1 Friday, 07 December 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott?
9 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Your Honour. We have -- our next
10 witness is Marko Prelec, who the Chamber has heard from before. And there
11 are no protective measures. There is one part of his testimony that we
12 may seek private session on, for reasons that I would explain in private
13 session, not having to do with his personal security but other matters.
14 But there is, other than that, no security measures.
15 The testimony of the documents that are going to be used with this
16 witness today go to two primary issues, not exclusively but primarily.
17 One is existence of an international armed conflict, and of course, as you
18 know by now, Your Honours, it's the Prosecution case that the Republic of
19 Croatia and its forces were involved in this armed conflict in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina between the Bosniaks and the Croats during 1993, and
21 the early part of 1994, and that there was indeed an international armed
23 The second principal topic will be the existence of widespread and
24 systematic behaviour. That is also a prerequisite under the crimes
25 against humanity charges in the indictment that the conduct be widespread
1 and systematic, and Mr. Prelec will also be assisting in the presentation
2 of some additional documents concerning that matter, the relevance of
3 those particular documents being, again, to show that -- I think the
4 Chamber will see, we submit, that the things that the Chamber has heard a
5 great deal of evidence about now in Herzegovina were taking place
6 simultaneously in other parts of Bosnia, primarily in central Bosnia, and
7 that indeed the conduct was widespread and systematic.
8 That's by way of introduction, Mr. President, and we will call
9 Mr. Prelec.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Did you furnish all those documents to the
12 MR. SCOTT: I believe we were in the process of doing that when we
13 started -- when you came in. I'm going to start, Mr. President, with a
14 bundle of documents that are going to be handed to you now and a table
15 that has been listed as P893.
16 I see Mr. Krsnik is on his feet. I'm not sure why.
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik?
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, and thank you, Your
19 Honours. I will immediately explain why. We have received this list just
20 now. We are not prepared -- with all the objections that we shall hear
21 now from my learned friends, we thought that today we shall only have the
22 presidential transcripts. I do not think it is right to receive, a minute
23 before the hearing, a list, because we, like you, need to prepare to hear
24 the list of documents to be tendered through Mr. Prelec a minute before we
25 started, so that we, or at least I, had no time to check the documents
1 which are on this list, go through them once again, in order to be on an
2 equal footing with Mr. Prelec. That is one thing.
3 And secondly, I believe that my learned friend has said that we
4 shall not be talking about the substance, about the contents of the
5 documents today, because if we do that, if we are discussing the substance
6 of these transcripts, in that case, the Defence cannot conduct the
7 cross-examination. The Defence is not ready for that. We explained it to
8 you two days ago. We heard your ruling, and we comply with it.
9 We can discuss documents as such, but the substance, the
10 contents -- last night we leafed through these documents. We immediately
11 realised two or three things, and we have to say something. I mean -- we
12 mean the consistency, certain variances, certain differences. And again,
13 this list -- I really cannot go through this list. I cannot go on looking
14 for where these documents are. We received these documents only a minute
15 ago, and I really -- Mr. President, Your Honours, please give us at least
16 half an hour to read those documents.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, I want to know whether the documents
18 listed in the Exhibit P893 have been furnished to the Defence counsel or
19 you just provided the list this morning.
20 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. The documents have been tendered.
21 They've been in the 17 binders. The Defence has had the documents since
22 early September, late August or early September.
23 Your Honour, I'm not going to go into a long statement on this.
24 Counsel's just wrong once again. If he would read his correspondence, and
25 if he would just -- it's not true. We gave notice. I don't have the
1 letter with me. I will once again, as I've done in the past, I will
2 produce the correspondence to the Chamber indicating that we were going to
3 call Mr. Prelec this week, including on this matter. I would be happy to
4 provide that to the Chamber.
5 Counsel has had these documents now for some months, for at least
6 three months. The list is being provided simply as an aid, simply as an
7 aid to assist everyone in knowing which documents we're talking about, and
8 the documents themselves have been known to the Defence for over three
9 months now.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you. Mr. Krsnik, do you still want the floor?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what I'm trying to say
13 is that I cannot check if it is these 17 binders. That is, I cannot say
14 whether I received them or not, because I have to check this. I have to
15 go and see if I received them. By this, of course, I don't mean to say
16 that my colleague -- my learned friend is not telling the truth. If he
17 says we received them, then I believe we did receive them, but my learned
18 friend knows he cannot give it to us a minute before we start. Even
19 yesterday when we were talking, all he announced was the presidential
20 transcripts. He cannot place us in such a position a minute before the
21 witness is called in.
22 That is not fair, my learned friend, regardless of what you think.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, the problem is that we are under a
24 very tight schedule, which means we have no time to lose for the court
25 hours. What if we begin with this witness, first of all, on the
1 presidential transcripts first? I believe that your co-counsel will check
2 all those documents listed in Exhibit P893 to see whether they are in the
3 17 binders or not.
4 Mr. Scott, call your witness, please.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. We call Marko Prelec. If
6 the usher could assist us, please.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Can the interpreters also get a copy of the
8 schedule if it is going to be used, please?
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President -- I'm sorry.
10 Mr. President, what I was about to say -- I apologise. I'm not
11 sure what the witness -- what the hold-up is, but there are a total of
12 eight of these binders. For the sake of less confusion and less volume
13 for all of us, for Your Honours and for everyone in the courtroom, we are
14 only going to be directing particular attention to a couple, again by
15 example. I think one will be in volume 3 and one will be in volume 6. So
16 those are the only ones we need to work with, I think. But there are a
17 total of eight binders altogether.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Scott, you have to know that your
20 direct examination could touch upon the relevance of those documents to
21 this very case.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: But you are not going into the substance of those
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. If I could just say, that is our
1 full intent. When I say "substance," I'm not asking this witness to
2 express any opinion or conclusions as to what the documents show or do not
3 show, but as we've done before, I may ask the witness to assist the
4 Chamber in terms of some of the information reflected on the face of the
5 document which the Chamber might not be familiar with. But clearly, it is
6 not my intention to ask this witness to express any opinion or conclusions
7 drawn on the documents.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Good morning, Witness.
10 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
11 JUDGE LIU: Will you please make the solemn declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: Certainly. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
13 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down.
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, Your Honours, Judge Clark, Judge
16 Diarra, I will not introduce this witness to you, because you've seen
17 Mr. Prelec before. I would ask the Chamber, since we are taking these --
18 this category of documents first, if we could go to private session for a
19 moment for a request, and then you can decide, Your Honour, whether you
20 want to stay in private session or not.
21 JUDGE LIU: We will go to the private session, please.
22 [Private session]
13 Pages 7171-7183 – redacted – private session
3 [Open session]
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Mr. Prelec, now just continuing on for a few minutes, in terms of
6 the procedures again by which this material then was further reviewed, and
7 without addressing the matters already touched upon, would it be fair to
8 say then the material was reviewed, copies of selected material was
9 requested, and that material would then -- the copies of that material
10 would then be provided by the government of the Croatia to the Office of
11 the Prosecutor; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And after that, in the same manner that you have -- you've
14 informed this Chamber of before was the process by which the matter would
15 be -- the material - excuse me - would be received into the Office of the
16 Prosecutor, given various unique stampings and kept secured in the
17 evidence vault?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you also tell the Chamber that in preparing and reviewing this
20 material, just to confirm, if you will, the continuity of this material,
21 have you seen transcripts in The Hague, in the Office of the Prosecutor,
22 that are the same as transcripts that you saw when you were actually
23 sitting in the offices of the President in Zagreb?
24 A. Yes, on numerous occasions.
25 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I would direct your attention
1 respectfully now, and counsel, to a table which has been prepared and
2 admitted -- excuse me, tendered as Exhibit P892. It should -- I hope you
3 have -- I'm told that they were -- originally there was a set in the first
4 binder of the entire set, but I'm also told they have been made available
5 today, I hope.
6 Mr. President, do you have those on the bench? Yes. Thank you
7 very much.
8 Q. For the record, Mr. Prelec, is it correct that this then is --
9 what this document represents is essentially a schedule or listing with
10 some summary material of selected -- approximately 36 selected
12 A. I don't have it in front of it me, but --
13 Q. My apologies. I'm sorry. I thought it had already been.
14 MR. SCOTT: Could we provide a copy to the witness, please? My
16 Mr. President, the schedule's probably rather, I think,
17 self-explanatory, but let me just ask the witness a few questions by way
18 of background.
19 Q. Apart from the exhibit number listed in the far left column, can
20 you tell the Chamber briefly what information, what sort of information is
21 listed or indicated in the second column from the left?
22 A. In the second column from the left, you have basically some sort
23 of identification of what the transcript is. If it's a meeting of a
24 formal group, a formal body, that's sometimes indicated. The date is
25 always indicated and usually in a small group, all the participants and in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 a larger group, just the first few or the more important participants.
2 Q. And in the -- is it correct that what is reflected in the -- what
3 might be described as the middle three columns, that the binders that have
4 been provided to the Chamber and to counsel include the full, what we
5 call, B/C/S transcripts and the ERN number, the marking number? The
6 record-keeping system of the Office of the Prosecutor is marked there, the
7 number's given. There were then relevant excerpts translated and the
8 numbers and identifications given for those items. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. SCOTT: And I believe the summary -- indication of summary
11 will speak for itself. It may be that a better example of a listing of
12 participants in a meeting -- well, we can perhaps -- one that we will get
13 to, but if I could start -- if I could direct the Chamber's and counsel's
14 attention to page 4, just simply as an example, for the PT3.
15 Q. Witness, this would be an example, again, listing at least some of
16 the people who attended, what the meeting was about, in terms of who was
17 there and some of the individuals?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. For example, are you familiar with the name Franjo Boras?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And who was he?
22 A. He was one of the Bosnian Croat members of the Bosnian Presidency.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as usual, we have the
25 same situation. A witness appears, we say that he is not going to testify
1 to any facts, then they start slipping in facts, and then more facts are
2 brought in. And the Prosecutor is doing this and then saying, "We are not
3 going to do it," and then he does it anyway. And please, can we not allow
4 this to go on?
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe that the Prosecutor is
6 just drawing our attention to that particular document.
7 And Mr. Scott, would you please be very careful about those
9 MR. SCOTT: Absolutely, Your Honour. And I've not asked -- what
10 I've said consistently, and what I believe I've complied with, is I've not
11 asked this witness to give -- express any opinion or conclusion. What I
12 have asked him to do, and would continue to ask him to do, in some
13 respects, is to give this Chamber some additional information as to some
14 of the names and information reflected on the face of the document, simply
15 to assist the Chamber but not to express any view on what the material
16 shows or doesn't show.
17 Now, what I would like in that regard, Mr. President, what I would
18 like to do, and what I would propose to do -- and I'm, of course, as
19 always, in the Chamber's hands. What I had intended to do was to look at
20 two particular transcripts simply again to orient the Chamber to the
21 material and indicate some names, get the assistance of this witness as to
22 that, and be concluded with this part of the testimony. That's what I
23 hoped to do.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed.
25 MR. SCOTT: Now, Mr. President, if I could ask Your Honours and
1 would direct counsel's attention, then, to volume number 3, which is the
2 one of the binders that was given to you this morning, and that counsel
3 has had for sometime. And specifically I'm going to ask -- and the
4 witness will need a set. I hope he has -- he will need a volume 3, and
5 if -- if we didn't wind up with enough copies or binders in the
6 courtroom, my apologies.
7 If I could then direct Your Honours' attention to tab 11, which
8 will be Exhibit PT -- and "PT" simply means -- for our purposes, at least,
9 means, "Presidential Transcript" 11.
10 Q. Do you have that, Witness?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, just looking at the first page, can you just tell the
13 Chamber, is that -- I'm not suggesting they all look exactly alike, but is
14 that the type of format that you saw -- that you've seen in looking at
15 this transcript material that you've had access to?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. SCOTT: And the Chamber will see, if you leaf down some number
18 of pages - probably a couple of centimetres - you will, of course, find
19 ultimately the B/C/S version, which is -- immediately follows the English
20 transcript, if you go back. So it is there, and the entire B/C/S
21 transcript is in the binder at that tab number.
22 Q. Now, in this regard, concerning a meeting -- a conversation
23 between the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, and
24 the Minister of Defence on the 22nd of October, 1993, let me just get your
25 assistance with a few names and background items. In the first page,
1 about the -- below the middle of the page, there is a reference to a
2 Mr. Susak, who the Chamber has heard about before, but --
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that we still see
5 again that what Mr. Krsnik has objected to is being repeated, so I'm going
6 to substitute for him. I think that we are now going into the substance.
7 We are going -- we are not going about the contents or the text or even
8 the names. We are going to the gist of what the Prosecutor is trying to
9 argue. We can ask how this PT11 found itself here, how it was -- how did
10 it reach the OTP, rather than have it read. In other words, we are
11 reading and leading evidence from it, and I think that that is not what
12 was agreed to.
13 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, let me state -- I'm sorry, I defer to
14 Mr. Seric.
15 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no, no, no.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, again, there is confusion. And if I am
19 responsible for that, I apologise. I did not indicate that I would not
20 ask the witness some factual questions about the documents. What I've
21 said consistently is that he would not express opinions or conclusions
22 about the material or what the material shows. I'll give the Chamber an
23 example, and then, again, as I say, I'm in the Chamber's hands.
24 And I'm happy to proceed either way. We can certainly abbreviate
25 this morning's proceedings if -- depending on what the Chamber wishes to
1 do. Let me ask -- let me give an example. On the very first page is a
2 reference to General Bobetko. I don't know -- and I certainly do not for
3 a moment want to be considered insulting the Chamber's intelligence, but I
4 don't know to what extent General Bobetko is known to you or who he was or
5 his role or not.
6 There are other names. And several pages down, there is a name of
7 a Tole. There is that sort of information that this witness could provide
8 the Chamber with some assistance on, and that's what I would propose to
9 do. But again, of course, I'm in the Chamber's hands.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, since there are some strong
11 objections from Defence counsel, and as we said before this trial, that
12 this witness is only going to lay some background of those documents,
13 which means how they selected those documents and how they process with
14 these documents in their hands. As for the substantive matters in this
15 document, I don't think it's the subject of your direct examination at
16 this stage.
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I completely accept, of course, the
18 Chamber's ruling, and that will certainly abbreviate these matters. So I
19 will put those binders aside.
20 Before leaving the presidential transcripts, Your Honour - I won't
21 give it to you now - I'll just say this -- and the reason I'm not is it
22 needs to be made sure that it's put in the proper spot. We did find
23 yesterday, unfortunately, there was one portion of one transcript that the
24 translation was missing. It's been done. I have these in hand. But at
25 some point they will need to be inserted and -- so that the -- so it's
1 complete. And my apology for that, but I do have them present.
2 JUDGE LIU: Can you inform us which document is this translation
4 MR. SCOTT: This relates to -- it's part of transcript 28, PT28.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
6 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, with that then, and with the Court's
7 direction, which I'm grateful for, I would turn to the second set of
8 documents, which is the material that we started talking about a few
9 moments ago, and the list that is numbered 893.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, before you leave this subject, we
11 wonder whether you could ask this witness to furnish this Chamber with a
12 name list of who is who, which might be helpful in our deliberations.
13 MR. SCOTT: Yes, of course, Your Honour. I think we can certainly
14 pursue that. We won't do that on the spot, obviously, but we can prepare
15 that and produce it before the conclusion of our case.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. Mr. Prelec, if you have --
19 MR. SCOTT: If he could be -- if he hasn't been, if the witness
20 could please be shown a copy of Exhibit 893.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have a copy of this
22 document. Could it be placed on the ELMO, please.
23 MR. SCOTT: For the translation -- benefit of the translation
24 booths, I don't believe there will be any significant discussion of the
1 Mr. President, this schedule goes to the other documents which I
2 mentioned in my opening comments concerning the widespread and systematic
3 nature of various things.
4 Q. Mr. Prelec, have you assisted in -- among the staff of the Office
5 of the Prosecutor in the preparation of this material for presentation to
6 the Chamber today?
7 A. Yes, I have.
8 Q. And did you also work extensively in the Kordic case that was
9 tried before this institution in the past couple of years?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. And did you become, in the course of that work, quite familiar
12 with the exhibit material, much of the exhibit material in that case?
13 A. Yes. I couldn't be -- claim to be familiar with all of it. I
14 think there were more than 2.000 exhibits, but yes, a very large number of
16 Q. Now, as part of the preparation of this document -- concerning
17 these documents --
18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, again for the record, we do not have a
19 separate compilation of all of these documents except for a small binder
20 of sample documents which we prepared, but they are in the 17 binders of
21 documents that have been tendered for some time, or - excuse me - to use
22 the correct terminology, they were provided, and then various documents
23 have been tendered or offered as the case has proceeded.
24 Q. As part of the preparation of this table, Witness, are you able to
25 say that the Office of the Prosecutor, again as with the previous
1 submissions that this Chamber has seen, when to look at the source -- to
2 provide the source information regarding the various documents which is
3 indicated in the column from the fourth -- the fourth column from the left
4 of the page titled "Source"?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if it says, for instance, the -- abbreviated here "Gov. BiH,"
7 that was information on request from the government of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, for example?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Directing your attention to the column immediately to the right of
11 that column, can you again confirm to your knowledge based upon your
12 involvement in this project and with the assistance of others that the --
13 all of the documents in fact listed in this document P893 are all exhibits
14 that were admitted in the Kordic case?
15 A. Yes, I can.
16 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, my intention again here had been - and
17 I will assume that the Chamber's guidance may well be the same - I have
18 prepared a sub-bundle of approximately five or six documents which were
19 provided -- distributed in the courtroom this morning, again with the idea
20 that this witness, without expressing opinions, could provide some
21 background information as to names of individuals, names of
23 For instance, I'm simply -- I'm not even saying that people have
24 to pull it out. But I'm saying as an example, the first document refers
25 to something called the "Travnik Subregional Community." And I would ask,
1 for instance, the witness to describe or give his information on what that
2 entity was at that time. But again I'm in the Chamber's hands, and it may
3 be that the Chamber's views and counsels' views, presumably, will be the
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But Mr. Scott, if you have any information or
6 questions that will help us to find our way through this document, we
7 certainly welcome this kind of assistance from your side.
8 MR. SCOTT: All right, Mr. President. Well, I will try, and we'll
9 see what we can do. And again, I'll accept the Chamber's guidance at any
11 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott can I say something?
12 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
13 JUDGE CLARK: What we would be very interested in, I think, is
14 hearing from this witness as to how, when he examined this huge volume of
15 documents in the safe at the presidential palace, that he was able to
16 select documents which he feels that this Trial Chamber should look at and
17 how those documents are relevant to Mr. Martinovic and Mr. Naletilic. We
18 haven't heard that yet. Because obviously there is a selection process
19 which has been gone through, and we'd like to know about that.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Clark. I think as to the first part,
21 I can ask him to do that in terms of the further -- providing the Chamber
22 with some additional information on the review and selection process. I
23 fear that if we get into justifications of relevance, that we'll find
24 ourselves back into drawing the objections of counsel, because that will
25 involve him stating opinions and positions as to what relevance the
1 documents are.
2 I'm afraid -- I'd be more than happy to do that, and I hope that I
3 can ultimately do that in our trial brief, in our final brief and my
4 closing argument. But I fear counsel will give us the objections they've
5 given us this morning already.
6 Q. Let me go as far as we can, Witness, possibly. Can you give us a
7 bit more background, assist the Chamber by indicating -- you've indicated
8 that not only yourself but a number of representatives of the Office of
9 the Prosecutor were involved in reviewing this material. And can you give
10 the Chamber some idea the type of criteria that were used in selecting
11 from among this substantial volume of material that you said was located
12 in the office?
13 A. Yes. I can -- yeah. The staff of the Office of the President had
14 lists of all the material that they had in the safe broken down into
15 various categories. There were -- for example, there was a large category
16 of transcripts. Those were arranged by year. Then there were other
17 transcripts that were one-on-one meetings between President Tudjman and
18 one other person. Those were arranged separately and arranged by person.
19 So I saw those indexes and just read through them and selected the ones
20 not really with the issues of this case in mind at all but simply looking
21 for material that might be of interest to the International Tribunal as a
22 general matter.
23 So I focused on the years of the war in Bosnia. I also focused to
24 a degree on time periods of when important things had happened in
25 Croatia. There were some areas that I didn't really feel competent to go
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 into at the time, so I tended to focus on my area of knowledge, which had
2 to do mostly with Bosnia.
3 So based on that, we made -- when I say "we," I made for myself,
4 and other people working in the same way would make one for themselves, a
5 preliminary selection of transcripts that we thought, based on date and
6 participants, would be interesting and then read those.
7 Sometimes it turned out that they had to do with, you know,
8 discussions about the budget or things like this or some diplomatic event
9 that had taken place. Sometimes it turned out that they were discussions
10 that did actually bear on the war in Bosnia, and those then I made notes
11 of, sort of short summaries, sometimes quite elaborate summaries, and
12 requested copies.
13 I understand there was then -- once all that material arrived here
14 at the Office of the Prosecutor, a separate selection was made by other
15 people, not by me, of what material to actually use in this case. So I
16 can't really comment on that.
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President and Your Honours, I think with the
18 parameters that have been given, that's about as far as I'm able to go.
19 It may be that perhaps it could assist the Chamber. And I -- it would not
20 be unusual in my system for counsel - of course my comments are not
21 evidence - but for counsel to give some indication of the relevance. If
22 the relevance of a proffered document is questioned, certainly counsel has
23 to make some representations or statement as to relevance. If the Chamber
24 would want that, I could provide some of that, but otherwise, I think that
25 the presentation seems to be at an end for these purposes.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. If we have some questions, we'll
2 ask the witness on those particular questions. And if there is a
3 necessity, we'll ask some submissions from both parties concerning those
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I have no further
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
8 Any cross-examination? Mr. Krsnik.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Prelec. We have not yet had
12 the privilege to meet, so allow me to introduce myself. I'm Kresimir
13 Krsnik, lawyer and counsel for Mr. Mladen Naletilic. I will ask you some
14 questions related to your today's examination-in-chief.
15 And you understand Croatian, do you?
16 A. Yes, I understand Croatian. I will answer in English for the
17 benefit of the Chamber, but, yes.
18 Q. My first question will be: How did you get to the Office of the
19 President? I don't mean -- of course I don't mean whether you used a bus
20 or a car. I mean were you invited there or did you invite yourself?
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we request to go to private session for
22 these matters.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, if the direct examination is
24 conducted in private session, as a rule, the cross-examination should be
25 conducted in the private session. Let's go to the private session,
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, excuse me, but may I
3 ask why? What is the reason?
4 JUDGE LIU: I have already stated my reason.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I see, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: We will go to the private session, please.
7 [Private session]
12 Page 7201 – redacted – private session.
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE LIU: And Witness, I have to remind you that understanding
7 Croatian is a strong point but sometimes it also has some disadvantage.
8 For instance, in these proceedings, whatever you said will be translated
9 into other languages, so please wait for a while after the counsel
10 finished his question, because we have several times in the transcript we
11 could not distinguish question and answers.
12 THE WITNESS: My apologies. I will do so.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We will resume at 11.30.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.01 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Prelec, can you tell me in regard of the transcript that we
19 received, are these all the transcripts or are there more?
20 A. There are more, yes.
21 Q. And they're in the possession of the OTP?
22 A. Some of them in the possession of the OTP, but there are many more
23 that are not.
24 Q. You set up the criteria as to which transcripts you were going to
25 turn over to us and which not?
1 A. Someone else. I was not involved in that, in that decision.
2 Q. You said that these transcripts were under lock and key in the
3 office of the National Security Advisor. Can you be certain to me and to
4 the Trial Chamber that no one before you had access to these transcripts?
5 A. No, I can't. In fact, I'm certain that they were accessed.
6 Q. Were these transcripts always there where you found them? Were
7 they ever kept in another place?
8 A. I just don't know.
9 Q. My colleague is reminding me to ask you: Who was the person who
10 had set the criteria about which transcripts would come into our case and
11 which would not, which would be selected for this case?
12 A. I actually don't know. I was simply given the list that you have
13 as well.
14 Q. Tell me, these were persons in the Office of the President who
15 gave you the transcripts which they wanted to give you?
16 A. No. I think it's -- I have always assumed that it was the Office
17 of the Prosecutor. I mean, probably Mr. Scott or his colleagues.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President --
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. No, no, no. I'm referring to the Office of the President.
22 MR. SCOTT: Well, we did change gears rather abruptly, Your Honour
23 because at one point we were talking about which documents were selected
24 for trial and then in the Office of the President. If that's in fact the
25 clarification, then I have no objection.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Krsnik. You may proceed.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Can you be certain that the persons who appear on the transcript
4 were aware of their being recorded, if they assume what is in the
5 transcript does accurately reflect what was said? In other words, did
6 these people know that they had been recorded? Did you talk with any of
7 those? You said that there were 40 kilometres of tape, 40 kilometres of
9 A. I think there are a number of questions.
10 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. I'm sorry.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
12 MR. SCOTT: I don't remember that testimony, Your Honour, anything
13 about 40 kilometres. I think there was a reference to 10.000 or 15.000
14 documents. I don't remember anything about kilometres being mentioned.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. It's also something new to us.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour.
17 Q. Between these 10.000 and 15.000 kilometres - sorry -
18 documents - I'm sorry - did you ever encounter the name of client in any
19 of that material?
20 A. Yes, in at least one of the transcripts, and there may have been
21 other places.
22 Q. What year -- what year was that transcript from?
23 A. The transcript I'm thinking of is from 1994. And I should point
24 out that it was a reference to your client, but your client did not appear
25 to be present.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
2 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just to assist the Chamber, it is PT11.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, my mistake, it was PT28, Your Honour, and
5 my apologies. PT28, dated the 2nd of September, 1994.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
8 Q. 2nd September 1994. I believe this is outside of the scope of the
9 indictment, but whatever, can you confirm, Mr. Prelec, that since
10 President Tudjman's death, that is, from the death of Mr. Tudjman, to the
11 time of the takeover of these transcripts, no one had access to these
12 transcripts? Do you know that?
13 A. I don't understand --
14 Q. In -- except for you. That is, from the death of President
15 Tudjman until the time when you took possession of the transcripts, do you
16 know whether anyone had access to these transcripts?
17 A. No, I can't confirm that.
18 Q. Who had the keys to the room where the transcripts were kept?
19 A. When I was there, the National Security Advisor always had
20 access. I believe they were kept somewhere in the inner offices of the
21 President, but that's really all that I know.
22 Q. And do you know where these transcripts were kept in 1991, 1992,
23 early 1992? Or to make things easier, was the President's office always
24 at the location where it is now and where you received your transcripts?
25 A. I think it was actually moved to that location at some point in
1 the early 1990s, but I'm not sure.
2 Q. In the 1990s?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In the 1990s, the Office of the President was where you went and
5 found these transcripts?
6 A. In the -- during the 1990s, my understanding is that -- well,
7 there were a number of state offices that the late President Tudjman
8 used. For the most part of the 1990s, it was at that location on
9 Pantovcak. I believe, in the very early 1990s, he also used a facility in
10 the old town of Zagreb, but I'm not sure of any of the details.
11 Q. Who guaranteed to you or who vouched for the authenticity of these
12 transcripts? Who did guarantee it for you and how did they guarantee it
13 for you?
14 A. Well, I'm not sure if it was any one person. There was continuity
15 in the Office of the President, in that the staff remained, to a degree,
16 the same from the staff of President Tudjman to the staff of President
17 Mesic. Some of the people I spoke with and dealt with on a daily basis
18 had also worked for the late President Tudjman and actually had appeared
19 in some of the transcripts. So I don't recall a specific moment when
20 someone told me, "I hereby guarantee these," but the whole tenor of this
21 working relationship I had implied that.
22 Q. So you do not know that when Mr. Mesic took over the position,
23 that in addition to some secretaries, everybody else on the staff was
25 A. Well, that's not precisely true. The chief of the --
1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, you have to let the witness answer
3 the question himself.
4 MR. SCOTT: Well, I'm not objecting to the content of the
5 question -- of the answer, Your Honour, but I think this is a matter --
6 we are getting into a level of detail that I would ask to go into private
7 session. These are staff -- some of these are senior staff members who
8 may still be in the government. There is no reason other than
9 embarrassment or political heyday for this information to be public.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, of course it will depend on the answer from this
11 witness, but in the precautionary consideration, we'll go to the private
12 session, please.
13 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 A. No. It was substantial, but I don't know the exact number.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Can you tell me how these transcripts were produced? Were these
23 people present in the meetings and they took down the record as they were
24 listening, or was it done subsequently?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, only to remind the Chamber again this
2 evidence is covered elsewhere. Because we're in public session, I won't
3 say where, but this evidence is covered in detail in other evidence that's
4 been put before the Chamber.
5 JUDGE LIU: So you suggest we go back to the private session.
6 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, if it would assist you, we can go
7 to private session for a moment. I cannot address it in open session.
8 JUDGE LIU: We'll go back to the private session.
9 [Private session]
13 Page 7215 – redacted – private session
23 [Open session]
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you know what -- how these transcripts were written, what was
1 used to write them down? Was it on a typewriter? Was it on a computer,
2 some other electronic equipment?
3 A. Some of them from -- at the latest, 1995, and perhaps earlier,
4 were done on a word processor. And I know this because when I was
5 examining them in the envelope -- each of the transcripts would be in a
6 yellow manila envelope. For some of them, there was also a computer
7 diskette that had one or more word processing files on it. The earlier
8 ones appear to have been typed, in that they are in a common typewriter
9 typeface. But beyond the appearance of the text, I have no further
10 knowledge about what machine they were made on.
11 Q. So we can infer that the diskettes of these conversations also do
12 not exist? In other words, we only have just bare transcripts?
13 A. Well, I said for some of them, yes, there is a diskette, but
14 not -- not for the majority.
15 Q. We don't have the tapes. We don't have diskettes. We only have
16 transcripts of which it is claimed that it is supposedly the same as the
17 tape which we are missing and the diskette which we are missing?
18 A. Are you asking me to confirm that? I don't see the question.
19 Q. Yes. That is the question. You know that I can -- I can also
20 offer you my comment and then ask you whether this was correct or not. We
21 have just determined that there is -- there are no tapes, and you also
22 said that the diskettes are also missing. So this is what I tried to have
23 you confirm with my last question.
24 A. As far as I know, that's correct. There are only a very few late
25 tapes and, somewhat earlier, some diskettes. But beyond that, as far as I
1 understand, there is only the paper copy.
2 Q. Mr. Prelec, we are not here testifying about transcripts. You are
3 also testifying about other evidence, including Zagreb archive. Tell me,
4 how many intelligence services did these documents pass through before
5 they reached you?
6 A. Well, with regard --
7 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to object to that without further
10 foundation, Your Honour. Which documents are we talking about? Are we
11 talking about something else? If we are talking about something else, I
12 object that it's beyond the scope of direct examination.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, you might clear up this question for
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, but of course I mean
16 primarily these transcripts. I mean the documents which are enclosed,
17 which we received today, a minute before the hearing started, and the
18 Zagreb evidence. I mean everything. Mr. Prelec is here.
19 A. Well, let me answer, I suppose, sequentially. The transcripts, as
20 far as I know, were never handled by an intelligence agency of any kind.
21 The -- I don't have anything to add to what I said in my earlier testimony
22 about the material that's referred to as the Zagreb archive material.
23 That was handled by at least two intelligence agencies of the Republic of
24 Croatia, and some of it originated from intelligence agencies in Bosnia,
25 Bosnian Croat entity.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 With regard to the last category, it originates from various
2 sources. I understand that some of the material that comes from the
3 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina is prepared by an entity known as the
4 Agency for Information and Documentation, which some would say is -- has
5 an intelligence function. But I don't know the details of that
6 institution. Or beyond my general institutional knowledge that some
7 documents come from that agency, I couldn't tell you right now precisely
8 which ones. I think that's a full answer.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Prelec. Tell me, I haven't read all these
10 transcripts, because I didn't have time to do that. I merely perused
11 them. We were surprised that there is no logical sequence and that the
12 numbers referring to the same subject - for instance, if it begins with a
13 "J" and then there is a mark that says "3," then the fifth page is "LJ,"
14 and then one is missing, there is "5." We see that there is absolutely no
15 logical sequence in these conversations. So could you explain it to us,
16 how could that happen? Why is it that we do not have a sequence of
17 numbers and it is the same meeting? The meeting is taking place on
18 such-and-such a date, 2010 [as interpreted], the subject is President
19 Clinton and President Tudjman are meeting. Now they have marked "J" and
20 then "3" and then "5," and in other words "4" is missing, or it skips over
21 and comes up with "LJ," and so on and so forth.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
23 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, it sounds like argument to me
24 and not appropriate questions for the witness. It's pure speculation and
25 argument by counsel.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, but counsel could ask about the numbering
2 systems of those documents. You may answer the question, Witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We received the documents in a
4 certain order, and that is the order in which they are given here now.
5 When I read them, my impression was that the numerical sequence, which
6 generally consisted of two numbers followed in this way: There would be a
7 number "1/," then the first page would be "1," the second page "2," and so
8 on up to maybe "6" or "7" or "8." Then it would go to number "2/1," and
9 so on, and then to number "3/1," and so on.
10 The initials would change also. I don't recall precisely how,
11 whether they always matched the first number or not. That would be easy
12 to check. My assumption at the time - and this again was confirmed later
13 in further testimony - was that the initials corresponded to the person
14 doing the transcribing, the first number to a tape and then the second
15 number to the page number of that tape.
16 I also believed that, because when the first number would switch,
17 the text would overlap. So the very end -- so for example, the end of
18 page 1/7 would be the same as the beginning of page 2/1; a sentence or
19 part of a sentence would repeat. But beyond that, I don't know.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not trying at all.
21 I did ask not to discuss the substance. But I'd like to quote a
22 characteristic example, and that is transcript of a conversation, that is,
23 an alleged conversation between Mr. Koljevic and Mr. Boras from
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina with Mr. Manolic and Mr. Susak. It started in the
25 absence of the president of the state. Now, I cannot say --
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps we could have the citation of which transcript
3 counsel is referring to.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Binder 1, transcript 3. The page is
5 marked 00152, and it is 6/6LJ. Of course I'm not going to refer to the
6 substance but a characteristic example that we came across. And I merely
7 wanted to -- 6/6. 015, 015. Have you found it? And now all of a sudden
8 it says, "President" - we don't know which president. Who -- it doesn't
9 say anything -- that he entered the room, that everybody stood up. I
10 think that is good manners. Then this says: "Will you tell me what
11 you, ..." something. Then comma, then three points. "Coming back from
12 Europe, did you achieve an agreement (yes)? And now what?"
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters - I apologise - but they do not
14 know what page it is.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And before that, obviously this discussion went on for how many
17 hours? Doesn't that sound strange to you? If everything is recorded in a
18 room and the President enters a hall, I presume everybody stands up,
19 everybody says -- everybody greets the President. After all, this is the
20 Office of the President. Don't you expect some logic in this?
21 A. No. It doesn't seem peculiar to me at all. Often conversational
22 speech, when written down, seems very strange because people break off in
23 the middle of a sentence, begin another sentence, another thought. And
24 this particular session is a fairly small, very high-level group without a
25 lot of decorum and protocol. But no, I was -- I was not surprised.
1 Q. Mr. Prelec, tell me, please: Who compared the original with the
2 translation? Do you know that? That is, the Croatian text with the
3 translation; do you perhaps know who did the comparison?
4 A. There's a part of the International Tribunal that does this. I
5 don't -- I'm not really acquainted with their inner workings, but it's the
6 same for any other document.
7 Q. It wasn't you. You speak both Croatian than English. You didn't
8 go to see whether the original was identical with the translation, you
10 A. No. On one or two occasions -- because I always read these
11 initially in Croatian, and sometimes later I would look at them in English
12 if I was planning to cite them in a paper or if I was working on an actual
13 case. Sometimes something in English would strike me as odd, and I would
14 then go back and check. And on one occasion, there was something that I
15 personally would have put differently had I been translating, but I'm not
16 a qualified translator. So the answer to your question really, though, is
18 Q. I'm asking you it because in binder 3, what is in the Croatian
19 original is missing in the English one. It is PT8, binder 3. A whole
20 part is missing. I'll tell you. It says that it is the meeting between
21 Franjo Tudjman, Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Mate Boban. And in
22 English, it says that Haris Silajdzic says something, but it doesn't exist
23 in the original.
24 A. Could you point me to a page?
25 Q. PT8. It starts with "RO." RO183. It is RO156 in the Croatian
2 A. I don't see what the problem is. They seem to be the same, for
3 that page at least.
4 Q. No. The page which is -- I merely told you which document. The
5 problem is on RO156, and the English is RO183192. In the Croatian
6 version, it's like this: The President says something, Izetbegovic says
7 something, and then the President says something, and in the translation
8 you have "President." And then Haris Silajdzic turns up, and then Mate
9 Boban turns up, and then Hari Silajdzic turns up. And we don't have it in
10 the Croatian at all; that is, in the English text there is something which
11 is absolutely non-existent in the English version -- in the Croatian
12 version - excuse me - and what is in Croatian is missing in English.
13 A. I would guess - and if you'd like I can continue leafing through
14 this - that this is a case where only parts of the entire transcript were
15 translated into English, and therefore, the first page may have been
16 translated and what appears as the English third page is actually the
17 beginning of an excerpt that's later in the -- in the original.
18 Leafing through this now, Haris Silajdzic does appear in the
19 Croatian original. I'm looking for the precise line though.
20 Q. Well, all I needed to know is that not everything has been
21 translated, because we who read the Croatian, especially my client, we of
22 course assume that everything is translated.
23 I later on went through the whole transcript, and such a page
24 where Haris Silajdzic, and then Mate Boban, and then Haris Silajdzic take
25 the floor, I could not find it in -- I couldn't find that sequence of
1 speakers in any of -- on any of the pages, in any part of the transcript.
2 I really went through it. You can see for yourself.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, counsel and the Chamber may wish to refer
5 to the table which has been distributed as Exhibit P892, which plainly
6 indicates, and has been indicated all along, that English versions are
8 This institution has a huge problem with the volume of translated
9 material that has to be done. The accommodation that was reached in the
10 Kordic case was that the entire - and I suggest for this case - the entire
11 B/C/S transcript has been provided, indeed the very language that counsel
12 and his client speak. They have the entire transcript. They can read
13 it. They can translate other parts if they choose. Selected parts were
14 translated, were requested by the Prosecutor for translation for the
15 purposes of saving translation, but the entire transcript is available to
16 counsel. And there's no secret to that. It says it right on the table.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your information.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Will you please be so kind, my
19 learned friend, and tell us in which table you're referring to so I can
20 try once again? Thank you. I'm sorry.
21 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, you have to address to the Chamber, rather
22 than to counsel directly.
23 Yes, Mr. Scott.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise.
25 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, for the benefit of counsel, it is the
1 table that was distributed to counsel some weeks ago. But it is P892.
2 It's the table that was referred to -- has been referred to earlier
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
6 Q. Mr. Prelec, do you know does Croatia have the presidential or the
7 parliamentary system? I'm asking you if you know or if you don't know.
8 A. My -- do you mean --
9 Q. Witness is an expert witness.
10 A. -- during the life of President Tudjman?
11 Q. At the time when you were given this transcript.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT: I object to relevance, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's difficult for us to judge whether this
15 question is relevant or not, but it doesn't hurt anybody if the witness
16 answers this question.
17 A. I would describe it as a mixed system, although predominantly
18 parliamentary. It was mixed also before, but at that time, there was a
19 much stronger accent on the powers of the presidency.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I'm asking you this to show the relevance, with the leave of the
23 Secondly, whose property are these transcripts that you found in
24 the Office of the President? Whose property are these documents?
25 A. [Previous translation continues] ... examined them. My
1 understanding was that they were the property of the Office of the
2 President. However, I do know that there has been a lot of debate within
3 the Croatian government about this, and I don't know what the final
4 determination, or for that matter if there has been a final determination
5 about it.
6 Q. Yes. It is the property of the Croatian people and the decision
7 whether something that belongs to the people and the state, as in your
8 fatherland, the decision on that can be taken only by the parliament;
9 isn't it so?
10 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, that's purely an assertion by
11 counsel. I don't think we are here to be having civics lessons by
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I withdraw. I withdraw. I withdraw
14 my question. I withdraw it. I do.
15 Q. What I wanted to say: The decision that these transcripts could
16 be given to you could be taken only by the parliament and nobody else.
17 Such a decision could not be taken by the president of the state because
18 he cannot dispose of those documents at his discretion.
19 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Witness.
20 Same question -- same objection, Your Honour. It's purely an
21 assertion by counsel. There is no evidence to suggest that.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, Mr. Krsnik, you promised us that you would
23 skip this question, but you come back through the back door.
24 JUDGE CLARK: I think he came back through the same door.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Clark, please.
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Q. What I'm trying to arrive at is this: Do you have a written
3 authorisation of the Croatian government to use these documents in this
5 A. I think there is such a thing, although I don't deal with -- it's
6 a -- this is a very large organisation, and that's -- those issues are
7 handled by others. But I do know that there was discussion about --
8 extensive discussion about whether they could be used or not, and there
9 was a positive response. Permission was given.
10 Q. Are you aware that the government cannot take such a decision
11 without the parliament's authorisation? If you are aware of it, then you
12 are. If you are not, then never mind.
13 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, same objection. Your Honour, I'm
14 sure -- I'm quite confident counsel can put questions to this witness all
15 afternoon and say, "If you're aware," "If you're aware," "If you're
16 aware," and we will be here indeed until Monday. We hope to finish this
17 witness today so we can finish our last witness, who is coming from
18 Bosnia, on Monday.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, no, no. We won't, we won't, Your
20 Honours. No, we won't be sitting until Monday. No. All I want to show
21 this Chamber is whether these documents were obtained in a lawful way. I
22 think it is relevant because the Defence puts it to the Chamber that these
23 documents were not obtained in a lawful manner and that that is what we
24 are talking about here. That is what we are challenging, that is, the
25 authenticity of these documents. I didn't ask this question just like
2 JUDGE LIU: I think this is a valid point, but you have to pose it
3 another way.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honours. My
5 colleague has just helped me to phrase this question as best I can,
6 because I got confused again.
7 Q. So are you in possession of a document whereby the Republic of
8 Croatia, that is, the supreme body, the parliament of the Republic of
9 Croatia, approves the use of these documents?
10 A. I don't know of any decision by the Croatian parliament granting
11 permission, but -- nor do I know that such a thing would be required. And
12 I actually doubt that.
13 Q. Well, then, do you know - since you evidently spent sometime in
14 the Republic of Croatia, as far as I can see - do you know if all the
15 documents from the Office of the President, whichever, have been
16 proclaimed state secret and placed under seal for the next 30 years?
17 A. I've heard something about that, but I'm not familiar with the
18 details. I know there was -- I don't believe -- I think it was a
19 government decision, but I don't -- I don't know the details of it.
20 Q. Yes. And by the decision of the parliament, the government has
21 the executive power, passed such a decision because -- precisely because
22 there was an abuse of this transcript -- of these transcripts in --
23 because they became public. But let's move on.
24 Mr. Prelec, I'd like to move on to the second part of the
25 documents. All I want to ask you is perhaps a question about a document
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 P128 -- well, as a matter of fact, I can do it. What are the sources?
2 Where do these documents come from?
3 A. The source is noted in the source column. It's a variety of
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, do you have that document at your hand,
6 Exhibit P128?
7 THE WITNESS: No, I do not.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the witness has to be furnished with
9 that document.
10 MR. KRSNIK: We didn't have this. Here. This 128 is here.
11 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I do not believe it's one of the selected
12 documents. I think it's one of the documents in the -- it is? Then I've
13 been corrected. The Registry is correct. I think it's the second
14 document in the small blue binder.
15 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, it's here.
16 Q. [Interpretation] You have it now in front of you, Mr. Prelec?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Where did you receive this document from, for instance?
19 A. Well, it's listed as Dzemal Merdan who was a general of the army
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Beyond that, I don't know whether General Merdan
21 brought it himself or whether he was simply the authenticating
23 Q. Fine. Now, since you have it in front of you, if you -- since you
24 have this small binder, will you please look at P132. Just if you can
25 answer me this: General Merdan is a general of which army?
1 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. Was he a security officer, or is he a commander of the infantry,
3 artillery, or what?
4 A. I believe he was the deputy to General Hadzihasanovic of the corps
5 in Central Bosnia.
6 Q. You mean General Hadzihasanovic who is now in the detention unit
7 of --
8 A. Exactly.
9 Q. Very well. Now, if we can move to P132, did you -- have you found
10 it? Can you please give us the origins of this document?
11 A. The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don't know what -- what
12 part of the government, but government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. Can you tell me: What does this mean, this name up in the top,
14 "Nezir Huseinspahic"? What does that name have to do with this document,
15 this handwritten name? "Nezir Huseinspahic" is clearly a Bosniak name.
16 And it's initialled on top of it.
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. And can you tell me whether you know that the army of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina found all the original seals of the HVO in the northern camp
20 and in other locations? Do you know about that?
21 A. No, I did not know that.
22 Q. Will you please tell me now -- now, in this list it's P139. I see
23 that some -- some documents were tendered through a Witness D, but not
24 139. And through this Witness D, was that document tendered in the
25 Kordic-Cerkez case? Do you know what this witness testified about? Of
1 course if you cannot say, due to the closed -- but we have P139 and
2 another number.
3 A. I don't know what Witness D testified to, and I actually don't
4 know who he is -- or she.
5 Q. When you say "Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina" - and I see
6 that the large majority of the documents come from them - what body are
7 you referring to?
8 A. I don't know. I've already spoken that at least one body of the
9 government which does furnish documentation from time to time is the
10 Agency for Information and Documentation, known as the AID. But other
11 parts of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina also respond to requests
12 for assistance and binding orders from, respectively, the Prosecutor and
13 the International Tribunal.
14 Q. And do you know about this Witness D? Do you know the documents
15 that were tendered through this witness? This is P133 and 139.
16 A. I don't know the specific documents, no.
17 MR. KRSNIK: Just a second.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I thank you very much.
20 I have no further questions. Of course, I will provide written
21 submissions about all the documents following the agreement from before.
22 Thank you, Mr. Prelec, for your patience and your answers, and I
23 hope we will meet in different circumstances the next time.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Seric, any cross-examination?
25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I hope that
1 we will be finished by 1.00, and I will hurry up, but not -- I will try to
2 be slow enough to be able to be interpreted properly.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Seric:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Prelec, you said that according to your
5 knowledge, these transcripts which have been provided to the -- this Trial
6 Chamber and to the Defence were transcripts of some records, some
7 audiotapes. Can you tell me, while you worked on gathering these
8 transcripts and selecting them, have you been able to determine that these
9 audiotapes had any kind of official form?
10 A. No.
11 Q. While working -- first of all, let me ask you this: Were you
12 there as an investigator or some kind of advisor on the Prosecution team?
13 A. Well, my function is a researcher, a research officer. I suppose
14 it was in a way an investigative function in this particular occasion.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, this is why I'm asking this: In your attempt to
16 find the original - that is, an audiotape - did you find anywhere that
17 there was a permission given for recording?
18 A. I should say I personally did not seek to locate audiotapes, since
19 there had been discussion that preceded my actual arrival about how
20 exactly to go about accessing this material, and it had transpired -- I
21 knew -- I was told that the tapes had been re-recorded. It may have come
22 up again in conversations with members of the staff, but I -- I did not go
23 looking for tapes.
24 The second part of your question, all I can say is that there are
25 the references in some of the transcripts to people asking, "Is this being
1 taped or not?" And in other testimony I've read, there was reference to
2 visible microphones. So the possibility of taping would have been known
3 to the participants. But whether any individual conversation was actually
4 being taped, that would not necessarily be immediately obvious. And I
5 don't know about permission or not.
6 Q. In your investigative work, were you able to determine whether
7 this recording followed the legislation, the rules and regulations of the
8 Republic of Croatia?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. In your examination-in-chief, my learned friend Mr. Scott asked
11 you about the system of recording; however, I did not understand your
12 answer. In your investigation about the authenticity, that is, the
13 transfer of the record from one medium to another, did you -- were you
14 able to determine where the microphones had been placed?
15 A. No. My knowledge of that simply comes from reading the
16 transcripts in the Kordic proceeding where this was discussed. But I
17 personally did not actually see that office, and I don't know whether the
18 microphones are, in fact, still there or not.
19 Q. In your work, were you able to learn who had set up these
20 microphones? And I'm going to hurry up a little bit. And the follow-up
21 question is: Who was supervising the -- or who was controlling the
22 system, the equipment, the recording equipment? Were you able to find
23 that out?
24 A. My only information for that question would be the closed-session
25 transcript in the Kordic trial to which reference has been made today.
1 Q. In your examination-in-chief, you said that the transcripts were
2 kept in a safe, or in a vault. I am not quite prepared for this -- for
3 this question, but the Feral Tribune, a magazine - I could show it to you,
4 I don't have it here - but this claims these transcripts have been shown.
5 A. I have seen both -- yes. I've seen material from transcripts in
6 the Croatian press.
7 Q. Did you perhaps see that the persons who were mentioned in the
8 transcripts that had been published in this media denied their
9 participation in these conversations?
10 A. It's possible. I don't remember the exact contents of those media
11 reports, but it's possible.
12 Q. Can you agree with me when I analyse this whole method of
13 recording, as a lawyer, with all these microphones, that we could not find
14 any legal provisions that would not point to wiretapping?
15 A. I don't think that's correct. It's clear that the participants,
16 they're sitting in a room with visible microphones, and they're talking at
17 times about -- in fact, at some times -- at least one occasion that I
18 looked at recently, one of the ones that's submitted here or made
19 available here, I think there's a request to -- to make a transcript. So
20 at times, the participants felt they were speaking for the record, as it
22 So the implication of your question, that this was covert and a
23 type of illegal police behaviour, is, I think, completely mistaken. It's
24 not like that at all.
25 Q. Mr. Prelec, did you talk about these transcripts with Mr. Miroslav
1 Tudjman, for instance?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you talk about these transcripts while you were in Zagreb and
4 collected them, with Mr. Hrvoje Sarinic?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you talk with Mr. Ivic Pasalic, who was an advisor of
7 Mr. Tudjman at that time and another participant of these conversations?
8 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
9 Q. Did you talk to Mr. Josip Manolic?
10 A. No.
11 Q. With Mr. Markica Rebic, who was the head of SIS, the Secret
12 Service at the time?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So how can you assert now that this was not wiretapping? And you
15 have not laid any legal foundation for the recording of these tapes, and
16 you have not talked to any of the participants, and the audiotapes are
17 missing too.
18 A. I can't comment on the legal -- the necessity or lack of necessity
19 for a legal basis for a recording when it's done in public, when -- you
20 know, it would be a different matter if it were a question of concealed
21 bugs or wiretaps, although I'm aware that the Croatian media had a lot of
22 discussion of that very different issue as well.
23 Q. Mr. Prelec, I asked you a moment ago where the microphones were
24 placed, and you did not know exactly. You just gave an assumption.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. So now, please tell me: A moment ago we agreed - and I'm hurrying
2 up because I'm trying to finish on time - you said that these transcripts
3 were kept in a safe, and at the same time we agreed that they were also
4 published in the media. Did you find out during your investigation that
5 they disappeared from the safe and reached the media?
6 A. It had to be some kind of leak. I thought it impolite to put that
7 question to the members of the Office of the President, so I did not -- I
8 did not ask them.
9 Q. Does that mean that handling -- the handling of the transcripts
10 which were in the safe was without control?
11 A. No, since at least some transcripts were distributed to some of
12 the participants. There is the one that I referred to earlier, which one
13 of the participants had and made available to the Office of the
14 Prosecutor. So it -- not necessarily a handling without control. And I
15 think leaks are familiar in many governments and do not indicate that the
16 government in question is out of control or is handling its information in
17 an insecure way. I think that implication can't really be drawn.
18 Q. You have already answered in response to the questions of my
19 colleagues that you were not in a possession of all the transcripts over a
20 longer period -- that were produced over a longer period of time, that is,
21 the transcripts of these recordings made in the Office of the Prosecutor,
22 in other words, that there were other transcripts. Did you see that there
23 were some transcripts that say the opposite of what the transcripts that
24 have been provided here are saying? In political -- so what I'm -- my
25 point is the politics change, and this is what we experienced in Croatia.
1 Did you find transcripts that actually say things in a -- that shed a
2 different light on events from the transcripts that we have here?
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I don't understand the question. I
4 object to the form of the question.
5 JUDGE LIU: And this question is kind of speculation, Mr. Seric.
6 Maybe you could rephrase your question, Mr. Seric.
7 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Let me put it this way: It is a historic fact that the politics
9 in the territory of former Yugoslavia - and this is a crucial issue to
10 this case - the policies changed in such a way that it was -- that
11 necessarily the contents of the conversations in the presidential palace
12 changed. Did you find such transcripts too?
13 A. Well, clearly, since I read transcripts from over at least a
14 five-year period, the political positions taken by the -- the strategic
15 positions taken by the participants changed over time from 1991, when the
16 discussion was over the possible disintegration of Yugoslavia, through,
17 later that year, the attack on Croatia and how to respond, and so on over
18 time, initial relation with the government of Bosnia in 1992 that I would
19 describe as somewhat tense but not hostile, through the period of open
20 conflict in 1993 and so on. So, yes, there is -- there are different
21 positions taken. But I can't really answer your initial question about
22 other transcripts saying something different without a more -- without a
23 specific point that -- that I would respond to.
24 Q. I regret, Mr. Prelec, that I don't have these other transcripts
25 with me. I only have the ones that have been published in the media, that
1 they say something different, because I address -- I went to both the
2 Feral Tribune and to the president's office without success. So it would
3 appear that I'm talking without a proper foundation. But I have read
4 these transcripts that speak differently, and we are now unable to put it
5 in front of you. So this is why I'm saying we would like to have been
6 able to have all these transcripts before this Tribunal. Wouldn't you
7 agree with me on that?
8 A. Well, what I could say is that if there were a particular factual
9 issue or statement that's made in one of the transcripts presented here, I
10 could answer whether there is any contrary assertion, different assertion,
11 made in other transcripts that I'm aware of, which is not all of the
12 transcripts. I haven't read all of them. But I guess the -- I don't know
13 what to say to the question of whether you would like to have all the
14 transcripts before this Tribunal. I -- I just don't know what to say to
16 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
17 questions. I have completed my examination.
18 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination, Mr. Scott?
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, only about two questions.
20 Re-examined by Mr. Scott:
21 Q. Witness, during the time, the extensive time you were dealing with
22 these officials, did any information come to your attention of any sort
23 that suggested that the transcripts were not accurate?
24 A. None whatsoever.
25 Q. During these -- the period that you were dealing with the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 officials of the Croatian government, was there anything said or done that
2 suggested these were considered to be anything other than accurate records
3 of the meetings and conversations recorded?
4 A. No. And the whole atmosphere of these meetings was such that
5 everyone assumed we were talking about accurate material. I recall one of
6 the persons mentioned earlier in today's testimony looking through some of
7 these indexes and saying, "Well, I'm in here." And it would simply be
8 very strange to me if, having then noticed that, if he had actually
9 suspected that there was something inaccurate, not then to have said so.
10 So it's maybe too elaborate an answer to your question but, no, there was
11 never any implication that these were anything other than genuine.
12 MR. SCOTT: No further questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from Judges? Judge Clark?
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Prelec, as a political historian - and I think
16 you told us on the last occasion that you had prepared your doctorate on
17 the basis of early twentieth century rise of nationalism in Yugoslavia -
18 can I take it that you would have had access to a fair number of state
19 archives for that period?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 JUDGE CLARK: And I take it that before you arrived at the
22 position of preparing for your doctorate, that you would have had access
23 to research by other people of state archives from different periods and
24 different countries?
25 A. Yes, a very large quantity.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Is there anything unusual, therefore, in the fact
2 that records were kept, minutes kept, of meetings between heads of
3 government and invited guests or participants in the government?
4 A. No. There is -- there are the famous examples from my own
5 country's history of the Nixon and Johnson tapes. But I think it's
6 actually quite -- it's not an uncommon practice at all.
7 JUDGE CLARK: Say in the days before electronic recording, it
8 would be quite normal for a minute, a detailed record, in shorthand to be
9 kept of presidential meetings?
10 A. Well, I have to be careful in answering that because I have
11 actually never worked with presidential level records from the age prior
12 to that of electronic recording. So I don't know. But I would assume
13 that it would not be unusual.
14 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges' questions?
16 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apology.
19 Further cross-examination by Mr. Krsnik:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Prelec, on the basis -- on the basis of which
21 conversation? I asked you, and Judge Clark also asked you, and what you
22 gave in response. How can you guarantee that the authenticity when there
23 is no tape, there is no diskette? You did not ask -- conduct
24 conversations with any of the participants. Who was -- you don't have --
25 Nixon and Johnson are tapes, and we all know about it. All we have is
1 just a bare transcript. So on the basis of what can you say that this was
2 an original? What is the basis of it?
3 A. This is -- I may be repeating myself, but I have spoken, as I
4 alluded to, to two members of the Office of the President who appear in
5 these transcripts and a third person who also appears in these
6 transcripts. And I also recall one of the names that your colleague
7 brought up, who I believe - my memory may fail me - I'm referring to
8 Mr. Sarinic - commented that yes, these were, in fact, accurate
9 representations but that -- I'm just really -- it's a faint memory of an
10 article I read a long time ago. But my personal testimony would be of
11 these three individuals. And so I think yes, I can make that statement.
12 Q. Yes, Mr. Prelec. I understand your position here, but it is one
13 transcript. What about all those others? There are millions of names,
14 millions of people featured here. And I'm asking you: How can you say
15 that that is an original if you had no -- nothing else to show to this
16 Tribunal? You come here to this highest judicial instance, and you claim
17 that. And I'm asking you: If you talked with those three -- if you say
18 three persons, then what about 10.000 others that you didn't talk to?
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, this is repeat of cross-examination.
20 This does not arise out of Judge Clark's questions.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We agree with that.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much. I
23 withdraw my questions. I withdraw my questions. And I see that the time
24 is up. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Seric?
1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Only one question, Mr. President, and
2 this arises from Judge Clark's question.
3 Further cross-examination by Mr. Seric:
4 Q. [Interpretation] You are an historian and have experience in
5 that. Did you study French history during de Gaulle when they also had
6 sort of a semi-presidential system, as in Croatia? Did you find in that
7 part presidential transcripts or anywhere else, for that matter, in your
8 scientific research, your work in some other country? Do you have any
9 such example anywhere else?
10 A. Yes. Not from France, because I've not studied France, but I did
11 some work in the American National Archives on the Nixon administration's
12 policy towards Yugoslavia, and there was some material there concerning a
13 meeting between the President and President Tito and various other
14 officials, including Henry Kissinger. I don't recall off the top of my
15 head whether it was a transcript. I think it may have been more of an
16 extensive summary note. But yes, it was written. There was no reference
17 to a tape. So that would be one example. But for France, I couldn't
18 really tell you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, Witness, for helping us by giving
20 your evidence. The usher will show you out of the room
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, I understand that the Prosecutor is
23 going to tender all those documents into evidence.
24 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President. As to the presidential
25 transcripts, we tender all those which are listed on P892. I certainly
1 won't take the time to read them all off into the record, but starting
2 with PT/ -- excuse me -- -1, going to PT/36, but again all listed in
4 We also tender all of those documents on P893, and again starting
5 with P113.1 and continuing to P743.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for the information. I understand
7 that the Defence counsel will object to the admission of that evidence.
8 You have 30 days to submit your objections in written form.
9 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please, could you give
11 us longer notice? Because it's more than 4.000 documents, really. Could
12 we have more time for it? And we're starting on the 7th of January. And
13 what about Christmas? And we are finally going home. We could have left
14 today rather than on Monday, but well -- I mean, I asked our learned
15 friends to make us a small Christmas gift and give us Monday so as not to
16 have to stay here over the weekend.
17 No. I'm just joking, Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... schedule, I'm
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But we are -- we shall be away for
21 Christmas holidays. We shall have to study this. And we need some rest,
22 like everybody else. We need at least a ten-day holiday. After all,
23 we're entitled to some rest. And I do not think that my learned friends
24 will object to that. Oh, sorry.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, you promised me yesterday that
1 you'll spend all your Christmas reading all those documents.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I did. I did.
3 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ... you know.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I did. I did. I admit I did, but
5 you know how busy I'll be. I'll have to make everybody else have to
6 work. My colleague, he has said, "See what you've promised now? I'll
7 have to do that." No. Sorry. Perhaps this is slightly facetious, but
8 yes, of course, I'll be working, and I'll be back in Bosnia and so on and
9 so forth. But could we have a bit more time for all that? This is our
10 request. If the Prosecution doesn't object, I don't think that anything
11 terrible will happen if it's 45 instead of 30 days.
12 JUDGE LIU: Let me hear the response from the Prosecutor.
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, again it's not 4.000 documents. In
14 fact, it's quite a small number of documents. There's 36 transcripts and
15 probably another 60 or so documents. Now, I don't think it's necessary
16 for counsel to do an analysis of every document. Presumably the
17 objections are going to be the same things that were mentioned today: lack
18 of adequate foundation, et cetera. In fact, we've probably all heard it
19 today, frankly, and I supposed that that will be transferred into paper
20 form. So I don't think it's burdensome to do that in roughly 30 days or
21 so. Maybe 35 days is a compromise, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, everybody is entitled to a holiday
23 after a long period of work, and we'll give you 40 days to respond to
24 these documents on the condition that if the Prosecutor would like to make
25 a reply to all those objections, then we should give them an opportunity
1 to do that. Could I get your agreement on this issue?
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We will adjourn until 9.30 next
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.10 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 10th day
7 of December, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.