1 Wednesday, 20 May 1998
2 (The accused entered court)
3 (In open session)
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good afternoon. I wish to
5 greet the Prosecutor and the Defence. Hello, ladies
6 and gentlemen. Also, I say hello to the technical
7 booth and the interpreters. Is everyone ready to
8 start? However, before we start, we must say that we
9 are here today to continue this case.
10 Mr. Dubuisson, could you please state the
11 number of the case?
12 THE REGISTRAR: IT-95-14/1-T, Prosecutor
13 versus Zlatko Aleksovski.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. The Prosecutor,
16 MR. NIEMANN: If Your Honours please, my name
17 is Niemann and I appear with my colleagues,
18 Mr. Meddegoda and Ms. Erasmus.
19 While I am on my feet, I am involved in
20 another matter at the moment and may I seek Your
21 Honours leave to attend that court during the course of
22 the opening address. I regret very much not being able
23 to hear the opening address by Mr. Mikulicic, but
24 unfortunately, I am involved in this other matter for
25 this afternoon. If I may have permission to absent
1 myself, I would be much grateful, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: It is a pity not to be able
3 to have you here with us, Mr. Niemann, because you
4 certainly enrich our trial, but, of course, we do
5 agree, and you do have leave to leave the trial.
6 Could I have the appearance for the Defence,
7 please, Mr. Mikulicic?
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, Your Honour,
9 good morning, esteemed colleagues, Goran Mikulicic
10 appears for the Defence and my colleague, Mr. Joka.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In order to organise our
12 proceedings -- thank you, Mr. Niemann -- our
13 proceedings this afternoon, I wish to say that we would
14 have to see how we will be working. We will be having
15 two 20-minute breaks this afternoon. The first break
16 would be around ten minutes to 4.00, that is to say,
17 15.50, and the break after that would be around twenty
18 past 5.00. That is to say, two 20-minute breaks
19 because for all of us who are working here, it is very
20 important; we often forget that in the booths, there
21 are people who are working for us, working very hard,
22 quite often.
23 Also, we have realised that we have assessed
24 our efforts, and we realise that we always have
25 interpreters with us and we always have to bear this in
1 mind. After these pleasant words, we can start the
2 proceedings now.
3 I shall now give the floor to Mr. Mikulicic.
4 You have the floor, Sir.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour. In
6 our proceedings, we have come to a stage when the
7 Defence starts presenting its case. I shall avail
8 myself of the opportunity offered by the provisions of
9 the Statute to make my opening statement so that I
10 could inform the distinguished Trial Chamber of the
11 views of the Defence with regard to this trial and also
12 what our intentions are with regard to the rest of the
14 May I just say quite briefly, without taking
15 up too much of our time, that I think that we should
16 recall briefly the charges that are brought against our
17 client, Mr. Aleksovski, and then briefly we are going
18 to recall what the Prosecutor said in his opening
19 statement, and after that, I shall present an outline
20 of the views of the Defence with regard to this trial
21 and what the Defence wishes to do in this connection.
22 The indictment has brought charges against
23 our client in terms of three acts, Counts 8, 9, and
24 10. Count 8, a grave breach of the Geneva Convention
25 from 1949, as recognised by Article 2B of the statute,
1 so that is inhuman treatment. Count 9 of the
2 indictment brings charges against our Defendant also in
3 terms of a grave breach of the Geneva Convention 1949
4 as recognised by Article 2C of the Statute, namely,
5 wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to
6 body or health.
7 Count 10 of the indictment brings charges
8 against our Defendant in terms of a violation of the
9 laws or customs of war, outrages upon the personal
10 dignity as recognised by Article 3 of the Statute of
11 the Tribunal as well as 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute.
12 He is being charged either as the immediate perpetrator
13 of these incriminations or as the responsible person in
14 the chain of command.
15 So our Defendant is charged with unlawful
16 treatment of Bosnian Muslim detainees from the
17 beginning of January until the end of May 1993. That
18 is to say, that the indictment thus sets the venue of
19 these alleged illegal acts; also, the area, and the
20 area has thus been determined earlier in the previous
21 proceedings through what the Trial Chamber has ruled on
22 on the 25th of September, 1997; namely, that the area
23 where these illegal acts were committed is Kaonik in
24 the Municipality of Busovaca, so now we have recalled
25 the incriminations from the indictment.
1 The Prosecutor, as he opened his case, in his
2 introductory statement, said that these crimes were
3 committed in the prison of Kaonik in the Lasva Valley
4 in a situation of an open conflict between the forces
5 of the HVO, that is to say the military forces of the
6 Croatian Defence Council which were allegedly assisted
7 by the regular army of the Republic of Croatia on the
8 one hand and, on the other hand, according to the
9 introductory statement made by the Prosecutor, the
10 units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina also took
11 part. Implicitly in the opening statement the
12 Prosecutor speaks of an armed conflict with the
13 elements of an international conflict and has charged
14 the Defendant of being the commander of the prison in
15 Kaonik, and that this prison was organised for
16 detaining Muslims from the nearby villages.
17 So this is unlawful treatment of the Bosnian
18 Muslim detainees.
19 The Prosecutor alleges that these civilians
20 were detained unlawfully, that they were beaten in
21 Kaonik, that they were tortured in Kaonik, that they
22 were exhausted psychologically by intensive
23 interrogations, that they were used to dig trenches and
24 as a human shield. The Prosecutor implies that all of
25 this happened in the area of the Lasva valley in a
1 situation when the army of the Croatian Defence Council
2 attacked the Muslim population.
3 The Prosecutor believes that the Defendant,
4 personally or in cooperation with others, planned,
5 instigated, abetted, or otherwise assisted the
6 commission of these unlawful acts, and that he did this
7 either personally or by omitting to commit certain
8 acts, by which he would punish the direct
9 perpetrators. So this is delictum commisivum and
10 delictum ommisivum, that is to say, the omission of
11 commission or non-commission.
12 In his opening statement, the Prosecutor
13 recalled certain precedents, especially the Yamashita
14 case and the hostages case, for which he believes that
15 they would be applicable to this case too, which is
16 being tried in this courtroom.
17 The Prosecutor also implies that the Muslim
18 civilians were detained only because of their
19 ethnicity, because of their ethnic background, with a
20 view to exchanges and the Defendant knew all of this,
21 allowed this, and even planned this.
22 Furthermore, the Prosecutor implies that the
23 detainees were held in crowded rooms, that they had
24 inadequate medical facilities, that they were
25 inadequately fed, and that they were psychologically
1 and physically mistreated.
2 Also, the Prosecutor implies that Zlatko
3 Aleksovski, as the commander of Kaonik, did not take
4 necessary measures to prevent these crimes, to prohibit
5 them, or to punish their commission, or also that he
6 personally took part in their commission.
7 The Prosecutor also invoked the decision of
8 the Chamber of Appeals in the Tadic case which says
9 that all victims should be treated alike and that the
10 conflict in the former Yugoslavia had the character of
11 an international conflict.
12 The Prosecutor also invoked the Nicaragua
13 case in which he says that as far as international
14 conflicts are concerned, that there should be effective
15 control over the army that is in conflict by another
17 That is what the Prosecutor has highlighted
18 in his opening statement. That is, that he will prove
19 this or, rather, that he has proven this in his case.
20 In contrast, at this point in time, the
21 Defence does not wish to evaluate the Prosecutor's case
22 because we will do this at the end of presenting our
23 case, but may I say quite briefly that the Defence
24 believes that in the Prosecutor's case, the
25 international nature of the conflict was not proven at
1 the place and in the time which is incriminated in the
2 indictment, that is to say, in the period from the 1st
3 of January until the 31st of May, 1993, in the area of
4 Busovaca or, more precisely, the Kaonik facility.
5 The Defence believes and, if we apply the
6 standard from the Nicaragua case, this has not been
7 proven so far, namely, that there was effective control
8 of the Republic of Croatia over the military formations
9 of the Croatian Defence council in the area to which
10 the indictment pertains.
11 We, the Defence, are going to invoke the
12 ruling of the Trial Chamber in the Blaskic case in
13 which the Trial Chamber ruled that an international
14 conflict has to be proven in proceedings at the time
15 and in the place that is covered by the indictment.
16 The Defence believes that the military
17 command responsibility of Zlatko Aleksovski has not
18 been proven in the hierarchy of the Croatian Defence
19 Council in view of his military position and also that
20 it has not been proven that he had effective control
21 over soldiers of the Croatian Defence Council.
22 We also believe that it has not been proven
23 in this case that these are systematic and unlawful
24 acts against the Muslim population. Also, that it was
25 not proven that on any occasion Zlatko Aleksovski,
1 either alone or in concert with other persons, planned,
2 instigated, or ordered unlawful acts because it has not
3 been established that he was a member of any military
4 or politically relevant body at the critical time and
5 in the place to which the indictment refers.
6 Also, we believe that it has not been
7 objectively proven that in the period covered by the
8 indictment in the Kaonik facility, any one of the
9 persons interned suffered great bodily injury or was
10 killed. Such a person has never been identified and no
11 medical documents have been offered or any other
12 material proof which would show that there was serious
13 deterioration of health or of the physical integrity of
14 the said person.
15 As the Defence views this case, in our part
16 of the case, we shall prove as we call upon a witness,
17 an expert for this area, that at the time and place to
18 which the indictment refers, that is to say, Kaonik
19 Busovaca to the first part of 1993, there were no
20 elements of an international conflict between the
21 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of
23 The Defence shall furthermore prove that
24 Zlatko Aleksovski did not have effective control, in
25 terms of command responsibility, over the HVO soldiers
1 in view of possible excessive acts that the members of
2 the HVO might have committed.
3 The Defence shall also prove that Zlatko
4 Aleksovski personally neither planned nor instigated
5 nor ordered unlawful acts, and the Defence shall also
6 prove that, on the other hand, with regard to certain
7 excessive events, he did react by punishing the
8 perpetrators within the possibilities he had, holding
9 the position he had.
10 The Defence shall prove that certain
11 incidents, even if they did occur within the Kaonik
12 facility, were the consequence of exceptional acts of
13 irresponsible individuals, not a consequence of
14 systematic behaviour towards the detained persons.
15 Especially not in terms of treating the detainees in
16 such a way because they were of Muslim origin.
17 The Defence will also prove that the
18 civilians were temporarily detained in Kaonik, from the
19 Lasva Valley, and that this was done due to security
20 reasons and in no way because persons of Muslim ethnic
21 background were being persecuted or that their
22 intention was to have them exchanged for Croat persons.
23 Defence will prove the legal basis for labour
24 done by the internees, and it will point to the
25 essential use of Additional Protocol 2 of the Geneva
1 Convention. The Defence will prove that the interned
2 persons were given adequate medical care, that hygienic
3 conditions at the Kaonik facility were in accordance
4 with the standards of the time and space where these
5 events took place.
6 We mustn't forget that this is an undeveloped
7 area, this is a time when there was armed conflict,
8 that this is an area which was in a military
9 environment so that some contacts for supplies from
10 other parts of the country were not possible. In such
11 circumstances, the Defence will determine that the
12 conditions were of the standard that was the only one
13 possible in that region and at that time.
14 The Defence will also indicate that the
15 accommodation in the Kaonik prison was in accordance
16 with what was objectively possible, and it will point
17 to the temporary nature of this situation, as opposed
18 to the thesis of the long-term -- long-lasting
20 Also, the Defence will prove that the food
21 made available to the interned persons was, in the
22 given circumstances, adequate and at the same level
23 that the food was organised for all people from that
24 region at that time period.
25 As opposed to the claims by the Prosecution
1 that Kaonik was built for the purposes of persecution
2 and internment of the Muslim population, the Defence
3 will prove that this facility was not built or intended
4 for that purpose but that due to the circumstances
5 which were not foreseeable, but did happen at the
6 critical time, it was simply in the absence of any
7 other facility that this facility was used for
8 temporary internment.
9 The Defence will further prove that in the
10 circumstances of armed conflict between HVO and the
11 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, military units of the army
12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina attacked the Lasva Valley and not
13 the other way around; that military units of the HVO
14 attacked the Muslim population in the Lasva Valley.
15 The Defence will further prove that in this
16 case, the precedent from the Yamashita and the hostages
17 cases cannot be applied and also it is not possible to
18 apply the analogy of military command, of a military
19 commander to Zlatko Aleksovski as the warden of the
20 Kaonik facility as far as his command responsibility is
21 concerned as it's incriminated by the indictment.
22 The Defence will show you that in spite of
23 the fact that at the given time at the Kaonik facility,
24 there were hundreds of people temporarily interned.
25 Nobody at the Kaonik facility was killed, nobody was
1 seriously injured physically, or in any other way was
2 seriously mistreated which would have the consequence
3 of a grave harm to the health. Not one of these
4 persons got sick from a serious illness, and none of
5 those people who were temporarily interned at Kaonik
6 was after being released from Kaonik was treated in
7 hospital or as an outpatient.
8 The place where these alleged events took
9 place has been determined in time and space to the
10 facility of Kaonik, as I said earlier in my decision of
11 the 25th of September, '89. For the purpose of what I
12 have said just now, the Defence will bring before the
13 Trial Chamber about 20 witnesses from whom the Defence
14 intends to have two expert witnesses, one has been
15 announced for today and for the next few days, and the
16 second expert witness, the Defence plans for him to
17 speak on this case on the topic of the component of the
18 international conflict at the end of the Defence's part
19 of the trial.
20 The Defence will also bring out facts through
21 the testimony of the witnesses by which it intends to
22 prove what I have just said.
23 This is all that I wanted to say in my
24 opening statement, more or less. I wouldn't wish to
25 abuse the time available further, so that if Your
1 Honours agree, we could start right away with the
2 expert witness of the Defence and I will announce him
3 when he is brought into the courtroom, so would the
4 usher please bring in the Defence witness?
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, we agree,
6 Mr. Mikulicic. Please bring in the witness.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can you hear me well?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good day. Would you please
10 read the oath which is written on the piece of paper?
11 Please read it.
12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
13 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. Please sit
16 down. Could you please tell me your first name and
17 your last name.
18 THE WITNESS: My name is Dusan Bilandzic.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please, would you sit
20 down? Thank you for coming to testify before the
21 court. You will now respond to questions that
22 Mr. Mikulicic, the Defence for the Defendant will ask,
23 I think you know Mr. Mikulicic.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 WITNESS: DUSAN BILANDZIC
1 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic.
2 Q. Good day once again, Professor Bilandzic.
3 Thank you for the Defence coming to, based on your
4 expert knowledge to try, to this Trial Chamber and for
5 all of us, to put more light on a problem that is very
6 important in these proceedings. In order to acquaint
7 the Trial Chamber, Professor, you are, by your
8 qualifications, what is your area of speciality? Would
9 you please tell us all about your career, starting from
10 your professorship at the Faculty of Political Sciences
11 dating from the sixties and seventies and then on until
12 your membership at the Academy of Arts and Sciences of
13 the Republic of Croatia.
14 Professor, you, as a student, you completed
15 the Franciscan gymnasium school for priests; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. After that, you finished high school and then
19 World War II broke out?
20 A. Yes, that's true.
21 Q. As a young person, you joined the fighting in
22 World War II and you took part in the fighting against
23 the occupation of fascist forces on the territory of
24 former Yugoslavia; is this correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. From the very first day of the uprising until
2 the end?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. At the end of the war, participating in the
5 military operations, you got some -- you got some
6 military ranks.
7 A. I came out of the war as a major and I left
8 the JNA as a colonel.
9 Q. Up until what year was your military career?
10 When did you leave the army and decided to work in the
11 civilian service?
12 A. I left the chief -- the headquarters of the
13 JNA at the end of March in 1960.
14 Q. Before that, you were a professor at the
15 Military Academy?
16 A. Yes, I taught the history of the Second World
17 War and the partisan war in Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Then your political engagement in the
19 territory of former Yugoslavia came about, you became a
20 representative -- a Croatian representative in the
21 federal political organisations; would you tell us
22 which ones?
23 A. I worked in the federal administration as a
24 representative of Croatia, first of all in the Central
25 Committee of the trade unions of Yugoslavia, and then a
1 director of the Research Institute of the League of
2 Communists of Yugoslavia, of the Communist party.
3 Q. In the period of 67 to 69, you were the
4 director of the Croatian Institute for the history of
5 the labour movement?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. After that, you became the director of the
8 Institute for Social Research of the League of
9 Communists of Yugoslavia?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. And then you devoted yourself to teaching
12 where you remain until the present time, so from 1974
13 until today at the Faculty of Political Sciences?
14 A. Yes, but at the same faculty, I was teaching
15 from '67 to '74, so that practically I was at the
16 faculty from '67 until the present day.
17 Q. In the period from '74 to '78, you were also
18 the Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. After that, in the meantime, you were also a
21 member of Parliament of the Republic of Croatia, also
22 you were a member of the central committee of the
23 League of Communists of the Republic of Croatia, and in
24 the period after democratic elections in the Republic
25 of Croatia in 1990, you became Vice-President of the
1 Republic of Croatia at the time that that post existed?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Now you're a member of the Croatian Academy
4 of Arts and Sciences as the highest scientific body in
5 the region of the Republic of Croatia?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. You've written many articles, many books.
8 What is the topic, what is the scientific area that you
9 are interested in, that you work in?
10 A. I've written eleven books out of which the
11 most important one is the History of the Socialist
12 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." The other works
13 concern the political and economic make-up of the
14 former Yugoslavia, and I have also done research into
15 the mechanisms of self-management so that my topic
16 always was the analysis of social development in the
17 region of former Yugoslavia from the breakdown of
18 Austro-Hungary until the present time.
19 Q. If we place this in a time context, then this
20 would be the period from 1918 until the present time,
21 of course with some indications of earlier times?
22 A. Of course, with an introduction that also
23 partly also encompasses the political development of
24 Serbia. Following the Serb revolutions in 1804 and
25 1815, and also the political life of Croatia as part of
1 the Habsburg monarchy, this would be an introductory
3 Q. So if I understood you correctly, your
4 research and your scientific interests range from
5 events in the region of former Yugoslavia, the creation
6 of a common state, and then, finally, the
7 disintegration of that state?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. So the topic that you will talk to us about
10 is the process of disintegration of former Yugoslavia
11 as a process of disintegration which, in fact, had, as
12 a consequence, the events, a part of which, maybe the
13 most horrible part, is the event from Bosnia that this
14 case also deals with, so I would like to ask you to
15 give us a sort of framework, a brief introduction, in a
16 spontaneous talk, and then I will ask questions as I
17 feel necessary. So please go ahead.
18 A. Your Honour, the subject matter of Yugoslavia
19 is one of the most difficult in Europe in the 20th
20 century, primarily for the following reason: I could
21 say that the contradictions of the world met in a very
22 confined area on the territory of the former
23 Yugoslavia, that is to say, within a community that was
24 multi-national, multi-religious, even
25 multi-civilisational, if you wish. May I recall on the
1 territory of the former Yugoslavia, over a span of 80
2 years, there were five wars, and each and every one of
3 these wars broke out among the different peoples of
4 Yugoslavia and ended up in genocide, in ethnic
6 I have to present certain facts here that are
7 relevant to the understanding of this subject matter,
8 although it is a very difficult one. You know very
9 well that the creation of states, its break-up, and
10 then wars, liberation wars, wars of conquest,
11 et cetera, begin by being preceded by the establishment
12 of a certain ideology and the establishment of certain
13 political programs. Therefore, in order to understand
14 what happened, we must say a few words precisely about
15 these political ideologies and political programs that
16 came into being before Yugoslavia was created.
17 The political ideology either of the Serbs or
18 of the Croats or the Macedonians or the Slovenes,
19 et cetera, has a certain aspect of its own, one that is
20 aimed at creating a state of its own, as I usually put
21 it; namely, every nation, even if it is a micro-nation
22 consisting of several hundreds of thousands of
23 inhabitants or very big nations --
24 Q. Sorry for interrupting you, Professor, but
25 could you please speak slower because of the
2 A. The Serb state idea and the Croat state idea
3 came into being exactly in the mid 19th century. I
4 wish to point out that this was before Bismarck united
5 Germany or Garibaldi united Italy. I do not wish to
6 say that the Croats and the Serbs were at a higher
7 level development because of that. On the contrary, I
8 simply wish to say that that is when they came into
10 Allow me to point out what was the substance
11 of the Serb state idea and what was the substance of
12 the Croatian state idea and may I point out the extent
13 to which they corresponded to one another and, on the
14 other hand, the extent to which they were opposed to
15 one another?
16 There are many sources that I cannot quote
17 here that concern the Serb state idea. I shall refer
18 to but two that are of capital importance. I shall not
19 refer to the statesman Garasanin, I am just going to
20 mention the person who wanted to create a Greater
21 Serbia within Dusan's empire. Namely, the history of
22 Europe shows that nations primarily wish to have a
23 state which covers something that did exist in the
24 past. That would be the first principle. And within
25 that state, they wish to include even the most distant
1 branches of their ethnos, even the most distant ones.
2 These were the ideas of a greater Germany,
3 greater Bulgaria, greater Serbia, greater Croatia,
4 et cetera.
5 The ideology of the great Serb linguistic
6 reformer who had world wide recognition, Vuk Stefanovic
7 Karadzic was his name, it relies upon the German theory
8 of the nation, and the German theory of the nation says
9 one language, one nation. Safarik established this in
10 1826 and then Vuk Karadzic in 1849 elaborated on this
11 idea, and proceeding from the true fact that Serbs,
12 Croats, Muslims, Montenegrins, et cetera -- excluding
13 Slovenia -- speak one language, which is true. He
14 deduced on that basis that this is one nation because
15 it is one language.
16 So all the people who speak Serbian, i.e.
17 Croatian, and he omits that, are Serbs.
18 If one looks at how widespread the Serb
19 language is, then one comes to the conclusion that
20 Serbs spanned the area from Trieste to Saloniki
21 and Istanbul. In 1873 a map was issued on
22 how widespread the Serbs were, and you will see what
23 this looks like on this map.
24 May I show it now here on the ELMO? Is that
25 all right? Oh, I see.
1 THE REGISTRAR: This is D14.
2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, if I may
3 interrupt my learned friend? Your Honours, I must
4 point out that there is no English translation of what
5 appears in this map. My learned friend, I believe,
6 will submit an English translation of the writing that
7 appears on this map before the Defence case is
8 concluded or at least before we cross-examine the
9 witness in the course of this week, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, this is an
12 historical map and the inscription uses the Cyrillic
13 alphabet that is used in Serbia. The Defence can
14 provide for a translation of this but only in terms of
15 the Latin alphabet, the Latin inscription, but these
16 are geographical names so we cannot really translate
17 them. What the Defence can do during the presentation
18 of its case is have translated the description of this
19 map. However, Professor Bilandzic is going to read
20 this out now, so that will become part of the
21 transcript, but we are going to try to provide a
22 translation during the course of the proceedings.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, it's
25 sufficient for you to have this explanation, that
1 Professor Bilandzic is going to give? You will get an
2 inscription of what is on the map, that is to say, the
3 geographical names because geographical names cannot
4 really be translated. What do you think of that,
5 Mr. Prosecutor?
6 MR. MEDDEGODA: Certainly, Your Honour. As
7 Your Honours say, the source of map and those details,
8 since they have not been translated, it is not possible
9 for the Prosecution to get to the source of the
10 document, to ascertain from where the document has been
11 obtained, and if my learned friend, through the
12 witness, would give sufficient details in order to
13 identify, in order to enable us to identify the source
14 of the document, certainly the Prosecution would have
15 no objection.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, I think that
17 Mr. Mikulicic has already said that, so there is going
18 to be a translation either into the English or into the
19 French language, and that will suffice. I think that
20 we can continue with the evidence of Professor
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Another document whose author is Jovan Cvijic,
24 president of the Serbian Academy of Sciences, a
25 professor at the Sorbonne in Paris --
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry to interrupt you,
2 Professor. Could you please be so kind as to explain
3 the document that is in front of you on the ELMO for
4 the Trial Chamber and then we're going to move on to
5 the other document, and please, whenever you use a
6 document, would you mention the source, please?
7 A. All right. This document was published by
8 Serbia in 1873 on the basis of an analysis of how
9 widespread the Serb language is and, as you can see on
10 the extreme left, in the corner --
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Professor, excuse me for
12 interrupting you. Perhaps this is not very pleasant
13 for you, but could you explain the map to us in the
14 following way, by turning to the ELMO, because if you
15 show it only on your screen, we cannot see it.
16 However, if you show this on the ELMO, then we will be
17 able to see it too, if this is not too uncomfortable
18 for you.
19 I'm sorry, Mr. Mikulicic, for having
21 A. You see, this line here is the peninsula of
22 Istria, just before Trieste, and then there is a line
23 going to Zagreb almost, and then it continues toward
24 Hungary and it goes toward the Hungarian border. It
25 includes Vojvodina. Then it moves toward the Danube,
1 near the Bulgarian Serbian border, approximately. It
2 includes the border zone with Bulgaria and it goes down
3 to Macedonia, but below this green colour it says Serbo
4 Macedonians, because they are also considered to be
5 Serbs and they spread all the way to Saloniki.
6 So this entire thesis is based on the
7 fact of how widespread the Serb language is, so I
8 repeat, this thesis is one language, one nation; one
9 nation, one state. So that is the heart of the matter.
10 And now may I just mention in a few words the
11 world renowned authority of the Serb Academy of
12 Sciences and Arts, Jovan Cvijic, who is President of
13 the Serb Academy of Sciences and Arts who presented the
14 following thesis that the same thing that we are
15 showing here, he said literally from Trieste to
16 Saloniki and to Istanbul, all of that is an
17 uncrystallised ethnic mass which has not yet created
18 firm state and political structures.
19 This mass consists of 9.625.200 and all --
20 and this entire mass, so to speak, speaks Serbian, and
21 at that point in time, and that is 1908 when the
22 kingdom of the Serbs was recognised and it was
23 recognised way back, the Berlin congress in 1878, in
24 that Serbia, as a state --
25 JUDGE VOHRAH: I am having difficulty hearing
1 the English translation. Would the technical engineer
2 please attend to this?
3 A. Serbia, which was then called the kingdom of
4 Serbia, had 2.700.000, a population of 2.700.000 and
5 the territory that speaks Serbian has 9.625.200
6 citizens. In this analysis made by Jovan Cvijic,
7 President of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts,
8 which was entitled "The Annexation of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina and the Serb issue," it says that Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina is a central Serb country and, he adds,
11 this is not similar to Alsace Lorraine, between France
12 and Germany, but it is similar to the importance that
13 the area of Moscow has for Russia.
14 If you look at the map, you will see that
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina is to the west of Serbia and
16 that Croatia continues. So Bosnia --
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I'm sorry, Professor.
18 Could you please -- when you're saying something to us,
19 you will have to forget what you have in front of you
20 on the table. Please think only of that which you have
21 at the ELMO so that we can all follow what you are
22 saying. We are just getting used to all these
23 technical facilities too, and we know it's difficult
24 for you, but, please, just point to the things that are
25 on the ELMO. Thank you.
1 A. You see, on this ELMO ...
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Professor, also, all the
3 documents that you wish to show to us have to be
4 registered, they have to get a certain number.
5 A. Thank you.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D15.
7 A. So if you would look on the map, Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina cannot be the central part of -- a central
9 Serbian country because it's situated between Croatia
10 and Serbia. However, the Serbian Academy has the right
11 to claim this because it sets out from the fact that
12 Croatians speak Serbian and belong to the Serbs. Also,
13 only they're of the Catholic faith. In that sense,
14 Bosnia is a central Serbian country.
15 I would like to finish with this on the
16 Serbian idea of -- national idea. Now I will talk
17 about the Croatian national idea.
18 Croatia had a different historical
19 development. In brief, it was a kingdom until 1925.
20 Then it entered into a personal union with Bulgaria so
21 that both states, Hungary and Croatia, had one king,
22 who was Crowned both as the Hungarian and the Croatian
23 king. This was in 1102. In 1526, because the Turks
24 had started to conquer that area because Hungary became
25 very weak so that Croatia and Hungary accepted the
1 Austrian empire, the Habsburg Monarch as their king,
2 since then, until 1918, until the creation of
3 Yugoslavia, the Austrian empire, each Austrian emperor
4 from Maria-Theresia and so on, would also be crowned as
5 the King of Croatia.
6 So Croatia had three elements of state hood.
7 It had a name, the kingdom of Croatia, it always had an
8 established territory, it had its assembly, some kind
9 of parliament, it had a Viceroy who was called Ban.
10 In a parliamentary debate in Hungary, the
11 Croatian Ban, on the occasion of an attempt to apply
12 Hungarian laws in Croatia, stated the famous sentence:
13 (statement in Latin), in other words one kingdom has no
14 right in this case, the Hungarian, to impose its laws
15 on another kingdom, i.e., Croatia. Why did I mention
17 This position that Croatia within the
18 Habsburg monarchy and that it had such a status is the
19 foundation of the state idea of Croatia.
20 Croats comprised 5.6 of the population of the
21 whole Habsburg monarchy, and their idea, their
22 programme, political programme, which was formulated by
23 the Viceroy, i.e. Ban Jelacic, and a national movement
24 that Croatia would be forever within the Habsburg
25 monarchy, but to have this monarchy federalised in such
1 a way that Croatia unifies all the countries of the
2 Austro-Hungarian, these would be all the southern
3 Slavs, and you see this is Slovenia, this is Croatia,
4 Vojvodina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that all of these
5 countries gather around Croatia and get -- receive the
6 status of the third member of the Habsburg monarchy.
7 Because as far as -- as you know, Austria and Hungary
8 had a dominant position within the Habsburg empire.
9 And here, they wanted to create a third
10 unit. Another thing that's very important. This is
11 the so-called dualism of the Habsburg monarchy. If the
12 Austrian empire and the Habsburg monarchy accepted the
13 Croatian solution, then Austria would be tri -- it
14 would have three parts and not two parts, it wouldn't
15 be a dual. This was the main concept of the Croatian
16 state idea. I would also like to mention two more
17 concepts, one is the Yugoslav concept. In Croatia, a
18 strong Yugoslav movement developed in Croatia in the
19 second half of the 19th century. Whose elite imagined
20 the creation of a greater Yugoslav state, but as a
21 federation with the intimate desire that Croatia would
22 be in a hegemonic position. Symbolically, in 1866
23 there was an academy of arts and sciences formed in
24 Zagreb but it wasn't named as the Croatian academy, it
25 was called the Yugoslav South Slav Academy because this
1 was supposed to be an academy of Croats, Serbs,
2 Slovenes and Bulgarians, if you please. So this is a
3 marginal political idea, mostly entertained by the
4 intelligentsia. The third idea that had no chance at
5 all was the formation of an independent state, so these
6 were the concepts.
7 So the Serb state idea which goes for the
8 expansion of Serbia, the Croatian state idea which goes
9 for the creation of a third member of the Habsburg
10 empire, the so-called southern Slav unit in the
11 confederation with Hungary and Austria.
12 And there is also the Croatian idea to join
13 Serbs to Montenegro, but this would then have to be a
14 federation, so I move to the next question: What
15 happened in brief in World War I?
16 Unfortunately, the countries of southern
17 Slavs from Austria; Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes. The
18 citizens of Vojvodina, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, were
19 unfortunately in the war against Serbia during the
20 entire four years, they were actually the occupiers
22 The Croatian assembly, as well as the
23 parliamentarians in the Austrian parliament, in World
24 War I, almost until the disintegration of
25 Austro-Hungary, took the position of the trialism that
1 I mentioned earlier, i.e. the southern Slavs within the
2 Habsburg monarchy would have their own state,
3 recognising the Austrian emperor. Serbia had a
4 different idea. In 1915, it received agreement of the
5 Russian empire, Great Britain, France, Italy, as the
6 powers of Allies to expand in such a way
7 that a part of the Slavic countries from the
8 Austrian -- Austro-Hungarian empire would be joined to
9 Serbia. This is the so-called concept of Greater
11 Just roughly these -- this is the secret
12 London contract agreement which was signed between
13 Serbia and the allies in 1915.
14 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D16.
15 A. As you can see on the map, after the
16 central -- the fall of the central powers of
17 Austro-Hungary, Serbia is given the territory which
18 goes along this blue line. Excuse me. It takes the
19 area close to Virovitica, but it is this red line and
20 it goes all the way to the sea, so that Serbia would
21 get Bosnia and Herzegovina, a good part of Dalmatia and
22 also the eastern part of Croatia. However, things did
23 not quite develop in that way because Serbia lost the
24 support of Russia in 1917, and Wilson, United States
25 President, did not agree so easily to the contributions
1 and the secret agreements that the peoples -- whereby
2 peoples would be joined to one or the other side, so
3 that this could not be carried out exactly in this
4 way. Something else was carried out.
5 As I said, the Croatian citizens who were in
6 the war against Austro-Hungary -- for Austro-Hungary,
7 they were pretty faithful to Austro-Hungary and
8 generally the southern Slavs accept the Serbs who, of
9 course, felt in the fight against Serbia felt quite
10 uncomfortable and escaped from the army, would cross
11 the front lines and go as volunteers, even a few
12 Croats. But on the whole, the Croatian assembly
13 parliament, until the end of the Austro-Hungarian
14 empire, mainly remained on the positions of the
15 mentioned trialism, i.e., the state within the
16 Austro-Hungarian empire.
17 When Austria was in agony, then the
18 parliamentarians in Vienna, Slovenes and Croats as well
19 as the empire Croatian assembly, decided to create one
21 Outside of Austro-Hungary, if it should fall
22 apart, meaning to create a state which would
23 comprise -- now I will show this on the map so would
24 you please show this to the court?
25 MR. MIKULICIC: If you allow me, Your Honour,
1 the map that Professor Bilandzic took is a new map
2 which we didn't have time to prepare because Professor
3 Bilandzic in the course of his work prepared it today,
4 so for the needs of the evidence, we will photocopy
5 that later, but for now Professor Bilandzic will tell
6 us what it is all about.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, do you
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Yes, Your Honour, as long as
10 I have a copy of the translation prior to the
11 cross-examination in order for the Prosecution to do
12 that effectively.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, thank you. Would you
14 please continue?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document D17.
16 A. I will draw a line which will divide Serbia
17 and the countries of Austro-Hungary, the Slav
18 Austro-Hungarian countries, and the line goes like
19 this: West of this line, there are Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, and Vojvodina. At the
21 time of Austro-Hungary's agony, these countries form a
22 state. At the end of October 1917, they name it the
23 state of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs.
24 At that time, Serbia has the idea, since
25 Austro-Hungary is in agony, to simply join these
1 countries to Serbia, meaning to avoid the creation of a
2 different southern Slav state because besides Serbia
3 and Montenegro, there would be another state, and this
4 should be avoided.
5 It wants to expand Serbia with new countries
6 and it would have the order of a centralist kingdom,
7 according to the political system model that was in
8 Serbia from 1903 to 1918.
9 So two completely opposing ideas clashed like
10 that, and this state, the capital of which was Zagreb,
11 entered into negotiations with Serbia and on November
12 9th, 1918, an agreement was reached about the creation
13 of new Yugoslavia, so this new state would enter Zagreb
14 with Belgrade, but it was demanded for this to be a
15 confederation, the state itself, whose capital was now
16 Zagreb, which Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 entered, was organised within itself as a federation,
18 so you would have governments in Ljubjana, Zagreb,
19 Sarajevo, Split, and Novi Sad. So this federation
20 would enter into confederative relations with the
21 kingdom of Serbia which was already before that joined
22 by Montenegro. The president of the Serbian government
23 signed such an agreement for the creation of Yugoslavia
24 on this basis.
25 But the Serbian government, having studied
1 the Geneva declaration -- I don't know if I stated
2 already that this happened in Geneva, so the Geneva
3 declaration -- the Serbian government refused this
4 thesis with two arguments: First, we are one nation,
5 one people, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, they are one
6 nation. So one nation cannot enter into state
7 contracts amongst itself, within itself.
8 Secondly, what you are proposing from Zagreb
9 is a copy of the Austro-Hungarian dualism, meaning to
10 say, the dual monarchy, so that then we would have both
11 a Serb monarchy, i.e. a Yugoslav monarchy, so this was
13 Yugoslavia was created as a centralist state.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic and Professor
15 Bilandzic, after these two arguments that we have
16 listened to now, I think it is time for a break of 20
17 minutes, and then I would like to ask you to continue
18 with your testimony. So now we adjourn for a 20-minute
20 --- Recess at 4.00 p.m.
21 --- Resumed at 4.20 p.m.
22 (The accused entered court)
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic and Professor
24 Bilandzic, we can continue. Please go ahead.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Q. Professor Bilandzic, after the break, we can
2 continue with your testimony.
3 You mentioned that the first Yugoslavia in
4 1918 was organised as an expanded Serbia. Would you
5 please explain this for us, what is the background of
6 this claim of yours, but please turn your microphone
8 A. Two or three sentences before I respond to
9 that question.
10 Why was a state created in the agony of
11 Austro-Hungary in 1917 which was joined by Slovenia,
12 Bosnia, Vojvodina and Croatia, and why did it agree to
13 become abolished and to become part of Serbia? This is
14 a complex situation. And it's about the fact that
15 Serbs -- Serb, Italian, and French troops, as the
16 troops of entente, freely entered because this was the
17 territory of the defeated Habsburg monarchy, that's one
18 thing. Second, the Croatian peasant population, after
19 the example of the Russian revolution, started to
20 create chaos, rebellion, robberies, looting of rich
21 homes, and the Croatian political ruling class agreed
22 to enter -- for the Serb troops to enter in order to
23 stifle these rebellions. The new state didn't have an
24 army or the police because it was created in the agony
25 of Austro-Hungary so that it accepted this concept of
1 the creation of such a Yugoslavia, i.e., a centralist
3 And in response to your question, this is
4 about the fact that the government of the kingdom of
5 Serbia, working precisely in the spirit of the concept
6 of creating one state, abolished the structures in all
7 the other countries, meaning the governments in Zagreb,
8 the government in Sarajevo, the government in Novi Sad,
9 and the government in Ljubjana and all of their
10 parliaments, and instead of those historic countries,
11 the whole new state was divided into 33 administrative
12 regions, subject to the Royal rule in Belgrade, so they
13 disappeared from political life, the historical
14 countries which lasted for thousands of years, so to
15 say, and also their state structures disappeared. And
16 this is how a centralist state was formed.
17 Q. Professor, in such a situation, do you see
18 elements of conflict which would later be demonstrated
19 in events in this region?
20 A. As soon as the centralist Yugoslavia was
21 established, even a few days before it was established,
22 in Croatia -- I should not say overnight but within a
23 few months' time, a massive national movement was
24 created and Stjepan Radic came to its head, the leader
25 of the Croatian peasants' party, because peasants were
1 80 percent of the population, he practically came the
2 charismatic national leader, and Croatian
3 parliamentarians rejected the recognition of this newly
4 established state and this went on for several years.
5 After that, they did enter the parliament of
6 the kingdom of Yugoslavia after all, where great
7 polemics continued because the political parties of
8 some other countries, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, of
9 course not all of them but some of them, embraced the
10 positions of federalism, namely, Radic's Croats said
11 that things had to go back to 1918, that is to say, not
12 to recognise the establishment of that state, and they
13 tried, through the parliament, to renew the federation
14 instead of a centralist state.
15 Terrible quarrels broke out in the
16 parliament, and on the 28th of June, 1928, a member of
17 parliament, Punisa Racic, took out his pistol, and
18 during a heated quarrelsome debate in parliament, he
19 killed three leaders of the Croats, and two were
20 seriously injured. That was the leadership of the --
21 the political leadership of Croatia that was in the
22 federal parliament, they were killed literally in their
23 parliamentary seats.
24 After that, the Croats refused to take part
25 in political parliamentary life, and then King
1 Alexander came to face a dilemma. What should he do?
2 The danger of a revolution was looming over him. He
3 invited the successor of Stjepan Radic, this was
4 Dr. Vlatko Macek, and offered him the amputation of
5 Slovenia and Croatia. According to this amputation,
6 Croatia would have received 54.2 percent of the
7 territory of the kingdom of Croatia that existed within
8 Austro-Hungary. In the negotiations between the King
9 and the Croats, he was -- actually, a man named
10 Svetozar Pribicevic who was leader of the Serbs in
11 Croatia, conducted these negotiations on behalf of the
12 King, and the Croats could not agree to this because
13 only 54.2 percent of their territories would remain in
14 their hands, and so they rejected this. And there's
15 another reason for this rejection: The entente sought
16 a stable Yugoslavia, and they needed a stable
17 Yugoslavia for two reasons: First of all, Yugoslavia
18 was supposed to be an impediment to the possible
19 renewal of German Imperialism, and secondly, Yugoslavia
20 should be a state within the small entente, that was
21 supposed to be a sanitary cordon against Bolshevik
22 Russia, that is to say the Baltic states, Poland,
23 Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia so this was the
24 "cordon sanitaire." So the great powers supported
25 Yugoslavia, and this amputation never occurred, but
1 then a practical question was raised: Could
2 parliamentarianism be continued after the assassination
3 of the leadership of Croatian politics. This could not
4 continue in this way not only because of them but also
5 because of Serbia.
6 In the kingdom of Yugoslavia, Serbs accounted
7 for 36 percent of the population so if, for example,
8 the British model of democracy were to be applied and
9 if truly fair and free and honourable parliament
10 elections were to take place, Serbs would always be a
11 minority in that parliament, and the regime of the
12 kingdom of Yugoslavia could not be perpetuated because
13 the non-Serb nations were a majority. So the King
14 decided in favour of a military dictatorship, and he
15 appointed a general of his as Prime Minister, and they
16 went even a step further. It is not only that a
17 Croatian -- the names of Croatia and Macedonia and
18 others were abolished but also the name of Serbia
19 itself was abolished. It was hoped that this could
20 turn into a melting pot and that a Yugoslav nation
21 could be created and therefore that statistics should
22 be abolished. I'm sorry. I can't remember the name.
23 Please help me with this. Oh, yes, a census, a
24 census. The census never said Serb, Croat, Slovene,
25 et cetera, we were all Yugoslavs, you know, there were
1 no separate nations of this kind. Of course, this was
2 utopia, this was a delusion, and this went on until
4 In 1934, the Ustashe organisation, this was a
5 pro-fascist organisation from Croatia, and they were
6 assisted by Bulgarian and Macedonian revolutionaries,
7 and they killed King Alexander in Marseilles, and a
8 year later parliamentarianism was established once again but
9 there were different manipulations involved and I will
10 not elaborate on that further. It is important to say
11 the following: The Yugoslav society split according to
12 three different lines: First, there was a bloc of
13 centralists, unitarianists, and there was a federal
14 bloc too, and within the federal bloc, within every
15 national group there were also fractions in favour of
16 breaking up Yugoslavia, but then this is also a broad
17 subject that I cannot get into now. It is only under
18 the pressure that was brought to bear by Great Britain
19 and France that an agreement was finally reached
20 between Belgrade and Zagreb.
21 Belgrade gave Zagreb an autonomous state unit
22 which was called the Banovina of Croatia, so this
23 historic name of Croatia was reinstated, and it came
24 into being in the following manner: Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 was divided, Croatia got 66.000 square kilometres which
1 is about nine and a half thousand square kilometres
2 more than the territory of the following socialist
3 republic of Croatia.
4 Q. You mean Croatia after the Second World War?
5 A. Yes, that's what I mean.
6 Q. Sorry for interrupting you, Professor, but
7 you mentioned just now Bosnia-Herzegovina as describing
8 these events. If we are to go back a bit, we will see
9 that in this area, the primary tension, so to speak,
10 was between Serbia and Croatia. Where did Bosnia stand
11 in this context?
12 A. Oh, very well. Now I wanted to speak about
13 Bosnia in greater detail anyway, but perhaps by way of
14 an introduction, I could say a few things. In
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I don't have the accurate figures
16 here, but I won't make any major mistakes. During the
17 Austro-Hungarian rule, 43 percent of the population of
18 Bosnia were Serbs 32 percent were Muslims, and 23
19 percent were Croats. The Croatian political idea
20 counted on the possibility of annexing Bosnia according
21 to that idea of trialism that we've been referring to.
22 According to the Berlin agreement, Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 came under the rule of Vienna and Budapest and in 1908
24 it was annexed, Austro-Hungary tried to create a
25 Bosniak nation because they thought that the power of a
1 state can create nations. Sometimes this is possible,
2 but sometimes it is not. When is it not possible?
3 When the process of the creation of states has gone so
4 far that they no longer agree to a melting pot. Serbs
5 and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina did not accept the
6 concept of a Bosniak nation, so Serbs and Croats
7 remained only, and this concept failed.
8 Croat politicians in 1908, during the
9 annexation sent a message to Belgrade -- I'm quoting
10 from memory -- if Bosnia is not annexed but is handed
11 over to the kingdom of Serbia, we would welcome this.
12 That is what Croats say. Croats from Zagreb say that.
13 However, if we live to see such a fate that the great
14 powers do not give you Bosnia, you should be happy if
15 it falls into the hands of Austro-Hungary because we
16 are going to work on uniting all these countries into
17 one state according to this idea of trialism.
18 So how should I put this? Zagreb and
19 Belgrade -- we've elaborated on that considerably so
20 I'm just repeating it now -- had aspirations to take
21 over all of Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially their
22 extremists on both sides. Only a compromise could
23 ensure a solution, just or unjust.
24 In 1939, the Serbs and the Croats, seven days
25 before the outbreak of the Second World War, they
1 divided up Bosnia. Approximately, because I don't have
2 the exact figures now, the greater part of the
3 territory came under the rule not of Serbia but of
4 Yugoslavia -- I'm sorry, I just have to give this brief
6 If the Banovina of Croatia was established
7 and it took about one third of the territory of Bosnia
8 and it was created, it was recognised it is an
9 autonomous land, the King, or rather, the Prince, the
10 Regency, they accepted this. And if you look at the
11 map, what has actually happened? The entire remaining
12 part of Yugoslavia, that is to say a larger part of
13 Bosnia, Vojvodina, Montenegro, Macedonia remained as a
14 single entity, and the ruling class, the Serb ruling
15 class, wanted to create from this remainder of
16 Yugoslavia the so-called Serb autonomous unit, so even
17 before the Second World War it would have had three
18 units: Slovenia, under the name of Dravska Banovina,
19 Croatia under the name of Banovina Croatia, and the
20 so-called Serb lands, the remainder. And that is
21 approximately about two thirds of Yugoslavia, perhaps
22 even more than that.
23 I personally think -- although in
24 historiography there is no proof to this, that already
25 in 1939 there was an attempt to split up Yugoslavia
1 into three parts: Slovenia, Croatia, and the Serb
2 lands. So this was only a question of days. However,
3 after seven days, seven days after this agreement came
4 into being, the Second World War broke out, and that is
5 what I wish to say about the kingdom of Yugoslavia, and
6 now with your permission, I should like to move onto
7 the war between 1941 and 1945.
8 Q. I'm sorry, Professor, perhaps before you move
9 on to this other part, perhaps we should go back a
11 You explained to us what were the forces of
12 history that were in play and what kind of interests
13 clashed in the area. Please tell us, tell the Chamber,
14 what was the structure of the population in this area
15 in terms of religion, in terms of civilisational
16 development, industrial development, do you see any
17 forces of conflict in play there that would perhaps, in
18 the near future, lead to the events that actually
20 A. It's a known fact that Yugoslavia was
21 multi-national. It's also well-known that Yugoslavia
22 did not recognise the existence of nations,
23 nationalities, but it contained within itself five
24 nations: The Serb nation, Croatian, Slovene,
25 Macedonian, which was not only not recognised but you
1 couldn't even say Macedonian or Macedonia, and also
2 it's very debatable about Montenegro. A part of
3 Montenegrins consider themselves to be Montenegrins and
4 the rest consider themselves Serbs.
5 Secondly, Yugoslavia was a multi-confessional
6 country. Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro are countries
7 of the Orthodox faith, 45.5 percent, Croatia and
8 Slovenia are Catholic countries, 30.8 percent, and
9 Muslim, Sunni, 17 percent. But it's even more
10 important that the degree of development, the
11 differences among the Yugoslav countries, were seven to
12 one, which means that the least developed parts of
13 Yugoslavia would, if we mark them as one, the rate
14 of -- the rate of development would be 700 percent of
15 greater difference. So we also want -- 1500 years from
16 the arrival to the Balkans and to this area, these
17 peoples were never in one state. The first time this
18 happened was in 1918, so that they carry with them a
19 stamp, a cultural civilisational stamp, the western
20 part of Croatia, Slovenia, Vojvodina, which is Serb,
21 have that Danubian central European stamp which was
22 left by Austro-Hungary which was a pretty solid state
23 at a high level of civilisation, which is a country
24 with a rule of law regardless of the fact that it was
25 accused as the prisoner of nations.
1 The eastern part was under the Byzantine
2 influence, for five hundred years it was under Turkish
3 occupation, so there are civilisational differences
4 here. So that the creation of a common state from such
5 varied elements could not be expected to be a
6 successful process of organic capillary linking among
7 the peoples into a stable political and social
8 community. This just simply did not happen.
9 If you permit me now about the war? As you
10 know, war is always a test of the situation. War
11 frees, releases the most savage as well as the most
12 noble -- how shall I say? -- moments in human society.
13 So the war of 1941 to 1945, unfortunately -- I was a
14 Communist for 50 years, a member of the Central
15 Committee. However, unfortunately we have to change
16 the historiography that we Communists imposed on the
17 public. It did not happen the way we told generations
18 from elementary schools, the way we presented it
19 through mass media textbooks. It didn't quite happen
20 that way.
21 In 1941, Yugoslavia, on April 6th, it was
22 attacked, which is also one more argument saying that
23 it could not determine its own path. We said that it
24 was created to a large part by the entente powers,
25 Great Britain, France, Italy, and we have a negative
1 example. This is a relatively small country which was
2 an instrument in the hands of the German Reich. Hitler
3 offered Yugoslavia to sign the Tripartite Agreement,
4 but it didn't agree to that.
5 In 1941, the Yugoslav army gave absolutely no
6 resistance to the Wehrmacht. The Wehrmacht, Bulgarian
7 and Hungarian armies entered Yugoslavia without a
8 struggle, weapons were laid down without a struggle.
9 Germany created Greater Croatia, Hitler created Greater
11 Q. How?
12 A. He joined Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 into one state and named it the Independent Republic of
14 Croatia, the Independent State of Croatia. This was a
15 quisling creation, a puppet state under the protection
16 of Hitler and Mussolini, and the state, the Ustashe
17 state, accepted to implement Nazi-fascist racial laws.
18 It took out its sword against the Serbs, Jews, Gypsies,
19 Romanies with the aim of creating from that state, an
20 as-ethnically-homogeneous-as-possible Croatia, treating
21 Muslims in Bosnia as -- and this is the term used by
22 the Ustashas -- as the flower of Croatian people who
23 converted to Islam but they were still Croats.
24 Q. Regarding the Muslim nations, could you
25 please explain how a Muslim nationality nation came
1 about in this region?
2 A. This is a subject that requires a lot of
3 research. In brief, Catholicism, which spread from the
4 Vatican, and to Christianising the Balkan area,
5 including Croatia, sometime in the Middle Ages required
6 quite strongly that rituals in churches could not be
7 conducted in the national language. This caused a lot
8 of resistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina so a part of
9 those people accepted that well-known religion which
10 developed in other parts of Europe as well, the
11 Patarines (phonetics) -- I think there is another name
12 for it; it doesn't matter right now -- and then when
13 the Turks conquered Bosnia and Herzegovina, that part,
14 as well as other parts of the people, accepted Islam
15 and Muslims. Absolutely there is no doubt about that.
16 They are Slavs, just like Serbs, Croats and the others
17 are, they are Slavs, but they just converted to Islam.
18 When the independent state of Croatia as a
19 puppet state was created, they quite voluntarily
20 accepted -- a part of them accepted the Banovina
21 Hrvatska, I mean the puppet state, the independent
22 state of Croatia; and during the kingdom of Yugoslavia,
23 because they were, just like the Croats, persecuted,
24 they were a faction, one faction of them. But this was
25 not a decisive factor. Communists later will decide to
1 recognise them as a nation, and this will be 1969. And
2 for the first time in 1971, the census includes them as
3 a nation, and this is something that was started by the
4 Communist party of Yugoslavia.
5 So when the independent state of Croatia was
6 created and when it started to introduce the
7 Nazi-fascist order, of course, this could not remain
8 without the resistance of the Serbs and also
9 democratically-oriented Croats.
10 Serbia turned into a zone of occupation and
11 it was reduced to the territory it had before the
12 Balkan wars, before the expansion of Serbia. Kosovo
13 was joined to Vojvodina -- I mean Albania, Macedonia to
14 Bulgaria, Vojvodina, Dravska Banovina to Hungary and so
15 forth. This is really not important at this time.
16 Something else is important.
17 There is the question of what will happen
18 with us, who with us, with Croats, Serbs, Slovenes and
19 the others, when the Second World War is over. A part
20 of the people believed in the thousand-year-old new
21 Ordnung, Hitler's famous new order that will last for a
22 thousand years. But, of course, the majority of the
23 people, deep inside themselves, were convinced that
24 Germany will lose the war, and this was something that
25 they wanted to prepare for. I'm speaking now, first of
1 all, about the elites.
2 The government of the kingdom of Serbia
3 escaped to London. From London, they organised, i.e.,
4 better to say it established, determined the policy for
5 its followers during the war. The policy was as
6 follows: The democratic wing of the Croatian people,
7 represented by the pro-British Croatian Peasants Party,
8 Radic that I mentioned who was killed, his party was
9 pro-British, pro-Allies. The Royal government, they
10 believed the following: Be quiet. Do not go into war
11 against the occupiers. Wait until the end of World War
12 II. The allies will come, they will liberate us, and
13 then we will resolve all our questions. So there is no
15 The Communist party of Yugoslavia right away
16 in 1941, on the 4th of July, twelve days after the
17 Wehrmacht attacked Russia, started a rebellion, rose
18 against the occupiers, and started a war, a cruel war.
19 This war was conducted by Tito, and with all the
20 downfalls, all the successes and the failures, in 1943,
21 in late 1943, Tito had an army of 300.000 people. This
22 is a respectable army.
23 The Royal government in London reacted very
24 strongly towards the partisan movement and towards
25 Tito's army, ordering its military Minister, Draza
1 Mihailovic, he was the leader of the Chetniks and who,
2 in the middle of the war, had about 100.000 people,
3 that he must destroy Tito's army at any cost. Of
4 course, against Tito's army, the NDH, the puppet state
5 and also Nedic's army fought against that army as well,
6 so that all of the different political forces fought.
7 Why did the Royal government ask the Chetniks
8 to destroy the partisan forces? Because the Communist
9 party of Yugoslavia had a programme of liquidation of
10 Greater Serbia and Greater Croatia, which means
11 liquidation of that Serbia which ruled Yugoslavia but
12 also the NDH even more because it was a puppet state.
13 So the Communists reject the concept of Serb
14 bourgeoisie, Croat bourgeoisie, Yugoslav bourgeoisie
15 and the forces of the bourgeoisie in general and they
16 offered a compromise.
17 Q. And what was the gist of the compromise from
18 the Communist party of Yugoslavia?
19 A. It stated the Croats will get a state in the
20 Second World War.
21 Q. What kind of a state?
22 A. It will be a state but within the Yugoslav
23 federation. The same thing will be for the Slovenes,
24 for the Macedonians, for the Montenegrins, and for
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. "You Serbs must return to Serbia
1 and you will be a republic just like the other
3 As opposed to that, the Royal government had
4 also a project of what will happen at the end of World
5 War II. According to that project -- there are
6 documents, there are maps here, but I don't really want
7 to present them -- but this is the Yugoslav People's
8 Army and the old regime published these documents, and
9 these are well-known to the whole of Yugoslavia.
10 There would be a much stronger regime
11 established after World War II because Croatia would be
12 left with only 20 percent of its territory, there would
13 be only Zagreb and a few other municipalities, regions
14 in north-western Croatia would remain so, but the border
15 between Greater Serbia would be set on the river Kupa
16 together with Slovenia. So this was the most
17 disgusting, the most extreme form of the renewal of
18 Greater Serb Yugoslavia.
19 Q. Who propagated such a form of the renewal of
20 Greater Serb Yugoslavia at that time?
21 A. There is a document, an assistant of Draza
22 Mihailovic, his name is Stevan Moljevic, he's a member
23 of the Central Committee of the Chetnik movement. I,
24 of course, have to skip a lot of things. Draza
25 Mihailovic, General, who at the end of 1941 became a
1 Minister of the kingdom of Yugoslavia, so he was a
2 contact with the Royal government in London from which
3 he received directives, he was the leader of the
4 Chetnik movement. He was that in 1941, 1942, and 1943,
5 and in the Western media, he was declared as the Robin
6 Hood of the Balkan mountains, as the greatest guerrilla
7 in Europe. Some forces today are preparing in
8 Washington an agreement as the first and greatest
9 guerrilla fighter in Europe, and really, he did create
10 an army of 100.000 Chetniks. But that army waged war
11 only against the partisans, and this was ethnically a
12 purely Serb army without any other members and it was a
13 terror for non-Serbian people.
14 There is a terrible paradox in this.
15 Churchill told King Peter in 1944, in January, "Please
16 sack Draza Mihailovic, dismiss him. Pull out of an
17 impossible situation. You are having contacts with
18 Germans, Italians, and the Independent State of
19 Croatia, and you are not fighting against the Germans.
20 So we have a situation here where you are an allied
21 country, Yugoslavia, but your army in Yugoslavia, the
22 Chetniks, are cooperating with our enemies, with the
24 When Eden asked him -- and to go on.
25 So Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt, on
1 December 1st, 1943, in Teheran, reached the decision to
2 reject Draza Mihailovic and to accept Tito as the only
3 leader of the national uprising in Yugoslavia, the
4 popular uprising in Yugoslavia, and to provide arms to
5 him. To Eden's question on one occasion, "Why are you
6 helping Communists and not the Chetniks?" he said "I am
7 helping those who are killing more Germans." I think
8 this is just an aside, but it's not that important.
9 So the main clash in the territory of the
10 former Yugoslavia in 1941, 1942 is the clash between
11 the partisan army and the Communist party of
12 Yugoslavia, of course, which was asking for six federal
13 units and the army of the kingdom of Yugoslavia which
14 wants to renew the Greater Serbian Yugoslavia in a much
15 more drastic form than it was between the two World
17 Q. Excuse me just for a second. I would like to
18 clarify some facts. You stated that the army of Draza
19 Mihailovic was actually an ethnically composed army
20 comprising only one people, those were Serbs. On the
21 other hand, the partisan army, how was that conceived
22 from that standpoint?
23 A. It is a very interesting and important issue,
24 you know, but it kept changing. In 1941, from July
25 until November, Serbia was the bastion of the partisan
1 movement with a total of 25.000 partisans. Also
2 Montenegro, which then had about 30.000 partisans, so
3 Tito had 50.000 partisans, approximately, in the first
4 two months of the uprising from Serbia and Montenegro.
5 However, at the end of November 1941, this army of
6 Tito's was broken up. Out of a total of about 60.000
7 partisans in Serbia and Montenegro, only 6.000 remained
8 and they had to flee to Bosnia.
9 So in Serbia, from the beginning of 1941
10 until the Red Army came in 1944, practically -- we used
11 to call this "revolution" in Communist terminology, a
12 socialist revolution -- the socialist revolution was
13 then quelled.
14 Tito then left Serbia and Montenegro and went
15 to Bosnia and Croatia. In Bosnia and Croatia, he
16 created this army of 300.000 people in Bosnia, Croatia,
17 and Slovenia, of course. I am going to give you some
18 interesting figures now.
19 This army of 300.000 people consisted of 96
20 brigades, there were divisions, cores, et cetera, and
21 out of this total, 38 brigades or 40 percent were in
22 Croatia, in Bosnia 23, in Slovenia 17, in Montenegro 6,
23 in Serbia 5, and in Vojvodina 5.
24 There is just one more thing I have to add to
25 this. Bearing in mind the future state structure of
1 Yugoslavia, Tito and the Communist party, from 1941 to
2 1945, had a military structure according to the future
3 republics. That is to say that every republic had
4 headquarters, a general staff of its own partisans,
5 though there was a general staff of Croatia, Serbia,
6 Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina respectively.
7 He, Tito, coordinated things with his own
8 small general staff and also a small group of
9 divisions, three to five, but the remaining 37
10 divisions are under the command of republican
11 headquarters. So, of course, in addition to this
12 military structure, a political structure was created
13 too; also the national assemblies of these future
14 republics and also provisional governments. So already
15 from 1941 there was a federal structure, which meant
16 death to a Greater Serb Yugoslavia and to the quisling
17 Greater Croatia, namely the independent state of
19 So this was the main clash between those who
20 were aspiring for power after the Second World War,
21 namely, the Royal government in London and the
22 Communist party on the other hand.
23 In 1944, because Tito did not have Serbia
24 then, he asked Stalin to help him in liberating
25 Serbia. Stalin ordered Marshall Tolbuhin, the
1 commander of the Third Ukrainian Front, to make
2 available to Tito the strongest forces possible.
3 Marshall Tolbuhin gave the 57th Soviet army to Tito,
4 the 14th mechanised corps of General Zhdanov, four
5 divisions -- I can't remember the name now -- the storm
6 forces, and Dimitrov, the well-known leader of the
7 Comintern, on the 9th of September, 1944, he took over
8 Bulgaria and he also sent his forces to Serbia, and
9 Tito on the other hand, from Western Yugoslavia, that
10 is to say, from Bosnia and Croatia, he sent nine
11 partisan divisions to Serbia. In Serbia itself in
12 1944, he established five divisions from the Serb
13 people who lived there, and in the autumn of 1944, the
14 Communist party managed to get Serbia. So the Royal
15 government and Draza Mihailovic ended the war at that
17 So that was where the main clash was within
18 Yugoslavia between two completely, absolutely opposite
19 irreconcilable ideas, state ideas too. However, the
20 rift among the people themselves was even greater
21 within each nation -- this was a conflict between
22 nations in part. But, for example, in Croatia, when
23 the Ustashe persecuted the Serbs, Serbia, of course,
24 which was tied up by the Wehrmacht, could not help the
25 Serbs in Croatia, but the Serbs in Bosnia strongly
1 resisted the independent state of Croatia in 1941. So
2 there was a conflict between the Serbs and Croats in
3 Croatia and in Bosnia -- I mean, there were some Croats
4 who were supporting the Ustashes and then there was yet
5 another war. That is a civil war within each and every
6 nation. Croat Communists were fighting against Croat
7 Ustashes, Serb Chetniks were fighting against Serb
8 partisans, and Slovene partisans were fighting against
9 Slovenes who were in the democrat forces. So this is a
10 triple war within the nations, between the nations, and
11 then these global forces, Tito's army, et cetera,
12 et cetera.
13 So that is how the Second World War came to
14 an end in which the Communists won and created a
15 federation consisting of six states, six republics. I
16 say republic states because the constitutions treat
17 them as states, the constitution from 1946, the
18 constitution from 1963, the constitution from 1971, and
19 in particular, the constitution of 1974.
20 And now a few words about Tito's Yugoslavia.
21 The Communists thought that they had resolved
22 all the issues relevant in Yugoslavia. That isn't the
23 very nature of ideology. "Before us there was only
24 darkness, and when we come to power, then comes
25 welfare, well-being, a new civilisation, happiness,"
1 et cetera, et cetera. So this was a wonderful utopia
2 which became an opium for over a billion inhabitants of
3 our planet. Communism embraced Yugoslavia too,
4 especially the younger generation.
5 The Communists said that they found an ideal
6 solution to the national issue and, indeed so, they did
7 find an ideal solution from the point of view of
8 creating states. But they proceeded from a Communist
9 thesis that nations are a product of capitalism, and as
10 soon as the capitalist order is toppled, as soon as the
11 bourgeoisie is no longer in power, as soon as the
12 working class comes to power, then the process of the
13 withering away of nations will begin. So we don't have
14 to pay any attention to whether these are republics or
16 The political system, the economic system,
17 cultural policy, economic policy, foreign policy,
18 military policy, do not have to deal with the
19 federation. They don't have to be imbued with
20 federalism. On the contrary, there is no Communism
21 without centralism. So everything should be
22 centralised in Belgrade. Therefore, what Croatia's
23 policy will be like in the fields of culture,
24 education, economic affairs, et cetera, will not be
25 established by you in Zagreb but by the politburo of
1 the Communist party of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. What
2 Serb policy will be like will not be determined by
3 Serbs, by the Republic of Serbia, but it will be
4 sustained by us. Who are we? The leadership of
5 Yugoslavia. The politburo and the government. This is
6 valid in the case of Slovenia also and everyone else.
7 Therefore, the Communists did practically
8 introduce a federation, but all of government in all
9 fields, foreign policy, military policy, interior
10 policy, legal policy, cultural policy, educational
11 policy, everything was centralised in the leadership of
12 the Communist party of Yugoslavia and the federal
14 At the beginning, things worked well. There
15 was no resistance to this. Why? Because nationalist
16 forces, chauvinist forces of Serbia, Croatia, and the
17 others, were defeated in the Second World War, and they
18 were hiding in their little holes. There was no longer
19 a multi-party system. Everything was in the hands of
20 the Communist party 100 percent.
21 Secondly, the forced industrialisation
22 process had prevailed throughout the masses, and bear
23 in mind the fact that Yugoslavia was a country of
24 illiterate and semi-literate people, and when you tell
25 these people that they are going to be an industrial
1 power, and that is what the Communists would say, they
2 forgot about their own republic altogether.
3 Thirdly, in 1948, Stalin declared war on
4 Yugoslavia. This is the well-known conflict between
5 Tito and Stalin. I personally with the army dug
6 trenches on the border with Hungary awaiting for four
7 years an aggression of the Red Army against the former
8 Yugoslavia. This situation created a homogeneous mass
9 which resisted, and then as Stalinism was being
10 destroyed, a new utopia was being created. Instead of
11 the thesis that the Soviet Union is the flowering
12 garden of the new civilisation, the Communist party of
13 Yugoslavia said that the Soviet Union was a dark force,
14 worse than Hitler's Germany. This was the official
15 position of the 6th Congress of the Communist party of
16 Yugoslavia in 1952. They said that a new society would
17 be created based on workers' self-management, and this
18 went on for some 15 years or so.
19 However, then everything changed; namely, if
20 everything is centralised and if, from every republic,
21 every morning aeroplanes go, trains, cars, et cetera, go
22 to the centre; for example, if you want to buy a
23 refrigerator for a hotel, you have to get an import
24 permit from the federal government, and this was the
25 situation until the late '60s.
1 So there was resistance to this kind of
2 centralism within the republicans and this kind of
3 Communist centralism was unbearable. That is one
4 thing. Slovenia and Croatia were permanently bringing
5 pressure to bear with a view to diminishing centralism
6 radically; namely, that the federal government should
7 be a negotiating table where the republics would chart
9 On the other hand, there was a contrary
10 phenomenon. The highly centralised state structure
11 appeared as ideal ground for a crawling ideology for
12 great Serbian ideas. Centralism is ideal for this kind
13 of thing, and they thought that it was in this way that
14 they would come to rule Yugoslavia once again in 1962
15 at a secret meeting on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of
16 March. Tito, at a three-day meeting with about 60 of
17 the top people of Yugoslavia, had a discussion and
18 reached Thesis No. 1. The relations between the
19 republics are such that Yugoslavia was about to break
20 up. Of course, this was a top state secret.
21 Secondly, ideologically, an offensive would
22 have to be waged against centralism and unitarianism.
23 This was in 1962. A new Yugoslav summit was held on
24 the 12th and 13th of November 1965. Bear in mind the
25 fact that the well-known Rankovic was there, he was
1 Vice-President of the republic, the second most
2 important person in Yugoslavia. Also well-known Eduard
3 Kardelj was there. I mean, well-known amongst us. He
4 was the author of all the documents of the Communist
5 party of Yugoslavia and of all the constitutions of
6 Yugoslavia. He came up with the following thesis which
7 is of key importance now. I am quoting him again from
8 memory: We Communists are making a disastrous mistake
9 because with our practical policy we are denying the
10 existence of republics and nations and we cannot
11 continue in this way. When we die, Tito, Kardelj,
12 Rankovic, this guard of the revolution and the war,
13 Yugoslavia will fall into the hands of hegemonist
14 forces; that is, the hegemonist force that is in
15 Serbia. In order to save what we achieved by blood,
16 that is to say, Yugoslavia, through the four years of
17 war that we waged for it, we have to make confederacy
18 out of it, and, if needed, even a federation of
19 sovereign states. That was Kardelj's expose on the
20 12th and 13th of November, 1965.
21 After that, the pendulum of Yugoslav
22 political life came to move towards confederalism. In
23 1974, a confederal constitution was adopted which
24 introduced the principle of 100 percent parity and the
25 principle of veto.
1 According to the principle of parity, an
2 Albanian could be the President of the State of
3 Yugoslavia, and this was indeed the case. Fadil Hodza,
4 an Albanian, was President of Yugoslavia because there
5 was a rotating presidency. There were eight federal
6 units, six republics and two autonomous provinces,
7 which were practically made equal by the 1974
8 constitution. So people from Vojvodina -- Stevan
9 Doronjski, the representative of Vojvodina, more
10 specifically he became President of Yugoslavia, head of
11 state. So this was a semi-confederacy. Some people
12 say confederacy, others don't even say that it was a
13 federation. Some people say there was still a
14 centralist state. No, it was not. But then that's not
16 Q. Sorry. Just a second, Professor. Sorry to
17 interrupt you again. In all these events that you are
18 speaking about, could you tell us briefly what the
19 position of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was
20 at that stage; and in this republic, there were the
21 members of all three nations that are predominant
22 throughout Yugoslavia, namely Serbs, Croats, and
23 Muslims. What is the position of Bosnia in this state,
24 this state that used to be centralist before and now is
25 yielding to the forces of federalism and confederalism?
1 A. I know some of this from my own personal
2 experience. I was in government at that time. I
3 didn't have any great political power, but I was near
4 the leaders.
5 You see, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
6 situation is quite special because their mainstreams,
7 Serbia and Croatia, acted like a magnet, attracting
8 Serbs from Bosnia to Serbia and Croats from Bosnia to
9 Croatia. For example, in 1921, in Bosnia, 44 percent
10 of the population was Serb, approximately. In 1991, 13
11 percent less Croats. In 1921 had 23 percent, and in
12 1991, 17 percent. That is 6 percent less. Muslims in
13 1921 had about 32 or 33 percent, but in 1991, there was
14 almost 44 percent, 43.7 percent to be more precise.
15 As far as political life is concerned, I must
16 point out a tragic thing. The Croats from Bosnia,
17 notably Herzegovina, who wholeheartedly supported the
18 quisling independent state of Croatia, paid a high
19 price in Bosnia and Herzegovina until the mid '60s. At
20 a party meeting -- I don't know if the gentlemen are
21 aware of these special party meetings, the big ones
22 that were held, that is where big papers were written
23 for -- read out and then research was carried out, and
24 these big meetings would go on for two or three days --
25 the leader of the Communist party of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina in May 1965, his name with a Cvijetin
2 Mijatovic, a Serb who was in charge of the Communist
3 party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said -- after two
4 days of this party meeting on the position of the
5 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he said, "I am ashamed as
6 a Serb. I must say that it has been difficult to be a
7 Croat since 1945 until the present day."
8 Let me just add one more thing. Serbs were
9 dominant in Bosnia-Herzegovina because I omitted to
10 mention that Bosnian Serbs and Croatian Serbs were a
11 very strong support of Tito's from 1948 until the end
12 of his life. In terms of percentage, the Serbs of
13 Bosnia and the Serbs of Croatia gave the greatest
14 contribution to Tito's partisan army.
15 However, Bosnia, when the federation became
16 stronger and became more federal, as it were, a group
17 of people came to power in Bosnia, Branko Mikulic,
18 Pozderac, before that Hasam Brkic, and then later some
19 Serbs, the Bosnian state, the Republic of Bosnia,
20 became so self-supporting that it was the most
21 hard-line republic in the negotiations with other
22 republics. And they did not yield. I mean, their
23 leadership did not yield either to Serbia or to
24 Croatia; and according to their political mentality,
25 they somehow accepted that the federal administration
1 would be leading them by the hand. From the '70s
2 onwards, they became a very hard-line republic which
3 defended its interests so strongly, very often
4 clambering against Belgrade and Zagreb and the federal
5 authorities. I said that this was the golden age of
6 Piracles in Bosnia-Herzegovina. From the '70s they
7 started with this expansion, as it were, in terms of
8 infrastructure and modern industry. They created major
9 systems, et cetera, big systems. So they, in a way,
10 became Tito's main support.
11 And, excuse me, but while Belgrade and Zagreb
12 considered that this was a Turkish -- there is an
13 expression, a Turkish dark region as a symbol of
14 backwardness, illiteracy, et cetera --
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Perhaps, Your Honours, this
16 is the moment to take a break according to the
17 programme that you gave us earlier and then we can
18 continue after the break?
19 THE WITNESS: I could finish in about 15 or
20 20 minutes, so as you wish.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
22 I think that I perhaps made a mistake when I was
23 thinking about today. But I think we will take a
24 15-minute break anyway.
25 I have noticed that the interpreters do need
1 a break, so we will have a 15-minute break.
2 THE WITNESS: I will be only 15, 20 minutes
3 more. Thank you very much.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.
5 --- Resumed at 5.40 p.m.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, please go
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you very much.
10 Q. Professor, you mentioned that the rulers of
11 the then Yugoslavia in the '60s at a secret meeting
12 became aware of these disintegration processes that
13 after what seemed firm hegemonism after World War II,
14 these disintegration trends now could be seen. What
15 happened after the state leadership of the former
16 Yugoslavia realised this?
17 A. The state leadership, first of all, was
18 divided. A faction of it, led by Tito, Kardelj,
19 Serbian leaders, a part of the leaders of Croatia and
20 Slovenia and so on, as well as a part of the Serbian
21 elite, personally felt that Communism was tying the
22 hands of Serbia. This is paradoxical, but history is a
23 paradox. Let me try to explain that a little bit.
24 People, ordinary people, except extremely
25 privileged ones, kind of looked more towards the West
1 as a democratic society, faith was being lost in
2 Communism, the faith in self-management also was being
3 lost, the country was beginning to be democratised. In
4 1961, the citizens got passports for the first time, a
5 lot of emigration began, so in 1968-69, there were
6 about 800.000 workers in Germany, in France, in
7 Belgium, in Western Europe as a whole.
8 So that there was pressure from the inside
9 for society to democratise, to open up towards itself
10 from the inside, to be more democratic and also to open
11 up its borders. Yugoslavia was the only Communist
12 state where foreign travel was not banned, and this was
13 a major democratic wave which lasted based on the
14 ideological concept with Soviet Communism. So society
15 was opening up more and more.
16 At the same time, it began to have conflicts
17 amongst the parties on the inside. On one hand,
18 impatient liberals, democrats, wanted even faster
19 democratisation; and then, on the other side, other
20 factions were actually afraid of democratisation,
21 especially the Yugoslav People's Army which was the
22 most indoctrinated Communist institution in the
24 Since this democratisation enabled the start
25 of national affirmation, that you could sing national
1 songs, patriotic songs, you could speak more freely
2 about the position of certain nations with Yugoslavia,
3 the army and a part of the war, partisan generation,
4 got afraid, got scared about democratic development.
5 But in spite of that, Tito's authority was extremely
6 powerful. There was no force that could go against
8 I said that they had a constitution, new
9 constitution in '74 which was confederal, which is also
10 a paradox. They strengthened the power of the police
11 and the party structure. This was a response to the
12 opposition which was against the constitution in Serbia
13 and also in Croatia. There was the mass pock
14 (phonetic), it was a mass movement in Croatia which
15 shook up Yugoslavia in its own way. I don't know if
16 you want to ask any questions about that.
17 Q. If you permit me, Professor, before you move
18 onto the next topic, mentioning all of these events,
19 you're talking about these internal powers, forces
20 which are acting in the territory of a
21 multi-civilisational, multi-confessional,
22 multi-national state. How does the world view this
23 state, the great powers, because we have seen that
24 since the creation of Yugoslavia, in all of this period
25 that you spoke about, the great powers had a major
1 role. How are they behaving at these times?
2 A. Yugoslavia was the most extreme, the most
3 hard-core pro-Soviet state in 1945. In Europe, on the
4 whole planet, there was no country which was so loyal
5 to the Soviet Union as Yugoslavia. After 1948, when
6 the conflict happened between Tito and Stalin and when
7 war could have broken out, there was the question of:
8 Where is Yugoslavia going after this conflict?
9 It's lucky for it because at the moment that
10 it left the Soviet bloc -- this was in 1948-1949 -- the
11 NATO pact was treated in 1949 and the Warsaw treaty was
12 created in 1948, even though the Soviet bloc was
13 created in 1948-1949. So it was lucky that Tito
14 brought it out of the Soviet bloc.
15 So then we have the question of whether it
16 will approach the West. It didn't join the West, but
17 it did get military and economic aid from the West.
18 When relations between Khruschev and Tito
19 were normalised, the Soviet Union agreed to
20 Yugoslavia's non-bloc position, the West also said,
21 "Okay, we accept Yugoslavia's non-adherence to
22 blocs." But both blocs, both Super Powers, because
23 Europe was ruled by the Soviet-American peace pacts, so
24 both powers hoped that Yugoslavia one day perhaps will
25 join NATO or turn towards the Warsaw treaty one day.
1 Lucky for Yugoslavia, Tito is one of the
2 leaders of the world's non-aligned movement which
3 comprises over 100 states, Nassar, Nehru, Sukarno, and
4 so on. So that his role as one of the three leading
5 figures of the non-aligned movement was much stronger
6 than Yugoslavia would mean in the world otherwise. So
7 both blocs, the USSR and the USA, made approaches
8 toward Yugoslavia. So Yugoslavia had a privileged
9 position: It didn't belong to any blocs, but both
10 blocs -- how should I say that? -- wanted for it to
11 join them.
12 So Tito played a wonderful, brilliant role.
13 He didn't join one bloc or the other, but this
14 strengthened his position and this strengthened the
15 regime a lot. But Yugoslavia was nevertheless
16 determined by blocs; it could not make major social
17 reforms which would bring it in conflict.
18 Hungary tried to democratise in 1946 and it
19 got tanks, Czechoslovakia tried in 1968 and it got
20 tanks, Berlin tried in 1958 and it got tanks. So the
21 shackles of the Cold War, which shackled all of the
22 countries of Europe, they shackled Yugoslavia too but
23 in a specific way because in a way it became the mascot
24 both of the East and West, and that is one of the
25 factors of its relative stability.
1 Q. In such a situation, in such a specific
2 position that Yugoslavia had its foreign policy aspect;
3 on the other hand, at the outset of the start of the
4 activity of the forces of disintegration that are
5 taking place, how did the great powers react to that?
6 Did they, from their positions, feel that it was better
7 to preserve Yugoslavia as an integral -- or to permit
8 Yugoslavia to disintegrate where events were leading in
9 any case?
10 A. I have no proof or arguments based on which I
11 could say that the West wanted destabilisation of
12 Yugoslavia. Quite to the contrary. We had visits from
13 Carter, Kennedy, I don't know who didn't come. Tito
14 went to all the metropolises of the world, so I don't
15 believe that.
16 I believe that the Soviet Union, Breschnev,
17 who several times exerted pressure, he wanted
18 Yugoslavia to enter the East bloc, to leave the
19 position of a non-bloc country, but Tito never
20 permitted that, so that in this aspect, as I said, both
21 blocs in a way agreed to this non-bloc position.
22 Q. Please continue.
23 A. Okay. So to bring us to a close. Two
24 processes were parallel towards the end of Tito's life,
25 and the first year after he died, a year before his
1 death, there was a very serious economic crisis in
2 Yugoslavia. The process of industrialisation was
3 stopped and so on.
4 Secondly, based on the confederal
5 constitution of 1974, the state structures of the
6 republics were already so strengthened that they no
7 longer wanted to listen to the federal administration.
8 The federal administration requested more than
9 ordered. But Tito was the absolute master of the
10 situation, absolute, and not one structure, Serbian,
11 Croatian, Slovenia, et cetera, not one of them could do
12 anything without Tito's knowledge.
13 When Tito died, the economic crisis deepened,
14 and now there was the question of whether we could live
15 on without Tito, without his dictatorship which, in my
16 opinion, I thought was positive, but this is where I am
17 subjective, so please don't take this. I am speaking
18 as a former member of the Central Committee of the
19 Communist Party. That's what I was. So let's leave
20 that aside. That's not important.
21 In 1991, there was an uprising by the
22 Albanians in Kosovo. This was a serious matter. The
23 republics agreed to resolve the economic crisis, the
24 serious economic crisis, and there is a conflict among
25 them. Some support public ownership and the market
1 mechanism and the others were saying, "But this is the
2 abandoning of socialism and we won't permit that."
3 After the uprising, the rebellion in Kosovo,
4 Serbia initiates a constitutional process to change the
5 1974 constitution in two ways: First, the provinces to
6 no longer be members of the federation because they
7 were within the republics so, i.e., for them to be
8 returned into Serbia because before they were
10 Second, to limit the powers of the republics
11 in a way that more rights and jurisdiction will be
12 given to the federal administration. Serbia exerts
13 pressure to go into reform. However, according to the
14 constitution in force then, no one can even launch an
15 initiative without a consensus, which means that at the
16 beginning, at the very first step, at the stage of
17 initiative, at the stage of proposing changes, each
18 republic and province has the right to veto. So that
19 all the republics and the provinces unanimously
20 responded to Serbia, "No, no, there are to be no
21 changes, neither in the republics, neither in the
22 provinces. We have to live according to the 1974
23 constitution, the confederal constitution."
24 This caused a major revolt in Serbia which
25 developed on the basis of old -- what I mentioned in
1 the first part of our conversation. There was a vision
2 created in Serbia that Yugoslavia will break apart,
3 that Croatia and Slovenia will leave Yugoslavia, that
4 if the 1974 constitution is respected, that Serbs in
5 Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina will find
6 themselves in a different state if separatism takes
7 place and that Serbia cannot bear such a development.
8 So negotiations between Serbia and the rest of the
9 republics lasted for six years, 1981 to 1987.
10 In the meantime, the temperature in Serbia,
11 the political temperature in Serbia, came to the
12 boiling point. Hundreds of thousands, millions of
13 people came out for meetings with the slogan, "Let's
14 save Yugoslavia. Let's save socialism, Communism."
15 All the republics dug in against reform except Serbia,
16 and Serbia did not have the constitutional ability to
17 change anything. Out of eight members of the
18 federation, it was enough for one to say "No" and there
19 would be no changes; but if all seven say "No," then of
20 course there would be no changes then.
21 Since the temperature had reached a terrible
22 state, the new leadership of Serbia, in 1987, 1988,
23 reached a decision, "We will not negotiate with the
24 rest of Yugo republics. We will bypass the
25 constitution. We will not wait for any negotiations
1 with the other five republics and the provinces. We
2 will go outside the institutional." What does that
3 mean, "outside the institutional"? We will use the
4 argument of force.
5 Q. Professor, excuse me for interrupting. When
6 you say the leadership of Serbia comes out with this
7 idea, which leadership is that?
8 A. The leadership which negotiated for six
9 years, led by Ivan Stombolic (phonetics) was replaced,
10 and a new leadership was formed headed by Slobodan
11 Milosevic in 1987, and this leadership said, "We will
12 not discuss with the republics. We will use force."
13 And then we come to 1987, the fall of Vojvodina, of the
14 autonomy of Vojvodina, the fall of Kosovo in 1988-
15 1989, and the fall of Montenegro in 1989. When I say
16 "the fall," understand the following: the mass
17 demonstrations, the mobilisation of the population at
18 meetings toppled the leaderships of Vojvodina, Kosovo,
19 and Montenegro.
20 In this way, Milosevic got four votes in the
21 federation: Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and
22 Vojvodina. Now, the balance of power is 4-4 because
23 the new leaderships of Kosovo, Vojvodina, and
24 Montenegro now go hand in hand with Milosevic. On the
25 other side are the other four republics, Slovenia,
1 Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia.
2 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, Professor. But when
3 you said that the leadership in Vojvodina was replaced
4 and in Kosovo, those were two autonomous provinces with
5 the right to vote in the federal assembly. In order to
6 clarify matters, could you please explain to the Trial
7 Chamber how these leaderships were replaced, in what
9 A. You see, this was a technology (sic) which
10 came to be called "the happening of the people."
11 Q. And what was it that happened?
12 A. Party organisations, trade union
13 organisations, various associations, the Serb Orthodox
14 Church, the Association of Writers, different
15 organisations of all kinds, they organised mass rallies
16 that were attended by 100.000, 200.000, 300.000
17 people. And in 1989, at the confluence of the Sava and
18 Danube rivers in Belgrade, there were 1 million
19 people. In Kosovo, there were over a million people on
20 the 28th of June, 1989. These rallies were so strong
21 that the leaderships could not sustain this. They
22 simply had to resign.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I'm sorry to interrupt
24 you. Unfortunately, for reasons which are not up to
25 us, we will have to stop at 6.00. Perhaps now we can
2 Let me remind you that we continue tomorrow
3 morning at 9.00 and we were going to work until 2.15
4 p.m. because we have to coordinate the activities of
5 the two courtrooms.
6 So we shall conclude at this point,
7 Professor, and see you tomorrow morning.
8 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
9 6.05 p.m. to be reconvened on
10 Thursday, 21st May, 1998, at
11 9.00 a.m.