1 Wednesday, 12 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
7 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al., Thank you, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
10 I'll repeat what I was saying.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters apologise. The microphone was on
12 the wrong channel.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll repeat what I
14 was saying. There was a channel that was not the appropriate one.
15 Today on Wednesday, I would like to greet everyone present, the
16 accused, the Defence team, the Prosecution as well. I would also like to
17 greet the registrar and the usher.
18 We'll continue our hearing with cross-examination, and I will now
19 give the floor to the OTP for the beginning of their cross-examination.
20 Nevertheless, I would like to ask the usher to bring the witness into the
22 [The witness entered court]
23 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO BATINIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Batinic. You may
1 sit down.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Thank
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, I give you
5 the floor now.
6 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President, and good morning to the Trial
7 Chamber, to everyone in and around the courtroom, and to Mr. Batinic.
8 Cross-examination by Ms. Moe:
9 Q. My name is Hedvig Moe. I'm a trial attorney with the
10 Prosecution, and I will now be asking you some questions.
11 I'd like to ask you a couple of general -- more general questions
12 starting out, Witness. You said that you were born and raised in Gornji
13 Vakuf, as far as I can remember, but then you went away for a few years
14 to study to become an electrical engineer. How long did you stay away
15 from Gornji Vakuf for your studies?
16 A. I left Gornji Vakuf 19 -- in 1974. I enrolled at university in
18 three years, and after a certain while, because of certain problems, I
19 had to leave that university. I then found a job. I worked. I got
20 married there. I served in the Yugoslav army for one year in Krusevac.
21 I returned from the army. I continued to work. I enrolled to study
22 mechanical engineering, and in 1977 I finally graduated from the faculty
23 of mechanical engineering. I returned to Gornji Vakuf in 1998, so I
24 lived and worked for a total of 14 years outside of Gornji Vakuf.
25 Q. And am I understanding you correctly that after 1998 up until the
1 present date you have been in Gornji Vakuf and lived there?
2 A. From 1988.
3 Q. So 1988 is when you came back, and from then on you stayed in
4 Gornji Vakuf; is that correct?
5 A. Correct, but Gornji Vakuf is now Uskoplje.
6 Q. A couple of questions to the population of Gornji Vakuf. You've
7 touched upon the census of 1991. Would it be correct to say that there
8 were approximately 25.000 persons living in Gornji Vakuf at the time in
9 1991 according to the census?
10 A. Yes. To be more precise, 25.181 inhabitants.
11 Q. And would it also be correct to say that there was a slight
12 Muslim majority in that population?
13 A. It wasn't an insignificant majority, as there were 14.063
14 inhabitants who declared themselves to be Muslims in the 1991 census. In
15 percentages, that would amount to 56.1 per cent of the population. That
16 percentage declared themselves to be Muslims. 10.706 inhabitants said
17 they were Croats or, rather, 43.6 per cent of the population. 1.3 per
18 cent, the remainder, were Serbs, of whom there were about a hundred and
19 ten, and Yugoslavs, and so on and so forth.
20 Q. Thank you for those specifications. And also, if I understood
21 you correctly, there was a -- and that would be slight, a slight Muslim
22 majority, also, in the Assembly of Gornji Vakuf, if we go back to 1992,
23 and the War Presidency later on; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. Yes. The composition of the Assembly after the first
25 multi-party elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina was as follows: 26
1 Muslims and 24 Croats. In the Crisis Staff of the Gornji Vakuf
2 municipality, which was founded by a decision of the Municipal Assembly
3 of Gornji Vakuf on the 7th of April, 1992, the national composition was
4 as follows: 8 Muslims and 7 Croats. In the Presidency of the
5 municipality, when the Council for National Defence in accordance with
6 the rules of Bosnia and Herzegovina in force at the time came to be
7 called the Presidency of the municipality, there were 11 individuals, 6
8 of whom were Muslims and 5 of whom were Croats.
9 Q. Thank you. I'd then like to ask you a few questions as to issues
10 that came up during the Defence examination of you Monday and Tuesday.
11 Firstly, you said yesterday that you and Mr. Praljak know each
12 other, and I believe you used the words "from that time." When did you
13 first get to know Mr. Praljak?
14 A. I met General Praljak for the first time in Uskoplje in 1993. It
15 was on the 1st of August.
16 Q. Have you had any contact with Mr. -- or General Praljak after
17 that first meeting in August of 1993?
18 A. During the war I didn't meet him again, but after the war I saw
19 General Praljak on -- on a number of occasions.
20 Q. To first go back to the August 1993 meeting, what were the
21 circumstances of you meeting him at that time?
22 A. We met in town, in the part of town where the majority of the
23 population was Croatian. It was in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf
24 And the circumstances were such that at the time the HVO forces, who were
25 withdrawing the previous night -- who had been withdrawing the previous
1 night in the face of the Muslim forces attack, they had started returning
2 to certain defence lines in the town and around the town, and they were
3 led by General Praljak.
4 Q. Do you have knowledge of whether General Praljak was in the
5 Gornji Vakuf area during 1992 and the first months of 1993 up until the
6 1st of August when you met him?
7 A. I'm not aware of that.
8 Q. So does that mean you're not aware of him being there? You don't
9 know whether he was there?
10 A. That's quite correct.
11 Q. You said you met General Praljak also after that 1st August of
12 1993 meeting after the war. Was that socialising? Was it coincidence?
13 Would you consider him an acquaintance of yours? Could you be a little
14 bit more specific?
15 A. A long time after the war, I was elected to the Presidency of the
16 HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there were a number of demonstrations
17 or assemblies of ours, and General Praljak would attend them as a guest,
18 and we would see each other on such occasions.
19 Q. So these were HDZ gatherings? Am I understanding you correctly?
20 A. I said elective assemblies or meetings, and the members of the
21 Presidency of the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina would meet. Mr. Praljak
22 wouldn't attend them because he wasn't a member of the Presidency of the
23 HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters correction: The witness did not
25 say "demonstrations" but "meetings."
1 MS. MOE: Thank you.
2 Q. Did you meet with General Praljak or his counsel prior to
3 testifying in The Hague
4 beginning of October or now?
5 A. Prior to coming to The Hague
6 Defence team representing General Praljak. When I came to The Hague
7 the first time to testify, I didn't do that for reasons that are familiar
8 to you. I met the assistant of Mr. Praljak's lead attorney, and she is
9 present here in the -- in the courtroom.
10 Q. And that was -- that was the first time you came to The Hague, so
11 in October; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct. That's correct. And now this weekend before
13 coming to The Hague
14 Q. Thank you. A different question that was also an issue that was
15 touched upon yesterday as well. You were asked about international
16 presence in Gornji Vakuf, about UNPROFOR presence in Gornji Vakuf in
17 January 1993, and as far as I recall, you couldn't confirm that there was
18 UNPROFOR presence in town at that time.
19 An officer of UNPROFOR with BritBat, which was the force that was
20 in Gornji Vakuf at the time, he testified here in The Hague.
21 MS. MOE: And the transcript reference for counsel is page 8427,
22 and that should be from line 14.
23 Q. And, Witness, he was asked whether it was correct that he served
24 as an intelligence officer for the Cheshire Regiment from early November
25 1992 to early May 1993 at Gornji Vakuf, and his answer was: "Yes, that
1 is correct."
2 Does that jog your memory? Does it comply with your
3 understanding at the time?
4 A. I can't remember that. At that time, towards the end of 1992 up
5 until the 11th of January, 1993, I did not meet such representatives, and
6 I didn't talk to such representatives. So this is not something that I
7 could confirm.
8 Q. So you're saying that you can -- you can neither confirm nor
9 deny; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Confirm or deny what? He hasn't met anybody up
12 until January 11th, 1993, so what can he confirm or deny? He just
13 indicated that he hasn't met anyone. The question is unclear. I don't
14 know what the point is.
15 MS. MOE:
16 Q. My point is, Witness, this Williams who was an officer with the
17 Cheshire Regiment, he says that he was in Gornji Vakuf from November 1992
18 until May 1993. And if I understand you correctly, you didn't meet him
19 or any other representatives of the UNPROFOR force in 1992 up until
20 January 1993, and that means you can neither confirm nor deny what
21 Mr. Williams said; is that correct?
22 A. With your leave, this is how I would answer the question. I said
23 this, and I'll repeat it: In the autumn of 1992, right up until the 11th
24 of January, 1993, while I was working as the president of the executive
25 committee of the Assembly of the municipality of Gornji Vakuf and while
1 performing my duties as a member of the Presidency in Gornji Vakuf, I
2 didn't meet such people. I didn't speak to them. From the 11th of
3 January, 1993, onwards, I no longer had such a role that would allow me
4 to meet such people, so during that period of time I didn't see any such
5 people, either.
6 Q. Do you know whether UNPROFOR representatives were there in Gornji
7 Vakuf prior to January 1993?
8 A. No, I don't know.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, yesterday I put a
11 question to you because I was surprised that you hadn't seen them,
12 because we know through the testimony of this officer that he was
13 involved in intelligence, and when you're involved in intelligence you
14 should at least go and meet the political officials or administrative
15 officials of the place where one works, unless one is a secret agent such
16 as James Bond, but that wasn't the case because he was in uniform. So
17 that's what is a little surprising, that you didn't see him, and he told
18 us, "I was involved in intelligence." So we have a mystery there.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on the 11th of
20 January, 1993, I was at a meeting with representatives of the European
21 Community. These were people in white, dressed in white. I am the
22 president of the municipality of Gornji Vakuf. Mr. Abdulah Garaca
23 attended the meeting. There were similar meetings that were held earlier
24 on with representatives of the European Union or, rather, with monitors,
25 as we called them. But as for members of the forces that you have asked
1 me about, I had no contact with such individuals, and I cannot confirm
2 that they were there during the period of time that Madam Prosecutor is
3 referring to.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 MS. MOE:
6 Q. Thank you. I'll move on. I'd like to go back to a few documents
7 that you looked at with -- during Mr. Karnavas's direct examination
8 yesterday. You should have the binder still with the documents that
9 Mr. Karnavas showed you.
10 MS. MOE: Maybe the usher can be of assistance.
11 Q. I'd like us to look at Exhibit number 1D 01696. Can you remember
12 that document from yesterday, Mr. Batinic?
13 A. Could you repeat that, please?
14 Q. Can you remember having looked at that document with Mr. Karnavas
15 here in court?
16 A. Yes, of course.
17 Q. So this is a 31st of July, 1992, Gornji Vakuf Executive Committee
18 conclusion, and as was read out by Mr. Karnavas yesterday, I believe, it
19 says in number 1: "The Gornji Vakuf municipal Executive Committee agrees
20 with the installation of the equipment for receiving the HTV signal on
21 the Gornji Vakuf TV repeater provided there is no interference with the
22 TVBH signal."
23 We see your signature, and we see that copies are provided,
24 number 4 there, the SDA, Party of Democratic Action. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Then I'd like you to go to Exhibit 1D 01789. That should in the
2 same binder. That's a document going from the president of the Gornji
3 Vakuf SDA to Gornji Vakuf HDZ, and we see up in the right-hand corner
4 that the date is 30 -- excuse me, 23rd of November, 1992. Do you
5 remember that document from the examination by Mr. Karnavas?
6 A. I remember it very well.
7 Q. And it says here from the SDA: "With reference to your request
8 for authorisation to install an HTV
9 receiver ..."
10 And your request, would that be the HDZ request?
11 A. No. The HDZ request is not at all what one has in mind here.
12 Q. But the letter goes to Gornji Vakuf HDZ, doesn't it? And it
13 would then be -- wouldn't it be natural to say your request, that that
14 would be the HDZ request?
15 A. It's true that the addressee is the HDZ in Gornji Vakuf.
16 However, Mr. Abdulah Topcic, the then president of the Gornji Vakuf SDA,
17 did not want to communicate or speak with civilian representatives of the
18 HVO, in this case with Mr. Ivan Saric, who sent a request to the
19 Executive Committee of the municipality about the possibility of
20 installing equipment on the TV relay so that one could follow the
21 Croatian television programme in the area. This is why Mr. Topcic
22 changed the -- the name so to put it. He only wanted to speak to
23 representatives of the HDZ, and the HDZ of Gornji Vakuf didn't send him
24 this request, by no means.
25 Q. So you're saying the request came from the HVO, or when getting
1 back to him, he -- Abdulah Topcic addressed the reply to the HDZ. Is
2 that correctly understood?
3 A. Yes, but I should point out that the HVO did not send a request
4 to the SDA but to the Executive Committee of the municipality of Gornji
6 Q. And we can see down left on this document that the Executive
7 Committee is copied; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Continuing from where I was reading from the document, it says:
10 "...we hereby inform you that the party has neither the authority nor the
11 right to authorise this," which I understand is the instalment of an HTV
12 signal receiver, "because the relay is owned by the BH RTV, who should,
13 therefore, be approached in view of the above."
14 When you were asked by Mr. Karnavas about this letter - that
15 would be Mr. Karnavas on pages 25 to 26 of yesterday's transcript - you
16 said, Mr. Batinic: "This letter by the president of the SDA for Gornji
17 Vakuf municipality does not respect of the conclusion of the Executive
18 Council of the municipality; and at the same time, the armed forces are
19 being asked, probably of the BH army, of the 1st Company of the 1st
20 Battalion, to prevent any attempt to mount a signal to receive the
21 Croatian television."
22 However, what I just read out is -- my understanding is that the
23 SDA says one has to contact the BH RTV in this matter because the party
24 has neither the authority nor the right to authorise such instalment.
25 Isn't that correct, Mr. Batinic?
1 A. Partially. The RTV of Bosnia-Herzegovina did own the TV relay.
2 However, at the time it was not possible to have contact with those who
3 managed the RTV in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result, the HVO in
4 Gornji Vakuf contacted the Executive Committee of the Municipal Assembly
5 of Gornji Vakuf, and after the conclusion of the Executive Committee of
6 the Gornji Vakuf municipality of the 27th of July, 1992
7 four months later, and after the equipment was not installed but everyone
8 insisted on having it installed, after all of this the SDA confirms here
9 that they don't admit the conclusions of the legitimate body of the
10 authorities of the municipality of Gornji Vakuf
11 Q. But isn't this the SDA voicing its opinion on the conclusion of
12 the Executive Committee? The SDA was copied in that letter from the
13 Executive Committee as we saw. There's nothing improper in the SDA
14 voicing its opinion, is it?
15 A. No, there's nothing improper for the SDA to express its opinion,
16 but what is inappropriate is for this letter to be addressed to the armed
17 forces of, in those days, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whereby
18 they are in a sense being assigned the task of preventing this.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I can hear Mr. Scott making comments.
20 Perhaps he could refrain. If he wishes to send notes to his colleague,
21 fine, but there's sort of a running commentary. As the witness is
22 testifying, Mr. Scott is making comments.
23 MR. SCOTT: I apologise, Your Honour, if I have been too vocal
24 about it, and I will try to lower my voice if that is indeed a problem.
25 I'm sure the witness has not been influenced in the slightest, but
1 nonetheless, I will lower my voice.
2 MS. MOE:
3 Q. Back to what you last said, Mr. Batinic, this letter, however,
4 from the SDA, it's not addressed to any armed forces, is it? We can see
5 there's a copy to Gornji Vakuf OS and also to the RTV BH, but it is
6 addressed to the Gornji Vakuf HDZ, isn't it?
7 A. Madam Prosecutor, in the title the indication is who the
8 addressee is of this text, that is the HDZ of Gornji Vakuf. It is also
9 addressed to the armed forces, in brackets, the 1st Company of the
10 1st Battalion, and the formation that had such a name was only a unit of
11 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. And what you're referring to, Mr. Batinic, when you say
13 "addressed to the arm forces," that is the copy to the Gornji Vakuf OS
14 that we see in the left-hand lower corner of the letter; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, quite so.
16 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move on to a different document. We're
17 still in the same binder. This is number 1D 01699.
18 This is -- we can see in the right-hand corner, upper corner,
19 it's from 4th of May, 1993. Do you have it in front of you?
20 A. The 29th of April, 1993.
21 Q. Yeah, I'm sorry. The upper corner is a handwritten insertion,
22 and you're quite right. The date is the 29th of April, 1993.
23 It's a conclusion signed by the president of the Presidency, and
24 it says under conclusion: "All Croat officials relieved of their duties
25 in administrative organs hereby lose their status of administrative
1 officials until a final agreement has been reached on the organisation of
2 all organs based on the principle of parity." And copied are Gornji
3 Vakuf HDZ and Gornji Vakuf SDA.
4 Can you remember this document from Mr. Karnavas's examination?
5 A. At the time this document was drafted, I didn't see it; but I did
6 see it later on after this period of time.
7 Q. And can you remember being shown this document by Mr. Karnavas
8 here in court?
9 A. Yes, I do remember.
10 Q. So you were asked about this document, and this would be on page
11 29, Mr. Karnavas, from yesterday, from line 11, and the answer comes a
12 bit further down, and you said -- or you were asked: "Can you explain
13 this conclusion?" And you answered, Mr. Batinic: "Very simple. As two
14 administrations had been set up, which were services for the two peoples,
15 they considered it logical for employees of the joint administration to
16 be fired from the administration that was headed by Mr. Garaca."
17 But, Witness, this is a reference, as far as I can see, to all
18 Croat officials relieved, as in have already been relieved, of their
19 duties in administrative organs. It's not a firing of Croat officials
20 that takes place with this conclusion. Isn't that true from what we're
22 A. It is not true. If you read this text more closely, you will see
23 that it says they are losing their status of workers in the
24 administration, and a worker in the administration is a person who is an
25 employee of the Municipal Assembly, of any Assembly.
1 Q. I can see that it refers to losing the status of administrative
2 officials, but doesn't it also refer to the Croat officials having been
3 relieved? It says relieved at an earlier stage of their duties.
4 A. It says here who were working until being relieved. Now, when
5 exactly they were relieved, when the decisions to relieve them were
6 passed, I don't know. It is a fact this is the decision of a single
7 ethnic Presidency.
8 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move to a different document, and this is
9 a document that was brought up by Ms. Alaburic yesterday, and that should
10 be in the binder that you got from Mr. Petkovic's Defence counsel. I
11 think that should be the right one. And I'd ask you to look up number 3D
12 00511, please.
13 Do you remember that document from Ms. Alaburic's examination
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. I know you have the B/C/S version in front of you. There is also
17 an English version where it says that the month that this conclusion was
18 made is illegible, meaning that we can't read the month. Could you
19 please have a look at the B/C/S version, at the date that's in the upper
20 right corner. Is it correct that that appears to refer to 11,7, as in
21 Roman numerals, 1992?
22 A. I'm not quite sure what it says here, since there's the number
23 11, then comma, number 7, and then Roman numeral II, and then dot, and
24 then 92.
25 Q. Okay. Thank you. Yet another document. This is in the binder
1 that you got from Ms. Nozica from Mr. Stojic's Defence yesterday, and
2 that should be the pink one that's to your right. And I'd ask you to
3 look up document -- or Exhibit number P 01102, please. Can you remember
4 this document from yesterday?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I just wanted to ask you about one specific issue. You see in
7 the first paragraph, and that was also read out to you yesterday, a
8 reference to soldiers from the Ludvig Pavlovic Unit. Can you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The Ludvig Pavlovic Unit, that wasn't a local Gornji Vakuf unit,
11 was it?
12 A. Correct, but it did have members from Gornji Vakuf who were
14 Q. Thank you. I'll now go into a couple of the incidents in Gornji
15 Vakuf and issues about Gornji Vakuf that you also talked about yesterday,
16 and they would be -- those documents that I'm going to show you would be
17 in Mr. Karnavas's binder. So the big binder from yesterday. But there's
18 a Prosecution binder to the right of you.
19 MS. MOE: Maybe the usher can be of assistance.
20 Q. And we should have all the documents that I now will be referring
21 to in that binder so you don't have to change around. And I'll ask you
22 to look at Exhibit number 1D 00208. Actually, there are two -- two
23 binders. So that might be in the second one. It should be in the second
25 It's a report from Mr. Ivan Saric, and it says: "...on incidents
1 that took place in the Gornji Vakuf municipality."
2 Can you remember that document from yesterday?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And I'll read out to you, that would be the fourth paragraph, but
5 I think also Mr. Karnavas touched upon yesterday. It starts with: "On
6 the morning of Wednesday, 21st of October, 1992, something really did
7 start to happen. One could feel it the most on the streets of Gornji
8 Vakuf. People moved only in 'their part of town.' Well-armed soldiers
9 of the HVO and the BH army were seen at every corner. The faces of the
10 people were full of fear. Rumours were going around that one or the
11 other had already captured some points in the town, bilateral disarmament
12 had started, and so on. Zdravko Batinic and Fabijan Trbara, members of
13 the Gornji Vakuf HVO, could feel and see all this for themselves since
14 they were in the centre of the town at the time (from 0830 hours to 0900
15 hours). An explanation for what they found such a surprising turn of
16 events was given to them by the representatives the BH army (Hanefija
17 Prijic aka Paraga and his commander Fahrudin Agic). According to them,
18 the reason for such a situation was the passage of an armed HVO unit
19 through Gornji Vakuf from the direction of Prozor towards Novi Travnik on
20 the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. Since at the time the president
21 of the Gornji Vakuf HVO was not in Gornji Vakuf, Batinic and Trbara, as
22 members of the Gornji Vakuf HVO, took upon themselves the obligation and
23 responsibility to calm the situation down and remove the possibility of a
24 conflict that seemed imminent."
25 And if I understood you correctly yesterday when this report was
1 presented to you, you confirm the events but not the fact that it says
2 here you were a member of the Gornji Vakuf HVO. Is that correctly
3 understood by me?
4 A. Yes, you understood me correctly.
5 Q. And we can see that this report from Saric, it goes to the
6 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, to the Croatian Defence Council. Why
7 would Mr. Saric, who was the president of the HVO, feel the need to
8 report on these incidents to the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the
9 Croatian Defence Council?
10 A. Because in the territory of Gornji Vakuf municipality, the
11 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and the Croatian Defence Council did
12 not wish any kind of incidents to take place.
13 Q. But why would he report to the central authorities? Why would he
14 present you as an HVO member and the HVO members as someone taking charge
15 of the situation?
16 A. Mr. Saric was de jure the president of the HVO as the
17 administrative and executive authority for the municipality of Gornji
18 Vakuf appointed by the president of the Croatian Community of
19 Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban, and it was his task and duty to report to
20 the Presidency of the HZ HB and, therefore, also the HVO about all events
21 of significance in the territory he was in and for which he was
23 As for his statement that Zdravko Batinic - that is I myself -
24 was a member of the HVO as a civilian administrative and executive
25 authority, that is not true because Zdravko Batinic never de jure or de
1 facto was ever a member of the HVO, of the civilian or administrative
2 authority. Nobody appointed me to that position. I never received any
3 decision to that effect. We did discuss this thing, this possibility,
4 but that was all.
5 Q. When Mr. Saric makes the representation that HVO members are
6 calming down the situation, would that have been an attempt to show to
7 others in the HZ HB hierarchy that Mr. Saric had actually established a
8 civilian authority which was in fact functioning?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour. It calls for speculation.
10 How can the gentleman opine on what Mr. Saric had in mind when he did
11 this? He's being asked to speculate.
12 MS. MOE: This is --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'd like a ruling.
14 MS. MOE: If I may, Your Honour, Mr. President. This is the
15 quote from the amended 65 ter summary from Mr. Karnavas on behalf of --
16 or representing Mr. Batinic's testimony, and I tried to ask open
17 questions to start with, but the quote that I just presented is from the
18 amended 65 ter summary. So I might present it in that sense to the
19 witness, then ask him whether that is correct that he said so.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may put the question, the
21 more so as this document shows that Mr. Batinic played a certain role at
22 this point in time, and we need to know why he played such a role and
23 what the context was.
24 MS. MOE:
25 Q. I'll first go back to what I was saying to you just before
1 Karnavas took the floor, Mr. Batinic, and this is from the 65 ter
2 summary, which is a summary that we get from the counsel of Mr. Prlic
3 stating what your testimony will be about before you come to court, and
4 what I quoted was from there, and I'm asking you now whether the quote
5 that I will now repeat, whether that is correct, if that was your
7 "He" - that would be you - "has no idea why Saric is
8 embellishing, but he thinks this may be an attempt to show to others in
9 the HZ HB hierarchy that he had actually established a civilian authority
10 which was, in fact, functioning."
11 Is that correct?
12 A. That is what I said.
13 Q. So that would -- I understand you correctly, then, that Mr. Saric
14 reports to his superiors upwards in the HZ HB hierarchy, and it's
15 important for him to show that the civilian local HVO in Gornji Vakuf is
17 A. I don't know what Mr. Saric thought important, but it is a fact
18 that what I said today in the courtroom is true. If I may have a minute
19 to explain what is written here towards the end.
20 Q. Please do so.
21 A. Thank you. It is not true that Mr. Trbara convened any meeting
22 together with me. On that morning, the atmosphere was reaching boiling
23 point in town, and the text describing it by Mr. Saric in his report
24 regarding incidents between the 19th and the 31st of October, 1992, is
25 correct. However, at the time and on that day in the territory of the
1 municipality, the president of the Presidency of the municipality of
2 Gornji Vakuf, Mr. Muhamed Palalic, was not physically present, and for --
3 due to this, I felt it my responsibility to take some steps to avoid any
4 kind of incident taking place. Through the postman or the courier of the
5 municipality, I sent some 20 invitations for a meeting at the Radusa
6 Hotel, a meeting of the most responsible representatives of the Croatian
7 people, prominent figures in social life, the commander of the armed
8 forces of the HVO, as well as the leading representatives of the Muslim
9 people and the commander of the armed forces of the TO or the BH army,
10 whatever it was at the time.
11 We did have a meeting at the Radusa Hotel. The debate was
12 extremely useful, and at the end it was agreed that through equipment
13 which could be installed at the TV relay, Zdravko Batinic as the
14 president of the executive council of the Municipal Assembly should
15 address the people as well as Dr. Mihad Edzelovic the most influential
16 member of the SDA in those days for Gornji Vakuf, and that is what we
17 did. We made a joint statement for the citizens of Gornji Vakuf on local
18 television, and tensions eased, and on that day nothing happened. That
19 is the truth.
20 MS. MOE: I don't have any more questions for this document, but
21 I'll leave it to the Trial Chamber's -- Trial Chamber if they do.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, please.
23 MS. MOE: Thank you.
24 Q. A different document, Mr. Batinic, on -- on the same issue. This
25 would be in the first -- the big binder that's to your right. And I'd
1 like you to look up Exhibit P 01184, please.
2 A. Could somebody help me, because I don't seem to be able to find
3 my way around these documents.
4 Q. The usher will give you a hand.
5 A. There's so many papers.
6 Q. It's 01184. Do you have it, Mr. Batinic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And if you look first at the -- at the last page just to get the
9 date right. That's the second-to-last page of the document. There is
10 written 18th of January, 1993. If you can't find it in your binder, it
11 should be on the screen in front of you. If you see the handwritten
12 passage down to your right.
13 A. Yes, I do. I see it.
14 Q. And if you back to the first page, we see up to the upper-left
15 corner that this is from the office of the president of the Croatian
16 Defence Council, and we see that it goes to the HVO Croatian Defence
17 Council command to Croatian Defence Council of the municipality and to
18 Croatian population of the Gornji Vakuf municipality. And if you look
19 down on that page, you see that it's from Dr. Jadranko Prlic, president
20 of the HVO of the HZ HB.
21 Do you recognise this document?
22 A. No.
23 Q. It's addressed to the Croatian population of the Gornji Vakuf
24 municipality, so I'll read out a part of it, so I'm asking you to pay
25 attention. It says:
1 "Gornji Vakuf.
2 "At its today's special session, the Croatian Defence Council of
3 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna discussed political and security
4 conditions in the area of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and
5 especially in the area of your municipality.
6 "From the reports of the Defence Section of the HVO of the HZ
7 Herceg-Bosna, then from the contacts with your officials and officers, as
8 well as on the basis of reports of objective media, it is obvious that
9 the Muslim forces are intending to take over the rule to enable HVO
10 defensive activities and then, by applying terror, to cause an exodus of
11 the Croatian people from that area.
12 "Giving full support to resisting such intentions, the Croatian
13 Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is determined
14 to provide you with any form of help, including the force and combat
15 readiness of the armed forces of the HVO. You are not alone, and you
16 will not be left at the mercy of the Muslim extremists who seem to have
17 armed themselves for settling accounts with the Croatian people instead
18 of joining in the common struggle against the Serbian-Chetnik aggressor.
19 "The Croatian Defence Council and the entire Croatian Community
20 of Herceg-Bosna are with you."
21 When Prlic says in this letter that the HVO of the HZ HB gives
22 full support to you in Gornji Vakuf and will provide you with any form of
23 help, including the force and combat readiness of the armed forces of the
24 HVO, did you have this -- or did you know about this at the time? Was
25 that your view, that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was behind
2 A. We were firmly convinced that we wouldn't be alone in that
3 difficult armed conflict in the month of January 1993. We expected the
4 assistance of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, all forms of
5 assistance. At the time, what we most needed was military assistance.
6 Forces in the HVO were attacked by several thousand members of the ABiH
7 from a number of directions, in the town from the direction of Bugojno,
8 and so on and so forth. And without forces assisting, Herceg-Bosna --
9 Herceg-Bosna couldn't have defended itself, and I believe that this is
10 why Mr. Prlic sent this letter of support to the Croatian people in
11 Gornji Vakuf.
12 Q. Can you remember having had referred to you the particular --
13 this particular letter, or is this a view, an opinion you had based on
14 other sources?
15 A. I haven't seen this letter before, but I don't know which sources
16 you have in mind.
17 Q. You said that you were firmly convinced that you wouldn't be left
18 alone and that you would have the support of the Croatian Community of
19 Herceg-Bosna. Do I understand you correctly that that was the view you
20 had based on -- well, on different -- on different sources, on different
21 documents or discussions that you'd -- you'd had with other people?
22 A. No. I based this opinion above all on the fact that the Croatian
23 Community of Herceg-Bosna had been founded to protect the Croatian people
24 in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whenever the Croatian population,
25 any part of it, was threatened or attacked, the HZ HB was prepared to
1 assist those people, wherever they were, if this was possible.
2 Q. Thank you. I have one more document on the October events,
3 October 1992
4 in the same binder that you have. It's P 00712.
5 If you look at the first page, you can see that it is a letter or
6 a report to the military police administration in Mostar, Mr. Valentin
7 Coric: "Subject: Report on events in Prozor and Gornji Vakuf
8 municipalities," and it's from the commander of the 2nd military police
9 battalion, Zdenko Andabak. And if you look up to the right-hand corner,
10 the date is the 6th of November.
11 You've talked about the October events in Gornji Vakuf. There
12 were some incidents in Prozor in October 1992, as well, weren't there?
13 On the 23rd of October, there was fighting in Prozor. Am I correct?
14 A. Yes, you're right.
15 Q. And the HVO took over Prozor; is that correct?
16 A. I can't say that that's correct. After the fighting in the town
17 of Prozor, the HVO had in a certain sense taken control of the town of
19 Q. And then you're referring to the October fighting; is that
21 A. Which date do you have in mind when you say October 1992?
22 Q. 23rd of October, 1992.
23 A. On the 23rd of October, 1992, as far as I know the initial clash
24 had only just started, the clash that involved the neighbouring
25 municipality, a clash between TO and HVO forces.
1 Q. But can we agree that - and I'm using your words - after the
2 fighting in the town of Prozor
3 sense taken control of the town of Prozor
4 A. On the 23rd, the clashes began in the area of the Prozor
5 municipality; but it was on the 24th of October, 1992, that the HVO took
6 control of the area of Prozor municipality.
7 Q. Thank you for that specification, Mr. Batinic. This fighting in
8 Prozor, did that increase tensions in Gornji Vakuf, as well, being a
9 neighbouring municipality?
10 A. Absolutely, yes. With your leave, may I continue?
11 Q. I'd like to ask you a couple of questions first to this document.
12 A. [In English] Okay. Okay.
13 Q. But start with that, and we'll see how we go. I read out what
14 this report is about. I assume you don't know that report. You don't
15 recognise the document itself, do you?
16 A. [Interpretation] That's quite right.
17 Q. I would, however, like to read out a few portions from this
18 report and to ask you whether that complies with your knowledge and with
19 what you saw on the ground at this time in October 1992, and I'd like you
20 to go to page 5 in the B/C/S version. That should also be page 5 in the
21 English version. That's the page that starts dealing with Gornji Vakuf
23 Have you found that, Mr. Batinic? It starts with a section on
24 Prozor, this report, and then goes on to deal with Gornji Vakuf on page 5
25 of the version you have. It should be on the screen in front of you
1 also. Are you able to find it? Do you have it in front of you?
2 A. Only on the screen.
3 Q. Sorry, it should be page 4 of the B/C/S version. But you see it,
4 don't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. This is a report, a continuation on the report on Prozor and
7 Gornji Vakuf, and there's first a reference to the 19th of October, 1992
8 It says: "The command of the Gornji Vakuf Main Staff issued a decision
9 on placing members of the military police at full combat readiness."
10 Were you aware of that decision at the time?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps -- I didn't think he understood that that
12 was a question.
13 MS. MOE:
14 Q. I'll repeat it, Mr. Batinic. You see there's first a reference
15 to the 19th of October, 1992, and it says, at the time, there was a
16 decision on placing members of the military police at full combat
17 readiness, and I was asking you, at the time, were you aware of that
19 A. No.
20 Q. Then it goes on to the 23rd of October: "Full combat readiness
21 was also ordered for all Gornji Vakuf HVO units."
22 Were you aware of that decision at the time?
23 A. I wasn't aware of this decision of the 23rd of October, 1992
24 of the 29th of October, but I myself realised that tension had increased
25 to such an extent that both sides in Gornji Vakuf and around Gornji Vakuf
1 were at full combat readiness when it came to their armed forces. That
2 concerned the Territorial Defence and the HVO.
3 Q. And this realisation of yours, would that be something you had by
4 the 23rd of October? Am I understand you correctly?
5 A. Yes. On the 23rd of October, 1992. You understood me correctly.
6 On that same day, we had two meetings in order to prevent an armed
7 conflict of any kind from breaking out in the area of the municipality of
8 Gornji Vakuf.
9 Q. If I could ask you to go back to the document. The next entry is
10 the 24th of October, but I'm moving on, and if you see the next entry
11 after that, it's the 25th of October. Do you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And right above 25th of October, there's the sentence that says
14 the following: "Following the street fighting, HVO members captured all
15 the factories and took control of them." And this should then be the
16 24th of October. Were you aware of the HVO members having captured all
17 the factories in Gornji Vakuf and taking control of them on the 24th of
18 October, 1992?
19 A. I'll partially answer your question by saying yes -- or, rather,
20 no, but I don't have to explain that [as interpreted].
21 Q. Well, I'd like to ask you to be a bit more specific if you can.
22 What's the yes part, and what is the no part?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman indicated he did want to explain,
24 not that he did not want to explain. In the record it shows that he did
25 not want to explain. Yes -- partially yes, no, and then it looks like it
1 says that he doesn't want to explain. He does want to explain. That's
2 why the --
3 MS. MOE:
4 Q. Sorry, Mr. Batinic.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MS. MOE:
7 Q. I heard you saying that you didn't want to explain, and I would
8 like you to explain. So please go ahead.
9 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say one
10 thing since the witness requested an explanation, that Mr. Karnavas got
11 up before me with his objection, but I think it will be fair to the
12 witness and to everyone else in the courtroom not to read out only parts
13 of this report, because my colleague skips one sentence and reads out the
14 following one, but the events in the report are linked. If the witness
15 was given the opportunity to read through the entire page, he'd be able
16 to understand all the events. In this way, the events are taken out of
17 context, and this confuses the witness because we have events for one
18 day. We have full combat readiness mentioned in this document with
19 regard to both military forces. We see that something was taken over,
20 that there was an armed conflict. This conflict was started, according
21 to this document, by the TO or the BH army, and then the response was to
22 see certain features. This all makes sense, and as a result I don't
23 think it's a good idea to selectively read through the document because
24 we have a chronological description of the events and of the acts of both
25 sides, and it's also linked to other events in other municipalities, for
1 example, in the municipality of Travnik
2 MS. MOE: Your Honours, I don't see how what I'm doing now is
3 different from what is the usual practice in this case, and if
4 Mr. Karnavas who brought in the witness wants to go back to any parts of
5 this report, he can certainly do so on redirect.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, there is something called the rule of
7 completeness. You can't take something out of context, and I would
8 suggest giving the gentleman an opportunity to at least look at the
9 entire text in context. He can look at it himself, and then he can
10 answer the question, but, you know, there is such a thing as the rule of
11 completeness, and I'm sure that my colleague Mr. Scott would agree with
12 me on that.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, the document
14 is not one the witness knows, but perhaps he is familiar with the
15 context. So to avoid this entire debate, one should have asked him,
16 first of all, whether he knew how these events took place, if he had
17 perfect knowledge or partial knowledge of these events, and then you
18 could have continued by referring to certain particular issues.
19 MS. MOE: I'll take that on board, Mr. President.
20 Q. If we go back to where we were, Mr. Batinic, it was the 24th of
21 October, as I referred to before quoting from the report, and we have
22 heard you testify about how you were in Gornji Vakuf at the time in
23 October and how you were involved in some of the incidents there. So
24 I'll ask you again. I know you don't have knowledge about this report in
25 particular, because that's what I asked you initially, but do you have
1 any knowledge -- or did you have any knowledge at the time of the HVO
2 members capturing all the factories in Gornji Vakuf and taking control of
4 A. I said I had to explain this, but first of all I want to deny
5 what you have just said. I didn't participate in any incidents at the
6 time in Gornji Vakuf -- or, rather, not during the period -- or not on
7 the 24th of October, 1992. I was one of those who tried to prevent
8 incidents at all costs.
9 Q. If I may just on that. There might have been a translation issue
10 here because what I was referring to was actually your involvement in
11 what you said, what you talked about, calming down the tension. So that
12 was my -- that was my intention, to refer to that.
13 So if you could please go on and explain your answer to my
14 question regarding the factories.
15 A. Yes. At the entrance to Gornji Vakuf when coming from the
16 direction of Bugojno in 1992, there were four companies to the right of
17 the main road and at the entrance to Gornji Vakuf. There was a
18 construction company called Kozara. There was a factory for processing
19 metal called Tom. There was the Unis factory and the Borac factory.
20 These settlements are linked to part town inhabited by Croats who were in
21 the majority there. In the factories and behind the factories at that
22 time, between the 24th and 25th of October, 1992, there was no fighting,
23 nor was it necessary for the HVO to fight for the factories; but as a
24 preventive measure, they deployed a minor number of men so that TO forces
25 would not enter the factories through Vrbas. There was no fighting and
1 no seizing of the factories by the HVO.
2 Q. So am I understanding correctly, then, that -- and I know you
3 haven't seen the document before, but you -- your knowledge at the time
4 related to this report or in -- as regards the issues of this report on
5 the factories, you believe Mr. Andabak was referring to the factories you
6 testified about just now?
7 A. In that area we have some other factories, but none of them were
8 in the area of conflict in relation to Mr. Andabak's mission, apart from
9 the ones I have mentioned.
10 Q. If we go on to the 25th of October -- can you see there's a
11 reference to the 25th of October right below what I read out now?
12 A. Yes, I can see that.
13 Q. Then there's a reference to the 26th of October. At the time,
14 you were still in Gornji Vakuf, weren't you?
15 A. Yes. On the 20th of June, 1992, I was in Gornji Vakuf.
16 Q. What I was referring to was the 26th of October, 1992, which is
17 the date in the report. On the 26th of October, 1992, were you then in
18 Gornji Vakuf?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I'd like to read out what it says in the report here about 26th
21 of October and ask you whether that complies with your knowledge, being
22 present in Gornji Vakuf at the time.
23 "HVO units took the Gornji Vakuf MUP, Ministry of the Interior,
24 building and post, which they still have under their control."
25 Does that comply with your understanding at the time?
1 A. Yes, it does, but I should point out from the building of the MUP
2 and the post office in the part of town -- well, it was in the part of
3 town where the Croats were in the majority.
4 Q. And the MUP building or the M-U-P building, is that the same as
5 the police station, the same building?
6 A. That's correct. We called it the public security station.
7 Q. Were these buildings under the control of the ABiH prior to the
8 26th of October? In other words, did the HVO, on the 26th of October,
9 take over control of the MUP building and the post office?
10 A. No. The TO forces weren't in the MUP building. They weren't in
11 the post office, either. When it says they took -- or perhaps this
12 hasn't been phrased correctly. One should have said they were in the MUP
13 building and the post office, but they were on the margins of that part
14 of town where Croats are the majority. So it was logical for HVO forces
15 to deploy these margins of inhabited places, to protect the Croatian
16 people in those places.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may add a question here.
19 How would -- how do you explain the fact that Mr. Andabak finds
20 it important enough to say in this report the HVO took over the MUP, et
21 cetera, when you say that they were there anyway? From whom did they
22 take it over, from whom? Was -- was there no act that could be described
23 at all as a taking-over?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what I knew, Your
25 Honour, there was no fighting to take control of the public security
1 station and the post office. At that time, it was somehow logical for
2 each side to remain in their part of the town, in part of town where the
3 Croats were in the majority. That's where the HVO would remain; and in
4 the part of town where the Muslims were in the majority, members of the
5 TO, well, remained in that part of town.
6 It was important for a sort of imaginary line not to be crossed
7 by either of the sides, an imaginary demarcation line.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I hear this, but it does not quite answer the
9 question. "Taking over" means that you gain possession in a large sense
10 of something of which before you did not have possession. So after the
11 26th -- as of the 26th, we must conclude from this passage, assuming that
12 it is a true report, that the HVO had "possession" of MUP.
13 Who was in possession before that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Members of the public security
15 station, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And would they be mixed? Would there also be
17 some Muslims?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The public security station was
19 mixed in ethic terms. So there were Muslim policemen who worked there,
20 too, naturally. But if I may, just one sentence. As soon as the tension
21 in the town was felt, everyone took shelter in "their own part of town."
22 So the HVO forces or colleagues, policemen who were Croats, didn't have
23 to forcibly expel Muslim colleagues from the public security station.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I think that has clarified the fact.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have our break now, a
1 20-minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Your Honours and everyone in the
6 courtroom, counsel.
7 Your Honour, I regret needing to interrupt at the moment the
8 cross-examination of my colleague, Ms. Moe, and I apologise to her as
9 well as everyone else for that. However, there's something I do need to
10 raise this week, and I put it off -- I intentionally put it off not to
11 take the time during the Defence questioning, but I feel that I cannot --
12 I feel that I cannot put it until later this week given -- depending what
13 the schedule might be and what the Chamber's ruling might be, so I ask
14 the Court's indulgence for a few moments to address an issue relating to
15 next week's witness, Mr. Tomic, who you know is returning.
16 Your Honour, my concern in part, and I say in part, arises out of
17 what I've heard, and I'm not being critical in any way, and I hope
18 Mr. Karnavas will not take this to mean more than what I intend it to
19 mean. I've heard Mr. Karnavas to say on several occasions that he would
20 like two hours for direct -- for redirect examination. Now, ultimately,
21 of course, of course, that is in the Trial Chamber's hands, and the Trial
22 Chamber can choose to give Mr. Karnavas two hours or three hours or four
24 But the concern the Prosecution has, Your Honour, is that there
25 needs to be some proportionality and some parity, some fairness here with
1 the amount of time provided for Defence questioning and the time provided
2 to the Prosecution for its questioning. And again, I raise this today
3 because with the greatest respect to the Chamber, I would appreciate a
4 ruling as soon as possible on my request to the Chamber, because it will
5 affect, it will directly effect our continuing preparations for next
6 week's witness, and it's not something that can be simply resolve at 2.15
7 next Monday. After -- we will have no opportunity at that point to
8 respond or to -- to adjust our preparations accordingly concerning a
9 witness that everyone in the courtroom recognises is an important
10 witness. I think Mr. Karnavas himself has indicated this is one of the
11 most important witnesses. So if that's the case, Your Honour, ever --
12 evermore reason why the Prosecution should have a fair opportunity to
13 question the witness as well.
14 I hope that I -- I'll ask -- I think it's very important, Your
15 Honour, and it will take more than one minute because I do have some
16 information that I do want to put before the Chamber, and I have a short
17 handout to be provided to the Judges and, of course, to the Defence
18 counsel. If the usher can assist us, please.
19 I'll give everybody just a couple of seconds to orient yourself
20 to the document.
21 Your Honour, the top of the page, this is a summary of the Tomic
22 situation to date, if you will. To date, the direct examination and the
23 co-accused examination has taken a total of 11 hours and 17 minutes, and
24 these -- all these times, I should say, just so everyone's clear, all
25 these times come directly from the registry. They're not -- they're not
1 the Prosecution's invention. This all comes from the time records kept
2 by the registry.
3 The total time with Mr. Tomic by the Defence to date is 11 hours,
4 7 minutes. The Chamber had indicated that the Prosecution cross could be
5 eight hours. Mr. Karnavas has requested two hours of direct -- of
6 redirect. Now, if that -- if that were to play out, if that were to
7 become the situation, I would note, Your Honours, that that would mean
8 that with this witness the Defence will have been given a total of 13
9 hours and 7 minutes, and the Prosecution only 8 hours. Now, keep that in
10 mind for a moment.
11 Now, we went back and looked at some of the other redirects in
12 this case, and to be fair, we looked at the longest redirect in the
13 Prosecution case and the longest redirect in the Defence cases to date.
14 In the Prosecution case, the longest witness was Witness EA, the longest
15 redirect. The direct of that witness took 6 hours, 46 minutes. The
16 total Defence time, note, Your Honours, the total Defence time was 10
17 hours. Redirect was 56 minutes. So on a total -- in response to a total
18 Defence questioning of 10 hours - 10 hours, not 8 hours, 10 hours - the
19 Prosecution had 56 minutes for redirect. At the end of the day, again,
20 you'll see that in that particular instance, total, the Defence had 10
21 hours; the Prosecution had 7 hours and 42 minutes.
22 Now, in terms of the longest redirect in the Defence case to
23 date, Mr. Perkovic, the direct and co-accused took 7 hours. The
24 Prosecution cross-examination was 4 hours, 50 minutes, once again,
25 substantially less than the Defence time. Redirect was 40 minutes. So
1 after 7 hours of Defence questioning, an additional 40 minutes of
2 redirect in that particular case. And again, you'll see the total time,
3 the total defence time, 7 hours and 40 minutes; total Prosecution time, 4
4 hours and 50 minutes, almost 3 hours, almost 3 hours less than the time
5 given to the Defence.
6 Now, Your Honour, these situations unfortunately do not take
7 place in a vacuum; and as Mr. Karnavas always likes to say, if we put
8 these matters in context, Prosecution has also from the time records kept
9 by the registry looked at some more general time periods. In the
10 Prosecution case, in the Prosecution case, the Prosecution had 30 per
11 cent of court time; Defence had 37 per cent of court time. Substantially
12 more. In the Prosecution's case - I emphasise - in the Prosecution's
13 case, the Defence got more time in the Prosecution case than the
14 Prosecution got. Substantially more. And in the Defence cases to date,
15 the Defence has used 37 per cent of the total court time, and the
16 Prosecution has received 27 per cent. Substantially, very substantially,
18 With great respect to the Chamber, the practices of the Chamber
19 and the times being allowed under all these various practices and rules
20 is systematically - and I underline the word "systematically" - working
21 at the disadvantage, the substantial disadvantage of the Prosecution. We
22 are given with every witness, with virtually every witness, every aspect
23 of the case, substantially less time than the Defence is getting.
24 Systematically, consistently.
25 Now, Your Honour, we think that's fundamentally unfair for a
1 number of reasons. I won't go into all of them. Some of the
2 discussions, we've had before. Prosecution in this case, in the Prlic
3 trial, is being repeatedly, systematically and substantially given less
4 time than the Defence.
5 Now, if we're being asked to -- to cut our times repeatedly, I
6 don't think that's fair, Your Honour.
7 Now, let me -- let me put this in context again. My issue is
8 less to do with the amount of time given to Mr. Karnavas. If the Chamber
9 wants to give Mr. Karnavas five hours of redirect, that's within the
10 Trial Chamber's discretion. Give him five hours, but there has to be
11 some proportionality, Your Honour, some fairness with the amount of time
12 given to the Prosecution to examine the same witness.
13 Now, just to make this a little bit more topical, something that
14 was raised earlier this week in response to, I think, some questions put
15 by Judge -- comments made by Judge Trechsel. The issue of confederation,
16 of a possible confederation with Croatia
17 the response -- what I took from the Chamber's reaction is, this is
18 something the Chamber has not -- or at least some of the Chamber has not
19 heard a lot about or has been presented. That is an issue, that is an
20 issue that is in my outline to go into with the witness Tomic. It's
21 there. It's been there. I will not get to it. I will not be able to
22 cover that topic on the time that's presently allowed.
23 So, Your Honour, there has to be some fairness here. We are
24 consistently being given less time. Look -- and also, I gave you the
25 comparisons of the redirects concerning other cases. Nothing has been
1 granted approaching two hours, nothing. It's never -- redirect has never
2 exceeded an hour, has never, ever exceeded an hour.
3 Now, again, though, give Mr. Karnavas however time -- much time
4 you want, but give the Prosecution a fair amount of time as well. What
5 we specifically seek, Your Honours, is to have at least, to have at least
6 one-half of the time taken by the other accused, which would -- Tomic was
7 3 hours and 10 minutes. Half of that, half of that - which leaves the
8 Prosecution still at a significant disadvantage; we will still have had
9 substantially less time with this witness than the Defence - would be
10 half of the additional co-accused questioning, half of that time would be
11 an hour and 35 minutes. That is half the time that they took.
12 Your Honour, in terms of completing the cross-examination of
13 Mr. Tomic and so that we can prepare for next week, the Prosecution asks
14 the Chamber to grant it an additional one hour and 35 minutes to examine
15 this witness for all the reasons stated. I would be greatly -- I would
16 greatly appreciate, Your Honour; with the greatest respect to all of
17 you -- all of the Judges, I would greatly respect -- appreciate, excuse
18 me, a ruling so that -- before next week so that we can prepare
19 accordingly. And again, as I see Mr. Karnavas get to his feet, my
20 concern is less with the time -- give Mr. Karnavas as much time as you
21 want. Give him as much time as you want, but give the Prosecution a fair
22 amount of time as well. Thank you.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I'm grateful for the generosity that
24 Mr. Scott is expressing.
25 Two points or maybe three or maybe more. First, essentially, 80
1 per cent of the -- the submission today had nothing to do with redirect
2 but, rather, had to do with the request for additional time for
3 cross-examination; and I think in that instance the Prosecution should,
4 as we have done in the past, pitch his case, make his position known why
5 they need the additional time in this instance, and give us some concrete
6 basis upon which we can either take a position and, more importantly, the
7 Trial Chamber can also make a decision. So essentially, let's -- let's
8 get down to brass tacks, as they say. This is really a request for
9 additional time.
10 As far as redirect examination, I think Mr. Scott may be wrong.
11 I believe Zoran Buntic was a little bit longer than 40 minutes. That was
12 my recollection. So my longest redirect probably was more than 40. I
13 say that because I make no apologies for a redirect that may take more
14 than 40 or 50 minutes or an hour.
15 Redirect has a specific purpose. Obviously, I cannot go outside
16 the scope of the direct examination. I think if the Trial Chamber looks
17 over all of the witnesses that I've put forward thus far, I've been --
18 I've used redirect sparingly, and when I do it's rather targeted.
19 Some Judges may disagree. Of course, my redirect is based on 25
20 years of experience in the courtroom. So it's based on that. So -- and
21 in the event in any of my redirect it is irrelevant, it is up for the
22 Prosecution to object and, of course, for the Judges to jump in as they
23 normally do to ask questions, why is this relevant, or this is going
24 beyond the cope of the cross-examination. That has not happened.
25 Therefore, I see no problem with that.
1 My biggest concern with -- with the submissions made by Mr. Scott
2 is that he somehow seems to think that we are all holding hands here
3 singing "Kumbaya" on this side, this aisle, this side of the courtroom;
4 and I can assure you we have six different defences. Now, in part, one
5 of the reasons I need additional time is because of certain matters that
6 were brought up by other Defence teams. Now, I can either not address
7 it, or I can address it. Now, it's my duty to my client to address it.
8 And I notice, Judge Trechsel that you're shaking your head a little bit,
9 and I get the feeling that you must think that we are in some kind of a
10 joint enterprise here against the Prosecution. And I can assure you,
11 that is not the case. My enterprise is with my client. To the extent
12 that it might -- I might share some issues with one of the other teams,
13 that's fine; but we don't get together. We don't strategize. We don't
14 plan out my direct examination and say, I won't cover this, you cover
15 that. Anybody that wants to meet a witness, they're free to do so, and
16 that goes with experts as well. We -- in fact, we don't even prevent the
17 Prosecution. If they wanted to meet with any of our witnesses, they're
18 free to do so.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In fairness, Mr. Karnavas, shouldn't you also
20 remark when I nod? Because you always make a comment when I shake my
21 head, which I have many reasons, not necessarily those which you imagine.
22 But I also often nod my head, and you never remark on that, which is not
24 MR. KARNAVAS: That's true. That's true. If you could nod in
25 favour, is what I'm saying right now, I would most definitely go on
2 But in any event, I think the numbers themselves really do not --
3 cannot assist us that much. I think the Prosecution should simply, you
4 know, make their case that they need additional time for the variety of
5 reasons. The Trial Chamber can do so. I said two hours because that's
6 what I'm thinking at this time based on what I heard and what I'm
7 expecting from the Prosecution. It may take an hour and a half. I do
8 have -- because I have some luxury, in a sense, of more time to prepare
9 my redirect, I will try to be as streamlined as possible; and I can
10 assure you what I will be doing is going from the transcript saying page
11 this, this was mentioned, and if the Trial Chamber wishes in advance for
12 me to present some kind of a -- topics, list of topics of which I'm going
13 to go into redirect with this particular witness because he's been such a
14 long witness, I'm prepared to do that. Not now, because I'm not ready,
15 but I could do that. But I don't -- I frankly think that the Prosecution
16 is -- is using these statistics to somehow show that they're not getting
17 their fair share of the pie, and I don't think that's correct. And when
18 you look at these numbers, and it says 30 per cent Prosecution, 37
19 Defence. Well, again, there's six different Defences over here, so
20 obviously there's going to be a little extra time. But I don't think
21 that you should look at the numbers.
22 And I might add, there were many witnesses that the Prosecution
23 brought that I never cross-examined, not even a single question. I
24 thanked them for coming here, giving their evidence. So I don't think
25 that we should just go by the numbers. I think the Prosecution should
1 probably give some greater detail, maybe in writing, as to why they need
2 the additional time. The Defence can then make appropriate responses,
3 and then, of course, the Trial Chamber will be in a much better position
4 to assess whether in fact they need additional time.
5 That's all I need to say, and I hope that I wasn't in any way
6 suggesting that the Prosecution should not get additional time.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will deliberate.
8 The Chamber is fully au courant. The Prosecution wants an hour and 35
9 minutes' additional time. Mr. Karnavas has told us that he would need
10 two hours, but I think that is the maximum possible. So for the moment,
11 the other Defences are not involved. Yes, Mr. Stewart or Mr. Khan.
12 MR. STEWART: [Microphone not activated] Please go first,
13 Mr. Khan.
14 MR. KHAN: Your Honours, it's quite correct that this principally
15 involves a Prlic witness. However, the submission put forward by my
16 learned friend Mr. Scott is of -- perhaps of wider implication because it
17 deals with the issue of time. Now, it is patently obvious to everybody
18 in this courtroom that neither the Prosecution nor the Defence are
19 completely satisfied with how time has been apportioned in this case. I
20 make no comment on that. Opportunities were there to appeal that, and
21 decisions have been rendered. And without taking a position, of course,
22 it may be a sign of an independent and impartial Chamber that on such a
23 fundamental issue both sides are equally unhappy. But I do take issue
24 with the greatest of respect for the actual basis of my learned friend's
1 The time detailed on the sheet handed over is contorted in
2 reality because the time is very much a function of the Prosecution's
3 decision to have a joint trial with six individuals. And when one is
4 looking simply at Tomic, the Prosecution have been given eight hours to
5 cross-examine, whereas all the Defence, Mr. Prlic's counsel and all the
6 accused, have been given 11 hours, so it's more than half. But it's
7 fundamentally in error to start raising -- to start saying that the
8 Chamber is cutting, is cutting the time of the Prosecution, because I
9 don't see what cut has been made by Your Honours to the time given to the
10 Prosecution in relation to this witness or any witnesses, because the
11 time, of course, in re-examination is -- the time has already been
12 allocated to a party.
13 Similarly, when one looks at Witness EA, which my learned friend
14 prays in aid, it's of hardly any utility because every counsel has
15 different approaches to cross-examination and re-examination. The fact
16 that the Prosecution has chosen, has chosen, to spend 56 minutes in
17 re-examination or redirect, to use the American expression as detailed on
18 the sheet, could be -- could have been for a whole variety of reasons,
19 but it's a decision of the Prosecution. If they wanted to spend more
20 time on re-examination out of their time that they were allotted in their
21 case in chief, well, that would have been a reasonable option.
22 Again, re-examination is not at large. Re-examination is always
23 curtailed by the grounds of relevance, and it has to be focused on
24 matters that have arisen in cross-examination. So, Your Honours, I don't
25 see, to be quite candid, any prejudice to the Prosecution on the grounds
1 that they have detailed either that time has been cut by the Trial
2 Chamber that was granted to the Prosecution or that re-examination is
3 conducted for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, or even 2 hours. It has to be
4 relevant, and it has to be within the confines of matters that are raised
5 in cross-examination.
6 On numerous occasions, the Prosecution have said quite correctly
7 very often when interjections have been made by the Defence, this is
8 inappropriate, whatever the arguments of the principle of completeness.
9 The Prosecution say, well, my learned friend can raise this in
10 re-examination. Well, it can't be -- my learned friends can't have it
11 both ways; and in my submission, it would have been perhaps more
12 appropriate, it's a matter for the Prosecution, to simply focus on if
13 they want more time, cogent and compelling arguments can be put forward.
14 Those arguments, in my respectful submission, have not been presented in
15 this present application by the Prosecution.
16 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would
17 just like to say that I don't really understand why we are running around
18 in a circle. What I am concerned about is that the Chamber made a very
19 specific decision about the time allotted to the Defence about the way in
20 which the time would be calculated for cross-examination; and within the
21 framework of that decision, it was stated that the time given to the
22 Defence for redirect would be detracted from their time, and Mr. Karnavas
23 was told that you can use as much time as you like for the redirect, but
24 later on you will have less time for the direct examination of another
25 witness if you use your time in that way.
1 According to the calculation of time that we are given by the
2 registrar, I see that Mr. Karnavas has still plenty of time that has been
3 allotted to him for his defence. I don't really see what the problem is.
4 The Rules of Procedure and Evidence also specifies what the direct
5 examination is about, what the redirect is about. It has to be within
6 the scope of the cross-examination. So I don't understand what we're
7 discussing. We're spending a lot of time discussing something that has
8 already been decided. I think everything is quite clear, and there is no
9 problems there. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will end with Mr. Stewart
12 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, we would just like to -- to stress
13 once again that -- that these are six separate Defences, and the
14 Prosecution presentation of their submission here, again, oversimplifies
15 the matter. It's not just that there's the Prosecution and then there's
16 in this instance Mr. Karnavas's client, because we have our
17 cross-examination, as well, and it isn't just a continuation of direct
18 examination. It is -- in almost every instance, it is a
19 cross-examination from our different standpoint because we are a
20 different Defence, so that the re-examination - this applies to
21 Mr. Karnavas at the moment because he's calling witnesses, but it will
22 apply to us when we call our witnesses - our re-examination has to deal
23 with the cross-examination by the Prosecution of our witness and also by
24 cross-examinations by it could be up to five. It's not usually the whole
25 five, but it could be any number of the other Defences.
1 The last point I wish to make is this, that the submission that
2 -- [Microphone not activated]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will you please close your
4 remarks as soon as possible.
5 MR. STEWART: It is my last point, Your Honour, simply to say
6 that except as a guideline, we do question whether any sort of time limit
7 other than as a guideline is really appropriate for a re-examination,
8 because as Mr. Khan has already commented, it is far simpler for the
9 Trial Chamber to ensure in case of re-examination that it is properly
10 linked, properly arises out of cross-examination. It's a far simpler
11 exercise provided the matters are relevant, provided they do properly
12 arise out of cross-examination by any of the other defendants or the
13 Prosecution. Your Honour should, with respect, not cut off
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in view of the fact
16 that the Prosecution's proposal regards all six Defence counsels, I think
17 we need to express an opinion. First of all, I fully agree with what my
18 colleagues have said in the interests of saving time, but I wish to add
19 just one additional point.
20 From this summary table on the sheet distributed to us by the
21 Prosecution, and the table relates to the total amount of time spent in
22 the Prosecution case, and it is thereby implied that even in the
23 Prosecution case the Defence had more time than the Prosecution. In the
24 opinion of the Prosecution, this is an indication of unfairness towards
25 him. I would just like to say the following: The first point is what my
1 colleagues have already stressed. We don't have one accused here but six
2 accused. Theoretically, we should have had six times more time than him.
3 But as you have said on several occasions, that is not possible, so we --
4 each of us had a sixth of the total time.
5 A second point, the Prosecution, as you remember well, called
6 more witnesses under 92 ter and expert witnesses, and as a rule on those
7 occasions the Defence was given additional time. The value expressed in
8 time of the written statement was used to estimate roughly how much time
9 the witness would have needed had he spoken viva voce; and in my opinion,
10 this, I think, would explain the 7 per cent that we had extra, plus when
11 we expressly required additional time, but for this we provided
12 arguments, and when those arguments were worthwhile, we were granted that
13 additional time by the Chamber.
14 Now, if the Prosecutor simply wishes additional time to
15 cross-examine the mentioned witness, let him provide the arguments. But
16 to go back again, as my learned friend has mentioned, for us to go round
17 in a circle and to go back to certain fundamental premises of these
18 proceedings is absolutely inappropriate. You have already ruled, and
19 such an approach is a kind of lack of respect for the Trial Chamber.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll try to be brief, but
22 here, again, is an example. I'm not -- I'm not being critical of the
23 time taken by the Defence in saying this at all. I'm not being critical.
24 I'm just saying, this is a perfect example of -- in this set of
25 submissions, Defence has taken substantially more time to present their
1 issue than the Prosecution has.
2 Your Honour, the proper situation with -- the proper
3 characterisation of the situation here is -- is that, indeed, there is a
4 specific particular issue, the examination of Mr. Tomic, which, indeed,
5 takes place in a -- as part of a larger issue. Excuse me. I don't -- I
6 heard some comments from -- there's a problem or ...
7 Your Honour, again, these are not the Prosecution's numbers. You
8 know, the Defence -- the Defence may not like what the numbers show.
9 There may be various explanations for some of them, but these are the
10 registry's numbers, and they show what they show, and it is the
11 Prosecution case, with the greatest respect to the Chamber, that the
12 Chamber's practices consistently and systematically provide the
13 Prosecution with substantially less time. Now, I'm sorry if that offends
14 either the Chamber or anyone else in the courtroom, but that's what the
15 numbers consistently show.
16 Now, as to -- as to the examinations and -- and the co-accused --
17 among the co-accused and the person conducting -- the party conducting
18 direct, I won't belabour it, Your Honour. I know the Chamber's heard me
19 say this a number of times. In my view to date, since the Defence cases
20 started in May, in my view there has been virtually or very -- well,
21 virtually none or extremely little of anything that I would consider to
22 be cross-examination or examination adverse -- of an adverse witness or
23 adverse testimony of a witness. They -- Defence counsel may not meet and
24 plan out their six or however many examinations are conducted; but, Your
25 Honour, they have all been essentially -- these have all been treated
1 essentially as common witnesses. The Prosecution then has to respond to
2 the co-accused questioning. We can't simply let that go unaddressed.
3 Ms. Alaburic gets up and raises issues not raised by Mr. Karnavas or
4 expands on them substantially. Ms. Nozica gets up. Mr. Praljak gets up.
5 The Prosecution can't simply have no time to respond to those issues, and
6 we do have to allocate our time. Now, the Defence says, well, there are
7 six of us. Well, we have to divide our time among the six, as well,
8 however many issues that are raised.
9 As termed -- in terms of the length of time of redirect taken for
10 Witness EA, something was said by one of the Defence submissions that,
11 well, the Prosecution should have been given or should have had as much
12 time as reasonable. I think the record will show, Your Honour, that
13 since that was the longest redirect the Prosecution had ever conducted in
14 its own case, I think the record will show that we had to push and pretty
15 much beg to get that much time. It wasn't that we just had an abundance
16 of time to burn. It was a matter of --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're going to stop now. We
18 have understood you.
19 MR. SCOTT: Let me finish my comments.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Conclude rapidly.
21 MR. SCOTT: I will, Your Honours. I just want to make an
22 important point back -- both in response to something said this morning
23 and something said earlier this week. Mr. Karnavas reminded us earlier
24 this week that the Prosecution has the burden of proof, which is
25 absolutely true, and the Prosecution has never said to the contrary. But
1 I again observe to the Chamber that the party who has the burden of proof
2 in the case, the party who has to prove its case, unlike the Defence, is,
3 again, being given less time than the Defence. We have the burden of
4 proof, and we're being given less time to prove, to meet the burden that
5 we have.
6 Now, in terms of the 1 hour and 35 minutes, Your Honours, we
7 think that that's probably not even enough, but it will certainly be
8 better than what we have now. There's the issue of confederation.
9 There's the other issues of Mr. Prlic's involvement in running the
10 government. There's a number of issues that we would like to address
11 that given the time that allows we will not be able to address in that
12 amount of time, and I can only represent -- as Mr. Karnavas says, I've
13 also been doing this for 30 years -- going on almost 30 years. I have a
14 pretty good instinct as to what time allows, and I can only represent in
15 the greatest good faith to the Chamber that there's no way that I can
16 adequately cover these additional topics in the remaining time.
17 I thank the Court for its consideration. Again, I'm sorry to
18 have taken the time this morning, but I think the record will show the
19 Prosecution's always been reluctant to take any time more than absolutely
20 necessary, and this -- and our view was necessary. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber will
22 render a decision. Let's have the witness in the courtroom.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Batinic, you may sit down.
25 The Chamber apologises for having made you wait, but we had to deal with
1 questions raised by the Prosecution and the Defence, and as a result you
2 have been brought back into the courtroom about half an hour later than
4 Madam Prosecutor, I give you the floor.
5 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. I'd like, Mr. Batinic, to go back to another issue that you
7 talked about yesterday - or was it Monday - and that refers to -- I think
8 maybe both days. That refers to the hanging of Croat flags in December
9 or January, December 1992, January 1993. And if I understand you
10 correctly, what you said was that the Croats of Gornji Vakuf raised some
11 flags for the celebration of Christmas and New Year's and that some
12 Muslims took down these flags. Is that correctly understood?
13 A. Yes. The Croats in Gornji Vakuf put up their national symbols
14 just before Christmas on the 25th of December, 1992. Those symbols are
15 the symbols of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Unfortunately,
16 this irritated some Muslims who took these symbols down.
17 Q. I take what you say on board, but I'd also like to ask you
18 whether there was a particular incident on the 4th of January, 1993
19 that was a Monday - involving the raising of a flag by Croats on that
20 particular day in the town of Gornji Vakuf. Do you have any knowledge of
22 A. No, but I would like to hear from you which Croatian flag you
23 have in mind, the Croatian flag of the Croatian people in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina or the flag of the Republic of Croatia
25 Q. I'll go to a document that I can show you because I wasn't there
1 at the time, so I'll show you an exhibit that refers to this, and I'll
2 ask you to go to the binder that you have in front you to P 01068.
3 That's one of the exhibits in the binder. Do you have the B/C/S version
4 of P 01068 in front of you? This is --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. This is an exhibit that has already been dealt with
7 here in court. It's an information report from the BritBat contingent
8 that I've referred to earlier that was stationed in Gornji Vakuf, and
9 it's from the 6th of January, 1993, and you can see that the headline is
10 "Gornji Vakuf" on the first page there. And just to make that clear, I
11 assume that you can't -- you don't recognise, you don't know this
12 document, do you?
13 A. No, I don't.
14 Q. I'll read out part of it, and I'll ask you to -- to tell me
15 whether that replies with what your knowledge at the time, and I do
16 recognise that the English copy is quite bad, but I know that this is an
17 exhibit that has been dealt with previously.
18 It's the second paragraph, Mr. Batinic, B/C/S the third
19 paragraph. It starts with: "At approximately 1500 hours on Monday
20 afternoon, the HVO raised a Ustasha flag in the town. The Muslims
21 reacted, and a Bosnian army soldier attempted to remove the flag. An HVO
22 policeman then fired at the Bosnian army soldier in question, resulting
23 in a" -- and I'm having trouble reading that word, but it refers to a
24 "rise in tensions in the town." "A sharp rise in tension in the town."
25 This is a report, as I said, from some internationals that were
1 in Gornji Vakuf at the time.
2 MS. MOE: And for Defence counsel, I know that the date on this
3 was originally the 6th of January, but it was specified to being the 4th
4 of January that it referred to in Ms. Alaburic's cross-examination of
5 Mr. Andrew Williams, so I assume there won't be any dispute on that.
6 Q. Mr. Batinic, what the BritBats here say about the raising of an
7 Ustasha flag in the town of Gornji Vakuf on the 4th of January and the
8 shooting of a Muslim thereafter, did you have any knowledge of that at
9 the time?
10 A. Yes. I knew about it at the time, after the 6th of January,
11 1993, after the Three Kings celebration was over. I knew that one member
12 of the military police fired in the air as a warning or, to be more
13 precise, he wanted to scare a Muslim soldier who was taking down the flag
14 of the Croatian people.
15 As far as the term "Ustasha" is concerned, well, I'd like to
16 clarify something in a few sentences so that everyone can understand
17 this. Unfortunately, at the time there were names used by Muslims for
18 Croats. They would call them Ustashas, and the flag of the Croatian
19 people was treated by some as a Ustasha flag, which is absurd.
20 Q. A few questions to clarify your answer. Are you aware of a flag
21 being raised on the 4th of January, so being put up on that date, a Croat
23 A. The Croatian flags of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 were put up before the 25th of December, 1992, and they remained up until
25 the holiday period was over -- or, rather, up until the 6th of January,
1 1993. And it wasn't just a matter of one flag. Flags were frequently
2 taken down by Muslims. That's what we think. That usually happened at
3 night, and then in the morning a new flag would be put up where there
4 were Croatian flags. But for the 4th of January, I can't say for sure
5 that one or two flags were taken down for sure, but after the Three
6 Kings, on the first working day I found out about this shooting or,
7 rather, this warning that the flags of the Croatian people should not be
9 Q. My question was, however --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I was listening to
11 you. This matter of flags has been evoked on a number of occasions here,
12 so it's nothing new for the Judges. However, there is something that I
13 have just discovered, and I need an answer from you. You seem to be
14 linking this flag to a religious festival. You say that it was put up
15 before the 25th of December, 1992, so you seem to be linking the raising
16 of this flag to a Catholic event because the Croats put it up.
17 In the previous years, 1980, 1985, 1990, were these flags raised
18 up systematically in Gornji Vakuf before the 25th of December?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, they were.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, does this mean that the
21 member of the international community who drafted his report perhaps made
22 two mistakes? First of all, he referred to a Ustasha flag. Perhaps he
23 should have obtained information; but secondly, he should have checked
24 with you or with the Catholic body whether this flag had a religious
25 connotation. So now you are telling me that traditionally one would put
1 these flags up; one would raise these flags during this period of time
2 and had religious connotations, not political connotations.
3 Have you understood the question? There must have been an
4 interpretation problem.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before the first
6 multi-party elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was not possible because
7 of the Communist authorities to use national symbols for festivals,
8 festivities. It was only after the multi-party elections in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 18th of November, 1991, that the newly elected
10 authorities allowed each people to celebrate their religious festivals by
11 displaying their national symbols.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If I have
13 understood you correctly, in December 1991 this flag had been raised
14 without any problems.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. In
16 1991 and in 1990, as well, and then naturally in 1992.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
18 MS. MOE:
19 Q. To follow up on the President's questions, Mr. Batinic, the flags
20 that you say were raised for Christmas, New Year 1992, were they the
21 flags of the Bosnian -- the flag of the Bosnian Croats?
22 A. Yes. They were the flags of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 Q. So that would be the flag that you were shown yesterday by
25 Mr. Karnavas during his examination, would it?
1 A. That's quite correct.
2 Q. And am I understanding you correctly that you were aware of flags
3 being raised for Christmas and New Year's, but you're not aware of a
4 particular raising of flags on the 4th of January? Is that the correct
5 understanding of your answer?
6 A. I knew about the 4th of January, 1993, too, but if you were
7 following me, I said that the national symbols of the Croats put up
8 before the religious holiday for Catholic Croats before Christmas in 1992
9 remained where they were until the religious festivities were over, until
10 at least the 6th of January, 1993.
11 What happened on the 4th of January, 1993, one of the attempts to
12 take down the national symbol of the Croatian people in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina resulted in this warning shot fired by a member of the
14 military police of the HVO because that wasn't the first such incident at
15 the time of these religious holidays.
16 Q. Thank you. I'll move on to a different subject unless there are
17 more questions from the -- Your Honours.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, I have a question. The intimation of the
19 indictment is that someone from the HVO fired at the soldier who was
20 taking down the flag. You say the soldier fired into the air, not in any
21 way aiming at that soldier. Can you tell the Chamber on what you base
22 this affirmation? Has there been an investigation and you have seen the
23 result of it, or have you had a report on it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if a member of the
25 military police of the HVO had fired at someone taking down the flag of
1 the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, well, if he had done that at
2 the time he would have certainly killed him because he was only about ten
3 metres away from him. But he fired in the air to frighten him and to
4 warn him.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 MS. MOE:
7 Q. Just to conclude this, and then I will move on. Were you present
8 when this happened, this, you say, shooting in the air?
9 A. I wasn't present, but I was told about this in very precise
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I have a follow-up
12 question. I understand in Gornji Vakuf during the religious festivities
13 one put up these flags; but as far as you know, was this done in
15 done in general terms or more precisely just in your area?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this wasn't only
17 something that was done in Gornji Vakuf. This was usually done to
18 celebrate the religious festivities of the Croats throughout Bosnia
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did this cost -- did this
21 custom have its roots in history, in the past? You are not perhaps an
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it did, Your Honours. My
24 father would put up the flag of the Croatian people in Bosnia and
1 the Communist regime, and everyone else acted in the same way. That's a
2 tradition of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric.
4 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to
5 clarify this problem, would you allow me to put a very brief question to
6 the witness with regard to this matter?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. This is a
8 problem. I have to confer with my colleagues.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, as a rule you
11 shouldn't; but as you rarely take the floor, go ahead.
12 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Witness, every week there are weddings for all the people in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Muslims, the Croats, and the Serbs are
15 concerned. Can you tell the Chamber, when you have columns of people
16 celebrating such weddings passing through the area, do they display
17 symbols of any kind? What kind of symbols? I'm referring to flags.
18 What kind of flags? Is this common practice? Was this common practice
19 in the former Yugoslavia
20 practice since the 1990s up until the present day? Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, it was common practice
22 before 1990. When you had wedding columns one would display flags, but I
23 should point out that before 1990 when the Croats had a wedding they
24 would inverse the position for the Croatian flag, although this wasn't
25 possible -- it wasn't allowed. Why was it upside down? Well, because
1 our national flag, the national flag of the Croatian people, starts with
2 a red square and the Yugoslav -- or, rather, has a red field whereas the
3 Yugoslav one had a blue field, so you would turn it around. So in spite
4 of the fact that there was a star on it, it would look red, white, and
6 After the multi-party elections, it was allowed to display those
7 national symbols; and then before religious festivities and when weddings
8 were held and at every other festivals, the Croats would display their
9 national symbols, the Croatian flag of the Croatian people in Bosnia
11 display them at their weddings, and the Serbs would do the same. There
12 were no exceptions.
13 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I'm not happy with your
14 answer. I was asking you what sort of flags they display now today, not
15 just then. I said from then up until the present day.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From 1990, I said one could display
17 one's national symbols at weddings, festivals, birthdays, any kind of
18 festivity, religious festivities and other forms of festivities. One
19 could display the symbols of one's nation.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. Mr. Praljak, please sit
21 down, because the Chamber allowed Mr. Coric to put his question
22 exceptionally. We know that these flags were used during various
23 ceremonies. The only specification - and Mr. Witness, you did not
24 respond it to quite - the question is, is that what is happening today?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, regularly.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you're on your
2 feet for the question of flags or for some other reason?
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, not directly. I have
4 nothing to ask the witness. I would just like to address Your Honours
5 with two sentences. [In English] Yes, yes. [Interpretation] I insist
6 that I address the Court in this connection with two sentences.
7 Judge Trechsel, please.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, this court has rules, and everyone
9 has to conform to them. We have been normally quite lenient, but there
10 are limits, and it is not possible at this time for any party to address
11 the Court. This is not provided for. It's completely against the
12 ruling, and we cannot make an exception for you unless we -- we lose our
13 face by being completely inconsequential. I'm sorry. I ask you to
14 accept this.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I can accept it, but on
16 Monday, Your Honours, you promised that you would set a time when we
17 would discuss these things. The question of flags is a technical issue.
18 I wish to say that I sign every guild of the free man of Praljak an
19 independent autonomous person in Bosnia-Herzegovina to hang up his flag
20 whenever he wants. We are spending months here riding a question that
21 has not been posed in France
22 flag, and I wish to sign any guild that ensues from this.
23 What is the question we are discussing here? With the Croatian
24 people a sovereign nation in a state, will they hoist their flags two
25 days earlier or two days later, and then will anyone have the right to
1 trample on it? We have been wasting a lot of time. There is no rule
2 that would sanction such behaviour. That is my response.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the Prosecutor
4 raised the question of flags according in line with the indictment.
5 Apparently, the witness has given us certain element and explained to us
6 that this was a religious custom. There was no need for you to
7 intervene, to add you personal opinion about the issue. It is an
8 additional waste of time. There is the submission of the Prosecution,
9 the witness responds, and you can have a witness brought in to testify
10 about this if you wish to do so. There will be plenty of occasions to
11 come back to this. And as my colleague has said, this is not the
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] This is a criminal court.
14 What crime prohibits this? Somebody can say that I am walking, and you
15 will question me whether I have the right to walk.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, we have understood
17 what you said. I'm telling you that this question of flags is now clear
18 to everyone, and we will now move on to another subject.
19 Madam Prosecutor.
20 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President. As promised, I will move on.
21 Q. I would like you to look at another document, Mr. Batinic. It's
22 in the same binder. It's number P 01351. It's P 01351, and there should
23 be a B/C/S version. Do you have it in front of you?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. You can see that it's from the operative zone of North-west
2 20-something January 1993. And from the last page we can see that it's
3 signed by Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, who was the commander of this operative
5 I take it you have not seen the document before, have you?
6 A. Yes, you're quite right. I have not seen this document before.
7 Q. Again, however, I'd like to ask you a few questions as to what is
8 contained in the document and see if that complies or doesn't comply with
9 your knowledge at the time. You can see that it is on the first page a
10 report on the situation in Gornji Vakuf on the 28th of January, 1993
11 that would have been the time when you were with the HVO.
12 If you go to page 2 in the B/C/S version, you will see that there
13 is a Roman number I, and it deals with Uzricje. And I apologise for my
15 Have you found the section on Uzricje, Mr. Batinic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What I want to ask you is in number 4 on that list of issues that
18 Siljeg brings up regarding Uzricje, and it says there that a total of 24
19 houses destroyed (22 torched, 2 shelled), and goes on to number 5:
20 "Looted two tractors and seven luxury cars."
21 Were you aware of the HVO burning of houses and looting in
22 Uzricje at the time?
23 A. I was not aware of it.
24 Q. Is this something that was -- or the question of whether there
25 were burning or looting, is this something that was discussed between the
1 HVO soldiers where you were?
2 A. At the time referred to in this document, I was in the so-called
3 industrial zone, that is, in the factories together with a group of home
4 guards, and we did not have information about this kind of activity.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm told -- excuse me, I'm told that
6 on number 5 there may be a mistranslation. Perhaps the gentleman can
7 read on number 5 where in English it says: "looted two tractors and
8 seven luxury cars." What does it say actually in Croatian? And also, I
9 haven't read the entire report, but on number 4 where it talks about the
10 24 houses having been destroyed, I don't see that this was actually done
11 intentionally by the HVO as the question would appear, as it was posed by
12 Madam Prosecutor.
13 MS. MOE: I'm afraid I can't help much on the translation issue,
14 but maybe the interpreter could read out the B/C/S section on number 5 on
15 Uzricje, please.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: The witness can read. The interpreter or the
17 translator can translate. That's why we have the witness here.
18 MS. MOE:
19 Q. Witness, please, you see number 5 there. Could you please read
20 that out in your language.
21 A. Point 5 of this document says: "Taken away: Two tractors and
22 seven luxury cars."
23 Q. Some of the same words are used for a different -- or regarding a
24 different village, and since this is now a language issue, I'd like you
25 to read out that, as well, and I'll direct you to it.
1 Can you see under number 5, there's a Roman number II to Dusa.
2 A. I see that.
3 Q. And if you go down that list, you get finally to a number 4.
4 That might very well be on your next page. And the number 4 in my
5 English version, it says: "A total of 18 houses and sheds were
6 destroyed," and it goes on. Could you please start reading in number 4
7 what it says.
8 A. Under number 4, under the heading Dusa, it says: "Totally
9 destroyed 18 houses and sheds, of which 16 were torched and 2 houses from
10 the consequences of shelling."
11 Q. Can you go on please and read number 5 as well. That comes after
12 the section that you just read.
13 A. Under 5: "Driven away: Two tractors, two TAMs, and seven luxury
15 Q. Thank you. I'll try and phrase my questions more generally.
16 First, did I understand you correctly that you said at this
17 point, let's say the last part of January, you were in the industrial
18 zone with the Home Guard, which is close to the town? Is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. And in general, you didn't then know what was going on in the
21 villages like Uzricje and Dusa. Is that correctly understood?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. A general question, then. Were you aware of any intentional
24 burning of Muslim houses or -- and/or any looting of Muslim property
25 carried out by HVO members?
1 A. I didn't hear about that from anyone.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. MOE: Unless there are any questions from the Chamber, I will
4 move on to a different subject.
5 Q. Mr. Batinic, this is quite a different subject, and I'm now
6 moving away from Gornji Vakuf again. You testified on direct examination
7 by Mr. Karnavas regarding some meetings of the Central Board of the HDZ
8 in February 1992, more specifically about Mr. Kljuic and his position at
9 the time. Can you remember that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And do I understand you correctly that what you said was the
12 following: "On the 2nd of February, 1992, during the meeting that was in
13 Siroki Brijeg, Kljuic felt that he no longer had the support of most of
14 the members of the Central Committee of the HDZ, and as a result, he
15 resigned." Correct?
16 A. Yes, that is correct, but the interpreter didn't say that to me.
17 If I hadn't heard it from you, I couldn't confirm it.
18 Q. I'm afraid I'm not quite sure what you're referring to. Could
19 you say again, please?
20 A. Your question was not fully interpreted by the interpreter
21 service working for this Tribunal. I heard you when you asked whether
22 that was correct, and I said, yes, it was.
23 Q. So you heard me in English, in other words?
24 A. I understand a little.
25 Q. Thank you. You were aware, though, when it comes to Kljuic that
1 there had been discussions about his role in the leadership of the HDZ
2 BiH prior to this 2nd of February meeting, weren't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you knew, didn't you, that Tudjman and Susak and Boban, that
5 they were unhappy with Kljuic and that they wanted him out of the
6 leadership of the HDZ BiH, and because of that pressure, he resigned.
7 Isn't that how it was?
8 A. No. I didn't know what you were just saying, that Mr. Kljuic as
9 president of the HDZ for Bosnia and Herzegovina was not desirable to
10 Mr. Tudjman, Susak, and Boban. I really didn't know that.
11 Q. Well, I'd like to show you yet another document and quote from
12 that and see if that -- if you can tell me and comment on that. Let's
13 start with it. And that would be a document that is, again, in your
14 binder, and it's number P 00134.
15 Have you found that, Mr. Batinic?
16 A. I'm not sure. Would you repeat the number, please?
17 Q. Yes. P 00134, and it starts with a page numbered 99. Do you
18 have it there?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. For your information, that's a transcript from a meeting at the
21 office of President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, and it's from the 3rd of
22 March, 1993.
23 MS. MOE: For counsel, this has priorly been admitted before.
24 This is, then, from page 99.
25 Q. And I'll read parts of it out to you, Mr. Batinic. If you go
1 down and you see the president, his second entry, it starts with: "All
2 right." And then it goes on three paragraphs down to: "Mate can inform
3 us briefly." Then it goes on: "However" - this is President Tudjman
4 speaking - "However, as you know events have unfolded in the BH HDZ in
5 such a way that Stjepan Kljuic who, after the mistake with Perinovic, was
6 excellent for that who managed the election campaign brilliantly, but
7 afterwards, recently, partially" -- excuse me -- "practically disappeared
8 under Alija Izetbegovic's fez and the HDZ practically stopped leading an
9 independent Croatian policy, our policy. This went so far, but just as
10 Alija said that the war in Croatia
11 told foreign newspapers - I do not know whether he did it here, too - but
12 people told me that he said that we had ourselves to blame for this
13 situation for the war. In circumstances such as they were, with
14 representatives from Western Herzegovina and the Croatian Bosnian
15 Posavina coming to us over the last year and a half and us forming our
16 policies together with them, he was evermore distant from these policies.
17 "We, let me not repeat things, it is known what we said, what we
18 told these people of ours who even wanted to take a decision when the
19 Serbs practically separated, when Alija conducted such a policy, our
20 people, people came with the proposal that a declaration be adopted on
21 unification with Croatia
22 "I was the one who held them back, and we said no, because of
23 the international situation, so that we would not be in an awkward
25 And I'll continue until the end of Mr. Tudjman's entry so you
1 have it all.
2 Tudjman continues: "We also told Kljuic to talk both to the
3 Muslims and Izetbegovic and to the Serbs. However, he did not do this.
4 He became increasingly distant from the part of the HDZ, which was ready
5 to implement these policies, and he then practically came to his
6 resignation. Now, I would like to get back on stage as his own way.
7 Therefore, the way things are is that we should hold a session of the
8 Main Board there, and instead of him who has resigned, we should elect a
9 new president while the convention elections, et cetera, they will be
10 held when the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina is over. That is all from
11 me. Thank you. Mate, the floor is yours."
12 Mr. Batinic, what Tudjman basically says here is that Kljuic had
13 to go, isn't it, because he's not willing to adopt an independent
14 Croatian policy of the HDZ of Posavina and Herzegovina, isn't it?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection to the form of the question. He can --
16 she can ask what Tudjman said. Now she's paraphrasing and interpreting
17 what Tudjman supposedly had said. I don't read it that way. Now, if she
18 reads it that way, that's her -- that's her problem, but the question
19 should be posed: "Can you give us an explanation? Can you give us an
20 opinion on this?" Keeping in mind the date, the date of when this
21 occurred. Tudjman doesn't say anything about Kljuic being forced out.
22 Kljuic resigned on his own. And in light of this question, perhaps the
23 gentleman should be allowed to refer to his notebook when he was there
24 during the meeting and took copious notes as to what exactly occurred.
25 MS. MOE: Mr. President, if I may. I'm asking a leading question
1 as part of my cross-examination. Mr. Karnavas has provided us with his
2 interpretation of what was said --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, Madam Prosecution
4 is presenting her case, and she's entitled to present her arguments as
5 she wishes. Now, the witness may agree with her or not. She puts her
6 question in the way she wishes. That is her job, and the witness can say
7 I don't agree and explain why.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I totally agree with you except for the fact that
9 if she's going to quote from a document, she then can't misstate the
10 facts of the document. She could ask -- she can point to the particular
11 aspect of the document, the one sentence or two where Tudjman supposedly
12 says that they fired Kljuic, if that's what she wants to put, but that's
13 not the case. It's quite obvious for me something different, so if she
14 wants to quote the particular passage and say, is this what Tudjman's
15 saying, that's fine. But the way the question is being posed, she's
16 mischaracterising the facts, and that's what I object to.
17 MS. MOE: I still believe I am entitled to ask the question, and
18 it's then up to the witness who is the one testifying here to say whether
19 he agrees or not or sees it differently. But before we get to that and
20 since Mr. Karnavas raised the issue of the date, I am afraid I have
21 misread the date. The right date, according to page 1 of the transcript
22 that has already been admitted, is 10th of March, 1992. So it's 1992,
23 not 1993. My mistake.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 10th of March, 1992
25 days following the resignation of the president of the HDZ for BiH,
1 Mr. Kljuic as president. So this is 34 days after his resignation. So I
2 cannot agree, Madam Prosecutor, for the simple reason that this document
3 needs to be read out in its entirety, and in a part of this document it
4 is stated that they had told Kljuic to talk to the Muslims and the Serbs
5 and that he hadn't done that. And as a result, he didn't implement the
6 policies expected of him, and then, naturally, members of the Central
7 Board realised this at a meeting in Siroki Brijeg, and when Mr. Kljuic
8 realised that he no longer enjoyed the support of those same people, it
9 was only logical for him to resign.
10 MS. MOE: I'll move on unless the Trial Chamber has questions on
11 this issue.
12 Q. Mr. Batinic, I'm still with the HDZ issue, so to speak, the HDZ
13 politics, and I'd like again to go back to something you said during
14 Mr. Karnavas's direct examination. And when it came to the status of the
15 Croats in BiH, you said that it was important for the Croats to be a
16 constituent people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Am I right?
17 A. It's not that it was important for us. We are a constituent
18 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Q. And that's what you wanted to be also, say, back in 1991, 1992;
20 is that correct?
21 A. But we are a constituent people, Madam Prosecutor. It wasn't
22 necessary for us to want something.
23 Q. I'll ask you a different question, then -- or, actually, I'll
24 refer back to a question asked by Mr. Karnavas. He asked you whether
25 there is a distinction between being a constituent people and a minority.
1 Can you remember that question?
2 National minority. Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
3 A. There's an important distinction to be made between the term "a
4 constituent people" and the term "a national minority," which you might
5 have anywhere in the world.
6 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Batinic. I'd like to go back to what you said
7 during direct examination by Mr. Karnavas, and I'd like you to listen and
8 see if that's the correct quote, and that's on line -- sorry, page 54
9 from the first -- Monday transcript.
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. "A constituent nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Well, the
12 constituent nations were the Croats, the Serbs, and the Muslims, and they
13 were in fact" -- and then there's a word missing, but it refers to that
14 "they are the statehood of BiH."
15 And am I understanding you correctly that that would be the
16 Croats, the Serbs, and the Muslims that were to be the constituent
17 peoples of BiH? Is that correct?
18 A. The Serbs, the Croats, and the Muslims -- well, it's not as if
19 they were supposed to be or had to be the constituent peoples. From the
20 time that Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded as a state, they were the
21 constituent peoples in that state.
22 Q. Thank you. Back to the distinction between national minority --
23 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I think it is very
24 important. Otherwise, we will not go in not necessary question. I think
25 -I'm not sure, I think - that I have heard that the witness said since
1 foundation of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So obviously, he's
2 referring to the history, which is the case by the constitution before --
3 yeah. Now, the others are telling me that they also understand. But if
4 that is clear, then it would not -- then it would not be further
5 questions unnecessarily.
6 MS. MOE: Well, my question referred to the status of a
7 constituent people and the status of a national minority without any
8 specific time references. This issue might take a little while, though,
9 so if the Chamber wants to -- wants to break, we can do that. Otherwise,
10 I'll go on. I'm in the Chamber's hands.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a break. We'll have
12 our 20-minute break.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: During the break, Your Honour, if I may suggest
14 that perhaps our colleague consult with Mr. Tomljanovich. His mentor who
15 guided him at Yale to get his Ph.D., Ivo Banac, has written the probably
16 the seminal book, the seminal book, on national minorities in the area.
17 Perhaps that might assist my colleagues on that side in learning the
18 distinction between what is a constituent nation and what is a national
19 minority. It's a critical issue.
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I won't belabour it, but
21 there's no reason for -- with great respect, I appreciate Mr. Karnavas's
22 desire to be helpful. We know quite well. We've read a lot of this
23 material. But the questions are put for a particular reason, and you
24 have to give counsel a chance to conduct her examination, as Mr. Karnavas
25 often says, step-by-step. It's not that we don't know. I certainly -- I
1 think I know. I'm not a native of the former Yugoslavia, my apologies,
2 but I've researched the situation quite extensively. I don't think we
3 need to be lectured on that. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have a
5 20-minute break now.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll now resume.
9 MS. MOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. I'd like to go back to a statement that you made on Monday,
11 Mr. Batinic, and I'm going to give a transcript reference to Mr. Karnavas
12 and counsel, but you won't have it in front of you, so I'm asking you to
13 listen to me. It's page 34321, and the question is from line 1, and the
14 question you were asked, Mr. Batinic is: "All right. Now, is there a
15 distinction between being a constituent nation and a national minority
16 and, if so, could you please tell us what that distinction is?"
17 And your answer was: "As the constituent nation in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, well, the constituent nations were the Croats, the
19 Serbs, and the Muslims, and they were, in fact, the bearers of the
20 statehood of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And as a constituent people, any one of
21 those three peoples mentioned had the right to expect that they could
22 participate in government, that government would be shared between the
23 constituent peoples in an equal manner. National minorities could not
24 expect or count on being included in this division of power, in sharing
25 in government, and that's the significant distinction that has to be
2 Can you remember making that statement, Mr. Batinic?
3 A. Yes, I remember that very well.
4 Q. What do you mean by a constituent people having the right to
5 expect that government would be shared between the constituent peoples in
6 an equal manner? And I'm interested in what you mean by "shared in an
7 equal manner."
8 A. A constituent people has the right to expect to be represented in
9 government, in a government of which they are a state-forming factor.
10 They will be on an equal footing with other constituent peoples.
11 National minorities have all civil rights and other forms of rights.
12 They can participate in government, but this is not necessary, whereas
13 representatives of constituent peoples do have to participate in
14 governmental bodies.
15 Q. And what do you mean by saying "on equal footing with other
16 constituent peoples"? Maybe you can give an example.
17 A. Each of the constituent peoples has the right and rightly expects
18 to be represented in an equal manner at all levels of power in the state
19 in question, in the state referred to. To have equal rights means that
20 this concerns the Serbs, the Croats, and the Muslims -- or, rather, in
21 this particular case, the Bosniaks as they're called today.
22 Q. I'm still asking you what you mean by "equal manner," "equal
23 footing." Does it mean, for example, for one Croat in government, one
24 Muslim in government?
25 A. At the level of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is
1 quite correct. So it is an issue of parity.
2 Q. Thank you. I'd like you to have a look at another document that
3 was brought up during Mr. Karnavas's cross -- excuse me, direct
4 examination, and that would be in the binder you have in front of you,
5 and it's number 1D 02700. That should be the Statute of the HDZ BiH from
6 1993. Oh, sorry, it was in the -- in the second binder. Thank you.
7 Do you have it, Mr. Batinic?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. I'd like you to look at one of the articles that were showed you
10 by Mr. Karnavas yesterday -- excuse me, the day before, and that's
11 Article 10, number 1, 10.1, and it should be on page 3 in your document
12 in B/C/S. Have you found Article 10.1?
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 Q. In Article 10.1 and I'm going to read it out to you, it says the
15 following: "To ensure the right of the Croatian people in Bosnia
17 self-determination and statehood, independence and sovereignty, in the
18 sovereign, independent and internationally recognised state of Bosnia
20 Muslims, and Serbs), and has the internal political structure of a state
21 consisting of three constitutive units."
22 Am I correct in understanding that this Article 10.1, it means
23 that there would be three nations in three different constitutive units,
24 so three units within BiH, one Croat, one Serb, and one Muslim unit?
25 A. You're partially right. In 10.1, the HDZ Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 states its support for a Bosnia and Herzegovina, the internal structure
2 of which would include constituent units representing three constituent
3 peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each constituent unit would have its
4 people in some kind of a majority, and within, let's say, the framework
5 of the federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina or a union of the republics of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, relationships would be determined between these three
8 Q. Right. So if I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that
9 there are three -- or what it refers to in Article 10.1 is three
10 constitutive units, and in one of those units the Serbs would be in
11 minority -- excuse me, majority; in the second unit, the Croats would be
12 in majority; and in the third unit, the Muslims would be in majority?
13 A. That's quite correct.
14 Q. And in the Croat unit, then, would the Muslims then be a
15 constituent people with the right to participate in the government of
16 that unit on an equal footing with the Croats?
17 A. In any constituent unit, anyone from one of the three constituent
18 peoples would have a constituent status. So a Croat in a unit where the
19 Muslims were in a majority, a Croat in a unit where the Serbs were in a
20 majority, and vice versa, Serbs and Muslims in a constituent unit where
21 the Croats were in the majority. You can't take away the right of being
22 a constituent people from any of the three constituent peoples in any
23 square metre of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. So are you, then, saying that in the constituent unit where the
25 Croats would be a majority, there would be one Muslim for one Croat in
1 government, so one Muslim for one Croat in government in Herceg-Bosna?
2 A. The relationship would be agreed on on the basis of reciprocity
3 between the federal units within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Q. But are you -- does that mean that in the constituent unit where
5 the Croats would be a majority there would be one Muslim for one Croat in
6 government? That was my question, and I don't think you've answered it
8 A. I can't briefly answer your question. I said that this
9 relationship within the federal units was -- well, if it had been
10 established in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it would have been established on the
11 basis of reciprocity between the three constituent peoples. At the level
12 of the state, naturally, that relationship would be a relationship based
13 on parity.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, what you are saying is
15 interesting. I'm trying to follow you because the subject is extremely
16 complicated. If we take the Republic of Herceg-Bosna
17 understood what you have said correctly, in this case the Serbs, the
18 Croats, and the Muslims at the level of state would be on an equal
19 footing. That is to say there would be, for example, a Presidency of the
20 Republic of Herceg-Bosna. There would be a Serbian deputy, a Muslim
21 deputy, and a Croatian deputy, and these three would rotate, be president
22 of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Is that in fact what you are actually
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. When I mentioned
25 the state level, well, at the level of the state there would be a
1 relationship of parity, and in that case I was thinking of the State of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the governmental
3 bodies, because only the state can carry out certain joint activities.
4 Within constituent units where the Croats were in the majority, Serbs or
5 Muslims, the government would be established on reciprocity agreed on by
6 the parties, or if this had been the case, by representatives of federal
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm making a hypothesis. Let's
9 imagine that the Republic of Herceg-Bosna has been recognised by
10 everyone. What would have happened on the political level in your
11 opinion? Would there have been this notion of constituent people? Would
12 this notion have been maintained within the Republic of Herceg-Bosna
13 if so, does this mean that there would automatically be in all spheres of
14 authority a Serb, a Croat, and a Muslim, or is this -- would this be
15 another system? It's a hypothesis that I'm putting forward.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can answer this in
17 the following way: No one ever asked representatives of the HDZ for an
18 independent Republic of Herceg-Bosna. As a political party which had the
19 full support of the Croatian people, we supported an internal structure
20 base on the federal model. The Republic of Herceg-Bosna wouldn't be
21 internationally recognised, only the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 would be recognised within a federation between three republics. Let's
23 put it that way.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At the federal
25 level, how would power have been shared in the Republic of Herceg-Bosna
1 within the framework of this federal state of the Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina? How would power have been exercised at the level of
3 the Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of the three federal units
5 would have had to have its own constitution, its own government. It
6 couldn't have had its own currency or relationships with other states as
7 a sovereign and independent state, so such activities would have to be
8 transferred to state authorities in which Serbs, Croats, and Muslims
9 would participate on an equal footing. Within one constituent unit, one
10 assumed that power would be organised on the basis of reciprocity, as I
11 said, on the basis of reciprocity of federal units in Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 or, rather, there would be representation of people who weren't in the
13 majority, which was in proportion to the number of the inhabitants of the
14 second or third people in that constituent unit.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I must confess, Mr. Batinic, that I'm not quite
16 clear yet what -- what your answer is; and second, I'm not clear on what
17 you base it. If I -- if I take the essence, the unit, as in Croat, Serb,
18 would be a Croat, Serb, Muslim unit in the first place; and on the other
19 side, the other ethnicities within that unit would nevertheless have a
20 function of a constituent nation, but their representation in government
21 would be a matter of reciprocity.
22 Now, I could imagine that reciprocity means if you Muslims in
23 your unit put a portion of Croats in your government, we Croats in
24 Herceg-Bosna will put an adequate portion of Muslims in our government.
25 I'm not complicating it by including the Serbs, but of course, that's
1 only for economy. Is that what you mean by reciprocity?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Then I have this other question: On what basis
4 do you affirm this? Which document contains a sketch of this -- of this
5 solution or even maybe an elaborate -- an elaborate plan or concept or
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there was no such
8 document. This was just drafted as a proposal for policies that the HDZ
9 in Bosnia-Herzegovina would support at a time that this statute was
10 created in 1993, on the 17th of December. So these questions were
11 questions that had to be agreed on with the other two constituent
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] And was this plan, this draft,
14 was this put on paper?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not as far as I know, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So it is your point that we just take your word
17 for it, that this was discussed and that there was a general agreement on
18 this. Is that finally the basis of what you're telling us?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were the political tendencies
20 that the HDZ expressed with regard to the internal organisation of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following these proposals, the representatives of
22 the Croatian people accepted certain plans that were to come into force
23 in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the insistence of the international
24 community. I have the Vance-Owen Plan in mind above all and everything
25 else that happened afterwards.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I will leave it at that for the moment. Thank
3 MS. MOE:
4 Q. I'm afraid I have a few more questions on this, Mr. Batinic. So
5 if I understand you correctly, you say that representation in government
6 within the Croat unit would be decided on reciprocity. Is that correct?
7 A. With the remaining two federal units, yes.
8 Q. But I'm talking within the Croat unit, though. Are you saying
9 that representation by the Serbs and the Muslims in government within the
10 Croat unit would be decided on reciprocity with the two other units of
12 A. Quite so.
13 Q. But what do you mean by reciprocity? And that's within the unit
14 I'm still referring to.
15 A. If we have at the level of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 parity government formed through which at every inch of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina territory the equality and equal rights of all three
18 nations of Bosnia-Herzegovina are ensured, then when it comes to the
19 formation of government in the constituent units, the participation of
20 the nation that is not the majority in one of the three would be
21 reciprocal and in proportion to their numbers and agreed upon among the
22 three units.
23 I'm not a legal expert, especially not an expert on
24 constitutional law, but I know what we basically had in mind in the
25 statute and other documents of the HDZ and in our programme declarations.
1 Q. But did you within the Croat unit, again, did you have in mind
2 that the Muslims would be a constituent people or a national minority?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object at this point.
4 This has been asked, and it's been answered repeatedly. The gentleman
5 has said that they would be constituent as they were throughout every
6 single inch. Now, I don't understand what part they don't get. I would
7 also ask the Trial Chamber to recall that we heard a lot of testimony
8 about the Cutileiro Plan, which answered all the questions that were
9 being posed by the Bench. And also, we have another plan, which is the
10 Owen-Stoltenberg plan, which is exactly what the gentleman is saying even
11 though he's not being given an opportunity to look at those documents,
12 because it's -- it's exactly what he's saying. But I don't understand.
13 Why is it that over and over again we're trying to suggest that the
14 Croats are trying to disenfranchise one of the nations when that is not
15 the case?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, the witness
17 has already answered your question that you're asking regarding the
18 question of minorities and constituent peoples. He was quite clear about
19 it. So going back to it is immediately provoking an intervention by
20 Mr. Karnavas, as we have had other witnesses and high-level jurists
21 discussing these constitutional issues. The witness has just told us
22 that he's not a legal expert, so it's better to move on to another
23 subject unless in view of the position that he had in this municipality
24 of Gornji Vakuf he might on the political level be able to answer certain
25 questions but not the legal issues of a minority and a constituent
1 people. We have spent maybe hundreds of hours discussing this issue.
2 MS. MOE: I'll take that on board, Your Honour, and I'll --
3 Mr. President, and I'll move on.
4 Q. If I understood you correctly, Mr. Batinic, you said that from, I
5 think, January 1993 there were basically two separate municipal
6 administrations in Gornji Vakuf, a Muslim and a Croat one. Is that the
7 correct understanding of your testimony?
8 A. Not in January, but when the conflict ceased in January and
9 February 1993.
10 Q. Okay. And to move forward a few words, there were municipal
11 elections in 1997; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And after the 1997 elections, was there to be set up a joint
14 administration in Gornji Vakuf?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I object. This is outside the scope
16 of the indictment. I object on relevance. If we could hear what the
17 relevance is, perhaps, then the Trial Chamber may be able to make a
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There may have some relevance.
20 Please explain, madam. What is the relevance of this question, of
21 addressing the elections of 1997?
22 MS. MOE: Well, firstly, if Mr. Karnavas's objection goes to me
23 getting into post-Dayton issues, I'd like to refer to Mr. Karnavas's
24 direct examination where he touched upon the 1997 statute of the Croatian
25 Community of Herceg-Bosna. That was an exhibit that was tendered. And
1 Mr. Batinic, also, in his testimony touched upon the issue of the name of
2 the municipality, Gornji Vakuf, Uskoplje. That was, I think, brought up
3 when Mr. Praljak did his cross-examination, but I might be mistaken
5 The document that I'm about to go into does refer to the
6 municipality of Gornji Vakuf, what happened there, and it deals with
7 Mr. Batinic directly.
8 Also, I'd like to point out that this, in the Prosecution's
9 opinion, goes to the credibility of the witness.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: First and foremost, the 1997 document that was
11 shown was -- shows that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is still
12 in existence, and it's registered legally, and it showed the coat of
13 arms. That's first of all. It has nothing to do with any elections in
14 that particular municipality. So that's a red herring to suggest that
15 somehow the door has been opened with that.
16 With respect to the name, I don't -- I don't see where in the
17 indictment there's anything making reference that the use of the Croatian
18 historical name of that area, Uskoplje, is somehow tied into the
19 indictment, so another that's red herring.
20 They're actually -- they're suggesting that it goes to the
21 gentleman's credibility. Perhaps we need to hear a little bit more. How
22 is it it goes -- these elections in 1997 go to the gentleman's
23 credibility as to what he saw, what he heard, you know, and what he did
24 during the relevant period of the indictment in that particular area, and
25 we're talking 1991, 1992, 1993.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, regarding credibility,
2 it's on the basis of the credibility of the witness that you wish to
3 address the elections of 1997.
4 MS. MOE: Well, these are not exactly the elections in 1997.
5 It's something that happened in Gornji Vakuf subsequent to the elections
6 of 1997 that involves Mr. Batinic. That's my first point.
7 My second point is that I still --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, yes.
9 MS. MOE: My second point is that -- or did the President mean
10 for me to go ahead? Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 MS. MOE:
13 Q. So, Mr. Batinic, we had established, I believe, that there were
14 municipal elections in 1997 and that you were to set up a joint
15 administration in Gornji Vakuf. Am I correct?
16 A. Yes, you are correct.
17 Q. And were you involved with the HDZ or with the municipality
18 authorities, the municipal authorities in Gornji Vakuf at this time?
19 A. I was president of the Municipal Board of HDZ for the
20 municipality of Uskoplje at the time.
21 Q. Did you have any position within the municipality authorities?
22 Were you head of department of finance?
23 A. In 1997, I was head of the municipality of Uskoplje
24 Q. Could you be a little bit more specific? Does that mean
25 president of the Executive Committee, something similar to what you were
1 before the war, or is it something else you're referring to?
2 A. I'm referring to an administrative arrangement for the Croatian
3 people. I'm talking about the municipality of Uskoplje
4 "nacelnik" or head of the Uskoplje municipality in 1997.
5 Q. And were you involved in these efforts to set up a joint
6 administration in the municipality subsequent to the 1997 elections?
7 A. I was.
8 Q. Is it true that you were banned from municipal political
9 activities in 1998 by the OSCE?
10 A. True.
11 Q. And is that, to put it in simple terms, and I'll go into the
12 document, but would that be because the local bodies of Gornji Vakuf
13 didn't manage to form a joint administration, which was required by the
15 A. They were appointed, but they didn't start functioning jointly.
16 Q. I'd like you to look at a document. You might have it in front
17 of you already. It's 1D 02789. It's probably in the binder that you
18 have in front of you. Do you have it, Mr. Batinic?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. We see it's from the election appeals subcommission from the OSCE
21 mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it's dated 20th of July, 1998. Do
22 you recognise this document?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is this the decision that bans you from political activities, to
25 put it simply, in 1998?
1 A. By this decision, political activity was not prohibited to me,
2 but what I was not allowed to do was to take part in the bodies of
3 authority in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf.
4 Q. Thank you. I'd just like to read out very few sections of this
5 document and see if they comply with your understanding. And on the
6 first page here, on page 1, it says: "Decision of the Judges." And it
7 says: "With regard to the appeal lodged by the head of the OSCE mission
8 relating to non-observance of conditions laid down by the arbitration
9 decision on results of the municipal elections in Gornji Vakuf
10 municipality in 1997."
11 So that was the basis, wasn't it, the non-compliance with an
12 arbitration decision? You touched upon it already, but this is correct,
13 isn't it?
14 A. That is what they wrote.
15 Q. And I'd like you, then, to go to page 9 of the B/C/S version that
16 you have in front of you. It should be on page 12 of the English
17 version. Have you found it, Mr. Batinic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you see the second whole paragraph? It starts with "The
20 sanctions in this case." On page 9. Do you have that? It's the last
21 full paragraph on page 9, I believe. It should be on your screen as
22 well. Do you have it? Maybe it's -- it should be on your screen. It
23 starts with "The sanctions." Do you have it on your screen?
24 A. I don't see it on the screen.
25 MS. MOE: Could the usher please be of assistance?
1 Q. Do you have it, sir?
2 A. [In English] Yes.
3 Q. So what it -- what it says is the following: "The sanctions in
4 this case were imposed on the basis of the results of the Electoral
5 Appeals Subcommission investigation. The Electoral Appeals Subcommission
6 finds that the HDZ is continuing to link the matter of changing the name
7 of the municipality with the implementation of the electoral results in
8 Gornji Vakuf municipality in contravention of the arbitration decision."
9 That's correct, isn't it?
10 A. What is written down corresponds to what was happening.
11 Q. And when it refers to the matter of changing the name, that's the
12 question of changing the name from Gornji Vakuf to Uskoplje; is that
14 A. No. It is the request of the Croats of Uskoplje for the
15 municipality to be called Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje.
16 Q. This decision, is it correct that that referred to you personally
17 but also to an Abdulah Topcic representing the coalition, including the
18 SDA, as well as the HDZ as that political body?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Before we leave the document, I'll just like to look at the
21 decision itself so you can confirm that. That should be on page 15 in
22 the English version and on page 12 in the B/C/S version. Do you have it,
23 Mr. Batinic?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. So it says here "Decision," and it says: "First - On the grounds
1 of its powers to determine condign penalties, the Electoral Appeals
2 Subcommission hereby orders that Zdravko Batinic, son of Lafko [phoen],
3 be immediately relieved of the post of chief of the department of the
4 economy and finance ..."
5 I'll just stop there for a second. Is that a position that you
6 had at the time?
7 A. It is a position that I should have had in the joint
9 Q. Thank you. And I'll go on. " ... and be replaced by an
10 individual to be nominated by the HDZ in accordance with the procedure of
11 appointments to executive posts. Furthermore, the Electoral Appeals
12 Subcommission orders that Batinic be prohibited from occupying any other
13 executive position in the municipal bodies of the authorities in Gornji
14 Vakuf, including an official or an unofficial position, and from
15 attending any meetings of the Municipal Council or other sessions in the
16 municipal government of Gornji Vakuf."
17 Is that correct?
18 A. You're reading out what is written there. That is correct.
19 Q. If you go to the second -- what is marked "Second "right below
20 this, that's the dismissal of Topcic of the coalition, is it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then in the third one, it says: "The Electoral Appeals
23 Subcommission reprimands the HDZ and the coalition for unprofessional
24 conduct, which prevents Gornji Vakuf Municipal Council from carrying out
25 its legislative duties."
1 That's correct, as well, isn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Just very quickly to another document on the same issue and
4 then -- because I can see the clock ticking towards quarter to 2.00.
5 Could you please look up the document that is very close to this one in
6 your binder, I believe. It's 1D 02792.
7 Do you have that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. We can see it's another document from the Election Appeals
10 Subcommission of the OSCE, and it's dated a little less than a month
11 later. You can see up in the left-hand corner, it's dated 25th of
12 August, 1998. Do you recognise this document, Mr. Batinic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At this time in August 1998, were you running for the -- or were
15 you going to run for the HDZ in the elections?
16 A. I was on the list of candidates of the HDZ for the general
17 elections in 1998.
18 Q. If we could go to -- I believe it's the last page or page 3 in
19 B/C/S. It's page 4 in the English version, and it's a fairly long
20 paragraph. It's the only full paragraph that you should have on your
21 page, and around the middle of that, it says the following: "Had the
22 Election Appeals Subcommission known of Batinic's candidacy, it would
23 have removed him from the HDZ list of candidates. However, the election
24 appeals subcommission now..." so this is August 1998, "... has new and
25 material evidence of his current candidacy. The Election Appeals
1 Subcommission finds that because of his previous actions, Batinic is
2 barred from running in the 1998 elections, as his conduct violated the
3 rules and regulations of the provisional appeals commission as described
4 in detail in the first decision of 20th of July, 1998. Consequently, the
5 Election Appeals Subcommission finds that Batinic is not qualified to run
6 as a candidate of the HDZ party in the cantonal Assembly elections in
8 And by this, you were barred from running -- or from being a
9 candidate of the HDZ in these elections. Is that correct, Mr. Batinic?
10 A. Yes. Me and some 20 or so of my colleagues on the HDZ lists were
11 also removed.
12 Q. And these colleagues, had they been banned from certain
13 activities as well?
14 A. By a similar decision, they were removed from the list of
15 candidates of the HDZ for the general elections in 1998.
16 Q. And they were removed by the OSCE like you were?
17 A. Unfortunately, contrary to the constitution of Bosnia
20 MS. MOE: I have --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, we're going to stop
22 there now because it's time, and as there is a hearing later on, we
23 shouldn't create problems for the Judges who will come after us.
24 We will resume work tomorrow at 9.00, and the Chamber will render
25 its oral decision regarding the request for additional time. The
1 Prosecution has used 2 hours, 23 [as interpreted] minutes, so you have
2 another 1 hour and 32 minutes left. 1 hour, 32 minutes.
3 Witness, you will come back here tomorrow for the continuation of
4 the cross-examination.
5 There's an error in the transcript. The Prosecution has used 2
6 hours, 28 minutes, not 23, 28 minutes. I usually don't make errors in
7 subtracting numbers. So you have 1 hour, 32 minutes left.
8 Witness, I wish you and everyone else in the courtroom a good
9 afternoon, and we'll meet again tomorrow.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day
12 of November, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.