1 Tuesday, 5th May 1998.
2 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.
3 (In open session)
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and
5 gentlemen. Good morning, interpreters and
6 technicians. Are you ready? Thank you.
7 Before beginning with this matter before us,
8 please remind us about the matter we have before us.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This is case IT-95-14/1-T, the
10 Prosecutor against Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I see now, Mr. Prosecutor,
12 you have Mr. Niemann, I see, in the Prosecution.
13 MR. NIEMANN: If Your Honour pleases, my name
14 is Niemann. I appear with my colleagues, Mr. Meddegoda
15 and Ms. Sutherland for the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: And for the defence,
17 Mr. Mikulicic?
18 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
19 My name is Goran Mikulicic, and together with my
20 counsel, co-counsel, Mr. Joka, we act on behalf of the
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Before beginning, we were
23 informed that it would be appropriate for the Defence
24 and for the Prosecution that we change the calendar to
25 some degree, and so the last week of June, we're not
1 going to be sitting, and we could perhaps transfer that
2 week to the month of August. We were going to end with
3 this case in June or perhaps in July, but if this case
4 goes quite quickly, it must also be fair. And so what
5 we are going to do is try to make this change; you will
6 see what possibilities you might have to drop the last
7 week in June and to move that week to the 3rd of
8 August. After that, we will see what possibilities
9 exist because we must also look at the calendar with
10 the other judges, so we cannot make that decision now
11 here; but as far as these judges are concerned, that is
13 With that said, Mr. Niemann?
14 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, yesterday
15 Mr. Mikulicic raised the question of whether or not he
16 could have a break in the weeks because of the
17 difficulties he has arranging witnesses. My position
18 on it was that I had certainly no objection to that
19 course, but I said to him that if he was to obtain
20 another date, could he obtain in the second week of
21 August, not the first week of August, because I would
22 be away throughout August -- throughout July and the
23 first week of August, and I only have my colleague,
24 Mr. Meddegoda, now on this case, and because he would
25 be alone on the matter, I had requested that that be
1 the case. If nothing else can be arranged, well, I'm
2 sure Mr. Meddegoda is very capable and able to do in my
3 absence, but I would rather be here, if that was
5 Of course, the dates in June are suitable and
6 acceptable to me because I am here, but it is just in
7 July and the first week of August. So if it is
8 possible, if we could make it that second week in
9 August. I don't know how the progress of matters will
10 go, whether all the time will be consumed with
11 witnesses. I don't know what the position is going to
12 be. I don't expect that, from the Prosecution's point
13 of view, there's going to be much evidence that we will
14 be seeking to call in rebuttal; but, of course, I can't
15 make a judgement about that at the moment because I
16 haven't heard the defence case. But it is possible
17 there will be some rebuttal evidence depending on what
18 emerges as a consequence of the defence case. So it
19 could well take us into August, in any event.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, do you have
21 anything you would like to comment on?
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, as my
23 distinguished colleague, Mr. Niemann, has said,
24 yesterday, in respect of the circumstances that were
25 presented, I tried to agree about that with The
1 Prosecution's Office. First of all, as far as the
2 Defence is concerned, it agrees fully with the OTP's
3 proposal that the week in June be transferred to the
4 second week in August as will be convenient for
5 Mr. Niemann because, in the long run, I believe that we
6 will be best proceeding with our cause if we have a
7 consensus between the OTP and the Defence counsel.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. We will take note
9 then of your proposals, but I must tell you in advance
10 that there might be some difficulties for the second
11 week because some of the judges have already planned
12 some travel for that week. So there may be some
13 difficulties in that area, but we will inform you
15 With that said, let us now begin.
16 Mr. Niemann, I give you the floor.
17 MR. NIEMANN: If Your Honour pleases, might
18 the witness, Professor Bianchini, be brought to the
19 court? He's in the Prosecution room. The witness room
20 is not available, not open.
21 Your Honours, I have taken the liberty of
22 asking the Registrar to kindly place on the table the
23 exhibits that we tendered yesterday so that they can be
24 at the disposal of Professor Bianchini, so they are
25 there now, and I have asked Professor Bianchini to use
1 the facilities of the overhead projector when referring
2 to exhibits so that it can be easier for all of us to
4 (WITNESS, STEFANO BIANCHINI, continued).
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The last time, I believe it
6 was the 26th of February, something like that, you made
7 a solemn declaration to speak the truth, the whole
8 truth, and nothing but the truth. This same solemn
9 declaration is in force. Thank you for coming and
10 thank you also for answering to the questions which
11 will be put to you by Mr. Niemann. Thank you.
12 Examined by MR. NIEMANN.
13 Q. Professor, on the last occasion, we had
14 reached the point in our discussion where you had told
15 us about a plebiscite that was held in Slovenia on the
16 23rd of December of 1990. Did there follow in Croatia
17 similarly a plebiscite on May the 19th of 1991?
18 A. Not exactly similar. It should be correct to
19 speak about referendum more than the plebiscite, because
20 the concept of a plebiscite was not included in the
21 Constitution. They hold -- the Government, the
22 Government of Croatia, held the referendum in May 1990.
23 This referendum was based on two questions instead
24 of one, as was the case in Slovenia. The two questions
25 were related to the two proposals submitted in the
1 second half of -- in the previous, 1989, on the
2 confederative and federative perspective of the
3 country. So the Croat people were asked to opt for the
4 confederative proposal submitted by Croat and
5 Slovene leaderships, and the federative proposal
6 prepared by Mr. Jovic.
7 The outcome of the referendum was that
8 less than 83 percent of the eligible voters voted, and
9 of these, 83 percent, 94 percent voted for the
10 perspective of a confederation while only 5 percent and
11 a bit voted for the federative proposal of
12 Mr. Jovic.
13 Q. Did Croatia and Slovenia then subsequently
14 issue Declarations of Independence?
15 A. Yes, they did, in June.
16 Q. When did they do that?
17 A. In June, 25th June, 1991. The position of
18 the two republics was different. Slovenia made the
19 decision -- the Parliament of Slovenia -- the Parliament
20 made a decision on the same date. Then Croatia,
21 considering that they had -- according to their
22 position -- wanted to implement the decision of the
23 referendum. The referendum, as you remember,
24 invited the population to vote for an independent
25 sovereign state within six months. So at the end of
1 the six months, they wanted to vote on this independence,
2 because any agreement was joined in order to create a
3 confederative Yugoslavia. They voted immediately on a
4 new constitution; they were prepared, from the
5 military and the administrative point of view, to
6 implement the decision immediately.
7 Q. When you say "they," you're referring to
9 A. For Slovenia. For Croatia, it was
10 different. It was different in the sense that Tudjman
11 wanted to maintain a strong lead over the decision, the
12 decision-making with Slovenia. Slovenia decided to
13 declare independence. Tudjman wanted to declare
14 independence on the same day while he was aware that
15 Croatia was not able to implement immediately the
16 decision because it didn't have the military and
17 administrative organisation already prepared for
18 independence. So, for instance, a lot of policy makers
19 in Croatia spoke about that day as the beginning of the
20 process of the session instead of the concluding act of
21 such a decision.
22 Q. Now, what ensued as a result of the issuing
23 of these declarations of independence?
24 A. In Slovenia, the result was that the
25 Government immediately order the Slovenian army,
1 supported by the Territorial Defence, to take
2 control of the air space, of the customs, and the
3 borders. And the army did this because it was ready
4 to do this. The reaction of the federal government was
5 very strong because they declared immediately the act,
6 both the act of Slovene aggression, particularly the
7 act of Slovenia, as an illegal act, because it was not
8 agreed upon with the government, and at the same time,
9 because they emphasised the fact -- the decision of
10 Slovenia to take control of the borders was
11 affecting the interests of the other five republics,
12 because through the borders with Italy and Austria,
13 hard currency enters Yugoslavia. This was the reason
14 why the federal government immediately reacted, and
15 then ordered the JNA, particularly the JNA in Slovenia, to
16 take control again of the borders.
17 Q. Now, you mentioned the JNA. Can you, moving
18 back, tell us what the structure of the armed forces of
19 Yugoslavia was prior to 1990 and then we'll move
20 forward into its role in these events?
21 A. The structure of the armed forces in
22 Yugoslavia was very specific indeed. You know, it was
23 based on two elements: The first, the JNA, which is
24 the armed forces, and the second was the Territorial
1 Q. Just to say for the benefit of the people
2 taking down the transcript, by the "JNA," you're
3 referring to the JNA?
4 A. JNA, is the Yugoslav army, the Yugoslav
5 army, and this was a regular army, and the Territorial
6 Defence. This system was adopted by Tito, by a law
7 approved in February 1969, as a consequence of the
8 Soviet and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia,
9 when the spring -- the Prague spring was over. They
10 feared that Yugoslavia was -- could be -- would be
11 threatened by the Soviet Union. Nikola Lubicic, he was
12 head of the military -- of the defence at the time,
13 was encouraged to re-think, with the support of Tito, the
14 system of defence of the country, in order to make
15 Yugoslavia, because they didn't have the nuclear [sic],
16 a country where it was impossible to have, for a long
17 time, an army, an occupation army within.
18 And so they re-thought the experience of the
19 partisan period, and they set up the Territorial Defence
20 as a structure able to defend the territory when -- in
21 the event of an attack on the country -- with the typical
22 system of the partisan war. In this sense, for
23 instance, the JNA, the high command of JNA,
24 was the president of the presidency of Yugoslavia.
25 This meant Tito, when Tito was living. And then the
1 president of the presidency, according to article
2 32A second paragraph of the Constitution 1974. And
3 the Territorial Defence was -- the JNA was -- the JNA
4 was equipped, trained, organised, armed by the federal
5 government, and the Territorial Defence was equipped,
6 trained, and organised by the republics and autonomous
7 regions. So this made possible that in some of the
8 constitutions, the republics constitutions, that the
9 presidency of the republic had the power to establish
10 plan for defending the republics. This was the case in
11 Croatia, in the article 3A3 of the Croatian
12 Constitution of 1974, the Socialist Republic of
13 Croatia, it was clearly stated. While this was not the
14 case for Bosnia. It was only -- it was included in the
15 Constitution only in 1989 after -- when an amendment,
16 the 51 amendment was -- changed the article 349 of the
17 Bosnian Constitution, the Socialist Republic of Bosnian
19 So this was the structure of the defence,
20 and, if you want, I can show you the ethnic composition
21 of the army with --
22 Q. Yes. I think that you might describe to us
23 the basis of this ethnic key, if you would, and how it
24 operated with respect to the army and perhaps by
25 reference to exhibit 105, which I think is there beside
1 you. And you can put it on the overhead projector.
2 Yes, we have it now. It will be on the screen in front
3 of you.
4 A. This is just a table showing the ethnic
5 composition of the JNA in military, professional
6 military and recruits. The source -- this is a table
7 that I prepared on the basis of the figures available
8 in an article written by Anton Bebler. Anton Bebler is
9 the son of the famous diplomat, Yugoslav diplomat, and
10 he is a scholar -- diplomat himself of Slovenian
11 independence, Slovenia in Geneva, and he is
12 particularly known as an expert on military issues.
13 So Anton Bubler prepared this table and, as
14 you can see, you have here three lines: one gives you
15 a picture of the percentage of the population according
16 to the 1981 Yugoslav census. This is a picture, of
17 course, related to the last period of socialist
18 Yugoslavia. So you have here the percentage of the
19 population of each ethnic group of nationalities of
20 Yugoslavia; and then, in the second line, you have the
21 percentage of the professional military in the army.
22 As you can see, for instance, the Serbs were the 36.3
23 percent in the census 1989 of the whole population of
24 Yugoslavia, but they had a percentage of 60 percent in
25 the professional military; while, as you can see in the
1 third line, you have the percentage of the recruits.
2 This is the recruits, the normal recruits, for the
3 period that they have joined the army, and you can see
4 that the percentage decrease to the 31 percent more or
5 less respecting the percentage of the population,
6 Serb population. You see, for instance, the Croats
7 were 19.8 percent of the population. They had 12.6
8 percent of the population of military and 18.55 percent
9 of the recruits. If you see the Slovenes, the 7.8
10 percent of the population, only 2.8 percent in the
11 professional military, and the 7 percent of the
13 Interesting enough is the figure of
14 Albanians, for instance. 7.7 percent of the
15 population, 0.6 of the military, professional military,
16 and 9 percent of the recruits.
17 Q. Now, what was the consequence, if any, of
18 this disproportionality of representation in the
19 professional ranks of the JNA?
20 A. This is very important to take into account,
21 that generally, generally, before the great wave of
22 nationalism was growing in Yugoslavia, that is, until
23 1986-1987, the main reason why the Serbs joined --
24 Serbs and Montenegrins -- this is also an interesting
25 data -- the Montenegrins were only 2.5 percent of the
1 population but they had the 6.2 percent of the
2 professional military.
3 So if you can consider this, you see that
4 Serbs and Montenegrins were over-represented in the JNA
5 and the others were underrepresented in the
6 professional military, and the reason was generally
7 because Serbs and Montenegrins shared a tradition in
8 the army, and the second reason was because the army
9 granted a career, a good wage, and prerogatives in
10 areas, particularly for areas -- attractive for areas
11 and developed as it was one part of Serbia, not
12 completely Serbia, but one part of Serbia and
14 In a sense, this kind of approach was
15 confirmed by the Croats in the sense that the Croats
16 particularly -- overwhelmingly joined the navy thanks
17 because of-- its the stronger nation. So this was the
18 reason why you have this kind of picture when you are
19 still this period.
20 The number of the army, of the JNA, decreased
21 from the beginning of the '80s today and of the case
22 from 220,000 people to 180,000, and the air forces were
23 around 33,000 people. Then we have no figures,
24 exact figures, we didn't have the exact figure about the
25 navy, while the navy was a small part of the JNA, a small
2 About the Territorial Defence, we have
3 different figures. According to Slovene sources,
4 they were around 500,000 people involved in whole
5 Yugoslavia, and according Bosnian sources, they were
6 around 700,000.
7 So this was generally the picture of the army
8 structure of JNA until the beginning of the '90s.
9 What is interesting enough, it seems to me,
10 is to compare this general structure with the high
11 commands of the Yugoslav army.
12 Q. Perhaps you could tell us about that and, at
13 the same time, place on the screen exhibit 106? Would
14 you keep the exhibits in order, Professor, so we
15 don't ...
16 A. Sorry. Yes. I prepared this also. I
17 prepared this picture just to show you the structure of
18 the commands of the JNA at the time when Ante Markovic
19 was the Premier, so in second half 1989 and in 1990.
20 As you can see, the ethnic composition of
21 the communists is still very Yugoslav. The federal
22 Minister of Defence was General Kadijevic. Kadijevic,
23 at the time, declared himself as a Yugoslav, which was
24 a very disputed declaration because, in a sense, those
25 who declared themselves Yugoslavs, as you remember,
1 were put at the end of the list of ethnic groups.
2 But just to make it clear, the origin of
3 Kadijevic, his father was Serb, his mother and wife
4 were Croats. He came from, the soldiers were from
5 the area of Krajina, Croatian Krajina. The
6 vice-minister was the Admiral Stane Brovet, a Slovene.
7 The head of the general command of the General Staff, as
8 you can see, General Stevo Mirkovic, who was a Serb,
9 and when he retired -- he retired in the period of the
10 government of Ante Markovic, -- so he was
11 replaced by Blagoje Adzic, again a Serb.
12 The president of the communist organisation
13 of the army, this is a very important structure, was
14 Admiral Petar Simic, a Croat from Bihac. He is from
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The communist organisation of the
16 army was very important. They had 100,000 members in
17 that period, so this was more or less, as I mentioned,
18 half or more than half of the people involved in the
19 army. I mentioned between 220,000, 180,000 people. So
20 this was a powerful organisation, with hardly any control
21 by the civilian organisation of the League of the
22 Communists on. So they acted as a closed organisation
23 within the league of Communists.
24 The head of the Air Forces was Anton Tus, a
25 Croat. The heads of the four military areas were from
1 the Skopje area, Zivota Avramovic, a Serb. From
2 Zagreb, the Zagreb area, Martin Spegelj, a Croat. When
3 he retired in the period of the Markovic government, he
4 was replaced by Konrad Kolisek, a Slovene. In the
5 Split area, the head was Admiral Bozo Grubisic, a
6 Croat, and in Belgrade area, Anton Lukezic, a
7 Croat, and when he retired, he was replaced by
8 Alexandar Spirkovski, a Macedonian.
9 As you can see, this picture offers you a
10 different image than that presented before. As you can
11 imagine, the 60 percent of professional military of
12 Serbs were -- particularly in the middle, the officials
13 in the middle ranks, while the top of the JNA
14 composition was very Yugoslav, according to the
15 principle that started in the period of Tito, the
16 Second World War, until 1990.
17 Q. Now, did the break-up of the former
18 Yugoslavia, and we've referred to the declarations of
19 independence of Slovenia and Croatia, have any, and if
20 so what, impact upon the JNA? And the forces of these
21 changes that were to take place, did they impact upon
22 the JNA?
23 A. The impact during the '80s was very
24 significant. The significant impact on the position of
25 not only Slovenia and Croatia but even of Serbia. If I
1 can just mention here one event, a significant event in
2 the context of Slovene area. This happened in the
3 second half of the '80s when the editorial board of
4 Mladina, a very known and popular magazine in Ljublijana
5 and Janez Jansa was one of the members of the editorial
6 board when they published and were charged by the army
7 of spreading military secrets. So this is the reason
8 they were arrested and a trial took place in
9 Ljublijana. The trial was carried out in Serbo-Croat and
10 not in the Slovene language. This was particularly
11 considered a demonstration -- this was considered by
12 the leadership, the Slovenian leadership, by Kucan,
13 particularly, but the whole Slovene leadership, as a
14 demonstration of the wish of the Serb leadership to
15 control Yugoslavia and to have a dominant position, a
16 dominant position in the army and in Yugoslavia. Kucan
17 started his charges in a meeting of the presidency, of
18 the federal presidency, and for the first time, because
19 he never did this before, he spoke in the Slovene
20 language during the presidency and then he reported the
21 same speech in a meeting of Ljublijana in the Slovene
23 This was one element that created a great
24 conflict between the Slovene leadership and JNA
25 command. Other elements that created conflicts were
1 the requests coming particularly from the organisations
2 of the youth in Slovenia to have legitimised their
3 conscious objectives -- conscious objections --
4 Q. Conscientious objections?
5 A. Yes, sorry. Later, the government and the
6 Slovene leadership tried also to diminish the defence
7 budget and the financial support of the Yugoslav
8 Federation towards the army. These elements created
9 tensions between the JNA command and the Slovene
10 leaderships. This was one event.
11 Another event about Croatia, about Croatia, a
12 very significant event took place in January 1991 when
13 the ministry -- at the time, the Ministry of Defence,
14 Martin Spegelj, who had been one of the Generals in the JNA
15 army, you can find his name, he was the command head of
16 the Zagreb area, but once retired, he was called as a
17 minister -- by Tudjman as minister of Defence of
18 Croatia. Martin Spegelj was filmed by the Secret Service
19 speaking with the Croat Minister of Interior
20 about the importation, illegal importation, of a great
21 amount -- a great number of weapons from Hungary. This
22 film was broadcast on television and the army tried
23 to arrest him. He was protected by Tudjman and this
24 situation created such strong tensions between the
25 Croat leadership and the JNA army that a temporary
1 compromise was found at the end of the month when the
2 army remained in its headquarters in Croatia and the
3 Territorial Defence of Croatia was, at least, partially
5 But let me say that a very important impact
6 was also the Serb attitude towards the army in that
7 period. My personal belief is that the Serb
8 leadership when Milosevic controlled it completely,
9 that after Stambolic, the President of
10 Serbia, was compelled to resign. After 1987 the
11 first real goal of the Serb leadership was not the
12 control over the whole of Yugoslavia.
13 If you read carefully, the Memorandum of the
14 Serb Academy of Science in -- particularly, the last
15 sentences -- you can see that the last sentences are very
16 clear in this sense because it's claimed that if
17 Serbia, whether Serbia cannot have its own role in
18 Yugoslavia based on its demographic strength,
19 its historical legacy, on its state which was denied
20 by the constitution in 1974, and so on. So it was
21 better for Serbia to have an alternative to Yugoslavia,
22 as well as Croatia and Slovenia had in the past, which
23 means that the real proposal of the memorandum was to
24 take into account the possibility for Serbia to abandon
25 the federation.
1 You know, to change the constitution, the
2 Yugoslav constitution, you need consensus. So the
3 agreement of the leadership of Croatia or Slovenia or
4 Macedonia, it is quite difficult to think that these
5 leaderships, communist or partly communist after the
6 election of 1990, were able to accept to diminish their
7 own rights or the rights of their republics in order to
8 follow the request of the silent/secret memorandum. This is
9 very difficult to realise, but there are other elements,
10 of course, that show that this was particularly the
11 orientation of Milosevic. This had a particular impact
12 in relations between Serbia and the army in the
13 months to come. If we think that Serbia really wanted
14 to abandon the federation, we have other elements that
15 can confirm this orientation.
16 For instance, in January 1991, six months
17 before the war erupted in Yugoslavia, Milan Kucan and
18 Slobodan Milosevic met in Belgrade. It was in the
19 second half of the month. They had delegations, so I
20 received information from one of the witnesses in this
21 delegation, a Slovene. During this meeting, Kucan
22 asked Milosevic to abandon Slovenia without any war and
23 Milosevic agreed to this position under the condition
24 that, in a way, Kucan publicly recognised the right of
25 Serbia to have its own state with only the Serbs
1 included in this state.
2 In fact, if you check the day after this
3 meeting, the newspapers published -- all the newspapers
4 in Yugoslavia published a declaration in which -- in a
5 not completely clear way, but anyway, it appears that
6 Kucan accepted the idea that Serbs had the right to
7 live in the same state. This created great tensions
8 between Croatia and Slovenia. The Slovene leadership
9 was accused by the Croatian public opinion of stabbing
10 Croatia in the back.
11 Q. Why? Why?
12 A. Why? Because, as you can imagine, if
13 Slovenia -- Slovenia was, as you remember in the table
14 presented at the beginning last time, Slovenia was more
15 or less -- 90 percent of the people living in Slovenia
16 were Slovenes. So, Slovenia was more or less a
17 mono-ethnic republic, the only mono-ethnic republic
18 in the former Yugoslavia, while in Croatia, 11 percent
19 of the population was made up of Serbs in Krajina, in
20 the cities, in Dalmatia, in Slavonia. If you recognise
21 the right of Slovenia to leave Yugoslavia peacefully,
22 and at the same time you recognise the right of the
23 Serbs to live all together in the same state, all you
24 move is all the population from Croatia and from Bosnia
25 to Serbia proper or you have to take into account the
1 issue of borders as open -- within the other parts of
2 -- so this was the reason of the election of Croatia.
3 Our state is now under threat from
4 Belgrade, from the republics leadership in Belgrade,
5 to lose one part of his territory, of this republics
6 territory, because it was occupied predominantly in
7 some parts by Serbs. This was the case of the area of
8 Krajina. This was the reason why Croatia was afraid
9 for this.
10 Then, consider that it was very, very
11 peculiar how the war was conducted in Slovenia. The
12 war was very short and in this case, immediately after
13 four or five days of war, the mothers of the Serb
14 recruits went to Slovenia to pick up their children and
15 came back home. This happened only in
16 Slovenia. This didn't happen in Croatia. It didn't
17 happen in Bosnia.
18 This is important because I think that
19 Milosevic didn't allow this to be repeated, though it was
20 allowed once, because it was an agreement
21 with Kucan to leave Slovenia peacefully and the
22 decision was made about other subjects, the government,
23 the army, which had no similar goals at the beginning
24 as Milosevic.
25 Third, let me say again, in other elements,
1 in July 1991, when the presidency met for the first
2 time after several months complete with the Slovenia
3 representative, Drnovsek, the current
4 president of the Slovenian government, they voted on
5 role of the JNA in Slovenia. Jovic, the Serb, and
6 Drnovsek agreed immediately about this while a Croat
7 representative, Mesic, voted against and this request,
8 the decision to withdraw the army from Slovenia, was
9 not requested by the international community. This was
10 a decision made in the presidency with the agreement of
11 the members of the presidency but with the negative
12 vote of the Croat representative.
13 The outcome was clear because upon withdrawal of the
14 army from Slovenia, the army went to Croatia and
15 created the condition for the war in Croatia, while
16 Croatia was not prepared militarily nor
17 administratively, to implement the
18 declaration of independence of June. They wanted to
19 join Slovenia only because of the period at the time.
20 These were the elements that make it clear, from
21 my point of view, that the Milosevics real goal was
22 the cessation of Serbia from Yugoslavia. This is not
23 something crazy or something that appeared strange.
24 Yeltsin, at the end of the 80's also threatened
25 Gorbachev to withdraw Russia from the Soviet
2 This was one interesting aspect of this
3 cessation -- this was the cessation of the main republic
4 and the main demographic republic from the Federation,
5 instead of the others.
6 This had also impact on the military because
7 the military, you know, they had a different -- just at
8 the beginning, particularly the commanders,
9 not the middle ranks, but the commanders had a different
10 position. They were communists. All these people you
11 have here, they were communists. They were members of
12 the communist organisation in the army. They believed
13 in Yugoslav communism and they wanted to preserve
14 communism. Also, you know, they had privileges,
15 prerogatives, they had played a peculiar role in
16 Yugoslavia for a long period -- during the 40's, the
17 50's, the 60's, they had a very good image in the
18 country, they were appreciated as the army which had
19 liberated the country. It was the army which protected the
20 country against Stalin.
21 These elements created the positive attitude
22 of the population towards the army. These old commanders
23 were, in this sense, very attached to the idea of
24 Yugoslavia, to the idea of communism, and they wanted
25 to preserve it while communism was collapsing all over
1 Eastern Europe and not only in Yugoslavia.
2 Then they also had, all the military, may I
3 say, an actual bent for Jovic, so they wanted to
4 open -- they wanted to -- and they are afraid about
5 the dismantlement of Yugoslavia, but from the point of
6 view of the communist integration system. So this was
7 their approach at the beginning. The situation changed
8 in the following months.
9 Q. I might ask you to speak a little bit slower,
10 if you would, because it is hard for the interpreter.
11 Why then could Milosevic have an agreement
12 with Kucan when it involved the JNA which wasn't
13 directly under his control? How was it he was able to
14 do this?
15 A. You know, at the beginning, Milosevic didn't
16 have complete control of the army. He could have
17 control of the army only through changes in the
18 military. Changes started when, for instance, between
19 the end of 1989 and 1990, many Generals retired because
20 they reached retirement age. So the ranks, the
21 middle ranks, had the opportunity to have a career. These
22 ranks were particularly attracted by Milosevic's
23 strong attitudes.
24 Let me say that in 1988 Kadijevic had already
25 submitted a proposal to the federal presidency in order
1 to amend the Yugoslav constitution and to create a
2 strong presidency. They were, at that time, already --
3 they already feared for the future of the country and they
4 particularly opposed the idea of having a weak federal
6 The proposal was rejected, but it is
7 interesting anyway this time, because at the beginning
8 this showed their attitude of the army towards
9 hierarchy and order.
10 We can also consider that at the beginning,
11 in 1986 and 1987 when the policy of meeting -- the
12 so-called national political meeting, anti-bureaucratic
13 revolution organised by Milosevic in Kosovo first, and
14 then in Vojvodina, and then in Montenegro created a
15 negative attitude in the army.
16 But the sensitivity towards the criticism
17 coming from Slovenia was much more higher than the
18 criticism towards the attitudes of Milosevic. So when
19 Milosevic because had this strong attitude and the
20 Generals retired, the middle ranks had the opportunity
21 to have a career and they were much more sensitive and
22 reacted much more positively to the attitude of
23 Milosevic than thinking that Milosevic in such a way
24 would preserve Yugoslavia or at least would save the
25 role of the Serbs within Yugoslavia in a very --
1 protecting their role within Yugoslavia as the Serbs
2 were, according to the propaganda of Serbia, threatened
3 by the other republics -- which was not true -- but
4 this was the general attitude.
5 Q. Did Kadijevic fear the existence of the TO
6 during this period and why?
7 A. Kadijevic in January 1990, in an article
8 written by -- not an article, a journal of the army
9 published an article where he wrote about -- he wrote
10 about the risk that the Territorial Defence might be
11 transformed into a Republican army. I mentioned that,
12 on the basis of some constitutions, it was not only in
13 the case of Croatia, but in Bosnia in 1989. The
14 Republic had the right to prepare plans for
15 defence of the Republic and the Republic had the task of
16 training, and arming and equipping the Territorial
18 So for this reason, Kadijevic feared that the
19 Territorial Defence would become the Republican army
20 and suggested the possibility of dismantling it.
21 This was one reason. The other reason was
22 generally the JNA since 1969 hadnt accepted very
23 positively the creation of the Territorial Defence, but
24 this is also another aspect of this.
25 Anyway, it was only on May 23rd, 1990, it is
1 when the change of the president of the presidency was
2 over and Drnovsek ended his period, and Borisav Jovic,
3 and this was the time of Borisav Jovic, that he was a
4 man close to Milosevic, a Serb, that it was possible to
5 establish an order from the president of the presidency
6 to move all the weapons from the stores of the
7 Territorial Defence to the stores of the JNA.
8 This was a decision suggested by Kadijevic
9 and approved by Jovic in May 1990. So this was the
10 period. And according to the memoirs published later
11 by Kadijevic, it was more of a general -- this was
12 published in Belgrade, it is written that this attempt
13 at moving the weapons from the stores of the JNA to the
14 -- from the stores of the Territorial Defence to the
15 stores of the JNA was successful everywhere in
16 Yugoslavia, except in Slovenia.
17 Q. Now, we've spoken of events that occurred in
18 both Slovenia and in Croatia in 1991.
19 Did that also have an impact on the ethnic
20 composition of the JNA during the course of 1991?
21 A. In 1991, in the first half of 1991, it's
22 difficult to say because some changes were in the army
23 but not, for instance, in the high command.
24 It was not, for instance, by chance, this is
25 interesting, that when the war occurred in Slovenia,
1 the first people who died in Slovenia from the JNA side
2 were Slovene recruits.
3 So in this sense, the army had still -- at
4 that point, they still had a Yugoslav structure, but
5 immediately after the end -- when the war in Slovenia
6 erupted the recruits were -- flew recruits from
7 Slovenia first, and then the recruits from Croatia, from
8 Bosnia, Macedonia, through the camp, the army, so the
9 army became the normal Serb army while the other
10 changes in the commands had to take -- had to be
11 imposed by Milosevic, particularly during 1992, in
12 order to reorganise the army.
13 So this was again a period where the
14 mentality -- the mentality of the army, while already
15 influenced by the Milosevic approach, thought and
16 wanted to operate in order to save the communist
17 Yugoslavia which was, in fact, over.
18 Q. Now, moving on to Bosnia, did there come a
19 time when the Bosnian Serbs proceeded to clear
20 autonomous regions in Bosnia.
21 A. Yeah. The Serbs -- may I just offer -- show
22 a map?
23 Q. Yes. Tell us the exhibit number that you are
24 looking at. It's on the back. Okay. That's exhibit
1 And the map that you have there, exhibit 107,
2 what's that about?
3 A. This is a map -- I can't see on the monitor.
4 It doesn't matter.
5 Q. You need to press "Computer Monitor." Can
6 you see on your -- the button there?
7 A. Ah, sorry. Yes, okay. Thank you. This map
8 has been prepared by me with the help of the office.
9 Q. Try "Computer Monitor."
10 A. Yes, sorry. This prepared -- was prepared
11 here in -- by the officers of the Tribunal under my
12 direction and was prepared on the basis of the
13 documents I collected from Serb side about the
14 Constitution of the Serb autonomous region, the
15 so-called SAO. This was the political process known as
16 Saoizacija, the transformation of Bosnia in SAO
17 regions. There were six regions. It started in second
18 half of 1991. It started with -- in the area of
19 Banja Luka creating a series of -- community of
20 municipalities it was called, like this, and then
21 later, from September, in the period from September to
22 January -- from September '91 to January 1992, six
23 Serb autonomous regions were created. You see here
24 on different colours these regions. The first one was
25 the area of Herzegovina, this is the blue part, and
1 then was created the area of Banja Luka, the SAO
2 Bosanska Krajina, and then you have the SAO Romanija,
3 on the back of Sarajevo, the SAO Semberjia area in the
4 area of Bijeljina and then SAO Sjeverne Bosnia, and
5 then you see also the area that were not -- this I
6 wanted to include as Bosansko Grahovo, Bosanski Novi,
7 Bosanska Dubica and Bosanska Gradiska. You see in
8 these areas in grey colour, these areas were not
9 included in the official documents I collected, so
10 officially they were not part of these regions, but
11 they were, in fact, under the control of the Serbs.
12 This is very interesting in reality --
13 actually, the documents were -- of the Serbs were
14 not very precise in explaining the areas they claimed
15 exactly because, for instance, the municipality of
16 Visegrad, here on the eastern side of Bosnia close to
17 the River Drina belonged to two different SAO areas, so
18 it was claimed by one and by the others.
19 So this was a picture -- a picture just to
20 give you an idea of this process of areas which is
21 interesting, more or less, in order to understand the
22 areas claimed by SDS -- SDS was the Serb Democratic
23 Party led by Karadzic and who was in the government in
24 Bosnia at the time, and this showed the area in a sense
25 that the SDS claimed as area under the control -- that
1 must be under the control of the Serb authorities.
2 Q. Was there reaction in Bosnia to these
3 declarations of autonomous regions that occurred?
4 A. Oh, the reaction was generally very negative,
5 very negative because -- and it was considered a
6 decision -- an illegal decision. There were no regions
7 included in the Constitution. The Constitution of
8 Bosnia -- Bosnia was, at that time, a socialist
9 republic, the Constitution was amended but not changed,
10 so the change of the Constitution was, in a way,
11 declared only in 1993 when the war between -- not only
12 between the Serbs and the Muslims, but even between the
13 Muslims and the Croats was on.
14 So this was, in this sense, this was the step
15 for preparing a dismemberment of Bosnia and this was
16 the area that Muslims and Croats considered the claims
17 of Serbs over the part of Bosnia.
18 Q. What did the Muslim and Croat members of the
19 Bosnian parliament do about this issue?
20 A. In October --
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. -- in October 1991, in the parliament, the
23 Croat and the Muslim representatives of the HDZ, SDA,
24 Croat party, and as they are the party led by
25 Izetbegovic voted a resolution on the sovereignty of
1 Bosnia. The SDS representatives didn't participate
2 in the vote, so the SDS didn't recognise the vote as a
3 legal vote. The Croats and Muslim representatives,
4 HDZ, SDA, voted for a sovereign Bosnia in -- during -- so
5 this was another element of tension between two -- the
6 two groups. While it's important to say that SDS, HDZ
7 and SDA shared power at the time.
8 Q. And did the SDS subsequently, in November,
9 then proceed to have a referendum or ...
10 A. Yes, in November 9, the SDS, as a reaction to
11 the decision on the vote in the parliament by the
12 Muslim and the SDR, vote claim -- organised a
13 plebiscite, plebiscite for establishing the wish for --
14 declaring the wish of the Serb people to maintain
15 close ties and to remain in the Yugoslav framework, so
16 close ties with Belgrade confirmed. And, of course,
17 the vote was not -- the vote was overwhelmingly in
18 favour of the Serb SDS position while we have no --
19 any demonstration proved that the vote was fair and
20 democratic, of course.
21 Q. In this atmosphere of rising tensions in
22 Yugoslavia and in the environment of Eastern Europe
23 generally at this period of time, did the European
24 Foreign Ministers meet in Brussels in December for the
25 purposes of setting guidelines?
1 A. Yes. You know, the situation, the general
2 situation in autumn 1991 was very peculiar, a lot of
3 things were changing. In the context of Yugoslavia,
4 the war was characterised by the bombardments of
5 Dubrovnik, of Vukovar, and the battle in Osijek; this
6 is Slovenia and Dalmatia.
7 In this context, we had also the coup in the
8 Soviet Union and the beginning of the process of
9 dismemberment of the Soviet Union. So many states
10 claimed in this context recognition of their
11 independence from the former federal frameworks.
12 On the other side, you had -- at the
13 beginning of -- this is interesting enough -- at the
14 beginning of December, 10th, 11th, a meeting of the
15 representatives of the European Union in Maastricht
16 when they made the decision to increase integration
17 processes, and they made the decision -- the decision
18 when -- when start to do with the single currency in
20 So in this context of changes, of
21 contradictory changes in the European framework, the
22 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union
23 met in the midst of December, 16th of December, and
24 they made a decision to write down guidelines of -- for
25 recognition of new state of Eastern Union -- of Eastern
1 Europe and Soviet Union, so this was a general
3 Interestingly enough, in this framework, it
4 was established that the request to be recognised by
5 the new state had to be followed by the recognition
6 that borders were -- about the inviability [sic] of the
7 borders, which meant that, in fact, the administrative
8 borders of the republic within the federal frameworks
9 had to be accepted as international borders, and then,
10 of course, this recognition about the inviability of
11 borders had to be followed by the recognition of
12 democracy, of human rights, of all these crucial
13 elements that characterise the transition towards
14 democratic states.
15 On the basis of this, it was also -- prepared
16 a specific document for the Yugoslav context, and the
17 Yugoslav republics claiming recognition were
18 invited to submit an application form, may I say,
19 application form to the European Union, deadline was
20 December the 3rd, explaining the reason why they wanted
21 to be recognised as independent states with,
22 interesting enough, guarantees that they accept, not
23 change -- they accepted the borders not to be changed
24 with violence, and so only through negotiations in the
25 case, and according to the international standards of
1 respecting human rights, democracy, and so on.
2 Q. These applications, when submitted, had to
3 be scrutinised and analysed by anyone in particular?
4 A. Beg your pardon?
5 Q. When these applications, submitted by the
6 republics of Yugoslavia, when they were submitted, were
7 they then to be scrutinised by a person?
8 A. Yes -- no, no. Yes, sir, they appointed a
9 commission of five lawyers, constitutional lawyers.
10 This was an international European commission led by a
11 lawyer Badinter, a French lawyer, who had the task to
12 refer to the commission by January 10th.
13 Q. Did Badinter then subsequently receive the
15 A. Badinter received four applications; that is,
16 the applications of Slovenia, Croatia,
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia. They didn't receive
18 any application from Serbia or Montenegro.
19 Q. And when did Badinter commence his work?
20 A. The Badinter Commission ended its work in
21 January. You know, this was a decision made because
22 there were many tensions within the European
23 Commission, particularly between the French position
24 and the German position. France wanted to
25 have, in a way, a common decision about recognition.
1 Germany wanted and applied pressure to have a unilateral
2 recognition of Slovenia and Croatia. So
3 Badinter received the application and the Commission
4 met, and then they suggested to the Commission that, on
5 the basis of the documents presented and the guarantee
6 requested, they suggested recognising the independence
7 of Slovenia and Macedonia. This was the proposal.
8 Q. And did the Commission, headed by Badinter,
9 do this by a way of a number of opinions that were --
10 A. Yes. They received from Badinter a series of
11 opinions. Each opinion was related to a country, so
12 you had the opinion number 2 about Croatia, another
13 opinion about -- the number 4 was about Bosnia, the
14 number 6 on Slovenia. So they had several opinions,
15 and from each opinion, the evolution of the situation
16 followed the countries. So they suggested the
17 independence only for -- the recognition of
18 independence only for Slovenia and Macedonia while the
19 decision of the Commission was different.
20 Q. Now, what was the position with respect to
22 A. About the position of Bosnia, the Commission
23 stated that a clear option for an independent sovereign
24 state in Bosnia at the moment didn't exist. They
25 noticed that, in the meantime, when the
1 Badinter Commission was looking at the forms, the
2 assembly of the Serbs, so-called assembly of the
3 Serbs. It was, in fact, an assembly adopted by the
4 SDS party outside the Bosnian parliament, started in
5 the end of December and at the beginning, the 9th of
6 January; that is, one day before the
7 Badinter Commission -- had to defer to the Commission,
8 they informed that they created -- they proclaimed the
9 Republic of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 So this was the first aspect.
11 The second aspect was that in the amendments
12 in the Constitution of Bosnia was stated that people
13 wield the power through the mediation of an assembly or
14 a referendum. So for this reason, they proposed --
15 submitted a proposal that the position was not clear
16 because the Serb part had a different opinion
17 that -- the part expressed by the other ethnic groups
18 of Bosnia. And in this sense, Badinter Commission
19 suggested holding a referendum in Bosnia in order to
20 know the exact position -- exact opinion of the
21 population of Bosnia on the basis of the Constitution,
22 Bosnian Constitution, on the issue of an independent
23 sovereign state.
24 Q. And when did Badinter suggest this, that a
25 referendum be held?
1 A. Referendum was suggested after the 10th of
2 January when the Commission had to make the decision
3 about the recognition, when the so-called "Avis" -- the
4 original were written in French -- they were made
5 public and were discussed by the Commission. So it was
6 embodied in the addendum numero 4, avis number 4.
7 Q. And what was the question, can you remember,
8 that was to be asked of the people?
9 A. The decision was made in January, in the end
10 of January, by the parliament, Bosnian parliament, to
11 order referendum, and decision was made with the
12 agreement of the HDZ, SDA, and (indiscernible) position
13 parties in the parliament, while the SDS
14 representatives didn't take part to the decision, they
15 were not in the parliament when the decision was made.
16 So this was the position of those who claimed
17 the referendum, and the -- may I refer to my notes just
18 to read the question, the question, the exact term of
19 the question submitted?
20 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness have
21 permission to refer to his notes?
22 A. Yeah. They submitted was this one: "Are you
23 in favour of an independent and sovereign
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a State" -- this is very
25 important -- "of equal citizens?" This is the first
1 sentence, "equal citizens." "People of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina," second sentence, then "(Muslims,
3 Serbs, and Croats) and members of other peoples living
4 in it?"
5 This was the sentence approved by the
6 parliament and submitted to the referendum in 1992,
7 March 1992.
8 Q. And what was the outcome of the referendum?
9 A. Yes. We have --
10 Q. Perhaps you might --
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. NIEMANN: This, Your Honours, for the
13 record, is exhibit 108.
14 A. The outcomes -- because the outcome of the
15 referendum was very interesting. As you can see, the
16 voters were only the 65.31 percent.
17 Q. And that's because the Serbs didn't
19 A. The Serbs -- we can presume that
20 overwhelmingly the Serbs didn't vote, but because the
21 non-voters were 35.69 percent, and according to the
22 census, the Serbs were 34 -- 31 percent or less, this
23 means to one part of others, we don't know, maybe
24 Yugoslavs, maybe Jews, maybe others. We don't know.
25 We can't be sure. Then we can be totally sure that
1 overwhelmingly the Serbs didn't vote and the others
2 voted. This is just to give you a picture.
3 And this is interesting. 99.44 percent
4 of those who voted, voted in favour of the question for
5 a sovereign Bosnia of citizens and peoples. This
6 means -- and this is the percentage I wanted to include
7 in the end of this table -- that if you consider the
8 impact of this 99.44 percent of "Yes" on the framework
9 of all the eligible voters of Bosnia, that is
10 including the non-voters, you have a percentage of
11 "Yes" for the state -- for independent state of 63.95
12 percent of population of Bosnia who accepted the idea
13 of independence.
14 So this means that all but the 35 people
15 didn't vote. If we state that this was a negative vote,
16 we have, in any case, a large majority of people
17 claiming independent sovereignty of Bosnia in 1992.
18 This was between February and March 29 -- 3rd of March.
19 Q. After this referendum, and particularly after
20 the results of this referendum became known, what was
21 the Serb response, the Bosnian-Serb response?
22 A. You know, immediately after -- when the
23 assembly, the assembly of Bosnia made a decision to
24 order referendum, SDS leadership made clear that
25 because the decision was made without their representative,
1 SDS representative in the Serb parliament, the
2 referendum had to be considered an instrument that
3 obliged only Croatian and Muslim population but not the
4 Serbs. The Serbs considered this as a referendum not
5 in -- not involving Serb population, so as a decision
6 made that it was not of -- within the interests and
7 within the orientation of the Serb population.
8 Then the -- on the basis of this decision,
9 the municipalities of Bosnia were -- mayors or the
10 Serbs were in general a majority, they boycotted the
11 referendum; in fact, they didn't support -- they didn't
12 accomplish their duties in order to make the vote
14 So the Republican Electoral Commission had to
15 set up and appoint new members of the local electoral
16 commission in order to create election stations, voting
17 stations, all over the country, and, in fact, they
18 succeed in it except for Drvar and Bosansko Grahovo,
19 they're the only two municipalities where the voting
20 stations were not created. This was the reaction
22 Q. Now, what happened after?
23 A. Immediately after, on -- on March, two, three
24 days after the referendum, barricades were set up in
25 Sarajevo, and the tension was very high in the
1 country. Then the tension diminished and an attempt of
2 mediation started again with the European Union before
3 the parliament of Bosnia proclaimed independence of
4 Bosnia. Bosnia was recognised on April 6th by
5 the European Commission and followed, the day after, by
6 the recognition of the United States which recognised
7 not only Bosnia but even Croatia and Slovenia. The
8 United States recognised only the day after the
9 recognition of Bosnia by the European Union, even
10 Slovenia and Croatia.
11 Q. Now, as a consequence of all of these events,
12 did military hostilities then ensue?
13 A. Yes. You know, we dont have a clear -- an
14 exact date of the beginning of the war. We can
15 consider that the official date is April 6th when
16 snipers, Serb snipers, shot at a peaceful
17 demonstration for peace in Sarajevo from the rooms of
18 the Holiday Inn Hotel in Sarajevo in 1992, but tensions
19 already arose before.
20 It's true that these tensions were sporadic
21 events. They didn't create a real process. But if you
22 look back chronologically, this is interesting to see,
23 this evolution of events. As, for instance, in
24 September 1991, a mobilisation of the JNA was
25 proclaimed in Bosanska Krajina which is an area
1 inhabited predominantly by Serbs.
2 In October, irregulars, Serb irregulars
3 backed by JNA, destroyed -- burned and destroyed the
4 village of Ravno close to Trebinje. Ravno was a
5 village inhabited by Croats and other villages around
6 Ravno. And then in -- this was in October. In
7 November, the bridges on the Sava River were -- if you
8 want, I can show you on the map. Again, we can show
9 the same map just to show what is Ravno.
10 You see Bosnia in the blue, blue area, this
11 area, this is the area of Trebinje, and Ravno is more
12 or less in this area.
13 So it started -- the mobilisation, the
14 Bosanska Krajina was here, the area of Banja Luka, this
15 was the area. And then you had this attack against
16 Ravno by irregular Serbs in October. In November, the
17 bridges of the Sava River here were mined. Between
18 February and March of 1992, there were several explosions.
19 Tensions occurred in Slavonski Brod on the north of
20 Bosnia, then in Banja Luka, then in Mostar, and then I
21 think that probably the most critical situation was
22 that in Bijeljina at the beginning of April, the 3rd of
23 April, 1992. It is here in the corner, in the
24 north-east corner of Bosnia. When irregulars, Serb
25 irregulars, the so-called Tigrovi, the Tigers,
1 organised by Arkan, from other sources, particularly
2 HVO sources spoke about also the participation of
3 Cetnici, which were the members of the group led by
4 Seselj, the current Vice Premier of the Serb
6 Anyway, both -- the Tigrovi came from Banja
7 Luka after having participated in the attack against
8 Vukovar, and they arrived in Bijeljina and they
9 attacked the city and they killed a hundred of the Muslim
10 population, forcing the other part of the population to
11 abandon the city.
12 So this was the most serious event that
13 happened before the so-called "official" starting of
14 the war April 6th, 1992.
15 Q. Were these irregular forces, headed by Arkan
16 and Seselj, in any way supported by the JNA?
17 A. Generally, the Arkan, the Tigrovi, as well as
18 the Cetnici, were supported by JNA, were backed by JNA,
19 sometimes backed and supported directly from Serbia or
20 Montenegro. The, for instance, events in Ravno were
21 particularly backed by people coming from Montenegro.
22 This is understandable -- if you look on the map, this is
23 the area where Bosnia has its border with Montenegro.
24 In addition, the army, the JNA army, supplied
25 Tigrovi, Cetnici, and other irregular groups, the Beli
1 Orlovi, the White Eagles of Ante Markovic, from a
2 little extremist party, the Serb Renewal Parties,
3 and they received weapons, ammunitions. They were
4 supported particularly -- we had also document, a very
5 interesting document, by -- signed by General Blagoje
6 Adzic, who was the -- in fact, he was the new Minister
7 of Defence of Yugoslavia at the time, where he ordered
8 the JNA to establish command over all these irregular
9 Serb groups.
10 So this was the reason why we can -- yes,
11 we -- the JNA supported and helped these irregular
12 units, irregular units in this period.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I'm sorry to interrupt
14 you. It is now eleven o'clock, or a quarter to eleven
15 o'clock, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. We
16 know that Mr. Bianchini is speaking with a great deal
17 of enthusiasm about this matter, but we also know that
18 he can become tired, and I see that Mr. Aleksovski is
19 also becoming fatigued.
20 Perhaps it would be wise to take a recess for
21 one hour because we're going to see the inauguration
22 ceremony for the second courtroom.
23 So around a quarter to noon, perhaps, we will
24 resume? Are you in agreement with this? Very well.
25 We stand in recess.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.45 a.m.
2 --- Reconvened at 12.03 p.m.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Well, the official
4 inauguration of the second courtroom took place.
5 However, tomorrow, you will have the opportunity to
6 inaugurate the work in the second courtroom, I can tell
7 you now that it is a very nice courtroom, very
8 beautiful courtroom, and it shows that justice can
9 indeed be carried out, particularly with very good
10 communication because one is very close to the other in
11 that courtroom, and so at 9.00 tomorrow we will be
12 working in that courtroom, and I think that is
13 definitely an improvement for the Tribunal.
14 Mr. Prosecutor, Mr. Niemann, you have the floor. We
15 are going to continue the hearing with a great deal of
16 attention, the testimony given by the professor.
17 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, please.
18 Q. Professor, before the adjournment, we had
19 been talking about the referendum that was held in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina relating to the issue of
21 independence of Bosnia. I ask you what the position of
22 the Bosnian Serbs was to this referendum. What was the
23 position, if any, to the referendum, by the Bosnian
25 A. This is a very interesting issue because the
1 HRZ, the Bosnian-Croat party, while it voted for the
2 referendum -- for holding the referendum in January and
3 approving at the beginning the question, as I read in
4 the former session, in February 9th, in a meeting in
5 Livno, they proposed to change the question. The
6 question was very interesting. May I refer to the
7 notes and read the second version of the question?
8 Q. With Your Honours' permission?
9 A. The second question submitted at that meeting
10 was the following: "Are you in favour of an
11 independent, sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, community
12 state of titular, sovereign peoples, Croatian, Muslim
13 and Serb, in their own national areas," and in brackets
14 "cantons", which means that -- take into consideration
15 the former question. The other question added the term
16 "citizens" first and then "the peoples," and no
17 connection, no relation between people and territory.
18 While in this question, you don't have any mention of
19 the role of citizenship of the individuals, but only
20 they stressed the collective right of the groups in
21 connection with the question of the territories. They
22 envisaged, in fact, what was one of the possible
23 strategies of the evolution of Bosnia in a kind of
24 union of crusades.
25 This question created a lot of tensions
1 between Croats and Muslims before the vote, so when you
2 take into account the result -- may I just show again
3 here the table with the results of the referendum?
4 Q. And this is --
5 A. This is, sorry. This is exhibit 108. When
6 you see this list of eligible voters of 64.31 percent
7 or, if you want, the 99.44 percent of the "yes" votes
8 are of those who went to vote, you have to take into
9 account that because of the tensions which arose around
10 the question, the two parties, SDA and HDZ, went to the
11 referendum having in mind two different things about
12 the future of Bosnia. They agreed about the
13 independence, but how to organise after this
14 independence, how to establish the contacts and the
15 relations within the ethnic groups, and maybe with the
16 tables, this was a completely different question. This
17 was a vote, but having in mind the two parties had in
18 mind two different perspectives. This is clear because
19 of the tension which arose in February 1992, which is a
20 very interesting month because this was the month when
21 the president of HDZ, Stjepan Kljujic, was forced to
22 resign and Mate Boban became the new president.
23 Q. You then went on before the break to speak of
24 the commencement of hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 which ensued after the results of the referendum were
1 known. Can you, in summary, tell us the forces that
2 were arraigned against each other in relation to this
3 conflict and have the composition of them?
4 A. Of the three armies?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. We have a new table in this sense, but I
7 would like to stress -- this is the exhibit 109. It's
8 very difficult, however, to have an exact picture of
9 the forces right, so that's why I thought that it was
10 better to offer to you a picture where you can see
11 different evolution from different sources. The
12 sources are German or British or in Croatian from
13 Nedjeljna Dalmacija, which was and which is a very
14 popular journal, newspaper, weekly -- daily, sorry, in
15 Split. Connecting all this data, you can have very
16 different pictures about the forces. As you can see,
17 Bosnian-Muslims were on the basis of -- for instance,
18 they reported 210,000 while there were even 1,000 on
19 the status administered by McNeil-Lehrer or even
20 164,000 by Jane's Defence Weekly. As you can see also,
21 the number of the Bosnian Serbs changed drastically.
22 If you wanted to see, you can move from 20,000 --
23 60,000 people, sorry, the International Institute for
24 Strategic Studies from London and to 102,000, according
25 to the Jane's Defence Weekly.
1 But it seems to be very interesting, the
2 studies of the International Institute for Strategic
3 Studies, because it's very known and famous in Britain
4 and very serious. These dates are from 1993 -- 1994,
5 sorry, and as you can see, for Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian
6 Croats and Bosnian Serbs, they are not only the number
7 of the soldiers belonging to each party, but they are
8 the reserve units or the back armies, the armies that
9 backed the organisations, for instance, the Croatian
10 army and the army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
11 that served in Montenegro.
12 This was their evolution. What is very
13 interesting, that in their evolution, you have at least
14 15,000 soldiers of the official Croatian army were
15 fighting in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well
16 as 20,000 people of the official army of Serb
17 Montenegro Federation. This is just to give you a
18 picture so that when you have different evolutions of
19 different sources about how the forces arranged and
20 facing each other during the conflict, at least
21 before -- this is the picture before the Oluja
22 offensive. This is before the offences of 1995, the
23 period until 1994.
24 Q. Now, you spoke of the various factors
25 influencing the outbreak of the conflict. Can you draw
1 those together for us and give us your opinion of what
2 gave rise to the commencement of the armed conflict in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina in summary form?
4 A. You know, it's a common opinion, largely
5 shared by policy makers, as it's called, public
6 opinion, that the forces who gave rise in the conflict
7 were particularly linked to Serb nationalism. And
8 this is true. However, I would like to stress
9 immediately that it's impossible to consider the
10 Bosnian conflict as a conflict separate of the general
11 framework of the Yugoslav dismemberment. My firm
12 belief is that no war in Bosnia were possible whether
13 Yugoslavia didn't disintegrate. The war in Bosnia has
14 to be considered an episode, a tragic episode, the most
15 tragic episode until now, but always an episode of the
16 Yugoslav disintegration in the Yugoslav war.
17 You can take into consideration the political
18 situation of Bosnia before the war erupted. After the
19 election in 1990, you had three parties who won the
20 elections, SDA led by Izetbegovic, SDS led by Graz and
21 HDZ led by Njivice. Muslim, Serb and Croat parties,
22 they were forced to govern together in Bosnia in
23 November, December 1990 when Ante Markovic was still
24 the premier and a presidency, a Yugoslav presidency,
25 existed with six, plus two members. But they had since
1 then three different perspectives, political options.
2 SDS, the Karadzic party, wanted to close ties with
3 Belgrade and claimed these closed ties, possibly to
4 saving and maintaining the Yugoslav Federation in any
5 case, while the HDZ claimed to have closed ties with
6 Zagreb. Even SDA had no clear option in this sense, in
7 the sense they wanted to establish close connection
8 with another part of Yugoslavia where Slav Muslims were
9 the majority. This was Sandzak. Sandzak is an area in
10 between Montenegro and Serbia, and divided by
11 Montenegro and Serbia, where a majority of Slav Muslims
12 as the Muslims of Bosnia are, are living there. They
13 had this idea and, in fact, in the Sandzak, it existed,
14 a party, with the same name of the Izetbegovic party,
15 the SDA. In this sense, you see, you have the HDZ in
16 Croatia and the HDZ in Bosnia with the same name. The
17 SDA, the Izetbegovic party in Bosnia, and the SDA party
18 in Sandzak between Montenegro and Serbia, and then SDS,
19 the party of Karadzic, which has no connection with the
20 SDS, the senior party in Serbia led by Micunovic and
21 then by other leaderships. He had much more strong
22 ties directly with Milosevic.
23 The three options of the party, it clashes
24 urgently. It was evident that if a coalition were
25 prepared at that time in 1981, only including two of
1 these three parts, immediately would create the
2 condition for the war. But because Yugoslavia existed,
3 the three parties were forced to stay together and, in
4 a way, to manage the situation while, in fact, it was
5 impossible to organise something because one of the
6 parties blocked out the other two, when they had to
8 When Yugoslavia collapsed, the war was
9 important because it was a part of the tensions that
10 arose generally in the Yugoslav framework. The
11 Yugoslav events and the Bosnian events are strictly
12 connected and can't be considered separately.
13 Q. Now, in all this, what role, then, during
14 1992, in the course of 1992, did the JNA play?
15 A. The JNA had a very crucial role -- a very
16 crucial role in that period. They played a very
17 crucial role because they were particularly interested
18 in the Bosnian area for different reasons. First,
19 because Bosnia backed -- they proclaimed Serb
20 autonomous and then republic of Krajina, which was part
21 of Croatia, but its border was a large part of Bosnia
22 -- just if I can show you again?
23 Q. You're looking at exhibit number --
24 A. No, no, coming back to exhibit 107 just to
25 give -- this is the map. This was the area of the
1 Serb Krajina while Sandzak was here, just to give
2 you the reference point on the map. This was the
3 reason why the JNA was interested in this area. When,
4 for instance, in January, February 1992, the process of
5 independence of Croatia was over and Croatia was
6 recognised by the European Commission, and the
7 cease-fire was complied with. The army had to withdraw
8 from Croatia and they withdrew into Bosnia but knowing
9 that they were back in an area which was not under the
10 immediate control of Croatia. This was the Krajina
11 area of Croatia.
12 Secondly, in Bosnia, there were a lot of
13 military industries from the time -- from Tito's time.
14 They were a lot of military facilities. For this
15 reason, it was important, Bosnia, for JNA.
16 In addition, JNA started later to support,
17 particularly, Serb regulars. This happened
18 particularly in January, February 1992 when they
19 started to distribute weapons, when they started
20 ammunition and when they were backed by this document I
21 mentioned before, this secret order coming from Blagoje
22 Adzic, the acting Minister of Defence of the federal --
23 federation, the federation where the army had to put
24 under its own command all the regulars in Bosnia. But
25 I mentioned also in September 1991, the JNA called for
1 mobilisation in Bosanska Krajina, the yellow area in
2 the map, and this area was predominantly inhabited by
3 Serbs. This created great concern and tensions between
4 JNA and Izetbegovic and Izetbegovic and the
6 After this mobilisation, which was followed
7 by tanks and air explosions, incidents provoked by the
8 Serbs in the area around Banja Luka, it follows in
9 October the decision to declare the sovereignty of
10 Bosnia. To make things worse, Izetbegovic didn't have
11 inside connections, relations with the JNA.
12 Communications with the command of JNA and Izetbegovic
13 were very difficult. They didn't have connections. In
14 this sense, they judged the position of the others, not
15 having specific possibility of context to know what was
16 going on. When the army, for instance, considered the
17 action of Izetbegovic and the Parliament in Bosnia to
18 declare the sovereignty of Bosnia, they reacted
19 negatively and they started to organise, more or less,
20 in the areas -- in various areas, just to keep the
21 control around villages or around the towns.
22 In addition, the JNA had several changes in
23 that period. We are at the beginning of 1992. In
24 1992, January, in the beginning of January, a
25 helicopter of the European Union was shot down near
1 Cakovec, close to Cakovec, by Serb aircraft.
2 This was the opportunity used by the Yugoslav
3 leadership to compel Kadijevic to resign.
4 Kadijevic was forced to resign and Blagoje Adzic became
5 the acting Minister of Defence for the Yugoslav
6 Federation. It was still existing while in December
7 Markovic resigned. The federal government didn't exist
9 Blagoje Adzic was removed because he was
10 known for his commitments in 1991 against Serb and
11 Croat claims of cessation. This explained why Blagoje
12 Adzic immediately in February sent this famous order,
13 the order to the army in Bosnia, in order to keep the
14 control immediately of the regular Serbs that had to
15 act with the help of the JNA and receiving, of course,
16 the military support of the JNA.
17 Then, in May 1992, 38 Generals were forced to
18 resign in Serbia. This was a very great change. This
19 change also was followed by great pressure from the
20 international community to withdraw Serb soldiers
21 and arms from Bosnia. We are in May 1992. This means
22 that the war already officially erupts all around
23 Bosnia. According to Serb democratic sources, only
24 20 percent were aware of these arms and, generally,
25 this was a cosmetic change. But because they started
1 to say, okay, all people living in Bosnia and bordering
2 Bosnia is a Bosnian citizen, so we can't oblige them
3 not to fight for the Serb rights in Bosnia. This
4 was the justification of the Serb government.
5 However, they withdrew one part of the army.
6 They changed 38 Generals in this period. This means
7 that even on that occasion, even until May, there was
8 resistance and difficulties in the Yugoslav Army,
9 particularly in the high command, to completely adhere
10 to the Serb policy of cessation from Yugoslavia.
11 In demonstration, there is a very interesting
12 document we have. In March, April, before the war in
13 Croatia, a document from the General Milutin Kukanjac who
14 was in charge in Bosnia, and he sent a document, a
15 report, how the situation was in Bosnia during that
16 period. He claimed and made clear that the Serbs were
17 threatened and the army was ready to protect the Serbs
18 from threats coming from the Croats and the Muslims,
19 but he added, and this is very interesting, he added
20 that, however, there are many attempts from the SDS
21 leaders, so the Serb Democratic Party, the party of
22 Karadzic, and from there it was entered into the local
23 municipalities to have direct contacts with the Serb
24 government in order to receive supplies, arms, health
25 supplies and so on. This has to be stopped because the
1 only relation can be through the federal government,
2 not this direct relation of the local municipalities
3 with a republic which is only part of the federation.
4 In the mentality of this soldier, it's clear
5 that he was thinking, again, of Yugoslavia, and he was
6 writing to the federal Minister of Defence, not to the
7 government -- and he asked the federal Minister of
8 Defence to intervene with the government -- and speak to
9 the government of Serbia in order to ask them to stop
10 immediately this kind of direct connections between the
11 government of Serbia and the local municipalities,
12 which means that this was an odd mentality. These were
13 people that were set aside after May 1992. This was a
14 demonstration that's still in that period. There was a
15 link, a communist link, with the idea of the
16 federation. The idea of the federation in the army was
17 different than the goals of the partition of Yugoslavia
18 which was on the basis -- a real basis of the Yugoslav
19 and Milosevic's goals, in my opinion.
20 Q. You have spoken of the JNA. What was the
21 role played by the Territorial Defence in 1992 in
23 A. The Territorial Defence in 1992, in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't play any significant role,
25 didn't play any significant role because on the basis
1 of the orders, you remember, the orders of the
2 presidency, 23rd May, 1990, when Borisav Jovic was the
3 president of the presidency of Yugoslavia, in Bosnia,
4 the weapons protected in the stores in Bosnia on the
5 chance of war was moved to the stores of the JNA and
6 moved to the stores of the JNA with the approval of
7 Izetbegovic. In this sense, the Territorial Defence
8 was largely dismantled in Bosnia. They didn't have
9 significant arms, weapons, ammunition, only just the
10 remnants joined the army -- the remnants of the
11 Territorial Defence joined the Bosnian army and created
12 the Bosnian army in April, May 1992 when the war
13 erupted and they must have had to create it and the
14 Bosnians had to create an army.
15 But this position of Izetbegovic was, in a
16 sense, suggested by Izetbegovic because Izetbegovic at
17 that time, 1990 and 1991 -- 1991, he supported the idea
18 that Bosnia could remain in a Yugoslav Federation,
19 whether both Croatia and Serbia will remain in this
20 federation. This was his position. He changed often
21 his opinions on this topic. This is one aspect in that
22 period. This was one of the reasons why he didn't want
23 to face -- to confront, to face immediately the army,
24 the JNA, and accepted this dismantlement of the
25 Territorial Defence.
1 In addition, while the HDZ opposed strongly,
2 the JNA was an occupational army. In this sense, they
3 had two different positions.
4 And what is interesting is that later,
5 Izetbegovic was charged, I think -- I'm thinking
6 even after the date when agreements were signed -- was
7 charged for taking this decision, because he was accused of
8 having dismantled Bosnia and of having offered Bosnia as a victim
9 to the aggression of the Serbs without any weapons and
10 without any arms. But the charge is based on the
11 evaluation what happened afterwards. As a policy
12 maker, evidently Izetbegovic tried to change or to make
13 some difference at that moment and try to reduce the
14 possibility of importing the war into Bosnia. So this is
15 a very disputed evaluation that we can have in order to
16 consider the decision of Izetbegovic in 1991 to accept
18 Q. What was the military and political
19 involvement, if any, of Belgrade or the Republic of
20 Serbia in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the
21 course of 1992?
22 A. The involvement was, as I can say,
23 double-face, from one side in the military -- from the
24 military point of view and from the political point of
25 view. From the military point of view, Serbia offered
1 the real basis for the army, the army involved in
2 the war in Bosnia. When the famous 20 percent of the
3 army was withdrawn from Bosnia, the other army
4 remained, and this was why the reason was cosmetic,
5 as the army remained, not any more the JNA in Bosnia
6 but the army of the Serb people in Bosnia fighting
7 for their rights.
8 And so Serbia offered real basis of -- sent
9 drivers, sent weapons, fresh soldiers, ammunitions. We
10 have a lot of documents. Even documents were published
11 in Sarajevo showing that people fighting in Bosnia
12 received their own wages and wages from the Serb
13 government. So this -- clear military support offered
14 from Serbia and Montenegro to the army, the Serb
15 army, involved in the war in Bosnia.
16 From the political point of view, this is a
17 very important topic because this was connected to the
18 idea of the meeting, the meeting -- or the idea of
19 partition of Bosnia with Croatia. Before the war
20 started in March 1991 in Karadjordjevo -- the Croat Tudjman
21 and Milosevic met. We don't have, of course, the note
22 verbal of the meeting.
23 But after this meeting, when they made a
24 decision to divide Bosnia in two parts, one for Croatia
25 and the other one for Serbia, two Commissions were
1 appointed by the two Presidents to meet and to
2 discuss with the maps how to divide Bosnia.
3 One of the person appointed to this
4 Commission -- the members of the Serb Commission
5 didn't give any information or any public report on
6 this, while from the Croatian side, yes. This was
7 Professor Dusan Bilandzic, a well professor and
8 very old friend, personal friend, of Tudjman. I
9 met him. I know him quite well, I met him in 1992, and
10 he explained to me what happened during these meetings.
11 But anyway, he gave an interview to the weekly --
12 Croat weekly "Nacional" last year, and he explained
13 openly what happened. They met several times. They
14 had opportunity to compare maps. They were unable to
15 find a partition of Bosnia.
16 So they tried to discuss how to divide Bosnia,
17 but it was very difficult to establish the
18 exact borders for -- under the interest of the -- of
19 Croatia and Serbia. So this was the reason they tried
20 to establish this agreement. They didn't succeed in finding
21 a compromise
22 But attempts to come to this agreement
23 continued during the Bosnian wars. For instance, in
24 May 1992, Boban and Karadzic met in Graz and tried --
25 this was May 1992, when the war in Bosnia had
1 already erupted, and they discussed a
2 possible agreement between the two. They met again in
3 Njivice, which is an area close to Herceg-Novi in
4 Montenegro, to find an agreement in 1993.
5 So this was an attempt to come to an
6 agreement between the two parties to divide
7 Bosnia. In this sense, Serbia backed, of course,
8 -- politically -- Karadzic and the military
9 actions in Bosnia with the aim, evidently, of dividing
11 Q. I think, Professor, you have some maps there,
12 not the next two, which point to the potential division
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
14 A. Yes. There are -- we can take -- I wanted to
15 explain to you in this sense the potential division
16 because -- okay. If you want, we can take into
17 consideration the maps included in the exhibit number
18 116 H, B, C, D.
19 Q. A, B, C, D.
20 A. A, B, C, D. Yes. 116A -- I will show you.
21 Ethnic division. This was an attempt of --
22 Q. Can you just tell us, on the back of each
23 one, it indicates --
24 A. This is A.
25 Q. 116A, fine. That's fine.
1 A. These maps can -- are interesting,
2 particularly, when you compare the maps. So this was
3 the ethnic division of Bosnia as it was agreed by SDA, HDZ,
4 SDS. When they finally -- in the Konak. This is in
5 Villa Konak; it happened immediately before the war
6 erupted so -- and after the referendum, so
7 February-March 1992, when the European Union,
8 particularly under the direction of the Troika
9 Cutiliero from Portugal, tried to establish the
10 cantonisation of Bosnia, a cantonisation which was
11 opposed by the leader of HDZ, Stjepan Kljujic. And for
12 this reason, in February, he was compelled to resign
13 from HDZ, and Mate Boban, who had at that moment the
14 confidence of Tudjman, took over the direction of the party.
15 And they tried to make this division of
16 Bosnia, which didn't work particularly because the
17 Democrats and part of the SDA were against
18 any ethnic partition inside Bosnia, so they didn't
20 But what is interesting is also, if you make
21 a comparison of the three following maps, B, C, D,
22 where you have first (indiscernible) Muslim-Croat
23 concept, when you see that the Croat area is
24 particularly related with Herzegovina and Posavina,
25 these two areas, and the Muslim part is the Central
1 Eastern -- connected with the Central Eastern Bosnia
2 and the area of Bihac, this is the area of Bihac, this
3 is the north-western part of Bosnia.
4 So you can see that to the Serbs, according
5 to the Muslim-Croatian concept of the division of that
6 period, the Serbs had only north-western Bosnia and just
7 some parts in Herzegovina and in the eastern -- on the
8 right bank of the Drina River, in this area. While the
9 Serb Democratic option -- this is Exhibit C -- clashes
10 eminently with the other one. I don't know if it is
11 possible to show comparatively. No.
12 Q. Yes, you can.
13 A. Yes, it's possible? Okay. Very good. You
14 see the proposal, the Serb proposal, the Serb
15 canton was -- it included all the north-western part of
16 Bosnia plus a large part of the eastern part of Bosnia,
17 which was -- in the Muslim Croatian idea was
18 predominantly Croatian and Muslim. For Croatia you
19 see only one part of Herzegovina close to
20 Dalmatia, plus some islands in Central Bosnia and in
22 But you have also, and this is the case of
23 "D" --
24 Q. 116.
25 A. "D" map. In the event that it was not
1 possible to find an agreement with the Muslims, the
2 Croats had their own map, and this map included, as you
3 can see, it's not exactly the same area agreed between
4 the Muslims and the Croats in the first -- in Exhibit
5 B. If you make a comparison between Exhibit B and
6 Exhibit D. You see that they claim toward the Central
7 Bosnia is much more clear in the Croatian option than
8 in the Croatian Muslim proposal.
9 So if you compare these maps, prepared at the
10 last moment when already the referendum was made,
11 Bosnia was awaiting recognition from the European
12 Union, the Serbs who are preparing to go to war, because
13 Karadzic clearly stated, clearly stated that --
14 immediately after the referendum that Bosnia was facing
15 a war.
16 By the way, I can say that I met him
17 personally in -- before the election in 1990 in the
18 Holiday Inn in Sarajevo, and I had personally the
19 impression that he already wanted a war at the time.
20 So before the election, he was ready to provoke a war
21 in Bosnia, and he was preparing himself for a war.
22 I'm not personally -- personally, I'm not
23 surprised at this declaration by Karadzic immediately
24 after the referendum.
25 But if you compare all these maps, you see
1 how difficult it was. Even in the case of a partition
2 -- this was not a partition, this was just to create
3 ethnic cantons in Bosnia. It was not clear if the
4 Serbs accepted independence of Bosnia or not, but
5 anyway -- or to prepare the ethnic cantons in order to
6 divide Bosnia later. This is different. But you can
7 see from these maps how difficult the job was. I
8 can imagine Dusan Bilandzic or the others discussing
9 after March 1991, in June-July, so when the war
10 erupted, a partition with Bosnia, when Bosnia was not
11 in a war, just how difficult it was for them to divide
12 the area.
13 Taking into consideration that the sources of
14 legitimisation for the claims were different, because
15 they were based on demographic reasons, on historical
16 reasons, on geo-political interests, communications and
17 so forth. So different reasons interacted together in
18 order to make these maps, and they clashed with each
19 other as sources of legitimisation. So this was the
20 real difficulty for policy makers and advisors of
21 policy makers to find an agreement, an agreement amongst
22 them, in order to find an ethnic solution, ethnic
23 partition of Bosnia.
24 Q. What then was the position taken, if any, by
25 the international community to this conflict in 1992 in
2 A. Generally, the international community, in my
3 opinion, had a very weak reaction. It was, in my
4 opinion, unable to understand the dimension of the
5 general disintegration of Yugoslavia. They were
6 unable to understand what went on before the Yugoslav
7 crisis and during the Yugoslav crisis, so before the
8 war erupted in June 1991 and later on.
9 There are many reasons why they were so
10 weak and why they offered a weak solution for a long
11 time. The first reason is a cultural one, in my
12 opinion. They were unable to face a strong,
13 national, even if national ethnic legitimisation of
14 powers for the new secession State of Yugoslavia for
15 policy makers, and probably we can't ask policy makers
16 to have a clear distinction of biological and voluntary
17 -- natural and voluntary idea of nations as I spoke
18 when -- last time.
19 So maybe -- the question is nation. Nation
20 is a concept, very unclear concept. The claim
21 for nationality, independent full nationality,
22 prevented, in a sense, policy makers to understand
23 immediately the real dimension of the war and of the
24 claims to divide all Yugoslavia. This was one
25 of the things.
1 But the other thing is that the
2 international community as a whole was very weakened
3 because it was -- it had no common position. As,
4 for instance, Germany and France, at the beginning,
5 supported respectively Croatia and Serbia, albeit
6 it's true that their support to these two countries
7 diminished in the months to come.
8 Italy. Italy was weakened dramatically because
9 its own internal crisis of legitimation [sic]. It was
10 the period when the corruption crisis started and
11 a ruling class was completely set aside in that
13 Great Britain. Great Britain had a very weak
14 position because many aspects of the questions
15 connected to the Yugoslav framework had links with the
16 situation in Ulster, and so the question had elements
17 in this sense and they were not so interested to
18 discuss this topic.
19 So this is -- inside the states, the member
20 states of the European Community which is, as is
21 well-known, a community without a defence, a common
22 defence and foreign policy. So they had to agree
23 all together to find a common position in order to have
24 then -- to have then a relation with the others.
25 So considering this division within these countries,
1 it's very difficult for them to find a compromise
2 rapidly as the situation required.
3 United States. The United States had made a
4 decision -- decided for a long time to consider the
5 Yugoslav question as a European issue. It didn't
6 want to be involved in this question. It charged
7 Europe to find a solution for this, but Europe
8 wasn't able for the reasons I mentioned.
9 The Islamic community. The Islamic
10 community, albeit speaking about the Muslims threatened
11 in Bosnia, they generally spoke about this, but they
12 were very aware that any move they made in
13 order to protect the Muslim community in Bosnia would
14 be considered a confirmation of a showdown between
15 Christianity and Islamic fundamentalism, as it was the
16 propaganda of the Serb nationalism.
17 So considering -- in addition, you have to
18 consider that Saudi Arabia and Turkey had a different
19 position than Iran, and so they controlled each
20 other and division were very strong within the Islamic
21 community too.
22 So in this context, we have to take into
23 consideration why the international community reacted
24 so weakly and so poorly when the war erupted.
25 Otherwise, when Communism collapsed, policy
1 makers particularly in Europe were so happy, let me
2 say, to have won the Cold War. They didn't understand
3 immediately that with the collapse of Communism, a new
4 question was arising. This question was the
5 question of the legitimisation of powers in the new
6 successor states or in the states -- former Communist
7 states. This was very difficult for them to
8 understand culturally.
9 This is not because I wanted to make a clear
10 justification. I just wanted to make clear why it is
11 understandable, their weakness, and it is not a moral
12 evaluation. This is not the question. This is just to
13 understand the reason.
14 So in this context, the United Nations, in
15 the end, in September 1991, made a decision to impose
16 an arms embargo on the whole of Yugoslavia which was, in fact
17 -- which had, in fact, a negative impact particularly
18 on the Muslim community because they were surrounded.
19 They didn't have possibility to contact the external
20 world through sea or boat, while it was easier even for
21 the Croat and the Bosnian communities to receive
22 weapons and army from Croatia and Serbia and through
23 the borders anyway illegally to receive weapons and
24 ammunition from outside.
25 This was in September 1991. This was one
1 of the reasons why this was often under discussion.
2 The United States, particularly during the Clinton
3 Presidency, tried to -- and asked to leave the
4 embargo, the arms embargo. This was one of the
5 discussions in the United States for a long time.
6 Then the United Nations in 1992 -- this was
7 in 1991. In 1992, the United Nations first, in the
8 beginning of April, for the first time, deployed
9 peace keepers in Krajina. This was the first
10 military intervention of the international community in
11 the conflict when the UN peace keepers had to be
12 deployed in the areas between Croatia and Krajina and
13 in Krajina.
14 And then, as it was established later in May
15 1992, the end of May, with Resolution 757,
16 sanctions were established against Serbia and
17 Montenegro. These sanctions were later strengthened.
18 This was an attempt to isolate Serbia and Montenegro
19 completely as they were recognised as being most responsible
20 for the war.
21 Immediately after -- this was at the end of
22 May. In June, Resolution 758 established a -- the
23 action -- the participation of UN peace keepers in the
24 airport of Sarajevo as an airport, an international
25 airport; and later in October, another resolution
1 established a no-fly zone over Bosnia, over the skies
2 of Bosnia. So in this sense, because they -- and then
3 the UNPROFOR representatives had opportunity to send
4 reports to the United Nations when illegal flights from
5 Serbia and Croatia often were noticed by time --
6 particularly during the night.
7 So this was the first reaction of the
8 international community in that period.
9 Q. Now, on the 26th of August, 1992, were the
10 participants in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 summonsed to a peace conference in London?
12 A. Yes. This was a conference in -- it was the
13 consequence of the conference -- the continuation of
14 the conference chaired by Lord Carrington in
15 The Hague in 1991 and it was continued in London in
16 1992, and then, because no agreement was found in
17 London, this conference moved to Geneva in September
19 There were attempts at calling all the
20 parties, Milosevic, Tudjman, and representatives of the
21 Bosnian leaderships, to find a solution, but the
22 solution was not found at that time. These were
23 the international conferences organised with this in mind.
24 Q. But were new mediators appointed as a
25 consequence of this conference held in August and
1 September of 1992?
2 A. In which --
3 Q. Were Robert Owen and Cyrus Vance appointed as
5 A. Yes, yes, okay, because they were charged to
6 prepare a proposal for a solution to Bosnia, and they
7 prepared a plan that was submitted to the members -- to
8 the parties, the conflicting parties at the beginning of
9 January, 1993, the 2nd of January, the proposal for
10 partition -- for the reorganisation of Bosnia.
11 Q. Now we want to move to the area directly
12 involved in this particular case, the conflict between
13 the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats, and can you
14 tell us when tensions first occurred between these two
15 groups, the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims and
16 how it developed, and I think you have to go back some
17 time in order to --
18 A. Yes, we have to go back again, sorry,
19 chronologically. Yeah. Officially, openly, tensions
20 started to arise in autumn 1991 when -- in October,
21 after the 15th of October, the declaration of
22 sovereignty was voted by HDZ and SDS leaderships. A
23 few days after, the President of HDZ, Stjepan Kljujic,
24 gave an interview to the Croatian newspaper from Rijeka,
25 "Nova List," and this interview was particularly
1 interesting because it envisaged a change of strategy
2 for the HDZ.
3 We have to consider the period. We are in
4 October 1991. This is the fall 1991. This is the
5 period when Dubrovnik was bombarded and Vukovar was
6 besieged and then the Serb army entered
8 So in this context, Stjepan Kljujic started
9 to explain that probably it should be better for the
10 Muslims and the Croats to distinguish their fate from
11 that of the Serbs even in Bosnia.
12 A few days earlier, I mentioned the
13 declaration of sovereignty was voted only by Croats and
14 Muslims. So he suggested this, and he suggested that
15 this distinction of the fate had to be considered in
16 the framework of a possible future confederation with
17 Slovenia and Croatia, with Slovenia, or otherwise
18 creating an independent separate state.
19 Speculation and discussion immediately
20 followed in Bosnia about this position of Kljujic, and
21 some weeks later, at the beginning of November, it was
22 maybe much more clear why Kljujic started to speak to
23 this when the first Croatian autonomous region was
24 created. So in this moment, when this declaration of
25 Kljujic in "Novi List" was reported by the newspapers
1 and by public opinion in Bosnia, tensions between
2 Croats and Muslims arose, and this was the first
3 official tension that emerged between the two
4 communities in 1991.
5 Q. I think you have a map there, do you not,
6 exhibit 110?
7 A. Yes, I have a map of the Croat -- this is
8 the map, exhibit 110. This is the map of the process
9 of creating -- of creating the areas of the Croat
10 community, autonomous communities, the so-called --
11 Croat community, Hrvatska Zajednica. Because
12 the process was similar to that of the Serb
13 autonomous region, the so-called SAO. Later in the
14 political terminology, this was called the HAO process,
15 so the SAO and the HAO. HAO is the Croat,
16 Haoizacija. So Haoizacija and Saoizacija were the two
17 terms used by political scientists to speak
18 about this process of reorganisation of ethnic
19 communities in Bosnia.
20 The first community that was established was
21 Bosanska Posavina, the yellow one in the north close to
22 the Sava River. This was established on -- 12th,
23 November 12th, 1991, and reactions were -- the concerns
24 particularly between Muslim community and those of the
25 Bosnian who share the idea of a -- Bosnians of citizens
1 and the whole Bosnia to be defended, their concerns
2 dramatically increased.
3 What is interesting was the reaction of a
4 part of the HDZ leadership. The head of HDZ Mostar
5 reacted -- explained that, "Okay, this is just an
6 attempt of organising the Serbs locally for economic
7 and cultural reasons, but it doesn't mean anything
8 because the majority of the population emotionally
9 related -- connected to the idea of Croatia, and
10 Croatia is in Herzegovina -- it's around this area.
11 And there are no proclamation of Herzegovinian Croat
12 community at all, so this was just in that area, and
13 the demonstration -- they wanted to show that this was
14 not the process.
15 Unfortunately, two days after this
16 declaration, the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna
17 was proclaimed, and it was created, you will see, in
18 this red area. This is the red area. This is an area
19 with a long border with Croatia. This is Dalmatia in
20 this area and the Dubrovnik area, while this -- also
21 Slavonia for the Posavina. So both regions had
22 borders with Croatia, albeit Posavina was separated by
23 a river and there was no division, geographical
24 division, between Herceg-Bosna and Croatia.
25 And then, late in January, another Croat
1 community, the Croat community of Srednja Bosnia,
2 was created. This is the blue one.
3 So three Croatian communities were
4 established between November and January while the
5 Serb communities were established between September
6 and January 1991.
7 Q. Now, I think the next map, exhibit 111, what
8 does that relate to?
9 A. Yes. This was a map -- I wanted -- I
10 prepared myself. This one. It was -- this area is a
11 comparison between the two previous maps, exhibit 110 and
12 107, between the two -- the two claimed -- between the
13 two maps with the areas claimed by the Croat community
14 and the Serb autonomous community.
15 Just to give you an idea of the areas
16 claimed by both the two communities, the two, the
17 Serb and the Croat communities, all not claimed
18 by both, the two communities. So the green areas in
19 this map, the green areas, are the areas not claimed
20 either by Bosnian Serbs or Bosnian Croats, and you see
21 it is just one area in the Bihac area which was
22 surrounded by the Serbs because this route here was
23 the -- Drina River, this was the area claimed by the
24 Croats -- by the Serbs, sorry, and just some islands
25 around Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Virovitica, and Tuzla,
1 just these areas. While the red one were the areas
2 included both in the Serb autonomous region and in
3 the Croat community.
4 This can explain, for instance, the reaction
5 of Karadzic when HDZ started to create these
6 communities. He supported the idea. He was not
7 against the idea of creating Croat community in
8 Bosnia. He was against the pretension [sic] of the
9 Croat community on some areas, Kladanj, on the other
10 side, by Karadzic himself. So this was the question.
11 This was about the two -- so this can also
12 offer a picture to you in order to understand why it
13 was so difficult to establish a partition, a division,
14 of the maps of Bosnia, because even in a context --
15 even in a peaceful context, at least for Bosnia, the
16 two maps claimed by Croat community and Serb
17 community clash with each other at least in one, two,
18 three, four, five areas, which means more districts.
19 Q. Was there any historical foundation to these
20 respective claims by both Serbia -- by both the Bosnian
21 Serbs and perhaps even Serbia and the Bosnian Croats
22 and perhaps Croatia, and do you have any maps there
23 that touch upon this historical claim?
24 A. Yes, yes. As I told you previously, when the
25 question of the creation of the new state was on the table,
1 the issue of legitimisation of powers became a crucial
2 issue, and it was based on different clashing claims,
3 historical, demographic, economic reasons, claims,
4 legitimisation. History played a very important role
5 because history is considered on the basis of the
6 natural idea of nation, on the basis of -- the
7 biological idea of nations. It is based on the state
8 or ancient state created in the Middle Ages and then
9 destroyed by the great empires or on the basis of some
10 kind of recognition, international recognition,
11 received in the past.
12 So, for instance, I have here different maps
13 that I can show you in this sense. These are the
14 exhibit number 112, 113, 114, 115; that can be also
15 considered in a comparative way just to understand the
16 different idea.
17 You know, when Mate Boban spoke about --
18 immediately after the creation of the Croat
19 community of Herceg-Bosna, he wanted to stress in his
20 public reports, meetings, he wanted to stress the right
21 of the Croat people to live in the historical and to
22 create -- the historical borders, to implement the
23 historical dreams of the Croats to live in a state, in
24 a Croat State.
25 So when you speak about history, historical,
1 you know something because immediately -- although it
2 can be strange for us -- immediately you create a
3 condition from the other side, the Muslim, the Serbs,
4 to react in the same way. So history is a very -- or
5 the manipulation or the interpretation of history is
6 often a political tool in order to establish a
7 legitimisation on some area.
8 So, for instance, exhibit 112 can offer one
9 of the areas claimed by Boban when he supported and he
10 explained the reason why the Herceg-Bosna community,
11 Croat community, was created. He mentioned in his
12 speeches the so-called Banovina, Croat Banovina, of
13 1939. This is the area you can see -- it is the
14 red-line area -- this was the Banovina of Croatia.
15 This Banovina of Croatia was created after an
16 agreement, an agreement in 1939 between the Serb and
17 the Croat representatives of the so-called
18 agreements, Sporazum Cvetkovic-Macek, the two persons
19 who agreed to create this map.
20 They decided -- this was in 1939, please,
21 just on the eve of the beginning of the Second World
22 War when Hitler was already threatening Poland, so it
23 was in August-September -- July-August, something, and
24 this area was created as an autonomous banate.
25 "Banate" means the area of a province, from the term "Ban"
1 who was the governor of Croatia in the ancient past.
2 So this Banovina was an autonomous
3 province created from some of the previous
4 Banovina. When King Alexander carried his coup in
5 1929, the first thing was to create administrative
6 reform of the country, and he wanted to destroy the
7 different -- Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and create
8 Banovina on the main tributaries of the rivers, so you can see
9 here Banate of Drava, Banate of Vrbas -- these are
10 rivers -- Banate of Drina. So Banate of Sava was the
11 River Sava and Banate of Primorje -- "Primorje" means
12 the coast, the shores. And so this was the reason why
13 he made this. And then King Alexander was killed by a
14 terrorist Ustashe in 1939, and later, in -- sorry,
15 1934. And in 1939, an agreement was reached by the
16 Serb and Croatian representatives to create
17 an autonomous Banate of Croatia including Sava and
18 Primorje, plus some area of Bosnia, you can see, on the
19 south of Sava and on the north of Primorje, these two
21 So this was the -- one -- in this sense, as
22 you can see, particularly this part, is not so far from
23 the autonomous region of Herceg-Bosna if you make a
24 comparison with the exhibit 110 just -- you can make a
25 comparison and you can see this sense and you can see
1 this part and this part.
2 So when Boban spoke about Banovina, he had a
3 clear idea in his mind and it was very well understood
4 by people, by Croats and by the others, of course.
5 Otherwise, if this was a claim by Boban in
6 that period, the claim of the Chetniks, particularly
7 Serbia, Serbs, Chetniks, you can see in this map was
8 more or less similar to these --
9 Q. That's exhibit --
10 A. Sorry, that exhibit is 113. Just to -- this
11 is an historical map. It's not just a map of the
12 claims of Seselj. Seselj was, and still is, the
13 President of the Radical Party of Serbia, the party which
14 claims historical links with the Chetnik movement. The
15 Chetniks were, in fact, the soldiers of the King of
16 Serbia, so they were Serb nationalists.
17 And, in fact, immediately after the first
18 dismemberment of Yugoslavia in 1941, when the Nazi army
19 enter Yugoslavia, the Chetniks or, better, the soldiers
20 and the officials loyal to the King who was in exile in
21 London, organised themselves in Chetnik groups, and
22 they joined the area between Serbia and Bosnia, and one
23 of them, a lawyer, the lawyer, Stefan Moljevic, prepared
24 a map for the future re-establishment of Yugoslavia,
25 moreover a (indiscernible) of the Chetniks, and you can
1 see in this map the idea of Yugoslavia, of the Chetniks
2 of Draza Mihajlovic and the Chetniks fighting during
3 the Second World War, which was re-used by the Chetniks
4 and by Seselj after, in 1991, 1992.
5 So they wanted to -- they claimed a possible
6 Yugoslavia for the end of the Second World War with a
7 Great Serbia, which included, as you can see,
8 Macedonia, increasingly and interestingly enough a part
9 of Albania, you can see, (in foreign language) -- I
10 don't know in English "Scutari." This is the area
11 denoted by Albania and Dalmatia, you can see, and even
12 a part of Slovenia, while Croatia was the great victim
13 of this map. As you can see, Croatia was divided in
14 two areas only, two areas not territorially connected,
15 this one part in Slovenia, one part in Croatia proper,
16 and he was punished, even losing control of the Rijeka
17 port which was offered to Slovenia, and this reason was
18 because, from the Chetnik point of view, Croatia
19 supported during the war the enemy, German Nazis, so
20 Croatia had to be punished for this reason, and for
21 this reason, Croatia was restricted to this part.
22 So this map offered an idea of what was the
23 claim, the historical claims, of the Chetniks when the
24 war was yet to be started, and the idea was to leave
25 Croatia and Slovenia abandoned and to flee the
1 country. But, in comparison -- Croatia, Serbia had
2 been established on this area, including also Dalmatia
3 and this was the famous line from Virovitica, Karlobag
4 and Karlovac that had to divide Croatia from Serbia,
5 from Serbia. This was the war goal of the Chetniks.
6 But, you see, often Chetniks and the Serbs
7 claimed that, just to give you an idea, this was one
8 claim. But otherwise they insisted that everywhere where
9 there is a Serb monument is, is Serbia. And for instance --
10 this is a joke, but interesting enough, Ratko Mladic,
11 during the war, claimed that Trieste is a Serb town
12 because -- and, in fact, it's true -- there is a Serb
13 Orthodox Church in Trieste. But, as you know, in
14 Trieste you have also a synagogue and Greek Orthodox
15 Church and other churches, so it's very difficult in a
16 sense if everybody pretended to run on the business of
17 the monuments. But, anyway, it can be a joke for us,
18 but it was serious for them and it was dramatically
19 serious in this sense.
20 Q. Now, Professor, we only have five minutes
21 less --
22 A. The last two maps.
23 Q. The last two maps, if we could quickly just
24 dispose of those, I think --
25 A. Yes. I just wanted to show a map of Croatia
1 in -- this is the -- exhibit number 114, how Croatia
2 was in -- when Croatia joined the Yugoslav State in
3 1918 on -- this was the Croatia in 1918, but you have
4 to take into account that Croatia was unified under
5 Yugoslavia. This is very important to stress this.
6 Croatia was unified because Dalmatia was part of the
7 Austrian Empire while the other part of Croatia was
8 under the Hungarian part of the Empire, and after the
9 agreement, the agreement between -- after 1867, only
10 the dynastic union was the element of unification for
11 the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
12 So the unification of Croatia was possible
13 within Yugoslavia, and you can see even that one part
14 of Banja is not in Croatia, it was a part of Hungary,
15 now Banja is in Croatia, while Croatia controlled
16 completely the area of Srjem just to Belgrade, because
17 this was the frontier -- the border between the
18 Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire and
19 Serbia, later on.
20 So sometimes when you find also the claims of
21 Croatia to join -- to have its own rights, to have the
22 borders on the Danube River, it does mean that only
23 Danube is Banja, is Banja or the area, this area that
24 is Vukovar or Osijek, but can be interpreted also, if
25 not clarified, to control all Srjem until Belgrade,
1 which is one of the reasons of possible clashes between
2 the two, Croatia and Serbia, when they speak about
4 Q. And finally --
5 A. And finally.
6 Q. -- exhibit 115.
7 A. Yes. Yes. This was the last exhibition map,
8 this 115, and this was the Croatian independent state
9 established by Nazis and Fascist powers during the
10 Second World War. You can see on this map, what is
11 very interesting is that Dalmatia, large part of
12 Dalmatia, was not included in Croatia because it was
13 claimed by Italy, and this is one of the reasons why
14 the Ustashe, which was supported by Mussolini before
15 the war, became much more -- leaned and aligned with
16 the Germans because they were disappointed with this
17 claim of Italy, while they included completely all
18 Bosnia, as you can see, and the border is Drina, so
19 Drina has been claimed often as the correct and regular
20 border between Serbs and Croats. This is Drina.
21 It's interestingly enough to have also two
22 terms when you speak about the Serbs. The Serbs on the
23 left bank of Drina and the Serbs on the right bank of
24 Drina have two different names. They are called
25 "Serbi" when you speak about the Serbs in Bosnia -- or
1 in Croatia, and "Serbianci" when you speak about the
2 Serbs in Serbia. And so this -- interesting enough.
3 And this is the Drina River, and this includes also, as
4 you can see, Srbija completely, just join the area
5 close to Belgrade. This is until -- this is the suburb
6 of Belgrade. You can -- new Belgrade would be part of
7 this area where it is today, new Belgrade.
8 So it is just to give you an idea how
9 complicated it is when you speak about the historical
10 dream on -- the historical borders of Croatia. This is
11 something quite -- that create immediately concern on
12 the others as well as you have the same reaction when
13 the Serbs claim their own -- Great Serbia and the
14 dream of the Serbs to live in the same state, you
15 know? This is -- when you manipulate the maps in the
16 past in order to legitimise a political claim of today.
17 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Professor.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. I
19 think we have finished for today, and tomorrow we will
20 resume in the second courtroom.
21 Good afternoon to all of you.
22 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at 1.33 p.m.
23 until Wednesday, May 6, 1998, at 9.00 a.m.