1 Thursday, 11 April 2002
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 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. Usher, could we bring the witness -- wait. Wait a
9 minute. Mr. Seric? Yes?
10 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. While the
11 usher is bringing in the witness, I would like to introduce to you a
12 former member of our team who has joined us today, our legal assistant,
13 attorney at law, Mr. Danijel Gradac. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Welcome to this trial. You may
15 sit down. Bring the witness, please.
16 Mr. Stringer, before the witness comes in, could you inform us of
17 how long you are going to take in your cross-examination?
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, it's always difficult to predict.
19 I expect to finish the cross-examination during the second session this
20 morning. During the second hour and 15 minutes of proceedings. That's my
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
1 can hear you, thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 WITNESS: BOZO RAJIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stringer you may proceed.
6 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer: [Continued]
8 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, yesterday when we broke, the
9 witness was looking at B/C/S version of Exhibit PT 2 which had the yellow
10 tabs on it and I'd ask that that be provided again to the witness so that
11 we can continue.
12 MR. STRINGER:
13 Q. Just a few items remain on this document, Mr. Rajic. I'd ask the
14 usher perhaps to assist us if he could get the English version of the
15 transcript and I'm going to ask that a couple of pages be put on the ELMO
16 as we do this. While that's being prepared, Mr. Rajic, let me try to
17 bring you back to where we left off yesterday. This is the transcript of
18 the meeting which you attended in Zagreb on the 27th of December, 1991; is
19 that correct?
20 A. That is correct, yes. If this is an authentic document. You are
21 referring to the document as an authentic one but I'd like to emphasise
22 that it is a conditional situation.
23 Q. Ultimately, sir, I think it will be the Trial Chamber's job to
24 determine to what extent they find the document to be authentic based on
25 the testimonies that come from a variety of witnesses, so I'm not going to
1 ask you questions deliberately along those lines. I know you don't know
2 how the transcript was prepared, for example. If I recall correctly, from
3 your testimony yesterday, however, I believe you said that the statements
4 that are attributed to you in this transcript appear to be an accurate
5 reflection of what you said at this meeting. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. What I'd like to do now is to draw your attention to the part of
8 the transcript in which Mr. Kostroman read into the record the minutes of
9 the meeting that had taken place a few days earlier, in Tomislavgrad, on
10 the 23rd of December, 1991. Okay?
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. And it's my understanding, sir, that you were among the people
13 present in Tomislavgrad at this meeting on the 23rd of December; is that
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Now, what I'll do is to first direct you to -- on your transcript,
17 tab number 7. It would actually be the page right after tab 7. And for
18 the English version, we are going to go to page 12 of the English version
19 on the ELMO, please. Mr. Rajic, for you, I think this is -- and for the
20 booth, 00850400. I'm sorry, 00850399, just the preceding page. And --
21 MR. STRINGER: Maybe you could switch his television on to the
22 video evidence and then you will be able to position the paper correctly.
23 Okay. That appears to be pretty good.
24 Q. Now, just for the benefit of all of us, Mr. Rajic, the minutes
25 indicate that the session, this Tomislavgrad session was chaired by
1 President Mate Boban and then what follows are the names of a number of
2 people who took part in the discussion, and those include yourself -- your
3 name is -- appears directly after the name of Mate Boban; is that
4 correct, although it appears to be misspelled?
5 A. Yes, that's what it says.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. Well, there is a more extensive story about my family name. There
8 have been a few versions but I know that I'm referred to in this
9 particular case.
10 Q. All right. Now, if I could, Mr. Rajic, ask you just to turn to
11 the next page, I believe, of your transcript and we'll go to the English
12 version, page 13, B/C/S page 00850400. I want to ask you just a brief few
13 questions about some of the items that are reflected in this -- in these
14 minutes, which I think you should be finding at your tab 8. I'm looking
15 at item number 2, which appears at the very top of the page in the English
16 version, in which it is stated that, the Croatian Community of
17 Herceg-Bosna has once again confirmed the will of the entire Croatian
18 people of Herceg-Bosna expressed on 18 November, 1991 in Grude. "Taking
19 the historic decision to establish the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
20 which serves as a legal basis for the entry of these territories into the
21 Republic of Croatia."
22 So, sir, my question to you on that point is whether, in fact
23 this is the case, that among the reasons for the establishment of the
24 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was to, in your view, or the view of
25 your party, provide a legal basis for ultimately entering into the
1 Republic of Croatia?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'd like to recall my statement made yesterday
3 that these minutes, as far as I'm concerned, contain a great deal of
4 flaws, both in linguistic and political terms. What is missing is more
5 fine-tuning and nobody asked me whether this statement, should it prove to
6 be true, will be the way it is. It leads us to a conclusion which
7 basically is not correct. A decision made by the representatives of a
8 people concerning the establishment of a temporary model of defence and
9 common life under duress can be no legal basis whatsoever, particularly no
10 legal basis for the entry into the territories of another state. I
11 consider this to be an uncredible, an incredible statement.
12 Q. Okay. Well, let's then move forward. I'm going to stip a couple
13 of items; I'll come back to them. If I could ask you to go to your tab
14 10, English version page 17, and then for the booths, this is at page
15 00850405 of the B/C/S version. Mr. Rajic, isn't it true, as indicated
16 here, that you signed these minutes, together with Mate Boban and Dario
18 A. This is what it says here, yes, but I cannot recall ever seeing a
19 document that I signed. I cannot claim that I did not sign it, but that
20 doesn't mean that signing it I could have noticed the differences that
21 arise from punctuation marks and that lead to these differences. I may
22 have omitted to notice this. But this is why I would like to draw this
23 Tribunal's attention to the fact that the formulations and the wordings
24 in these minutes are not always a faithful reflection of what we wanted to
25 say and what we concluded. This doesn't apply just to these minutes.
1 There have been similar occasions of this sort before.
2 Q. Isn't it also true, sir, that at no time during this meeting with
3 President Tudjman did you express any reservation about the language or
4 the statements that are being provided to him in these minutes? You never
5 objected to any of this during your meeting with President Tudjman?
6 A. If you look at this text closer, then you'll see that President
7 Tudjman, through this -- these minutes, went through these minutes as a
8 fact that he took note of. We did not go into it, and I think that it is
9 about time for Their Honours to be submitted the statements I had made and
10 not to be asked all the time to interpret what people thought at different
11 points in time. If I'm allowed to do this, it will turn out,
12 Mr. Prosecutor, that you have persistently been preventing me from sharing
13 with Their Honours the thoughts and opinions that are quite different from
14 those that go in favour of the Prosecutor's cause.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Rajic, I think that's a little unfair to the
16 Prosecutor this morning, [indiscernible] yesterday because he specifically
17 was asking you about your role at that meeting in relation to the minutes.
18 There may have been other occasions where you feel you weren't allowed to
19 speak because you were maybe going off the points, but I think this
20 morning, the questions are directed to your own role, Mr. Rajic, but if
21 you feel that Mr. Stringer is stopping you from answering, you can appeal
22 to us. But it doesn't appear that way so far this morning.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Mr. Rajic, let me if I --
25 A. Your Honours, I can assure you that I'll try to follow your
2 Q. Are you able to say yes or no? You did not object to the minutes
3 as provided to President Tudjman in this meeting by Mr. Kostroman? Yes or
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. The purpose -- a purpose of this meeting was for you,
7 and other members of your delegation, to go to Zagreb, to provide
8 President Tudjman with accurate information about the position and the
9 activities of the HDZ party in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yes or no?
10 A. Yes, inter alia.
11 Q. Now, if I could direct you to back up, Mr. Rajic, to tab number 8
12 of your version, English page 13, B/C/S page 00850400.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And now item number 3, and this goes a little bit to some of the
15 things we discussed yesterday. In this item, it states that the Croatian
16 Community of Herceg-Bosna recognised, in the meeting in Tomislavgrad
17 again, the full legitimacy of Dr. Franjo Tudjman as president of the
18 Republic of Croatia and president of the Croatian Democratic Union to
19 promote the interests of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, both
20 among international factors and during interparty and inter-republic
21 agreements on the establishment of the final borders of the Republic of
22 Croatia. Now, Mr. Rajic, this item gives rise to two questions for me.
23 The first is, again, isn't it true that President Tudjman was, in fact,
24 the leader, the -- at the highest level, of both the HDZ in Croatia as
25 well as the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. I fail to understand the substance of your question, sir.
2 Q. You and other members of your delegation, on behalf of the HDZ of
3 Bosnia provided to President Tudjman the authority to act on your behalf?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And this authority to act on --
6 A. But you did not allow me to finish my thought. In the talks in --
7 with the international community, because obviously we did not have access
8 to this type of talks.
9 Q. So again, he was your interlocutor in respect of international --
10 the international community?
11 A. He was authorised to represent the interests of Croats both in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina, also of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who were
13 at that time living in a legally undefined territory. We were neither
14 independent nor were we part of Yugoslavia; practically two-thirds of the
15 territory had been occupied. And these facts determined our conduct and
16 our demands.
17 Q. And as such, then, you and the other leadership of the HDZ in
18 Bosnia accepted his leadership and his instructions in carrying out the
19 policies which he sought to undertake on your behalf?
20 A. He didn't need that authority. Mr. Tudjman was president of a
21 party, constituent part of which we were also. Let me emphasise, within
22 the then existing state of Yugoslavia. I do not know how you men of law
23 refer to this but my conclusion on the basis of this is that it was not
24 necessary to introduce this definition of his but he's there, this is what
25 it is, and I cannot change it.
1 Q. And his authority on your behalf extended as well to negotiations
2 regarding an expansion of the borders of the Republic of Croatia to
3 include areas of Herceg-Bosna, correct?
4 A. No. This is not said anywhere here.
5 Q. Well, what does this mean, then, these last few words of item
6 number 3, in which you authorise him to promote your interests on
7 agreements on the establishment of the final borders of the Republic of
9 A. Mr. Prosecutor, let me repeat it. The Republic of Croatia was
10 then occupied, in fact more than two-thirds of its territory were
11 occupied. There were offers made also in the course of some international
12 meetings to make territorial concessions to Serbia or to Serbia's
13 aspirations and along those lines, this is a statement and a declaration
14 through which an attempt is made to help President Tudjman to be free to
15 seek solution and not to be constrained in any way. This is why the
16 Republic of Croatia is being mentioned and Bosnia and Herzegovina is not.
17 Croatia had a great deal of difficulties in trying to establish its
18 authority and to liberate its territories and some of these issues
19 remained unresolved into this very day such as the issue of Prevlaka.
20 Q. I understand that, sir. But this is the situation, we have a
21 delegation of leaders of the HDZ party who have come from Bosnia. We have
22 a document in which the leadership of your delegation, the members of your
23 delegation, have invested in President Tudjman authority to act on your
24 behalf, including in respect of agreements, any agreements on the
25 establishment of the final borders of the Republic of Croatia. Now, the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 fact that you and your group are giving him that authority strongly
2 suggests to me that in fact what's being considered is a revision of the
3 borders of Croatia which would encompass the territories whom you were
4 reporting to represent, that is the territories of Herceg-Bosna.
5 A. This is not a correct interpretation of the text.
6 Q. So if this document indicates that the leadership of the HDZ
7 wanted to redraw or was providing President Tudjman with the authority on
8 its behalf to redraw the boundaries of Croatia, to encompass, to include,
9 the territory of Herceg-Bosna, that would be an incorrect statement, an
10 incorrect interpretation of this document? Is that your testimony?
11 A. Yes. This is the incorrect interpretation. This is prejudging
12 something that never was said explicitly.
13 Q. Mr. Rajic, you can set aside the transcript now; we are finished
14 with it. We can take that off of the ELMO. I'm going to ask you some
15 questions now about the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
16 A. Your Honours, now, you see, I was right. Therefore, I would plead
17 with you to allow me to share with you three details that the Prosecutor
18 avoided. I'd like to share with you quotes of what I had said at that
19 meeting and I'd like to draw attention to the one and only relevant
20 conclusion made at that meeting before we proceed with the questioning by
21 the Prosecutor.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. You may, but in a very concise way.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I'll try to be
25 In a part of this text, when I contradict the opinion -- when I
1 oppose the opinion that from Zagreb that we received an order for pursuing
2 of the policy I said the following --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Would, please, the witness tell us what part of
4 the text he's quoting from?
5 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, if I could assist, I
6 could ask Mr. Rajic a few questions that would put us into the transcript,
7 if that would assist.
8 JUDGE LIU: First of all, we have to know where this paragraph is,
9 Witness. Maybe Mr. Usher could help.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I have a few minutes to find
11 exactly the section concerned, because I'm not allowed to make any
12 markings on this document.
13 MR. STRINGER:
14 Q. Mr. Rajic, your statements in this, I believe, are found at tab 4,
15 beginning at your tab 4.
16 A. That is right.
17 Q. Okay. And I believe that we are at 00850435, which in the English
18 would be around page 36.
19 A. Yes, if I may, I've found it. So another opinion which the
20 opponents of this political option, through Croat communities and further
21 course which will be as the circumstances will permit, claim that the
22 unconditional promise of annexing these areas to the Republic of Croatia
23 may cause disagreements. We have never and no where said this expressly.
24 We have said that it was our ideal and aspiration but that the institute
25 of these communities needs to be broke out through some other form,
1 political forms of the resolution of the crisis such as cantonisation,
2 confederate Bosnia, or something third, that might surface. This is the
3 end of it.
4 On page 0050437, I am responding to the assertions of some of the
5 members of the delegation that the policy has changed. And I say, "Also
6 it is affirmed by some of our representatives, I mean the HDZ in Sarajevo,
7 are claiming that in Zagreb, there has been a radical change out of the
8 blue in the conduct of the party politics. That the concept of a
9 sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina has been renounced suddenly and without any
10 substantiated reason and that this creates confusion, disinformation and
11 that this needs to be clarified."
12 Now we come to the passage that the Prosecutor asked me about
13 yesterday where I am interpreting the principles from the statement,
14 declaration of the programme of our party of 1989, where we once again
15 state our loyalty to the sovereign -- to sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina,
16 until somebody else starts to attack it and eat into it and if somebody
17 else does start doing that, then we know very well what our historical
18 right is.
19 And the third thing -- no, I can't find it but it's only one half
20 of a sentence, but one can establish it and find where this text is.
21 There were a series of objections to the leadership of the party headed by
22 Mr. Kljujic, that they had failed to comply with the agreement of the 13th
23 and the 20th of June, 1991, and that they did not go to talk at the same
24 time in the same way with representatives of the Muslim and the
25 representatives of the Serb people, and within that context, I say in
1 front of everybody that one should have talked with both parties, not with
2 Muslims only, and because some abhorred, the talks with the SDS, I said
3 that some kind -- that any conversation was better than one death, and
4 finally, I cannot really look through the whole document but I know, and
5 it is my duty to say that, that the only relevant conclusion of that
6 meeting was to continue talking with Serbs and with Muslims, and that the
7 utmost needed to be done to avoid war and that every political agreement,
8 any political agreement, that would result from the understanding of
9 legitimate representatives of the three peoples should be accepted and as
10 one can establish from this text, to this end, the Croat side appointed
11 its responsible delegation to conduct these negotiations.
12 Thank you very much, Your Honours, for giving me the floor.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Stringer. You may continue.
14 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. With your leave I would
15 like to go back to one of the items that was just raised. I'll be very
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes of course.
18 MR. STRINGER:
19 Q. Mr. Rajic, can I ask you to turn to the first passage that you
20 read which I believe is on your page ending with the number 00 -- 0435?
21 English version page 35.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This is the passage in which you are talking, in which you said
24 that we have never and nowhere expressly said that. We have said that it
25 was our ideal and aspiration. Do you see that?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Now, what you're saying is that it was your ideal and aspiration
3 to unify these areas within the Republic of Croatia. Isn't that what
4 you're talking about here, taking into account the preceding paragraph?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this is where I took a detour, because the whole
6 world knows that a part of the people living outside the mother country
7 always aspires to live with the mother country, if possible, and it does
8 not cause some problems with a third party, so I'm talking about ideals.
9 And ideals rarely come true in real life.
10 Q. Thank you. Secondly, in the next preceding paragraph, there is a
11 reference to the meeting in Tomislavgrad on the 23rd. You refer to that
12 meeting. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You say this: "We from Herceg-Bosna and the Bosanska Posavina
15 claim that it is the meeting in Tomislavgrad on the 23rd of this month,
16 showed that unequivocally, because out of more than 70 legitimate
17 representatives of the Croatian people, only three or four of them
18 expressed their reservations." Now, sir, what you're doing there is
19 telling President Tudjman that the minutes of that Tomislavgrad meeting
20 that he had already read to President Tudjman did, in fact, absolutely
21 accurately reflect the will of the Croatian people of Herceg-Bosna,
22 including yourself. Isn't that true?
23 A. It is difficult to answer with yes or no, if one does not read the
24 introduction to the text which has been omitted.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. The introduction to this says: "One of these theses of those who
2 are not enthusiastic or oppose the concept of Croatian communities in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and who are saying that the establishment of these
4 communities is not in line with the continuing policy of the -- with the
5 constant policy of the Croat democratic union and Croatian interests in
6 general." And then, the text that you read out ensues -- and which is
7 very logical extension of that opinion. In point of fact, at the heart of
8 arguments of some people was not what the world -- what the Croatian
9 community will do but whether the Croatian -- Croat community Herceg-Bosna
10 will threaten the leading position of the members of the party Presidency.
11 Some of them thought that is party parallelism which is a completely
12 incorrect interpretation and within this context, I justified a decision
13 to establish the Croat community and its full support that it was granted
14 at this meeting in Tomislavgrad.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry. Could I ask a question while we are still
16 here because I'm getting mixed signals from what the document appears to
17 say and then what you, Mr. Rajic, say was actually happening. It's not a
18 simple question. At the end of the meeting, was there any consensus that
19 in the absence of a further invasion by Serb forces, that the ideal of a
20 sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina would be maintained? Now, I know it's a
21 double negative, so at the end of the meeting, in the absence of a further
22 invasion by Serb forces, was it still the ideal of your party, your
23 political party in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that the number one ideal would be
24 a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, or was that a minority view?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is not what we
1 argued about or at least not what we chiefly argued about, and there were
2 some arguments, one can see that, from the discussion, because there were
3 differences as to what one's attitude towards reality should be. Should
4 one wait? Should one join the Muslim policy and follow that or opt for
5 one's own way? So that was one of the chief issues concerning our
6 differences, and in those meetings that you, Your Honour, asked about,
7 voting was not a regular -- a customary procedure. And as regards our
8 option, our ideal, whatever possibility came through, including a Serb
9 attack, it invariably meant sovereign and independent Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, clearly well organised within as an organisation -- as a
11 community of three constituent and equal peoples. And it is only in the
12 condition, that is only as a possibility, we also mentioned those
13 solutions which would be indispensable if, by force of arms of the
14 aggressor, or with the consent of the international community, were it to
15 be partitioned. Only then, only then we are mentioning a different
16 solution. In all the other cases we are talking about the sovereign and
17 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Rajic, I recognise that the discussions all took
19 place in the context of obviously a war situation, and what I'm basically
20 trying to ask is in the absence of Serbian aggression, was it the
21 aspiration even then of your party, not the party in Croatia, but your
22 party in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I know they were sister parties. Was it the
23 ideal that you would hope for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina with the
24 conditions that all people were treated equally? Or was it at that time
25 the position that the party was split on that and the majority were moving
1 towards the aspiration of closer ties to the greater Croatia? I know all
2 these discussions took place in the context of the fear of a further
3 invasion, so obviously your views were coloured. And we see that. But
4 what's coming across, and what Mr. Stringer is trying to put to you is
5 that really the vast majority of your party had moved away from the
6 original platform to the Croatian platform. When I say Croatian, I mean
7 the Republic of Croatia platform, the greater Croatia. Is that true? Or
8 what is your answer? I know it's not an easy question. That's really
9 what Mr. Stringer has been spending three or four hours at.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I understand, Your Honour, the
11 gist of your question. A vast majority of the political representatives
12 of the Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were by and large in the
13 HDZ, never renounced, never relinquished their practical and the only
14 useful objective, and that was the establishment of a democratic,
15 equitable and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because whatever -- every
16 other solution we would have to stay in Yugoslavia under the Serb
17 domination. And even when the referendum took place, when we objected we
18 were not happy with the way the question was worded, because it did not
19 provide the answer to an important question, of vital importance, and that
20 is what is this state inside, what are the relations in it? We
21 nevertheless swallowed that bitter pill, aware of the risk, brought about
22 by the question which is taken to the referendum, but the expression, the
23 independent and sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, we put that in the first
24 place, and it is common knowledge that at the invitation of the Croat
25 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also at the recommendation,
1 public recommendation of President Tudjman, the Croat people in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina came out, participated in the -- turned out at the
3 referendum, 90 per cent of them, and there they voted for a sovereign and
4 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina. I hope I have answered your question,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE CLARK: I still want to know, Mr. Rajic, whether at the end
7 of that meeting, you say there was no vote, but was there a consensus that
8 you were moving further away from the original platform, if you like, of
9 the HDZ when it first was elected in the open elections in 1990? Now we
10 are a full year down the road. Was there now a movement away from the
11 first aspirations and platform and what was discussed at Tomislavgrad?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All misunderstandings or major
13 misunderstandings were resolved during the -- in the course of the
14 discussion, and we adopted this fundamental, perhaps the only relevant
15 conclusion, at this meeting, by consensus, go to Bosnia-Herzegovina, live
16 there as you cared and must, talk with both peoples, see what can be done
17 to avoid war, accept any possibility of a peaceful solution that will
18 satisfy the minimum Croatian national interests in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
19 avoid war at all costs. These were talk, talk, talk, get away from war,
20 get away from war. That is the only real conclusion. All the rest could
21 be some side, sporadic conclusions, but not this one. And President
22 Tudjman, indeed -- not only then, but he verily searched for micro
23 millimetre areas where one could build peace and understanding. And these
24 good instructions of the president, we tried to translate into life. And
25 Mr. Kljujic, as the President of the party in Bosnia-Herzegovina, stopped
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 listening to what Izetbegovic was talking about. He was trying to see
2 here what both Izetbegovic and Karadzic and our representatives of the
3 political life in Bosnia were saying.
4 JUDGE CLARK: That's been very helpful. Thank you Mr. Rajic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Rajic, let's go back to one item that I hadn't intended to
8 deal with but I think it may be helpful to all of us. If I could direct
9 you, sir, to your tab 6? English version page 64, for the booth,
10 00850492. While we are going to that, sir, do you recall Stjepan Kljujic
11 offered his resignation to President Tudjman at the conclusion of this
12 meeting because of the criticism he received from other members of the
13 delegation and President Tudjman at the meeting? Do you recall that he
14 offered to resign?
15 A. Could you please give me some time? I need to have a look at this
17 Q. This would be the bottom third of the English version. Bottom
18 third of the page.
19 A. Yes. I've seen it now.
20 Q. In response --
21 A. Mr. Prosecutor.
22 Q. In response to Judge Clark's questions you mentioned that
23 Mr. Kljujic had failed to carry out instructions that he'd been given in
24 the June 1991 meetings. I believe that was your testimony. Is that
1 A. Yes. You are right that he had failed to do it with regard to
2 that aspect of the conclusion, that talks should be conducted
3 simultaneously with representatives of the Muslim and the Serb people
4 because Mr. Kljujic was talking with the Muslims much more than with the
6 Q. All right. And we are talking about the conclusions he failed to
7 carry out which had been issued by President Tudjman in the June 1991
8 meetings with him, correct?
9 A. I didn't understand you. Could you repeat the question, please?
10 Q. Yes. Yesterday, we looked at an exhibit that was marked IAC
11 number 2. And that was a document which made reference to meetings and
12 conclusions reached in meetings with President Tudjman in June of 1991.
13 Do you recall that document?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. I think you testified that you were present at the meeting that
16 took place on the 13th of June, 1991.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Now, when you say Kljujic didn't carry out conclusions or the
19 instructions or he didn't implement conclusions, am I correct to
20 understand that he wasn't carrying out the instructions he'd been given by
21 President Tudjman in June of 1991?
22 A. No, no, no. You didn't put it right. These were not President
23 Tudjman's conclusions. It was what was agreed by those who were present
24 at the meeting. All of them.
25 Q. In any event, in any event, at this meeting in December of 1991,
1 in Zagreb, Mr. Kljujic was criticised by certain members of your
2 delegation, as well as by Dr. Tudjman, correct?
3 A. Some members of the delegation criticised Mr. Kljujic very
4 seriously. I do not remember that President Tudjman addressed some
5 criticism at Mr. Kljujic. I even believe he commended him for a number of
6 things that he had done well. However, for the sake of a rounded off
7 information, one needs to say that the criticism addressed at Mr. Kljujic
8 was due to several reasons, apart from the fact that he had not talked
9 with the Serbs. It was also --
10 Q. Excuse me, because I'm a bit conscious of the time and with the
11 President's leave, I'd like to move beyond the reasons for the criticism
12 and just to talk about the result of the criticism.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may.
14 MR. STRINGER:
15 Q. Mr. Rajic, I don't mean to cut you off but I'm more interested in
16 the results, what resulted from the criticism, whatever the reasons for
17 it. The result was that Mr. Kljujic offered his resignation during this
18 meeting with President Tudjman; is that correct?
19 A. He mentioned it as a possibility. However, the reason behind this
20 offer was of a different nature. He was afraid that Mr. Boban might take
21 over his office, and he would not suffer criticism, and that is why he
22 tried a manoeuvre to formally offer a resignation to the -- both
23 strengthen his position which was not in question. I mean that was only
24 his impression.
25 Q. First of all, this is what he said, Stjepan Kljujic said.
1 Directing you to the transcript. "Well, let me tell you regarding the
2 policy here. It is not possible for the 7th dwarf to get up and make a
3 ruckus about it. I did everything you told me to do. We cannot go on.
4 You want Herceg-Bosna. You want Boban. Well, you're entitled to them,
5 gentlemen. I resign. I'm always ready to resign, Mr. President." And
6 then he goes on to make additional comments. Now, two questions. First
7 of all, at the time of this meeting, the Croatian Community of
8 Herceg-Bosna had already been declared in its decision of 18 November,
9 1991, correct?
10 A. Yes, slightly over a month.
11 Q. That was the decision that we looked at yesterday which -- in
12 which you were one of the original signatories?
13 A. Yes, that is right.
14 Q. And as of 18 November, 1991, Mate Boban was the President of the
15 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, correct?
16 A. No. He was the presiding member of the Presidency.
17 Q. He was the highest ranking political office-holder in the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna, correct?
19 A. Yes. But we cannot talk only about the political office, because
20 political situation, because it is an association of citizens.
21 Q. Now, moving forward from this meeting in December into the early
22 part of 1992, it's my understanding that Stjepan Kljujic finally did
23 resign as president of the HDZ in BH, correct?
24 A. Correct. He submitted his resignation at Siroki Brijeg but again,
25 he tried to regain it, to get it back later on.
1 Q. He was replaced by Mate Boban, correct?
2 A. No.
3 Q. He was replaced by Miljenko Brkic, correct?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. My understanding that Mr. Brkic was, I believe, a university
6 professor. He held the position for a relatively short period of time,
7 and then was replaced by Mate Boban, correct?
8 A. Correct. But Mate Boban did not replace him. He was elected in a
9 regular procedure, governed by the party statute.
10 Q. So that in any event, we know that as of early 1992, for whatever
11 reason, Stjepan Kljujic stepped out of position of president of the HDZ
12 for BH.
13 A. Not right away. For a while, he was the President in resignation,
14 a resigning president.
15 Q. Thank you. I think it's time to move on to the Vance-Owen Peace
16 Plan now. So we are finished with the transcript.
17 A. I don't need this any more?
18 Q. No.
19 A. Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Rajic, the Vance-Owen Peace Plan was unveiled in Geneva in the
21 very early part of January, 1993, correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. It was unveiled to three parties, to the negotiations, the Bosnian
24 Serbs, represented by Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Croats represented
25 by Mate Boban and the Bosnian Muslims, represented by Alija Izetbegovic,
2 A. These are correct facts but the nominations are not correct.
3 There are no Bosnian Croats, nor Bosnian Serbs, nor no Bosnian Muslims.
4 There are Croats, Serbs and Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina, living in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the other facts, true.
6 Q. I apologise if I -- I didn't mean any disrespect in the way that I
7 described the three groups. The Vance-Owen Peace Plan --
8 A. I didn't understand it in any other way.
9 Q. The Vance-Owen Peace Plan consisted of three components, all of
10 which were inextricably bound up together. There was a list of
11 constitutional principles. There was an agreement regarding the
12 withdrawal of military forces and the implementation of a ceasefire. And
13 then thirdly, the third component was the map. Is that correct?
14 A. In principle, but all these facts were not revealed immediately.
15 The political part of the agreement was the first, as the easiest one.
16 The operational plan, the map, and the operational plan, followed only
17 later on.
18 Q. Were you in Geneva taking part in any negotiations?
19 A. No, neither in Geneva, nor anywhere else.
20 Q. Because I don't want to get bogged down into a debate or an
21 argument about some of these questions which are public record. Would you
22 agree with me, sir, if I were to suggest to you that prior to the 15th of
23 January, 1993, Karadzic, Boban -- let me back up. I'll talk about the map
24 first. The map that was proposed by Messrs. Vance and Owen would have
25 divided Bosnia-Herzegovina into a number of provinces or cantons based
1 generally along ethnic lines. Is that a correct statement?
2 A. I'd prefer to say as follows, to regulate Bosnia from within and
3 organise it in ten provinces. That would be correct.
4 Q. And under the plan, the provinces numbered 3, 8 and 10 are
5 provinces which would have been organised or regulated as Croat or
6 Croatian cantons, correct?
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I think that there is a confusion. These are not
8 cantons. In terms of the constitution, cantons are quite a different
9 constitutional entity. We are talking about provinces. There were three
10 for each people at the level of quality. In terms of quantity, things
11 differed. And province number 10 was supposed to be given a special
12 status and it consisted of the capitol and its surrounding areas, namely
14 Q. Now, well, if I could ask for the usher's assistance,
15 Mr. President, we could put on the ELMO Exhibit 207.1, which is a new one,
16 a new exhibit, I believe. It's just a map. And while we are doing that,
17 Mr. Rajic, I was just -- the translation or the interpretation I received
18 is that you indicated that province number 10 was to be given a special
19 status and that it consisted of the capitol. I don't know whether that's
20 your mistake or someone else's. Are you referring in fact to province
21 number 7 as the one that would have had a special status?
22 A. Yes. I may have caused this confusion because I was talking to
23 the tenth, the tenth remaining one and I was not referring to the numbers
24 which were given to them but of course we are talking about province
25 number 7.
1 Q. Okay. And now the map is on the ELMO and we can get a general
2 idea of the different colours. Would you agree with me, sir, that this
3 appears to be an accurate depiction of the various provinces envisioned
4 under the proposed Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
5 A. It's difficult, given the short time available, to say whether the
6 map is faithful. Basically, it features the solutions, but to be able to
7 make this confirmation, I would indeed need to study it in greater
8 detail. It seems to me, however, that there are certain areas but it's
9 very difficult to see all the details on this map.
10 Q. Okay. And I hope you'll accept my representation, I'm not trying
11 to trap you. I don't think it's essential for our purposes that it be
12 perfectly accurate to every detail. If you wish, you could take the map
13 off the ELMO and look at it more closely. I would just like to get a
14 general idea of whether this is a sufficiently accurate map.
15 A. It's approximately true. Maybe even 100 per cent true. I can't
16 really confirm. The structure is as it should be.
17 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Stringer, can you actually say that is the
18 Vance-Owen map?
19 MR. STRINGER: This is -- yes. I believe I can. I'm not anxious
20 to make a firm representation as an advocate but I can say with confidence
21 that this is the map. This is an exhibit, in fact, from a different case.
22 JUDGE CLARK: So you can't actually say to this witness, here is
23 the map that was proposed in the Vance-Owen Plan?
24 MR. STRINGER: I can put a different exhibit to the witness, which
25 would enable us to do that, which would be P239.1.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Wouldn't that be a better idea?
2 MR. STRINGER: Yes, it would. It just doesn't have the colours
3 and so it's harder to work with.
4 JUDGE CLARK: Give him both maps. Wouldn't that be the best thing
5 and then we can all agree that it is the Vance-Owen map and then the
6 comments will be directed towards that premise.
7 MR. STRINGER: Very well, Judge Clark, yes. With the usher's
8 assistance, if we could provide the witness with Exhibit P239.1? It's
9 already in evidence, I believe.
10 Q. Mr. Rajic, while that's being organised, you're going to be shown
11 a document that's already in evidence. It's a United Nations document
12 that describes the negotiations and the events taking place in Geneva,
13 also containing the different components of the proposed plan itself. And
14 I believe the sixth -- the sixth piece of paper which you're now looking
15 at is a map. It should be annex 3.
16 Just to make sure we are looking at the same page because the map
17 appears in different places here, could we go to the sixth piece of paper
18 in this exhibit? Sixth piece of paper. Sixth page, starting from the
19 beginning. That's it. Let's use that one. Yes.
20 Mr. Rajic, as you look off to the right-hand side of that piece of
21 paper, you'll see it says, "Annex number 3."
22 A. Yes. I can see it, although this is a very poor copy.
23 Q. Yes, it is. I agree. Okay. Now, if -- are you able to -- again
24 just all I want to do is try to get generally the contours of the
25 different provinces, particularly 3, 8, and 10. Is it possible, sir, that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you could work comfortably with the coloured map, which would perhaps be
2 easier to work with? Does it appear to correspond to the map that has
3 just been provided to you?
4 A. On one of these maps, certain corridors can be seen around Brkco
5 but I don't see the meaning of my verifying these maps because I was
6 neither the author of them nor was I responsible for their implementation,
7 et cetera. I don't know, I'm in your hands.
8 Q. Mr. Rajic, you testified about an order that you issued on the
9 16th of January, 1993. Do you recall that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In your order, you describe certain events which you were ordering
12 to take place in provinces 3, 8, and 10; is that correct?
13 A. The order, I haven't been describing this in the order.
14 Q. You also ordered, sir, certain things to take place in provinces
15 1, 5, and 9, in your order of 16 January; is that correct?
16 A. Not just to them but to the ten of them, to all of them, to the
17 whole of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. All I want to do, sir, is to use the map so that we can specify,
19 get a good idea of the location of the various provinces. Can we work
20 with Exhibit P207.1 in order to do that?
21 A. I'll use both. I apologise. I turned my microphone off. I'll be
22 using both of them to be able to answer your questions.
23 Q. That's fine. Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, is it break time?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will resume at quarter to 11.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Bring in the witness, please.
4 Yes, Mr. Stringer. You may proceed.
5 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Rajic, we were looking at the maps that were proposed as part
7 of the negotiations of the Vance-Owen Plan in Geneva. Now, I would like
8 to direct your attention to the territory that falls within the proposed
9 provinces number 8 and 10. If you could just look at those areas. First
10 of all, let me just ask you this: Territory number 3, which is in the
11 northern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that -- my understanding is it's part
12 of a region that we call the Posavina; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct. But before that, Mr. Prosecutor, this map was not
14 proposed. It was an adopted and signed by the representatives of the
15 Muslim people.
16 Q. We'll talk about that later, okay? But I'm going to ask you some
17 questions before we get to that point, all right? I promise you we are
18 going to have a full discussion about who signed and when. Okay?
19 Province number 3, the Posavina, by this period of time, there was an
20 entity that was called the Croatian community of the Posavina; is that
22 A. The community was called Bosanska Posavina, but it was not an
24 Q. The provinces 8 and 10 that I now draw your attention to, it
25 appears to me, sir, that in looking at this map, and the municipalities
1 that fell within these two provinces, we are talking very substantially
2 about the same territory that fell within the Croatian Community of
3 Herceg-Bosna, and again we can talk about some exceptions, but would you
4 agree with me, sir, that the territory covered by proposed provinces 8 and
5 10 are territories that correspond significantly to the same territories
6 of Herceg-Bosna?
7 A. In geographic terms, approximately, but I don't see the relations
8 between Herceg-Bosna and this plan. Is anybody implying that we decided
9 about this plan? Or was it the international community that proposed it?
10 Q. Sir, if you might just try to confine yourself to answering my
11 questions, we'll get to the bottom of all this. I'm just asking you a
12 simple question. The territory covered in provinces 8 and 10, does it
13 appear to approximate the territory of the Croatian Community of
14 Herceg-Bosna as it existed in January, 1993?
15 A. Yes, approximately.
16 Q. All right. Now, in addition, under the terms of the plan as
17 proposed at the beginning of January, these provinces were to be
18 established along ethnic or national lines. Would you agree with me on
20 A. Yes, primarily on this basis, but not only on this basis.
21 Q. Now, so that to the extent that the Vance-Owen Plan was proposing
22 the establishment of provinces based on ethnic or national affiliation,
23 this was something that had previously been sought by the HDZ in Livno?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Isn't cantonisation or the establishment of provinces along ethnic
1 lines the very thing that the HDZ tried to get on the ballot for the
2 referendum that occurred in the November, 1990, multi-party elections?
3 No, I'm sorry. Is it true that the HDZ tried to get on the referendum for
4 independence, which occurred in late February, 1992, essentially the same
5 thing that was being proposed here, the establishment of provinces along
6 ethnic lines for each of the three constituent peoples?
7 A. What is true is the following: The HDZ tried to insert into the
8 referendum question this concept as well, but it failed. However, we
9 never spoke about provinces because at that time, we were not even
10 familiar with this as a political or a legal concept. We spoke about
11 cantons, about a model which is known throughout the world, using the
12 Swiss model.
13 Q. All right. And my only question, sir, is whether that proposal
14 appeared to have resurfaced as part of the Vance-Owen proposal that was
15 put forward in early January, 1993?
16 A. It contains the most significant principle, which is the principle
17 of a tripartite system of Bosnia-Herzegovina based on equal principles.
18 The principle therefore is the same.
19 Q. Thank you. So then what we have in early January is a proposal
20 which would essentially meet the need of the Croats for -- I'm looking for
21 your words so that I say that correctly -- provinces along ethnic lines.
22 Actually those are my words. What we find, then, in early January on the
23 map that's proposed is something that is significantly similar to the
24 territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and which also
25 envisions the establishment of provinces drawn along ethnic lines for the
1 three constituent peoples?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, a majority of your question was put correctly.
3 However, for the second or the third time, you are referring to a
4 proposal. This is not a proposal. This is the document adopted and
5 embraced by the representatives of Croats and Muslims. And the Serbs
6 embraced it on condition that they be given an extension period to consult
7 their so-called assembly. But the principle is the principle that we
8 advocated: Each people in the same manner to be provided with a territory
9 that represents the Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole, as a unique state.
10 Q. I promise you we'll get to the point about the extent to which
11 these were agreed and ratified. I promise you we'll get to that. Before
12 we do, however, let me just suggest it to you this way: When the
13 Vance-Owen Peace Plan was first put forward in early January, then, it
14 appears to me to have provided the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
15 perhaps elsewhere with virtually everything that they had been advancing
16 and advocating for the previous 18 months. Territory that substantially
17 or significantly approximated the territory of Herceg-Bosna and a
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina divided into three ethnic groupings along ethnic or
19 national lines. That's my question?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to the
22 learned friend. Your Honours, you will have noticed that I had no
23 objections, but at this point in time, I believe that I need to intervene
24 and say the following: Is Mr. Stringer here interpreting the Vance-Owen
25 Plan and wants the witness to speculate on the Vance-Owen Plan? Because
1 after all, the Vance-Owen Plan is a fact of history. It's part of
2 history. Volumes of books were written about it. Everything is known
3 about the plan. And if anybody were to -- able to witness about it, then
4 it's Messrs. Vance and Owen and not the Prosecutor. I really wonder
5 whether this is one of the duties of the Prosecutor and what he is trying
6 to do with the witness. I was not objecting so far, although for three
7 hours we have been talking about matters that are not substantial, such as
8 the minutes et cetera. But now we have come to the crux of the matter and
9 this is a demonstration of the fact that I was right in bringing these
10 witnesses here, but I really fail to recognise the line of these
11 questions. Is the Prosecutor trying to interpret his own -- is he trying
12 to interpret the Vance-Owen Plan? But after all, this is a part of
13 history. What is indeed his hope to get from the witness? Thank you,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, the situation here is that the Prosecutor asked
16 for several times a very specific question to this witness but this
17 witness failed to answer this question. So as the last result, the
18 Prosecutor put his case before this witness and asked this witness whether
19 his characterisation is right or wrong. I think that's quite a logical
20 questioning. If the witness believes that he does not agree with the
21 Prosecutor, he can just say no. It's very simple.
22 Witness, you may answer the question put forward by the
24 MR. STRINGER: Shall I ask it again?
25 A. Yes, that would be good.
1 Q. Mr. Rajic --
2 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, if I could say counsel was cautioned
3 yesterday about making comments about other evidence, specifically the
4 transcripts that have been referred to. He did it again today and I
5 object to it.
6 Q. Mr. Rajic, I'll try to be more concise. When Vance-Owen was first
7 put forward, when this map was first put forward, it basically provided
8 you and the Croats of Herceg-Bosna with virtually everything that you
9 wanted and had been working for for the previous 18 months. Territory
10 along the lines of Herceg-Bosna and the partitioning of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 into three groupings based on ethnic or national lines. Is that correct?
12 A. No. It is not. The most important thing was peace.
13 Q. Mr. Boban on your behalf, and on behalf of the Croats, immediately
14 signed all three parts of the plan, the constitutional principles, the
15 arrangements for a ceasefire, and the map, correct? He immediately signed
16 all parts of the plan.
17 A. I cannot testify about that. I wasn't there.
18 Q. And in fact, in the months and weeks that followed, Mr. Boban
19 continually and repeatedly signed different versions of the plan as they
20 were proposed to the parties. He and your group were always in favour of
21 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, correct?
22 A. And all the other plans that addressed peace, before and after.
23 Q. Now, as of the 15th, 16th of January, 1993, sir, Radovan Karadzic
24 on behalf of one of the other parties, had signed only the constitutional
25 principles, he had not signed the map, nor had he signed the proposals for
1 implementation of the ceasefire. Is that true?
2 A. That was the kind of information that the public had.
3 Q. As of 15th and 16th of January, 1993, Alija Izetbegovic had signed
4 only the constitutional principles, he did not sign the map, nor did he
5 sign the proposed agreement on implementation of a ceasefire. Is that
7 A. That is not how it was represented. It was said that he had
8 accepted the whole plan.
9 Q. Where was that said?
10 A. In the media, we were told that by the head of the Croat
11 delegation from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Boban, and others too. Whether it
12 was -- it meant nothing more than initialing, I cannot say that. But the
13 most important definitions, points of the plan, were accepted.
14 Q. Are you saying that you don't personally know whether that was the
15 case or not, as of 15 January, 1993?
16 A. I was not there personally but I had to accept the information
17 that was brought to us by the legitimate representatives of the Croat
18 people from Bosnia-Herzegovina who had attended those negotiations. That
19 is natural.
20 Q. That's an interesting point because we have to keep in mind that
21 in January 1993 you were also the Minister of Defence for the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. But I don't understand why it should be interesting.
24 Q. You didn't consult with Mr. Izetbegovic as to his side, his
25 version of the events that had occurred in Geneva, by mid-January?
1 A. Mr. Izetbegovic had other associates. He did not need me. He
2 never called me. He never asked for anything. He never consulted with
3 me. And he never informed me about anything. He behaved as the leader of
4 the Muslims absolutely, not the -- not the leader of the state, from the
5 Croat point of view, of course.
6 Q. The fact is, Mr. Rajic, you don't know whether or not
7 Mr. Izetbegovic had agreed to the entirety of the Vance-Owen Plan by 15
8 January, 1993, isn't that true?
9 A. I was informed about it.
10 Q. All right. Now, can we agree that by the 15th of January, the
11 Serb side had not agreed to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
12 A. I cannot answer that. I do not know it, when they recognised it
13 or something. What I can say is that when the media carried this
14 information, that the two sides had accepted the agreement and the third
15 had signed on certain conditions and that is how I learned about it. I
16 didn't have any other sources of information.
17 Q. So your sources of information were the media, and whatever
18 Mr. Boban had told you, correct?
19 A. Not Mr. Boban alone. Other members of the Croat delegation too,
20 but needless to say, yes, most of it came from Mr. Boban.
21 Q. Did Mr. Boras characterise the Geneva negotiations?
22 A. I'm not sure whether I saw him, whether I met him during one of
23 those critical days that you are talking about. That is around the
24 15th, 16th of January. Later on, yes, we talked about it.
25 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that the Serb side never agreed to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Vance-Owen Plan?
2 A. No, it is not.
3 Q. It was --
4 A. They did but they had certain conditions.
5 Q. Which were put to the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
6 form of a referendum which they rejected. Isn't that true?
7 A. No. Before that, the assembly, the parliament of the so-called
8 Republika Srpska at the time met, discussed it and adopted conclusions and
9 that was followed by the preparations for the referendum or, rather, the
10 plebiscite, because it wasn't a referendum; it was a plebiscite. And only
11 members of the Serb people participated in it, not all the citizens.
12 Q. The Serb side rejected the Vance-Owen Plan in a referendum that
13 occurred in the spring of 1993, correct?
14 A. Yes, that is right.
15 Q. You don't know other than what you read in the media and what
16 others told you whether or to what extent the Muslim side had accepted the
17 Vance-Owen Plan. Is that your testimony?
18 A. I had information from the media and the delegation of the Croat
19 people in those negotiations that Mr. Izetbegovic had, on behalf of the
20 Muslim people, accepted the plan without reservation, and this is a fact
21 -- rather, this is a belief that I've lived with ever since.
22 Q. Could you be wrong?
23 A. Mr. Prosecutor, it is human to err but I don't think I am.
24 Q. The fact that the Serbs never agreed to the Vance-Owen Plan means
25 that there was never a Vance-Owen agreement, correct? There was only
1 negotiations between three parties.
2 A. It will be correct to say that all that this plan -- with all its
3 details was not rounded off fully, was not completed.
4 Q. And so that it never came into formal existence as an
5 internationally recognised peace plan, correct?
6 A. Well, it couldn't, because the Serbs had rejected it and the
7 Muslims renounced it later on, disowned it later on. So the will of the
8 Croats did not suffice for its operationalisation.
9 Q. Well, your statement, sir, that they renounced it later on,
10 implies that they had fully accepted the agreement. Which is a fact that
11 you, sir, don't know, correct?
12 A. That is how I understood the information that reached me through
13 different channels and I was -- and this fact made me happy, namely that
14 at least these two peoples have found common tongue regarding the future
15 of the state and their mutual relations. I had no reason not to trust all
16 this information.
17 Q. I'm going to put this to you, Mr. Rajic. I don't expect you to
18 agree with me. The fact is Izetbegovic in the first half of January,
19 1993, signed only the constitutional principles. He rejected the map,
20 sir, on the grounds that it would have the effect of rewarding the ethnic
21 cleansing that had taken place up to that point in time. He also rejected
22 the proposed plan on implementation of a ceasefire as of January, 1993.
23 Karadzic also rejected the map. Karadzic also rejected the proposal on
24 ceasefire. There was no agreement by either the Serbs or the Muslims to
25 the proposed plan as of 15 January, 1993, sir. Isn't that true?
1 A. No, it is not true. It cannot be true. Mr. Izetbegovic, with all
2 the reservations, but he was primarily -- his reservations chiefly had to
3 do with what the Serbs were about to get. I am not aware that there were
4 some questions left open regarding the mutual demarcation between the
5 Croats and the Muslims.
6 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I think I'm just going to refer the
7 Trial Chamber to Exhibit P239.1 on this point and try to move on.
8 Q. Mr. Rajic, what happens -- what happened in January, 1993, is that
9 the Croats, Mate Boban and other members, Croats, in the HDZ, decided to
10 unilaterally implement their own version of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan,
11 whether or not either of the other two sides agreed to it.
12 A. That is not true.
13 Q. And if I could ask the usher to show -- we'll put P14 -- I'm
14 sorry, P214, P215, P216. P216 is -- I think they are all in evidence.
15 214, 215, 216. Sir, the fact is that in Geneva, Mr. Boban signed all the
16 agreement because he and the Croats found that it provided virtually
17 everything they'd been working for and that when they saw the other two
18 sides were not willing to sign at that time, decided to go forward and to
19 implement what they understood as the terms of the agreement in the
20 territories 3, 8, and 10, which were proposed as Croat territories in the
21 Vance-Owen Plan. Isn't that true? Before you take the documents, if you
22 could just focus on my question, give us an answer, and then we'll go into
23 each of the documents?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we've been listening to
1 one and the same question. I'm looking at my watch, for 17 or 18 minutes
2 now, and to this same question, we have already heard the same answer
3 during the 17 or 18 minutes. I believe that our learned friend is
4 insisting on something to -- about what -- which he has already been given
5 an answer.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the Prosecutor is moving to
7 another subject, which is related to this one but indeed we have spent
8 much time on that issue already. I hope you could move faster.
9 MR. STRINGER: I'll do my best, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Rajic, in your direct testimony, you spoke about Exhibits 214
11 and 215. Can we agree that 214 is an order issued by Jadranko Prlic on
12 the 15th of January, 1993, which essentially is an attempt to bring about
13 the subordination of Muslim armed forces to the HVO in Vance-Owen
14 provinces 3, 8, and 10, with corresponding orders that would apply to the
15 Muslim provinces?
16 A. Your Honours, I'm truly sorry, and I do not wish to complicate
17 matters, but I really do not know how to respond to this form of
18 cross-examination. The Prosecutor comes up with three claims more often
19 than not opposed claims, in each one of them, and then wants me to answer
20 with yes or no. I cannot do that. So may I be asked shorter and clearer
21 questions, explicit questions? And then I will answer yes or no.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may try that, Mr. Stringer.
23 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Mr. Rajic, 214, is this a document signed by Jadranko Prlic dated
25 15 January, 1993?
1 MR. STRINGER: Can we put the English version on the ELMO,
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is what it looks like. There
4 is the name and the signature of Jadranko Prlic but it is not an order, it
5 is a decision.
6 MR. STRINGER:
7 Q. It's a decision bearing the number 01-I-32/93.
8 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Stringer, we had this discussion before many
9 times. What is the point of putting to a witness who is not a signatory
10 to a document and may never have seen it before, a particular document.
11 It's only when they are his own documents that there is any point putting
12 them to him but we've got the point, that it is the Prosecution's case
13 that the Vance-Owen Plan was not adopted and therefore should not have
14 been acted upon. It is this witness's case that he has proceeded on the
15 premise since January, 1993, that the plan -- that the -- all issues
16 between territorial problems between the Croat entity in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Muslim entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina had been
19 Now you are at diametrically opposite points. He disagrees
20 with you. He doesn't accept that he could be wrong although to err is
21 human. That he has acted sincerely under the premise that Mr. Izetbegovic
22 was bound by the plan and you're proceeding on the other. So there really
23 is no point in flogging a dead horse. He's not going to accept that these
24 orders were unlawful. So we really ought to proceed. We take your point.
25 We've got that, and I'm not criticising you but I think we better move
1 into an area where we can make some progress. We are not going to make
2 progress here.
3 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Judge Clark.
4 JUDGE CLARK: I should say that this witness is holding, appears
5 to hold a sincerely held view, and at the end of the day, we've got to
6 decide the factual basis and get down to the indictment, but I appreciate
7 all the help but we are not going to progress.
8 MR. STRINGER: Well, I'm reluctant to give my own
9 characterisation, our own views on the sincerity of the witness while the
10 witness is present. I think I can say that we are certainly not bound by
11 his claims of sincerity. It's our position that what happened -- if I may
12 put it to the Trial Chamber, this is where I'm going, and if you don't
13 want to -- if the Trial Chamber thinks we should move often, then we can
14 do it. A series of orders was issued in mid-January, 1993, by Mr. Prlic,
15 by Mr. Stojic, also by Mr. Petkovic, who at the time was the Chief of
16 Staff of the HVO. At the same time, on the 16th of January, this witness
17 issued an order that was essentially identical to those being issued by
18 the HVO, only this witness did so as the Minister of Defence of the
19 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's our submission that this was all
20 done as part of a political decision taken to implement the Vance-Owen
21 Peace Plan even though it didn't exist.
22 Now, -- and that as a result of this series of orders, issued by
23 all of these people, including the witness, this resulted in armed
24 conflict that occurred in a number of places which this Trial Chamber has
25 heard about in the direct examination of this witness as well as other
1 witnesses. So it's our submission that this is all taking place,
2 knowingly, as part of a political decision to implement something that was
3 not agreed, was not recognised internationally, and that it led to armed
4 conflicts among the Muslims and the Croats. And that's what I propose to
5 put to this witness and to examine him about.
6 JUDGE CLARK: Well, I think we understand a lot of that but the
7 issue now is you're saying that in was a deliberate employ to misinterpret
8 the Vance-Owen Plan in order to start the conflict. Whereas the position
9 that Mr. Rajic is coming from is that they believed that they were acting
10 on foot of the Vance-Owen Plan. So perhaps you should put the question to
11 him that he and others knowingly misinterpreted the position under the
13 MR. STRINGER:
14 Q. Mr. Rajic, who was present as part of the Croat delegation in
15 Geneva in early January, 1993?
16 A. I know that Mr. Boban was there, Mr. Boras, and I know a gentleman
17 whose first name was Jure. I don't know his last name. Mr. Boban's
18 secretary, I believe. But they were the two most important persons,
19 Mr. Boban and Mr. Boras. Perhaps Mr. Akmadzic was there too. I'm not
21 Q. The agreement in front of you makes reference to the peace
22 agreement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Geneva agreements. The agreements
23 reached and signed at the international conference of the former
24 Yugoslavia. Sir, the fact is there were no agreements signed by anyone
25 except Mr. Boban and that you, Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, all knew that, and
1 that all of you agreed to go forward with implementation of the Vance-Owen
2 Plan whether or not it was agreed by any of the two parties.
3 A. Your Honours, I truly think I'm not an unintelligent person. I'm
4 not an inexperienced person. And I do understand something about the
5 legal terminology, but the way that the Prosecutor speaks, the way he's
6 asking questions, is beyond me. I cannot keep up with him. So I must
7 seek your help. You promised us a while ago that we would have short and
8 clear questions. Once again, these are sentences as long as sausages
9 which are very difficult to keep up with, to follow.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stringer. First of all, I think you have to
11 ask this witness whether there is agreement or not. That's a very simple
12 question. We just want to know whether the witness believed that there is
13 agreement or no agreement at all. Then later on, you could lead this
14 witness step by step.
15 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Rajic, at the time that you wrote the -- your order of 16
17 January, is it your testimony that you believed there was an agreed,
18 binding Vance-Owen Peace Plan, internationally recognised, and applicable
19 to the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. And once again, I cannot answer this question. You are involving
21 me in a question with the word "all." I knew that not all had signed it
22 and that is what my order says too. It says, I'm referring to the
23 understanding or to the agreement reached in part, but I believed that an
24 agreement had been reached between the Croats and Bosniaks or Muslims as
25 they were officially called then, and that there were no matters of
1 dispute between them. And I claim to this day that that is how it was.
2 Q. And as a result, you and other members on the Croat side decided
3 to move forward to implement your understanding of those parts of the
4 Vance-Owen Peace Plan that applied to Muslim and Croat territories?
5 A. I acted autonomously, as the Minister of Defence of the Republic
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I did not work in accordance to our concept, as
7 you called it, but deeply confident that I was implementing the peace plan
8 in its entirety and it had nothing to do with the decisions of the HVO,
10 Q. Now, you testified about the decision of Mr. Prlic. Is it your
11 testimony, sir, that it's a coincidence that your order came one day after
13 A. No. It is not a coincidence, but the basis underlying the two
14 documents was the same and that was the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
15 Q. At the time that you issued your order on the 16th of January,
16 were you aware that Mr. Prlic had issued this order on the 15th?
17 A. No. I did not know that he had undertaken anything; he or
18 somebody else. Nor was I interested in that.
19 Q. Mr. Prlic's order makes reference to a decision reached at a
20 special meeting in Mostar on 15 January, 1993. Did you attend such a
22 A. How could I be present? It was a government body, a provisional
23 government body of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and I wasn't its
25 Q. Mr. Prlic ordered that this decision is to be implemented within
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 five days starting from the 15th of January, 1993. Do you see that? Item
2 number 5.
3 A. I see it, yes.
4 Q. Could we show the witness?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honours. Once
7 again the witness is requested to speculate. He said it loud and clear
8 that he had nothing to do with Mr. Prlic's decision, that he was present
9 at a meeting or that he knew anything about it and now the Prosecutor is
10 asking him and all he can get from him is speculation. Plus the witness
11 has already answered.
12 JUDGE LIU: In this objection, I agree with you. You may proceed,
13 Mr. Stringer.
14 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the question was whether Mr. Prlic's
15 order set a deadline of five days. In my respectful submission it does
16 not invite speculation. It just asks him to look at the document to tell
17 us what it says. It's leading to my next question.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, let us hear -- let us hear what is the next
20 MR. STRINGER: Could the witness be shown Exhibit D1/90, please?
21 Put the English on the ELMO.
22 Q. Mr. Rajic, is this the order that you talked about in your direct
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could I direct your attention, please, to item number 7? Page 2
1 of the English version.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] To avoid any confusion, Mr. Stringer
4 said item 7 and in the B/C/S interpretation, we had 6, to avoid any
5 misunderstanding between the witness and the learned friend.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 MR. STRINGER: Thank you.
8 Q. Item number 7, the deadline for the implementation of this order
9 is 20 January, 1993, by 2400 hours. Sir, is it a coincidence that you and
10 Mr. Prlic both came up with the same deadline for implementation of this
12 A. It is not a coincidence. It is logical because the same
13 information about the signing of the agreement, the need to enforce it and
14 to do it within this period of time, I was following in exercising my
15 duties and the HVO did the same. I was informed by Mr. Boban and other
16 members of the delegation that within the five days, these activities have
17 to be started and that the agreement, Mr. Boban, Mr. Izetbegovic, in talks
18 with President Tudjman in Zagreb had been made. They stayed there for a
19 while in order to reach an agreement as to how to operationalise this
20 plan. So it's not a coincidence. It is in fact the foundation which has
21 to do with the same facts, the same conclusions and decisions and what was
22 done by the HVO, I do not know, and I cannot testify to that.
23 Q. You consulted, then, with Mr. Boban in advance of issuing this
25 A. No.
1 Q. Didn't you just tell us that --
2 A. I didn't say, sir, that I consulted with him. I was informed by
3 Mr. Boban about the conclusions and then, following this information, I
4 assessed and decided, in full autonomy, independent of any living soul in
5 this world.
6 Q. Mr. Boban told you that the terms of this arrangement needed to be
7 implemented within five days?
8 A. Yes. Not needed to be, but it was desired for them to be.
9 Q. And on the basis of that information, then, you drafted up this
10 order, which is defence Exhibit D1/90?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
12 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, my
13 objection will be perhaps slightly longer but I will not spend too much of
14 your time. Through this question, the Prosecutor is accusing the witness
15 of drawing up a special plan for the enforcement of the Vance-Owen Plan,
16 which allegedly had never existed. So I wonder what were Cyrus Vance and
17 Lord Owen doing for four months because it's not logical for the
18 Prosecution to first deny that something that existed and then somebody
19 else be accused of having implemented this same thing. Thank you, Your
21 JUDGE LIU: No, Mr. Seric. I believe that both parties have
22 different views towards the Vance-Owen Plan in this aspect, but it's not
23 an obstacle to prevent the Prosecutor to put his case to this witness.
24 The Prosecutor is not accusing the witness at all. We have the
25 order issued by the witness, and the Prosecutor is asking questions
1 concerning this order. And this order has been used in the direct
3 Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
5 apologise. The Prosecutor, in this very hall, ten minutes ago, explained
6 his view in which he had stated exactly what was now repeated by
7 Mr. Seric. The learned friend quite clearly told us in this Trial Chamber
8 that Vance-Owen Plan was on purpose misinterpreted, although they knew
9 that it had neither been signed nor implemented to wage a war against the
10 Muslims. This is what the learned friend said, and -- at least this is
11 what my translation said. I object the following. At the very beginning,
12 when Mr. Scott reacted when I said that if we are talking about politics,
13 let us then see who is representing what line of policy and who is
14 defending what I thought that this Tribunal is dealing with the
15 Prosecution of war crimes. But as to the Vance-Owen Plan, I can assure
16 you, Mr. President, that we will tender it in and if there is no other way
17 out, we will pursue the invitation to bring Mr. Owen here. We tried it
18 before. We received a negative answer. But as far as witness Rajic is
19 concerned, to discuss his views and his deeds and things, I think deserves
20 a slightly more lenient treatment. And particularly when it comes to the
21 generally known facts. I apologise for this intervention, yet I'd like
22 to thank you very much for allowing me to make this submission to you.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we understand that there are
24 different interpretations, different views concerning that agreement.
25 It's quite natural for the two parties to disagree with each other. And
1 here we are talking about the order issued by this witness himself. The
2 witness has the full right to answer the questions put forward by the
3 Prosecutor. The purpose of the witness to come here is to assist us to
4 know the facts. That's a very simple question.
5 Yes, Mr. Stringer. You may proceed.
6 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I think I forgot what
7 the question was. I'll start over again.
8 JUDGE CLARK: I think you were asking him about the state of his
9 knowledge when he issued the order, and I would like you to ask this
10 witness whether he saw any copy of the signatures to the plan and what
11 documents he had in front of him that he relied upon when issuing the
13 JUDGE LIU: The question is that on the basis of that information,
14 then you drafted up this order, which is Defence Exhibit D1/90.
15 MR. STRINGER:
16 Q. Mr. Rajic, did you have any documents in your possession on which
17 you relied in order to know of the status or the -- status of the
18 Vance-Owen Plan as of the time you issued this order on 16 January, 1993?
19 A. Upon return from Geneva, the delegation, both the Croat and part
20 of the Muslim, spent sometime in Zagreb. I don't know exactly how long
21 they had stayed there. Mr. Boban informed me of the decision made in
22 Zagreb. In fact, he called me together with Mr. Izetbegovic.
23 Q. I apologise for interrupting you there. The question was about
24 documents and Judge Clark specifically asked this question. Did you have
25 documents in front of you which you studied to learn about the Vance-Owen
1 Plan as of the 16th of January, 1993?
2 A. Yes. It was an announcement made by the international conference,
3 peace conference in Geneva, and it contained all the most important
4 elements of the plan. Of course without the maps. But everything else
5 was there.
6 Q. So are you telling us, sir, that on the 16th of January, you were
7 aware that the maps had not been agreed?
8 A. I didn't consider this to be important at all. I knew that they
9 would be continued, that the detail to drafting in the field would be
10 continued. The most important thing was the halting of war, establishment
11 of peace, and common action of both Croats and Muslims, and this was my
12 motive and this is what I would do once again today without thinking
14 Q. I see that in your order you make reference specifically to partly
15 signed agreements. Those are your words.
16 A. That's correct. These are my words, and I am referring to the
17 agreement made between these two peoples and the initialing by the third
18 people, by the Serbs. Their conditional agreement by the Serbs.
19 Q. And again, just so we are clear, the maps were not agreed as of
20 the 16th of January, and you knew that?
21 A. This is what you are claiming but I'm saying this is not true.
22 The agreement had been reached but I did not have it in my hand, as far as
23 the maps are concerned, and I didn't consider this to be that important
24 for the order that I gave.
25 Q. You then issued an order directing units of the ABiH, the Army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to subordinate themselves to the HVO command in
2 provinces 3, 8, and 10, under Vance-Owen, and you're telling us, sir, that
3 you did that without being fully knowledgeable about the status of the
4 agreements on maps?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, it is with great regret that I must say that you
6 are putting words into my mouth. You, on purpose, skipped over the first
7 item of this order where all units of the Croatian Defence Council are
8 ordered to be placed under the command of the main staff of the Army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If we are to be fair and correct, let us proceed item
10 by item, as far as this order is concerned.
11 Q. You issued everything in this order, including the order that all
12 armies disarm, and you did so without being fully knowledgeable about the
13 status of the agreement on maps. Is that true?
14 A. This is not true. Where does it say that I ordered the disarming
15 of the armies? This is not said anywhere.
16 Q. You ordered the subordination. Is that a word that we can use?
17 A. No. This is a misinterpretation, on purpose, of this word. To be
18 subordinated, to be placed under somebody's command in military sense,
19 means to be under the command of a specific level of military command and
20 it does not imply either disarming nor any coercion whatsoever. It
21 implies the recognition of the command of the staff or whatever is the
22 particular military body concerned.
23 Q. You testified that you spoke with Mr. Boban before you issued this
24 order. Did you speak with other leaders on the Croat side before you
25 issued this order?
1 A. Not at that moment in time.
2 Q. Did you speak with Alija Izetbegovic?
3 A. I said before that I never talked to Alija Izetbegovic about these
4 issues because he was not willing to do so.
5 Q. So on this day, as the Minister of Defence of the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you issued an order that in part directed units of the
7 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina to be placed under the command of the main
8 staff of the HVO, in Vance-Owen provinces 3, 8, and 10, and you did so
9 without even consulting the President of the Presidency of
11 A. This is not correct. You are again referring only to one part of
12 the order. I ordered everybody concerned to do so, and I told you that I
13 could not consult with Mr. Izetbegovic. I was not important enough for
14 him at that time. Very often he even refused to talk to Mr. Boban. This
15 is why very often, it was necessary for Mr. Tudjman, President Tudjman, to
16 talk to him so that Mr. Izetbegovic was able to talk to the adequate
17 authority, and I hope you understand this.
18 Q. You were Minister of Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you felt
19 no obligation to even attempt to discuss this with President Izetbegovic
20 before you issued this order?
21 A. As I said before, it was not possible.
22 Q. The question was whether you attempted to do so.
23 A. As I said it before, sir, Mr. Boban informed me that in the
24 presence of Mr. Izetbegovic, he was talking about it. Was I supposed to
25 split hair to show a lack of trust into this authority? This is not what
1 I would expect from you, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. Where were you when you wrote this order?
3 A. In Mostar.
4 Q. So it says Sarajevo. So that's a misrepresentation, correct?
5 A. This is not a misrepresentation. We agreed that regardless from
6 where I'll be active, I will always use the capital of the state of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina and that all official documents will have the city of
8 Sarajevo as the place issued. And this is something that was universally
9 recognised by both the leadership of the Muslims and the Croats. This is
10 not a misrepresentation. This is the result of an agreement.
11 Q. The fact is, sir, that when you issued this order, you were acting
12 in your capacity as a Croat political leader and a spokesman for the HVO
13 and not in your capacity as the Minister of Defence for
15 A. This is what you claim, but yesterday I said that this is not true
16 and I'd like to repeat this statement of mine.
17 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that you were still a spokesman for the HVO at
18 the time that you issued this order?
19 A. If you put it in very formal terms, then you can insist on that.
20 But I could not make any decisions that had to do with my nomination or
21 relief of my duty. This was done by other people like anywhere else in
22 the world. In practical terms and following my conviction and my ethical
23 values, I acted in my capacity of the Minister of Defence of the Republic
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on behalf and in the function of this state in the
25 function of peace and all its citizens. All interpretations that go
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 beyond this are not fair.
2 Q. The result of this order that you issued was not peace. In fact,
3 it was armed conflict. Isn't that true?
4 A. This is a very dangerous misinterpretation, Mr. Prosecutor. This
5 has nothing to do with the reality. And I'm offended. You're accusing me
6 here. And I did not come here to be accused of anything. I have come
7 here as a witness.
8 Q. Isn't it true that, as a result of your order as well as others
9 issued by Mr. Prlic and others, resulted in armed conflicts in Busovaca
10 and in Gornji Vakuf when attempts were made on the 20th of January to
11 implement the order that you and the others had issued?
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I object to this question. I submit
14 to you that this is another misinterpretation of what the witness is
15 trying to say, and I object to this line of questioning because the
16 Prosecutor has entered a sort of personal relationship with the witness
17 which is neither professionally acceptable nor is it fair. Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] At any rate, in his questions, he
20 includes speculations and is trying to lead the witness to speculate.
21 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stringer?
22 MR. STRINGER: I'm allowed to ask leading questions on
23 cross-examination, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
25 MR. STRINGER: And I don't believe I'm acting in a way that would
1 suggest any personal judgements on my part. And so I respectfully
2 disagree with what my learned friend Mr. Seric said. I do believe that
3 this is legitimate cross-examination based on the direct testimony of this
4 witness, however -- and I propose to proceed, although I can inform the
5 Trial Chamber that I am reaching the latter stages of my outline on this.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, we understand where you are aiming at at this
7 point but you have to put your question another way so that you do not
8 prejudge the results of the answer by this witness.
9 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Rajic, did armed conflicts between the Muslims and the Croats
11 take place in Busovaca on the 20th of January, 1993?
12 A. Yes. I know that there were conflicts.
13 Q. There were also conflicts, very severe conflicts, between the two
14 groups that occurred in Gornji Vakuf at the same time; is that correct?
15 A. No. That was before. I think that was somewhere in October,
16 1992. I went there in order to extinguish that fire together with a
17 delegation. There were some minor provocations that took place there.
18 Q. Isn't it true that these conflicts in Gornji Vakuf and Busovaca
19 resulted from HVO attempts to implement your order and the order of Prlic?
20 A. It is not true.
21 Q. And that these attempts were made right on time, in accordance
22 with the deadline set by you and Mr. Prlic of 20 January, 1993?
23 A. This is not true either.
24 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that that's the conclusion that was reached by
25 the international community who were present in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the
2 A. I am not sure what conclusions you are referring to, sir.
3 Q. Isn't it true that the international community present concluded
4 that the hostilities that occurred in Gornji Vakuf and Busovaca resulted
5 from attempts at unilateral implementation of these parts of the
6 Vance-Owen Peace Plan by the HVO?
7 A. It may be possible that some representatives of the international
8 institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina characterised these conflicts in
9 that manner but they are equally wrong, just like your submission.
10 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I believe it's time for a recess.
11 JUDGE LIU: How long are you going to take for your
13 MR. STRINGER: If I could just have a brief moment to look through
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you need another ten minutes, we could
16 continue to sit, but...
17 MR. STRINGER: I think I need more than ten minutes,
18 Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, once again I tried to
21 avoid the word "privilege." It is quite clear as to what was the time I
22 used for my direct. The Prosecutor already has overstepped this period.
23 Yesterday, he told me that he would try to reduce the breaks. He already
24 had had four breaks; so did I. But I would indeed appreciate your equal
25 treatment in those matters. Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stringer, I understand that during the
2 cross-examination, it is very difficult to ask some questions from this
3 witness. But it is indeed that we spend too much time on the Vance-Owen
4 Plan which we know that the two parties hold different views. So I hope
5 you could finish your cross-examination within 15 minutes after the break.
6 MR. STRINGER: I'll do my best, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 12.30.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
10 JUDGE LIU: Bring in the witness, please, Mr. Usher.
11 Yes, Mr. Stringer?
12 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Rajic, at the time of the break, we were discussing the order
14 that you issued on 16th of January, 1993.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. At the time, perhaps the same day or shortly thereafter, did you
17 explain to the media the reasons why you had issued that order? Do you
18 recall making any statements on television?
19 A. Yes. I remember. I did -- I gave statements to several media,
20 both local and of a broader significance, and I believe I was also in a TV
21 programme called Slikom na Sliku, picture against picture, on Croatian
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, at this time I'd like to show a
25 video clip. It lasts about 90 seconds, perhaps a little longer but it's
1 quite short. It's the programme that the witness has just described. I
2 think that transcripts have been distributed already, or it's our request
3 that that be done. This Exhibit number 905 is the videotape and --
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
5 MR. STRINGER: It may assist the witness as well, if we could give
6 -- if there is an extra copy. It's in both languages, so...
7 If I could ask at this time the people in the booth if we could
8 perhaps dim the lights just a bit and run the video clip, Exhibit 905?
9 [Videotape played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Still under the command of the HVO
11 although they belong to the Sarajevo province. In the Siroki Brijeg is
12 Mr. Bozo Rajic spokesman for the HVO. Mr. Rajic, good evening. Good
13 evening. Why did you opt for this decision? It is known already that the
14 situation and the attempt of extremist groups of Muslims to take away
15 territory which historically belongs to the Croatian people, which they
16 succeeded in defending from the aggression and which in the most recent
17 times at the Geneva negotiations was internationally verified as the
18 Croatian ethnic rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In view of the fierce
19 battles, especially during the last two or three days that have been
20 waged, in which the Muslim extremists have tried to destroy the resistance
21 of the HVO first in Gornji Vakuf and elsewhere, it was necessary to
22 undertake further measures to protect Croatian ethnic living space and the
23 rights of all citizens who live on the territory."
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is the first time
1 that we see this tape. Even though my learned friend has given us
2 the transcript, but now I see here three TV centres; the HTV, TVB and H,
3 and in Cyrillic, ST. And I would like to know what the source of this
4 tape -- where this tape came from, because I have never yet seen three
5 television stations in one. That is on the screen. We had HTV, TVB and
6 H, and ST, which stands for Serbian television. In Cyrillic, the last
7 letter cannot be seen because of the ICTY logo.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the witness has answered that
9 question. Maybe, Mr. Stringer, you could ask that question again.
10 MR. STRINGER:
11 Q. Mr. Rajic, is this you appearing and speaking on the videotape
12 that we just saw?
13 A. Yes, it is me. But this was edited. You have taken only a part
14 of it, and I'd be happier if the Chamber could see the authentic recording
15 of the Croatian television in total. This is only a fragment and it is an
16 abuse. And, yes, it is I who is in this programme. There is no doubt
17 about that.
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we've given the Trial Chamber what
19 we have. This was found on a compile that we have that has many, many
20 different things on it. I'm happy to let the witness give a fuller
21 explanation but I think that there are some questions based on what's been
22 said here that we would like to put to the witness.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
24 MR. STRINGER:
25 Q. Mr. Rajic, you were introduced as both the Minister of Defence in
1 the cabinet of Bosnia-Herzegovina and also spokesman for the HVO. My
2 question, sir, in which capacity were you acting when you said that the
3 decision was the result of an attempt of extremist groups to take
4 territory historically belonging to the Croatian people?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
6 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I object to this
7 question, mostly because the witness has said, with regard to this video
8 clip, that it has been edited and therefore the quote cannot be based on
9 this video clip, as it is not authentic.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, I believe this is only part of that
11 programme, and what we need is only this part. I don't think the question
12 asked by the Prosecution is not irrelevant. It just asks the witness that
13 in what capacity the witness made that statement, after the witness
14 admitted that he was the very person on that videotape.
15 Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.
16 MR. STRINGER:
17 Q. In Rajic, this was my question. In what capacity were you acting
18 when you said these things? Minister of Defence for Bosnia-Herzegovina or
19 spokesman for the HVO?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I once again am asking you kindly in the best of
21 faith, do not ask me twofold questions. You say here that I introduce
22 myself as the Minister of Defence in the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 and the spokesman for the HVO, which is not true. That is the presenter
24 -- in the studio said that. I have nothing to do with it. I was there
25 in the role which I had, the Minister of Defence of the Republic of
2 Q. Mr. Rajic, I said that you were introduced. I didn't say that you
3 introduced yourself.
4 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I understood that you said that I had introduced
6 Q. Well, I think that was --
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the witness has answered the question
8 already. So could we skip this question?
9 MR. STRINGER:
10 Q. So getting back to my question, the original question is, in what
11 capacity were you acting, Minister of Defence or HVO spokesman?
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this question was asked
14 and answered ten times ago and now again.
15 MR. STRINGER: I've never got an answer to this question,
16 Mr. President. The debate has been about who introduced him in these
17 capacities. I've never gotten an answer to the question itself in what
18 capacity was he acting?
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Line 21 to 23 of the transcript.
20 Read it. Lines 21, 22, 23. And it says, "I appeared there as the
21 Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina." And it was
22 all explained nicely.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We also believe that the witness answered the
25 MR. STRINGER:
1 Q. Mr. Rajic, let me suggest to you that in fact you were acting as
2 an HVO propaganda man putting out the HVO view, and its own interpretation
3 of the Vance-Owen Plan, as an excuse for the hostilities that were taking
4 place in these areas.
5 A. Your question is put in the form of an affirmation, even though
6 it lacks any foundation in facts. How could I, that same day, issue an
7 order and already know about the facts of a conflict which it produced, as
8 you are saying? That is nonsense. And secondly, I do not want to comment
9 on a fragment of what I said, and I suggest, as the best possible
10 solution, to take my statement in total from the Croatian television and
11 then you will know what exactly I said, what the presenter said, and this
12 whole issue. Otherwise, you are planting on me a fragment and I'm quite
13 confident that it is edited, that it was edited.
14 Q. Are you denying that you said these words that we just saw?
15 A. I said that this was put together, edited, that I'm confident
16 about that, and I spoke at much greater length and with much more
17 explanations than what you just showed us. And that is a serious
18 difference. And I did not participate there as a propagandist as you
19 called me and that is an ugly name of the HVO.
20 Q. The words that you said -- I'll ask the question again -- the
21 words which we heard, are they your words, sir?
22 A. This was edited, words cut out and put together. When you show
23 me the whole tape, the whole reporting, then I will answer your
24 questions. Until then, I have nothing else to say to you.
25 JUDGE CLARK: Excuse me, Mr. Rajic. You must answer questions, if
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you can. Did you say the words that were spoken on that short piece of
2 tape? I accept what you say that it's not the whole programme. But did
3 you actually say those words?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As they are represented here, no.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Perhaps I can help the Court.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik --
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But this is a very important
8 explanation. I'm not interfering with anything, but the sentences that --
9 the sentences are formed and that is what the witness is objecting to.
10 The language. Because if some words are mixed up, taken out, put
11 together, then the sentences are wrong. And that is what the witness is
12 objecting. Because I understood the witness very well. I don't know how
13 this is being interpreted. I do not know, but I believe I'm really now
14 intervening in the best of faith.
15 JUDGE LIU: We want to hear what the witness is going to tell us,
16 Mr. Krsnik.
17 JUDGE CLARK: The witness answered categorically, no, they are
18 not his words so we know what his answer is. They are not his words.
19 MR. STRINGER: I'm prepared to move forward, Mr. President, in the
20 time I've been given.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. Mr. Rajic, in your direct examination, I'm going to go forward now
24 a couple of months into the month of April, 1993. And my learned Mr.
25 Krsnik showed you an exhibit, it's marked P274. And it was a news service
1 report indicating that an ultimatum type of statement had been given by
2 the HVO in April, which, if I can generalise, fell roughly within the same
3 terms as the January documents we've described, talked about,
4 subordination, et cetera, within certain of the cantons. I can show you
5 the article. Perhaps that's the best way. I'm just trying to speed
6 along. P274. At the same time, we could give the witness P275. Mr.
7 Rajic, my notes indicate that P274 is an article which you said was not an
8 accurate statement, that it was some result of a Serb intelligence or news
9 service which you did not believe was a credible one. P274.
10 A. Okay, but for the Croatian text?
11 MR. STRINGER: I need P274, please. Can he look at P274?
12 Q. Mr. Rajic, I don't know that P274 exists in the Croatian language
13 -- that's it. This is a Borba article? Mr. Rajic, sorry for the
14 confusion. The single question was, my notes indicate that in respect of
15 this article you said that this was patently incorrect, that the
16 suggestion of an April 15th, 1993 deadline was nonsense.
17 A. And what is your question?
18 Q. Whether that's -- whether my understanding of your testimony is
20 A. Only up to a point. I said that this was a pamphlet, the
21 propaganda of the greater Serbian machine, a lie, because the name of
22 Mr. Izetbegovic is mentioned here separately as a person to whom the
23 ultimatum had already been sent and I never saw that in any document. So
24 it -- so it absolutely makes so sense to comment on this further. It
25 is disgusting. It disgusts me.
1 Q. Exhibit P275 now, please. We have this one in your language, Mr.
2 Rajic. It's an article, I believe, from Slobodna Dalmacija. You can put
3 the front page in English on the ELMO. As you read that article, Mr.
4 Rajic, I'm going to ask you to focus your attention on the part that
5 quotes from a statement, a six-part statement, which as indicated here was
6 signed by Mate Boban. If you could put page 2 of the English version on
7 the ELMO, please?
8 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. Go ahead.
9 Q. Were is Slobodna Dalmacija published, if you know?
10 A. Excuse me, yes, I do know. In Split, in Croatia.
11 Q. And this article in its first paragraph makes reference to a
12 session, a Saturday session, of the HVO.
13 A. I can't hear the interpretation.
14 Q. The beginning of the article makes reference to a session of the
15 HVO and a document announced by the press department of the Croatian
16 Community of Herceg-Bosna. Do you see that at the beginning of the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is this the press department -- were you a part of this press
20 department? Or is this a different office?
21 A. Sir, I don't believe you can't tell apart these two offices, or is
22 it you are deliberately trying to confuse them? I told you that at that
23 time, and until July, 1993, I was the Minister of Defence of the Republic
24 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I had no function or ties with the Croat
25 Defence Council, be it its military or its civilian part.
1 Q. Moving ahead in the article to the six-point items, item number 2
2 indicates all armed forces of the HVO and police of HZ HB, and the Army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which originates
4 from outside the provinces shall have to identify themselves and leave
5 such provinces within three days. Do you see that?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. The next item appears to be a reference to the provinces that
8 we've been discussing under the Vance-Owen Plan, HVO units in provinces 1,
9 5, 9 will be placed under the command of the Bosnian army main staff, and
10 at the same time, Bosnian army units in Vance-Owen provinces 3, 8 and 10
11 be placed under the command of the main staff HVO.
12 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, but I just do not know why you are reading
13 this. I know what this is about. Why don't you ask me that?
14 Q. Next item, main staff of both armies to set up a joint command no
15 later than 15 April, 1993. See that?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Are you familiar with this statement, these six points?
18 A. This is no statement. This is no official document. It's a
19 draft. It's a proposal, which Mr. Mate Boban sent to Mr. Izetbegovic to
20 be signed by him, if he goes along with it. And you are showing me an
21 incomplete document as a document on which I'm supposed to pass my
22 judgement, and this, Mr. Prosecutor, is but a draft, but a proposal. That
23 is how I know about it.
24 Q. Did you know about --
25 A. I know about it as such.
1 Q. Did you know about this draft at the time, early April, 1993?
2 A. Of course. We all knew about it. It was in the media, like this
3 one here.
4 Q. Now, skipping down two paragraphs after item number 6, in the
5 events the statement is not signed by the heads of the Muslim delegation,
6 in provinces 3, 8 and 10. The HVO of the HZ HB has decided to apply the
7 provisions of the peace plan, whereby each national armed force will have
8 to withdraw to its domicile province.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Are you aware, sir, that the Muslim delegations in those provinces
11 did not sign and did not agree to the implementation of this draft?
12 A. You're asking me, Mr. Prosecutor?
13 Q. Yes, I'm asking you.
14 A. What do I have to do with this document?
15 Q. I'm simply asking you if you know whether Muslim delegations
16 referred to here ever agreed to this draft. That's my simply -- my
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
19 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I object, Your Honours. And I almost
20 gave up after I saw Judge Clark react, because the witness is invited to
21 speculate, to tell us what he thinks about what somebody else thought.
22 JUDGE LIU: No, no. I don't think so. The question was asked,
23 simply asking you if you know whether Muslim delegations referred to here
24 ever agreed to this draft.
25 Witness, put aside this document. Just tell us whether you know
1 or not.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is a completely
3 different matter and now I understand you fully. I do not know if the
4 Muslim political leadership went along with this, but I don't think they
5 signed this draft at long last, at the end of it all.
6 MR. STRINGER:
7 Q. And as a result, sir, isn't it true that HVO units in central
8 Bosnia, as well as in the Jablanica area, attacked Muslim villages
9 beginning on the 16th of April, 1993, in places such as Ahmici, Loncari,
10 Gacice in central Bosnia, as well as in the Busovaca and Kiseljak
12 A. That is not true. Conflicts did take place there but they had
13 nothing to do with the document that you are talking about. Their
14 relationship, their roots is much deeper and broader.
15 Q. So it's your testimony, sir, that there is no relationship between
16 the timing of the armed conflicts that occurred in mid-April, 1993, and
17 this draft statement that was proposed by Mr. Boban?
18 A. I put it to you that on the basis of that, that nobody was
19 authorised by this proposal to take whatever steps. If somebody did
20 something on his own, then it has nothing to do with this draft and its
22 Q. Sir, if, on the military side, within the military chain of
23 command of the HVO, steps were taken to proceed after April 15th,
24 militarily, you would not necessarily have been privy to or consulted in
25 that decision, correct?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, answering questions during these -- during the
2 previous two days, I already said that my position as the Minister of
3 Defence was necessary, that both sides needed it, but that my true terms
4 of reference, my true jurisdiction over the units of both sides were
5 fictitious. They simply did not exist. They did not ask me, nor did they
6 authorise me, as I have repeatedly said already.
7 Q. Thank you. One last question on this. The author of this
8 article, Veso Vegar, is this the person who was your assistant when you
9 were the HVO spokesman?
10 A. Yes but Mr. Vegar is a journalist by profession. I do not know if
11 he's writing this in one or his other capacity. I'm not sure.
12 Q. Because in fact, as a journalist for Slobodna Dalmacija in April
13 of 1993, he was also your successor in the information, the office which
14 you held within the HVO?
15 A. Yes, but I took no decisions about that.
16 Q. The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna had something called a
17 Narodni List; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. The Narodni List is the official publication of all of the
20 decisions of the government of the HVO of the Croatian Community of
22 A. All important decisions are published there. I know that.
23 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps the witness could be shown Exhibit P578.2.
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stringer, I have to warn you that your time is up.
25 MR. STRINGER: This is my last -- this is the last document and
1 there will be one question and I'll be finished in two minutes,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I don't have a translation of this.
5 It's a document that we found last night after yesterday's testimony. We
6 can put it on the ELMO. It's very short. I think we can easily work with
7 it that way.
8 Q. Mr. Rajic, I want to direct your attention to the decision that's
9 numbered 0312. First of all, I should ask, does this appear to be the
10 publication from the Narodni List from Herceg-Bosna?
11 A. Yes. I can see that.
12 Q. Does this appear to be the decision relieving you of your position
13 as the information or -- in your office that you held within the HVO?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then, the following decision, number 0313, is that the
16 decision in which Veso Vegar is appointed to succeed you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, going back to the decision relieving you of your position,
19 could you read for us paragraph number 1? It's at the very top of the
20 second column.
21 A. Yes, I read it.
22 Q. Could you read it out loud so that we can get an interpretation?
23 A. Yes. "Bozo Rajic graduate economist of Kupres is being relieved
24 of his duty of assistant head of the defence department of the Croat
25 Defence Council of the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna for information,
1 propaganda activities."
2 Q. That was in fact your job, wasn't it, Mr. Rajic, information,
3 propaganda activities, the job that you carried out on behalf of the HVO?
4 A. No. This is what it says here, the word "propaganda" was used. I
5 think this was the proofreader's mistake, because I never did, nor did I
6 want to be involved in propaganda. My activity was of information and
7 policy matters.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, sir. Mr. President, I have no further
10 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination? Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
13 Q. I'll put a few brief questions to you so that we can explain it to
14 Their Honours, which were put to you in the course of the
15 cross-examination but you couldn't sufficiently expand on them. First,
16 let us start with the tape. Upon the question by Judge Clark, who asked
17 you whether these were your words that were on the tape --
18 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, he answered that. It doesn't need
19 clarification. He said that they were not his words. So we don't need
20 any clarification. You only re-examine when you need to clarify
21 something. It is clarified.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, no, no. No, Your Honour. I
23 apologise. With your permission, I hear what the man is saying and I can
24 see the interpretation. I'll put him a question to answer what he wants,
25 because it was not allowed to him to answer what he understood under the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 word "edited", or montage or doctored tape. We come from different
2 backgrounds, from different cultures, from different punctuation marks,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, I understood what he said. He said that
5 this tape had been edited, words had been taken out, words had been
6 edited. He suggested it was not a genuine tape and they were not his
7 words. What further explanation does he need to give us?
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in that case, this is
9 then really superfluous but this is not how I understood it.
10 JUDGE CLARK: Well, the issue is how the Bench understands it and
11 I think I posed the question in the context of what Mr. Stringer had asked
12 and what his previous replies -- and I asked him to give me a definitive
13 answer and he said they are not his words. And he explained previously
14 why they are not his words. I mean, if in fact, a tape is ultimately
15 found which proves that he's right or disproves what he says, that's a
16 matter that we'll have to take on board in relation to the overall view of
17 the evidence. But really, he made it quite clear. He was unequivocal, if
18 I understand him right. Do you think he genuinely, in fairness, needs
19 another opportunity? Yes do, but I think Mr. Rajic was quite unequivocal
20 about this.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I can go
22 along with that.
23 Q. Mr. Rajic, are you familiar with the authors of the Vance-Owen
24 Plan, with the persons who participated in its drafting, and whether, on
25 the 18th of May, 1993, it was a subject of a discussion in Medjugorje?
1 A. All peace plans, from the Cutilheiro Plan to the Dayton Plan, are
2 the result of an effort and the assistance by the international community
3 and its authorised representatives over there. This plan too, with all
4 the proposals and counterproposals, made by the three parties in Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina is primarily indeed the result of international efforts.
6 As such, it could succeed, and only as such. At the meeting in
7 Medjugorje, we discussed models, the most efficient means for this plan to
8 be brought into life after its being halted and stifled by the Muslim
9 side. I myself was there, and I listened to the talks about it held
10 between Lord Owen, Thorwald Stoltenberg, Mr. Tudjman, Izetbegovic more
11 than others.
12 Q. Were you also present or did you personally hear what was the
13 opinion by Mr. Alija Izetbegovic? Did at that meeting Mr. Izetbegovic say
14 to Mr. Owen and to the representatives of the international community that
15 he did not want to sign the plan?
16 MR. STRINGER: Objection, that's a leading question,
17 Mr. President. I object to the leading question.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, you have to put your question
19 another way.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Did you hear, and were you personally present, at the discussions
22 of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic with Lord Owen, Stoltenberg and other
23 representatives of the international community?
24 A. I could hear what was going on in the course of the plenary
25 session, when the diversion of political and -- when they split into
1 political and military talks, I no longer could follow the discussions
2 because I went to pay a visit to the prisoners in the Heliodrom camp.
3 However, I know it for sure that Mr. Izetbegovic is a very subtle
4 politician whom I personally respect, who never gave explicit answers as
5 opposed to me who am always giving explicit answers. I know that he never
6 rejected it. He always left the door open and thus gave false hopes to
7 many people.
8 Q. Was there any discussion held in -- at Medjugorje between Lord
9 Owen and the delegations and were the Muslims and the Croats asked whether
10 they adopt the plan?
11 A. My understanding of that meeting is that the plan was not the
12 point of dispute but that rather certain details had to be defined and
13 that the technique and the order of moves need to be determined to
14 implement the plan in its part which referred to Croats and Muslims.
15 Q. Was the meeting convened for the sake of its implementation or for
16 the sake of holding the discussion about it?
17 A. I think that the meeting was based on -- convened on the hope to
18 reach a number of objectives. One of the objectives was to enforce what
19 was agreed in Geneva but the prime objective was to halt the hostilities
20 in the field between the units of the Croat and the Muslim peoples, and
21 perhaps the third important objective, as I saw it, was the intention by
22 the international community's representatives to once again establish and
23 strengthen, with good views ahead of cooperation between Muslims and
24 Croats in all its facets.
25 Q. Did this eventually take place? Finally?
1 A. Yes. Fortunately in an important part of it, it did happen. Not
2 in every aspect but in most of it, at least on a temporary basis. But
3 policies went along their own courses afterwards, and again, we faced
4 major difficulties and victims and casualties until Washington and the
5 Dayton Agreement.
6 Q. Did the Washington Agreement, as far as the Croat Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna is concerned, get its recognition and a possible
8 confederation with the Republic of Croatia?
9 A. Well, I think in my answer, I have to make a distinction between
10 two concepts, the Croat community or, rather, the Croat Republic of
11 Herceg-Bosna was not recognised by the international community in a manner
12 in which states are usually being recognised, nor had any one of us, the
13 Croats, ever asked for that. But it was recognised as a legal and
14 legitimate institution of the Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which
15 emerged in a war situation and all its legal acts were recognised, apart
16 from those which could be in contradiction to international law, while in
17 the new community of the federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is until
18 in the federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, common provisions are adopted.
19 Q. What about confederation?
20 A. The confederation was an addition to the initial agreement, which
21 envisaged an association of peoples, that is an association of the
22 confederation of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Republic of Croatia.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we think that we would suggest that
25 the Washington Agreement of March, 1994 and subsequent modifications of
1 it are beyond the scope of the cross-examination.
2 JUDGE LIU: We believe so. Mr. Krsnik, skip this question.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I put this question as a logical continuation of all the
5 Prosecutor's questions. Of course I'll skip it. It was not my intention
6 anyhow to continue with the question.
7 Q. Mr. Rajic, the meeting held on the 27th of December, 1991, in
8 Zagreb, you were questioned, cross-examined, by the Prosecutor for hours
9 with regard to this meeting. Did anybody at this meeting ask you, warn
10 you, or let you know that the deliberations were taped?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did anyone personally give you the minutes of that meeting?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Was any other participant at that meeting given the minutes of
15 that meeting?
16 A. To my knowledge, nobody ever got it.
17 Q. Had, by any chance, anybody got it, could you have any knowledge
18 of this?
19 A. Absolutely.
20 Q. Mr. Rajic, why did Mr. Kljujic submit his resignation at Siroki
21 Brijeg, if you have any knowledge of that? And for what period of time he
22 continued to perform his function after resignation and for how long a
23 period of time did somebody else perform his function? In other words,
24 how long did it take until Mr. Boban came to this post?
25 A. I hope that I've remembered all your questions.
1 Q. I apologise. You are right. I apologise. But I'm glancing at
2 the clock.
3 A. I can answer.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. Very briefly, the President of our party, Mr. Kljujic, handed in
6 his resignation because of the fierce criticism he was exposed to, given
7 the -- his passive attitude with regard to the defence issues. Then
8 because of his non-critical subjugation to the political will of
9 Mr. Izetbegovic and the SDA. Then because of the criticism concerning bad
10 personnel decisions and through his decision to hand in resignation, I
11 personally, sincerely believe, he tried to prevent, to intercept if you
12 want, a decision that he be withdrawn from this position. But for these
13 reasons, not for other reasons.
14 Q. I apologise. You ever reminded me of another question. Did
15 anybody force him to do so?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And which body is it that appoints the President?
18 A. As a rule, it was the assembly, the sabor of the party. However a
19 provision of the statute stipulates that during the sessions of the sabor,
20 the executive board can also do that. I still owe you the answer to the
21 second question.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. We saw Mr. Kljujic performing his duties for another period of
24 time, perhaps a month. He was -- he continued to perform the duties of
25 president-in-resignation. Perhaps somewhere from February to April.
1 Later on, Professor Dr. Miljenko Brkic was appointed to this position, and
2 Mr. Boban was elected president of the party somewhere in mid-December,
4 Q. After the siege of Sarajevo, did the party HDZ have any
5 communications with its representatives and was there anyone representing
6 the HDZ in Sarajevo?
7 A. Let me remind you that the activities of the party were frozen in
8 the course of the war. There were simply no conditions for its
9 activities. In Sarajevo, there were still some officials of the party who
10 participated in the authorities through the HDZ paper, but their number
11 was shrinking by the day because of the very adverse conditions there.
12 Therefore this type of communication that you refer to in your question
13 could not exist.
14 Q. Can you tell us for how long were the activities of the party
15 frozen, from when until when, if you have any knowledge of that?
16 A. I think we had a two stage procedure. The activities of the party
17 were revived, first in those territories of Bosnia-Herzegovina where the
18 clashes stopped, i.e., in the federation, and only after Dayton, it was
19 fully re-established.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe I have no
21 further questions. Thank you, Mr. Rajic, for your patience.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, counsel.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Seric?
24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you. I do not have any
25 questions. Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Any questions from Judges?
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE CLARK: I have two questions. And I don't want to take up
4 much time because I'm aware that I have posed a number of questions during
5 the proceedings and that I know that my colleague Judge Diarra has a
6 number of questions.
7 Mr. Rajic, am I correct in saying that at the meeting in Siroki
8 Brijeg, when you talked of the resignation of Mr. Kljujic, that either
9 during the dinner or shortly after he became gravely ill and had to go to
11 A. This is ridiculous. Kljujic made it up.
12 JUDGE CLARK: My next question, Mr. Rajic, is on a totally
13 different matter. At the meeting in Siroki Brijeg with heads of, or
14 representatives of the international community, you told us that you had
15 left at some stage to go and visit the camps. And do I understand your
16 evidence correctly, and I've made a note of this, to say that you
17 visited the camp and I think the camp shocked you, Heliodrom shocked you,
18 and you saw men of a certain age. Does that mean that you only saw
19 elderly men there or men of only a particular age?
20 A. I went there and I suppose I did say I was shocked, because it is
21 a very painful expression that you are left with when you see a large
22 number of people confined to a very small space, whom I saw there were
23 only adult men, that is, men turned of age, between 18 and 65 maybe.
24 JUDGE CLARK: And is it your belief, Mr. Rajic, that the camp
25 actually closed down on the 18th of May, 1993?
1 A. Well, the camp wasn't closed down that same day; it was
2 impossible. But I'm confident that the Medjugorje decisions brought about
3 their event you'll closure and that that never happened again. At least
4 those that were on the Croat side.
5 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you, Mr. Rajic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Judge Diarra, please.
8 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] It is paradoxical that I have the
9 same concern like my colleague, but in a slightly different sense.
10 Mr. Rajic, your visit to the camp, to the Heliodrom camp, according to you
11 was a shocking experience on the 18th of May, 1993. But did you have
12 any information about those who were responsible, who ran that camp? Did
13 you -- were you aware of any sanctions or did you contribute to the
14 sanctions that would be taken in the face of that tragedy which shocked
15 you, which disturbed you so much, which upset you so much?
16 A. Your Honour, I am a freedom-loving man, and my encounter with
17 something that is called a prison or a camp could not but produce very
18 profound emotions in me and that is why I said, and in that sense, that I
19 said that I felt terrible. At that meeting in Medjugorje, they wanted to
20 solve the problem and they did solve it in a manner of speaking and it was
21 measures -- it was Lord Owen, Mr. Stoltenberg, Mr. Tudjman, Izetbegovic
22 and Boban. I had no authority over anything else, apart from what had
23 been vested in me but I was left with the impression that the assessment
24 of the reason for the conflicts between the Croats and the Muslims was
25 shared by both sides, and I don't want to quantify it but that was the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 qualification for that.
2 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] You answered only one of the
3 questions. I agree that perhaps you had no authority over this but my
4 question was whether you were aware of the identity of those who caused
5 this tragedy. Do you know -- did you know who could do that, who did
7 A. No.
8 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] My second question was when
9 Mr. Stringer spoke about Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian
10 Croats, you corrected him. You said that there were no Bosnian Muslims or
11 Bosnian Serbs or Croats, that they were merely Muslims, Serbs and Croats
12 from Bosnia, and I'd like to understand your reaction. According to the
13 culture that I come from, the nationality means belonging to a common
14 being. So you're saying that there is no Bosniak -- there are no Bosnian
15 nationality there are merely Serbs from Bosnia which belong to the Serbian
16 ethnicity and Croats to the Croatian and Muslims? I don't know. Will you
17 please explain it to me? I did not understand your reaction at the time.
18 A. I shall be very happy to do so, Your Honour, and I will explain
19 why I reacted. I approach this matter from the legalistic point of view.
20 The constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina as the supreme legal act of a
21 state, those three peoples are officially called as I said, Muslims,
22 Croats, and Serbs, without any prefixes or suffixes. You may have noted
23 that throughout I spoke about Muslims, and that is also a legalistic
24 attitude. To me they were Muslims. That is what they called themselves
25 and whilst it was prescribed by the constitution.
1 After the following -- following the establishment of the
2 federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994, the Muslims changed their ethnic
3 name and renamed themselves as Bosniaks. I respect that fact and ever
4 since that has been the only way in which I address them. Why I reacted
5 in the way I did, I will tell you that too. Certain international
6 representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina now and then are unable to make this
7 fine distinction, and I take their possible mistakes or slips in good
8 faith. But in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was a man, Austrian
9 administrator, Benjamin Kallay who in the early 20th century arrived to us
10 by the Austrian government to establish a new nation. And that is that
11 theory about the Bosnians -- Bosniaks of three faiths, as the denial of
12 the existence of three peoples, and that is why I reacted because it would
13 mean an abuse of the right of each one of these peoples to call itself as
14 it feels like calling itself. Only in accordance with its ethnic
16 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges' questions? I see none.
19 Yes, Mr. Stringer?
20 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, on the issue of the camps.
21 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stringer:
22 Q. Mr. Rajic, you indicated to both Judge Clark and Judge Diarra that
23 you had no subsequent knowledge about the Heliodrom camp after it was
24 closed in May of 1993, and that you didn't know who was responsible for
25 the camps. This is my question. Aren't you aware, sir, and didn't you
1 say publicly in September of 1993 that we had to put a larger number of
2 people in certain places than the capacities allowed? In every camp, of
3 course, certain --
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I -- if a document
6 is quoted, may the witness be acquainted with the document? May he be
7 given it? And read it? Because we already have very bad experience with
8 our three witnesses so far. I always insist, when a document is quoted,
9 that it must be shown to the witness so that the gentleman can read it and
10 know what it is about.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stringer, you have to understand that there
12 are some questions out of Judges' questions. It's not cross-examination
14 MR. STRINGER: I understand, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE LIU: So that you have to keep your question very simple,
16 very concise.
17 MR. STRINGER: I am trying to do that, Mr. President, by simply
18 asking him whether he said something that has been attributed to him about
19 the camps in September of 1993. And if I could just ask to continue.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. STRINGER:
22 Q. Certain outrages occurred that are not covered by either a
23 political mandate or a political order. We did not want that nor is it
24 our intention to cover it up. Today, no one in the world can conceal
25 everything. The places I'm skipping down, the places where the Muslim
1 soldiers are imprisoned probably do not meet --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Will you slow down, please. We do not have the
4 MR. STRINGER:
5 Q. -- police places where the Muslim soldiers are imprisoned probably
6 do not meet the standards of the international standards of the law of
7 warfare and humanitarian law. Then you go on to stress that Herceg-Bosna
8 has committed itself to bringing those into conformity with international
9 humanitarian law. Now, I can put an article in front of you or my
10 question at the moment is simply whether you refer -- making public
11 statements about the camps, these statements, in September of 1993?
12 A. Could you only tell me, Mr. Prosecutor, where was this published?
13 JUDGE CLARK: First of all, Mr. Rajic, did you say that? And
14 then, if you didn't say it, what difference does it make where it was
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not know, Your Honour. I meant
17 to say that I did not remember, and perhaps the information about the
18 place of publication would have refreshed my memory.
19 JUDGE CLARK: Go ahead, Mr. Stringer.
20 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I would propose to as quickly as
21 possible put this in front of the witness and we have copies for
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. STRINGER: I believe the defence has already been provided
25 with this, Exhibit P606.2.
1 Q. Mr. Rajic, what I will do for you is, on my clean copy, I will
2 highlight the publication, the date of publication, and the part of the
3 article which is on the second page, which I want you to refer to. I'm
4 going to have to place it on the ELMO. It's in English only.
5 Sir, the publication is the Vecernj List, 19th of September, 1993,
6 interview with Bozo Rajic, director of the Herceg-Bosna news agency,
7 former defence Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, written by Zdenko Duka in
9 Now, do you recall giving an interview to Zdenko Duka of the
10 Vecernj List in September of 1993?
11 A. I do not, but it is possible.
12 Q. Does it refresh your memory as to whether in such an interview you
13 would have made the statements being attributed to you by this reporter,
14 Zdenko Duka?
15 A. No, not particularly. Not in anything.
16 Q. Sir, I read you a part of this article. My question to you is
17 whether you made public statements on behalf of Herceg-Bosna about the
18 camps. Do you recall making any public statements about the camps in
19 September of 1993?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you and I suppose this is your last question, and
21 you are asking it in the same way. In September, 1993, I was completely
22 outside any political system, outside any system of government, or any
23 individual offices. I am a citizen, a free man, holding the office of the
24 manager of a news agency, and I could only speak in my own name and in no
25 other way.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, the question is very simple. Do you
2 recall making any public statements about camps in September of 1993? If
3 you don't remember -- if you don't remember, just say no.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, I said that I did
5 not remember, but I'm not quite sure. It is possible that I did give this
7 MR. STRINGER:
8 Q. Mr. Rajic, I'll just put this to you one last time and then I
9 think I will withdraw, to simply say to you, sir, did you say, in such an
10 interview, "That a problem arose with space, we had to put a larger number
11 of people in certain places than the capacities allowed, and every camp,
12 of course, certain outrages occur that are not covered either by a
13 political mandate or political order. We did not want that?" Skipping
14 down, "The places where the Muslim soldiers are imprisoned probably do not
15 meet the standards of the international standards of the law of warfare
16 and humanitarian law." Now, sir, did you say that in September of 1993?
17 Are these your words, given to anyone in any capacity, official or
19 A. I've already said that I did not know, but I do not know if we are
20 speaking about camps retroactively as a fact that was, and that confuses
21 me, and even I really cannot answer in any other way except that I just do
22 not remember.
23 MR. STRINGER: Nothing further, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much, Witness, for coming here to
25 help us by giving your evidence. We all wish you good luck in the
1 future. The usher will show you out of the room.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. May I ask
3 you for a minute of your time?
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes. You will have to be very short.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have said one minute. Before I
6 leave this courtroom, I wish to thank you, Your Honours, for enabling me
7 to provide as complete answers as possible. I'm leaving this courtroom
8 with a twofold impression. One is a positive one, the one that every man
9 is bound to feel when he has done what his conscience bid him to do. And
10 my second impression is that perhaps I have contributed a little in your
11 search, in your pursuit of justice, and I also thank you, Mr. Prosecutor,
12 although I disagree with the manner of your cross-examination, but you
13 have also helped me to do what I came to do. I thank you, counsel for the
14 Defence, because you have helped me to acquire a very useful experience,
15 which perhaps will be of use to other potential witnesses from
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to respond and come to help this Court.
17 Your Honours, it was indeed a privilege. Thank you once again.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may go now.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, Mr. Scott. We are under the pressure of
21 the time because the next sitting will start in 20 minutes.
22 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, I'm sorry for that and I apologise
23 for trying the Court's patience but really one minute or less. We just
24 simply would like to be advised by Defence counsel what the line up after
25 this witness is both for tomorrow and for next week, because with all
1 respect, since the Defence case started, the order and the names of the
2 witnesses have changed several times rather dramatically. We would like
3 to know who the definite next four or five witnesses are.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, of course, I could not say on behalf of the
5 Defence counsel but we were provided with lists. I think if there
6 is no further notice, we will call the witness according to that list.
7 Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honours. I have
9 informed my learned friends about everything in time, about every single
10 change, about every second, but perhaps Mr. Scott raised this matter
11 yesterday. We received a submission. I do not know if you received it as
12 well, concerning the next two witnesses, asking that they do not be
13 examined. I do not know if you have received that because we are all
14 awaiting your ruling about this. And we have already responded today to
15 the application by the Prosecution. And I believe that was the
16 Prosecutor's question, if I understood him right.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, there is what I want to say at this moment. We
18 have received this motion filed by the Prosecution yesterday, and we
19 haven't seen the response from the Defence counsel. Since time is very
20 limited, we believe that those witnesses have been in order already. We
21 are going to hear from both parties tomorrow morning for about 20
22 minutes. I hope that both parties will express their view directly to
23 this Trial Chamber tomorrow morning before you call the next witness.
24 And at this moment, we have to leave this courtroom immediately.
25 I would like to offer our apologies to the Presiding Judge for the next
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 case using this courtroom for this delay.
2 We will rise until tomorrow morning.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m., to
4 be reconvened on Friday the 12th day of April, 2002,
5 at 9.00 a.m.