1 Tuesday, 27 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
12 Mr. Registrar.
13 Today we are Tuesday, the 27th of May, 2008. My greetings to the
14 witness, the accused, the Defence teams, and the Prosecution, as well as
15 all the people helping us in these proceedings.
16 As regards to the decision that we were supposed to render this
17 morning, since the Prosecutor told us yesterday that he was going to file
18 submissions, we have decided not to render that decision this morning or
19 today. We, of course, authorise the Prosecutor to file motions if he
20 wishes to file any motions, and we will render a written decision and not
21 an oral decision. A written decision will therefore be rendered.
22 Mr. Stringer, you are going to file some submissions or not?
23 MR. STRINGER: No, Mr. President, we have not. I wasn't sure --
24 we weren't sure at the conclusion of yesterday's proceedings whether in
25 fact we would be called upon to do that. I can consult with Mr. Scott,
1 and I'm sure that we can file something swiftly. We can try to do that
2 today so that the Trial Chamber can render a swift decision as well. But
3 at the moment we have not written anything, but we can begin that process
4 at this time.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 Since the decision with regard to the clarification of the
7 decision that was rendered, I remind Mr. Karnavas that he has one hour
8 and two minutes; and in compliance with the directive number 7, he now
9 has one hour and two minutes for his direct examination and
10 re-examination. And now for a few brief moments I would like to move
11 into private session because I would like to address Mr. Coric.
12 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 So I will now give the floor to Mr. Karnavas.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
8 Honours. Good morning, everyone in and around the court.
9 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO SANCEVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examination by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
12 Q. Good morning, Ambassador Sancevic. Okay. You're going to have
13 to speak up now so that we can all hear you, and I will be asking you to
14 keep your answers rather brief because of the time limitations. Now, if
15 we could go back to the document where we left off yesterday, and with
16 the usher's assistance that would be P 06454. And I'll be first going
17 back to more or less where we left off on that page --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: That will be page 45, Your Honours, in the English
20 Q. -- and in the Croatian version, we'll give you the ERN number.
21 It's 01322935, 935. Do you have it, sir?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. Okay. All right. Now, yesterday we left off where you had
24 mentioned that you had been told from Mr. Arif Pasalic during the Turkish
25 goodwill mission, the Turkish/Croatian goodwill mission about the
1 intentions to go all the way to the sea. And I want to follow up a
2 little bit where you continue to speak on page 45 where you say on the
3 second paragraph towards the middle of -- after the first sentence you
4 say: "So I think about the main body we must -- about the main body and
5 these other situations, we must somehow make it clear that our policy is
6 a sort of symbiosis. It's a symbiosis to save the people, to save
7 indigenous in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, the Croats, but at the same
8 time the strategic importance of the main body of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 because it's a matter of south Croatia's survival."
10 And then we see later on, you talk about Muslim fundamentalism.
11 But could you please explain to us what exactly you meant by that, that
12 it's -- that you wanted to -- about the strategic importance of the main
13 body of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 A. When we look at the map, we can see clearly that the lower part
15 of Croatia is very narrow, and that is the territory of what was formerly
16 the autonomous, the independent, republic of Dubrovnik. It would be only
17 natural for the hinterland to be in some way connected with that narrow
18 strip. Strategically and militarily speaking, such a narrow strip cannot
19 be defended in any way. It's hard to speak of any sort of defence there.
20 When Croatia wanted to liberate that area from the greater Serbs, in view
21 of the fact that Dubrovnik was encircled, I had to ask from Mr. Akmadzic,
22 the Bosnian government, to allow the Croatian troops to enter into that
23 narrow area just beyond the proper Croatian territory simply because it
24 was a strategically important area. I was granted that permission, and
25 every time the Croatian army had to enter that area an agreement had to
1 be reached with the Bosnian government first.
2 I received permission from Mr. Akmadzic, who was the then-prime
3 minister of the Bosnian government, for the Croatian troops to enter that
4 part of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina with a view to liberating the
5 Dubrovnik coastal area. The importance of that action is evident from
6 what Arif Pasalic said, and I mean the action of liberating Dubrovnik.
7 And when I'm referring to Arif Pasalic, I'm not referring to the Bosnian
8 government. We had good relations with the Bosnian government, but there
9 were some extremist elements who wanted to cut off that area of what was
10 formerly the Dubrovnik republic in order to set up, develop extremist
11 ties between Bosnian Muslims and pan-Islamic - and I mean extremist
12 pan-Islamic - elements abroad.
13 Q. Now, if we could go -- and to fuller understand your explanation,
14 if we could go back to page 39 in the same document, and for you it would
15 be page -- the last two digits -- the last three digits are 929, 929.
16 And it's 39 for the rest of us. And let me just read a portion of this.
17 You start by saying the ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then you say, "The constant of our policy and
19 your policy was saving people. There is a constant thread to humaneness.
20 However, our policy so far was generally of a global nature.
21 "However, besides this thread that is constantly present, our
22 policy with regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina - I'm speaking about the
23 policy of the Republic of Croatia and our leadership - was fairly
25 Then you go on to say: "However, we move forward. We can see
1 that all these problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot be resolved in a
2 global and different way because a situation has been created where de
3 facto each enclave has its own specific problem, and therefore, a kind of
4 classification of the various situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina should
5 somehow be made."
6 And then you say: "We have the main body, which is the Croatian
7 republic of Herceg-Bosna, a compact part of the Croatian republic of
8 Herceg-Bosna, because it is assumed that the Croatian republic of
9 Herceg-Bosna includes that it actually has no borders. That has been
10 established already in the constitutional idea.
11 "However, the part in Western Herzegovina, Livno, Duvno, et
12 cetera, the situation in that compact Croatian part is quite different
13 from the one in Central Bosnia and Northern Bosnia, generalising about it
14 in a way because in the situation in Central Bosnia and Northern Bosnia,
15 we have different situations.
16 "What I would call the main body of the Croatian Republic of
17 Herceg-Bosna was the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which was a
18 hybrid. It was the HDZ, Croatian Democratic Union, grassroots, then
19 civilian HDO" -- should be HVO -- "military, was built on that, and the
20 formation process is still in progress. In addition to all these things,
21 we have seen in Croatia proper the accompany the creation of government.
22 "We are all aware that when government is not fully established
23 or perfected or refined, there are all sorts of things. People say
24 smuggling, crime, this and that. Here's just an example."
25 And then you go on to say: "For instance, we have managed - I
1 mean the Croats - in the main part, for instance, managed to set up the
2 detention camps ..."
3 Now, I understand it with regard to the word "set up," you've
4 indicated at least to me during the proofing session that that's not how
5 it should be translated. Do you want to comment on that part before I
6 continue reading?
7 A. I would like to say for a fact that I never used the term
8 "formirati," set up, but rather "rasformirati," meaning to disband the
9 detention camps, and I should like this to be corrected because this is a
10 glaring mistake, which among other things is quite illogical because at
11 that point the prisons were either in the process of being disbanded or
12 had already been disbanded by that time.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. I know quite a lot about the disbandment of Croat prisons,
15 although I know that at the time Muslim prisons were being disbanded as
17 Q. Okay, Mr. Sancevic, that's enough. I really need to get going,
18 but thank you for that clarification. Therefore -- and then you go on.
19 I'm going to the next page. This is page 41 -- it will be the next
20 page -- I'll keep reading. I'll skip part of that last paragraph.
21 You go on to say: "Therefore, another formation is underway
22 there. Let's have a quick look at Central Bosnia. We have two
23 tendencies. One is the resistance of the Zepce enclaves. We have just
24 been there, and that thing is present in Vares, et cetera.
25 "However, there is de facto the tendency that you mentioned,
1 Mr. President, to adopt to the Muslim republic.
2 "The people who see they have no chance to survive in that area
3 try to look for ways to ... Komsic is there, too; the archbishop is
4 there, too, and all other variations of those tendencies.
5 "The problem is that each of those tendencies - except Komsic,
6 who was in contact with you - in a way, in its own way wants to
7 accommodate, to lean towards the Muslims.
8 "That's why I don't know. I would not agree with the prime
9 minister because in the enclaves in Central Bosnia we have very different
10 situations. Take only Zepce and Usora, Orasje, Brcko, Tuzla, et cetera.
11 "The thing is that it's not under our control. None of those
12 tendencies to save, accommodate, et cetera, are under our control,
14 Then I'll skip the next paragraph. Then you say: "We should
15 study a little bit the situation in these different enclaves and see, for
16 example, Zepce. You mention that the protection and fight for Zepce must
17 be established somehow through the Serbian side.
18 "However, in the case of Usura, there is already some sort of
19 connection with the Muslims.
20 "However, we cannot let them - for example, in the case of the
21 Muslims and in the case of Zepce - roll on their own vis-a-vis the Serbs
22 and vis-a-vis the Muslims. We must somehow approach each side and secure
23 the existence of those enclaves because if that continues to roll on like
24 this, we will lose all the enclaves."
25 Now, having read this portion, Ambassador Sancevic, could you
1 please explain to us what you were trying to convey in the context in
2 which this conversation was going on? What were you conveying to the
3 group, including President Izetbegovic -- President Tudjman at the time?
4 A. The gist of what I said at the meeting was that the situations
5 within Bosnia and Herzegovina differ from location to location. As far
6 as the Croatian situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina or the situation
7 involving Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina is concerned, one had to make a
8 distinction between the situation in Bosnia, where they were enclaves,
9 unlike Western Herzegovina which was a compact area. What needs
10 stressing is that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna had never set up
11 or established any borders. There wasn't even a possibility for it to do
12 that because in some areas there was mixed population, just as was the
13 case in Bosnia, northern and central, and in other areas there was
14 mono-ethnic population. The very make-up of the Croatian Community of
15 Herceg-Bosna was not defined geographically, and what I'm telling here to
16 President Tudjman is that we need to clearly define the different
17 situations in order to find adequate remedies for them. Some of the
18 enclaves were surrounded by greater Serbs, others by Muslims, and still
19 others by both these parties. What this meant for the Croatian policy
20 toward Bosnia-Herzegovina was that it was faced with a very complex
21 situation. It wasn't the same if you talked of Zepce, Tuzla, Orasje.
22 Every enclave entailed its own difficulties and had to be discussed and
23 regarded separately. What was more, the situations tended to change very
24 frequently, and they had to be constantly analysed.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, let's see if we go -- sticking with the same
1 transcript now, if we could move to page 81 because now, based on this --
2 on your briefing and what you have indicated earlier, now we see what
3 President Tudjman says. It's page 81, and in the Croatian version - I'll
4 get you right now - the last three digits are 971, 971.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would have -- with your permission,
6 Mr. Karnavas, I would have had a question to the previous passage from
7 which you have read, if I may.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Certainly.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you have spoken about the camps and the
10 disbanding of the camp, and then it is in the English version on page 41,
11 you speak of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna in that main body,
12 and it says there are almost none, camps; because it was like a family,
13 it functioned like a family.
14 Could you expand on that? What did you mean when you said that
15 this functioned like a family in connection with, I suppose, Dretelj,
16 Gabela, Ljubuski, Heliodrom?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me explain the
18 following. When one declaratorial government disappeared - that was
19 Tito's authority - with the disappearance of that authority, there ensued
20 a period of complete anarchy. Now, in Western Herzegovina, at some point
21 prisons disappeared; there were none to be found. Now, I was an
22 on-looker as a representative of Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
23 what I'm telling you now is what was my understanding of what I observed.
24 I never addressed directly the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. This
25 was something that I observed, that there were no more prisons there.
1 Then somebody created a scandal in Medjugorje. There was a soldier - how
2 should I put it? - he was a -- I don't know how you call it. He was a
3 Briton who was a mercenary, basically, and he fought in the Muslim
4 forces. He showed up in front of the embassy and made a display there.
5 Then I asked the police of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna to take
6 the gentleman away.
7 What happened next? They took him to the police station, and
8 there having been no prisons they released him after he was kept there
9 for an hour. I'm telling you this merely to illustrate the fact that
10 there were no prisons. With the breaking out of the conflict and in the
11 absence of proper prisons, there had to be set up certain locations where
12 prisoners could be held. Thus, such detention centres or prisons were
13 set up on both the Muslim and Croat sides, like the ones you had around
14 Mostar, the ones in Central Bosnia. These were makeshift locations in
15 view of the conflicts that broke out between extremist Muslims and
16 extremist Croats and not between all Muslims and Croats.
17 I don't know if I was explicit enough, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I'll leave it at that. We could go
19 on at length probably, but that's not the purpose, and I do not want to
20 take away any -- I'm not taking your time, anyway, Mr. Karnavas --
21 MR. KARNAVAS: No, I understand.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- you're well aware that I do not want it to
23 become late. Thank you.
24 Thank you, Witness.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. All right. Now, going back to what we were talking about, the
2 portion that I just read, now if we go back to the page that I asked you
3 to look at, which in English is page 81, and this is page -- the last
4 three digits 971 of the transcript, let's see what President Tudjman
5 responds in relation to what you have indicated earlier. And I'm going
6 to start in the middle of the page. He says: "Or, it seems to me that
7 we could this, I have it, Sancevic raised it here. There is aside from
8 the state leadership and the political leadership and the military
9 leadership of the Croatian Republic Herceg-Bosna, we must a position -- a
10 political representation of the Union of the Republic of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina. I mean, what is outside -- let's not kid ourselves. What
12 is, I mean, outside the Croatian republic.
13 "I think it might even be called the Croatian Council of the
14 Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and let's envision that. And, I mean, that
15 this political representation of that part of the Croatian people, the
16 Croatian people which is outside the Republic objectively, should
17 include, apart from the HDZ, Croatian Democratic Union, people like
18 Komsic and some others.
19 "Thus, to knock out the arguments, both malicious and
20 politicking, that we are not taking care of Croatian people in Sarajevo,
21 in Vares, Zepce, and so on. So we have to take our stand on this ..."
22 Now, Ambassador Sancevic, did you understand what President
23 Tudjman was saying in response to what you had raised earlier?
24 A. Now we are talking about the Vance-Owen proposal, which didn't go
25 through. Actually, it was modified, this proposal dealing with the
1 crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina and resulted in the Owen-Stoltenberg
2 proposal, which talks about the union of Bosnia-Herzegovina and its
3 republics. This is actually Owen-Stoltenberg's plan. Since they did not
4 manage to win over Serbia or even a large portion of Muslims in favour of
5 Vance-Owen plan, now we are dealing with Owen-Stoltenberg's plan, which
6 envisages Bosnia-Herzegovina as a union of republics or a federation of
7 three different republics, and this is just a matter of different
8 terminology that I'm using. And President Tudjman said this: This is an
9 entirely new ball game, and we had to think how to organize or start
10 organizing or how to face this new situation when we're dealing with
11 three units, three entities, which were even given the titles of
12 republics, but we are still dealing with the proposal for a federation.
13 Obviously, what was always present there was the fact that a
14 future possible Republika Srpska must adjust itself to this new
15 federation and that -- yes, go ahead, please.
16 Q. Let me interrupt you here. Here President Tudjman is talking
17 about a Croatian council, and he mentions places such as Sarajevo, Vares,
18 Zepce, and so on. Very quickly, why is President Tudjman making this
19 proposal in light of what you said earlier because you said Sancevic
20 raised this here, and what you had raised earlier was that you have these
21 three different situations or variations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 So why is President Tudjman now recommending a Croatian council,
23 and he's mentioning people like Komsic, Sarajevo, Zepce, and what have
24 you. Just very briefly if you know; if not, I'll move on. My time is
25 very limited, sir.
1 A. Yes. I can give you a perfect explanation for that. President
2 Tudjman actually said it clearly and expressed it clearly in his ideas as
3 to how to support the plans of the international Vance-Owen and
4 Stoltenberg's plans, and he also had in mind the situation among the
5 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was a very strong
6 intellectual -- group of intellectuals, Croats, in Sarajevo, and
7 Mr. Komsic was one of them. On behalf of that group, Mr. Komsic went to
8 see Mr. Tudjman and talked to him, asking him to take into account a kind
9 of opposition among the Croats in context with the HDZ in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then he asked me to get in touch with the group
11 and to try and see what their problems were. As I've already told you,
12 every enclave had its own problems, and this included Sarajevo as well.
13 Sarajevo also had its own problems, and he wanted me in my capacity as
14 the ambassador of Croatia to get in touch with these people in Sarajevo
15 because I did go to Sarajevo from time to time, and he asked me to see
16 what these people wanted, what they had in mind --
17 Q. You're not answering my question, and I have very little time.
18 Why is President Tudjman suggesting the establishment of a Croatian
19 council, keeping in mind that he's interested in the Komsic -- the Croats
20 in Sarajevo, Vares, Zepce, and so on, and not only the Herzegovinians.
21 Could you please explain that in one minute; if not, I'll move on.
22 A. I keep on emphasizing the difference between the situation of
23 Croats in Bosnia as opposed to the situation of Croats in Herzegovina.
24 Dr. Tudjman actually tried in every possible case to achieve a symbiosis
25 in his position towards the both because it was in his best interest to
1 please not only the Croats in Herzegovina but also the Croats in
2 Sarajevo, Sarajevo in Central Bosnia, Croats in northern Bosnia and the
3 enclaves and so on and so forth.
4 Q. Thank you. If we could move on to 1D 02911 -- 1D 02991. This is
5 a presidential transcript, 13 February 1994, and --
6 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, is that 2991 or 291 --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: 2911. 2911.
8 In incidentally, for the record -- while we're at it, looking for
9 this, because I was a little taken aback by the comments made by the
10 Prosecutor back on May 12, 19 -- 2008. Pursuant to the Court's order, we
11 did file a list of our exhibits, and in that list we filed the previous
12 exhibit, which was the presidential transcript, P 06454, where Ambassador
13 Sancevic's name is highlighted there and -- whereas I indicated
14 yesterday, the portions with respect to the objectionable part by the
15 Prosecution where they were claiming somehow that we had introduced
16 something that was not already presented to them as part of our case.
17 You can see clearly, here they were noticed well in advance, their
18 transcript, which was transcript provided by them.
19 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I can respond if the Trial Chamber
20 wants to continue to beat this dead horse, as we say, and -- where I come
21 from. But I'm just going to note for the record that the Trial Chamber
22 ruled that, in fact, the issue raised was outside the scope of all the
23 notice, the summaries, and that no proofing note had been given and that
24 it excluded a rule that Defence could not go into the issue. So that's
25 the record, and I'm not going to engage in any further debates with
1 counsel on this issue. The record says what it says.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I merely pointed it out, Your Honours, because
3 yesterday the Prosecutor said that there are all these documents and they
4 can't be asked to look for them and they can't be -- you know, we're
5 supposed to be prepared. As I indicated yesterday, they drafted the
6 indictment. We're using their document. It's in the document. We
7 highlighted this information to them two weeks ago, and for them to claim
8 somehow that this Defence team has not taken the moral high ground, I
9 find it rather disingenuous, and that's what I'm pointing out for the
10 record, that they can't on the one hand dump all this information on us,
11 and then when we try to use their information against them, they claim
12 foul. That's all I'm saying. They were noticed.
13 Going back to --
14 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'll respond if you want me to
15 respond; if you don't need to hear from me, then I'll just allow counsel
16 to proceed. It's --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please respond.
18 MR. STRINGER: Again, I don't think it's useful for any party to
19 claim the moral high ground, nor do I think it's useful for any party to
20 claim that another's been disingenuous. The fact is the testimony about
21 the meeting with General Pasalic was not disclosed to us in advance. The
22 trial -- the transcripts contain many discussions of many, many things,
23 and I don't think any party ought to be expected to search for the needle
24 in the haystack in the absence of sufficient notice that a specific issue
25 will be covered, as the Trial Chamber's ruled.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: That's rather rich, but I've been claiming in fact
2 the very same. We've been getting the haystack all along. So in any
3 event, I'll move on, Mr. President, but I found that rather rich.
4 MR. STRINGER: What they've been getting are proofing notes
5 promptly from the Prosecution throughout the course of the proofing
6 sessions even if it means proofing notes are provided over the course of
7 the weekend. I was receiving -- Mr. Karnavas knows how to get in touch
8 with me. There was no proofing note on this, and it was in fact an
9 ambush, and he's trying to make it other than what it truly was.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: 1D --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you are going to
12 deal with the presidential transcript number 2911. I have no idea what
13 question you are about to put to the witness. Let's wait and see.
14 Please put your question to the witness, and then things will become
15 clearer. The Prosecutor seems to believe that you will raise issues not
16 outlined in the summary. I have no idea. Let's listen to your question,
17 and then we'll see.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Mr. President.
19 If we go to page 53, we will see that towards the latter part of
20 the page we have the gentleman's name, our witness's name, Dr. Sancevic;
21 and, of course, two weeks ago we noted that we would be using this
22 transcript, and we pointed out that he was one of the participants.
23 Q. Here, Ambassador Sancevic, you say - and I'll just quote part of
24 the transcript - "whenever we discuss these problems, we always fall for
25 Salajdzic. Anything that Salajdzic says about these two" -- okay. I'm
1 sorry. The page -- your page is 501. I'm sorry. 501. Those are the
2 last three digits. I apologise for not getting the number to you. 501.
3 You will see your name there.
4 And then you go on to say: "Anything that Salajdzic says about
5 these two republics somehow boils down to the idea that Croatia should
6 carry all western-oriented Muslims to the west on her shoulders, so to
7 speak, because Europe would find it agreeable. However, we have
8 mentioned today that there are two -- that there are factions. There is
9 Ganic's faction; there is the Mujahadin faction, et cetera. One of the
10 objectives of this faction. The Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina have two
11 options," and then, of course, I'm going to move on to another section,
12 and I'm going to go to page 57 before I pose my question.
13 So if you look to -- skip a couple of pages and you go to page
14 505 in your transcript, 505, you will see the very last sentence you say:
15 "Then Mufti from Mostar gave a speech in Berlin at a Mujahadin meeting
16 and said that the time has come for Islam to conquer Europe."
17 President Tudjman asks you: "Was that now, recently?"
18 And you respond: "Just over a year ago."
19 Then you go on later on in that passage to talk about
20 Izetbegovic's wish to get to the sea and that it was not for them to swim
21 or unload goods, similar to what we discussed yesterday. And then if we
22 go to page 58, so that will be the next page for you somewhere, you
23 say - and I'm going to pick it up in the middle of the paragraph: "I
24 think that in the general context of all of this if you put this forward
25 and the suggestions you made in Bonn - three republics, a border - and
1 what we have heard from these Muslims, then it would appear far more
2 acceptable to the Western world once they become aware of a different and
3 terrible possibility which could become reality. We are not making
4 threats but only explaining things."
5 Then the president -- I'm going to -- you go on, but I'm going to
7 Then the president says to you: "Nevertheless, Zdravko, would a
8 union of two republics with clearly defined borders be a more acceptable
9 solution to you?"
10 And you say: "Yes, if we can at least be in some way turned
11 towards the west, and this Sarajevo matter, taking your suggestion as a
12 starting point, these are the first steps, you know, as well as setting
13 up a border, regardless of whether it is a hard border or a soft one."
14 Now, we can all read this transcript, but basically could you
15 please tell us, what exactly was this conversation about?
16 A. First of all, generally speaking, there was a desire on the part
17 of the international community for the group of Muslims who were in
18 favour of the European option and who adopted all the European elements
19 to follow the Republic of Croatia in its footsteps towards Europe. On
20 the other hand, there was another group, the so-called extremist group,
21 which was opposed to the accession of the first Muslim group to Europe.
22 Their attitude was that of war-mongerers. One of them was Mr. Smajkic,
23 whom I saw in the video-clip, who was in favour of conquering Europe.
24 His position was extremist. All I'm saying is that in Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 there were always Muslims who were in favour of Europe and there were
1 also extremists, but not always. Only recently the latter group
2 appeared. It was only when Marsal Tito became the leader of the third
3 world. He opened or paved the way for the Muslim religious leaders to go
4 to various universities, and many of them who had been educated at
5 various universities adopted the extremist Islam ideas there.
6 Q. Okay. And when you --
7 A. -- just like Mr. --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, just one small point. You said
9 recently. They appeared recently. What did you refer to date-wise?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: What do you mean by recently?
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm asking the witness .
12 MR. KARNAVAS: In what context because the witness will be
13 confused. If you could point out the context. That's all.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's page 20, the second line. All I'm saying
15 is there were always -- Muslims -- it was only when Marsal Tito became
16 the leader -- only recently the latter group appeared, 22, 23, the
17 extremists, Muslim extremists.
18 What did you refer to when you say "recently"? From which point
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Recently meaning that the
21 pro-European line among Muslims existed back in the Austro-Hungarian
22 period starting with 1878, whereas the extremist tendencies only appeared
23 when the Muslim imams in Bosnia-Herzegovina were allowed to continue
24 education at various universities and happened during the time when
25 Marsal Tito was the leader of the third world. They were sent to various
1 universities where they were educated and where they studied the
2 extremist Islam positions, just like Smajkic did.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So that would mean several years ago, before
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Yes. You're correct.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. All right. And when there's that reference about two republics,
9 is that the reference with respect to the Federation as opposed to having
10 a -- the federation with Republika Srpska, the two entities, as opposed
11 to what was previously on the table, three republics?
12 MR. STRINGER: Objection, Mr. President. That's a leading
13 question --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll withdraw. If he has read the transcript,
15 which -- it's self-evident what the discussion is about, Mr. President.
16 Q. What about Bonn? There was a reference to the Bonn conference.
17 Do you know anything about that, very quickly? The portion that I read
18 to you, it said something about the president had been to Bonn.
19 A. That's correct. After a certain time, he went to Bonn to talk to
20 Mr. Cole.
21 Q. And do you know, based on you being one of the insiders, so to
22 speak, given that you were the ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, do you
23 know what if anything was discussed at Bonn? And I'm talking about in
24 relation to what -- the portion that we just read in the transcript.
25 A. Certainly. I was not there, but I know from the subsequent
1 comments that one of the things that was highlighted in Bonn was the fact
2 that there were some Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina; there were still a
3 large number of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were in favour of
4 Europe and with whom we had to, in one way or another, strive towards
5 helping these Muslims acceding the future European Union, and so on and
6 so forth. The entire situation revolved around that. The fact was that
7 we could not classify all the Muslims the same and call them the same
8 because there were -- there was one kind of Muslims, and there was
9 another kind of Muslims, and this is why I keep on insisting on defining
10 exactly which Croats, which Muslims, which greater Serbs, which Serbs
11 generally. You've noticed that I am using the term "greater Serbs"
12 because we cannot use the one and only national term on all the various
13 fractions of that particular nation.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, we're going to move on to some -- we're
15 going to leave the presidential transcripts alone, and we're going to
16 move to some documents very quickly because I have very limited time. 1D
17 02394, 1D 02394.
18 Okay, do you have the document, sir? Do you have it, sir?
19 A. [In English] 2394?
20 Q. Right. We see here from this document, it's dated 16th September
21 1993, and it's to the president of the Mesihat of the Islamic community
22 for the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia, and we see that
23 at the second page it's signed by Dr. Muhamed Alic. And just starting up
24 with the very first paragraph: "On September 15th, 1993, MDS
25 representatives, Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic, and Dr. Muhamed Alic visited
1 his Highness, the bishop, at his residence in order to discuss the fate
2 of the nuns and the friars detained in Konjic."
3 Do you see that? You're shaking your head, sir. I need an
4 answer. Please, you have to work with me.
5 A. Very well, yeah --
6 Q. Okay. Yesterday, we looked at a particular transcript, and just
7 for the record, it's 1D 02930. You don't need to look at it, but
8 yesterday that's the transcript where we had Gojko Susak saying to Alija
9 Izetbegovic that he had five planes full of goods sitting in Zagreb and
10 that unless the situation in Konjic was solved he would not get a single
11 bullet, and that was on page 26 of that particular transcript. Now --
12 and this was, by the way, the transcript was 27 March 1993.
13 Now, when Gojko Susak was talking about the situation in Konjic
14 back in March of 1993, was he referring to what we see here being
15 resolved to some extent or still unresolved, in a sense, as of 16th
16 September 1993, the freeing up of the nuns and friars that were being
17 held by the Muslim leadership or whoever was holding them?
18 A. They were held by extremist Muslims. Precisely in this document,
19 we have pro-European Muslims, Dr. Hadzihasanovic, whom I know, and
20 Dr. Alic.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Hadziosmanovic. Interpreter's correction.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And there we have the instance
23 where pro-European Muslims are intervening on behalf of the nuns and
24 friars who are supposed to be released. I'm emphasizing the difference
25 between the pro-European Muslims, with whom I had pretty close ties;
1 Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic; Dr. Muhamed Alic. At some point, President
2 Tudjman suggested that they become members of the Government of
4 Please, go ahead.
5 Q. Let me interrupt you. I just want to make sure that we confirm
6 because back in March, you've got Gojko Susak talking to the president of
7 the presidency Izetbegovic about the situation in Konjic. Here we have a
8 letter, 16 September 1993, talking about nuns and friars from Konjic.
9 Are we talking about the same situation?
10 A. It's the same situation.
11 Q. Thank you. If we go on to the next document, 1D 02275.
12 A. Yes, I have it. 0275.
13 Q. While we're looking for that document, I trust on the previous
14 document it has been -- that the Trial Chamber will focus on the last
15 paragraph in the first page where we talk about -- it talks about a
16 Mr. Vlado Maric, an engineer who has been performing the function of a
17 technical director of Jablanica water-plant, that they also are looking
18 for his release. I only mention this because of the issue of water that
19 has come up in the previous -- through previous witnesses on the
20 Prosecution's case.
21 Now, directing your attention at 1D 02275, we see that this is a
22 declaration on the implementation of the Washington Agreement. Do you
23 see it, sir? Do you have it?
24 A. 2275? Yes. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now if we look towards the bottom of the page,
1 the third paragraph from the bottom, it says: "Expressing their
2 irrevocable support to the implementation of the Washington Agreement on
3 the establishment of the Federation as well as its confederal linking of
4 the Republic of Croatia ..."
5 Let me stop right there. Yesterday we talked a little bit about
6 confederation. Is this the same concept that is being talked about here,
7 the one that was earlier raised early on?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you. And I think if we look at the second page,
10 towards the bottom it says: "Confirming their interests in the urgent
11 implementation of the aforementioned principles declaration agreement has
12 been reached on.
13 "Widening and strengthening of the defence cooperation on the
14 basis of the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation" -- I underscore
15 that for the Trial Chamber's attention since we've been mentioning this
16 in the past -- "between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina of July 21, 1992."
18 Again, I underscore that.
19 And so -- and this is now July 22nd, 1995.
20 So we see, sir, do we not, that part of the Washington
21 Agreement -- part of this declaration, which is in furtherance of the
22 Washington Agreement, is tying in and making reference to the Agreement
23 on Friendship and Cooperation that dated back to July 21st, 1992, and we
24 see a continuity; do we not, sir?
25 MR. STRINGER: Objection, Mr. President. It's a leading
2 MR. KARNAVAS:
3 Q. What was the purpose of it?
4 A. You see, throughout the period from 1991 to 1995 there was
5 present this idea of a rapprochement between the Republic of Croatia and
6 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Washington Agreement was the
7 ultimate symbiosis or the ultimate achievement of that effort. The early
8 days of that effort can be summed up on that agreement on the friendship
9 and close ties between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I relied upon
10 it all the way until the signing of the Washington Agreement. The
11 Washington Agreement then provided me with another valuable document in
12 that process of coming closer to -- in this process of Croatia's
13 rapprochement with Bosnia-Herzegovina and its development of cooperation
14 with that country.
15 Q. All right. Now, let's go on -- well, before we go on to the next
16 document, I just want to preface my question with what we heard
17 yesterday. You had indicated to us that you had participated in several
18 meetings with President Tudjman, either tete-a-tete or meetings where he
19 was presiding over various groups; is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And it's my understanding also that you had opportunities to hear
22 Dr. Tudjman on numerous occasions when he delivered speeches as well?
23 A. Yes. I followed all the speeches delivered by President Tudjman.
24 There were those that had -- of those that had to do with
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were 38, and this is only in one book that
1 contains speeches, and I was of course present at some of these
2 speeches --
3 Q. Ambassador Sancevic, please let me lead you so I can finish
4 because I'm going to run out of time and I won't be able to get this
5 information. To cut to the quick, at some point you wrote a book, did
6 you not?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. What year was that?
9 A. In 1998.
10 Q. All right. Now, let's look at 1D 02339, 1D 02339. And it says
11 over here, an insight into Bosnia. I take it that's the -- and then it
12 says: "Notes of an ambassador. Croatian national policy towards BiH."
13 Was this from your book?
14 A. [In English] That is from my book.
15 Q. Okay --
16 A. [Interpretation] Yes, that's my book.
17 Q. Okay. Now, I'm not going to discuss it because we can all read
18 it, but I just want to focus you on the page, and it's not paginated, but
19 if you look at the bottom of the page --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: On the English version, Your Honours, it would be
21 1D 52-0609.
22 Q. And for you it's 0400, 0400, 4 00.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Madam Usher, could you please assist us.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 4 --
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. 400?
2 A. 400.
3 Q. All right. We can see in this chapter that you make references
4 to two particular speeches that were given by Dr. Tudjman, but then you
5 go on to say, at the bottom you say: "When we had this speech, also many
6 numerous of the speeches of Croatian national policy of Dr. Tudjman
7 towards BiH, I used them to create for my own needs a synthesis of the
8 main elements of the Croatian national policy, but without listing them
9 by some priorities or in particular order, because in given occasions and
10 circumstances (scenarios) some elements were more important, but all were
11 the constant of the Croatian national policy towards BiH."
12 Now, sir, I'm going to go through these, and we see -- not all of
13 them, but one says: "Preservation of BiH as an independent, integral,
14 and friendly state."
15 Was that your understanding?
16 A. All this time, not only President Tudjman but the Croatian state
17 policy in general - although, of course, the president of the republic
18 did have great bearing on that policy - never called into question the
19 existence of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent sovereign state. This
20 was in the interests of the Croatian people and the Croatian government,
21 and I acted accordingly.
22 Q. All right. And you talk about -- that it should be a federal
23 organization, the equality of three constituent nations through federal
24 organization. That's what we talked about yesterday?
25 A. May I respond briefly?
1 Q. Very briefly.
2 A. The federal organization comes from Mr. Ahtissari back in 1991
3 when it was accepted.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. Since then Cutileiro, Vance-Owen, and Owen-Stoltenberg, and the
6 Contact Group and the Washington Agreement, all of it was in the service
7 of the Federation.
8 Q. All right. And then you -- further down on one of the lists you
9 say: "A confederative alliance of the Republic of Croatia with
10 federalized BiH, FBiH territorial, and just as possible distribution of
11 BiH territories into federal entities, provinces, counties, cantons, with
12 national attributes."
13 That was your understanding, right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then, of course, because it was touched upon yesterday, and I
16 believe it came with one of the questions, you say further down:
17 "Protection of municipalities/enclaves of minority population in federal
18 entity with minority [sic] nation attributes in that federal entity
19 through redefinition of the territories of municipalities and by
20 establishment of local self-management that would protect the population
21 in the municipality/enclave and ensure its rights ..."
22 That's what you meant when you were addressing one of the
23 questions - and I believe it was from Judge Trechsel - yesterday,
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Now, I prefaced my questioning on this with that you had -- aside
2 from having participated in meetings with Dr. Tudjman, that you had made
3 references to his speeches and his writings. So just very briefly, if I
4 could focus your attention on 1D 00401, and I'm just going to ask you one
5 or two questions on this. 1D 0401.
6 We see this is a text by Dr. Franjo Tudjman. It's on nationalism
7 in contemporary Europe. Did you draw on his writings even well before or
8 before the conflict or the break-up in Yugoslavia?
9 A. Of course. When it comes to the view of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
10 how it should be structured and as to the future ties between
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, on these matters I followed the policy
12 which -- well, you have to know that President Tudjman read the book
13 written by my father; and after all, I spoke to him directly. At times,
14 these conversations lasted several hours, and we were discussing these
15 problems. I know exactly what the intention was and what the Croatian
16 state policy was vis-a-vis Bosnia-Herzegovina in the period between 1991
17 and 1995.
18 Q. Right. What my question -- my question was, Dr. -- Ambassador
19 Sancevic: Did you draw upon Dr. Tudjman's writings prior to the events
20 in order to understand President Tudjman and to write about what his
21 intentions were? I'm asking the question: Did you refer to any of his
22 writings prior to the conflict?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. And would this be one of them, one of the
25 texts that he wrote: "Nationalism In Contemporary Europe"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If we look at the next document, 1D 02887, and I apologise for
3 having to rush you through this, but we are labouring under some extreme
4 difficulties with time. I'm just going to ask you one question. This is
5 a book by Dr. Franjo Tudjman, 1D 02887. It's published in 1993. It is
6 titled: "It Is Known: HDZ and the Struggle for Independence of
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, I know that I'm running out of time,
9 but if I could have until 9.30 [sic], the end of the session, I think I
10 could finish up everything, and I might even be finished before that.
11 Q. 1D 02887 --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You mean 10.30, probably.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: 10.30, right.
14 Q. Okay. This is a -- you're familiar with --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you have as much
16 time as you like. If you want to spend hours with this witness, that's
17 your problem, but you -- a certain amount of time has been allocated to
18 you for all your witnesses. You are the one who decides which -- how
19 much time you will spend with each witness.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you --
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps I must say that I'm not quite of this
22 opinion. I think agreed on four hours. You had proposed them, but you
23 have until 10.30.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. It is kind of an inexact science.
25 Q. 1D 02887. Are you familiar with this textbook by Dr. Franjo
1 Tudjman, the document itself? Okay, if you could look at 1D 02887.
2 A. [In English] 2887, I have in front of me.
3 Q. Okay. Now --
4 A. [Interpretation] I have before me, yes.
5 Q. All right. And do you recognise it?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. And as I understand it, in this text there are various speeches
8 that were given by Dr. Franjo Tudjman?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And in some of those speeches that are contained in this
11 particular document, you were actually present when they were delivered?
12 A. [In English] That's right. [Interpretation] Correct.
13 Q. All right. It's my understanding that these are some of the
14 writings, some of the speeches that you also relied on in addition to
15 your meetings with Dr. Tudjman, you participating in meetings in drawing
16 your conclusions which we read previously from your textbook, An Insight
17 Into Bosnia --
18 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President. I know counsel is under
19 time pressure, but I'm going to object to leading questions of this
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, it is a looping question. I first
22 established the foundation. That's where I went first. He's already
23 indicated that. So I'm merely reemphasizing the fact that he had
24 meetings; he met with Tudjman; he read his speeches; he participated in
25 all sorts of other meetings; and he drew some conclusions. So while it
1 may sound leading, in fact, it isn't leading. I'm merely building up on
2 it. It's usually on cross-examination, but I think it needs to be done
3 before professional Judges here in this courtroom, and it has been done,
4 and I draw the attention to the gentleman -- to the Kordic trial where
5 Judge May insisted on that sort of questioning in order to save time.
6 Q. Sir, did you refer to these speeches at all in formulating your
7 own opinion as far as what the policy was?
8 MR. STRINGER: Objection. Could we have a foundation in terms of
9 which speeches the witness is being referred to? Every speech? Is it
10 the entire -- are we offering the entire book into evidence on the basis
11 of a few words from this witness?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
13 Again, we selected portions of this book. They were provided to
14 the Prosecutor. It's under 1D 02887. Now, the gentleman -- I don't want
15 to get personal, but the gentleman has been in court for the last two
16 weeks, three weeks, while his other counterpart was doing all the labour
17 with the other witnesses. I assume that the gentleman looked through our
18 documents and he could see very well that these are speeches, some of
19 them are only two or three lines, others are two or three pages. These
20 are various speeches. They're numbered -- or dated, I should say. And I
21 asked the question whether he was present or read them and -- as a basis
22 for formulating his opinion as to what the policy was, in addition to his
23 own participation.
24 MR. STRINGER: Well, if counsel's saying, which he hasn't said
25 yet, and we haven't heard from the witness on this -- what the witness is
1 talking about is the book, which is a huge tome. Now, if counsel is
2 intending to direct the witness more specifically to the excerpts that he
3 has in mind, that's fine, but I don't think that he's gotten there in his
4 direct examination.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, if I was the one
7 conducting this, I would have resolved the matter the following way. I
8 would have asked the following question to the witness: Witness, have
9 you read the books written by Mr. Tudjman? Answer: Yes, no.
10 If the witness says no -- says yes, you can ask him which books
11 he has read, and he will tell you: Such and such book published on such
12 and such dates. Then you would ask him: Please have a look at this
13 document, such and such paragraph. Then you would put your question to
14 the witness, and the witness would answer, and there would be no
16 I know that you're trying to go quickly, but the Prosecution, of
17 course, is going to react every time there is a leading question. But by
18 resorting to very quick questions, you can lay the foundation and then
19 ask your question without encountering any difficulties.
20 Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. Ambassador Sancevic, looking at 1D 02887, if we flip over to the
23 page where it says: "Speech of President of the Republic of Croatia,
24 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, at the 46th Session of the UN General Assembly of New
25 York, May 22nd, 1992." That would be the very first speech, the very
1 first speech. Did you read this speech? I will now demonstrate how long
2 it will take to do that as opposed to asking --
3 A. Yes, I have. I've read it.
4 Q. Okay. All right. Now, if we go to the next one, the next page,
5 "Speech of the President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tudjman to
6 the House of Representatives of the Croatian parliament on September 8th,
7 1992," page 11. Did you read this or were you present when this speech
8 was delivered?
9 A. I was there and I read it.
10 Q. If we go to the next page, "Speech of the President of the
11 Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, at the 47th Session of the UN
12 General Assembly, New York, September 22nd, 1992." That's on page 14.
13 Were you present or did you read this speech by Dr. Franjo Tudjman?
14 A. I wasn't there, but I read it carefully.
15 Q. Next page: "Speech of President of the Republic of Croatia,
16 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, on the occasion of the parade of the Croatian army
17 and navy in Dubrovnik, October 22nd, 1992." Were you present or did you
18 read this speech by Dr. Franjo Tudjman?
19 A. I wasn't there, but I studied the speech.
20 Q. All right. Now, next page: Speech of the President of the
21 Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, during the election campaign in
22 Pazin, January 31, 1993." Were you present? That would be on page --
23 A. I wasn't there, but I read the speech.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. Right after it was issued.
1 Q. All right. Now, we go to the next page: "Speech of the
2 parliament of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, during the
3 election campaign of Pula, January 31, 1993." Were you present there, or
4 did you read this speech?
5 A. I wasn't there, but I read it.
6 Q. Okay. Let's look at the last one, next one: "Speech of the
7 President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, on the joint
8 session of the House of the Croatian Parliament of March 23, 1993."
9 Were you present, or did you read this?
10 A. Yes, I was there.
11 Q. And this will be -- time doesn't permit us, but I do draw the
12 attention of the Court on the last part of page -- of the first page and
13 the first part of the second page. There is some interesting information
14 there, but time does not allow us to discuss the document.
15 Next one: "Speech of the President of the Republic of Croatia
16 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, on the session of PEN, at PEN Congress in Hvar," --
17 this is an island, for those of us who may not know -- "April 25, 1993."
18 Were you present, or did you read this speech? It's a rather lengthy
20 A. I was there, and I read the speech, and I commented on it with
21 President Tudjman afterwards.
22 Q. Now, without reading the remainder of this, just to make the
23 point, did you read all of his speeches, all of Dr. Franjo's speeches,
24 that were contained in this particular document that I'm presenting to
25 you, 1D 02887?
1 A. Can I make a small correction? There were five books, and what
2 was extracted here were speeches out of five tomes because we were only
3 referring and presenting the speeches by President Tudjman relating to
5 Q. And can I ask --
6 A. As for --
7 Q. My -- okay. May I ask: Did you read all the speeches that are
8 in this particular document that come from book 2?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you read all five volumes?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. If we go on to the next document, 1D 02806. This is
13 another book by Dr. Tudjman, "Croatian Word To the World." Have you read
14 this book? There are talks or interviews --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you.
17 A. Into -- these were interviews given to foreign representatives
18 and journalists, and there are fewer texts relating to Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 compared to the earlier speeches.
20 Q. All right. And again, let me ask again because there was an
21 objection by the Prosecutor, and we were instructed how to do this by the
22 Trial Chamber. Let me just ask this again: Did you refer to these sorts
23 of speeches and documents in addition to everything else that you told
24 us, the meetings and what have you, in drawing your conclusions as to
25 what was the policy of the Republic of Croatia towards Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 while you were in situ as the ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the
2 Republic of Croatia?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. I did. I followed closely all the speeches by President
6 Tudjman --
7 Q. Okay --
8 A. -- and I also had meetings with President Tudjman as well.
9 Q. Now, I just need to show -- just to round up and finish three
10 quick documents, 1D 02927, and you can look at this in conjunction with
11 2928 because yesterday you told us that you had been appointed to -- as
12 the consul general, I guess, for the Republic of Croatia to Venezuela.
13 A. In fact, I was supposed to become an ambassador to Venezuela;
14 however, since I hold dual citizenship, the highest rank that I could
15 hold in Venezuela was that of a general consul. Since I had -- I have
16 dual citizenship there, I am not formally an ambassador, and I discharged
17 the duties of a general consul.
18 Q. Thank you. And these two documents verify that; is that correct?
19 The document that I showed you, 1D 02927, which is your appointment as of
20 July 13, 1999, and we also see a translation regarding from the president
21 of the Republic of Venezuela. So these demonstrate what you told us
22 earlier, correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Thank you. Thank you.
25 A. You can see here both my roles as a diplomat in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and now in Venezuela.
2 Q. Okay. And the last document is 1D 02929, 1D 02929.
3 A. I see the document.
4 Q. Okay. This is a -- we have a -- I don't know, we can put this on
5 the ELMO. This is what we received from the gentleman. It might be --
6 or pass it to the Trial Chamber. It might be easier for them to look at.
7 This document here says that -- it's from the International League of
8 Humanists for the Development, Cherishing, and Application of the Codex
9 of Humanism and the Principles of Humanity. Could you please tell us who
10 issued this certificate to you, when, and where?
11 A. From the seven declarations and numerous citations I received, I
12 treasured this one the most because here I was nominated a humanitarian
13 by the international league -- in fact, of having been a humanitarian of
14 the decade. Why was I given this --
15 Q. When -- well, if you can just tell us when --
16 A. This was in Zenica, back in 1995, I believe.
17 Q. Okay. And now if you could tell us why was it -- why was it
18 given to you, if you know, and just be very brief because we have to take
19 a pause.
20 A. In addition to my strictly political role, strictly consular
21 role, because I performed both - I had a political one, a political role
22 and a consular role to play with regard to the entire population of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina - this document serves to show that I engaged in
24 humanitarian activities in the situation in which Sarajevo and
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina were in general. The people there required
1 assistance. I spent two years in all, 1994 and 1995, in Sarajevo in
2 addition to my visits there before. The situation there was appalling,
3 as I describe it in my book, and there was a great need to assist the
4 people there. I did so, as I was an ambassador there. It's enough to
5 just glance at a map and --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Excuse me if I interrupt you. But
7 it seems that the document is at issue, and we should at least see it.
8 We have a completely black sheet in our documents, and if you look at the
9 ELMO where it should be, you have a black screen on the ELMO.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I can clarify that.
11 Q. Where did this document come from? Because we don't have the
12 original one, and I've seen it, but where is the original one, the
14 A. The original comes from the International League of
16 Q. But where physically is it at this moment?
17 A. I copied this from a framed picture, but if the Court wishes me
18 to present a much better English version of it, I can. I'm really sorry
19 that it's turned out to be so poor --
20 Q. But where is it --
21 A. In the general consulate in Caracas --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: We can provide --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have been shown the President's copy, which
24 held against the light permits to recognise something. So I'm satisfied.
25 We don't need to have the original flown in from Caracas --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I was just as concerned --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- and the witness coming back. Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Anyway, thank you very, very much, Ambassador Sancevic. I
5 appreciate your testimony. I apologise for rushing you and cutting you
6 off, and if I appear to be rude at times, my deepest apologies. But
7 thank you very, very much, and I trust you will be equally forthright
8 with the Prosecution or anyone else who asks you questions in this
9 courtroom. Thank you very, very much again.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are now going to break for
11 20 minutes.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Defence used
15 four hours and 11 minutes.
16 Witness, I don't have any specific questions to put to you, but I
17 would just like one small precision which is an important one. At the
18 very end, Mr. Karnavas asked you if you had read Mr. Tudjman's books. We
19 had a list of the various tomes, and you said that you had been an
20 ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina and you knew about his statements.
21 Mr. Karnavas then asked you if you were well-informed sufficiently well
22 in order to speak about Tudjman's policies with regards to vis-a-vis
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina. You've answered yes, but you did not say what
24 was the policy in question. So for the transcript, I would just like to
25 ask a clarification, or rather, according to you what was Tudjman's
1 policy with respect to Bosnia and Herzegovina? Would you be able,
2 please, to perhaps finish your answer?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I speak of the
4 Croatian state policy vis-a-vis Bosnia and Herzegovina in general terms,
5 since I was the exponent of that policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We
6 often refer to the Croatian policy of President Tudjman; however, the
7 Croatian state policy was not solely determined by President Tudjman.
8 There were other elements there. For instance, the international
9 community had a great role to play in all that. Then, for instance, the
10 Croatian parliament. The Croatian republic is a democratic one. Of
11 course, admittedly President Tudjman had a large influence to exert given
12 the semi-presidential state structure. Still, I like to refer to that
13 policy as the Croatian state policy with regard to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Now, what was my position with regard to President Tudjman on the
15 one hand and the Croatian state policy toward Bosnia-Herzegovina on the
16 other? Well, the two positions largely overlapped because the -- because
17 President Tudjman took into consideration the views of the international
18 community. Now, the federal structure of Bosnia-Herzegovina came across
19 from Ahtissari, Cutileiro, and all the other players in that effort to
20 find a settlement for Bosnia-Herzegovina. I for one played a part in
21 that because I provided information not only to the government, the
22 president of the republic, and the minister of foreign affairs, as well,
23 on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was complex throughout the
24 time. It was an effort to take in and understand what was going on
25 there, and my first and foremost priority was to be well acquainted with
1 the Croatian state policy towards Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 In that, I believe I was not only well informed. I also -- and
3 this did not -- the information did not only come from my conversations
4 with President Tudjman but also [as interpreted] from his conversations
5 with other figures, such as talks with Churkin and Petersen in Split, for
6 instance, the important players that he spoke to from the international
7 community. My role was to implement that policy, which was the policy of
8 rapprochement as something that was only lateral. If you look at the
9 map, you will see that for historical reasons Croatia embraces
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina from three sides, and imminently there had to come a
11 certain rapprochement.
12 Ever since 1878, since the Berlin Congress, Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 and Croatia were part of one state. First, it was Austro-Hungary; then
14 it was the monarchy of Yugoslavia; then Tito's Yugoslavia; and so on and
15 so forth. I believe I had a good grasp of it all since I was well
16 acquainted with the history of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I have a library of
17 some 6.000 books on Bosnia and Croatia back in Caracas.
18 This is probably one of the reasons why Tudjman appointed me as
19 the ambassador. I didn't have any sort of baggage. I didn't come back
20 to Croatia before 1991. I came to Croatia, to Yugoslavia, for the first
21 time in the month of August 1990.
22 Let me answer your question in specific terms. I had to fully
23 understand what the policy was, and I had to endorse it; I had to agree
24 with it. I told Tudjman right at the start that if we should disagree
25 that I would leave.
1 Did I answer your question, or is there something else you would
2 like to know?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You've
4 answered very clearly.
5 I would have one additional technical question, very technical.
6 We've heard many ambassadors here - I will not name them all - but as a
7 general rule, when one is an ambassador in one country, one receives
8 instructions from one's government, and then reports are drafted. So
9 just a technical question. Between Zagreb and yourself in Medjugorje,
10 were there any diplomatic telegrams sent back and forth giving you
11 instructions, asking you to draft reports, and did you yourself, when you
12 wanted or whether you were asked to do it or not, were you giving
13 information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? This is a very technical
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Look, I already had
16 experience in that. I did not send the same information to the Ministry
17 of Foreign Affairs or -- and something else to President Tudjman.
18 Whatever I wrote in the report to Dr. Mate Granic and before that I had
19 another minister of foreign affairs who was Mr. Skrabalo, Dr. Skrabalo.
20 This is how I addressed my reports, and this was governed by the
21 constitution more or less to the president of the Republic of Croatia and
22 the minister of foreign affairs, no matter who it was, Skrabalo or
23 somebody else. So the wording was absolutely identical. There were no
24 major differences there. This was very important to me. I found it very
25 important that there was a unanimousness in the relationship vis-a-vis
1 the president of the republic and the minister of foreign affairs. I
2 wanted to avoid any possible confusion, and this was made possible by
3 this procedure. Did I answer your question?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very
6 I thought Mr. Karnavas was on his feet at one point.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, on page 42, line 19, the word "only" is
8 missing. It was translated that he did not come to the information from
9 Tudjman but also -- and it should be that it did not come only from, so
10 the word "only" should be inserted into page 42, line 19.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this
13 Now, for the cross-examination of the other Defence teams, D2, I
14 suppose. Mr. Khan.
15 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, we have no cross-examination for this
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Khan.
18 Mr. Kovacic, D3.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave I
20 would kindly ask you to allow General Praljak to put a few questions to
21 the witness about book number 1, D 02808, about four pages in the book.
22 The original pages are 124 through 129. This is a book by Dr. Sancevic.
23 He is the author of the book, and these four pages depict four military
24 maps, in other words, maps of military campaigns involving all the
25 warring parties between 1991 and 1995. General Praljak, as you well
1 know, is a soldier and he participated directly in these events. He has
2 specific and special knowledge about that, and I believe that in keeping
3 with your previous decision he is well-suited to put these questions
4 because he's better equipped to do it than the Defence counsel. The
5 witness has his own knowledge because the topic has been dealt with in
6 his book, and we believe that this is an opportunity for us to introduce
7 this part of the book into evidence. That's why we are kindly asking you
8 to allow my client to put questions and confirm with the witness what he
9 has already written in the book.
10 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, could I just --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I shall consult my
12 colleagues. Ah, I forgot the Prosecutor. Sorry. Please go ahead,
13 Mr. Stringer. You're not a very difficult person, so that's why I sort
14 of forgot you. Sorry.
15 MR. STRINGER: Well, perhaps I should be more difficult.
16 I was only going to offer the observation, Mr. President, that
17 we've been provided by the Praljak Defence with the maps or the -- the
18 parts of the book which I believe are the parts that they want to go into
19 in cross-examination. And there is a lot of text -- I understand it's
20 maps, but there is some text that accompanies the maps, which we don't
21 have translations for. And -- actually, I could be wrong, and maybe as I
22 go through this -- actually, counsel is indicating that I do have
23 translations for this sections at the back, so I apologise for that. It
24 appears we have been provided with the translations of those sections,
25 and in that respect I would just add the Prosecution's previous
1 statements in respect to Mr. Praljak conducting cross-examination. We
2 would recall those at this time. Our position is that -- is as
3 previously stated. At this point, we'll just respect whatever is the
4 Trial Chamber's decision on that.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, with regard to
7 relevancy, the Chamber would like to know - and I'm sure that you will be
8 able to answer this question - the fact that these four maps on military
9 operations would be shown to the witness with regard to military
10 operations that took place between 1992 and 1995, what is the relevancy
11 with respect to the indictment; and secondly, what particular point you
12 would like to highlight when it comes to the questions that you will put.
13 Would you be able to tell us this?
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the relevance of this
15 book arises from the indictment, i.e., the alleged role of the Republic
16 of Croatia and its plans, i.e., the policy of the Republic of Croatia
17 vis-a-vis Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all this had to do with the joint
18 criminal enterprise. These maps as a part of the military operations
19 there point to the contradictions because this clearly shows
20 contradictions with regard to the existence of the alleged plans and
21 policies of the Republic of Croatia that the Prosecution alleges. That's
22 the first point of relevance.
23 The second point of relevance is an opportunity offered by the
24 maps and the author who is sitting here to show the multi-layered nature
25 of the developments and to show that there was an interaction there and
1 that no single event in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the given period could
2 be regarded in isolation, and particularly any military developments. I
3 underscore that the witness himself has spoken about the fact that there
4 was a multi-layered nature of the situation and that the situation had to
5 be analysed within the context of its development.
6 I believe that this is a good opportunity because we have a
7 well-qualified witness, and this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate
8 the context of all the developments which will allow us to look at the
9 alleged joint criminal enterprise, particularly when it comes to the
10 Republic of Croatia which allegedly participated in that, according to
11 the Prosecution, and the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, including
12 its military leadership or the HVO, which was under the command of
13 General Praljak. And I believe that this is the relevance. Maybe
14 General Praljak has an additional idea, but this is what the two of us
15 have discussed, and that's what we believe the relevance arises from.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, if I could add one comment, which
18 is this. I should have added this earlier. It's reinforced by what
19 counsel just said. To the extent -- we're certainly reserving our
20 objections in terms of relevancy but also in terms of the scope of the
21 direct examination. If in fact what's being proposed now to go beyond
22 the scope of the direct examination that was led by Mr. Karnavas, then
23 certainly the guide-lines allow for that, but they don't allow for that
24 in the context of an examination with leading questions. And so if in
25 fact this is going to be a direct examination on something outside the
1 scope of the direct by Mr. Karnavas, then I think we should recognise
2 that for what it is and to act accordingly in terms of the procedure.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Two elements, Mr. Kovacic. What you've told us - and I'm going
5 to try to summarize it, and if I'm mistaken please correct me - you are
6 telling us that this witness wrote a book, and four military operations,
7 maps, are included there, and you would like to put question, you would
8 like to ask your client to put questions, through which you would like to
9 show that there was no joint criminal enterprise as defined by the
10 Prosecution, and the best proof of this would be the military operations
11 that abided to other ideas other than the joint criminal enterprise and
12 that through the questions that you will put you will demonstrate this.
13 And you would like to take advantage of the presence of this witness, who
14 in his book mentions military aspects of this kind. The Prosecution
15 objected to this to the Trial Chamber before deliberating, and I recall
16 this on our behalf; when a subject was not raised within the framework of
17 the examination-in-chief the -- of that accused, the other accused may
18 raise this type of question, but the consequence of this is that you can
19 only put non-leading questions and that the time that you will spend may
20 be deducted from your general time. This means that if Mr. Praljak uses
21 30 minutes or one hour, the one hour used would be deducted from the
22 total amount of time that you were given for all your witnesses.
23 Did you understand me clearly? Mr. Praljak said "da," so he
24 understood it clearly, I suppose.
25 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you have interpreted
2 my intent perfectly well. I would just like to add an element a
3 contrario of the allegation of joint criminal enterprise. The maps are
4 just one of the elements a contrario; not the only one, mind you.
5 Second of all, when it comes to your request for our explanation
6 of whether this is a direct examination or a cross-examination, I believe
7 this is a cross-examination for two reasons. First of all, during the
8 examination-in-chief of this witness by the first Defence, the witness
9 clearly spoke about the complex situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
10 enclaves and so on and so forth, about the multi-layered nature of the
11 situation, and this is the segment that we want to deal with to
12 demonstrate the multi-layered nature of the situation and more concretely
13 to see the military aspect, i.e., the aspect of the war operations which
14 were taking place in reality during the period of time that the witness
15 was talking about.
16 Second of all [as interpreted], the witness mentioned the events
17 in Konjic, Usora, Posavina, Mostar, and so on and so forth, speaking
18 about the specific events and the complexity of the situation. This is a
19 sphere that we would like to tackle, and that's why we believe this is
20 cross-examination because the topic was tackled already on direct and
21 demands for clarification of the issues that were raised during the
22 examination-in-chief, especially in view of the fact that the witness, a
23 very qualified person, is the author of the book, and I will also say
24 from my own information that this is a well-recognised book by the
25 public. And he presents these maps in order to explain the thesis that
1 he already raised during the examination-in-chief. That's why we believe
2 that what we want to do is cross-examination and not just an additional
3 examination-in-chief because the topic was already raised during my
4 learned friend's examination-in-chief.
5 When it comes to the calculation of time, we are talking about
6 the different things. It arises from all of this that a
7 cross-examination is a recognised and an acceptable tool to clarify
8 matters and particularly those matters that were raised on direct. This
9 is a traditional or the traditional definition of cross-examination.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. For the transcript,
11 map number 22 relates to Usora. It is a topic that was raised by the
12 witness. Map number 23 also talks about Usora, but we will now
13 deliberate on this.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
16 deliberated and unanimously authorises Mr. Praljak to put questions to
17 the witness, but the Trial Chamber will deduct the time of the questions
18 from the time of the Defence of Mr. Praljak, and this is why Mr. Praljak
19 should not put leading questions. He could again only put neutral
20 questions, but I believe that Mr. Praljak understood this principle very
22 Mr. Praljak, you have the floor.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours,
24 for your generosity.
25 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sancevic, Mr. Ambassador, good afternoon.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Yes. Before you, you have four maps taken from your book. Have
4 you got the maps?
5 A. Yes, I have.
6 Q. Well, yes. These are maps number 20, 21, 22, 23. Did you
7 yourself draw these maps?
8 A. I am the author of these maps.
9 Q. Did you yourself enter the text under the maps, a description of
10 the maps, as a key?
11 A. I believe that is itself explanatory. An expert will understand
12 the map without reading the text. A mere glance at a map explains a lot
13 of things, but I myself can explain what I have drawn.
14 Q. Today after all the experience that you gained in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an ambassador and as a person of knowledge, would
16 you change anything in these maps as incorrect? According to what you
17 know today, are these maps correct, and do they depict clearly what
18 really happened over there?
19 A. Let me put it this way. There is always room for improvement,
20 but I believe that these maps are valid even today.
21 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you very
23 much for granting me these three minutes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 So you have no more questions. Thank you. I thought that you
1 would --
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I may have not been
3 clear at the beginning, but I believe I was. We have a tool for
4 introducing evidence. This is our door for introducing this piece of
5 evidence. At the same time, we have a viva voce witness. We are aware
6 of his qualifications, of his experience, and this is all that matters
7 when it comes to the probative -- probatory value of evidence, and this
8 was the whole purpose of this exercise.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, another technical
10 question. You were an ambassador, and as such you were knowledgeable
11 about what was going on in the field. And as the Defence counsel have
12 stated, the situation was very complex in the field. At your level, did
13 you receive reliable information about military operations, or did you
14 receive unreliable information? I'm talking about the time when you were
15 an ambassador. Were you perfectly well-informed about the situation or
16 not really well, or were you not informed at all about what was going on
17 in the field? Can you please shed some light on this for us?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. First of all, I draw
19 maps as part of my profession. I draw maps of the underground as well as
20 of the surfaces above ground, so I am well qualified to my mind. On the
21 other hand, in the embassy in Sarajevo I had a military advisor, General
22 Daidzia. In other words, I could, based on the facts and on my knowledge
23 from the ground, I could draw these maps. I don't know whether there are
24 any other such maps apart from my own. I believe that there may be, but
25 I'm sure that the maps that exist somewhere else should be compared to
1 the ones here because these maps were drawn without any hidden agenda.
2 Their sole purpose was to depict the real situation on the front line. I
3 believe that in that respect, I cooperated with the UNPROFOR commanders,
4 for example, the British commander, who were involved in the drawing of a
5 similar map. So these maps are some sort of a synthesis of the military
6 developments over there.
7 There's one more thing I would like to say. I did not deal with
8 military matters. I was concerned with political and consular matters
9 mostly. However, these maps really represent the way things developed in
11 Your Honours, could I please try and go through these maps in a
12 few brief sentences?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, we're not sitting here to
14 hear comments about these maps. My question was of a different nature.
15 As an ambassador, were you well informed about what was going on in the
16 field? That was my question. You answered partly, telling us that you
17 had a military advisor, General Daidzia, who was in Sarajevo. Would I be
18 mistaken in thinking that when you went to see President Tudjman to deal
19 with various topics as we saw in the presidential transcripts, when you
20 attended these meetings were you the one there who could - and, of
21 course, there could be other people present; I saw that General Praljak
22 attended some of them as well - but were you one of those who could shed
23 some light on the situation for the president based on what you had seen,
24 based on information given to you by your advisors, including General
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
2 ... when it came to the proposals of the international community. Maps
3 were always on the table, the current situation as opposed to what should
4 be done for the future. I participated in these talks about maps with
5 President Tudjman and with other people who participated in all that,
6 Dr. Mate Granic, and so on and so forth.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Mr. Kovacic.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. I was
10 checking the transcript, and I believe that as a result of my omission
11 what -- there was not recorded in the transcript, the number was omitted,
12 and the number is 1D 02808. It seems that this number was not recorded
13 in the transcript. I suppose that it is my error or maybe a technical
14 error. This really doesn't matter at the moment, but I believe that we
15 should have this number recorded.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
17 Ms. Alaburic.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we don't have any
19 questions for this witness. Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomic.
21 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Valentin Coric's Defence has no questions for this witness.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] 6D Defence has no questions,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The Chamber had given
2 two hours to the other Defence teams. We'll therefore have some time for
4 Mr. Stringer, you may proceed with your cross-examination, and as
5 far as you're concerned you have four hours and 11 minutes. And for once
6 we are not really under any time constraints, unless, of course, the
7 Prlic Defence decides to bring on Thursday the witness who is supposed to
8 testify next week.
9 Is that a possibility, Mr. Karnavas?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President. As you can see, we need both
11 of us to be in court. These are heavily documented cases. We need to go
12 through the documents, and we try to be as efficient as possible. Next
13 week's witness is going to take six hours to do direct examination, and
14 we're still trying to decide how best to do all of it because in reality
15 we would need at least eight, if not ten hours. So -- but the answer to
16 that question is no, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
18 Mr. Stringer.
19 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 And before I begin, I can inform the Chamber as well as the
21 witness. I won't be needing the map here, and so perhaps we could --
22 while the usher is in the vicinity we could remove the map before I
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer:
25 Q. And while that's happening, Mr. Ambassador, let me greet you. My
1 name is Douglas Stringer. I'll be asking you questions on behalf of the
3 A. I'm very glad to meet you.
4 Q. Just a few questions, first of all, about your professional
5 background and in particular, the time that you spent in the region of
6 the former Yugoslavia after your return in 1991. As I understand it,
7 sir, you returned to Croatia in August, I believe, of 1991 from
8 Venezuela, which is the country essentially where you grew up. Is that
10 A. It is correct, but it is also correct that in August 1990 was the
11 time of my first visit to Croatia as a member of the Croatian National
12 Council in emigration.
13 Q. And shortly, then, after you arrived back in Croatia this 1991, I
14 think you used the word "seconded," that is, as a member of the home
15 guard you were seconded to the Croatian Ministry of Information. Is that
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And then at the end of 1991, about four months later or so, you
19 were selected to be minister for emigrants, that is -- I've seen it also
20 characterized as a minister for the diaspora. That's the next position
21 that you held?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And do I understand correctly that, in fact, you replaced
24 Mr. Gojko Susak, who was the minister of the diaspora before you?
25 A. Yes because Mr. Gojko Susak could not hold two ministries. He
1 concentrated on the Ministry of Defence, and then they were looking for a
2 person to replace him in his capacity as the minister for the diaspora.
3 Q. Very good. And it was -- Mr. Susak had also been an emigrant who
4 returned to Croatia when the war broke out there. Is that also true? He
5 came from Canada, I believe?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. So then he moved from being minister of -- for emigrants or
8 minister for the diaspora to the Ministry of Defence, and then you took
9 his position as minister of the diaspora, and that was, again, late 1991?
10 A. That is not correct. I said that Mr. Susak at one point held two
11 positions, was in charge of two ministries: The Ministry of Defence and
12 the Ministry of Emigration. He had to leave one of them, and the
13 Ministry for Emigration was the one he left and concentrated on the
14 Ministry of Defence. That's how the Ministry for Emigration position
15 became vacant. They started looking for a replacement, and they came up
16 with me. I don't know what the real reasons for that were, probably
17 because I myself had been an emigrant.
18 Q. Okay. And then after that, then, in October or so of 1992, you
19 became or you were appointed by President Tudjman to serve as a Croatia's
20 first ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
21 A. Could you please repeat the date, jog my memory, please.
22 Q. I have the appointment as taking place in October of 1992. I
23 know that you didn't present your credentials to President Izetbegovic, I
24 believe, until December of 1992.
25 A. I can tell you that the procedure was this: First appointment,
1 then approval by the Bosnian government, and finally I received my
2 credentials, which I managed to present in Sarajevo on the 18th of
3 December, 1992, and it was not easy, let me tell you. I travelled
4 together with Mr. Izetbegovic, and we almost lost our lives on that
5 journey. But if you're not interested in that, I will stop there. I
6 won't go on telling you about it.
7 Q. It's interesting, but unfortunately we don't have the time to go
8 into that. I think everyone recognises that the situation in Sarajevo at
9 that point was very dangerous.
10 I saw a report -- you indicated yesterday, then, that you
11 remained in the position of ambassador until early 1996; is that correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Because I saw a report, and it's not terribly important, but I
14 saw a report indicating that in April of 1994 there was an indication
15 that you were being replaced as ambassador by a gentleman named Andro
16 Krstolevic [phoen]. Do you know anything about that?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, can we have --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no clue.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
20 Can we have the report itself? If he's going to be making
21 references to what he saw, I think common courtesy would dictate that we
22 would be afforded with that report so we could see exactly what the
23 gentleman is referring to. Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER: That's fine, Mr. President. It's -- we can
25 distribute it. It's not among the binders, and it's not central. I just
1 thought I'd get a clarification. The witness says he doesn't know
2 anything about it, and so I think that's --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if we're going to have any more
4 surprises because -- especially in light of the allegations that we have
5 been surprising the Prosecution, I would certainly request that anything
6 that's not in the binders be not even -- be referenced unless it's
7 already in the evidence. Thank you.
8 MR. STRINGER: I can move on, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please move on.
10 MR. STRINGER:
11 Q. Now, I can refer you to one exhibit, Mr. Ambassador, which
12 relates to sort of the next phase or the next position, if you will. You
13 indicated that in -- I believe it was 1995 - you can correct me if I'm
14 wrong - you actually then were elected to be a member of the Croatian
15 parliament, the Sabor. Is that correct?
16 A. That was at the end of 1995.
17 Q. Okay. And there's a document in the binders that I'd like to
18 quickly direct you to on that. It has the number 10375. It might be in
19 the second binder, but I'm not sure. What this is, it's just a press
20 report of the BBC that is actually reporting on the election of yourself
21 and others to the Croatian parliament at this time. We'll give you a
22 chance to look at that, 10375. Yes, take a moment --
23 A. May I read it?
24 Q. I believe behind it we should have a translation for you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Whilst the witness is reading
1 the document, Mr. Stringer, a question. How come the name of the witness
2 is highlighted in the BBC news report? Is there a reason for this?
3 MR. STRINGER: It's because when we search open sources like the
4 internet, you use a search term such as the name of the witness. And so
5 when the documents, then, are found, they bear the witness's name in
6 bold. That's all.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you very much.
8 MR. STRINGER:
9 Q. So, Mr. Ambassador, have you had a chance to look at that
11 A. I have.
12 Q. Okay. Just a couple of questions about it because it's going to
13 lead us a little bit into the next topic, which relates to the Croatian
14 citizenship issue that you discussed yesterday. Is it true, then, that
15 in late 1995, in this election, then, members of the Croatian people who
16 did not live in Croatia were allowed to vote in Croatia's election?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And as I understand it, under the laws of the Republic of
19 Croatia, then, there are a number of seats in the Croatian parliament
20 that are actually set aside -- or at least at this point in time were set
21 aside for members of the diaspora who would be elected to the parliament.
22 Is that also correct?
23 A. There were candidates who could be elected depending on the
24 number of the votes. I have to state that the persons eligible for the
25 vote among the diaspora had to hold Croatian citizenship.
1 Q. Of course. And there's an indication here that furthermore there
2 was another requirement based upon the percentages of the votes that it
3 was the HDZ special list -- there's a reference to the HDZ special list
4 having won 90 per cent of the vote in the diaspora.
5 So my question is whether those members of the diaspora who then
6 took those seats in the Croatian parliament, were they all members of the
7 HDZ party?
8 A. That I can't tell you. I don't even know if I was -- let me
9 see -- yes, I was a member of the HDZ at the time.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Stringer. You have asked a
12 question which has not been answered. Were there and do you know how
13 many, if so, seats a priori reserved in Sabor for representatives of
14 Croats living abroad?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I must admit that I was only
16 one of the candidates. Of course you know, it's only natural that a
17 candidate may or may not be elected ultimately. That's the way democracy
18 works. If I am elected, then of course I can relinquish my seat in the
19 parliament and hold a different function. In that case, I would be
20 replaced by someone else.
21 MR. STRINGER:
22 Q. The question was this, Mr. Ambassador: Do you know, as someone
23 who was, yourself, a member of the Croatian parliament, within the
24 Croatian parliament is there a number of seats in the parliament that are
25 reserved for members of the diaspora? Do you know, or do you not?
1 A. I don't know that any seat could have been reserved, since that
2 was a matter for the election.
3 JUDGE PRANDLER: Yes. Sorry, Mr. Stringer and Mr. Sancevic, for
4 interrupting you, but I would like to say that the document which we are
5 offered, that is P 10375, then 375, in other words, it gives an answer to
6 the question which was posed originally by Judge Trechsel. And it says
7 that in the last-but-one paragraph of that BBC news and information, it
8 says that "In Zagreb Olujic told a press conference on Tuesday [14th
9 November] who were 12 parliamentary members that would present Croatian
10 citizens with no permanent residence in the Republic of Croatia. Only
11 the special list of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) can enter the
12 parliament as it has passed a threshold of percentage of the minimum vote
13 (5 and 11 per cent). The HDZ special list won 90.02 per cent of the vote
14 in 'diaspora,' as 97.012 voters outside Croatia cast their ballots for
15 the HDZ candidates."
16 So for me it is rather clear that originally a threshold was
17 established and only the HDZ special list could make it to reach that
18 number and won 90 per cent of the vote. And that is why the 12
19 candidates had been elected by the expatriate votes abroad by the
20 diaspora. So for me it is rather clear.
21 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Ambassador Sancevic, I can move on quickly, but just to follow
23 this or to tie this off, were you among 12 members who joined the
24 parliament, then, after this election were people not living in Croatia,
25 members of the diaspora, rather?
1 A. Yes, I was elected.
2 Q. And you joined the Sabor, the Croatian parliament, as a member of
3 the HDZ party; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, but at a later stage. At the time of my election, I was
5 still holding the position in Sarajevo. I had to relinquish the post of
6 Ambassador to Sarajevo in order to take up my new duty. In the meantime,
7 I had a person standing in for me in the parliament.
8 Q. That raises an interesting question. I think you said already
9 you were a member of the HDZ party; is that correct? At the time that
10 you were ambassador, were you a member of the HDZ party?
11 A. I was, correct.
12 Q. And were you a member of the HDZ party for Croatia or for
14 A. Listen, I was not a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was a
15 member of the HDZ of Croatia.
16 Q. And then you left the position of ambassador to Croatia in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You then returned to Croatia in a different
18 capacity, that is, as a member of the parliament?
19 A. Correct. I had my reserved seat in the parliament.
20 Q. And you took your seat in the parliament, then, having never
21 lived in Croatia; is that correct?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, may I ask the relevance for all of
23 this -- this line of questioning? Why is it relevant that he had never
24 lived in if they have a constitutional process and they have rules of
25 procedure in the Sabor that allows people from the diaspora to represent
1 the Croatian nation? I fail to see the relevance. Now, I don't mind the
2 gentleman wasting his time, but I do think that it is not relevant to the
3 issues at hand.
4 MR. STRINGER: Well --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, it's not a matter
6 of relevance, but it's a legal problem we have here. Apparently, the
7 diaspora was in a position to elect its own representatives, and 12 such
8 representatives were elected. According to the laws - and we do not have
9 these laws - are -- do the elected persons need to live in Croatia, or
10 isn't it no obligation? Are you fishing for information now, or do you
11 have that information, about their place of residence?
12 MR. STRINGER: I think I have what I need on that, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You may proceed then.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] If I may, now that the examination
15 was interrupted. A discussion on a very specific solution of
16 constitutional law and domestic legislation requires the technical
17 knowledge and requires that we have the relevant texts of laws before us.
18 If we shall embark on a discussion about a very complex piece of
19 legislation which was in force in Croatia at the time and is not unknown
20 to some other countries, if I may say so, we can't start this discussion
21 by looking at a BBC news item, which is definitely not qualified to deal
22 with this; and secondly, through this witness who did not deal with this
23 matter in his examination-in-chief and is not a lawyer; therefore, he's
24 not qualified to talk about it. We cannot engage in such fishing
25 expeditions as this one because that's what I believe the Prosecutor is
1 doing. This is not a serious approach to the matter. If the Prosecutor
2 wanted to make some inferences on this basis, on the political
3 impartiality of Croatia -- or rather, political partiality of Croatia and
4 of Croatian policy toward Bosnia-Herzegovina, then he should have taken
5 that other approach to the matter. It is, of course, in Their Honours'
6 hands to decide whether to hear such evidence. Perhaps tomorrow we can
7 call a waiter to discuss legal matters.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm not aware that any discussion has arisen.
9 The Defence has raised objections, and I would like to invite
10 Mr. Stringer to answer the pertinent question asked by Mr. Kovacic as to
11 the pertinence of these questions of fact which you have addressed to the
12 witness. That might be useful.
13 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour, for allowing me the
14 opportunity. In his direct examination - and this isn't all that
15 complicated, or it certainly wasn't intended to be - in his direct
16 examination, the witness said that he became a member of the Croatian
17 parliament. The purpose here is simply to ask him about the
18 circumstances under which he became a member of the Croatian parliament
19 as someone who never lived in the country but who had nonetheless served
20 as its ambassador. That's simply flushing out, if you will, testimony
21 that came in the direct examination. And as I've indicated, I'm finished
22 with it. I'm prepared to move on unless counsel wants to continue to --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Move on.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please move on.
25 MR. STRINGER: Okay.
1 Q. Ambassador Sancevic, I want to take you back to talk briefly
2 about one particular period of time when you were the ambassador before
3 we move on to the other topics. And in your binder, I want to ask you to
4 look at an exhibit that's marked as 10393.
5 Now, Ambassador Sancevic, you have before you the original text,
6 which is a handwritten text. It's a two-page document. Perhaps you
7 could briefly take a look at it to tell us whether you recognise it as
8 your own.
9 A. I recognise it, but you said that I never lived in Croatia, and
10 that's not true. Let me refer back to what you said. I had lived in
11 Croatia until I was 14.
12 Q. Okay. I stand corrected. You're correct on that. I apologise
13 for having overlooked that.
14 Now, getting back to this document, 10393. You talked yesterday
15 a little bit about the many difficulties you experienced as the Croatian
16 ambassador in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it seemed to me that this letter
17 was a reflection of at least some of the difficulties that you encounter.
18 So if I could, I would just like to take you through a couple parts of
19 this letter.
20 Do you recall writing this letter? It's a letter of resignation
21 dated the 5th of July, 1993.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And you offered your resignation to President Tudjman through
24 Mr. Granic, who was the foreign minister at the time; is that correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And I note here that in the paragraph you marked as number 1,
2 you're making reference to what you spoke about yesterday, your status or
3 your attempts to be a stand-by ambassador or a roving ambassador was the
4 word that you -- that came to us in English yesterday. Is that what
5 you're referring to here in paragraph 1 of your letter?
6 A. The letter was written on the 5th of July, 1993, at the time when
7 Mr. Mate Granic became minister. Until then, Mr. Skrabalo had been
8 minister. During Dr. Skrabalo's tenure, I was a roving ambassador. The
9 issue of opening up the embassy had not been solved. I had by then been
10 preparing to open up the embassy in Medjugorje. However, on the list of
11 ambassadors held by Mr. Granic, I was still a stand-by ambassador. That
12 was my status at the time, and I wrote this by way of a protest. I told
13 them, If you continue to list me as a stand-by ambassador, which is
14 unfair, then -- but then Dr. Mate Granic and President Tudjman responded
15 promptly by saying that it was an error committed by the administration
16 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They offered their excuses, and I
17 withdrew this request.
18 Q. Okay. Just a couple of brief questions about this letter, and
19 I'd ask if you could kindly - and I know it's difficult - give me brief
20 answers to the extent that you can. There's a reference in paragraph 1
21 to opening an embassy in Mostar. Is it true that it was your wish to
22 open the Croatian embassy in Mostar at or before this period of time, in
23 July 1993?
24 A. At the time, I was still looking for the best location for the
25 embassy. When I told Mr. Izetbegovic that I should open the embassy in
1 Sarajevo, he dissuaded me because he said that the great Serbs would
2 destroy it. He offered that I should take Zenica as the location, and I
3 looked into that possibility. Thereupon I considered a number of
4 locations, one of which was Mostar; however, Mostar was faced with
5 problems by then, and I gave up that idea and chose the area that was the
6 quietest, and that was Medjugorje.
7 Q. And I believe you testified yesterday that then you set up the
8 embassy in Medjugorje in August of 1993?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is that correct? I'm sorry to cut you off, but I've got some
11 more questions and --
12 A. I still have to clarify something. One does not open an embassy
13 in 24 hours. You had to secure staff and premises, and when I mentioned
14 the month of August, it means that I was busy trying to make sure that it
15 is opened. And the embassy was operational to the extent that I have --
16 I had the number of staff that I had.
17 Q. All right. Then would it be correct to say that -- yesterday you
18 spoke about the passport processing and the visas and the other
19 certificates that the embassy was processing. Would it be correct to say
20 that none of that, then, was taking place prior to the time the
21 Medjugorje embassy got up and running?
22 A. Correct. While I was a roving ambassador, we did not issue any
23 certificates. I only had one driver who was by me, and that was all, and
24 this was in the first half of 1992.
25 Q. Now, in paragraph 2 of your letter, you make reference and you
1 also make a statement at the very end of the letter. You're referring to
2 your -- what your word is is: "Inefficiency and unscrupulousness in the
3 personnel of our ministry ..."
4 And I'm wondering, sir, was it a problem that your views -- you
5 felt your views, as expressed in the letters you refer to here, your
6 views were not being passed up the chain of command, if you will, or were
7 not being acted upon in a way that you thought they should be?
8 A. No, that was not the case at all. The case of the matter was
9 that a fledgling Ministry of Foreign Affairs, because it had been in
10 existence for several years by then, was burdened by bureaucracy, which
11 makes the operation of any agency difficult. I was a member of one of
12 the most exposed ministries, and I had to be efficient. I was confronted
13 with bureaucrats bothering me with a lot of red tape, and that is what I
14 was complaining of in this letter. I wasn't referring to anything else.
15 I was combatting bureaucracy because I had come from an area that was
16 highly efficient, and I mean the field of oil industry.
17 Q. Very good. Thank you. I'll take that answer and then move on.
18 I have just a few questions on the issue of Croatian citizenship that you
19 talked about yesterday in your direct examination, and now if I could
20 direct you to -- if you still have the Defence binders, I'm going to
21 direct you to the Law of Croatian Citizenship that you were looking at,
22 which is Exhibit 1D 02918.
23 A. 1D --
24 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Ambassador, it's not in there. I think -- it's in
25 one of the binders from yesterday, and she'll bring it to you.
1 A. But I think you can proceed with your question.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you.
3 A. I have the law quite vivid in my mind.
4 Q. Okay. You were asked a few questions yesterday about determining
5 who were the people who qualified as emigrants under Article 11 of the
6 law. Do you remember that?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Because being an emigrant is one of the bases by which a person
9 can acquire Croatian citizenship under the law; is that true?
10 A. That's true.
11 Q. Now -- actually, I'm looking at Article 3 here, which seems to
12 lay out the various means by which someone can become a Croatian citizen,
13 and the first is by origin, which I take to mean, who are your parents.
14 You can become a Croatian citizen on the basis of the citizenship, if you
15 will, of your parents. So that's one basis. Would you agree with me on
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And then a second way is by birth, that is, someone who's born in
19 the territory could also then acquire a citizenship in that way; and then
20 thirdly, naturalization.
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And naturalization is referred to in Article 8 of the law, and
23 this relates to foreign citizens acquiring Croatian citizenship.
24 A. This is the basic article by which citizenship can be acquired
25 through naturalization.
1 Q. Yes. Now, the question came up yesterday whether Croats who were
2 living -- had always lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, whether they were
3 emigrants or not, and I believe your answer was: No, Bosnian Croats were
4 not emigrants and therefore did not qualify under Article 11.
5 A. Yes. Well, look. It's not easy to explain this in just two
6 words, but I'll do my best. Tell me exactly what you want me to say.
7 Q. Yes. If I could walk you through the couple questions because
8 it's -- I can assure you, it's not clear to me. This was my question on
9 the Bosnian Croats, for example. If a Bosnian Croat wanted to acquire
10 Croatian citizenship, would he have to do so through naturalization?
11 A. Correct, because Article 8 is another basic article before you
12 move on to Articles 11 and 16, which also deal with naturalization.
13 Q. And you actually anticipated my next question. Looking at
14 Article 8, here it refers to foreign citizens. There are other parts
15 that refer to Croatian citizens. And I wanted to ask you, if you could,
16 to distinguish between what is a Croatian citizen as opposed to a member
17 of the Croatian nation, which is referred to in Article 16. Is there a
18 difference between those two terms?
19 A. You know, when it comes to definitions, definitions are not clear
20 all the time as to what a nation is, what citizenship is, and what
21 affiliation with a nation is. It's not clear across the board in all the
22 nations. In that respect, I would like to tell you that I am inclined to
23 adopt Professor Benjamin Aksin's [phoen] definitions. He teaches at the
24 University of Jerusalem. He is very clear when it comes to these things.
25 If you want me to do so, I can quote him.
1 Q. I -- let me continue to try to approach it from my perspective,
2 and I hope it will get us there. Let me ask it this way: At the bottom
3 of Article 16, there is a reference to people of the Croatian nation who
4 would then submit their written statements to the diplomatic or consular
5 office of the Republic of Croatia abroad. In other words, a member of
6 the Croatian nation who's not living in Croatia may obtain Croatian
7 citizenship if he or she meets the conditions of Article 8, paragraph 1,
8 item 5; and if he or she issues a written statement that he or she
9 considers him or herself to be a Croatian citizen. And then it continues
10 that this written statement, then, is submitted to the competent body or
11 diplomatic or consular office.
12 So my question is: After you were able to establish the embassy
13 in Medjugorje, were these written statements under Article 16 among the
14 types of documents provided to you for submission in processing Croatian
15 citizenship applications?
16 A. If somebody submitted all the paperwork in keeping with Article
17 8, then it was okay. If Article 8 could not be applied, however, then we
18 had at our disposal two articles dealing with naturalization. The first
19 one is Article 11 dealing with emigrants, and Article 16 dealing with the
20 non-emigrant part of the population. And I believe that everything's
21 clear there.
22 Q. Okay. Would you agree with me that Article 16 would apply to a
23 Bosnian Croat?
24 A. Look, I would like to make a very clear distinction and issue a
25 very clear statement as to how and in what way articles were applied.
1 This was up to the Ministry of the Interior to deal with that.
2 Q. Okay. That's --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one moment, please.
4 Ambassador, this issue on nationality is a very complex legal
5 matter in a great deal of countries, but correct me if I'm mistaken. I
6 have the feeling that you said in Croatia there was a mix of three
7 situations: The right of land, the right of blood, and the right to
8 nationalisation. The right of blood because a person is born in Croatia
9 and that, therefore, person is Croatian. The right of blood, a person
10 can be Croatian because their parents, the parents of that person, are
11 Croatians or because their ancestors are Croat, and in that case a person
12 that is in Bosnia and Herzegovina may be for two or three generations
13 there, but they can say, My ancestor, my great, great, great-grandfather
14 was Croatian, so through my blood connections I am a Croat, and therefore
15 that person obtains a Croatian nationality. And the third possibility is
16 the naturalization process. Through an administration process, a person
17 may request to naturalization.
18 So am I mistaken when I am describing this in this way or would
19 you bring any correction to what I just said?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that you are absolutely
21 right. This was exactly the meaning of what I did as ambassador. We
22 prepared documents. We received applications for citizenship as they
23 were submitted to us. When citizenship was finally granted, it was up to
24 the Ministry of the Interior to decide what article to apply. It was not
25 up to us to decide which article would finally be applied at the end of
1 the procedure.
2 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Mr. Ambassador, then, is it correct, then, to put it this way: A
4 Bosnian Croat seeking Croatian citizenship in 1993 could achieve that
5 either through naturalization under Article 11 -- sorry, Article 8 or
6 could achieve it as a member of the Croatian nation who makes the
7 necessary written statement under Article 16.
8 A. Let me put it this way. You are -- have been mentioning Croats
9 all this time. Listen, my attitude towards Bosnia and Herzegovina is
10 this: They were all citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina first and foremost.
11 Therefore, irrespective of the fact whether they were Serbs, Muslims, or
12 Croats, they were all in a position to apply for citizenship in view of
13 this law. He could have hailed from Timbuktu, for that matter, and those
14 people could also apply for citizenship. Whether they would receive it
15 or not, that was not up to me. That was up to the -- as you know.
16 Q. You have been asked about this law, so I think I'm entitled to
17 ask you some questions about it myself, and that's what I'm doing here.
18 Let me introduce another aspect of this that might possibly shed some
19 light, and I'm going to refer you to your book, which is marked as
20 Exhibit 1D 02339. This is the book that you wrote, and while the usher's
21 getting that for you, again, it's 1D 02339. It may be that you don't
22 need to refer to the exhibit since it's a book that you wrote yourself.
23 Let me read to you a passage from the book. And I'm -- in terms
24 of what's on the computer screen, I'm looking at the very bottom of this
25 page which is currently up beginning with the words: "Immediately after
1 winning the elections, President Tudjman begins to outline a new Croatian
2 national policy ..."
3 And, Mr. Ambassador, interrupt me if you'd like to take -- if
4 you'd like to go to the parts of your book rather than me reading it to
5 you, feel free to do so. But I'll just continue reading.
6 " ... in line with the changed circumstances in BiH in the last
7 50 years, and pursuant to Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic
8 of Croatia that literally says: 'Republic of Croatia shall protect the
9 rights and interests of its citizens living or staying abroad, and shall
10 promote their links with the homeland. Parts of the Croatian nation in
11 other states shall be guaranteed special concern and protection by the
12 Republic of Croatia.'"
13 And then you continue: "Hence, the Croats in BiH, regardless of
14 the fact whether they are Croatian nationals or not, are guaranteed to be
15 taken care of and protected."
16 So would you agree with me that's what you said or that's a
17 correct recitation of Article 10 of the constitution?
18 A. This is based on Article 10 of the constitution, but since
19 there's always some sort of confusion, you know, when we're talking about
20 the first part of Article 10 as opposed to the second part of Article 10
21 of the constitution, I would like to define some things in order for us
22 to understand each other better. I would like to define membership of
23 the Croatian nation. A member of the Croatian nation is a person who
24 identifies with a group of people who call themselves Croat. That's this
25 affiliation or membership. However, in the first part of this
1 constitutional statement a reference is made to citizens. If you are a
2 member of a state, i.e., a citizen of a state, that state has to look
3 after you just like I am currently looking after the Croatian nationals
4 in Venezuela.
5 Q. Okay. So I guess -- and that's ultimately where I'm trying to
6 go. Dr. Tudjman during this conflict in 1992/1993, throughout the entire
7 conflict in the former Yugoslavia, he was charged with the constitutional
8 responsibility to look after the citizens of Croatia as well as Croatian
9 nationals who lived outside of Croatia; is that correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And that responsibility, then, is reflected, for example, in the
12 Law on Citizenship, perhaps, which in fact provides a means or a vehicle
13 for Croatian nationals to acquire Croatian citizenship even if they can't
14 meet the other requirements, correct?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. Excuse me, sir. I think they're
16 injecting now a new terminology, "Croatian nationals." And I know that
17 for a American, it's rather weird, but they're using the word "Croatian
18 nation," so I think we need to stick to the same terminology. Otherwise,
19 it's going to lead to confusion.
20 MR. STRINGER: That's a good point. I'll try to use the word
21 "citizens" for people who are citizens and "members of the Croatian
22 nation" for people, perhaps, who are -- consider themselves Croatian but
23 who are not citizens.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, you can be a member of the Croatian
25 nation and be a citizen of Croatia.
1 MR. STRINGER: Of course.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: That's why I think we just need to be precise in
3 our questioning.
4 MR. STRINGER: Well, I think we are, Mr. President, but I'll
5 continue -- I'll do my best. It is not a simple subject.
6 Q. My question, then, is whether this concern, this provision
7 relating to parts of the Croatian nation in other states --
8 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The best course is probably to
10 have the break now. We're going to break for 20 minutes, and we'll sit
11 until a quarter to 2.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The hearing is resumed.
15 Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.
16 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Mr. Ambassador, I don't want to linger on this too much longer,
18 but let me see if I can just put a couple of last questions to you on the
19 issue of citizenship and see if we can reach some sort of consensus.
20 Would you agree with me, sir, that under the Croatian constitutional
21 those parts of the Croatian nation, people of the Croatian nation - and
22 I'm taking the word from your book - in other states, that is, living in
23 other countries, that those persons were guaranteed special concern and
24 protection by the Republic of Croatia? Would you agree with me that
25 special protection applied to people who were of the Croatian nation
1 living outside Croatia?
2 A. [In English] That's what Croatian constitution says.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. And the same -- and since -- excuse me.
5 Q. Bless you.
6 A. And since constitution is supreme law, if there is anything wrong
7 in the laws which are in some fashion against what says constitution,
8 well, bad for it.
9 Q. That's right. It's the constitution that's the supreme law?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Would you agree with me, then, that this special concern or
12 special protection is expressed to some extent in the Law on Citizenship
13 in that the Law on Citizenship appears to make a special provision for
14 members of the Croatian nation?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, sir. Before you answer that question.
16 Excuse me. Now we're asking for a legal conclusion. He's asking him now
17 technical questions on the law. The gentleman is not a lawyer. He's not
18 a law professor. He's not a constitutional expert. I think -- if you
19 look at the question that's being asked, he's asking for the legal
20 opinion from a non-legal expert.
21 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, counsel's asked questions of this
22 very nature --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
24 Ambassador Sancevic, you've heard the discussion. The
25 Prosecution is putting a technical question to you. The Defence counsel
1 who called you here objects. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I
2 believe I understand that a few a hours ago, you told us that you were
3 very familiar with the issue of citizenship because you work as an
4 ambassador and also because as a consul in Caracas you dealt with matters
5 related to nationality or citizenship. Are you in a position to answer
6 questions related to law or laws applicable to individuals who may
7 qualify for the Croatian citizenship? Can you answer such questions or
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can because I have an insight
10 into the fundamentals of the constitution, primarily the constitution,
11 and also into the fundamentals of the laws. There are laws that did not
12 concern me, and I don't know anything about that, but whatever laws
13 concerned me, the issues of passports, I had to know about those laws.
14 But I have to admit, likewise, that it is not fair to treat me as a legal
15 expert because I'm not a legal expert. I can read a constitution. I can
16 read a law, but to dwell upon the essence and the substance of a law,
17 listen, I'm not an expert in constitution or a lawyer, for that matter,
18 as you know.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Ambassador Sancevic,
20 if you do not understand the question, tell us so, and if you can't
21 answer, just tell us that you can't answer because it's too complicated,
22 but if you can give an answer, please do.
23 Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.
24 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. And perhaps what I'll do, Mr. Ambassador, is simply read back to
1 you the question that I asked before the objection.
2 Would you agree with me, then, that this special concern or
3 special protection which is expressed to some extent in the Law on -- I'm
4 sorry. I'll start over again.
5 This special concern or protection for members of the Croatian
6 nation that is referred to in the constitution, is that concern and
7 protection then expressed, does that carry over into the Law on
8 Citizenship which appears to make a special provision for members of the
9 Croatian nation in Article 16? So that's my question. The special
10 protection from the constitution, does that flow over to Article 16 of
11 the Law on Citizenship?
12 A. I would put it this way. As far as I could observe, I saw no
13 contradictions between the law and the constitution. That's as far as I
14 could tell. How exactly the law was applied did not depend only on
15 ambassadors and diplomacy but also the Ministry of the Interior, as I've
16 already told you. In other words, everybody had a job to do. Did I
17 manage to answer your question, sir?
18 Q. Not really. The word you used was "contradiction." Let me put
19 it this way. It appears to me, would you agree, that there is in fact
20 no contradiction and that there is in fact consistency between Article 10
21 of the constitution and Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship in that each
22 of them relate to special -- each of them specially or specifically
23 mention members of the Croatian nation?
24 A. [In English] You are mentioning first or second part of the
25 Article 10 of this?
1 Q. I'm -- excuse me. I'm referring to the part of Article 10, I
2 think the second part --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am very
5 calm, very reasonable, cold-headed, and in -- with my mind full I refuse
6 to participate in this trial until it is determined what Croatia is
7 guilty of or charged with. You are not asking me, Your Honours, to
8 participate in this trial and to provide precise information about the
9 military developments in a certain area. And what we are hearing here
10 are attacks on the sovereignty of a state. As a member of this state, I
11 refuse to participate, and I deny my counsel the right to participate.
12 Please, sir. Please, Your Honours, just one more sentence --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I will let you
14 finish. Because, you see, this morning I wanted to put that question to
15 you. Last week, you took the floor quite energetically, and then
16 Mr. Coric had the problem, we know. And at the weekend, I wondered why
17 there was such a reaction, and I must tell you that I don't understand
18 the problem. And what I'm expecting of you is to explain what the
19 problem is. You have talked about this matter many times. Apparently,
20 it's something that goes to your heart, but quite frankly I don't see
21 what it's all about. Last time Mr. Scott put a question, you intervened.
22 My intention was to review the transcript in order to find out what
23 question had been put and what you had said precisely. Here, Mr.
24 Stringer is dealing with the constitution, with various provisions of
25 law. He's doing his job. He's asking clarifications from the witness
1 about some issues, but now you take the floor, and you may be right, but
2 I don't know because I don't see the problem, and you say, I refuse to
3 take part in this trial. But please, can you very calmly - and you've
4 told us that you were a quiet man - but can you tell us what the problem
5 is exactly because I fail to identify it; I can't. Can you please very
6 quietly tell us what is the cause for your reaction. Why do you react
7 that way when we deal with these questions of law relating to whether
8 someone is a citizen or not, why someone is a Croatian national or not?
9 The witness told us that he was not the one taking the decision, that the
10 minister of the interior was taking the decision. I don't know. We may
11 have a witness later on from the Ministry of the Interior to shed some
12 light on all this, but please try to tell us what the problem is. I'm
13 ready to listen, so try to explain.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge
15 Antonetti, I will gladly do so. Why I said what I said and why I am
16 simply not prepared for my mental and moral problems -- because I don't
17 see them since, the meaning of this trial. Imagine a situation in
18 which the French constitution was put for re-examination in order to
19 re-examine the sovereignty of the French people or the Hungarian people
20 or the confederation of the Swiss nation, The laws that have been passed
21 in a legal and legitimate way, and then all of a sudden you find yourself
22 in a war, in Algiers, in the Second World War, in the Iraqi war, and then
23 all of a sudden you come here and you are completely calm. You are out
24 of the game because of the bad legal system and process, and then you
25 start talking about whether Croatia had the right to pass a certain law
1 after 5 or 6 or 700 years of torture. Your Honours, French came all the
2 way to Zagreb. Hungarians came all the way to Rijeka. Germans took
3 whatever they wanted to take. Turks came all the way up to Zagreb,
4 Sisak, and all the way to Vienna almost. And finally, when one people
5 consisting of 4 and a half million individuals finally gets a
6 chance to look after its own, then we get to a trial during which
7 gentlemen from America charge us with things that are not applied to
8 them. I am a professor of ethics and philosophy. I have been dealing
9 with those things for 40 years, and I'm no longer able to participate.
10 This is not even a farce; this is a burlesque. We have come here, at
11 least I have come here, to respond to the charges before the law for my
12 acts, for my doings, even for my thoughts that sometimes turned to words
13 and possibly led to an act that was contrary to the law. But here things
14 are happening that at the end of the day the whole of Europe is involved
15 in what was going on in our area, And we're talking about the
16 imperialistic mind. I can't accept that. You take the reigns in your
17 hands and tell us what is legally founded in the Prosecution's
18 examination. It is the constitution of Croatia? Is it the sovereignty
19 of the people that is being accused at? is it the Croatian language that
20 is being charged? I can deal with some counts of indictment, but this
21 goes beyond all proportions. I'm here to deal with the charges, and I
22 would like to share something very intimate with you. Just one more
24 Your Honour, Judge Antonetti and other Judges, I really don't
25 care whether I'm dead or alive, whether I'm going to spend 20 or 30 or 50
1 years here. There's just one thing that I've never understood. I've
2 never understood those who accepted to participate in a rigged trial
3 which led to their own conviction. I am here prepared to take
4 responsibility for every act or -- that was committed or not committed
5 but was supposed to be done. But we are now dealing with the farce or
6 burlesque ^ which has no moral or ethical foundation. I'm not prepared
7 to participate in that. I totally don't care how long this is going to
8 take, 50 years or 100 years. I don't care whether I am alive or dead.
9 Despite any grim prospects that may await me, I'm totally calm and
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor may wish to
12 respond, but first let me sum up what you've just said.
13 I think I'm beginning to understand why you intervened on many
14 occasions. You seem to be saying that when the Prosecutor addresses the
15 constitution or Croatian laws, he is challenging the sovereign right of
16 your country to adopt laws in the field of constitutional law or
17 nationality law. And you are saying that the Prosecutor is not entitled
18 to criticise the Prosecution [as interpreted] or the law, and through the
19 question he puts to the witness you feel that he's criticising the
20 Croatian constitution and the Croatian law, because these laws were
21 passed by your country in 1991, 1992, 1993 - I believe that's your
22 position - and I'm beginning to understand what you're trying to say. I
23 found it difficult at the beginning to see exactly what you were driving
24 at, but I feel that I'm trying to understand -- I'm beginning to
1 You are, therefore, challenging the Prosecutor. He has the right
2 to respond.
3 Mr. Stringer.
4 MR. STRINGER: Well, Mr. President --
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, I do think it is also for the Chamber
6 to answer. And I'm sorry to say, with all respect, Mr. Praljak, I think
7 you are victim of a profound misunderstanding, a very profound
8 misunderstanding. I have not heard anything which could be reasonably
9 and for a legally trained mind could be regarded as a criticism of
10 Croatia, not even of Croatian legislation. As I understand the debate
11 here, and I stand to be corrected, of course, the question is how was the
12 legislation conceived, how does it go together, what does it all mean,
13 and how was it applied? And I suppose that in connection with the
14 accusation of a joint criminal enterprise the Prosecution will try to
15 establish that there has been some discrimination in application of the
16 legislation with regard to people, members of the Croat nationality who
17 were living in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is just an assumption that I
18 make. That's how at the present stage I seem to understand the
20 But I would like to assure you that at least for us in our
21 view - and I would suppose in the view of the public at large - this is
22 not an attack on Croatia. This is not an undermining of the sovereignty
23 of the Croatian republic or anything of the kind, and I'm very sorry if
24 you obviously feel, even personally, hurt by this. Take it from the
25 Bench, and I'm sure that all my colleagues share this opinion, that in
1 our view it is only a misunderstanding which could lead to the conception
2 that there is anything attacking Croatia morally, legally, or
3 historically in the actual discussion that we are dealing with.
4 I think we've heard you, Mr. Praljak. I think we should give the
5 floor back, as the Chairman has said, to Mr. Stringer.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Stringer.
7 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I don't have too much
8 to say in response. These are all documents that were provided as part
9 of the Defence bundle for the direct examination, and that was my
10 starting point. And these are all areas that were led as part of the
11 direct examination; that's point two. I'm here on behalf of the
12 Prosecution. I'm not judging, and I'm certainly not judging a country.
13 I'm not questioning Croatia's sovereignty in -- nor am I questioning its
14 constitution. However, I'm entitled to ask how the constitution applies
15 to the laws that have been raised, how the Croatian constitution and the
16 laws that affected the policy of Croatia, as it was exercised and
17 implemented during the conflict. And that's where I'm trying to go, and
18 I will continue to do that. I'm sorry if it offends people. I'm not
19 intending to offend anyone, but the constitution says what it says, and
20 the law says what it says. And I'm entitled to ask this witness to
21 comment on all of these. He's clearly expressed his willingness to do
22 so. So I'd like to continue with the Trial Chamber's permission.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please do. Please proceed.
24 MR. STRINGER: And actually, Mr. President, I'm going to borrow a
25 few words that were just said by General Praljak, who maybe expressed it
1 even more succinctly than I did.
2 Q. I'm certainly not questioning Croatia's history, the many events
3 that ultimately led to the establishment of an independent Republic of
4 Croatia. General Praljak just referred to that long history, and he made
5 reference to, finally, the people consisting of 4 and a half million
6 individuals, they finally get a chance to look after its own.
7 And again, without judging, this is my question - I'm trying to
8 ask it as neutrally as I can - that right or that chance to look after
9 its own, that's what Article 10 as part of Article 10 of the constitution
10 is about, isn't that true? Croatia looking after members of the Croatian
11 nation wherever they lived.
12 A. You want me to answer that? Yes. That is my response in
13 relation to Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia.
14 In other words, that Croatia shall look after members of the Croatian
15 people. What more can be added to that?
16 Q. In fact, then, when you went down into Bosnia-Herzegovina, isn't
17 it correct to say that you as the ambassador were looking after the
18 interests, and you concern yourself with the protection of the Croatian
19 people who were in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Stringer, I'm sorry to interrupt you. I
22 would like to have a follow-up question, and this question is related to
23 a document which has already mentioned today, and it is a document which
24 was submitted by you, by the Prosecution, and the number is P 00089, P
25 00089, and it is actually a presidential transcript about a meeting which
1 was held on the 27th December 1991.
2 I have to admit of course that you, Ambassador Sancevic, you have
3 not been there, but there was the attendance apart from the leaders of
4 the Republic of Croatia -- actually, the whole membership of the
5 Herceg-Bosna leadership as it is put here, that is Mate Boban, Bozo
6 Rajic, Dario Kordic, and Ignac Kostroman as secretary legal were there.
7 And in that document you find in page 21, page 21, when Secretary Ignac
8 Kostroman has actually introduced or rather informed the meeting about
9 the session of Herceg-Bosna leadership. Then on page 21 in item 2, it --
10 he said and quoted, and I quote him: "The Croatian Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna has once again confirmed the will of the entire Croatian
12 people of Herceg-Bosna expressed on 18 November 1991 in Grude, taking the
13 historic decision to establish the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
14 which serves as a legal basis for the entry of these territories into the
15 Republic of Croatia."
16 And item 3 continues, and here I believe that there is a link --
17 the linkage between the territorial -- in a way, territorial policies and
18 the -- and the question of the citizenship, and I quote here: "The
19 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna recognises the full legitimacy of
20 Dr. Franjo Tudjman as President of the Republic of Croatia and President
21 of the Croatian Democratic Union to promote the interests of the Croatian
22 Community of Herceg-Bosna both among international factors, and during
23 inter-party and inter-republic agreements on the establishment of the
24 final borders of the Republic of Croatia."
25 And I repeat the last part of this statement: " ... and the
1 inter-republic agreements on the establishment of the final borders of
2 the Republic of Croatia."
3 Now, I would like -- my question is, therefore, knowing that you
4 have not been there at that presidential meeting, if -- do you see any
5 connection, any linkage between the issue of citizenship as contained by
6 the Constitution of Croatia and of course the particular Law on
7 Citizenship as well as between the relationship between the Herceg-Bosna
8 community of Croatian people and the acceptance by the -- that actually
9 the president of the Republic of Croatia is in a full legitimacy when he
10 and Croatia, of course, promoted the interests of the Croatian community
11 of Herceg-Bosna? So this is my question, and I would like to have your
12 views about it. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yet again, the notions of state
14 relations and Herceg-Bosna are being misunderstood. I was a
15 representative of the Croatian state and an ambassador to Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. I was not appointed as a representative of Herceg-Bosna.
17 Herceg-Bosna was part of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I
18 addressed at the highest level the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 There was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, within which there were
20 certain elements we all knew existed.
21 Second of all, it is not appropriate for me to comment upon what
22 Mr. Kostroman stated here. Those are his views, and I have nothing to do
23 with them. He was entitled to hold and promote whatever views he wanted.
24 When it comes to the relations between the Republic of Croatia and the
25 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I do not want to enter into a discussion
1 on these matters because I believe that they are beyond my competence. I
2 would be interfering with the internal policies of Bosnia-Herzegovina if
3 I started discussing these matters. You have to know that I was a
4 representative of the Republic of Croatia, and as such I implemented the
5 policies of the Republic of Croatia toward Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I do
6 not wish to interfere with internal matters, matters that fall within the
7 competence of Bosnia-Herzegovina alone.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a question stemming
9 from a question put by my fellow Judge that went to the heart of things.
10 Judge Prandler just read an excerpt which shows clearly that on the 18th
11 of November, 1991, the council, Croatian council was created made up of
12 various territorial representatives. They are the ones who decided on
13 the 18th of November, 1991, while Bosnia and Herzegovina was only
14 recognised internationally in 1992; but these people decided to create
15 this community. In the text, it is said the following, and I would like
16 to call your attention on this very small paragraph, that it will be the
17 legal basis in order for these territories to enter within the Republic
18 of Croatia. So when we read this text, we may interpret this as being
19 that the impulse came from these territories of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from
20 these people who made this statement, and that they are the ones
21 recognising Mr. Tudjman as being the president who will be able to put in
22 place their deep aspirations.
23 You were an ambassador in 1992, and I imagine that you must have
24 met representatives of various municipalities. You may have even met
25 Mr. Kordic, I don't know, but you must have met local leaders. Now, when
1 you had contacts with these people, did you - yes or no, since my
2 question is an open one - were you under the impression that this
3 movement, Croatian movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina made more concrete
4 by the HVO came as a spontaneous movement of Croats in Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, and were they the ones without asking help of anybody
6 decided to create this entity, or through contacts that you had with them
7 there could be a different reason. What can you tell us? You were in
8 the field. You were an ambassador there. You were perhaps in a very
9 good position to give us your opinion on this matter.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday, I said something that I
11 had learned from the constituent statute of the Croatian Community of
12 Herceg-Bosna, and nowhere in that document are borders mentioned. I said
13 yesterday that Herceg-Bosna never had any borders. I don't understand
14 what it is that Mr. Kostroman referred to. He was referring to a
15 territory and borders. I don't want to discuss this at all. If in 1991
16 the community of Herceg-Bosna was established - and we know the criteria
17 upon which it was established - and if there were Croats in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina who wanted to join, to be unified, with Croatia, well,
19 then I can tell you that there were Serbs who wanted to join up with the
20 Republika Srpska, and there were Muslims who wanted to join up with
21 various Islamic organizations. Everybody is entitled to holding a view.
22 I am not presenting you my views here. I'm talking about facts, and I'm
23 telling the truth, which is what I'm required to do here as a witness.
24 All I see is that this one Mr. Kostroman is expressing his views and his
1 Now, I believe that I was quite clear in answering all the
2 questions that had to do with the Croatian state policy. I personally,
3 as a representative, as an exponent of the Croatian policy in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina, did not consider myself to be an ambassador on behalf of the
5 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. I represented one state with regard
6 to another state. I can tell you openly that I never wanted to talk
7 officially with the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna unless it had to
8 do with matters concerned with the relations toward Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, otherwise it would have -- there would have been some other
10 political motive that I would not have accepted. I was quite clear about
11 my principles. The relations between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were
12 that of one independent state toward the other. Now, there could have
13 been various internal developments, either with regard to the
14 international community which put forth a number of solutions to the
15 problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina which the Republic of Croatia fully
16 endorsed or within Bosnia and Herzegovina internally -- well, of course I
17 can tell you that there must have been individuals who held the same
18 views as Mr. Kostroman here, and I would say that that was their
19 business. I engaged in what was the official state policy of Croatia
20 toward Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: I thank Mr. Sancevic for his answer, but I do
22 not want to continue this issue any further but only would like to state
23 the -- actually to say that according to the records, the views which
24 were expressed there, they were not the personal views of Ignac
25 Kostroman, but as the transcript says, they were excerpts from the
1 minutes of the 2nd Regular Session of the Presidency of the Croatian
2 Community of Herceg-Bosna in expanded session with members of the BH HDZ
3 Presidency, et cetera, and it was held on the 23rd of December, 1991, in
4 Tomislavgrad. So it is what we are talking about and not about the
5 individual personal views of Ignac Kostroman. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one last question to
7 follow up on something that you said. Everybody will understand that you
8 were the Croatian ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we also
9 understand that you presented your credentials to Mr. Izetbegovic. But I
10 was under the impression that you did not have any contacts with the
11 Croat community that had organized itself. Now I'm going to put a
12 question to you. My question will be very concise because time is
13 precious. I will go to the heart of the topic.
14 Does it mean that you did not go see Mr. Mate Boban to introduce
15 yourself to him?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In addition to being Croatia's
17 ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, I am a private person who's at liberty
18 to engage in conversations with individuals. I said that there had been
19 no official contacts between an ambassador with an organization within
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is not that I avoided them, shrank from them.
21 I was in touch with them in order to see what their pulse was to be able
22 to provide information back to Croatia. Of course, there were
23 individuals who held such views. How much importance should be
24 attributed to that? We are talking about 1991 and the -- there were
25 various scenarios. I said that before, that scenarios changed, that they
1 could have had an impact on the Croatian policy, but there were certain
2 policies that remained unchanged, and I believe that it was Mr. Karnavas
3 who put this question to me in connection with what I stated in my book.
4 I said loud and clear what my dealings in Bosnia-Herzegovina were; among
5 them was the effort to preserve the independence of the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, I followed closely what the Croatian
7 state policy was toward Bosnia-Herzegovina. Regardless of what the
8 gentleman from Herceg-Bosna wanted or may have wanted at some point, I
9 provided information to President Tudjman on various matters and events.
10 I don't even know if I was in Croatia at the time of this particular
11 event. What's the date again, please?
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The date is 17th December 1991.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that I'm
14 venturing into some waters that I have not had a personal play in --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I misspoke. 27, 27 December 1991.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you have three or
17 four minutes. Three minutes, let's say, and 31 seconds to be more
19 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the issue that's been introduced by
20 Judge Prandler is actually one that I had intended to go into myself;
21 however, I think that it's going to take me several minutes to sort of
22 pick up where we'd left off and to get that introduced. And so it may be
23 best at this point just to leave it at that and take up again tomorrow.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well --
25 Mr. Kovacic.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Since we still have one minute,
2 when it came to -- it comes to your count of the time that we spent on
3 the cross, some three to four minutes, I do maintain that what
4 examination I had, it was my cross-examination, and I believe that it
5 should not be deducted from my time. I believe it was cross-examination,
6 all the more so since none of the Defence teams had any questions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will deliberate on
8 this matter. I am not able to give you a personal opinion because it's
9 up to the Chamber to decide on this, and you will be informed of our
11 Witness, once again I would like to give you the same
12 instructions as yesterday. Please do not have any contacts with anybody
13 before tomorrow morning, since we shall meet again at 9.00.
14 The Prosecutor used up 49 minutes. We have a lot of time -- he's
15 got a lot of time left, and we will hear you tomorrow. I will leave this
16 courtroom because in a couple of minutes I have another trial. Thank
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day of
20 May, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.