1 Thursday, 29 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Coric and Pusic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning Your Honours, good morning everyone
9 in and around the courtroom, this is IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Today is Thursday,
12 the 29th of May, 2008. Good morning to the accused, to the Defence
13 counsel, to Mr. Stringer and to his assistants. Good morning to everyone
14 assisting us in this case and especially to the interpreters.
15 First, I would like to turn to Mr. Coric's counsel. Why is
16 Mr. Coric not in the courtroom today and I would like to ask the same
17 thing of Mr. Ibrisimovic.
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your
19 Honours. I haven't received any specific information as to why Mr. Coric
20 is absent from court today; however, he told me yesterday that he was a
21 bit under the weather, we know what the weather conditions are like, that
22 he had problems with his blood pressure; and I believe he even hinted he
23 might not appear one of these days due to these reasons, so I don't think
24 there is really a reason for concern.
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
1 don't have any information at this stage about Mr. Pusic but I believe we
2 will be receiving some from the UNDU, I don't think there is reason for
3 concern either.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, Mr. Stringer, you wanted
5 to take the floor.
6 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you and good morning to
7 Your Honours and counsel and everyone else. Just to be clear for the
8 record, I take it that counsel for Mr. Coric and Pusic have no objection
9 to proceeding today in their absence and I assume that the necessary
10 paperwork from that follow but perhaps if we could get that on the record
11 it would be prudent.
12 I ask for just a brief moment, Mr. President, to address Your
13 Honours and I --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please proceed.
17 MR. STRINGER: Thank you. I think it's still that we're in the
18 earlier phase, early phase of the Defence cases, I think it's worth
19 bearing in mind some of the remarks that I hope to present to the Trial
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
22 Judge Trechsel draws my attention to the following. Do the Defence
23 counsel agree for the proceedings to continue without their clients? So
24 far we haven't had any problems under such circumstances because when an
25 accused is represented by counsel, counsel is there to represent his
1 client and there's no absolute need for the accused to be present.
2 Furthermore, there are instances in this Tribunal where the
3 accused have not attended a hearing because they didn't want to, for
4 example, and in those cases, the Trial Chamber told the counsel, well,
5 we'll proceed anyway.
6 What I mean to say is that the accused does not have a right per
7 se to ask for the hearing to stop. If he wants the hearing to stop, he
8 first has to ask the Chamber and the Chamber can agree with that or deny
9 the application. But you've raised the issue, Mr. Stringer, so we're
10 going to turn to the Defence counsel to ask them what they think about
12 First of all, Ms. Tomic.
13 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 We are not opposed to the proceedings going ahead in the absence of
15 Mr. Coric.
16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't have any reasons to
17 opposed continuation of the proceedings.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you don't have to worry,
19 Mr. Stringer. Please proceed.
20 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 On Tuesday, after Mr. Karnavas completed his direct examination
22 of the witness, there were 140 minutes available to the Prosecution is
23 what I'm told for cross-examination. Of that 140 minutes on Tuesday that
24 remained in the day, the Prosecution actually was able to use just 46 in
25 cross-examination. The other time, the other 100 minutes or so being
1 used by either the Trial Chamber or the parties.
2 Yesterday, during the first session, the Prosecution was able to
3 use less than half of the time that was available in the first session
4 and I'm told that the Prosecution used about an hour of the 90 minutes in
5 the second session, that is about two-thirds. We were able to use more
6 time during the final session. I wanted to raise this, Mr. President,
7 because I think at this early stage of the Defence case, it's worth
8 reminding, respectfully, everyone that the Trial Chamber's views as
9 expressed in the past have been to obviously it will ask questions and
10 intervene when it deems it appropriate but the preference is that the
11 Trial Chamber waits until all the parties have completed their
13 I recognise that the Judges are professionals. So are the
14 attorneys. The attorneys spend a lot of time preparing their
15 examinations. And when lengthy and frequent interventions take
16 substantial amounts of time away from any party and certainly I can speak
17 on behalf of the Prosecution, it does affect the quality of the
18 examination that occurs and I feel that my effectiveness was diminished
19 over the course of this cross-examination because of the frequent and
20 lengthy interventions that took place during what was supposed to be
22 I recognise that the Judges will ask questions, and I can inform
23 you that I appreciate it. I have been involved in other cases where the
24 Judges were not nearly so active, and I can say on the behalf of the
25 Prosecution we welcome the active involvement of the Judges in this case.
1 I would suggest, however, that in the course of this examination, my
2 cross-examination, the balance, that we seek and strive for has been lost
3 or was lost, and it did have an impact; and I only make these comments
4 now to see if we can all go back to the point we reached during an
5 earlier phase in the Prosecution case in which everyone, I think, was
6 going to try to exercise some restraint in respecting the other parties'
7 abilities to lead their own examinations and those are the comments I
8 wish to make, Mr. President. I'm not trying to be critical of anyone,
9 but I just thought it was worth raising this issue now since we're at
10 this early part of the Defence cases. Thank you.
11 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I think a principal position must be to
12 support generally the comments of my learned friend with one caveat, he
13 does say at page 4, line 14, that the frequent interventions take
14 substantial amounts of time away from a party. Of course any questions
15 asked by the Bench are not counted as part of that time, but the point is
16 a good one. Sometimes it is difficult to continue a flow of
17 cross-examination or examination in chief if there are frequent
18 interventions. Sometimes we are to blame by necessity we have to stand
19 up and make some objections or seek some clarification. Unless there is
20 a compelling reason or in the Trial Chamber's words, some exceptional
21 reason, I think my learned friends points are good and I would for a
22 principal point of view support them.
23 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honours, good morning. The Petkovic
24 Defence position is no different, and we certainly would respectfully
25 remind Your Honour that we really did have precisely the same discussion
1 during the course of the Prosecution case and in fact it gave rise to
2 some fairly detailed discussion and we -- Your Honours may recall we
3 actually submitted jointly in the end Defence and Prosecution, we had
4 agreed between ourselves what we felt were suitable guidelines for Your
5 Honours to issue -- you, Your Honours, issue the guidelines not us and
6 although they weren't formally issued, Your Honours did indicate that
7 very broadly, that approach which was jointly submitted by the
8 Prosecution and the Defence would be followed and that is all consistent
9 with what Mr. Stringer has said this morning supported by Mr. Khan and
10 certainly no difference from the Petkovic Defence.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will
12 deliberate on this. We have taken note of your comments, and we'll let
13 you know how we shall proceed in the future that's all I can say at the
14 moment. However, on my personal behalf, I could respond, of course.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to make a short remark. I fully
16 understand the point raised by Mr. Stringer, and I do not wish to wash my
17 hands in full innocence. I would like to ask back whether you would
18 accept that we go on asking interrupting questions when they are related
19 to a document which is actually displayed and which may then disappear
20 and later it may be difficult to bring it back.
21 MR. STRINGER: It's a difficult question, Mr. President or Your
22 Honour. I used the word "balance" in my comments and I think that that's
23 the key here. Certainly there is some advantage to taking the witness to
24 a document when it's in front of him because it does take time to move
25 around among the many documents. But when the practice continues
1 extensively or repeatedly, then I think that's when the balance begins to
2 tilt in the wrong direction and it may be that there are situations which
3 the Trial Chamber, it is better to come back to a document if it looks as
4 though the Trial Chamber or if an individual judge thinks that there will
5 be perhaps a series of questions about the document. The presidential
6 transcripts, perhaps, are a good example because when you talk about
7 policy and conversations and some of the more complex issues, those are
8 issues that really don't lend themselves to a yes or no question and it
9 may be that in that situation, it's just best to come back to it later.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 MR. STEWART: It's really just saying what Mr. Stringer said but
12 we would say the distinction is where a fairly quick and easy resolution
13 of some doubt or some explanation of the document can be got out of the
14 way and that document can be done and dusted for that immediate purpose,
15 then by all means it makes sense to go ahead; but if it's going to give
16 rise to a line of questioning, then in exactly the same way that a
17 cross-examiner will come back to the document that the examiner in chief
18 has put before the Court, it should be left and exactly as Mr. Stringer
19 says, it's not the end of the world if we come back to an important
20 document from time to time, that's simply a necessary and essential part
21 of the process.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm not going to follow-up on
23 my fellow Judges comments because we'll consider the matter together.
24 Let me just give you a brief word of technical explanation.
25 At some point yesterday, I asked a question to the witness.
1 First of all, let me say that I asked no questions of the witness during
2 the examination in chief, I'm sure you have taken note of this. And you
3 yourself addressed the Medjurgorje meeting and you addressed the contents
4 of that particular document. And then I noticed that the witness had not
5 attended the meeting but you, yourself, had not put any questions to him
6 about it, asking: How come the ambassador who is supposed to represent
7 his government was not even there? When I noticed that, I asked him the
8 question. Of course I could have waited for you to complete your
9 cross-examination before dealing with that, but let me remind you,
10 Mr. Stringer, that we have five binders, three red binders, two of your
11 binders. Five binders in total.
12 Sometimes you refer to documents that are to be found in the blue
13 binders without telling us whether they are found in binder 1, 2 or 3.
14 So whilst you are still talking we have to turn around, find the proper
15 binder, find the document then we have to manage to follow your
16 questions. So does it mean that we would have to put the binders back
17 again and retrieve them afterwards? When we have a document in front of
18 us, I don't see why we could not ask the question immediately, whilst the
19 document is being displayed.
20 As for the rest, I do not agree with you but that's another
21 matter. In any case, the Trial Chamber will consider your submissions
22 and will tell you what our position is, but we've taken due note of your
24 We are now going to have the witness brought in. We have 1 hour
25 and 4 minutes left, and I will try not to ask any questions during this
1 hour and four minutes.
2 MR. STRINGER: While the witness is being brought in, I wanted to
3 ask, I had heard a rumour that the President -- there's another hearing
4 in a different case in which the President needs to attend at 11.00 this
5 morning and I don't know if that's correct or not or whether it's going
6 to affect the proceedings in this case.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, beware of
8 rumours. There's nothing more insidious than rumours.
9 MR. STRINGER: I heard it --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's all I have to say.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 MR. STRINGER: It's a good source, anyway, if it's a rumour.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we heard the same rumour and raised
14 the same question and it just -- -- Your Honour, may we know whether this
15 rumour has any foundation at all or is simply an absurd, malicious,
16 completely unfounded mischievous rumour because we saw an 11.00 hearing
17 on the court schedule in a matter that seems to involve Your Honour so --
18 but please, is it -- can this rumour be Scotched or is there something in
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, for the past two
21 years, ever since the beginning of this trial, I have not missed a single
22 hearing. I will be here today throughout the day.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. STEWART: [Previous translation continues] ...
25 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO SANCEVIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer: [Continued]
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ambassador, welcome back. I assure you we will
5 be finished asking questions of you today.
6 In beginning, I want to take you to a document that I referred to
7 yesterday but I wasn't able to put my hands on at the time and with the
8 usher's assistance, it's on the ELMO next to you right here,
9 Mr. Ambassador. This is from the book that you wrote and this related to
10 some remarks he made about certain segments, if you will, of the
11 international community and I wanted to ask you a little bit about your
12 views on that. For the record, this is from Defence Exhibit 1D02339.
13 Perhaps if we could put it on the ELMO, at least the English
15 Dr. Sancevic, underneath the English translation there, you'll
16 find the actual excerpt from your book so why don't you just take that
17 part and the highlighting is from someone else, it's not from me or the
18 Prosecution so it doesn't mean anything in particular to us. But I just
19 want to read one part of this, and then we'll go from there.
20 You wrote in your book:
21 "Although political squabbles contributed to the beginning of the
22 armed conflict between the HVO and the Muslim BiH army in Central Bosnia,
23 Rama and Mostar in the spring of 1993, I still think that the main causes
24 were the overcrowding of Central Bosnia and the dark deeds of foreign
25 intelligence services with the British in the lead, to whom, we have
1 already said, it was in their interest that the Muslims and Croats would
2 come into conflict to the benefit of the Greater Serbs. It was not a
3 coincidence that it was the British, members of UNPROFOR who were
4 deployed in an area where the Croats and the Muslims were the most mixed
5 and it was precisely there that the mutual destruction was the worst,
6 despite the fact that the mutual coexistence of the Croats and Muslims
7 had up to that point been virtually ideal."
8 Then you continue on with a reference to your father and some of
9 his involvement in that area of Central Bosnia.
10 You make a reference to the British forces of UNPROFOR that were
11 in Central Bosnia and I wanted to ask you: Are you suggesting that it
12 was the British forces there in Central Bosnia that are responsible for
13 the conflicts between Croats and Muslims?
14 A. I do not like to engage in generalisations but I must say that
15 some of the British commanders of UNPROFOR brought along some advisors to
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina who were Greater Serbs. For instance, the first
17 general, General Rose, I had contacts with him in Sarajevo. General Rose
18 was surrounded by Greater Serbs. It went so far that when a shell was
19 fired killing great numbers of Muslims, Croats, and Serbs in Sarajevo,
20 out of the Main Staff of General Rose, it was announced that the Muslims
21 had been firing upon themselves. I was there. I was present. This was
22 a horrible absurdity.
23 I used to come to General Rose's office and talk to him there. I
24 was aware of the people around him. It is not my intention to level
25 accusations at General Rose.
1 I was rather inclined toward the British individuals that I used
2 to work with at this point and that, but I did notice that there was a
3 large presence of Greater Serbs in the office of General Rose. My
4 observations led me to believe that they made a significant contribution
5 to the breaking out of the conflict between the Muslims and Croats.
6 Q. And you say that they made that contribution in order to assist
7 or to help the -- those who wanted to establish a Greater Serbia, that
8 was your view that that was their objective?
9 A. Mind you, one has to be very careful of engaging in
10 generalizations. When we refer to the British, we need to know who
11 precisely we are referring to. If we are referring to the conservative
12 party of Great Britain, we will find that in that Tory party, there were
13 those who had a full grasp of the whole issue such as Madam
14 Margaret Thatcher who had full understanding for the problems,
15 experienced by Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don't know where her interest
16 stemmed from and there were those who were completely ignorant of these
17 issues. Of course one cannot accuse them of being ignorant and of making
18 mistakes in their full ignorance and perhaps this was the case of General
20 Q. You make a reference here more specifically to the British forces
21 that were deployed in the area of Central Bosnia British units, the
22 members of the UNPROFOR. I wanted to ask you about that because we've
23 had a lot of cases here in the Tribunal about the cases that happened in
24 Central Bosnia and one of the most notorious events was the massacre that
25 occurred in Ahmici on the 16th of April, 1993. Do you know about Ahmici.
1 A. Yes, heard about it a great deal.
2 Q. Are you suggesting that it was the British battalion, the
3 UNPROFOR forces that were in Central Bosnia that bear some responsibility
4 for the events, for example, in Ahmici?
5 A. You see, in my book, I'm indicating the reasons or issues that
6 led to the conflict between the Croats and Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 This isn't the only reason I'm mentioning, I mentioned other reasons as
8 well, such as overcrowding. All the way until 1975, 70 per cent of the
9 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was ...
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and I apologise for cutting
11 you off but we're going to have to move a little more quickly today. My
12 question I think is quite specific. You seem to be making an allegation
13 here and I want to make sure that we understand correctly what it is you
14 are alleging. Are you blaming the British battalion for the events that
15 took place in Central Bosnia such as those in Ahmici? I think it's a yes
16 or no question. Do they bear responsibility, in your view, or not?
17 A. I do not want to give you a yes or no answer because there are
18 other reasons related to that which I mention in my book, the
19 overcrowding, the large presence of refugees from Sandzak and so on and
20 so forth. This is something that we established as a result of the
21 second good will mission. We referred to the first good will mission,
22 Turkish-Croat mission, and it was the second such mission that led us to
23 establish the reasons that led to these conflicts.
24 Q. Well, you're aware that it was units of the HVO that committed
25 the acts, the crimes that were occurred in Ahmici, for example, you do
1 know that?
2 A. Certainly, yes. There were such HVO units as committed these --
3 perhaps I should better not go into that, you told me not to go into too
4 many details.
5 Q. That's fine. Let's just move then to the next topic. You
6 testified about your personal involvement in the good will mission that
7 went into Mostar, and I believe the process began in May and actually
8 ultimately resulted in the Muslim soldiers being evacuated at some point
9 in June of 1993. Do you recall that?
10 A. Of course. Because I was the main player there.
11 Q. If I could direct you to Exhibit P2446 which is in the
12 Prosecution binder. And while that's being found, Mr. Ambassador, this
13 is a report of the Spanish UNPROFOR forces. You're I'm sure familiar
14 with them because like you, they were also based in Medjurgorje. Do you
15 recall the Spanish Battalion?
16 A. Of course I remember the Spanish Battalion. The Spanish
17 Battalion assisted with the evacuation of the heavily wounded Muslims.
18 Q. And on page 5 of that document, of the English version, there's a
19 reference here to the Medjurgorje delegations actually having gone to the
20 Heliodrom facility where -- to see the Muslim prisoners. And I'm looking
21 at the top of page 5, it says that, "After the meeting, the Croatian and
22 Muslim representatives, a personal envoy of Lord Owen and other
23 international organisations: ECMM, et cetera, visited the HVO detention
24 camp situated at the heliport south-west of Mostar."
25 My first question, Mr. Ambassador, is whether you're aware during
1 the events of 9-10 May and beyond, hundreds of Muslim civilians were
2 arrested throughout the Mostar area and were taken out and put into
3 detention at the Heliodrom facility. Did you know that?
4 A. I was not at Heliodrom, I was in Dretelj, but I believe that
5 you're referring to the same problem in both cases. What would you like
6 me to tell but all that?
7 Q. Just simply my question was whether, during this time of the
8 Medjurgorje process, were you aware that hundreds of Muslims had been
9 arrested and placed in detention south of Mostar? Were you aware of
11 A. I learned about that through New York Times.
12 Q. Okay. Okay. Thank you.
13 A. And I immediately informed Zagreb about that. I informed my
14 superior, Dr. Mate Granic about that, who immediately transmitted the
15 problem to Dr. Tudjman.
16 Q. You're talking about the prison camp at Dretelj?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Were you aware that there was a different prison camp where
19 Muslims were held at a place called the Heliodrom that was outside of
20 Mostar, close to Mostar? Were you aware of that place?
21 A. I was aware of a number of different prisons where Muslims were
22 kept, where Croats were kept and - how should I put it - the -- I was
23 aware of the HVO prisons where Muslims were kept. All of that was a
24 result of the conflict.
25 Q. Well, if Muslim civilians had been arrested and rounded up and
1 placed in detention, I take it that you would not support such a
2 process -- or any civilians for that matter.
3 A. Look, there must have been different situations and cases
4 involved. I'm not talking only about civilians because when I visited
5 Dretelj, I spoke to everybody who wanted to have a word. I was together
6 with Dr. Mato Granic, we visited Dretelj and --
7 Q. I'm asking in general terms, and I am asking about civilians.
8 A. I could not tell the difference between the two because there are
9 a lot of Muslims who were members of the HVO as well and I believe, this
10 is just my opinion, I cannot claim this for a fact and say that this was
11 an absolute truth. I believe that with regard to the attempt by
12 General Arif Pasalic to break through to the sea brought about lots of
13 mistrust towards the Muslims who were members of the HVO. All I'm saying
14 that as a result of that, the situation for them was not very good.
15 Q. Okay. Let me just take a question. First I want to go back to
16 my last question. I was asking about Muslim civilians arrested and
17 placed in detention, civilians, people who were not a member of the HVO
18 or the Armija. Would you agree with me that it was improper and that you
19 would not support detaining civilians --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
21 Witness, please, do not answer because I see that Ms. Tomic is on
22 her feet.
23 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you
24 for giving me this opportunity to intervene. I have refrained from
25 intervening but I have to do it at this time. Yesterday and today, on
1 several occasions, the witness has repeated that his knowledge refers
2 only to some general and wildly inane facts. This is a topic that goes
3 beyond the scope of direct examination, beyond the briefing notes, this
4 is now a new issue being opened, no single Defence has cross-examined on
5 this, they could not have because otherwise this would have been direct
7 On several occasions, the witness has repeated that whatever he
8 knows about Heliodrom he learned from the New York Times. Now he's being
9 asked to provide his valued judgement which is not up to this witness to
10 do. I believe that the appropriate question would be to ask the witness
11 what he read in the New York Times, although I don't know how this may be
12 relevant. He has repeated on several occasions that whatever he learns
13 about Heliodrom comes from the New York Times. We don't even know when
14 he read it because the Prosecutor never asked him that.
15 I believe that this is nothing but a torture of this witness.
16 This may be a too strong word but it all boils down to that.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Stringer.
18 MR. STRINGER: We're going to talk about Dretelj and the New York
19 Times article later that happens in September of 1993, and I'm still in
20 May of 1993 and I'm still in Mostar and that's what I'm wanting to talk
22 In general, I think these issues relate to the witness'
23 credibility. If he's part of this Medjurgorje process and he doesn't
24 know anything about the Heliodrom, I think that bears somewhat on his
25 credibility, and I'm trying to test him in terms of what he knows about
1 the situation that was unfolding in Mostar.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you will allow me.
3 Since we have already interrupted my learned friend's examination, all
4 this time, he has been comparing i.e., drawing a parallel between the
5 Medjurgorje process and the situation at the Heliodrom. For that reason,
6 I would like to draw your attention to the evidence that was presented
7 before the -- this Trial Chamber saying that the meeting in Medjurgorje
8 was on the 18th of May, 1993, and that we have documents both from the
9 BiH army and the UNPROFOR showing that on that day, all civilians who had
10 been kept at the Heliodrom were released, so I believe it is not founded
11 to compare the two.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Stringer, you
13 told us that in fact you're putting all these questions to the witness
14 because of his credibility and this is why you are asking questions with
15 regards to the people who were in the -- or at the Heliodrom is to test
16 his credibility. Is this what we should understand?
17 MR. STRINGER: That's correct. I think if things are happening
18 that he doesn't know about, it impacts the witness 'credibility in the
19 terms of the opinions he's expressed. I don't intend to spend a great
20 deal of time, I don't have a lot of time but I think a few questions on
21 this are appropriate.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go ahead. Proceed.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. So Mr. Ambassador, you've indicated you didn't go to the
25 Heliodrom, and I think it's fair to say you're not very familiar with it
1 so we'll just leave it at that. One other question, a couple more
2 questions, I should say about the events that were happening in Mostar
3 before we move on to Dretelj. Were you aware throughout the summer of
4 1993 that there was a very large-scale campaign by which the Muslims of
5 west Mostar were forced out of their apartments and their flats and they
6 were made either to leave Mostar or to move across the river into east
7 Mostar? Are you aware of that?
8 A. In my conversation with people in Dretelj, when people saw that
9 their ambassador of the Republic of Croatia had come, they rallied around
10 me and asked me different questions. I just wanted to put the whole
11 situation in context. I was accompanying Dr. Mate Granic, the Minister
12 of Foreign Affairs and I was accompanying the International Red Cross
13 that was involved in the whole situation. In those conversations, some
14 of those people in Dretelj told me that they had been members of the HVO,
15 they were Muslims, and they asked not to be transferred to the other
16 side, to the BiH army side because they feared a retaliation by the other
17 Muslims against those Muslims who had fought among the ranks of the HVO.
18 Q. So apart from the people that you spoke to at Dretelj, you don't
19 know anything about whether large numbers of Muslims families were being
20 evicted from their apartments in west Mostar and forced across the river
21 into east Mostar; is that correct?
22 A. I am not in a position to quantify anything, but I was in contact
23 with the Muslims who had spent the entire war in Mostar. I'm sure that
24 you have documents about Mr. Hadziosmanovic and so on and so forth who
25 was in Mostar, so you cannot say in general terms that all the Muslims
1 were chased away. There must have been those who wanted to leave, there
2 must have been those who came into conflict with the HVO and there was
3 also a fraction of Muslims who remained in Mostar all that time just like
4 the gentleman whom I've just mentioned.
5 Q. So if there was wide scale ethnic cleansing of Muslims from west
6 Mostar, you don't know anything about that?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to the term "widespread ethnic
8 cleansing." Now if he could lay down the facts as to who said what to
9 establish these facts, I haven't objected because I don't want to
10 interrupt the gentleman, but I don't support the facts that he's using to
11 base his questions on. So obviously there were some evictions, but now
12 he's talking about widespread, he's talking about policies. If he could
13 quote who said what so we could have exactly in the evidence where does
14 he get these -- this final argument that he's putting into this question.
15 MR. STRINGER: That's fine.
16 Mr. President, I can take the witness to a document but we'll
17 need to go into closed session for just a few minutes about it because
18 it's the a document under seal -- or private session.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Private session,
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 28811-28813 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, counsel, Your Honours, we are back in
20 open session. Thank you.
21 MR. STRINGER:
22 Q. Mr. Ambassador, the next exhibit is marked P05219, 5219 it's in
23 the Prosecution binder --
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: Binder 1 or 2?
25 MR. STRINGER: It's in the first binder, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Ambassador, this is a document that's a report by a different
2 international organisation that was in the region called the European
3 Community Monitoring Mission. They had people who were down in the
4 region making reports and this is one of their reports, and it's dated
5 the 20th of September, 1993 and it's talking about Mr. Granic's visit
6 down to Grude when there were discussions about closing the camps and
7 other things and that's what I want to ask you about now.
8 First of all, were you -- did you accompany Mr. Granic down to
9 Grude when these discussions took place about Dretelj?
10 A. I was not with Dr. Granic at the time, but I was in Dretelj with
11 Dr. Granic.
12 Q. Now, as you've indicated previously, you, I take it, became aware
13 of the Dretelj issue because of an article that was published in the New
14 York Times; is that correct?
15 A. I can't remember a time whether the article -- whether the
16 article mentions Dretelj, but I know that some camps were mentioned in
17 the article. Do you have the article here to show it to me.
18 Q. I don't have the article, I just mentioned it because I thought
19 you had mentioned the New York Times. Is it fair to say, then, that
20 there were press reports about the issue of camps and that was what drew
21 your attention to this issue for the first time? Is that a correct way
22 to put it?
23 A. As far as I can remember, because I don't have the article with
24 me either, so as far as I can remember --
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: Sorry to interrupt. I'm really sorry to
1 interrupt you, Ambassador Sancevic and also Mr. Stringer but since it is
2 a document now we are talking about and -- when should we intervene when
3 we want to say that since Ambassador Sancevic said that that time he was
4 not with Minister Granic there but on the other hand there in the
5 document itself, page -- the second page actually, among the participants
6 we do have his name, I believe, it's the last one here, Dr. Zdravko
7 Sancevic, Croatian ambassador to the Republic of Herceg-Bosna. It is
8 ambassador to the Republic of Herceg-Bosna so therefore, I believe,
9 Mr. Sancevic, you had to be there because of the participants of -- to
10 that meeting, you are also listed in. Thank you.
11 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that I was there
13 and what place is that? At that place when Granic and Boban met, but I
14 remember very well that I accompanied Dr. Granic to Dretelj.
15 MR. STRINGER:
16 Q. Just actually right after your name in the report, the report
17 continues by saying that it indicates that after the meeting took place,
18 then, "The meeting moved to Dretelj and were given a conducted tour of
19 the camp. So that's the part that you know about for sure that you were
20 part of the group that went to the camp itself.
21 A. That is correct, precisely as stated here. The meeting moved on
22 to Dretelj and I was present there. Unfortunately, I don't recall being
23 present during the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
24 Dr. Mate Granic and Mr. Boban.
25 Q. Would you agree with me, sir, that when Dr. Granic heard about
1 this particular camp, he was of the view that it should be closed and
2 that it was in the interests of Croatia itself to get this camp closed?
3 A. Not only that camp, all camps. Muslim camps with Croatian
4 detainees or any other prison for that matter where Muslims may have been
5 held on the 18th of May in the agreement, it was stated that all existing
6 prisons should be eliminated, reciprocally.
7 Q. In this report, it indicates actually that Mr. Granic went as far
8 to say that this particular camp at Dretelj would be closed unilaterally
9 with the help of the International Committee Red Cross, do you recall
11 A. I do recall that.
12 Q. And that's because the conditions of the Dretelj camp were seen
13 to be as particularly bad?
14 A. I have to tell the truth. How can I assess whether it was
15 particularly bad? For some of the people I talked to, the situation was
16 bad whereas for others, it wasn't. There were some jovial people there.
17 They knew that they were to be set free, that it was all provisional and
18 so on and so forth. I cannot generalise, I am very much against general
19 statements of any sort. I spoke with the people I did and that is what I
20 can tell you as being the truth and that is something I can tell you
22 Q. Just a few questions about the camp and the people you spoke to.
23 Do you know, in fact, that these people -- tell us if you know why were
24 they in the camp? What had they done to be put in this camp? Do you
25 know why they were there?
1 A. The conflicts between certain Croatian and certain Muslim units
2 resulted in the taking of prisoners. That is where the situation stemmed
3 from. Both sides had locations, prisons for detainees. In a previous
4 statement of mine, I said that there were no prisons in Herceg-Bosna.
5 Once the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was formed, I was witness to
6 the fact that all the prisons had been disbanded. Later on they were
7 reopened because of the conflicts of certain units on both sides. There
8 were prisons on the side of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as on
9 the side of the HVO.
10 Now, I can't tell you how many, why, who was held there.
11 Q. Okay. My question was why they were being held there, and you
12 have just indicated that you can't tell us why.
13 A. I know that when there is a conflict, such things happen;
14 however, I cannot tell you why someone was detained. There may have been
15 reasons of all sorts.
16 Q. Were you aware that there was some 500 or so of these prisoners
17 who were so malnourished that they were taken out and they were actually
18 taken down to Croatia toward Korcula where they were placed in a refugee
19 camp off the coast of Croatia?
20 A. I do know that some went to Korcula; however, I'm not aware of
21 the fact that they may have been malnourished. I don't know what their
22 physical condition was.
23 Q. So you didn't see any prisoners there who appeared to be in bad
24 shape physically?
25 A. Listen, again, a generalisation. Within a group of people, some
1 people are in poor physical condition, some are sick, but then there are
2 those who are perfectly fit. As far as I could see, I saw that most of
3 them were normal people; however, that some of them were sick.
4 Q. You indicated that Dr. Granic's view was that the camp was to be
5 closed unilaterally. Does that mean that all the prisoners were going to
6 be released then or transferred down towards Korcula?
7 A. No, that was definitely not so. Please let me explain.
8 Q. I was just -- if the prisoners were not being released then where
9 were they going to go from Dretelj, if you know? If you don't know,
10 that's fine.
11 A. Please, do give me a context. I cannot answer questions like
12 these taken out of the context. Both Dr. Granic and Dr. Tudjman --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you can't demand from
14 the Prosecutor that he ask his question in a specific context. The
15 Prosecutor is entitled to put questions to you. When you answer, you are
16 perfectly entitled to give the background and say: "I'm going to answer
17 your question, but remember that the situation was as follows ..." but
18 then you have to answer the question in any case.
19 MR. STRINGER:
20 Q. The context was that Dr. Granic had said the prison was to be
21 closed unilaterally. I'm asking you: Do you know, then, what was to
22 become of the prisoners there?
23 A. First and foremost, they were to be taken out of the prison.
24 Your Honour, if I intend to tell the truth and nothing but the
25 truth, there's something I need to add to my answer. Why did Dr. Granic
1 go there at all? That's not what you asked me about. Why was it that it
2 was decided unilaterally to set those people free.
3 Q. That's not one of my questions and I'm the one who gets to ask
4 the questions at this point. If one of the Judges or one of the other
5 parties wants to ask you that question, but I've sort of moved on from
6 that and I've only got a limited amount of time left to me; so I'd like
7 to stay with this particular question of the release or the transfer of
8 the prisoners.
9 Mr. Ambassador, you said that they were to be taken out of the
10 prison. My question is: Do you know where they would go?
11 A. I don't know. It was a matter for discussion.
12 Q. The next exhibit is P05312, Prosecution binder which -- that's in
13 the first Prosecution binder. I want to ask you --
14 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned
15 friend. I see that the Chamber did not see me standing up.
16 Another objection. This document has already been exhibited. I
17 wanted to say this: This question and those that will come, and I know
18 more or less in what direction the Prosecutor is moving, will this have
19 to do with the credibility of the witness because I believe we are
20 wasting time. What the witness said he knew about the prison situation
21 is something he already gave his statement about. He testified about it
22 the day before yesterday, yesterday, and today, he says he was not
23 familiar with any details, he was familiar with only the general
24 situation and that his formal knowledge pertains to one visit to one
25 particular prison. He wasn't familiar with the structure of the HVO or
1 of Herceg-Bosna because he dealt with issues at a higher level with the
2 authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as I understood. I believe he
3 was very clear on that.
4 I think through the issue of credibility, an issue is being
5 brought in through the back door on which the Defence did not have any
6 opportunity to cross-examine. Any of us could have raised that topic or
7 any topic from the indictment, for that matter, and we could spend 10
8 hours or each and then it would be taken off our time and treated as
9 direct examination. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you are still
11 testing the witness' credibility, are you? You've asked him what had
12 become of the prisoners, he's saying that he doesn't know and you're
13 trying to test his answer with this particular document. Is that the way
14 you're going about it?
15 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, just further in terms of what
16 practices he was aware of and what practices he was not.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, this is well beyond the scope of
18 direct examination. Again, I don't want to -- I do not want to interrupt
19 but I would join with my colleague at the conclusion before I do my
20 redirect, I would ask that the Court allow my colleagues to do their
21 direct examination based on the cross-examination of the Prosecution
22 because he's going into areas which we did not go in. He was an
23 ambassador, he had nothing to do with the prisoners. Now he's being
24 asked some questions about issues that he has no knowledge of. So it's
25 well beyond the scope of direct examination. Actually, we're going to
1 clear this up on redirect but it's quite obvious. It's quite obvious
2 that he had nothing to do with where anybody was being transferred, the
3 camps, the prisoners, or any of that sort. So why are we going into this
4 and I would suggest that if you allow this line of questioning then it's
5 fair to at least the Coric Defence and others, perhaps, to open up and
6 then I get to do a redirect on the basis of what we hear from the others.
7 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, just with your leave, one additional
8 observation. From my part, I'm not sure about the cogency of the
9 submissions with respect about this going to credibility but be that as
10 it may, under Rule 90(H) as this was not a matter that was raised in
11 examination in chief, the only grounds in my respectful submission to
12 allow further questioning is if Your Honours are satisfied that this
13 witness is capable of giving relevant evidence in relation to this
14 document and of course for that, my learned friend has to establish a
15 foundation either that he's seen the document, it was addressed to him,
16 the usual foundations have to be laid. I don't actually see this going
17 to matters of credibility at all, but I do have concerns about the
18 ability of this witness to give relevant evidence in relation to this
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, first of all,
21 this document has already been admitted into evidence so nothing to do
22 with reliability or relevance. This has already been adjudicated because
23 the document has been admitted into evidence so this has nothing to do
24 with the particular fact that five individuals were transferred from one
25 prison to the next. So why are you putting this document to the witness?
1 Is it because you want to address the issue of the prisoners and that was
2 not raised during direct examination and it's a new area you're dealing
3 with or are you dealing with the credibility of the witness, a witness
4 who goes to Dretelj and who has no idea what has become of people who
5 were released.
6 So what -- why are you putting this document to the witness?
7 MR. STRINGER: It's precisely the second point that Your Honour
8 just raised.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It seems to me, Mr. Stringer, that the witness
10 has clearly said he has no idea, he does not know what happens to
11 prisoners that were taken out of Dretelj, so I do not see how further
12 questions relating to the same fact could bring anything, either
13 information or anything as to credibility.
14 MR. STRINGER: Well, I'll obviously accept whatever ruling comes
15 from the Trial Chamber on this. I'm at the very end -- this is
16 essentially the last of the cross-examination, and I can finish this
17 within the next five to ten minutes.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, the objection is
20 sustained so I'm going to ask you to move on to another topic.
21 MR. STRINGER: Very well, Mr. President.
22 I'm just taking a moment to look over my notes, Mr. President.
23 It may be that I've finished.
24 Mr. Ambassador, thank you for your time.
25 I have no further questions, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are going to
2 take the break, but with respect to redirect, the Trial Chamber would
3 like to say the following to Mr. Karnavas in order to avoid any useless
4 discussions. Today, the Trial Chamber will file its written decision for
5 clarification of the guidelines and not to modify the guidelines, we are
6 going to clarify the meaning of the guidelines. I would therefore like
7 to invite you to read our decision that will probably be filed today.
8 Under the guidelines, the time we allocated to you based on the
9 time you requested, 4 hours for this witness, this amount of time for us
10 includes both direct examination and re-examination.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: That is the Trial Chamber's decision and again I
12 must object.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait, wait, please wait.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Because I think it's a fundamentally flawed.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, you are to sit down and listen
16 until the president has finished explaining.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: But the calculating period of -- in that fashion
18 is fundamentally flawed. Now if you're going to give me something that
19 I'm already entitled to as some sort of a gift, I object to that. Four
20 hours is four hours for direct. You cannot predict how much redirect and
21 that's why I object as a matter of principle. I'm not here like some
22 beggar. My client has rights, he has the right to redirect. Nobody
23 during the Prosecution case applied this procedure it's being applied
24 solely for the Prlic Defence.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please can you
1 check why, when I press on this button to cut off Mr. Karnavas's mike it
2 doesn't work. I wanted to stop Mr. Karnavas because he was discourteous.
3 He interrupted me whilst I was giving him explanation. This is something
4 I'm going to seize the Chamber with to see if we need to take any
5 measures, any sanctions.
6 Let me proceed with my explanations.
7 Let me remind you that the time allocated to you includes both
8 direct examination and re-examination. If the Defence wants additional
9 time for additional questions, the Trial Chamber shall automatically
10 grant that additional time but the Trial Chamber will deduct that
11 additional time from the overall amount of time allocated to the Defence.
12 In other words, Mr. Prlic's Defence was given 95 hours in total. This
13 amount of time cannot be changed. If today, as part of a redirect,
14 Mr. Prlic's Defence uses one hour, he will have in total 95 hours minus
15 one hour minus the time already used. If you want to spend 10 hours
16 re-examining the witness, you are entitled to do so, if you want to spend
17 20 hours re-examining a witness, you are perfectly entitled to do so, but
18 all the time thus spent will be deducted from the overall time allocated
19 to you because time dedicated to re-examination is not going to be added
20 to time that was allocated to you in the first place.
21 Let me remind you and that's something I set out in my personal
22 opinion and that's also a view shared by the Trial Chamber that we
23 established the time allocated to each Defence team based on 65 ter lists
24 submitted by the various Defence teams and in that list, you indicated
25 how much time you needed for each one of your witnesses. We took all
1 that into account when allocating you a specific amount of time. When we
2 made that decision, it was not by pure chance, it was after countless
3 hours of work, of review of all the elements in order to establish the
4 guidelines. You requested clarification of these guidelines, this is
5 going to be done in writing and the decision is going to be filed today,
6 but since we're here in the middle of a testimony, I just wanted to
7 confirm that to you.
8 In other words, you are entitled, you're perfectly entitled to
9 put additional questions to the witness, but if you spend 30 hours in
10 re-examination, that will be deducted from your time. If you spend an
11 hour, it will be deducted from your time as well. It's for you to
12 decide. I already stated last week that when a witness comes here to
13 testify, you have to anticipate how much time you will need for redirect
14 and reserve maybe 30 minutes out of four hours for redirect. You can
15 know in advance -- you know in advance what sort of questions you will
16 ask. You know what sort of questions that will be put during
17 cross-examination and on that basis, you can have an estimate of time
18 needed for re-examination.
19 But please, Mr. Karnavas, please, when someone is speaking,
20 please let them finish rather than jumping on your feet and start
21 intervening when you have no idea what they will be saying. When you are
22 talking, I let you finish, I don't cut you off because if I did so I may
23 not understand what you're driving at. Yes, I must admit that in the
24 past I cut you off, but it was just because you had intervened while
25 someone else was saying; but it's common courtesy to let people speak
1 out. That's why the presiding judge has this button here to cut off
2 anybody's mike here. I tried to use it but it didn't work,
4 Now we're going to have a 20-minute break.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise to the Court for the interruption.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apologies accepted,
7 Mr. Karnavas, gladly accepted. Rest assured that I understand the
8 necessities you're working under, but the Judges also have to obey a
9 number of requirements and sometimes these requirements are not exactly
10 the same but that's not good enough cause to get all worked up and not to
11 remain quiet. I tried to remain as calm as I can in courtroom.
12 Sometimes it's not easy, I have to get a hold of myself. It can be very
13 difficult at times but I try to do so as everybody else in this
15 Let's have a 20-minute break and then we'll resume the
17 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is almost 11.00.
20 I am here, as you can see. This will allow me to read a short oral
21 decision on a request presented by Mr. Kovacic. Oral decision on the
22 nature of the cross-examination of Adalbert Rebic by the private Defence.
23 During the cross examination of the Witness Rebic on the 21st of May,
24 2008, Mr. Kovacic raised a topic that was raised during the direct
25 examination regarding the work made by the VAP agency for the ODPR of the
1 Republic of Croatia.
2 Mr. Kovacic then expanded this topic and talked about
3 humanitarian convoys organized by Mr. Binenfeld, director of the VAP
4 agency going towards Sarajevo. During the hearing of the 21st of May
5 2008, the Chamber ruled that humanitarian convoys going towards Sarajevo,
6 that this topic was a new topic as you say in your own language, novatema
7 [phoen] and that under guideline number 6, paragraph 20, this time should
8 have been deducted from the total time allocated to the Defence of
9 Mr. Praljak to present its case.
10 The Chamber maintains this decision and confirms that the portion
11 of the cross-examination led by Mr. Kovacic that can be found on the
12 French transcript starting on page 28326, line 21 to page 28327, line 15
13 which deals with the topic of humanitarian convoys going to Sarajevo is a
14 matter that had not been raised during the direct examination. The time
15 used for that question, one minute or 60 seconds is therefore deducted
16 from the allocated time given to the Praljak Defence to present its case.
17 Very well. I certainly hope that this will not severely violate
18 the rights of Mr. Praljak's Defence. For these reasons, we are now going
19 or rather we are going to put some questions -- yes, Mr. Stringer.
20 MR. STRINGER: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Karnavas
21 during the break, I had one clarification to make for the record. I
22 erroneously said that I was directing the witness to a part of his book
23 that was marked as Exhibit 1D02339. I was wrong. The correct exhibit
24 number I should have said is 1D02808 so just so that that's in the
25 record. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
2 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Your
5 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
6 Q. Good morning, sir.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. I have a few questions, not many. And presumably if you answer
9 them rather directly and shortly, we'll be able to get out of here within
10 the next 15 or 20 minutes. My first topic is to go back to the 18 May
11 1993 meeting in Medjurgorje because there seems to be some contradiction
12 in the transcript. On the first day, on Monday, the 26th, you indicated
13 and this is on transcript page -- it would be 39 of Monday's transcript.
14 I asked you concretely whether you had been there and you said yes. Then
15 again, a reference was made to it on page 44 of Monday's transcript.
16 Then, I believe you were asked by the Prosecutor, and I believe
17 that was on page -- and this would be 28.775 line 18, and again, on
18 28.776, line 22, you again indicated that you had indeed been present
19 during the Medjurgorje meeting on 18 May 1993. You were then questioned
20 by President Antonetti, and I believe this is on page 28.782 lines 1 to
21 14 and whether you had been at the meeting and this came up when it was
22 shown -- when document P02441, P02441 was shown to you where your name is
23 not listed as one of the participants.
24 So just concretely and can we -- I just want to clarify this
25 matter: Were you or were you not present during that meeting? And it's
1 a yes or no.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right. Now, and of course you indicated that there had been
4 a meeting prior to that in Split and were you present during that meeting
5 at the Split meeting?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. All right. Now, let me touch upon one area that was
8 brought up today and that had to do with the camps. We know that you
9 were an ambassador. You've told us, so I'm not leading you, this is part
10 of your testimony, that from the time you presented your credentials up
11 until approximately August 1993, you were more or less in a roving
12 capacity headquartered more or less out of Neum while at the same time
13 spending sometime in Croatia when not travelling around; is that correct?
14 Did I get it right?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Now, was your remit at that point in time to deal with anything
17 that had to deal with prisoners --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please,
19 Mr. Karnavas. A small language precision. You see -- I see that in
20 English, you say "camp" and in French, the translation that I get is
21 "camp," so what does "camp" mean in English, really?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I can turn it into a detention centre,
23 prison, I'm using that interchangeably. I mean, but we'll talk about
24 detention centres. How is that it's a more neutral --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to deal with any of the
3 detention centres while you were ambassador during that period up until
4 the time that you set up your Medjurgorje embassy?
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. Now, after visiting Dretelj with Dr. Granic who was
7 your superior, after all, he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, did
8 Dr. Granic in any way instruct you personally, that is, as the ambassador
9 of Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina to get involved with any issues dealing
10 with detention centres, prisoners, or what have you?
11 A. No.
12 Q. All right. Now, let's move on to the next topic. Yesterday, you
13 were asked a series of questions by the Prosecutor concerning your
14 contact with Dr. Jadranko Prlic and at one point, the question was, I
15 believe something to the effect that aside from speaking to him about
16 matters of economics, whether you had any discussions on substantive
17 issues and you did speak about -- you went back and you clarified that
18 there were conversations that you had that dealt with matters of
20 First of all, I want to touch on that. Did -- perhaps we can
21 look at, for instance, 1D02186. 1D02186. It's in the Defence binder.
22 It's in the Defence binder. Which one, I can't tell you. One. If we
23 can give him the hard copies, Mr. Usher, if we can provide hard copies,
24 it might be easier this way.
25 Now, before I -- we go into this document, as I understand it,
1 when we talked about your qualifications, I indicated that you had worked
2 for Shell and as I understand, you also worked for Atlantic Richfield,
3 the oil company as well?
4 A. Correct, yes.
5 Q. In your capacity, I know you were a petroleum engineer holding a
6 Ph.D in that field, did you hold any management positions so you would be
7 acquainted with matters dealing with business, economics, that sort of
9 A. Yes. I dealt with these matters and occupied high positions. I
10 was vice-president and president of, for instance --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name of the
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. You were vice-president and president of what company? Could you
15 repeat it, please?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. And what kind of company is that?
18 A. [In English] that's a national [Interpretation] Bariven is the
19 nationalised Atlantic Richfield and Sinclair. Once they were
20 nationalised, I became first vice-president and then for a short while, I
21 was president, CEO of that company as well.
22 Q. That's in Venezuela?
23 A. Yes, in Venezuela.
24 Q. Now, if you look at this document, 1D02186, it's dated April
25 15th, 1993 and of course this is addressed to Jadranko Prlic, and it's in
1 regards to the matter of establishing a banking system which will be part
2 of the banking system of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in keeping
3 with the solutions provided by the Vance-Owen agreement and we can see
4 further down it talks about central bank, regional banks, bank investment
5 funds and this of course comes from the chief of the finance department.
6 My first question -- well my only question regarding this
7 document is, sir, were these the sort of -- was this the sort of topic
8 that you had with Dr. Jadranko Prlic concerning the banking system
9 discussions related to those issues, finance, banking? Is that one of
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. The next document is 1D02231. This is dated 22 April
13 1993, and we can see from the topics this is in relation to a conference
14 that is being held, it's an academic conference at the Hotel Sunce in
15 Neum and it deals with matters of economics. Were you present at this
16 particular conference or were you aware of Dr. Prlic's involvement in
17 this conference?
18 A. I had a clear idea of what was happening at the time because I
19 stayed in the building which belonged to the Mostar University. I knew
20 Dr. Zdenko Kordic, the director of the university, and I was interested
21 in seeing the upshot of that although I did not take part in that
22 conference throughout its duration.
23 Q. Okay. Just to make sure that we're clear, the Mostar University
24 was actually physically located in the Sunce Hotel; is that correct?
25 This is where also you were also residing. That's where you were
1 operating out of?
2 A. That was not the Sunce Hotel, I think the name of the hotel was
3 Neum. I lived in Neum, and this event took place in the Sunce Hotel, as
4 far as I remember.
5 Q. You were physically located where the Mostar University was
6 located; is that correct? That's where you were staying?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Now, let's go to the next document, 1D02221 because I believe
9 you've --
10 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, while the document's being found,
11 Mr. President, I'd just like to make an objection for the record.
12 Counsel's referring to documents here that were always in his binder that
13 were not gone into on the direct examination, and I think that, yes, I
14 followed up on something from direct related to his discussions with
15 Mr. Prlic about economics; but I think that what's happening now is that
16 we're just doing additional direct examination rather than remaining
17 within the scope of something that was pretty limited on
18 cross-examination. We're just using the witness now to tender additional
19 documents that could have been tendered in the direct. So my objection
20 is this: If counsel intends to tender these exhibits, the Prosecution
21 will be objecting on the basis that this as well as the testimony is
22 beyond the scope of the cross-examination.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: In my response, the Prosecutor is correct they
24 were in the binder, and we didn't tender them at the time; however, when
25 the Prosecutor stood up and said you talked to him about economics but
1 did you speak to him about anything of substance and you may recall my
2 objection was that what Dr. Prlic was involved with was matter of
3 economics which are substantive matters and now we're having -- I'm
4 following up on my objection to the Prosecution's question. I'll leave
5 it up to the Trial Chamber to decide whether I'm going beyond the scope
6 of direct, and if I am, I'll move on to the next subject.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber deliberated on this
9 matter and believes that while putting questions in redirect,
10 Mr. Karnavas can put questions since, during the cross-examination, a
11 question relating on economy topics was put so this subject can be raised
12 in redirect but the Trial Chamber has a small reserve regarding the
13 previous document, not the one that we are seeing now on the screen.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] And if I may clarify, we don't
15 see what the link is between the previous document and Mr. Prlic. What
16 is the connection? This is why we think it goes beyond the scope whereas
17 here you are in fact talking about contacts that existed between the
18 accused and the witness on substantial matters.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it's sort of a -- to borrow a term in the
20 documents, it sorts of a global nature of the issues of economics that if
21 the Trial Chamber, however, wishes for me to move on, I'll move on.
22 There certainly will be other witnesses discussing these issues, but I
23 wanted to drive the point home that these are issues of substance and
24 because the gentleman has -- I mean keeping in mind that his background,
25 western educated as well during that period, one would understand why
1 Dr. Prlic would want to be discussing these sorts of issues with the
2 ambassador at the time, but I can move on. I leave it up to the
3 Court's -- because the other two documents relate to published articles
4 by Mr. Prlic, one dated 13 June 1993, that's 1D02221, and 1D02220 dated 2
5 July 1993. I leave it up to you. My question would be basically was the
6 gentleman aware of these articles at the time that they were written
7 given that he was having contacts with Mr. Prlic in relation to his
8 discussions on the economic activities.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We agree.
10 MR. KARNAVAS:
11 Q. Okay, sir. I'm waiting for the translation for you. Okay.
12 If you could just look at the next two documents, 1D02221 and
13 1D02220. If we could have the assistance of the usher.
14 Just briefly, if you could just glance at them and tell us
15 whether you had an opportunity back then to read what Dr. Prlic was
16 publishing at the time concerning his ideas in relation to how to get the
17 economy going during and after the war.
18 A. Throughout that time, that's what I was doing because I thought
19 that Mr. Prlic was very knowledgeable about these matters, and I closely
20 followed whatever he had to say on these matters, I read the articles he
21 wrote, and the books he authored and so on.
22 Q. Thank you. Now we're going to switch to another topic and this
23 relates to the law on citizenship. I just have a couple of questions
24 because it did come up on cross-examination and this is -- I'm going to
25 refer to the document 1D02918, 2918, realising that there are two other
1 documents that 2919 and 2920, which are amendments but by and large the
2 discussion will focus on the law on Croatian citizenship.
3 Now, my first question, sir, is we saw that as of 1999 up until
4 today, you hold a particular position in Venezuela and that is the
5 consulate, the General Consul for the Republic of Croatia; is that
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Now, in that capacity, may I ask, do you issue passports or are
9 you involved, is your consulate involved there in any way with issuing
10 passports or in processing documents concerning citizenship?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Now, as far as I understand, but correct me if I am wrong, the
13 law that is -- that you apply today would have been the same law that we
14 discussed earlier on direct examination and cross-examination; is that
16 A. There was this one law in force throughout that time and then
17 there were two amendments and now I believe that there's a third one but
18 all of them are in accordance with the basic legislation. What I'm
19 saying is that this law was in force throughout the time.
20 Q. Okay. And my question is: In your capacity as General Consul in
21 Venezuela, are you applying the law any differently now, you know,
22 throughout this period, 1999 to present, than you were -- you had set up
23 the embassy for the Republic of Croatia in Medjurgorje, I believe, as of
24 August 1993?
25 A. The law was the same one as today and I adhered to it.
1 Q. Okay. But -- all right. Now, back then, when you were applying
2 it, and we're talking August 1993 and thereafter, were you ever given any
3 specific instructions either by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and I
4 know that you had two ministers during your tenure, as to how to apply
5 this? In other words, was there a policy?
6 A. I believe that there was.
7 Q. Okay. Well, what was the policy? And I'm saying was there a
8 policy that you were instructed by the ministers: This is how you have
9 to apply this particular law? Or were you just applying it the way you
10 interpreted it?
11 A. I applied it the way I interpreted it.
12 Q. All right. Were you ever instructed to use discriminatory
13 methods in the application of the law, that is, in determining who should
14 or should not become a Croatian citizen?
15 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President. I believe the witness'
16 testimony was that the citizenship applications were sent to Zagreb where
17 they were then processed, so I didn't have the impression that the
18 witness himself was making the ultimate decisions on granting of
20 MR. KARNAVAS: If there is a concession on the part of the
21 Prosecution that the gentleman at least in his application of the -- for
22 Croatian citizenships and for passports was absolutely correct and
23 consistent with the law, then I will move on. So do I have a concession
24 on the record?
25 MR. STRINGER: No, I'm just --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Hence why I'm doing my redirect.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. I will
3 intervene following this objection.
4 Mr. Karnavas is asking the following question to the witness as a
5 consul in Caracas, did he receive any particular instructions on the way
6 to apply the law on Croatian citizenship? Then he is asking the witness
7 that when applying the law, and particularly with regard to the issuing
8 of passports, should something be done in particular when a passport is
9 issued? And then the Prosecutor objects by saying, yes, but the witness
10 stated that he would send the applications to Zagreb.
11 The Prosecutor forgot that the issuing of passports can take
12 place in a consulate and that for that reason, to deliver a passport, you
13 don't have to send the application to Zagreb and the consul can tell us
14 if, yes or no and whether he delivers or issues a passport he can verify
15 if a person is a Croatian citizen or not, so that's basically if I
16 thought I understood Mr. Karnavas's questions, that's the case,
17 Mr. Karnavas please proceed.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I will try -- and also I will keep in mind the
19 Prosecution's concerns.
20 Q. Focussing now on August 1993, in processing the applications for
21 citizenship, were you ever instructed to use discriminatory methods in
22 order to exclude some individuals or to include others?
23 A. I never received such instruction. I abided by the law. There
24 were no particular instructions, discriminatory or otherwise.
25 Q. All right. And can I accept from that answer that
1 President Tudjman did not instruct you, Gojko Susak did not instruct you,
2 Granic didn't instruct you, Skrabalo didn't instruct you, none of these
3 individuals ever instructed you. You were just doing your job based on
4 your understanding of the application of the law; is that correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Now, in keeping a little bit with this issue because the issue of
7 transit visas and passports and documentation, I want to take you back to
8 when you left Croatia, I believe, and then you went to Italy with your
9 family, and then you eventually went to Venezuela. Did you, at the time,
10 have a Croatian passport, you and your father and your mother, siblings.
11 Did you hold a Croatian passport at the time, we were's talking about
12 1947 now, and I think it was 1949 when you left for Venezuela?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And what kind of document, did you have a Yugoslav passport?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Well, how did you get into Venezuela if you didn't have a
17 passport from Croatia or from Yugoslavia? And I should have asked you,
18 did you have one from Bosnia-Herzegovina? How did you get into
20 A. I entered Venezuela with my passport -- with just one document,
21 travel document. The whole family used just one document that had been
22 issued by the International Red Cross and IRO, the International Refugee
23 Organisation which later became UNHCR.
24 Q. All right. Now, I want to make sure because it says here on line
25 5 that you "... entered Venezuela with my passport," you did not have a
1 passport at the time?
2 A. No, I did not have one at the time. I arrived with my parents
3 and we all shared one piece of paper, one document.
4 Q. All right. And when was the first time that you were eligible to
5 actually obtain a Croatian passport?
6 A. I was in a position to obtain a Croatian passport from the moment
7 I arrived in Croatia, but I was a Venezuelan citizen. I had a Venezuelan
8 passport until the moment I obtained a Croatian passport.
9 Q. Can you be more precise? The folks living in the diaspora, the
10 Croats, when was it -- when was the first time that they could actually
11 obtain a Croatian -- a passport, in the history of Croatia, the modern
12 history of it?
13 A. Please repeat the question -- your question, I'm not with you.
14 Q. All right. I'll lead you a little bit. During Tito's
15 Yugoslavia, could you hold a Croatian passport?
16 A. I don't know, but I don't think so.
17 Q. Was the Republic of Croatia independent during Tito's period?
18 A. No, it wasn't.
19 Q. All right. Well --
20 A. Sometimes they would take away our citizenship, sometimes they
21 wouldn't, and I never knew whether, according to the Yugoslav
22 authorities, I was still a citizen of Yugoslavia or not. But in any
23 case, I was an apolode [phoen] in Venezuela, which means I was a person
24 without a previous citizenship.
25 Q. And how long did that last?
1 A. As a minor, I entered Venezuela, and I received the citizenship
2 based on the citizenship obtained by my parents. At the age of 18, I was
3 asked to make my mind as to whether I would continue being a Venezuelan
4 citizen or not, and I decided to adopt permanent Venezuelan citizenship.
5 Q. I take it that was based on Venezuelan law?
6 A. Correct.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. If we could go into one -- private session
8 just for one small topic and that will be the end of my redirect, Your
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, let's move into private
12 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I was saying that as a
2 rule, I do not ask any questions after redirect, but in one of your
3 answers, you said something that could be significant. I found out and
4 that's something I had no idea about. I discovered that you and your
5 parents went to Venezuela in 1947, that's what I see on the transcript,
6 and when you arrived there, your parents apparently had no Yugoslav
7 passport but you had a document for the entire family issued by the
8 International Red Cross and the agency that at the time played the role
9 of the UNHCR. And thanks to these documents, you were able to enter
10 Venezuela and Mr. Karnavas asked you to confirm that information and you
11 did so. It's something else that I'm interested in. I'm trying to
12 compare your situation to the situation of those people who left Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina and left to a third country. Some of them may even have
14 gone to Venezuela, I don't know. These people did not have a passport
15 but they had either letters of guarantee from the third country that
16 would receive them or they had documents from the UNHCR.
17 Later on, you explained that when you turned 18, you were asked
18 whether you wanted to obtain Venezuelan citizenship and you decided to do
19 so because you're telling us that now, you have the double nationality.
20 My question is this: Out of the people who left Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina and who spent some time in transit in Croatia and then who
22 left to go to third countries, out of all these people, can you tell us
23 whether some of them applied for the citizenship of that particular
24 country and do you know whether their children, minors, applied for the
25 nationality of these third countries? Are you aware of such situations?
1 Here I'm drawing a parallel between the situation of these people and the
2 situation of your own family.
3 A. I obtained citizenship in Venezuela at the same time when my
4 parents obtained it, but it was a temporary situation, a provisional
5 situation. Because when I turned 18, the State of Venezuela asked me
6 again under the law whether I wished to continue being a citizen of
7 Venezuela to which I said yes.
8 As of that moment when my parents obtained Venezuelan
9 citizenship, I was a fully-fledged Venezuelan citizen, but I obtained my
10 first Venezuelan citizenship together with my parents and I've been a
11 Venezuelan citizen ever since.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's what happened to your
13 family, but my question was related to information you may have received
14 whilst you were in Croatia, whilst you were an ambassador. Do you know
15 whether people who left Bosnia and Herzegovina did the same thing your
16 family had done, that is to say, move to a third country and obtain the
17 citizenship of that country? Did you receive information in that -- to
18 that effect?
19 A. Again, I have to clarify and say that the situation was rather
20 heterogeneous. There were displaced persons during the Second World War
21 who left the country and who were immediately adopted into the IRO
22 programme or the United Nations Agency for Refugees programme but also
23 ways and other treatments granted to various persons. I believe that
24 those of us who were under the United Nations protection enjoyed certain
25 privileges when it came to immigration to being looked after while we
1 were living in Italy. But this did not apply to everybody across the
2 board. There were different categories of other displaced persons or
3 refugees. Some were categorized --
4 MR. KHAN: Your Honour I do apologise to interrupt the witness.
5 It is clear from the witness' answer that perhaps he hasn't grasped Your
6 Honour's question. It seems to relate to, of course, a totally different
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Khan, thank you
9 for your intervention. Obviously you didn't get the point of my
10 question. You didn't understand my question. My question is very
11 straightforward. We are talking about the period of 1993. To your
12 knowledge, did nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina, did some of them move
13 to third countries, Denmark, England, the USA, Venezuela, Columbia, for
14 example, did they move to these countries, for some of them, and there,
15 when they arrived, these families made up of grandparents, parents and
16 children, and so on, so forth, did some of them obtain the citizenship of
17 that particular country in the same way that you obtained the citizenship
18 of Venezuela under other circumstances obviously? But what I find
19 interesting here, because we might have other witnesses telling us about
20 that, but you may be in a position to do so, but were you aware of those
21 type of cases? If you have no knowledge of such cases, if you never
22 dealt with those situations, tell us and that's fine with me.
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Unless there are more
25 questions for this witness, I'd like to join Mr. Karnavas in thanking the
1 witness for coming to The Hague to testify. Thank you very much for
2 having spent a number of days here in The Hague to testify for Mr. Prlic
3 or for his defence. We wish you a safe trip home.
4 I'm going to ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, one
7 administrative matter, question as far as next week is concerned. You
8 told us, unless I'm mistaken, you said that you had requested six hours
9 for your witness next week. I have no problems with that, as far as I'm
10 concerned, but -- you know this as well as I do, six hours means that the
11 other Defence teams will have three hours, and that they may not use
12 these three hours, I have no idea, but it also means that the Prosecutor
13 will have six hours; and it also means that there will be a certain
14 amount of time related to procedural incidents which unfortunately cannot
15 be avoided and you also have to take into account time used by the
17 So if we have this witness testifying for six hours in direct,
18 that means that we won't be able to complete his testimony within the
19 four days. In other words, your witness will most probably have to come
20 back on the following Monday. If it's not a problem, then that's fine
21 because you are the one who makes the decisions in that respect. If that
22 does not pose a problem, tell us, but Mr. Karnavas, you see last week
23 following the problems we had, I myself asked the witness last week:
24 Witness, would it be possible for to you stay on and he said no because
25 he had to go to Israel. The witness was only able to stay in The Hague
1 for four days. We couldn't go beyond that and you remember that we
2 managed to finish his testimony but it was at the very last minute.
3 As for next week, next week's witness, I don't know if you can
4 tell us whether you're going to use this six hours or not, and you know
5 that these six hours includes both direct examination and re-examination.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Initially we had this witness scheduled for eight
7 hours we then reduced it to six hours. And then upon further reflection,
8 we are going to tender him as a 92 ter witness based on his 1996
9 statement, so we will be asking for that statement to come in. With that
10 statement coming in and using the statement as a sort of a foundation to
11 amplify, we are hopeful that we can reduce it from six to maybe, you
12 know, a more manageable hour rate so that we can finish him within the
13 week. Our expectation is to get him through the week with ample time for
14 the Prosecution to conduct its own cross-examination. So that's our
16 The gentleman is 82 years old, I should say, and speaks rather
17 slowly. I'm not going to mention his name, but in any event, but we will
18 labour through this hopefully that we can finish -- but I will be asking
19 that his 1996 statement taken by the Prosecution which they already have
20 be part of his testimony, so it's not the statement taken by Karnavas and
21 company but by OTP and company.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.
23 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to ask for a
24 clarification on this as well. I'm being informed that we've -- within
25 the last few days, received from the Praljak Defence a Rule 92 ter
1 statement for the same witness, and so we weren't sure whether, then, the
2 Praljak Defence is intending to make this witness one of their own as
3 well for direct examination or whether there's going to be a supplemental
4 or a second 92 ter statement tendered by a different defence team for
5 this witness; and it might affect the procedure and the time keeping as
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic. This
8 morning, to tell you the truth, I reviewed the statement of this witness.
9 I'm not going to mention his name, of course, but I had the same question
10 as Mr. Stringer and my deduction was the following -- I may be mistaken,
11 but it seems that this witness is a Prlic witness but that during the
12 cross-examination, during your cross-examination, you intend to introduce
13 this 92 ter statement and to put questions to the witness as part of this
14 so-called cross-examination. But the Trial Chamber makes a difference
15 between questions directly related to direct examinations and questions
16 that go beyond.
17 Can you tell us what your position is with respect to that
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Sorry, it was on but I turned it off.
21 [Interpretation] With regard to your views, the second part of your
22 understanding is correct. I hope that it would be clear from our
23 submissions, but I certainly wanted to clarify the matter before
24 Mr. Stringer's cross-examination, our plan is as follows: As we
25 announced earlier in a submission and after having submitted our 65 ter
1 list on the Thursday, 1st of March, the Trial Chamber has asked us to
2 declare our opinion on this particular issues which is how to avoid
3 duplication and that, then, we provided our opinion and in keeping with
4 that, yesterday or the day before, we submitted to the Trial Chamber a
5 request in which we specified that we wanted to use the testimony of this
6 witness and his arrival at The Hague for the defence purposes of
7 General Praljak's Defence i.e., within the time allocated to our defence
8 and that we wanted to use him as 92 ter witness.
9 Technically speaking, it may be any way you wish, but technically
10 speaking my idea was to follow on Mr. Karnavas' examination before the
11 beginning of cross, that we should be granted 15 minutes not more for
12 this witness because we would be using him as a classical 92 ter witness.
13 We would just like to put some questions to him to verify his statement.
14 I believe that there is a mistake in the statement which concerns a date,
15 this is a mistake we would like to verify and that is that. I will not
16 take more than 15 minutes, so he is in that respect a 92 ter witness.
17 Then we can continue with our cross. The other Defence teams may have
18 questions, I certainly do, but in light of your guidelines, these
19 questions will fall within the scope of cross-examination, and we will
20 behave as if we had never examined this witness as a 92 ter witness and
21 then in his cross-examination, the Prosecution can deal with two types
22 of -- with the two types of testimonies -- examinations by Mr. Karnavas
23 who will use the witness as a 92 ter as well and he can also deal with my
24 examination which will be both the 92 ter and cross-examination.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, I'll give you the
1 floor in a moment.
2 Mr. Karnavas, this witness is your witness and because of that,
3 maybe you do not want this witness to be sort of contaminated by other
4 considerations. I understand what Mr. Kovacic is saying perfectly, he
5 would request 15 minutes as part of his own direct examination following
6 your own direct examination. Would you agree with that or would you
7 object to it? Because this might be a source of conflict between what
8 the witness told you, what is included in this particular statement.
9 Since you are at the helm, I'd like to know what your position is on this
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I must confess, this is the first time I hear
12 about the cross-examination aspect of it and I must also confess that I
13 do find it a little unusual that you would tender a witness for direct
14 and then cross-examine the same witness because there may be instances, I
15 don't know, where you might need to impeach your own witness. Of course
16 that can be done if a witness goes south on you, as we say, your own
17 witness, you can declare them hostile and then cross-examine, that's a
18 possibility but in this instance, it seemed to me and I don't know, I'm
19 going to be speaking with Mr. Kovacic who is an extremely reasonable man,
20 and very -- much more experienced than I am on these matters, but I'm
21 sure we will coordinate this approach. I would say, however, and I
22 think -- and I don't want to cause any conflict among anyone, but if you
23 do tender a witness as your own witness, and in this case, it would be if
24 they're tendering a 92 ter witness statement, then it would seem to me
25 that unless they can establish under the Rules now, I'm speaking and I'm
1 trying to be fair not to intervene in any way, but to be fair, that
2 unless you can establish that there is hostile territory, that the
3 witness is hostile, I don't see how you can cross-examine the witness.
4 I'm trying to be very careful in my language not to appear that
5 I'm trying to sabotage somebody's -- but I'd like to be professional in
6 these matters, and I think that would be probably -- my opinion might be
7 shared by Mr. Stringer because we come from adversarial system where
8 these rules apply rather rigidly.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart.
10 MR. STEWART: Yes, we probably we got to the point where we
11 should now be awaiting reading Your Honours' imminent clarification of
12 your guidelines but what Your Honours said at page 57, lines 12 and 13
13 just now, you said you know and that you are really addressing
14 Mr. Karnavas, "You know that this six hours includes both direct
15 examination and re-examination" just to record that our understanding of
16 what Your Honours said this morning and what is about to emerge from the
17 Trial Chamber in writing is that for example, Mr. Karnavas could use six
18 hours for direct examination and could also then have a re-examination,
19 the penalty, if you like, being that that re-examination has got to be
20 counted towards his overall total. I only mention that, Your Honour,
21 because that arose in the context of planning for practicalities of next
22 week and when we're looking at how long this witness will take, we have
23 to bear in mind that Mr. Karnavas, if he feels fit, could do it that way.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. One moment, please.
25 Mr. Kovacic first and then Mr. Stringer. Yes, I'm listening.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Perhaps it
2 is better that I address Mr. Karnavas' remarks.
3 In the plan I proposed, it is first and foremost based on your
4 decision of the 24th of April. General Praljak's Defence as regards the
5 Monday witness, we are here wearing two hats. We are in two different
6 roles. One is our right to examine that witness in relation to what the
7 first Defence will encompass in their examination in a potential
8 cross-examination. We are entitled to it. Whether we are to do that or
9 not, it's not for me to say right now. It can be a classical
10 cross-examination; however, we may have another scenario in which we
11 would have some additional questions in regard to what he was saying and
12 then again we are entitled to it. The witness is here, we can examine
14 The situation differs, however, in that in the second instance,
15 you will count that as part of the time you allocated to Defence 3 for
16 their presentation of the case. That is the only difference. In terms
17 of procedure, there is no difference. Of course there is an issue of
18 treating a witness as a hostile and all that, we know about it and we
19 won't go into it right now.
20 I planned to call that witness myself, but since Defence 1 is
21 calling them first, it is best not to have the witness twice here to
22 clarify even further. We can go step-by-step. We can continue the same
23 procedure as with the previous two witnesses and once the examination in
24 chief, cross-examination, and redirect are finished, then I be given
25 another 15 minutes. Maybe that method is better but it's up to the
1 Bench. I was trying to be fair to the Prosecution, and I said that maybe
2 due to efficiency, my proposal was better to have that witness first
3 examined in chief by Mr. Karnavas and then we were to follow but maybe
4 the other modality is better.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I thank you
6 Mr. Kovacic. You've explained very well everything. Thank you.
7 Mr. Stringer.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Just two points in
9 light now of Mr. Karnavas' informing us, and we appreciate that, that
10 he's going to be leading this evidence as a 92 ter witness. Two things.
11 First of all, as the Trial Chamber may recall during the course of the
12 Prosecution case when we were proposing to lead 92 ter evidence, the
13 Trial Chamber in its practice would review the statement and would inform
14 the Prosecution how much time would be granted to the Prosecution for
15 leading the witness as a 92 ter witness. It may be now that the Trial
16 Chamber may wish to review the statement and perhaps issue tomorrow some
17 sort of a guideline in terms of how much time it would allocate to the
18 Defence which is what it did to the Prosecution, for leading the next
19 witness as a 92 ter witness. So that's the first point. It was the
20 practice that was used before and we suggest it should be used here.
21 Secondly, I'm informed that the witness statement that
22 Mr. Karnavas refers to is -- it is indeed a witness statement that was
23 given to the Office of the Prosecutor in 1996, it's 12 pages in length
24 and on the other hand, the Prosecution is currently in the process of
25 reviewing and attempting to assimilate some 215 documents that the Prlic
1 Defence had previously identified as documents that it would use or might
2 use in its direct examination of this witness. So there's a tremendous
3 amount of paper that might, in fact, be impacted now by the fact that
4 this witness is being led as a 92 ter witness, and it would be extremely
5 useful, I think, for all of us if there was going to be any significant
6 reduction in the amount of potential documentary exhibits, if we could be
7 informed of that now rather than having to work with them through the
8 weekend before the witness then comes to testify about his 92 ter
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just briefly --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just briefly respond to the latter
13 part. I don't believe that we were extended that courtesy from the
14 Prosecution what Mr. Stringer is asking on all occasions, particularly
15 since on many occasions, the Prosecution was not able to meet with their
16 witnesses in -- before Sunday or so and it was often the case that it
17 would be Sunday night at 10.00 we would hear the fax machine, getting
18 proofing notes or getting notice of something.
19 And Mr. Stringer obviously knows that it's humanly impossible at
20 this time without me knowing if the Trial Chamber is to accept his first
21 argument that the Trial Chamber should decide how many hours, how can I
22 possibly then make the cut. Also I have to meet with the witness. A lot
23 of variables go in. I can assure the Trial Chamber that our working
24 schedule is 7 days a week. We do not rest a single day. You go until
25 midnight almost every day and we will leave today, this afternoon, we
1 will be meeting with the witness and then the next day and then the next
2 day all the way including Monday morning until we get to court.
3 The Defence, in my opinion, this particular Defence doesn't rest
4 while we are he's preparing the witness because we understand once the
5 witness is on the stand we don't have access. Making cuts on documents
6 is extremely difficult but if they've had the documents for many, many
7 weeks so they've been able to look through them, sift through them.
8 I should also bring to the Trial Chamber's attention that this
9 particular witness also testified in a previous case, and so it is not
10 their first encounter so they've had lots of opportunities to figure out
11 where we're going. It is not rocket science and I'm not Houdini; it's
12 not like I'm going to pull some rabbit out of the hat.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomic.
14 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 What I am probably about to say is understood but however no one said is
16 so far, and it wasn't in the transcript. I suppose that in the time that
17 is allocated to the Defences for cross, it will also include the time
18 they will need to examine under Rule 92 ter as regards Mr. Praljak 's
19 Defence is concerned and that time is not going only to be counted based
20 on Mr. Karnavas' examination. Therefore what should be taken into
21 account is not only the 15 minutes that would be needed for the
22 verification of the statement. If you read the statement as I did, you
23 realise that there is a whole plethora of new topics that need to be
24 discussed and this needs to be taken into account. If there would be no
25 reason to examine the witness after Mr. Karnavas' examination there may
1 be a need to examine him according to the statement.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I did not consult my
3 colleagues but the Trial Chamber will deliberate on this problem that was
4 raised by Mr. Kovacic. I'm not able to answer to you right now but what
5 you mentioned is a purely technical matter. If Mr. Kovacic has 15
6 minutes for his main cross-examination of this witness, and then you have
7 50 per cent of the time, rather 7 minutes and 30 seconds that you have to
8 divide between you, that's the mathematical rule, right? Because
9 Mr. Kovacic would take only 15 minutes. If he would take one minute [as
10 interpreted], it would be 50 per cent of one hour meaning 30 minutes but
11 he told me that he uses 15 minutes so half of that and -- and 7 --
12 meaning 15 minutes and then 7 minutes and 30 seconds for the other
13 Defence teams. Yes, Mr. Ibrisimovic.
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Presiding Judge.
15 First of all, as regards the issue raised by Mr. Stringer, they received
16 it on the 31st of March two months ago. They were given the list of
17 documents used with every witness give or take 10 per cent or so.
18 Therefore, there is no reason for Mr. Prlic's Defence to come up with new
19 lists to forward to the Prosecution. The Prosecutor knows what documents
20 will be used.
21 Secondly, if I were Mr. Kovacic, and of course he needn't take my
22 advice, but I would as regards the witness he prepared for the witness, I
23 would use it in cross-examination asking to have that exhibited. Of
24 course he doesn't have to take that piece of advice but it may pose a
25 practical solution.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So now this is a
2 new thing that's happening here at this Tribunal and we will definitely
3 rule on this. This is all new, so we shall discuss amongst ourselves and
4 we will let you know shortly what our position is.
5 For the time being, what we know is that this witness is coming
6 next week for his direct examination led by Mr. Karnavas for Mr. Prlic.
7 So that, at least, is a certainty. That being said, thank you very much
8 and we shall reconvene next week unless Mr. Stewart would like to add
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it's just really in case I've got
11 confused or misunderstood, the exchange that just took place between
12 Ms. Tomic and Your Honour, I had understood that what she was saying was
13 making the point that where you have a short examination of a witness
14 under 92 ter to verify a statement that to allocate then for
15 cross-examination, a time arithmetically, even as a guideline, a time
16 arithmetically calculated according to that short examination simply
17 doesn't work and we'd say -- we actually had understood that throughout
18 this case that was rather understood and accepted by the Trial Chamber
19 because take an extreme case you have can have a have a statement if it
20 really covers the ground absolutely clearly, and it's all that that party
21 wishes to adduce in chief. You can spend two minutes verifying a
22 massively long statement and then it happens and then Your Honours'
23 answer strictly understood literally understood seems to mean that you
24 get two minutes divided amongst six Defence teams. I thought that was
25 her point, it seems she's nodding approval, it seems she was her point so
1 Your Honour's comment then, with respect, doesn't address it. The point
2 remains on the table.
3 MR. KHAN: Yes, Your Honour, if I could with respect join my
4 learned friend. His submissions and observations. It cannot be right
5 for any party whether it be the Prosecution or a counsel for a co-accused
6 to shovel in evidence by way of a procedural rule in such a manner that
7 would effectively deny the other accused a right to cross-examine on that
8 evidence. So a purely mechanical application of the rules by applied
9 mathematics really would cause an injustice.
10 Your Honour, I think the best way to proceeding perhaps is to
11 leave this matter, perhaps over the weekend, my learned friends
12 Mr. Karnavas and Mr. Kovacic will discuss certain matters which will
13 bring clarity on one issue, and once Your Honours have reviewed the ambit
14 of the statement and have heard the evidence, I think an appropriate and
15 equitable ruling can be made. I think thus far, perhaps Your Honours
16 have seen that there hasn't been unnecessary cross-examination by the
17 accused and if one and again it goes back to my learned friend's
18 submission of perhaps last week if we are asking relevant and coherent
19 questions, a certain degree of latitude should be given to us, but I
20 think a mechanical application of the rules would cause an injustice
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may just ask a question, I think, of
23 Mr. Kovacic.
24 Am I to understand that you are tendering a statement which would
25 be different, another statement than that Prlic Defence will be
1 presenting? I had the feeling it was the same.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, it's a completely different
3 statement, Your Honour. You have the summary. In my part, it is
4 different, personalised story. It is a story of it's own.
5 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, if I could --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I wanted to say
7 only that this is how you should interpret my words. I read the
8 statement produced by Mr. Kovacic, the statement that Mr. Kovacic is
9 going to tender so when I was saying what I was saying, that's following
10 what I had read, the statements that I have read.
11 Yes, we will finish this hearing with Mr. Stringer.
12 MR. STRINGER: Just one final comment, which I think -- well it
13 relates to the length of time for cross-examination. I had referred to
14 earlier what was the practice during the Prosecution case in chief,
15 Mr. President, and I think if the Trial Chamber goes back and looks it
16 will find that it customarily granted in some cases significantly more
17 time for cross-examination than it allocated for the direct examination
18 as a reflection of the fact that in that situation, often times
19 cross-examination will take more time than the direct examination of a 92
20 ter witness.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, very well. The Judges
22 will deliberate on this, the Judges of the Trial Chamber, but in these
23 situations which are quite specific, firstly the Judges must read the
24 written statement then they have to see what the implications will be on
25 various Defence teams before allocating the time. Of course that means,
1 presupposes that we have to have the written statement ahead of time so
2 that we can read it and determine the right amount of time and see if it
3 has some implications on others.
4 That being said this is the work that has to be done.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ... recall what
6 the President has said when this discussion started. It is doubtful
7 whether we can do this witness in one week. I think that's really a
8 speculation, I wouldn't bet on it. So the invitation stands for the
9 Prlic Defence to take the precautions that we can keep him after the
10 weekend. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will reconvene
12 next week and until then, we all have a lot of work to do. Thank you.
13 ---Whereupon the hearing adjourns at 12.14 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day of June,
15 2008, at 2.15 p.m.