1 Wednesday, 22 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.30 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours and everyone in and
8 around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
9 versus Prlic et al., thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today is Wednesday. I'd like to greet Mr. Stringer, Mr. Longone,
12 Defence counsel, and all the other members of the OTP.
13 Registrar and the usher, we are starting late because there was a
14 fire drill. This is why we are only starting at a half past 3.00 today.
15 We discovered a few moments ago that the Prosecution had sent us
16 a mail concerning their witness schedule. We have not had time to look
17 at it. If we do have time, we'll address it today. Otherwise, it will
18 be on Monday, but we have received your mail.
19 For the time being we shall resume your cross-examination and
20 have one single break at 5.00. It will be a 30-minute break, and we will
21 then resume at half past 5.00 and run on till 7.00. And we will, I'm
22 sure, continue tomorrow if we haven't finished by then.
23 MR. LONGONE: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
24 everyone in and around the courtroom.
25 WITNESS: MARINKO SIMUNOVIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Longone: [Continued]
3 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Let me focus today --
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Let me focus today to the work of the coordinating committee that
6 we have been discussing or your testimony was about on Monday and
7 Tuesday, and in that respect could you please focus your attention on
8 Exhibit 1D 01324 [sic].
9 And for the benefit of everyone in the courtroom, the Prosecution
10 exhibits are in the -- in the big binder, and the Defence exhibits are in
11 the first binder, and there is the first one you have there in your
12 hands. Sir, that's the exhibit I want to refer to. 1D 01324 -- 28.
13 And, sir, this document dated 8 October -- did you find it? Do
14 you have it with you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. This exhibit refers to the -- the establishing of the
17 coordinating committee for the collection and reception of humanitarian
18 aid, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, but the title says, "Collection -- or, rather, reception and
20 distribution of humanitarian aid."
21 Q. All right, sir. And the decision of establishing this
22 coordinating committee was on the 8th October 1992, isn't it?
23 A. That's what it says.
24 Q. And in -- in Article I of that decision, the second para, it says
25 that, "The committee shall consist of one representative from each
1 humanitarian organisation registered in the municipality of Mostar
2 isn't it?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. And, sir, would you agree with me in the second graph it says
5 once the president and vice-president from that committee are elected by
6 the committee members they need to have the approval, they need to be
7 approved by the Office for Social and Medical Welfare and Refugees from
8 the HVO, isn't it?
9 A. That's what the article says in keeping with the approval of the
10 social and medical welfare and refugees office since the decision is made
11 as soon as approval is granted by the office and in keeping with the
12 meaning and purpose of adopting such a decision at all.
13 Q. All right, sir. And paragraph VI of that decision it says that
14 for items I and II basically the distribution -- the collection,
15 reception, distribution of the humanitarian aid, those functions of the
16 committee shall be carried out by the council of the Office for
17 Humanitarian and Social Welfare of the HVO, isn't it?
18 A. Yes, but I don't see the word "HVO" being used here. In order to
19 set up the committee in the sense of paragraph I and II of this decision
20 the functions of the committee will be performed by the council of the
21 social welfare office. So somebody had to initiate this whole action and
22 somebody had to take the first steps and that precisely was in reference
23 to this body.
24 Q. Right, sir. And would you agree with me that that council of the
25 office for humanitarian and social welfare belonged to the Herceg-Bosna
2 A. It belonged to the Mostar municipal government.
3 Q. And the Mostar municipal government was governed from the
4 Herceg-Bosna government, isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And -- thank you very much. And if you see at the end of that
7 same decision, you have the signature of Jadran Topic and clearly it says
8 the president of the HVO municipality Mostar, isn't? HVO. Do you see
10 A. Yes, yes, it's there.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I don't know if there
12 is a misunderstanding or a mistranslation. The Prosecution has asked you
13 the following question, whether the government of the municipality in
14 Mostar is the same as the government of Herceg-Bosna. You answered by
15 saying, Yes. I don't understand any more if that's the case. Could you
16 clarify this for us, please? It says yes.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] the question, Your Honour, was
18 whether the government of Mostar municipality belonged to Herceg-Bosna,
19 and my answer in that sense was yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Government of Herceg-Bosna,
21 because in the question it said government of Herceg-Bosna. That's on
22 line 2, page 4. There might have been a confusion here. The
23 municipality is one thing, and the government of Herceg-Bosna is another.
24 Do we agree on this?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Those are two distinct
1 authorities. There is the municipal level and there's a higher level.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
3 MR. LONGONE: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
4 Q. And you have understood correctly my question. The Mostar -- the
5 HVO Mostar government belonged to the Herceg-Bosna government.
6 And, sir, now focusing your attention on --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour, again the gentleman -- the
8 gentleman yesterday and perhaps I was too calm, too nice to the gentleman
9 and didn't react strongly enough. The gentleman needs to understand what
10 is meant by government and what is Herceg-Bosna and what is the
11 Herceg-Bosna government; and he keeps mixing them up.
12 I understand maybe he wants to fit it into some kind of a theory
13 of his, but I would ask that the Trial Chamber instruct my learned friend
14 to be precise in his questions, and if he doesn't know, if he doesn't
15 know the distinction between one and the other, we can give him at some
16 point, perhaps during the break, a lesson, but this is -- this happened
17 over and over again yesterday. I think he's trying to trick the witness.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, if you had two more seconds of
19 patience, you saw that I was about to do this, but you took the floor
20 because you -- you like to and because you wanted, apparently, to be
21 nattier than yesterday, which I'm quite sure is not necessary. I have
22 rather the feeling that what we are faced with is a linguistic
24 And indeed I will tell you, Mr. Longone, the -- you have -- you
25 have been a recidivist because there had just been a correction saying
1 that the municipality of Mostar
2 Mostar is part of Herceg-Bosna, full stop, not of the government of
3 Herceg-Bosna. And you should perhaps cross out the word "government" in
4 your vocabulary for some time unless you have really solid ground to use
5 it. On the merits Mr. Karnavas is quite right.
6 MR. LONGONE: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm not going to use the
7 word government and I understood that now.
8 Q. Witness, if you focus to 1D 02662. That's the chart that you
9 discussed in your testimony before on Monday.
10 A. Okay. I've got it.
11 Q. And this is the chart that you mentioned the persons that did
12 that chart, and it bears your signature. And in this chart you mentioned
13 there were not -- although they were part at one point of the
14 coordinating committee, the Merhamet and the Red Crescent are not in this
15 chart, isn't it?
16 A. That's obvious, isn't it? They're not. But a mere six different
17 organisations are listed here. I'm looking at the document. I don't
18 know what its number is, but you see that the Red Crescent is admitted to
19 the board as the tenth member. Therefore, this is the first chart that
20 was drawn up, and each of the organisations that were registered
21 throughout Mostar municipality was a member of this board, including the
22 Red Crescent, including Merhamet, and a number of other organisations
23 active throughout Mostar municipality.
24 Q. Yes, sir. And if ou focus on the note of that chart, would you
25 agree with me that the centre of social work is not a member of the
1 coordinating committee but as a specialised institution it takes part in
2 its work.
3 A. Yes. They drew up the minutes for these meetings. They provided
4 any technical assistance whenever necessary. Everything we've been
5 talking about for the last two days it's about establishing criteria and
6 all the elements that allowed this board to work as efficiently as
8 Q. And if we continue with Exhibit 1D 01427 that is another exhibit
9 that you had been discussing, sir, before.
10 A. Can you please repeat the number?
11 Q. Yes, of course. 1D 01427.
12 A. Yes, I've got it.
13 Q. All right. This document is a report, we can see. It's coming
14 from the office of expelled persons, refugees, and displaced persons, the
15 ODPR. Do you remember, sir, who was on January 1993 the head of the
17 A. I don't.
18 Q. Sir, this report mentions a meeting held on January 7, 1993, of
19 all humanitarian organisations in the territory of the Herceg-Bosna
20 community, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and there is a list of
21 people there participating in this meeting. Do you recognise yourself in
22 that document, sir?
23 A. Of course I do. Number 8.
24 Q. And, sir, in this list we can see that there are representatives
25 from the UNHCR, from the ICRC, from Caritas; right?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And the Merhamet, the Red Crescent, the Mostar Red Cross, and the
3 information office.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Do you know who was the member of the information office, what
6 information office is that one?
7 A. I think this is someone from the office for refugees and
8 displaced persons, the person who was in charge of spreading information
9 in this particular office.
10 Q. Sir, and all these people in this meeting has to do with this
11 coordinating committee meetings regarding the humanitarian aid?
12 A. We held meetings of the coordinating committee that weren't the
13 same things as the meetings we had with the office for refugees. This
14 was a general invitation to all these organisations, and it had to do
15 with global issues. As for the functioning of the coordinating
16 committee, we had special meetings called by the committee itself.
17 Q. And, sir, do you recognise all the people in that -- in that
18 list? Do you remember them?
19 A. Yes, aside from the foreigners who came and went. I don't quite
20 remember them all that clearly.
21 Q. And the people from -- I would say that you were mentioning that
22 you were very much in contact and exchanging information, you told us on
23 Monday and Tuesday, with people from the ICRC and from other
24 international humanitarian organisations as the UNHCR. Do you remember
25 whether these people were regularly participating in these meetings? At
1 least in the month of January?
2 A. Based on this record you can see that they were there. This
3 report is not a report from a meeting of the coordinating committee to
4 begin with. They were invited, and they came. As for the meetings of
5 our coordinating committee, they were under no commitment to attend
6 those. Only if they were specially invited.
7 Q. All right. And -- but you mentioned before that -- what I
8 understood from the transcript that these meetings called maybe by ODPR
9 all the people, all these humanitarian organisations were invited. So it
10 was not the only one. I understood correct that these meetings were held
11 regularly as well?
12 A. I don't know when and how frequently the office for refugees and
13 displaced persons of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna called such
14 meetings. Whenever I was invited to attend on behalf of the Red Cross or
15 the coordinating committee I would attend, but this is no meeting of the
16 coordinating committee, and I think the two need to be kept apart.
17 Q. Thank you very much. And -- for that clarification. If you see
18 there at the end of the list of people participating it clearly says that
19 the next meeting has been scheduled for the 12th January 1993 at 11
21 A. That's what it says, yes.
22 Q. So it seems -- thank you very much. So it seems that there were
23 other meetings that were being taking place with these people.
24 A. That's what this suggests, yes, but again every time I was called
25 to a meeting I would go.
1 Q. And in the conclusions of that meeting, sir, it is clear that
2 there are some communication problems between some local humanitarian
3 organisations and -- at the municipal level. This is what it says from
4 the conclusions and it points out to Caritas and Merhamet, isn't it?
5 That's in point three of the conclusion, the last point of the
7 A. Yes. That's what it says, doesn't it.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Sir, do you agree with those conclusions?
9 Do you agree there were problems with Merhamet and Caritas and
10 communication in January 1993 regarding humanitarian aid issues?
11 A. There were communication problems, but that applied to all the
12 organisations, but these were operative problems and not some broader
13 problems as it derived when, how, were the necessary documents secured in
14 time for the aid to come through, that sort of problem. Were the goods
15 distributed in a timely manner? Was there enough manpower to do the
16 loading and unloading of aid? Operative problems, nothing more than
18 Q. Sir, you don't remember whether there were any other concerns
19 highlighted by the units here or the ICRC or the Merhamet in January 1993
20 in Mostar regarding the distribution of humanitarian aid? Is that your
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I want to object to the form of the question. He
23 was asked a question regarding the insufficient contacts. Now when you
24 look at the next question, it assumes facts not in evidence. I will look
25 at the argument -- the answer that the gentleman gave, but I do think
1 that the next question misses a beat. He's jumping to a conclusion.
2 There are no facts to establish that. Now, if I wishes to establish some
3 facts or show the gentleman some facts that's another story.
4 MR. LONGONE:
5 Q. Sir, do you recall any other problem regarding humanitarian or
6 concern regarding humanitarian aid and distribution in January 1993 in
8 A. I don't think my memory goes that far back in order to allow me
9 to remember specific problems like that. Whatever problems we had as a
10 humanitarian organisation we dealt with at meetings of our coordinating
11 committee and the committee did some really good work up until the
12 outbreak of clashes between the Croats and the Bosniaks in Mostar town
14 Q. All right, sir. Well, let me refresh your recollection and I'm
15 going to show you a report from the British Battalion of United Nations,
16 dated 22nd January 1993, and it's regarding these meetings in where the
17 organisation, yourself or someone else from your organisation at the ICRC
18 attended with the ODPR. This is Exhibit P 01259.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we move to the next exhibit, Your Honour, I
20 don't mean to disrupt too much, but we've been looking at a document that
21 has not been admitted into evidence as an exhibit that is 1D 01427, and
22 it is one page, as we can see.
23 Now, a similar -- the same document, the same document with two
24 pages has been admitted. So the second page -- this one document that is
25 being -- that was shown doesn't have, and that is 1D 01522. I take it
1 this was a -- 1522 is the one that has been admitted as an exhibit. I
2 take it this must be an oversight, but -- and this is for the record. So
3 perhaps that could be checked. But 1522 is an exhibit. 1427 is not.
4 1427 lacks the second page.
5 The only reason I'm mentioning this is because I think it would
6 be good if we are going to be showing documents to the witness it would
7 be good to have the entire document in order for them to look at it to
8 see whether they need to put it into context.
9 MR. LONGONE: Can I continue my cross-examination? I appreciate
10 your reference to those documents and we're going to check it and come
11 back to it.
12 Q. Sir we were referring to Exhibit P 01259 and you mentioned that
13 you didn't remember so I -- just for the benefit of refreshing your
14 recollection, I'm -- and remember which were the concerns of
15 international community at that time.
16 Do you have the exhibit in front of you, sir, now?
17 A. Can you please repeat the number? I have a lot of binders here,
18 but I'm fumbling around with so it's difficult for me to track all these
19 documents now.
20 Q. Exhibit P 01259. P 01259. And at the end of -- you first have
21 the English version and behind it you have the B/C/S version, sir.
22 A. Okay. I've got that document now.
23 Q. Paragraph 1 it refers to a meeting held at the UNHCR Split on the
24 morning of the 22nd January 1993, and from that meeting a series of
25 problems were pointed out by the people attending there and that
1 apparently will affect the work of the humanitarian organisations and the
2 distribution of humanitarian aid, among others. And if you -- if you see
3 paragraph second of the same document, sir, you see that there it says
4 that the Mostar units CR field officer attended a meeting on Wednesday,
5 20 January, chaired by Mr. Tadic, minister appointed by Mate Boban, to
6 coordinate assistance in Herceg-Bosna. Do you -- do you recall now
7 Mr. Darinko Tadic -- Mr. Tadic, sir?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. And the paragraph continues saying the meeting included
10 municipality representatives from as far as field as Jablanica, Prozor,
11 Livno, Tomislavgrad, and Doboj, and the field officer was told that in
12 future all aid deliveries were to be made directly to the local
13 government and all aid deliveries were to be made directly -- sorry, not
14 to the theoretically ethnically neutral coordinating committee.
15 Sir, do you remember that there were concerns by the Merhamet and
16 by the other participants, international organisations on that committee,
17 of all the neutrality of that committee, of that coordinating committee
18 at that time?
19 A. If you will allow me, sir, this is the report from the second
20 meeting, not from the one that we have just spoken about. So that I
21 wouldn't know what meeting that was. This was on the 20th of January,
22 probably of the same year. Yes, it was. And there were representatives
23 of other municipalities. There were no representatives of Mostar there.
24 So I don't know what the reason was for this statement, for this
25 reaction, or for any kind of conclusion. And as far as the work of our
1 coordination committee is concerned, it worked really well and I told you
2 up until when. We had an absolute coordination and in my diary you can
3 find all information or notes on -- as to how many, when we held
4 meetings, who was present, and what were the topics of the conversations
5 at our meetings.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Sir, just to make sure, because this
7 meeting was attended by all international representatives or -- sorry,
8 field offices working in the southern Bosnia region which include Mostar
9 and my question about regarding humanitarian issues was not only related
10 to the beginning of January 1993, but I asked you in January 1993 before.
11 So do you remember any concern regarding the neutrality of that
12 theoretically ethnic neutral coordinating committee in Mostar?
13 A. I can't see anywhere here that the theoretically ethnically
14 biased coordination committee relates to Mostar. I really don't know
15 what you're asking me.
16 Q. Sir, let's continue with paragraph 2. After this meeting called
17 by Mr. Darinko Tadic, it says that the implication of this is that the
18 UNHCR would be delivering to only one faction, HVO, and relying on that
19 faction to pass and share to the others the humanitarian aid basically.
20 There is no much confidence that this would happen at present, and as
21 ever no concern was shown by the HVO for the fate of the Muslims.
22 Do you recall, sir, that there were problems about the
23 distribution of humanitarian aid and the concerns of the Merhamet and the
24 international organisations?
25 A. Believe me, I've never seen this document before, and it's very
1 hard for me to see any of the things that you are talking about. If you
2 want any information about the work of the committee I can only repeat
3 the details from my testimony yesterday and the day before yesterday, and
4 that's all I know with regard to any other activities, but the
5 coordination committees existed in Livno and some other municipalities,
6 and Mostar was not the only municipality that had such a body.
7 Q. All right, sir. I'm going to continue refreshing your
8 recollection. The consumption of aid, this is not a new problem says the
9 report. The consumption of aid put into municipality warehouse by a
10 coordinating committee -- sir --
11 A. I apologise. Could you please direct me to the part from which
12 you're reading? I'd like to be able to follow if that's not a problem.
13 Q. Of course it's not a problem. It's paragraph second. We are
14 still on para second of that same exhibit, sir. And the last part of
15 paragraph second says the concerns about the neutral -- theoretical
16 ethnically neutral coordinating committees. It says, "This is not a new
17 problem the consumption of aid put into municipality warehouse by a
18 coordinating committee has always been difficult to ascertain.
19 "A significant quantity general favours one side, reaches one or
20 more army and the black market, as well as supports refugees. This
21 limitation on delivery could be expected to apply throughout the area
22 designated as provinces 8 and 10 in the proposed Geneva agreement. The
23 office was also informed that if UNHCR declined to comply with this
24 instruction," delivering the aid to the HVO government to Mr. Tadic, "The
25 HVO would close the border at Matkovic to UNHCR traffic."
1 And, sir, if you go to paragraph 3. Sir, if you go to paragraph
2 3 of the same exhibit --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What is -- why do you
4 want to intervene, Mr. Praljak?
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] It is my wish to read
6 everything. We keep on dwelling upon the first page and it's very hard
7 for any of us to know what this is all about.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: And perhaps while we're looking at that first
9 page, Your Honour, paragraph 2, perhaps my learned friend could point to
10 the gentleman the part about Doboj and whether representatives from Doboj
11 would have been there, recognising where Doboj was and still remains but
12 who was occupying Doboj at the time, whether representatives for Doboj
13 from Doboj would have been in Mostar at that time.
14 MR. LONGONE: Shall I continue with my cross-examination?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue. However,
16 Mr. Registrar, can you make sure that you move the B/C/S text to the
17 right place so that the accused can see the entire document in their
18 language especially paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 so they have an overall view of
19 the entire document. Yes, proceed, Mr. Longone.
20 MR. LONGONE:
21 Q. So in paragraph 3 of the same exhibit the last sentence of
22 paragraph 3 starting with HVO. Do you see that, sir? [B/C/S spoken].
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, but I really did not participate in such meetings.
25 Everything I might say from now on would be just taking things out of the
1 context and telling you stories that I really don't know. Any assistance
2 that I received from anybody I made sure that it was ready for
3 distribution, and this is something that happened before any aid entered
4 the territory and I wouldn't be able to tell you anything about that.
5 Q. Sir, you were the Red Cross representative for Mostar from 1992
6 June till 1998. You continued working in the Red Cross until 2003. I'm
7 not asking whether you participated in this meeting now. My question was
8 whether you were aware of the concerns of the distribution of
9 humanitarian aid and in this respect, sir, I'm going to read you that
10 last sentence that you already have identified:
11 "HVO members in Mostar have threatened to blow up the UNHCR
12 office if they continue to supply Muslims."
13 A. I've never heard this before, and I've never seen it before, of
14 course. UNHCR was a permanent partner of the Red Cross and all the other
15 of humanitarian organisations that were active in the coordination
16 committee, and we -- the -- the reaction at this meeting never reflected
17 on our further work never before the month of April, the month of May
18 when this reaction was connected with the conflict.
19 Q. Sir, in this report they are referring to threats to the UNHCR
20 personnel and to the delivery of, you know, affecting basically the
21 delivery of humanitarian aid. Do you remember any incident either in
22 January or in February where the UNHCR has been attacked or that you can
23 tell that those threats were actually took place in Mostar or around
24 Mostar? You were dealing with humanitarian aid at that time. Do you
25 remember anything?
1 A. I don't know anything about that.
2 Q. Let's go to Exhibit P 01462. This -- 01462. All right. Well,
3 let's continue. Sir, my apologies. Let's continue with the following
4 exhibit. Do you find it there, do you know?
5 A. No. No.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. [In English] This is only two. [Interpretation] I have not been
8 able to locate the relevant document.
9 Q. We will come back to it. Thank you very much, sir. Let's focus
10 on the -- on the decrees -- on the decisions taken on the 15 and 29
11 April, 1993, sir. Those were exhibits P 01894. P 01894. Yes?
12 A. [In English] Yes. [Interpretation] I have the document, yes.
13 Q. You have -- this is the decision from the municipality of Mostar
14 regarding the changing on the status of refugees and expellees. We
15 have -- you have discussed this decision before in the courtroom. Do you
16 remember now?
17 A. About this decision, yes, I'm aware of it. I remember it.
18 Q. And, sir, in that decision is this true that you had to
19 distribute the humanitarian aid, the Herceg-Bosna, Red Cross from Mostar
20 had to distribute the humanitarian aid according to this decision and to
21 this criteria?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And, sir, they said in that decision, in point III, that
24 previously issued cards cease to be valid and new family card will be
25 issued in the Mostar Centre For Social Work, isn't it?
1 A. That's how I read it, yes.
2 Q. And, sir, basically people that were located in abandoned flats
3 at that time, the refugees and expellees that were occupying abandoned
4 flats in Mostar, they had to leave those flats and move to collective
5 centres, isn't it, by this decision?
6 A. According to this decision, only the internally displaced
7 persons, i.e., those who were able to return to their liberated homes, to
8 put it that way. It applied to them. They were supposed to return to
9 their original places of residence. It did not apply to the refugees and
10 expellees proper.
11 Q. And, sir, and they have 15 days, or it was -- it would take 15
12 days to apply this decision -- to comply with this decision, isn't it?
13 A. Well, if it's in the text, then I suppose that --
14 Q. Yes?
15 A. -- that's true.
16 Q. Sorry, sir. It's para IV of that decision. If you see it at the
17 end of para IV of the that decision it says items listed in that decision
18 shall be done within 15 days of the adoption of this decision.
19 A. I don't see it. I don't know.
20 Q. Para
21 A. I see it but I don't know what you question is, and I don't know
22 how to answer the question.
23 Q. My question was would you agree with me, sir, that in para IV it
24 says that this decision will be implemented or done within 15 days of the
25 date of adoption of it? Isn't it?
1 A. Every decision that was valid had its implementation deadline and
2 an institution that was in charge of its implementation. That's why all
3 this information is contained within the body of this text as well.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prlic.
5 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] I really don't want to
6 intervene, but this is going beyond any point. For the second time the
7 witness is asked something that is not reflected in the text. I'm
8 reading the text like everybody else in the courtroom, and in Article IV
9 you can see that it refers to schools very clearly, that people have to
10 move out of the schools within 15 days. In his question the Prosecutor
11 distorts that, just like a while ago and on page 15, line 19, he himself
12 reading that text of the Exhibit P 01259, he read the HVO government
13 although the word government does not exist in the text.
14 I would kindly ask the Prosecutor to adhere to the text when
15 putting his questions, because the record does not reflect the veracity
16 of the exhibits that we have before us at the same time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, Mr. Prlic
18 points out that paragraph IV of the decision refers to schools and that
19 there was a deadline of 14 days, but that would apply to schools. Does
20 this change anything to your approach?
21 MR. LONGONE: Maybe -- maybe if you read -- if we read para IV,
22 it clearly refers to paragraph I, II, and III. So basically people that
23 are living in abandoned flats or any other places between the --
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Longone. I wonder whether you
25 are not in an unnecessary error, as it were. You quote paragraph IV or
1 numeral IV as Mr. Karnavas calls them, Roman IV. Wouldn't V be more
2 germane to this issue?
3 MR. LONGONE: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
4 Q. And para V of that decision, sir, it says that:
5 "This decision shall enter into effect on the date of its
6 adoption and shall be implemented as of 15 April 1993."
7 Do you see that, sir?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 MR. LONGONE: And thank you very much, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps one -- if you allow. May I just -- I'm
12 sorry. Perhaps it's the same.
13 15th of April. That is the same day the decision is signed. Is
14 that -- is that correct? Would you agree? I mean, you don't have to
15 agree because that's what we read here, unless you know doing else. Have
16 you known about this decision?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was aware of this decision
18 and the implementation of this decision was not as fast as it was
19 originally conceived.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That is very plausible indeed. Can you say more
21 about the implementation? I'm sorry if I'm stepping on your feet.
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, I have a problem
23 with the relevance of this exhibit. Indeed you mentioned the date of the
24 entry into force of the decision, but in paragraph or Article IV, we are
25 talking about buildings reserved for school purposes. I don't
1 understand. So where is your point with regard to the date of entry into
2 force of the decision regarding the expulsion of individuals, or does it
3 have to do with the use of the premises?
4 MR. LONGONE: Thank you very much, Your Honour. My point is that
5 this is a decision passed on the 15 April 1993, and basically it's saying
6 that cards for these refugees and expellees, they're going to -- they
7 list who they're going to receive or they're only going to be issued to
8 persons who are not staying in abandoned flats or apartments in Mostar.
9 So basically they have to leave those flats those expellees and
10 refugees in order to get the refugee card, which is going to be issued in
11 the Mostar Centre for Social Work, and the ones that cannot go somewhere
12 else, they have to be there, they are going to be accommodated in those
13 schools which the witness yesterday in cross-examination or during -- I
14 think in cross-examination with one of counsel said that he didn't
15 remember whether in January -- whether in May 1993 the people were going
16 to school or not.
17 And at the end, as Judge Trechsel pointed out, clearly they have
18 a very limited time to comply with this decision. These are people in
19 need, and we were referring to the fact -- the witness referred that
20 there were 30.000 or 38.000 people in Mostar, that there were more than
21 8.000 refugees, children and women, and they were given such a short
22 period of time to get out of these apartments. That's the relevance of
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Let me try to be of some assistant here to all
25 the parties and to the establishment of the truth. We must distinguish
1 two things, obviously, and I come back to you, Witness.
2 We have this issue of the schools, and there there's a deadline
3 of 14 -- 15 days until which the school must be vacated.
4 In paragraph V, the entry into force is fixed as -- or, rather,
5 the implementation as of 15 April. It does not mean -- it does not say
6 by 15 April but as of, and maybe the interpreters can assist in
7 explaining whether there is this difference in the original text. But I
8 have asked a question of the witness which then was passed under the
9 carpet, and I'll draw it from the carpet.
10 I'll ask you, Mr. Simunovic, can you give us an indication as to
11 whether and, if so, in what time space this decision was actually
12 implemented as far as apartments are concerned and as far as schools are
13 concerned, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, Your Honour, I
15 would like to give you my perspective of this decision, what its
16 intention was, especially from the point of view of my position and need
17 to distribute the humanitarian aid to those in need.
18 This was the time when there wasn't --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Simunovic, but we have to keep in
20 order, and I would like you to answer my question, which does not go to
21 the explanation of why these were, but how did the implementation run?
22 Was it implemented, and by which time, at what catence for both
23 eventualities, please.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have the exact indicators.
25 I can't tell you because it was a long time ago, but I know that
1 displaced persons from the territory of the municipality referred to
2 under item II, those were internally displaced persons. They were not
3 refugees and expellees. Anybody who was able to return to their
4 abandoned homes did so, or they filed a request to help them with
5 construction and building materials or in any other way or form to help
6 them prepare their house for return.
7 The implementation of this decision for the category of users
8 under II was launched on this date, and the implementation lasted for a
9 while after that.
10 And it says under III
11 would be renew -- reissued new IDs, which is only normal, if they return
12 to their original place of residence.
13 As far as item IV is concerned, it applied exclusively --
14 exclusively to the refugees, expellees who were accommodated in
15 collective accommodation, i.e., in schools and other educational
17 The reason was the beginning of that school year an urgent
18 reaction was called for. However, the Prosecutor, in his questions, said
19 that people who left these facilities wouldn't nowhere to be
20 accommodated. And it says clearly here that they would be accommodated
21 at other collective accommodation facilities, and that's how this
22 decision was implemented.
23 This decision refers to three categories of people, military --
24 militarily able-bodied men, internally displaced persons, and refugees
25 and expellees who were accommodated in collective accommodation.
1 The decision came into force on this day, and its implementation
2 was taking place for a while on the ground. And let's just understand
3 that 20 or so days after the issuing of this decision the conflict broke
4 out. So it is really questionable to which extent this decision could be
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to put a
7 question to you but from another perspective, seen from the respective
8 authorities of the HVO and of the municipality.
9 Let's look at this decision. We shall notice that Mr. Topic
10 makes decisions that have to do with the fate of displaced people,
11 expellees, and refugees.
12 Paragraph number II, he says therein that people from Mostar --
13 or that in Mostar and that hail from other liberated municipalities have
14 to return to their own municipalities. So Mr. Topic was of the view that
15 he had the power to regulate the movements of people.
16 Such a decision, was that not within the purview of the HVO
17 government, which had another authority than that of a municipal body
18 that sees problems only from the perspective of the municipality? Here,
19 however, we can see that Mr. Topic takes it on himself to say that a
20 refugee hailing, say, from Jablanica, a Croat, would have to return to
21 Jablanica if Jablanica was liberated. That's just an example.
22 So looking at this document, I wonder what is the scope of the
23 powers of the HVO government and of the municipality.
24 You were in Mostar, and you had a position within the Red Cross.
25 And who had the last word, the final word on the issue of displaced
1 persons, expellees, and refugees? Was it the municipality or was it the
2 HVO government?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understand what
4 you're saying. If we look at paragraph II of this decision, the entire
5 text here is in reference to persons from Mostar municipality. Mr. Topic
6 wasn't doing anything that was outside the framework of Mostar
8 We look at paragraph IV. Likewise, these were people who were
9 put up within Mostar municipality in schools.
10 What this decision does, it makes sure they have sufficient
11 accommodation, again in Mostar municipality, but this time round at a
12 different location.
13 Therefore, this decision is only to be understood as the
14 responsibility of the person who had it adopted, and I don't believe that
15 in the case at hand the person that went beyond their powers or
16 authority. And all of this is in reference to Mostar municipality alone.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 MR. LONGONE: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
19 Q. And, Witness, just to recap on this and to continue, you said you
20 have to apply this decision. The Red Cross from Herceg-Bosna Mostar had
21 to apply this decision when distributing humanitarian aid. That's what
22 you said before, isn't it?
23 A. I apologise. As yesterday, I would really like to ask you one
24 thing. When you're talking about the Mostar municipality Red Cross --
25 Q. Excuse me sir.
1 A. Can you please just make --
2 Q. Excuse me, sir I am the one putting questions to you. You are
3 the witness and I'm the Prosecution and my question was just to recap on
4 the issue that was discussed, you said you have to apply this decision
5 from Mostar municipality in the distribution of humanitarian aid and you
6 said yes, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And, sir --
9 A. I do apologise. Perhaps you've got me wrong.
10 Q. Sir, and in paragraph I, in order to get the card that will allow
11 you to get the humanitarian aid, you have to move out from abandoned
12 apartments, were not staying in abandoned apartments, isn't it?
13 A. So cards for refugees and displaced persons were only awarded to
14 persons between 1 and 17 years of age. Men over 60 years of age and
15 women over 55 years of age who were not staying in an abandoned flat and
16 had arrived from one of the occupied areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the
17 Republic of Croatia
18 from elsewhere in Mostar municipality, from non-occupied areas of the
19 Republic of Croatia
20 It is stated here with the greatest of clarity what age group
21 this refers to and what type of accommodation these persons would be
22 entitled to.
23 This decision partly has to do with paragraph II as well.
24 Internally displaced persons living in abandoned flats were meant to go
25 back to their own original areas. The rest of them were supposed to
1 monitor the age group stated here.
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir. And if we can move now to Exhibit 1D
3 01083. 1D -- that's in the small -- in that -- in that binder. Yes,
4 sir. 1D 01083.
5 This exhibit was discussed early in this week with you, and it
6 refers to -- to the issuing of refugee cards, but in this case it's not
7 Mostar but is in Jablanica, and it's dated 19 March 1993.
8 Sir, would you agree with me that in paragraph I of this order it
9 says that:
10 "Until further notice, the Red Cross shall issue refugee cards
11 with temporary residence to refugees and displaced persons who are not
12 military conscripts and arrive in Jablanica municipality after ... the
13 order of 10 March 1993
14 It's referring that in this case, the Red Cross shall issue
15 refugee cards, isn't it?
16 A. Yes. This is what was going on in Jablanica. That's what the
17 document claims, and I have no reason to disbelieve what it says.
18 Q. So basically in Mostar it was the social welfare office that will
19 distribute or will issue the refugee cards, and here in Jablanica was the
20 Red Cross. That's what the difference are.
21 A. Yes, this was done by one and the same person. The gentleman who
22 was in charge of the Red Cross was a social worker in Jablanica
23 municipality at the same time. Two positions, and one person alone,
24 Nedzad Mucic [phoen].
25 Q. Thank you. Sir, if we now go to the big binder, the one that
1 bears the Prosecution exhibits.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before moving on to the next
3 binder, Witness, there's something I don't understand. Yesterday you
4 said that the Red Cross was neutral, unbiased, impartial and so on.
5 A certain criteria were to be abided by the Red Cross. And we
6 now have a document which states purportedly that the municipality has
7 given the Red Cross some orders and has stated that some cards should not
8 be given.
9 If the Red Cross is impartial and independent, it's for the Red
10 Cross to hand out those cards according to its own criteria, not
11 according to the criteria of the municipality.
12 How can you explain this, that a municipality can give
13 instructions to the Red Cross on the way in which it needs to manage the
14 situation, i.e., people who are in difficulty for a number of reasons.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we compare the two
16 situations, Jablanica and Mostar, the number of persons in need differed
17 dramatically between the two. The Mostar Red Cross had neither the
18 facilities necessary nor the professional staff that would have been
19 required to categorise all those who were in need of humanitarian aid.
20 We received our information from technically well-versed
21 institutions, professionals in the field, and we tried to get as much aid
22 for distribution to all the categories mentioned by those institutions.
23 Everything that had to do with aid for refugees, any aid that arrived
24 from the UNHCR. It was the UNHCR that asked to speak to government
25 bodies, and we were merely a partner in charge of reception and
2 We were also supposed to monitor the distribution process itself
3 on the ground, made sure that everything was delivered to whichever local
4 communes were involved, make sure the quantities were right and check all
5 the files. We saw yesterday how that was done.
6 If I may, I would just like to say something else. Being
7 involved in the collection of humanitarian aid, it almost became a
8 profession. These people didn't have any other jobs. But they went to
9 all the places where they thought they could get something, get
10 humanitarian aid, in order to get it and deliver it to those in need.
11 There had to be some sort of order. The Red Cross was not responsible
12 for keeping order. Government institutions would have been. The
13 authorities would have been. The Red Cross never turned away anyone who
14 came seeking assistance whenever assistance was possible.
15 So if you ask me, these are two different matters. I was not a
16 government official. I was working for the Red Cross. I was doing my
17 job. People from the Mostar HVO were also doing their jobs. And I think
18 they were doing their jobs well.
19 If you look at the cards, if you look at the files, if you look
20 at the way the records were kept, they did a very good job, and much of
21 their job was about helping us, helping us get on with our work and
22 helping us to turn away those who were only shamming they were in need.
23 Everybody wanted something. It was difficult to tell if someone was just
24 shamming or someone was really a needy person.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, my question did not relate
1 to the quality of your work. I'm sure you had to face these different
2 situations. But the question I have is how could you receive orders from
3 the municipality in this area? That's what my question is about, because
4 this document shows that the Red Cross needs to obey the orders. You are
5 neutral, impartial, independent. This is what I find hard to understand.
6 You've just told me that there were reasons for this. I am
7 prepared to acknowledge your reasons, but from the outside it's difficult
8 to understand that a body like yours can receive orders from a
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, Mr. President, perhaps the gentleman
11 may be looking at the wrong document. I suspect that your question goes
12 to the Jablanica municipality document, which is 1D 01083.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: And perhaps in that context --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. My question was based on
16 document ID 1083. Maybe you didn't have that right document in front of
18 In this document the municipality gives instructions to the Red
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Incidentally, I happen to know
21 this, and I did say that a while ago. The person who was in charge of
22 the Red Cross was the only official and the person responsible for social
23 welfare in Jablanica municipality. I assume that that was the reason.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I understand better
1 MR. LONGONE: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Your
3 Q. Sir, you mentioned yesterday that on the 9th of May when all the
4 people -- the Bosnian Muslim population from Mostar was -- was arrested
5 in the Heliodrom, you mentioned that you saw that on the TV, on the
6 evening news; if I may recall, correct?
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Are you sure that you want -- are
8 you sure that you wanted to say that all the Muslims people were
9 arrested? I find that a bit going beyond what we've heard so far.
10 MR. LONGONE:
11 Q. Bosnian Muslim people were transferred to the -- to the
12 Heliodrom. And I remember you mentioned that you have seen that on the
13 news or on the TV.
14 A. As I explained, I got more information from the evening news than
15 I had known the same morning when I came to work, and that's why I talked
16 about TV.
17 Q. All right, sir. And going back, we were discussing the concerns
18 about the distribution of humanitarian aid, highlighted or -- by the
19 international organisations, and the threats posed to UNHCR workers,
20 humanitarian aid workers, and references to Mr. Darinko Tadic. And, sir,
21 do you remember what happened after this decision that we were discussing
22 from changing the refugee status of -- changing the refugee status in
23 Mostar, whether it was any public appeal on the TV or in the radio
24 regarding this -- this decision and the effect of this decision? Do you
25 recall anything, sir?
1 A. I don't know anything about that.
2 Q. So let me refresh are your recollection. Let's go to Exhibit
3 P 01941. Do you have the exhibit, sir?
4 A. 1941, yes.
5 Q. All right, sir. And this -- this document is dated 18 April
6 1993, so three days after the decision changing the status of refugees in
7 Mostar. It's dated Siroki Brijeg, 18 April 1993. It's addressed to all
8 Herceg-Bosna, Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, radio and television
9 stations. And if you see at the end of that document, at the bottom of
10 the B/C/S version of it, it says, "Mr. Darinko Tadic, Department Head."
11 And basically, sir, let me read the first part of this document to assist
12 to refresh your recollection:
13 "At a time when the Croatian people are under attack by those to
14 whom the Croatian people have extend the hand of salvation, have cared
15 for, protected, fed and housed in the Republic of Croatia
16 the Herceg-Bosna community, hundreds of thousands of Muslim mothers,
17 children, the elderly and frail, now in return for all this, their
18 fathers and brothers are destroying and burning Croatian homes, and their
19 families killing our women, elderly and frail.
20 "For this reason it is realistic to expect a large number of
21 Croats from Central Bosnia and Northern Herzegovina seeking safety,
22 fleeing before terror. We want to use this opportunity to appeal and
23 call on all people who have compassion for the suffering and miseries of
24 the Croats from the areas at risk to make themselves known if they are
25 able to offer shelter and simply help our people."
1 And the document goes on saying that they can apply for helping
2 them with the office of expelled -- ODPR, basically, the HVO office in
3 Siroki Brijeg and in Mostar.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, at this point, I would object to any
5 questions following from this particular document if he's trying to link
6 it up earlier. Firstly he said let me refresh your recollection, and I
7 suggest that you cannot refresh a recollection unless one has a
8 recollection. He's indicated he didn't remember and, of course, he never
9 stated anything and this document has nothing to do with the gentleman.
10 Secondly, it has nothing to do with April 15th. This April 15th
11 implementation of that particular decision, what does it have to do with
12 this particular document? Absolutely nothing. So how is he able to link
13 one to the other and then dare say, "Let me refresh your recollection."
14 Now, perhaps he wishes to ask another line of questions, which
15 may be perfectly fine, but I don't think that you can rely -- you can
16 link one with the other. And of course we don't know where this went to.
17 And it doesn't show that it went to the gentleman.
18 If, for instance, this document had gone to the Mostar municipal
19 Red Cross, you may be able to say, "Well, did you look at it, and if so,
20 does this refresh your recollection?" But not only does it not have
21 anything as far as the distribution list, but also if you look at the
22 original, Your Honours, you will see that there's no signature to this.
23 There's no stamp. There's nothing. Who created this document? How it
24 came about, who knows? But I don't think that this is proper
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Longone, what did you do --
2 what did you want to do exactly? Did you want to refresh his memory,
3 address another topic? Personally, I'm not quite sure what you wanted to
5 MR. LONGONE: Sir, we are going to get into that part of the --
6 of the cross-examination, but basically what I was asking the witness
7 from the very beginning is about the concerns that international
8 community have about the situation of humanitarian aid and about the
9 situation in Mostar; and he didn't remember anything about the concerns
10 that were highlighted by the UNHCR, although he has been working for
11 UNHCR and in contact with them as he has recognised it all the time. We
12 are talking about now of people being move out from flats in Mostar
13 and -- there are a lot of refugees, Bosnian Muslim refugees in Mostar who
14 have to reapply again and move out of the flats in order to get some
15 cards, in order to get some humanitarian aid, and we have this public
16 appeal referring to the fact that some people -- that many refugees
17 from -- from Central Bosnia and from the north of Herzegovina are being
18 called to come, to take refuge.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, this is a mischaracterisation of the
20 document. And if I may use one word: Serendipity. It could be that
21 there's just a timing of situations happening one place and another
22 situation happening in another and to try to link it as if one has
23 something to do with the other, I think is a far stretch.
24 MR. LONGONE: Sir -- Your Honours, if I can continue with the
25 cross-examination and Your Honours will see where I'm trying to go with
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just one moment.
4 There's something which I disagree about, because you said that this is
5 an appeal launched to the Croats so that they come and settle in Mostar
6 or somewhere else.
7 On reading this document, I don't read that into the document at
8 all. Maybe you wish to link this document with ethnic cleansing with
9 hindsight, or the other way around. Is that what you wanted to check out
10 with this witness?
11 MR. LONGONE: Sir -- Your Honour, we referred to this -- my
12 apologies. We referred to this meeting in January -- at the end of
13 January 1993 regarding the concerns of the UNHCR and the threats, and
14 basically this document clearly is addressing the people -- the Bosnian
15 Croat people from Central Bosnia and northern of Herzegovina, and is
16 referring to the people that the Bosnian Croats have -- the Muslim people
17 that they have taken care of and saying that now their fathers and
18 brothers, they are killing them. And I just want to -- to address what
19 was the situation in the ground at that time. I mean, all -- all
20 these -- Witness. All these definitely would have an impact in the work
21 of the people distributing humanitarian aid, in the threatens to the
22 people distributing humanitarian aid and in the refugees that are in and
23 around the territory controlled by the Herceg-Bosna authorities, isn't
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, this is collective thinking. I mean,
1 and I object to this line of questioning.
2 Let's assume -- let's assume for the sake of argument that this
3 document is authentic, and let's assume that this individual wrote this
4 document, and I find nothing so horrendous about it; but to suggest now
5 that the Croats who are distributing aid would now not distribute aid to
6 non-Croats as a result of this appeal or events that are happening some
7 place, and to lump them all into one I think is rather outrageous and
8 egregious, and I don't think that the gentleman has provided any
9 foundation for this. It's not relevant and unless he can show some
10 relevance or foundation, and we should just move on.
11 MR. LONGONE: Sir, could --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Put your question and then
13 we'll see. I'm listening to both parties as a Judge. I'm totally lost.
14 Put your question and then we'll see.
15 MR. LONGONE:
16 Q. Witness, is there any link between Bosnians -- moving Bosnians
17 out and Bosnian Croats in, in Mostar?
18 A. I don't know that anything like that was going on, but if I may
19 by Your Honours' leave, the Prosecutor is asking me to have my memory
20 jogged, and then we talked about what went on at Heliodrom, and then this
21 document takes us back a month, and then they were asking me whether I
22 saw something on TV or whether I saw something on radio. Believe me, I'm
23 confused myself.
24 I've never seen this document before.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that you've
1 never seen the document. Whatever the case may be, it's time to have a
2 break now. It is 5.00. We shall have a 30-minute break, but my
3 colleague would like to put a question before the break.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think are -- Mr. Simunovic --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I pressed the button. I have a blinking
7 green light.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge, please. We cannot hear
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Now it's okay. And I didn't do anything to make
11 it okay. That came from the ...
12 Witness, I think that you have not seen this document. It's not
13 surprising, because it has been addressed to radio and TV stations, and
14 as far as we've heard so far, you, yourself, were neither. The question
15 is whether you have heard about it, be it directly by listening to the
16 radio, watching TV, be it indirectly by hearsay, by other people telling
17 you, "Did you hear?" "I heard on the radio."
18 Have you, in this indirect, perhaps, way have any knowledge of
19 this appeal?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Hvala ljepo.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall have our one and only
23 break for this afternoon now.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.00 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 5.31 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, you may
3 MR. LONGONE:
4 Q. Sir, going back to Exhibit P 02151.
5 A. 02151, yes. Is that the exhibit?
6 Q. And this is an exhibit that you have been put before, sir, and
7 it's referring to the reasons why the Merhamet were pulling out from
8 Mostar, coordinating committee. And it refers to -- to the decree that
9 we have discussed before, the Mostar -- the Mostar decision regarding the
10 changing on the refugee status. And, sir, I will address you to the
11 exposition of the reasons and number 3 of it, and the second para --
12 third para after -- under that -- that point it states that:
13 "The realisation of the third predominantly important goal, the
14 relocation of the displaced and expelled homeless people in this way," in
15 the way of that decree, "is not only unlawful but also contrary to the
16 general principles of humanitarianism and public conscience."
17 Do you remember, sir, in your meetings with the Merhamet any
18 reference to these concern from them about the Mostar decree -- Mostar
19 decision of April 1993?
20 A. The problems regarding the implementation of the decision were
21 considered at the coordination committee meetings and certain activities
22 pertaining to our conclusions were incorporated into our subsequent
24 This conclusion in its written form was never the subject of
25 discussions at any meetings, and Mr. Sahovic as representative at that
1 meeting said that if the decision were to be implemented to the letter,
2 and he was referring to the first decision, that they would consider
3 further possibilities for Merhamet remaining on the coordination
5 I saw this document for the first time as I was proofed for this
6 testimony and again today, now.
7 Q. Now, sir, when you're referring to the meeting that you have with
8 the Merhamet, that's the same date, the 30 April 1993? To that meeting
9 you refer to?
10 A. Yes. I meant that meeting, yes.
11 Q. Sir, we have seen a couple of documents referring to the Merhamet
12 and to the people working for the Merhamet. Have you ever heard that
13 they were harassed or they have problems when complying with their
15 A. As far as I know, no. I never received any information with this
16 regard, but I would like to say that the mandate of Merhamet differed
17 very much from the mandate of the Red Cross. I don't want to put the two
18 organisations at the same level and given the same status. And it is
19 very important when distinguishing between the reactions on the part of
20 the two organisations.
21 Q. Sir, my question was if you recall any harassment to the people
22 of the Merhamet. I don't want to compare with the Red Cross in Mostar.
23 Do you recall anything about it, any concern flagged by them in the
24 meetings you had with them?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So I want to show you Exhibit P 03461. And do you have the
2 exhibit, sir? P 03461.
3 A. 03461, yes.
4 Q. And this is a document from the military police, 6th Company of
5 the 1st Battalion, dated 15 July 1993
6 1993, the vehicle and the telefax machine from Merhamet, in Ljubuski all
7 goods has been ceased and handed over to the Criminal Investigative
8 Service. Do you remember anything of that, sir, the seizing of goods of
9 the Merhamet at that time?
10 A. I apologise. I cooperated with the Merhamet of Mostar and I have
11 no knowledge of any such thing. I've never heard this before or seen --
12 seen it.
13 If the Prosecutor will allow me to say something that I would
14 like to say about the Red Cross organisation. I've been inspired by this
15 particular document. If you allow me.
16 The premises of the Red Cross in Mostar were broken into three
17 times between 1993 and 1996, and every time the complete documentation
18 was destroyed as well as the computers. Their cars were stolen and so on
19 and so forth. In other words, humanitarian organisations were often
20 targeted because people believed that they had money, food, and other
21 such things.
22 What I'm saying is that I'm not establishing any links with what
23 is contained herein, but I am just saying that we also had problems with
24 people who looked at the whole situation in a somewhat different way.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that we
1 have the same situation again. The question implied something that
2 really doesn't have anything to do with the document. My learned friend
3 asked literally whether the witness remembered some situations of
4 harassment, that people were harassed, that people -- the officials of
5 Merhamet were harassed.
6 This document cannot have nothing to do with harassment, because
7 anything can be behind this document. The first could be a criminal
8 procedure or any other such thing.
9 There's no harassment here because this is done by legal organs
10 who write their legal reports. It's very difficult to assume that this
11 could be harassment.
12 Second of all, they did not intervene against people from
13 Merhamet. They took their vehicle and their telefax, and it transpires
14 from this note that this was the kind of intervention that the Crime
15 Prevention Service is often engaged in as part of their criminal
16 investigation. So there's no way we would talk about harassment. By
17 putting the question in that way it was suggested to the witness that
18 this was a case of harassment or ill-treatment of the Merhamet officials.
19 That's how I understood the question, and this does not arise from this
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, if you speak of
22 harassment, I suppose you have a series of facts in mind to support this.
23 They have to be ascertained and approved by the witness.
24 MR. LONGONE: Thank you, sir, and --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may add a question. I must confess I find
1 this document very cryptic, because it says, "assisting criminal
2 investigation." What kind of investigation? Against whom? Against --
3 against Merhamet, or did Merhamet complain that it was stolen, and then
4 it was found somewhere and seized with a view to handing it back? I find
5 this completely inconclusive, and unless you can put it in a context so
6 we can understand what it really means, I'm afraid it's -- it's pretty
7 useless. I'm sorry.
8 MR. LONGONE:
9 Q. Sir, we were referring to the activity of the Merhamet, and if
10 you see -- we have seen Exhibit 1D 2572. It's from the first binder, the
11 small binder from the Defence. Yes. That one. 1D 2572. And you
12 have -- you remember that you -- you mentioned -- you saw this document
13 before, and you mentioned that you knew Mr. Zijad Demirovic.
14 A. Just partially. I did not see the document, but I knew the
15 gentleman who signed it.
16 Q. Do you know what happened with Mr. Zijad Demirovic was assisting
17 the Merhamet here in the -- in the entering and the distribution of some
18 humanitarian aid to the Muslims of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this line of
20 questioning. First of all, one has nothing to do with the other. He's
21 trying to tie in somehow that Mr. Demirovic, because he was assisting in
22 Merhamet, something happened to him. The gentleman happened to be the
23 head of the regional office of the SDA, which is the Muslim political
25 I do object to this. You cannot link one with the other.
1 MR. LONGONE: Your Honours. Your Honours, yesterday the witness
2 said that he found quite improper that the -- a member of the SDA was
3 also a member of the Merhamet and assisting or working on -- with
4 humanitarian aid.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I like to see the page number and the line for
6 that. He never indicated that Mr. Demirovic was working for Merhamet.
7 He indicated quite clearly that he was the head of the regional SDA.
8 That was -- and then there was a question from Judge Trechsel. This
9 occurred on Monday.
10 So I would like to have the page where there is that claim. And
11 while we're at it, it should be noted that this is the Office Of
12 Displaced Persons and Refugees and the seeds are coming from Croatia
13 from Ploce and going through.
14 MR. LONGONE:
15 Q. Sir -- sir, on page 33468, line 8 until line 11 of your
16 testimony, you said:
17 "To tell you the truth, I have never seen this document before,
18 and I found it -- I find it very illogical to see direct involvement,
19 direct involvement of a political party in the work of a humanitarian
20 organisation. That never happened with our organisation."
21 That's what you said, sir. My question, sir, is do you know what
22 happened with Mr. Demirovic in 1993, after May 4, 1993?
23 A. No, I don't.
24 Q. Now, sir, let's go to Exhibit 1D 02721. This is a document from
25 Stolac, dated 13 July 1992
1 a board for the collection of humanitarian aid. All this board for
2 collecting humanitarian aid. And you see among the people in the board
3 is the Merhamet. You have the Red Cross from Stolac, the Merhamet, and
4 Caritas, isn't it?
5 A. That's what I see in the document, yes.
6 Q. And, sir, do you know Mehmed Kapic?
7 A. I don't know a single person from this list.
8 Q. Sir, so I would like to point you now to Exhibit P 04838. This
9 document is from the Military Police Administration, dated 6 September
11 Do you have the document with you, sir?
12 A. Yes, I've found it.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... do you see there, sir, that
14 Dr. Mehmed Kapic is being transferred from the district prison in Gabela
15 to the central military prison in Ljubuski? Do you see that, sir?
16 A. Yes, I can see that.
17 Q. And, sir, in -- I will address you to Exhibit P 76 -- P 07605.
18 7605. This document is -- did you find it? It is possible that it is a
19 bit further. There are a lot of documents on the other side as well.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, it's not in the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I haven't got that one.
23 MR. KHAN: It's not in the binder.
24 MR. LONGONE:
25 Q. Can you please look at e-court, sir? You have the document in
1 e-court. My apologies if it's not in the binder. I will verify what is
2 not in the binder in the break.
3 Sir, if you see in the document, it's dated 25 January 1994, and
4 this is a letter referring to -- to a letter from -- addressed to
5 Mate Boban and from the Croatian authorities referring to a letter
6 received from a representative from the European parliament,
7 Dr. Arie Oostalander, who is a politically very highly-placed person and
8 who is a friend of Croatia
9 And in this letter he's saying that he's requesting the
10 authorities of Croatia
11 imprisoned in Ljubuski. This is in 25th January 1994. And according to
12 what he says in the letter, he says that he's convinced that those
13 people, that the European representative, are innocent and that the Croat
14 authorities have been holding them unlawfully?
15 And in the list of people there, sir, you have Mr. Mehmed Kapic,
16 and you have Zijad Demirovic. Do you see that, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... those are the people working
19 for Merhamet, isn't it?
20 A. This is just one of the people. Mr. Kapic also worked for
21 Merhamet. Mr. Demirovic was in the party, as far as I can tell based on
22 the document.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have another
24 objection. Again the document has been misinterpreted by the
25 Prosecution. My learned friend says that in the letter it says that the
1 persons in the list, if they are innocent, that they should be released,
2 and this is a misquote.
3 In the letter, in the second paragraph before the names, it says
4 and I quote -- and I can't see it in the English version, I must admit.
5 Maybe it is. It says in the Croatian version:
6 "I would like to ask you to use your authority to remove any
7 doubt that this was arbitrary and unlawful act and to release these
8 people if they are innocent."
9 Therefore, the intervention that arrived in Croatia contained
10 information about some sort of proceedings. In this case this was a
11 criminal proceedings which we saw in the previous documents. It doesn't
12 say anywhere that these people are innocent and they should be released.
13 There is a reservation expressed here, a doubt in the words, "if they are
14 innocent, they should be released."
15 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't
16 like to jump the gun or act in haste, but I believe that the Prosecution
17 is trying to draw a conclusion that this was a person which was
18 imprisoned unlawfully. The previous document that the Prosecution showed
19 us calls for the transfer from the district prison in order to undertake
20 some investigation proceedings. In the there is P 07533 which contains a
21 worth by Mr. Biskic which refers to Mr. Kapic, who is referred to in here
22 in which it says that an investigation has been launched against the
23 gentleman before the competent court and before the investigation is over
24 he cannot say whether the person is innocent or not, and in the spirit of
25 what His Honour Trechsel said, just a little while ago, I'd like to say
1 that we lack a whole plethora of data that would allow us to construct a
2 conclusion. We have to know whether there was indeed an investigation,
3 how it was carried out and what the outcome of the investigation was. We
4 can't tell that based on the two documents that have been presented to
5 us, and I don't see fit to draw any conclusions without any further
7 Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Two remarks, Prosecutor. The
9 document 4838 signed by Mr. Coric mentions criminal investigating
10 procedures against Mr. Kapic and his -- the latter's transfer is
11 requested, for him to be transferred to the military investigation centre
12 in Ljubuski. That's the first document in September.
13 Several months later, in January, on the 25th of January, 1994
14 Croatian deputy wrote to Mr. Boban to speak about a group of Muslim
15 intellectuals, including Kapic, who, from what the deputy says, were
16 innocent and unlawfully detained, but the deputy being a cautious man
17 said that -- or invited Mr. Boban to use his authority, but he's cautious
18 enough to say "if they are innocent." So there it is. [In English] "If
19 they are innocent." [Interpretation] That's in the text. So that's the
20 situation as it is.
21 So please proceed.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, I would like to -- to add an observation
23 that I can't help making. I find it rather surprising that the chief of
24 the military police within, apparently, allegedly criminal
25 investigations, asks a military commander for the transfer of these
1 prisoners from one prison to another. He does not order so. He does not
2 ask the public prosecutor or a judge but the military commander. I think
3 the witness is probably not the proper witness to make -- give any
4 explanations, but I thought it was necessary to be transparent, to convey
5 these questions and this puzzlement to whoever is listening. Thank you.
6 MR. LONGONE: And --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor.
8 MR. LONGONE: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Please, if you are -- I want you to refer to Exhibit P 07533,
10 7533. Do you have it, sir?
11 A. I think there are several documents involved.
12 Q. Yes, sir. That's correct.
13 A. And there's a portion -- there's an entire page that is blank,
15 Q. Yes, sir. And the first page in B/C/S, you can see that it's
16 addressed to Mrs. Spomenka Cek from the embassy of Herceg-Bosna and to
17 the service for exchange of prisoners, Berislav Pusic. You see that on
18 the first page, you have that in front of you?
19 A. Yes, yes, I see that.
20 Q. And referring to that, there is a report that is attached to the
21 document, and that's why you have several pages.
22 Now if you get into the report, sir, in page 1, in paragraph 1 it
23 says addressed to Colonel Marijan Biskic, Defence minister deputy for
24 security on the 8th January, 1994; and there it says, sir, in paragraph 1
25 that Dr. Mehmed Kapic has been arrested by the HVO military police on the
1 occasion of closing down the Stolac hospital. He says that he was placed
2 in Gabela prison on 10 May 1993
3 transferred to Ljubuski military prison where he still remains.
4 The reason for his apprehension was of a preventive nature due to
5 a Muslim aggression.
6 MR. KOVACIC: And, and it should be read further, to paragraph
7 under point 2 where is specific explanation.
8 MR. LONGONE: Counsel, I didn't finish to do my
9 cross-examination. Could I continue?
10 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, yes, but you cannot put the witness in an
11 ambiguous position.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, wait. The
13 Prosecutor hadn't finished his question. He was going to read on and
14 mention a point 2, I assume.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Previous translation continues] ... because he was
16 addressing the witness. I'm really sorry.
17 MR. LONGONE:
18 Q. And if you see, sir, basically it says that this person has been
19 arrested in May 1993, and this report is from January 1994, and it says
20 that the reason for his apprehension was of a preventive nature due to a
21 Muslim aggression, and then refers in paragraph 2 to a criminal report
22 against him filed in November 1993.
23 So he was arrested on 10 May 1993, and in November, 26 November
24 1993, there was a report filed against him on the grounds of a reasonable
25 doubt that he committed a criminal act of armed mutiny described in that
1 law that is stated there.
2 And at the end of that paragraph, sir, it says that an
3 investigation is under way after which the court proceedings shall take
4 place. And the last part of that paragraph says:
5 "As for the inquiries, possibility to allow access to the
6 official representative of the Federal Republic of Germany or to those of
7 Human Rights Organisation, we have been advised that during the course of
8 the investigation no one is allowed to have access or insight in the
9 entire file for the sake of the security of the investigation itself and
10 that when the court proceedings start which will be open to the public
11 any interested party will be allowed to attend."
12 Do you see that, sir?
13 A. Yes, I see that, but I don't see any link to humanitarian
14 activity. I don't see any link to what I did to my mission, particularly
15 given the fact that these are other places, other municipalities.
16 Q. Sir, isn't true that the operations of Merhamet were disrupted by
17 HVO arrests? Is this not a clear example of that?
18 A. I don't know in what capacity this gentleman was acting when
19 these things were happening. This has nothing to do with the work and
20 activity of Merhamet. This has to do with a particular person.
21 Q. Sir, let's go back to the --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor is
23 putting a question to you and asking you whether Kapic's arrest led to
24 inconveniences for Merhamet, and you answered by saying that you didn't
25 know what Mr. Kapic was doing.
1 From what I understood yesterday or the day before, Merhamet
2 continued working in Mostar and elsewhere together with Caritas, the Red
3 Crescent and the Red Cross. In January 1994, in December 1993, in
4 November 1993
5 active or was Merhamet no longer active because one or several of its
6 representatives were in gaol?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I know is about the Mostar
8 Merhamet and its situation. The Mostar Merhamet, humanitarian
9 organisation was now back to working with the coordinating committee on
10 the 15th of June, 1993.
11 What happened in Stolac or other municipalities involving
12 Merhamet, believe me, I have no idea.
13 MR. LONGONE: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
14 Q. Sir, let's go back to Exhibit 1D 02763. That's in the Defence
15 binder. Yes. That small binder. 1D 02763.
16 Sorry. My apologies, Your Honour. These are -- these are
17 outside the binders, and it's -- they are a group of exhibits that I have
18 distributed, and now, usher, could you please provide with those copies
19 to the witness. Could you please provide them. Thank you very much.
20 This was an exhibit used yesterday and the day before yesterday
21 with you, sir. Actually, yesterday. Do you remember, sir? Those
22 were -- those were certificates issued to certificate that all these
23 Muslim people that you recognised were Muslims were working for the
24 Mostar Social Welfare Centre as social workers, and you even mentioned
25 that you used to have coffee with some of them, or prepare the coffee for
1 you, a lady. Do you recall that you have of said to us?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. And, sir -- and do you -- you mentioned that you recall
4 Mr. Marko Bevanda?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And this is from -- dated the 24 May 1993.
7 A. I know Marko Bevanda. I know him personally from before and from
8 later on, without even looking at the date.
9 Q. And these people -- I mean, Mr. Marko Bevanda and -- was working
10 in relation to humanitarian aid? That's it? The welfare -- the Mostar
11 Welfare Centre, is that it, the one distributing humanitarian aid?
12 A. No. Social Welfare Centre did not distribute humanitarian aid.
13 They were in charge of establishing the criteria of distribution and the
14 operative aspect of our work in terms of issuing distribution cards, but
15 they had nothing to do with the distribution process itself. So there
16 you have it.
17 Q. So in -- as you mentioned, he was in charge of establishing the
18 criteria of distribution and the periodic aspect of the work of
19 distributing the cards and receiving humanitarian aid and that's it?
20 A. Yes. No. No, not Mr. Bevanda. The organisation as such, the
21 institution, the Social Welfare Centre which he was in charge of.
22 Q. All right. And, sir, could you please tell me what happened
23 with, for example, Mr. Mehmed Buric, which is mentioned in page 3. What
24 happened with that Bosnian Muslim person during 1993? Do you recall if
25 anything extraordinary happened to him?
1 A. I don't, no.
2 Q. And what about Nafija Kolukcija on page 6? Do you recall
3 anything that had happened to her?
4 A. No.
5 Q. What about Aisa Pervan? Ms. Aisa Pervan. Do you know what
6 happened to her, this Bosnian lady?
7 A. No, but I have no idea which point in time all this is in
8 relation to.
9 Q. Sir, weren't they arrested in May 1993 by the HVO, all these
10 Muslim people?
11 A. Not that I know of. When I look at the date, the information
12 received at the time suggests that everyone was released from Heliodrom.
13 This is the 24th of May. They were all in the Social Welfare Centre.
14 Q. Sir, can you please -- I want you to look at the Exhibit 2373
15 that I gave to you. 2373. It's in the same group of documents that the
16 usher gave to you, sir. We are dealing with this group of documents for
17 the time being. You have the document with you now, sir?
18 A. If that's the one, yes.
19 Q. Right.
20 A. But the one on the screen does not tally with the one that I have
21 in my hand, so ...
22 Q. That's okay, sir. You have the document with you, isn't it.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Sir, this is an order from Mostar dated 13 May 1993, saying that
1 by Mr. Berko Pusic to immediately release the following persons, signed
2 by Stanko Bozic, the warden of Mostar. Yesterday you recognised him.
3 And in that list there are 13 people, and do you recognise the name of
4 Aisa Pervan, sir, the one which was mentioned on page 7? That Bosnian
5 Muslim social worker?
6 A. Yes, as long as it's the same person.
7 Q. Sir, do you remember the person listed under number 12,
8 Ms. Nafija Kolukcija, the person mentioned on page 6, also in Heliodrom?
9 A. We have both exhibits. I remember from yesterday, but I have no
10 idea what went on earlier on.
11 Q. Sir, if we -- if you can please look at Exhibit 2396. In the
12 same -- in the same group. Yeah, exactly, that one.
13 This document is dated Mostar, 14 May 1993, and is signed by the
14 warden of Mostar central remand detention facility, Stanko Bozic, and it
16 "Order. The following persons shall be released on a verbal
17 authorisation from Mr. Berko Pusic."
18 Sir, do you recognise under number 18, Mehmed Buric? That was
19 one of the persons I mention to you working for the social welfare
20 office, a Bosnian Muslim, on page 3 before. Do you recognise him, sir?
21 A. It's probably the same person.
22 Q. Sir, you said that on the 9 of May 1993, in the evening you
23 learned about the arrest of people in the -- in the Heliodrom. These
24 people you mentioned yesterday, they were working with you. They were
25 working in assisting the distribution of humanitarian aid in the welfare
1 office centre.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object to the form of the question
3 unless he can show in his testimony where he used the word "arrest,"
4 first of all, these people were arrested; and also where he said that
5 these people listed they were working with him prior to May 9th. The
6 documents were shown to him in relation to their occupation and exactly
7 what those people did within their respective department. So would ask
8 that the gentleman be very precise when quoting what was said earlier by
9 the witness.
10 MR. LONGONE: Your Honour, these people say that they have been
11 released. Released what? They are in the Heliodrom. They have been
13 MR. KARNAVAS: This is argumentative. It's not matter of what
14 the gentleman thinks happen.
15 MR. LONGONE: Well, the document --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. He's quoting what the witness said
17 during direct examination. Now, if he's going to quote: Page and line.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Longone, the documents
19 state that these people were released. Well, put your question then.
20 Witness --
21 MR. LONGONE: Do you remember, sir --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
23 Yesterday, Witness, I put a question to you. I had not
24 remembered these documents. These documents have already been addressed
25 a long time ago in the presence of other witnesses. Yesterday, I asked
1 you whether you discussed the situation with the employees working in the
2 same centre as you, and you said, No. You said you did not discuss
3 private matters with them. You -- if I remember correctly, you said that
4 you had coffee with one of these people. I don't remember which one: "I
5 didn't know that these people had been arrested. I knew nothing about
7 My question was a much broader one. I wanted to know if all was
8 well with Muslims in West Mostar. So when I put the question to you I
9 wanted to know whether you discussed this situation with these people and
10 you replied by saying that you did not discuss private matters with them.
11 Now when I look at these documents I find it difficult to believe that
12 you didn't know at the time that number 5 and number 12, Aisa Pervan and
13 Nafija Kolukcija had been absent for a few days at least, because if they
14 were arrested on the 9th of May or transferred, whatever term you would
15 like to use, and if an application is made for these people to be
16 released on the 13th of May, for a number of days at least these people
17 did not go in to work. You knew that they hadn't come into work. Did
18 you not know about this? Did you? Could you tell us about this, please?
19 Because when you have two employees who disappear for a few days, and if
20 you're in charge and you don't wonder why, then this is rather
22 If the people I work with do not turn up, I will wonder what the
23 matter is. I will think perhaps that these people are ill or taken ill.
24 Yesterday when I put the question to you, I wanted to know
25 whether these Muslim people had had problems or not, and you answered by
1 saying that you were not involved in their private affairs. Do you
2 remember this or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these are two
4 different institutions, the Social Welfare Centre was in one part of down
5 and the Red Cross was in a different part of down altogether. I had no
6 idea who came to work and who didn't. I have no idea how many days at a
7 time people were absent. I can tell you about the Red Cross people.
8 These here are people that Marko Bevanda was in charge of. I
9 have no idea when they reported to work, how professional they were about
10 their work or whatever they did.
11 Whenever I came across some of these people, even if I knew them,
12 I would never ask them about specifics like that, who came to a meeting,
13 who left, that sort of thing. I never discussed that. And I wasn't
14 physically present in that institution. It wasn't an institution that I
15 myself was in charge of as you seem to have suggested in your question,
16 Your Honour. I am sorry, but that is not just true.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In other words, you
18 had no authority over these people, and in addition, these were people
19 working in different premises. I have noted what you have said.
20 MR. LONGONE:
21 Q. Sir -- thank you very much. Sir, under that basis you said I
22 have no idea who came to work and who didn't. Therefore you have no idea
23 that these people that you referred yesterday that they can move freely
24 you don't know whether they can move freely in Mostar to perform their
25 work, is it, at that time?
1 A. I don't know. We're looking at a three-day period, and one thing
2 I can say with certainty is that over those three days I simply wasn't in
3 touch with them. We talked about the certificates issued on the 24th of
4 May yesterday, 14 or 15 days after the event in relation to those
5 decision or documents, whatever they were called, I commented on that,
6 didn't I? On top of that, I provided an explanation for the benefit of
7 the Presiding Judge two minutes ago, and you should conclude based on
8 that that I knew nothing about the employees of the Social Welfare
9 Centre. I'm sorry but that was just not my responsibility.
10 Q. I'm not suggesting that that was your responsibility, sir. Let's
11 move on, P 04822. If you can address with that exhibit now.
12 Sir, this is a report -- did you find it?
13 A. P 04822. Is that the one we're talking about?
14 Q. Yes, that's the document, sir. We are going to focus on that
16 Sir, this is a document from the commission on human rights,
17 dated 6 September 1993
18 and a special report regarding Mostar and the cause of concern in Mostar.
19 And, sir, the document said that by August -- in para one of that
20 document, it says that:
21 "By August 1993, civilians in the eastern sector of Mostar were
22 entering their second month of blockade of -- by Bosnian Croat forces.
23 The fate of all civilians in the city was cause for great concern
24 following reports of mass arrests, forced labour, evictions, and rape
25 carried out in the name of ethnic cleansing earlier in this year.
1 "On 18 August 1993, the Special Rapporteur," that's paragraph
2 second, "expressed his alarm about the situation in a letter to
3 Mr. Mate Boban, the representative of the Bosnian Croats and the
4 international conference of the former Yugoslavia, pressing him to allow
5 immediate and unimpeded access to Mostar by humanitarian agencies and
6 also for his own human rights field officers. He later received a reply
7 from Mr. Boban and access for the field staff was granted."
8 Sir, I will pose this question in the part of the document. Have
9 any of the -- of the people working for the Red Cross Mostar went to
10 Eastern Mostar or to assess the situation there? In -- in August 1993
11 after the two months of blockade? You see it says, "his own human rights
12 field officers." Have anyone from your -- from the Red Cross Mostar went
13 there to assess the situation?
14 A. I don't know whether anyone did or not.
15 Q. You don't recall anyone from your office that maybe have gone
16 there to -- to East Mostar to determine the situation?
17 A. At the time of the clashes along the left bank the Red Cross was
18 established for East Mostar, a different organisation, therefore, and
19 they now took charge and took over the mandate of the Red Cross for that
20 part of town. Therefore, we as the Red Cross did not see fit. We knew
21 what sort of organisation they were, and we had enough on our plate as we
22 were, problems.
23 Q. Sir, if you move -- if we move to page -- to paragraph 10 of the
24 same exhibit, and we were referring earlier today about when they were
25 given a deadline, the people, to move out of the flats, et cetera, and --
1 did you find paragraph 10?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So in paragraph 10 it says:
4 "Since early 1993, the Special Rapporteur has received reports
5 from Bosnian Muslims were being systematically dismissed from their jobs
6 in Mostar. On 15 April 1993
7 266/93, which severely curtailed the provision of humanitarian assistance
8 to people seeking refuge in the city. It promised identity cards on a
9 temporary basis only to minors and adults of pensionable age who had come
10 from occupied areas from Bosnia and Herzegovina and were not occupying
11 abandoned flats in Mostar. All other categories of displaced persons
12 were to be deprived of humanitarian assistance and obliged to return to
13 their home districts or moved into collective centres. An estimated
14 10.000 of the Muslims who had fled to Mostar were in this way
15 disqualified from assistance. According to local humanitarian
16 organisations, Bosnian Muslims living in abandoned flats received a
17 deadline from the HVO -- from HVO forces to leave by 9 May 1993."
18 Sir, here refers to local humanitarian organisations. Were you
19 or any of your employees the ones from the local Red Cross that inform
20 the international authorities about this situation and about the deadline
21 to move out by the 9 May 1993
22 Mostar? Do you recall anyone from your organisation, sir?
23 A. If I may just finish reading the whole paragraph.
24 Q. Sir ...
25 A. Could you please repeat the question?
1 Q. No problem, sir. My question was in this paragraph the Special
2 Rapporteur is referring to the fact that local humanitarian organisations
3 were giving information that Bosnian Muslims living in abandoned flats
4 receive a deadline from the HVO forces to leave by 9 May 1993.
5 Was your organisation among the ones that gave that information
6 to the United Nations representative at the time?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Sir --
9 A. If I may, just a brief comment. At the time when this document
10 was drafted it was six months subsequently, and a lot of facts here do
11 not relate to each other, so it's very difficult for me to understand
12 what this was all about.
13 Q. All right, sir. Well, I think everyone in the courtroom, if you
14 see this is a paragraph referring -- we're referring to 1993, and we are
15 referring to the 15 -- the events that took place after the passing of
16 this decision on the 15 April 1993
17 clearly says that Bosnian Muslims living in abandoned flats receive a
18 deadline by HVO forces to leave by May 9, 1993.
19 Isn't it true, sir, that on the May 9, 1993, after the attack in
20 the city of Mostar
21 taken into the Heliodrom? If I understand you properly, the decision was
22 issued on the 15th of April, as you can see the deadline was 15 days,
23 which takes us to the 30th of April.
24 A. The implementation of this deadline in other spheres, say for the
25 schools, was under way and there were no disruptions of the nature
1 described herein. The deadline was tied to the 9th of May, which doesn't
2 make any sense to me, if you will allow me to say that. And before the
3 30th of April the representative of Merhamet and Red Crescent were
4 sitting on the coordination committee with us, and they could do whatever
5 they wanted to to assist people.
6 The difference to the previous status and the one that was later
7 on established by decision is very small. The number of beneficiaries
8 did not change much save for the category of militarily able-bodied men.
9 The rest of the beneficiaries preserved their status in a different way.
10 Q. Sir, in the same -- in the same document, if you go to paragraph
11 19, it refers to several detention centres, and they said that the main
12 detention centres shall believed to be the Rodoc Heliodrom south of
13 Mostar, a former JNA ammunition warehouse in Gabela, south of Capljina,
14 and former JNA warehouse in Dretelj north of Capljina. And other smaller
15 detentions centers are suspected to be at Otoci, Grabovine --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you for reading slowly.
17 MR. LONGONE:
18 Q. Ljubuski, and Trebizat. It says, continues saying:
19 "The international committee of the Red Cross was granted access
20 to the Rodoc Heliodrom in mid-July and to the warehouse at Gabela on 30
21 August 1993 where it has since stated that it register around 1.100
22 prisoners. At the time of preparing this report, the ICRC is still
23 seeking access to other suspected places of detention."
24 Sir, you had access to the Heliodrom on the 9 May 1993, isn't it?
25 A. To the location, yes, but not to the persons who were down there.
1 Q. You said that nobody would impede your access, that everyone
2 knows you. The Trial Chamber ask you who you will met at the gate of the
3 Heliodrom and basically you said that everyone in the city knew who you
4 were and you personally always used to move the car of the Red Cross with
5 the symbol of the Red Cross, isn't it?
6 A. I apologise. You have improvised just a little. I explained
7 literally how I entered.
8 At the gate of this military facility there were people who were
9 in charge of providing security for the facility. Since these people saw
10 my car marked as a car belonging to the Red Cross of Mostar and my ID
11 which I did not need because they immediately knew what was happening, I
12 immediately passed through and I approached the facility that I described
13 yesterday. I did not go anywhere else.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Prosecutor -- Mr. Longone. I
15 think your question fails foundation. The witness has clearly stated,
16 and he's right, visiting prisoners is a matter for the ICRC and not for
17 the local Red Cross. So he didn't even seek to see prisoners in the
18 Heliodrom or in any of the other prisons, and I wonder whether the
19 comparison, according to me, you were aiming at whether it has any
21 MR. LONGONE: Well, Your Honours, the witness yesterday said that
22 he went when he heard that all the civilian population or all these group
23 of people were taken into the Heliodrom. He said that he went there to
24 see what was going on, to give some assistance, and -- and I'm not saying
25 that he saw the people, but then he went and talked with the authorities
1 in command in the prison to know exactly what were the needs, and he said
2 that it went beyond the capacity of the Red Cross at the time.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't think that meets my argument really. He
4 went to see the two top persons, the warden, deputy warden, and he
5 discussed with them, but there was to question ever of looking at the
6 prisoners, the premises, the conditions, and that is what the ICRC is --
7 is looking for. So I'm sorry, I don't think that is -- holds water.
8 MR. LONGONE: I agree with you, Your Honours, but in transcript
9 page 33426, 18, of -- on the 20th October, when they were asked about the
10 mandate carried out by the Mostar municipality Red Cross, the witness
12 "Yes, the Mostar Red Cross was gathering information on victims.
13 It was also gathering information on accidents, and it was mediating with
14 internation committee in terms of exchanging information on people who
15 had been separated and was also helping reunite families and missing
16 people." That's what he said on 20th October.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: But perhaps the Prosecutor should also look at the
18 part of the transcript where he made it abundantly clear that based on
19 the agreement it was the International Red Cross that would do these
20 things and not the local Red Cross. So we can't cherry pick parts of the
21 transcript and again he's mischaracterising or he's reading too much into
22 those specific tasks that the Red Cross was doing. I mean, I think he
23 was very, very clear as far as what their mandate was vis-a-vis what the
24 mandate was for the International Red Cross and why the International Red
25 Cross insisted on being the one taking the lead into certain area because
1 of their neutrality.
2 So again, I agree with you, Judge Trechsel, and I would ask that
3 the Trial Chamber exercise -- I mean, you're very patient, but I think
4 some foundational questions need to be put first before we go into a
5 fishing expedition.
6 MR. LONGONE: I'm not going to a fishing expedition but I imagine
7 that the people, the Bosnian Muslims, were left in Mostar that they were
8 not arrested in Heliodrom they were trying to find the whereabouts of the
9 people that their relatives or friends that they were arrested in Mostar
10 at the Heliodrom, and they will go certainly to the Red Cross to the
11 tracing unit of the Red Cross in Mostar to ask some information about it.
12 I will move on to Exhibit P 06518.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you move on let us
14 remain with this document. In paragraph 12 the Special Rapporteur says
15 the following:
16 "From the 14th to the 15th of June, several thousands of Muslims
17 were expelled from their homes in West Mostar and forced to cross the
18 bridge under fire."
19 Yesterday I asked you the following based on the figure of 8.000
20 Muslims who were in West Mostar. I asked you to confirm that there were
21 indeed 8.000. You said there were. You added that there were also
22 30.000 Croats. So one could be led to believe that there was 1 Muslim in
23 4 who would live in West Mostar. But you did not say at all that
24 thousands of Muslims had left. Why did you fail to say so, to tell me
25 that? Didn't you know that? It didn't cross your mind? Why did you not
1 mention that? Because I tried to broach with you the issue of the
2 Muslims. We have to look into the transcript, but I -- you said that
3 they could freely from point A or to point B. At least I asked that but
4 you did not deny that, and you did not at all speak about the events of
5 the 14th and 15th of June. Why did you not do so? Is there a mistake
6 made by the rapporteur here? Was there never thousands of Muslims forced
7 to cross the bridge and forced to live -- leave West Mostar, or did you
8 not know this?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday we talked
10 about the 9th of May and the time that preceded that date. My
11 information, speaking about 8.000 Muslims referred to the time preceding
12 the 9th of May, and here we have the dates 14th and 15th of June, and I
13 don't know what was happening at that time, but I have a very clear
14 indicator that on the 30th of November, 1993, five or six months after
15 all of these events on the right bank there was 47.558 inhabitants of
16 whom 34.430 were Croats; 9.928 were Muslims Bosniaks; 2.400 Serbs; and
17 823 were others. And this is information obtained from the local
18 communes based on their register because they were aware of the
20 So any games playing with the thousands of Muslims, numbers of
21 Muslims, this date, other date, is just preposterous. Anybody who was
22 dealing with that would be able to provide you with the exact indicators
23 for both periods within the context of what I've just said.
24 At that time, all of the 47.000 something inhabitants of the
25 citizens of Mostar, 39.613 were the origin indigenous just locals. There
1 were also displaced persons and refugees. On the 30th of November, 1993
2 and I can show you my notes from the meeting that was relative to the
3 distribution of the humanitarian aid.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am not going -- not going to
5 question your figures if you said that by November there were 3.928
6 Muslims, that must be true. That's based on statistics. But if that is
7 so, there's one thing I fail to understand.
8 Are the data on which this report was made, are they wrong? If
9 there were 8.000 Muslims in May, if thousands of Muslims are going to
10 leave and cross the bridge, how can you account for the fact that only a
11 few months later there are 9.000 Muslims still in Mostar? Does that mean
12 that thousands crossed the bridge one way and that other -- others,
13 thousands of them, crossed it back? There's a mystery. Can you sort of
14 dissipate it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. This is
16 obviously information that was not based on reliable sources, and that's
17 the only way I can understand these games playing with the thousands of
18 people here.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Witness. This is going to be a
20 little bit an excursion. I would like to ask an encyclopedic type of
22 Having read the transcript of yesterday, a lot -- many, many
23 places the term "commune" comes up, and I suppose it's not the same as
24 "municipality." Perhaps you used it because it's shorter, but I would be
25 very grateful if you could enlighten me on what exactly is meant by a
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A local commune or a local
3 community is one part of a municipality. It is an area inhabited by
4 people. There were 32 local communes in the West Mostar, and before the
5 town was divided there were 42 local communes.
6 It is a territorial division of a town by streets for easier
7 record-making. It was very useful to us, especially at the time when the
8 aid had to be distributed. We distributed the aid across local communes.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Is it organised in any way? Does it have any
10 authorities or structures, or is it just the people between A street
11 F street
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For every local commune there was a
13 commissioner, a government commissioner, a person who was in charge of
14 communal problems and other such problems, and such person was the
15 spokesperson for the commune reporting on the situation in the local
16 commune. There was also a commission -- commissioner for all the
17 humanitarian organisations in most of these communes at the time. And
18 there was also a person in charge on behalf of the social services to
19 monitor the situation in every local commune in order to establish
20 criteria based on which people would be entitled to humanitarian aid.
21 In the local communes there were also some local storages,
22 temporary storages for the receipt and distribution of humanitarian aid,
23 and there would always be one or two persons, usually pensioners, who
24 would be involved in the distribution of aid. That would be the
25 structure, but there was just one officially authorised person
1 representing a commune.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. So am I correct --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- this as meaning that the communes are
5 administrative subdivisions of a municipality with certain limited tasks,
6 no democratic structures, but certain officials set there by the
7 administration of the municipality, the municipality government?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Representatives of the local
9 commune were residents of the commune. They were very familiar with the
10 situation. They monitored the situation. They knew what was going on,
11 and they reacted if something occurred that had nothing much to do with
12 humanitarian activities but, rather, with the general activities and
13 general issues within that commune.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we're not going to go
15 into any great detail, but I believe that in the former Yugoslavia you
16 had this form of civilian protection. Was there civilian protection in
17 every commune? And the officials that deal with the issue of
18 distributing aid, food aid or other, could they be part of the civilian
19 protection in the wider sense?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the former Yugoslavia, yes. It
21 was true of that institution to the full extent. However, before the
22 outbreak of the conflict, most of the resources of the civilian
23 protection were stolen by the JNA and the reservists who had arrived in
24 the area so that the civilian protections very -- had very little
25 resources, and they did not have the opportunity to develop their
1 structure in the territory of the municipality of Mostar
2 active in all locations.
3 There were local communes who had such persons who were deployed
4 based on the civilian protection criteria, and they were at the disposal
5 of the commissioner for certain activities. There were also local
6 communes that had public shelters, and that's where the members of the
7 civilian protection provided security and secured public order when
8 people had to be sheltered when there was an alert sounded. In other
9 words, the civilian protection was active but not to the extent they used
10 to be active, and I still remember how it was before the outbreak of the
11 conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just to avoid any
13 misunderstandings with regard to some previous testimonies, I would just
14 like to say that the interpreters don't always use the same terms. What
15 you asked about and what the witness is talking about is something that
16 under the law was called a local commune or a territorial commune, and
17 there was a law which set out exactly what a local commune was. Here the
18 interpreter uses the word "local commune," and in some previous instances
19 the interpreters used some similar terms. And since the other witnesses
20 also mentioned the same concept of a local commune, I think it would be
21 good for us to adopt one and the same term, although this may be late
22 because the record already contains thousands of pages.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Witness, that was helpful.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
25 MR. LONGONE: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
1 Q. Sir, I want you to address to one exhibit that has been discussed
2 before. This is the report of the Mostar Red Cross. It's 1D 02651. 1D
4 A. Yes, I've found the document.
5 Q. Sir, this was the report on the work of the Red Cross of Mostar
6 during 1993. Do you remember that?
7 A. Of course.
8 Q. Do you recognise the report, sir?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. And just -- we are going to work on that report, but just to let
11 you know the Prosecution has another exhibit, P 07319. If you look at
12 that. Just keep that document open and also the -- for the rest of the
13 parties and Your Honours here in the courtroom, just -- P 07319. 07 --
14 7319. You can take it out, that document, sir, and you can put it along
15 with that one.
16 This is a -- is the same document. If you see, it's a copy that
17 the Prosecution has, and the only difference, sir, is that would you
18 agree with me that in this one is your signature in it?
19 A. This is not the -- the only difference. This is the consent for
20 inception or registration. We submitted reports on our work, and in the
21 left-hand side you can see the government of the Republic of
22 Herceg-Bosna, and this document was submitted to the competent ministry
23 as per our statute. Just for the information for their perusal, that is.
24 Q. So one document was admitted to the authorities of the regional
25 Red Cross and the other one to -- to the ministry authorities of the
1 government? That's what you wanted to say? I'm not sure whether I
2 understood you.
3 A. No. This is the same document. I gave this document to the
4 Defence counsel when I found -- found it in the archives without any
5 signature or any other signature. This document is probably from the
6 Ministry of Social Work and Family to whom we sent our reports because
7 they wanted to see whether our activities were carried out according to
8 the law. The only difference is that the one bearing my signature was
9 sent to this institution, and everything else should be the same if the
10 number of the pages is the same.
11 Q. That was my question. It's just because it was one has your
12 signature. I just wanted to -- because the other one that we're going to
13 discuss doesn't have the signature, but you recognise your signature
14 there. That was basically it.
15 A. Well, we can use any of them depending on which one is more
16 legible, but to all intents and purposes this is the same report.
17 Q. Thank you very much, sir. And if we continue in the one used by
18 the Defence, sir, earlier, that document, and you see that in this
19 document they have different parts, attachments. One is related in
20 attachment one, in page 6 of the report, in the English version.
21 Did you find that, sir?
22 A. I think so, but it's not very legible, is it?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Prosecutor. My
24 colleague is right. You're now turning to page 6 of the report. This
25 could take several minutes; we have one minute left, one minute and 56
1 seconds to be precise. I think it might be better for us to stop today
2 and we shall resume tomorrow.
3 However, in the time left to us and time is of the essence, so
4 let's use every second of it, Witness, I noticed in this famous report we
5 have a fax and a telephone number, 367-883-2007. Back then did your
6 telephone line work properly?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. 32007, yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the telephone worked.
9 That's what I wanted to know. Thank you.
10 It's 7.00. Have and good evening. We shall resume tomorrow at
12 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] He has a question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is there anyway or
14 any chance for us to start earlier, because I have some commitments on
15 Friday, some previous commitments.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. The interpreters
17 must have left because I can't receive the interpretation.
18 So you would have liked to start earlier tomorrow; is that right?
19 Well, it's impossible, I'm afraid, because I sit in the morning in
20 another trial. I cannot start any earlier than 2.15. But the Prosecutor
21 has under an hour, so there may not be redirect. I think we're going to
22 finish earlier tomorrow.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day
1 of October, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.