1 Tuesday, 23 May 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
9 case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see that we are here in the
11 courtroom. I see that we have the same faces. I would like to greet
12 everybody present, and I see that we have the witness here.
13 Hello, Professor.
14 We are going to continue with this witness today. We are
15 scheduled to start cross-examine. But prior to that, the Prosecutor needs
16 to tell me which documents he will tender into evidence. Please give us
17 the numbers of the documents you want admitted.
18 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour. The following exhibits I
19 would ask you to admit into evidence: 8559, 0374, 9579, 0996, 7366, 4366,
20 5312, 775 -- 85, 7097, 9578, 0001, and 8918. This is dossier of Begovina
21 complex. And the exhibits which were given e-court numbers.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see on this list after 5312 it
23 says 775 -- 85. Would you please repeat that number?
24 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes. 7785.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for this
1 clarification. These documents will be admitted into evidence.
2 On the list of exhibits there are also documents listed for which
3 you did not ask that they be admitted. However, it seems that the Defence
4 plans to use them, and in that case they will become Defence exhibits.
5 I'm looking at Mr. Mundis, who is hiding behind the pillar. I would like
6 to ask him the following in order to facilitate our hearings: Once a
7 document is put to the witness, it would be good if the dossier you are
8 providing to me has the documents in the appropriate order. If you are
9 putting document number 1 to the witness, then make sure that that
10 document is first in my dossier. We would like to avoid the situation in
11 which the registrar has to seek -- look for these documents desperately
12 through the entire material. We would like to avoid such situations.
13 So when the documents are being put to the witness, please make
14 sure that they are in the appropriate order, and these documents need to
15 be in the same order in my dossier.
16 Please go ahead, Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Perhaps I misunderstood
18 what -- what Your Honour is asking us to do, but if I understand you
19 correctly, Mr. President, the problem rests in the fact that the dossiers
20 that are provided to the Trial Chamber are done hopefully several days
21 before the witness arrives so that they can be photocopied and prepared
22 and distributed. We often quite -- quite often don't know which -- the
23 order of the documents until we proof the witness, number one; and, of
24 course, number two, in terms of saving time we often make a decision while
25 we're on our feet to skip a document or to re-order the documents in order
1 to save time. And so we will certainly endeavour to give us -- to give
2 Your Honour a good faith best effort in terms of providing the documents
3 in the correct order, but there are certainly problems with that in terms
4 of just the proofing schedule and as well as in-court time schedule that
5 might cause us to jump around in terms of the bundle that gets produced
6 and is provided. So we beg the Court's indulgence as to the document
7 bundle that is provided.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please try to make
9 sure that you are doing everything you can about this, but please try to
10 understand our position as well. We would like to be sure that this is
11 done in the way that will allow us to work as smoothly as possible. Of
12 course, we are aware of the limitations in that regard.
13 As to the time allotted to the Defence, based on the calculations
14 made by the registry, you have three hours and 44 minutes available to
15 you. That means that this will be the total of time given to the Defence
16 for cross-examination.
17 The Chamber will have one question for the witness, and I will
18 yield the floor to my colleague Judge Trechsel.
19 WITNESS: FAHRUDIN RIZVANBEGOVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ... series of
22 questions. I noted these as we went along, and I think that in the future
23 it will be preferable to put them right away.
24 Mr. Rizvanbegovic, you told us that you were a professor. May I
25 ask what you teach? What subject do you teach?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a professor of the literature of
2 the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the university in Sarajevo,
3 literature department.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. You told us yesterday that
5 you were warned by a paper tapped to the door of the house that you would
6 have to leave, but you also said, and this is in the record on the
7 afternoon, page 1, you said that that was pinned on your brother's house.
8 Was it your or your brother's house? And if it was your brother's house,
9 how did you realise that it was addressed to you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say that any message was
11 nailed to the house of my brother. I think that there is some kind of a
12 misunderstanding. It was nailed to the -- on the entrance to the main
13 square or main courtyard, and then one can enter into each house from that
14 courtyard. So this order was nailed to the gate leading into this main
15 courtyard from which you can enter other houses. The order had my name on
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That -- there must have been a
18 misunderstanding indeed.
19 The next question: You related -- you said your wife tried to pay
20 you a visit and bring you some things to Dretelj. Did she actually
21 succeed or was she sent back without being able to see you or to give you
22 what she had brought for you?
23 A. She didn't manage to leave the town. She didn't manage to bring
24 me anything. Nobody was allowed to visit me while I was there.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. You also said, and for the record,
1 this is page 7, line 6, that young men greeted each other with a certain
2 sign, but I don't recall. Maybe I missed it. Could you be more precise
3 and say what sign it was? I think those were guards at Dretelj. What
4 sign did they make to greet each other? What does it mean?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were the military policemen
6 driving me, and when they passed other cars, obviously carrying other
7 prisoners, they would greet each other with this Nazi greeting.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. What -- in Germany it was also called
9 a Hitlergruss, the Hitler greeting. The outstretched right arm with the
10 flat hand.
11 You spoke about ill-treatment that was meted out in the prison to
12 yourself and others. I would like you to clarify who were the people who
13 meted out that ill-treatment. Was it the regular prison guards or was it
14 soldiers that came in from outside and did this for their distraction or
15 for some other reason?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were both. Unfortunately,
17 both. Very often some other soldiers would come who were not guards, and
18 at least we didn't know them as guards there. They did it for fun. They
19 would fire through the window above our heads while we sat on the floor.
20 They would call out people. They would take them outside of the area
21 where we were, and they would open the door so that we could see how
22 severely they beat them. It was almost daily phenomenon.
23 I knew one of the police commander, Kreso Rajic. He was the
24 secretary of the municipal communist committee before the war. And I
25 asked him to lock the door with another key if possible so that it would
1 prevent such people from entering. Very often they were drunk or under
2 the influence of drugs, and they were the most horrible individuals. But
3 I have to tell you that the guards also engaged in this kind of conduct.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. For the record, this refers to page
5 19, line 1.
6 The next point relates to page 25, line 15. You said that in the
7 prison there was a constant fear of, inter alia, being killed. Now, do
8 you know of any cases where prisoners were actually killed there?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally did not see a single
10 killing. However, in our shack, the shack where we were, there were
11 people from Prozor and Zepce. They were taken out to dig graves, and upon
12 their return they would say that on that day they buried five people or
13 six people, and so on. So from their stories I knew that some people in
14 the camp had either been killed or died a natural death. I know of one
15 such case where a man suffered a heart attack.
16 So these people were some type of undertakers. That's the kind of
17 work they performed.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. That's all.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. I'm now going to
20 yield the floor to the Defence. I'm not sure who is going to examine the
22 All right. Mr. Karnavas, have you reached an agreement? Who is
23 going to go first? Oh, I see. I apologise. I didn't see you, you were
24 hidden behind the pillar. I really don't know who built this courtroom
25 with two pillars in the middle, but please go ahead.
1 Yes, I can see you now.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Sahota:
3 Q. Good morning, Professor. My name is Roger Sahota. I would like
4 to ask you some questions on behalf of my client, Mr. Pusic, in relation
5 to events that took place prior to your release in December, 1993.
6 You told us yesterday that you were a leading member of the
7 Bosniak intellectual circle both then and you remain so today; is that
9 A. I feel a bit uncomfortable saying yes, but yes. The answer to
10 your question is yes.
11 Q. Professor, would you agree, then, that you had a detailed
12 knowledge of the political situation in Bosnia at the time?
13 A. I can't say that I had a detailed knowledge. I was interested in
14 politics to the same extent as any other intellectual, but not
16 Q. Would it be fair to say that you, however, knew of and had met
17 many of the significant figures in Bosnian politics at the time?
18 A. At the time I didn't have much occasion to meet any individuals
19 from the top echelons of Bosnian political scene. Sarajevo was an
20 encircled town. There was no movement in or out, and I had no occasion to
21 meet people who were in the cabinet or in the Presidency of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, if that's the people you have in mind.
23 Q. But you would have known the identities of many of the significant
24 figures in the Bosnian government at the time. Would you agree with that,
1 A. Yes. Yes, I knew them.
2 Q. Can I ask you then, Professor, can you tell the Court whether you
3 had ever heard of or met my client, Mr. Pusic, before your release in
5 A. I don't think so. It's possible, but we didn't have a contact
6 where we met each other. It is possible that our paths crossed somewhere,
7 but I don't even know who among the accused is Mr. Pusic.
8 Q. Thank you, Professor. I'd just like to ask you a few questions
9 about your time in Dretelj and Ljubuski. You were arrested on the 10th of
10 July, 2003; is that correct?
11 A. No, on the 1st.
12 Q. It's my mistake, Professor. Thank you. But you were detained
13 first at Dretelj and then moved to Ljubuski; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you were familiar with the man running the camp at Dretelj,
16 Mr. Sakota; is that correct?
17 A. I didn't know him prior to that. I only saw him when he appeared
18 in Dretelj at the time when I as one of the skinniest people and one of
19 the sickest people was designated to go for exchange in Jablanica. That
20 was the first time I saw him. I never met him before the war.
21 Q. Professor, could you tell us did you ever hear my client's name,
22 Mr. Pusic's name, mentioned during your time in detention at either
23 Ljubuski or at Dretelj?
24 A. His name was frequently mentioned. It was said that it was Bero
25 Pusic deciding on exchanges. We didn't know about his role. Once I left
1 the camp, I learned that he was the person in charge of exchanges.
2 Q. Thank you, Professor. I just want to ask you a few questions
3 about your release in December, 1993. Yesterday, you were shown a
4 document which was the certificate for the approval of your release signed
5 by Mr. Pusic. That was identified as Prosecution Exhibit 7097.
6 You told the Court yesterday that you were given that document or
7 handed that document by the warden at Dretelj, Mr. Sakota; is that
9 A. He came to the prison in Ljubuski because Dretelj had been shut
10 down several months prior to that, and he brought this release form, and
11 then he took me in his car to Capljina to my family there.
12 Q. And you were told that you would have to show that document on the
13 border in order to leave the country; is that right?
14 A. Yes. This document and the other document we saw yesterday as one
15 of the exhibits which allowed me to enter the Republic of Croatia.
16 Q. If you remember, you told the Court yesterday that although the
17 document was signed by my client, you believe that the authorisation for
18 your release was provided by Perica Jukic; is that correct?
19 A. It's not that I believe. I see this written on the document, that
20 the authorisation was provided by Perica Jukic. That's what the document
22 Q. Yesterday, during your testimony, you told the Court that you did
23 not know what post Mr. Jukic held, but you thought that he was involved in
24 the military police; is that correct?
25 A. I think that he was the head of SIS.
1 Q. Professor, I'd like to show you a document. This was a document
2 that was submitted to the Court by the Prosecution yesterday as
3 Prosecution Exhibit 7016. It hasn't been relied on by the OTP, and I
4 would therefore ask it to be adduced in evidence as a Defence exhibit with
5 the number 6D 0001. And I would also ask for this document to be
6 displayed on the e-court system.
7 A. I can't see the content. Oh, yes, I can see it now.
8 Q. Could I ask you to read through that document, please, Professor.
9 A. This is document 0174, Mostar, 2nd of December, 1993. To the
10 Ministry of Defence, to Mr. Perica Jukic, minister personally. "Dear sir,
11 based on the request of the association of writers of Croatia, we ask that
12 you allow free passage of Mr. Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic so that he can leave
13 Mostar and go to a third country. This request is supported by the
14 president of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban.
16 Q. Could I ask for the latter half of the document to be displayed on
17 the e-court system, please.
18 A. Signed by Vladislav Pogarcic.
19 Q. Professor, could you tell us if you've ever seen this document
21 A. No, I haven't had the occasion to see it.
22 Q. The contents are self-explanatory, but I would ask you, do you
23 agree that this appears to be a request for your release approved by Mate
24 Boban himself? Would you agree?
25 A. Well, clearly it is.
1 Q. And if you look at the bottom left-hand corner, you will see that
2 the letter has also been sent to Ivica Lucic.
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. Are you aware who Mr. Lucic is?
5 A. No, I'm not.
6 Q. Could I ask for another document to be produced on the e-court
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, we have to assign
9 a number to this document. Will the registrar do it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
11 continues] ... 001. Thank you.
12 Q. This was another document produced by the Prosecution yesterday
13 but not realise on in examination-in-chief. It was it was initially
14 identified as 7026. I would ask for it to be adduced as a Defence exhibit
15 with the number 6D 0002.
16 Professor, could you read through this document, please.
17 A. This document drawn up two days after that, first a document on
18 the 4th of December, 1993. It says "You should verify on an urgent basis
19 the following:
20 "First of all, was Professor Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic militarily
21 engaged in MOS units. If he has not, you should forward to Tomo Sakota,
22 the warden of the Dretelj prison an approval for him to be released from
23 prison in order to leave abroad.
24 "For the following detainees, the doctor from the medical staff
25 claims that they are mentally retarded and may as such be discharged from
1 prison. Kemal Penava, Enver Penava, Kasim Sator.
2 "This needs to be verified and if this is a true claim they
3 should be approved to be discharged from prison in order to live abroad."
4 Obviously Ivica Lucic is the head of the secretary and information
5 service of the Ministry of Defence, and that is what the stamp says and
6 that is what the signature says.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, Department of Defence.
8 MR. SAHOTA:
9 Q. Professor, can you tell us if you've seen this document before?
10 A. No, I hadn't.
11 Q. Having read the contents, is it reasonable to infer that did the
12 security information service approved your release, given what happened
14 A. On the basis of the approval which I showed to you as Defence --
15 which was shown as the first document, it is clear that that was the case.
16 Otherwise, such authority would not have been issued.
17 Q. You note at the bottom of the letter on the left-hand side that
18 there is a list of different bodies that that letter was forwarded to?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I'd like to turn now to another document.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we have a number assigned
22 for this document.
23 THE REGISTRAR: 6D 0002, Your Honour. Thank you.
24 MR. SAHOTA:
25 Q. Again, this was another document that was submitted to the Court
1 by the Prosecution but not realise on during the course of
2 examination-in-chief and was originally labelled 9577. Could I ask that
3 this be adduced as a Defence exhibit number 6D 0003. And could I ask --
4 of course I'll ask for the document to be displayed on the e-court system,
6 Professor, this is a letter dated the 8th of December, 1993.
7 Could I ask you to read through the contents, please.
8 A. To the coordinator for human rights, Tomo Sakota. "I didn't know
9 that a coordinator for human rights would be a prison warden.
10 "According to the proposal of Vladislav Pogarcic, the president of
11 the republic of Herceg-Bosna and at the initiative of the associations of
12 writers of Croatia, it is necessary to make it possible for Mr. Fahrudin
13 Rizvanbegovic to freely leave Mostar in order to leave to a third
15 Q. And could you please read the signature at the bottom of the page,
17 A. It says Perica Jukic.
18 Q. So it would appear this is Perica Jukic writing to warden Sakota;
19 is that correct?
20 A. Yes, but at that time he was no longer the warden but the human
21 rights coordinator.
22 Q. And you told us yesterday, Professor, that you were escorted from
23 Ljubuski when you were finally released by Mr. Sakota; is that right?
24 A. Yes. Two days after this letter, Mr. Sakota came, and he
25 personally took me to Capljina.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. SAHOTA: Can that be identified as document 6D 0003 by the
3 registry, please?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will the registrar do so.
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... 0003. Thank
7 MR. SAHOTA:
8 Q. Professor, the documents that will we've just seen show that the
9 sequence of events leading to Mr. Pusic signing the certificate for the
10 approval of your release on the 10th of December began with the letter of
11 the 2nd of December from Mate Boban's chief of staff Mr. Pogarcic. Would
12 you agree with that?
13 A. Formally, yes. But this is a very simple matter. The name Fahro
14 was only used by the academician Ivo Franges of all my friends. They
15 never wrote the name Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic, here it was always Fahro. It
16 came from Zagreb. It has nothing to do with Mate Boban and Herceg-Bosna.
17 They were just the executors of an order that they received from Zagreb.
18 So that is the essence. Everything else is form. You can call Madam
19 Vesna Franges today because the professor is dead and she can tell you it
20 was only the professor among all these colleagues that called me that
21 name. That is how I actually recognised the hand of Professor Ivo Franges
22 in this, his role in this.
23 Q. Would you agree, then, Professor, that the decision to release you
24 was taken long before my client, Mr. Pusic, signed that serve approval on
25 the 10th of December?
1 A. It was certainly taken before in Zagreb, and it reached your
2 client, but I believe that his role in that matter is wholly
4 Q. Would you agree, then, that the evidence suggests that my client
5 was merely signing a certificate rubber stamping a decision taken earlier
6 to release you?
7 A. Where you're suggesting an answer to me, I cannot say a decided
8 yes because I do not know the background of all this. This is -- these
9 are documents that the Court can appraise in that vein. I cannot.
10 Q. Thank you, Professor. I have no further questions for you.
11 A. Thank you for your fair examination.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. The following
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
16 Q. Professor, you have been accused in the media of embellishing and
17 in fact lying about some of your experience in the prison. You are aware
18 of that, are you not?
19 A. I would not use such a harsh word which you used so lightly.
20 Q. Okay. Well, you in fact, sir, wrote a series of articles or gave
21 interviews accusing some of -- some individuals, in particular Armin
22 Pohara, Sead Pasic, Rusmir Agacevic of having attended the Dretelj camp
23 and then, having been there, throwing cigarettes at the detainees and the
24 detainees throwing the cigarettes back at these individuals who were there
25 to provide humanitarian aid. Do you recall making such statements in the
1 press for which these individuals wrote back accusing you of lying?
2 A. I probably am not entitled to a question, but I should like to ask
3 you this question. Did you read my reply in the same papers on the same
4 date? I replied to those questions, and I believe that I was very correct
5 in contrast to them. They were not correct, and they did not tell the
6 truth. I did tell the truth, and my article was entitled "We can
7 extinguish fire by only -- only by the truth," whereas their article
8 was "Do not add fuel to the fire." But they were untruthful in their
9 claims, wholly, in all their allegations in that article.
10 Q. All right. Sir --
11 A. They came there as political people, not as humanitarian workers,
12 and their humanitarian activity was only a cover for their political
14 Q. Sir, did you not accuse them of throwing cigarettes at the
15 detainees? Yes or no?
16 A. Yes. Yes, they were throwing cigarettes at prisoners. They
17 carried actually cartons of cigarettes, and they threw them to the
19 Q. And --
20 A. Do you have the date when -- when this happened? Sorry.
21 Q. I have a series of articles, but let me continue. And they
22 responded in the press accusing you of lying and distorting the truth
23 about those events, did they not?
24 A. Do you believe them or me? That is up to you. You have my
25 answer. You have their answer. You can, of course, appraise it and weigh
1 it. This is probative material that I have submitted to the Prosecution.
2 I did not lie. It is true.
3 Q. Sir --
4 A. They are actors. They were the ones doing the lying.
5 Q. Okay. Sir, my question wasn't who do I believe. I just want to
6 make sure that you acknowledge that they responded in the press accusing
7 you of lying.
8 Q. You have no reason to ask me any questions about that seeing that
9 you have the document, and the documents are with the Prosecution. You
10 can use them immediately. Just put them on the screen, and I will answer
11 each of your questions immediately, and all of your accusations and
12 allegations immediately. If you do not have them, I have them in my
14 Q. So you have knowledge of them writing back in the press calling
15 you a liar?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Karnavas --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This was not exactly the word
18 they used. They used a less harsh term.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please.
20 Mr. Karnavas, you are speaking of an article that we do not have,
21 so we feel a bit lost. If you wish the witness to comment on an article,
22 then you have to put it to the witness. It needs to be placed on the
23 screen so that the witness can see that. You're now discussing a matter
24 that we know nothing about.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, sir, so there is no question.
1 Mr. President, the problem I'm having is this. I have the
2 articles I'm more than willing but I'm denied effective cross-examination
3 by putting artificial time-lines on me. If I go through all my documents
4 I need four or five hours and I'm only allotted 40 minutes. The gentleman
5 obviously knows what I'm talking about. I'm more than willing to go
6 through this, but then I'm allotted -- give me the time to do effective
7 cross-examination, as my client and all these other clients are entitled
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If you allow a commentary, Mr. Karnavas. Your
10 style may be the usual style in American cross-examination. For us, it is
11 not understandable. What is the purpose of asking the witness a question
12 to which the answer seems to be absolutely obvious? You have the article.
13 You say it's there. He doesn't deny that the article is there, and you
14 seem to pressure him into saying yes on a point which does not bring us
15 forward in the finding of the truth at all.
16 So you must understand that we, not being American Judges, have a
17 certain distance towards your technique and what you regard from your
18 cultural background as matter of fact normal. To us, sometimes it sounds
19 very exotic, and we do not always quite see that this is conducive to the
20 fulfilling of the task which this Court has to fulfil.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Your Honour, if we go through the
22 transcript, and I would be more than happy to go through the transcript,
23 you will note that he did not answer my question. I posed a question of
24 yes or no. He did not -- I'm entitled to that answer. Now that I've
25 gotten the answer, I'm willing to move on, and it will become obvious why
1 I insisted on that answer, Your Honour.
2 Q. Yesterday, you indicated that there was such a thing called
3 Bosnian language as early as 1991; is that correct?
4 A. Please, sir, the designation of Bosnian language is older than the
5 name of your country, the United States. It is of 700, 1.000 years old.
6 It has been in existence for some 1.000 years. You obviously are not
7 versed in our history and don't know what you are saying. But I am, and
8 of course I can discuss the subject at some length with you.
9 I was referring to the year 1890. The Bosnian language grammar
10 book from 1890. That was the reference.
11 Q. We're going to get to that. But yesterday, and I'm quoting from
12 page 22 of yesterday's transcript, I assume it was the first session
13 because the sessions are numbered starting with 1 after each session, you
14 indicated that 37 per cent of the inhabitants registered, and you go on to
15 page 22, and you say "They wanted to have equal status with Croatian and
16 Serbian. What does this mean? It means that all those who would use the
17 Bosniak language regardless of their nationality should be fully equal in
18 this regard to those who call their own language the Croatian language or
19 the Serbian language." You said that, sir, did you not?
20 A. I did say so, of course. All those who wished to speak the
21 Bosnian language can do so, and all those wishing to use that language
22 designation can do so. It was a -- it was one language with three names.
23 Three designations, actually.
24 Q. Well, that's a little bit different answer but let's go on. Page
25 23 at the bottom, you then said --
1 A. It is not a different answer.
2 Q. Okay. So I take it today you're speaking Croatian, Serbian, and
3 Bosnian at the same time. That's your answer?
4 A. Absolutely.
5 Q. Okay. All right. And then you went on to say that in 1991, that
6 was when there was the census, that people declared what language they
7 wanted, and that the Bosniak language, I assume you must have meant
8 Bosnian, the Bosniak language was one possibility. Do you recall saying
9 that? It's on page 23. And you go on to say that 37 per cent --
10 A. No. Possibly it was a translation problem. I said Bosnian.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. And as regards this initiative, I launched it when I was the
13 minister, and the Constitutional Court of the Federation actually
14 cancelled the term, the constitutional term Bosniak, and today the only
15 valid term is Bosnian. It's not Bosniak.
16 Q. Okay. Well, I'm not here to dispute that. But then you went on
17 to say: "37 per cent of the population declared that the language they
18 used was the Bosnian language." And I assume you meant in the census of
19 1991. That was the last census that was taken in that country. Correct?
20 A. Yes, that was what I meant.
21 Q. All right. Would it surprise you, sir, if I were to tell you that
22 Bosnian as language was not one of the choices one had in declaring the
23 languages on the 1991 census? Would that surprise you?
24 A. I don't think that that is correct. We have the report of the
25 statistical office showing that 37 per cent actually opted for the name
1 Bosnian language, and you can check it in the statistical almanac, which
2 is a publicly accessible book which you can find at any library of that
4 Q. Okay. Well, I have a list of inhabitants, households, habitations
5 and agricultural economy. I have the codex of codes for manual set-up of
6 information. This was the form that was used for the -- for the actual --
7 for the actual census. If we can pull up on the ELMO, this would be -- we
8 can call it on the e-court, and that would be 1D 00430.
9 Now, I take it you can read Cyrillic. If not, I have it in Latin
10 as well.
11 A. Cyrillic -- the Cyrillic script is also a script that I use. It
12 is one of my scripts and it is the traditional script of
14 Q. Okay. If we could go on to the next page. Perhaps we can have it
16 Now, under 9, I believe it says native language, and then you have
17 possible answers, and it lists the possible choices, does it not? It has
18 Serbo-Croatian, Croatian-Serbian, Serbian, Macedonian, Slovenian,
19 Albanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Greek, Italian, Jewish, Hungarian, German,
20 Polish, Roman, Gypsy, Romanian, Russian, Rusinksi, Slovakian, Turkish,
21 Ukrainian, Vlach, Danish, English, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish,
22 other languages, and unknown?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead, please.
24 MR. PORYVAEV: I have an objection. The Prosecution was not given
25 a copy of this document before the cross-examination. It's quite --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: It's in the system.
2 MR. PORYVAEV: It blew from the sky to us now.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: It's in the system. They should have it. They
4 should check their system. They have it. I can give them a hard copy of
5 it, Your Honour, if they're ...
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Karnavas, the
7 Prosecutor said that when you tender a document which is a document coming
8 from the Defence, before you put it to the witness, before you take the
9 floor, you need to inform the Prosecutor about your intention to use that
10 document. So if you have a hard copy, it would be easier. Once the
11 document is introduced into the e-court, then the Prosecutor cannot access
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I assume it had happened, Your Honour. Obviously
14 it hasn't. We have it over here.
15 Q. Now, you don't see Bosnian there by any chance, do you?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Karnavas.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
18 Q. You don't see Bosnian there, do you, as one of the choices?
19 A. No, I do not, but this is the federal statistical office. I'd
20 like you to use a document of the Bosnian, the statistical office of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, not those deriving from the Belgrade
22 statistical office. I'm not sure that these are identical statistical
23 figures. I don't think that there are.
24 Q. So are you suggesting that there was --
25 A. Sir, I personally wrote in the Bosnian -- I personally opted for
1 the Bosnian language. So did my wife and my family, and my wife who gave
2 birth to children that speak the Bosnian language. So it was only normal
3 that they speak that language and that they opted for it.
4 Q. Okay. So you were saying there were different censuses around the
5 former Yugoslavia. And each republic had their own census, their own
6 rules, their own format, as opposed to the census done at the federal
7 level. Is that what you're suggesting?
8 A. I'm not an expert on such things. I don't know what the procedure
9 used was, but I used the data provided by the statistical office of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina at any rate.
11 Q. Okay, and I take it that you provided that information to the
12 Prosecution to verify that indeed 37 per cent of the population opted for
13 this language called Bosnian, which at least from what I can see wasn't on
14 the list of languages at the time recognised in the former Yugoslavia.
15 A. In the former Yugoslavia, Serbian or Croatian weren't spoken
16 either. Officially the name of the language was Serbo-Croatian or
17 Croato-Serbian, and that was the language was referred to for years
19 I personally took part in the discussion on the declaration and
20 status of Croatian language in 1967, and I know the history behind this
22 Q. I'm going to have to --
23 A. This is one of the effects of the break-up of Yugoslavia, the fact
24 that the languages are now referred to by different names.
25 Q. I'm going to have to interrupt you because of time, but I want you
1 to go back to the list and I'm going have to insist for a yes or no,
2 Mr. President and Your Honours, because I see here, first line,
3 Serbo-Croatian. Do you see that, sir? You see that. Can you read it?
4 If not --
5 A. Yes, I can see that and I know that.
6 Q. Okay. Second line, "Croatian Serbian, Croatian." Right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And in the third line "Serbian."
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So it seems at least from my understanding, and I didn't grow up
11 in this system, but we have Serbo-Croatian, Croatian Serbian, and then we
12 have Croatian and Serbian. So at least we have four different languages
13 it would appear. At least you can make a distinction as to which one you
14 wanted; right?
15 A. Do you speak English or American?
16 Q. Sir --
17 A. It's an identical --
18 Q. Excuse me, sir.
19 A. -- thing. It is one language with several names.
20 Q. Okay. All right. Let's go on then. Now, you say that there was
21 language of Bosnian at the time, and that's what you were insisting on
22 when you were vice-dean at the university; correct?
23 A. I insisted on calling a meeting at the president's office when I
24 asked that the instruction be held in all languages, Croatian, Bosnian,
25 Serbian. That's what I insisted upon. I wanted a multi-linguistic name
1 for one single language. That's not the essence. The essence is that the
2 curriculum also had to be multi-ethnic.
3 Q. Let's stick with the language here, okay, because right now you're
4 telling us that in 1991, 1992, there was language recognised in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina as Bosnian; correct? That's what you want these Judges
6 to believe; correct?
7 A. I believe in the Judges.
8 Q. I didn't ask you whether you believe in the Judges, sir. And
9 please don't get silly with me.
10 A. I am not as naive as to allow you to get me in -- bogged down.
11 Q. Okay. When was it the first time, sir, when was it the first
12 time, if you are aware, that Bosnian as a language was officially declared
13 in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Do you know that, sir, as a "intellectual"?
14 A. Please, the discussion on the name of the language lasted for
15 several years before the war. After that it was recognised as one of the
16 languages with equal rights. Definitely after the recognition of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And it was definitely recognised in the status -- in
18 the census information. Books have been written about this. And if you
19 want, if the Judges want it, I can send you these books with all of the
20 relevant information explained in detail together with the background
22 Q. Okay. All right.
23 A. It has to do with the equality of the language.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. And the people.
1 Q. I'm not going to pin you on a yes or no because I might get
2 cultural on you. But let's go through the documents. Okay? And I would
3 like to pull on the ELMO, 468. On the e-court, I'm sorry. It's not on
4 the e-court. Okay. If we could put this on the ELMO. We're going to go
5 through a series of documents.
6 This is why, Your Honour, I'm insisting on a yes or no answer on
7 all my questions.
8 It appears that -- excuse me, ma'am, here's the ...
9 Q. Now, on February 24, 1993 -- if you can look at now Article 4. If
10 you could look at Article 4, please. If you could move it up a little
12 If you could look at the second page of the document, and here it
13 is right here.
14 And it says here -- Article 4, please. "In the Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian, Croatian, i.e., Croatian Serbian language, is
16 in use." Do you see that? Latin and Cyrillic. Do you see that, sir?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Okay. Now, this is in February of 1993. Then let's go through
19 another document, 469. And the date here is April 8, 1993. Here it says
20 in Article 1: "In the time of war regulation of Article 4 of the
21 constitution of republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina will be suspended of
22 execution." In other words, the Article 4 that we just saw; correct? Do
23 you see that, sir? This is April 8, 1993, suspending Article 4 of the
24 decree of February, 1993. Do you see that, sir?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. Now, if I could show you one last document, and this would be 470.
2 And this is dated 29 August, 1993. Here it says, Article 1: "In the
3 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, standard literary language will be," and
4 it goes on, "Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian." It says that -- and the date is
5 29 August, 1993. Do you see that, sir?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. I didn't hear you.
8 A. Yes, yes, I do. I see that.
9 Q. So you would agree with me at least on this point, that officially
10 the language Bosnian is not in the constitution until August of 1993;
12 A. Yes, that is correct. But I don't know whether you are aware that
13 Croatian wasn't either. Why don't you put back the document showing that
14 the official language is Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian. So not
16 Does this mean that the Prosecution will expand their indictment
17 against Mr. Prlic for issuing a decision whereby the instruction at the
18 Mostar university was conducted exclusively in Croatian now that we've
19 established that Croatian was not a constitutional language. Let us not
20 make this more difficult.
21 Q. Well, what I'm showing --
22 A. This is quite a complex issue, and you are now entering something
23 that I'm quite an expert in and which is a complex category for you.
24 Q. Well, merely, sir, I was merely trying to point out that yesterday
25 you were less than honest. In fact, you were untruthful yesterday when
1 you said that in 1991 there was a language of Bosnian. In here we see
2 that it wasn't until August of 1993 that the language of Bosnian is put
3 into the constitution. That's the point that I'm trying to drive at.
4 A. I regret this. The essence of my answer yesterday was this: I
5 objected to the fact that they wanted the instruction at the Mostar
6 university to be held exclusively in Croatian. That was not
7 constitutional. That language was not a constitutional category, and
8 that's what I objected to. You yourself have just now proven that it
9 wasn't a constitutional category.
10 Q. Now, yesterday, you indicated that you gave a copy of a grammar
11 book dated 1890 to some of your colleagues to give to Dr. Prlic. Do you
12 recall making that statement?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Now, when you gave a statement to the Prosecution, you never
15 mentioned anything about a grammar book of 1890, let alone giving a
16 grammar book to colleagues to give to Dr. Prlic; correct?
17 A. There was no reason to do something of the sort. Why do that?
18 That was just a minor episode without relevance. If you wish, I can
19 submit it. It's not a problem at all. It was published by Sima Mesic and
20 Vanja Roric, who are Croats, and it can be reprinted any time you wanted.
21 Q. Sir, it wasn't the point that this grammar book exists dating back
22 to 1890. The point is that you confabulated yesterday. That's the point
23 I'm trying at. You said something yesterday alluding to the fact that
24 perhaps you gave a document to Dr. Prlic when in fact in your statement
25 you say nothing of the sort. That's the point I'm trying to make.
1 Q. I understand, too. I understand what you're saying. There are
2 thousands of things that I didn't mention in my statement. I've
3 experienced thousands of things and they can't all fit into my statement.
4 Q. Well, in your statement, sir, you said that Mr. Prlic wasn't
5 present at the meeting. He wasn't present at any meeting when discussions
6 about the language were going on. That's what you state.
7 A. No. You have to be more specific about that. It's not that I
8 attended the meeting. The meeting was attended by a delegation who
9 informed us about that. I did not attend the meeting. I attended the
10 preparatory work for the meeting. Professor Alija Piric, attorney Damir
11 Sadovic, and the president of the university attended the meeting, the
12 three of them. But I didn't.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm not suggesting that you did. But in your
14 statement here you say that Jadranko Prlic was also at the university but
15 he was not present in the meeting. That's what you stated when you gave a
16 -- okay.
17 A. Yes, yes, I apologise. But that pertains to the meeting of our
18 academic council, not the meeting about the language. Don't try to
19 confuse me. First we spoke about the grammar, and then you switched to
20 another topic. So let it be clear. Professor Prlic did not attend the
21 meeting at the university. He saw the delegation who came to him to ask
22 that three languages be used equally.
23 Q. And would I find that -- the answer that you just gave us, would I
24 find it in your statement because I can't find it. If I gave you your
25 statement, would you be able to locate what you just told us?
1 A. Which of the two answers, whether he attended the meeting of the
2 academic council at the university or whether he saw the delegation of
3 Bosniaks who came to him asking that all languages be treated equally and
4 that instruction be held in Bosnian language? So which meeting do you
5 have in mind, the one held at the university or the meeting where the
6 delegation came to bring up the issue of the language? These are two
7 completely different matters.
8 Q. All right. Let me rephrase it again, sir. If I -- if you went
9 through your statement -- if you went through your statement, would you
10 find anywhere that you state that Jadranko Prlic was at a meeting where
11 these discussions were being held? Because I can't find it, and I'll be
12 more than happy to give you a copy and you can search for it. Maybe you
13 can do it during the break to save some time.
14 A. During the break I will gladly take a look, but I don't see the
15 relevance of it. Professor Prlic definitely met with at that delegation.
16 He saw them. I'm stating it now for the record. And it is certain that
17 the delegation discussed this issue with him, because later on they
18 reported to us about it. I gave you the names of professors in the
19 delegation. I told you who they were. I told you that they informed the
20 council. I don't see why we're dwelling on this.
21 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday I just want to go back into one other
22 matter. Yesterday, you talked about forms, report card forms, and you
23 said that they were being printed out in Grude. Do you remember that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in fact, you said that they were being printed out in
2 February, 1992, though I notice in your statement you say January, 1992.
3 A. It's possible, but it's not a significant fact. It makes no
4 difference whether it was February or January. I think it was in
5 February, but I would need to look at one of the documents. Any documents
6 should have that date. At any rate, it was before the Republic of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina was declared independent. Before.
8 Q. Perhaps --
9 A. Before Herceg-Bosna was established.
10 Q. Perhaps we could put something on the ELMO there for the gentleman
11 to look at. Maybe he can point out to us. And this is a Prosecution
12 Exhibit, 994 -- 92.
13 Now, if you look at the top it says Republic of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, does it not? At the very top.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. And this purports to be a -- a report card form, does it
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, if we look all the way at the bottom, you'll see there where
20 it does say Grude, and you have 1/ --
21 A. A bit more up, please. A bit more. A bit more. We need the very
23 Q. Further up, please.
24 A. Now we can't see it.
25 Q. We can't see it. You need to have the bottom part. This part
1 here, ma'am.
2 A. It says 1/92. That is to say January, 1992. I can confirm it
3 now. That's what it says here, January, 1992.
4 Q. What if I was to tell you that that 1 does not stand for January?
5 A. Sir, I know this very well. That means January. For a long time
6 I worked as a principal of a secondary school, and there were some cases
7 where people falsified documents. And when these people were interrogated
8 by police, they -- they interrogated them based on this. This was the key
9 evidence in interrogation. I know this for a fact. This is January,
10 1992. You can look for experts who can confirm this, but I know for a
11 fact that this means January, 1992.
12 Q. Okay. And you don't believe that you're wrong.
13 A. I know that I'm right. Absolutely.
14 Q. All right. Very well.
15 A. I used to work there. I know this very well.
16 Q. Grude does have a printing company, does it not? Okay.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. When was the republic pronounced, by the way, the
19 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. 1st of March, 1992.
21 Q. 1st of March of 1992. So I guess the folks in Grude must have
22 known already in advance that we were going to have a republic in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that's why they printed the form in advance. If
24 this was printed in January, 1992, they must have been like
25 fortune-tellers, clairvoyant.
1 A. Very much so, yes. Very clairvoyant. Even geniuses.
2 Q. Yes. Okay. By the way, in January, just to be on the safe side
3 that we understood this point, in January of 1992, what was
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- what was it called?
5 A. It was called the Socialist Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina.
6 Q. Okay. So the folks in Grude in January decided rather than call
7 it socialist republic, simply republic as it was ultimately called later
8 on once it gained its independence?
9 A. Look at the date of the referendum for independence of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina. Check the dates when all of this started. Look at the date
11 when Herceg-Bosna was established, the 19th of November, 1991. And in
12 that context, the document that we saw yesterday, this is how it should be
13 analysed, not in any other context. That was the reason the children
14 didn't want to pick up their report cards or certificates. This is why we
15 raised our voices. That's what I'm talking about.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. Just one last matter, because I'm running out
17 of time, and I will be lodging something for the record. At that point in
18 time in history, you folks were still being called Muslims as opposed to
19 Bosniak; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And when -- when did you actually officially become Bosniaks?
22 When did the name change?
23 A. The moment -- actually, you have to know the historical
24 background. It's an archaic word, Bosniak.
25 Q. I know. I just want to know officially.
1 A. At the Congress of Bosniak intellectuals held after the Vance-Owen
2 Plan, at the first Congress held a resolution was issued which later on
3 was mandatory for the organs of government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Therefore, at the Congress of Bosniak intellectuals, this was proposed,
5 and later on it became a legal regulation. And while the document is here
6 before us, let me just draw your attention to this report card where it
7 says that the first subject was Croatian language. This is what caused
8 all the problems. This is a report card issued to Muamer Omerika, a
9 Bosniak, a Muslim, and he was issued with this report card where it says
10 Croatian language, and he refused to take this report card, to pick it up.
11 I don't know whether you understand the essence.
12 Q. I understand the essence and you indicated yearly that there was
13 no difference between the language Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian. It's
14 the same language. Okay.
15 A. It's just a matter of equality and human rights to have the
16 language called by their name.
17 Q. All right. I understand that. And incidentally, that report card
18 was issued, since you want to dwell on the point, this was back in 1992,
19 and as we noted, the language didn't officially become Bosnian until
20 August of 1993. So there was no way for them to even call it Bosnian at
21 the time since it didn't exist; correct?
22 A. Croatian didn't exist, and neither did Bosnian or Serbian.
23 Article 4 of the constitution you showed to us, it says that the language
24 is called Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian. Thus this is not
25 unconstitutional, not that you're speaking about legal law and procedure.
1 This was unconstitutional and this is what we objected to.
2 Q. All right. You indicated that when you were in Dretelj at one
3 point you saw my client, Mr. Prlic. He was there with the Foreign
4 Minister of Croatia; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And you say that you think he saw you; right?
7 A. I assumed that, because I tried to sit in the first row so that he
8 could see me. That doesn't mean that he saw me, but he was able to see
9 me, that I did everything I could so that he could notice me.
10 Q. So you're assuming he saw you and recognised you.
11 A. Yes. I assumed that, which doesn't mean much, because he can say
12 that he hadn't seen me and then we're back at ground zero.
13 Q. Right.
14 A. I wanted for him to see me.
15 Q. I'm sure you did. But the point is, you're making an assumption.
16 A. You can ask him that.
17 Q. Well, I just want to ask one last. I couldn't help but notice
18 yesterday when you were talking about the situation in Stolac, and you
19 said -- you were talking about how your wife was robbed, and then how --
20 you said even people with certain skills can launch economic initiatives
21 and then you said something that caught my ear: "And the situation is
22 similar for the poor Croats, similar as far as poor Croats are concerned,
23 because the smuggling people were involved has now ceased." And it seems
24 to me when I read this, I can't help but think that you have a prejudice
25 towards Croats. Could that be the case?
1 A. No, no, no incorrect.
2 Q. Which is why perhaps you're embellishing all the time?
3 A. First of all, I was not referring to the times then. I was
4 referring to nowadays because the Prosecutor asked me about the current
5 situation, and I said that people were living differently, Serbs, Croats,
6 and Bosniaks alike. It's hard for everyone.
7 Stolac was the central focal point for smuggling. Not just
8 smuggling of people but drugs and all other things. There were numerous
9 scandals shaking Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Please don't twist my words. I was referring to nowadays, to the
11 current period. I was not referring to the past, no. The current moment.
12 And I think I was entirely clear. I apologise if I misspoke and used past
13 tense, but that's not what I meant. I meant the current times. People
14 live very difficultly nowadays. I have no prejudice against Croats. I
15 have more Croatian friends than Bosniaks. Right now there are about 100
16 households in Zagreb that would take me in. Therefore, do not ascribe me
17 something that I didn't say and that's not true. Some of my best friends
18 in the former Yugoslavia were Croats. This is where I studied, where I
19 did my Ph.D., and these people got my out of prison. What else do you
20 want from me?
21 Q. That's why I was curious, because of the comment. Thank you, I
22 have no further questions.
23 A. Thank you for being curious.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's 10.30.
25 Mr. Mundis.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, very quickly. I'm aware of the time.
2 On the 8th of May, Your Honour ordered the Defence teams to disclose to
3 the Prosecution any documents that they would be using in
4 cross-examination. I believe the order was one second after we finished.
5 I note for the record that the Prlic team was still releasing documents in
6 the e-court system as late as 10.13 this morning. I also would ask that
7 if any of the remaining teams, Defence teams, that are cross-examining
8 have yet to disclose documents to us, I would appreciate that that be done
9 before we recommence this morning. Thank you.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour. Your Honour. I don't think it is --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
12 MR. KOVACIC: I don't think it is now proper time to discuss that,
13 but it is merely for technical reasons, because this witness was -- on
14 direct he was asked some questions out of the frame of his earlier
15 statements, and all of us, or at least some Defences were working during
16 weekend, and we put those documents in the e-court. We were able to put
17 them during weekend, but the system is not working until this morning or
18 yesterday morning. That is why we were late. And as the documents are
19 coming and we are controlling actually -- for example, my Defence, we are
20 controlling the flow of the documents at this very moment and we release
21 that one document just couple of minutes ago to the Prosecution at the
22 very moment we receive it. So we cannot help.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's 10.30. We're
24 going to make a 20-minute break, and then we shall resume the hearing.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume.
3 Mr. Karnavas, as far as the documents are concerned, you may take the
4 floor to request the admission of certain documents.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. 1D 00430, 1D
6 00468, 1D 00469, 1D 00470, and the Prosecution document that we used that
7 was P 9492 should be given a number of 1D 00471.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Mr. President those are exhibited under
11 the following references ID 00430, ID 00468, sorry, 1D 00430, 1D 00468, 1D
12 00469, 1D 00470, and 1D 00471. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And could we have
14 the following Defence team now. We have another hour and a half.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Before I
16 start my cross-examination, I would like to point out that the documents
17 we will be using are not accessible vie e-court for the moment.
18 Unfortunately that's the case. We've provided the Chamber with copies of
19 the documents. Before the commencement of the hearing we also provided
20 the Prosecution with these documents, and when I refer to these documents,
21 I will request that they be shown to the witness. Thank you very much.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Rizvanbegovic.
24 A. Good day.
25 Q. My name is Senka Nozica. I will be cross-examining you on behalf
1 of Mr. Stojic. Yesterday, in response to a question from the Prosecution,
2 you mentioned the resolution of the Muslims of Herzegovina. That's
3 Prosecution Exhibit 00374. If possible, could we show the electronic
4 version of this document since we'll be discussing it. Thank you.
5 Yesterday, you said that this is in fact a resolution or a
6 document from the council of Muslim intellectuals. Am I correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You also said that this document or the immediate cause for
9 compiling this document was in fact the destruction of the orthodox
10 church, the fact that it was blown up.
11 A. Yes, that was the immediate cause.
12 Q. As far as blowing up the Orthodox church is concerned -- I can no
13 longer see the document before me. Will this be solved? I have the text,
14 so I'll use the text until the document appears on the screen.
15 A. I don't have the document before me either.
16 Q. We have a problem. Just a minute. We have it before us now.
17 Do you see the document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. With regard to the Orthodox church in Mostar that was blown up, do
20 you know whether prior to this event the church had been set on fire?
21 A. I don't know whether it had been set on fire prior to the event,
22 but I do know that it was blown up during that period of time.
23 Q. So all you knew was that it had been blown up.
24 A. Yes, I knew that it had been blown up. I knew that the
25 Zitomislici monastery had been set on fire and blown up before that, and
1 then this church was blown up. These monuments of the first category. We
2 wanted to make sure that other monuments were not destroyed.
3 Q. Since we are speaking in the same language, I would just like to
4 point out that it would be good for both of us to pause between questions
5 and answers for the sake of the court reporters and the interpreters.
6 Do you believe that that reason, that honourable reason for such a
7 reaction was a reason which was in fact the only one which led you to act
8 in this way? The intellectuals in Mostar and Herzegovina, did they
9 have -- or did you have information according to which in October, 1991
10 the JNA attacked the village of Ravno? Did you know that in May, 1991,
11 the JNA attacked the Unista village? Did you believe that these events
12 were perhaps good reason for your intervention, for the acts you carried
13 out and that protecting the cultural identity of Bosnia-Herzegovina was a
14 good idea, but this resolution was taken a little late for that purpose?
15 A. Well, this was the last drop, and when the Orthodox church was
16 blown up, a threshold had been crossed and as a result it was adopt this
17 resolution. So it wasn't the reason for which this resolution was
18 adopted. It was the immediate cause. We'd always been against such
19 things. I'd signed a resolution against the attack on Dubrovnik. I'd
20 participated in prior resolutions that condemned aggression, the
21 destruction of the cultural heritage, et cetera.
22 Q. When you say "I," you mean you acted on your personal initiative.
23 It wasn't a fact of other intellectuals. But you as a citizen of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina found it necessary to react to certain events?
25 A. Yes, but you must be aware of the fact that the resolution was the
1 initial document issued to gather Muslim intellectuals into an
2 association. This was the initial act on the basis of which this
3 association was formed. Prior to the compiling of this act, we didn't
4 have an association. On the 8th of February [as interpreted], 1992, it
5 was decided to form an association which would enable us to act as an
7 Q. Apart from what you have just said, what were the reasons for
8 establishing such an association? We have been through quite a bit
9 evidence about this matter, and we are aware of the fact that at the time
10 an aggression had been carried out on Bosnia Herzegovina by the JNA, the
11 Serbian army, call it what you will. So what was the immediate cause for
12 gathering Muslims, intellectuals, in Bosnia and Herzegovina? So they
13 could act or take certain steps, as you say?
14 A. I think you can find the answer in the resolution, but yesterday I
15 said that 42 university professors resigned from the university. They
16 were expelled from the university, practically speaking. They had to
17 organise themselves in order to act. So I would say that this was an
18 honourable resolution.
19 Q. While we still have time, I would like to comment on the
20 transcript. Page 40, line 21 it says the 8th of February, 1992, whereas
21 it should say the 8th of August, 1992.
22 A. You can see the date in the resolution. It's the 8th of August.
23 Q. Yes. In this resolution. Well, could one draw the conclusion
24 that three or four times the resolution refers to the Koran; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you know why I'm mentioning this? On the first page you
3 refer to the Koran on two occasions, and on the second page you refer to
4 the Islamic traditions.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you believe that the request under item 1, which concerns the
7 full equality of the Bosnian language, was in a certain sense
8 illegitimate, illegal, because you yourself said today that with regard to
9 the Croatian and Bosnian language and you said that on page 34, line 14,
10 today, you said that the Bosnian and the Croatian language at the time
11 were not languages constitutionally recognised?
12 A. Madam, you were in Sarajevo. You were not even aware of the
13 problem in Mostar. You were far away and members of the Presidency who
14 amended the constitution, members of the government et cetera were
15 informed by collaborator such as Hadziosmanovic, they were informed of the
16 good situation in Mostar. In fact, the problem was that people were not
17 informed about matter and they attributed no importance to the matter and
18 I think that this is the reason we have this. And then when you asked me
19 about the Koran and verses, Ajid [phoen] verses from the Koran, we formed
20 an Islamic Community because that was the only organisation we could act
21 through. Other organisations collaborated with Herceg-Bosna or members of
22 the cultural associations had the chequerboard on them all members of the
23 Regional Board of the Party of Democratic Action had the chequerboard on
24 them. They didn't have the golden lily on them. So we were legitimate to
25 the extent that we were the only institution that formed a council.
1 Q. We'll return to the question of members of the Regional Board of
2 the Party of Democratic Action, but you have just said what I wanted to
3 suggest to you. Referring to the Koran, in fact, implied that it was the
4 Islamic community that had launched the initiative to guard you.
5 A. No. The intellectuals took this initiative, and we wanted to act
6 within this organisation because that was the only institution that made
7 it possible for us to be legitimate, to make it possible for us to be a
8 legitimate organ.
9 Q. Very well. This resolution reflects the fact that you wanted to
10 be legitimate. I don't want to enter into a dispute with you with regard
11 to my knowledge or lack of knowledge about the events in that area.
12 Although I was in Sarajevo, I was well-informed of what was going on.
13 A. I wasn't thinking of you. I was thinking of people in Sarajevo.
14 Q. My question was about languages. I won't ask you any questions
15 about languages. I know you know much more about it than I do. I won't
16 discuss the matter with you. But could we just confirm what you said
18 At the time when this resolution was drafted, Croatian -- the
19 Croatian and Bosnian languages were not constitutionally recognised at the
20 time, as my colleague has already said, Serbo-Croat and Croatian and
21 Serbian were the constitutionally recognised languages; is that right?
22 A. Well, that's what it says in the constitution. I can't deny that
23 or confirm it. That's a fact. But that's one's legitimate right. That's
24 in accordance with the law. But here we're talking about the essence of
25 the matter. One language was being imposed on everyone. One curriculum
1 was being imposed. One form, one type of form was being imposed on
2 people. So there was a kind of apartheid against the Bosniaks so we had a
3 he is solution in which we requested equality.
4 Q. So you used this resolution to request that the Bosnian language
5 be recognised as an equal language in the territory of Herzegovina?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Tell me, what happened after this? Am I right if I say that after
8 the resolution, which was issued in August, there was a meeting of the
9 Muslim organisations of Herzegovina and of independent Muslim
10 intellectuals or, rather, there was a decision on establishing the council
11 of Muslims of Herzegovina; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. That was an attempt at coordination.
13 Q. Very well. Could we have the following document: 9579, which is
14 a Prosecution document. This is an excerpt from the minutes. And in
15 response to a Prosecution question, you discussed this document yesterday.
16 It's an excerpt from the minutes dated the 19th of September, 1992,
17 prosecution document 9579.
18 Before the document appears on the screen, we can move on because
19 you are familiar with this document. Yesterday, on page 28, line 10 of
20 the transcript, you said -- yes, we have the document before us now.
21 You said that this was not an official institution. You said it
22 was a coordinating body.
23 A. Yes. I think that that was the case. I wasn't involved in legal
24 matters so I don't know if it was registered anywhere. Cupina, the
25 lawyer, was responsible for such matters so I can't say precisely whether
1 it was registered with the authorities. But in any event, it was a matter
2 of coordinating institutions.
3 Q. Very well. But have you had the opportunity of seeing this agenda
4 and have you had the opportunity of seeing these minutes before, these
5 conclusions? Did you personally receive any decision on the members of
6 the Executive Board? And I'm asking you this question because you, too,
7 were elected as a member of the Executive Board.
8 A. You've seen who the president of the organisation was. I wasn't
9 the president of any of the organisations, and as a result I didn't
10 participate in the preparations for this meeting. I was one of those who
11 was in the hall, and I was proposed as member of the Executive Board at
12 this meeting.
13 Q. But on the first page you would agree with me if I said that you,
14 all of you who were there, adopted a decision on establishing the council
15 of Muslims of Herzegovina.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I'm asking you this because it has to do with your assessment that
18 it wasn't an official institution with your assessment that it was a
19 coordinating body. If we have a look at the second page could we have the
20 second page in Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbian language. Article 7
21 says: "The council convenes sessions. Between sessions the executive
22 committee shall act as the council."
23 Article 8 says: "The council is of a temporary character and
24 works at the time of war and imminent threat of war and up until the time
25 civilian democratic authority is established in accordance with the
1 constitutional and legal system in the Republic of Bosnia and
3 Then we have Article 9 and the bodies that have been elected.
4 With regard to Article 7, let's have a look at Article 7. As a member of
5 the Executive Board you can see that it says that the council convenes
6 sessions and that the Executive Board acts as the council when sessions
7 are not held. So could we conclude that it was an informal body or does
8 this body nevertheless have all the legal elements that are required when
9 taking decisions regardless of whether this body was registered or not. I
10 won't ask you whether it was registered or not you yourself said that it
11 wasn't registered but does this decision show that we're talking about a
12 formal body with precise tasks and a specific role in society?
13 A. Well, I could ask you that question. I'm not a lawyer so I can't
14 answer such a delicate such a sensitive legal question. I'm an
15 intellectual and I can interpret a text. I know the reasons for which we
16 established this body and I do know that it was necessary to establish the
17 conclusions we see before us. So I couldn't really provide you with an
18 answer to that specific question. The lawyer Cupina and others were
19 involved in this I can't answer that question.
20 Q. Can you tell me whether you adopted certain conclusions? You said
21 "we were a coordinating body." Did you adopt certain conclusions on that
23 A. The working, the acting Presidency proposed certain conclusions
24 which were then adopted.
25 Q. Very well. If we have a look at those conclusions which were
1 adopted and we can see them on page 3 of these minutes. In Article 1 it
2 says a we condemn the acts of the Regional Board of the SDA in Herzegovina
3 and especially the acts of the president Dr. Ismet Hadzihasanovic with
4 regard to defending the rights of the Muslims of Herzegovina; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Have a look at item 2. We're taking away the right of further
8 representation of the Muslims of Herzegovina. We're taking the right away
9 from the president of the regional committee of the SDA of Herzegovina
10 Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic and the lawyer Camil Salahovic from Mostar. Is
11 that what it says?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. My question is what did you think when these were being adopted?
14 A. You mean me personally.
15 Q. Did you think that such a decision amounted to a decision of
16 practically replacing the members of the regional SDA board by depriving
17 them of the right to further represent the interests of the citizens?
18 A. I don't think so. This is a conclusion generally divesting the
19 right of further representation to just them, because until that time they
20 were the only ones vested with such representation, and this was actually
21 one of the major reasons why the meeting was convened, so that a
22 coordination board could discuss these problems and suggest solutions.
23 Namely, we were not authorised. We did not have the right to impose such
24 conclusions on political party, and the council consisted of different
25 representatives of different political parties and cultural organisations.
1 You saw the list yourself. We just wanted all institutions to be involved
2 in decision-making; namely, all those Muslims who were faced with
3 different problems at the time.
4 Q. Yes. But that's not an answer to my question. By this
5 conclusion, you divest these two people of the right of representation.
6 A. Do you think that we had the power to divest them of that
7 capacity? It was only by moral strength that we wanted to actually bring
8 inference to bear that they act in a different way, that our partners with
9 whom we wanted to talk, namely the authorities, the cultural institutions,
10 the religious institutions, we wanted to be able in all such cases not to
11 be represented by that party and its president, Mr. Hadziosmanovic.
12 Q. Please, you say we are suggesting. But you're not suggesting.
13 What is written here is the right is generally deprived of further
14 representation and so on.
15 A. That is a conclusion.
16 Q. Yes, but I'm asking about what you exactly said in your answer.
17 This is a political party that is politically registered, that it has its
18 bodies and the way these bodies are elected. Can anyone, if they so wish,
19 through legal procedure divest anyone of the right of further
20 representation if that someone was legally set up in legal procedure?
21 A. Madam, the SDA party has a small following, and those people
22 actually usurped the right, the political party usurped the right as the
23 sole party and sole group of people to keep representing the Bosniaks as a
24 whole throughout this period. We wanted to divest of them that particular
25 right. We cannot have Ismet Hadziosmanovic discussing for instance
1 religious matters with the bishop or cultural matters being discussed with
2 cultural representatives. We wanted to divest them of that right.
3 Now, whether they actually discontinued that practice, they
4 didn't. They continued to act in this way. But at all our meetings we
5 sought to stop that practice, to put an end. We did not interfere in the
6 internal matters of the party.
7 Q. Did attorney Camil Salihovic and Mr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic continue
8 to be members of the Regional Board after these events?
9 A. Yes, of course. This was their legitimate right because unless
10 ousted by their own party bodies, they still held their functions.
11 Q. Were they replaced in a legitimate way?
12 A. They were replaced in a legitimate way by the boards of the
13 individual municipalities following an initiative for the convening of a
14 meeting of the Regional Board when Mr. Hadziosmanovic was replaced by a
15 member of the Presidency of that party, Mr. Demirovic. And Hadziosmanovic
16 was the city councillor, president of the city council of Mostar so he was
17 just actually transferred to another post but it's an internal party
19 Q. Thank you. Precisely because we are dealing with internal party
20 matters, that is why I indicated that this conclusion in a certain way
21 actually encroaches about party matters, SDA party matters.
22 A. I disagree. This is not encroachment upon party matters. These
23 are matters that concern the entire people.
24 Q. Did anyone actually forbid the party members in Mostar to deal
25 with anyone else in Herzegovina?
1 A. Of course they did. They just wanted to deal with Hadziosmanovic.
2 Q. And what was the actual case in religious matters?
3 A. You can talk to the mufti about specific matters.
4 Q. When -- when on the 19th of September, 1992, the board was set up,
5 do you remember that a press conference was held?
6 A. I do remember that there was a press conference, but I didn't take
7 part in it.
8 Q. Were you informed that a memorandum had been drawn up on that
9 occasion on the situation and problems in Mostar and Herzegovina which was
10 drawn up by the cultural circle of Mostar Muslims as part of the Islamic
12 A. No, I'm not aware of that. Perhaps it was so. Could have been
13 the case, but I didn't participates in any such actions and you have to
14 bear in mind that I lived in Stolac myself so I would have to go and
15 attend these meetings and many of the meetings I actually did not attend.
16 So I was not involved in that particular activity.
17 Q. But I will show you this memorandum anyhow, and can I have it put
18 on the screen. The number is 290007. The reason being that it is --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Actually, interpreter's correction, 2D 0007.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
21 MR. PORYVAEV: We have this document, but it is not translated. I
22 don't know how many pages does my learned colleague want to use during her
23 cross-examination. It's quite a large document. It is not translated.
24 Maybe at least we should -- we have the right to have translated relevant
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I should like to address
2 the Prosecution now. It would be customary for such documents to be -- to
3 be translated in advance. If we tender it now it will only receive an
4 identification mark. And please show the document to the witness. In
5 that case, ask him to read the relevant sections and then we shall
6 heard -- hear the -- an oral translation of the -- of the document. And
7 please read slowly.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I should
9 like to inform you that the Defence team of Mr. Praljak gave this document
10 for translation on the 21st of December, 2005. The number being 5D
11 352-19, and the entire document will be submitted in due time. But it is
12 a voluminous piece of paper, so we were unable to prepare the translation
13 on time. For today I will just present the witness the first page just to
14 see if he actually did participate in the compiling of this memorandum.
15 So if you can please have the document placed on the ELMO.
16 Q. Do you see the first page of this memo? Please take a look at it.
17 Actually, the second page, which gives the table of contents and actually
18 says that it was made by the cultural circle of Muslims in Mostar. Am I
20 A. Yes, but this is not the same circle. I myself am not aware of
21 this document. I have no knowledge of it.
22 Q. I'm confused a bit now. Are you saying that there existed two
24 A. I do not know about this circle that you are referring to, and
25 this is not an official paper. This was something which was on their
1 agenda probably, but I myself have never seen it before. I did not
2 participate in such a meeting and I really have no information whatsoever
3 about it.
4 Q. Well, then, in that case we shall not go through the document any
5 longer if the witness says that he is not aware of it at all. But I
6 should like to inform you, you think you should know it, that the council
7 of the Muslims of Herzegovina together with representatives of the
8 cultural circle of Muslims of Mostar at a press conference --
9 A. You see that you're referring to two institutions.
10 Q. Well, yes, but this resolution was made by this first institution.
11 A. No.
12 Q. It was drawn up by the Muslim intellectuals. Tell me, when the
13 Muslim -- the council of Muslim intellectuals of Herzegovina was set up,
14 was one of this constituent meeting also the cultural circle of Mostar
16 A. No, no, it wasn't. They were not. You can see the signature on
17 the paper, and as far as I remember, I was in the audience. I did not
18 take part in the preparations. You can see that the only institutions are
19 listed in the first minutes of meeting.
20 Q. Then let us go back to the Prosecution document number 9579, an
21 excerpt from the minutes, page 1.
22 Could you please zoom it in. This first part which immediately
23 after -- under the title, whom did Mr. Faruk Cupina represent at this
25 A. It says here that he was a representative of the cultural circle
1 of Muslims of Herzegovina as the technical organiser.
2 Q. Was he a member of the cultural circle of Muslims of Mostar?
3 A. I have no idea. I didn't take any part in any of this, so I
4 really don't know. I took no part in any preparations for this event. I
5 only attended the large Assembly of 300 or so intellectuals, and I was
6 elected to the Executive Board at that meeting, at that Assembly.
7 Q. But tell me, did you attend the press conference then?
8 A. No, not that I remember. I don't see why I should have been
10 Q. Then please can I have the document shown, Defence Exhibit 2D
11 0017. They've just informed me that we have it in e-court, so we can try
12 and see it in that way.
13 Are you familiar with this decision? It -- it is a decision of
14 the Crisis Staff of the municipality of 29th of April, 1992.
15 A. No, I'm not familiar with it. I had no contact with it.
16 Q. Please can you enlarge this part which lists the members, the
17 names and surnames of the Crisis Staff.
18 A. But this refers to Mostar. I belonged to Stolac, not to the
19 Municipal Assembly of Mostar.
20 Q. I'm showing you this because you participated in the Assembly
21 which adopted a decision on the setting up of a council of Muslims of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the conclusion was adopted as we just read to
23 divest the -- of the right of the further representations of Muslims in
24 Herzegovina, Mr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic. So that is the part I would like
25 us to be able to see, please.
1 If you can, yes, just go down a bit, the members of the Crisis
3 So when this decision was taken on setting up the council of
4 Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as you did discuss at the session, as you
5 said to the Prosecutor yesterday, the situation in Mostar, everything that
6 was going on at that time, and you did adopt a number of conclusions on
7 the basis of the situation discussed. So I'm now asking you, did you know
8 of the existence of the Crisis Staff in Mostar, and did you know at the
9 moment when you were taking that decision to establish the council of
10 Muslims of Herzegovina who the members of the Crisis Staff were in?
11 A. No, I didn't know. I knew from the media that this Dusan was
12 replaced with the advent of the HVO and that the legitimately elected
13 mayor of Mostar was Mr. Gagro. And I don't know anything specific because
14 I was not in Mostar at that time, and I was not associated with it in any
16 Q. Please look at these names. You talked about Mr. Gagro.
17 A. Yes. He was the president of Mostar, so I knew about him from the
18 media as well. Not personally. I think these are the people, different
19 party representatives.
20 Q. Zijad Demirovic, party member?
21 A. In the SDA, in the Presidency he was one of the members.
22 Q. And Ismet Hadziosmanovic?
23 A. He was also in the Presidency, I think.
24 Q. Excuse me. I'll be careful henceforth. Mr. Hadziosmanovic so
25 remained, as you said, in this post. Who actually became president of the
1 Regional Board of the SDA for Mostar at that time?
2 A. That was an internal matter of the party. I know as a citizen and
3 as an intellectual that Zijad Demirovic was the Regional Board president,
4 and Ismet Hadziosmanovic for Mostar. Otherwise, I was not associated with
6 Q. The conclusions in the decisions on the founding of a council of
7 Muslims of Herzegovina, you did not refer to Mr. Demirovic.
8 A. He was not an official. He was just a member of the Presidency of
9 that party. We just wanted the party -- the president of one party. We
10 were against having such a person or one party only being the party that
11 would represent a whole people.
12 Q. And was Camil Salihovic a member of the party?
13 A. No he was just a gofer in the party. And he often would actually
14 represent that he was doing this on behalf of Hadziosmanovic that he had
15 such authority. But I don't know anything about that.
16 Q. So, Mr. Professor --
17 A. That was certainly so. I was only in the auditorium. These
18 conclusions were just presented to the members of the council and the 300
19 of us adopted them by acclamation. We said that they were good. We did
20 not dwell on the details.
21 Q. Professor, yesterday I got the impression that you were behind or
22 you supported all of these conclusions when giving your statement, but it
23 seems that I wasn't right in concluding that. Will you agree with me that
24 you didn't ask for Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina not to be represented
25 only by presidents of certain parties, including Mr. Hadziosmanovic, you
1 also objected to membership, but you didn't ask that Zijad Demirovic stop
2 representing Muslims.
3 A. Well, there was no reason for that because he never had such
4 authorities as did Hadziosmanovic, because this is how he presented
5 matters. He gave the impression that he was authorised. The essence is
6 that these two people took it as their right, one as president and the
7 other one acting on the orders of the president to represent the entire
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap. It is
10 impossible to interpret if they continue to overlap. And could the
11 counsel please repeat the question.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. What is your opinion? What was this about? Was it that they gave
14 the authorisation to the HVO to take over the defence or, rather, the
15 Municipal Staff in Mostar was to take over the defence of Mostar?
16 A. Yes. Most likely it was that, but I can't speak too much about
17 this because I was not involved in it. These decisions were taken in
18 Mostar. I was in Mostar only occasionally because I was in Stolac
19 throughout that time. And I took part in this as an educated person, not
20 as a political individual.
21 Q. All right. We have the document. Let us now read Article II,
22 signed by these members including those who you believed were
23 inappropriate to continue to represent you but who continued to represent
24 the Muslim people through the SDA.
25 Item II says, "The defence and the protection of the city of
1 Mostar mentioned in Article I is hereby entrusted to the Croatian Defence
2 Council, Municipal Staff in Mostar, and members of the Ministry of the
3 Interior centre in Mostar."
4 So the gentlemen listed here and others adopted this decision and
5 signed it. I'm asking you, even though I know that you were not present,
6 you didn't take part in this, but I'm asking you with a view to certain
7 decisions that you later adopted within the circle of Muslims
9 A. I never took part in the part of Muslim intellectuals.
10 Q. You were participant in the council of Muslim intellectuals?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But could I please see the date of this decision?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could speakers please not overlap. It is
14 impossible to interpret.
15 Q. The date is April 29, 1992?
16 A. Yes, 29th April, 1992. I was unable to leave Stolac because it
17 was occupied by Chetniks. I was unable to go to Stolac until June of
18 1992. Therefore I don't see why you are asking me this. There was no way
19 I could participate in this.
20 Q. Yes, but this decision was adopted before the council of
21 intellectuals of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established and in that
22 session you discussed the issue of who represented you up until that time
23 and in what way. And it was your conclusion at the time that certain
24 individuals collaborated with the HVO. You didn't have to know about this
25 decision when you were discussing this, but if you were deciding on who
1 was going to represent henceforth the Muslims, then I think it would have
2 been logical for you to know who passed what decisions in Bosnia and
4 A. Madam, I assume that hundreds of decisions were adopted that I
5 knew nothing about because they were different organs. What you're trying
6 to do is lead me into a different sort of situation. We established the
7 coordinating board composed of -- with representatives of all legitimate
8 bodies in which Muslims participated. So what we wanted was for all these
9 legitimate organisations who delegated representatives, for them to
10 represent Muslims who would have the support of citizens. We wanted for
11 that institution to take part in discussions, adoption of decisions and so
12 on. We wanted to take part if public life, otherwise, everybody was
13 ostracised from the public life. And it was only one party, a local
14 oligarchy who took it upon themselves the right to represent the entire
15 nation, ignoring all of the other political parties, all other organs
16 ignoring all political public and religious establishment of the people.
17 I apologise. I apologise to the interpreters. My daughter is an
18 interpreter here, and she's telling me that we're awful.
19 Q. Professor, I said nothing different. All I said was that if the
20 decision is being taken that somebody is no longer entitled to represent
21 the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it would have been logical for me
22 to assume that you should have known who until then adopted crucial
23 decisions on representations of -- on representation of Muslims in Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina and in Mostar. I consider this to be a crucial decision?
25 A. You may continue to assume so.
1 Q. I have just one more question for you. Could we now see on
2 e-court document 2D 00020.
3 Have you ever had occasion to see these conclusions adopted by the
4 SDA in Sarajevo?
5 A. No. This wasn't in Sarajevo. It was in Zagreb.
6 Q. Yes. That's the party from Sarajevo, but the session was held in
8 A. That's what it says here, but I never saw this decision before
10 Q. In that case, with your permission, I will read out some portions
11 of it. Even though you never saw this document before, I believe it to be
12 an exceptionally important document. And in item 5 it says precisely what
13 we have on the screen now. "The establishment of Muslim national councils
14 in certain areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not an appropriate response
15 to certain pressure and unilateral steps taken by the HVO, the
16 difficulties and functioning of the state authorities and insufficient
17 activity of the SDA."
18 If we can see the top of this document, please, we can see that it
19 was adopt -- or, rather, the session was held on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th
20 ever October. And then at the bottom we can see that this document or,
21 rather, the conclusions were made public on the 5th of October, 1992.
22 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour. I want an objection. The witness
23 clearly claimed that he had never seen this document, and he is being now
24 cross-examined about this document. It's relevance.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What is the relevance?
1 The question that was put to the witness, how relevant was it since the
2 witness never saw this document before? You drew our attention to item 5
3 of this document. What is your question to the witness that would be
4 useful and important for us, the Trial Chamber.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will put a question
6 to the witness and you will see that it is relevant for what I want to ask
7 the witness.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead. Please put your
9 question and then we'll see.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you know who at that time was the acting president of the Party
12 of Democratic Action, the SDA?
13 A. I know nothing about it. I know nothing about that point in time.
14 Q. Do you think it was possible that it was Mr. Mirsad Ceman?
15 A. You mean the entire period or just in Mostar?
16 Q. All right. Thank you. I have no further questions for you.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'll just ask to have the following
18 documents admitted into evidence, please. Defence Exhibit 2D 0007, 2D
19 00017, and -- I apologise. These are two Prosecution exhibits that I just
20 referred to. 00374 is Defence Exhibit 2D 0019. And then we have another
21 Defence exhibit. This is Prosecution Exhibit 2579.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction 9579.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Which has now been given number 2D
24 00023. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Those two documents will be admitted under the
2 following references: 2D 00019 and 2D 00023. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's correct?
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I believe
5 that it is. If I have anything to complain about, I'll let you know
6 towards the ends.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. After the break --
8 we have another 45 minutes before the break, and we may start now.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would rather not
10 disturb our customary schedule. I can continue now and then we can
11 interrupt for the break. But before I begin with my cross-examination, I
12 would like to ask the Trial Chamber to allot about five minutes to my
13 client. He has a topic that he would like to examine on, the topic that
14 was mentioned in direct examination and in cross-examination, and it just
15 so happens my client is quite knowledgeable about this issue. It involves
16 the language. So if you could pleased give him five minutes for that.
17 Thank you.
18 Cross-examination by The Accused Praljak:
19 Q. Professor, I never have enough time so therefore I would like you
20 to give me very simple answers to my very simple questions.
21 A. This issue is not a simple one, but we will attempt. We will do
22 our best.
23 Q. The Muslims in a formal, legal sense became a nation in 1974 in
24 the constitution. Yes or no?
25 A. They did not become a nation.
1 Q. No. I meant in the formal legal sense?
2 A. Prior to that, in the 1963 constitution, there was that category
3 as well, but they were not called Muslims. They were called something
4 else then.
5 Q. Please, my question was quite specific. The Muslims became a
6 formal legal category in 1974.
7 A. Under that name, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. At that time, they were not given a right to their
9 language to which they are entitled. Don't think that I think that
10 they're not entitled to it. But at the time, they were not given that
12 A. We asked to be called Bosniaks at the time.
13 Q. Please, yes or no?
14 A. Yes, they did not get that right.
15 Q. And that lasted until 1993. And it was only in 1993 that in the
16 formal legal sense that language was known as Bosnian language.
17 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, yes.
18 Q. You were a member of the League of Communists?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you ever through various declarations ask that this undeniable
21 right of the people be given to them?
22 A. Are you referring to communists?
23 Q. Yes, to communists.
24 A. Well, you were a communist yourself, so you should know about it.
25 Q. I apologise, but I wasn't. Your information is incorrect.
1 A. I have no information. I was not interested in you at all until
2 you took part in these events.
3 Q. You are a witness, not a judge here.
4 A. I can't tell you about a political party and its --
5 Q. Please answer my question.
6 A. I was a complete outsider in the League of Communists. I can't
7 answer that question.
8 Q. You are taking away from my time. I'm not facing you as a judge.
9 You're a witness here. So I ask you that, as a witness, you give very
10 specific answers to my very specific questions.
11 A. Please go ahead.
12 Q. For 17 years the Muslims existed as a nation in the formal legal
13 sense, but in Tito's Yugoslavia, in the formal legal sense they were not
14 given the right to refer to the language under their own name; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In the constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of
18 Yugoslavia there is a list of languages which the individuals and peoples
19 in the SFRY were entitled to use. We saw that in the document shown by
20 Michael Karnavas. It has a very specific enumeration listing
21 Serbo-Croatian, Croato-Serbian, Serbian, and Croatian, which means that in
22 the entire territory of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the
23 Croatian language was a constitutional category, and it could be used as a
24 native language of Croats without incurring any legal punishment. Is that
25 right or not?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Thank you. I don't need an explanation.
3 A. Why don't you let me explain? You can't hold a speech without
4 letting me explain.
5 Q. All right. You gave us your answer. That's enough. The
6 documents will show who is right and who isn't. We are not here to listen
7 to various explanations.
8 Now, you are an expert on literature.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you ever write about linguistic problems?
11 A. Certainly.
12 Q. Did you write grammars?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you write about orthography?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you ever right a dictionary?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you ever write something about syntax?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. My time is running out, but I'd like to show something else here.
21 You were -- you wrote about Croatian literature.
22 A. Including Croatian literature.
23 Q. Would you agree that Marin Drzic is one of the most important
24 drama writers in Croatian literature?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you hear of Reljkovic Matija as a writer?
2 A. Sir, I studied in Zagreb. Naturally I heard this.
3 Q. Professor, just give me a yes or no. Did you hear of him?
4 A. Please don't act that way.
5 Q. You are taking away from my time. Did you hear of him?
6 A. You took away half of my life, man. Please go ahead.
7 Q. Did you ever hear of Hektorovic?
8 A. Naturally I did.
9 Q. With the Trial Chamber's leave, and the interpreter's help, please
10 try and translate the following verses written by Marin Drzic.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot interpret this verse.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, please recite this
13 but slowly, because you were so fast that the interpreters couldn't do it.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no one
15 understands this. I'll repeat this slowly. Ask the Croats who are
16 sitting here and Mr. Rizvanbegovic whether he understood anything. The
17 interpreters cannot interpret this. This -- they do not know the language
18 of the Croatian aristocrats.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The gentleman is confusing speech
20 and standard language. As a French mirrors an Italian, do you understand
21 language from the 15th or 16th century.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You're giving a lecture. That is court.
24 A. I'm not asking you anything. I'm asking the Judges.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the professor
1 is not giving a lecture here.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are giving a lecture now.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, put your question
4 to the witness and we'll see what the professor replies.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Professor, this text of Marin Drzic, one of the greatest writers
7 of Croatia and with reference to his best known work, the Dundo Maroje,
8 well, did you understand anything I recited from this text?
9 A. Naturally I understood something. If I had the text in front of
10 me, I would be able to translate all of it. There'd be no difference
11 between your translation or the translation of your colleagues here. If I
12 had the text in fronts of me, I would be able to understand the text. How
13 else could I read Dundo Maroje, but you must be aware of the fact that a
14 play can have speech or a local dialect in it, and that is the case in the
15 verse that you recited. So I don't know why you're asking this question.
16 Q. When you say that Marin Drzic has -- contains a language which is
17 the local dialect from Dubrovnik --
18 A. Well, no. That's not what I said.
19 Q. How can the best playwright use a local speech?
20 A. Miroslav Krleza, the best-known Croatian writer, wrote something
21 in the Kajkafski dialect, in the local speech.
22 Q. Unfortunately this kind of a discussion leads nowhere. I believe
23 that the Trial Chamber should keep to facts. And as to interpretation of
24 fact of those who in Mostar acted after Vukovar, after Zadar, after
25 Mostar, as to those who questioned the legal status of the Croatian --
1 well, such people are not intellectuals, Professor, but I believe that the
2 Trial Chamber will keep to the facts. Thank you.
3 A. Your Honour, this was an attack.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you have half an
5 hour before the break.
6 MR. KOVACIC: And to finish this subject matter about the language,
7 I would like to show to the witness one document. It is in the electronic
8 court. It is number 3D 00182.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Professor, before we see this document on the
11 screen, you mentioned Zijad Demirovic on a number of occasions, the SDA
12 party president. We now have the document before us. This is a letter he
13 drafted on the 8th of March, 1993. He wrote to the Minister for Science
14 and Education -- to the Ministry for Science and Education in the republic
15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 In the first paragraph, in March 1993, Mr. Demirovic mentioned
17 certain events in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he said
18 that, "We suggest that you start the procedure for the modification of the
19 constitutional and legal status of the language in our multinational and
20 multi-cultural community. Regarding the fact that the constitutional
21 legal category has been exhausted with regard to the Serbian, Croatian,
22 and Croatian Serbian language as official languages of all nations that
23 live in Bosnia-Herzegovina, our initiative is an urgent one and we believe
24 that it is necessary to act immediately, without any delay."
25 So there's a request to legalise the issue of the existence of the
1 Bosnian language. Do you agree?
2 A. We saw in the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina the date when
3 this occurred.
4 Q. Please. We have very little time. Everyone has been allocated a
5 certain amount of time for you. So please answer my questions by saying
6 yes or no. That's how I'll put my questions to you. If there's anything
7 you'd like to add, the Prosecution who called you are here, and you can
8 give us a sign and they can ask you additional questions. All I'm asking
9 you, is you've seen this letter? You've read through this paragraph.
10 The -- would you agree that this is an initiative launched by the SDA in
11 order to solve the issue of introducing the Bosnian language as a legally
12 recognised language? Do you agree with that?
13 A. Yes, of course I agree with that. It's a matter for the party who
14 acted on this initiative.
15 Q. So it's quite clear that until this issue was dealt with and later
16 there was an amendment to the constitution, my colleague asked you about
17 this, but we have seen that the Bosnian language as a legally recognised
18 and constitutionally recognised language in 1992 and right up until the
19 summer of 1993 did not in fact exist. It did not exist in legal terms.
20 A. That's correct. Bosnian Croatian or Serbian did not exist in
21 those terms. Only Serbo-Croat and Croato-Serbian.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Previous translation continues] ... break for 12.00
23 or -- or should we go until quarter past twelve?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We could have the break now or
25 we could have the break at half past twelve or at quarter past twelve, as
1 you wish. It's for you to decide.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] It's all the same to me, but I
3 couldn't really remember whether the break was at 12.00 or 12.15, but I
4 believe we usually had the break at 12.30.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Usually we would have the break
6 at 12.30.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I will then continue.
8 Q. Mr. Rizvanbegovic, in your testimony yesterday, page 10, line 16
9 of the transcript, you mentioned Alija Rizvanbegovic, who was the
10 president of the Municipal Assembly.
11 A. Of the Executive Board.
12 Q. Very well. Of the Executive Board of Stolac municipality. Until
13 the Croats fled. I think that's what you said.
14 A. No, until the Croats returned.
15 Q. Very well. Would you agree that when the JNA forces arrived and
16 the so-called Territorial Defence forces or, rather, Serbs from other
17 areas, when the aggression was launched on Stolac, the Croats on the whole
18 fled from Stolac?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And from the surrounding villages?
21 A. Yep.
22 Q. Many Muslim inhabitants also fled.
23 A. A fairly small number.
24 Q. But some did?
25 A. Well, I didn't have the opportunity of observing that, but on the
1 basis of the people I saw in the town, I didn't -- realised that most of
2 them hadn't fled.
3 Q. With regard to the Muslim inhabitants from the Dobravaska
4 Visoravan village, did they flee?
5 A. As far as I know most of them didn't. Some of them fled. They
6 saw that other were fleeing, but most of them did not flee.
7 Q. Would you agree that those who did flee fled before the Serbian
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. And they fled because they were afraid?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And many of them crossed the Neretva River to reach Mostar and
13 other villages on the other bank of the Neretva?
14 A. Not to Mostar. Mostar is to the north. But to Capljina, in that
16 Q. Very well. But they went in the direction of Capljina?
17 A. I assume that was the case because there was no reason to go to
19 Q. Very well. Are you aware of the fact that most of them crossed
20 Neretva near Pocitelj where there was an improvised ferry and boats?
21 A. I wasn't aware at the time but that's what my friends told me.
22 Q. One could say that this had been "organised." The cross had been
24 A. Everything had been organised.
25 Q. The people were met on the other side and that was controlled by
1 Croatian forces?
2 A. Well, there were no forces there at the time. There was still a
3 lot of chaos then, but I don't know whether they were met there. I wasn't
4 on that side so I couldn't observe anything there. I was at Stolac. I
5 know nothing about that. All I know is what I heard from others. People
6 told me about their experiences but that's not something I could testify
8 Q. I understand that, but given all the social activities that you
9 have spoken about at length, you were obviously a person who was very
10 well-informed. And you tried to obtain information about the events?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, please slow down a
12 little because it's difficult to follow you.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Natural little we know that you weren't there given your
15 testimony, but if you were informed of the events at the time in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you hear anything about people crossing the river
17 and about this being organised?
18 A. Yes. Well, I can't deny that. That's what I heard from other
20 Q. Did you hear about the HVO meeting them there in an organised
22 A. Well, everyone mentioned boats that took them over the river but I
23 don't know whether the HVO was there. People speak about the Croats
24 meeting them or the people from Capljina, but they didn't mention the HVO.
25 They spoke in these ethnic categories. But, yes, they were met by people
2 Q. Very well. You said that not a single shot was fired in Stolac,
3 but it is true to say that people were arrested in Stolac while Stolac was
4 under the JNA control?
5 A. It was mostly the Serbs who were arrested. Stolac was a
6 multi-ethnic town, an old town, and people were on relatively good terms
7 with each other. The Serbs arrested those who didn't want to join the
8 Serbian army because they thought it was a Chetnik army or they recognised
9 Chetniks in that army. Many people even fled from their positions. There
10 were two men who hid in my house. One was the former president of the
11 municipality at the time of the communist system, Risto Ruzic. He's now
12 in Stolac and he's still me friend and he spent over two months in my
13 house. The second person a second man who fled from the line arrived in
14 my house with a rifle. I took his rifle to his wife and he also spent two
15 months in my house. So I risked my life so that those people who didn't
16 want to participate in the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina could
17 be protected. I protected them. They were my friends.
18 Q. Very well. But I'm saying that Croats were also arrested, about
19 180 Croats from Stolac and the villages in the vicinity were actually
20 taken away to Bileca and on the whole they were exchanged and returned
21 alive later on.
22 A. I heard that from people -- about people in another city, in
23 Dubrava, but I know nothing about Stolac. I know that both southern
24 Croats were arrested in Dubrava and they were taken to a camp because when
25 they were released from the camp I was one of those who met them, provided
1 them with food, and other forms of care.
2 Q. Very well. I haven't had the opportunity of checking the
3 transcript or the revised transcript, but at one point in the transcript
4 it seems that you said that in June the HVO liberated that area that
5 includes Stolac and Dubrovnik plateau. They liberated it from the JNA who
6 withdrew. I think you also mentioned HSP forces.
7 A. What do you mean the HSP forces, the HOS?
8 Q. Yes, the HOS.
9 A. Yes, they entered Stolac.
10 Q. And there were the HVO forces too?
11 A. Yes, they came after them.
12 Q. So they liberated Stolac.
13 A. You forgot the Dubrava plateau, the Dubrava battalion. That was
14 the third force.
15 Q. Let's take this step-by-step. At that time, the Muslim forces or
16 those who preceded the Bregava Brigade were under a Joint Command. They
17 fought together with the HVO. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What's the problem?
20 A. Thank you very much.
21 Q. And you also mentioned that certain forces had put out the
22 Croatian coat of arms at various places in town. I'd just like to be
23 clear about something. Are you talking about the coat of arms of the
24 Croats or are you talking about the official coat of arms of the Republic
25 of Croatia?
1 A. I said that there were certain institutions such as the
2 municipality and the post office where they had placed signs with the coat
3 of arms of the Croats.
4 Q. The coat of arms of the Croats and not an official state coat of
5 arms that belonged to the State of Croatia.
6 A. Yes, that's the case that they didn't use the official coat of
7 arms of Bosnia.
8 Q. You said that you came to Mostar about the 25th of June, after
9 liberation of Stolac. Mostar had been significantly destroyed. Do you
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Would it be correct to say that all the bridges had been
14 A. I don't know whether all of them had been destroyed. When I
15 arrived there, I came from Medjugorje because it wasn't possible to get
16 there via Buna, so I couldn't see which bridges were destroyed and which
17 weren't. I crossed the old bridge which hadn't been destroyed.
18 Q. That's correct. The old bridge hadn't been destroyed. Had it
19 didn't damaged at the time?
20 A. Only to a slight extent.
21 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour. Your Honour. I would like some
22 clarification. The witness and the counsel are talking about the 25th of
23 June of which year?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I was referring to 1992. I did so
1 at the beginning of my question. I was referring to the liberation of
2 Stolac yesterday and I also referred to the page of the transcript where
3 the witness talked about this. It was the liberation of Stolac in June
4 1992, and then the witness said that on the 25th of June, 1992, he went to
5 Mostar for the first time. So we know which date was concerned.
6 A. Yes, but I didn't go to the bridge on that day. It was a few days
8 Q. Professor, let's simplify matters and try to answer my questions
9 frankly. Did you have negative impressions given the extent of the
10 destruction in Mostar since after several months you returned to Mostar?
11 A. Well, the part around the old bridge, the shops there, et cetera,
12 had been significantly damaged. I know that there were certain liberation
13 forces that had damaged and set that part of town on fire. That's what I
14 was told, but I don't know whether that was true or not.
15 Q. Yes. Professor, I will ask you if I need the details.
16 A. I don't know really.
17 Q. Please, Professor, we have no time to dwell on the details, on the
18 actual facilities which were taken out. I am just asking you simply and
19 honestly, as a person, as a human being, as an intellectual, obviously as
20 you told us after several months, after five months you arrived in the
21 city in which you had spent a good part of your life. Were you negatively
22 impressioned? Were you appalled, simply speaking, by the extent of
23 devastation that you saw then as a human being, yes or no?
24 A. Relatively, yes. And later it got much worse.
25 Q. Thank you very much. You mentioned the passes which you actually
1 called very vividly ausweiss. Do we agree that this happened sometime in
2 June or July 1992? On the 8th of August -- of June, sorry, 1992. Do we
3 agree that in that part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the immediate
4 vicinity of Mostar there was still war?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Please do not overlap.
6 Q. Was it war or was it not war?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So it was war. So we agree that it was a time of war?
9 A. Yes, we do.
10 Q. Would you agree would me that it would be only normal for the army
11 to part -- that takes part in that war to set up checkpoints on roads to
12 check the passage of civilians or of troops or of similar? Is that
13 something which looks -- which you consider normal?
14 A. It is normal for me for them to check my papers to establish my
15 identity. I do not consider it normal to -- for you to be issuing an
16 ausweiss. I had a normal identity card as did everybody.
17 Q. But these movement documents were also issued to Croats and other
18 people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not just the Muslims. Everybody
19 had to have one. Is that not correct?
20 A. I don't know about that. I did not ask any of the Croats whether
21 or not they had to queue, but when I queued it was all the Bosnians that
22 were queueing.
23 Q. You were born in 1947?
24 A. 1945.
25 Q. 1945, I apologise. You were a military conscript, were you not?
1 Under the law you were subject to the military obligation?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And to move around as a conscript, you would have to have because
4 of your war duty station and schedule, you would have to have a pass for
6 A. Yes, but that was supposed to be issued to me by the army. They
7 would have either had to release me or just make it possible for me to
8 move around like a normal person.
9 Q. But you will remember how the army boards maintained their records
10 and whether it was in Mostar or Zagreb or wherever. Actually, military
11 records were maintained by the civilian authorities, not the army. The
12 civilian authorities.
13 A. Yes, but there was no civilian authorities. The HVO had
14 established HVO rule and a military dictatorship having eliminated all
15 other bodies of authority in Mostar and Stolac and generally speaking.
16 Q. The document, the passes which you were issued were issued to you
17 from the civilian authorities, civilian structures. Just tell me whether
18 this is so or not. I don't know whether they were attached to the
19 civilian authorities which were actually non-existent. I don't know how
20 they regulated this because we could not have been issued documents from a
21 non-existent civilian authority. I was just amazed at the fact that I had
22 to be issued such as certificate, such a pass to be able to move around,
23 whereas the front line was outside Mostar, outside the city, outside
25 Q. Thank you, Professor. At that time, the state, I mean the new,
1 just emerged nascent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had a short time
2 before that declared its independence from the rest of Yugoslavia, it was
3 not functioning. Is that a fact? The central state authority was not
4 functioning in every walk of life. Was it not? Was it?
5 A. No, it was functioning. I disagree.
6 Q. For the school year 1991 and 1992, or perhaps even better 1992,
7 1993, were the normal, regular decisions received from the ministry at
8 your university regarding the budgeting, the financing, which are routine
9 information that you receive every year from the ministry? You didn't get
10 it that year; right?
11 A. No, not that year, but we got it from Croatia that time, and it
12 was interference on the part of another state in my state.
13 Q. So -- so you didn't get it from the government of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the decisions and the budget which you got normally
15 every year before that?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. So someone else encroached upon that territory trying to actually
18 save instruction and the activity of the university?
19 A. Well, yes, yes. I can say something like that.
20 Q. Did you have occasion in that area where you moved in limited
21 scope to also come across checkpoints manned by the army of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina also?
23 A. No. No. I didn't move in that direction. I took the only road
24 which was possible and passable.
25 Q. But did you know that the troops distributed elsewhere had also
1 other checkpoints manned by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. No. I never came across any such checkpoints. I never got in
3 touch with any such people.
4 Q. Not even later talking to people? Even after the war were you
5 acquainted with the fact that any such checkpoints existed?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So you were not informed about any such checkpoints?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You implied in a certain way that the Croatian Community of
10 Herceg-Bosna actually insisted on the Croatian language being used, and
11 through these documents that we saw today, you showed the dissatisfaction
12 of the intellectual echelons, especially in regard to language and so on
13 and so forth. So you publicly voiced your opposition to the existing
14 policy which was being pursued on that score in that period. Do we agree?
15 A. Yes, we do.
16 Q. Did anyone prevent your policies or, for instance, ban your
17 gathering which we discussed a while ago?
18 A. The one about the resolution, no. But they did prevent children
19 from learning that language in school.
20 Q. But your activities were free?
21 A. Yes. We were free to act. We were -- had some unpleasant moments
22 but --
23 Q. I'm asking whether the authorities made your life difficult?
24 A. Yes, it did, by sending some -- unorganised groups, disarrayed
25 groups that actually shot -- opened fire around that building from
1 automatic rifles and actually frightened us.
2 Q. How do you know it was the authorities that sent those people to
3 frighten you?
4 A. Because they were in uniform with the patch marks that indicated
6 Q. But does this necessarily mean that they were sent bit
8 A. Well, I cannot say that.
9 Q. So you don't know that for a fact?
10 A. I had no one to ask.
11 Q. So you don't know that for a fact. It was your conclusion.
12 A. Can someone just go around opening fire around a building and
13 passing and circling in cars around a building and opening fire without
14 the authorities having been implicated in any way? With actually
15 harassing intellectuals who had a calm gathering to draw up a resolution?
16 So I can conclude that it was the doing of the authorities.
17 Q. Professor, you of course have the right to draw your own
18 conclusions, but I want to ask you now that you have mentioned this. You
19 agreed with me a while ago that it was war. You agreed that the state
20 central authorities were not operative. So was it not under those
21 circumstances peculiar that the troops or members of some army were just
22 going around haphazardly shooting at random around the town? Does that
23 make sense to you? Does it mean that someone told them, instructed them
24 to do that? Look --
25 A. It didn't happen the day before or the day after. It happened
1 just then and just there, on that specific location. So one could
2 conclude that it was not just a fortuitous incident. It was an organised
4 Q. The fact that the soldiers were opening fire into the air and that
5 that happened, it just happened only in that particular day, never --
6 never in other periods?
7 A. Only on that day in such an organised fashion. It was organised
8 around the building of the faculty of the students' hostel. They circled
9 around the buildings in their cars and opened fire.
10 Q. And even though you think that that was engineered or directed,
11 the authorities never sent you a representative or any document officially
12 to tell you that you were not to do what you were doing?
13 A. We formed a council, a legitimate council of the Islamic Community
14 which was also legitimate. So why would they forbid a legitimate
15 organisation to draw up a document of this kind? There was no reason for
17 Q. Thank you. Just a few other words about this intellectual
18 initiative or initiative of intellectuals. According to the documents
19 that we have seen, I have not noticed in them a single person of Croatian
20 nationality, but --
21 A. But that was a resolution of the Bosnian Muslims in Herzegovina.
22 But we protected everybody in it.
23 Q. Yes. It is quite clear what the resolution says. We have teen
24 that. But your statement also implies also from some quotations from the
25 documents that we saw that as intellectuals you were seeking to impose
1 yourselves on the parties and on the situation that you were seeking
2 changes. Why was this a monoethnic initiative? Do you think that the
3 intellectuals on the --
4 A. All those who had something to bear on public life did.
5 Q. Well, that is your opinion?
6 A. Yes, it is and I saw that and I talked to people.
7 Q. You mentioned yourself that at the university there was a Croatian
8 professor or there were Croatian professors that were not aligned
9 according to ethnicity but according their own convictions?
10 A. Professor Bozo Coric actually left. I'm not condemning the
11 Croatian intellectuals but the authorities that imposed themselves on this
12 entire situation and overall life.
13 Q. Despite the fact that the authorities were seeking to consolidate
14 their ranks being in a situation of war, that didn't matter?
15 A. They were not trying to consolidate their ranks to make a
16 multinational society, which is actually commensurate with multinational
18 Q. Thank you. You then also said that one couldn't enter Croatia
19 except if one held an ausweiss, sorry.
20 A. Yes, that is true.
21 Q. Professor, does every sovereign state, every state, any sovereign
22 state and the State of Croatia was certainly could have run at that
23 moment, does it have the right to decide for itself what particular
24 identification papers it will recognise in any legal transactions, legal
25 operations? Do you consider that to be an entitlement of the state?
1 A. I consider that every state has a right, an obligation to take a
2 stand in relations towards other states and not para-states, and these
3 were para-states and para-statal documents. And that was the essence of
4 the problem. Also, vis-a-vis the Republic of Croatia. We wanted them to
5 make it possible for people to pass, to move about just like Croatian
6 citizens could enter Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. I just have another question, and then I will conclude my
8 examination. Professor, of course your he expanding on this matter a bit.
9 Is it the sovereign right of a state to recognise the documents issued by
10 a rowers' society in Alaska -- a rowing society in Alaska, if it so
12 A. We're not talking about -- yeah, but you're talking about the
13 papers belonging to a rowing society, a rowing club, not a passport of a
15 Q. But the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina, at that time an independent state, the government of
17 which was completely isolated, the administrative services which were
18 completely isolated, could it at all have been in a position to issue
19 these papers? Did it, could it? It didn't issue them in Mostar.
20 A. It did. It did. People came with such documents from Sarajevo
21 and Zenica and other cities, but they were return to Mostar so to be able
22 to take out these documents in Mostar, Capljina, Siroki Brijeg, and only
23 then return. Initially it was not a very -- attached very much
24 importance, but later it became a rule. No one could pass with a document
25 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is also around Mostar and issue
1 such a document. People exclusively had to have a different sort of
3 Q. Difficult to go back to the beginning. Do you agree that it is
4 the sovereign right of any state to either recognise or not recognise the
5 documents or any documents of somebody else? Yes or no? Please respond
6 yes or no and then the Prosecution can ask you for additional
7 clarifications. Is it the sovereign right of a state or not?
8 A. We are not talking about border crossings and border control
9 guards at the borders of the republic of Croatia. We are talking about
10 people on this side of the border who were also returning people to get
11 the proper documents.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. KOVACOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. That
14 concludes my examination.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic. You have
16 shown us document. Can you ask for that document to be tendered into
18 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. I thought that it would be
19 tendered at the end of the cross-examination but I could do it now, no
20 problem. Whatever is convenient.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see the document. It was
23 announced but I didn't actually see it.
24 MR. KOVACIC: Demirovic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is --
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] It is 3D 00182. So can I please
2 have it admitted into the case file.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
4 THE REGISTRAR: This document is admitted under the reference 3D
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you said that you
7 had another document.
8 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. I have only one document. I have
9 to put two or three questions to the witness and then I will tender the
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to remind you that you
12 have another 44 minutes for all those members of Defence counsel who will
13 be taking the floor. The Defence has taken three hours so far. You have
14 3 hours and 44 minutes. As a result you have 44 more minutes.
15 We will resume at about 2.00.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 2.04 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, I give you the floor.
19 I see you on your feet.
20 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
21 Your Honours. Before the break you said that the two remaining Defence
22 teams have 20 minutes each. Your Honours, the witness gave evidence
23 yesterday for a bit more than four hours. He spent a lot of time speaking
24 about me directly and the units that were under my command during war.
25 You know very well that giving opinions about a certain period of time,
1 especially if it is not truthful, requires a lot of time to disprove it,
2 to prove that it was untruthful. I think that we will come across such
3 situations many times during our trial with many other witnesses and
5 I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying that the witness didn't speak
6 truth, but I ask that you give us additional time to establish the truth,
7 and therefore, we need additional time. My Defence team needs additional
8 time because we have 20 documents that we wish to tender into evidence
9 that would help us establish the events and protagonists.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. Coric for
11 your intervention.
12 As everybody knows, we have been indicated that the Prosecution
13 and Defence will have the same amount of time. In one of the Status
14 Conferences held before the trial, I said that when it comes to individual
15 responsibility of one of the accused, it would be appropriate to give the
16 same amount of time to the Prosecution and the Defence. I also said that
17 it would be good if Defence teams among themselves could decide on how to
18 distribute the time among them.
19 Now you have rightly pointed out that this witness during his
20 testimony mentioned three names, the Accused Prlic, the Accused Coric, and
21 the Accused Praljak [as interpreted]. Thus, in this case it would be
22 appropriate to split the time between these three accused primarily and to
23 leave less time for other Defence teams. I'm also stating now that
24 obviously the Defence teams did not manage to reach an agreement and thus
25 we ruled that each team will have one-sixth of the time.
1 As you know, there were some remarks made about lodging a appeal
2 against this decision, and very soon we will rule on this issue.
3 All of this means that if Defence teams are unable to reach an
4 agreement among themselves the Judges will have to intervene. I said on a
5 number of occasions that the counsel have to focus on significant
6 essential issues and that they shouldn't lose time on less important
7 issues. Unfortunately, sometimes we, the Judges, are just unable to
8 understand the thrust of your questions. We tend to think that there is a
9 good reason behind it and that you are aware of that reason, but
10 nevertheless, we wonder what's the point of such questions.
11 The fact is that the Prosecution initially said that they would
12 require an hour and a half for a witness, and in reality this turned into
13 four hours. Bearing in mind that the Prosecution used up exactly three
14 hours and 44 minutes, that means that the same amount of time will be
15 given to the Defence. Right now we have about 45 minutes of that time
17 Before the hearing began, we, the Judges, wondered whether it
18 would be a good idea to extend this time allotted to the Defence, but it
19 all depends on the plans that the Prosecution have for completing the
20 examination of three witnesses scheduled for this week.
21 We should turn to Mr. Mundis now and see what he's going to tell
22 us so that we can decide whether more time can be allocated to the Defence
23 of Mr. Coric.
24 Please go ahead, Mr. Mundis.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I should also draw again
1 to the Trial Chamber and the Defence that when we filed the chart
2 indicating the linkages for these two witnesses this week that the revise
3 the estimate for Mr. Rizvanbegovic was three hours rather than the initial
4 1.5 hours.
5 Having said that, Mr. President, I anticipate that the next
6 witness to testify, who I will not identify in open court, I expect that
7 his direct examination will take no more than about one hour and 15
8 minutes rather than the two hours that he's down for. Consequently, I
9 would expect that -- that we -- we perhaps could complete that witness's
10 testimony today depending on the amount of time given to the
11 cross-examination of this witness and the one that immediately follows.
12 Now, the witness that -- the third witness for this week we would
13 then expect would start tomorrow morning. We would have between tomorrow
14 and Thursday approximately 10 hours of court time. I believe that the 65
15 ter estimate for the third witness this week is approximately four hours.
16 Again, these are estimates as we've stressed repeatedly. These are
17 estimates, and if we are able to commence that third witness first thing
18 in the morning tomorrow morning, we do not believe there would be a
19 problem completing his testimony by Thursday at 1400 hours or 14.15, the
20 time that we're supposed to finish. But again, it depends on whether we
21 can finish the second witness today or if there's a little bit of time for
22 completion of that witness's testimony tomorrow.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Do what you
24 can. Mr. Coric would like to put all the questions that need to be put to
25 this witness, so see what you can do.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I realise that we are running out of
2 time, and this is why I will not continue with my cross-examination of
3 this witness, because I realise that there is no more time left.
4 And I need something else to mention. You just said what accused
5 were mentioned by this witness, and you mentioned General Praljak in that
6 context. However, the witness has so far not mentioned him. I think that
7 you misspoke, that it was a slip of tongue.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I didn't say Praljak. I
9 said Pusic, Coric, and Prlic.
10 The next counsel, please.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Your Honours, Professor Rizvanbegovic, my name is
13 Vesna Alaburic, and I'm a lawyer from Zagreb. I will be putting questions
14 to you on behalf of General Milivoj Petkovic, one of the accused.
15 You told us in April of 1992, Stolac was occupied by the Chetniks.
16 Do you agree with that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you agree that at that point in time the local authorities in
19 Stolac were composed of Zeljko Raguz, HDZ member, president of the
20 municipality; Alija Rizvanbegovic, President of the Executive Board who at
21 the same time was president of the SDA?
22 A. Yes. Don't know, though, whether he was the president of the SDA.
23 I know that he was a representative from that party, but I'm not sure
24 about him being the president of it.
25 Q. So when the Chetniks came to Stolac in April of 1993 [as
1 interpreted], you said that Mr. Zeljko Raguz left Stolac. Mr.
2 Rizvanbegovic remained in Stolac serving as the president of the Executive
3 Board. Is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us who at that time served as the president of the
6 municipality of Stolac since Mr. Raguz had left?
7 A. I think that the president of the Municipal Assembly served. I
8 think he was a Serb.
9 Q. Is that what you think?
10 A. Yes. The president of the Municipal Assembly. That's how these
11 positions were split.
12 Q. Tell me, during two and a half months of the Serb occupation, did
13 the Muslim politicians cooperate with the Serbs when it came to municipal
15 A. They tried to convene the Assembly as much as possible in order to
16 be able to function so that there would be some governing bodies.
17 Q. Please tell me, was there any resistance to this Serb occupation
18 on behalf of the Muslims remaining in Stolac?
19 A. What do you mean? What kind of resistance.
20 Q. Any kind of resistance, armed resistance, silent resistance?
21 A. Silent, yes, but not armed.
22 Q. Tell me, please, when the Croat forces liberated Mostar, was
23 Mr. Alija Rizvanbegovic in danger of being arrested due to his cooperation
24 with the Serbs?
25 A. You mean Stolac.
1 Q. Yes, I mean Stolac. I apologise.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When asked by Ms. Nozica about the resolution of the Muslims of
4 Herzegovina, you said that you organised it with support from the Muslim
5 community because all other organisations collaborated with Herceg-Bosna.
6 In order for us to understand each other and in order for the others to
7 understand us, let us please clarify this term "collaboration," to
8 collaborate. Would you agree with they that the term
9 "collaboration "today in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, so in
10 your state and my state, means cooperating with the enemy?
11 A. No, I wouldn't say with the enemy. It's a bit too strong of a
12 word. But definitely cooperation with those who have usurped the power.
13 Q. So can we then conclude that this was a cooperation with somebody
14 who was not your friend?
15 A. Well, I couldn't say that. They weren't terribly friendly to me,
16 if that's what you mean.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Would you agree with me that in view the dictionaries used in the
20 former Yugoslavia, in them after the second world war the term
21 collaboration meant cooperation with the enemy or the occupying forces and
22 that it was used colloquially in that sense?
23 A. It is possible that it was so after the Second World War, but in
24 this case when I use that word that's the type of cooperation that I had
25 in mind.
1 Q. What kind of cooperation did you have in mind?
2 A. They did not recognise or respect the cultural identity of
3 Bosniaks. They did not recognise the political aspect. They did not show
4 respect for their state. They only showed respect for a parastate, and
5 they collaborated with it.
6 Q. Can you tell us, then, why did you say for Mr. Hadziosmanovic that
7 he was a collaborator?
8 A. We, that's what I meant. He's the one.
9 Q. In your view, was it desirable to reduce the number of so-called
10 collaborators with Herceg-Bosna?
11 A. I would have been happy not to participate in the protest that is
12 we initiated.
13 Q. I'm not asking you about the protests. I'm asking you in terms of
14 your understanding of the word "collaborator." Was it desirable to reduce
15 their number?
16 A. Yes, certainly, and to have legitimate representatives.
17 Q. In your view, would it have been desirable to remove from
18 political and other offices the Muslims collaborating with Croats or
20 A. Well, they were all removed from office, madam.
21 Q. Would you agree with me that in the course of 1992 the number of
22 Muslims who wanted to cooperate with the HVO or, rather, with Herceg-Bosna
23 was reduced and that the number of Muslims who didn't want to cooperate
24 with the Croats in Herceg-Bosna increased?
25 A. I think that it had to do with the sentiment that prevailed at the
1 time, that an apartheid was being created.
2 Q. Would you agree with me that such an attitude of Muslims to
3 Herceg-Bosna had a direct consequence or effect on this situation in the
4 units, military units?
5 A. I know nothing about that.
6 Q. Let us now go back to the resolution of the Muslims of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, which is the Prosecution Exhibit P 00974. Let us put item 5
8 to the witness, please, the second portion of it. 74. The resolution of
9 the Muslims of Herzegovina.
10 A. No, that's not the one.
11 Q. Could you check the number for me, please? I apologise it's the
12 number 00374, 374.
13 While waiting for that to appear, I'll refer to the second
14 paragraph. In the second paragraph of item V, on the following page, it
15 says: "We appeal to the defenders from the Muslim ethnic group to place
16 themselves under the BH flag, and their sign should be the coat of arms
17 with golden lilies."
18 Who were the defenders who are being referred to here?
19 A. At the time, the defenders were the ABiH and the HVO and the HOS,
20 but we asked from the Muslims -- we asked that the Muslims bear insignia
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Tell me, what sort of insignia are we talking about?
23 A. The coat of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. Which was?
25 A. The lily.
1 Q. So could this appeal refer to defenders who were already in the
2 ABiH and fought under the sign of the lily?
3 A. They already had such signs.
4 Q. So this can't refer to them?
5 A. Yes, it can.
6 Q. But they were already -- they already had such signs. The only
7 logical conclusion is that this refers to the Muslims in the HVO.
8 A. No. It refers to all defenders. It's quite clear here.
9 Q. How can you request that they place themselves under such a flag
10 if they're already under such a flag? How can you tell them to adopt a
11 certain flag if that is already the case?
12 A. We wanted to say that all the Muslims who were in units defending
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina should adopt the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
14 should fight under that flag. That means defend being the sovereignty and
15 integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that means that they -- those in
16 the army and the HOS and the HVO should fight under that flag.
17 Q. Let's clarify this message. The coat of arms of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina with the golden lilies, when was this law about such a coat of
19 arms adopted?
20 A. I don't know, but when Bosnia and Herzegovina was declared
21 independent, that was the flag it had. That's what its coat of arms. It
22 was on the 1st of March, 1992. That is when Bosnia and Herzegovina was
23 recognised as the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's when a referendum
24 was held. But I don't know when this occurred exactly. It was during
25 that period.
1 Q. Do you remember which BH body adopted a decision according to
2 which the coat of arms should be -- should consist of golden lilies?
3 A. There was a commission that worked on that before the war. I
4 remember Professor Gavran who suggested that such a coat of arms should be
5 adopted and I think that everything was prepared for this at the time, but
6 as for when the decision was taken I don't know.
7 Q. I'm not asking you about the date, I'm asking you about the body.
8 Was it the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Was it the Assembly?
9 A. I don't know. I'm not lawyer.
10 Q. When taking such a decision on the coat of arms were
11 representatives of Serbs and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina also consulted?
12 Did they participate in that?
13 A. Croats, yes, but I don't know whether Serbs participated in that.
14 I think some Serbs also participated in the decision because there were
15 Serbs in the Presidency and they remained for many years in the Presidency
16 and in other bodies of power.
17 Q. Does this answer also mean that you know that you know that the
18 Presidency took such a decision?
19 A. I don't know I. I know that the Presidency participated in this
20 decision, that there were Serbs that were still part of the authorities.
21 But as to whether they participated in this decision I don't know.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down for the sake
23 of the interpreters and could counsel please repeat the question.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. [No interpretation]
1 A. I think that they were still those who were elected.
2 Q. Tell me whether the golden lily is still what one can see in the
3 coat of arms of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Can you tell us why?
6 A. Because a decision was adopted. There was a consensus, High
7 Representative was imposed and then the flag was adopted. This was how it
8 happened, but up until that point of time the coat of arms and the flag
9 were the ones in the UN.
10 Q. Was the High Representative the one who should take such a
11 decision because the Serbs and the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina were
12 against the idea of golden lilies representing Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. I can't personally answer that question. I think that the High
14 Representative should have taken such a decision because the political
15 parties couldn't agree. But as to whether these political parties were
16 more Croatian or more Serbian I wouldn't really know.
17 Q. Thank you. Professor Rizvanbegovic, with regard to this appeal to
18 defenders to place themselves under the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I
19 would like to ask you something about the Muslims and the HVO. Are you
20 aware of the fact that at the time in the Stolac area the percentage of
21 Muslims in the HVO was significant? There were companies which were
22 purely Muslim companies.
23 A. I don't think any of them were purely Muslim ones. There were
24 units in which there were more Muslims, that's true.
25 Q. Are you aware of the fact that shortly after this appeal and
1 particularly at the beginning of 1993 we could see the first examples of
2 Muslims leaving the HVO? And when leaving, they didn't return their
3 equipment or weapons.
4 A. I'm not aware of that. I'm not aware of the fact that it was
5 possible for someone not to return equipment or weapons. This could only
6 be done illegally, so it's difficult to believe. Perhaps there were
7 separate cases but I'm sure it wasn't a mass phenomenon. I'm a civilian.
8 I don't know about these things.
9 Q. Tell me, at that time did you hear anything about Muslims or
10 certain Muslims in the HVO having contact with the Muslim Bregava Brigade?
11 Did you hear anything about them remaining in the HVO with an agreement?
12 The agreement was to carry out certain actions against the HVO.
13 A. The Bregava Brigade wasn't called the Muslim Bregava Brigade. I
14 think there were members of other ethnic groups. They weren't just
15 Muslims. But I didn't hear of anything like that.
16 Q. Did you hear about the commander of the ABiH appealing to Muslims
17 in the HVO to cross over to their own people?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you hear about the position of the Croats in the area of
20 Stolac in April 1993 according to which Mr. Alija Rizvanbegovic was still
21 politically active, was in favour of entering Stolac with the military of
22 expelling the Croats of establishing purely Muslim authority, and he was
23 supported by the command of the Bregava Brigade in these efforts?
24 A. Alija Rizvanbegovic hasn't been politically active since April
25 1992. You're talking about April 1993 now so that has no meaning. At the
1 time he was an ordinary civilian.
2 Q. Professor, how can you say that he wasn't active politically at
3 the time since up until the 12th of June he was holding office?
4 A. I apologise. Up until -- from June.
5 Q. Tell me, Alija Rizvanbegovic, as President of the Executive Board,
6 is he your relative?
7 A. He's a relative of mine but he's not a very close relative. Was
8 Q. Was he the owner of some building in Begova?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was it the second house?
11 A. Yes, the second one, marked with number 2.
12 Q. Thank you very much. I don't have a few more questions. I'll try
13 to be brief. You said that on the 12th of June, 1992, Zeljko Raguz
14 returned to Stolac. He was soon replaced by Andjelko Markovic.
15 A. Yes, I think that Andjelko Markovic was at the head of the HVO
16 government that had been established. As to when that occurred, how that
17 occurred, I really didn't know.
18 Q. When you say the HVO authorities, you're referring to the civilian
19 municipal authorities?
20 A. No. There were no civilian authorities. Military authority had
21 been established.
22 Q. What was Andjelko Markovic?
23 A. He was the president of the municipality for the military
25 Q. Do you distinguish between the HVO military authorities and the
1 HVO civilian authorities?
2 A. I assume there were no civilian authorities. There was nothing
3 called the HVO civilian authorities. I assume that there were some
4 civilians who worked within those bodies, but officially there was no
5 such thing.
6 Q. Thank you. I have one more question. Can you please clarify
7 something with regard to the Begovina complex? Were these the last
8 buildings facing the Serbian positions or, rather, were they buildings at
9 the very front line if you're looking from Stolac?
10 A. The HVO line was to the north of Begovina. It was 200 metres to
11 the north. The lines of the Serbian forces was several kilometres to the
12 north from there.
13 Q. But after Begova, apart from the hydroelectric power plant there
14 were no lines?
15 A. No. There was no contact for several kilometres. Not a single
16 shot was fired.
17 Q. Thank you, Professor.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric.
19 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't
20 understand you. Could you please inform us as to the amount of time we
21 have for the Defence in order to be able to organise ourselves?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Jonjic, how much time
23 will you need?
24 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] As you can see from the documents in
25 front of you, I need quite a lot of time. When deciding how to answer my
1 client's question --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What do you mean when you say
3 lot of time?
4 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] At least an hour, but bear in mind
5 that during the break the Defence counsels discussed the matter, and for
6 the next witness we'll have very few questions. So we could perhaps take
7 some time -- some of the time that we have for the next session.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll give you an
10 hour. But before I give you the floor, I have a question I would like to
11 put to the witness, which follows on from what was said a minute ago with
12 regard to the flag that is now used in your country.
13 With regard to the language, what is the official language right
14 now? Is it Serbo-Croat, is it Croato-Serb, is it Croatian, is it Serbian,
15 or is it the Bosniak language? Which is the official language used today.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The official language, since the
17 constitution for the Federation was adopted, is the Bosnian, Croatian, and
18 Serbian language, and that's how they refer to the languages in all
19 constitutional documents and other documents. So it's Bosnian, Croatian,
20 and Serbian. And I'm saying this in alphabetical order.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may. First you said Bosnian, Croatian, and
23 Serbian language. Is it language or languages?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Language. Whether they use the term
25 language or languages in the constitution I'm not sure, but my answer
1 refers to the name of the language.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With regard to the previous
3 question, when one compares Serbian -- Serbo-Croat or Croato-Serb or
4 Serbian and Croatian or Bosniak, are there any differences between these
5 languages, differences that would allow one to say that such a such an
6 individual speaks the Bosniak language, whereas some other individual
7 speaks Serbo-Croat, and the third person speaks the Croatian language.
8 Are you yourself capable of making such distinctions?
9 As an example, I'll mention the French language. When a French
10 person speaks a Canadian or Belgian person could understand person, but
11 there are differences between the Belgian language, the Canadian French,
12 and French. This is also the case in Switzerland, and similarly we have
13 British English and American English. Nevertheless there are differences
14 between the two languages.
15 Differences may exist as far as you are concerned. Would you say
16 that there are any significant differences that would allow one to
17 categorise someone on the basis of the language that that person speaks?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was the minister, I organised
19 for the World Bank three experts, a Bosniak, a Serb, and a Croat, and they
20 were from the faculty of philosophy in Sarajevo, and they were to draft a
21 report which they did. They established that the language concerned was
22 one language that was simply called Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbia, but
23 essentially there was no difference between these various versions of the
24 language. Perhaps certain differences have been emphasised or recently
25 certain differences of vocabulary have been emphasised. For example, the
1 word for bread. We can have a word such as "hleb" or "kruh" for bread,
2 but such differences don't even amount to 2 per cent, and I'm talking
3 about vocabulary now. As far as syntax is concerned there are no
4 differences at the level of syntax. There are no phonetical differences
5 either. So there are no significant differences. It's just a matter of
6 different terms, and it's more of a matter of civil rights rather than a
7 linguistic issue. I'm certain I haven't used a single word that someone
8 present in the courtroom here has not understood. I've understood all the
9 words used by everyone in the courtroom. There are no differences.
10 Differences can be artificially emphasised.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If there are no significant
12 differences, then why do you make it appear that this matter is a
13 significant matter in relation to your programme for the Muslim
14 intellectuals? Why -- why is this an issue?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, would you accept someone
16 calling your language a different language, saying that Italian is not
17 your language? The name of the language used is also an element of one's
18 identity. So what was at issue was not the essence of the language, it
19 was the name of the language. There are no reasons for an ethnic group
20 not to use its own name for the language used. It was a matter of
21 identity. There were no linguistic problems that had to be resolved. It
22 wasn't a linguistic issue.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for that
24 clarification. And a very last question. A minute ago you said that when
25 you were the minister you asked for a report to be drafted about this
1 subject. Is this an interpretation error or were you a minister with a
2 political function? Could you clarify this, please?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the Minister of Education,
4 Science, and Sport in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. President
5 Izetbegovic -- and I wasn't the only intellectual who was a member of the
6 government, but President Izetbegovic thought he should engage
7 intellectuals who could participate the ministry's work. I accepted the
8 post of minister, and I worked independently throughout that period of
9 time, although I wasn't a member of a political party.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And can you tell me exactly when
11 you were the minister?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From 1996 to the year 2000, to the
13 end of the year 2000. I had two terms of office.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Unless I've made a mistake or
15 this is the first time that we have heard about the fact that you were a
16 minister from 1996 until the year 2000.
17 Very well. It's now twenty to three. Mr. Jonjic, you ever one
19 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Jonjic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon Mr. Rizvanbegovic. I'm
22 Mr. Jonjic. I shall ask you quite a few questions on behalf of
23 Mr. Coric.
24 As actually this one hour would not suffice for all the questions
25 I wish to put to you, I should just concentrate on the most significant
1 issues, and if time should remain for something else, I shall also gladly
2 ask you about these things.
3 You being a professor yourself, you have questioned students in
4 your time so that you know that students are wont to expand on their
5 answers, so I would ask you to kindly refrain from doing that so we can
6 use our time efficiently.
7 Before we come to April, 1993, I should like to just ask you one
8 question relating to your engagement in the Congress of the intellectuals
9 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Muslims intellectuals of Herzegovina, rather.
10 You actually said that you were a member of the leadership of that
12 A. No.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Please would counsel and witness not overlap. I
14 cannot interpret. I'm just unable to. Thank you.
15 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I didn't see that you actually distanced yourself from the
17 positions advanced by them.
18 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]
19 I apologise to the interpreters. This is a consequence of our
20 rush to say as much as possible.
21 Q. Namely, I failed to notice that you ever distanced yourself,
22 disassociated yourself from any of the publicly voiced positions of that
23 Congress, which means that in principle you agreed to everything that was
24 said and published under the umbrella of the Congress of Bosniak Muslim
1 A. You referred to the Congress in Sarajevo?
2 Q. All the Congresses from 1991, 1992 to this date?
3 A. The Congress was actually appointed in 1993 in Sarajevo. I was
4 not a participant then of its Assembly, but when I came to Sarajevo, they
5 admitted me to the Council of the Congress.
6 Q. So subsequently, actually if I may say so, you espoused the
7 programme documents and the tendencies of the Congress as such?
8 A. I suppose so much. It is only normal.
9 Q. Today you said for the sake of the record, it's page 33, line 21
10 to 24, that precisely the Congress adopted a conclusion that Muslim people
11 should then thenceforce be called Bosniak people and you said literally
12 that this conclusion was binding on the legislative authorities?
13 A. It was not binding. It was the intellectual reaction to the
14 situation of the -- of the people in terms of their name, given their long
15 history in order to actually spare you vacuous students' stories.
16 Q. Maybe there was a mistake in the interpretation?
17 A. No, there was no mistake in interpretation.
18 Q. We can check it in the record.
19 A. I never said anything vacuous to my students.
20 Q. I would like to say that this Congress was held on the 22nd of
21 December, 1992, that of Congress intellectuals in Sarajevo. A number of
22 speeches were delivered there, one of them by Professor Dr. Mustafa
23 Imamovic. Would you agree with me that he is one of the leading Bosniak
25 A. Professor Imamovic is one of the professors of the law school, one
1 of the writers of the history of the Bosniaks, and one of the prestigious
2 professors, intellectuals, generally speaking.
3 Q. Would the registrar please show us document 5D 01062. While we
4 are waiting for this document to be reproduced, the speech by
5 Professor Imamovic, that is -- can I ask you, Mr. Rizvanbegovic, as we
6 have no time to read the document through, the entire report, the entire
7 speech, can we just take a look at a couple of highlighted sentences in
8 it? As you can see here from the impression, Professor Dr. Mustafa
9 Imamovic was in fact the president, the editor-in-chief, the president of
10 the editorial board. Can we go on? Can we have the following pages,
11 please? Can we go down a bit?
12 Page 69 of the original. So here it's page 67. So it is actually
13 the next image -- the next page, rather.
14 So on the right-hand side, the lower underlined quotations which
15 is actually the quintessence of the entire section. And Professor
16 Imamovic says here "We can rightly say that everything that bears of the
17 epithet Bosnian mainly refers to the Muslims here." The title of this
18 article is the relationship of the Bosnian and the Muslim or the relation
19 between the Bosnian and the Muslim.
20 Would you agree with me, Dr. Rizvanbegovic, that this is a
21 position which actually identifies Bosnia with the Muslims' causes
22 concerned in the non-Muslim parts of the population or the non-Muslim
23 peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
24 A. Sir, this is not my attitude. Different intellectuals have
25 different opinions on this, and this Bosnian Council is a council of
1 peoples of different opinions, and thank God that that is so that we can
2 communicate and exchange our different opinions.
3 Q. But you didn't disassociate yourself from these positions.
4 A. But there is no reason for me to disassociate myself. I mean, we
5 were discussing the matter. He was delivering his speech, transmitting
6 his ideas. I had my views. There is no reason for me to disassociate.
7 That was a discussion.
8 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much. Let us go to the basics
9 immediately, I propose. So to April, April of that year.
10 Yesterday, at page 32 of the record, you mentioned that when you
11 were apprehended the members of the military police actually took you to
12 the bone hospital. Is that the right?
13 A. Yes, that was the 1st of July actually.
14 Q. Do you know the names ever these people?
15 A. No he, I don't know the nails of these people. They didn't
16 actually say who they were, they just put me in the car and took me
18 Q. Were they from the Stolac municipality?
19 A. No, I don't know. I don't know. I didn't know these young people
20 either before the war or after the war. I was a professor who sat at home
21 doing my work at home. I rarely went out to bars and such. I lived in
22 Stolac and worked in Stolac so I didn't have an opportunity to meet many
23 young people.
24 Q. I apologise for the interpreters' sake. Page 70 --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter believes.
1 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] -- of the record, of the transcript,
2 when the Izetbegovic house was set on fire -- Rizvanbegovic house was set
3 on fire there were guards standing guard in front of your house. They
4 were Dragan Peric and Jozo Kresic. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know which unit to which they belonged? Were they soldiers
7 at all?
8 A. They were soldiers they were here on this line in Begovina. They
9 were constantly in Begovina. My wife made them coffee and treated them to
10 some cakes and so on, and they were there for days.
11 Q. Will the registry please show us document 5D 01056. As you can
12 see, Professor Rizvanbegovic, this is the military police in Stolac, and
13 this is a wages bill from the 4th of June, 1993, for the military police.
14 Is Dragan Peric and Jozo Kresic on this list?
15 A. This is not a unit that was in Begovina.
16 Q. It is not?
17 A. No. And as far as I can see, none of these people were there.
18 Q. Speaking about this list, having agreed that these --
19 A. These were not military policemen. This was a regular HVO unit.
20 Q. Can you see on this list of members of the military police of the
21 HVO in Stolac on the 4th of June, 1993, identify anyone who could be a
22 Bosniak Muslim?
23 A. Amir Medar is on this list. That's under number 14.
24 Q. And a bit lower down there, 29?
25 A. 29 Rasim Dedic.
1 Q. And 31?
2 A. Semir Selimic. So it's three Bosniaks. Unless I've skipped over
4 Q. Would the registrar please go down, scroll this page down a bit
5 more. So the last one you mentioned was Semir. And then after him we
6 also have Edmin?
7 A. Yes, there is Edmin, and there is a certain Marim.
8 Q. So there are at three Muslim members in Stolac on that particular
9 take day; is that right. When Alija Rizvanbegovic's house was set on fire
10 in Begovina. You said that then you went to see the different police. Do
11 you know --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know whom you talked to?
14 A. No. There was an officer on duty, a lad on duty. I reported the
15 case to him.
16 Q. Did you actually lodge any criminal complaints against it?
17 A. No. I thought my reporting of the incident to them was enough for
18 the police to do its work.
19 Q. Am I interpreting regularly -- properly your words when I say that
20 the Muslims in Stolac, that you say that the Muslims in Stolac were
21 discriminated against as of the day Stolac was -- was liberated on the 1st
22 of July, 1993, and even move after that?
23 A. Yes. Every day more -- more by the day.
24 Q. Can we see document 5D 01052. The author of this document is --
25 you have already mentioned him, Professor. So we scroll down the page to
1 the bottom of the page. The author is Ivica Kraljevic. The stamp is the
2 administration of the military police. And can we go back to the top of
3 the document, please.
4 This is an official note from -- of the 21st of June, 1993, is it
5 not, Mr. Professor [as interpreted], which actually notes that some
6 violence had taken place? Will you help us identify what this is about?
7 A. This is an official memorandum. During the night between the 19th
8 and 20th of June, 1993, between midnight and 2.00 in the morning, there
9 were a series of explosions in the city of Capljina demolishing the
10 next -- the following facilities owned by Muslims. The cafe Ribica, the
11 cafe Saraj, the cafe Bel-Ami, the cafe Fike, the burek pastry shop owned
12 by A. Kudro, the Izbor shop, the Sator-Komerc outlet, and the beauty
13 parlour at Domanovici owned by Muslims.
14 Q. So it is obvious we can conclude that the Muslims actually carried
15 out on-site in this investigation and took further action.
16 A. This is a routine procedure. Nothing was actually done subsequent
17 to such investigation. Perhaps you are able to see whether anyone was
18 arrested following this demolition.
19 Q. Will the registrar show us 5D 01053, the next document.
20 The author of this document is the same. It is again Ivica
21 Kraljevic. As you can see, Professor, this was drawn up on the 23rd of
22 May, somewhat earlier, that is. And if you would be so kind as to assist
23 us and read the second section -- second paragraph, rather, of this
24 report, work report.
25 A. You mean in the area of the municipality of Capljina? Is that
1 what you mean?
2 Q. Yes, that is what I mean?
3 A. "In the area of Capljina municipality, more specifically in the
4 villages of Visici and Celjevo on the 16th 17 and 18 of May, there were
5 three burglaries into houses owned by Muslims on which occasion all the
6 foreign exchange and some technical equipment were seized. One of the
7 owners was also beaten up. The persons were uniformed. The assumption is
8 that they are members of the military police. On the 18th of May, we
9 ambushed them and the persons were caught red handed. These are three
10 former members of the HOS. And then also Bruno Busic. The persons are
11 from Posusje and from Zupanja. They are in detention and investigative
12 action is under way. The stolen goods have been found except the portion
13 of the gold and the foreign exchange and they will be returned to the
15 Q. Will you continue?
16 A. During this period they were also detected and apprehended and
17 detained three persons who had seized three cows which have been
18 recommenced and there will be a criminal complaint lodged for that
20 Q. Thank you very much. I apologise. I thought that the Prosecution
21 had a reaction. Can the registrar show us yet another document from this
22 period, which is 5D 01068.
23 If you can, Professor, let us read together this entire report.
24 A. "During this period in the area of six municipalities the
25 following activities unfolded.
1 "During the mentioned period in Capljina there occurred a series
2 of events against which were actually manifested as shooting in the city.
3 Seven persons were apprehended. Their statements taken and he criminal
4 proceedings shall be instituted against the same because of the jeopardy I
5 to human lives.
6 "In Stolac there was discovered a food store which was intended
7 for the army of B and H, and according to an order of the government of
8 the HVO Stolac, it was -- it was" -- can you scroll it up for the benefits
9 of the witness --
10 THE INTERPRETER: But the interpreter still hasn't finished the
11 first page because it is being read very quickly.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
13 MR. PORYVAEV: I would like to know what is the real advantages of
14 all these documents to the witness in the situation of his particular
15 house? I don't see any point in cross-examining this witness on this
16 issue, particular issue.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What is the relevance?
18 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that it is
19 obvious that these documents show that what the witness claimed yesterday,
20 namely that the Muslims were discriminated against, that their property
21 was damaged and that nobody was punished for that is simply not true.
22 These documents show what happened in the territory of Stolac
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All of this pertains to Capljina
25 municipality. Nothing of this pertains to Stolac.
1 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Dr. Rizvanbegovic, if you take a look, you will see that it says
3 in the first sentence "In the territory of six municipalities." So that
4 covers the territory including Stolac.
5 A. Yes, but everything that happened here happened in Visici, in
6 Capljina, not in Stolac. Stolac is not mentioned except that a storage of
7 food was discovered.
8 Q. All right. Would you now turn to the second passage?
9 A. Yes. That's precisely what I was saying. This is the storage of
10 food intended for the army.
11 Q. All right. Now skip the next paragraph and please read out the
12 last one?
13 A. It is evident in the atmosphere in Stolac is unfavourable when it
14 comes to the attitude towards Muslims because it is evident that certain
15 members of the Croat nation try at any cost to provoke them and to create
16 incidents by verbally insulting them and threatening them, shooting at
17 night, and so on.
18 Q. Dr. Rizvanbegovic, based on the last paragraph, can we conclude
19 that as was stated here, among the Croats there was not a single uniform
20 attitude towards Muslims but, rather, that the head of the military police
21 criticised MUP members for their unlawful conduct?
22 A. If this was done by members of MUP, what did the gangs do then?
23 Q. I'm not asking you about that. I'm asking you whether it can be
24 concluded that based on this document the MUP had one opinion and the
25 military police had another one.
1 A. This is the opinion of Ivica Kraljevic. He's the person recording
2 and his police is responsible for doing this.
3 Q. Would you please clarify this. What do you mean by "his police"?
4 A. The military police is reporting. Everybody is in uniforms.
5 Q. Reporting, all right. Thank you.
6 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Now would the registrar please show
7 us another document 5D 01055?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please slow down for the
10 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. This is a document dated the 2nd of June, 1993. At the very
12 bottom of the document I'm interested in the last paragraph, please.
13 A. In the territory of Stolac municipality, MUP is creating
14 significant problems or, rather, their members who try at any cost to
15 create a conflict with Muslims threatening them that they would be moving
16 them out to Bosnia, slitting their throats, that they are thirsty for
17 their blood. They're also physically abusing them. There is a lot of
18 shooting so that the population of Stolac is forced to seek protection
19 from the police.
20 Q. All right. So now can we conclude that what happened there was
21 not an exception but, rather -- but, rather, a systematic phenomenon?
22 Would you agree with me?
23 A. Yes, I would, but I don't see that anything was being done about
24 this. My impression was that nothing was done about this.
25 Q. Please tell me, after you were taken to the bone hospital or
1 Kostana hospital, you said that you were interrogated.
2 A. No, I asked to be interrogated because they said they would take
3 me for an interview, and I thought that I would be interviewed and then
4 they locked up in the basement. And I asked to be interviewed to see what
5 was going on.
6 Q. And they hit you there?
7 A. Yes?
8 Q. Do you know who hit you there?
9 A. Some military police. I don't know who he was. I asked in the
10 corridor where was Mr. Puljic. I think that that was the name of the
11 commander. I said I wanted to talk to him and then he hit me and then I
12 fell back down into the basement. And that was all. I had no further
14 Q. Please tell me, at the time when you were taken to the bone
15 hospital were there any patients there?
16 A. No.
17 Q. No? I apologise to the interpreters once again.
18 Would the registry please show us document 5D 01057. While we're
19 waiting, Professor, I'd like to ask you this: Do you know where patients
20 from the bone hospital were?
21 A. I know that the patients were taken to Blagaj. Now, as to the
22 time, I don't know that. I was under house arrest, so I don't know that.
23 When I came there, I didn't see any patients I only saw the military
24 police. As for what happened afterwards, I can't say, because I was in
25 the house from April on and then afterwards I had no opportunity to see
2 Q. We have the original in Croatian. This is dated 10th of June,
3 that is to say just a little bit before you arrived. This is a document
4 of the 1st brigade of the HVO signed by commander Obradovic where he says
5 something about the cleaning and the accommodation of -- for the bone
6 hospital patients who were in Capljina. Under item 3, you will see that
7 they were in the premises of the medical corps of the brigade in Capljina.
8 So is it true then that they were not transported to Blagaj but,
9 rather, to Capljina?
10 A. If I understood this document correctly, this has to do with the
11 cleaning ladies. It seems that -- well, the hospital in Stolac had over
12 100 patients. Not just two persons, more than 100 persons.
13 Q. Would you please read out item 3?
14 A. "The said persons worked while the patients of the bone hospital
15 were in the premises of the medical corps of the brigade in Capljina."
16 Q. So it has nothing to do with cleaning ladies but the patients.
17 A. I think it has to do with two patients.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please not overlap and slow
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Slow down.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please scroll down? I
22 can't see the top of the document. In view of the current situation with
23 the patient in singular, patient in singular of the bone hospital who is
24 located in the medical corps of the barracks an inability to use the
25 prisoners in order to clean the premises where they're accommodated.
1 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. What about this, "where they're accommodated"? Is that plural or
4 A. Well, let me see this. It says here "In view of the current
5 situation relating to the patient of the bone hospital who is located in
6 the medical corps of the barracks an inability to use the prisoners in
7 order to clean the premises where they're located." Let's go on.
8 Q. Who is accommodated?
9 A. No. We see that this relates to just one single patient.
10 Q. Could the registry please scroll down the document.
11 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour. Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 MR. PORYVAEV: I have an objection. The witness appeared in the
14 hospital, was taken to hospital on July, on the 1st of July, 1993. This
15 is a document relevant to the 10th of June, 1993. What is the relevance?
16 What is the point in cross-examining on this document?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What is your aim here,
18 Mr. Jonjic?
19 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the purpose of this is
20 to show that the claim of the witness is not true, namely that the
21 patients were transported to Blagaj. The other purpose is to show who was
22 in charge of the bone hospital.
23 If I may continue, I would like Professor to tell me this:
24 Q. Does item 1 refer to patients in plural, and does item 3 refer to
25 patients in plural, or is it singular?
1 A. It says here, "To provide two cleaning ladies who used to work in
2 the bone hospital," obviously they don't work there any more, "to clean
3 the premises where the patients of the bone hospital in Capljina are
5 Q. Is it plural?
6 A. It's plural, but what does it prove? Item 3: "The said persons,"
7 meaning the cleaning ladies, "would be working while the patients of the
8 bone hospital were in the brigade in Capljina."
9 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are overlapping. The interpreters
10 are unable to follow this exchange.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can see what this is about.
12 We're going in circles and wasting time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go ahead.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Every second sentence our
15 interpreters are completely out of breath. You must observe two things.
16 First, you must speak slowly. Second, you must not start speaking before
17 the other speaking has clearly -- the other speaker has clearly finished.
18 You are overlapping. You are starting to answer before the question is
19 finished and the next question perhaps comes before the answer is
20 finished. This is impossible. You will not reach your goal, namely that
21 we understand this conversation. If we cannot follow it, it is completely
22 lost time.
23 Please, I implore you to have some discipline in this.
24 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. You are
25 right, and I apologise for everything that I should be blamed for. All of
1 this is a result of the lack of time and the abundance of documents that I
2 would like to put to the witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise as well, but I'm tired.
4 I've been sitting here the entire day under very difficult circumstances.
5 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I'd like to start from the date, 1st of July, 1993. And I'd like
7 to see document 5D 01064. I think that that's the one I need. I
8 apologise, 065.
9 Professor, let us keep the numbers and would you read the text,
11 A. "Order in relation to the authorities of CP in towns. In view of
12 the newly created situation and in order to censure safety of citizens and
13 cities and their property, I hereby order.
14 "1. Security of the town and citizens of Capljina and Stolac and
15 that of their property shall now be taken over by the civilian police of
16 Capljina and Stolac, which will have full authority in order to prevent
17 looting and violence.
18 "2. In order to implement this order, I shall hold responsible
19 commanders of civilian police of Capljina and Stolac."
20 Q. Would the registry please scroll down the document all the way
22 A. This is forwarded to the commander of civilian police of Capljina,
23 commander of civilian police of Stolac, archives, signed by the commander
24 of Sector South, Colonel Nedjelko Obradovic. And if we go back up we will
25 see the date is the 3rd of July.
1 Q. Can we go back up, please? We see this is the 3rd of July, 1993,
2 which is 15 to 20 days before the Begovina complex was burned down. Isn't
3 that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can we conclude based on this that the responsibility for the
6 safety of citizens and property, including in Stolac, was in the hands of
7 civilian police?
8 A. No, we cannot conclude that.
9 Q. Can you tell us why?
10 A. Because in Begovina there was army. The civilians had no access
11 to Begovina. All access to Begovina was secured. My wife was unable to
12 enter her own house because the army was there. There were guards. There
13 were guards. There were people in positions on the lines. So there was
14 no possibility to access that area in view of the terrain and the roads
15 leading to it. Nobody could reach that area without the army knowing
16 about that. They were in the house of my brother and controlled the
17 entire area. There's a huge yard, a courtyard that is the size of 20
18 courtrooms, and nobody could enter that area without the army knowing
19 about it. And nobody else had access. Civilian police had no access
20 there. They could only come there with the authorisation of the army.
21 Q. Was this signed by a commander?
22 A. Yes. That's his signature.
23 Q. Could we see document 5D 01064, please.
24 A. While we are waiting, can I ask something? Why didn't he order
25 his unit to look after the houses that they were housed in, especially
1 since this was the monument classified as the first category monument?
2 Q. We don't need to go into that right now. Could we please see the
3 document 5D -- oh, yes, we can see it here. Once again, this is a
4 document -- if you allow me, Professor, I will go through it.
5 A. Yes, so that we don't waste time with reading.
6 Q. Yes. Once again this is the document of the 1st Brigade of the
7 HVO, the same date, 3rd of July. In the preamble we can see that the
8 person who signed the document observed that there were frequent
9 violations of law and order. And then under item 1 it says: "Any cases
10 of stealing or disappropriation of property is to be prevented and the
11 perpetrators are to be punished and proceedings instigated against them
12 through this command."
13 Therefore, not only the measures are prescribed here but also the
14 procedure that was to be applied.
15 If we scroll down, we will see that under item 4 once again it is
16 ordered that based on the UN Charter and Geneva Conventions, the civilian
17 population be protected in the area of responsibility of the brigade.
18 And then at the very bottom we can see that this document once
19 again is signed by -- can we see page 2, please?
20 Once again, it is signed by Mr. Nedjelko Obradovic, commander of
21 the 1st Brigade. We can see that this was forwarded to all units of the
22 1st Brigade, to the Ljubuski company, to the head of the SIS or security
23 and information service, and then ONO, I think, stands for the operations
24 and teaching body.
25 A. If I may say, if I were in Nedjelko Obradovic's shoes, I would
1 resign immediately because it was obvious that nobody was following his
2 order. So what kind of a colonel was he?
3 Q. Thank you. Now we come to the moment when you were transferred
4 from the bone hospital to Dretelj. Did you know the people who
5 transported you there?
6 A. No. These people were very young. I didn't know these people.
7 There was a driver and another escort who was armed. You said that they
8 used the Nazi or Roman salute or the Hitlergruss, as was said.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You also mentioned Mr. Mehmed Dizdar and his book on Stolac
12 A. Yes. He wrote a book. It was his personal vision.
13 Q. Have you read it?
14 A. No. I started -- I grew angry when I started reading it because I
15 don't agree with many things he said.
16 Q. But to -- in that book he mentioned the facts that you mentioned
17 today, namely that the HOS in Stolac was to a large extent composed of
18 Muslims. There wasn't a HOS unit in Stolac. It just entered the town but
19 carried on, moved on. But because of what was happening with their
20 attempt to expel the Chetniks, to make sure that they didn't stop at lines
21 that had been agreed on, they went to see Kraljevic, because he said that
22 they would move on, they would go further on. That's why there was this
23 massive phenomena?
24 Q. They went into the HOS?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is this part of the tradition of the Independent State of Croatia?
2 Does HOS have to do with that?
3 A. I don't know. All I saw is they had black uniforms on them. They
4 had the slogan "Ready for the homeland," et cetera.
5 Q. So the Muslims who were in HOS also used the same salute?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Thank you. You don't have to go into it. When those people
8 realised what was at stake they left the HOS. So there were no longer any
9 Muslims in the HOS and they were in a terrible situation?
10 Q. Very much. Let's into the go into that. Mehmed Dizdar left the
11 HOS on that day. I think that's mentioned in the book.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Here we are again.
13 Please calm down. Slow down. Continue.
14 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Professor Rizvanbegovic, yesterday you mentioned something that
16 seemed contradictory to me. First you said that the security of Dretelj
17 was provided by the military police. That's where you were detain. And
18 then later on page 38, line 15 to 18, you said that you did not know what
19 sort of insignia the guards guarding you had because -- or the soldiers
20 guarding you had because it wasn't important for you at the time. How
21 would you explain that then?
22 A. Well, in the barracks themselves, I don't know about the
23 surroundings because I couldn't see the surroundings themselves. Kreso
24 Rajic was one of them. I knew him and he had military police insignia on
25 him. I asked who was providing security for us. He said it was the
1 military police. And Palameta said this too and I know it was the
2 military police providing security for these premises and you can see that
3 Ivica Kraljevic is a member of the military police from the documents. As
4 to who provided security in the surroundings, I do not know.
5 Q. Thank you. Could the registry now show us the following document
6 5D 01059.
7 Professor, if you have a look at the date the date is the 2nd of
8 July. That is the date that you arrived there or the day after you
9 arrived there?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It's an order for providing security for the Dretelj prison. Item
12 1 "Immediately establish a homeland unit the strength of which should be
13 40 men for the purposes of guarding the prison and barracks in Dretelj."
14 And then the procedure followed is described. Could we scroll down.?
15 Could the registry scroll the document down right to the end of the
16 document so that the Professor can tell us who signed the document.
17 Unfortunately we can't see the signature in this electronic version but if
18 we have a look at the English translation the signature might be legible,
19 might be visible when the document was scanned as part of the document was
20 missed out but you can see that it's a document from the brigade. You can
21 see the English translation here. Professor, could you say who signed the
23 A. I think that 40 homeland members wouldn't have been sufficient to
24 provide security for that camp. I assume there were men around the camp,
25 but in the camp itself there were only young people. There were no
1 elderly people. At least I didn't see them through the window.
2 Q. Do you assume this or do you know this?
3 A. I know that the people who were outside were not members of the
4 homeland units, of the Home Guard Units. They were young men. Those
5 would beat others -- I'm talking about those who would beat others and
6 those who would come up to the door.
7 Q. Why are you referring to elderly people now? I do apologise,
8 because I don't recall using the adjective elderly so far.
9 A. Well, while I was free members of the Home Guard Units were
10 elderly men, whereas men at the unit, et cetera, were younger people.
11 They were under 35. Members of the Home Guard were over 35. They were
12 sort of reserve force.
13 Q. After you were arrested do you know how men were recruited and how
14 they were organised?
15 A. I couldn't know about that in the camp.
16 Q. Of course. So you don't know this either. Thank you very much.
17 On page 42, yesterday you said that medical care in Dretelj was
18 poor. It had only been organised after a while, after a certain period of
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could the registry please show us the following document 5D 01061.
22 I think we have it on the screen now; is that correct? This is a
23 document signed by Kresimir Bogdanovic, the commander of the 3rd Company,
24 the 3rd Battalion of the military police in Capljina. The document was
25 issued on the 2nd of July, a day after you arrived there, is that
1 correct? Or on the same day?
2 A. The day following day.
3 Q. And the document states that in the Dretelj barracks there are
4 many detained individuals, some of them who complain about their health
5 condition and are requesting medical care. "Therefore, we request a
6 medical team be sent as soon as possible." As you can see, this was sent
7 to the Bozan Simovic barracks. Do you know where that is?
8 A. No.
9 Q. If the registrar scrolls down a little to the end to the bottom of
10 the document we could have a look at those it was forwarded to.
11 A. To the medical clinic Bozan Simovic, the 1st HVO Brigade Knez
12 Domagoj and the archives.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. Perhaps these doctors visited the place, but that's all.
15 Q. Could we have the following document 5D 01066.
16 This is a document from the 1st HVO Brigade dated the 5th of July,
17 three days after this request. It's an order on establishing a medical
18 commission to provide detainees in Gabela, Dretelj, and Heliodrom with
19 medical care. It's signed by -- can you tell us who it's signed by,
20 Professor? It's signed by --
21 A. Nedjelko Obradovic.
22 Q. And it's been forwarded to the 1st and the 3rd Brigade of the HVO.
23 A. Yes. The commission was formed after five days.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, do I have another five
1 minutes? Another ten minutes. Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Rizvanbegovic, yesterday you mentioned a security member in
3 Dretelj hitting you.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know the name of that person?
6 A. No, I don't know the name. At the very outset I said I didn't
7 know very many names I didn't know those young people and in particular
8 over there, there weren't many people whom I could have known.
9 Q. Have I remembered this correctly? The person who hit you, he
10 forced you to stare at the sun?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How long did you have to stare at the sun?
13 A. Until I went blind.
14 Q. You can't say how long that was?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Have you suffered permanent consequences or has your sight
17 suffered permanent consequences?
18 A. I think that you can tell I constantly have tears in my eyes and I
19 can't stare at snow. It's very difficult for me when the sun is very
20 strong, et cetera, so, yes, I have suffered certain consequences. So when
21 I went to Zagreb, I immediately reported to Durnja Falisavac, a colleague
22 of mine. She took me to the clinic. Her sister works there, and they
23 took certain steps to deal with this problem. So, yes, I haven't gone
24 blind but I do suffer certain consequences. At the time, however, I was
25 in a very bad state.
1 Q. Could you identify some of the members of security force who acted
2 in a more brutal or cruel way?
3 A. Well, one of most brutal ones was Palameta. He was one such
4 person. I know him from Stolac I didn't know the others. I don't know
5 who they were. These people were young people, members of the police,
6 people who had come from the front lines and created problems, beat people
7 up, et cetera.
8 Q. In a couple of sentences could you describe the terms you were on
9 with Ivica Kraljevic who signed a number of documents we have already seen
11 A. Before the war or during the war.
12 Q. Both?
13 A. Before the war we knew each other that was the case for the all
14 the other citizens we would greet each other and that's all. And I've
15 describe the sort of meetings I had with him when we met, when I was in
16 Dretelj, in the prison in Ljubuski as well.
17 Q. Did Kraljevic treating brutally did he apply force?
18 A. No.
19 Q. In a couple of sentences could you describe your relationship with
20 Mr. Tomo Sakota?
21 A. I met Tomo Sakota quite late. I was very surprised when we
22 started discussing the matter that he was the commander of the camp in
23 July I thought when he arrived there things had changed obvious that
24 wasn't the case this only happened later I met him when I got onto that
25 lorry and when he got me off the lorry. And he favoured me. He would let
1 me go now the into the grounds, walk around. There was a prisoner
2 repairing a car. He would let me walk up to that prisoner. I could do
3 this once or twice, at most. Whenever he appeared he would greet me and
4 that was something for me, that meant something to me.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. Why were you treated in a particular way?
6 Why did Sakota, as you yourself have said, drive you from Ljubuski to
8 A. I think that some of my friends contacted him and asked him to do
9 this. I think that's the reason and as you can see he was in favour of
10 human rights.
11 Q. Yesterday when you mentioned Esad Suta you also mentioned my
12 client Valentin Coric?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did Mr. Coric ever go to Dretelj, did you ever hear about that?
15 A. I never saw him and the first say we moved around I think Mr. Suta
16 said there weren't be any problems since there were three of us. We
17 weren't aware that there would be a camp there we thought we would
18 interviewed again and he would ask Valentin to do something for us.
19 Q. Did he hear that Mr. Coric was in Dretelj? Did anyone else tell
20 you that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Did anyone tell that you Mr. Coric released someone from Dretelj?
23 A. No. I only mentioned Mr. Coric within the context I mentioned
24 earlier on.
25 Q. Did you ever speak to Mr. Anicic or Andjic [as interpreted] who
1 you call the Dretelj commander?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Yesterday we saw the document you were released on the 23rd of
4 September; is that correct, 1993 I apologise you were not released you
5 were transferred to Ljubuski.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in the document we saw yesterday, we could see that there were
8 certain security measures had been ordered when you were released or,
9 rather, transferred. You interpreted this by saying that they said you to
10 be particularly dangerous?
11 A. Yes. Because I was handcuffed. There were no windows on the
13 Q. Thank you very much. Could the Court usher help us and place the
14 following document on the ELMO. Unfortunately we do not yet have the
15 electronic version of this document.
16 A. I saw that document yesterday for the first time, the one that was
17 signed by Mr. Coric.
18 Q. We'll now see the document dated the 23rd of September. The
19 Chamber and Prosecution have both the Croatian original and the English
20 translation. Can you see it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You can see that it's the same date, the 23rd of September?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that's when you were transferred to Ljubuski under the
25 security measures mentioned. Can you please read through the document or
1 perhaps I should do it. It might be better.
2 On the 23rd of September, 1993, 541 detainees were supposed to
3 leave Dretelj. They were supposed to be transferred in eight buses. You
4 didn't mention through the International Red Cross?
5 A. Yes, I'm trying to be brief.
6 Q. At about 1700 hours at the gates of the barracks women and
7 children refugees from Bosnia started to gather there and they protested
8 against the release of the detainees and they insulted the military
9 police. At 1800 hours large group gathered and they started pushing
10 vehicles onto the road of the car park before the barracks to block the
11 exit. When Mr. Rade Lovric, the deputy of the military police, arrived we
12 received an order to create a live shield and a quantity let so that we
13 could provide a safe exit for the vehicles from the convoy. Half an hour
14 later from the barracks Bojan Simovic a lorry full of sand was brought in
15 with the intention of blocking road. The military police intervened. The
16 lorry was removed and Argo Pavlovic, the driver, was taken in and handed
17 over to the criminal service for processing. He said that he had done
18 this as ordered by the psychologist in the Knez Domagoj and the
19 psychologist's name was Sandra Jovanovic. Ivan Anic [phoen] signed the
20 document, the commander of the 5th military police.
21 Professor Rizvanbegovic, can you see from that document that when
22 you were transferred to Ljubuski under particular security measures, women
23 and children, refugees from Bosnia, attacked the military police in an
24 attempt to obstruct the release of detainees?
25 A. No. This obviously took place after I'd been taken out. This was
1 a significant time after that.
2 Q. Do you think it was difficult to anticipate that refugees from
3 Bosnia would react in this way?
4 A. I think that this action on the part of the refugees had been
6 Q. That's your opinion?
7 A. Yes. This is something I've witnessed on a number of occasions.
8 Q. How could you have witnessed such a scenario if you were already
9 in Ljubuski?
10 A. Well, not on that occasion, but these are things that happen often
12 Q. Very well. When you arrived in the military investigation prison
13 in Ljubuski, did you receive any post?
14 A. I did get one in Ljubuski via the Red Cross.
15 Q. Did you get any passes?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you know the name of any guards in Ljubuski?
18 A. I know -- I knew a chap named Milos. He had brought me a message
19 from my sister about this problem with Professor Franges. Actually, the
20 action which was taken by Professor Franges. I don't know his surname.
21 His name was Milos.
22 Q. And you do not remember anybody else?
23 A. No. Except for Ivica Kraljevic of course.
24 Q. Was Mr. Suta there with you?
25 A. Yes, he was.
1 Q. Did you try perhaps to address Valentin Coric through him?
2 A. No, because I didn't know Mr. Coric, and there was no reason for
3 me to reach -- to try to reach him.
4 Q. Through Suta you tried nothing?
5 A. No, I didn't. I don't see why he should have treated me
6 differently from the other people because we didn't know each other.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Tell me, please as this seems to be our very
8 last minute, and perhaps I will not be able to show any other documents,
9 yesterday presenting to us the documents about your exit in December,
10 1993, the -- in regard of the name of Perica Jukic you concluded that this
11 was the SIS security and information service head. That is at page 9 from
12 line 21 to 23 of the transcript.
13 Why did you think that Mr. Jukic was the head of the SIS?
14 A. At that time they didn't mean anything to me. I only met him
15 later. Because I thought the police had to give such an authorisation, an
16 approval. That was a generally known thing. It was common knowledge that
17 unless SIS granted such approval. One couldn't do it.
18 Q. But a minute ago you were talking about the police and not the
20 A. But I hope that SIS is a part of the police.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would have more
23 questions, but I obviously have to finish.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you will have to finish
25 because you have just exhausted your hour.
1 All right. Yes, Mr. Coric, you can have the floor under these --
2 these conditions.
3 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like
4 to thank you for the time allotted to me, but I should like to say that if
5 we continue to have a debate conducted in this way, we cannot talk about a
6 fair and regular trial. This -- this trial will become a farce. And I do
7 apologise for having to say to this. Apart from the time allotted to us,
8 we have some key matters which we have to discuss and which have remained
9 undiscussed, and I can only imagine what awaits us in the future. Thank
10 you very much.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Jonjic.
12 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I should like these 10 or 12
13 documents that we have presented to the witness to be admitted into the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall do that right now.
16 Will you please indicate which documents you wish to be tendered.
17 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] These are 5D documents. Their
18 numbers are 01052, 01053, 01055, 01056, 01057, 01059, 01061, 01062, 01064,
19 01065, 01066, and 01068. And in addition to that there is a document that
20 we only showed on the ELMO and which I hope will either tonight or
21 tomorrow morning be part of the electronic system, and that document is 5D
22 01079. So can we have that document also, please, tendered into evidence.
23 Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Will the registrar tell us
25 how these documents shall be admitted into the file.
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... admitted
2 under the following references: 5D 01052, 5D 01053, 5D 01055, 5D 01056,
3 5D 01057, 5D 01059, 5D 01061, 5D 01062, 5D 01064, 5D 01065, 5D 01066, 5D
5 While we are at it, I take the liberty also to clarify that the
6 following two exhibits tendered earlier this day are admitted under the
7 following references: 2D 00007 and 2D 00017.
8 The last thing regarding exhibits: For the record, the following
9 two exhibits, 2D 00019 and 2D 00023, are respectively the very same
10 exhibit as those admitted by the Prosecution today as P 00374 and P
12 Thank you very much for these matters. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just to avoid any
15 misunderstanding, this sole document that we didn't manage to have in the
16 electronic system, can we just have it recorded and the registrar didn't
17 mention it. It's 5D 01079. Just that one document. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Registrar. Is this
19 exhibit admitted?
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... 079. I repeat
21 for the record. 5D 01079. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Professor, your
23 testimony has just ended, and you have given evidence for over eight
24 hours, answering questions of both sides. On behalf of the Judges of this
25 Trial Chamber, I thank you for having come to The Hague. I wish you a
1 happy journey home and a fruitful continuation of your activities.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now we shall adjourn our session
4 for 20 minutes, and we shall continue at 16.05.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall resume our session.
8 Before we usher in the witness and with the safeguards requested, I
9 believe that the Prosecution has forgotten two documents. Mr. Mundis,
10 which two documents are we referring to that have been forgotten?
11 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Just for the sake of
12 record, Exhibit 3842 and Exhibit 4667 were referred to during the
13 examination-in-chief and were tendered by the Prosecutor, but for some
14 reason they were not on the transcript. I would like again to tender
15 these documents.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. I invite the
17 registrar to admit these documents.
18 THE REGISTRAR: P 03842 and P 04667.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, can you quickly say
20 why this witness requires protective measures? We shall of course then
21 work in closed session.
22 [Closed session]
11 Pages 2391-2395 redacted. Closed session.
21 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
17 Mr. President.
18 MR. MUNDIS:
19 Q. Witness BI, can you tell us briefly about conditions of life in
20 Stolac in 1992, beginning in the early part of 1992?
21 A. At the beginning of 1992, to be more precise in March or April,
22 the Bosnian Serbs withdrew from Stolac. HVO units entered, and together
23 with the Bosniak side they represented some sort of a defence for the
24 town. Life carried on almost as usual. Instead of going to work, people
25 would go to the front lines. Some people were nervous of the civilian
1 defence responsible for repairing houses that had been damaged as a result
2 of the Serbian -- the Serbian shelling of Stolac.
3 The situation was normal when there was no shelling.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. SAHOTA: Apologies, Mr. President and Your Honours. It has
6 come to my attention that the accused cannot hear the testimony of this
7 witness. There may be some problem with the sound system.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we check
9 the equipment?
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A technician will be arriving.
12 Mr. Registrar, where is the technician coming from, from the
13 centre of the town or from the neighbouring office?
14 Mr. Praljak is raising his hand, so everything must be okay now.
15 Mr. Mundis, please proceed. If there are any problems, inform us
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Witness BI, at the time the technical problem arose you were
19 telling us about Serbian shelling of Stolac. Can you recall the
20 approximate time period when this Serbian shelling of Stolac occurred?
21 A. The Serbs were in Stolac for three or four months in 1991 and at
22 the beginning of 1992. At the beginning of 1992 they withdrew from
23 Stolac, and that's whether the shelling started.
24 Q. Okay. Witness, on page 142, line 16, you told us "HVO units
25 entered." Do you recall approximately when it was that HVO units entered
2 A. I think it was in April 1992.
3 Q. Can you describe the situation in Stolac after April 1992, that
4 is, after the HVO entered the town of Stolac?
5 A. Well, the town seemed quite damaged as a result of the Serbian
6 shelling. Instead of going to work, the men went to the front lines.
7 They were defending the town, in fact. The situation was normal apart
8 from the fact that there was shelling.
9 Q. Can you tell us, Witness BI, what type of damage Stolac sustained
10 as a result of the Serbian shelling?
11 A. Well, the damage was minor was the result of the shelling. Some
12 of the roofs of the houses in town had been damaged. That's what the
13 damage amounted to.
14 Q. Witness BI, at this point in time, that is approximately April
15 1992, can you tell the Trial Chamber what the ethnic composition of the
16 population of Stolac was?
17 A. There were Bosniaks and Croats there. They represented the
18 majority of the inhabitants, and perhaps there were seven or eight
19 families of Serbian ethnicity that remained in Stolac.
20 Q. Witness BI, can you tell the Trial Chamber approximately or the
21 approximate location where your family lived in April 1992, in the town of
23 A. In the centre.
24 Q. Witness BI, can you tell the Chamber how your father was employed
25 in April 1992?
1 A. In 1992, he was employed by the civilian protection.
2 Q. Can you tell us in what capacity?
3 A. He was an ordinary labourer. He -- he'd clean the streets.
4 Q. Witness BI, can you tell the Trial Chamber what the reaction in
5 Stolac was at the time the HVO arrived after the Serbian withdrawal?
6 A. The reaction was a normal one. They were treated as liberators of
7 some kind. There was quite a lot of joy as a result of their arrival.
8 Q. Why?
9 A. Well, because when they arrived, the Serbs withdrew from Stolac.
10 That meant that it was easier to move around and that people were not so
11 afraid any more. They were a form or a sort of protection.
12 Q. Witness BI, how long did the HVO remain a form or sort of
13 protection in Stolac?
14 A. I assume that was the case up until May 1993. I don't know the
15 exact date. I don't know when the relationship between the Bosniaks and
16 the Croats actually started deteriorating.
17 Q. Witness BI, can you tell us a little bit about the conditions in
18 Stolac between April 1992 and May 1993? What was life like in the town of
19 Stolac in that period, that 13-month period?
20 A. Well, on the one hand life was quite normal. People lived from
21 humanitarian on the whole. The factories were not operational. Anyone
22 who was fit for military service would receive a salary from the HVO, if
23 he was a member of one of their units, and that's how things were.
24 Q. Witness BI, what were you doing between this period April 1992 and
25 May 1993?
1 A. I was a boy at the time, and I was mostly interested in -- in
2 boys' games.
3 Q. What times of boys' came back place in Stolac in April 1992
4 through May 1993?
5 A. Well, there weren't that many children of my age in town. When
6 there was no shelling, when the day was calm, I'd usually play football.
7 Q. How about school? Did you go to school during that period?
8 A. No. No.
9 Q. Why not?
10 A. Mainly because the school wasn't open because of the fear of
11 shelling. And then secondly, there were not enough pupils. There weren't
12 any teachers as some had left with the Serbs. Others had fled to Croatia.
13 There were very few people in Stolac at the time.
14 Q. You mentioned a few moments ago as reflected on lines 9 and 10 of
15 page 145 that the relationship between the Bosniaks and the Croats started
16 deteriorating. Can you describe for us a little bit about how that
17 deterioration occurred?
18 A. The relationship started deteriorating when they started arresting
19 intellectuals. That's what happened in the beginning. And then they
20 started arresting ordinary citizens, too, citizens between the age of 16
21 and 17 and up to the age of 60 or 70. They arrested anyone who
22 represented a potential threat or to the HVO soldiers. They arrested
23 anyone who was fit for military service.
24 Q. When did these arrests take place? When did they start taking
1 A. From May up until the 3rd of August, 1993. While I was in Stolac,
2 people would be arrested every day. Initially, they arrested people on a
3 massive scale, and subsequently they arrested those who were hiding.
4 Q. Let me ask you, Witness BI, if you know of the ethnicity of the
5 people who were being arrested in this period from May until 3 August,
6 1993, in Stolac.
7 A. As far as I know, they were Muslims.
8 Q. Witness BI, did you ever personally observe any people being
9 arrested in Stolac between May and the 3rd of August, 1993?
10 A. Yes. I saw quite a lot of people being arrested.
11 Q. Can you describe for us a little bit in general terms about what
12 you saw?
13 A. I saw HVO soldiers taking away some of the male inhabitants. They
14 had their hands in the air. They would usually gather them in two or
15 three places in Stolac, and when they had sufficient number of them they
16 would drive them away to Dretelj, Gabela, and the Heliodrom, to Ljubuski.
17 This is what I subsequently found out.
18 Q. Let's me ask you, sir, a couple of follow-on questions. You told
19 us they would take away the male inhabitants. What about the females?
20 A. Women and children lived in great fear, because those HVO
21 soldiers -- well, most of them were drunk every day. They would open
22 fire. They would insult people. So there was a lot of fear. The people
23 who remained in Stolac were very afraid.
24 Q. Witness BI, you told us just a moment ago, page 147, lines 9 and
25 10, "They would usually gather them in two or three places in Stolac."
1 Can you tell us, Witness, what locations you were referring to, these two
2 or three places in Stolac?
3 A. Well, when they first started arresting people, this would be in
4 the centre of the town behind the department shop where they would round
5 up between 20 to 30 individuals. They would then take them away. Then
6 there was the Kostana hospital, the steelworks.
7 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the Kostana hospital? What was
9 A. Could you be a little clearer? Before the war or during the war?
10 Could you rephrase your question, please?
11 Q. Before the war, what type of hospital was the Kostana hospital, if
12 you know?
13 A. Well, as far as I can remember, it was the hospital where bone
14 fractures were treated, where rheumatism was treated and other bone
15 diseases, where is as during the war it was the main hospital in Stolac,
16 and that is where the wounded and others were taken to. It was the only
17 hospital that functioned during the war.
18 Q. Witness BI, can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to your
19 family during this time period between April 1992 and May 1993?
20 A. My family remained in Stolac, but we didn't live in our own house.
21 We moved to the lower part of town where most of the inhabitants were, and
22 we lived with a relative of ours or, rather, we lived in his flat.
23 Q. Witness BI, why did your family move to a different location in
25 A. Primarily because the part of Stolac I lived in was frequently
1 exposed to Serbian shelling.
2 Q. And, Witness BI, can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to
3 your family after these arrests began in June and July of 1993?
4 A. At the time I was living in my own flat. My father had been taken
5 away to a camp. I don't know the exact date. I know that it was in July.
6 My mother, brother, and I stayed on there for another 15 to 20 days, and
7 then we were driven away to Blagaj.
8 Q. Now, Witness BI, let me ask you about this time when your father
9 was taken away to a camp as you told us. Do you recall any of the
10 specific details about that day? And, if so, can you please share those
11 memories with the Trial Chamber?
12 A. On that day, I can't remember any specific details. On that day I
13 wasn't at home. I was at the playground or at the stadium. But according
14 to what I was told later on, two HVO soldiers appeared. He was in his
15 slippers and shorts as it was summer. He was standing in front of the
16 door. And they sort of asked him to go with them, and they said that he
17 didn't have to take anything with him. They said he would be returned
18 immediately, that they only wanted to conduct an interview with him, but
19 he did not return.
20 Q. Now, sir, when you say he did not return, do you mean permanently
21 or do you mean for a certain period of time?
22 A. He didn't return for a certain period of time to Stolac. Later,
23 he returned to Blagaj after seven or eight months.
24 Q. Did your father tell you where he was during that seven or
25 eight-month period when you didn't see him?
1 A. Yes. Yes. In Dretelj and in Gabela.
2 Q. Can you describe your father's appearance when you first saw him
3 after this period of time when he had been in Dretelj and Gabela?
4 A. Well, he looked older than he was. He looked about 15 years older
5 than he was. He used to weigh 90 kilos, but when I saw him he only
6 weighed 60. It was quite simply impossible to recognise him.
7 Q. Can you describe, Witness BI, for the Trial Chamber the situation
8 in Stolac from the time your father was arrested until you and your mother
9 and brother were, as you put it, driven away to Blagaj? Can you describe
10 that period of time?
11 A. That was a difficult period of time. We lived in great fear.
12 There were -- there was something on fire every single day. There was
13 shooting every single day. Soldiers came and maltreated and insulted the
14 people. Terrible.
15 Q. Now, Witness BI, when you say there was something on fire every
16 single day, can you tell us a little bit about what you mean by something
17 on fire every single day? What did you see on fire?
18 A. Yes. Well, houses burned every day. The museum. Private houses
19 as a rule, mostly.
20 Q. Can you tell us about the events in Stolac in the middle of July,
21 1993, when you saw some buildings on fire?
22 A. Yes. I was a participant in one of these fires, but when I say
23 participant, I was on the other side because I helped extinguish a fire,
24 in fact.
25 Q. Can you tell us -- first of all, do you recall the approximate
1 day, month, and year that this incident took place where you participated
2 in extinguishing a fire? Do you recall the approximate time period of
4 A. Well, I cannot recall the exact period. Perhaps it was sometime
5 between the 15th and 25th of July, 1993.
6 Q. Witness BI, can you please tell the Trial Chamber what you
7 remember about that day. What happened on that day?
8 A. On that day I was at the playground of the elementary school which
9 is not far away from my house. I was there with several of my peers,
10 peers of Croatian ethnicity, and we were playing football. In the
11 afternoon I went home for lunch. It may have been 3.00 or 4.00 p.m. As I
12 passed across the old Tepa, I saw smoke billowing from the courtyard of
13 the mosque. And boys will be boys; we were curious. We were interested
14 to see what was happening. So I went into the mosque yard, and from the
15 yard into the mosque itself, and I saw that at the very gate a carpet had
16 been set on fire. So I pulled that carpet out, and at that moment or
17 perhaps within the next three or four minutes while I was trying to put
18 out the fire, the carpet which was on fire, the entire compound of the
19 mosque went up in flames, and the flames billowed high, sky high.
20 Q. Let me brief interrupt you there, Witness BI. You say on line 8
21 at page 151, "I passed across the old Tepa." Can you tell the Chamber,
22 please, what the old Tepa was?
23 A. Well, a Tepa or the Tepa is a flea market. It is a market first
24 of all, generally.
25 Q. And Witness BI when you talk about going into the yard of the
1 mosque, do you remember the name of the mosque that you were referring to?
2 A. Yes, I'm referring to the mosque which is in the centre of Stolac,
3 which is Sultan Selim's mosque which is better known under the name of
4 "the Tsar's" or "Emperor's" mosque.
5 Q. Now, Witness BI, I interrupted you at the point where you were
6 talking about -- you said the mosque went up in flames, the flames
7 billowed high, sky high. Can you tell us what you saw next?
8 A. No. At that moment, the mosque was not on fire and there were not
9 flames that were sky high. It was the surrounding buildings that were on
10 fire at that particular moment when I pulled the carpet out of the mosque.
11 Q. And where did you go next? What did you see after you pulled this
12 carpet out?
13 A. I went back up there some 50 metres from that place, and I watched
14 on as those houses were burning. And within some 10 or 15 minutes, the
15 mosque was set on fire again. And in the second Tepa, I'm sure they used
16 some gasoline or some stuff that you use for arson. So indeed the flame
17 could soon be seen billowing through the roof.
18 Q. Now, Witness BI, how long were you at this location watching these
19 buildings on fire?
20 A. I was there for about 10 or 20 minutes. Then soldiers came who
21 had been outside the school in Stolac, and this school is not far from the
22 place of the fire, perhaps some 50 or 60 metres. So these soldiers came
23 and drove us away.
24 I continued to watch the fire, however, from the window of my
25 house, which is not far away.
1 Q. Witness BI, who were these soldiers? From what military were
2 these soldiers from?
3 A. HVO, for at that time only the Croatian Defence Council existed in
5 Q. And when you say, Witness BI, that you continued to watch the fire
6 from the window of your house, where exactly was your house in relation to
7 the Sultan Selim mosque?
8 A. Well, it was about - sorry - about a hundred metres away.
9 Q. Witness BI, did you see any efforts by anyone to extinguish these
10 fires that were burning on this day?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I would ask with the assistance of the
13 usher that the witness be shown a number of photographs and a map. What
14 I'm going to propose that we do is place or identify these locations of
15 these photographs on this map and then we'll tender all of these materials
16 as one in-court exhibit. I would ask first that the witness be shown the
17 photograph -- yeah, that's the right photograph. This has been previously
18 been marked as P 09583. But again, with your leave, Your Honours, we
19 would propose that all of these materials go in as one in-court exhibit.
20 Q. First of all, Witness, do you see the photograph that's on the
21 screen in front of you?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. Can you please describe what you see in that photograph?
24 A. I see the centre of Stolac, the mosque, the elementary school, and
25 a part of town, a settlement called Cuprija.
1 Q. Okay?
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness be given the thin red
5 Q. Now Witness, if -- we're going to mark on the photograph that's to
6 your right. Not on the computer screen but on the photograph to your
7 right. If you look to -- yeah, that one.
8 You told us, sir, that you saw the elementary school. Can you
9 please put an S for skola on the school building?
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. Can you please put a -- well, where do you see the mosque in the
12 picture? Do you see the mosque in the future?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Can you please put an M on the mosque.
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. Now, Witness BI, you told us earlier about the old Tepa. Is the
17 old Tepa visible on this photograph?
18 A. Yes, a part of it is.
19 Q. Can you please point to the part of the old Tepa that is visible
20 on this photograph?
21 A. You can just discern the roofs under the pines here, and the
22 entire compound around the mosque. Of course, it should be taken into
23 account that the buildings to the left also belong to the old Tepa.
24 Q. All right. Witness BI, I'm going to ask you if you could please
25 with the marker -- you've told us about the entire compound around the
1 Dzamija, around the mosque. Can you please circle the compound around the
2 mosque that you've referred to as the old Tepa.
3 A. [Marks].
4 Q. Thank you, Witness BI. Now, I take it from what you've told us
5 that your house where you were living is not visible on this photograph;
6 is that correct?
7 A. Yes, it is correct. It is not.
8 Q. Can you simply at the edge of the photograph mark an arrow
9 pointing in the direction to which your house was located?
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. Witness, I would ask if you could just put the initials BI in the
12 lower right-hand corner of this photograph and today's date, which is
14 A. [Marks].
15 MR. MUNDIS: I'd ask now the witness be shown the map or the
16 chart, the sketch, which was previously P 8986. This is page 7 of what
17 was P 8986. If this could be rotated, please.
18 Q. Witness, have you seen this -- have you seen this map sketch
20 A. No. This is the first time I see it. Actually, I saw it for the
21 first time when I arrived in Holland.
22 Q. One of my colleagues showed you this sketch, did they not?
23 A. Yes. Yes. That's right.
24 Q. Witness, since that time have you had an opportunity to
25 familiarise yourself with this sketch?
1 A. Yes, I have.
2 Q. And can you tell us, Witness BI, what this sketch is a drawing of?
3 A. This is a layout of downtown Stolac, the centre of Stolac,
4 including a part of other settlements, but, mind you, this is a very old
5 sketch. But the section that we need is the same.
6 Q. I think if the AV booth can zoom out just a little bit. That's
7 fine. Thank you.
8 Now, Witness BI, do you see on this sketch -- do you see the
9 elementary school or the primary school that you marked on the previous
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. And again, sir, if you could please put an S on that part of the
13 map where the school is located.
14 A. [Marks].
15 Q. Thank you. Can you please -- if you see it, can you please mark
16 the mosque with the letter M.
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. Witness BI, now can you please, just as you did on the photograph,
19 can you please draw a line around the old Tepa, that is the entire
20 compound known as the old Tepa.
21 A. The entire compound.
22 Q. Yes, please.
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now, I'm going to ask if it's possible to
25 place the next photograph, which is the exact one the usher -- ma'am, if
1 you could just put them both on there, actually, if that's possible. If
2 we can zoom out. This was the photograph that was previously marked as P
3 09582. And if that could be -- that one. Yes, please. If that could be
4 placed above the map if that's possible so that they're both visible on
5 the ELMO. No. Place the map so that we can see them both. Maybe one on
6 top of the other. And if we could then zoom out. Okay.
7 Witness, let's take the photograph, then, and put it so that you
8 can see it full screen. Thank you.
9 Sir, can you please in the bottom right-hand corner of that
10 photograph just put the number 1. Put the number 1, please.
11 A. One.
12 Q. Can you tell us, Witness, what is depicted in this photograph?
13 What is this? What are these buildings?
14 A. These -- these buildings are a part of the Tepa. They are to the
15 right of the minaret. Actually, their wall is -- the back of their wall
16 is in the courtyard of the mosque.
17 Q. And, Witness BI, can you tell us approximately if you have an idea
18 when this photograph was taken?
19 A. No, but I actually walked through Stolac already at age 5 or 6,
20 and I really can't tell. Maybe in the 1970s or -- but they're older,
21 older than I am in fact.
22 Q. I appreciate that, Witness. Let's try a different question. Was
23 this photograph taken before the war or after the war?
24 A. Before the war.
25 Q. And how do you know that?
1 A. Well, you can see, first of all, that the shops are opened. The
2 lorry which was sort of a truck service, towing service, was there. You
3 can see the auto -- automobile association sign there.
4 Q. Now -- yes.
5 A. And you can see that the windowpanes are entire, that they have
6 not been shattered by the detonations, by the blasts.
7 Q. And, Witness, if I went to this location today, would it look just
8 like this?
9 A. Well, I could say that what looked like that 70 per cent, because
10 some 70 per cent of it has been renovated, because 70 per cent is in
11 private hands, but the exterior and also the interior would be somewhat
13 Q. Okay. Now, if we could go back to the map, please. And, Witness,
14 if you could please mark what we just saw, that photograph that you marked
15 as number 1, can you mark that area on this sketch?
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. Thank you, Witness?
18 MR. MUNDIS: I note the time, Mr. President. I'm afraid unless
19 you want me to continue, we're going to have to stop for the evening.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As we've been
21 sitting since 9.00, it's time to adjourn.
22 Witness, you've taken the solemn declaration, which means tonight
23 you will be dining alone. You should not discuss matters with another
24 witness. You shouldn't speak to any other witnesses, and you should
25 likewise not meet any members of the Prosecution or of the Defence teams.
1 So you will be spending this night alone.
2 You should be back here tomorrow for the hearing that will start
3 at 9.00. The Victims and Witnesses Unit will take care of you. And if
4 everything goes as planned, you should be able to go back to your country
5 at the end of tomorrow. We haven't planned for you to stay on for one
6 additional day.
7 So as a witness, you understand that you should not meet anyone.
8 I wish everyone a good evening, and I will see you here tomorrow
9 morning at the hearing that will start at 9.00.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.34 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day
12 of May, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.