1 Monday, 8 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
8 Case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 On this Monday when we're taking up our work again, I'd like to
11 greet all the people in the courtroom, the representatives of the
12 Prosecution, the Defence counsel, the accused, and all the other personnel
13 and staff assisting us in the performance of our duty.
14 Since this is a season of greeting, I should like to express my
15 greetings and best wishes to everyone for this year and, of course,
16 wishing you good health, which is always the most important thing, and I
17 hope everybody's health will be good this year. And I hope that we'll be
18 able to carry on our work in the best possible conditions.
19 I'd also like to say that I hope that we shall have serenity, a
20 calmness in our courtroom proceedings, because justice the process of
21 justice is best served in a serene atmosphere. So I should like to say
22 that to all of you and that our deliberations should be characterised by
23 calmness and serenity it. I know that sometimes there are situations
24 where this is not possible because of misunderstandings amongst us, but we
25 have been helped up by a former judge, an American judge who was the chief
1 judge of the American military court, and he is a foremost man in the
2 legal profession. I'd like to prevail upon you all to meet him, and I'm
3 sure that he will be able to help you with any problems, as will the legal
4 assistants in our courtroom today, which might help us avoid any
5 misunderstandings that might arise.
6 I would also like to indicate that we have a series of decisions
7 that we reached in the meantime, and one with respect to the exhibits, and
8 this is a decision that was given on the 13th of December, 2006, and in
9 order to summarise, I'd like to tell you that once we have heard a
10 witness's testimony, when one of the parties asks for the tendering into
11 evidence of an exhibit, they should provide a written list asking that
12 these documents be admitted, and this should be done, at the latest, on
13 the day that follows the conclusion of the witness's testimony. Taking
14 the case of the last witness, the Prosecution and the Defence will have to
15 tender the list at the latest by tomorrow, for instance, before the start
16 of the hearing, and the written list must be submitted to the registrar
17 and to the legal officer before the hearing starts.
18 If there are any objections on either side, from either of the
19 parties, as we have already stated in the decision, then these objections
20 should be made in writing before the beginning of the first day after day
21 two. So if we take the case that we took a moment ago, tomorrow at the
22 latest you can ask for the tendering of the documents. If there are any
23 objections, then the objection also have to be filed at the latest by
24 Wednesday, for example, before we start the proceedings.
25 Now, if there is a reply to the objections, then you will have an
1 additional day to make this response. And after that, you will be given
2 an IC number or, rather, the exhibit will be given an IC number by our
4 I had should like to tell you that for the moment we have on
5 standby two witnesses, and I should like to say that we -- documents have
6 still not been accorded IC numbers. It is Witness CO, and the other
7 witness is Kajmovic. So you will have to let us know quickly what lists
8 you have with respect to those two witnesses.
9 Now, as far as the witness we're going to hear today is concerned,
10 we have envisaged two days for his testimony, today and tomorrow, so the
11 list for that witness can be filed on Wednesday at this earliest, because
12 we have two days of testimony in court.
13 So that is what I wanted to let you know. I should also like to
14 say now that Judge Trechsel isn't with us today because, for reasons of
15 protocol, tomorrow he will be received by the Queen of the Netherlands,
16 and therefore he is not be able to be here today, and he felt that it was
17 no -- that good assisting today if he wasn't able to come tomorrow. So he
18 has asked to be excused, and we shall be working in his absence.
19 I should also like to tell you that Judge Mindua, who is here us
20 here today, has been named, appointed member of the -- in the
21 Dragomir Milosevic case. So our colleague Judge Mindua will also be
22 taking part in two trials at the same time, two proceedings. So if he's
23 with us in the morning, that means that in the afternoon he will be in the
24 Dragomir Milosevic trial and vice versa. So that -- those are -- that is
25 the information that I wanted to given you.
1 I should like us to go into private session for a few moments.
2 Mr. Registrar, would you do what is necessary.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 11812-11822 redacted. Private session
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're currently in open session,
8 Your Honour.
9 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Sir, we are now in open session, so you can be heard outside the
11 courtroom, and I would request you to be very careful in giving any
12 information from which you could be identified. Also, be very careful if
13 you do mention names not to mention what your relationship was. If that's
14 required, we will go back into private session.
15 So, sir, dealing -- or looking at Stolac and the composition of
16 Stolac prior to the war, as to the town of Stolac, how was the -- what was
17 the composition of the inhabitants of the town of Stolac around the first
18 part of -- the 1990s?
19 A. I have no precise information, but I know that they were for the
20 most part Bosniaks. They called themselves Muslims at that time. There
21 were also Serbs and about the same number of Croats.
22 Q. Could you give the Court any idea of the percentage, perhaps?
23 A. There could have been between 70 and 80 per cent Muslims.
24 Q. What about the rest of the municipality of Stolac? Could you give
25 the Court an indication of the population and composition?
1 A. In the other part of the municipality the composition was
2 different. The number of Croats was significantly higher than the average
3 for Stolac town, but I really don't know the percentages.
4 Q. During the 1990 elections, of which group were there the most
6 A. Which nation? Which group do you mean?
7 Q. Which voting bloc, looking at ethnicity, Croats, Bosniaks, or
8 Serbs, had the most voters during that election?
9 A. In my estimate, as for elections themselves and the turnout,
10 Croats had the highest turnout and the best results.
11 Q. But without looking at the results at this stage, physically
12 speaking do you know which group had the most voters who would have been
13 able to vote?
14 A. Muslims, that is Bosniaks.
15 Q. Sir, when was the -- or, rather, looking at the Party for
16 Democratic Action, who could become members of this party?
17 A. Anybody could have become a member, but as a rule they were
18 Muslims, that is Bosniaks.
19 Q. During the 1990 municipal elections in Stolac, apart from the SDA
20 which were the other major parties which participated in the election?
21 A. HDZ, SDA, SDP, and perhaps one or two less important parties.
22 Q. Is it correct that the HDZ represented essentially the Croats in
23 the party?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Whom did the SDS represent?
1 A. Serbs.
2 Q. And the SDP?
3 A. That is difficult to explain, but in my opinion the formerly
4 undecided voted for the SDP, most of them Bosniaks.
5 Q. What was the outcome of the election in 1990 in Stolac
7 A. What I know for certain is that the HDZ won the greatest number of
8 seats in the Municipal Assembly, followed by the SDA, followed by the SDS,
9 and lastly the SDP. Other minor parties I don't know about.
10 Q. How many more seats did the HDZ have than the SDA?
11 A. I can say with great certainty that at least one seat more was won
12 by them than the SDA.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, just one point of
14 clarification of a political nature. From what I understood, you told us
15 that in Stolac there was a great number of Muslim electors, and according
16 to the results of these elections, according what you say, the HDZ won a
17 majority. Does this mean that a great number of Muslim people voted in
18 favour of the HDZ?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So how can you explain this?
21 How can you explain that the HDZ had the highest number of votes and had
22 more votes than the SDA?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can explain that in
24 two ways. First, Croats had good organisation and a high turnout in the
25 elections. As for Bosniaks or Muslims as they were called then, I know
1 that a certain number of them, and not a small number at that, did not
2 turn out at all. Another segment voted for the SDP candidates, so that it
3 was only logical that the SDA failed to win the greatest number of seats
4 in the Municipal Assembly.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this
7 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Sir, the religious figures within Stolac municipality, to your
9 knowledge did any of them have any influence or exert any influence over
10 the electorate in the run-up to the election?
11 A. From what I know, you could say about all the three parties that
12 they had influence. Some were less, some were more.
13 Q. Now, based on the election result -- sorry. Based on the election
14 results where the HDZ therefore had at least one more seat than the SDA,
15 what did this mean in actual terms for the governance or how the local
16 government was thereafter constituted?
17 A. It's correct, and it was customary that the party who won the
18 greatest number of seats had the greatest rights to appoint their
19 people to various positions in the government and in the authorities
21 Q. Who became the mayor of Stolac?
22 A. Zeljko Raguz.
23 Q. And from which party or group was he?
24 A. HDZ.
25 Q. And what about the chief of police? Who was he and from what
1 grouping was he?
2 A. Mr. Pero Raguz, HDZ.
3 Q. Now, turning it to April 1992. The Court has already heard that
4 Stolac, the municipality, was occupied by Serb forces at that time. Is
5 that correct, to your knowledge?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. The Court has also previously heard that the Croat population of
8 Stolac left the municipality. Is -- do you know about that?
9 A. I know a bit about those events.
10 Q. Now, from what you know, the movement of the Croats away from the
11 municipality, the population, was that spontaneous or organised in some
13 A. I'm not quite sure whether it's the one or the other way, but I'm
14 certain that it was because of the great danger from the Serbs' advance.
15 Q. What about you? Did you remain in Stolac during that period?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And what about the other Bosniaks inhabitants?
18 A. They stayed for the most part.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you allow me to interrupt.
20 I'm trying to understand the following: Why is it when the Serbs about to
21 occupy Stolac the Croats leave and the Muslims remain? What kind of
22 explanation can you give us for this?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is a number of
24 possible explanations for these events. One of those that I favour is
25 that Bosniaks had no choice. They didn't know where to go, where they
1 should go.
2 And second, although it was strange for those times and the
3 circumstances, but they thought naively that nothing would happen to
5 MR. KRUGER:
6 Q. Now, sir, during the occupation and after the Croats had left,
7 members of the SDS party in Stolac, Serbs, did they make any proposals to
8 the SDA party and its membership?
9 A. What I know, and I took part in some of those talks, is that they
10 insisted that we accept and get involved in the organisation of the
11 so-called autonomous province of Herzegovina.
12 Q. And what was this Serb autonomous region for Herzegovina, very
14 A. It covered several municipalities with predominant or majority
15 Serb population, and it was created by the SDS. It was a creature of the
16 SDS whereby the existence of Bosnia and Herzegovina would have been
17 completely denied.
18 Q. Did the SDA accept these proposals by the SDS?
19 A. No. Not as far as I know.
20 Q. Do you know why not?
21 A. First of all, we Bosniaks at the time were convinced that we
22 should respect the internationally recognised Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, its constitution and its laws, and that was our sole
25 Q. Now, the Serb forces left the municipality of Stolac in June,
1 1992. Was this pursuant to any fights or battles with any other military
3 A. What I know happened is this: That it happened in a short period
4 of time, along with artillery firing. And as far as I know, the -- there
5 was no infantry confrontation.
6 Q. When the Serb forces left, were they replaced by any other
8 A. Yes, because Bosniaks had no organised military units. The parts
9 that were left by Serbs were taken over by forces of the Croatian army and
10 some forces that I met for the first time then, the HVO, as well as
11 members of the HOS.
12 Q. How did -- how do you know that these forces that you encountered
13 were either HV, HVO, or HOS?
14 A. I have to confess that I found them difficult to distinguish at
15 the beginning, but they were in camouflage uniforms. On their left or
16 right arm, I can't remember, they had insignia, whereas HOS soldiers had
17 distinctly black uniforms, something like that.
18 Q. And just to clarify, the camouflage uniforms, were they worn by
19 the HV and HVO soldiers?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were those camouflage uniforms to you either the same or different
22 from each other?
23 A. You could say they were the same.
24 Q. Apart from the patches that you saw and later came to
25 distinguish -- distinguish between, did you or any other people, Bosniaks
1 in the municipality, find out through any other means that some of these
2 soldiers were members of the HV?
3 A. We were more familiar with the term "Home Guard Corps," ZNG. And
4 as far as I remember, some of the inhabitants of Stolac municipality of
5 Croat ethnicity belonged to those military units.
6 Q. At that stage when the Croat forces entered, was there any
7 objection from the Bosniaks that HV forces were also present?
8 A. No, on the contrary. I have to say that their coming was like
9 liberation from Serb occupation, and we didn't view it otherwise at the
11 Q. Up to where, regarding Stolac municipality, did the Serb forces
12 occupy the municipality?
13 A. The date of withdrawal was between the 10th and the 20th July.
14 Maybe the 14th or the 17th. I'm not sure. 1992.
15 Q. Sorry, I think my question was not formulated properly. What I
16 actually meant, geographically up to what line did the Croat forces occupy
17 the municipality?
18 A. The line where the Serb forces stopped is just above Stolac,
19 overlooking Stolac. You could identify it with the historically known
20 border of the entity known as Banovina, from the Second World War.
21 Q. Did the Croats at any stage subsequently cross that line and
22 occupy more territory?
23 A. I don't think so, and I don't think they wanted to.
24 Q. Now, you already mentioned that the Bosniaks had no military
25 organisation of their own. In the first few weeks after the -- let's call
1 it liberation of Stolac, did the Bosniaks try to establish a Territorial
2 Defence in Stolac?
3 A. Yes. They first gathered as a staff of the Territorial Defence in
4 a village called Borojevici near Stolac, but as for their activities, I
5 really doesn't know any details.
6 Q. To your knowledge, was a Territorial Defence successfully
7 established within Stolac for the Bosniaks?
8 A. No.
9 Q. What other option was available during that period for Bosniaks to
10 join any defence organisation in Stolac?
11 A. Yes. At that time it was natural to join or affiliate with any
12 units, any formations that offered resistance to the Serb aggression,
13 because we expected a counter-attack from the Serbs whereby they would
14 return to the area of Stolac and Capljina municipalities.
15 Q. And in practice during those first few weeks after the liberation,
16 which force did the local Bosniaks join?
17 A. HVO forces and the Croatian army.
18 Q. The Croatian army, do you know which part of the Croatian a army
19 or which brigade or regiment was joined?
20 A. I know for a fact that they were members of the 116th Brigade of
21 HVO from Metkovici, or based in Metkovici.
22 Q. Just for the record, could we clarify. The 116th Brigade, was
23 that of the HV or the HVO?
24 A. HVO.
25 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if we could move into private session at
1 this stage.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before moving into private
3 session, one point of clarification, sir. You are telling us that the
4 Serbs left Stolac between the 10th and the 20th of July, 1992. You said
5 that Stolac was liberated by three entities. You said HOS, HVO, and the
6 HV. I understand that you were an eyewitness because you were present.
7 As far as you remember, the liberation of Stolac by these three
8 entities or these three groups, did you feel at the time that these three
9 groups were commanded by one single entity, or were these groups commanded
10 by different people? What is your feeling about this? What do you feel?
11 What was your feeling at the time about these liberators?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really couldn't know
13 at that time about the various levels of command over these units, but I
14 could confirm that I had the feeling that the actions of the HVO and the
15 Croatian army were harmonised, coordinated. I don't know about the HOS.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, to try to understand
17 matters more clearly, from what I understood, before the occupation by the
18 Serbs (redacted)
3 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, before the witness answers that
4 question, if I can draw Your Honour's attention to the question itself and
5 certain matters that could be possibly better dealt with in private
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you are quite right,
8 Mr. Murphy.
9 We shall move back into private session.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 11834-11836 redacted. Private session
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Registrar, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
3 Mr. President.
4 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Witness, we're now in open session, so be careful in divulging
6 information which may identify you.
7 Now, the Crisis Staff that was established in -- in Stolac
8 municipality, how did their banking affairs work?
9 A. Banking affairs in Stolac municipality were non-existent. You
10 couldn't conduct any banking affairs at all in whatever shape or form.
11 The only possibility was that this could be done in Metkovici, and
12 Metkovici in Croatia.
13 Q. And what arrangements were in place in order to transact or do
14 financial transactions at this bank; to withdraw money, for instance, for
15 the Crisis Staff?
16 A. There was the possibility of opening a bank account in one of the
17 banks or branches, and that the representatives of the Crisis Staff have
18 the right to dispose of the money on that account.
19 Q. Based on the 50/50 composition of the Crisis Staff, did this also
20 have an influence in how banking transactions were done or how money was
22 A. At the beginning everything was very proper, and then as time went
23 by two Bosniaks who had the right to withdraw money and had had -- on the
24 basis of their signatures lost that right because they used some money.
25 And the money that was on the account was exclusively at the disposal of
1 two Croats, and their signatures were registered in the bank as well.
2 Q. Is it correct that at one stage the Crisis Staff moved 180 tonnes
3 of tobacco for safe storage in Metkovic?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. And what happened to this tobacco?
6 A. I don't know. Especially since cooperation had ceased with the
7 HDZ, and because I, before arrested and taken to camp, had very restricted
8 movements in the Stolac, Dubrava, and Capljina area.
9 Q. Was any of this tobacco sold, to your knowledge?
10 A. I know for certain that a truckload was sold, perhaps seven tonnes
11 of tobacco, to the Zagreb tobacco factory.
12 Q. And what happened to the funds which were received for this sale,
13 to your knowledge?
14 A. Those funds were placed in a joint account that was opened in one
15 of the Metkovici banks.
16 Q. Do you know whether this -- whether these funds were used for
17 the -- for both the benefit of Bosniaks and Croats within the
19 A. As far as I know, at the beginning everything was in proper
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not react thus
23 far, but I'd like to ask my learned colleague to put the questions in the
24 way they should be put and not be leading questions. Perhaps it can speed
25 up the process, but as far as I know, one should not ask questions in that
2 MR. KRUGER: Thank you. I've taken note, Your Honour.
3 Q. Witness, the -- let's move on to another topic.
4 You've described the establishment of a Crisis Staff in the
5 municipality, and that deals with the civilian side of affairs. What
6 about the military side? Was there ever talk of cooperation between
7 Croats and Bosniaks on the military field or military area?
8 A. Yes. As the Bosniaks were not successful in organising units of
9 the Territorial Defence for Stolac municipality - they were supposed to be
10 established pursuant to the laws of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina -
11 all that was left to do was to join up with the Croats and organise them
12 that way, and so reinforce defence against a possible Serb aggression.
13 Q. Sorry. Initially when such cooperation was set up, did Croat
14 soldiers and Bosniak soldiers appear together on the front lines or did
15 they share the front lines, or did they have separate front lines towards
16 the Serb positions?
17 A. At the very beginning they were separate. However, in a short
18 space of time they became mixed so that there was no clear-cut
19 distinction for the most part. There was no small Croatian or Bosniak
20 military unit.
21 Q. When these units became mixed, did they also then have a -- or how
22 was the command structured?
23 A. In Stolac we had a forward command post for Stolac.
24 Q. Sorry, may I interrupt you. Before we come to that, I'd like to
25 ask about the physical composition of the units that -- that were in
1 existence. First of all, just talking about the -- before the command of
2 the units themselves.
3 A. The HVO units had their own command, and for the most part those
4 units were made up of Croats. A smaller number of units with fewer
5 soldiers were members of the TO, the Territorial Defence, but they did not
6 have some higher level of organisation and establishment and combat
8 Q. Let's move on, then, to the forward command post or the IZM. And
9 when we come to certain aspects of it I will ask to go into closed session
10 or private session. When was this IZM established?
11 A. Well, I can't remember the date when it comes to the actual time,
12 but I do know that it was soon after this mixture of military units, when
13 they became mixed, and that could have been sometime towards the end of
14 June and beginning of July.
15 Q. These mixed military units, what did they consist of, brigades,
16 battalions, companies?
17 A. The forward command post, as the highest military organ in Stolac
18 municipality, was composed of two military formations, two battalions.
19 Q. And who was the overall commander of these two battalions?
20 A. The commander of the forward command post was Pavlovic. I can't
21 remember his first name now.
22 Q. And the individual -- two composing battalions or units, how --
23 how were they commanded? And here I'm referring to the composition in
24 terms of ethnicity.
25 A. When the mixed units were established, I wasn't present myself but
1 somebody at some point had agreed that the commander of the two formations
2 be a Croat. In this case it was Bozo Pavlovic, and that his deputy should
3 be Edo Obradovic, and that the commanders of one battalion should take
4 turns. If the battalion commander was a Croat, his deputy was a Bosniak,
5 and vice versa.
6 Q. The -- these two units, to which military organisation did they
8 A. They belonged to the Knez Domagoj Brigade, whose headquarters was
9 in Capljina.
10 Q. The Knez Domagoj Brigade, is that correct that that is an HVO
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know who the overall commander of the Knez Domagoj Brigade
15 A. I do, and I met him too. It was Mr. Obradovic, Nedjeljko
17 Q. Now, just before moving into private session again, could you
18 perhaps sum up to the Court the difference between the Crisis Staff and
19 the IZM, their areas of responsibility?
20 A. First of all, the forward command post usually as a rule had
21 military tasks and assignments. It was their duty to see to the
22 mobilisation of manpower, the organisation and material resources. And
23 the Crisis Staff had the duty to see to the needs of the population.
24 Health care, Red Cross organisation, that kind of thing. Civilian
25 protection --
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. -- et cetera.
3 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if we may move into private session
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, registrar, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 11844-11847 redacted. Private session
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
2 Q. Sir, if we can briefly look at the establishment of the Bregava
3 Brigade. Do you know when the Bregava -- ABiH Bregava Brigade was
5 A. I don't remember the date, although there was a decree
6 establishing it issued by the government of the Republic of
8 Q. The Bregava Brigade, what was it composed of, or who became
9 members of it?
10 A. The Bregava Brigade was made up primarily of Bosniaks who were not
11 engaged in HVO units of Stolac.
12 Q. Where was this brigade established physically?
13 A. The brigade was set up in a part of Mostar town known as south --
14 southern camp housing the barracks of the former JNA.
15 Q. Is there a reason why it was not set up in Stolac physically?
16 A. From what I know and from what I've heard, it was not possible to
17 do it in Stolac municipality, in any part of Stolac municipality, because
18 the HVO units were opposed to that.
19 Q. The IZM or forward command post, when the Bregava Brigade was
20 established, do you know what their general view towards it was?
21 A. At one of those meetings that I attended at the forward command
22 post there was talk about the problems that may arise should the unit be
23 located in Stolac municipality. Some of the attendees held a very
24 negative position concerning the establishment of such a unit and its
25 deployment in the HVO's area of responsibility.
1 Q. The attendees at that meeting and without giving particulars of
2 their identities, to which group did these people belong, if any?
3 A. They were mostly officers of that forward command post, but it's
4 also possible that some member or members of the Knez Domagoj Brigade were
5 also present.
6 Q. Those opposing, were they Bosniaks, Croats, or both?
7 A. Croats.
8 Q. Now, in a moment we -- I'll ask us to move back into private
9 session to deal with specific aspects regarding the next topic, but before
10 we go into private session, who was Andjelko Markovic in 1992?
11 A. Andjelko Markovic was the first president of the HDZ of Stolac
12 municipality. At one point during a certain period he did not discharge
13 his functions in the HDZ, for reasons that I ignore, and his deputy, as
14 far as I know, was Mr. Niko Kuzman. Andjelko Markovic returned to his
15 post of president of the HDZ in 1993.
16 Q. When he returned to his post in 1993, can you give the Court an
17 idea as to what time of the year it was, at what stage?
18 A. It could have been sometime in October, perhaps November, 1992,
19 but I really can't be sure. One thing is certain, though. He did act as
20 the president of the HDZ in 1993.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, before moving to the private session, up
22 until the point where Andjelko Markovic returned in October or November
23 1992, to your knowledge, how was the cooperation between Bosniaks and
24 Croats in both the forward command post, the IZM, and the Crisis Staff?
25 A. I could qualify it briefly as a solid and good cooperation. My
1 personal cooperation was the strongest with Mr. Zeljko Raguz.
2 Q. Now, when Mr. Andjelko Markovic returned, did this good, solid
3 cooperation continue? And just a brief answer, because then we'll move
4 into private session for details.
5 A. With the coming of Andjelko Markovic things changed a lot, in my
6 opinion for the worse. Andjelko Markovic offered us, among other things,
7 to sign certain documents that --
8 Q. Could I interrupt you there?
9 A. -- clearly showed in the heading --
10 MR. KRUGER: If we may move back into private session, Your
11 Honour, for ...
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 11852-11858 redacted. Private session
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in each session,
25 Mr. President.
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Now, sir, looking at the situation in Stolac during 1992, after
3 the Serbian occupation and then going through into 1993, were schools
4 functioning in Stolac municipality?
5 A. No, not a single one.
6 Q. What was done in order to see to the schooling of the children in
7 the municipality?
8 A. Most of the refugees from Stolac municipality were accommodated in
9 the Neretva River valley: Capljina, Visici, and the surrounding parts.
10 But there were some in Makarska and other parts of the Adriatic coast.
11 Now, as far as the population was concerned, which stayed in Stolac
12 municipality and Capljina, the possibility of having education was only in
13 Capljina. That was the only place that they could go to school in. And
14 to a certain extent in Mostar as well.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just to get things
16 clear, when the Serbs took control of Stolac were the schools working?
17 Did they continue to function regardless of the fact that the Croats had
18 left? And during the Serb occupation, were the schools functioning?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes. Since the Serbs
20 occupied the area in April, (redacted)
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the tuition was interrupted
1 and brought to an end. When was that? What month?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it could have even been
3 before June. They might have ended the school year before June.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When the Serbs left, was it
5 impossible to have the schools open up in September, October, 1992?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that was unthinkable
7 because the buildings themselves, the premises, because they were shelled
8 every day and frequently were completely destroyed. The electric power
9 system, the water supply system, that had all been destroyed and all the
10 other utilities in town ceased to function. The population moved out or
11 was moved out to the areas I mentioned earlier on, so that all for intents
12 and purposes in Stolac life had come to a standstill or was going on in
13 its minimum form with a great deal of risk involved because, as I say,
14 there was shelling every day, shelling by the Serbs.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you. Your Honour, I notice in the transcript
16 on page 53, line 11, we're in open session and something slipped through
17 that we will need to redact.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What exactly?
19 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, there's a reference to the function that
20 the witness performed, which may identify him, his career.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't see exactly when we
22 mentioned his functions.
23 MR. KRUGER: It's just gone off.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll look into that. Please
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Now, sir, moving back to the HVO in Stolac, which continued making
3 decisions without the Bosniaks, I would like to show you an exhibit,
5 MR. KRUGER: And with the assistance of the usher, if I could show
6 the hard-copy version to the witness.
7 Q. It's in the first bundle of documents. It's the one you have on
8 top, and it's 1234.
9 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I know that the witness wears glasses.
10 I wonder if the witness has his glasses with him.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. Yes. Okay.
12 MR. KRUGER:
13 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, I'll deal with the header of this document
14 in a moment, but this document is one that you have seen before. I showed
15 it to you yesterday. It's signed by Dr. Nedjeljko Obradovic, and it's a
16 decision to impose a curfew on the 20th of January, 1993.
17 Now, my first question to you is: If you look at Article 6 of
18 this document, there's reference to the departments who are authorised
19 being the Stolac police station and the military police. At this stage,
20 to your knowledge, were these two authorities composed still -- still of
21 mixed composition, Bosniak and Croat, or not?
22 A. They were not mixed. Police and armed forces were composed solely
23 of Croats.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to
25 remind us that in response to one of the previous questions the witness
1 said that they gave instructions to Muslims in the civilian police force
2 to leave the police force. I would just like that recommendation to be
3 borne in mind when we hear answers like this.
4 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, might I just add to my learned lead
5 counsel's comments that counsel asked -- mentioned to the witness that
6 he'd been shown this document yesterday. What would also be pertinent
7 would be to establish at the very beginning whether the witness had ever
8 seen the document before.
9 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Sir, this document, prior to yesterday, had you ever seen this
11 document before or did you know about this?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mm-hmm. And how did you know about it or -- without revealing
14 details which can identify you.
15 A. I had occasion to get hold of documents in a variety of ways
16 simply because they were not confidential. They were public documents. I
17 cannot specify at this moment in which particular way I had occasion to
18 see this document. These were not secret documents.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, if you look at the preamble of this
20 document, it says: "Based on Article 4, paragraph 2 of the decision," and
21 then it refers to a decision and an Official Gazette. Do you know which
22 laws or gazette this refers to, which authorities, laws, or gazette?
23 A. The Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, if we look at the header of this document, there
25 indeed you have a Croatian coat of arms, and then logo as well, but just
1 above that appears the words "Republika Bosna Hercegovina. "Without
2 saying what role you had with this but what is the significance of the
3 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina being or appearing in the header?
4 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, is this a question to the witness
5 that's going to elicit some knowledge from the witness, in which case it's
6 legitimate, or is it designed to elicit some opinion or some sort of legal
7 view, in which case it's not a legitimate question? We do need to be very
8 clear about that distinction.
9 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the witness will make this clear and
10 perhaps it's best to move into private session then at this stage.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move into private session,
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 11865-11868 redacted. Private session
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session,
21 Mr. President.
22 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
23 Q. Now, sir, if you can turn to document 5717 in your document
24 bundle. It's Exhibit 05717. It's the second last document. That's
25 correct now.
1 Now, is it correct that this is a media article that you supplied
2 or provided to the Office of the Prosecutor when you were first
3 interviewed by them?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, sir, this article which appeared in Slobodna Dalmacija on
6 the 7th of October, 1993, contains an interview with Andjelko Markovic.
7 Is that Andjelko Markovic's picture on -- on the first page of the
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, I'd like to refer you to column 1, and just before the
11 reference to Knez Domagoj, in the translated version -- it's on the second
12 page of the translated version, right at the top. The interviewer has
13 asked a question, "How many people have returned to Stolac," and the
14 article says, "Expelled Croats from Kakanj and Kraljeva Sutjeska have
15 arrived in Stolac together with returnees. We have put about 3.000 of
16 them on the Dubrava plateau on the town of Stolac itself."
17 My question, sir, is does this actually reflect what happened on
18 the ground in Stolac or had happened by October, 1993?
19 A. In October, 1993, we did not have access to the area. The male
20 Bosniaks were all in camps, or mostly all of them. And I was in a camp,
21 too, in one of the camps. So as far as the situation on the ground is
22 concerned in Stolac and Capljina municipality, I don't know what it was
24 Q. According to --
25 A. However --
1 Q. If I may interrupt. According to your knowledge, when there is
2 talk about returnees in Stolac in October, does that include Bosniaks?
3 A. No, in no case.
4 Q. If I can refer you to the second column of the article, right in
5 the middle. And this is where the question is asked: "Croats emphasise
6 that they were the majority population in Stolac before the war." Do you
7 have that?
8 MR. KRUGER: In the translated version, Your Honours, it is --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can see it.
10 MR. KRUGER: It's also on page -- page 2.
11 Q. Andjelko Markovic is reported as saying in this regard: "The
12 first multi-party elections illustrated who Stolac belongs to." What
13 comment do you have on that? He's obviously, I think, referring to the
14 election of 1990.
15 A. As I emphasised earlier on, most of the Bosniaks lived in the town
16 of Stolac itself, and fewer people lived in the surrounding villages.
17 Now, I got this information earlier on from a programme that was on
18 television that I happened to see, but they weren't as precise as this.
19 It is true that in parts of the municipality outside town this information
20 could be fairly correct as applying to them.
21 Q. If I can refer you to one more part, and that is in column three,
22 just beneath the section which states, "Going to Tudjman."
23 MR. KRUGER: And in the translated version, Your Honours, it is on
24 page 3 of the translation.
25 Q. Now, the question that the -- that was posed during the interview
1 is, "Why do Muslims particularly insist on getting Stolac," to which
2 Markovic appears to give two reasons. One says: "Strategic. They need
3 it for access to the sea," which is at the beginning of his response. And
4 about a third of the way down he says: "In the second place, it is the
5 hometown of the majority of the SDA leadership."
6 In your view how accurate is this response or ...
7 A. Well, judging by what I know, some of the people were -- from
8 Stolac were active in the SDA party, in the Main Board, or in the
9 Presidency of the party in Sarajevo. But that they were fundamentalists,
10 I can't agree with that, with that observation.
11 Q. And what about the contention that Muslims insist on getting
12 Stolac because they need access to the sea?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, put your question
15 MR. KRUGER:
16 Q. What about the contention, Witness, that Muslims particularly
17 insist on getting Stolac because they need it for access to the sea?
18 A. What I know is this: At the time there was the prevalent view
19 that the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was under an embargo and that
20 possibly the arrival of the BH army to Stolac and Neum would be -- would
21 allow the arming of the units of the BH army. So that was the opinion
22 that was held, as far as I know.
23 Q. But was it at all a question that the Muslims insist on getting
24 Stolac? What is meant by this? Was it a relevant question?
25 A. I don't know. I can't say for sure. I can't be sure what
1 Mr. Markovic meant by saying that, but the fact remains that they or he
2 and his policies were geared towards not allowing Bosniaks to spend time
3 on the territory of Stolac municipality and, among others, in order to
4 achieve this goal that he states, the goal that he stipulates in this part
5 of the article.
6 Q. Sir, this article, the views expressed by Andjelko Markovic in
7 this article, did they at all surprise you?
8 A. No. Especially not after the talks I had as a camp inmate with
9 representatives of the investigating organs in the camp.
10 Q. Now, if I can refer you to another document, and this is
11 exhibit --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. Before we move
13 on to another document, Witness, I have a follow-up question to ask you.
14 In page 63, lines 12 and 13, you said the following: You said that all
15 the Muslim men were in camps, and then you added that, "I, too, was in a
16 camp," you say.
17 How do you explain the fact that your compatriots were put in
18 camps? What in your opinion led up to this, led them to be placed in
19 camps? And most particularly your own situation. How were you
20 yourself -- how did you yourself end up in a camp? Can you give us some
21 explanations about that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have a number of
23 explanations to give you with more or less arguments to support them, but
24 I'll try and focus on what was the subject of discussion between myself as
25 a camp inmate and an investigator in the Dretelj camp, or interrogator.
1 The interrogator there asked -- or, rather, accused me
2 personally of the following: By not abiding by the laws of Herceg-Bosna
3 that I had --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. As we're
5 in open session, if you're going to say anything that might identify you,
6 we could perhaps move into private session. Perhaps that would be
8 So, Mr. Registrar, let's move back into private session.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 11875-11881 redacted. Private session
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day
16 of January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.