1 Monday, 18 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please call
6 the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
8 versus Prlic et al. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar.
10 So this is Monday, June 18, 2007, and the Chamber would like to
11 welcome the Prosecution, counsel for Defence, the accused, and everyone in
12 the courtroom.
13 So after what happened last week, we will now resume normally with
14 the hearings, hoping that we won't run into new problems. We have a
15 witness that's scheduled. This witness is scheduled for the entire week.
16 Prosecution -- the Prosecution told us that it would need four hours and
17 30 minutes, and the Bench gave six hours to Defence, one hour for each
18 accused unless they get organised differently.
19 In the witness's written statement we found no trace that a
20 special accused would be mentioned by name. It is quite a general
21 statement, and this is why we're giving six hours altogether to Defence,
22 and then it will be up to the counsels of Defence to split the six hours
23 among themselves if they deem so.
24 The Chamber also mentions that in the statement there are many
25 elements that are not directly related to the indictment, and the Bench is
1 asking Prosecution to really focus on items that are relevant to the
2 indictment. So I think that's it for the witness to come.
3 In the meanwhile, I also would like to give an oral decision
4 regarding Prosecution's motion for extension of a deadline. Of course I
5 need to find the right document. Now I have it.
6 Oral decision granting an extension of deadline. We will require
7 a private hearing, please, Mr. Registrar.
8 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you very much, Your Honour. Prosecution
22 response to Defence exhibits tendered through Witness Bo Pellnas will
23 become Exhibit IC 604. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, and now we
25 can bring the witness into court.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, before we do that, Your Honour, I have
2 two matters. One very quick. Your Honours will notice that Ms. Alaburic
3 is not in court today, but Your Honour shouldn't panic. She'll be back
4 tomorrow. I've got Mr. Lasic and Ms. Juric as usual but it's my pleasure
5 also to introduce another team member. I haven't got the courage to do it
6 by description; I'll do it by location. The young lady in the far corner
7 of the case Ms. Mackenna Mosier has joined our team for the next couple of
9 Your Honour, the second matter is this: In light of the fact that
10 for this particular witness, there was an indication by Mr. Scott last
11 week that the Prosecution proposed to treat this witness as a combined
12 92 ter/viva voce witness, and following some of the discussion that took
13 place in court last week, the Petkovic Defence and it is we who wrote --
14 we wrote to the Prosecution on Saturday, and I won't read the whole thing,
15 Your Honour, because the absolute essential bit of it is that we ask that
16 before this witness's evidence began the Prosecution should give us - and
17 that's the Petkovic Defence but it would, we believe, apply by the same
18 token, to the other Defences - clear written information as to A, what
19 topics and points the Prosecution propose to cover exclusively or mainly
20 by the witness's written statement, and B, what topics or points they
21 propose to cover exclusively or mainly by viva voce evidence in chief.
22 Your Honour, we made it clear that we would not then suggest that
23 there would be rigidity, that they would be tied down to some inflexible
24 demarcation by giving us that information, that simply wouldn't be fair.
25 There's an element of quid pro quo or tit for tat in that. But, Your
1 Honour, we do suggest that that is a fair request we've made. The current
2 position is that we have not received an acknowledgement. So clearly, by
3 definition, we've not received any actual substantive response. So simply
4 asking, Your Honour, what the position is.
5 Of course, what we had in mind - we didn't spell it out - we did
6 indicate that it would be helpful, particularly helpful -- we said this,
7 it would be particularly helpful if that information could be related,
8 fairly closely and specifically, to numbered paragraphs in the witness's
9 written statement and to the 65 ter summary. But, Your Honour, we tried
10 to make it clear, we weren't prescribing how they should do it. We would
11 like the information; the precise form of presentation, of course, is for
12 the Prosecution. But to receive nothing, we do submit, is not a suitable
13 and helpful course for this mixed procedure.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, thank you, Mr. Stewart.
15 The Chamber first is welcoming your new colleague, and best wishes for
16 your team.
17 Now, Mr. Scott, I am turning to you. Mr. Stewart has been telling
18 us that he sent you a written letter requiring some information on how you
19 are going to proceed with this witness. Mr. Stewart is -- his request is
20 similar to ours, because very soon the Bench will make a decision on how
21 to actually proceed in this Chamber when implementing Rule 92 ter. So,
22 Mr. Scott, why don't you answer Mr. Stewart? I believe that you should
23 have done this at least out of courtesy. And secondly, how are you going
24 to deal with this witness? Is it going to be a viva voce witness, a 92
25 ter? Are you going to combine both approaches? We know nothing up to
2 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President, and Your Honours, and
3 everyone in the courtroom. Your Honours, we announced last week, the
4 witness that the Prosecution is presenting this week will be a mixed 92
5 ter/viva voce witness. I wouldn't go so far as to really call it a 92 ter
6 witness because the statement will be used, but it will in fact -- there
7 will be, in fact, supplementation based upon some viva voce questions and
8 a number of exhibits. So our position remains the same as announced in
9 court, I believe last Tuesday if I'm not mistaken, so that hasn't changed.
10 Your Honour, with respect to Mr. Stewart, unfortunately I did not
11 receive the communications until this morning and I did look at them late
12 this morning. We did not finish talking to the witness until about 12.00
13 today, so I did not have the opportunity to prepare any sort of a
14 selection of paragraphs before coming into the courtroom.
15 I would respond further, Your Honour, make a couple of points.
16 It -- the 92 ter procedure may vary substantially from witness to witness
17 based upon the nature of the statement and the nature of the material. It
18 may be -- there may be some statements and some witnesses who can be -- it
19 can be very clean to say we're talking only about this paragraph and this
20 paragraph and this paragraph. There maybe other witnesses and statements,
21 where the statement is such and the topics are such that there are a
22 number of things mixed in from paragraph to paragraph, and you may indeed
23 have a long paragraph with 12 -- you know, 12 or 15 sentences and we may
24 take out and seek to clarify something in that paragraph but not other
1 So if I were to say, we're going to talk about paragraph 15 but
2 only one sentence out of 15, it could mean that. If I don't say we're
3 going to talk about paragraph 15, then inevitably someone will say, well,
4 you didn't say you were going to talk about paragraph 15. So with all
5 respect, Your Honour, it's not -- it's not that clean of an exercise in
6 many instances to simply say it's going to be paragraph 7, 20, and 28. So
7 we understand the request that's being made. There may be times when we
8 can be -- give a more abbreviated form, but I know in respect of today's
9 witness, Your Honour, there are a number of questions spread throughout
10 the statement that need clarification or there may be an exhibit on a
11 particular paragraph that we -- that attaches to that paragraph. So it's
12 not particularly helpful in this particular situation to say only this
13 paragraph and only that paragraph, Your Honour, and so those where we are.
14 But with respect to Mr. Stewart, I did receive that this morning,
15 Your Honour. For whatever -- I didn't get the fax on the weekend, and as
16 I said, finished with the witness at noon. We simply have had no
17 opportunity to prepare any further response in this instance.
18 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, that simply isn't good enough.
19 The -- on the first point of the receipt of the material, as it happens
20 through a piece of minor confusion on our sides. We actually sent the
21 communication twice, once by fax and I sent it by e-mail to the case
22 manager on the Prosecution's side. We've received a series of the usual,,
23 perfectly helpful letters updating us on exhibit lists, charts, and so on.
24 The Pre-Trial Chamber will be entitled to be extremely dissatisfied, and
25 so would the Prosecution, if the Defence said that we hadn't actually
1 looked at these things because they hadn't actually got to counsel until
2 sometime late this morning.
3 We hesitate to criticise our hard-working colleagues on the other
4 side of the case, but, Your Honour, we do say that the excuse that
5 materials sent to the Prosecution team, actually twice in exactly the same
6 terms, I can at least say that, on Saturday, for it not to have got to
7 the -- to the lead counsel on the Prosecution side until just before we
8 start in court or late in the morning. It just isn't good enough. They
9 need to get their act together to make sure they look at this stuff.
10 Turning to the substance of the matter, what Mr. Scott says in
11 fact reinforces my argument. It's precisely because it's unclear whether
12 this witness will be dealt with by this particular mix, whether that
13 witness will be dealt with by that other particular mix. That's precisely
14 why we need to know. The request on Saturday was for this witness and
15 what we wanted was the indication in relation to this witness. The
16 indications in relation to another witness may be different and, Your
17 Honour, I didn't burden the Court with the whole of our not-very-long
18 letter, but our last paragraph said: "We do understand that it is not
19 possible to lay down rigid demarcations on these matters before the
20 witness has even started her evidence, and that the more specific the
21 information given by you in response to our request, the more you should
22 be entitled in fairness to some reasonable flexibility as the evidence
23 proceeds. However, it is important that we do receive this information
24 from you."
25 Your Honour, we were bending over backwards to be fair and to
1 recognise that it simply wouldn't be right if we were then to turn round
2 to try and hit the Prosecution, if they had been helpful to us, by saying,
3 Ah, well you said this and now you can't do that. We were recognising the
4 inherent untidiness of this exercise and the inherent need for flexibility
5 but for us to know where we -- we are.
6 Your Honour, we don't withdraw this request at all. We do say
7 that the explanations, both as to what's actually happened by way of
8 communication, and the substance, are highly unsatisfactory. It's not
9 good enough. We really do need and are entitled to have a stronger
10 indication about what we are about to hear.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish whole-heartedly
13 to join in the position expressed by my colleague, but I'd like to add one
14 more thing. Perhaps an area where my learned friend didn't expound the
15 issue fully.
16 The Prosecution, a moment ago in the arguments put forward,
17 uttered two sentences which were completely contradictory. The first
18 thing that was stated was the witness would be a mixed 92 ter and viva
19 voce witness, and then in the very next sentence, and that was on page 4,
20 line 24, the Prosecutor went on to say that they wouldn't go as far as
21 calling the witness a 92 ter witness.
22 Now, why I'm on my feet is the following: First of all, I am not
23 clear on this position, whether it's going to be a 92 ter or not. That's
24 the first point. And secondly I'd like to remind the Trial Chamber that
25 the Defence ultimately has to structure its cross-examination accordingly,
1 bearing in mind whether the witness statement will be attended or not,
2 because if there is -- there are allegations in the witness statement, and
3 we know that the statement will be tendered or admitted into evidence or
4 could be admitted as an exhibit, then we might have to challenge the
5 witness on what he said there.
6 Now, if the statement is not going to be tendered and the witness
7 is testifying about something or not testifying about something, then we
8 have to make the decision, to decide what portion we're going to
9 cross-examine on and what portion we're not going to cross-examine on.
10 And I fear that with a mixed approach or flexible approach, as the
11 Prosecution I think put it, we would in fact create -- or, rather, it was
12 in fact created to make the situation rather blurred, not clear enough, so
13 that the Defence doesn't focus on essential issues, to blur the issue.
14 So we must know. We must be prepared in advance to know what
15 parts to challenge, and then we're not interested in what the witness says
16 in testimony here. So it's a little disconcerting for the Defence, and it
17 is difficult for the Defence to prepare with this system.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, according to what I
19 understood, I think this is basically going to be a viva voce witness and
20 possibly supplemented by a few paragraphs according to Rule 92 ter. Is
21 this it?
22 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm not sure. I'm getting a bit confused
23 frankly myself based on some of discussion. Whether it's a viva voce
24 witness with a little bit of 92 ter or 92 witness with some viva voce, it
25 is a mixed witness, that's what we said last Tuesday, almost a week ago.
1 That has not changed. The Chamber has known, what we have done in the
2 past in this situation is to tender the witness's statement, lay the
3 foundation for the statement and then ask additional questions to the
4 witness in terms of some parts of the statement, or about exhibits related
5 to topics covered in the statement.
6 Now, whether someone wants to say it's 60 per cent 92 ter, and 40
7 per cent viva voce, or 35 per cent/65 percent. I'm not sure how helpful
8 that is. It is a mixed procedure which we tender the statement of the
9 witness in order to gain the efficiency of time so as not to cover all
10 aspects of the statement. And then to build on that statement with
11 clarification, with follow-up, with exhibits, and that's what we are
12 seeking to do, Your Honour. And in terms of what -- some other comments
13 that have been made and Mr. Kovacic's question, what I've heard the
14 Defence say, and I'm not picking any particular fight with them on this,
15 I'm just simply recounting what I understand their position to have been
16 in the past, is that based on the nature of the procedure, since the
17 statement is tendered in its entirety, they have to cross-examine, excuse
18 me, on the statement. Therefore, if that's the case and that's fair
19 enough, I think that is the case, then it really doesn't matter all that
20 much, we respectfully submit, whether we say that particular paragraph is
21 handled in writing or that particular paragraph is handled viva voce,
22 because the Prosecution's position is: The entire evidence is coming in
23 and I've -- as I've said I've heard defence counsel say a number of times
24 that in this situation, they may have to cross-examine on the entire
25 statement whether or not we've approached -- dealt with it specifically,
1 viva voce or not. So it really doesn't change anything, with the greatest
2 respect, on that point.
3 I -- my -- in response to Mr. Stewart, I can simply repeat,
4 Your Honour, I -- I did not and unless -- unless Mr. Stewart's prepared to
5 call me a liar and I don't think he is, I did not see that -- any request
6 or communication until later this morning. I'll say it again. I finished
7 with the witness at 12.00 noon today. I did not have time to prepare any
8 further documentation in this respect. And thirdly, thirdly, as I said at
9 the outset, the particular nature of this evidence, this statement, and
10 this witness does not particularly lend itself to a -- to cleanly
11 indicating only this paragraph but not that paragraph. For all those
12 reasons, I was not able to prepare any sort of response, or at least it
13 wouldn't have been a meaningful -- particularly meaningful response to
14 Mr. Stewart, in these circumstances.
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I don't think I've ever called a
16 professional colleague a liar in court in about 35 years but I can assure
17 Your Honours, the traditions of the English Bar would be such that if it
18 ever does happen, which I doubt, I will say in such unequivocal terms that
19 no one need have any doubt whatever. Of course I'm not suggesting that
20 Mr. Scott saw the letter before he says he saw it. My criticism was
21 something entirely different as to why it was that it hadn't got to
22 Mr. Scott. So he can rest assured, it's not the first time he seems to be
23 nervous that I might be making such an allegation against him. I've
24 always been a million miles from that, Your Honour, and I am now.
25 Otherwise, Your Honour, he is right. Where I do agree with him is
1 60 per cent this, 30 per cent, 40 per cent that, that wouldn't be helpful
2 at all is the answer to his question. Because it wasn't what we were
3 asking for. The -- just very briefly, it is important, for example, for
4 the Defence to know whether in relation to a particular point, it is just
5 what is in the statement which is going to be the evidence. In which case
6 we can prepare our cross-examination on the basis do we need then to
7 challenge that? Are we happy with what it says in the statement or do we
8 challenge that? If we know that there may be more added on to what's in
9 the statement, then it's more like a 65 ter summary, where we have to
10 guard against the possibilities that may then emerge, and the different
11 strands that may emerge from that basis. That's precisely, I'll be
12 repeating myself if I go on any longer, that's precisely why we need this
13 better information.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, thank you. As I said, the
15 Chamber last week decided to give a decision regarding Rule 92 ter in
16 order to make things more obvious, and obviously we must give advice very
17 quickly in this regard.
18 Now, regarding the witness to come, the Chamber believes that
19 since the written statement has already been disclosed to Defence, this
20 written statement is 121 paragraphs long, and we believe that -- that
21 Defence must know that if it was a viva voce witness it would have to
22 counter-examine the witness on the 121 paragraphs. If it's a 92 ter
23 witness, then the cross will be on the paragraphs in the statement. So
24 any lawyer after having read the written statement must be able to
25 cross-examine. While you were speaking, actually, I was leafing through
1 this written statement, and as far as I'm concerned I would have had no
2 problem asking questions on a few relevant paragraphs. I'm saying a few
3 relevant paragraphs, not 121 of them, because some are totally relevant.
4 So this is how we're going to proceed. We're going to ask the
5 witness to come into the courtroom. The witness will make the solemn
6 declaration. The Prosecution will ask whether -- ask new questions about
7 what is in the paragraphs. He would answer similarly as in the statement
8 subject to some corrections and then out of the -- out of the statement
9 and the exhibits in the binder, the Prosecutor will have four hours for
10 the in chief, and we will render a decision in the days to come regarding
11 new guidance because we already wasted 30 minutes since this hearing
12 started for this matter, and I would rather, you know, spend 30 minutes on
13 substance than 30 minutes on procedure, because the judgement will be a
14 judgement on substance and not on procedure.
15 I will now ask the usher to bring the witness into the courtroom
16 so the witness could make the solemn declaration.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: While that is happening, I just want to make one
18 brief observation, Your Honours, and Mr. President. I've hesitated to
19 speak up today, but when you give the Prosecution four hours and you give
20 the Defence six hours, and then you allow this whole statement to come in,
21 that's where it complicates matters at times for the Defence and that was
22 the whole purpose of asking for some guidance. I just put that out so you
23 might understand the predicament that we're in because, as a viva voce
24 witness, I think they could accomplish all they want to accomplish in four
25 hours, maybe five hours, but now they're having their cake and they're
1 eating it too. That's the problem.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I fully -- I agree with
4 you, Mr. Karnavas, and this is why we will soon make a decision regarding
5 this issue.
6 WITNESS: AZRA KRAJSEK
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. First I
9 would like to know whether you can hear in your own language what I'm
10 saying. If so, could you please say that you understand what I am saying.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can hear you
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please
14 stand up and read the solemn declaration. Before reading the sentence
15 that is on the cardboard, for the record could you please give me your
16 name, surname, and birth-date?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Azra Krajsek. I was born
18 on the 6th of April, 1955.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a job as of now or
20 an occupation? If so, what is it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am the founder of a company
22 dealing with auditing, and I'm also an active auditor.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you. Have you
24 already testified in front of an international tribunal or an national
25 court regarding the events that occurred in your country, or is this the
1 first time that you come to give testimony?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please now
4 read the solemn declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, you may sit down.
8 Just a few instructions on the procedure for your hearing this
9 week. First, you will answer questions put to you by the Prosecution.
10 I'm sure you have already met the Prosecutor, probably this morning or
11 maybe yesterday. The Prosecutor is going to ask questions, and you will
12 answer them, and the Prosecutor will also show you a number of exhibits,
13 number of documents that you probably have already seen with him.
14 Please when you answer the questions, be very focused and very
15 brief in order to really answer the question and only the question. And
16 after that step, which is going to be quite lengthy, counsels for the
17 Defence on your left, and there's many of them as you see, but don't
18 worry, they won't all be asking questions, there is one counsel for each
19 accused that will put questions to you in the cross-examination. And if
20 need be, the accused which are at the back of the room may take the floor
21 also to ask questions to you also. And there again, please try to be very
22 specific in your answers.
23 Generally speaking, when counsels for Defence cross-examine, ask
24 questions for the cross-examination, sometimes you can just answer by yes,
25 no, I don't know, and you don't really need to go into detail. This all
1 depends on the nature of the question asked.
2 Now, the four Judges on the Bench may ask questions at any time
3 and the Rules of Procedure allow for this. For a number of reasons we
4 decided that we would only ask questions at the very end of the in chief
5 and the cross-examination, but maybe sometimes when there's a document on
6 screen, if it's a lengthy document with a number of pages and so on, in
7 order to make sure that we don't waste time we might ask questions
8 directly. It's a case-by-case procedure or system. But generally
9 speaking, we would rather let the Prosecution do the in chief before we
10 ask questions, and the same for counsel for the Defence.
11 If at any time, you don't understand the question, ask for the
12 question to be reformulated. Sometimes questions can be complicated, and
13 then you have to ask the person asking the question to break down the
14 question into different steps.
15 We have breaks every hour and a half so you can rest and also so
16 we can change the audiotapes.
17 If at any time you feel ill at ease, you feel uncomfortable and
18 you want the proceedings to be stopped, please say so and the hearing will
19 be suspended.
20 So this is how the hearing will proceed, and I'm sure it will
21 proceed extremely smoothly.
22 Mr. Scott, this being said, you have the floor.
23 MR. SCOTT: Once again, thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
24 Examination by Mr. Scott:
25 Q. Good afternoon.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, as is the practice with a 92 ter witness,
2 I'm going to read, by way of introduction, the witness summary from our 65
3 ter filing sometime ago.
4 Your Honour, the witness worked in the Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 government's Directorate for Displaced Persons and Refugees in Sarajevo
6 and in Zagreb during the period from roughly September of 1992 until the
7 31st of August, 1994. The ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia
8 during this time period was Bisera Turkovic. The witness was responsible
9 for refugee matters and dealt with the office for displaced persons and
10 refugees of the Republic of Croatia - the Chamber may hear that referred
11 to as ODPR - the director of which during this time was Mr. Rebic. The
12 director -- also, she had dealings with the director of the collective
13 centre for refugees at a place called Gasinci, Mr. Branko Vukoja. And
14 also at the director of the collective centre for refugees on
15 Obonjan Island, Mr. Miroslav Maslac. She also had dealings with various
16 international organisations including the Red Cross; the Red Crescent; the
17 office of Mr. Mazowiecki, the UN rapporteur; and various NGOs.
18 Mr. Rebic was her principal contact in the Croatian government,
19 relating to refugee matters. She also had dealings or knowledge of what
20 she -- something that she knew of as the Croatian Community of
21 Herceg-Bosna for Refugees in Siroki Brijeg. The witness describes the
22 Croatian authorities dealings with refugees, Muslim refugees in Croatia,
23 including the treatment of Bosnian Muslim children vis-a-vis or in
24 relationship or comparison to Bosnian Croats regarding schooling. She
25 also touches upon the conditions and operations of refugee centres in
1 Croatia and the transfer of various refugees from -- first of all, from
2 Bosnia to Croatia and then in some instances, many instances, on to third
4 The witness learned of various of these topics from phone calls
5 and contacts and interviews with various Bosnian Muslim refugees and their
6 relatives. She required authorisation from Mr. Rebic's office to gain
7 access to these centres and to see the refugees and have contact with
8 them. She will talk in particular about two collective centres that being
9 on the island of Obonjan and also at the Gasinci location. Gasinci was
10 the largest, at least for a time, of the refugee centres with
11 approximately 3.000 refugees, and again the director of that particular
12 centre was Mr. Vukoja.
13 The witness will also talk about the placement or transfer of
14 Bosnian Muslim men who had been held for a time at various of the HVO
15 detention camps, including the Heliodrom, Ljubuski, and Dretelj and how
16 many of these men and some of their families were transferred to Croatia,
17 and in some instances to third countries. She will also talk about the
18 topic of the withdrawal of refugee status, the either withdrawal or
19 termination of refugee status of Bosnian Muslims who had found themselves
20 in Croatia from Bosnia-Herzegovina at various times, and the problems that
21 presented to them and their continued living situation either in Croatia
22 or going to a third country, or how it may have impacted their being
23 returned to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 She also had some limited dealings, Your Honour, with some
25 humanitarian convoy issues. They will be touched upon in the course of
1 her testimony.
2 I think that's an overview of what the witness will address,
3 Your Honour.
4 Q. Ms. Krajsek, with that in mind if I could ask you a few background
5 questions, please, so that everyone in the courtroom will get to know you
6 a bit better before I then show you your previous statements -- statement
7 and ask you a couple -- some questions about that.
8 Do I understand correctly that you graduated from the University
9 of Sarajevo, from the faculty of economics in the area of marketing in
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And from the time that you approximately -- some of these things
13 just in terms of your background, some of the dates may not be exactly
14 precise, but from the time of your graduation approximately 1977 until
15 1992, were you involved working for various public companies in the
16 position of economist?
17 A. That's correct. I worked in two public companies until 1992.
18 Q. The second of those companies and your longest -- for the longest
19 period of time at a company called Energoinvest?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And is it correct, Ms. Krajsek, that in approximately August of
22 1992, you were approached by the person who was then the director of the
23 Directorate for Displaced Persons and Refugees of the government of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ms. Amila Omersoftic and asked you to begin working
25 for that directorate?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. And you, in fact, began working for that directorate in
3 approximately September 1992; is that correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And in that capacity, from approximately November of 1992 until
6 the end of February 1993, you worked at the directorate in Sarajevo on a
7 number of projects, and if I understood you correctly, you were very much
8 involved in actually setting up the organisation and structure of the
9 directorate; is that right?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Then is it correct that on approximately the 1st of March, 1993,
12 until the 31st of August, 1994, you were transferred or received a new
13 assignment to work in the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb in
14 the Republic of Croatia?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And I'll ask you a few more details about that in a few moments,
17 but during that time did you become involved and have the principal
18 responsibility in the embassy during that period for dealing with matters
19 of refugees?
20 A. Correct.
21 MR. SCOTT: Now, if I can have the assistance of the usher,
22 please, to put the binder of materials in front of witness, and including
23 her statement. I assume it's in there.
24 Q. If I can ask you in that binder to first of all turn to what's
25 been marked as Exhibit 10124.
1 A. I do apologise. Your Honours, may I please have a two-minute
2 break? I forgot my glasses.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we do not want to waste
4 any court time, and whilst someone is getting your glasses, I have a
5 question to put to you. You say you were working for the BiH embassy in
6 Zagreb. Did you have the status of a diplomat when you were employed at
7 the embassy in Zagreb? So you had the status of a diplomat.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And another question generally as to the
9 situation you were in. Do you know whether both Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 and Croatia had ratified the Vienna Convention on consular relations?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really wouldn't know.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if you want -- [Interpretation]
14 Your Honours, if you wish to have this question clarified, I can have it
15 clarified for you by way of information.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much, Mr. Kovacic, it's very kind
18 of you, but it was not a central point because the indictment does not
19 claim violations of the Vienna Convention as a point the Defence is
20 charged with.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Of course. I thought you were
22 interested in terms of the status of the witness at the time in terms of
23 the Vienna Convention, but whatever you wish.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I appreciate your offer. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Madam, if I can ask you please, if you can now find 10124. I
3 suspect it will be toward the back of your binder unless -- no, sorry,
4 they placed it on top in this instance. Forgive me. 10124. And do you
5 have that? She has it.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. With that in front of you, madam, let me just ask you a few
8 questions. Is it correct that you gave an interview to the Office of the
9 Prosecutor of the ICTY on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of November, 2004?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And at that time you recall that a written statement was prepared
12 in the English language and then interpreted to you or read back to you in
13 your own language?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And if I could ask you in Exhibit P 10124, the English version is
16 on top, I believe, and if I could ask you to please turn your -- turn to
17 page 19.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is that your signature, please, immediately above the date 30
20 November 2004?
21 A. Yes, that's my signature.
22 Q. And if you leaf through the document, if you will, turn through
23 some of the pages, is it also correct that you at that time initialed each
24 page of the statement, and do you see your initials on this document?
25 A. Yes, that's right. I placed my initials there, and I see them
1 clearly on this document.
2 Q. Now, at the time you signed this statement on the 30th of
3 November, 2004, madam, did you consider this statement to be a true and
4 accurate statement to the best of your knowledge and recollection?
5 A. Yes, that is what I considered.
6 Q. And let me now switch to the Bosnian language version of your
7 statement which you will also find, I believe, as part of Exhibit P 10124.
8 Since arriving in The Hague did you have -- have you had an opportunity to
9 review a version of your statement that has been put in the Bosnian
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. All right. Now, with all that in mind, let me first of all go
13 back, then, to the English -- in reference to the English version. I
14 would like to confirm with the Chamber that you asked to make a number --
15 several, not very many, but a few corrections and if you could just
16 confirm, please. In the paragraph, and I'm now referring specifically to
17 the -- well, in this particular instance, it would apply to both versions
18 but I'm particularly looking at the English version in any event. In
19 paragraph 28, you indicated that in the list of cities or villages or
20 locations that Vinkovci should be deleted; is that correct? Paragraph 28,
21 Vinkovci or Vinkovci. Sorry, markings are not on that --
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And in reference to paragraph 50. Toward the end of that
24 paragraph. It's a rather, perhaps small change, but you asked that it
25 be -- the end of that sentence or the send of that paragraph should
1 read: "Distributed questionnaires to Muslims imprisoned by HVO from the
2 area of Mostar." Is that correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And if I can direct your attention, please, to paragraph number
5 67. If I understood correctly, you wish to delete the first sentence of
6 paragraph 20 -- excuse me, 67, starting with the word "We," and ending
7 with the word "Serbs." Is that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And finally in terms of the English version, if you look at
10 page -- or excuse me, paragraph 72 on the same page, in the first line of
11 that sentence you again would -- you would request that the first sentence
12 read: "Those who agreed to go to Turkey were offered to fill in a
13 questionnaire." Is that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And can I understand correctly, and more importantly can the
16 Judges understand, that those are all the changes and corrections that you
17 wish to make to the English version of your statement?
18 A. You did understand things correctly, yes.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Madam, if we could then turn to the B/C/S
20 version of your Bosnian language version, excuse me, of your statement.
21 There are two attached -- essentially, the second document is the original
22 Bosnian language version, and then behind -- after that set of 29 pages,
23 in the middle of the overall document, then you come to a second version,
24 if you will, of your Bosnian language statement starting again with page
25 number 1, and did you also ask to make and were changes made in the
1 Bosnian language version, which are indicated by either certain words in
2 the hard-copy version of your statement being either omitted or deleted by
3 being struck through, and new words are their replacements being indicated
4 by being underlined? Is that correct?
5 A. That is correct, and also the correction was done properly.
6 Q. Simply to make it -- give one particular concrete example, in that
7 version, which unfortunately I won't be able to read, but at least
8 everyone in the courtroom can see an example of what's been done. If I
9 can ask you in that version to turn to paragraph 72 on page 17. If you
10 have that, madam, looking at paragraph 72, there are several -- there's a
11 couple of words in the first line that have been struck and some
12 additional words that have been inserted that are underlined, and does
13 that reflect the changes that you wish to make?
14 A. It does.
15 Q. And just -- if it may assist the Chamber, is it correct, madam,
16 that there were some changes that you thought were particularly functions,
17 if you will, or aspects of Bosnian language where you did not believe that
18 the English language needed to be corrected but the particular usage of
19 the Bosnian language, in your view, needed to be corrected, and that's why
20 there may be changes in the Bosnian version that are not necessarily
21 reflected in the English language document; is that correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. All right. Now, madam, having gone through your statements and
24 having now noted the corrections in the record, let me ask you this:
25 If -- concerning these -- this statement that you gave in 2004 as has now
1 been corrected, if I were to ask you questions about all these matters or
2 topics in court would the answers and the information that you gave in
3 your statement 2004 as corrected, would that be your testimony in court?
4 A. That would be my testimony in court.
5 Q. Thank you very much. With that in mind, and, ma'am, you may need
6 to speak up. You're speaking quite softly at times. It is being picked
7 up on the record, but it may assist if you could speak a bit more loudly,
9 A. [In English] Okay.
10 Q. If I could just ask you some follow-up questions in reference to
11 paragraph 12 of your statement where you talk about the time of your
12 service during Zagreb. You say in your statement that you went to work
13 there initially in connection with something called logistics centres.
14 Can you just briefly tell us what the logistics centres were at that time?
15 A. At that time, the logistics centres were supposed to represent
16 federal centres for the humanitarian aid arriving and which had to be
17 distributed in an organised manner and transported throughout
19 Q. And approximately how many of these logistics centres existed in
20 the Republic of Croatia as of March of 1993 that were being operated on
21 behalf -- by or on behalf of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. There were supposed to be four or five of those logistics centres.
23 Q. And when you arrived in Zagreb to take up your post, can you tell
24 the Judges that -- did you find that after being there a short time that
25 it did not -- it was not practical, you did not deem it practical to
1 continue working in that area, that is, working in the topic or around the
2 function of the logistics centres?
3 A. I learnt about that after 10 to 15 days of being in Zagreb, after
4 I had collected basic information about the existence of the centres and
5 whether their legal status was regulated in Croatia. And I also drew my
6 opinion from the fact that I realised that the logistics centre in Ploce
7 was not legalised in the port of Ploce. And according to my plan the
8 organisation of logistical centres of the kind that I wanted to introduce
9 and implement was supposed to be -- that was supposed to be one of the
10 basic centres for the transport and distribution of humanitarian aid.
11 Q. And based on what you found, did you believe that you could carry
12 out your function, the original functions that had been tasked to you in
13 terms of overseeing, if you will, these logistics centres?
14 A. No. I realised that I couldn't do that, that I couldn't realise
15 the goal that I wanted to when arriving, and I informed the government in
16 Sarajevo about that.
17 Q. And did you propose to return to Sarajevo at that time?
18 A. Yes. I said that I wasn't able to do the job that I was sent out
19 to do and that I was willing to go back and work for the head office.
20 Q. And instead of being sent back to Sarajevo, was it at that time
21 that your function essentially was -- your job description, as we might
22 say now, was rewritten to task you into the area of dealing with refugees?
23 A. I would rather put it this way: That they appointed me attache
24 for refugees.
25 Q. And when you say appointed you attache, were you an employee of
1 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. Precisely. That's when I became an employee of the Ministry of
3 Foreign Affairs.
4 Q. And during the time that you were working at the embassy and which
5 is going to be the time we are going to be talking about in the course of
6 your testimony, did you consider your superior or the person we might say
7 boss to be the ambassador Ms. Turkovic?
8 A. That was my boss, yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one question, one follow-up
10 question, please. In this embassy in Zagreb, how many people were working
11 with the ambassador, please?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I really couldn't answer that,
13 because all I knew was the number of people that worked in the part -- the
14 department that I headed.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In this embassy were there
16 10 people, 50, 200? Could you give us an order of magnitude?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't want to guess, but it is my
18 feeling that there might have been 20 people in the embassy, plus in the
19 consul department, but I really don't know how many people there.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. SCOTT: For the benefit of the courtroom, I'm skipping over
22 and not putting any additional questions to the witness concerning
23 paragraphs 14 through 18 -- or 19, in the event that either the Court, or
24 of course, the Defence can ask about any aspects of the statement, but
25 just to make it clear, I'm not going into those topics further at this
2 Q. In your statement, Ms. Krajsek, from approximately paragraph 20 to
3 paragraph 27, you tell us about the -- your involvement in the embassy in
4 connection with providing schooling, providing education, in particular
5 for Muslim refugees in the Republic of Croatia. And you were involved in
6 that issue or in carrying out and providing that service; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, very intensively.
8 Q. And I just have one or two questions to clarify in that -- in
9 those paragraphs. If I can direct your attention to paragraph number 24
10 of your statement. You mention in connection with these schools that were
11 set up for the Bosniak or Muslim children something called the
12 coordination of Islamic humanitarian organisations, that they financed the
13 project, and then at the end of that paragraph, 24, you say: "Croatia
14 never financed or co-financed these costs, which can be proved through
16 Can I ask you just to confirm if you know, do I understand
17 correctly then that in terms of providing the schooling for those Bosnian
18 refugee children in Croatia, this was not financed or provided by the
19 Croatian government?
20 A. For all the children that were incorporated into exterritorial
21 schools Croatia did not set aside any funds, no.
22 Q. And if I could ask you one clarifying question concerning
23 paragraph 25. In paragraph 25 you said that -- of your statement you say
24 that the "Croatian government brought a regulation according to which the
25 children had to have a christening certification -- certificate in order
1 to get in the regular school, a certificate that the Bosniaks obviously
2 did not have."
3 And my follow-up question to you about that is how long to your
4 knowledge did that regulation continue in effect?
5 A. I don't know how long after my return to Bosnia-Herzegovina this
6 stayed in force, but it was in force in the academic year of 1992 and
7 1993, and also from 1993 to 1994.
8 Q. All right.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, I'm asking no additional questions about
10 paragraphs 21 through 27.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just a question on
12 paragraph 25, please. On these christening certifications, Croatian
13 children who would go to school in Zagreb, when they were admitted in the
14 school, to your knowledge were they also asked to provide this christening
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't have that
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Just to follow up on the president's question, in case some
21 clarification might be helpful. As you indicate in your statement, I
22 believe, but is it correct that in your experience you found that as to
23 the Bosnian Croat refugees, those children were brought into or became
24 part of the Croatian schools?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Mr. President. Can we ask non-leading
1 questions at this point? I believe it's a follow-up to your question.
2 MR. SCOTT: Whatever Your Honours' desire is. It's a bit
3 artificial, I submit, in this situation for me to simply ask her to read a
4 paragraph of her additional statement or -- I can do that if that's what
5 the Chamber would like me to do, but I think it's -- I'll go on because
6 the statement, I think on these matters, speaks for itself. Unless the
7 Chamber has additional questions on those paragraphs.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, she was a representative of the
9 embassy. I assume the embassy was for everyone who came from
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and not for just Muslims, and therefore I would suspect
11 that part of her portfolio would have covered everyone, not just Muslims,
12 so she should know those questions.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. In paragraph 25 of your statement --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, in your job as attache at
16 the embassy in charge of schooling issues, let me ask you the following:
17 If a Bosnian Croat child who, for some reason, ended up in Zagreb, came to
18 your embassy to get administrative information, or to obtain aid from his
19 country's embassy, so was there a different treatment between different
20 people, or did you deal with all the requests without taking into account
21 the origin of the person?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Quite literally we treated all
23 requests equally.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. To follow up, then, on that question, in connection specifically
1 with schools and education, can you tell the Judges in your experience how
2 did -- how was it that the Bosnian Croat refugee children were provided an
3 education when they arrived in Zagreb or elsewhere in Croatia?
4 A. To the best of my knowledge, they were included into the regular
5 system of elementary education in the Republic of Croatia, with the
6 exception of one coastal school which had children who were Bosnian Croats
7 of origin but didn't want to be included into the exterritorial system of
8 the schools of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina but attended the school
9 and curriculum according to the programme applied in the Republic of
11 Q. Madam, there may be a misunderstanding or translation or
12 transcription error. I believe my question was in terms of specifically
13 the Bosnian Croat children and whether they were provided an education in
14 the -- how they were provided, and you said to the best of your knowledge
15 in the regular system of elementary education in the Republic of Croatia,
16 and then you pointed out an exception, what you described, I believe, as a
17 coastal school, but it wasn't clear how that was an exception. You seem
18 to go ahead then and make a description, if I read this correctly, that
19 those children in fact did go also into the regular schools of the
20 Republic of Croatia. So I think there may be a mistake or a
22 A. I'll try and make myself clearer. To the best of my knowledge,
23 the children of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina who were Croats went to
24 regular Croatian primary schools and elementary schools. The only group
25 of Bosnian Croats, that is to say, children who were not included into the
1 regular schools of Croatia as far as I know were children from the area of
2 Bugojno. They had fled from Bugojno and were displaced persons and
3 located somewhere along the coast in Makarska, around Makarska. They were
4 organised in what we call exterritorial schools, which were not within the
5 framework and network of the BH schools, BH exterritorial schools in the
6 Republic of Croatia.
7 Q. All right. Thank you very much. I'm going to now direct your
8 attention forward -- I'm skipping over a number of paragraphs, and in
9 connection with paragraph 33, in paragraph 33 you begin talking about the
10 Obonjan refugee centre. This refugee centre was on Obonjan Island on the
11 Croatian coast; is that correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And did you have any understanding of approximately how long --
14 for how long, if it was, prior to your arrival in Zagreb in March 1993
15 that Obonjan had been operated as a refugee centre?
16 A. I really don't have official data. The centre was opened in March
17 1993 when I arrived, and talking to the refugees that I encountered there
18 I gained the impression that they had been there for three or four months
19 already before my arrival.
20 Q. And where were these refugees from, the ones that were there when
21 you first visited the centre.
22 A. From the interior of Bosnia.
23 Q. When you say interior of Bosnia, might that also be referred to as
24 Central Bosnia?
25 A. Yes, precisely.
1 Q. And the refugees that you encountered there, were these Croats or
2 Muslims or both?
3 A. Exclusively Bosnian Muslims.
4 Q. Now, madam, in paragraph 35 of your statement you mention that at
5 Obonjan, the facility was guarded or secured by what you describe as
6 special police of the Croatian Ministry of Interior; is that right?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Can you tell the Judges generally about the refugee centres that
9 you were most familiar with at the time, both at Obonjan and also at
10 Gasinci, whether the refugees of these collection centres, were they free
11 to move about, did they have freedom of movement or were they restricted
12 to these camps?
13 A. In that respect the centre on the island of Obonjan was quite
14 specific. On that island all the refugees were able to move around
15 freely, around the island freely, but weren't able to cross to the
16 mainland for a number of reasons. The first limiting factor was they had
17 to pay for the boat between Sibenik and the island, and they didn't have
18 the money to do so, for the ferry. And I think that they had to ask
19 permission from the director of the collective centre as well, if they
20 wanted to leave.
21 Q. And how about at the Gasinci centre?
22 A. In Gasinci, the freedom of movement was different. The regime was
23 different, because it was a centre that was on the mainland and not far
24 from the town of Djakovo. So they could go out into town and come back if
25 they were back by the time prescribed.
1 Q. In paragraphs 42 to 44, you talk about certain development
2 projects at Obonjan. Just to clarify that point, can you explain if you
3 know whether the Croatian government, to your knowledge, was financing or
4 financially supporting the refugee centre for Muslims on Obonjan?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, may I ask what the relevance is of all
6 these questions? I mean, the freedom of movement, for instance. Perhaps
7 she can tell us under international law or whatever law she understands,
8 do refugees usually go walkabout in a country where they're hosted as
9 refugees? And in this instance, what is whether Croatia under those
10 circumstances was providing infrastructure in this particular place or any
11 other place? What exactly was her portfolio, and what exactly does this
12 have to do with the indictment?
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, several things, Your Honour, in response.
14 Number one, I admit to in part being -- anticipating a bit of
15 cross-examination based on various questions that have been raised in the
16 past year, and certain statements and positions taken by certain of the
17 accused on the extensive benefits provided by the Croatian government to
18 Bosnian Muslim refugees. But we can possibly wait till redirect to deal
19 with that if those questions are, in fact, put.
20 However, however, the condition of the camps, the support of the
21 camps, what was happening in Croatia is directly relevant to the fact, in
22 the Prosecution's view, that there was tremendous pressure put then to
23 move these refugees or cause them to be moved on to third countries and
24 not for them to be returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that is why,
25 among other things, we believe it's relevant.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, if they're going to go in that route, I wish
2 to remind the Court that perhaps the Prosecution will need then to
3 describe exactly the conditions, because we're talking about being --
4 having them in hotels, having them in houses, and there were instances
5 where they were being encouraged to go into tents. And what -- how in
6 that -- how is that relevant? And of course, if that is the case, I
7 suspect with this -- with this particular witness they might be able to
8 tell us how many -- how many refugees was Croatia capable of absorbing,
9 how many it had at the time, and perhaps how many it was trying to get rid
10 of, because I think these are important issues that must be addressed if
11 they're going to go down that line.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, let's save time.
13 To your knowledge, Witness, how many refugees were there coming
14 from Bosnia-Herzegovina? Just give us an order of magnitude, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the estimates in 1993 spoke of
16 the fact that there were 300.000 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina in
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Out of these 300 -- 300.000
19 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, there must have been refugees from
20 different backgrounds, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. Could you give us the
21 breakdown in percentage according to their ethnic background?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I am afraid I'm not able to do
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question then: You
25 spoke about two centres, one on the island Obonjan, and Gasinci. One is
1 on an island, and the other one is on land, on the mainland. So there was
2 quite an interesting question asked by Mr. Scott, but he didn't go into
3 detail. I'd like to know whether these refugees had total freedom of
4 movement. I mean when you're a refugee you can to move around, you're
5 allowed to move around. So to your knowledge, did they have complete
6 freedom of movement or did they need some kind of permit from MUP, from
7 the MUP or from camp authorities to move around. Or were they allowed to
8 take the train or to move around freely throughout Croatia, to go to the
9 beach if need be, if they wanted to go. To your knowledge was there
10 complete freedom of movement or did those 300.000 refugees have to stay in
11 very restricted geographical areas that were controlled?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for the witness.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, the refugee
14 centres had their house rules and the refugees were duty-bound to abide by
15 them and they had refugee cards or IDs and with those they were allowed to
16 move around Croatia freely, at least at certain periods.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in other words, a Muslim
18 refugee was allowed to move around as to this refugee card or ID. This
19 Muslim refugee, was he allowed to move around freely throughout the
20 Republic of Croatia? For example, meet with you in the embassy if they
21 needed to meet with you? Were they allowed to do that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is now a quarter to 4.00.
24 It's time for a tea break, and we will resume at five after 4.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
3 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Madam, I'm moving on to July of 1993, and by way of reference for
6 both yourself and the courtroom, I direct your attention to paragraph 52
7 of your statement.
8 You indicate in paragraph 52 of your statement that in total a bit
9 less than a thousand Muslims from Mostar came to Croatia between the 18th
10 and the 21st of July, 1993. This group was split and directed to Gasinci
11 and the island of Obonjan.
12 And my first question to you about this particular topic is how
13 did you first come to know that these people, these Muslims from Mostar,
14 had arrived in Croatia at these two camps?
15 A. These expelled Muslims who arrived got permission from the
16 authorities for refugees to make telephone calls to the embassy and then I
17 learned from these telephone calls that a group arrived in Gasinci first.
18 They were the first to call me, and then I got a telephone call from the
19 island of Obonjan and so that is how I received information.
20 Q. In paragraph 21 -- excuse me, my apology. In paragraph 49, you
21 indicate that on the 21st of July you actually went to Gasinci; is that
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And how did you -- excuse me. How did you make the arrangements
25 to do that?
1 A. I had the general consent of Mr. Adalbert Rebic who was the
2 representative of the office for refugees and expellees of the Republic of
3 Croatia that I could enter the collection centres where the refugees were
4 put up. On the basis of that authority issued by him I went to the centre
5 in Gasinci, and as always, I first reported to -- well, the management,
6 the director of these collective centres.
7 Q. And as indicated again in paragraph 49 of your statement, was the
8 director of the Gasinci centre Mr. Branko Vukoja? If I pronounce it
9 wrong, excuse me.
10 A. Correct. That was the director.
11 Q. Could I ask you in this regard in the binder -- excuse me, bundle,
12 binder of documents that you have in front of you, could you please go to
13 Exhibit 3617. And as I've explained to you before, madam, in all
14 instances I believe you'll find the English translation on top, and then
15 you'll find the Bosnian language version beneath it. Do you have Exhibit
17 A. I have that document, yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us -- tell the Judges, please, what that document is?
19 A. This is a document, information that I had drafted concerning an
20 official trip, and on the basis of this I made a report that had to do
21 with what happened on the dates of my official trip, and the report was
22 made for the embassy of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia
23 and also for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
24 report was used for other purposes as well, for further communication with
25 international organisations whose representatives were present at the
1 meeting that was held in Gasinci.
2 Q. All right. Now, in your statement, in paragraphs 50 to 56 of your
3 statement, you set out a description of what had happened to these persons
4 and how they had come to be transferred from Mostar to Croatia on this
5 occasion. Both in your report, which is Exhibit 3617 and item number 2,
6 some parts of your report are numbered, and if you look at item number 2,
7 and also in paragraph 51 of your statement, you indicate that these
8 people, the people coming from Mostar, were told that arrangements had
9 been made for them to transfer -- to be transferred on to third countries;
10 is that correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And what did you find -- well, if you know, what did they find?
13 What did they report to you, and what did you find in connection with
14 whether, in fact, arrangements were in place to immediately transport
15 these people on to third countries from Croatia?
16 A. Well, at the meeting that I wrote this information about, from
17 document 3617, I had received information from expelled citizens that
18 before they left Bosnia-Herzegovina they had received information that
19 their displacement was being carried out in cooperation with the BH
20 embassy in Croatia that had already taken certain measures to organise
21 their further displacement in third countries. That was the first time I
22 received such information, and of course, I informed them that the embassy
23 is totally unprepared and that we had not gone into any kind of
24 organisation of this kind because we had not expected them to come.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may just ask a question for clarification.
1 You speak of a meeting, this meeting. Could you give us some information
2 on who attended the meeting and where it was held? I may have overlooked
3 something, but I did not find that information in your statement. I'm
4 referring to paragraph 12 of your statement, for instance, but it comes
5 again at other instances.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I'm trying
7 to find the original of the report.
8 In the second paragraph of document 3617, or, rather, my report,
9 it says that the representatives of the embassy on the 21st of July had a
10 meeting at the Gasinci refugee centre that was attended by representatives
11 of the UNHCR, the International Red Cross Committee, the federation of the
12 International Red Cross and Crescent of the Red Cross of Croatia as well
13 and that the meeting was also attended by the representatives of Gasinci,
14 Mr. Branko Vukoja. That is a meeting that was attended by all these
15 representatives and -- well, not all of them, but it was also attended by
16 as many expelled citizens as could fit into the room where the meeting was
17 being had held.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Madam, I hope I won't offend you if I ask you to perhaps slow down
21 just a bit. I think you're speaking quite quickly. You seem to have gone
22 from a bit slow to now quite fast. So if we can find kind of a happy
23 middle ground that would be, I think, helpful to everyone, including the
25 Let me go back to the question I asked you before Judge Trechsel's
1 question. Perhaps I didn't state it clearly. When you looked into these
2 matters or based on further conversations that you had with the persons
3 who arrived from Mostar around this time, can you tell the Judges did you
4 find that in fact the papers -- the paperwork was in place for these
5 persons to be transferred at that time to third countries?
6 A. I received information through direct contact with the expellees
7 that they were supposed to fill out certain forms that had been offered to
8 them by the HVO, that they were also supposed to sign a document that --
9 well, that they leave all their properties to Herceg-Bosna and that this
10 was a prerequisite for setting them free from different prisons where they
11 had been detained. And the next prerequisite was that they had to leave
12 their places of residence, that they had to go through Croatia to third
14 Q. Can I ask you next to go to Exhibit 3655.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry to intervene again, Mr. Scott, but I
16 think your question has not really been answered. You asked about
17 documents being prepared for transfer to third countries, whereas the
18 witness has informed us on documents that were prepared when the refugees
19 were leaving Herceg-Bosna, and perhaps I repeat your question.
20 To go to a third country there must be certain documents like
21 entry visas or invitations or agreements that a third country is prepared
22 to accept a certain amount of refugees. Were you aware whether any such
23 documents existed? Was everything ready for continuation of the -- of the
24 journey of these people?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that moment nothing was prepared
1 for the continuation of their journey.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
3 Excuse me, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, you're absolutely correct, and I
5 appreciate the assistance.
6 Q. Now, with that in mind, madam, if you could then go to Exhibit
7 3655. And can you just -- I'm going to show you various documents,
8 hopefully some of them fairly quickly, madam, and if you can just it tell
9 us what that document is.
10 A. This is a letter from the embassy, the office for refugees, that
11 we sent to the UNHCR, the Zagreb office, and through this letter we
12 informed the UNHCR that we had asked the director of the head office for
13 displaced persons and refugees of the government of the Republic of
14 Croatia, Mr. Adalbert Rebic, to arrange a meeting in order to openly
15 discuss and find a solution for exiled Mostar citizens temporarily
16 accommodated in the refugee centre of Gasinci, and through direct contacts
17 with this office we were trying to reach a solution to the problems that
18 we faced once they had come.
19 Q. And if I could next ask you to go to 3656. The next -- it should
20 be --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before moving on to the next
22 document, I have a question about document 3655, Witness, the document you
23 have in front of you, the document signed by the ambassador.
24 What I find interesting here is who wrote this document, and I'm
25 wondering whether you were not the author of this document, because here
1 we see AMB/ZAG-AK. So I'm thinking AK might be your initials. Were you
2 the person who drafted this document, madam?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. I am the person who
4 drafted this document.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what we see here, ZAG, what
6 does it stand for, ZAG?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That means this was the BH embassy
8 in Zagreb. Zagreb was an abbreviation for the actual locality.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. So you are the person who
10 drafted the document, and then the document was signed by the ambassador.
11 Thank you.
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. And if we could go on, madam, to 3656, and your previous -- the
14 letter that you drafted was dated the 23rd of July, and if you look at
15 3656, was a similar letter or at least another letter sent that day over
16 the signature of the ambassador to Mr. Rebic about the arrival of these
17 people from Mostar?
18 A. I'm afraid that I don't understand the question.
19 Q. Do you have 3656?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. And just let me come at it this way then, following on the
22 President's question: Is this a letter that you also prepared for the
23 ambassador's signature addressed to Mr. Rebic of the Croatian Office for
24 Displaced Persons and Refugees?
25 A. That's right, yes.
1 Q. And can I ask you to go to Exhibit 3708.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Scott. May I ask an intermediary
4 Witness, is there any relation between these two documents 3656
5 and 3655?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It is the very same subject
7 matter, although the UNHCR office in Zagreb was in receipt of a copy of
8 3656. Nevertheless, a separate letter was prepared for the UNHCR, too,
9 providing information concerning the subject matter that was of interest
10 to us and why we were asking Mr. Rebic for a meeting at his office.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm looking at these
13 two letters, and I see that there is a slight shift from one to the other.
14 In the first letter, 3655, that's in English, of course I don't know what
15 word you used in your own language, but in English we see that there is a
16 mention of "exiled citizens of Mostar," and in the report that you also
17 drafted, document 3617, you also use the word of "exiled" in English. But
18 now when we look at the letter sent to Mr. Rebic, we that these "exiled"
19 have turned into "expelled" in English, expelled persons.
20 Is this deliberate from your part, or is it the case where the
21 English translation is not quite true to the original, because the
22 term "exiled" means something different than "expelled." You can be
23 exiled on a voluntary basis, but when you've been expelled from somewhere
24 there's nothing voluntary about it.
25 Was there a shift here in the way these words were used by
1 yourself or is it a matter of translation, of interpretation, where a
2 mix-up has happened, a confusion between the words "exiled"
3 and "expelled"?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We very specifically referred to
5 displaced citizens from Mostar, expelled, as 3656 says. I believe that
6 this is a language mistake in the letter that was sent to the UNHCR.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you spell in your language,
8 in B/C/S, the word for expelled? What is the word for expelled in your
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Protjeran, a person who did not
11 leave his residence of his own free will.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a slight concern
14 here. You were working for the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
15 Zagreb, in Croatia, and you were in charge of receiving or welcoming the
16 citizens of your country in Croatia, and I see in your letter that they
17 were escorted by the police of the Republic of Croatia. That's what we
18 read in the letter dated 23rd of July, 1993. And I have the following
19 question about this: I'd like to know whether you had a look at the
20 documents that your citizens had in their possession to enter on the
21 territory of the Republic of Croatia, because you yourself were not a
22 citizen of that republic. What sort of documents did they have to allow
23 them to enter the territory of the Republic of Croatia?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 that we are talking about did not have any individual documents on them.
1 Looking for documents on the basis of which they entered the Republic of
2 Croatia in the first place, I turned to the director of Gasinci asking on
3 the basis of what he allowed such a big group of people to enter the
4 centre, and on the basis of which documents he had put them up at the
5 centre. He then showed me a list of these citizens who had entered.
6 When I asked to be given a copy of the list and the accompanying
7 documents, he never responded. He promised verbally, but the embassy and
8 I never got an appropriate document.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] In other words, we do not know who
10 gave these citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina the authorisation to enter
11 Croatia. Is that what you're telling us?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are not quite right, because we
13 got the following document: The transit visa that was issued by the
14 office for expellees and refugees of the government of Croatia, headed by
15 Mr. Adalbert Rebic.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Going back or continuing on with Exhibit 3708, if we can, can you
20 tell us whether that is the response that your embassy received from
21 Mr. Rebic to the earlier letter?
22 A. Yes, that is the response.
23 Q. If I could ask you to go to the end of the third paragraph, and I
24 don't know -- let me just check. It's also the end of -- yes. Different
25 page number, but it's the third paragraph of the letter. At the end of
1 that Mr. Rebic says that -- makes the allegation that no one had gone to
2 deal with the Bosnian Croats expelled -- or refugees from the
3 Lasva Valley. And can you tell the Chamber whether that was a true
4 statement or not?
5 A. To the best of my knowledge this is quite incorrect. The
6 ambassador, with a few other officers from our embassy, went to Split
7 immediate, to Poljub [phoen], having learned that there were citizens from
8 the Lasva Valley that had arrived there. They were a priority visit for
9 me, and I visited them as soon as I could in Pineta [phoen], at the
10 collection centre where they had been put up.
11 Q. And can I ask you to go to Exhibit 3765, and can you just confirm
12 to us that was a response from the Ambassador Turkovic to Mr. Rebic's
14 A. Yes, I can confirm that. That's right.
15 Q. And -- all right.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may just intervene right now for
17 a second. Again, I don't see -- I fail to see the relevance of all of
18 this. Is the Croatia -- Croatian government, and by that I mean the State
19 of Croatia, are they now being charged with failure to provide adequate
20 assistance to the refugees? That's number one.
21 Number two, is Mr. Rebic a member of the joint criminal enterprise
22 by virtue of his occupation?
23 I really fail to see -- apparently the two individuals, including
24 this -- this witness, may have had their run-ins and disagreements,
25 however, I don't see how that is relevant to the indictment. Perhaps we
1 could have some guidance. So I'm objecting on grounds of relevancy.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, is Mr. Rebic a member
3 of the joint criminal enterprise?
4 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the indictment, I'm just having a chance
5 to try to look at it, but clearly it is part of the Prosecution case that,
6 since counsel asked me directly and I'll respond directly, yes, that this
7 was part of the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 and from the Herceg-Bosna area. This was part of a system, as charged in
9 the indictment, to move Muslims out of Herceg-Bosna, and it was done any
10 number of ways. One of those ways was to move them either -- at least
11 temporarily into Croatia and either to abandon them there, which may come
12 up further in parts of the testimony of this witness, or to move them on
13 to other countries, but not to return them to Bosnia and Herzegovina. So,
14 yes, it is absolutely part of the indictment and part of the charges in
15 this case that this was one form of ethnic cleansing.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, with that answer, as I understand the
17 indictment, the Prosecution has indicted, along with the six accused here,
18 the late President Tudjman, the late Mr. Susak, the late Bobetko, and the
19 late Mate Boban, and we could say that they are unindicted co-conspirators
20 if you want to put it that way, or they have been indicted, they're just
21 not alive to be here.
22 Be that as it may, it would seem to me now, based on this answer,
23 that the Prosecution has to show some linkage between President Tudjman or
24 any of the other members of the joint criminal enterprise and Mr. Rebicic
25 at this point -- Rebic, at this point. And I must say that in light of
1 that answer, it would appear that the State of Croatia, not just
2 individuals, but now we're talking about the State of Croatia was engaged
3 in a joint criminal enterprise. So that's why I don't use the word
4 "government" so we're not confused with personalities. But now we're
5 talking about a state. And I find that this is getting far afield. I
6 again object on the grounds of relevancy, just as I objected earlier on
7 the grounds of relevancy with respect to education.
8 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, for one thing -- and I don't think
9 we should get into these lengthy discussions with the witness here and
10 spend the witness's time talking about this. If the Chamber would like to
11 schedule a time to talk about the JCE and the theories of JCE and the
12 charges of the indictment, we can do that. But I don't think we should
13 have a witness on the stand, for a lengthy discussion of that.
14 I've answered the Chamber's question. I think the indictment is
15 quite clear: Deportation is charged. Deportation involves moving across
16 international boundaries. Paragraph -- I'm just looking very quickly.
17 Paragraph 225 talks about a system of ill-treatment for deporting Muslims
18 to other countries. Yes, indeed, Your Honour it's part of the indictment
19 and it's part of the forms of ethnic cleansing that are charged in the
20 indictment. You can ethnically cleanse people by burning them out of
21 their homes and killing them; you can also ethnically cleanse them by
22 sending them somewhere else.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't want to debate the point but I would assume
24 that the Prosecution bears the burden of proof and one burden of proof is
25 that Croatia could absorb more refugees and was systematically engaged in
1 some sort of deportation once refugees came there. So that's why I'm
2 saying unless we have more evidence from the -- from the Prosecution how
3 they intend to link all of this, I think at this point this sort of
4 testimony, these sorts of letters between two personalities is not
5 relevant. But I welcome the opportunity at some other point to have a
6 debate or have a discussion on JCE. I think that would be most
7 appropriate, because we need to narrow the scope of where this trial is
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You can resume,
10 Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Now, madam, you were asked a few moments ago because we finished
13 with 3765, and I just wanted to -- the Chamber to have that full exchange
14 of correspondence and how it will relate to -- indeed, link up to other
15 issues in the case.
16 You mentioned in paragraph 54 of your statement, and you may refer
17 to this in one of your -- excuse me, one of your answers to questions from
18 the Judges. You say in paragraph 54, the Mostar group convoy was
19 accompanied by a fax from Professor Rebic; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Could I ask you please to look at Exhibit 10048. And can you tell
22 us what that document is, please?
23 A. This is a document which was compiled by the governmental
24 department for refugees of the Republic of Croatia. It is approval for
25 entry and temporary stay in the Republic of Croatia for a group of
1 expelled persons -- or, rather, the office allows entry for persons from
2 Mostar for temporary sojourn, and it mentions 500 persons who will be
3 temporarily accommodated at Gasinci centre near Djakovo.
4 So that's like a transit visa for a temporary stay or, rather, in
5 order to cross over the territory of Republic of Croatia.
6 Q. Can I ask you please to look at the last sentence of Mr. Rebic's
7 document dated the 16th of July, 1993, issued in Zagreb, and it
8 says: "...therefore, have no right to obtain refugee status in Republic
9 of Croatia."
10 As the attache at the Bosnia embassy in Zagreb dealing with
11 refugee issues, can you tell us what was the significance or consequence
12 to these people of not obtaining refugee status in Croatia?
13 A. At the time we were thinking along two lines. We didn't know what
14 their status would be, on the one hand, and that's why we approached
15 international organisations for their assistance. And on the other hand,
16 we already had information according to which the Croatian police was
17 arresting BH refugees, even those who had proper ID cards and documents
18 which showed that they were registered as refugees. So we were highly
19 concerned for their safety during that temporary sojourn in Croatia.
20 Q. And going back to the question that Judge Trechsel clarified and
21 put to you better than I did earlier, did you find when these people
22 arrived in mid -- in the second half of July, 1993, had the paperwork been
23 put in place for them to move on immediately out of Croatia to a third
24 country, or were they stuck in Croatia without refugee status?
25 A. Well, quite literally they were stuck. I never had a document
1 preparing for their move to third countries. It never arrived. Such
2 documents didn't reach me.
3 Q. Can I ask you, please, to go to Exhibit 10052.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. I have a
5 question, Witness, to follow up, and I'd rather ask it now. Otherwise, we
6 might lose track of what we are talking about.
7 You were talking about refugees, and you just said that
8 Mr. Rebic's letter states that these persons would not benefit from the
9 status of refugees. I'm not sure you know the law on refugees
10 governing -- for the Republic of Croatia, but there's the convention of
11 July 28, 1951 on refugees, and this convention had been ratified by a
12 great number of countries, including the former Yugoslavia, and a refugee
13 can ask to get the status of refugee when he comes from another state when
14 he believes that he may be persecuted for a number of criteria that are
15 stated in this convention.
16 So to your knowledge, the Republic of Croatia towards BiH
17 refugees, did it refuse them, to acknowledge them as refugees? This is
18 what this document seems to state.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely. And not the ones that
20 were in this group of 500, but I know about many individual cases, too, in
21 which refugees were not able to have refugee status and therefore were
22 under the protection of the UNHCR.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yourself as member of the BiH
24 embassy, did you get grievances from citizens of BiH who wanted to benefit
25 from the status of refugee to stay and to remain in Croatia and couldn't
1 because the government of Croatia did not want to grant them that status?
2 Did you have any specific cases you could tell us about of people that
3 actually complained about this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had very many contacts. I had
5 telephones calls, and people would come to the office for refugees, people
6 who didn't manage to acquire refugee status or, rather, who were refused
7 refugee status, and in situations like that we always sent those people to
8 the UNHCR. We told them to contact them, and the UN Human Rights Unit,
9 Mr. Tadeusz Mazowiecki. I can't remember all the names of the different
10 institutions, but unfortunately that's as far as we could go. We couldn't
11 do anything else for them.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Mr. Scott, you may resume.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Madam, if I could ask you next to go to Exhibit P 10052. And --
17 The President just asked you whether you received any
18 communications or grievances from some of these people about their
19 situation, and can you tell the Judges what this document is, in fact,
21 A. This is a document which on behalf of the 500 expelled citizens of
22 Mostar was written to the BH embassy in Zagreb, and these expelled
23 citizens of Mostar describe the situation they find themselves in on the
24 island and provide information about the events that took place before
25 they were expelled from Mostar. They explain that many of them were held
1 at Heliodrom, what the HVO authorities offered them and Herceg-Bosna
2 authorities offered them, and what offers they were made to leave
3 detention. And they said that the HVO and the HZ HB offered them transit
4 visas through the Republic of Croatia on condition that it was their
5 intention to move on to third countries.
6 Q. In particular, if I can ask you to go to I think what would be
7 paragraph number five in the letter. It's the paragraph that begins with
8 the words, at least -- I'm not sure about the exact translation,
9 but, "Although everyone was skeptical." Can you tell me when -- if you
10 can find that?
11 A. Yes, yes, I'm looking at it.
12 Q. In the second sentence of that paragraph, referring to what you
13 just said a moment ago, it says: "Only after they had boarded the buses
14 were they told that they were going to Sibenik. Heavy police forces of
15 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna escorted the convoy as far as
16 Sibenik but was taken over by the police of the Republic of Croatia. All
17 of these families were taken to the island of Obonjan."
18 Skipping a few sentences. "None of them were prepared for this
19 kind of abode since they had been promised transit through the Republic of
20 Croatia en route to third countries. However, it is obvious that nothing
21 will come of it."
22 Now, this letter that you received from this group of individuals,
23 you or the ambassador, the items that are reported in the letter,
24 including the one that I just read to you, was that consistent with the
25 information that you were receiving around this same time?
1 A. Completely. Yes, it corresponds completely to the information
2 that we were receiving and also from our telephone conversations with the
3 expelled persons who were at Obonjan at the time.
4 Q. Can I ask you, please, to go to 5064. First of all, madam, can
5 you tell the Judges whether from your involvement with these issues and
6 talking with the people that were arriving from Mostar, did you ever hear
7 the name Biljana Nikic, or see it in documents?
8 A. I did see that name in some of the documents that we came across.
9 Q. This statement, Ms. Nikic says: "On the 20th of July, 1993, I
10 organised the departure of 150 people to the Republic of Croatia in order
11 for them to take refuge in Obonjan near Sibenik." And is that consistent
12 with what you saw happening on the ground when these people from Mostar
13 arrived between the 18th and the 21st of July at Obonjan?
14 A. I'm sorry, but could you repeat your question and tell me what you
15 mean when you say whether that's what I saw. You mean the documents or
16 the people?
17 Q. My apology. The report Ms. Nikic is making here, is that
18 consistent with the information you received about the arrival of these
19 people at Obonjan around this time?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Moving on to paragraph 58 -- or moving to paragraph 58 of your
22 statement. You say: "With the Mostar group coming to Gasinci, the
23 situation became even worse. The Mostar group and the refugees there
24 started to be physically mistreatment -- mistreated. Quite often we were
25 informed by the refugees that they had been beaten by locals, police
1 officers, and even soldiers."
2 Now, you mention that you were receiving information from the
3 refugees, but can you say a bit more? Can you tell the Judges how it was
4 that you and the embassy were receiving this information?
5 A. A permanent organised contact was established with our refugees,
6 and it was implemented in the following way: Within the total number of
7 extraterritorial schools organised for refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina in
8 both of these collective centres, we also had a school, and we maintained
9 permanent contact with the teaching staff as we did with the mothers.
10 Usually it was the mothers that were present, the mothers of children
11 going to those schools. So that was a constant source of information for
13 Apart from this source of information, the refugees on an
14 individual basis would decide to contact the embassy either in writing or
15 orally. And of course, I would go into the field, I would make tours and
16 visit the refugees.
17 Q. Can I ask you to go to document 4150. And if you have that, can
18 you tell the Judges what that document is?
19 A. This is a report which relates to the problems of citizens of --
20 in the Republic of Croatia, and it was prepared for the Foreign Ministry
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a copy was also sent to the head office for
22 displaced persons and refugees, or the directorate, and it provides
23 detailed information about the problems not only of the refugee population
24 but also of the BH citizens who did not have their status in Croatia
1 Q. If I can direct your attention to the third paragraph of your
2 letter or report, and it says: "Every success of the army of the Republic
3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina is accompanied with a reaction of the
4 authorities - police of the Republic of Croatia towards our citizens
5 (searches, imprisonment, incarceration, arrests, sentences to expulsions,
6 deportation - and forced returns to the Republic of Bosnia and
8 What information did you have about that, in connection with that
9 part of your report?
10 A. I received information from the field, from the BH citizens
11 themselves who were in some kind of jeopardy, either because they didn't
12 have their status regulated in the Republic of Croatia or for other
13 reasons, because they were present and witnessed arrests, the formation of
14 groups for which it was said when they were formed that they would be
15 deported. And then they contacted the embassy because they were afraid
16 that they would suffer the same fate. So that was mostly how I come by
17 the information.
18 Q. If I could ask you to look to the -- I believe the fifth paragraph
19 of the document. It begins with the words: "With the aim of protecting
21 If you have that, madam. The last sentence in that paragraph?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The last sentence in that paragraph appears to indicate that 450
24 refugees had gone missing. Can you tell the Judges whether the -- what
25 had happened to those 450 people or their whereabouts? Did you ever learn
2 A. I didn't receive any feedback, information.
3 Q. Moving to paragraph 84 of your statement. You indicate there that
4 on about the 27th and the 30th of August, 1993, a group of Muslims arrived
5 from Ljubuski, approximately 551 persons. Can you tell the Judges what
6 you learned about that and, again, how that came to your information -- or
8 A. The people from these groups who arrived were left in front of the
9 mosque in Zagreb, and individuals from those groups would always ring up
10 the embassy and tell us how many of them there were, where they were, and
11 of course asked that somebody come to help them from the embassy, to help
12 them find their way, see what they were going to do next.
13 Q. All right. You mention a number of additional facts in your
14 statement which I won't go into, particularly in paragraph 86. Many of
15 these have been imprisoned -- men have been imprisoned in Heliodrom.
16 If I can ask you to look at paragraphs 87 and 88. Can you tell
17 the Judges what you found out, or what they found out in terms of whether,
18 again, upon their arrival in Zagreb they had their -- the necessary
19 paperwork existed for their immediate transportation on to a third
21 A. They came to Croatia thinking that they had all the necessary
22 visas for Germany, but since they weren't able to travel on with those
23 visas, they contacted the embassy and informed us of the problem they were
24 facing, and then we would ring up the German embassy, and the German
25 embassy told us that they didn't have the proper visas for Germany. And
1 the German embassy also told us that they already had information that
2 these visas had been forged, visas that Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizens
3 used to leave the country. And in my statement I set out the information
4 I received when talking to our citizens, that these were visas which
5 always arrived through the same fax machines with two lawyers and a
6 photographer from Ljubuski. And the visas and letters of guarantee were
7 always issued by the same person, and the German embassy told me that they
8 were not able to identify any such person in Germany, that they didn't
10 Q. Did you receive any information as to how these faxed documents
11 were then actually distributed to various Bosnian Muslim people in the
12 Ljubuski area? How did they get from the lawyer's office, if you will,
13 into the hands of the Muslims themselves?
14 A. According to what the BH citizens that I was in contact with told
15 me, these documents were distributed by military policemen, and members of
16 their families could also collect these documents in the building of the
17 municipality of Ljubuski.
18 Q. Can I ask you to go to document -- or Exhibit P 04620. In other
19 words, 4620. And can you tell us -- when you have that document, please,
20 can you tell us what that document is?
21 A. I have the document in front of me. This is information sent from
22 the department for refugees to the directorate of the Republic of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina for displaced persons and refugees about what we knew,
24 namely that a new group of expelled citizens from Ljubusko had arrived.
25 They arrived on the 29th of August, 1993. They arrived in Zagreb then.
1 And it was a group of 133 expelled citizens.
2 I have provided information here that they left according to the
3 same pattern, if I put it -- if I can put it that way. They were received
4 on Nedjo Galic's fax. He was the photographer. And also to the fax
5 machines of two lawyers. Grgic Misko and Dubravko, and these were
6 actually documents that the expelled citizens from Ljubuski had
7 established were invalid and they realised that they could not travel to
8 third countries with these documents.
9 Q. Can I ask you to next look at document 4603. And as soon as you
10 have that, madam, can you tell us what that document is?
11 A. I have the document in front of me, and it is information about
12 expelled citizens of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the
13 municipality of Ljubuski that were sent to UN organisations, namely the
14 UNHCR, the centre for human rights, the International Red Cross and the
15 International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
16 We provided accurate information here, of course on the basis of
17 what we knew at all, namely that we knew that 551 persons were expelled
18 from the territory of the municipality of Ljubuski. We also provided
19 information about the locations where these expellees were put up. At
20 that point we knew that they were put up at the Nermina restaurant, at the
21 Park Hotel in Dugo Selo, and we knew that quite a few of them were put up
22 in refugee centres in the territory of the city of Zagreb, generally
24 In addition to providing information through this document, we
25 asked each and every one of these individual organisations to do their
1 best in order to help put up these citizens.
2 Q. Just so the record is clear, ma'am, can you indicate of what -- of
3 what nation or ethnic group were these 551 persons who arrived from
4 Ljubuski around this time?
5 A. We are talking about 551 Muslims.
6 Q. And if you go to the fourth paragraph of your report, please, your
7 letter, it's the one that begins with the words "Transit visas." And at
8 the end of that paragraph it's going on about the transit visas and it
9 says: "They were issued --" excuse me, "on which it is written they can
10 stay in the Republic of Croatia 48 hours."
11 And then the next paragraphs: "According to the statements of
12 individuals, they have been told that for them there are guarantee letters
13 and that they are going to Germany. Later, upon entry in the Republic of
14 Croatia, all of those have learnt that those guarantee letters are valid
15 only for leaving Ljubuski and coming to Zagreb."
16 Can you tell the Judges if you know what happened to these 551
17 persons after their -- after their 48 hours were up?
18 A. I probably only have part of this information available. I know
19 that some asked for help from us and the UNHCR to be sent to third
20 countries, and that is how they left Croatia. Part of these people
21 continued to have problems because they were moving about Croatia without
22 appropriate documents. They were arrested, and I don't know about their
23 fate after that.
24 At any rate, they left Croatia organised to a lesser extent by the
25 UNHCR. To my mind it was NGOs really that became more active and that
1 helped them leave Croatia.
2 Q. Can I ask you please to go to document 5053. Again, this is a
3 document from Biljana Nikic. She was a trained economist, was she? Had
4 the same background as yours; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that is right.
6 Q. In the text of the document that begins: "On the 10th of
7 September 1993 while conducting my regular job," when she says she was
8 engaged at the Croatian Community or Republic of Herceg-Bosna office for
9 expelled persons and refugees in Mostar. "While conducting my regular
10 job, I received a female client who showed me the permit to leave the
11 city. The permit was issued and signed by Pavlovic, Bozo, authorising her
12 to travel from Mostar to Germany via the Republic of Croatia. Change of
13 residency was given as the reason for travel.
14 "In my opinion this should not be done because it leaves written
15 evidence, which is nothing else but a legalisation of ethnic cleansing.
16 If the International Humanitarian Organisation would find about this it
17 would cause a great deal of problems."
18 And as someone involved with these issues and having received
19 these people in Croatia, would you agree with the assessment made by
20 Ms. Nikic that this was a form of ethnic cleansing?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. Your Honour, I object to the form of
22 the question. Obviously she's being asked to speculate and we don't know
23 who this Pavlovic was, what his role was, whether he was doing it for that
24 purpose. I suggest the question is improper as formed and she's not
25 competent to testify to these matters.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think she can -- in her field as the
2 attache at the embassy, a woman who is working in the area of refugees and
3 based on what she has seen happen and what you've already heard this
4 afternoon with these people coming from Mostar, from Ljubuski, and
5 elsewhere, that she is able to give an assessment what was happening here.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: She's being asked, first of all, to give a legal
7 opinion. Second of all, she's being asked to going into somebody's mind
8 and thoughts and to decipher what exactly this person meant. I think the
9 document speaks for itself. She certainly is not competent. She hasn't
10 met this woman. She haven't discussed the issues, and I can go on. And I
11 feel that this question is not relevant for this particular witness.
12 Now, they can bring in Ms. Nikic or somebody else and perhaps that
13 may be the appropriate witness to answer that question, but not this
14 particular witness.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you might have asked
16 the witness whether she knew Bozo Pavlovic.
17 MR. SCOTT: I can do that, Your Honour. I was also going to ask
18 her because I think she answered this earlier, but let me in the current
19 context ask her again.
20 Q. This person, Biljana Nikic, did you know that name and her
21 involvement in these issues from either reports that you had seen or
22 information you received from the refugees?
23 A. On the basis of documents that I received from refugees, I knew of
24 Mrs. Nikic because her name appeared in documents, and I saw her name
25 typed out, and I even saw her signatures on some documents.
1 Q. And to follow up on the President's question, did you have any
2 knowledge of this man Pavlovic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you have any information that this was the fictitious person
5 in Germany whose name apparently was on all the forged or false transit
7 A. I cannot recall the name exactly of this fictitious person. I
8 don't think that the person that I knew as having issued documents en
9 masse was Bozo Pavlovic. I know another name, but I cannot remember any
10 other names now.
11 Q. All right. Well, if you do happen to remember that name, perhaps
12 you can assist us while you're still here in The Hague.
13 Moving forward, in paragraph 107 of your statement, you mention
14 that around the 14th of September, 1993, there was an agreement, a
15 cease-fire agreed by Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Tudjman, if you see that in
16 your statement.
17 A. Precisely. I have it right in front of me.
18 Q. And can I ask you to go to Exhibit 5051.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not hear the speaker.
20 We're sorry.
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. Could you repeat that, madam, the interpreters --
23 A. I have found the document.
24 Q. And is that a copy of the agreement or at least one of the
25 versions setting out the agreement between Mr. -- President Tudjman and
1 President Izetbegovic on the 14th of September, 1993?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In your statement, paragraph 107, you mention that pursuant to
4 this agreement various working groups were formed, and if you will look
5 at, starting around paragraph numbered 4 of the agreement itself and
6 following, do you see that the agreement indeed provides for the
7 organisation of a number of working groups?
8 A. I can see that.
9 Q. And can you identify any of the particular working groups that are
10 listed here of which you became a member?
11 A. It is the working group from paragraph I -- paragraph II,
12 subparagraph 1, and it had to do with humanitarian status related and
13 other issues pertaining to the position of refugees and displaced persons
14 from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia and also regarding their return to
16 Q. And just so the record is clear, we could also refer to that -- is
17 it correct that would be Article II, paragraph number 1?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And apart from yourself on the Bosnian -- or on behalf of the
20 government of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Angovic, the lawyer at the
21 embassy in your department, is he also part of this working group?
22 A. Mr. Angovic who was a lawyer was also a member of this working
24 Q. And in paragraph 107 of your statement you indicate that the
25 persons appointed or named on the Bosnian Croat side, is it correct, was
1 Mr. Kresimir Zubak and Mr. Darinko Tadic?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. In this context, madam, I would like you to look next at Exhibit
5 A. I have the document.
6 Q. And madam, this is a record of the meeting in the offices of
7 President Tudjman on the 15th of September, 1993, the day after he had
8 signed the agreement with President Izetbegovic. And if I can ask you to
9 go down where the text starts under the word "President." Do you have
11 A. I see that.
12 Q. It says, "I welcome the delegation of the Croatian Republic of
13 Herceg-Bosna. Gentlemen, I invited you here to inform you as to what
14 preceded the Geneva agreement.
15 "Croatia was under pressure, official pressure, from the
16 European Union as a whole and from individual states. Over the past 14
17 days, I received at least five or six official notes from the European
18 Union, United States of America, France, and Germany. They all requested
19 that we make as many concessions to the Muslims as possible, and they all
20 threatened us with sanctions because of the Croats in Bosnia and
22 "They even went as far as sending us a warning that they would
23 cancel our special guest status at the European Council Assembly.
24 "In such /as printed/, they clearly put your camps and
25 humanitarian convoys and so on in the first place."
1 In your role, involvement in humanitarian issues and specifically
2 refugee issues at the embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zagreb during this
3 time, were you aware of the pressure, the international pressure that was
4 being brought to bear on the Republic of Croatia because of what was
5 happening in Bosnia?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object here. I object to the
7 form of the question and the way in which it was stated. First, the
8 Prosecution, in a very leading fashion, reads a presidential transcript,
9 thereby tainting the witness, and then asks her whether what he read
10 comports with her memory. It should be the other way around.
11 Now, the presidential transcript can come in. It can come in
12 through other witnesses. In fact, they have someone who was working for
13 the Office of the Prosecutor who is going to analyse these documents. But
14 I do find it objectionable to first to read a document that contains
15 information and then ask the witness to verify it. It's similar to
16 calling for a yes or no answer. It's leading and I object to this.
17 I waited, I didn't want to interrupt him. But I object, and I
18 think that given that he has led the witness, at this point in time he
19 needs to move on.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, document 5080 might
21 already have been admitted through another witness. I'm not quite sure,
22 because we've had so many transcripts or notes related to Mr. Tudjman's
23 meeting. I'm not quite sure any more. But as Mr. Karnavas was saying,
24 the witness here is not familiar with the document, but she might be aware
25 of a very specific fact or event that is mentioned in this document. Then
1 this document might prove useful. But in that case, you have to ask a
2 question that is not a leading question, a question about that particular
3 event. You have to say, for example, "This document is related to this
4 event. Does that -- is that in line with what you've told us?"
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. That was exactly my question.
6 This is a woman who was at the embassy in Zagreb at the very time of these
7 events, and I'm simply asking her and she can corroborate, as we have put
8 other witnesses in front of -- excuse me, other exhibits in front of other
9 witnesses who can say, yes, I can corroborate, that was in fact the case.
10 I simply asked her, based on her involvement at the embassy can she -- can
11 she confirm to you Judges, as she sits here as a viva voce witness, that,
12 yes, she knows that at this time there was tremendous international
13 pressure being brought on Croatia.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: And my point being, Mr. President, could have been
15 very easily done this way and I hate to do Trial Advocacy 101 here in
16 court, but it could have been, ma'am, at that point in time, what was the
17 situation between Croatia, the state of Croatia, vis-a-vis the
18 international community concerning the issue of refugees, and then the
19 follow-up question. It's an open-ended way of doing it, as opposed to
20 reading it and then saying, does this comport with what your knowledge is
21 of the time. Keeping in mind now that the witness has been proofed by the
22 Prosecution, shown all of these documents over the period a day or two, so
23 really, it's a charade when you come to think of it, but the testimony is
24 her memory. That's what the testimony is.
25 Now, if he wants to get the document in, he can get it through
1 other means but simply having a witness to vouch for it and vouch for
2 what's in it is improper, unless he lays a foundation and the foundation
3 would be in an open-ended fashion. Were you aware of what was happening
4 in the international community vis-a-vis Croatia and refugees? Yes, no?
5 If the answer is no, you move on. If the answer is yes, please explain,
6 tell us, and then he can go on. Then if he wishes to read this, this
7 portion, and say is this similar to what -- then she can say yes. But the
8 way he's done it, he's tainted her, and now he's asking her to vouch for
9 it. It's improper.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott. If I had been
11 in your shoes, I would have proceeded the way Mr. Karnavas has outlined
12 just now. I would have started with an open-ended question, and then
13 depending on the answers given by the witness I would have asked her to
14 confirm certain facts. You might have -- you were maybe trying to save
15 time, but please try to be as professional as possible in order to avoid
17 When I put questions, I always start with an open-ended question,
18 and depending on the answer I get I ask the witness to confirm what is
19 being stated in a document shown to her.
20 So what did you want to outline, to highlight here, because I'm
21 lost now, Mr. Scott. What did you want to highlight? Did you want to
22 highlight the pressures put to bear on the Croatian government because of
23 the refugees, or was it the fact that this meeting, and I see that
24 General Praljak was there, was it because during that meeting mention was
25 made of the refugee problem?
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, there's a number of points -- there's
2 several other points in the document that we haven't reached yet, but the
3 point of the document, this first page, was simply the one that I put to
4 the witness, yes, it might have been put differently, I wonder about the
5 value of how much time we've wasted on the issue at this point, but simply
6 this is someone who was an attache at the embassy and simply for her to
7 confirm that that was the state of affairs at that time, and I think the
8 witness should be prepared -- perhaps someone might have asked it
9 differently. I think the witness should be allowed to answer the
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Witness, I'm going to ask
12 the question myself in order to avoid any problem.
13 To your knowledge and considering the post that was yours at the
14 embassy, and since you were closely -- worked closely with the ambassador,
15 were you aware that the Croatian government was under pressure from the
16 outside, including the European Union, with respect to what was going on
17 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and with respect to the arrival -- to the
18 massive arrival of refugees, 600.000 of them in Croatia? Were you aware
19 that the Croatian government was put under diplomatic pressure?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was aware of it, yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] She was aware of it. Please
22 proceed, Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Did you -- I'm going to proceed in this order if I can --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott, please.
1 MR. SCOTT: My apology. I think we're almost at the time for the
2 next break but perhaps one or two more questions.
3 Q. Madam, around this time in the summer and early fall of 1993, what
4 if anything did you know about the cooperation between Croats and Serbs in
5 the area of Herzegovina and Dalmatia in this respect in -- concerning
6 humanitarian matters or otherwise?
7 A. What I knew from my contacts with the refugees was that there was
8 good cooperation between the Croat and Serb sides that was reflected in
9 the following: Croatia provided fuel on trucks that Serbs took to their
10 own front lines. I received daily information practically to that effect
11 from refugees who were in the area of Split or, rather, the TTS terminal.
12 Q. What was the TTS terminal?
13 A. That's exactly what it was called, the TTS terminal. For me that
14 was a place where a big humanitarian convoy was stopped and where it had
15 to wait for six or seven months for its passage to be allowed through
16 Croatia to Bosnia.
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, perhaps we can pick up there after the
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we -- before we just break, I just wanted to
20 highlight some of the problems with this sort of testimony, because it's
21 anecdotal. "From my contacts". We don't have names, we don't have
22 places, we don't have dates, and yet we're supposed to cross-examine. I
23 think it's a violation of our rights of confrontation when a witness comes
24 in and says, it's just not hearsay, it's anecdotal, as I said. There is
25 no particular individual that we know that we can then cross on. From
1 my -- from my sources. And this has happened throughout. And I take
2 it -- I know I'm dealing with professional Judges and I have the utmost
3 confidence that they will see through this anecdotal testimony and realise
4 that little, if no weight, should be given to it. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas. If I were in
6 your shoes I would say -- on line 23 you just said -- page 23, page 71,
7 received information and so on. So you could ask her, how did you know
8 that the Croats were filling the tanks with oil for Serbs? Was that
9 hearsay or what? And then according to the answer, it will give weight to
10 it or not.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, it is not for me to carry a burden.
12 It is for the Prosecution to prove their case. And so when they come in
13 and they have a witness that says, "From my sources, there was good
14 cooperation between this group of people and that group of people," and
15 then the Judges are going to give weight to it, I have to be concerned.
16 It's not for me to try to figure out where she's getting this information.
17 It's for the Prosecution to put it forward. And since they've asked that
18 question I think a follow-up question should be at the return of the
19 break, what about the cooperation between the Muslims and the Croats, the
20 Muslims and the Serbs, and so on and so forth because I think this is the
21 sort of question that should be asked on direct, not on cross-examination.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We will have a 20-minute
24 break and we will resume 20 minutes from now.
25 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please resume.
3 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Madam, before we continue on to another aspect of the -- another
5 part of the transcript, let me just go back to your testimony before the
6 break. We were talking about the cooperation between Croats and Serbs,
7 and you were challenged about the foundation for this, but at lines 35 and
8 34 today, you said, "What I knew from my contacts with the refugees was
9 there was good cooperation between the Croat and Serb sides that was
10 reflected in the following: Croatia provided fuel trucks -- excuse me,
11 fuel on trucks that Serbs took to their own front lines. I received daily
12 information practically to that effect from refugees."
13 Now, is that -- is that what you said, and is that one of the
14 bases on which you indicated for the answer you gave? I'll ask you a
15 question or two after that?
16 A. Yes, that's what I said in my response.
17 Q. Did you hear anything or did you receive any other information
18 apart from that particular set of information, if you will, about oil
19 on -- fuel on trucks? Did you receive any other information from refugees
20 or through your embassy or other sources, and if you say, I'll ask you
21 where or from who, about cooperation between the Croats and Serbs during
22 this particular time, that is the summer and fall of 1993?
23 A. As far as I remember, no other information reached me.
24 Q. Now, on the transcript that you were looking at, we're still on
25 Exhibit 5080, if I can ask you just to briefly go to page 6 of the English
1 version, and I'll see if I can find the -- excuse me a moment. I believe
2 on page -- if you can find -- the page numbers we'd normally have for some
3 reason aren't on this particular document, but if you can find in the
4 upper-left corner, I'm talking now about the Bosnian language version, up
5 in the upper left corner 2/2/JG. If you see that. Otherwise, for the
6 courtroom I'm referring to page 6 of the English version.
7 A. I have the document in front of me.
8 Q. All right. And do you see that your name appears on that page?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And is it accurate that in fact indeed as you told us a few
11 moments ago that as being reported here you were a member of that working
12 group, as apparently President Tudjman knew? Is that right?
13 A. Yes, that is right.
14 Q. And can I ask you then to go to page 16 -- yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a question, a follow-up
16 question, please.
17 President Tudjman is mentioning your name, Witness, and at a
18 certain point in time he is going to ask the question, "Who is
19 Zlatko Maric?" And Mate Boban answers, "I think Zlatko Maric is an
20 advisor at the Islamic embassy." So why is Mate Boban mentioning the
21 Islamic embassy? You're from the embassy of BiH, of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Do you have an opinion on this?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can say is that I have no
24 information about the existence of a Islamic embassy.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you have a colleague called
1 Zlatko Maric that worked with you at the embassy?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, there was a
3 Mr. Zlatko Maric, and he did work as an advisor, a counsellor.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. If I can next ask you to go to page 17. The courtroom can go to
7 page 17 of the English version of the transcript. We're still in document
8 5080, and to page - again what using the designations in the upper-left
9 corner are 5/1/JG, or in the alternative is ERN number 01322671. That's
10 the page in B/C/S.
11 Madam, what I -- well, do you have that first of all?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Now, this is a portion of the transcript where Slobodan Praljak is
14 talking, and starting with the part where he says: "They are ready and in
15 a way they have reconciled themselves to the fact that the Muslims are on
16 the Neretva River, let's say in Tasovcici, where they used to be. That is
17 one thing. Another thing is the relations between the Croats and Serbs
18 have improved, especially on a military plane, because our whole units
19 depend on cooperation with the Serbs. In BH this agreement will aggravate
20 that a lot. Therefore, Zepce, Kiseljak, and thus Vitez, the battalion
21 below Konjic and Vares - it will now be difficult for us to provide them
22 with supplies."
23 And, madam, can you again -- is that consistent with the
24 information you had at the time about the cooperation between Serbs and
25 Croats about sending fuel to the front lines?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was absolutely sure that
2 Mr. Praljak was going to stand up. Mr. Praljak, I'm sure you want to take
3 the floor, but could you tell us why?
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] The text wasn't correctly
5 read out, and the translation is a poor one. It said, "They were ready,
6 and in a sense they have come to terms with the fact that they are not on
7 the Neretva." That's what it says in Croatian, and relates to the Serbs,
8 not to the BH army. So could that be read out correctly and then the
9 question be asked?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, did you take due note
11 of Mr. Praljak's comment?
12 MR. SCOTT: Well, I heard his words, Your Honour, but I don't
13 agree with him. I simply read exactly what's in the transcript. "Another
14 thing is, the relations between the Croats and the Serbs have improved,
15 especially on the military plane, because our whole units depend on
16 cooperation with the Serbs ..."
17 Q. Now, madam, is that consistent with what you knew, the reports you
18 were receiving about cooperation between the Croats and the Serbs,
19 including the sending of fuel to the front line?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I think Mr. Murphy
21 wanted to take the floor also.
22 MR. MURPHY: I would like to, Your Honour. If Mr. Scott could
23 switch his microphone off.
24 Your Honour, I think in fairness to Mr. Praljak, I understood his
25 objection to be to the translation to a somewhat different passage of the
1 transcript from the one that Mr. Scott just read out, I think the one in
2 the preceding paragraph. Yes. And my colleague's suggesting,
3 Your Honour, perhaps if the witness could read it out in the original
4 language slowly so that the interpreters could interpret, perhaps we can
5 then clear it up.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, please, could you
7 read in your own language out loud the paragraph in question, and then the
8 French and English interpreters will translate from your own language
9 to -- to other languages.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "They are ready, and in a way they
11 are reconciled to the fact that they are not on the Neretva River, but
12 they will find it difficult to reconcile themselves with the fact that the
13 Muslims are at the Neretva. For instance, in Tasovcici where they were.
14 That's one thing."
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, on the transcript you
16 now have the translation, the interpretation of the paragraph.
17 MR. SCOTT: Well, I appreciate that we've gone through this
18 exercise, Your Honour, but it has nothing to do whatsoever with my
19 question. So we've spent time on it. But my question was about the next
20 paragraph, and my question to the witness was:
21 Q. Is that consistent -- I'll ask it for the third or fourth time
22 now. Madam, is that consistent with the information that you had about
23 cooperation between the Croats and the Serbs, including the shipment of
24 fuel to the Serb front lines?
25 A. May I answer?
1 Q. Yes, of course.
2 A. Yes, that is completely in keeping with the information that I
4 Q. Now, this working group that was set up that involved you and,
5 among others, Mr. Tadic and Mr. Zubak, did you in fact attend any meetings
6 of this working group?
7 A. We had several meetings, and the lowest number would be between 8
8 and 10, as far as I remember.
9 Q. And can you tell the Judges about the positions taken by Mr. Tadic
10 at these meetings and if you found him to be someone who was constructive
11 to deal with?
12 A. In my opinion Mr. Tadic was someone who dealt primarily with
13 creating problems and discussing matters that were not on the agenda of
14 our meetings.
15 Q. And can you tell the Judges what role Mr. Zubak played in the
16 meetings that you attended of this working group?
17 A. A completely passive role, except in several situations when I
18 asked him for assistance to help us bring Mr. Tadic back to the topic that
19 we had originally decided to meet to discuss.
20 Q. And what was the result of those efforts?
21 A. The result was a protocol that was signed setting out the
22 conditions to be fulfilled for the convoy which was stationed at the TTS
23 for seven months would finally be allowed to move on to
25 Q. All right. I'll come back to that topic a bit later of the
2 Let me ask you if you can look at Exhibit P 00848, or in your
3 binder it will just be 848. And in looking at that -- as you're looking
4 for that, did you have any understanding of what body or organisation
5 Mr. Tadic was part of in your dealings with him in these, I don't know, 8
6 or 10 meetings you mentioned?
7 A. No, I didn't know about that at all.
8 Now, I apologise, but the document under number 848, I don't seem
9 to have here.
10 Q. All right. 848, it would be at the very beginning, I believe.
12 A. Yes, I see it. Yes, I've found it.
13 Q. Did you have any information in your dealings with Mr. Tadic where
14 his offices were located? Were you normally -- did you have any meetings
15 with him at his office?
16 A. Never. I always kept notes about the meetings and the members of
17 the working group, and next to their post it would just say -- or, rather,
18 it would just say member of the working group and then the name and
20 Q. In paragraph 18 of your statement, you make reference to something
21 called the Office for Refugees from Siroki Brijeg. How did you come to
22 know of an organisation or authority by that name?
23 A. From the documents that I managed to obtain from the refugees or
24 displaced persons in the field.
25 Q. And did you ever see Mr. Tadic's name on various of the documents
1 that you saw that the refugees had, transit visas or permissions or any
2 other documentation that they had in their possession?
3 A. No, but in a few of the reports I saw that the signature on the
4 document was illegible.
5 Q. Very well. Moving to paragraphs 91 and -- through 93 of your
6 statement. You talk about the transfer of Muslim prisoners who had been
7 held at Dretelj and their arrival on Korcula and Badija islands. And if I
8 can ask you to look at 10055.
9 A. Yes, I found the document.
10 Q. By way of introduction to that document, can you tell us how did
11 it come to your attention that these prisoners who had been released from
12 Dretelj would be arriving in Croatia?
13 A. I received that information from Ambassador Turkovic. And the
14 information was confirmed by the Foreign Minister, Mr. Haris Silajdzic,
15 because at that time he happened to be present. Actually, he came to the
17 Q. If you now have Exhibit 10055, can you tell us what that document
19 A. This piece of information was sent out to the Foreign Minister of
20 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it relates to the forthcoming
21 disbanding of the Dretelj detainees or inmates, and the fact that it was
22 planned that the former Dretelj inmates were going to be taken in
23 temporarily on the island and the Gasinci centre before they went to third
24 countries. No, I apologise. No. Just a moment. Until they went to
25 third countries and until they were put up in the collection centres of
1 Herceg-Bosnia. And it sets out the reasons for which this proposal was
2 not taken on board.
3 Q. And just so the record is clear, when you say to the island,
4 you're now again talking about Obonjan?
5 A. There was just one island, the island of Obonjan where the --
6 where a collective refugee centre existed as far as I know.
7 It elaborates on the reasons for which we consider the proposal to
8 be unacceptable. I don't know if you want me to address those reasons.
9 Q. Please.
10 A. We informed our minister about the fact that both these centres,
11 according to our terminology, were referred to as transit centres because
12 of the specific conditions which prevailed in both those centres. What
13 that meant, in fact, was that as soon as the refugees were taken in in one
14 of the two centres, they sought ways and means of leaving Croatia as soon
15 as possible and moving on to third countries.
16 Now, the specific features under which they were accommodated in
17 the collective centre at Obonjan was the very complex structure of the
18 refugees and other BH citizens who spent time there. All of them were
19 under constant supervision on the part of the special police forces of the
20 Republic of Croatia, and refugees who had arrived there at the very
21 beginning of the war and conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina were -- and who
22 considered themselves to be old residents and thought they were to have
23 certain benefits, thought they should have more benefits than the new
24 arrivals, they were mixed up together. And also on the island you had
25 former prisoners, some serious criminals, psychopaths, murderers who were
1 there on the island waiting for the time to come to be returned to
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So they were all mixed up together.
3 And there were other people there whose status I never managed to
4 learn, and I never knew what status they had. I never received either
5 written or oral information either from the institutions of the Republic
6 of Croatia or from the Gasinci centre director. And specifically there
7 was a mother there with two small children who had been escorted by the
8 Croatian police from their flat in Split and taken to the island. They
9 were there. So their status was undetermined. And there was a group of
10 people from Mostar, who had been expelled from Mostar, and they had no
11 status either.
12 So the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina thought this was serving
13 time there, the fact they had been moved to the island, and refugees were
14 there already.
15 Q. Let me discuss stop you there, madam, so we can move on. You've
16 been mentioning that -- and in your letter, or in the letter -- or the
17 report that's dated the 21st of September, Obonjan and Gasinski --
18 Gasinci, excuse me, but in fact you indicate in your statement that
19 ultimately all these detainees were transported to Korcula and Badija
20 islands; is that correct?
21 A. They were the ones from Dretelj.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. That's where they ended up ultimately. Instead of Obonjan and
24 Gasinci, their final destination was Korcula.
25 Q. You say in paragraph 96 of your statement that you spoke to both
1 groups, asking if they were interested in going back to BiH since their
2 families were there. They showed great interest in returning. Can you
3 tell us more about that?
4 A. Most of them were very interested in returning to
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and among the basic reasons for this that they gave
6 for their return to Bosnia-Herzegovina was that their families had
7 remained there in Herzegovina, and they feared for their safety, and they
8 thought if they were able to go back to Bosnia-Herzegovina they'd be
9 nearer their families and in a position to help them should the need
10 arise. However, I should also like to say that among these former Dretelj
11 inmates there were those who did wish to go on to third countries.
12 Q. All right. If I can ask you, please, to go to Exhibit 10056. It
13 should be the next -- hopefully it should be the very next document. And
14 as soon as you have that, ma'am, can you look at that and tell us what
15 that is?
16 A. Yes. This is a letter of the BH embassy in Zagreb, sent to the
17 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the
18 working group for the protection of human rights in the territories under
19 the control the BH army and the HVO, and it had to do with refugees from
21 This is a letter that was written by the refugees department of
22 the embassy.
23 Q. The second paragraph on the end of your letter, the penultimate
24 paragraph, can you tell us -- you say: "All personal documents, money and
25 valuables belonging to the detainees were confiscated in the Dretelj
2 What was the basis of your information for that?
3 A. On the basis of their written and oral statements.
4 Q. Can I ask you to go to the next document, 10057.
5 A. I have the document.
6 Q. And what is that, please?
7 A. Again, information sent to BH institutions, the Ministry of
8 Foreign Affairs, to the working group, established on the basis of the
9 Izetbegovic-Tudjman agreement and the Directorate for Displaced Persons
10 and Refugees. This is information about negotiations conducted on the
11 basis of the joint declaration of the 14th of September. This information
12 pertains to the exchange of prisoners -- or, rather, the position of the
13 Directorate for Refugees and Displaced Persons and the department for
14 refugees of the BH embassy that released detainees should not be taken out
15 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia.
16 The position was that these detainees should be sent to the Tuzla
17 region because that region at that point in time did have the capacity to
18 take these people in.
19 Q. And Tuzla at that time was a part of the territory of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was under the control of the Sarajevo
21 government; is that correct?
22 A. It was part of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina under the
23 control of the BH army.
24 Q. And were detainees that were from Dretelj who were released from
25 Dretelj and then sent to Croatia, were they then allowed to be relocated
1 to Tuzla?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Why not?
4 A. On our part we were looking at the possibility of transferring
5 them to Tuzla, which meant providing for their security as they pass
6 through Herzegovina on route to their final destination, namely Tuzla.
7 The negotiators did not manage to secure guarantees from the HVO
8 that these former detainees from Dretelj could safely go through this
9 territory. Therefore, we, on our part, could not make it possible for
10 them to have their wish come true, namely to go back to Bosnia. So that
11 is why they did not do it.
12 Q. In paragraph 93 of your statement you talk about the conditions of
13 some of the men who were released from Dretelj. You say: "I was
14 appalled --" paragraph 93.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. "I was appalled when I saw the 'better-off cases'. Many of them
17 were walking dead people. They were exhausted. I remember one of them
18 was wounded in the leg because he was shot by one of the guards in the
19 prison. One had a broken leg, and most of them were suffering with
20 diarrhoea and itching."
21 Did you take any steps to get medical treatment or medical
22 inspections for the people, these men who had been released from Dretelj?
23 A. Immediately upon returning from this visit I asked the ambassador
24 to mobilise a team of doctors who would go to Badija and visit both
25 groups. Part of them were in Badija, and another part were at the Alfir
1 hotel in Korcula. I wanted our doctors to establish the condition of the
2 former detainees so that we could take the steps we could in view of the
3 fact that we were guests in that country in order to provide at least
4 basic medical care to them.
5 Q. Did you in this regard come to know of or involve a doctor by the
6 name of Kapetanovic?
7 A. In addition to others, Dr. Aida Kapetanovic was in this group, who
8 together with the others carried out this task and submitted a written
9 report to the embassy, or rather the department for refugees as well.
10 Q. Can I ask you to turn to Exhibit 10058.
11 A. I have the document.
12 Q. What is that?
13 A. This is the report of Dr. Aida Kapetanovic on her visit to the
14 island of Badija, and her encounter with 300 former detainees. In this
15 document, Dr. Kapetanovic also states certain facts that have to do with
16 the former detainees of Dretelj and how thin they had become, how long
17 they were detained, what kind of health problems they had. At any rate,
18 the doctor confirmed our first findings. I mean, we from the department
19 of refugees are not medical personnel ourselves, but we did recognise
20 these things.
21 Dr. Aida also confirmed some of the other findings that had to do
22 with the living conditions in Badija. She confirmed that they did not
23 have proper medical care, and then on the basis of this report we sent a
24 document to international and other humanitarian organisations present in
25 the Republic of Croatia saying that medicaments and other elementary
1 supplies were needed for these former detainees. We kindly asked them to
2 provide what was necessary for these people.
3 Q. Can you tell the Judges, were you ever able or successful, not
4 just you personally of course but your embassy and the government, to
5 succeed in having these prisoners released anywhere other than to third
6 countries? For the most part. I realise there may have been a few
7 exceptions, but what happened to most of the people who were released or
8 transferred from Dretelj to Korcula and Badija?
9 A. To the best of my knowledge or as far as I know, all of them had
10 to leave both Badija and the Alfir hotel because they were actually
11 staying there only on a temporary basis. When I visited Badija and the
12 island of Korcula the second time I saw representatives of the UNHCR
13 there, and I believe that they actually took care of about 90 per cent of
14 the former detainees, that they went to third countries, that is.
15 In addition to the UNHCR, there were other organisations that
16 offered such services and facilitated their transfer to third countries.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One question, Witness, one
19 follow-up question. I read the report prepared by Dr. Kapetanovic with
20 great interest, and in this report we see that these people were there
21 momentarily, had one concern; they wanted to have a passport from their
22 own country, because when they arrived there they were not in possession
23 of passports or IDs.
24 Since they were citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and since you
25 were a member of that embassy, why did the authorities of your country, of
1 the consular authority, why did they not provide these people with
2 passports? What was the problem? Because the -- these people were
3 nationals of your country, and you were working at the embassy. Why
4 didn't you deliver or issue passports to these people?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was our custom to organise
6 consular days in all big refugee centres. First, they were organised on a
7 monthly basis and after that every month and a half or two. So there were
8 technical problems -- there weren't, rather, any technical problems in
9 having consular staff getting to Badija or Korcula. However, we could not
10 get consent to go and contact the former detainees of Dretelj in that way,
11 and that is the only reason why they could not get our passports.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Otherwise, you could have issued
13 passports to them without any problem; is that it?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We could have done that without any
15 problem whatsoever. We already had experience on that score. We
16 organised photograph-taking of BH citizens and also the issuing of
17 passports at particular refugee centres, but beforehand we always had the
18 prior consent of Croatian institutions to do that.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's not take into account
20 people coming from Dretelj and sent to these two islands. Let's talk
21 about the other people, those who were located on the other island where
22 you yourself went for a visit. Those people on the other island, did you
23 issue passports to them?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume that you're referring to
25 the group of citizens who were expelled from Mostar. We did not issue
1 passports to that group either for a simple reason, because that group
2 only had permission to stay in Croatia for a given number of hours in
3 transit, but we issued collective passports to them.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But why not issue individual
5 passports to them?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because it was difficult for us to
7 see to their relocation from a technical point of view. We received
8 information from the embassy of the Republic of Turkey that Turkey was
9 prepared to take in about 2.000 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who were
10 not able to stay in the republic of Croatia. We had a very short deadline
11 to prepare this group for travel, and that is the reason why we issued a
12 collective passport, because we knew that they would be collectively put
13 up in Turkey, and that later on there they would have the opportunity of
14 receiving individual passports.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about those who did not
16 wish to go to Turkey, because obviously in that group you had people who
17 did not wish to go to third countries; they wanted to go home. Why not
18 issue individual passports to these people and then it was up to them to
19 try and cross check-points if they wanted to do so, because they were free
20 to move around, although the local authorities, of course, were in a
21 position to control them. But they were -- they had freedom of movement.
22 Why didn't you at the embassy issue individual passports to them?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite literally there was no request
24 of that nature. All of them left after they signed a document that they
25 would leave all their properties and that they were leaving the Republic
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they would go to third countries, and that
2 they would never return to Bosnia-Herzegovina again. That is to say that
3 no one tried to return on an individual basis.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Ms. Nozica.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am sorry, I apologise
6 to my colleague. This is not an answer to the question. This document
7 clearly shows that they did want passports.
8 We have on page 2 of the English version, at the bottom, it
9 says: "The UNHCR is bringing pressure to bear that they have to sign up
10 for going to third countries."
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that we do not have the text.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Also, I would like to draw your
13 attention to the last paragraph where the doctor said they were given
14 refugee status, because the witness said a few minutes ago that, like the
15 previous group, this group was there only in transit and that they could
16 stay only for a few hours whereas here it says they could have stayed as
17 refugees with that status.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I had noted that as well.
19 Witness, the third line before the end, Dr. Kapetanovic seems to
20 be saying that these people had obtained refugee status. She might be
21 mistaken, of course, but that's what we read here.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really did not see
23 this earlier on either. I did not have such information, and so far I had
24 not noticed that this was included in the report.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The Judges will draw the
1 necessary conclusions.
2 Mr. Scott, we have 10 minutes left.
3 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Madam, just so the record is clear because some people may not be
5 clear with the terminology, and for the record, when you say "collective
6 passport," what is a collective passport, and how does one prepare such a
8 A. This is a document that is prepared for group travel. It is
9 issued in the name and -- in the name and surnames of all the persons on a
10 given -- in a given group, and their names and surnames are provided, and
11 also individual photographs are provided for each and every member of the
12 group. So these were the travel documents that we were in a position to
13 issue in a very short period of time. I even remember a situation when we
14 were doing that at the Split airport, issuing these collective passports.
15 Q. And you also made reference in the last few minutes to a document
16 that these people were required to sign about giving over their property
17 and promising never to return to, you said, Bosnia-Herzegovina. And at
18 what point in this series of steps or events were they required to sign
19 that document, to your knowledge?
20 A. At that time they were still in Dretelj, and those were the
21 conditions on which they could have been released.
22 Q. And do you recall -- when you say never to return to
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did it -- if you remember, was the promise that they
24 would never return to Bosnia-Herzegovina or that they would never return
25 to Herceg-Bosna?
1 A. In our communication we used the term "Bosnia-Herzegovina."
2 However, my precise understanding was that it was the territory not under
3 the control of the BH army but, rather, of the HVO -- or, rather, the
4 territory under the control of the Serb forces was not safe for their
5 return at that time.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise, but I
7 think that the witness is saying, "In our conversation they said
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina." Can she explain how come she had this interpretation
9 that it is not territory that was under the control of the HVO and the
10 army of Republika Srpska? There is some confusion there now.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally was never confused at
12 any point in time. When I was in contact with the former detainees of
13 Dretelj, it was quite clear to me, as it is today, that they did not have
14 the motive, wish, or courage to return to that area of Herzegovina then.
15 This explains my motive. When we mention the country, officially it was
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In a narrower sense, if what was being referred to
17 was the territory where they themselves did not feel they could move about
18 safely, these were territories that were not under the control of the BH
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, theoretically, could a
21 refugee -- refugee in one of these camps in Croatia, could this refugee
22 theoretically have gone not to Herzegovina but to a -- to a town under the
23 control of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because by land one had to go
25 through the territory of Herceg-Bosna, rather, territory under the control
1 of the HVO.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Madam, before we go on to another topic and then we'll come back
5 to this issue counsel has raised about the status of refugees, but in
6 paragraphs 98 and 99 of your statement you make reference to the fact that
7 you actually had contact with some of these people later. Not at this
8 particular moment in 1993, but later on. And did you in fact come into
9 contact with people who were at that time trying to return, then, from
10 these third countries back to their homes in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes, indeed. These were people who were out in Spain, and they
12 often contacted my department by telephone and spoke to me personally as
13 well. I also had an encounter with two former detainees of Dretelj at the
14 airport in Zagreb. I was waiting for an UNHCR flight from Zagreb to
15 Sarajevo, and they had just arrived from Spain. We met up, and I received
16 information from them then that they were expecting permission to go back
17 to Mostar.
18 Q. And in this connection can I ask you to look at Exhibit 10067.
19 A. I have the document.
20 Q. Can you tell us what that is, please?
21 A. It's a letter of the BH embassy in Croatia, the department for
22 refugees, pertaining to the return of former detainees to RBiH. The
23 letter is sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RBiH. Letters
24 written by former Dretelj detainees were attached to this letter. They
25 were calling from Denmark and Spain. Actually, in their own letters they
1 were asking the embassy for help, because they did not have any
2 information about their family members.
3 Q. Perhaps we can finish on this question. Given -- this is in --
4 this is the 17th of May, 1994. Given the number of issues that your
5 embassy was dealing with around that time, why did you find it noteworthy
6 to send a report on this topic to your superiors in the Ministry of
7 Foreign Affairs?
8 A. Because my department did not cover problems related to refugees
9 from Bosnia-Herzegovina who were in Spain, Denmark, and third countries.
10 I thought that there were institutions and embassies that could and should
11 deal with that.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I might suggest that that would be a good
13 place to stop for the evening.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
15 Mr. Scott. Let me inform you that you've used up two hours and seven
17 It's almost 7.00 p.m. Witness, you've given the solemn
18 declaration. That is to say that you're not supposed to have contacts
19 with anyone from the Defence or the Prosecution. As you know, we'll
20 continue your testimony tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.
21 I wish you a very pleasant evening, and I'll see you all tomorrow
22 morning at 9.00 a.m.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day
25 of June, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.