International Criminal tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

  1. 1 Thursday, 21 May, 1998

    2 (In open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.

    4 (The accused entered court)

    5 (Witness entered court)

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and

    7 gentlemen. Today we will continue with our work.

    8 Registrar, would you please call out the number of the

    9 case?

    10 THE REGISTRAR: IT-95-14/1-T, Prosecutor

    11 against Zlatko Aleksovski.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Appearances, please. For

    13 the Prosecution, Mr. Neimann?

    14 MR. NIEMANN: If Your Honours please, my name

    15 is Niemann and I appear with my colleagues

    16 Mr. Meddegoda and Ms. Erasmus for the Prosecution.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: For the Defence,

    18 Mr. Mikulicic?

    19 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

    20 My name is Goran Mikulicic and I represent the Defence

    21 together with my colleague, Mr. Joka.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We have a long day today.

    23 In order to organise ourselves, I will tell you that we

    24 have to have a break at 10.00 because we have the

    25 Deputy -- the Chief Registrar here, so we will work

  2. 1 until 10.00, and then we will have a break of ten

    2 minutes, then we will continue at 10.40 until noon.

    3 After that, we will have a 20-minute break until 12.20,

    4 until 13.30, then we will have a break of ten minutes

    5 and we will work from 13.40 until 2.15, as I announced

    6 yesterday.

    7 Is this okay? Good day to our simultaneous

    8 interpreters, the technicians. Is everybody ready?

    9 Yes.

    10 Okay. In that case, Mr. Niemann?

    11 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honours. I

    12 wonder if there has been a mis-translation because Your

    13 Honours I think said that we would have a break at

    14 10.00 for ten minutes and then continue at 10.40, which

    15 wouldn't be right, if that was the case. Did Your

    16 Honour say longer than ten minutes?

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Of 40 minutes, from 9.00 to

    18 10.00. Yes, 40 minutes. Thank you very much.

    19 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Just for the record, the

    20 meeting at 10.00 is with the Under Secretary General of

    21 the United Nations.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let it go in the record

    23 that the 10.00 meeting ... of the Secretary General of

    24 the United Nations and then we will make a 10-minute

    25 break.

  3. 1 Good day, Professor Bilandzic, and

    2 Mr. Mikulicic, please go ahead.


    4 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic (continued)

    5 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, Your Honours,

    6 my learned colleagues of the Prosecution, and

    7 Professor, good morning.

    8 Q. Today we will continue with your testimony,

    9 and we will pick up where we left off yesterday.

    10 Professor, yesterday you started on the

    11 subject that in the history of the territory of the

    12 former Yugoslavia is known as the happening of the

    13 people. These were mass gatherings of the population

    14 in certain parts of the Republic of Serbia and the

    15 autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina, and you

    16 started to talk about who organised those gatherings

    17 and for what purpose.

    18 So please, would you continue your testimony

    19 from there?

    20 A. The social processes, as you know, are often

    21 hidden, the forces which are preparing social processes

    22 often come out with false slogans and false

    23 manipulative ideas.

    24 The "happening of the people" in the

    25 beginning was conceived as a movement of democratic,

  4. 1 i.e. this movement was supposed to topple bureaucratic

    2 structures which lasted for 40 years so that a new

    3 cultural revolution would bring in fresh blood by

    4 destroying old structures.

    5 However, it quickly turned into -- very, very

    6 quickly turned into an all Serbian national movement

    7 which quickly reached the very last village, the very

    8 last man in Serbia, in Bosnia, and Croatia, so that we

    9 could say that somewhere around 1988, 1989, a

    10 Pan-Serbian national movement was formed in order to

    11 save Yugoslavia and Communism. Milosevic, at one

    12 moment in that heated atmosphere, stated that force

    13 will have to be used and perhaps even war in order to

    14 save Communism and Yugoslavia.

    15 I personally think, even though we are here

    16 broaching a subject that is not really a part of

    17 historiography because we don't have the distance. As

    18 a historian, as a rule, I wouldn't, according to rules

    19 of science, I really wouldn't be able to go into this

    20 because there is no time distance.

    21 But I think that the military leadership and

    22 the Serbian leadership thought that they would achieve

    23 their goals without war. Why? In 1988-1989, the

    24 advantages on the side of the military leadership and

    25 Serbia were frightening in relation to their political

  5. 1 opponents, meaning the military leadership. Serbia had

    2 at their disposal four or five instruments which were

    3 very powerful.

    4 First, as I said, Serbs in the whole of

    5 Yugoslavia were in a national euphoria, and they were

    6 united to a man. Also, they had the JNA, the Yugoslav

    7 army, which was ready ideologically to defend the two

    8 supreme human values, and these were Communism and

    9 Yugoslavia, they were ready to defend that. The person

    10 who has the army on his side and the military

    11 leadership, and Serbia thought they had the army on

    12 their side, could count -- they could rule Yugoslavia.

    13 The third factor which was in the hands of

    14 the military and Serbian leadership was the League of

    15 Communists of Yugoslavia. The League of Communists of

    16 Yugoslavia was the ruling party, and they have the

    17 greatest influence and power in that party, and that

    18 person can easily rule Yugoslavia.

    19 The next factor is the international

    20 community, the East and the West were very interested

    21 to maintain, to preserve Yugoslavia, so they could

    22 count Milosevic and the military leadership could count

    23 on the solidarity of the international community. Not

    24 to them as people, not Milosevic as a politician, but

    25 Yugoslavia, yes.

  6. 1 So those who had those elements in their

    2 hands, the national movement, the army, the League of

    3 Communists, the international solidarity, the NATO

    4 pact, the Warsaw treaty, which were then still

    5 existing, I'm talking about 1988, they could count that

    6 even without war, they could force their opponents to

    7 accept the political programme of Milosevic and the

    8 political programme was to recentralise Yugoslavia and

    9 to leave, abandon the constitution from 1974.

    10 However, the threat by such very powerful,

    11 predominant forces, did not work. The Slovenes,

    12 Slovenia, the League of Communists of Slovenia, was

    13 pretty aggressive, pretty fearless in its approach

    14 towards the army already in 1988. They went ahead with

    15 reforms quite bravely towards the abandonment of

    16 Communism and quite strongly came out against the

    17 policy of Serbia and the army.

    18 The leading forces in Croatia, the League of

    19 Communists of Croatia, took the position of waiting,

    20 not provoking, but also not providing, not giving

    21 strong resistance, thinking that Serbia and the army

    22 would give up the ultimate instrument, meaning war.

    23 But the masses were already quite heated up,

    24 there was a lot of nationalism, chauvinism. This is a

    25 state where normal human reasoning is lost, rational,

  7. 1 normal, cool thinking does not function in the fire of

    2 nationalism. So as this mass rose up, it spontaneously

    3 also pulled the leadership into war, and this

    4 leadership didn't need much, and that's how the war

    5 broke out, which, as I would like to say again, is not

    6 really part of history. These are very recent events

    7 which a historian, according to the rules of his

    8 profession, should really not go into.

    9 Q. Professor Bilandzic, in these events, what

    10 was the role of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    11 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e., its political

    12 structure, the elite, for 20 years before the war

    13 succeeded in emancipating itself from the federal

    14 political centre and functioned just like the other

    15 republics, Serbia and Croatia; namely, it's necessary

    16 to know that the first 20 years after the war, the

    17 leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed to listen, to

    18 be obedient to the federal administration, but in the

    19 last 20 years, it won for itself the position which was

    20 similar to the position of Serbia, Croatia, and

    21 Slovenia in the sense of its identity, integrity, and

    22 individuality. In that sense, it was quite strong.

    23 When these events started that I am speaking

    24 about, there was the belief that the so-called

    25 anti-bureaucratic revolution, this is another name for

  8. 1 the "happening of the people," so that the

    2 anti-bureaucratic revolution will spill over from

    3 Serbia into Bosnia-Herzegovina because there is about

    4 31.3 percent of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    5 However, I think that the citizens of

    6 Bosnia-Herzegovina who were really divided among

    7 themselves already in their daily life, from drinking

    8 coffee in a cafe or drinking a glass of water

    9 somewhere, they avoided Muslims -- Muslims, Serbs, and

    10 Croats avoided each other's company, avoided

    11 socialising, so that this mutual fear had the effect,

    12 or was acting also in the direction that they did not

    13 provoke one another in order not to start the fire. So

    14 that the streets, the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

    15 tended towards spontaneous, unorganised, a tendency to

    16 put off the conflict until the emissaries came, started

    17 to come from Belgrade, both to Bosnia and to Croatia,

    18 to organise these people against, as it was said,

    19 separatist, anti-Yugoslav, anti-Communist forces in

    20 Croatia and Serbia.

    21 When these people sensed that Serbia will

    22 place themselves at their defence, including the

    23 possibility of war, they quickly accepted the appeal,

    24 the call, the invitation of the leadership. The

    25 military and Serbian leadership very quickly created

  9. 1 its own parties, national parties, because you know in

    2 Yugoslavia, in the former Yugoslavia, Communist

    3 Yugoslavia, there were no other parties. When new

    4 parties started to appear, they were all down to one,

    5 they were nationalist, even chauvinist, aggressive,

    6 propelled by hate, the passion of hate, so that very

    7 quickly these parties were formed, Serbian, Croatian,

    8 and then after that, finally Muslim parties.

    9 As far as politics is concerned, of the other

    10 republics towards Bosnia, they are different from the

    11 ones conducted by Serbia. I stated yesterday that from

    12 the 1840s until the present day, Bosnia was defined in

    13 all documents of Serbia as Serbian land, and Croatia

    14 had at least three positions on Bosnia-Herzegovina in

    15 the course of history.

    16 Yesterday I spoke about how, in

    17 Austro-Hungary during the annexation of

    18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croatian political elite

    19 supported the stance that it was better to hand Bosnia

    20 over to Serbia than to leave it under the rule of the

    21 Turks. The Croatian Communists were absolutely very

    22 hard-line supporters of the 1974 constitution and for

    23 the fact that Bosnia has to be preserved. The Croatian

    24 radical nationalists had absolute pretensions of ruling

    25 in Bosnia, but these forces are marginal, these are the

  10. 1 remnants of the quisling independent state of Croatia

    2 which, as you know, was created by Hitler and

    3 Mussolini.

    4 In other words, the Croatian public opinion

    5 and the Croatian social policy was generally -- when I

    6 say "social," I mean it's an imprecise category, but we

    7 could say the public opinion, except the extreme

    8 radical nationalists, Croatia was in favour of

    9 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a sovereign state. And this, out

    10 of a fairly simple reason, namely, if, from a

    11 historical perspective the conflict between Croatia and

    12 Serbia was the fiercest conflict, similar to the

    13 conflict between Germany and France, and you know that

    14 in 70 years, three wars were conducted by Bismarck,

    15 Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler.

    16 The conflict between Serbia and Croatia is

    17 similar, but until this last war, there was not -- such

    18 a conflict didn't actually take place, but Croatia, in

    19 the context of the conflict between itself and Serbia,

    20 has an ideal buffer, an ideal republic, an ideal state,

    21 which is called Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a vast

    22 mountain which divides -- separates two opponents which

    23 stand one facing the other but cannot jump over Bosnia

    24 and Herzegovina. From these geopolitical and

    25 historical reasons, the vast majority of the Croatian

  11. 1 people is in favour of a stable sovereign and

    2 independent Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    3 This has been the case for almost 100 years.

    4 However, the ultra nationalist option was aspiring for

    5 Bosnia-Herzegovina as Croatian land, and that is the

    6 ideology of the so-called Greater Croatia.

    7 Q. Professor, the national question in the

    8 former Yugoslavia and thereby in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    9 as well, according to the views that you presented to

    10 us yesterday, is one of the very important

    11 disintegration factors in terms of the former

    12 Yugoslavia. Could you clarify on that perhaps?

    13 A. Very briefly, because I spoke at length

    14 yesterday, the classes of citizenry that we, the

    15 Communists, used to call the bourgeoisie and the

    16 intelligentsia, are the protagonists of national ideas

    17 and national projects. However, on the territory of

    18 the former Yugoslavia, from the mid-19th century

    19 onwards until the present day, history has shown that

    20 the bourgeoisie could not resolve the national question

    21 because, as I said, state ideas clashed.

    22 Perhaps you noted yesterday -- I don't know

    23 how clear I was, though -- but I tried to explain two

    24 key points as far as the resolution of the national

    25 issue in Yugoslavia is concerned. That is the point

  12. 1 when, as the Habsburg monarchy fell apart, the southern

    2 Slavs of Austro-Hungary, who were about 8 million

    3 citizens, which is two times bigger than Serbia and

    4 Montenegro put together, established their own state.

    5 Now, what did I call it? The Slovenes, the Croats, and

    6 the Serbs, yes.

    7 That state, twice as big as Serbia and

    8 Montenegro, was a competitor to Serbia. So we had two

    9 southern Slav states which Serbia could not accept.

    10 With the support of the great powers of the entente,

    11 they broke up that state.

    12 The other point is the establishment of the

    13 Banovina of Croatia in 1939. So from this you can

    14 discern the silhouettes of three states: Slovenia,

    15 Croatia, and a Greater Serbia. But this was seven days

    16 before the Second World War broke out, so nothing could

    17 really be done.

    18 Now, the Communists come to the fore, the

    19 Communist party of Yugoslavia, and this is an

    20 historical paradox. The bourgeoisie cannot resolve the

    21 national question in Yugoslavia because they fight

    22 between themselves, they are imbued with nationalist

    23 ideologies. In comes a factor which is un-national,

    24 which is denying the existence of nations, for which

    25 nations is a foreign category. They have a globalist

  13. 1 view of the world. For them, a national state is of no

    2 importance at all. The nation state is the product of

    3 capitalism; it is something foreign, it is something

    4 alien.

    5 Q. What nation state?

    6 A. Any nation state. The Yugoslav, never mind.

    7 Croatian, nerve mind. Serbian, never mind. And what

    8 is important? The world proletarian revolution is

    9 important, Lenin's idea continues. According to the

    10 project of the Communist party of Yugoslavia and where

    11 we are going to place the borders between the future

    12 states is quite irrelevant. So it is precisely these

    13 kind of un-national nihilist thinkers or political

    14 ideologies who disregard and underestimate the

    15 existence of the nation state. They act

    16 as supra-national arbitrators that can reconcile the

    17 quarrelling nations and delineate their borders.

    18 Bearing in mind that they should delineate them in such

    19 a way that these peoples should follow the party that

    20 is going to resolve this for them. This is a globalist

    21 vision, this is a vision of Communists, and that is why

    22 the Communists were the only ones who were in a

    23 position to settle the conflict between the different

    24 nations of Yugoslavia and to create a federal community

    25 which functioned quite well until it was historically

  14. 1 exhausted, rather, until the utopia of Communism was

    2 historically exhausted. It fell for different reasons,

    3 not because of the national question.

    4 As a vision, as a utopia, and particularly as

    5 a reality, it was unnatural because it trampled upon

    6 the individuality of the citizen, it turned the

    7 community into a god, and the citizen was nothing and

    8 that is why Communism failed.

    9 But I tried to explain that yesterday. The

    10 Communists, although they resolved the national

    11 question well in Yugoslavia, as they broke the Greater

    12 Serbian and Greater Croatian ideologies, they could not

    13 create a sound and stable society because as they

    14 intimately adhered to the hope and idea and the

    15 profound conviction that nations were withering away

    16 and that a socialist society would come into being,

    17 well, that was their mistake.

    18 Q. Professor, when I mentioned the national

    19 issue on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, I

    20 primarily wanted you to explain to us what the

    21 relations were between different nations in

    22 Yugoslavia. Were they homogenous? Were they in a

    23 state of conflict? Please compare the Serbian and

    24 Croatian nations on the one hand and, on the other

    25 hand, the relationship between these two nations and

  15. 1 the Muslim nation.

    2 A. One cannot say, without getting a certain

    3 impression, that this was actually the continuing state

    4 of affairs in international relations in Yugoslavia.

    5 This was a very stratified thing.

    6 There was the period of the struggle against

    7 Stalin and Stalinism from 1948 until the 1960s, that

    8 was a rather monolithic period. There were times when

    9 certain nations or their elites, for practical reasons,

    10 kept quiet and even pretended that they had friendly

    11 relations with other nations, aware of the fact that in

    12 the given situations when the great powers were in

    13 favour of keeping Yugoslavia and, from 1918, from the

    14 very first days of Yugoslavia, the great powers were,

    15 on the whole, in favour of Yugoslavia, with the

    16 exception of Hitler's Germany.

    17 However, my basic premise is, and I think

    18 that it is valid, I think it is valid -- now, it is a

    19 question of proving it -- we can say that the main

    20 motto of the Serbian nation in Yugoslavia is the

    21 following: We are either in favour of a Greater Serbia

    22 and Yugoslavia or no Yugoslavia. Whereas the Croats

    23 thought the following: We are in favour of a federal

    24 or confederal Yugoslavia or no Yugoslavia at all. So

    25 this is a clash of two state ideas, two visions which

  16. 1 co-existed in the hope, for a certain period of time,

    2 that a compromise would be found.

    3 Would it be possible to reach a compromise?

    4 It seemed possible at given points in time. I tried to

    5 explain that yesterday.

    6 You see, the Serbs in Yugoslavia are not like

    7 Russians in the USSR. Russians were the majority

    8 people in the USSR, Serbs were 36 percent of the

    9 population in Yugoslavia, and, in addition to that, the

    10 centre, from a civilisational, cultural, and industrial

    11 point of view, was not in Serbia but in Croatia and in

    12 Slovenia, so these two nations are more developed than

    13 the Serbian nation which makes it difficult for Serbia

    14 to play a leading role, a role of hegemony. There is a

    15 kind of balance of power.

    16 So, for example, when King Alexander imposed

    17 his dictatorship, a pro-fascist dictatorship, if we can

    18 call it that, it is interesting that the Yugoslav idea

    19 of fascism did not succeed. Why? This was not the

    20 case of Germany. The German people could have one

    21 Fuhrer, the Spanish people could have one Caudillo, the

    22 Italian people could have one Duce, but in Yugoslavia,

    23 you could not find that kind of a single person, it

    24 cannot be the King. Why? Because within six nations,

    25 you cannot find one person who will be the Fuhrer. So

  17. 1 in Yugoslavia, parliamentarianism cannot function

    2 either because it suits Serbia. Can you not establish

    3 fascism because fascism grows on the premise that there

    4 is one nation only and that was not the case of

    5 Yugoslavia. So that is why it continued to exist with

    6 this kind of balance of power that I mentioned and also

    7 with the support of the international community.

    8 In this context, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a

    9 special case which contributed -- how should I put

    10 this? -- to Yugoslavia and its life in several

    11 directions. First of all, during the Second World War,

    12 this was the fortress of Tito's army together with

    13 Croatia. It is these two republics that were the

    14 mainstays of the partisan war because we saw yesterday

    15 that after three months in 1941, the partisan movement

    16 was defeated in Serbia. After the war, Bosnia and

    17 Herzegovina was exploited as the Yugoslav Ruhr because

    18 it had many mineral resources.

    19 Serbs and Croats -- I tried to explain this

    20 yesterday -- in this republic, they accepted what the

    21 Second World War brought forth. There was no other way

    22 out because the Greater Serbian idea and the Greater

    23 Croatian idea was defeated in Bosnia because Bosnia was

    24 the land that was supposed to belong either to a

    25 Greater Croatia or to a Greater Serbia, and since the

  18. 1 Communist movement broke this up, this was no longer

    2 the case.

    3 As far as Muslims are concerned, they were a

    4 rather strong pillar of support of the Yugoslav -- I'm

    5 not going to call it Unitarian concept, I'm not going

    6 to call it that, but of Titoism, if that is what we are

    7 going to call it, of the constitution of 1974. They

    8 supported that until they came to realise that this

    9 could not remain as such, that -- they realised that

    10 Croatia and Slovenia were leaving Yugoslavia, and if

    11 they were to stay, they would have the same status as

    12 Albanians in Kosovo, and I think that was of decisive

    13 importance when Izetbegovic decided to seek a

    14 referendum and independence.

    15 There is one more thing I have to add. Until

    16 this war, Croats and Muslims were, you know, whatever a

    17 person says before this Honourable Court has another

    18 side to it, so one has to choose one's words very

    19 carefully. Not in order to avoid an answer but because

    20 of the complexity of the situation involved.

    21 What am I trying to say? The Muslims and the

    22 Croats were political allies from the annexation of

    23 Bosnia-Herzegovina until -- until this last war.

    24 Political allies.

    25 But, on the other hand, at the same time, in

  19. 1 a way, culturally, civilisationally, religiously, they

    2 were alienated from each other. They did not live

    3 together. They did not live close to one another.

    4 These were two communities which had political

    5 interests. They were threatened by Greater Serbian

    6 ideas, so they were close to each other politically but

    7 at an intimate level, so to speak, their lives were

    8 separate.

    9 Q. When speaking of the political alliance

    10 between the Croats and Muslims throughout history from

    11 the annexation of Bosnia into the Austro-Hungarian

    12 empire and until the recent war that was waged in

    13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the best of my knowledge,

    14 this fits within your thesis that a sovereign Bosnia

    15 and Herzegovina always suited Croatia except for this

    16 extremist minority precisely for that reason, and those

    17 were probably the reasons why there was political

    18 cooperation with the Bosnian Muslims. Is that thesis

    19 correct?

    20 A. I think it is correct. Although I cannot go

    21 into this, what happened later, but if we are judging

    22 history, yes, that was the case.

    23 Q. When speaking about this national question of

    24 the territory of the former Yugoslavia, is it true that

    25 actually the essence of the national question from the

  20. 1 very inception of Yugoslavia, that is to say, 70 years

    2 ago, and practically until these recent events, that

    3 this was, in fact, a smouldering conflict between the

    4 Serbs and Croats in this area for quite a period of

    5 time?

    6 A. Yes. May I just add one more thing. You

    7 have probably heard of a phenomena such as a greater

    8 France, a greater Germany, greater Bulgaria, Greater

    9 Serbia, greater, greater, greater. There is not a

    10 single nation, once it is born, I mean, there is no

    11 need to explain what a nation is, but there is not a

    12 single nation that does not aspire for a sovereign

    13 state. This is the 19th century I'm talking about.

    14 And this national phenomenon is something that

    15 destroyed Europe, after all.

    16 If you look at the French revolution, for

    17 example, you could hardly find a German who would say

    18 that he was a German. But in 1848, when this spring of

    19 nations came to the fore, then, in the mid 19th

    20 century, everything somehow moved into nationalism.

    21 After all, you know, Europe lost world

    22 leadership because of these nationalisms that were

    23 exhausting one another, that led to bloodshed in the

    24 first world war and the Second World War. It is

    25 nationalism that stood behind all of this, primarily.

  21. 1 Q. Professor, when you explained to us yesterday

    2 and today from a historiographer's point of view of the

    3 events in Yugoslavia, you said that in that area, there

    4 were always two fundamental processes, one was one of

    5 integration and one was of disintegration. Could you

    6 just tell us to what extent did these processes prevail

    7 over one another over the past 70 years?

    8 A. It is difficult to answer this question

    9 without falling into oversimplified explanations. Very

    10 often, nations and peoples do not what they wish but

    11 what they have to do, and often they work against

    12 themselves while thinking that they are working for

    13 themselves. What am I trying to say?

    14 I said that most of the southern Slavs lived

    15 within the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Croats for

    16 about 900 years and they were under Vienna and Budapest

    17 although they had the status of an autonomous kingdom.

    18 But they hoped that as they get out of this monarchy,

    19 there would be fraternal relations with Serbia, and at

    20 a given point of time, they got carried away. They

    21 thought it was possible. However, this did not turn

    22 out to be the case, and there was disintegration.

    23 The Communists claimed that they had

    24 established fraternity and unity among all the nations

    25 of Yugoslavia and that this was the most monolithic

  22. 1 state on the planet because, until yesterday, people

    2 were killing one another and now they turned into

    3 brothers who have expressed a high degree of solidarity

    4 from various points of view.

    5 But if I were to simplify things to the end,

    6 I could say that Yugoslavia was included and excluded,

    7 included into and excluded from, smaller or bigger

    8 European integration. For example, from 1918 until

    9 1941, it was an element of the European Versailles

    10 system. From 1941 to 1945, these lands were part of

    11 Hitler's new order. From 1945 onwards, Yugoslavia

    12 shared the fate of others, rather that it had to adjust

    13 to blocs, although it was a non-bloc country. So these

    14 two blocs kept it alive.

    15 When this European structure collapsed from

    16 Berlin to Vladivostok, Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands. I

    17 don't know, when the entire empire fell apart. At that

    18 point the external forces that kept it together fell

    19 apart, but without the collapse of the Soviet empire,

    20 without Gorbachev and Yeltsin, I doubt that the

    21 disintegration forces in Yugoslavia could have won the

    22 establishment of independent states, Slovenia, Croatia,

    23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia. I doubt it. So the

    24 main determining factor which governed the entire life

    25 of Yugoslavia was the international one, after all.

  23. 1 But disintegration forces became stronger in the

    2 process. It is wrong to think that Croatian

    3 separatists, that Croatian separatists are the main

    4 disintegrating force. That is wrong. I mean, they are

    5 a disintegrating force but they are not the main

    6 disintegrating force.

    7 If you are to read new versions of the

    8 history of Yugoslavia today and the new versions of the

    9 history of Serbia in Belgrade, they have proclaimed

    10 that Yugoslavia was the greatest tragedy of the Serb

    11 people. Dobrica Cosic, a man who enjoys the reputation

    12 as the father of the nation, he said that Serbia

    13 strangled itself in 1918 as it entered Yugoslavia.

    14 Why? Because as it entered Yugoslavia, it lost its

    15 identity, and it gave itself to a utopia, and therefore

    16 did not manage to have a respectable state of its own

    17 in this area. Milan Nedic, Serbia’s main quisling in

    18 the Second World War, also wrote about this, that the

    19 creation of Yugoslavia was a tragedy for the Serb

    20 people.

    21 So it is not only the Croatian separatists

    22 can be blamed for everything. I think that they are

    23 even of a lesser importance.

    24 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, as I wish to

    25 observe the rules that you have set this morning,

  24. 1 perhaps this would be an appropriate point to take a

    2 break?

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are going to continue at

    4 40 minutes past 10.00.

    5 --- Recess taken at 9.57 a.m.

    6 --- On resuming at 10.50 a.m.

    7 (The accused entered court)

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please excuse us for the

    9 delay, but as I did mention, we had a meeting with the

    10 Deputy of the Under Secretary of the United Nations,

    11 and that is why we are a little late.

    12 Mr. Mikulicic, go ahead.

    13 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

    14 Q. Professor, before the break, you mentioned

    15 and you spoke about the disintegration processes which

    16 were taking place in the last 70 years in the territory

    17 of Yugoslavia; sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker,

    18 but always present.

    19 In your opinion as a history expert and from

    20 the point of today's distance, was it essential that

    21 Yugoslavia disintegrated in the way that it has done,

    22 meaning that a war had to happen?

    23 A. This is a problem that is on the minds of all

    24 the political elites, the scientists, the peoples of

    25 former Yugoslavia, whether war could be avoided.

  25. 1 Historians should not give a decisive answer

    2 to this question because social processes which differ

    3 from natural processes, cases cannot repeat themselves,

    4 so that is why it is very difficult to answer this

    5 question. But with certain reserves, I would say the

    6 following:

    7 The conflict between Serbia and the Yugoslav

    8 army on one side, and Croatia and Slovenia and other

    9 republics on the other side, came about for two

    10 reasons: First, the Serb people found themselves

    11 before a dilemma in 1989-1990, that Yugoslavia could

    12 possibly break up.

    13 They faced the dilemma then, i.e. the

    14 conviction, that with the break-up of Yugoslavia, the

    15 results of the First and Second Balkan Wars from the

    16 First and Second World Wars would be cancelled out

    17 because these wars had brought a fourfold increase of

    18 the territories under the control, especially between

    19 the two World Wars, under the control of Serbia. This

    20 spectre, this vision that the victims of four previous

    21 wars would be cancelled out, was a very powerful force

    22 acting in order to prevent the disintegration of

    23 Yugoslavia.

    24 Secondly, the branches of the Serbian people

    25 are strong in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. There

  26. 1 was about 570.000 Serbs in Croatia and in Bosnia

    2 1.310.000 people. In the event of a break-up of

    3 Yugoslavia, according to the consciousness, the

    4 understanding of the Serbian leadership, these people,

    5 or this part of the Serbian people, would come under

    6 the regime of independent states and they would be

    7 threatened.

    8 So these are two reasons that very powerfully

    9 affected Serbia and its wish to prevent, at any cost,

    10 the break-up of Yugoslavia, not only the break-up but

    11 also to prevent the abandoning of the constitution of

    12 1974 because that constitution of 1974 was

    13 confederative. So in order to prevent this, to prevent

    14 the break-up of Yugoslavia, the only way was to

    15 revitalise the Communist composition, because this was

    16 ideal, it is the best, the most functional mechanism of

    17 control over society, regardless of what kind of a

    18 society that is.

    19 In history, it had shown itself to be as

    20 ideal for control of society, Communism, so that it was

    21 pre-determined that Serbia and the JNA must, on one

    22 side, support the Communist system and then, on the

    23 other hand, prevent democratisation because

    24 democratisation in itself leads at least towards

    25 confederation. So, for example, that is why Serbia

  27. 1 wanted the prime minister of the federal government,

    2 Ante Markovic, to be replaced because he did have very

    3 strong support from the United States which believed

    4 that democratisation -- or that it would preserve

    5 Yugoslavia by transferring it over to a Western

    6 democratic regime. This was the concept of the prime

    7 minister, and this was what was also rejected.

    8 On the other hand, Slovenia and Croatia had a

    9 growing movement in order to achieve two goals: to

    10 gain as much independence as possible, confederation at

    11 least, on the one hand, and then, on the other hand, to

    12 cross over into Western parliamentarianism which did

    13 not suit Serbia.

    14 So these are these two concepts which are

    15 mutually conflicting and which led to war.

    16 These are theses which could be defended.

    17 What is difficult to explain and to defend is the fact

    18 of why the international community did not wake up in

    19 time in order to prevent this war and, secondly, why

    20 democratic forces within Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia,

    21 Bosnia, Macedonia did not join together against the

    22 forces of war. This is pretty difficult to explain.

    23 If democratic liberal parties of all the

    24 peoples of Yugoslavia had joined into an alliance, and

    25 this was the idea of the federal government headed by

  28. 1 Markovic, with the support of the international

    2 community, the war possibly could have been avoided.

    3 Q. But under the circumstances, when the attempt

    4 by Ante Markovic failed, in such a situation, when

    5 Slobodan Milosevic came to power in Serbia, and you

    6 said earlier that he had a vast machine supporting him,

    7 in such a situation and taking into account the ideas

    8 which the then Serbian leadership declared, in your

    9 opinion, in such circumstances was war inevitable or

    10 perhaps not inevitable?

    11 A. It's difficult for me to reply to that

    12 question. Yes and no. I am not avoiding an answer,

    13 but it is difficult to answer that question because an

    14 irrational situation was created, a situation of

    15 euphoria, a situation where the masses and the

    16 leaderships tended towards conflict.

    17 I think the opponents of Milosevic, extreme

    18 opponents, also very easily -- easily hoped for a

    19 solution without war, and this is an irrational

    20 situation where a normal political mind disappears.

    21 Still, I am more prone to the thesis that the

    22 army, which was a party army, you know that the army

    23 was the so-called seventh republic in Yugoslavia. The

    24 representative of the army was always a member of the

    25 presidency of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia,

  29. 1 the Communist party of Yugoslavia. Each republic had

    2 its representative at the leadership of the Communist

    3 party. The army had its own representative. It had

    4 the status of a so-called republican party

    5 organisation, separate for 50 years from society,

    6 exclusively tied to Tito, ideologically very

    7 indoctrinated, brought up on anti-liberalism, and the

    8 conviction that Western imperialism is the only enemy

    9 of Yugoslavia, except in the period of the conflict

    10 with the USSR.

    11 So that the Defence Ministers, Mamula,

    12 Kadijevic, and their statements are taken from

    13 interviews and written directives for the army, are

    14 full of the thesis that Western imperialism is

    15 anti-Communist, anti-socialist, anti-Yugoslav.

    16 The war plans of the Yugoslav People's Army

    17 were always made, except maybe until 1969-1970, were

    18 always made with the supposition that an attack on

    19 Yugoslavia is only possible from the West so that the

    20 army, until the end, remained an ideological army which

    21 has supreme value to the state of Yugoslavia and to

    22 Communism.

    23 So this coincided with the leadership in

    24 Serbia and an alliance was made between these two main

    25 factors and they went into war.

  30. 1 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence has

    2 finished its questions and passes the word to the

    3 learned colleagues from the Prosecution.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.

    5 Mr. Niemann, do you have any questions?

    6 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honour.

    7 Cross-examined by Mr. Niemann

    8 Q. I have listened with interest to your

    9 presentation which, I must say, I found very balanced.

    10 Just touching on the last question that you

    11 raised there. I agree with you that the JNA was

    12 committed to preservation of Yugoslavia. But would you

    13 agree with me, during the course of 1991, that it was

    14 less committed to that cause and more committed to a

    15 Serbian cause?

    16 A. I will try to respond.

    17 The military leadership, until the summer of

    18 1991, was more in favour of Yugoslavia. However, you

    19 probably heard the President of Yugoslavia, his name

    20 was Jovic, he was a Serb, he published a book on the

    21 disintegration of Yugoslavia; and at a dramatic moment,

    22 there was a conflict, a verbal conflict, between the

    23 military leadership and the Serbian leadership. The

    24 Serbian leadership said, told Kadijevic and the Chief

    25 of the General Staff Adzic, "Let Slovenia go, let a

  31. 1 part of Croatia go. Place yourselves in the regions

    2 held by Serbs in Croatia and we will defend a new

    3 Yugoslavia, a third Yugoslavia, which will comprise

    4 Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Vojvodina, of course

    5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a part of the territory of

    6 Croatia populated by Serbs."

    7 So Adzic then said, "So you are breaking up

    8 Yugoslavia. I will arrest you now," he told them. But

    9 when the army had its debacle in Slovenia on the 27th

    10 of June in 1991, when their action was a failure, it

    11 failed, I think it was compromised as a military power,

    12 and having seen that without Serbia it cannot really go

    13 on further with this idea of preserving the entire

    14 Yugoslavia, sometime in those days it definitely

    15 crossed over to the Serbian side.

    16 Q. I think that would be evidenced by the fact

    17 that when it left Slovenia, it did so in such a way

    18 that it really had no intentions of returning, and I

    19 speak of the JNA. That would be right, wouldn't it?

    20 A. Yes, that's true.

    21 Q. In fact, I think, as an historian you would

    22 agree with me that armies are the sorts of creatures

    23 that require political leadership, and that with the

    24 breakdown of the presidency in Yugoslavia, the army

    25 found itself without political leadership and it turned

  32. 1 to Milosevic as its political leader; would you agree

    2 with that as a statement? I speak in the period of

    3 1991.

    4 A. You're absolutely right.

    5 Q. It's true, isn't it, that certainly from the

    6 perspective of President Milosevic, there was no doubt

    7 in his mind that he had captured the control of the

    8 army, of the JNA?

    9 A. I absolutely agree with you.

    10 Q. Professor, another area that I would like to

    11 talk about is, you spoke of the historical attempts at

    12 compromise between the very disparate interests of both

    13 Croatia and Serbia. Was another such attempt at that

    14 compromise a meeting that was held at Karadjordjevo on

    15 the 10th and 11th of March of 1991?

    16 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, if you permit,

    17 the Defence objects to the Prosecutor's question

    18 because this question exceeds the framework of the

    19 testimony of Professor Bilandzic as the expert about

    20 the historical events which preceded the war on the

    21 territory of the former Yugoslavia. These events that

    22 my learned colleague, the Prosecutor, would like to ask

    23 questions about are part of another area which is not

    24 the subject of the testimony of our expert witness, and

    25 the Defence did not ask him any questions about that.

  33. 1 So that in this way, the Prosecution exceeds the

    2 expertise of the witness, Professor Bilandzic, with

    3 their questions.

    4 MR. NIEMANN: Might I respond to that, Your

    5 Honour?

    6 Your Honours, cross-examination is a matter

    7 at large. If a witness comes before the court and can

    8 assist the court in matters which are known to the

    9 witness and he can comment upon or if the Prosecutor or

    10 Defence counsel wish to embark upon some line of

    11 questioning which is relevant to the issues at hand, in

    12 my submission it is not appropriate to merely say

    13 cross-examination should be limited only to those

    14 matters raised in the course of testimony. I have

    15 reason to believe that the Professor can assist us with

    16 some of the answers to these two questions, and it

    17 touches upon matters which, in the course of my closing

    18 address, I will urge upon Your Honours are important in

    19 understanding the conflict that ultimately developed in

    20 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    21 So for those reasons, Your Honours, I submit

    22 that the line of questioning is appropriate.

    23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Professor Bilandzic said

    24 that this whole question is very complex and it is hard

    25 to stay exclusively within the framework of the facts

  34. 1 because events have a certain internal dynamic and they

    2 become part of a system, so I think that the Defence

    3 will have the opportunity later to ask more questions,

    4 if they so wish. So the Trial Chamber accepts this

    5 question.

    6 Mr. Niemann, you may continue.

    7 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honour.

    8 Q. Professor, do you wish me to repeat the

    9 question or do you remember it sufficiently to answer

    10 it?

    11 A. Unfortunately, I don't have any information

    12 about Karadjordjevo, but as far as I know from the

    13 media, that accord or non-accord was never published

    14 anywhere, as far as I know. This matter between these

    15 two in Karadjordjevo, they discussed the division of

    16 Bosnia. As far as I know, there are no documents about

    17 that, but I really don't know.

    18 Q. Fair enough. I know you weren't in

    19 attendance at the meeting, but you did perform a

    20 function as a consequence of that meeting, did you not,

    21 in terms of representing Croatia?

    22 A. I have to say that there's a lot of

    23 mystification about this. This is a conversation among

    24 several people, intellectuals of Serbia and Croatia,

    25 the main topic of which was whether war can be avoided

  35. 1 and how it can be avoided.

    2 Since I was absolutely against any kind of

    3 division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I obstructed that

    4 idea that it should be discussed, and that whole

    5 conversation came down to the problem of whether both

    6 sides recognised the results of the people's liberation

    7 war and the socialist revolution. These results are

    8 the decisions of Avnoj in 1943, the decisions of the

    9 five constitutions and the constitution of 1974. Since

    10 the Serb side negated the validity of the Avnoj

    11 decisions from 1943 and particularly the constitution

    12 of 1974, I withdrew from the group. At that time, I

    13 was already retired. I did teach at the faculty, but

    14 only in the graduate school.

    15 So I have to say that a debate was conducted

    16 similar to the debate today where the central question

    17 is whether one should adhere or not to the decisions of

    18 Avnoj and the constitution of 1974.

    19 So I repeat that my very decisive stance,

    20 that as soon as I saw that the expert group from Serbia

    21 had that stance, I withdrew from those talks, and I

    22 never took part again in any kind of talks about the

    23 eventual division of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    24 Q. But, Professor, it is a fact, isn't it, that

    25 there was a meeting between Presidents Milosevic and

  36. 1 Tudjman in Karadjordjevo, and it is a fact that as a

    2 consequence of that, a commission was established, a

    3 commission made up of representatives from both Croatia

    4 and Serbia, to draw up plans on how Bosnia could be

    5 divided? There's no question about that, is there?

    6 A. I repeat that a group, Croatian group -- and

    7 I did have influence there to a large part --

    8 absolutely refused the continuation of any kind of

    9 talks concerning the violations of inter-republic

    10 boundaries and which concerned the validity of the

    11 decisions of Avnoj and the 1974 constitution. Things

    12 ended there. I resigned from the continuation of the

    13 talks.

    14 Q. Professor, you shouldn't think that I'm in

    15 any way attacking your integrity. I know that you

    16 resigned and I know that you were concerned about the

    17 fate of the Muslims and that you made this known to the

    18 political leadership at the time. That's true, isn't

    19 it?

    20 A. I publicly came out against the radicalism,

    21 both Serb and Croatian, because, as I know, for 50

    22 years I was a Communist, and I didn't accept the

    23 concepts about the division, so that's why I resigned.

    24 Q. Yes. In no way do I imply any criticism of

    25 you. I am merely endeavouring to elicit the facts.

  37. 1 But the fact of the matter is that following the

    2 meeting between Presidents Tudjman and Milosevic, you

    3 were assigned, as a member of this commission, to

    4 endeavour to reach agreement with the Serbs on a

    5 division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that your

    6 concern at the time was the fate of the Muslims.

    7 A. Yes. As soon as I saw what was happening,

    8 from kind of historical curiosity, I accepted to take

    9 part in the talks. But as soon as I saw the stands

    10 which do not recognise the achievements of the people's

    11 liberation war and the national revolution, I refused

    12 to participate further. That is all.

    13 Q. Of course. You did go so far, though, as to

    14 give your views on the fact that the Muslims would be

    15 the victims of any such division, but those views

    16 weren't accepted, were they, by the political

    17 leadership of Croatia?

    18 A. Actually, when I was resigning, I said that I

    19 could not take part in this undertaking, and I cannot

    20 say what happened afterwards because contacts probably

    21 continued. But through other people, probably more

    22 direct, probably through diplomatic channels or

    23 directly -- I'm really not familiar with that.

    24 Q. Now, I accept fully, having heard you give

    25 your testimony, that you could have participated in

  38. 1 this exercise of the commission without fully

    2 appreciating the consequences, and then, very

    3 honourably, you resigned from it when you did. But the

    4 reality is that it was a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    5 between Serbia and Croatia, wasn't it? That was the

    6 plan?

    7 A. Well, bear in mind that this was about three

    8 or four months before the war, and in my own mind, I

    9 thought that this was a game of delay tactics because,

    10 in my mind, this was so irrational that intimately I

    11 could not believe it, that this was their true

    12 intention.

    13 First of all, I think they wanted to gain

    14 time and delay the conflict between Croatia and the JNA

    15 in Serbia and, in a way, some kind of political

    16 cunning. I repeat, this was irrational for me, so

    17 that's why I gave up on the whole thing. What happened

    18 afterwards, what kind of ideas were presented, how this

    19 process evolved further, that I don't know.

    20 Q. Professor, perhaps unwittingly but very sadly

    21 the international community itself further contributed

    22 to the problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't it,

    23 because the Vance-Owen Plan, the Vance-Owen Peace Plan,

    24 was something which more or less accorded with what was

    25 hoped and intended as a consequence of the

  39. 1 Karadjordjevo meeting in 1991; do you agree with me?

    2 A. I would say that the international community

    3 either unwittingly or quite consciously gave rise to

    4 the conflict, but let me tell you how.

    5 The basic premise of President Bush and of

    6 the European Community was the following: We are in

    7 favour of the unity of Yugoslavia but with the right to

    8 self-determination. That was it, more or less.

    9 Those forces, that is to say, Milosevic and

    10 the JNA that were in favour of keeping Yugoslavia, only

    11 came to accept the first part of the sentence: We are

    12 in favour of maintaining the unity of Yugoslavia. Full

    13 stop. But that is not a full stop. There was a

    14 comma. But we are also in favour of the right to

    15 self-determination. Those forces that wanted to get

    16 out of Yugoslavia, they simply deleted the first part

    17 of the sentence, "We are in favour of unity,"

    18 et cetera, and they only took the other part of the

    19 phrase, "We are in favour of the right to

    20 self-determination."

    21 So with this kind of -- how should I put

    22 this? -- this possibility of double interpretation,

    23 every side sought some kind of support for their

    24 plans. For example, the prime minister of the federal

    25 government precisely counted on that kind of attitude

  40. 1 of the international community, but then others were

    2 counting on the right to self-determination, which is

    3 legal and legitimate, according to international

    4 standards.

    5 You see, as far as the Vance-Owen Plan is

    6 concerned, it is still not clear to me whether the

    7 international community and the European Union, Vance

    8 and Owen, did they really support the division of

    9 Bosnia? It is hard to believe, in my opinion, because,

    10 to my mind, this is not humane, this is not wise, and

    11 it would be hard for me to believe that these people

    12 lightheartedly accepted this. It's possible, but I

    13 really don't know.

    14 Q. I have here, Professor, a quote from a

    15 television programme which you appeared on, and I have

    16 the video, so if you would like to see it, please ask

    17 me and I'll show it to you. But you are --

    18 A. It's not necessary.

    19 Q. You are seen on the programme. When speaking

    20 of the Vance-Owen Plan, you said this, and I'll read it

    21 out and just ask whether you agree that that's what you

    22 said.

    23 When asked about the Vance-Owen Peace Plan,

    24 you said: "After they signed the Vance-Owen Peace

    25 Plan, the Croats from Herzegovina thought that the

  41. 1 division was done." I think you're speaking of them.

    2 "We have been given our mini-state of Herceg-Bosna.

    3 We can do whatever we want there. We can rename the

    4 streets, we can rename the University of Mostar, and

    5 Mostar can, at last, be our capital. They thought the

    6 battle was over, but they were wrong."

    7 I don't ask you whether you agree with them

    8 because we know you have made it very clear that you

    9 don't agree with the fact that that may be the case.

    10 But do you agree with me that's what you said? And is

    11 that your belief, that the Vance-Owen Plan did give

    12 those people, those Croat people in Herceg-Bosna, that

    13 belief?

    14 A. The context is exactly what you mentioned,

    15 that is criticism of a certain kind of behaviour. But

    16 I always thought that this would never actually

    17 happen. This is criticism. This is a warning: Don't

    18 go that way. That was the intention of that

    19 interview. That was the context. A critical attitude

    20 towards the policy of the international community and a

    21 critical attitude towards the behaviour of the people

    22 in Herceg-Bosna. Warning.

    23 Q. Sadly, Professor, all that you said came to

    24 be true.

    25 A. (Nods)

  42. 1 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,

    2 Your Honour.

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, do you have

    4 any questions?

    5 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, just one

    6 question in order to clarify the time framework of the

    7 events that have just been discussed.

    8 Re-examined by Mr. Mikulicic

    9 Q. Professor, when speaking of the meeting in

    10 Karadjordjevo, could you please tell us what the time

    11 context is in terms of the events in Bosnia that

    12 happened. Was it before the war or before the

    13 republics of the former Yugoslavia attained their

    14 independence, so could you please give us the time

    15 reference?

    16 A. This was the time of negotiations between the

    17 heads of republics. I don't know how many meetings

    18 they had, at least six but possibly even ten public

    19 meetings as they were moving the venue of these

    20 meetings from Titograd, namely Podgorica in Montenegro

    21 and then Bled in Slovenia and then they went to Ohrid,

    22 Macedonia, so they were going all over the place in

    23 order to find compromises to how they could resolve the

    24 Yugoslav crisis.

    25 As far as the recognition of states is

  43. 1 concerned, this was nine or ten months before the

    2 recognition of these states, so this was a period of

    3 time when an effort was being made to avoid conflict

    4 and war and to save peace.

    5 Q. In your opinion, did this meeting, which was

    6 one of a series of meetings, while the former

    7 Yugoslavia was still formally in existence, can we

    8 interpret this as one of the many attempts to try to

    9 resolve this by an accommodation of views?

    10 A. That interpretation can be accepted but, to

    11 the best of my knowledge, exactly what they agreed upon

    12 never came out into broad daylight, so we don't really

    13 know. I literally have no information about that.

    14 Q. But will you agree with the claim that, in

    15 terms of time, this was nine or ten months before the

    16 former republics of Yugoslavia attained their

    17 sovereignty?

    18 A. Exactly. Yes, yes, nine months prior to

    19 that.

    20 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, no further

    21 questions from the Defence.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Professor Bilandzic, the

    23 Chamber doesn't have any further questions to put to

    24 you. The Criminal Tribunal wishes to thank you for

    25 having come here and for having brought your

  44. 1 information to us, and we wish you a safe return to

    2 your country. Thank you very much.

    3 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I must admit that

    4 I am impressed by the professional and human atmosphere

    5 before this Honourable Court, and I must say that I

    6 have excellent impressions of the moments that I spent

    7 with you. Thank you very much.

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. The

    9 Chamber always tries to create a human and cooperative

    10 atmosphere because I think that this is the right path

    11 for seeing that justice is done.

    12 Mr. Niemann?

    13 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, might I be

    14 excused? I have the other Chamber to go to.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you have the

    16 floor.

    17 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour. In

    18 this situation, now that we have finished the statement

    19 of the expert witness, Professor Bilandzic, earlier,

    20 before we thought it would, before the Defence thought,

    21 I must say at this point in time we don't have further

    22 witnesses for the Defence. When the Defence was

    23 planning this, we were supposed to have three days for

    24 this part of the trial, and we thought that Professor

    25 Bilandzic would need about three days. However, we

  45. 1 worked more expeditiously than the Defence could have

    2 imagined. So for this week, we don't have any further

    3 witnesses.

    4 When we meet next time, we are going to have

    5 more witnesses of fact.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, the Chamber

    7 wishes to thank you for having made all these efforts

    8 and for having done your best to make our work

    9 efficient and well-coordinated. It is clear to us that

    10 it is difficult to calculate precisely how much time

    11 one needs.

    12 We are going to adjourn now until the 15th of

    13 June.

    14 I wish you a good weekend and wish success in

    15 their work to all those who are present. Thank you.

    16 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    17 11.36 a.m. to be reconvened on

    18 15 June 1998