1 Thursday, 4 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Coric not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Today is Thursday. Good morning to the accused. Good morning to
13 Mr. Coric as well - he's not with us today but I hope he'll get well very
14 soon. Good morning to the Defence counsel, to the representatives of the
15 OTP, and to everyone assisting us in this case.
16 Today we need to complete the cross-examination of the witness.
17 Unless I'm mistaken, I believe that Mr. Bos has one hour and 15 minutes
18 left, but I believe that Mr. Scott wants to address the Chamber.
19 Mr. Scott, you wanted to raise an issue?
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Mr. President, Your Honours, good
21 morning. Good morning to all those counsel and all those in the
22 courtroom and those assisting us.
23 Your Honour, very briefly, I don't anticipate with the time that
24 we have today that we should have any significant time pressures I hope,
25 but nonetheless I thought it would be best to raise these matters at the
1 outset. Two matters related to upcoming witnesses. Your Honours, if I
2 could just respectfully remind the Chamber and ask for the Chamber's
4 On the -- I don't think that either one of these witnesses are
5 protected, perhaps we could go into private session just for a moment
6 just to be absolutely sure that I don't say something inappropriate.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please,
8 Mr. Registrar.
9 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Thank you to counsel for that assistance.
25 Your Honour, on the 9th of July of this year we filed a motion
1 seeking an adequate summary for the Defence witness Borislav Puljic on
2 the 9th of July, and that matter remains -- that motion remains pending.
3 Likewise, on the 18th of August, 2008, a few weeks ago we filed a similar
4 motion requesting an adequate summary for the witness Perica Jukic.
5 Those two motions remain pending and of course Mr. Jukic is scheduled to
6 testify next week, and I believe Mr. Puljic is scheduled to testify the
7 following week. Therefore, it seems timely at least to bring those
8 motions back before the Chamber's attention.
9 Let me just briefly remind -- since the Chamber may not have
10 looked at those motions, those written motions, that are pending
11 recently, let me just briefly remind the Chamber of the Prosecution's --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, the Trial Chamber
13 issued a ruling regarding Mr. Jukic, Perica. This decision was duly
14 recorded, and in this decision we requested a detailed summary from
15 Mr. Karnavas in accordance with your application. Don't say that we
16 didn't do anything because as soon as we receive a motion, as soon as it
17 arrives on my desk, I examine the motion and the Trial Chamber reacts
18 immediately. We issued a decision with respect to your motion. If you
19 have not received the relevant document, Mr. Karnavas will tell us what
20 it's all about. That's all I wanted to add to what you just said.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. It appears if I'm in error
22 then I apologise to the Chamber or grant that it may be there's been an
23 error among the Prosecution, and I take responsibility for that of
24 course. It was our impression that that had not been resolved; if it has
25 been then obviously it is a moot point.
1 I would persist nonetheless with the Chamber's patience. I think
2 the matter concerning Mr. Puljic, perhaps -- unless again I'm in error
3 does remain outstanding. And --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please address this point.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Your Honour, just as the Chamber's well aware by now and
7 especially given what you, Mr. President, have just informed us in terms
8 of the Chamber's dealing with the Jukic motion, the Tribunal law on this
9 topic is really not ambiguous at all; it's quite clear that what Rule 65
10 ter requires is a summary of what the witness is actually expected to
11 testify, not background, not he's held these positions, not simply a list
12 of topics, the witness will testify about topic A, B, and C, but the
13 actual evidence, the actual evidence, that the witness is expected to
14 give, not that there was a meeting but that there was -- what the meeting
15 was, what the meeting was about, what evidence the witness will give
16 about that meeting. The Tribunal law is absolutely consistent on that.
17 Report -- cases -- decisions from the Milosevic case, from the Mrksic
18 case, from the Boskoski case, all of those cases have completely rejected
19 witness summaries which simply give background and topics. They've been
20 unanimous -- the decisions of the Trial Chambers in this Tribunal are
21 unanimous in requiring fully adequate summaries so that both the opposing
22 counsel, the opposing parties, and the Chamber can be more fully prepared
23 to receive the evidence of that witness.
24 Beyond that, Your Honour, I won't belabour it, but we would ask
25 for the Chamber's assistance on ruling on our pending motion on Puljic,
1 and again my apologies to the Chamber for being misinformed about the
2 Jukic matter. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Mr. Karnavas, you will respond. Let me remind you that the
5 Chamber has issued a ruling requesting that you submit to the Prosecution
6 a detailed summary with respect to the witness who will testify next
7 week. We gave the reasons for our decision. In that particular decision
8 we relied on the case law of this Tribunal because several Trial Chambers
9 of this Tribunal have clearly stated that the summary needs to be very
10 detailed in order for the Prosecutor and also for the Judges. The Judges
11 need to be able to prepare themselves properly before the testimony of
12 the witness because under the Rules the Judges are allowed to put
13 questions to the witness and they can only ask these questions if they
14 have information available to them. That's why these summaries need to
15 be very detailed and that's what we explained in our decision.
16 If Mr. Scott takes the floor today about this point a few days
17 before we hear your witness, it's because he has not received the
18 summary. I don't know how things stand. Please can you clarify this for
19 us, Mr. Karnavas?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
22 Like the Prosecution, I must confess that I -- I frankly did not
23 see the decision. Now, something must have slipped through the cracks.
24 We apologise. We'll get on it. We understand that it may cause some
25 inconvenience to the Prosecution. We will look at it. We will try to
1 present a summary that obviously is in keeping with your order. Having
2 said that, it seems to me what the Prosecution wishes for us to do is
3 take statements and we're going -- it's like the dog chasing its tail.
4 We're going back to that. You know, we don't take statements, we're not
5 obligated to take statements, and when the Prosecution takes statements
6 they don't take a question-and-answer statement; they normally summarize
7 it the way they wish it, and a lot of times the statement doesn't contain
8 information -- all of the information they intend to put on before the --
9 when the witness testifies.
10 So I do feel that slowly what the Trial Chamber is doing is going
11 through the back door and forcing the Prosecution -- forcing the Defence,
12 contrary to the Rules, to provide statements. That's what's happening
13 here. You may be shaking your head, Judge Trechsel, but it appears to be
14 the case. We do provide summaries.
15 And may I say, Judge Trechsel, may I say that in the previous
16 trial that I had, I submitted similar summaries and then prior to the
17 commencement of the trial, Judge Liu, who was presiding the case, when he
18 thought that a particular summary was insufficient he requested it at
19 that time. In other words, the Trial Chamber looked at the summaries
20 early prior to the Defence case, not in the middle of the Defence case,
21 and it seems that slowly -- and I know that you're one of the movers and
22 the shakers behind this, pushing us to give not just detailed summaries
23 but essentially summaries that effect -- that are in a sense statements.
24 And it becomes very difficult at this stage of the proceedings. I mean
25 logistically, with all due respect, you have any idea of what it's like,
1 especially when you keep putting demands on the Defence to give you
2 binders in the order in which the documents are presented. We did this
3 with the last witness. It took three working days of one person to do
4 that on a minor witness where there was only one binder or a binder and a
6 So while I don't object to providing more and more detail, in the
7 middle of the trial it's becoming more and more complex and more and more
8 difficult, especially now when we're going to have the Prosecution
9 demanding that we file our motions with respect to evidence that we're
10 trying to get in by way of motion. We put our case before you.
11 Obviously the Prosecution wants to jam. We heard Mr. Stringer: This is
12 a game. This is how the game they want -- is supposed to be played.
13 That's how they see it. This is no longer now a mission to see if, in
14 fact, we can get to the truth and if the Prosecution can meet its burden.
15 And I think that we're being overburdened by these demands over and over
16 again that go beyond, in my opinion, even the case law.
17 Now, we will provide a greater summary, but there comes a point
18 where that summary is in a sense is nothing less than a statement. And
19 if the Trial Chamber wants a statement, let the trial demand -- that the
20 Trial Chamber demand a statement from us so that then we can seek an
21 appeal on this issue. But I do -- I must confess, we provided you with
22 sufficient information which at the commencement of the trial you thought
23 was fine; otherwise, you would have ordered differently. And now we're
24 doing it witness by witness and it's going to continue because the
25 Prosecution, no matter how much you give them, they're going to want
1 more. That's the nature of the beast.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, you're talking along the
3 motto that attack is the best defence. And while we ask for information
4 you hyper state that, and in order to fight any reproach in advance you
5 suppose that we ask much more than we actually do, which is a well-known
6 tactic. But I think it's not quite fair. We have not asked for
7 statements but for nothing more than the case law demands. And I think
8 you have actually agreed to that and I think one could leave it at that.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I thought we presented what the case law
10 demands. We will provide some more. The witness will be coming in
11 today, a day early. We are scheduled to meet with the witness on
12 Saturday. Hopefully we will try to present and give the Prosecution
13 something by tomorrow, you know, hopefully by the beginning of tomorrow.
14 In case they want additional information we can meet with the witness.
15 But you must understand, we don't have the luxury of a large team in the
16 field, and sometimes it's not until the witness comes here that we really
17 have an opportunity to go over the documents with the witness.
18 As you can see this is a heavily documented case. We don't -- we
19 cannot demand three or four days of a witness in the field prior to
20 trial. Most of them don't want to give us more than one or two hours,
21 and that's why in some instances what we do present is what we believe
22 and what we think the evidence will be at that time. So we will try to
23 present more, and hopefully we'll satisfy the Prosecution. But we're
24 doing the best that we can and that's the bottom line and that's what I'm
25 trying to convey.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
2 I'm going to give the floor to Mr. Scott later on but before that
3 one question. With respect to Mr. Puljic, I'm being reminded by the
4 Legal Officer that before the -- before recess we had requested an
5 additional summary from you with respect to that witness. This
6 information, this request, was sent to you by the Chamber. I can
7 understand that you may have forgotten that because of the amount of work
8 you have to do, but I believe you will now be able to provide this
9 additional information to us.
10 Secondly, we are not requesting you to provide statements. Of
11 course that would be ideal, but we are fully aware of the fact that
12 considering the amount of time you have at your disposal it's impossible
13 for you to start taking statements. On the other hand, and I've already
14 stated that many times, I said that a few weeks ago, what the Chamber
15 wants based on a very detailed summary is what is -- what the witness
16 will be testifying about in order for the Chamber to prepare itself
17 properly, and that's the same for the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor wants
18 to prepare for the cross-examination.
19 Of course you've produced summaries, I don't deny it, but these
20 summaries are rather concise, are rather short, and they should be
21 detailed, developed, and it's in your interest because when we have a
22 detailed summary in front of us then we have a clearer idea about what --
23 why the witness is coming to testify, and we understand what you are
24 trying to establish. It's in our interest to provide detailed summaries
25 to us because through these summaries you present our case, and if you
1 give us only a very short summary then we do not quite know what the
2 witnesses will be talking about. That applies to the witness we'll be
3 hearing next week because after reading his summary there are still a lot
4 of open questions about him, but we'll have answers to these questions
5 because you've said that you are going to provide a more detailed summary
6 with respect to that witness.
7 We are perfectly aware of the problems you have. You've spent
8 the entire week with us, and during all this time of course you can't
9 meet with your witnesses. I'm fully aware of that. I know you're up to
10 a very difficult task because you do not have the same resources as the
11 Prosecutor; I'm perfectly aware of this.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: With Mr. Puljic, Your Honour, we simply put that
13 on the back burner because he was -- the order was changed and we're just
14 trying to keep our heads above the water, but we will provide something
15 for Mr. Puljic and anyone else following that as quickly as we can. The
16 Prosecution should rest assure that in the future if they just want to
17 pick up the phone or send us a message we will respond to that. So --
18 and again, my apologies for not seeing the decision. I take full
19 responsibility in that. Somehow it fell through the cracks. I wasn't
20 aware, otherwise I certainly would not have ignored it.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Yes, I'm sure --
22 I'm absolutely sure that you're going to do your best.
23 Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours. Only a moment and I won't
25 belabour it further.
1 Your Honour, Mr. President, you and Judge Trechsel have made the
2 comments better than -- I'm sure better than I can make them. I
3 appreciate the Chamber's additional guidance.
4 I do want to note, however, because I do agree with Judge
5 Trechsel, that the high hyperbole is really not necessary. The
6 Prosecution simply asks for what the law -- what the Rules and Tribunal
7 Rules require. There's nothing novel or even creative about the
8 Prosecution's argument, frankly. It's exactly what the Rules require.
9 Rule 65 ter requires these summaries not be provided just a day or two
10 before the witness appears, notwithstanding whatever difficulties there
11 might be, but it's quite difficult in saying that at the time the Defence
12 make their pre-trial filings after the close of the Prosecution's case
13 and before the commencement of the Defence case, the Pre-Trial Judge
14 shall require them to file the following, including a summary of the
15 facts on what each witness will testify. And again, Tribunal -- the
16 Tribunal case law is quite clear on it. So the Prosecution is not
17 pushing beyond -- asking for anything more, more extensive, or
18 belabouring or putting more burdens on the Defence than what the law and
19 the Rules require.
20 Second brief point, Your Honour, in terms of the format or
21 approach that the Prosecution has taken, let me just briefly remind the
22 courtroom for purposes of the record that indeed when the summaries were
23 initially filed and some of the pre-trial and pre-Defence conferences and
24 hearings that Prosecution did raise - because we did review preliminarily
25 the summaries provided - at that time, I'm sure the record will show,
1 that we did raise our concerns that a number of the summaries appeared
2 inadequate. So it's not fair to say that we're just raising this on a
3 piecemeal basis. However, the direction we received at that time was
4 that it would be better to take them on a case-by-case basis as the
5 issues arose. Therefore, the Prosecution has followed the Chamber's
6 guidance on that and will indeed -- as Mr. Karnavas says, we will indeed
7 continue to do so whenever in the course of preparing for a witness we
8 review the summaries again on a case-by-case basis and -- and do conclude
9 in our respectful submission that the summaries are not sufficient.
10 So I just wanted to make those points clear for the record, but
11 beyond that I appreciate the Chamber's guidance. Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, I think that one thing Mr. Karnavas
13 said makes a lot of sense, namely, that you take contact directly and
14 negotiate and treat directly with the Defence team. It may be other
15 teams later on, so as not to take too much time of the Chamber because we
16 are 20 minutes after beginning.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel. We've done that on some
18 occasions. I think Mr. Karnavas would confirm that in the past couple of
19 months we've done more of that. We'll try to do more. Sometimes --
20 sometimes it appears that filing a pleading and discussing it with the
21 Chamber sometimes becomes necessary, but I take on board your comments,
22 Judge. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have the witness brought
24 into the courtroom.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Please
2 accept the Chamber's apologies, but we had to deal with a procedural
3 matter. That's why you had to wait for 20 minutes before entering the
4 courtroom. Please accept our apologies.
5 I'm now going to give the floor to Mr. Bos, who is going to
6 proceed with his cross-examination.
7 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 WITNESS: ZORAN PERKOVIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Bos: [Continued]
11 Q. Good morning, Mr. Perkovic.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Mr. Perkovic, last -- yesterday we left off with a quote that I
14 was going to read out to you from the Kordic case in relation to the
15 camps, and I'll read the quote again. It's from the 7th of June, 2000,
16 transcript page 20684 --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If you could read -- the question could be read as
18 well because the question goes then with the answer. I was going to
19 object yesterday, but we ran out of time, so question and then answer.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're absolutely right.
21 MR. BOS: I will have to get the transcript then. One moment,
23 Q. Very well. We'll start with the question.
24 "Q. Just so I understand, is it possible, to your way of
25 thinking, that to feed thousands of detainees, bus them, to house them,
1 could be done spontaneously or would it have had to come from some plan?"
2 And then your answer is: "I'm not denying -- and I already said
3 that -- that at local level there were such treatments of civilian,
4 non-Croat populations. This cannot be justified by war operations, and
5 there is no basis for that in the legislation of Herceg-Bosna. I am not
6 saying that someone did or did not issue an order to establish such
8 "Nevertheless, the nature of the work that I did was such that I
9 was not in contact with that. I'm just saying that I don't know whether
10 there was such an order or not."
11 Mr. Perkovic, do you recall this evidence that you gave in the
12 Kordic case?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Then, would you agree that here you admit that civilian
15 non-populations [sic] were kept in detention centres and that there was
16 no legal basis for that?
17 A. I spoke about the fact that those centres existed, but in my line
18 of work I did not have to deal with those problems, and I was aware of
19 some cases at the local level where such measures were taken against
20 civilians. That's what I said in my evidence eight years ago, and I say
21 that again now.
22 Q. Which HVO detention centres did you know were functioning at the
23 time in 1993?
24 A. I knew about centres such as Dretelj, Heliodrom, Gabela, they
25 were being mentioned.
1 Q. And who do you think would have been responsible for running
2 these camps?
3 A. At the time I didn't know that because it was not my job. I was
4 not aware of the legal status of those centres, whether those were
5 prisons or prisoner-of-war camps. So I didn't know that. I can't answer
6 your question, therefore, because I was not aware of its status and I
7 didn't know who was supposed to be in charge of running those centres.
8 Q. Do you know whether the treatment of prisoners at these detention
9 centres was ever discussed at HVO government meetings?
10 A. Yes, this topic was discussed at at least one session that I
11 attended, and I cannot rule out the possibility that it was discussed at
12 other meetings, too. But at a session of the HVO, I think it was in
13 August 1993, this problem was discussed and after a debate about the
14 conditions in those centres it was agreed that they were unsatisfactory
15 in terms of the accommodation, food, and all the other issues that affect
16 the people who were there, and the conclusion was reached to take a
17 number of measures to improve the situation.
18 Q. Well, let's look at the minutes of some of these meetings. Could
19 I ask you to look at Exhibit P 03560 in your binder. These are the
20 minutes of the 19th of July, 1993, the 46th Session of the HVO government
22 Now, Mr. Perkovic, if we look at the document we'll see on the
23 first page the persons present at this meeting, and your name appears in
24 that list of names as well. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, I'd like to focus your attention now to item number 7 of
2 this document which is on page 4 of the English version. Let me just
3 read out what's been stated here.
4 "After a discussion of the request of the HVO of Capljina
5 municipality to relocate prisoners and a discussion of the status and
6 accommodation condition of prisoners and persons in isolation with the
7 aim of improving their accommodation conditions and overcoming the newly
8 arisen situation, unanimous approval was given to adopt the
9 following ..."
10 And then there's a list with two conclusions, and I'll just read
11 out the first conclusion: "Secure accommodation conditions, material,
12 and medical support for prisoners of war in accordance with the Geneva
13 Conventions relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
14 "If the existing accommodation conditions are not satisfactory,
15 the head of the defence department of justice and general administration
16 in coordination with the defence department and the defence -- and the
17 department of interior shall designate new sites and transfer prisoners
18 of war.
19 "The defence department shall be in charge of their stay at the
20 new sites."
21 Now, sir, just focus your attention on what's being said here
22 under item 7. It talks about overcoming the newly arisen situation. Do
23 you recall what had happened, why -- and what kind of newly arisen
24 situation had arose? Can you tell us that?
25 A. Well, in light of the date when this session took place, it was
1 the 19th of July, I assume that the new development can only have to do
2 with the war-related events in that area of the Croatian Community of
3 Herceg-Bosna in the Capljina municipality. I'm not aware of any other
4 circumstances that might be described as new developments, the new
6 Q. And looking at the conclusion under number 1, would you agree
7 that reading the second sentence of that conclusion, it gives
8 responsibility to the departments of defence, justice, and interior in
9 case the accommodation conditions of detention centres are not
11 A. Yes, that is the conclusion.
12 Q. Now, let's look at another document which is P 04841, which is
13 again minutes of a HVO government meeting of 6 September 1993. You have
14 it? Again, under the list of names you see that your name is listed as
15 well, so would you agree that you were present at this meeting?
16 A. Yes, I was.
17 Q. Now, let me read out to you the first two paragraphs under item
19 "On the basis of verbal reports and insight gained into the
20 matter of executing punishments and the condition of detention of persons
21 captured as active-duty and reserve enemy forces and persons preparing an
22 armed rebellion, the situation was declared unsatisfactory and harmful to
23 the reputation [Realtime transcript read in error "representation"] and
24 interests of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
25 "It was also concluded that the responsibility for the persons
1 present -- for the present situation does not lie with the HVO of the
2 government of the Croatian community -- of the government of the Croatian
3 Community of Herceg-Bosna. However, in order to avoid the situation
4 being used in ways that are adverse to the political and other interests
5 of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna," I should say, "... valid
6 principles of international law, of law and international humanitarian
7 law need to be observed in executing punishments and implementing other
9 Now, first of all, was this the meeting that you were referring
10 to earlier when you said that there was a meeting in August about these
11 camps, is this the meeting you were actually referring to?
12 A. Yes, I was referring to this meeting. I couldn't recall the
13 exact month, but this was an item on the agenda of the HVO HZ HB or the
14 government of the HR HB that dealt with this issue, this problem.
15 Q. Now, it says here in the second paragraph that -- there's a
16 denial of the responsibility for the conditions of the HVO detention as
17 to the responsibility of the HVO government. We've just saw the other
18 minutes where we clearly see that there was a responsibility for various
19 minister -- or departments within the HVO on the conditions of detention,
20 and now here we see that it's being stated that -- yeah, that there is no
21 responsibility. How can you explain this?
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a correction on the record. On line 19 it
23 is -- one reads: "It is harmful to the representation and interest of
24 the Croatian community," it's not representation, it's reputation.
25 MR. BOS: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We can see two important things
2 from the minutes here, first, that the HVO discusses those problems on
3 the basis of oral reports; in other words, there is no paper trail, there
4 are no documents that were used as a basis for the discussion at this
5 meeting. And I would like to remind you that in accordance with the
6 Rules of Procedure of the HVO, the HVO departments were duty-bound to
7 provide written materials for the discussion at the meetings of the HVO.
8 And it is quite clear to me from this that the jurisdiction was not that
9 of the HVO HZ HB, but it is obviously within the jurisdiction of the
10 local authorities, municipal authorities, the municipal HVOs. And in
11 this context it is logical to conclude, I say, that the HVO HZ HB was not
12 responsible for the situation as it was up until that time, but taking as
13 our starting point that the document that we had seen just a little while
14 ago, where the HVO indicates that there are violations of the Geneva
15 Conventions pertaining to war, the conclusion that is logical is that
16 since the local authorities are doing nothing to rectify the situation
17 the HVO, as a guarantor of the compliance with those conventions, takes
18 it upon itself to perform all those tasks that have to be done in order
19 to rectify the situations -- the situation and bring it in line with
20 those conventions to improve the conditions of life of those people. And
21 to me it seems completely consistent and completely responsible conduct
22 on the part of the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of
23 Herceg-Bosna in a situation where the local authorities are in violation
24 of the international regulations and the regulations of the Croatian
25 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
1 MR. BOS:
2 Q. Now, Mr. Perkovic, in your answer you keep focusing on the
3 responsibility of the local authorities, but as we have just seen in
4 July -- one month earlier there is a discussion with the -- in the HVO
5 government about the conditions of these detention centres. And then
6 clearly several departments are being given assignments in relation to
7 the conditions of these detention centres. What --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection to the form of the question, Your
9 Honour. It assumes facts that are not really in evidence. If you look
10 at the previous document, those heads of departments are being asked to
11 look into it, not that they're responsible for the conditions, try to
12 find alternative accommodations. So I think if he's going to quote, go
13 back to the document, quote the actual language, let's keep the facts as
14 they are based on the documents and not based on interpretations by the
16 MR. BOS:
17 Q. Well, let's move back to Exhibit 3560, Mr. Perkovic.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to
19 understand this well. When you talk about local authorities, you mean
20 municipal authorities?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, municipal authorities.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How about a civilian prison,
23 whose responsibility is it to manage it? Is it the municipal authorities
24 when it comes to housing, food, et cetera, or was it a central state
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before answering your question I
2 would just like to ask you to clarify. Do you mean a prison or a centre?
3 Because a prison is a place where criminal sanctions are enforced and
4 here we're talking about the centre.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, tell us what in your view
6 is a prison, provide us with your definition of a detention centre.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A prison is an institution where --
8 where persons who were convicted in a final judgement and were given
9 sentence that was upheld on appeal serve their sentences or a place where
10 persons are detained in the course of the investigation. That is a
12 A centre is an institution where persons are kept in detention,
13 those persons who are prisoners of war during the war and they are put
14 there but no criminal proceedings have been instituted against them and
15 no sentences have been imposed on them.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So on the basis of those
17 definitions, please answer my question. My question was whose
18 responsibility was it to manage those prisons or centres, was it the
19 municipal authorities?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The responsibility to make sure
21 that the penalties and sentences were imposed across prisons according to
22 the regulations Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as far as prisons were
23 concerned fell to the president of the Supreme Court in any of these
24 areas, as that was for civilian prisons. As for the military prisons, it
25 was the responsibility of the president of the higher military court or
1 the supreme military court, the responsibility in terms of sentences
2 being carried out and penalties imposed. As for detention centres for
3 prisoners of war, as far as Herceg-Bosna's regulations were concerned,
4 these centres for the detention of war prisoners according to the
5 regulations were under the charge of the justice minister and the defence
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Mr. Bos, I would have many questions but in light of the time
9 remaining I'd rather Mr. Bos carries on.
10 MR. BOS:
11 Q. Well, Mr. Perkovic, I asked you to move back to Exhibit 3560. I
12 don't know if you have that in front of you. Just let's look again at
13 the text under the conclusion of number 1 where it says: "In the
14 existing accommodation conditions, if existing accommodation are not
15 satisfactory, the head of the defence -- the head of the department of
16 justice and general administration in coordination with the defence
17 department and department of interior shall designate new sites and
18 transfer prisoners of war."
19 And then: "The defence department shall be in charge of stay at
20 their new sites."
21 Now, clearly when it says here "shall be in charge of stay at
22 their new sites," you will agree that there's responsibility of the
23 defence department in relation to this? And maybe it goes back to your
24 answer to Judge Antonetti, that the defence department was responsible
25 for prisoners of war?
1 A. The conclusion is only conditional, as you see, it is not being
2 stated outright. It reads: "If the conditions are not satisfactory," so
3 this is something that is up to the defence department. Then at a
4 meeting of the HVO of the HZ HB they agreed to this conclusion, but only
5 in a conditional sense, this is being an assumption, because that was the
6 responsibility of that department and then that department should
7 probably know. On the other hand, if you look at the introduction to
8 this particular item you see that the municipal HVO of Capljina is asking
9 for prisoners to be moved. Now, the question I'm asking myself because
10 of this is why is it the HVO of Capljina municipality asking for this,
11 why not another HVO? And why would that be a problem for the HVO of
12 Capljina municipality if this is the responsibility of the defence
13 department or some other department of the HVO HZ HB? Why would someone
14 worry about someone else's business when at the time in this area
15 everyone was encountering so many problems of their own without being
16 able to deal with them in an effective manner?
17 If you look at all of this what becomes obvious is that by July,
18 by the 19th of July, 1993, at least as far as this centre is concerned,
19 the institutions and organs of the HVO of HZ HB had no insight into the
20 work of this centre or any powers over the work of this centre. Had that
21 not been the case, it would have been necessary for the HVO to discuss
22 this at a government meeting, all these problems, and it wouldn't have
23 been necessary to take over from someone who was obviously performing
24 this task in a very poor manner.
25 Q. But it's exactly the point. Isn't it true that in these minutes
1 in fact what's happening here is that the various departments of the
2 Croatian government are taking over and that's exactly what it says here:
3 "The defence department shall be in charge of their stay at the new
4 sites ..."
5 Is that not what's happening here?
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do have to
7 intervene. I'm sorry. I don't think this is a fair way to ask this
8 question. Mr. Bos gets an answer that he doesn't like and then he's
9 insinuating something that is not actually there. It's exactly what the
10 witness said, should the conditions be found to be unsatisfactory and if
11 another location is found, then it will be the defence department.
12 That's this point. And then the next conclusion before the setting up of
13 this work group. Therefore, I think that the answer [as interpreted]
14 should be re-asked in a way that's fair and in keeping with what the
15 transcript actually reflects. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, please clarify this.
17 Ms. Nozica says that in the witness' answer it had been said that if the
18 situation had been such and such, so it was hypothetical, and you seem to
19 make a statement out of this hypothesis.
20 MR. BOS:
21 Q. Let me just ask the question this -- how do you interpret the
22 line: "The defence department shall be in charge of their stay at the
23 new sites ..." in this -- in these minutes? How should I interpret this
24 sentence or how do you interpret this sentence?
25 A. If you look at the enactments of the Croatian Community of
1 Herceg-Bosna when it was first founded and when it started exercising its
2 powers, one of the most notable statements by the HVO and by the Croatian
3 institutions was that about their intention of complying with all the
4 international rules and regulations, including the Geneva Conventions.
5 This was a situation where at the local level the HVO realized that
6 certain actions, certain forms of behaviour, were not in keeping with all
7 of that. A situation, as I've been telling you for the last two days, in
8 which the HVO did not have the political power to change, or rather, to
9 replace the municipal council of Capljina's HVO, it is a logical
10 conclusion that the HVO should use its institutions and its departments
11 to take up this particular job and make sure that the guarantees
12 previously granted were being complied with in order to fix and improve
13 in a way the overall situation and bring it up to speed with
14 international standards.
15 Against that background, I understand this initiative towards the
16 HVO but also the readiness and the sense of obligation on the part of the
17 HVO. When we talk about this centre, we're talking about a centre that
18 was in Capljina municipality, in Capljina municipal area, and then to
19 take this responsibility in order to improve the overall situation. If
20 you look at all these documents, it follows that the HVO and the HVO
21 departments have no powers over that up until the period we're talking
23 Q. I just -- one final matter on this because -- so you're sort of
24 concluding from reading this document that it's the HVO Capljina
25 municipality who would have been responsible for the camp there, but
1 looking at item 7 does it read anywhere that the Capljina municipality is
2 actually responsible for the camp? It says here: "At the request by the
3 HVO of Capljina municipality to relocate prisoners ..."
4 It doesn't say anywhere that the municipality of Capljina
5 actually responsible for these prisoners, does it?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I object to the form of the question. It's
7 not whether this document says. It's what the witness -- his knowledge
8 of the events. If you look at the last two or three pages, Your Honours,
9 and I have -- I've sat quiet, this question has been asked and answered.
10 He indicated that these were municipal activities. He indicated that it
11 was under the municipality. He indicates that here Capljina is being
12 called -- called upon based on item 7. He's also talking about at this
13 point in time, because of the irregularities, the HVO HZ HB and the heads
14 of -- and its departments are now going to try to resolve this issue; in
15 other words, try to take it over, that's why they're saying, Check it
16 out. If it's necessary, find new accommodations and you, that is, the
17 HVO departments, will be responsible. It's all there. It's been said,
18 it's been done. You know, I don't see why we're going over this over and
19 over again.
20 And I would suspect that, Judge Trechsel, you may -- might wish
21 to intervene and say this has been asked and answered. I don't see how
22 you can try to take something out of context. Look at the past three or
23 four pages. The answer is right there. I don't mind. We have until,
24 you know, 1.45 as far as I'm concerned, and the gentleman can stay on
25 Monday if that's necessary, but I think that he got his answer, we should
1 move on.
2 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'm intending to move on. I'm really --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos -- very well, yes.
4 Witness, to clarify this, from what I understood you stated that
5 the HVO municipal authorities - and you provided us with the Capljina
6 example - to some extent were a bit at a loss which accounts for a
7 certain number of problems. And when the central HVO realized this, it
8 was then decided to entrust the department of defence with the department
9 of justice the task of taking care of those problems. You interpreted
10 this because politically the HVO head did not have enough power to
11 dismiss the municipal authorities, so the only way out was to take care
12 of the problem themselves.
13 Have I summarized the way you have told us you experienced things
14 at the time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honour, you
16 have just mentioned a number of things that I believe are important. If
17 I may please be allowed to comment. Many members of the HVO of the HZ
18 HB, including myself, never had an opportunity up until this period of
19 time to see or to visit or to have any sort of information at all
20 available to them about any of these centres. Therefore, when we talk
21 about this period you see that the HVO are having discussions here based
22 on the verbally transmitted information, there is nothing in writing.
23 Then again, I said two days ago that it was beyond doubt that the HVO had
24 normative powers to replace or disband any of its municipal bodies, any
25 of the municipal HVOs; but I also said that it is my deepest conviction
1 that the HVO of the HZ HB did not have the political power to do that and
2 I corroborated that by citing several examples explaining - without
3 wanting to repeat myself - why I said what I said.
4 And thirdly, and this is very important, when we talk about the
5 conditions under which people were put up at a time of war, under which
6 people were accommodated, it is very important to bear in mind the
7 context at the time when this happens. I personally witnessed for myself
8 how Croat refugees were being put up at a farm in Livno. Up until
9 several days previously, there were cattle and livestock being kept
10 there. The stables obviously had been scrubbed up, but there was still
11 very strong smell of ammonia in those rooms over there. Obviously this
12 was not an ideal solution, not even under the circumstances, not even at
13 the time, but then again I'm telling you the question of accommodation at
14 the time and in that context was a very relative question because it
15 depended on a lot of things.
16 At that time and in that situation the conclusion just imposed
17 itself. One had to run certain checks and that's why this is being put
18 in the conditional, the conditions being what they are. And if the
19 conditions are satisfactory, then we must do this or we must do that.
20 And then I'm telling you about the entire context and the entire
21 conclusion, and it's my deepest conviction, based on the overall
22 conclusion reached by the HVO, it follows that the HVO, or most of the
23 members of the HVO, don't understand the overall situation in the sense
24 of the conditions under which those centres were working and under which
25 the people would stay who were being put up at those centres.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, in light of your question, if you
2 look at under the agenda item 7, it says, "any other business," and then
3 look at item 7 itself, and I think there lies perhaps part of the answer
4 to your question as well. You can quite clearly see that it wasn't on
5 the agenda; it's something that just popped up.
6 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my
7 apologies, I do have a general objection, a very brief one though. This
8 is something to do with Mr. Bos's examination. Yesterday, the Chamber
9 allowed my learned friend to ask questions about this subject matter, but
10 it was pointed out - and this is at transcript page 31959 - that he
11 should cross-examine in the manner of direct examination and mind the way
12 he was putting his questions and not do a proper cross-examination on
13 this particular subject matter. Maybe I'm under the wrong impression,
14 but I'm listening to him today and what I think I'm seeing is a textbook
15 cross-examination with all the leading questions and everything that
16 follows from that. This is my general objection and could the Chamber
17 consider my objection. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With respect to
19 your objection, as far as I'm concerned - but I believe that my fellow
20 Judges share my view - if you look at Rule 90(H)(ii): "A party may be
21 allowed to put questions that go beyond the scope of the
22 examination-in-chief," Rule 90(H)(iii).
23 Mr. Bos raised matters that had not been dealt with during the
24 examination-in-chief of this witness. But since the witness was in a
25 position to deal with matters that are raised in the indictment, the
1 Trial Chamber allowed Mr. Bos to deal with these issues and the witness
2 answered the questions put to him.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I entirely agree with what the President has
4 just said.
5 In addition, Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic recalls a rule that we have
6 much discussed and with reference to American law -- I see Mr. Karnavas
7 remembers the same way I do; and indeed, the Chamber has determined that
8 in this area non-directive questions must be asked and no leading
9 questions. So I recall this, if you are outside the realm covered by
10 direct, no leading questions.
11 MR. BOS: Very well, Your Honours, I'll take that on board, but I
12 now intend to --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
14 MR. BOS:
15 Q. Mr. Perkovic, let's move to another topic, which is the creation
16 of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Now, if I understand your
17 evidence, is it correct that you worked on the founding document of this
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you -- can you tell us again on how this -- how this came
21 about. Who did ask you to work on this document and with whom did you
22 work on this document?
23 A. Two or three days before the establishment of the Croatian
24 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the president of the HVO HZ HB, Mr. Prlic,
25 summoned me and a number of other people to a meeting. At this meeting
1 there were Kresimir Zubak, Miroslav Djidic, Mr. Zoran Buntic, I'm not
2 sure if there was anyone else, and I. There were a total of four or five
3 people at the meeting altogether. At the meeting we were told that the
4 final touches were being added to the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan which was a
5 new peace plan at the time, envisaging a new solution for the internal
6 organization of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This solution meant primarily the
7 establishment of a union of the three republics. Against that
8 background, we were supposed to pave the way - we the Croatian side - for
9 the implementation of this plan. We were given a brochure, or rather, a
10 document containing the plan. We were also told that we didn't have much
11 time and that we should do this practically on an ad hoc basis over the
12 next 24 hours. When drafting these documents we were told we should use
13 the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan as a reference for everything that we did, and
14 that was contained in the brochure.
15 So this was the basic information that we got and we state our
16 play in a bid to finish all of that. This was a day before the
17 establishment because when the founding session began and the delegates
18 were there and all those who were invited to take part in this founding
19 session when the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was established, the
20 work began before those people were given the documents because they were
21 still being printed. It wasn't until an hour later that they came. It
22 was perhaps an hour after the close of that session that the materials
23 were distributed to everyone with these three decisions, the decision of
24 setting up the Croatian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the decision to
25 establish a Chamber of Deputies, and then I think there was something
1 else, so the three documents.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, just one clarification, on line 15 he
3 says -- it says here: "Perhaps an hour after the close of that session."
4 And my colleague tells me that Mr. Perkovic says, "Perhaps an hour before
5 the" -- "after the opening of the session," not the close of the session
6 but the opening of the session. So perhaps we could get a clarification.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So those materials we distributed
8 about an hour after the opening of the session.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you've just explained
10 why this document related to the Republic of Herceg-Bosna
11 but you kept saying "we" or "they." Who was it? Who told you that as
12 part of the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan three republics would be set up? Who
13 told you that? Who told you that? Because of that very fact the
14 Republic of Herceg-Bosna needed to be established and that's the reason
15 why you were asked to draft this text, but who told you that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said a while ago, and as I
17 shall repeat, we were summoned to the meeting by Mr. Prlic. As for the
18 plan itself, the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, we got this plan in the form of a
19 brochure and we were told by Mr. Prlic that when drafting those documents
20 we should take into account the fact that they had to be in keeping with
21 the plan. When I say "we," I mean the group that was supposed to prepare
22 to draft those documents, and I told you who the group comprised in
23 addition to myself.
24 MR. BOS:
25 Q. Now, sir, is it correct that the Croatian Republic of
1 Herceg-Bosna was established on the 28th of August, 1993?
2 A. I was at that session. I think that's correct.
3 Q. And would you also agree - and I think you already testified to
4 that - that this -- that on the day it was established there wasn't yet
5 an agreement signed in relation to the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, so that
6 this document was established -- this document was adopted, whereas the
7 Owen-Stoltenberg Peace Plan had not been signed. Would you agree with me
8 on that?
9 A. Well, it's true. As far as I know, the plan has not been signed
10 to this very day. Now that you've raised this, we lawyers would say that
11 the matter of establishing the republic against the background of this
12 plan was the same as the previous issue because the implementation of the
13 plan was impossible unless you had the three republics. As for the draft
14 plan, that's exactly the kind of solution that it envisages.
15 Q. But is it not true, Mr. Perkovic, that in late August there was
16 still some very controversial issues in relation to the Owen-Stoltenberg
17 Plan that had not yet been solved, and maybe for the Croatian party it
18 was all okay but not necessarily for the Muslims and the Serbs? Would
19 you agree with me that on?
20 A. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I did not take part in the
21 negotiations and the drafting of that plan and I'm not aware of any
22 issues that remained unsolved at that time. So I didn't know that at the
23 time and I don't know it now. As far as we were concerned, this plan was
24 tabled as a plan of the international community, backed by the major
25 powers and the Croatian side and the other two sides were asked to be
1 cooperative when it came to accepting this plan. I don't think that this
2 cooperative attitude that envisaged the establishment of the Croatian
3 Community of Herceg-Bosna too should now be taken against the Croatian
4 side, because let me remind you the Croatian side is the only side that
5 signed all of the peace agreements in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Q. Now, sir, would it surprise you if I said an important reason for
7 the Bosniaks not to eventually sign this plan was actually their fear for
8 the creation of a Bosnian-Croat mini state within Bosnia-Herzegovina,
9 that was -- that that was one of the reasons that they didn't want to
10 sign this?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to the form of the question. On what
12 basis does he say that? It's like me saying the reason they didn't sign
13 it is Izetbegovic wants to establish an Islamic state based on the
14 declaration and based on his involvement with certain radical elements,
15 Islam elements, such as those that he was importing the Mujahedin and the
16 others --
17 MR. BOS: Your Honours --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: -- from Iran
19 so on. That would be pure speculation on my part. Now, if I can back it
20 up with facts that's another thing, but at this point he's asking the
21 gentleman to speculate on what he believes is his theory and what the
22 Muslim side feared at the time. I don't think that's a proper question.
23 It goes beyond the facts that have been established and I object to the
24 line of questioning.
25 MR. BOS: Your Honours, there's evidence on the record from the
1 Ribicic expert report which exactly states that and that's why I was
2 mentioning this point.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: The Ribicic expert report deals with the
4 constitutionality; it has nothing to do with whether Izetbegovic was
5 fearing a state within a state. And may I remind, Ribicic never met with
6 any of the key players and didn't even know the existence of Akmadzic,
7 Jure Pelivan, and the others.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the witness has
9 just explained why the republic was established. He told us that this
10 was within the context of the Owen-Stoltenberg Peace Plan and that
11 Mr. Prlic asked them to draft this document in accordance with the
12 documents coming out of that international conference. The witness has
13 therefore answered in a very precise and accurate manner. The Prosecutor
14 has another theory, and he puts that theory to the witness. The witness
15 may say, I don't agree with you, sir, because I've already answered and I
16 don't agree. So no need to raise an objection. We are wasting time, and
17 your own witness is saying some things that go against the case of the
18 Prosecution. So that's one point in your favour. Why do you object?
19 Why do you want prevent the witness answering the Prosecutor's question?
20 I don't understand.
21 So, Witness, the Prosecutor has just asked you a question.
22 Please answer.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the
24 question. I do apologise, because --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He's going to repeat it.
1 Please repeat your question, Mr. Bos.
2 MR. BOS:
3 Q. Well, Mr. Perkovic, would it surprise you to say that an
4 important reason for the Bosniaks not to eventually sign the Owen Peace
5 Plan was their actual fear for the creation of a Bosnian-Croat mini state
6 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. All three constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 their fears. Perhaps this is a fear that Bosniaks have. Croats have
9 their own fears. They are afraid of a unitary, centralised state. Serbs
10 probably have their own fears. But judging by the fact that the Bosniak
11 side agreed and accepted the Republika Srpska as a constituent entity, I
12 really can't see your point because if they were not afraid of one
13 entity, the Serb entity, why would they have to be afraid of another
14 entity which would be smaller and which would have smaller population
15 than the other one, the Croat one? So I can't really accept this claim
16 that there was some fear. I think it was just purely political
17 calculation at work.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have just said
19 something that I'd never heard before. I'm very curious by nature, and
20 it strikes me. You said that the Bosniaks had accepted the Republika
21 Srpska as a constitutional entity. On what basis can you say that
22 because it's the first time I've heard this?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I claim this on the basis of
24 Mr. Izetbegovic's signature on the Dayton Peace Agreement which
25 stipulated that there should be two entities within Bosnia and
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So that happened at the Dayton
3 Peace Agreements and not before. I understood it happened before. But
4 thank you very much for this clarification.
5 Mr. Bos.
6 MR. BOS:
7 Q. Now, Witness, maybe we can have a look at the founding documents,
8 which is P 04611. Now, what I'd like to do is go over the text of this
9 document with you, and we'll start with the preamble and then in
10 particular the third paragraph of the preamble. And I think you referred
11 to this paragraph as well in your examination-in-chief. Would you agree
12 with me that this third paragraph confirms that this document was in
13 anticipation of the peace agreement? It talks about transferring a part
14 of their constitutive right to the future federation of the republic and
15 in the end it says, "As shall be regulated by ..." so would you agree
16 that this was all in anticipation of the peace agreement?
17 A. Well, paragraph 3 of the preamble speaks about the readiness of
18 the Croatian side to transfer some of the powers to the common state.
19 Q. But do you agree it talks about the future federation, so it does
20 here confirm that such a federation doesn't exist yet. Would you agree?
21 A. There is a mention of the future union, not federation, in --
22 federation is a different kind of a system, but at any rate this
23 paragraph speaks about the readiness of the Croatian Community of
24 Herceg-Bosna where -- that it is ready to transfer a part of its rights
25 to this future state. And this state should be defined in terms of its
1 internal structure and constitution in line with this plan that was on
2 the table at the time.
3 Q. Now, let's move to the preamble number 4, and I was a bit curious
4 about this particular preamble. It reads as follows: "Pursuant to the
5 political decisions of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and
7 Croatian people ..."
8 Now, can you explain what was the purpose of this provision?
9 It's the last preamble before the actual decision.
10 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand you. I can't see any political
11 party being mentioned in the preamble, including the Croatian Democratic
13 Croatian Democratic Party. I don't know if I understood the
14 interpretation correctly because I was told that you are talking about
15 the Croatian Democratic Union
16 Q. Well, I hope this is not a translation issue, but at least in the
17 English version, and I'm referring to the fourth paragraph of the
18 preamble, it clearly refers to the Croatian Democratic Union of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina pursuant to political decisions of the ...
20 It's right above when the basic decision is ...
21 A. It's the last item in the fourth paragraph. I do apologise.
22 Yeah, I didn't see it.
23 Q. So my question is, first of all: Why is there here a reference
24 to the Croatian Democratic Union in this preamble? How do we need to
25 interpret this preamble paragraph?
1 A. The Croatian Democratic Union was the political party that at the
2 first multi-party elections won, having garnered most of the Croat votes.
3 And on the basis of the number of the representatives it had in the BH
4 parliament, it derived its legitimacy from there, and when it came to
5 passing key, basic, fundamental decisions about the fate of the Croat
6 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So, on the basis of their victory at
7 the first multi-party elections the representatives of the HDZ concluded
8 that they did have the legitimacy to represent and defend Croat interests
9 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. So -- but if Bosnian Croats in Bosnia would be members of other
11 Croatian parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina, like you were a member of the
12 SDP, how would these Croats look at a preamble like this? Would that not
13 be a -- I'm still trying to find out why this provision was being put
14 here. Didn't you want to represent all Bosnian Croats in Herzegovina
15 A. I, myself, am quite unhappy with this wording but I cannot
16 contest the fact that at the time the Croatian Democratic Union did have
17 the legitimacy to represent the political interests of the Croat people
18 on the basis of their success at the first multi-party elections, as I've
19 already noted.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's half past 10.00. We need
21 to break for 20 minutes, and after the break the registrar will tell me
22 how much time you have left, Mr. Bos.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's resume the hearing.
1 This is not what I said. The Chamber had prepared a draft ruling
2 but it was not recorded because we had to -- prepared a reply to take
3 place in September. We were waiting for replies to be provided on
4 September 2nd, so the decision or the ruling was not taken, so the ruling
5 was not recorded because there was no reply. This being said, I
6 reiterate my request to Mr. Karnavas to provide us as soon as possible
7 with a detailed summary.
8 Let's proceed, Mr. Bos.
9 MR. BOS: Thank you --
10 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour, it's not possible to follow the
11 transcript what Your Honour has just said because we didn't get
12 interpretation of the first bit. So what Your Honour has just said there
13 on the transcript isn't linked -- we do actually know what it's about but
14 it's very obscure on the transcript because when Your Honour first
15 started speaking there wasn't any interpretation into English.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I repeat. I just wanted to
17 make a correction, correct some things I had already said on the ruling
18 on the summaries. I said before the break that a ruling had been made
19 and recorded, but after checking this it appears that we had prepared a
20 draft ruling but that ruling was not recorded because we were waiting for
21 a reply by the 2nd of September, but we didn't receive that reply on the
22 2nd of September and we forgot about it. So there is no ruling. But
23 still, we ask Mr. Karnavas to send his detailed summary as soon as
25 Let's resume now.
1 MR. BOS: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I just want to ask you one more question about the
3 reference to the Croatian Democratic Union in the preamble. What I would
4 like to know from you, was the -- the Croatian Democratic Union
5 referenced here, was this the one that was the one that was in place when
6 the free elections took place in 1990 and that part -- time the party was
7 headed by Mr. Kljuic, or is this the Croatian Democratic Union of August
8 1993 where Mr. Mate Boban was leading the party? How should I interpret
10 A. This was the Croatian Democratic Union which was unified at that
11 time, a political party, which as far as I know from Mr. Kljuic up until
12 Mr. Boban did not change it statute and did not change its political
14 Q. Well, let's move to Article 4 of the text, and I'll read out the
15 text and then I'll ask you a question about this.
16 "The sovereignty of the republic shall be indivisible,
17 inalienable, and nontransferable, and the republic may exercise certain
18 rights and duties in the joint bodies of the federation of the republic.
19 "The republic shall join the federation of republics freely."
20 Now, I would like to focus my attention on the word "freely."
21 What is the meaning of that word in this context? Does it mean that in
22 fact the Croatian republic would have a right in order -- either to leave
23 the union or even not enter the union? How should I interpret the word
24 "freely" here?
25 A. Well, freely in this context means what the word freely means in
1 everyday parlance, and that means that the republic shall join on the
2 basis of the freely expressed will of the legitimate representatives of
3 the Croat people, and as you've already seen on the basis of these
4 decisions they are -- they sit in the parliament. And here only the
5 acceding to a union is talked about, not leading a union.
6 I assume that if the option of leaving the union were also
7 considered at the time this word could have been put in paragraph 2 of
8 article 4, but we can see that there is no such word, which means that
9 there was no such intention either.
10 Q. No, but you would agree with me that if you read the text it does
11 mean that if the republic would decide not to join the union that this
12 line actually allows them to do so; would you agree?
13 A. In response to your question -- well, I've already told you why
14 the Croatian republic was established. I told you why this article was
15 framed in this manner. Had there not been the intention to join this
16 union there would not have been any need to put such an article in, and
17 there would have been no need to pass this legal instrument constituting
18 this entity at all. There is no purpose for you to define your own
19 obligation in a legal instrument, and at the same time to be calculating
20 and to plan that you would not comply with this obligation. It is --
21 there is this clear intention to join a union of republics, and this
22 intention was confirmed by the signature of the legitimate
23 representatives of the Croat side, the signature that they affixed to the
24 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan.
25 Q. Very well. Well, let's move then to Article 9 which talks about
1 the coat of arms and a flag and an anthem. Now, we know that the
2 Croatian community had its own flag and had its own coat of arms. Was
3 there ever an anthem, either for the Croatian community or for the
4 Croatian republic?
5 A. No, it did not have an anthem.
6 Q. And then moving to Article 12, I'll read that article out.
7 "Until such time as the elections are held and the bodies of
8 state authority appointed, in accordance with the provisions of this
9 decision, the duties of state authorities shall be performed by the
10 bodies of the authorities of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
11 Until such time as the president of the republic is elected this duty
12 shall be performed by the president of the Croatian Community of
14 Now, this is --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would like to ask for Article
16 12 to be shown on the screen in both languages.
17 MR. BOS:
18 Q. Now, witness, this decision was adopted on the 28th of August.
19 Would you agree with me that there was a transitional period of a couple
20 of months before all new systems of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
21 were actually installed?
22 A. As regards the constituting of the bodies of the Croatian
23 Republic of Herceg-Bosna
24 adoption of the legal instruments of the Republic of the Croatian
25 Community of Herceg-Bosna and drafting its own regulations, then this
1 period was a bit longer. So I could agree with you there that it did
2 take several months to adopt all those regulations.
3 Q. And is it correct that many former departments and many
4 subdepartments became then ministries under the Croatian republic?
5 A. Yes. After the Croatian Republic
6 established, in accordance with the procedure that we outlined and the
7 decisions that were passed, the House of Representatives appointed the
8 members of the cabinet at the proposal of the prime minister designate.
9 Q. And is it correct that Mr. Jadranko Prlic's title changed from
10 president of the HVO to prime minister of the Croatian Republic
12 A. Yes, the new title that Mr. Prlic held was the president of the
13 government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the prime minister.
14 Q. And I think you testified to that on Monday or Tuesday, but is it
15 correct that after the establishment of the Croatian republic that
16 decrees were no longer labelled as temporary legislation?
17 A. After the proclamation of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna,
18 the new legislative body, called the House of Representatives of the
19 Croatian Republic
20 those laws were not provisional in nature.
21 Q. Now, sir, I would now like you to look at document 1D 01778. And
22 this is again a document that you saw also in chief which is in fact the
23 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan that you used in drafting the founding document.
24 Do you have it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, could I ask you to go to Article 2 in the first addendum,
2 which is addendum 1, constitutional agreement on the union of the
3 republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it's on page 5 in the English version.
4 Do you have that in front of you, Mr. Perkovic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So Article 2 reads: "The flag and the coat of arms of the Union
7 of the Republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina shall be determined by a law
8 adopted by the Assembly of the Union
9 Now, this -- would you agree with me that here there's no mention
10 of a flag or a coat of arms that -- for each separate republic within the
11 union, but that they're talking here about a flag and a coat of arms for
12 the union, and that nowhere else in the text there is mention of a flag
13 or a coat of arms for each separate republic of within the union?
14 A. In Article 2 that you've just quoted stipulates that there is a
15 possibility and indeed an obligation on the part of the federal
16 parliament to determine the flag and the coat of arms of the union of the
17 republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which means that the -- that it is
18 quite logical to speak only of the flag and the coat of arms of the union
19 of the republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina since this document deals with
20 the issues related to the internal structure and the symbols of this
21 union of the republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The issue of the
22 symbols of the constituent republics is quite logically in the
23 jurisdiction of those constituent republics, and this is something that
24 has to be stipulated in the fundamental legal instruments establishing
25 those constituent republics of the union. And in this context it is
1 logical that the issue of the symbols of the republics is not included in
2 this constitutional agreement about the union of the republics of Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina
4 federal agreement in BH, the Washington Agreement, made it possible even
5 for the cantons to have their flags and coats of arms, and they do have
6 them, all cantons in Bosnia and Herzegovina today do, and the entities
7 were also entitled to that as were -- as was the state. So this is the
8 situation that we have today and it is quite usual, in fact. The issue
9 of determining the symbols of the republic is in the jurisdiction of
10 those republics, and this is something that they have to stipulate in
11 their own legal instruments.
12 Q. But, sir, do you think that the union would have agreed that each
13 republic would have also their own flag, their own coat of arms, and
14 their own anthem? I mean, clearly those are all symbols which
15 represent --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I object. It calls for speculation. There's
17 nothing in the document, there's nothing in the negotiations, and I will
18 be on re-direct pointing out to a document that we've seen here in court
19 on previous occasions on the constitution law of the Republic of Bosnia
20 which was done by the Muslims in Sarajevo, where indeed in Article 8 it
21 calls for the coat of arms, flag, and anthem of the Republic of Bosnia
22 shall be defined by law. Regrettably the gentleman has not sat through
23 every session, does not know the documents, and so I would ask that we
24 move on for the sake of time.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, move on.
1 MR. BOS: All right, Your Honour, I will.
2 Q. Let's look at Article 4 of this document on addendum 1, and this
3 reads as follows: "Neither the Union of the Republics of Bosnia and
5 military forces, while all forces in the existence on the day of the
6 entry into force of this Constitutional Agreement, shall be progressively
7 disarmed and disbanded under the supervision of the United Nations and
8 the European Union."
9 So here we see, you know, an important provision in which they
10 say that the republics shall retain their military forces. Now, I would
11 say that that is quite an important provision, and I don't see anything
12 of that back in the document establishing the Croatian republic. Could
13 you explain us why that is?
14 A. I have to go back to something that you said and set matters
15 right. The article says that neither the association of the republics
16 nor any of the constituent republics would be keeping their own armed
17 forces, which is exactly the opposite of what you state in your question
18 to me. If that is the question, then I have to say that the article is
19 abundantly clear. It tells you that the republics -- neither the
20 republics nor the federation will keep their armed forces. As for the
21 Croatian side, the Croatian side agreed to such a solution by signing
22 this document.
23 Q. Well -- okay, well let's move on then again to the day that the
24 Croatian republic was established and proclaimed. I think you've stated
25 that you were present at the meeting. Is it correct that this meeting
1 was held in Grude? You don't have to look for the document. I would
2 just ask, the meeting in which the foundation -- the foundation meeting
3 of the Croatian republic, was this held in Grude, this meeting?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now --
6 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I would like to show Exhibit P 01032
7 which is a -- and it's going to be shown in Sanction, which is a video of
8 this action, official proclamation of the Croatian republic.
9 Q. And, Mr. Perkovic, you may look at it and I'll ask you some
10 questions afterwards. And maybe if you could, I'll ask you beforehand to
11 see if you can identify the persons that are behind the table in the
13 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I think there is a transcript, but
14 it's -- there is also subtitles in the video.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. BOS:
17 Q. Now, sir, I've asked you to look at, you know, the persons also
18 behind the front there. Could you identify the persons who were seated
19 at the front table -- at the front table?
20 A. I see President Boban and then Mr. Perica Jukic, Mr. Prlic,
21 Mr. Srecko Vucina, to the right of Mr. Boban is the writer Andjelko
22 Vuletic I think.
23 Q. We have a video still here. So is the person next to Mr. Prlic,
24 all the way on the right hand, who would he have been? If you look at
25 this still, which four persons are we seeing here from left to right?
1 A. Mate Boban, Perica Jukic, Jadranko Prlic, and Srecko Vucina.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, we also heard that there was an anthem sung.
3 Which anthem was sung?
4 A. We heard the national anthem of the Croats of Bosnia and
6 Q. And what was the flag that was hanging behind the table? We'll
7 see if we can find it. There you go.
8 A. The flag of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. BOS: Unless the Chamber has any questions on this video, I
11 would like to move on.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, move on.
13 MR. BOS:
14 Q. Just one question on this anthem, Mr. Perkovic, is that also the
15 anthem of the Republic of Croatia
16 A. Yes. After the declaration of independence by the Republic of
18 Q. Now, sir, finally on this topic could I ask you to look at
19 Exhibit P 04626, and this will be in your binder again, Mr. Perkovic.
20 P 04626.
21 MR. BOS: And, Your Honours, this is a publication in the
22 bulletin of the HVO IPD, which is obviously Herzegovina operational zone.
23 And it's entitled: "Finally Masters in our own Home."
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see the title. I don't
25 know how it was translated but in Croatia
2 MR. BOS:
3 Q. You have the document in front of you or are you looking on the
4 screen? It's also in your binder.
5 A. I'm looking at the screen.
6 Q. You might want to look at the hard copy as well.
7 A. And the number is?
8 Q. P 04626.
9 A. I found it.
10 Q. Let me just ask you about this agency that issued this report,
11 it's called the IPD. Is it -- is this correct that this was a press
12 agency of the HVO armed forces?
13 A. No. IPD [Realtime transcript read in error "IDP"] was one of the
14 information departments, and this was part of the defence department but
15 I'm not certain.
16 Q. Let me just read out one sentence from the second paragraph of
17 this article. It says: "... the Croats took a step forward yesterday.
18 The equality of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina of the three
19 constituent peoples can only be realized on a territory where the
20 Croatian people will be the majority and where they will establish their
21 state ..."
22 Would you agree with what's been written here, that the Croats
23 took a step forward and that they ...
24 A. If we look at all these activities against the background of the
25 Owen-Stoltenberg Peace Plan, the main objective which was to stop the war
1 in Bosnia-Herzegovina and to find a new internal organization for Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina
3 step forward.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a technical point, if you look at lines 19
5 and 21 of page 49, you will see that on page 19 the question refers to
6 IPD, whereas the answer mentions IDP, and I suppose it should be the same
7 both times and that would be IPD. Would you agree, Mr. Perkovic?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, IPD.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
10 MR. BOS:
11 Q. Now, Mr. Perkovic, let me ask you to look at the last sentence of
12 this article and I just want to ask you how you interpret this last
13 sentence. It reads: "Indeed the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
14 the guarantee of both the preservation of the principles and integrity of
15 the borders from the Helsinki Act and for the inviolability of the
16 territory of the motherland of all Croats, the Republic of Croatia
17 A. Speaking of the Helsinki Act, I suppose the reference here is to
18 the basic act, establishing to all practical intents the OSCE. This act
19 takes as its starting point the fundamental principle of inviolability of
20 state borders, and it says that these borders cannot be changed by force,
21 by an act of aggression or anything like that. Against that background,
22 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
23 interests of the Croatian people are concerned, the guarantee would be
24 precisely the inviolability of its borders, and the inviolability of its
25 borders probably means the inviolability of the borders and the guarantee
1 for those borders neighbouring on the Republic of Croatia
2 just by way of an example how the HZ HB could guarantee the inviolability
3 of the border between Croatia
4 here is to the shared border, the border between the HZ HB and the
5 Republic of Croatia
6 Q. Okay. Well, I have just a few more topics to discuss with you --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Before you go on to the next topic, I do hope with
8 that previous question regarding where he was talking about the taking
9 the step forward that the Judges will keep in mind the rest of the
10 paragraph that wasn't read because then it puts it into full context. I
11 noticed that the Prosecutor wanted to end the question with the word
12 "state," but then if you go on it gives a fuller explanation. And so I
13 do hope that that hasn't been lost in the Trial Chamber's mind.
14 MR. BOS:
15 Q. Mr. Perkovic, let's move to another topic which you were asked
16 some questions about in direct which was Exhibit P 02679, which is the 8
17 June --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, nothing escapes the
19 notice of the Judges, and before we move on to another document I would
20 like to have your feelings about the part of the text dealing with Croats
21 in Muslim prisons. We have figures here that supposedly were given by
22 Mr. Pusic and in relation to the number of Croat or Croatian detainees.
23 Do you have any comments about these figures?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Generally speaking, regardless of a
25 person's ethnicity, I personally always opposed the idea that anyone,
1 regardless of their religion or ethnicity, should spend even a single
2 hour in detention as long as they were detained because of their race,
3 religion, or ethnicity alone. Throughout the war as a human being, I
4 spared no effort to help my friends who belonged to other ethnicities and
5 of course they could always confirm this for your benefit. Not only did
6 I oppose this, I openly resisted these phenomena, and I fully sympathize
7 with these people who spent even a single minute in detention or in
8 prison on these grounds alone.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. According to this
10 document a number of civilians were detained in Mostar, 450 of them, and
11 110 soldiers were detained in Mostar. As far as I understand, these
12 people were Croats. If the Muslims indeed were holding these Croats in
13 Mostar, where were these people actually detained?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the specific locations
15 at which these people were held in detention. I didn't cross the
16 demarcation to the other side of Mostar at the time, not even once. I
17 never went to East Mostar, but I do know something that was generally
18 known to everyone living in Mostar, and something that emerged at the end
19 of the war. At the end of the war on the side controlled by the HVO
20 there remained between 5.000 and 6.000 Bosniak citizens. On the opposite
21 riverbank under the BH army control there remained no more than 500
22 ethnic Croats. These are facts. How did this state of facts come about?
23 Now that is probably a different story, and a long one to boot. I really
24 don't know anything about detention centres in East Mostar or around East
25 Mostar and I don't know where these people were being held.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. I note something in your
2 answer, something that could be of relevance. You say that at the end of
3 the war in Mostar west, in the area controlled by the HVO, there were
4 between 5.000 and 6.000 Bosniak citizens.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I just wish everyone not to miss an
8 element which characterizes the taste of this pamphlet, and it's the very
9 last page where under the title of Auschwitz a "joke" of the worst
10 possible taste. I will not put it into the record because it really --
11 it shows that this is a pamphlet, this is polemic, and I think it should
12 be kept in mind when we consider this document.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] With respect to this document, I
14 would like to point out for the transcript that there is probably an
15 error at the beginning at the top of the first page. I quote in English:
16 [In English] "The creation of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna on the 28th
17 August, 1999."
18 [Interpretation] Obviously the date is not the proper date, it
19 should read "1993."
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, you wanted to move on
21 to another topic.
22 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honours.
23 Q. Mr. Perkovic, could I ask you to look again at P 02679. This was
24 a document that was shown to you also in the examination-in-chief and it
25 concerns the decision on the establishment of the county military prison
1 in Gabela. Now, sir, if we read the part under item 2 it says: "The
2 Decision comes into effect immediately and will be published in the
3 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna Official Gazette."
4 And I think your evidence was in direct that you can't recall
5 that this decision was ever published in the Official Gazette; is that
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Now, sir, is it your evidence that all decrees and regulations
9 adopted by the HVO were all published in the Official Gazette or did the
10 HVO have the authority to decide not to publish certain decisions or
11 decrees for reasons of security or even other justification existed?
12 A. All decrees and decree laws were published in the HZ HB Official
13 Gazette. As for any other laws and regulations passed by the HVO of the
14 HZ HB, they were published whenever the enactments themselves referred to
15 their imminent publication in the Official Gazette of the HZ HB. We see
16 one of these decisions of a lower order, lower than a decree. That's
17 what I mean. And it reads that it will be published in the Official
18 Gazette of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. And then in this same
19 document we see that there is nothing indicating that the document is a
20 confidential one.
21 Q. Well, sorry, I tried to understand your answer but just -- I
22 don't -- I'm not sure exactly what the answer is if I interpret it right.
23 Are you saying that all laws and enactments were always published in the
24 Official Gazette or did there exist laws and decrees that were not
25 published in the Official Gazette, either decisions or laws or decrees?
1 In this case we're talking about decisions. Would all decisions always
2 be published in the Official Gazette?
3 A. We're talking about decisions that had this actually written in
4 them, the fact that they would be published. There was an obligation to
5 publish such decisions in Herceg-Bosna's Official Gazette. As for the
6 first part of your question, were all the decisions and decrees always
7 published, the normative enactments were not published regardless of
8 their nature or type as long as they were classified strictly
9 confidential, secret, and marked out as such. Confidential, normative
10 enactments, clearly marked out as such were not published in the Official
11 Gazette of Herceg-Bosna. All other such documents, wherever it was
12 indicated that they would be published, were eventually published in the
13 Official Gazette. I hope I've now made this abundantly clear.
14 Specifically talking of this decision, it contains a remark which makes
15 it clear that it would be published in the Official Gazette. It follows
16 from there that there was an decision to publish this in the Official
17 Gazette of the Croatian of Herceg-Bosna.
18 Q. Thank you for your answer, Mr. Perkovic, it's now clear to me.
19 Was the publication of the decision in the Official Gazette a requirement
20 for the decision to come into force? In other words, if this decision
21 wasn't published in the Official Gazette would it have done -- would it
22 have done -- would it have not then be a decision that would be coming
23 into force?
24 A. Any decisions containing any indication that they would be
25 published and that were eventually not published, such as this one,
1 obviously manifest a legal drawback or a legal defect, if you like, based
2 on which I am led to conclude that their application, at least until such
3 time as they had been published in the Official Gazette of the Croatian
4 Community of Herceg-Bosna --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The witness's answer is missing the verb.
6 MR. BOS:
7 Q. You may have to repeat the answer because I think a part of it
8 was not translated into English, Mr. Perkovic.
9 A. When there is a decision containing this indication that it would
10 indeed be published, and this is the sort of decision that we are looking
11 at in this case, and when this decision is not published in the Official
12 Gazette, for me, in my opinion, this decision manifests a legal defect of
13 such magnitude, in fact, that it cannot be considered to be legally valid
14 or applicable.
15 Q. But as you say, it's in your opinion. Do you know whether there
16 was anywhere in the HVO Rules of Procedure a provision which actually
17 said that if a document wasn't published in the Official Gazette the
18 document would not be a valid decision?
19 A. I don't think that there is a norm that stipulates this
20 specifically, but jurisprudence or legal practice in all countries
21 including the former Yugoslavia
22 was ever established without a decision being published previously in an
23 Official Gazette. If that is not the case then we face a situation where
24 we have some so-called secret prisons, and we saw how much that causes an
25 uproar when we learnt about some secret prisons in democratic countries.
1 Q. Okay. Well, let's move to another topic. Witness, I think
2 you've said so in chief as well, is it correct that you had your office
3 in Mostar throughout the period of 1993?
4 A. I had a part of an office because if you have an office that is
5 maybe 6, 7, or 8 square metres, up to four people sat there, the whole of
6 the commission that I headed and I shared this office with first two and
7 then three people.
8 Q. Now, where was your office located in Mostar, and I think you
9 moved at one moment offices? Can you explain where it was initially
10 situated and where did you move afterwards and when did you move?
11 A. Before the Bosniak-Croat conflicts in Mostar broke out, my office
12 was in the Ero hotel, it used to be a nursing home in Mostar. And since
13 this nursing home, or rather, this hotel was at the front line dividing
14 the two sides, when the conflicts broke out the office was moved to
15 Bijeli Brijeg to the premises of the meteorological office in Mostar.
16 And after that while, but at any rate before the conflict in Mostar
17 ended, the office was moved to once again to the Projktant building in
18 Mostar, that's at Mostarska avenue. So we moved the office three times.
19 Q. And, Mr. Perkovic, on the 9th of May when the conflict broke out
20 in Mostar, were you in Mostar around that period of time?
21 A. The first day after the conflict broke out I was not there. As
22 far as I can recall, it was at the beginning of the weekend, it was
23 Saturday, and I've already indicated that I spent all my weekends in
24 Livno so that I was not in Mostar when the conflict broke out.
25 Q. When was the first time you came back into Mostar after the 9th
1 of May?
2 A. I think I got back on Monday morning, the 10th or the 11th of
3 May, I'm not sure. It was a Monday morning, that's because the working
4 day started, and I didn't know where to go because there was gun-fire in
5 Mostar. I ran into a colleague of mine and I asked him about the
6 situation. He told me that it was possible to get to the hotel, that it
7 was not a problem at all. And since I didn't know in any way that the
8 conflict would -- that the conflict would broke out, all of the stuff
9 remained in the hotel, nothing had been taken out. And Mr. Zubak and I
10 took my car, we went there. He faced the same situation. So we just
11 went there to pick up all the stuff, the papers, the stamps, and so on.
12 And as we got out of the hotel my car was hit by two or three rounds, but
13 fortunately we escaped unharmed. So for a few days we were not in Mostar
14 because there was this state of semi-chaos, semi-anarchy, because
15 communication -- there was a communication breakdown and of -- various
16 offices were trying to find some provisional premises in all kinds of
17 buildings. This was just make-shift accommodation which didn't even
18 provide the basic facilities to make it possible for the administration
19 to function.
20 Q. Now, is it correct on that day that you were in Mostar, the first
21 day you were in Mostar after the 9th of May, that you actually noticed
22 that there was a group of 200 and 300 people guarded in the Velez, and
23 this is evidence you gave in the Kordic case?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, this is outside the scope of direct
25 examination, and if he wants to go into this area, assuming that it is
1 relevant, that it would be non-leading questions. That's the format
2 based on -- or as it was inspired by Federal Rules of Evidence 611b.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, during the
4 examination-in-chief no mention was made of the 9th of May. This is a
5 new issue you are addressing. Do not put your questions about this as
6 you have done. Please put your question in a neutral manner.
7 MR. BOS:
8 Q. Witness, on that day did you pass the Velez stadium?
9 A. I said that I couldn't get to the office that was in the Ero
10 hotel, so we were in Bijeli Brijeg, and those who are familiar with
11 Mostar know that the road to Bijeli Brijeg leads -- goes by the stadium.
12 Q. Did you notice anything when you were passing by the stadium?
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 Q. I'm sorry, I'm not getting any English translation.
15 A. I noticed a group of people, of persons. I was in a car as I
16 passed by and I saw them from the car. There may have been about 200 of
18 Q. And do you know what -- did you later learn what happened with
19 these 200 people that you saw?
20 A. I don't know if this was the same group of people because I said
21 that I passed them by in my car, but later on there were reports in the
22 media about a group of people who were placed in isolation in the
23 stadium. So in the media, in the public, there was mention of a group of
24 people of that sort. Now, whether this was the same group of people, I
25 don't know.
1 Q. And what was referred to in the media? What kind of group of
2 people were these? Were these civilians and what ethnicity had these
3 people? Do you know what was said about that?
4 A. After all those years it is difficult for me to recall, but the
5 reports in the media differed depending on their affiliation. The
6 explanation in the Croat side was that these were -- this was a group of
7 citizens who were put in isolation in that period for just a few hours in
8 that place. I assume that the other media, international media, painted
9 a different picture. From where I am now and from where I was at the
10 time, I cannot say whether one or the other is a true version of events.
11 But I do know that there was fighting going on in that area at that time.
12 Q. Could I ask you to look at Exhibit 1D 01666, 1D 01 -- it's
13 probably at the back of the binder, 1D 01666. Now, sir, these are
14 minutes of the 38th Session of the HVO government. And again, if we look
15 at the persons present we can see your name appearing there as well.
16 Would you agree that you were present at that meeting, it's dated the
17 17th of May, held in Siroki Brijeg?
18 A. I agree.
19 Q. Let me just read out the third paragraph of this under item 1.
20 It says the following: "Support was expressed for the activities of the
21 Office of Expelled Persons and Refugees which has been active since the
22 first day civilians were relocated from Mostar to the former Military
23 Gymnasium and Heliodrom, after the commencement of combat activities in
24 Mostar ..."
25 And then it continues and I'll read out also the last part of
1 this paragraph where it says: "... civilians were relocated for safety
3 Now, sir, do you recall this topic being discussed at this
5 A. From the minutes, as far as I can recall, the discussion was
6 about the refugee crisis in general and that included these areas, too.
7 Q. Now, it talks about civilians being relocated to the Heliodrom.
8 Was it the understanding of the people present at these meetings that
9 these were both Bosnian and Croat civilians?
10 A. I understand that this was all about civilians and the need for
11 all the civilians who were in the areas directly affected by combat
12 activities should be evacuated from that area regardless of their ethnic
13 background. And by the way, let me just remind you, now that we're on
14 this topic, that this statement that is also contained in the minutes
15 also indicates this, where it is stated that all the elderly, the women
16 and children were returned to their homes in the areas where apparently
17 it was possible to do so, for these people to return. And there's also
18 another fact, that a certain number of these people - and it is
19 underlined here - crossed to the left bank of the Neretva, East Mostar,
20 at their own request. That's what it's underlined.
21 Q. Would you agree with me as it is stated here that the Office for
22 Expelled Persons and Refugees had a role in relocating these persons to
23 the military gymnasium and the Heliodrom?
24 A. What persons? I'm sorry. Could you please explain that.
25 Q. Well --
1 A. What persons are you talking -- are you asking me about? I told
2 you in my reply that I -- you were asking me about civilians, that -- and
3 I said in my reply that I think that some of the civilians, as you can
4 see from the minutes, were returned to their homes and that a certain
5 number of persons were sent to the other part of the town at their own
6 request. We're talking about civilians, the elderly, women and children.
7 So I think that if you're asking me about civilians that I gave you my
8 answer as to what happened to the civilians.
9 Q. Well, I may have said persons, but I could have said civilians as
10 well. So if I would phrase it that way, would you agree that the Office
11 of the Expelled Persons and the Refugees had a role in relocating the
12 civilians of Mostar to Heliodrom and the gym?
13 A. I can only repeat what I've already said. The issue of the
14 relocation and accommodation of civilians was something that the Office
15 for Displaced Persons and Refugees was dealing with, and when it came to
16 the transfer of people from areas affected by combat activities, I think
17 that this was the job that this office was supposed to perform and they
18 really should have done it, it was their job.
19 Q. Now, Witness, in the period that followed after May when the
20 conflict had broken out and you were still in Mostar, did you ever notice
21 civilians in West Mostar being evicted from their houses? Did you ever
22 see incidents of that happening in Mostar?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And did you ever witness people looting houses in West Mostar
25 during this period?
1 A. Throughout this period I worked in Mostar, but in my free time
2 after the end of the office hours and during the night I did not remain
3 in Mostar together with the other officials or some of the officials. I
4 was staying in the hotel in Citluk. I never saw any looting of the
5 apartments during the day, although of course I heard about such
6 incidents, cases when this happened, but mostly at night-time. It is
7 quite clear from the context of my testimony that it is not by accident
8 that the HVO HZ HB initiated talks with the municipal HVO in Mostar in an
9 effort to improve the security situation and to prevent the crimes that
10 were being committed in wartime. And unfortunately, we've also seen that
11 crimes of this kind happened also after the war. But it is very
12 difficult when you have the whole town, which is virtually the zone of
13 operations, to keep everything under control, but it is quite obvious
14 that continuous efforts were being made to improve the security situation
15 in Mostar to put things under control, among other things, by preventing
16 such incidents.
17 Q. Just one other question. Did you notice that the mosques in West
18 Mostar were either destroyed or damaged in the period after May 1993?
19 A. First of all, I don't know how many mosques there were in West
20 Mostar. I do not exactly frequent places of worship, but I did notice
21 that all seven mosques in the town where I lived, Livno, and I was there,
22 or rather, that throughout the war the mosques remained unharmed and they
23 were all intact, and that was also part of the Croatian Community of
24 Herceg-Bosna. Livno is the second-largest municipality --
25 Q. We're not talking about Livno here. I specifically asked you
1 about Mostar.
2 A. As far as Mostar is concerned, I did notice that there was a
3 mosque in West Mostar, in Balinovac, it's a neighbourhood there, that it
4 was destroyed.
5 Q. Well, I have just one final matter to discuss and then we're
6 done. Could I ask you to look again -- and this is not going to be in
7 your binder because it was an exhibit presented to you by Mr. Karnavas.
8 It's 1D 01912, and maybe we can either have it on the e-court or maybe a
9 hard copy can be provided to Mr. Perkovic.
10 Now, Mr. Perkovic, this is a letter that Mr. -- that you were
11 shown from Mr. Jadranko Prlic addressed to Mr. Cot, the commander of the
12 UN peacekeeping forces in the former Yugoslavia dated the 4th of
13 December, 1993, and it's now on the screen. Do you recall your evidence
14 on this?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Let me just quote what you stated in relation to this document.
17 And this is a quote from page 99, lines 10 to 17, of 2 September.
18 "And in this letter the steps that the government of the Croatian
19 Republic of Herceg-Bosna intends to take are also listed, and what I find
20 to be quite important here is that in this document there is explicit and
21 clear condemnation of the events that had affected the overall struggle
22 of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina quite adversely, such as
23 the crime in Stupni Do, the destruction of the Old Bridge
24 so on. So this is one of the first documents where this is mentioned in
25 those terms, where this is this determined condemnation of all of that."
1 Now, do you recall this evidence, Mr. Perkovic?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Now, why did the Croatian republic government feel a need to or
4 perceive a need to strongly condemn these matters?
5 A. Well, because primarily this is an attitude that stems from a
6 certain civilizational level. In Stupni Do a certain number of civilians
7 fell victim in this operation and obviously the Croatian Defence Council
8 was responsible, or the units that took part in it were responsible. And
9 also to my mind any crime must be condemned. And in this context there
10 should have been moral strength to condemn those crimes, and I think that
11 this act on part of the government of the Croatian Community of
12 Herceg-Bosna was the right thing to do.
13 Q. And, sir, on what basis were these condemnations made?
14 A. Well, probably on the basis of the information about the events
15 in Stupni Do.
16 Q. Now, if we look at the letter which is in front of you, in the
17 fourth paragraph it talks about: "A detailed investigation has already
18 started of the events that have justifiably caused disapproval and shock
19 of the public and abroad."
20 So it talks here about a detailed investigation. Do you know
21 whether there were ever any conclusions reached in relation to these
23 A. I don't really know how and in what way those investigations were
24 brought to a conclusion. It wasn't part of my job to know that.
25 Q. Now, you've stated that -- for Stupni Do you've stated that HVO
1 forces would have been responsible. Does that -- the same account for
2 the destruction of the Old Bridge
3 A. What you see in this document is a condemnation of the
4 destruction of the Old Bridge
5 launched an investigation to look into that incident. I told you in my
6 reply that I was not aware of any results. As I am not aware of any
7 results, I can't tell you that the HVO is responsible or not responsible
8 for this. I am simply not aware of the investigation results.
9 MR. BOS: Your Honours, that concludes my cross-examination.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Perkovic, for answering my questions.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have a break
13 Mr. Karnavas, how long will you need for re-direct?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I would like at least 15 minutes, Your
15 Honour. Now -- I was under the impression that we were going to be
16 terminating at 12.30 or was it 12.15?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is it possible? Yes, it's
18 possible. So try and make sure that we can finish.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Absolutely.
20 If I could -- we'll distribute right now the documents. I just
21 have a few documents to go through. And I'm going to ask the usher to
22 kind of move as quickly as possible.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
24 Q. The first document I'm going to show you is 1D 01436. Okay,
25 1D 01436, and this is in picking up from -- it should be the very last
1 document, perhaps, in your bundle. This has to do with the question that
2 was put to you by the Prosecutor where he asked you whether you would be
3 surprised that the Muslims did not want to sign on to the
4 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan because it might create a state within a state,
5 words to that effect. Looking at this document which has been already
6 presented in court through previous witnesses, if we see that this is
7 dated 28 September 1993, it's titled: "Constitutional Law Constituting
8 the Republic of Bosnia
9 If we look at the very last page we see the name of Miro Lazovic,
10 president of the BH Assembly. Can you tell us whether Mr. Lazovic would
11 have been the president of the BH Assembly at that time, do you recall?
12 A. Yes, he was at the time.
13 Q. All right. And were you aware that while you and the others were
14 drafting documents on the establishment of the Croatian Republic
15 Herceg-Bosna in Sarajevo
16 on the Republic of Bosnia
17 Not the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 A. Based on the Owen-Stoltenberg Peace Plan, I personally found it
20 logical that something similar would be done in Sarajevo along the same
21 lines as what we were doing.
22 Q. All right. We don't have time to go through the entire document
23 but just for the Court's edification Article 5 it says: "The Bosnian
24 language shall be the language of the official use in the Republic of
1 Do you know whether there was a Bosnian language at that time or
2 a language known as Bosnian, an official language?
3 A. Under the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina it was the
4 Croato-Serbian, Croatian, or Serbian language that was being officially
5 used in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnian language -- the Bosnian language is
6 not something that is officially encoded or enshrined in the
8 Q. At that time?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. All right. Now, if we look at Article 8, again because you were
11 hammered away at, and I use that word because there were relentless
12 questions on this issue, we see Article 8 that: "The coat of arms, flag,
13 and anthem of the Republic of Bosnia
14 Is this any different, sir, than what is contained in the
15 document establishing the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna? Are not the
16 Muslims in Sarajevo
17 are being condemned by the Prosecution?
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That seems pretty leading, Mr. Karnavas.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it is leading, but I can go step by step.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 8 of this draft decision is
21 entirely identical to the constitutional decision on the coat of arms and
22 the national anthem in the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. All right. Now, let's switch topics, and I want some
25 clarification on this, and again it's for the Court, and I'm going to be
1 referring to a question and answer that you gave yesterday, it's on page
2 31909, and it dealt with the issue dealing with the first decision on
3 establishing the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the one that you had
4 reviewed and had issued an opinion when you were in Sarajevo. And you
5 were asked a question: "In your opinion did the drafters of this
6 decision intend to include the full territory of the municipalities as
7 part of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?"
8 Now, I'm going to read you your answer and I'm going to ask you
9 to kindly explain part of the answer because it's -- I'm not sure what
10 exactly is being said here. I think I know but we need to make sure it's
11 clearly on the record.
12 "As far as this" -- this is your answer.
13 "As far as this decision is concerned, the entire territory of
14 these municipalities was included in the Croatian Community of
15 Herceg-Bosna in terms of the political party organizing because there
16 were municipal party structures based in individual municipalities and
17 the areas they covered as political party structures were identical to
18 the areas of municipalities themselves. And I'm referring to HDZ
20 Can you please explain that part of your answer, especially when
21 you say "in terms of political party organizing because of -- there were
22 municipal party structures. I think we covered it early on in this trial
23 with other witnesses, but please explain that part of your answer.
24 A. When the decision on the founding of the Croatian Community of
25 Herceg-Bosna was adopted, the party blueprint was copied in terms of how
1 the HDZ was organized at the time, I'm talking about the political party
2 of course. In other words, all those municipalities specified in Article
3 2 were municipalities where the HDZ had a municipal board with the
4 exception of two municipalities: Trebinje and Skender Vakuf. In those
5 two municipalities there were no HDZ municipal boards. There was a
6 smaller-scale form of party organization which I think was called the
7 local branch.
8 Whenever the political leaders of those municipal boards met,
9 when they adopted the decision to establish the Croatian Community of
10 Herceg-Bosna, it was precisely on this basis that the municipalities were
11 enumerated from which the people came who attended those sessions of the
12 municipal boards. As there were no municipal boards to speak of in those
13 two municipalities, you have the parenthesis there, specifying that what
14 is meant here is the local branch, Ravno in the case of Trebinje and
15 Dobratici in the case of Skender Vakuf. That is why I am saying with
16 absolute certainty that what's at stake in Article 2 in the sense of the
17 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna being established is something that
18 draws upon the fact of the personal presence of, I believe, 16 presidents
19 of those municipal boards and two presidents of the local branchs at that
20 meeting. And that is based on what an extrapolation was made as to the
21 area that makes up the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, I'm going to switch to another
23 topic. On September 1, 19 -- 2008, we had a discussion where you told us
24 that after going back to Sarajevo
25 it was Mr. Nikolic, you made a proposal, and he directed you to a
1 functionary, someone at a much lower level, and you indicated that the
2 gentleman was Sead Dautbasic I believe, I'm not pronouncing it correctly,
3 but can you confirm that that exactly what you said, and I'm quoting from
4 page 31635, line 7.
5 A. I'll just run this past you in a single sentence. Mr. Nikolic
6 told me to go to the head of the legislation department of the BH
7 government and his name was Sead Dautbasic.
8 Q. Now, we're not going to go into that, but I want to show you now
9 document 1D 02953, and this has to do -- we're going to tie it all up
10 because you were asked a series of questions regarding the constitutional
11 court. If you could look at that document it's dated 9 April 2002.
12 Again, for the record, 1D 02953. This is a decision to elect the
13 president --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: It's the last document, Your Honours, I apologise
15 for the order.
16 Q. This is a decision to elect the president of the constitutional
17 court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Article 1, Dr. Ismet Dautbasic, candidate of
18 the party of democratic action, is elected the president of the
19 constitutional court of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Now, you were in Sarajevo
21 country. Is this individual, Dr. Ismet Dautbasic who is being appointed
22 by the Muslim party, the SDA, to be the president of the constitutional
23 court, is he related to the same functionary, the -- that you were
24 directed to by the minister? And I'm talking about Sead Dautbasic. Are
25 they related?
1 A. I think they're brothers, aren't they?
2 Q. Right.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: And I point this out again for the
4 Trial Chamber's -- because on page -- when we had Mr. Akmadzic he talked
5 about nepotism and this is another example in our estimation and also
6 because of --
7 MR. BOS: Mr. Karnavas should not be give evidence, Your Honour.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm merely helping the Trial Chamber by pointing
9 out the relevancy, Your Honour, but I'll take that to heart.
10 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber -- can you explain --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you're asking a
12 question, then you're showing the document, that's all well and good.
13 But then you are drawing the conclusions yourself. That's why Mr. Bos
14 stood up, to object.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, could we just reconfirm the number
18 because I'm not finding this 2953. Sometimes it didn't appear.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: It's 1D 02953. This was introduced today. We
20 brought this out today.
21 MR. STEWART: Okay, that explains it.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. Now, can you explain how it is that a political party is
24 appointing the president of the court, and might that explain perhaps how
25 it is that the constitutional court reached its decision or, better yet,
1 took the steps that it took - and you told us during your testimony that
2 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was not informed - might that
3 explain something, and if so what?
4 MR. BOS: Your Honours, this is again a very leading question and
5 I think Mr. Karnavas should not ask leading questions in re-direct.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the gentleman did indicate that the
7 proper procedure was not followed by the constitutional court. We have
8 now a link, two brothers involved. We have somebody from the SDA
9 appointed as president, and might this -- I'm asking him might this have
10 something to do with the manner in which the constitutional court abused
11 its discretion in reaching that decision.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To my mind, the whole question of
13 legality of any actions taken by the constitutional court is questionable
14 from the moment that, for one reason or another, legal and legitimate
15 representatives and members of that court walked out, those who used to
16 be in those positions up until the war erupted in Sarajevo or over the
17 first months of war. To my mind, the question of the legality of that
18 court as a whole is highly questionable, including the position of the
20 MR. KARNAVAS:
21 Q. Now, if we go to the next document, and I'm switching but it's
22 sort of related, to 1D 02458, and this has to do with the whole issue of
23 the Sarajevo
24 districts. This document here, we see this is a letter to Mr. Pasalic,
25 and it's coming from the Ministry of Energy, Mining, and Industry. We
1 don't have time, regrettably, to go through all of it, and -- but if we
2 look at what is being asked, especially when it talks about industrial
3 production and then at the last paragraph in that section it says: "The
4 overall coordination of the production of armaments and military
5 equipment in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is directed by the state
6 authority for the production and transportation of armaments and military
7 equipment, which is organized within the Ministry of Energy, Mining --
8 within the Ministry of Energy, Mining, and Industry. It is our belief
9 that the state authority would be able to conduct its activities on the
10 territory of the district Mostar with greater ease if one of its experts
11 would be permanently based in Mostar ..."
12 And if we go further ahead of this particular letter it appears
13 that they're asking Mr. Pasalic to take certain actions.
14 Can you tell us how is it that the minister for mining, energy,
15 and industry is contacting the head of the Muslim army in Mostar to take
16 certain political actions -- or what would appear to be political
17 actions? Is there an explanation? Is that how government worked
18 normally, where a ministry would be directing the army to do something --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, you would greatly assist the
20 Chamber if you would tell us to which question of cross-examination this
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. It certainly relates to the whole issue
23 of -- if you recall, Your Honours, there were -- there was a document
24 shown concerning the establishment of regions.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mm-hmm.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Of districts, okay, and of course if we go through
2 the documents because the next document is 1D 1949, then the next
3 document of course that I would be presenting is 1D 021 -- 22112, which
4 is Dr. Jadranko Prlic's answer to that, and then followed by 1D 01210,
5 which is a document that we have already seen. What is being argued by
6 Dr. Jadranko Prlic is that you have certain ministers undermining
7 Izetbegovic in a sense in trying to force the military to take actions in
8 establishing these regions, and he's saying that there is essentially a
9 coup d'etat. That you have certain ministries, and of course when you
10 look at the personalities involved, clearly they're on the extreme
11 elements of that particular party, and it's calling into question how is
12 it that Izetbegovic is at the international level pursuing these peace
13 negotiations based on various models and at the same time ministries such
14 as mining and industry are telling the military leaders at the local
15 level to essentially force political situation -- decisions and that's
16 the whole basis. So it ties in to that.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: We don't have time, but I do wish for the
19 gentleman to at least comment on this very briefly if he can. And I'm --
20 for instance, 1D 014 -- 1949 from the deputy minister of defence, and
21 here he's talking about: "According to a government decision, the
22 minister of defence in cooperation with the minister of justice and
23 minister of interior, adopted instructions on implementing regulations on
24 the organization and functioning of the authorities in the Republic of
1 If we stop there and then fast-forward to 1D 01210 by Pasalic
2 himself, Arif, and Demirovic, here he's talking about on page 2: "In
3 recent days we have noticed certain tendencies from Sarajevo from your
4 vicinity which are rather worrisome. Some ministers and commanders are
5 sending instructions on the establishment of legal organs of authority,
6 the renewed operation of enterprises, and other activities which
7 essentially mean the creation of organs of authority parallel to the
8 Croatian ones. In addition, some of our 'hotheads,' when they visit
10 be no provinces as if you and we would be against that."
11 Provinces of course are being negotiated.
12 "These instructions are being sent to the army while we, the
13 regional leadership in the party, we are being completely bypassed. On
14 perhaps the regional committee, Safet Arif and in my own name I call -- I
15 can say that this is irresponsible and unrealistic and consequently very
17 Excuse me --
18 MR. BOS: Is Mr. Karnavas asking a question to the witness or is
19 he addressing the now Court?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm addressing the Court. Again, I'm entitled --
21 there's an invited response.
22 So, Your Honour, this is what I am trying to show --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I had accepted your response one page ago, Mr.
24 Karnavas, and you just went on and on. That was not called for. Thank
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't aware you were fully satisfied with my
2 explanation, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, we need to have a
4 short break because we've been sitting for more than an hour and a half.
5 I also believe that Ms. Alaburic wants to address the Chamber with
6 respect to next week. I hoped that we would be able to complete our
7 hearing at half past 12.00 but we have to continue after the break.
8 We'll have a 15 minutes break and we'll continue for 15 minutes after
10 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Mr. Karnavas, do you have any further questions to put to the
14 witness because we stopped abruptly, so I don't know if you finished or
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I want to make sure that these documents are not
17 rejected by the Trial Chamber, Your Honour, in their deliberations. So I
18 just pose one or two questions.
19 Q. Sir, as I understand it during the break you had an opportunity
20 to look at the documents concerning this particular issue; is that
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Okay. If we go now over the first document 1D 02458, we see
24 again that this is directed to Mr. Pasalic and it is from Rusmir
25 Mahmutcehajic. Now, were you aware -- did you know Mr. Mahmutcehajic and
1 were you aware of the position that he held at the time?
2 A. Mr. Rusmir Mahmutcehajic was the minister for industry and energy
3 in the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I also
4 think that he was the deputy president of the Party of Democratic Action.
5 Q. Okay. Now, would that make him number 2 to Mr. Izetbegovic in
6 the party in SDA politics?
7 A. I think that the party had several vice-presidents, but he was
8 clearly one of the most influential figures in the Party of Democratic
9 Action in that period.
10 Q. All right. Now, if we look under paragraph that's number 1, and
11 we see sort of in the middle of the paragraph it says: "We are convinced
12 that basic and developed forms of legitimate and legal authorities in the
13 southern part of our Republic - with a special significance of the army
14 system in parts of the Ministry for Internal Affairs - must be the pillar
15 for resurrecting and developing all other bodies of the government."
16 When we're talking about the southern part of the republic, what
17 part is he talking about?
18 A. It is obvious that the constitutional name of that part of the
19 republic is being avoided here, and that name is Herzegovina.
20 Q. Okay. Now, if we go on to the second page under a)2,
21 power-plants on the Neretva river, we see where in the middle -- towards
22 the end of that paragraph it says that: "In accordance with that we
23 demand that a plan for personnel change be prepared and that technical
24 aspects of the plants be strengthened in accordance with state
25 governmental interests. To that extent it is of vital importance that
1 all the workers in the Regional Command Centre in Mostar be advised that
2 all actions commanding the electro-energy potential contrary to the
3 suggestions and orders of the legitimate authorities are directed against
4 the basic interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The same is to be brought
5 to attention to all the executive personnel of the plants."
6 Now, I guess one question is: How is it, to your understanding,
7 how is it that a minister of -- for mining -- for energy, mining, and
8 industry is now demanding the commander of the 4th Corps, Mr. Arif
9 Pasalic, the commander, that is, to take in action? What authority --
10 under what authority is he acting, do you know?
11 A. I personally don't think that he had those powers. The usual
12 procedure for the communication and for transferring regulations down the
13 chain of command, in accordance with the provisions that were in force at
14 the time, was for those task to be issued by the government of the
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Supreme Command of the armed
16 forces or the BH army, and then to go down that chain of command to lower
17 levels of organization, but this was not the case here. But the relevant
18 jurisdiction of the army is particularly questionable if you have a
19 public company such as the Elektroprivreda, the power supply company of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina which also ran the hydro-electric power-plants on the
21 Neretva river.
22 Q. All right. If we look under paragraph number 2, this is on the
23 very last page, it says: "In light of the situation in the southern part
24 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 communications systems be used for all communications. We believe that
1 all existing authorities must act towards legitimate and legal centre,
2 while all forms of political and administrative arbitrariness should be
3 considered treason."
4 And of course we see who signed it and then we also see who this
5 is direct -- who is copied. We see that it's the minister for internal
6 affairs, the Commander-in-Chief of the army, Sefer Halilovic, and the
7 coordinator of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Now, can you give us
8 any explanation why a minister --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Witness. I believe
10 that Mr. Karnavas is mistaken but correct me if I am wrong. He says that
11 the letter was sent for information, but if you looks at the letter in
12 B/C/S you see that there are stamps, signatures, and in the English
13 translation of the text we have the name of those who signed the
14 document, Mr. Jusuf Pusina signed for the minister for internal affairs;
15 we have the Commander-in-Chief Halilovic; and then we have the
16 coordinator, Mr. Ramo Maslesa.
17 So the impression we get from looking at this document is that
18 it's a letter sent between ministries or from various ministries sent to
19 Mr. Pasalic. Can you please clarify this for us.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is the letter that the
21 three ministries, represented by the appropriate persons who signed this
22 letter, sent to the commander of the 4th Corps of the BH army, Mr. Arif
23 Pasalic, giving him clear instructions as to how to proceed regarding the
24 functioning of certain segments of government and life in that area.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, for that clarification.
2 I was looking at the English version and that had escaped me.
3 Q. All right. Well, I know that you're not -- this may be outside
4 your functions at the time, but Mr. Pasalic is the commander of the 4th
5 Corps; Sefer Halilovic was the commander. And now he's being --
6 Mr. Pasalic is being directly addressed by the minister, even though it's
7 co-signed by Halilovic. Is there any explanation or can you tell us
8 based on this Mr. Pasalic is subordinated to this particular ministry or
9 to the government and is outside the chain of command, I mean, if you
11 A. As far as I know, his only function was the commander of the 4th
12 Corps in the chain of command, so he was subordinate to the Supreme
13 Command of the BH army. And obviously, since three people,
14 representatives of various ministries, signed this letter the intention
15 is to reinforce and to give weight to the instructions, guide-lines, that
16 are given to Mr. Pasalic, although in my eyes he was not authorised to
17 take any action outside of the military sphere.
18 Q. All right. And I notice that this communication is not addressed
19 to anybody -- anyone from the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the HVO
20 HZ HB. Can you draw any conclusions as to why, for instance,
21 Mr. Mahmutcehajic would want to be having these sorts of communications
22 with -- within the Muslim community but not with the Croats, given that
23 you have Izetbegovic running around claiming to be the president of all
24 three constituent peoples?
25 MR. BOS: Your Honours, this calls for speculation. I don't
1 think the witness can answer to that.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Is there a ruling, Your Honour?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, can you provide an
4 explanation for this or would it be speculation from your -- from you if
5 you had to answer, as stated by the Prosecutor?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it is quite clear to me that
7 this is primarily lack of confidence or trust in the institutions of the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and efforts to reinforce those
9 institutions and competencies in that area that were in a certain way
10 there to degrade those institutions in that area.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. If we look at the next document 1D 01949, this is dated now the
13 24th of February, 1993, and we see the subject: "Instructions to
14 implement regulations on organizing and functioning of the authorities of
15 RBH in times of war."
16 And now this comes from the deputy minister of defence, and this
17 is to all district secretariat of defence. And now you -- just to go
18 through this because you indicated that -- and you were asked questions
19 about information coming to and from Sarajevo. We see from the very
20 first paragraph: "Since there is no -- since there is -- since there is
21 an information blockade in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 possible to send all Secretaries of Defence the Official Gazette of RBH
23 containing regulations and other documents ..."
24 Would this confirm what you were trying to tell us earlier on
25 your direct examination?
1 A. Yes, that's precisely what I was talking about, and let me just
2 remind you, bring your attention to another sentence in this letter where
3 it says this is why many regulations could not be implemented. So I
4 think that this sentence illustrates in a very striking manner all those
5 things that I was telling you about, about the municipal elements and so
7 Q. Exactly. Then it goes on to say: "According to a government
8 decision," it doesn't note which decision, it says, "The Minister of
9 Defence in cooperation with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of
10 the Interior, adopted instructions on implementing regulations on the
11 organization and functioning of the authorities in the republic of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war."
13 Now, again -- I mean, you knowing the political culture and how
14 the system operated, it says: "According to a government decision, the
15 Minister of Defence ..."
16 Why would the minister of defence be put in charge of
17 implementing these regulations?
18 A. From this document in the context of what we've been discussing
19 we can see that this conclusion of the government was not acted upon, if
20 any such conclusions existed at all, because it says here that this is
21 the job of the Ministry of Justice and Administration. And in the
22 document that we looked at a little while ago, I don't see that the
23 minister of justice and administration actually signed this guide-line or
24 this instruction together with all the other people there. So if we're
25 talking about the issue of jurisdiction or competence, then it is quite
1 clear that this is an instruction sent to the commander of the 4th Corps
2 and that there is a mix-up because the institutions that were supposed to
3 sign this document did not sign this document, whereas it was signed by
4 representatives of other ministries and the contents of the instruction
5 goes beyond the purview of their institutions.
6 Q. [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. We go to 1D 02212, this is dated 27 February, a few days later,
10 and this is a statement from an emergency session of the HVO HZ HB, and
11 of course I don't want to go through all of it but if we look at under
12 number 1 we see where Dr. Jadranko Prlic is saying: "Simultaneously with
13 the incidents involving the BH army, some ministers from the Government
14 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 association with parts of the BH Army Military Command, are arbitrarily
16 taking over the competences of the legitimate authorities and are making
17 moves that objectively represent elements of a classic coup d'etat ..."
18 I'll skip the rest of the paragraph though it's rather
19 interesting and go on to number 2. It begins by saying: "The HVO of the
20 HZ HB is warning the general public, the Muslim people, and their
21 political leaders that such attempts by the coup forces within the
22 legitimate leadership of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina are made, as
23 a rule, when the President of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
24 leader of the Muslim people, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, is out of the country
25 participating in internationally supervised negotiations for a peaceful
1 settlement of the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This fact tells a
3 Again I'll skip parts of it, and then I'll just make reference to
4 perhaps number 5. It says: "The HVO of the HZ HB views as very harmful
5 and dangerous attempts by such forces to blame the Croats or to apportion
6 the blame between the Serb aggressor and the Croats, although everyone is
7 aware of the contribution the Croats and the HVO have made, not just in
8 the joint liberation operations but also in providing assistance to
9 Muslim units in different parts of the Republic. The Command of the BH
10 Army Tuzla
11 days despite difficult access through Central Bosnia, might testify to
13 And then he goes on to say in number 6: "In light of the latest
14 developments, the HVO of the HZ HB has decided to close the border
15 crossing in its territory towards the Republic of Croatia
16 and people in the service of BH Army. This decision has been made in
17 consultation with the Regional Board of the Mostar SDA and will be
18 rescinded in consultation with them."
19 Now, if we look at the previous two documents, and we look at
20 just the parts that I'm referencing to the statement made by Dr. Jadranko
21 Prlic, can you draw any conclusions as to what is happening and what is
22 this response about, particularly keeping in mind that you were at the
23 time participating in some of the meetings as we saw?
24 A. Well, from this letter signed by Mr. Prlic we can see a
25 conclusion that is not difficult to be drawn, and that is that some
1 military structures within the institutions of Government of the Republic
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina were meddling in the affairs of the civilian
3 authorities contrary to the valid laws of the Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this context this letter, in a way, wants to draw
5 attention to this type of conduct and indicates is measures that will be
6 taken in this context. Let me remind you that not long after this letter
7 was written and those measures taken, the Presidency of Bosnia and
9 explanations officially provided for his removal was that he had taken
10 upon himself powers that were outside of those vested in him as the
11 commander and that he was actually meddling in the affairs of the
12 civilian authorities. We're talking about the removal of Mr. Sefer
14 So in other words, Mr. Izetbegovic and the Presidency soon after
15 this letter, a few months later, actually corroborated the suspicions
16 voiced in this letter.
17 Q. All right. And finally, if we go to the very last document 1D
18 01210, this is a letter co-authored, it would appear, by Mr. Demirovic
19 and Mr. Arif Pasalic, and it's dated 20 February 1993. Of course this is
20 a few days before Dr. Jadranko Prlic's statement but after, of course,
21 the initial letter that we saw from Mr. Pasalic on the February 14 on
22 the -- I'm sorry, the letter from Mr. Mahmutcehajic to Mr. Pasalic. Here
23 in this letter we see Pasalic responding directly to the president, not
24 to Mahmutcehajic. And of course I want to direct your attention again to
25 the second page in the last part, where I read earlier where it says:
1 "In recent days we have noticed certain tendencies from Sarajevo
2 your vicinity which are rather worrisome. Some ministers and commanders
3 are sending instructions on the establishment of legal organs of
4 authority, the renewed operation of enterprises, and other activities
5 which essentially mean the creation of organs of authority parallel to
6 the Croatian ones. In addition, some of our 'hotheads,' when they visit
8 be no provinces as if you and we would be against that. These
9 instructions are being sent to the army, while we, the regional
10 leadership in the party, are being completely bypassed. On behalf of the
11 Regional Committee, Safet, Arif, and in my own name, I can say that this
12 is irresponsible and unrealistic and, consequently, very dangerous."
13 I won't go on. The letter has quite a bit of information. But
14 from this paragraph that I just read, tracing back now the documents that
15 we covered, that is, the original letter from Mahmutcehajic, 1D 02458,
16 and then later on the instructions that we saw that were dated 24 April
17 1993 from Bisic, 1D 01949, is in your opinion Mr. Pasalic addressing the
18 issues that Mr. Mahmutcehajic, the minister, is addressing him? In other
19 words, is Pasalic addressing Izetbegovic to the issues that are being
20 addressed to him by Mr. Mahmutcehajic?
21 MR. BOS: Your Honours, again this will call for speculation. I
22 really don't see how the witness can give an answer to this.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: The witness was there. He knows the players, he
24 knows the events; he didn't come out of Mars.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, like in the previous
1 case, Witness, this letter which might have been submitted to you during
2 the proofing or now, on the basis of this letter, will you have to
3 speculate or do you have a more solid basis to answer the question?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Preparing for my evidence here I
5 had an opportunity to read this letter, so I can speak about this letter
6 in this context. In the course of my testimony I also spoke about some
7 other documents which I was not aware of at the time when they were
8 passed or issued, but I acquainted myself with them at a later stage. So
9 I speak about this letter in this context and I can give you my answer
10 because I'm familiar with the contents of the letter, if you allow me to
11 do so.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what is your answer?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer would be this: This
14 letter in a way confirms all the suspicions that were contained in the
15 letter written by the president of the HVO HZ HB about the attempts by
16 certain majority elements in the authorities of the Republic of Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina
18 go beyond the competences that they had in accordance with the
19 regulations valid at that time.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: With that answer, Mr. President, I have no further
21 re-direct --
22 [French on English channel]
23 MR. KARNAVAS: -- and his future endeavours.
24 Q. Thank you very much, sir, for coming here.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Perkovic, on behalf of my
1 colleagues, on behalf of Judge Trechsel who left the courtroom a few
2 minutes ago, I would like to thank you for coming here on the request of
3 Mr. Prlic's Defence, and thank you for having helped us to establish the
4 truth. I wish you a safe journey home, and I wish you all the best in
5 your job in the ministry.
6 I'll ask the usher to escort you outside the courtroom.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, please allow me to
8 thank you and your colleagues for your concern for me, for giving me your
9 attention, for giving me the time to be allowed to contribute to building
10 the truth about this unfortunate time. Thank you. I would like to also
11 thank the Defence and the Prosecution for their work.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we call it a day I think
14 that Ms. Alaburic wanted to take the floor.
15 I give you the floor.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon to
17 you and good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom. I just wanted to
18 ask a clarification about the witness who is due to be heard next week,
19 this is the witness called by Mr. Prlic's Defence and by the Petkovic
20 Defence. In such situations the practice was for the first Defence to
21 conduct the examination-in-chief in full and then to have the
22 cross-examination and re-direct if necessary, and then the next Defence
23 that called the same witness goes on with its case. I was wondering if
24 we will follow the same practice next week. This is very important for
25 our preparations, first of all, my preparations, but I'm sure that the
1 same goes for Mr. Prlic's Defence, and I would also like to note that we
2 have been proofing this witness separately. So I don't know what topics
3 would be dealt with in the cross-examination, the part of Mr. Prlic's
5 If you need any further clarifications, both Defence teams stand
6 at your disposal.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to the table that was
8 submitted to us by Mr. -- raised via his counsel, there would be four
9 hours for in chief and in the table I could see that yourself had
10 scheduled two hours for your direct examination. As you rightly pointed
11 out there are several options. The first one would be having
12 Mr. Karnavas starting with the -- with direct examination, then you would
13 be also conducting direct examination; and if necessary, the others would
14 be asking questions. And in the cross-examination the Prosecutor would
15 base his arguments on the basis of the two cross-examination -- the two
16 direct examinations; or the other option: Direct by Mr. Karnavas, cross
17 possibly, cross by the Prosecution, and then we start again Ms. Alaburic
18 direct examination, the others, and the Prosecution. I have no
19 preference. It is as you wish. It would be interesting to know how
20 Mr. Karnavas feels about this. Is there any problem for you if after
21 you -- Ms. Alaburic conducts the direct examination or would you rather
22 have the Prosecution cross-examining and after that Ms. Alaburic would be
23 conducting direct?
24 Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. For once, I was hoping
1 that you would ask the Prosecution how it felt and what its position
2 would be because it does complicate their cross-examination as well.
3 Here's one more indication of how thoughtful I am of the Office of the
4 Prosecution - I want to be on record on that one.
5 I do think that it may be a little bit easier if one direct
6 followed the other and then cross-examination is conducted. I think for
7 efficiency purposes that's how I'm familiar with back in my jurisdiction,
8 that, you know, the direct would be done and then there would be
9 cross-examination. That would prevent any overlap, but again for me it
10 doesn't make a difference one way or the other. That's why I think it
11 might be important to hear from the Prosecution, but again if we're
12 running into time problems --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, what do you think?
14 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honours, good afternoon. I'm always very
15 appreciative of Mr. Karnavas's efforts to protect the interests of the
16 Prosecution. I thank him for that. On this one I think Mr. Karnavas and
17 I in fact are in agreement. I think it would be more efficient and
18 productive if any direct examinations are conducted first and then the
19 Prosecution can conduct one set of cross-examination. There might be
20 interconnections, they might be inter-related, and it might be better to
21 take it all at once.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I think
24 Mr. Karnavas should go ahead first with his chief and that should be
25 unrelated to the Petkovic examination. Not only the OTP but all the
1 other Defence teams as well, including Mr. Petkovic's Defence, have the
2 right to cross-examine a witness, this witness in question, based on the
3 Prlic in chief. That was the practice that we adopted in the case of two
4 previous witnesses. Bozo Kovacevic cross-examined a witness who was to
5 become his own witness on the following day but this was redirect.
6 If I may just make another suggestion. I have taken into account
7 the interests of the OTP and I'm trying to look at this case as a whole.
8 Perhaps we could take the following course of action. Maybe the OTP
9 should be allowed to cross-examine after both of our chiefs and after all
10 of the crosses that the other Defence teams might have. I think that
11 would safe-guard the right of each Defence team to cross and we would
12 also make the OTP's job easier and simpler.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what you're suggesting is as
14 follows: Direct examination by Mr. Karnavas; after this, the other
15 counsels cross-examine if necessary; after which you conduct your direct
16 examination; the other lawyers, if necessary, cross-examine; and
17 eventually there is cross-examination by the Prosecution. Is that your
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] What remains is perhaps a small
20 problem concerning the re-direct. So in one word precisely as you say,
21 but then the issue of the re-direct arises. Personally, I don't oppose
22 the possibility that I should do my re-direct after everything else if
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, re-direct is not a small problem, it's a big
25 problem and it's a big right that is owed to the party that brings the
1 witness. If this indeed -- and I don't wish to get into debating this
2 issue. From a strictly technical point, the witness is being called by
3 two parties and you can't have it both ways. When the one witness calls
4 the party you're going to treat him as an adverse witness and shortly
5 thereafter you can treat him as a friendly witness. I can understand the
6 utility in having the flexibility of asking cross-examination questions
7 in certain areas and then switching to direct examination in others. But
8 the bottom line is that I think if you do it in the manner in which is
9 being suggested by Ms. Alaburic, we're going to run into some technical
10 problems, it's going to take a lot longer, and I certainly don't want to
11 be in a position where I have to do my re-direct examination, followed
12 then by God knows what the direct examination is going to be, and then I
13 have to cross-examine a witness that I just did the direct on. Because
14 then it essentially becomes a second re-direct.
15 Now, I don't know how the Prosecution feels about this, but I do
16 think from a technical standpoint it is best to get all the direct
17 examination out of the way. I can't imagine that there's something that
18 needs to be covered both -- twice, on two different occasions. That
19 would be my preference. I'm not pushing for one way or the other. I
20 will do, you know, whatever instructed, but I think it makes better sense
21 to do it that way.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 What's your response, Mr. Scott, to Ms. Alaburic's proposal?
24 MR. SCOTT: I have to confess, Your Honour, I'm not sure I
25 appreciated the exact variance or variation that she proposed, but I
1 think our views on this after having heard the discussion over the last
2 few minutes is, again, that all the Defence questioning either -- whether
3 it's called direct or cross-examination, and the Chamber knows the
4 ongoing issues and arguments about that, but that all Defence questioning
5 of the witness precede the Prosecution's cross-examination; and then of
6 course any appropriate re-direct would follow the Prosecution's
7 cross-examination. We're not trying to interfere with the right to
8 re-direct, but that would then follow the Prosecution's
9 cross-examination. But we would prefer for the Prosecution's
10 cross-examination to be all one go.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may just put in
12 a reaction to what my colleague Mr. Scott just said. This might strike
13 one as a logical line of reasoning, but so far in situations such as
14 these the Prosecution did not make this request; rather, they would
15 cross-examine a witness for the Prlic Defence and then they would
16 cross-examine -- do another cross-examination several days later when the
17 cross-examination was taking place based on the chief done by the Praljak
18 Defence. I see no reason at this point in time to change the established
19 practice. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that each
20 Defence has a right to cross-examination, a right which no Defence should
21 under any circumstances be denied. I really do not know at this time
22 what subjects Mr. Karnavas will be dealing with or, indeed, whether the
23 subjects will affect my client in any way at all.
24 However, may I call your attention to the interview that
25 Mr. Prlic gave to the OTP, and this is part of this trial, it's in
1 evidence, and then also the statement that sparked off the Prlic Defence.
2 I have every reason to believe that the evidence of this witness would
3 also be used in order to pin some actions that are considered to be
4 questionable to the army and to the commanders, in which case I must also
5 be granted a right to cross-examine. Thank you.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Let me be very clear on this point. I'm trying to
7 avoid the issue. It is very clear that the Petkovic Defence wishes to
8 insinuate, and in fact they're trying to prove that based on one
9 particular decree the executive authority of the HZ HB was actually
10 giving operational decisions and, in fact, holding secret meetings. Of
11 course, we categorically deny that, that has never occurred, that's not
12 how to read the law, and this has been a constant attempt by Ms. Alaburic
13 to place the executive in an operational aspect of the military.
14 Be that as it may, once they call -- this is their witness as
15 much as it is ours. Now, they can't have it both ways. Either they give
16 up their direct and just simply cross or he is their witness and
17 accordingly they treat him as their witness. It is nonsense to say that
18 on the morning session I'm going to treat him as a hostile witness and
19 ask questions because he's a hostile witness -- not hostile emotionally
20 but for the purposes of cross-examination, and in the next session be all
21 lovey-dovey with the witness because it is their witness. This is
22 ludicrous and trial advocacy 101, any judge would tell you in an
23 adversarial setting that you can't have it both ways. Not only does it
24 undercut your own witness's credibility. How can you impeach the witness
25 one moment and the next moment try to get -- elicit information that upon
1 which you're then going to say to the Court that he should be trusted on
2 the direct examination but not be trusted on the cross. It just doesn't
3 make sense.
4 Now, I'm trying to be as reasonable as I possibly can be. I
5 don't know this whole notion about the statement. We're running a
6 defence. They've had the documents. They've had our plan. We have made
7 the witness available and brought him in a day early. We are giving the
8 witness to them without participating. They can have him all day
9 tomorrow, even though we're paying for him to come here a day early
10 because the Tribunal won't pay for it.
11 So I don't see all of this -- and, you know, if they want our
12 cards on the table they're right there on the table, they're right there,
13 they have our documents. But this notion somehow that there is some
14 nefarious and sinister motive behind this in which now we have to treat
15 this witness somewhat differently than the others, for me it's
16 inconceivable. I simply do not understand this process. And it could
17 very well be that we have two different systems colliding, the civil law
18 system with the adversarial system, a lawyer who is very well-versed in
19 the adversarial system versus a lawyer who is not so well-versed, and
20 maybe they're trying to find creative ways, but this is not the approach
21 that we should be taking.
22 The Prosecutor is right, he is entitled to conduct his
23 cross-examination at the end of all of the testimony from this side of
24 the bench. I support him on that because it makes sense, and to say
25 anything otherwise would be illogical. And then at what point do I do my
2 I mean, there are all these issues that are not being taken into
3 consideration by this approach and we can't have it both ways.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, I must
5 admit that I could understand Mr. Karnavas or take him seriously had he
6 not allowed the Praljak Defence to cross-examine in a situation where
7 these witnesses had a witness that they shared. If my colleague
8 Mr. Karnavas had taken the same course of action at the time, I would
9 have believed this to have been out of professional reasons and out of
10 principle and because he was well-versed in the adversarial system, or
11 any other system, including the procedure applied before this Tribunal.
12 Since, however, Mr. Karnavas failed to do so then, I don't think
13 anyone should mind that a Defence would cross-examine a witness that in a
14 matter of days will become its own witness.
15 Secondly, as for the statement in the first paragraph in my
16 learned friend's reaction, Mr. Karnavas's reaction, that I was
17 systematically trying to show how the government was making operative
18 military decisions, let me now paraphrase Mr. Karnavas and say this: I'm
19 truly sorry that Mr. Karnavas is sitting here in this courtroom all this
20 time without following the trial, therefore leaving himself unable to
21 accurately quote my questions and the context of my questions because my
22 questions leave one thing perfectly clear at any time. This is not about
23 operative military decisions by specific military operations carried out
24 by specific military units, but the involvement of the government and
25 everyone else in issues that have to do with the country's defence. That
1 is why I believe Mr. Karnavas's reaction to be entirely inappropriate and
2 I do wish to advise the Trial Chamber of the following as well.
3 Just last week I sent a list of subjects or topics that I might
4 be raising on cross-examination to the Prlic Defence. I also enclosed a
5 list of exhibits that I will be using with this witness. The reply that
6 I got was that I would get a reply to next Monday. To this very day I
7 have received not a single word by way of reply to my previous e-mail.
8 Based on this I can hardly conclude that the Prlic Defence is showing any
9 great desire in relation to that mail that had to do with the substance
10 of the chief, and that is why I can hardly be expected to believe that I
11 can in any way cooperate with the Prlic Defence in terms of proofing this
12 witness. I believe the Trial Chamber should know this.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't want to bring this but I will
14 call my colleague to be representing less than the truth. She was told
15 verbally that she could have access to the witness. She was told by my
16 colleague. E-mails were sent. And I find it rather shocking that an
17 officer of the court would stand here and make such representations.
18 Secondly, with respect to the Praljak Defence, it was a
19 statement, it was a written statement on a very discreet issue. It is no
20 secret that these Defences are not getting along. I perfectly understand
21 where she's going, just as she gave us her documents, we gave her our
22 documents. We have made the gentleman available. She even indicated
23 that the other Defences can meet with the gentleman in her office. So
24 this notion that somehow we didn't respond is pure poppycock.
25 Now, let's stick to the issue. How are we going to proceed on
1 Monday? For me it doesn't really make a difference. I'm not going to
2 try to treat the gentleman as hostile one moment and non-hostile the
3 other. This is purely an issue of logistics and how to treat a common
4 witness. That's the point. You can't treat a witness one moment as a
5 hostile witness and the next moment as your witness; that's the point.
6 And it's for the Judges to make a determination how they wish to proceed,
7 and from there on we're at your disposal, we'll do as we're ordered.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges will
9 consider the matter, the Bench will consider the matter. I can't tell
10 you what the Chamber has decided because we need to refer the matter to
11 our fellow Judge who is not here with us, but there is one thing where I
12 agree. The Defence can't call a witness who would be then considered as
13 a hostile witness. I share Mr. Karnavas's point. It's a matter of
14 logic. I've always believed that cross-examination of a witness by -- a
15 Defence team, Defence team of one of the other accused, is something that
16 is a bit tricky. But that's the way we proceed here, pursuant to the way
17 it's done in English-speaking countries, in common-law countries.
18 The Judges will consider the matter and we'll tell you how we'll
19 proceed on Monday. It's a matter of deciding who is going to go first,
20 what's going to happen first.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, just two
22 sentences. I can't just sit here and listen to Mr. Karnavas's
23 allegations that I wasn't telling the truth. Every single word I said is
24 backed by our e-mail exchange and we still keep all of that.
25 Secondly, I consider it to be entirely inappropriate for
1 Mr. Karnavas to be addressing me as a "she." I consider that to be
2 entirely unacceptable in any tradition, the Anglo-Saxon tradition, the
3 common-law tradition, and any other tradition you may might care to cite.
4 Thirdly, I wish to draw your attention to our exchange with
5 regard to certain motions by the OTP. There was a lot of exchange going
6 on, and we said that no analogies should be drawn between
7 cross-examination on the one hand and hostile or friendly witness on the
8 other as such. These two subjects are to be kept apart.
9 In the Anglo-Saxon tradition one can cross-examine a witness who
10 is not at all hostile to one's client. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica stood up but I had
12 not seen her.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Indeed. Thank you very much, Your
15 I merely wanted to contribute to this. I know where this
16 conflict arises from and I do not wish to take sides at all, but I do
17 wish to say one thing at this point in time, it has indeed been our
18 established practice, at least with witness Buntic, because I do share
19 some witnesses with the other Defence teams so I believe it to be
20 entirely logical that I should be allowed, for example, if another
21 Defence wants to -- a part of their examination with one of my witnesses
22 because these are all complex witnesses who will give evidence about a
23 whole range of subjects covering a long period of time and encompassing a
24 great many documents. It could easily be the case that another Defence
25 calls a witness, or that I call the witness, and then I cross-examine the
1 witness as a friendly witness but then maybe I may not broach a subject
2 with a witness and I may wish to add to that or raise something else. We
3 have three or four proposals in terms of procedure. And what we've been
4 doing so far, I think there are sufficient grounds for a ruling to be
5 made that will leave all the parties happy now as in future. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I want to ask you all to tell
7 Mr. Jukic that he'll probably have to come back on the following Monday.
8 We don't be able to complete his testimony next week. I don't think so.
9 Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I know everyone is anxious
11 to leave the courtroom, and I'll be very short, but if I can have just
12 one minute to the Defence 20, let me just say that -- because I don't
13 think this is going to be the last time this issue comes up. I expect
14 there's going to be future discussion of this and similar issues. Some
15 of the comments that have been made in the last half-hour directly relate
16 to a number of issues the Prosecution has been raising in a number of
17 respects about the proper conduct of cross-examination of friendly
18 witnesses, and all of these issues are interrelated, and we'll come back
19 to it in the future, Your Honour, but I just want to note it for the
20 Chamber's direction.
21 These are exactly some of the concerns that the Prosecution has
22 raised about the way in which the Defence is allowed to conduct what's
23 being called cross-examination of an indeed friendly witness, and today
24 this afternoon there's been references to how they can be friendly one
25 hour and hostile the next hour. And therein lies some of the problems
1 that the Prosecution has tried to raise before. Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to adjourn because
3 it's high time we did so. I wish you all a very pleasant weekend. I
4 hope to see you all, all of you, here on Monday.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of
7 September, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.