1 Wednesday, 7
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, I asked that the
6 witness be kept out so that we could discuss the
7 administrative matters, the timings of the hearings
8 this week and, indeed, the next sitting week.
9 Beginning with today, how much longer are you
10 likely to be? We are at paragraph -- you can remind
12 MR. SAYERS: 36.
13 JUDGE MAY: 36, yes. So you're more than
14 halfway through the witness.
15 MR. SAYERS: Most definitely, Mr. President,
16 and the Court will no doubt notice that he's touched on
17 some of the issues that are contained in the rest of
18 the outline, so I would hope that I would be through
19 with this witness in under an hour and perhaps 45
21 JUDGE MAY: And then for the rest of the
22 week, we've just been given the summary of the next
24 MR. SAYERS: The next witness is testifying
25 in open session. Mr. Naumovski will handle him. I
1 would anticipate no more than an hour and a half to two
2 hours in direct examination.
3 JUDGE MAY: He's here, is he?
4 MR. SAYERS: Yes. And then we have one more
5 witness, Mr. President, coming in tomorrow for Friday,
6 and I've communicated to the senior legal officer he
7 has scheduling difficulties that require him to finish
8 up his testimony on Friday. So we will try to make
9 sure that we do not take more than an hour and a half
10 with him on direct.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, because I don't know the
12 position about Judge Bennouna, as to whether he's going
13 to be available on Friday or not. It may be convenient
14 to deal with now, while it's in our minds, with
15 tomorrow's hearing. Is there any objection to
16 Judge Robinson and I sitting tomorrow and Friday alone,
17 Ms. Somers?
18 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, speaking on behalf
19 of Mr. Nice, we have no objection.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll make an order
21 to that effect, covering Thursday and, if necessary,
23 It's not the practice -- it hasn't been the
24 practice to sit on Friday afternoon. You're
25 anticipating getting through in an hour and a half,
1 yes, so it may be necessary to sit in the afternoon,
2 but not extensively.
3 MR. SAYERS: I would think that's accurate,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MAY: Now, considering the position
6 today and tomorrow, I have to take a longer-than-usual
7 lunch break, so we'll have to adjourn at half past
8 12.00 tomorrow until half past 2.00.
9 This witness, Mr. Vucina, is ready to give
10 evidence this afternoon, if necessary; would that be
11 the position?
12 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: But could give evidence and
14 presumably could be through tomorrow comfortably?
15 MR. SAYERS: I cannot imagine that he will
16 not be complete by the end of the day tomorrow, Your
18 JUDGE MAY: This afternoon is supposed to be
19 a Chambers day. There are other matters which we've
20 got to deal with.
21 The other matter is that there's going to be
22 a scheduling conference -- a status conference in
23 another case, which will involve, of course, the court
24 staff beginning at half past 4.00, and also the
25 interpreters, and it's apparently anticipated to go on
1 for quite some time; it may be until 6.00. So it may
2 be fair to give everybody else besides us a break
3 during the afternoon.
4 So would it be convenient to deal with this
5 witness -- finish this witness today and deal with the
6 other witness tomorrow?
7 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour, that's
8 completely acceptable from our side.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, and we would finish tomorrow
10 morning, probably, or early afternoon.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Somers, that being the
13 position, does it seem a practical way of going along,
14 dealing with one witness today? How long do you
15 anticipate you'll be in cross-examination of this
17 MS. SOMERS: I will certainly endeavour to
18 finish everything up today, so I think it would be --
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 MS. SOMERS: I appreciate the Court's
22 JUDGE MAY: Quite honestly, the earlier the
23 better, so that we can give the court staff a break.
24 MS. SOMERS: As we made Your Honour aware
25 yesterday, we were taken a bit by surprise by the
1 nature of the testimony of this witness, so we're
2 trying to act accordingly and --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Will you slow down,
4 please. Could you slow down, please.
5 JUDGE MAY: So we'll hear this witness today,
6 the next witness tomorrow, and the final witness on
7 Friday. If necessary, we'll sit into the afternoon.
8 We should also deal with the -- there's an
9 outstanding argument about the affidavits which has got
10 to be resolved, as I understand it, last week's
12 MR. SAYERS: If there are any objections to
13 the affidavits, then those objections should probably
14 be resolved on Friday.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Ms. Somers, will you be
16 ready to deal with those affidavits on Friday?
17 MS. SOMERS: I will speak with Mr. Nice and
18 see which -- I'm confident --
19 JUDGE MAY: The Maric affidavits. There are
20 about five which are outstanding.
21 MS. SOMERS: May I get back to the Court
22 after the break, and I will --
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, here he is.
24 MS. SOMERS: Okay, thank you.
25 MR. NICE: Sorry not to be here when
1 administrative matters were being dealt with. I was
2 catching up with progress elsewhere.
3 Affidavits for last week, yes, we should be
4 able to deal with those, of course, on Friday.
5 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
6 MR. NICE: But it had occurred to me that I
7 should tell you that our intention is to raise another
8 argument which could conveniently be dealt with this
9 week. It relates to one of the Defence experts, the
10 military expert. He is scheduled to come here the week
11 after next. Now, we're going to apply to exclude his
12 evidence altogether on the grounds that it doesn't
13 qualify as expert in accordance with this Chamber's
14 earlier rulings.
15 There's a short written brief that's been
16 prepared which will be filed almost immediately, and
17 although we've been subject to minimum periods in
18 relation to the witness, we wouldn't want to
19 inconvenience the witness himself. The problem with
20 leaving the argument until the week after next is that
21 he will already have flown here from America and will
22 be personally inconvenienced if the argument succeeds
23 and his evidence is excluded. So we thought that it
24 might be helpful to raise that argument this week.
25 JUDGE MAY: Well let us have the brief as
1 soon as we can.
2 MR. NICE: It's a very extensive report, it's
3 100 pages of report and I'm not suggesting the Chamber
4 would be in any position to read it in detail, but it
5 might be able to skim it so as to understand the points
6 that we are going to be making.
7 JUDGE MAY: This is which -- what's the name
8 of the witness?
9 MR. NICE: His name is Schrader.
10 JUDGE MAY: Dr. Schrader, very well. We'll
11 look at that in due course. I'm not sure that we have
12 had the testimony yet but we may have done. We have,
13 yes. Very well, we'll have that in mind. And while I
14 am dealing with administrative matters and that week,
15 we shall not be sitting in this case on Friday the
17 There are other matters before the Trial
18 Chamber which we've got to hear that day but as a
19 result, we are minded if necessary to sit later on the
20 days of the week when we are sitting, that's the
21 Tuesday until the Thursday, if necessary, until half
22 past five in order to get through the work.
23 Yes, now unless there are any other matters,
24 we will then go on with the witness.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Perkovic, I'm sorry
2 you've been delayed but there were some administrative
3 matters we had to deal with.
4 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
5 WITNESS: ZORAN PERKOVIC [Resumed]
6 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Examined by Mr. Sayers [Cont'd]:
8 Q. Good morning Mr. Perkovic.
9 A. Good morning. Good morning to all.
10 Q. Mr. Perkovic, we had reached that part of
11 your outline that deals with the organisation of the
12 military justice system. And you say in your outline,
13 that a special effort was put into creating and
14 organising military judicial bodies in the HZ HB. With
15 whom did the primary responsibility for military
16 justice lay?
17 A. The primary responsibility for military
18 justice lay with the military command or ultimately the
19 supreme commander of the armed forces of Herceg-Bosna.
20 On the basis of regulations, that was the president of
22 Q. And the president of the HZ HB was Mate
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Throughout its existence.
1 A. Yes. Throughout the existence of this
3 Q. All right. Now, what military power, please
4 tell the Court, what military power the vice-presidents
5 of the Presidency had, if any?
6 A. Do you mean the vice-presidents of the Croat
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
8 Q. Yes, I'm sorry if that was unclear. Let's
9 take it one step at a time. With respect to the HZ HB,
10 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, what military
11 authority did the vice-presidents of the Presidency
12 Mr. Rajic and Mr. Kordic have?
13 A. In the regulations of Herceg-Bosna, no
14 mention has been made of special powers that
15 vice-presidents of the Presidency of Herceg-Bosna
16 have. The only thing that is stipulated is that the
17 Presidency has two vice-presidents. That is to say,
18 that is as far as powers are concerned or the authority
19 of the vice-presidents of Herceg-Bosna, then these were
20 actually powers exercised by the bodies as a whole not
21 of individual members of that body, that is to say, of
22 the Presidency of Herceg-Bosna.
23 In this specific case, there were no special
24 powers involved for the vice-president. However, with
25 your permission, I would like to add one more
2 The Presidency of the Croat Community of
3 Herceg-Bosna practically lost all its authority towards
4 the end of 1992. In fact, and legally it was not
5 extinguished altogether but, in fact, it stopped to
6 exist; it did not pass any decisions or anything else.
7 Q. All right. Staying on the subject of the
8 authority of the Presidency and specifically the
9 authority of vice-presidents of the Presidency in
10 relation to military matters, what authority did the
11 vice-presidents of the Presidency have with respect to
12 the administration of the military justice system in
13 the HZ HB, sir?
14 A. If one looks at the regulations of the Croat
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna, in the military domain that
16 is, one may easily see that military prerogatives were
17 enjoyed by the president of the Croat Community of
18 Herceg-Bosna. So it was not the Presidency as an
19 institution, and not any of the vice-presidents either
20 within that institution because it says there expressly
21 that the supreme commander is the president of the
22 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, not the Presidency,
23 that is, but the president.
24 Q. Did members of the Presidency individually
25 have the power to appoint, remove or to discipline
1 members of the armed forces, Mr. Perkovic?
2 A. No. No, because that would have been in
3 contravention of the existing regulations for the
4 highest commanders. It was within the domain of the
5 powers of the president of Herceg-Bosna as the supreme
7 High officers had the responsibility to
8 appoint lower-ranking officers within military
10 Q. All right. Turning to paragraph 38, Your
11 Honours, I believe the witness has already dealt with
12 this so in a summary fashion let me just lead him
13 through this.
14 Mr. Perkovic, it's correct, is it not, that
15 in the HZ HB and in the HR HB, trial and appellate
16 courts were set up as constituting the military justice
17 system and that these courts confirmed the
18 applicability of the criminal statutes of the Republic
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and preserved and provided for a
20 right of appeal.
21 A. That is correct. Both civilian and military
22 courts confirmed the applicability and did indeed apply
23 the criminal law, rather, the criminal code of the
24 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Criminal Code of
25 the SFRY which was taken over by Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. I believe you testified yesterday that there
2 were four district military courts set up under the
3 HZ HB and that they continued under the HR HB. These
4 were, I believe, in Mostar, Livno, Bosanski Brod and
6 A. Yes. Since Bosanski Brod was under the
7 control of Bosnian Serbs, the seat of this court was,
8 in fact, in Orasje, but it was the basic military court
9 for that area.
10 Q. And I believe that these district military
11 courts had exclusive jurisdiction over war crimes
12 committed by members of the military.
13 A. Military courts had the jurisdiction to try
14 members of the military who allegedly committed war
15 crimes and also civilian persons who were in military
16 service and who had allegedly committed war crimes.
17 Also, crimes that could possibly have been committed by
18 prisoners of war related to violations of humanitarian
19 law, and crimes that pertained to violations of the
20 humanitarian law, that is to say, the Geneva
22 Q. And I believe it's accurate to say that the
23 Travnik District Military Court had jurisdiction in the
24 Lasva Valley and other areas of Central Bosnia over the
25 sorts of offences that you've just enumerated.
1 A. Yes. Its local jurisdiction was identical, I
2 think, to the area of the military zone of Central
3 Bosnia. I believe it was compatible with that area.
4 Q. All right. Mr. Perkovic, I think you've
5 touched on several of the subjects from paragraph 39,
6 40 and 41, so let's try to address these issues in a
7 fairly summary fashion.
8 Could you just describe for the Court, to the
9 extent that you have not already, what offences -- over
10 which the district military courts exercised or exerted
11 jurisdiction, sir?
12 A. When I'm speaking about this, these are, in
13 principle, all criminal offences in view of the persons
14 who committed them. However, if we are to specify
15 these criminal offences, these are criminal offences
16 inter alia belonging to the group of offences that are
17 called criminal offences against humanity and
18 humanitarian law. Within that category, there are
19 other descriptions for a series of crimes against
20 civilian populations, prisoners of war, et cetera; also
21 the crime of genocide, et cetera.
22 Q. All right. Just looking over paragraph 39,
23 Mr. Perkovic, I do believe that you've already provided
24 your evidence on that, so there's no need to dwell on
1 Just a matter of detail with respect to
2 paragraph 40. Could you describe for the Court,
3 please, the function of the district military
4 prosecutor and also describe for the Court how many
5 district military prosecutors' offices were set up in
6 the HZ HB and continued on under the HR HB?
7 A. First I'm going to answer your second
8 question. The number of the military district
9 prosecutors was compatible to the number of military
10 district courts, because in our practice the
11 organisation of prosecutors' offices corresponded to
12 that of the organisation of military courts.
13 And now the other question. District
14 military prosecutors had a subordinating role, if I may
15 put it that way. That means that sometimes, when other
16 relevant institutions within the military justice
17 system did not want to institute criminal proceedings
18 or could not, the district military prosecutor could
19 take this over on the basis of the law, on the basis of
20 regulations. He could institute criminal proceedings
21 against perpetrators of certain crimes.
22 Q. All right. And just proceeding on, could you
23 just describe for the Court the circumstances under
24 which appeals could be taken from district military
25 court judgements, sir, and how those appeals were
2 A. The principle. Well, there was the principle
3 which made it possible to appeal. This was one of the
4 basic principles upon which military and civilian
5 justice was based.
6 When rulings were passed by first-instance
7 courts, both the prosecutor and the defence could lodge
8 an appeal if they believed, of course, that such a
9 ruling was unfair to either one side or the other
11 Q. And I take it that trials before the district
12 military courts were tried in public, not behind closed
14 A. I personally do not know of a single case of
15 a trial behind closed doors, without the presence of
16 the public.
17 Q. Now, in cases involving sentences of up to
18 five years, which courts handled such appeals?
19 A. As far as sentences of up to five years of
20 imprisonment are concerned, in the appeals procedure it
21 is a higher court that decided on that.
22 Q. And what would be the situation if the
23 sentence were to exceed five years; which tribunal
24 would hear an appeal of a sentence of that magnitude?
25 A. Since sentences exceeding five years were
1 considered to correspond to graver crimes, it was the
2 Supreme Court or, rather, a specific department of the
3 Supreme Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina that handled these.
4 MR. SAYERS: All right. With respect to
5 paragraph 42, Your Honours, I believe the witness has
6 already testified about that. There's no need to go
7 into it. I just call your attention to Exhibit D276/1,
8 tab 1, which was identified yesterday.
9 Q. Now, in terms of the independence of the
10 judiciary and the justice system, Mr. Perkovic, just a
11 few questions.
12 Was the judiciary of the HZ HB and the HR HB,
13 or the judicial bodies that were set up by those two
14 institutions, independent from the legislative and
15 executive branches or not?
16 A. At the very beginning when the war broke out,
17 there was -- for a very short while, there was some
18 hesitation regarding the military judiciary, because
19 the organisation of the military judiciary is regulated
20 by decree rather than a decision of some executive
21 body. And at a later stage, a special body was set up
22 made of legal experts, that is, judges, representatives
23 of courts, prosecutors, attorneys, lawyers, and they
24 were responsible for the personnel policy in the
1 That was the only body authorised to nominate
2 or designate judges, prosecutors and so on. No
3 political institution did that. So in that sense, I
4 can say that both the prosecutors' office and the
5 judiciary in Herceg-Bosna were independent.
6 Q. All right. In connection with prosecutions
7 initiated in the district military courts, who had the
8 ability to initiate such a prosecution? Could you tell
9 us that, please?
10 A. Well, in relation to the military
11 prosecution, proceedings could be launched at the
12 request -- upon the motion of a military prosecutor
13 filed with the relevant court or, say, District
14 Military Court.
15 Then the relevant judge in the relevant
16 court -- that is, the Military Court conducted the
17 relevant investigation, and after the conduct of these
18 investigations, if there was suspicion that a crime had
19 been committed, then the military prosecutor could file
20 the charges.
21 Q. The military judicial system, sir, was this
22 part of, or completely independent from the military
23 organisation of the armed forces themselves?
24 A. I think that it was basically independent of
25 the armed forces. It was, conditionally speaking, a
1 type of special courts, as they were defined in our
2 legal practice. It was a part of a tradition in the
3 former Yugoslavia, that is, they heard a specific type
4 of crimes, crimes committed by military persons or
5 persons in the military service.
6 Q. Now, with either the public prosecutor's
7 office or the district military prosecutor's office and
8 prosecutions handled by both of those institutions,
9 sir, was there any right on the part of a legislator or
10 member of the legislative or the executive branch of
11 government to interfere in any way with those processes
12 as far as you are aware?
13 A. Individual procedures and individual cases,
14 no. Of course, the executive power could change
15 regulations governing the work of those courts, and it
16 could also adopt a regulation to abolish those courts.
17 But in individual cases, the legislative power and the
18 executive branch of power did not interfere with the
19 proceedings before these or the civilian courts.
20 Q. Thank you Mr. Perkovic. Let me turn to one
21 subject, and I would like to discuss this only very
23 You've previously provided testimony
24 regarding the collapse of the Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina state institutions in the area of
1 banking, insurance, the monetary system and so forth.
2 What did you and your colleagues in the HZ HB do to try
3 to provide for the normal functioning of economic life
4 in your communities?
5 A. At the initial stage, when the Croat
6 Community of Herceg-Bosna began to adopt its own
7 regulations, the majority of those regulations bore
8 upon the economic sphere, business. So that
9 regulations were adopted to regulate the founding and
10 the operation of banks, insurance companies,
11 regulations on public enterprises and so on and so
13 Why? Because the objective was to, as
14 quickly as possible, create the legal prerequisites for
15 the functioning of the civil, that is economic life in
16 that area.
17 Q. Did the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina have a
18 national bank?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What contacts, if any, did the institutions
21 of the HZ HB or the HR HB have with this national bank,
23 A. All republics of the former Yugoslavia had
24 their own national banks. But those national banks in
25 contrast with the National Bank of Yugoslavia was not
1 the bank of issue. Even though that was its name,"The
2 National Bank","The National Banks".
3 When the war began in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 relevant contacts with representatives of financial
5 institutions were maintained so that in August 1992, at
6 Siroki Brijeg, that is in the Croat Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna directly, the prime minister of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Jure Pelivan and the minister
9 of finance of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 Mr. Mustafa or Mahmut Logo, I'm not sure, came to
11 Siroki Brijeg.
12 At that meeting, held then at Siroki Brijeg,
13 the discussion also broached the subject of the issue
14 of Bosnian legal tender, and those gentlemen showed a
15 specimen of what that future currency of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina should look like.
17 I do not know why or what reason these
18 activities they told us about, about the preparation of
19 this new currency coming to a halt, but I do know that
20 even in Sarajevo, as the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 until 1994, the new currency of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
22 not in use. Instead, there was -- there were coupons
23 which could be used to pay for some small things, small
24 purchases such as newspapers or bread, say, and all the
25 more substantive transactions were paid in German
2 Q. I believe that the HZ HB department of
3 finance founded a public accounting office, the SDK and
4 the SDK recognised that Croatian dinars could be paid
5 in payment of debts. Why was that, sir?
6 A. If one reads more attentively the regulations
7 of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna then one can see
8 that in the early regulations, for instance, the
9 chapter on fines, is in dinars. The dinar was the
10 currency that is referred to. But when the war began
11 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the payments in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina came to a stop.
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have its own
14 currency and, at the initial stage, the population
15 began to use the German mark internally at first as the
16 chief legal tender in any commodity transaction.
17 When in Herceg-Bosna we decided to invest
18 efforts into making the payments function again, which,
19 of course, meant that all sorts of dues and taxes would
20 have to be paid, taxes, contributions, donations and so
21 on and so forth, we then had to face up to the problem
22 as to what currency should we adopt.
23 And in addition to the German mark, we opted
24 for the Croatian dinar for the simple reason that over
25 90 per cent of the overall trade at that time was with
1 the Republic of Croatia, because all the basic
2 necessities of the population such as the purchase of
3 foodstuffs and other items were purchased in the
4 Republic of Croatia, from Croatia, because our
5 enterprises at that time by and large did not work.
6 Q. All right. Thank you very much for that
7 explanation, Mr. Perkovic. I think that clears that
8 issue up.
9 Now, let me just draw your attention to one
10 of the decrees that was passed by the HZ HB, the decree
11 on the registration of foreign enterprises.
12 How were enterprises from the Republic of
13 Croatia treated? Were they treated as domestic
14 enterprises or were they treated as foreign
16 A. All enterprises with the seat outside
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina and all enterprises with their seat
18 in the territory which we considered occupied by the
19 Serbs who wanted to continue their activities and work
20 in the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna had to be
21 re-registered. That is, they had to go through the
22 procedure of registration all over again.
23 There was no automatic procedure, so all
24 foreign enterprises had to go through the same
1 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
2 A. There were no protection measures.
3 Q. Just one further question on the issue of
4 citizenship. We already covered that yesterday, but
5 we've already seen as Exhibit D182/1 in this case there
6 was a decree on enforcing the law of misdemeanours and
7 in Article 7 dealing with the appointments of judges.
8 The provision exists that a person who meets
9 the conditions set out in Article 303 of the law on
10 misdemeanours and who is a citizen of the Republic of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina may be appointed a judge of the
12 chamber, and this is a decree that was passed on the
13 July 3, 1992.
14 I take it, sir, that the -- or you tell us.
15 Was ever a decree adopted that provided for the
16 conferring of Croatian citizenship upon people within
17 the HZ HB or did you ever have that power or authority?
18 A. I will take the liberty of answering --
19 responding to your first statement. Not only the
20 decree on misdemeanours, but all the other decrees as
21 well required the citizenship of the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a pre-condition.
23 The decree on the armed forces says that a
24 member of the Croat Defense Council may only be a
25 national of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And a
1 similar case applies to judges and many other important
2 functions in all three branches of power, the
3 legislative executive and judicial.
4 Could you please remind me of the question
5 that you asked me, the last one?
6 Q. Well, the question was inelegantly phrased
7 but let me just ask you this: Did you and your
8 colleagues in the organs of government of first the
9 HZ HB and within the HVO subsequently in the HR HB, did
10 you consider yourselves to be citizens of the Republic
11 of Croatia or of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. The Croat Community and the Croat Republic of
13 Herceg-Bosna to begin with never adopted a regulation
14 on the nationality of Herceg-Bosna.
15 Throughout the war and before the war, the
16 citizens in that territory were the nationals of the
17 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that is proven very
18 easily by the fact that throughout the war, those
19 citizens could request and get their nationality
20 certificates where it was stated very explicitly.
21 In other words, insofar as the nationality is
22 concerned, we did not pass any laws unlike the other
23 two, nor did we change anything. We could not change
24 anything because we did not adopt anything like the
25 other two parties, the Bosniak and the Serb.
1 Q. My next question concerns the question of
2 language, sir, and I wonder if the usher could get a
3 copy of Exhibit D276/1, the package of exhibits for
4 you, and my question concerns tab 4.
5 Tab 4, Mr. Perkovic, is a decree on the
6 application of the law of government in the territory
7 of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna in times of war
8 or immediate threat of war, signed by the president of
9 the HVO, Dr. Jadranko Prlic, on the 18th of February,
10 1993. Now, specifically, article 2 provides that the
11 Croatian standard language and Latin script shall be
12 officially used by government bodies of the HZ HB, but
13 it also states that residents of the HZ HB shall have
14 the right to use their own language and script in
15 communication with government bodies of the HZ HB.
16 Was any regulation, decree, or decision
17 passed, as far as you're aware, that prohibited anybody
18 from using the language that hitherto they had used
19 within the municipalities encompassed by the HZ HB or
20 the HR HB?
21 A. No, there was no such regulation.
22 Q. Let me go on to the next subject, sir, which
23 concerns the question of the constitutionality of the
24 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
25 In the days surrounding the foundation of the
1 HZ HB on the 18th of November, 1991, were you asked to
2 undertake any analysis of the constitutionality of the
4 A. Two or three days following the establishment
5 of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna, my colleague and I
6 were called by a Croat minister in the government of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he asked us to prepare our
8 opinion in writing for the government of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. That was Mr. Miro Lasic.
10 And that opinion, that is, how he explained
11 it to us, was to serve as a foundation for the request
12 to be submitted by the government to the Constitutional
13 Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina to proclaim the Croat -- to
14 proclaim anti-constitutional the Croat Community
15 Herceg-Bosna, so that we were placed in charge of
16 that. And so we spent two or three days working on
18 We wrote our opinion down and informed the
19 minister, that is, Mr. Lasic. I also notified my
20 minister of justice, Mr. Nikolic, that there was no
21 constitutional foundation for the annulment -- for the
22 abolition of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna because
23 the preamble of the decision on its foundation figures
24 the HDZ, that is, as a party founding that community.
25 And the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina at
1 that time, which was the end of November of 1991,
2 considered this opinion and decided that there were no
3 grounds to file the charges -- to file the case with
4 the Constitutional Court and, therefore, never launched
5 the procedure before the Constitutional Court.
6 Q. Now you're discussing the actions or the
7 decisions not to act taken by the government of the
8 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1991,
9 early-1992 time frame.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, the constitution that existed at that
12 time, I gather, was the 1974 version of the
13 constitution of the Socialist Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. And until the foundation of the Federation of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, following the signature of the
18 Washington Agreement and the Dayton Agreements, did the
19 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after its foundation or
20 declaration of its existence on the 6th of March, 1992,
21 did it ever adopt its own constitution?
22 A. The constitution of 1974 -- the constitution
23 of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina of
24 1974, until the Dayton -- that is, the Washington
25 Accords, was not basically changed. Relevant
1 amendments to that constitution did take place, but it
2 was still under socialism before the multi-party
3 elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina and those amendments
4 were irrelevant, were immaterial. They were more of a
5 cosmetic nature.
6 But when these parties won the first
7 multi-party elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, until as
8 late as the end of the war, that is, the Washington and
9 Dayton Accords, this constitution was not changed.
10 Q. All right. Mr. Perkovic, I don't want to ask
11 you any opinions that you have or may have concerning
12 the Constitutional Court decision dated September
13 [realtime transcript read in error "December"] the
14 14th, 1992, but I will ask you this:
15 You were in the justice department of the
16 HZ HB at that time. Was any notice provided to your
17 department of the pendency of proceedings before the
18 Constitutional Court to declare or to consider the
19 constitutionality of the HZ HB?
20 A. I think -- I personally did not know, but I
21 think that in the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna, not
22 only the Minister of Justice or, rather, the Department
23 of Justice, as it was called then and in all other
24 institutions, nobody had any idea that the
25 Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
1 deliberating the constitutionality of Herceg-Bosna.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we can't go on for a
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
6 [Technical difficulties]
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE MAY: Let's see if we're working and
10 we're on air. Mr. Sayers, are you hearing us?
11 MR. SAYERS: I can hear you now, Your
13 JUDGE MAY: We've just lost the witness, who
14 has had to take a break.
15 [Discussion off the record]
16 MR. SAYERS: If I might, Mr. President, let
17 me take this opportunity to correct one error on the
18 transcript at line 23 and 24 on page 27. The date of
19 the Constitutional Court decision under consideration
20 is 14 September, not December.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers. The matter that
23 you were dealing with is whether the witness, in his
24 department, had notice of the proceedings before the
25 Constitutional Court.
1 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Mr. President.
2 Q. And I wonder -- Mr. Perkovic, there was a
3 technical problem. I wonder if you could just repeat
4 the testimony that you just gave for the Court.
5 A. Well, I stated ultimately -- I don't know
6 when the Honourable Judges stopped receiving the
7 interpretation. But Bosnia and Herzegovina assessed
8 that there was no need to initiate proceedings to
9 establish the constitutionality of the establishment of
10 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna. You asked me --
11 Q. The point where the technical problem
12 occurred was where we were asking you whether you, in
13 the justice department or any body of the HZ HB, as far
14 as you're aware, received notice of the pendency of
15 proceedings before the Constitutional Court before it
16 issued its decision on the 14th of September of 1992.
17 A. No one, no one in the justice department.
18 And I personally think that no one else in government
19 bodies of Herceg-Bosna realised there were proceedings
20 going on to establish the constitutionality of
21 Herceg-Bosna, nor were they officially made aware of
22 the ruling that was passed ultimately by the
23 Constitutional Court.
24 Q. Was any opportunity to appear before the
25 court to participant in these proceedings ever afforded
1 to the justice department of the HZ HB or to the HZ HB
3 A. I believe that there were such opportunities
4 because the representatives of the authorities from
5 Sarajevo at that time came to this area very often for
6 various meetings. Various meetings related to the
7 procurement --
8 Q. Did you have the opportunity to participate
9 in the consideration of this particular decision that
10 was issued by the Constitutional Court on the 14th of
11 September, 1992?
12 A. No, because neither I nor anyone else, I
13 think, did not even know about it until it was actually
14 decided upon. So, we had no opportunity. But there
15 was an opportunity for them to inform us the
16 proceedings were under way.
17 Q. Yes, I think that's a different point and one
18 that was appropriately made.
19 Now, did you ever receive a copy of the
20 decision of the Constitutional Court, anyone in the
21 justice department or anyone in the HZ HB, as far as
22 you're aware?
23 A. No, we did not. I personally first saw this
24 decision in 1995 when I came to Sarajevo for the first
25 or second time and when I was personally interested in
1 seeing it.
2 Q. All right. Now, one of the witnesses in this
3 case, Professor Ribicic, has asserted that the
4 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of
5 Justice recommended to the government that it should
6 bring an action against the HZ HB before the
7 Constitutional Court on the grounds that the HZ HB was
8 assertedly unconstitutional.
9 Now you were in the Ministry of Justice at
10 that time, sir. Is that contention factually accurate
11 or is it not?
12 A. No that is not correct. On the contrary, I
13 said a few minutes ago that the Ministry of Justice
14 gave a completely contrary opinion to that presented by
15 Mr. Ribicic.
16 Q. Very well, Mr. Perkovic, we're on the home
17 straight now. Let me just tell you that one of the
18 positions advanced by the Prosecution in this case is
19 that the political institutions of the Croats in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina were designed to foster a system of
21 widespread and systematic persecution of and
22 discrimination against Bosnian Muslims.
23 You, yourself, participated in the drafting
24 of a large quantity of these decrees and decisions,
25 sir. Is there anything in the position advanced by the
1 Prosecution as I have related it to you? Could you
2 tell us about that?
3 A. In my personal profound conviction, in all
4 the regulations of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna
5 and later the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna as well,
6 there are no discriminatory regulations vis-a-vis any
7 category of population on any grounds including
9 That is to say, I am convinced that the legal
10 system of Herceg-Bosna both the Community and the
11 Republic did not have any discriminatory legislation of
12 one social group at the expense of another group,
13 specifically, the Croats at the expense of others.
14 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, I
15 apologise to have to interrupt but I believe this is
16 exactly the kind of objection that we lodged yesterday,
17 that this is an opinion that this man is simply not
18 qualified to give.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE MAY: No, I disagree. We, as a Trial
21 Chamber, ruled that the witness could give evidence
22 about what he did and what he knew. If he was
23 responsible for this legislation he is entitled to say
24 that it wasn't discriminatory.
25 MR. SAYERS:
1 Q. Mr. Perkovic, along the lines of the
2 testimony that you were just giving, were you ever
3 instructed by the superiors in the government or was it
4 ever suggested to you, in a subtle or indirect way
5 rather than directly, or maybe too that the laws should
6 be slanted in favour of the Croats of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina within the territory of the HZ HB as
8 opposed to another ethnic group such as Muslims?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Very well. Let me move on to the last
11 subject or the last set of subjects.
12 Have you ever heard Mr. Kordic ever say
13 derogatory or pejorative things about any ethnic groups
14 other than the one to which he belongs?
15 A. Personally, I did not.
16 Q. Are you aware of Mr. Kordic ever having any
17 military functions as opposed to political functions?
18 A. As for hierarchy and military subordination
19 as established by the regulations of the Croat
20 Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Kordic was not part of
21 that hierarchy. That is to say, that he, according to
22 these regulations, did not have an appropriate military
23 position within that hierarchy.
24 Q. You've described Mr. Boban as the supreme
25 commander, and we know from the two decrees on the
1 armed forces that that's exactly what he was. Could
2 you give the Court some feel for the personality of
3 this man, because we haven't really had a lot of
4 testimony about that, Mr. Perkovic, and I wonder if you
5 could throw some light on that subject for us.
6 A. I think that Mr. Mate Boban was a person of
7 uncontested authority and the leader of Croats in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think that he was the only
9 leader of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In that
10 context, his decisions were practically never
11 questioned. When, in 1993, we prepared the decision on
12 constituting the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, we
13 envisaged then to adopt a special chapter within that
14 decision that would deal with the institution of the
15 president of the republic.
16 We would try, therefore, to set appropriate
17 limits on the way in which responsibility would be
18 exercised in performing the duties of president of the
19 republic. However, you saw that in that decision on
20 the establishment of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna
21 there is no such chapter, because practically we who
22 were preparing that decision were not allowed to do
23 that now. We were told, "Let it be. The time is not
24 right for that now. Let go of that."
25 We could not prepare anything like that
1 because we simply did not have the power to do so.
2 Q. All right. Now, was Mr. Kordic a member of
3 the inner circle of decision makers in either the Croat
4 Community of Herceg-Bosna or the Croat Republic of
6 A. All of the most important or fateful
7 decisions for the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina were, in
8 essence, passed by the president of Herceg-Bosna,
9 Mr. Boban.
10 I shall just remind you that it was Mr. Boban
11 who signed all three peace plans; the Vance-Owen Plan,
12 the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, and the Cutilliero plan
13 before these two plans.
14 I know that as far as these plans were
15 concerned, which were such crucial importance for us,
16 appropriate bodies of Herceg-Bosna discussed them but
17 only after they were signed. So these and other very
18 important decisions were passed by Mr. Boban without
19 previously discussing them in appropriate institutions
20 of Herceg-Bosna.
21 These deliberations took place later, after
22 these plans were actually signed. In this way, I'm
23 trying to tell you that Mr. Boban, indeed, had
24 uncontested authority and had -- how should I put this
25 -- supreme power in making all decisions.
1 Q. Let me turn to the question, sir, of what
2 powers were exercised by a vice-president of the
3 Presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
4 We have already seen, and it's in evidence as
5 Exhibit D181/1 at Tab 3 that there is a code of
6 practice that was adopted on the 17th of October of
7 1992 dealing with the work of the Presidency of the
8 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
9 Could you tell us, sir, what the powers of a
10 vice-president of the Presidency -- what the powers of
11 the two vice-presidents of the Presidency were?
12 A. The vice-president, on the basis of these
13 rules of procedure, has the duty to help the president
14 in carrying out these tasks. That is to say, to help
15 prepare sessions of the Presidency to carry out those
16 duties that the president would transfer upon them in
17 order to take away some of his own load and also to
18 chair meetings of the Presidency when the president is
20 That is to say, that according to these rules
21 of procedure and other regulations, the vice-presidents
22 of Herceg-Bosna did not have any functions of their
24 Q. Let me just turn to the period of time
25 between the foundation of the HR HB on the 28th of
1 August, 1993 to February 17th of 1994. Did Mr. Kordic
2 hold any position of significance within the government
3 of the HR HB during those periods of time, sir?
4 A. I think I know that at that time, Mr. Kordic
5 did not hold any significant position, partly due to
6 the fact that throughout this period that you are
7 referring to, Mr. Kordic was not in the area where
8 these institutions of government of Herceg-Bosna were
10 I think that he was cut off all the time in
11 this Lasva Valley without the possibility of having
12 physical contact with the rest of, the area down there,
13 of Herceg-Bosna.
14 Q. All right. The Prosecution in this case has
15 tried to contend that all of the political institutions
16 of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1991
17 and the signature of the Washington Agreement in the
18 spring of 1994 systematically excluded Muslims from all
19 positions of power. Could you just turn to Tab 5 of
20 your exhibit booklet, Mr. Perkovic. This is a
21 compilation of the Muslims who were in the positions of
22 government in both institutions.
23 Could you tell the Court whether there was,
24 indeed, any policy to exclude systematically Muslims
25 from positions of power or authority within the
1 governmental institutions of the HZ HB or HR HB.
2 A. There was no such policy. This is supported
3 by a certain fact. In addition to the names of these
4 persons, I wish to state that during the first stage of
5 the war, a large number of HVO members were of Bosniak
6 Muslim ethnicity. That even the commander of the
7 operations for the liberation of Mostar, that is to say
8 the commander of the HVO, was a Muslim, Mr. Amir
9 Jaganjac. That the deputy minister of the interior of
10 Herceg-Bosna at the time was a Bosniak Muslim as well.
11 That an enormous or relatively big number of Bosniaks
12 worked in municipal administrations within
14 Q. All right.
15 A. Et cetera.
16 Q. Just two final subjects, sir. We have
17 assembled a series of charts as Tab 6 of your exhibit
18 booklet which just basically track the organisational
19 structure of the government of Croat Community of
20 Herceg-Bosna through its relevant time periods and the
21 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
22 Could you just confirm that these charts
23 accurately represent the way the government was
24 organised, and I'll just leave it open to the
25 Prosecution to ask you questions about them, should
1 they wish to do so.
2 A. I think these are accurate, but I cannot
3 state very precisely right now that it was from such a
4 date to such a date. For example, in the first table,
5 you say the 18th of November, 1991, the 18th of April,
6 1992, and I cannot state exactly that those were the
7 dates concerned but the schematics concerned are
8 correct. The same goes for the other diagrams that you
9 put into this chapter 6.
10 Q. Yes, well the dates we can derive from the
11 documents, Mr. Perkovic. But generally speaking, do
12 these diagrams accurately depict the evolution of the
13 institutions of the HZ HB and HR HB over --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. -- 1991 to 1994. Thank you. And the final
16 question, sir --
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. The Prosecution contends in this case that,
19 as I said, that there was a policy of widespread and
20 systematic persecution against Muslims.
21 During all the time that you worked in the
22 HZ HB and HR HB did you ever see any indication that
23 any people in the top decision-making groups had any
24 intention, plan or policy of discriminating against or
25 persecuting people of Muslim ethnicity?
1 A. The Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and the
2 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna did not have a plan of
3 ethnic persecution of the population on ethnic grounds,
4 in this particular case of Muslim -- of Bosniaks. This
5 community, this republic, did not have any such plans;
6 nor did any of its institutions have such plans.
7 I shall illustrate this by saying that in
8 some parts of Herceg-Bosna, for example, Livno, the
9 municipality of Livno, Tomislavgrad, Orasje, Posusje,
10 Siroki Brijeg, Grude, et cetera, there was no such
12 I'm not precluding the possibility of perhaps
13 such actions having been taken in certain very local
14 environments that were aimed at intimidating the
15 population or part of the population on ethnic grounds;
16 but that was not the general policy. Nor was there a
17 general plan of this kind within the institutions of
19 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much. I do not
20 have any other questions for you, sir.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Mr. President, as Mr. Sayers
22 covered all my interests, we have no further questions
23 of the witness.
24 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Somers, half past 11.00.
25 We'll adjourn now until then.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Somers.
4 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:
5 Q. Mr. Perkovic, what is your actual current
7 A. I am a lawyer by profession, and all my
8 career was -- had to do with law. So I am now the head
9 of the Office of the Vice-President of the Federation
10 in Sarajevo.
11 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted clarified.
12 Thank you. So you're currently working in Sarajevo?
13 A. The last five years I've spent in Sarajevo.
14 Q. And if I'm correct from your evidence, you
15 spent most of the time that you were in Herceg-Bosna in
16 Mostar. Is that correct, physically in Mostar?
17 Correct me if I'm wrong, please.
18 A. Yes, you're right.
19 Q. Can you tell me, please, did you personally
20 prepare your summary? Did you write it out in your own
21 language and then have it translated?
22 A. You mean the summary that you have?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. No, no, I did not prepare that summary. On
25 the basis of the interview which Defence counsel had
1 with me, this summary was prepared some seven -- or
2 rather was drafted some seven or eight days before I
3 came to The Hague. And the file version, which I
4 signed, I did that two days before I came to The Hague,
5 which means last Thursday.
6 Q. In Sarajevo?
7 A. No, not in Sarajevo; in Zagreb, in Zagreb.
8 Q. Do you know English?
9 A. Well, some, but I do not think that my
10 knowledge of English -- I'm not proficient enough. I
11 wouldn't dare discuss serious matters in English.
12 Q. Then you've prepared the summary or you
13 reviewed the summary that was prepared for you in
14 Croatian; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Perhaps you can help clarify something. I
17 was provided with a copy of the Croatian edition, and
18 in both paragraph 6 and paragraph 50, point 6 and 50,
19 in English, if you have it -- this is the one time I
20 would not object to you taking a look -- but in
21 English, it says in 6: "After the Dayton Agreement in
22 1996, I became the deputy minister of justice and
23 administration for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo."
24 And in 50, in English, when you were discussing the
25 conduct of legal analysis, it says: "In my position as
1 deputy minister for the administration of the SR BiH
3 I noticed in the Croatian, in 6, point 6, you
4 used one word, and you used a different word in 50, and
5 I think the word that you used in 6 was "zamjnik", and
6 in 50, "pomocnik" or "pomocnik". Do you see a
7 difference? You yourself, in your language, referred
8 to these terms. The translation, however, equates
9 them. Are they absolutely the same?
10 A. Bearing in mind my knowledge of English, I am
11 really not competent enough to comment on the English
12 translation because I am simply not proficient enough.
13 But in the summary in Croatian, which says that when I
14 came to Sarajevo, I was appointed deputy minister of
15 justice, that is correct.
16 Under the Bosnian-Herzegovinian regulations,
17 there is a significant difference between a deputy
18 minister and an assistant minister. Deputy minister is
19 also a political figure, not merely a professional, and
20 a deputy, like a minister, is subject to rotation after
21 the elections when one loses power, whereas assistant
22 ministers, as professionals, go on with their jobs. So
23 I was a deputy minister.
24 Q. I'm sorry. You have down "pomocnik", though,
25 for 50, when you're talking about the work in the
1 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So you were an
2 assistant minister, is that correct, by your own
4 A. I was assistant minister before the war in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990 and 1991. After the war in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995, when I returned to
7 Sarajevo, or rather late 1995 and 1996, that is, I
8 began to work as a deputy minister. That is a higher
9 job, a higher-ranking job, than the assistant
10 minister's job. So that could be the reason for
12 Q. I beg your pardon. It is about the assistant
13 minister job in point 50 you were working that I would
14 like to ask you a few questions.
15 That job does not necessarily commit you to
16 take over the duties of a minister in his absence; is
17 that correct? There is a deputy minister who would
18 take over those functions; am I right? If not, correct
20 A. Item 50 relates to the period before the war,
21 when I was an assistant minister.
22 Q. Correct.
23 A. And under the regulations and rules in effect
24 in Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time, the minister of
25 justice -- in the Ministry of Justice, I was
1 responsible for the Department of Administration. That
2 is, the Ministry had several departments, and I was
3 responsible directly for the Department of
4 Administration. If a certain request was filed with
5 the Ministry of Justice dealing with administration,
6 with some administrative matters, then it was the
7 department which I headed.
8 As the chief of that department, it was my
9 task to prepare for the minister of justice the
10 relevant opinion, professional opinion. That opinion,
11 when sent by the ministry to, say, the government,
12 would be sent as the opinion of the ministry. But at
13 the preparatory stage, that is within the jurisdiction
14 of the department which I headed.
15 Q. Getting back to my question: As the
16 assistant minister -- there were a number of them;
17 correct? You were not the only assistant minister; is
18 that correct?
19 A. In -- before the war, in the Ministry of
20 Justice, there were three assistant ministers. One was
21 responsible for administration and I was the one. A
22 colleague of mine was responsible for judiciary, that
23 is judicial administration. And another colleague was
24 responsible for criminal sanctions, that is, they
25 maintained contact with prisons and were responsible
1 for the enforcement of regulations bearing criminal
2 sanctions. So, the department of administration was
3 responsible for administrative affairs, and I headed it
4 at the Ministry of Justice.
5 Q. Was there only one deputy minister to the
6 minister of justice as opposed to the three assistant
8 A. Yes. It was a generally-accepted practice
9 that a minister would have just one deputy.
10 Q. And if the minister were for any reason
11 absent or for any reason unable to fulfil his duties,
12 the deputy minister would take on the job which was
13 really the responsible position next to that of the
14 minister; is that correct? He would run or she would
15 run things.
16 A. By statute, by the law in effect then, the
17 administration law in case the minister was absent or
18 prevented from attending, he was being replaced by his
20 Q. Did the deputy or the minister rely
21 completely on assessments of the assistant ministers
22 such as yourself, or were you the last person to render
23 a recommendation or an opinion? Did you take that
25 A. The procedure was roughly as follows: The
1 relevant department prepared the regulations which fell
2 within its field of jurisdiction; opinions, decisions
3 and so on and so forth. It would then draft the
4 working draft and then at the meeting of the ministry
5 attended by the minister, deputy and other people, such
6 papers would then be amended, that is, major or smaller
7 changes would be made in such documents.
8 But by and large, not only the case of my
9 department but, generally, the position of the
10 department would, as a rule, be adopted, accepted with
11 possibly minor corrections.
12 Q. So once -- if corrections were made, you made
13 them and then it went on and that was it; is that
14 correct? The end product was that paper which was
15 produced after corrections and then it went out without
16 change; correct?
17 A. Yes, yes. It would then go out as the
18 official document of the ministry signed by the
19 minister or the deputy.
20 Q. Did you keep a copy of the papers, decisions,
21 documents, recommendations that you made for your own
22 use or perhaps for a future job references or for some
23 other professional need?
24 A. All ministries, and they were practically all
25 housed in a big building in central Sarajevo, they all
1 shared the archive and we were bound once a document
2 had been finally written, to file it with the archive.
3 I had some notes or perhaps some briefs in my
4 desk but, unfortunately, I must say that in April 1992,
5 after I left Sarajevo, I already said that I did that
6 around the 20th of April, the archive of our ministry
7 and even our private archive, you may call it that,
8 that is, things that we kept in our desks in our
9 offices, all that stayed behind in the ministry
11 The building of the Ministry of Justice and
12 other ministries was under ongoing shelling by the
13 Serbs, for about a year it was under the shelling. A
14 large part of the building burned down and in August
15 1992, when I returned to Sarajevo, I tried to get to
16 those -- to at least some of those notes because I had
17 left even three professional papers that I was
18 preparing that stayed among other papers.
19 I could not even come close to the building
20 because the then military unit which was standing guard
21 around it because of the -- because the building was
22 exposed to the sniper action, there were only about 100
23 metres away, not more than that. They simply did not
24 allow me, or anyone else for that matter, to approach
25 the building so that I could not even get -- lay my
1 hands on even my private notes or those professional
2 papers that I was writing, preparing and which,
3 unfortunately, perished.
4 Q. Before coming to The Hague to give testimony
5 on behalf of Dario Kordic, did you attempt to check
6 with any other archives in Sarajevo or any other part
7 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to find the
8 documents upon which you are basing your statements?
9 A. I base my testimony on the documentation
10 published in official -- in the Official Gazette and
11 other official organs which were accessible to a huge
12 number of citizens and institutions because they were
14 As a man trained in law, I wanted to read the
15 relevant documents, say, about the procedure concerning
16 the appraisal of constitutionality of the Croat
17 Community of Herceg-Bosna and, independently of this
18 case, I was interested in this three years ago when I
19 didn't ever think that I might be -- become a witness.
20 But I was told then that there was a special
21 procedure whereby one had to file a request to see
22 relevant documents from -- in the existing archives and
23 also indicate reasons for which one was seeking access
24 to this documentation.
25 Since my only motive was my lawyer's
1 curiosity to see that, this did not -- this was not
2 accepted as a sufficiently strong reason to allow me
3 such access.
4 Q. Well, in fact, just some of the points upon
5 which you have testified certainly are based on
6 documents that would be found in archives. You did not
7 then apply to the archives in -- which have the records
8 of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 inasmuch as you have made statements about the contents
10 of recommendations to that court?
11 A. I told you that there was a regulation
12 specifying who could seek to see archival documents.
13 So in addition to state institutions and agencies,
14 scientific workers could also apply for that when
15 preparing their papers.
16 Since I could not apply for this
17 documentation through the institution and since I was
18 not preparing any scientific paper, I -- even had I
19 applied for it, I realised I could not, on the grounds
20 of my own curiosity, claim any access to this
22 Q. Well, I guess that it is fortunate that I
23 have a copy of the complete file from the archives so
24 we can discuss the contents of it.
25 MS. SOMERS: I would like to ask please that
1 the registrar distribute two documents. I must
2 apologise to the Court, again, explaining our situation
3 with the content of this witness' summary, we were
4 unable to have full translations but I will ask these
5 things be put on the ELMO consistent with the
6 consideration the Court has given us in this instance
7 and should the Court ask for a complete translation at
8 some later date, I will be very happy to have it
10 But I think at this point for refreshing the
11 witness' recollection, the ELMO procedure will do. I
12 will ask Ms. Verhaag to pass to -- I'm sorry, perhaps
13 the registrar has given an excessive number of copies.
14 There should only be two documents and the one in the
15 centre should have the last words as "Herceg-Bosna" and
16 the other one should have "Bosanka Posavina". They
17 have the same essential headings, they are from the
18 same institution but one of them ends in "Bosanka
19 Posavina" and the other one ends in "Herceg-Bosna".
20 Apologies for any confusion.
21 I'm sorry. Do you have copies? Have you
22 been provided with copies? Mr. Registrar, if you need
23 extra copies, I can provide for the witness; certainly
24 not a problem. If you're short, I can provide another
1 THE USHER: Do you have one?
2 MS. SOMERS: Yes, I'm fine. I have my own.
3 Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Perkovic, when you have a chance to see
5 them -- okay. These documents, Mr. Perkovic, are from
6 the ministry in which you were employed and, in fact,
7 are the judgements, as it were, or recommendations,
8 judgements, that were issued by your ministry to the
9 Constitutional Court of the Republic of
11 One of them is a decision or a judgement
12 about whether or not to initiate an investigation into
13 the legality or constitutionality of the Croatian
14 Community of the Bosnian Posavina, and the other one is
15 whether or not to initiate an investigation into the
16 constitutionality of the Croatian Community of
17 Herceg-Bosna. They are both dated 20th of November,
18 1991, and were integral parts of the archive of the
19 Constitutional Court, in fact in the folder related to
20 the decision on the constitutionality of Herceg-Bosna.
21 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, may I just object
22 to the form of the question. I think that the
23 procedure that must be followed here is to ask him
24 whether these documents do, in fact, come from the
25 ministry by which he was employed because --
1 JUDGE MAY: He can be asked whether he can
2 identify the documents. Counsel can't give evidence
3 about where they were found. Some other form of
4 evidence must be called. But the matter can be put
5 before the witness to see whether he identifies the
7 On the whole, Ms. Somers, this procedure
8 should be kept to a minimum, because it's impossible
9 for the Court to follow.
10 Now, let the witness look at the documents to
11 see whether he can identify them.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a
13 reservation to make. To my mind, these are not
14 documents of the Ministry of Justice and Administration
15 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I say that for
16 two reasons.
17 The first one is that under the then
18 regulations, every opinion -- at the end of the
19 document, there should have been the seal and the
20 signature of the authorised person, so the minister,
21 perhaps deputy minister, or if that was an internal
22 act, then the assistant ministers.
23 Secondly, under our legal practice, here we
24 have three completely different bodies. One is the
25 Ministry of Justice and Administration. The second is
1 the Republican -- Establishment for Public
2 Administration, and the third is the professional body
3 of the Bosnian government, which is called the
4 Secretariat for Legislation of the government of the
5 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 It was not a common practice to have three
7 agencies or two agencies, different institutions, to
8 give one uniform opinion on a text, so I should like to
9 see the official document of the Ministry of Justice
10 and Administration with the seal of the ministry and
11 the signature of the authorised person in that
12 ministry. Because without the signature and the seal,
13 such opinions lacked legal grounds under the then
15 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. We'll confer.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Somers, we really must keep
18 this, as I've said, to an absolute minimum. It is
19 obviously fair that you should have the opportunity,
20 where you have such documents, to contradict the
21 witness's evidence, and the course which we shall allow
22 is this:
23 If you say these documents contradict what
24 the witness has said in his evidence, then, in a few
25 words summarising what the document says, you can put
1 it to him so he can have the opportunity to respond and
2 we may know what your case is. Beyond that, we shall
3 not allow you to go. If you wish to call evidence
4 about this matter, then you can do so in rebuttal.
5 MS. SOMERS: Of course, Your Honour, and
6 again we apologise simply because of the
8 JUDGE MAY: But in order that we keep the
9 proceedings in an orderly fashion, perhaps you would
10 briefly summarise what the documents say and give the
11 witness the opportunity of responding.
12 MS. SOMERS: Of course.
13 Q. Mr. Perkovic, if you take a look, please, at
14 the document about Herceg-Bosna, just the very end of
15 it. If you would be kind enough, because I think your
16 Croatian pronunciation is superior to mine --
17 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to allow you to go
18 through the document.
19 MS. SOMERS: Just the second --
20 JUDGE MAY: If you would just quickly
21 summarise it.
22 MS. SOMERS: Sure.
23 Q. Mr. Perkovic, the recommendation as to
24 Herceg-Bosna was that there was a basis for
25 investigating the constitutionality of the decision
1 founding the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and all
2 of the various decisions that were later enumerated,
3 and that is what is enumerated in this document, where
4 it actually says that the -- is that correct?
5 A. Madam, in accordance with our regulations,
6 this is not a document, this is no document, this is no
7 official document. It lacks --
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Perkovic, we've heard your
9 evidence about that point. What you must answer is
11 It's put to you that there is a
12 recommendation in this document that there was a basis
13 for investigating the constitutionality of the decision
14 founding the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Now,
15 what the effect of this is, the Prosecution say, so
16 that you can understand it, is that it contradicts your
17 evidence. Is there anything more you would like to say
18 about it, other than comments about the form of the
19 document? We have your evidence about the form of the
20 document. There's no need to repeat it.
21 A. Your Honour, in my statement, in response to
22 the question put by the Defence, I said that an opinion
23 went from the Ministry of Justice to the government of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for which I claim with full
25 responsibility that by its very substance it is
1 contrary to what is written here. And I said that on
2 the basis of that opinion, the government of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in November 1992, did not find it
4 necessary to institute proceedings for assessing the
5 constitutionality of the Croatian Community of
6 Herceg-Bosna. The only thing I can say about this is
7 what I have already said, and I abide by that
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, Ms. Somers, I don't think
10 we're going to take matters very much further.
11 MS. SOMERS: May I just, for completeness,
12 just ask, so that the record reflects what the second
13 document is, in a nutshell?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MS. SOMERS:
16 Q. The second document on the establishment of
17 the Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina in summary
18 says that your particular ministry did not find a basis
19 for recommending investigation or to open an
20 investigation on the Croatian Community of the Bosnian
21 Posavina, and I distinguish it because it was a
22 political grouping. In other words, it is, as to
23 Posavina, the same position that you said about point
24 50. That is the point of this document.
25 Is that a fair summary just of the very last
1 parts of the document, that there was a finding of no
2 basis for investigation on constitutionality?
3 A. I think -- I know that the Ministry of
4 Justice, as far as the Croatian Community of Bosanka
5 Posavina is concerned, gave an identical opinion to
6 that provided by the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna, so it is exactly the same period of
9 The opinion was probably sent on the same day
10 or within the scope of two days, and in that context it
11 would have been quite illogical, in the case of one
12 Croat Community, to define one opinion and for another
13 Croat Community to define another, a different opinion.
14 Q. Well, in the interests of time, because we
15 must move on, I will just suggest that the bases for
16 the decisions are very different. And if you care to
17 comment, feel free, but that is the essence of why
18 there are different results.
19 When you moved on to Herceg-Bosna, did you
20 ever suggest that some complaint be filed about the
21 decisions by the courts? In other words, if the court
22 in Sarajevo took a decision that you thought was either
23 unjust or without notice, did you do anything about
24 it? Is there a record that you could cite to?
25 A. The decision of the Constitutional Court of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina was passed during war conflicts and
2 during the total siege under which Sarajevo was. I
3 said during my testimony that I personally and, I
4 claim, all the other officials that were involved in
5 this subject matter in the institutions of Herceg-Bosna
6 did not know of the proceedings before the
7 Constitutional Court or of this decision having been
8 passed at all until a few months later; after it had
9 been passed, that is. We only had the opportunity of
10 hearing about it. And when it was published in the
11 newspapers that the Constitutional Court had passed
12 such a decision, even if we wanted to, we could not
13 have responded or reacted to such a decision.
14 Q. Well, the newspapers also, are you aware,
15 just yes or no, that the newspapers also carried a
16 decision about the Posavina result as opposed to the
17 Herceg-Bosna result. Did you read that in
18 Oslobodzenje? Are you familiar with that? That would
19 have been on the 24th of November 1991.
20 A. In that period, I lived in Sarajevo and of
21 course I read Oslobodzenje and other newspapers that
22 were printed in Sarajevo.
23 In those newspaper articles at the time, as
24 far as I can remember, it was stated that the
25 constitutionality of these Croat communities of
1 Bosanska Posavina and Herceg-Bosna were inquired about
2 and, of course, the journalists made their own comments
3 about the legality or illegality of these
5 However, official government institutions
6 until 1993, I think until September of 1993, did not
7 take into consideration or rather did not pass any
8 decisions with regard to the constitutionality of these
10 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher, please,
11 to distribute four items. They have been previously
12 marked Z199.1, Z199.2, Z171.1 and then, unfortunately,
13 falling into, I hope, one of the last of the category
14 of untranslateds just as a reference point, a letter of
15 the 23rd of July 1992 signed by Dr. Dautbasic.
16 If you can turn, if we can get beyond it to
17 the untranslated document dated 23rd of July 1992, I
18 will simply ask you if the summary of the content is
19 correct according to your reading.
20 This is a letter to the Croatian Democratic
21 Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo and it is
22 signed by the president of the Constitutional Court of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Ismet Dautbasic.
24 Essentially, it notifies the receiving party of the
25 examination of the constitutionality and it asks for
1 input; is that a fair, a very brief, rough summary?
2 A. Of course I am not denying that the president
3 of the Constitutional Court sent this kind of letter to
4 the Croat Democratic Community in Sarajevo. However,
5 the proceedings before this court were instituted
6 against the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna not against
7 the HDZ as a political party.
8 In that context, I said that the institutions
9 and bodies of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
10 were not familiarised with these proceedings or with
11 the decision at the time when it was passed.
12 Of course I do not preclude the possibility
13 of this document being authentic in the sense of the
14 HDZ as a political party in Sarajevo being made aware
15 of it.
16 Q. The next document is fortunately translated
17 into English dated the 26th of July. It is from
18 Dr. Ivan Markesic. Did you know Ivan Markesic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. He was indeed the secretary general of the
21 HDZ-BiH at the time of this document; do you agree?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This letter is a response citing the
24 unfortunately untranslated document to which we just
25 referred, the 23 July 1992 letter to the HDZ confirming
1 receipt and then saying, "However, the letter was
2 written on the letterhead and verified with the stamp
3 of a nonexistent state, the Former Socialist Republic
4 of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a five-pointed star in
5 the centre.
6 Given that the Croatian Democratic Union of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina has spared no efforts in the
8 creation of a new state, the independent, sovereign,
9 democratic, internationally recognised state of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina, we regard this letter as invalid on
11 account of its invalid heading and we will not respond
12 to it.
13 Also, we consider your decision number U46/92
14 concerning the initiation of proceedings for evaluating
15 constitutionality and legality inappropriate to the
16 time we live in, and thereby, likewise invalid and not
17 binding for us since this, too, is verified by the same
19 I hope that as president of the
20 Constitutional Court of a sovereign Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina our explanations are sufficient for you."
22 Have you seen this letter before?
23 A. No, I did not.
24 Q. The next document please is the 6th of August
25 1992. It is a letter dated back to -- I'm sorry,
1 addressed back to the Croatian Democratic Union of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, again in Sarajevo from
3 Dr. Dautbasic.
4 "Your letter of 26 July was received by this
5 court on 3 August and the court was informed of its
6 content on the same day. Essentially, our request to
7 you remains the same and amounts to the following: At
8 a session held on 9 July on its own initiative, the
9 Constitutional Court of BiH initiated proceedings for
10 evaluating the constitutionality and legality of the
11 decision on the establishment of the Croatian Community
12 of Herceg-Bosna issued on 19," it should be 18 --
13 "November 1991 by the 'democratically elected
14 representatives of the Croatian people in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina.'" And then it goes on. I will not read
16 it into the record, I will simply ask that we go to the
18 "Since the proceedings were initiated
19 pursuant to an announcement issued to the media by the
20 Busovaca information..." "Since the proceedings were
21 initiated pursuant to an announcement issued to the
22 media by the Busovaca information headquarters on 4
23 July 1992, we kindly ask you to send us the entire text
24 of the aforementioned enactments, if you have them,
25 together with any positions and conclusions you adopted
1 in the enactments as soon as possible within 10 days at
2 the latest in order to allow the court to take them
3 into consideration in coming to its decision."
4 Had you seen this document?
5 A. You mean this letter?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. I had not seen it until now, but in a way, it
8 confirms what I mentioned earlier, especially this last
9 part of the letter where the president of the
10 Constitutional Court also states that all
11 communications have been cut, both on one side and the
12 other side.
13 And in the context of this letter, we, who
14 were in those bodies of Herceg-Bosna in Mostar or in
15 that area, were not aware of these proceedings, just as
16 the president of the Constitutional Court and the
17 Constitutional Court itself were not aware of the
18 regulations that we had passed.
19 And it is evident from this that the entire
20 proceedings before the Constitutional Court were
21 initiated on the basis of the statement that was
22 released in the newspapers rather than on the basis of
23 the documents themselves whose constitutionality they
24 are contesting, and that they did not have, at the time
25 when they initiated the proceedings.
1 Q. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not see
2 any mention of inability to communicate anywhere in
3 this letter. Is there something that perhaps is left
4 out of the English translation? I see nothing to that
5 effect about inability to communicate. Am I wrong?
6 A. In the last paragraph of this document that
7 you showed me, the president of the Constitutional
8 Court requests the secretary general of the HDZ if he
9 has the texts in their entirety to submit them to him.
10 If this possibility to communicate existed,
11 then the logical question would be why the president of
12 the Constitutional Court did not request these
13 documents from the appropriate institutions of
14 Herceg-Bosna itself.
15 It was logical for him to request them from
16 the institutions that had actually adopted these
18 Q. Well, perhaps you can help us understand that
19 at the last paragraph of the document we just read
20 indicates that the court, that Dr. Dautbasic's body
21 learned of the establishment with the decision found in
22 Herceg-Bosna not through an official communication
23 between agencies or administrative bodies or legal
24 bodies, but rather through essentially an information
25 release from Busovaca.
1 I will provide, again, we unfortunately have
2 no copy -- no translation, but just to indicate that
3 this was the document that communicated to the
4 Constitutional Court of the sovereign state that
5 another state was being formed.
6 MS. SOMERS: If it's possible to put it on
7 the ELMO with passage to the usher and to offer it to
8 counsel and the Bench.
9 A. Madam, you asked me whether the president of
10 the Constitutional Court found out about this from the
11 newspapers, that is to say, newspapers that had carried
12 this announcement of the information headquarters.
13 I imagine that the Constitutional Court and
14 the president of the Constitutional Court knew about
15 this already in November. You asked me whether I read
16 Oslobodzenje at the time. They probably read
17 Oslobodzenje and all the other newspapers that were
18 published in Sarajevo at the time so they could have
19 read about the establishment of these two Croat
21 Of course all the way up to July 1992, the
22 Constitutional Court did not react to the establishment
23 of these two communities although, according to the
24 law, they had the right to initiate proceedings even at
25 their own initiative concerning the constitutionality
1 of the establishment of the Croat Community of Bosanska
2 Posavina and the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
3 Q. Can I ask you, please, just to confirm that
4 the document in front of you which is from Busovaca
5 dated the 4th of July 1992, in fact, is a public
6 announcement about the formation of the Croatian
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna and it's signed off by the
8 information staff of Busovaca. Is that correct?
9 A. This is the first time I see this document as
10 well. However, I have no reason to doubt its
11 authenticity. I don't know whether it is correct. I
12 know that in Grude, a meeting of the Presidency of the
13 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna was held and I know
14 that these regulations were passed, those that are
15 mentioned in this statement.
16 Q. The -- I guess one question I think I'd like
17 to ask of you is: Do you think that your reference to
18 the newspapers being read by the judges of the
19 Constitutional Court, would that be a satisfactory
20 method of informing a court, particularly the
21 Constitutional Court of a state, that a group of
22 communities has essentially decided to form its own
23 institutions which have state power? Would that be
25 A. I think that that is absolutely unacceptable;
1 therefore, I am surprised that constitutional
2 proceedings were initiated on the basis of a press
3 release that they read in July 1992.
4 Q. Turning to the last of these documents which
5 is dated 31 August 1992, it's Z199.1, this letter is
6 again to the HDZ-BiH in Sarajevo signed again by
7 Dr. Dautbasic.
8 Essentially, in summary -- well, I shall take
9 a moment and make sure I don't mess the text up.
10 Citing back to some of the prior correspondence, and
11 indicating that, "In the aforementioned letter, we
12 asked you to send us within the deadline stated the
13 entire text of the aforementioned enactments if you
14 have them together with any positions and conclusions
15 you adopted in the disputed enactments.
16 Since we did not receive, within the deadline
17 stated, the requested enactments or any of our
18 positions or conclusions adopted in the disputed
19 enactments, we ask you to inform us of your response to
20 the request within five days from receiving this letter
21 given that we sent you the first letter with the same
22 request on 23 July 1992."
23 Had you seen this before?
24 A. No, I had not. However, with your
25 permission, what I mentioned a few minutes ago, the
1 Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had the
2 opportunity of informing the institutions of the Croat
3 Community of Herceg-Bosna against which proceedings
4 were initiated before the Constitutional Court. If
5 this was physically impossible because of the blockades
6 that existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, already at that
7 time Bosnia-Herzegovina had its appropriate
8 institutions abroad, and there was an office of the
9 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zagreb, et cetera,
10 I mean in the Federal Republic of Germany too and in
11 many other countries in Europe.
12 Had there been any goodwill to seek these
13 documents from those to which these documents were
14 related, that is to say, the institutions of the Croat
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna, then the Constitutional
16 Court did have this possibility. Perhaps the
17 proceedings would have been somewhat longer, but
18 obviously an attempt was made here to sidestep the
19 institutions of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna in
20 seeking these documents, because the decision on
21 legality or illegality of Herceg-Bosna was prejudged
22 even before the ruling of the Constitutional Court was
24 There was no wish to contact the institutions
25 of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna even before the
1 decision of the Constitutional Court that proclaimed
2 these institutions illegal and unconstitutional, so
3 there was a prejudgement.
4 Q. Are you suggesting, Mr. Perkovic, that the
5 HDZ was not the parent or perhaps even the identity of
6 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna? Are you
7 suggesting that there is some separation of personnel
8 or platform? Please explain your response.
9 A. The HDZ is a political party, and the
10 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was a form of
11 territorial and administrative -- a temporary form of
12 administrative and territorial organisation in the
13 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The members of the
14 HDZ participated to a considerable extent in the work
15 of the institutions of the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna. However, the HDZ and Herceg-Bosna are
17 not one and the same thing.
18 For example, in the government of the HVO, at
19 that time the prime minister was not a member of the
20 HDZ. Mr. Prlic was not a member of the HDZ. The
21 vice-president of the government, Mr. Zubak, was not a
22 member of the HDZ. Mr. Tadic, who was minister of
23 justice, was not a member of the HDZ, et cetera. So
24 many persons who held very responsible positions in the
25 HVO government who were not members of the HDZ.
1 So the HDZ and the Croat Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna cannot be one and the same thing, although
3 a considerable number of persons from the HDZ did
4 participate in the institutions of the government of
6 Q. Have you read -- are you familiar with and
7 have you read the decisions of meetings of the HDZ that
8 came out the 12th of November, 1991, the 18th of
9 November, 1991?
10 A. On the 18th of November, I think that the
11 Croat Community Herceg-Bosna was founded on the 18th of
12 November, and if that is the meeting that you have in
13 mind, it was a meeting of HDZ members at which they
14 founded the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna; yes, then I
15 know about that. But would you remind me of what it
16 was that happened on the 12th of November?
17 Q. The meeting preliminary to the actual
18 creation by the HDZ that you just referred to of the
19 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. It is that meeting
20 to which I refer. If you're not familiar, just say so.
21 A. About that meeting that took place on the
22 12th of November, I do not know. I know about this
23 meeting which took place on the 18th of November.
24 Q. You indicated you are not a member or you
25 were not a member of the HDZ at least at the time you
1 ran for office, but I would like to ask you: Exhibit
2 Z10, which I believe is in evidence, for quick
3 reference, these are minutes or excerpts from the main
4 board of the HDZ-BiH, dated 6 August 1991, in Prozor,
5 attended by a very high level of representatives of the
6 HDZ, not only from Bosnia but also from Croatia. Anto
7 Beljo was there, and you are there listed as someone
8 from the BH authorities.
9 Did you attend this meeting because you
10 realised that to be successful as a Bosnian Croat
11 politically, you had to be part of or seriously
12 associated with the HDZ?
13 A. Let me first repeat that I was never a member
14 of the HDZ, not only at the time of the elections but
15 never. Never was I a member of the HDZ.
16 I was asked to -- I was invited to attend the
17 meeting, and it clearly says so, who works [as
18 interpreted] for the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
19 and the HDZ has given its consent for the man to do his
20 job. I never disputed that.
21 But I was never a member of the party, and
22 quite a number of the people on this list were not
23 members of the party either. I came to the meeting
24 because we were told that all representatives of the
25 authorities from the Croat side should be present at
1 this meeting in Prozor on the Rama, because the meeting
2 would be discussing some matters vital for the
3 functioning of the power. I never received the
4 agenda. The agenda had one item which was very
5 general, and of course I was present at the meeting.
6 And then probably in view of what was
7 discussed at the meeting, I drew my own inferences as
8 to why we had not been sent the draft agenda, because
9 the meeting basically discussed the organised -- how to
10 best organise the defence, because there was a possible
11 danger of Serb aggression.
12 So the whole meeting was -- practically the
13 whole meeting was devoted to these issues.
14 Q. Then you are suggesting, if I understood you
15 correctly, that your presence at that meeting was
16 because you were a Croat rather than because you were a
17 representative of the BH authorities?
18 A. Listen. To make you understand it, after the
19 first multi-party elections and after the three parties
20 won the power in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HDZ, the Party
21 for Democratic Action, the SDS, they adopted a
22 conclusion. I suppose it was their political
23 understanding that --
24 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with this more
25 quickly. The question is: Why were you at the
1 meeting? Can you just give us a short answer, please?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was present
3 at that meeting as the highest official of Croat
4 ethnicity in the Ministry of Justice and Administration
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was in that capacity that I
6 was invited.
7 MS. SOMERS:
8 Q. But this was not an SDP meeting; this was an
9 HDZ meeting. Why would you come there? What could you
10 offer if you were not --
11 JUDGE MAY: I think the witness has answered
12 that. Yes.
13 MS. SOMERS: All right.
14 Q. I would like to ask about another meeting,
15 please, that you attended. It would be Z2744. This is
16 before you.
17 I just want to clarify. It is possible you
18 were not in attendance. However, your name came up on
19 the second page in English under point 4, number C,
20 where it says --
21 A. I was not present at the meeting, so I cannot
22 really say what subjects were discussed.
23 As for the fact that I was designated to the
24 advisory council, it was Mr. Kudic [realtime transcript
25 read in error "Kordic"], my colleague, who was
1 appointed to the same body, and he was the one who told
2 me about that about a month or a month and a half after
3 the meeting. Nobody asked me or anyone else for any
4 consent. Nobody asked us if we agreed or did not agree
5 to work there.
6 When it comes to this advisory council for
7 legal issues, it never met; nor did it ever prepare any
8 material, any decisions.
9 Q. But my question to you is: Why are you, a
10 non-HDZ member, being appointed to an HDZ municipal
12 A. These are professional bodies, and they
13 nominated, for such bodies, people who were
14 professionals, who were competent, and who they
15 believed could help to do a job properly, so I and
16 Mr. Komisic were designated to the Commission for
17 Cantonisation, which was also nominated by the HDZ.
18 Another. I know Mr. Komisic. And everybody
19 knows that Mr. Komisic was one of the political
20 advisors of the HDZ policy and has remained so to this
22 Q. May I ask you to clarify something that
23 perhaps is unclear in the transcript? It says:
24 "I was not present at the meeting," it's
25 above line 74, "so I cannot really say what subjects
1 were discussed.
2 "As for the fact that I was designated to the
3 advisory council, it was Mr. Kordic, my colleague, who
4 was appointed to the same body."
5 Is that correct? Was it Mr. Kordic?
6 A. No. Mr. Kudic, Kudic. That was perhaps a
7 mistake. Mr. Mile Kudic. I didn't say "Kordic".
8 MS. SOMERS: Z2745, please.
9 Q. This document is dated 18 September 1991, and
10 again it is a meeting of the HDZ-BiH. It's conclusions
11 from a meeting held, and on page 3 in the English,
12 point 11, number 8 under point 11, your name again has
13 been mentioned in an HDZ context, saying:
14 "Since it is imperative to take preventative
15 measures so that we are not taken by surprise if Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina is split up by the SDS and the Serbian
17 population, as it is already being done illegally under
18 the pretense of economic regionalisation --"
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could we have it on the
20 ELMO, please?
21 MS. SOMERS: Is it possible to put it on the
22 ELMO, Mr. Usher, please? Is it on the ELMO? It would
23 be page 3 -- on the ELMO -- of the document, please.
24 Q. Shall I quickly read it or -- this discusses
25 a commission for cantonisation, and the discussion
1 again is at an HDZ-BiH meeting, and you were a
2 nominee -- or actually it says: "A commission is
3 established and it consists of the following:"
4 How did you come to be appointed to this
5 commission, if you can tell us, please?
6 A. I told you that I was, in terms of office, I
7 was the highest representative of the Croat people in
8 the Ministry of Justice and Administration of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I think that that was the
10 decisive factor when people were proposed for some very
11 responsible jobs, such as the proposal for the
12 cantonisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in response to the
13 attempt to tear Bosnia and Herzegovina apart by the
14 Serb Democratic Party.
15 And as I have said before, some other persons
16 were also nominated who were not members of the Croat
17 Democratic Union. I know that Mr. Komisic is not one.
18 And Mr. Milenko Brkic, at that time he was not yet a
20 Q. When you left Sarajevo in 1992, did you tell
21 Mr. -- I believe it was -- Nikolic, your supervisor,
22 that you were leaving to go to work for a rival state?
23 A. The Croat Democratic Union of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in my view, was not a state. So
25 that within that context I could not ask him if I was
1 working for -- worked for something that I did not
2 consider a state.
3 Secondly, I already said that the situation
4 in Sarajevo was very confused. We would come to work
5 every two or three or four or five days for an hour or
6 two. I wanted to go back to my hometown, and I did go
7 back, ignoring at the time that some colleagues in
8 Herzegovina would invite me to come and help them with
9 drawing up those regulations.
10 So I asked to go back to the municipality of
11 Livno, where very serious -- when the attacks of the
12 Serb side on that municipality had already begun at the
13 time, when I asked to be allowed to leave Sarajevo. It
14 was only about a month after I returned to Livno those
15 colleagues invited me to come to Herzegovina to help
16 them with the drafting of those regulations. That is,
17 not straight away.
18 Q. To what ethnic group does Ranko Nikolic
20 A. Ranko Nikolic is of Serb origin.
21 Q. Do you know if he stayed in Sarajevo through
22 most of the war?
23 A. Yes, he stayed in Sarajevo throughout the
24 war, and I think he was the minister of justice until
25 about mid- 1993, when another man came. At the moment,
1 he works in Sarajevo in the ombudsman's office. He's
2 one of his assistants.
3 Q. Did Mr. Nikolic continue to work in the
4 ministry throughout the war until his promotion to
5 another position?
6 A. I told you I think, but I'm not sure. But
7 whatever the case, Mr. Nikolic ceased to be a minister
8 before the war ended. But I was not in Sarajevo at the
9 time. I believe it was the latter half of 1993 when he
10 ceased to be a minister. That is, a new man came to be
11 the minister. Although I wouldn't really go by it, but
12 I think it was the latter half of 1993.
13 Q. How did you hear of Mr. Nikolic leaving; a
14 telephone, did someone tell you? How did you find out?
15 A. Well, with some of my colleagues that I used
16 to work with in Sarajevo, and even during the war we
17 would meet. For instance, we met in Zagreb on a couple
18 of occasions. I suppose people were passing through or
19 came on business, and they also came, in part, to see
20 my family and so on, and then we had the opportunity to
21 meet. And needless to say, we'd always -- the talk
22 would always revolve around people, whoever greeted us;
23 where was this one; what was doing that one.
24 Of course, I always wanted to know about my
25 colleagues with whom I had worked at the Ministry for
1 Justice, and that was the only opportunity to do so,
2 because telephone lines were cut off until, I think, as
3 late as 1995 between Sarajevo and those areas down
4 there; that is, the lands of Herceg-Bosna.
5 Q. You had indicated in your evidence that
6 things were, I guess to paraphrase, in a state of great
7 chaos in Sarajevo, but you also indicated that when you
8 got back to Herzegovina, things were also in a state of
9 chaos. What made you leave one chaos for another
11 A. The fact that my wife and my one year old
12 child were in Livno at the time when the fiercest
13 attacks of the Serb army on Livno was there. The fact
14 that my parents were there, my brother, my sister, my
15 whole family, very strictly speaking, and in broad
16 terms. And I thought that at such time I could help
17 more there because I know those people and they know me
18 and besides my family, my wife and my child at that
19 time were in Livno, and that was one of the principal
21 Q. Did you know that when you went to Livno,
22 would you not be able to continue your employment for
23 the ministry of -- which was based in Sarajevo in
24 Livno, that there would be no job in that ministry for
25 you to go to?
1 A. When I left Sarajevo, like any man who is at
2 an age when his duty is defence, I reported to the
3 competent military institution and placed myself at
4 their disposal in that sense. I expected, naturally in
5 line with our regulations, that if I did not return
6 after a certain period of time that I would lose my
8 What did not come as a surprise was not that
9 I lost my job because I was absent from Sarajevo for a
10 long time, but the fact that some of my colleagues who
11 had also left Sarajevo but were of Bosniak ethnicity
12 never lost their jobs. And, needless to say, I felt
13 hurt because of that, not because I had lost my job
15 Q. Which army did you join when you left for
17 A. I joined the Croat Defense Council, that is,
18 I placed myself at their disposal at the defence office
19 in Livno, and that is where my military card was kept
20 and where I would have to go at any rate in case of
22 Q. Now, when you left Sarajevo, you left still
23 at an age where you had a military obligation. What
24 was your reason for not going into the army of
1 A. One of the chief reasons was that the army
2 of -- I did not see -- I did not perceive the army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina as the army of the state of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I perceived it as Bosniak and
5 Muslim troops. That army set off for -- to battle not
6 with the slogan, "Long give Bosnia" or "Freedom to
7 Bosnia" but their motive was, and I shall say it in the
8 original "Allah-u-ekber". That is the Islamic battle
9 cry which are now used by the Islamics in Algeria or
10 the Talibani [phoen] Of Afghanistan. As a Croat and
11 Catholic, I couldn't identify myself with such an
13 Q. And so you left Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo,
14 rather, knowing you would enlist in a rival army; is
15 that correct?
16 A. At that time when I reported, those were not
17 rival armies. They were two partnered armies, two
18 allied armies which for about a year went to joint
19 operations in the struggle against the Serbs.
20 Q. As a lawyer, did you ever complain about your
21 perceptions of pro-Islamic jargon in the military in
23 A. I did not. I had no opportunity to complain
24 because in the area where I lived and stayed for
25 those -- for three, three and a half years, I had no
1 contact with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 And sometime after October 1992, I lost the
3 contact with the -- with authorities of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina except for some private encounters
5 with some individuals, as a rule in Zagreb, on -- what
6 shall I call it -- I'll call it neutral grounds. And
7 on such occasions, I would ask from time to time, "Well
8 why is that? " And these people would give me casual
9 answer, "Oh it has nothing to do, it's just folklore,
10 that's not important. It's, you know, just like that."
11 Q. Can you tell us, please, if you were not in
12 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, how did you know that
13 the battle cry was "Allah-u-ekber"? Where did you hear
14 that from?
15 A. To begin with, we, of course, could watch a
16 number of television stations, listen to a number of
17 radio stations. We had the opportunity of seeing
18 videotapes of some rallies, of army lineups and I also
19 had the opportunity of hearing that from hundreds of my
20 colleagues, HVO soldiers who were in direct conflict in
21 direct fighting against the members of the BH army.
22 For instance, I had the opportunity of seeing
23 a tape from Zenica where the 7th Muslim Brigade, I
24 think, was lined up with Mr. -- and Mr. Izetbegovic
25 with Islamic bandannas, and all of them shouting those
1 battle cries.
2 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient
3 moment. We'll adjourn now.
4 Ms. Somers, if you would tailor your
5 cross-examination to finish by four o'clock. Half past
7 -- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Somers.
4 MS. SOMERS: If I may take one moment and
5 just indicate to the Court that we have gone through a
6 number of the exhibits very superficially because of
7 the time, and we are simply unable appropriately to
8 challenge in court the organigramme. It appears, at
9 first, blush. It is not consistent with the way we
10 have seen the development of the organisations, so I
11 would have to say that we are not in agreement. And I
12 will, in the interests of time, not go into a great
13 deal of detail about any of the de jure descriptions of
14 positions. We stand by Dr. Ribicic's testimony on that
15 issue, to save time.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
17 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
18 Q. When we broke for lunch, you were in the
19 process of describing -- and I will only ask you very
20 briefly, if you can, to tell us a little bit about the
21 way you learned about the use of the, as you call them,
22 Islamic expressions.
23 I believe you indicated tapes, videos. Can
24 you tell us, please, where you saw these broadcast?
25 A. I told you that I knew about that because I
1 followed TV programmes, those that were broadcast by
2 Croatian radio/television that could be watched in the
3 area where I lived. I also followed articles in the
4 press. I also had the opportunity of watching on
5 television a video cassette from a line-up of a unit of
6 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zenica. I think it
7 was a brigade of theirs; to be more precise, the 7th
8 Muslim Brigade.
9 Later, many photographs were published from
10 that gathering, where one can see the fighters of this
11 brigade lined up -- of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 -- in white uniforms with green bandannas around their
13 heads, saying something in the Arabic language. There
14 was something written in Arabic on it. This picture
15 was followed by appropriate sound. The sound track
16 showed that this unit was using the greeting that I
17 mentioned to you.
18 So this was just a brief moment concerning
19 something that everybody knew about; not only I but all
20 people living not only in Herceg-Bosna but in the area
21 of all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for that matter, that
22 was under the control of the authorities in Sarajevo.
23 Q. Did your supervisor, Mr. Nikolic, a Serb,
24 ever raise this issue with you and express concern?
25 A. I said -- I think I said yesterday, officials
1 from the ranks of the Serb people who remained loyal to
2 the Serb Democratic Party that appointed them to
3 various high government positions in Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 left these institutions on the immediate eve of the
5 conflict in Sarajevo or during the first days of this
6 conflict; that is to say, while the situation was still
8 My minister, Mr. Nikolic, was appointed by
9 the SDS to this position. But when the conflicts broke
10 out, he was no longer loyal to the party that had
11 appointed him and he stayed throughout the war in
12 Sarajevo. However, neither he, nor I, nor many others,
13 I believe, had any more contact with the
14 newly-established Serb authorities. Of course, these
15 authorities were in Pale, no longer in Sarajevo, in
16 this free part of the town of Sarajevo.
17 Q. I think, though, I'm not getting an answer to
18 my question. I shall move on.
19 I'd like to discuss just one aspect of the
20 very elaborate descriptions of the positions that
21 counsel for Mr. Kordic raised today. He went through a
22 number of positions; military prosecutors, military
23 judges, other judges.
24 My only question to you, as I indicated
25 earlier, would be: Are you -- were the answers to the
1 questions given by you based on what is called a de
2 jure description of the position and of the factors
3 behind the creation of the particular bit of
4 legislation; in other words, the norm, the de jure, on
6 A. During the existence of the Croatian
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna from October 1992,
8 legislative activity was taken over by the civilian
9 part of the HVO and its departments, the departments
10 established by the HVO; for example, the Department for
11 Defence, the Department for the Interior, the
12 Department for Justice, et cetera. These regulations,
13 as temporary, provisional regulations while there was a
14 war situation or an immediate threat of war, were
15 adopted by the Croatian Defence Council.
16 After the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was
17 established in August of 1993, the HVO continued this
18 legislative activity for another period of time and
19 continued to pass regulations with the force of law;
20 decrees, that is. I think this went on until the end
21 of 1993, when the adoption of decrees was taken over by
22 the House of Representatives of the Croat Republic of
23 Herceg-Bosna. The HVO was transferred into the
24 government of Herceg-Bosna --
25 Q. Can I interrupt you. I fear, perhaps, you
1 haven't understood the thrust of my question.
2 The answers which you gave to the questions
3 raised by Defence counsel about the functions of
4 various persons or various government positions under
5 Herceg-Bosna legislation, irrespective of the Community
6 or the Republic, were your answers based strictly on
7 your understanding of the de jure, on-paper description
8 of the position and the role to be played? "Yes" or
9 "no", please.
10 A. The Defence asked me about the legal system,
11 and I answered those questions in accordance with what
12 the legal system of Herceg-Bosna prescribed.
13 Q. In other words, that which is on paper; is
14 that correct? The things that you were tasked to put
15 in the legislation, as it were?
16 A. That is what was published as regulations of
17 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna or the Croat
18 Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
19 Q. So your understanding of whether or not a
20 person whose role, on paper, and in the Narodni List
21 was designated as legislative openly, your
22 understanding of your person's function is based
23 strictly on what it says it should be on paper; is that
25 A. If you adopt a piece of legislation, a
1 regulation, you expect it to be observed. So we
2 adopted regulations within the belief and wishing that
3 they will be observed.
4 Q. Did you, in the course of your service as a
5 drafter of legislation, ever get out to the field in
6 Central Bosnia and see how your legislation was being
7 implemented, did you personally do that?
8 A. In Central Bosnia, I was not there throughout
9 the war except when I left from Sarajevo, that is, in
10 April 1992. And in part, I could not have gone to
11 Central Bosnia because for a long period of time, the
12 area was completely sealed off.
13 Q. Your mention of the absence as it were of a
14 constitution, literally. Did you give any conversation
15 to other nations which do not have a document called a
16 "constitution" such as Germany, but which, in fact,
17 function in a system with their equivalent as the
18 document upon which all rights and obligations or from
19 which all rights and obligations flow?
20 A. I think that Germany has a constitutional
21 law, so we never discussed a constitution nor did we
22 ever have the intention of adopting a constitution or a
23 constitutional law, that is to say, any document that
24 would have the force of a constitution, that is to say,
25 such a fundamental enactment of a state or a
2 For one reason, we did not take the Croat
3 Community or Republic of Herceg-Bosna to be a state.
4 So Germany does not have a constitution but it does
5 have a constitutional law.
6 Q. You have a basic document, is that what you
7 would call it? A basic law or a founding law as
8 opposed to a constitutional law?
9 A. Yes, we had a decision on the establishment
10 of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna. We had a
11 statutory decision on the establishment of the Croatian
12 Republic of Herceg-Bosna; however, I emphasise that in
13 both cases, these were decisions, that kind of legal
14 document. I explained yesterday that we gave them
15 appropriate adjectives in order to emphasise their
16 importance in relation to many other decisions that
17 were being passed.
18 Q. They were, would you agree, decisions with
19 the force of law?
20 A. No, because they were of a temporary nature.
21 Q. Does a law have to be permanent?
22 A. In our legal practice, the one that we
23 inherited, that is, after decades in that part of the
24 world, the pre-condition for adoption of a law was to
25 have certain questions regulated in a permanent fashion
1 by a certain law.
2 When life itself made it incumbent to change
3 these questions, then the appropriate laws were changed
4 and amended as well. This was a practice that was, I
5 don't know, inherited and there for quite sometime in
6 that part of the world.
7 Q. If, under the decisions that you helped to
8 draft for Herceg-Bosna, a person were to commit a
9 violent act or let's say a murder and you have the
10 appropriate legal mechanism, call it a decision, a law,
11 whatever title you give to the legislation which
12 criminalises that activity, are you suggesting that it
13 would be less of a murder in character because the
14 particular legislation is not labelled as a permanent
15 piece of legislation but rather one that was devised in
16 time of war or threat of war?
17 A. Since you've taken this example, let me
18 remind you that through these decisions, we took over
19 laws inter alia the Criminal Code that sanctions
20 murder, for example. Sanctions were to be imposed on
21 the perpetrators of such crimes and I must say that
22 until the very present day, court decisions are legal
23 and legitimate.
24 Today in the Federation, the authorities of
25 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina observe those
1 court decisions that had been passed. A number of
2 people are still in prison today on the basis of the
3 verdicts passed on the basis of those regulations
4 especially as far as grave criminal offences are
5 concerned. Those that entailed multi-year prison
7 Q. Very briefly, while you're on the subject of
8 the criminal laws, one of the exhibits that was
9 provided by Defence counsel in the binder was, I
10 believe, the Bosnian or the Bosnian Criminal Code that
11 was selectively adopted by Herceg-Bosna. Can I just
12 ask you if you were presented very briefly with
13 Z142.1. It is in both English and in the original
15 This is dated 28 June 1991 out of Zagreb and
16 it is a decree by the parliament of the Republic of
17 Croatia and the part that I'm particularly asking you
18 to turn your attention to is under Article 1 where it
19 says, "With this law, the Criminal Code of the SFRY
20 (Official Gazette of the SFRY numbers 44/76, 36/77,
21 56/77, 34/84, 74/87, 3/90, and 38/90), is hereby
22 adopted as a republican law."
23 Is this the same Criminal Code of the SFRY
24 upon which the Bosnian Criminal Code functioned or
25 adopted or carried on its criminal laws?
1 A. All the republics of the former Yugoslavia in
2 the first stage took over the law of the Socialist
3 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as their own since this
4 is a very complex and voluminous law. I imagine they
5 did so because there was a shortage of time and they
6 could not draft their own.
7 Q. The nature of the permanence of the various
8 forms of Herceg-Bosna is my next area of inquiry to
9 you. You suggested that there was something less than
10 permanent for the character of the Croatian Community
11 of Herceg-Bosna and later to the Croatian Republic of
13 On what do you base your conclusion that
14 Herceg-Bosna was to be a temporary arrangement?
15 A. As far as the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna
16 is concerned, I base this conclusion on a basis of many
17 regulations that were passed by Croatian Community of
18 Herceg-Bosna which emphasised their temporary nature.
19 As far as the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna
20 is concerned, I base my conclusion on the introductory
21 part, on the establishment of the Croat Republic of
22 Herceg-Bosna where it says that, "The Croat Republic of
23 Herceg-Bosna shall, in agreement with other peoples,
24 transfer part of its authority to the joint
25 institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
1 Q. So if I may ask, as I read back, you're
2 saying that it was simply the assertions that were
3 emphasised in the de jure legislation themselves as to
4 the temporary nature that form the basis of your
5 conclusion that it was temporary; is that correct? Is
6 that a fair understanding of what you said?
7 A. Since you're asking me about the Croatian
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna, I think that many
9 documents -- many regulations that were adopted by it
10 point to the inference that I made.
11 This morning or yesterday, I said that as far
12 as the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna is concerned,
13 when it was founded it corresponded to the Vance-Owen
14 or Vance-Stoltenberg Peace Plan and that that was the
15 reason why it was established.
16 In its founding document, it is highlighted
17 that in keeping with the peace plan, this Republic will
18 transfer part of its authority to the joint State of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of regulations that
20 state this quite clearly. There was no need to infer
21 anything. It was sufficient to read this as a fact.
22 Q. However, going back to the Community, the
23 Community was founded in 19, and Vance-Owen came along
24 over a year later; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. The territories that were selected to be part
2 of the Community and later carrying on into the
3 Republic, in your mind, were they accidental? What
4 was -- was there some connection between the particular
5 territories that were made part of the Community and
6 later the Republic and some other plan or idea,
7 historical or otherwise?
8 Specifically, let me be direct. What is your
9 understanding of the relationship of the territory of
10 the one-time banovina to the territorial objectives of
12 A. Not a single piece of legislation nor
13 regulation of Herceg-Bosna mentions the term "the
14 territory", the area of banovina Hrvatska. I am
15 familiar with this historic fact dating back to the
16 '30s and the last century, so I shall answer your
17 question the following way:
18 The Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna was
19 established by the representatives of the Croat people
20 in the territory where the representatives of the Croat
21 people considerably -- from which they considerably
22 took part in the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 However, until the war broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 all these municipalities with absolute or relative
25 majorities of a Croat population, and all of these
1 people who comprised the Community of Herceg-Bosna were
2 loyal citizens to the institutions of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and many of them took part in the
4 work of the bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina all the way
5 until communications were cut off in April 1992.
6 Q. You have made reference to, on many occasions
7 in your testimony, to being what you consider an
8 integral part of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 I'd like to explore that a little bit with you.
10 Can you tell me, please, did you know Mate
11 Boban's position on the future of the territory of
12 Herceg-Bosna? What was your understanding of his
13 position, if you knew it?
14 A. It is important to distinguish between two
15 different periods here, the period of the proclamation
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent state and
17 carrying out the referendum and, on the other hand, the
18 period after the referendum was carried out and after
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina was proclaimed an independent
21 In the period up to the proclamation of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent state, the Croat
23 political leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina had different
24 alternatives in terms of viewing the
25 Bosnian-Herzegovinian crisis and also the fate of the
1 Croat people as a constituent people in this Republic.
2 After the proclamation -- after the
3 proclamation of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent
4 state, Mr. Boban signed three peace plans on behalf of
5 the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Cutilliero Plan,
6 the Vance-Owen Plan, and the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan.
7 All these plans included that area into the territory
8 of the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 I'm talking about facts, about what Mr. Boban
10 actually did, not about what he thought of or perhaps
11 wished for. The fact remains that he was the only
12 leader of these three peoples who signed all three
13 peace plans.
14 Q. As long as we're discussing facts, this Court
15 has heard testimony about a fourth plan that Mr. Boban
16 also signed on behalf of the Croat people, which was
17 signed approximately the end of April of 1992 in Graz,
18 Austria, at the airport, with the other signatory being
19 Radavan Karadzic. Do you have any thoughts on that
20 particular plan that put an end or resolution to all
21 the differences between the Croat and the Serb peoples
22 in Bosnia?
23 A. Of course I heard about that meeting between
24 Mr. Boban and Karadzic in Graz. However, I never had
25 the opportunity of seeing this plan or a document that
1 showed the conclusions of this meeting between
2 Mr. Boban and Mr. Karadzic.
3 As for the rest, all I know about this plan
4 are different calculations that I had the opportunity
5 to read about in various newspapers with one political
6 background or another, depending on where the newspaper
7 in question was published.
8 Q. I would like to take a moment to read to you
9 something without the need to bring the document back.
10 It is from Document Z2717, which this Court has seen on
11 many occasions. It is a stenogram of a meeting in the
12 presidential palace in Zagreb, held by President
13 Tudjman, at which, among others, Mate Boban, Dario
14 Kordic, a number of other people of notoriety
15 attended. I would just ask you, please, if you are
16 aware of this particular approach to Herceg-Bosna that
17 Mr. Boban related to Mr. Tudjman.
18 "This idea was embraced, in a sense, as a
19 framework for the expression of the political will of
20 the Croatian people whose most prominent mouthpiece is
21 the Croatian Democratic Union.
22 "The people have placed their full trust in
23 the leadership, setting up Croatian communities which
24 represent political, cultural, and economic attributes
25 of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Should Bosnia and Herzegovina remain an independent
2 state without any ties with the former disintegrating
3 or any future Yugoslavia, or should Bosnia itself
4 disintegrate, the area where about 650.000 Croats live
5 would implement internationally-recognised democratic
6 methods, proclaiming this to be independent Croatian
7 territory which will accede to the State of Croatia but
8 only at such a time as the Croatian leadership, in whom
9 our people until now have placed their complete trust,
10 should decide that the moment and the time had come."
11 A. Excuse me. I did not understand. What time
12 does this document date to? I mean, do you have the
14 Q. If I had omitted that, I apologise. I
15 thought I had mentioned it. It is the 27th of
16 December, 1991, in Zagreb. It is a little over a month
17 after the decision on the creation of Herceg-Bosna was
19 Can you tell me, did you know of this
20 particular position espoused by Mate Boban?
21 A. Well, you see, a long time after that I
22 learned about this position in relevant media, because
23 the media in Bosnia and in Croatia write a great deal
24 about this. But I pointed out a moment ago that I make
25 a distinction between the situation before the
1 referendum and the proclamation of independent Republic
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the period after the
4 This meeting took place at a time when
5 Yugoslavia was falling apart and when all options were
6 on the table in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including that one
7 which even Mr. Kljujic or, rather, the HDZ singled out
8 as one of possible options a year before that meeting.
9 So I presume that these were legitimate ideas of the
10 leadership of the people about all possible options to
11 the solution of the crisis. And as a man and a lawyer,
12 I see nothing questionable about this.
13 Some citizens of Northern Ireland are still
14 advocating their legitimate right to join -- to accede
15 to the Republic of Ireland, and nobody questions this
16 right of theirs as their legitimate right. And people
17 advocating this are now members of the government of
18 Northern Ireland.
19 Q. As a lawyer, does this not confirm to you
20 that the fate of the territories of Herceg-Bosna is not
21 in the hands of the Croatian people of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, but it is clearly in the hands of Franjo
24 JUDGE MAY: I think that's a matter anyway of
1 Is the witness not getting any translation?
2 Are you getting translation now?
3 A. Yes, yes, I am now, but could you repeat?
4 Could you repeat the question, please, madam?
5 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to repeat it.
6 There's no need to answer it. Yes, let's go on.
7 MS. SOMERS: I shall move on.
8 Q. The position that you have suggested confirms
9 a commitment to being part of Bosnia-Herzegovina while
10 simultaneously operating a completely operational
11 separate set of institutions with political force
12 called the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna or the
13 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, but let's look at
14 the community.
15 Can you please explain, for example, how the
16 Community considers itself a part of the -- of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina by selectively taking bits of law
18 and applying them where they are consistent with the
19 goals of the community. Is that legally a sound
20 position for you to take?
21 A. Well, you know, our position was very
22 straightforward. Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a state, was
23 never called into question by us as of the moment when
24 it was proclaimed an independent state. But the social
25 order of Bosnia-Herzegovina, throughout the conflict,
1 was something that was called into question.
2 Our goal was the maximum possible
3 decentralisation of the institutions of power in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the highest representatives of
5 the government of the Croat people in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina never concealed the fact.
7 Besides, throughout the war, representatives
8 of the Croat people were active not only in power
9 institutions of Herceg-Bosna but also in the
10 institutions of power of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And in
11 those institutions, there were sitting people who
12 enjoyed, who could boast the legitimacy of the Croat
13 people in the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the
14 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the ministries of
16 Q. Are you suggesting, as a lawyer, that the
17 social order is a sufficient justification for
18 essentially working a coup and setting up a government
19 which no longer recognises the legitimate institutions
20 of a sovereign state. Is that what you're suggesting?
21 A. I shall answer by way of an example. The
22 form of the social order was basically -- the basic --
23 the primary basis of the conflict between the Croats
24 and Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not only was it
25 the basis of conflict between the Croats and Bosniaks
1 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was also the ground for the
2 conflict between Bosniaks and Bosniaks. In western
3 Bosnia where Mr. Abdic and people around him never
4 intended to leave Bosnia-Herzegovina but requested
5 higher autonomy for their local institutions of power
6 and this resulted in a conflict which was just as
7 bloody as the conflict between the Croats and
9 Q. Can you please explain what you mean by
10 social order? This a term of art that is peculiar to
11 the society from which you come?
12 A. During Yugoslavia, we lived in a multi-ethnic
13 state and on the basis of that, in the former
14 Yugoslavia, we had republics as forms of
15 decentralisation of such multi-ethnic state.
16 In our belief, when Bosnia-Herzegovina became
17 an independent state and again a multi-ethnic state, it
18 was a requisite, it was necessary that the organisation
19 of the state includes various forms of decentralisation
20 presuming regions, cantons, republics or whatever you
21 care to call them to enable every people to make the
22 maximum use and enjoy all those things which constitute
23 its identity as a people; culture, language, tradition
24 and so on.
25 Q. Are you suggesting that every people, every
1 constituent people that had lived in the territory of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina enjoyed such things when they found
3 themselves trapped in a -- in the community of
4 Herceg-Bosna, are you really saying that?
5 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina left Yugoslavia as an
6 unitarian republic in which there were no -- in the
7 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the laws which
8 derived from the constitution where there were no
9 mechanisms protecting the national, the national rights
10 of those three constituent peoples.
11 As the Croats were the smallest constituent
12 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we believed we needed
13 constitutional guarantees that would ensure our rights,
14 and constitutional mechanisms to control those rights
15 to avoid any outvoting if the principle,
16 one-man-one-voice were adopted, because we were by far
17 a minority.
18 So at that moment there was no readiness,
19 there did not exist readiness, at least if it comes to
20 the Croat people, to seriously devote oneself to
21 considering the cantonisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 But, incidentally, may I mention that this term was
23 first used by Croats in Bosnia; almost specifically,
24 Mr. Stjepan Kljuic as the HDZ president.
25 Q. And you see the remedy for this -- this wrong
1 which you perceive -- well, I won't say a "wrong" but
2 it appears you're suggesting it as simply taking over a
3 group of territories that included a number of peoples
4 and imposing on these peoples the new order.
5 Is that what you are advocating, you see that
6 as justifiable?
7 A. A remedy was found. As of the moment of the
8 promulgation of the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 which regulated Bosnia-Herzegovina or rather the
10 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina as the territory
11 comprising ten cantons which gave the Croat right, the
12 Croat people the right of veto in the supreme body of
13 the Federation, that is, in the assembly which made
14 possible the principle of parity in various
15 institutions of power in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the
16 Federation first and then in Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 after -- following the Dayton Constitution.
18 One of those questions was offered in one of
19 the peace plans, and I repeat once again that the Croat
20 side or rather Mr. Boban signed them, but they were
21 never implemented because one of the other two sides
22 was not ready to sign it. So we wasted three years, we
23 lost three years to a war to eventually come to what we
24 signed or rather what the Croats signed even in the
25 first plan before the conflicts broke out.
1 I'm referring to Cutilliero's plan which was
2 published before the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina broke
4 Q. You wasted three years during which you were
5 trying to achieve a recreation of the banovina; is that
6 what you're saying?
7 A. No, I'm saying that we spent three years
8 trying to set up a decentralised system of government
9 in Bosnia-Herzegovina and with the Dayton Constitution
10 and the constitution of the Federation of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina published after the Washington
12 Accords we succeeded in assuring such a system in
14 Q. Now, when the Serb population in Croatia did
15 the same thing, specifically referring to the incident
16 surrounding the take over of Knin, the Constitutional
17 Court of the Republic of Croatia had a very similar
18 reaction to the Constitutional Court of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina to your takeover.
20 So as not to prejudice the non-speakers or
21 readers I will simply ask you if you are familiar with
22 the decision in the Croatian gazette called Narodni
23 Novine, which I'm sure you know of, on 3rd of September
24 1990, which also was a decision by the Constitutional
25 Court holding as unconstitutional or illegal the
1 Serb -- the Krajina structures that had been put in
2 place by the Serbs in the midst of the sovereign
3 Republic of Croatia.
4 As a lawyer, do you not see the parallel?
5 A. I shall begin by saying that I was called to
6 testify here as a witness rather than an expert who
7 would be invited to voice his opinion on the acts of
8 other states which I'm not familiar enough with.
9 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter about that.
10 Ms. Somers, I don't think we are going to be
11 assisted by these matters being debated.
12 MS. SOMERS: We can move on Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: They sound like matters of
15 MS. SOMERS: We can move on.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, perhaps you could given that
17 we should finish by 4.00 and given that there should be
18 time for re-examination.
19 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, let me try to shave
20 off a little of the --
21 Q. Can you tell us, please, how your office, in
22 fact, worked? How did laws or decisions come to be
23 made? Specifically, who brought to you the request to
24 enact a certain piece of legislation?
25 A. I said yesterday that there were two methods
1 or two possibilities. One of them was for the
2 government of Herceg-Bosna, or the HVO before that,
3 first adopted a conclusion charging the department for
4 legislation with preparing regulations. So that was
5 one possibility.
6 The second possibility was for relevant HVO
7 departments, and subsequently relevant departments of
8 the government of Herceg-Bosna would prepare, would
9 draft regulations falling within their jurisdiction and
10 submit them to the department for legislation, that is
11 the one that I headed. We would check those
12 regulations from the point of view of their legal and
13 normative procedure, their conformity with the other--
14 with the constitutional law and we would then make our
15 comments or suggestions.
16 So to -- they would then be corrected
17 accordingly and then sent on to the HVO and then to the
18 government of Herceg-Bosna which then would adopt them
19 in the form of decrees.
20 Q. Can I ask you, please, who in the government
21 could issue the orders to you to enact a certain piece
22 of legislation? Perhaps I've not understood what I'm
23 looking for in your answer earlier.
24 A. At a session, the government could, while
25 discussing a particular subject, it could decide that
1 perhaps a new regulation was needed to say improve
2 certain things and then the government would, as a
3 body, adopt a conclusion binding the department for
4 legislation to prepare, to draft the regulation.
5 At times, the prime minister or the president
6 of the HVO or the vice-president covering the
7 particular area could also issue such an instruction.
8 Q. And it would come directly to you, there was
9 no need to have a convocation of other personnel, they
10 can just walk into your office and do this or was there
11 a need of a meeting of some sort?
12 A. The legislation department was a professional
13 agency of the government. Well, they were, officially
14 speaking, my superiors so, yes, they could issue such
15 instructions to me.
16 Q. Without going into too much detail on
17 something that was submitted, I believe, by counsel for
18 the Defence, there was a list of persons of Muslim
19 ethnicity in HZ HB institutions.
20 Now, is this list, which has the names --
21 start with Mahmut Jugo and goes all the way down to
22 Salih Delalic, was this list prepared by you? It would
23 be Tab 5 in your exhibits, did you --
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. Did you, in fact, know many of the people
1 whose names appear on this list?
2 A. Some of them I knew personally. That is, I
3 knew some of those people personally.
4 Q. Quite a few, I noticed, are from the area of
5 Posavina. Was there any particular reason why so many
6 were from there, if you can explain it?
7 A. I did not give it a thought, I really did
8 not. I never thought about where they came from. But
9 that set of people whom I knew personally, and I think
10 there were about ten such men on this list, all ten of
11 them come from Herzegovina, those that I know.
12 Q. The time during which you worked in Mostar,
13 where was your office, please?
14 A. Before the conflict broke out between Croats
15 and Bosniaks, that office was in the hotel called Ero.
16 That is the name of the hotel in Mostar. At present,
17 it houses international organisations in Mostar.
18 However, as the hotel was on the very line of
19 confrontation between Croats and Bosniaks and because
20 there were no conditions there anymore for any kind of
21 normal work, my office was in the part of Mostar, the
22 city of Mostar, called Bijeli Brijeg. It is about, I
23 don't know, five -- 800 metres, as the crow flies, from
24 the hotel where we used to have our offices before
1 Q. Were you working in Mostar on the 9th of May,
3 A. No, because I think -- of course, that date
4 stuck in my memory because I believed that that was the
5 day when the conflict broke out between Croats and
6 Bosniaks in Mostar. I believe it was a Saturday or a
7 Sunday. I arrived in Mostar two days after that. I
8 had gone to Livno for a weekend and come back from the
9 weekend trip.
10 Q. When you arrived, did you notice thousands of
11 Muslims being shipped off to detention or concentration
12 camps in Herzegovina in buses, on foot, lined up in
13 stadia, lined up in any public places that would
14 accommodate them; did you notice that, thousands?
15 A. I know about a group. I could see that as I
16 drove from Mostar. That is, we did not sleep in Mostar
17 because there were no accommodations there, so that we
18 came to work daily from Citluk, which is about 20
19 kilometres away.
20 So that day -- I mean that first day when I
21 was in Mostar after the fighting broke out and when,
22 around 4.00 or 5.00 in the afternoon, I was going back,
23 that is, coming out of Mostar from that road that is --
24 leads to Citluk, I saw a group of people at the Velez
25 football stadium in Mostar. It was a stadium under the
1 Bijeli Brijeg, "the while hill" as it was called.
2 It is difficult for me to say, but I do not
3 think there were more than two or three hundred
4 people. I did not know -- I did not know the reasons
5 for which they were there, whether they had been
6 expelled, or sheltered because of the war operations,
7 or was there some perhaps third reason for it.
8 All I know is that during the first five days
9 of that some kind of conflict, practically every part
10 of the city -- of the western part of Mostar, that is,
11 on the west bank of the Neretva, was, conditionally
12 speaking, the zone of fighting, the zone of
13 operations. And, of course, there was all sorts of
14 panic, there were stories spread, "There are snipers
15 here," and so on.
16 Q. Can you please identify the locations of the
17 following camps: Camp Vojna, Gabela, Dretelj, and
18 Heliodrom? Where are they, please, or were they?
19 A. Of those four notions, I know Heliodrom,
20 which was in the south part of Mostar in the Mostar
21 field; that is, in the south part of Mostar in the
22 immediate vicinity of the Soko plant in Mostar.
23 Q. And Gabela?
24 A. Gabela. Well, I know where the locality of
25 Gabela is, but I -- but in that locality, I don't where
1 that centre was. And the other two, I am not familiar
2 with them. I was never in those places, although I've
3 heard about Dretelj.
4 The first one, what did you say it was
6 Q. Vojna.
7 A. Vojna, no, I haven't heard about it, and I
8 don't know where it is.
9 Q. Did you have any role -- did you play any
10 role in orders or any type of legislation that created
11 these camps, that permitted the interning or internment
12 of Muslims in these camps? Did you play any role in
13 that as an official of the government of Herceg-Bosna?
14 A. I am not aware -- well, let me start by
15 saying that as a person, I never had anything to do
16 with such activities, with such acts. But I am aware
17 that the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna, that is, the one
18 that existed at the time, never passed a decision -- or
19 at least I am not aware of it -- setting up those
20 concentration camps, as you called them.
21 I think there were some legal grounds for the
22 detention of captured members of the army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina based on the conventions about
24 parties to the conflict, since they were parties to the
25 conflict. But if there were civilians detained in
1 those camps -- and I also heard stories that amongst
2 those people there were also a certain number of
3 civilians -- then I think that there were no legal
4 grounds emanating from the regulations of Herceg-Bosna
5 to do anything like that. And such acts ran,
6 therefore, contrary to the legal regulations of the
7 Croat Community Herceg-Bosna.
8 Q. May I ask you -- perhaps you can help me
9 understand -- if you, as a person who drafted
10 legislation, did not draft the legislation or did not
11 convey the authority for interning these people, many
12 of whom were civilians, under whose prerogative or
13 control were these camps? Who gave the order to set
14 them up? You must know.
15 A. First of all, I don't know. I don't know who
16 issued such an order, and I'm not sure that such an
17 order was issued at all in terms of a hierarchy that
18 would have to be observed. Such an order would have
19 been in contravention of the regulations of
20 Herceg-Bosna and all the enactments related to
21 humanitarian law that Herceg-Bosna had taken over.
22 However, I think that it was the military
23 members of the HVO that guarded these facilities;
24 specifically, the military police, but at any rate,
25 military personnel.
1 Q. Just so I understand, is it possible, to your
2 way of thinking, that to feed thousands of detainees,
3 to bus them, to house them, could be done spontaneously
4 or would it have had to have come from some plan?
5 A. I'm not denying -- and I already said that --
6 that at local level there were such treatments of
7 civilian, non-Croat populations. This cannot be
8 justified by war operations, and also there is no basis
9 for that in the legislation of Herceg-Bosna. I am not
10 saying that someone did or did not issue an order to
11 establish such centres.
12 Nevertheless, the nature of the work that I
13 did was such that I was not in contact with that. I'm
14 just saying that I don't know whether there was such an
15 order or not.
16 Q. What is your understanding as to who gave the
17 order to destroy the old bridge in Mostar, the Stari
19 JUDGE MAY: I think we may be going further
20 than we need to go outside the area of this inquiry.
21 We need to stick within some parameters.
22 MS. SOMERS: I think at this point, Your
23 Honour, then, I will terminate my examination. Thank
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
1 MR. SAYERS: No questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Perkovic, that concludes your
3 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
4 Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too,
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, we have 25
9 minutes. We might as well start the next witness, if
10 he's here.
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
12 Unfortunately, Your Honour, we did not prepare the
13 witness for today because it was our understanding that
14 we would not work this afternoon or, rather, that we
15 would work only until this witness finished. But may I
16 assure you that we are going to finish tomorrow for
17 sure; with the next witness, I mean.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let me deal with the
19 sitting times tomorrow.
20 There's a medical appointment for the Bench,
21 which means we can't start at 9.30 as usual. We'll
22 start tomorrow at 9.45, and because it's a short
23 morning, we will sit 9.45 until 11.00. We will then
24 take quarter of an hour break. 11.15 to 12.30, and in
25 the afternoon, we'll sit between 2.30 and 4.00. During
1 that time, I trust that we'll get through the witness.
2 For Friday, we will sit at 9.00.
3 Judge Bennouna can join us for the first part of the
4 morning's hearing, so we'll hear argument as to the
5 affidavits and the argument about the expert while
6 we're fully constituted. After that, he cannot be
7 present, so Judge Robinson and I will hear the rest of
8 the evidence.
9 We propose, unless it's inconvenient -- and
10 if it is, would anybody indicate now or indicate
11 through the usual channels -- we propose on Friday to
12 sit from 9.00 until 10.45, the first session, to break
13 for half an hour, and then to sit from 11.15 to 12.45.
14 Then, rather than having the luncheon adjournment, to
15 have a short-ish break and sit from 1315 -- 1.15,
16 rather, with a view to finishing at about half past
17 2.00. Now, as I say, if that's inconvenient to anyone,
18 let them indicate now or indicate through the usual
20 Mr. Sayers, provided the legal argument
21 doesn't take too long to start with, I trust we'll be
22 able to get through your witness in that time.
23 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour. We are going
24 to try to squeeze the direct examination into about an
25 hour and a half, if that's possible.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
2 MR. NICE: All I can say is in relation to
3 both tomorrow's and Friday's witnesses, on the face of
4 it, they look to be reasonably substantial, and we
5 will, of course, do everything --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down, please.
7 MR. NICE: We'll do everything we can except
8 speak at a speed that is inconvenient to the
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
11 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, if any written
12 submissions are going to be made in connection with the
13 argument about the expert witness, we would certainly
14 appreciate having advance notice of that so that we can
16 MR. NICE: Filed already, and if people want
17 courtesy copies, I can provide courtesy copies straight
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, it might be helpful to do
20 that, if you would, all around, please.
21 9.45 tomorrow, then.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 3.38 p.m., to be reconvened on
24 Thursday, the 8th of June, 2000,
25 at 9.45 a.m.