1 Thursday, 25 May 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.36 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. We continue with our
7 debate at 8.35. I have to say that I came at 8.15, meaning that I've been
8 waiting for 20 minutes. So Mr. Registrar, when we agree to start at
9 8.30, we should start at 8.30 sharp and not at 8.35.
10 Mr. Scott, you have 15 minutes and you have the floor.
11 WITNESS: SEID SMAJKIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your Honours.
14 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
15 Q. Mufti Smajkic, you have heard just now we have only a very limited
16 time. We only have about 15 minutes to finish this, so we are going to
17 have to move fairly quickly, please.
18 If I can have the usher please provide you with a packet of the
19 final exhibits I would like to show to you. Sir, again, I'm not going to
20 ask you for extensive discussion of these particular documents but if you
21 can just tell us a bit about them and confirm them to us, that would be
22 most helpful. If I can please direct your attention and the courtroom's
23 attention first of all to Exhibit P 02563.
24 A. Yes, I recognise this document.
25 Q. Is this a document that you wrote on about the 29th of May, 1993,
1 addressed to UNPROFOR, ECMM, the Red Cross, the HVO and the bishop
2 concerning various matters that you were -- concerns that you were raising
3 with them about events in Mostar?
4 A. That is quite correct. And in addition, there is a letter here
5 which was addressed to the Holy Father in the Vatican.
6 Q. Yes. I'll come to that document next. The -- among other things
7 in the first document, P 02563, one of the items that you raise there is
8 the destruction of the Balinovac mosque; is that correct?
9 A. It actually lists four mosques which remained in the western part
10 of the city.
11 MR. MURPHY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, we don't have this document.
12 I wonder whether it might be placed on the ELMO if it's a problem.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We don't either.
14 MR. SCOTT: Should have been in e-court. That's all of the
15 documents, okay.
16 Q. If you can move, then, please, sir, to Exhibit -- the next exhibit
17 I would like you to direct your attention to and the courtroom's attention
18 to is P 02797. I'll ask the e-court to try to follow along, please, as
19 quickly as possible. Mufti Smajkic, can you tell us what that letter is,
20 Exhibit 2797?
21 A. This document attests to our persistent efforts in addition to the
22 Catholic authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Mr. Kuharic was the
23 head then, it was our attempt to inform them firsthand with the -- about
24 the unlimited extensive scope of devastation of facilities and buildings.
25 So when this didn't prove to be fruitful, we actually got the idea that we
1 should have such news reach His Excellency, the Holy Father, Pope Wojtila,
2 and as at that time, the communications were down, were restricted, we had
3 no direct contact, of course, and we used our connections with the staff
4 of UNPROFOR in Medjugorje and we wrote this letter in order to inform the
5 world public of the atrocities of the terrible things going on in Mostar.
6 If you will allow me, I stated in this letter, because that same
7 year, in January, I actually paid a visit to Mr. Wojtila together with the
8 Bishop Peric, so I should like to inform the Trial Chamber that whatever
9 initiative we took, however hard we tried to launch an initiative in order
10 to improve the situation, and put an end to the sufferings which were
11 happening to any -- as well as to any potential ones, that is why we took
12 part in that particular initiative.
13 Q. All right. And if I can direct your attention and the courtroom's
14 attention, please, to Exhibit P 02800, is that a copy of the -- the letter
15 that you sent to the Pope on the 16th of June, 1993?
16 A. Yes. That is it.
17 Q. Can I direct your attention to Exhibit P 02852. And sir, is this
18 a letter that you wrote to the -- excuse me, is this a letter that was
19 written to you by Bishop Peric in response to some of your correspondence
20 in which you had raised various concerns to him?
21 A. Yes. That is the correspondence that we had with the bishop.
22 Q. All right. If I can direct your attention now to Exhibit P 02926,
23 is this a letter that you sent to Bishop Peric on the 24th of June, 1993?
24 A. Yes, it is. It is that letter.
25 Q. Sir, can you tell the Judges, did you persist in a series of
1 correspondence, communications with Bishop Peric and others again as
2 continuing efforts to resolve the conflict in the Mostar region?
3 A. Obviously we did persist, and whenever a possibility for
4 communication presented itself, either by way of letters or by way of any
5 messages to be sent orally or in other ways, we wanted to always tap on
6 such a possibility and to establish contact.
7 Q. Very good. Sir the last questions that I would like to put to you
8 is going back to some of the changes that took place in Mostar after the
9 HVO takeover there. Did you -- were the names of streets changed at some
10 point or at various points in 1993 -- 1992, 1993, 1994?
11 A. Well, this is an official report from a Croatian newspaper, the
12 Slobodna Dalmatia, "Free Dalmatia," but we also have a certificate from
13 the local authorities of the municipality of Mostar which, as you can see,
14 renamed the streets. They sent us the old names as well as the new names.
15 Q. Let me interrupt you just a moment, please. You're referring now
16 to -- you're looking ahead to, and for the courtroom, Exhibit P 08538.
17 And you're saying that this was a publication, a published decision of the
18 Mostar municipal council in which the names of various streets in Mostar
19 were changed?
20 A. Yes. And this document is proof of that, and it really happened
21 the way I told. Not a single street remained bearing the name of some
22 Muslim person of authority. Rather, all the names were changed to bear
23 names of Croatian dignitaries, Croatian church dignitaries, and so on and
24 so forth. Even still today, although the city has been united, we are
25 still waiting a political struggle to change some names of the -- some
1 streets, because they desecrated the dignity of the city. They have
2 fascist names of fascist personages from the Second World War.
3 Nevertheless we still have not managed to achieve a political consensus
4 around that matter still. And this is indeed an insult because Mostar is
5 on the World Heritage list. It is a disgrace for this city. There are
6 about four names of streets, four streets with such names.
7 Q. Can you give the Judges, please, an example or two in the time
8 remaining, of some of the names on this list that -- the renames or the
9 new names given, excuse me, that is the names of people who you identified
10 as fascist or Ustasha during the World War II period.
11 A. Your Honours, I should like to draw your attention to the street
12 under name 28, it used to be called the Aleksa Santica Street. It was
13 renamed into Dr. Mile Budak Street. You can see it under number 28. In
14 the second column you have the name Dr. Mile Budak. He was a minister, an
15 official in the government of Ante Pavelic. As well, under number 33, the
16 street of Jakov Baruha-Spanca, was renamed and bears a similar name,
17 namely of people who did abominable things in the Second World War. The
18 names are Vokic and Lorkovic. And there are others I can see very well
19 here. I don't know whether there is a second page to this document.
20 Francetic, for instance. Three or four names which especially grate on
21 the nerves, irritate very deeply the citizens of Mostar.
22 MR. SCOTT: Mufti Smajkic, thank you very much for your testimony.
23 We have no further questions, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I should like to ask
25 you a very brief question myself. I just familiarised myself with two
1 letters; the one you sent to the bishop, and the bishop's reply. In the
2 bishop's letter, you refer to a book that you had written, which is called
3 "Instructions to the Muslim Combatant." It was allegedly published in
4 1993 in 50.000 copies. In that book, on page 26, it seems that you wrote
5 that a military commander should adopt the decision on whether to release
6 or exchange or liquidate some of the prisoners. Can you, as a clerical
7 minister, as a religious person, explain to me how can such words be used,
8 namely that a prisoner can be liquidated?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honour Presiding
10 Judge, I must correct this statement of yours because I -- it was not me
11 who wrote that letter. That book was published, as indicated, in Zenica.
12 It was written by the Zenica mufti and not by yours truly. It is true
13 that it was published, that book, and it is true that it contains the
14 statement which you have just now quoted. You have seen the resolution of
15 the Muslims of Herzegovina in which we quoted the provisions from both the
16 Koran and the Prophet Mohamed on the way how war is prosecuted and how one
17 is to go about preserving human as well as other resources, economic
18 resources included. You could have even noticed that it is prohibited to
19 even destroy fruit and the fruit of fruit-bearing trees. So I can also
20 tell you that in the bloodiest battle, which of decisive importance for
21 the survival of the Muslims in the first stage of the operations of the
22 Prophet Mohamed, the so-called battle of Bedro and, of course, the Prophet
23 Mohamed has to be a paragon for all of us to emulate in our lives. That
24 is the first example of a new conventional -- unconventional way of
25 respect for human lives and prisoners. Actually, he punished the
1 prisoners captured by the Muslim army by having each of the prisoners
2 become literate. They have had actually to make ten illiterate Muslims -
3 who were unable to read and write, in other words - literate. So this is
4 an example that we can draw upon and we could actually point to to
5 illustrate what -- how we feel prisoners should be treated. So the
6 prisoners' duty, in order to be released, is to teach ten people to read
7 and write.
8 In the Islamic military strategy, there exists the theory which is
9 quoted in the statement, the brochure that you quoted, which actually
10 provides for the possibility of exchanging prisoners, the mutual exchange
11 of prisoners. It is also possible to ransom prisoners, and as an ultimate
12 possibility -- of course this is just a possibility and it is left to a
13 discretionary decision, but, of course, when you have people who have
14 committed massacres and very heinous crimes -- but anyway, it is possible
15 that the military staff, the military court staff who are making such
16 decisions, they may be able to mete out the death penalty in such
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I shall give the
19 floor to the Defence to start the cross-examination in the sequence which
20 you feel suits you best.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, the Defence for Mr. Stojic will
22 begin. However, I should note for the record that we met yesterday, we
23 believe that we need a combined amount of eight hours for
24 cross-examination, we demand eight hours of cross-examination. And we are
25 each prepared to do our bit of cross-examination and not have to forfeit
1 it in order for others to benefit time-wise. So I've already informed the
2 Prosecutor what we were -- of the time that we needed. I'm just making
3 this record right now, but I think it's important. The Prosecutor
4 indicated this is an important witness. Just on that last question, that
5 would deserve a 15- or 20-minute response, especially when we go back and
6 see what the gentleman testified with respect to this particular question
7 that you raised, Mr. President, in the Tuta case, because I dare say it is
8 very different. And this is why we need to take our time with this
9 particular witness because we are going to find out that there is a great
10 deal of confabulation. Thank you.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, it seems to me that
13 we shall be having a problem early next week with a scheduled witness.
14 Meaning that we could have Friday -- sorry, Monday or Tuesday free. All
15 right. Then we agree?
16 Sir, would you have a problem remaining here until Monday or
17 perhaps no problem at all in that connection?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have a very big problem,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we too, as judges, have
21 formidable problems. Would it be possible for you to perhaps alter your
22 schedule, perhaps postpone some of your meetings on Monday and indeed
23 remain? Because if the Defence is asking for eight hours, they will have
24 four hours today and four on Monday.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a scheduled an very important
1 official decision -- visit of a delegation from Kuwait on Saturday. So I
2 was actually counting on leaving on Friday, tomorrow, at the latest.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But could you go
4 back on Friday and then come back on Monday?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm afraid that would not be
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I'm
8 speaking on behalf of the Defence and the agreement reached by us. If
9 there is no room on Monday, if the witness is unable to come for objective
10 reasons, then we wish to postpone the entire cross-examination for a
11 period in which the witness will be able to spend two consecutive days in
12 the courtroom. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Actually, I will go a step further.
15 If the witness cannot come for cross-examination even later, then we
16 should exclude this part of the record, of course.
17 MR. SCOTT: I think that's a rather extreme position, Your Honour.
18 Your Honour, the alternative position - suggestion - I think probably
19 others in the courtroom may be thinking the same thing but I'll be the
20 one, I guess, to say it: If Monday is a problem, is there any possibility
21 that we could meet tomorrow instead? I know we normally don't meet on
22 Fridays, but if we could meet tomorrow and then perhaps take Monday
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Impossible.
25 MR. SCOTT: Or this afternoon?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. I already said that we have
2 to finish at 1.45.
3 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour, then I don't know --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. There is another
5 possibility, namely Defence can start their cross-examination today and
6 then we can conclude on another day.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may, the witness came here in
8 order to serve the justice, so the witness was here in Tuta and Stela and
9 at that time he travelled twice. In the first occasion he stayed a week
10 and then he was -- his testimony was rescheduled and then he testified
11 next time. He is in the contact -- he has been in the contact with the
12 Prosecution. So the witness was very well aware and experienced,
13 actually, that scheduling his witnessing -- his testimony here is
14 difficult, it is influenced by many elements, so it was not fair and
15 correct if the witness scheduled his other obligations in Sarajevo on such
16 a tight schedule, like Friday, immediately after the last day of his
17 planned testimony, that is not fair. The witness should be ordered to
18 stay here through the Monday and Tuesday. That is my submission.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But is there any
20 possibility for the Defence to commence with their cross-examination, to
21 do the first portion today and to do the second portion another day? What
22 are the problems there? Yes, Ms. Nozica.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I'm not going to
24 say that there is a big problem, but there is a problem. We planned our
25 cross-examination in such a way to give each team an opportunity to cover
1 certain topics depending on the time allotted to us and so that the next
2 team can continue with new topics. We believe that this is an
3 exceptionally important witness, and we think that the impression of the
4 cross-examination as a whole is completely different if it is split in
5 two. So I suggest that it be postponed until such time when the witness
6 can spend two entire days in the courtroom. But, of course, we will
7 comply with any ruling you issue.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The fact that the first portion
9 of the cross-examination begins today and concludes it on another day is
10 not a problem, in my view. If the witness comes and then there is a break
11 of several days and then he continues, it is up to the Judges to assess
12 his evidence. We will be doing that on the basis of documents and
13 transcript, not on the basis of any subjective element, so I don't see any
14 problems in beginning today and concluding on another day when the witness
15 has a more relaxed schedule. The fact is that it could have been foreseen
16 that the witness -- this witness will need to testify for a longer period
17 of time, especially when this pertains to the individual responsibility of
18 at least three persons. It is quite reasonable to expect that the Defence
19 would need more time.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. The Judges have
22 consulted each other, and I hereby rule that the cross-examination is to
23 begin today and that it will be concluded on another day. Who is to
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
1 would like to propose something that we used in another case, in
2 Hadzihasanovic and Kubura case, and that was the proposal of the
3 Prosecution in that case, namely to invite the most important witnesses to
4 come here at the beginning of the week so that we don't find ourselves in
5 this situation when the week is running out and we have not completed our
6 work with the witness. Perhaps it can be scheduled in such a way as to
7 bring the most important witnesses at the beginning of the week.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That was your
9 remark, which is quite appropriate. When we are dealing with an important
10 witness, such witness needs to come at the beginning of the week, not
11 towards the end of the week. All right, but we now yield the floor to the
12 first counsel who is to cross-examine.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have two
14 requests before I begin. The first one is to have the Prosecutor tender
15 into evidence all exhibits they intend to use, because I will be referring
16 to some of them, so in order to avoid the situation where we have several
17 numbers assigned to the same document.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You are quite right.
19 Mr. Scott, what documents do you want to introduce, which ones?
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I didn't do that because I was
21 being very sensitive about taking any of the Defence time so I figured we
22 would try to do it at the end and that's the only reason I had not taken
23 the time to do it immediately.
24 We offer Exhibit -- the following exhibits: P 00180, P 00318,
25 P -- we believe that P 00374 has already been admitted through a prior
1 witness, but -- all right. The Registrar says yes, so ... We offer
2 Exhibit P 00375, P 00477, P 00731, P 01160, P 01167, P 02244, P 02493,
3 P 02563, P 02565, P 02586, P 02797, P 02800, P 02852, P 02926, P 08538,
4 P 08939, P 09492, and P 09559, and also the In Court exhibit 00020, which
5 was the marked Mostar map. And Your Honour, at the conclusion of dealing
6 with exhibits, I do want to make one comment in terms of scheduling,
7 please. I won't do it at the moment.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, can
9 you please assign the number. You have them on the screen.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. Let me just
11 repeat those numbers, and for the record they will be tendered and
12 admitted with today's date. The following exhibits are therefore assigned
13 the following numbers: P 00180, P 00318, P 00375, P 00477, P 00731, P 116
14 -- sorry, P 01160, P 01167, P 02244, P 02493, P 02563, P 02565, P 02586,
15 P 02797, P 02800, P 02852, P 02926, P 08538, P 08939, P 09492, P 09559. I
16 do confirm that IC 00020 was tendered and admitted with yesterday's date.
17 This completes the list, Mr. President, thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 Mr. Mundis, before giving you the floor for scheduling purposes, just an
20 information from the Trial Chamber to both the Prosecution and the
21 Defence. This has to do with Rule 115 bis. The Judges will be absent for
22 several days after the 12th of July -- June. After the 15th of June, the
23 Chamber will be in full composition then and it is then that the witness
24 needs to come back to complete his examination. He needs to come back on
25 the 22nd of June, because from that date on, all four judges will be
2 As for the schedule, next week, on Tuesday, there will be a
3 Plenary Session of judges. They will be discussing a potential amendment
4 to the Rules of Procedure, and this has to do with the completion
5 strategy. This session is scheduled to begin at 2.30, which means that we
6 will have our morning session, which will end at 12.30, and then we will
7 resume for the afternoon at 4 p.m. and we will work from 4 p.m. until 7
8 p.m. This is the schedule for next Tuesday, because all of the four
9 judges need to attend the Plenary Session of judges in order to discuss
10 the amendments to the rules of procedure.
11 All right. Mr. Scott, as for the scheduling issue, I need to tell
12 you that when I say 20, I mean 20, not 21. 20 hours is a normal period of
13 time that is available to other judges in other Trial Chambers, and I
14 think that this will take quite a while, in view of the number of the
15 accused and the exhibits. We have, however, the obligation to stick to
16 this time frame of 20 hours. Therefore, you have 20 hours available to
17 you. And it is up to you to schedule the use of that time in such a way
18 so as to avoid similar situations. Had this witness come on Monday, we
19 would not be finding ourselves in this situation. You said initially that
20 this witness will require four and a half hours. You are in charge of
21 this case. If you are not planning the testimony of witnesses
22 accordingly, then we will have significant problems. Therefore, do your
23 best to ensure that the most important witnesses come at the beginning of
24 the week, not towards the end of the week. I applied this rule, this
25 principle, in the Hadzihasanovic and Kubura case. Let us try to apply it
1 here as well.
2 This is quite a special case, given the number of exhibits, and I
3 must say that Defence also tenders certain important documents into
4 evidence as well, and quite numerous ones sometimes too. So we will be
5 dealing with very many exhibits, practically unprecedented here at this
6 Tribunal. These remarks are addressed not only to the Prosecution but
7 also to the Defence. There is a similar case in progress right now in
8 Rwanda with six accused. This case commenced in 2001 and is still in
9 progress now. Therefore, if we want to work efficiently, you have to bear
10 in mind the 20 hours that you have available to you.
11 Now we are going to give our position concerning the lodging of
12 the appeal concerning the duration of the cross-examination. While we are
13 waiting for the Appeals Chamber to rule on this appeal, we will continue
14 with the old principle, namely to give the same amount of time to both
15 parties, except when it comes to the individual responsibility of each of
16 the accused individually, in which case such Defence teams will have the
17 same amount of time as the Prosecution.
18 Now, let us see about our schedule for next week.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I feel I must address a couple of points,
20 general points. I believe and I submit to the Court with all respect that
21 the Prosecution is moving as efficiently as possible. We took this
22 witness, this last witness in shorter time than we had predicted. We have
23 done that with various witnesses. We have pushed and gone as fast as we
24 reasonably can. The Chamber has to keep in mind that we are trying to
25 present the case, the evidence, to the Chamber. If the Chamber does not
1 receive the evidence that it needs to determine the case at the end of the
2 day, then it is the case as a whole and it is the work of Your Honours
3 that is damaged. If we don't have time to present our case, and if we
4 have to skip over evidence and we can't present it to you, then it is to
5 the detriment of the case and ultimately to the detriment of Your Honours,
6 the Judges, because you have less evidence on which to make your final
8 We have moved repeatedly quite efficiently. Again, we took this
9 witness in less time than we had expected. We used less than four hours
10 when I had said at least four hours or approximately four and a half, so I
11 don't think, Your Honours, that we can be criticised for not moving the
12 case efficiently.
13 As to scheduling, Your Honours, I must say scheduling is a huge
14 effort that I don't think anyone in the courtroom appreciates as much as
15 we do because you don't have to deal with it. It's a huge effort to get
16 witnesses here, a huge amount of work goes into that with the Victim
17 Witness Section, with the various embassies, with the individual witness,
18 with our office, with the Registry. It is a huge effort. Having a window
19 -- a long window of time from the midday on Thursday until midday on
20 Monday makes it especially complicated in scheduling the witnesses and
21 keeping them over from one week to the next when a witness is required to
22 essentially sit in The Hague for three and a half days. It makes it very
23 difficult to schedule and have witnesses waiting for three and a half days
24 in The Hague over an extended weekend. It makes it very difficult.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but Mr. Scott, I have to
1 interrupt you. I also worked as a Prosecutor, so you don't need to tell
2 us all this. When you call a witness to come and testify here, you will
3 proof that witness before the testimony begins. If we are scheduled to
4 work on Monday afternoon, then you have all the time prior to that to
5 proof that witness. If the witness is scheduled to testify for two or
6 three days, you will not schedule other witnesses for the same day. The
7 next witness, then, needs to come on Wednesday, and then on Friday
8 afternoon one of your colleagues will be preparing the witness for the
9 next session. So it is your responsibility to schedule witnesses in such
10 a way as to be compatible with your other tasks, and if we proceed in this
11 way, then we will work efficiently.
12 In addition to that, we have to bear in mind the funding necessary
13 for the work of this Tribunal. Therefore, when you plan your witnesses,
14 you must not disregard this issue. It is up to you to come up with a good
15 plan. I understand that there will be witnesses who will cause a problem
16 because unexpected things may arise, the witnesses may not be able to
17 come, we fully understand that, but if there are witnesses regarding whom
18 there are no problems, such as, for example, expert witness Donia, then
19 these are doable issues. When you expect to have some problems, when
20 problems arise, please bring that to our attention, we will discuss it and
21 try to avoid it. Especially in order to avoid the situation we had last
22 time, don't bring all of your witnesses at the same time. No. Bring them
23 one after the other. Otherwise we will have the same problem we had
24 previously. Please continue, Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. We don't bring all our
1 witnesses at the same time. They do come in sequentially through the
2 weeks and the days. What you said is true, that various people meet with
3 and prepare the witnesses sequentially. Unfortunately, that has nothing
4 to do with the schedule in the courtroom. Again, it makes it very, very
5 difficult when timing cannot be predicted perfectly. It cannot be
6 predicted perfectly. You make the best assessment you can and it just
7 makes it very difficult in a situation as today, when we get to the end of
8 the week and we have a large gap, and to expect the witness to stay in The
9 Hague for an extra three and a half days is a hardship on the witness,
10 Your Honour. We will try to avoid that as we can, but you cannot - I'll
11 repeat - you cannot perfectly predict and time these things. We will try
12 to do our best, as we have already, to schedule the witnesses in the most
13 efficient way. I cannot say that -- it is not possible to always schedule
14 - quote, unquote - the most important witnesses at the beginning of the
15 week. It is difficult enough to schedule witnesses the way it is. We
16 have to fit in witnesses when they can come, and we will do our best to
17 keep that point in mind, but we cannot, cannot, commit that that will
18 always be the case. Every witness that we call is important or we
19 wouldn't be calling them at all. And especially the viva voce witnesses
20 as opposed to the 92 bis witnesses that we will be submitting in the
22 So, Your Honour, we'll do the very best we can, as we have. I
23 don't know, I'm not able to speak with Mufti Smajkic at this point. I
24 don't know what his schedule is, I don't know what his schedule is the
25 week of the 22nd. I think it's only fair to consider the witness's
1 schedule as well. I'd ask for permission at the break to speak with Mufti
2 Smajkic about his scheduling possibilities over the weeks ahead. Thank
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. You cannot meet with this
5 witness again because we are about to start cross-examination and any
6 contact has to go through Victims and Witnesses Unit in order to schedule
7 the next testimony. They will pass the information on to us, but you
8 cannot contact this witness any longer, not at this stage.
9 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour. Then again I say this in
10 front of the witness so the witness will be advised that, please -- that
11 he please communicate his schedule and needs to the Victim and Witnesses
12 Section. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I think that I might have a solution to help us in
15 the future.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you have a solution --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I proposed last week and I will propose again here
18 in court that if we could meet with the Prosecution in advance, go over
19 their witnesses with them, so then we can tell them what we believe our
20 projection of time is, they can also tell us what evidence they intend to
21 proffer at the time. It allows us then to give them our input as to how
22 much time they need, then they can work around that schedule. I fully
23 understand Mr. Scott's problems with getting witnesses, but if they knew
24 in advance a little bit what our needs are, and then it might solve of
25 these issues. That's the proposal. So if you could direct us to meet, we
1 are willing to meet.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What Mr. Karnavas says
3 makes sense. Normally the parties do meet in order to discuss, and the
4 Chamber intervenes only when there are problems. What Mr. Karnavas just
5 said reflects the good cooperation between the sides. If you tell to the
6 Defence in advance what your scheduling plans are, and if the Defence can
7 tell you how much time they will need, that will solve many problems. I'm
8 trying to encourage that kind of a relationship between you. I think you
9 need to communicate among yourselves, and we should stay outside of it,
10 and only if there are no problems that you cannot resolve, then should we
11 intervene. Please go ahead, Mr. Scott.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, only one moment. That is just to say
13 this: I appreciate Mr. Karnavas's suggestion, I think it can be pursued,
14 but I note this: All of that information, all this information, was
15 provided to the Defence on the 14th of April. We gave an entire schedule
16 up to the summer break, including the list of witnesses and the estimated
17 time of direct examination. So at any time up until now, and we will be
18 happy to receive it next week or as soon as possible, we could receive in
19 writing from the Defence their estimated cross-examination times. All
20 that information from the Prosecution that Mr. Karnavas has mentioned just
21 now has been available since the 14th of April. So I invite them to --
22 the Defence to make a response indicating the estimated cross-examination
23 time for each witness, and I suppose the Chamber then can give any further
24 guidance because, again, Your Honour, we then have to make a schedule
25 based on these things, and if the schedule changes from day to day, we
1 can't have a witness -- we can't make those adjustments on a moment's
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But you see what
4 Mr. Karnavas just said. Imagine that this witness -- the parties meet and
5 you say to Mr. Karnavas, and you say to him, "I will take four hours."
6 And they tell you, "Well, we need eight hours." So we have four hours and
7 eight hours. Altogether that's 12 hours, which means a part of the week.
8 So in that case, you schedule the witness for Monday, and then there are
9 no problems. So if the witness comes on Monday, then we conclude
10 everything that week, we take it to the end, and there are no problems.
11 So you really need to discuss these issues between yourselves.
12 I believe that another judge wants to have a -- give a remark.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Just to give you an observation.
14 Mr. Scott, when you give your assessment of time that you plan to use for
15 examination-in-chief, there are quite considerable differences between the
16 estimates that you gave initially and then later. Therefore, the Defence
17 -- or rather, I think that there are really good reasons for you to meet
18 and flesh this out, discuss these issues.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I am happy to provide -- well, let me say
20 again: Let me start by repeating, the general information -- I agree with
21 Your Honour Judge Trechsel that this has -- this can be done. That
22 information, the general information has been provided for a long time.
23 Nothing has prevented the Defence up until now from providing that
24 information. I invite them to do so. I invite them to sit down with the
25 filings that we made the 14th of April - more than a month ago - and for
1 each witness indicate the estimated time for cross-examination and provide
2 that to us.
3 At the same time, Judge Trechsel, I appreciate the fact that we
4 will update our schedule, our estimates as well. We have done that.
5 Again, please understand, we have decreased our estimates. It has been
6 because of the considerable pressure the Chamber has put upon us to
7 present the case within a 400 hour time frame. We are -- it's the
8 Prosecution who has the burden of proof in this case. We have been asked
9 to prove our case in a very, very limited amount of time. I don't know if
10 it can be done or not. I don't know if it can be done. We are trying our
11 best to do it. But the point is when we shorten our estimates, it's
12 because of the considerable pressure that we are receiving from the
13 Chamber, and when we said we can do a witness in six hours and then when
14 we try our best to say it's going to be four and a half hours and in fact
15 we do it in less than four hours, that's where we are. We are doing our
16 very best to do that. You cannot do this -- I submit again, you cannot
17 try these cases by stopwatch. You cannot do it. There is inevitable --
18 there are human factors involved, and you make estimates, you do the best
19 you can to make an estimate, but -- and that's all you can do. I'm happy
20 to meet with the Defence, I will meet with them this afternoon, if they
21 wish to do so. They have the information. I ask them to provide time
22 estimates for cross-examination which will assist -- hopefully assist
23 everyone, including the Defence, the Prosecution, and the Chamber. Thank
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber is asking you to
1 meet and to mutually thrash out all those problems, because the problem
2 that we have today between the Prosecution and the Defence will be in a
3 different direction in a year, from the Defence towards the Prosecution.
4 So in order to solve that situation, you will have to talk to each other.
5 Ms. Nozica, I believe that you will start the cross-examination.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] After all this, and as I need to
7 collate the numbers, the Prosecutor's numbers with our own numbers, if we
8 could perhaps take a break before we proceed with the cross-examination,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Now it is 9.35. We
11 shall take a 20-minute break and we shall continue at 10 to 10.00.
12 --- Break taken at 9.35 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 9.52 a.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica? Actually,
15 Mr. Murphy.
16 MR. MURPHY: Before she begins her cross-examination, may I just
17 take a moment to clarify the Court's ruling on our request for
18 certification for interlocutory appeal. On the record this morning, I
19 think the translation may have gone perhaps a little wrong at that point
20 between English and French.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will spell it out. When I
22 said that we would be issuing a certification for the appeal lodged by the
23 entire Defence, this referred to the previous case in connection with our
24 oral ruling of the 8th of May. It is actually the decision of the 8th of
25 June which is the subject of this other certification. That is what I
1 meant to say.
2 MR. MURPHY: I'm sorry, did Your Honour say the 8th of June?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The 8th of May. Sorry, the 8th
4 of May. So I shall repeat: On the 8th of May we issued our oral ruling
5 on the question of the duration of cross-examination. After that, all the
6 counsels addressed a request, asking certification to actually lodge an
7 appeal from that oral ruling. We shall be issuing a certification for the
8 lodging of appeals. Did you understand?
9 MR. MURPHY: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. Will you be giving
10 a written decision, Judge?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, a written one. You still
12 haven't received it because it has to be entered into the file,
13 registered, but I am telling you orally that you will be given a written
15 MR. MURPHY: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Madam Nozica, you have the
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Smajkic. I am Senka Nozica. I shall be
21 interrogating you on behalf of Mr. Stojic.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. You said in response to a question of the Prosecutor that in 1992,
24 in April and May, the HVO assumed civilian power. Can we see document
25 00180 of the Prosecution, which is a decision of the Crisis Staff from the
1 29th of April, 1992. And you were interrogated by the Prosecutor about
2 that document yesterday in relation to certain points in this decision
3 associated with your statement, namely in which way the HVO assumed power
4 in this period in April and May. I will point to some of the parts of
5 this decision and also connect -- link that with some other documents
7 Okay, we have this decision in front of us. Can we zoom it in,
8 please? So yesterday we were talking about this and that is
9 incontrovertible, you stated that members of the Crisis Staff and members
10 of political parties who participated in the government at that particular
11 moment, that the Crisis Staff, namely, was actually established because
12 the Serbs had left the government bodies, and here we have the names given
13 of Crisis Staff members and it is obvious that we can identify them as
14 persons who belong to some political parties and some were not
15 identified. For instance, Mr. Jole Musa. Do you know whether he was a
16 member of a political party?
17 A. Yes, he was.
18 Q. Fikret Bajric, that's number 8.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. He was also a party representative?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Ilija Filipovic also, is that also so?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mehmed Behmen?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Josip Skutor, Borislav Puljic, Zijad Demirovic - we heard that
2 name already - Izet Hadziosmanovic, we already heard about him, and we
3 know that Mr. Gagro was the mayor of Mostar in that period; is that not
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So now we shall dwell on item 2 of this decision. Item 2 of this
7 decision says the protection and defence of the city of Mostar against
8 units referred to in Article 1 - and that refers to the Yugoslav People's
9 Army - is hereby entrusted to the Croatian Defence Council, the municipal
10 staff of Mostar, as well as to members of the Ministry of the Interior,
11 the Mostar centre. So from this item of the decision, can we then take it
12 that on the basis of this document, the defence of the city of Mostar was
13 legally, legitimately entrusted to members of HVO and Ministry of the
15 A. On the basis of this paragraph, one might have a hint. This is an
16 assumption of something that ought to happen, but however in practice, in
17 reality, this is not the way it happened.
18 Q. Mr. Smajkic, I will give you other documents to illustrate how it
19 unfolded subsequently in practice, but at this moment please focus on this
20 decision, will you.
21 A. If you will allow me, in regard to the second portion, the second
22 part, the end of this Article, "and the members of the Ministry of the
23 Interior, the Mostar centre," in whatever way it was or when the HVO
24 assumed this duty, it also presupposed some other requirements, as
25 indicated in this document. Anyway, in whatever way it was that the HVO
1 assumed the leading role in the defence of the city of Mostar, it was not
2 allowed to members of the Ministry of the Interior, which was a joint
3 institution, which included policemen who were both Muslims and Croats.
4 Actually what it did was to expel all the Bosniaks from the MUP and
5 establish a mono-ethnic MUP. So that this is what actually happened.
6 They derogated from this provision, in fact, significantly.
7 Q. Who expelled whom, in which way is something that we shall be
8 discussing later. Please, I'm just pointing out for you some documents,
9 and, of course, I am quite aware of the fact that I cannot change your
10 convictions, they are the way they are and they are your assessments, but
11 they do not only refer to this particular portion of the text.
12 Let me now draw your attention to Article 3 of this decision,
13 which states in paragraph 2 that the Muslims may establish their own units
14 to be placed under the single command of the HVO, the municipal staff of
15 Mostar. Are you aware of the Muslims having established their own armed
16 formations which were to be placed under the united command of the HVO
17 municipal staff in Mostar?
18 A. The Muslim forces or the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were
19 independent forces that took part together with the HVO in the defence of
20 Mostar in the first stage of aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina, but
21 there were quite a few Muslims who were members of the armed units of the
23 THE INTERPRETER: Will the speakers please not overlap.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So we agree that there were Muslims, quite a few of them in the
1 units of the HVO, and that they were independent units of the army of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. Yes, of the units of army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Q. I can see that you react when I say "Muslim forces." As far as I
5 can remember, at least on one occasion yesterday you used that term.
6 We'll see whether you use this term in an official capacity. I'm not
7 insisting on this term, I'm just quoting the decision and following, to a
8 certain extent, what you yourself said.
9 Let's have a look at paragraph 4 now.
10 A. I must say that I disagree with your position. In order to be
11 cooperative, I used the term "the Muslim forces," but that's not an
12 adequate term. It's the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which still had
13 members that weren't Muslims, and as a result, the term we should use is
14 "the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina." There was a small group, however,
15 that was part of the army and that called themselves the Muslim forces.
16 Q. Please have a look at item 4 of this decision. It says that the
17 national composition of the command staff of the HVO shall correspond to
18 the national identity of active soldiers; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You had certain comments with regard to this. Yesterday you said
21 that the HVO took over the command and you said that there were no Muslims
22 who were part of the command staff; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to another item of this decision.
25 It's not a problem for me to read out the entire item, but the Prosecutor
1 drew your attention only to item 8. I'll get to that. But let's have a
2 look at item 7, the last paragraph under item 7. And if we have agreed
3 that the Crisis Staff adopted this decision and that it was the only
4 legitimate and legal body of executive authority in Mostar at the time,
5 could we then agree that here it states that all documents for the
6 movement of goods and people are to be issued by the HVO, the municipal
7 Mostar staff. Is that what it says in this decision?
8 A. I can't see that part.
9 Q. I apologise.
10 A. I can only see the first part of item 7.
11 Q. Can we just scroll up a bit? Yes, now we can see it. Sir, so
12 it's correct to say that that is what this decision states?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Please, with regard to your comment according to which the HVO
15 took over civilian and military authority in Mostar at that period of
16 time, in that period of time -- we are talking about the period April-May,
17 1992, and we are talking about a period during which a decision was taken
18 to act jointly against the JNA and other paramilitary formations, against
19 the aggressor in the area. Tell me, at that time, were the Muslims in the
20 ABiH adequately armed, adequately organised, in order to carry out this
21 task in an appropriate manner? Were they prepared to carry out that task
22 in such a short period of time?
23 A. Is that the end of the question?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Do you mean independently?
1 Q. Yes. Or in any other way. At that point in time, were the Muslim
2 people adequately armed and prepared to carry out this task on their own?
3 A. No, not on their own.
4 Q. Were they adequately armed?
5 A. Well, it's true to say that they weren't.
6 Q. I'll now show you the following document. Could it please be
7 brought up on the screen. 2D 0007 is the number of the document. It is
8 in B/C/S. We only have the B/C/S version. I have provided the
9 interpreters with the document. I've already said it's been submitted for
10 translation. That was done on the 21st of December, 2005. And as soon as
11 we receive the translation, we will attach it to this document. You have
12 it in front of you on the screen. You have a report compiled by the
13 Cultural Circle of Muslims in Mostar, and that was part of the Muslim
14 community. It's an information, it's a report on the situation and
15 problems in Mostar and Herzegovina. And here it says it's a working
17 Let's just scroll down a little so that we can see the date, so
18 that we can see when this report was drafted. So it was in September,
19 1992. Do you remember this report? Do you remember having participated
20 in the drafting of this report? Do you remember it being presented at a
21 press conference? What can you tell us about this report? What do you
22 know about it?
23 A. On the basis of the title, I couldn't tell you much. I couldn't
24 tell you anything. I can see that it's a report. I admit that there was
25 a Muslim Cultural Circle within the Muslim community, within the Islamic
1 community. We made various proposals that depended on the situation, we
2 made various proposals to improve the situation. We drafted a lot of
3 documents. Yourself have said that this is a working version. So I
4 really don't know what it is exactly on the basis of the title.
5 Q. Could we have a look at page 2, please. You'll then be able to
6 have a look at the table of contents and then I'll ask you whether you
7 remember this report and whether you participated in its drafting. Could
8 we see the entire page on the screen. Could we zoom out a little?
9 A. I can't see it well enough. Now it's okay. The Cultural Circle
10 functioned within the Islamic community. I can now recognise this
11 material. I know that various people prepared various reports, and as a
12 representative of the Islamic community, this was done in close
13 cooperation with myself.
14 Q. I'll read something out from the introduction. It's on the next
15 page, under the title, "Introduction." Could we please scroll down a
16 little? A little more, just a little more. That's fine, we can stop
17 there. Scroll up a bit again. A little further up. That's fine.
18 Let's have a look at the introductory part, which refers to
19 problems that Muslims of Herzegovina have mentioned with regard to the
20 SDA. We are talking about September, 1992. You spoke at length about
21 this and I think this introduction contains many things about which you
22 spoke yesterday. You can see a part that's been underlined which says,
23 "Because of these phenomena, the Muslim people in Mostar and in a large
24 part of Herzegovina were unprepared for the war. They were not unified
25 and they were unarmed. These weaknesses have been noticed by the regional
1 board of Herzegovina, which, as far as we know, have requested for a
2 meeting of the regional board to be convened but its president ignored its
4 Then it continues: "Before the war broke out, arms were obtained
5 for Muslims and certain irregularities were observed at the time with
6 regard to the distribution of weapons, in particular the distribution of
7 weapons obtained for free, as assistance. In this respect, newspapers
8 have published articles stating that weapons have been resold and this was
9 accompanied by various manipulations. During such events, in which
10 representatives of the parties were called out, they didn't even deny such
11 claims. According to our information and from conversations with Muslims
12 expelled from Eastern Herzegovina, we have discovered that this
13 information from the articles is correct. And some weapons were sold for
14 far higher amounts than the original price. And this has thus stained the
15 party and the leadership in the pre-war period, and as a result, many of
16 the honest citizens of Muslim nationality have distanced themselves from
17 party leaders."
18 And then it says that: "The president of the SDA regional board
19 made it known via the media that units of the Territorial Defence of the
20 town were being placed under the unified command of the Mostar HVO."
21 We have already seen how this decision to place units under the
22 HVO command -- under HVO command, was taken.
23 You're familiar with these facts; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, and these facts are true.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. But since you've read this out, it's my duty to say the following,
2 because Their Honours the Judges, the Trial Chamber --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm finding this difficult to
4 follow. As part of the cross-examination, Defence counsel has to put
5 questions to the witness but now you're reading out a report that lays the
6 grounds for the question, and then ask him a question, but now he's
7 answering a question before it's been put to him.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My question was whether the witness was familiar with what's been
10 described here and whether the description is correct.
11 A. I wasn't waiting for the question but I said that these
12 allegations are correct. However, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber,
13 I'd like to say that there are many things that you are not familiar with.
14 That's why I wanted to say the following: Why did the Muslims not trust
15 the leaders? Why did leaders of the regional board of the SDA have such a
16 position? It says that the people no longer supported them or no longer
17 trusted them. And that is correct. Why? Because they were selling the
18 weapons that they had been provided with for free. There were many people
19 who bought these things from the Presidency. Ismet Hadziosmanovic, they
20 bought weapons from him and these weapons were probably received from the
21 Croatian side. He sold them to people who had to fight, and I don't know
22 what he did with the money. There were many others like him, but that was
23 the main reason for which the people did not trust him.
24 Q. My question related to the statement in this report that, as a
25 result of all these phenomena that you have mentioned yourself, the Muslim
1 people in Mostar and a large part of Herzegovina were unprepared for the
2 war, they were not unified, and they weren't armed. That's what it says
3 here. And I've put my question to you with regard to what you said about
4 the HVO carrying out a putsch, taking over the command, et cetera. This
5 is what you said yesterday, and I just wanted you to confirm whether these
6 were your conclusions too, or rather, whether these were the conclusions
7 of the institution that drafted this report within the framework of the
8 Islamic community.
9 A. Absolutely. I agree with everything that you have read out.
10 Q. Thank you. Could we have the following document on the screen,
11 2D, Defence document 2D. And I hope the Registry won't hold this against
12 me if there is a certain amount of overlapping between our documents and
13 Prosecution documents, but this document was provided to the Prosecution
14 and Chamber, and the number of the document is 2D 00018. It's a platform
15 that we had a look at yesterday too. And the title of the document is,
16 "The basis of the regulations of -- between the Muslims and the Croats of
17 --" "The current political relations between the Croats and the Muslims."
18 Can we scroll down a bit? Could you scroll up a little more,
19 please? Could we see the middle part of the document? That's fine. You
20 can stop there.
21 Yesterday we said that you were one of the signatories of this
22 document; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And it was compiled on the 10th of July, 1992, and I'd like to
25 draw your attention to item 1, paragraph 4, and I'll read out the
1 following text: "We fully accept the fact that the Croatian people gave
2 their major contribution in the fight against the common enemy, and also
3 in providing care and assistance to the expelled population, as well as
4 with the arming of the Muslims." Do you agree with this statement, the
5 one that you signed in this document?
6 A. I certainly agree but you will see later on that the documents
7 were not implemented or complied with. If you look at the document as it
8 is now, we can say so, that it's correct. Otherwise, I would not have put
9 my signature underneath, had this statement not been true.
10 Q. You said that later on we will see that what was written here was
11 not implemented, was not respected. You said this in the past tense.
12 That is to say, something already happened and then you said to us that
13 this is what was written and what happened. You said that this was in the
14 past, that the Croats armed the Muslims, that they took care of refugees
15 and gave a significant contribution in the defence of Mostar. Is that
16 correct? Something has to be correct. Something has to be correct,
17 Mr. Smajkic. It's either correct that the Croats did indeed do it and
18 that you signed this, or they didn't do it and you signed it without
19 giving it a thought. Just wait for a little bit before you answer so that
20 the interpreters can finish interpreting my question.
21 A. I said yesterday that the Croatian policies in relation to that
22 area were flexible ones and could be adjusted, could be changed from month
23 to month. We did have cooperation with the HVO, relating to the
24 liberation of the town of Mostar. That cannot be denied. In addition to
25 that, we received assistance, the one that you mentioned, and therefore,
1 it is beyond doubt that initially the people driven out of Mostar were
2 assisted, were given care. However, simultaneously we had certain
3 problems with finding temporary accommodation for these people, as they
4 said, which means that they already had some plans on transporting these
5 people to the areas that they said were predominantly populated by
6 Muslims. So this was a sort of a silent war that was going on, and in
7 this portion, we overemphasised the credit that should be given to Croats,
8 but we did it in order to promote cooperation and liberation of the entire
9 territory. We had to do it.
10 Q. Who assumed what is something that this Trial Chamber will have to
11 decide upon. All I'm asking you is to establish the facts at the time
12 when they happened. This document, this moment, and this date are very
13 important to us. It is very important for us to agree that the Croats
14 armed the Muslims and helped them. Now, as concerns the refugees,
15 although this is not my primary focus, let me ask you this: Did these
16 refugees go from Zenica?
17 A. No. Some did, some --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Go to Zenica, interpreter's correction.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Some did, some didn't, but most
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat the question.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Humanitarian work is part of your work. How many people came to
24 the area of Mostar at that time, both Croats and Muslims?
25 A. I wouldn't like to give you any rough figures.
1 Q. Can you tell us approximately how many thousands?
2 A. At the time, I wasn't focusing on that. We had some figures
3 available to us but I'd rather not go into that now because I'm concerned
4 that I wouldn't be quite accurate.
5 Q. I fully respect that. But I believed that since you touched upon
6 the conduct of Croatian authorities, their attitude towards the refugees,
7 that you took into account the ability of such a small town as Mostar to
8 deal with such a huge influx of refugees, and we will get to their number
9 later on.
10 Now I would like to turn to the second part of this decision,
11 which deals with the activities or conduct of the Mostar municipal staff.
12 You said that this was a putsch. You said that the Croats mostly
13 participated, but then you said today that the Muslims had no role in that
15 Could we see document 2D 00024, please.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, when you give the number
17 of the document, you actually gave us the number of the dossier, and you
18 need to give us the first number, which is the number at the bottom of the
19 document, so that we can locate this document. Otherwise, the other
20 number is irrelevant to us. When you compile these dossiers, you need to
21 mark them appropriately so we can find them. When you put your questions,
22 I start looking for the document, and then when I find the document, you
23 are already dealing with your next question. Therefore this is not
24 helpful at all.
25 If you want your questions and documents to be helpful, especially
1 for me, then I kindly ask you to create a dossier, a file, that will
2 enable me to find these documents quickly. Otherwise, it's pointless,
3 because when you put a question related to a part of the document, I need
4 to see the entire document, in case I need to put a question myself. Now,
5 please continue because I have just managed to find document 24.
6 MS. NOZICA: [No interpretation].
7 MR. SCOTT: There is no interpretation.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I thought
9 that it was provided exactly in the order that you wished. And I would
10 also like you to take into account that the examination-in-chief was
11 concluded yesterday at 6 p.m. and that it was only in the evening that we
12 started compiling the dossier. Since the hearing was concluded at 6, it
13 was impossible for us to do it as efficiently as possible in order to make
14 your work and our work easier.
15 I will now call for the documents which are not in the e-court,
16 and I will read out their number slowly so that the registrar can put them
17 on the ELMO. I gave three or four documents to the registrar -- or
18 rather, to the usher. Can we see, please, document 2D 00024. You do not
19 have the translation for this document.
20 Q. So this is a decision on appointment of the Croatian Defence
21 Council in Mostar municipality, 25th -- 21st of May, 1992. Now, in
22 relation to your remark stating that in the municipal authorities in
23 Mostar there were only Croats, only Croats took part in it and that the
24 Muslims were wholly marginalised. Now, in view of your remark, I would
25 like for us to look at Article 1 and see who the members of this municipal
1 board of the HVO were in Mostar, and let us go name by name, if you agree.
2 Topic is the president. I will only assume, and I think that I'm
3 doing that correctly, that most likely he's a Croat.
4 Then we have Stojan Vrlic, who is vice-president. Once again I
5 assume that he's a Croat.
6 Mumin Isovic [phoen] is the director of the general administration
7 department. Would you agree with me that he's a Bosniak?
8 A. His last name is Isic, not Isovic.
9 Q. Yes, you're correct.
10 A. Yes, I know the man. I know him personally.
11 Q. And he's a Muslim?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Under 4, we have Milenko Musa [phoen]. We can assume that he's a
15 Under 5, we have Senad Kazazic [phoen]. He's the director of the
16 department for economy. Would you agree with me that he's a Muslim?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Then we have Sejo Maslo [phoen], under 6, president of the
19 department for social activities. Once again a Muslim; is that right?
20 A. Yes, correct.
21 Q. Miro Pandza [phoen], number 7, director of procurement department.
22 I assume that you know the man. His name doesn't identify - at least, not
23 for me - his national background.
24 But we can be sure about number 8. That's Hamdija Jahic, director
25 of housing and utility matters and revival, reconstruction. He's a
1 Muslim; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Then we have another name, Muslim name, under 12; Jasmin Jaganjac.
4 He is director of defence department; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If we take a look at all of these names, members of the Mostar
7 municipality board of the HVO, will we agree that your statement about
8 Muslims not participating in significant roles in Mostar is not true?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please come closer to microphone.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica, I'm not very adept at
11 these things. You are a lawyer, a well-known lawyer in Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. This is a routine matter for you. But you cannot mislead
13 me. This document says what it says, and there is no question as to
14 whether this is an authentic document or not. There are no dilemmas
16 However, Your Honours, I kindly ask you to pay attention to my
17 evidence. In Croatian policies, there was always hypocrisy. They
18 appointed certain people to offices to show that the Muslims had
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I apologise. A great number of your statements about hypocrisy
22 and people acting in a double -- duplicitous manner, you gave us a lot of
23 such opinions, but let us stick to our respective jobs. Your job is to
24 testify, and my job is to identify documents and what they say. You gave
25 all of these opinions yesterday and they were recorded duly. What I want
1 to ask you now is: Is this true, now that you have touched upon
2 hypocrisy, are you going to tell me that Jasmin Jaganjac was not a
3 director of the defence department? Are you going to tell me that he was
4 not a Muslim, and are we -- are you going to say to us that this was one
5 of the most important offices and that there were many Muslims holding
6 such important offices?
7 A. Jasmin Jaganjac came upon instruction from Tudjman from Croatia,
8 and he was supposed to soften that, in a way, and to attract, recruit, as
9 many Muslims as possible to the HVO and not to the army of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina. It wasn't my duty to collect documents. Had I known that
11 such a document was going to be put to me, I would have brought you
12 documents reflecting that Jasmin Jahic, later on the mayor of Mostar,
13 Gospodin Sejo Maslo, currently ambassador to Denmark, Mr. Mumin Isic, and
14 so on, these people resigned from their offices. I have their resignation
15 letters. They did not stay for longer than a month or two in these
16 organs. That's the full truth.
17 Q. And that's how long the fighting took; would you agree with me?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please come closer to the
19 microphone. We have great trouble hearing Madam Nozica.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You said that they participated for two months only, which means
22 that they stayed on until the Chetniks were expelled.
23 A. Yes, but they resigned.
24 Q. We will get to those resignations. Let us take it slowly, please.
25 I thought that you submitted to the Prosecution all of the documents,
1 because you submitted a lot of relevant documents for this period and we
2 thought that you were able to obtain all of the documents you needed.
3 There is still some time. It's not too late.
4 Now, after this, could we please see Defence document 25 following
5 this one. I just need the first page, please. 2D 00025. It is in the
6 dossier - in the file - immediately following this document.
7 This is a decision on the establishment of administrative
8 departments in the area of Mostar municipality.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Will counsel please speak into the microphone.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
11 Q. We can conclude from this decision -- so we can conclude on the
12 basis of this decision how many of such departments were actually set up.
13 I have no intention of dwelling on this document for a long time but
14 kindly look at page 2, page 3, and page 4. The only thing I should like
15 to ask you in connection with this decision is this: Did you know at the
16 time, on the 21st of May in 1992, what the structure of the executive
17 branch of government was? Those were the civilian authorities, would you
18 not agree with me?
19 A. Yes. Civilian authorities headed by Jadranko Topic. With
20 Jadranko Topic at the helm. Will the Honourable Trial Chamber please pay
21 attention to the heading of this document, which says, "The Croatian
22 Community of Herceg-Bosna and the Croatian Defence Council" without any
23 reference whatever to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was just about to ask you in
25 regard to document 24, 25, what explanation can you give us in respect of
1 the fact that it is an official document and makes no reference to Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. What is your
3 explanation for that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is a question of
5 paramount importance. It is a crucial question, because it strikes one
6 visually immediately. We have already observed why it was that those
7 people, the so-called ministers in this government, actually tendered in
8 their resignations, because they actually observed these anti-state,
9 anti-Bosnia and Herzegovina tendencies, a proclivity for the trend leading
10 to the creation of an autonomous entity with all the attributes of a
11 state, and that is Herceg-Bosna.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Yesterday, when you were shown these documents, which indicated
14 that they were documents, it was written on them that they were documents
15 of Herceg-Bosna, there were others shown by the Prosecution which said
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina clearly, and then under it, Herceg-Bosna. Did you
17 have occasion to see such documents yesterday?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And otherwise?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were such documents customary for the entire area?
22 A. I have to revert to this subject. If Muslim representatives left
23 such a body that did not recognise Bosnia and Herzegovina as its own
24 state, and, of course, life had to go on, they did insert by way of
25 duplicity, actually, to insert that into the titles, but the actual basic
1 policy vis-a-vis the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not change.
2 Q. You are saying our people left that government because of those
3 reasons. Why, when, was it when the Serbo-Chetnik armada was expelled
4 from Mostar, tell me, at this time when documents with these headings
5 appeared, were Bosniaks participants in such organs?
6 A. Partially, yes.
7 Q. We shall proceed. We shall see how correct that is.
8 Can we have a document 2D 00026 placed on the ELMO. We shall have
9 a translation submitted subsequently, but I would read the introduction.
10 This is the 30th of April, 1992, which is to say in the thick of fighting,
11 the fighting is in full swing, actually, against the Serbian aggressor
12 forces, and this is an excerpt from the minutes of a meeting of unit
13 commanders of the municipal staff of Mostar, of the HVO, held on the 29th
14 of April, 1992, at 0930 hours.
15 Attending the meeting were a large number of persons, and I shall
16 just read out for your benefit the commanders that were Muslims, as far as
17 I know, and you shall just confirm this for me, if you would be so kind.
18 Suad Cupina, Semsudin Hasic, Arif Pasalic, Mufid Kajtaz, Adem Zulovic. Am
19 I right, Mr. Smajkic, that these people are Muslims?
20 A. Yes, you are right.
21 Q. Am I right when I say that these were unit commanders of the
22 municipal staff of Mostar on the 30th of April, 1992? Do you have an
23 objection in terms that some of these people were not unit commanders in
24 the relevant period?
25 A. I have not read this document, but I do know these persons. They
1 were members of the army. Some were with the HVO, but they represented
2 the command, they constituted the command.
3 Q. I have to repeat this for you. This is a meeting of unit
4 commanders of the municipal staff of the HVO in Mostar. We have read what
5 the municipal staff is. I just want you to tell me whether these people
6 participated at that meeting as unit commanders at the time the minutes of
7 meeting were drawn up.
8 A. In view of the date, I can tell, because I know when the
9 activities to liberate the city of Mostar were launched, all the forces
10 were rallied, the Muslim and the Croat forces, and all the units that were
11 preparing an offensive strike to expel the other forces and liberate the
12 city from the JNA forces.
13 Q. In other words, the people attending, the persons attending this
14 meeting, as the Presiding Judge has also observed, feature in documents
15 which bear the title, "Croatian Defence Council," but we'll deal with that
16 later. The fact is that these people accepted to do this job together
17 under that coat of arms, under that particular emblem?
18 A. Yes. They had to swallow something. They had to put up with
19 something for the greater interests' sake, for the liberation of the
20 city's sake, and of course expected that the situation would improve and
21 that they would indeed have a united armed force.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please not overlap.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you are here to answer the questions of
24 the lawyer. You do not do that but you start pleading after every
25 question. That makes the Defence lose a lot of time, and I would ask you,
1 please, to stick to your role. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I will refrain
3 henceforth but will Madam Nozica then ask me such questions that I don't
4 really feel the need to give additional comments.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Q. You cannot expect of me to put to you the same kind of question as
7 the Prosecution did. That is not my role.
8 I shall now ask for document 2D 00028 to be put on the ELMO. We
9 shall skip over 27, it is quite illegible, and we shall proceed, move on
10 to document 28.
11 Please, can you tell me this: You said that Jasmin Jaganjac was
12 sent by Mr. Tudjman, right?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Do you know that he was defence adviser to Mr. Alija Izetbegovic?
15 A. Yes, later, when he ceased being an officer, a major of the HVO.
16 Q. He was accepted by Mr. Alija Izetbegovic irrespective of his
17 background, as you put it.
18 A. Well, Mr. Izetbegovic, like all of us, tried to find persons in
19 close contact with the Croats in order to establish an active and sound
20 relationship with them. And, of course, from that standpoint, and I have
21 to expand because you asked me that --
22 Q. I apologise. Just one minute. You had no contact with
23 Mr. Izetbegovic except for a meeting in November, as you said before. So
24 can you talk about things that you know without inferring any conclusions
25 from what somebody else might have said. I'm just asking you, is it a
1 fact that Jasmin Jaganjac was defence advisor to Mr. Alija Izetbegovic?
2 I'm asking you this question because here you have an order, and if we
3 scroll this document up - you can see it but we cannot - it was signed by
4 Jasmin Jaganjac, was it not?
5 As there is no translation, I shall translate it. I shall have
6 items 1 and 2 translated for the benefit of everybody in the courtroom.
7 This is from the 6th of June, 1992, to send 11 combatants to the unit
8 commanded by Semsudin Masic, to the Raska Gora Dubrani area. The leader
9 of the group is Mafija Catic, is that correct? Is that what this document
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. We shall move on immediately because I'm using up a lot of time
13 and there are so many counts to cover, so many points to cover.
14 The second document is 2D 00029. Let us immediately move on.
15 This is a command, an order, is it not, also signed by Jasmin Jaganjac?
16 Item 1 says, "To the officer Ibro Halilagic is to be assigned as chief
17 commander, Commander-in-Chief of the tactical group in the Feteci [phoen]
18 area." Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is correct.
20 Q. He's a Muslim, isn't he?
21 A. Yes, he is.
22 Q. Please, I'll have you comment at the end but let us just go
23 through these documents. Would you please confirm who is within the
24 structure in this -- would you not agree that there were commanding staff
25 among the structure of these forces, because you said that they were only
2 Can I ask the usher to return to the screen 2D 00028. That's
3 right. Just focus on the stamps. What stamps does this document bear?
4 A. Independent Defence Battalion, Mostar.
5 Q. Would you just tell the Trial Chamber what the coats of arms
6 inside the stamp are.
7 A. In this stamp, there is the coat of arms of the army of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, and of the Croatian Defence Council, but this is something
9 that you are seeking to argument --
10 Q. Please, please. Bear with me.
11 A. This is of the essence. May I ask the Trial Chamber --
12 Q. I apologise to the interpreters. I'm trying to stop the witness.
13 Mr. Smajkic, if you do have a comment, please ask for some time after I am
15 You said what you did, you commented on the coats of arms in the
16 stamps. We just want to place this on record. Let us not comment on the
17 miraculous reasons why they should be there, just let us establish whether
18 they are there.
19 A. Yes, they are there, but I'm asking for the floor from the Trial
20 Chamber because this is not complete information.
21 Q. Excuse me, I am in charge of this cross-examination at this
22 moment, so if the Trial Chamber feels that it needs to interrupt me, they
23 will certainly do so. Let us go on.
24 Can we put 2D 00 --
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I don't want to interfere with
1 cross-examination but I must say that if the witness is not going to be
2 allowed to give what he considers a full answer, the Prosecution will have
3 to come back with a rather extensive and time-consuming redirect
4 examination. I know in the practice in the first part of this trial for
5 the past few weeks, there has been very little, if any - I think only
6 perhaps on one occasion - redirect examination by the Prosecution. But if
7 the witness is not allowed to give what he considers a fair answer, then
8 all I can do is I'm going to go back through his examination --
9 cross-examination, ask every question again, and give him a chance to give
10 an answer.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. When there are
12 difficulties, I shall intervene myself and I shall pose a question to the
14 We were shown a stamp with the coat of arms of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina on the left as well as of the Croatian stamp -- coat of arms
16 on the right. Can you explain, and in what way, if you can, can you
17 explain the fact that this document bears a stamp which includes the two
18 sides, the two sides of a coat of arms? Do you have a personal
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. This is
21 exactly what I was asking for. Please pay attention to this. This is a
22 coat of arms on a document signed by the commander of the army of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina, Mr. Pasalic, meaning that the army of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, in the desire to establish full communication and cooperation
25 with the Croatian Defence Council, in addition to its own coat of arms
1 with the lilies, it accepts to have also the HVO coat of arms juxtaposed
2 to it. But look at the bottom. The Croatian Defence Council did not want
3 to follow suit and they do not have the lily emblem in their own stamp.
4 So this clearly shows what this is about.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Arif Pasalic, as you have
6 just told us, was the commander of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So
7 B and H army commanders have their standard usual stamp, and he affixed
8 that stamp to this document, whereas the -- and that particular stamp says
9 the battalion and refers to the city of Mostar but also contains two coats
10 of arms.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It has -- the stamp has two coats of
12 arms. One is the one with the lilies and the other is the coat of arms of
13 the Croatian Defence Council. So it is one and the same stamp. Our army
14 always attempted to give equal -- equal -- equal position to the different
15 emblems and the Croatian Defence Council actually opposed that, and this
16 is actually a proper illustration of that, how much we wanted to pursue a
17 solution, because we gladly included the Croatian emblem in our own in
18 order to avoid any problems.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. There is something
20 that Mr. Praljak would like to ask.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] With regard to the coat of
22 arms you have before you, we don't have the army of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina. It's the Independent Mostar Battalion within the HVO. When
24 the decision was taken to establish the ABiH, they ceased using the coat
25 of arms of Croatia in this joint stamp. Thank you.
1 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry to interrupt again. I truly am. But was
4 this testimony by Mr. Praljak? There wasn't a question to the witness.
5 Is Mr. Praljak and others just going to pop up at any time and give
6 testimony in the case? I object to this.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you heard Mr. Praljak's
8 personal question. It concerned the fact that there was no BH army but
9 there was a battalion that depended on the HVO. So how would you respond
10 to this question put by Mr. Praljak? Because the Judges have to ask
11 themselves the following: We are told that there is a member of the
12 military called Pasalic who is allegedly a member of the ABiH. We can see
13 the stamp that he has used and we notice that there are two coats of arms
14 within the stamp, and it mentions the Independent Mostar Battalion. As
15 you are someone who was present there at the time, we are asking you for
16 your interpretation. Our question is what is your interpretation?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I witnessed the events, and I am not
18 supporting either the army or the HVO. I'm speaking in quite objective
19 terms. This document mentions the fact that the army of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina is quite prepared to use as part of its stamp the symbols of
21 the Croatian people in order to avoid any conflict, and it's important for
22 me to point this out. Please allow me. From the very beginning, the HVO
23 was against the ABiH. They wanted us to be part of the HVO, whereas we
24 wanted to have our own units but we wanted to fight together.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another Judge has a question for
2 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. President, before the Accused Praljak took
3 the floor I wanted to raise the same problem as he did because now we have
4 the letter here in our hands and at the same time, of course, we do not
5 have an English translation, but in the letterhead it is said that HVO
6 Samostalni Bataljon Obrane Mostar, which in my knowledge would mean that
7 it is the Independent unit of the Mostar Battalion. Now, coming back to
8 the original question which was raised, I really believe that, at that
9 time at least, Mr. Arif Pasalic was not, in a way, from the
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina Republic's army but he headed that particular
11 Independent Battalion. So it is my question if it is right or not. And I
12 believe that turning to my colleagues here, and the Presiding Judge and
13 Judge Trechsel, that you have to answer the questions that they are being
14 put to you. So that was my comment. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
17 Q. May I continue. With regard to the question just put to you by
18 the Honourable Judge, could we have a closer look at the date of -- on
19 this document, please. The 6th of June, 1992.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The ABiH was established at the time. Was -- had it been
22 established by that time? My question is whether the ABiH been
23 established by that time. Whatever you said with regard to the stamp was
24 related to the fact that the HVO didn't recognise the ABiH.
25 A. Yes. Of course the ABiH existed at the time. They were involved
1 in fierce fights to liberate the town. In 10 days' time the town was
2 liberated. The army of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the
3 liberation of town. It had its own units.
4 Q. The army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Very well. Let's move on. We'll have recourse to other material
7 to prove whether this was the case or not, to prove whether it was the
8 ABiH or what you referred to earlier on. You mentioned the Muslim forces.
9 That wasn't me.
10 There are other questions I will leave to my colleagues who will
11 have a sufficient amount of time to put questions to you about this
12 subject that I now have to skip, but I would now like to move on to
13 another document.
14 You mentioned an agreement in Graz. You elaborated at length on
15 the agreement between Boban and Karadzic. This Trial Chamber has dealt
16 with this agreement. We've already had evidence before us. With your
17 leave, what did Karadzic and Boban agree on? The document concerned is a
18 Prosecution document; P 00192.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps you don't have
20 this document before you. It was admitted into evidence earlier on.
21 Could we have the electronic version on the screen, if possible?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a hard copy.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] If you have a hard copy, Your
24 Honours, then you have the translation too. It's page 82, or rather, 4 in
25 the electronic version. The number is 2082. It's on page 4. It's a
1 public announcement. And let me provide you another number: L0057801.
2 It's a Prosecution document that was adopted. Do you have the electronic
3 version? It's page 4. That's it.
4 Q. Yesterday you told the Prosecution that you were aware of the
5 agreement. Could we just have a look at page number 4. Could we hurry up
6 a little? Could we see the full text to see what this public announcement
7 is. We can see that it relates to the meeting that we are referring to.
8 Could we zoom in to item 1. And item 2.
9 Since we will have this document, my question is, what did Mr.
10 Boban and Karadzic agree on with regard to Mostar? I'll read it out: "In
11 the town of Mostar the Serbian side believes that the border is the
12 Neretva River, whereas the Croatian side believes that the entire town of
13 Mostar is within a Croatian component."
14 So did they agree on anything? That's the text that you referred
15 to yesterday, and you said that it was a Croatian and Serbian agreement.
16 Did they reach any agreement with regard to Mostar?
17 A. I've never seen the document before.
18 Q. Don't mention the field. Would you agree, because you said that
19 you've never seen this document, although you mentioned it yesterday,
20 would you agree with me that they didn't agree on Mostar in any way, if
21 this is the authentic text of the document? I'm discussing the document
23 A. This is the first time I've seen the document. However, I
24 mentioned the reactions of the gentlemen who represented Mostar and the
25 HVO. I was present when they discussed the matter.
1 Q. My question is, if we have a look at the document, and authentic
2 version, the original is in English and this is a translation, that we
3 understand, if we have a look at the document - and I assume the
4 Prosecution will be using this document on numerous other occasions in
5 this courtroom - but my question is very simple: Is this document an
6 authentic one and is this sentence an authentic sentence? Did the Serbs
7 and Croats reach an agreement of any kind about Mostar?
8 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, the witness has already
9 testified that he's not seen the document before today, and I specifically
10 took that into account yesterday. I asked the witness was he aware around
11 this time that such an agreement was being discussed? I specifically did
12 not put the document in front of the witness because in fact he had told
13 me that he had not seen the document. So I don't know that he can say
14 anything more about a document to authenticate the document which he says
15 he's never seen before.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't waste any more time. You
17 asked him whether he was familiar with the document. He said that he
18 wasn't. You could then ask him whether he was aware of an agreement
19 between Karadzic and Boban, and he'll just say yes or no. If he says yes,
20 ask him what the agreement was; and if he says no, you may move on to
21 another subject.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Microphone not activated].
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise. Yesterday the witness
25 said that he was aware of this agreement. I am only asking him whether he
1 is familiar with the contents of the agreement. And he even gave his own
2 assessment. He said it was on the basis of this agreement that the Croats
3 didn't go to Eastern Mostar when the town was being liberated. I'm just
4 showing the witness the document he has already referred to. And this is
5 a good sign for the Chamber. If the witness spoke about the document and
6 drew conclusions about the document without having seen the document --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He quite simply said that this
8 is a document he has never seen. I will solve the problem.
9 You've been following everything. The question put to you by
10 Defence counsel, and I'm putting the same question to you, is as follows:
11 Were you familiar with the contents of agreement, at the time? Not now,
12 but at the time.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of the way in which the
14 Croatian authorities acted, we found out that something was happening, and
15 later we have the testimony of Mr. Mesic. This can also be seen in the
16 press. He mentioned this agreement just as the agreement between Tudjman
17 and Milosevic in Karadjordjevo was mentioned, similarly this agreement
18 between Boban and Karadzic in Graz was referred to.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. So may I draw the conclusion that you're talking about
21 dividing Mostar on the basis of a document that you were not familiar
22 with, that you had never seen? Can I draw this conclusion?
23 A. No, you cannot draw that conclusion.
24 Q. Very well. That's an answer too.
25 Today you were shown certain documents, and in response to a
1 Prosecution question that concerned your correspondence with Bishop Peric,
2 you provided certain answers. I'm not going to go back to the letters
3 that have been admitted into evidence but I would just like to know
4 whether you received a letter from Mr. Ratko Peric dated the 28th of June,
6 Could we have the document 2D 00012 on the screen. And could the
7 witness say whether he ever received this letter.
8 Could you zoom in a little? And then the witness might be able to
9 tell us whether he has ever seen this letter before, whether he has
10 received this letter -- whether he had received this letter or not.
11 Do you recognise this letter? Did you receive it?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. So you received it. Did you also receive all the attachment that
14 the Bishop Ratko Peric refers to in this letters -- in this letter? He
15 mentions a significant number of documents that he attached to this
17 A. I can't see which documents are concerned.
18 Q. Well, if you have a look at page 2 of the B/C/S version of this
19 document, we'll see at the very top of the page some of the documents
20 attached to the letter.
21 A. I only received the letter, none of these documents.
22 Q. Very well. Since you received the letter and since you're
23 familiar with its contents, I will only show you two of the documents
24 referred to in the letter.
25 Could we have the electronic version of document 2D 00021.
1 We have more elements now than in relation to the previous letter.
2 Do you see this order? You see this order was issued on the 19th of
3 April, 1993. It says here the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the army of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 1st Mostar Brigade. This is now the full name
5 of this unit; the 1st Mostar Brigade. Have you ever seen this order
6 before, this Order for Defence, that's what it's called.
7 A. No.
8 Q. When you received the letter of Bishop Peric, did you inquire
9 about this? Did you attempt to locate it? I will ask you -- I will let
10 you know why I'm asking this.
11 Could we see the previous document, please, Bishop Peric's letter.
12 This is document -- I apologise, just a minute. 2D 00012. Can we just
13 show the second page to the witness, please. The second page, please.
14 The second page of the letter in B/C/S.
15 I'm showing you this page because the bishop, Ratko Peric, refers
16 to this order, and this order is entitled, "The Order for Defence." And
17 as you can see on page 2, under item 5, it says, "I hereby order ..." and
18 we mustn't forget that this order was issued on the 19th of April, 1993.
19 You spoke about the events in May, 1993, and there is why I'm drawing your
20 attention to these portions.
21 So in this document, Bishop Peric brings these extracts from the
22 defence -- from the order, which go as follows: "The 1st Battalion --"
23 I'm reading now under item 5: "The 1st Battalion is tasked with taking
24 defence positions in the sector of South Camp, closing the direction from
25 the village of Rodoc, towards Mostar, in the anti-armour sense. Upon
1 creating conditions for that, move into attack towards the intersection of
2 the roads Mostar-Buna, Mostar-Blagaj."
3 This letter brings several portions of this order based on which
4 you can see that this is actually order for attack. After you received
5 this letter, did you ever attempt to establish whether what Bishop Peric
6 wrote to you about was true? Did you ever look for this document?
7 A. No. I showed no such interest, nor did I know about this. And I
8 don't think that there was any need for me to know about this. I know
9 what the situation was like.
10 Q. Thank you, thank you. That's quite sufficient for me. That's
11 quite sufficient.
12 Bishop Ratko Peric enclosed another document when writing to you.
13 This is document 2D 00022. This is quite a lengthy document. While we
14 are waiting for the document, I will tell you that this is the information
15 on the expulsion of Croatian families from Kocani, Grabovica, Malo Polje,
16 Blagaj, which is very important. This is quite a lengthy document, and it
17 gives the names of the expelled persons, those who were expelled from the
18 mentioned local communes. All of these persons are Croats, and then there
19 are also families expelled from the Zdalik [phoen] local community.
20 Mr. Peric referred to this document. Did you ever attempt to inquire
21 whether this was true, this information about the expulsion of Croatian
22 families? This information is dated the 15th of June, 1993. Did you have
23 such information that families were driven out of these areas?
24 A. I didn't have the document but I know for a fact, because I was a
25 protagonist. I didn't take part in expulsions, but I was there in that
1 limited area and I know that these people left not because they were
2 driven out but because they wanted to leave the area.
3 Q. Thank you. They wanted to leave their homes? How did you
4 establish this, may I ask you that? Who told you this?
5 A. Based on the contact with information who -- on the contact with
6 people who spoke to me.
7 Q. Who informed you about this? Were they Croats?
8 A. The residents of Dracevica and Gnojnica informed me; people living
9 in the areas which these individuals left. They were looking for any
10 possible way to leave that area. I can guarantee you that there was no
11 ethnic cleansing in that area.
12 Q. All right. Let us try to be as specific as possible. This
13 information that they left their homes voluntarily, did you receive this
14 information precisely from the people who left their homes, from the
16 A. No, I did not meet with the Croats.
17 Q. ... quite a bit of time, and I will now, in conclusion, like to go
18 back to the topic -- I'm nearing the end of my cross-examination. Please
19 tell me this: Among Muslim -- were there any Muslim clerics in the army
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina serving as commanders of units?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can we please see document 2D 00016, please. Can we see it in
23 e-court, please.
24 You're not the author of this document, but I will ask you whether
25 you can confirm this to me. When I asked you about Muslim clerics, could
1 you tell me whether this is --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the name of the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Where was his unit?
7 A. He had his unit in the area of Konjic.
8 Q. Can we agree that Konjic is a town which was within your
9 jurisdiction, if we can call it that, that it was in the area under your
11 A. Yes, it could be said so.
12 Q. As I can see, the name was not recorded in the transcript. Let me
13 mention it again slowly. The gentleman's name is Nezir Efendi Halilovic,
14 and his nickname is Muderiz?
15 A. The name is incorrect. It should be Nezim, with M.
16 Q. All right. It says here "Nezir" and it should be "Nezim."
17 A. Yes, Nezim.
18 Q. Did you know when this unit was established? Did you know about
19 its existence?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Did you consent to this, namely to have clerics take part in the
22 war and play the role of commanders?
23 A. Mr. Nezim Halilovic suspended his official duties during the
24 period of aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he became a
25 professional soldier.
1 Q. Can that be done? Is that allowed in the Islamic religion? Can
2 one suspend his or her function as a cleric, and can they say, "I am no
3 longer a cleric, I'm just a civilian, and then later on I will go back to
4 being a cleric"? Is that possible?
5 A. I personally know Mr. Halilovic and he sincerely wanted this
6 because he was from Zepa, and Zepa is a well-known place where genocide
7 was committed and crimes in Eastern Bosnia. He said then that this was
8 his choice, that he simply could not do anything else but has to give his
9 maximum, devote his utmost efforts to liberating this area. That was his
10 motive. This is why we accepted his resignation to his duties and we
11 accepted that he can become a military person.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that he sent a
13 letter of resignation, that you saw that letter, and you agreed to this?
14 You agreed to suspend him as a cleric? You agreed for this?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Are there any rules which regulate this
17 suspension of the religious office? On what did you base your decision to
18 authorise this?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We based this, our decision was
20 based on his persistent requests, and his desire to do his utmost. He
21 simply couldn't stand doing anything else while the country was on fire,
22 especially Eastern Bosnia, Srebrenica and Zepa, and that was his native
23 area. He was in Konjic with his work and he wanted to give an active
24 contribution to the liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there was
25 nothing we could do to affect it. We simply complied with this.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can we, based on this, conclude that there are no rules regulating
3 this and that you were guided by his fervent desire and that's what made
4 you accept his request?
5 A. We evaluated his case. We saw that he was quite insistent, and
6 that he had an enormous energy that he wanted to invest, to liberate this
7 area occupied by the Jugo army and the Serb forces, that this is what
8 drove him. And he was entitled to resign. He could have resigned and
9 said, "I simply do not wish to work any longer in the Islamic community."
10 Q. Can you please say who do you mean when you say "we"? You have
11 used this pronoun in plural quite frequently. So I'd like to know who
12 ruled on this, who decided on this?
13 A. The Islamic community did. He was an employee of the Islamic
15 Q. Was that within your jurisdiction, the jurisdiction of your mufti
16 office or the entire Islamic community? Was that under your jurisdiction
17 or Mr. Ceric's [phoen]?
18 A. We have a municipal level, so at the level of the Konjic local
19 organs of Islamic community, and at the level of the mufti office for the
20 region of Mostar, and at the level of the entire Islamic community.
21 Q. So this was a decision that was harmonised at all levels?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have something regarding this
24 paragraph. You put a question concerning the 7th paragraph. The 7th
25 paragraph of the document says that in each large town of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina controlled by the BH army, there was a Jihad unit under the
2 command of Muslim clergy and that this was all under Alija Izetbegovic.
3 This information was provided by the SIS of Mostar.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never saw this document, and I
5 don't know everything that was taking place in the territory of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina. As for the role that these special forces had and who they
7 were subordinated to, I don't know what term they used here for them. As
8 for Mr. Halilovic, Muderiz Halilovic, he was commander of the 4th Brigade.
9 That was a brigade which belonged to the corps of the army of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina in our region, in our territory.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I have just
12 two very brief questions. I lost track of the time. I didn't know that
13 it was almost time for our break.
14 Q. Today the Presiding Judge asked you something about the book
15 called, "Instructions to an Islamic Fighter." And this is a book referred
16 to by Bishop Peric in his letter to you. Do you know that this brochure
17 or this instructional booklet was distributed to the fighters, to the
18 soldiers in the units of the 4th Corps in the territory where you were, in
19 the region of Mostar?
20 A. I am aware of that.
21 Q. So it was distributed.
22 A. I can't confirm that, but it was available.
23 Q. It was available. All right. Did you send any kind of a protest
24 concerning this? Because today, in the courtroom, you said that you did
25 not agree with some of the positions in that booklet, and that in your
1 letters, you gave instructions which are not entirely in compliance with
2 the instructions in this booklet. Did you ever raise this issue? Did you
3 ask that this booklet be withdrawn, and did you ever distance yourself
4 from some of the things mentioned in this booklet?
5 A. Of course I can give you an answer but I should like to remind the
6 Honourable Trial Chamber that we discussed this subject extensively in the
7 Naletilic and Stela case.
8 Q. To spare you any further elaboration which will only take your
9 time and mine, forget that case. I asked you a very specific question,
10 and if the Trial Chamber feels that they want to read that particular
11 transcript, they will do so. That is up to the Trial Chamber. I'm asking
12 you, concretely, did you distance yourself from the allegations -- from
13 the -- that book? You told me that you didn't agree with it, that they
14 were distributed in Mostar. I'm simply asking you whether you distanced
16 A. It was not distributed by my office, my people, but by different
17 military channels, and it was made available and was accessible to
18 people. But I do have to say that one of the Judges in the Stela case had
19 read this case and submitted a report to the Court.
20 Q. Please spare me, us, and this Trial Chamber. That is the position
21 of that Trial Chamber, and it is not binding upon anyone. I did not go
22 into the actual content of that text. I didn't condemn it or not condemn
23 it, nor do I have any such intention, or may I do so. I just simply asked
24 you, if you didn't agree with it, did you disassociate yourself from it?
25 You have replied in your peculiar way and we shall now move on.
1 Did there exist the function of Emir in the army of Bosnia and
3 A. No.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the Trial
5 Chamber --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you finished?
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No, I have only just started my last
8 set of questions, and I will be through in five minutes, if you allow me.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Then, conclude. You
10 have another five minutes.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
12 Defence document 2D 0013. Can you zoom in?
13 Q. Is this your signature, Mr. Smajkic?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. Is this a document on the basis of which on the 28th of November,
16 1992, you were appointing Mimic Ibrahim as Emir of the MS -- those are
17 Muslim forces --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- in Mostar until further notice; is that so?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This is what you said to the Prosecutor yesterday.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It was done only once?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. So that is why I said Muslim forces, quoting you, because I had
1 this document before my eyes and saw that you referred to them as Muslim
2 forces. But the question is not that. It is this: This document states
3 that on the basis of the power of attorney given you, the authorisation
4 given to you, of the chief Emir of the armed forces for Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina from the 25th of November, 1992, issued in Zenica, you were
6 appointing this gentleman the Emir of the Muslim forces, and until now
7 you've been telling me that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not
8 have an Emir in its ranks. Now what is correct?
9 A. There was a Muslim unit in Zenica, a strong unit, and of course it
10 was within the structure of -- the command structure of the army of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina, and it had its Emir. When it was set up in Mostar, that
12 was the very inception of that unit. The problem was who would then
13 appoint that person who, as the Prosecutor yesterday said, would be the
14 chaplain of that unit.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please not overlap. The
16 interpreter did not hear the question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will tell you now. Mr. Arif
18 Pasalic or somebody else asked me who is going to do this appointing? So
19 I addressed the people in Zenica, and Mr. Mahmut Karalic, who was -- who
20 had that capacity for the 7th Muslim Brigade, he told me that I should be
21 the one to do that. I can recall his very words. He said, "You do that
22 in that area because you know who -- which persons are persons of
23 integrity and could accommodate our needs and our standards."
24 Q. So the post of the chief Emir of the armed forces of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina did not exist?
1 A. No, not officially.
2 Q. And unofficially?
3 A. Well, how shall I put it?
4 Q. Put it whatever way you like.
5 A. This unit, as I said yesterday, between 40 and 50 men strong,
6 wanted to regulate its daily life in a specific way. And every man
7 fighting for Bosnia and Herzegovina was valuable and we had a
8 differentiated approach to each individual in that sense.
9 Q. Sorry, I only have another four minutes before our break. Did
10 there officially or unofficially exist the function of the post of the
11 chief Emir of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. Possibly this gentleman introduced himself to me as such but I
13 wasn't aware of an official position of that kind in the army. No, it
14 didn't exist.
15 Q. I can conclude that I'm not a graphologist but this is practically
16 identical to your handwriting, so I can conclude that it was your letter,
17 written by you?
18 A. Well, I don't -- I don't have it on the screen any more.
19 Q. Can the witness again be shown document 2D 00003 -- sorry, 00 --
20 sorry, 2D 00013.
21 A. This is my handwriting.
22 Q. Just a last question: Would you agree with me, and I'm asking you
23 at the end because yesterday you spoke at great length about the desire to
24 establish a joint army, your aspirations, your endeavours, so in this
25 month, in 1992, November, you appointed an Emir. You were aware that
1 there was a cleric in the capacity of a commander and you were aware also
2 of the fact that there was a very pronounced reason for a conflict between
3 the Croatian and the political -- Muslim peoples and political components,
4 in fact. Do you feel that this indeed contributed to the establishment of
5 unity in the troops, of the troops in the army? I'm asking you because
6 you are a cleric yourself and you are very familiar with this. Do you
7 think that this could have been a reason for the mistrust between the
8 factors involved, especially if this was done in an underhand way?
9 A. I think, and I claim, I assert responsibly, that this did not
10 contribute to the conflict between the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I am through. I apologise. I must
12 say that you're not talking about -- giving me an answer to my question
13 but you are giving your own comments. Your Honours, if you would please
14 allow me another three minutes after the break? Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
16 --- Recess taken at 11.50 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.11 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we bring the witness in,
19 I believe that Mr. Scott wishes to say something in respect of next week's
20 schedule. Please be quick, Mr. Scott.
14 THE REGISTRAR: [No interpretation].
15 [Private Session]
11 Page 2631 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
10 Mr. Presiding Judge.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now in open session, I have to
12 say that we expect the witness to be brought into the courtroom.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 WITNESS: SEID SMAJKIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, prior to giving the floor
17 to Madam Nozica for another couple of minutes for her cross-examination, I
18 have to ask you a question so that we could successfully coordinate our
19 work. Tell me, would you perhaps be free next week, to commit yourself to
20 come here on Wednesday? Or perhaps Thursday morning?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am at the court's disposal.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then it is possible,
23 and as you know, we -- there will be a couple of hours more, and ideally
24 if you could come on Wednesday, it would make it possible for the Defence
25 to finish its cross-examination. So it is possible.
1 Mr. Registrar, please so instruct the WVS unit in order to make
2 all the necessary arrangements. Thank you for your cooperation.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The documents, please.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I will list the documents that I
6 used. I have to assume that there will be a slight problem with the
7 registrar because some of the problem -- numbers overlap with the
8 documents used by the Prosecution. So would you please be so kind as to
9 later tell me which ones are admitted, but I will read them now in
10 sequence. 2D 00018, 2D 00024, 2D 00025, 26 - always 2Ds and three 0s -
11 28, 22, 21, 12 -- so 2D 00012 and 16, and, I apologise, 13 also, at the
12 end. And it remains my obligation in respect of the specific documents to
13 submit a translation so that they could be conditionally admitted into the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Mr. Registrar, would
16 you please give some thought to this, until the end of today's session.
17 Perhaps there is a part that cannot be admitted for -- because of the lack
18 of a translation into English or French, so we should just give them
19 identification marks but we shall see at the end of the session today.
20 The next counsel, please.
21 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Smajkic, my name is Bozidar
24 Kovacic, I'm a lawyer from Rijeka. I represent General Praljak.
25 A. Good day.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, does your client
2 Mr. Praljak have the intention of putting any questions to the witness;
3 and if so, how long does he intend to take?
4 MR. KOVACIC: I apologise, Your Honour. I wanted to mention this
5 but I got carried away. Mr. Praljak asked for ten minutes at most, but he
6 will put his questions to the witness after I have cross-examined the
7 witness myself.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. Before the break, my colleague Mrs. Nozica showed you the power of
11 attorney that you yourself had written down, but with regard to document
12 2D 00013 that we had on the screen, you said in a response you provided on
13 page 66, line 18, of the transcript, that you would now respond to the
14 question: "Mr. Arif Pasalic or someone else asked me who would be
15 responsible for the appointment. I then contacted some people in Zenica,
16 as well as Mr. Mahmut Karalic, who was the commander of the 7th Muslim
17 Brigade. He was acting in that capacity. And he said that someone had to
18 be made responsible for this. Someone had to do this. I remember those
19 words, and he said in inverted commas, I quote, 'You do that because it
20 concerns your area and these people of integrity who can meet the
21 standards required and comply with the requests.'" So with relation to
22 this matter I'd like to ask you, the 7th Muslim Brigade is a unit that
23 includes mujahedin; is that correct? Yes or no.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you knew that?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The person concerned
3 was the Emir of the 7th Brigade, not the commander.
4 MR. KOVACIC:
5 Q. If you think there is anything you should add, and you've added
6 quite a lot, you can make a sign to the Prosecution who can put the
7 question to you during his re-examination.
8 A. There is just one word that is important that I would like to add.
9 Q. The Prosecution can put the relevant questions to you. They have
10 the right to do so, and this is a procedure that we have to respect. At
11 the beginning of your testimony yesterday you said that you had already
12 testified in the Naletilic et al. case, and you testified on the 18th and
13 the 19th of October, 2001; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I'll read out a question put to you by Judge Clark on the 19th of
16 October, 2001: The page in the transcript is 4227. The question was as
17 follows. Obviously there is a part missing in the first sentence. It
18 mentions internationally recognised symbols and then there is a new
19 sentence, and then at the end it has something to do with the war and the
20 instructions to the Muslim fighter. Were those instructions followed when
21 the Islamic faith, within a war context, was at stake. If a soldier is a
22 Muslim, he would be a member of the Islam faith and he would fight
23 together with other Muslims, but the question itself has nothing to do
24 with Islam. It could be something that had to do with a discussion on
25 borders or boundaries or some other matters. I wouldn't want anyone to
1 object to the translation because I'm reading from the original
2 transcript. It might be better if I read out the English transcript and
3 it will be then be adequately translated.
4 Yes, I can see that the judge is making a sign.
5 So this is the text. Judge Clark stated the following: [In
6 English] "Not with those internationally recognised emblems. And then
7 finally, in relation to war and the instructions for the Muslim fighter,
8 do those instructions only apply when the faith of Islam is an issue in
9 the war? If a soldier is a Muslim, he belongs to the Islamic faith, and
10 he is fighting alongside other Muslims but the issue has nothing to do
11 with Islam - it might be a boundary dispute or some such thing - are the
12 same instructions given? Or are those confined to a war with a religious
14 [Interpretation] That was the question put to you. Do you
15 remember it?
16 A. Many questions were put to me. I can't remember it directly.
17 Q. I'll now read out the answer you gave to that question, which can
18 be found in the transcript in the Naletilic case the date the 19th of
19 October, 2001, and the page is 4228. I'll now quote your answer in
20 English: [In English] "I am really glad that you put that question to me.
21 I wanted to tell the gentleman, the Defence attorney, something on this
22 subject. These rules that apply to commanders in the sense of their
23 behaviour towards prisoners, that can be applied only in Muslim states
24 where the Sharia law is in force. So this is not binding on us in Bosnia
25 at all. We haven't any Sharia laws according to which these rules would
1 have to be applied. I mean, there are commanders then, and there is a
2 court-martial then, and then that court-martial would have to investigate,
3 and then pass a verdict on liquidation -- I mean, that is not applicable
4 in Bosnia. We recognise the civil laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
5 [Interpretation] Mr. Smajkic, that was your answer in the case
6 referred to. Do you accept that as your answer?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Contrary to what we have heard yesterday and today, and contrary
9 to what we have heard with regard to the 7th Muslim Brigade, this
10 different -- this answer is different. Your answers were contradictory,
11 the answers you gave before the same Court. These answers are not
12 identical. Would you agree with that?
13 A. No, I don't.
14 Q. Very well. You don't agree with that. Let's leave that to
15 others. They can assess the matter?
16 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... Defence counsel's
17 position. I would like to have counsel take the witness to his statements
18 in the transcript and show him what he's said in the last two days that's
19 contradictory to that, because I submit to you, with all respect, that
20 there is nothing that's been said that's contradictory to what counsel
21 just said. If that's counsel's position, let's go the whole way and let's
22 go to the transcript and have counsel put these alleged contradictory
23 answers to the witness.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, if you are saying
25 that there is a contradiction, you should first remind him of what he said
1 a while ago and then what he said in that other case, and then we will see
2 whether there is a contradiction there or not.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness mentioned
4 these matters yesterday and today, and I think everyone can remember what
5 he said. I have marked that part in the transcript. Unfortunately, I'm
6 not able to find it immediately. I'd need a couple of minutes to find the
7 relevant part in the transcript. I thought everyone could remember what
8 the witness said, but I wanted to save time.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You could summarise the
10 contradiction, try and remind him of the contradiction on the basis of
11 what you yourself can remember and then we'll see what the witness has to
13 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could be of some help, Mr. President, simply
14 just to remind you that you indeed posed a question to the gentleman today
15 with respect to what was in the letter by the bishop. Those are the
16 instructions. I believe that's what Mr. Kovacic is referring to.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I'm referring to.
18 Unfortunately, I can't find the relevant place in the transcript. I had
19 marked the relevant part but I can't find it. I assumed that everyone
20 could still remember the witness's testimony.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me try and see these matters
22 clearly. The contradiction concerns which part of the witness's testimony
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] We'll find it now. It's on page 6
25 of today's transcript. And on page 7. Let me first remind the Chamber of
1 what was said. The presiding Judge, Judge Antonetti, put the following
2 question, page 6, line 2. The witness replied as follows, and it might be
3 best if I read out what the witness answered in English. I apologise.
4 I'll read it out in English to make sure that it's clear: [In English]
5 "Your Honour Presiding Judge, I must correct this statement of yours
6 because I -- it was not me who wrote that letter. That book was published
7 as indicated in Zenica. It was written by the Zenica mufti and not by
8 yours truly. It is true that it was published, that book, and it is true
9 that it contains the statement which you have just now quoted. You have
10 seen the resolution of the Muslims of Herzegovina in which we quoted
11 provisions from both the Koran and the Prophet Mohamed on the way the war
12 is prosecuted and the way one is to go about preserving human as well as
13 other resources, economic resources included. You could have even noticed
14 that it is prohibited to even destroy fruit and the fruit of fruit-bearing
15 trees. So I can also tell you that in the bloodiest battle, which of the
16 decisive importance for the survival of the Muslims in the first stage of
17 the operations of the Prophet Mohamed, the so-called battle of -- and, of
18 course, the Prophet Mohamed has to be a paragon for all of us to emulate
19 in our lives, that is the first example of new conventional --
20 unconventional way of respect for human lives and prisoners." Et cetera.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And in what manner
22 is that contradiction or a difference between what he said at that point
23 in time and what he previously testified about?
24 MR. KOVACIC: In the Tuta case the answer is quite different.
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would only like to make a comment that as far
1 as I recall, and I do not have the text itself before me, the text which
2 you have just quoted, it continued. I mean, the statement of the witness
3 continued, and he added something else, according to my recollections.
4 But I cannot now read out what he further said. So I wonder if you may
5 find also the continuation of that text which we are speaking about.
6 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 MR. KOVACIC: This text ends with the words, "it is possible."
8 The witness today mentioned that it was possible. Four years ago, in a
9 different case, his answer was completely different. His explanation was
10 completely different.
11 [In English] My colleague was suggesting to me that I read this
12 sentence to the end.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I have the text in front of me and
14 it says here -- it's on page 7, line 13: "It is also possible to ransom
15 prisoners, and as an ultimate possibility, of course, this is just a
16 possibility, and it is left to a discretionary decision, but, of course,
17 when you have people who have committed massacres and various heinous
18 crimes, but anyway it is possible that the military staff, the military
19 court staff who are making such decisions, they may be able to mete out
20 the death penalty in such circumstances."
21 So the obvious contradiction is here he's saying that they can
22 exterminate and liquidate, where in Tuta he said that these laws did not
23 apply to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Both times under oath. Both are
24 contradictory, clear.
25 MR. KOVACIC: I thank my dear colleague for helping me out because
1 as I said in the beginning I lost the marking in the transcript.
2 But anyway I think that the record will show that --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Clarify that for us, then.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I'm concerned, everything
5 is entirely clear here. Although I didn't see my evidence in the Tuta
6 case in its entirety, it is possible that the thought was left uncompleted
7 in this case, that such an instance where a court martial is established
8 is possible in the countries where Sharia laws are applied and where
9 Muslim laws, Islamic laws, are in place, but that something like that
10 cannot be applied in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Smajkic, the fact is that in Tuta, very clearly, in three
13 sentences alone, you said that this entire instruction was pointless.
14 That was your thesis. It was pointless because in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 Sharia laws are not implemented and the existence of Sharia laws is
16 necessary in order to implement the instructions from that instructional
17 booklet. If that indeed is the case, as you put it, why was that booklet
18 then published and distributed among the members of the army? People read
19 that book and discussed it. Why was it done that, if it was pointless and
20 if it could not be implemented?
21 A. That segment cannot be implemented and applied. However, there
22 are numerous passages and portions which pertain to the conduct of the
23 soldiers who need to conduct themselves in accordance with international
24 customs and conventions, and in no way is this text contradictory to the
25 existing laws and rules and norms on the respect for human rights and
2 Q. Mr. Smajkic, this document was not brought in from another
3 country. No. This was published in Zenica. This was published in order
4 to be used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993. Why does it include, then,
5 the portions which, as you say, may not be implemented, may not be
7 A. Will you allow me to answer?
8 Q. Please go ahead.
9 A. You see, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are certain
10 controversial things, not only in the political system but elsewhere as
11 well. The army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had a certain system and in
12 precisely these locations where this booklet was published there existed
13 certain forces which possibly may have affected the environment and
14 prompted it to draft such a document.
15 Q. Mr. Smajkic, I have to understand -- I have to confess that I fail
16 to understand you. You did not explain this fully. This document was
17 published in Zenica. Wasn't it meant to be used in the country where it
18 was issued, in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina? An average soldier
19 that received it, and most of them were people with poor education, how
20 would they know, how were they supposed to know, yes, this can be applied
21 and this cannot be applied?
22 A. You did not allow me to complete my previous answer. These units
23 which you treat as mujahedin units are units composed of our children,
24 children from Mostar. This does not pertain to the mujahedin.
25 Q. Mr. Smajkic, you accepted that in that same unit, the 7th Muslim
1 unit, there were mujahedin members.
2 A. I don't know about that in detail. There were various units
3 active there, various corps, and other people were responsible for that.
4 I don't have detailed information as to what relations existed between the
5 mujahedin and the 7th Muslim unit, which was composed of Bosnian lads.
6 Q. You are telling us that you do not have relevant information, but
7 you had contact, you had communication, you said that you had a power of
8 attorney, and you were responsible for this appointment. This is
9 contradictory in my eyes.
10 A. Not at all, sir. The 7th Muslim Brigade was composed of members
11 who were young men from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The man who was assistant
12 commander for moral guidance was a theologist, and I knew him personally.
13 I asked for advice as to how to conduct oneself under such circumstances
14 and these were instructions or advice provided, because we had good
16 Q. You keep insisting on the fact that the mujahedin were exclusively
17 local residents.
18 A. No, no. Not local residents.
19 Q. What were they, then?
20 A. The mujahedin were not local residents, nationals of the country.
21 Q. No, no, no, you said that.
22 A. No. The Muslim unit was the unit which was established and made
23 up of exclusively Bosniaks. There was not a single mujahedin among them.
24 That's what I said.
25 Q. You confirmed just a minute ago that the mujahedin, including
1 foreigners, and this was a well-known fact, made up the 7th Muslim
2 Brigade, and I think that you said this in your previous statement. This
3 is your statement given to the investigators of the OTP on the 23rd of
4 September, 1999, and --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, please allow me to
7 Sir, in order to ensure that it's clear to everyone, can you
8 please define for us what is a mujahedin?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mujahedin are foreigners who
10 established certain units which fought on the side of the army of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina. I am now referring to the unit to which I gave a power
12 of attorney. There wasn't a single foreign national in that unit. It was
13 composed of exclusively local lads from Mostar, and I appointed the man
14 who was to be in charge of their moral guidance and compliance with
15 Islamic values. These were not mujahedin. We understand the term
16 "mujahedin" to mean units composed of foreign nationals. I don't know
17 enough about this, but the 7th Muslim Brigade was a unit composed of the
18 soldiers, Muslims, of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now, what relations they
19 had with the mujahedin unit is something that I can't discuss. I don't
20 know about that.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Smajkic, we are now going in circles. You confirmed to my
23 first question, and it's recorded in today's transcript, you said that
24 Karalic -- now you were talking about the power of attorney, and you said
25 that this pertained to the 7th Muslim Brigade. You confirmed that today.
1 And then within that unit, the 7th Muslim Brigade, there were mujahedin
2 who were active. And you confirmed that you had given a power of attorney
3 to the man who was to be active within that unit.
4 A. Yes, but our unit, the unit that was active in the territory of
6 Q. No, not Mostar.
7 A. Not a chance. That's absurd. Why didn't you find the document?
8 I consulted this man as to who to appoint to that position in Mostar.
9 This refers solely to Mostar, this document on the appointment of the
11 Q. No, no, no. We will put the document back. The document refers
12 to Konjic. But let us now go back to your statement, the statement you
13 gave on the 23rd of September, 1999. It's going to be in English. I will
14 read this out, and you signed this statement.
15 A. I know that.
16 JUDGE PRANDLER: Slow down, please, both of you. Please slow
17 down, both of you.
18 MR. KOVACIC: I really apologise, Your Honour. The problem is we
19 are speaking the same language and --
20 Q. [Interpretation] I will now read these two sentences in English.
21 This is what you said. This is on page 10 of your statement, in the
22 English version. "You asked me about the presence of mujahedin in the
23 area. It was a war and the towns were sealed off. We were surrounded in
24 Mostar. In our area there were not many extremist Muslim people. There
25 were some in Konjic." [Interpretation] This explanation that you gave to
1 us does not pertain to Mostar at all.
2 A. That's impossible. I'm not as naive to talk about something that
3 I know nothing about. You are trying deliberately to impute something to
4 me that I didn't say. The transcript is clear -- or rather, the statement
5 is clear. It uses the term "extremist" which is supposed to be parallel
6 to the term "mujahedin." In our area, in Mostar, there were none. In
7 Konjic, yes; in Central Bosnia, yes. Now, as to what relations existed
8 between them and other units, independent units, I know nothing about
10 Q. Thank you very much. I don't think we need to dwell on this any
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I just want to draw to the attention
13 of the Chamber that the witness today, on today's transcript, gave an
14 answer to this question on page 73, line 8, and other lines.
15 Q. Now, just another issue: The instructions to the Muslim fighter.
16 In one part of the text, there is exclusive reference to the defenders of
17 our homeland, Bosnia and Herzegovina. So do you agree that this document
18 was intended to the fighters of Bosnia and Herzegovina? We know that it
19 was issued in Zenica, not in Berlin, not in Helsinki, and do you continue
20 to affirm that this document could not have been applied in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina because Sharia laws are not valid in that country?
22 A. Yes. That's my position.
23 Q. All right. So this document, Instructions to the Muslim Fighter,
24 can be considered an insignificant document?
25 A. A publisher published it. This document was not accepted by the
1 Presidency, by the army; it's just a document written by an individual.
2 Q. All right. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge has a question.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Witness, I would like to go back to the instructions issued by the
6 Zenica mufti to the soldiers of the BH army. We know that there are
7 international standards on human rights. We know that there are Geneva
8 Conventions and laws and customs of war. All of them stipulate that it is
9 prohibited to kill a soldier, to subject him to humiliating treatment.
10 However, the rules of the international law and criminal law provide
11 certain norms that concern the perpetrators. My question is: What did
12 this word, "liquidation" mean in the instructions of the Zenica mufti.
13 Liquidation of prisoners, was that what was meant? I'd like to know
14 whether within the forces existing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were
15 court-martials, just like they exist in some other countries, and was
16 there such an institution within the 7th Brigade? Was there a system that
17 could have provided for a fair trial, if there was a need for a trial?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were other official documents
19 in existence, criminal law of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as norms of
20 the laws of war. I can tell you that this was a theory as to what options
21 were available in Islam in relation to prisoners. However, this was not
22 mandatory for us. This was not binding on us. Just like Koran, this
23 document gave a theoretical idea which didn't necessarily have to be
24 relevant for that period of time and for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 And I'm not aware, and I'm sure that there were no court-martials
1 or no summary executions, and none of that existed within the Zenica
2 Muslim Brigade, which was a unit within the army.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you may continue.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Smajkic, yesterday, on page 99 of the transcript, you say that
6 both peoples, Muslims and Croats, were supposed to defend Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And then you go on to say that in your view, the problem was that
10 the defenders had to have symbols of both nations. You insisted several
11 times on the symbols, saying that they had to wear the symbols of both
13 A. That's not what I said. I said that we insisted -- persistently
14 insisted on agreeing on the common symbol, the common symbol that would
15 reflect the desires of both nations, and unfortunately, agreement was not
16 reached. A lot of energy was wasted on these symbols. People were
17 supposed to agree on what the symbols were to be. The Muslims wanted such
18 an agreement, and the Croats dictated to us what the symbols ought to be.
19 Q. So based on what you say, the issue of symbols was a significant
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Given the time when this was taking place and the circumstances at
23 the time, it seems that the symbols were more important than the issue of
24 defence of the town itself.
25 A. No. One couldn't say so. We can see from these documents that
1 Madam Nozica put that the Muslims, or that is to say the army of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina accepted at their own initiative to include the symbols of
3 the Croats in their stamps, whereas the other side didn't do the same.
4 Q. Let me not have to go back to this decision of the Crisis Staff
5 but we saw here that the legitimate representatives of the SDA, already
6 back in early 1992, had accepted to cooperate with the HVO, first with the
7 staff and then with the HVO, and it is quite clear that they accepted to
8 first of all deal with the question of the aggressor, the JNA army and the
9 Chetniks, and then to deal with relations between the two nations. It is
10 quite clear, it emanates from it. Do you agree with that?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Let us please move on to another topic. Can I please ask the
13 Court usher to place a document that was already on the ELMO, or rather,
14 is in the e-court system? It is 2D 00007. It is from the other Defence
15 team, Madam Nozica, so if we could see it again, please.
16 Mr. Smajkic, this is a document that you've already seen today.
17 This is the memorandum on the situation and problems in Mostar and Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina from September, 1992. You have spoken about it today. I
19 would like to dwell on some of the facts in the document, elaborate a bit
20 on it. I would like to elicit your confirmation of some things.
21 Today we referred to the number of refugees, i.e., exiled persons,
22 displaced persons, and you said that you couldn't remember the exact
23 number. Can we please see -- the pages, unfortunately, are not marked but
24 paragraph which is in the page where the top paragraph is marked by number
25 5, can we see that page, please.
1 Yes. This is the page I was referring to. That is it. Thank
3 You can see that this paper, at the time when it was drawn up,
4 September, 1992, registered around 18.000 refugees, and it goes on to
5 specify that they were from the areas of Nevesinje, Gacko, Bileca, Stolac,
6 the Podvelezje and Dubrave villages, and also in a -- from a smaller
7 number of towns and villages from Eastern Bosnia and Posavina. Do you
8 agree that this number could reflect the reality?
9 A. Yes, I think it could. I didn't want to speak off the cuff.
10 Q. Is it true that the inhabitants of the parts specified in this
11 paper, from the east side, relative to Mostar - so from Stolac, from
12 Podvelezje, from Dubrave - that these people, while fleeing the Serbian
13 aggression, mostly all arrived in Mostar irrespective of their ethnicity.
14 Do you agree with me?
15 A. Yes, I do. That is correct.
16 Q. Do you recall events when these people are fleeing the aggression,
17 how they crossed over the Neretva River in boats and rafts, especially the
18 raft near Pocitelj. Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Is it true that the HVO, which was in charge on behalf of both
21 peoples of the defence and organisation of defence, analysed specifically
22 the crossing near Pocitelj in order to reinforce that link, in order to
23 carry over the people and care for them after they had crossed?
24 A. Yes. I know that. I don't know what numbers were involved, but
25 the concentration was actually on Mostar. There couldn't have been that
1 many people there.
2 Q. But do you agree that a good part of them, quite a few of them
3 passed near Pocitelj?
4 A. I don't know how many. I know that that took place. I'm aware of
5 the activity.
6 Q. Do you agree then that in May, after the HVO had cleansed
7 Podvelezje and Dubrave of the aggressor and arrived at Stolac, while you
8 were still fighting under the same standard, were these people -- did
9 these people return to their homes for the most part? Do you know that?
10 That is your area.
11 A. After the withdrawal of the Serbian forces?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So they returned to their homes?
15 A. Yes, they did.
16 Q. Could you please then move on, scroll down this document, to
17 paragraph number 6. That's the next page. At the top of the page,
18 please. Zoom in, please. Very good.
19 I should just like to put a question to you regarding this first
20 introductory sentence and then later another one, just to see whether the
21 indicated facts reflect the actual reality. The first sentence has to do
22 with the organisation of the health system, and the first sentence states
23 that both the housing and health facilities have been devastated, about 50
24 per cent being the overall level of damage. Do you agree with that?
25 A. I could not assert that myself with a degree of certainty. This
1 is still a working paper. Whether it was exactly that, I can't say. This
2 was an assumption and the paper was supposed to be further elaborated and
3 completed, namely the Cultural Circle of Muslims was yet to state their
4 view on that. So I cannot be sure about the extent of devastation.
5 Q. Due agree with that certain possible deviations this figure is
6 more or less correct, has to be correct?
7 A. Probably.
8 Q. I shall not go into the details of the problems of the health
9 system. I mean, the document goes on to define the other problems of the
10 health system, et cetera, and a bit later in the text, about the middle of
11 this text that we can see, it indicates the measures taken in the health
12 system, saying that the dialysis centre was evacuated to Sibenik, for
13 instance. It is underlined. Do you remember that?
14 A. No. I'm not aware of that.
15 Q. You are not?
16 A. No, but I do know that patients were transferred for treatment to
18 Q. To Split in Croatia?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. This page also at the top, this subheading, or rather
21 two pages after this one, it's paragraph number 8. Yes. That's it.
22 Mr. Smajkic, if you take a look at this text, you will probably
23 recall some of its content. I shall just point out for you the most
24 important facts in it. So the first passage generally describes the
25 damage sustained, inflicted, and so on. And then the second paragraph
1 specifically states that on the basis of the analysis of the situation of
2 the capacity for operation of the industrial facilities and the level of
3 their damage, it is assessed that of perhaps 65 major enterprises in all
4 fields, the situation was as follows: Approximately 11 were significantly
5 damaged. I shall not go into the rest of the text. The pertaining to
6 operations, which requires considerable resources, time and staff, and so
7 on and so forth. And then it goes on to say that we managed to initiate
8 production activity in about 14 enterprises with reduced capacity, in
9 keeping with all the restrictions, and so on and so forth. And the
10 overall impression is that the economic system, the economy, were -- was
11 significantly damaged and that economic activity had practically died
12 down. Do you agree with this finding?
13 A. I can accept that, yes.
14 Q. Can we go on to passage number 9, financing. That's good.
15 Of relevance here, interesting to me, is the first sentence:
16 "The beginning of war operations in the municipality of Mostar found the
17 elected organs of government completely unprepared from the standpoint of
18 securing monetary and credit flows in war circumstances. This lack of
19 preparedness (whether deliberate or not) with the severance of practically
20 all forms of communication created a situation whereby the citizens of
21 this town, apart from being physically jeopardised by the aggressor and
22 his artillery, also suffering a spiritual type of jeopardy."
23 And then it goes on to say in the middle of the text: "All this
24 has had a particular impact on payment operation flows that were severed
25 in almost every possible direction so that they are mainly unfolding
1 within our own and with a couple of adjacent municipalities. The
2 consequence of this is such a situation that the Croatian dinar is the
3 legal tender in this city, which one can earn nowhere, because even though
4 citizens who are subject to the work obligation, to work duty, are mainly
5 not receiving their personal incomes, have not been receiving their wages,
6 since the 1st of June, 1992, pursuant to a decision of the war government
7 of the HVO. The situation with pensioners is even worse. The last
8 pensions have been paid out for March this year." And so on.
9 So again, I'd say, an assessment which indicates a very sorry and
10 difficult situation in the Mostar area. Would you agree in broad strokes
11 with this picture as painted?
12 A. It is obvious, obvious from the document itself, that this was
13 dealt with field by field, by people expert in these fields. It is
14 obvious and it is quite certain that this is the picture as they saw from
15 their angle. It is difficult for me to give assessments along those lines
16 because I'm no businessman, I'm no economist, I'm not versed much in
17 finance, but I believe that the document is to be trusted.
18 Q. Thank you. Let us now move on to the next paragraph, under number
19 10 on the next page. It is entitled Traffic, or Transport. Can we just
20 see the very first passage, just at the top of the page?
21 Mr. Smajkic, let us not use up too much of our time. I should
22 just like to draw your attention to a specific sentence and later ask you
23 two specific questions. The most difficult situation was caused by the
24 demolition of bridges, which precluded any possibility for the dealing
25 with and regulation of traffic issues. The most important task in that
1 sense is to build two bridges to link the banks of the city.
2 So even without having to read this report, having been a resident
3 of Mostar for so long, do you agree that after the Serbs left Mostar, all
4 the bridges were demolished except the old bridge in the centre of town?
5 A. I believe that that was so.
6 Q. Thank you. Talking about the blowing up of these principal
7 facilities, yesterday you talked at quite some length about the blowing up
8 of mosques and Medresas, religious schools. I myself will list for you
9 the mosques that were demolished while the city was under the control of
10 and shelled by the Serbian aggressor and the JNA, but as it is your
11 particular field, I beg you to follow me. We shall no longer read this
13 Mr. Smajkic is it true that the -- so while the Serbs were
14 shelling the city -- so from Serbian shelling, that is, the Hajji Mehmet
15 Bey Karagjos mosque was demolished?
16 A. No, that is not correct.
17 Q. No?
18 A. No. Just the top of the minaret of that mosque was damaged.
19 Q. Well, I have some data that there was some other damage as well.
20 A. Well, it is possible, but it was not demolished. You asked me
21 whether it was torn down.
22 Q. Well, you're right to criticise me. It was not a very precise
23 question. Was it damaged?
24 A. It had several holes on the roof, above the serefa part, the
25 actual point of the minaret. It was actually damaged. But there was no
1 major damage, generally speaking.
2 Q. Was it continued to be used for religious practices, for prayers?
3 A. No. Because inside was some scaffolding which was set up there
4 even prior to the aggression because work on decorating the mosque was
5 supposed to have been executed, and so it was full of construction
7 Q. The mosque of Nesuh Aga Vucjakovic, according to the information
8 that I have, and the images, pictures that I have, it was extensively
10 A. No. It only sustained minor damage.
11 Q. The Koski Mehmed-pasa mosque?
12 A. The Koski Mehmed-pasa mosque also sustained some damage on the top
13 of the minaret. We can say that it took several artillery hits but it was
14 in a stable state.
15 Q. The Dervis Pasa Bajezidagic mosque?
16 A. That mosque sustained major damage. And that was because it was
17 near the Catholic church, and the Catholic church was entirely burnt.
18 Just the walls remained. And after this aggression by the Jugo army
19 period, we repaired it some what.
20 Q. The Hajji Kurta mosque?
21 A. It survived the Tabacica. It survived but it was then demolished
22 in a second strike.
23 Q. When you say survived, to go on in this figurative vein, was it
24 wounded severely?
25 A. No, you cannot say that. It sustained certain damage but it
1 remained standing upright.
2 Q. And then finally, Cose Jahija Hojja mosque, that's the last one I
3 have information on.
4 A. Well, that mosque only had its minaret destroyed.
5 Q. Very well. Since we are dealing with the destruction of these
6 buildings, my colleague has informed me of the fact that I have missed
7 something out. I've missed out on a document that we had. It's still on
8 the screen, and we can see a section of this document under number 13.
9 Yes. That's right.
10 Beneath the question, the following paragraph starts with the word
11 "Fact." It's a fact -- or: "The fact that the Mostar mahala centre of
12 town were to a large extent burnt and destroyed, and that the most
13 important cultural and religious buildings of the Muslims were destroyed
14 or significantly damaged. In addition, there was a pre-war building that
15 was extensive and this is -- and we have also destroyed some specific
16 characteristics of Mostar and its centre, its most oldest parts."
17 Yet again they are mentioning the fact that significant buildings
18 were burnt and destroyed. Would you agree with that? We have just
19 discussed the mosques.
20 A. Yes. That part on the left bank and the part called the mahala,
21 the centre, those parts were exposed to direct artillery fire from the
22 South Camp, and that is true, but you failed to mention that there were
23 two mosques completely destroyed -- that were completely destroyed; Saric
24 mosque and the mosque in Mahala.
25 Q. In 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was planned that we
4 should work until quarter to 2, I believe nothing has been changed. Thank
6 Q. I have another five minutes at the most, and my client will then
7 have another ten minutes, and we can then conclude. With regard to
8 Mr. Jaganjac, many questions were put about him. I don't want to go back
9 to the documents. But could you provide us with one more explanation.
10 Yesterday and today you said that Jaganjac was appointed by Tudjman. How
11 do you know this? What's the source of your information?
12 A. I know this because of the contact I had with army soldiers who
13 resisted joining the HVO and being placed under HVO command. They wanted
14 to remain part of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Naturally, there
15 were various aggravating circumstances that I don't want to go into.
16 Q. Mr. Smajkic, Witness, I'm going straight to the point.
17 A. The soldiers that I lived with said that Jasmin Jaganjac was going
18 to be the HVO commander. They said this with joy. They really thought
19 that all the disputes between the ABiH and the HVO would cease as a result
20 of this appointment. He was appointed as commander.
21 Q. It's very difficult for me to stop you but we do overlap and that
22 causes problems for others. My question is as follows: You said that
23 this was in the carsija in the town, that that's where he was expected or
24 greeted in this manner.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I wanted to get the explanation that's missing in this story.
2 You've only touched on the matter. You have no specific information from
3 some politically authorised representative. You don't have the document
4 on the basis of which you could draw the conclusion that the late
5 president Tudjman appointed Jaganjac to that position. Yes or no.
6 A. Well, I have Mr. Jaganjac's statement.
7 Q. He told you that?
8 A. Yes, Susak, Tudjman.
9 Q. Very well. Jaganjac will be a witness so we'll hear about this
10 from him. My next question that concerns Jaganjac is as follows: We saw
11 a document according to which he was appointed by the Crisis Staff as the
12 commander for the defence of the town. So the Crisis Staff appointed him
13 to that post. That's stated in the document.
14 A. No it wasn't the Crisis Staff. It was the HVO, as far as I could
16 Q. Yes, but on the basis of the Crisis Staff's authorisation.
17 A. Well, the Crisis Staff no longer existed. It had been dismantled
18 by the HVO.
19 Q. Very well. We can agree on that. That's a different matter,
20 though. But it is a fact, and we've seen the document today, that he was
21 appointed by the Mostar HVO. Everything is done so that it seems to be
22 legal, but I have a sufficient amount of experience to be able to claim
23 that there is a certain background to all these events.
24 Q. I've been informed that the witness mentioned the fact that
25 Jaganjac -- it's 98, 8, for the sake of the transcript, Mr. Smajkic when I
1 asked you about that, you said Tudjman and Susak. Is that correct?
2 Tudjman or Susak.
3 A. Yes, someone who held such a position.
4 Q. Yes. Very well.
5 MR. KOVACIC: I have to ask one more question.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: A correction to the transcript. I believe on page 98,
8 around line 21 -- 20 or 21, the question and answer was combined in the
9 question. I think part of that may have been Mr. Kovacic's question and
10 part of it may have been the witness's answer. I'd just like the record
11 to be -- transcript to be clarified.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have perhaps one more minor
14 Q. Yesterday you said something about Croatian civilians who, in your
15 words, HVO soldiers at the Bulevar expelled from that area of combat
16 operations. Do you remember having said that?
17 A. Croatian civilians?
18 Q. I apologise; Muslim civilians.
19 A. I'm not clear about this.
20 Q. Yesterday you said when the conflict broke out, you saw at the
21 Bulevar that civilians were being expelled. I don't know in which
23 A. To the east, yes, I did see that. That was in the morning, early
24 in the morning on the 9th of May, it was at dawn, and that was when this
25 completely destructive war started.
1 Q. Very well. I just wanted to be sure about that. During your
2 testimony before the Chamber, you testified about an event when ABiH
3 members kidnapped a Catholic priest, Don, or Father Vuksic. Do you
4 remember that?
5 A. That's not the right conclusion, sir. They did not kidnap him.
6 They did not kidnap him. They were in the building -- they were in a
7 building at the Bulevar. They had returned or taken back some of that
8 territory. That was immediately after the 9th or 10th of May, and
9 Mr. Vuksic was in that building. That building was destroyed as the
10 result of HVO artillery fire, and the soldiers took him with them because
11 they had to abandon that position, they had to return to the initial
12 lines. They took him with them and they saved his life. Later, they
13 handed him over through the intermediary of UNPROFOR.
14 Q. So you say that the army, in order to save Vuksic, took him out of
15 this combat area; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct, that's my claim.
17 Q. Very well. I only have two other things before I conclude.
18 Document 3D 00177 is one of the documents I want to refer to. We
19 have the electronic version. It's a report in -- that relates to Vuksic
20 and he recounts this event, and then the next document -- do we have that
21 report? That's his report. I won't go any further into it. It's not
22 necessary. He signed the document himself. His statement is somewhat
23 different. If we follow what you said, you said that the Croatian forces
24 were taking the civilians from that area out of the area. I'm putting it
25 to you that the civilians were taken out of that area because of the
1 responsibility of the army to move the civilians out of that area, and
2 just as the army took Don Vuksic, Father Vuksic out, according to what you
4 A. It's impossible to compare those two matters.
5 Q. Why not? Here we have a priest and here we have a group of
6 individuals; is that why?
7 A. Well, here we are talking -- in the first case we are talking
8 about a priest, naturally army units or units of the ABiH were there, but
9 in the other example, there were thousands of people who were naked,
10 without shoes, they were expelled under fire, and I personally saw
11 Mr. Vuksic, I know where he spent the night, and I know how ABiH forces
12 took him with them. They came to the conclusion that it would be best to
13 act in that way. I know that he had valuables on him, that he held on to
14 them, and that he was provided with full security.
15 Q. Very well. There are documents about that. I won't go on because
16 my client has ten minutes to question you.
17 A. With your leave --
18 Q. Please don't --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before Mr. Praljak takes the
20 floor, Mr. Registrar, could you calculate the time? Very well,
21 Mr. Praljak, you may take the floor now.
22 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
23 Q. Mr. Smajkic, in 1992, in April and May, how many soldiers did the
24 Territorial Defence -- how many Muslim soldiers did they have in the town
25 of Mostar?
1 A. I don't know exactly.
2 Q. Do you know that at the time that the Independent Mostar Battalion
3 existed, it was composed mainly of Muslims, the HVO had nine independent
5 A. That's possible.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This is not a question. Are you testifying as a
7 witness now? You are feeding in information and not asking questions of
8 the witness.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Is he aware of the fact?
10 The gentleman has been talking about facts and I asked whether there were
11 any answers. I'm mentioning certain facts and he can say he's not aware
12 of them, if he likes.
13 Q. Mr. Smajkic, when there is a putsch, with the purpose of
14 inflicting harm on another people, isn't it customary to first disarm the
15 military forces of those people? Is that the purpose of each and any
17 A. Well, we use the term "putsch" because these elements really were
18 dismantled, but Mr. Praljak, there were certain acts that were carried out
19 to the detriment of the existence of the ABiH.
20 Q. Mr. Smajkic, you know as well as I do that at the time I was the
21 commander of that zone. Wouldn't it have been very simple for me to take
22 one or two HVO units and to carry out a putsch by disarming the remainder
23 of the Territorial Defence of Mostar, by declaring myself to be the
24 commander, and by doing what you say or think that I wanted to do or that
25 those people wanted to do.
1 So my question is as follows: How is it possible that one unit,
2 120 men strong, in May, 1992, and in July we had a brigade composed mostly
3 of Muslims, and in November, 1992, we had ABiH Corps, and then one year
4 later, the conflict broke out, we won't go into that, but the intention,
5 our intention was always for the entire corps to -- is it true to say that
6 the entire corps grew?
7 A. That's correct. That part is correct.
8 Q. Since you mentioned Jaganjac, who led the attack from the right
9 bank to the left bank in Mostar in the month of June, 1992?
10 A. The HVO, together with the army.
11 Q. The person.
12 A. Jasmin Jaganjac.
13 Q. Are you aware of the fact that at that time, Jasmin Jaganjac was
14 not even in Mostar? Are you aware of the fact?
15 A. No.
16 Q. So would you say that you could describe yourself as a
17 well-informed man, if you're not aware of the identity of the commander of
18 the most important military element in Mostar?
19 A. Sir, I had a meet with Mr. Jaganjac.
20 Q. Thank you. Let's move on. Have you shown to the Chamber
21 photographs of the mosques and other religious buildings that were
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you at any point in time ask anyone for an expert report on
25 the way in which mosques and other religious buildings were destroyed?
1 A. That was done last year. The most prominent experts, engineers
2 from all these fields did this, and they determined the state of the
3 religious buildings with precision.
4 Q. I'm asking you whether you requested that a report be compiled on
5 the way in which those buildings had been destroyed. Did you ask for a
6 ballistics report, an analysis of the explosives used?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you ever request that an investigation be carried out by the
9 legal organs of Bosnia-Herzegovina with regard to the way in which the
10 religious buildings in Mostar were destroyed?
11 A. Yes, we did.
12 Q. Was that investigation ever brought to an end?
13 A. It hasn't been concluded yet.
14 Q. Thank you for that. Are you aware of the fact that in Suica, and
15 you said that there were no conflicts between the Muslims and the Croats
16 there, are you aware of how far away from Suica there were fights with the
18 A. Well, I could make a guess. I don't know the exact distance but,
19 no, I don't know exactly, but I know where that place is. It's difficult
20 for me to provide you with the exact distance.
21 Q. Mr. Smajkic, yesterday, why did you repeat on two occasions that
22 there were no conflicts between the Muslims and Croats in Suica but you
23 failed to mention what you're now saying, namely that you know that there
24 was a fierce fight between the Croats and Chetniks in the immediate
25 vicinity of Suica?
1 A. I'm focusing on the mosques, but as for the conflict between the
2 Chetniks and these others, well, that's not what I'm interested in at this
3 point in time. I didn't pass over that in silence.
4 Q. Failing to mention important fact demonstrates that you want to
5 claim that that mosque was destroyed for the sole reason that this is what
6 the Croats want. You don't want to say that it was possible for this to
7 be destroyed, for this mosque to be destroyed by the Chetniks in the
8 course of the fight against the Chetniks. Is that what you're trying to
10 A. I was in Suica and those who lived in the vicinity of the mosque
11 informed me of the identity of those who had destroyed the mosque, so it's
12 not necessary for me to expand on this story.
13 Q. When you mention the fact that the Muslims were in the HVO,
14 because of their salaries and some sort of parcels, did you receive or
15 were you given any statements from these people according to which they
16 remained in the HVO because of their salaries and the parcels they
17 received? Do you have such statements and have you brought such
18 statements here with you?
19 A. No. I don't have any such written statements.
20 Q. Thank you. As far as I have understood you, in the case of those
21 who told you about how the mosque was destroyed, in the case of the
22 soldiers, well you took no statements from these people, you are just
23 interpreting what these people told you. And this interpretation has no
24 probative value here. What were the salaries like in the HVO in April and
25 May, 1992?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Did the salaries amount to 30 German marks, or 15 euros, for 15
3 days at the front?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Thank you. We mentioned the 4th Brigade, the Muderiz 4th Brigade
6 which was part of the 4th Corps, and we talked about its composition in
7 the area that you were the mufti of.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When this brigade was lined up, was the greeting as follows:
10 "Who are you fighting for?" One of them would ask such a question. And
11 the troops would reply: "For Allah." And then this person would ask,
12 "Who are you fighting against?" And they would answer, "Against the
13 Vlahs." And this was repeated three times. Tell me, are the "Vlahs"
14 those who are not Muslims; the Catholics and Orthodox?
15 A. That's a colloquial expression.
16 Q. Thank you. Is such a religious bias on the part of that unit and
17 all other units in which Emirs were appointed related exclusively to the
18 concept of mujahedin, and in all dictionaries, in the Encyclopedia
19 Britannica, in the Larousse encyclopaedia this term is defined as a
20 religious fighter, a fighter in a holy war.
21 A. Those units did not support such a symbol or such a slogan.
22 Q. We have seen here that an entire brigade would say, "For Allah,"
23 not, "For Bosnia and Herzegovina," not for a secular state. Not for what
24 you have been discussing here. They would say, "For Allah." All units in
25 which Emirs had been appointed acted in this way. My question is: Was
1 there a single soldier in such units --
2 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to object at this point. I know Mr. Praljak
3 is not a lawyer but questions have to be put properly in any event. What
4 Mr. Praljak has done repeatedly in the last ten minutes has make long
5 statements, there is no answer to the statement, and then he puts another
6 question which may or may not relate to the assertion Mr. Praljak made.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your last question now.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My last question: Were there any Muslim units in which there was
10 a member who was not a Muslim?
11 A. There were many such units.
12 Q. And which Muslim unit? The 7th Muslim unit, the El Mujahid unit,
13 the Muderiz unit, et cetera, in which such unit was there a member who was
14 not a Muslim?
15 A. One would have to prepare to answer such a question.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have concluded
17 my cross-examination. Thank you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now adjourn for the
19 week. I'd like to provide you with some information about the time that
20 has been used up. So far, as far as the cross-examination is concerned,
21 two hours and 49 minutes have been used up, so two hours and 50 minutes,
22 and that leaves you with five hours for your cross-examination. I'd like
23 to remind you of the fact that the Prosecution took up three hours and 58
24 minutes, almost four hours, and Judges' questions and certain other
25 interventions took up almost 102 minutes. The total time used for this
1 witness amounts to eight hours and 29 minutes so far, and we have not yet
2 finished. Mr. Kovacic, let's have the numbers very rapidly, given the
3 fact that time is short.
4 MR. KOVACIC: We are asking for admission of only one document,
5 the last one which was put on the system. It is number 3D 00177.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, thank you, Mr. President. This exhibit will
8 be therefore tendered and admitted with today's date as 3D 00177.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Sir, I wish you a
10 good return to Mostar. Since you have a full schedule as of tomorrow up
11 until Monday, we invite you to return on Wednesday because you'll be
12 testifying here on Wednesday and for a certain period of time on Thursday.
13 Mrs. Nozica, as far as your exhibits are concerned. Yes, very
14 well, then, Mr. Registrar could you deal with these exhibits.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Admitted with today's date. We have: 2D 00012,
16 2D 00013, 2D 00016, 2D 00018, 2D 00021, 2D 00022, 2D 00024.
17 The following exhibits are marked for identification pending
18 translation. These are: 2D 00025, 2D 00026, 2D 00028.
19 I also note that a previously admitted exhibit is still waiting
20 translation and therefore is still marked for identification and not
21 admitted, and this is 2D 00007. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I
23 hope you all have good rest and we will resume with the hearings on Monday
24 at 2.15 p.m..
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 29th day of May,
2 2006, at 2.15 p.m.