1 Tuesday, 2 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours and everyone in and
9 around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
10 versus Jadranko Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. This is Tuesday,
12 September 2nd, and first I welcome our witness, the accused, the counsel
13 for Defence, as well as the representatives of the OTP and everyone
14 helping us. We will now continue with the examination-in-chief led by
15 Mr. Karnavas. I remind you all that we will stop at 12.30 and resume at
16 2.15, not 2.30, 2.15 p.m.
17 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
19 Honours. Good morning, everyone in and around the courtroom.
20 WITNESS: ZORAN PERKOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examination by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Perkovic. I trust you had a good night's sleep
24 and are ready to answer more questions today.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. All right. Now, let's finish off where we were yesterday with
2 respect to the seals. There was a lengthy discussion, far more than I
3 had anticipated, so let's go back to this document of 1D 00014. And I
4 just want to point a couple of things out in light of the questioning
5 yesterday. From Article 1 it says here that the stamp will contain the
6 name of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, hereinafter RBiH, the
7 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, HZ HB.
8 Let me stop right there. If we were to look at this, could
9 someone mistake Article 1 as giving HZ HB state-like powers and becoming
10 a statelet or a state of its own? And I'm particularly stressing this
11 point in light of some of the questioning that occurred yesterday.
12 A. One could not draw that conclusion. All the institutions of
13 power at all levels had names that clearly reflected the state of Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina
15 your way up all the way to the federal level. The only thing we can
16 conclude on this -- based on this is that this is an organ or institution
17 that has the power to set up certain authorities for certain segments.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. And of course in Article 2 we can see
19 again they make reference to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But
20 moving on, if we go to Article 10 very briefly, because this will help us
21 in looking at some of the other documents very quickly, Article 10 talks
23 "The head of the HVO HZ HB, justice and administration
24 department, shall adopt a separate directive on making, storage, use, and
25 keeping of records ..."
1 Now, in light of this Article let's look at some of the other
2 documents very quickly, 1D 00015, here we have a directive on making
3 storage and usage, usage of keeping of records, and of course if we go to
4 the last page we see Zoran Buntic, and you would confirm that Zoran
5 Buntic at the time was the head of the department of justice, is that
6 correct, justice and administration?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. And in Article 1 it talks about as far as the --
9 authorising a particular manufacturer, it would be up to the department
10 of interior. Do you see that, Article 1, right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, if we go to the next document, 1D 00016, here we see a
13 directive on the work of certified manufacturers of stamps, and of course
14 if we go to the last page of this document we see head of department
15 Branko Kvesic, and he was indeed the head of the department of interior,
16 was he not, during that period of time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then of course the next document, 1D 00065, we see a
19 decision, and this decision authorises this particular enterprise,
20 Grafotisak, as being the manufacturer of the stamps and of course again
21 we see it is Branko Kvesic who has signed this particular decision. Now,
22 if we go to -- as a way of example because we don't need to go through
23 all the documents, 1D 02126, let's see how this is put into play, that
24 is, getting a stamp. Here we see a request by Dr. Jadranko Prlic and he
25 is submitting a request for permission to make a seal, and of course he
1 designates under 1 and 2, and this is dated 9 September. Just a quick
2 question. I mean, here is Dr. Jadranko Prlic, he's the president, why
3 does he need to make a request? Why can't he use his presidential
4 powers? And I point this out because specifically in this courtroom
5 we've heard testimony that somehow Jadranko Prlic had more powers than
6 anybody else at times, especially when it came to HVO, the executive
7 authority. So why would he need to ask for a request? Why can't he just
8 simply say, Make a -- direct me to the manufacturer and have it done?
9 A. In order for an institution to get a seal there is a procedure on
10 the making of such seals and stamps and there is the decree on seals. In
11 keeping with that, each head of an institution, including the head of the
12 HVO, must act in keeping with those regulations and in keeping with those
13 regulations they have the right to use a seal. This is a commitment that
14 applies throughout, it applies to everyone. The regulations of the HZ HB
15 made no allowances for anyone, including the president of the HVO.
16 Q. You need to slow down a little bit to make sure that we get
17 everything --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- if I may have some further clarification.
21 Witness, the request is to the HZ HB HVO; is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The department for justice and
23 administration of the HVO of the HZ HB.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. And there is reference to Article 3
25 of the instructions on creating, et cetera, of seals. What kind of a
1 decree is that? Is it one that we have seen here? I'm not quite sure
2 whether I have seen it.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The instructions, this is 1D
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Right. Thank you. And this decree of course is
6 also a Herceg-Bosna norm, isn't it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is a norm in Bosnia
9 enactments like that, especially the instructions on the making of seals,
10 there was a special legal norm governing the making of seals, and there
11 was a special decision on institutions and companies that would be
12 authorised to produce, make, such seals.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. It's the usual linguistic system.
14 Here it is referred to instructions and this is called directive, this is
15 a bit confusing, so I'm sorry if I asked a redundant question. But the
16 gist of it, of my question, is that when you say it is the rules it is HV
17 rules, and it's no reference on any rules established by BiH; is that
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So what we have here is three
20 different legal regulations. We have a decree, which is in practical
21 terms an amendment to whatever authorisations in the Republic of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina
23 this is a sort of bylaw, special form of bylaw, detailing how the
24 seal-makers should work, the institutions producing the seals. This is
25 something that is not unusual because these issues are always settled by
1 a special legal enactment.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, obviously my question was not quite
3 clear enough. All the enactments, that is what I would be assured of,
4 are enactments of Herceg-Bosna and there's no reference to any
5 legislation of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Looking at these instructions and
7 the decree on seals or stamps, what you suggest is entirely accurate
8 because in the norms that prevailed in the Republic of Bosnia
10 Herceg-Bosna, simply because Herceg-Bosna was a transitional form of
11 government according to the republican regulations and nothing like this
12 was provided for. In essence, a legal analogy was applied here.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
14 Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: That's fine.
16 Q. From the line of questioning it would appear that what was
17 happening is there was a question as to whether by not making reference
18 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, to the republic, in a sense Herceg-Bosna now is
19 acting as a state. And I mention this in particular because there was a
20 particular expert analyst by the Prosecution who makes, you know, takes
21 this and pigeonholes this into a theory that this is sort of an
22 indication of taking on state-like powers and thereby we can conclude
23 that Herceg-Bosna was a state. Is that what's happening here by not
24 referencing anything to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. First of all, I can't agree that there is no reference to the
1 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the document. If you go through the
2 decree carefully you see also, when you look at what the substance of the
3 seal should be, there is a prescription to use always the term Republic
4 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm only talking about the fact that no
5 regulation could be taken over from Bosnia-Herzegovina that would settle
6 this issue simply because Bosnia-Herzegovina had no regulation talking
7 about the seals of Herceg-Bosna. It wasn't that we could apply our usual
8 course of action here, to simply take over laws and regulations from
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was about the procedure of taking over other
10 regulations of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 doesn't rule out any mention of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
12 these regulations, and it doesn't mean that the state of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, would not be
14 referred to in any seal or official document of the HZ HB.
15 Q. Okay. Now, if we could -- and then again, in part of your answer
16 we're going to skip one document and then get back to it, but just --
17 because you talked about controlling. If we look at 1D 00129 --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm skipping a document, Your Honours.
19 Q. -- this is a directive of keeping a record of and making stamps.
20 And of course this is what you were referring to, that there's sort of a
21 strict control as to keeping a record because of the importance of having
22 a stamp in light of the legal and administrative tradition of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. All right. And then if we go back one document just to see -- I
1 believe one document, 1D 00615, here we see for the Mostar municipality
2 they have enacted a decision on making stamps for business and social
3 organizations in Mostar municipality. Do you see that, sir?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And would it be correct to say that other municipalities,
6 including municipalities that were under the control of the Muslim
7 authorities, were also using stamps in the same fashion?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. And I guess could we conclude if they were using
10 stamps that perhaps those municipalities under the Muslim authorities
11 were trying somehow to exhibit elements of statehood or para-statehood?
12 A. My answer is the same as the one in relation to the previous
13 case. We have a prerequisite for all the organs of government to be
14 functioning and that is the use of a seal, and the seal always contains
15 something that means something else. In this sense, the use of a seal by
16 the municipal authorities in territory controlled by the BH army as well
17 as in Herceg-Bosna means no more than lending legitimacy to these
18 authorities in the sense of there being an authorisation for them to pass
19 appropriate legal enactments.
20 Q. All right. Just one final question and this goes for other
21 issues as well. We heard from an expert by the name of Tomljanovich,
22 they call him an expert on analysis, we'll let the Trial Chamber decide
23 if he is such. In any event, were you ever contacted by Tomljanovich or
24 anybody else from the Office of the Prosecution in light of the fact that
25 you testified in Kordic and obviously that you knew -- they knew who you
1 were and knew what you had done and knew what you had done, did they ever
2 contact you to, for instance, go over some of these things to figure out
3 the practice, the procedure, the culture - and by that I mean the legal
4 culture - in Bosnia-Herzegovina that might have helped them in their
5 assessment? Because it would appear to me that if I'm an expert I would
6 want to seek out somebody like you, and I think Judge Trechsel was quite
7 right in saying that you are a breath of fresh air, having somebody as
8 knowledgeable as you here to talk about these issues. So my question is:
9 Did anybody from the Office of the Prosecution ever contact you in order
10 to figure out some of these issues that we're discussing here today?
11 A. No, no one ever contacted me.
12 Q. And had they contacted you, had they contacted you, would you
13 have made yourself available, as you did with the Prlic Defence, to
14 discuss these issues?
15 A. Of course. I see no reason not to respond to someone to a
16 request like that. I would be only too glad to provide any explanation
17 that I might be able to offer to either the Defence or the Prosecution.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, let's go on to the next document, 1D
19 00134. This is a decree on employment relations, and of course here we
20 see on Article 1: "The Decree Law of the Presidency of the Republic of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina ... shall be applied ..." we see that in Article
23 And if we look at Article 3, and this might be of some -- I want
24 you to comment on this for a second. It says: "Only fixed-term
25 employment shall be possible ..."
1 If you could explain to us what does that mean: "Only fixed-term
2 employment shall be possible ..."
3 A. Before the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina the most frequent situation
4 was this: People would be employed for an indeterminate period of time.
5 The situation we find here is quite the opposite. This is fixed-term
6 employment. A regulation like this was laid down primarily because this
7 was something that was passed after a state of war had been declared, and
8 most of the active population had been sent to the front line while small
9 portions of the active population, as soon as those people had been
10 mobilised and left for the front line, now had an opportunity to take up
11 their jobs.
12 Q. All right. Well, let me just --
13 A. If I may, the legislator is specifying here that this is a
14 temporary situation. If someone is mobilised, if someone is at the front
15 line, that doesn't mean that they would in the future be disadvantaged
16 when applying for a job.
17 Q. All right. But Article 3, granted we know what it was supposed
18 to be and what -- why it was there, was this used for the purposes of
19 denying Muslims or Serbs positions? In other words, was the law drafted
20 in such a way or applied in a way for the specific purpose of denying
21 anyone other than Croats fixed-term employment or unfixed-term
22 employment, I should say, unlimited employment?
23 A. No provision of this decree could possibly lead to a conclusion
24 like that. It applies to all of the HZ HB's citizens, all those who
25 lived there. I'm not ruling out the possibility that in individual cases
1 a provision like this could have been misused.
2 Q. All right.
3 A. As is always the case, it's always possible to misuse a certain
4 legal enactment or a law, but that was certainly not the idea behind this
5 nor am I aware of this being any sort of a prominent occurrence at the
7 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D 02305, 1D 02305,
8 this is a decree on the application of the Law on State Administration in
9 the territory, and we see the word "territory" again, of the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna during the state of war or imminent threat of
11 war. I don't want to dwell on whether in the title the word "territory"
12 or "area" is used, but I would like you to focus on Article 3. It says
13 here: "The provisions of the Law on the relations between republican and
14 municipal inspectoral bodies shall also be applied according to the
15 relations between the inspectoral bodies of the HZ HB Croatian Defence
16 Council and the inspectoral bodies of municipal Croatian Defence
18 Could you please explain what does that mean?
19 A. This is a republican law specifying in detail what the
20 relationship be between the republican organs of inspection and the
21 municipal organs of inspection in the sense of the powers that the
22 republican organs had vis-a-vis the municipal organs. The belief
23 prevailed that one should not try and re-invent the wheel, but rather to
24 take the solutions that were already there in terms of the relations
25 between the republican organs of inspection and municipal organs of
1 inspection, and to apply these to the relations between the inspection
2 organs of Herceg-Bosna and the municipal inspection organs.
3 Q. All right. And I take it, having heard your testimony yesterday,
4 we're talking about pretty much the sort of work that you were doing
5 prior, I believe, to the elections; is that correct? That's the sort
6 of -- what you're referencing to or am I mistaken?
7 A. You're not mistaken.
8 Q. All right. Well, let me just --
9 A. For a year and a half, nearly two years in fact, I worked as a
10 republican inspector.
11 Q. Right. And the reason I want to make sure -- now perhaps you can
12 help us here. During this period, in light of Sarajevo being under
13 siege, part of the country being cut off, were the republican inspectoral
14 bodies able to carry out their functions at the municipal level, much
15 like you had been able to do prior to the elections when you were in that
17 A. In 80 per cent of the cases before the war, the republic
18 inspectors acted based on complaints of residents concerning the work of
19 the municipal administration. In wartime when Sarajevo
20 surrounded and it was the seat of the state institutions, I don't see a
21 single possibility for the residents to apply the old system that was
22 used before the war to said complaints on the work of state organs so
23 that certain steps could be taken and illegal conduct reversed.
24 Q. And as I also understand your position back then, you would on
25 occasion travel to municipalities incognito, as it were, without
1 announcing your presence, and do a spot-check. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And in light of that, was that possible during the wartime? In
4 other words, somebody from Sarajevo
5 do to spot-check to see whether the administrative procedures in a
6 particular organ are being adhered to?
7 A. I'm not aware of inspection organs of the republics acting -- of
8 the republic acting in this way.
9 Q. All right. Now, if we go to Article 10, because this has been an
10 issue in this court, and it goes to this whole issue of Croatisation,
11 this is one element according to the Prosecution's theory, here we see
12 under Article 10 that there is an introduction of Croatian dinars as a
13 form of payment. Do you see that, sir?
14 A. Yes, Article 10.
15 Q. All right. And please explain to us why -- why were Croatian
16 dinars being introduced as opposed to just dinars? I suspect that if it
17 was just dinars we're talking about Bosnian and Herzegovinian dinars,
18 assuming that they were in existence and had some sort of value.
19 A. The word "dinar," as used in this article means the former
20 currency of the SFRY, so the former Yugoslav dinar, not the BH dinar.
21 And Croatian dinar was introduced because that currency was the most
22 widely available at that time, both in the hands of citizens and in the
23 hands of institutions. So the most frequent currency for monetary
24 transactions used in actual life during that time was the Croatian dinar.
25 Most likely, if we had as many dollars as we had dinars we would have
1 used dollars.
2 Q. All right. If we go on to 1D 00132, and this is a decree on the
3 implementation on the decree law on the adoption of the Law on General
4 Administration Procedure, and of course we're talking about the RBiH law.
5 If we look at Article 2 it says: "Complaints in the administrative
6 procedure shall be addressed by a second-instance body at the HVO HZ
7 HB ..."
8 If you could please explain to us, why was it necessary to have
9 this particular article?
10 A. You see, if one wishes - and there was this wish to implement the
11 actual supervision and control over the work of the municipal
12 administration, then one could do it in two ways. One was by way of
13 inspection, that kind of supervision, and the other way is by reviewing
14 complaints of citizens on the work of the first-instance organs. This
15 decision, this decree, regulates this, it provides the possibility to use
16 the appeals system, appeals procedure, to reverse, to correct, the
17 administrative acts of municipal administration pursuant to complaints by
19 Q. All right. Well, in light of your previous answers, could you
20 please tell us where the second-instance body would have been. Assuming
21 that there was no war, BiH wasn't occupied, Sarajevo wasn't under siege,
22 where would the second-instance body normally be?
23 A. We are now dealing with the Law on Administrative Procedure of
24 the former SFRY. One of its basic principles was the principle of a
25 two-level procedure, including the appeals instance. This law provided
1 that an enactment of any administrative organ of any sort of authority
2 could be appealed. In most cases, the second-instance body was the
3 republic administration organ located in Sarajevo. However, when that
4 organ decided in the first instance, pursuant to the Law on
5 Administrative Procedure, then the second-instance organ was the relevant
6 organ at the level of the SFRY, that is to say the federal state. It was
7 necessary to ensure that there was a two-level procedure, two-instance
8 procedure, deciding on the appeals and complaints of the citizens.
9 Q. All right. If we go to 1D 02011, this is the last document in
10 this chapter, it's a report on the work period of January till June 1993.
11 If we look at the very last page of this document we see your name, Zoran
12 Perkovic, 13 July 1993
13 decrees we see what I suspect had been passed during this period of time;
14 is that correct?
15 A. Yes. We can see here a kind of enactments of the HVO of the HZ
16 HB, and these enactments were submitted for review to the commission
17 which I headed at the time.
18 Q. All right. Unless there are any questions, I'll move on to the
19 next topic, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness, I have a
21 question, a follow-up question. On the last -- this last document is
22 quite interesting because it gives a review of all the texts that were
23 adopted from June to July 1993, and we see that there are many of them,
24 at least 52 decrees. I followed very carefully all the questions put to
25 you and your answers. We saw that there are some texts that dealt with
1 fixed-term contracts, contrary to nonfixed-term contracts. So I was
2 wondering this: If there was a dispute on the contract, what -- which
3 judge should be seized of it? According to your law, it should be the
4 judge where the person was employed, I guess. But the following question
5 crops up in my mind after this. You say that all these texts were
6 adopted following the failure of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina which
7 was not able to fulfil its mission and adopt routine acts that would --
8 needed for the Croats, for example.
9 But why is it that the -- why is it that the administration of
10 Herceg-Bosna did not send to the republic, to Sarajevo, to the competent
11 ministry copy of the document adopted for the -- for their information?
12 What prevented you from sending to the Ministry of Justice, for example,
13 in Sarajevo
14 prevented you from sending to the labour ministry in Sarajevo a copy of
15 the text adopted on labour laws and contracts? Why didn't you just CC
16 the relevant ministries in Sarajevo
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that there
18 are several reasons why this was not done. First of all, technically
19 speaking, I don't see how we could have sent this. We could have perhaps
20 taken this by hand to Sarajevo
21 somebody because there was no other means of communicating with Sarajevo
22 Had we done that, had we used a courier to take this to Sarajevo, I'm not
23 sure how that would have been received in Sarajevo, whether they would
24 have seen this as a provocation or whether they would have seen this as
25 an instance of our sincere desire to inform them of the enactments that
1 we had passed. And additionally, my own experience indicates that they
2 were not interested even in the drafts of the decisions that we deemed
3 important for the entire area.
4 Finally, something very important, we were quite sure that they
5 in Sarajevo
6 June or July of 1992, what you said yesterday, the constitutional court
7 reviewed basic decisions on the creation of the HZ HB, and that indicated
8 to us that if they had all those enactments then they also had all
9 enactments passed by the HZ HB. And finally, these enactments were no
10 secret. They were published in the Official Gazette of the HZ HB called
11 Narodne Novine, and as such they were available to an indefinite number
12 of people, all those who wanted to acquaint themselves with those texts.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answer.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: One aspect of your response is somewhat
15 surprising. You say that those in Sarajevo, I put it a bit generally,
16 knew anyway. Well, whether that be so or not, how did you know? We have
17 been told by other witnesses that the HVO was not even aware of the
18 constitutional court's judgement. So you seem to be saying that they
19 knew what documents were before the constitutional court. I find it
20 difficult to reconcile this. Could you perhaps explain?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a question was put to
22 me why we hadn't sent these documents to Sarajevo so that the people in
24 response said that it was my belief that they knew about these documents.
25 Yesterday I also spoke about diverse and comprehensive and continued
1 contacts that existed between representatives of the institutions of
2 Herceg-Bosna with their colleagues from the republic administration
3 organs in Sarajevo
4 conclusion, or rather, it was my impression that every institution in
6 could familiarize themselves with them without any documents actually
7 being sent there. And as I said, technically it was practically
8 impossible to send them there at that time.
9 When it comes to the enactments of the republic administration
10 organs in Sarajevo
11 that we were handicapped, those of us who worked in the institutions of
12 the HZ HB, handicapped in that regard. I, for example, knew that the
13 constitutional court passed a decision declaring the HZ HB
14 unconstitutional; however, I had no occasion to review the actual text as
15 a lawyer and analyse it. Simply speaking, one could gain information
16 either by way of people coming out of Sarajevo or by way of listening to
17 radio programme, for example, we could listen to Radio Sarajevo
18 broadcasts; but otherwise there was quite a problem in receiving these
19 enactments of the republic organs in our territory and that problem
20 persisted for quite a long time.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. And one follow-up question. Do you know whether other
25 municipalities, like, for instance, Tuzla, was obligated to send its
1 draft legislation or legislation that had been passed to Sarajevo
3 A. The enactments of the Tuzla
4 occasion to review indicate that they also had no contact whatsoever with
5 the seat in Sarajevo
6 view have so many unlawful provisions that it is simply improbable that
7 the republic organs would not have reacted and started an initiative to
8 amend those enactments.
9 Q. All right. If we go on to the next chapter now, this deals with
10 minutes more or less, and we're going to go to P 02509 very quickly. And
11 we see in this page, this is the -- we can see that this is from a
12 meeting with the president, Mate Boban, and others. And we see that your
13 name is there, Mr. Zoran Perkovic, and it's under C, the province number
14 10. Could you please tell us what this is about?
15 A. These are the activities stemming from the desire to implement
16 Vance-Owen Plan. That plan envisioned the creation of provinces in
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, including provinces number 8, 9, and 10. When it
18 comes to the province number 10, it was proposed for that province that
19 the members of the interim government would be certain people, among whom
20 I was listed as well as a member of that government cabinet. Just to
21 remind you, that was the province whose seat was supposed to be in
22 Travnik, and all the people proposed as potential members of the
23 government in province number 10 were the people who had residence in the
24 territory of that province.
25 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D 01609, this is
1 dated 26th May 1993
2 but I'm only going to focus on one aspect and the Judges may wish to ask
3 questions on this document. But if we look at item number 8 it talks
4 about: "A working group was appointed to visit Central Bosnia comprising
5 of Zuljevic, Perkovic, and if necessary Zubak."
6 Can you tell us what was this about?
7 A. See, this session was held at a time when there was an escalation
8 of conflicts between Croats and Bosniaks. A working group was designated
9 with a task to go to Central Bosnia and to establish there on the ground
10 the actual situation concerning the daily life in that territory, and
11 then they were supposed to inform the HVO upon their return. There were
12 various contradictory pieces of information coming to us, and they wanted
13 to send a delegation to the area to establish the actual situation.
14 Q. And very briefly, did you, in fact, go there to see what was
15 happening over there?
16 A. No, we didn't. Our trip was cancelled due to an additional
17 complication, that is to say, the war broke out in that territory.
18 Q. All right. I'm going to go on to another document unless the
19 Trial Chamber has any questions. Seeing none, we'll go to 1D 01668.
20 These are minutes from 15 June 1993
21 question that I'm going to be asking you -- if we look at the very last
22 paragraph on the first page, we see some remarks by Mr. Kvesic,
23 supporting or upholding the proposal made by Mr. Stojic that the BH army
24 be declared an enemy army and the supreme commander Izetbegovic a war
25 criminal. We see the next page Zubak, who upheld the proposal, but said
1 that he believed that more serious steps should be taken to pull military
2 units out of the areas outside the outlined Croatian provinces, together
3 with the local Croatian inhabitants.
4 And then of course if we look at the conclusions, number 1, 2,
5 and 3 in particular, we see that certain conclusions are being made about
6 how the Croats in Central Bosnia are threatened, the supremacy of the
7 Muslim units, and proposals for asking -- for assistance from the
8 Republic of Croatia
9 Can you please tell us a little bit about these events and the
10 conclusions that were reached as a result of the events that were ongoing
11 in Central Bosnia? And I mentioned this because there is this particular
12 issue in this case that the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in particular
13 Herceg-Bosna, were ethnically cleansing themselves. They wanted to
14 ethnically cleanse their compatriots from Central Bosnia in order to
15 create a more homogenous Croatian area in Herzegovina. Could you -- so
16 in light of that, could you please comment on that.
17 A. Well, in that session of the HVO of the HZ HB, they discussed the
18 situation on the ground as it existed and among its features were
19 problems with mobilisation and the complications created by large number
20 of refugees in that area. Secondly, the session was held immediately
21 after the Croats or the HVO had lost Travnik. Thirdly, it was held in
22 the context of the definite failure of Vance-Owen Plan on the ground. So
23 that was the context of this session.
24 Many proposals were put forward, some were more radical, some
25 were less radical, but it is obvious that the HVO was taken by surprise
1 by the situation, it wasn't prepared for it, especially when it comes to
2 the areas inhabited by Croatian people where there were units of the HVO
3 outside of HZ HB, for example, Tuzla
4 there and then there were places like Bihac, Sarajevo, and a number of
5 other places outside of the territory of HZ HB
6 So this session and some other similar sessions held at the time
7 show in a very clear way that there was no plan to move these people,
8 these units, from those areas to some imagined, compact territory that
9 the Croats considered as their own. Simply speaking, had there been such
10 a plan, the consequences both for Croatian people as a whole and for
11 these circumstances would have been completely different. For those
12 reasons, they attempted to take appropriate measures ad hoc, they
13 proposed them, with the intention to provide some sort of assistance to
14 the people residing in the territories outside of the reach of the HZ HB
16 Q. All right. Thank you. If we go on to the next document,
17 1D 01275, these are minutes from 18 June 1993, only a few days later.
18 And of course if we look at the agenda, we can see from items 7 to 17
19 that in spite of all that was happening tabled are approximately ten
20 draft decrees for discussion; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. Now, if we look at -- I won't ask you to discuss item
23 1, but this may be something that the Trial Chamber may wish to go in
24 depth. But there is a reference to a military council being constituted,
25 and then of course we can see that under item 2 on page 3 it says: "In
1 keeping with the decree of the armed forces of the HZ HB form a military
2 council which would contribute to the assessment of the military and
3 political situation ..."
4 If you could please tell us whether -- what was that counsel
5 supposed to do exactly and whether in fact it was constituted. This
6 would be page 2 for you.
7 A. Article 18 of the decree on the armed forces envisages the
8 establishment of a military council. Article 18 says that a military
9 council should be set up within the defence department, that it should
10 deal with developing the armed forces and providing equipment for the
11 armed forces. The council should comprise the president of the defence
12 department, the chief of the Main Staff of the HVO of the HZ HB, as well
13 as a certain number of members nominated by the president of the HZ HB.
14 These are the powers of the military council and this is its composition.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, there are some other matters being
16 discussed here with respect to Mostar municipality. For the
17 Trial Chamber's information, I won't be discussing this. We will be
18 having Mr. Zubak here as I understand it as a witness; however, if the
19 Trial Chamber wishes to pose any questions with respect to that part of
20 the minutes, then you can do that now, otherwise I'll move on to the next
21 document. All right.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, regarding this
23 document I just have one question. This meeting of the 43rd Session of
24 the Croatian Defence Council of Herceg-Bosna takes place on June the
25 18th, 1993, at 10.00 a.m.
1 personalities. And one of the agenda items is the issue of those
2 different decrees, and I noted that there was a decree on the appointment
3 of judges and prosecutors during that meeting. I have the feeling, but
4 correct me if I'm wrong, I have a feeling that those decrees were
5 prepared, submitted to general approval; and after everyone's approval
6 the decrees, but only after that, the decrees can be published in the
7 gazette. Since in Herceg-Bosna there was no parliament, legislative
8 texts were adopted during that type of meeting. Am I right in describing
9 the functioning of this?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, Your Honour. I
11 spoke about that yesterday. Once the HVO has adopted a certain decree
12 law and once this has been submitted to the Official Gazette of the HZ HB
13 for publication.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Therefore, it means
15 that all the texts that are adopted are approved collectively, and had
16 anyone disagreed he would have said so and there would have been a debate
17 on that particular text. So the -- it operated somehow like a
18 legislative assembly, but since there was an emergency situation, a war
19 situation, this is the way texts were being carried; is this correct?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a peacetime situation this is
21 something that would be prescribed by law, and this law would be passed
22 by the parliament. This was, however, no peacetime situation and there
23 was no parliament. As to how the HVO took its decisions, the procedure
24 for the adoption of laws, or something that was prescribed in the book of
25 rules of the HVO, where the decision-making process was laid out in
1 detail for the HVO. I will try to sum this up. The rules and procedures
2 says that decisions should be adopted by the HVO by a majority vote. As
3 soon as there is a majority that exceeds 50 per cent and as soon as there
4 is a quorum, the decision is considered as adopted.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to talk about the role
6 of Mr. Prlic in these sessions. If I got it right, all the decrees were
7 developed by the departments in charge of those particular decrees, for
8 example, the appointment of prosecutors and judges - this is something I
9 mentioned earlier - were developed on the basis of justice department
10 proposals. This is at page 6 of the document. So each department
11 prepares its own texts which are put on the agenda.
12 Now, as regards to preparatory work, did the president of the
13 HVO, Mr. Prlic, give order or did he just wait for the meeting and let
14 each relevant department do the preparatory work as necessary? And
15 during the meeting, as we can see here during the 43rd Session, he could
16 speak, if necessary, against the text, say, I do not agree with the text,
17 there needs to be a vote, and this is it.
18 So summarizing, would the work and act befall in the development
19 phase of the decree, so before the meeting, or would he just take the
20 floor during the meetings and approve or reject the text as everyone
21 else? In other words, had each department completely waited draft a text
22 which was fit for purpose, so to say, and trying to meet the needs that
23 arose, as we could see earlier on with the employment contract? So this
24 would have meant that there was a collective vote when adopting the text
25 on the basis of texts drafted by departments which were fairly autonomous
1 and independent from the president of the HVO? So what do you say to
2 this? Because you attended such meetings and you were in the -- you were
3 in a very good position to answer this question. Of course Mr. Prlic
4 could as well, but he cannot testify so he cannot share his point of view
5 with us.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said yesterday, at the time in
7 the HZ HB there was a single filter, unfortunately, before legal document
8 came to a session of the HVO. This was the commission for regulations
9 that I was in charge of and our remit was limited. We could propose
10 amendments to a draft or perhaps some corrections. Once a draft of such
11 a normative text or a decree was presented at a meeting and when this
12 item of the agenda came up, Mr. Prlic would open the discussion on that
13 item and ask the contributor, the presenter, if you like - and normally
14 this was a head of department - to provide some sort of introduction and
15 to present their reasoning. This opening or introduction would normally
16 take between five and ten minutes, no longer than that, and then the
17 president of the HVO would open the discussion on this proposal. And
18 then everyone else was free to make suggestions or proposals in relation
19 to the draft being tabled.
20 There would often be the case if very few members decided to
21 discuss a certain item of agenda, those heads of department who directly
22 or indirectly were involved because the regulation pertained to the work
23 of their departments; but sometimes Mr. Prlic would join in with his own
24 suggestions, observations, and remarks. As soon as the debate was over,
25 the president would conclude by making a proposal that could have gone
1 two ways. One was to rework or refine the draft following this
2 discussion, and once the draft was refined it would be forwarded to the
3 HVO. If there were no serious objections about the draft, he would then
4 order a vote and then a vote would be taken to see if a decree was
5 adopted or not depending on the outcome of the vote.
6 When it comes to this, I have to say that this wasn't necessarily
7 taken by a show of hands. Sometimes it was obvious that there was a
8 consensus and then the president would simply say, All right, debate
9 over, regulation adopted. I would like to go through all the remaining
10 ones now, and if he noticed that no one opposed this then he would say,
11 Fine, I hereby conclude that such and such a decree or regulation is
12 adopted and then we would move on to the next item on the agenda.
13 If I may, just one thing that I believe to be important. The
14 rules and procedures made it possible for any member of the HVO, if they
15 could not agree, to file or submit a separate, dissenting opinion.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I would like you -- I
17 would like to thank you for this clarification. I thought this was the
18 way things were going, but it's good to have this for the record.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. If we go on to the next document, 1D 01669.
21 It's 5 July 1993
22 focusing your attention very briefly on item 2 it says here, under item
23 2 -- on paragraph that: "The municipal HVO shall harmonize its decisions
24 and other documents in the procedure and conditions to allocate the use
25 of flats within provisions of this decree within 15 days after it comes
1 into effect." This is item 2 concerning the draft decree on abandoned
2 flats which was submitted by the commission for regulations of the HVO HZ
4 Could you comment briefly on that, please, very briefly?
5 A. You see, up until this point in time we hadn't had a single
6 regulation in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna dealing with this.
7 We had a variety of solutions and we dealt with this through municipal
8 regulations, but there was too much varied or too much diversity, and we
9 deemed it necessary to have a regulation at the level of the entire
10 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna that would be binding for this entire
11 area which included all the municipalities that were part of the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna, thereby we also envisaged that these
13 municipalities should reach some sort of coordination, some level of
14 coordination, between their laws and this overriding regulation. The
15 main need to have a regulation like this was to find accommodation for
16 people in abandoned houses and flats. In a way, this regulation defines
17 what it is that we defined as an abandoned flat at the time and under the
19 Q. All right. Unless there are any questions on that I'll go on to
20 the next document, which is 1D 01617. This is 12 July 1993. Again, if
21 we look at the agenda we see from items 2 to 7 -- 1D 01611, 1611. We
22 look at items 2 to 7, we see that again there are several draft decrees
23 that are up for discussion, again in keeping with your previous answers
24 to the President's question if we look at, for instance, item 6, we see
25 two individuals, Galic and Zubak, proposing amendments and thereafter we
1 see that the draft was adopted unanimously. So this was what you were
2 referring to earlier when you were answering the President's question;
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Very well. And item 9 - we're not going to discuss it, I just
6 bring it to the Court's attention in case they have any questions about a
7 group that has been assigned to mobilise -- to monitor the mobilisation.
8 Mr. Zubak will be here, as I indicated, but if the Court has any
9 questions fine, otherwise I'll go to the next document.
10 The next document is 1D 01672, and here this is 22nd July 1993.
11 These are minutes. It does not reflect whether you were there, but I
12 want to focus your attention on agenda item number 3, report of the chief
13 of the Main Staff of the military and security situation in the territory
14 of HZ HB, and of course item 3 we see that the report contained
15 information about the situation on the fronts, particularly Bugojno,
16 Livno, and Zepce. And we understand that you are from Livno. Now, could
17 you please tell us whether you recall being at that meeting; and if so,
18 what do you recall about this particular item on the agenda?
19 A. I was at this meeting. The meeting was held late in the evening
20 in Siroki Brijeg. Speaking of item number 3, the military and security
21 situation in the area of those municipalities, it was General Petkovic
22 who spoke. Roughly speaking, the situation was quite gloomy because the
23 plot kept on thickening in terms of the war going on. He wanted to see
24 how the generals saw the situation in Livno, Bugojno, and Zepce, and then
25 I think there was a question raised by the president of the Bugojno HVO
1 about the situation in Bugojno and about the fact that the army
2 outnumbered the HVO by a ratio of 11:1 or 10:1. The general tried to
3 soothe him and tell him that all the material and technical equipment was
4 being secured for the HVO in Bugojno and that --
5 Q. Slow down, slow down. I mean, this is very important. If you
6 would slow down, you would assist everybody. The translators are
7 labouring very hard to be as exact as possible.
9 A. The general spoke about the situation in Bugojno in a bid to
10 strike a note of optimism in this generally gloomy situation. He
11 informed us that the much-needed material and technology would be
12 supplied. He said that the morale of the HVO was at the required level
13 and there was no need to be pessimistic in relation to the HVO's
14 preparedness in terms of its ability to defend the area in eventuality of
15 clashes with the BH army. I'm certain that what General Petkovic told us
16 at the time was information that he had and that he had received from the
17 HVO commanders over in Bugojno. There is not the slightest doubt in my
18 mind that he was out to mislead us in any way whatsoever.
19 Nevertheless, several days later clashes erupted in Bugojno
20 virtually a day or two after the HVO lost this area in its entirety.
21 This just goes to show how information that was reaching us from further
22 afield, even military intelligence, could be unreliable and how difficult
23 it was at the time to have a realistic assessment of the situation in
24 certain areas, including in this case Bugojno, unless you were yourself
25 of course physically present in a given area. I will point this out
1 again, I have no doubt that the general would have liked nothing better
2 than to inform us truthfully about the situation as it was; but I know
3 that he was receiving such information from Bugojno and that was that.
4 Unfortunately, the information proved to be inaccurate, and under the
5 circumstances it was very difficult to make the right calls virtually on
6 a daily basis and to deal with all these delicate issues on such a tight
8 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I was waiting for
10 Mr. Karnavas to finish this document to ask the following question, still
11 under this document because on this document there is a fundamental issue
12 on which we have to think, we have to determine the role -- the military
13 role of Mr. Prlic. There is a document here saying that on July the
14 22nd, 1993, there was a meeting between 8.00 and 11.00 p.m., so a
15 three-hour meeting, with three agenda item, the third agenda item being
16 the military situation. We know on the basis of those grounds, though
17 unfortunately there is not the attendance list, it's a pity but there is
18 no attendance list, but we know because you told us that you attended, we
19 at least know that Mr. Prlic attended and that General Petkovic also
20 attended, plus the person who drafted the report. And if we take a close
21 look at that document, we all know that there were the heads of the
22 municipalities because the presidents of the municipalities attended the
24 So the third agenda item deals with the military situation. You
25 told us that General Petkovic gave an update on the military situation
1 when you answered Mr. Karnavas's question. There was reliable
2 information but there was this update, this presentation, by General
3 Petkovic. Now, I'd like to know the following, after Mr. Petkovic made
4 his presentation, did he receive instructions from Mr. Prlic and other
5 members on how to conduct military operations on the basis of the
6 situation report or were there no such orders to General Petkovic because
7 there was in the remit of Mr. Mate Boban who was the head of the army?
8 So can you answer that question. So General Petkovic attends that
9 meeting. Does he do so only to present a report and not to receive
10 instructions or orders from the members of the meetings or is it the
11 other way?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, at this meeting General
13 Petkovic did no more than to inform those present about the overall
14 military and security situation, primarily the military situation that
15 prevailed in the area. Having presented this information, no discussion
16 followed nor were any conclusions adopted or, indeed, guide-lines
17 regarding this information. General Petkovic simply presented this
18 information, he brought it to everyone's attention, and no further steps
19 were taken at this meeting. This is exactly what the transcript shows
20 us. Otherwise, it would have been the established practice if certain
21 guide-lines were being adopted or conclusions to record those in the
22 transcript, but this was nothing but information being presented.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question may be difficult
24 because I personally would be unable to remember a meeting which took
25 place over 15 years ago, but perhaps you have a better memory than mine.
1 So in your recordation, does the defence minister, Mr. Stojic, did he
2 attend or did he just say nothing?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember if Mr. Stojic was
4 there. I do, however, remember the meeting, the reason being this was
5 the last meeting before the fall of Bugojno. It was based on what
6 transpired at this meeting that I arrived at a conclusion. All the
7 information we were receiving through all sorts of different channels was
8 to be taken with a grain of salt.
9 Another reason I remember this meeting is this, one of the things
10 discussed at the meeting was the military and security situation in Livno
11 and that was where my family lived. It is only natural in a situation
12 like that, that one should focus even more on this as opposed to perhaps
13 discussion of another area, simply because all of my nearest and dearest
14 were still in the area, my parents, my relative, my friends, and so on
15 and so forth. This is yet another reason why the meeting is so wedged in
16 my memory.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, following the President's
18 question, you said that you did not remember whether Mr. Stojic attended
19 this meeting, but in the minutes of this meeting of July 22nd, 1993, it
20 says in discussion of item 1 that the head of the military department,
21 Mr. Stojic, informed -- the head of the defence department, Mr. Stojic,
22 informed the meeting on the implementation of the decision on
23 mobilisation, so I believe he was probably there. What do you think of
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I tried to answer your question
1 based on my recollections. There were over 30 people in that meeting.
2 Based on my recollections, I couldn't say whether Mr. Stojic was there or
3 not. If it says in the minutes that Mr. Stojic reported on some previous
4 item, then I have no reason to doubt that Mr. Stojic was indeed there,
5 although I personally do not remember that. I don't remember all of the
6 people who were there.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 To finish off, regarding the military situation, as far as you
9 remember Mr. Stojic did not take the floor after General Petkovic made
10 his presentation; is that it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have said that I don't remember
12 that there was any discussion after the briefing by General Petkovic. I
13 don't remember anybody discussing anything, including Mr. Stojic; and as
14 I've said just now, I don't remember that Mr. Stojic was in the meeting.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 I'm looking at the clock, it's 10.30, I believe it's a time for a
17 break, our only break this morning. This will be a 20-minute break and
18 we will resume after the break.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is now in session.
22 Mr. Karnavas, you've used up three hours already.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm fully aware of that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you have two hours left. Go
25 ahead. The Judges did speak a lot and did take up a lot of your time.
1 We know that.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: No, I think that is important for the Judges to
3 ask questions with these sorts of witnesses, and I would invite their
4 full engagement.
5 Q. Now, picking up from the President's question, I want to ask you
6 to be a little more concrete because as I understood the question in a
7 more general sense was whether Dr. Prlic gave operational instructions or
8 orders to the military. That's how I understood it. Now, we've seen the
9 law, so de jure the Trial Chamber will be able to make an assessment and
10 can ask you for further clarifications if need be. By de facto, if you
11 can tell us in light of your engagement of your various positions with
12 the HZ HB and the HR HB, and given that you've told us that you attended
13 dozens and dozens of meetings, I think somewhere in the neighbourhood of
14 40 to 50 meetings, can you recall any instance where Dr. Prlic issued
15 operational orders to the Main Staff or to anybody in the military for
16 that matter?
17 A. First of all, when I spoke of this document I said that the
18 entire discussion under item 3 was concluded with a briefing of General
19 Petkovic concerning the situation on the ground. Secondly, on the
20 sessions which I attended, and those were mostly the sessions of the HVO
21 of the HZ HB, I'm not aware of any situations nor did I witness any
22 situations where such operative orders were issued by the president of
23 the HVO, and this is something that is well illustrated by the minutes
24 from all sessions.
25 As for other meetings, I did not attend them so I cannot provide
1 a direct answer to this question, whether there had been such meetings
2 and whether there had been such situations. I do not remember any
3 situations in the meetings that I attended where the president of the HVO
4 issued any operative orders.
5 Q. All right. Thank you. Well let me just follow-up one other on
6 that. Recognising that you were not at any meetings, did you ever hear
7 of any meetings taking place where Dr. Prlic would have issued or is
8 reported to have issued such orders, recognising that this is hearsay but
9 nonetheless this may be something for the Trial Chamber to consider.
10 A. No, I didn't hear.
11 Q. All right. Now, if we go on to the next document, 1D 01813, this
12 is the last document, again very brief answers if possible. We see that
13 this is dated 18 September 1993. It's addressed to the supreme commander
14 of the armed forces and to the president of the chamber of deputies of
15 the HR HB, so now we're in the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. If we
16 look at the second page, at the end of the page, we see it's Dr. Jadranko
17 Prlic, president of the government of the HR HB. And if we just glean
18 through this document we see that it's about all forms of unlawfulness,
19 there's a mention of a coordinating body having been established. The
20 very last paragraph talks about a conclusion, that it was concluded to
21 propose to the supreme commander of the armed forces of the HR HB that a
22 meeting concerning these issues be held with the Main Staff and asking
23 for clear positions.
24 Now, two questions. One, were you aware of the activities that
25 are being discussed in this particular document?
1 A. Yes. I know that there were a number of actions including these
2 that were aimed at preventing any unlawfulness and dealing with the
4 Q. All right. I have no further questions on this document. If the
5 Trial Chamber has any questions --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, a technical question.
7 This document sent by Mr. Prlic to the supreme commander of the army, I
8 guess it's Mr. Boban. I see it's also sent to the president of the
9 chamber deputies of the HR HB. Why is it sent to this person, this
10 president of the chamber of deputies? You told us that there were no
11 meeting of members of parliament or deputies, so what does this mean
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a new situation. I spoke
14 of the time when the HZ HB existed, when there was no parliament and
15 there were no parliamentary sessions. Now this other period is the
16 period when the Croatian republic of HB
17 of its institutions, one of which was a legislative body, it was called
18 the house of representatives. So this letter was sent to the president
19 of this legislative body, I assume with the intention to have -- give --
20 have him say whether this body could act upon this and perhaps enact
21 certain conclusions. So this is quite a new situation which emerged
22 after the Croatian Republic
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
25 Q. All right. We're going to go on to another chapter and this
1 deals with the Law on State Administration. There are just two documents
2 on this. The first document is 1D 00822, and if we look at it and at the
3 very top I believe we see the date of 20th of March, 1990. Now, this Law
4 on State Administration, are you familiar with this document, sir?
5 A. Yes, I am.
6 Q. And as I understand it, this was the law that was being applied
7 in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina having -- taking an -- having taken
8 over this particular law from before, is that correct, or am I mistaken?
9 A. This is, if I may say so, the original law of the Croatian
10 Republic of HB
11 Q. All right. And is it -- according to the translation it says
12 "the Croatian Republic of HB." Are we talking about the Republic of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina or -- if you look at line 6 of your answer, page 38,
14 you say: "This is ... the original law of the Croatian Republic
15 Obviously you misspoke. What does this law purport to be?
16 A. Of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Q. Okay. Okay. Sometimes we need to make sure that the record is
18 clear. All right.
19 And was this Law on State Administration used by the Croatian
20 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
21 A. Just a bit ago when we discussed the decree on taking over this
22 law and applying it in the territory of HZ HB
23 the issue of relations between the municipal and republic inspection
24 organs, so that was the decree that was taken over.
25 Q. All right. And for the Trial Chamber they may be interested in
1 looking at Articles 4, 7, and 8, as well as Article 62 for purposes of
2 any questions; otherwise, I will move on to the next document and that
3 would be 1D 00825. And we see that this is a decree on the proclamation
4 on the Law on Amendments to the Law on State Administration. This is
5 dated 26th March 1991 signed by President Alija Izetbegovic. And if we
6 look at the law below it, look at Article 170 in particular, it says:
7 "An official heading an administrative organ and his deputy may be
8 relieved of their duties before the expiry of their term to which they
9 were appointed if there is -- if this is required because of proportional
10 representation of nations and nationalities of BH in the state
11 administration and the implementation of personnel policies."
12 And my first question is: On its face do you have an opinion as
13 to whether this article, Article 170a, is constitutional?
14 A. In my opinion, if I compare this article with the provisions with
15 the Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I personally
16 think it is unconstitutional.
17 Q. All right. Now before we looked at this law, this labour law or
18 that one segment that was passed at the Croatian Community of
19 Herceg-Bosna where it talked about fixed terms, if you recall, and you
20 gave us the reasoning for that, in particular because of the wartime
21 situation; focusing on Article 170a, given that we have none other than
22 Alija Izetbegovic promoting this concept, can you tell us whether in the
23 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna or in the Croatian Republic
24 Herceg-Bosna, whether this article was ever applied. In other words,
25 whether a particular individual because of his nationality was dismissed
1 for reasons of proportional representation?
2 A. As far as I'm aware, not in the territory of HZ HB
3 of a single case where this article was applied and somebody was
4 dismissed because of their ethnic origin in order for their position to
5 be filled by a person of another ethnic origin.
6 Q. All right --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I, Mr. Karnavas, would like to ask two
9 The first question is that you have said that in your view this
10 article was unconstitutional. Could you tell more precisely, say more
11 precisely, against what article or principle of the constitution it went.
12 What's the violation? What's unconstitutional about it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is contrary to the basic
14 principle of equality of citizens before the constitution and the law.
15 If you dismiss somebody because of their ethnic origin in order for a
16 person of a different ethnic origin to be appointed to that same
17 position, then in my view that represents the violation of the basic
18 constitutional principle on equality of all citizens before the
19 constitution and the law.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
21 The second question is the difference -- what is the difference
22 between nations and nationalities here?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the legal system of the
24 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia under the term "nationality,"
25 or rather, the term "nationality" referred to national minorities; that
1 is to say, in the former Yugoslavia
2 the place of the term "nationality minority," that is to say Hungarians
3 were a nationality, Romanians, Austrians, were all a nationality in the
4 former SFRY. As for nations, those were the six constituent nations in
5 the SFRY, Croats, Serbs, Montenegrins, Slovenes, Macedonians, and
6 Bosnians, all of them had a status of constitutive nation.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may proceed, Your Honours.
9 Q. We're going to go on to another topic and this deals with the
10 rules of procedure, and we're going to focus on P 00596. And I should
11 say this is how the document was introduced. The first page is -- in
12 this document is irrelevant. It is the second page where we will find
13 the rules of procedure of the Presidency of the Croatian Community of
14 Herceg-Bosna dated 17 October 1992
15 to focus on.
16 Do you recognise these Rules of Procedure, sir?
17 A. Yes, I recognise them.
18 Q. Now, we don't have much time, as much as I would love to have a
19 discussion on this, we don't have much time. But I asked you a series of
20 questions yesterday and perhaps we can focus just ever so briefly on
21 Articles 40 and 41 and -- because they are somewhat interesting. Article
22 40 says: "If the Presidency of the HZ HB decides that a regulation or
23 other piece of legislation of the HVO HZ HB is contrary to regulations or
24 other acts by the Presidency of the HZ HB, it shall demand that the HVO
25 readjust the regulation or other general acts or to take other
1 appropriate measures within a given time-limit ..."
2 And then I won't bother to read the second paragraph. Now, again
3 based on your testimony, the Presidency is made up of the presidents of
4 the municipalities; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Now, can we conclude that based on this what is being said that
7 if these presidents of the municipalities don't like a -- or don't agree
8 with the particular piece of legislation that has been introduced by the
9 HVO HZ HB, they can demand that it be readjusted? Is that how it should
10 be read?
11 A. Yes. If I can give just two sentences. The rules of procedure
12 envision a situation in which the Presidency of the HZ HB would continue
13 adopting decree laws, and then it goes on to say that all enactments of
14 other organs, including the HVO, under the principle of subordination
15 have to be in compliance with all the decrees adopted by the Presidency.
16 Then it goes on to say that should that not happen, then the Presidency
17 may set aside such an enactment.
18 In addition to others, the Presidency comprised the heads of the
19 HVO municipalities because they as part of the Presidency were meant to
20 adopt decree laws.
21 Q. All right. And based on that, if the president of a municipality
22 didn't particularly care for a piece of legislation coming from the HVO,
23 that president of the municipality, being also a member of the
24 Presidency, would he or she have any influence and pass -- in having the
25 Presidency demand the readjustment of the regulation to suit the
1 particular HVO municipality or president of the municipality?
2 A. In my opinion, there is a conflict of interest there because the
3 president of the HVO in a municipality, as a member of the Presidency
4 together with others, could in practice, block a legislation of the HZ HB
5 if he believed that such a piece of legislation could harm or went
6 against the interests of the municipal HVOs.
7 Q. All right. We'll go on to the next document --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Additional question.
9 Mr. Perkovic, are you aware of this rule, this article, ever
10 being applied in practice?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think so, because
12 approximately during this period of time, 1992, the Presidency of the HZ
13 HB practically stopped meeting.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That corresponds to what I expected.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, P 09530, and this
18 is dated 12 November 1992
19 Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
20 We've seen this document before. I just want to touch on a couple of
21 points very quickly in light of your testimony that we see on Article 9,
22 for instance, it talks about: "The bodies of the HVO shall be bound to
23 implement the programme of work and monitor its execution..."
24 So we looked, I believe, at one particular programme of work
25 unless I'm mistaken. This is what was being referred to; correct?
1 A. Yes. This refers to programs of departments and commissions and
2 implementation of tasks as provided by those programmes.
3 Q. Right. And if we look at Article 13, for instance, it talks
4 about: "Documents shall be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of
5 the HVO with all necessary accompanying documents, including: The
6 opinion of the "Commission for Regulation on Conformity of the
7 Preliminary Draft," and so on and so forth. That's what you were talking
8 about, you issuing opinions; correct?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. And I believe you also testified that not always the proper
11 procedure was being followed which made your job somewhat more difficult
12 because then you would have to intervene during the sessions, that is?
13 A. Yes. Here in the Rules of Procedure there is such a possibility,
14 namely, that head of a department could insist that a certain item be
15 placed on the agenda and naturally there were cases where precisely that
16 happened, that they insisted on putting a certain regulation on the
17 agenda even before that regulation had passed through the procedure as
18 mandated by Article 13. So what I'm saying now is Article 18, last
19 paragraph, namely, the person proposing some material can insist that
20 this material be included on the agenda for a session, and this is
21 something that the HVO would decide upon.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
23 I would like to ask a linguistic question. If you look at the
24 English version in Article 13 you have "documents" and "documentation."
25 However, if you look at the original, if I'm not mistaken, the first
1 quote "documents" is here is called "materijali," and you yourself have
2 now spoken of materials. Could you be so kind as to define what
3 specifically is meant by the term "materials."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the legal slang the term
5 "material" in BH refers to all documents provided together with the basic
6 texts, so that would include the basic texts, the opinion of the
7 legislative commission, perhaps even department for finance, and so on.
8 So all of these texts put together would comprise material.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That would then mean that the reference to
10 accompanying documents is redundant because that's contained in
11 materials; and furthermore, do I understand you correctly, I get the
12 feeling that the basic text, as you say, is a draft legislation or
13 another draft normative act?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The basic text is a proposal for a
15 regulation. So it would arrive to the session of the HVO in the form of
16 a proposal, accompanied by opinions of relevant institutions. In the
17 legal slang we use the term "material," but that's not a legal term, it's
18 an informally used term, and I used it in the same manner here because it
19 was a customary term.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. That's very helpful.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. In light of this question -- and of course I touched upon it
23 yesterday a little bit, you told us that at the state level there were
24 six or seven different filter stages where a draft would be looked at in
25 order for it to be harmonized and ultimately passed. Now, having looked
1 at the various legal instruments in preparation for your testimony and
2 your previous testimony, do you see linguistic inconsistencies or
3 redundancies? I mean, as a draftsman, do you see any errors that perhaps
4 shouldn't be there or is every word that's contained in these documents
5 as a result of a great deal of reflection and deliberation?
6 A. You see, Article 13 of the rules illustrates in the best possible
7 way what I said yesterday, it confirms it. Three organs are mentioned
8 here, out of which only one is duty-bound to provide opinion on each
9 normative act and that is the Commission for Regulations. And this is
10 why I spoke of just one filter. When it comes to the department of
11 finance, they were duty-bound to give their opinion if that normative act
12 entailed some expenditure of funds, of financial means. And the justice
13 department would do the same if it involved some of their topics. Based
14 on that, it was normal that due to this reduced procedure it was possible
15 for certain inadequate terms to be included in proposals for regulations.
16 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you to be a little bit more direct and
17 concrete because of my time limitations because that answer at the very
18 end could have been given to me at the forefront. Recognising that all
19 of this is important, I would kindly ask you to be a little more
21 Now, if we look at Article 34 and 35 in this very briefly, here
22 Article 34 talks about: "A decree and decisions shall be published in
23 the Narodni List ..." and then Article 35 talks about transparency. Now,
24 there was an analyst expert from the OTP who did an assessment, he's
25 supposedly an constitutional expert, he sits on the Slovenian
1 constitutional court, and he had some opinions regarding the usage of the
2 Narodni List, the Official Gazette. And as I recall, his opinion was
3 that the use of this was also another indication of taking on state-like
4 powers and institutions because only at the state level would you have an
5 Official Gazette.
6 Now, could you clarify that for us. Was that correct? Prior to
7 the war was only the state, and that would be -- or the republic, for
8 instance, publishing Official Gazettes or did municipalities also have
9 Official Gazettes? That's the first question.
10 A. Before the war, just like nowadays, all municipalities in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina have their Official Gazettes where they publish their
12 normative acts. It goes for municipality, for states, and nowadays even
13 cantons and entities in BH. That is to say, our legal tradition is that
14 all levels of authorities had their official publications where they
15 published their enactments and regulations.
16 Q. All right. And just to make sure that we're absolutely clear,
17 this expert was from Slovenia
19 court, his father was a big man in the Tito era. Is it possible that
20 somebody with his qualifications would not know the answer that you just
21 gave us or is it in Slovenia
22 and thereafter they had a different legal tradition; hence, why as an
23 expert he was trying to convince the Judges that this sort of publishing
24 of an Official Gazette would be the same -- would be indicative of
25 state-like powers?
1 A. I don't think it's possible that this person didn't know this.
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Also, in Slovenia
4 its proclamation of independence had their Official Gazettes, local ones,
5 municipal ones, I believe they still do.
6 Q. All right. If we go through now the next series of documents
7 very quickly because we talked about these Rules of Procedure. If we --
8 just to verify, 1D 02518, here we have the Rules of Procedure for the
9 Siroki Brijeg municipality. Have you had a chance to look at these
10 rules; and if so, are they consistent with what was in practice at the
12 A. Yes, I've had a chance to look at these. This is mostly in
13 keeping with the usual, established practice and procedure.
14 Q. Okay. And in particular what I'm most interested in, because
15 we're going to talk -- I'm going to go through all these documents very
16 quickly. With respect to the collective organ aspect of it, because I
17 did ask you whether this was something that had been in place prior to
18 the elections and thereafter. So do -- do these Rules of Procedure also
19 reflect that the Croatian Defence Council of the Siroki Brijeg
20 municipality is acting as a collective organ?
21 A. Yes. Let me bring to your attention Article 4, paragraph 2,
22 saying that the HVO takes its decisions at sessions convened by a
23 majority vote.
24 Q. All right. Now, just very quickly because the Court can look at
25 these later, 1D 01118. These are the Rules of Procedure for Capljina.
1 Are these more or less representative and consistent with the rules that
2 we find for Siroki Brijeg? And again, speaking of the collective body
3 aspect of it.
4 A. This is a similar document, quite similar in fact, and it's based
5 on exactly the same principles.
6 Q. And what about 1D 02052? This is for the municipality of
8 A. I think it's identical.
9 Q. All right. Now, if we look at 1D 00869 here dated 5 December
10 1992, this is for the Tuzla
11 talks about: "The Presidency shall work and reach decisions in its
12 session as a collective organ and shall be collectively responsible for
13 its work. Would this also be similar?
14 A. Yes, yes. The principle is the same and the text is almost
16 Q. All right. And if we look at Article 6, keeping with our initial
17 discussion we picked up from yesterday with respect to stamps or seals,
18 we see that: "The Presidency shall have a round stamp ... in diameter,
19 with the following elements: In the middle, the temporary coat of the
20 arms of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina," and so on and so forth.
21 So here we see, do we not, that Tuzla
22 don't see any reference to -- about a seal law to the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Article 6. I don't see any reference to that. So
24 is Tuzla
25 day, is Tuzla
1 Community of Herceg-Bosna with respect to having a seal?
2 A. It's not doing anything different as opposed to the organs in the
3 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. The Law on Seals of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina says that these seals must have the coat of arms of
5 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this law was never
6 changed or amended. We see Tuzla
7 provisional, coat of arms of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are adapting their
8 own internal laws to the needs of the situation as it developed on the
10 Q. All right. Now, if we look at the next document, 1D 02012, this
11 is for the municipality of Soli
12 it would this more or less reflect what you've indicated before about
13 this being a collective body, that is, the Croatian Defence Council of
14 the Croatian Community of Soli?
15 A. Yes, but with the following proviso. This is not the
16 municipality of Soli, this is the Croatian Community of Soli and it
17 didn't have any attributes of power.
18 Q. All right. Thank you for that clarification. And finally,
19 1D 01879, here we have the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies
20 of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Are you familiar with these
21 rules; and if so, how and what do they purport to be?
22 A. I'm familiar with this document. Essentially, this book of rules
23 envisages rules for the functioning of the Chamber of Deputies of the
24 Croatian Republic
25 duties, the way in which they should work, and it also provides for any
1 other issues that are important for the work of the Chamber of Deputies.
2 Q. Thank you. Unless there are any questions, I will go on to the
3 next brief topic which deals with defence plans, it's something that has
4 come up in this courtroom. If we look at document 1D 00897, we don't
5 have the entire English version of it because it's a rather lengthy law
6 but it's the law on All People's Defence. And we see it's dated 9
7 February 1984. I believe you did tell us that you served -- you did your
8 military service and you have commented about having to also report in
9 your hometown when you returned to Livno back in 1992, I believe. So are
10 you familiar with the Law on All People's Defence?
11 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that.
12 Q. I would be shocked if you weren't, actually. If we look at page
13 3, Article 46, the rights and duties of local communities. Just very
14 briefly for the record we see seven items:
15 "Organized and prepared -- organize and -- for armed fight,
16 organize and prepare the civil protection, draft and adopt defence plan,
17 organize and execute training, organize and implement the preparation for
18 mobilisation, organize craft production and homemade production,
19 determine the organization of the organs of the local community and
20 preparing them in the training of the executing of the war tasks."
21 Do you know whether this Law on All People's Defence continued to
22 apply after the elections and after Bosnia-Herzegovina declared itself to
23 be independent?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. And of course we're going to be discussing or seeing an
1 example of number 3: "Draft and adopt defence plan and plans for other
2 emergency situation of the local community."
3 Are you familiar with what is being discussed here about the
4 drafting of a defence plan? What is a defence plan for those of us who
5 did not grow up in Yugoslavia
6 A. Defence plans are based on the fundamental -- the notion for
7 defence in the former Yugoslavia
8 be armed and would put up resistance, and each individual would be
9 committed to the defence of the country.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. Would have the duty to defend the country. This applied equally
12 to military conscripts and to all other adult citizens of the Socialist
13 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Within that same framework, all levels
14 of government throughout Yugoslavia
15 apply in the eventuality of an aggression. In addition to the official
16 authorities, this obligation applied to any other legal entities, such as
17 companies, schools, universities, theatres, and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you. It's one of my favourite topics
19 but we don't have much time to dwell on it in fact. If we look at 1D
20 02722, now we're going to look at a series of four documents just to show
21 how it works a little bit. Here we see -- this is a procedure upon
22 receiving the Leotar signal. Have you had a chance to look at this
23 document and could you tell us whether this is the sort of procedure that
24 you would expect emanating from the application of the Law on All
25 People's Defence?
1 A. I've had a chance to look at the document, yes. This document,
2 the procedure for the reception of signals, this is something that was
3 applied in Capljina municipality, but this had to remain in keeping with
4 the Law on All People's Defence. For something like this to take effect,
5 certain procedures had to be followed and certain approvals obtained.
6 Q. All right. Let's look at 1D 02723, this is an extract from the
7 plan of relocation municipal administrative organs to wartime locations,
8 and we see that the municipal administrative organs and state organs is
9 the Karaotok hotel with its auxiliary facilities. Now, do you see this
10 and can you please explain to us what exactly is this all about? And you
11 have to look at the next page, of course, which is the decision to
12 designate wartime locations, I ask this because in particular because we
13 do know about the siege of Sarajevo
14 were some in the Presidency that argued that the War Presidency should
15 function outside of Sarajevo
16 explain this document. This might be able to assist us.
17 A. We talked about these defence plans. According to these defence
18 plans, each municipality and each socio-political organization had
19 reserve positions in terms of location, and if there was an imminent
20 threat of war or if there were war it was to move to that reserve
21 location so that it could continue its work. And the same thing applied
22 to the republican organs of administration over in Sarajevo, including
23 the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the republic's
24 defence plan, there is a location or the reserve position that it would
25 withdraw to was Han Pijesak, which is a small town 40 kilometres north of
2 Q. All right. All right. And that's underground as I understand
4 A. Yes, it's an underground military base.
5 Q. All right. Of course that would not have been available during
6 that period because of the Republika Srpska; correct? And as I
7 understand it, those facilities might even have been used by Mr. Mladic
8 himself, General Mladic, afterwards.
9 A. You're right.
10 Q. All right. If we look at 1D 02724, okay, this is in keeping with
11 the previous document. Now here we have a decision to approve the
12 defence plan of the Capljina municipality. So it would appear when we
13 look at this that actually one not only has to come up with a defence
14 plan but it actually has to be approved; correct?
15 A. That's what I said a while ago. There had to be an appropriate
16 procedure first for adoption and approval.
17 Q. All right. Now, you did indicate that enterprises as well as
18 schools and other facilities had to have their own defence plan, and by
19 way of an example let's look at 1D 02811 and this is a decision that --
20 if we were to look in the third page, we see it's January 13, 1989, it's
21 a decision on adopting the defence plan for the printing company Graficar
22 in Doboj, which today would be the Republika Srpska. And so -- and this
23 is a 200 -- the plan, the actual plan in the original language is
24 approximately 200 pages. If you could just briefly tell us, would this
25 represent what a typical defence plan would look like?
1 And again, if we see on number 1, there's the plan of readiness,
2 mobilisation plan, operational plan, utilisation plan for territorial
3 defence, utilisation plan for civil protection, plan for security and
4 self-protection measures, communications, and crypto-protection plan. Is
5 this something that we would -- is this the typical defence plan that
6 would have been prepared and available by the enterprises and others as a
7 result of the All People's Defence that was in effect even after
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina declared itself independent?
9 A. This is a complete defence plan for a company. The law precisely
10 defines what elements any and each plan should comprise. This depended
11 on the legal entity in question. We have a complete defence plan here
12 for a company containing all the subplans, saying exactly what the
13 company should do in the eventuality of war.
14 Q. Just --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the defence plan
16 for this company is quite interesting. It's several pages long but it
17 dates back to the 1980s. I assume that you were not able to find any
18 other defence plan, but I assume that the companies existed in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and especially in Herzegovina had their own defence
20 plan. This is just an example, right, it is not in the period of
21 reference. But I believe that you meant that all companies had their own
22 defence plan. That was your point, right?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, and as I understand these plans
24 are normally confidential. This was outdated and hence we were able to
25 get our hands on it, but the witness can certainly verify it and I did
1 have one other follow-up question which was:
2 Q. These plans based on the All People's Defence, are they
3 considered operational plans for military purposes or are they plans for
4 civil protection reasons?
5 A. I think the plans actually included both these components. These
6 plans were a complete answer to the activities of the legal entity, a
7 company in this case, during an imminent threat of war or a state of war.
8 Q. All right. Unless there are any other questions, I will continue
9 on with my next topic --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one additional question
11 briefly. Today in the Federation, could you tell us whether companies
12 still have this kind of defence plan or is another defence concept in
13 force now?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, the
15 situation has changed and has changed radically. We were looking at the
16 situation when the only thing around were state-owned companies. These
17 days you have thousands of small private companies, private enterprises.
18 The place is teeming with those. Sometimes they only have one or two
19 employees and they're under no obligation to do this. Now, there is a
20 new programme for defence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is the order
21 of the day in keeping with more Western rules and standards, there is now
22 a professional army and this whole concept has been left behind arming
23 the people who then go up and put up resistance, and that was the very
24 foundation of what we have been talking about.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
2 Q. Just to touch-up on that last answer, the JNA certainly was a
3 professional army; correct?
4 A. The JNA, it comprised two components, the professional component
5 and military conscripts in the sense of persons performing their regular
6 and compulsory military term which was normally one year. There was the
7 professional component and the non-professional component.
8 Q. But also in keeping with the military doctrine, as I understand
9 it, in the former Yugoslavia
10 Territorial Defences at the local level and they were to work in
11 conjunction; is that correct?
12 A. The concept of defence implied some form of coordinated activity
13 between the JNA and the Territorial Defence, but the JNA was a federal
14 institution and the state was in charge of the JNA. As far as the
15 Territorial Defence was concerned, this was something that each of the
16 republics was in charge of. Bearing that assumption in mind, when the
17 war broke out these two components of the JNA started clashing on the one
18 hand and the units of the Territorial Defence on the other because
19 essentially units of the Croatian Defence Council and the brigade of the
20 Croatian Defence Council in the municipalities rested on this principle
21 of Territorial Defence. That was the principle and that was the concept
22 and that's what they were based on.
23 Q. All right. We're going to switch on to another topic dealing
24 with municipalities --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Karnavas,
1 because with your question you drew my attention to another point. You
2 said that when the JNA existed there was coordination between JNA and
3 Territorial Defence. That's fine. But while you were saying this I
4 wondered whether between the HVO, the military units of the HVO and the
5 municipalities, maybe as Territorial Defence, there existed anything. So
6 to your knowledge, could there be a coordination or not or maybe you just
7 cannot answer this question. Maybe this is not relevant to your
8 knowledge. But there used to be coordination between the JNA and
9 Territorial Defence earlier. So to your knowledge, I would like to know
10 whether between the military units of the HVO, brigades, and so on and
11 the municipalities whether there was coordination, military coordination?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, I was talking about legal
13 solutions, and what this implied was the coordination of all of the JNA's
14 activities with the Territorial Defence forces of each of the republics.
15 One thing I can say as any other citizen who lived in the area is that as
16 the crisis in the former Yugoslavia
17 kept on working, quite successfully in fact. However, following the
18 multi-party elections in most of the republics, the two principles of
19 defence and the two organizations started clashing. What happened? The
20 JNA tried, and succeeded in some places, in entirely disarming the
21 Territorial Defence units to varying degrees of success depending on the
22 place of course. At a later stage this escalated and became an all-out
23 conflict in Slovenia
24 units on the one hand and the Territorial Defence units on the other, and
25 this wasn't just about the HZ HB but virtually in all the areas affected
1 by the conflict, predominantly Croat and predominantly Bosniak areas,
2 such as the one in Tuzla
3 the Territorial Defence units there, in Sarajevo, in Herceg-Bosna, and so
4 on and so forth.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You did not really answer my
6 question. This is what I wanted to know. I would like to know whether
7 at the level of the HVO -- I'm not talking about the JNA here. I'm
8 talking about the relations between HVO and municipalities. Let me be
9 very specific. General Petkovic, for example, or General Praljak, could
10 any of these gentlemen coordinate what they were doing with the president
11 of municipalities, for example, Mr. Kordic or Mr. Topic from Mostar
12 regarding military activities, or in the framework of what existed at the
13 time is it the HVO as the military component which controlled everything
14 as far as the military was concerned and the municipalities in this case
15 would only be contributing to logistics by paying, for example, for the
16 soldiers or by billeting them but did not have a say when it comes to
17 coordination or military activities. I'd like to know what the relation
18 was between the military component of the HVO and the municipalities.
19 To sum things up, I would like to know whether someone like
20 Kordic had any importance as far as military matters were concerned or
21 Mr. Topic from Mostar or was it the military component of the HVO that
22 totally controlled everything? Maybe you can't answer, say so if you
23 can't; and if you have the answer, please give it to us.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for clarifying the
25 question. According to the decree on the armed forces of the HZ HB all
1 the municipal brigades of the HVO were subordinated to the HVO's Main
2 Staff, I'm talking about the HVO of the HZ HB. In that sense, there was
3 subordination, subordination of the Main Staff of the HVO of the HZ HB --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part
5 of the answer. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Did that always apply 100 per cent
7 when the realities on the ground were concerned, I don't really know, but
8 I can't rule out the possibility of certain municipal leaders of the HVO
9 influencing the situation in a brigade and overall perhaps behaviour of
10 certain units of the HVO. But according to the regulations of
11 Herceg-Bosna they were all subordinated to the Main Staff.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Thank you.
15 Q. Now we're going to go on to another topic which deals with
16 municipalities, and that's -- fits into what we were just discussing.
17 And there are a series of documents and I'm just going to cover some of
18 them, not all of them, but the first batch of documents deal with Livno
19 and that's a place that you're very familiar with. If we look at 1D
20 00796, for instance, here we see a decision by the Livno municipality to
21 declare the state of emergency, correct, and it's Livno itself that's
22 doing this? 1D 00796.
23 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this document. It was adopted by the
24 Municipal Assembly in Livno municipality. This was not an isolated case
25 in Livno municipality. This was done by other municipalities as well at
1 the time when the imminent threat of war was approaching those
3 Q. Okay. And let's look at some other documents that might be
4 relevant to that, 1D 00795, this document is a decision to appoint a
5 Presidency of the Livno Municipal Assembly, and this is dated 4 April
6 1992. And as I understand your testimony, that's what you found when you
7 returned to Livno, this War Presidency was in a sense active, is that
8 correct, or am I wrong?
9 A. Yes. The document is from May of 1992 --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: April of 1992.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- not August, as you said, and
12 when I came to Livno this Presidency had already been functioning.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. Then of course if we look at the names -- the Trial Chamber can
15 look at those names they will be able to see who --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, exactly. I've just seen a
17 name and in this document number 7, president of the Livno SDA, the SDA
18 is Muslim, isn't it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they were Bosniaks, Muslims.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there was this municipal
21 Presidency at the time and it was made up of Croats and Muslims?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and Serbs. The president of
23 the Serbian Democratic Party was in the Presidency as well.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
25 Q. The next document, 1D 00802, this is a decision we see, again
1 from Livno, and it talks about who will be considered refugees and also
2 says: "Men liable for military service between the ages of 17 and 60 as
3 well as women between the ages of 18 and 50 ... cannot have refugee
5 So here again this is the municipality making this particular
6 decision; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If we look at 1D 00805, this is a mobilisation and demobilisation
9 of assets. Again, this is -- this shows that it is the municipality that
10 is taking matters unto its own, as it had the right to do so; correct?
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. The next document is 1D 00808. This is a statutory decision to
13 establish provisional municipal authorities during state of war or
14 imminent threat of war, and if we look at, for instance, Article 5, this
15 is "the Municipal Assembly of Livno shall retain the right to exercise
16 political control over the work of the Livno OHVO, including the right to
17 a vote of confidence ..."
18 Can you explain that just very briefly, and this is dated 29
19 August 1992.
20 A. This is a very interesting statutory decision, it's interesting
21 because it maintains the functioning of the Municipal Assembly and its
22 active role because it establishes that the HVO is to report on its work
23 to the Municipal Assembly once a month. This is an interesting decision
24 because it represents a very significant difference in relation to the
25 decision on establishing HR HB, which says that the HVO is appointed by
1 the municipal HVOs. Therefore, when one analyses this decision it can be
2 easily concluded that they simply reshaped the executive organ and its
3 name into the Executive Board of the HVO, whereas it maintained the same
4 responsibility and same subordination in relation to the Assembly.
5 Q. All right. You talked about a decision. In the record it says
6 "HR HB" and what I believe what you meant was HZ HB, is that correct, not
7 HR. You say -- you talk about a decision on establishing the HR HB,
8 which says that the HVO is appointed by the municipal HVOs."
9 Are we talking about the HR or are we talking about the HZ, the
10 Croatian Community or the Croatian Republic
11 A. Based on the date, it is clear that this refers to the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna. I was referring to the decree of HVO of HZ
13 HB, where it says that the HVO of the HZ HB is -- or rather, appoints the
14 municipal HVOs.
15 Q. All right. I'm not sure I fully comprehend your answer. Let's
16 take it one step -- a little slower on this. This is -- if we look at --
17 this is a statutory decision to establish provisional municipal
18 authorities during the state of war. And Article 2 talks about: "A
19 municipal Croatian Defence Council of Livno is hereby established ... as
20 the highest authority within the framework of the rights and obligations
21 of the municipality. It shall assume all powers of the Municipal
22 Assembly ... and the Executive Committee of the Municipal Assembly ..."
23 Okay. So that's Article 2. Now, Article 5 says: "The Municipal
24 Assembly of Livno shall retain the right to exercise political control
25 over the work of the Livno municipal defence council, including the right
1 to a vote of confidence in the Livno municipal defence council as a whole
2 or as individual members ..."
3 All right. Now, if you could once again tell us why is this
4 significant because here it would appear that the Municipal Assembly is
5 reserving the right on exercising political control in a vote of
6 confidence, which means also I would suspect a vote to dismiss someone.
7 So could you please explain that.
8 A. Article 5 actually says that the Municipal Assembly continues
9 with its work even though that's somewhat contradictory in relation to
10 Article 2, where it says that the HVO would take over all of its
11 competencies. However, when it comes to the functioning of the
12 authorities in the municipality, it is clear that the Municipal Assembly
13 continued performing its function in a certain way, and the HVO was
14 duty-bound to report to it on its work.
15 Q. All right. But these appointments, if I'm not mistaken, are they
16 done by the HVO HZ HB, the executive authority, that is; or are they
17 being done by the local municipality?
18 A. According to the decree of the HVO of the HZ HB, they were to be
19 appointed by HZ HB, and in the case of this municipality and some other
20 municipalities it was done by Municipal Assemblies.
21 Q. All right. So de facto at least we see how it's -- and de jure
22 how the municipalities dealt with that issue, irrespective of the
23 statutory decision, correct, the statutory decision establishing the HVO
24 HZ HB?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. If we go on to the next document very quickly, this is
2 1D 00810. Here we have a decision on temporary sanction for evasion of
3 military service. Again, this is being handled at the municipal level;
4 correct? So, for instance, to put it in a more concrete fashion, had
5 you -- when you showed up in Livno had you not registered, this decision
6 would have kicked into place because you would have been avoiding your
7 military service at least by not even showing up and registering to see
8 what duties, if any, they were going to appoint you to. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, your comment is correct. Had I not volunteered to do that,
10 somebody could have reported me of being there and then this decision on
11 penalties would have applied to me for avoiding my military service.
12 Q. All right. Sticking with Livno, 1D 00811, this is a decision on
13 the organization and range of responsibilities of the Livno
14 responsibility -- Livno municipal Croatian Defence Council. Again, were
15 you familiar with this particular decision and does this represent what
16 was in place during the time as you -- we're talking about 21 September
18 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this decision. It is essentially based on
19 the decisions of the HZ HB regulating or setting forth the minimum number
20 of departments and the structure of the municipal HVOs.
21 Q. Okay. 1D 00812, this is a decision to prohibit the entry of
22 refugees into Livno municipality, and again this is based on a decision
23 taken up by the Livno municipality; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct. However, they see -- they use an obviously
25 wrong term here the whole time. This -- these are not refugees. These
1 are the deported persons, persons who were from other municipalities of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina and wanted to come to the Livno municipality as
4 Q. These were displaced persons?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. 1D 00 --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry.
9 I find here the term "prohibit entry to refugees in TO Livno
10 municipality," TO means normally Territorial Defence, but what does this
11 refer to here? Maybe it is a misprint?
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. Could you please read the title in Croatian.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Me? No.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Could you please read it in Croatian, Mr. Perkovic, so we can
17 move on.
18 A. "Decision on Prohibiting the Entry of Refugees into the Territory
19 of Livno Municipality
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Obviously this is a mistake in
21 the --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Right.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And "territory" is "podrucju."
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Let's not go there, Your Honour.
25 1D 00317.
1 Q. This is a decision to appropriate property of the occupier and
2 requisition of the property for the needs of the defence of the Livno
3 municipality, so here again this is a municipal decision; correct?
4 A. Yes, correct.
5 Q. And lastly, again, just to finish off on Livno, 1D 01362, we see
6 here that pursuant to Article 48 of the statute of the party of the
7 democratic action at its meeting held on 27th May 1993, there's a
8 decision passed, senior consultant Dr. Junuz Cero is hereby appointed to
9 the commission for assessing war damage. Can you comment on this very
10 briefly, what does this decision mean? This is signed by president of
11 the Livno SDA.
12 MR. BOS: Your Honours, if I may. We've seen several documents
13 about Livno and it's all related to the period September/October 1992 and
14 now we're in May 1993, and I wonder how Mr. Perkovic could talk about it
15 when at that time he was not having any --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll lay a foundation, Your Honour. I guess the
17 objection would be lack of foundation for this question.
18 Q. Were you familiar with the situation in Livno at or about in May
19 1993; and if so, could you please tell us how? You did tell us earlier
20 that you had your parents, your close ones -- your near ones and dear
21 ones, I believe that's how it was translated, but could you tell us.
22 A. Every weekend when I was free I would travel to Livno. In
23 addition to my family home in Livno, I had no other apartment or house.
24 During the working week in Herzegovina
25 hotel and I would spend all my weekends in Livno.
1 Q. All right. Are you familiar with the Livno Municipal Board as
2 it's reflected above here, it's the -- I mean, from looking at this it
3 would appear that the gentleman, the president of the Livno SDA, is part
4 of the Livno municipal government. If I'm mistaken, please correct me;
5 if I'm not, then I guess we can just move on. I think the document
6 speaks for itself.
7 A. In May of 1993 representatives of the SDA and HDZ worked together
8 within the municipal authorities in Livno. This is just another
9 confirmation of the fact that they were in power together because one
10 member of the SDA was appointed to one of the municipal commissions, in
11 this particular case commission for assessing war damage.
12 Q. All right. Now, due to time constraints, I'm just going to read
13 the documents, they are in order, I'm just going to ask you more or less
14 one global question and if the Trial Chamber has any other questions they
15 could certainly ask you. But with respect to the next document,
16 1D 02058, this is on Siroki Brijeg. Have you looked at this document and
17 are you familiar with it? Just a yes or no would do and we can move on.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. If we look on to the next document, 1D 01115, this is
20 a decision to organize all the responsible for the functioning of the
21 living and working capacities. This is Capljina/Stolac -- Capljina, I
22 believe, the Capljina municipality. Have you looked at this document?
23 Are you familiar with it?
24 A. Yes, I am.
25 Q. And then if we look at 1D 01212, again this is a decision on
1 establishing all functions related to life and work and this is Stolac;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then if we move on to Tuzla
5 decision establishing the Presidency of the Municipal Assembly. This is
6 3 April 1992
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. Next document, again dealing with Tuzla, 1D 01157,
9 this is an order on the eviction of the illegal tenants of socially owned
10 flats in Tuzla
11 Have you looked at this decision and are you familiar with it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. Next document, 1D 01172, this is an order and it
14 should say on the work obligation to execute a decision on work duty. We
15 see it's the Crisis Staff with the municipality of Tuzla
16 1992, I take it you have looked at this document as well; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. We look at 1D 01170, consistent with other documents
19 that we have seen here, there's an order to mobilise conscripts of Tuzla
20 municipality. You have looked at this as well; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Then 1D 01385, this is an order evicting persons and property
23 from unlawfully occupied socially owned flats, and we see under Article 1
24 it says to be -- an order to immediately vacate, and there's -- there's
25 no right of appeal. This is 1D 01385, Tuzla; correct? You looked at
1 this before, have you not?
2 A. Yes, correct.
3 Q. And then if we look at 1D 01392, this is an order on the
4 obligation of carrying out the decision on work obligation, and of course
5 this is Tuzla
6 any abuse and failure to follow this order or delay of its implementation
7 shall be most severely punished, and of course the most severe punishment
8 at that point in time was the death penalty, correct? Not that it was
9 ever applied but that's what was the most severe punishment; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It would be helpful if you could enlighten the
14 Chamber on the relevance of all these documents.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: The relevance of these documents, Your Honour, and
16 there are hundreds more, but I'm just giving you what I would say a
17 vignette, is to show how the municipalities were operating on their own
18 and how they were doing things on their own instituting various
19 legislative acts, how they would handle a conscript issue, how they would
20 deal with abandon property issues, and so on and so forth. It is
21 relevant. Tuzla
22 when it comes to looking at and comparing the legislative acts and
23 conduct, it would appear that what is happening is Tuzla, although to my
24 understanding nobody from the Tuzla
25 this Tribunal nor is being considered to be prosecuted for these sorts of
2 So we see that the same sort of activity is happening in Tuzla
3 is happening elsewhere. And it would appear, at least this is part of
4 our theory of the Defence why it's relevant, that the municipalities are
5 trying to respond to the exigent circumstances and to the situations that
6 have been forced upon them because we have already seen testimony that
8 purposes has failed and is failing to carry out its obligations. And so
9 we talked about the All People's Defence, we've talked about the
10 constitution allowing at the municipal level for people to self help and
11 engage in certain activities, so all of this fits into our theory, and
12 that is what is happening at the municipal level is rather consistent
13 across the broad throughout the free territories in Bosnia and
15 against another. So that's the overall framework.
16 And also, if you look at the relationship between the executive
17 authority, for instance, and at the municipal level, we do see at the
18 municipal level a certain independence [realtime transcript read in error
19 "dependence"] and so -- then we were pointed out to one instance where,
20 at the municipal level, irrespective of what was at the statutory
21 decision of the HVO HZ HB that the municipal -- the municipality is
22 acting on its own. So --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm very grateful to you, Mr. Karnavas. I think
24 you've succeeded in showing --
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. And I believe on line 9 it should be
1 independence, "certain independence" as opposed to "dependence."
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, we would like the
4 witness to answer because all your explanation after my colleague's
5 question could have been presented to us in the form of questions asked
6 to the witness and we would like the witness to answer -- to state what
7 you have just stated to the extent that he may agree or disagree with
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. I just have one last document,
10 Mr. President, and that would be 1D 00867. This is a decision to form a
11 Presidency of the Tuzla
12 Q. Those are the documents that I wanted you to look at -- you have
13 looked at them, in fact, as I understand, and would you please tell us:
14 Do these documents based on your activities, your involvement, your
15 experience at the time and thereafter, do they reflect what was happening
16 in the various municipalities? That's question number one. And question
17 number two: When you compare these legal instruments from the various
18 municipalities that were within, say, Herceg-Bosna and you compare them
19 with Tuzla
20 municipalities in essentially acting more or less consistently?
21 A. See, I deeply regret that we don't have more time for me to give
22 a detailed explanation. I will try to give an answer as explicit as
24 The documents that we are discussing now show very well that in
25 that period of time practically all municipalities acted on their own
1 initiative, adopting regulations which they believed to be the best ones,
2 given the situation in each municipality and disregarding higher
3 enactments, be those of Bosnia and Herzegovina or of HZ HB in relation to
4 its administrative organs. In order to prove this, I will give you two
5 examples, the ones that you quoted, document 1D 02058, the decision on
6 temporary organization of executive power and municipal administration in
7 the territory of Siroki Brijeg, that is to say in the territory of HZ HB
8 Let me just remind you, Article 5, penultimate paragraph says that
9 president, vice-president, and members of the HVO are appointed and
10 dismissed by the Municipal Assembly and that upon proposal of the
11 president of the HVO, the Municipal Assembly may appoint and dismiss
12 other members. This decision is dated 20th of November, 1992; that is to
13 say, period of time when the Croatian Defence Council had been
14 functioning for three to four months, when there had already been other
15 decisions of the HVO. And it is clear that this decision represents a
16 significant departure from those decisions.
17 In the similar way, the municipal organs of Tuzla in their
18 decisions take a significant departure from the decisions of organs of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We see some decisions from Tuzla
20 this. I will only point out two as an example. Document 1D 01385, which
21 is a decision on evicting persons who had moved into apartments
22 unlawfully. Under Roman II in the last sentence it says that: "Those
23 who are ordered to move out have no right to appeal, which is contrary to
24 all existing regulations of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the
1 Second example, document 1D 01392, which is a decision on work
2 duty. It says that those persons who fail to act in accordance with that
3 order will be punished in the -- in strictest terms. I don't think that
4 Mr. Beslagic, president of the Tuzla Presidency meant to execute these
5 people, no. It just shows the lack of power of all municipal organs in
6 various municipalities at the time. It shows that they had no contact,
7 no lines of communication with Sarajevo
8 and the municipal organs throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina took steps
9 that they saw as best under their circumstances, disregarding existing
10 regulation be it regulation of HZ HB or the republic organs.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you're saying is extremely
12 interesting and very comprehensive, but it's time to stop. We can
13 probably pick up on the same topic after we resume.
14 Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I just -- okay. Very well. Very
16 well. I just want to make sure -- I want to strike while everything is
17 hot in everybody's mind, but we can do that when we get back.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it's time for a break. We
19 have no more tape.
20 So we will resume at 2.15 p.m.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.37 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 2.17 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
24 Yes, Mr. Bos.
25 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honours, just for the record I would like to
1 raise an objection about the admission of the -- the way the last ten
2 documents before the break were introduced by counsel for Mr. Prlic. In
3 my opinion -- I just -- it can't be right that the witness is first being
4 given no opportunity to discuss any of these ten documents but simply has
5 to say, Yes, I saw the document in preparation for this testimony and
6 that we don't have a long speech from Mr. Karnavas explaining the
7 relevance of all this evidence. And then subsequently -- all is in front
8 of the witness and then subsequently the witness again testifying about
9 these documents this just can't be proper procedure, and we object.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may -- just very briefly, I believe that I
11 was asked a question from Judge Trechsel, he gave me leave to answer, and
12 of course there were no time limitations or structural limitations of
13 my -- you know, it was a question on relevancy, I thought I was
14 responsive. And as I recall, Judge Trechsel indicated that he found my
15 explanation quite appropriate under the circumstances, so I don't see how
16 that could be characterized as a speech. It was merely an invited
17 response and I would like to call it, and if it was effective I apologise
18 to the Prosecution but that's part of my job.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Authentic interpretation of my words and sense.
20 In fact, I agree exceptionally, because normally I am quite not entirely
21 uncritical as you may have perhaps have noticed.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Once or twice.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Here I found that the different topics brought
24 under one umbrella of a thesis that the Defence holds made the whole
25 phase really comprehensible and helpful to the Chamber.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
2 Q. And with that I just want to pick up on the last answer that you
3 gave us, Mr. Perkovic, because you pointed out to two examples; if you
4 recall there were two examples. And I just want to touch on that to make
5 sure that I have it right. In the one example that you use you made
6 reference to 1D 02058, and as I recall you looked at Article 5 and you
7 said that this aspect, Article 5 of this document, which is from
8 Siroki Brijeg municipality was not consistent with the previous statutory
9 decision. And just for the record, I take it what you meant by that was
10 the statutory decision on municipal executive authority, and in
11 particular you're referring to Article 2 where it says that:
12 "The municipal HVO shall consist of its president, heads of
13 office, and other members who shall be appointed and dismissed by the
14 Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
15 And that was what -- you were linking those two documents to show
16 how this Siroki Brijeg they were passing this decision which was
17 inconsistent with a statutory decision that had been passed by the HVO HZ
18 HB; is that correct?
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. In this particular chapter there are other documents
21 as well. I will not read the numbers into the record and will make a
22 written submission for these documents to be introduced, hopefully they
23 will. But needless to say, the remaining documents in this chapter, is
24 it fair to say that not only that you looked at them but you were the one
25 that arranged them in the order in which they are in this folder for your
1 presentation here today, but due to time limitations of course I'm the
2 one that's preventing you from discussing them. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, I analysed all those documents and I did make this
4 suggestion because I thought that this explanation would be simpler in
5 light of all those who were present there.
6 Q. All right. Very well. And I -- for time limitation purposes I
7 won't dwell on that, we'll move on to the next subject matter.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: And again, Your Honours, we will be moving by way
9 of a motion to get those documents in, keeping in mind my explanation to
10 Judge Trechsel's questions on relevancy.
11 Q. Now, the next topic deals with the Croatian Republic
12 Herceg-Bosna. We have a few documents --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
14 One short question, Witness. Earlier on we reviewed a number of
15 documents related to the activities of municipalities, and you yourself
16 stressed that at times municipalities would take initiatives that were
17 not quite right from a legal point of view. You explained that these
18 municipalities took those steps because the state was not present anymore
19 and when there is no state anymore, when there aren't any state
20 structures there, then it's up to the municipalities to deal as best as
21 they can with the situation. Of course, that explanation of yours is
22 quite interesting, and we'll consider it.
23 But listening to you I wondered about the relationship existing
24 between the HVO and the municipalities, and I was wondering whether
25 Mr. Mate Boban, Mr. Prlic, and the others had the necessary authority to
1 impose their point of view on the municipalities, whether we're talking
2 about Topic, Kordic, or others. You yourself were on the ground, you
3 were an actor of all these things, you took part in a number of meetings,
4 you contributed to the drafting of a number of decrees, you knew everyone
5 there. I'd like to know what you think about all this and "by all this"
6 I mean the following: Did the HVO have sufficient authority to impose
7 its point of view on the municipalities or can we talk at the time of a
8 sort of dual system where you had on the one hand the HVO and on the
9 other hand the municipalities? And balances needed to be struck between
10 these two sides and sometimes it was the case and sometimes it was not
11 the case.
12 What are your comments about the relationship between the
13 authorities of the HVO and the municipalities? In other words, were the
14 municipalities always obeying the orders of Mate Boban and all the others
15 or was it the case that the municipalities had some room for manoeuvre,
16 they were in a position to take initiatives, because considering their
17 own situation they believed that they needed to take more individual or
18 particular steps as opposed to the central power represented by the HVO?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If -- in an effort to reply to your
20 question, I look at things both de jure and de facto. De jure the
21 municipal HVOs were subordinate to the municipal, or rather, to the HVO
22 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; and de jure there is a very
23 clear chain of command or hierarchy that indicates that there is a
24 possibility for the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of
25 Herceg-Bosna to direct both functionally and normatively the operation of
1 the municipal Croatian Defence Councils. De facto, and we have a number
2 of cases and a lot of evidence to indicate, that the municipal Croatian
3 Defence Councils did not operate in accordance with the regulations
4 passed by the Croatian Defence Councils of the Croatian Community of
5 Herceg-Bosna where the Croatian Defence Council did not take measures,
6 any measures, to rectify this situation. It is my belief that the HVO of
7 the HZ HB did not take those measures for two reasons. In many cases,
8 the reason was that there were no legal mechanisms in place to exert
9 pressure or to monitor the situation, or rather, these mechanisms existed
10 but were not implemented in practice and those mechanisms would have made
11 it possible for the HVO to discipline the disobedient municipal HVOs so
12 to speak. And the other fact, probably quite significant, is that the
13 leaders of the municipal HVOs were in many cases members of the
14 Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and they were, as
15 such, superior to the HVO. And the HVO did not have the political power
16 precisely because the leaders of the municipal HVOs had the power to
17 impose their decisions, their will, even if they knew -- even if it knew
18 that in some cases it should have taken appropriate steps in order to
19 ensure that the municipal HVOs should abide by the regulations of the
20 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
21 So let me remind you of the basic, fundamental decision
22 indicating that the leaders of the municipal HVOs are also members of the
23 Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Many of them also
24 held high positions in the party, and the Croatian Defence Council did
25 not have the political power to impose certain political solutions
1 although legally speaking in accordance with the legislation that it
2 passed it did have mechanisms that would enable it to affect the
3 operation of the municipal HVOs.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Two points. I'm grateful to the President for
5 having raised this issue.
6 For one, I am not convinced of a rule that a single member of a
7 higher organ, the Presidency here, as an individual and in his different
8 function of head of a municipality can put himself above what is de facto
9 the executive. I think that is jumping because the Presidency is a
10 collective, and a decision of the Presidency certainly overrules a
11 decision of the HVO but not the decision of a single member of the
13 Would you contradict me in that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I could not agree with
15 you, in fact. A member of the Presidency of the HZ HB, just one of those
16 members, was also Mr. Boban, for instance. And if we were to apply this
17 logic, he as an individual could never have put a stop, could not have
18 fought against decision passed by the HVO. And I'm not quite sure that
19 that was the case. On the basis of my personal experience and everything
20 that I know, I know that he and other members of the Presidency of the HZ
21 HB definitely did have at that time this kind of political power so that
22 the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
23 did not have the political power that would enable it to impose political
24 solutions that were necessary on those HVOs. I'm not talking only about
25 Mr. Boban. A number of highly influential people were there heading the
1 municipal HVOs in Mostar, in Capljina, in Neum, in Livno, and so on,
2 Busovaca, and so on.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I'll leave it at that. I find it still a
4 bit confusing, though.
5 The second question refers to the explanation given by
6 Mr. Karnavas this morning towards the end, which I seem to recall as
7 saying these documents were all relevant because they show that in the
8 absence of a central government in Sarajevo or of a functioning
9 government, the municipalities had, as it were, to take the law into
10 their own hands to make their own law. Now, the example we had - and I'm
11 referring back to pages 75, line 19 and following, and 76, especially
12 lines 4 to 7 - it seems that here a municipality acted not in the
13 perspective of any central Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina government,
14 but they acted against the rules of the governmental structure of
15 Herceg-Bosna. And that cannot be invoked, it seems to me, for the
16 purpose of establishing what some of the other documents were invoked to
17 establish. Could I -- did I make myself understood and could you
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly, I'll
20 try to answer your question. We're talking about a group of documents
21 that was discussed at the end of the morning session about the
22 functioning of the municipal authorities in various municipalities, and I
23 have to stress this in particular, those were passed more or less in the
24 same period of time. So we're talking about the initial period from
25 April 1992 through November 1992 or thereabouts. So this is the period
1 when the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An analysis of these
2 documents shows that in essence all of them deviate from the heading or
3 the preamble that they referred to and from which they purportedly derive
4 their legitimacy. In the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna the
5 municipal authorities pass regulations that are in contravention of the
6 regulations enacted by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and in an
7 almost identical manner the municipal authorities; for instance, in Tuzla
8 enact regulations that are contrary to republican regulations,
9 regulations enacted by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And this
10 has led me to conclude that in effect because the circumstances were
11 completely new, and they were the result of the war; and legal system of
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina was not prepared to deal with them because the
13 entire legal system that had to do with the defence, for instance,
14 regulated this sphere of defence in the context of an external enemy and
15 an aggression from the outside and the actual situation was completely
16 different. So there were legal lacuna in the republic itself at the
17 republican level. There were also some limitations within the
18 constitution, the existing constitution of the Republic of Bosnia
20 to go on and because some things could not brook any delay, the municipal
21 authorities tried to regulate those areas in the best possible way as
22 they saw it, taking as their starting point the real interest and the
23 actual situation that they faced.
24 So that's what I was taking about. Considering that the
25 deviations from the republican regulations existed in -- throughout the
1 area, and they were motivated by the need to regulate life in wartime
2 circumstances. And that went for Tuzla and for Siroki Brijeg, for
4 context of the analysis of the documents that we were talking about.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I understood that, but with the document 1D
6 02058, you have told us that it was contrary to regulations established
7 by the HZ HB HVO. So here there was no lacuna, there was a rule, and the
8 rule was established by the authorities of Herceg-Bosna. So why did they
9 not comply with these rules? What is the justification? Do we have to
10 assume that there was simply more or less chaos and many municipalities
11 did whatever seemed appropriate to them without bothering about either
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina or Herceg-Bosna normative texts?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, by definition
14 administration is inert and it resists radical changes, radical steps, it
15 lies at the very essence of administration -- at least that's what my
16 experience has been over the past 22 years. So there is this resistance,
17 this inertia, in the administration, in particular in this case in the
18 administration, the local administration, in Siroki Brijeg, in the
20 Secondly, I assume that since Siroki Brijeg was not affected by
21 the war directly, it was not at the front line, it was a municipality
22 that was in the rear, away from the front line, the -- any arguments for
23 the Municipal Assembly to stop functioning would be quite questionable
24 and it was -- their guiding thought was that the municipality could
25 function, that the representatives could get there and attend the
1 sessions. They were not displaced because of the war. So it is my
2 assumption, only my assumption, that they retained this solution with the
3 Assembly appointing the municipal HVO and with the Assembly retaining the
4 right to appoint and remove members of the HVO.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
9 Q. I guess I'm going to have to dwell on this a little bit, even
10 though it's going to cost me some time. The first question was between
11 Boban and the presidents of the municipality. Perhaps you can at
12 least -- since you were there, you knew the personalities, maybe you can
13 inform us with respect to some of these presidents and I don't -- we
14 don't need to go into any specific names, you did mention various
16 How real was their actual power? You know, in light of the fact
17 that they were sitting on the same body with Mate Boban, which you've
18 indicated at one point was allowed to or took upon himself to have three
19 different hats, you know, president of the party, president of the
20 Presidency, and then, you know, the president of the -- of the Croatian
21 Community of Herceg-Bosna. And light of all that, what was the -- how
22 powerful were these individuals, not as a collective but individually,
23 within their own municipalities? That's number one.
24 A. Well, their power stemmed from two bases in my view. First was
25 the position that they held, that was the president of the municipal HVO
1 and the member of the Presidency of the HZ HB, and the second basis was
2 the trust that Mr. Boban gave those people, the trust that he showed he
3 had in them in that period.
4 Q. Let me be a little more concrete. Let's just say that the HVO HZ
5 HB as a collective body was unhappy with a particular president of a
6 municipality and wanted him removed. Under the regulation that we just
7 saw, the statutory decision for the municipal HVO, it would appear that
8 they would be able to simply pick up the phone, call the president of the
9 municipality, and then dismiss him. How realistic is that? Because
10 we're dealing with reality. It's one thing to be sitting at a desk,
11 reading the papers, theorising, conceptualising, analysing; I'm talking
12 about reality. Let these Judges know what was it like. What kind of
13 power did the HVO have vis-a-vis the example I just gave you: Pick up
14 the phone and dismiss a president of the municipality?
15 A. Well, I know for a fact that the HVO of the HZ HB did not like
16 some of the presidents of the municipality and that was no secret, but
17 nothing was done to dismiss those people. I assume that this was because
18 of a realistic assessment that at that time, given the power those people
19 had, it was simply impossible to do so. And in my view, I don't doubt
20 for a moment that had the assessment been positive, in other words, had
21 they assessed that it was possible to dismiss the president of the
22 municipality of Capljina, I am sure that the HVO would have attempted to
23 do that.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. We'll move on to the next chapter, HR HB.
25 We're moving in time somewhat. I want you to look at the first document,
1 P 04560, P 04560. These are the minutes from the 50th Session of the
2 Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, 27
3 August 1993. We see your name there and we see the agenda, and if we
4 were to go, for instance, to item 1 -- I'm sorry, items 2, 3, and 4, we
5 see that your name is on a working group; and you along with others, such
6 as Mr. Zubak who will be testifying here, you were to draft the following
7 pieces of legislation, a decision on constituting the Chamber of
8 Deputies, Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies, and the
9 fundamental decision in relation to establishing and proclaiming the
10 Croatian Republic
11 You being there, could you please tell us a little bit about this
12 particular meeting and why were you tasked along with Zubak and others to
13 draft these legal instruments?
14 A. We were entrusted with this task by the president of the Croatian
15 Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. The
16 explanation provided to us was that it was necessary to have this done
17 because what was underway was the preparation of a new peace agreement,
18 the so-called Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, which envisaged a union for
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state, a union of three republics, that is, of
20 the Croatian, Serb, and Bosniak peoples. In the context of the
21 realization of that plan and the preparations for the realization and
22 adoption of that plan, it was necessary to carry out a transformation of
23 the existing bodies and institutions of the HZ HB and also to change the
24 fundamental decision by way of proclaiming and constituting the Croatian
25 Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
1 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, in light of that question and
2 answer, if we look at the next document 1D 01778, we've seen this
3 document before in this courtroom. This is titled: "Agreement regarding
5 First of all, do you recognise this document; and if so, what do
6 you recognise it to be?
7 A. Well, actually this is a proposal of this plan of the
8 Owen-Stoltenberg Peace Plan. When preparing these fundamental decisions
9 that I spoke of a few moments ago, we had in our hands this particular
10 agreement in the form of a brochure, a booklet, if I can put it that way.
11 We had the opportunity of familiarizing ourselves with this document.
12 Before we started writing the documents that were mentioned -- well,
13 quite simply, in order to be consistent in terms of the proposals that
14 are contained in this agreement.
15 Q. Okay. So if I understand you correctly -- well, let me back up.
16 This particular agreement, do you know specifically who drafted it or how
17 was it reached since it's an agreement, do you recall?
18 A. You're asking me about the agreement in connection with
20 Q. Right, right, that one, which you indicated you used as a basis
21 for drafting the particular instruments in establishing that the
22 republic -- the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
23 A. We were shown and we knew that this was the Owen-Stoltenberg
24 Peace Plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina, that's how it was presented to us, and
25 I assume that these people drafted it together with their associates
1 through the process of talks with the warring factions in Bosnia and
3 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, if we look at P 04611, we've seen
4 this document again in this courtroom, it's titled: "Basic decision on
5 establishing and proclaiming the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
6 In light of the previous two documents that we have seen, can you
7 give us an explanation as to this one?
8 A. This is the fundamental decision on the establishment and
9 proclamation of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and by that
10 decision what used to be the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is
11 transformed into the Croatian republic; and the provisions of this
12 decision - to cut the long story short - regulate those basic issues that
13 pertain to the constitution, or rather, constituting the Croatian
14 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the issue of its sovereignty, the creation of a
15 union with other republics within BH, the issue of the establishment of
16 the government, and the capital, and so on.
17 Q. All right. And again, in light of your previous answers because
18 I don't want to be accused of leading you, is it fair to conclude that
19 this particular document, P 04611, was drafted so -- so as to -- based on
20 the principles that are set out in the agreement regarding
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is 1D 01778? Am I correct?
22 A. Yes, you are correct. It is my belief that this decision is
23 consistent in relation to that agreement.
24 Q. Okay. Now, if you look at 1D 0188 --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
1 Let us go back to the previous document, P 04611. It was a
2 document that was published in the Official Gazette proclaiming the HR
3 HB. Why in the preamble or in the reasons do we not find any mention of
4 the fact that the discussions held in Geneva, the various plans including
5 the latest plan, had led to the republic being proclaimed? Why do we not
6 find any explicit reference to the international context? Because this
7 was an ideal opportunity to give some kind of legality, as it were, to
8 the creation of this republic towards a union of republics. Why do we
9 not find any explicit reference to the position held by the international
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The position of the international
12 community was interpreted in a certain way through the Owen-Stoltenberg
13 Peace Plan. At the moment when this decision was prepared and passed,
14 the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan had not entered into force yet, or rather, it
15 had not been adopted, it had just been discussed. So it was illogical
16 for the preamble of the decision itself to invoke basically an
17 international document, a peace plan, that hadn't entered into force yet.
18 What was of particular importance for me as a person who after all did
19 take part in the drafting of this decision was what is referred to in the
20 preamble of this decision, particularly in paragraph 3 of the preamble
21 where it says that the Croatian people, I'm paraphrasing now, is
22 establishing its Croatian state community and is transferring part of
23 these constituent rights to the future union of republics within
25 I think that in this way that was expressed, that is to say this
1 decisiveness, this readiness, of the Croat side conditionally speaking to
2 implement and accept this international peace plan.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you properly,
4 we have to read between the lines. It was not mentioned explicitly, but
5 in between the lines we see that this is in keeping with the
6 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan; is that so?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that was the basic idea of
8 the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. If I can put it this way, it was the most
9 important part that offered a new internal set-up for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 In the preamble we repeat in terms of substance that particular part, but
11 we do not explicitly refer to the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan simply because
12 the plan had not been adopted yet, or rather, hadn't entered into force
13 yet. So legally it is illogical to invoke an international document that
14 is not valid yet, that is not in force yet.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, following on my previous
16 question, I had in mind the current recognition of Kosovo. I have not
17 had an opportunity to read the constitution of Kosovo; and I was
18 wondering whether in the current constitution of Kosovo there was no
19 mention to the international community, it may be so, it may not, I don't
20 know. But I thought you might have had an opportunity to involve the
21 international community in the creation of this republic, and I failed to
22 find in this statement at first glance anything that would lead me to
23 conclude that this is a further step following all the previous
24 negotiations without any explicit reference. But I do understand what
25 you said.
1 Very well. Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. I don't believe you
3 will find anything in the Brcko district which came about as a result of
4 the final award, I drafted that, and we specifically excluded putting any
5 international instruments or mention of it. I mention only this because
6 there are various ways of doing this and we can certainly bring in
7 evidence regarding the Kosovo constitution, the Brcko district statute,
8 and the statute of BiH as a result of the Dayton Peace Accords, which is
9 annexed -- it's part of the annex to Dayton.
10 Q. If we go on to the next document, 1D 01880, this is a decision on
11 constituting the Chamber of Deputies of the Croatian Republic
12 Herceg-Bosna; and, of course, we started off with the very first minutes
13 of the meeting and you were on that working group. And here we see this
14 is a decision on constituting the Chamber of Deputies. And Article 2
15 talks about:
16 "Until the first free democratic elections, the representatives
17 of the Croatian people in the Council of Municipalities of the Assembly
18 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and members of the Presidency
19 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna shall be members of the Chamber
20 of Deputies of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna."
21 First of all, are you familiar with this document; and if so,
22 could you please tell us. And secondly, in light of the fact that you
23 were with the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna can you comment on
24 Article 2, specifically where it makes reference to the first free
25 democratic election. What are we referring to?
1 A. This decision is one that I am familiar with. This decision
2 constitutes the parliament, if I can put it that way, the parliament of
3 the Croatian Republic
4 members of that parliament shall be the representatives of the Council of
5 Municipalities of the Socialist Republic
6 is to say people who at the first multi-party elections in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina were elected to this house of the parliament of
9 Q. [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. All right. The first free elections, until the first free
13 elections we know who the representatives will be, but when were the
14 first free democratic elections to take place, if you know, and did they
15 take place?
16 A. The first free elections were held after the peace plan was
17 adopted, regrettably not this one, there was a one-year delay; that is to
18 say after the Dayton Peace Agreement was adopted. These people were
19 representatives in the parliament of the Croatian Republic
20 Herceg-Bosna up until those first free elections that were held
21 afterwards, after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. And then finally 1D 02112, we see that
23 this is a letter to the House of Representatives of the Croatian Republic
24 of Herceg-Bosna, signed by Dr. Jadranko Prlic, where he attaches six
25 particular laws, draft laws, for review; and we see such as the law on
1 organization and jurisdiction, a law on courts, law on public
2 prosecution, and so on. Why was it necessary now to have all these new
3 drafts in light of all the other previous drafting that you had been
4 doing under the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
5 A. Because while the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was still in
6 existence, all these decrees and all these other enactments were of an
7 ad hoc nature, that is to say a temporary nature. What was emphasized in
8 every one of these documents was the fact that they were provisional.
9 Now in this new situation, in this situation when a parliamentary body
10 was coming into being, there was the possibility of dealing with things
11 in a more serious way, in a better way, and to regulate certain matters
13 Now the government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, its
14 president, submits these bills to the house for its view and its
15 adoption. The point is that the nature of these regulations has changed;
16 they were supposed to be of a lasting nature rather than of a provisional
17 nature as had been the case in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
18 Q. All right. If we look at -- we're going to switch topics and
19 we're on the second-to-last topic. This deals with the functioning of
20 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and again this might give us at
21 least a taste of what was going on at the time. 1D 02038, this is a
22 decision on the election of the president, vice-president, and members of
23 the government. Do you see this, sir? We don't see your name on it, but
24 can you confirm that these individuals were serving in this capacity as
25 is designated in this decision?
1 A. I can confirm that these persons held these positions. It is
2 logical that my name is not there because I was not a member of the
3 government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. I headed a
4 professional body of the government; I was not a member of government.
5 Q. All right. If we go on to 1D 01873, we saw this document
6 recently. This is a letter from Dr. Prlic to General Jean Cot, who is a
7 commander of the UN peacekeeping forces; and, of course, in there he's
8 discussing certain matters. Have you had a chance to look at this
9 document and can you tell us or can you confirm whether in fact these
10 activities were ongoing based on your personal knowledge and activities
11 at the time?
12 A. I am aware of this document. This was a letter that was sent to
13 the commander of the peace forces of the UN for the former Yugoslavia
14 General Cot. On behalf of the government of the Croatian Republic
15 Herceg-Bosna the prime minister expresses his readiness to fully
16 contribute to providing security to the convoy of humanitarian aid and is
17 referring to some other matters that are relevant in terms of improving
18 living conditions in certain areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if I can put it
19 that way.
20 Q. Okay. And what --
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, we are not in possession of this
22 document. We have a document which is completely different than which is
23 numbered 1837 rather than 73.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: We were just told there was a mistake, an error.
2 There was an error in preparing the documents. We can put this on the
3 ELMO. It's 1D 01837 -- 1873, 1873.
4 If we can do it on the e-court.
5 Q. And then while that's being pulled up or if you want to put it on
6 the ELMO, either way, can you please -- can you please tell us whether
7 you noticed a difference in the authority and ability for the government
8 to function during the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
9 period when it was the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, when we had
10 Mate Boban, for instance, being sort of the all-powerful individual with
11 all those different positions.
12 A. I think that to a considerable degree the influence and authority
13 of the highest level of authority, which is now called the government of
14 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, has been increased and this
15 increase is due to the fact, in my view, that it got the legitimacy of
16 the parliament of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna and once it was
17 constituted, it enjoyed the support of the parliament of the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
20 interpreter's correction.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. My colleague says on line 13 [sic] you said the highest level of
23 executive authority, as opposed to simply authority. So we're speaking
24 about line 23 on page 94, it's kind of difficult to find if you're not
25 used to this but we're talking about the executive authority; correct?
1 A. I've already said that we are talking about the executive organ
2 of government, that is to say the organ that practically took over the
3 functions or powers of the HV HZ HB.
4 Q. Okay. All right.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Some follow-up questions,
6 Witness, please. We did not have this document in the binders, but now
7 we have it in e-court; and I can see the letter drafted in B/C/S and its
8 translation into English. I'd like to hear what you think. I notice
9 this; this is a letter signed by Mr. Prlic and the outgoing stamp is
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We don't know whether we're talking about the
11 republic or the country. And then we see HR HB government, office of the
12 president, and then we see the actual stamp. We mentioned the stamps
13 this morning, and here we have one stamp. Look at it, please. In it we
14 can see Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Why Republic of Bosnia
16 an explanation for this stamp here which does refer to the Republic of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina or is this a stamp that was used because there was
18 no other stamp available?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says the Republic of Bosnia
21 been reached yet and now the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
22 any point in time bring into question the legitimacy of the existence of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state. At that point in time the Republic of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina was still the official name of that state.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're aware of this letter.
1 As far as you know, did General Cot answer by way of a letter sent to
2 Dr. Prlic, a letter that would say, Mr. President, further to your letter
3 of 23rd of November, 1993, in which you asked for a meeting, et cetera,
4 was there any answer or did the international community avoid answering
5 in writing, in answering in letters where they would have had to mention
6 HR HB? Was there an answer or not? It may be that you don't know but do
7 you know?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if Mr. Cot replied to
9 this letter. I don't have any information to that effect, whether he did
10 or did not, so I don't know that.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Perkovic, you have affirmed that this letter
13 in your view shows the enhanced, increased authority of the government of
14 the HR HB. Could you be a bit more specific and point out exactly which
15 element of the letter leads you to that finding?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I spoke about the
17 strength and position of the government. When I was asked by the Defence
18 counsel to compare the authority of the HVO HZ HB and the government of
19 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
20 organs, I said that in my opinion the position of the government of the
21 Croatian Republic
22 strengthening of the position of the government in any way with this
23 letter. But this letter in a way also shows that there is a new element
24 here, this organ had much more latitude in terms of launching initiatives
25 than was the case before.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I don't know about that. The counsel
2 certainly linked these questions to this -- to this letter unless I
3 misunderstood completely. But I -- for me that's it now, you can go on,
4 Mr. Karnavas.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Well, perhaps there was a
6 misunderstanding as far as linkage. I did -- there was a follow-up
7 question, but it wasn't meant to be as a link.
8 Q. Be that as it may, P 07000, here just -- again just as a sampling
9 we see extract of minutes. We don't need to go through all of them
10 through this in any great detail. I just want to point out that in going
11 through them it would appear that on the agenda items 5, 9, 13, 17, 18,
12 19, I believe that we see you commenting or discussing, and I take it
13 that was part of your function in your new position in the legislative
14 office; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, the position of this office changed. It used to be the
16 Commission For Regulations, and now it became a body that was called the
17 legislation office of the government of the Croatian Republic
19 Q. And I guess this -- would this not be a representation of how the
20 meetings were being held and the minutes -- how the minutes were kept and
21 the dynamics within the minutes, within the meetings, particularly
22 concerning the discussions on draft decrees or draft proposals?
23 A. Unlike the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, now this procedure
24 of passing legislation became much more complex. If you'll recall, I
25 said that we had only one filter in place, that was the case before; and
1 now the number of filters has increased and the responsibility of the
2 legislation office increased commensurately. So that my responsibility
3 as head of this office, because for every law we had to provide our
4 opinion for the session of the government. In some cases a simple
5 sentence would suffice. We would say that our opinion was positive, in
6 other cases we perhaps had some remarks to make.
7 Q. All right. If we look at the next document, 1D 01912, again this
8 is a letter to Mr. Cot or General Cot signed by Dr. Jadranko Prlic. It's
9 4 December 1993
10 Judge Trechsel and my comments as well or my questions -- now, if we
11 could look at this letter, as I understand it you are familiar with it.
12 Can you please tell us, are you familiar with the events that are being
13 discussed in the letter; and can you link the events being discussed with
14 the new executive authority of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
15 A. The obvious intention was for the new government of the Croatian
16 Republic of Herceg-Bosna should try to deal with the problems in a much
17 more efficient and decisive manner, the problems that had existed for a
18 long time in the territory -- in the area of the HZ HB and HR HB in terms
19 of organized crime, various offences. And in this letter, the president
20 of the government on behalf of the government expresses his commitment
21 that the bodies and institutions of the executive government of the
22 Croatian Republic
23 them more efficiently, effectively, and with more determination than had
24 been the case until then.
25 And in this letter the steps that the government of the HR HB
1 intends to take are also listed, and what I find to be quite important
2 here is that in this document there is explicit and clear condemnation of
3 the events that had affected the overall struggle of the Croatian people
4 in Bosnia and Herzegovina quite adversely, such as the crime in
5 Stupni Do, the destruction of the Old Bridge
6 this was one of the first documents where this is mentioned in those
7 terms when there is this determined condemnation of all of that.
8 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D 01892, again
9 this is just for representational purposes, this is a decree prohibiting
10 property transactions in wartime and under direct threat of war. We've
11 seen other documents when it was the Croatian community, this is now the
12 Croatian republic. And under Article 1 it says: "Property transactions
13 in the territory of the Croatian Republic
14 prohibited ..."
15 But if you look at number 2 and number 3 there seem to be some
16 exceptions, one, with respect to relatives, first and second order, and
17 then if there is a swap, an exchange, of property and we know that quite
18 a bit of that happened even after the war. Were you involved in the
19 drafting of this decree and what exactly -- why was it necessary to pass
20 this decree if already you had laws on the books or decrees on the books
21 that prohibited the transfer of property?
22 A. I participated in the drafting of this decision or decree, but
23 there were no laws prohibiting this. There were laws of Bosnia
25 this decree in light of the overall situation in the country, and in the
1 light of the fact that we knew that there were some attempts to exert
2 pressure on the minorities in this area to sell their real estate for
3 less money than they should have gotten. The purpose of this decree was
4 to prevent any such attempt to exert pressure primarily on the people
5 from the ethnic communities that were in the minority in the Croatian
6 Republic of Herceg-Bosna
7 these people, or rather, that -- to prevent occasions where somebody
8 would buy -- anyone would buy real estate from such people in a legal
10 And the Croatian Republic
11 that area that had in place this kind of legislation, to prevent any kind
12 of abuse in terms of real estate trade that would be caused by violence.
13 Q. All right. 1D 01614 --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a question based on what
15 you have just said. Here we have a decree prohibiting, for the reasons
16 you set forth, sale of property because of the state of war. If I were
17 to apply this text to the following situation, let us imagine we have a
18 Muslim person who has a small property, be it in Mostar or elsewhere, and
19 for some unknown reason this person has to leave the area where they
20 live, will their property be guaranteed forever? Based on this text
21 there will now be a sort of concealed expropriation or forced transfer of
22 property because this document, as we see it, does prohibit, does it not,
23 any sale, any property transfer during this war period? Do I interpret
24 the text properly or not or is this the outcome or is the situation I've
25 just depicted, does it result from the text?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under the law -- under the law on
2 land registry books of Bosnia-Herzegovina that applied in the Croatian
3 Republic of Herceg-Bosna in its original form, no registration in the
4 land registry offices could be done without the so-called clausura "lex
5 tabulandi," which means that the previous owner had to make an explicit
6 statement confirming that this real estate was sold or gifted or
7 transferred to another person in any other way.
8 This means in your example that this person, no matter where
9 they -- where this person were, nobody could transfer the ownership of
10 this real estate without that person's explicit approval for the transfer
11 of ownership. Had this provision not been in place, we would probably
12 have faced a situation that many members of ethnic minorities faced in
13 Republika Srpska where because no such law was in place there were many
14 transfers of ownership of real estate which were the result of acts of
15 violence perpetrated against those people in order to pressure them into
16 selling their real estate or giving it away.
17 I -- it was our objective to prevent it, and I am not aware of
18 any example, any case after the war in the territory of the Croatian --
19 in the area of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna where somebody would
20 apply to the courts there for the return of their property because they
21 had been forced to sell their property because of threats or pressure.
22 So the situation after the war justified the existence of such a
23 decree at that time.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. 1D 01614, very briefly, I just need you to confirm, this is
2 extract of minutes from the 14th session of the government of the
3 Croatian Republic
4 very first page your name under legislative office and this would
5 confirm, would it not, indeed this is the position that you held during
6 that period? And, of course, we can see through the minutes that you
7 occasionally make comments concerning various pieces of legislation that
8 is being tabled for discussion.
9 A. Yes, I can confirm that throughout that time I held that
11 Q. All right. 1D 02113, and this is a letter from
12 Dr. Jadranko Prlic, and it's an invitation to a working meeting and it's
13 to the -- to a Dr. Vrljic, who is the Croatian Defence Council
14 municipality of Mostar
15 topics. Perhaps you can comment on that a little bit. Why would it be
16 necessary to have working meetings with the HVO municipality of Mostar
17 number one? And number two, if you could also discuss a little bit the
18 dynamics between the two, between -- you can go as far back as the
19 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the HVO, and their relationship with
20 the HVO municipality of Mostar as well as during this period, now we're
21 into the Croatian Republic
22 A. In response to your first question it is quite obvious that the
23 government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
24 president, were not happy with the security situation in Mostar; and for
25 that reason they are -- they wanted this meeting with the municipal
1 leaders in Mostar in order to find a solution to improve the security
2 situation there. As regards the second question that you asked, the seat
3 of the institutions of the Croatian Community, later Croatian Republic
4 of Herceg-Bosna was in Mostar and all those who worked in those
5 institutions could see what the security situation in Mostar was like, as
6 was quite natural. During the war unfortunately the security situation
7 was not satisfactory for the most part, and I would say there was this
8 continuous initiative and a series of meetings that took place during the
9 war with the Croatian Defence Council in Mostar -- of Mostar in order to
10 improve the circumstances, this situation.
11 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document, 1D 01642, and this
12 is a letter from the head of cabinet, Renata Sopta, wherein she's
13 requesting permission for four individuals for movement during the curfew
14 and one of them is Dr. Jadranko Prlic and, of course, by this point we
15 all know he's the president of the Croatian Republic
16 is it that he would need to ask permission to the Mostar police
17 administration in order to move about after curfew? After all, he is the
19 A. Because this regulation bound all those who were moving about
20 during the curfew to do so only with a lesse passe or the permission to
21 do so, and nobody was exempt including the president of the government of
22 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
23 Q. All right. We're down to two documents before we get to our last
24 topic essentially, and this is 1D 01955, and we can see in this document
25 at the very top that these are notes from a meeting of representatives of
1 the Bosniak, Muslim, people and the Croatian people held on 23 April
2 1994. And we see that you are one of the attendees. If you could just
3 briefly tell us, what is this -- what meeting are we talking about? What
4 took place and what was the purpose of it?
5 A. I think that this was the first official meeting a few days after
6 the signing of the Washington Agreement which structured or put in place
7 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in order to implement the
8 Washington Agreement it was necessary to hold a meeting and to agree on
9 the initial steps that needed to be taken in order to prepare and to
10 draft and enact the legislation of the Federation of Bosnia and
12 parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 In this context at this meeting it was agreed, inter alia, to
14 draft -- to prepare the drafts of the first laws of the Federation, such
15 as the Law on the stamp, on the Official Gazette, on the organization and
16 purview of administrative bodies, and Mr. Kasim Trnka and I headed two
17 teams that were drafting those first federal pieces of legislation a few
18 days after this meeting that was held on the 23rd of April, 1994, in
20 Q. All right. The last document is 1D 00269. This is several days
21 later --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, very brief question,
23 we've just seen in this document that there was a meeting of the Muslim
24 side and of the Croatian side at a high level apparently because we see
25 that Mr. Silajdzic is present, as well as Mr. Prlic, Mr. Akmadzic, you
1 yourself are there. So obviously we are dealing here with a very
2 high-level meeting, and as you explained before this meeting happened
3 just after the Washington Agreement. How come Mr. Izetbegovic did not
4 attend that meeting?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know. It's possible
6 that he was not in the country. I don't know. I could only speculate.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 23rd of April, 1994, Mr. Boban
8 at the time was still involved in politics or was -- had he been
9 sidelined at this time, and we're talking about the 23rd of April, 1994
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Boban was in a
11 peculiar situation at that time. He had tendered his resignation or what
12 amounted to that. He -- that's what he did, so in operational terms he
13 no longer participated in this, he could no longer direct in any way
14 those talks, those discussions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Mr. Karnavas, four hours and 53 minutes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. So based on the previous question and answer, you know, I'd like
19 to think -- given the -- what we have seen and what you have testified
20 to, there is de jure, there is de facto, and then there is what I would
21 call de-Boban, that is whatever Boban wants to do can do, given the
22 various hats that he had. As I understand your answers by this point
23 neither de jure, de facto, nor de-Boban is Boban involved in the various
24 events that are going on between the two sides. Am I correct?
25 A. Mr. Boban did not participate officially in this. I don't have
1 any information, and I can't really tell you whether he contacted some of
2 the people who did participate in all this, but officially he was not
3 present or involved in any of this.
4 Q. All right. The last document of this batch is 1D 00269. This is
5 five days later or four days later or five, and this is a decision on the
6 constitution of the Livno municipal council. And so perhaps we can look
7 at Article 7, I thought this might be interesting to look at, because
8 here we see in Article 7:
9 "The Livno municipal HVO shall cease working on the day of
10 passing this decision and the following shall consequently cease to be
11 valid: Statutory decision on the temporary organization of the municipal
12 authorities during the war or the imminent threat of war ..."
13 So are we -- can we conclude from Article 7 that essentially the
14 Livno municipality HVO ceases to exist based on this decision?
15 A. Yes, it ceased to exist in that form, and I think that this was
16 how it was done in all the other municipalities. And this just goes to
17 show how all those organs had been provisional in character. This was
18 underlined in the decision on the establishment of the municipal HVOs.
19 Q. All right. Now, I only have a few moments left so the last topic
20 essentially deals with Gabela, and, of course, on the 14th of July, 2008
21 we did provide some additional information to everyone, including the
22 Bench and the Office of the Prosecution, concerning certain information
23 that you had provided to us and that can be found in paragraph 3 of that
24 letter. If the Bench doesn't have it, we can certainly make it
1 So in light of that I wanted to ask you a few questions. First
2 of all, let's look at P 07096, and this is from Mate Boban, this is dated
3 10 December 1993
4 territory of the Croatian Republic
6 Were you aware of this particular decision, a yes or no would
7 suffice while I lay this foundation.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. Now, let's go on to the next document, and that's
10 P 02679, this is a decision and of course it's dated 8 June 1993 signed
11 by Dr. Jadranko Prlic; and this is to set up a county military prison.
12 And then -- in conjunction with that I want to, because of time purposes,
13 look at the next document P 02674, and this is for the appointment of a
14 Boko Previsic from Capljina to head the military prison in Gabela, and
15 again it's the same date. Now, my first question is: You having
16 participated in the various drafting processes and attending the various
17 meetings, do you recall these decisions ever being tabled and ever being
18 discussed and concluded?
19 A. I don't recall those decisions having been discussed at any
20 sessions of the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of
21 Herceg-Bosna or at any session of the Croatian -- of the government of
22 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
23 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to go through the other documents and
24 then I'll have a couple more questions. We then go to P 0729 -- 7279,
25 and this of course is a -- it's dated 20 December 1993. We see that
1 there is a meeting and these are minutes, and tabled under topic number
2 6, item number 6, talks about a draft decision to supersede decisions and
3 we see the numbers, numbers 350, 349, and then 343. And if we look at --
4 so -- okay good. Can you tell us whether you were at that particular
5 meeting if you recall?
6 A. I think that I took part in this meeting, or rather, it is
7 certain that I did, this meeting of the government held in Orasje.
8 Q. Then if we look at the last document P 07668 this is dated 22
9 December 1993
10 of the regional military prison. And I'm wondering whether you were
11 present when this decision was rendered.
12 A. I don't remember what government session dealt with this, but
13 this is a decision on revoking those decisions, let me remind you of
15 Q. Yeah.
16 A. I can't remember now, but it is a decision on revoking the
17 previous decisions. I can't remember whether -- well --
18 Q. You're absolutely correct. I misspoke. Now, let's discuss this
19 for a little bit. If we look at the previous two decisions it talks
20 about that they go into effect when they're published in the Croatian
21 community in the Official Gazette were they're published by the Official
22 Gazette of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. We can see that under
23 Roman numeral II, and the decision P 02679 as well as P 02674. Do you
24 know whether these were ever published in the Official Gazette?
25 A. It was customary for all decisions adopted by the government to
1 be submitted to the office for legislation, the one that I headed that
2 is. And the office of legislation was duty-bound to send them to the
3 Official Gazette of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. I do not
4 recall that the government of the HR HB ever submitted this decision to
5 be published in the Official Gazette. When looking at the Official
6 Gazette of that -- from that period, I noticed that this decision was not
7 actually published.
8 Q. All right. Now, do you have any explanations -- I mean, you talk
9 about it in or I mention what it is that you told me during our proofing
10 session, but can you please explain to us what if anything you had heard
11 concerning these particular documents. I'm most specifically interested
12 in the document of opening of the facility.
13 A. In principle -- well, all decisions of the Croatian Community of
14 Herceg-Bosna, or rather, the government of the Croatian Community of
15 Herceg-Bosna in which it said basically that they would be published,
16 they were actually submitted for publication; but except for this case I
17 haven't been aware of any other such cases when such decisions were not
18 published. I can only assume two things. First of all, that it had to
19 do with absolute negligence on the part of the administration; and the
20 second assumption is that, quite simply, at the time of publication of
21 this document, at least in terms of what the heading says here, this
22 decision did not exist.
23 Q. All right. Now, did there come a time when you heard some things
24 or you overheard a conversation or discussions concerning the drafting of
25 the decision to close them down and what would it -- what was needed to
1 be done prior to issuing such a decision?
2 A. I attended a legal debate, if we can call it that, a discussion
3 perhaps which involved Mr. Buntic and Mr. Djidic as far as I can
4 remember. What was discussed were these technical aspects involved in
5 reaching a decision, that is to say that what was topical at that moment
6 was the decision on closing down this centre and publishing that
7 decision -- or perhaps some other centre, I can't remember exactly
8 whether it was Gabela. But definitely the question was whether one can
9 publish something that had not been published earlier on in the Official
10 Gazette, and should this be put into the Official Gazette at all. The
11 law was compared, namely, can we pass a law on abrogating a law if
12 previously we did not publish what was entered into force? So that was
13 the debate that took place in that context.
14 In principle, it touched upon this issue as well, but I
15 personally never had any direct knowledge on the fate of this decision
16 that had to do with the direct opening of the centre, so therefore I do
17 not have any personal knowledge in that sense, namely, whether and in
18 what direction this decision had been made.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the Chamber's
20 Legal Officer tells me that we have only seven minutes left on the tapes,
21 and we'll need to have a break soon; and let me remind you that you've
22 already used more than five hours.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Am I being told to sit down or am I
24 being given seven minutes to run out the tape? I don't know. I just
25 have one or two more questions for this and then I can stop. I don't
1 have any more.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please try to ask your two or
3 three questions very shortly.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
5 Q. As I understand from what you had told me and which I represented
6 to everyone is the debate was: How can we close something down that
7 hasn't -- that we -- how can we issue a decision closing something down
8 if we haven't issued a decision opening it as opposed to publishing it --
9 publishing a decision? There is a distinction between what you're saying
10 here today and what I believe you had told me during the proofing
11 session. So which of the two?
12 A. I shall repeat what I said a few moments ago, I mean and what I
13 said during that previous discussion --
14 MR. BOS: I object to this question. He gave his evidence and
15 now Mr. Karnavas is trying to get --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: What's the basis of the objection? Can I have a
17 legal basis?
18 MR. BOS: It's a leading question and the evidence has already
19 been given. He said it wasn't published in the gazette. He never
20 mentioned the fact that the decision didn't exist.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, we have a document here that I
22 presented to the parties. We have a testimony yesterday, we had problems
23 with the translation; I'm entitled to get clarification to make sure that
24 what he stated is either correct, what he told us just now, or whether
25 what he told me back on 14 July 1998
1 there is a distinction to be made; and I'm asking in an open-ended
2 fashion. Obviously this document was prepared based on his information.
3 He has knowledge of it.
4 Q. So my question to you, sir, is could you be more specific or
5 could you repeat your answer. Was it: How can we issue a decision that
6 hasn't been published or how can we issue a decision to close a facility
7 if there's no decision opening the facility? Which of the two? Try to
8 be as specific as possible and concrete for the Court.
9 A. What was discussed was that in the opinion of some of the
10 participants in this debate it was not possible to publish the decision
11 on closing down a facility if a previous decision establishing that
12 facility had not been published in the Official Gazette. I personally
13 did not share that view. I think that the centre could be closed down
14 even without publishing these decisions, and that's what I said to you in
15 my statement; that is to say, had someone asked me, I would have said
16 that it was possible to make a decision on closing down the centre and
17 publish it irrespective of whether the decision on opening the centre was
18 published ever.
19 Let me just repeat once again. I said that I do not know --
20 actually, we're talking about two decisions here. I do not know that the
21 decision on opening the centre was ever submitted to my office, and I'm
22 not aware of it ever being published in the Official Gazette of
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
1 It's almost 4.00 p.m.
2 20-minute break.
3 --- Recess taken at 3.58 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.23 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to the
6 counsel of the other accused, let me tell you the following. I was told
7 that next week because of another trial this courtroom will be needed in
8 the afternoon for a video conference. Next week on Wednesday and
9 Thursday we'll be sitting in the morning instead of in the afternoon, on
10 Wednesday and Thursday in the morning.
11 I'd like to now make a request to Mr. Karnavas but without any
12 discussion, we don't have any time for this. The Trial Chamber made a
13 decision about the guide-lines and paragraph 35. Mr. Karnavas sent us a
14 confidential notification explaining that the Trial Chamber should or
15 could request the Prlic Defence to submit a motion with respect to
16 paragraph 35 within four to six weeks after the presentation of the
17 Defence case. The Trial Chamber will rule on this matter, but before we
18 make a decision we need to have figures, statistics, about the Prlic
20 Mr. Karnavas, we need to know how many documents you consider
21 tendering in writing? Are we talking about 50 documents? 100? 200?
22 1.000? 2.000? I understand that you may not be in a position to give us
23 an answer today, but you may be able to do so tomorrow afternoon, to give
24 us a ballpark figure. This is not a very urgent matter, but before we
25 respond to your notification, the one we received on the 29th of August,
1 very recently, we need to have that information. I'm not asking you to
2 give me that figure now unless you have it --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I can give you an approximation. In this light of
4 the way we're presenting our case and our success in getting documents in
5 or lack thereof about 1500, 1.500 documents we see. I have to read them.
6 We're going to -- and this is one of the reasons, Your Honours, why we're
7 asking to do it at the end, we want to be as judicious - if I could use
8 that word, if I could be permitted to use that word - as possible,
9 keeping in mind the evidence and what is there absolutely essential for
10 you to have.
11 We don't want to make -- just throw stuff at you, we want to make
12 sure that we have reasons, explanations, as to why certain documents
13 should be in, how it ties in. So essentially it helps the Trial Chamber
14 and of course it helps the Prosecution, and they can take whatever
15 position they wish to take, keeping in mind our case is much more
16 condensed than theirs was. And of course as I indicated, they had to do
17 with the municipalities and the topics and ours are intertwined, that's
18 one of the problems, and we don't want to have to submit a series of
19 motions. So anyway, we're at your disposal.
20 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, I apologise. As counsel
21 indicated, actually correctly, the Prosecution would like to take a
22 position and maybe I misunderstood your initial comments. I had the
23 impression the Trial Chamber might be considering a ruling without giving
24 the Prosecution an opportunity to respond, and it is our intention to
25 file a written submission in response to the application that's been made
1 by the Defence. So we certainly intend to file a written response and
2 would ask the Trial Chamber to consider that as part of its
3 deliberations. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What we wanted to
5 know is the figure, the number of documents, and now we know that we are
6 talking about roughly 1500 documents.
7 Let's proceed now. I'm going to ask D2 whether they have any
8 questions as part of the cross-examination. Let me remind you that
9 Mr. Karnavas used five hours. Theoretically, the Defence has two hours
10 and 30 minutes, in other words, 30 minutes for each team but some teams
11 may not have any questions.
12 Ms. Nozica.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour, yes, I
14 will have some questions; however, we have an internal set-up of our own.
15 So according to this line-up, it is the Praljak Defence that will go
16 first today.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence of
18 General Praljak will not have any questions of this witness. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 Ms. Alaburic.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] And I wish to greet all in the
25 courtroom. We are going to have a few very brief questions for this
1 witness in order to clarify certain matters that we believe have not been
2 fully clarified during the direct examination today.
3 Q. I would like to put a few questions that pertain to minutes of
4 sessions of the civilian HVO, and I would kindly ask the witness to
5 interpret for us certain observations contained in these minutes. And
6 then we are going to deal with the subject of civilian control over the
8 My first question pertains to the document that was discussed the
9 most during the direct examination, these are the minutes of the HVO
10 session dated the 22nd of July, 1993, which is document number 1D 01672.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Ms. Alaburic please
12 adjust her microphone. We can barely hear her. Thank you.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, please make sure
16 that you turn the microphone towards yourself because the interpreters
17 can't hear you properly.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I did move to the middle position,
19 believing that my colleagues would hear me properly, but I will try to
20 speak up as well.
21 Q. So this is a document that we discussed today, Mr. Perkovic, we
22 were interested in paragraph 3, stating that General Petkovic as Chief of
23 Staff provided information about the security and military situation.
24 You said that you attended that session?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Can you tell us if you know whether General Petkovic was invited
2 to that session or did he perhaps come at his own initiative or did he
3 simply happen to be there?
4 A. I personally did not participate ever in the technical
5 preparations of sessions of the HVO; however, in view of the position of
6 General Petkovic there is no doubt in my mind that the general had been
7 invited to the session.
8 Q. Mr. Perkovic, His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you whether at
9 this session the civilian HVO could, for instance, give certain
10 instructions or orders to the Main Staff or to someone else in the
11 military. This is page 33 of the transcript, today's transcript. Do you
12 remember that question, Witness?
13 A. I remember. In response to that question I said to the best of
14 my recollection the session was attended by over 30 persons. This was --
15 well, a biggish room in that company. It wasn't a classical HVO session
16 consisting only of the members of the HVO of the HZ HB; it was a bigger
17 meeting at which information was requested about the military and
18 security situation in the said area.
19 Q. Tell us, Mr. Perkovic, is it a rule that when there are such
20 broad meetings the civilian HVO, or later on the government, does not
21 pass any decisions or resolutions?
22 A. Well, for the most part as far as I know there was such a rule,
23 the government, or rather, the HVO of Herceg-Bosna, or rather, later on
24 the government of the HR HB at its working sessions looked at bills and
25 laws and items on the agenda of those sessions. There were cases, of
1 course, when the government, or rather, the HVO would sit in this
2 expanded fashion or, for example, with another body like the municipal
3 HVO of Mostar and so on. However, then only specific questions would be
4 dealt with, those that would be relevant to the HVO HZ HB and the
5 representatives of the institution that is taking part in the work of the
7 Q. Do you have any knowledge to the effect that the regulations of
8 Herceg-Bosna defined the type of decisions the civilian HVO or government
9 can pass?
10 A. We discussed that yesterday. In a document that we looked at
11 yesterday it is stipulated that the HVO of Herceg-Bosna passes decrees,
12 decisions, instructions, and decisions, I believe; I don't want to look
13 at the document again now, so four different types of legal documents.
14 Q. If we go back to Judge Antonetti's question as to whether the
15 civilian HVO or government could issue instructions or orders, may we
16 conclude that this could not happen simply because the civilian HVO, or
17 rather, the government was not authorised to make that decisions that
18 would be called instructions and orders?
19 A. The civilian HVO, or rather, the HVO of the Croatian Community of
20 Herceg-Bosna did not, to the best of my knowledge and in my conviction,
21 did not have the authority to pass decisions that would pertain to the
22 operative use of the armed forces of the Croatian Community of
24 Q. Can we clarify this. When you say that are you referring to
25 decisions that would imply ordering specific military operations on the
1 part of specific military units, that is to say the civilian HVO, or
2 rather, the government did not have the authority to pass decisions on
3 engaging specific military units in order to carry out specific military
5 A. You repeated just now what is written in the decree on armed
6 forces. This has to do with commanding the armed forces. The question
7 of commanding the armed forces of the HZ HB was not under the authority
8 of the HVO of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
9 Q. Very well. Tell us now, apart from commanding specific military
10 units in order to carry out a specific military operation, are there any
11 other questions that are relevant and important for the defence of the
13 A. Of course, and in a way these questions are contained in the
14 scope of work and authority of the defence department at different
15 levels, starting with the municipal departments up to the HZ HB. And in
16 war conditions, that is to say when there is a war going on, there are
17 certain defence tasks that are entrusted to the Ministry of the Interior,
18 or rather, its departments.
19 Q. Tell us, Mr. Perkovic, the civilian HVO, or rather, the
20 government did they have any kind of basic authority regarding the
21 defence of the country?
22 A. Well, of course when we are discussing questions that have to do
23 with finance, or rather, financing the war, that have to do with the
24 defence budget, that have to do with all logistical matters, supplies for
25 the military units, and so on, we have seen how many times the civilian
1 HVO of HZ HB had on its agenda the question of mobilisation and so on and
2 so forth. So these questions that have to do with the readiness of a
3 community to defend itself and that have to do with these questions, that
4 is to say replenishing the armed forces through mobilisation and
5 logistical activities and so on and so forth, financing and so on and so
6 forth; of course, inter alia, this was within the authority of the HVO
7 through one of its departments, that is to say the department for
9 Q. Can we look now into this, whether this was the -- originally the
10 authority of the government or the HZ HB or whether this was done through
11 the departments of defence. Can we please look at document 00819,
12 Article 9. Mr. Perkovic, can we agree that Article 9 deals with the
13 powers of the Croatian Defence Council, whereas in Article 10 the
14 authority of the defence department is being stipulated?
15 A. Articles 9 and 10.
16 Q. Article 9 regarding the civilian HVO, and Article 10 regarding
17 the defence department.
18 A. Yes, I can agree with you. In Article 9 the authority and powers
19 of the Croatian Defence Council are stipulated.
20 Q. Can we agree that all the issues that pertain to the defence that
21 you mentioned, mobilisation, financing, and so on, that we can say that
22 these are the issues that in accordance with Article 9 of this decree
23 were put in the jurisdiction of the civilian HVO and the government?
24 A. These activities are explicitly listed in this article. In my
25 previous reply I mentioned just a few of them without making any
1 reference to this article, but you can see here that these really are the
2 matters that I spoke about, mobilisation, various kinds of regulations,
3 financing, and so on and so forth. So this is what I was talking about.
4 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I think that you have proven yourself to be an
5 expert in the legal system of Herceg-Bosna, so could you please explain
6 to the Judges and everyone else in the courtroom in the legal system in
7 our countries, because I think that Croatia and BH are quite similar in
8 this case, paragraph 8 in Article 9 what does it mean, that the
9 Croatian -- the civilian Croatian Defence Council or the government shall
10 undertake other measures necessary for successful defence?
11 A. In drafting regulations of this kind, it is practically
12 impossible to exhaustively determine all the powers that may be of
13 significance in any given situation in the context of the defence. In
14 legal -- it is the usual legal practice to put in a general stipulation
15 such as the one contained in paragraph 8, which provides that other
16 measures necessary for successful defence can be undertaken.
17 So the range of these measures can be different from, for
18 instance, temporary confiscation of property, various machinery that is
19 to be used for the purpose of defence; for instance, banning the military
20 conscripts from leaving the territory, food rationing for the population
21 or for the military if the circumstances dictate it. Quite simply,
22 because it is impossible to explicitly state all the possibilities, the
23 legislator in most cases introduces this kind of formulation, other tasks
24 and so on, if necessary.
25 Q. Can we consider a correct interpretation whereby this provision
1 means that all the measures that are necessary for a successful defence
2 that are not within the jurisdiction of any other body of Herceg-Bosna
3 are then in the jurisdiction of the HVO which must then take this measure
4 for a successful defence?
5 A. Well, to be quite frank, it is difficult for me to agree with
6 this suggestion because the very subheading indicates that we're talking
7 about the powers of the HVO but also of other administrative bodies of
8 the HZ HB. And it is also indicated here and all the legal entities
9 involved in the matters of defence.
10 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Perkovic, we're talking about Article 9 here. Can
11 we agree that in order to interpret a regulation it is not important to
12 look at the chapter heading where an article is actually located?
13 A. Well, as a lawyer, I find it hard to agree with that.
14 Q. Are you trying to tell me, Mr. Perkovic, that Article 9 does not
15 stipulate only the powers of the civilian HVO or the government, but also
16 of the bodies of the administration of the HZ HB and legal entities
17 involved in the matters of defence?
18 A. Well, it's not only Article 9 that deals with that, it's the
19 whole set of articles that are contained in this chapter.
20 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I kindly ask you, can we please stick on Article 9?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. We're trying to determine what was within the powers of the
23 civilian HVO or the government. Can we agree that Article 9 deals with
24 the issues that are within the purview of the civilian HVO or the
1 A. Yes, we can agree with that.
2 Q. Are you aware of any other provisions in any other legislation
3 pertaining to the defence to the effect that any other body of the HZ HB
4 is authorised to take any such measures necessary for a successful
6 A. This decree in addition to the powers that it vests in the
7 Croatian Defence Council, the civilian HVO as we call it here, also
8 defines the duties of other bodies at lower levels regarding quite
9 specific tasks they have in the sphere of the defence. To be quite
10 specific, I'm talking about municipal HVOs and their defence departments.
11 Q. Fair enough. Mr. Perkovic, I think that this is a very clear and
12 easy legal issue and that we will all find our way around.
13 Now I want to ask you about meetings from another session of the
14 HVO, that's 1D --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I'm sorry, Ms. Alaburic. I am not
16 satisfied that this is so entirely clear.
17 Mr. Perkovic, there is in Article 10 a paragraph, 24, which
18 attributes to the defence department the powers to conduct "other
19 business related to matters of defence unless the appropriate business
20 has already been incorporated into the competencies of other
21 administrative bodies."
22 Now, to me this seems that it is also what at least in German
23 terminology one would call a general clause like the number 8 that we
24 have dealt with before. And my question is: Where is the limit between
25 one and the other? In both articles it is said that in the first the
1 HVO, in the second the defence department, is competent to take other
2 measures if they are necessary or if they are related to matters of
3 defence. I could imagine that this may lead to conflicts because both
4 authorities may say, Well, look, here paragraph 8 or paragraph 24.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in connection with your
6 question the difference in the operation of the defence department and
7 the HVO in these issues stems from the difference in the powers between
8 those two levels of government, the municipal HVOs and the HVO of the
9 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
10 Let me give you an example. For instance, the issue of land
11 registry or documents pertaining to that, that has to be kept in
12 municipal -- in the municipality ex officio, that is within the
13 jurisdiction of the municipality. That means that in wartime the defence
14 departments in the municipalities have the power to, for instance, take
15 measures to protect those registry books, land registry, marriages
16 registry, and so on by moving them to a safer location. So this activity
17 is not explicitly listed and there is a number of other activities that
18 fall within the meaning of other measures that municipal bodies have to
19 take in wartime. So there is a difference between the powers of the two,
20 and they are based on -- they stem from the powers of the municipalities
21 or the municipal HVOs and the HVO HZ HB. But we cannot rule out the
22 possibility that in some cases there can be a conflict of interests.
23 I think that we did see an example yesterday, for instance, there
24 was a document stipulating that some piece of machinery must be
25 mobilised, confiscated, for the purposes of war. The question is: Who
1 has the power to do so, to confiscate this kind of machinery, for
2 instance, a truck? And there were some cases where the interests clashed
3 and powers clashed when the municipal authorities thought that this was
4 within their competence and the organs of the HVO HZ HB thought it was
5 within their competence that they were in power to do so. So we cannot
6 rule out situations where there were conflicts, but this was supposed to
7 delineate those powers.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Perkovic, do Article 8 or Article 10 refer
9 to municipalities?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 8 speaks about the records
11 of military conscripts --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: 9 and 10, not 8. I'm sorry, this was -- I may
13 have misspoken but I mean 9 and 10 of course.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 10 [sic] speaks about the
15 powers of the Croatian Defence Council, whereas Article 10 speaks about
16 the powers of the defence department, the defence department.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Right --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we're talking about defence
19 departments, those departments existed at the level of the HZ HB, so this
20 is the defence department of the HZ HB that is referred to here.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, thank you. It is very delicate of your --
22 of you that you have also misspoken to make me feel less bad because you
23 have two times referred to Article 10 and the first time you referred to
24 Article 9. This articles seems to wish to escape us, but it cannot.
25 Mr. Perkovic, I was referring to any conflicts not with
1 municipalities but between, on the one hand, the HVO, the Croatian
2 Defence Council, which has regulation in Article 9 to which I had
3 referred; and on the other hand the defence department which is mentioned
4 in Article 10, letter (a), and both these have this general clause that
5 they are competent in other matters. And my problem is: Where is the
6 line between one and the other? Who determines -- how does one
7 determine? How does one know whether a specific matter which lies
8 outside numbers 1 to 7 of Article 9 or 1 to 23 of Article 10 belong to
9 one or the other? It seems that both can claim competencies for one of
10 those questions.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me try and give you a concrete
12 answer when we're talking about these two articles. In Article 9, for
13 instance, in paragraph 5 it is stipulated that the HVO shall issue
14 regulations on the introduction and implementation of mobilisation.
15 And when we're talking about the competencies of the defence
16 department in Article 10 it is stipulated here that that department
17 implements regulations.
18 So if we compare the two, it is quite clear that the power to
19 pass regulations is the one that the HVO has and it is quite clear that
20 the defence department has the power to implement the regulations. So it
21 is quite easy to see, to make this distinction, and to see whether one or
22 the other went beyond their competencies, beyond their powers, and
23 whether they violated those provisions on their powers.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I suggest that now we try and find an answer to
2 Judge Trechsel's question together.
3 If you look at the chapeau of Article 10 where it says the
4 defence department, later on to become the Ministry of Defence, it says,
5 "shall carry out professional tasks in the field of defence and
6 protection," does that mean that when you have a provision that other
7 unspecified tasks are to be carried out that those tasks are of
8 administrative and professional nature and fall within the purview of the
9 defence department?
10 A. I could agree with this explanation. I think that the bodies the
11 defence departments as administrative bodies perform administrative and
12 professional tasks in the sphere of defence and protection.
13 Q. Can we agree that regulations in the republics of the former
15 problems with the delineation of the authority between the government,
16 the Ministry of Defence, and so on?
17 A. Well, as a whole this decree on the armed forces is in a way a
18 copy of the Law on All People's Defence that we were talking about, but
19 terminology was changed where necessary and the ideological elements that
20 were contained in the Law on All People's Defence were deleted; but in
21 essence it was the same principle of operation and the powers of various
22 organs involved in defence were almost identical to the ones that they
23 had before the war broke out at the municipal level.
24 Q. In this decree, Mr. Perkovic, the defence administrations are
25 mentioned in Article 13 and also recruitment offices in article or
1 defence offices in Article 14. So can we agree that there are three
2 levels of administrative bodies listed here: Defence departments,
3 defence administrations, and defence offices?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can we agree, we don't have to now look at the article, that the
6 defence or recruitment offices performed tasks related to mobilisation;
7 in other words, those were municipal organs entrusted with defence at
8 that level?
9 A. Well, in accordance with the decree, this was within the purview
10 of the defence office, so I do agree with what you've just said.
11 Q. Mr. Perkovic, could you please explain to us this: If the
12 civilian HVO or the government at its session reaches a conclusion that
13 pertains to mobilisation and if this conclusion has to be implemented, in
14 terms of further decisions and the implementation thereof what happens?
15 A. Well, because it was quite apparent that the defence offices in
16 some areas, in some municipalities, were not operating as they should
17 have been, the HVO intervened by issuing relevant decisions that
18 pertained to mobilisation. In most cases once such decisions were made a
19 representative of or several representatives would go to that
20 municipality and would first try to get into direct contact with various
21 institutions to create a climate where the response to the call-up or to
22 the mobilisation would be greater. In some cases it was the carrot that
23 was applied, and in other cases it was the stick. But at any rate, the
24 essence was to take various measures to ensure a greater response to the
1 Q. I am interested in another situation too. What was the sequence
2 of written decisions? If the HVO issued a decision on general
3 mobilisation and then all the defence offices were supposed to be
4 notified about this decision, what was the sequence of events from the
5 reaching of this conclusion to a decision that actually reached a defence
6 office somewhere?
7 A. Once a decision on mobilisation was made, the first logical step
8 would be to notify the defence offices about this decision.
9 Q. Okay. We want to know how they were notified. Was it possible
10 to notify them in writing, in a document of some kind?
11 A. Well, at any rate making the decision on mobilisation would
12 entail a written document. Now, technically how this document was sent,
13 this was done in various ways, by courier, maybe by fax, because I think
14 it was possible to fax in that time. But in most cases it was couriered.
15 Q. Could you please tell us, if you know, this decision that was
16 received by a defence office, was this document entitled a decision, was
17 it a decision or did it bear any other name, order or something like
19 A. Well, I did not have an opportunity to look at those documents or
20 to be -- I didn't find myself in those circumstances, so I really don't
21 know that.
22 Q. All right. Then we're not going to deal with it any longer.
23 Perhaps I --
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, I still have a question.
25 You have told us, Mr. Perkovic, that the offices maybe not always
1 worked well and then the HVO went to intervene; and I'm amazed that it's
2 the HVO and not the department because they belong as can be seen from
3 Article 12, paragraph 1, they are established within the defence
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When you have in a municipality a
6 response to mobilisation or a call-up that is 15 to 20 per cent, then the
7 question of mobilisation of manpower in that municipality is not only a
8 question pertaining to normative and technical finesse in terms of the
9 implementation of that decision, it also turns into a political problem
10 that exists in a certain parts of the area of the HZ HB.
11 In that context, the HVO discussed several times ways in which
12 the efficiency of mobilisation could be stepped-up in certain
13 municipalities considering that problem to be a political and security
14 problem as well for the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as a whole,
15 not only for the particular municipality to which that mobilisation
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Mr. Perkovic, just one more question by way of a summary. To the
20 best of your recollection, the civilian HVO in its programmes did it
21 define that the defence of Herceg-Bosna was a priority issue and did they
22 say that they would bow to that as a priority as well as the defence of
23 the -- of all of Bosnia-Herzegovina too?
24 A. This is contained basically in all the fundamental documents
25 establishing the HZ HB and the HVO of the HZ HB. It is my deep
1 conviction that had there not been a war and needs of defence there
2 wouldn't have been an HVO either. That task is in the very foundation of
3 all the institutions of Herceg-Bosna, including HVO which was one of the
4 most important institutions if Herceg-Bosna.
5 Q. Thank you for your answers, Mr. Perkovic.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic.
7 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence
8 of Mr. Coric does not have any questions of this witness. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic.
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
11 have no questions of this witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Well, I'll turn back to Ms. Nozica then.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Your Honours, before I start with my cross-examination I have an
16 objection, but I would kindly ask that we move into private session for
17 that objection to be voiced.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Registrar, private
19 session, please.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 31833-31835 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may proceed, Ms. Nozica.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Perkovic.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. We've known each other for many, many years and there's no need
21 for any kind of introduction. You have already understood that I would
22 be putting questions to you on behalf of the Defence of Mr. Stojic. I
23 will try to be as efficient as possible to a maximum. I believe that
24 you've already had an opportunity to look at the pink binder I've
25 prepared for you and you've seen these documents. I have not looked at
1 any one of them earlier on -- I did not display them in this courtroom,
2 that is.
3 So what I wish to do is discuss something that you discussed
4 rather extensively during the direct examination, that is to say the
5 conduct of municipalities in the entire system of the HZ HB. For the
6 purposes of my examination I'm going to focus on an important answer you
7 gave, namely, that some municipalities at the very outset as soon as the
8 aggression against this area started, they reacted as best they could.
9 However, during the conflict some municipalities nevertheless did
10 take upon themselves some obligations, or rather, some powers that they
11 were not entitled to. So let us deal with this in the right order in
12 terms of corroborating what you spoke of.
13 Could we please look at the documents the way I have filed them.
14 I am going to skip over those that are already exhibits, so 1D 0298,
15 1D 00298. Mr. Perkovic, this is a decision dated the 24th of September,
17 A. Sorry, the first document I have here is 296.
18 Q. I beg your pardon, yes, we can go back to 296; my mistake, sorry
19 about that. 1D 00296. That is a decision of the municipality of Livno
20 the first few decisions are decisions of the municipality of Livno
21 the 26th of October, 1993, and the decision is to approve payment of
22 funds. We see here that funds are being approved here to the 2nd Company
23 of the 6th Military Police Battalion. Did you know about this kind of
24 thing, that certain municipalities through different kinds of aid that
25 had been gathered are providing material assistance to the units that
1 were in their own territory, like in this particular case?
2 A. Well, I did have some knowledge to the effect that in certain
3 cases, specifically as far as Livno is concerned because I live there
4 actually, I knew quite a few of these young men who were engaged; and I
5 knew that from time to time not only municipalities but sometimes also
6 wealthier citizens sponsored these young men by granting them certain
7 financial resources for different purposes, cigarettes, pocket money, and
8 so on and so forth.
9 Q. Mr. Perkovic, please let us focus here only on the organs of
10 government in the municipality. I know that physical persons did this as
11 well, but we're talking about the conduct of municipalities within the
12 system of the HZ HB. So could you please look at the second document,
13 and that's the one that I mistakenly mentioned first, that was 1D 00298.
14 The document is also one of the Livno HVO, the 24th of September, 1993
15 What is being passed here is a decision on the professionalization of the
16 army within the brigade Petar Kresimir IV. A few moments ago when you
17 were answering the questions put to you by Ms. Alaburic and also over
18 these past few days you demonstrated an enviable level of knowledge
19 regarding HZ HB regulations. Do you think that this would be left to a
20 municipal HVO?
21 A. I'm sure that this is in contravention of the normative acts of
22 the HZ HB because the question of the professional status of soldiers of
23 the HVO and the question of the professionalization of unit or a part of
24 a unit was not in accordance with the regulations of the HZ HB within the
25 jurisdiction of the municipal defence departments.
1 Q. Thank you. We will now skip the next document on the list
2 because it's an exhibit, and I don't want to waste time, that's 2D 538;
3 and I would like to ask you to look at 2D 01214. Again, it is a document
4 originating from the Livno Croatian Defence Council. The date is the
5 18th of August, 1992. Could you please confirm, Mr. Perkovic, that as
6 early as then the decree on the armed forces of the HZ HB, that it had
7 already been passed by that time.
8 A. Well, as far as I can recall it was the case, but this is one of
9 the things that I mentioned before, indicating how difficult it was in
10 the circumstances because it was impossible to communicate, roads were
11 blocked and so on. It was impossible territory newly passed legislation,
12 legislation that had been published in the Official Gazette -- I'm not
13 sure whether it was published at all because it was the 18th of August,
14 how difficult it was for this legislation to reach the municipalities
15 that were relatively close such as, for instance, Livno.
16 And this proves that this breakdown in communication was not only
17 in the direction of Sarajevo
18 about so much, but also the other way around, towards Livno and other
19 municipalities that were part of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
20 And in this context, of course the Croatian Defence Council passes a
21 decision that in accordance with the decree on the armed forces of the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is not within its purview. It is
23 within the purview of the defence department or the institutions of the
24 defence at various levels in this chain.
25 Q. Thank you very much for your answer. Now I would like to ask you
1 to look at the next decision, again from Livno, that's 2D 01230. It is
2 an order dated the 29th of December, 1992, so it's the end of 1992 and
3 the order stipulates:
4 "The order on the submission of the report on combat activities
5 from the sectors of Livno front line."
6 It seems quite obvious, but I would still like you to confirm
7 whether a municipal HVO was empowered to pass such a decision?
8 A. Absolutely not. The leader of the municipal HVO --
9 Q. I've been told that a wrong document is on the ELMO. I would
10 like to call up document 2D 01230. It's okay now.
11 A. Well, my answer was: Absolutely not. The heads of the municipal
12 HVOs did not have the power to seek any reports about combat operations
13 that the units of the HVO were involved in.
14 Q. Let us complete this whole circle regarding Livno. Could you
15 please look at the next document, that is 2D 01416. It is the decision,
16 again of the Livno Croatian Defence Council. The date is the 18th of
17 August, 1992, about temporary or permanent discharge, demobilisation,
18 from HVO formations. Do you agree that this decision was not in line
19 with the regulations that were already enacted by the HZ HB?
20 A. Yes, I agree. It is in contravention of the decree on the armed
21 forces of the HZ HB.
22 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I deliberately showed you a number of these
23 documents that pertain to the municipality of Livno
24 you that you knew what had been going on there because you had been
25 visiting the area. But let us now go back to a document from the early
1 times at the time when the defence against the aggressor was being
2 organized up until the time in 1993 when this decision was made to
3 professionalize the armed forces. Can we then agree that on the basis of
4 this example that some municipalities systematically took upon themselves
5 the powers of the HVO, meddled in the work of the HVO?
6 A. Well, yes, of course --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry.
8 Ms. Nozica, what is the basis for the question? We have only
9 seen documents pertaining to Livno, so I think the question must be
10 limited to Livno unless you have documents for other municipalities.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, I do have
12 documents about other municipalities. Now I'm asking the witness about
13 his experience and now in this round of questions we will hear what he
14 knows about it and then we will show documents from other municipalities.
15 The supposition here was that he had direct knowledge; and I wanted to
16 obtain from him the information whether he had any knowledge about other
17 municipalities so I can move on to other municipalities. It appears to
18 me to be quite fair towards the witness. I don't want to show him
19 documents if he tells me that he was not aware of what was going on in
20 other municipalities.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Of course. Perhaps it would be clean to
22 separate Livno and others because your question was, in a way, general,
23 covering everything.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
25 comply with your instruction.
1 Q. I will first ask the following question. So is it obvious from
2 those documents that pertain to the municipality of Livno
3 systematic, not just at the beginning but throughout the end of 1993,
4 that there was this interference? I'm not saying that this was done with
5 any bad intentions; it was done in order to defend the area. But it was
6 interference in the -- in what was actually in the power of the HVO and
7 the defence department.
8 A. Can I answer? Yes, well, I know that Livno as a municipality was
9 not an exception when it came to those violations of the laws of the
10 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna by way of enacting some legislation by
11 the municipal HVO which in various ways and in contravention of those
12 laws of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna these matters were
13 regulated. So this was not just a whim on the part of those people or
14 their desire to counter the efforts of the HVO and other institutions of
15 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, no, quite the contrary.
16 The municipal HVOs faced enormous pressure. You have to look at
17 things in the context of the time up to 2000 -- or 2000 of armed people
18 right there in the middle of the municipality, lots of unemployed.
19 Financial transactions were impossible, no money was coming in, no
20 schools, normal life was disrupted completely, the life that people were
21 used to.
22 And given those pressures, the municipal authorities were often
23 aware of the fact that they were violating the decisions of the HVO, but
24 still they went on to pass the decisions, to enact the decisions, that
25 they thought would be most useful to the people who actually lived there.
1 Q. Let me now show you documents that we have as a follow-up to your
2 answer to see whether this is confirmed. Could you please look at the
3 next document, that's 2D 00535, that's the municipality of Tomislavgrad
4 we will now skip it because it's an exhibit, so to speed things up. The
5 next document, which again has to do with the municipality of Posusje
6 will skip it because it's an exhibit. Could we look at this document,
7 2D 00537, it's a decision on mandatory financing of the defence effort
8 in -- of the Municipal Assembly of Posusje dated the 2nd of May, 1992
9 this what you were talking about?
10 A. Yes. In the form in which this was drafted by the War Presidency
11 of the Municipal Assembly of Posusje.
12 Q. We can skip the next document because it's an exhibit and let us
13 look at 2D 00540, it's a decision on financing the requirements of the
14 All People's Defence issued by the Municipal Assembly of Tomislavgrad on
15 the 20th of August, 1992. Does this decision confirm what you were
16 telling us?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And finally, as part of this topic, document 2D 00541. It's a
19 document from the Tomislavgrad municipality. It's a decision on the
20 amendments on the decision on financing of the All People's Defence. Can
21 you confirm for me that this is yet another decision which shows how
22 certain municipal HVOs were operating, what they were doing.
23 A. Yes, this is what we were talking about. This was the war tax
24 that was imposed by some municipalities on its residents or citizens
25 living there in order to assist the financing of the defence and of
1 course it is in contravention of the decisions and the decrees of the
2 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which defined the fiscal policy. Let
3 me remind you that legislation was in place in HZ HB regulating this area
4 of financial transactions and so on. So these decisions were not -- did
5 not stem from the valid legislation of HZ HB.
6 Q. Mr. Perkovic, we've seen several decisions dealing with how
7 specific formations operating in the territory of those municipalities
8 were financed. Does it mean that the formations that operated in
9 municipalities were actually financed by the municipalities themselves,
10 municipalities that had -- that did have more money, so that if a
11 formation was operating in a municipality that had more money, was better
12 paid, than a formation that was operating in a poorer municipality?
13 A. Well, in the first few months after the conflicts began in that
14 area, the area of the HZ HB, so we're talking about the period between
15 April and June --
16 THE INTERPRETER: July, interpreter's correction.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- or August 1992, I don't think
18 that anybody was financed at all. Nobody got any income, salaries, or
19 anything for anything they did, be it work obligation, military
20 obligation, or any other obligation or work. It was only when financial
21 transaction system, payment system, was set up in that area that this
22 issue was finally regulated.
23 To my knowledge, all members of the Croatian Defence Council were
24 paid, their salaries were quite low, but they did have those salaries.
25 And those salaries were paid from the budget of the Croatian defence --
1 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. So those were additional sources of
2 financing for some of those units or formations; and it is likely that
3 some municipalities were prepared to assist or to co-finance those
4 formations, either because they thought that it would be easier to keep
5 the security situation in that area under control or because they felt
6 that they had enough money and that they could assist people who were
7 involved in those units militarily.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Perkovic, you answered my question at the very end. I would
10 like to ask you to answer my questions directly because if you provide
11 longer answers then you force me to ask ten follow-up questions. You say
12 that all the formations were financed from the budget. Could you please
13 tell me, if you know, whether the HVO up until the time that the Croatian
14 Republic of Herceg-Bosna was established, whether it had any budget? Do
15 you know that, did it have a budget?
16 A. I think it did and I think that the allocation of the funds in
17 the budget was something that the finance department of the HZ HB dealt
19 Q. Thank you very much, so I will not be dwelling on this because we
20 will have an opportunity to look into that later. So you did tell me
21 that some municipalities did finance those formations, that was your
23 Now I would like to ask you, Mr. Perkovic, could you please go
24 back to the first document that I showed you, that is 1D 00296, that's
25 dated the 26th of October, 1993, so up until that time this is what was
1 happening, the additional funding from the municipalities.
2 Let me ask you a hypothetical question, and I risk the objection
3 of the Prosecution, but let me ask you this question nevertheless. Do
4 you have any experience indicating that whoever is financing the troops
5 has much more influence over the troops than other organs? Let me be
6 quite specific. Does that mean that the municipal HVO could have
7 influence, could exert greater influence, on the units operating in its
8 area than, for instance, the Main Staff and other bodies that were
9 involved in the defence of the HZ HB?
10 A. Well, generally -- it is difficult to give a general answer to
11 this question. For the best part it is limited by the power that the
12 leader of the municipality exerted in any given municipality, and of
13 course they -- their power was different in various areas. So my answer
14 is that I cannot rule out the possibility that the municipal HVOs did
15 exert influence over certain units and the possibility that this
16 influence was greater than the influence exerted at the level of the
17 department or other institutions of the HZ HB.
18 Q. So you say, "I do not rule out," and my question is quite clear.
19 Is it linked, or rather, does not the financing of those formations make
20 it possible for such influence to be exerted? I'm not going to go
21 municipality by municipality, although we can do that but it would take
22 us a lot of time, but I'm sure you know how much influence was exerted by
23 the presidents of the municipality in each and every municipality of the
24 HZ HB. My question is: Does this financing give this kind of power?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's remark: Could the counsel please
1 slow down.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't doubt the fact that where
3 there was more funding on the part of the municipality that the influence
4 exerted over formations was greater. The more money you give, the more
5 music you get. If you give somebody money you can ask for some favours.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I will now move on to a different topic -- is somebody saying
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'm being told that perhaps the time
10 has come to our break -- well, I can see that Judge Trechsel is saying
11 no, but at any rate I will be happy to continue.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have ten minutes left
13 before the break.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
15 Q. Please look at the document that comes next now, and that is
16 1D 01275. Today during the direct examination this document was referred
17 to. Just tell me, Mr. Perkovic, when you find it. I'm briefly going to
18 remind you what this is about. You were shown this document, and on page
19 23 of the transcript today from lines 9 to 16 you spoke about this, or
20 rather, you answered questions about the function of the military council
21 and how the military council was supposed to be appointed. Do you
22 remember that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let us be very specific. Your answer was rather accurate from
25 the point of view of the regulations, and we are going to look at this
1 particular regulation, but first of all I'm going to ask you whether this
2 military council was established at all; and if so, when?
3 A. I'm not aware of the establishment of a military council at any
4 point in time. Today, as I was answering questions, I said what the
5 powers of the military council were and who made up this military council
6 according to the decree; however, I did not have any information to the
7 effect that it was ever established.
8 Q. Could you please have a look at the next document in your binder
9 and this is document number P 00588. The Prosecutors, the Judges, have a
10 yellow sticker on this page; and I marked Article 18 so that the Judges
11 and the Prosecutors wouldn't have to leaf through the entire document and
12 you, Mr. Perkovic, in the Croatian version. So let us look at Article 18
13 together. Let us see how it reads so that we would be quite specific in
14 relation to what it was that you said today. I can read it out:
15 "A military council shall be established within the defence
16 department as an advisory body, especially in matters of build-up,
17 development, and supplies of the armed forces, but also in matters
18 concerning the development of the defence doctrine and strategy of armed
19 struggle. The military council shall consist of the head of the defence
20 department and the Chief of the General Staff as well as of a certain
21 number of members appointed by the HZ HB, president after consultations
22 with the head of the defence department and Chief of General Staff."
23 Mr. Perkovic, you said that as far as you know this military
24 council was never established, that was your answer, right?
25 A. My answer was that I did not know of this. I personally do not
1 know whether it was ever established. I don't know that.
2 Q. Please have a look at the next document in the binder, it was
3 established, and then we'll see if that will jog your memory. P 07090,
4 that's the document. Have you found it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It was established only on the 19th [as interpreted] of December,
7 1993. The decision was signed by Mr. Boban, as it says in Article 18,
8 the one that is invoked; and he invokes the reasons precisely in line
9 with Article 18. It's already the defence ministry and that is the
10 reference made in paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 the members of the Main
12 Mr. Perkovic, can you remember now that this happened only in
14 A. To be quite frank, this decision on the establishment of the
15 military council is a document I see for the very first time now. I
16 never had occasion to see this document, probably because by virtue of
17 the work I performed at the time, I did not have access to documents of
18 the president, especially not those that went through this line of
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Do not fear, nothing bad from me, just a
21 correction of the transcript. It speaks in page 147, line 21, of the
22 19th September [sic] but I believe it's the 9th, at least in the English
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Let us just correct this, the
25 decision on the establishment of the military council, as is written in
1 document P 7090 is the 9th of December, the 9th of December, 1993. Thank
2 you, Judge Trechsel. I'm not afraid of your interventions. I always
3 consider them to be well-intentioned, so I look forward to interruptions
4 on your part.
5 Q. Mr. Perkovic, you said that --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I must confess that this week I'm
7 afraid that I may have -- I've overdone it a little but it was the
8 interest of the material, but I'm aware that there may be a problem.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. All is well, Your
11 Q. You said that you didn't know that the military council had been
12 established, you did not attend these meetings; I understand that. But
13 now I'm going to ask you about sessions of the HVO, whether there was any
14 mention of the establishment of this military council and was it stated
15 several times that the absence of this military council constituted a
16 serious problem in the defence of the HZ HB. Do you remember that, this
17 meeting included?
18 A. I remember that at one or two sessions perhaps the issue was
19 raised of the necessity of appointing, or rather, choosing or electing a
20 military council. I think that at one of the HVO sessions Mr. Zubak
21 spoke about that in the following way. He asked, or rather, re-initiated
22 from that point of view the establishment of this military council. So I
23 knew of this initiative. I knew what the military council did and who
24 comprised it, but I did not know to this day, until a few moments ago, I
25 never knew that it actually had been established, this military counsel.
1 Q. Mr. Perkovic, the supreme council [as interpreted] without a
2 military council, doesn't he have a lot more freedom and authority in
3 decision-making if he does not have this kind of an advisory body, can
4 one infer that?
5 A. On the basis of the role, or rather, the powers that the military
6 council is supposed to have, obviously this is a body that is of an
7 advisory nature, which is to say that suggestions or proposals of that
8 body ultimately are not binding on the supreme commander, although by the
9 very logic of things they can be of assistance and should be of
10 assistance to the supreme council in terms of making the right kind of
11 decisions, the best decisions, at a given point in time that is.
12 Q. An answer to this question would be logical. You rounded it off
13 in a diplomatic way, but I'll ask you non-diplomatically. The fact that
14 Mr. Mate Boban did not appoint a military council, doesn't it mean that
15 in fact he didn't need one until December 1993, that even without any
16 kind of advisory body he could make his own decisions?
17 A. Well, look, Mr. Boban probably felt more comfortable without that
18 kind of military council.
19 Q. It is very precious what you said, but I understood what you said
20 by feeling more comfortable; but could you please explain.
21 A. Well, in our language the word "comfortable" is very clear. Now,
22 what I wish to say is the following. To the extent to which I knew the
23 president of the HZ HB, I think that he was a man who did not very much
24 want to have institutions around him that would in a way meddle in the
25 work that he considered to be his alone. In that context I believe that
1 Mr. Boban was not really in a hurry to have this kind of council
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Perkovic, I have an intervention that on page 149,
4 in line 15, it says supreme council and it should say supreme commander.
5 Very well, now I would like to move on to another session,
6 another topic that will require a bit more time. Are we going to take
7 the break now or are we going to proceed?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to break for 20
10 --- Recess taken at 5.52 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I would like us to look at document 1D 01668. This
15 document was shown to you today, precisely this part, that is to say the
16 minutes of the 42nd Session of the HVO session on the 15th of June, 1993,
17 and, as a matter of fact, part of this document was shown to you where
18 the military security situation is discussed, Mr. Kvesic proposes what
19 Mr. Stojic said and suggests and so on and so forth, not to go into all
20 of it. For the transcript, there's no need to remind you, you remember
21 that, that on pages 21, line 19, up to page 22, line 17 you explained how
22 hard the situation was in Central Bosnia at the time. You did that very
23 well, providing some details as well.
24 Now I would like to ask you to look at the next two documents in
25 the binder that precisely establish what it was that you said, and then
1 we are going to go back to the conclusions from this session. Let us see
2 what was going on in addition to what you had referred to. So could you
3 please look at document 2D 00595. This is an operative report about the
4 situation. It was submitted on the 8th of June, 1993, by the Croatian
5 Defence Council, the command of the OZ, signed by Mr. Kostroman; the
6 deputy prime minister, Mr. Ante Valenta; and then the vice-president,
7 Mr. Kordic, they are all co-signatories; is that right, and it is signed
8 by Mr. Tihomir Blaskic.
9 Very briefly, I don't know whether you had an occasion to see
10 this document early on?
11 A. No, I do not have an opportunity to do so because within my own
12 line of work I did not receive operative reports.
13 Q. Now I'm going to read out some parts of the document for you so
14 that you could confirm whether you remember these events. It says under
15 number 1: "The situation at the defence lines is insignificant because
16 an all-out attack has begun against all HVO positions, number of which
17 positions, at the territory of the Lasva is getting smaller by the day
18 and the ratio between HVO and ARBiH forces is 1:9 in favour of
19 Muslims" --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please be asked to slow down.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you for asking me to do so. I
22 will try.
23 Q. "I believe that an exodus has started from the Croats in Central
24 Bosnia because there is no other choice, but to try to breakthrough
25 towards Rama and Gornji Vakuf."
1 Paragraph 2 is very dramatic saying:
2 "We are aware that this is the last report that we are signing,
3 we the most responsible individuals from a military and political point
4 of view for the Croatian population in OZ Central Bosnia, population
5 which is forced to flee the area where they live in front of the Muslim
6 knife, even after more than 250 killed, slaughtered, many wounded, and a
7 large number of disappeared civilians and soldiers."
8 For the sake of speed I'm going to move on to paragraphs 4 and 5.
9 4 says: "We are going to begin destroying our documentation so if you
10 have any further instructions please send them to us."
11 And finally it says: "Please carry out all preparations for
12 taking in expelled persons in an organized way."
13 So this arrived a few days before the session, right? The HVO
14 session where the situation in Central Bosnia was discussed? Have you --
15 had you heard about this situation and did you have information at that
16 time that that is what the situation was in Central Bosnia?
17 A. I did not have occasion to read this document or to be made aware
18 of it at the time; but of course I did know about the disastrous
19 situation where there was practically no way out, the situation in which
20 the units and the Croatian population were in the so-called Lasva
21 enclave, the Lasva river valley, that is, this is just one of the
22 documents or segments showing how disastrous the situation was.
23 Q. Thank you, and could you please look at the next document which
24 is similar and it's an exhibit that is 2D 01407 which was submitted by
25 Mr. Blaskic a day later on the 9th of June, 1993. It also speaks about
1 the attack of the Muslim forces and the Mujahedin, the 7th Muslim
2 Brigade, against this area. There is a reference to the attack against
3 Guca Gora from the direction of Zenica about Croatian villages that were
4 burned down and Croat civilians, women and children that were killed and
5 harassed. It's an exhibit and it says at the very end:
6 "We have consolidated our forces, the enemy has been repelled,
7 Croatian soldiers understand that we can only defend ourselves using our
8 own resources. Our basic objective and task is the defence of our areas.
9 We shall persevere in this sacred and moral deed."
10 Does this correspond to what you knew?
11 A. Yes, but the document is somewhat different. This is a
12 proclamation that was sent to all brigades of the armed forces of Central
13 Bosnia HZ HB in that area. Obviously the intention was that it be made
14 public in terms of portraying the situation realistically but also
15 encouraging the population in the area, providing encouragement to the
16 Croatian population in that area in Central Bosnia, or rather, the Lasva
17 valley because radio stations like the radio of the HZ HB reported about
18 the situation every day. So the citizens in the area who were
19 listening - and I imagine most of them were - they were aware of the
21 Q. Yes. Mr. Perkovic, that was precisely my second question. From
22 this proclamation, as you've called it, it is clear that the military
23 command is doing its very best for the women and children, the civilians,
24 and the army stay in that area rather than leave. Doesn't this document
25 show that clearly?
1 A. Well, this document shows it clearly but only this -- not only
2 this document but the fact that 250 people were killed in the fighting in
3 an effort to keep those people there. This argument is much stronger
4 than any other document -- any other argument against those who claim
5 that some plans were made to move the population out, to evacuate them,
6 and so on. I don't think that anyone in his right mind would allow 250
7 of his men to die, to be killed, yet at the same time to applaud the
8 evacuation of that area.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I can see that my learned friend is
10 on his feet.
11 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I have an objection to the leading
12 questions that have been asked in the last few questions. This evidence
13 is beyond the scope of the evidence that this witness was supposed to be
14 testifying to in the Rule 65 ter summary, so that will be direct
15 examination rather than cross-examination.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is pure
18 cross-examination. I stressed the page of the transcript and my learned
19 friend can check that. At page 21, line 19 through page 22 the witness
20 spoke about the situation in Central Bosnia. I merely asked him whether
21 these documents confirm what he had been telling us, nothing more than
22 that, and I think this is cross-examination pure and simple.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in this document we
24 have a number of figures that come a bit as a surprise to me. Apparently
25 800 civilians were imprisoned in Guca Gora. Were you aware of that fact?
1 And apparently 400 to 500 people were wounded, 500 missing, 400 people
2 died. Don't you believe that Colonel Blaskic is exaggerating a bit when
3 depicting the situation? I don't know for what purpose, but according to
4 the information we have, these figures here do not quite reflect the
5 situation as it was on the ground at the time.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is really difficult for me to
7 answer and provide specific figures for that time-period, but it is quite
8 clear that the Croatian people in the Guca Gora local commune, which is
9 part of the Travnik municipality, were at that time in a way cleansed
10 from that area or moved out of that area, relocated. Now, whether there
11 were 800 people or, I don't know, 750, 700 people, I really don't have
12 those figures, so I can't tell you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Now I would like to follow-up on what His Honour Judge Antonetti
16 has just asked. A suggestion that I got, you said in your testimony that
17 Travnik fell, that's what you said, so there's no need for us to repeat
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now I would like to follow-up on what His Honour Judge Antonetti
21 asked. I would just like to ask you if it is apparent from this that
22 both of these memos reached first the president of the HZ HB and the
23 second one to the chief of the Main Staff. The second memo reached the
24 Main Staff and the defence department. Now, regardless of whether the
25 number of victims is exaggerated, can we agree that this is the
1 information that the HVO had immediately before this session that was
2 supposed to discuss the military and security situation in this area?
3 A. Well, this is just some of the information that the HVO HZ HB had
4 when it considered this issue on the eve of this session. Other
5 information reached the HVO regarding other areas and the situation was
6 no better there, so this is just part of the information and the overall
7 picture was quite bad.
8 Q. Thank you. We have a lot of documents that confirm what you've
9 told us, but there will be other witnesses who may have been closer to
10 that area and we will re-address this through them.
11 Now I would like to ask you regarding the interventions by
12 Mr. Stojic and others at the session. Can you confirm that that dramatic
13 contents of their statements, does that -- does that correspond to what
14 people from the HVO were saying, other people?
15 A. You're asking me about the 47th Session?
16 Q. Yes, that's what was at the outset of that. Let me repeat, that
17 is 1D 10668.
18 A. It is my firm belief that what Mr. Stojic said at this session
19 was appropriate given the time and given the situation that prevailed in
20 this area at that time. In his intervention at this session, Mr. Stojic
21 is asking for the mobilisation, level of mobilisation, to be stepped-up
22 in some municipalities, for a decision to withdraw military formations
23 from some areas to be made, together with the Croatian population there.
24 It is absolutely unrealistic to expect that you can withdraw any Croat
25 soldier who would be ready to do so leaving his family, his wife, his
1 children behind by retreating on his own. So this is fully consistent
2 with the real situation. So if it was a political assessment that the
3 military formations had to withdraw, it was impossible to do that if the
4 people who were the cause why those soldiers took up arms were prohibited
5 from leaving.
6 Q. His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you with regard to this document
7 whether Mr. Prlic or anyone from the HVO could make any decisions that
8 could interfere with the exercise of command in the army. I would like
9 us to go back to this document to see what the conclusions are after this
10 dramatic debate and whether these conclusions were in line with the
11 powers that both the defence department and the HVO had at that time. So
12 for the transcript let us go back to the document 1D 10668 to the
13 conclusions which can be found at the end of the document.
14 Number 1, you were at the session so this is an exhibit, there's
15 no need for us to read it and to dwell on it for too long, but we can see
16 that the situation is described in paragraph 1 of the conclusion; and it
17 is stated at the end that:
18 "In order to protect the population it is necessary -- a general
19 mobilisation is urgently needed. In connection with this it is proposed
20 to the supreme commander of the HVO, Mr. Mate Boban, to urgently meet
21 with the Presidency of the HVO HZ HB, the Presidency of the HDZ, and the
22 presidents of the municipal committees of the HDZ to organize the defence
23 of all the Croatian areas which are under attack."
24 Can you confirm then that this is fully within the remit of the
25 HVO and the defence department as part of the HVO because this problem is
1 sent up to the Presidency and the president and other organs that should
2 deal with it?
3 A. Well, in my opinion it is quite clear that in such a situation
4 the HVO HZ HB would make the appropriate decisions in this sphere and
5 that it had the powers to do so. It is quite clear from this that the
6 Croatian Defence Council of the HZ HB did not have those powers. Those
7 powers were vested in the institution of the president of the HZ HB and
8 the president of the HDZ, and this is why the HVO puts together a
9 proposal for possible measures in order for the competent authorities or
10 institutions to take appropriate measures. The HVO assesses the dramatic
11 situation. It does not have the power to take appropriate measures, but
12 then suggests to the appropriate institution, which is the president of
13 the HZ HB, to take appropriate measures.
14 Q. You attended this session. Could you agree with me that all
15 those conclusions, 1 through 7, were passed in accordance with the powers
16 that the HVO had given the dramatic situation at the time? Could you
17 please go through it quite quickly. I would not like us to dwell on this
18 too long. I could go through this one by one, but let me give you some
19 time to go through it but only if you can give me a generalised answer,
20 not going into details one by one. Could you agree that these are the
22 A. I think that the HVO in all those items, 1 through 7, did not
23 deviate from the powers that it had.
24 Q. Thank you very much. And the last document, that's 1D 01672. I
25 read out the conclusions from the document 1D 10668, it's already been
1 shown to the witness. I don't know if there is any confusion. So let me
2 repeat, 1D 01688.
3 So the last document that we mentioned is the minutes of the
4 working meeting. Let me just check, when you were asked by His Honour
5 Judge Antonetti, when he asked you about whether Mr. Stojic attended this
6 meeting, we ascertained that he was and that in item 1 he spoke about the
7 implementation of the decision to mobilise personnel. And in conclusions
8 he was given certain tasks that pertained to this issue. I would just
9 like us to ascertain that in item 1 in the minutes --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down. The
11 interpreters cannot find the reference.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Slow.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica, a cry of distress from the
14 interpreter's booth. They cannot follow, they do not find the clues.
15 Maybe you start again a bit back because the last part wasn't translated
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I did not
18 hear the cry of distress, but I have to say that now you scared me. Let
19 me repeat what I said.
20 Q. So I will repeat everything to avoid any confusion. So these are
21 the minutes from a working meeting of the HVO. The date is the 22nd of
22 July, 1993, and in item 1, Mr. Stojic informed those present about the
23 implementation of the decision on mobilisation of troops, that's at page
24 1 -- I think it's not difficult to find it. And then in conclusions we
25 can see that he was given some tasks. And now I would like you -- to
1 ask, if you look at the agenda at item 1, can we conclude that Mr. Stojic
2 first provides information about what is within the purview of the
3 defence department; and second, that he was bound to provide this kind of
4 information on the 17th of July, 1993, that he was given this task?
5 A. Well, I have said this and let me repeat this again, that I could
6 not remember who was present at the meeting, so I couldn't recall whether
7 Mr. Stojic was there. As regards what you're asking me, I can just give
8 you an answer based on what I have in front of me. It is quite clear
9 that the issue of mobilisation is within the purview of the defence
10 department of the HVO HZ HB. In this context Mr. Stojic spoke about
11 something that is in essence his job, and he informed all those present
12 about the success rate of the mobilisation in the area of the HZ HB.
13 Since I don't have the conclusions from the working meeting of
14 the 17th of July, 1993, I can only assume that in one of those
15 conclusions Mr. Stojic was given a task to inform the HVO about the
16 progress of the mobilisation in a certain area.
17 Q. Thank you. This is what follows from the document. In the end,
18 let me ask you just two brief questions about the Commission For
19 Regulations that you were in the HZ HB. First question: Did you -- did
20 the commission have the power when a certain draft law reached it to
21 ascertain whether it is in line with the other laws enacted by the HZ HB
22 and whether this law would be in contravention of other legislation,
23 would you then return the law back to the sender?
24 A. Well, your job in the Commission For Regulations, which was then
25 superseded by the legislation office during the existence of the HR HB
1 was precisely this, to assess the level of harmonization of various
2 pieces of legislation. To make things simpler, we were there to prevent
3 a situation where one decree would deal with an issue in one way and
4 the -- another decree would stipulate something else, and then you would
5 have this collision, this conflict. So it was our job to prevent the
6 collision of different provisions.
7 Q. Thank you. And finally, if you were to receive a document to
8 review and if it were against international standards, or rather, say not
9 in line with the Geneva Conventions specifically, would you return it and
10 would you say that it was in contravention of an international standard
11 or document?
12 A. Of course we would do that. When I first testified before this
13 Tribunal, when answering a question I said - and I stand by that today as
14 well - namely, that I state with full responsibility that in the entire
15 legal system of the HZ HB and the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna there
16 is not a single regulation or norm that is discriminatory and that treats
17 any citizen from the area in any different way during that period of
18 time, irrespective of ethnicity or any other affiliation.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Perkovic. We have already heard that. I was just
20 interested in the first part of your answer. Thank you very much. Thank
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would, if I may, I would like to ask for a
1 On page 160, lines 21, 22, 23, you are written down as having
2 said: "It is quite clear that the issue of mobilisation is within the
3 purview of the defence department of the HVO HZ HB."
4 In the decree on the armed forces in Article 9, number 6, it
5 says: "The Croatian Defence Council shall decide on conducting
6 mobilisation ..."
7 This at first glance seems to be a contradiction. I'm sure you
8 can clarify.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croatian Defence Council and in
10 accordance with that decree makes a decision on the implementation of
11 mobilisation; however, the question of the implementation of that
12 decision, that is to say the immediate implementation of that decision in
13 the field, in reality, is within the purview of the defence department.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, I
16 noticed, if I may intervene, I have observed this answer, but I believe
17 that we have clarified that fully today, what the HVO and what the
18 defence department are supposed to do. And since we have the decree on
19 armed forces before us, I think it would be very important to look at
20 Article 37, which says that it is the president of the HZ HB that orders
21 mobilisation. So as far as mobilisation is concerned, there are
22 different stages involved and preparations in terms of the regulations
23 involved, the defence department included. That is how I understood
24 Mr. Perkovic's answer. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to move to
1 another level. Based on the last two documents submitted to you by
2 Ms. Nozica, that is, the 9th of June document by Tihomir Blaskic as to
3 the situation in Central Bosnia and the 22nd of July meeting in which
4 Mr. Stojic under item 1 mention the issue of mobilisation.
5 If you look closely at these two documents, in June and July 1993
6 the situation seems to be very worrying militarily speaking because there
7 was an offensive by the ABiH and if we are to believe Mr. Blaskic, who
8 may have exaggerated the figures, but there is concrete evidence, 39
9 villages seem to have been occupied and devastated, 225.000 Croats risk
10 being refugees, there's a high number of people that were killed,
11 wounded, or missing. In Mr. Blaskic's document there is a small detail
12 that seems absolutely essential to me. He writes that the ratio of the
13 forces in presence would be 1:10, so one Croatian soldier for ten ABiH
14 soldiers. We know that the 3rd Corps of the ABiH had more than 100.000
15 soldiers, so these are very impressive figures.
16 In military terms one question is obvious: How can you face a
17 situation such as this whilst you have less people to the extent of a
18 ratio of 1:10? Apparently the answer given by the authorities of
19 Herceg-Bosna is to mobilise. Very well. There could be a mobilisation,
20 but this would entail that you basically have to mobilise a high ratio of
21 people since there is basically ten times as many ABiH soldiers as HVO
23 Based on this situation which is abundantly described during HVO
24 meetings in which you participated, I'm allowed to conclude that there is
25 a real military problem; but it is also a political one, namely, is the
1 policy that has been adopted and implemented the right one and should
2 there not be another type of policy? But the documents we've seen do not
3 demonstrate any discussion whatsoever among heads of municipalities,
4 among leaders, or with Mr. Prlic.
5 If there was no discussion at HVO level, I mean the civilian HVO,
6 in your view where did political discussions take place? Was it
7 discussed in Mr. Boban's office? Faced with such a situation, was he
8 forced to position himself politically? That's the source for my
9 surprise. When I look at these documents, I note that military situation
10 is extremely worrying and the only answer provided is to mobilise. Was
11 it enough though? Where can we find traces of political discussions?
12 They're not to be found anywhere, so could it be that there were other
13 discussions that we can't see anywhere? You participated in the
14 meetings, so what do you think of it? What do you have to say?
15 Sorry for the length of my question, but I had to sum up the
16 situation based on the documents. In order to put the questions to you I
17 can't just sort of put a brief question to you. I have to give you all
18 the ins and outs, as it were, in order for you to answer properly.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question of mobilisation in
20 certain areas is not the only response and cannot be the only response to
21 such a situation. I'm not a soldier, but I assume that this mobilisation
22 was aimed at additionally reducing the pressure that was at the ratio
23 that you refer to, 1:10, in that area.
24 As far as political decisions are concerned, throughout the
25 existence of the Croatian Community and the Croatian Republic of
1 Herceg-Bosna they were related to the negotiating process of seeking
2 peace or trying to find a peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As for the
3 conduct of these negotiations and participation in these negotiations, it
4 was the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna who carried
5 this out. So the institution of the president of the Croatian Community
6 of Herceg-Bosna, if I can put it this way, included political
7 prerogatives of reaching political decisions that in this or that way
8 were expressed through different peace programmes in which, or rather, in
9 whose preparation the representatives of the Croatian people from
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina took part.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your
13 We have a few minutes left before we adjourn. The Prosecutor
14 could, in theory, start with the cross-examination, but you might want to
15 start tomorrow. Is it going to be Mr. Stringer or Mr. Bos?
16 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I will do the cross-examination, but I
17 agree with your proposal to start tomorrow morning.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 So we've got eight minutes left. I shall use the time to tell
20 the witness that he will have to return. Tomorrow we'll start at 9.00 --
21 oh, tomorrow, 9.00 in the morning, yes, that's tomorrow because I have a
22 hearing at 2.15 so I can't be wrong. Tomorrow morning -- is that right,
23 Mr. Karnavas?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, we are meeting at 9.00 tomorrow
25 morning -- I guess we are -- right? I was going to be asking if we could
1 get -- I know the Prosecution doesn't wish to have the witness look at
2 the documents, I guess maybe they fear that he may come up with some
3 answers and prepare them overnight, but at least can the lawyers get
4 ahold of the Prosecution documents since we are not going to be
5 contacting the witness, we haven't done that, we don't intend to do that;
6 but I do like to prepare and be vigilant, if necessary, in order to
7 properly phrase my objections.
8 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, since Mr. Karnavas put it in such a
9 way in front of the witness I'll respond in a likewise way. No, the
10 Prosecution doesn't agree to disclose the binders to the Defence because
11 they never disclosed the binders to us when our witnesses were being
12 called. So we're going to stick very precisely to the same procedure
13 that applied when the Defence was cross-examining Prosecution witnesses.
14 So that's just how the game has been played, if you will, and that's how
15 we propose to continue to play the game. The witness is aware, no
16 witness sees any of the documents for cross until he begins his
17 testimony. That's how it's been virtually through the entire trial and
18 that's how it's going to be for Mr. Perkovic.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, we're not asking for the witness to see the
20 documents - and I don't see this as a game and I know this is just an
21 expression - I was wondering if the lawyers, if I could see the documents
22 now. I don't see what the harm is. Of course, if they think that
23 perhaps I might be overly prepared by tomorrow, somehow I may confuse the
24 Prosecution --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that Mr. Stringer has
1 answered already, but he say want to add something. Does that position
2 apply to everybody, including the Judges, because I don't have the
3 documents either.
4 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, again, I remember very well during
5 our part of the case counsel walking across and giving us the documents
6 at the moment they begin their cross-examination, and that's why we're
7 going to adhere to the very same procedure.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I would want to press this issue. Now, I do
9 think -- okay, I'm not going to get the documents, that's fine. I think
10 I can manage, I think I can manage, but to deny the Bench, I think that's
11 an affront to the Judges. The Judges should be entitled to have the
12 documents. God forbid that the Judges be prepared to ask questions, as
13 they're entitled to. So I'm a little shocked to hear this and certainly
14 he may wish to reconsider.
15 MR. STRINGER: Well, I didn't understand that the Bench was
16 requesting them. Clearly, if the Bench is requesting the documents,
17 we'll provide them, we'll provide them to the Bench at any time, but I'm
18 addressing my remarks to those by Mr. Karnavas. He knows the procedures
19 that they were all too willing to use during the Prosecution case, and
20 that's how it's going to be now.
21 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, none of Your Honours require me, least of
22 all, to come to the defence of the Bench, so I don't address that
23 particular point. But I would, with the greatest of respect and humility
24 deprecate, and I know it wasn't meant by my learned friend, the misuse of
25 the analogy of this being a game. There is a distinction, of course.
1 The Prosecution have said repeatedly, at least twice I remember, that
2 they're representing the international community and they are also
3 representing the victims. And the principles of transparency and cause
4 in a tabled approach would militate, in my respectful submission, all
5 things being equal, to documents which they're putting to a witness being
6 given to their professional colleagues.
7 Now, of course it may be, it may be, that the Defence don't have
8 the moral high ground if they didn't extend this courtesy to the
9 Prosecution in similar circumstances. I won't speak to that. I came
10 late into this case. But that doesn't affect, in my respectful
11 submission, the overriding obligation of the Prosecution - and my learned
12 friend knows his duties and responsibilities most vividly - to ensure
13 that they conduct prosecutions to the highest ethical standards.
14 And I don't see for the life of me how the Prosecution being the
15 voice of the international community in this courtroom supposedly would
16 be prejudiced by giving documents, which presumably have been disclosed
17 in advance to the parties, to professional colleagues and to the Bench in
18 advance of cross-examining a witness. To me, it seems rather spiteful
19 and mean. As I said, it may be that the Defence have -- are in some
20 difficult position because they behaved in a certain manner, I don't
21 know. Your Honour, I don't speak to that issue, but I do see in my
22 submission the position being rather untenable and rather unfortunate.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It so happens that during the
24 Prosecution case the Prosecution did ask the Defence to receive the
25 documents the Defence had intended to use during cross-examination, I
1 remember that, but you were not in the case yet, Mr. Khan. The Defence
2 refused that and they said that the Prosecution would get the document
3 just before the cross-examination, so under the principle of equality of
4 arms the same should apply now.
5 As to the Judges, in theory of course the Judges can be given
6 documents, but you must have understood that already; we are perfectly
7 able to use a document straight away, as soon as we discover it. So
8 technically speaking, I don't need to have the documents hours in
9 advance. You can give it to me now and five seconds later I can ask a
10 question. So personally, personally, I do not feel the need to have
11 documents ahead of time.
12 So we're all going to be very calm and collected and wait
13 tomorrow until 9.00, then we'll have the little tray with all the
14 binders. This being said, I wish you a good evening.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of
17 September, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.