Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 31512

 1                           Thursday, 28 August 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The witness entered court]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

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

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

 7     the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning to

 9     everyone around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-74-T, the

10     Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic et al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

12             On the last day of hearing, I wish to bid good morning to the

13     witness, the accused, the ladies and gentlemen of the counsel, all the

14     staff of the Office of the Prosecution, and all the persons assisting us.

15     We are going to complete this session with the continuation of the

16     cross-examination, after which Mr. Karnavas will have an occasion to

17     re-examine.

18             Yes, Mr. Praljak.

19             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]  Your Honour, when the

20     witness completes his testimony, I hope a little time will be left over.

21     I would like to ask for permission to address the Court for about ten

22     minutes.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well, thank you, hoping

24     that we will have the time.  If you wish to address the Chamber for

25     procedural matters, yes, but our priority is the witness.  But we might

Page 31513

 1     have the time for you.

 2             MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think

 3     colleague Kovacic is not in the courtroom.  I don't know what's

 4     happening.  He's not here, anyway.

 5             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a colleague has gone to

 6     see what's happening with Mr. Kovacic.  If I may, I would also like to

 7     leave the courtroom to check out and inform the Court.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Praljak, is your

 9     intervention linked to the fact that Mr. Kovacic is not here or does it

10     have nothing to do with that?

11             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]  No, it has nothing to do

12     with that, Your Honour.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.

14             Yes, please.

15             MR. IVERSON:  Your Honours, Mr. Kovacic will be here shortly

16     under -- for reasons not under his control, he couldn't be here right at

17     the moment.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well, thank you.  You can

19     take his place.  You're not co-counsel?

20             Mr. Praljak, there's a problem.  Your counsel is not present.  Do

21     you believe that your defence can be ensured in the absence of your

22     lawyer or not?

23             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]  I believe that it is all

24     right and you may proceed, Your Honours.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Well, let me ask the same

Page 31514

 1     question of my colleagues.

 2                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  The Chamber shares your

 4     opinion, so we are going to continue.

 5             Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.

 6             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President, good morning.  Good

 7     morning, Your Honours, Counsel, as well as all the other people around

 8     the courtroom.

 9                           WITNESS: MARTIN RAGUZ

10                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

11                           Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer:  [Continued]

12        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Raguz.

13        A.   Good morning.

14        Q.   I'll complete the cross-examination today.  Just a couple of

15     items I wanted to follow up on from yesterday.

16             First of all, you should have in one of the loose documents

17     that's on the table in front of you, one of the payroll lists or the pay

18     sheets that I showed you yesterday.  It's Exhibit 4697.  We looked at

19     this yesterday.  Do you recall that?

20        A.   Yes, I do.

21        Q.   The question is this:  Looking at the name, sir, it appears to me

22     that there were -- that the composition of the ODPR, at least the people

23     who were getting -- receiving payments, compensation, from ODPR, were

24     exclusively of Croatian -- Croat nationality.  Is that true during the

25     time that you were there?

Page 31515

 1        A.   This document is from the month of September, and my name is not

 2     on it, and I cannot say, judging by the names here, that all of them were

 3     Croats.  I'm not saying that they weren't, but I can't say.  I don't know

 4     some of the names.  And that is why yesterday, Your Honours, I was not

 5     able to confirm with precision that some of the employees who were

 6     mentioned were on the payroll of the office, which I confirmed later on,

 7     and I owe you and everyone else in the courtroom an apology.  It was not

 8     my intention to do this.  I just came across these documents.  I had

 9     these documents yesterday, and I couldn't have full insight into them

10     when I spoke about them.  It is quite clear that most of them were of

11     Croat nationality, but that was not a criterion, nor was that indicated

12     anywhere as being necessary.

13        Q.   Okay.  But in any event, ODPR was largely an organisation

14     composed of and, in fact, controlled by Croatian people; correct?

15        A.   Correct.

16        Q.   You testified during the first day of your direct examination

17     about your time in Sarajevo, and I believe you talked about the fact that

18     the government in Sarajevo, because of the situation, was cut off from

19     other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Correct?

20        A.   I said that it was, to a high degree.  Some people did leave here

21     and there, but they didn't do so to increase the influence of the

22     government throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that what I said is

23     correct, that that is how it operated.

24        Q.   Now, we haven't seen any indication that I'm aware of, at least

25     from your testimony, that something like an Office of Displaced Persons

Page 31516

 1     and Refugees for Bosnia and Herzegovina was able to function within the

 2     areas controlled by the HVO.  Is it true that there was no

 3     Bosnia-Herzegovina ODPR that was operating within the same zones that

 4     your office was operating?

 5        A.   Answering questions during my testimony, I confirmed the meetings

 6     and the joint work of commissions that were held, that were formed by

 7     representatives of two ministries and these agencies or the directorate,

 8     as it was called, operated the Directorate for Humanitarian Aid and the

 9     Directorate for Refugees in Sarajevo via the embassy of

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia with certain HVO members and with the ODPR

11     of the Croatian Defence Council.

12        Q.   In terms of the issue of accommodation and where to place

13     refugees arriving into these areas, your areas, is it true, sir, that

14     like the Croats, the Muslim refugees and displaced persons were

15     exclusively dependent upon the work of your office, ODPR, because there

16     was no equivalent Bosnia-Herzegovina authority to get involved in

17     accommodating those people in Western Herzegovina?

18        A.   I think I've answered that question.  We cooperated, exchanged

19     data, and worked.  Logically, this was an area under the control of the

20     HVO at the time.

21        Q.   And all of these refugees and displaced persons then would also

22     have been reliant on the individual authorities of the municipalities?

23     For example, if a refugee is in Ljubuski, you've been talking about the

24     role of the municipalities, a refugee in Ljubuski or Stolac, then, would

25     have to rely on the municipal authorities there in order to acquire

Page 31517

 1     status and acquire accommodation and the things that come from being a

 2     refugee or a displaced person?

 3        A.   To the greatest extent, it depended on the municipalities, but

 4     everyone was involved, like international humanitarian organisations, who

 5     had the monitoring, you could see from the reports, and also

 6     organisations that directly provided humanitarian aid, and of course the

 7     Office for Refugees, which was coordinating the overall efforts in the

 8     territory under the HVO control, coordinated work with international

 9     humanitarian organisations, and we also coordinated with the authorities

10     in Sarajevo; the authorities of the Republic of Croatia, the embassy of

11     Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb, and with all other relevant

12     organisations.  So there was a much broader network than one might

13     conclude from your questions.

14        Q.   And just to pick up on something you've just said there about the

15     HVO, that is, the government, because you touched upon this in your

16     direct examination, as I understand it, the Office of Displaced Persons

17     and Refugees was independent of the individual departments of the HVO,

18     although it coordinated with them.  Is that correct?

19        A.   It was the Office of the Croatian Defence Council and later of

20     the government of the Croatian Republic of Herzegovina, founded in

21     accordance with HVO decisions at meetings of the council and subsequently

22     of the government.  And there are very precise definitions about this,

23     and that's all I can say about it.  It's a question of legal terminology

24     used on the part of those who prepared these documents.

25        Q.   And as a result or -- then, for me, I take it to mean that ODPR

Page 31518

 1     itself was not a policy-making body; rather, its job was to implement or

 2     to put into force policies of the HVO, itself, which was the executive

 3     authority for Herceg-Bosna?

 4        A.   The Office for Refugees implemented the decisions and decrees

 5     passed by the HVO, linked to questions of refugees, displaced, and

 6     expelled persons, and this can be seen from the decrees on the foundation

 7     of the office, and these decrees specify the responsibilities of the

 8     office.

 9        Q.   And then in respect of reporting, and I hope we have time today

10     to look at a few of the reports of ODPR, ODPR didn't report to the head

11     of one of the departments; rather, ODPR reported directly to the HVO

12     government; is that correct?

13        A.   Mostly, yes.

14        Q.   Yesterday, we were looking at a document, and some statements

15     were attributed to Darinko Tadic, in which, according to the person

16     writing the report, Mr. Tadic was making statements about the

17     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna assisting natural and historical

18     migrations of peoples.  Do you recall when we talked about that?

19        A.   I do recall that we talked about that, but I also remember that

20     there's no confirmation that that was said by Darinko Tadic.  I do

21     remember that we discussed it, though.

22        Q.   Do you know that Ante Valenta was a vice-president of the HVO

23     during this period of time?

24        A.   I can't remember now, but probably, yes, probably you're right.

25        Q.   He was from Vitez, is that true, or do you know?

Page 31519

 1        A.   From Central Bosnia, yes.

 2        Q.   Did you ever read any of the things he wrote about migration of

 3     people from the various parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to achieve a

 4     separation of the nationalities?

 5        A.   I haven't read his books.

 6        Q.   I'm going to ask you to look at one of the documents in the

 7     binder now, which is 1D 01666.  I think it would be in the second binder.

 8     1666.  And with the next few documents, Mr. Raguz, I'd like to talk to

 9     you about the situation in Mostar just prior to and after the time you

10     arrived.

11             Sir, this is a -- excuse me.  These are the minutes of an HVO

12     meeting that occurred in Siroki Brijeg on the 17th of May, 1993, and

13     there is a reference down here to the Office of Expelled Persons and

14     Refugees that I want to direct you to.  It's the third paragraph on the

15     first page at least of the English.  It's the third paragraph of item 1,

16     in which it says that:  "Support was expressed for the activities of the

17     Office for Expelled Persons and Refugees which has been active since the

18     first day civilians were relocated from Mostar to the former Military

19     Gymnasium and Heliodrom after the commencement of combat activities in

20     Mostar."

21             The question -- the first question, Mr. Raguz, is:  Do you know

22     if, in fact, this is a reference to Muslim civilians who were relocated

23     or moved from the town of Mostar out to the Heliodrom and this other

24     location at the gymnasium, and were kept in detention there for a period

25     of days after the conflict of the 9th and 10th of May?

Page 31520

 1        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, these are minutes from a session of the Croatian

 2     Defence Council held on the 17th of May, 1993, in Siroki Brijeg.  All

 3     I can say in this court, that at that time I wasn't in Bosnia-Herzegovina

 4     at all, and I cannot comment because I do not have complete insight to be

 5     able to give you a precise answer, even though it is stated here that --

 6     how the war started, and there's reference to all civilians and not just

 7     to Muslims, as far as I can see.

 8        Q.   Well, that was my question, but I think you've answered it.  You

 9     don't know about this, you don't know about civilians who were moved to

10     the Heliodrom?

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  I'm going to object, Your Honour.  Again, and I'm

12     going to be very quick on my feet today --

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Can you postpone this, because there's a

14     technical point.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Just a moment, Mr. Karnavas.

16             Mr. Kovacic entered, but I didn't see him because I was studying

17     the document.  So at the transcript, it is indicated that Mr. Kovacic

18     took his seat.

19             Mr. Karnavas, what did you want to say?

20             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you, and welcome, Mr. Kovacic.

21             Your Honour, if you look at the answer and then if you look at

22     the follow-up question, the question assumes facts that are not in

23     evidence, that are twisting around the witness's testimony.  I would

24     kindly appreciate if the Prosecutor either, one, listened, or, two,

25     stopped playing the gamesmanship that is being played here.  I think it

Page 31521

 1     is unfair to the witness.  I think it is uncalled for in this sort of

 2     institution when we're here to find the truth.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Stringer, the witness said

 4     that he wasn't there on the 17th of May and he wasn't even in

 5     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I don't know where he was, but he wasn't there.

 6     Therefore, it would appear from his answer that he cannot contribute

 7     anything regarding this document, but you are still focusing on the

 8     document, and this provoked the objection.

 9             MR. STRINGER:  Well, I accept, clearly, the witness's answer on

10     that, Mr. President, and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.  I guess the

11     follow-up question was going to be this, and if I can put it to him:

12        Q.   At any later time after you arrived, did you become aware of any

13     role that ODPR played in respect of the civilians referred to here who

14     were relocated from Mostar to the Military Gymnasium and the Heliodrom?

15     At any later time, did you learn about any role of ODPR in that?

16        A.   I've already said, and I will now be absolutely clear, regarding

17     the events in which I did not directly participate and where I'm not

18     present, I will refrain from answering these questions.  I wasn't

19     answering the question a moment ago.  I just said where I was.  And I

20     answered a part of the minutes without giving any comments or providing

21     an answer.

22             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry if I intervene.  Witness, I think that

23     there's perhaps some sort of misconception.  The question was:  Did you,

24     at a later time, find out about what is alleged here?  And this can be

25     answered by "yes" or "no," because at a later time you were in Mostar, of

Page 31522

 1     course, and you had an important function there.  So either later on you

 2     were made aware of this or you were not, and I do not think that there is

 3     anything improper in the question.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say that I was aware of the

 5     difficult humanitarian situation provoked by the events in Mostar.  I

 6     spoke about that yesterday, and I told the Prosecutor when I became aware

 7     of that.  This was at a meeting of the HVO, and there are minutes of that

 8     meeting, when I arrived in the area, and through this official method I

 9     learnt about it because I attended that meeting.  But I didn't

10     characterize the events in the way the Prosecutor has done.

11             MR. STRINGER:

12        Q.   Mr. Raguz, I'm going to skip ahead in my outline to go to the

13     document that you've referred to a few times now, which relates to the

14     time that you became aware of the issue of the camps, and I think that

15     that will give us a time-frame that we can work within.  And that would

16     be P 03573, which is in the first binder, 3573.

17             You can take a moment to look this over, Mr. Raguz.  I'll just

18     tell you it is minutes of the HVO meeting held on the 20th of July, 1993.

19     The attendance indicates that you were present at this one, and item

20     number 2 on the agenda is a work group report concerning accommodation

21     conditions of the detainees in Capljina municipality.  And I can ask you

22     some more questions about this, but would this be the time that you

23     became aware of the situation, at least in respect of detainees in

24     Capljina?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 31523

 1        Q.   All right.  Do you recall this meeting?  Can you tell us, was it

 2     held in Mostar, or Siroki Brijeg, or some other place?

 3        A.   I think it was held, as it says here, in Mostar.

 4        Q.   Okay.  I don't see where it says "Mostar," but I'll take your

 5     word for it.

 6        A.   It says:  "Records from the 47th session of the HVO of the HZ-HB

 7     held in July 1993 in Mostar."  It says that exactly.

 8             MR. KARNAVAS:  In the original version, it says "Mostar."

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Yes, Mr. Stringer, the witness

10     is correct.  The English version yet again is approximate.

11             MR. STRINGER:  I'm going to add this to my list that I'm going to

12     talk to some people about after this cross-examination is completed,

13     I can assure you, Mr. President.

14        Q.   Moving down to item 2, what's happening here, Mr. Raguz, and the

15     Trial Chamber has seen this -- this document before and has heard about

16     it from at least one other witness, what's happening here is you have

17     some people, Mr. Buntic, Mr. Tadic, Darinko Tadic, and Mr. Pusic

18     delivering a report on the situation concerning detainees, prisoners of

19     war and isolated individuals in Capljina, and this work group -- excuse

20     me.

21             MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  To

22     avoid confusion, Mr. Pusic wasn't at this session of the government.

23             MR. STRINGER:  I think for our purposes today, it's not a

24     significant point, Mr. President.  I can skip over that.

25        Q.   In any event, Mr. Raguz, a report was delivered about a mission

Page 31524

 1     or a fact-finding trip made down to Capljina, and the situation

 2     concerning prisoners of war and isolated individuals, and then it was

 3     proposed that some of those people be moved to other municipalities.  And

 4     do you recall at this meeting, sir, what you learned about the conditions

 5     in the detention facility or facilities, the conditions of the detainees

 6     in Capljina?  What do you recall about that?

 7        A.   Well, I'm looking at these conclusions now, and I can remember

 8     those conclusions.  We can go through them together.  We can go through

 9     all of them together.  There's nothing else for me to remember.  Those

10     are the conclusions from the session.

11        Q.   Do you remember what was said or reported about the conditions

12     that led to the conclusion that people should be moved?

13        A.   I assume that the situation in which they were there was complex.

14     That's why we have these conclusions from the HVO.

15        Q.   All right.  So they were going to move prisoners because it was a

16     complex situation; is that your testimony?

17        A.   Well, look, here it says:  "See what the accommodation

18     possibilities are in the municipalities referred to for a certain number

19     of detainees from Capljina so that we can create the conditions in

20     Capljina for accommodation in accordance with international convention

21     criteria."

22             So the HVO session analysed the situation, and this shows that

23     they acted responsibly and tried to find accommodation in accordance with

24     the criteria established in international conventions.  This is why one

25     wanted to see the situation in municipalities Siroki Brijeg, Grude,

Page 31525

 1     Posusje, Ljubuski, and the possibility of moving these individuals.

 2        Q.   So you don't recall specifically what was said about the

 3     conditions at the time; you just remember that it was decided to move

 4     people in order to improve the conditions?

 5        A.   I think these conclusions are clear enough and show what took

 6     place at that session.

 7        Q.   Now, you were tasked to consider the possibility of moving some

 8     of these people from Capljina into the Ljubuski municipality.  That's

 9     shown on conclusion number 3.  Can you tell us briefly, sir, what, if

10     anything, you did to explore that possibility?

11        A.   I think I did act, and the task I was assigned was also linked to

12     the tasks under 2 and 4, because all these tasks had to do with the

13     Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees.  Under item 2, open a transit

14     centre in Ljubuski in cooperation with the UNHCR, and under 4, the office

15     should have more staff and should cooperate with the HQ and take all

16     measures to ensure that all expelled persons can be received.

17        Q.   All right.  So you anticipated my next question, which was this:

18     Then the issue of the transit centre is linked to the issue of where to

19     place some number of these detainees; correct?

20        A.   No, no.

21        Q.   Okay.  So the --

22        A.   The transit centre is related to individuals who want to leave

23     areas that are threatened by war.  This could have to do with all areas.

24     That was for the case, and such a centre was later opened in October with

25     the assistance of international organisations.  It was opened as a

Page 31526

 1     reception centre.

 2        Q.   [Previous translation continues]... envisioned that prisoners

 3     could be moved to a transit centre in Ljubuski, where then they would

 4     leave from Bosnia-Herzegovina and move on to third countries?  So I'm

 5     talking about prisoners now, as opposed to people who were not in

 6     detention.

 7        A.   No, this hadn't been planned.  I didn't have such information or

 8     such a task.

 9        Q.   Okay.  So when you think of a transit centre to facilitate

10     movement to third countries, you're thinking about people who were not in

11     detention, people who just were living at home or were refugees and who

12     wanted to leave?

13        A.   Refugees, displaced persons who came from areas affected by the

14     war.  That's what it says, and that's how it was.

15        Q.   Now, at this period of time, which is the third week of July

16     1993, you were at an HVO meeting, you're being informed about the

17     situation concerning prisoners in Capljina.  Did you become aware that

18     there was a broader event taking place, that many hundreds or thousands

19     of Muslim men had been arrested and were placed in detention facilities

20     in different places?

21        A.   As I have said, I had a general understanding of the entire

22     situation, the humanitarian elements and other elements.  One of the

23     elements included or concerned the situation that those detainees were

24     in.

25        Q.   Because we know, and the Trial Chamber knows, that at the end of

Page 31527

 1     June there was an offensive launched by the Armija of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 2     They captured a barracks in the northern part of Mostar, and that led to

 3     an escalation of the conflict throughout Western Herzegovina.  Are you

 4     aware of that in terms of the background of what was happening at the

 5     time?

 6        A.   I know that over 20 HVO soldiers were killed in the barracks in

 7     Mostar, and as a result a conflict broke out in Mostar.  That was well

 8     known to the public.  I wasn't there at the time, but I should listen to

 9     witnesses who were there and who could say something more relevant about

10     that.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Karnavas.

12             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.  The witness indicated that they were killed

13     in the barracks during their sleep.  That wasn't translated perhaps

14     because the gentleman may be speaking rather fast, but perhaps he can

15     verify whether in fact he said that, because there is a difference, I

16     mean -- and I think this is something that Ms. Alaburic has continually

17     stressed, that this was an act of treachery.

18             MR. STRINGER:

19        Q.   Do you want to say your answer again, Mr. Raguz, so that we can

20     get a correct translation?

21        A.   I know that the conflict in Mostar started after HVO soldiers had

22     been killed in the barracks in Mostar.  As far as I know, that was the

23     case.  That happened at night, while they were sleeping.

24        Q.   And that event, then, led to a decision or a policy --

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Just a minute.  I was having a

Page 31528

 1     look at the English translation.  It doesn't correspond to what I believe

 2     I understood in French and to what the witness said.  The 20 soldiers

 3     were killed in their sleep.  It says "at night," but at night there can

 4     be combat.  And soldiers killed at night, well, it's not the same thing

 5     as being killed while sleeping, so it's necessary to be more precise.

 6             Witness, as far as you know, these 20 soldiers, they were killed

 7     while asleep or at night?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, while they were

 9     sleeping.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Well, now it's clear.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  How do you know this?  What are your sources of

12     information?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Direct reports, other sources,

14     reports that appeared at the time in the local and international media.

15     As I have already said, I wasn't in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.

16     I said that this is my information and that there are witnesses who can

17     testify about this.  That's why I persisted in avoiding to describe these

18     events or give them a qualification of some kind.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Stringer.

20             MR. STRINGER:

21        Q.   Mr. Raguz, in any event, that event then led to a situation in

22     which hundreds or thousands of Muslim men of military age were rounded up

23     and were placed in detention facilities throughout Western Herzegovina;

24     is that true, or do you know?

25        A.   I think I've said this a number of times.  I said when I came to

Page 31529

 1     know about this and how.  There's nothing I can add.

 2        Q.   So what you know, then, is indicated in the minutes of this HVO

 3     meeting that we're looking at that occurred on the 20th of July?

 4        A.   It relates to the entire humanitarian situation and to the aspect

 5     that you are referring to, the part of the humanitarian situation you are

 6     referring to.  I've already commented on that.

 7        Q.   Well, let me respectfully disagree.  I've still got some

 8     questions on this point.  I know that you think that you've answered them

 9     already.

10             Well, let me just move to the next document.  I think it will

11     make our work easier.  Mr. President, it's a confidential document.  If

12     we could please go into private session.  It's P 0 --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Registrar.

14                           [Private session]

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 31530











11 Pages 31530-31538 redacted. Private session.















Page 31539

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6                           [Open session]

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

 8             MR. STRINGER:

 9        Q.   Okay.  The next exhibit, Mr. Raguz, is P 03560, binder number 1.

10     3560.  Mr. Raguz, this is minutes of the 46th session of the HVO, held on

11     the 19th of July, 1993, in Mostar.  You're not present.  Mr. Tadic is

12     present, however.  And, sir, this is actually just one day prior to the

13     HVO meeting that you did attend that we talked about earlier.  And just

14     one or two brief questions about this document.

15             What you can see, as you scan through this, Mr. Raguz, is this is

16     the meeting in which they arrive at the conclusion that they will send

17     that working group down to Capljina, who will look at the situation on

18     the prisoners and then report back.  I know that you weren't present and

19     you were not aware in that working group.  I'd like to direct your

20     attention, however, to item number 4 in the conclusions, which is on

21     page 5 of the English version, and what this conclusion says is that:

22     "The Staff for Organising and Coordinating the Care of Expelled Persons

23     and Refugees, in cooperation with the Office for Expelled Persons and

24     Refugees and the Defence Department, must secure conditions for civilians

25     leaving for third countries of their own free will to go unhindered."

Page 31540

 1             Again, this being the 19th of July, Mr. Raguz, did you become

 2     aware of or involved in work within the Office of Displaced Persons and

 3     Refugees related to securing the conditions for civilians to leave and go

 4     to third countries?  Is that something that fell within your own tasks

 5     or, again, is this something that was secondary to the other issue, which

 6     was for you the humanitarian aid convoys?

 7        A.   I think it really was secondary.  According to this decision, the

 8     people leaving of their own free will, the people who expressed such a

 9     wish to go to third countries, and we know that there were such cases and

10     that there was a procedure established by the office of the government of

11     Croatia stipulating how people could leave and under what conditions with

12     a letter of guarantee from the third country.  And there were people that

13     people really did wish to leave, to reunite to families or for other

14     reasons, so there were such cases.  And this can be interpreted as

15     assistance to these people, and this mostly applied to refugees or

16     displaced persons or who had family members in exile and who wanted to

17     leave.

18        Q.   Well, I'm going to digress for a minute.  Let's talk about

19     Stolac, which in the papers we saw yesterday there was a rather dramatic

20     reduction, according to ODPR statistics, in the number of Muslim

21     residents in Stolac by October of 1993.  Isn't it true, sir, that many

22     hundreds or a very large number, in fact, were not leaving voluntarily,

23     or if they were leaving voluntarily, it's because they wanted to leave

24     because they were being terrorized and persecuted and otherwise evicted

25     from the homes that they'd been living in?

Page 31541

 1        A.   I think that it is absolutely clear from all these events that

 2     due to the suffering of war that we spoke about, people had to leave

 3     their homes, and this didn't apply only to Stolac.  We see that two and a

 4     half million people moved.  They didn't leave their homes because they

 5     were doing well, but because there was a terrible war and a large-scale

 6     exodus.  And my entire testimony, in view of the fact that in various

 7     time periods from Sarajevo to Mostar and then back in Sarajevo, let me

 8     remind you that the next day after Srebrenica, I was in Tuzla to receive

 9     those refugees, and I have to tell you --

10        Q.   [Previous translation continues]... Srebrenica today, at least

11     not during my cross-examination, because it's not a part of this case.

12     It may be important to you as part of your personal experience, but I

13     want to bring you back to Stolac, which is the place you grew up, a place

14     in which some 40 per cent of the population was Muslim, and which was no

15     longer in Stolac, according to the figures of your office, by October of

16     1993.

17             Isn't it true, sir, that it was -- you talk about the war, but in

18     fact it was the HVO military and -- well, it was the HVO that forced the

19     Muslims, some 1.800 of them, out of Stolac, burned their homes, and

20     destroyed the mosques that they left behind during July and August of

21     1993?  Don't you know about that?  If you don't know, tell us.

22        A.   I didn't say that I didn't know anything about it, but for two

23     days now you have been linking me to Stolac, and I didn't live there

24     since 1975.  So that's 33 years ago.  And yesterday, answering those

25     questions, I told you that I also had the status of a refugee and

Page 31542

 1     expelled person, and together with my family I changed addresses 14

 2     times.  It's not fair.  You can't take me back to the same point that

 3     I've already discussed every day, as if I didn't have any feelings for

 4     the problem of refugees.  I had the greatest possible feelings for them,

 5     the greatest possible feeling to help all people without any

 6     discrimination, and I want to say that quite clearly, and you have

 7     testimony to confirm this.  And all the people I worked with in the

 8     office, we were a service for assistance.  I'm sorry.

 9        Q.   Tell me this, then:  The policy of ODPR, as you understood it to

10     be, a Muslim family from Stolac that's evicted from their home, if they

11     come to ODPR wanting to have a transit visa so they can go through

12     Croatia to a third country, was it ODPR's policy that such a request was

13     a voluntary request?

14        A.   As far as I know, these were mostly voluntary requests, as far as

15     I know.

16        Q.   That's not quite answering my question.  What are the criteria in

17     which your office used to determine what was voluntary?  If someone's

18     ethnically cleansed, forcibly evicted from their home, and they want to

19     leave to go to Sweden through Croatia, and they come to ODPR for the

20     transit visa processing, is that a voluntary request to leave?

21        A.   You see, we had a form, and every person would sign this request

22     form.  And this departure was possible, I repeat - I've already said

23     this - only with a letter of guarantee from the country that the person

24     was going to, because that was the procedure, and the people had to go

25     via Croatia, and this would be signed by the government of the Republic

Page 31543

 1     of Croatia.  The office did not directly collect this.  This was done

 2     either by the social welfare centres or by Red Cross bodies in the

 3     municipalities, and then we did forward those requests to the office in

 4     Zagreb, which authorised those visas.  That was the procedure.

 5        Q.   Okay.  Well, what about a Muslim prisoner in a camp?  If a

 6     prisoner gets the necessary paperwork, gets a transit visa from ODPR, and

 7     moves out of Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to get out of the detention

 8     camp, is that also a voluntary departure, in your view?

 9        A.   I believe that people wanted to leave to better and safer places

10     at that point in time.

11        Q.   Better and safer than, for example, the detention camp at

12     Dretelj?

13        A.   Probably, yes.  You asked me generally speaking, and I gave you a

14     generalised answer.

15        Q.   The next exhibit is 1D 01672, which will be in binder 2.

16     Mr. Raguz, this is -- actually, while the usher is there, perhaps I could

17     ask the usher to pull the next exhibit out of binder 1, because they're

18     both sort of together.  P 03092, we can have that one handy, because we

19     may need to refer to it.

20             Now, Mr. Raguz, this document is minutes of the HVO meeting held

21     on the 22nd of July, 1993, so this is two days after the HVO meeting that

22     you attended on the 20th of July, in which you learned about the Capljina

23     prisoners.  And I want to direct you to the paragraph that starts after

24     conclusion number 4.  It's the top of page 2 of the English.  And what

25     this says is that:  "In connection with the decision on the Kakanj

Page 31544

 1     municipality HVO to evacuate the Croatian population from its area to the

 2     territory of HZ-HB, and the letter of the Konjic municipality HVO," and

 3     this is the part I'm interested in here, "the staff on the organisation

 4     and coordination of work in accommodating and caring for expelled persons

 5     and refugees met and set out specific tasks which were presented by

 6     Mr. K."

 7             You may be able to make out the name there in the original

 8     language version.  Then it makes reference to the decision to agree to

 9     evacuate and accommodate 6.000 to 7.000 Croats from Kakanj and about a

10     thousand from Konjic.

11             And then it says:  "Pursuant to a decision of the Staff,

12     according to which the municipal representatives of the Office for

13     Expelled Persons and Refugees must submit information on the possibility

14     of accommodating newly-expelled persons, including accommodation in empty

15     and abandoned flats and houses in keeping with the regular procedure, the

16     recommendation to municipal HVO presidents was to assist representatives

17     in the Office -- representatives of the Office in gathering precise

18     information about accommodation facilities and actively participate in

19     organising accommodation and caring for newly-expelled persons."

20             Now, my first question, Mr. Raguz:  There's a reference here to

21     something that's called, in English, anyway, "the staff on the

22     organisation and coordination of work."  And then it refers, skipping

23     down a paragraph, to a decision of the staff.  And if we could just set

24     that aside, and I want you to look at the next document, which might be

25     the staff that's being referred to here, which is P 03092.

Page 31545

 1             So I could be wrong on this, but I'm hoping you can clear it up.

 2     This is a decision.  It's signed by Dr. Prlic on the 21st of June, 1993.

 3     It's a decision on establishing the headquarters for organising and work

 4     coordination on caring for displaced persons and refugees, and it's

 5     established that -- that headquarters is established by this decision, as

 6     indicated in Article 1; Article 2 sets out the tasks or responsibilities

 7     of this headquarters; and then Article 3 identifies the people who are

 8     appointed to the headquarters, and you are one of those, together with

 9     Mr. Zubak, Mr. Tadic and others.

10             So my question here, Mr. Raguz, is:  This headquarters for

11     organising and work coordination on caring for displaced persons and

12     refugees, that is P 03092, is this the headquarters or the body that is

13     referred to in the minutes here?

14        A.   I think so, yes.

15        Q.   Okay.  So on the 21st of June, you were appointed to this body,

16     and I guess the first question would be if you could tell the Trial

17     Chamber, please, how this headquarters related to the ODPR proper.  What

18     was the relationship between the two?  It seems to me that there's quite

19     a bit of overlap, but perhaps you could clarify that for us.

20        A.   Because of the situation which had indeed escalated, the Croatian

21     Defence Council took this decision to set up these headquarters so as to

22     give guidance to the overall question of aid and to coordinate the work

23     of several institutions.  So that is why the headquarters was set up, to

24     coordinate the work of all those who could provide assistance, and they

25     were appointed to this body.

Page 31546

 1             And in Article 2 of the decision on the establishment of the

 2     headquarters, I have to read it because it's very important, it directs

 3     and coordinates - these are the tasks of the headquarters - the work of

 4     bodies, organs, and services of the Croatian Defence Council, of the

 5     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and municipality Croatian Defence

 6     Councils which -- whose task is to care for displaced persons and

 7     refugees, to coordinate activities in providing humanitarian aid to the

 8     population, and to coordinate activities with the UNHCR, et cetera.

 9        Q.   And so the situation now is this, and you'll correct me if I'm

10     wrong:  On the 22nd of July, 1993, in these HVO minutes, we have a

11     situation in which the HVO has a large number of Muslim people in

12     detention.  You know about those people a little bit from having attended

13     the HVO meeting on the 20th of July.  Indications in one of the documents

14     that we saw are that the HVO has too many Muslim prisoners on its hands

15     to be able to care for properly on its own.

16             At the same time now, we see that there are large numbers of

17     Croats who are inbound, who are coming in from these areas, Kakanj,

18     Konjic, et cetera, and it seems to me, sir, that this was a situation

19     that would have placed tremendous pressure on the HVO authorities, and on

20     the ODPR in particular, in terms of what to do with all these people,

21     Muslim and Croat.  Is that a correct picture that I'm painting here of

22     the situation as of 22 July 1993?

23        A.   This situation, as I have said repeatedly, was extremely

24     difficult and complicated throughout the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

25     including the area under the control of the HVO.  And you saw that the

Page 31547

 1     HVO reviewed the overall situation at its regular meetings.  We discussed

 2     that a moment ago.  And that body was above this headquarters.

 3             MR. STRINGER:  My last question, Mr. President, on this, and then

 4     perhaps we could -- is it time to -- it's time to take the break?

 5        Q.   In this third paragraph on page 2 of the minutes, this is the

 6     minutes now, Mr. Raguz, not the -- this is 1D 01672.  This is the other

 7     document.  This part here in which it indicates that this headquarters,

 8     this body that you had been appointed to now, had made a decision and

 9     that municipal representatives of the ODPR would submit information on

10     the possibility of accommodating newly-expelled persons, including

11     accommodation in empty and abandoned flats and houses.  Is it true, sir,

12     that what we're seen here for the first time, at least in the documents

13     that I've got, the HVO starts looking at putting displaced persons and

14     refugees into abandoned flats and houses as opposed to collection

15     centres?

16        A.   That is just one possibility, because it says here the

17     possibilities of receiving newly-expelled persons, including

18     accommodation, according to the prescribed procedure, and these people

19     were accommodated in several municipalities in collective centres, almost

20     half of them in collective centres in Croatia, these people that are

21     referred to here.  This was one of the major humanitarian operations with

22     very serious consequences, where several thousand people were taken cared

23     for, and not only in abandoned apartments, but in collective centres in

24     several municipalities in Croatia and in other countries, as applied to

25     all other refugees.  There was no distinction.

Page 31548

 1             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, I can take the break at this point,

 2     if that's okay.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  You have no further questions

 4     on this issue?  According to our calculations, you have about 45 minutes

 5     left, so please do your best to finish with the cross-examination after

 6     the break.

 7             We're going to have a 20-minute break now.

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

 9                           --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  The hearing is resumed.

11             Mr. Stringer.

12             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

13        Q.   Mr. Raguz, the next exhibit is P 04863.  It's in binder number 1.

14     And, Mr. Raguz, this is a report of the European Committee Monitoring

15     Mission, dated 7 September 1993.  I doubt that you've seen this before.

16     You would not have seen it at the time.

17             I want to direct your attention to -- excuse me, Mr. President.

18     I apologise.  It's an ECMM document.  I think we can talk about it

19     publicly.  It just can't be shown on the monitors outside.

20             Mr. Raguz, I want to direct your attention to the second

21     paragraph of item number 2.  There's a reference here to a meeting with a

22     Mr. Stjepan Krasic, who is the mayor of Citluk, and he's talking about

23     the situation in Citluk.  Do you know that gentleman?  Did you know him

24     at the time?

25        A.   I know him, but at the time I'd only just arrived.  But I do know

Page 31549

 1     the man.

 2        Q.   And he's stating, according to this report, that in the last two

 3     months the economy in his city is going down due to the total

 4     mobilisation, refugee problem, and is preoccupying in the perspective of

 5     winter, and then this report states as follows:

 6             "Interesting is that the mayor admitted that the expel of Muslim

 7     refugees out of the area of Citluk, Capljina, and Ljubuski to the areas

 8     controlled by the BH army, which have taken place these last days, is due

 9     to the need of room for more Croat refugees still coming in.  So is that

10     a correct description of what was really happening down in these parts of

11     Western Herzegovina during these months, July, August, and September of

12     1993; Muslims were being moved out of their homes in order to make room

13     for Croats coming in from parts of Central Bosnia and elsewhere?

14        A.   We have discussed this matter on a number of occasions already,

15     and all I can say is that moving out refugees and displaced persons was

16     directly linked to the entire area that had been affected by the war, and

17     I can't confirm your assessment that was for these reasons.

18        Q.   When you spoke to representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor

19     back in April of 2005, you made a reference to the reports that were

20     being written during the conflict by Mr. Mazowiecki?  Do you remember

21     Mr. Mazowiecki, he was a UN --

22        A.   I remember him.

23        Q.   And in your meeting or your interview with the Office of the

24     Prosecutor people, you indicated that at the time you became head of the

25     Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees, which I think was in December

Page 31550

 1     of 1993, the beginning of December, you stated:

 2             "I was trying to be informed of all the activities that

 3     international organisations or internationals in general working at that

 4     time.  This was kind of my personal hygiene, to be informed about the

 5     activities that were going on at that time, and I know the reports of

 6     Mr. Mazowiecki were those that pushed all the sides in Bosnia and

 7     Herzegovina to do a next step, to make a better move, and to improve the

 8     situation and application of the humanitarian affairs.  And certainly we

 9     did act according to them.  He played an important and significant role

10     in those activities."

11             Do you remember saying that?  Is that the -- I guess the use and

12     the significance of those Mazowiecki reports to you at the time he became

13     the head of the ODPR?

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  Could we get a page reference to where --

15             MR. STRINGER:  I apologise.  Yes.  This is the 7 April, 2005, and

16     it's at page 48, line 13.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Stringer, in respect for the person, it's

18     "Mazowiecki."

19             MR. STRINGER:  I apologise, Your Honour; although, maybe I should

20     just say special rapporteur, because I'm still not clear that I can say

21     it as correctly as you just did.

22        Q.   You indicated that at the time you became head of ODPR, you -- it

23     was your practice to review these reports of the special rapporteur and

24     that they, in fact, did have an impact on all the sides to improve the

25     situation.  I want to ask you to look at those now, or one of them,

Page 31551

 1     anyway, which is P 06697, which is in binder number 1.  P 06697.  With

 2     the usher's assistance, perhaps you can find it.

 3             Mr. Raguz, I'd like to direct you to paragraph 50 of this report,

 4     which is at the bottom of page 9 of the English version, but if you'll go

 5     to paragraph 50.  Do you have that?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   Because paragraph 50 is just above the section that begins --

 8     that I want to ask you some questions about, mass deportations and

 9     violations of human rights by means of administrative measures in Western

10     Herzegovina.  Now, this is a report that's dated the 20th of November,

11     1993, so it's made about ten days before the time you become deputy --

12     sorry, before the time you become the head of the ODPR.  And I know it's

13     been a long time, Mr. Raguz.  Are you able to tell us whether this is one

14     of the reports that you were referring to when you made your statement to

15     the OTP investigators?

16        A.   I did give the statement that you quoted, and what I had in mind

17     was the general role Mr. Mazowiecki played and the statements or, rather,

18     reports he drafted.  I can say that I became the head of the office on

19     the 1st of December.  You linked this question to July, which is when I

20     just arrived.  It concerns the Citluk municipality.  It was in July that

21     I arrived, so we're dealing with a period when I was the head, and that's

22     how your question was phrased.  It was on the 1st of December, 1993, and

23     you will see that at the time I had daily contact with all relevant

24     international organisations with regard to the situation throughout the

25     territory.  There are reports of this, to this effect, and after a month

Page 31552

 1     or two, together with Bosniak Muslim representatives, I worked in order

 2     to find solutions to these problems and to the violations of

 3     international humanitarian law and so on and so forth.

 4        Q.   I understand that is your evidence, Mr. Raguz.  I just want to

 5     direct you to some specific parts of this to ask you whether you were

 6     aware that these were the things that the special rapporteur was

 7     reporting right at about the time you became the head of ODPR.  If you

 8     could turn to paragraph 53.  Here he writes about the eviction of Muslim

 9     residents in Mostar began in June of 1993, and he continues on talking

10     about what was happening in Mostar.  And the part of this paragraph that

11     I wanted to ask you about specifically is the last sentence, which reads:

12             "They were told that they were being evicted to make room for

13     Croats coming from Travnik.  Forced evictions and transfers of the Muslim

14     population in Mostar were still being reported in October 1993."

15             So the question is:  When you became the head of ODPR and began

16     reading Mr. Mazowiecki's reports, is this something that you became aware

17     of, his statement that, in fact, Muslims were being evicted from Mostar

18     and being told that, in fact, this was to make room for Croats coming

19     from Travnik?

20        A.   I have already said when and how I came to know about the overall

21     situation and how difficult it was.  I went into detail about this.  But

22     it is a fact that refugees and expelled persons from Mostar were never

23     received in Mostar in an organized way.  They were already in the

24     Republic of Croatia or in other countries at the time.  So it's not

25     correct to say that this was prepared in Mostar.  These people from

Page 31553

 1     Travnik, well, it was illogic [as interpreted], so there were over 20.000

 2     Croats who lived there, and the majority of them went to Croatia or to

 3     other countries.  That was a lot earlier than this time period that is

 4     being referred to here.  So I cannot deny that I am familiar with the

 5     fact that civilians suffered, were killed.  We are familiar with how

 6     difficult the humanitarian catastrophe was, and we did what was possible,

 7     given the circumstances.

 8        Q.   I'm asking you something that's a bit more specific, which is

 9     this, because I think by now we've seen it from a variety of different

10     sources:  Isn't it true that there was a policy to move Muslims out in

11     order to bring and make room for Croats coming in; that Muslims were

12     targeted, in part, in order to make room for Croats who would be arriving

13     within your area of responsibility from Central Bosnia?

14        A.   I reject that, if it's being referred to as a policy.  This is

15     what I said yesterday, and I'll keep repeating that moving people

16     around -- the suffering of people, which was obvious on all sides.  Well,

17     the suffering of Bosniaks and Muslims which you are referring to in this

18     case, is beyond dispute.  And in Mostar, since this is what we are

19     talking about, we can see that at the time a significant number of

20     refugees didn't arrive from Travnik or other places, as is claimed here.

21     And there are indicators that we discussed yesterday that show that this

22     is a fact.

23             There are indicators that show that in Mostar, apart from moving

24     from the right to the left bank, over 25.000 Muslims, a huge number, were

25     expelled by the Bosnia and Herzegovinian -- Bosnian and Herzegovinian

Page 31554

 1     Serbs, and they were placed in Mostar.  So these were huge numbers who

 2     were moved, and the suffering was enormous.

 3        Q.   I want to change topics a little bit now and ask you to look at a

 4     different document, which is in binder number 1, P 04283.  This relates

 5     to the movement of Muslims from the Ljubuski municipality.  Mr. Raguz,

 6     this is a report of the 4th brigade of the military police of Ljubuski,

 7     dated 18th of August, 1993, and it relates to a practice I want to ask

 8     you about.  If you know about it, tell us about it.  If you don't know

 9     about it, you can tell us that as well, saying here that:  "On the 17th

10     of August, the brigade military police worked with prisoners of Muslim

11     nationality who were in the military prison in Ljubuski and military

12     prison, West Mostar.  All prisoners who produce the guarantee letters,

13     certificates issued by SIS, and criminal department proving they have no

14     criminal record are released as well as those who had the certificate

15     issued by the Defence Department.  During the day, 24 prisoners who had

16     such documents were released, and they move out within 24 hours with

17     their family."

18             Now, if you could just look at one other one, which is P 04404,

19     and then I'll ask you a question.  This one is dated three days later on

20     the 21st of August, 1993.  P 04404.  And this is a confirmation made by

21     the 4th Brigade Military Police regarding a person who was a prisoner at

22     the Heliodrom, and it says:

23             "Based on the order of the chief of military police, Valentin

24     Coric, all those having such affidavits should be released.  The detainee

25     mentioned above is to be handed over to the brigade police Ljubuski

Page 31555

 1     because that is where his family is, and his family has been ordered out

 2     of Herzegovina."

 3             Now, my question, Mr. Raguz, is this:  The families, the Muslim

 4     families here who are leaving Ljubuski, as indicated in these documents,

 5     the movement of those people, is that something that was -- that ODPR was

 6     aware of or that it was otherwise responsible for?  Did these people fall

 7     within your competence, I guess is my question.

 8        A.   If we are discussing these documents, we were not involved in

 9     this.  These are reports.

10        Q.   Were you aware of --

11        A.   [No interpretation]

12        Q.   Were you aware of a practice where prisoners, as indicated here,

13     could be released if they had possessed the necessary paperwork and

14     letters of guarantee, on the condition that they would leave Western

15     Herzegovina with their families?

16        A.   We knew that some people left in that way.

17        Q.   Do you approve of that practice, sir, as the person who became

18     the head of the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees?

19        A.   At the time, I wasn't the head of the ODPR.

20        Q.   As the deputy head of ODPR at that time, do you approve of that

21     practice?

22        A.   We didn't deal with these issues in this manner, as I have said.

23     I cannot now say anything else.  These are specific cases.  I have told

24     you what the purpose was of the transit visas, and if they were to help

25     individuals and their families, and I believe that the majority of the

Page 31556

 1     cases were such, Mr. Prosecutor.  And if that is what their purpose was,

 2     I can't say I was against this.  And, likewise, if this was done on a

 3     voluntary basis, at the personal request of the individuals concerned.

 4        Q.   Take a look at the next exhibit, which is 1D 00928, which is in

 5     binder number 2.  Mr. Raguz, this is 1D 00928, and this is a report

 6     directed to the government of Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna,

 7     attention Dr. Jadranko Prlic, dated the 13th of October, 1993, and I

 8     don't know if you can make out the signature at the bottom of it.  It

 9     appears to me to be Mr. Nevenko Herceg's signature, but are you able to

10     recognise the signature on the back of the document?

11        A.   It's not very legible, but it looks like this.  It's impossible

12     to be certain.

13        Q.   I'd like to direct your attention to the fourth paragraph here,

14     which indicates in this report as follows:

15             "During August, with the maximum engagement of employed

16     commissioners, the transfer of displaced persons was completed from the

17     schools in Citluk, Ljubuski, and Posusje, to the private accommodation,

18     and in the same time," and then there's a word that the translators can't

19     read, "centers the number of accommodated persons decreased

20     significantly."

21             And so my first question, sir, is:  The reference here to

22     employed commissioners, are those the people who work as the commissioner

23     within the umbrella of the ODPR?  These are the municipality

24     commissioners?

25        A.   I think so, but I really can't read this, but I think that's the

Page 31557

 1     case.  This is illegible, completely illegible.

 2        Q.   Okay.  Well, let me ask you this, then.  We can set aside -- the

 3     document aside, and I'll just ask you if you remember this or if you know

 4     it, if the document -- if you can't read the document.  Do you know,

 5     Mr. Raguz, whether during this period of time the various authorities

 6     dealing with displaced persons and refugees began actually moving those

 7     persons out of collective centres, such as schools, and into private

 8     accommodation, as is indicated here?

 9        A.   I think there were such cases, yes.

10        Q.   Do you know whether the private accommodation that those people

11     moved into were, in fact, the homes that were empty because Muslims had

12     vacated Western Herzegovina, such as the Muslim families we saw a minute

13     ago in Ljubuski municipality?

14        A.   Probably there were such homes, but I said this morning that it

15     was part of the duty of the headquarters to relocate people from schools

16     and other places that were overcrowded, that they had to respect the

17     procedure, and it was up to the municipality bodies.  Of course, this was

18     done on a temporary basis, and you see here that from collective centres,

19     Croats were moved as well, not just to private accommodation but further

20     on to third countries.  This was a period of vast numbers of incoming

21     refugees for which it was simply impossible to provide accommodation.

22        Q.   And when you talk about the vast number of refugees, what you're

23     talking about, sir, is Croat refugees, because really that's the only

24     group that by this point was of concern to the ODPR; isn't that true?

25        A.   It is not true that that was the only concern of the office.

Page 31558

 1        Q.   If you could look at P 03089, please, which is in the very front

 2     of the first binder, I'm told.  P 03089.

 3             And while that's being found, Mr. Raguz:  During your direct

 4     testimony, counsel asked you about a different exhibit, 1D 01223, which

 5     was -- or which is the decree law on abandoned apartments of the Republic

 6     of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I want to ask you about, I guess, the

 7     analogous provision that existed within the territory of Herceg-Bosna.

 8     Do you see that, sir?  This is the decree on the use of abandoned

 9     apartments.  This is an HVO decree.  It is signed by the president of the

10     HVO, Dr. Prlic, dated 6th July, 1993.  Do you have that?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Were you familiar with this decree at the time you were acting as

13     deputy and then head of the ODPR?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   And I'm running out of time, and so I'm going to try to move more

16     quickly.  We'll see how it goes.

17             I'd like to direct your attention to Article 3 of this decree,

18     which indicates what is not an abandoned apartment.  The first paragraph

19     indicates that:

20             "An apartment which has been abandoned by the holder of tenancy

21     rights with the family members ...  due to the use of physical force and

22     the objective of ethnically cleansing the populace from a certain region

23     or achieving other objectives shall not be considered to have been

24     abandoned."

25             And then the next paragraph says: "An apartment which was

Page 31559

 1     destroyed, torched, or whose tenants were in direct danger from wartime

 2     activities, threats of murder, physical abuse, and so forth, shall not be

 3     considered to have been abandoned."

 4             And then the third paragraph states that the holder of tenancy

 5     rights or the family member who reside together on a permanent basis have

 6     recommenced using the apartment within seven days of the entry into force

 7     of this decree, the apartment shall not be considered abandoned.

 8             Now, we can go back and look at the decree you looked at during

 9     your direct, that's the decree of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but I can represent

10     to you that the first two paragraphs of this Article 3 are pretty much

11     the same, as far as I can tell, as between the Herceg-Bosna and the BH

12     law; that is, apartments that are abandoned because the people were

13     ethnically -- were -- had to leave due to the use of physical force, or

14     if their house was burned, essentially homes that had been abandoned

15     because of ethnic cleansing, if you will, is how I read it, those don't

16     become abandoned for purposes of the law.  Is that a correct

17     understanding of the law that was on the books in Herceg-Bosna?

18        A.   I think it is.  I think it is, as far as I'm able to follow.

19        Q.   Well, were you familiar with this particular provision at the

20     time you were associated with the ODPR?

21        A.   I think I was, yes.

22        Q.   My question is this:  People like those Muslim families in

23     Ljubuski, who were detainees and they got the letters of guarantee, and

24     they were able to get out of the camp and leave Ljubuski within 24 hours,

25     would those homes qualify to be as abandoned homes or not abandoned under

Page 31560

 1     this provision, in your view?

 2        A.   There's reference here to physical force and ethnic cleansing,

 3     Article 3.  So if there was physical force, then that apartment could not

 4     be declared abandoned.

 5        Q.   Okay.  So --

 6        A.   But in answer to your previous question regarding these

 7     procedures, both the headquarters and the office, you saw the decisions,

 8     instructed the municipalities to apply the prescribed procedures in all

 9     the decisions that they passed.

10        Q.   Okay.  So, in other words, someone who gets a transit visa or

11     gets a letter of guarantee and is released from a camp to go home, can

12     pack up and leave, that does not -- that departure does not involve

13     physical force, and so therefore that home does not fall within the terms

14     of Article 3?

15             MR. KARNAVAS:  I'm going to object to the form of the question.

16     I think there -- I mean, is this a hypothetical or is he trying to

17     restate the gentleman's answer?  If it is the latter, I think it assumes

18     facts that are not in evidence and it certainly mischaracterizes the

19     gentleman's testimony.  If it is a hypothetical, I would suggest put it

20     in the form of a hypothetical question.  But I think there are a lot of

21     facts in this, and I think that we need to go and proceed with caution.

22     I understand a yes-or-no answer would be preferable because it suits the

23     Prosecution for their closing argument, but I think this -- these are

24     very complex matters, and I think the gentleman should be given an

25     opportunity to go step by step.

Page 31561

 1             MR. STRINGER:  I can ask it as a hypothetical, Mr. President, and

 2     put it to the witness that way.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Yes, I understood that it was

 4     a hypothetical.  Everyone understood that it was on a hypothetical basis,

 5     and the witness should answer in that way.

 6             MR. STRINGER:

 7        Q.   Would you like me to ask the question again, Mr. Raguz, or do you

 8     want to proceed?

 9        A.   Will you please do that, ask me the question again?

10        Q.   Let's say that there's a Muslim family in Ljubuski, and they're

11     not displaced persons or refugees, they just live in Ljubuski.  And

12     there's the father of the family is in a detention camp, an HVO camp at

13     Dretelj, and he and his family are able to acquire a letter of guarantee

14     that says they have a place to go live in a third country, for example,

15     Sweden, and that other paperwork is obtained indicating that he doesn't

16     have a criminal record and is otherwise qualified to be released on the

17     condition that he and his family leave their home in Ljubuski.

18             And so let's say that this man is released from the camp in

19     Dretelj on the basis of that paperwork.  He goes to Ljubuski.  He

20     collects his family, and they leave Ljubuski and they leave their home,

21     and they go perhaps pass through Croatia and move on to Sweden.  Now, the

22     question is this, whether in that situation, the house that they left

23     behind, is it abandoned or not abandoned, as those terms are found in

24     this decree?

25        A.   Article 3 preconditions this with physical force or ethnic

Page 31562

 1     cleansing, physical force with the aim of ethnic cleansing.  That is what

 2     Article 3 says.  And if there was such physical force, it cannot be

 3     considered an abandoned apartment, according to the provisions of this

 4     article.  That is my interpretation, and I can't say anything else.

 5     Anything else would be an interpretation of something that is not written

 6     in the law.  I never denied that there were individual cases.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Witness, the question of the

 8     Prosecutor is hypothetical, but there is a legal aspect.

 9             This family from Ljubuski that is going to leave under the

10     conditions indicated by the Prosecutor, if the apartment is a social

11     property, because they had an apartment given by the municipality for

12     social reasons, he is leaving that apartment, and then does the

13     municipality have the right to give this apartment to someone else and

14     another legal category if the apartment was their own private property?

15     So could you make a distinction between these two situations, someone who

16     is occupying an apartment given by the municipality leaves, does the

17     municipality then have the right to give that socially-owned apartment to

18     someone else, including possibly a Croatian refugee or, if it is private

19     property, then can the municipality take that apartment away?  Could you

20     answer or not as to these two different possibilities?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were several questions,

22     Mr. President, there, and certainly if the apartment is socially owned,

23     then the municipality did have the right, pursuant to these rules, to

24     give it to someone else and to determine which apartments are considered

25     abandoned.  And that was the practice in all the municipalities in

Page 31563

 1     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was up to the municipal bodies to assess the

 2     duration of time within which abandoned apartments can be allotted to

 3     others.  And we have seen specific cases in the course of this trial, the

 4     way in which individual municipalities reacted when it came to the

 5     distribution of abandoned apartments.  We saw some decisions about the

 6     eviction of illegally -- flats that were illegally moved into.  There was

 7     quite a number of those, too.  Some municipalities rescinded the status

 8     of refugees and displaced persons so that temporarily-occupied apartments

 9     could be restored to earlier owners, previous owners.  And this article

10     talks of apartments, so that my answer can only be linked to apartments.

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  Just one point of clarification, Mr. President.  I

12     assume when you said "give the apartment," what you meant was have the

13     apartment allocated for temporary usage, because that's what's in the

14     law.  It's not giving away, as if they have -- you know, they're giving

15     away the property rights.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Yes.  To make the transcript

17     more precise, to give someone, one can give them the temporary use.  It's

18     not a donation of such an apartment.

19             Mr. Stringer, you need to conclude soon.

20             MR. STRINGER:  And I will do that.  I'm going to do that,

21     Mr. President.  I'm almost there.  I think I may have got just three or

22     for more documents, at most.

23        Q.   The next exhibit, Mr. Raguz, is P 05626, binder 1.  5626.  Sir,

24     this is a document dated the 4th of October, 1993.  It is on the

25     letterhead of the HVO Mostar Municipality Office for Refugees and

Page 31564

 1     Displaced Persons, Mostar Commission.  And going to the end of it, it's

 2     signed by someone by the name of Biljana Nikic.

 3             Do you know, Mr. Raguz, was Ms. Nikic the ODPR commissioner

 4     appointed by the Mostar municipality to work on these issues of refugees

 5     and displaced persons?

 6        A.   I think she was.

 7        Q.   Do you know her or did you know her at the time?

 8        A.   At the time, no, but later when I took over the office.  I may

 9     have known her even then, but I did meet her.

10        Q.   And this is a document she's addressing to various bodies, such

11     as the Criminal Military Police Department, Mostar Centre, the SIS

12     centre, Internal Affairs Department, Mostar Municipality HVO, and the

13     Exchange Department.  Do you know what the Exchange Department is that's

14     referred to there?  Is that the Office for Exchange of Persons?

15        A.   It just says "the Department for Exchange."  I really can't say,

16     because it doesn't say anything else.

17        Q.   All right.  What's happening here is Ms. Nikic is requesting that

18     these bodies check up on the political, material, and criminal

19     responsibility of five persons whose names appear on the document, and

20     this is with the purpose of issuing transit visas for the Republic of

21     Croatia.  And this is my question:  Were you aware that, at least at the

22     level of the commissioners, the ODPR commissioners were doing this; that

23     is, they were processing issuance of transit visas, and in part to do

24     that, they were communicating with other HVO bodies to check up on the

25     suitability of people or the eligibility of people to obtain a transit

Page 31565

 1     visa?

 2        A.   I've already said that they did collect individual requests, that

 3     this was done by municipal bodies, and I don't exclude the possibility of

 4     them communicating how, when, and to what extent.  That was up to them to

 5     assess, so this was probably such a situation.

 6        Q.   Now, there are -- the first three people in this one have the

 7     same family name, Dzinovic, if I've said it correctly.  They appear to

 8     live at the same place, number 38.  One of them appears to be a rather

 9     old man born in 1935.  Number 2 appears to be a woman born in 1950.  And

10     then the third one appears to be someone who was at the time 12 years

11     old, Ernest Dzinovic.  Assuming these people were civilians, then, was

12     ODPR involved then in processing transit visas for Muslim civilians or

13     any civilians?

14        A.   I said that the municipal bodies collected individual requests.

15        Q.   Okay.  And then number 4 is someone named Ibro Maric, and he's

16     born in 1961.  It's got his address there, too.  I'm assuming it's in

17     Mostar.  Do you know -- because he's a man -- a Muslim man of military

18     age at this point in time, and I'm wondering, do you know did the ODPR

19     commissioners also process transit visas for Muslim prisoners?

20        A.   I don't exclude such a possibility.  I really don't know.  One

21     would need to look into each individual case, and this is a specific case

22     with five persons named.  And the request is to check them out, and I

23     don't exclude that this did happen from time to time.

24             Before I came to testify here, I was checked out by all

25     intelligence services.  I don't know on whose instructions.  The

Page 31566

 1     intelligence agency of Bosnia-Herzegovina checked out my background with

 2     all the courts in Bosnia-Herzegovina to see whether I have any suspicious

 3     records before I came here.  So this is for your information, Your

 4     Honours.  I don't know on whose instructions this was done.  And my whole

 5     life will pass with such checkings.  This is a specific case from which I

 6     cannot draw any conclusions about the practice.

 7        Q.   The next document is P 04794.  4794.  And this is just the last

 8     couple of questions on the issue of the humanitarian aid convoys, which I

 9     know you haven't talked about it as much as you would have liked, I know

10     it was largely the main thing you were responsible for.

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  In light of Mr. Raguz's last comment, might it be

12     appropriate for us to determine whether it was the OTP that made such

13     requests, because it's rather odd to hear that witnesses that are

14     appearing for the Defence are having their background checked by secret

15     intelligence agencies related to Bosnia-Herzegovina, particularly when

16     our witnesses are politicians or have very responsible positions.  It

17     seemed to me to be rather important.

18             MR. STRINGER:  We can take -- if we could take this up later.

19     I'm just about at the end of my cross-examination, Mr. President.  I'm

20     happy to entertain the issue, but maybe we could just finish.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Yes.  Continue, please, with

22     the cross-examination.

23             MR. STRINGER:

24        Q.   Mr. Raguz, a couple of questions on humanitarian aid and the

25     convoys, because I know that you were very involved in that, and you've

Page 31567

 1     showed us the many -- the records of the many convoys that were moving

 2     throughout the region and the HVO territory.

 3             Would you agree with me, sir, that movement of convoys throughout

 4     the HVO-held territories was always going to be dependent upon the

 5     cooperation/facilitation of the HVO armed forces?  It was dependent upon

 6     the HVO armed forces?

 7        A.   I really don't fully understand your question.  Could you

 8     rephrase it, please?

 9        Q.   Well --

10        A.   I can explain how the convoys passed, and I have explained that

11     repeatedly.

12        Q.   My question is this:  In order to physically move from one

13     location to another throughout the HVO-held territory during this

14     conflict, time of conflict, convoys would have to pass through

15     check-points manned by the HVO military personnel, for example, and would

16     have to get approval of the HVO military in order to move around these

17     territories?  That's simply the question.

18        A.   All I can say, that convoys moved in accordance with established

19     procedures and routes, and of course sometimes this depended on the

20     situation on the ground and the war operations.  We saw that from the

21     reports of the UNHCR and UNPROFOR, that what happened frequently, not

22     just at individual check-points but throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina,

23     that convoys couldn't pass through because of the fighting and they were

24     turned back.  But --

25        Q.   I've just got a little bit of time left, and so I need to cut you

Page 31568

 1     off.

 2             Looking at this document, and you're talking about the

 3     established procedures, this is an order that's issued by Mr. Zarko Tole,

 4     dated the 4th of September, 1993, and what he's ordering is that on the

 5     following day, the 5th of September, movements of UN, UNHCR, and UNPROFOR

 6     at the military police check-points in your area of responsibility,

 7     especially toward Vranica, saying:  "Stop them, stop all movements, and

 8     all movements towards Jablanica is to be prevented.  These activities are

 9     to be carried out until 1500 hours.

10             And then he continues at point number 2:  "It is to be done so as

11     to appear as self-willedness of policemen at the check-points and as if

12     we were doing everything to let them through."

13             Item 3:  "After 1500 hours, allow further movements as if nothing

14     happened."

15             Is this a practice that you encountered in your capacity as the

16     deputy and then the head of the ODPR, convoys being held up at

17     check-points for reasons that aren't clear?  Perhaps you thought the

18     arrangements had been made, and then all of a sudden things don't

19     actually work out the way you had hoped?

20        A.   That was absolutely not the practice.  I see this document for

21     the first time.  And after three hours on that same day, passage was

22     allowed, we see from this document, the Court was also able to see how

23     much aid and how many convoys passed through within a short period of

24     time and how much aid arrived with the assistance of the Office for

25     Refugees and Displaced Persons.  This was the largest quantity that came

Page 31569

 1     along ground routes, and we received a great deal of gratitude for this.

 2     I'm not saying that occasionally these convoys were not held up, because

 3     we know what was going on.

 4        Q.   The document that you looked at yesterday, I believe, on -- that

 5     listed all the convoys was 3D 00921, and we've given you a copy of that.

 6     It's in the Defence binder, but we have additional copies to --

 7        A.   I've got it.

 8        Q.   This is the -- this is the sheet that has all the listings, and

 9     I'm just very briefly, my only real question on this, Mr. Raguz, was --

10     and it was noted by the President, actually, that going through this,

11     you'll see a lot of convoys going to Zenica and Sarajevo, and I'm looking

12     at the month of September 1993, October 1993.  There are some convoys,

13     I'm seeing, going into Bugojno in this period, Jablanica, Tuzla.  There's

14     one to Kakanj on the 10th of October, 1993.  And this continues on.

15     We're seeing on page -- the ERN number is 0365-3937, there are convoys in

16     here to Mostar.  But, again, as was pointed out, a lot of convoys to

17     Sarajevo and Zenica.

18             And then at the page that ends with the digits 3938, the tally

19     comes to an end on the 2nd of December, 1993.  Do you see that?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   And then if you turn the page, it starts -- it's -- we go back to

22     June, it appears, and then we see a lot of other convoys, and these are

23     going to places like Grude, Citluk, Mostar, Posusje, Prozor, Bugojno, and

24     again as we go through these pages, it seems to me that there are a

25     greater number of convoys here that are going to places within Western

Page 31570

 1     Herzegovina or the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which you -- would

 2     you agree with me on that?

 3        A.   No, because you have collective information here on the amount of

 4     aid that was transported to areas under the control of the Armija and of

 5     the HVO.  The information is very precise, because each request included

 6     certain things.  I have to finish my answer, because you asked me about

 7     this, and this is what I want to say.

 8             Through these convoys that the ODPR dealt with, over two-thirds

 9     of the aid went to Sarajevo, Zenica, and other areas under the control of

10     the ABiH, and they passed through areas under the control of the HVO.

11        Q.   Is it --

12        A.   All the convoys are on record.  That's a good thing.  And that

13     remains so for posterity.

14        Q.   Is it possible that it was the relief organisations that are

15     indicated here that were making their determinations as to where aid was

16     needed the most?  In other words, is it possible that aid was needed more

17     in Zenica or Sarajevo and it was perhaps needed less at the time in

18     Ljubuski or Medjugorje, for example, where there was no significant

19     military activity during this period of time?

20        A.   When explaining the procedure for the convoys that had passed

21     through, I had already said that humanitarian organisations autonomously

22     decided on the final destination for the delivery of aid, and I said that

23     this was their responsibility.  We never told them to deliver it to one

24     destination, not to another.  We had no individual requests to make.

25        Q.   The last exhibit and the last question, Mr. Raguz, is P 03394.

Page 31571

 1     It's in binder number 1.

 2             During your direct examination, you referred to a report on the

 3     work of the ODPR.  I think the one you referred to on direct was a

 4     different one, but I just have one question about this one.  This one's

 5     dated the 12th of July, 1993, so it's early during the time of your

 6     association with ODPR?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   And it's not numbered, or at least the version I have is not

 9     numbered, so I'll try to just walk you through to the part I'm interested

10     in.  I'm looking at the bottom of page 2 of the English version, where it

11     begins:  "On March 11, 1993, the rules of the internal structure and

12     method of work of the office were adopted."  Do you see that, Mr. Raguz?

13        A.   I'm looking for that, Mr. Prosecutor.  On the second page --

14        Q.   It may be -- it begins with the words:  "On 11 March ..."

15        A.   It's the first page in my version.

16        Q.   Okay, all right.  And is that a reference to the rules on the

17     work of the ODPR that were made by Mr. Tadic?

18        A.   Probably, the rules of the internal organisation.

19        Q.   Okay.  And then moving forward, the next paragraph says -- starts

20     off with the words:  "Having set up an analysis department at the end of

21     March ..."   Do you see that?

22        A.   Which page is that?  Page 2?

23        Q.   It's probably page 2 for you:

24             "Having set up an analysis department --"

25        A.   Yes, I found it.

Page 31572

 1        Q.   We're still not quite yet to the part I want to ask you about,

 2     but this is the best way to bring you there.  The next paragraph begins

 3     with the words:  "Before the department for the collection distribution

 4     and selection of humanitarian aid (mid-March 1993)."

 5             Do you see that?

 6        A.   I found it.

 7        Q.   And then the next paragraph begins with the words:  "One of the

 8     greatest problems that this department has faced has been the problem of

 9     shipping aid (through a lack of funds) --"

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   " ...  [Previous translation continues]... difficulties in the

12     convoys and the shipments."

13             The next paragraph begins with the discussion of -- it says:  "At

14     this office's initiative, a decision on controlling the influx of

15     humanitarian aid in HZ-HB was adopted."

16             Do you see that?  Okay.  And then finally it brings us to the

17     paragraph I wanted to ask you about.  It says:  "This office has

18     established good cooperation with the HVO Main Staff logistics in Grude,

19     and we donated to them substantial amounts of various items, and we

20     organised joint convoys for Central Bosnia and other hazardous areas

21     (example: the last convoy to Konjic and Zepce)."

22             The question is this, Mr. Raguz, was it ODPR's policy to donate

23     humanitarian goods or any of the goods that it had for distribution to

24     refugees and displaced persons, did it donate those types of goods, in

25     fact, to the HVO Main Staff, or do you know?

Page 31573

 1        A.   This was at the beginning of my arrival.  I said that I had

 2     established quite clear procedures, transparent procedures, and I don't

 3     think that we can say that these were the general policies.  I wouldn't

 4     exclude such cases, but while I was there, it wasn't a policy, nor did

 5     anyone ask me to pursue such a policy.

 6             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, sir.

 7             Mr. President, I have no further questions.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Stringer, you have now

 9     completed your cross-examination.  As far as Mr. Karnavas' request is

10     concerned, is there anything you would like to say?

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  Good morning, Mr. President.  Good morning, Your

12     Honours.

13             In light of what was covered on cross-examination and the direct

14     examination, we feel that you could not benefit any more from any

15     redirect, so there will not be any redirect examination.  And we want to

16     thank Mr. Raguz for coming here and giving his evidence, and we wish him

17     the best of luck and a safe trip back home.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.

19             Mr. Stringer, you said that you would answer Mr. Karnavas'

20     question about the investigations into the witness.  I give you the floor

21     if you want to answer that question.  It's for you to decide.

22             MR. STRINGER:  I can look into it, if Your Honour -- or if the

23     Trial Chamber wishes me to do so.  I don't have a ready answer at this

24     point.  We certainly don't have a policy of -- along the lines as has

25     been suggested, and certainly it's not our policy to do anything to

Page 31574

 1     discourage people from coming.

 2             You know, on the other hand, I think it's clear, and I can say

 3     this, any witness who comes here, we are interested to know if any

 4     witness has a criminal background.  It's a very normal, at least where I

 5     come from, practice to try to ascertain whether a person, a witness, has

 6     a criminal background, because that's a factor that can affect their

 7     credibility as a witness.  And so if a background check has been

 8     requested on that basis, it's quite possible that that's taken place.

 9     But, again, I think it's part of a normal procedure on checking about a

10     witness to see whether there's a crime in his background that would

11     affect his credibility as a witness.

12             MR. KARNAVAS:  Well, that doesn't quite answer my question.  Are

13     background checks being made?  It seems like we're waffling here.  I find

14     it incredibly difficult to swallow that the senior trial lawyer in this

15     case would not know whether background checks were requested of all the

16     Defence witnesses.  I know for a fact that our very first witness was

17     checked, and it seems that it's not just asking the local authorities

18     whether they have on their computer something, but engaging -- it would

19     appear that part of this process are secret services being engaged to

20     snooping around.  And I think this has serious implications concerning

21     some of our witnesses, because if you have a situation, as you have today

22     in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where still, albeit peaceful, it is precarious and

23     politics there is somewhat of a blood sport, I think that these sorts of

24     checks by secret agencies tend to have a chilling effect.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Stringer, I've listened

Page 31575

 1     carefully to what you have said, and it's quite logical that when a

 2     witness appears, the Prosecution checks to see whether he has a criminal

 3     record, and he then asks the local OTP whether Mr. X had a criminal past,

 4     had anything to do with the police or the legal system.  There's nothing

 5     to object there.  But Mr. Karnavas has raised another matter that I have

 6     just found out about.  Has the OTP launched an investigation into the

 7     gentleman's past, that concerns all the aspects of his past, fiscal past,

 8     private/political past; were the secret services involved in this?  So

 9     this is the issue that Mr. Karnavas has raised.

10             MR. STRINGER:  No, that's absolutely not correct, Mr. President.

11     It's the practice with every witness, whatever country they come from.

12     So with this witness, if he's coming from Bosnia-Herzegovina, we -- the

13     normal course, because I can't say for sure what is the specific

14     procedure that was used here, I can tell you the normal course would be

15     to request of Federation authorities to check to see whether any given

16     witness has a criminal record.  In addition to that, of course, we do

17     things like Google searches, and that's how we found Mr. Raguz' CV on the

18     internet on the European Parliament web site.

19             So we absolutely check witnesses.  We do it ourselves, and we

20     also make requests of the national authorities who have access to the

21     relevant information on criminal background.  There is certainly no

22     intention or request to do anything more in terms of prying or inquiring

23     into the private lives of witnesses.  I think Mr. Karnavas has so far

24     managed to assemble a quite impressive array of witnesses to come here as

25     part of his case in chief.  I'm surprised to hear if there's been any

Page 31576

 1     chilling, because actually virtually all of the people that he's called

 2     have been rather high profile and well known.

 3             And so we check criminal backgrounds.  We do it by requesting

 4     assistance from national authorities, which is our right to do and which

 5     is the procedure that's provided under the Statute of the Tribunal, and I

 6     want to assure the Trial Chamber, Mr. Karnavas, as well as the witness

 7     himself that there is no intention on the part of the Prosecution to

 8     cross the line or make any effort to do anything that goes beyond the

 9     normal type of investigation that would be done for any witness.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.

11             Ms. Nozica first of all.

12             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I was waiting to see whether

13     Mr. Karnavas would address this issue.  As he hasn't, I would like to add

14     something that's very important.

15             We have no reason to believe the Prosecution is working in the

16     way described, that he requests information for witnesses that might have

17     to do with a possible criminal record, but I would like to point out the

18     danger of such requests.  When such requests arrive, when the state

19     organs and certain services in Bosnia-Herzegovina receive such requests,

20     they can be abused by those services.  I believe that this is a problem

21     that occurred in the case of this witness.  Unfortunately, Bosnia and

22     Herzegovina is still nationally divided, and perhaps it's even worse, but

23     it's more sophisticated.  When this request comes for the Defence witness

24     in the Prlic case, it can be abused by the secret services under the

25     control of the Bosniak side, perhaps, and in such cases investigations

Page 31577

 1     can be conducted, and these investigations result in scaring the

 2     witnesses or discouraging the witnesses, or perhaps discouraging them

 3     from testifying here about things they are familiar with.

 4             I didn't say this just to inform the Chamber about the fact, but

 5     also because I believe that it would be good if, when the Prosecution

 6     makes such requests, it also informs the extent to which they are asking

 7     for information, the scope of their requests, so that they do not abuse

 8     the Prosecution request and act in a way that might be detrimental to

 9     this Tribunal and to this case.

10             Thank you very much.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Praljak, you are on your

12     feet.  Is this because you want to spend your ten minutes on saying

13     something or do you want to react to what has just been said?

14             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]  I want to react to what

15     has been said, because I know of an investigation conducted by the

16     special services in my case, but I would like the following question to

17     be put to the Prosecution.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  If this is done correctly,

19     then it's a written request to the bodies concerned, please do

20     such-and-such a thing in accordance with such-and-such a law.

21             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]  Would the Judge please ask

22     the Prosecution whether he could show the documents that were legally

23     sent to the bodies of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, or was everything

24     done orally?  And to a large extent, this is how the Prosecution works in

25     cooperation with all intelligence services, and this scares witnesses and

Page 31578

 1     creates chaos.  If you have such documents that show that you made

 2     such-and-such a request to such-and-such a witness, could you show them

 3     to the Chamber?

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Stringer, I believe that

 5     when you had contact with the local authorities, or when you have contact

 6     with them, you submit written requests to them, or is it done over the

 7     phone?

 8             MR. STRINGER:  Well, if I could just make a couple of general

 9     observations, because there seems to be an assumption that's floating

10     around now that whatever background checks are done is actually

11     interfering with the Defence's ability to call witnesses.  There is no

12     proof of that, that I'm aware of, certainly.  Certainly, none has been

13     put out here.  And as I indicated, I think that what we've seen so far of

14     the Defence is to the contrary.  That's number 1.

15             Secondly, I'd be rather surprised to learn that the Defence

16     teams, for their part, have not done their own background checking on the

17     witnesses called by the Prosecution case in chief.  It's expected,

18     I think, and I'd be surprised if the Defence had not done the same thing

19     themselves.

20             In respect of Bosnia-Herzegovina, certainly because of the

21     situation there, there is the potential for abuse, but in this respect

22     I think it cuts both ways, and it's just the reality that the Prosecution

23     and the Defence have to deal with when dealing with authorities of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Croatia, or Serbia as well.  We're all dependent

25     upon the local authorities for a variety of things, and this is one of

Page 31579

 1     them.  But on this, the Prosecution is on an equal footing with the

 2     Defence.  They can make the checks.  They have to consult with the local

 3     authorities as well, and just -- and there is an equal potential for

 4     abuse when they check Prosecution witnesses.  So there's no disparity

 5     here.

 6             I'm not prepared, Mr. President, to get into the specifics of the

 7     methods that we've used to conduct our background investigations or to

 8     seek the assistance of the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and nor

 9     would I expect the Defence to share that information with the

10     Prosecution, so I'm not prepared to go into that at this time beyond

11     saying that the Prosecution's office deals always on a formal level with

12     the authorities of all states, including Bosnia-Herzegovina.

13             MR. KARNAVAS:  Mr. President, there's been a request by

14     Mr. Praljak as to whether there is an abuse of process.  I mean, that's

15     how I see it.  I try to be rather measured.  I purposely avoided getting

16     into the discussion that Ms. Nozica got into, not because I wasn't aware

17     of it but because I didn't want to inject politics, but such is the case

18     in Bosnia-Herzegovina that here we have, for instance, my client, clearly

19     a rising star within Croatian politics in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Here we

20     have a witness who is a rising star of one of the major political parties

21     representing the Croat nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We have

22     Bosnia-Herzegovina which essentially, for all intents and purposes, while

23     on the ground it doesn't look like Iraq, the politics are nonetheless are

24     very much the same.  You have three different nations that are having the

25     same discussions today as they were having back in 1991.  That is

Page 31580

 1     essentially what is happening.  So if, for instance, a request is made,

 2     and if one of the intelligence agencies pursues a particular request and

 3     has the ability to abuse the process, what it can essentially do is

 4     neutralise -- is neutralise certain political players back there and, of

 5     course, affect the lives of the individuals that are being tried here

 6     today.

 7             We know for a fact how intelligence agencies work.  Many of them

 8     work through means of disinformation.  We are not suggesting that the

 9     Prosecution has engaged in anything unlawful, but what we are saying is

10     that perhaps when the Prosecution makes such a request, that it needs to

11     be made in a narrow fashion.  Thus far, we don't know how that request is

12     being made; hence, Mr. Praljak indicated we would like to see if it is in

13     writing, what exactly is being asked.

14             Might I also say that at the beginning of this Tribunal, the life

15     of this Tribunal back in 1993, it is a well-known fact that one of the

16     agencies for one of the nations was working directly inside the Office of

17     the Prosecution.  That is a fact.  If you also look at who has been

18     indicted and who has not been indicted, we don't see Mr. Izetbegovic, we

19     never saw him here, we didn't see Mr. Ganic, or Silajdzic, or others.

20     They were investigated, they were worked, but they're not here.  And so

21     what we're worried is that these sorts of requests, benign as they may

22     seem to be, have a very nefarious and dark nature to them, one that has

23     far more implications for the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina politics.  And

24     all we're asking for is, one, the request be made in a very narrow

25     fashion and, two, that such requests that have been made be provided to

Page 31581

 1     the Trial Chamber.  Obviously, we cannot control, neither you, nor the

 2     Prosecution, what is done on that end, but we think that with some gentle

 3     prodding from the Tribunal, such requests that the Prosecution is

 4     concerned about can be made in such a way that perhaps it might be able

 5     to alleviate some of the problems.  But I find it very difficult to

 6     swallow when the Prosecution says, "Well, the Defence hasn't been

 7     impacted."  Yes, the witness did arrive, but, however, the witness also

 8     knew that he was intensely being investigated, and it could have gone the

 9     other way around.  And how do I then come back and say, "Well, here are

10     the reasons"?

11             So it is having a chilling effect, albeit indirectly at this

12     point.  I'm not suggesting that I have lost any witnesses thus far, but

13     there were other witnesses that I might have had for other reasons.  So

14     all we're asking for is one, narrow scope; two, for the Prosecution to

15     come clean.  We're entitled to this information.  It also begs the

16     question:  Have they done this with their own witnesses, especially with

17     some of the internationals that we believed worked for some of the

18     intelligence agencies.

19             Thank you.

20             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I would like to say a few words without any

21     attempt to stop the discussion.  I didn't want to stop, actually,

22     Mr. Karnavas about his final statement here.

23             Really, I believe that now the discussion went beyond the scope

24     of the original intentions, and it is now -- I feel that it would have

25     been better if the statements would have been done within a kind of

Page 31582

 1     closed meeting, because somehow -- allowing for transparency, definitely,

 2     but some of the statements or allegations or whatever, they went beyond

 3     what I inferred was the original purpose.  The original purpose was if

 4     the Prosecution asks for any kind of checking, as far as the background

 5     of the witness or witnesses concerned, and this I understand that it is

 6     an important question and one which could be raised, but now speaking

 7     about intelligence agencies, et cetera, I really believe it is now beyond

 8     our competence here, at least for the time being, and especially not

 9     within a meeting of a sitting in -- and not in a closed meeting, so I

10     would like to ask that this issue should be closed now.  We have heard

11     the Prosecution, we have heard, of course, the Defence, and I believe

12     that the issue could be closed.

13             Thank you.

14             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

15             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] If I may, I fully appreciate what

16     Your Honour has said.  It would be quite logical for me not to have

17     anything to add after what he has said, but I would like to say, because

18     this may be addressed to me because I raised issues that were not

19     referred to at the beginning, I would like us to check the transcript,

20     because the witness said that he was being investigated by secret

21     services, and this has prompted me to rise and to say this.  So I'm

22     referring to what I've just said.  It is a danger.  When official bodies

23     are doing checkups, then there is no danger, and I think everything I

24     said, as far as I'm concerned, can be said in open session.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Praljak.

Page 31583

 1             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]  I abide by my request that

 2     it is necessary for the Prosecution to show the exact wording of the

 3     written requests addressed to the bodies of either Bosnia-Herzegovina or

 4     Croatia, what is written in them, if they are in written form, because

 5     otherwise this is for a public session.  People who need to testify are

 6     trembling down there because of open attacks by various secret services.

 7     It is for the public, for the public to hear that they are free

 8     individuals, that threats made does not diminish from their ability to

 9     freely and bravely and sincerely testify in this court.

10             If the Prosecution doesn't have those papers, let them tell us in

11     public.

12             As for the Prosecutor's statement and explanation, as far as I'm

13     concerned, it is an insult for a peptogenous virus.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Praljak, we are going to

15     discuss this question, whether your request should have a response from

16     the Prosecution or not, so the Judges will deliberate on the issue this

17     afternoon.

18             Witness, my understanding was at the beginning that you wanted to

19     make a statement.  Is this statement linked to this or is it something

20     else, because the Judges do not appreciate statements except at the end

21     of the testimony.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, only if the examination is

23     over, I wanted to add two or three sentiments.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Yes, but when it's over, you

25     don't say anything except thank you to the Judges.  If it is to thank the

Page 31584

 1     Judges, then it is okay, but if it is to say something else, there is a

 2     risk of opening a new debate, which is something that we don't want.

 3             As far as I'm concerned and on behalf of my colleagues I wish to

 4     thank you for coming to testify on behalf of the Defence of Mr. Prlic,

 5     and I wish you a safe journey home and success in the continuation of

 6     your professional and political activities.  That is all I have to say

 7     about this, and I wish to ask the usher to escort you out of the

 8     courtroom.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wish to thank you, too, as the

10     President to the members of the Trial Chamber, the Defence of the

11     accused, the Prosecution, and the accused for the possibility of saying

12     in this courtroom my views of what the situation was like at the most

13     difficult moments for Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Thank you once again.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Thank you.  You may leave now.

15                           [The witness withdrew]

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Stringer.

17             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

18             I would like to just have one brief opportunity to respond to

19     some of the comments that were made on this last point, if in fact the

20     Trial Chamber is going to deliberate on this any further.  I think I'd

21     like at least for the Trial Chamber to know what the Prosecution position

22     is in respect of any further deliberations.

23             It's our view, Mr. President, that the Office of the Prosecutor

24     is an independent body at this Tribunal.  As a party to these

25     proceedings, it's entitled to conduct its own investigation of witnesses,

Page 31585

 1     as is the Defence.  With respect, it's our position that it's not within

 2     the domain of the Trial Chamber to order the Prosecution to disclose or

 3     to produce its request for assistance or the work product that it makes

 4     in conducting what is legitimate background investigation, particularly

 5     where there's been no showing whatsoever of any impropriety.  We've heard

 6     a lot of words from counsel and the accused himself, but there's no

 7     showing whatsoever.

 8             The witness indicated he was aware he'd been checked, but in fact

 9     he's come.  I can say with absolute certainty that the Prosecution's

10     fully aware of the pressures and the concerns that witnesses have to deal

11     with when coming here, because there's certainly a good number of

12     Prosecution witnesses from Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Croatia, or

13     internationals as well who to this day carry a lot of fear of these

14     gentlemen and the HVO and the repercussions of their coming here, and

15     they also know the situation that exists politically down in

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So these are risks that all the witnesses run.  And

17     there are witnesses that were not heard during the Prosecution case

18     because of these concerns, and that may be true of the Defence as well.

19     But on this, we're on equal footing.

20             But in any event, Mr. President, I think I just wanted to make

21     that clear that -- what the Prosecution position is on this issue, and I

22     appreciate you giving me the opportunity to do that.

23             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, with your leave, I did stand earlier and

24     sat down to my chair again when His Honour Judge Prandler was making his

25     remarks and giving guidance to the Trial Chamber.

Page 31586

 1             I do agree, in part, with what my learned friend has just said.

 2     Matters are, to some degree, speculative until there is a showing that

 3     the administration of justice has been thwarted or otherwise imperiled,

 4     but I don't accept for one moment that the overall superintendence of the

 5     Trial Chamber takes a back seat under the alter of prosecutorial

 6     independence.  Of course, independence of the Prosecution is there.  They

 7     are, as a separate organ of the Court, the Prosecutor is independent, but

 8     that does not give any Prosecutor cart blanche to do whatever they want.

 9             We know from proceedings in this court, in this Tribunal, as well

10     as of course the Lubanga proceedings and the stay there, that a trial

11     chamber does have its obligation to police the system so as to ensure

12     that the Statute and the Rules are fully enforced.

13             Now, this is academic to some degree, but of course if it is

14     shown that an action of the Prosecutor -- if it's shown that an action of

15     a Prosecutor has a chilling effect so as to bring the administration of

16     justice into disrepute or to otherwise obstruct the truth-finding

17     exercise, that is the highest and most fundamental responsibility for

18     which this Tribunal was established.  Of course, prosecutorial

19     independence cannot trump Your Honours' oath of office to ensure justice

20     in this case.

21             I think the issue became somewhat emotive, as my learned leader

22     mentioned, because of the use of intelligence services.  For my part, I

23     have no problem for one moment for the Prosecution contacting the police

24     services of any state to make a background check of any witness.  That's

25     normal.  I don't see anything objectionable in that at all.  Police

Page 31587

 1     services, of course, have records based upon evidence of criminality, and

 2     often evidence of a conviction.  Counsel even, in some courts, in the

 3     ICC, have to disclose if they have previous convictions before they got

 4     on the list.  I have no problem with that.  But intelligence services, of

 5     course, have been a perennial problem in many systems about having

 6     oversight and superintendence.  They deal not just in fact, but in

 7     speculation, innuendo, and other aspects, and I think in part one of the

 8     reasons why this became a live issue, and it may be completely

 9     speculative, it may have been something that the witness believed which

10     has not been proved, but it's because of the mention of intelligence

11     services, in highly partisan and highly politicised environments, as

12     opposed to the legitimate police enforcement mechanisms of the state,

13     which are the police services, and I think that is a matter that perhaps,

14     whilst this matter is being raised now, that the Prosecution may consider

15     as a matter of their own internal policies.  I think there is a real

16     difference between the two.

17             Your Honour, those are my remarks in response, but if there is a

18     showing, if there is a showing, of course, my primary submission must be

19     that there is nothing that would enable Your Honours or persuade Your

20     Honours to step aside and abdicate your fundamental responsibility to

21     ensure justice.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Thank you.

23             Mr. Praljak, you wanted to intervene?

24             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]  Your Honours, I will take

25     a bit of time, but in view of the sensitivity of the issue, could we go

Page 31588

 1     into private session, please?

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Praljak, the question

 3     raised regarding intelligence services is closed, because the Judges will

 4     discuss it and deliberate about it.  I give you the floor now for the

 5     purpose of your intervention.  You want us to go into private session,

 6     fine, we'll go into private session.

 7             Mr. Registrar.

 8                           [Private session]

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Page 31589











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16                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,

17                        to be reconvened on Monday, the 1st day of September,

18                                      2008, at 2.15 p.m.