1 Monday, 4 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [Rule 98 bis]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to greet all the
12 people present in the courtroom, the representatives of the Prosecution,
13 Defence counsel, the accused, as well as all the people in the courtroom
14 assisting us.
15 For the purpose of the transcript, I know that Mr. Pusic is not
16 here today.
17 Today we will hear the Prosecution who will reply to the 98 bis
18 procedure. That said, last week it was the Defence that held the floor.
19 I can see that Mr. Scott is ready. He's got the lectern in front of him,
20 so I shall give him the floor.
21 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, and to
22 all those in and around the courtroom.
23 May it please the Court, before addressing the Defence submissions
24 in particular the Prosecution will briefly address the standard of course
25 to be used by the Pre-Trial Chamber in its application of Rule 98 bis to
1 the evidence that has been presented by the Prosecution during its case in
3 The current version of Rule 98 bis, which everyone knows by now
4 focuses on counts rather than charges or offences has been applied in
5 several cases and most recently in the Milutinovic case in May of 2007.
6 Rule 98 bis provides: "At the close of the Prosecutor's case, the
7 Trial Chamber shall by oral decision and after hearing the oral
8 submissions of the parties, enter a judgement of acquittal on any count if
9 there is no evidence capable to support -- capable of supporting a
11 Of course that Rule is to be applied separately to each of the
12 accused who made a Rule 98 bis submission. The Prosecution submits that
13 the Milutinovic Trial Chamber correctly set out the test to be applied,
14 and that is: "The test to be applied is whether there is evidence upon
15 which, if accepted, a Tribunal of fact could be satisfied beyond a
16 reasonable doubt of the guilt of a particular accused on the count in
17 question. The test is not whether a Trial Chamber would in fact convict
18 beyond a reasonable doubt but, rather, whether it could do so."
19 And that's from the Milutinovic ruling on the 18th of May, 2007.
20 That Trial Chamber went on to say that in applying Rule 98 bis,
21 the Trial Chamber does not engage in an assessment of the credibility of
22 witnesses unless, unless, such evidence is "so incapable of belief that it
23 could not properly support a conviction even when the evidence is taken at
24 its highest for the Prosecution."
25 The Prosecution, Your Honours, respectfully submits that no
1 evidence tendered by the Prosecution falls into that category, that is any
2 evidence that would be considered "incapable of belief." However, in the
3 alternative, even if the Chamber were to find some piece of evidence that
4 it considers to fall in that category, if there is any such evidence in
5 the Prosecution case it is certainly extremely limited and so limited by
6 its extent and nature as to have no significant bearing on the totality of
7 the Prosecution's case.
8 Further, except perhaps again in the most extreme cases, the
9 Rule 98 bis process does not involve weighing the evidence, that is,
10 balancing the Prosecution evidence against any evidence that the Defence
11 might have introduced through the cross-examination of witnesses. This is
12 not the time when the Chamber takes the Prosecution case on the one hand
13 of evidence and Defence evidence on the other hand and weighs and balances
14 it out. That is not the function or process under Rule 98 bis.
15 And finally again, the Rule does not require that the Chamber be
16 satisfied that there be evidence supporting each of the individual charges
17 making up a count as we have discussed in this case over the last few
19 The Trial Chamber's application of Rule 98 bis is concerned with
20 counts only, even when those counts are themselves comprised of different
21 crime bases or modes of liability. Moreover, as set out in paragraphs 221
22 to 228 of the amended indictment, these accused are charged with more than
23 one mode of criminal liability. The Prosecution respectfully submits that
24 the testimonial and documentary evidence adduced in its case in chief
25 compellingly establishes the criminal responsibility of each accused as to
1 each count charged in the amended indictment. That is that a broad range
2 of crimes were committed throughout the territory of the so-called
3 Herceg-Bosna during 1992 and 1993; that these crimes were directed against
4 the Bosnian Muslim population as part of a deliberate, widespread and
5 systematic campaign; that the objective of this campaign was to subjugate,
6 remove and ethnically cleanse Bosnian Muslims and others of non-Croat
7 nationality from the territory claimed to comprise Herceg-Bosna; and that
8 most importantly each of the accused bears individual criminal liability
9 for these crimes.
10 Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution does not intend to
11 engage in a lengthy and detailed recitation of the evidence proving the
12 many crimes that were committed repeatedly, time after time, starting
13 primarily in October 1992 in Prozor and continuing until late 1993 and
14 even into the early part of 1994. The methods and means used to achieve
15 the removal of the Muslim population remain consistent throughout this
16 time whether by murder, imprisonment, deportation, destruction, or
17 plunder, the only change that occurs over the period of time is the scale
18 and ferocity with which these crimes were carried out.
19 Mr. President, Your Honours, as we understand them, the accused
20 who have made submissions have essentially, essentially not challenged for
21 purposes of Rule 98 bis we understand that they do not admit or agree to
22 the facts generally or for purposes of ultimate judgement, that we
23 understand the submissions to generally not question the fact of the crime
24 base other than general statements. For example, as I understand the
25 essence of the Coric argument on rapes, the Defence is not really arguing
1 that rapes did not occur but denies Coric's responsibility for them on one
2 basis or another. For example, they were not reported, I think I heard
3 last week there was nothing that could be done or what could be done had
4 been done, et cetera, but not that the rapes did not occur. And I submit,
5 Your Honour, Prosecution submits, that on the basis of the Defence
6 submissions that were made last week, what we call the crime base, if you
7 will, has generally not been questioned. And for that reason, largely for
8 that reason, the Prosecution will not address at any length or detail the
9 particular crime base evidence in the case except as it relates to
10 particular issues that have been raised by those accused who have made
11 submissions. Nor will we address anything like all of what might be
12 called the linkage, "linkage" evidence as to each accused who has made a
13 98 bis submission and nor will we address all of the forms or theories of
14 liability. For Rule 98 bis purposes, the only question is whether each
15 count survives as to each accused on some theory or basis of liability.
16 For this purpose, for 98 bis purposes, the Prosecution will focus
17 our analysis and submissions primarily on the existence and operation of a
18 joint criminal enterprise in forms 1 and 3. We will not, for example, be
19 addressing the liability of any accused under Article 7(3), because we
20 submit that the Chamber need not reach or need not consider this basis in
21 order to determine that each count survives as to each accused.
22 The Prosecution's submissions, subject of course to the Chamber's
23 guidance will proceed as follows: First in just a moment, the Prosecution
24 will briefly touch on the joint criminal enterprise language from some
25 Tribunal cases so that the Chamber might have that jurisprudence and
1 language in mind in considering the Prosecution's further submissions.
2 Second, we will present to you at some length an overview of the
3 case, its principal features, and operation of the joint criminal
4 enterprise. Again this will not involve a detailed consideration of the
5 crime base evidence but will provide, and again at some length, an overall
6 review of the Prosecution case. Following that overall submission, the
7 Prosecution will then deal with the particular submissions by the
8 Petkovic, the Coric, and the Pusic Defence teams.
9 As to some Tribunal jurisprudence and language concerning the
10 joint criminal enterprise, we would note this from the Krajisnik case:
11 There the Trial Chamber found that the central purpose of the Bosnian Serb
12 leadership, and the Chamber may want to consider whether and to what
13 extent this parallels the purposes and objectives of the Bosnian Croat
14 leadership, but in the Krajisnik case concerning the Bosnian Serb
15 leadership, the Chamber found that the central purpose was: "To
16 ethnically recompose the territories under its control by expelling and
17 thereby drastically reducing the proportion of Bosnian Muslims and
18 Bosnian Croats living there."
19 It found that the crimes of deportation and forced transfer "were
20 necessary means of implementing the common objective of removal by force
21 of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from large areas of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina" and referred to these crimes as "original crimes"
23 which fit under what we might call joint criminal enterprise form 1.
24 That's the Krajisnik trial judgement, paragraph 1097.
25 Beyond these crimes the indictment in the Krajisnik case also
1 charged the accused with persecution, murder, extermination, deportation,
2 and forcible transfer. In assessing whether the remaining crimes fell
3 into category 1 or 3 of the joint criminal enterprise, the Trial Chamber
4 noted: "Whether other crimes were original to the common objective or
5 were added later is, of course, a matter of evidence, not logical
7 And the Trial Chamber there advocated what it called a "strictly
8 empirical approach" which does not speculate about the crime profile of
9 the original JCE objective but conceptualises the common objective as
10 fluid in its criminal means. Krajisnik trial judgement, paragraph 1098.
11 It explained the means by which the common plan may grow, stating:
12 "An expansion of the criminal means of the objective is proven when
13 leading members of the JCE are informed of new types of crime committed
14 pursuant to the implementation of the common objective, take no effective
15 measures to prevent recurrences of such crimes, and persist in the
16 implementation of the common objective of the JCE. When this occurs, the
17 Trial Chamber said, "JCE members are shown to have accepted the expansion
18 of means since implementation of the common objective can no longer be
19 understood to be limited to commission of the original crimes." Krajisnik
20 judgement at paragraph 1098.
21 The Trial Chamber found that with acceptance of the actual
22 commission of new types of crime and continued contribution to the
23 objective comes intent, and such that subsequent commission of such crimes
24 by the JCE will give rise to liability under JCE 1.
25 Applying this standard, the Krajisnik Trial Chamber found that
1 unlawful detention of civilians, cruel or inhumane treatment of detainees,
2 killings in detention, sexual violence, inhumane living conditions, murder
3 of civilians during attacks on towns and villages, extermination of
4 Muslims, plunder and appropriation of property, destruction of cultural
5 monuments and sacred sites became part of the common objective of the JCE
6 over time, because the Bosnian Serb political leadership was aware of
7 these crimes and did not discontinue its discriminatory forced
8 displacement programme in light of the increasing number and range of
9 crimes being reported but, rather, persisted with its territorial conquest
10 and demographic recompositions.
11 There is extensive similar language, Mr. President, Your Honours,
12 from other cases, but already in the interests of time I will not go into
13 those. The Krstic trial judgement discusses these matters at length, the
14 Kovocka trial judgement discusses similar matters and most recently in the
15 Milutinovic 98 bis decision in May 2007 these matters were discussed.
16 I will pause on the Milutinovic decision to add this additional
17 element in terms of JCE 3. In that case, in a Rule 98 bis submission or
18 determination, the Chamber said this: "In light of the evidence discussed
19 herein pertaining to the significance and organised movement of the Kosovo
20 Albanian population and the behaviour of the accused in relation to these
21 events the Chamber could find that a joint criminal enterprise existed at
22 the relevant time, the aim of which was to forcibly displace the Kosovo
23 Albanian population from Kosovo. Moreover, in the event that some of the
24 specific crimes charged such as rape and murder were not within the common
25 plan, it was nevertheless foreseeable that such crimes might be
1 perpetrated in the course of the mass expulsion of the population."
2 With that little bit of jurisprudence in mind, Your Honours, I'm
3 going to turn to the overview of the Prosecution case.
4 It is the Prosecution case that the crimes that were committed in
5 this case, the crimes charged in the indictment, were part of a top-down
6 leadership-driven geopolitical programme policy and strategy of what can
7 fairly be called the Tudjman-Susak-Boban-Prlic government, because in
8 reality that was seamless. That organisation, the application of power
9 between Tudjman, Susak, Boban, Prlic and others was in fact a seamless
10 operation from Zagreb to Mostar.
11 The events alleged in the indictment occurred as part of the
12 dissolution of course of the former Yugoslavia. The Chamber is quite
13 aware of those background facts. The European Community recognised the
14 Republic of Croatia as an independent state on the 15th of January, 1992,
15 and the United Nations admitted Croatia as a member state on the 22nd of
16 May, 1992.
17 During and in the course of these events, the Croatian Community
18 of Herceg-Bosna declared its existence on the 18th of November, 1991, as a
19 political and territorial entity on the territory of what was then the
20 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the Chamber knows now,
21 in August 1993, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna declared itself the
22 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Mate Boban was the president of the
23 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna from its inception and continued as
24 president of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna until late 1993 and
1 By various actions taken on the 8th of April, 1992 and the 15th of
2 May, 1992, various Herceg-Bosna leaders, including Mate Boban, established
3 the Croatian Defence Council or HVO as Herceg-Bosna's armed forces and
4 government describing the HVO as Herceg-Bosna's supreme executive,
5 administrative and defence body.
6 Now, the joint criminal enterprise is stated in the amended
7 indictment in paragraph 15 as follows: "That from on or before 18th of
8 November, 1991," the date that Herceg-Bosna declared its existence, "to
9 about April 1994 and thereafter, various persons established and
10 participated in a joint criminal enterprise to politically and militarily
11 subjugate, permanently remove and ethnically cleanse Bosnian Muslims and
12 other non-Croats who lived in areas on the territory of the Republic of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina which were claimed to be part of the Croatian
14 Community and later Republic of Herceg-Bosna; and to join these areas as
15 part of a 'Greater Croatia' whether in the short term or over time and
16 whether as part of the Republic of Croatia or in close association with it
17 by force, fear or threat of force, persecution, imprisonment and
18 detention, forcible transfer and deportation, appropriation and
19 destruction of property, and other means which constituted or involved the
20 commission of crimes which are punishable under Articles 2, 3, and 5 of
21 the Tribunal Statute. The territorial ambition of the joint criminal
22 enterprise was to establish a Croatian territory with the borders of the
23 Croatian Banovina, a territorial entity that existed from 1939 to 1941.
24 It was part of the joint criminal enterprise to engineer the political and
25 ethnic map of these areas so that they would be Croat dominated both
1 politically and demographically."
2 Now, turning to the territorial aspects of the joint criminal
4 Croatia's President Franjo Tudjman had long given voice to his
5 obsession with Croatia's acquisition of certain parts of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As included in Dr. Robert Donia's evidence, his
7 report Exhibit P 09536, as early as 1981 Tudjman in his own published work
8 described Bosnia and Croatia as "an indivisible geographic and economic
9 entity." He publicly supported Croatia's claims to large parts of Bosnia
10 which had been part of the Croatian Banovina.
11 As the Chamber knows, the Hrvatska Banovina was a Croat autonomous
12 region established in about 1939 which continued until approximately 1941.
13 It satisfied most of the demands of the two largest national actors in
14 Yugoslavia, the Serbs and the Croats, at the expense of the Bosnian
15 Muslims, with the addition of sovereign BiH territory to the claimed
16 Croatian lands.
17 What I think the evidence shows and what this Tribunal has seen
18 both in this case and in the cases what we might call the Serb cases, with
19 the dissolution of Yugoslavia both Serbia and Croatia saw opportunities
20 for territorial expansion into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Discussions aimed
21 toward the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina were held between Tudjman
22 and Slobodan Milosevic at Karadjordjevo in March 1991. On the eve of
23 Croatia breaking free of Yugoslavia, Tudjman made his ambitions toward
24 Bosnian territory vividly clear at a meeting of the Supreme State Council
25 of Croatia on the 8th of June, 1991, which comes from Exhibit P 00037:
1 "Also, gentlemen, if we opt for Croatia's independence either within an
2 alliance or total independence, Croatia's borders such as they are today
3 are absurd. They are impossible in the sense of administration and trade,
4 let alone as regards any kind of protection of these borders of Croatia.
5 Therefore, from our point of view, no less than from the Serbian, there is
6 the problem of, there is a need to find an essential solution to the
7 problem. Isn't that so? Because the establishment of Bosnia, the borders
8 of BiH after World War II are historically absurd."
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Scott please slow down. Thank you.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you. I'll try to do that.
11 That is further confirmed in the important meeting which the
12 Chamber's heard a fair amount about, including from the witness Kljuic,
13 who was a participant in the meeting, the important meeting in Zagreb on
14 the 27th of December, 1991, which is recorded in Exhibit P 00089.
15 During that meeting, Tudjman again said: "The survival of Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina as an independent and sovereign state, even if possible,
17 is in any case against the interest of the Croatian state and makes
18 impossible the normal territorial establishment of the Croatian state and
19 creates conditions for the disappearance of what remains of the Croatian
20 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina today. All of history has shown that
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina is no solution for the Croatian people. Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina should not be taken as something God-given, which must be
23 preserved, and we must especially not forget how harmful it is. Because
24 of the creation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia has been put in an
25 impossible situation regarding its territory. Therefore we finally
1 wanted, and it was no accident that in the preamble to the Croatian
2 constitution we also mentioned the Banovina of Croatia. It seems to me,
3 therefore, that just as we have taken advantage of this historic moment to
4 establish an independent, internationally recognised Croatia, I believe
5 that it is time that we take the opportunity to gather the Croatian people
6 inside the widest possible borders."
7 What the Prosecution evidence shows beyond this is that and what
8 really led in a large measure to the conflict was it led President Tudjman
9 and others and the accused in this case to even make claims on territory
10 in Bosnia-Herzegovina which was not even -- not let alone majority Croat
11 but in many instances not even -- did not even have a plurality of Croat
12 population. This is illustrated by another one of the statements,
13 statement by Tudjman, when he told a group of the Herceg-Bosna
14 representatives meeting with him in September 1993: "Stolac. I know the
15 strategic importance of Stolac both as the president of Croatia and, if
16 you will, as a soldier. I know that Stolac and the entire former
17 Jablanicki Kotar and Konjic were included in the Croatian Banovina in
18 1939. These are arguments I have upheld since the first day. However,
19 they say that Stolac was predominantly Muslim and therefore ethnic
20 cleansing has taken place."
21 On the 8th of June, 1991, Tudjman indicated that in reality the
22 Muslim leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina would have to accept Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina's division. Tudjman: "I think we shall achieve it
24 because this is equally in the interest of Serbia and Croatia, while the
25 Muslim component has no other exit than to accept this solution, although
1 it will not be easy to find the solution but essentially that is it."
2 Even by October 1993, much later, the quote that I just gave you
3 was Tudjman in June 1991, even by October 1993, Tudjman was still talking
4 about to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a fight over the borders of the
5 Croatian state. In Exhibit P 06012, Tudjman says: "Several months ago, I
6 told you about the situation, and I gave task to minister of defence
7 Mr. Susak and General Bobetko regarding our help and our engagement -- our
8 engagement in Herceg-Bosna. I told them that this was where the future
9 borders of the Croatian state are being resolved. That is when I pointed
10 out that it was very important that they defended the positions and the
11 territory the HVO was holding there. It was the Novi Travnik, Vitez,
12 Busovaca, Mostar line and the problems of Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno needed
13 to be solved as soon as possible." Tudjman speaking, October 1993.
14 Now, the Chamber's assisted in this because the question of
15 Croatia's and Tudjman's territorial aspirations have been well established
16 by adjudicated facts which this Chamber has found and I'll refer to some
17 of them here.
18 "President Tudjman aspired to partitioning this neighbouring
19 country, Bosnia-Herzegovina," adjudicated fact number 73 by the Chamber's
20 decision on the 7th of September, 2006.
21 "Franjo Tudjman's nationalism and his desire to annex a part of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina were apparent to Lord David Owen to whom
23 President Tudjman staked his claim that 17.5 per cent of Bosnian territory
24 should revert to a republic with a Croatian majority." Adjudicated fact
25 number 75.
1 "President Tudjman as the leader of the HDZ, sought to promote a
2 Croatian identity by appealing to Croatia as a distinct and historically
3 continuous entity." Adjudicated fact number 77.
4 Multiple reference to the "natural borders of Croatia" can be
5 found in Tudjman's speeches. Adjudicated fact number 79.
6 "The view that President Tudjman harboured territorial ambitions
7 in respect of Bosnia-Herzegovina despite his official position to the
8 contrary, part of his two-track policy, he harboured these ambitions
9 despite his official position to the contrary is strengthened by reports
10 of discussions held between Tudjman and Milosevic against the backdrop of
11 the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, Yugoslav Federation, in 1991."
12 Adjudicated fact 81.
13 These aspirations for a partition were furthermore displayed
14 during the confidential talks between Franjo Tudjman and
15 Slobodan Milosevic in Karadjordjevo on 30 March 1991, on the division of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Adjudicated fact 82.
17 Excuse me, Judge Prandler. Thank you.
18 "Following Karadjordjevo, Franjo Tudjman opined that it would be
19 very difficult for Bosnia to survive and that the Croats were going to
20 take over the Banovina plus Kazim, Kladusa and Bihac." Adjudicated fact
21 number 84.
22 "Franjo Tudjman also said there would no longer be a Muslim region
23 within the former Yugoslavia, that it would constitute only a small
24 element of the Croat state." Adjudicated fact 89.
25 "The agreement entered into by the Serbs and Croats on the
1 partition of Bosnia was reportedly confirmed by a meeting between the
2 Bosnian Serb and the Bosnian Croat political leaders Radovan Karadzic and
3 Mate Boban in Graz in Austria on 6th May 1992." Adjudicated fact 90.
4 The aspirations of Franjo Tudjman to annex "Croatian regions of
5 Bosnia persisted throughout the conflict." Adjudicated fact number 88, et
7 And there is more that I won't take the time to read. All of
8 those come from previous ICTY cases, and based upon the Trial Chamber's
9 rulings on adjudicated facts in this case.
10 I will not take the time to look at the maps now, but the Chamber
11 will recall the books of maps that the Prosecution has provided to the
12 Judges in the course of this case, and the Prosecution respectfully
13 submits that one -- all one has to do is look at those maps and map after
14 map after map is consistent with a goal to establish the Banovina borders.
15 It was no coincidence that the outlines, the borders, of Herceg-Bosna were
16 largely co-extensive almost exactly, in fact even a bit more territory,
17 were almost co-extensive with the Banovina borders. Every peace map
18 whether it was Cutileiro, Vance-Owen, every map ever proposed by the Croat
19 side was consistent with establishing the Banovina borders.
20 Now, what have some of our accused said about this aspect of the
21 case? The plan, the Banovina borders, what the joint criminal enterprise
22 was all about. Let's take some of our accused one by one.
23 Mr. Prlic in his statement, Exhibit P 09078, said: "The plan
24 proclaimed and supported by Zagreb, which was also the political centre of
25 power, was, first, to establish the Republic of Croatia's internationally
1 recognised borders. The secondary political goal was to integrate a part
2 of BiH into the Republic of Croatia. Connected to that is the
3 relationship between the HV and the HVO and between the government of the
4 Republic of Croatia and the authorities of Herceg-Bosna. The HDZ in
5 Croatia and BiH were also using the opportunity to address the public and
6 say to the public that everything was being done and all the preparations
7 were being done to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was only partly
8 correct." I'm quoting, quoting from Prlic's statement. Partly true.
9 They said to the public all of these preparations were for the defence
10 exclusively. However, between themselves, they created another plan which
11 was adopted and proclaimed and supported by Zagreb, which was also again
12 the political centre of power.
13 So the goal and the main point of that plan was to defend the
14 territory and possibly also "attach it" to the Republic of Croatia. I
15 have to clearly state that this idea was supported by the majority and
16 most of the people in Herzegovina so was not just a conspiratory plan of
17 one group.
18 Another statement by Mr. Prlic: "Zagreb wanted to integrate a
19 part of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the Republic of Croatia if
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina falls apart." And again at transcript -- the
21 transcript of his statement, page 65: "Most Croats in Herzegovina
22 supported the plan to attach Herceg-Bosna to Croatia."
23 What about -- how did Mr. Slobodan Praljak characterise the plan?
24 Well, actually, it was one of his own exhibits, Exhibit 3D 00482, which
25 was a note of a meeting of Croatian army General Anton Tus and
1 Slobodan Praljak with a French delegation on 13 January 1993. The record
2 of the meeting introduced by the Defence describes Slobodan Praljak as:
3 "Major General Slobodan Praljak, assistant of minister of defence of the
4 Republic of Croatia."
5 Mr. Praljak's statements from the meeting are reported in relevant
6 part as follows: "The Croatian position has been clear from the very
7 beginning. The territory that belongs to the Croats matches the borders
8 of the Banovina Hrvatska from the 1939 division of Yugoslavia synchronised
9 with the 1981 census (the 1991 census is not valid). The Croats stand for
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina as integrity, a state, as well as for the rights of
11 Croats as constitutive nation. The problems among Croats and Muslims are
12 results of a variety of goals within the political fights. The Croats
13 fight for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the autonomy for Croats
14 while the Muslims fight for the civil state."
15 Now, granted in part of that statement it refers -- Mr. Praljak
16 talks about fighting for the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but he also
17 talks about establishing the Banovina borders, and other statements and
18 other evidence, of course, broaden that statement.
19 What did Mr. Stojic say about the goals of the Bosnian Croats,
20 Tudjman, Boban, and others? Exhibit P 00185 is a recording of a telephone
21 conversation on the 5th of May, 1992, between two Bosnian Croat leaders,
22 Bruno Stojic and Branko Kvesic, and two Bosnian Serb leaders, Bosnian Serb
23 minister of interior Momcilo Mandic, and actually another defendant before
24 this Tribunal, Mr. Mico Stanisic, concerning the Croat's and Serb's
25 territorial claims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the need for the Croats
1 and the Serbs to sit down and agree their claims together.
2 Of additional interest, it turns out, the conversation occurred
3 only one day before the Graz Agreement on the 6th of May, 1992, which is
4 Exhibit P 00187.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down. Thank you.
6 MR. SCOTT: In the conversation, Stojic plainly indicates that the
7 Croat desired borders are those of the Banovina of 1939. Now, the
8 conversation goes on for some time, and I won't take time to read all of
9 it although reading all of it is quite interesting and makes all of it
10 have more sense, but in the interest of time Stojic and Mico Stanisic are
11 talking, and Stanisic says: "Listen. Karadzic too wants a deal, to sit
12 down and work out a deal, but once it gets started it keeps going."
13 "Bruno: Stop it already what's wrong with you."
14 "Stanisic: Well, let us you give some initiative to have
15 somewhere --"
16 "Bruno: Both you and us. This makes no sense."
17 "Stanisic: We'll give you over here we'll give you Visoko, Vares,
18 Kakanj, and Zenica. We'll give that to you."
19 "Bruno: You can't give us what's ours. You can't give us what's
20 already ours. That is the Banovina of 1939. So what's going on up there?
21 Continuing on in the conversation a couple of minutes later
22 they're talking about the Neretva and Stojic says to Stanisic: "Give up
23 those pipe dreams. What Neretva? You hold on to the Drina."
24 Stanisic says: "There's not a soul for 50 kilometres on either
25 side of the Neretva. I swear to God. Do you agree with me?"
1 "Bruno: But this makes no sense with aeroplanes."
2 "Stanisic: Let's get it started. You give up some, we give up
3 some so we can mark those natural borders and that's it."
4 "Bruno: What natural ones?"
5 "Stanisic: Well, these."
6 "Bruno: There is the 1939 one and none other. I'm dead serious."
7 "Stanisic: We need to see what is realistic there and sit down
8 and make a deal."
9 "Bruno: Only the 1939 borders and no bargaining. Ha, ha."
10 "Stanisic: Don't screw with me. In '39 you didn't even have a
11 state. Ha, ha."
12 How about the accused Mr. Petkovic. In an interesting report on
13 the 26th of June, 1992, which is Exhibit P 00279, just a few weeks after
14 this telephone conversation with Mr. Stojic, Milivoj Petkovic addressed
15 HVO commanders and municipal leaders on the recent HVO military successes
16 in Herceg-Bosna and the remaining work to be done in order to achieve his
17 stated goals, and this is what Mr. Petkovic wrote in his 26 June 1992
19 "1. Operative and tactical situation. Through offensive
20 activities in the entire area of South-east Herzegovina, HVO forces with
21 assistance of considerable HV forces and equipment have achieved success
22 that astonished us all and legal authorities were even taken by surprise.
23 Today we have under control almost the entire area of Croatian
24 municipalities, Neum, Ravno, Stolac, Capljina, Ljubuski, Citluk,
25 Siroki Brijeg, and Mostar. Admittedly, there is still part of the
1 territory, mostly in Mostar and Stolac municipalities, that are not under
2 control of HVO forces. Therefore, we have four main tasks in front of
4 "One, to put under control the remaining area of Croatian --
5 Croatian municipalities. Two, to secure and fortify the achieved line.
6 Three, to carry out reorganisation of the existing HVO forces and, four,
7 to establish Croatian rule over all municipalities."
8 That was the programme in June 1992.
9 It is the Prosecution case that the HDZ BiH, the party,
10 Herceg-Bosna, and the HVO, instruments used by Tudjman, the Tudjman
11 government, and the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership, including these accused,
12 to pursue a Greater Croatia based largely on the Banovina borders by
13 securing certain BiH municipalities either within Croatia's own borders or
14 in a Croat mini-state which would be closely aligned or identified with
16 The problem became, Your Honours, that once it became clear that
17 the Muslims were not going to go down that road voluntarily, it required
18 an escalating series of steps of escalating violence, escalating
19 strategies to do what it took, whatever it took, to achieve the political
20 programme, the geopolitical programme, that I have described to you based
21 on the evidence in the last few minutes.
22 Just as the ICTY Chambers have found the existence of Tudjman's
23 and the Tudjman government's aspirations toward Croatia, there have been
24 extensive adjudicated facts on the control of Croatia over the HVO and
25 Herceg-Bosna establishing the element of an international armed conflict
1 and Croatia's control of the Croat entity.
2 I'm going to again cut through some of the material that I had
3 prepared because I think, really, I can take you straight again to some of
4 the adjudicated facts that this Chamber has already found.
5 "Aside from the direct intervention by HV forces, Croatia
6 exercised indirect control over the HVO and the HZ HB." Adjudicated fact
8 "There is no doubt that the Republic of Croatia enjoyed a strong
9 connection with the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina." Adjudicated fact
11 "There is no doubt that the Republic of Croatia and the HZ HB were
12 pursuing the same ultimate goals, namely the incorporation of Croatian
13 provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina into a single Croatian state."
14 Adjudicated fact number 91.
15 "Ties between President Tudjman as head of the HDZ in Croatia and
16 the leadership of the HZ HB were strong throughout the conflict."
17 Adjudicated fact 94.
18 "For Mate Boban, the HDZ was the Bosnian branch of the party
19 founded by Franjo Tudjman." Adjudicated fact 45.
20 "Delegations from the Bosnian HDZ regularly went to consult
21 President Tudjman." Adjudicated fact 98.
22 "There were regular meetings with President Tudjman and the
23 Bosnian Croat leaders appointed by Croatia or with its consent continued
24 to direct - excuse me- and the Bosnian Croat leaders appointed by Croatia
25 or with its consent continued to direct the HZ HB and the HVO well after
1 June 1992." Adjudicated fact 99.
2 "Croatia was thus directly involved in the control of the HVO
3 forces which were created on 8 April by the HZ HB Presidency."
4 Adjudicated fact 471.
5 "The Republic of Croatia took part in the organisation, planning,
6 or coordination of military operations conducted in the context of the
7 conflict between the HVO and the ABiH." Adjudicated fact 474.
8 Your Honours, it's the Prosecution's position that that degree of
9 control itself, without even getting into the specific instances of direct
10 HV Croatian army participation on the ground, even if we don't get to that
11 evidence, the extent of Croatia's utter control of Herceg-Bosna, the
12 Herceg-Bosna leadership and the HVO establishes the existence of an
13 international armed conflict, and the Prosecution does not anticipate
14 directly addressing the more direct military aspects for purposes of this
15 98 bis submission unless the Chamber has questions, but the evidence of
16 that participation is itself also extensive, down to the exhibits which
17 identify the particular Croatian brigades and units operating on the
18 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Going back to the chronology of the -- some of the chronology of
20 the events in relation to Herceg-Bosna, we go back to the 12th of
21 November, 1991, even before it was -- about six days, in fact, before it
22 was declared on the 18th, and there was a meeting of the two major HDZ
23 Regional Committees, one the Herzegovina branch, if you will, led by
24 Mate Boban, and the Central Bosnia community led by Dario Kordic, met in
25 Grude and concluded at that meeting, and the records of that meeting are
1 Exhibit P 00071: "The Herzegovina regional community and the Travnik
2 regional community stand by their conclusions reached at earlier separate
3 meetings that the Croatian people of these regions continue to uphold the
4 unanimously accepted decisions and conclusions adopted during
5 consultations with the president Dr. Franjo Tudjman on 13 and 20 June 1991
6 in Zagreb. Proceeding from the conclusions of the above-mentioned
7 meetings and consultations in Zagreb and the special conclusion of 15
8 October 1991 in Grude and 22 October 1991 in Busovaca and this one on 12
9 November 1991, these two regional communities have jointly and unanimously
10 decided that the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina must finally
11 carry out a decisive, a decisive and active policy which should lead to
12 the realisation of our centuries' old dream, a joint Croatian state."
13 In order for this -- continuing in the record: "In order for this
14 historical goal to soon become our reality, these two regional communities
15 request the commencement of activities to formulate and issue legal and
16 political documents (the proclamation of a Croatian Banovina in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina) and a referendum on accession to the Republic of
18 Croatia, et cetera, as the first stage on the road to the final settlement
19 of the issue and the creation of a sovereign Croatia in its ethnic and
20 historical (now possible) borders."
21 Mr. President and Your Honours, the evidence of these matters go
22 on and on and on, and already it's clear that it would take more than the
23 time all of us probably want to take to go through it all, but over and
24 over again, especially in the presidential transcripts, which the Chamber
25 has, which have been admitted, you will see these discussions over and
1 over and over again.
2 Exhibit P 000699, the meeting on the 3rd of November, 1992, often
3 involving a number of our accused, this one including Mate Boban, Jadranko
4 Prlic, and Bruno Stojic. Again talking about in order to -- Susak was at
5 that meeting. This one I have to mention because some of our accused were
6 there and Susak says: "Furthermore, in order to ensure a better
7 understanding of general policy in the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina, we
8 called a meeting of the wider region of June -- 20 June 1992, including
9 municipalities. And they got some instructions then. And on the 19th of
10 August, 1992, the following persons were called and present at the meeting
11 in the ministry of defence, Mate Boban, Neven Tomic, Jozo Maric, Bruno
12 Stojic, president --" and this is quoting, "president of the defence
13 department of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Jadranko Prlic, president of the HVO
14 of the HZ HB." And Susak is complaining here: "So it's not true as
15 stated in this report that they didn't know what was Croatian policy
16 regarding Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina and what were the guidelines."
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down. Thank you.
18 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, they go on. Exhibit P 01622, 8th of
19 March, 1993. P 02099, 26th April 1993. P 02122, 27th of April, 1993.
20 Exhibit P 03112, 2nd of July, 1993. Exhibit P 05498, the 30th of
21 September, 1993. Exhibit P 06581, 10th of November, 1993. All go on
22 discussing in an ongoing way accomplishing the programme, accomplishing
23 the plan. And the Chamber will, if we don't do it today, and I could
24 stand here and read these to you of course for hours, but I submit that
25 the Chamber -- I invite the Chamber at its leisure to review the
1 presidential transcript material at length, because it is indeed a
2 treasure trove of evidence in this case.
3 Let me just jump to one much later just with the benefit of
4 looking backwards.
5 By February 13th of 1994, still within the period of the
6 indictment, in Exhibit P 07856, Jadranko Prlic is in a meeting with
7 Tudjman and reports to Tudjman the following: "We have created a state in
8 Herceg-Bosna with all systems including customs and finance. People are
9 born and die with Herceg-Bosna documents. I think we should weigh all the
10 elements carefully. Absolutely no solution is acceptable without a
11 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. In other words, a Croatian republic,
12 and the borders should encompass as many areas as possible in the whole of
13 Central Bosnia. I believe we can achieve this by military means if
14 necessary in order to make sure that things are developing the way they
15 are developing."
16 One final exhibit on this point and I'll move forward.
17 Exhibit P 08288, 31 May 1994. This is after the Washington Agreement, but
18 this reveals, Your Honours, that the plan was not dead, the vision was
19 alive, and it was going forward. 31st of May, 1994. Tudjman tells the
20 assembled Herceg-Bosna leaders, including Jadranko Prlic, Dario Kordic,
21 and others: "We must pursue our policy in such a way as to take control
22 of Bosnia without --"
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you're quoting something,
1 does it appear on the screen, does the evidence or does that particular
2 document appear on the screen so that we can see it very quickly? Did you
3 ask the clerk to do that for us?
4 MR. SCOTT: Well, we have not -- again in the interests of time if
5 I was really doing the full show, I would have all that organised for you.
6 We have not had time to do that, but perhaps sometime in the future we
7 can. The Chamber will have to of course check when I give you the exhibit
8 number, and certainly correct, verify my statements, but if I say
9 something is a quote, Your Honour, it's not my word, it's being taken out
10 of the exhibit. I do anticipate hopefully some day perhaps in the closing
11 arguments to be able to perhaps make a fuller presentation on these
13 But Tudjman says: "We must pursue our policy, and we will conduct
14 a smart policy. We have to be seen, we have to be seen as siding with the
15 Muslims, but we don't want them to create their Muslim state and that
16 poses a problem." And Tudjman assured the Herceg-Bosna leaders to get the
17 Muslims to declare themselves "Croats of Muslim faith." "Get down to it
18 right now. We have no other choice."
19 Your Honour, then as you -- on that basis the establishment of
20 Herceg-Bosna, the establishment of the HVO itself in April of -- in April
21 and May of 1992. The Chamber will also recall the testimony of witnesses
22 such again as Stjepan Kljuic, Milivoj Gagro. They talked about the
23 political developments in 1991 and to the end of that year, again leading
24 up to the important meeting in Zagreb on the 27th of December, 1991, a
25 meeting which Kljuic attended and gave us his own personal account of and
1 how that was essentially the final big showdown between the moderate arm,
2 if you will, of the HDZ party in Bosnia and the more extremist arm led by
3 Mate Boban, Dario Kordic, and others. And at the end of that meeting it's
4 clear that the moderate arm has lost the day and the extremist and the
5 hard-line arm has won the day, and Tudjman endorses that and again makes a
6 number of final pronouncements in that meeting.
7 In fact, at the conclusion of that meeting again, Exhibit P 00089,
8 Tudjman after hearing all the sides voicing their positions, Tudjman says:
9 "Why not accept offer of demarcation when it is in the interest of
10 the Croatian people, because I do not see a single reason, a serious
11 reason against it. In the event of demarcation, Croatia would not only
12 get those two communities, Herceg-Bosna and the Posavina, but also for
13 geopolitical reasons Cazinska and Bihacka Krajina which would satisfy
14 almost ideally the Croatian national interest and to create a statelet,
15 therefore out of the remaining part around Sarajevo where mostly Muslims
16 and some Catholic Croats would stay which would resemble the small
17 historical land of Bosnia. It would, therefore, be a buffer zone in the
18 demarcation of Serbia and Croatia and in such conditions it would have to
19 rely on Croatia to a large extent. From that viewpoint not even some sort
20 of cannonisation with the continuing existence of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 would mean for us the solution, which is the solution of demarcation."
22 We then have, Your Honour, a series of exhibits and a series of
23 evidence which talks about and establishes what the Prosecution calls in
24 the indictment and you have heard discussed in the case as the
25 two-track -- two-track policy or approach and that was essentially this:
1 That on the one hand some of the meetings and some of the transcripts that
2 we've already referred to have mentioned this, that there was a very
3 deliberate policy announced by Tudjman, confirmed by others, again if we
4 had the time we could go through transcript after transcript, where
5 basically the policy is this: On the one hand we'll be publicly saying
6 that we support a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, we'll say that we support
7 an undivided Bosnia-Herzegovina, but in reality we have another agenda.
8 In reality, that's the agenda we will be pursuing.
9 At the famous 27 December 1991 meeting there is one example of
10 this. Perica Juric says: "At the diplomatic level our people in Sarajevo
11 can continue swearing they are in favour of a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 as we have done so far -- as they have done so far." And Tudjman himself
13 articulated this policy in a meeting with Bosnian Croat leaders in March
14 1993. This is in Exhibit P 01594. Although the diplomatic climate
15 required that they pay lip-service to a "sovereign BiH" Tudjman made it
16 clear that this was not a permanent situation. "So for the time being,
17 the West is opting for an integral Bosnia-Herzegovina but with a political
18 system that will probably lead to a final solution and few in the world
19 believe that it is possible. If Yugoslavia could not survive, how could
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina survive?"
21 Even months -- that was in December 1991, and even by July 1993,
22 July 1993, in the middle of the core period of this case, in Exhibit
23 P 03195, Tudjman's saying to his assembled leaders, his -- the inside
24 group: "We will not be saying even now that we are openly in favour of
25 dividing Bosnia, just as we recommended in -- to the Croats of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina to vote in the referendum when the Serbs had already
2 broken away."
3 But there follows then, Your Honours, and I'm going to summarise
4 very quickly some pages and pages of exhibits and testimony, but by the
5 spring of 1992, the HVO has been established and the Chamber will recall
6 the evidence from various municipal leaders who have told the Chamber
7 about how in municipality after municipality there was the HVO taking
8 power, seizing power, excluding the Muslims from the governments, from
9 businesses. Oh, perhaps there would be a few Muslims that would be left,
10 a few. And how there was the policy of Croatisation. There's got to be
11 Croat curriculum in the schools. The Croatian language has to be used.
12 Croatian currency has to be used. Change the name of street signs to
13 Croatian names. No longer refer to Prozor as Prozor but call it Rama, et
14 cetera, et cetera. And this process goes on throughout 1992, and there's
15 a number of exhibits on that and documents and testimony of the witnesses
16 who talk about that.
17 And again here, and I'm selecting only a few things, but going
18 again to the adjudicated facts, facts that the Chamber can take as a
19 foundation point. "Croat nationalism and discrimination against Muslims
20 was on the increase in Central Bosnia in 1992, 1993." Adjudicated fact
22 "Mostar was politically dominated by the BH Croats." Adjudicated
23 fact 223.
24 "A provision adopted by the Republic of Croatia gave to all
25 members of the Croatian nation the right to citizenship." Adjudicated
1 fact 106.
2 "Another law authorised all Croats to vote in the elections in
3 Croatia thus allowing the Bosnian Croats with Bosnian nationality to vote
4 in the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Croatia." Adjudicated
5 fact 107.
6 "BH Croats could with ease could obtain Croatian passports, enjoy
7 Croatian nationality and vote in elections in the Republic of Croatia."
8 Adjudicated fact 108.
9 "There was a split between Croats and Muslims in 1992."
10 Adjudicated fact 41.
11 Again we saw various aspects of this process in 1992 at work,
12 including taking control of the media. I guess we all know by the first
13 part of the 21st century that one of the first things one tries to do in a
14 situation like this is get control of the media. That was done. The HVO
15 took over the radio station, changed its name to Croat Radio Mostar, et
16 cetera, et cetera.
17 Again by 1994, Jadranko Prlic could report to Tudjman in Exhibit
18 P 04759. "Mr. President, every Croat in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a paid
19 Croat. Everyone is on the salary of the Herceg-Bosna budget except for
20 the part that is in Serbian territory."
21 There has been discussion in the case and various evidence --
22 various evidence concerning the question of the element of Serb and Croat
23 cooperation in the areas and at the times most relevant to the indictment
24 in this case. I'm going to cut through most of what I had prepared to
25 give you one, I think, example of that that tells the story, if only one
1 piece of evidence could be considered, and that is again a meeting
2 involving Mr. Tudjman and Slobodan Praljak and others, which is Exhibit
3 P 05096, in late September 1993.
4 The scope and nature of the Croat-Serb cooperation and the extent
5 to which it had actually become a critical part of the HVO military
6 process can be seen in that conversation when under international pressure
7 the possibility of peace with the Bosnian Muslims was being considered by
8 Tudjman and his senior advisors, including Praljak, serious concerns were
9 expressed and addressed in that meeting as to how a changed relationship
10 with the Muslims would affect the Croats' good cooperation with the Serbs.
11 "Praljak: The relations between the Croats and the Serbs have
12 improved, especially on the military plane, because our whole units depend
13 on cooperation with the Serbs. In BH this agreement with the Muslims will
14 aggravate that a lot therefore Zepce, Kiseljak and thus Vitez the
15 battalion below Konjic and Vares, it will now be difficult for us to
16 provide them with supplies."
17 And then Tudjman intercedes and says: "Well that may be the case,
18 Praljak, but we've got to do a deal with the Muslims here." Praljak
19 argues that it's going to take time to adjust to this new situation.
20 "Praljak: It will stop," that the fighting with the Muslims will
21 stop, "but this is going to be different. A year ago, we thought we could
22 not hold talks with the Serbs at all, but we have received some agreement
23 with the Serbs --"
24 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Scott is kindly asked to slow down, please.
25 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
1 "And now we should start a war against them in order to ease the
2 tension with the Muslims, and it will probably take time to turn things
3 around psychologically."
4 "We have to change our thinking. We've been cooperating with the
5 Serbs and now we have to completely change our way of doing things. Some
6 of our units depend on their relationships with the Serbs in Vares, in
7 Kiseljak and other areas." That's what Slobodan Praljak said about
8 cooperation with the Serbs.
9 I then want to address, Your Honours, an element -- a broader
10 element as we go forward in this overview, and as we turn to the fall of
11 1992, what is the environment, what is the context in which these things
12 have all been happening? The war in the former Yugoslavia has now already
13 been going on for some time, and the Prosecution believes that it is
14 important for the Chamber to note that these armed conflicts,
15 persecutions, ethnic cleansings, and mass detentions in the former
16 Yugoslavia didn't just begin in 1993 with this indictment.
17 By August 1992, as reflected in Exhibit P 05096; the UN Security
18 Council had already repeatedly expressed its "grave alarm at the
19 widespread violations of international humanitarian law in the former
20 Yugoslavia," including "mass forcible expulsion and deportation of
21 civilians, imprisonment and abuse of civilians in detention centres,
22 deliberate attacks on non-combatants, impeding the delivery of food and
23 medical supplies to the civilian population, and wanton -- excuse me --
24 devastation and destruction of property." It -- the Security Council
25 "strongly condemned" any violations of international humanitarian law
1 including those involved in the practice of what was already by August
2 1992 being called "ethnic cleansing."
3 Much of this information in this particular aspect I will
4 summarise it this way, Your Honours, and there is a lot of this evidence
5 in the record, there's extensive documentation of the UN, Resolution after
6 Resolution, report after report establishing what even by mid-1992 had
7 already occurred and already characterised the conflict in the former
8 Yugoslavia. The Chamber may recall that Dr. Miller summarised much of
9 this evidence in his report, Exhibit P 10239, titled "The Characteristics
10 and Patterns of the Balkan Conflict as Widely-Known and Reported by the
11 Latter Part of 1992." Dr. Miller concluded in his report, which I think
12 aptly summarises substantial body of evidence on this, but we don't have
13 time to go through it all this afternoon: "Throughout 1991 and by the
14 summer and autumn of 1992, the dominant characteristics of a conflict
15 based on ethnicity and the practices and patterns of behaviour involved in
16 such conflict became and were widely reported, publicly recognised, and
17 well-understood. Attacks on civilians, forcible population transfers, and
18 large-scale detentions were already a known part of what was already
19 called 'ethnic cleansing'."
20 Dr. Miller went on to conclude: "Any moderately informed person
21 living and working in the former Yugoslavia could not but have known of
22 these developments and reports and the characteristics and practices
23 involved in the Balkan conflict. The actions of the warring sides through
24 the middle of 1992, illustrate clearly that killings of civilians, forced
25 expulsions and widespread destruction would ensue, would ensue should any
1 ethnic group try to subjugate another in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The ethnic
2 nature of the conflict was clear before it ever began as the violence in
3 Plitvice, Borovo Selo, and Pakrac demonstrate. The likelihood of violence
4 against civilians was made clear by events in Dalj, Tenja, and literally
5 dozens of other individual cases examples of which were examined above" in
6 his report.
7 That is the knowledge environment or the information environment,
8 if you will, that already existed by mid-1992, before any of the
9 significant crimes in had this case had been committed. And in fact that
10 takes us up to October of 1992 and the first major breakout of Muslim and
11 Croat fighting at Prozor and Novi Travnik at the end of October of 1992.
12 In light of what Dr. Miller summarised for us and in fact and as
13 Boban himself predicted, most Bosnian Muslims did not, would not, accept
14 HVO control even when it was thrust upon them. By the latter part of
15 1992, it was clear that Tudjman's and the Herceg-Bosna's leadership
16 Greater Croatia project could not be achieve only by political pressure or
17 what might be called the softer forms of persecution. It was clear that
18 more forcible action would be required with ethnic violence, armed
19 conflict, and forcible involuntary transfers. In fact, the Croatian and
20 Herceg-Bosna leadership were already preparing for the conflict even just
21 a few weeks before the outbreak of fighting in Prozor in October.
22 Again, in a meeting on the 11th of September, 1992, Exhibit
23 P 00466, Slobodan Praljak told Tudjman and Susak: "War with the Muslims
24 can be anticipated."
25 And Susak answers Praljak: "We have been aware of that for over a
1 week now, and we have made preparations on what needs to be done." 11
2 September 1992, Prozor, 23 October 1992.
3 In that same meeting the conversation continues:
4 "Tudjman: Gentlemen, gentlemen. Let's not or generality -- we
5 have nothing to conquer. Let's defend those Croatian --"
6 And Praljak jumps in: "Nowhere, Mr. President. It is impossible
7 to pass further.
8 "Tudjman: And let's get ready."
9 11th of September, 1992.
10 "Let's get ready to cleanse them out of Croatia. As I said, do
11 not get involved in conquering Bosnia."
12 "Praljak: No, Mr. President, believe me, the attacks have been
14 "Susak: Nothing out of the Banovina. We did not trespass, not
15 even one metre."
16 "Praljak: Believe me, we would be there within 12 hours, in the
17 empty Nevesinje, Trebinje, without any problem."
18 "Susak: There is no problem for us to enter tomorrow. We can't
19 because that's how it is."
20 "Tudjman: Don't, because -- listen, we have to be -- let's be
21 realistic. We have hardly escaped both the Islamic government and the
22 world to have sanctions imposed on us because we are allegedly also
23 aggressors in Bosnia, those who are conquering Bosnia. Accordingly don't
24 do it."
25 That is, don't go one step beyond the Banovina.
1 Susak responds: "President, we are disciplined to the maximum."
2 In a second meeting a few days later involving many of the same
3 participants, on the 26th of September, 1992, so again only a short time
4 prior to Prozor, on the 26th of September, 1992, in Exhibit P 00524,
5 Slobodan Praljak warns Tudjman and Susak of the danger presented by the
6 influx of Muslim refugees in the parts of Herceg-Bosna, in parts of
7 Herzegovina claimed by Herceg-Bosna. And Praljak gives his advice to
8 Tudjman and Susak: "Better to deal with the situation now during a time
9 of war because it would be difficult to expel them later."
10 Exhibit P 00524 at pages 17 and 18. Praljak talking: "There were
11 some talks in the government that the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 should be allowed to enter Croatia in anyway and at any price since these
13 refugees are already on the territory where the Croatian people are. Then
14 from Croatia under the pressure of the international community they should
15 be sent to the border and to hell with them. As it seems now, and due to
16 the people settling on the territory from Travnik and below, I am afraid
17 our chances will be bad at the moment when the war is over. There's been
18 a great change in the ethnic structure, and to solve that with them by
19 war, the civil, international rights," the conversation is a bit, sporadic
20 but "the civil, international rights et cetera, it will be difficult in
21 any form to expel those people from there and without expelling those
22 people we will not have a majority." Praljak in September 1992.
23 As so often happens the case, I realise we are coming up to the
24 time for the break, but what see also, what the evidence shows again and
25 again, Your Honours, is a -- the delivery of an HVO and HDZ demand or
1 ultimatum rejected by the Muslims and then followed up by action, force by
2 the HVO. And that's exactly what we saw in Prozor in October 1992, what
3 we saw in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993, what we see in Central Bosnia and
4 in Sovici Doljani in April 1993, over and over and over again the same
5 pattern repeats itself.
6 On the 23rd of October 1992 in Exhibit P 00628, just days after
7 the conversations between Praljak, Tudjman and Susak we've talked about in
8 the last few minutes, the HVO leadership in Prozor insist that the Muslims
9 accept the HVO political and military structures, and in that document
10 they say this, they make these demands on the Muslims: One, we demand an
11 urgent and unconditional cessation of all military operations. Two, we
12 insist on an urgent dispatch of all your soldiers to bring up to strength
13 the units at the first combat line towards the Chetniks, of course.
14 Three, withdrawal of all armed units from the town. Four, passage for the
15 military police units coming from outside our municipality on their way to
16 their final destination as per their combat task. And five, and most
17 importantly for this purpose, we insist on an urgent and instant
18 acceptance of the civilian and military structure of the HVO HZ HB in
19 which Muslims' representatives will also be -- will also participate
20 proportionally they say.
21 Instant acceptance of the civilian and military structure of the
22 HVO. Well, the Muslims again say no, and then we have the fighting in
23 Prozor on the 23rd and 24th of October, 1992.
24 Now, there couldn't have been much of a fight because by the 24th
25 of October, 1992, in Exhibit P 00647, the HVO operative zone commander
1 Zeljko Siljeg reports up the HVO chain of command: "The town of Prozor
2 and Rama Lake are under the control of the Prozor HVO. These two areas
3 are ethnically pure. The Muslim population has been detained or has
4 fled." As of the 24th of October, 1992.
5 I'm looking at the clock and my outline. That would be a good
6 time to break if that's agreeable to the Chamber.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll break for 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Just before we leave Prozor, October of 1992, we of course do not
13 want to leave Mr. Coric out of the picture, and Exhibit P 00956 is
14 Mr. Coric's report on the work of the HVO military police covering really
15 the period from its foundation in April 1992 to the end of the year 1992.
16 The report itself dated the 26th December 1992. And I might just invite
17 the Chamber to -- it's one of those few exhibits that covers the entire
18 period from the formation of the military police to the end of that year.
19 That is a source of a great deal of information should the Chamber wish to
20 peruse it.
21 In that report, Mr. Coric says about Prozor: "On 23 October,
22 1992, there was an armed clash between members of the BH army and the HVO
23 in Prozor and military police units intervened. Within a short time, the
24 town was under the control of the military police. On the military police
25 side, one member was killed and five were wounded. At the same time,
1 there was a clash in Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno."
2 At the same time, and to put this in a broader context, in that
3 same report Mr. Coric reported on the 21st of October, 1992, regarding a
4 worsening situation in Central Bosnia, a complete blockade of the town of
5 Mostar was achieved. Five hundred military policemen took part in that
7 So the HVO military police were also at work under Mr. Coric's
9 By the end of 1992, which we've now arrived at, and early 1993,
10 there are - excuse me - the developments of the Vance-Owen peace proposals
11 and discussions. While neither the Serbs or Muslims had agreed to the
12 Vance-Owen proposals by mid-January 1993, and, yes, there were some pieces
13 that some agreed to, sometimes there would be part of the map or some part
14 of the plan. So there's no confusion on that. There were times when
15 certain parts would be accepted but never the entire plan. And while
16 neither the Serbs nor the Muslims had agreed to the plan, by mid-January
17 of 1993, Tudjman, Susak, and the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership, including
18 the accused, found the Vance-Owen proposals as they envisioned and as they
19 interpreted them much to their favour. Once again essentially by the
20 borders of the Vance-Owen provinces 3, 8, and 10, essentially giving them
21 the Banovina borders. The problem being again this despite the fact that
22 many of the areas included within those borders had majority or at least
23 equal Muslim populations but not agreed or consented to be part of
25 Indeed, the Vance-Owen proposal appeared to give the Croats, who
1 at that time comprised approximately 17.5 per cent of the overall BiH
2 population, approximately 28 per cent of BiH's overall territory. Tudjman
3 himself later stated in June 1993, in Exhibit P 02613, that the proposed
4 Vance-Owen provinces 3, 8, and 10 were in fact "roughly what in 1939
5 became part of the Banovina of Croatia."
6 It was because of this apparent favourable treatment that the
7 Croats received under the Vance-Owen discussions, again at least as
8 interpreted by them, that the saying began circulating in Zagreb in BiH
9 that HVO stood for "Hvala, Vance-Owen."
10 By mid-January 1993, the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership was so eager,
11 in fact, to implement their vision of the Vance-Owen proposal that they
12 refused to wait for the Muslims and Serbs to accept their interpretation
13 and instead took unilateral action to implement it.
14 At a meeting in Zagreb again on the 15th of January 1993, which is
15 recorded in Exhibit P 01158, Tudjman, Susak, and Boban failed to convince
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina's President Alija Izetbegovic - this is also a meeting
17 attended on the record by Alija Izetbegovic - failed to convince
18 Izetbegovic to accept their views. The 15th of January, 1993. And then
19 immediately set out to implement their plans in any event.
20 Izetbegovic complained during this meeting that the Herceg-Bosna
21 HVO authorities had disenfranchised the Muslims of Mostar, who comprised
22 half the city's population and that the HZ HB and HVO authorities had
23 elsewhere dissolved legal governments. Izetbegovic also drew attention to
24 the fact that Tudjman, Susak, and Boban were interpreting the Vance-Owen
25 Plan as a green light to force the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
1 withdraw from the three regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina that the Croat
2 leaders considered theirs.
3 Izetbegovic makes it very clear in this meeting -- read the
4 transcript, and he makes it very clear on the 15th of January that's not
5 his position, that's not his view.
6 "Izetbegovic: That's not how I understood the papers, and I don't
7 know whether this was the intention of these documents, because I do not
8 see that they define who has what territories, whose armies these are, you
9 know. So I'm afraid what is now going on in Gornji Vakuf may have been
10 caused by a misunderstanding of this item of these agreements."
11 Izetbegovic goes on: "I don't think this was foreseen in any of
12 these proposals. It was not foreseen that the army of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina should leave either the Travnik province or Mostar. That's
14 not how I understood these papers."
15 On the same day, 15th of January, 1993, notwithstanding
16 Izetbegovic's unequivocal position reject being the HVO position, the HVO
17 President Jadranko Prlic signed a decision that "all units of the army of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina which at this moment are stationed in provinces 3,
19 8, and 10, which have been declared Croatian provinces in the
20 Geneva Accords, shall be subordinated to the command of the Main Staff of
21 the HVO armed forces. The deadline for implementing this decision is
22 hereby set at five days starting from today, 15 January 1993." And that
23 is Exhibit P 01155.
24 Now, Your Honours, we see in this instance a full demonstration of
25 the HVO chain of command, because first it starts with the decision that I
1 just quoted by Jadranko Prlic, P 01155, and immediately following on that
2 the defence minister or department head Bruno Stojic issues his order,
3 Exhibit P 01140, specifically referencing the Prlic decision, which then
4 is followed in turn, just as you would expect it, president, Ministry of
5 Defence, top military professional or soldier followed by the
6 corresponding order of the chief of the HVO Main Staff Milivoj Petkovic,
7 which is Exhibit P 01139. Issued up and down the chain of command all on
8 the 15th of January, 1993, with Petkovic's order again specifically
9 referring by description and number to the Prlic decision and the Stojic
11 Once again, the core of these facts is established, at least in
12 part, by the adjudicated facts.
13 "Mate Boban, the leader of the HDZ BiH immediately agreed to the
14 terms of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan as it promised huge gains in territory
15 for the Bosnian Croats." Adjudicated fact 126.
16 "Mate Boban signed the Vance-Owen Plan on behalf of the BH Croats
17 on 2 January 1993. Neither the BH Serbs nor the BH Muslim representatives
18 had signed the plan at this stage." Adjudicated fact 128.
19 "Despite knowing that the other parties had not signed, but filled
20 with confidence that they had the world's opinion behind them, the BH
21 Croats attempted to implement the Vance-Owen Plan unilaterally."
22 Adjudicated fact 129.
23 Despite the fact that neither the president of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 Mr. Izetbegovic, nor the international peace negotiators had agreed to the
25 unilateral implementation of their views of the Vance-Owen proposals, the
1 HVO authorities and forces with the passage of the deadline set in the
2 Prlic decision took military and violent actions to enforce the ultimatum,
3 attacking and pressing the Muslims at a number of locations including at
4 Novi Travnik, Gornji Vakuf, as charged in the indictment, and Busovaca.
5 In his regular report to the HVO Main Staff on the 16th of
6 January, 1993, a day after the Prlic-Stojic-Petkovic orders, the operative
7 zone commander for the north-west operative zone Zeljko Siljeg reported:
8 "Tonight at Gornji Vakuf, Colonel Siljeg and Colonel Andric negotiated
9 with BH army representatives. There were no results. Unless there is an
10 agreement -- unless there is an agreement, Gornji Vakuf southern
11 strongholds will be taken and our line strengthened. General Praljak sent
12 them a message that they will be annihilated if they do not accept the
13 decisions of HZ HB."
14 Indeed as the 20 January deadline approached and passed, the first
15 major armed conflict between the HVO and Muslims since Prozor in October
16 1992 broke out again, as I've said, in Gornji Vakuf and other parts
17 primarily in Central Bosnia.
18 The international observers on the ground saw clearly that the
19 confrontations were caused by what they called in their own words: "The
20 HVO's premature and imperfect grab for control." That's at Exhibit
21 P 01285, an UNPROFOR headquarters report on the 24th of January, 1993,
22 stating in fuller measure: "Since the Geneva talks in early January,
23 tensions have steadily increased between elements of both the Croat HVO
24 and the principally Muslim army of BH in central and Southern BH. Over
25 the past week the political and military leaders of the Croatian Community
1 of Herceg-Bosna have begun to implement their understanding,"
2 understanding in quotation marks, "their 'understanding' of the proposed
3 settlement. This premature and imperfect grab for control of provinces 3,
4 8, and 10 has resulted in high tensions and heavy fighting."
5 "Coincidental --" skipping down further in the report, the same
6 UNPROFOR report, "Coincidental with the recent preparations for a return
7 to Geneva, HVO units from the clearly Croat-dominated southern opstinas
8 have been moved into central BH. More disturbingly, UN source reports of
9 soldiers wearing patches identifying them as members of the Croatian army
10 units in this area have been received. The role of these soldiers is not
11 clear, but the sightings tend to correlate to areas where HVO units from
12 southern opstinas are in position."
13 On the 25th of January, 1993, in Exhibit P 01297, Tudjman again
14 makes it clear there's no misunderstanding that Izetbegovic has not agreed
15 in any way to this course, and Tudjman specifically recognised
16 Izetbegovic's contrary position not endorsing the HVO view as posing upon
17 the plan. Tudjman says: "Izetbegovic's position on Bosnia's future did
18 not agree with the Croatia's state interest and with the interest of the
19 Croatian leaders in Bosnia-Herzegovina." A clear reference to Boban and
21 On the 27th of January, two days later, in Exhibit P 01325, during
22 the ongoing conflict in what now has broken out and the fighting in
23 Central Bosnia, Gornji Vakuf, Busovaca, Novi Travnik, while that's going
24 on, Susak reports in a meeting with Tudjman he had received updates from
25 Stojic and Kordic on the fighting in Busovaca and said that Praljak and
1 Stojic had "organised everything they could down there in the south."
2 Praljak and Stojic had organised everything.
3 By 1 February 1993, UNPROFOR reported: "The HVO continues to show
4 strong resolution to control the future 'Croat provinces' 8 and 10.
5 Without the prospect of a near-term settlement, the basis for the HVO's
6 assertion of control over proposed provinces 3, 8, and 10 is seriously
7 diminished. Their premature grab for power clearly displayed to all
8 concerned the Croatian Community's intentions." And that's Exhibit 09516.
9 Now, although local cease-fires were then established by late
10 January and early February of 1993, Tudjman, Boban, and the others had no
11 intention, of course, of giving up the Greater Croatia project. On the
12 8th of March, 1993, as reflected in Exhibit P 01622, Boban said to
13 Tudjman, Susak, and a group of Bosnian Croat leaders assembled: "If
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina exist at all, we shall have a border. We know
15 exactly how. We have a plan prepared in advance. Herceg-Bosna will never
16 cease to exist. Even within the framework of anything else, it will still
17 be Herceg-Bosna."
18 In another meeting a day later, on the 9th of March, Tudjman once
19 again -- this is Exhibit P 01452, and I'll have to check the date of that
20 Your Honours, there may be a mistake, it may be the 9th of February, but
21 it is Exhibit P 01452, and as I look at it now it occurs to me the date
22 may be wrong. But in that exhibit Tudjman does say: "The continuing
23 problem was that the Muslims did not agree with Croat authority being
24 established in the provinces designated as Croatian."
25 Susak states during this meeting: "Izetbegovic must turn up with
1 a statement that provinces between Croats and Serbs are indisputable and
2 that must be a prerequisite."
3 While tensions remained high and there were local skirmishes,
4 major conflict between the Muslims and Croats was primarily avoided,
5 essentially avoided until the end of March 1993.
6 And I'm told, Your Honour, that the date is in fact the 9th of
7 February, Exhibit 1452. Thank you.
8 While there was a period of no major conflict until the end of
9 March 1993, at that time, on about the 26th or 27th of March, Izetbegovic
10 does sign most of the Vance-Owen Plan for the first time provisionally
11 accepting the plan but a number of important items still not resolved.
12 First, conditioned on -- that the Serbs also agree to the plan, which they
13 never did; and two, with certain military aspects and disposition of
14 forces still to be resolved.
15 In this regard, it's important for the Chamber to recognise, and
16 this is in the documents, the Vance-Owen Plan signed by Izetbegovic did
17 not, did not, provide for the subordination of ABiH units in provinces 8
18 and 10 to the HVO but expressly stated, and this is in Exhibit P 01398,
19 it's a part of the Vance-Owen papers, it's a sub-annex called "Withdrawal
20 of forces," and on that annex it says: "Both Bosnian army and HVO forces
21 shall be deployed in provinces 5, 8, 9, and 10 under arrangements agreed
22 between them."
23 Once again we're assisted at this time at this part of the
24 chronology by some adjudicated facts.
25 "The negotiations around the Vance-Owen Plan continued in February
1 and March 1993." Adjudicated fact 151.
2 "President Izetbegovic signed the Vance-Owen Plan on behalf of the
3 BH Muslims on 25 March 1993. The BH Serb representatives still did not
4 agree to the plan." Adjudicated fact 152.
5 "On the 3rd of April, 1993, the HVO leadership met in Mostar to
6 discuss the implementation of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan." Adjudicated
7 fact 155.
8 I submit to Your Honours that there are at least two documents
9 around this period of time that are absolutely critical for the Chamber to
10 review in full. Actually, three. One, again, the Chamber won't be
11 surprised is another presidential transcript P 01737, on the 27th of
12 March, 1993. In another meeting with, yet again, with Izetbegovic,
13 also -- and others, Tudjman pressed Izetbegovic in this meeting, which you
14 can read, told Izetbegovic to meet with Slobodan Praljak and to issue a
15 joint statement agreeing, agreeing, to the HVO takeover of the so-called
16 Croat provinces and the removal or subordination of the BH army in those
18 Remember what I said a moment ago? There was this annex. There
19 had been no agreement on the disposition of the HVO and ABiH forces. That
20 was yet to be agreed. And on the 27th of March, Tudjman is urging
21 Izetbegovic, Meet with Praljak and reach a further agreement.
22 At the same time -- that's Exhibit P 01737.
23 At the same time, Boban puts forward his proposed 2 April 1993
24 "joint statement," which is Exhibit P 01792, and another very important
25 document which the evidence shows Izetbegovic never did sign. It was a
1 joint statement in name only, prepared -- drafted and prepared by the HVO,
2 signed by Mate Boban, never signed by the Muslim side, which again then
3 set another deadline, just as in January, setting a deadline of the 15th
4 of April, 1993, for the ABiH to subordinate its units to the HVO in
5 provinces 8 and 10 or to withdraw. Now, remember the date 15th of April,
7 One of the two documents -- two or three documents that I
8 indicated a moment ago that I urged the Chamber to consider in this part
9 of the case, because if there is one particular meeting of a number of
10 people that says this is how we're going forward next with the plan is
11 reflected in the -- in the minutes of the Herceg-Bosna HVO meeting on the
12 3rd of April, 1993.
13 On that day -- and that's Exhibit P 01798. And it's unusual,
14 among other things, because Mr. Boban rarely attended the meetings of the
15 HVO government that were chaired by Mr. Prlic as president of the HVO
16 government, but on this occasion Boban also was there. And those present
17 include Jadranko Prlic, "chairing the meeting," the president of the
18 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna Mate Boban, Bruno Stojic, and a host of
19 other senior HVO officials.
20 Making reference to the proposed joint statement, the one that
21 Izetbegovic never signed, setting a 15 April 1993 deadline, the HVO
22 minutes state: "The HVO HZ HB," that is the body over which Jadranko
23 Prlic presided, the government of the HVO, "The HVO HZ HB hopes that
24 because of the enormous importance of the statement Mr. Alija Izetbegovic
25 will sign this document because it is yet further evidence of a desire for
1 peace which everybody wants. At this meeting, the HVO HZ HB adopted the
2 position that if the aforementioned statement is not signed by the leaders
3 of the Muslim delegations in provinces 3, 8, and 10, then the basic
4 premise in the peace plan which states that all ethnic armed forces have
5 to withdraw to their domicile provinces should apply."
6 I'm still quoting the minutes.
7 "If the joint statement is not implemented, the appropriate
8 military and other authorities of the HVO HZ HB shall implement this
9 provision of the basic document of the peace plan in regions number 3, 8,
10 and 10."
11 And I won't take the time again to quote all of it because we'll
12 be here longer than probably everyone wants to be but the document goes
13 on -- the same minutes go on to say: "Since the powers of the future
14 central authorities and the authorities in the provinces have been clearly
15 and separately defined by the basic document and the agreement on the
16 provisional organisation, the HVO HZ HB will prevent all attempts to
17 install various organs appointed by the current one-sided Presidency and
18 the government of the RBH Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
19 And the minutes conclude in that part by saying: "It was also
20 agreed at the meeting that in the next couple of days members of the HVO
21 HZ HB should visit all municipalities in the provinces numbers 3, 8, and
22 10 in order to explain to the authorities the essence of the Vance-Owen
23 documents and the conclusions of this meeting."
24 A very thought out plan. We need to get out. We need to get out
25 there among the people. Let's get out in the municipalities. Let's tell
1 them what's happening, tell them what the plan is. That's in the minutes.
2 And in fact we know from another document, in fact even prior to
3 this meeting, on the 2nd of April, the day before, Slobodan Praljak and
4 Valentin Coric had already started preaching the gospel and had gone into
5 Central Bosnia on that occasion and met with the -- with Dario Kordic,
6 Tihomir Blaskic, and the assembled HVO military leaders in Central Bosnia.
7 Slobodan Praljak, Valentin Coric. This is that minute. That meeting is
8 reflected in Exhibit P 01788.
9 Praljak chairs the meeting again with Blaskic and Kordic there and
10 gives a report and a rundown to the people in Central Bosnia. The
11 document says: "General Praljak opened the meeting by informing those
12 present about the arrival of five or six commissioned officers from
13 Herzegovina. He briefly reported on the signing of the plan and pointed
14 out that UNPROFOR would be staying for another three months." Probably a
15 bit optimistic. "This declaration establishes the immutability of the
16 borders of the Republic of Croatia. No way to change them any more
17 peaceably or by force. The Republic of Croatia can now itself sign
18 treaties with international organisations. This declaration represents a
19 great victory and we must have patience."
20 He goes on to say: "The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 Alija Izetbegovic's option, is finally out of the question. He has
23 Well, he signed it to the extent that I described earlier.
24 The minutes go on, and I'm going to address them at length because
25 I think they are telling, the minutes go on with Slobodan Praljak giving a
1 report and a pep-talk to those in Central Bosnia: "The Croatian Community
2 of Herceg-Bosna will remain. It will have its own Assembly and the
3 provincial government will rule the country. The central government will
4 have nothing. The Sarajevo province will not stay the way you see it now.
5 The West is not interested in history but in the number of Croats in these
6 parts. There would only be 1 per cent of Croats left in the whole of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina due to moving out and the population of the Muslims
8 and Serbs. Salvation lies in protecting the population and enhancing the
9 birth rate. Our population outside these provinces will have a hard life.
10 The Muslims are not aware of their losses. You must be patient with them.
11 All those who came will be refugees. Croats will be able to come to their
12 own provinces from wherever they want and in whichever way they want. The
13 Muslim provinces will be overpopulated, religious fanaticism will emerge
14 in them. That is inevitable. There will be moving out and resettlement,
15 and the population will homogenise."
16 The minutes continue: "You should separate the two, day-to-day
17 policy from the national policy. There may be quarrels, as there will be,
18 but our global national interest is not in jeopardy. National and state
19 policy is a different thing. The Republic of Croatia and the HZ HB has
20 its own road. We are making good progress along that road. Stay on it."
21 And if the Chamber may recall from the maps and when you have a
22 chance to look at the Vance-Owen Plan and the maps that were signed at the
23 end of -- end of March, excuse me, you will see there was this ongoing
24 concern about whether Vares would be included in the Croat territory or
1 So after those opening comments and report by Mr. Praljak, the
2 minutes go on: "Colonel Tihomir Blaskic opened the discussion with the
3 commanders. Borivoje Malbasic asked a question about Vares.
4 General Praljak responds: 'There is no policy that can enable us to have
5 everything. If you think there is, tell us. There's no policy that can
6 enable us to have everything.'"
7 And then the follow-up question: "But what will happen if they
8 ask for other municipalities. Through our policy we took everything we
9 could. The negotiations, well, something must be signed. The fastest way
10 for Croatia to go down is to have a state territory extending all the way
11 to the Drina. We have never got anything out of that nor ever would. In
12 such a Croatia around 49 per cent Croats have nothing to seek. That is a
13 classical piece of stupidity. There is no state without a nation, and in
14 that state where would we be? Now we've got what we want. The
15 homogenisation of our population continues. We can fence off what is ours
16 and build there our own space and our own state. It is all as clear as
17 noon on a spring day."
18 As the Chamber knows by now, the 15th of April deadline did pass.
19 The Muslims didn't agree. Izetbegovic never signed. And on the 16th of
20 April and following, we have a series of attacks and some of what we now
21 know to be some of the most notorious crimes of the conflict, including on
22 the 16th of April, the attack in Ahmici, which is established again as
23 adjudicated facts in a number of the Tribunal cases.
24 In this case, we have the attacks, we have the fighting around
25 Sovici, Doljani on the 17th of April, and the Parcani, Lizoperci and
1 Toscanica, on the 17th and 19th of April, all as charged in the -- and
2 mentioned in the indictment.
3 15th of April deadline. The deadline passes. HVO attacks.
4 Numerous reports from international observers including the
5 United Nations, UNPROFOR and the ECMM made it abundantly clear that the
6 HVO attacks and war crimes committed in Central Bosnia and Herzegovina in
7 mid to late April were a continuing part of the Herceg-Bosna HVO's efforts
8 to implement their view of Vance-Owen. There's a number of those. One
9 would be Exhibit P 01981, but I'm not going to go through all those now.
10 It's interesting for the Chamber to note for historical interest,
11 I think, that it was on the 17th of April, 1993, two days after the
12 passage of the HVO ultimatum and then the attacks in Ahmici, Sovici,
13 Doljani, et cetera, on the 17th of April the UN Security Council adopted
14 Resolution 820, reaffirming that any taking of territory by force or any
15 practice of "ethnic cleansing" was unlawful and totally unacceptable and
16 calling on the Secretary-General to submit a report on the establishment
17 of an International War Crimes Tribunal at the earliest possible date.
18 That is, of course, this Tribunal.
19 In a meeting on the 24th of April, 1993, which is Exhibit P 02059,
20 Izetbegovic once again stated that Tudjman's vision of a solution for
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina with each ethnic group having its own territory was
22 not, at least in his view, the Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Vance-Owen
23 Peace Plan. Izetbegovic again makes it clear, he says, that the Croatian
24 leadership interpreted the provisions of the plan in a completely
25 erroneous manner.
1 Izetbegovic says in this meeting, again P 02059: "The conflict
2 erupted because only Croatian authority began to be implemented in the
3 Mostar and Travnik provinces. You know that we were very cooperative and
4 tolerant when the borders of these provinces were being established. We
5 accepted the promise that people there would be equal, that the Vance-Owen
6 Plan was a whole containing a large chapter on human and national rights
7 which was also being signed and that participation in government would be
8 secured. We tolerated the fact that 10 large Muslim municipalities
9 remained in the Travnik and Mostar provinces. We're feeling we have been
11 A Security Council mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina in late April
12 1993 included an inquiry into the HVO massacre of Muslims in Ahmici on the
13 16th of April, and I'll just -- that's reflected in Exhibit P 02150, a
14 report of the Security Council mission. And I will just summarise it by
15 saying there was extensive discussion of the developments in Central
16 Bosnia during that time with Tudjman and Boban, both essentially admitting
17 that crimes had occurred and promising that steps would be taken to
18 identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Unfortunately, in
19 fact, none of that was ever done.
20 During the same time, on the 27th of April, 1993, Boban, Tudjman,
21 and Izetbegovic did sign a joint statement in Zagreb calling for a
22 cessation of all hostilities between the Croat and BiH government forces
23 in Bosnia-Herzegovina "which have caused many casualties and serious
24 violations of international humanitarian law."
25 Once again, the statement condemned "most severely all violations
1 of the rules of international humanitarian law" and admitted that both
2 sides, including the Croats had violated -- "had violated such law based
3 on the available information." Boban and the others undertook to
4 "urgently initiate joint and individual inquest concerning each instance
5 of violation of such rights and immediately examine personal
6 responsibility for the conflicts and crimes perpetrated against the
7 civilian population."
8 By the 1st of May, concerning these developing -- continuing
9 events, developing events, the head of the ECMM mission covering Central
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina reported on -- reported in Exhibit P 02168 on this,
11 and this is quoted from the report: "The latest meetings of the
12 authorities of Herceg-Bosna in Citluk on the 30th of April has revealed
13 the political side of the last military events, and it is time now or
14 never to express the common clear feeling of the 23 ECMM monitors of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina."
16 "One, the Bosnian Croats continue to complain that they are
17 attacked by the 'Muslim forces' on all fronts despite the evidence that
18 they are entirely responsible for the opening of the conflict on the 14th
19 of April and largely for its continuation. The fighting began without
20 doubt on the initiative of the HVO, claiming that it was only answering a
21 systematic anti-Croat attitude. It was obviously an attempt to seize and
22 secure the 'Croat provinces.'"
23 There is another important ECMM document from around this time
24 which I'm not going to take the Chamber's time to review at length, but I
25 ask the Chamber to consider Exhibit P 02787, which the Prosecution submits
1 sets out a very detailed and accurate analysis of what was happening on
2 the ground at that time. P 02787.
3 I'll quote only one small part of it indicating that: "The HVO
4 aims appear to be:
5 "(c). Cleanse provinces 8 and 10 of Muslims in pursuit of their
6 dream of Herceg-Bosna."
7 Just proceeding chronologically, it's important, we think, for the
8 Prosecution to note that it was in April of 1993 that in Mostar there was
9 the passage of an administrative decree, the April 1993 decision which led
10 to the denial of humanitarian assistance for roughly 10.000 needy persons
11 who were then in Mostar. By the way that the rule worked, it
12 disproportionately affected by a huge factor, primarily the Muslim
13 refugees and displaced persons that had gathered in Mostar, in the Mostar
14 area around that time, and there was one of the international
15 organisations, I won't mention the name because it was a protected
16 witness, who said that this decision was nothing less than a form of
17 ethnic cleansing by administrative decree.
18 Indeed, after the decision was issued, international humanitarian
19 organisations reported that Muslims had been given yet another deadline,
20 this time the 9th of May, to leave abandoned apartments in Mostar, any
21 abandoned apartments that refugees, Muslim refugees, had moved into. The
22 deadline to abandon those apartments by the 9th of May. The Chamber may
23 want to remember that date, the 9th of May.
24 To follow the chronology, during this same time, on the 6th of
25 May, the Bosnian Serb Assembly voted 51 to 2 to 12 against ratifying the
1 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and so there was no question by this time, by the
2 6th of May, Vance-Owen was dead. There was no more Vance-Owen. The Serbs
3 had categorically rejected it. Vance-Owen was dead.
4 Just talking a bit about the overall HVO strategies and practices.
5 The systematic nature of the step-by-step removal of Muslims from
6 Herceg-Bosna's claimed territory is evidenced also by the imprisonment of
7 much of their intelligentsia. Throughout the spring of 1993 there was a
8 series of arrest and imprisonment of the religious, political and
9 intellectual leadership, even before the events in May, that is the attack
10 on Mostar.
11 In early 1993, the HVO imprisoned in fact roughly 100 Muslim
12 intellectuals. In April, May, and June 1993, any Imams who could be
13 captured by the HVO were arrested, and dozens -- a dozen, excuse me, were
14 taken prisoner at that time. Underscoring that Muslim intellectuals were
15 singled out for special treatment is the fact that they were largely
16 gathered and confined in one particular location, and that was the HVO
17 prison at Ljubuski. And you heard evidence about that, and there's
18 evidence in the record about some of the men who were taken to that
19 location and held for a long, long time.
20 Ethnic cleansing moved forward during the summer of 1993, of
21 course, as all Muslim men of military age were arrested despite
22 international warnings to the Croat authorities that this was against
23 international humanitarian law.
24 In his statement admitted as -- again as Exhibit P 09078,
25 Jadranko Prlic had stated that he had very close contacts and
1 communications with the Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic who had
2 influence over Tudjman and told Tudjman what was happening in Herzegovina.
3 Granic informed Prlic, according to Prlic, about crimes being committed in
4 Herceg-Bosna which resulted in Boban and Susak being told that -- that all
5 of the things had to stop, and if these things were not stopped, they were
6 endangering "all goals of the fighting that went on and also all things
7 that you are aware of like non-selective imprisonment and so on." And
8 that's at Exhibit P 09078, transcript pages 124, 125.
9 Prlic also indicated that the consequences of the Croat-Muslim war
10 were not only prisoners of war but also cases of non-selective
11 imprisonment of people who could be hardly described or called prisoners
12 of war. His statement, transcript page 86. When asked who in the HVO
13 committed the war crimes, Prlic said, "Now, who committed the crimes? It
14 is quite clear. The HVO military units. Members of the military units
15 committed the crimes, and therefore military authorities were
16 responsible." Transcript page 74.
17 "The military should be held responsible for the crimes
18 committed." Jadranko Prlic, transcript page 82.
19 At the same time, Prlic rightly recognised that the war was fought
20 by political leaders through the HVO Main Staff through the military
21 organs. Transcript page 85.
22 And I think that most of us all know that wars are ultimately
23 fought by the politicians, not by the generals, and Mr. Prlic himself
24 recognised that.
25 In terms of the people responsible for war crimes, quoting Prlic:
1 "I told you today that hundreds of murderers are still today walking in
2 the streets of the town," being Mostar. "But such a decision, it was
3 carried out by the military, by the army, but they had to be backed up by
4 the politics, by the politicians. They," that is, "the army itself, could
5 not have issued such a decision itself." Transcript page 128.
6 Indeed Prlic himself was involved in such discussions and strategy
7 decisions. In another meeting with Tudjman, Boban, Slobodan Praljak, we
8 almost get them all on this one, Tudjman, Boban, Slobodan Praljak,
9 Milivoj Petkovic, and Jadranko Prlic, on the 5th of November, 1993, which
10 is Exhibit P 06454, Tudjman gave the assembled Herceg-Bosna leadership
11 direct instructions on what they were to do. That starts at pages 1 to 4
12 of that particular transcript.
13 "Tudjman: Gentlemen, let us begin with the meeting. It has been
14 organised on my initiative because of the present, I would say critical
15 situation both in Herceg-Bosna and in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 and its possible negative impact on Croatia, particularly after the events
17 in Stupni Do."
18 Remember, this conversation takes place on the 5th of November, a
19 few days after Stupni Do on the 23rd of October.
20 "Apart from these concrete issues, we must also discuss other
21 important questions such as the strategic and political interest of
22 Croatia regarding the conduct of the Muslims and the events that we have
23 lately borne witness to."
24 Tudjman again: "The problem of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the
25 problem of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it is also a
1 problem of the Croatian state and its future. This is, of course, a very
2 knotty issue. When trying to solve it, we have taken some very concrete
3 measures and have made some proposals. We have always begun from the
4 reality that had existed prior to the war or was created during the war.
5 By doing so, we have always kept in mind the strategic interest of
6 importance for the future of the Croatian people and Croatia in general,
7 including the question of its borders."
8 And then there's a long discussion, various people taking part,
9 Boban, Praljak, Prlic, and then Tudjman toward the end of the meeting
10 comes back and says, and this is on pages 80 to 85 of that particular
11 transcript which again is P 06454, and Tudjman says:
12 "Gentlemen, we could go on like this for days on end. The picture
13 is indeed as you are presenting it. It is critical, but let's be
14 operationally active. There's a war going on, and in spite of all these
15 shortcomings which are in a way -- in a way even worse than we have said,
16 we therefore recognise the Croatian Republic Herceg-Bosna. Still, we've
17 got such a solution in all this chaos from the point of view of the
18 Croatian people as a whole and the Croatian state. The problem then boils
19 down to our securing in border, in the sense of borders, the Republic of
20 Herceg-Bosna as favourably as we can. What I have read out to you about
21 western Bosnia, Bihac, the Cazin Krajina, it will likewise be a part of
22 the Croatian state. This part of the people will not be in it, will have
23 to understand that no people in the world, not even the biggest people in
24 the world can provide for all of its members to be within one state."
25 And at that meeting Tudjman specifically gives instructions to
1 Petkovic to break through with HVO forces from Kiseljak to Busovaca. Now,
2 remember that evidence, because remember the evidence of -- about Vares
3 and what happened after Vares and the directions of the HVO commander in
4 Vares. We can't punish these soldiers right now because they're needed
5 for a breakthrough operation. We have to break through from Kiseljak to
6 Busovaca. We have to do that, and we're going to use the same troops, the
7 same people that went into Stupni Do, because we need them and we need
8 them now. And on the 5th of November, Tudjman tells Petkovic: "Transfer
9 what remains of the troops from Vares to Kiseljak and push through to
10 Busovaca." Pages 49 to 62.
11 At this same meeting, Prlic also addresses the military situation
12 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pages 30 to 39. "I think that at this moment
13 a military victory is necessary to restore both the situation and the
14 state of mind. I think that it is clear and does not need to be explained
15 at all. Whether it is Mostar, whether it is Vakuf, or this action that is
16 being planned up there to connect Kiseljak with Busovaca, we must move
17 closer to rounding off territories. As a government last spring, we
18 defined -- as a government, last spring we defined both the proposals and
19 the conclusions even with regard to moving certain brigades from some
20 areas which would include moving the population from those areas and
21 concentrating it in certain directions that we think could become and
22 remain Croatian areas. We would like this solely in the pragmatic sense.
23 I know that the efforts are directed towards every Croat remaining and
24 living where he is now, but there is pragmatism. There is a concentration
25 of forces. There is everything else."
1 It can also be noted in the context of the events in -- from the
2 late spring and summer and fall of 1993 that the HVO actions typically
3 followed a pattern time after time, whether it was in Prozor, Stolac,
4 Capljina, other areas. First, most of the Muslim military-aged men,
5 sometimes described as between 60 -- 16 and 60, they would be rounded up,
6 arrested and detained at various HVO prisons and concentrations leaving
7 the women, the children and the elderly in the villages unprotected by
8 adult men. Then with most of the Muslim men removed, the HVO took control
9 of the towns and villages, systematically rounded up Bosnian Muslim women,
10 children, and elderly and then either deported them or sent them off in
11 other directions to perhaps ABiH controlled territory. The Chamber will
12 recall instances where they were taken by truck so far, told to get off
13 the trucks, walk toward Gornji Vakuf, walk toward Jablanica, but move on.
14 There were a number of practices, in fact, all the -- those
15 involved in this joint criminal enterprise followed and used. There was
16 the use of force, intimidation and terror. In the course of the mass
17 arrest and evictions, Bosnian Muslims were killed, severely injured,
18 sexually assaulted, robbed of their property, otherwise abused. Identity
19 papers and similar documents were routinely taken from them placing them
20 at various risk of not having the proper papers, limiting their freedom of
21 movement. In attacks on Muslim towns, villages, and areas, and in the
22 siege of East Mostar, there was regular and widespread shelling and
23 sniping of Muslim civilians.
24 There was also a pattern of appropriation and destruction of
25 property. Herceg-Bosna authorities and soldiers forced Bosnian Muslims to
1 abandoned their homes, often to actually sign them over, leave the keys.
2 Money, cars, and personal property were often taken or looted. Muslim
3 dwellings and other buildings including public buildings and services were
4 appropriated, destroyed, severely damaged, together with Muslim religious
5 buildings, schools, and mosques.
6 The Prosecution submits that much of this destruction was again
7 for a specific purpose, and that is to make it impossible or at least
8 very, very difficult for Muslims to return to an area where all their
9 property and their cultural centres had been destroyed.
10 The Herceg-Bosna HVO authorities appropriated public property
11 belonging to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We see that even in
12 the decrees of the government that you'll find in the Narodni List. We
13 hereby seize and take over appropriate all public property formerly
14 belonging to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is the
15 internationally recognised state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 The Chamber will know well by now all of the evidence about the
17 use of the major HVO prison camps, prisons and camps, the Heliodrom, the
18 Ljubuski prison, Dretelj, and Gabela. We will come back to that in a few
20 And the Chamber's heard by now about the forcible transfer and
21 deportation of Bosnian Muslims, either forced to other parts of Bosnia
22 not -- not called or not claimed, excuse me, by the Bosnian Croats but go
23 over there again, go over to the Muslim-controlled areas, or to be
24 deported out of the country. And I'm going to leave most of that
25 particular discussion to the considerations of the Coric and Pusic
1 submissions, because in the Prosecution's view and the submissions that we
2 will make, both of those two accused feature very substantially in the
3 deportation, the use of letters of guarantee, transit visas by which the
4 Muslims were systematically moved out of not only Herceg-Bosna but out of
5 the country to other areas.
6 The Chamber also heard extensive evidence about the denial and
7 blockage of humanitarian aid as a means -- essentially as a -- as a weapon
8 of war.
9 We're not going to dwell on that for these particular 98 bis
10 purposes, which would make these submissions even longer but the
11 Prosecution notes and the Chamber will recall extensive evidence by which
12 humanitarian convoys were blocked, looted, humanitarian aid was blocked
13 from entering towns and cities, in particular Mostar, in which there was a
14 siege and in which no humanitarian aid was able to enter the city for
15 approximately a two-month period, until the 25th of August, 1993, when the
16 Chamber heard from various witnesses a final convoy -- or a convoy was
17 finally able to enter into Mostar at the end of August.
18 In terms of the movement of both people and aid, in fact, that is
19 the passage of people and aid through Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Praljak has
20 confirmed to the Trial Chamber that is he, Mr. Praljak, Bruno Stojic,
21 Milivoj Petkovic and others controlled the passage of people and aid. And
22 that's in the trial transcript, page 19331 to 19332.
23 There was the widespread -- there was the widespread practice of
24 forced labour. Again, won't go into the details of that now. I think the
25 Chamber has heard extensive evidence. You have the documentation, you
1 have the journals, you have the documents by which on a daily basis
2 prisoners were taken, for example, from the Heliodrom for labour at the
3 Mostar confrontation line and other places. Highly systematic over a long
4 period of time. Hardly can be explained by the conduct of rogue units, of
5 rogue individuals. Highly systematized record-keeping, journals, books
6 every prisoner who was taken back, every prisoner who came back, some of
7 them who didn't come back or were killed or wounded.
8 Turning to the events around Mostar on the 9th and 10th of May,
9 1993. Ultimately, Your Honours, I'll just say ultimately it doesn't
10 really matter. We've heard a lot of evidence and a lot of argument about
11 who started it. Now, it is -- the Prosecution submits it's the weight of
12 the evidence and the reports of every single international observer
13 without exception, every single international monitor, observer indicated
14 it was the HVO who initiated this action; but even if it wasn't, it
15 doesn't change anything. Because there's no question what happened on
16 those days in terms of the mass arrests and expulsions of Muslims from
17 West Mostar, either pushed over into East Mostar or taken to the Heliodrom
18 where they were kept at least for -- initially for a period of some days.
19 Many were then released and then many imprisoned again later.
20 So we need not spend too much time on deciding necessarily,
21 although it is the Prosecution position that the HVO initiated it. Who
22 fired the first shot on the 9th of May determines really nothing because
23 we know what happened on that day. The evidence is clear. Women and
24 children were taken to the Vales football stadium. They were rounded up,
25 they were put on buses, and they were taken to the Heliodrom.
1 Soon afterwards we had again, once again, the UN Security Council
2 Resolution strongly condemning what had happened in Mostar. That is
3 Exhibit P 02274. The council demands that the attacks against the areas
4 of Mostar, Jablanica, and Dreznica cease forthwith, that Bosnian Croat
5 paramilitary units withdraw immediately from the area and that all parties
6 strictly comply with their previous commitments as well as the cease-fire
7 agreed to today between the government of the Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Bosnian Croat party."
9 The Security Council also expresses its deep concern that the
10 UNPROFOR battalion in the area," we know that to be the Spanish Battalion,
11 "has been forced under fire to redeploy as a result of this latest
12 offensive and condemns the refusal of Bosnian Croat paramilitary units to
13 allow the presence of United Nations military observers, in particular in
14 the city of Mostar."
15 "The Security Council calls upon the Republic of Croatia in
16 accordance with the commitments under the Zagreb agreement of 25 April
17 1993, to exert all its influence on the Bosnian Croat leadership and
18 paramilitary units with a view to ceasing immediately their attacks,
19 particularly in the areas of Mostar, Jablanica, and Dreznica."
20 "It further calls on the Republic of Croatia to adhere strictly to
21 its obligations under Security Council Resolution 752, including putting
22 an end to all forms of interfering -- interference and respecting the
23 territorial integrity of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
24 I'll just note here in terms of the -- going back to the topic of
25 international armed conflict in the control and presentation of -- or the
1 control of the Croatian government presence of Croatian forces in
3 The witness Galbraith, Peter Galbraith, the former US ambassador
4 said it well when he said that everyone knew that what was happening in
5 Herceg-Bosna was controlled by Zagreb. His lines were and I didn't
6 specifically look it up but it's very close to this: "It was an open
7 secret verging on being no secret at all." That was one of the better
8 lines of testimony in the trial so far. "It was an open secret verging on
9 being no secret at all." If you wanted to have something done in
10 Herceg-Bosnia, if you wanted to have Mate Boban, Jadranko Prlic or
11 Slobodan Praljak do something in Herceg-Bosna, you pushed the buttons in
12 Zagreb. And Galbraith testified to that as have other witnesses. And in
13 this case we see it -- and the reason I mention it now is because we see
14 it here in the Security Council Resolution. Why because of the fighting
15 in Mostar does the Security Council call on the Republic of Croatia to
16 stop the fighting?
17 I've been told that the reference to that testimony by
18 Mr. Galbraith is at transcript page 6471, line 5.
19 On the 11th of May, 1993, after the second day of the Croat
20 assault on Mostar, Tudjman met again with senior Croatian government and
21 military officials and once again confirmed his understanding that
22 Izetbegovic's provisional acceptance of the Vance-Owen Plan was not an
23 admission by Izetbegovic that provinces 3, 8, and 10 were to become
24 "Croatian." And that is in Exhibit P 02302.
25 Tudjman admits in that meeting: "When the Muslim leadership
1 accepted the Vance-Owen Plan, they did it only formally. Izetbegovic
2 never accepted that Vance-Owen Plan, because these provinces should have
3 been Croat." Franjo Tudjman. Izetbegovic never accepted the Vance-Owen
5 On the 20th of May, 1993, in Exhibit P 02466, Tudjman reports that
6 he told Izetbegovic that: "Croats surely cannot agree to lose some areas
7 that used to be part of the Banovina, even though 140.000 of refugees are
8 accommodated in those provinces out of what number of Muslims is a hundred
9 thousand." "Croatia as a country cannot accept the change in the
10 demographic structure of those areas."
11 By June of 1993, the HVO forces had commenced a siege against East
12 Mostar, a veritable siege. Yes, there was a mule trail over the
13 mountains, a very difficult trail, that some people could go and come from
14 Mostar, but certainly not a four-lane highway. There was a siege, there
15 was shelling, there were snipers. There was the deprivation of food,
16 humanitarian aid, medical treatment. There was the shelling and sniping
17 that the Chamber has heard so much about. And I would note in this
18 context another exhibit, Defence Exhibit of Mr. Praljak, 3D 00482. This
19 is a note from a meeting of Croatian army General, again, Anton Tus - it's
20 the same record that we talked about earlier - with a French delegation on
21 the 13th of January, 1993. Also including again Mr. Praljak.
22 Praljak says: "The Serbs have predominance in artillery, which
23 is, however, not decisive. Artillery is used for destruction of towns
24 without military goals. They never hit the first combat lines. The same
25 is going on in Sarajevo, Mostar, Jajce, Bosanski Brod, Slavonski Brod, and
1 elsewhere. Their tactic is to destroy the defence by using dead children,
2 women, and elderly."
3 I leave it to the Chamber to decide whether that same language
4 what Mr. Praljak attributes to the Serbs and the artillery shelling of
5 towns could be applied to the HVO shelling of East Mostar.
6 After an ABiH attack on an HVO camp in the northern part of Mostar
7 on the 30th of June, and there's no doubt about that, the Prosecution has
8 never questioned and will not question, will never question that there was
9 a war going on. There was fighting between combat elements on both sides,
10 and there was indeed an ABiH attack on the northern barracks in Mostar, on
11 the northern part of Mostar on the 30th of June. No question about that.
12 Soldiers on soldiers. Military on military.
13 That results in a statement, a decision and order being issued by
14 Jadranko Prlic and Bruno Stojic on the 30th of June. That is Exhibit
15 P 03038. And in that document, again over the names and signatures of
16 both Prlic and Stojic, there is a proclamation stating that now Croat
17 civilians are being exterminated. The very existence of Croats in Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina was in extreme and imminent danger, that Mostar was and
19 would remain a Croatian town. And again in -- to put it in the broader
20 context, on the 2nd of July, just two or three days after the 30th of
21 June, of course, excuse me, Franjo Tudjman told Susak and others meeting
22 in Zagreb that it was "important to put pressure on the Muslim units on
23 the Neretva front."
24 Here again we have an absolutely, well, as close to perfect as I
25 suppose we can get, of an instance of the HVO chain of command at work. In
1 January, you will remember, we had the Prlic decision, the Stojic order
2 and the Petkovic order all implementing the January 15th, 1993, ultimatum.
3 Here we have the issuance of the Prlic-Stojic decision and order. Again
4 that's P 03038, followed by a communication, P 03039, a communication by
5 Zeljko Siljeg, commander of the north-west operative zone who is already
6 transmitting the Prlic and Stojic order and it's in the document by
7 number, it's exactly the Prlic-Stojic order, transmitting that down his
8 chain of command in the north-west operative zone in P 03039.
9 On the same day, in P 03019, General Petkovic issues his order,
10 same day, and says: "In units where you still have Muslim soldiers,
11 disarm and isolate them. Isolate all able-bodied men in Muslim inhabited
12 villages in your area of responsibility and leave women and children in
13 their homes or apartments."
14 That's the order of Petkovic following the order and decision by
15 Prlic and Stojic.
16 At the bottom of that Petkovic order is the next order by
17 Miljenko Lasic, the operative zone commander for the south-east operative
18 zone which includes Mostar, and what Lasic has done is he's written on the
19 bottom of the Petkovic order passing it on down his chain of command,
20 forwarding the Petkovic order to the HVO 2nd and 3rd Brigades. Then you
21 have on the same day, the 30th of June, P 03035, the order in fact by the
22 HVO 3rd Brigade, now we're down to the brigade level, implementing the
23 referenced Miljenko Lasic order: "In units which still have fighters of
24 Muslim nationality, disarm and isolate. In places with Muslim population
25 within the area of responsibility isolate all able-bodied men. Women and
1 children are to be left in their houses." Almost quoting the Petkovic
3 Next we have in P 03075, the next day, 1 July 1993, again, we
4 don't want to leave the military police out, we have the report from the
5 3rd Company, 3rd Battalion, HVO military police for the 30th of June and
6 the 1st of July, 1993. "On the 30th of June at 0900 hours, a group of 17
7 military policemen went on a mission to Mostar on orders of the military
8 police administration. A general mobilisation of the remaining members of
9 the company was carried out. As a result, one platoon was engaged in
10 collecting persons of Muslim faith in Stolac, and the other performed the
11 regular duties of securing facilities and manning the check-points. The
12 platoon in Neum also performed its regular duties and in addition to those
13 collected, collected, the above-mentioned persons. The platoon on
14 stand-by escorted, received, and secured the apprehended persons. So far
15 about 1.300 persons have been apprehended and brought in from the
16 municipalities of Stolac, Capljina, Mostar, and Neum on 30 June and 1 July
17 1993." Thirteen hundred. "Apprehending and bringing in were carried out
18 in cooperation with the Capljina Ministry of the Interior police brigade
19 and the 1st Knez Domagoj Brigade."
20 Also on the same day, 1 July 1993, we have another -- a second
21 Petkovic order, P 03082. To all HVO operative zones and brigades:
22 "Undertake vigorous measures toward each HVO member who does not carry out
23 his duties extremely conscientiously and responsibly. No arbitrariness,
24 superficiality or irresponsibility in work on anybody's part may be
25 tolerated any more. Six, it must be clear to everybody that only Croats
1 will defend the HZ HB."
2 On the 2nd of July 1993, we have Exhibit P 03128, still another
3 Petkovic order, this time also signed as -- by Bruno Stojic as indicating
4 his agreement to the order to all HVO operative zones and units, again up
5 and down the line "with the aim of eliminating the Muslim armed forces and
6 carrying out a final showdown (mopping up the Muslim armed forces defence
7 forces.) Including the HVO military police and also civilian police and
8 Home Guard Units. You are given all authority over military and civilian
10 And in fact goes on to say: "Until the assigned tasks are
11 completed, you are directly subordinated to the HVO General Staff." Until
12 all these units -- until this is accomplished, you are directly
13 subordinated to the HVO general or Main Staff.
14 On the 6th of July, 1993, we have Exhibit P 03234, an order by
15 Zeljko Siljeg, the commander of the north-west operative zone: "In
16 accordance with the current situation in the area of Rama, Prozor
17 municipality, I hereby order arrest and detain all Muslim men aged between
18 16 and 60. The following are responsible for carrying out of this order:
19 The military police and the SIS, the Security Information Service, of the
20 Rama Brigade."
21 Those are just six or seven of the orders from the 30th of June,
22 1st of July, 2nd of July, and the 6th of July, all indicating and
23 initiating the mass arrests, that the Chamber knows from the evidence, the
24 mass arrest of Muslim men and imprisonment of them starting in July 1993,
25 taken to the various camps, whether it be Heliodrom, Ljubuski, Dretelj,
1 Gabela, or otherwise. Top down. Orders from the top down to the brigade
2 and company level.
3 On this question in terms of where we're talking about military
4 orders and the chain of command, there appears to be no question, of
5 course, about the commanders at the top of the HVO military during the
6 spring of 1993 and continuing until November 1993. Prior to Mr. Praljak
7 becoming head of the HVO military in the latter part of July 1993,
8 Mr. Petkovic was the head of the HVO armed forces in terms of being the
9 chief military officer.
10 After Mr. Praljak took the top position, as he has told us
11 himself, and I'm quoting from the trial transcript at page 24 -- 24314:
12 "So the commander of the Main Staff, that was me, and the deputy
13 commander, well, can we set that straight and determine who was who, what
14 was what, the commander and the witness can say whether this was right or
15 not, the commander of the Main Staff was Slobodan Praljak. The deputy
16 commander of the Main Staff was General Milivoj Petkovic. The Chief of
17 Staff, General Tole. The deputy chief of the Main Staff was
18 General Matic."
19 And we should also review in discussing these senior HVO military
20 commanders the expert report and testimony of General Pringle. His expert
21 report is Exhibit P 09549.
22 What were some of General Pringle's key points? First of all, HVO
23 was not started from scratch. There was prior preparation and existing
24 doctrine from the JNA giving both Petkovic and Praljak the tools to
25 command and impose disciplinary standards, including quite extensive
1 training and materials, manuals on the International Law of War, et
2 cetera, which General Pringle covered extensively in his report.
3 Number two, Pringle assessed that: "The HVO documentation
4 enshrined the concept of political control over the military, as one would
6 That's at page 6 and 7 of his report.
7 General Pringle discussed with the Chamber the important concept
8 of command climate, the atmosphere created by a commander and is set by
9 example -- which is set by example and not just rules and regulation. He
10 talked about -- he gave the example of a commander talking about the
11 opposition in "derogatory and dismissive ways, such as using the term
12 'balija,' as sending a message to the troops and those, your
13 subordinates, about appropriate attitudes and treatment toward them."
14 I'll finish on this point, Your Honour. I think I can finish in
15 two more minutes about General Pringle's testimony.
16 General Pringle did tell us also that the more confused the
17 situation the greater the commander's responsibility.
18 Now, again no one has ever said that there isn't confusion in the
19 war situation. The Prosecution's never said to the contrary. But what
20 General Pringle told us was the more confused the situation, in fact the
21 greater the commander's responsibility.
22 General Pringle of course told us that military discipline is
23 important. The failure to impose discipline will be taken as an
24 acceptance and even approval of such behaviour and such actions that are
25 not disciplined or not punished, such actions will become "commonplace."
1 He even assessed, General Pringle in his testimony, transcript
2 page 24059, Praljak seemed to show he had the character to impose
3 discipline if he wanted to.
4 General Pringle also said a commander must be aware of what troops
5 under his command are doing. The Chamber may remember his two up, two
6 down analysis. You must know what your subordinates are doing and be
7 informed, keep yourself informed. You have an obligation, a duty to keep
8 yourself informed. Commanders must follow up orders to ensure they are
9 carried out. The Chamber heard General Pringle say a number of times,
10 giving the order is the easy part. Making it happen is more difficult.
11 General Pringle also indicated when large numbers of people were
12 detained, the commanders - at that particular time it was Mr. Petkovic in
13 the top position - should have been aware of the logical issues
14 involved -- excuse me, the logistical issues involved, food, water
15 shelter, et cetera. And again, General Pringle's position was also a
16 pragmatic one. He says well, of course, maybe on the first day, maybe on
17 the second day you're going to have a problem. You can't fix everything
18 at once. But what General Pringle said was by day ten, he should have
19 been asking how all these detainees were being accommodated and fed and
20 taken care of.
21 And I'll conclude, Your Honour, with this from General Pringle:
22 He concluded his report, again Exhibit P 09549: "The HVO faced a
23 significant challenge," and he said that. "The HVO faced a significant
24 challenge. Setting up the community of Herceg-Bosna, forming and training
25 an army, and drawing up all the regulations and laws to underpin the HZ HB
1 whilst engaging in an actual conflict, first with the Bosnian Serbs and
2 then with the Bosnian Muslims." All this would have presented enormous
3 difficulties. That said, much of the documentation that I have been
4 presented with by the Office of the Prosecutor indicates --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Scott is kindly asked to slow down.
6 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
7 That said, much of the documentation that I have been presented
8 with by the Office of the Prosecutor indicates in my opinion a working
9 governmental system with a military answerable to the civilian leadership
10 and with orders and instructions flowing down the chain of command from
11 the Presidency via the department of defence and the Main Staff to the
12 operational commands.
13 A working army subject to laid-down military code of discipline
14 was plainly in existence. It relied heavily on poorly trained, locally
15 raised forces and suffered from a lack of trained regular military
16 manpower. This would have placed considerable demands on the training
17 system and on officer corps, many of whom were not fully trained
19 That said, there are doctrinal documents, particularly those
20 pertaining to compliance with the international laws of war, that had they
21 been followed would have resulted in reasonable military behaviour. The
22 onus on commanders to set a proper example and insist on proper standards
23 of discipline was great, particularly the ex-regular officers of the JNA
24 who would have received a proper and conventional military training.
25 I'll stop there, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Twenty-minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
6 Before I continue on, I have to make one correction. I've been
7 told that I referred to an exhibit by number P 01737 today on page 48 of
8 the transcript, line 8, and it should have been Exhibit P 01739.
9 Continuing on, Mr. President, again I come to a part of our
10 submission where the Chamber can be assisted by the adjudicated facts that
11 it has found in connection with not only Mostar but what was happening in
12 Herzegovina during this time, the summer of 1993.
13 "There was a widespread and systematic attack against the Muslim
14 part of the civilian population in the area relevant to the indictment.
15 This campaign had a specific aim to transform the formerly ethnically
16 mixed area in and around Mostar into BH Croat territory to be populated by
17 an ethnically pure BH Croat population." That is adjudicated fact 156.
18 "Thousands of Muslim civilians were forced to leave their homes in
19 Sovici, Doljani, and West Mostar." That is adjudicated fact 157.
20 "The campaign against the BH Muslim population in the area reached
21 a climax after the attack on Mostar in early May, 1993, when following the
22 hostilities, the BH Muslim given population was forced out of West Mostar
23 in concerted actions." Adjudicated fact 158.
24 "The harassment of BH Muslims by forcing them out of their
25 apartments and detaining them became common and widespread from 9 May
1 throughout the autumn of 1993." Adjudicated fact 159.
2 "BH Muslim religious sites like the mosques in Sovici and Doljani
3 were systematically destroyed." Adjudicated fact 160.
4 "Detention facilities for the BH Muslim part of the population
5 were established all over the area." Adjudicated fact 162.
6 "Prisoners were moved around between places and detention centres.
7 For example, the ABiH soldiers who surrendered or were captured in Sovici
8 and Doljani were brought to the Ljubuski prison on 18 April 1993, and were
9 later moved to the Heliodrom." Adjudicated fact 163.
10 "Detained BH Muslim civilians and BH Muslim soldiers out of combat
11 were often subjected to humiliating and brutal mistreatment by soldiers
12 who had unfettered access to the detection facilities." Adjudicated fact
14 "Many Muslim civilians and prisoners of war were beaten and
15 otherwise severely mistreated in various detention facilities and the
16 soldiers who engaged in this came from various military units."
17 Adjudicated fact 165.
18 Now, continuing on, in the summer of 1993 we have further
19 indications or evidence of the accused Bruno Stojic in connection with the
20 course of the events especially concerning the Muslim population in Mostar
21 which was confirmed at a dinner meeting with international observers in
22 mid-July 1993, which the Chamber just heard about again recently in some
23 of the last evidence in the Prosecution case where Mr. Stojic talked about
24 a "final military solution" to what he considered or to what was
25 considered the "Muslim problem."
1 "The strategy," and this is coming from Exhibits -- Exhibits all
2 reporting on this same meeting, P 03530, P 03545, P 03547. And it's
3 reported: "The strategy is to take over East Mostar through an HVO/HV
4 offensive from the south. To facilitate this military offensive
5 Bruno Stojic is proposing that UNPROFOR to evacuate the entire Muslim
6 civilian population from East Mostar." It was during this time on the
7 17th of July, 1993, that Stojic said: "It may take 20 more days but at
8 the end of it it will be either us or them." And that's reflected in
9 Exhibits, again, the ones I just referred to, also Exhibit P 10367, and
10 the testimony of Witness DZ.
11 In his statement, again which was admitted as Exhibit P 09078,
12 Jadranko Prlic said that the first expulsion of Muslims happened just
13 after 9 May 1993. The second time that Prlic received information about
14 the expulsion of Muslims he said was in July 1993, after which he says he
15 offered his resignation to Mate Boban because he, that is Prlic, was
16 against the expulsion of citizens of Muslim ethnic origin. That's at his
17 statement, transcript pages 124 to 126.
18 It is interesting that this was around the same time as
19 Bruno Stojic's statements about resolving the Muslim problem once and for
20 all in Mostar. Prlic said he offered his resignation because -- excuse
21 me, no goals of fighting of any nation or any person could justify the
22 behaviour or the actions that were taking place in Mostar.
23 Referring to information that Mr. Praljak has provided to us in
24 the course of the trial, he confirmed in fact that Gornji Vakuf and
25 Prozor, or Rama as he calls it, using the Croatian word, cannot be
1 separated, that is Vakuf and Prozor, and that in Prozor "things happened
2 there such as the expulsion of Muslims." And that can be found in the
3 transcript at page 22249 to 22250.
4 I want to turn now for a few minutes to more about the operation
5 of the HVO prisons and detention camps. And for purposes of these
6 submissions, Your Honours, the part that I'm going to focus on is not so
7 much what happened in 1993, although that again will be covered largely in
8 the submissions concerning Mr. Coric and Mr. Pusic, but I think it's
9 important and helpful for the Trial Chamber to recall the evidence of the
10 establishment and operation of these camps in 1992, for indeed these HVO
11 camps and prisons had been not just of recent vintage, they had already
12 been administered and used in one war, that is with the Serbs in 1992.
13 Indeed, again, in his statement P 09078, Jadranko Prlic indicated that the
14 HVO detention centres were established and formed during the war with the
15 JNA in 1992.
16 One of the many important documents in this respect is Exhibit
17 P 00292, which is the decree on the treatment of persons captured in armed
18 fighting in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, dated 1 September
19 1992. The Chamber may recall testimony about this document and the
20 document itself which states at Article 2: "The head of the justice and
21 administration department, in cooperation with the head of the defence
22 department and the head of the department of interior, shall designate the
23 locations where prisoners shall be kept in accordance with the provisions
24 of the aforementioned convention in Article 1 of this decree."
25 Article 3 of the same document says: "The defence department
1 shall be in charge of the facilities stipulated in Article 2 of this
3 And indeed Exhibit P 00452 is -- is the decision issued by
4 Bruno Stojic as head of the HVO defence department establishing the
5 central prison at the Heliodrom in September of 1992.
6 From the moment that he was appointed chief of the military police
7 administration in April 1992, Valentin Coric took an active part in
8 establishing and administering HVO prisons or prison camps including the
9 Heliodrom, which Mr. Coric also directly participated in setting up in
10 September 1992. In fact, it was his recommendation that had gone to
11 Mr. Stojic, and you can find that in Exhibit P 00513, also Exhibit
12 P 00515.
13 Exhibit P 00916 is an order dated the 16th of December, 1992, from
14 the commander of the 3rd Company, 3rd Battalion, HVO Military Police,
15 indicating that the HVO Military Police, under the command of Valentin
16 Coric, was in charge of the Heliodrom in that particular order, ordering
17 that all detainees must be referred to the Heliodrom military prison.
18 As I mentioned earlier this afternoon, Exhibit P 00956 provides a
19 very good overview and summary in connection with the operations of the
20 military police from April through December 1992, including the
21 establishment of the various HVO prisons and camps. It is
22 Valentin Coric's own report over his name and provides extensive
23 information for the Chamber's consideration.
24 Let me just pick out a few of the items that the Chamber may wish
25 to review.
1 In that report, first of all, it indicates that on the 13th of
2 April, by a decision of the president of the HZ HB, that is Mr. Boban,
3 Mr. Valentin Coric was indeed, this is in the report itself, his report,
4 was appointed assistant commander of the security and information service
5 and all existing military police units were placed under his, that is,
6 Coric's command.
7 The document also informs us that at this time a military
8 investigation prison in Capljina was established, the fourth in the
9 territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. However, the
10 military police administration attempted to establish a central military
11 prison because the existing military investigation prisons had poorly
12 appointed premises and were not able to receive the required number of
13 prisoners of war.
14 It goes on to say: "In early September by the decision of the
15 defence department, the central military prison was established in
16 Mostar." And again going full circle back to the orders by Mr. Stojic and
17 Mr. Coric to establish the Heliodrom.
18 It then goes on in a specific section of this long report on the
19 military police, and there's a section titled "Detainees and prisoners."
20 "By the end of June 1992, due to the needs of the HZ HB, the military
21 administration established three military investigation prisons in
22 Ljubuski, Mostar, and Livno. All prisoners of war and detainees, HVO
23 soldiers who have committed a misdemeanour or an offence, and civilians
24 who have committed a misdemeanour or an offence against HVO members were
25 placed in them."
1 It goes on to talk about, again, the establishment of the central
2 military prison in Mostar.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Scott kindly slow down again, please.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
6 In that report, and I'm skipping over certain provisions because
7 of time, but specifically it is mentioned the treatment of prisoners and
8 prison conditions are in accordance with international conventions as
9 confirmed by the representatives of the International Organisation for
10 Human Rights Protection, the Helsinki Watch, during their visit on 24
11 October 1992. Long before 1993 prisons were being operated, international
12 standards were being discussed, inspections were taking place.
13 Mr. Coric's report goes on to say: "The military police is
14 involved in the exchange of prisoners of war through its representatives
15 on negotiating committees for exchanges and in conducting actual
16 exchanges. In the military police administration, the necessary records
17 are kept on our imprisoned defenders and the prisoners of war from the
18 enemy side."
19 The -- on the report on the detainees in the prisons it ends with
20 this statement, which, again, I think the Chamber should consider in terms
21 of what happens in 1993: "The military police has also set up required
22 cooperation with municipal organs as well as with international
23 organisations and institutions, ICRC, ECMM, UNPROFOR."
24 Exhibit P 00677 is another important document. It is a report
25 again from Valentin Coric as chief of the military police reporting to
1 Bruno Stojic, his superior, as head of the HVO department of defence,
2 dated 31 October 1992. Among other things, this document again shows that
3 the HVO's Livno, Mostar, and Tomislavgrad prisons were under HVO military
4 police administration. Again, indicating Coric reporting to Stojic.
5 I invite Your Honours to take a close look at that report and
6 listen to it and thinking -- this is a report that's been given in October
7 1992, not October 1993, but it might sound very similar, but this is
8 during the time when primarily Serbs were being held, not Muslims.
9 In that report Mr. Coric says: "Pursuant to an agreement reached
10 with the ICRC, EU observers, and UNPROFOR, and the order issued by the
11 chief of the defence department on the 28th of October 1992, all war
12 prisoners were unconditionally released from the military remand centres
13 in Livno, Mostar, and Tomislavgrad on 30 October 1992. The ICRC
14 representatives have carried out a survey among incarcerated prisoners in
15 which they express their preference about whether or not they wish to go
16 to so-called Yugoslavia."
17 It goes on at length about that, where certain prisoners wanted to
18 go, didn't want to go in conjunction with the EU and ICRC representatives.
19 It goes on to say: "So on 30 October 1992, the order to release
20 prisoners from the military remand centres in Livno, Mostar, and
21 Tomislavgrad were carried out. In all, 363 prisoners have been released
22 in the presence of ICRC and EU representatives."
23 Exhibit P 00740 is an HVO security and information service, what
24 the Chamber has heard referred to as SIS, a report dated the 13th of
25 November, 1992, concerning prisoners taken from the Heliodrom for labour
1 at various HVO locations, including at the front lines. In this report,
2 November 1992, the deputy warden at the Heliodrom, Josip Praljak,
3 confirmed that they had recorded every instance when prisoners were taken
4 out to work.
5 The document goes on to say: "Up until 27 October 1992, the
6 process of taking out prisoners to work involved certification of the
7 request by one of the individuals in charge of logistics and verbal
8 notification of Valentin Coric, chief of the HZ HB military police
9 administration. According to the sources," I'm still quoting from the
10 document, "according to the sources, they complained about this manner of
11 taking out prisoners as a result of which Valentin Coric issued a decision
12 announcing that no one was allowed to take out prisoners without his
14 Now, taking that bit of evidence about the camps in 1992, we can
15 connect that to again referring back to Dr. Miller's report on the
16 characteristics of the Balkan conflict, and that again is Exhibit P 10239
17 at page 15. And once again Dr. Miller reports that already by mid-1992,
18 "the widespread existence of detention camps, which serve also as places
19 of organised killing and organised rape, was a known phenomenon."
20 "Regarding the infamous camps that dotted Bosnia during the war,
21 one of the best known Manjaca, near Banja Luka, had been used as a
22 prisoner of war camp during the first year of the war in Croatia."
23 Then he goes on to refer to: "In July 1992, Red Cross
24 representatives visited camps and prisons in Mostar, Ljubuski, Capljina,
25 Bosanski Brod, Zenica, and Bjelica ..."
1 "And in that year -- and in the year since the conflict began
2 violations of humanitarian and human rights have been committed by all
3 sides in the conflict and have become a practice, particularly as far as
4 the civilian population is concerned. By August 1992," I'm still
5 referring to Dr. Miller's report. "By August 1992, the existence of HVO
6 camps at Ljubuski and Capljina were known as were the Serbian camps as
8 Finally on this before a couple of final comments on the camps,
9 again we have the assistance of Mr. Praljak who has indicated that he had
10 authority over the HVO prison camps or at least the Dretelj camp in 1992
11 during the time that Serbs were being detained there. According to what
12 Mr. Praljak has told us at transcript page 1624, it was Mr. Praljak who
13 closed the Dretelj camp in 1992.
14 I will just make reference to the fourth report of the UN Special
15 Rapporteur Mazowiecki, his fourth report which is in evidence, it is
16 Exhibit P 04822, and it goes on at great length at --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would like it -- the
19 record to read Josip Praljak so that when reading the record people don't
20 think that that is me.
21 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. I'm specifically referring to
22 Slobodan Praljak. At transcript page 1624, Mr. Slobodan Praljak told us
23 in court that he was the one who closed Dretelj camp in 1992. But I'm
24 sure we can refer to the transcript and check that. Perhaps Mr. Praljak
1 Your Honour, in the fourth report by Mr. Mazowiecki, it goes on at
2 length about the operation of the camps, and I think when the Chamber has
3 a chance to read that about Heliodrom, Dretelj, Gabela, you will see that
4 it dovetails completely with the first-hand evidence that the Chamber
5 received from a number of people who were held in these terrible camps and
6 the UN special report confirms that.
7 The point, Your Honour, that the Prosecution makes in this
8 particular part of its submission and the Chamber may say, well, why talk
9 about 1992, because, Your Honour, the establishment and operation of the
10 camps was nothing new in 1993, and when there was the mass arrests of
11 Muslim men in the early July 1993, they had to put them somewhere. They
12 had been in the business of operating camps in 1992. They had been in the
13 business of having international observers in the camps in 1992, and they
14 knew the standards that were required. They'd been down this road before.
15 Just briefly on forced labour. Again we've already touched on
16 that only briefly, but the record indicates in this case, Your Honour,
17 that this was a widespread and systematic practice. Again it couldn't be
18 more systematic. Books and records of the prisoners being taken on a
19 daily basis for forced labour, some of them not coming back because they
20 were killed on the confrontation line.
21 Just two quick examples on that. Exhibit P 03474. On the 15th of
22 July, 1993, Mr. Petkovic ordered HVO units throughout the south-east
23 Herzegovina operative zone to "organise immediately the fortification and
24 barricading of defence lines reached and at depth in the zone by engaging
25 engineering equipment, prisoners, and detainees."
1 And a few days later, on the 20th of July, 1993, in Exhibit
2 P 03592, Petkovic ordered again in connection with the engineering of
3 defence works, "Engage the prisoners and available machinery in the
4 completion of this task."
5 I want to spend, Your Honour, a couple of minutes talking about
6 what's been referred to in this case as reverse ethnic cleansing and the
7 Prosecution submits this is particularly interesting and important because
8 it truly shows the systematic nature and deliberateness of this plan, a
9 plan and a strategy that involve not all -- ultimately not only involving
10 Muslims but involving moving Bosnian Croats also. Indeed in a scheme in
11 which Witness BF in one of his reports that the Chamber is familiar with
12 described this practice as being truly Machiavellian. By a number of
13 means Croats from other parts of Bosnia were prodded or "encouraged to
14 leave their homes in order to establish or consolidate a Croatian
15 population majority in the municipalities more at the core of the Banovina
16 and Herceg-Bosna."
17 The Prosecution submits that this part of the Greater
18 Croatia-Herceg-Bosna programme had at least three important goals. First,
19 it was clear to probably anyone who looked at it with any sort of
20 intellectual objectivity that some municipalities and areas claimed by
21 Herceg-Bosna were more Croat than others and with some of the areas on the
22 fringes more toward the east, more towards Central Bosnia not having a
23 strong Croat majority or even plurality. A judgement was made, we submit,
24 or evolved over time that it was ultimately more important to
25 Herceg-Bosna's long-term success to move the Croat population from the
1 more marginal areas or on the edges, if you will, to the core areas where
2 the Croat majority could thereby -- which could thereby be reinforced or
4 Tudjman himself recognised the benefits to be gained from moving
5 Croats out of their homes even though difficult. In Exhibit P 06485,
6 Tudjman says: "Of course it is painful. Apart from that, 200.000 Croats
7 have already been driven out of their areas. There will probably be
8 another 100.000 of them. It is awful for them, but even looked at
9 historically, you know, we shall have these 100.000 to 200.000 Croats will
10 firm up the Croatian territory here from Istria to Baranja, you
11 understand, when we finish that and so on. So every bad thing is not just
12 bad, but we have to make use of it here."
13 As a second reason, as a matter of political, military, and
14 economic practicalities and part of the ultimate what I will call horse
15 trading with the Serbs and the Muslims, Tudjman and the Herceg-Bosna
16 leaders recognised that they might have to give up or trade away some of
17 the areas furthest from the core Banovina territory. Perhaps the best
18 example of that, Your Honours, is Vares, the eastern-most territory
19 claimed by Herceg-Bosna, virtually surrounded by Serb and Muslim areas.
20 Third and equally important and as already mentioned, relocating
21 Croats from other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina and moving them into houses
22 and flats which had been seized from or abandoned by Muslim families or
23 Muslim families which have been expelled would make it more difficult, if
24 not impossible, for the Muslims to return to those areas, their houses
25 having been taken over by Croats.
1 Once again Tudjman said in September 1993, and this is in
2 Exhibit 52 -- 5255: "I, too, have told our people, please settle these
3 refugees in those areas, Tasovcici, Stolac et cetera, to be Croats, so
4 that Croatian people are present there." At the same meeting Tudjman told
5 his Herzegovinian followers not to fall prey to the idea that the left
6 bank of the Neretva River would become part of the Bosnian republic but do
7 the opposite and to quote Tudjman "settle in those areas Ravno, Capljina,
8 Neum, Stolac, and then we shall insist on it."
9 In addition to the internal record that we have of HVO documents
10 and presidential meetings, we also have the observations of the
11 international observers. Representatives of the international
12 organisations such as Witness BA and Witness DZ testified how the issue of
13 population transfers of large groups of Bosnian Croat displaced persons
14 was a recurring topic of conversation with the HVO leadership from at
15 least mid-1993 forward, including specifically conversations and meetings
16 with Mate Boban, Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic, and others who requested
17 international organisations to assist in what was being called the
18 "evacuation" of tens of thousands of Bosnian Croats from Central Bosnia
19 into the Herzegovina region.
20 That can be seen in part in Exhibit P 09712, P 02714, P 02872.
21 Referring more to Witness BA who knew from colleagues in Central
22 Bosnia that most of the Croats in Zenica were not in fact experiencing
23 serious problems, at least not as reported to the international community,
24 even though there was an ongoing armed conflict, they were confirmed that
25 these people, most of them, did not in fact want to move from that area.
1 In general, it was the policy of that organisation, the
2 humanitarian organisation of which Witness BA was a part, to assist in
3 evacuations only in situations where civilians were seriously at risk, and
4 it was the assessment of that organisation that that was not the case
5 concerning the Croats in the Zenica area.
6 Likewise, Witness BC interviewed Bosnian Croat displaced persons
7 who spoke about the circumstances of their departure, and many of them
8 reported to Witness BC that they were manipulated or coerced by HVO
9 soldiers into getting onto buses. Many of them didn't want to leave he
10 told us. The typical modus operandi would be the soldiers would come into
11 the village, say something to the effect, We're withdrawing from this
12 area. The Mujahedin are on the way, and you better leave while you can.
13 Many of the Bosnian Croats in fact were very angry later because
14 they didn't want to leave their homes and didn't feel that they really
15 needed to, but nonetheless were given no choice. The use of fear, as I
16 just mentioned, was often combined with the promises of better housing or
17 better conditions somewhere else in Herzegovina or elsewhere, which
18 unfortunately often didn't turn out to be the case for the Croat displaced
19 persons themselves, who indeed were also victims of this programming
20 strategy. Not just the Muslims but Bosnian Croats as well.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, just one small
22 precision. What you've just told us, how is this compatible with what
23 happened in Guca Gora where the Mujahedin in fact did come?
24 MR. SCOTT: I think, Your Honour, the evidence on that was not
25 quite so clear, because I think the testimony of the witness was that the
1 situation in Guca Gora, while there had been some very bad things happen
2 there, were not accurately reported. But be that as it may, again let me
3 be very clear about the Prosecution position, we have said since the
4 opening statement in this case that there were indeed times when there
5 were crimes and atrocities committed by the Muslim side and there indeed
6 were some instances of that. There's no question about that. But what
7 the witnesses in this case have established, we submit, over and over
8 again, and what the international documents show, is that apart from that,
9 apart from some genuine instances that there was a plan, strategy, a
10 manipulation to move many -- by the Bosnian Croat leadership to move many
11 Bosnian Croats from Central Bosnia to Herzegovina and we believe, we
12 submit, that's what the evidence shows.
13 Witness BA -- I'm sorry, Your Honour, I was going on when you
14 asked your question. I think we covered that already.
15 Witness Peter Galbraith testified how Mate Boban, in July 1993,
16 told him that the HVO and Croatia wanted to move a large number of Croats
17 from the Vares area to Croat-controlled areas, presumably Herzegovina.
18 What Galbraith thought was striking, what he told us in court, what he
19 thought was striking was that Boban did not seek international assistance
20 to protect the Croat population in place, that is leave them in Vares and
21 protect them there, but what Boban wanted to do was to move them out of
23 We also have the report and the written account of Witness DE,
24 which is Exhibit P 080865 -- I think there's a mistake in that by the
25 numbers. Your Honour, I'll have to double-check it. That's too many
1 numbers. It may be P 0 -- I'll have to check on that, Your Honour, my
3 But in the written account in connection with Witness DE he said
4 this and I think he encapsulated it as clearly as anyone did: "I accuse
5 the highest level of Croatian politics of betraying Croatian interest in
6 Central Bosnia, especially in Vares where I was born. Many things are now
7 clear about the fall of both Travnik and Kakanj. It was all done
8 according to a premeditated scenario. I accuse them of unprecedented
9 exodus of the Croats from Vares, of their suffering and ordeal. You have
10 done everything to drive us out of our centuries' old homes. What is the
11 area you have allocated to us for our future life?"
12 I'm told it is P 08086.
13 And I'll finally return to this where I started on this topic, and
14 that is the ECMM report dated the 19th of July, 1993, which is Exhibit
15 P 02849 that was authored by Witness BF who testified recently. He gave
16 the following striking and I think evocative assessment of this situation:
17 "It seems Machiavellic, but it is only Balkan. And everybody who has met
18 regularly the top Bosnian Croat leaders Boban, Stojic, Kordic, Valenta, in
19 various situations and on various subjects where their paranoia and their
20 extremism was not hidden can easily believe it."
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There must be a mistake on line
22 20 -- oh, it's corrected now.
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Coming to the end of this overview, Your Honour, we're now into
25 the fall of 1993. Not surprisingly, the continued illegal forced transfer
1 and imprisonment of civilians led the international community to place
2 increasingly great pressure on both Croatia and on the Herceg-Bosna
3 leadership. As a result, on the 6th of September, 1993, the HVO cabinet
4 or government held a special meeting to deal with these problems having
5 become alarmed again at the political and public relations damage being
6 done both locally and in Zagreb, and this can be found in Exhibit P 04841.
7 After trying to pretend that the HVO cabinet was not responsible
8 for the human rights violations in the very camps that they had
9 established, enlarged and administered, they arranged for a few limited
10 improvements but made no immediate efforts to close the camps. The camps,
11 after all, still had a reason to exist as long as Muslims remained in
12 them. Only when most of the Muslims had already been expelled or moved to
13 other locations were camps, or most of them, closed at the end of 1993,
14 although some in fact were not closed until 1994.
15 The Herceg-Bosna HVO campaign of attacks and ethnic cleansing
16 carried out by the HVO military under direction of the Herceg-Bosna
17 political leaders continued into the latter part of 1993 as demonstrated
18 once again by the 23 October 1993 attack on the Muslim village of
19 Stupni Do. I'm not going to, for these purposes, go into detail on that
20 particular event, but I think the Chamber has heard extensive evidence
21 about that and rather compelling evidence from -- including people on the
22 HVO side.
23 After discussions in Zagreb of what to do concerning the HVO
24 officer who the Chamber will know, who commanded the Herceg-Bosna forces
25 involved in the killings at Stupni Do, senior political and military
1 leaders engaged in what Franjo Tudjman himself described as a "game." The
2 Chamber has heard about all the efforts to conceal and cover up the crimes
3 committed under the leadership order of Ivica Rajic. The giving of a
4 false name; how Ivica Rajic became Viktor Andric. How he was supposedly
5 fired and the new person Viktor Andric put in his place. It was one and
6 the same person as Ivica Rajic. All the manoeuvering that went on and
7 truly what must have been one of the biggest cover-ups of the Balkan wars.
8 And what Tudjman himself described and there are several presidential
9 meetings where Stupni Do, it was discussed at length and in fact
10 Mr. Petkovic participates in some of these meetings, and Mr. Tudjman's own
11 word for what was being done was to call it a game.
12 The international community was told in fact that Rajic had been
13 removed when in fact he had changed his name, remained in essentially the
14 same position. And the very troops that went into Stupni Do, they then
15 turned around days later and used -- attempt to break through from
16 Kiseljak to Busovaca. The very breakthrough that Tudjman said on the 5th
17 of November, gave instructions to Petkovic and said, Push on to Busovaca.
18 In the Resolution adopted on 20 December 1993, the General
19 Assembly condemned the indiscriminate shelling of civilians and murder of
20 non-combatants, specifically singling out the Bosnian Croats. The ethnic
21 cleansing perpetrated by any side, particularly the Bosnian Serb forces
22 who have used such tactics as a matter of policy and Bosnian Croat forces.
23 Once again in the same Security Council or in this instance General
24 Assembly action, and that can be found at P 07268, the General Assembly
25 once again urged the government of Croatia to use its influence "with the
1 self-proclaimed Croatian authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina to bring the
2 practice of ethnic cleansing to an immediate end and to reverse the
3 effects of that practice."
4 The sixth report of Mazowiecki, the Special Rapporteur appointed
5 by the UN, the sixth report which is Exhibit P 07917, once again provides
6 a lengthy report and factual statement of what had happened in Herzegovina
7 during this time period. I won't take the time now to read the quote from
8 it. The Chamber will have it.
9 As a result of the Herceg-Bosna HVO campaign of persecution and
10 ethnic cleansing, the Bosnian Muslim population in many parts of
11 Herceg-Bosna was substantially reduced and likewise the Bosnian Croat
12 percentage of the population was substantially increased. Those Muslims
13 who remained were plainly dominated by the Herceg-Bosna HVO authorities
14 and forces as planned and intended, indeed, by the joint criminal
15 enterprise. By the late fall of 1993, the cleansing of Muslims from many
16 parts of Herceg-Bosna was largely completed, and there was little
17 continuing need for the camps. While in September, just in September of
18 1993, there had still been 8.000 Muslims in Stolac and 14.000 Muslims in
19 Capljina, by November only one month later, by November there were no
20 Muslims left in Stolac, and out of 14.000 that had been in Capljina the
21 month before, there were only 3.852 left.
22 The full extent of -- and the success of their efforts to move the
23 Muslims out was clearly known to the HVO leadership. In one meeting, the
24 convicted war criminal and Bosnian Croat vice-president Dario Kordic
25 reported that "about 75.000 Muslims have been expelled by the HV." Maybe
1 that's a typo. Maybe it should be the HVO. We want to give them the
2 benefit of the doubt, but that can be found in Exhibit P 08597. About
3 75.000 Muslims have been expelled.
4 Zoran Maric bragged to Tudjman, bragged to Tudjman in a meeting
5 already in March 1993, at the moment there are very few Muslims in
6 Busovaca. Many wish to return, but "we put Croats in their homes."
7 That's Exhibit P 01622.
8 In a remarkable meeting on 21 September 1993, which is Exhibit
9 P 05237, the HVO's Andjelko Markovic proudly informed Tudjman: "Today
10 there is not a single Muslim in Stolac. We have populated Stolac with our
11 refugees from Bosnia."
12 Tudjman responded: "Andjelko, I know all that. You're not
13 telling me anything I don't already know."
14 Pero Markovic of the Capljina HVO reported to Tudjman, another
15 Markovic, in the same meeting: "When it comes to the territory south of
16 the Buna down to Stolac and back to Capljina, this is an area of
17 approximately 250 kilometres square, there is not a single Muslim there.
18 Croats live there, and we have brought 3.000 Croats from Kakanj, from
19 Travnik, too, and Croats from Konjic. All the houses that are sound are
20 full. There are priests that followed in their steps too."
21 "Tudjman: Wait. I said that the containers too, and that too.
22 "Markovic: We have about a hundred cottages. We have already
23 filled the Stolac area to capacity."
24 Tudjman said he had given instructions for Croats to settle in
25 these areas. I actually quoted that earlier. "I, too, have told our
1 people, please settle these refugees in those areas so Croatian people are
2 there." Exhibit P 05237.
3 The work of the Prosecution witness Dr. Tabeau showed the
4 following based on what she described as statistically conservative
5 analysis. She studied the population movements in eight of the
6 Herceg-Bosna municipalities and among her conclusions were the following:
7 The studied Herceg-Bosna population became divided along ethnic lines
8 during the 1993 Croat-Muslim conflict. Probably wouldn't surprise any of
9 us. Going on though, approximately 43.2 per cent of the pre-conflict
10 population of non-Croats in eight Herceg-Bosna municipalities were not
11 living at their 1991 place of residence by 1997, 1998. 43.2 per cent had
12 been displaced.
13 49 per cent of the pre-conflict population of Muslims in the eight
14 Herceg-Bosna municipalities were not living at their 1991 residences in
15 1997 -- by 1997, 1998, specifically Muslims. 49 per cent.
16 While each ethnic group suffered, and again the Prosecution will
17 always say all groups suffered, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, while each
18 ethnic group suffered, the highest number of internally displaced persons
19 and refugees were the Bosnian Muslims, a minimum, again being
20 statistically conservative, a minimum of 26.663 to 40.266 internally
21 displaced persons or refugees or 43.4 per cent of the total of all
22 internally displaced persons and refugees were Muslims.
23 Looking at some of the areas covered by our indictment, in
24 comparison to the ethnic percentages between 1991 and 1997, 1998, Prozor
25 went from being 62.2 per cent Croat to being 93 per cent Croat.
1 Mostar-Jug went to from being 49 per cent Croat to 96.1 per cent Croat.
2 Mostar-Jugozapad - forgive my pronunciation if I don't have it correct -
3 went from being 47.9 per cent Croat to being 78.2 per cent Croat.
4 Mostar-Zapad went from being 41.6 per cent Croat to 75.2 per cent Croat.
5 Capljina went from being 53.8 per cent Croat to 92.3 per cent Croat. And
6 Stolac, Stolac went from being 48 per cent Muslim in 1991 to being 95.5
7 per cent Croat after the conflict.
8 Any Muslims who still remained after all of this active HVO
9 cleansing or those who might return would have to change their national
10 identities according to Tudjman. Tudjman told various Croat leaders, and
11 this is in Exhibit P 08288, "Start working on it right now to get them to
12 declare themselves Croats of the Muslim faith. Get down to it right now.
13 We have no other choice."
14 That, Your Honour, really brings us to the Washington Agreement in
15 March of 1994, and the end of the principal period of the amended
16 indictment. Even by -- even then, the plan was still going forward. Even
17 then Tudjman was urging his soldiers on, not to give up on Herceg-Bosna,
18 that Herceg-Bosna would always exist, would never go away. And I would
19 just close with the words of Witness DZ, who the Chamber heard recently,
20 who put in his report, which is Exhibit P 08167, that many of the Croats
21 that he was -- that he was dealing with in the spring of 1994, before he
22 left the area described Washington -- the Washington Agreement as nothing
23 other than a dictated marriage for a better divorce.
24 Mr. President, that concludes our overview of the case, and
25 Mr. Stringer and I tomorrow would specifically address some additional
1 arguments, submissions put forth by the Coric and Pusic Defence teams.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You've used four hours
3 roughly. I'm not going to count the number of missing seconds or minutes.
4 Let's say that tomorrow you have four more hours. It would be good if you
5 could complete your submissions tomorrow. Of course in our decision we
6 had granted you nine hours, but you might be able to complete your
7 submissions tomorrow.
8 As you know, tomorrow we'll work in the morning at 9.00 a.m. So
9 I'll see you tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.56 p.m.
11 To be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day
12 of February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.