1 Wednesday, 21
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
9 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
10 and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: ZULFO ROBOVIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you'd like to take
14 a seat.
15 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
17 Your Honours.
18 Examined by Mr. Naumovski:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Robovic. Will you please
20 first give your full name to the Court.
21 A. Zulfo Robovic.
22 Q. Mr. Robovic, you were born in Trebinje in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1958, is it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. From 1986, however, you've been living in
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] This was -- I
4 must apologise. There's a misprint, both in English
5 and B/C/S version. Mr. Robovic doesn't live in
6 Capljina since 1986, but since 1968.
7 Q. You're married and your wife is a physician
8 and you have one child?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You are of Muslim ethnicity and of Islamic
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You were never a member of the Communist
14 Party of the former Yugoslavia?
15 A. No.
16 Q. However, when the Party of Democratic Action
17 was founded in 1990, you became a member of that party;
18 is that so?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And from October 1992 you were a member of
21 the executive committee of the Party for Democratic
22 Action in Mostar?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. However, later, in February 1993, you joined
25 the new Muslim party, Muslim Democratic Party; is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Robovic, you graduated from the
4 electrical engineering faculty in Sarajevo in 1982?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You began your career by working for
7 Electroprivreda, which is an electric utility company
8 generating and distributing electric energy?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So you worked as an engineer, and
11 subsequently you became the head of the data processing
12 department in Mostar. Will you tell the Court what you
13 do now? What is your current job?
14 A. Your Honours, I now work for the Croatian
15 Chamber of Commerce and I'm head of its office in
16 Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. Thank you. According to the population
18 census of 1991, in the town of Mostar there was about
19 an equal number of Croats and Muslims; that is, Muslims
20 accounted for some 34.3 per cent, and Croats accounted
21 for one per cent less, that is, 33.3; is that so?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And there were also about 17 per cent of
24 Serbs and other peoples?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. After the first multi-party elections, which
2 took place in 1990, the Croat Democratic Union of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina won some 40 per cent of votes. I'm
4 referring to the city of Mostar.
5 A. Around 40 seats, and yes, about 40 per cent.
6 Q. In your summary, in paragraph 7, you tell us
7 that almost a hundred per cent of the Croats voted for
8 the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas Serbs, by and
9 large, voted for their chief party, the Serb Democratic
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. However, the SDA, the Party for Democratic
13 Action, fared very bad in the elections because only
14 about 20 per cent of you, the Muslims, voted for that
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. So that of some 100 elected councilmen to the
18 Mostar hall, the HDZ had some 40, 45 councilmen, the
19 Party for Democratic Action only 19, and the Serb
20 Democratic Party only 17.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Perhaps there is no need to speak about the
24 reasons for the defeat of the Party for Democratic
25 Action in those elections. But in your summary you say
1 that this was largely contributed to by the leftist
2 orientation of the Muslims in Mostar.
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And that is why they voted for other parties?
5 A. Yes, that is true. They voted for leftist
6 parties, the party for -- the reform section and so on
7 and so forth.
8 Q. In 1991, and the Court has already heard
9 about it, in September 1991, the JNA deployed the
10 reserve force in the area of Mostar, and that was the
11 time when the members of the SDA -- of the SDS withdrew
12 from the government and the municipal government in
13 Mostar, so that the Party for Democratic action and the
14 HDZ organised life and the defence of Mostar by
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. A large percentage of Muslims, some 70 or 80
18 per cent of you Muslims, did not realise the danger
19 yet, or rather had a rather passive attitude to the
20 threat --
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I prefer matters not
22 to be led, really, on these topics.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Ask in a non-leading
24 fashion, please. What happened next? Perhaps the
25 witness can tell us.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
2 Your Honours.
3 Q. So Mr. Robovic, what was the attitude of the
4 majority of Muslims to the threat which became evident
5 after the Serb forces were deployed around Mostar?
6 A. Well, we were in the -- we had a lot of
7 problems with the Muslims in Mostar because they did
8 not see those people as reservists who had come to
9 occupy them. They behaved very casually, and I must
10 say that because of this, shall I say, the Yugoslav
11 option of those Muslims at the time, they simply did
12 not think that things would happen as they did happen
13 later on.
14 We tried to inform those people, we tried to
15 defend those people. We had the information in view of
16 what had been happening in Croatia, in Vukovar, and
17 Dubrovnik, in East Slavonia that it was bound to happen
18 too, that they would attack Mostar because they had
19 taken the -- all the predominant hill features and they
20 had a very good view of the whole city of Mostar and
21 according to the knowledge that we had, they simply
22 could not only besiege but suffocate Sarajevo just as
23 they did with -- suffocate Mostar just as they did with
25 Q. I'm sorry, I was waiting for the
1 interpretation to end, but I must ask you, Mr. Robovic
2 to slow down a little bit because we have to help the
4 You mentioned the Serb aggression or rather
5 the JNA aggression against Croatia, did the Party for
6 Democratic Action and the HDZ, generally speaking, and
7 in Mostar, in particular, cooperate basically? Did
8 they share the attitude to that?
9 A. Always, absolutely. At that time the HDZ and
10 the SDA shared, had identical views at that time and
11 the -- both at the level of the regional boards and the
12 city of Mostar itself.
13 Q. You are aware, aren't you, that a certain
14 number of Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina, primarily
15 from Herzegovina, but also a certain number of Muslims
16 went to the Republic of Croatia to fight against the
18 A. True. We Muslims in Mostar and this time
19 showed in Sarajevo too, we had it very bad when Vukovar
20 and then Dubrovnik was attacked, and it finally stirred
21 even those who were very passive towards this Yugoslav
22 armada, that is, the Yugoslav forces. We all had a
23 uniform view regarding the need to defend ourselves so
24 that we and the Croats together went to defend
25 Dubrovnik or the areas around it.
1 Q. Tell us, towards the end of 1991 when the
2 number of incidents with the Serbs increased, did the
3 HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, at the local level
4 in Mostar, as far as you know, armed you, the Muslims,
5 too or not?
6 A. Correct. Mostar Croats armed Muslims as well
7 so that they could defend themselves against the Serb
9 Q. At about the same time the Patriotic League
10 was established; whose army was that, in fact?
11 A. The Party for Democratic Action at the
12 republican level, at the Bosnia-Herzegovina level; that
13 is, in some of the towns where the Party for Democratic
14 Action was active, and that was in the majority of
15 towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in Mostar as well,
16 through its activists, organised the Patriotic League
17 as a force which would prevent those Serb attacks and
18 provocations or rather save the bare lives of Muslims.
19 Q. So this was an army which was organised by
20 the Party for Democratic Action and you were an active
21 member of it at that time.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Since we are on the subject of the SDA, would
24 you know or, that is, you must know that the SDA, as a
25 party, was also formed in the rest of Yugoslavia, that
1 is, today, Yugoslavia, that is, in the Republic of
2 Croatia and in the broader area?
3 A. Yes, it is quite correct. The SDA was also
4 founded and active in Sandzak, that is Serbia, that is
5 Yugoslavia, and there was also a sister party in the
6 Republic of Croatia and it was at that time headed and
7 I believe it still is by Professor Semso Tankovic. And
8 in Sandzak, in Serbia, the party and there was also
9 established the National Council of the Muslims there.
10 Q. And who was the supreme commander of the
11 Patriotic League?
12 A. I think the supreme commander, that is, the
13 man who was above on the top of all these things was
14 Mr. Izetbegovic.
15 Q. And tell us, please, who were the founders of
16 the Patriotic League in Mostar?
17 A. In Mostar, pursuant to the instructions of
18 the centre of the staff, the Patriotic League was
19 founded by brothers Hadziosmanovic. They were among
20 the founding members of the SDA in Mostar and the
21 region and they conducted all the activities relative
22 to that.
23 Q. These forces of the Patriotic League in
24 Mostar subsequently grew into an independent Mostar
25 battalion or whatever it was called?
1 A. Well, that was simply how it happened so that
2 it was the conclusion of the party, the autonomous or
3 independent battalion was formed because there was some
4 problems, whether it was a TO from the former Socialist
5 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the question was
6 whether it could be the protagonist and the guarantor
7 of the defence of these areas so that the Patriotic
8 League or whatever grew into an independent Mostar
10 Q. And tell us, this independent Mostar
11 battalion, was it, for a while part, of the Croat
12 Defense Council?
13 A. Correct. It was part of the Croat Defense
14 Council, that is, the staff of the Croat Defense
15 Council was superior to these independent battalion in
16 Mostar, that is, only.
17 Q. Thank you. We can then move on Your Honours,
18 moving to paragraph 11.
19 Mr. Robovic, will you tell us, please, in
20 late 1991 and early 1992 because of the Serb operations
21 in East Herzegovina, the Serbs expelled a large number
22 of refugees from those areas. Where did those people
24 A. Well, when I think of those times, I think
25 nobody can remain indifferent to that, it was a general
1 expression of everything that was called Muslim because
2 in that part of east Herzegovina there was very few
3 Croats and those -- it was a general stampede, if I can
4 use that word, when talking to people. And people
5 sought shelter in various areas because in Mostar,
6 there were Croats and Muslims living and they were
7 coming there looking to protect their lives so we
8 organised accommodation for those people and we simply
9 shared with them all we had.
10 We welcomed them, we both -- both we the
11 local Muslims and the Croats welcomed them; that is,
12 they were not accommodated in Mostar alone, they were
13 also accommodated in Medjurgorje, Citluk, Ljubuski,
14 Capljina, that is, all over the area. And naturally in
15 Croatia too because it was organised with the
16 assistance of international organisations.
17 Q. Could you tell us, please, how many thousands
18 of refugees did you accommodate on the west bank -- on
19 the west side of Mostar?
20 A. Well, we never really kept any regular books,
21 but according to our knowledge and when we distributed
22 food to those hapless people, I think there was perhaps
23 as many as 20.000 of our, that is, my countrymen.
24 Q. And you said that the majority of those
25 refugees were Muslims, because they constituted the
1 predominant population in east Herzegovina on the east
3 A. Yes, true. These are the municipalities of
4 Trebinje, Gacko, Bileca and Nevesinje.
5 Q. Tell us, please, you used plural, you said
6 "We organised an accommodation," "We helped," and so
7 on and so forth. Do you mean Muslims only or Croats
9 A. Croats and Muslims. Because we did it
11 Q. Tell us, please, when accommodating refugees,
12 did you try to also provide them with some religious
13 facilities so they could practice their faith?
14 A. That was one of the -- yes, demands, and that
15 the Crisis Staff at that time and subsequently the
16 municipal HVO government organised their accommodation
17 in the student hostel and the mufti centre was also
18 there, established there, with the residents of
19 Efendiz, that is Mostar mufti, and they were in the --
20 we made a make-shift mosque. And at that time, I do
21 not know the exact date.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Robovic, I'm going to
23 interrupt you. We've had a huge amount of detail in
24 this case, and unless this is a particularly relevant
25 point, we needn't go into it. Let's move on.
1 Mr. Naumovski, paragraph 12.
2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
3 Your Honours.
4 Q. Mr. Robovic, at that time you became a member
5 of the executive board of the SDA in Mostar?
6 A. On the 16th of October.
7 Q. Was it 1991?
8 A. 1992.
9 Q. Oh, 1992. Sorry. But even before that, as a
10 party activist, and particularly after the date when
11 you informally became a member of the executive board,
12 you attended numerous meetings with representatives of
13 the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Mostar, that is; is
14 that so?
15 A. That is correct. But let me explain. We
16 reconstructed the executive board of the SDA because
17 the President Hadziosmanovic wanted us to include in
18 the executive board as many professionals, Muslims --
19 and we can see that there were a number of university
20 teachers, physicians, successful managers, and also I
21 joined it as an engineer -- because we intended to
22 modernise the party and open it, because during the
23 previous period of time it had a rather large rural
25 Q. Your contacts with the HDZ at the time were
1 practically -- had to do only with the defence and
2 organisation of civilian life, not only in the city of
3 Mostar but also in the municipality of Mostar?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Before you became a member of the party's
6 executive board, in April 1992, that is, 29th of April,
7 1992, the SDA and the HDZ agreed on some fundamentals
8 regarding their work, and that is the defence?
9 A. Correct. That is one of, I should say, key
10 decisions for the whole area of Mostar and its environs
11 taken on the 29th of April, 1992.
12 Q. And what was the gist of this agreement?
13 Whose duty was it to defend Mostar?
14 A. According to that agreement, the Crisis
15 Staff, which derived from the Municipal Assembly of
16 Mostar, which could not function, turned over, or
17 rather agreed, or rather decided to charge the Croat
18 Defence Council with the defence of Mostar, and the
19 Mostar Battalion, and the -- the Independent Battalion,
20 consisting mostly of Muslims. So that the Croat
21 Defence Council, its Crisis Staff in Mostar, was
22 entrusted with the defence of Mostar.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Let me remind
24 Your Honours. It is -- the document relative to this
25 is D271/1 [as interpreted].
1 Q. But regardless of this Independent Battalion
2 which was -- which consisted mostly of Muslims, there
3 were also Muslims in those 13 Croat battalions which
4 were directly subordinated to the HVO; is that correct?
5 A. It is. That is, as far as we're aware, and
6 according to our records, Muslims accounted for some 27
7 to 30 per cent in those battalions.
8 Q. You mean those, if I may call them so, mixed
10 A. Battalions of the Croat Defence Council.
11 Q. Perhaps just one detail. This Independent
12 Battalion, which consisted of Muslims only, it then
13 grew into the 4th Corps of the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that so?
15 A. I think so. Yes.
16 Q. So it did.
17 A. And after a decision of President Izetbegovic
18 at the time and amendments to the decisions on defence,
19 after that it was transformed and became the 4th
20 Corps. It became a part of that corps.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] In the
22 transcript it says -- when I spoke about this document,
23 I said it was D277/1.
24 Q. Very well. We can move on. So after 29th of
25 April, 1992, that is, after --
1 JUDGE MAY: Let me get this straight. What
2 is the document? The original in the transcript is
3 271/1. You later simply refer to 277/1. Which is it?
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] This was an
5 error in the transcript. It is not 271, but 277. And
6 this is the agreement between the SDA and HDZ -- that
7 is, the Crisis Staff -- that the HVO should take over
8 the -- should assume the responsibility for the defence
9 of the city of Mostar. Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Robovic, following the agreement of April
11 1992, the SDA and HDZ formed an agreement to establish
12 a new municipal government with equal numbers from both
14 A. Yes. The civilian HVO government was
15 established. The president was Jadran Topic, and I
16 believe there were ten departments, and the staff was
17 50/50. Hamdija Jahic, Zlatko Udovicic, Maslo
18 Kazazic --
19 Q. My apologies. Perhaps we should not go into
20 such detail. But the representations was about 50/50
21 between Muslims and Croats?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. After fierce fighting in June of 1992, the
24 JNA and the Bosnian Serb army were defeated at Mostar
25 and the eastern bank of the Neretva River, and these
1 parts were liberated but completely destroyed?
2 A. Yes. About 90 per cent was devastated, both
3 family homes and different business facilities.
4 Q. After, could a number of refugees move back
5 to eastern Herzegovina, those who took refuge in
7 A. Yes. They went back to try to clear up the
8 rubble, but there were no communications. The
9 infrastructure was completely destroyed. And so only a
10 few people went back to clear up and perhaps prepare to
12 Q. We can move on to paragraph 15. In August
13 1992 a political dispute arose between the Muslims and
14 the Croats concerning political symbols in use. But
15 the causes, the underlying causes, must have been
16 others too.
17 A. At that time there was a certain division
18 within the regional and the local SDA. Orucevic tried
19 to unseat Hadziosmanovic as the president of the
20 party. And then of course the reasons were sought for
21 political measures to dismiss Hadziosmanovic and his
22 followers. So in one executive board meeting -- this
23 was a wider meeting -- there was talk about withdrawing
24 Muslims from the local government.
25 Q. So this was the position of the party, or
1 part of the party, that the Muslims who were within the
2 government should pull out?
3 A. Yes. Those Muslims who made part of the HVO
5 Q. Did Muslims follow these instructions of the
7 A. We had some raised voices in one of the
8 meetings of the party. I personally believe that it
9 was not right for us to pull out, and two or three
10 members agreed with me. Some reserved their
11 judgement. So that only Mr. Udovicic and Nijaz
12 Berhamovic stayed.
13 Q. After your representatives followed the
14 instruction of the party and pulled out, who stayed in
15 the government? Only Croats?
16 A. Only Croats. And as I said, also
17 Mr. Udovicic.
18 Q. Perhaps another detail. How did these
19 frictions within the party end up? What was the
20 result, both at the regional and city level?
21 A. We were seeking a compromise. At that time
22 the reorganisation of the executive board was followed
23 by the first visit of President Izetbegovic to Mostar.
24 This was in the period between 15th and 17th of
1 Q. You mean 1992?
2 A. Yes, 1992. We asked for his opinion
3 concerning this dispute, and a compromise was reached
4 that Mr. Hadziosmanovic remain the president of the
5 municipal party and that Zijad Demirovic succeed him in
6 the regional board of the SDA, which included Konjic,
7 Jablanica, Capljina municipalities as well, so that was
8 the regional board.
9 Q. Can you tell us what factors started
10 dominating the local politics in Mostar? What forces
11 were these?
12 A. These were the forces that were not for
13 cooperation with Croats. There was a military top,
14 headed by Arif Pasalic; a number of imams, that is,
15 religion leaders; and a number of intellectuals who
16 were organised in a Herzegovinian Muslim group, looking
17 to bypass the SDA led by Hadziosmanovic, and also with
18 Demirovic, who took over the regional SDA board.
19 Q. How did they manage to bypass the SDA
20 headquarters? Did they form another body?
21 A. Yes, they established another body. We
22 always questioned its legality, because it was never
23 properly registered. It was called the Herzegovinian
24 Muslim Council. They issued press releases, they held
25 press conferences, and that was the way they conducted
1 their activity and strained relationships within the
2 city and beyond.
3 Q. Did this Herzegovinian Muslim Council manage
4 to take over the authority, the power in Mostar?
5 A. Yes. Hadziosmanovic, Cemalovic, myself, and
6 some others who were in the executive board started
7 losing influence under the pressure of the
8 Herzegovinian Muslim Council, including the military
9 top and the imams. They also wanted to take control
10 over some of our humanitarian activities.
11 Q. We will come to that a bit later. But by
12 taking over all the activities, did this council
13 establish some kind of parallel power? On the one hand
14 there was the HVO, which was legal through the
15 agreements with the SDA, and now there was a new
16 council being established. So was there parallel power
17 at that time?
18 A. They tried to take over and control all the
19 Muslim activities in that region and that period. So
20 they were active, but their legality has never been
21 clear to me.
22 Q. You have mentioned that this Independent
23 Mostar Battalion separated itself out of the HVO and it
24 became the nucleus of the 4th ABiH Corps headed by Arif
25 Pasalic. Where was it headquartered?
1 A. The corps was headquartered in the Vranica
2 company premises. This is in the western part of
3 Mostar, when I look at it from today's perspective.
4 Q. Paragraph 17. You mentioned the Muslim
5 humanitarian organisation, the Red Crescent. Who
6 headed this organisation?
7 A. It was Arif Hadziosmanovic, one of the
8 Hadziosmanovic brothers. I was also fairly active in
9 it. It was created precisely because of what had
10 happened before the sudden influx of Muslims from
11 eastern Herzegovina, and there was a need for a
12 humanitarian organisation in Mostar. We had -- we were
13 assigned -- we were given offices and warehouses from
14 the HVO government, and the organisation was properly
16 Q. Along with the Caritas, which is an arm of
17 the Catholic church and other humanitarian
18 organisations, both of these organisations helped all
19 citizens regardless of their faith?
20 A. Yes, Caritas even helped us out so that we
21 can distribute some food and clothing to the refugees.
22 Q. And the new leadership of the Red Crescent
23 humanitarian organisation continued to care for all
24 citizens regardless of their faith?
25 A. They were organised in some other areas as
1 well, but they endeavored and they succeeded to simply
2 force this organisation out of operation. I don't know
3 where they were moved after that.
4 Q. You mentioned the Hadziosmanovic family,
5 maybe you can tell us more. Are they a very prominent
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE MAY: [Microphone not activated]... any
9 more evidence on this topic.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] The witness
11 spoke about the stratification of the SDA and who was
12 influential at the time. The Hadziosmanovic family,
13 was a very prominent family in Mostar, it's an old
14 Mostar family, and they had quite a lot of influence at
15 the time.
16 JUDGE MAY: I cannot think it's going to
17 assist us. Why don't you move on to paragraph 18
18 dealing with it in a neutral way.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] That was
20 exactly my idea, Your Honour.
21 Q. Moving on, Mr. Robovic, who formed the
22 Elektroprivredra power utility company?
23 A. The SDA executive board reached a meeting
24 that a group of us negotiated with the HDZ in order to
25 organise the power supply and also to the staffing of
1 the utility company; so in other words, it was --
2 Q. So in other words, it was an agreement. For
3 the Trial Chamber to gain a better picture, what area
4 was this utility company supposed to cover?
5 A. This was to be a wider area. This would have
6 covered a much wider area than the current western
8 Q. Perhaps -- how much Croats and how many
9 Muslims lived in this area where -- that was served by
10 the Elektroprivredra?
11 A. If we look at the 1990 census, the figures
12 that we had at the time -- there was 60 per cent of
13 Croats versus 35 to 38 per cent of Muslims.
14 Q. And how many people were supposed to be in
15 the executive board of the Elektroprivredra?
16 A. We reached the agreement that the executive
17 board would consist of five members, two Muslims and
18 three Croats, but the president was to have been a
20 Q. Very well. And the Croat would have been --
21 A. Executive manager and in the top management
22 which would include six persons, there would have been
23 four Croats and two Muslims, but the production manager
24 covering six power plants between Rama and Capljina was
25 to be an ethnic Muslim.
1 Q. In regard of the frictions within the SDA
2 leadership, did that reflect on those Muslims who
3 worked in this Elektroprivredra of HZ HB? Were you
4 asked something?
5 A. The group around Demirovic and Orucevic
6 assisted by Pasalic expressly demanded that we step
7 down and leave the Elektroprivredra, and they did it in
8 a fairly rude way also.
9 Q. The Elektroprivredra, sometime around June
10 1992, employed about 800 people in total. Were these
11 people paid? Were these people discriminated in terms
12 of their ethnicity?
13 A. No, the Elektroprivredra took over all the
14 employees except for the Serbian ones who had left so
15 that all employees who lived and worked between Rama
16 and Capljina continued to come to work and continued to
17 be provided salaries based on the payrolls that existed
18 and their everything has been properly accounted for.
19 Q. Very well. We can move on to paragraph 19.
20 In the late fall of 1992, the SDA held a large congress
21 in Zenica, can you in brief, but really very briefly,
22 sum up what kind of a party the SDA became after this
24 A. We prepared our delegates in Mostar, they
25 went as -- they -- people who went were Demirovic,
1 Cemalovic, Hadziosmanovic, Salahovic so that we could
2 see where we were going. What was in dispute was
3 whether for us in Mostar -- many people asked questions
4 including myself, how -- what was our relationship to
5 the HZ HB and that was also the question that they
6 raised in Zenica. I believe that the meeting was held
7 on the 11th of November. What was experienced was very
8 unpleasant because they were subject to an orchestrated
9 attack by the SDA of Central Bosnia. They were accused
10 of being another SDA, that they could not have this
11 position towards the Croats.
12 Our members wanted cooperation with the
13 Croats. They were not outvoted; they were simply
14 defeated in this meeting by people like Topcagic from
15 Vakuf and some others.
16 Q. That is not so important.
17 A. I think they came with very negative views on
18 what the SDA leadership was telling them. After that,
19 the SDA leadership opted for a more radical approach
20 against Croats.
21 Q. If I understand you correctly, was one of the
22 conclusions that you should not participate in the
23 governing bodies of the HZ HB?
24 A. As the main board, and I believe at that
25 time, the general secretary was Ceman, they always
1 waived certain papers but I never saw the contents of
2 these documents. They said that they could not take
3 part of the certain government of Herceg-Bosna.
4 Q. Mr. Robovic, you were obviously not very
5 content with the situation in the party and in February
6 1993, you left the SDA and you founded a new party?
7 A. Yes. This was following the congress that I
8 mentioned. Perhaps another month we went, somewhat
9 afraid of our own safety, and then we had to separate
10 ourselves out and we had to pursue our own views and
11 try to establish a permanent cooperation between the
12 Muslims and Croats.
13 This is why we decided to form a new party,
14 the Muslim Democratic Party.
15 Q. Mr. Robovic, Their Honours have had ample
16 opportunities to hear about the conflict which broke
17 out around 9 May. You were not there at the time?
18 A. Yes, I was travelling on business for
20 Q. Do you know precisely who attacked whom and
21 what happened during the two days when you were not
23 A. There were different stories. My own view of
24 things as the pieces of the puzzle started falling into
25 place was that on that morning, the units of the 4th
1 Corps attacked the units in Mostar.
2 Q. This is the conclusion you drew from your
3 contacts with people, but regardless of -- but with
4 respect of the different sides, people had different
6 A. I formed my conclusions based on certain
7 insights which I gained subsequently, but some of the
8 pieces fell into place a year later.
9 Q. Did you, at some point later, learn that
10 there had been an order of the ABiH?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE MAY: Don't lead on these matters.
13 Clearly they're controversial. We don't want to hear
14 your evidence, Mr. Naumovski, we want to hear the
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
17 with due respect, I just wanted to ask him whether he
18 had heard about it. I did not mean to lead him at
20 Q. Do you know any details about this order or
22 A. I saw some details a long time -- actually a
23 long time after, but also some things that were going
24 on in the city, that is, displaying of some army
25 symbols in the city. All -- I think that the army
1 attempted to move into the areas which was to be a
2 demarcation point between the two military
3 organisations and Pasalic was behind that.
4 The orders were issued to the 4th Army Corps
5 to move deeper into Mostar into the zone of the HVO and
6 the signs were put up in -- on buildings where the army
7 was supposed to move.
8 Q. You said that Arif Pasalic was the commander
9 of the 4th Army Corps but then there was Mr. Zelenika,
10 who was he?
11 A. Mr. Zelenika was the commander of the HVO
12 forces in Mostar.
13 Q. In these chaotic times in May and June 1993,
14 did your party negotiate with the HVO government in
15 Mostar how to overcome the tensions, how to alleviate
16 the tensions?
17 A. We were seeking for ways to do so. We
18 contacted a number of people in Herceg-Bosna to use
19 political means to calm down the tensions and to -- so
20 that we can provide humanitarian aid and we can restore
21 some kind of normalcy. Whether we were successful or
22 not is another question. But there was an intense
23 effort at all levels in Herceg-Bosna to try and calm
24 down and stabilize the situation.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Naumovski, the witness
1 said earlier that signs were put up on buildings where
2 the army was supposed to move. I'd like to ask him
3 whether he actually saw any of these signs or is this
4 based on what he was told.
5 A. Your Honours, I did see that.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Very well. Mr. Robovic, after the outbreak
9 of conflict, the majority of Muslims who lived on the
10 western side of Mostar along with the refugees moved to
11 the eastern side?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. However, did a significant number of Muslims
14 stay on in the western part?
15 A. Again, we fought for every single man as the
16 party because it was a wartime. So we put in a lot of
17 effort and managed to keep about 8.000 Muslims in the
18 so-called western side which is under the HVO control.
19 Q. These are people who used to work there
20 before in the hospital and all other places, they
21 continued to work there?
22 A. Yes, they continued to work there at
23 Elektroprivredra, at the university, hospital, schools,
24 because those were the only things still working, the
25 economy had collapsed.
1 Q. When we discuss your activities in that
2 period, did you at any time see any document or did you
3 ever hear in your contacts that you had with the HDZ at
4 the time that there was an official policy of
5 discrimination towards all non-Croats in the Mostar
6 region. Did you ever hear anything like that?
7 A. I never saw any document in that regard nor
8 did I ever hear about any orders or decisions in that
10 Q. Thank you. We can move on to the next
11 paragraph, 25 onward and that is your service in the
12 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Mr. Robovic, in
13 October of 1993, you were appointed Minister of
14 Reconstruction Development of the Croat Republic of
15 Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. You were not a member of the HDZ of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, at that time, you were still
19 the member of this party which you had formed in
20 February of 1993?
21 A. Yes, I was --
22 Q. You were a member of the Muslim Democratic
24 A. Yes, and a member of its Presidency and they
25 continued to work when I was appointed -- even when I
1 was appointed the Minister of Reconstruction and
2 Development and its president was Armin Pohara, I mean
3 of the Muslim democratic party of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. Tell us, please, who appointed you? Who was
5 it that appointed you?
6 A. To that office, it was proposed by
7 Dr. Jadranko Prlic, and I was appointed by the
8 president of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, Master
9 of Sciences, Mate Boban. It was confirmed by the house
10 of representatives in 1993.
11 Q. Mr. Robovic, could you please tell us, if you
12 remember, how many ministries were there in the
13 government of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
14 A. There are documents about this and I can't
15 really remember, but I believe there were 15 of them,
16 two or three departments, a few services and so on and
17 so forth.
18 Q. As a government minister in the HR HB
19 government and your party duties, did you then try to
20 help to prevent Muslim/Croat conflicts?
21 A. My guiding principle throughout the time was
22 participate, negotiate, pursue agreement and optimal
23 solutions in a situation for the solution of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a community of three peoples;
25 that is, I continued through my activities to seek ways
1 and means to the solution of that problem.
2 Q. The Court has already heard a great deal
3 about the effects indicated in paragraph 26 so perhaps
4 there is no need to go back to this paragraph, and if
5 there are any questions you will have an opportunity to
6 answer them later.
7 In your ministry which you worked, how many,
8 what was its staff?
9 A. Its staff was about 18. We paid all the
10 dues, all the taxes.
11 Q. And how many of those 18 were Muslims?
12 A. There were three [as interpreted] Muslims.
13 One was a professional associate, two typists and one
14 person working for the automatic data processing.
15 Q. Tell us, please, as a minister in the
16 government of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, you
17 must have also had an idea, had a broader idea about
18 the employment of Muslims in the Croat Republic of
19 Herceg-Bosna, and I believe you are the right man to
20 answer my question.
21 Were Muslims represented elsewhere too? Did
22 they work for other departments in the judiciary health
23 care and so on so forth?
24 A. Yes. There were Muslims at the university.
25 They were members of the steering board of the
1 university, in the clinics, school principals,
2 secondary and elementary schools, physicians. They
3 were also in ministries. But this means that the government of the
4 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna where it wielded authority had no
5 discriminatory positions regarding the question not only of
6 employing Muslims, but also other people under its authority –
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] If the
9 witness could be shown document 276/1, tab 5. 276/1, tab 5.
10 Q. Will you please look at this document,
11 Mr. Robovic. It is a list of persons of Muslim
12 ethnicity who worked in the Croat Community of
13 Herceg-Bosna, that is, Croat Republic, tab 5.
14 A. I can see that.
15 Q. Will you please just cast a look at the
16 list. Do you know most of these people personally?
17 And is it true that they worked full time for
18 institutions of the Herceg Community of Herceg-Bosna,
19 and then you will also see a list for the Herceg -- for
20 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
21 A. Yes, I do know quite a number of people from
22 the list.
23 Q. You know them personally?
24 A. I know them -- yes, I know their names, and
25 personally, yes, the majority of them.
1 Q. And they work for those institutions, as it
2 says here?
3 A. Yes, this is correct.
4 Q. Very well. Thank you. So as not to waste
5 any more time, we can move on.
6 Mr. Robovic, your party, the Muslim
7 Democratic Party, maintained direct contacts with the
8 leadership of the Croat Republic, the presidency of the
9 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, that is, the president
10 of the HVO, that is, your immediate superior,
11 Dr. Jadranka Prlic; is that so?
12 A. Yes, insofar as operative matters were
13 concerned, it was the executive power, that is,
14 Mr. Prlic. And as for political attitudes and how we
15 saw individual options, that was exclusively with the
16 president, Mr. Boban.
17 Q. Your party founded a humanitarian
18 organisation called Esperanza. Who helped you to do
20 A. We asked, and I confirmed. There were 8.000
21 Muslims in Mostar alone, and the war was going on and
22 most of them could not find any jobs, because, you
23 know, I mean, those who worked worried, because even
24 Croats were left jobless. But then we had to find a
25 solution to provide those people with some basic
1 necessities, basic foodstuffs. And we found an area
2 where the government of Herceg-Bosna and the government
3 of Mostar helped us to put that area into order, to
4 make a warehouse, offices, and so on and so forth, and
5 reported to the record, all through the humanitarian
6 organisation Esperanza, which was founded by the Muslim
7 Democratic Party.
8 Q. Tell us, please: Until when was your party
10 A. Our party was active until the conclusion of
11 the Washington Accords, when we sat down and I
12 suggested to President Pohara to stop the activities,
13 because that agreement had put an end to the imposed
14 conflict between Croats and Muslims, and we left it to
15 the then-signatories to embark on the implementation of
16 these agreements. We did not want to politically
17 interfere, so as not to make the situation more
18 difficult, because we had achieved what we had been
19 pursuing from the beginning, and that was that the
20 Croats and Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the
21 victims of the greater Serb aggression, set up the
22 joint government.
23 Q. So you left it to the two basic political
24 parties to discuss all the future issues for that
25 country, that is, the two principal political parties
1 of the Muslims and the Croats: HDZ and the SDA?
2 A. Correct. We didn't agree with the HDZ
3 policy, but, as I've already said, we froze our
4 activities. The party did not close down; we simply
5 froze our activities.
6 Q. We can move on to paragraph 29. Mr. Robovic,
7 you are personally aware that in November 1993 several
8 thousand refugees from Vares arrived in the city of
9 Mostar. And they were, for the most part, Croats, but
10 there were also some Muslims amongst them, weren't
12 A. I do not think they came to Mostar, or rather
13 I'm sure they did not. I think they were evacuated to
14 areas around Stolac. There were some Muslims, 150,
16 Q. Through your humanitarian organisation,
17 Esperanza, you talked to those people. Why did they
18 leave Vares?
19 A. We sent our party activists to that place
20 where they were received so that, together with the
21 department for the reception of refugees of the
22 government of Herceg-Bosna to accommodate those people
23 and provide them with basic necessities, and they made
24 statements to our activists, to the Esperanza
25 activists, that quite simply they had also been
1 expelled by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina because,
2 according to some information of those liberators,
3 well, they had collaborated with Croats in that area,
4 and that was the principal reason for their flight from
6 Q. Paragraph 30 of your summary. Perhaps I
7 could ask you it differently. I thought of skipping
8 over it, but perhaps you will answer it, if need be. I
9 believe that the Court has already heard a great deal
10 about it, and if need be, you can answer questions
11 about it in a subsequent examination.
12 Since you worked in the Croat Republic of
13 Herceg-Bosna, you had an insight into the personnel who
14 worked there, people who discharged different offices.
15 What was the quality of people who worked with you, for
16 instance, from the HVO who worked with you in various
17 ministries, as for their professionalism, approach to
18 daily problems, and so on and so forth?
19 A. I can say that I take pride in having worked
20 with those people, from President Jadranka Prlic down
21 to various extra services. They were highly capable
22 people, excellent professionals, and they were the
23 basis of the -- they were the basis of building and of
24 reconstruction, of implementation and reconstruction
25 after Washington and Dayton.
1 Q. And the institutions of the Croat Republic of
2 Herceg-Bosna were disbanded and they became the
3 institute and so the Federation after these accords.
4 And a large part of their good work that was put in,
5 that is, regulations and so on and so forth, continued
6 then to be enforced in the Federation, and that is the
7 case to this day, isn't it?
8 A. Correct. And international organisations
9 also confirm my view; that is, documents which were
10 adopted in Bosnia-Herzegovina had their permanent
11 value, and they still have it.
12 Q. We can move on to the next topic,
13 Mr. Robovic, and that is a couple of questions about
14 Mr. Dario Kordic. Could you tell us: When is it that
15 you met Mr. Dario Kordic, and where?
16 A. I met Dario Kordic, visually, in late 1993,
17 in Mostar. I think it was the appointment, the
18 confirmation of the House of Representatives of the
19 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
20 Q. By the House of Representatives?
21 A. Yes, the House of Representatives.
22 Q. With Mr. Kordic, you have had plenty of
23 opportunity to talk, and perhaps it would be
24 interesting if you told the Court: You are peers, more
25 or less, but you are of different faiths; you belong to
1 different peoples. Did you ever in your conversations
2 with Mr. Kordic disagree on those fundamental issues
3 concerning joint life and so on and so forth?
4 A. I cannot but confirm to the Honourable Court
5 that as a government of Herceg-Bosna, we were in
6 Central Bosnia, I think, in spring 1994, and that we
7 talked -- I then personally talked with Mr. Dario
8 Kordic, as the Minister of Reconstruction and
9 Development, about the reconstruction and development
10 of all the areas, regardless of what the future
11 organisation would be, that is, renewal of the supply
12 of power, water, the reconstruction of religious
13 facilities. And we talked of that. We have lived to
14 see the time that, as a Croat, as a Muslim, we could
15 freely voice our opinions in our fatherland,
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and regardless of whether anyone
17 was bothered by this, that we could live side by side
18 and we could freely discuss and practice our customs,
19 our traditions, and so on and so forth. I discussed it
20 freely with Mr. Kordic.
21 Q. When you mentioned your visit to the Lasva
22 Valley, you must have attended quite a number of
23 meetings there. Did you ever hear Mr. Kordic, after
24 the war, that is, at the time when one had to embark
25 upon the reconstruction and repair of all that had been
1 destroyed, did you ever hear him refer badly to not
2 only Muslims, but any other peoples, or was it
3 completely identical to what you were thinking about?
4 A. It went on during the term of office of
5 Mr. Kordic, as the president of the Croat Democratic
6 Union. We then talked, as the president of the party,
7 which -- that is, HDZ, and me, as a minister in the
8 government of Herceg-Bosna. And we were talking about
9 how, through my ministry, we could ensure fundamental
10 life necessities and religious needs of all the peoples
11 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was part of my ministry as
12 the Minister for Reconstruction and Development. And
13 we talked about some major subjects, fundamental topics
14 as I have mentioned before.
15 Q. In your summary, included in what paragraph
16 36 says, and that is the reason why you agreed to
17 testify in this case.
18 A. Yes, and I still stand by it.
19 Q. You have already answered this question. You
20 said that you met him, that you talked, that you more
21 or less shared views, and those were the basic views
22 which made -- prevailed upon you, and you decided to
23 come to testify.
24 A. Because in him I saw energy, I saw the will
25 to implement Washington agreements to the benefit of
1 both peoples.
2 Q. I think we've made quite a good progress, and
3 we shall be able to complete this before the break.
4 Now we're moving to the last topic.
5 So you spent those hardest years in Mostar,
6 subsequently you became a minister in the Croat
7 Republic of Herceg-Bosna. You socialised with people
8 at different levels, both at the city level and at this
9 high level in the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and
10 you met quite a number of people.
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. When I say "very many people," I mean people
13 who were decision-makers, planners, and so on. Is that
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Tell us, please: Did you ever hear at that
17 high level that any institution in the Croat Community
18 of Herceg-Bosna, that is, Croat Republic of
19 Herceg-Bosna, ever adopted any policy, any plan, any
20 programme, or anything else, for the elimination or
21 ethnic cleansing of Muslim or other non-Croats from the
22 territories of the Croat Community, that is, Croat
23 Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
24 A. I'm telling this Honourable Court that I
25 neither heard, nor saw, nor gained an impression from
1 conversations that that was the objective, and I would
2 have never agreed, under no conditions whatsoever, to
3 place at the disposal of the Croat Republic of
4 Herceg-Bosna my knowledge and everything else that I
5 could offer them.
6 Q. In view of your contacts with the Croats, had
7 there been such a secret plan, if I may call it that,
8 did exist after all, would you have been in a position
9 to learn about it?
10 A. I think one could -- yes, one could find that
12 Q. Did you ever, when active in the government,
13 hear, from any member of the government, any proposals
14 to that effect, even if informal?
15 A. I must say to this Honourable Court: While I
16 was the minister, the government met on about a hundred
17 occasions under very difficult -- in very difficult
18 times -- 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 -- and there were no
19 discriminatory discussions, let alone decisions, that
20 would be conducive to a discrimination, not only of
21 Muslims, but any other people under the jurisdiction of
22 the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, at any of these sessions,
23 and this can be corroborated by documents of the
25 Q. Let me follow up on what you have just said.
1 Did the institutions in the Croat Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna, that is, Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna,
3 aspire to become monoethnic?
4 A. They did not aspire to become monoethnic
5 because the leadership of the community and the Croat
6 Republic of Herceg-Bosna also, that is, during that
7 period when I was in the SDA, asked us to discuss with
8 them the entry of Muslims in the administration of the
9 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and the Croat Republic
10 of Herceg-Bosna. At the time of the Croat Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna, there were some agreements, one of them
12 concerned the economy, but also pressure was brought on
13 people who wanted to work, who wanted to participate in
14 the work of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and the
15 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
16 Q. Tell us, please, we are talking about the
17 pressure brought on Muslims, but who by?
18 A. As I said, at the time when I was in the SDA,
19 it was by the army structure headed by Pasalic, the
20 Council of the Muslims of Herzegovina, and a part of
21 the SDA headed by Demirovic and Orucevic.
22 Q. And perhaps my final question we could
23 conclude with this, as a Muslim, you were a minister of
24 the -- in the government of the Croat Republic of
25 Herceg-Bosna and that is perhaps the best answer to my
1 question as to whether those structures were
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, you can make that sort of
4 comment in your speech.
5 Yes, Mr. Naumovski, anything else?
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] No, thank
7 you, Your Honours. Thank you, Mr. Robovic, thank you
8 Your Honours.
9 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you Your Honour, just two
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Robovic,
13 my name is Mr. Bozidar Kovacic. I am a lawyer and I am
14 the counsel here for the second accused, Mr. Mario
15 Cerkez. I only have two short questions since you are
16 here, so I must take this opportunity even though we
17 didn't meet before.
18 In 1992 and 1993, did you ever have an
19 opportunity to visit Central Bosnia?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You've never been there?
22 A. No.
23 Q. That is, municipalities of Vitez, Busovaca,
24 Travnik, Novi Travnik?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Were you abreast of the developments, at
2 least, in party channels at least while you were in the
3 SDA about the situation in that part of Bosnia?
4 A. In 1992, we had some discussions and in early
5 1993, about the situation about the developments in
6 Central Bosnia and its reflections on Herzegovina.
7 Q. And did you, at the time, when you founded
8 the MDSD, Muslim Democratic Party, did you also set up
9 its branch in that part of Bosnia in those
11 A. I believe that Mr. Pohara did have some
12 people who were to initiate it, who had reached the
13 stage of setting that up in Central Bosnia but,
14 personally, I don't know any details.
15 Q. If I understand you properly, you said at
16 some point in your testimony not in -- not verbatim,
17 but that was my interpretation, that the SDA had its
18 more extreme forces, and also other forces, that there
19 were different factions in the party; is that true?
20 A. There were both factions and had views
21 especially concerning cooperation with Croats and the
22 constitutional organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. Could we briefly say it by saying that the
24 SDA had its radicals and its liberals? I'm talking
25 about the regional board of the SDA board of
2 A. Yes, that is true.
3 Q. But it also held true of the SDA in other
4 parts or particularly that is the area of my concern is
5 Central Bosnia, as far as you know?
6 A. I already mentioned it in my testimony after
7 the main board in Zenica how our members from
8 Herzegovina we had a number of them mostly from Central
10 Q. Do you I understand you well that the SDA in
11 Central Bosnia were much more radical than your
12 colleagues down there in your region in the region of
14 A. This is my free interpretation on the basis
15 of conversation between our officials in the regional
16 board in Herzegovina, I can confirm that that is so.
17 Q. And just one question more, have you ever met
18 Mr. Mario Cerkez?
19 A. I never met him. I don't know him.
20 Q. Did you hear that name during the war in
21 1992, 1993, 1994?
22 A. No, never.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very
25 JUDGE MAY: After the adjournment.
1 Mr. Robovic, we're going to adjourn now until
2 half past 11.00. During the adjournment don't speak to
3 anybody about your evidence until it's over, please.
4 Don't let anybody speak to you about it and that does
5 include members of the Defence team. Yes, we'll
6 adjourn now.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.57 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
11 Q. Mr. Robovic, you have been supplied with a
12 summary of your evidence dated the 18th of June. Who
13 drafted it, please?
14 A. I drafted it.
15 Q. When?
16 A. It was, I believe, ten days ago or a week,
17 about ten days ago.
18 Q. After that first draft, was it in any way
19 altered by lawyers who represent Kordic?
20 A. No.
21 Q. So this document's been available in the
22 present state and in the present format for the last
23 ten days?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Were you given any headings or did you just
1 conceive the headings yourself, please?
2 A. This is my statement, what I know, and what I
3 have come up with myself.
4 Q. Now, I quite understand, but just help me
5 it's a tiny matter of detail, but I just want to know
6 where we've got a document that's broken down into
7 headings and paragraphs, things like personal
8 information and then educational background and so on,
9 the format of the document, was that your idea?
10 A. Everything I do in my life is based on my own
12 Q. So that just to take another tiny example so
13 that we can be quite clear about this, where we see as
14 the last heading on page nine in the English version
15 heading G which says, "No Croat Policy of
16 Persecution". You have it in English as well as in
18 Do you see the heading there, "No Croat
19 Policy of Persecution"? It was entirely your idea,
20 your initiative to put that heading there and to set
21 out what you set out; is that right?
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. With no contribution at all from the lawyers?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And so that I can be clear on the matter, you
1 haven't been, do correct me if I am wrong, you haven't
2 been speaking with any other witnesses who might have
3 been preparing their witness statements for the
4 Defence, have you?
5 A. No, I am fairly independent in everything I
7 Q. And there's been no other lay, that is,
8 non-lawyer coordinator of Defence witnesses as there
9 may have been in other cases, but there's been no such
10 coordinator of Defence witnesses in this case?
11 A. What period are you referring to? We met,
12 Your Honours, before Christmas, myself and the
13 Defence. I don't know the date that you are referring
15 Q. I'm going to move on.
16 Have you, as a matter of interest, followed
17 the trial of your former colleague and companion Dario
19 A. Only from the press when I had the time to
20 follow it.
21 Q. And it's received quite a lot of publicity,
22 hasn't it?
23 JUDGE MAY: The witness seems to be
24 indicating. What is the problem? What is the problem,
25 Mr. Robovic?
1 A. Not a problem. A the technical matter. I
2 don't have the transcript.
3 We are very busy with our own work so it's --
4 we follow the trial in a very sporadic way, at least I
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. But you, nevertheless, have some idea of the
8 issues at stake in this trial, don't you?
9 A. Yes, some.
10 Q. In the course of the war, as you will be able
11 to confirm, there were some people who made a
12 considerable profit, financial profit out of that war,
13 weren't there?
14 A. These are rumours. There are no accurate
15 data, and this has been the case on all three sides, at
16 least this is what people say.
17 Q. Take one notorious example. The name Fikret
18 Abdic might be associated by many with profiteering in
19 the war. Would you accept that?
20 A. I don't know Fikret Abdic personally well
21 enough in order to be able to accept that. I have no
22 comment on this at all, because I just don't know the
23 person well enough.
24 Q. You're saying you don't know him well enough,
25 but you do know him?
1 A. We had coffee together, that is not in
2 dispute. But I contend that I do not know him well
3 enough. If it is enough to have had several coffee
4 meetings with him, that is not enough to get to know a
6 Q. Several coffee meetings. Can you tell us,
7 please, what role Abdic had in relation to your party?
8 A. Absolutely none.
9 Q. At any time?
10 A. From what I know, he had -- he played no
11 role. I am not even aware that he did anything in the
13 Q. I shall return to that, but help me with
14 this. Where was your party based, geographically?
15 Where was it founded and registered?
16 A. In Mostar, in the higher court.
17 Q. Was it registered as based in Kladusa?
18 A. No. In Mostar.
19 Q. You don't have any documents with you today,
20 I imagine, showing one way or another where it was
22 A. All registration documents are with the
23 higher court in Mostar. I believe it is still being
24 kept there.
25 Q. Because Kladusa, in the north-west of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, is the hometown of Fikret Abdic;
3 A. I heard that from the press. I was never in
4 Kladusa myself.
5 Q. I want to press you again on Abdic's
6 connection to your party. Your party remained in
7 existence, as you tell us, until the Washington
8 agreements; correct?
9 A. Somewhere around there.
10 Q. It's your party, and you were an active
11 member of it, and you've given evidence about it. Am I
12 right or wrong in suggesting to you that your party
13 stayed into existence until -- stayed in active
14 existence until it froze its activities, as you've
15 described it, until the Washington agreements?
16 A. Let me clarify it. We said in a meeting that
17 when it concerns the Herceg-Bosna region, where I was
18 the coordinator and where I was active, that is where
19 the party will freeze its activities, and that was
20 Armin Pohara's party. He was the president.
21 Q. So at the very least, the party was active
22 until the Washington agreement, and is this right:
23 Some part of it may have been active thereafter?
24 A. As far as I'm concerned, until the Washington
25 Accords, and I'm not familiar with any activities of
1 the party following the Washington Accords.
2 Q. One minute, please. Let's just deal with
3 some of the personalities in your party. Pohara was
4 the leader, wasn't he, in some way?
5 A. The president of the party. I don't know
6 about the leader.
7 Q. And then was there a committee or something
8 like that?
9 A. There was a presidency. I think that that is
10 what it was called. I cannot recall all the statutes
12 Q. But you were on the presidency, were you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And can I give you some more names of people
15 who may have been on that presidency, just to see if
16 I've got it correct. Muhamed Alic, was he president of
17 the Mostar party? Yes?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Sulejman Salcinovic, from Derventa, party
21 A. Yes, but I don't know until what period.
22 Yes, he was.
23 Q. Then in addition to you, as members of the
24 presidency, if such it was, Zlatko Udovicic; Edin,
25 known as Edo, Omeragic; Muhidin Seric; Muhamed Kovacic;
1 and Senad Dzonko? Yes?
2 A. I don't know if they were in the presidency,
3 but I believe that Zlatko Udovicic was, and Edo
4 Omeragic also.
5 Q. And then, of course, the man Ismet
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How many members did the party have?
9 A. I wouldn't really know. I don't have the
10 information. We tried to organise, but the crisis
11 between the Muslims and Croats was coming to an end,
12 and so these activities were then slowed down.
13 Q. Give us an idea. Is it a party of people in
14 their tens, or people in their fifties, or even, I
15 suppose, in their hundreds? Just how many members,
16 very roughly, did you have?
17 A. A few. We did not have many members.
18 Q. It was an extremely small group of people,
19 was it not, so that you would know pretty well every
21 A. More or less. There were a few people, but
22 I'm not sure whether I could -- that I knew every
23 single one. That I cannot accept.
24 Q. And so far as the members of whom you were
25 aware, they were all, were they, driven by the same
1 admirable motives that were driving you? Was that your
2 judgement of them?
3 A. I only spoke about my own motives. I have my
4 own motives, and this is what I talked about. I don't
5 know about their own motives. But they had good
7 Q. Yes. And you don't have a bad word to say --
8 and I'm not complaining in this; I just want to
9 check -- you don't have a bad word to say about any of
10 the members of your party, small though it was, do you?
11 A. I cannot say anything bad about some of the
12 people you mentioned.
13 Q. And if we turn to one of the other members, a
14 man by the name of Sead Pasic, you have nothing bad to
15 say about him either, do you?
16 A. He was distributing humanitarian aid. This
17 is what I know about him.
18 Q. And you know nothing to his discredit?
19 A. No.
20 Q. As a matter of interest and detail, is the
21 man Zlatko Udovicic a Muslim or a Croat?
22 A. He's a Muslim. I don't know what he was born
23 as, but he's a Muslim. His mother and his father were
24 both Muslims.
25 Q. When your party was formed, and thereafter,
1 you had several contacts, did you not, in Zagreb?
2 A. Yes, with a party of a similar name, Croatian
3 Muslim Democratic Party.
4 Q. But your visits to Zagreb didn't stop dealing
5 with the Muslim party, did they? You went and saw
6 other people in Zagreb along with your president,
8 A. Yes, there were some people, there were some
9 people from entertainment, there were some athletes,
10 there were people who were beginning to be engaged in
11 certain things.
12 Q. Now, I'm concerned with your meetings with
13 politicians. You went to the very top of the political
14 life in Zagreb, did you not?
15 A. At what level are you referring?
16 Q. How about President Tudjman.
17 A. Yes, we were.
18 Q. Did you really not understand me to be asking
19 you all about meetings with political people when I was
20 asking you about your meetings in Zagreb?
21 A. It was one of them. There was many of them,
22 but as far as the politics was concerned, yes, but I
23 have had meetings of a different kind. Politics is
24 only one type of a meeting.
25 Q. You know from following this trial,
1 Mr. Robovic, that included in the issues at stake is
2 the degree to which Tudjman was running affairs in
3 Central Bosnia. You know that, don't you?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Your reading of the press reports of this
6 case and your contact with the lawyers has never
7 revealed that to you?
8 A. No.
9 Q. How many visits did you, with your very small
10 party of Muslims, make to President Tudjman?
11 A. As far as I recall, I was there twice, that I
12 am certain of. There may have been a third meeting
13 but --
14 Q. And Pohara, your president, may well have
15 been there more often.
16 A. He was there with me twice, but I don't know
17 of others, he never revealed that to me. He may have
18 been there with other people.
19 Q. Did it not occur to you in this summary that
20 you tell us you drafted yourself to mention the fact
21 that at the establishment of your party, you had been
22 meeting the president of the neighbouring state of
23 Croatia? Did it not occur to you to mention that?
24 A. Whatever occurred to me, I put down in
1 Q. Did you, as a matter of fact -- I don't want
2 to know any more than this -- discuss with the lawyers
3 for Kordic the fact that you'd seen Tudjman? That's
4 yes or no.
5 A. No.
6 Q. Well, tell us, please, what was Tudjman's
7 interest in your small party?
8 A. I wouldn't know what his interests consisted
9 in, but we were looking for certain solutions, and we
10 went knocking on every door in order to effect the
11 cessation of hostilities between the Croats and Muslims
12 and whoever was placed high, we would go to such
14 Q. What did he say, did Tudjman say, please?
15 A. I cannot recall the details, but he also
16 expressed himself in terms of a need of good
17 relationships between the Croats and Muslims and to
18 seek a solution for it, and a long time has passed so I
19 cannot really recall it.
20 Q. You have no notes of these meetings?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Yours was a serious party, I take it,
23 intending to grow even if they -- even in the event
24 that it didn't; correct?
25 A. I personally did not have such ambitions. I
1 don't know if anyone else did. I was only interested
2 in stopping the conflict between the Croats and Muslims
3 and setting up good cooperation.
4 Q. The question again, I'll make it even
5 shorter, please answer it: Yours was a serious party;
7 A. I was serious. I don't know whether the
8 party was, but that the intentions were serious.
9 Q. You've been, what, a businessman all your
10 life; is that what you're telling the Chamber?
11 A. No. I work in computer science. I have been
12 engaged in that all my life, and I have been following
13 that. That has been my business.
14 Q. You've made a point about how intellectual
15 and educated Muslims were being recruited, either for
16 your party or for positions in the HZ HB and HR HB.
17 You've been making a point of that, haven't you?
18 A. Not recruitment. I disagree with that term.
19 Q. And the man, Pohara, what was his job before
20 he came the president of this small party?
21 A. He was engaged in various parties, but I
22 don't know what he did specifically. When we met, we
23 talked about the matters relating to the party, but I
24 don't know much about his private affairs.
25 Q. But he was an educated man, looked as though
1 he was capable of writing a note of a meeting if he'd
2 had a meeting; correct?
3 A. I think he was a good man, but I don't know
4 whether he was educated enough for all that. I cannot
5 judge that.
6 Q. I'm going to suggest to you that if the
7 meetings you had with Tudjman, the president of
8 Croatia, were proper and honorable meetings, any party
9 of seriousness would have made a record of the
10 meeting. There would have been a minute for the
11 members and so on.
12 I'd like to ask you, please, if you would be
13 good enough to produce those documents for us so that
14 we can know what your party was really about.
15 A. I don't have these documents. I cannot give
16 them to you.
17 Q. Because they don't exist.
18 A. I believe they don't exist. I don't know
19 anything about them, in fact, personally.
20 Q. You and your colleagues hoped to keep these
21 immediate meetings secret, did you not? If I hadn't
22 asked about them, we would have never known about them?
23 A. This appeared in the media, the Slobodna
24 Dalmacija and the Vjesnik, I think that they covered
25 that. I don't think that there was any secret about
2 Q. When you returned from your meetings with
3 Tudjman, your members, and perhaps members of the
4 executive board wanted to know what had happened, and
5 you declined to tell them. Would that be correct?
6 A. I don't know whether anybody ever requested
7 it, and I don't know whether we did anything. It was
8 wartime, the conditions were not regular. There were
9 no great activities. It was just a matter of
10 survival. It was to feed the people. That was our
11 basic activity.
12 Q. I'll come back to what was happening in
13 Mostar and we'll return to meetings with Tudjman
15 In the spring of 1993 or by the spring of
16 1993, the Serbs had done a lot of damage to parts of
17 Mostar; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Your estimate, in your statement of 90 per
20 cent of the buildings on the east of Mostar is an
21 exaggeration, isn't it, it was nothing like as much as
23 A. If Soko, if aluminium, if Pecom [phoen], they
24 flooded the power plant, if buildings are demolished,
25 both private houses, business facilities, I don't think
1 I am exaggerating. If you think that is an
2 exaggeration, then it must have been 150 per cent
3 destruction, and this has to be put on the record
4 because that was what was done.
5 Q. As to mosques in western Mostar, some of them
6 had been damaged by the Serb attack but not destroyed,
7 had they?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. However, you stayed in western Mostar
10 throughout the conflict; correct?
11 A. I have said that I was not there on the 9th.
12 I returned two days later, spent there a while and then
13 came and went, because I was busy with the power
14 generation so I came and went insofar as it was
15 necessary and made part of the job of the manager of
17 Q. You were in western Mostar essentially
18 throughout the conflict; yes or no?
19 A. Yes. I was always in Mostar. I am still in
20 west Mostar.
21 Q. Every mosque in western Mostar was flattened
22 and destroyed in the course of the conflict; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. It follows, since they were only ever
25 partially damaged before the Serbs were seen off, it
1 follows that it was the HVO that destroyed all those
2 mosques. Why?
3 A. I do not have the information that the HVO
4 destroyed it.
5 Q. It wasn't the Serbs. Are you suggesting that
6 the Muslims destroyed their own mosques?
7 A. I'm not affirming that either.
8 Q. Then help the Chamber. You're here to tell
9 the whole truth. Who destroyed the Mostar mosques?
10 A. I do not know that.
11 Q. Who destroyed the Mostar bridge? And I
12 should tell you before you answer, we've had evidence
13 from a witness called from the Defence that the HVO was
14 responsible. But you tell us what your answer is going
15 to be.
16 A. My answer is that the bridge was destroyed, I
17 believe on the 9th, on the 9th of November. And the
18 information was that it was -- what was in Mostar, that
19 it was some who had pulled out of the HVO and destroyed
20 it; that is, they were not under control. And I know
21 that the government of Herceg-Bosna condemned it, the
22 destruction of the old bridge. I know that. And I
23 believe there is a written record of it. And I also
24 think that it formed a commission to assess the damage,
25 and contacts with international organisations about the
1 repair of the bridge. That is what I know.
2 Q. So now it is at least the HVO, but you're
3 saying some who pulled out of the HVO. Well, who, and
4 why did they pull out?
5 A. I don't know, not exactly. It's not part of
6 my job. I'm just telling you what I heard. I have no
7 documents or any insight into that.
8 Q. A Muslim born in a city which had not just a
9 national heritage, but something that I think is called
10 a world heritage site in its bridge, destroyed, and you
11 are a government minister and you can't help us any
12 more with who it was that destroyed it? Are you really
13 saying that?
14 A. That is not a question for the Minister for
15 Reconstruction and Development. It is a matter of
16 procedure and judicial authorities. I can do it only
17 as a citizen. I can only speak about it as a citizen.
18 And I condemn that act.
19 Q. Were you not treated as an equal by your
20 Croat fellow ministers?
21 A. We were very equal, and I had a very
22 important office. I was a highly respected minister.
23 Q. So why didn't they tell you what they must
24 have known that leads to this assertion: some who had
25 pulled out of the HVO?
1 A. Ask them.
2 Q. You know perfectly well, Mr. Robovic. You
3 know perfectly well that it was the HVO, the regular
4 HVO, that destroyed that bridge, and you can't bring
5 yourself to tell these Judges that; isn't that the
7 A. I do not know that, and I do not have any
8 documentation or any insight into it.
9 Q. Now tell us, please, where the people came
10 from in their thousands who filled the detention
11 facility of the heliodrome. You were there. Where did
12 they come from?
13 A. No, I was not there, I told you, at that
15 Q. You may, as you say, if it's accurate, have
16 been away for two days, but the nine or so thousand
17 people, or whatever it was, incarcerated in
18 the heliodrome can't have passed you by entirely
19 unnoticed. Please, where did they come from?
20 A. No. They were from Mostar; that's true.
21 There were those detention centres, as you put it.
22 Q. And so many thousand people were taken from
23 western Mostar that you, as a resident of western
24 Mostar, must have noticed; correct?
25 A. Yes, we did notice that. We did notice it.
1 I'm telling you that.
2 Q. Did you see them being gathered up and driven
3 off, or did you just notice lots of empty houses after
4 your two days' absence? Which is it?
5 A. I was not there. I was not there at the
6 time, but people talked, and one knows who was not
7 there. And people talk about it in their
8 conversations, don't they?
9 Q. All right. I'm not accepting that that's the
10 limit of your knowledge, or anything like it. But if
11 that's your evidence, tell us this, please: What did
12 they say, these people that spoke of the removal of
13 thousands of people?
14 A. People said that their friends were missing,
15 and everybody was looking for a solution to get them
16 out of those detentions.
17 Q. Everyone, Mr. Robovic?
18 A. Excuse me? I don't understand.
19 Q. Was everyone trying to look for a solution to
20 get them out of those detentions?
21 A. Not everybody. I'm talking about people,
22 because a relative of his was -- that's what I'm
23 talking about, individuals. Not everybody.
24 Q. Just tell us, please: Which organisation
25 rounded up the people and put them in the heliodrome?
1 It wasn't the Serbs, because they weren't there. Who
2 was it?
3 A. I was not there. I'm telling you, I didn't
4 see that. I was not -- I know where those places are,
5 but I wasn't there. And I don't know who these people
6 are, because I wasn't physically there and I didn't see
7 anything in writing, except that I saw press releases.
8 Q. You tell us, please: What figure do you
9 accept? I may have another figure to put to you; I may
10 not. What figure do you accept as the number of
11 thousands of civilians incarcerated at the heliodrome?
12 Just tell us how many.
13 A. Thousands. That can mean from one to
14 several. Could you be more specific, please?
15 Q. I'm asking you. You were there, you were
16 talking to the people, you were a minister. Please
17 tell us.
18 A. I was not a minister at that time, so, to
19 begin with, that is not true. I worked for
20 Electroprivreda and I was the manager of power
21 generation. And physically, at that time I was not in
23 Q. I'm not going to let this issue pass that
24 quickly, so please keep thinking of the answer,
25 Mr. Robovic. How many thousands of people were you
1 aware of being locked up in your city after your two
2 days away? Please tell us.
3 A. As far as I know -- I don't know anything.
4 The story was that it was several thousand.
5 Q. Thank you. So we reached several thousand.
6 And these were all Muslims?
7 A. Yes, they were Muslims.
8 Q. What did you know of their fate; anything or
10 A. The fate was that they were detained. That
11 is what I could know. At that time I was away on
12 business. They were detained at heliodrome, Gabela.
13 Everybody knows that. I don't know what else.
14 Q. You say you know they were detained, and in
15 the event at this camp they were, did you not have any
16 anxiety that things worse than detention might be
17 happening to them?
18 A. One is concerned about every man. People
19 were leaving, talking. I think that Pohara discussed
20 it with Boban several times to have those people
21 released, that that was not the way to do it, to put
22 those people away. And the question is whether they
23 had any contacts about that. I personally had no
24 contacts in this regard whatsoever.
25 Q. And to finish this little topic, although I
1 asked you this question minutes ago, now will you tell
2 us, please: Who rounded these people up, these several
3 thousands of people, and put them in the heliodrome?
4 A. I do not have anything in writing. I was not
5 there. I did not see who it was.
6 Q. Please understand. You may be concerned
7 about technical rules of hearsay or evidential matter.
8 These Judges can hear things that come from what your
9 neighbours told you. Now, a simple answer to a simple
10 question, please. Who rounded up the several thousand
12 A. I don't know. I wasn't there.
13 Q. It was the HVO that rounded them up, wasn't
15 A. I don't know. I did not see any document,
16 any trace in writing, nor was I there physically to
17 interpret it.
18 Q. Again, you're giving evidence to this Court.
19 You've given evidence about the man Kordic, the
20 defendant. Are you really saying that you can't tell
21 us who rounded these people up? I'm not going to be
22 facetious, but I'm going to ask you this: Are you
23 going to say it's the Pied Piper of Hamlin, or is it
24 the HVO who did this, please?
25 A. How can I interpret it when I wasn't there
1 and did I not see it? There is nothing in writing.
2 All I know that there were people at heliodrome.
3 Q. You weren't one of them. Why weren't you
4 rounded up, please?
5 A. I was away working, I don't know. I was not
6 there in Split, I told you.
7 Q. You weren't rounded up as you may be Muslim
8 by birth, you were already an HVO sympathiser and
9 fellow traveller; correct?
10 A. I don't see that what do you mean "fellow
11 traveller". I was simply looking, there was quite a
12 number of Muslims in the HVO that's what I said in my
13 statement, 30 per cent in the battalions in Mostar.
14 There were Muslims in agencies of Herceg-Bosna I don't
15 know what it means to sympathise. I am a man who has
16 his visions and his way of thinking.
17 Q. And you were actually --
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
19 Mr. Nice.
20 I'd like to know the following from
21 Mr. Robovic: Where do you have this figure of 30 per
22 cent from -- I think this is the first time I've heard
23 this, this is the first time I've heard that there was
24 30 per cent of Muslims in the ranks of the HVO. As far
25 as I know, this is the first time that this has been
1 given as a figure in this Tribunal. Where do you have
2 this figure of 30 per cent of Muslims from?
3 A. Your Honours, the municipal staff of Mostar
4 HVO has all the necessary documentation or had all the
5 necessary documentation and it was through their
6 conversations, I never saw that, but it was when
7 talking to them to -- with various commanders,
8 battalion commanders, that was the picture, that
9 percentage that one arrived at. I am referring to the
10 municipal staff in Mostar. Thirteen battalions that
11 existed in 1992.
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Therefore,
13 you, yourself, did not see this document. You've been
14 told that; is that so?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. I'm in no position to accept and don't accept
19 your figure of 30 per cent but, in any event, how many
20 of those remained in the HVO after the May outbreak of
21 violence, none?
22 A. I have no information.
23 Q. Let's look, if we may, please, at another
24 little detail that you've told us about which is the
25 document that you've described in your evidence and
1 indeed, of course, you won't need to look at it because
2 you remember these things yourself, in your summary.
3 For the Chamber's assistance it's page six, paragraph
5 Before the conflict between the Croats and
6 the Muslims, you say there was some symbols in the
7 city. Can you tell us a bit more about that because
8 I'm not sure we've heard about that before. You told
9 His Honour that had you actually seen them yourself.
10 Tell us about them.
11 A. These symbols of the insignia on the army of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was on buildings. In the --
13 in the area of temporary demarcation between the HVO
14 and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina before the breakout
15 of the conflict. So the symbols were the insignia of
16 the BH army. I believe that on some buildings, they
17 still survive and then they were erased.
18 Q. And what are you saying was the significance
19 of these symbols?
20 A. I guess they were markings leading the way to
21 some hill features. That is my layman's opinion.
22 Q. Markers for a route; is that what you're
24 A. No, no, I am not claiming that, but I do
25 think it was a sort of an indication, a rough idea as
1 to how far they should go. That is my personal
2 interpretation, but I'm not a military expert.
3 Q. Help me, I may have missed it, and I shall be
4 grateful to be pointed to it if I have, but does this
5 explanation of these symbols appear in any
6 communication you may have had with international
7 community observers like the ECMM or the soldiers? Did
8 you ever tell anybody about that?
9 A. Sir, I worked for Elektroprivredra. When it
10 comes to those contacts, I -- that I had with the
11 International Community, was how to preserve the dam
12 and how to preserve the power generation. I did not
13 have any contacts with international organisations, and
14 I do not know that this could be the subject of these
16 Q. You describe this document that you say you
17 knew something of in your summary. How would you like
18 to describe it for us now? You got to know something
19 of a document. You remember this because Mr. Naumovski
20 referred by number to a document as an exhibit number
21 and there was a bit of confusion about what the number
22 was. But you tell us what you know of this document,
24 A. I saw that document a year later, and I saw
25 that document and, as I'm telling you, these symbols
1 follow those documented happenings, possible
2 happenings, in this document. That is why I included
3 it in my summary.
4 Q. Well, now, you saw this document a year later
5 in what circumstances?
6 A. I think it was private.
7 Q. I don't understand that.
8 A. Somebody showed it to me privately.
9 Q. Well, who?
10 A. I don't understand. I don't hear.
11 Q. Who showed it to you?
12 A. A journalist. I can't remember his name.
13 Q. And what can you remember of the document?
14 A. I remember the -- what the document says,
15 what there is in the document.
16 Q. What does it say?
17 A. Route indications where, I guess, parts of
18 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina should move up to what
19 strategic points in Mostar.
20 Q. [Microphone not activated]
21 A. I think that was roughly that document saying
22 the conflict between the BH army and the HVO.
23 Q. At which points in Mostar was the army to
24 move to?
25 A. I think it was the surgery, the school of
1 economics, they were near the command of the 4th
2 Corps. There was this northern camp, the bridge, what
3 was it called? The aviator's bridge. The locality
4 called "Podhum" beneath Hum. Hum is a hill. That's
5 what I remember.
6 Q. When did you last see a copy of this
7 document? Was it shown to you before you came into
9 A. No.
10 Q. When did you last see a copy of it?
11 A. Well, that was during that period of time.
12 These are my recollections a year or -- no, a year
13 after the conflict.
14 Q. What, if anything, did the order say, do you
15 recall, about what the HVO was going to do?
16 A. No, I never had an opportunity of seeing
17 anything or hear.
18 Q. What was the date of the document?
19 A. The document of the corps, you mean? Well, I
20 gave it in my statement.
21 Q. No, I'd like you to tell us, please.
22 A. 19th of April.
23 Q. Just so that I can entirely understand how it
24 is you've come to give evidence about this document,
25 can I just clear a few things out of the way? The man
1 Vucina, you know him, do you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. [No interpretation]
5 Q. You didn't in any way prepare to come and
6 give evidence together with Vucina, did you?
7 A. Mr. Vucina worked for Elektroprivredra. I
8 have not seen, I did not see him, and it's three or
9 four months since I've seen him, even though we both
10 come from Mostar. But there, that's how life is.
11 We're both so busy that we cannot meet, and it's been
12 three, no, four months since I've seen him last, and I
13 need --
14 Q. And you haven't, in any way, collaborated
15 with him, and using "collaborate" in the neutral way.
16 You haven't collaborated with him over the preparation,
17 for example, of your proof of evidence, your summary of
18 evidence. You didn't collaborated with Vucina over
19 that, have you?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And your document was only prepared ten days
23 A. I told you when I had prepared it.
24 Q. You see, in your statement or summary which
25 we received a few days ago, you speak of this order,
1 and you say it was titled a defensive order but which
2 involved planning for offensive actions against HVO
3 positions in Mostar.
4 In Vucina's summary dated 19th of April again
5 which is couched as a defensive order indicates
6 planning for offensive actions against Mostar. I'm
7 going to ask you again: Who prepared, please, your
8 summary of evidence?
9 A. I did.
10 Q. That's still your evidence, is it, that this
11 had no input from the lawyers, that it was all yours?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. A journalist showed you this document; is
14 that right?
15 A. There was a discussion about what we'd left
16 behind. I don't know where they got it from.
17 Q. How do you mean what we'd left behind?
18 A. Well, about what had happened. We're talking
19 about all sorts of things, about World War II, World
20 War I, recent history. Things like that, we just talk
21 about things like that, don't we?
22 Q. How did he come to mention this document and
23 the setting of World War II and I?
24 A. Sir, a few days ago in Mostar, people again
25 sat down and they talked about 1992; that is, the mayor
1 and deputy mayor met those people who were in command,
2 who had been in command, and they always talk about
3 1992 and 1993 in Mostar, about Washington and Dayton.
4 These are the topics for conversation because people
5 are not busy enough, there is a little work, and so
6 that's how we finally came upon that topic, didn't we?
7 Q. Was the journalist a journalist who then
8 published the document in a newspaper?
9 A. I have no information on that.
10 Q. Has it ever been published in a newspaper, to
11 your knowledge, this document?
12 A. So far as I know, I have no information, in
13 fact, and I never saw it.
14 Q. Again, and I'm only inquiring, I'm not at the
15 moment asserting anything, but inquiring, but was this
16 ever reported from the time when you first saw it, it
17 must be in 1994, was it ever reported to any of the
18 international observers as a revealing document
19 justifying the action of the HVO?
20 A. Perhaps those who are involved in these
21 issues of the then HVO government, perhaps some of
22 those people did provide such information, but I don't
23 have it.
24 Q. Well, is it possible that it's not a genuine
25 document at all?
1 A. My opinion is, my personal opinion is that
2 this document did exist.
3 Q. Would it be right to suggest that your visits
4 to Tudjman were at about the same time as the Muslims
5 were being kicked out of west Mostar?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Well, when were those visits?
8 A. As far as I can recall, in September,
9 October, 1993.
10 Q. Well, I'm going to suggest to you that they
11 may have been rather earlier, and I'm going to suggest
12 to you that you and your colleagues visiting Tudjman
13 and showing yourself to be entirely compliant with his
15 A. No, that is not correct.
16 Q. And that that may explain not only your
17 appointment to the position you got as Minister for
18 Economy and Development. It's right, isn't it, that
19 the following positions were also filled by fellows of
20 your party: Ado Omeragic went to the position of
21 director of Elektroprivredra; correct?
22 A. You are not correct. Ado Omeragic was
23 appointed director in 1992 in the fall when I became
24 the chief of production, and he was the director
25 throughout the war and supplied the city and took care
1 to -- that the city was supplied, and I don't know who
2 else would have been in that position.
3 Q. What about Zlatko Udovicic? What job did he
5 A. Zlatko Udovicic has been in the same position
6 for eight years. It was only within the city of Mostar
7 that the agreements were reached that he was in that
8 position. He was a member of the HVO government, which
9 was split 50/50 between the Muslims and Croats after
10 June 1992, and he is in the same position to date, as
11 an expert for general administration.
12 Q. What particular experience was it that
13 justified your being given the ministry you were given?
14 A. Experience and trust, because I love the job,
15 I love the company for which I work. We rescued the
16 power plant in Mostar from the shelling of Serbs in
17 1992. I was involved in that rescue and also I was a
18 professor of computer sciences in the old high school.
19 And Mr. Prlic said that he wanted to cooperate only
20 with people who were professional, and I think that the
21 fact that Mr. Prlic was appointed to this position was
22 a precondition of my appointment. And I continued to
23 work for the benefit of both ethnic groups. This I
24 have been doing unwaveringly.
25 Q. I'll make it quite plain to you that I
1 challenge that last answer, and I'll come to the detail
2 of my challenge shortly.
3 Picking up on the answer to my question,
4 would it be fair to say that you have no particular
5 experience that would justify your being the minister
6 for economy and development; you had no relevant
8 A. I do not agree with you.
9 Q. Udovicic was a man keenly involved in moving
10 the Muslims out of western Mostar; correct?
11 A. I have no such information. I don't believe
12 it is correct. I don't know.
13 Q. And is it right that on taking office in the
14 job that you've described, he removed pretty nearly all
15 Muslims from their jobs, and indeed from their
17 A. That is not correct, and I have no such
18 information. I don't know what you base it on.
19 Q. Do you know a man called Vinko "Stela"
20 Martinovic and another man called Mladen "Tuta"
21 Naletelic, names known to this Tribunal? Do you know
22 those men?
23 A. I heard of them.
24 Q. Do you know how they got their apartments in
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you allow the possibility that Udovicic
3 might have helped them get Muslim properties to live
4 in, despite the fact that they were, in reality, HVO
6 A. No, I have no such information, and I cannot
7 confirm that.
8 Q. Staying with the man Stela, do you remember I
9 asked you earlier whether you had anything against the
10 man Sead Pasic, and you told us no, you had nothing
11 against him? Do you remember that?
12 A. I don't know enough about this man to be able
13 to say anything bad.
14 Q. He was a member of your party.
15 A. He distributed aid at Esperanza. He was
16 around. Somebody may have brought him into the party.
17 Q. Were he to say that the man Hadziosmanovic
18 expressed the view that there would only be as many
19 Muslims left in Mostar as Stela wanted, would that fit
20 with your experience of your party and of activities at
21 the time?
22 A. I have no such information. I don't know
23 about this.
24 Q. And if the same man, Sead Pasic, says of you
25 that you were the cruelest of the members of your
1 party, advocating destruction of the Muslims in Mostar,
2 would he be right?
3 A. No. No. That is absolutely not correct.
4 Q. And if he were to suggest that when the
5 Muslims were being cleaned out, he opposed you and
6 opposed the policy, in a discussion with you, does that
7 fit with any recollection you have, please,
8 Mr. Robovic?
9 A. I don't recall any conversation. I don't
10 think I ever talked to him, except when he asked to be
11 assisted in being given a truckload of flour or some
12 fuel. I think those were the only things we
13 discussed. He was a person who distributed
14 humanitarian aid.
15 Q. And if he says that you told him that only a
16 hundred honourable Muslims remain, and let the HVO kill
17 the rest, because we don't need them, can you think of
18 anything that you may have said along those lines?
19 A. Those are lies. That is not correct. That's
21 Q. Included in your dealings with Zagreb, you
22 had dealings with a doctor called Lang, is it, who was
23 one of Tudjman's advisors; correct?
24 A. Never officially, and he was not present
25 during those two meetings with the president. Once we
1 talked when he was organising a convoy for Nova Bila,
2 and very little, nothing official.
3 Q. But you nevertheless took the opportunity of
4 your discussions with Lang to feed information to
5 Tudjman -- do you remember that? -- telling him about
6 the number of Muslims living in Mostar?
7 A. To whom did I say it? I didn't understand
8 the question.
9 Q. To Lang, the doctor.
10 A. I don't recall having told him anything like
12 Q. Is it possible that you gave such information
13 to Lang, please?
14 A. I don't know what information you're
15 referring to. I didn't give him any such information.
16 I don't recall.
17 Q. I'm going to suggest to you that you gave him
18 information, and must intentionally have given him
19 false information, suggesting that a great deal more
20 Muslims were living in HVO-occupied Mostar than in fact
21 were living there.
22 A. This is information which we received from
23 the local communes when the humanitarian aid was
24 distributed, so that information was official in
1 Q. What interest did Tudjman have in the numbers
2 of Muslims living in a Croat-occupied area?
3 A. We didn't talk about it with President
4 Tudjman. He didn't mention it at all.
5 Q. Before we move on in time, and I don't have
6 very much more to ask you, but before we move on in
7 time, the origins of the fighting between the Muslims
8 and the Croats in Mostar aren't dealt with in detail in
9 your proof, your summary. Why did the Muslims and the
10 Croats come to fight each other, please?
11 A. Well, I think that, with respect to Mostar,
12 all problems were generated with the arrival of Arif
13 Pasalic. We had a government, the 50/50 HVO civilian
14 government, based on the agreement of the 29th of
15 April. We had an independent battalion. We had 13
16 units in the HVO and we liberated Mostar through the
17 June Dawn operation, which is being celebrated now.
18 The party wanted a permanent agreement
19 between the Muslims and the Croats. A large number of
20 refugees from eastern Herzegovina and a disproportion
21 of population generated certain perceptions among the
22 Muslims, and I'm referring to Herzegovina only. A huge
23 number of refugees. And as some issues that had better
24 been left for better times, such like symbols, all this
25 generated mistrust between the Muslims and the Croats
1 in Mostar and in that region.
2 And as far as Mostar is concerned and the
3 region where we were, the marginalising of the liberal
4 faction in the SDA, which could have had the ear and
5 had more trust with the HVO representatives of the
6 Croatian side. All these events gradually created
7 tensions from day to day. Various peace proposals,
8 acceptance of the Croatian policy, non-acceptance of
9 Izetbegovic, created further problems in Herzegovina
10 and other areas jointly inhabited by the Croats and
11 Muslims, and 70 per cent of the occupied and destroyed
12 territory from where both Muslims and Croats were
13 driven out by the Serbian forces.
14 So two peoples crammed into 30 per cent
15 with one HDZ policy which goes into a solution of proffered
16 peace solutions and other policy that waits, that does not know
17 what it wants – balances, creates mistrust, all into 30
18 per cent. I think that all this produced all the
19 other things that eventually created this forced war
20 between the Croats and Muslims in Mostar.
21 Q. You're not suggesting, are you, in that long
22 answer, that the Muslims were trying to take over, in
23 any particular way, Mostar?
24 A. I say that they had a plan to take control of
25 Mostar and place it under control of the 4th Corps.
1 Q. Is that all based on the document that you
2 saw a year later?
3 A. Not only the document. It is my personal
5 Q. I may come back to that, I may not, but you
6 don't seem to mention very explicitly in your answer
7 the fact that the Croats, via their party, were seeking
8 to take over territory by the HZ HB. That was the
9 cause, wasn't it, of most of the upset?
10 A. In my judgement, the Croatian policy was in
11 tune with the international standards of the
12 constitutional set-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
13 HDZ supported the referendum. Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 was internationally recognised. The Vance-Owen Plan --
15 Q. I'm going to interrupt you. Maybe you can
16 give this answer to another question later. The
17 question I asked you, which is capable of a short
18 answer: You didn't mention the fact that the Croats
19 were seeking to take over the territory by the HZ HB,
20 and that was the cause of most of the upset. Now,
21 isn't that the correct position?
22 A. The Croats did not take any territory; they
23 just fulfilled their obligation in maintaining power in
24 the municipalities where they won the majority at the
25 time of the Serbian and Yugoslav assault and the total
1 destruction of Muslims.
2 Q. They were going to take over Mostar and the
3 Muslims didn't like it. It's as simple as that.
4 A. I have no information. They just pursued it,
5 by political means, that Mostar should be a place
6 where -- that would be a cultural hub for Croats, where
7 they would have their universities and such. Because
8 they said that there the Muslims had more larger cities
9 under their control. So I think that they mostly
10 wanted certain cultural institutions, a university.
11 This is what they may have been seeking, one large
12 centre. But I never heard that they wanted it to be an
13 ethically cleansed city, to be without Muslims.
14 Q. I didn't say that. I'll come back to ethnic
15 cleansing in a minute, but what I said was they wanted
16 to have Mostar under control.
17 Now, all your contacts in the HVO and
18 becoming ultimately a member of the government and
19 senior man living in west Mostar, you must know that's
20 what upset the Muslims, and it's as simple as that;
22 A. There is not a single document that show
23 things going in that direction.
24 Q. The HZ HB and the HR HB were going to have
25 their centre, their capital where?
1 A. In Mostar, which was logical.
2 Q. Was there any bit of Mostar they were
3 deciding not to control?
4 A. I have no such information. How do you mean
5 "control"? I'm not clear on that.
6 Q. Was their government going to be a government
7 for the whole city or was it just going to be for
8 little bits?
9 A. Mostar is a single city. It was a city and a
10 municipality. Now, it's six municipalities. A city is
11 a city.
12 MR. NICE: Could the witness have D276/1, Tab
13 5. It's best placed on the ELMO page by page.
14 Your Honour, after I've dealt with this
15 document, there will be a few more matters but with the
16 Chamber's leave, if I could tidy them up over the
17 luncheon adjournment, I would be grateful.
18 Q. If you look at this document, page one
19 starting with Jugo Mahmut and ending with Delalic
20 Salih. We can see that all the appointments are before
21 May 1993, aren't they? They are all well before the
22 breakout of problems in the area?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. As it happens we can --
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Two of the names, five and four from the
2 bottom, Spahic Mustafa and Prljaca Fuad come not from
3 Herceg-Bosna but they come from the Posavina, correct,
4 miles away, kilometres away; correct? Different area.
5 A. I said that I knew some but not others.
6 Q. You don't challenge my suggestion.
7 A. No.
8 Q. The next sheet, then, please, should start
9 with the Rugonja Ramiz at the top and ending with that
10 box, we can see that all of those predate May 1993;
11 correct? It's self-evident; correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And the bottom box starting with Robovic
14 Zulfo, yourself, ending with Hecimovic Pasaga. Would
15 you accept that all bar the following come from the
16 Posavina, and the only ones who don't fall within that
17 category are yourself, and number three, Tvrtkovic
18 Rizo, and number four Kamber Nijaz, and number six,
19 Ilic Zinaida, and number seven as well, Basic Edica.
20 So you and four others are the only ones that
21 from the local area. The others all come from miles
22 away; correct?
23 A. According to this, yes. I don't know what
24 the meaning is of this document.
25 Q. And the last page -- well, it's a document
1 you've been asked for comment on, so I'm going to ask
2 you for more comment.
3 The last page at the top, please, all of
4 these people, bar four, come from outside the area, and
5 the four who are from within the area are numbers two,
6 three, four and five starting with Salkovic Hamdija and
7 ending with Berhamovic Nuaz. All others are from
8 outside the area; correct? All from the Posavina?
9 A. According to this, yes, but Posavina is also
10 a part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 MR. NICE: Would that be a convenient moment
12 for the Court?
13 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now and sit again
14 at half past two.
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. One last question on the list of people said
5 to have been appointed to HR HB. We see on the list,
6 which is in English, a reference to "lay judge," which
7 I think is something being translated for you now as
8 "sudac porotnik", something like that. It's a very
9 low category of public official, is it not?
10 A. I'm not really an expert on this, but from
11 what I know, I think you are right.
12 Q. Thank you. Would you please tell us what was
13 your education, where were you educated?
14 A. I told you I completed the first two grades
15 of elementary school in Trebinje. It's now called the
16 Trebinje Republica Srpska Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is
17 why my -- the place where I was born. I completed
18 school in Capljina. The secondary vocational electric
19 engineering school in Mostar, and the electrical
20 engineering faculty, I graduated from it in Sarajevo.
21 My first job was in the hydro power plant Neretva which
22 was part of Elektroprivredra.
23 Q. Are you saying you went to university?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You actually got a degree?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What age were you when you left that
4 A. I was born in 1958 so -- 1982, so I was 24.
5 Q. And that completes your formal education and
6 you never did any training in economics or anything
7 like that?
8 A. I was trained at work because I was working
9 for -- in the -- I was part of the computer system, so
10 there was a supplementary training and for a while, I
11 taught at a secondary school the basics of computer
12 sciences, and I've always tried to keep up and went on
13 with my education on a daily basis.
14 Q. When were you married?
15 A. I married in 1986.
16 Q. Your child is how old?
17 A. 12.
18 Q. So can you help us, please, with how it was
19 that they escaped from being taken from the Heliodrome?
20 A. Like the majority, like most civilians in
21 Mostar, when the aggression began in April 1992, they
22 were evacuated to Croatia to the Adriatic Sea. When
23 everybody left the city, when all the women and
24 children who were not bound by military or civilian
25 obligations, they all left, they went to Croatia and
1 they went to Zivogosce.
2 Q. Had you taken them there yourself on those
3 two days that you were away?
4 A. When do you mean? No, not those two days, I
5 am talking about 1992.
6 Q. You say they went -- they were away as long
7 as 1992. They'd been away for a whole year, had they?
8 A. Yes, until 1995, they were away from Mostar.
9 Q. Did you have any other family living in west
10 Mostar in the spring of 1993?
11 A. No. Not family in the strict sense of the
13 Q. How about family in the unstrict sense of the
14 word? What family did you have?
15 A. My father and mother and two sisters.
16 Q. Well, forgive my being confused, but isn't
17 mother, father and two sisters your family, a part of
18 your family?
19 A. They are in Capljina.
20 Q. Where were they in the spring of 1993?
21 A. In Capljina.
22 Q. Well, we know that people from Capljina were
23 arrested and incarcerated, what happened to your
25 A. My father was in Gabela for a while.
1 Q. Did they avoid imprisonment?
2 A. My father was in Gabela, I told you that.
3 Q. And the others?
4 A. And my mother was in Sarajevo, she had
5 already gone before that and one sister went to Croatia
6 and my eldest sister stayed in Capljina.
7 Q. What did you do about your father?
8 A. My father was released with another group
9 after a very short period of time and he stayed in his
11 Q. What had you done, if anything, about your
12 father, before his release?
13 A. I asked leading people in Capljina to see
14 where he was and to release him, that that was not all
15 right, and I asked about him and about other people and
16 they told me that they were there because I wasn't
17 there, physically.
18 Q. And you could do all this without any risk of
19 incarceration yourself, couldn't you?
20 A. I was risking it too. I was imperiled by
21 some groups of people.
22 Q. We'll come to that in a minute. What's your
23 father's first name and his date of birth?
24 A. Salko or Salih born 1931 in Trebinje.
25 Q. Do you know the date of his birthday?
1 A. The date, I think it was February, I just
2 can't remember, 1931.
3 Q. Who was guarding the prisoners at the camp,
4 please, or the camps?
5 A. I don't know, I say. I looked for the lawful
6 authorities of the municipality to see where my father
7 was and to have him returned back home.
8 Q. Sorry. Who are the lawful authorities of a
9 prison camp set up to guard people who have just been
10 taken off the streets or out of their houses? Who are
11 the lawful authorities?
12 A. I once again say, Your Honours, I do not have
13 documents. I do not know who organised it and whose
14 orders those were. In Capljina, I requested it from
15 the lawful authorities in Capljina to do what I said.
16 Q. Was that the HVO?
17 A. It was the municipality, and I don't really
18 know who they communicated with.
19 Q. A simple question: Is that the HVO; yes or
21 A. The HVO was the military and the HVO was the
22 executive government. These are rather misnomers. But
23 I did not see any document saying that the HVO had ever
24 set up any camps, except some guard duties. But I
25 really could not see any military documents, nor did I
1 hear anything about that, and I therefore cannot answer
2 the question that you -- as you would want me to.
3 Q. You were aware of the local party
4 construction, you were aware of Herceg-Bosna, you were
5 aware of the HVO. It's a simple question. You went to
6 the municipality. If you want to divide it up between
7 the HVO military and the HVO -- let me see now how you
8 described it -- executive. Just tell us: Did you or
9 did you not go to the HVO executive?
10 A. I did not go anywhere. I wrote a letter --
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Robovic, please answer the
12 question. Did the HVO hold your father or not? Now,
13 it is a simple question. Yes or no?
14 A. Your Honours, I have no confirmation of
15 that. I was in Split when I learnt that he had been
16 captured and had been put away, and I sent a request to
17 the HVO, that is, the executive authority and
18 municipality, to try to establish the whereabouts of my
19 father and to have him go.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I think we've exhausted
21 this topic.
22 MR. NICE: It's certainly taken ten
24 Q. But you can tell us this: The camps were
25 closed by Banic and by Prlic. Prlic was president of
1 the HVO. Am I not correct?
2 A. I do not have that information.
3 Q. Well, then who closed them?
4 A. As far as I have heard -- as far as I heard
5 from media, because I repeat: I was in Electroprivreda
6 and that is all I did. I think it was on the 18th of
7 May, but I'm not quite sure. There was a meeting in
8 Medjugorje. It was 1993. And there -- and again I
9 learnt it from a press release. Mr. Tudjman,
10 Mr. Izetbegovic and the International Community and
11 their associates must have been there, and they
12 discussed that subject. What happened after that, who
13 signed what, I have no idea, nor do I have any insight
14 into that.
15 Q. One last -- I'm not going to pursue this
16 matter. One last question of importance on this
17 topic. Your colleague in your party, Pohara, while the
18 camps were still in existence, he went around those
19 camps offering release to people who would join your
20 party, didn't he?
21 A. I learnt that from Hadziosmanovic. My
22 reaction was that if he was doing it -- because I
23 repeat: He had those contacts -- that he could not
24 attach politics to some things, and I -- so I did learn
25 that, even though we never discussed it, that he did
1 that in the camps.
2 Q. So I'm right: People could buy their freedom
3 by joining your party. And the reason for that was
4 that your party was necessary to the Croat and to the
5 Tudjman cause, because it provided some fig leaf of
6 respectability; is that about right?
7 A. I don't think you're right. Mr. Pohara,
8 again, as I see it, did it for humane reasons, to try
9 to bring back -- to bring people back to normal life.
10 That is my opinion.
11 Q. Whatever his motives, can you explain,
12 please, how he would have such authority over the HVO
13 that he would be able to make this offer, unless it was
14 in the HVO's interests to have a few Muslims
16 A. I think that that was not the HVO's
17 interest. It was a matter of their judgement, if they
18 thought asserting their party in good and bad matters.
19 It is their historical task and decision, what they
20 did. I repeat: The HVO could not find any particular
21 interest in that case, and especially any higher
23 Q. And you can't point us, can you, or can you,
24 to the official in the HVO, who could always be called
25 as a witness to explain why they were releasing Muslims
1 from prison if they were prepared to join your party?
2 Who in the HVO could tell this Court about that?
3 A. I don't know who Mr. Pohara communicated
4 with. Mr. Pohara was what he was, and he can tell that
5 to the Court if you want him. I don't know anybody in
6 the HVO that he talked to.
7 Q. Can you confirm these things about
8 Mr. Pohara, namely, that in the summer or autumn of
9 1993, he was broadcasting on Mostar radio support for
10 the man Abdic?
11 A. I couldn't agree, because I wasn't there at
12 the moment, but that he had some business relations
13 with Abdic about -- it had to do with a paper of some
14 kind or something. Yes, that is true, Your Honours.
15 Q. And Abdic was a man who had gone to prison
16 before the war for corruption of business on a large
17 scale; correct?
18 A. That was in press releases and in the media,
19 and I was young then and I only followed it in the
21 Q. And did Abdic, to your knowledge, from your
22 coffee conversations with him, get arms from Tudjman?
23 Do you know about that?
24 A. No. I mean, I'm telling you, all matters
25 military are foreign to me, so I really don't know.
1 And how the economy will operate and what is my vision
2 of regional economic strategies, that is what we
4 Q. By the way, from one of my notes, I should
5 have made it clearer. The Tudjman to whom I was
6 referring is not the father; it's the son, Miroslav,
7 who was supplying them with arms. Did you ever hear
8 about that?
9 A. I know Miroslav Tudjman -- I only heard about
10 Miroslav Tudjman. I never met the man, so I don't know
11 what they talked about. And how could I know? I
12 cannot attach any importance to me. I was just a
13 businessmen. No, I don't know.
14 Q. Well, was your party financed in any way by
15 kickbacks from this -- do you know what I mean by
16 kickbacks? Was your party financed by kickbacks from
17 this trade in arms through Abdic?
18 A. MDS, the party was in trouble whenever it had
19 to pay bus fare, and if Mr. Pohara did something, if he
20 did anything, he did it as a man. The party never
21 benefitted from it except that it tried to manage in
22 various ways, and once -- and let me be very specific.
23 Once when I asked to say, to try to come by some funds,
24 then we managed to raise some funds, but amongst us who
25 gathered there. But about that information, whether it
1 was through some party accounts, I do not know that,
2 because I neither had an authorised signature or any
3 money at my disposal. I mean, all the accounts were
4 kept by Mr. Pohara, all the books were with him and his
5 was the signature, the authorised signature, so I can't
6 know anything about it.
7 Q. It's right, isn't it, that in September of
8 1993 Abdic declared the autonomous province of western
9 Bosnia. You will remember that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thereafter, he plainly needed support from
12 President Tudjman. Do you accept that or do you know
13 nothing about that?
14 A. Well, I guess that amongst various options on
15 the organisation, the last organisation of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there could have been some talks
17 but whether he needed any support from what I know from
18 press releases, he always said that he enjoyed the
19 plebiscitary support of his people in that Krajina.
20 Q. Were you aware, and the Chamber's already
21 heard of this, that Tudjman was, as early as December
22 of 1991, talking about annexing parts of Bosnia and
23 Croatia, and the part to be annexed included Abdic's
24 territory. Were you aware of that?
25 A. No, I wasn't aware of it because I did not
1 take part in those talks, so I wouldn't know, but it's
2 possible that there were some talks at a lower level.
3 No, no, I'm really not aware of it.
4 Q. You told us about your visits to President
5 Tudjman. Was one of those visits on the 19th of
6 December, 1993, or were you not there on that occasion?
7 A. During my two visits, I think there were two,
8 Your Honours. The third one, I don't know, but there
9 were press releases about that. I can't remember the
10 exact dates, but I believe that one of them took place
11 in September and the second one was either shortly
12 after it or before it and with me were Pohara
13 Hadziosmanovic and there was also the president of the
14 Croatian Muslim Democratic Party from Croatia,
15 Mr. Mirsad Baksic, and on both occasions, it was those
16 people who saw President Tudjman.
17 Q. But if you weren't present at the meeting on
18 the 19th of December, your party was still in
19 existence, was a report made to you by Pohara or others
20 of President Tudjman involving himself in your affairs
21 to get, I'm going to use the phrase, "tame Muslims" put
22 by Boban into his government to satisfy the
23 International Community at international negotiations.
24 Was that reported to you?
25 A. I do not think I was informed about it but
1 just a minor digression. I wouldn't agree with what
2 you said under the control but, of course, depends on
3 the interpretation. It was looking for a solution
4 along the lines of peace processes in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and at that time, I suppose, except
6 that I repeat I wasn't a politician, I think that it
7 was the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan which was topical at the
8 time. And it is possible that some talks were
9 conducted within that context, but we did not discuss
10 any report on the subject.
11 Q. Did you accept that Tudjman had the authority
12 via Boban to determine who was on the HR HB parliament;
13 correct? That's the way it operated?
14 A. Mr. Boban, President Boban was not
15 questionable authority, and he decided about
16 everything. Who did he seek advice from, what, I don't
17 know, but he took decisions alone, both in the case of
18 my appointment at Prlic's proposal. Whether they were
19 talks which you try to challenge the other day about
20 the professional level or lack of it, I cannot go into
21 it just as I cannot go into your assessments, sir.
22 Q. Your party wanted Abdic at the Owen
23 Stoltenberg talks, didn't they?
24 A. Let me explain it. Mr. Abdic, to my mind,
25 was a person who was a member of the Presidency who had
1 won the largest number of Muslim votes. I never saw
2 any legitimate decisions, who went and how, by
3 constitutional means or unconstitutional means,
4 dismissed Mr. Abdic from the Presidency. I did not see
5 that. And I think that he was competent to at least
6 engage in talks about the organisation of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a member of the Presidency
8 because only in direct elections he could be removed
9 from that office. That is what I think, I mean, on the
10 basis of my political education.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, you've had nearly two
12 hours in cross-examination, I think if you could wind
13 things down.
14 MR. NICE: I am bringing it to an end. I
15 have not got more to ask.
16 Q. Baksic, the leader of your party was actually
17 an HV, a Croatian colonel, wasn't he, or general?
18 A. Not of my party, he was the president of the
19 Croatian Muslim Democratic Party in Zagreb. Based on
20 the information I have, he was a brigadier of the HV.
21 Q. One more matter of detail before the
22 Washington agreement, Markovic from Mostar and Bendar
23 from Neum and Kordic all spoke out against the
24 implementation of the Washington Agreement; do you
25 accept that?
1 A. I don't accept it. I never spoke with the
2 first gentleman, and I spoke to Mr. Kordic since and I
3 believe that in my view he was for a full
4 implementation of the Washington Accords because he
5 respected the authority of both President Boban and what the
6 Croatian representatives signed there.
7 Q. Consistent with my policy of letting
8 witnesses comment like this available from
9 international observers can we just produce one exhibit
10 a comment as a short passage 1342.2.
11 This, I'm afraid, is a document in English as
12 it was prepared in English. I'll lay it on the ELMO
13 and read the relevant part sufficiently slowly. It's a
14 daily report from the European monitors. The date is
15 Christmas Eve 1993, the 24th of December, and as to
16 Mostar, the reporting monitor speaks of attending a
17 reception by Prlic with other ministers present
18 stressing the need for peace to be achieved. Bishop
19 Peric was present and read a letter, made some critical
20 comments about a public policy, and then your position
21 is dealt with in that the reporting officer says he met
22 you. You were the only Muslim in the government who
23 stated that CRHB was fighting the concept of Mostar
24 being a protectorate. That you drew an analogy with a
25 sick teenager and said that shock treatment was needed
1 and not social workers. Do you remember that meeting?
2 Do you remember the meeting?
3 A. Your Honours, I don't recall the meeting. I
4 assume that this was around Christmas time, maybe this
5 was at the time of the Christmas reception where
6 Mr. Peric was here, this was the traditional occasion.
7 There was a party held on that occasion and members of
8 the International Communities were also invited, if
9 that is what this is in reference to.
10 However, I do not recall any details that I
11 have -- that I may have communicated to this gentleman,
12 but I think that we supported the Washington Accords
13 and its implementation regardless of the size of our
14 party, because, Your Honours, that was the starting
15 point and the basis of what we endeavored politically.
16 We wanted a permanent cooperation of Croats and Muslims
17 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 As regards Mostar, we believed that Mostar,
19 and I said that at the beginning since Mostar was
20 destroyed, and people were out of work.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: You don't recall saying
22 around that time to anybody that what was needed was
23 shock treatment not social workers?
24 A. I don't recall.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Finally, I've got two questions, I think, one
2 historic. Can you help us with this, there was a
3 moderate leader called Vucic who was ousted, moderate
4 Muslim leader who was ousted in 1992 -- I'm sorry, a
5 moderate Croat leader who was ousted in 1992 in Mostar,
6 why? Why was a moderate ousted?
7 A. I didn't get the name, Your Honours.
8 Q. Vucic, was it?
9 A. I've never heard of him.
10 Q. The last question relates to Kordic. I don't
11 accept what you're saying about Kordic. What I say to
12 you is this: From an early stage you've thrown your
13 lot in completely with the Croats and with the HVO and
14 you knew perfectly well that the HR HB was pursuing an
15 ethnic -- a Croat interest in all that it was doing;
17 A. How are they going to work in my interest if
18 they did not take care of their own interests? If only
19 the Muslim policy was the same, that they worked for
20 the benefit of all sides equally, we wouldn't have come
21 to this.
22 Q. You know perfectly well that what was
23 happening in Mostar and the persecution of Muslims was
24 happening elsewhere in the Lasva Valley in Central
25 Bosnia. You know that under the command of Kordic,
1 don't you?
2 A. I had no information on these things with the
3 exception of anything that could have been communicated
5 Q. You come here to support Kordic but not to
6 tell the truth.
7 A. I spoke the truth and nothing but the truth
8 to the best of my knowledge, Your Honours.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
10 we have no further questions, thank you.
11 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Thank you
12 Mr. Robovic, that is all. You are free to go.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you Your
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE MAY: Now, there was some matters of
17 law that was mentioned but do you have another witness
19 MR. SAYERS: The witness that we had expected
20 to come in a little earlier just came in a few hours
21 ago, Mr. Cavara. He'll be available tomorrow, as well
22 as Professor Jankovic.
23 JUDGE MAY: We'll be able to get through them
24 both tomorrow?
25 MR. SAYERS: Well, I can't say for the
1 cross-examination, but for the direct examination, I
2 can assure you it's not going to last more than 20
3 minutes total, I think.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The issues which I
5 had noted down which we have to discuss are the
6 audiotape, Dr. Pavlovic. There are also some
7 outstanding affidavit witnesses from last week or the
8 week before who have not been resolved. And
9 Mr. Kovacic wanted some time to address us on the start
10 of his case.
11 It may be sensible to deal with the audiotape
12 first. We have now received the Prosecution submission
13 by the Netherlands Forensic Institute.
14 Mr. Nice, help me. The state of play would
15 appear to be this: that the Chamber had ruled, of
16 course, on the issue of the tape initially and admitted
17 it. There was then discovered that, in fact, it had
18 been, or it was thought it may have been, out of the
19 building without leave. We've had, I think, a report
20 on -- we have had your report on that. Meanwhile,
21 expert evidence from Mr. Koenig has been obtained from
22 the Defence. And finally, we have your submission, or
23 the submission, from the Netherlands Forensic
25 Is the reality not this: Although it's open
1 to us at any time, of course, to decide to exclude
2 evidence which we have already admitted, would a
3 sensible course not be to hear the expert evidence on
4 this topic from the Defence, and indeed from the
5 Prosecution, if they wished, in rebuttal, and to
6 resolve any outstanding issues then, when we have all
7 the evidence before us?
8 MR. NICE: I'm content with that course.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
10 MR. NICE: I'm content with that course, Your
11 Honour. The summary is incomplete only to this extent,
12 or two extents: First, the tape that was produced and
13 listened to, in fact, never left the Court and has been
14 with the Registry throughout.
15 JUDGE MAY: I had that in mind. I was using
16 the term loosely. Yes, of course. There is an issue
17 as to whether -- or there may or may not be an issue as
18 to whether the tape itself left the building, of
19 course. But the fact that that -- or argument about
20 that arose, which led us to have reports prepared and
21 indeed to be prepared to reconsider the issue, if
23 MR. NICE: Then subject to that, and subject
24 to obviously the need for full argument on these
25 issues, should they be raised -- and in particular we
1 don't accept that there's anything left without leave,
2 but we'd have to argue all that -- then yes, that's an
3 accurate and succinct analysis of where we stand.
4 The expert's report from the Dutch laboratory
5 is, of course, only served at this time to deal with
6 the movement of the tape. But it seemed to me, once I
7 had got the report, the sensible thing was to serve it
8 in full. And if the Defence are going to call their
9 expert, then I would respectfully suggest that both
10 experts are heard, if this is possible, one after the
11 other, rather than making a special provision in
12 rebuttal evidence. It's much more helpful to hear two
13 experts side by side.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, it seems that the
16 sensible thing is to try and resolve this issue in one
17 at some stage. It's much more convenient. And
18 therefore the suggestion of hearing the witnesses back
19 to back, the experts back to back, might make some
20 sense. It would certainly be more convenient for the
21 Trial Chamber. And we could then have submissions upon
22 it while the evidence is fairly fresh in our minds.
23 MR. SAYERS: Obviously that's within the
24 ambit of the Trial Chamber's discretion. Obviously,
25 from our perspective we would prefer not to have
1 experts bouncing up in the middle of our case.
2 Also, we've received this report, the Court
3 will notice, just yesterday, so we're entitled to at
4 least three weeks' notice of any such report.
5 Mr. Koenig is scheduled to testify, I believe, on the
6 first day of the week of July 3rd, so we wouldn't
7 have --
8 JUDGE MAY: I said back to back. I didn't
9 mean it literally. Within a reasonable time of each
10 other, so we could then have the whole issue before us
11 and consider where we are. So unless there's further
12 objection, what I suggest is we call Mr. Koenig, and
13 then at a convenient time, which would be convenient to
14 all parties and convenient to the Court and convenient
15 to the witness, we call the Prosecution expert.
16 MR. SAYERS: Well, without consulting my
17 colleague here, Your Honour, I can say, from my
18 perspective, actually, that sounds like a pretty
19 reasonable course to follow, so long as we actually
20 have enough time to prepare for the experts or the --
21 JUDGE MAY: I would add this: that having
22 heard the experts, we will then schedule a time for
23 argument so that we can deal with the whole issue.
24 MR. SAYERS: And I don't know, in all
25 candour, that I need to add a whole lot more to what
1 we've set out in our papers, because it seems to me
2 that the Rijswijk laboratory report doesn't really
3 answer the fundamental question; in fact, it creates
4 some additional issues, from our perspective. But we
5 can hear that at the appropriate time.
6 JUDGE MAY: Don't go into it now.
7 MR. SAYERS: I won't.
8 JUDGE MAY: So we will -- perhaps the
9 Prosecution can arrange to have their expert sometime,
10 with agreement, if possible, with the parties, so that
11 it doesn't interrupt unduly the Kordic case. Maybe the
12 week of the 24th. I don't know.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. I see that,
14 having just looked at it, that the latest listing of
15 witnesses indicates Mr. Koenig is going to be here, as
16 the first witness, on the 3rd of July. So I should
17 probably have our expert, if he's available, sitting
18 with me then. And if the Defence are in a position to
19 take him then, and if there's otherwise time; otherwise
21 JUDGE MAY: It's not as though the witnesses
22 are going to be very long.
23 Can I turn next, then, to deal with
24 Dr. Pavlovic, and the state of that particular matter
25 is this: that relying on his affidavit, he is a doctor
1 specialising in occupational medicine. He was head of
2 the Zenica branch of the Republic Institute for
3 Evaluation of Work Ability. He produces two reports
4 relating to Mr. Cicak's ability to work, which was
5 assessed by the institute in 1984. And putting the
6 matter as neutrally as I can, he was found to be
7 disabled by reason of psychiatric problems and he was
8 then retired. The doctor says that he's reviewed the
9 documents. He makes a comment, but nothing more, about
10 the illness.
11 The Prosecution object, first of all on the
12 grounds that this is the evidence of an expert and the
13 procedure should be followed. Well, in a sense I
14 suppose that has been done.
15 The next point they make is a privacy point,
16 that the medical records have been produced without the
17 consent of the witness, and, say the Prosecution,
18 that's against the laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
19 also against the growing jurisprudence of the European
21 And they finally say that the records have no
22 guarantee of reliability and therefore there must be
23 doubts about them, and ask that the matter be excluded
24 under Rule 95, owing to the way in which they were
25 obtained. I think that's a summary of the submissions
1 to date.
2 Mr. Nice, is there anything you want to add
3 to that?
4 MR. NICE: I don't think there's anything I
5 want to add. I have Mr. Guariglia with me, who has
6 helped me drafting on the legal side of things, and if
7 you want any assistance on that beyond what's contained
8 in the brief, I'd ask him to have leave to address
9 you. But no, overall there's just simply the question
10 of relevance to these proceedings and these documents.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, it must be said that this
12 is the report, the reports, about a witness, the
13 reports 15 years before he gave evidence, and 16 years
15 MR. NICE: Yes.
16 JUDGE MAY: And I suppose it would be open to
17 you to say that you should be able to call expert
18 evidence on whether this illness is likely to persist
19 over a period of 15 to 16 years. It may be.
20 MR. NICE: If I had an expert as opposed to a
21 record producer, and if there was one properly before
22 the Court, I could probably ask him that and save one
23 tending. But, yes, I might. Although I'd be anxious
24 not to use time and money doing that, yes, I suppose I
1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
3 MR. SAYERS: I think, as I said yesterday,
4 Mr. President, we are producing Dr. Pavlovic to
5 authenticate medical records from a work institute.
6 These are public records. We're not producing him to
7 render an expert opinion. I believe that he sat on the
8 board which considered Mr. Cicak's eligibility to
9 work. It's significant that the eligibility for
10 fitness to work was a determination made, I believe, in
11 1984, which is actually only a few years before the
12 events about which Mr. Cicak testified in this court,
13 1991, 1992 being the operative time periods. So first
14 of all, he's produced to lay the foundation for those
15 documents and to authenticate them, upon objection of
16 the Prosecution. Second, he's not produced to offer
17 expert testimony. Third --
18 JUDGE MAY: Just pausing there, he does, as I
19 say, comment upon the illness. He mentions --
20 certainly his affidavit mentions his -- the effect of
21 the illness and it's manifestations.
22 MR. SAYERS: I think he mentions its
23 manifestations, most definitely. But I would have
24 thought, Your Honour, that is a matter of absolutely no
25 controversy. Those are medical facts. This is a
1 medical witness. I cannot imagine that the
2 manifestations of the syndrome are actually contested.
3 But if they are, then we can bring an expert witness
4 doctor along who can testify about what those
5 manifestations are, if it's necessary.
6 I would just add two final points, Your
7 Honour. There was a considerable amount of -- well, I
8 won't -- let me put it neutrally too,
9 non-responsiveness with respect to the questions asked
10 of this witness by the bench as to whether he retired
11 and, if so, why. And he was very --
12 JUDGE MAY: That is true, and he claimed not
13 to be able to remember at what age he retired.
14 MR. SAYERS: Yes. Or why, Your Honour. And
15 actually, the second point that I wanted to make was
16 related to the privacy concern and it's also related to
17 this point. It has been a witness from Busovaca, a Mr.
18 Maric, who testified about being acquainted with this
19 particular witness, and actually having the witness
20 tell him that he had retired as a result of a
21 psychiatric disability. And he proceeded to explain to
22 Mr. Maric, and actually show him documents that we
23 believe were generated by the very institute that we're
24 talking about, which chronicled his complaints, and Mr.
25 Cicak described the effects of this malady upon him,
1 being unable to contain his temper and so forth. So
2 any privacy concerns, I think, have to be considered
3 against that backdrop. The very individual who would
4 be asserting those concerns apparently has no
5 hesitation in describing the syndrome and showing
6 documents related to that syndrome to others.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Sayers, slow down,
9 MR. SAYERS: My apologies to the
10 interpreters. So any privacy concerns, I think, have
11 been waived by the witness himself to the extent that
12 there are any privacy concerns.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down,
14 Mr. Sayers.
15 MR. SAYERS: Let me just transfer to the
16 French channel, if I may.
17 And also these determinations were made by a
18 work board. These are not his individual physicians.
19 The considerations of the doctor/patient privilege I
20 suppose coming from the jurisdiction that I come from,
21 do not apply in this particular category because it was
22 a vocational or a vocational fitness that was being
23 considered by a dually appointed panel of physicians.
24 And I believe, as I've said in my previous submission,
25 that this was a determination that was subject to
1 appeal, so these are actually public records; they're
2 not private records. So for all of those reasons, we
3 are prepared to bring Dr. Pavlovic. As I say, my
4 direct examination of the doctor will last about two
5 minutes, and as to the cross-examination, I have no
7 JUDGE MAY: There's another point which I
8 haven't raised, which is the point about collateral
9 issues. Certainly, there is a rule in the United
10 Kingdom, I don't know about the United States, which
11 prevents calling a lot of evidence about side issues,
12 collateral issues. If we go down the road of calling
13 evidence about witnesses' credibility, is there not the
14 danger that the Trial Chamber, or any court, is likely
15 to be distracted and time taken up about the pursuit of
16 what may not be terribly important issues and are
17 essentially secondary? After all, his evidence was in
18 a very limited area.
19 MR. SAYERS: Well, of course, Your Honour,
20 the point that you make has considerable -- in fact, it
21 has very considerable force. And there is a rule in
22 the United States as there is in England, I'm sure,
23 regarding collateral issues.
24 If this issue had not been raised during the
25 course of the witness' examination we might not find
1 ourselves in the position of having to offer this
2 evidence but the issue was raised. In fact, it was
3 raised by us in cross-examination. The witness refused
4 to answer the question. The bench pressed him on the
5 point, and he tried to wiggle out of it with an answer
6 that was, we think, just completely incorrect.
7 And therefore we think that that --
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we needn't trouble
10 you any further.
11 MR. NICE: I'm hoping to address you on some
12 of the subjects to be raised.
13 JUDGE MAY: All right, very well.
14 MR. NICE: Because if you are minded to allow
15 this witness to --
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, I can tell you we are.
17 MR. NICE: The points that have been raised,
18 in our respectful submission, don't go anywhere near
19 meeting the realities of this case. First of all, yes,
20 he was reluctant or plainly worse about the date of his
21 retirement. That may be because he was embarrassed,
22 who knows. But that being said, there is no relevance
23 in the issue of his mental state. It wasn't raised
24 with him. Kordic engaged in polemic -- in the
25 newspapers with him, and treated him as a person with
1 whom to engage in debate without ever accusing him of
2 being intellectually or mentally unwell.
3 The Chamber will also recall that there was a
4 curious passage in the cross-examination where the
5 Chamber was concerned about whether it was being
6 accepted that Cicak had been beaten up or not. And it
7 was eventually drawn from the Defence that no there
8 wasn't any challenge that to the fact that he was
9 beaten up, he was beaten up. And the only issue was
10 what, if anything, had been said beforehand by Kordic
11 to acknowledge his responsibility tacitly or otherwise
12 to what had gone on. So mental issues simply didn't
13 arise, stale as they were.
14 So the relevance issue is really top of this
15 particular agenda. Obviously, if any issues of Cicak's
16 behaviour at the time being linked with mental
17 condition were going to be raised, they should have
18 been put expressly and they simply weren't.
19 JUDGE MAY: The relevance is as to
21 MR. NICE: Yes. But they simply weren't put
22 to him at all. And he really should have a chance to
23 deal with those because Your Honour says well, we might
24 seek to deal with it through an expert. We might also
25 seek to deal with it through him.
1 The point on privacy isn't met at all. The
2 fact that somebody may show documents to a private
3 individual, if that individual is right in the evidence
4 that is gained, says nothing about the entitlement of a
5 court to look at those documents without the consent of
6 the person concerned. We haven't approached Cicak
7 about this yet, but it certainly shouldn't be done
8 without --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, Mr. Nice, it doesn't
10 seem to be very much different from what one obtains
11 certainly in Jamaica and, I believe, in the United
12 Kingdom where a civil servant goes before a medical
13 board and can be retired by the medical board on
14 grounds of ill health, and I think Mr. Sayers is right,
15 that in such circumstances, that's not private.
16 MR. NICE: But the documents that underlie
17 that relate to medical examination are. Neither you
18 nor I would expect nor find documents on us dealing
19 with our medical conditions produced for the purposes
20 of employment, say, here suddenly produced in the
21 course of litigation elsewhere if it is apprised. I
22 must say, were that to happen, and I would take
23 personally every step I could, if I so judged it
24 appropriate, to stop it.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not so sure you are
1 right, because that is done -- well, in Jamaica by
2 virtue of a law which provides for it, and I don't
3 think it is -- it's private anymore.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we must disagree on
5 that or we may disagree on that. But the problems of
6 allowing this evidence in, particularly if you allow it
7 in as to the last paragraph of what is there on
8 paragraph 14 of this affidavit which is, I think, the
9 passage Your Honour Judge May was referring to when you
10 said it was effectively commenting on his performance.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. NICE: I think I was dealing at the time
14 with paragraph 14 and the Court sees the problem there,
15 because if that's going to be raised in any sense by a
16 side wind or otherwise, I'm entitled to and probably
17 will explore matters in whatever detail I think is
18 appropriate, taken whatever time is appropriate,
19 calling rebuttal expert evidence if it is appropriate.
20 Now, the mere bare fact -- I'm so sorry. The
21 mere bare fact of his retirement on medical grounds
22 might, itself, be unexceptional and no doubt if it had
23 been put to him in terms, "You were retired on medical
24 grounds on this date," he probably would have then said
25 yes and that would be the end of it.
1 Can this evidence go any further? Answer:
2 No. This is a clear effort to undermine Cicak's
3 evidence by stale psychiatric evidence which is going
4 to be a form of an opinion evidence on this man's
5 testimony however it's dressed up. That can't help
6 you. You saw the man.
7 This is an issue for the Trial Chamber and it
8 cannot be assisted by being told that the man was
9 retired for these reasons however many years before.
10 Even before we reach the procedural and legal
11 difficulties that are thrown up including, and I'll
12 just identify them for you for your consideration,
13 those that we set out in paragraph six when turning to
14 the European laws approached in these issues.
15 So our very respectful submission is that
16 this evidence shouldn't be allowed and it may well -- I
17 have no idea what I'll do if it's allowed in, and I'm
18 not -- it's never been my disposition to try and hold
19 the Court in any way at ransom. I don't know what I
20 will do, but I do know that I will raise it with
21 Mr. Cicak if this matter goes before the Court and he
22 may have something he wants to say to that, not the
23 least may be his concern how they ever got a hold of
24 these documents. That would certainly be my concern.
25 And overall, the evidence simply can't help.
1 For what, may I just repeat, for what reason
2 is this being laid before unless it's to found an
3 argument, in due course, this man may, so many years
4 later, have been paranoid. Simple as that.
5 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, normally the rule which we
8 have -- which I have mentioned about collateral issues
9 applies, but in this particular case, certainly the
10 cross-examination and the examination took an unusual
11 course in that the witness refused, really, to answer
12 questions on the topic claiming he didn't know,
13 claiming at one stage that he'd never been to a
15 So the issue was raised, and we've come to
16 the conclusion that as a matter of fairness, his
17 evidence should be called. But having regard to the
18 privacy issues which have been raised, we have in mind
19 that it should be done in closed session since we've
20 got the ability to do that here, and that the exhibits
21 should remain under seal. That will ensure that these
22 matters are not made public.
24 MR. NICE: Thank you. On that topic, I'll
25 tell Mr. Cicak that. I'm not sure that I will be in a
1 position, finally, to deal with the witness when he's
2 now listed for next week. I shall make all efforts to
3 do so, but I don't rule out the possibility that there
4 will be other applications maybe by Mr. Cicak himself,
5 I can't promise.
6 JUDGE MAY: They certainly won't be
7 encouraged because we've considered all the matters.
8 MR. NICE: I understand that, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, the next issue is the
10 question of the state of the affidavits. What I have
11 in mind is that we've had -- we had three affidavits
12 filed in the week of June the 5th, Mr. Pelivan and
13 Mr. Jukic and Mr. -- I'll have to be reminded.
14 MR. SAYERS: If I may, Your Honour,
15 Mr. Goludza.
16 JUDGE MAY: Goludza, that's the name, thank
17 you. Thank you. And since then we've had two further
18 affidavits which we need not trouble about at the
19 moment although, Mr. Sayers, I draw to your attention
20 that both are numbered 29, and that can't be right, but
21 that's a small point.
22 MR. NICE: We started our preparation for the
23 first three witnesses, but as they are also in support
24 of this week's witnesses, we aren't in a position to
25 complete our dealings with them and, indeed, we should
1 have -- technically we should have whatever seven days
2 from the witnesses in support of whom they are tendered
3 and so we can't do our analysis of their utility yet.
4 JUDGE MAY: Next week then.
5 MR. NICE: Next week, thank you.
6 JUDGE MAY: And perhaps you can deal with all
7 the witnesses, all the affidavits. The last two are --
8 yes, Mr. Nusbaurm is in support of these two witnesses
9 who have just given evidence and --
10 MR. NICE: (redacted).
11 JUDGE MAY: Is support of the next witness,
12 so we'll deal with them all next week. And that brings
13 us to the final point which is Mr. Kovacic, you -- we
14 started yesterday on the issue of when it will be
15 convenient to start your case and we have in mind the
16 24th of July since the other case will finish during
17 the week previously.
18 Now, if you want to address us on that, of
19 course, you can.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
21 Honour. I should like to say a few words. I believe
22 we already talked about it some three weeks ago and it
23 was the first time that it was mentioned that Kordic's
24 Defence might move on faster -- quicker than planned,
25 and then we were asked if Mr. Cerkez's Defence could
1 take up as soon as they were finished.
2 I'm sorry to say that I was overly optimistic
3 on that occasion, because that's the kind of man that I
4 am. And then I said that I thought that we could do
5 that. I still stand by that what I said on that
6 occasion, but I should like to ask you to bear in mind
7 the following.
8 According to the instructions received from
9 the Chamber, we were told what the calendar would be
10 and we planned from the day onward to proceed with the
11 case immediately after the summer recess.
12 When this second option arose recently, we
13 did try to go into it but, unfortunately, we ran into
14 some problems and I must tell you about it.
15 First of all, our organisation, some people
16 that we counted upon will not be available at that time
17 so we shall have to reshape our team and that is all
18 that easy.
19 And secondly, which only makes it worse, last
20 week I went to Vitez, and I'll explained why it was
21 only as late as last week. That is of five witnesses,
22 three told me they could not come in July because
23 earlier I had told them that they'd had to come in
24 September, so they already had plans of their own. Of
25 course, we could bring in some other witnesses, perhaps
1 change our schedule slightly and call some other
3 However, I should like to take this
4 opportunity that we shall do our utmost to start then
5 on that occasion because it's not two weeks earlier,
6 it's six weeks earlier, so it does affect our
7 preparations seriously, but we shall indeed do our
8 utmost to try to be ready for that new date.
9 However, I need to say that it will be
10 somewhat at our expense because simply that we shall
11 not be able to present our case in a logical manner by
12 following some logical entities or to move from one
13 subject to the other. We shall have to be jumping from
14 one to another, but perhaps it will not cause too much
15 trouble to you because you have already heard too many
16 stories about 1992 and then 1992-1993.
17 We shall not be the first ones to begin with
18 that, but I'm not very happy with this. I'm not very
19 happy not because I am optimistically minded, but
20 simply because I do not think that we shall be able to
21 present our case in the best possible manner.
22 Secondly, after we discussed it first, we
23 already undertook some steps to organise our work
24 better, but you must have heard that Zagreb, and I
25 suppose you have heard it from other sources not only
1 from me, that in Zagreb, documents are distributed
2 widely. But the problem is that they are issued in a
3 very strange way. That one day we have one procedure
4 applied, there is one protocol.
5 So that two men of mine, and I am talking in
6 terms of man hours, and they spent 16 man hours going
7 through some old, smelly, moldy documents having heard
8 some promises from the state, and then what it comes
9 down to is that those -- that they could have spent
10 that fortnight somewhere at the seaside and had a good
11 rest. Because we have not been issued with these
12 documents because meanwhile the state has changed the
13 "owner" of these documents, so the fact that we've
14 made a list of documents we needed they tell us,
15 "Forget it," because these are documents from a
16 different state agency, so you have to apply there and
17 through all those documents again.
18 So we have suffered a tremendous injustice
19 because we were promised that any documents that was
20 being shown to the Prosecution, because they are being
21 the same thing in the other room, that we would be
22 given a copy of that. And the other way around, that
23 the Prosecution would be getting the copies of all
24 documents that we go through.
25 Now, of course, I am not accusing anybody.
1 I'm not saying that the Prosecution has received
2 documents that we had marked and were denied them but,
3 unfortunately, I have to say that I have not been given
4 any paper of 8.000, and that is roughly the number that
5 was given by the person charged by the new Croatian
6 state with publishing those documents, 8.000 have been
7 published. I do not have a single copy of those.
8 We, of course, have limited resources, but
9 the thing is I had two men sitting there for 16 hours a
10 day with no result whatsoever. They could have worked
11 in Vitez instead. We could have changed our schedule,
12 our calendar, our witnesses, and all that, and instead
13 of having quite a few documents that are available in
14 Vitez, we wasted all this time.
15 And these are terrible problems because we
16 are preparing our case, our Defence. We already had
17 the concept of the Defence as of the first day, and now
18 there are some documents we've only seen, but not yet
19 been -- which have not been released to us which will
20 mean additional work, additional effort, additional
21 witnesses who may be figuring in some of those
23 I'm saying this simply because I have to ask
24 you for some flexibility in compiling my -- in
25 finalising my list of witnesses because some new issues
1 are coming up. Not only those that arose during the
2 Prosecution's case, but now some new questions which
3 seem to be cropping up with those new documents.
4 And my lawyer's nose, my experience tells me
5 that the Prosecution is now using some information
6 derived from those documents for shortly, perhaps not
7 having to do with my client, but that may be something
8 that has to do with my client, yet we do not have these
9 documents at all.
10 So we are dealing with a new theory of
11 disclosure which I have not seen yet. I do not know
12 about it. I'm not sure about it. But there are some
13 indications that there is something like that now which
14 is playing now. We did exchange some correspondence
15 with the Prosecution and we did clarify the matter of
16 one document, but that document came from another
17 office that is specifically from the president's
18 office. And I really, to be quite candid, have no idea
19 what goes on there, and the information I receive is
20 that they are disclosing documents by boxes. I don't
21 know what happens there, but I think I have to see
22 those documents, because I do not know whether these
23 boxes contain the death sentence for my client or the
24 acquittal sentence. My men are running from one door
25 to the other. They're getting all sorts of promises
1 and faxes and whatnots, but I still do not have any
2 concrete promise. Nothing has happened. I'm not
3 asking for anything else but some tolerance, but some
4 forebearance, and especially we are asking for
5 additional freedom in making the list of our witnesses.
6 And another matter which I wish to raise,
7 although I believe I've raised it already before: I
8 think that the Prosecution has introduced documents
9 Z2813.2 and Z2332.1. Those were the so-called Spork
10 binders, if I may remind you. They included a number
11 of lists. One of such lists was a list of some 4.500
12 individuals, I believe. And it is implied, basically,
13 that every individual on that list was a member of the
14 Vitez Brigade.
15 And to present a caricature, the Prosecutor
16 is now trying to persuade me that person A on that
17 list, and we have some testimony that he did something
18 elicit, was a soldier subordinate to the accused
19 Cerkez. I tried to challenge the list as much as I
20 could at that time, explicitly. For technical reasons,
21 we simply could not get all those 4.500 names.
22 Now we're faced with an absurd situation.
23 Theoretically, I should bring here about 2.500 witness,
24 or affidavits -- it doesn't matter -- who would say:
25 At that time shown in the list I was there and I was a
1 member of such-and-such unit and we were there.
2 We also had some witnesses -- I do not know
3 which ones testified under protective measures. No.
4 We had two witnesses, Buha and Santic, for instance,
5 one of these days, who were members of Vitezovi, and
6 they said in so many words -- they said that in so many
7 words here before this Court. They are on that list.
8 We also had a witness who was a member of the
9 Operative Zone -- command of the Operative Zone, Nakic,
10 Franjo Nakic, if you recall. He's also on the list.
11 So now, rather than by majorities, proving
12 one by one, I don't think it is possible. So what we
13 have to do is show that it is probable that the list is
14 not what it is presumed to be. So I have to present 40
15 or 50 affidavits of witnesses who will say: It was
16 shown that I was on the list such-and-such, but at that
17 time I wasn't there; I was in a different place. To
18 bring two or three lay witnesses and then try to
19 explain the reasons for which this list came up, which
20 are the motives underlying that list.
21 And then the key issue, but that is the
22 conventional evidence, and I don't want to tire you
23 with it. That is that the list does not show it
24 clearly that this 22nd Domobran Regiment was the legal
25 successor to the Vitez Brigade. In point of fact, that
1 list is a legal successor to all sorts of not only
2 military units, but also non-military units, that is,
3 all sorts of groups of population who for some reason
4 or other had some rights or thought they had some
5 rights. But I'm using it only by way of an example, to
6 show that it is very difficult to really define certain
7 matters. And I really would be ashamed of trying to
8 bring here 2.500 affidavits, even if technically I was
9 up to it. And I do not think it is, in a matter of
10 three months or something like that. But that will be
11 a major problem. It will be a major hindrance in my
12 case. Of course, I have to face up to it, but --
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
14 Mr. Kovacic. I'm not quite -- what is important, it's
15 not you are telling us about incredible figures, 2.500,
16 4.500, and so on and so forth, but it suffices, I
17 think, one should -- all that has to be proven is the
18 association between your client and your list. And
19 there are other conditions. But the fact that somebody
20 is on the list, it will establish or not establish
21 association with the accused. You cannot take this
22 list as one of the -- as the charge against your
23 client. I think everything has to be put in its proper
24 place. You know law, so you know there are certain
25 criteria to associate a person with something, even if
1 this is a superior person to somebody else who has
2 committed whatever crime.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course,
4 Your Honours, and I'm glad to hear it from you. But
5 being a cautious lawyer myself, I have to try to put
6 down my defence on the first front line. If that one
7 falls, then I have to go back to the second one. But
8 that is one of the criteria, and that is -- I mean,
9 that is what the list looks like, prima facie.
10 There are some persons who are "recognised,"
11 in inverted commas, as members of my brigade. But I'm
12 not talking about it, basically. What I'm saying is
13 that this kind of exhibit, which to my mind lacks
14 seriousness, but nevertheless it forces me to some
15 investigation. And I never dreamed that I would have
16 to go to investigate that at the time when the
17 Prosecution was still some five weeks away before the
18 conclusion of their case. And unfortunately, that is
19 the reality. And if one adds to it these documents in
20 Zagreb that I've just mentioned, that is unfortunately
21 the reality, which makes me very unhappy.
22 I hope we shall be able to somehow come to
23 grips with it by investing more effort into it, and we
24 shall do that. But bearing in mind all that, I should
25 like to ask you to grant me some more flexibility. But
1 simply objectively speaking, we shall not be able to
2 really determine which witnesses we need, which we do
3 not need. I shall not be able to put -- to finalise my
4 list of witnesses. I'm simply unable to do it, because
5 our theory about a fixed list of witnesses -- and I
6 know you showed major tolerance, but that theory is
7 based on that whole theory of regular and timely
8 disclosure, and we are still lacking it, because the
9 disclosure is still at issue here.
10 I'm not attacking now the Prosecutor's
11 office. Both they and we are now faced with this
12 avalanche of new documents which are being disclosed.
13 So that is my problem. I hope I was clear enough.
14 But perhaps I should add just one thing more,
15 simply for the sake of better planning. If you decide
16 so, we shall of course begin on that date. But in view
17 of some organisation -- I'm really quite candid. I'm
18 not trying to use any tactics now -- even if we began
19 in September, after the recess, I do not think it would
20 be the loss of two weeks of work, because I'm talking
21 about a fortnight of work. It could have been perhaps
22 a loss of one week's work, which would enable us to
23 better organise things. But that is just by the way.
24 Thank you. Of course, I'm quite ready to answer any
25 questions that you might have.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 MR. NICE: Can I be heard one on point? I've
3 got three points I want to make, but on this one point,
4 there's one thing I wanted to say yesterday, as I think
5 of considerable importance, and it leads to my asking
6 the Chamber not to allow any downtime, as it were,
7 before the summer recess, for this reason: The
8 documents that are being produced to all parties in
9 Zagreb are likely -- I can't say very likely, but are
10 likely to involve not only some evidence in rebuttal,
11 because there's already other evidence in rebuttal, but
12 quite possibly a very considerable quantity of evidence
13 in rebuttal of necessity.
14 I've said right from the beginning of this
15 case that if Croatia ever honoured its obligations and
16 produced documents, that that might be the best
17 material available to the Chamber, and it therefore
18 simply will cry out for, if not demand, consideration.
19 And documents may or may not come in on their own.
20 They may inevitably lead to further live witnesses. So
21 the rebuttal case may well be substantial.
22 Now, the time that -- the timetable we're on
23 already, going to the end of October and then two weeks
24 off, is extremely tight to finish by Christmas.
25 Obviously everyone will want to finish by Christmas,
1 and there may be very particular problems if we go
2 beyond Christmas in this case, being staffed by the
3 same personnel and so on. But if we lose two weeks
4 before the summer recess, I think the chances of
5 finishing this case by Christmas become increasingly
6 limited, and I'm very concerned about that. It is hard
7 work for all of us to go straight from one case to the
8 next, in the same way as it's very hard, frankly, to be
9 keeping up with this flow of evidence at the moment,
10 but we're all doing it in order that we can finish this
11 case expeditiously. And I would urge the Chamber -- it
12 happens to be not what I would like personally, but I
13 would urge the Chamber, for practical reasons, not to
14 allow any gap between one case and the next. That
15 would, of course, involve a Pre-Trial hearing at some
16 stage to be slipped in.
17 JUDGE MAY: You said you had some other
19 MR. NICE: The other points are entirely
20 separate. Shall I mention them now?
21 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with this.
22 Mr. Kovacic, we hear what you say, and of course we
23 bear in mind the problems that you mention,
24 particularly the fact that there may be -- there is
25 further disclosure, which will make things difficult.
1 But we also have in mind the necessity of finishing
2 this case and the view of the International Community,
3 which is watching this institution. And if another two
4 weeks disappear, there is bound to be justified
5 criticism. Not that that, of course, has an effect on
6 the fairness of the trial, which is the matter which we
7 have to determine, but these are matters all of which
8 we have to have in mind.
9 We shall require you to start on the 24th,
10 doing the best you can. If there are further
11 difficulties, we'll hear about them from you and of
12 course we'll consider the position, and there may be a
13 degree of flexibility. But we would wish to occupy, if
14 at all possible, those two weeks, and I'm sure you will
15 do what you can.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, thank you very
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for
19 Mr. Kovacic. Microphone for Mr. Kovacic.
20 MR. KOVACIC: But that was exactly my point.
21 I can do it. Yes, I need a lot of additional
22 resources, organisation, additional talks to the
23 witnesses. But the point is, I will need for that a
24 certain flexibility, because, as you are, I was also
25 very exact of the arguments you mention. There is no
1 sense to make this sense [sic] longer, and certainly I
2 don't want to be a cause for that.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
4 Yes, Mr. Nice.
5 MR. NICE: I have three other short points.
6 One actually goes back to the witness we were
7 discussing, the medical witness we were discussing.
8 A few weeks ago, when I first raised it, I
9 raised, with some concern, the fact that the affidavit,
10 with associated documents, had been filed publicly,
11 meaning that the document will be available, as such
12 documents are to any member of the public, to view.
13 The Court has now made an order, or forecast making an
14 order, that the evidence of the witness will be given
15 in closed session in order that that material should be
16 protected. We've spoken this afternoon in open
17 session, and every step should now be taken to protect,
18 from this moment onwards, the material concerned.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That will be done. That's
20 already in hand.
21 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
22 And the other two points are these. We've
23 now got a list of the witnesses from the Kordic Defence
24 up until the week of July 3rd. I repeat my request
25 yesterday. As somebody who served, quite voluntarily,
1 six weeks and then months of witnesses, that really we
2 should have, and it will help the preparation of this
3 case if we can have the final batting list of all
4 witnesses up till the end of the case plainly known by
5 the Defence, and there's no reason for us not to have
7 And the final request is this: The experts'
8 reports have been provided to us in English. We've
9 asked for them in B/C/S, both because we want to be
10 sure, whether they exist in B/C/S, that there are
11 proper translations, and it seems inevitable that they
12 must exist in B/C/S for the defendant himself to read
13 them. We also may need them -- or may prefer them to
14 be in B/C/S because if we are putting them to experts
15 who are themselves linguists in that language -- users
16 of that language -- we're told that no such reports
17 exist in B/C/S, but we would be grateful for them if
18 they do exist, as it will help us.
19 MR. SAYERS: Responding to the last point
20 first, Your Honour. We don't have the expert reports
21 in Croatian. They can always be submitted, I suppose,
22 to the Translation Unit if it's absolutely necessary,
23 but I can't imagine that it is.
24 If I might just respond to the forecast that
25 there appears to be a move under foot to put on another
1 case in chief by representations that we're going to
2 have a substantial rebuttal case. I've prepared a
3 little chart and I'll have it for the Court tomorrow.
4 The longest rebuttal that's been permitted in any of
5 the Lasva Valley cases to date I believe is four days,
6 and it consisted of two witnesses, and I think that was
7 in the Blaskic case. I would certainly hope that we're
8 not going to be looking at this case as the -- I think
9 I've said it earlier in a pleading -- the criminal
10 equivalent of a case of Jarndyce versus Jarndyce, a
11 case that never ends.
12 This case has got to come to an end at some
13 point, and I would certainly hope that after an
14 indictment was prepared, I believe, in 1995, presumably
15 on the basis that the Prosecution had enough evidence
16 to convict at that point, there is simply no excuse for
17 prolonging these proceedings any further than they
18 absolutely need to be. And so I would certainly hope
19 that the Court would bear in mind, when it considers
20 the length of the rebuttal case, the kinds of rebuttal
21 cases that have been put on these cases to date, and
22 two other things: the length of time that the
23 indictment has been outstanding, and also, and much
24 more important from the perspective of my client, the
25 amount of time that he's been in gaol already. Thank
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll sit again at
3 half past 9.00 tomorrow morning.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
5 at 4.12 p.m., to be reconvened on
6 Thursday the 22nd day of June, 2000,
7 at 9.30 a.m.