1 Friday, 24 March 2017
2 [Open session]
3 [Appeals Hearing]
4 [The appellants entered court]
5 [The Appellant Pusic not present]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody.
8 Mr. Registrar, could you kindly call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
10 is case number IT-04-74-A, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Appearances for the Prosecution.
12 MR. GILLETT: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. It's
13 Matthew Gillett for the Prosecution; together with Mr. Douglas Stringer;
14 Ms. Barbara Goy; Ms. Laurel Baig; and our Case Manager,
15 Ms. Janet Stewart. Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much and good morning to you.
17 Appearances for Mr. Prlic.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Your Honours. And good morning to
21 everyone in and around the courtroom. I'm joined by Ms. Suzana Tomanovic
22 and I'm Michael Karnavas.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 Appearances for Mr. Stojic.
25 MR. KHAN: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Mr. Stojic
1 is represented by lead counsel, Ms. Senka Nozica; Mr. Aidan Ellis; and
2 myself, Mr. Karim Khan.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
6 morning to everyone in and around the courtroom. General Praljak is
7 represented by Natacha Fauveau-Ivanovic and Nika Pinter.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Next, Mr. Petkovic.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
11 General Petkovic is still represented by the same team, Alaburic and
12 Lasic and our legal assistant Slavko Mateskovic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 Mr. Coric.
15 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your
16 Honours. Mr. Coric is represented by Dijana Tomasegovic-Tomic, lead
17 counsel; co-counsel, Drazen Plavec; and legal consultant, Dan Ivetic.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much.
20 And Mr. Pusic.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
22 Mr. Pusic is represented by Roger Sahota and Fahrudin Ibrisimovic.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 Incidentally I want to make sure that all the five appellants
25 present can follow the proceedings in your own language. All right.
1 Okay. I see everyone nodding.
2 Mr. Registrar, my attention is being drawn ...
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, today is the turn of -- unless there are
5 preliminaries, which I see there aren't. The Defence for Mr. Coric.
6 Go ahead. You have two hours.
7 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your
8 Honours. Good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 Valentin Coric's Defence has organised its submissions in the following
10 way. The first part will be addressed by Mr. Dan Ivetic, who will
11 respond to the questions of the Chamber sent to us in preparation for the
12 hearing. And then I'm going to address the Appeals Chamber about the
13 legal and factual errors dealt with in our submissions. Hopefully we
14 will have enough time to deal with all of them in our submissions.
15 And now I give the floor to Mr. Dan Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, good morning to you all.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
18 MR. IVETIC: At this time we would like to address your first
19 question on the topic on the Trial Chamber's inquiry into the alleged
20 state of occupation being in existence during the relevant time-period.
21 I would like to note that we discussed this in detail at paragraphs 75 to
22 83 of our appellants brief and we stand behind those submissions in full.
23 We would like to stress at the outset that any inquiry into occupation in
24 this case, under this indictment, is based on error. There was never any
25 proper notice given to the Coric Defence in the indictment that
1 occupation was part of the allegations charged that should be defended
2 against. No reasonable Chamber could read paragraph 232 of the
3 indictment as notice of occupation.
4 Similarly, in volume 1, paragraph 91 of the judgement, the claims
5 are that the allegation of occupation was made known to and applied
6 against Petkovic and Praljak, but what about notice to Coric? The
7 Chamber is silent on the issue because there was not proper notice given
8 to Coric in the indictment. Paragraphs 8 and 10 of the indictment,
9 Petkovic and Praljak are alleged to have "exercised de jure and/or
10 de facto command over Herceg-Bosna/HVO armed forces," but there is no
11 mention of occupation. Where are the key words that are necessary to
12 provide adequate notice? Although the Prosecution claims a waiver on the
13 issue of occupation in their response at -- response brief at
14 paragraph 69, this argument fails as to Coric, because in that same
15 paragraph the Prosecution concedes the Coric Defence did object to the
16 same. We objected as soon as the Prosecution revealed occupation as part
17 of their case, which was only at the phase of the final brief and closing
18 arguments. Waiver is thus not an available argument.
19 Further, assuming arguendo, even if the notice requirement were
20 to be ignored, the Trial Chamber still erred in the course of its
21 inquiry. We would join in the arguments made by our Defence colleagues
22 that went before us this week, arguing against both the findings of an
23 international armed conflict and occupation. Rather than repeating the
24 same, I will add on to what has been said.
25 The Trial Chamber made an error of law because it did not mention
1 invasion as an essential element of establishing a state of occupation.
2 The crime does not cite to evidence nor conclude that the HVO as a
3 foreign army invaded -- that territory, after that time, is said to be
4 occupied. The HVO did not invade from Croatia. The HVO, rather than
5 being some foreign power, was comprised of lawful, domestic inhabitants
6 of the very areas where they were located. That the alleged borders and
7 occupied areas were often crossed to supply the other party, i.e., the
8 ABiH and the HVO, with weapons, ammunition, training, et cetera, was
9 mentioned by some of our colleagues on the other Defences earlier this
10 week. This evidence showing the integration and the close links between
11 the HVO and the armija BiH cannot be reconciled with the alleged
12 existence of an international armed conflict, nor occupation of areas by
13 hostile HVO foreign forces. We submit that the Prosecution's quotation
14 in footnote 266 of their response confirms that very fact.
15 All authorities agree on the same definition, namely, that a
16 territory is occupied when it is placed under the authority of a hostile
17 army and the state to which it belongs has ceased to exercise its own
18 authority. According to ample evidence as we have heard this week,
19 including, among other, 4D410, and including statements by BiH authority,
20 the HVO was an equal and constituent part of the RBiH armed forces, on
21 par with the armija BiH. Thus, the HVO cannot be a foreign power. As
22 established by the Constitution of the SRBiH in Article 256 and by the
23 Law on All People's Defence in Article 63, the Croatian communities
24 instituted Territorial Defence and civilian protection structures, in
25 accordance unity and neighbouring municipalities as established by the
1 BiH state.
2 Thus, it must be stressed that not only the HVO was not on --
3 that the HVO was on that same territory from the beginning and did not
4 invade, but the HVO structures were lawful structures made up of persons
5 who had similar positions on that territory even before the war. For
6 instance, and it is of significance that in some area, such as Posusje,
7 Grude, Tomislavgrad, and other places, there was not any combat nor
8 change of authority such that existing structures and local municipal
9 organs remained the same, even though falling under the HVO. Thus, there
10 is no hostile force nor "invasion" and the lack of any grounds for
11 occupation, due to the fact that these HVO areas that never could be
12 called occupied, the whole concept of occupation fails.
13 An armed conflict can be characterised as international if a
14 foreign state has an overall control over subordinated armed forces that
15 do not directly belong to it. But according to the Tadic appeal
16 judgement, paragraph 137, the control exercised must comprise more than
17 the mere provision of financial assistance or military equipment or
19 No reasonable Chamber can conclude that an international armed
20 conflict existed or that the HVO was a foreign army, or that the Republic
21 of Croatia provided assistance only to the HVO and not the ABiH. I will
22 not repeat the plethora of evidence which we've heard this week of the
23 military supplies and weapons given by Croatia to both the HVO and the
24 armija BiH, but I will stress one bit of evidence in the case that
25 90 per cent of the weapons and the material technical supplies of the
1 armija BiH were provided by the Republic of Croatia and the HVO. That's
2 at transcript page 42146.
3 I would also stress during all times the BiH President,
4 Mr. Izetbegovic, travelled to other countries across Croatia. We have
5 already heard from other Defence teams this week of the Agreement on
6 Friendship and Co-operation in February of 1992, which recognised the
7 armija BiH and the HVO as integral parts of the same BiH armed forces.
8 On June 29, 1993, President Izetbegovic himself declared the HVO
9 as a constituent part of the BiH armed forces. On April 24, 1993, the
10 presidents of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the HVO met in Zagreb to
11 discuss a joint command between the HVO and the ABiH. Thus,
12 Your Honours, if we were to follow the Prosecution's logic as to some
13 sort of de facto organ or proxy due to the support that the HVO received
14 from Croatia, under the evidence, the armija BiH would also have to be a
15 de facto organ or proxy of Croatia under that definition; hence, with no
16 grounds for inquiry into occupation - no application of the additional
17 protections that would apply in the case of occupation - is necessary.
18 Your Honours, now I would like to address your question number 4
19 as it relates to the hypothetical reversal of the Trial Chamber's finding
20 on the intent of HVO forces with regard to the deaths of the civilians
21 who had taken refuge in Enver Sljivo's house, including the impact of the
22 scope of the common criminal plan of the joint criminal enterprise and
23 the alleged mens rea of our client, Valentin Coric, for murder under the
24 first category of JCE.
25 As a preliminary matter, I believe it was our colleague Mr. Kahn
1 who mentioned earlier in the week a case from the United Kingdom, the
2 Jogee case, Regina versus Jogee, cited 2016, the reference is UKSC 8,
3 wherein the Supreme Court of England and Wales - and that came out after
4 our briefs and therefore I think it merits a further mention - but the
5 Supreme Court of England and Wales has essentially found that the
6 position in English law at the time of Tadic and upon which the Appeals
7 Chamber in Tadic relied - and look to paragraph 224, footnote 287, of the
8 Tadic appeals judgement - upon which it relied in formulating the ICTY's
9 JCE model was wrong. Per the Supreme Court, the correct position is that
10 the secondary party will only be guilty of the crime committed by the
11 principal if he intended it. That intent may be conditional upon the
12 occurrence of facts leading up to the commission of the crime. Foresight
13 that the crime might happen is not the correct standard, but rather, it
14 should be based on evidence of possession of the requisite intent.
15 That's paragraphs 83 and 92 of the Regina versus Jogee case. As the
16 Supreme Court commented, this ruling corrects:
17 "The striking anomaly of requiring a lower mental threshold for
18 guilt in the case of the accessory than in the case of the principal."
19 Paragraph 84 of the Jogee case.
20 I leave it to Your Honours if the ICTY will correct or change its
21 jurisprudence on the current state of law on JCE to be in line with the
22 decision of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
23 We will deal with Your Honours' inquiry as to JCE 3 liability
24 later when we discuss the two documents in relation to question 4(c)(ii).
25 I will also try not to repeat too much what other Defence colleagues have
1 said on the issue of -- of -- of question 4, and hereby adopt by
2 reference especially - but not only - that events in Gornji Vakuf were an
3 isolated local incident that cannot prove any common criminal purpose in
4 existence. If this finding that the shelling of Enver Sljivo's house as
5 crimes of wilful killing and murder is overturned, then the Trial
6 Chamber's findings about the existence of a clear pattern of conduct of
7 HVO attacks will also have to be overturned. And their conclusion of
8 murders and wilful killings in Mostar and Heliodrom in the later period,
9 after 30th June 1993, must also be overturned if favour of the defendant.
10 The reason for this is rather simple. The Trial Chamber relied upon its
11 findings of murders and wilful killings such as this shelling of
12 Enver Sljivo's house in the course of attacks as to Gornji Vakuf and
13 Mostar as the basis for its finding of a common criminal purpose.
14 The Trial Judgement at paragraph 65 of volume 4 based its
15 conclusion on a common criminal purpose on an alleged "clear pattern of
16 conduct" on the part of HVO forces. Thus, if the aforesaid shelling of
17 Enver Sljivo's house is overturned, then the finding of wilful killings
18 and murder in Gornji Vakuf has no evidence to support same. Thus, the
19 entire concept of a "clear pattern of conduct" on the part of HVO forces
20 is then called into question and nullified, especially since there are no
21 similar findings of wilful killings and murders in relation to other
22 municipalities except later in Mostar. It does not fit into the theory
23 of a Prosecution JCE. No clear pattern of conduct means no common
24 criminal purpose, which defeats JCE 1 responsibility as to the
25 municipalities. This means that Mr. Coric cannot be said to have had any
1 JCE 1 criminal liability.
2 Now, if we shift our focus to events in Mostar. First of all, if
3 there is no viable conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence that
4 there was a "clear pattern of conduct" and if - as we've heard from other
5 teams this week - there is no original JCE in existence as to the
6 municipalities, then it becomes illogical that this non-existent JCE
7 would be expanded to include Mostar, as the Trial Chamber erroneously
8 found in volume 4, paragraph 59 of the judgement. Murder as a "clear
9 pattern of conduct" is essential to the Trial Chamber's conclusion that
10 there existed a common criminal plan; and without a substantial finding
11 of murder under the evidence, then Your Honours must acquit Mr. Coric for
12 Count 2 and Count 3. As well as especially if it is reasonable under the
13 evidence that the alleged crimes can also be reasonably understood as the
14 result of strictly military operations over which Coric had no role; and
15 second, in the -- in regards to the extended period after January until
16 late June and July, where there is essentially no military operations
18 Further, if we return to Enver Sljivo's house, the Defence must
19 point - in addition to what our colleagues have already said - that the
20 Prosecution draws attention to smoke rising from a chimney, but the
21 Prosecution ignores its own concession that armed defenders were within
22 tens of metres of that same house, or the references of my colleagues to
23 evidence demonstrating that armed offenders were even closer to the
24 house. Thus, there was no proper analysis performed to exclude that this
25 shell was not part of a legitimate military operation between two
1 opposing armed forces, wherein the unfortunate deaths of civilians would
2 be collateral casualties.
3 Thus, the Trial Chamber committed a legal error by merely
4 generically categorising such shells as inherently indiscriminate weapons
5 without doing the proper analysis called for. I remind Your Honours of
6 the Galic Appeals Chamber that established that a shelling can only be
7 determined to be "indiscriminate" after "determining that no reasonable
8 or possibility existed that the victims ... were unintentionally harmed
9 by combat in their vicinity."
10 That's paragraph 232 to 235 of the Galic appeals judgement.
11 There are many alternative reasonable conclusions. For instance,
12 if there are civilians in the front lines or if defending ABiH, armija
13 BiH, forces placed their own units near civilian structures, many
14 conclusions which qualify the deaths as unintentional and ones for which
15 one cannot be found militarily nor criminal liable. We also draw Your
16 Honours' attention to the fact the Prosecution is presenting a different
17 version than that found by the Chamber. Namely, the Prosecution says
18 that a very precise direct fire tank round was used. If the Prosecution
19 persists in this argument - as it has this whole week - then,
20 Your Honours, the Prosecution is itself telling you that the trial
21 judgement is in error. They can't have it both ways.
22 Moving to the mens rea elements for Count 2 and 3. The Defence
23 has consistently and in detail in its appeals brief demonstrated that
24 Coric neither received combat reports nor had any command authority over
25 military operations, nor even over the military police when they were
1 used in those operations, and he was not present in the zone of combat in
2 Gornji Vakuf. In fact, we have several bits of evidence that demonstrate
3 that during relevant time-period, Mr. Coric is in the hospital in Zagreb.
4 P1350; transcript testimony 50967, 51082, 51087 through 8. In volume 4
5 paragraph 920 to 921 of the judgement, the sole basis of Coric's
6 knowledge that crimes must have occurred in Gornji Vakuf are cited as
7 P1635 and P3090. At issue are reports only giving statistics of combat
8 casualties of the military police, which can be understood as legitimate
9 combat, and then also mentioning combat and capturing of armija BiH
10 combatants as well as reporting on the need to increase anticrime
11 activities. Your Honours, such reports cannot form the basis for any
12 criminal mens rea of wilful killing or murders in Gornji Vakuf on the
13 part of Mr. Coric.
14 Additionally, for instance, in paragraph 33 of our appeals brief,
15 we have discussed some of the many facets of evidence that have
16 demonstrated that Mr. Coric did not the requisite mens rea, including his
17 conduct in the proper professional training of military police, including
18 on the topics of international law and the humane treatment of detainees.
19 In paragraph 34 of our appeal brief, we discuss Coric's efforts
20 to organise courses with the International Red Cross to further train the
21 military police to act properly. In paragraph 35 of our appeal brief, we
22 cite to evidence that no fewer than 2.000 criminal reports were filed by
23 the military police against Croat perpetrators of crimes, and these
24 criminal reports were then left to be dealt with by the appropriate
25 judicial organs. The Defence presented copies of just some of the
1 military prosecution office registers that it was able to find from
2 several offices. And that is 5D4288. A large number of unfinished cases
3 were transferred by the judicial organs -- transferred to the -- to the
4 judicial organs to be dealt with. A large of number unfinished cases
5 were transferred after the Washington Agreements. We have 5D5027,
6 5D5032, 5D5024, and the testimony of witness Vidovic at transcript page
7 51562 through 9 telling us that.
8 We must stress that the role of either the military or civilian
9 police ends with the submission of criminal reports; even the trial
10 judgement concludes that in volume 4, paragraph 881 and 2, but we will
11 discuss that later.
12 In this regard it should be stressed that in the Milutinovic
13 trial judgement, President Milutinovic was found not guilty and acquitted
14 even though he had actually reporting of crimes because he at the same
15 time information and foresaw that appropriate law enforcement and
16 judicial organs were handling things to prosecute the perpetrators. This
17 is volume 3, paragraphs 132 and 143 of the Milutinovic trial judgement.
18 This is an acquittal the Prosecution did not appeal.
19 Coric's actions also demonstrate that he foresaw that law
20 enforcement and police organs would work together to prevent crimes and
21 took all steps available to him, whilst that both the military and
22 civilian police, to have those forces legitimately function to prevent
23 and punish criminal activity. It cannot be excluded under the evidence
24 that Coric too believed he was part of a legitimate state operating in a
25 legitimate police role and that crimes were investigated and punished in
1 accord with the law. Thus, this is in fact a more reasonable conclusion
2 than any common criminal purpose that he would be a part of.
3 The most significant evidence as to the lack of intent to commit
4 crimes can be seen from two of Mr. Coric's own documents issued during
5 the same time-period. P5471, while at the military police
6 administration; and P6837, while at the Ministry of Interior. In both,
7 Mr. Coric is informing everyone else and, in essence, pleading with HVO
8 military commanders that he is lacking the military police - and then
9 later the civilian police - to properly prevent crimes and do police jobs
10 because the manpower has been taken and resubordinated to the HVO
11 military for combat. Coric is asking for their return so that they can
12 more effectively prevent and police against crimes.
13 Your Honours, under the totality of this evidence, it is
14 inconsistent and indeed illogical for anyone to conclude that Coric had
15 the mens rea for crimes in Counts 2 and 3, since he is espousing a desire
16 to prevent crimes across the entire territory. Thus, there is not any
17 evidence upon which the Trial Chamber could have properly relied upon to
18 infer that Coric shared or had any intent for these murders or a JCE.
19 Thus, if the findings as to the killings in Gornji Vakuf were
20 overturned, given this plethora of other evidence of Coric's
21 crime-fighting in other places, it would be impossible to assess to him a
22 criminal mens rea for JCE 1. Given the foregoing evidence, he simply
23 cannot share the intent of the possible or alleged co-perpetrators of
24 killings. It would be improper to do so merely based on his position as
25 an official in police and law enforcement activities.
1 Turning now to the issue of mens rea for JCE 3 liability. As a
2 preliminary matter it should be stressed that if this Appeals Chamber
3 overturns the finding as to Enver Sljivo's house and the deaths in
4 Gornji Vakuf, then it negates even more the foreseeability of additional
5 JCE crimes for Coric. These death must have been foreseeable as crimes
6 of an existing common criminal purpose he agreed to - look to the
7 Sainovic appeals judgement paragraph 1557 - rather than due to legitimate
8 military action or some other cause like random crime, random crime that
9 he could perhaps foresee as a police official. Again, by virtue of being
10 a police official, Coric by definition foresees crimes; but that does not
11 mean that he intends or condones them or that he is part of a common
12 criminal purpose, especially, especially given the aforecited evidence
13 that he was doing his best with limited manpower to prevent crimes and
14 thus fulfil his police role.
15 Further, if the earlier finding that deaths in Gornji Vakuf as
16 murders are removed, there is no possibility for Coric to have foreseen
17 killings in Dretelj - as erroneously concluded in volume 4,
18 paragraph 1021 of the trial judgement, which occurred at a later date -
19 because he would have no -- he would have no prior notice to be able to
20 foresee the same.
21 Your Honours, I would now like to address question number
22 4(c)(ii) raised by Your Honours as to the significance of Exhibits P1414
23 and P1393 in relation to the assessment of Coric's ability to foresee
24 murders under JCE 3. As a preliminary matter we would stress that
25 Mr. Coric was never part of any JCE or common criminal purpose. We would
1 also note that it is important to consider not only the substance but the
2 time-period of the stated documents to begin with this analysis, and to
3 look at the totality of other evidence, including the context of how
4 these documents were used in the trial judgement.
5 First, P1939 is a document of the Military Police Crime
6 Department reporting on certain less serious creams, most notably not
7 murder, committed by military police personnel against prisoners sent to
8 Coric in his capacity at the military police administration.
9 P1414, the other document, is Coric's immediate order - sent the
10 very next day after he received P1393 - seeking to investigate these
11 specific incidents of alleged crimes and to take action against the
13 In P1414, Coric undertakes all available means at his disposal
14 and acts properly as a military police officer. He asks, among other
15 things for a report to be submitted of events that resulted in the
16 maltreatment and infliction of injuries in the Tomislavgrad prison. He
17 asks for clarification of the circumstances surrounding the bodily
18 injuries of detainees in Ljubuski prison; to find out the names of
19 persons who participated in those events; and the names of units they
20 belong to; and for all stolen goods to be returned; and in the case of
21 missing items, written explanations to be submitted. P1414 thus
22 demonstrates that Coric neither intended for these crimes to occur nor
23 condoned the same. Rather, P1414 shows the proper and appropriate
24 reaction of Coric when he is informed that crimes are suspected or known
25 to have been committed by members of the military police. Indeed, the
1 Trial Chamber treats P1414 as proof of Coric's good deeds to try and
2 combat criminal activity, not as incriminatory of him. Volume 4 of the
3 trial judgement, paragraph 881, footnote 1645, which we will discuss in a
5 The record in this case unfortunately does not demonstrate if
6 there was ever any written reply back to Coric about the results of this
7 particular investigation or if the perpetrators could be identified and,
8 if so, how punished. We do not know what the result was of this
9 investigation. However, we have other evidence which demonstrated that
10 Coric had a very strict view that forbade the commission of crimes by
11 military policemen. For instance, the record is clear that within his
12 limited competencies, Coric sought to have the behaviour of the military
13 police comply with the utmost professionalism. We have Exhibit P129 that
14 Coric sent military police units in the field rules of discipline they
15 should follow. Likewise, Coric's personal attitude was described at
16 trial at transcript page 50953 through 50954 as a very stringent policy
17 as to discipline of military police found to have engaged in such
18 misconduct such that, and now I quote:
19 "... any such perpetrators should be prosecuted and a criminal
20 report filed ... anybody who besmirched the name of the military police
21 on battle-grounds throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, that they should be
22 thrown out of the unit."
23 We have other evidence that when crimes were committed by
24 military police and made known to Coric, he adhered to precisely this
25 stringent policy stated above by a witness and dismissed the perpetrators
1 from their duties and called for criminal reports to be forwarded to the
2 relevant prosecutors because, in his words as expressed in Exhibit P3571:
3 "The above-named have sullied the honour of the military police
4 and their further presence in the unit is detrimental."
5 In that particular instances, those dismissed and criminally
6 reported were perpetrators who had committed rapes.
7 Now this one that I just read, P3571, comes later in time than
8 P1414 and thus demonstrates that we can understand P1414 -- that is to
9 say after P1414, Coric as chief of the military police administration,
10 within his limited authority, fought and sought to prevent crimes
11 committed by military police members. Respectfully, the burden of proof
12 is not on the Defence to prove the results of the investigation ordered
13 by P1414, but in the context of this subsequent dated evidence showing
14 uniform conduct, it can be reasonably concluded that Coric did not
15 condone crimes. And thus we believe that P1414 is properly understood as
16 an order for investigations by the appellant and that it shows that he
17 took steps where he could within his limited competency to prevent or
18 punish crimes reported to him that involved military police personnel.
19 Returning to what we mentioned earlier, we have to emphasise that
20 in this light and context, P1414 is used as an example of Coric's efforts
21 at crime prevention. P1414 is mentioned in the trial judgement not only
22 in paragraph 881, footnote 1645 in a positive rather than negative sense,
23 but further the next paragraph of the judgement, paragraph 882, the Trial
24 Chamber states:
25 "In view of the above, the Chamber finds that as chief of the
1 military police administration, Valentin Coric had the ability to
2 participate in fighting crime within the HVO but that his power was
3 limited to investigating the perpetrators of crimes, while the
4 responsibility for their prosecution rested within [sic] the Military
6 Your Honours, these paragraphs are in the section of the
7 judgement volume 4 entitled: "Valentin Coric's Powers in Fighting
8 Crime." Thus, it must be seen that while Coric took steps against crimes
9 known to him, he was limited by his position as to what he could do and
10 over whom he could exercise such discipline.
11 Relating to this, we would like to refer to P1678. It is Coric's
12 own document dated 17 March 1993, where he is talking about subordination
13 of units of the military police, and he is saying that they will
14 eliminate anyone from the military police whose work is objected to by
15 the military commander - to which they are subordinated - or SIS. It is
16 clear that Coric not only announces a fight against any form of crime or
17 lack of discipline in the military police, but he also states that the
18 military police administration would follow information received by those
19 to whom the military police units were subordinated - military
20 commanders - and those who would have the obligation to fight crime in
21 all HVO units without exception.
22 Thus, to the extent that Coric could foresee that other crimes
23 could happen, such as murders, we have to take into account that he
24 legitimately believed the perpetrators would be processed and punished in
25 line with his strict stance by the appropriate organs who were not under
1 his authority nor competence. In this regard -- in this regard, it must
2 also be taken into account that the other document, P1393 that
3 Your Honours asked about, is not mentioned in the judgement in connection
4 to Mr. Coric. However, P1393 is an internal military police document.
5 So again in this instance, Coric reacts appropriately and in line with
6 the law when he is informed through the regular chain of informing within
7 the military police. Thus, these documents cannot be used to infer
8 Coric's ability to foresee murders that would not be likewise punished
9 and subjected to an appropriate legal remedy, as he did for other crimes
10 that he heard about.
11 Now, further, murder is not even mentioned in these two documents
12 that Your Honours have asked about, P1393 and P1414. Only thefts,
13 maltreatment, and beatings were mentioned. The Prosecution - in its
14 reply brief at paragraph 73 - concedes that foreseeability of murder is
15 based on knowledge of previous murders and not on other crimes like
16 theft, beatings, or maltreatment. Thus, even under the Prosecution's
17 accepted standard, P1393 and P1414 cannot be used to infer Coric's
18 ability to foresee murders that would not likewise be punished and
19 subjected to appropriate legal remedy.
20 All witnesses were clear that no post-combat reports were ever
21 sent to Coric in any form whatsoever by the military police subordinated
22 in combat zones to the military. The evidence is that the military
23 police administration only received statistics such as the location,
24 general situation of the military police such as numerical strength,
25 casualties, et cetera. You can look to 5D5110, paragraph 5 for reference
1 to that. As to crimes that were reported and that he notice of, Coric
2 was put on notice that the relevant authorities were investigating,
3 arresting, and submitting criminal reports to prosecute the perpetrators.
4 P4058 is an example of that.
5 We would also in this case highlight 5D2113, a report from Coric
6 to the Defence Department that outlines anticrime measures that have been
7 implemented in Mostar with "noticeable results," namely when the military
8 police undertook control of parts of the city to prevent looting.
9 Similarly, we see in 5D4110 Coric taking those steps within his limited
10 domain to contribute to law enforcement efforts in Mostar, trying to
11 increase the effectiveness of anticrime measures, supporting training of
12 additional crime technicians needed, and encouraging the military police
13 to work more closely with the civilian police. He maintained a similar
14 position when he left the military police and became civilian minister of
16 Further, based on the two documents that Your Honours have asked
17 about, Coric could not foresee murders that came later in a different
18 time-period, under different circumstances, especially those carried out
19 by personnel not within his authority and beyond his limited competencies
20 and which were not reported to him. Time and context are quite
22 It should be recalled that other evidence shows that Coric did
23 not even have competency over all the military police because of their
24 engagement in the front lines with the HVO military. Just the other day
25 Mr. Stringer at transcript page 422 to 423 represented to Your Honours
1 that the majority correctly found that that other appellants had the
2 military police subordinated to them and did not mentioned Coric; but my
3 colleague will deal with the resubordination of the military and civilian
4 police later today and discuss efforts again of Coric to try to get both
5 the military and civilian police back from the front lines to engage in
6 law enforcement activities.
7 Thus, at all times, Coric - by virtue of his police role -
8 foresaw crimes but also foresaw that the law enforcement organs and
9 judicial organs would work to prevent such crimes. If necessary,
10 personnel were returned to be allowed to serve that function.
11 Respectfully, we are surprised by this Appeals Chamber's question as
12 raising new issues that neither the Prosecution's appeal nor the
13 Prosecution's respondent's brief raised, insofar as they do not cite to
14 these documents as to Coric.
15 The trial judgement, we submit in volume 4, paragraph 881 and
16 882, recognises that Coric fought crime. It used these documents -- this
17 document, P1414, as an example of how he performs his regular police
18 duty. JCE on the other hand, is a form of responsibility, and we submit
19 performing duty and fighting crime cannot be an especially part of a JCE,
20 nor can they be viewed as furtherance of a JCE. If performing the
21 regular duty of a police officer, to foresee and react to crime becomes a
22 key element of a JCE or proof of a later crime; and basically the only
23 proof then, the very essence of fighting crime itself becomes criminal,
24 which is totally opposite and absurd to the legal systems of the world.
25 We would remind Your Honours of the Appeals Chamber holding in
1 the Halilovic appeal, at paragraph 59 of that judgement, wherein it is
3 "For example, a police officer may be able to prevent and punish
4 crimes under his jurisdiction, but this would not as much make him a
5 superior (in the sense of Article 7(3) of the Statute) vis-à-vis any
6 perpetrator within the jurisdiction."
7 Again, this is paragraph 59.
8 Respectfully we would ask that the same analysis be applied as to
9 JCE in any form. Coric's role as first a military and then a civilian
10 policeman cannot be used to impose liability against him because his
11 official duty always had him foresee crime but also foresee the
12 appropriate enforcement of law by relevant organs to prevent and punish
13 such crime, like any other policeman in the world. Any other result
14 would make it a crime to act as a policeman. And again we must stress
15 that these two documents at issue in question 4(c)(ii) of Your Honours'
16 questions, they're not talking about some selective crime fighting by
17 Coric, but they're specifically talking about prevention of crimes and
18 punishment of those committing crimes against the most vulnerable group
19 at that time, Muslim prisoners. So for Appellant Coric to be convicted
20 and criminally punished for performing his police duty in an honourable
21 manner would be a bad precedent for further judiciaries. The question
22 that arises is: If anyone undertakes efforts to prevent and punish
23 crimes by virtue of their police role in fighting crime, is such a person
24 to be held automatically and strictly liable and responsible for all
25 future crimes committed by perpetrators that he neither knew of nor could
1 stop? Will he be punished for doing something good? Any policeman has
2 to fight crime - that is his duty - he cannot be punished for that. And
3 unfortunately, unfortunately, no policeman in the world - not even
4 Mr. Coric - can be 100 per cent effective and successful in preventing or
5 punishing all crimes that are committed within their jurisdictional area
6 nor that he can foresee might happen.
7 Thus, in finishing this question, we would stress that under
8 JCE 3 what is at issue is the dolo eventualis standard, which applies
9 when the accused did not intend to bring about a specific result but was
10 aware that the actions of a group would lead to that result and - this is
11 the key part - willingly took that risk. Neither of these two documents
12 in this question, nor the totality of the evidence demonstrate that Coric
13 either intended the crimes to occur go unpunished, let alone that he
14 willingly took such a risk. To the contrary, he did all within his
15 limited competencies and means to fight against that risk and tried to
16 ensure that if crimes occurred, perpetrators were investigated and
18 Your Honours, I would like to now address question 5 as to the
19 proposed overturning of the Trial Chamber's findings that property
20 destruction caused in Dusa, Hrasnica, Zdrimci and Uzricje was
21 indiscriminate, wanton, and not justified by military necessity. Again,
22 some of my colleagues that have spoken already have addressed this topic,
23 and we would join in most of those submissions rather than repeat
24 everything here. I will try only to stress a few things such that in
25 trial judgement, volume 3, paragraph 1569, the Chamber confirms that it
1 received evidence that members of the armija BiH were present in the
2 towns of Gornji Vakuf and, precisely, in the villages of Dusa, Hrasnica,
3 Zdrimci, and Uzricje at the time of the HVO attack and the alleged
4 destruction of the houses. Some armed Muslim men were even hidden inside
5 the houses from time to time. Yet, the Trial Chamber established that
6 the shelling of these villages was indiscriminate. Further, the Trial
7 Chamber explicitly found that in Uzricje, where military policemen
8 resubordinated to the HVO military were deployed, there were also armed
9 Muslim men. This village was thus defended by an armed opposing military
10 force comprised of Muslim men. Look to the trial judgement volume 2,
11 paragraph 370, and the same was true for the situation in Zdrimci and
12 Hrasnica. These are not undefended localities.
13 We do not have any information on the placement of the civilians,
14 that is to say how far were the civilians from the combat zone, from the
15 front lines, or the defenders or combatants; nor do we have any
16 information on the quantity of the shelling; nor do we have expert or
17 other evidence that would clearly describe all the conditions related to
18 the shelling which would be necessary to assess the same. The burden of
19 proof is on the Prosecution, and they did not present any evidence on
20 that matter. So no reasonable trier of fact could conclude that there
21 was only one conclusion available under the evidence; namely, that is
22 indiscriminate, because there is a reasonable doubt in that conclusion.
23 Multiple, alternative conclusions are available under the evidence,
24 including legitimate combat.
25 Furthermore, the Trial Chamber does not draw distinction
1 between when military necessity ends and indiscriminate acts begin, at
2 what moment something that had a military necessity becomes
3 indiscriminate. This is strange, having in mind that the Trial Chamber
4 recognised that there were armija BiH fighters on the ground and even HVO
5 combat losses from fighting with the ABiH forces in these same villages.
6 The other day I heard Prosecutor Stringer downplay the level of
7 combat in this area. That was transcript page 419. But please we urge
8 you to look at the evidentiary record that you have before you, where
9 there were significant casualties from this combat in these villages.
10 For instance, P3090. Here we see that just from the military police that
11 were subordinated to the HVO military in that area in this time, they had
12 10 dead and 63 wounded resulting from battles. This means, at the very
13 least, that there was some degree of legitimate combat that must have
14 existed. But the Trial Chamber ignored this evidence and thus ignored
15 this alternative reasonable -- this alternative conclusion reasonable
16 under the evidence, in violation of in dubio pro reo. I'll remind
17 Your Honours that the Prosecution the other day also kept saying: This
18 judgement is reasonable. This judgement is reasonable. Your Honours,
19 that's not the correct standard for a conviction to stand. It must be
20 the only reasonable conclusion under the evidence, not just a reasonable
21 conclusion under the evidence.
22 There is no analysis in the trial judgement as to the acceptable
23 margin of error for artillery shelling. There is no setting of a clear
24 standard that would separate shelling due to legitimate military action
25 and military necessity and one that is not. Unfortunately, Your Honours,
1 as we all know, even legitimate military shelling can cause unintended
2 collateral damage to property.
3 But even more so, the Trial Chamber in volume 2, paragraph 353
5 "It has admitted evidence that the destruction, in particular, of
6 houses in the town of Gornji Vakuf did not merely result from HVO
7 shelling but also from fighting inside the city between HVO and ABiH and
8 from shelling by the VRS."
9 Your Honours, given such a finding, no Trial Chamber could thus
10 conclude beyond reasonable doubt that the destruction in question was the
11 result of indiscriminate or wilful and wanton acts of the HVO, let alone
12 Mr. Coric.
13 Now, Your Honours, we would like to address the tenth and last of
14 your specific questions addressed to our Defence, which asks us to
15 comment upon the potential impact upon the JCE 3 conviction of our client
16 if you were to grant Ground 1(A) of the Prosecution's appeal.
17 First of all, we note that granting of Prosecution's subground
18 (A) of their appeal would not have any effect on the JCE 3 convictions
19 that we are appealing from. I would direct Your Honours' attention first
20 to paragraph 198 of our appellant's brief, where we specify that the
21 "possibility" standard is the proper measure for JCE 3 and wherein we
22 state that the Trial Chamber erred in applying that standard to conclude
23 crimes were foreseeable to Coric because he did not have any knowledge to
24 properly foresee that these crimes were possible as part of anything he
1 Additionally, we note that although the Trial Chamber admittedly
2 does act in a sloppy manner linguistically, using terminology of
3 probability and possibility, that as far as the additional crimes wherein
4 Coric was convicted of JCE 3 liability, it is clear that the Trial
5 Chamber actually already applied the correct possibility standard but
6 applied it erroneously to find Coric guilty of those crimes which in fact
7 he could not foresee under such a standard.
8 For example, we would direct Your Honours to paragraphs 200, 207,
9 and 209 of our appellant's brief for example. Now -- where we detail and
10 describe the Trial Chamber's errors in applying the possibility standard
11 to wrongfully convict Coric as to these additional crimes. I will point
12 to just one example for the same of time. Volume 4, paragraph 1018,
13 1020, Coric is being erroneously convicted by the Trial Chamber for JCE 3
14 liability for killings in Dretelj precisely using the correct standard
15 and the correct language "might be committed" to assess foreseeability.
16 So, irrespective of your finding as to the Prosecution's appeal,
17 Your Honours should acquit Mr. Coric of liability for all the JCE 3
18 crimes he is currently wrongfully convicted of.
19 Further, as we have already detailed in the remainder of the
20 paragraphs of Ground 8 of our appeal, under the evidence it is irrelevant
21 if probability or possibility standards are applied because no reasonable
22 Trial Chamber could find Coric guilty under JCE 3 using either standard,
23 because he could not foresee crimes given the totality of the evidence
24 that would go unpunished. Thus, the Prosecution's appeal has no
25 relevance to our appeal from the wrongful convictions suffered by
1 Mr. Coric for JCE 3 crimes.
2 The Prosecution appeal submits that the appeals jurisprudence
3 confirms that JCE 3 liability arises if the JCE members know that the
4 commission of crime is a "possible" consequence of the execution of the
5 common criminal purpose.
6 Furthermore, in its appeal, the Prosecution states that the
7 correct standard for JCE 3 mens rea means that the crimes "might be"
8 perpetrated in executing the common criminal purpose and the accused
9 willingly took that risk by deciding or continuing to participate in that
10 enterprise; but Mr. Coric never participated in any enterprise. And
11 however, as the Prosecution at paragraph 198 of its appeal highlights and
12 indeed introduces precisely the reasonable doubt we're talking about as
13 to Mr. Coric, they say:
14 "By remaining in positions of authority, intending or aware of
15 ongoing crimes committed ..." and then they continue, stating that he
16 willingly took the risk that JCE 3 crimes might be committed.
17 Respectfully given his police role, it is not enough to say as to
18 Mr. Coric that he was aware of crimes. He also must have intended
19 crimes, and the analysis shows he went to great lengths to try to prevent
20 crimes, which is contrary to an intent to willingly take part in any
21 crimes let alone any enterprise. We must stress again that the Sainovic
22 appeals judgement, paragraph 1557, states that it must be foreseeable to
23 the accused that the crimes might be committed - and this is the part I
24 stress: "... in order to carry out the actus reus of the crimes forming
25 part of the common purpose."
1 As we have shown, Mr. Coric was never part of any common criminal
2 purpose, and my colleague will deal with that more.
3 The Prosecution alleges in subground 1(A) of its appeal that
4 under the proper foreseeability standard Coric would be -- should be --
5 would be convicted, not acquitted as he was of certain crimes. But
6 again, apart from using imprecise language, the Chamber appears to be
7 applying the same possibility standard both when convicting and when
8 acquitting Mr. Coric. The Coric Defence gave a very specific and
9 detailed answer to subground 1(A) of the Prosecution's appeal in
10 paragraphs 19 to 23 of its respondent's brief, and we would refer
11 Your Honours to those as we stand behind them today. And we must stress
12 again as I just read from paragraph 198 of their appeal, the Prosecution
13 concedes reasonable doubt exists as to Coric's intent.
14 If Coric was merely aware of crimes occurring within the
15 territory, which is the common duty of every policeman in the world, and
16 if he did not intend such crimes therefore he cannot be held responsible
17 for them. In paragraphs 186 to 210 and elsewhere in our appeal brief, we
18 cite to ample evidence that Coric could not even have known of certain
19 events due to, for instance, for being hospitalised in Zagreb in a
20 certain time-period and due to the military police being resubordinated
21 to the HVO military and then also -- because he could legitimately
22 interpret information that he was receiving as lawful combat and lawful
23 application of the law on abandoned property. Likewise, in those same
24 paragraphs, we clearly cite to numerous evidence that demonstrate that
25 neither Coric nor the military police tolerated crimes and undertook
1 actions to prevent the same and punish perpetrators. Coric's behaviour
2 in acting against crimes therefore prevents any reasonable Trial Chamber
3 from concluding that he willingly and knowingly took the risk that his
4 acts or contributions to any legal effort might possibly lead to
5 commission of crimes. One is in contradiction to the other. Further, he
6 could not foresee the possibility of deaths that were never reported to
7 him and were different in nature to those which occurred earlier which
8 were in combat, as is the case with the deaths in Dretelj, for instance,
9 and which we discuss in paragraph 208 of our appeal.
10 We return to the simple fact that the Trial Chamber did not use
11 the wrong standard, despite what the Prosecution alleges, besides the
12 fact that the Trial Chamber linguistically was challenged and imprecise
13 with the use of words "probability" and "crime would be committed"
14 alongside "could" and "might be committed," the totality of the Chamber's
15 findings must be taken into account. It is respectfully submitted that
16 when the totality of the findings are considered, the Trial Chamber did
17 not use the wrong standard and the acquittals were properly rendered in
18 accord with the proper standard.
19 In fact, the Trial Chamber cites in volume 1, paragraph 1 -- 216
20 to 217 as to the JCE 3 standard precisely some of the appeals
21 jurisprudence that the Prosecution accepts as the correct standard in
22 paragraph 30 of their appeal and also cites to the appeals jurisprudence
23 that the -- that arises from the trial judgements that the Prosecution is
24 relying upon as the proper standard.
25 Further, we can -- further as to ground 1 of the Prosecution
1 appeal -- 1(A) of the Prosecution appeal, we can say: Considering the
2 statements of the Chamber in regards to the murders in Stolac and
3 Capljina and for Dretelj prison, the Chamber utilised the proper analysis
4 and the proper standard, such that these acquittals are also proper;
5 namely, the consequence of the lack of evidence, not application of a
6 wrong or different standard to weigh the evidence. So these acquittals
7 would not be affected by any finding of accepting ground 1(A) of the
8 Prosecution appeal. In -- one moment.
9 In summation, apart from the occasional linguistic lapses in the
10 use of the words "probable" and "would be" in passing and in dicta, the
11 Trial Chamber actually applied and relied upon the possibility standard
12 in its holding and rulings by its essence; and that is what the
13 Prosecution admits by saying that the Chamber used this standard in the
14 judgement "occasionally."
15 The Prosecution is now just using verbal interpretation of
16 expressions in paragraphs 216 and 220 of judgement and not a -- not the
17 logical and systemic interpretation of law and the legal text cited by
18 the Chamber in its findings. So the Prosecution's allegations are
19 baseless. The Chamber used the correct standard as developed and applied
20 by the relevant Appeal Chamber jurisprudence; and for this reason, we
21 believe that subground 1(A) should not be granted of the Prosecution's
23 For the foregoing reasons, the Coric Defence respectfully submits
24 that criminal liability for additional JCE 3 crimes should not attach to
25 Mr. Coric since they were not foreseeable to Coric even under the
1 possibility standard because the information that he had at hand was not
2 sufficient to put him on notice of the possibility of crimes, especially
3 when in the hospital in Zagreb, and the fact that he did not intend any
4 crimes in the first place. And further still, his actions undertaken to
5 prevent crimes demonstrate he did not willingly and knowingly take
6 part -- take the risk that crimes would occur, but rather fought against
7 crimes at all times.
8 I thank you and now my colleague will take over --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait. Wait, wait, wait, a bit.
10 Mr. Ivetic, I refer you to page 4 of the transcript, the very
11 beginning, the first four lines.
12 MR. IVETIC: If I can have access to the transcript, I'm -- one
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I can explain to you and you check later.
15 MR. IVETIC: That's fine.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: When you were dealing with occupation and the
17 aspect of notice, you said: Although the Prosecution claims a waiver on
18 this issue of occupation in their response at response brief -- at
19 paragraph 69, this argument fails as to Coric because in that same
20 paragraph the Prosecution concedes the Coric Defence did object to the
21 same. We objected as soon as the Prosecution revealed occupation as part
22 of their case, which was only at the phase of the final brief and closing
24 I've checked para 69 and it says nothing like what you are
25 alleging. In fact, it gradually goes exactly against what you say. It
2 "The indictment alleged the existence," I'm referring from the
3 Prosecution response brief, paragraph 69:
4 "The indictment alleged the existence of partial occupation of
5 BiH, putting Coric on notice that a state of occupation formed part of
6 the case against him. Coric understood this. In his PTB, Coric
7 characterised the Prosecution's position as contending that the HVO was
8 the occupier of HVO-controlled territory. Coric was also aware that
9 notice of occupied territory was challenged by other accused at the
10 trial. His failure to object to any perceived lack of notice at trial
11 must be regarded as a waiver."
12 So nowhere did the Trial Chamber -- did the Prosecution concede
13 what you say it conceded, but this is not the end of it. The -- you also
14 then referred to a paragraph, and you can go to transcript pages 19, last
15 couple of lines, and 20 first couple of lines when referring to
16 paragraph 73 of the Prosecution response brief, and according to the
17 transcript you said:
18 "Now, further, murder is not even mentioned in these two
19 documents that Your Honours have asked about, P1393 and P1414. Only
20 thefts, maltreatment, and beatings were mentioned. The Prosecution in
21 its response brief at para 73 concedes that foreseeability of murder is
22 knowledge of previous murders and not other crimes, like theft, beatings,
23 and maltreatment. Thus, even under Prosecution's accepted standard,
24 P1393 and 1414 cannot be used ..." et cetera, et cetera.
25 If you look at the Prosecution's paragraph 73, again, it says:
1 "Coric's arguments regarding invasion are misplaced. The Chamber
2 found that, operating under Croatia's overall control, the HVO conducted
3 military operations ..."
4 And I can continue reading, but it has got absolutely nothing to
5 do with what you said. So I suggest that you check. I will now give the
6 floor, et cetera, and at the end or before the Prosecution starts this
7 afternoon you will --
8 MR. IVETIC: Perhaps after the break we'll come back and --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
11 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am first
12 going to deal with a number of documents of doubtful authenticity for
13 which there is a series of indications that they are patent forgeries, on
14 which documents the Trial Chamber based its judgement when deciding on
15 the liability of my client. Due to the brief time available to me, I
16 note that this topic was dealt with in detail in paragraphs 262 to 265,
17 296 and 297 of our appeal.
18 The first two documents that I wish to draw your attention to are
19 documents P0316 -- 03216 and P03220. It's actually the same document
20 with two different numbers. The Trial Chamber, for example, in volume 1,
21 paragraphs 912 to 914 of the judgement, made its conclusions on the basis
22 of these documents which no reasonable Trial Chamber should reach, in
23 view of the fact that questionable documents cannot eliminate reasonable
24 doubt, particularly when you take into account that numerous other
25 documents contradict them and impose the opposite conclusion.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down.
2 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: Sorry.
3 [Interpretation] The conclusion would acquit the accused of
4 responsibility. Relying on these documents and ignoring numerous
5 evidence that proves the opposite, the Trial Chamber made an error and
6 violated the principle of in dubio pro reo. I believe, Your Honours,
7 that you will take note of this error, correct it, and ensure a just
9 These documents are frequently the only evidence on which the
10 Trial Chamber bases its conclusion that my client had responsibility for
11 prisons and the release of prisoners from prison. I note that the Trial
12 Chamber failed to evaluate these documents in the proper manner and to
13 apply the correct legal standards. In accordance with the presumption of
14 innocence, the Prosecution must prove each of its assertions beyond a
15 reasonable doubt. Equally, the Trial Chamber must resolve each doubt in
16 favour of the accused in keeping with the in dubio pro reo principle.
17 That is why I assert that the conclusions of the Trial Chamber regarding
18 the responsibility of my client relating to prisons are not the only
19 reasonable conclusions on the basis of admitted evidence which could not
20 be challenged by other reasonable conclusions.
21 Furthermore, other numerous credible documents and witnesses
22 heard in the proceedings clearly indicate that these documents are
23 forgeries and that no conclusion or decision should be based on them.
24 Due to the time available to me, I cannot describe in detail the
25 contents of these two documents and there is no need because they were
1 processed in detail in our appeal in the paragraphs I've referred to at
2 the beginning of my submissions.
3 All I will say is that in the Trial Chamber in volume 1,
4 paragraph 912 to 914 of its judgement established on the basis of these
5 documents that Mr. Coric is replying to an earlier document from
6 Colonel Obradovic and concluded that the documents prove that military
7 prisons were solely under the responsibility of the military police
8 administration and that the military police administration was authorised
9 to grant the release of prisoners.
10 Although the Trial Chamber notes that the Defence warned about
11 the forgeries, that these documents were forgeries, it did not see fit to
12 analyse whether the Defence was correct or not or was it reasonable to
13 conclude that these were indeed forgeries. Is it reasonable to conclude
14 that the Defence was right or is there at least reasonable suspicion that
15 the documents are forgeries?
16 First I would like to note that evidence proves that Coric was
17 not the author of these documents and they do not originate from the
18 military police administration either. In relation to that, I would like
19 to note that the witnesses to whom the document was shown confirmed that
20 the document does not bear my client's signature, and I speak about that
21 in more detail in our appeal, paragraph 264. It is true that the
22 signature on the document resembles the signature of my client's deputy,
23 Lavric; however, evidence indicates that this is not his signature
24 either. Witness Slobodan Bozic, department chief of the Defence
25 Department, who was very familiar with the signatures of my client and
1 his deputy, clearly stated that that was not signature of either of them.
2 A more detailed analysis of this argument can be found in our
3 appeals submission, paragraph 264, and in the transcript of the testimony
4 of Witness Bozic on pages 36413 to 3614 [as interpreted]. Even though
5 the argument is a significant one, it certainly would not have the weight
6 it had if their other arguments did not exist, which clearly show the
7 forgeries that I'm talking about.
8 Your Honours, during the proceedings the following Prosecution
9 witnesses and Defence witnesses were heard: E, C, Vidovic, three of
10 whom -- two were Prosecution witnesses, who confirmed that they saw these
11 contested documents in the courtroom for the first time and not ever
12 before. Why is this important? It is important because these witnesses
13 by their function had to have seen these documents at the time that they
14 were drafted. What does this prove? It proves that these documents at
15 the alleged time of their drafting did not exist.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Slow down because I'm receiving comments from the
17 interpreters that you're running too fast. Thank you.
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] What does this prove?
19 This proves that these documents at the alleged time of their drafting
20 did not exist. They did not exist, Your Honours. Nobody knew of them.
21 You can find the information in the testimony of these witnesses on this
22 matter in paragraph 264 of our appeal and also in the relevant footnotes.
23 Let us continue. These documents were addressed, among other
24 recipients, to the Heliodrom prison. I would like to remind the Appeals
25 Chamber that the document log of Heliodrom, Exhibit P285, was admitted as
1 an exhibit in the case. I would like to remind the Chamber that at the
2 beginning of my submissions, I noted that these contested documents
3 allegedly constitute a reply to a document signed by Colonel Obradovic,
4 document P0321. What can we establish when we examine the document
5 log-book of Heliodrom? We can establish that under 683, the document by
6 Colonel Obradovic is registered but the contested documents are not
7 registered. They're not there. They do not exist. Nobody ever saw them
8 nor knew of them at the relevant time. Nobody acted pursuant to the
9 requests stated in those documents.
10 The way in which the Trial Chamber treats my client as far as its
11 findings relating to that exhibit, the document log of Heliodrom, is
12 unfair and places my client in a -- at a disadvantage. The Trial Chamber
13 in volume 2, paragraph 1431 of its judgement confirms the authenticity of
14 the document log-book of Heliodrom and its credibility. So then it is
15 hard to explain why that same Trial Chamber does not take into account
16 and does not evaluate the fact that these contested documents were not
17 registered in the log-book, even though they should have been. And if
18 this argument is not sufficient for reasonable doubt regarding the
19 authenticity of these documents, I don't know what would be enough to
20 substantiate that. I assert that these arguments as well as all the
21 other exhibits in the case is something that the Trial Chamber should not
22 have based their decision on. These are forgeries. And, at the very
23 least, the Trial Chamber should have concluded that there was reasonable
24 doubt as to the document being a forgery. Any reasonable trier of fact
25 here would apply the principle in dubio pro reo here. Instead of
1 applying this principle, the Trial Chamber, in volume 1, paragraph 813,
2 footnote 2234, only tersely cites that the Defence did not request a
3 certification to appeal the decisions admitting those documents into
4 evidence. With all due respect, in the proceedings the Defence opposed
5 the admission of these documents, in the hearings as well as in motions;
6 for example, the joint Defence motion to dismiss certain Prosecution
7 motions for admission of documentary evidence as an abuse of process.
8 The motion was filed on the 4th of September, 2007. I note that there
9 are no obstacles for the Appeals Chamber to assess the authenticity of
10 these documents, taking into account our arguments as well as all the
11 other exhibits admitted in the case.
12 Why is it important to devote particular attention to the
13 elevation of these documents? This is important because these are
14 documents on which the Trial Chamber bases its findings and conclusions
15 regarding the alleged responsibility of Mr. Coric in respect of prisons.
16 Without those documents --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let me interrupt you a minute because
18 I'm not seeing clear on this. Look at the transcript. Page -- the
19 current page, 38, line 6:
20 "The Trial Chamber in volume 1, para 813, footnote 2234 only
21 tersely cites that the Defence did not request a certification to
22 appeal ..."
23 And I put an emphasise on the words "certification to appeal."
24 "The decisions admitting those documents into evidence."
25 Then you continue:
1 "With all due respect, in the proceedings the Defence opposed the
2 admission of these documents in the hearings, as well as in motions."
3 And then you cite an example of a motion filed by -- on th 4th of
4 September, but this was a motion to dismiss certain. The judgement --
5 part of the judgement referred to refers to as certification to appeal,
6 which is completely different.
7 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps I
8 was imprecise. Perhaps I should have phrased it differently. What we
9 wanted to say is that we did not dispute, we did not request
10 certification for appeal; we don't dispute that. But it is not correct
11 that we did not indicate that there were problems with these documents
12 throughout the proceedings. And we believe that regardless of the fact
13 that we did not request certification to appeal, that there is it no
14 reason for the Appeals Chamber not to review our arguments regarding
15 those two contested documents. This is what I meant to say, and perhaps
16 I was imprecise.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: Thank you.
19 [Interpretation] Why is it important to -- devote particular
20 attention to the evaluation of these documents? Because these are
21 documents on which the Trial Chamber bases its conclusions regarding the
22 alleged responsibility of Mr. Coric in respect of prisons. Without those
23 documents, Coric's connections or links to prisons and his alleged
24 responsibility or membership in the alleged JCE would not exist or would
25 have had to have been significantly differently evaluated. Your Honours,
1 there are a few other documents without stamp or signature of doubtful
2 authenticity on which the Trial Chamber bases its findings, volume 3,
3 paragraph 75; volume 1, paragraph 405. The Defence dealt with those
4 documents in its appeal, paragraph 298.
5 Why does the Defence insist on a detailed analysis of these
6 documents, both in relation to their contents and forms but also in the
7 way that they correlate to other documents in the case? We insist,
8 Your Honours, because it is very indicative that when we look at
9 thousands and thousands of documents that the Trial Chamber looked at
10 that are uncontested in relation to their signature and stamp - whose
11 contents were confirmed by witnesses heard in the proceedings - they
12 based their decision on Mr. Coric's responsibility on several documents
13 which are the only ones without stamp or signature and whose authenticity
14 and contents were not confirmed by a single witness and whose contents
15 contradict the contents of these other valid documents and testimonies of
16 witnesses heard in the proceedings.
17 Your Honours, during the proceedings, the Defence tried in vain
18 to find the log-books of documents received and dispatched of the
19 military police administration. Regrettably, they have disappeared
20 without a trace. Had they still been there, we could have had with
21 100 per cent certainty establish the credibility and authenticity of each
22 document which allegedly originated from the military police
23 administration. Still, even without those log-books - in a careful
24 analysis of those documents individually and in correlation with other
25 documents - at the very least it would have been possible to establish at
1 that there was a reasonable doubt as to their authenticity. The Trial
2 Chamber failed to carry out such an analysis and, for that reason, I
3 assert that the Trial Chamber committed a serious mistake and it also
4 constitutes a glaring example of a miscarriage of justice.
5 The next error by the Trial Chamber I'd like to point it your
6 attention to, Your Honours, is ignoring Defence evidence. The most
7 drastic example of such treatment is Exhibit 5D04288. It concerns the
8 log-books of registers of several courts and prosecutor's offices from
9 the time and locations relevant to the indictment recorded on three CDs.
10 Besides these registers, the register of the military court in Mostar was
11 also admitted, Exhibit Number 5100 and P101.
12 Your Honours, those registers contain hundreds of criminal
13 reports submitted by the military police to the prosecutor's offices,
14 they contain hundreds of proceedings conducted against known and unknown
15 perpetrators for very diverse crimes committed against Muslims. After
16 the Washington Agreement, the registers and measures registered therein
17 were taken over by the competent courts and prosecutor's offices in the
18 BH and continued working with them.
19 Your Honours, the Trial Chamber found Valentin Coric responsible
20 because the perpetrators of these different crimes were not prosecuted
21 and sentenced. And yet in paragraph 882 of volume 4, the Trial Chamber
22 established that Coric, as the head of the military police
23 administration, had the possibility to combat crime but his authority was
24 limited to investigations, whereas prosecuting was in the hands of the
25 except military prosecutor's office. Your Honours, these exhibits, these
1 registers, prove that the military police did submit criminal reports to
2 the competent authorities. Had the military police or the accused had
3 the intention to incite crimes against Muslims, why would they have
4 submitted reports against HVO members for such crimes? The finding of
5 the Trial Chamber was that these crimes represent an integral part of the
6 plan intended to further the criminal purpose, and Coric took part in it
7 by trying to minimise the importance of serious crimes or failed to
8 report, them that he failed to follow up on different investigations, and
9 failed to prevent and sanction them. This finding by the Trial Chamber
10 shows that it completely ignored the evidence which shows otherwise. Had
11 the Trial Chamber considered and assessed such evidence, this conclusion
12 would not have been possible. These registers, Your Honours, are crucial
13 proof of this Defence; they that he that Valentin Coric did combat crime.
14 From such evidence, it is clear that the Prosecutor did not, beyond
15 reasonable doubt, prove their assertion that Coric intended that crimes
16 against Muslims be committed and that they go unpunished. Except for
17 ignoring documentary evidence, the Trial Chamber - without any plausible
18 explanation - refused in part or in entirety the testimony of certain
19 Defence witnesses, as discussed in detail in the paragraphs of appeal 301
20 to 303 and 305 to 308. The Trial Chamber refused to accept such
21 testimony, irrespective of the fact that these witnesses testified in
22 accordance with the documentary evidence on file and the testimony of
23 other witnesses led by both other Defence teams and the Prosecution. On
24 the other hand, the Trial Chamber without scrutiny accepted the testimony
25 of Witness E, for example. For him there is indicia on the record
1 testifying to his lack of credibility. He contradicted himself, he
2 contradicted the testimony of other witnesses presented by the
3 Prosecution as well as Defence as well as documentary evidence - the only
4 instances in which the Trial Chamber did not admit or, rather, ignored
5 his testimony where he confirmed the thesis of the Defence.
6 Your Honours, ignoring such evidence amounts to another example of a
7 miscarriage of justice at the expense of my client.
8 The next error by the Trial Chamber I wanted to point out is the
9 way the Trial Chamber assessed the authority of my client over the
10 military police during the relevant time, thus assessing his contribution
11 to the JCE. It was discussed in detail in Ground 2 paragraphs 39 to 58
12 of our appeal. For reasons of economy, I wanted to point out but several
13 important errors.
14 The Trial Chamber based its conclusions on Coric's effective
15 control exclusively on his de jure authority, completely ignoring the
16 de facto situation which was equally described by many witnesses on the
17 Prosecution side as well as and the Defence side. Testimony of witnesses
18 about the de facto situation runs counter to the conclusions of the
19 Chamber about effective control. We can see that in volume 4,
20 paragraphs 871, 872, 876, and 878 of the judgement and paragraphs 39 to
21 58 of our appeal. Despite such witness testimony, the Trial Chamber in
22 its conclusions discusses a phantom dual chain of command and confusion
23 in terms of command over the military police. The Trial Chamber reached
24 this finding by misinterpreting witness testimony and dismissing such
25 witness testimony that does not squarely fits this unfounded finding. To
1 illustrate, I will point out an example of the Trial Chamber's erroneous
3 The Trial Chamber stated in its conclusions that the reforms
4 conducted in the military police in July and December 1993 clarified the
5 chain of command. In doing so, the Trial Chamber erroneously quoted
6 Witness Biskic, saying that upon his departure the command chain was more
7 transparent and the system of reporting was improved. But what did the
8 witness actually say? Your Honours, Witness Biskic said that by
9 December 1993 the units of the military police were withdrawn from the
10 front line, enabling them to become more efficient, transcript pages
11 15181 and 15182. So this witness did not discuss any phantom dual chain
12 of command. He simply said that the military police could not conduct
13 its duties because it was engaged in fighting.
14 Concerning this topic, I also wanted to draw your attention to
15 certain contradictions in the judgement itself. When reading volume 4,
16 paragraphs 624 to 628, and paragraphs 661 to 663, 816 to 818, 872, 876,
17 and 878, what watch catches one's eye is that they are mutually
18 contradictory and the findings tailored to fit the purpose, which was to
19 establish liability for three different accused. Your Honours, the
20 existence of several different commanders of the same rank in the same
21 area commanding identical units is illogical and it is impossible to put
22 into practice. It runs counter to military doctrine, especially in
23 wartime conditions. In continuing, Your Honours, we will deal with the
24 application of the principle in dubio pro reo in the findings of the
25 Trial Chamber about the responsibility of Mr. Coric and his contribution
1 to the JCE. I wanted to point your attention to paragraphs 1000, 1001 of
2 volume 4.
3 Your Honours, unlike the Trial Chamber, I believe there is a lot
4 of evidence in the case that indicate there is at least one more
5 reasonable inference on the evidence for each of these paragraphs. In
6 this connection, we wish to draw your attention to just one example.
7 I'll ask my colleague to show our first slide.
8 That's a excerpt from document P5471, and that's the request by
9 Mr. Coric to reconsider assigning military police units at the forward
10 front lines addressed to several persons on 29 May 1993. My time is
11 brief. I'm not going to read it. In any case, Mr. Coric requests his
12 military policemen be returned to him because he hasn't enough men to
13 fight crime and because they are assigned to front lines, they cannot
14 conduct normal military police duties. In view of this, the logical
15 question arises if Coric had the powers over the military police that the
16 Trial Chamber decided he had, why didn't he simply command military
17 policemen to withdraw? The answer is simple. Obviously he did not have
18 the powers the Trial Chamber ascribed to him or, at the very minimum,
19 there is a reasonable doubt because another reasonable inference imposes
20 itself different to the one chosen by the Trial Chamber. Furthermore,
21 the Trial Chamber accepts it's the only reasonable inference, the theory
22 that Coric turned a blind eye to crimes and that they remained
23 unpunished. I again remind you of the log-books mentioned at the
24 beginning of my presentation. There is in this case file a large number
25 of criminal reports, investigation documentation, and judgements; all
1 these documents cast doubt on such findings. That's our appeal brief,
2 paragraph 154 and 278.
3 Now, we have a document P3571. This is a document that went out
4 under the document -- under the name of Mr. Coric and speak to his
5 attitude about crimes against Muslims in Mostar. In this document,
6 Mr. Coric orders that these military policemen who committed the crime be
7 relieved of duty, be dismissed from the police, and turned over to the
8 prosecutor's office. Is this the conduct of a person who wants to let
9 criminals go unpunished, somebody who wants to incite crime as the Trial
10 Chamber concluded? We deal with the responsibility of Valentin Coric for
11 detention centres in our appeal brief Ground 6 subgrounds (b), (c), (d),
12 (e), (f), (g), (h) and Ground 7, paragraphs 161 to 185. We have no time
13 to elaborate. It's just one of the reactions of Mr. Coric after he
14 received information ...
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Please slow down.
16 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] From everything cited in
17 these paragraphs, no reasonable trier of fact could conclude that
18 Mr. Coric failed to take every measure within his power or that he
19 enabled bad treatment of prisoners.
20 To conclude, Your Honours, I only want to mention regarding our
21 17th ground of appeal that in our entire appeal brief, we dealt with this
22 in detail, that if the Appeals Chamber does not overturn the judgement
23 and turn in the judgement of acquittal, at least the time spent in
24 hospital should be reckoned as part of the sentence.
25 The purpose of justice, Your Honours, is for justice to be done.
1 Whether justice is done or not depends on -- does not depend on whether
2 the accused goes free or to prison. The purpose of justice is for the
3 guilty party to be declared guilty and an innocent man let go free. This
4 is only possible with a guarantee of a fair trial and only if both
5 parties have an equality of arms. That's why we ask you to remedy the
6 errors made by the Trial Chamber, not only for the sake of our Defence
7 but in the interests of international justice. This Defence suggests
8 that you vary the trial judgement and bring a judgement of acquittal of
9 Valentin Coric.
10 My colleague tells me that I have five minutes left, so I would
11 like to use them. Then I can -- then I can --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Your colleague is perfectly correct.
13 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Overlapping speakers] --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You have five minutes left.
15 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Then I will go back to
16 this document that we have in front of us and then everything will make
17 more sense.
18 So the evidence in the case shows that Valentin Coric did
19 everything he could to deal with the problem of prisons and detention
20 centres. After his warning, the first one in June -- in July,
21 commissions were established, the top commander Boban named the top
22 person responsible for all detention centres, footnotes in our appeal
23 brief 350 and others. After learning that no significant change occurred
24 at document --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please just let us find this.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Give the interpreters a chance to
2 locate this document.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Yes it's all right.
4 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] After learning that no
5 significant change occurred and after collegium meeting on the 2nd
6 September 1993, document P4756, page 4 in English, Mr. Coric says:
7 "Equally bad is the work in military prisons."
8 We can reasonably infer based on this that Mr. Coric considered
9 the conditions in the prisons were bad and he issued several warnings
10 against this. After this collegium meeting in September in the same
11 month, a bit later Boban issued an order regarding the treatment of
12 prisoners; and finally, the same person in December disbands all
13 detention centres. Paragraphs 141 and 142 of our appeal brief, footnotes
14 352, 353, and 354.
15 Your Honours, I will turn back to the conclusion of my
16 presentation. We were a bit confused towards the end because I'm looking
17 at a different clock. And please, I appeal to you, Your Honours, once
18 again to remedy the errors made by the trial to follow the principle of
19 in dubio pro reo, fairness of proceedings, and equality of arms and bring
20 a judgement of acquittal for Mr. Coric.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 Mr. Ivetic, are you in a position to enlighten us on
24 paragraph 69?
25 MR. IVETIC: I may be, but I'd rather -- I have one document I'm
1 missing. I'd rather want to see it with my own eyes, rather than to
2 misrepresent something to you --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you.
4 So we will have a 30-minute break now. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.33 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.00 p.m.
7 MR. IVETIC: Mr. President, if I may, I do have the information
8 you requested that I did present before the Prosecution's response.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
11 MR. IVETIC: In response to your first question relating to
12 paragraph 69 of the Prosecution's response, Your Honours, we would direct
13 to paragraph -- pardon me, footnote 242 of that paragraph which cites to
14 the Coric pre-trial brief in paragraph 75. That pre-trial was written by
15 prior counsel and is not as eloquent as we would like, but we believe
16 that it does present exactly the argument that we were making; and thus,
17 the Prosecution is citing, on the one hand, the Coric's Defence objection
18 to occupation and then arguing waiver. But we leave it for Your Honours
19 to decide upon comparing the language of both with what the case actually
21 In relation to the second matter you raised which was my citation
22 to the response brief of the Prosecution at paragraph 73, I meant and
23 should have referred Your Honours to the appellant appeal brief of the
24 Prosecution, paragraph 227, wherein for foreseeability of murders, it
25 talks only about not -- prior knowledge of murders and wilful killings in
1 Gornji Vakuf, not other crimes, and that was the basis of these
2 submissions that we made at that point.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
4 Prosecution, you have one hour and they we take a break.
5 MR. GILLETT: Much obliged, Mr. President, Your Honours.
6 Your Honour, Mr. Coric has presented a full and thorough Defence
7 throughout his trial and again on appeal, he has presented comprehensive
8 arguments including the detailed pleadings you've heard this morning.
9 But it is our respectful submission that he fails to show any
10 error in the trial judgement undermining his convictions and his
11 arguments should be dismissed. Your Honours, Valentin Coric was a
12 willing and significant participant in the joint criminal enterprise. As
13 the chief of the military police administration, Coric should have been
14 repressing crimes by HVO members. Indeed, that is a core function of the
15 military police. It is perhaps their most important function. Instead,
16 Coric used his position and his powers to contribute to the crimes
17 against the Bosnian Muslims. He engaged military police in violent
18 eviction and arrest operations which targeted Muslims en masse. He
19 played a key role in the brutal detention network and deadly forced
20 labour that Muslim detainees were subjected to over months and months.
21 And he ordered the large-scale expulsion of Muslim detainees through
22 so-called releases from detention.
23 All the while Coric was shielding HVO perpetrators from criminal
24 responsibility for their acts. He shielded them from responsibility for
25 brutal expulsions of civilians from West Mostar in May, June, and later
1 in 1993, and these were expulsions were Muslims were intimidated, beaten,
2 robbed, and in some cases raped before being herded across the front
3 lines. He shielded HVO members from responsibility for forced label, and
4 as I've mentioned this was in some cases deadly, fatal for the Muslim
6 Today the Defence hasn't mentioned these eviction operations from
7 West Mostar. They haven't mentioned this forced labour programme, these
8 deaths, this mutilation, this wounding of detainees during forced labour.
9 And I'd like to you bear that in mind as I proceed with my submissions.
10 Your Honours, Coric's actions and his lack of response in the
11 face of these crimes, crimes which he was well-informed of was a cruel
12 inversion of the duty that he owed to the citizens, the civilians, the
13 Bosnian Muslims that he should have been protecting.
14 On appeal, Coric has challenged almost every finding against him
15 through his brief and as you've heard in his submissions today. He
16 argues that he had no authority over the military police and detention
17 camps, this despite orders and even reports drafted, issued by himself,
18 showing that he did have such powers. He argues that news of crimes
19 against Muslims did not reach him; however, he was informed and he was
20 informed by multiple sources, by internationals, and by members of his
21 own HVO. Many of these reports were addressed to him personally.
22 Your Honours, confronted with exhibits showing his involvement,
23 his deep implication in deadly forced labour and mass expulsions, these
24 are crimes that are at the core of the joint criminal enterprise, he
25 argues that they must be forgeries. And I'll address in due course the
1 arguments that you heard concerning P3316 and P3320. Suffice to say at
2 this point that the Trial Chamber dealt with these in the judgement and
3 there are many other documents that build a web of corroborating evidence
4 showing his role in these programmes. In relation to expulsions, for
5 instance, can you see P4263, P4404, P10188, and P10187. That's just the
6 tip of the iceberg. There are many more. Your Honours, his arguments do
7 not stand up to scrutiny. The evidence against him is robust and
8 mutually reinforcing.
9 Instead of attempting to address all of his arguments, I will
10 focus on two areas today; but I will cover the submissions that he has
11 made this morning. I'll first address his arguments concerning his
12 authority, particularly over the military police; and then I'll address
13 his arguments concerning his willing contributions to the joint criminal
14 enterprise. After that, I'll go through his arguments -- his responses
15 to Your Honours' questions as set out in the Scheduling Order.
16 Three notes. My references today will be to the trial judgement,
17 unless otherwise indicated. I will refer to some materials that were
18 testified to in private session, but I will not identify the source. And
19 in relation to any arguments we do not cover, we rely on our written
21 Before entering the substance of his arguments on authority, it's
22 important to point out that many of his arguments are repetitions, often
23 verbatim, of his trial arguments. As you noted at the outset of the
24 hearing, this is not an opportunity for a trial de novo. His convictions
25 have been properly entered.
1 Your Honours, in some instances the record is misstated in
2 Coric's arguments. For example, he argues at paragraph 162 of his brief:
3 The Chamber even found Coric was not informed of mistreatment and had no
4 reason to believe detainees were mistreated. However, the paragraph he
5 cites, volume 4, paragraph 955, states the exact opposite. It finds
6 Valentin Coric had reason to believe that the Heliodrom detainees were
7 being mistreated during detention. And the Prosecution raised this in
8 its response, paragraph 171, but Coric did not use the opportunity in his
9 reply to clarify this point. Than are more examples. This is not to
10 suggest any intentional misdirection, but it is to insist on a fair and
11 accurate reading of the trial judgement.
12 Turning to the first part of my submissions on Coric's authority
13 over the military police. Your Honours, as you are well aware, this was
14 not a short trial. Large amounts of evidence were submitted and not
15 least in relation to command and authority over the military police.
16 After reviewing the evidence at length, the Trial Chamber concluded that
17 as chief of the military police administration, Coric had command and
18 control over military police throughout his tenure. That's volume 4,
19 paragraph 1000. And the Chamber's finding is well supported by the
20 evidentiary record.
21 At the outset, I would like to say a few words about the military
22 police, who they were and what their role was in the JCE. The military
23 police were recruited for their loyalty to the ideal of a Croatian
24 homeland. That's volume 1, paragraph 848. By the end of 1992, there
25 were over 2.000 military police, who were generally organised in
1 battalions, each with hundreds of members. You can see that P956,
2 page 7.
3 The primary responsibilities of the military police were to:
4 One, discover and combat crimes committed by or against HVO members; two,
5 guard detainees; three, control freedom of movement using check-points.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the interpretation. Thank
8 MR. GILLETT: You can see this in volume 1, paragraph 888.
9 However, during the joint criminal enterprise, the military
10 police were centrally involved in many of the crimes. They participated
11 in evicting Muslim civilians in operations in Gornji Vakuf, Mostar,
12 Stolac, and Capljina, among others. They participated in the terrifying
13 siege of East Mostar's desperate Muslim inhabitants. They abused Muslim
14 detainees, thousands of them, in the Heliodrom, Dretelj, and Ljubuski
15 detention centres. I've mentioned that they used Muslim detainees for
16 perilous forced labour, and I've mentioned that they expelled thousands
17 of Muslim detainees.
18 As the Chamber rightly found, the military police were under
19 Coric's authority. You can look, for example, to P956, page 3, which
21 "Mr. Valentin Coric was appointed assistant commander of the
22 security and information service and all existing military police units
23 were placed under his command."
24 It continues to state that in April 1992 military police stations
25 were organised in 25 municipalities of Herceg-Bosna under the joint
1 command of the military police administration. The Chamber's detailed
2 nuanced findings as set out in volume 1, paragraphs 847 through 974, and
3 volume 4, paragraphs 864 to 915.
4 Now significantly Coric's power over the military police were not
5 exclusive. The Trial Chamber found that there was a dual chain of
6 command in operation, whereby HVO brigade commanders as well as the
7 military police administration could, in certain instances, both exercise
8 command over the military police. Coric argues that that finding was
9 erroneous; however, it is well founded on the evidence. And you can see
10 it in numerous exhibits, including reports from Coric himself, P957, page
11 5; as well as witness testimony at T22007.
12 Now, Coric argues that he lost all power over the military police
13 battalions when they were resubordinated -- the light assault battalion,
14 I should say, which were just some of the military police, when they were
15 resubordinated on 28 July 1993. However, the Trial Chamber properly
16 dismissed this argument you can see at volume 1, paragraph 964 and 970.
17 Its finding was well founded on the evidence. For example, on
18 the slide you see P4010 this is an order from Coric to the 2nd Military
19 Police Light Assault Battalion to deploy to Mostar.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have the English version, please.
21 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
22 What's important here is the date, that's 7 August, and you see
23 it at the top of the document, 1993. That's after the 28 July
24 resubordination order, in which Coric claims to have lost all powers over
25 the light assault battalions.
1 And note that this is signed by Zoran Suton. He is Coric's
2 director of personnel and legal affairs, as shown in P5869.
3 Coric issued many other orders after July 1993, after the point
4 where he claims he had no authority. And these were orders to the
5 military police, including light assault battalions. You see deployment
6 orders such as P4151 from 13 August, sending military police to
7 participate in activities in Mostar. Discipline orders concerning
8 military police uniforms, P4126 on 12 August. Movement control orders,
9 P5863 on 13 October, requiring the military police to stop and search a
10 UNHCR convoy.
11 Your Honours, in response Coric argues - and he's repeated this
12 again today - that these are just de jure sources and they do not reflect
13 the de facto situation on the ground. You heard that this morning. That
14 is incorrect. There is a wealth of evidence showing that Coric's orders
15 were enacted, they were implemented. For example, there's P2535, a
16 report from the 4th Brigade Military Police of 27 May 1993, which states
17 that the military police are transferring prisoners from Ljubuski to
18 Heliodrom on the orders of Coric and Pusic. And the transfer took place
19 as confirmed in P2546.
20 In relation to P4010, which I just put on the slide, you can see
21 that it was implemented as well. And that's shown in P4103, page 4,
22 noting that the 2nd Light Assault Battalion indeed went to Mostar as
23 ordered by Coric.
24 Your Honours, the evidence clearly establishes that Coric's
25 powers, his authority were recognised by those below him. The evidence
1 also shows that those above him in the joint criminal enterprise in the
2 power structures recognised his power and influence as well.
3 For example, in October 1993, the president of Herceg-Bosna,
4 Mate Boban, was notified that the ICRC had complained about the treatment
5 of detainees at Heliodrom prison. His response was to forward the report
6 with a handwritten note to Coric, asking him to deal with the matter.
7 P5792. These complaints were not minimal. The ICRC noted that the
8 detainees had been severely beaten by some of the units which take people
9 for work, and a number of detainees needed to be hospitalised for their
10 injuries. Where there was a problem with the prison network, Mate Boban
11 turned to Coric.
12 Then in November 1993, when Coric was nominated to be minister of
13 the interior of Herceg-Bosna, we see in a meeting between Franjo Tudjman
14 and Jadranko Prlic a discussion where Prlic says:
15 "For this position, we need the most forceful and authoritative
17 Prlic replied: "Coric absolutely is that."
18 And he then explained that Coric enjoyed the general confidence
19 of the army. That's P6581, pages 26 to 29. And Tudjman accordingly
20 awarded Coric the position of minister of the interior.
21 Your Honours, Coric fails to show that he had no powers over the
22 military police and that he could not exercise his influence in any way.
23 Turning to the arguments concerning Coric's significant
24 contributions to the JCE, he has challenged this at length in his brief
25 and touched on this in his pleadings today. Your Honours, Coric deployed
1 military police units for mass eviction and arrest operations and he
2 equipped them with hundreds of thousands of bullets, thousands of
3 grenades, and other equipment. See volume 4, paragraph 1000, and P3090,
4 page 27. He was an architect of the network of brutal detention centres,
5 per volume 4, paragraph 982. He ignored repeated reports that Muslim
6 detainees were being wounded and killed while engaged in work on the
7 front lines, volume 4, 971. And he himself authorised detainees to work
8 on the front lines, unlawful labour. He sent troops to assist in the
9 siege of East Mostar, while also cutting off humanitarian aid to worsen
10 the situation of the desperate Muslim inhabitants.
11 And as I've mentioned, he played a key role ordering mass
12 expulsions of detainees, Muslim detainees.
13 But I'll look first to one of his central contributions to the
14 JCE which is his failure to fight crimes by HVO members. Your Honours,
15 again here his arguments repeat his trial submissions, often verbatim,
16 and we've noted that, for instance, in the response brief, paragraph 41.
17 He fails to show the Trial Chamber acted unreasonably in reaching this
18 finding and this finding that he did, in fact, ignore crimes and failed
19 to take the proper response, the proper measures in response to these
20 crimes. In fact the Trial Chamber held that he turned a blind eye to
21 vicious crimes and one example that I want to refer to is that of the
22 evictions in East Mostar. Your Honours, these evictions, the ones in
23 June 1993, involved HVO soldiers, including members of the Vinko Skrobo
24 antiterrorist group, subjecting Muslims to intimidation, threats, and
25 beatings, confiscating their property, raping Muslim women, and sending
1 them across the front line to East Mostar. See volume 2, paragraph 872
2 to 876. Coric was informed of these violent expulsions. He was informed
3 by internationals, volume 2, paragraph 873. And you'll also see in
4 military police administration records accounts of these evictions in
5 which they call them ethnic cleansing. See volume 2, again
6 paragraph 873, and the evidence cited therein.
7 So how did Coric react to this information? To the
8 internationals he tried to brush the problem away. He said,
9 paraphrasing: It didn't happen; and if it happened, then it was done by
10 people they didn't have under control, criminals or whatever. You'll see
11 that transcript page 21047 to 21048.
12 But these were not out-of-control elements. In fact, it was
13 members of the HVO 3rd Brigade and the Skrobo anti-terrorist group who
14 were also under the command of the HVO, volume 1, paragraph 818 and 829,
15 carrying out these crimes.
16 One would expect the top military policeman's reaction to this
17 news to be quick and severe. Instead, Coric 's approach was
18 accommodating, both metaphorically and literally. For a start, the
19 perpetrators were not arrested or punished, volume 2, paragraph 898, and
20 P3666. But it went further. Coric specifically instructed his military
21 police to disregard crimes by these perpetrators. We have in evidence a
22 report, P3928, from the Military Police Crime Department that was part of
23 the military police administration. In it, the author complains that
24 Coric ordered his department to not investigate certain crimes committed
25 by the Vinko Skrobo anti-terrorist group, as the Chamber sets out in
1 volume 4, paragraphs 931 to 933. Even further than this, Coric consented
2 to members of the HVO military police moving into the houses, the
3 apartments of evicted Muslims in West Mostar. See volume 4, para 929,
4 and P2879, and transcript page 25421.
5 You will also see this pattern of Coric allowing HVO members to
6 move into apartments of evicted, expelled Muslims occur in October. Look
7 at P6232, P5554, P5518, and transcript page 17208.
8 Coric's failures and his reaction, his accommodating reaction to
9 these crimes had severe implications for the Bosnian Muslim inhabitants
10 of Mostar and throughout these territories. The same Skrobo
11 anti-terrorist group continued to commit vicious crimes against Muslims
12 which included expulsions, thefts, rapes in Mostar in September 1993,
13 sometimes committed together with members of the military police. They
14 also caused detainees, Muslim detainees, to be used as human shields.
15 You see this in volume 3, paragraph 727, 782, and 933.
16 Your Honours, there is plenty more evidence of this nature. The
17 Trial Chamber acted reasonably in concluding that Coric contributed to
18 the joint criminal enterprise by protecting HVO members from
19 responsibility for their crimes against Bosnian Muslims.
20 Now, Coric has claimed today that he did, in fact, submit reports
21 and that he was attempting to do what he could in the circumstances.
22 However, the Trial Chamber has addressed these arguments, it's looked
23 into the details, and it's rightly, properly concluded that he failed to
24 do so where he was informed of crimes by HVO members against Bosnian
25 Muslims going to the core of this JCE, evictions in West Mostar, forced
1 labour, detention crimes. You'll see in volume 1, paragraph 918 to 919,
2 that the Trial Chamber addressed these arguments. And you'll also see
3 that despite the fact that there were criminal reports being submitted,
4 these were primarily for crimes attenuated distinct from the crimes at
5 the core of this JCE, crimes like car theft, tax evasion. You see this
6 in P4699, page 24 to 25. When you look at the category of crimes against
7 the civilian population, genocide, terrorism, the crimes that we are
8 addressing at page 26, it notes - this is P4699 - that the reports
9 sent to the military prosecutor, these are the reports from the military
10 police, were exclusively against Serbs and Muslims who victimised Croats.
11 There is a mention of other crimes being prosecuted but no mention of
12 crimes against Muslims such as brutal forced labour, such as mass
13 expulsions, and such as evictions. Where are those crimes? What was
14 being done for those victims?
15 Your Honours, there are more examples. P3616, page 4, in a
16 meeting with military police personnel, 21 July 1993, the military
17 prosecutor, Jurisic stated:
18 "We are now overloaded with charges of failure to respond to
19 mobilisation orders, overloaded with charges against war criminals and
20 also charges against members of the Muslim armed forces, but there are no
21 charges against criminals in the town of Mostar."
22 And as we just saw, the serious charges against civilian
23 population, the war crimes types of charges, were not being charged for
24 crimes against Bosnian Muslims by HVO members.
25 Your Honours, the Trial Chamber built its conclusions on a solid
1 foundation of evidence and Coric has failed to show that it acted
3 He has also argued today that he made requests for the military
4 police to return from the front lines to enable him to do his job. And
5 he has cited P5471 and P6837. Again, the Trial Chamber took this into
6 account. It addressed it in volume 1, paragraph 972. And what Coric
7 omits to mention is that he was the one who had deployed the military
8 police to the front lines. In accordance with his role as a member of
9 the a JCE involving multiple people, he carried out his function. He
10 sent the military police to repeated eviction operations that I've
12 And it's also significant that these requests he has referred to
13 today are from September and November 1993. This is very late in the
14 game, Your Honours. But it's also at a time when Coric continued to
15 deploy military police to the front lines, including to Gornji Vakuf,
16 29 September 1993, that's P5478; and to Mostar, where he himself had
17 personally visited the front lines and seen the crimes that were
18 occurring, seen the results of the crimes. That's P5657 from
19 5 October 1993. In many instances, Your Honours, it was the military
20 police committing the crimes, bringing more back would have simply led to
21 more crimes against Muslims, and this was a result of the culture that
22 Coric fostered in the military police units. For instance, you see this
23 manifested in a report on activities in Prozor, 1993. P4177. This is a
24 HVO report. It says:
25 "The military police are implementing an order from a higher
1 level to detain Muslims between the ages of 16 and 60 in their own
2 particular way, imprisoning men without exception, including those
3 younger than 16 and older than 60, and treating them in an extremely
4 inhumane manner."
5 It notes that together with local soldiers, the military police
6 were involved in crimes, including murdering Muslim prisoners, stealing
7 their property, and raping and humiliating female Muslims, forcing them
8 to strip in front of their fathers and forcing their fathers to strip in
9 front of them. That's at pages 2 to 3 of P4177.
10 Your Honours, it's this culture, it's this trend, it's this
11 pattern that led one international who dealt with the military police to
12 describe them as the most counter-productive and radical in the field and
13 he described people commanding the military police as quite clearly
14 radicals. That's transcript page 25818, 25819.
15 Your Honours, turning to Coric's contribution to the joint
16 criminal enterprise through the detention network and forced labour. The
17 Trial Chamber found on a thorough review of the evidence that Coric
18 enjoyed extensive powers over the detention network. He established the
19 Heliodrom and Ljubuski prisons and had direct authority over their
20 wardens. He was responsible for the security of detainees at Heliodrom,
21 Dretelj, and Ljubuski. He authorised the use of prisoners for forced
22 labour, and he had the power to order these so-called releases, in
23 reality expulsions, of Muslim detainees.
24 Coric denies many aspects of his authority. For instance, he
25 claims he did not order the establishment of Heliodrom. However, the
1 Trial Chamber's finding at volume 2, paragraph 1394, was securely
2 established on the evidence. For example, there's P6805, this is a
3 military police administration report which states that the military
4 detention facility in Mostar, that's Heliodrom, was relocated to
5 Heliodrom on the orders of the military police chief and that was Coric
6 at the time. His denial of that authority, of those powers was properly
7 rejected. And it's important to understand the context, the significance
8 of his denial of this authority, of his denial of this role. He received
9 repeated information about the deplorable conditions of prisoners and
10 detainees. And I've mentioned that earlier, the note from Boban to Coric
11 about serious mistreatment.
12 One of the worst forms of mistreatment that is at issue today and
13 which I have referred to is forced labour. And Coric was regularly
14 informed that Heliodrom detainees were being mistreated, wounded or
15 killed while working on the front lines. That's volume 4,
16 paragraphs 955, 966, 1001.
17 Now, what was this forced labour, what did it consist of? Well,
18 it was described by witness Mujo Copelj who said that when he was
19 detained at Heliodrom, the HVO soldiers took him and other detainees in
20 groups of 30 to the front lines. The HVO soldiers forced the Muslim
21 detainees at gunpoint to run out into exposed areas and each detainee had
22 to place at least five sandbags on the defence line. As the prisoners
23 did so, bullets rained down on them from the other side. Some detainees
24 were killed, and many were wounded, while Copelj looked on. Many other
25 witnesses gave similar accounts, for example, volume 2, 1602.
1 Now, Coric argues again that he had no power to authorise or
2 approve the use of detainees for work. And, again, his denial of power
3 is incorrect. It's false. For example, if you look at P4039 which we
4 place on the slide, this is an order from Petkovic on 8 August 1993 and
5 it's sent to various HVO brigade commanders.
6 At point 1, Petkovic states:
7 "Immediately carry out maximum fortification of lines reached.
8 You may uses prisoners and detained Muslims to fortify the lines. Seek
9 the necessary approval from the military police department (which is in
10 charge of utilisation of prisoners)."
11 Numerous reports were submitted to Coric detailing the results,
12 the brutal and often deadly results of this forced labour. For example,
13 on 4 August 1993, he is told that Muslim detainees were beaten up when
14 taken from Heliodrom for work by the HVO 3rd Brigade. P3939.
15 On 16 August, he is told that one prisoner was killed and three
16 wounded when taken from Heliodrom to do forced labour. P4221.
17 And then we see on the slide a report, P5008, of
18 13 September 1993, another report, and there are many more of these,
19 which notes in the bold part:
20 "While carrying out their work obligations, 50 prisoners were
21 wounded while six were killed by the Muslim armed forces. While groups
22 of HVO soldiers took prisoners home and thereby made it possible for them
23 to visit their families, some of our other soldiers mistreated the
24 prisoners. In our reports 522/93 of 4 August and 524/93 of 7 August, you
25 have been informed of the mistreatment of prisoners of the 2nd Battalion
1 of the 2nd Brigade and anti-aircraft defence of Siroki Brijeg."
2 Importantly, this report which is from the warden of the
3 Heliodrom prison, Stanko Bozic, goes on to inform Coric that, if we move
4 to the next excerpt:
5 "On 10 August, the International Committee of the Red Cross came
6 to visit the prison. They worked for three days, registering all the
7 detainees and prisoners. The representative of the ICRC,
8 Mr. Franco Faoro, discussed with the prison warden the question of the
9 inadequate conditions of solitary confinement cells, the quality and
10 quantity of food and its improvement, and the fact that detainees go to
11 work on the front line (forbidden under the Geneva Conventions) ..."
12 Coric argues that these reports of the Heliodrom warden were not
13 sent to him or the military police administration, and this repeats his
14 trial argument again. That was properly dismissed at trial, and you can
15 see that because many of these reports are addressed to him personally.
16 And you can see that on this report, for example, at the bottom in the
17 address tag.
18 Additionally, reports detailing the same mistreatment come from
19 multiple sources. There's a report on 30 September 1993 from the
20 5th Military Police Battalion and that said that Heliodrom prisoners were
21 taken to work at the front line, were sometimes wounded or mutilated, and
22 sometimes did not return at all. It's P5497. That was also sent to
23 Coric personally as you can see at page 16. There are many more examples
24 listed in the judgement such as at volume 2, footnote 3754. Coric's
25 claims of ignorance about this practice are false but they're also
2 So how did Coric react to this information? Well, as the
3 Trial Chamber found, he did nothing to prevent the practice and, in fact,
4 he allowed it to continue, and he authorised it himself. We have
5 evidence showing that in August he authorised Muslim prisoners from
6 Vitina Otok, that's a different HVO prison. He authorised these
7 prisoners to taken for forced labour at the front lines as set out in
8 trial judgement volume 4, paragraph 977. Now, the evidence doesn't tell
9 us the fate of those specific prisoners, but it does tell us they were
10 sent to the front lines and it does tell us that Coric was authorising
11 and signalling his approval of this practice. Far from preventing it,
12 far from repressing it, as he was supposed to do.
13 Your Honours, these reports about forced labour, particularly the
14 ones from Stanko Bozic, plead to Coric to take measures. When you look
15 at them, you can see him requesting again and again for intervention. He
16 is asking Coric to do what Coric was required to do as the chief military
17 policeman. Coric did not. And in the meanwhile, dozens of Muslim
18 detainees were killed, hundreds were wounded and traumatised. His claim
19 of ignorance is a facade that was properly rejected at trial.
20 Your Honours, the third and final contribution that I'll address
21 is his involvement in this mass displacement, this industrial-scale
22 displacement of Muslim detainees from the detention network. Through the
23 system, detainees with letters of guarantees from third countries were
24 requested -- were released - sorry - from the brutal prisons and given a
25 short time, sometimes hours, to leave Herceg-Bosna, and they were
1 required to leave with their families. This was an organised means of
2 expelling Muslims en masse. After assessing the evidence in detail, the
3 Trial Chamber found that Coric ordered and facilitated expulsion through
4 this process. Volume 4, paragraph 982. And its finding is well
5 supported by the evidence.
6 For example, in August 1993, Coric issued an order for the
7 release of Muslims from Ljubuski who had letters of guarantee, Muslim
8 detainees, I should say. These Muslim detainees who were subject to
9 Coric's order were given 24 hours to leave their homes and to depart to a
10 third country and had to leave with their families. This is noted in
11 volume 2, paragraph 1644, and you see also in transcript page 22095.
12 Pursuant to Coric's order, detainees were expelled from
13 Heliodrom, Vitina Otok, Ljubuski, Dretelj and Gabela prisons. Coric's
14 response in his arguments is complete denial. You've heard him today say
15 that he had no power to release prisoners, referring to P3316-P3320.
16 Your Honours, that is incorrect and it is shown to be incorrect by a
17 wealth of evidence. For example, we can look at P10191 which is on the
18 slide and you will see here that it says:
19 "In accordance with the law and pursuant to the order of the
20 chief of the military police, Mr. Valentin Coric, we ask the command of
21 Heliodrom in Mostar to release the people of Muslim ethnicity who possess
22 letters of guarantee. The detainees: Fadil Maksumic, born in 1955,
23 Ismet Micijevic, born in 1956, Admir Osmic, who are detained in the
24 military prison Heliodrom in Mostar should be handed over to the military
25 police in Ljubuski because their families are in Ljubuski and are being
1 exiled from Croatia."
2 Exiled, Your Honours. There are many more examples. I listed
3 some of them at the outset of my submissions.
4 Your Honours, Coric knew that these expulsions through releases
5 affected a huge number of Muslim detainees and Muslim people in general.
6 For example, he knew that in Dretelj alone there were over 2.000 Muslims
7 that had been detained through mass arrest campaigns in Capljina. That's
8 volume 4, paragraphs 985 to 986, and 993.
9 Expelling them, together with their families, would clearly have
10 a huge impact on the psyche, the morale, the existence of the Muslim
11 population of Herceg-Bosna.
12 Coric argues that even if he was involved in these releases, it
13 was for the prisoners' own good. That's at paragraph 180 of his appeal
14 brief. Effectively he is saying he was improving their lot by releasing
15 them from these deplorable, horrific conditions. What he omits to
16 mention is that it was the HVO, including the military police in many
17 instances, who were committing the vicious crimes, who were responsible
18 for the deplorable, horrific conditions in these detention centres, and
19 it was these conditions that led the Muslim detainees wanting to leave. The
20 prisoners suffered in overcrowded, insanitary conditions. Cramped
21 together, they had to take turns to lie down to sleep. Some prisoners
22 received so little water they had to drink their own urine. You see that
23 volume 3, paragraph 1124. And each day they woke up to the prospect of
24 being selected for forced labour, effectively Russian roulette with their
25 lives. The terror and desperation is hard to imagine.
1 Your Honours, that is the context in which these prisoners chose
2 to be released, if you could call it a choice at all. And Coric was well
3 aware of those conditions. The Trial Chamber assessed and validly
4 concluded that the prisoners did not enjoy genuine choice in these
5 circumstances, and it properly concluded that this was a means of
6 expulsion. See volume 2, paragraph 1648; volume 3, paragraph 817.
7 You've seen the orders showing that Coric played a key role in
8 this industrial-scale expulsion. It was validly taken into account as a
9 contribution to the joint criminal enterprise.
10 Your Honours, I will now turn to your questions as set out in the
11 Scheduling Order, and I'll focus first on question 4, which, as you are
12 aware, concerns the impact on the scope and the convictions under the
13 joint criminal enterprise, particularly for murder if the murder and
14 wilful killing conclusions related to Dusa in Gornji Vakuf were to be
16 As you've already heard in relations to parts A and B of your
17 question, overturning these convictions related to Dusa would have no
18 impact on the scope of the common criminal plan, nor on the mens rea
19 under JCE 1 for murder of the appellants, and that applies in the same
20 respect for Coric. There were many murders under this joint criminal
21 enterprise. Removing one incident would have no impact.
22 So, Your Honours, I'll focus on question 4(c), concerning the
23 third category of joint criminal enterprise. And here you've asked and
24 heard about two documents, P1393, P1414.
25 Now, the short answer is that there would be no impact on Coric's
1 convictions and there would be no impact that would undermine the
2 Prosecution's appeal in which it seeks further JCE 3 convictions for
4 If we look first to the JCE 3 convictions that were entered
5 against Coric, these were for two killings of Muslim detainees in the
6 Dretelj detention centre in August 1993. That's set out in volume 4,
7 paragraph 1017. The Trial Chamber took an extremely restrictive approach
8 in its analysis of joint criminal enterprise 3 mens rea, a
9 compartmentalised approach, and the Prosecution has submitted this is an
10 error as set out in its appeal brief and as you will hear in our appeal
11 submissions. But even on this strict approach, it nonetheless found the
12 evidence was sufficient for these two murders in Dretelj in August 1993.
13 Why was this? Well, this was because he had actual knowledge of
14 other killings of Muslim detainees in the same detention centre in July,
15 just weeks before these murders. Your Honours, this is sufficient notice
16 to put anyone on alert of the risk, the foreseeability that further
17 murders might be perpetrated. Anyone, let alone the chief of the
18 military police administration who was centrally involved in this network
19 of detention centres. Your Honours, you'll see the references in
20 volume 4, paragraph 1018.
21 If we look now and I see -- I see the time. And I could
22 suggest -- I'm about to turn to a new subtopic.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You have six minutes left.
24 MR. GILLETT: I will continue. Thank you.
25 If we look now to the additional JCE 3 murders for which Coric,
1 according to the Prosecution, should have been convicted, you'll see that
2 these concern eviction-related murders, detention-related murders as set
3 out in Prosecution appeal brief paragraph 242. In many of these cases,
4 the Trial Chamber simply forgot to adjudicate Coric's individual criminal
5 responsibility under JCE 3. And for these, the evidence would remain
6 entirely sufficient to convict him even if the Dusa killings were
7 removed. This is because, first, of his willing participation in this
8 joint criminal enterprise, this violent, ethnically animated campaign
9 against Bosnian Muslims which involved the deliberate use of extreme
10 violence. And it is also because of the repeated notice he got of
11 serious violent crimes against Muslims.
12 Looking to the first point, his role in the -- his participation,
13 I should say, in the JCE. As mentioned, the criminal campaign at the
14 heart of the JCE involved serious violent crimes, including murder. I've
15 set out at length Coric's role in the eviction operations, detention
16 crimes, and vicious murders of detainees used for forced labour and as
17 human shields.
18 Coric also contributed to the crimes in East Mostar, which
19 included murder. He had an office in central Mostar at the time and
20 visited the front line. See volume 4, paragraph 936, and transcript page
21 18341. He knew of the shelling and fire campaign, but nonetheless sent
22 military police units to assist the siege, and he cut off humanitarian
23 supplies to the desperate, trapped Muslim inhabitants. Volume 4,
24 paragraph 937 to 943.
25 Coric's role, his participation and his involvement in this
1 campaign of extreme violence, violence committed on an ethnic basis, is
2 clearly relevant to his JCE 3 mens rea. And the Appeals Chamber has
3 confirmed the relevance of these factors to an accused's joint criminal
4 enterprise 3 liability and that they may be taken into account. In the
5 Sainovic appeals judgement, for instance, paragraphs 1089, 1591.
6 Your Honours, Coric, as I've mentioned, received repeated reports
7 of serious violence against Muslims, specific notice of crimes.
8 I see the time and if this is convenient, I will pause
9 submissions at this moment.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It certainly is. We will break now and we will
11 resume at 2.30. Thank you.
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
14 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honours.
15 At the outset, a couple of corrections for the transcript to
16 verify that it is accurate and that I did not misspeak. At transcript
17 page 54, P5689 was recorded and I meant to say P5869.
18 At transcript page 61, where I cited volume 1, para 972, I should
19 have also cited volume 1, para 940.
20 And when I referred to two exhibits, P3316 and P3320, I should
21 have said P3216 and P3220. Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. Go ahead.
23 MR. GILLETT: Returning to my submissions before the break,
24 Your Honours, I mentioned that Coric repeatedly received notice about
25 violent crimes, including violent crimes against Muslims by HVO members.
1 I'll look first to the documents that you've specifically highlighted in
2 your questions, P1393 and P1414, concerning joint criminal enterprise 3.
3 Your Honours, P1393 is a report from 2nd February 1993 from
4 Berislav Pusic and others in the crime police department of Coric's
5 military police administration, and it recounts that the Tomislavgrad
6 military police had beaten and robbed detainees in Ljubuski. The victims
7 were left with visible wounds and bruises.
8 Your Honours, the following day, Coric issues P1414, and here he
9 merely calls for a report into the circumstances and that the property
10 taken from the prisoners be given to the military police administration.
11 The Defence has argued that this indicates he took effective adequate
12 measures in the response, the appropriate measures in response to news of
13 serious violence. Well, the first point, Your Honours, is that this
14 issue, JCE 3, is about notice. Having learned of this serious violence,
15 you can't unring the bell, Your Honours. He doesn't lose that awareness.
16 But also, when we look at the record, there's reason to doubt
17 that he did take serious measures in response to these reports.
18 Your Honours, the report itself does not mention punishing the military
19 police, and what we do know is that the commander, the overall commander
20 of these military police, Zdenko Andabak, was appointed to a higher
21 position a few days later, 10 February 1993, on Coric's recommendation.
22 We also know that Coric permitted the Tomislavgrad military police, the
23 same unit that severely beat these detainees in Ljubuski, to continue to
24 guard detainees in 1993. You can see these in P1460 and P3551.
25 Moreover, Your Honours, this was not the first time Coric was
1 learning of the criminal propensity of the Tomislavgrad military police.
2 In October 1992, he had been informed of the crimes and ill discipline by
3 the Tomislavgrad military police under Zdenko Andabak and he was asked to
4 take measures against them. The Trial Chamber assessed this evidence and
5 found that he failed to do so. That's at volume 4, paragraphs 1246 to
6 1252. And that's the basis for his Article 7(3) responsibility prior to
7 the commencement of the joint criminal enterprise.
8 Your Honours, the Defence has referred to the evidence of
9 Zdenko Andabak, transcript page 50953, in arguing that Coric fostered a
10 stringent culture in the military police. Well, first, the Trial Chamber
11 assigned little weight to Andabak's evidence in relation to these crimes
12 in October 1992 as you will see in volume 2, para 59.
13 You'll also see that this continuity in the perpetrators, the
14 identity of the perpetrators, is matched by a continuity of inadequate
15 response by Coric, and it's also matched by a continuity of crimes and
16 even an escalation of crimes to more serious crimes, Your Honours.
17 The key point for his joint criminal enterprise 3 mens rea is
18 that he was aware of the risk, the possibility of serious violence
19 against Bosnian Muslims in the implementation of the joint criminal
21 Your Honours, he was, as you know, found to be aware of the
22 violence, extreme violence committed during the operations in
23 Gornji Vakuf in January 1993. He also received numerous reports
24 referring to crimes, including murders, and including against Muslims.
25 He knew of the violent evictions in Mostar in May 1993. You see these in
1 volume 4, paragraphs 926 to 928.
2 Your Honours, these evictions were brutal, Muslims were kicked
3 punched and hit with rifle-butts. HVO soldiers threatened to kill the
4 Muslims and pointed their guns at families with young children. That's
5 volume 2, paragraph 822.
6 There is a report from 9 June concerning Prozor, P2697. You see
7 at page 3 Coric - and this is addressed to Coric - that he is informed of
8 crimes including murder, arson, and looting. He is informed that the
9 military police have released murderers. He has released -- he is
10 informed that one prisoner was killed and that there have been other
12 There's additional evidence showing that in mid-1993 Coric knew
13 that the HVO was holding Muslim detainees in Prozor. And that's set out
14 in volume 4, paragraph 998. And, Your Honours, the involvement of the
15 military police in crimes in Prozor was notorious. I have mentioned
16 P4177, a report that outlines the military police involvement in rapes,
17 murders, and mistreatment of Muslims.
18 In mid-July 1993, a representative of an international
19 organisation protested to Coric through a series of meetings and he
20 protested about evictions, looting, destruction of property, and the
21 general campaign against Muslims across the affected territories.
22 Although Coric said that steps would be taken, none ever materialised.
23 That's transcript page 18340 through 18344. You can look at P4058, a
24 report from Coric's military police administration that the Defence has
25 referred to this morning. That shows he was informed of forced evictions
1 and the murders of numerous Muslims, liquidations of Muslims.
2 Simply put, Your Honours, Coric had abundant notice. He had
3 notice that would put any person on alert of crimes, serious violence,
4 including murders, against Muslims in the perpetration of the joint
5 criminal enterprise.
6 Your Honours, have asked about -- a question who was privy to the
7 contents of a report by Zeljko Siljeg, P1351, of 29 January 1993. And as
8 you've heard, that report describes killings and destruction that
9 occurred during the Gornji Vakuf operation. It's our submission that
10 Coric would have also received the information in that report. Along
11 with Petkovic, Coric was tasked with implementing the Gornji Vakuf
12 operation. P1140. Although he was not physically present during the
13 operation, he has said that he was in overall command of the military
14 police sent to Gornji Vakuf. P1053. And he reports after the operation,
15 volume 4, paragraph 921 to 923.
16 Your Honours, he was aware of this violence in Gornji Vakuf. He
17 knew about the violent campaign against Muslims, and he contributed to it
18 in multiple ways, through the brutal forced labour, through the
19 expulsions, and through many other crimes. I should say he contributed
20 to many other crimes committed as part of the JCE.
21 This readily satisfies the mens rea standard under Your Honours'
22 jurisprudence, and he should be convicted for the additional JCE 3
23 murders as set out in our appeal.
24 Turning very briefly to question 5 that you have heard from the
25 Defence on this morning. This concerns the destruction in villages in
1 Gornji Vakuf. You will hear our submissions about this next week, on
2 Tuesday. Essentially, we argue that this was wanton, unjustified
3 destruction. There was a pattern in the crimes and the destruction, and
4 you will see that in the villages the HVO soldiers torched houses.
5 There's no military justification for burning down civilian houses.
6 A brief word on question 10, Your Honours, that was touched on
7 this morning. Your Honours, again, you'll hear more about this in the
8 Prosecution appeal on Tuesday. But the bottom line is that many of
9 Coric's arguments would be undermined by applying the correct standard
10 for JCE 3 mens rea, which is the possibility standard, not the
11 probability standard. For example, you'll see in his brief at
12 paragraph 187 concerning Gornji Vakuf that he argues that it was an error
13 to find -- or that the Prosecution has not shown, I should say, that he
14 knowingly took the risk acts of theft would be committed. That's the
15 probability standard he is applying.
16 In Mostar, paragraph 199 of his brief, again, he says knowingly
17 took the risk that acts of theft would be committed. And Coric could
18 reasonably have foreseen that the HVO members would commit acts of sexual
20 So his arguments would be affected, Your Honours.
21 Turning now to the issue of occupation that was raised this
23 Your Honours, he has failed to show any error in the
24 trial judgement. In arguing that the HVO could not occupy its own
25 territory, the Defence overlooks that this is occupation by agency. It
1 is Croatia that is the occupying power. And you'll see this volume 3,
2 footnote 1175.
3 Again, contrary to the Defence arguments, a state of occupation
4 does not require and does not hinge on there being an invasion. As set
5 out in Article 2.2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention:
6 "The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total
7 occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said
8 occupation meets with no armed resistance."
9 And you've heard detailed submissions on the law on this issue
11 Additionally, that Croatia sometimes supported the ABiH with
12 weapons does not undermine Croatia's overall control of the HVO as this
13 related to times or areas other than those that we're concerned with in
14 this case. Moreover, as you have seen previously this week, the
15 presidential transcripts show repeatedly Croatia's control over the HVO
16 and show that it went beyond providing mere weaponry, that it included
17 organising these forces as well.
18 Your Honours, Croatia was properly found to have been involved in
19 organising and planning the military operations in BiH against the ABiH
20 for the HVO. This meets the test required under our jurisprudence.
21 Turning to the joint criminal enterprise existence challenges
22 that have been raised, Your Honours, the Defence first addressed the Law
23 on Joint Criminal Enterprise and asked Your Honours to reverse course
24 midstream, we would say, to change the law on JCE. And they referred to
25 the United Kingdom Supreme Court case of Jogee. The Defence argued, at
1 transcript page 7 today, that the Appeals Chamber in Tadic relied on
2 English case law in reaching its finding that there exists a valid legal
3 doctrine of joint criminal enterprise in this Court's jurisdiction.
4 However, in reality, the Tadic Appeals Chamber relied on customary
5 international law in formulating JCE, and in contrast, it found that it
6 could not rely on domestic provisions in order to determine common
7 purpose liability. And you will see that in paragraphs 195 through 226
8 of the Tadic appeals decision.
9 Your Honours, the Defence points to paragraph 224, footnote 287,
10 in its argument that the Appeals Chamber relied on English law. But
11 actually in that footnote, this -- the citation to English law is one of
12 many which the Appeals Chamber summarised before concluding that these
13 provisions cannot be relied on as a source of international principles or
14 rules under the doctrine of the general principles of law recognised by
15 the nations of the world because of the lack of a common approach across
16 different legal systems. And since Jogee, Your Honours have issued the
17 Stanisic and Zupljanin appeals decision which again confirmed the
18 validity of joint criminal enterprise. You see that, for example, in
19 paragraph 974.
20 As to the existence of the joint criminal enterprise, the Defence
21 has missed, has not addressed the core of the Trial Chamber's analysis in
22 its arguments in pointing to assistance of arms, in claiming there was no
23 pattern of crimes, because the evidence underlying these findings is
24 clear and compelling. Your Honours --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: May I be excused to go pick up some documents that
2 we're printing. We have no one in the back to do so.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you.
4 Go ahead.
5 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Mr. President. Let me start with the
6 words of one well-placed international witness who said the Bosnian
7 Croats wanted to make it so that provinces 8 and 10 would have the
8 greatest majority possible of Bosnian Croats. For them, it was about
9 expelling from such provinces, the Bosnian Serbs and those they called
10 the Muslims, the Bosnian Muslims. Transcript page 17535, cited at
11 volume 4, paragraph 15. And provinces 8 and 10 contain the
12 municipalities in which the vast majority of the crimes that we're
13 addressing occurred.
14 Another well-placed witness who you will be familiar with,
15 Ambassador Herbert Okun explained the double game being played by the
16 Bosnian Croat leadership. He said, referring to 1993:
17 "In January, yes, the Bosnian Croats had signed the agreement
18 and, yes, they were conducting ethnic cleansing operations in Herzegovina
19 and Central Bosnia. They were doing both."
20 That's cited in volume 4, paragraph 45.
21 And, Your Honours, the evidence substantiates the pattern of
22 crimes, crimes including murder, that were part of the JCE. For
23 instance, in relation to these evictions, Your Honours, you will see that
24 the victims included families, a woman doing her laundry, this is in
25 Mostar when the attack started, a sick elderly man, and the HVO soldiers
1 forced them to run across the front lines. They had gun-fire behind them
2 from the HVO and gun-fire in front of them from the ABiH who didn't know
3 who they were.
4 Your Honours, what military purpose did these crimes serve? It's
5 none. What they do serve is the purpose behind the joint criminal
7 Your Honours, I can refer to the demographics that you've heard
8 of and there's two points in this connection. Firstly, the JCE crimes
9 resulted in large-scale expulsion of the Muslim population; and,
10 secondly, that these expulsions reflected the words of JCE members. If
11 we look at the numbers, they largely speak for themselves. As the Trial
12 Chamber observed at paragraph 57 of volume 4, there were dramatic falls
13 in the numbers of Muslims in September and October 1993, which is when
14 the JCE was well into its operation. Most strikingly, the population of
15 Stolac, the Muslim population, I should say, went from 8093 to 0.
16 Your Honours have heard about the statements from JCE members.
17 You've heard Mate Boban's statement from 27 December 1991 about cleansing
18 border areas. You've heard Praljak's statement, September 1992, about
19 Muslim refugees and "unless we evict those people from there, we will not
20 have a majority there." That's volume 4, paragraph 522.
21 And you've heard Praljak's statement about homogenisation and
22 that was made at a meeting on 2 April 1993 that Coric attended. Praljak
24 "Now we have got what we want. The homogenisation of our
25 population continues. We can only fence off what is ours and build there
1 our own space and our own state. It is all as clear as noon on a spring
3 That's P1788.
4 Your Honours, the Defence have not addressed this key evidence
5 going to the core of the existence of the joint criminal enterprise.
6 Ultimately, Your Honours, Coric was informed and he was informed
7 repeatedly about HVO crimes against Muslims. He was the chief of the
8 military police administration and his core job was to address crimes by
9 HVO members. Time and time again, he was silent in the face of serious
10 crimes. He was silent in the face of the mistreatment of Mujo Copelj and
11 the many other victims of forced labour at the front lines. And he was
12 silent in the face of the expulsion of victims from Ljubuski and the
13 exile of their families.
14 Why was he silent? Why didn't the dog bark? Well, the reason is
15 that he was contributing, he was a participant in the joint criminal
16 enterprise. He was deploying military police for these operations in
17 which large-scale crimes occurred. He was participating, facilitating
18 mass arrest of Muslims, indiscriminate arrests. He was participating to
19 the brutal detention network and the mistreatment and killing, the
20 murder, of Muslims during forced labour. And ultimately, he was ordering
21 the mass expulsion of Muslims including from the territory claimed by
23 Your Honours, Coric has not showed that his trial was unfair or
24 that there was no reasonable basis for his conviction. The Trial Chamber
25 gave a full hearing to his arguments, and he has failed to show any error
1 and he has failed to show that his convictions should be overturned.
2 Unless Your Honours have any questions, that would conclude my
3 submissions. Much thanks.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It hits you much before you expected.
5 You have half an hour now.
6 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 We are ready to go.
8 At the outset of my presentation --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
10 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] At the outset of their
11 presentation, the Prosecution stated that the Defence was repeating
12 itself. Your Honours, partially they are correct. Our arguments were
13 repeated because as of day one of the proceedings, we have been saying
14 the same thing, as opposed to the Prosecution who have been adjusting
15 their arguments depending on developments.
16 I will show this by providing two examples. First, when
17 Prosecutor addressed command responsibility with regard to Mr. Coric and
18 resubordinating the units of the military police as well as his request
19 that the military police be withdrawn from the front line. In that
20 context, the Prosecutor stated two things. The first one was that
21 Mr. Coric was waiting for September, then for November, to react. The
22 other thing they said was that he did not lose his authority and that he
23 was still in command.
24 As regards the first Prosecution argument, it is clear that
25 Mr. Coric could not have asked for the military police to be withdrawn
1 from the front lines before November because that's when he became the
2 minister of the interior. Until that day, he had nothing to do with the
3 civilian police.
4 The second argument, that Mr. Coric asked for that as late as of
5 September, is not correct. In the introductory part of their arguments
6 and in document P5471 we can read: We did warn against this on several
7 occasions including this request. Meaning that the request from
8 September was not the first of its kind by Mr. Coric.
9 As regards the adjustment of their arguments, depending on what
10 suited them best at any given moment, we wish to remind you of
11 paragraph 742 and 748 of the Prosecution final brief where they state
12 that another accused made Coric's request impossible to meet and that
13 this other person was responsible for the fact that the military
14 policemen were kept at the front lines.
15 Furthermore, the Prosecutor implied that the personnel policy of
16 the military police was such that -- if I'm not mistaken, they stated
17 that only such people could be admitted who were devoted to the Croatian
18 policy and implementation of the JCE. However, evidence shows otherwise.
19 Document P2970 confirms that on the 26th of June, 1993, 25 to 30 per cent
20 of the personnel of the 2nd Military Police Battalion was the percentage
21 ascribed to the members of Muslim ethnicity. There is evidence in terms
22 of exhibits and testimony who confirmed that throughout the period
23 relevant to the indictment, the composition of the military police was
24 multi-ethnic and that the commanders of individual units were Muslim.
25 The Prosecution also referred to certain documents in their
1 presentation which had nothing to do with Mr. Coric or the military
2 police or with whatever they were talking about. One of such documents
3 is P1088 pertaining to the construction of a thermal plant in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Another document is an order, P01087, which is
5 neither Coric's command nor a command by the administration of the
6 military police, and he wasn't on the list of addressees.
7 Much like the situation was with these documents, we also heard
8 certain references to the documents by the OTP which had nothing to do
9 with Mr. Coric or they may have simply misinterpreted them. My learned
10 friend Mr. Stringer, for example, at page 182 of the transcript, said
11 that Mr. Coric, after the ultimatum, sent military police units to
12 Gornji Vakuf to carry out ethnic cleansing. And today when my learned
13 friend from the Prosecution spoke, he also said that in document P1053, I
14 apologise if I'm mistaken about the number, he stated that Mr. Coric
15 admitted to commanding the military police. The document I discussed was
16 the interim report of Mr. Coric dated the 1st of January, 1993, which is
17 before the ultimatum. There we can see that the military police were
18 sent to the area to preserve peace and order, to protect the households
19 and settlements as well as to establish regular traffic. There's no
20 mention of any combat operations or ethnic cleansing.
21 One of our colleagues from the Prosecution who spoke at
22 transcript page 186, when referring to document 4177, P4177, said that it
23 is a military police report sent to Coric, and they kept referring to it
24 to show that Coric was allegedly made aware of the crimes happening in
25 Prozor area. This report was not drafted by the military police. It
1 wasn't sent to Valentin Coric. And when presenting it, the Prosecutor
2 implied that, based on the events in Prozor, Coric could foresee what
3 would follow in Mostar. However, this date -- document bears the date of
4 the 14th of August, 1993.
5 MR. GILLETT: Sorry. Apologies to interrupt. It's just that I
6 don't want the Defence to be deprived of an opportunity to address the
7 record and there's probably a mistake either way. P10188 was accurately
8 reflected on the transcript, and appears to have been understood by my
9 learned friend as P1088, but that's not reflected on the record. And
10 then P10187, which I meant to say, has come out as P1087. So I think
11 that's the cause of the confusion.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
13 MR. GILLETT: That's at transcript page 51.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. Is it clear enough for you, madam?
15 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, even if it
16 was clear, I have no time to go back. So I will, with your permission,
17 leave it to your personnel to check that.
18 As regards events in Prozor, Defence has no time to respond in
19 entirety to everything that was said by the Prosecutor. However, we
20 discussed it in our appeal brief, in paragraphs 220, 221, 222, 223, as
21 well as 224, and 225, and 226. There are many exhibits referred to in
22 the footnotes referring to those paragraphs showing that the military
23 police in Prozor was beyond Coric's control and the control of the
24 military police administration.
25 To continue, Your Honours, at some point, the Prosecutor said
1 that Mr. Boban issued an order to Mr. Coric to deal with the situation in
2 prisons. They referred to a handwritten remark on a specific document.
3 We have no confirmation of either Mr. Coric receiving it or that it was
4 ever acted upon. We wanted to draw your attention to our appeal
5 paragraphs 141, 140, and to documents P5104, P5188, 3D915, P5199, 1D1704,
6 and P7096. These documents clearly show who Mr. Boban sent the order to
7 and who implemented it, and it was not Mr. Coric.
8 As regards forcible labour carried out by the prisoners, the
9 Prosecutor referred twice today to document P4039, asserting that the
10 contents of the documents were seen through; i.e., that approval to take
11 prisoners for labour should be obtained through the -- or from the
12 administration of the military police. Your Honours, we saw in the trial
13 thousands upon thousands of documents pertaining to people being taken
14 for labour, and out of those thousands, one was located. However,
15 there's no link to Mr. Coric or the police administration even in that
16 single document, nor is there any evidence that such an order was issued.
17 Could we please briefly move into private session? Because I
18 will refer to a protected witness.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course. Let's go into private session for a
20 short while, please.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 667 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session, counsel.
14 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] The documents referred to
15 by the Prosecution are P20235, P04424, and P02546. Those are the
16 documents referred to by the Prosecution that relate to what I said in
17 private session.
18 I spoke earlier about Prozor, but I will now add just briefly.
19 We had here in the courtroom Witness Zdenko Andabak, called by our
20 Defence -- called by our Defence and believed to be not credible by the
21 Prosecution. He cites the example of a promotion. It's true that
22 Mr. Andabak was promoted but he didn't end up his career in the HVO. He
23 ended up -- he ended his career in the military hierarchy of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina army. It is hard to believe that Mr. Andabak would
25 have become a colonel of the BH army if he had been suspected in any way
1 or if the authorities had believed him unfit for that position.
2 The Prosecutor also mentioned that the military police dealt only
3 with minor offences in Mostar. It didn't deal with serious crime. They
4 dealt with cases of -- with failure to pay tax and similar which is
5 simply not true. We have in registers 264 criminal reports made in cases
6 involving Muslims as the injured party.
7 Further, from document 5D043 -- 4236, we see that a criminal
8 report was filed against a member of the HVO for murder of two persons,
9 including one Muslim; then a criminal report against a number of HVO
10 members also for murders of Muslims; then again -- just a moment. The
11 next criminal report, I'll enumerate several more documents: 5D2095,
12 5D2097, P6727, 5D4169, 5D4168, 5D4154, 5D4165, 5D4231, P3571, P3483,
13 P3523, P3508, P3513, P3482, P3497, 5D4183, 5D4240, 5D4242, 5D4243,
14 5D4248, 5D4249, 5D4255, 5D4212, 5D4194, P9465, 5D4199, P3118, 5D4207,
15 P4139, 5D4201, 5D4203, 5D4200.
16 Your Honours, we've heard also a Defence witness, member of the
17 Criminal Investigations Department of the HVO, and his testimony goes
18 precisely to filing of criminal reports against various members of the
19 HVO for different offences and crimes against Muslims. Earlier today the
20 Prosecutor invoked a report containing one sentence that says that for
21 the time being, crimes committed by the Vinko Skrobo unit members and
22 other units should only be recorded in such a way that they should be put
23 in a very long drawer and forgotten. This is not true, Your Honours.
24 They were recorded in preparation for a comprehensive operation that
25 could not actually take place while civilian and military police were
1 engaged at the front line instead of doing their regular work. This
2 involved very well-armed groups for whose arrest and prosecution a very
3 good plan was needed, if it was to stand any chance of success. This
4 resulted eventually in an operation popularly known as Spider, Pauk,
5 where these offenders were arrested and prosecuted. Witness Vidovic
6 spoke about this on pages 41477 to 51481, and 51495 to 51499, 51500 to
7 51503. Also Witness Bandic on page 38214 to 38216, 38212 to 38213, and
8 also document 3D422.
9 Several times during his arguments the Prosecutor said that the
10 Defence failed to cover this or did not pay attention to that. The
11 Defence did, Your Honours, everything in its powers in the time allowed
12 us. We have always been very clear and we stand by the same position we
13 held from the very first day we entered this courtroom. We stand by
14 everything we've said during the whole trial and in the appeal brief and
15 in the reply and response, including my colleague's presentation and mine
16 today in the courtroom.
17 And I want to reiterate, we continue to affirm that the errors
18 made during trial are such that they cannot be overlooked, that the
19 judgement cannot stand, and that Mr. Coric has to be acquitted.
20 Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, counsel. That brings us to the end of
22 today's -- yes, Mr. Ivetic.
23 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, while we're still fresh, I do have two
24 transcript corrections that were brought to my attention that I could
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please go ahead.
2 MR. IVETIC: At temporary transcript line -- page 15, line 19,
3 P1939 should be P1393, and I believe this was something where I misspoke
4 a number. And one of my colleagues has brought to the attention of our
5 team that temporary transcript page 88, line 16, it should say "Muslims"
6 instead of "memories," which probably would have been caught at some
7 point in time later anyway, but I just wanted to bring it to everyone's
8 attention to make sure we have an accurate transcript.
9 Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, counsel.
11 We now stand adjourned until Monday morning at 9.30, and it will
12 be the turn of the Defence for Mr. Pusic.
13 Thank you.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.28 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 27th day of March,
16 2017, at 9.30 a.m.