5D 01092, please. We can't see it in electronic form,

16 but we can physically display it, show it to you. We have the English

17 translation as well.

18 Q. Mr. Gagro, in the short period did you manage to see what this is

19 about, this short time? This is Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic who introduces

20 himself as a member of the Crisis Staff, addressing the citizens of Mostar

21 precisely on that date, the 29th of April, 1992.

22 A. Yes. This clearly speaks about the decision that we signed.

23 Q. So this is Dr. Hadziosmanovic commenting on Radio Mostar the

24 reasons for the adoption of that decision.

25 A. Yes, and explaining to the public why it was adopted.

Page 2826

1 Q. Yes. If you look at page 1, halfway down the middle, you will see

2 that he explains also the differences in the ways that -- in the response

3 of the Muslims and the response of the Croats to the occupation of Mostar.

4 Can you find that?

5 A. Yes, I read it.

6 Q. So it is a fact that the Croatian people was aware that this would

7 indeed happen one day, whereas the Muslims didn't have a clue.

8 A. Yes, they were aware, because they participated together with us

9 in the city structures given the situation that obtained and the

10 organisation of the Muslims at that time.

11 Q. So we can describe Mr. Hadziosmanovic at that time as the leader

12 of the most influential and strongest Muslim party?

13 A. In the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, yes.

14 Q. So in this statement that he read out on Radio Mostar he actually

15 acknowledged that the Muslims were unprepared for what had befallen them?

16 A. Yes, that is a fact.

17 Q. Thank you. If you look at page 2 of this statement or, rather, of

18 this communique for the public, Dr. Hadziosmanovic comments on the

19 position of the Territorial Defence. As yesterday and today we referred

20 to it repeatedly, do -- are we agreed, Mr. Gagro, that Dr. Hadziosmanovic,

21 in the fourth and fifth line of page 2, refers to the JNA as the political

22 and military aggressor and a part of the armed formations which are

23 subsumed under the concept of the TO?

24 A. Yes. This is the Territorial Defence that was --

25 Q. Inherited, you mean inherited.

Page 2827

1 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please not overlap.

2 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Because this is the Territorial Defence which was inherited from

4 the Yugoslav system and was predominantly, do we agree, in Serbian hands,

5 therefore the leadership was predominantly Serbian?

6 A. If we are talking about the Mostar TO, it was not.

7 Q. No, generally speaking.

8 A. Well, generally speaking --

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will both of you please slow

10 down. Please.

11 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreters also add and also pause.

12 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. I'm talking about the republican level of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

14 A. I think that requires a broader explanation. Based on the method

15 for the Territorial Defence of Mostar employed for it, we expect that that

16 was the model which was applied to the entire territory of Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina. We in the Territorial Defence had a command that was of

18 Croat and Serbian and Bosniak composition, and at the moment the

19 reservists arrived, and perhaps even before that, I'm not quite certain at

20 this point, the General Staff of the Yugoslav army simply excluded from

21 the Territorial Defence and its command all non-Serb staff.

22 Q. Thank you very much.

23 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Can we perhaps now see in e-court

24 document 5D 01094. If we do not manage to see it in e-court, then again

25 we can see it physically. We can see it this time either -- please, can

Page 2828

1 we see it physically. And I apologise for this type of technical

2 functioning.

3 Q. This, Mr. Gagro, is a quite short excerpt from the book by General

4 Stjepan Siber. Tell me, he is a general of the army of B and H?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can we have the next page. Of course this is the first, the cover

7 page of the book, and on the next page the highlighted section describes

8 the ethnic composition of the republican staff of the Territorial Defence,

9 does it not?

10 A. Yes, it does.

11 Q. And it notes that this was the way it was. Would you please read

12 it out.

13 A. "50 per cent of Serbs -- 60 per cent of Serbs, 30 per cent of

14 Muslims, and around 10 per cent of Croats."

15 Q. Continue.

16 A. "Personal staff and financial departments with 100 per cent

17 Serbians, there could be no talk about a national parity or the equality

18 of the representation of the peoples."

19 Q. What does it say about the structure of the Territorial Defence of

20 the republican level?

21 A. First of all, it confirms what I said about Mostar and its set-up.

22 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, on page 48 of the transcript, you referred

23 to the fact that analogously to what in your view was the HVO, actually

24 the Muslims follow suit in their action, the Bosniaks, and you say that

25 they too had some sort of a temporary interim government; is that correct?

Page 2829

1 A. I -- I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch your drift. What government

2 are you referring to and in what period?

3 Q. In mid-1992.

4 A. After the expulsion of the Yugoslav People's Army.

5 Q. Yes. Did the Muslim side on the east bank, on the east side of

6 Mostar which was still functioning as a unified undivided city because

7 there were no conflicts between the Croats and the Muslims as yet, did the

8 Muslim party form any special separate bodies?

9 A. I have to clarify. As the Croatian Defence Council had already

10 well advanced in its organisation, the -- we pushed the Bosniak side to

11 actually expedite its own organisation. We didn't insist to have

12 individuals directly engaged in HVO forces. We asked them to define their

13 army -- military structure organisationally and that it should be within

14 the HVO. And while the HDZ was still functioning, they managed to -- to

15 set up a battalion, and that was a big thing. And perhaps an even

16 different type of unit but, being no military expert, I cannot enter into

17 their military structure.

18 Q. So it was the 15th of May, 1992, that you were relieved of your

19 duty and divested of all your powers?

20 A. Yes, and of all my burdens.

21 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Will the registrar please try to show

22 us document 5D 01093. We will have to display it on the ELMO again.

23 Q. Mr. Gagro, this is a document which says the Crisis Staff of

24 Mostar Municipality on the top; right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2830

1 Q. We don't know who signed it, but obviously the date is the 15th of

2 May, 1992, precisely the date I referred to?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. The date on which you were relieved of your duties?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can you explain, please, what does this mean, the end of this

7 first sentence, "... and inform the Crisis Staff of the TO of actions

8 taken" ? Does this mean that there was a separate TO Crisis Staff?

9 A. Probably this formal one, this Territorial Defence that was -- and

10 of course I'm only making an assumption because I see this document for

11 the first time now, but the association that I have is that it was after

12 all accepted that -- that the commander and his team, the Territorial

13 Defence commander and team, were still formally functioning.

14 Q. Excuse me. I failed to comprehend. The Crisis Staff of the

15 municipality is one thing and the Crisis Staff of the TO is another thing.

16 A. Yes. No such concept existed. Someone made use of that. I

17 really fail to see.

18 Q. Do you perhaps recognise the signature?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Apart from yourself, was anyone else authorised to sign a document

21 on behalf of the Crisis Staff?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Can you rule out the possibility --

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is a stamp on the

25 document. It says the Mostar -- it says Crisis Staff, Mostar 1. Is this

Page 2831

1 a stamp that you used when you were at the head of the Crisis Staff?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't. No.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've never used this stamp?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

5 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Thank you. Can you rule out the possibility for this to be an

7 organisational governmental form installed by the Bosniak Muslim side?

8 A. Well, I can assume, because of the name indicated here, Arif

9 Hadziosmanovic, and I don't know who that is.

10 Q. Thank you very much. Yesterday and today, Mr. Gagro, we saw a

11 document on the appointment of the Special Purpose Council which has 13

12 members, with Jadran Topic actually appointing the 13 members of that

13 council, and we saw that there were five Muslims among them. You yourself

14 said that one of them was Mr. Jaganjac who was the only one who did not

15 come from Mostar, but you knew him. So you said so.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you. Today, we saw that -- the Defence team of Mr. Prlic

18 actually showed you a document where the commander of the Territorial

19 Defence of Mostar appoints his aides. That is the document of the 15th.

20 A. Yes.

21 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Can the registrar please show us that

22 document. This is 1D 00495. I think we had it in electronic form and

23 we'll be able to see in that form again now.

24 Q. There, Mr. Gagro, we saw that the Special Purpose Council, that

25 five Muslims had been appointed to that council.

Page 2832

1 A. That is without a doubt.

2 Q. Well, if we can see that document, if we manage to have it

3 shown ...

4 Among these first seven people who have some commanding or leading

5 roles, tell me, are there any non-Muslims among these first seven?

6 A. No.

7 Q. So they're all Muslims?

8 A. That is correct.

9 Q. Thank you very much. And I only have a last question for you, a

10 concluding one. Today, to questions by the Defence team for General

11 Praljak, by Mr. Kovacic, you were shown numerous photographs and you

12 referred to a book called "The Urbicide of Mostar."

13 A. "The Urbicide of the City of Mostar."

14 Q. "The Urbicide of the City of Mostar." Tell me, in this -- this

15 book contains documents about the devastation of the city by the Yugoslav

16 army and its associated forces, the Chetniks, et cetera.

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. Tell me, was this book a joint Croato-Muslim project, in

19 cooperation?

20 A. Yes, it was.

21 Q. And was this book -- is -- has it been -- does it document in an

22 authentic fashion the extent of devastation?

23 A. There is no reason to either conceal or simplify that. It does.

24 Q. Thank you. And a final question: Was this book sold over the

25 counter or could it be obtained in other ways?

Page 2833

1 A. I don't know that.

2 Q. Thank you very much.

3 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further

4 questions. And can we tender the documents shown to the witness under

5 numbers 5D 01091, 01092, 01093.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Registrar.

7 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. 01094. Thank you.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. President. Those exhibits will therefore be

10 tendered and admitted under the following references: 5D 01091, 5D 0092

11 [sic], 5D 00 -- sorry, 01093, and 5D 01094. Thank you.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Ibrisimovic.

13 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

14 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. One correction. When

15 listing the documents, a number was omitted. The second exhibit should be

16 01092. The number 1 was omitted. It's page 72, line 19. And in line 20

17 we have an additional number: It should be 5D 01094. Number 6 has been

18 added.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. That's correct.

20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I

21 just have a few questions I'd like to clarify certain matters.

22 Cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:

23 Q. [Interpretation] I think Mr. Jonjic has already addressed this

24 matter but, Mr. Gagro, a minute ago you saw an order shown to you by

25 Mr. Coric's Defence team. It's an order from General Perisic. He ordered

Page 2834

1 that civilian targets in Mostar should be shelled; is that correct?

2 A. Yes. It's not only that he wrote this for his units. He also

3 contacted us over the phone and said, "You'll now be put underground."

4 Q. My colleague mentioned the date 19th of April, 1992, and you then

5 said that there were so many of them that I couldn't remember them all.

6 So my impression was that shelling was very frequent or done on a daily

7 basis.

8 A. Almost on a daily basis, so we were happy when we could fall

9 asleep.

10 Q. After the JNA or the Yugoslav army - call it as you will - was

11 driven out of Mostar, from the direction of Podvelezje was Mostar shelled

12 in 1992 and was this continued in 1993?

13 A. Yes, but it wasn't shelled as intensively as when there was

14 fighting in Mostar itself. They tried to take the town by surprise to

15 maximise the consequences of their shelling.

16 Q. Mr. Gagro, did you witness the fact that General Perisic ordered

17 that Mostar and other towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina should be bombed by the

18 air force?

19 A. Yes. A helicopter squad was sent in to launch missiles at the

20 Franciscan church in Mostar.

21 Q. Did you notice that Yugoslav planes bombed Mostar?

22 A. I don't know whether they used planes to bomb Mostar. I think

23 that they would use artillery more frequently. Land -- land-based

24 weapons.

25 Q. Just one correction to the transcript. Page 73, line 20. It

Page 2835

1 hasn't been recorded that the bombing of Mostar was also carried out -- or

2 the shelling of Mostar was also carried out from the direction of

3 Podvelezje.

4 With regard to the shelling or bombing, on such occasions were

5 buildings in Mostar destroyed? I'm referring to JNA bombing and shelling.

6 A. Yes, we have seen photographs, but it was difficult for us to talk

7 about this. I didn't want to pre-judge anything, but it's true that the

8 damage was extensive as a result of the army shelling.

9 Q. In the course of such shelling were there human casualties on both

10 sides of the river?

11 A. Absolutely.

12 Q. Yesterday in the course of your testimony you mentioned a place

13 called Uburak. Do you know where that is?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Is it in the vicinity of Mostar?

16 A. Yes, it's in the immediate vicinity.

17 Q. Would it be true to say that after the JNA was driven out of

18 Mostar a mass grave of Bosniaks and Croats was found?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Those people who, unfortunately, when the Serbian forces and JNA

21 launched an attack on Mostar, those people weren't able to cross over, to

22 flee to the western bank.

23 A. Unfortunately, an honest citizen in Mostar thought that there

24 should be mutual respect between citizens in Mostar. That's the attitude

25 they had. Unfortunately, it was a mistake to trust those who had come to

Page 2836

1 occupy us.

2 Q. When this mass grave was exhumed, it was established those people

3 had been killed.

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

6 Mr. President, I have no further questions.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To follow up on the questions

8 put to you, you said that General Perisic phoned you and said that you

9 would be destroyed. Did you answer the phone call?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. But he didn't say that we

11 would be destroyed. He said that we would be placed underground. That

12 means that if you want to survive, then you should dig in deep into the

13 ground.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And he carried out the shelling

15 after the phone call?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the document that was

18 presented a minute ago regarding the order on shelling, it says that they

19 were going to shell locations where there were fundamentalist paramilitary

20 forces. When you spoke to him on the phone, is that what he told you?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. But he called me an Ustasha,

22 and that said everything about the way in which he perceived us.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Praljak.

24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

25 Further cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:

Page 2837

1 Q. In the document that Mr. Jonjic has shown us, since the lawyers

2 are not soldiers, one thing was omitted. I'd like to ask the question --

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One minute, Mr. Praljak. You

4 said that the lawyers are not soldiers, but I assume that perhaps they

5 were soldiers before they came lawyers. Do continue.

6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

7 Q. General Perisic says that there would be three artillery hits on

8 Mostar. The first shelling would last for 70 minutes, the second shelling

9 120 minutes, the third one 40 minutes, a total of 230 minutes. Could you

10 show that document so that we can see this that just concerns that day,

11 and I would like to thank the Chamber.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We'll place the document

13 on the ELMO.

14 Yes. Have a look at the document. Mr. Praljak, put your question

15 to the witness.

16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation].

17 Q. Witness, under item 3, can you see what it says about the shelling

18 of Mostar? And "VU" means an artillery attack. Can you see that?

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

20 Q. Is it 70 minutes on the first occasion, 120 minutes on the second

21 occasion, and 40 minutes on the third occasion?

22 A. That's correct.

23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,

24 Mr. Gagro. Thank you, Your Honours.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. All Defence teams

Page 2838

1 have taken the floor. Ms. Nozica, I believe you haven't said anything.

2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Just for the sake of the transcript,

3 Your Honours, I would like to say thank you, but we have no questions for

4 Mr. Gagro.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

6 MR. KARNAVAS: An omission on my part, Your Honour. I had made

7 reference to a document, and I made reference to it as 3D 00275. That was

8 the decision on the proclamation of an immediate threat of war, and

9 perhaps we should give it a Defence number, 1D 00498. I'm told that's the

10 correct procedure. So I'm following my orders from my co-counsel.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.

12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. This document

13 will therefore be tendered and admitted under two different Defence

14 numbers, and this particular one will therefore be assigned the reference

15 1D 00498. Thank you.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Scott, any

17 re-examination?

18 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Before I do that, I would like to,

19 before it's forgotten again, to tender the exhibits from the direct

20 examination. I was again hoping to save time at the end of the day, but

21 -- on Monday, but let me please tender those exhibits. Exhibit P 00071,

22 P 00135, P 00157, P 00190, P 00199, P 00209, P 00219, and P 00221, Your

23 Honour.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.

25 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry.

Page 2839

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

2 MR. KOVACIC: I would object just one of those evidence. This is

3 P 00157. [Interpretation] I can back this up with arguments. This is the

4 article from the Croatian newspaper Vjesnik. This document has very

5 little probative value, if any, because according to the title of the

6 article, this article was drafted on the basis of a telephone conversation

7 that the journalist had with Boban in Mostar. The journalist was in

8 Zagreb and Boban was in Mostar.

9 Some witnesses have already said that the telephone lines were

10 practically down, and when the telephone lines functioned, the quality was

11 so bad that one wonders whether one can really speak about communication

12 or not. If you can't hear the question well and if you can't hear part of

13 the answer well, I don't think we can talk about communication in such

14 cases. I would say that this document has practically no probative value

15 at all, and I see no reason for admitting this document into evidence.

16 Thank you.

17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Before I hear what

19 Mr. Scott has to say, I note that we have the article that was published.

20 It was on Saturday, the 8th -- the 11th of April, 1992, that the article

21 was published, and it -- the transcript of a telephone conversation

22 between a journalist and Mr. Mate Boban. So that's what we know.

23 Mr. Scott.

24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, in the trial to date the Defence have put

25 in a number of newspaper articles. The witness commented on this article

Page 2840

1 and about Mr. Boban's characterisation of what had happened with the

2 Crisis Staff. What Mr. Kovacic says I must say is very creative, but

3 there's no evidence whatsoever that on the day that Mr. Boban was

4 interviewed that there was not a crystal clear line of communication

5 between Mr. Boban and the -- and the reporter, and to say otherwise is

6 pure speculation.

7 I think the document does have probative value, the witness

8 commented on it, and we stand by our offer of the exhibit.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges, who have discussed

10 the matter among themselves, believe that the Defence counsel hasn't

11 proved that there were communication difficulties when the journalist

12 spoke to Boban, and as a result we admit this document into evidence.

13 Admitting a document into evidence doesn't mean that when it comes

14 to the Judges' deliberations the document will be given probative value.

15 This document will be considered together with other documents, other

16 exhibits, and this doesn't mean that the Defence can't use other witnesses

17 or other documents to show that the contents of this article are false.

18 We have all the numbers are listed. Mr. Registrar, perform your duties,

19 please.

20 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... tendered and

21 admitted with today's date. These are: P 00071, P 00135, P 00157,

22 P 00190, P 00199, P 00209, P 00219, and P 00221. This completes the list.

23 Thank you, Mr. President.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott,

25 re-examination.

Page 2841

1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I have -- I do have, in light of the

2 questions that have been raised in cross, a number of questions for

3 redirect that I am sure that I cannot finish in the next seven minutes. I

4 would ask to be able to put these questions and prepare some additional

5 documents and present the questions at 4.00, please.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You haven't understood what I

7 said this morning. This morning I said that we could finish this morning.

8 We could continue working until 1.45 p.m. As a result, there would be no

9 hearing from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. So we could have our break now,

10 resume after the break and continue working until 1.45.

11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, we'll have our

13 break now. It's 12.20. We will have a 20-minute break, and we will

14 resume at 12.40, and we will have one more hour at our disposal.

15 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.

16 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.

18 Re-examination by Mr. Scott:

19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Gagro. Just a few questions following from

20 questions from Defence counsel. Sir, just to be clear, then, as I

21 understand your evidence as to most of the locations that were shown to

22 you by Mr. Kovacic this morning, you cannot be sure when the particular

23 destruction or damage shown in those photographs occurred, actually

24 occurred; is that correct?

25 A. No.

Page 2842

1 Q. It's correct that you cannot know -- sorry, the nature of the

2 question and answer, sir, I'm going to have to ask for some clarification.

3 You do not know the actual dates or times of the destruction or damage

4 shown; is that correct?

5 A. This is correct.

6 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, some of the various -- some of

7 the buildings, locations and structures, they were in and around the city

8 of Mostar. Were they hit or damaged on more than one occasion during the

9 period between 1991 and 1994?

10 A. A number of times. But if you insist upon a detail related to

11 destruction and damage, I have to mention that when it comes to the

12 destruction of the bridges, when they were destroyed this had

13 repercussions on the surrounding buildings; it affected the surrounding

14 buildings.

15 Q. Of course. And there are no -- I do not believe there's any

16 dispute about the bridges, if that assists everyone. So the photographs

17 that were shown to you today, if these photographs had been taken, say, in

18 1994 or 1995, or any time thereafter, these photographs would show the

19 cumulative damage or destruction to these buildings and locations; is that

20 correct?

21 A. Possibly.

22 Q. Now, sir, on whether you were the mayor of Mostar, you said at

23 page 23 of the transcript this morning, line 3, when these questions were

24 being put to you by Mr. Karnavas, he was asking you about the head of the

25 Municipal Board, and at that citation you said this man, however, "wasn't

Page 2843

1 given those competencies," but this part of your answer was not followed

2 up or explained. When you said that the head of the Municipal Board was

3 not given the competencies of the mayor, can you please explain that

4 further.

5 A. The president of the Municipal Board is not the correct term. The

6 President of the Executive Board. The concept of Executive Board, that is

7 something that could reflect the tasks of the board.

8 Q. Well, we can go back, if need be. Perhaps we can go back to page

9 23 of today's transcript.

10 I may have misspoken. You said -- I believe it does refer to --

11 let me make sure. Sorry. Let me find my reference. Yes. The reference

12 to Executive Board. You said in your testimony this morning when put --

13 questions were put to you about the head of the Executive Board, and then

14 your answer to that question was: "He -" this person - "wasn't given

15 those competencies." So I ask you again, can you please explain in what

16 way the head of the Executive Board was not given those competencies.

17 A. Well, in the sense of defining any decisions unless they were

18 verified by the Assembly.

19 Q. Sir, let me ask you this way: I don't know the word in your

20 language for mayor that might have been used, but when people during this

21 time, 1991, 1992, addressed you using your official title, how did they

22 address you?

23 A. President of the municipality.

24 Q. And was there any other person or position in the structure of the

25 governing authorities of Mostar municipality who would be considered the

Page 2844

1 mayor if not the president of the municipality?

2 A. According to our statute, there was no alternative.

3 Q. And you were the head or chief of the Mostar Crisis Staff from the

4 time of its creation until it was ordered disbanded on the 15th of May,

5 1992; is that correct?

6 A. I was president of the Crisis Staff.

7 Q. Were you the senior or top official, sir, of the Crisis Staff from

8 the time of its formation until 15 May, 1992?

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. Now, can you tell the Judges when the JNA or -- and/or the

11 Montenegrin forces arrived in the Mostar area on the 19th of September,

12 1991, what did they do?

13 A. The first thing they did was to enter and deploy - I've already

14 said that - partially around the airport, partially around the Heliodrom,

15 and partially around the North Camp.

16 Q. And when did they enter into and occupy more of the - excuse me -

17 the city of Mostar proper and the centre of town, if they did?

18 A. It wasn't straight away. It was a long time afterwards. It was a

19 checkmate position that we lived in. We lived in their presence,

20 alongside their presence, without any serious difficulties for a long

21 time.

22 Q. How long did that continue?

23 A. For about a month and a half to two months.

24 Q. Sir, you said in your testimony today at page 43, line 20, and in

25 fact you were proud that "for such a long time I managed us -- I managed

Page 2845

1 to avoid this conflict." For how long did you manage to avoid the

2 conflict, or to put it differently, when did the large-scale conflict or

3 the fighting with the JNA forces begin?

4 A. Well, after the 15th of February, or possibly the beginning of

5 March even. But for the most part, this coincided with the beginning of

6 an all-out war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

7 Q. And when was that, sir?

8 A. Well, I think that was the 7th of April. I think that could have

9 been there. I'm not quite sure.

10 Q. Sir, you're going to have to keep your voice up. Again you're

11 speaking very, very softly, and one can hardly hear you.

12 The 7th of April. So is it correct, sir, that you have not

13 intended today to give the Judges the impression that there was continuous

14 fighting between the 19th of September, 1991, and the 7th of April, 1992,

15 have you?

16 A. No. No. That was not my intention at all, because that's just

17 not true.

18 Q. So the questions that were put to you about when various steps

19 began to be taken to further organise things, to further organise the

20 Crisis Staff, to further take certain steps, this in fact involved a much

21 shorter window of time, didn't it, starting around -- only around the 7th

22 of April, 1992.

23 A. That's right. Our greatest problem was that they began to expand

24 their area of occupation. They passed through town. There was

25 provocation. Then they acted in such a way as to display their force and

Page 2846

1 might and everything that goes with that display of might and force. But

2 we didn't let ourselves be provoked, and we didn't enter into direct

3 clashes with them.

4 Q. Until when, sir?

5 A. Well, probably the date that we mentioned, the 7th of April.

6 Q. Now, can you tell the Judges when the new Territorial Defence of

7 Bosnia and Herzegovina was established. Not the Territorial Defence or TO

8 which existed under the JNA structure, but please tell the Judges when the

9 Territorial Defence of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina was first

10 established.

11 A. I didn't understand your question.

12 Q. Sir, do you recall that there had been something called the

13 Territorial Defence under the JNA structure? Is that correct?

14 A. Correct, yes.

15 Q. And once Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent state and

16 was recognised, when did Bosnia and Herzegovina establish a Territorial

17 Defence distinct from the old JNA Territorial Defence?

18 A. I don't think it was changed at all. I assume that it was,

19 according to the principle of each republic, creating its own Territorial

20 Defence, and it did not live through a transformation of any kind. Maybe

21 just in the commanding structures.

22 MR. SCOTT: Could I ask that the witness please be shown Exhibit

23 P 00150.

24 Q. Sir, if you can look at that document, please, and can you tell

25 the Chamber is that a document, a decision issued around the 8th of April,

Page 2847

1 1992, by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, establishing the

2 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And if I could ask you to please have the Exhibit 1D 00495

5 displayed.

6 If I can direct your attention, if you have that, sir, to the

7 first line starting after the first list of seven names. Do you see the

8 language where it says: "The following members of the old STO have

9 remained"? And directing your attention to the next line after the next

10 list of 13 names, does the document not also say: "The following members

11 of the old OK STO Territorial Defence Staff reported to this staff." Sir,

12 doesn't this document indicate, the document shown to you by the Defence,

13 that these are references to the old TO, or Territorial Defence, the one

14 that existed at the time before the TO created on the 8th of April, 1992?

15 A. Well, on the basis of this document, quite obviously there was

16 just a transformation that took place in the organisational sense, in the

17 structure and leadership of the Territorial Defence.

18 Q. Sir, as of April and May, 1992, the lawful government in

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina was the government of the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina

20 with its seat in Sarajevo; is that correct?

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. If you could direct your attention, please, to Exhibit P 00209.

23 For the registry's assistance.

24 If you have that, sir, I'm directing your attention -- if you

25 could please find --

Page 2848

1 A. I see that.

2 Q. -- toward the end of the first paragraph --

3 A. The Crisis Staff is being disbanded and all its --

4 Q. Before that, sir. Please, before that. If you look toward the

5 end of the first paragraph on that document, if you can find the language

6 that was pointed out to you before, it says: "Watching almost approvingly

7 the deployment of the Serbian and Montenegrin reserve forces." Can you

8 find that, please. Do you see that language?

9 A. I haven't found it because it's rather a poor copy to begin with,

10 fairly illegible.

11 Q. Perhaps the Defence copy could be used. If we could put that on

12 the ELMO, which I do agree is indeed a better copy.

13 All right, sir, again, just to assist you, if you can direct your

14 attention and find the language which says, I think it's towards the end

15 of the first paragraph, but perhaps the paragraph format has changed, but

16 language that says: "Watching almost approvingly the deployment of the

17 Serbian and Montenegrin reserve forces." And just when you see that

18 language --

19 A. Yes, I can see that. "Watching almost approvingly," and so on,

20 "strategic points above the town."

21 Q. Very well. Sir, do you agree that your Municipal Assembly and

22 your Crisis Staff was "watching almost approvingly the deployment of the

23 Serbian and Montenegrin reserve forces"?

24 A. Only if my efforts not to enter into a conflict with them is seen

25 as being approving or approvingly, then I can accept that.

Page 2849

1 Q. Sir, you were asked questions earlier today about whether you

2 supported the concept or the creation of something called a Croatian

3 Community of Herceg-Bosna, and before we end your testimony, I'd like to

4 give you a further opportunity. When you say you supported such a thing,

5 tell us about the form or nature or characteristics of a Croatian

6 Community that you personally, not somebody else, but that you supported.

7 What was your concept of this Croatian Community that you say you gave

8 your support to?

9 A. Not to tire the Judges, I would just like to refer to a document

10 that Mrs. Alaburic offered through the statute of the Croatian Democratic

11 Community of Herceg-Bosna where it states quite explicitly what the

12 programme and platform of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina is. I have

13 nothing to add or subtract from that, but if you want to hear my opinion,

14 then it was highlighted in one of the articles of the statute of the HDZ

15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina which I respect and acknowledge as the bases upon

16 which I built up my principles for approving the creation of a Croatian

17 Community of Herceg-Bosna.

18 MR. SCOTT: If counsel can assist us --

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Scott.

20 MR. SCOTT: There it is. If counsel could assist me. I don't --

21 did not note down the number of that exhibit when it was referred to.

22 Perhaps Ms. Alaburic could help me. The document she was referring to.

23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It was the statute of the Croatian

24 Democratic Community -- union, and the number is P 00013, and the exhibit

25 was admitted into evidence during the testimony and examination of expert

Page 2850

1 witness Mr. Donia.

2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you very much. I'm much obliged.

3 With the assistance of the registry, please, could you display to

4 the witness Exhibit P 00013.

5 Q. Now, sir, with that document in front of you can you please point

6 out the specific language that you say illustrates or reflects your view,

7 your view of a Croatian community that you gave your support to? And

8 again, sir, I specifically ask you to give your personal view and not the

9 view of anybody else. You say you gave your support to the creation of

10 something called a Croatian community. I want you to tell the Judges very

11 clearly the nature of such a community that you endorsed.

12 A. Well, then, could you find me the article which speaks about the

13 statutory provisions of the Croatian Democratic Community, the people in

14 charge of the screen and the exhibits and e-court, please, with their

15 assistance.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we'll have to go through

17 the articles, then, one by one. Can we scroll down the articles.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Down some more, please. Here we

19 are. 10.1, article 10.1. Can we stop there, please.

20 MR. SCOTT: All right. For the record so there's no dispute about

21 that, the article 10 -- section 10.1 says: "Ensuring the right to the

22 Croatian people to self-determination including the right to succeed and

23 achieving the statehood and sovereignty of the Republic of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina." Is that the language you're referring to, sir?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2851

1 Q. Now, my final question to you, sir, is: You also said this

2 morning - or perhaps it was this afternoon - that there was a plebiscite.

3 You said there was a plebiscite, at page 56, line 22. You said there was

4 a plebiscite to vote for and approve the creation of the Croatian

5 Community of Herceg-Bosna. Could you tell the Judges when that plebiscite

6 was held and who organised it.

7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't recall that being in the

8 record. Perhaps we could have a page and --

9 MR. SCOTT: Page 56, line 22, please. And if I could have the

10 assistance ...

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you read out what the record

12 says, please.


14 Q. Yes, I will. Question starting at line 21: "Would you also agree

15 with me when I put it to you that the idea of Herceg-Bosna was supported

16 by plebiscite by all Croats living in the areas of the municipalities that

17 are associated into Herceg-Bosna." And your answer, at line 24, was,

18 "Yes."

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Alaburic.

20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I thank my colleague Mr. Scott for

21 reading out that question, because there was an error in the translation.

22 I didn't ask about the support that was demonstrated through a plebiscite.

23 My words were plebiscitary support to the Croat populations. Plebiscitary

24 support. There plebiscitary is an adjective meaning unanimous, without

25 any opposition, whole-heartedly, by acclamation, or whatever other

Page 2852

1 synonyms you like to choose. So it wasn't actually a plebiscite that was

2 implemented, it was unanimous support to the idea of Herceg-Bosna by

3 almost all the Croats living in the area of the municipalities that were

4 unified into Herceg-Bosna.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the programme which related to

6 culture, cultural organisation, historical organisation, and so on.

7 That's what the decision to establish it stated, yes.

8 MR. SCOTT: I appreciate very much the clarification by counsel

9 which indeed is a bit of a different answer than what would have otherwise

10 been in the record.

11 Q. However, I still put my question to you because it's still been

12 represented that there was some sort of virtually universal expression of

13 support. So I'm just going to ask you, sir: Apart from what was said in

14 the transcript, was there ever any sort of a plebiscite or referendum in

15 which the people living in the territory claimed by the Croatian Community

16 of Herceg-Bosna could express their support and endorsement of that

17 concept and that entity in the same way that there was indeed a referendum

18 for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Was there any such

19 plebiscite or referendum; and if so, tell me when it was.

20 A. I don't think so, no.

21 MR. SCOTT: No further questions, Your Honour. Thank you very

22 much.

23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I have a few questions, unless you

24 have a few of your own.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just if it has to do with what

Page 2853

1 was just said during the re-examination, because redirect focuses on that.

2 Go ahead.

3 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree. I agree, Mr. President.

4 Further cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:

5 Q. First I'm going to go down the list. You're referred to as the

6 top official of the Crisis Staff. Again, doesn't that mean that you only

7 have one vote, just like everybody else, first among equals, nothing more

8 nothing less? Is that yes?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Okay. Secondly, just -- again, I -- and I apologise for having to

11 go over this ground again: You were the president of the Assembly.

12 That's a legislative body, not an executive body, like a mayor; correct?

13 A. Yes. But at that time, it wasn't defined in statutory terms that

14 way.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was going to ask you this

16 question, because it's something that concerns me too. With your leave,

17 we'll place Exhibit 135 on the ELMO, or we'll have it appear on the

18 screen. It's a meeting that wasn't held but the document was referred to.

19 There we have it.

20 So this is a document that you did not sign because you said you

21 weren't familiar with this document, but let's have a look at the

22 beginning of the document dated the 12th of March, 1992. It says that

23 pursuant to Article 139, et cetera - I'll skip that - but apparently 20

24 members of the Assembly contacted you on the 11th of March. It says that

25 for the 13th session of the Municipal Assembly -- well, it means that --

Page 2854

1 that means that there had already been 12 previous sessions. So the

2 Municipal Assembly of which you were the president was functioning because

3 at least 12 meetings had been held. So can you confirm that?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's correct. Very well.

6 Mr. Karnavas, a minute ago you asked the following: You said there's a

7 Municipal Assembly, and you're the president. Mr. Karnavas asked you if

8 you could say whether there was an Executive Board, and if there was,

9 according to Mr. Karnavas, this Executive Board also had a president, and

10 that would be the mayor in fact. You were the mayor of the Assembly, and

11 the Executive Board was the body that acted. Is that how things

12 functioned or not? During the 12 previous meetings, the 12 meetings that

13 preceded the 13th that was not held, was there an Executive Board in

14 existence?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And who was the president of the

17 Executive Board?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to find this. He was a

19 member of the Mostar Crisis Staff. His name was Ismet Bajric.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ismet Bajric. So he

21 was the president of the Executive Board. So was he in fact the mayor,

22 the person who implemented the decisions taken by the Assembly of which

23 you were the president?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. When was the Crisis Staff

Page 2855

1 established? Apparently it was on the 29th of April, 1992.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, earlier on.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around the 15th of February, as I've

5 already said.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the 15th of February. When

7 the Crisis Staff had been established, the Executive Board and Mr. Bajric,

8 whose name you have provided us with, did the Executive Board continue to

9 function?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as soon as the Crisis Staff

11 was formed, all powers transferred to the Crisis Staff.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And at that point in

13 time did you adopt a decision that disbanded the Executive Board?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. That was automatic.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Automatic. Very well. So

16 according to what you say, as of the 12th of February, 1992, when the

17 Crisis Staff was established, the Executive Board no longer existed. In

18 fact, you then had two roles. You were the president of the Assembly, but

19 you were also the person who had to take steps, who had to act in an

20 executive matter.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. When the Crisis Staff was

22 formed, the Assembly ceased to function, in fact, and I ceased to be its

23 president. I then became the president of the Crisis Staff.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we can understand

25 what you're saying as legal experts, when the Crisis Staff was

Page 2856

1 established, all the institutions that had functioned previously stopped

2 functioning and it was the Crisis Staff that was responsible for dealing

3 with all problems.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.

5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.

6 Q. I don't want to add more confusion to the situation, but I just

7 want to go back again. The Assembly is a legislative body; right?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. Now, it is the executive body, the Executive Board, that draws up

10 the plan, and it's their departments within the Executive Board that

11 actually do the drafting of legislation that then goes to the Assembly,

12 and then they would go ahead and pass it or reject it, correct, or send it

13 back for amendment?

14 A. Well, anybody could draft these things. No administrative body

15 had to do this. The Assembly had the right to specify the task and say

16 that anyone could deal with certain tasks. Experts could deal with

17 certain tasks. The Assembly could make such decisions. It's logical for

18 your institution to deal with such matters and to prepare such material,

19 but we didn't have to assign tasks to anyone in particular. We could

20 assign tasks to those whom we trusted the most, and we had to decide about

21 this at the Assembly.

22 Q. Okay. Needless to say, it is the Assembly that sits on top of the

23 Executive Board.

24 A. Right.

25 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to move on with some of the other points.

Page 2857

1 Talking about occupation. Was mentioned, and I guess the Prosecutor

2 stressing April, 1992, but I want you to go back in history a little bit.

3 Isn't it a fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina was used by the JNA as a staging

4 area from which they could attack the Republic of Croatia prior to that?

5 A. That's what I've already said in my testimony.

6 Q. I just want to make sure that we're clear on this. And of course

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or the president of the Presidency of

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Sarajevo government didn't do -- didn't stop the

9 JNA from using the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina to attack the Republic

10 of Croatia, did it? I'm not saying whether it could or not. I'm just

11 saying it did nothing. Isn't that a fact?

12 A. They didn't do anything.

13 Q. Right. Just like they didn't do anything, and in fact they did

14 not even react other than say, "It's not our war," when Ravno was razed to

15 the ground and people were slaughtered; correct?

16 A. Well, there are various interpretations which give a different

17 viewpoint on the way in which Mr. Izetbegovic responded. I wouldn't want

18 to go into such analysis. I know what Mr. Izetbegovic stated, but I think

19 that was his personal statement. There were other members of the

20 Presidency; there were two Croats there, there was the Prime Minister who

21 was a Croat, so --

22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...

23 A. -- all of these factors resulted into statements and viewpoints

24 that differed from the statements and viewpoints of Mr. Izetbegovic who

25 was the president of the Presidency, but this statement was his personal

Page 2858

1 statement.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the Judges are

3 wondering how the issue you have raised relates to the re-examination.

4 We're trying to understand that, although we have grasped the finesse of

5 your questions.

6 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Great. Great. I'm trying not to go too far

7 off the farm, but I think I'm still on safe territory.

8 Q. Now, the one thing that I wanted to comment on was, you know, on

9 the May 15th decision, or order where they -- they asked you whether you

10 were watching almost approvingly, that phrase. Obviously it's sort of --

11 it's a hurtful phrase in a sense, but if I understand it - and correct me

12 if I'm wrong - you were hoping for the best, but as time was going by the

13 JNA was taking more and more territory, occupying more and more. It's a

14 bit like, say, Chamberlain with Hitler. You know, appeasing, hoping that

15 maybe Hitler won't do anything, won't take any more countries in Western

16 Europe, and there you are, you had the JNA day after day encroaching to

17 the point where, there it is, April. There's no more Territorial

18 Defence --

19 MR. SCOTT: I'm wondering if there is a question, Your Honour.

20 MR. KARNAVAS: There is a question.

21 MR. SCOTT: I'm hoping for a question.


23 Q. There is no effective weapons in the Territorial Defence. There

24 is nothing left. Isn't that what we're talking about, what that they put

25 in, whether rightly or wrongly, that you waited, hoping the situation

Page 2859

1 would stop, yet the JNA continued, along with the Montenegrin reservists,

2 to take more and more territory.

3 A. Yes. But I would like to express my own viewpoint with regard to

4 that. We knew that the policies of a Greater Serbia, that the policies

5 established to create a Greater Serbia and the idea that the border should

6 be Karlovac and Virovitica was an idea they were trying to implement by

7 adopting a wider programme. Since they weren't able to implement this

8 programme, this plan, they had reserve secondary option. That was to have

9 a border at the Neretva. That's why they first came to Mostar, in order

10 to achieve their objectives of a Greater Serbia. They thought that if

11 they couldn't achieve their objectives in Croatia, then they'd try to hold

12 firm to border the Neretva. And this was demonstrated by the destruction

13 of the bridges on the Neretva.

14 We weren't naive. We knew what was going on, but we were aware of

15 our weaknesses. As I have said, we were aware of the fact that we had

16 forces that were inadequate to confront the troops and the army from

17 Serbia who were armed to the teeth, the troops that had come from

18 Montenegro, too. And their only idea was to establish a border at the

19 Neretva. That was the sole objective.

20 So what should we do since we had no weapons? They would have

21 defeated us in two days. In our wisdom - and I believe that we were wise

22 - in our wisdom we tried to postpone a decisive battle until we had the

23 pre-conditions for defending our homes. And that is why we

24 procrastinated, why we engaged in negotiations, why we held meetings. The

25 first commander of the corps, Topica [phoen], was first there, he was then

Page 2860

1 replaced because he wasn't sufficiently radical. He wouldn't talk to us.

2 Then they sent Mr. Perisic who also came to speak to us, to discuss things

3 with us. So we would often meet at the northern camp in the Mostar

4 barracks commander's office. We would speak there. And the questions

5 were why are you here? What do you want? And finally he said that he

6 heard that there was some sort of forces on the other side. They had to

7 defend themselves against these forces. Unfortunately, this was HOS

8 propaganda from Ljubuski where they had demonstrated that they had some

9 kind of force. 40 men were used to demonstrate this force.

10 Q. Let me stop you here for a second. But during this period --

11 during this period while the TOs -- the weapons from the TOs are being

12 stolen or siphoned off and everyone else is asleep and it's almost

13 midnight in Sarajevo, the HVO at least is preparing itself for what, you

14 know, it looks like it's going to be a conflict ahead; correct?

15 A. Well, naturally. That's what we discussed. That's why we went to

16 Zagreb, we had meetings, and why we tried to see how we could create the

17 pre-conditions that we required to defend ourselves.

18 Q. Why did you go to Sarajevo? I assume Sarajevo was functioning at

19 that point in time. The central bank was working. They were able to

20 provide the pensioners with their pension funds. They were able to

21 provide all the amenities that a state is supposed to provide to its

22 citizens, or was it the Sarajevo, like Mostar, was more or less under

23 siege and unable to take care of itself let alone take care of the whole

24 country, including Mostar?

25 A. I think you're right. They weren't in a position to deal with the

Page 2861

1 problems that they had, let alone with the problems throughout the

2 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

3 Q. Thank you very much, sir.

4 Questioned by the Court:

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does that mean that if Sarajevo

6 could have solved the problems, you would have gone to Sarajevo, not to

7 Zagreb? But since you went to Zagreb, that was because, in your opinion,

8 Sarajevo couldn't help you solve the problems you faced on a daily basis

9 in the field, and that is the reason in fact for which you went to Zagreb?

10 A. Well, I didn't go to Zagreb very frequently. We only went there

11 once a lot earlier, before matters became complicated. We discussed what

12 was in store for us, and we discussed the solutions we might find to the

13 problem. Perhaps there are documents to this effect, but there were 20

14 letters that we sent to all the representatives in Sarajevo concerning the

15 problems we had. This was after the JNA arrived in Mostar. Mr. Stojic

16 was there. He probably read those letters that we addressed to everyone,

17 seeking assistance. Unfortunately, we received no such assistance, and

18 that was a significant problems for us.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I have understood this

20 correctly, Mr. Scott had something to say.

21 MR. SCOTT: I don't believe so. I did have one additional exhibit

22 but I don't know if there are additional Judges' questions.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. My very last

24 question. It concerns your testimony yesterday. You referred to the HOS,

25 and you said that General Kraljevic had been killed, that then there was

Page 2862

1 some lobbying, and finally the HOS became part of the HVO. Can you

2 confirm this? And in your opinion, when did the HOS members actually

3 become part of the HVO? Answer the question if you can. If not, just say

4 so.

5 A. I assume that you understand how this worked. There wasn't a

6 decision according to which they said we'll now move from one area to

7 another, from one room to another. Things developed spontaneously and

8 over a fairly lengthy period of time. So the less extreme members of the

9 HOS moved over, crossed over more rapidly than others who stood by their

10 positions.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What happened to those who were

12 more rigid?

13 A. Well, they ended up in -- in a blind alley as a result of the

14 steps taken by those who were stronger than they were. So they couldn't

15 act in the territory that they were located in.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Yes, Ms. Nozica.

17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, but with the leave of

18 the Chamber, I'd first like to explain why I have taken the floor. In

19 this part of his testimony, the witness mentioned the name of my client.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. That's what I heard.

21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] With regard to that reference, may

22 I --

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Of course.

24 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:

25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gagro, you just mentioned Mr. Stojic. You

Page 2863

1 said he was there. Please tell me, what did you mean by "there"?

2 A. Well, as far as I know, he was the assistant minister of the

3 interior in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I apologise. This term is perhaps

4 not quite correct, but that was our altitude towards the central

5 authorities. We called the central authorities "there." We would say

6 that they were "there."

7 Q. Yes. And we would say that you were down there. That's quite

8 common in Bosnia. For the sake of the transcript, can we say when

9 Mr. Bruno Stojic had that position in the Ministry of the Interior of the

10 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

11 A. Well, when the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina was

12 established, the newly elected government, Bruno Stojic represented the

13 HDZ, and he was the assistant minister of the interior of Bosnia and

14 Herzegovina, and I think that he was elected at the same time as the

15 entire government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

16 Q. Would that be correct to say that it was after the multi-party

17 elections in 1990 and right up to 1992, April, May, 1992? Is that the

18 period that you had in mind?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Did you have any information according to which the Ministry of

21 the Interior, or to be more specific, Mr. Bruno Stojic, given his field of

22 competence in that ministry, provided to the town of Mostar weapons and

23 other materiel and equipment during the period preceding April, 1992? And

24 you have said with regard to that period that you contacted the state

25 organs for aid, for assistance, requesting assistance during that period.

Page 2864

1 Do you know anything about this?

2 We don't have documents about this right now because this wasn't

3 supposed to be the subject of your testimony. I'm only interested in your

4 information, and we will present documents through other witnesses.

5 A. Unfortunately, according to the information I have, the police or

6 the security services centre in Mostar had 200 automatic rifles and some

7 additional weapons for the reserve forces. I assume that they had 700

8 pieces altogether and no more than that. Unfortunately, the assessment

9 that we only had such weapons made it clear to us what we could expect.

10 That's why we tried to avoid provoking a conflict until it was possible to

11 engage in a conflict.

12 Q. Please answer this question. It's very important for me. Did you

13 have any information according to which perhaps some of those 700 weapons

14 were received during that period of time from the Ministry of the

15 Interior?

16 A. I have no such information.

17 Q. I just have one more question I would like to put to you and it

18 relates to a question put to you by Mr. Scott. On a number of occasions

19 in the course of your testimony today you said that the Crisis Staff in

20 Mostar was established on the 15th of February, 1992.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You said yes. It hasn't been included in the transcript. It's a

23 bit difficult to hear your answers.

24 When you were examined by Mr. Scott, you said that the war in fact

25 started on the 7th or 8th of April. Very briefly, as I have not got much

Page 2865

1 time left, why did you establish a Crisis Staff in February?

2 A. In February, we came to the conclusion --

3 Q. Please finish your sentence.

4 A. In February, we came to the conclusion that war was inevitable.

5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no other

6 questions.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please be brief since we don't

8 have much time.

9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'll be very brief, but the question

10 was direct and I do have to react.

11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:

12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gagro, when reference was made to the

13 photographs that I showed you, and this issue was raised again a while

14 ago, you said that the photographs taken in relation to urbicide were

15 taken in the autumn of 1992; would you agree with that?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Are you aware of the fact that a certain group of people were

18 involved in this project? There were Croats and Muslims and they provided

19 archival material, there were various specialists, cameramen, directors,

20 equipment, et cetera?

21 A. I agree with that.

22 Q. Would you agree -- agree that the material compiled was compiled

23 in an honest manner?

24 A. I think so.

25 Q. So the material reflected the situation in Mostar?

Page 2866

1 A. At the time that those documents were compiled.

2 Q. Very well. And in your opinion, given the material that you saw

3 after the war, given the material you are familiar with, and given the

4 fact that you know what the situation in Mostar was during the war, would

5 you agree that the damage inflicted to various buildings in the course of

6 the Croat and Muslim war was damage that added to damage that had already

7 been inflicted? It wasn't completely new damage. What had been destroyed

8 was destroyed, but it could be destroyed even more fully.

9 A. Yes. When you're destroying a town, when you're razing a town to

10 the ground, you can hit the same building ten times in one day or over a

11 period of one month or a period of one year. One didn't proceed segment

12 by segment when it came to destroying the town. The town was destroyed in

13 the way that was possible.

14 Q. Very well. Thank you.

15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Naturally, Your Honours, we'll bring

16 in the material that the witness has referred to as soon as it's possible.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, let's deal with your

18 exhibits.

19 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. We would tender Exhibit P 00150 at

20 this time.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar.

22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. This exhibit will

23 be therefore tendered and admitted with today's date under the reference

24 P 00150. Thank you, Mr. President.

25 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, if I may. I have one technical matter

Page 2867

1 to raise, a legal issue. At page 87 of the transcript today, lines 4

2 through 7, Mr. Scott asked the witness the following question: "Sir, as

3 of April and May, 1992, the lawful government in Bosnia-Herzegovina was

4 the government of the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina with its seat in

5 Sarajevo; is that correct?" And the witness answered, "Correct."

6 Your Honour, I wish to make a technical objection to the

7 admissibility of that answer as falling outside the competence of this

8 witness. It's a legal question which the Trial Chamber may have occasion

9 to rule on at a later time, and though it may not be of great importance

10 that the answer is on the record, I do want to be on the record as making

11 the objection.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your objection has been recorded

13 in the transcript.

14 Mr. Gagro, on behalf of the Judges, I would like to thank you for

15 having come to testify at the request of the Prosecution. You have spent

16 two days in The Hague, and I hope that the questions weren't too trying

17 for you. I thank you for your contribution to establishing the truth, and

18 on behalf of the Judges I wish you a safe trip home. I will now ask the

19 usher to escort you out of the courtroom, and the Victims and Witnesses

20 Unit will then assist you.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank you, too, and I'm

22 glad that I have been able to assist you in determining the truth and

23 nothing but the truth.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

25 [The witness withdrew]

Page 2868

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, tomorrow we will be

2 continuing with the cross-examination of the witness, and I assume he's

3 catching his flight now. The registrar will provide the Registry with all

4 the necessary information so that the witness can be met at the airport so

5 that he can be taken to his hotel and so that he can appear tomorrow

6 morning for the hearing at 9.00, or 9.00 and one minute -- or not at 9.00

7 and one minute but at 9.00 sharp. Everyone will have enough time. I'll

8 try and be a little less loquacious so that everyone has sufficient time

9 to put questions to the witness and also that Mr. Praljak has sufficient

10 time for his questions if he wishes to put them.

11 Thank you, and I will see everyone tomorrow at 9.00.

12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 31st day

14 of May, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.