Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20429

1 Tuesday, 6 June 2000

2 [Closed session]

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13 [Open session]

14 JUDGE MAY: Now, who is taking the next

15 witness?

16 MR. SAYERS: I will be taking the next

17 witness, Your Honour, and if I may, there's one

18 chronological typographical error in the outline that

19 we have distributed. It's only in the English, it's

20 paragraph four of the outline, the Croatian was not

21 translated properly. It should say "April 1992" and

22 not "September 1992".

23 JUDGE MAY: "I left Sarajevo in April".

24 MR. SAYERS: April.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, I wonder if there is

Page 20513

1 any point in starting this witness. It might be

2 convenient to adjourn and start earlier after lunch.

3 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

4 JUDGE MAY: How long do you anticipate you

5 will be with him?

6 MR. SAYERS: Well, we've got this down to a

7 pretty much of a science, it's about six pages per

8 hour. This -- with this witness I would anticipate two

9 hours and 15 minutes or so.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. You won't be held to

11 that. While you're on your feet, we have a document

12 which has been filed from the Prosecution regarding

13 their concerns about the affidavits.

14 If you wish to respond to that, perhaps you

15 could do so in seven days.

16 MR. SAYERS: Yes, we'll let the Court know

17 whether we wish to respond.

18 Right now I must say, having just flipped

19 through it yesterday, it doesn't look like the kind of

20 a document that needs a response but we'll let you know

21 within a day or two, Your Honour, whether a written

22 response will be forthcoming.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, very well.

24 MR. NICE: As to the next witness, it may

25 help the Chamber to know that we intend to raise the

Page 20514

1 issue of expertise apparently being offered through

2 this witness as part, in any event, of what's

3 contained. And therefore, if the Chamber has the

4 opportunity to read it before the afternoon session it

5 might be time well spent.

6 JUDGE MAY: What are the particular

7 paragraphs you have in mind?

8 MR. NICE: It's the passages that deal with

9 the law, various passages dealing with law. If you

10 start off at page 4 even -- but it may start before

11 then. Page 4, paragraphs 19 and onwards. And not only

12 is it the law of the state itself but, there are

13 references to other legal systems and so on.

14 JUDGE MAY: What is the -- since we've got a

15 minute, what's the nature of the objection?

16 MR. NICE: The nature of the objection is

17 that this is expertise and we haven't had notice to

18 prepare for it.

19 JUDGE MAY: He's a lawyer and a politician,

20 deputy minister of justice, I see.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll have a look at that,

23 thank you. We'll sit again at twenty past two.

24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.53 p.m.

25

Page 20515

1

2 --- On resuming at 2.23 p.m.

3 JUDGE MAY: It may be convenient, Mr. Sayers,

4 to deal with the Prosecution argument.

5 We've looked at this evidence and formed a

6 preliminary view. I don't know if anyone wants to say

7 anything more, from the Prosecution's point of view,

8 about this.

9 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, in reviewing the

10 preliminary descriptions of what would be said and in

11 looking at what was actually served to us late

12 afternoon -- mid-afternoon on Sunday, there is no

13 doubt, at least from our perspective, that the matters

14 that are raised, albeit addressed in fact-witness

15 testimony by paragraphing as opposed to a report, it

16 requires the specialised knowledge of someone who would

17 have been working in the judicial and/or administrative

18 system as a professional in the Herceg-Bosna

19 structure.

20 This testimony, as it were, is also going to

21 be duplicative of Zoran Buntic, for whom this witness

22 worked, and it appears that Buntic will be testifying.

23 As the affidavits of Pelivan and Jukic indicate, they

24 will be supporting the testimony of Buntic as well.

25 The nature of the assertions is such that it will

Page 20516

1 require a substantial amount of checking up with

2 various laws, with other persons, in order to provide

3 this Court with the kind of value that could be derived

4 from a well-prepared cross-examination.

5 It is of concern to us that, in a sense, if

6 in fact Mr. Buntic is going to be declared an expert,

7 that this would be giving two bites at the apple

8 without the requirements of 94 bis. And of course the

9 testimony of Dr. Ribicic appears to form the basis for

10 bringing in this type of policy witness and the

11 expertise required by this type of policy witness. Of

12 course, we provided -- we were completely in compliance

13 with the rules of 94 bis as to Dr. Ribicic, and we

14 would ask that the Court understand that we would need

15 the same type of consideration to maximise the benefit

16 this Court can get from a proper cross-examination.

17 Thank you.

18 [Trial Chamber deliberates]

19 JUDGE MAY: We've considered this matter, as

20 I said. We do not agree that this is expert evidence,

21 apart from one passage which I shall come to. The view

22 which we have formed is that this is evidence of what

23 the witness did as the deputy minister of justice, and

24 he is entitled to say what he did.

25 The only matter which may fulfil the Rule is

Page 20517

1 paragraph 50, in which the witness deals with the

2 constitutional position of the HZ HB and says that he

3 gave an opinion about it. He is entitled to give

4 evidence that he gave the opinion.

5 Where there may be difficulty, and where it

6 may well be that the Rule relating to experts applies,

7 is if he seeks to justify the correctness of that

8 opinion and also he seeks to give his opinion --

9 because it can only be that -- that in relation to the

10 constitutional court, it was acting effectively

11 illegally.

12 Now, those are matters which, it appears to

13 us, are matters of opinion and strictly matters which

14 should be dealt with by way of expert evidence.

15 Mr. Sayers, do you want to say anything about

16 that?

17 MR. SAYERS: I think Your Honour has

18 perceived that this witness is not an expert witness in

19 connection with what he actually did. Many of the laws

20 about which he's going to be giving testimony to the

21 Court today are laws which he actually wrote.

22 As the Court knows, we've heard evidence for

23 about a year or more of the HZ HB and the HVO and the

24 HR HB passing discriminatory laws, and we thought that

25 it would be helpful to the Trial Chamber to hear from

Page 20518

1 the fellow that actually wrote these laws, to hear what

2 input he had from his superiors into the writing of

3 these laws, so that you can make up your own minds,

4 whether this truly was a discriminatory institution.

5 That's not expert testimony, that's fact testimony,

6 and --

7 JUDGE MAY: We're with you on that.

8 MR. SAYERS: Yes. And I understand what the

9 Court says about paragraph 50. When we get there, let

10 me see if I can navigate my way around, avoiding having

11 the witness express expert opinions. And I would

12 anticipate that if we circumvent expert opinions with

13 respect to paragraph 50, then obviously he's not going

14 to be asked expert opinions on cross-examination. But

15 I wouldn't object if he were, frankly.

16 But I think that we don't have a problem with

17 this witness, with the exception of the paragraph that

18 you've indicated, and I think that that's not going to

19 be a problem.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is still open to you to

21 bring expert evidence on that paragraph 50.

22 MR. SAYERS: It is. It is, yes, Your

23 Honour. We haven't made a final decision on that, and

24 we appreciate that we're coming to -- actually, I guess

25 we're approaching at least the -- I don't know if it's

Page 20519

1 the end of our case, but it's certainly the beginning

2 of the end, or maybe it's the end of the beginning.

3 But it's definitely more than halfway in our case, so

4 we'll make a decision on that shortly and alert both

5 the Court and the Prosecution whether we intend to do

6 that.

7 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

8 Yes, we'll have the witness.

9 [The witness entered court]

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the

11 declaration.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

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

14 and nothing but the truth.

15 WITNESS: ZORAN PERKOVIC

16 [Witness answered through interpreter]

17 Examined by Mr. Sayers:

18 Q. Thank you, Mr. President, and good afternoon,

19 sir.

20 A. Good afternoon.

21 Q. Sir, would you please state your full name

22 for the Court.

23 A. My name is Zoran Perkovic.

24 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I propose to take you very

25 swiftly through some preliminary matters concerning

Page 20520

1 your personal background.

2 It's true that you were born in Livno on

3 January 12, 1961 and went to school there.

4 A. Yes, I was born in Livno on the 12th of

5 January 1961, that is to say in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

6 That's where I completed secondary and elementary

7 school and then I started studying law in Mostar and I

8 obtained my law degree in 1983 there.

9 After that, I returned to my home town. I

10 returned to my home town.

11 Q. If you'll just answer the short questions

12 that I'll have for you, we'll get along much more

13 quickly. It's true, is it not, that from 1984 to 1986

14 you worked in the Department of Administration in the

15 municipality of Livno?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You completed your military service in 1986

18 and then in 1988 became president of the Youth

19 Organisation of the Socialist Republic of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. When you finished your term as president of

23 that organisation you then went to work in the

24 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of

25 Justice and Administration in Sarajevo as a deputy

Page 20521

1 inspector of the Republic?

2 A. Yes, correct.

3 Q. I believe, sir, that in 1990, you ran for the

4 SR BiH Presidency in the first multi-party elections as

5 a member of the SDP party?

6 A. Yes, as a candidate of the SDP in the

7 elections for the Presidency of the Republic of

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

9 Q. I believe you came in with the second highest

10 number of votes. Mr. Ivo Komsic having received the

11 highest number amongst the SDP candidates and, as a

12 result, he was later appointed to the presidency of the

13 Republic?

14 A. There was a single list of Croats in the

15 candidature. Two candidates of the HDZ got the largest

16 number of votes; Mr. Kljuic and Mr. Boras, and then

17 there was Mr. Komsic. I was fourth among the eight

18 people whose votes were counted, I think.

19 Q. All right. So you did not go on to the

20 Presidency but you were appointed to the SR BiH

21 government as deputy minister for administration, a job

22 which you held until April of 1992 although you did not

23 officially leave that job until August of 1992; is that

24 right?

25 A. Yes, after these elections, I was appointed

Page 20522

1 in 1990 as assistant minister right after the

2 elections, and I held that position all the way until

3 the outbreak of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

4 Q. All right. I believe that you left Sarajevo

5 in April of 1992 and ultimately took a job in the

6 department of justice for the Croat Defense Council,

7 the HVO?

8 A. Yes. Some 20 days after I left Sarajevo, I

9 was invited from Livno, my home town where I lived, to

10 Herzegovina, to Siroki Brijeg, to start working on this

11 commission.

12 Q. And I believe that you worked on legal

13 matters drafting decrees and decisions in the HZ HB and

14 the HR HB during the entire remainder of the civil war;

15 is that correct?

16 A. Yes. That was mainly my job, drafting

17 various legal regulations.

18 Q. In fact, I think in the autumn of 1992, you

19 were appointed by the HZ HB to be the president of the

20 commission for regulation?

21 A. Yes. After a shorter stay in Herzegovina, I

22 went back to Sarajevo by aircraft with the intention of

23 getting some business done. However, since that did

24 not work, I got out of Sarajevo sometime in November

25 and then in December, I was appointed this head of the

Page 20523

1 department of justice. Now, this commission was

2 renamed the Department of Justice.

3 Q. All right. And it later became the Office of

4 Legislation in the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, I

5 believe.

6 A. Yes, that's right.

7 Q. And this body, in its various iterations,

8 drafted most the decrees that the HZ HB, HVO and HR HB

9 passed and was also responsible for reviewing and

10 drafting other such documents for those bodies that I

11 have just named?

12 A. Yes. In part, we directly prepared these

13 negotiations, and from 1993 onwards, we were mainly

14 involved in supervising all these legal enactments that

15 were being proposed.

16 Q. All right, Mr. Perkovic. Just proceeding

17 forward chronologically, I believe following the Dayton

18 Agreement you became the deputy minister of justice and

19 administration for Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo in

20 the year 1996?

21 A. Yes, immediately after the Dayton Agreement

22 was signed, I was appointed deputy minister.

23 Q. And I believe that for the last four years or

24 so, since March of 1996, you have held one-year terms

25 as either the head of the office of the president of

Page 20524

1 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina or as the head of

2 the office of the vice-president as those jobs have

3 rotated from year to year between Muslims and Croats.

4 A. During the last four years, I did the same

5 thing all the time. However, in view of this rotation,

6 one year I would be head of the office of the

7 president, the next year the head of the office of the

8 vice-president. But basically I was head of the office

9 for the very same person -- because these persons --

10 who is being rotated.

11 MR. SAYERS: All right.

12 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honours, I'm

13 sorry to point this out, but it appears that the

14 witness is, more often than not, reading from his

15 statement and it has been the practice of this Court

16 not to encourage that. I don't know in this instance

17 --

18 JUDGE MAY: Well, he can certainly read in

19 the preliminary matters. When we get to more

20 controversial matters, Mr. Sayers, it would be better

21 if the witness didn't read unless he wants to refresh

22 his memory about a particular point.

23 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I don't believe he

24 is reading from his statement, but I propose that he

25 just put it away for the rest of his testimony.

Page 20525

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Perkovic, if you've got your

2 statement out, and we can't see if you have or not, but

3 if you have, if you'd like to put it away. If you want

4 to refer to it to refresh your memory, then do so on a

5 particular point.

6 Yes, Mr. Sayers.

7 MR. SAYERS: Thank you Mr. President.

8 A. I think that my memory serves me well. I did

9 not read it at all.

10 Q. Very well, Mr. Perkovic. Just one matter of

11 detail. Since 1992, have you actually been a member of

12 any political party?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Have you ever been a member of the Croat

15 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HDZ-BiH?

16 A. No.

17 Q. All right. We've heard a lot of evidence so

18 far, sir, regarding the events of the spring of 1992

19 when the war broke out in your country, when Sarajevo

20 was surrounded.

21 Could you give us your view, sir, of whether

22 the government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

23 the new republic founded on the 6th of March of 1993

24 following the referendum, was able to function in any

25 practical or efficient fashion with respect to the rest

Page 20526

1 of the country?

2 A. From the moment Bosnia-Herzegovina was

3 recognised in March 1992 until the first conflicts

4 broke out in Sarajevo, this was a very short period.

5 The government in Sarajevo throughout that period was

6 blocked in its work because of the political

7 disagreement between the three political parties whose

8 representatives comprised the government of

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10 After the conflict broke out in Sarajevo at

11 the beginning of April 1992, practically there was no

12 communication. Very soon all communication ceased with

13 other parts of the country. Both communications

14 related to public communication as well as

15 communications related to legal communications, that is

16 to say, legal documents, normal communication between

17 higher and lower echelons of government, et cetera.

18 This was a situation of anarchy to a large

19 extent, and this was inter alia caused by the fact that

20 a serious number of Serbs left government institutions

21 at that point in time. So quite a few government posts

22 were vacated and new people had not been appointed

23 yet.

24 In addition to that, the shelling started.

25 Also ministries were being transferred to safer

Page 20527

1 locations because government buildings where ministries

2 were housed were directly being hit. So during that

3 first month, this was really improvisation that we, as

4 state employees, had to do.

5 It was quite a problem finding the right

6 premises, bringing all the needed documents, the

7 archives were actually left back, et cetera.

8 Q. All right. Faced with this situation, did

9 you receive any instructions of where you could be of

10 the greatest use?

11 A. Since the situation was such, I talked to my

12 superiors, that is to say, I talked to my minister and

13 I said to him, "I'm quite useless here. We have no

14 information as to what is going on outside Sarajevo in

15 the sense of the functioning of government. I think it

16 would be much more useful if I went to the area where I

17 was born, where war has also started, where I know

18 people, I think I could be far more useful there."

19 He agreed with me, and in a day or two, he

20 said he thought this was all right. So then with the

21 knowledge of my superior and a few other colleagues

22 whom I told that I was supposed to go, I left

23 Sarajevo.

24 This was some time around the 20th -- between

25 the 20th and the 25th of April 1992, that is.

Page 20528

1 Q. All right. Mr. Perkovic, if you could, as

2 you're answering my questions, just have in mind the

3 interpreters, and just keep your delivery as slow as

4 possible. That would help them out tremendously.

5 Thank you.

6 Now, who was the minister with whom you had

7 the conversations that you've just related to the

8 Court, sir?

9 A. Mr. Ranko Nikolic, the Minister of Justice

10 and Administration in the government of

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

12 Q. All right. Let me just take you briefly

13 through paragraphs 9 and 10.

14 I believe, sir, that you left the city of

15 Sarajevo in April 1992 and basically got transportation

16 by hitching rides from Visoko to Kiseljak and then on

17 to Busovaca.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. When you arrived in Busovaca, I believe that

20 you asked Mr. Kordic to try to help you getting down to

21 Livno, and the reason you went to seek help from him is

22 because you had met him at earlier meetings in Sarajevo

23 and you knew him.

24 A. Yes, that is correct. I've known Mr. Kordic

25 since 1991. At that time in Busovaca, I said to him

Page 20529

1 that I was en route to Livno, and I asked him whether

2 he or any of his men were going down south, that is to

3 say, towards Livno or towards Dalmatia, because I

4 thought it would be easier to get home that way. He

5 said to me then that two messengers -- two of his men

6 will be going to Herzegovina a day later and that I

7 should wait for that day, that I should stay there and

8 wait for that day for them to go, and that then I could

9 go with them further on to Herzegovina; that is to say,

10 to where his people were going.

11 That afternoon and that evening, I stayed in

12 Busovaca. I remember well that that is when I was

13 first involved in a crossfire, because the Yugoslav

14 People's Army aircraft bombed Busovaca then. There

15 were some young men who I did not even know, but I

16 helped them transfer some medical equipment from the

17 health centre in Busovaca, to have it evacuated and

18 saved as much as possible.

19 Q. All right. Let's pass briefly over this

20 incident, Mr. Perkovic. I believe that it's true that

21 the hospital was destroyed during this aerial

22 bombardment and that four people were killed.

23 A. That day, I heard that news, I believe, that

24 some people were wounded and were taken to the Travnik

25 hospital, because that health centre in Busovaca had

Page 20530

1 been hit and they could not be extended adequate help

2 there.

3 Q. Now, when you got down to Herzegovina, could

4 you give the Court some sort of feel for the way the

5 civil government was functioning, if at all?

6 A. I have already said in Herzegovina the

7 situation was very much like that in Sarajevo, the only

8 difference being that in that area there was relative

9 freedom of movement. That is, unlike Sarajevo, one was

10 not directly exposed to gunfire or snipers. But even

11 in that area, all forms of normal civil life had

12 stopped functioning, had ground to a halt. Many

13 hospitals did not function, the public transport

14 between towns was discontinued, and the legal dealings

15 between individual agencies had also been

16 discontinued. People were not receiving their salaries

17 or any other dues, so that everything that constitutes

18 a normal unfolding of life had either ground to a halt

19 or was reduced to a very modest, marginal level, I

20 would put it.

21 Q. All right. In your outline, sir, you give

22 some general detail about banks and the monetary

23 system. Could you just elaborate upon that in just a

24 few words to the Court?

25 A. The monetary institutions in that area shared

Page 20531

1 the fate of all the other institutions. The banks and

2 other money institutions, such as the payments

3 administration, did not function, did not work.

4 People would come to work and would sit in

5 front of their empty desks. They sat in their offices

6 because they deemed it their duty to come to work.

7 But to all intents and purposes, you could

8 not perform a single transaction in these

9 institutions. If you had any savings, you could not

10 withdraw any money, and it did not even occur to anyone

11 to invest any money, to place it in savings deposits or

12 anything with the bank. You would have looked

13 ridiculous if you had gone to see somebody to ask

14 whether, "Can I get a loan because I would like to

15 raise a loan," and so on.

16 So all this important business of financial

17 institutions had ground to a halt. Yes, banks were

18 formally open because people were there at their jobs

19 and their working places simply because they believed

20 it to be their duty to be there.

21 Q. All right. And you've discussed the

22 Commission for Regulation in very general detail.

23 Could you give the Court an understanding of what the

24 job of the Commission for Regulation involved when you

25 first went to work for it, Mr. Perkovic?

Page 20532

1 A. I was invited from people in Siroki Brijeg in

2 Herzegovina to come and help a team of people who were

3 waiting for that commission and whom I did not know

4 before. So I came a day or two after that invitation,

5 and I found four people in the commission; Zoran

6 Buntic, Karlo Sesar, Semir Puzic, and Halid Blajovic.

7 Two were Croats and two were Muslim. They told me,

8 "Zoran, we've heard that you were in Livno. We should

9 draw up some regulations, and urgently. We are

10 lawyers, we are attorneys. We never did that before,

11 that is, we never before drafted any regulations, so

12 could you please help us draft some of them, because

13 they will bear no further delays." And I agreed to do

14 that.

15 My first job was to draw up --

16 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Perkovic, if I may, and I

17 don't mean any disrespect.

18 The composition of the Commission for

19 Regulation, you've said that it included two Croats

20 before you got there, two Muslims. Then when you

21 became a member of the Commission for Regulation, you

22 were the third Croat member; is that correct?

23 A. It is.

24 Q. And because the two Croat and the two Muslim

25 members of this commission lacked regulation-drafting

Page 20533

1 or legislation-drafting experience, they looked to your

2 expertise in that regard to give them assistance in

3 drafting up the necessary decrees and regulations to

4 prescribe the basic forms of government and to try to

5 get civilian life organised; is that fair to say?

6 A. Yes, more or less.

7 Q. All right. Now, were you ever given any

8 political aims, or political instructions, or a party

9 line to follow in drafting legislation or regulations?

10 Could you help us with that?

11 A. Personally, that is, both officially and

12 unofficially, I never received any instructions to that

13 effect. But once I asked Mr. Buntic, who at that time

14 was, conditionally speaking, the boss, "Why are we

15 doing it that way," because in the legal practice there

16 is a certain order of things, how some regulations are

17 drafted. That is, first you have the constitution,

18 then laws laying down the organisation of power, and so

19 on and so forth. And he told me, "That's not our job,

20 and we shall perhaps begin to think about it when the

21 war comes to an end, depending on the type of peace

22 agreement that is arrived at. But now we need to

23 urgently, without delay, regulate those matters which

24 life necessitates us to regulate. We need some legal

25 regulations. And for us lawyers, it is a kind of a

Page 20534

1 handicap, because it would be much easier to follow the

2 usual sequence in which such things are done."

3 Q. All right, sir. Now, the trial has been

4 going on for a long time, so you can appreciate that

5 the Court has already familiarised itself with the

6 basic organisational documents that set up the HZ HB,

7 then the HVO, and then the HR HB. Could you give the

8 Court a feel, sir, for whether these were permanent

9 institutions or whether they were temporary

10 institutions?

11 A. The Croat Community Herceg-Bosna and the

12 Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna are, I'm confident, only

13 temporary institutions, only provisional forms of

14 organised authority in the area, the difference being

15 that the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna was, well, a

16 territorial and administratively make-due system, and I

17 think that was shown. That became manifest in all its

18 regulations.

19 When it comes to the Croat Republic

20 Herceg-Bosna, that form of organisation was to us again

21 a transient thing, a provisional thing, nevertheless a

22 desirable solution of the -- peaceful solution to the

23 problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina that we aspired to.

24 Therefore, at the time of the foundation of

25 the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna, we knew that at that

Page 20535

1 time it was of a temporary nature, and our aspiration

2 was to, in view of the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan because it

3 agreed with it, that through the adoption of the

4 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, it would acquire also its legal

5 shape.

6 But when that plan fell through, we again

7 believed that that was one of the temporary provisional

8 solutions regarding the territorial and administrative

9 organisation in that area.

10 Q. All right. And proceeding on to paragraph

11 14, which I propose to lead, unless there's an

12 objection. It appears to be a fairly dry background

13 matter.

14 Would it be fair to say that decrees and

15 legal documents that you drafted were, in fact, drafted

16 in response to the conditions that were confronting you

17 as a result of the civil war.

18 MS. SOMERS: I would have to object to that,

19 Your Honours, based on the fact that I think that calls

20 for a conclusion simply beyond draftsmanship which is

21 basically ministerial.

22 That would entail fairly detailed knowledge

23 of a political situation even beyond Herceg-Bosna's

24 boarders. I think it's inappropriate for this witness

25 to comment given the Court's parameters as set forth

Page 20536

1 earlier.

2 MR. SAYERS: Very well.

3 JUDGE MAY: I think that the witness should

4 be asked in a neutral way what the purpose was of the

5 documents which he was producing, what the background

6 was.

7 MR. SAYERS:

8 Q. You've heard it put by the Presiding Judge

9 better than I've put it. What's the answer?

10 A. The purpose of the documents was to

11 provisionally regulate legally certain situations

12 imposed by life which served the defence and better

13 conduct of the defence because the establishment of the

14 army and the needs of the army required proper

15 regulation of civilian and military life in the area.

16 Q. All right. Thank you, sir.

17 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I've put together

18 a small package of exhibits. It's six in number that

19 we've separately tabbed in a booklet that I'm going to

20 use with Mr. Perkovic. I wonder if they might be

21 distributed now and given an exhibit number.

22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit will be number

23 D276/1.

24 MR. SAYERS:

25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Perkovic, just to take an

Page 20537

1 example, if you would turn to Tab 2 of this exhibit,

2 276/1, and to pick up on what you were just

3 describing. I notice here, that this is a decree on

4 the application on the law on regular courts in the

5 territory of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna in

6 times of the immediate threat of war or in wartime.

7 And I'd like to concentrate your attention on that

8 latter phrase, "In the times of the immediate threat of

9 war or in wartime."

10 Could you just explain what thought process

11 lies behind the utilisation of that particular

12 phraseology, sir?

13 A. All decrees of the Croat Community of

14 Herceg-Bosna which were drawn up then included this

15 wording; that it was the application of the law in

16 regular courts or whatever in times of war -- in times

17 of the immediate threat war or in wartime.

18 In this manner, we also purported to

19 emphasise the temporary nature of such regulations,

20 that they would only be enforced only in times of the

21 immediate threat of war or in times of war.

22 Therefore, every regulation, the title of

23 every regulation included that formula.

24 Q. All right. Just one more point about this

25 document and this leads in, Your Honours, to paragraph

Page 20538

1 15 of the outline signed by Mr. Perkovic.

2 I notice that Dr. Jadranko Prlic the

3 president of the HVO, of the HZ HB, signs this document

4 under the heading of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

5 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and Croat Defense

6 Council.

7 There is a position taken by the Prosecution

8 in this case, Mr. Perkovic, that the Croat political

9 institutions always had, as an overt or covert aim,

10 some policy of secession from the Republic of

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Could you tell the Court whether

12 that's accurate or not?

13 A. If we are referring to the time after the

14 proclamation of the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

15 that is the post-referendum period, then I can say, and

16 I'm confident, that even in the legal system of

17 Herceg-Bosna and other activities of Herceg-Bosna, the

18 policy of secession or separation from those lands of

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not exist.

20 The wording in this and other decrees about

21 the name of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is the Republic of

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not a mere -- was not accidental

23 when it comes to legal documents.

24 All public documents which the bodies of

25 Herceg-Bosna issued state -- well, that these are

Page 20539

1 public documents issued in the territory of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina because we had it in our letterhead,

3 in the heading of every document. And also, that

4 persons to whom such public documents are issued are

5 national citizens of the Republic of

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

7 So may I just remind you, identity cards,

8 nationality certificates, birth certificates, school

9 certificates, and so on and so forth.

10 Q. Do I -- well, could you explain to the Court

11 whether you ever received any instructions from your

12 superiors regarding the status of the Croat Community

13 of Herceg-Bosna or the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna

14 with respect to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

15 Were these intended to separate from the Republic of

16 Herceg-Bosna or not?

17 A. No, and I can corroborate it from example.

18 Throughout the conflict between Croats and Bosniaks in

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and throughout the war in

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croat Democratic Union, as the

21 victorious party, nominated its members to all the most

22 important institutions of the state of

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for the Presidency of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the government of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, all ministries in Sarajevo,

Page 20540

1 ministries of the states of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

2 Therefore, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to

3 other ministries, to the Ministry of Interior and

4 others --

5 Of course if the Court wishes to know, I know

6 the names of all the people who were nominated or at

7 least some people who were nominated at the time for

8 various offices in the state agencies of

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10 Q. If the Court wishes to ask you any questions

11 about that, Mr. Perkovic, I'm sure they will, and if

12 the Prosecution wishes to ask any questions, I'm sure

13 it will, but I think we can move on.

14 In connection with the various international

15 negotiations, one of the -- one of the plans developed

16 by the International Community which heard a lot about

17 in this case is the Vance-Owen Plan.

18 Now, if this plan had actually been ratified

19 and signed and put into force by all of the negotiating

20 parties, sir, what would have happened to the HZ HB,

21 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna? Do you have a

22 view on that?

23 A. I think that after the signing of the plan by

24 all three parties, it would wither away very shortly

25 because all the authority, all the powers it had would

Page 20541

1 have been transferred to the new institutions. And to

2 corroborate this, I can say that a number of people,

3 including myself, had been nominated by the authorities

4 of Herceg-Bosna, had been nominated for the new offices

5 within the context of the Vance-Owen Plan and in

6 agreement with that I was to begin to work in Travnik

7 in conformity with the Vance-Owen Plan.

8 Q. And I believe, sir, that you were nominated

9 for a post in the 10th Province envisaged by the plan,

10 the Travnicka province. What post was that?

11 A. Yes, I was nominated for the top-most office

12 in the Ministry of Justice, that is the minister or

13 deputy minister depending on how it will be politically

14 agreed between Croats and Muslims. So minister or

15 deputy minister depending on the political agreement.

16 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I don't think

17 it's necessary to take up time putting these documents

18 on the ELMO, but I'd just like to draw the Court's

19 attention to Exhibit Z571.1 which is the version of the

20 Vance-Owen Plan and specifically Annex A which sets up

21 the provisional interim governments, pages 138 and

22 139. In Travnicka province, Mr. Perkovic, there was to

23 be a Croat governor. Do you recall who was nominated

24 for that position?

25 A. I think, I think that the nominee was

Page 20542

1 Mr. Soljic from Bugojno, but I'm not sure. Vladimir

2 Soljic I think he was. I'm not sure about his first

3 name, but I think it was Mr. Soljic.

4 Q. If your memory serves you well, and for the

5 Court's information Exhibit Z972 and 977.1 the same

6 documents set out the nominees for the post of governor

7 and the five Croat members of the interim provincial

8 government. Those included Mr. Kordic, I believe, and

9 you?

10 A. I think you're right. I think you are.

11 Q. The other three were Anto Valenta, Mr. Pero

12 Skopljak and Mr. Ivan Sarac.

13 A. I'm not sure. I can't really recall all the

14 people because quite a -- there was quite a large group

15 of people but, yes, I guess these individuals were

16 nominated too.

17 Q. Now, we've also heard, Mr. Perkovic, that on

18 the 28th of August 1993, the HR HB was founded by the

19 Bosnian or by the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina pursuant

20 to the provisions of the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. Did

21 you receive any instructions from anyone regarding the

22 preparation of legal documents in connection with the

23 internal republic, the HR HB?

24 A. No, except that four of us, I mean four

25 lawyers were invited by Mr. Prlic, the president of the

Page 20543

1 HVO, and he said to us, "Mr. Boban has returned from

2 Geneva from some talks, rather, and shortly a new peace

3 plan will be announced for Bosnia-Herzegovina."

4 Subsequently it came to be known as Owen-Stoltenberg

5 Plan.

6 That plan is based -- rather the basic

7 postulate of the plan is that Bosnia-Herzegovina is an

8 union of three republics. Within that context, we need

9 to very quickly transform the Croat Community of

10 Herceg-Bosna into the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna so

11 as to fit into the plan.

12 Ever since the moment -- and between the time

13 that he told us that until the constitution of the

14 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, that is the

15 constituting session, not more than eight or ten days

16 passed.

17 Q. All right. I think I'll skip over paragraph

18 18, Your Honours, because it seems to be covered by the

19 next section and go straight into that.

20 I'd like to address your attention,

21 Mr. Perkovic, to the creation and implementation of law

22 and laws by the HZ HB, the HVO and the HR HB.

23 Did you and your colleagues on the commission

24 of regulation and its successors attempt to devise a

25 completely independent legal system to govern the

Page 20544

1 affairs of the HZ HB, HVO and HR HB or not?

2 A. No, we did not try to. Wherever it was

3 possible to implement the regulations of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we made every attempt to have those

5 regulations carried out. However, there were certain

6 spheres of life where it was necessary to modify these

7 regulations somewhat. For example, fines that were

8 expressed in old Yugoslav dinars. Also there were some

9 areas that were not governed by the regulations of

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina at all and that came about as a way

11 of life.

12 For example, before the war,

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have any regulations

14 governing the question of refugees. That is to say,

15 who is considered to be a refugee or an expellee, what

16 are the rights of such persons, what is the necessary

17 accommodation that should be provided for them, et

18 cetera.

19 Until the war, Bosnia-Herzegovina did not

20 have regulations governing its own armed forces as a

21 state or rather as a republic within Yugoslavia. It

22 could not have had its own army. That is to say, that

23 there were some very significant spheres of life that

24 were not regulated by the regulations of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and therefore, they had to be

Page 20545

1 regulated in a completely new way.

2 Q. All right. Let me just digress for one

3 second and ask you to contrast, if you can, the

4 situation that the Bosnian -- that the Croats in

5 Bosnia-Herzegovina found themselves in with respect to

6 the HZ HB, HVO, and HR HB laws and regulations that

7 you've just referred to and to contrast their situation

8 with that of the Bosnian Serbs and the Republika

9 Srpska. Did the Republika Srpska have this integral

10 approach to the passage of its own laws, as far as you

11 know?

12 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me. I would have to

13 object, Your Honour, that this would be one of the

14 areas that the Court may find requires expertise beyond

15 mere fact statements, and I would ask that the Court

16 not permit this line of questioning. Thank you.

17 MR. SAYERS: It doesn't require any expertise

18 at all, Your Honour. It just requires him -- if he

19 knows of his own personal knowledge. If he doesn't,

20 then we'll move on.

21 JUDGE MAY: We agree he can go on.

22 A. When we compare the position of the HZ HB and

23 perhaps the Republika Srpska in relation to

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croatian Defence Council

25 functioned and operated as a military force in areas

Page 20546

1 that were beyond the area of the HZ HB in Tuzla, in

2 Sarajevo, in Zenica, in Bihac, and in many other towns,

3 as opposed to the army of Republika Srpska, which did

4 not exist beyond other territories, that is to say, in

5 territories that were held by Bosniaks or Croats.

6 Also, we know that Republika Srpska, the

7 Serbs, had adopted their own constitution. They

8 adopted all the necessary legislation dealing with

9 government in accordance with this constitution, and it

10 also passed a decision to break off all ties with the

11 former Bosnia-Herzegovina, as they had put it. Of

12 course, its people stopped participating in the work of

13 the organs of the Bosnia-Herzegovina.

14 We did not do that anywhere; that is to say,

15 neither did we pass such a decision, nor did we adopt

16 such a constitution, nor did our people stop

17 participating in the organs of Herzegovina.

18 With your permission, sir, I wish to remind

19 you of a particular point.

20 In 1993 in Western Herzegovina, Mr. Komisic,

21 as a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

22 was staying there for a private visit. Formally, at

23 that time he was a member -- he was one of the members

24 of the Presidency that was the supreme commander of the

25 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course, it did not

Page 20547

1 occur to anyone that they should arrest Mr. Komisic,

2 although, as I said, he was a member of the supreme

3 command of a formation with which the HVO was in a

4 conflict at that time. I'm trying to say that these

5 meetings and contacts between the Croat and Bosniak

6 sides existed throughout.

7 Q. All right. Well, since you raise the subject

8 of Mr. Komisic, the supreme commander of the ABiH was

9 who or what? Was it a person or an institution?

10 A. Formally, formally, from the point of view of

11 the law, the supreme commander of the army of

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina was supposed to be the Presidency of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Formally, formally, it was.

14 Q. And Mr. Komisic was a member of the

15 Presidency; is that what you're saying?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. Does he have any power to issue --

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did he have any power, as far as you're

20 aware, to issue orders to the army of

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina himself, as an individual?

22 A. I personally think that he did not have the

23 power to do so.

24 Q. All right.

25 A. From what we know, the power was in

Page 20548

1 Mr. Izetbegovic's hands.

2 Q. All right, Mr. Perkovic. Let's try to get

3 back on track here.

4 You had previously given testimony about the

5 efforts made by the institutions for which you worked

6 to fill in the gaps where there were gaps in existing

7 law. Let me just ask you to take a look at tab 1 of

8 Exhibit D276/1, the exhibit book that we have before

9 you.

10 These are extracts from the criminal code of

11 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Was any

12 effort made to apply these laws throughout the

13 territory of the HZ HB and HR HB on an interim basis,

14 as far as you're aware?

15 A. The Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna formally

16 and practically, through one of its decrees, took over

17 this criminal code from the Republic of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina --

19 Q. If I might interrupt you --

20 A. -- which --

21 Q. No effort, I take it, was made to engraft the

22 criminal code or criminal statutes in the Republic of

23 Croatia, or other statutes that applied in the Republic

24 of Croatia, to adopt these as the law that applied in

25 the territory of the HZ HB or the HR HB?

Page 20549

1 A. First of all, we thought that the criminal

2 code of the SFRY was of sufficiently high quality to

3 meet the requirements of those times. Secondly, it did

4 not occur to anyone at that time to take over the

5 criminal code of Croatia.

6 Q. And if you take a look at the next tab, sir,

7 tab 2, this is a -- I'm sorry, tab 3. This is a decree

8 on adopting the decree with the force of law on

9 citizenship of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

10 Was this one of the decrees or the regulations that you

11 participated in drafting?

12 A. Yes. Yes, I took part in that. By this

13 decree, we took over the law on citizenship of the

14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina for two reasons.

15 JUDGE MAY: Well, unless anybody wants you to

16 give the reasons, there's no need to do it,

17 Mr. Perkovic. Just answer "yes" or "no" where you

18 can.

19 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed, Mr. Perkovic. I

20 think the point is made.

21 Q. What about things such as the code on family

22 law or the RBiH decree on adopting and implementing

23 federal laws which are implemented in the RBiH as the

24 laws of the republic or the law on civil procedure?

25 Were these laws that were engrafted onto the

Page 20550

1 institutions of the HZ HB and HR HB or did you adopt

2 brand-new laws regulating those subjects yourselves?

3 A. As for a certain group of laws, including the

4 law on family, on inheritance, et cetera, we applied

5 the laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because until the war

6 this was dealt with by republican legislation. There

7 was no such federal legislation, that is. We believed

8 that as far as status-related matters were concerned,

9 and where there were not substantial changes that

10 required the specific amendments, there was no need to

11 change particular laws.

12 Practically all marriages and everything that

13 is related to a person's status, that is to say, in

14 connection with marriage, divorce, relationship between

15 a mother and a child, et cetera, everything that this

16 law on family contained, all these provisions -- all

17 these provisions were from the law of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

19 Q. Let me see if I can put it in a nutshell.

20 To the extent that the HZ HB, HVO, or HR HB

21 did not adopt its own rules, laws, or regulations

22 dealing with specific subjects, what was the law that

23 generally applied, sir, in the territories encompassed

24 by those bodies?

25 A. In principle, relatively small interventions

Page 20551

1 were made with regard to any one of the laws of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If there were any interventions,

3 they were primarily reduced to simplifying the

4 procedure involved, decreasing the number of

5 institutions that were supposed to rule on requests

6 made by citizens.

7 Also, there was a number of other things that

8 had to be dealt with dealing purely with numbers, such

9 as fines, so certain adjustments had to be made, for

10 example, where there had to be a three-level

11 procedure. Also, that was the case in the former

12 Yugoslavia, so then if there was no more -- if there

13 was no Yugoslavia anymore, then it was only natural to

14 do away with the third level, the federal level.

15 Q. But was it the position of those three

16 bodies, the HZ HB, HVO, and HR HB, that unless specific

17 legislation addressed a particular matter, then the law

18 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina applied in

19 their territories?

20 A. Yes. I already told you that these laws were

21 applied for the most part, practically all of them;

22 that is to say, the law of the Republic of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina.

24 Q. All right. Moving quickly to the next

25 subject, you draw a distinction in paragraph 23 of your

Page 20552

1 outline between statutes or laws -- I think the

2 Croatian word is "zakon" -- and decrees on the other

3 hand, or "statutarna odluka", statutory decisions.

4 Could you give the Court a feel for the significance of

5 that distinction, if there is one?

6 A. In our legal practice, the legal practice of

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Yugoslav republics

8 all the way up to the beginning of the war, that is to

9 say, 1991, it was customary to have the state pass the

10 constitutions and laws. Lower legal regulations, that

11 is to say, those of a lower status than laws and

12 constitutions, such as statutes, decrees, decisions and

13 the like, were adopted by lower forms of territorial

14 administrative organisation; for example,

15 municipalities, communities of municipalities, et

16 cetera.

17 Q. All right. Let's see one of these in

18 practice here.

19 If we take a look at tab 2, which was a

20 decree on the application of the law of regular courts,

21 I notice that the Croatian term is "odluku" and not

22 "zakon". Could you explain why the HVO -- the HZ HB

23 passed decrees rather than issued or announced or

24 promulgated laws? Or perhaps you've already explained

25 that, sir.

Page 20553

1 A. I think I answered that question through the

2 previous question. I said that laws and constitutions

3 are adopted by states only. We did not consider the

4 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna or the Croat Republic

5 of Herceg-Bosna to be a state.

6 Q. Very well. The Presidency of the Croat

7 Community of Herceg-Bosna or the HVO executive, the HVO

8 civilian government, had the power to pass statutes?

9 A. As regards the Croat Community of

10 Herceg-Bosna, only a fundamental decision was passed,

11 that is to say, on the establishment of the Croat

12 Community of Herceg-Bosna. As regards the Croat

13 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, a statutory decision was

14 passed. That is to say that in both cases, these were

15 legal enactments in the form of decisions, not

16 statutes.

17 Q. Very well. And where were these decrees or

18 statutory decisions actually published, sir?

19 A. All decrees and all legal regulations that

20 were passed by the organs of Herceg-Bosna were

21 published in the Official Gazette of Herceg-Bosna. I

22 think it was called the Narodni List of the HZ HB,

23 later the HR HB, which is again in accordance with

24 legal practice in the former Yugoslavia; that is to

25 say, to have all decisions published in a single

Page 20554

1 publication.

2 MR. SAYERS: All right. Now, I don't think

3 there's any need to show you this, but just to draw

4 your attention to an exhibit that is contained in the

5 compilation that we've earlier used. Mr. President,

6 Exhibit D182/1, regarding the setting up of executive

7 authority and administration in the territory of the HZ

8 HB. The terminology used in the English translation

9 is: "Statutory decision on the temporary organisation

10 of executive authority and administration in the

11 territory of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna." And

12 just flipping back to the Croatian, the term is

13 "statutarna odluka".

14 Q. Now, sir, is this a statute or is this not a

15 statute? It says "statutory decision". Can you help

16 us on that?

17 A. With your permission, I would like to

18 explain. When you are passing a number of decisions by

19 the very same body, that is, and when you wish to

20 single out one of these decisions giving it greater

21 significance in relation to all other decisions, then,

22 in addition to the term "decision" you use an

23 attribute. We used the word "statutory".

24 In this way, we showed that this decision has

25 greater legal force than decisions that were usually

Page 20555

1 adopted. However, I emphasise once again that this is

2 a decision, it is not a statute, it is not a law. It

3 is a decision.

4 Q. All right. Mr. Perkovic. In the interests

5 of time, let's try to pick up the pace and get through

6 your direct examination as soon as possible here.

7 Under the Washington and Dayton Agreements,

8 what happened to all existing HZ HB and HR HB decrees

9 that had been passed up to that point?

10 A. The Washington Agreement, or rather the

11 constitution of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina

12 which was derived from the Washington Agreement,

13 stipulates in one provision that all existing

14 arrangements will be in force until they are replaced

15 by appropriate regulations of the federation.

16 Accordingly, today, in the federation of

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we have many regulations of

18 Herceg-Bosna that are applied as valid because in that

19 field, the federation did not pass its own

20 regulations.

21 For instance, all regulations concerning the

22 establishment of public companies of Herceg-Bosna are

23 applied until the present day because these public

24 companies of Herceg-Bosna exist until the present day

25 and they are perfectly legal entities. Then also

Page 20556

1 regulations governing identity cards, identity cards of

2 citizens, it is the relations of Herceg-Bosna that are

3 applied until this present day.

4 As a citizen from that particular area, I

5 still have an identity card that was issued by the

6 Croat republic of Herceg-Bosna.

7 Q. All right, Mr. Perkovic, if we could move on

8 to the next discrete topic which is the application of

9 international humanitarian law in the territory covered

10 by the HZ HB and HR HB. Did the HZ HB ever publish any

11 international treaties or conventions in its own

12 official gazettes as far as you are aware?

13 A. No, they were never published nor was it

14 possible to publish these contracts or other

15 international documents because Herceg-Bosna was not an

16 international legal entity.

17 Throughout that time, it did not make a

18 single step to try to win this status of an

19 international legal entity. As regards international

20 legal entities, we accepted that Bosnia-Herzegovina was

21 a state of such status.

22 Q. All right. I'm going to pass over the

23 declaration adopting the treatise and conventions

24 listed in the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, Your Honour,

25 that's already been marked as an exhibit D183/1, Tab 9,

Page 20557

1 and it says what it says.

2 Now, with respect to legal provisions on war

3 crimes, sir, if you'll turn to Tab 1, we have included,

4 that's of Exhibit D276/1, we have included the

5 provisions of the SFRY dealing with various kinds of

6 war crimes.

7 Could you tell the Court how the subject of

8 war crimes or the offences of war crimes was treated in

9 the HZ HB and the HR HB.

10 A. In the area in which I was -- in which I

11 worked, that is legal norms, we took over, as I already

12 said, the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of

13 Yugoslavia, the Criminal Code of the Republic of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina which included separate chapters on

15 war crimes.

16 Also, in the legal regulations of the Croat

17 Community of Herceg-Bosna in the decree on the armed

18 forces of Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, I think it

19 was adopted in July or August 1998 [sic], one Article

20 explicitly lays out --

21 Q. You said 1998. Did you mean that, 1998?

22 A. 1992. Sorry, sorry, 1992, a slip of the

23 tongue. So 1992, it was July or August, there was a

24 regulation included in the decree which explicitly and

25 clearly lays down that humanitarian law will be

Page 20558

1 respected and breaches of international humanitarian

2 law already sanctioned.

3 Q. You mentioned the decree on the armed

4 forces. Did you participate in drafting that

5 particular document, Mr. Perkovic?

6 A. No, I did not. No, not personally, but I

7 know that at that time, and that was summer of 1992,

8 and I know it was adopted then, but I know fellow

9 lawyers who prepared that recognised regulation.

10 Q. And together with the rules of military

11 discipline, the decree on the armed forces did address,

12 I believe, the subject or the criminal field of

13 misdemeanours?

14 A. Yes, with us, when I say with us, I mean in

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina until the war, the question of

16 misdemeanor was treated as an administrative rather

17 than judicial duty and, needless to say, a number of

18 laws defined sanctions or fines for the violation or

19 rather omission to comply with individual obligations

20 which were specified by these regulations, that is,

21 decrees.

22 We also took over the misdemeanor law as a

23 general law, the misdemeanor law of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

25 Q. But in so far as more serious crimes, more

Page 20559

1 serious than merely misdemeanours were concerned, what

2 law applied in the HZ HB and HR HB? What law applied

3 to military crimes, crimes committed by soldiers to be

4 more specific, sir?

5 A. When it comes to the application of law,

6 equally for military crimes than as in the case of

7 crimes committed by civilians, the criminal court, the

8 uniform Criminal Code was applied, taken over from the

9 SFRY, and the criminal proceedings sect, but the

10 structure of courts dealing with those cases was

11 different.

12 Q. Well, let's go to that, since you raise it,

13 the organisation of the court system.

14 Could you tell the Court whether there were

15 any Muslim judges in the courts in the territory of

16 Herzegovina, for example, before the HZ HB was

17 founded.

18 A. Yes, you mean before war?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Yes, yes, of course.

21 Q. And after the HZ HB was founded, what

22 happened to these Muslim judges, were they all

23 dismissed, fired, gotten rid of? What happened to

24 them?

25 A. I said right at the beginning that there was

Page 20560

1 a period of time of about -- of several months when all

2 institutions ground to a halt in those areas. And the

3 situation in the judiciary was similar. For two or

4 three months, the courts simply did not function during

5 the first two or three months of the war.

6 Then when people got used to it, if I may put

7 it that way, to wartime conditions, then the courts

8 began to function again. With the judicial structure,

9 with the structure of judges more or less identical

10 with the one that existed before the war except that

11 some judges of Serb ethnicity in that early stage,

12 especially in Mostar, left the area.

13 But all judges, that is Croats and Bosniaks

14 and Serbs who had stayed continued to work in the same

15 courts that they used to work in before.

16 Q. And in your own home town, I guess, of Livno,

17 could you tell the Court what the -- whether there were

18 any Muslims in the municipal administration of that

19 city, sir, throughout the war?

20 A. Until the very outbreak of the war or rather

21 on the eve of the war, I think that about 40 per cent

22 of people in the administration were Bosniaks. And

23 when the war broke out, these people continued in their

24 jobs until July 1993.

25 Q. All right.

Page 20561

1 A. -- when, after a conflict, some of them

2 left. But even then and to this day, over 20 per cent

3 of administrative people are Bosniaks.

4 Q. The next subject I'd like to cover with you

5 is the decision to establish a division, the decision

6 to establish a division of the Supreme Court of

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Mostar. Could you tell the

8 Judges what role you played in the implementation and

9 development of that decision, Mr. Perkovic?

10 A. Well, you see, at that time several severe

11 crimes were committed in the area. There were murders

12 or armed robberies. Pursuant to the laws of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the higher court was competent to

14 try these offences. And the second instance for such

15 cases was the Supreme Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16 Since Sarajevo was cut off, that is,

17 encircled, an idea came up that the government in

18 Sarajevo should take a decision to found a division --

19 a department of the higher court in Mostar in order to

20 be able to comply with the two-instance system. And I

21 was tasked, as Assistant Minister for Justice and

22 Administration in the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

23 I was tasked to go back to Sarajevo and to explain to

24 the Minister of Justice and -- for Justice and

25 Administration in Sarajevo the situation that had

Page 20562

1 arisen and to ask or request the Presidency of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina to pass a decree allowing to --

3 allowing the establishment of a department -- of a

4 division of the Supreme Court in Mostar.

5 I had some discussions with the minister,

6 Mr. Nikolic, in Sarajevo. After that, I realised that

7 that was unrealistic, and even Mr. Nikolic himself said

8 so, and in order to ensure the right to appeal in

9 proceedings for the severest crimes, we undertook to

10 adopt a decree setting up the division of the Supreme

11 Court in Mostar.

12 Q. All right. Turning to paragraph 31, I

13 believe that you have already covered most of this,

14 sir. But just to recapitulate, I believe it's accurate

15 to say that the decision was made in the HZ HB and

16 HR HB to apply the provisions of the law of the

17 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on regular courts

18 insofar as the rights, duties, and responsibilities of

19 judges and jurors were concerned.

20 A. Yes, that's right.

21 Q. The Presidency of the HZ HB also confirmed

22 the applicability, I think you've said, of the

23 substantive criminal law of the Republic of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the criminal code of the

25 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which was, in

Page 20563

1 effect, the law that was applied by the Republic of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. I believe also that a decree on public

5 prosecutors was adopted by the Presidency on October

6 17th, 1992.

7 MR. SAYERS: That's already been marked into

8 evidence, Your Honour, as Z341.4.

9 A. Yes. The organisation of the public

10 prosecutor's office is always -- follows the line of

11 the organisation of courts, so that was also part of

12 our common legal practice.

13 MR. SAYERS:

14 Q. We can take this next section in paragraph 33

15 of your outline fairly quickly, Mr. Perkovic, since the

16 documents speak for themselves.

17 I believe it's accurate to say that the

18 prosecution of crimes fell within the exclusive power

19 of the prosecutor, the public prosecutor.

20 A. Yes, for the criminal prosecution ex officio

21 could be done only by the prosecutor. Citizens, of

22 course, could file their private charges.

23 Q. Prosecutors were not part of the judiciary,

24 nor subject to control by the judiciary, were they?

25 A. That's right, as there was a special

Page 20564

1 institution, that is, a special body which -- at the

2 second stage as the system developed which involved

3 experts on judiciary. Then it was said how to -- the

4 so-called judicial council, and it nominated and

5 designated prosecutors and judges.

6 Q. You also seen that a district military

7 prosecutor's office or the office of district military

8 prosecutor was set up in various places throughout the

9 HZ HB -- that's Exhibit D182/1, tab 21, Your Honours --

10 the jurisdiction of the district military prosecutors

11 being addressed to crimes committed by members of the

12 armed forces; is that correct, sir?

13 A. The military prosecutor more or less followed

14 the organisational layout of military districts. We

15 had four military districts, and that is why we had

16 four military prosecutors. So the office of every

17 military district prosecutor covered one of those

18 zones, and pursuant to the -- and under the statute,

19 military prosecutors not only could but were bound to

20 raise the matter of criminal responsibility for all the

21 crimes committed by military persons or related to

22 military issues, that is, committed against matters or

23 facilities military. As far as I know --

24 Q. Mr. Enes Memic, I believe, was the president

25 of the military court in Mostar.

Page 20565

1 A. Yes. I know that he worked at the military

2 court. I do not know if he was the president, I cannot

3 vouch for that, but I do know that he was one of the

4 judges, and I know he was a judge in the military

5 court. Whether he was its president, I'm not sure

6 about that.

7 Q. [Previous translation continues]... was he

8 not?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. One of the judges on the division of the

11 Supreme Court that was set up in Mostar by the HZ HB

12 was Semir Puzic, another Muslim; is that right?

13 A. Indeed. He is my colleague, and he worked

14 with me in the Commission for Regulations at the

15 beginning of the war, and then he went to join the

16 military court.

17 Q. Very well, sir. In connection with criminal

18 investigations and prosecutions for major crimes, is it

19 the case that investigations and prosecutions could

20 only be initiated by the public prosecutor for civil

21 matters and the district military prosecutor for

22 military matters?

23 A. No. We have an institution of the

24 investigating magistrate, investigating judge. I won't

25 go into it and explain the whole procedure, but the

Page 20566

1 public prosecutor, having learned that a crime had been

2 committed, turns to the court, and then the court

3 decides whether there are grounds for the case, and

4 then it is the court which investigates the case

5 through the investigating magistrate.

6 After the completion of investigation by the

7 investigating judge, if there is a reasonable doubt

8 that the crime has been committed, then the public

9 prosecutor files the indictment or, rather, submits the

10 indictment against that person or persons.

11 MR. SAYERS: All right. I think I can skip

12 over paragraphs 34 and 35, Your Honours, but you can

13 ask --

14 Q. If asked, by the Prosecution, Mr. Perkovic,

15 you can provide further details on the process of

16 investigations, of the investigating judges' functions,

17 and also the preparation of indictments and trials;

18 correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 JUDGE MAY: That would be a suitable moment.

21 Mr. Perkovic, we're going to adjourn now

22 until tomorrow morning. Would you be back, please, at

23 half past nine tomorrow to finish your evidence.

24 Could you remember in this adjournment not to

25 speak to anybody about your evidence, and that does

Page 20567

1 include members of the Defence team. Don't speak to

2 anybody about your evidence until it's over.

3 Very well, we'll adjourn now. Half past nine

4 tomorrow morning.

5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

6 at 4.02 p.m., to be reconvened on

7 Tuesday, the 7th day of June, 2000, at

8 9.30 a.m.

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