1 Tuesday, 14 May 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos. Are you ready to proceed?
10 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
12 WITNESS: MILAN KOVAC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Bos: [Continued]
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kovac?
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. Mr. Kovac from your testimony yesterday, I'd like to clarify
18 something. Is it correct that it's your position that the release of the
19 presidential transcripts by President Mesic in the course of the year
20 2000, both to the media and also to the Office of the Prosecutor, that
21 that was a violation of the then-existing Croatian legislation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, if this was a violation of that legislation, why then was
24 there a need to issue -- a need for the parliament to issue a decree in
25 January 2001, which is Exhibit D1323 -- to transfer the recordings of
1 these meetings to the Croatian national archives so that they would not be
2 released publicly?
3 A. The Croatian national diet, that is, at the initiative of some
4 clubs of MPs, tried to include that question in the agenda throughout
5 2000. However, it -- the turn of this item came eventually towards the
6 end of the year, and the diet then authorised the government to pass a
7 decision that then was taken by the government. So MPs, the clubs of some
8 MPs -- the caucuses of some MPs, including my party, which is the largest
9 party, even though it is an opposition party, we have made it immediately
10 known that these transcripts appeared in the media, that it should be
11 therefore discussed and certain decisions and conclusions should be
12 adopted in that respect.
13 JUDGE CLARK: That doesn't answer the question Mr. Bos put to
14 you. If you let Mr. Bos ask you the question again. You didn't answer
16 MR. BOS:
17 Q. And Mr. Kovac, my question was: When, then, was there a need to
18 issue such a decree? Because it's your testimony that the existing
19 legislation was sufficient. Why was there a need to issue such a decree?
20 A. We in the opposition thought that the existing laws, which were in
21 force at the time, and the government's decision of 1999 sufficed.
22 Sufficient regulation to regulate the matter. And we warned the current
23 government at that time too, that laws of the Republic of Croatia were
24 being violated. However, the ruling coalition did not go along with that
25 immediately. But then we insisted that it be included in the agenda of
1 the diet, and the decision of the government of the Republic of Croatia of
2 2001 is practically identical with the one that was issued in 1999.
3 Q. So is it a fair statement, from what you just said, that -- that
4 there at least was a difference of opinion on whether the existing law
5 actually dealt -- whether -- under the existing law transcripts could be
6 released or not. Because you're saying that it was the opposition's
7 opinion that it was so. But were there different views on this?
8 A. Yes, there were different views. I repeat: We in the opposition
9 considered those laws to be enough. However, the ruling coalition
10 nevertheless wanted it discussed once again so that a definitive decision
11 could be taken. And it was taken in January 2001. Yes, there were
12 divergences, but with this decision the government has confirmed that we
13 were right.
14 Q. Well, let's just briefly look at Exhibit D1328, which was the law
15 in existence in the year 2000. This is deprivation law on archives and
16 archival materials.
17 Now, Mr. Kovac, in your examination-in-chief you refer to Article
18 20 of this law. I'd like you to look at that law -- at that article
19 again. Do you have that in front of you, Article 20?
20 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Now, it was your testimony that -- is it correct that it was your
22 testimony that under this article, these presidential transcripts you have
23 been -- not released for at least 30 years? Is that -- was that your
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. Now, let's look at the second -- the second line of this article,
2 which reads as follows: "Archive records are accessible before the expiry
3 of 30 years. If such records are intended to the public, since their
4 generation, or if it's approved by generator."
5 Let me ask you first this: How do you read the sentence "are
6 intended to the public"?
7 A. If it has been intended for the public right from the beginning,
8 or if it is approved by the author. The law regulates which are -- which
9 documents are not intended for the public, and these transcripts make part
10 of such document. The -- at the moment of inception of documents, it is
11 immediately known whether they will be intended for the public or not, so
12 that this article prescribes how these articles are to be offered to the
13 public for inspection or use.
14 And the second paragraph of the same article regulates what you
15 are talking about.
16 Q. Let's look at that last line of the second sentence, which give it
17 is other exception. If it's approved -- well, in the English version it
18 says "If it's approved by a generator." Now, with regard to the
19 presidential transcripts, who would be the generator of these presidential
21 A. Who is the generator -- who might be the generator of the
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. When this law was drafted in 1996, it simply never crossed
25 anybody's mind that what is happening could happen. The transcripts in
1 the president's office are the state property, that is, the property of
2 the Republic of Croatia. This is archival documentation. These are
3 not private transcripts of a person but the institution called the
4 President of the Republic.
5 Q. But witness, would it not be that if you read article 20 -- would
6 that not be the case that the generator would be the presidential office
7 in this case, who kept the presidential archives or the presidential
9 A. It is a legal entity. The President of the Republic, the
10 institution -- the institute of the President of the Republic.
11 Q. Right. And President Mesic, as the head of that office, would he
12 not be entitled then to approve the release of these presidential
14 A. No, not personally. There is a procedure to be followed, and this
15 procedure is laid down by law, and the decision of the government of the
16 Republic of Croatia.
17 Q. Well, let me just refer to you to Article 3 in order to get a
18 definition of the "generator." Look at Article 3. And it's a bit further
19 after the -- after the middle part of that article. It says the
20 following: "The creators of archive and current records are considered
21 legal or physical persons by whose function and activity they are
22 generated." Now, wouldn't you agree that under this provision, President
23 Mesic would be the person -- would be the -- would be the generator in
24 this -- in this legislation?
25 A. President Mesic may not be considered the generator because if
1 that were so, then there would be a procedure under which he could release
2 certain documents, certain transcripts, archival documentations and
4 Q. Okay. Well, let's leave document D1328 aside. Let's move on to
5 document D1329, which is the law on the protection of data secrecy.
6 Isn't it true that this law deals with the confidentiality of
7 documents and which documents should be -- should be confidential and how
8 they should be treated?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let's look at Article 4 of this -- of this law. Reading out the
11 first line: "Documents containing secret data shall be visibly marked
12 with the type of secret and the degree of secrecy." Do you read that
14 A. I do, yes.
15 Q. Yesterday I provided you with document PT 12, which was one of
16 the presidential transcripts. And I don't know if you can -- if the
17 witness can be given that document again.
18 MR. BOS: And maybe the -- maybe the front page of that
19 document -- of the original document, the B/C/S document, could be put on
20 the overhead projector.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 MR. BOS:, Your Honour, is there any --
23 THE REGISTRAR: I understand the French booth want a copy, but the
24 registry only has one copy and it's used for the witness.
25 MR. BOS: I think we've provided copies of all exhibits
1 yesterday. But if the French booth need an extra copy, I may be able to
2 provide it.
3 It will be taken care of.
4 Mr. Usher, could we put the front page of that document on the
5 overhead projector, please.
6 It seems that the projector has a will of its own.
7 Q. Mr. Kovac, could you have a look at that front page of that
8 document, and do you see anywhere any sign or any mark that this document
9 is a secret document?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the question is a
12 speculative one and therefore the answer can be speculative too, because
13 the Prosecutor has not yet assured us of the authenticity of this -- of
14 this. We have not seen the original. The original is as far as we can
15 understand a tape from which this was taken. Where are these tapes?
16 Whether these are original, whether these are not original, the
17 Prosecution does not know that either. And now -- and now the Prosecutor
18 wants the witness to look at these fragments from the transcripts, from
19 the records, and to give an answer, which can be nothing but speculation.
20 MR. BOS: Your Honour, if I may respond. This has nothing to
21 do --
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. BOS: -- With the original tapes. The original -- I mean,
24 these are transcripts from the original tapes, and the existence of the
25 original tapes and the authenticity of the document has nothing to do with
1 this question.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think we are only using the first
3 page of this document, not the whole document, so I believe that -- I
4 notice a word on the right upper corner saying that "recorded," which is a
5 transcript from a recording, if I'm not mistaken. If -- if that is the
6 archive document, then it should be classified a certain way.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [redacted]
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
14 MR. BOS:
15 Q. Mr. Kovac, is there any indication on this front page that this
16 document was classified as secret?
17 A. As far as I understand these thing, no, there is no such marking.
18 It doesn't say that this is classified. But if there were tapes which
19 were recorded and perhaps on the tapes it is marked that they should be
20 considered confidential.
21 Q. Witness, I'd like -- let's move on. And I'd like you to read
22 Article 13 of this -- of this law. Let me read it out to you: "Heads of
23 public bodies and authorised officials of the Republic of Croatia shall by
24 special report, within their powers, and in compliance with the law,
25 regulation or by law of the competent body classify the type and degree of
1 secrecy of data and lay down special protection measures as well as the
2 persons who shall be informed of the secret data."
3 Now, under this article, Mr. Kovac, would President Mesic or
4 President Tudjman, be in -- not be an authorised official of the Republic
5 of Croatia who could actually classify these documents?
6 A. This is a strictly legal matter, and I'm not a lawyer so I
7 wouldn't know the answer to it. But it clearly transpires even from this
8 article what this is all about. I know that President Tudjman did not
9 delegate any powers to anyone to do it, as paragraph 2 of the same article
11 Q. But is it true that President Tudjman never classified these
13 A. I doubt that it would be the job of the president of the state.
14 I'm sure there are services which do these things and which did it.
15 Q. All right. Let's leave that document aside and let's move on.
16 Witness, do you know what the Republic of Croatia's obligations
17 are to this Tribunal under the -- of Article 7 of the UN charter?
18 A. The Republic of Croatia and the diet, the parliament of the
19 Republic of Croatia, of which I was a member, propagated [As interpreted]
20 its constitution and its law in combination with the Tribunal. And the
21 Republic of Croatia has cooperated with The Hague Tribunal and continues
22 to do so. Now I wouldn't really be able to quote the article that you
23 mention, but it has to do with the cooperation with The Hague Tribunal.
24 Q. And do you know what Croatia's obligations are of this Tribunal
25 under the Dayton Peace Agreement?
1 A. I said the obligation of the Republic of Croatia as a party to the
2 Dayton Accords and in accordance with its law in cooperation with The
3 Hague Tribunal, the Republic of Croatia is bound to -- is obligated to
4 cooperate with The Hague Tribunal.
5 Q. Now, you're talking about this law on the cooperation with The
6 Hague Tribunal. Do you know of any other step that is the Republic of
7 Croatia took under Article 29 of the Tribunal Statute to meet its
8 obligations to this Tribunal?
9 A. I wish you could quote for me the Article 29 of the Tribunal
11 Q. Article 29 of the Tribunal Statute deals with the cooperation of
12 member states to this Tribunal. And I'll read out the article to you.
13 "States shall cooperate with the International Tribunal in the
14 investigation and prosecution of persons accused of committing serious
15 violations of international humanitarian law."
16 In the second paragraph: "States shall comply without undue
17 delay, with any request for assistance or an order issued by a Trial
18 Chamber, including but not limited to the identification and locations of
19 persons, the taking of testimony and the production of evidence, service
20 of documents, the arrest or detention of persons, and the surrender or the
21 transfer of the accused to the International Tribunal."
22 So my question is: Do you know what other step it is Republic of
23 Croatia took to meet its obligations in the cooperation with this
25 A. There is the government office for cooperation with The Hague
1 Tribunal, and it is headed by the deputy prime minister, Mr. Goran Granic,
2 and I do not know whether they took upon themselves any additional
3 obligations concerning the cooperation with the International Tribunal.
4 Q. You're referring here to the council for cooperation with the
5 Tribunal. And as you rightly said, the deputy prime minister, Mr. Goran
6 Granic, is the head of this council.
7 Now, Mr. Kovac, are you aware that this institution, this council
8 for cooperation with the Tribunal, has produced 127 presidential
9 transcripts to the Office of the Prosecutor since the decree of January
10 2001 was issued?
11 A. No, I'm not aware of this piece of information.
12 Q. And is it not true that you're not aware of this piece of
13 information because under the current Croatian legislation the release of
14 presidential transcripts is in the hand of the government and not the
15 parliament, as you've stated in your evidence?
16 A. On the government -- on the basis of the government decision of
17 2001, the government took upon itself the responsibility of disposing of
18 these matters, but in line with the laws and the decree which had been
19 passed in the beginning -- in the beginning of 2001.
20 Q. Is it not true, Mr. Kovac -- would you not agree with me that the
21 release of these presidential transcripts is in fact an internal political
22 matter for the Republic of Croatia, and that you have either politicians
23 who are there to support -- who are supporting the release of these
24 transcripts and politicians who are against it?
25 A. It is not a problem of the individual politician, either in
1 position or opposition. It's a matter of strategic interest for the
2 Republic of Croatia, and everybody has to adhere to the law passed by the
3 Croatian diet, the parliament. And this applies both to those who agree
4 with the handing over of the transcripts and those who do not agree with
5 that. Law has to be respected. And I believe that in this case, the law
6 has not been respected, and that is my personal opinion.
7 Q. Isn't it true that members of the HDZ gazette are particularly
8 afraid of what will be revealed if these transcripts are being released?
9 A. No. Members of the HDZ are concerned because the rule of law
10 isn't functioning. Nobody is afraid of that, what he has done during the
11 past 12 years, neither I, myself; nor other members of the HDZ.
12 Q. All right. Let's move on to a different topic. Yesterday I gave
13 you document PT 12. And I think you have it in front of you again. You
14 were given it. Did you get a chance of reading this document, Mr. Kovac?
15 A. You're referring to the transcript which you gave me during the
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
18 A. I didn't succeed in readings it during those 30 minutes, but I
19 just browsed through it to see who the persons involved were.
20 Q. Well, let's browse through this document again, and we'll do it
21 together now. Let me first ask you. Is it not true that you were present
22 at this meeting of which -- at this meeting which was held in the Vila
23 Dalmacija in Split, on the 5th of November, 1993?
24 A. Yesterday when you asked me, I said that what I've seen in the
25 transcript, that it proves that it's not authentic and that it's false.
1 I've seen that my name was mentioned in relation to it, but I was not in
2 Split at all on that date.
3 Q. So you're denying that you were present at this meeting.
4 A. I, as far as my memory serves me, as far as I recall, I did not
5 attend that meeting.
6 Q. Let's move, then, for the B/C/S version to page 0156965. And you
7 will find the numbers on the right-hand corner. In the English version,
8 it's -- it's page --
9 A. I do not understand which -- the number, sir.
10 Q. Let me repeat it for you again. It's page 0156965. In the
11 English version, it's page number 018 --
12 A. Just a moment, please.
13 Q. I'll just inform the Judges of the English version, Mr. Kovac.
14 The English version is number 0182745, which is one of the last pages of
15 the bundle. It's in fact -- on the bottom, it's page number 20.
16 Do you have that page in front of you, Mr. Kovac?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Now, is it in the bottom paragraph -- I'll read out to you what it
19 says: "Also, I cannot but mention two men who are present here. They are
20 Grubisic and Milan Kovac?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I see it but it's not
23 present there. It would be important to say to the witness who said
24 that. From what you've given us, we cannot see who is speaking and who is
25 saying this.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos. Would you please help us to establish
2 that. Who said that?
3 MR. BOS: It's -- it's true that the transcript doesn't reveal who
4 actually said this, because as sometimes happens with these transcripts,
5 the transcribers would not know who the person was who was talking. And
6 on this occasion, it was -- it was such an occasion where the person who
7 was speaking was not identified.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Krzic.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And now, Your Honours, how should the
10 witness know? I ask for seriousness, gentlemen.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well -- well, Mr. Krsnik, I think the Prosecutor is
12 just trying to refresh the memory of this witness, because his name was
13 mentioned here. Your witness may say that he cannot remember anything
14 about it, because he was not there as we heard. And he may remember what
15 happened on that occasion. Let us hear what the witness is going to
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I really truly wasn't in Split
18 on that day and attend such a meeting, because here I can see the name of
19 Ciro Ruzic, for example. That person doesn't exist in the political
20 life of the Republic of Croatia or among the ranks of the Croats in Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina. And there are some other names for which I've never
22 heard of before, and I really truly did not attend such a meeting. I
23 always, when attending such meetings, I would be talking -- I always
24 participated in the talks. I doubt it that I would keep silent. This is
25 what bothers me, because it doesn't say who stated that I was present
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 there, because this is what raises my doubt that the transcripts were
2 written, edited, in order to discredit many people and to burn them with
3 something for which they really have -- are not responsible.
4 MR. BOS:
5 Q. Witness, you mention --
6 A. May I -- there is a deputy Kovac from Split. Maybe the first name
7 is wrong here, but it wasn't me.
8 Q. Witness, you mentioned that Ciro Grubisic, that he didn't
9 exist in the political life. Do you know this person Ciro Grubisic.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [No interpretation]
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The witness didn't say that name.
13 Why is the Prosecutor raising -- the witness said Ruzic, not Grubisic
14 I don't know how it entered in the transcript.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, try it again. Mr. Bos, try it again.
16 MR. BOS:
17 Q. Let me refer to page 16, line 19, where the witness says:
18 "Because here I can see the name of Ciro -- and then it says Ruzic -- but
19 in the transcript it says Grubisic, so I think this was something that
20 simply was not picked up by the transcribers.
21 Now, witness, do you know this man Ciro Grubisic?
22 A. I do know Ciro Grubisic. He was a Croatian -- Croatian consulate
23 in Mostar for many years, if you're referring to that person.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Kovac, are you saying that this man exists, but
25 he was not an important player in Croatian political life? Is that what
1 you meant to say? Because I was going to ask you a question about that.
2 In other words, you accept that such a person exists, but is it your
3 evidence that he wasn't an important political player?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ciro Grubisic was the council of
5 the Republic of Croatia. But the person mentioned in the transcript, Ciro
6 Ruzic, that person doesn't exist.
7 JUDGE CLARK: The transcript spells the name G-R-U-B-I-S-I-C.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
9 MR. BOS: It's --
10 JUDGE CLARK: Yes. It's at the bottom of page 156965. And it
11 precedes the name Milan Kovac. It's spelled G-R-U-B-I-S-I-C.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here, yes. But on page 0156938, in
13 the title you can see the name Ciro Ruzic. So I really don't know who
14 was present. Was it either Ciro Ruzic or Ciro Grubisic. I've never heard
15 of the person Ruzic -- Ruzic as a political figure in the political life
16 in Croatia.
17 MR. BOS:
18 Q. Well, Mr. Kovac, if your saying that you don't recognise the name
19 Ciro Ruzic, does that mean that that person doesn't exist? Why would you
20 need to recognise all the persons who are present at this meeting?
21 A. Reading the names of people -- persons present, from President
22 Tudjman, Minister Boban, and -- I know in the political life of the
23 Croatia, I knew at least by surname the -- all the political figures who
24 had -- and people who had important political roles there. And I had not
25 heard of such a person, Ciro Ruzic. You can check through the Ministry of
1 Foreign Affairs whether such a person exists.
2 JUDGE CLARK: I can't find that page that the witness is referring
4 MR. BOS: I -- it's page -- Your Honours, it's -- I have it here.
5 It's page 0156938. And I'm afraid it's not in the bundle, because --
6 JUDGE CLARK: How does the witness have it, then?
7 MR. BOS: The witness has been given the complete transcript.
8 JUDGE CLARK: Oh, I see. So my apologies. But we can --
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Microphone not activated].
10 MR. BOS: Yes, I have it here as well.
11 But Your Honours, I don't think that we should go into this,
12 because really I asked the question about Grubisic and not about Ciro
13 Ruzic, and I think the witness is trying to confuse things now. And it
14 may well be a completely different person.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's precisely -- this
18 is the point. And when the Honoured Judge will read it -- Ciro Ruzic has
19 a page and a half of his transcript, and he is represented as the deputy
20 leader of the political activity in the HVO, the active administrator for
21 the political department of HVO. And this is the -- would be the second
22 person of the HVO and he has one and a half page of text.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well --
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And in the last page, we have clearly
25 the names of Ciro Grubisic and Milan Kovac. And this is from the entire
1 transcript. We have not received the entire transcript, just certain
2 pages of the transcript from the meeting in the Vila Dalmacija.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krzic, the issue here is not whether some
4 other people were present at the meeting or not. Is the witness himself
5 present at the meeting or not?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is -- Your Honours, I will not
7 go into a discussion into this. The witness is saying that this is --
8 that the meeting probably wasn't even held and that the names have been
9 made up.
10 JUDGE LIU: I've noticed the statement --
11 MR. BOS: [Previous translation continues] ... The --
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, the statement made by the witness. But we'll
13 read all the transcripts ourselves at a later stage.
14 Yes, Mr. Bos.
15 MR. BOS:
16 Q. Now, witness, having read out this line just to you -- and your
17 name being mentioned here, is it still your testimony that you were not
18 present at this meeting in the villa of Dalmacija in Split on November
20 A. No. I did not attend it.
21 Q. Well, it's our submission that you were present at that meeting.
22 And on the basis of that, I want to ask you some questions of this -- on
23 this transcript.
24 Let's move to the first page of this transcript. The very first
25 page of the transcript. I don't know if the -- maybe the usher can
1 organise the --
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] How will a witness who asserts that
5 he was not present, how can he answer questions despite the assertions of
6 the Prosecution?
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, you know there's argument between
8 the Prosecution and the witness. One says that he was present there. The
9 witness said he was not. So I believe that the Prosecution is going to
10 show more evidence to prove to his own argument. It's a matter of the
11 credibility of this witness, Mr. Krsnik.
12 Yes, Mr. Bos, you may proceed.
13 MR. BOS:
14 Q. Thank you Mr. Kovac, I'd like you to look at the first page of
15 this transcript. This is when the president opens the meeting. And in
16 the second paragraph of that -- of that first page, he says the
17 following: "The problem of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the problem of the
18 Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it's also a problem of the
19 Croatian state and its future."
20 And then a few lines down: "We have always kept in mind the
21 strategic interests of importance for the future of the Croatian people
22 and Croatia in general, including the questions of borders -- of its
24 Now, let me ask you, what do you think that President Tudjman
25 meant that -- when he said that it's also a problem of the Croatian state
1 and its future?
2 A. It is difficult for me to surmise what President Tudjman was
3 thinking. Yesterday I spoke, however, about the policy of HDZ, who was
4 the president of the Republic, was also its president. And he said that
5 as long as there's no stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there can be no
6 stability or peace in Croatia, because Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 have very close ties, infrastructural ties, railroad, road networks. They
8 have also -- Bosnia has an outlet to the coast at Neum. But President
9 Tudjman never -- but never, be it in open or covertly, of the divisions of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina and later on annexation of parts of it to Croatia.
11 But he insisted that the Croatian people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 irrespective of the numbers of Serbs and Bosniaks, must maintain its right
13 to its language, its culture, its religion because the Croatian people
14 have been living there for thousands of years. That was his fundamental
15 thought. And the 1990 constitution also stipulates that Croatia will care
16 for its people wherever they live. But that does not imply that it will
17 interfere in the policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He insisted that it
18 would be necessary -- that it's necessary to go to Sarajevo to cooperate
19 with them, to avoid excesses, to avoid conflict. But if you pull out of
20 the context certain events out of the general framework, they -- you are
21 faced with a different situation. But if -- when Vukovar, Dubrovnik are
22 being burnt -- are burning, when a million of people are coming, refugees
23 are coming only with plastic bags, when there is no tourism, when we're
24 threatened with a collapse, why would we go in for an additional conflict
25 with a neighbouring country which would generate additional thousands upon
1 thousands of refugees?
2 Q. All right. What do you think that President Tudjman meant when he
3 said that he would keep in mind the strategic interests, including the
4 questions of borders?
5 A. The strategic interest of the Republic of Croatia, as I have said,
6 are peace and that satisfied three nations [As interpreted] living in
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is the strategic interest of Croatia. As far
8 as the borders are concerned, he insisted upon the inviolability of the
9 republican borders, because what kind of a president would that be with
10 one third of a country occupied, when Croats and non-Serbs were evicted
11 from these areas, and when those who occupied parts of Croatia are
12 demanding to create the greater Serbia at the expense of these Croatian
13 territories? Do you really think that President Tudjman would seek to
14 change borders in another country as an experienced historian and
15 politician, he knew what it was all about. He demanded the independence
16 of Croatia, of the Croatian Republic, and the maintenance of the Croatian
17 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina with all their rights and their sovereign
19 Q. Okay. Well, Mr. Kovac, let's move on to the third page of this
20 transcript. This is where President Tudjman refers to a secret agreement
21 which he signed in Vienna that, and this was an agreement that President
22 Tudjman signed together with President Izetbegovic. And the content of
23 this agreement is described in the second paragraph of the -- page 3.
24 Well, this is the English version. And for the B/C/S version, it's on
25 page 0156866, which starts with the sentence "They have agreed."
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we'd be very happy with
3 the Prosecutor would show us this secret agreement and give it to the
4 witness, and then we'd be more than happy to discuss it, the one that
5 Mr. Tudjman signed with Mr. Izetbegovic.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think the first question asked by
7 the Prosecution will be whether this witness know or not about this
9 Yes, you may proceed, Mr. Bos.
10 MR. BOS:
11 Q. Do you recall President Tudjman discussing this secret agreement
12 at this meeting?
13 A. Well, I cannot recall it if I wasn't at the meeting.
14 Q. Well, let's just see what President Tudjman says about this
15 meeting. And I'm quoting now from page 3. "They --" and then it's
16 referred to President Tudjman and President Izetbegovic -- "they have
17 agreed that the relations between the Bosnian Muslim republic and the
18 Republic of Croatia, within the union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, must
19 develop in all areas with an aim to create a common state, which will
20 subsequently enter into a confederal relationship with the Republic of
22 And then if we move down a few paragraphs, President Tudjman says
23 the following: "With such an agreement, our aim has been to protect the
24 strategic interest of the Croatian people in Bosnia. By not only
25 obtaining Herceg-Bosna but also by entering into a close alliance with the
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 Muslims, in order to protect the interests of the Croatian people and the
2 Croatian areas within the Muslim Republic."
3 So again, my question: Do you recall President Tudjman talking
4 about this agreement?
5 A. I'm sorry. I repeat for the third time --
6 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry. Yes, Mr. Seric.
7 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, thank you. The witness
8 has already answered, and that was my objection, that he has repeated
9 several times that he had not been at the meeting.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think, you know, both the Defence counsels
11 have to trust your witness, because your witness could answer those
12 questions. There's no need to stand up consistently and to interrupt the
14 I'm sorry, Witness. You may continue your answer.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question was whether I was
16 present and heard President Tudjman. I said I wasn't present, and I do
17 not know what they discussed there.
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. But what I just read out to you, wouldn't you agree that this
20 shows direct involvement of the Republic of Croatia into the territorial
21 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. Well, from what you have just quoted, as President Tudjman's words
23 after a year later, the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded in
24 confederation with Croatia. It was signed in Washington. This does not
25 mean any division of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- is the internal organisation
1 which was accepted by the International Community in Washington. The
2 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina which is made of Bosniak, Muslims, and
3 Croats -- and Republika Srpska is the other entity. And this agreement
4 was signed in Washington, which allowed to sign the -- an agreement on the
5 confederation between the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
6 Republic of Croatia. But that does not mean the division of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the sense that you are talking about, that it would
8 then be annexed to the Republic of Croatia. The strategic interest of the
9 Croatian state is for the Croats to remain in Bosnia-Herzegovina, not the
10 leave Bosnia-Herzegovina. And they will stay only if they enjoy the same
11 rights as the other two peoples. That was President Tudjman's idea.
12 Q. But wasn't it President Tudjman's idea to create a great Croatia,
13 a Croatia --
14 A. No, never. Never. Never did he ever mention it or does it -- or
15 can you find it in any document. There was never any decision taken at
16 any level of power about the change of the republic's borders.
17 Q. Well, let's move on in the transcript. And I'd like you now to
18 look at page -- for the B/C/S version, page 01566933 and 6934. For the
19 English version, it's page 0182812.
20 Now, Witness, at this meeting there were a lot of -- several high
21 military HVO officials present at this meeting. General Slobodan Praljak
22 was at that meeting. He was the HVO Commander-in-Chief. Do you know who
23 he is? Do you know that man?
24 A. Yes, I know Slobodan Praljak from before, from the -- as a film
25 critic and an author, a writer. I believe he wrote some books. And I
1 knew him later too.
2 Q. Witness, I've been asked whether -- if you could please not make
3 any notes on the transcripts, because the -- because this is an original
4 exhibit and we would like you not to write on that exhibit.
5 Now, Witness, do you know a man by the name of Zarko Tole?
6 A. I do. I know the gentleman. I met Mr. Zarko Tole. I think
7 he's a general or colonel in the Croatian army. But I have met him. I've
8 seen him in Zagreb.
9 Q. His present function is a colonel in the Croatian army.
10 A. I don't -- I don't really know what he is now.
11 Q. But when you said that he was a colonel in the Croatian army,
12 which time period are you referring to?
13 A. I was a member of parliament. And as far as military matters are
14 concerned, I am really not a qualified person.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Kovac, you were asked a very simple question.
16 You are not an unintelligent man. You were asked: "When you said that
17 this gentleman, Zarko Tole, was a general or a colonel in the Croat
18 Croatian army, what period were you talking about?" It's a very simple
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the wartime, the '90s, the
21 time of conflict, aggression against Croatia. I know that he took part in
22 the defence of Croatia and I know that he returned from I don't know
23 where. I don't know where he was born -- that he returned to Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina. From that time I mean.
25 MR. BOS:
1 Q. Mr. Kovac, if you say the time of conflict, are you referring to
2 the conflict between Croatia and the Serbs, in 1991? Or are you referring
3 to the conflict between ... ?
4 A. As far as I know, he was an active-duty man right up to the Dayton
5 Accords. I think so. But, of course, I have no way of knowing the exact
7 Q. Well, Witness, let me tell you that Mr. Zarko Tole, when he was
8 present at this meeting, was there as an HVO -- in his representative as
9 an HVO Chief of the Main Staff, so not representing Croatian army but
10 representing the HVO.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours. I'm merely
13 performing my duty as a counsel. And may I be objected. May we see in
14 this transcript where does it say Zarko Tole? For some people there's
15 both a first name and last name. For some, no. But Zarko Tole doesn't
16 say anywhere. It only says Tole. Tole is a last name. A very common
17 one. So how can the Prosecutor affirm that the -- that he's Zarko Tole?
18 And I believe this objection is well grounded, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, I don't think the question has something
20 to do with this document at all, because the Prosecution is asking a
21 question about a certain person, whether this person know that one or
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No. No, Your Honours. The question
24 is -- and you can find it on page -- look at the Prosecutor's question.
25 [In English] "HVO chief in the main staff." So this meeting, the meeting
1 of the -- the transcript of the meeting.
2 JUDGE CLARK: [Microphone not activated].
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Clark, please.
4 JUDGE CLARK: He asked him first, "do you know Praljak?"
5 MR. KRSNIK: Yes.
6 JUDGE CLARK: And he explained. And the next question is, "do you
7 Zarko Tole?" That's the question he was asking. We're really getting
8 bogged down on detail. And you both are being overprotective of your
9 witnesses since the Defence case started. None of the witnesses you have
10 called so far are uneducated people. They're very high standing people in
11 the Croatian community and yet you don't allow them to answer the
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, but allow me to answer. I'm not
14 behaving -- I'm not being overprotective, Your Honours. I'm merely
15 discharging my duties as a counsel. Please, you have the transcript. The
16 last Prosecutor's questions was that Zarko Tole was at this meeting. And
17 he keeps asking this witness about this. And my question is: Where did
18 the transcript say that it was Zarko Tole? Your Honours, surely I know
19 what I'm talking about.
20 [In English] Surely, yes.
21 [Interpretation] And the third question was: "Zarko Tole at this
22 meeting in this presidential transcript." And all I asked was where does
23 it say Zarko Tole in this transcript. I'm really sorry, but I must do
24 my duty. This is not the protective role or anything else.
25 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ... This document.
1 Ask your question directly, Mr. Bos, whether this person knows that
2 Mr. Tole, Zarko Tole.
3 MR. BOS: [Microphone not activated].
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Bos.
5 MR. BOS: I think I did ask this question, whether this person
6 knows Mr. Zarko Tole, and he gave an answer. And my next step will be
7 that I'm going take this witness to the transcript and let him see any
8 statements that were made by Mr. Tole.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, in this case, Mr. Bos, you have to establish
10 which Tole it is. Is that Zarko Tole.
11 MR. BOS: It's our position that the person who is referred to as
12 Tole here is Zarko Tole, yes.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, show us, you know, whether his full name appears
14 in the transcript.
15 MR. BOS: Well, I can't do that right now. I'd have to go through
16 the transcript. And maybe we can stop now for a break and I can consult
17 the transcript again.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. It is time for a break. We'll break here until
20 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos. You may proceed.
23 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Your Honour, during the break I went through the transcript, and
25 it is correct. I couldn't find the first name of Tole in the transcript.
1 But what I did find is that whenever this Tole was speaking, he's referred
2 to the main staff on several occasions. And I can give you a few
3 examples. This is on Registry -- yeah. I'm afraid I -- I don't know if
4 the Court has the full English translation of the presidential transcripts
5 at hand now, because I don't think it will all be included in the -- in
6 the binder I provide. Anyway, there are a few examples.
7 For example, Tole is talking about the responsibility of the main
8 staff constituted to a large extend in gathering soldiers for the front
9 line, former units, et cetera. "As for the work done by the main staff --
10 and I would only like to comment on it within the limits of my of
11 competence -- I think it's not being put to adequate use."
12 A bit further down, "the vanity, which leads to a situation where
13 the relationship between those who need to work very closely together
14 turns sour, down to the direct interference in the activity of the main
15 staff, on the part of president of the municipalities and even further."
16 And then on the part which is also included in the exhibit binder,
17 which is page number 4: "The main staff is currently working on putting
18 out the --" if I may use the expression, "competence individuals who would
19 also participate in fighting for the tasks that were mentioned by the
21 So this Mr. Tole has been referring to the main staff on numerous
22 occasions. And if I just made sure the Court and also the witness --
23 Exhibit P559.1. And I -- we've made some -- it's an existing Prosecution
24 exhibit. And I have some copies here for everyone in the courtroom.
25 And maybe we could also put a copy on the overhead projector.
1 Q. Now, Witness, you have this document in front of you?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. Is it correct that this is a request signed by Major General
4 Slobodan Praljak and is addressed to -- to the Ministry of the Defence of
5 the Republic of Croatia? It refers to the posting of HV -- officers in
6 the HVO?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I understand what
9 cross-examination is - but you will instruct me and correct me if I am
10 wrong - we said that the Prosecutor and just the Defence in the
11 examination-in-chief cannot -- may not misrepresent the facts. The
12 Prosecutor has just said it was signed by Mr. Praljak, and here we have
13 the name Martic. It is quite legible. It has nothing to do with the
14 knowledge of the language. So why does it say somebody else signed it?
15 Why say it was Slobodan Praljak?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think Mr. Bos will give us an explanation on
17 the signature of this document on the second page.
18 MR. BOS: Well, Your Honour, I don't know why it says Martic.
19 Probably because Martic signed for Mr. Praljak. But I don't think that's
20 the issue here. I think the issue is whether brigadier Zarko Tole was in
21 fact Chief of the HVO Main Staff. That's what I'm trying to find out here
22 and that's the issue here, not whether there's a different signature.
23 Q. So Witness, is it correct that this is a request whereby Mr. Zarko
24 Tole, an HVO officer is requested to be at the disposal of the HVO
25 general staff -- the chief of the HVO general staff?
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 A. In the Republic of Croatia, I was not a part of the military
2 structure. I was a member of the parliament. And I go by the laws of the
3 Republic of Croatia. This document which says "military secrets, strictly
4 confidential," has -- was never in the diet of the Republic of Croatia or
5 in the national security board where the -- where the confidentiality
6 would be removed. And therefore, I cannot comment because I must abide by
7 the law.
8 JUDGE CLARK: That's fair enough, Mr. Bos. I mean, he can't know
9 anything about the document. All you can do is show it to him and he
10 says, "I never saw it before," and we take the document for what it is.
11 MR. BOS: Well, I agree, Your Honour. And -- but I -- you know, I
12 had to do this because of a comment by counsel, my learned counsel, and
13 not because of what the witness said.
14 Q. Let me then ask you this, Mr. Kovac: How much Toles would you
15 know who would talk about the functioning of the main staff in November
16 1993 within the -- with the President Tudjman?
17 A. I cannot know who Mr. -- President Tudjman talked with. I know
18 Zarko Tole from the media by and large, because he was a person who after
19 the aggression against Croatia transferred from the Yugoslav People's Army
20 to the Croatian army. And I know that he was captured for 15 months in
21 Manjaca near Banja Luka. I really cannot remember what post brigadier or
22 General Tole held, whether he was the head -- chief or what. I really
23 cannot say for certain. But I say I cannot discuss document which is are
24 marked "military secret, strictly confidential," because the Croatian diet
25 has not removed this classification, has not declassified it. And I
1 repeat, I do not know how these documents ended up here.
2 Q. Well, let me just ask you to comment on some of the things that
3 this Mr. Tole said at that meeting. And I'm now referring to -- I don't
4 know if you still have the presidential transcript in front of you -- I'm
5 referring to page 0156933.
6 MR. BOS: Mr. Usher, I don't know if you could put that document
7 in front of the witness.
8 The English translation will be page 0182812.
9 Q. I'll repeat if number again, Mr. Kovac.
10 MR. BOS: Mr. Usher, it's the presidential transcript which is on
11 the left side of him. And I need him to look at page 0156933.
12 Q. Do you have it, Mr. Kovac? This is when Mr. Tole starts to talk.
13 The third paragraph, which starts with "But without the help from the
14 Croatian army." Do you have that? It may be on the next page. It reads
15 the following: "But without the help from the Croatian army in what way
16 and how, I think it will be very difficult from a military intelligence
17 data -- for my military intelligence data say that the Muslims are at this
18 moment targeting Mostar and Gornji Vakuf." This is Mr. Tole reporting to
19 Mr. Tudjman.
20 And a bit further down: "That is why I believe that during the
21 planning and realisation stages, the Croatian Defence Council staff must
22 be in direct consultation with the Croatian army staff in order to be able
23 to estimate which forces, what, where, and what -- and at what time are to
24 be used and how."
25 Now, Mr. Kovac, wouldn't you agree that this last statement by the
1 HVO chief of main staff assumes direct military involvement of the
2 Croatian army in the conflict?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am not protecting the
7 witness -- far be it from me. But I'm trying to protect the fairness of
8 this case. The witness has said almost two hours ago that he was not
9 present -- that he had not been present at the meeting. And now if he's
10 invited about something that somebody else thought, then it is inviting
11 his speculation, and I object to that.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, in this aspect, Mr. Bos, I agree with the
13 Defence counsel. The witness said that he did not present at that
14 meeting -- he knows next to nothing about this meeting. And how could you
15 ask him to comment on a statement delivered at this meeting?
16 MR. BOS: Well, Your Honours, one of the reasons why I'm asking
17 him to comment is because it's our position that he was at that meeting.
18 And I want to cross-examine this witness on that assumption.
19 JUDGE LIU: Do you have -- do you have some -- some other evidence
20 to show that this witness was at that meeting?
21 MR. BOS: No. I've shown you the evidence which I've referred
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
25 You have just said what I was about to say when I stood up to object to
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 this frequent claim of the Prosecution that Milan Kovac was present at the
2 meeting. He should be shown some evidence to this effect. Besides, the
3 Prosecutor has not shown any order of this Chamber or this Tribunal
4 regarding this evidence nor the correspondence between the Prosecutor's
5 office and the relevant authority, be it the president Stipe Mesic or the
6 office for cooperation with this Tribunal, so we could really see in this
7 which way was this documentation handed over to the Prosecutor's office.
8 It would be fair to show this to the witness. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos, we have to be fair to this witness. If
10 he denied that he was not at that meeting [As interpreted], how could I
11 ask him to comment on the document you were showing to him?
12 MR. BOS: Well, as I said, again -- I mean, it's our submission
13 that he was present at that meeting. And I think we've shown sufficient
14 evidence to that effect by showing that page on the transcript where he's
15 been referred to.
16 JUDGE CLARK: I don't think so, Mr. Bos. I think we were waiting
17 here eagerly to see if you would produce evidence to discredit this
18 witness in relation to his evidence about being present at the meeting.
19 And so far you have only referred to what other people have said. We must
20 be fair. We were waiting for you to say that there was some other
21 evidence to show.
22 But, perhaps you'd ask this witness whether he was in Split at the
23 particular time. And that might explain the reference to him being
24 present here.
25 MR. BOS:
1 Q. Witness, you've heard the question of the Judge. Were you in
2 Split in November, 1993?
3 A. As I recollect, I wasn't there, but I'm sure I wasn't at the
4 meeting. But where exactly was I at the time, I would have to check my
5 notes in order to see where I was as a deputy. If I had been at this
6 meeting, I would certainly comment every sentence. However, I was not
7 present at that meeting.
8 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Kovac, what I actually would have liked Mr. Bos
9 to ask you -- so I'll ask you it myself -- is that is it possible that you
10 were definitely not at the meeting, but that you may have been with the
11 presidential entourage in Split at that time and that is -- that would
12 explain why the late president Tudjman would refer to two men being
13 present here. Might have been present in Split but not necessarily at the
14 meeting. I was just wondering if that was an explanation.
15 Let him answer first, Mr. Krsnik.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I repeat: In no uncertain term that
17 is I did not attend that meeting, and as I'm under oath, I will not be
18 able to assert a hundred per cent whether I was in Zagreb, in Osijek, or
19 in Split at the time. However, had I been on that day in Split, I would
20 probably -- probably -- have been attending that meeting. And this is
21 just a confirmation for me that I wasn't even in Split. That would be one
22 of the arguments speaking in favour of this assertion.
23 JUDGE CLARK: Was it normal, Mr. Kovac -- was it normal for the
24 president to attend meetings in Split? Was he frequently there -- the
25 late president, I should say.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that he often went to
2 Dalmatia, to Split, to Sadar [phoen], Dubrovnik. I cannot remember all of
3 his visits there. But throughout the war he would often frequently visit
5 JUDGE CLARK: And is it the situation, Mr. Kovac, that as part of
6 the -- the government at the time and as adviser to the president on, I
7 think you told us, privatisation of state property -- as adviser that you
8 would attend many meetings with the president, or was it unusual for you
9 to be present?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the Minister for Privatisation
11 in 1997 and 1998, Minister for Privatisation. But I was never an adviser
12 to the president. And from 1993, I was exclusively and only a deputy in
13 the Croatian diet, in the parliament. And it wouldn't be usual for the
14 president to invite the deputies to attend such meetings.
15 JUDGE CLARK: So can we take it, Mr. Kovac, that your position in
16 vis-a-vis President Tudjman would make it unusual for you to be present at
17 my meeting, in Split or otherwise?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would be unusual for me in my
19 capacity as a deputy of the diet to be invited to attend such a meeting.
20 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. That's clarified the situation for me.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Honourable Chamber, Judge Clark, that
23 what is in the transcript that it is President Tudjman who said that
24 Mr. Kovac and the other person is present in the transcript. It doesn't
25 say who stated that. This is all I wish to add.
1 JUDGE CLARK: [Previous translation continues] ... said that.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 Well, Mr. Bos, could I ask you to withdraw your question
4 concerning this presidential transcript.
5 MR. BOS: Yes. I won't belabour this issue any longer, Your
6 Honours. But I'm just curious, because the witness in answering the
7 questions of Judge Clark -- the witness in the beginning said that if he
8 would have been in Split, he probably would have attended that meeting.
9 That's how he started off with his testimony. And I -- and then later on
10 he says completely the opposite. And I'm just wanting to clarify that.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you have some questions concerning on this
12 point, you may ask some questions.
13 MR. BOS: Well, that -- that would be my question, Mr. Kovac.
14 Why did you say that if you would have been in Split at the time
15 you probably would have attended that meeting?
16 A. No. I didn't say that -- I don't think I said that if I were in
17 Split that I'd be attending the meeting. I don't think I said it.
18 Probably it is an error. I explained that -- how the president would
19 invite persons to a meeting. It's not that if one were present in that
20 city that one would go and have a meeting with the president. Because,
21 Your Honour, it's my first time in a courtroom in any of my function.
22 I've never been either a witness or as a prosecutor or as a counsel. For
23 me, maybe I have a bit of a difficulty to find my bearings. But I
24 didn't -- what I said, that if I were in Split that I'd probably be at the
25 meeting -- no, that wouldn't be like that. It would be impossible.
1 Q. I'll rest the issue, Mr. Kovac.
2 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Kovac, don't worry if you're nervous, because
3 you're not the only one. Every witness feels exactly the same way, and
4 you're doing very well.
5 MR. BOS:
6 Q. Mr. Kovac, I have just a few more questions, Mr. Kovac. As a
7 member of parliament, do you know a man by the name of Branko Barbic?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Do you know what -- what is his function -- or what was his
10 function in 1992? Let's put it that way.
11 A. I don't know what was his function at -- in 1992. But at present
12 he is the secretary of the committee which I'm heading in the parliament,
13 the committee for immigration.
14 Q. Did Mr. Branko Barbic also work in -- have a function in
15 parliament in 1992, 1993?
16 A. I cannot say exactly. Probably he was working in some
17 administration. He had an administrative post. But maybe I could ask him
18 tomorrow when I return to my post.
19 Q. Mr. Kovac, if I -- if I tell you that Mr. Barbic in 1992 was the
20 military attache for the troops in Central Bosnia and Southern Bosnia,
21 taking care of supplies for the troops in these places, would that be
23 A. I don't think that was possible. He was working employed in the
24 administration of the Croatian parliament, of the diet. And I don't think
25 that he could have been at the same time occupying the post of attache for
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 Central Bosnia that or whatever you've said.
2 Q. Well, witness, what would you say if I say that we had a witness
3 in this courtroom who claimed that he -- who actually was a mercenary in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina and he claimed that he was recruited after an interview
5 in the office of Mr. Branko Barbic in the parliament building in
6 Zagreb? What would you say to that?
7 A. I would call -- invite Branko Barbic to come here and say what
8 that is all about, to clarify -- to clarify on these matters, if it is the
9 truth, of course. I doubt it. It's the first time I hear something like
10 that for this secretary, the secretary of the committee that I'm heading
12 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Finally, Witness, is it correct that you have
13 always felt a close affiliation for the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. As a Croat from Bosnia and Herzegovina, I did have a particular
15 feeling for the Croatian people there. It is their where my mother of 80
16 years lives there today, as well as my two brothers with their families,
17 and I am visiting them regularly every month. And as the president of the
18 committee for immigration, I on a daily basis receive tens and tens of
19 Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats who have been banished from
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, from the Republika Srpska. I have to care for them.
21 I assist them to see that they survive up to the moment when they will be
22 able to return home. And that is the care, and these are the feelings
23 that I have.
24 Q. You were born in Posusje; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. That's a village about north-west of Siroki Brijeg, is that
2 correct, in Herzegovina?
3 A. People from Siroki Brijeg are always offended if we say we live
4 from the -- to the west from them. It is -- we are distant some 30
5 kilometres from Siroki Brijeg and some 5 kilometres from the Croatian
7 Q. Just two more questions. Witness, did you on the 7th of July,
8 1997, did you attend the funeral of Mr. Mate Boban as an official
9 delegate for the Republic of Croatia?
10 A. No. I wasn't an official delegate. I went in my personal
11 capacity, as a private person, to attend the funeral of Mate Boban whom I
12 had known since our school days. Later, Mate Boban was a director of a
13 company with which my firm cooperated up till 1990. So I was there in my
14 personal capacity.
15 Q. Witness -- Mr. Kovac, sit also correct that you attended an art
16 auction in Siroki Brijeg on the 29th of January, 1999, of which the entire
17 proceedings was for the benefit of the families of the Bosnian Croats who
18 were accused by this Tribunal at that time, like Mr. Blaskic, Mr. Kordic,
19 Aleksovsky? Is it correct that you attended that auction?
20 A. I would have to recall and try to remember. I attended many an
21 auction throughout Croatia for humanitarian purposes. Also in Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina I visited Posusje practically every month. And remember I
23 attended that auction -- yes, I was there. It was some 20 kilometres from
24 Posusje, where the auction was held.
25 Q. And did you buy anything at that auction? Do you recall that?
1 A. No. No, I didn't buy anything.
2 MR. BOS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any re-examination?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I'll be very
6 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kovac, how does one enter the building of the
8 diet, the Croatian parliament? As a visitor, what is the procedure for
9 entering the premises?
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, why did you ask this question?
11 Because this question was not mentioned in the cross-examination.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that was the witness who
13 testified here, that was a mercenary, Allan Knudsen who said that he
14 went into the parliament. I checked and I received data. I received a
15 written paper that that person never entered the building of the
16 parliament. And I just wanted to avail myself of the fact that this
17 witness is here and particularly because a question was raised in
18 connection with Mr. Barbic and is connected with this testimony. And
19 maybe this will be the last occasion for having a description of how one
20 can enter the building. That person, that witness, also stated that he
21 had lunch with Mr. Barbic in the premises of the parliament.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Would you kindly explain what is the procedure for entering.
25 A. As in all other parliaments, you first must announce yourself.
1 You must say whom you are visiting, present an identity card or a
2 passport, and pass through the metal detector machine in case somebody
3 comes with weapons, and the number of the identity card or the passport is
4 written down, and only the person can go -- and visit only the person for
5 which he states. And such a person escorted to the person he'll be
6 visiting. Yes.
7 Q. This witness which was mentioned by the Prosecutor, he stated that
8 he even had lunch in the parliament building. What will you say to that?
9 A. Visitors do not have access to the restaurant for the deputies,
10 and only official delegations can have access to that area also --
11 parliamentary delegations and others, either from the country or abroad.
12 Q. Witness -- the witness Allan Knudsen said he came as a mercenary,
13 came to Croatia, and tried to find where he should go -- to which
14 battlefield he should go. As such he came to the reception of the
15 parliament, went to Mr. Barbic's office, had lunch with him, and he then
16 sent him to the front -- to a certain front. What will you say to that
18 A. Well, if I were a volunteer, I'd go to the military staff. The
19 parliament had nothing to do with it, particularly not the employees of
20 the parliament. And they certainly cannot deploy anybody anywhere. This
21 seems a bit strange.
22 Q. I asked and I also received from -- an answer from the security
23 service of the state parliament, and I received in the answer that such a
24 person never entered that parliament. But let's leave this topic and pass
25 on to another subject, very briefly.
1 Do you know for how long Mr. Mesic was in the HDZ and what
2 happened to his political career, and what functions he held, as far as
3 your knowledge is concerned? And I'm referring to the period from 1990
5 A. I've known Mr. Mesic since 1989, and together we were -- went
6 together to -- and founded HDZ branches and chapters in Slavonia, the area
7 that he is originally from. He was the first government president in
8 1990. Later he was elected in the diet as a member of the Croatian state
9 for the Yugoslav presidency. After that he was the president of the diet,
10 the speaker, up till 1994. And up till then, he was also a member of
11 HDZ. After that he left the party and he founded a new party, the
12 Croatian Independent Democrats, I believe was the name.
13 Q. In what month of 1994 did he leave HDZ?
14 A. I believe it was the month of April.
15 Q. And up till April 1994, he was an active member of HDZ, and he
16 participated in all its deliberations and in the shaping of the positions
17 of it.
18 A. Yes. He was by his function the second person. He was, you know,
19 the president of the parliament.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it seems to me that you're coming to
21 new ground, new issue of the questioning.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. In the cross,
23 President Mesic was being raised constantly. This is a subject which I'm
24 now doing in the redirecting. I wanted to know whether the witness knew
25 that the -- the witness knows that Mr. Mesic was also settling personal
1 accounts with other people in the HDZ. This is what I wanted to
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik --
4 MR. BOS: He's giving evidence, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You -- well, Mr. Krsnik, you know the
6 re-examination should be strictly confined in the cross-examination;
7 otherwise the Prosecutor will have another opportunity to
8 cross-examination on this subject. I believe that this issue has little
9 to do with the case here.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the cross lasted two
11 hours. Of that, one and a half hour devoted to Mr. Mesic and the
12 presidential transcripts.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well --
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I have at least the right to ask the
15 question whether the witness knows why the debate in the parliament, why
16 all these laws and why did all this happen? Does he personally know?
17 JUDGE LIU: You should ask this question in your direct
18 examination rather than in the re-examination, Mr. Krsnik.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if that is the case, we
20 will have other opportunities with other witnesses to clarify this issue.
21 I have no other questions, and I thank the witness for coming here
22 and for highlighting and clarifying certain facts.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
24 Any questions from judges? Judge Clark.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE CLARK: I have a couple of questions, Mr. Kovac, in addition
2 to the ones I asked during the trial.
3 As you were one of the founding members of the HDZ, which you told
4 us was the first real opposition party in the emerging Croatia -- it
5 wasn't yet an independent country, can you tell me was the platform of
6 the HDZ to be involved and concerned with Croats who lived in Herzegovina
7 and parts of Bosnia? I'm not talking about Croats in Australia or
8 Switzerland or Canada. I'm talking about people of Croatian ethnicity in
9 Herzegovina and the parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina that adjoined Croatia. I
10 know it's a long question. What I'm basically saying is, was it the HDZ
11 platform to be concerned with those people particularly?
12 A. The platform of the HDZ was that under those conditions when
13 Yugoslavia still existed, that in all the republics a multi-party system
14 be ensured, the founding of parliamentary parties be enabled, and HDZ was
15 founded in the Republic of Croatia with its chapters --
16 JUDGE CLARK: I don't want you to tell me all about the platform
17 of the HDZ. It's a specific question. Was it included as a tenant of the
18 HDZ -- that -- and then the question.
19 A. No. No, those were not the goals of HDZ, to deal and focus on
20 Croats -- people of Croat ethnicity in Herzegovina, in Bosnia -- in parts
21 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina had
22 also been founded -- with its president, with its assembly, secretariat,
23 its central board.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Very good. You have mentioned on a number of
25 occasions and indeed many other witnesses from Croatia have told this
1 Trial Chamber the same thing, that the constitution as opposed to the
2 platform of the HDZ or indeed to the constitution of the HDZ, but the
3 constitution of Croatia imposed a duty on the government of Croatia to
4 care for the Croatian citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And what I
5 wanted to know is that borrowed from your platform, the HDZ -- and
6 clearly, if it wasn't part of the platform, then it couldn't have been.
7 Perhaps you can explain to me the reasoning behind such an unusual
8 inclusion in a constitution of a country, to be concerned with the
9 citizens of another sovereign state.
10 A. I think we were talking at cross-purposes and my -- please receive
11 my apologies. The HDZ's platform treats equally Croats wherever they may
12 be outside the Republic of Croatia. What I said, that unlike others, he
13 did not treat in any specific way Croats in Herzegovina. It is the care
14 for Croats wherever they might live outside Croatia. The constitution --
15 which article was it -- I believe 10th speaks of the concern -- the care
16 for the Republic of Croatia for Croats outside Croatia, and it was taken
17 from the HDZ's platform, but not only this small group of people in
18 Herzegovina or in western part of Bosnia.
19 JUDGE CLARK: I just want you to be clear about, because I
20 haven't -- I don't believe anybody has produced the constitution of
21 Croatia for us to examine this. But I may be wrong about that. I
22 couldn't find it myself, and I'm curious. Are you saying, Mr. Kovac, that
23 the constitution does not specifically mention the Croats of Herzegovina
24 or Bosnia and Herzegovina, just Croats outside the state boundaries in
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 A. Croats in general, living outside the borders of the Republic of
2 Croatia. But the constitution does not define a special treatment towards
3 individual states. I mean, it does not specify states by their name.
4 JUDGE CLARK: So when witnesses have told this Trial Chamber that
5 there was a duty and an obligation on the part of the government of
6 Croatia to be concerned about the citizens, the Croatian -- the Croat
7 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they were legally incorrect? Is that
8 what you're saying? Strictly speaking, they were incorrect. It was a
9 general duty and not a specific duty.
10 A. It is a general obligation, an all-round obligation of the
11 Republic of Croatia. It does not specify measures and in which way the
12 Republic of Croatia will help them. But it is an obligation of the
13 Republic of Croatia to take care of the Croats outside the Republic of
14 Croatia. And it also embraces Croats in Herzegovina, as a sovereign
15 constituent people which -- who also have the Croatian nationality,
16 because we have not yet regulated with Bosnia-Herzegovina the issue of
17 dual nationality.
18 JUDGE CLARK: I want to be very specific, Mr. Kovac. And maybe
19 you're uncomfortable in answering this. In the days when the Croatian
20 constitution was passed, there was no conflict between Croatia and the
21 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was no attack of -- of Sarajevo
22 or any of the problems that happened with the government being considered
23 effective or otherwise. So it may be we're jumping the gun when we're
24 talking about offering nationality. But what I want you to tell me is
25 does the constitution mention in any place the country of
2 A. Believe me, I really do not know the constitution by heart. So I
3 cannot say whether it mentions Bosnia-Herzegovina or not. But I do not
4 think that it mentions any state.
5 JUDGE CLARK: Very good. Do you know why -- and again, you may
6 not be the appropriate person to say. But as you were a founding member
7 of the HDZ and you were obviously involved in every election that has
8 taken place and maybe you were involved in the aspirations which formed
9 part of the written constitution, do you know why the constitution of
10 Croatia imposes an aspiration to protect Croats in Australia or Canada?
11 Why was that done, and how could it be effected?
12 A. I do not think the constitution says to protect the Croats outside
13 the borders but, rather, that Croatia cares for and supports and helps the
14 Croat people outside the Republic of Croatia. I think it was taken over.
15 I think one can find it in other constitutions too. I do not have it. I
16 believe that the Prosecutor's office will supply the translation of the
17 constitution and the articles that refer to this subject, and then we
18 shall know exactly what it says, because in the Croatian language it is
19 "Skrb," which means care, it will take care of the Croat people outside
20 its boarders. I do not know whether the counsel has the constitution,
21 because Croats lived in Vojvodina, in Kosovo. And as early as 1990, when
22 this constitution was promulgated, the Croats in Kosovo were already so --
23 in such danger that Croatia undertook all it could to help them, to save
24 them. And we remember well with the help of the International Community
25 when the last of them were evacuated from Janjevo. I believe that is the
1 name of the place because there was a danger of the occupation by the Serb
2 forces in Kosovo. Then in Vojvodina, in the Republic of Serbia there is a
3 Croat enclave and they have been moving out all these years and coming to
4 Croatia, so that across Yugoslavia -- not only Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
5 mean, the Croatian people lived across Yugoslavia.
6 JUDGE CLARK: So, do you think therefore that it was included there
7 because the country recognised that the former Yugoslavia had many diverse
8 pockets of effect groups and it was best to protect these pockets as best
9 you could?
10 A. Yes, that, among other things too, because the constitution was
11 promulgated in December 1990. And in August 1990 Serb -- Serbs had
12 already blocked -- I don't know whether the Court is aware of that --
13 roads -- I don't know whether you realise that there was already the Serb
14 insurgence in Croatia and we could already see what was happening in other
15 republics. So this constitution reflected this state of affair then and
16 which anticipated things that happened later on.
17 JUDGE CLARK: It makes more sense to me when I see it in that
18 context. But if we move on -- you stated earlier on in your evidence that
19 Croatia never declared war on -- on Bosnia and Herzegovina and vice versa
20 and that during the entire conflict, there was -- there were diplomatic
21 relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Two questions
22 arising out of that: Did Croatia ever declare war on Serbia?
23 A. No. Croatia never declared war on Serbia.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Did you maintain a diplomatic presence in Belgrade?
25 A. No. There were no diplomatic -- there was no diplomatic presence
1 during that time, and there were no diplomats present in Belgrade in 1991.
2 It was later on after 1993 -- 1992 or 1993. It was the first time that
3 Croatia sent its ambassador to Belgrade. I do not know the exact date,
4 but during the aggression there were no diplomatic relations.
5 JUDGE CLARK: Did your country, to your knowledge, Croatia, send
6 diplomatic representation to the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna?
7 A. The Republic of Croatia had its consulate in Mostar. It had its
8 consulate in Tuzla, in Bihac, in Banja Luka too later on, and its embassy
9 in Sarajevo. As far as I know, those were the only offices responsible
10 for the reception of delegations and missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
11 there were also parliamentary delegations and some ministries, especially
12 after the Washington Agreement, and afterwards the agreement on special
13 relations. And I personally visited Sarajevo not less than ten times
14 during that one year discussing -- agreeing -- negotiating about those
15 special relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 JUDGE CLARK: Did you -- I don't know if this is a word that
17 you're used to or a concept or anything, but we've heard frequently
18 testimony and references to the word "Banovina," and we've seen maps. In
19 your platform as the HDZ, did the Banovina play any part?
20 A. No. No. Never. Platform or programme or declarations, no, that
21 word was never mentioned.
22 JUDGE CLARK: You also mentioned and you gave testimony -- I
23 fortunately the document wasn't translated -- about a cross-party
24 parliamentary commission to Herzegovina to investigate, insofar as you
25 could, why -- why there seemed to be mounting tension between the Croats
1 and the Muslims. I think you said that you couldn't go to parts of
2 Bosnia per se because in parts of Bosnia there was a raging conflict and
3 it wasn't safe. But in Herzegovina, as a separate province I'm talking
4 about, what did you find when you were there? What did you find as the
5 reasons for the mounting tensions between the two communities?
6 A. I wasn't a member of that delegation. There were some other MPs,
7 as I have said, all of the parliamentary parties were represented on it.
8 And pursuant to the diet's decision, they were to visit all those towns,
9 places, enclaves where conflicts had taken place between Croats and
10 Muslims or conflicts might happen. But as I have said, through the
11 international forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina and with the concierge
12 [As interpreted] of the Sarajevo ambassador to Zagreb, they were given the
13 guarantees that they would be able to visit all those places. But when
14 they reached Medjugorje, that they -- and I believe it was the 1st of
15 May -- that they had a meeting --
16 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, Mr. Kovac. You see, I understood you -- I
17 wouldn't ask you this question except that I understood you to say that
18 you had actually visited Mostar at the beginning of May 1993. And you
19 gave us a list of towns: Jablanica, Kiseljak, Zenica, all those. You
20 personally didn't go to those places. Is that what you're saying?
21 A. That is right. I didn't. I gave you the names of all the members
22 of the diet who did go. I gave their names. And two of them are still
23 members of parliament. They were in it today -- Mr. Drago Krpina of
24 the HDZ and Mr. Mato Arlovic of the SDP, social democratic party, who is
25 today the vice-president of the diet. They are selective politicians to
1 the diet. And three other members, I don't know what they do. But these
2 two are like -- me being a member of the diet all the time. And it was
3 said that the Defence would translate their conclusions and would file
4 them then.
5 JUDGE CLARK: I was only asking you all those questions because I
6 thought you had been on the mission and wondered why even though the
7 document wasn't translated you weren't telling us anything about it. But
8 then obviously I missed the fact that you weren't there.
9 I think any other questions that I would ask you in relation to
10 the presidential transcripts would get us into very deep water, hot deep
11 water, so we'll stay away from that. Thank you very much, Mr. Kovac.
12 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judge's question? Mr. Bos?
13 MR. BOS: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I do not have any
16 questions. I merely wish to notify the Chamber that the document was not
17 translated because we had no time you know the trouble we're in with
18 translators. But it will be translated and the same goes for the Croatian
19 constitution and all the other documents. This is now our ninth or tenth
20 witness -- I don't know. But we shall be translating them and tendering
21 them with witnesses. The Defence will provide the truth, whatever it may
22 be to this Honourable Court, and that is what we shall do.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Witness, for coming here to give your
24 evidence. We all wish you good luck in future. The usher will show you
25 out of the room.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It was a
2 pleasure to be here, even though it was my first time. But I will
3 remember these two days forever.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE LIU: Are there any documents to tender at this stage?
6 Mr. Krsnik.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. These are
8 Exhibits -- let me just ask the registrar, our Honourable and
9 distinguished Madam Registrar which numbers shall we be using? The new
10 ones? Because D1301, 302, 303.
11 THE REGISTRAR: ID D1/305 has not been translated, so -- you know
12 that. Okay.
13 MR. KRSNIK: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: D1/328, D1/329, D1/301, D1/302, and D1/323 were
15 all tendered under Milan Kovac on the 13th of May.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, how about D1/303?
17 THE REGISTRAR: I said that.
18 MR. MEEK: No, you didn't say that.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me. D1/303, also.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
22 MR. BOS: The Prosecution doesn't have any objections to the
23 admission of these documents.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. So --
25 MR. BOS: Except for the document of which there was no English
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. I think those documents are admitted into
3 the evidence except for document D1/305, which was not translated.
4 Yes, Mr. Bos.
5 MR. BOS: Your Honour, I have only -- the Prosecution only have
6 three exhibits to tender, which are P876.01, P876.02, and P876.03, which
7 are the press articles which I used yesterday.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos, are they translated into the B/C/S?
9 MR. BOS: No, Your Honour, but they are in English, which is a
10 working language of this Tribunal. And I don't think we -- it's required
11 to have them translated into B/C/S to be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, you know the problem is, Mr. Bos, those
13 documents are media, you know, coverage, which in our view has very little
14 probative value.
15 MR. BOS: Your Honour, I'm not going -- I won't discuss the
16 probative value. But this is simply the question of whether they can be
17 admitted. And it's my submission that press articles can also be admitted
18 as exhibits and that we have many other press articles admitted as
19 evidence in these proceedings.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
21 Any objections?
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have objections. The same
23 one that the Prosecutor raised when I tried to tender some newspaper
24 articles. I merely wish to remind Your Honours these articles should also
25 be translated. That was your ruling, it was your order. But because of
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 the poor probative value of these articles, we object to their admission,
2 because you know the Defence has not produced a single newspaper article
3 and sought its submission.
4 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ... We have to
5 reserve our decision concerning the admission of these documents at a
6 later stage, because certainly we have different views among the admission
7 of those documents.
8 Well, Mr. Krsnik, are you ready for your next witness?
9 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: And shall we break first and then we'll come back?
11 MR. KRSNIK: Yes.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at twenty minutes to 6.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.08 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 5.41 p.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Could we have the next witness.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, sir.
18 THE WITNESS: Good day.
19 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
21 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: ZELJKO GLASNOVIC
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
24 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
25 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. In view of the fact
2 that you spoke -- your English is better than Croatian, I will question
3 you in Croatian, and you please feel free to answer in English. I will
4 give you instructions. You can see the monitor in front of you.
5 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
6 Q. And the text.
7 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
8 Q. Yes. Please answer -- begin your answer only when the dot is
9 there and when it stops. And I also ask you to speak slowly. I've
10 noticed that you speak very fast and interpreters will have problems in
11 translating you into Croatian. So let us begin. As with every witness, I
12 would like to ask you to present yourself to the Court, to present your
13 curriculum up till 1990, and from 1990 till the present day. Please tell
14 us -- indicate briefly what your positions and functions were which you
16 A. [Interpretation] First, I was --
17 [In English] In English.
18 JUDGE CLARK: Whatever language we use, it has to be at half the
20 THE WITNESS: I was a member of the Canadian army.
21 JUDGE CLARK: That's far too fast.
22 MR. KRSNIK: Too fast.
23 THE WITNESS: Too fast.
24 The first unit was the 44th field squadron of the Royal Canadian
25 Engineers. The second unit was the infantry regiment, the 2nd PPCLI.
1 And the third unit was the Royal Edmonton Regiment, which I left in
2 about -- in 1982. I then worked for the correctional department in the
3 province of Alberta, Canada. I was commander of the -- of the tactical
4 team. I joined the French foreign legion in 1989. And after we
5 were -- which is the Duzmati [phoen], the 2nd -- 2nd Infantry Regiment
6 stationed in Nimes. And after the regiment returned from the Gulf, I
7 returned to Croatia.
8 Q. Witness, where were you born? What nationality are you?
9 A. [Previous translation continues] ... I was born in Zagreb,
11 JUDGE LIU: And what's your name, please?
12 THE WITNESS: I'm coming to this. Zeljko Glasnovic.
13 JUDGE LIU: Just for the sake of the record.
14 JUDGE CLARK: Do you know, Mr. Krsnik, in the -- the last few
15 witnesses we've had to wait to find out. Why don't your witnesses -- why
16 don't you say "please state your name," which is the very first thing one
17 should do. Please state your name.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did, but the witness
19 accelerated with everything he wanted to say.
20 Q. But I do know that you're here for the first time. Probably
21 there's a bit of excitement. You're listening to the Croatian
22 translations -- interpretation. You'll see the problems the interpreters
23 have. And try to slow down your English. You have to bear in mind that
24 also there's French interpretation.
25 How old were you when you left for Canada? After that, you've
1 been living -- throughout your life in Canada.
2 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
3 JUDGE CLARK: How old was he when we went to Canada? It was so
4 fast the interpreters didn't pick it up.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was eight. Eight years of age.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Witness, please slow down a bit. Please. And calmly.
8 Tell us, did you receive any merits, recognition for the services
9 you've rendered to the military in Canada and France?
10 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please wait for the end of the
12 question before he starts answering, because he overlaps with
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, it will be very hard work. Mr. Glasovic, if you don't
16 calm down. Look at the computer - the dot. Listen to the Croatian
17 interpretation coming to you through the earphones. Everything depends on
18 the interpretation. Nobody can follow us if our questions and answers
19 overlap. Therefore I ask you once again to concentrate, to focus on the
20 computer or the earphones. My last questions was did you receive any
21 medals for the services you rendered in the Canadian army, the French
22 army, the Gulf, and which medals were these?
23 A. I had medals -- actually decorations in the Canadian army. Not
24 medals, but decorations. And I had two medals in the French army.
25 Q. Did you receive decorations or medals in the Gulf war in 1991?
1 A. Yes, I was.
2 Q. Now I will ask you slowly, since you have returned to Croatia when
3 did you come to Croatia and describe all your positions, slowly, up till
4 the present day. But slowly.
5 A. I came to Croatia at the end of July 1991. I joined the Zrinski
6 Battalion, which was a regular -- or -- a regular formation of the
7 Croatian army. I fought on several fronts. Actually, a better word, I
8 think is -- I fought in several regions. And when the war in Croatia
9 ended in January 1992, I left the Croatian army and went to
11 Q. Where did you come to Bosnia and Herzegovina and what duties
12 did --
13 A. [Previous translation continues] ... First were to go to either --
14 either Bihac or Orasje in the Posavina area. But I ended up in
15 Tomislavgrad, because -- like, the majority -- the majority of my -- the
16 members of my platoon were from the Tomislavgrad area or Western
18 My first function there was organising the Tomislavgrad defence
19 force. And that was in January of 1992. I was wounded in April, and I
20 returned in the seventh month of 1992, where I was first 2IC of the
21 Tomislavgrad Brigade -- I was second in command of the Tomislavgrad
22 Brigade in July of 1992. I became commander in the fall of 1992, and I
23 stayed commander till end of 1993. In 1994, I took over as commander of
24 the 1st Guards Brigade.
25 Q. Please continue, in short.
1 A. In the summer of 1994, I left the Guards Brigade and led three
2 tactical groups of the HVO. There's a mistake here. In the summer of
3 1995, I should say, I left. And I stayed commander of the three tactical
4 groups till the end of hostilities in November of 1995.
5 Q. Did you continue with your professional career in 1995?
6 A. [Previous translation continues] ... Still the HVO. There was no
7 such federation army. In 1996, I was appointed as a programme manager for
8 the MPRI programme.
9 Q. Excuse me. Would you -- would you explain what MPRI is and
10 explain it to the Honourable Counsel?
11 A. Was the train and equip programme, sponsored by the United States
12 State Department, to train and equip the Federation army.
13 Q. And how long were you in the federal army?
14 A. [Previous translation continues] ... In 1997, I became commander
15 of the 1st Croatian Guards Corps. In 1998, I became the commander of
16 Trade Doc. Trade Doc -- trading and doctrine command, which is a
17 training and doctrine command of the newly formed Federation army. I
18 stayed in that position until 1999. In the year -- last year, I was
19 appointed as the military adviser to the Minister of Defence of the
20 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I held that position till April --
21 April 4th of this year, when I resigned.
22 Q. And what is your rank?
23 A. [Previous translation continues] ... Colonel.
24 Q. In the Federation army.
25 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
1 Q. Well, if you look at the transcript, your answers are not entered
2 in the transcript because you are speaking too fast. I have to draw your
3 attention to that -- too fast.
4 Maybe the best would be if you look at me. And when I give you a
5 nod, then you may proceed with your answer. Maybe that would be the best
7 A. Whatever is more efficient.
8 Q. In the transcript, your rank has not been entered.
9 A. Three star general.
10 Q. My first question to you would be: Do you -- did you go to Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina in capacity as a member of the Croatian army?
12 A. I was a volunteer, like many others.
13 Q. Could you tell us then this -- -- you said you were born in
14 Zagreb. And what are your roots? Where are your parents from?
15 A. My grandparents are originally -- they're from Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. My grandfather is from Bihac and my grandmother from
18 Q. Have you any live relatives even today in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 Could you repeat that answer.
20 A. [No audible response]
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, we're still not getting your answer. Would you
22 please answer it again.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have relatives there.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Please, could you tell us --
1 [In English] Or you have a question maybe?
2 JUDGE CLARK: It might be easier all round if the witness read the
3 screen rather than looking at you, because I think -- I think that but I'm
4 not sure that it's in English there. Is it? Even for --
5 JUDGE LIU: No. I think the channel the witness uses should be
6 English one so that he could know whether it has been translated into
7 English or not.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation].
9 Q. Witness, everything you're saying is then reproduced on the
10 screen. You can follow on the screen. You can see when I shall complete
11 my question. Only then you can begin answering that question.
12 Mr. Glasnovic, could you tell us what was the situation in the HVO
13 when you arrived to Tomislavgrad. And if you could describe to the
14 Chamber what the situation was and circumstances were in 1992 and 1993.
15 A. Well, there are two questions in one here.
16 Q. Yes. Therefore, the first question, please.
17 A. In -- when I came there, the HVO did not exist.
18 And for the second part, the HVO was an army that was not formed
19 in a traditional manner that normal armies are formed.
20 Q. It was precisely for that reason on the basis of your experience,
21 the experience you've had, you can assist this Chamber and qualify the
22 level of military organisation in the HVO.
23 A. In the outset, the HVO was not a trained and ready force. It was
24 built up in phases from 1992 till 1995. There was no -- there was no
25 standardised tactical doctrine. There were no trained -- there was no
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 trained cadre, very few trained officers. Tactical sustainment was at the
2 municipal level, and was not successfully centralised till the end of the
3 war. As I said, leadership was the biggest problem, combined with a lack
4 of equipment. And that is basically the answer that I would give.
5 Q. When you mentioned leadership, to which leadership were you
6 referring when you said that this was a problem?
7 A. I was referring to military leadership.
8 Q. Could you explain the reason to this Chamber why was that so.
9 A. I think there's a slight mistake in my answer. It should say I
10 was referring, not preferring to military leadership.
11 An army is an organisation that enables leadership and initiative
12 from the highest to the lowest levels of command. Basic training which
13 turns a civilian into a soldier lasts a minimum of four months specialised
14 training -- specialised training, for example, advanced infantry training,
15 lasts about six months. So it's obvious we didn't have the luxury nor the
16 time nor the equipment to train our people properly.
17 Q. Was that the case also of military commanders? And if they
18 existed -- and who were they in 1992 and 1993?
19 A. In the outset, the commanders were basically patriots who returned
20 home to defend their villages and towns because the scenario that unfolded
21 in Croatia previously was going to unfold in Bosnia-Herzegovina. All the
22 indicators were there.
23 Q. We shall come to that perhaps later. Now I'd like to know at the
24 outset you said that they were the commanders. And later on how did one
25 become a commander?
1 A. Mostly through intestinal fortitude, through initiative and talent
2 for leadership. It was positive selection under fire.
3 Q. Were there any ranks in the HVO in 1992, 1993, or rather, how was
4 the command structured? The first question is: "Were there any ranks in
5 the army?"
6 A. There were no ranks.
7 Q. And when were they introduced for the first time, if you know?
8 A. The ranks were formally worn in early 1994.
9 Q. And what about this commander -- this rankless command? How was
10 it organised?
11 A. There were job descriptions -- or I should say -- I have to say
12 this in Croatian. [Interpretation] Formation posts.
13 [In English] I think a more appropriate term is a posting
14 corresponding to the job description.
15 Q. And what did the troops call those people who held those posts?
16 A. Well, most of them were just from the same municipality, from the
17 same town, or the same village. So they were on a first name basis
19 Q. Are you aware that they also addressed them as commander from the
20 lowest ranking unit. Can you explain which was the lowest -- the smallest
21 unit, which was the largest unit, in an army as organised as you described
22 it and whether they addressed them as commanders, from this lowest ranking
23 to the highest ranking unit? Or how? You are an expert. Will you please
24 help us.
25 A. I'm not too sure if I understand your question.
1 Q. Did these soldiers -- how were they organised? Let's have this as
2 the first question. How were the units organised from the smallest one
3 to the largest one?
4 A. Well, even in the outset, again, the defence of the former
5 Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was based on the Territorial
6 Defence force. But this also fell apart, this system, in 1990 because the
7 Serbian army -- or actually, the Yugoslav JNA, the Yugoslav army,
8 so-called, was Serbianised and the weapons were taken away from the
9 Territorial Defence forces in the Croat and Muslim components -- or in the
10 Croat and Muslim territories.
11 Q. Right. Never mind. I do not want to lead you. But did -- was --
12 what was called the smallest unit? Was it a platoon? Was the largest one
13 a brigade, or what? In 1992 and 1993.
14 A. You see, that's a difficult question.
15 Q. [In English] Okay.
16 A. Because each municipality feel that its own troops -- excuse me.
17 I think -- there's another mistake here in the translation. Field -- --
18 not -- not feel, but -- be fielded.
19 I can speak for my own for the Tomislavgrad area. I started -- I
20 started with a wing force platoon. I'm sorry. Reinforced.
21 The next step was a battalion, which was difficult to form because
22 its leadership was Serbian and -- and the military occupation on
23 specialties within the battalion were posted elsewhere in the previous JNA
25 Q. [Interpretation] What was the name of the man who led this
1 reinforced platoon? What -- how did the soldiers address him?
2 A. "Svabo."
3 Q. Oh, you mean your -- Tomislavgrad. Uh-huh. But did they address
4 him as commander?
5 A. Everyone knew each other. As I said, it was -- it was informal.
6 Nobody called me commander, for example. They called me "Glava," which
7 literally means "head."
8 Q. And these are also the first four letters in your last name, I
10 A. No. It was because of -- it was because I addressed each soldier
11 as "head."
12 Q. I see. Tell me, before I ask you something else, can you tell us
13 what was the ratio of professionally trained soldiers and volunteers in
14 the HVO?
15 A. I think I'm -- now I'm hearing French translation on the --
16 THE REGISTRAR: The English -- we're still getting French
17 translation on the English channel.
18 THE INTERPRETER: One, two, three. One, two, three.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. If you've forgotten my last question, you can read it in the
21 transcript. So what was the ratio -- or was there any -- between the
22 professionally trained soldiers and volunteers? Or how many soldier
23 professionals there were and how many volunteers were there?
24 A. Generally, the majority of the soldiers were volunteers. There
25 was -- there was a sprinkling of ex-JNA officers and those that served in
1 other western armies. The ratio is hard to define.
2 Q. Did you have any difficulties with discipline, and how did you put
3 in order this volunteer army, if I might call it that?
4 A. Well, I basically had a mission. And the mission was to defend
5 Tomislavgrad and its municipality. So obviously, I asserted my authority
6 and the coordination between my co-workers in the unit and the civilian
7 authorities was always correct.
8 Q. Mr. Glasnovic, I asked you all these questions so that the
9 Honourable Court could hear it from the man who participated in all that,
10 because the Prosecution claims that the HVO was an army which was
11 organised, well, almost as NATO, and that they were even punished when
12 they failed to clean their rifles.
13 MR. SCOTT: I have no quarrel with the witness. And I apologise
14 for interrupting.
15 Counsel, that's --
16 Your Honour, that's not correct. That's never been our position.
17 We've never taken that. It's not fair for counsel to characterise it that
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, rephrase your question.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Well, yes, of course, Your Honours.
21 But God has given me a good and long memory. The cross-examination of
22 Mr. Praljak, the Prosecutor said verbatim, "it was such a well disciplined
23 army, as he knows from previous case, that they were punished even when
24 they failed to clean their rifles." That was the position during the
25 cross-examination of General Praljak. And I can repeat every word, word
1 for word. So that I asked if indeed that was so.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, my objection stands. It's still an
3 incorrect statement of the Prosecution's position. We objected to it very
4 much. He can simply put questions to the witness and get answers. Thank
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation].
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. For one thing, there was no infrastructure in the municipalities
10 where these units were stationed originally to house, feed, drill, or
11 properly train a large number of troops. We used, for example, in the
12 outset, again, schools for housing trainees. Any military man knows the
13 infrastructure needed to train in one platoon, not to mention the
14 leadership needed and the expertise. You need so many square metres per
15 man to sleep. For a battalion, how many washrooms do you need? You need
16 ranges built to zero your weapons. You have to train all levels of
17 command and not just the lowest level. We had no staff and command
18 college. We had no trained and ready NCO corps. It takes decades to
19 train and build a non-commission officer, a senior non-com. I'll just
20 underline what I said before. In 1992 there was no trained and ready
21 force in -- in Western Herzegovina, or anywhere else for that matter, I
22 think, where Croats and Muslims were majority.
23 Q. Mr. Glasnovic, if you've finished. Did these volunteers want to
24 go elsewhere and defend other places, or were they willing only to defend
25 their village, their town? Where did they sleep and how did you call them
1 up for an action?
2 A. As I said, the majority of these volunteers went to the villages
3 and towns where they were born.
4 Q. Did you have any difficulties when sending them to front lines
5 away from their villages or towns?
6 A. Well, obviously everyone had a problem because, basically, they
7 were housed in their homes.
8 Q. Can you tell the Chamber -- and I will show you the exhibit
9 D1/82. Before I show it to you, can you tell us in a nutshell what was
10 the command system like in the HVO in 1992, 1993?
11 MR. KRSNIK: Mr. Usher, please, if you can put it on the ELMO.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Will you please describe it in your own words,
13 and then we shall move on to the chart.
14 A. Well, this diagram, first of all, this structure you're showing me
15 here -- structure, meaning force structure. Not structure as building,
16 but force structure -- did not exist in 1992 at the beginning of
17 hostilities. It started to crystalise in late 1992, and somewhat jelled
18 as a cohesive unit somewhere towards the end of 1993. It's
19 self-explanatory. You have your -- your civilian commander, which I
20 presume Mr. Krsnik, would be the president; your Ministry of Defence,
21 with its sectors; your headquarters, your army headquarters with -- I
22 presume it's five -- I presume were four sectors -- personnel, military
23 intelligence, operations, and logistics -- and unit attached directly
24 under the command of that military headquarters. Below we have four --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I apologise for interrupting. I've
2 been listening to the witness's testimony very carefully for the last few
3 moments. I don't know if he's commenting on the chart and saying this is
4 what in fact it was. But he's stated several of his answers "I would
5 presume," and I would like to know the difference whether he's just
6 making -- assuming and presumptions. I'm not questioning his
7 credibility. But what whether what he's telling us -- or whether he's
8 saying what on this chart is in fact the HVO structure.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. If using this chart, we must concentrate on
11 And do you have a English version of that chart, Mr. Krsnik? If
12 you have, would you please put the English version on the ELMO so that
13 everybody could know what is it about.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, Your Honour, I understand the
15 chart here. I don't think I need an English version.
16 JUDGE LIU: The problem is to let us to us to understand this
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying --
19 MR. KRSNIK: I have, Your Honour. But [Interpretation] But
20 whether the -- and it was due to the help of the Prosecution, because
21 translated it. If you will remember, they used it during Mr. Praljak. I
22 mean, if it will help, this one has some added writing, some added text --
23 but if we could use this one. I have it. Yes, never mind. We can use
24 it. But whatever was -- whatever comments there are in writing here do
25 not mean much.
15 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between French and
16 English transcripts
1 A. This is basically the chart -- I say basically, and I assume
2 because I'm not -- I don't know the structure of the Ministry of Defence
3 or the -- or the presidential structure in 1992 or 1993. I was -- I was
4 then at the level of -- brigade level. But this is basically the HVO
5 structure from fall of 1992, till the fall of 1993 -- or the winter of
7 Q. Could you point -- could you tell us where were you in this whole
9 A. I was in OZ Tomislavgrad, which is a brigade in that zone.
10 Q. We see here these blue boxes, and we see how lines go in their
11 direction. And then it says "special purpose units" and "professional
12 units." What can you tell us about them?
13 A. Those units were an asset, my understanding. Because command
14 relationships were not clear and cut. I have to underline that -- that
15 fact. Is that these units were assets commanded by either the Ministry of
16 Defence or the headquarters of the HVO -- the headquarters pictured here.
17 Q. We've heard here a great deal about something which is called
18 ATG. What is it? What is an ATG in the HVO?
19 A. It could be a misnomer. To me it's a misnomer. These units -- I
20 had no such units in my sector of operations or in my unit in the
21 brigade. But my understanding is that they were small units used for
22 intervention or front -- on critical -- for critical tasks.
23 Q. Would that -- would they be units for special purposes?
24 A. Again I say -- I had no such units in my sector. I had -- I had
25 platoons. In each battalion was a special platoon for intervention which
1 had firepower, mobility, and leadership ready to intervene at any
2 moment. These vehicles, I presume from what I understand were used as a
3 fire-fighting unit, as an intervention source.
4 Q. Could we say that they were fire-fighters putting out the fire?
5 A. They were used for intervention at critical -- during a critical
6 time in -- "fire-fighting" doesn't translate well literally into the
8 Q. Now, I will, for example, ask you -- you were in the operation
9 zone Tomislavgrad on the level of the brigade regiment and lower. And you
10 have the regiment who -- which needs assistance from the special
11 assignment unit. How do you call them and what is the relationship with
12 these units in the field itself? Who commands them?
13 A. Well, you would have to go for a request for that unit through the
14 chain of command such as it existed, which means you would go to the --
15 from battalion level to brigade level, from brigade level to the zone
16 level, and the zone would put in a request to -- depending whether it was
17 an artillery unit, a so-called ATG unit, and they would approve or
18 disapprove the request.
19 Q. And when such a unit arrives to this battlefield, who will be
20 commanding them?
21 A. If they are attached to that zone, they come under the overall
22 command of the -- commander of the zone in that area of -- in his area of
24 Q. Tell us whether these so-called "ATGs" -- were these units which
25 would hold front lines remaining there for a longer period of time, as
1 they are called -- as you described them?
2 A. Well, they would normally not do that, because they're not --
3 they're not formed -- the structure is not formed to hold the line. There
4 are always exceptions to the rule.
5 Q. And do you know where the -- the ATGs lived? Where were they
6 housed? Where were they fed? Were they -- how were they organised? Were
7 they seriously organised or not? What is your knowledge about that?
8 A. Could I ask this to be taken off the screen. I don't need this.
9 I can follow the translation.
10 They again were based at the municipal level, and they were based
11 in their homes, like the majority of troops that I mentioned. They were
12 probably in all likelihood they were younger men, physically fit, they had
13 shown their mettle in a fight.
14 Q. Did anybody coordinate? Was there any coordination between the
15 ATGs? Was there any coordination or upper command, or did each and every
16 municipality have its own ATG?
17 A. Could I just make a correction in the translation, one more. Not
18 "medal" in a fight but "mettle."
19 Q. My last question: Did each -- every municipality have its own ATG
20 brigade? Was there any coordination among them, or how -- how were they
22 A. In my unit, as I said, there was no such terminology used as an
24 Q. But are you aware that in 1993, Mr. Mladen Naletilic --
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. SCOTT: The witness just testified he has no personal
3 knowledge or experience with an ATG.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. SCOTT: If I was listening very closely, I think I hear a
6 leading question coming. I object.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, it is coming, but it's not realised yet. So I
8 didn't know -- I just hear the name of the accused is mentioned.
9 JUDGE CLARK: Perhaps an easier question: Do you know Mladen
10 Naletilic? That would be a neutral question.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I just wanted to pose a question and then followed by this, what
13 Your Honour said. I will ask you: Was there a Supreme Commander of all
15 A. At the end of 1994 -- or the beginning of 1994, I believe such a
16 man was put in a structure at the Ministry of Defence level. But before,
17 I would say that I'm not aware that there was such an individual.
18 Q. And do you know a man, a person by the name of Mladen Naletilic?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. What do you know about him? Because we've been discussing about
21 him here at length. But I -- I wanted first to clarify certain issues
22 before -- during the direct examination. What do you know about
23 Mr. Naletilic?
24 A. I know he was born in Siroki Brijeg. I know that he was -- he was
25 politically conscious of his country's situation. And I know he returned
1 to Siroki Brijeg when the war started.
2 Q. Did he have any military functions?
3 A. Not that I'm aware of.
4 Q. And have you heard of the Convicts Battalion?
5 A. Yes, I have.
6 Q. And what do you know about the Convicts Battalion?
7 A. Well, what I know of the battalion is that they were formed of
8 previous political prisoners who had served time in the previous regime.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President. Could we have foundation
11 for that. Is that based on personal knowledge or reading since the war
12 or -- what's the basis for that?
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, the question is: Have you heard of the Convicts
14 Battalion? He said, "Yes, I have." It means he has heard of the Convicts
16 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Then the answer goes on to say that he thinks it
17 was formed by political -- sorry, I'm trying -- political prisoners. I'm
18 just curious as to his basis for knowing that.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Witness, you may answer that question.
20 THE WITNESS: Well, it's --
21 JUDGE LIU: How do you know it was formed after previous political
23 THE WITNESS: The name interested me, so I asked in my
24 headquarters, and this was explained to me.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Did you have any joint action undertaken with the Convicts
2 Battalion there on the territory under your command?
3 A. When I became commander in the summer of 1994, I worked -- excuse
4 me, summer of 1995.
5 Q. Yes. But this is already outside the scope of the indictment. I
6 will not dwell on that. But maybe in 1993, did you undertake any action
7 where the request was made for the Convicts Battalion to join in? And
8 that was in 1993 I'm asking about.
9 A. Oh, they were not in my zone of operations.
10 Q. And do you know where is the position of the Convicts Battalion in
11 this structure? Did the command tell you when you asked? Was it a
12 classical ATG? Who commands it?
13 A. Well, I imagine it would have a commander, if -- depending on the
14 size of the unit. Again, I'm not sure of their size. If it was battalion
15 size --
16 Q. And who heads it?
17 A. As I said before, if he was attached to a unit in the -- to a
18 zone, the final say in how it -- how the unit was used would be the zone
19 commander. In 1994 or after the -- after the -- again, which is -- this
20 is outside of the -- so I don't need to mention it. But --
21 Q. Yes. But explain it, please.
22 A. The structure changed, and all these smaller units were
23 amalgamated into professional brigades in early 1994. So what I know
24 remained of the Convicts Battalion was the 22nd Commando Section, which
25 again was about company strength.
1 Q. And do you know who was commanding -- commander of that unit?
2 A. I met -- yes. Then it was Andabak -- Ivan Andabak.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we -- it is now 7.00
4 p.m. We've completed this subject today. Tomorrow morning we will have
5 another few questions for the witness. But for today, we have concluded.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I have to remind you, as I did other
7 witnesses, that you are still under the solemn declaration. So do not
8 talk to anybody about your testimony and do not let anybody talk to you
9 about it.
10 THE WITNESS: I won't leave the hotel room.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 So we will rise until tomorrow afternoon.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 15th day of May,
15 2002, at 2.15 p.m.