1 Monday, 16th March 1998
3 (The accused entered court)
4 JUDGE JORDA: I first wish to apologise on
5 behalf of my colleagues and myself for this delay, but
6 it was due to other official engagements affecting the
7 Tribunal, which is an international body, and obviously
8 has certain obligations which require the presence of
9 the judges. I wish to welcome the accused -- do you
10 hear me, General Blaskic.
11 GENERAL BLASKIC: Good afternoon, your
12 Honours, I can hear you very well indeed.
13 JUDGE JORDA: If General Blaskic can hear me
14 there is every chance parties can hear me as well. We
15 can proceed to the continuation of our hearing.
16 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, your Honours and
17 counsel. We would request, Mr. President, to proceed in
18 a closed session.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. As I do not know
20 exactly why you are asking for a closed session,
21 I assume it is in order to explain to us why you are
22 asking for a closed session?
23 MR. HARMON: That is correct.
24 JUDGE JORDA: I say that for the benefit of
25 the public and the observers. I do not wish them to
1 have the impression that immediately the Prosecutor
2 asks for a closed session that we adopt a closed
3 session, but I now understand the reasons. I turn to
4 my colleagues, I have their approval. Under those
5 conditions, we can pass on to a closed session now. A
6 private session or a closed session?
7 MR. HARMON: A private session is sufficient
8 for the purposes of my request.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, private session,
10 Mr. Registrar.
11 (In private session) [Confidentiality lifted by order of Chamber]
12 Very well, Mr. Prosecutor, we are in private
13 session now. I assume that you have something to
14 explain to us which requires a private session. You
15 have the floor.
16 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President. Some
17 time ago, as a result of events which the court is
18 already familiar with, I was informed by the next
19 Prosecution witness that he wished to proceed in
20 testifying in a closed session. The Prosecutor's
21 Office fully supports his request for the reasons which
22 I will explain and for the reasons which, if the court
23 is desirous, he will explain.
24 In our communications with the Defence to
25 notify them of which witness we were going to call
1 today, I identified the witness to the Defence and
2 I also informed the Defence that we would be requesting
3 a closed session. On Thursday, the 12th, I received a
4 communication back from Mr. Hayman informing me that
5 they would oppose that request absent knowing fully the
6 bases for making that request and I subsequently filed
7 a copy of Mr. Hayman's letter to me as attachment A by
8 consent with counsel.
9 The following day, I met with Mr. Hayman and
10 we discussed some of the bases for the request for a
11 closed session, and I was informed that counsel would
12 discuss the matter amongst themselves upon the return
13 of Mr. Nobilo from Zagreb and I would be informed of
14 their decision. I was informed moments ago that the
15 Defence is not able to agree to a closed session for
16 the witness, and, therefore, I am pursuing my
17 application which I filed on Friday for protective
18 measures for this witness, specifically for a request
19 to proceed with the witness's testimony in a closed
20 session pursuant to Rule 75(B)(ii) and pursuant to
21 79(A)(ii) and A(iii). So now, Mr. President, if the
22 court pleases, I am prepared to expand on the bases for
23 this request, if the court wishes me to do so.
24 MR. HARMON: Following the receipt of the
25 statement that was taken by the Office of the
1 Prosecutor and submitted to the Defence in early May,
2 the complete statement of the witness was distributed
3 through President Tudjman's office and by President
4 Tudjman at the presidential palace on or about 6 May
5 1997. What followed, after the distribution of the
6 statement of Mr. Mesic was the public pillorying of
7 Mr. Mesic in the media.
8 The media campaign was orchestrated at the
9 highest levels of the State of Croatia. Mr. Mesic was
10 branded an traitor and the media incited the public
11 against the witness.
12 Following that incitement, and I have
13 submitted some examples of that with the court and
14 previous filings, Mr. Mesic received a constant stream
15 of threatening phone calls. Both he and his family
16 received phone calls which threatened his life,
17 threatened the lives of his family members.
18 Following the unfortunate publication in the
19 press of his statement, Mr. Mesic was required --
20 obligated -- to defend himself in the media and he made
21 numerous appearances in the media trying to blunt the
22 orchestrated attack that was being mounted against
23 him. It was certainly quite a natural reaction from
24 someone who had been attacked in the press, but it was
25 one that was forced upon him unfortunately, by
1 President Tudjman and the serious violation of Tribunal
3 The fact that he responded to these virulent
4 attacks is not in any way a waiver or intended to be a
5 waiver for his request to testify before this Tribunal
6 and to testify in a session that afforded him
7 protection; that is, a closed session.
8 As part of the State campaign that has been
9 mounted against him, the witness believes now that he
10 is under constant surveillance and he is being
11 followed. Subsequently he received threats from
12 individuals who were responsible -- personal and direct
13 threats -- from individuals who were responsible for
14 the killing of civilians in Pakras Polanje and the
15 killings of a prominent family in Zagreb.
16 These threats were made by persons who were
17 admitted murderers and whose convictions were
18 overturned by the Croatian Supreme Court for a
19 violation relating to non-representation by counsel at
20 the time they made their statements to the authorities.
21 Subsequently, Mr. President, an oblique threat
22 was made against the witness in a most recent past,
23 within the last three weeks, by President Tudjman.
24 Mr. Mesic believes the testimony he is prepared to
25 present to your Honours is valuable testimony, and that
1 the efforts that I have summarised have been
2 orchestrated by persons in the highest positions of
3 power in Croatia in order to prevent him from
4 testifying before you.
5 He believes, Mr. President, and the Prosecutor
6 supports him in this belief, that he and his family are
7 at considerable personal risk if his testimony is made
8 public -- and if his request to proceed in a closed
9 session is denied. Mr. President, and your Honours,
10 Mr. Mesic is prepared to testify about the matters that
11 I have summarised briefly, if the court so desires.
12 That concludes my comments, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Hayman,
14 Mr. Nobilo, you are opposed to a closed session.
15 Who is Mr. Mesic actually, Mr. Harmon?
16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, Mr. Mesic is a well
17 known political figure in the former Yugoslavia. He
18 was the last President of the presidency in the former
19 Yugoslavia before Yugoslavia essentially disintegrated
20 or fell apart. Mr. Mesic was a founder -- not a founder
21 but he was instrumental in HDZ political affairs. He
22 was a person who was instrumental in the founding of
23 the HDZ political party in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has
24 occupied the position of Prime Minister in the Republic
25 of Croatia. He has a variety of high-level Government
1 official positions in Croatia. He is and was an
2 intimate of Franjo Tudjman and he is currently the head
3 -- separated from the HDZ and has formed a separate
4 political party in Opposition to the HDZ in Croatia.
5 I can give greater detail but I think I have
6 hit a significant number of highlights of his
7 distinguished career.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, you are opposed on
9 behalf of General Blaskic to testimony in closed
10 session. What are your reasons, please?
11 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Have you tried to reach an
13 agreement -- have you had discussions over this point?
14 MR. NOBILO: No, we had a very short
15 conversation so that we did not touch upon the
16 substance of the issue. But I will be brief. As you
17 know, the Defence has never, so far, opposed any kind
18 of protection measures, because we are aware that
19 people and particularly those in Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 may, at times, be exposed to certain security risks and
21 out of the respect for the integrity of each witness,
22 we never opposed such measures.
23 But the reason why we are disputing it this
24 time is our fear that politicians may draw the Tribunal
25 into some kind of political manipulations so that the
1 Tribunal may become an instrument in the political
2 disputes between political parties in Croatia.
3 Therefore, we are concerned in protecting the integrity
4 of this Tribunal, namely, everything that Mr. Mesic said
5 in his statement for the Prosecutor has -- he has
6 repeated in numerous interviews. I have collected
7 maybe 200 of those interviews. Not a single point that
8 he made in the statement for the Office of the
9 Prosecutor exists which has not been repeated on
10 innumerable occasions.
11 After the publication of his statement, which
12 the Prosecutor places in a rather embarrassing context,
13 because the Prosecutor said that he provided that
14 statement to the Defence after which it was published,
15 but it is also worth noting that it was not a
16 confidential statement -- after the publication of that
17 statement, Mr. Mesic has made at least twice or three
18 times as many interviews, which he used in his
19 political struggle.
20 Furthermore, before going to The Hague,
21 Mr. Mesic promised to give an interview to the
22 journalist about his testimony in The Hague and he said
23 that, after his return from The Hague, at the end of
24 this week, he would grant an interview to a well known
25 Croatian weekly. Therefore, in my view, this is a kind
1 of a political ploy. I think that Croatia, as a legal
2 State, is stable enough to protect all its citizens'
3 security and safety, and he is a public figure, a
4 politician, he is accustomed to debates and discussions
5 and I assure you he is very skilful in that respect and
6 he cannot be intimidated through political debate.
7 As for specific threats made by persons who
8 committed murders in Pakras Polanje against whom
9 proceedings have been dropped, even that is not
10 correct, because those persons are in Croatian
11 detention and criminal proceedings are under way
12 against those persons, so I cannot see how they could
13 have threatened Mr. Mesic.
14 Also the allegation that Tudjman threatened
15 Mr. Mesic has not been explained in any way, so that we
16 cannot comment on it.
17 To sum up, I feel that the security of
18 Mr. Mesic is not in jeopardy, that all the allegations
19 referred to by the Prosecutor regarding statements made
20 by Mr. Mesic are such that he has made them repeatedly
21 to the press and this only makes the work of the
22 Defence more difficult, because the question is how
23 could we use the information Mr. Mesic will give to
24 verify that information, which we have to do -- to
25 verify the statements through people he has worked with
1 in the Croatian leadership. If the hearing is closed,
2 the question is how we can use that information and
3 that data.
4 Furthermore, there is no record of Mr. Mesic
5 requesting any police protection because of any threats
6 made to him. He is a very well known figure and
7 I cannot imagine that his personal safety could have
8 been threatened.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you have
10 something to add before the judges make their ruling?
11 MR. HARMON: I do, Mr. President. In the
12 motion that I filed on Friday, on page 4, footnote
13 number 2, I informed the Chamber that Mr. Mesic intends
14 to testify publicly in the Dokmanovic case -- this week
15 -- and obviously the interests in the Dokmanovic case
16 are different than the interests in the testimony that
17 the court may receive and will receive in this
18 particular case. I have conferred with Mr. Mesic,
19 I have asked Mr. Mesic if in fact he has made statements
20 about his willingness to talk to his press after his
21 arrival in The Hague and he said that he has and it
22 relates to his public testimony in the Dokmanovic
23 case. So, I think that we should put those statements
24 of Mr. Mesic's willingness to talk to the press in
25 context with his anticipated public testimony that will
1 occur later this week in a different case.
2 Those are my comments, Mr. President.
3 MR. HAYMAN: May I add two comments,
4 Mr. President?
5 JUDGE JORDA: It is not customary,
6 Mr. Hayman, but, go ahead.
7 MR. HAYMAN: The first would be it would be
8 helpful if we could be served with the application that
9 was filed on Friday. We have never received it. It
10 would help us speak more directly perhaps to the
11 Prosecutor's assertions, including the assertion made
12 in footnote 4 which we were not aware of in even the
13 most general sense, until Mr. Nobilo started to get
14 phone calls from members of the news media in Zagreb
15 asking him about Mr. Mesic's upcoming testimony, which
16 he declined to comment on in any way, shape or
17 fashion. The fact that Mr. Mesic has an appointment
18 with the news media to talk about his testimony in this
19 other case raises a rather obvious question, and that
20 is, he is going to be asked, "Did you testify in the
21 Blaskic case?" Apparently, he is going to lie to the
22 Croatian news media and say, "No, I did not; I was here
23 to testify in a different case", and I query if the
24 Tribunal should be a party to that type of fraud and
1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I turn first
2 towards my colleagues -- no questions? We are going to
3 withdraw and discuss the point. The hearing is
6 (Short adjournment)
8 JUDGE JORDA: After having deliberated, the
9 judges have decided unanimously that Mr. Mesic's
10 testimony will be in closed session.
11 Mr. Registrar, we can move from a private
12 session into a closed session
13 (In closed session) [Confidentiality lifted by order of Chamber]
14 MR. HARMON: May I raise a second point that
15 was part of our discussions last Friday with
16 Mr. Hayman? If I can identify what the problem is and
17 the solution at the same time, I would like to do that
18 at this point in time.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, it is very pleasing
20 for this Tribunal to the hear one of the parties
21 raising -- not only raising a problem but also
22 providing a solution to it.
23 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, it came to my
24 attention when I was talking to the witness that
25 Mr. Mesic has in the past been represented by
1 Mr. Nobilo. He has been his counsel in other issues in
2 other litigation. That raised in my mind a potential
3 conflict of interest with the cross-examination by
4 Mr. Nobilo of Mr. Mesic, and, in order to avoid any
5 possible point should there be a conviction and on
6 appeal of a conflict of interest existing between
7 Mr. Nobilo cross-examining his former client, I identify
8 that problem to Mr. Hayman.
9 Mr. Hayman and I had a conversation briefly
10 before we came to court and I was informed that
11 Mr. Blaskic is prepared to waive any potential conflict
12 of interest, should Mr. Nobilo conduct the
14 MR. HAYMAN: That is correct, Mr. President,
15 we can put that waiver on the record, if necessary.
16 I would note, though, that months ago the Defence
17 advised the Prosecution and the court that Mr. Nobilo --
18 that Mr. Mesic had been a client of Mr. Nobilo's, so that
19 is in the record. That is not something that has been
20 concealed. In fact it was affirmatively disclosed.
21 JUDGE JORDA: First, thank you for this
22 clarification. First, we note, and the Registrar will
23 ensure that everything is put into the transcript,
24 stating that the General has given up his right to
25 invoke this issue later on. There may be reasons for
1 appeal, although that is not the main reason. I would
2 also like to express my concern whether it might be
3 more efficient if Mr. Hayman were to conduct the
4 cross-examination. Would that not be even better -- a
5 better guarantee, subject to you being given some time
6 if it was Mr. Nobilo who prepared it? What do you
7 think, Mr. Hayman?
8 MR. HAYMAN: We think the waiver is efficient
9 and in light of the waiver either one of us can conduct
10 the cross-examination. In reality there are many
11 documents in the Croatian language which Mr. Nobilo will
12 potentially be using so he has prepared the cross so
13 I expect him to conduct the cross-examination, with
14 leave of the court.
15 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to consult with
16 my colleagues at the bench.
18 Also unanimously, the judges have decided
19 that they would accept the suggestions both by the
20 Prosecution and the Defence and the accused.
21 Therefore, Mr. Nobilo will conduct the
22 cross-examination, since the accused has given -- has
23 waived his right to any challenge later on, on that
24 score. Do you have a third problem, Mr. Harmon, for
25 which of course you would also have a solution?
1 MR. HARMON: My only request in clarification,
2 Mr. President, is that General Blaskic actually state
3 affirmatively for the record that he is prepared to
4 waive the conflict of interest. Counsel has indicated
5 he is prepared to do so but we have not heard from
6 General Blaskic yet on that particular point.
7 JUDGE JORDA: I am very pleased to hear
8 General Blaskic -- sometimes I speak to him directly,
9 but perhaps I could ask him more specifically in this
10 case to rise and to say that you give up any right for
11 appeal, because of this possible conflict of interest
12 that might exist between Mr. Nobilo's position, who was
13 the former counsel of Mr. Mesic and the current position
14 of Mr. Nobilo which allows him to conduct the
15 cross-examination. Please state your case clearly and
16 out loud.
17 GENERAL BLASKIC: Your Honours, I feel rather
18 embarrassed to speak after your ruling on this issue.
19 I know that Mr. Stjepan Mesic was a client of my
20 attorney Mr. Nobilo and I waive any potential legal
21 objections regarding possible conflict of interest in
22 that connection.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, General Blaskic.
24 Mr. Harmon, are you completely satisfied and do you have
25 a fourth question?
1 MR. HARMON: No, I have no fourth question and
2 I am completely satisfied, thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, you might now ask
4 the Registrar to have the witness brought in, who will
5 be called by his name, because this is a closed
7 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, would you want me
8 to summarise before the witness steps into the
9 courtroom what his testimony will cover?
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, before he comes into the
11 courtroom, you should given us the general outline of
12 the testimony. Of course, subject to your using that
13 for something else later on. We want to be careful
14 that your summary brings out the things you are going
15 to emphasise later on. Go ahead.
16 MR. HARMON: As I touched upon briefly, the
17 next witness, Mr. Mesic, is an important political
18 figure in the history of the fall of Yugoslavia, the
19 disintegration of Yugoslavia and he has played an
20 important role in both Croatian politics and the
21 politics of the Socialist Federal Republic of
22 Yugoslavia. Rather than recount the various highlights
23 of his distinguished career now, I am going to ask him
24 to summarise those, so you will be familiar with who he
25 is when he comes before you.
1 He is going to testify about the development
2 of the HDZ political party, both the founding of it in
3 Croatia and the founding of it in Bosnia, and he will
4 discuss the relationship between the HDZ party in
5 Bosnia and the party in Croatia.
6 Because he was a confidante of Franjo
7 Tudjman, the current President of the Republic of
8 Croatia, he has had an opportunity to hear Mr. Tudjman's
9 views about Bosnia and about Bosnian Muslims. He will
10 convey to you what Dr Tudjman's views are in respect of
11 both those topics. He will testify about President
12 Tudjman's dual policy towards Bosnia, one which was a
13 public policy of recognition of the independence of
14 Bosnia, and a clandestine policy to divide Bosnia
15 between Croatia and Serbia.
16 He will testify in that regard about a
17 meeting that took place in 1991 between Slobodan
18 Milosevic and President Tudjman at Kar Zordzivo, after
19 which President Tudjman's clandestine policy to divide
20 Bosnia was implemented. He will also testify about
21 some of the meetings in Zagreb that occurred between
22 Franjo Tudjman and Mate Boban, Dario Kordic, Anto
23 Valenta, Ignac Kostroman, and other luminaries of
25 He will testify about the current laws in
1 Croatia, laws that existed at the time Bosnia was
2 independent, but laws which deal with elections and
3 which tend to undercut the independence of Bosnia.
4 He will testify about Croatian involvement in
5 the Croat Muslim war in Bosnia. He will describe to
6 your Honours the impact of the Vance-Owen peace plan on
7 the thinking of political leaders both in Croatia and
8 in Herceg-Bosna and, lastly, he will testify about
9 conversations he had in respect of Ahmici.
10 That, Mr. President, is a summary of his
11 testimony. His testimony will be relevant to
12 paragraphs 5.0 and 5.1 of the general allegations
13 section of the indictment which allege the existence of
14 an international armed conflict, and his testimony is
15 relevant to all grave breaches counts of the
16 indictment, those counts being 5, 8, 11, 15, 17, and
17 19. That concludes my introductory remarks,
18 Mr. President.
19 JUDGE JORDA: After the agreement with one
20 of my colleagues, but of course we work in three, so
21 I will speak to my colleague -- I want to consult with
22 him before I ask you a question on a certain point.
23 Did you speak with this witness about Rule
24 90(F), because this is a closed session; he
25 participated if I understood things correctly at the
1 highest levels of Mr. Tudjman's policies. I do not know
2 if he was involved in any kinds of acts. Did you speak
3 about this with him, because we are going to ask him
4 questions on that subject?
5 MR. HARMON: I did not raise this subpart of
6 Rule 90 with him, because I did not think it applied to
7 him based on the nature of the testimony he was
8 prepared to give.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. If you are sure,
10 okay, I thank you. We can have Mr. Mesic brought in.
11 (The witness entered court)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Mr. Mesic?
13 MR. MESIC: I do.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please remain
15 standing. First, tell us your name and -- your family
16 name and your given names?
17 MR. MESIC: Stjepan Mesic.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Stjepan Mesic, thank you. The
19 usher will give you a declaration, which is your oath.
20 Please read it.
21 MR. MESIC: I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You may be
25 seated. You will answer the Prosecution's questions,
1 who has called you to testify at the International
2 Criminal Tribunal in the trial against General Blaskic,
3 the accused, who is here in this courtroom. You will
4 make your statement freely, in sequences and the
5 Prosecutor will introduce the plan to use and to enter
6 the cohesiveness of what will be said for the judges.
7 STJEPAN MESIC
8 Examined by MR. HARMON
9 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. Mesic.
10 Mr. Mesic, I am going to ask you a series of questions
11 and I am going to identify the topic and the subject
12 area of those questions. I will then ask you to tell
13 the judges in a narrative form the answers that you
14 have in respect of each of those subject areas.
15 I would like first to begin by asking you to inform the
16 court, if you would, about your background, about your
17 distinguished political career, about the various
18 positions that you have held both in the Socialist
19 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in the Republic of
20 Yugoslavia when it was one of the Republics of the
21 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the
22 positions you have held in the Republic of Yugoslavia
23 since its independence?
24 A. Thank you. I was born 1934 in Orahovica in
25 Croatia. I completed my elementary school in
1 Orahovica, but this was during the war years, so
2 I spent part of my schooling in Hungary because we had
3 to retreat there as refugees because this was the very
4 end of the war.
5 I graduated from the middle school -- the
6 secondary school in Pozega and then law school in
7 Zagreb. I practised in Narsica and then in Zagreb.
8 I was then a judge for a year, and after that I worked
9 as legal counsel for a company in Zagreb, and then, by
10 accident almost, I was elected a member of Parliament
11 in Zagreb. This was in 1965. At that time, there was
12 only the League of Communists and the Socialist
13 Alliance that could field candidates who would then
14 become members of Parliament if they were elected.
15 There was another possibility, that is, that
16 100 citizens show up in court and petition for a
17 candidate, and in that manner, this candidate would be
18 on equal footing with the candidates fielded by the
19 Communists. I was the first person during the
20 Communist system who did this, and nobody did it after
21 me. I was the first one -- I brought 100 people
22 there. Then I was elected, and I was unique in that
24 I was a member of the Croatian Spring and,
25 after 1971, I was unemployed and I also received a
1 sentence of two years and two months. I spent that
2 sentence in Stara Gradiska. I could not become an
3 attorney, even though I did pass the bar exam, because
4 I was not politically and morally qualified, as it was
5 said in those days.
6 After a while, I was employed finally by an
7 architectural studio to do the legal affairs for them.
8 Its director later retired and then I became a
9 director. The committee of the League of Communists
10 tried to oppose my election. However, it was a small
11 company, so there was not much opposition and
12 I passed.
13 In 1989, I was again elected as a member of
14 Parliament to the same position, which I had held in
15 1965. I got a mandate to form the Croatian Government
16 and I had to step down as a member of Parliament.
17 After a while, the Parliament -- the Croatian
18 Parliament sent me to Belgrade to become a member of
19 the Presidency and this decision was adopted by the
20 Croatian Parliament. I was first the Vice-President
21 and then President of the Presidency of the Socialist
22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. There was a lot of
23 difficulties, because the Serb side was opposed to
24 my assuming the position of first Vice-President and
25 then President of the Presidency, even though it was a
1 constitutional provision.
2 After the pressure of the European Troika,
3 I was elected to this position and I was in this
4 position until the end of 1991, whereupon I returned to
5 Zagreb and I was a member of the executive board of the
6 Croatian Democratic Union, and I was in this position
7 until 1992, and in the elections of 1992 I was
8 re-elected to the Croatian Parliament and then I became
9 the President of the Croatian Parliament.
10 Among the political duties which I held
11 during the establishment of the Croatian Democratic
12 Union, I was elected Secretary-General of this party
13 and I was in this position and I was elected to
14 President of the Croatian Government.
15 And now, in a manner of speaking, I am
16 outside of the party institutions. I was a member --
17 there were three Croatian parties -- Croatian
18 independents -- and a third party fused and I became
19 their President, after having left the ruling party,
20 the HDZ.
21 Q. Let me ask you some clarifications on some of
22 the points you raised. In 1971, you mentioned the
23 Croatian Spring. Can you tell the judges, what was the
24 Croatian Spring?
25 A. The Croatian Spring was actually a movement
1 led by a section of the Communist party, or, rather,
2 the top leadership of the Croatian League of
3 Communists, that is the most progressive part, but it
4 consisted of several parts. One was the students'
5 movement, another was a trade union movement and the
6 third section was a cultural institution known as the
7 Matica Hrvatska, and all three comprised the Croatian
9 Q. You mentioned that you had been convicted of
10 something. Could you expand on that -- tell the judges
11 exactly what you were convicted of?
12 A. This would sound rather ridiculous nowadays,
13 the charges made against me. Nowadays it is certainly
14 not a criminal offence -- it is not even a
15 misdemeanour, but in those days it was a serious
16 charge, namely, with the formation of the Matica
17 Hrvatska, this cultural association, and its branches
18 in the municipalities, I visited a number of those
19 branch offices -- Slatina, Orahovica, Donje Mikoholjic,
20 Vukovar, and other places, and I said in one of those
21 places that the Croats had paved their way to the
22 Adriatic with their swords in their hands, whereas
23 others had reached that area, either due to our
24 goodness, and we also said that the important thing is
25 for the devil to warm on the fire and not to extinguish
2 The third thing I said was that it was
3 certain that the Croats had killed the Yugoslav
4 Ambassador, Rolovic, in Sweden, but that that was not
5 in the interests of the Croatian people, because we
6 were advocating democratisation in Croatia and
7 Yugoslavia and for the adoption of amendments which
8 would lead to a confederal structure and, therefore,
9 the murder, the assassination of the Yugoslavia
10 Ambassador was not in our interests. When I said that,
11 even though the Croats had been the murderers, but
12 I said that the investigation would establish who was
13 behind the act.
14 Of course, when this was interpreted in the
15 judiciary, they found that I had the Serbs in mind, and
16 that I was implying that the Belgrade police was behind
17 this, and this was sufficient to get me a sentence of
18 two years and two months in prison.
19 Q. Next, Mr. Mesic, you said in 1990 you became
20 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia within
21 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Can you
22 tell me who appointed you to that position?
23 A. I was appointed by the Croatian Parliament,
24 and I was proposed by the President of the Republic,
25 Dr. Franjo Tudjman.
1 Q. Now, I would like to turn your attention,
2 Mr. Mesic, to another topic, and that is the development
3 of the HDZ party in Croatia. Could you please tell the
4 judges about the development of that party in Croatia,
5 its evolution, both in terms from a movement to a
6 political party, and its political philosophy as well?
7 A. Thank you. With the elimination of the
8 Croatian Spring, that is the end of 1971, all
9 democratic processes in Croatia were halted. They were
10 halted throughout Yugoslavia. Persecution was
11 considerable, and more than 10,000 of us participants
12 in this "Spring" ended up in prison. But an even
13 larger number were left jobless, or were mistreated in
14 other ways. However, that is the way life is, so what
15 happened was that this pressure eased, so that
16 somewhere after 1985 or 1986 we started thinking more
17 about the possibilities of us -- the people of the
18 Opposition -- organising ourselves.
19 I must say that we met in various groups and
20 already in 1988 we started thinking about publishing a
21 journal -- a newspaper -- which would be outside the
22 control of the powers that be.
23 However, with the process of democratisation
24 in Croatia, and in Serbia Milosevic came to power, who
25 manifested aspirations towards expanding the borders of
1 Serbia by abolishing the autonomy of Kosovo and
2 Vojvodina. Amongst us, the process of party formation
3 was accelerated and the first such party was formed in
4 1989, the Croatian Social Liberal Party, and we, that
5 is, the circle of people, worked on the formation of
6 the Croatian Democratic Community -- using the term
7 "community" so as to avoid the use of the term "a
8 party", because, at that time, it was not allowed, so
9 that the potential danger existed of Parties being
10 abolished and in this way the Croatian Democratic
11 Community would be exempted from that and I think
12 I joined the HDZ a month or two after it was founded.
13 That is, a very large circle of people was involved in
14 the formation of the party, a founding assembly was
15 scheduled, several hundred people attended, but the
16 rumour spread that the police had outlawed the meeting
17 and Franjo Tudjman, together with 56 of his followers,
18 went to a football stadium and proclaimed the formation
19 of the party, the main board was elected and he was
20 elected President of that board , so I did not
21 participate in those very first elections, someone else
22 was elected at the time, Mr. Bobetko, and after that
23 I was elected to that post when I joined the Croatian
24 Democratic Community.
25 Q. Could you describe the political philosophy
1 of the HDZ at its inception and any changes in that
2 philosophy -- any evolution of that philosophy?
3 A. Since all of us Opposition people had opted
4 for democracy and the multi-party system even before
5 the elections, it was clear that the HDZ, in its
6 programme, supported such a multi-party system, and
7 democracy and all democratic processes.
8 At the time when parties were still being
9 formed, they collaborated amongst themselves, even
10 though they were competitors. However, the majority of
11 Parties were shaped or modelled on European political
12 Parties, whereas the HDZ increasingly acquired the
13 characteristics of a movement -- it did not rid itself
14 of this to this day and, even today, it is still a
15 movement. Precisely because the HDZ assumed a monopoly
16 over power, introducing centralisation of power and
17 resources, and precisely because that community did not
18 take the shape of a party, it became an obstacle to the
19 development of democracy, so that we had increasingly
20 the hallmarks of a single party system.
21 The HDZ had a monopoly over power, the other
22 Parties could in no way jeopardise the authority of the
23 HDZ, and most of the decisions, regardless of how
24 productive they may have been or not, they were always
25 adopted, even those which actually halted
1 democratisation in Croatia.
2 Even when the policy towards Bosnia --
3 Bosnia's turn came, that is the policy towards
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I departed from the policy of the
5 HDZ in those days and that is why in 1994, together
6 with 11 deputies of the Croatian Parliament,
7 I abandoned the HDZ and we formed a new party.
8 Q. Mr. Mesic, did the philosophy or the character
9 of the HDZ political party change as a result of
10 Slobodan Milosevic's pleas to nationalism --
11 nationalistic impulses of Serbs who lived in
13 A. I must say that there were various factors
14 that influenced the structuring of the HDZ and its
15 policies. One of the most important factors could be
16 said to have been the policies of Slobodan Milosevic,
17 who, with his ultra nationalistic policies in Serbia,
18 contributed to the radicalisation of policies in
19 Slovenia, in Croatia and in Macedonia and, therefore,
20 clearly in Bosnia-Herzegovina; namely, Slobodan
21 Milosevic, by his radical policies, destroyed or
22 abolished the autonomy of Kosovo, the autonomy of
23 Vojvodina; he toppled the leadership of Montenegro;
24 and, clearly, one could not expect a better fate for
25 Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Macedonia in the future
1 structuring of the State.
2 This strengthened all those forces which were
3 opposing this radical Serb policy, which looked for
4 like-minded people among the Serbs in Croatia.
5 Unfortunately, we did not manage to win over the Serbs
6 in Croatia to a sufficient degree to oppose these
7 policies of Milosevic's, so that he won considerable
8 influence among the Serbs in Croatia.
9 However, that policy also had an impact on
10 the formation of a rather powerful Croatian radical
11 structure within the HDZ, as well as in other Parties,
12 but certainly less so among the Opposition Parties.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, we might take a
14 short break now, say 15 minutes, and after that we will
15 try to work for about an hour, until about quarter
16 after 6.00.
18 (A short break)
20 (The accused entered court)
21 JUDGE JORDA: We will work until 6 o'clock.
22 Please continue.
23 MR. HARMON: When we took our break, you were
24 telling the judges about the effect that Milosevic's
25 appeals to Serb nationalism had on the HDZ political
1 party in Croatia. Could you please continue describing
2 that effect?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be
4 advised to put on the microphone, please?
5 A. It is well known that Milosevic came to power
6 in Serbia precisely on this emotional charge. There
7 was resistance in Kosovo that took place due to this
8 Serb policy and he broke this down both in Kosovo
9 and in Vojvodina and continued on in Montenegro and
10 there was a danger after these democratic changes that
11 the same situation would be repeated in Croatia,
12 especially since Milosevic -- not just Milosevic but
13 everybody who followed his policies -- remained
14 constant threats to all the other Republics.
15 Milosevic himself was not interested in any
16 kind of Yugoslavia, either federal or confederal. He
17 was only interested in Serbia and that was a Serbia
18 that would have wider borders. The biggest threat of
19 such a policy was for Croatia, because there was a
20 Serb population in Croatia, which was about
21 10 per cent of the total population.
22 Part of this population was in all Croatian
23 cities, so there, there was no great danger of any
24 radicalism. However, where there were larger
25 concentrations of Serbs, Milosevic's influence was also
1 greater and a party was created -- an exclusively
2 Serb Democratic party headed by Govan Raskovic,
3 which radicalised Serbs precisely based on the policies
4 of Slobodan Milosevic.
5 At first Serb demands were for cultural
6 autonomy. However, as this nationalist charge rose,
7 the demands also kept rising, so that there was a case
8 of closing roads in Croatia, which was called "the
9 Timber Revolution", and as a member of the Croatian
10 Government, I invited representatives of all Serb
11 communities to sit down together and to look for a
12 solution so that this would stop -- that this process
13 of radicalisation would stop and that we would open up
14 communication lines, roads, and railroads and that the
15 production would go on in the normal way.
16 The representatives of all Serb
17 communities with a Serb majority accepted this
18 except for Milan Babic, who, together with Jovan
19 Raskovic, was in direct contact with Belgrade, that is,
20 with Slobodan Milosevic and he, being in contact with
21 Belgrade, received instructions from Belgrade not to go
22 to such a meeting, and after that, we were turned down
23 by all these Serb municipalities -- majority
24 municipalities. They were told not to negotiate with
25 the Croatian Government and we were brought in a very
1 difficult situation, because the Croatian economy
2 pretty much ground to a halt.
3 There was a problem with health care system,
4 with the social system -- the entire State system, due
5 to this resistance of these radicals, Serb elements,
6 who were receiving instructions exclusively from
7 Belgrade and from Slobodan Milosevic.
8 Since this then became an obstacle for
9 Croatia, the Croatian nationalists also became
10 radicalised and all Serbs became guilty in the eyes of
11 all the Croats and vice versa, so there is a general
12 guilt going on both ways and it is not clear that
13 Slobodan Milosevic was the person who planned all this,
14 so this radicalisation was an obstacle for us to
15 continue with democratic processes. All these
16 processes were halted and this all then led to heating
17 up of the situation and eventually to the war.
18 Q. Did the increasing nationalism impact on the
19 HDZ party and the leader of the HDZ party?
20 A. Yes, of course. When we established HDZ,
21 I must say that the leadership, in any event, was more
22 democratically oriented. A large number of them were
23 anti-fascists. Starting from Franjo Tudjman, Josip
24 Boljkovac and Manolic -- they were all World War II
25 veterans, so there was no possibility at the time of
1 the establishment of the HDZ to do that. However,
2 later, the policies became more radical and the
3 elements grew stronger, who were looking for their
4 inspiration in the puppet Second World War Croatian
5 State -- puppet of fascist Italy and Germany. It was
6 clear that Croatia today could only be formed on the
7 traditions of anti-fascism. It was created in World
8 War II as a federal unit and this was later confirmed
9 in the constitution, but we still had a number of
10 obstacles coming from those who believed that they
11 could bring back some historical illusions. They did
12 not understand that history was one thing and the
13 present parliament was something completely different
14 and that in history only things that happened really
15 are -- are real. We cannot change that. We can only
16 reinterpret things.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Mesic, just for the record and so it
18 is perfectly clear, who was the head of the HDZ
19 political party in Croatia?
20 A. It is well known that Franjo Tudjman was
21 elected as the first President of the HDZ. When it was
22 established HDZ had several candidates for President,
23 but Franjo Tudjman won and after that, until now, he
24 has been the President of this party, which is really
25 not a party -- it is a movement. It is a movement
1 which has penetrated all State mechanisms. It controls
2 the media, it is a movement that controls all the
3 economic mechanisms -- everything is centralised. The
4 power is centralised in all its segments. So that this
5 kind of a set-up has really stopped the process of
6 democratisation. However, these processes are going on
7 and things will get better.
8 Q. Mr. Mesic, I would like to turn your attention
9 to another topic and that is the development of the HDZ
10 political party in Bosnia. First off, do you know
11 approximately when the HDZ political party was
12 established in Bosnia, and did you have a role in
13 establishing that party?
14 A. It is correct -- after the HDZ was
15 established in Croatia, a decision was adopted to go
16 into the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and for this
17 don Anto Bakovic and Perica Juric were put in charge of
18 this job. I think that this job was done fairly
19 quickly. The HDZ gained strength in Bosnia very
20 quickly, precisely because a large number of Muslims
21 also joined the HDZ there. The first President of the
22 HDZ was Perinovic -- he is a physician. After that,
23 there were certain personnel changes, but, also, the
24 changes within the structure of the HDZ itself -- of
25 the party -- so that people dropped out -- those people
1 who were not part of the Croatian population dropped
3 Q. Mr. Mesic, was the HDZ political party in
4 Croatia and the party in Bosnia related? Can you
5 describe that relationship to the judges?
6 A. In the formal sense, I must say, for truth's
7 sake, formally the HDZ in Croatia was separate from the
8 HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- that is formally, but, in
9 reality, all decisions are made in Zagreb and I think
10 that there is no doubt about it. I do not think that
11 -- there is no question of the HDZ in Bosnia being an
12 independent party in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- formally
13 yes, but not in reality.
14 Q. Would you take the judges through the
15 leadership of the HDZ political party in Bosnia,
16 starting with Dr. Perinovic and identify who he was,
17 what his ethnic background was, what his political
18 philosophy was and take us through the succession of
19 leaders in the HDZ political party in Bosnia, if you
20 would, please.
21 A. Before this first founding convention of the
22 HDZ in Bosnia, it was not clear who was going to be its
23 President. Don Anto Bakovic aspired to that position
24 -- he is a Croat from Bosnia. However, the decision
25 was made in Zagreb that Mr. Perinovic would be elected
1 to that post. However, later, it was found out that he
2 kept certain things from the public, that he had
3 Serb background, that his ancestor was a priest of
4 the Orthodox church, and it was not the fact that he
5 was a Serb, but that he did not reveal this fact -- it
6 was believed that he could then do that with things
7 that were of interest for Croatia and so a new person
8 was sought and Mr. Stjepan Kljujic was found, so he was
9 elected President of the HDZ in Bosnia.
10 I have to say that he was a tried and true
11 advocate of Bosnia-Herzegovina as one State, and this
12 put him on a collision course with those whose
13 interests was not the same. I was given the role of
14 replacing Mr. Kljujic at the meeting in Siroki Brijeg.
15 I was present there and I told Mr. Kljujic that I was
16 there, I was sent to relieve him of duty. However, in
17 discussions with the executive board of the HDZ of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I realised that he had the full
19 support of these people -- most of these people fully
20 supported him, because the process of separation or
21 division between the factions there had not yet taken
22 place, that is, the faction that would advocate a
23 separate Herceg-Bosna.
24 I told him that, "When I go back to Zagreb,
25 I will tell Mr. Franjo Tudjman that I could not relieve
1 you of duty and that I had to leave the status quo
2 there". However, Stjepan Kljujic said that, if Franjo
3 Tudjman reached a decision to relieve him of duty, "He
4 will do it one way or the other, so I am not going to
5 resist this. I am going to resign and I am going to
6 leave Siroki Brijeg and go to Sarajevo". I had no
7 option but to seek a replacement for him.
8 This was Miljenko Brkic, who was a university
9 professor, a highly educated person who also was an
10 advocate of a whole Herceg-Bosna. Today he is in
11 Sarajevo and he stayed on this duty for several months
12 and then a change took place, and he is replaced by
13 Mate Boban. I had no part in that any longer.
14 Q. Mr. Mesic, let me ask you some questions about
15 the parts of your testimony you have just concluded.
16 You said that you were given the role to relieve
17 Stjepan Kljujic as the head of the HDZ party in Bosnia;
18 who gave you that role?
19 A. The same person who took the decision that
20 Stjepan Kljujic should be elected President of the HDZ
21 for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is the President of
22 the HDZ for Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman.
23 Q. Why did he give you the role to relieve
24 Stjepan Kljujic as the head of the HDZ party in Bosnia?
25 A. There was an objection from
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, conveyed to Zagreb, to the effect
2 that Stjepan Kljujic did not sufficiently protect the
3 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that he did not protect
4 sufficiently the Croatian interests, that he did not
5 advocate them sufficiently vehemently, and that he was
6 a Croat actually under the control of Alija
7 Izetbegovic, and for this reason a person should be
8 sought who would be totally committed to the protection
9 of Croatian interests.
10 Q. And, in fact, Mr. Mesic, Stjepan Kljujic was
11 married to a Muslim woman; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, he still is.
13 Q. Good. Now, eventually, you said that Mate
14 Boban came to become the President of the HDZ political
15 party in Bosnia. Can you tell the judges what his
16 relationship was to Franjo Tudjman?
17 A. Before Boban, the acting President was
18 Miljenko Brkic, after whom came Mate Boban. I must say
19 that I was not too happy with this solution, though
20 I knew Boban for many years, ever since the 60s --
21 1967-68. He developed, or rather his political views
22 developed from those of a man who was interested in
23 democracy, to a man who started implementing policies
24 which were imposed by Zagreb, or, rather, by Franjo
25 Tudjman, and eventually he was totally committed to it
1 and he implemented it.
2 Whenever I spoke to him, he always said, and
3 claimed, "I have no policies of my own. I am
4 implementing what is expected of me from Zagreb -- what
5 the President of the HDZ asks, is asking me to do".
6 Unfortunately, that policy had its repercussions, but
7 of a negative nature.
8 Q. Did Mr. Boban tell you as well that he had to
9 consult with Mr. Tudjman in respect of any important
10 decision he took regarding Herceg-Bosna?
11 A. Yes, he said that, but even if he did not,
12 the Croatian television broadcast daily images of
13 people from the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina coming to
14 Croatia. This could be seen daily on television, in
15 the media, in the press. At first, these were visits
16 by a delegation of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after
17 which these visits became visits by delegations of the
18 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna and now that is
19 called a visit by a delegation of the Croatian people
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina calling on President Tudjman,
21 but, in fact, they were always the same people coming
22 to visit -- only the name has changed.
23 Q. Mr. Mesic, could you please describe to the
24 judges the political philosophy of the HDZ in Croatia
25 at its inception, and how it evolved, and what it
1 evolved to?
2 A. From the moment we accepted the new
3 possibilities for the achievement of democracy in
4 Croatia, until major divisions occurred, when we
5 embarked upon the democratisation process, we said that
6 affiliations with different Parties should not be
7 considered, meaning that we were enemies amongst
8 ourselves, simply because we belonged to different
9 Parties, that we simply held different views about
10 various problems and that is precisely why we belonged
11 to different Parties, because we had different
12 solutions to offer to those problems.
13 And, when the HDZ was formed, this attitude
14 was adopted. But, in time, as the movement did not --
15 was not transformed into a party, it was not structured
16 as a party, there was a great deal of slowing down of
17 democratisation which was eventually totally halted,
18 and even the transformation of socially-owned property
19 or social ownership was used to implement definite
20 policies of the HDZ.
21 Actually, for people who have not lived in
22 our part of the world, it is difficult to understand
23 what the term "social property" means and what its
24 transformation implies. In fact, it was used for a
25 robbery of the century such as probably not been seen
1 anywhere else, namely, in the east and all the
2 countries of transition, there was State property, only
3 marginally private property and there was cooperative
4 property. In the former Yugoslavia, we also had, in
5 addition, "Social property", for which there is no
6 affirmative definition. There is a negative definition
7 only. "Social property" is described as not being
8 cooperative or private or State property. The workers,
9 through their workers' councils, managed a factory and
10 an economic enterprise and the management board took
11 care of the technology of the business side, headed by
12 a manager, who was appointed by a certain mechanism,
13 but the influence of the League of Communists was such
14 that any enterprise of any significance -- the
15 management of that enterprise was decided by the party
17 In principle, this social property made it
18 possible for us to be closer to a market economy,
19 closer to democratic societies, because, after all,
20 these were economic entities that were relatively
21 independent in decision-making, but the actual
22 management of the enterprise was under the control of
23 the party, or, rather, the League of Communists.
24 In order to establish a society similar to
25 that in the free world, we had to identify the owner.
1 We had to establish who was in fact the owner, so that
2 we could be compatible with western societies. This
3 meant transforming this social property. In principle,
4 we should have followed the trace to the source of the
5 capital. In that case, the owners would be the former
6 owners of the segment which would be worked out
7 mathematically -- the owners whose property was
8 nationalised under Communism; then the banks to whom
9 loans were not returned, again, this could be
10 calculated; and, finally, the workers who used to work
11 in those enterprises would receive their shares through
12 their pension funds, because they contributed to the
13 capital of those enterprises, and then the present-day
14 employees turn would come. That should have been the
15 principle to be implemented.
16 However, the HDZ leadership combined this
17 transformation with privatisation, so that only
18 fraudulent sales occurred, when individuals without a
19 dollar in their pocket would purchase entire
20 enterprises -- people who had no idea how to manage
21 became managers, and what we had were people who
22 destroyed the Croatian economy so that, among
23 enterprises of significance, all that is left are
24 warehouses with the workers being unemployed.
25 The HDZ decided to grab capital while in
1 power, and then, tomorrow, to continue to rule through
2 ownership of capital. Of course, a key role was played
3 in all this by the HDZ policy towards the media, which
4 are absolutely, in the majority of cases, under the
5 control of the HDZ, especially the electronic media and
6 the TV.
7 In that sense, the HDZ, as a movement, became
8 an obstacle to the development of democracy, and, in
9 that sense, it changed its appearance from the
10 beginning, when it promised to struggle for democracy
11 together with other courses, to become an element
12 halting democratisation and imposing a new
13 totalitarianism itself.
14 Q. The HDZ political party in Bosnia, when it
15 was founded, did it favour a sovereign Bosnian State
16 and was it a party of inclusion; that is, it welcomed
17 Serbs and Croats and Muslims?
18 A. Yes, that is also evidence of this, because a
19 large number of Muslims participated, and became
20 members of the HDZ, so that, at the first elections,
21 there was a concrete result -- if there were about
22 17 per cent Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina and they won
23 24 per cent of the votes, this proves that a proportion
24 of the Muslims, the Bosniaks had voted for the HDZ. At
25 the time, when the HDZ for Bosnia-Herzegovina was
1 formed, both in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
2 there was a slogan to the effect that there can be no
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina without Croatia and no Croatia
4 without Bosnia-Herzegovina, but of course both were
5 treated as Bosnian States.
6 Q. The last question I have on this subject is,
7 did the HDZ party in Bosnia change its philosophy and
8 become a party which had aspirations that favoured
9 integration into Croatia, and excluded Muslims and
10 Serbs from participating in the party?
11 A. I must say, due to the considerable pressure
12 from the Milosevic regime, brought to bear on the Serbs
13 in Croatia and the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there
14 were few Serbs in the HDZ. There were some -- formally
15 they could become members, but neither did the Croats
16 accept them as members, nor did they themselves want to
17 join the HDZ, because they would have been accused by
18 the Serbs of being traitors, whereas cooperation with
19 the Bosniaks, the Muslims at first was excellent. We
20 even organised the training of policemen from
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a large number of those
22 policemen were actually Muslims.
23 However, as power in the HDZ was taken over
24 by those who were not genuinely interested in the
25 survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who kept speaking about
1 Croatian areas and never about Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
2 who finally imposed a policy -- not a policy of
3 co-existence but a policy of separate existence by
4 Serbs, Croats and Muslims, namely, a thesis came to the
5 fore that Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia could not
6 live together and that a separation had to occur.
7 There were many things that contributed to
8 this, one of them being that, within the circles who
9 were against the survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was
10 being said that Bosnia-Herzegovina was, how should
11 I put it, an entity which is unfeasible in the same way
12 that the former Yugoslavia was unfeasible and that is
13 why it collapsed, and so that Bosnia-Herzegovina was
14 also unfeasible, it was not a logical community, and,
15 for that reason, the parts had to separate.
16 However, this thesis is subject to serious
17 criticism, and one of those criticisms is that Bosnia
18 did not come into being when Yugoslavia came into
19 being; it was formed a long time ago by populations,
20 who had lived in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic
21 multi-religious environment, and the hatred did not
22 occur because they suddenly decided to separate and to
23 go their separate ways and form their own States. The
24 hatred was only the product of the war. It needs to be
25 overcome. It does indeed exist but it was encouraged
1 from the outside in the first place, by Milosevic's
2 policy of breaking up Bosnia-Herzegovina, because,
3 I must say, I do not know whether you are familiar with
4 this, but, according to the 1974 constitution, which
5 was passed by Tito, after suppressing the Croatian
6 Spring, but having endorsed the thesis from the
7 Croatian Spring that Yugoslavia could survive after
8 Tito but only as a confederal model and, according to
9 that constitution, the Republics were the sovereign
10 entities and they were entitled to become independent
11 if the federation could not survive.
12 Therefore, the Yugoslavia federation was
13 called a federation, but by the constitution of 1974 it
14 had evolved into a confederation and Milosevic was
15 actually doing tricks. He was tricking all the peoples
16 of the former Yugoslavia and then also the
17 international community and the European and
18 international organisations by claiming that it was the
19 right of the nations to independence, which would mean
20 that the parts of Croatia inhabited by Serbs could be
21 annexed to greater Serbia and especially so parts of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- all these could, in the future,
23 form this future greater Serbia.
24 Clearly, this was in contradiction with the
25 constitution and it was not feasible, because the right
1 to independence, according to the constitution, was
2 enjoyed by the Republics and this was something that
3 was eventually confirmed by the Badinter Commission and
4 it is on those grounds we have independent States,
5 Croatia within its borders, Macedonia within its
6 borders and Slovenia within its borders and a wounded
7 Bosnia within its borders.
8 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have concluded my
9 examination. If we are to conclude at 6, this would be
10 an appropriate time.
11 JUDGE JORDA: We will suspend the hearing
12 now, and start again tomorrow at 2.30.
14 (The hearing adjourned until Tuesday, 17th March 1998
15 at 2.30pm)