Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 36819

 1                           Thursday, 12 February 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The Accused Petkovic not present]

 5                           [The Accused Coric not present]

 6                           [The witness entered court]

 7                           --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.

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

 9     the case please.

10             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon Your Honours.  Good afternoon

11     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-74-T,

12     the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.  Thank you Your Honours.

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

14     wish to bid good afternoon to the accused, the counsel of the Defence and

15     the Prosecution, and everyone assisting us, and I will not forget to bid

16     good afternoon to the witness.

17             Regarding the schedule for this hearing, there is one hour 25

18     minutes left for Madam West.  The Chamber is of the opinion, therefore,

19     that Madam West should finish her examination and then we can go until 5

20     to 4, after which we will have a single pause of 20 minutes, and then we

21     will resume for re-examination.

22             I should also like to ask Defence counsel to make objections only

23     that may be linked to errors in the transcript, or to really important

24     questions.  Apart from that, please allow Madam Prosecutor to do her job,

25     in view of the fact that when there was an examination-in-chief there

Page 36820

 1     were hardly any objections on the part of the Prosecution.  I'll give the

 2     floor to the Registrar, which I forgot there are a number of IC numbers

 3     to be given.

 4             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.  4D and 6D has tendered

 5     their objections to the list of documents tender by the Prosecution

 6     through witness Slobodan Bozic.  This list shall be given Exhibit IC 918

 7     and 919 respectively.  Thank you, Your Honours.

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

 9     Madam West you have the floor.

10             MS. WEST:  Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, and

11     everyone in and around the courtroom.

12                           WITNESS:  STIPO BULJAN [Resumed]

13                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

14                           Cross-examination by Ms. West [Continued]

15        Q.   Good afternoon Mr. Buljan.  Yesterday when we stopped, we were

16     talking about the extent of your knowledge about the events in Mostar in

17     1993 at a time when you were still living in Posavina.  And you had

18     indicated in the course of your testimony that the relationship between

19     the Muslims Croats in Herceg-Bosna versus the relation in Posavina was

20     different.  For the record that's page 36810.  You had also said there

21     was a incident occurred in mid-1993, and I quote, "so it's of that time

22     that certain situations were somewhat different in comparison to the

23     situation in Posavina."  On 36811, I had ask you whether you knew in the

24     latter half of 1993 that the Croats and the Muslims were fighting each

25     other and in response you said, "I heard that there were such problems

Page 36821

 1     down there" and then later on in the page you said:

 2                 "In Mostar, at the time of the incident, there was a certain

 3     amount of tension."

 4             So in a certain sense there would be a reason for the difference

 5     between the situation in Posavina and in Mostar.  Sir, do you remember

 6     that testimony?

 7        A.   Yes, I do.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  Twice in the testimony that I just summarised and

 9     read out verbatim, you mentioned an incident, you said it twice.  Would

10     you agree that the incident that you described in speaking about Mostar

11     is the event of May 9th, the mass arrest and detention of a number of

12     Muslims in Mostar?

13        A.   I didn't have that particular incident in mind.  I meant that

14     generally there was a cooling of relations during that period of time.

15     When I said that there were problems, I didn't have that particular date

16     in mind or that incident.

17        Q.   And do you remember yesterday Judge Antonetti asked you a

18     question, he said:

19             "Given the events in May in Mostar, did these events have any

20     repercussions with regard to the HVO units involved in combat?"  And your

21     answer was, "No."  In regard to Judge Antonetti's question, the events in

22     May, what did you have in mind when you spoke about that?

23        A.   All those activities that were happening down there, the tension,

24     the heightened tensions, had a minimum, I would say, effect, but they did

25     leave some traces in Bosanska Posavina.  There were no conflicts.  There

Page 36822

 1     were no bad words, no problems, but it was discussed a little.

 2        Q.   All right.  So is it your testimony that what was going on in

 3     Mostar had no effect as to what was going on in the Posavina?

 4        A.   What was happening in Mostar did not have a significant effect on

 5     what was happening in Posavina.

 6        Q.   And so you'll agree with me that when the Muslims and the Croats

 7     were fighting each other in Mostar in 1993, the Muslims and the Croats

 8     were cooperating with each other in Posavina?

 9        A.   Yes, that's right.

10        Q.   So in regard to the question that Judge Antonetti asked you, he

11     said, "did the events in Mostar in May have any repercussions with regard

12     to the HVO units involved in combat" and your answer was, "No."

13             Bearing that question in mind, I want to ask you a slightly

14     different question but it's the same subject matter.  Did the events in

15     May have any effect on the number of Muslim soldiers who continued to

16     fight for the HVO in Mostar?

17        A.   I don't think that there was any significant effect.  All that

18     was happening that they heard and saw and that they were told about, I

19     don't think had any significant influence on them, on their remaining

20     there, their combat activities, or their activities in the HVO units.

21        Q.   Can you look at 4D 01632.  It's in the smaller binder that's

22     directly in front of you.  Starts with 4D.

23             Sir, do you have that?  This is a list of Muslim -- thank you.

24     This is a list of Muslim soldiers who were in the 2nd HVO Brigade in

25     Mostar who left on May 9th, 1993, and then also some of the subsequent

Page 36823

 1     months.  This first -- the first listing is about 117 Muslim soldiers who

 2     left on that date, and then it's followed up by what appears to be maybe

 3     a dozen soldiers who left in the following month.  Now, although you've

 4     testified that you don't think there was any significant, you've said

 5     significant influence on them, that the events had no significant

 6     influence on them, to what do you attribute this exodus, this exodus of

 7     117 Muslim soldiers on May 9th in Mostar?

 8        A.   I said that those events, or rather heightened tensions in Mostar

 9     and the surroundings, did not influence the combat readiness of units in

10     the theatre of war at Orasje.  They didn't.  Not to a significant extent.

11     Maybe negligibly, but that's not important.  This unit is not from that

12     area, the one we are looking at now.  It's directly linked to the region

13     we are talking about.  I just simply see this list.  Now, what motivated

14     them to withdraw from the HVO, is something I can't say.  I don't know

15     why they did that.

16        Q.   Mr. Buljan, yesterday you testified that you had heard about the

17     ABiH attack on the northern barracks on June 30th.  Did that attack or

18     did that event have any effect on the number of Muslims who continued to

19     fight for the HVO and who might ultimately receive welfare benefits from

20     the HVO?

21        A.   Could you please repeat the question for me.

22        Q.   Yes.  You mentioned yesterday that you had heard of the June 30th

23     attack; is that correct?

24        A.   I heard of it.

25        Q.   And did that attack have any effect on the number of Muslim

Page 36824

 1     soldiers who continued to fight for the HVO in Mostar?

 2        A.   I cannot tell you with any certainty and to what extent.  There

 3     probably was some withdrawal from the brigades after that event.

 4        Q.   Do you agree with me if there were some withdrawals as a result

 5     of that event, then there would also be an affect on the number of Muslim

 6     HVO soldiers who would ultimately claim benefits from the HVO or claim

 7     welfare from the HVO?

 8        A.   All members of the HVO, if they had proof that they were members,

 9     and if they had the necessary documents, there was no reason why they

10     wouldn't get all the benefits and the remuneration that was due to them

11     in the HVO.  Therefore, in the work I did, all members including those

12     who spent a month, two, or five in the HVO, regardless of ethnicity, were

13     entitled to receive certain benefits as prescribed on condition that they

14     have the necessary documents.

15        Q.   Mr. Buljan, can you look at P 03019.  And I believe this might be

16     in the first binder, the bigger binder.

17             This is the order dated June 30th, 1993.  It's signed by

18     General --

19        A.   Excuse me.  Excuse me.  I found a document P 03049, is that the

20     one we are talking about?

21        Q.   No.  3019.  There you go.  This is a June 30th, 1993 order by

22     General Pekovic in which he is talking about reenforcing units and about

23     different brigades, but when you get to number 8 it says:

24             "All Muslim soldiers who are still active in some units should be

25     disarmed and isolated."

Page 36825

 1             So, Mr. Buljan, my question for you regards welfare benefits.  If

 2     a number of these Muslim soldiers were disarmed and isolated in an all

 3     effects were taken out of the HVO, could these same soldiers still later

 4     apply for HVO welfare benefits?

 5        A.   If any of these soldiers were disarmed or isolated and left out

 6     of the unit, if he had been a member of that unit and if he had -- was

 7     wounded or killed, up until then he could apply for a certificate showing

 8     how long he had been a member of that unit, and on the basis of that

 9     certificate, he could receive all the necessary benefits.

10        Q.   And yesterday you showed us a document, it was a combination of

11     the reports you had put together.  I believe it was the end of 1995 in

12     which you looked at several defence administration, one being Mostar --

13     or at least one being Mostar, and in that, you counted up the number of

14     killed and wounded and missing.  Do agree with me you had access to the

15     soldiers in Mostar who claimed welfare benefits?

16        A.   At that moment, I did not.  That was a period when we were

17     comparing lists, preparing documents, and whatever we had at the time was

18     presented.  From then on, from the beginning of 1992 to the present day,

19     every member of a unit may apply for a certificate about the time spent,

20     what position he held, where he was wounded, how, and so on; so that even

21     today someone who has not realised his rights, he can get medical

22     documents and appear before a commission which will confirm that.

23             I said yesterday that the process hasn't been completed.  There

24     are still people who were somewhere else, maybe they spent ten years in a

25     European country after wounding, and then they returned, and when they

Page 36826

 1     returned they started to claim their rights.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Ms. West, I hope I will not interfere

 3     with your plan, but there are two questions that I think would be

 4     interesting to have an answer to.

 5             Mr. Buljan, first some while ago you have spoken about Muslims of

 6     some of whom we saw a list, who left after May 9th.  And you said they

 7     continued to be entitled to benefits if they had the necessary papers.

 8     Now, my first question is, was this also limited to damages - to take it

 9     globally - that occurred while they still were members of the HVO before

10     leaving?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  The efforts being made to

12     establish the damage suffered during their stay in the HVO, but again

13     under certain conditions during preparations for the frontline, the time

14     spent on the front line, and returning from the frontline.  So if any

15     bodily injury was suffered during that period, it is possible to get

16     medical documents to prove this before a commission and eventually

17     someone can get the status of a war disabled or not if he doesn't have

18     any such bodily injury.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  You already started answering my

20     second question which would have been, what were the necessary documents?

21     And I take it from you that, of course, it must be proof of identity; and

22     second, there must be some medical documents establishing the causality

23     between the military service and the HVO and the damage that was done.

24     Were there any other documents that the Muslim, in this case, would have

25     to present?

Page 36827

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what was first and

 2     foremost was to -- for the victim to have a certificate which would

 3     explicitly say that this person with his first and last name, father's

 4     name, his ID number, where he was born, what unit he belonged to, which

 5     battalion or company or platoon, and how he suffered damage, was it

 6     during execution of the command of the commander or in some other way.

 7     This is the first document.  If wounding occurred, that same member would

 8     have to go and see a doctor, because of the injury, of course, and with

 9     the medical documents and this certificate on membership and the

10     circumstances under which he was injured, the commission would establish

11     what the welfare benefit would be depending on the degree of disability.

12     The minimum was 20 percent which would go up to 100 percent.

13             Then there was the first group with 100 percent disability and

14     the second group.  Those were the essential document that needed to be

15     collected in the first stage.  Later on, some other documents were

16     needed, an ID card, a birth certificate, and so on.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I was thinking of a document which

18     you have not now mentioned, so I suppose, but I want to make sure that

19     was not required and that would have been something like a certificate of

20     an honourable discharge, of a correct discharge, sort of a bye-bye letter

21     to put it very in a familiar family way, term.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I must admit that I

23     never asked for such a document.  Someone could have spent 15 days in one

24     of the units and may have been very seriously wounded.  He may have left

25     that unit and then come back five years later and we would solve his

Page 36828

 1     problem.  So no discharge letter was requested, but simply a certificate

 2     showing his membership and the circumstances under which he was wounded.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Thank you.  I much appreciate the

 4     way in which you have answered.

 5             MS. WEST:

 6        Q.   And, Mr. Buljan, just a follow-up on Judge Trechsel's question,

 7     if there's an HVO soldier who is, for lack of a better term, kicked out

 8     of the HVO, if they are evicted from the HVO, if they are fired from the

 9     HVO, can that HVO soldier still receive welfare benefits?

10        A.   If an HVO member -- you are talking about an HVO member, if he is

11     fired, then that is in another area of consideration.  One may be fired

12     because of problems in the unit because of theft, various disciplinary

13     measures.  But if we are talking about a healthy combatant, I'm unable to

14     give you an explicit answer.  But if it's a victim, people who were

15     injured or wounded were never dismissed from a unit.  There was a maximum

16     degree of tolerance, and regardless of when they left, the time spent

17     would always be recognised though there were commissions set up to

18     establish ability, but there was no coercion used to force people to

19     return to the unit if they had lower level wounds, for instance, a wound

20     that healed within 30 days or two months.

21        Q.   Mr. Buljan, keeping in mind the May 9th document that I showed

22     you a few minutes ago, and this June 30th document that you have in front

23     of you now, would you agree that those two documents at least illustrate

24     that the number of HVO Muslim soldiers, at least in Mostar, appears

25     during the course of -- summer of 1993 to be getting smaller and smaller?

Page 36829

 1             MR. KOVACIC:  Your Honour.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, I don't know what

 3     you are going to say but I'm listening.

 4             MR. KOVACIC:  [Interpretation] In spite of your instructions, it

 5     is my feeling that I'm obliged to make an objection.  The witness said

 6     that he doesn't know anything about that event, and secondly which is

 7     important which has prompted me to stand, the witness is asked to make

 8     conclusions on the basis of certain documents.  A witness, by definition,

 9     is not in the courtroom to make conclusions.  He is a fact witness.  I

10     believe it is my duty to say this.  I'm an officer of the court and

11     regardless of your instructions if such an infringement has been made, I

12     will object.

13             MS. WEST:  May I continue?

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Madam West.

15             MS. WEST:

16        Q.   So, sir, my question regarded the with two documents you had

17     seen.  One was dated May 9th, the other was June 30th.  And would you

18     agree with me, this comes from your experience as being the head of

19     welfare in the Posavina, but then head of welfare for the republic that

20     these types of orders ultimately led to less numbers of HVO Muslim

21     soldiers in Mostar?

22        A.   No, if I understand you correctly, Madam, persons who had

23     suffered, applied for their rights, if not within that month, then in a

24     year, five years' time, ten years' time and even today, so there's no

25     dispute.  If they prove that they were members of one of the units which

Page 36830

 1     no longer exist, and if they have the necessary documents, that can be

 2     done even now.  So in Posavina, there was no shortage of requests for

 3     welfare benefits regardless of ethnicities.  They kept making such claims

 4     for awhile, he was a member of that unit, afterwards he could have

 5     changed the unit or changed whatever.

 6        Q.   And you just said that in Posavina there was no shortage of

 7     request for welfare benefits regardless of ethnicities.  Can you tell us

 8     whether that same theory applied in Mostar?  Were benefits given

 9     regardless of ethnicities in Mostar?

10        A.   As the head of the welfare department, I was concerned with

11     having the proper certificate about the circumstances of the injury and

12     we are talking about the period from the beginning of 1993, 1994, and

13     1995.  I'm talking about Posavina, but this applied later on as well.

14     The essential document was membership in the unit and the circumstances

15     under which the injury was suffered.  Such a certificate was signed by

16     the brigade commander.  Me as the head of the section and later head of

17     the department could only intervene with respect to the appearance of

18     that certificate requiring perhaps more detailed data or the form it

19     would take.  That is what I could do, but I could not force any commander

20     to sign such a certificate or not sign it to change it, amend it, or not,

21     or to make any such request to the commander.

22        Q.   Mr. Buljan, my question regards Mostar and not Posavina.  You

23     said that in Posavina when you were the head, which is 1993, that welfare

24     was distributed without regard to ethnicities.  My question, and you can

25     tell me if you do not have the capacity to answer this, is in 1993 was

Page 36831

 1     welfare distributed to HVO soldiers regardless of ethnicities?

 2        A.   In 1993, benefits were proved for all wounded members of the HVO,

 3     for families of those who had been killed and for the families of war

 4     invalids.  It was regardless of their ethnicity, but the condition was

 5     that they should have some of the basic documents, certificate showing

 6     the circumstances under which these individuals were wounded or killed.

 7        Q.   Your response you said for all wounded members of the HVO.  Is it

 8     your testimony that these benefits were distributed in Mostar in 1993

 9     without regard to ethnicity?  Do you have the capacity to say yes or no

10     to that question?

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  Thank you.  I'm not quite sure

12     whether this answer can really be -- this question can really be answered

13     by yes or no.

14             Witness, I'm not sure whether I understood you correctly, but one

15     of your last answers made me think this:  You, your office looked at

16     whether the papers were there, if the papers were there, you granted

17     relief, payments, whatever.  If there was no paper, there was no way

18     someone could get something from your office, which is an absolutely

19     normal administrative procedure.

20             However, I thought to have understood you as saying that you had

21     no influence on whether the paper was signed because this was done by the

22     commanders, by the military.  So you can't perhaps not take a stand and

23     make any comment on in which way the commanders acted, whether commanders

24     the discriminated or not.  The way I understand what you have told us so

25     far was beyond your control so you could not know about it.  Please tell

Page 36832

 1     me if I understood you correctly, and correct me if I understood you

 2     wrongly.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you've understood me

 4     correctly.  In 1992, for example, in order to obtain certain benefits, to

 5     claim certain rights it would be necessary to have the relevant

 6     documents.  All those documents were issued by someone.  I couldn't issue

 7     a birth certificate.  I couldn't issue a certificate of marriage.  I

 8     couldn't issue a certificate on circumstances under which someone was

 9     wounded.  So if a person came with the relevant document, the documents

10     would be examined and the procedure would be engaged and we would solve

11     the problem then.  Whenever there were no documents, we tried to gather

12     the relevant document, supplement them if necessary, and once this was

13     done, then benefits would be granted.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

15             MS. WEST:

16        Q.   Mr. Buljan, Exhibits --

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

18             MS. WEST:  Exhibits 2900604 through 624 are the documents that

19     you brought with you regarding the Posavina.  So they were document that

20     you looked at yesterday, and you made the request for them.  Do you

21     remember those documents?

22        A.   Yes, I do.

23        Q.   And you said that when you had certain information according to

24     which you would be testifying before this Court, you asked the

25     administration for those who were casualties in the homeland war office

Page 36833

 1     for these types of documents from the Posavina.  Is it your testimony

 2     that you personally made the request?

 3        A.   Yes, I personally made that request.

 4        Q.   And I'm not going to go back to those documents.  I've reviewed

 5     them, and I'm going to give you a summary and tell me if this is about

 6     correct.  You requested documents for both deceased HVO Muslim members,

 7     and you also requested documents for Muslim HVO members who became

 8     invalids.  And for the 101st HVO Brigade for deceased, I think I counted

 9     about 102 Muslims; 106th Brigade, I counted 37; for Bihac, there was 5;

10     Brcko, there was 8; Derventa, there were 91; Odzak, there were 50; Tuzla

11     was 46; Gradacac was 249; and Bosanski Samac was 24.  Separately in

12     regard to the invalids:  Derventa was 132; Gradacac was 33; Modrica was

13     48; Odzak was 80; and Tuzla was 9.  Is that consistent with your memory

14     reviewing these documents, those numbers; are they about right?

15        A.   Well, one should add that the 102nd Odzak Brigade was included.

16     There should also be the 104th Samac Brigade, 105th Modrica Brigade,

17     there should also be the 106th Orasje Brigade, and 107th Gradacac

18     Brigade.  And if you had the 108th in mind when you mentioned Tuzla then

19     that's correct, if not then the 108th HVO Brigade should also be

20     included.

21        Q.   Okay.  Mr. Buljan, would you agree with me that it's those

22     numbers upon which you base your testimony that the HVO treated all of

23     its soldiers well, or equally regardless of ethnicity?

24        A.   Well, no, I made that claim well because I could only get that

25     information from Orasje.  I said that on the basis of my personal

Page 36834

 1     knowledge.  Yesterday I said I was the chief of the administration for

 2     welfare from mid-1995 until 1998; and then for about two years, I was the

 3     deputy director in the federal administration for soldiers from the area,

 4     that was at the level of the Federation.  So at that time for all HVO

 5     members who had the relevant documents, welfare was provided in an

 6     identical manner.

 7        Q.   So my question is, it's these document, these documents that you

 8     requested for a certain reason -- strike that.

 9             Why did you request these documents then?

10        A.   The document is about an entire institution that provided welfare

11     for members of those units.  I said that I was appointed in 1992 for the

12     chief of the department.  All those who were worked there worked with me

13     and in a certain way I brought the document with me.  They remained

14     there, I left.  I could only get the documents from them.  The documents

15     are still, in a certain sense, kept there, and they are not provided

16     easily.  When I was the chief of the department or the administration,

17     there were more people who requested such documents --

18        Q.   Sir, my question was why did you request these documents?  What

19     was in your head when you decided to make a request for these documents?

20     What did you hope that they would show?

21        A.   Well, these documents show how and in what way one acted, and it

22     shows how many casualties there were in that part of Posavina.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for counsel.

24             MS. NOZICA:  [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.  I would

25     like my colleague's question to be correctly transcribed.  The question

Page 36835

 1     concerned the number of Muslims with regard to these documents as I

 2     showed these documents.  I don't think we are dealing with the number of

 3     Muslims who were casualties, we are dealing with Croats and members of

 4     other nationalities as well.  These documents have been erroneously

 5     interpreted by my colleague.  So I just wanted to clarify this.  These

 6     documents weren't asked for only with regard to Muslims but it concerned

 7     all those who were casualties regardless of their ethnicity, and that is

 8     what the documents are about.  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Ms. West.

10             MS. WEST:  Thank you, that's correct.  The documents do include

11     Muslims, Croats, and other nationalities.

12        Q.   Mr. Buljan, I'm going to have to ask you this question again

13     because I think I've misunderstood your answer.  When you requested these

14     documents showing casualties of all the HVO soldiers, and you brought

15     them here and you made this request, you testified once you knew that you

16     would be testifying here, what did you hope that they would show the

17     Trial Chamber?  How did you expect that he would be interpreted?

18        A.   Above all, my purpose was to show how many casualty there were,

19     to show how they had been wounded.  I wanted the documents to show how

20     long this lasted for, that the classifications were made in the way they

21     were made, it could have been done differently.  Quite simply, tried to

22     gather certain information in one document in case one wanted

23     explanations.  I worked in the office for a long time, and I can provide

24     useful answers with regard to that aspect.

25        Q.   And since you've come here and testified that -- or part of your

Page 36836

 1     testimony is that welfare benefits were given out without regard to

 2     ethnicities, and particularly here are issues without regard to whether

 3     somebody was Muslim or not, did you understand that this case involved

 4     several municipalities that were not included in the Posavina?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   Would you agree with me that what might be more relevant to our

 7     focus here, our records for Muslim HVO soldiers who are from, say, Mostar

 8     or areas that are in Herceg-Bosna?

 9        A.   I couldn't obtain such information when I came here.  I said that

10     in a certain sense there were still confidential, not secret; but they

11     are simply not made available.  I didn't make them available when I had

12     access to them.  There were many who wanted to write books and to consult

13     those documents.  I understand why these documents weren't provided, but

14     perhaps if someone else was in Orasje instead of the people I worked

15     with, if that had been the case, I don't think I would have even been

16     given what I was given.

17        Q.   So my question regards whether those documents would be more

18     relevant, would you agree with me that they would be more relevant to us,

19     not whether you could obtain them or not.  Do you agree that documents

20     for Mostar would be more relevant to this case?

21        A.   Well, I don't know whether it would have been better for your

22     case if you had received documents that concern Mostar.  They would have

23     been such as they are, and I simply cannot say whether it would have been

24     better for you to have such documents here.  But the situation wasn't

25     clear in any military district.  In all military districts, I think there

Page 36837

 1     were casualties of various ethnicities.

 2        Q.   All right.  Sir, I understand that you did not make the request

 3     for the documents for the areas that are the subject of the indictment.

 4     Is it your testimony that you could not have made that request?

 5        A.   No, I spoke to some people who work in those departments but I

 6     understand that they didn't want to me give me that information because

 7     others didn't provide that information apart from the information that I

 8     managed to obtain, so to speak, on a private basis.

 9        Q.   Mr. Buljan, after seeing your request to the administration for

10     issues of HVO soldiers and victims in the Croatian war of independence,

11     we made the same request about one month ago.  Can you look at P 10810.

12     10810.  Mr. Buljan, I believe it's in the binder at your feet.  Sorry.

13     You have that there?

14        A.   10810; is that correct?

15        Q.   That's correct.  Thank you.  You should go after the tab, it's

16     10810 -- Mr. Buljan, I think you are on the wrong page.  If you go after

17     the tab.

18             MS. WEST:  Mr. Usher, maybe we could have some assistance.

19        Q.   There you go.  And the B/C/S is behind the English.

20             Mr. Buljan, I would just like to flip through these documents

21     with you, and this was a request that we made once we saw your request.

22     We made the same request, but we made it for the municipalities that are

23     listed in the indictment.  I think that's a total of 28 municipalities

24     and as of yesterday we had responses from 11.  So if you go to the B/C/S

25     which there's a Bates stamp that ends in 145.  This is page 1 of the

Page 36838

 1     English.  It's a record from the Jablanica, do you see that?  You have it

 2     right there.

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  This is a record --

 5             MR. KOVACIC:  Your Honour, I would kindly ask [Overlapping

 6     speakers] to provide us with information whether that was disclosed to

 7     us.  I made the fast checking via e-court, and I was not able to find it.

 8     Perhaps it was too short check, but maybe we should be given this

 9     information because I suspect, I'm almost sure, I'm not entirely sure,

10     but I'm almost sure that we did not got this as disclosure from the

11     Prosecution.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West.

13             MS. WEST:  We received this night before last.  I think it's in

14     the binders, the --

15             MR. KOVACIC:  Yes, there is no doubt it is in binders, so we got

16     it yesterday, and we have it today.  But that doesn't -- it is not in

17     accordance with the rule.  This should have been disclosed earlier.

18             MS. WEST:  Mr. President, we made a request of these documents as

19     a results of looking at their exhibits.  There's no requirement that we

20     would have disclose these earlier.  It's -- it would be quite unusual to

21     believe that we could have ever anticipated requesting these documents in

22     order to have disclosed them earlier.  Again, they were requested as a

23     result of looking at the Defence exhibits.  There's no way we could have

24     disclosed these earlier.  Furthermore, this is on cross-examination.

25     They are not require to be on the 65 ter list.  They go directly to the

Page 36839

 1     issue of credibility of the witness and also in direct opposition to the

 2     Defence case upon which this witness is purporting.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, go ahead.

 4             MS. WEST:  Thank you.

 5        Q.   Sir, in front of you, you have what is Bates staffed at the

 6     bottom 145, this is a record from Jablanica and it says:

 7             "In reference to your request attached find the registry file for

 8     Avdo Velic."  Do you see that?

 9        A.   Yes, you said it was my request.  I didn't speak to this

10     gentleman.

11        Q.   No, Mr. Buljan, I think there must be a misunderstanding.  This

12     is not your request.  This is our request.  I just want to review these

13     documents with you slowly, if you can bear with that, then we'll talk

14     about them.  So that is the first one from Jablanica.  If you can go to

15     page 4 of the English, but it's 2147 of the B/C/S, it's Bates stamped

16     2147 at the bottom.  This is a record from Vares in response to our

17     request, they gave us the record of Edin Brkovic.  Do you see that?

18        A.   Mm-hmm.

19        Q.   You have to answer verbally out loud.  Now, if you can to page 9

20     of the English which is Bates stamped 21540 of the B/C/S.  That is record

21     from Stolac, and they responded from a one record of a Huso Obradovic.

22     Do you see that?  I believe the witness is not getting translation.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't hear the witness's

24     answer.

25             MS. WEST:  The witness is not getting translation.

Page 36840

 1        Q.   Can you hear what I'm saying?

 2        A.   I can hear you now.

 3        Q.   If you go to the B/C/S stamped 2150, it's a record from Stolac.

 4     When I say stamped 2150, you'll see a stamp of numbers on these records.

 5     Every page has a number, and the 2150 is the last four digits.  There you

 6     go.  So that's record from Stolac and they responded with a record of one

 7     person which is Huso Obradovic.  Do you see that?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Now, if you can go to page 2155 of the B/C/S which is page 18 of

10     the English?

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Witness is kindly asked to speak a little more

12     loudly.

13             MS. WEST:

14        Q.   This is a record from Konjic and here they give us three names:

15     Edin Hrhotbegovic [phoen], Senahid Donjo [phoen], and Tomislav Markovic

16     [phoen].  Do you see those three names?

17        A.   Yes, I do.

18        Q.   Now, if you go to 2159 of the B/C/S, page 23 of the English.

19     These are records from Busovaca, in which they give us two names, the

20     first is Elvir Cecic [phoen], the second is Alic Admir.  Do you see

21     those?

22        A.   Yes, I do.

23        Q.   Go to the B/C/S 2163.  This is the Fojnica records.  2163, they

24     indicate that they have no members of the Bosniak ethnicity who were

25     responsive to our request.  Do you see that?  You have to say it out

Page 36841

 1     loud.

 2        A.   Yes, I do.

 3        Q.   Go to 2164.  This is Kresevo.  And they also indicate that they

 4     have no records, and no one has ever received compensation on those

 5     grounds, no response to our request, do you see that?

 6        A.   I do.

 7             MS. NOZICA:  I apologise, Your Honours.  I apologise to my

 8     colleague.  Could we perhaps be a little more precise.  In these

 9     documents, I see that we are only dealing with soldiers who were killed,

10     not a single member of the HVO was killed of a Bosniak nationality was

11     recorded.  We have two categories, so this is the page that my colleague

12     referred to it has to do with Kresevo municipality because the answers of

13     the various municipalities are different.  Some concern war invalids, and

14     some concern those who were killed.  So if we are going through this very

15     quickly, well, we should see what the answer is, in fact.  Does it only

16     concern those who are wounded or does it only concern those who are

17     killed.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, don't waste your time

19     and the Chamber's time which is precious.  You asked for information on

20     Muslim soldiers from the HVO who were killed.  The authorities on the

21     10th of February of this year sent you their replies.  I've been through

22     these documents very rapidly, and I see that the HVO soldiers who were

23     killed in 1992, 1993, all this is spread over time.  At least two of them

24     I see were killed outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina and so one may ask

25     oneself what they were doing there.  So we are not going to examine all

Page 36842

 1     the details for all these examples, but put your questions to the witness

 2     to demonstrate what you, in fact, want to demonstrate.

 3             MS. WEST:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just to be absolutely

 4     clear, in the first instance, I may have misspoke.  But these are not

 5     records of HVO Muslim soldiers who were killed.  The records of HVO

 6     Muslim soldiers who were killed, and their families received benefits

 7     from the HVO.  So this is not a combination of those who were killed.

 8     There are 11 municipalities as I said in the very beginning, and I was

 9     going over those particular 11, but I can do this much more quickly.

10     With the Trial Chamber's indulgence.

11        Q.   Mr. Witness, I'm just going to review these records and purport

12     to you what I believe they say, which is in Jablanica there was one

13     Muslim HVO soldier who was killed and whose family received benefits from

14     the HVO.  In Vares there was one; in Stolac there was one; in Konjic

15     there were 3; in Busovaca there was 2; Punica [phoen] was zero; Kresevo

16     was zero; Travnik was zero; Grude was zero; Kakanjac was one; and in

17     Citluk was zero.  Now, my question to you, Mr. Buljan, is would you agree

18     with me that these records paint a very different picture of the

19     dispersement of welfare benefits to the diseased Muslim soldiers than the

20     records that you brought from Posavina?

21        A.   Madam Prosecutor, I don't see any approval for benefits.  These

22     are just the number of those who were killed.  There is no indication

23     that Avdo or whatever his name is received so much.  There was just an

24     answer to your question that he was a member and that he was taken care

25     of.

Page 36843

 1        Q.   All right.  So you'll agree with me that these are members who

 2     were ultimately taken care of by the welfare department?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   And you would also agree that these numbers that we have looked

 5     at are significantly smaller than the numbers that you presented this

 6     Court in the Posavina records?

 7        A.   I have no reason to doubt these numbers, but I must say that the

 8     war in Bosnia and Herzegovina did not begin at the same time, the same

 9     hour in all municipalities.  Some waged war earlier, some later on, some

10     for longer periods of time and others for shorter periods of time.

11        Q.   Sir, can you go to P 02945.  I believe that's in the first

12     binder.

13             MS. WEST:  Excuse me, my mistake, that is not in the binder.  It

14     is a document that you were shown yesterday.  And if we could have that

15     in e-court.  It's P 02945.  Thank you.

16        Q.   Do you remember seeing this document yesterday?

17        A.   Yes, I'm looking at it now.  It is a command on appointments in

18     the Rama Brigade command; is that right?

19        Q.   That's right.  And you were shown it yesterday because you

20     pointed out that number 20 - and you don't have to look at it now - was

21     the social welfare clerk that was appointed by Bruno Stojic in this

22     particular command.  Do you remember talking about that?

23        A.   Yes, that is the order.

24        Q.   Now, in addition to that one appointment, there's a total of 80

25     appointments in this document, and they are ranging from SIS officers, to

Page 36844

 1     IPD officers, to artillery officer, intelligence officer, battalion

 2     commanders.  Mr. Buljan, is it fair to say that all these appointments

 3     were made at the same time by Bruno Stojic, at the same time as the

 4     social welfare clerk and they took effect at the same time?

 5        A.   I don't know.  I can't confirm that, that this happened at the

 6     same time and the clerk for welfare was not appointed by Bruno Stojic.

 7        Q.   Sir, yesterday when you spoke of number 20, that is listed on

 8     page 8 of the English in this document, who was he appointed by?

 9        A.   This person was appointed, so this is in the brigade command.  If

10     we are talking about this document, you said you were talking about the

11     welfare administration.  Bruno Stojic did not appoint people to that

12     welfare administration.

13        Q.   Okay.  Mr. Buljan, all the things that you provided to the

14     disabled soldiers and the family of the deceased soldiers, whether it be

15     rehabilitation, hospitalisation, accommodation or just money, do those

16     things, it required that your department have money; correct?

17        A.   Certainly.

18        Q.   And so you had some type of budget; is that right?

19        A.   We didn't have a budget.  We had estimates made per month, and we

20     made requests for that sum.

21        Q.   What was the source of funding for the welfare provisions and the

22     money for the families?

23        A.   Well, the first funds which were allotted, I'll go back briefly

24     to Posavina as the head of the administration there were granted when

25     Derventa fell on the 4th of July, 1992.  This was a small sum of money,

Page 36845

 1     and my colleague commander and myself requested from Derventa

 2     municipality to find ways, whatever ways to find the funds for us to

 3     distribute to members of the army and the families of the killed.

 4             Derventa fell, the army units were being reduced in numbers, and

 5     we wanted to provide funds.  The second time was when Bosanski Brod fell

 6     and the whole municipality of Derventa on the 6th of October, 1992.  I

 7     was in the command in or Oreovac [phoen], it's a place in Croatia close

 8     to Slavonski Brod, and the army was housed throughout that area in

 9     abandoned schools and houses.  I was visited by the representative of the

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina embassy, there were five or six people, and I, among

11     others, spoke to them and they offered assistance.

12             That group which came to visit us included my professor,

13     Avdo Halilovic, who taught Serbo-Croatia when I went to secondary school

14     in Derventa; and I told them that we needed certain funds to distribute

15     them to the men and that we intended to go back to the theatre of war in

16     Posavina so as to keep the soldiers there.  He answered that he would see

17     what he could do and that he would let us know.

18             The next day he came and brought with him 90.000 German marks.

19     We took over that sum.  The head of finance found somewhere else, I don't

20     know how, whether this may have been earlier savings in the municipality

21     from companies, I don't know, and we distributed those funds.  Those were

22     the first remunerations.

23             Later on, the funds were provided through the brigades, they were

24     not on a regular basis.  They were not large, and the first funds

25     collected through the department for welfare, which I signed was in

Page 36846

 1     August 1994.  And this was a letter that I addressed to the military

 2     district or the head of the administration for welfare, I can't be quite

 3     sure about that, whether it was towards the finance department or

 4     military district or the finances of the welfare administration which was

 5     then based in Citluk, I think.

 6        Q.   Mr. Buljan, did you receive any money from the Defence Department

 7     in 1993?

 8        A.   We asked for funds through the finances of the military district.

 9     Now, whether that came from the Defence Department or not, I cannot

10     answer with certainty.

11        Q.   Okay.  Can you go to 2D 01245.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Sorry, Ms. West, the last answer, Mr. Buljan,

13     perhaps this is a matter of translation.  You were asked whether you

14     obtained money from Defence Department, and your answer says that you

15     requested money.  But it does not said that you also received it.  Could

16     you complete the answer.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, towards the end of

18     1993, that is the last quarter of 1993, funds did come through the

19     brigade commander who would make a request.  I must be sincere, I don't

20     know where they came from, whether they came from the Defence Department

21     or somewhere else.  Believe me, I don't know.

22             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I believe you.

23             MS. WEST:

24        Q.   Mr. Witness, 2D 01245.  It's in the second binder, excuse me.

25     1245.  This is an exhibit you actually looked at yesterday with

Page 36847

 1     Ms. Nozica.  And it's a letter to the Ministry of Defence in Croatia and

 2     it regards remunerations for a soldier who was a Muslim soldier.  Do you

 3     remember looking at this?

 4        A.   Yes, I do remember.

 5        Q.   And the top of this letter says that it indicates that it's

 6     responding to a letter from Croatia.  It says:  "With regard to your

 7     letter," gives a number "of 14 July."  Do you agree with me that this is

 8     a response to something that Croatia was asking?

 9        A.   Yes, clearly it's a response to a request.

10        Q.   Do you know why Croatia was asking about this?

11        A.   I must tell you that it wasn't Croatia but the Ministry of

12     Defence of the Republic of Croatia, and I must say in those days there

13     wasn't a single institution that didn't have a special feeling towards

14     wounded soldiers and families of the killed.  So I wouldn't be surprised

15     if there were other documents when any other institution may be informing

16     an official institution about certain funds.

17             I would often be addressed to with inquiries similar to these, so

18     clearly somebody had addressed somebody in the Ministry of Defence and

19     then that is how this letter came about asking the commander whether

20     those funds were paid out or not.

21        Q.   Mr. Buljan, what do you mean by special feeling, that the

22     Ministry of Defence had a special feeling about this?

23        A.   What I mean is that all institutions in all states had a kind of

24     specific view and opinion and wanted to assist soldiers.  If this person

25     had addressed the Ministry of Forestry in the Republic of Croatia, I

Page 36848

 1     wouldn't be surprised if a similar answer were to be received, to

 2     religious institutions, the media, because simply everyone wanted to

 3     assist in such circumstances.

 4        Q.   And in the case of welfare benefits, would that assistance

 5     include paying for those benefits?

 6        A.   If a brigade, which had more funds, which was on its own

 7     territory, which was able to obtain funds from certain sources, then it

 8     may have made better remunerations in relation to other brigade.  This

 9     went on until funds started to be distributed through the welfare

10     department when everything was consolidated in one spot, and then every

11     rank received the same benefit for the same disability.

12             So until this welfare was organised properly, the distribution of

13     funds varied.  So I can't tell you whether somebody in the 103rd Brigade

14     got less, than somebody in a 104th more.  But when this started to work

15     in an organised fashion, it was all equal.

16        Q.   Mr. Buljan, do you agree with me that the Ministry of Defence for

17     the Republic of Croatia paid for the welfare benefits for the HVO

18     soldiers of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

19        A.   I don't know whether they paid for the welfare of soldiers,

20     members of the HVO in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I personally, through the

21     welfare organisation in the Republic of Croatia, would sometime request a

22     place to be found for rehabilitation or something like that.

23        Q.   Let's go to P 10772.  Binder number 1, the bigger binder.  10772.

24     And the front is the English, but I believe the last -- you just had it,

25     there you go.  The last page is the B/C/S.  And this is an interview with

Page 36849

 1     Ivica Rajic, who was the prime minister of Croatia.  I'm going to go to

 2     the bottom of the English and the -- bottom first page in the top, second

 3     page, and he speaks about coming into office, and he says:

 4             "We've stopped transferring soldiers directly between the

 5     Croatian Armed Forces and the Croat Defence council, the Bosnian Croat

 6     component of the Bosnian Federation's armed forces.  We have also severe

 7     direct communications and control links between the two militaries.

 8     Moreover, since signing a financial assistance agreement with the Bosnian

 9     Federation in May, financial transfers between Croatia and the Federation

10     Defence ministry have become transparent.  Croatia is not, however,

11     abandoning the Bosnian Croats.  It is simply looking to find durable long

12     term solutions that balance their legitimate interests with those of

13     viable Bosnian state and of the countries Serb and Bosniak communities.

14     Croatia will continue --"

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel slow down, please.

16             MS. WEST:  Thank you.

17             "Croatia will continue to pay military pensions and disability

18     allowances to Bosnian Croats, but these payment will in future either be

19     made via the appropriate federal institutions or paid directly to

20     beneficiaries in as open a manner as possible.  They will no longer be

21     channelled through shady, parallel structures."

22        Q.   Sir, I understand that your response to my question about whether

23     you knew Croatia was paying for the welfare benefits for the HVO soldier

24     was I don't know, but subsequent to that period of time did you become

25     aware that this issue was in the newspapers?

Page 36850

 1        A.   Yes, I was aware of that.  That it was discussed in the

 2     newspapers.  I must say that I, as head of the welfare department, never

 3     sought any funds for the salaries of the members and wounded members of

 4     the homeland war.

 5        Q.   Mr. Buljan, did HVO benefits include giving welfare benefits for

 6     those soldiers who were not permanent members of the -- can you hear me?

 7     Mr. Buljan, can you hear me?

 8             My question is --

 9        A.   Yes, yes, I can.  But I've lost the interpretation for a moment.

10     So could the last two sentences be reinterpreted for me, please.

11        Q.   Yes, thank you.  Did the HVO also pay welfare benefits for those

12     soldiers who were not permanent members of the HVO?

13             MS. NOZICA:  [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really have to

14     intervene.  My client and the others, other accused are reacting, but

15     this is a hypothetical question that it is impossible to answer to whom,

16     when, in what period, which HVO, who was paying it?  I think it's an

17     imprecise question, so it should be made more specific.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam West, will you specify

19     your question.

20             MR. KOVACIC:  [Previous translation continues] ... interrupt

21     anyway.  This question implies that there was the answer or that there is

22     evidence that there was something called permanent members or sorry not

23     permanent members.  We don't know so far, nothing about that category.

24     So, of course, first, that should be established, then the second

25     question should be asked.  Thank you.

Page 36851

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam West, please try and make

 2     it more specific.

 3             MS. WEST:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I must remind you that you have

 5     another 23 or so minutes left.

 6             MS. WEST:  Thank you.

 7        Q.   Mr. Buljan, were there any soldiers fighting in the HVO in

 8     Posavina when you were involved that were members of other armed forces,

 9     for example, the Croatian army?

10        A.   Yes, there were members and volunteers from the Croatian army in

11     Bosanska Posavina.  They were mostly people who were born in Bosanska

12     Posavina or the environs.

13        Q.   And when the HVO paid for their possible welfare benefits if they

14     were injured or wounded or killed, did that money come from Croatia as

15     well?

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment.  I don't like to

17     intervene but regarding the translation I have a little problem.

18     Madam West is asking you a question, were there soldiers in the Posavina

19     HVO who were members of other armed forces, for example, the Croatian

20     army.  So the question is very precise.  I'd like you to answer slowly so

21     there should be no mistakes in the translation .  Please answer

22     Madam West's question but answer it with precision.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will do my best and

24     repeat my answer.  There were members of the Croatian army who came to

25     the territory of Bosanska Posavina and who fought in Bosanska Posavina.

Page 36852

 1     They were mostly born in Bosanska Posavina and before the war broke out,

 2     they were somewhere in Croatia in one of the Croatian units.

 3             MS. NOZICA:  [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me take advantage

 4     of the pause, you have noticed correctly on page 32, line 21 and 24 there

 5     is the answer that the witness said, "Yes, there were members and

 6     volunteers."  The witness didn't say that.  Everyone listening, he didn't

 7     say "and volunteers", he said "volunteers".  That's probably why you

 8     reacted.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that is why I put the

10     question to him once again.  You are quite right, Madam Nozica.  In

11     line 22 he said, "There were members and volunteers."  I have made him

12     answer again more clearly and in his answer we don't see the word

13     volunteers anymore.  So you see, sir, it's very important, perhaps you

14     don't realise it, but for counsel and for the Judges, it is important.

15             I wish to specify the question further.  These soldiers who

16     belonged to the Croatian army, who were born in Posavina, did they come

17     to the HVO of Posavina as volunteers and were integrated in the HVO, or

18     as one might conclude from line 22, there were members of the Croatian

19     army and volunteers?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct that members of the

21     Croatian army who were mostly born in Bosanska Posavina came to assist in

22     the war in Posavina.  When their village was occupied, they felt that

23     they could be of assistance and they came.  Some of them would stay with

24     us for good, others would go back.  And others would leave the army

25     altogether, some were wounded, some were killed.

Page 36853

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You haven't understood my

 2     question.  What I wanted to know is did they come as volunteers or not?

 3     That is the question.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They came as volunteers,

 5     Your Honour.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So they came as

 7     volunteers.  Madam west, continue, please.  I said five to, so that we

 8     should only have one break, so please continue and then we'll have the

 9     break.

10             MS. WEST:

11        Q.   Mr. Buljan, when these Croatian army volunteers came to fight in

12     the Posavina, is it your testimony that some of them stayed and then some

13     of them returned to Croatia?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Thank you.  And when they came to fight for the HVO, who paid

16     their salaries?

17        A.   Those who were in the HVO, they were paid by the HVO when they

18     had the funds.  The volunteers who were not members of the HVO, I don't

19     know who paid them.

20        Q.   Can you go to P 00153.  00153.  I think you have it right there,

21     it's behind it.  Thank you.  You have the B/C/S in front of you.  And

22     this is a letter, it's a Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence letter

23     and it says:

24             "The request of the chief inspector of the Defence

25     General Martin Spegelj for sending a part of the soldiers and officers of

Page 36854

 1     the operation zone Rijeka mainly Croats and Muslims ready to voluntarily

 2     go to BaiHto help struggle of the people of the BiH has been accepted by

 3     the top-ranking military authorities."

 4             Says:  "The general headquarters of the Croatian army concurs and

 5     supports this idea, with the suggestion that this group for a start,

 6     number 300 to 400 soldiers and officers."

 7             It then says:  "They are to be sent under the command of

 8     Major Mustafa and other officers with different military equipment,

 9     weaponry and ammunition.  All who go, retain all the rights of HV

10     soldiers, including monthly salaries.  They cannot wear HV insignia on

11     their uniforms, nor can they hold other documents used by members of the

12     HV.  The task is an urgent one, and the execution of it is to be

13     commenced immediately.  Should the situation develop favourably, sending

14     of other groups, i.e., reinforcements of this one, is not to be

15     excluded."

16             Mr. Buljan, in your capacity as the head of welfare, you had

17     indicated yesterday that the soldiers to which you gave welfare benefits

18     also received salaries from their own units, and I'm talking about the

19     HVO units.  Would you agree with me that the volunteers who came from the

20     Republic of Croatia were actually paid by the Republic of Croatia?

21        A.   Well, this document signed by General Petar Stipetic supports

22     such an interpretation.  As to whether that was actually the case, I

23     can't say.  I don't know whether this was actually put into practice.

24     This is now the 1992, many things haven't been resolved at the time, so

25     quite frequently the documents drafted were not documents that would be

Page 36855

 1     fully implemented.

 2             MS. WEST:  Mr. Buljan, thank you for your very candid answers.

 3     Mr. President, I have no further questions.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. West.  We will

 5     now have the break that Mr. Karnavas so desires, and we will resume in 20

 6     minutes' time.

 7                           [The witness stands down]

 8                           --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.

 9                           --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.

10                           [The Accused Prlic not present]

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.

12             MR. KARNAVAS:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Good afternoon

13     Your Honours.  As you can see, the absence of my client, Dr. Prlic, his

14     absence is as a result of having spent some time with him during the

15     break, going over an unofficial translation of your decision concerning

16     his supplemental to his statement.  The concerns obviously are the

17     reasoning, the reasoning that the Trial Chamber has presented.

18             One, claiming that it looks too much like a expert report.  Well,

19     one must forgive Dr. Prlic for being an intelligent human being and fro

20     having the education and the wherewithal to spend two years putting

21     together that report, in his way, in his fashion, of course, keeping in

22     mind that he has authored about a half a dozen to a dozen books.

23             Two, the Court's reasoning that we cross-examined Tomljanovich,

24     and this has been a sore point for us many, many months now.  If you look

25     at the Popovic case they cross-examine witnesses for days and days.  We

Page 36856

 1     get hours, sometimes minutes.  To say that we had adequate time to

 2     cross-examine Tomljanovich is simply illogical, in my point, and I'm

 3     trying to be as measured as I possibly can thinking back to the

 4     complexity of the Tomljanovich report and the amount of time that was

 5     provided.  Frankly, it was shocking.

 6             The third reasoning, you state is that Dr. Prlic could have

 7     testified.  Well, as we indicated, you don't give us enough time to put

 8     on our witnesses and so what you want now is to say, Well, present less

 9     evidence in your Defence and then take the stand, this way you don't have

10     to put together a 600-page report attacking William Tomljanovich, the

11     Prosecution employee, employee, who is called an analyst/expert.

12             So frankly for all of these reasons, Dr. Prlic feels that at this

13     point it is quite evident that the Trial Chamber is being rather

14     inflexible.  The Trial Chamber could have very easily accepted the report

15     and then said, Well, not going to give any weight to it.  But the

16     reasoning is rather -- is such that gives him great pause as to whether

17     he is getting a fair trial, whether the result will ever be fair, and

18     whether he will ever even have an opportunity to see liberty as a free

19     man again.

20             So for those reasons, he does not wish to participate for the

21     remainder of the proceedings.  He did give me instructions that he wishes

22     for me to move for certification, and he would like me to do so at this

23     particular moment, keeping in mind that the Prosecution of course has the

24     opportunity to respond, but I am making an oral motion for certification

25     to appeal this decision, and of course pending the Court's decision on

Page 36857

 1     that, Dr. Prlic will then consider what his other options are.

 2             It is rather regrettable that Dr. Prlic who has not missed a

 3     single second, who has not been disruptive, who has asked only a few

 4     questions, very measured ones, who has made a couple of statements, again

 5     very measured ones, should find himself in this position to the point

 6     where he does not wish to participate any further in the proceedings

 7     because it is his perception, and one that I share, that based on this

 8     decision it appears that the Trial Chamber is extremely inflexible as

 9     much as it claims to be very flexible, as much as it claim that is it

10     wishes to be fair, that from this decision it seems that any amount of

11     flexibility is merely words to be uttered but no deeds to be seen from

12     that.

13             And so as a result of that, Dr. Prlic, as I've indicated, does

14     not wish to come out to participate any further.  In keeping with what we

15     saw from another accused and that was Mr. Coric who obviously walked out

16     especially after the Trial Chamber in showing its flexibility to the

17     Prosecution said they could begin their cross-examination the following

18     day when 45 minutes was left on the clock, the Prosecution had months to

19     prepare the cross-examination, had spent three days plus more getting a

20     statement from that particular witness, and came up with a farcical, a

21     farcical excuse as to why cross-examination could not start on that.

22     That's why Mr. Coric left.  That's why Dr. Prlic was upset as well, and

23     I'm sure others were; and now this decision coming on top of that

24     demonstrates to Dr. Prlic that perhaps the things that are to come have

25     already been predetermined.

Page 36858

 1             I'm not saying that that is the case, but that is the perception

 2     that is that is growing ever so more every day that this case proceeds.

 3     And so I regret that I have to make these submissions, but these are the

 4     submissions based on the instructions that I've been give.  And as I've

 5     indicated, please consider this an oral motion for certification of your

 6     decision to deny his supplement to his opening statement.  Thank you.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The Prosecution, I

 8     don't know if you want to respond orally right now or whether you would

 9     prefer to file written submissions.

10             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the Prosecution, please.

11             MR. STRINGER:  That was going to be my request, Mr. President.

12     It's -- without going to the substance of the ruling, I think that it's

13     likely that the Trial Chamber and ultimately the Appeals Chamber would

14     benefit if this were -- if, in fact, an appeal is certified.

15             And I don't know what the Prosecution position is going to be on

16     that point.  But I'd suggest that the normal course, which is a written

17     application in which the Defence lays out its argument, why certification

18     in its view should be granted, would be appropriate.  It would then

19     enable the Prosecution to file a written response, which possibly both of

20     which the two parties positions on this would be of benefit to the

21     Trial Chamber in the ruling that it ultimately issues.

22             And so our preference or our suggestion would be understanding

23     that Mr. Karnavas and his client are feeling strongly at the moment, that

24     we proceed with written submissions on the application for certification

25     to which the Prosecution then would file its written response.

Page 36859

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I frankly would wonder whether it

 3     would not be also preferable that Mr. Karnavas put his request in

 4     writing.  After all the proceeding is relatively formal, and there are

 5     very specific reasons to be raised.  You have said a lot of things,

 6     Mr. Karnavas, but it is not really in the form of such a request for

 7     certification.  I'm sure it can be done tomorrow morning, knowing your

 8     proficiency, and I would feel safer than taking a decision on the basis

 9     of your oral submissions today.

10             MR. KARNAVAS:  We will do that, Mr. President, Your Honours.  I

11     was acting on instructions to make that oral request, and also to pass

12     along my client's sentiments which I've done so.  Perhaps more vigorously

13     than might have been expected of my client, but, nonetheless, the record

14     has been made, and yes we will be filing something in writing.  Thank

15     you.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Mr. Kovacic, I

17     think there's something that you wanted to say.

18             MR. KOVACIC:  [Interpretation] I thank you, Your Honours, for

19     allocating a minute to me.  Today at the beginning of the hearing, to be

20     more precise at 1430 hours, we filed a request for an IC number.  We

21     objected to the suggestion made yesterday by the Prosecution -- not

22     yesterday's suggestion, but the suggestion for tendering a document into

23     evidence in relation to Mr. Bozic on the basis of your decision on the

24     guide-lines dated the 24th of April, chapter 8, guide-lines 8, in fact,

25     paragraph 32, item 1D, it say that is we should have done this at the

Page 36860

 1     beginning of each hearing.  As you can see from what I have said, we were

 2     15 minutes or rather 17 minutes late because the hearing begins at 1415

 3     hours.  The beginning, I think one understands the beginning in a

 4     flexible way.  For technical reasons, we weren't able to send the mail

 5     before half past 2, although everything was ready in the morning, so I

 6     would be grateful if you could admit this into evidence and if an IC

 7     number could be provided so when you do decide on this suggestion please

 8     bear this in mind.  Thank you very much.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I'll confer with my judges

10     immediately.

11             MR. KHAN:  Mr. President, the microphone is on and while you were

12     conferring, perhaps I can just point out as well we did also, on behalf

13     of Mr. Stojic, file a motion, I think, just before Your Honours came in

14     objecting to the Prosecution bid to tender as an exhibit the interview

15     that they conducted with the last witness, so I would join the

16     application that Your Honours do receive that application and consider

17     it.

18                           [Trial Chamber confers]

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  If, in fact, the

20     Chamber said that it was necessary to file the document before -- just

21     before the hearing, well, under certain circumstances if it's a little

22     late, half an hour late, we won't dismiss such a request because it's a

23     few minutes late.  So the Chamber agrees to this suggestion and as usual

24     we will demonstrate our flexibility.  Could the Registrar please provide

25     us with a number.  Just a minute we'll first have a number,

Page 36861

 1     Mr. Registrar.

 2             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.  The Praljak Defence's

 3     opposition to the Prosecution's exhibits entered through witness

 4     Slobodan Bozic shall be given number IC 920.  Thank you, Your Honours.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Mr. Praljak, is

 6     that why you are on your feet?

 7             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's

 8     something called Sense that functions within the Tribunal.  It's some

 9     sort of official organisation that informs the public in

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina, in writing and through images and the public is

11     informed about the events before the Court, before the Tribunal.  I'd

12     like to read out an article, a recent article that concerns the

13     following:  I quote:

14                 "Two days later after the 21st, so on the 23rd, the then

15     commander of the HVO Main Staff Slobodan Praljak issued an order that is

16     as follows:  Sort out the situation in Vares and don't do any mercy to

17     anyone.  When carrying out the order, the HVO units under the command of

18     Ivica Rajic killed 31 civilians of Muslim nationality in Stupni Dol."

19             So when carrying out my order, that's what it says here, under

20     the command of Rajic, it's from the Sense organisation, this is what the

21     public in Bosnia and Herzegovina can read.  As the official version of

22     what was discussed here, I'm not going to go into how this was presented

23     here about the time-frames we referred to and so on and so forth, but

24     this is biased.  It publicly provides incorrect information, and it's an

25     act of media lynching and this is being systematically done by Sense.

Page 36862

 1     This has been the case for years.  This can't continue, you've seen those

 2     documents here.  You've seen the dates.  You've seen the time when

 3     everything was forwarded.  And you will take a decision at the end that

 4     is going to be your decision, but at least several million people have

 5     had access to this information here, guilt has been established,

 6     judgements have been handed down, families and entire people has to live

 7     in such conditions since we can't speak to journalist.  The Judges has

 8     forbidden us from doing this.  I think the Registry, the Prosecution, and

 9     the Judges themselves should ban such things or punish such things

10     otherwise there is no purpose to this case.  We could conclude this case

11     tomorrow.  Thank you very much.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have publicly

13     corrected this information.  Your counsel can obviously contact any legal

14     body to correct false information.  I don't where this press agency is

15     located but there are legal procedures that make it possible to act

16     because one has violated the presumption of innocence, that principle.

17             It's important that evidence is not erroneously conveyed and the

18     Chamber mustn't draw the wrong conclusions.  So we'll see what we can do

19     because our mission is also to ensure that the presumption of innocence

20     is a principle that is respected, that you should see what the procedures

21     are, you should consult your counsel and see what you can do with regard

22     to this press agency that misrepresented the information or document that

23     was referred to in the course of the proceedings.

24             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour,

25     but, you see, what I think you could do is that this shouldn't be called

Page 36863

 1     the Tribunal.  They are hiding behind the word "Tribunal."  I wouldn't

 2     like to quarrel with the media journalists and their interpretations, but

 3     it says here Sense Tribunal.  That is you, the Prosecution, the Registry,

 4     and international organisation that is endeavouring to establish the

 5     truth.  This is impermissible, but all the media falsehoods, the lies,

 6     the fabrications is something I wouldn't go into.  I've lived long enough

 7     to know that.  I would just suggest that the word Tribunal be redacted

 8     because that represents you, and you are included under the word

 9     Tribunal, Your Honour.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic should address the

11     officer of the court.  The article, something we are not familiar with,

12     we don't know anything about it.  So if your lawyer is here, he can

13     communicate it to the Chamber, and we'll see.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I actually, I have the feeling that it is not

15     really a matter which directly comes under the authority of the Chamber.

16     It's a matter probably to be dealt with the court Registry, maybe the

17     president of the Court, but it is of a greater importance than what this

18     Chamber does and I suggest, although it's not really for me to do much in

19     that sense, but I would suggest that Mr. Kovacic really address the

20     Registry and takes the necessary steps, he probably knows much better

21     than I do, what the steps are.

22             I share your feelings, Mr. Praljak, that this is outrageous, and

23     I'm sure something can and will be done to it.  This is not, I think, any

24     lack of goodwill of the Chamber, but it's just a matter of the

25     organisation.  And I see you do not insist that it's us personally who

Page 36864

 1     act, but I think something must be done and will probably be done.

 2             MR. KHAN:  Mr. President, one separate matter going back to page

 3     42, line 14, notice that an IC number was given to my learned friend's

 4     motion.  The motion filed by us was filed just before 2.15, and I stand

 5     to be corrected, perhaps we don't need an IC number because we properly

 6     filed it; but I just wanted to alert the Registrar to that fact if we do

 7     need an IC number one has not been given so far.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Mr. Kovacic,

 9     independently of what my colleague has said, I, in my personal name would

10     like to have the mentioned article.

11             MR. KOVACIC:  [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  And I

12     thank Judge Trechsel.  In any event, thank you for your good advice.  We

13     will certainly take steps.  My client has clearly explained what it is

14     all about, and he believes, and I agree with him, that it would -- that

15     it is a good idea for the Chamber to be informed about it.  The agency,

16     Sense, as Mr. Praljak has said is not a component part of the Tribunal,

17     but it is factually in the building of this Tribunal.  It has its own

18     office, and the design of their web page is such that any reader who is

19     not familiar with the detailed structure of the Tribunal can objectively

20     consider it to be an organ or an agency of the Tribunal.

21             And in the press, in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, for your

22     information, this is stated that this was such and such a thing was

23     published by an agency attached to the ICTY, the Sense agency.  But, of

24     course, if you were to ask them, they would say we are independent, we

25     have nothing to do with that, but we will, of course, consider the

Page 36865

 1     possible steps to be taken with respect to Sense.

 2             But I just wanted to add one more sentence.  You have noticed

 3     that there is a certain degree of dissatisfaction in this courtroom.

 4     Your Honour Judge Antonetti has referred to it a couple of days ago.

 5     Much of it can be attributed to the length and fatigue, but these are

 6     details that affect the condition of the accused.  These are a million

 7     details which contribute to the whole picture.  And things like this have

 8     an impact too, and we must bear this in mind.  And if necessary, we will

 9     seek the assistance of the Chamber regarding further steps regarding this

10     and similar documents.  Thank you.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to bring the

12     witness in for re-examination.  Mr. Karnavas, a question of a technical

13     nature.  Your client authorised you to represent him, did he not?

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  I beg your pardon, I wasn't -- I apologise.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me repeat my question.  Did

16     Mr. Prlic authorise you to continue to represent him because the witness

17     is coming back?

18             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes, he has.  And as I've indicated he was waived

19     his presence.  He is not withdrawing.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That was my understanding.

21     Very well.

22                           [The witness takes the stand]

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Witness, we apologise for

24     keeping you waiting a little longer than planned because the pause was

25     longer than we envisaged because we had some procedural matters to deal

Page 36866

 1     with.  Madam Nozica will a have some additional questions for you, and I

 2     give her the floor.

 3                           Re-examination by Ms. Nozica:

 4             Thank you, Your Honours, I will have an additional question with

 5     regard to a single document, very briefly.  It was used in the

 6     examination-in-chief.  I haven't prepared it, and I apologise for this.

 7     It is in my binder for the examination-in-chief.  We are all very well

 8     familiar with it.  It is the third from the back.

 9        Q.   Mr. Buljan, you don't have to look for it.  You will see it in

10     the e-court.  I would like to call document P 04756.

11             Mr. Buljan, you were asked several times by my learned friend

12     whether welfare was provided to members of the Muslim nation after the

13     events, and I repeat, after the events of the 9th of May, and the 30th of

14     June, 1993.  I should like to ask you to take a look at this document

15     which you have seen during the proofing.  This is a document dated the

16     2nd of September, 1993 after -- which means after both these two events

17     in Mostar.

18             Let us look at page 5 of the Croatian version which is page 7 of

19     the English version.  So I'm referring to the part that I showed you in

20     the direct examination.  The new structure has been adopted and the

21     conclusion was adopted that families of killed members of the HVO of

22     Muslim ethnicity continued to be provided benefits.

23             Mr. Buljan, is this report from the collegium of the Defence

24     Department an information that you had and that corroborates what you

25     said that Muslim members of the HVO were cared for even after the events

Page 36867

 1     of the 9th of May and the 30th of June, 1993?

 2        A.   I understand the question.  I can confirm with full

 3     responsibility that the organisation of welfare applied to all members of

 4     the HVO regardless of their ethnicity up to this date and after this

 5     date.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. Buljan.  I have no further questions.

 7     Thank you, Your Honours.  That brings to an end my re-examination.  Thank

 8     you.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Buljan, on behalf of my

10     colleagues, I wish to thank you for coming at the request of one of the

11     parties to testify.  I wish you all the best upon your return to your

12     country and success in your future work.  I'm going to ask the usher to

13     be kind enough to accompany you out of the courtroom.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15                           [The witness withdrew]

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica, for next week we

17     have two witnesses who have been planned.  Unless I'm mistaken, you said

18     that these witnesses will come, the distribution of time has already been

19     indicated.  On the Prosecution side there are no problems regarding the

20     summaries.  You are not going to come and tell us at the last minute that

21     the summaries will not allow you to do the cross-examination,

22     Mr. Stringer.

23             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, we -- the Prosecution has been in

24     contact with the Stojic Defence about the summaries that we identified

25     that we believe need to be improved.  We've done it informally by letter,

Page 36868

 1     and I have the expectation that this matter will be resolved without the

 2     need to resort to rulings of the Trial Chamber.  The witness for next

 3     week is one of the witnesses, and I believe that sufficient information

 4     has come in and that there are not going to be any witness summary issues

 5     related to that witness.  It was my understanding that we only had one

 6     witness for next week and not two, if I could add.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica.

 8             MS. NOZICA:  [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.  My learned friend

 9     is quite right, I wish to say that Mr. Stojic's Defence will do its best

10     to cooperate with our colleagues from the Prosecution.  All the requests

11     coming from them, which we consider to be well-founded, will meet with

12     our understanding.

13             Your Honour we have one witness for next week, Veso Vegar, who

14     will be examined for three hours, and as far as I understood you, we will

15     not have a break on Wednesday.  We will be working on Wednesday and not

16     on Thursday.  So this witness can stay in the courtroom for three days.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Except if we need to continue

18     on Thursday, we will continue on Thursday.  If we finish on Wednesday, we

19     finish, but one never knows; it may be necessary to continue on Thursday,

20     but for the moment Thursday is free.  So there will be no problems, I

21     hope.  In that case I'm going to adjourn.  I wish you all a good day and

22     we meet again next week.

23                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.47 p.m.

24                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of

25                           February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.