1 Wednesday, 11 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Petkovic not present]
5 [The accused Coric not present]
6 --- Upon commencing at 2.13 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you call the case number,
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
10 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
11 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Today, on the 11th
13 of February 2009, I would like to greet the accused, Defence teams, the
14 OTP, and Mr. Stringer and all his associates. And I wouldn't like to
15 forget everyone else assisting us in these proceedings. The Registry,
16 the usher, and the interpreters. I'll give the floor to the Registrar to
17 deal with some IC numbers.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. Some parties have
19 submitted list of documents to be tendered through witness Slobodan
20 Bozic. The list submitted by 2D shall be given Exhibit IC 00913. The
21 list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit IC 00914. The list submitted
22 by 4D shall be given Exhibit IC 00915. And the list submitted by the
23 Prosecution shall be given Exhibit IC 00916. Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I'd
25 like us to move into closed session very briefly.
1 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: As the court pleases.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, as you can see --
16 well, you said that there was an error in the transcript.
17 MR. KOVACIC: As I said, Your Honour, I haven't heard and I
18 haven't seen in the transcript that IC list submitted by Mr. Praljak was
19 given IC number. It might be mistake but I'm sure that we sent it this
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It would be best if the
22 Registrar repeated the four numbers for us.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Some parties have submitted
24 lists of documents to be tendered through witness Slobodan Bozic. The
25 list submitted by 2D shall be given Exhibit IC 913. The list submitted
1 by 3D shall be given Exhibit IC 914. The list submitted by 4D shall be
2 given Exhibit IC 915. And the list submitted by Prosecution shall be
3 given Exhibit IC 916. Thank you, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Mr. Kovacic.
6 MR. KOVACIC: Awfully sorry, but we submitted two lists, one --
7 okay, yes. I'm just given the sign. It's okay. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will now call
9 the witness into the courtroom.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. Could you give
12 me your first and last name and your date of birth, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. Good day
14 to everyone in the courtroom. My name is Stipo Buljan. I was born in
15 1960 in Kuljanovci in the municipality of Derventa
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But on what day,
17 which month?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born on the 2nd of January,
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your profession?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Currently I work as a functionary,
22 and I work as a secretary in the ministry, Ministry of Energy.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified
24 before Tribunal with regard to the events that took place in the former
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have never testified before.
2 This is the first time before this Court.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you please
4 read the solemn declaration out.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: STIPO BULJAN
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down, sir.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to provide you with
12 some information to ensure that the proceedings run smoothly. As
13 Mr. Stojic's counsel has certainly told you, you will have to answer
14 questions that will be put to you on the basis of certain documents.
15 This was certainly explained to you in detail. Once this has been done,
16 the Prosecution will conduct its cross-examination, but before they do so
17 the other Defence teams for representing the other accused may put
18 questions to you as part of their cross-examination.
19 The four judges sitting before you may, as a rule on base of
20 documents, ask you to provide additional information or clarification.
21 So we should be sitting or your testimony should take two days. We'll be
22 sitting tomorrow -- you'll be testifying tomorrow, you'll see that it's
23 quite exhausting because you have to remain concentrated to answer the
24 questions. If you don't understand the sense of a question, please don't
25 hesitate to ask the party putting the question to you to repeat it.
1 You'll see that the type of questions put to you are quite
2 different. Stojic Defence will put questions to you that will allow you
3 to enlarge on the subject. In the course of the cross-examination, the
4 Prosecution's questions will be questions to which you can answer by
5 saying yes, no, I don't know, or perhaps. The other Defence teams will
6 put questions to you, the nature of which will be somewhat hybrid. The
7 Judges have a totally different approach because their questions are
8 usually of a technical kind. They are open-ended questions that allow
9 the witness a certain latitude when answering the questions.
10 We'll have a break every one and a half hours. If at any point
11 in time you feel somewhat uneasy, inform us of the fact, and we can
12 adjourn. You are now testifying for the Court, which means that you
13 should no longer have any contact with Ms. Nozica, that's especially the
14 case now. You shouldn't have any more contact. That's what I wanted to
15 tell you so that things can run smoothly.
16 Ms. Nozica, I give you the floor.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, I would
18 like to wish good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom and greet you,
19 Mr. Buljan.
20 Examination by Ms. Nozica:
21 Q. You have provided some basic information about yourself to His
22 Honour. Now, could you please in order to avoid more questions and to
23 cover these rather important issues quickly, could you tell Their Honours
24 and give them an explanation about the basic points of your career from
25 your secondary school education up to the present.
1 What were the activities you engaged in as your CV.
2 A. I said when I was born and where. I completed secondary
3 technical school in Derventa. The mechanical engineering factory in
5 I defended my masters thesis in 2001 at the faculty of machine building
6 in Mostar. I defended my PhD in 2007 at the faculty of machine building
7 in Mostar, and last year I was promoted to the level of dosant [phoen] at
8 the faculty of mechanical engineering in Mostar.
9 Q. Let me ask you if you could speak a little more slowly. You are
10 giving dates and for everything to be recorded in the transcript, please
11 slow down a little.
12 A. Upon the completion of my university training, my first
13 employment was in the work organisation practice of Orasje in the basic
14 organisation for cold, processing of material. This was a firm engaging
15 in the military industry. After that I moved to Derventa to a wonderful
16 company which was called Mehanika, and it had 480 employees. I was head
17 of production in that company when the war broke out. And in April 1992,
18 I joined the Croatian Defence Council. During those first few months I
19 was a soldier on the frontline, and after that assistant commander for
20 IPD, and after that acting commander of the 103rd Derventa Brigade, and
21 after that I was appointed to chief of the department attached to the
22 operative zone Orasje in Bosanska Posavina, and I performed those duties
23 until 1995 when I was appointed head of the administration for welfare.
24 After that, by decision of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 I was appointed deputy director in the federal administration for
1 veterans and fighters of the homeland war. I worked there for two years.
2 After that, appointed to deputy director for the administration for civil
3 defence. And in 2002 by decision of the government of BiH, I was
4 appointed to the federal ministry for industry. And this is the post I
5 hold today.
6 Q. I note that quite a number of data that you mentioned have not
7 been recorded. We see the letter D when you said Derventa, but for Their
8 Honours to be able to have full insight in the period that is important
9 for us I will ask you to go back to it. You said that you joined the HVO
10 in April 1992 in Derventa; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said that at the beginning you were a foot soldier and that
13 after a while you were assistant commander for IPD in the 103rd Brigade
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And after that acting commander of the brigade; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you said that in April 1993, you were appointed chief of the
18 department for welfare in the operative zone of Bosanska Posavina,
19 Bosanska Posavina, and you held that position until 1995; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Buljan, I've already told you that, but let me remind you, we
22 will make brief pauses between questions and answers so that everything
23 can be recorded in the transcript.
24 Could you now please explain to Their Honours after you joined
25 the HVO of Derventa, what was going on in Derventa, but I ask you to
1 explain to Their Honours in geographical terms the location of Derventa.
2 A. In April 1992 when I joined the HVO, the frontline of the 103rd
3 Derventa Brigade was very long. Derventa is a small town, a town of a
4 municipality of 56.000 inhabitants, is in Bosanska Posavina, therefore,
5 close to Bosanski Brod and Slavinski Brod. Also in Derventa municipality
6 there were 52 villages and at that point in time the frontline was more
7 than 100 kilometres long.
8 Towards the end of April and the beginning of May the civilian
9 authorities were moved out of Derventa municipality. They were somewhere
10 else. The brigade remained alone there, and throughout those first two
11 months, I was deployed on the frontline.
12 Throughout the period that we are talking about, the 103rd
13 Derventa Brigade was losing territory from a stronger enemy, and in a
14 sense, it was retreating. On the 4th of July, 1992, the town of Derventa
15 actually fell. That morning there was no one left in that town. My
16 brigade formed a line not far from the town of Derventa between Bosanski
17 Brod and Derventa and engaged in battle again, and later towards the end
18 of September, or to be more precise, on the 6th of October, 1992,
19 Bosanski Brod fell, the last square metres of Derventa municipality, and
20 there wasn't a single unit of the HVO left in that area.
21 Q. Mr. Buljan, when you speak of a stronger enemy, to make it quite
22 precise for the record, who was the enemy and who was attacking
23 throughout this period that you have referred to?
24 A. I would define that as the Serbian army. The 103rd Derventa
25 Brigade was waging war exclusively with the Serbian army.
1 Q. You have told us what happened to your brigade. Could you tell
2 us now what was happening to the other HVO brigades from this area?
3 A. At that point in time on the 5th of October, 1992, and the 6th of
4 October, 1992, my brigade was to the right of Bosanski Brod, and the
5 manpower was in the brigade. Under the attacks of the Serbian army,
6 Bosanski Brod fell. And the 103rd Derventa Brigade with a few more units
7 of the HVO was the only one left within that horseshoe. As it was
8 realised that nothing could be done, the Sava river was behind us and the
9 retreat was carried out across the Sava river, and the 103rd Derventa
10 Brigade was stationed in schools in Slavonski Brod, in empty homes,
11 houses, and the command of the brigade was in Orasje close to Slavonski
12 Brod. That is where the brigade stayed for about a month. It was
13 training there, and then it returned to Bosanski Posavina to a locality
14 called Orasje, or, rather, Domaljevac close to Orasje. The 101st Brigade
15 of Bosanski Brod went through the same events, and it also returned to
16 Orasje afterwards. A little earlier on because the municipality of
17 Modrica and Odzak had fallen earlier, those brigades too moved to the
18 territory of free Slobodana [as interpreted] Posavina, that is in Orasje
19 and the surrounding localities.
20 Q. I see that the place called Orasje does not appear in the
21 transcript once though you referred to it several times, O-r-a-s-j-e.
22 There's no problem. I'll repeat this later on to help you, but could you
23 now mention the place where your 103rd Brigade was relocated?
24 A. It's called Domaljevac which is close to Orasje.
25 Q. Mr. Buljan, could you please list by name all the brigades that
1 were where the 103rd Derventa Brigade was. You said this was roughly in
2 mid-October. Which other brigades were stationed there?
3 A. One might say that in mid-November, or that is when we arrived
4 there, we found the following situation: 101st Bosanski Brod Brigade,
5 102nd Odzak Brigade, 103rd Derventa Brigade, 104th Samac or Domicile
6 Brigade, the 105th Modrica Brigade, and 106th Orasje Brigade.
7 Q. You said that the 103rd Derventa Brigade was in conflict with the
8 Serbian army. Tell us what operative zones were constituted by these
9 brigades, and who they were fighting throughout the war?
10 A. These brigades constituted the operative zone of Bosanska
11 Posavina, and all these brigades throughout the war were in conflict and
12 fighting the Serbian army.
13 Q. We have seen when the war started. Could you tell us up until
14 when did this war continue?
15 A. The last more serious and strong offensive was around June or
16 July 1995.
17 Q. In the area of Orasje, that is within the territory of the
18 operative zone of Bosanska Posavina, were there any units of the Army of
20 A. No, there were no units of the armija there.
21 Q. Could you tell me what was the ethnic composition of these HVO
23 A. I can say that each of these six brigades was multiethnic in
24 composition. The 101st Bosanski Brod Brigade had a significant number of
25 soldiers of Muslim ethnicity and also of Serb ethnicity and others, as
1 well as the command personnel of the said brigade. The same applied to
2 the 102nd Odzak Brigade. I think that the Chief of Staff there was a
3 Muslim, and the assistant commander for IPD was also a Muslim. In the
4 103rd Derventa Brigade, that is my brigade, there were also quite a
5 number of Muslims. The chief of the medical corps was also a Muslim. In
6 the 104th Samac Brigade there were also other ethnicities. In the 105th
7 Modrica and 106th Orasje Brigades there were both soldiers and command
8 staff who were of various ethnicities.
9 Q. Tell me please, in the command of the operative zone, was it of
10 mixed ethnicity, I'm talking about the command?
11 A. Yes, the command of the operative zone was also of mixed
12 ethnicity. I think that the main intelligence officer in the zone was a
13 Bosniak, and there were other operative officers who were Bosniaks.
14 Q. Could you tell me, Mr. Buljan, what were the insignia worn by HVO
15 soldiers from April 1992 onwards?
16 A. One could say that the markings were such that there was an
17 indication of the HVO, but also an indication of the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This applied in particular to the Muslims who wore
19 such markings, so a kind of mixture was produced. Half was HVO and the
20 other half were three lilies. And this went on until perhaps the end of
21 1992 and even the beginning of 1993. The brigade took a long time to
22 organise itself, and I remember the 102nd Odzak Brigade and the commander
23 Bozic had this until mid-1993.
24 Later on as the HVO organised itself, such insignia were
25 gradually removed and only the insignia of the HVO were borne. The
1 removal of these mixed insignia or double insignias, sometimes both were
2 worn on the coat, this went gradually and it was not by force.
3 Q. Could you please explain something. When you said "mixed"
4 badges, could you tell us what kind of badges they were? Did you have
5 two insignia on one badge or was it on one shoulder? What did it look
7 A. Well, often you would have two kinds of insignia, two badges,
8 they would be separate, distinct on the uniforms. But sometimes the HVO
9 insignia would be split in half and you would have half the insignia of
10 the ABiH and the other half of the HVO insignia, and then you'd have just
11 one badge.
12 Q. Did the Muslims from October 1992 and onwards leave HVO units?
13 Was this a large scale phenomenon, what could you say about this?
14 A. Given the situation we were in, especially the brigades that had
15 lost their territory, the 102nd, the 103rd, the 101st, and the 105th,
16 well, given the situation, there were soldiers who left. I also remember
17 in 1992 in October after the fall of Bosanski Brod, after the bridge had
18 been blown up, while we were billeted in Oreovac [phoen], there was one
19 unit, perhaps a platoon or a strengthened platoon, and mainly the members
20 of the platoon were Muslims. They and their equipment from the 103rd
21 Derventa Brigade set off through Zagreb
22 perhaps in Zenica, and this movement of the armed soldiers hadn't been
23 something that we were informed of. Some of those people returned to
24 Orasje. But -- however, there were some that got through and everything
25 came to an end, I would sometimes -- when everything was over I would
1 sometimes meet them in Zenica, but they went to the central part of
3 Q. In the following period during the entire wartime period, in that
4 area up until 1995, as you said, were there a lot of soldiers of Muslim
5 ethnicity who left? Was this a large scale phenomenon?
6 A. Well, no, I can't say that there were more Muslims who left than
7 Croats or members of other ethnicity.
8 Q. You said that at the beginning of April 1992 when you joined the
9 HVO you were assistant commander for IPD, intelligence and propaganda.
10 For how long did you hold that position?
11 A. I held that position for perhaps two or three months. I can't
12 say exactly now, but it was after the fall of Derventa, the fall of the
13 municipality or town of Derventa
14 Bosanski Brod at the time. In such situations usually the command staff
15 when the territory is left, disappears, and then the command of the 103rd
16 Derventa Brigade appointed me to this position and assigned specific
17 tasks to me.
18 Q. Similarly, you said that you were the acting brigade commander.
19 When was this? I just wanted to add, so that we have a complete answer,
20 I wanted to ask you what happened to the commander?
21 A. This was from about the beginning of November, the first ten days
22 of November, 1992, until perhaps the end of January, 1993. The brigade
23 commander was seriously wounded in fighting in Bosanski Brod. He was in
24 hospital, and they appointed me to that position.
25 Q. Can you please tell me who was in the command of the brigade you
1 were in?
2 A. Well, on the whole there were -- there was the assistant for IPD,
3 there was the chief of security, the chief of logistics, the chief of
4 sanitation and health, so that's how the brigade was established.
5 Q. Were they all your assistants?
6 A. Yes, they were practically all my assistants. They were the
7 first individuals in those fields who were members of the brigade.
8 Q. Can you tell me what the command structure in the operation zone
9 was like, as far as you can remember?
10 A. Well, it was similar, almost an identical reflection of what a
11 brigade usually is like. That's what the situation was like in the
12 operation zone. There was a commander of the operation zone, there was a
13 chief of the staff of the zone in question, there was an assistant for
14 IPD, there was an assistant for security; I think that that was the name.
15 There was an assistant for intelligence and so on and so forth.
16 Q. I'll go back to the subject of your brigade. Can you explain for
17 the benefit of the Chamber to whom assistance for IPD, security,
18 sanitation, logistics were subordinate? Who were they subordinate to?
19 A. The time and situation that prevailed during that wartime period,
20 they were subordinate to me alone. Every morning assigned task to them,
21 I told them what they should do, how they should do it, and how they
22 should report on what they were doing me.
23 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what the link was between these
24 assistants and assistants from the same fields in the operations areas?
25 A. Well, I think they had certain meetings, certain information was
1 gathered on such occasions, so someone from the operation zone could
2 inform commander of the operation zone about the issues.
3 Q. Mr. Buljan, you said at that time, that was the period during
4 which you held that position. It was from November 1992 until the end of
5 January or the beginning of February 1993, I'm only asking you about that
6 period because that's the experience you have.
7 Now, my question is, what was the relationship of your assistants
8 for IPD, security, sanitation and logistics in your brigade with the
9 fields, with the sectors in those fields in the Defence Department?
10 A. Well, let me put it this way, my own assistants for my brigade
11 worked with the assistant of the general area in relation to certain
12 fields and sectors. And then the assistants for certain areas was in
13 charge of some form of coordination and in charge of making sure there
14 were appropriate links to assistants in the departments.
15 Q. Just to make sure the Chamber understands, at the time were there
16 any physical links that were available to you for your communication
17 with, for example, Herzegovina
18 in terms of technology and in terms of physical links to Herzegovina and
19 Mostar specifically? I'm talking about the period between November 1992
20 and onward from there.
21 A. This was still a time when it was very difficult to communicate.
22 Even to just travel there required a long time. You had to cross Croatia
23 in its entirety in order to reach Mostar.
24 Q. What about communications? I'm now talking about the actual
25 technology, the equipment used. Do you remember if the military were
1 using anything to communicate on a daily basis?
2 A. I don't think there was any such thing as daily communication
3 going on, but at any rate communication was possible by phone if nothing
5 Q. Mr. Buljan, I'm taking account of a single detail so don't hold
6 this against me when you tell me you had to cross Croatia in its
7 entirety. Can you tell Your Honours if there was a short cut that one
8 could take in order to get to Mostar and why that short cut could not be
9 used at the time?
10 A. Bosanski Posavina and this whole area around Orasje had the Sava
11 river right behind it. It was broad and it was cold and in front there
12 was a 27 kilometre long front with the enemy all over it. The only way
13 to cross this area was by air, across Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to
14 get to Herzegovina
16 mainland before one could make the crossing into Herzegovina or
18 Q. In order to explain why one had to cross a portion of the sea and
19 across the islands, can you please explain that. Was perhaps a section
20 of the Croatian coast occupied as well and by whom?
21 A. That's right, a section of the coast belonging to the Republic of
23 that section. One would have to take a ferry to circumvent this section
24 and in order to return to the free territory of the Republic of Croatia
25 and I think planes were used for travel at the time in order to cross
1 that area as well.
2 Q. Mr. Buljan, you say that throughout this time up until 1995 it
3 was only the Serbian army that you waged war against. Can you please
4 explain to the Trial Chamber about this Serbian army. Aside from the
5 areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina which you explained you were holding under
6 your control, were there any combat activities or operations that they
7 were performing across your territory in order to jeopardize the Republic
8 of Croatia
9 A. While we were still in the Bosanski Brod area, I do have to admit
10 that it was equally dangerous to be in Slavonski Brod or further behind
11 Bosanski Brod's territory. I can't be specific, but I think the shelling
12 of Zupanja lasted over 1.000 days. Before the frontline eventually moved
13 to Bosanska Posavina and the area Orasje. Long range artillery was used
14 by the Serbian army to pound our own frontline and deeper into our
15 territory as well as the fringe areas including certain towns in the
16 Republic of Croatia
17 Q. Can we now please go back to the structure of your own brigade.
18 At the time was there anyone in the brigade who was in charge of welfare?
19 A. No, I have to admit not. In the 103rd Derventa Brigade there was
20 no particular person at a time who was in charge of welfare, and the same
21 thing applied across the brigade.
22 Q. Just, you know, to make sure we make this clear, what period of
23 time are we looking at? When was there no one who was in charge of
25 A. I'm talking about persons whose sole responsibility it was to
1 look after welfare. There was no one throughout 1992 in the units of the
2 Croatian Defence Council in Bosanska Posavina. It wasn't before the
3 beginning of 1993 that an appointment like that was first made and the
4 post was filled, to put it that way.
5 Q. Were you the person appointed, Mr. Buljan, appointed to any post
6 that had to do with welfare within the operation zone, and if so, when?
7 A. It was in March 1993 that I was appointed head of the welfare
8 section in the Bosanska Posavina operations area.
9 Q. Very well. Who signed your appointment?
10 A. My appointment was signed by the head of that department,
11 Mr. Bruno Stojic.
12 Q. Was there a person in each brigade who was in charge of welfare
13 at the time, or by this time? I'm talking about the period that followed
14 April 1993.
15 A. Once I had been appointed, I carried out additional consultations
16 with my erstwhile colleagues, brigade commanders. I also talked to the
17 commander of the operations area and asked him to do the same. I said
18 that there should be an appointment, that people should be appointed
19 within a ten-day period who would be in charge of welfare across the
20 units. In some units there was a single person who was in charge. In
21 some others there were a number of different persons who dealt with this
22 area. For the most part all the commanders complied with this.
23 Following which, each of the brigades had a person was in charge of
24 welfare and some sort of link between the brigade and the welfare section
25 or department in the operations area itself.
1 Q. Mr. Buljan, can you explain to the Court what sort of
2 relationship existed between you and the commander of the operation zone
3 or area in terms of welfare now that you've assumed your post, and what
4 was the relationship between you and the head of welfare and the Defence
6 A. I had my own commander, the commander of the operations area, and
7 I was responsibility to the commander directly for all areas. I was not
8 for a moment allowed to leave the area or do anything else without his
9 written or verbal permission. I was the department head and I was in
10 charge of welfare. We sometimes spoke, we exchanged information, I would
11 submit certain reports when required and that was about it.
12 Q. When, based on what you remember, did the welfare administration
13 that was attached to the Defence Department start operating?
14 A. I think it was sometime mid-through 1993, perhaps May or June.
15 Q. Can you remember what the name was of the head of the welfare
16 administration within the Defence Department at the time?
17 A. Sure. Josip Palac.
19 you don't mind, to support what you've been telling us. I assume you've
20 been given a binder containing documents. Do you have that in front of
21 you, sir? It should be a blue binder. That's the one, yes.
22 The first document, we'll take one step at a time, I'll try not
23 to skip a single document. Can you please track down the first one for
24 the sake of the record. This is 2D 00629. Tell me as soon as you've got
25 it, sir.
1 A. I've found the document. This is the document in which we see
2 the department head, Mr. Stojic make my official appointment as chief of
3 the welfare section within the Bosanska Posavina operations area.
4 Q. You said a minute ago that this was in March, whereas the date we
5 see here is the 3rd of April, would that be the same thing, sir?
6 A. Yes, I think so. It's probably down to me. I've probably got
7 the date and the months mixed up. I think this should be accurate
8 because this is the document.
9 MS. NOZICA:
10 Q. Can we please move on to the next document. This is 2D 00567.
11 There will be a yellow sticky attached to that particular sheet of paper
12 and you shouldn't find it too difficult to find document. This is
13 decision on the internal structure of the Defence Department dated
14 October 1992. I believe you saw the one from October 1992.
15 Can you therefore tell the Court if you look at this first
16 internal structure, was there such a thing envisaged there as a post
17 relating to welfare or the head of a welfare section, anything like that
18 at all?
19 A. No, nothing like that that is contained in this decision.
20 Q. Can we move on to the next document, please, this is P 02477. P,
21 P, just for the sake of the record, sir. P 02477. This is a decision on
22 the internal structure dated the 20th of May, 1993. Can you please focus
23 on paragraph 2, rather item 2, paragraph 2 of item 2. You see that in
24 May, just as you told us there was now such a thing as welfare
25 administration and that had just been introduced right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The document claims that heads will be in charge of the
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And they will answer to the deputy head. Do you remember who the
6 deputy head was at the time?
7 A. I do have to admit that all of my communication between myself
8 and the welfare administration and any -- and the welfare administration
9 itself went through Mr. Palac the head.
10 Q. Can you please move to the next document, please, 2D 01370.
11 2D 01370. That's the one. Have you got it, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. This is a diagram showing how the brigade was formed. We should
14 have there a list of all of the duties incumbent upon the command of a
15 brigade. Can you please go to page 3 of that document, sir. And there
16 you should find appointments. Item 4, which should be the next page, as
17 long as we get that in e-court. All right. We've got it. We have it on
18 our screens. Go to number 4, please. It reads:
19 "Coordinator for social welfare and care of the wounded."
20 Is this a position that existed in the brigades based on what you
22 A. Yes. These for the most parts were the positions that formed a
23 link between the brigade on the one hand and me and my colleagues in the
24 welfare administrations across the operations areas.
25 Q. Can we please now go to P 02945. This is an order, an
1 appointment being made to the Rama Brigade command. The order was signed
2 by Bruno Stojic, head of the Defence Department. The date is the 25th of
3 June, 1993
4 made. Look at number 20, please. Have you got that, sir?
5 A. Yes, that's that.
6 Q. Just to make sure we've got it in the transcript and in no
7 uncertain terms, can you tell us what that is?
8 A. Number 20, the person being appointed here is actually a social
9 welfare clerk or coordinator, depending on the term being used.
10 Q. Mr. Buljan, can you explain to the Trial Chamber -- I keep
11 talking about your position, the position that you were appointed to in
12 April, the 3rd of April more specifically. The Bosanska Posavina
13 operations area. You were appointed head of the welfare section. Can
14 you tell us if you were the person who drafted reports there? Did you
15 draft any reports and for whose sake? What exactly did those reports
17 A. Welfare sections, that is myself and anyone else working there,
18 would draft reports or produce reports. We would then forward those
19 reports to the welfare administration. Their form and their substance
20 was exactly what was required. Other such reports when needed would be
21 sent on to the commander of the operations area as well.
22 Q. I'm sorry, perhaps I misheard or misunderstood. These reports,
23 did you submit these to the welfare administration in Mostar as well?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Can we move on to two of the following documents shedding light
1 on this. The first is P 4699.
2 Mr. Buljan, this is a work in progress report in relation to June
3 and July 1993, HVO HZ-HB. I'm deliberately showing you none of the
4 reports in relation to 1992 because we know when you were appointed when
5 you first started working in this position. Can you please look at page
6 14 in the Croatian which should be page 9 in the English. If you look at
7 the bottom of page 14 in the Croatian, you will see the beginning of a
8 report on the tasks of the welfare administration. It then spills over
9 in to page 15 and part of page 16. Can you in the briefest of terms tell
10 the Chamber whether this information -- I believe you've gone through
11 this carefully, whether all of this information contained in this report
12 tallies with the information that you would include in your own annual
14 A. Yes, the information tallies. It's exactly consistent with
15 information forwarded by my own section to the welfare administration.
16 Q. Can we please move on briefly to the next report also, P 07419.
17 And then we can go into more detail with what exactly your job entailed.
18 P 7419. This is a report on the work of the HVO in relation to the
19 period between June and December 1993. Page 4 in the Croatian and page 2
20 in the English.
21 This document talks about the sector for personnel affairs and
22 within that sector about the department for welfare, and there's a detail
23 link to you when it says that in December 1993 the department for welfare
24 was established in Orasje and preparations were carried out to deal and
25 to provide care for the wounded members of the HVO.
1 Do you remember that in December 1993 the welfare department
2 attached to the HVO were visited in the zone of Orasje?
3 A. Yes, I do remember that the employees of the administration for
4 welfare did make a tour of the Welfare Department of the HVO in the
5 territory of Orasje. It is true that 63, and I have no reason to doubt
6 this number, that financial aid was paid out to families of the killed
7 and war veterans wounded, and I would have left out the word
8 "establishment" because it was a established by my appointment. As soon
9 as I was appointed, the department was formed.
10 Q. Very well. After your appointment as a chief of the department
11 for welfare in the operative zone of Bosanska Posavina, what were your
12 initial tasks?
13 A. When I'm talking about welfare, then I'd divide that into two
14 important segments. One, while I was chief of the sector or department
15 in Orasje, and the second section when I was the head of the
17 When I took over as head of the sector in the operation zone of
18 Bosanska Posavina, there was virtually nothing there so I started from
19 scratch, and I received from the commander a room with a kitchen table,
20 and I said from now on this will be my office. And this is where we
21 collected data about all the victims. And we agreed on how we would
22 collect data and provide those data to the department.
23 So in the first place we had to identify the people involved. We
24 had to send them for treatment if necessary, to engage in their
25 rehabilitation, and in the case of all military invalids, this was
1 essential. Also we needed to find orthopaedic aids for them, and in the
2 case of those military war disabled who were unable to return to their
3 homes, or rather who had nowhere to go, we had to find accommodation for
5 Q. When talking about the first stage or the first period of your
6 activities, you are now explaining the first period. You just didn't
7 tell us when this second period belongs, according to you?
8 A. The second stage or period will be as long as the first because
9 it also started in April, but in 1995 in April or May when I was
10 appointed head of the welfare administration.
11 Q. So in this first stage you first collected data about those
12 killed and those wounded; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who collected those data? Were they collected in the brigades or
15 at the level of the operative zone?
16 A. The only providers of information were the coordinators who were
17 located in the brigades. Some brigades had several coordinators, some
18 battalions of brigades had their own coordinators. It all depended on
19 the size of the brigade. So they were the first persons to provide us
20 with the requested information. It was up to me to decide how to
21 organise this data. If we needed something to be signed by the brigade
22 commanders, then those certificates which the brigade commanders needed
23 to sign, they had to be equal, uniform.
24 Q. Mr. Buljan, while you were collecting these data, did you at the
25 same time provide care to the war invalids and the families of the
1 victims and how?
2 A. Certainly we did take care of all war invalids who, with
3 necessary documents, received salaries through their original units, the
4 unit in which they were wounded. Also, through our department they were
5 provided with treatment, as I mentioned a moment ago. They were sent to
6 various institutions for surgery or for orthopaedic aids, et cetera.
7 This applied to the invalids, to the war disabled.
8 Q. Did you take care of the families of the killed too?
9 A. The families of killed soldiers also were taken care of. We
10 needed to do the same as for the war disabled with respect to documents.
11 We needed to find out who was entitled to any fees after the death of a
12 soldier, so that was our priority in the first period, to collect the
13 necessary data.
14 Q. Could you explain, Mr. Buljan, to the Trial Chamber, you have
15 explained where you were in a territory that was jeopardized on the one
16 side by the Serb army, and on the other behind you was the Sava river,
17 where did you provide the treatment for members of your brigades who
18 needed such treatment?
19 A. In the theatre of war of Orasje all the victims wounded were
20 first put up in a wartime hospital which is close to Orasje, maybe a
21 kilometre or two away from Orasje. The place is called Tolisa in a
22 monastery. Half of the monastery was used a wartime hospital, and the
23 other half of the Franciscan monastery was used for its original purpose.
24 So we first had to see whether the wounds could be treated there, and if
25 not then the closest larger hospital that we would send the war disabled
1 to was in Slavonski Brod.
2 Q. Could I correct the transcript. In line -- page 27, line 14, you
3 mentioned the hospital of Tolisa
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You said for the more difficult cases that they were sent to
6 Slavonski Brod. Was Slavonski Brod in Croatia?
7 A. Yes. It is a small town on the Sava river across from Bosanski
8 Brod. So it is close to the occupied territory of Bosanski Posavina
9 The aim was to remove the wounded and transport them across the river.
10 There were no bridges there. The bridge had been blown up at the
11 beginning of the war, so we used the ferries and boats to ferry them
12 across the river.
13 Q. When we were speaking about the wounded, could you tell us
14 whether the wartime disabled were provided with any rehabilitation or
15 care after -- postoperative care, and where?
16 A. Every serious wound or surgical intervention, even lighter ones,
17 required certain measure of rehabilitation, so that we sent our war
18 disabled to Tolisa in Croatia
20 [phoen], these are spas, Stublica [phoen], Toplica, again a spa for
21 therocell [phoen] therapy and that kind of treatment.
22 Q. At a later stage or you tell us when, did the war disabled go to
23 motels in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. It was always a problem when all this was completed, that is his
25 rehabilitation. If his house is somewhere in Modrica or Derventa or
1 Bosanski Brod or Odzak, the question was where he could return to. He
2 was a seriously disabled person and he had nowhere to go, and so we put
3 such people up in certain hotels. One such was in Zenit in Krvavice
4 [phoen], and later for the victims from Bosanska Posavina, again across
5 the river from Orasje in Djakovo they were put up in an abandoned hotel,
6 and this was a kind of centre where the war disabled could be
7 accommodated after rehabilitation.
8 Q. You mentioned the Zenit hotel. Where is this hotel?
9 A. The Zenit hotel is in Neum and Neum is in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Thank you. When we are talking about treatment of war time
11 invalids and their rehabilitation and care for the families of the
12 killed, was any distinction made between Muslims and Croats who had
13 either been killed or wounded?
14 A. When providing welfare or assistance to the families of the
15 wounded and the killed, and the missing, no distinction was made between
16 them. The same care was provided for Croats, for Muslims, for a Serb who
17 may have been in an HVO unit, or for other volunteers or foreign
18 volunteers who may have been in HVO units.
19 Q. Mr. Buljan, you said that the second stage of your activities
20 started sometime in mid-1995. Could you explain what happened in this
21 second stage. In the first we saw that you were collecting the basic
22 data as to the killed and the wounded. What happened in the second
24 A. In the first stage we collected the data that I indicated a
25 moment ago. Also during that stage, that is up to 1995, the war disabled
1 who had completed their rehabilitation were taken before first level
2 commissions to establish the degree of disability. And this document was
3 required for a subsequent process which was initiated towards the end of
4 2005 when I joined the welfare department, which led to the second level
5 commissions when the percentage of their disability was established and
7 Q. Would you tell me why did it take so long? Was it technically
8 difficult not to engage in this activity immediately? How demanding was
9 it for everything to be done until you reached the second level
10 commission which established whether somebody was an invalid or a family
11 member of a killed soldier?
12 A. We wanted all documents to be uniform. There were files for the
13 victims and these forms had to be filled in, collected, then first level
14 commissions had to be formed who would express their findings and
15 assessments regarding the degree of damage. The wartime invalids had to
16 complete their treatment for their condition to be assessed and because
17 of a shortage of manpower in the Defence Department who would carry out
18 these activities, it wasn't until the end of 1995 that this entire
19 process was completed and that there was a legal basis as stating that a
20 certain person was a wartime invalid with such and such a degree of
21 disability. Until then they were invalids but they didn't have this
22 document certifying to that.
23 Q. But we must not forget that throughout that period you did take
24 care of them as far as you were able?
25 A. Certainly. Various ways were found to assist the wounded or the
1 families of victims. Now, whether it involved extended rehabilitation,
2 orthopaedic aids, or something else.
3 Q. Mr. Buljan, could you tell us when this second stage, this
4 legalisation stage started, and when it was completed? Was it ever
6 A. No, it hasn't been completed to this day. This is a process that
7 will take some more time to be completed.
8 Q. We have another ten minutes until the break. Could we look
9 through some documents now linked to this part of your testimony. Would
10 you look at document 2D 1245. That should be the next document in your
11 binder after these reports. Have you found it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Buljan, I'd prefer you to speak about the documents, tell us
14 about the documents. Can you tell us what we are dealing with here and
15 if I have any questions I'll put them to you. This is a three-page
16 document and I'd like to go through it very briefly.
17 A. This document shows that at the time referred to on the document,
18 well, this first document is dated the 4th of August, 1993. This
19 document shows that the brigade commander, the commander of the 101st
20 Boski Brod Brigade, Zedjko [phoen] Barisic at the written request of the
21 Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia
22 person withdrew funds having been granted power of attorney, so this
23 demonstrates how one proceeded.
24 Q. Mr. Buljan, we can see that we are dealing with Smajo Mahmutovic.
25 That's why we chose this example. You said that all individuals were
1 taken care of regardless of the ethnicity. So the family of a HVO
2 soldier from the 101st Brigade is concerned. If this soldier was killed,
3 and it says that the authorised agent, Omar Carsovic no longer wishes to
4 collect the salary, and they therefore request Mira, it's probably the
5 wife or family member, they request her to inform the brigade who the new
6 authorised agent will be. Don't speculate if you don't know the answer,
7 but on the basis of his name, Mr. Smajo Mahmutovic, would you say this
8 was a Muslim or Bosniak?
9 A. Yes, he is a Muslim, that is a Muslim name, so that's just one
10 such example.
11 Q. The next document -- the next page is a document authorizing
12 someone providing power of attorney. Have a look at the third sheet, the
13 third page, it mentions certain sums that were paid for this individual
14 who was killed; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. It's a Bosanski Brod, 3rd of August, 1993.
16 Q. Very well. Mr. Buljan, have a look at the following document,
17 2D 00749. This is a decision on appointing medical commission in Mostar.
18 It's signed by Bruno Stojic. The date is the 17th of March, 1993
19 a commission for military disabled in Mostar. We can see that there are
20 certain doctors concerned, their names seem to indicate that they are
21 Muslims. So could you comment on the document? I don't like to
22 emphasise the fact that in the HVO, at the time there were both Croats
23 and Muslims and there were some members of some other ethnic groups.
24 A. Yes. This is a decision on nominating a higher or, rather,
25 second degree medical commission in Mostar, and you can see the
1 composition of the medical commission. And the under number 2 you can
2 see Dr. Ramo Omanovic, you can see that this is a Muslim, a Bosniak.
3 Q. Mr. Buljan, you told us about the first part of your work, and
4 then the second part that later involved implementing legal procedures to
5 determine the invalidity status of given individuals and to determine how
6 someone was killed, whether someone was a victim in the war, whether
7 someone was a military invalid. So where would you place this decision
8 on the nomination of a higher medical commission and this is what
9 Mr. Stojic did in March 1993?
10 A. Well, I think this decision preceded other decisions that were
11 subsequently taken with regard to this second degree commission. But at
12 the time that this decision was issued, it perhaps wasn't possible to act
13 on the decision immediately because there was no infrastructure in place
14 in all the Defence Departments.
15 Q. Very well. Let's have a look at the following document,
16 2D 01246. That's the next document, and this is an order from Bruno
17 Stojic again forwarded to the operations zones and to the Mostar HVO,
18 Tomislavgrad-Orasje-Vitez, the Defence Department. This is September
19 1993. Please, could you tell the Court, is this one such attempt, is
20 this an attempt made by Mr. Stojic to ensure that the legal aspects of
21 this problem came into force?
22 A. Yes. This is a document that was to be used by those who weren't
23 willing to do what was requested in the order. So in a certain sense
24 this is a new order in which people being requested to respect certain
25 dead-lines with respect to providing means of work for people who were
1 involved in welfare.
2 Q. The people who were involved in welfare; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, let's have a look at document 2D 01247. This is a decision
5 signed by Mr. Stojic. The date is not really legible, but as you've
6 already seen this document you know what it is?
7 A. Yes. This is a decision on appointing a department for the
8 protection of municipalities. They will decide on the rights of veterans
9 and of killed soldiers from areas temporarily occupied. The HR BH,
10 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. In such conditions, when someone
11 loses their municipality, one acts differently. There aren't enough
12 people, there aren't enough professionals, and then it's not possible to
13 work. These were long term processes, procedures. You needed staff to
14 be involved in these areas. You needed salaries for these people.
16 This decision aided everyone who wasn't in their own territory,
17 or in this order you can see who is responsible for drafting certain
18 documents in relation to certain individuals.
19 Q. You said individuals who weren't in their territory, because the
20 territory was occupied, did that include you?
21 A. Yes. The territory of the Derventa municipality was completely
22 under Serbian control from the 6th of October 1992.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. I would
24 now like to move on to a more demanding document. I'd need a few minutes
25 to deal with it, so would you rather we had a break now. I leave it to
1 you to decide.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, you've used an hour
3 and 20 minutes up, so you have another 40 minutes. We'll have a break
5 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, you have the floor.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Buljan, let's please have a look at the following document,
10 2D 600626. You have it before you? Could you briefly tell the Chamber
11 who drafted this document and could you tell us about the contents of the
12 document. We have another 20 minutes, and I'd like you to comment on the
13 other documents too. We have another 40 minutes, I apologise.
14 A. This document was drafted by the welfare administration. I was
15 the head of that administration. Five defence administrations were
16 analysed, the total number of dead is shown, the number of those who died
17 when they were salaried, the number of wounded is shown, the number of
18 wounded involved in units, the number of wounded with salaries are shown,
19 reasons for which certain individuals were salaried, the number of those
20 missing and those missing with salaries. So this is a more detailed
21 analysis. It's a report drafted by the welfare administration.
22 Q. The date of this document is the 30th of November, 1996. Could
23 you tell the Chamber whether this is the first time that such detailed
24 information was obtained, and is this the result of the work that was
25 carried out, as you said, in the second phase when conditions were in
1 place to gather this kind of information?
2 A. Yes. This is the result of that work. As I said, this is
3 information that is a little more detailed. You have figures on the
4 status of the casualties of the war invalids for whom there were certain
5 decisions for compensation. There were certain decisions where the
6 status of invalids was recognised. So these were some of the first
7 reports that were drafted.
8 Q. Before we move on it to documents that also show the ethnicity of
9 the individuals and the number of the individuals killed and the number
10 of war invalids and the brigades in your operation zone, before we do
11 that could you look at 2D 00150. It's a separate document, the Judges
12 also have a separate document. It's a report dated the 9th of June,
13 1996. And it's an analysis of the ethnicity of the individuals
14 concerned. It's document 2D 00150. Yes, that's the one.
15 Mr. Buljan, could you please comment on figures for the unit
16 members that you are familiar with. It's on the second page, and these
17 figures concern Muslims and Croats. On what basis were these figures
18 provided, was this information provided, and can you confirm that this
19 information is in fact correct?
20 A. Well, I'm looking at document from 1993 signed by the chief of
21 the personnel department Jure Brkic. At the time he was the person
22 authorised to sign such documents. And as far as the ethnicity of the
23 members of the 101st, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6th brigade of the HVO, and they
24 were in the Orasje battle-field, on that side of the corridor, as far as
25 their ethnicity is concerned, well I think that what is shown here is
2 Q. Very well. Can we confirm once more that this document dated the
3 9th of June, 1993, that it is a document from 1993 and not from 1996,
4 which is what it says on page 35, line 25.
5 Mr. Buljan, let's have a look at the following document, 2D
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Witness, this
8 is an important document, and as you were from the 103rd Brigade you will
9 certainly be able to answer my question. I wanted to ask you the
10 following: In the month that this document was drafted in June 1993, at
11 that time were you the acting commander of the 103rd Brigade?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, in June 1993 I wasn't the
13 acting commander of the 103rd Derventa Brigade, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Where were you in
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In June 1993, I was the chief of
17 the welfare department in the Bosanska Posavina operations zone.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you were in that
19 operation zone. In the operation zone, there were HVO units in which
20 there were Muslims too, yes or no?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So do you know that
23 in May 1993 there were certain events that took place in Mostar?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Do you know that
1 there were Muslims who were arrested or displaced or detained, let's say
2 that they were taken from point A to point B, for some of them -- or some
3 of them were taken to the Heliodrom, so we don't have to go into legal
4 problems. Are you aware of that, yes or no?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are not aware of that.
7 Very well. And now for my last question which will be very simple.
8 Given the events in May in Mostar, well, did these events have any
9 repercussions with regard to the HVO units involved in combat?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Very well.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Q. Judge Antonetti asked you where you were at the time that these
14 reports were forwarded, and you said that you were in the operation zone
15 and you performed the duties you mentioned. Regardless of that
16 position -- well, in the case of the 103rd Brigade, can you confirm that
17 this information is correct because in spite of the fact that you were in
18 the operation zone, you were in contact with the brigades that were part
19 of that operation zone?
20 A. If we are still dealing with the document from 1993, 2D 00150,
21 and if we are talking about the six brigades that were in the Orasje
22 battle-field, I can confirm and I do confirm that the ethnic
23 composition -- well, was multiethnic, and I think that -- what you can
24 see in the document reflects the actual situation.
25 Q. Thank you, can we now move on to another document, 2D 00604.
1 Mr. Buljan, since the document mentions your name, could you
2 briefly tell the Chamber what this document is?
3 A. Well, when I had certain information according to which I would
4 be testifying before this Court, I asked the administration for those who
5 were casualties in the homeland war, from the County Posavska
6 the place where I worked and why I put this system into place, I asked
7 that that office provide me with information. I asked them to provide me
8 with information where everything was broken down on the base of people's
9 ethnicity. I can see that the information is quite precise. Their first
10 names, last names, name of father, and there is the identity, personal
11 identity name.
12 Q. Can we please go on to the next document, that's 2D 00605. We
13 are now moving on to the set of documents, the lists that were submitted
14 to you. Now, I would like to dwell a little longer on the first one in
15 order to explain to the Chamber what the list means and how it's
17 A. This list contains names of members of the HVO who were killed
18 who hailed from Bosanski Brod municipality and these were ethnic Croats.
19 This is the 101st Bosanski Brod Brigade, the HVO. This is a list
20 containing all the names of the members who were killed. First name,
21 last name, father's name, and personal identification number. The record
22 is accurate and complete. Also, at the end of this document we see a
23 reference here to the 106th Brigade [indiscernible] from Orasje and the
24 Defence Ministry HR HB and the Derventa police administration is
25 mentioned, too. Therefore, these lists were produced in such a way as to
1 indicate all the information in relation to all the members from a given
2 municipality regardless of where they came to grief, or what unit they
3 were members of when they were killed.
4 Q. All right. If we look at the first list we see a total of 230
5 members who were ethnic Croats. This is a followed by a list of members
6 of the HVO who were killed from Bosanski Brod municipality and these were
7 ethnic Bosniaks; right?
8 A. Yes. This was done in much the same way as the previous part of
9 the list, the 101st Bosanski Brod Brigade were the ethnic Croats, so the
10 next list was produced in relation to the same unit but it pertains to
11 ethnic Bosniaks, or Muslims if you like.
12 Q. All right. The last page of this document in the Croatian
13 version says, "Members of the HVO killed who are from Bosanski Brod
14 municipality. Other ethnicities." Isn't that what it says?
15 A. Yes. And this indicates that there were a total of 13 members of
16 the 103rd Bosanski Brod who were killed who belonged to other
17 ethnicities. They were neither Croats nor Bosniaks.
18 Q. It might be better to go back to this first document and then
19 we'll go on with a series of documents. There are a number of those and
20 they are all structured in the same way. All these are members of the
21 Croatian, Bosniak, and other ethnicities who were killed during clashes
22 with which army? Can you be specific one more time, please?
23 A. The members of all these six units that I mentioned, the units
24 that we are now talking about throughout the war were only ever clashing
25 with the Serb army.
1 Q. Mr. Buljan, could you also tell me whether all these members that
2 we are about to show, were taken care of in the way you described a
3 minute ago, were looked after regardless of their ethnicity. We are
4 talking about those killed. Were their families looked after, all
5 equally regardless of their ethnic backgrounds?
6 A. The families of all these persons who were killed were looked
7 after in much the same way, regardless of their ethnicity.
8 Q. All right. Let's move quickly through the following documents
9 2D 00606, that is the next document that is up.
10 The same kind of material but here we are dealing with members of
11 the HVO Orasje municipality who were killed; right?
12 A. Yes, that's right. It follows from this. This is the 106th
13 Brigade of the HVO, Orasje, and the information was prepared in the same
14 way as in relation to the previous unit that we dealt with.
15 Q. Could you then please move on to 2D 00607.
16 A. The situation was this, the Bihac HVO was isolated within the
17 Bihac pocket itself. They were alone and they belonged to no one in
18 practical terms, so a number of people were killed who belonged to those
19 units. It was easier for them to cross into Croatia and then reach
20 Orasje via Croatia
21 should take care of those who had been killed in the Bihac area.
22 Q. Could you now please move on to 2D 00608.
23 A. This is the 108 Brigade, the Brcko Brigade of the HVO. It was on
24 the other side of the corridor across the Orasje frontline. The corridor
25 ranged from somewhere near Brcko and then down the whole length of the
1 line being held by the HVO and then further up towards Banja Luka. This
2 unit was on the other side, the breadth of the corridor involved, we used
3 to say, was within a decent firing range, that's what we used to say. So
4 certain members went to the Republic of Croatia
5 for rehabilitation. So whenever this was the case, it was my department
6 that would take care of it.
7 Q. All right. Can we now please move on to 2D 00608. Oh, we just
8 looked at that one. So this is 2D 00609.
9 A. This is the 103rd Brigade, the Derventa Brigade of the HVO, and
10 all the information contained in this document was processed in much the
11 same way as all the previous units.
12 Q. Can we please move on to the next document then, 2D 006010 --
13 610, in relation to Modrica. Can you explain this one please?
14 A. The same sort of situation. Again, sometime midway through 1992,
15 about July, Modrica fell. And all the soldiers from Modrica municipality
16 crossed over into the Orasje theatre of war. So this was another brigade
17 that was in our care.
18 Q. The next document is 2D 00611?
19 A. Everything that I said in relation to the previous document, the
20 105 Modrica Brigade, again this is a town that is adjacent to Modrica,
21 this is Odzak, they are adjacent municipalities, and the same applies to
22 Odzak. And the information was processed in much the same way in
23 relation to Odzak municipality.
24 Q. Now, let's move on 2D 00612. This is a list of the members of
25 the HVO who were killed in Tuzla
1 operation zone, and can you please explain whether and why you looked
2 after these members as well?
3 A. Again the 103 Tuzla Zrinski Brigade was very much alike of the
4 previous ones. This one was adjacent to the 108 Brigade of the Croatian
5 Defence Council from Brcko and we looked after it the same way as we did
6 after the members of the 108 Brigade.
7 Q. Can you move please move on to the next document. This is
8 2D 00613. Here is a reference to a list of members killed in Gradacac
9 municipality. Croats and other ethnicities as well.
10 A. Yes. Again the 7th Brigade of the HVO, Gradacac, is the other
11 side of the corridor. And all the members of the 107 Gradacac Brigade
12 who, during the combat operations, left the zone, and if my department
13 had access to them, were looked after the same way as long as they were
14 in the Orasje area as all the other brigades that were on that side of
15 the corridor.
16 Q. Can we now please move on to 2D 00614.
17 A. These are the killed and wounded members of the 104 Brigade of
18 the HVO Bosanska Samac. This brigade, for the most part -- well, was
19 located in Domaljevac, the same place as my own brigade, and this
20 information was processed in the same way.
21 Q. Just to be specific as possible, this is the a list of members
22 who were killed, and we are only about to get to the wounded; right?
23 A. Yes, yes, yes. You are entirely right, I apologise.
24 Q. Could you now please move on to 2D 00615.
25 This is a list of the invalids of war, HVO, Bihac municipality,
1 Croats. And the document moves on to a list of war invalids, Bihac
2 municipality, ethnic Bosniaks, and then other ethnicities.
3 Can you just please confirm that all the following lists were
4 processed and produced according to the same methodology, regardless of
5 the fact that they are in relation or about war invalids as opposed to
6 the previous ones?
7 A. Yes, all of the ones that we've gone through and all of the ones
8 that we've commented on dealt with members of the HVO who were killed,
9 and now we come to the war invalids of the HVO, and again the information
10 was processed in the same way as in relation to previous lists.
11 Q. Just briefly, could you look at 2D 00616. Again, war invalids,
12 Bosanski Brod municipality, all ethnicities; right?
13 A. Yes, this is the 101 Bosanski Brod Brigade. Again, a list of all
14 war invalids, Croats, Bosniaks, other ethnicities.
15 Q. Fine, move on to the next one. 2D 00617. This is a list of war
16 invalids for Bosanski Samac municipality, all ethnicities; right?
17 A. Yes, this is a list of war invalids of the HVO, Samac
18 municipality, 104 - that is the number of the Brigade - HVO. Again, this
19 was produced and processed in the same way as the previous documents.
20 Q. Next one up is 2D 00168. War invalids from Brcko municipality
21 all ethnicities; right?
22 A. Yes. Members of the 108 Brigade of the HVO. Again, listed in
23 the same way as those previously.
24 Q. Next one is 2D 00169. War invalids -- 619. Derventa
25 municipality. All ethnicities; right?
1 A. Yes, yes, yes. That's right. This is 103, the 103 Derventa
2 Brigade of the HVO, and the list was produced to be able to contain all
3 the elements that were contained in previous reports in relation to
4 previous that we've gone through.
5 Q. Next one up is 2D 620. This is a list of war invalids from
6 Gradacac municipality?
7 A. This is the 107th Brigade of the HVO, Gradacac. Again, processed
8 much in the same way as the previous ones. War invalids, Croats,
9 Bosniaks, and other ethnicities.
10 Q. Can we now please move on to 2D 00621.
11 A. This is a list of the one -- of five members of the HVO from
12 Modrica municipality, or, rather, members of the 105 Brigade of the HVO,
13 Modrica Brigade. The list was put together in much the same way as all
14 of the previous lists that we've been looking at.
15 Q. Next one up is 2D 00622.
16 A. The list of war invalids of the HVO Odzak municipality, Croats,
17 the 102 Brigade of the HVO. Bosniaks, other ethnicities, members of that
18 municipality who were killed -- or wounded, rather, I do apologise, while
19 the -- serving in other units.
20 Q. The last in this series of documents is 2D 00624, and you are the
21 one who provided these documents for our benefit.
22 A. Another HVO document, the 115 Brigade of HVO, Zrinski, Tuzla
23 processed in the same way as all the other documents.
24 Q. Mr. Buljan, this completes our overview of documents in relation
25 to those killed as well as war invalids from the Bosanski Posavina zone,
1 which is the zone in which you were active. Let us try to wrap up this
2 story by asking the following question. All of these members, or,
3 rather, their families and war invalids, were looked after equally in the
4 same way based on what you told us regardless of their ethnicity?
5 A. All of the HVO members, regardless of their ethnicity, were
6 looked after in the same way and to the same extent.
7 Q. Can we now please move on to the next document, 2D 00627. This
8 is a document submitted by the federal ministry for combatants and
9 invalids of the homeland war. It is also called the federal ministry for
10 defenders and invalids of the homeland war. The date is the 12th of
11 March, 2008, and I was the one who requested a copy of this document.
12 Can we please just check what the document is about and then you
13 will confirm for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, as long as you can,
14 whether this ministry was the relevant ministry for issuing this sort of
15 information or indicators. This is a list containing the names of the
16 members of the 4th HVO Brigade, the Stjepan Radic Brigade from Ljubuski,
17 these are the ethnic Bosniaks. And it gives you the names, the years of
18 birth, and the time spent in service. The 31st of May, 1992 ending with
19 the 15th of July, 1993.
20 Mr. Buljan, can you please confirm because you, too, were working
21 with the federal bodies, this ministry would have been responsible for
22 issuing information like this?
23 A. I think this ministry might have issued information of this
25 Q. Can we now please move on to a different document and this is
1 P 4756. This is a meeting of the collegium of Defence Department heads,
2 and it was held on the 2nd of September, 1993. Mr. Buljan, can you
3 please tell the Chamber whether perhaps you attended this meeting of the
5 A. No, I did not attend this meeting.
6 Q. Can we please go to page 5. Have a look please. Specifically
7 item 6. May I just draw your attention to a particular portion
8 pertaining to the welfare structure. So item 6 reads, this is the last
9 sentence of paragraph 2 that I'm about to read back to you.
10 "The new organisation scheme for the general care [as
11 interpreted] administration was adopted and the conclusion was reached
12 that the families of those Muslim members of the HVO who were killed
13 should still receive assistance."
14 Judge Antonetti asked you whether you knew what was going on in
15 May, you say you didn't. And I'm asking you based on this document, does
16 it not seem to follow that the families of those Croat members who were
17 killed were looked after -- even after the 2nd of September, 1993? And
18 my other question in relation to this is: Based on your knowledge did
19 the care continue after this? Because you did have all the information,
20 didn't you, once you were in a position to consolidate all this
21 information based on the reports that we've looked at?
22 A. This conclusion shows that the Muslim members as indicated here
23 were looked after up and until this conclusion, and I can assert in no
24 uncertain terms that that the care continued after this conclusion. I
25 don't know what the back drop was for this collegium meeting and what
1 exactly was discussed; however, these were times in Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 when there was a war between Croats and Serbs, between Serbs and
3 Bosniaks, between Bosniaks and Croats, between Bosniaks and Bosniaks.
4 Someone was probably asking themselves what to do in a given situation.
5 But here I'll repeat this, both before and after this, all of the members
6 of the HVO received the same care in the same way and to the same extent.
7 Q. Would you now look, please at 2D 00625, please, and explain to
8 Their Honours what this is?
9 A. In my introduction I said that for a certain period of time I was
10 deputy director of the federal administration for questions of veterans
11 and invalids of the homeland war. Therefore, the director, Ivanisevic
12 and myself agreed that for the first time we should sit down and exchange
13 information about the killed, wounded, and missing members so that at the
14 time I had the data regarding members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 and for him to be informed about members of the HVO who had been killed
16 and wounded and who were missing. So this was an effort on our part,
17 that is the director and myself, we exchanged data about these matters.
18 Q. Unfortunately, I have to ask you this: The director of the
19 federal administration was Mr. Suad Porusovic [phoen], is he a Bosniak
20 ethnicity I have to ask that you?
21 A. Yes, he is a Bosniak ethnicity. In that period appointments were
22 made in such a way that if the director was a Bosniak, then the deputy
23 would be a Croat and vice-versa.
24 Q. I didn't ask you at the beginning and that is my omission, were
25 you ever a member of the HDZ party?
1 A. No, I was never a member of that party.
2 Q. By this protocol, you actually carried out the first exchange of
3 data regarding the members of the HVO and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 What in fact were the two of you endeavouring to achieve by doing this?
5 A. The war had only just ended. We are talking about 1998 -- or
6 recently ended, the war ended with the Dayton Agreements, but on the
7 ground the situation continued tense maybe until mid-1996. And director
8 Porusovic and myself agreed that to begin with we would exchange
9 information so as at least to have the numbers right. How many there
10 were of the various populations so that we could adopt a common approach
11 in relations with the government so that a certain decree or law would be
12 passed to deal in an equal manner with the problems of the victims,
13 members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the HVO.
14 Q. Did that happen, was any such regulation passed?
15 A. I have to say that I didn't have the good fortune during our term
16 of office for such regulations to be passed. We worked hard on this. We
17 prepared a law. The only difference between the two of us was that I
18 disagreed regarding only two articles of the entire law. I thought that
19 the basis for calculating the assistance to be given for invalids, all
20 invalids in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as for the
21 families of the killed and missing, should be based on the average
22 salaries of the active duty officer. However, my colleague Porusovic did
23 not agree. He thought that the average for the entire Federation of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina should be used. We prepared such a draft law, we sent
25 it to the government, it was adopted by the government. I can't remember
1 how many votes were in favour, how many against, but when that law came
2 before the parliament of the Federation, the parliament was divided in
3 its views along the same lines as the two of us differed. However, when
4 it was eventually adopted, we were no longer holding those posts.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica, you have another
6 five minutes left.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have that in
8 mind. I only have one more document.
9 Q. As far as I can understand you, the problem was the amount that
10 the individuals were entitled to, not who was entitled to this
12 A. The problem was not who would be remunerated, the dates were not
13 at issue, the beginning and the end, the extent of welfare assistance was
14 not in question, but simply the basis upon which this remuneration was to
15 be calculated.
16 Q. The last document is 2D 00628, and could you explain to Their
17 Honours what it is?
18 A. Yes, we have before us a law on the rights of defenders and
19 members of their families adopted by the parliament of the Federation of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What colleague Porusovic and myself failed to do in
21 1998 and 1999, the colleagues who took over later, four years later, this
22 law appeared in the Official Gazette of Bosnia-Herzegovina number 33 in
23 the year 2004. And Article number 2 defines what I was speaking about a
24 moment ago and the parliament adopted it and this law was adopted. And
25 after it came into force, it was implemented.
1 Q. Can you tell us with respect to the law who is defined as a
3 A. Article 2, Article 2 speaks of members of the family, but it all
4 defines the defenders as members of the Army of the Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina of the Croatian Defence Council and of the police
6 force of the relevant Internal Affairs body who participated in the
7 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The beginning of the aggression, being
8 the 18th of September, 1991, up until the 23rd of December, 1996.
9 Q. So the beginning is the date when the municipality of Ravno
10 attacked; is that right? So this applied to members of the HVO and of
11 the army, and they enjoyed equal rights regardless of whether they were
12 Muslims or Croats?
13 A. This law defined the rights and entitlements of the defenders.
14 Q. I would like to say that on page 50, line 5, I asked you to look
15 at Article 2, and you have read out Article 2 so that this should be
16 quite clear in the transcript; is that right?
17 A. Yes, I just read Article 2.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Thank you for your testimony, and that
19 brings to an end my examination-in-chief of this witness, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question, a
21 very simple one, to put to you, but it refers to the beginning of your
22 testimony when Madam Nozica asked you what you were doing and you told us
23 that your brigade was facing the Serbs. Can you confirm that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am afraid I have not
25 understood your question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At the very
2 beginning of your testimony, my understanding was that you said at
3 certain point in time that your brigade was on the frontline confronting
4 the Serbs, is that what you told us?
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we didn't have an
6 interpretation, that is why the witness is not able to answer. He didn't
7 get an interpretation.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You heard now?
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have heard you. The 103rd
11 Derventa Brigade throughout the war was confronting the Serbs and that
12 was the positions we held.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the 103rd
14 Brigade, there were Muslims and Croats?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You yourself and your comrade
17 soldiers, what were you defending facing the Serbs? Were you defending
18 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 were defending the territory of Posavina
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the first part of
21 my testimony I said I was born in Kuljanovci which is a locality 5
22 kilometres from Derventa. On the 8th of April, I was at my work-place,
23 and in the afternoon the Serbian army shelled my village, the village I
24 was born in. From my village almost right up to Banja Luka, there's not
25 a single other Croatian village. That is the only Croatian village
1 there. All of us in the whole army, including Bosniaks, Croats, and all
2 others, we were defending our territory. I wanted to return where I went
3 daily from work. So that was our aim, for the Croats to continue living
4 where they were living before, to live in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Another question
6 which has nothing to do with the previous question and it will be my
8 We were looking at the documents with the statistics of people
9 killed and wounded, and I have to tell you, I was deeply impressed with
10 the figures I see. There were 780 wounded, thousands of killed,
11 thousands of wounded, therefore I assume that many families were affected
12 by this conflict. Does this create such traumatism today? Does this
13 trauma still exist?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, certainly after events
15 of this kind and everything that happened, all those who were affected
16 and especially those who lost their loved ones, their fathers, and their
17 children, certainly they are traumatised. Some of them more, some of
18 them less.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm looking at D3,
20 D4, et cetera.
21 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm on my
22 feet for the first, though the Defence of Coric has no question for this
23 witness, but this is our order of appearance so I wish to avoid any
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: Mr. President, we have no questions. Thank
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] D1.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Your Honours, we
5 have no questions for the gentleman, and we wish to thank him for coming
6 here to give his evidence.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll leave out D2. So D3 next.
8 MR. KOVACIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours and everybody in the
9 courtroom. Praljak Defence will have a couple of questions, and when I
10 finish I think that Mr. Praljak would like to raise only one question
11 related to the geography mainly. Perhaps we'll get the maps in the
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
14 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Buljan, I'm Defence counsel for Mr. Praljak.
15 We have met and I will have a few questions for you.
16 You told us everything about your activities, the positions you
17 held in the 103rd Brigade and the operation zone at the very beginning of
18 your testimony. Tell me, please, you said that in July 1992, you
19 actually had to leave your positions in Derventa and the surroundings and
20 that you were slowly retreating essentially towards the territory of the
21 Republic of Croatia
22 A. Yes, that is right. We were retreating towards Bosanski Brod as
23 Bosanski Brod is across the river from Slavonski Brod, that is where we
25 Q. Perhaps we should explain the geography for Their Honours, which
1 they may not be familiar with. So the entire area of Posavina is the
2 northern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Basically, it is the region along
3 the Sava
4 a border region bordering on the Republic of Croatia
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Your enemy that you fought, the JNA or the Serbs, were pushing
7 you into that area towards Sava
8 southeastern part; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you were pushed into a narrow area south of the Sava river;
11 is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. On the northern side of the river, though the border doesn't
14 follow strictly the Sava
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And when the Serb offensive is squeezing you into an ever smaller
18 area, you have nowhere to go?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. After Derventa fell, the civilians were withdrawing towards
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in a couple of days in July 1992, a certain number of
24 civilians and a number of soldiers that had abandoned the HVO were on
25 the -- in the meadows east of Bosanski Brod intending to cross the Sava
1 to go to Bosanski Brod and Croatia
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you give us a rough idea of what the numbers were, are we
4 talking hundreds or thousands?
5 A. I think that one could say that there were thousands. I couldn't
6 say whether it was 3.000 or 2.000, but the area where they were sitting
7 during the day and the night, and the command of my brigade was close by
8 too so that I saw those people.
9 Q. And those people had nowhere to go; is that right?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, there's a problem.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, from Bosanski
12 Brod to Slavonski Brod, and here is says from Bosanski Brod to Bosanski
13 Brod. People were going line 23.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. We'll repeat that for the record. People from the surroundings
16 of Bosanski Brod, which means the territory of the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, wanted to cross the Sava to the north in the
18 direction of Slavonski Brod; is that right?
19 A. Yes, from the Derventa and from Bosanski Brod, some people had
20 come earlier from Modrica and Odzak, which is the territory of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they gathered there in front of the bridge
22 intending to enter the Republic of Croatia
23 Q. Why did they assemble there? Why couldn't they cross over into
24 the Republic of Croatia
25 A. At that time, I don't know why, but I know it was physically
1 impossible to cross over because at the time there were obstacles on the
2 bridge and passage over the bridge was not allowed.
3 Q. If I have obtained correct information, the Bosnian authorities
4 weren't controlling that border pass, the Croatian authorities wouldn't
5 allow the people to cross over, they controlled the pass; is that
7 A. I think that at that time at that pass there were police forces
8 from Bosanski Brod, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and from Croatia, but you
9 know, when you are entering someone else's state then you always ask the
10 police of that state for permission to enter the state.
11 Q. Correct. And that when on for a few days because the Croatian
12 authorities wouldn't allow those refugees to cross over into the
13 territory of Croatia
14 A. That went on for a few days. I can't say whether it went on for
15 three or four days, but it certainly lasted for a number of days.
16 Q. And then finally the border was opened and the people started
17 crossing over; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, at one point in time, the border was opened.
19 Q. How long was necessary, half a day, a day, three days, for those
20 people to cross over? Roughly speaking, I know no one knows the precise
22 A. I don't know how long was needed, but people would simply cross
23 over the bridge, it's fairly quick.
24 Q. Very well. And they crossed over into Croatia?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Since you were in the immediate vicinity at the time, it was
2 naturally a problem because the people were in the field and no care was
3 provided for them. Bosanski Brod was under fire, it was being shelled by
4 Serbian forces; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. This occurred on a daily basis and on a number of
6 occasions. Bosanski Brod and its surroundings were shelled on a daily
8 Q. Could we say that those refugees, those people were in fact
9 constantly exposed to danger?
10 A. Absolutely, they were constantly exposed to danger. More so than
11 other people?
12 Q. When they finally started crossing over, since you were there,
13 did you hear anything about how this pass was opened up? Did anyone play
14 a role in this and if so, who?
15 A. In my command amongst the troops there were rumours according to
16 which the person responsible for opening up the pass was General Praljak.
17 I can't confirm that I saw the general down there at the time, but I
18 wasn't there all the time. Our lines were below Bosanski Brod, but I
19 know that such rumours were spread at the time.
20 Q. So there were such information relayed by those people at the
21 time in that narrow stretch of territory?
22 A. Yes, that's what was said.
23 Q. On the following days after those people had already entered the
24 territory of Croatia
25 conflict, a clash of some kind, a clash of various opinions between
1 General Praljak and the authorities in the Republic of Croatia
2 regard to opening up this pass?
3 A. Well, I think that I can say that there were such rumours, such
4 things were discussed. It was said that certain leading individuals in
5 the Republic of Croatia
6 General Praljak because of what had been done. I can't say that I read
7 about it or saw this on television, but this is what soldiers spoke about
8 amongst themselves.
9 Q. Very well. Let me reminds you of something. I'd like to provide
10 a time-frame for what we are talking about. Before that exodus and quite
11 a long time before that exodus, Vukovar had already fallen and the
12 Serbian forces had taken a large part of Slavonia; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know that at that time or later on Croatia had a lot of
15 its own refugees?
16 A. I know that there were displaced individuals. It was a difficult
17 situation, there was a war, and you have the population moving from
18 certain towns, and so on and so forth.
19 Q. As an educated man and someone who was in particular involved in
20 the field of welfare, do you know that Croatia in fact had a huge burden
21 because it had to take care of its own citizens who had been displaced
22 because of the war, and it had to take care of refugees from
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina as well?
24 A. That's absolutely correct.
25 Q. Very well. Tell me something else --
1 MS. WEST. Objection. Sorry to interrupt. Good afternoon, Mr.
2 President, Your Honours, and everyone in and around the courtroom.
3 I'm just -- a couple of comments here. First and foremost I've
4 let this -- I've not commented on this, but this is beyond the scope of
5 cross-examination. Secondly, it's unclear to me how this would be
6 relevant to our indictment. And thirdly, if you are inclined to let it
7 continue, I would ask that it not be leading questions.
8 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may respond.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak -- I apologise,
10 Mr. Kovacic, before you continue to discuss this subject, I'd like to
11 suggest to my colleagues that we withdraw or deduct certain time from the
12 time allocated to you, because these aren't questions that arose in the
13 course of the examination-in-chief.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] If I can respond to what my
15 colleague said. It's quite clear that my subject relates to testimony of
16 this witness. I went beyond the scope only when I tried to give a
17 time-frame for the event. I tried to refer to parallel events, to the
18 situation in Croatia
19 was just a reference. This was just a context I wanted to provide. If
20 you want to deduct that time from me, I'm in your hands, but I think that
21 it's necessary for me to link up certain events to the situation on the
22 ground. If you're not interested in that, I won't explore this any
23 further and I didn't intend to do so in any case.
24 Q. Witness, when those people crossed the bridge to enter Croatia
25 et cetera, I think we said that there were some soldiers who had fled the
1 lines, were falling or had fallen, and some soldiers fled; is that
3 A. I don't think there were military able soldiers in uniform.
4 Q. Very well. The Croatian authorities at the border, did they ask
5 those who were armed to disarm?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So they didn't allow people who were carrying weapons to enter
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. In fact, they first had to disarm and then they let them in?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much. There are some questions about the
13 territory, or perhaps I should allow Mr. Praljak to address this issue.
14 It's a military issue, and I would like to ask the Chamber to allow
15 Mr. Praljak to ask the witness a few questions about the military
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, if it concerns military
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 On the whole these are military issues. Unfortunately, I asked for a map
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina but we won't have time, but could the witness be
22 provided with a piece of paper and then we will draw it. I would just
23 like to clarify certain issues. For example, where the territory of
24 Posavina is actually located in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which six brigades
25 were in the part facing Croatia
1 Cross-examination by Accused Praljak:
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could you please give the
3 witness a sheet of paper and, Witness, could you explain for the benefit
4 of the Chamber --
5 MS. WEST: I am sorry for my interruption, but we do have a map
6 available on sanction and General Praljak could use it. On e-court,
7 excuse me.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is the number so that we
9 can pull it up on the screen?
10 MS. WEST: P 09276. It will just take a moment to get on the
11 screen. And that's map 3.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Could the witness be provide with a marker, please. Please,
14 could you first mark the areas or the area where the six HVO brigades,
15 were the 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th, the 105th and the 106th Brigade.
16 Could we have a clear copy of the map?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have a map on the screen,
18 Witness, and you can use this marker to mark the map. You can use the
19 marker on the screen. The equipment is very good here.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could we have the
21 previous map, a clear or clean version of the map, the previous map,
22 number 3. We had it on the screen a moment ago. There was a different
23 version, a clean version of this map before. That's the one.
24 Q. Witness, could you please show the area defended, the area facing
1 have to be precise, but could you just mark the area?
2 A. If we are talking about the time -- or, rather, the time-period
3 after November 1992 when the brigades were located there in these places,
4 municipalities that fell, well, then the situation would be as follows:
5 Odzak fell --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the fall. So around the
8 municipality of Derventa, that's where the line would go, then this part
9 near Modrica, this just above Gradacac, and the line would continue in
10 this way, Brcko would remain to the right. It's not precisely drawn on
11 the map, but this is what it would like look like more or less.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Were there six HVO brigades in that area as you said?
15 A. Yes, in this area there were six HVO brigades.
16 Q. Thank you very much. The Serbs had a corridor, and on the other
17 side of the corridor there was Tuzla
18 107th HVO Brigade. Could you mark that, too, in a rough manner. It
19 doesn't have to be precise on the map.
20 A. So this is what it would look like more or less.
21 Q. So it was a narrow corridor, and the Serbian forces tried to
22 enlarge the corridor as it was important, it was a corridor in the
23 vicinity of Banja Luka; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And my last question, since no one asked you whether you knew I
1 was there or not, was it a bloody war, a bloody conflict? Were there
2 many casualty, many wounded, many dead? Were there huge losses among HVO
3 fighters, suffered by HVO fighters?
4 A. From the beginning to the end of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina --
5 from the end -- from the beginning to the end of the war in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina I was there, but I have to admit that the situation
7 was the worst in Bosanska Posavina. If you have a look at the territory
8 from east, from west, from all directions it's possible from tanks to
9 pass through. Often one would say we had everything, we experienced
10 everything, but we didn't have parachutists attacking us, but we
11 experienced everything else, tank attacks, plane attacks, and so on and
12 so forth. It was terrible here. It's a small area and there were a lot
13 of people who were killed, a lot of wounded. My unit was in Derventa.
14 And if we have a look at the map, not at any point in time did I launch
15 an attack. I was on the defensive all the time. The troops withdrew all
16 the time in this direction.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Is it true that only your brigade --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the accused's
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 103rd HVO Brigade had over 400
23 members who were killed, and that also concerns the 101st Brigade.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
25 Q. What was the difference when it came to equipment? What did you
1 use to defend yourselves and against what did you have to defend
3 A. I don't know. Perhaps when the time comes, when I get over all
4 of it, perhaps I'll write something about this. But the biggest chapter
5 will have to do with the lack of ammunition, ammunition for light weapons
6 and also for heavy weapons.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank the
8 Judges, the Prosecution, and the witness.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you like us to give the
10 document an IC number?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned IC
12 number 917. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Ms. Alaburic, will
14 you conclude?
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good day, good day
16 to everyone in the courtroom.
17 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
18 Q. Mr. Buljan, good day to you too. I will have a few very brief
19 questions. I think that --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can see that you have a lot
21 of documents. Have others given you some time?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I don't think
23 I'll need a lot of time. I think that we'll conclude in 15 minutes time.
24 It all depends on the witness's answers. But we can now distribute the
25 documents that we have. While doing this, and perhaps the usher could
1 hand the documents out. We weren't sure whether we would have time to
2 commence in the course of this hearing, that's why we haven't handed them
3 out already.
4 Q. Mr. Buljan, this is also an explanation for the Trial Chamber. I
5 would like to show you a document indicating the number of Muslims in
6 your brigade. Therefore, could you please shed some light on that,
7 confirm or correct in as far as there are any corrections that need
8 making. Then I would like to ask you a couple of questions with today's
9 evidence, especially as it related to assistant commanders of brigades
10 and operations areas. Security assistants, health assistants, morale
11 assistants. I will be showing you a number of documents in relation to
12 that as well. I don't necessarily think you said anything that needs
13 correcting, but I think it might be helpful for the Trial Chamber to get
14 more of an insight into the who the brigade commanders were, how they
15 were appointed, and the way the whole thing was organised. Therefore, if
16 there's anything you can tell us about that, our conversation might prove
17 to be a little lengthier than I first thought.
18 You have a set of documents before you, sir, they are in
19 arithmetic order. This is not necessarily the order which I will be
20 following. I may decide to skip the occasional document, depending on
21 what you tell us.
22 The first document that I want you to look at is D 3355 -- P.
23 It's Prosecution document. P 3355. This is a report on the work of the
24 Defence Department relating to the period between January and June 1993,
25 page 11 of the Croatian. The English reference, I'm giving the figure in
1 the upper right corner, 9094.
2 Q. Have you got the document, sir? This is something about Derventa
3 Brigade, the 103 Brigade, which at the time the report was produced which
4 was at the -- early in July 1993 received some men, 161 military
5 conscripts, 59 of whom were Croats. Or rather, 539 of whom were Croats.
6 A total of 861 men, 8-6-1
7 breakdown, 308 Muslims, and 14 Serbs.
8 Based on your recollection, Mr. Buljan, would that tally with
9 your information concerning the ethnic structure of the Derventa Brigade
10 in mid-1993?
11 A. I think it does roughly. I'm not going into the nitty-gritty,
12 but that would be it roughly speaking.
13 Q. The next sentence is particularly interesting. It might be of
14 interest to the Chamber because they hear about the existence of six
15 brigades in Bosanski Posavina and a lot of other brigades throughout
17 Therefore, can you please comment on the following sentence, it
19 "This -- the required strength in manpower is 3.096 conscripts."
20 That's what it says. Mr. Buljan, does that not mean that in
21 terms of its establishment, the brigade was supposed to have 3.096 men,
22 soldiers, but in actual fact all it had at the time was 861 men?
23 A. It is quite obvious that the establishment-wise the brigade like
24 this needed 3.096 conscripts or men, all they had was the figure you
1 Q. So when we talk about an HVO brigade in these terms, it doesn't
2 necessarily always mean that the actual number of men reflected the one
3 envisaged in a brigade's establishment; right?
4 A. If there's a rule to be deduced from all of this, then the rule
5 would be that none of the HVO brigades were up to their full manning
6 levels. The manning levels that they were supposed to have
8 Q. Thank you very much for this clarification. And now several
9 questions about the assistant commanders of these brigades. You told us
10 that the commanders of brigades and operations areas have certain
11 assistants that helped them with certain work areas, morale, health,
12 security, that sort of thing; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you now please tell us, if you know, how this was regulated,
15 who had the right to appoint these men? Who had the right to dismiss
16 them, these assistant brigade commanders and assistant commanders of
17 operation zones?
18 A. I don't think I can be very specific about the procedure itself,
19 how these men were appointed, but I can tell you how I was appointed to
20 the position of assistant commander of IPD.
21 Q. This is what I propose: Let's look at the regulations first and
22 then we'll see whether that was how it worked in practice in your
23 brigade. I do wish to point out any differences to the Chamber between a
24 de jure situation and a de facto situation. Can you please look at
25 2D 567.
1 This is a decision of internal structure of the Defence
2 Department and the date is October 1992. Can you please look at item D.
3 We'll be dwelling on the morale because you probably happen to know more
4 about that than anything else. Item D sub-item (6) can you please look
5 at paragraph 2, I'm about to read it out to you:
6 "Assistant commanders of morale of the south-east Herzegovina
7 operations area of the north-west Herzegovina operations area of the
8 central Bosnia
9 assistant commander for morale of the Bruno Busic independent regiment,
10 assistant commanders for morale of the special purpose unit, and
11 assistant brigade commanders for morale are appointed by the head of the
12 Defence Department at the proposal of assistant head for morale."
13 Mr. Buljan, did you know that this was the procedure envisaged by
14 the regulations?
15 A. When all of this was going on back in 1992, in October, November,
16 possibly September, I was not aware of this procedure, nor indeed was I
17 aware of this document.
18 Q. Based on your reply I conclude that you found out about this
19 later on, is that not the case, sir?
20 A. Yes, at any rate, later on.
21 Q. Now, tell us about how you were appointed to your position as
22 assistant commander for morale?
23 A. When large tracts of the territory were lost and two-thirds of
24 the command staff were dismissed for various reasons, or were out of
25 action for various reasons, because they were wounded or because they
1 left, the brigade commander simply told me, As of today, you shall be my
2 assistant for IPD. Soon there will be a procedure in progress to obtain
3 all the right documents for you. He was loud and clear about my task and
4 how I should go about coming to grips with my task.
5 Q. In your opinion, these assistant commanders for morale --
6 brigades, morale commanders of brigade -- brigades and operations areas,
7 are they the part of the Defence Department of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. I really can't answer that one.
9 Q. All right. There's another detail that I would like you to
10 explain to the Trial Chamber because I think they might find it extremely
11 helpful in order to come to grips with the question I'm about to ask you.
12 Can you please go to document P 646. This is a proposal for the work
13 programme of the Defence Department up and until the end of 1992. If you
14 go to each chapter entitled "Morale," this is page 3, could you look at
15 the second sentence, saying that:
16 "It is necessary to establish both vertical and horizontal
17 links, coordination, and hierarchy."
18 Mr. Buljan, could you perhaps shed light for our benefit on what
19 the horizontal links might be and what the vertical links might be?
20 A. I have to say that I've never seen this before. And I can't shed
21 light on this. Vertical links, horizontal links, that should be clear
22 enough in itself shouldn't it.
23 Q. If you find it that clear, can you please share that with us. I
24 assume it might be helpful for the Chamber to have an explanation on what
25 these horizontal and vertical links might be?
1 A. I didn't mean in this specific instance. I meant quite
2 generally. Horizontal and vertical. I didn't read this carefully and
3 this wasn't the sort of subject matter that I was dealing with at the
4 time. Therefore, I can hardly be expected to provide a reliable answer.
5 Q. All right. I'll show you a diagram. Perhaps it will help us
6 along, being that we are trying to find some sort of an answer. The
7 diagram is 2D 685. This is a diagram or a chart of the Morale Sector of
8 the Herceg-Bosna Defence Department. This is a Bruno Stojic Defence
10 Can you please have a look. The document shows certain military
11 units from the battalion level and platoon level to the operation zones,
12 and you can see that there are assistant commanders for morale
13 throughout. And now with see these links from the operation zone to the
14 assistant head for morale.
15 Can you have a look at the chart, please, and tell us if the
16 chart is consistent with your knowledge on how the Morale Sector was
18 A. I really can't say anything about this. I only dealt with this
19 very briefly, and then I moved on to something entirely different. I was
20 also physically distant from where all of this was going on, so with all
21 due respect, I cannot contribute anything meaningful to this discussion.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, given the nature of
23 the witness's answers in this respect I have no further question Norris
24 witness and, Mr. Buljan, I thank you for your answers.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I didn't wish to
2 interrupt Ms. Alaburic when she asked you about the procedure for your
3 appointment. As assistant commander for morale, I'm looking at page 68
4 in the transcript, lines 10 and onwards. You answered a question. You
5 said that the brigade commander one fine day told you, From today on you
6 shall be assistant for morale.
7 My question to you is the following: How did the appointment
8 take place in practice? How were brigade commanders appointed and their
9 assistants, too? I want to know particularly about your case, your
10 appointment as assistant commander. I'm not sure if this translates
11 well. We have a commander or a brigade commander, was he the one making
12 the appointment or was the appointment actually made by a department head
13 or perhaps the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when all of this was
15 going on, the situation was an extremely difficult one in the area in
16 which this was happening, and these were difficult times as well. The
17 war had already been in full swing for a very long time. The army in a
18 way began to sit on its hands and became onlookers, mere onlookers.
19 Derventa had fallen and most of the command staff had been replaced.
20 Given the situation, the commander believed that I could give him a hand
21 in all of this at the time, and he said you shall be my assistant for
22 IPD. The documents will soon be on their way. I was now given a mission
23 and was told specifically what I should do, how I should go about my
24 work, and how I should go about reporting whack back to him. All of this
25 was something that we had to do in our stride. It wasn't like we were
1 sitting around in offices using typewriters or anything like that. We
2 had to think on our feet and do things as we kept moving along, as simple
3 as that.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] All right. So the documents were
5 soon to be on their way. And who was to issue these documents to back
6 your appointment? Which authority and whose signature would they bear?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't reply right
8 now. I didn't analyse that, I didn't look into that, and I didn't mind
9 that too much. My job was welfare, and I devoted all of my energy in
10 those years to that particular area. Therefore, the IPD itself was a
11 passing adventure for me. Perhaps not an adventure but it only covered
12 for me a brief period of time that I spent working there. I specified
13 this in my CV. It's as simple as that. It was a very brief period. No
14 more than two months, two and a half months perhaps. I didn't look much
15 into that to be quite honest. Therefore, I can't say exactly what the
16 correct procedure would have been. If I were given a chance to go
17 through the documents I'd probably arrive at some conclusion or other.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 20 minute break and then the
20 Prosecutor will commence. Thank you.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
24 Prosecutor, let us discuss our schedule. As you know next week we have
25 nothing scheduled for Wednesday because there should be a 7th or an 8th
1 trial in progress. However, that slot has been freed up now, so we
2 believe that if necessary we can plough on from Monday to Thursday. If
3 we conclude on Wednesday, then the Thursday will be off. But we will sit
4 on Wednesday. I now give the floor to the OTP.
5 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Cross-examination by Ms. West:
7 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Kim West. I'm with the Office
8 of the Prosecution, and I'm just going to ask you some questions at least
9 until 7.00 this evening. I think it might be helpful that the first
10 place we go to is the maps that we looked at earlier.
11 MS. WEST: If I can have P 09276 on e-court, and that's map 3.
12 Q. Do you see that in front of you?
13 A. Where is the number, please?
14 Q. Map 3 is in the bottom left-hand corner. But do you see map in
15 front of you that says "The Croatian Communities of Herceg-Bosna and
16 Bosanski Posavina 1991"?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, specifically, I understand that you were born at least close
19 to Derventa, which is up in the Posavina, and for the record that's the
20 area in the north eastern section of Bosnia. Do you see that on the map,
21 it's coloured in blue?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Derventa is not a part of the Community of
24 Herceg-Bosna, is it?
25 A. This map reflects the situation in 1991. At the time Derventa
1 had the same status as all the other municipalities in Bosanska Posavina.
2 Q. And so my question at least during the period of time in 1991,
3 Derventa, would you agree with me, is not part of the Herceg-Bosna
5 A. I don't know exactly whether the division was like this in 1991.
6 Back in 1991 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have the blue coloured areas.
7 Q. All right. Well, let me remind you of the question that Judge
8 Antonetti asked you earlier today, and he asked you: When you, in 1992,
9 were fighting with the HVO, what were you defending. And do you remember
10 your answer?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Against the Serbs. There is
12 obviously an error, an interpretation error. They were fighting with the
13 HVO, but in French there was an interpretation problem. Can you please
14 restate your question, madam, in order to clarify this whole matter.
15 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. My question, sir, was in 1992 when you were fighting for the HVO,
17 what were you defending?
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] My apologies. I do apologise to
19 the learned friend. The interpretation that we are receiving and the
20 witness is my friend is asking in 1991. The witness was, in fact, not
21 speaking about 1991. Not at all. The transcript reflects 1992. Now, we
22 are not entirely clear as to what my learned friend is asking about, 1991
23 or 1992, because back in 1991 there was nothing that the witness
24 mentioned, and I think that is why the witness now nonplussed.
25 MS. WEST: Thank you, counsel.
1 Q. So my question regards 1992. I understand that you started in
2 the HVO in 1992. So in 1992, what were you defending?
3 A. As you said, I'm a native of Derventa municipality. Derventa had
4 a total of 52 villages. There was the town, too, Derventa itself. The
5 villages were mixed, some were Serb and some were Croat. At this time
6 the situation that arose was this: The Serbs would attack the Croats in
7 Derventa municipality in order to take their positions. This happened on
8 the 8th of April, 1992, where I lived. From that moment on, members of
9 the 103rd Derventa Brigade and the HVO never took another step forward
10 into anyone else's village, area, or town. We just kept defending our
11 own area in which we were living at the time.
12 Q. Thank you, and you just indicated that the Serbs were
13 attacking --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is a problem because the
15 English translation reads: "... members of the 103rd Derventa Brigade
16 and the HVO." Is this the HVO or is this the members of the 103rd
17 Derventa Brigade and the HVO, what exactly did you say, Witness?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said those were members of the
19 103rd Derventa Brigade of the HVO, or the HVO. So it would be 103rd,
20 that was its name, it was part of that.
21 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. And, Mr. Witness, your enemy was the Serbs; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. WEST: If we can turn to map 7, map 7 of this same exhibit,
1 Q. Mr. Buljan, do you see that in front of you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this is a map showing the Serb autonomous areas or the areas
4 in which the Serbs believed to be their own. Would you agree with me
5 that Derventa is within the Serb -- an area in which the Serbs believe to
6 be theirs?
7 A. I don't know. According to the 1991 census, Derventa had about
8 22.000 Serb, about 21.000 Croats, 98 Croats less than the Serbs, and
9 about 7.000 or 8.000 Bosniaks or perhaps slightly more. This map, the
10 way it looks with the area marked in green, in terms of the Serbs not
11 being interested in the area or that indeed it really was like this, that
12 this was the physical reality, if that had been the case, I'm sure the
13 clashes would never have erupted in Derventa itself.
14 Q. And Mr. Buljan, you would agree with me that the Serbs were
15 interested in your area and that's why they were your enemy?
16 A. Yes, I can agree with that.
17 Q. Would you also agree in looking at this map, it appears that the
18 Serbs did not -- did not want a substantial portion of Herceg-Bosna as
19 their own? A substantial portion of Herceg-Bosna?
20 A. I don't know if that was the case or not. If they wanted that or
21 not. It was a long war and a war of attrition, it lasted from 1992 until
22 the end of 1995.
23 Q. And, Mr. Witness, if you can go to the first binder. The first
24 Prosecution binder. And take a look at P 09551. And the B/C/S is in the
25 back, but before we start speaking about that document let me just ask
1 you a few questions. There you go.
2 Now, just to go over your background. Up until April of 1995 you
3 were the head of welfare for Posavina; correct?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. But then in April of 1995 your job changed, and you became the
6 head of the HR H-B administration of welfare within the Ministry of
7 Defence; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you physically move to Mostar when you were appointed to that
11 A. In 1995 the road was not exactly open for normal traffic yet. If
12 one wanted to get from Moradze [phoen] to Mostar across
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, one needed to make a detour via the Republic of
15 so on and so forth. I was on my own, so it was only logical for me to
16 move, yes.
17 Q. So the answer to that is yes; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you've spoken briefly about the fact that when you arrived in
20 this position, you consolidated the data that had been taken in by the
21 welfare departments and you created various reports; is that correct?
22 A. There wasn't too much consolidation going on. I think I just
23 hurried certain processes along in order to get the implementation off
24 the ground as quickly as possible in order to reach lasting solutions in
25 order to help invalids and casualties of the homeland war.
1 Q. All right. But in this position as now the head of welfare for
2 the whole republic, you had access to data that was beyond the Posavina;
3 is that right?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. So if you look at P 09551, and we are going to look at page 6 of
6 the English, and for you it's page 5 in the B/C/S, and it's the red tab
7 that you see on top. I'm just going to read part of this and then ask
8 you a question. This document talks about the activities of the welfare
9 department during the period of time from July to December of 1993 when
10 you were the head of the republic's department. And it says that:
11 "Among other things, the following activities were carried out,"
12 and we are talking about the welfare department, "coordination and
13 control of the welfare departments, the military districts, to who whom
14 professional assistance was also provided, oversight of the course of
15 treatment and medical rehabilitation of wounded members and hospitals,
16 sanatoria and rehabilitation centres, analysis of the results of
17 diagnostic procedures related to the type, category, and grade of
18 physical disability of invalids of the homeland war, preparation of
19 drafts, legal proposals, projects and programs related to solving the
20 entire welfare problems of the sufferers, cooperation with institutions
21 and other organisations in the interest of solving those problems, and
22 ensuring of financial means for the realisation of one off and long term
23 rights of the sufferers, and determining the priority order. And keeping
24 of unique computerised records for all killed, missing, imprisoned,
25 wounded, and sick members of the HVO and members of their families.
1 "Cooperation with emigres, hospitals from abroad, charity
2 organisations, societies and institutions in regard with the assistance
3 to the wounded and killed members of their families and supervision of
4 managing graves and graveyards where the killed members of the HVO were
6 Mr. Buljan, would you agree with me -- or, rather, is this list
7 that I just read out consistent with what you were responsible for as the
8 head of the welfare department for the republic?
9 A. Yes. More or less, yes.
10 Q. And specifically I'm going to focus your attention on the
11 language here having to do with computers. It says "... keeping of
12 unique computerised records for all killed, missing, imprisoned, wounded
13 and sick members of the HVO and their families."
14 This computer system of which it speaks, was that something that
15 you worked with when you became head of the welfare department in April
16 of 1995?
17 A. Yes, we complemented these lists and each war disabled person who
18 had disability had to go to a second level commission. He had to have a
19 written decision and certification of his invalidity. And this is a list
20 that was done then. I was engaged in this and -- and this was -- this is
21 continuing to this day to establish whether somebody was indeed a member
22 and whether he was indeed a wounded in the way he was. The law defines
23 this and the times such as they are. Sometimes we have documents that
24 are not complete and that is why some of those documents are being
25 revised and activities are ongoing to complement these lists if necessary
1 and amend them.
2 Q. And these lists that were on the computer, would you agree with
3 me that they would include lists of HVO soldiers in say Mostar and Stolac
4 in those areas within the Herceg-Bosna community?
5 A. There's no reason for them not to be.
6 Q. Was the computer system unable to separate those HVO soldiers who
7 were Muslim from those HVO soldiers who were Croats in?
8 A. No, the computer did not have such a programme to indicate that,
9 but records were simply kept by the names, the first and last name, their
10 registration number, when they were killed, when they were detained, and
11 things like that.
12 Q. And so you and your department made determinations as to which
13 soldiers were Croat and which soldiers were Muslims based on names; is
14 that right?
15 A. I can't say that it is possible to determine in each and every
16 case, but in principle when you read out a name, one can assume what the
17 ethnicity is, but it need not necessarily be so each time.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. West, I'm sorry, you combined up two
19 questions. One was whether at all they made a distinction between
20 Muslims and Croats. I don't think that was said before. And then you
21 said, on what basis. So I think the foundation was missing for your
23 MS. WEST: Thank you. I'll go back and rephrase the question.
24 Q. Mr. Buljan, on direct examination you spoke about your own
25 brigade, the 103rd in Derventa. And in that brigade you actually showed
1 us a record, and I think it was 2D 00150, that spoke about and gave
2 figures of how many Croats were in that brigade and others and how many
3 Muslims were in that brigade and others.
4 Do you have any understanding as to how 2D 00150 was made? It's
5 not going to be in your file. It was an exhibit that you looked at
6 during your direct testimony. There you go.
7 A. First of all, these data about the 101st to the 106th Brigade, I
8 must say that they more or less correspond to my knowledge about it.
9 Now, whether it's exactly 31.45, but 28 is certainly a good
10 approximation. This is regarding these records.
11 As for the person who signed this, then that person could sign
12 it, and I consider this document to be correct.
13 Q. Thank you. We'll of move on. In 1995, April of 1995, when you
14 became the head of the welfare department for the republic, you've
15 indicated that you became familiar with information that was beyond the
16 Posavina. So I'd like to talk about some of the areas that are outside
17 the Posavina. So, for example, the first area I would like to talk about
18 is -- or the first brigade I would like to talk about is the 3rd Brigade.
19 Can you look at P 10797.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the question hasn't
21 been put to the witness, but I do wish to object for the record. This
22 again is a new document, and the Defence will object every time.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I know that, very well, but the
24 Chamber by a majority vote has decided to allow the Prosecutor to touch
25 upon subjects that were not covered in the examination-in-chief. This is
1 not my opinion, but the majority opinion. We will stop there, that's
2 clear. A decision has been rendered. That's it.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, apologise, I also
4 wish for the record to say that the Defence for General Petkovic joins
5 Mr. Stojic's Defence objection, and I think that we should be guided by
6 the decision of this trial from November, and I think that should apply
7 to each new document, and we will be objecting each time because this is
8 contrary to the decision of the Trial Chamber from November 2002.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, if a document
10 was not on the 65 ter list, if you use it, it's only for the purpose of
11 the credibility of the witness. Have you understood my remark?
12 MS. WEST: I do understand your remark and I understand the
13 ongoing discussion on this particular issue. It's our position, as has
14 already been repeated, that we don't believe it needs to be on the 65 ter
15 list. At this point the document that I'm going to be using not only
16 goes to the credibility of the witness but also goes to the direct
17 opposition of what he has testified in front of the Chamber.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, please.
19 MS. WEST: Thank you.
20 Q. Sir, in front of you, 10797, are payroll records dated January
21 1994 for the 3rd Brigade. And these are soldiers in the 3rd Brigade that
22 served various times from 1991 and 1994. I know that you've -- is it
23 true that you've never seen these documents before?
24 A. No, I've never seen them before.
25 Q. Now, for the purposes of this question, I'm going to tell you
1 that there's 1.795 soldiers listed. And I'm also going to tell you that
2 it appears that there are 26 soldiers who appear to have Muslim names.
3 Now, just assuming for the purpose of this question that that number 26
4 is correct, would you agree that the percentage of Muslims in the 3rd
5 Brigade is a much less percentage than the Muslims in the Posavina
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
8 permission, I would like to object. The document which my learned friend
9 has just shown to the witness is dated the 20th of January, 1994
10 witness spoke about documents which were prepared before the 30th of
11 June, 1993. Everyone in this courtroom knows that on the 30th of June
12 there was a drastic change in relationship between the Croats and Muslims
13 in the territory of Herceg-Bosna, so I think my learned friend is now
14 trying to compare periods, time periods which are completely
15 incomparable. Thank you.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have understood and I'll
18 explain to the Prosecutor who I'm sure has understood. Madam Prosecutor,
19 when the Defence showed documents about the composition of the 103rd
20 Brigade, and there were a large number of Muslims, and the document
21 you're showing is from 1994. In the mean time an event took place in the
22 month of June, which could explain the reduction of the number of
23 effectives, we agree don't we? So please put your question within that
25 Yes, madam.
1 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, very
2 briefly, I think that there must be some confusion. The witness spoke
3 about the 103rd Brigade, and the -- Madam Prosecutor has asked about the
4 3rd Brigade. These are two different brigades in two different areas.
5 Secondly, could my learned friend tell us - because I can't see from this
6 document - which is the source and what is the author of this document,
7 and how does she come to the conclusion that it is a payroll list?
8 Because I can see that -- can't see that.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Madam Prosecutor. The
10 witness comes from the 103rd Brigade, not the 3rd Brigade. I thought of
11 this, but I thought maybe it was a slip of the tongue, that she meant
12 103rd. But we have to see, if we are talking about the 3rd Brigade it
13 has nothing to do with 103rd Brigade. We must agree on that.
14 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President. It's not a slip of the
15 tongue. I understand that this is the 3rd Brigade in Mostar, but the
16 witness has already testified that in April of 1995 he became the head of
17 the welfare department for the republic, and as a result of the
18 computerized system he had access to all those HVO soldiers in all of
19 Herceg-Bosna, which is the reason I'm now asking him about soldiers
20 outside the Posavina. In addition, I'm aware of the event in Mostar on
21 June 30th, and as Ms. Alaburic has indicated that would make a
22 significant difference in the number of Muslims, and we are going to
23 speak about that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you wish to put
25 a question about the 3rd Brigade in Mostar.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before that question
2 is posed, I wish to draw attention to another detail. As Madam Alaburic
3 says, this is the documents of the 28th of January, 1994. My learned
4 friend says that the witness in mid-1995 took over this position and
5 could have insight into these documents. But we are talking about
6 different periods. This is a year and a half before. There must -- a
7 basis must be established. When you joined that office in 1995, did you
8 see all the data from the past or from that moment on.
9 MS. WEST: I think --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.
11 MS. WEST: [Previous translation continues]... explain that. The
12 witness, and the record will reveal itself, spoke about joining the
13 welfare department for the republic in April of 1995. And his first job
14 there was consolidating data from 1992 onwards, so this person would have
15 the ability to talk about earlier HVO soldiers. But it -- may I
16 continue, Mr. President?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please continue. We'll
19 MS. WEST:
20 Q. Mr. Buljan, you've heard this discussion, are you aware of an
21 event on June 30th, 1993
22 northern barracks in Mostar? Are you aware of that event?
23 A. I heard about this. At the time I was at the front in Posavina.
24 As for this list, I never told Their Honours that I had all the data
25 about all members of the HVO. All I'm saying is about the killed, war
1 disabled, and families of the killed and missing members of the HVO. I
2 never had a single list of members of the HVO who were not killed or had
3 any disability. So this is a list of all HVO members. I never had any
4 such list in my possession, before or later in my database.
5 Q. Mr. Buljan, if you can go to P 07433. I believe it's in the same
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to draw
8 attention that in the e-court, there's an indication that it was not
9 adopted. It was tendered by the Prosecution, but it was not adopted as a
10 document. As an exhibit.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you repeat the number of the
12 document, please?
13 MS. WEST:
14 Q. 07433.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the court
16 officer why this document was not admitted. There are thousands of
17 documents, and I can't respond straightaway. Please continue.
18 MS. WEST: Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Buljan, you have that in front of you? This is the annual
20 analysis of the performance of the Mostar defence administration in 1993.
21 And if we go to the introduction which is page 3 of English, it's also
22 page 3 of the B/C/S. This memo talks about the 1993 analysis or review
23 of the defence administration, and it talks about those offices under it,
24 the work that they did, the difficulties that they encountered, and then
25 what sort of solutions they could have to overcome them.
1 But I would like you to go in this to page 6 of the B/C/S, and
2 that's page 5 of the English. And that page is entitled: "Overview of
3 Conscripts Engaged in Combat in the Mostar Municipality
4 Percentage in Relation to the Number of Military Conscripts VO in
5 Military Records." Do you see that in front of you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So in this chart it starts with the number of Croat inhabitants,
8 according to the 1991 census, and then it goes on to talk about the
9 conscripts, and it gives different figures with the conscripts. And then
10 finally towards the bottom it goes to the actual brigades. Sir, I'm
11 going to have you look at one more page before I ask you a question
12 because I think it will make more sense. If you could go to page 14 of
13 the B/C/S and that's page 10 of the English. And again, this is the same
14 sort of chart. However this just has to do with Citluk. It says the
15 overview of conscripts engaged in combat in Citluk municipality. And
16 again -- and we have a repeat, it's the number of Croat -- Croat
17 inhabitants, according to the census, and then we have a breakdown from
18 that figure to the number of conscripts.
19 For the purposes of this question, this document goes on and
20 there are further overviews for Siroki Brijeg and Kludo [phoen] and
21 Ljubuski. I mean, to each one of them it's the same type of overview.
22 Would you agree with me that looking at the overview, it does not account
23 for Muslim soldiers; like, for example, the Mostar municipality or the
24 Citluk municipality?
25 A. Yes, from this overview one can see that. I haven't seen this
1 list before. It comes from a period when I wasn't there. I didn't need
2 to see it afterwards either, but when I read it I see that the analysis
3 was done in this way as is written in the document.
4 Q. Sir, even though you've not seen this before, would you agree
5 with me that the absence of Muslim numbers might be because there's no
6 appreciable number of Muslim HVO soldiers in those units?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
8 MR. KOVACIC: I have a serious objection, and I wouldn't
9 otherwise object. But if the Prosecution is trying to impose that for
10 example in Citluk there are no Muslim soldiers in HVO, then before that
11 there should be a question about national structure in municipality of
12 Citluk. There cannot be Muslim, that's the problem. It's the same as
13 they would ask whether there were Serbs in, I don't know, north pole.
14 There are none. So they cannot participate. Or Greeks in Citluk.
15 Michael told me that there are no Greeks in Citluk. So first that should
16 be established. If there are no Muslim inhabitants, they cannot be
17 represented in HVO. Obviously. This is misleading, this is trick.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, before asking
19 the question you had to ask the witness about the composition of the
20 population in Citluk. You could have said there were so many Muslims, so
21 many Croats, and how come there were no Muslim soldiers there.
22 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I know that the Chamber has heard
23 demographic information on all these municipality which is the reason I
24 didn't go into it with all this particular witness, but I think that
25 since this witness has indicated that he has not looked at this document
1 I'll move on from here.
2 Q. Mr. Witness -- or Mr. Buljan, you've spoken extensively about the
3 situation in the Posavina, and is it fair to say that throughout the war
4 the relationships between Muslims and Croats in the Posavina was very
5 different than the relationship between Muslims and Croats in
6 Herceg-Bosna or specifically Mostar in the latter half of 1993?
7 A. We could say that it was different. That in a certain sense it
8 was different.
9 Q. And can you describe for the Trial Chamber why it was different?
10 Why do you think it was different?
11 A. In Posavina, I've already told you what sort of events unfolded.
12 I've told you about when all these events occurred. As far as Mostar
13 itself is concerned, I have to repeat that throughout that entire period
14 I was present in Bosanska Posavina. I wasn't in Mostar. So reference
15 was made to that incident that occurred in mid-1993. So it's as of that
16 time that certain situations were somewhat different in comparison to the
17 situation in Posavina.
18 Q. Right. And so my question is you say that it was different, and
19 I understand that you were in the Posavina and not in, for example,
20 Mostar, but as a person who worked in the HVO, even in Posavina in 1993,
21 didn't you have a sense of what was going on in Mostar?
22 A. Well, to a certain extent. Mostar wasn't my main concern. I
23 didn't have any -- anything particular to analyse with respect to Mostar.
24 At the time there was a problem throughout the territory of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Bosanska Posavina there was a war against the
1 Serbs. In other areas there was a war against the Bosniaks. In other
2 areas there were Bosniaks fighting Bosniaks. The situation was chaotic.
3 Wherever one found oneself, all one tried to do was to keep as much
4 territory as possible at the time and to sustain minimum losses.
5 Q. And you will agree with me then that you knew in Mostar, at least
6 in the latter half of 1993, the Croats were fighting the Muslims?
7 A. I heard that there were such problems down there. I can't agree
8 with you that I knew about that, that it happened in one way or another.
9 It was quite simply a huge area and information wasn't relayed
10 adequately. I was involved in all my work, I was performing all the
11 duties that I had to perform. I didn't follow the situation you are
12 referring to, so I couldn't fully answer your question. Anything else I
13 might say would just amount to speculation.
14 Q. Well, forgive me if we push a little bit harder on this. You
15 have already testified that you knew the situation between the Muslims
16 and the Croats was different in Mostar than it was in Posavina. Is that
17 difference because the Muslims and the Croats were fighting each other
18 whereas in the Posavina the Muslims and the Croats were cooperating with
19 each other?
20 A. Well, that was probably the case. In Posavina the situation was
21 such as it was. I have described it. And in Mostar, as of the time of
22 that incident, there was a certain amount of tension. So in a certain
23 sense, that would be the reason for the differences between the situation
24 in Posavina and Mostar. But at the time, as I have said, Mostar wasn't a
25 particular concern of mine. I didn't analyse it. Mostar is of a 1.000
1 kilometres away from where I was. That was the case at the time.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buljan, but let's continue to talk about that
3 tension, and you recognise that you understood there were some events
4 going on in Mostar in June of 1993, that you at least knew a bit about.
5 Sir, if you can go to P 02223. It's in the binder in front of
6 you. This is a command post -- well, it's a report from Ljubuski, and
7 Ljubuski is one of the areas that you spoke about in your direct. It's a
8 safety report, and I'll just read the beginning.
9 "The safety situation of the territory covered by the 4th Brigade
10 HVO is a complex regarding the events and conflicts that have been taking
11 place with the Muslim and BiH Army. In the area of Ljubuski
12 municipality, there are about 5.5 percentage inhabitants of the Muslim
13 nationality, and an additional number of 1.000 Muslim refugees. At the
14 territory of Citluk municipality, there's 1.5 per cent Muslims and about
15 250 refugees. The brigade includes 4.5 Muslim soldiers. Appraising a
16 safety situation, and aggravated relations with the BiH Army at the
17 territory of Mostar
18 soldiers, which are with the weapons, military equipment, uniforms, and
19 HVO ID cards, most likely some of them will try to defend the interests
20 of Muslim people. According to received information, some groups and --"
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down for the sake of
22 the interpreters, thank you.
23 MS. WEST: My apologies.
24 "According to received information, some groups and individuals
25 have entered the rather part of Mostar towards west Herzegovina who will
1 try to include an extreme individual -- extreme individuals from the
2 municipality, Citluk and Ljubuski, to their formations. With this they
3 will attempt to interrupt bringing of fresh manpower to Mostar town.
4 "In the past period of war, we did not have any problems with
5 Muslim people or single persons in the area of said three municipalities.
6 Even they were frightened in the past time because they remained
7 minority. Especially after the clashes in Jablanica and Konjac, when
8 plenty BiH Army members were brought to the Ljubuski prison. By brigade
9 command, I suggested disarmament of the Muslim soldiers through total
10 returning of soldiers after coming from the frontline."
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, I stood up before the
12 question was put to the witness on purpose. I really think that we
13 should have a basis established before the question is put. I can see
14 what has been read, the question hasn't been put, so there's not a
15 leading question, but we should ask the witness what he knows about
16 Ljubuski and what he knows about this period. A minute ago, the witness
17 said he knew what happened in June. This document is from May. I think
18 a basis should be established to see whether a witness knowing anything
19 about this.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel, allow your colleague
21 to do her work. That's as important as your work. And she will respond
22 to the objections when putting questions. When the Defence rises, I
23 always have the impression that they think that the Prosecution is going
24 to make mistakes. Well, let's wait to see how the things unfold. We
25 don't know anything about this in advance.
1 MS. WEST:
2 Q. Mr. Buljan, do you remember on direct testimony talking about the
3 municipality of Ljubuski? Do you remember those questions being asked?
4 A. I remember having confirmed something in regard of a document. I
5 said that at the time those same people performed those duties and that
6 such a document could be signed. As far as Ljubuski itself is concerned,
7 well, perhaps I had once passed through Ljubuski, or perhaps never.
8 Q. This document is dated May 7th of 1993, and understanding that
9 you were not -- you were still in the Posavina at the time but
10 nonetheless you were aware, as you've testified, that there were the
11 differences between the Croats and Muslims relations, there was a
12 difference between that relationship and the similar relationship, the
13 Posavina, had you heard about these aggravated relations between the
14 BiH -- excuse me, between the Muslim and Croat HVO members and Ljubuski?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Sir, can you go to 4901632.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you held a position in
18 the army, or there's a minor paragraph that I'm extremely interested in.
19 It's the last paragraph in the document, where the person who drafted the
20 document who is in charge of the SIS says the following, it's his point
21 of view:
22 "I think," he says, "that is it is time to take energetic
23 measures, and that concerns the Ministry of Interior in particular,
24 because we are in a war zone and it is difficult for an army to take
25 preventive or repressive measures."
1 So the person who drafted this document has situated the problem
2 very well. He says that the problem with the Muslims, but in his opinion
3 it's for the Ministry of Interior to concern itself with this problem,
4 it's not for the army to do that. So what do you think about this?
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: Counsel, Your Honours, I apologise.
6 There is a mistake in the English translation. In the Croatian it says
7 "because we are not in a war zone." That's what it says in the original
8 document. And the contrary is stated, it says "because we are not in a
9 war zone," and I think that this has given rise to confusion. In the
10 original it says "not."
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then we will
12 rephrase this. On the 7th of May, the person who drafted the document
13 said that he believed that they were not in a war zone, but nevertheless
14 he says that it is for the Ministry of Defence to take certain measures
15 against these Muslims. It's not for the army to intervene or to take
16 repressive or preventive measures against them. So what is your opinion
17 of this?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not familiar with
19 this document. It's the first time I've seen it. I have never seen it
20 before. As far as Ljubuski is concerned, I've never analysed that town.
21 The Prosecutor has repeated on two or three times something. I'm not
22 sure I have the same document in front of me. Are you talking about the
23 document drafted in Ljubuski on the 7th of May, 1993?
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave I
25 would like to clarify something.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I know that you are not
2 familiar with this document. The 103rd Brigade, it's not in Ljubuski,
3 fine, that's not the issue. What I would like to know, because I'm
4 approaching this from a different point of view, but at the level of your
5 brigade could someone have drafted the same kind of document and stated
6 that it was for the Ministry of Interior to concern itself with such an
7 issue? That is what I'm interested in, sir. To say, well, he is not
8 familiar with the document and so on and so forth, well, that's
9 irrelevant. I'm dealing with this from another angle. So could someone
10 in your brigade have drafted such a document, such a statement?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could someone have written this and
12 sent it to someone without the commander being aware of the fact; is that
13 what you had in mind?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no, I'll abandon that
15 question. It seems too complex to me.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Counsel, Your Honours, I think it
17 would be useful if we could clarify something.
18 JUDGE PRANDLER: Madam Alaburic, we are approaching 7.00. In
19 view of our discussion yesterday evening, I dearly feel that it is not a
20 very proper way, to say the least, that in the last half an hour or one
21 hour the Prosecutor was not allowed to -- really to proceed according to
22 her friends. And I request all of you to be really -- in a way accept
23 those problems which are, of course, connected to all of the witnesses
24 appearances here, but let her continue her work, and then, of course, you
25 will be free to do whatever you wish, you would like to, and to ask any
1 other questions. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to add something. The
3 person who will have liberty to act will just be the person who has
4 additional questions in respect to Ms. Nozica's questions. I've given up
5 the question so don't go back to the issue, Ms. Alaburic.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I just wanted
7 to draw your attention to the following: I think that your question is
8 of exceptional importance and it would be good to establish why this SIS
9 official --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, because as a rule
11 when I ask questions it's very important, but if the witness doesn't
12 understand my question then I will abandon the question. I won't insist
13 on putting the question to the witness.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] But, Your Honours, in the two
15 paragraphs earlier reference is made to what the police has to establish,
16 so your question is quite abstract. If we can't see that the SIS
17 official has doubts according to which some members of ABiH from the
18 Bregova [phoen] Brigade are hiding in villages in the territory of the
19 municipality of Ljubuski, and he believes that, therefore, the civilian
20 police should involve itself in the affair because Ljubuski is not in a
21 war zone.
22 So I think we are now familiar with all the facts and it might be
23 easier for all the witness to comment on this subject given that he
24 doesn't know the document, he is isn't familiar with the document.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is now almost
1 7.00, so we will adjourn now. The Prosecution has an hour and a half at
2 its disposal tomorrow.
3 I would like to invite the Defence, as Judge Prandler rightly
4 said, I invite the Defence to allow the Prosecution to do its work. The
5 Prosecution is doing its work. We don't know what the Prosecution wants
6 to demonstrate so allow them to proceed -- those questions that were
7 different from the questions posed by the Prosecution. So we will meet
8 tomorrow at 2.15. Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 12th day of
11 February 2009, at 2.15 p.m.