1 Tuesday, 8th September 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.11 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, have the accused
5 brought in, please.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to say good
8 morning to the interpreters and to make sure that they
9 understand what I am saying. They can hear me. Good
10 morning. Good morning, everybody.
11 Very well. Let me say good morning to the
12 Defence and to the Prosecution counsel and to the
13 accused, and I believe that we can now continue.
14 Mr. Hayman, the floor is yours. I think you
15 said you had about an hour; is that correct?
16 MR. HAYMAN: I expect about another hour, and
17 then we would commence with our first witness,
18 Mr. President.
19 JUDGE JORDA: All right. The time is yours,
20 of course; you do with it what you like. We will
21 squeeze a little harder with the witnesses, but for the
22 opening statement, the time is yours, and you can use
23 it as you like.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Hayman.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good
1 morning, Your Honours, and thank you for your
2 patience. I know my remarks are lengthy.
3 Before I begin, let me note that, as I said
4 yesterday, the relief model is made to scale, but the
5 height, such as the height of the mountains, has been
6 magnified by a factor of three, so it is actually 3-1
7 in terms of height, which was done for readability, but
8 if the mountains were actually made to scale, in other
9 words, they would only be one-third the height that
10 they are depicted on the model. I wanted to stress
11 that for clarity, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for the explanation.
13 Yes, we did really have impressions here that this was
14 more like the Alps than it would be Central Bosnia, but
15 thank you for your specifications. But this also
16 allows us, the Judges, not to have to come down to look
17 at the model. Thank you for your explanations. It
18 will be noted in the transcript.
19 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you.
20 When we broke yesterday, we had discussed the
21 16th and 17th of April, 1993, and those events, and now
22 I would like to turn to two other events that occurred
23 during the heavy and chaotic fighting from the 15th to
24 the 19th of April, 1993, in the Lasva Valley.
25 On the 18th of April, Vitez was rocked by a
1 huge explosion that occurred within Stari Vitez. The
2 Operative Zone headquarters, the Central Bosnia
3 Operative Zone, had no prior knowledge that an
4 explosion would occur. The explosion occurred behind
5 BH army lines and was --
6 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Mr. Hayman. I'm
7 trying to follow your organisation. You are using a
8 written document. I'm trying to follow what you are
9 saying, but you are still talking about the fighting at
10 this point; is that correct? I noted it down.
11 MR. HAYMAN: The subject, Mr. President, is
12 the war in Vitez and the Lasva Valley the latter half
13 of April, is where I am now, in terms of the
14 chronology. I have discussed the fighting that began
15 between the 16th and 20th, actually, in the different
16 villages around Vitez, culminating with the fight in
17 Gacice on the 20th, but now I am going back to discuss
18 two other events that occurred during this time period,
19 the truck bomb on the 18th of April and then I will
20 turn to the shelling of Zenica in the marketplace on
21 the 19th, the following day.
22 On the 18th, Vitez was rocked by this
23 explosion. The explosion was caused by a truck bomb
24 planned and instigated by Darko Kraljevic, commander of
25 the Vitezovi unit. It was organised without the
1 knowledge of Tihomir Blaskic. When he heard the
2 explosion, he was surprised, and he directed the
3 headquarters staff to find out what had occurred. The
4 reports he was given will be presented to Your
5 Honours. There was no conclusive information provided
6 to him concerning this bomb.
7 The following day, on the 19th of April,
8 several artillery shells hit the marketplace in Central
9 Zenica, killing and wounding a large number of
10 civilians. Without artillery radar at the time, it is
11 not possible to identify with precision the origin of
12 those shells. The evidence will show that from April
13 until into June 1993, Zenica was regularly shelled by
14 the Bosnian Serbs from the Vlassic feature and/or from
15 other locations north of Travnik.
16 Tihomir Blaskic did not order the shelling of
17 Zenica on the 19th of April or at any other time. On
18 the 19th of April, he had no reason to believe that
19 Zenica would be shelled by the HVO or by anyone else.
20 After the word of the shelling spread to
21 BRITBAT, Colonel Stewart visited Tihomir Blaskic and
22 told him that Zenica had been shelled by 155-millimetre
23 artillery. The HVO did not have a 155-millimetre
24 artillery piece in Central Bosnia. Tihomir Blaskic
25 asked Colonel Stewart to investigate with him and to
1 visit HVO artillery sites and to go to Zenica so that
2 the HVO investigators could visit the scene of the
3 shell impacts. Colonel Stewart declined the request on
4 the ground that Zenica was too dangerous for HVO
5 personnel to visit.
6 As I have discussed, in mid-April, Tihomir
7 Blaskic issued numerous directives to HVO units not to
8 target civilians but, rather, to protect them in times
9 of war activity. Although after mid-April the Serbs
10 regularly shelled Zenica, there is no allegation in the
11 indictment that the HVO did so.
12 Tihomir Blaskic is also charged with
13 responsibility for the unlawful detention of Bosnian
14 Muslim civilians and the inhumane treatment of such
16 The evidence will show that on the morning of
17 the 16th of April, he did not order the detention of
18 any civilians. Rather, when a general conflict on the
19 territory of the Vitez municipality occurred, large
20 numbers of civilians were detained by local units.
21 They appear to have been motivated in part by fears of
22 attacks from the Muslim population, by fears concerning
23 the fate of some 20.000 Croats in Zenica at the time,
24 and their continued detention may have been motivated
25 by the prospect of private exchanges organised for a
2 The fear and panic that caused civilians to
3 be detained was mirrored in Zenica where, on the same
4 day, large numbers of Croat civilians were being
6 What did Tihomir Blaskic do with respect to
7 this activity?
8 He tried repeatedly to prevent the detaining
9 of civilians and to protect those that had been
11 On the 18th of April, he ordered all HVO
12 units to exchange detained soldiers and civilians at
14 On the 21st of April, he ordered all units to
15 protect civilians caught up in combat and to provide
16 humane treatment to all detained civilians.
17 Again, after further combat activity in the
18 summer, on the 17th of June, he ordered, reminded all
19 HVO units to prevent the arrest of civilians during
20 combat activities or the taking of hostages.
21 In the chaotic atmosphere that prevailed in
22 Central Bosnia, the most effective way to get detained
23 civilians released was to organise rapid exchanges.
24 This was principally a civilian matter, and by the
25 agreement of all concerned, Commissions for Exchange
1 were set up in Vitez and Zenica, headed by civil
2 authorities. At the same time, Tihomir Blaskic did
3 order all HVO personnel to fully cooperate with the
4 International Red Cross and others to facilitate such
6 But when his orders to release all detainees
7 clashed with the preferences of local civil
8 authorities, the civil authorities did as they pleased,
9 and the evidence will so demonstrate.
10 We will also introduce evidence in our case
11 concerning his efforts to calm rather than to inflame
12 the situation with respect to the plight of Croats in
13 Zenica during the April 1993 conflict. For example,
14 when large numbers of displaced Croats wished to return
15 to Zenica after the worst of the conflict there had
16 subsided, he supported their decision and assisted them
17 in returning to their homes in the Zenica municipality.
18 The evidence will also show that at the
19 height of the conflict in mid-April, his concerns about
20 the safety of Croats in Zenica were genuine and were
21 fully justified.
22 From the 16th of April on in Zenica, Bosnian
23 Croats were victimised in large numbers. They were
24 murdered, beaten, detained, their houses were looted,
25 and hundreds of their homes were burned.
1 Due to this atmosphere, and for other reasons
2 I will discuss in a few minutes, approximately 9.000
3 Croats fled the Zenica municipality between April and
4 the end of 1993. Those who stayed continued,
5 unfortunately, to be harassed, and many of the men,
6 Bosnian Croat males, who stayed in Zenica, were
7 forcibly conscripted and sent to the very first
8 positions on the frontline with the Bosnian Serbs.
9 Their treatment is reflected by the fact that
10 after the Washington Agreement in 1994, another 5.000
11 Bosnian Croats chose to leave the Zenica municipality.
12 Now I would like to return to the Kiseljak
13 municipality where there is one unlawful attack on
14 civilians charged relating to Rotilj in April of 1993,
15 that is, during that time period.
16 The evidence will show there was no order
17 from the Operative Zone headquarters to attack Rotilj.
18 What did happen in Rotilj on the 18th of
20 Local HVO soldiers did go to Rotilj on that
21 day. They went to the village and told the BH army
22 commander - there was a BH army or Territorial Defence
23 unit in Rotilj - and told him that they had been
24 directed to disarm the TO unit in the village. They
25 asked for his cooperation. They sat down on the front
1 porch of a home in the village and had coffee and
2 discussed the problem. But the BH commander would not
3 agree. He was not in a position, for whatever reason,
4 to agree to disarm and, predictably, a conflict
6 While searching homes in the village for
7 weapons, one HVO soldier was apparently shot and killed
8 by refugees, Muslim refugees who were housed in the
9 village at that time. Repeating a pattern I have
10 alluded to earlier, some of the soldiers at the scene
11 took immediate revenge, killing several of the
12 civilians, Muslim civilians, and burning six or eight
13 homes, however many it was. This was not activity
14 directed or condoned by the Operative Zone
15 headquarters, nor was it reported to it. In fact, it
16 was contrary to all orders issued by the Operative Zone
17 headquarters and Tihomir Blaskic.
18 We will also prove, Your Honours, that Rotilj
19 was not a prison camp.
20 After the incident I described, the local HVO
21 commander made a decision to erect a checkpoint on the
22 main road to Rotilj and gave instructions that no one
23 was to pass into Rotilj without his permission. He did
24 this for the protection of the residents. There were
25 many roads and paths leading out of Rotilj, some of
1 which led directly to BH army territory near Fojnica.
2 The residents were free to leave, but Croat
3 refugees and some criminals who wanted to take revenge
4 on the Muslim residents of Rotilj were kept out by this
5 checkpoint. The same food and aid was delivered to
6 Rotilj as was provided to Croats in need in the
7 Kiseljak municipality. In fact, no distinctions based
8 on national groups were made in the distribution of
10 In the summer and fall of 1993, there was
11 good reason to take steps to protect Muslim residents
12 in the Kiseljak municipality. That municipality became
13 increasingly lawless as the security situation
14 deteriorated. When Travnik fell, that is, when Travnik
15 was taken over by the BH army in June 1993, large
16 numbers of displaced HVO soldiers came to Kiseljak from
17 Travnik through Serb territory.
18 On the 3rd of July, '93, two days after
19 General Morillon declared Fojnica an oasis of peace,
20 the BH army attacked the HVO in the town and drove them
21 out. Of the 7.000 Croat residents of Fojnica, all but
22 150 fled, and they fled to Kiseljak. Their homes were
23 looted and, over time, burned by angry persons, angry
24 refugees, perhaps angry BH army soldiers in a pattern,
25 this Court will see, that was repeated in other
2 These throngs of displaced persons and
3 soldiers arriving in Kiseljak were joined by others
4 later in 1993 when the BH army overran, first, Kakanj
5 and then Vares. Literally, tens of thousands of
6 refugees and displaced soldiers arrived in Kiseljak.
7 Security was so poor in Kiseljak that even in 1994,
8 after the Washington Agreement, EC monitors visiting
9 the municipality were afraid to get out of their cars.
10 There were incidents in Kiseljak during this
11 period directed against both Muslim residents and
12 Muslim places of worship. The evidence will show that
13 Tihomir Blaskic could not, despite diligent efforts,
14 exercise effective control over HVO in the Kiseljak
16 As I have said, the Vitez-Busovaca enclave
17 was encircled by the BH army and BH army territory. By
18 contrast, the Kiseljak enclave bordered on a stretch of
19 Bosnian Serb controlled territory, and that's reflected
20 in some of the maps, I believe, that we were looking at
21 yesterday. For a price, transportation of goods and
22 people between the Kiseljak enclave and Herzegovina was
23 possible travelling through Bosnian Serb territory. So
24 a situation developed in which Tihomir Blaskic in Vitez
25 was cut off and isolated, but the Kiseljak enclave had
1 a connection to Herzegovina, to the HVO main command in
3 The Kiseljak HVO's superior access to the HVO
4 main command in Mostar dictated the actual command
5 relationships that evolved in 1993 between those three
6 entities, the HVO main command, the 3rd Operative Zone
7 for Central Bosnia, and the HVO units commanded by the
8 HVO commander in Kiseljak, which included not only the
9 Ban Jelacic brigade, but also the brigades in Vares and
10 in Kakanj and a unit in Fojnica. Again, through Serb
11 territory, the HVO commander in Kiseljak could travel
12 to Vares and Kakanj and, in fact, did travel to Vares
13 and had effective control over HVO units in those
15 The HVO commander in Kiseljak was Ivica
16 Rajic. In January 1993, he was replaced by another
17 officer, and you'll hear about that, but by May of '93,
18 he was back in power in Kiseljak.
19 According to Rajic, and I quote -- could we
20 have the next slide, please. This is a quote from the
21 HVO commander in Kiseljak. "In the beginning, Blaskic
22 was my superior, but later he was transferred to Vitez,
23 while I remained in Kiseljak. Although Blaskic was
24 formally my superior even then, the conditions on the
25 ground imposed a situation where he and I were equally
1 responsible to the main staff of the HVO, he for his
2 sector and I for mine."
3 This proposition will be confirmed by other
4 documentary evidence. In August 1993, General Petkovic
5 of the main HVO command in Mostar issued a simultaneous
6 directive to Tihomir Blaskic and Ivica Rajic to
7 coordinate on certain operative matters. In other
8 words, the commander up here issued a directive, the
9 same piece of paper, to both the Operative Zone for
10 Central Bosnia and to the HVO commander in Kiseljak,
11 supposedly subordinate to the 3rd Operative Zone, to
12 coordinate. That would be normal if those subordinate
13 entities were on the same level, such as if Rajic had
14 been the commander of the 1st Operative Zone, wherever
15 that was, in Mostar or some other location, but, of
16 course, he wasn't. He was the commander of a unit who
17 was supposed to be subordinate to Tihomir Blaskic.
18 Similarly, the liaison officer at the HVO
19 Kiseljak brigade reported directly to the HVO command
20 in Mostar, not to the Operative Zone headquarters in
21 Vitez. The liaison officer was the principal person to
22 whom complaints and concerns about war activities were
23 raised by international organisations.
24 The inability of Tihomir Blaskic to control
25 Ivica Rajic was a source of concern to him. He tried
1 to control Rajic. He continued to issue orders to
2 Rajic during 1993, but he was not able to control him,
3 both due to his physical isolation and due to the
4 superior contacts between the Kiseljak HVO and the HVO
5 main command in Mostar.
6 Approximately half of the specific charges in
7 the indictment pertain to events in the Kiseljak
8 enclave after it was cut off from the Operative Zone
9 headquarters in Vitez in April of 1993.
10 Now I'd like to return to the Vitez enclave
11 and briefly discuss the balance of the war in that
12 enclave after the 20th of April, 1993.
13 From the 16th of April onwards, the war in
14 the Vitez-Busovaca enclave was, from the perspective of
15 the HVO, a war for the survival of the HVO and the
16 Croat residents of the Lasva Valley. They were
17 completely encircled and outnumbered by the BH army by
18 as many as ten to one. There were persistent shortages
19 of all supplies, as well as basic necessities of life.
20 Water and power were periodically cut off by the BH
21 army which controlled both. The only available
22 hospital was a makeshift facility in the Nova Bila
23 church. Mortaring and sniping of soldiers and the
24 civilian population was an everyday occurrence from BH
25 army positions. Their situation continued to
1 deteriorate over 1993.
2 In the January conflict, 65 per cent of the
3 Busovaca municipality had been lost. That is, the BH
4 army had taken control over it. In mid April, Kuber
5 Mountain was lost, as were the HVO brigade and
6 approximately 20 Croat villages in the Zenica
7 municipality. In the first half of June, Travnik was
8 lost. By the 12th of June, half of the Novi Travnik
9 municipality was lost, again, to the BH army. On the
10 12th of June, Kakanj fell to the BH army. In July,
11 Fojnica fell to the BH army. In September, the
12 dominant feature at Zaberje south of the main supply
13 route in the Vitez-Busovaca enclave fell. In December,
14 Krizansevo Selo fell with 75 dead, and in January,
15 Buhina Kuce fell also.
16 After April 1993, there is one unlawful
17 attack on civilians charged in the indictment in the
18 Vitez or Busovaca municipalities. That is an attack
19 alleged on Vitez in August of 1993. Perhaps it's a
20 reference to an attack that did occur in Stari Vitez
21 the prior month. The Defence doesn't know, after 15
22 months in trial, what this relates to. There are two
23 alleged acts of unlawful destruction of property in the
24 Vitez or Busovaca municipalities after April of 1993.
25 They pertain to Stari Vitez and Grbavica. I will
1 discuss each briefly in turn.
2 There was an attack on Stari Vitez on the
3 18th of July, 1993. It was planned and instigated by
4 Darko Kraljevic in retaliation for an attack by the BH
5 army on his brother a day or two before. Tihomir
6 Blaskic did not plan or approve this attack. His lack
7 of involvement in the attack is reflected by the fact
8 that it was an amateurish attempt and that a large
9 number of Vitezovi soldiers were killed while
10 attempting to approach Stari Vitez.
11 The Court will be in a position to compare,
12 for example, that operation with operations that the
13 Operative Zone headquarters did approve and participate
14 in the planning of, such as the Grbavica operation,
15 which I will discuss in a moment.
16 There were many proposals to attack Stari
17 Vitez in the summer and fall of 1993 as the HVO
18 military position deteriorated. Stari Vitez was a
19 drain on HVO resources. Constant mortaring and sniping
20 claimed civilian lives and soldiers' lives in Vitez,
21 and as that occurred, demands to do something about
22 Stari Vitez escalated within the HVO and in the Croat
23 community. Tihomir Blaskic, however, consistently
24 rejected proposals to attack Stari Vitez on the grounds
25 that too many civilian casualties within Stari Vitez
1 would result.
2 The only other post-April 1993 unlawful
3 attack on civilian property alleged in the indictment
4 relates to Grbavica. Grbavica is located here to the
5 northwest of Vitez and was a dominant hill feature
6 immediately adjacent to the BRITBAT base which was
7 located here. There was a BH unit in Grbavica, part of
8 the 325th Mountain Brigade. One objective of that unit
9 was to close down the main supply route, this part of
10 the supply route which ran from Vitez and into Travnik
11 and, if you took the fork, to Novi Travnik, to close it
12 to HVO and Croat civilian traffic, and that it did.
13 Through sniper positions on the hill, the
14 Grbavica hill, the BH army was able to effectively
15 close the main supply route and force the HVO for many,
16 many months to use an unimproved track, a dirt track,
17 which went back some distance below the main supply
18 road, which, of course, was a paved or sealed road, a
19 much better road. They used that dirt track in order
20 to avoid the problem, rather than to confront it
21 directly. You can see from the hill feature that it
22 is, literally, the only hill feature to the north of
23 the road in the immediate area, and it was the dominant
25 There were many civilian and military
1 casualties from this hill feature, and it grew to a
2 head in late August or September 1993 when several
3 school children were shot by snipers on Grbavica while
4 returning home from church on a Sunday.
5 The HVO responded to these murders with the
6 approval of Tihomir Blaskic, who felt it was his
7 responsibility to do something to protect innocent
8 lives that were being lost due to the sniper positions
9 on Grbavica. On the 7th of September, the HVO launched
10 a military action against the BH army positions on
11 Grbavica. A battle ensued that spanned, approximately,
12 two days. It was a well-planned, well-executed
13 military action. Despite the fact that there were
14 civilian residents of the village, there were either no
15 or virtually no, there may have been one, civilian
16 casualties in the course of those two days of
18 Unlike the Ahmici attack on the 16th or the
19 Stari Vitez assault in July, this action against the
20 Grbavica BH army snipers in military positions was
21 approved by the Operative Zone headquarters. The
22 evidence will show it was a proper military action.
23 After the attack was over, the BH army had
24 withdrawn, and the frontline moved forward to a new
25 location. Sometime after the battle was over,
1 scavengers started to arrive in Grbavica. Individual
2 and private looting occurred in which scavengers, for
3 example, stripped the wood off of houses to use for
4 firewood, such as the window frames. Desperate people,
5 desperate times, Your Honours.
6 Looting or burning portions of Grbavica after
7 the military conflict had concluded was not directed or
8 sanctioned by the Operative Zone headquarters in any
9 way. Any HVO soldiers who engaged in such conduct did
10 so contrary to express orders from Tihomir Blaskic, and
11 those orders were issued prior to the Grbavica
13 After the mid April conflict, if I could have
14 the next slide, please, Tihomir Blaskic issued the
15 following order on the 22nd of April, 1993. It's not a
16 coincidence that this is the day or at about this time
17 that he was apprised of the nature of the massacre and
18 the burning of homes in Ahmici. He ordered on the
19 22nd, and I quote:
20 "In order to prevent incidents in which
21 houses and other commercial facilities are set on fire
22 and looted, I hereby issue the following order: 1) I
23 strictly prohibit the torching of houses and other
24 commercial facilities and looting in the zone of
25 responsibility of the command of the Central Bosnia
1 Operations Zone controlled by HVO units. The most
2 stringent measures shall be taken against violators of
3 this order pursuant to the regulation book on military
4 discipline in HVO units."
5 He had issued a second specific order, this
6 order on the 19th of June, 1993, again, to HVO units,
7 forbidding the lighting of houses or other objects on
8 fire or the theft of property, and he warned those
9 units that such conduct would be punished through
10 military discipline and the military courts.
11 Thus, prior to Grbavica, Tihomir Blaskic
12 issued at least two specific orders directed to the
13 type of conduct which is alleged to have occurred in
14 the indictment. The Grbavica incident, that is,
15 following the battle, was the first and last of its
16 kind charged in the indictment in the Vitez-Busovaca
17 enclave following the mid April 1993 conflict.
18 What else is alleged to have occurred after
19 the April 1993 conflict in the Vitez-Busovaca enclave?
20 There are no specific acts of unlawful destruction of
21 sacral objects after April 1993 in the Vitez-Busovaca
22 enclave. There are charges of such acts in 1993 with
23 no month specified in the indictment with respect to
24 Busovaca and Stari Vitez.
25 If the allegation as to Stari Vitez refers to
1 damage due to the truck bomb, then I have already
2 discussed it. If the allegation pertains to the firing
3 of rifle or anti-aircraft fire at the mosque in Stari
4 Vitez at some other time in 1993, the evidence will
5 show that damage to the mosque from such fire was minor
6 and was the result of a single incident, not a plan or
7 an operation directed from or acquiesced by the
8 Operative Zone headquarters.
9 The fact is, the HVO could have destroyed the
10 mosque in Stari Vitez by fire, artillery fire, or what
11 have you at any time. It never did so, and the fact
12 that it did not do so was consistent with the orders
13 and directives of Tihomir Blaskic on that subject.
14 For example, on the 19th of June, he directed
15 that special protection, this was a direction to all
16 HVO units, and I quote: "Special protection is to be
17 provided for sacral objects." The order specifically
18 lists mosques and other religious sites as locations to
19 be afforded special protection.
20 What did he do when he learned of damage to
21 religious sites by suspected HVO perpetrators? If I
22 could have the next slide, please. He reacted
23 strongly. That's what he did. On the 17th of August,
24 he issued the following order to the commander of the
25 Kiseljak brigade. Again, this was Ivica Rajic, who we
1 were discussing earlier, who is in a different enclave
2 from the Vitez-Busovaca enclave, an enclave connected
3 through Serb territory with the HVO main command in
5 What did that order say? I quote: "On 17
6 August 1993, we learned that a religious building in
7 Kiseljak had been demolished. In order to establish
8 the facts and conduct an investigation, I hereby
9 order: 1) Send a precise report about the demolition
10 of the religious building. 2) What have you done to
11 start an investigation and find the perpetrator? 3)
12 What have you found out and what will be your next
13 steps in this case?" The religious building that was
14 the subject of this order was a Muslim site.
15 Now I would like to address briefly the siege
16 of Stari Vitez. BH army units in Stari Vitez were
17 blocked by the HVO from mid April on, and frontlines
18 developed between the two involving bunkers and
19 trenches and the like. These lines did not move during
20 the balance of the war.
21 As I have said, Stari Vitez as well as
22 Kruscica were points from which sniper and other fire
23 were routinely directed at the HVO and civilians in
25 The HVO sought to contain these units and to
1 prevent any breakout action from them. Tihomir Blaskic
2 never directed an attack on Stari Vitez. His contact
3 with Stari Vitez was limited to the fact that his
4 headquarters, the Hotel Vitez, was under intermittent
5 sniper fire from BH army positions in Stari Vitez. He
6 never went into Stari Vitez during the war. If he had,
7 he would have been almost certainly killed.
8 There were, as one would expect, exchanges of
9 various forms of fire on the frontline around Stari
10 Vitez. Those exchanges were of a local nature. There
11 were casualties in both Stari Vitez and Vitez as a
12 result of those exchanges. The entire population of
13 Stari Vitez was mobilised by the BH army. Women bore
14 arms in Stari Vitez, and in those circumstances,
15 soldiers and civilians in the able-bodied population
16 became virtually indistinguishable.
17 When there were casualties in Stari Vitez,
18 they were invariably presented to UNPROFOR as civilians
19 by Sefkija Dzidic. It was a shrewd and successful
20 propaganda effort.
21 Where a warring party deliberately blurs
22 military and civilian objects, an attacking commander
23 cannot be blamed for collateral civilian consequences
24 and casualties. The BH army in Stari Vitez mixed and
25 collocated civilian and military sites. Private
1 cellars and homes were used to house munitions and
2 military supplies. Military installations were
3 unmarked in order to reduce the likelihood that they
4 would be targeted. In other words, there was a
5 deliberate blending of military and civilian objects in
6 Stari Vitez.
7 Tihomir Blaskic promoted the delivery of aid
8 into Stari Vitez as well as free access for relief
9 organisations in areas under HVO control, which
10 included the perimeter of Stari Vitez and the southern
11 perimeter of Kruscica. We will introduce his many
12 directives on that subject, and there were many.
13 He promoted the evacuation of the wounded and
14 he declined suggestions, as I have said, for an attack
15 on Stari Vitez. Repeated offers were made for
16 civilians to temporarily leave Stari Vitez, if they
18 But keeping aid routes open into Stari Vitez
19 and Kruscica was not fully within the control of
20 Tihomir Blaskic. Angry and hungry civilians posed a
21 threat to relieve convoys throughout
23 I would like to return briefly,
24 Mr. President, to the issue of population movements
25 during the war.
1 There were dramatic population movements in
2 Central Bosnia during the war. In fact, far more
3 Bosnian Croats were displaced as a result of the war
4 than were Bosnian Muslims, although that is not of
5 particular relevance. An important issue for this
6 Court will be: Why did these movements occur?
7 The evidence will show several important
8 facts on this topic.
9 First, Tihomir Blaskic never directed the
10 forcible movement of civilians from their homes.
12 Second, civilians requesting, wishing to
13 relocate, was a subject that was principally a civilian
14 matter. Tihomir Blaskic was concerned with the defence
15 of the enclaves of Central Bosnia, principally the
16 Vitez-Busovaca enclave after he was isolated, and with
17 protecting the enclaves against BH army units within
18 their borders. He had no interest in the movement of
19 civilian populations.
20 What was his position on civilian movements?
21 Because movements sometimes involved
22 frontline crossings, he was called upon from time to
23 time to address that issue. Could a group of civilians
24 cross a military boundary, a military frontline? He
25 had one position on this issue: freedom of movement.
1 He had the same position, he had this position, prior
2 to April 1993, when tens of thousands of Muslim
3 refugees and displaced persons migrated into the Lasva
4 Valley. He had the same position after April when many
5 of those same persons wished to leave. He had the same
6 position with respect to Croats and Muslims. When
7 thousands of Croats wished to return to Zenica, at
8 least hundreds -- I don't have a number for the Court
9 at this time -- in late April, he approved and
10 facilitated their crossing the frontlines to return to
12 Why did these ethnic populations tend to move
13 during the civil war? The same question applies to
14 both Croat and Muslim displaced persons.
15 To be sure, there were persons driven from
16 one place to another by violent acts. That certainly
17 occurred in Ahmici when people fled for their lives, it
18 occurred in Dusina, it occurred in Miletici, and there
19 were persons whose homes were destroyed either as a
20 result of combat operations or for no legitimate
21 purpose whatsoever, and hence they had no home to
22 return to.
23 Although less dramatic, the evidence will
24 show there are far more important reasons that explain
25 these large population movements, at least four
2 First, many persons moved prior to the
3 outbreak of open war in a particular area in order to
4 avoid exposure to the fighting.
5 Second, many persons moved when war or active
6 fighting broke out in their area. They moved to get
7 out of a war zone. An example here would be in
8 Grbavica when, after the military operation there
9 began, UNPROFOR evacuated the civilian population at
10 some point during the battle. There is nothing wrong
11 with that, it's normal, and lives may have been saved.
12 A third reason for these movements was when
13 the HVO or the BH army exerted control over a
14 particular area, many persons wished to relocate to an
15 area under the control of their national army. Again,
16 that is neither good nor bad, but it was a fact, and we
17 will so demonstrate.
18 Fourthly, many of these movements were due to
19 the fact that when able-bodied men, soldiers, were
20 detained, such as in Zenica and Vitez, and then were
21 exchanged, frequently their families wished to move
22 with them and did.
23 What did Tihomir Blaskic do to try and ensure
24 freedom of movement for civilians so that no one was
25 forced to leave their homes?
1 He never targeted civilians or civilian
2 objects for any military action. He repeatedly ordered
3 HVO soldiers to protect, that is, HVO subordinate
4 commanders, to order their soldiers to protect
5 civilians and civilian homes during combat operations.
6 He did his best to ensure public security and order for
7 all citizens, and he specifically ordered that persons
8 not be expelled from their homes, and I would like to
9 show the Court one of these orders.
10 If I could have the next slide, please?
11 On the 24th of April, 1993, he directed that
12 the military police and the civil police should work
13 together to the following end. Mr. President, this is
14 a longer quote. There is a written French translation
15 of this quote which, although it won't be on the
16 screen, you should have it in the materials you have
17 before you.
18 I quote from the order of Tihomir Blaskic of
19 24 April, 1993:
20 "Because a large number of flats temporarily
21 vacant which are being forced into by persons carrying
22 arms -- soldiers of the Croatian Defence Force and
23 other persons -- and in order to enforce public order
24 and peace in the town of Vitez as well as to prevent
25 such negative developments, I ORDER:
1 Unlawful taking of the flats and stealing of
2 property from the flats which belong to citizens who,
3 for different reasons, are temporarily not present, is
4 to be prevented by all means, including by use of
5 force ..."
6 He gave this task principally to the 4th
7 Battalion of the military police, although he asked
8 that the civil police work together to implement this
10 With thousands of displaced persons and high
11 emotions in the enclaves of Central Bosnia, this was a
12 difficult order to enforce. There were also criminal
13 elements within the HVO to be dealt with. But Tihomir
14 Blaskic did not give up.
15 When he learned that his orders were not
16 being effectively implemented, what did he do?
17 Could I have the next slide, please?
18 The earlier order, as I said, was issued to
19 the military police of the HVO. In May, the end of
20 May, the 31st, 1993, he issued the following
21 extraordinary order, and I quote. Again, there is a
22 French translation in hard copy, Mr. President, of this
23 order, of this passage from the order. The order in
24 its entirety will be presented to Your Honours in our
1 "On 30 May, 1993, the officer on duty in the
2 Operative Zone Central Bosnia informed me that
3 Mr. Fringe Ramljak and Mr. Slavko Hrgic, both members
4 of the military police, were expelling Muslim families
5 by force. This was despite the order which bans such
6 actions and for which the above-named gentlemen are
8 A reference to his prior order directing the
9 military police to ensure that Muslim families are not
10 expelled from their homes and their property is not
12 I continue quoting this passage:
13 "In order to prevent further actions that
14 hinder the execution of orders and the correct
15 behaviour of Military Police members carrying out their
16 assignments, I HEREBY ORDER:
17 1. Conduct an investigation into this case
18 and take disciplinary measures against the culprits in
19 this incident.
20 2. Report to me explaining why, despite a
21 number of warnings, certain members of your unit --"
22 Again a reference to the military police
24 " -- are still causing such negative
25 occurrences instead of protecting public order, and
1 suggest further actions to prevent such occurrences in
2 the future."
3 Tihomir Blaskic himself never took an
4 apartment in Vitez. He had no apartment in Vitez. He
5 felt there were many others who needed one more than
6 he. He lived in a small room in the Hotel Vitez
7 throughout the war.
8 The last topic I will address, Your Honours,
9 is that of the evidence we will present on the issue of
10 whether the conflict between the HVO and the BH army,
11 was it a civil war or was it an international armed
12 conflict as that term is used in international law.
13 The issue here is not whether there were HV
14 troops, that is, troops of the Republic of Croatia, the
15 army of the Republic of Croatia, in Prozor or Gornji
16 Vakuf or even in the Lasva Valley, although the
17 evidence will show that there were no HV units in the
18 Lasva or Kiseljak Valleys at all relevant times.
19 The issue we will address in our case is
20 whether unity of identity existed between the HV and
21 the HVO; namely, did the HV exercise effective military
22 control over the HVO? That is the test. The evidence
23 will answer that question with a resounding "No."
24 Croatia was a steadfast supporter of the
25 territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Croatia
1 was the first country to recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 as a sovereign and independent nation. Indeed, it was
3 critical for Croatia that the newly formed borders of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina be accepted and respected. Were
5 those borders to become subject to negotiations as a
6 result of war activity, Croatia, with substantial
7 territory at the time occupied by the Serbs, would
8 itself have been in greater jeopardy of never regaining
9 its own territory. In other words, if international
10 borders were up for grabs, Croatia was in a very bad
11 situation with 40 or 50 per cent of its own territory
12 occupied by Serbia and the JNA.
13 Croatia was an ally of Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 during the war against the Serbs. Serb attacks on
15 Croatia were staged from Bosnia, from the territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatian troops did venture
17 into Bosnia-Herzegovina to defend against Serb
19 The strategy of the Bosnian Serbs was
20 simple: to encircle Central Bosnia in a pincer move,
21 if you will, that would run all the way to the
22 Dalmatian coast and cut off supply routes from which
23 Central Bosnia could receive materiel and aid, and
24 indeed they attempted to do this in 1992.
25 If we could have Map A on the video, please?
1 The army of the Republic of Croatia did enter
2 Bosnia, and as the Court can see from the map -- if we
3 could stay with "A," please, Map A?
4 As Map A depicts, had the JNA and Bosnian
5 Serb militia, which were located again in the pink or
6 purple areas -- if the Court will focus on the large,
7 dark blue area in Herzegovina, below the light green
8 area of Central Bosnia which is marked in small ABiH,
9 if that area of Herzegovina had fallen and had been
10 encircled; in other words - and I'm drawing with the
11 pen - if the JNA and Bosnian Serb militia had been able
12 to complete their move to the coast and to cut
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina at that point, Central Bosnia, all
14 of Central Bosnia, would have been entirely encircled,
15 and without re-supply, it would have collapsed.
16 All munitions and materiel that went to the
17 BH army and the HVO passed through that window, the
18 window I have indicated with the large arrow from the
19 Adriatic Sea, pointing through Dalmatia and into
21 So the HV, the army of the Republic of
22 Croatia, they did enter Bosnia-Herzegovina, and what
23 did they do? Where I'm drawing dark black lines, they
24 blocked the JNA and Bosnian Serb advance and they kept
25 that window open. They saved Central Bosnia as a
2 Croatia also trained and equipped troops to
3 fight in the BH army. Entire units of Muslim refugees
4 who came to Croatia were trained and equipped in
5 Croatia and then went to Bosnia-Herzegovina where they
6 fought as part of the BH army against the JNA and the
7 Bosnian Serb militia.
8 I will now conclude my remarks.
9 I spoke earlier of the orders Tihomir Blaskic
10 issued after he learned, on approximately the 22nd of
11 April, that a massacre had occurred in Ahmici. One of
12 these orders addressed the issue of command and control
14 If I could have the next slide, please?
15 Again, there is a French translation in hard
16 copy, Mr. President.
17 In this order on the 24th of April, Tihomir
18 Blaskic made the following extraordinary assessment,
19 and I quote:
20 "After an assessment carried out in the
21 field, it is apparent that the lower commanders and
22 their units are acting outside the chain of command.
23 They are not executing orders from superiors and are
24 independently making decisions contrary to the received
25 orders. They plan and execute their own combat
1 activities, exert pressure on civilians, and disrupt
2 the work of UNPROFOR, the International Red Cross, and
3 ECMM, which has negative consequences for the HVO and
4 those soldiers who execute the received tasks
5 consistently .... I ORDER:
6 3. The individuals and groups who are
7 completely out of control are to be arrested
8 immediately and warrants are to be delivered to the
9 commander of the Military Police unit.
10 4. You are in charge of preventing, with all
11 available means and with the use of force, the most
12 extreme individual and groups who are out of control
13 and who are not protecting civilians, who are
14 demolishing and setting fire to civilian facilities and
15 whose activities are nothing but terrorism."
16 Tihomir Blaskic issued this order to HVO
17 units on the 24th of April, 1993. But he was not
18 sophisticated in media relations or diplomatic
19 relations. He addressed issues of command and control
20 internally and confidentially within the HVO. He
21 didn't lobby BRITBAT, he didn't lobby the European
22 Monitors, he didn't show them orders such as these.
23 The British battalion responded to these
24 events and to a lack of information such as this, lack
25 of response such as the order of the 24th of April,
1 with suspicion, frustration, and even anger, and the
2 Court has seen that here in the courtroom.
3 The Defence does not fault those members of
4 BRITBAT for those views. We simply will point out in
5 our case that had Tihomir Blaskic been more
6 sophisticated at dealing with these entities, query if
7 he would be here today.
8 The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal in The High
9 Command Case described the parameters of command
10 responsibility at page 76 of volume 12 of The High
11 Command case, and I quote briefly:
12 "Criminal acts committed by [subordinates]
13 Cannot, in themselves, be charged to a commander on the
14 theory of subordination ... There must be a personal
15 dereliction that can occur only where the act is
16 directly traceable to him or where his failure to
17 properly supervise his subordinates constitutes
18 criminal negligence on his part. In the latter case,
19 it must be a personal neglect amounting to a wanton,
20 immoral disregard of the action of his subordinates
21 amounting to acquiescence. Any other interpretation of
22 International Law would go far beyond the basic
23 principles of criminal law as known to civilised
25 I have tried, in this opening statement, to
1 describe for you some of the steps that Tihomir Blaskic
2 took. There will be more described to you in our
3 case. He did anything but acquiesce in crimes or
4 criminal conduct by HVO units or soldiers. Under what
5 were the most desperate of military circumstances, he
6 diligently attempted to instill professional standards
7 of conduct in what was, in essence, a peasant militia.
8 You will hear from our witnesses that Tihomir
9 Blaskic was a professional soldier, a man free of
10 ethnic prejudice or hate, a man who tried to protect
11 those who could not protect themselves from the horrors
12 of war.
13 At the same time, he is not a forceful
14 person, and he may have been the wrong man for the
15 command that he was given. If that is true, that is
16 not a crime. He did his best.
17 He is not guilty of the charges the
18 Prosecutor has brought against him and the totality of
19 the evidence will so demonstrate.
20 That concludes my opening statement,
21 Mr. President. Thank you.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. We are
23 going to take a break after this lengthy opening
25 I would like to ask you if you intend to file
1 this with the Court. Is it going to be filed in the
2 two languages of the Tribunal? It has been drafted.
3 Can it be supplied to the Judges as a document?
4 MR. HAYMAN: All of the maps and printed
5 quotations that I have referred to will be marked as
6 exhibits, with your leave, Mr. President. The relief
7 model we will also ask be marked as an exhibit.
8 Although it is bulky and heavy and a burden on the
9 court staff, we think it is important that it be an
10 exhibit and remain with the court.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, you are already
12 asking that the model and the various maps as well as
13 the orders that you have mentioned in your statement be
14 tendered as evidence. Are you asking that this be
15 tendered as evidence today?
16 But I will go back to my original question,
17 the first question today. Are you asking that the
18 model, the maps, and even the other documents that you
19 cited, be tendered as evidence?
20 The second question is: Do you intend to
21 tender your opening statement as evidence to the Judges
22 or do you prefer that this remain in the transcript and
23 that we can then read through the transcript through
24 the interpretation? It seemed to me you had a
1 So first question: Are you asking that it be
2 tendered, the model, the maps, and the other documents
3 that you have cited?
4 MR. HAYMAN: The model and maps, Your Honour,
5 I think they should be marked so the record is
6 complete, but there will be witnesses who will come and
7 testify about the maps, about the orders, and I think
8 that's when they should properly be admitted; and even
9 at that time, we can go back, if necessary, and admit
10 the demonstrative aids that I have used in my
12 I did have, Mr. President, a written copy of
13 my opening statement, but I have cut portions out of it
14 and strayed from it from time to time, so I think that
15 it would be most appropriate that we use the transcript
16 as the record of my opening statement.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. That's what will be
19 Judge Riad?
20 JUDGE RIAD: The orders of Colonel Blaskic,
21 you would like to submit them now as exhibits or wait
22 for the witnesses?
23 MR. HAYMAN: I think, Your Honour, we won't
24 wait very long, but we would like to wait a few days,
25 and then every order I have referenced in my statement
1 will be presented to Your Honours in their entirety.
2 JUDGE JORDA: We are now going to take a
3 20- to 25-minute break since Mr. Hayman spoke for quite
4 a while.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.25 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.55 a.m.
7 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing.
8 Have the accused brought in, please? Everybody be
10 (The accused entered court)
11 JUDGE JORDA: I think that Mr. Nobilo is
12 going to question the first witness.
13 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, thank you.
14 Mr. President, Your Honours, the first Defence witness
15 in the case against General Blaskic will provide a
16 historical framework within which the events that are
17 under discussion took place. This historical expert
18 should describe the background to the conflict in the
19 former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
20 thereby provide a good introduction to an understanding
21 of the war that broke out in the territory of
23 Our expert witness will not start with the
24 6th century, because we consider this to be unnecessary
25 and a waste of time, but we begin his testimony with
1 the creation of nationalist ideas in the former
2 Yugoslavia. He will describe the relationship between
3 the Croats, Serbs, and Muslims in the first Yugoslavia,
4 that is, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
5 He will describe the relations among those
6 three peoples during the Second World War. He will
7 depict the internal relations in Tito's Yugoslavia,
8 that is, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
9 and he will provide an explanation for the dissolution
10 of Yugoslavia. He will provide the causes of constant
11 conflict among the peoples living in the territory of
12 the former Yugoslavia, and he will answer the question
13 why Yugoslavia was the most conflict-ridden state in
14 Europe in the 20th century.
15 Finally, he will provide the findings of his
16 research, which could be summed up as an answer to the
17 question whether, in view of the internal conflicts
18 which Yugoslavia was unable to overcome in the '70s,
19 could it have survived in a democratic system.
20 Your Honours, the expert witness who will be
21 appearing shortly is, in the opinion of many, the best
22 expert on history in the former Yugoslavia. This
23 person represents a part of history himself. He
24 personally knew, talked to, and collaborated with all
25 the relevant political figures in the former Yugoslavia
1 in the last 50 years, ranging from President Josip
2 Tito, with whom he cooperated, to President Franjo
3 Tudjman, with whom he has also cooperated. Our expert
4 is a member of the Croatian Academy of Arts and
6 His name is Professor Dusan Bilandzic, and I
7 would like to now call the witness and ask the usher to
8 bring him in.
9 JUDGE JORDA: That's what we're going to do.
10 Usher, have the witness brought in. I'm not sure I got
11 the name. Dusan Bilandzic; is that correct?
12 Bilandzic, Dusan Bilandzic.
13 (The witness entered court)
14 MR. NOBILO: Be careful, please.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Professor?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain standing. Please
18 give us your given names, your profession, and then
19 remain standing as long as it takes to read your solemn
20 declaration. After which, you will be seated and
21 answer Mr. Nobilo's questions. Please introduce
22 yourself. You are?
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President. My
24 name is Dusan Bilandzic. Currently, I'm retired, but
25 by occupation, a university professor and member of the
1 Academy of Sciences and Arts. I was born --
2 JUDGE JORDA: For the time being, that will
3 be sufficient. Please read your solemn declaration
4 which is on the piece of paper which the usher has
5 given to you. Please go ahead.
6 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Professor. You may
10 be seated now.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE JORDA: You have come to testify as
13 part of the trial initiated by the Prosecutor of the
14 International Tribunal against the accused present in
15 this courtroom, General Blaskic. You know the
16 procedure that we use here. First, Mr. Nobilo is going
17 to ask you some questions, and then you will testify
18 freely and, of course, go to the essential points.
19 Mr. Nobilo, you will, I assume, get to the
20 essential points that you want the witness to testify
21 to. Please proceed.
22 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 WITNESS: DUSAN BILANDZIC
24 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
25 Q. Good morning, Professor. On behalf of the
1 Defence, I thank you once again for coming. At the
2 outset, as is customary, will you please introduce
3 yourself to the Court? You were born in 1924 in
4 Croatia, and first you went to a Franciscan secondary
5 school and studied to be a clergyman. What happened
6 later on in your life and career?
7 A. Mr. President, it is a rather long career.
8 After the Franciscan school, which I did not graduate
9 from, I switched to a state gymnasium or secondary
10 school, and from 1938 to 1941, I studied there.
11 In 1941, I joined the partisan movement. I
12 took part in the uprising of 1941, and from 1941 until
13 1945, I took part in the war and was wounded four
15 After the war, I stayed on in the Yugoslav
16 People's Army for 15 years with the rank of colonel and
17 professor of high military schools, at which I taught
18 the history of warfare, with particular reference to
19 the Second World War and the partisan war in
21 In 1960, I left the Yugoslav People's Army
22 and started to study social processes and, in the first
23 place, the internal social system of Yugoslavia, the
24 political, economic, and legal systems. Gradually, my
25 studies focused on the most recent period of history,
1 so that in 1967, I became the director of a historical
2 institute in Zagreb.
3 From then on, I focused mostly on research
4 into contemporary history and contemporary social
5 systems, while, at the same time, as a kind of
6 volunteer, I was very active in the political life of
7 Croatia and Yugoslavia. I was a kind of consultant to
8 the highest echelons of the Yugoslav Communist Party as
9 an expert on political processes, and I was a member of
10 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of
12 I took part in the reform of the Yugoslav
13 political system from the beginning of the '60s until
14 the collapse of Yugoslavia. After that, on behalf of
15 the Croatian opposition, I was appointed vice-president
16 of the Republic of Croatia, a position I held for seven
17 months only, but after that, this position was
18 abolished by the collective leadership of the former
19 state. This was the beginning of 1991, and I held that
20 position until the new year.
21 Since then, I have been writing books. I
22 have published a history of Yugoslavia from its
23 foundation, that is, in 1918 until 1986. I have
24 published a book entitled "Yugoslavia after Tito," and
25 today I'm working on a new book which should come out
1 next year and deals with the history from the collapse
2 of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 until the
3 break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991 and the new balance of
4 forces that was established in Croatia and so on.
5 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that you have
6 published eleven books on the history of Yugoslavia?
7 A. Mr. President, in addition to my main field
8 of interest, there are some specific areas, for
9 example, management, the mechanism of management. In
10 Yugoslavia, it has been translated into six languages,
11 including Chinese. Then there's the theory and
12 practise of self-management. If we count all those
13 books, then there are eleven.
14 Q. And more than a hundred articles have been
15 published by you, and you're a member of the Academy of
16 Arts and Sciences, the highest scientific institution
17 in the Republic of Croatia?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Finally, you're a member of the most powerful
20 opposition party, the Social Democratic Party of
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And you have no position in the organs of
25 A. No.
1 Q. Thank you, Professor. Would you now go on to
2 your testimony, your presentation. If you have any
3 notes, feel free to use them.
4 A. Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, it
5 is an exceptional honour for me to be able to present
6 here one possible interpretation of the beginning of
7 the crisis, the collapse of the first Yugoslavia, the
8 crisis and break-up of the second Yugoslavia. Of
9 course, this interpretation cannot be, in my personal
10 judgement, absolutely satisfactory because, to date, we
11 do not have a single written history in the form of a
12 synthesis. There are many books, but no real synthesis
13 of this period.
14 Naturally, in my presentation, I cannot, nor
15 should I, as that would be contrary to the principles
16 of science, to be -- I cannot be biased, but if,
17 occasionally, one of my theses may appear to be
18 prejudiced, I ask that this be accepted as something
19 that is unavoidable, but I hope to be able to avoid
21 Q. Thank you, Professor. Let us go back to the
22 period before the formation of the first Yugoslavia.
23 What were the national ideas of the peoples inhabiting
24 the territory of the former Yugoslavia before the end
25 of the First World War, that is, before 1918 and before
1 the foundation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia?
2 A. If I may be allowed to make a few
3 observations which I consider to be rather important
4 and which go back a little bit further into history?
5 First of all, history created a community in
6 1918 which, throughout the period of its existence, had
7 certain permanent characteristics which are essential
8 for an understanding.
9 Unfortunately, I am hearing the French
11 Q. Press number 6, you will get -- to your
12 right, number 6. You have number 6 to your right,
13 channel number 6.
14 A. I should like to avoid listening to any
16 Those constant characteristics of Yugoslav
17 society, precisely because they are constant,
18 determined its overall social life, and those were, in
19 the first place, Yugoslavia is a multi-ethnic state in
20 which nations were formed, or at least the three of
21 them, the three more important ones, were formed
22 roughly at the same time when Bismark created Germany
23 or when Garibaldi created Italy but with quite opposing
24 ideologies. Secondly, it is a multi-religious entity,
25 the three large religions: the Catholic, the Orthodox,
1 and Muslim.
2 Fourth (sic), it is a country in which the
3 differences in the level of economic and social
4 development are so vast that they are comparable to the
5 differences between the most developed and least
6 developed European states after the Second World War.
7 Also, various legal systems were inherited
8 from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from the Ottomans, so
9 that this melting pot was such that in a very small
10 territory --
11 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Could I ask you to
12 speak a little bit more slowly so that the interpreters
13 can be sure that everything is accurate in the
14 interpretation? Thank you very much.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, I will do that,
16 Mr. President.
17 I think that, in the world, there is no
18 similar case of such contradictions being in evidence
19 in such a small area.
20 The main contradictions of contemporary
21 civilisations were manifest here in the Balkans, and if
22 those constants are correct - and they are indeed
23 correct - then the problem that arose was: Is it
24 possible for such contradictions which are manifest in
25 such a small area, can they enable or prevent the
1 creation of a sound, normal, stable state?
2 My hypothesis, which is close to a thesis, is
3 that that state put to the test all known social
4 systems. It tested parliamentarianism of the Western
5 type in the first ten years of its existence. That
6 model could not be sustained. Then it tried out
7 dictatorship, a military monarchist dictatorship, which
8 lasted for five or six years. That too collapsed.
9 Then it renewed what remained of parliamentarianism
10 from 1935 until 1941. Then there was a four-year civil
11 war, which is a wealthy treasury regarding behaviour of
12 ethnic groups, political parties -- I'm referring to
13 this four-year war -- and then came a dictatorship
14 modelled on the Stalinist system. It then evolved into
15 a confederation, and even that was not successful.
16 That brings me to the end of my introduction, after
17 which I will answer your question.
18 Let me add that at the same time, with these
19 constant changes that occurred in terms of social
20 system, capitalism, socialism within capitalism,
21 dictatorship on the one hand and the parliamentary
22 system on the other; within Communism, Stalinism on the
23 one hand and anti-Stalinism on the other; centralism
24 and confederalism; and none of these succeeded.
25 Simultaneously with this quest for a social
1 system which would preserve the community, and as those
2 attempts failed, wars broke out in the south Slav
3 areas. Over a period of 100 years, there were six
4 wars, which are also an indicator of the same
5 characteristics; that is, this quest for a system
6 entailed also wars, and these wars were an instrument
7 for finding a solution to the internal contradictions
8 within Yugoslavia, the wars that occurred within the
9 country and around the country.
10 That was what I wanted to say as an
11 introduction prior to your question.
12 MR. NOBILO:
13 Q. But let us go back to the beginning. How
14 come these ethnicities should find themselves in a
15 common state and what ideas did they bring with them to
16 that common state?
17 A. That is precisely the proper question, Your
19 To make it clear that the Balkans was not the
20 only territory that was packed full with such
21 contradictions which needed to be pacified, I must say
22 that, unfortunately, ever since the French revolution,
23 the ideas of large nation states dominated in Europe.
24 There was Bismark's idea of a Greater Germany, the idea
25 of a Great France, the idea of a Great Russia, the idea
1 of a Great Hungary, a Great Italy, a Great Bulgaria, a
2 Greater Serbia, a Greater Croatia, and even very small
3 national communities of a million or two inhabitants,
4 did not manage to resist this disease of creating a
5 larger nation state.
6 This cost Europe two World Wars which
7 destroyed Europe, making it fall to its knees before
8 others. Suffice it to remind ourselves that two great
9 nations, France and Germany, during a single lifetime,
10 waged three wars: Bismark, Kaiser William, Hitler, and
11 that this made Europe an invalid because nationalist
12 ideologies destroyed the achievements of civilisations
13 which should have served as a foundation for the
14 construction of Europe.
15 I just wish to point out that there were
16 similar situations among the nations of Yugoslavia;
17 namely, the Serb nationalist ideology came into
18 being precisely during the time of the so-called spring
19 of European peoples. That was 1848; that is, the mid
20 19th century.
21 German ideology at the time, Safarik, Kollar
22 and others, established a theory that all citizens
23 speaking one language, one and the same language,
24 belong to the same nation. According to them, no other
25 criteria was taken into consideration: history,
1 culture, or anything else.
2 A great Serb reformer who has great merit,
3 acknowledged by history, the linguistic reformer Vuk
4 Karadzic, a researcher into the questions of language,
5 found that the Croats, Muslims, Montenegrins, and Serbs
6 speak the same language, and indeed they did speak the
7 same language; the Stokavski, as it was called. About
8 10 per cent of Croats used a different dialect. The
9 others all spoke the same language.
10 Proceeding from the German linguistic theory,
11 he said, here in the Balkans, from the Austrian borders
12 or, rather, from the Austrian Alps, this entire area of
13 the Balkans, this Slav area, speak either the same
14 language or a similar language, and therefore, they are
15 one nation.
16 What nation are they?
17 "My nation," said he, "the Serbs, they are
18 all Serbs." Responding to the observation that they
19 were Catholics, he said, "Yes, Serbs, but of Catholic
20 religion." What about the Muslims? "Well, they are
21 Serbs of Islamic faith." And that is how this
22 linguistic theory led to a theory that all of them were
23 Serbs from the Alps to Salonika and Constantinople.
24 Q. Professor, perhaps this would be a good time
25 to pay attention and look at the map that we have on
1 the screen and on the computer screens. Could you
2 please tell us what this map is, how did you come by
3 the map, and who issued the map?
4 A. This is a map which was issued in Belgrade in
5 1873, and it was used in schools, primary schools,
6 military academies, and other institutions to show, in
7 pictorial form, the Serb people and how they were
8 spread out across the territory according to that
9 linguistic theory.
10 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, if I may, may I
11 come up to the laptop computer to show a new map, and
12 then this map will be clearer to you?
13 A. On the map, you can see the following: the
14 boundaries of Socialist Yugoslavia, of the Republics of
15 Socialist Yugoslavia. When they are posed on an ethnic
16 map which was issued, as I said, in 1873 in Belgrade,
17 you will be able to see that the Serb nation covers
18 almost all of Croatia, without Zagreb and the Zagroria
19 area; of course, the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
20 Vojvodina, part of Romania, part of Bulgaria, of course
21 Macedonia, right up to Salonika.
22 Jovan Cvijic, the President of the Serb
23 Academy of Science, Professor of the Sorbonne and
24 Member of the French Academy of Science, who was
25 otherwise a very distinguished and renowned, recognised
1 expert, spoke about this state of affairs and said that
2 it was a question of the Slav lack of crystallisation
3 of mass which spread out from Austria to Greece and to
4 Salonika, to Salonika, including Salonika, and even
5 Constantinople, and that there were 9.625.000
6 inhabitants. The Kingdom of Serbia - the article was
7 written in 1908, during the annexation of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina - at that particular time, Serbia
9 had 2.750.000 inhabitants. So that what Cvijic says
10 were Serbs, in fact, was more than three times a
11 greater number, and this created the conviction on the
12 power and strength of the Serbs.
13 So that is the ethnic criteria.
14 Every nation passes through this phase. It
15 is a phase of nationalism which turns into chauvinism
16 and leads to war. Every nation is to apply another
17 principle in addition to the ethnical principle, at
18 least one, and that is the principle of historic
19 right. "I have the right, as a leader of a nation, to
20 establish borders along those countries who, at some
21 time in history, say a thousand years ago, were within
22 the composition of my one-time ruler." The Serbs had
23 the famous Czar Dusan - I take my name after him; it is
24 my name as well - and Czar Dusan ruled over a large
25 portion of Greece, Albania, Serbia of course, Bulgaria,
1 and so on and so forth, and the Serb Prime Minister,
2 Garasanin, who was a statesman of Serbia, established
3 the right of Serbia to what belonged at one time to the
4 empire of Czar Dusan.
5 So those are the two criteria, and with that,
6 I conclude the Serb ideology.
7 Q. Can I ask you whether Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 for the most part belonged to the empire of Czar Dusan?
9 A. That is difficult to say. I don't know the
10 precise borders, the frontiers. It is the Middle Ages,
11 and I don't want to enter into the field of the Middle
12 Ages, which is not my field of expertise.
13 Q. Can you please tell us now what nationalist
14 ideas existed with the Croats at the end of the First
15 World War, prior to the formation of the Kingdom of
17 A. Croatia developed in a quite different
18 manner. The Serb state was born within the Ottoman
19 Empire, and the Ottoman Empire was decadent, it
20 suffered a disease for several hundred years, and
21 therefore, it was a decadent empire, a disintegrating
22 empire, where the legal order was breaking up.
23 Croatia, on the other hand, lived within the
24 composition of the Habsburg monarchy, and the essential
25 difference, the vital difference, lies in the fact that
1 Croatia had, for about 800 years, the status of limited
3 After the disintegration of the Kingdom of
4 Croatia, it entered a personal union with the Kingdom
5 of Hungary, but it retained four elements of
6 sovereignty, and this is exceptionally important in the
7 context of the future Yugoslavia.
8 It retained its name, it was a kingdom, and I
9 shall remind you here --
10 JUDGE RIAD: There is a mistake here.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your
12 Honour. Microphone.
13 MR. NOBILO: If there is a mistake -- it must
14 be "Croatia."
15 JUDGE RIAD: Croatia, yes.
16 A. Therefore, they are two kingdoms, two states,
17 Hungary and Croatia, with one king.
18 In Zagreb, there was a viceroy who was called
19 the Ban, and one of these Bans, in a polemics within
20 the Hungarian parliament, the Prime Minister said
21 "Regnum regno non praescribit leges": "Therefore, one
22 kingdom does not have right --"
23 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Like Judge Riad, I
24 like to understand everything. There were two states,
25 Hungary and Croatia; is that correct? It was Hungary
1 and Croatia?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Please make it
5 A. According to an agreement between Hungary and
6 Croatia, a personal union was set up in 1102 which this
7 contract was noted and --
8 JUDGE JORDA: Let me go back to my question.
9 Excuse me. Let me turn to the interpreters. So
10 "Bulgaria" is "Hungary"; is that what you're saying.
11 THE INTERPRETER: No, "Hungary."
12 JUDGE JORDA: Hungary. "Bulgaria" is
13 "Hungary"? Perhaps it's an interpretation question.
14 I thought you were talking about Hungary. Are you
15 talking about Bulgaria?
16 Let me turn to the interpreters here. So
17 "Hungary" is not "Bulgaria." Bulgaria. Bulgaria.
18 All right. Excuse me, interpreters -- I thought that
19 "Hungary" meant "Hungary." So we're talking about
20 Bulgaria and Croatia; that's right?
21 Professor, if you would please speak more --
22 if you would speak more slowly, that would avoid any
24 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, quite the
25 contrary. The contract was between Croatia and
1 Hungary, Hungary, which was called Ugarska, Hungary,
2 Hungary, and together they entered into the
3 Austro-Hungarian Empire. So it is Hungary.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: There is no physical
5 contiguity between Bulgaria and Croatia, is there?
6 There is a physical contiguity between Croatia and
7 Hungary, so one would expect any arrangements would be
8 between Hungary and Croatia; is that correct?
9 MR. NOBILO: Yes.
10 A. So they were two feudal states, and these two
11 feudal states elected a joint king, in this case he was
12 a Hungarian, and this went on until the year 1526 when
13 both those states took on Habsburg as their king, as
14 their sovereign. Croatia retained the status of a
15 kingdom with its borders, with its Sabo or assembly of
16 the Middle Age type, something that could resemble a
17 parliament today, and executive power, led by the Ban,
18 as the viceroy, and it always had a set territory,
19 state territory.
20 So that is the situation with Croatia up
21 until 1918.
22 Now let us look at the nationalist ideology.
23 That was the question. What was it like? What was the
24 Croatian nationalist idea within the composition of the
25 Habsburg monarchy?
1 The Habsburg monarchy had 52 per cent Slavs
2 in its composition and two ruling nations, the
3 Hungarians and the Germans, Austrian Germans, 48
4 per cent of them. That means that the majority were
6 With regard to the fact that this was one of
7 the best ordered and civilised, legally most highly
8 developed empires of Europe at the time, it was fairly
9 successful. The Habsburgs were successful in dealing
10 with this complex monarchy. But within the Habsburg
11 monarchy itself, which some called the Danubian
12 monarchy and later on, after 1867, it became known as
13 Austro-Hungary, so within this Habsburg monarchy,
14 nationalist movements began to develop, the Croatian,
15 the Serb, the Hungarian, the German, the Czech, the
16 Polish, the Slovak, the Italian. So these were the
17 national movements that began to emerge. It was a
18 patchwork of nations.
19 Croatia as a kingdom, in the realistic
20 political life, was subjugated to Budapest, under the
21 rule of Budapest, because in Budapest, the joint
22 king reigned, and the real political position of
23 Croatia was in the fact that it was subordinated to
24 Hungary, although it had its own partial sovereignty,
25 restricted sovereignty.
1 There was rivalry between Germany, that is to
2 say, Austria -- let me make one point clear. At that
3 time, the Austrians were part of the German nation and
4 they considered themselves to be Germans and not
5 Austrians. So that is why we sometimes say they are
6 Germans, sometimes Austrians. But, in fact, their
7 national consciousness was that of Germany. They were
8 German, together with Prussia, and they fought with
9 Prussia in deciding which would be the hegemonist to
10 unified Germany. But we won't go into that question at
11 this point.
12 Q. Let us go back to the Croatian idea and
13 ideals of the day.
14 A. Yes. Just one moment, Mr. President.
15 Counsel Nobilo has asked me a question. I will try to
16 explain that in the briefest terms possible.
17 In view of the fact that in the mid 19th
18 century, or at least the process -- the forming of
19 nations was drawing to a close, the Croatian nation,
20 just like all the other nations in Europe, set itself
21 the overall ideal to create a national state, as was
22 done by Bismark in Germany, by Cavour in Italy, by any
23 other state.
24 However, Croatia at that time made up 5.26
25 per cent - that is a little over 5 per cent - of the
1 population of the Habsburg monarchy, and it would be an
2 act of suicide, it would be tantamount to a tragedy, an
3 adventuristic undertaking, if Croatia were to follow
4 the road of Serbia. It went in quite a different
6 The leading idea of Croatia, of the
7 spiritual, intellectual elite in Croatia at the time,
8 was that Croatia, by many years of political struggle,
9 should win for itself the status of the third, let us
10 call it, the third unit within the composition of
11 Austro-Hungary. In other words, that Croatia should
12 have the same status that Austria and Hungary hold,
13 and, of course, in that connection, that it be the
14 pivotal point of rallying everybody around and to
15 include Slovenia, Vojvodina, Istria, Dalmatian, and
17 Q. May we now move forward towards the end of
18 World War I and look at the disintegration of
20 A. Well, we won't be able to understand that if
21 I don't add what I am going to say right now, and that
22 is that this concept of Croatia, to be permanently
23 within the composition of Austro-Hungary, came to be
24 called and known as trialism because what existed
25 previously was dualism, and we must know about dualism
1 if we are to explain the subsequent disintegration, and
2 along with that idea, to be permanently within the
3 Austro-Hungarian Empire, there was an openness within
4 the Croatia elite for two other variations. One of
5 these variations and options was with Starcevic at the
6 head of it, and later on the Ustashe would -- the state
7 of Croatia, independent state of Croatia, as a quisling
8 state of Hitler's Germany, would rely on that option.
9 He asked that that be a completely independent state,
10 and he considered that Serbianism was the greatest
11 danger to the Croatian people.
12 Another faction, the third variation or
13 option or concept, was a pro-Yugoslav concept. That is
14 to say, Croatia, at certain points, would agree,
15 together with Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, to
16 undertake the formation of a joint Yugoslav state,
17 state of Yugoslavia, as a federation or a
19 So those were the three basic trends in
20 Croatia at the time.
21 Q. Professor, may we now briefly look at the end
22 of the Second World War and the emergence of the First
23 World, and the emergence of the SHS, the Serbs, Croats,
24 and Slovenes, how did they come to be together at the
25 end of World War I?
1 A. Let me just add, before I go into an
2 important fact, that the First World War lasted for
3 four years and three months. Perhaps the European
4 nations would have gone on fighting for five more
5 years, had it not been for President Wilson who sent
6 several million American soldiers who, in 1918,
7 disembarked in Europe to stop the war and the mutual
8 annihilation of the nations of Europe, but that's a
9 long story.
10 What we must bear in mind here is that for
11 four years and three months, the Croats, the Slovenes,
12 the Muslims and, what will be surprising to you,
13 perhaps, the Serbs, and 40 per cent of them, that is,
14 Serbs from the Vojvadina region, Bosnia and Croatia
15 were, for four years and three months, in the war
16 against Serb Montenegro. When you have this
17 phenomena before you, and it is a phenomena which is
18 astounding and which frightens, if nations are called
19 to unite after four years and three months of warfare,
20 of mutual killing, not only to unite, say, in a period
21 of ten years, but to unite the very moment that the
22 bells rang heralding, declaring an end to the war would
23 enter into a new state without any preparation
25 Q. You had in mind the First World War because
1 you said the Second World War?
2 A. I apologise. The First World War. Now I
3 come to your question. We have, therefore, as far as
4 the formation of Yugoslavia is concerned, to look at it
5 as follows: Serbia, its elite, its government, the
6 monarch had a war goal, a war objective. They had a
7 vision, a project of what they wanted, a very precise
8 one. Serbia had to demand of the allies, Great
9 Britain, France, Italy, and Russia, an expansion of its
11 In view of the theory of ethnic kinship, this
12 expansion of Serbia had to move towards Bosnia,
13 Vojvodina, Croatia, Dalmacija, the expansion, I'm
14 talking about. But as up until 1918 in the spring, the
15 powers of the entente did not have it in their plan to
16 break up Austro-Hungary. In the Habsberg monarchy, a
17 small state of Croatia remained within the composition
18 of Austro-Hungary. When I say "a small state of
19 Croatia," it is Zagreb, part of Slavonia, but the whole
20 of Bosnia, the greater portion of Dalmacija, a good
21 portion of Slavonia would come under this expanded
23 In that vein, the London Treaty was signed
24 between the governments of Serbia, Great Britain,
25 France, and Russia. It was called the Secret London
1 Treaty on the Creation of a Greater Serbia. Russia
2 suggested to Serbia that it avoid joining the whole of
3 Croatia into this new state, this expanded Serbia,
4 because it would have problems because the Croats are
6 What happened was the following: Serbia,
7 with the Treaty of London, gained the right to expand
8 towards the west. Croatia, at that time, wished to
9 retain Austro-Hungary, that is, to help retain the
10 Austro-Hungarian Empire, to preserve it, because of the
11 idea of trialism. However, as the possibility was seen
12 of the downfall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, another
13 solution had to be sought.
14 In 1918, the Croats on the 20th of October
15 broke all state ties with the Habsberg monarchy. They
16 proclaimed Croatia a state, an independent. They
17 proclaimed their autonomy and independence. And we
18 arrive at the phenomena that you mentioned, and that is
19 the 40-day phenomena, the events of the 40 days.
20 Guided by the idea on trialism, that is to
21 say, a state of the south Slavs, a south Slav nation
22 within the composition of the Habsberg monarchy, the
23 representatives of four future federal units, of Tito's
24 federal units, formed a state in Zagreb. The
25 composition was Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 Dalmacija, and Vojvodina. The hegemon was Croatia, of
2 course. Being the strongest in all respects,
3 demographically, culturally, politically, it became the
4 hegemon. But that state was to retain the governments
5 in Slovenia, Vojvodina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
6 Dalmacija and was built up as a federation.
7 Simultaneously, a portion of Croatia's
8 politicians who, in the first days of the war in 1914,
9 emigrated to the west, first of all, to Italy and then
10 to France and Great Britain, formed a board, a group of
11 intellectuals which proclaimed themselves the Yugoslav
12 Council for the Creation of Yugoslavia. They wanted a
13 Yugoslavia as a federation or a confederation of
14 nations, and this state created in Zagreb at the end of
15 October 1918, which I mentioned a moment ago, got the
16 name of the state of the Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs.
17 After the breakdown of Austro-Hungary, we,
18 therefore, had three states. Everything is very
19 complicated. You have the Kingdom of Serbia, a state,
20 the Kingdom of Montenegro, also a state. In Zagreb,
21 you have the state which was known as the SHS, the
22 state of the Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs. So three
23 states there. Of course, Macedonia was not mentioned.
24 That was a case that had been resolved.
25 Now what happened was the following: There
1 were negotiations between Belgrade and Zagreb or, to be
2 more precise, between the national council, which was
3 what the new parliament appointed in Zagreb was called,
4 composed of delegates from Slovenia, Vojvodina,
5 Dalmacija, Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the national
6 council, and it negotiated with Serbia and Montenegro
7 as to the type of relationships they would be
8 establishing, what kind of state they would be
10 Under pressure, and it would take me a long
11 time to explain all of this, but the Serb prime
12 minister, the famous politician Nikola Pasic, on the
13 9th of November, 1918 signed a declaration. It was
14 called the Geneva Declaration. It was signed in
15 Geneva. Those two states, that is to say, Serbia on
16 the one side, a kingdom which annexed Montenegro --
17 there was no longer any Montenegro now. It was
19 At the beginning of November, I don't
20 remember the date exactly, but its dynasty was
21 abolished by the Serb government, and it did not
22 allow King Nikola, who was the reigning king, Nikola
23 Petrovic, to return to Montenegro. He remained in
25 Now you have only Serbia, a kingdom, the
1 Kingdom of Serbia, and you have a state in Croatia, and
2 the negotiation were to begin. The Geneva Declaration
3 recognised the status quo, that is to say, that you
4 have two states. We're going to create a sort of
5 confederation. We are going to have the most necessary
6 departments of a joint state, the army, foreign
7 affairs, and so on. Those were the two major
8 departments. As I say, this happened on November the
10 At the same time, according to the logics of
11 the Treaty of London, which was still in force, the
12 Italian army entered Dalmacija, Istria, and Slovenia to
13 implement the Treaty of London. Simultaneously with
14 that, the Serb army, together with the French army,
15 in expelling the Austrian army, which was moved towards
16 Vojvodina, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Dalmacija, and
17 Istria, on the one hand, to stop the Italians from
18 moving further inwards and, on the other hand, as this
19 new state that was formed from the states of
20 Austro-Hungary, had no army or police or an apparatus,
21 an administrative apparatus, whereas there were
22 rebellions throughout the country of the Bolshevik
23 type. That is to say, the peasants set fire to the
24 palaces and looted the warehouses of clothing and
25 footwear. There was general panic in Zagreb that the
1 Bolshevik revolution had come to Croatia.
2 In order for the feudal lords to save
3 themselves from this, on the one hand, and to prevent
4 Italy from penetrating further, it sent a delegation to
5 Belgrade and, on the 1st of December, 1918, signed the
6 creation of a unitarian, not a federal, but a unitarian
7 centralist Yugoslavia as a country of an expanded
9 So let me add in closing this section --
10 Q. We have arrived at the formation of the first
11 Yugoslavia, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. As we have
12 reached that point, Mr. President, I would like to
13 suggest that we break for lunch.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will resume at
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.59 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.37 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the
3 hearing. Usher, have the accused brought in, please.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE JORDA: We are going to ask the usher
6 to have our witness brought in.
7 (The witness entered).
8 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. All right.
9 Dr. Bilandzic, did you have a bit of a rest?
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President, yes.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Nobilo, the
12 floor is yours to continue to ask your questions.
13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Go directly to the purpose, to
15 your objective. Don't let the witness stray too far
16 from the objective. Thank you very much.
17 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President.
18 Q. Professor, we have come to the Kingdom of
19 Yugoslavia, and we won't talk about the history of the
20 Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but you will only dwell on a few
22 In your introduction, you said that the
23 formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia meant also the
24 introduction of parliamentarianism, but it was not
25 successful, so could you explain to the Court why the
1 parliamentary system did not function in the Kingdom of
2 Yugoslavia and how that parliamentary era, a kind of
3 democratic era, came to an end in the Kingdom of
5 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the first few
6 years after the formation of Yugoslavia, the country
7 was put to the test to see whether it could develop as
8 a parliamentary country. I must pay tribute to the
9 government of Serbia also which introduced the
10 parliamentary system. It was limited in scope, but it
11 was a parliamentary system.
12 However, a fatal mistake was made; namely,
13 proceeding from an ideology which expresses Vrbis
14 claimed that this was a state of a single people, that
15 there weren't any other peoples but just one people,
16 the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; and proceeding from
17 this premise, all the historical entities were
18 abolished; that is, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, Vojvodina, Dalmatia, even Serbia and
20 Montenegro in the administrative sense of the word.
21 Instead of that, the country was
22 administratively divided up into 33 regions with a
23 centralised system of government. The Croats and, to a
24 certain extent, the Slovenes, reacted to this by a
25 large-scale nationalist movement demanding the
1 restoration of historical entities; actually, a return
2 to the Geneva declaration, also requiring that the
3 negotiations that were actually interrupted in Geneva
4 should be resumed.
5 Serbia's reply was: One people cannot
6 negotiate with itself because there is only one single
7 entity; in fact, an expanded Serbia.
8 What occurred was a very severe political
9 parliamentary struggle which gained in intensity.
10 There were rallies, there was a struggle through the
11 mass media or, rather, the newspapers, various
12 organisations were formed to carry on the struggle,
13 and, when this heated debate came to a climax, the
14 regime in Belgrade killed in parliament a group of
15 leaders of Croatia headed by a charismatic leader,
16 Stjepan Radic, whereby the parliamentary system was
17 actually defeated.
18 King Alexander was faced with a dilemma as
19 to what to do next. The killing of three leading
20 Croatian politicians in the parliamentary benches, and
21 two others who were injured, was a very significant
22 political act, and the question was: What should be
23 done with Yugoslavia?
24 But let me go back to your question, why
25 parliamentarianism failed. I think there are several
1 reasons: First, the economic strength in the newly
2 created state was greater in Slovenia and Croatia than
3 in Serbia. Serbia did not have the capabilities, the
4 potential, the results to achieve leadership in the
5 economy, culture, education because it was insufficient
6 in that respect, deficient in that respect.
7 Secondly, demographically too, it could not
8 achieve democracy. Why? The Serbs accounted for about
9 36 to 38 per cent of the population at the time, and if
10 we assume that, in parliamentary elections, all the
11 Serbs - and that is impossible, but let us go on that
12 assumption - if all the Serbs were to join one
13 political party and achieve the highest possible
14 concentration, then they would have only 36 per cent of
15 the votes, 36 per cent deputy seats in parliament,
16 which means that they would not have a majority. Since
17 the concept behind Yugoslavia was a Greater Serb
18 concept, it could not accept parliamentarianism.
19 Q. Professor, how did King Aleksandar try to
20 save that Yugoslavia?
21 A. King Aleksandar, together with the Crown
22 counsel, had two alternatives for a resolution of the
23 Yugoslav crisis. The first alternative was to break up
24 Yugoslavia, to give up on the idea of a Yugoslavia.
25 Then the question arose: If Yugoslavia needs to be
1 disbanded, and it did because it could no longer
2 survive, what should be done?
3 His idea was to amputate the whole of
4 Slovenia, because there was no territorial link between
5 Serbia and Slovenia, and amputate a part of Croatia.
6 Here on the map we can see that the line of
7 the amputation went in such a way that almost the whole
8 of Dalmatia would be attached to Serbia as well as the
9 whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large part of
10 Slavonia and Baranja, so that the Kingdom of Serbia
11 would be expanded and the old concept of a Greater
12 Serbia would become reality.
13 However, the Croats and the Slovenes and, I
14 must add, the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 as well, or, rather, their leaders, opposed the cutting
16 off of Croatia, as did the big powers of the Versailles
18 Why did the superpowers suggest to the King
19 or advise the King not to do this?
20 According to the Versailles system, one of
21 the reasons why Yugoslavia was formed in 1918 was that
22 it had two functions: First, to serve as a country
23 that would stand in the way of the possible renewal of
24 German imperialism, Drang nach Osten, because
25 Yugoslavia's geopolitical position was such that if
1 Germany wanted to spread to the east, it had to cover
2 Yugoslavia; and the other function that Yugoslavia had
3 at the time was that, together with a group of
4 countries, the Baltic states, Poland, Czechoslovakia,
5 Hungary -- Hungary less so -- to be a kind
6 of cordon sanitaire against the export of Bolshevism
7 and the Soviet revolution.
8 This amputation proved to be impossible and
9 he adopted a second alternative, the alternative of a
10 dictatorship. He set up a government of generals,
11 headed by General Petar ^ Dzerkovic, who was the
12 commander of his guards, and he believed that the
13 melting pot would, after all, succeed. That is, that
14 the Yugoslav idea would, after all, prevail, and that
15 it needed to be imposed by force. So he again divided
16 Yugoslavia up into nine banovinas or counties in such a
17 way that not one of those counties had the
18 characteristics of an historical entity but were merely
19 administrative units.
20 Counting on the fact that the future would
21 prove him right, he would save Yugoslavia, and
22 gradually he would manage, with the help of the
23 International Community, to preserve and develop it on
24 the basis of the idea of Yugoslavianism.
25 Q. Professor, how did that dictatorship end?
1 A. King Aleksandar was killed in Marseilles in
2 October 1934.
3 Q. By whom?
4 A. This problem remains unresolved. It was done
5 by Croatian emigres, the Ustashes and Macedonian
6 émigrés, but an important research of the German Reich,
7 an historian, Eduard Calic, who wrote three volumes on
8 Hitler and Germany, claims that it was the New Germany
9 that was behind this because Hitler came into power in
10 1933 and the assassination was the work of
11 ultra-rightist forces, pro-Ustashe and pro-Macedonian,
12 extremist Macedonian forces.
13 Q. After the killing of King Aleksandar in
14 Marseilles, what was being done in Yugoslavia? What
15 efforts were made to save it?
16 A. Let me make one more remark regarding the
17 dictatorship. Regardless of the fact that the King was
18 killed, murdered, it became clear that a dictatorship
19 could not be maintained for long because again the
20 Communists or the Communist Party, in my opinion, came
21 forward with the wrong thesis, claiming that it was a
22 fascist dictatorship headed by a monarch.
23 However, fascist dictatorships, based on the
24 principle of one nation, one party, one Fuehrer could
25 not succeed in Yugoslavia because it was a multi-ethnic
1 state and it simply lost its force, its strength. Not
2 only were the Slovenes and Croats against it but the
3 bourgeois parties in Serbia were against the
4 dictatorship, and it fell. So that in 1935,
5 parliamentarianism was renewed, a kind of Balkan-type
6 parliamentary system with bribes, corruption, fraud,
7 election fraud, et cetera, and second elections were
8 held in 1938, parliamentary elections; but, in fact,
9 those elections enabled an anti-centralist movement, a
10 federalist movement, so that a situation set in of a
11 stalemate, because the forces with the regime and the
12 forces in the opposition were almost in balance.
13 The new Croatian leader, Mrgic, in 1938 won
14 97 per cent of the votes.
15 Q. Can it be said very roughly that the three
16 peoples that we are talking about, because we are
17 discussing here an event that occurred in Bosnia, that
18 is, the Croats, Muslims, and Serbs, formed ranks behind
19 their nationalist leaders as they did in those days?
20 A. I must say that these nationalist
21 concentrations were more intense as the years passed.
22 Why? Because the national question became the crucial
23 political question and because the non-Serbs were
24 opposed to centralism and, naturally, they all -- not
25 all of them but most of them -- sided with nationalist
2 The regime, resorting to various means,
3 managed to win over the pro-unitary factors in Croatia,
4 Dalmatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the
5 fact remains that the grouping was mainly based on
7 Q. The regime in Belgrade tried to save
8 Yugoslavia once more, eight days before the beginning
9 of the war in Yugoslavia, in Europe, that is, I'm
10 referring to the Second World War, it tried to resolve
11 the Croatian national question by offering the Croatian
12 leader, Mrgic, the formation of a Croatian banovina or
13 county. Can you tell us something about that?
14 A. Yes, just two or three words about this. In
15 the meantime, Austria was annexed, Czechoslovakia was
16 run over, and it was clear that this was the prelude to
17 the Second World War.
18 On the 1st of September, 1939, Germany
19 attacked Poland. The West, Great Britain, France,
20 America to some extent, wanted to stabilise Yugoslavia
21 as a country which would join the coalition against
22 Hitler, and they exerted pressure on the Belgrade
23 regime to deal with the problem of Yugoslavia in such a
24 way as to make major concessions to the Croats because,
25 in size, they were the second largest people in
2 Negotiations were conducted between the
3 Croatian leader Mrgic on the one hand and the leader of
4 the bourgeoise parties, there were several in Serbia at
5 the time, but they couldn't agree on anything. Then
6 the monarch intervened -- not the King, but Prince
7 Paul, who acted as the monarch, on behalf of the
8 monarch -- and he ordered the government - he was a
9 regent and as a regent he was able to do so - he
10 ordered the government to come to an agreement with the
11 Croats, and that agreement was reached eight days
12 before the beginning of the Second World War in such a
13 way that Croatia, which had been divided into two
14 banovinas, Primorska and Savaska, and there were parts
15 also in Vrbaska and some other banovinas or counties,
16 was united but the problem of Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 then arose. When the banovina of Croatia was formed,
18 the question that immediately cropped up was what to be
19 done with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 The position taken was that Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina should be divided, that Belgrade and
22 Zagreb, or, rather, Serbia and Croatia, should divide
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina up.
24 An agreement was reached, according to which
25 Croatia acquired, to use the terms used in court here,
1 the provinces of Travnik and Mostar, and several local
2 communities in northern Bosnia, in the Savska river
3 valley, including Brcko, Derventa, Odzaci, Orasje.
4 Also, in relation to socialist Yugoslavia, it won Sid
5 in the region of Srijem. So that was their division.
6 Q. Let me ask you, did this save Yugoslavia, and
7 were the Croats satisfied with this concession? And
8 when Germany attacked, was proper resistance put up or
9 did Yugoslavia fall apart when Germany and Italy
11 A. In view of the fact that that state was
12 already undermined from within, on the one hand, and,
13 on the other, the ruling class in the country was aware
14 of the fact that it was weak, that it lacked power, and
15 so with the assistance of the Croats and the Slovenes,
16 it accepted Hitler's demand for Yugoslavia to join
17 the Tri-partite pact signed on the 25th of March, 1941
18 in the hope that it will manage to survive without a
19 war, because Hitler did not ask Yugoslavia to
20 participate in its war campaigns.
21 However, a group of generals in Belgrade,
22 encouraged by Great Britain and the United States,
23 carried out a coup d'etat, dismissed the government,
24 and Hitler responded by declaring war. Having broken
25 up Yugoslavia which, in view of its historical regions,
1 was relatively easy to do, Hitler rewarded the Croats
2 by creating a puppet, pro-fascist state, which
3 introduced racial laws with the aim of, one day, making
4 it an ethnically pure state.
5 Srijem was annexed to Croatia, the whole of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that the ethnic structure of the
7 NDH, Independent State of Croatia, was such that, as a
8 state, it was untenable. Why? Out of the 6.300.000
9 inhabitants of that state, 50 per cent were Serbs and
10 Muslims, not quite 50 per cent. To be more precise,
11 there were about 3.300.000 Croats, and the other two
12 peoples and other minorities accounted for three
13 million. So a state in which the nationalist tension
14 was high could not have survived.
15 However, irrespective of that, in the long
16 run, the Croats would have been punished because they
17 would have shared the destiny of the Slavs, and one
18 day, they would have melted in with other Slav peoples
19 under the heading of Germany. Because it is well-known
20 that Hitler's design was to create a thousand-year-long
21 Neue Ordnung, a new order, according to which the fate
22 of the Croats was sealed.
23 Slovenia was divided into two entities, one
24 of which was proclaimed an integral part of the Third
25 Reich. The other half was next to Italy. Most of
1 Vojvodina was attached to Hungary. Serbia was
2 occupied. Macedonia was attached to Bulgaria; Kosovo
3 to Albania. And Montenegro was to have been a puppet
4 state of Italy's. Similarly, Croatia became a
5 satellite of Berlin and Rome.
6 Q. Professor, you will agree with me that
7 fascist Italy annexed the best parts of Croatia, that
8 is, Dalmacija, Istria, and the islands. In that
9 situation, in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which we
10 are particularly interested in, a quisling entity was
11 set up, the independent state of Croatia. Can you tell
12 us what the response was of the people in Croatia and
13 Bosnia who did not except the Ustashe regime? Was
14 there any other movement in Croatia and Bosnia?
15 A. I'm afraid the answer to that question is a
16 little more complex. I will come back to that a little
17 later to say that Dalmacija, almost 100 per cent, the
18 people of Dalmacija joined the Partisan Army.
19 Q. Let us clear it up for the benefit of their
20 Honours. Dalmacija is the coastal part of Croatia.
21 A. But we come to a far more serious question.
22 As Yugoslavia was broken up and segmented, as I have
23 just explained, a new historical situation was
24 created. The internal forces within Yugoslavia, the
25 monarchy, the Serbian bourgeois parties, the Croatian
1 parties, in the first place, the Croatian's peasant
2 party, in view of this, the question that arose was
3 what should be done and how during the occupation?
4 The second question, and it was a much more
5 important question, that is, how the Second World War
6 would end and how they should prepare for the situation
7 that would ensue after the end of the Second World War
8 and for renewing Yugoslavia then.
9 It should be noted that the big powers of the
10 anti-fascist coalition decided that all the lands which
11 Hitler had destroyed and broken up had to be renewed,
12 Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and so on. In that
13 respect, Yugoslavia's renewal was secured, regardless
14 of what would happen during the Second World War. But
15 in the interests of understanding the situation, two
16 projects of the future Yugoslavia are essential,
17 because the quisling entities would fall when the
18 Wehrmacht fell. That was clear. But the question then
19 was who would then rule Yugoslavia?
20 There were two visions. One was the Greater
21 Serbia vision and the other was a communist vision.
22 The Communist Party of Yugoslavia organised an
23 insurrection in Yugoslavia. In 1941, it had about
24 80.000 men under arms; in '42, 150.000; and in 1943,
25 about 300.000 combatants. So that in addition to the
1 eastern front with the Red Army, this was the only
2 front until Italy landed, the Italian forces landed.
3 The Greater Serbian forces felt that
4 Yugoslavia was destroyed by the Croats, and that is why
5 they had to be punished. That is one point. The
6 other, Serbia must correct a disastrous error made,
7 according to the authors of this project, and that was
8 that it had missed its chance to define the western
9 borders of Serbia. Because unless the Second World War
10 was taken advantage of to define those western borders
11 of Serbia, in that case, we would, again, melt into
12 some kind of an undefined Yugoslavia, impersonal
14 The Communist Party, after the capitulation
15 of Yugoslavia, set in motion a national all-Serb
16 movement which, in the first few days, had been
17 designed to wage a struggle against the occupiers, to
18 wage a liberation war. But at the end of the war, it
19 was designed to achieve a Greater Serbia, according to
20 this map, on which we see that Croatia virtually no
21 longer exists; Slovenia acquires Trieste, Istria, Fume,
22 Rijeka, a part of the Croatian coast. It is being
23 rewarded. Serbia gained Vojvodina, Montenegro,
24 Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dalmacija. And being an
25 allied state, it counted on getting from Hungary, Bajo
1 and Pec, this yellow triangle that you can see, a bit
2 of Bulgaria, a bit of Romania. So that would mean the
3 transformation into reality of the Greater Serb
5 Q. You said that the Serb nationalist
6 movement was liberated to begin with. Can we name it
7 as the Chetniks, and can you tell us what it turned
9 A. They called themselves, at the beginning, the
10 Chetnik Army. Later on, in order to achieve political
11 legitimacy, when they grew in size, their leader,
12 Drazan Mihajlovic was accepted as prime minister in
13 London. He was, of course, in the country, and he was
14 promoted from rank of colonel to rank of general. The
15 royal government in London, that is to say, the ruling
16 Serb government, said to the allies that he was
17 waging a war only against the Germans, that is to say,
18 the occupiers, including the Bulgarians and so on. And
19 Drazan Mihajlovic was said to be the Robin Hood of the
20 Balkan mountains in the American press which was
21 fighting the German divisions. And the myth was
22 created in 1941, 1942, and 1943, the myth about Drazan
23 Mihajlovic as the greatest warrior against fascism.
24 However, what did happen in actual fact? I
25 have to add here that the war broke out between the
1 Partisan Army, Tito's army and Mihajlovic's Chetnik
2 army which, I repeat, was called the Yugoslav Army and
3 which incorporated 100.000.
4 The communists started out from the fact that
5 the Kingdom of Yugoslavia had to be broken up, that is,
6 that it was not to be renewed. For that reason,
7 immediately in 1941 on the first day of the uprising,
8 they formed a federal, military, and political
9 structure for waging the war. That means that every
10 future republic had its own central political
11 institutions and bodies, that every republic already in
12 1941 had its own national partisan armies. That meant
13 that Serbia, should the communists win, would be
14 brought back to within the boundaries, its boundaries,
15 of about -- that is to say, the boundaries which it had
16 up until 1918, that is to say, the beginning of the
17 First World War, up to 1914, in fact.
18 However, the question arises as to how the
19 communists could revive a country which was destroyed
20 so much internally, within itself. How could they
21 revive this? They did something extraordinary. They
22 made a sort of Yugoslavia synthesis, and this synthesis
23 aspired towards giving each people within Yugoslavia
24 the maximum possible and to retain Yugoslavia in the
25 bargain. That meant that, to the Serbs, they
1 guaranteed that they would live in one state which, for
2 the Serbs, was a sine qua non condition, in fact.
3 They promised the Croats a state, not an
4 independent one, but a republic, a state republic
5 within the frameworks of Yugoslavia. That was also
6 true for the Slovenes, the Macedonians, the
7 Montenegrins, and the nations, the peoples of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So from the very first day of the
9 uprising, a federal, political, and military structure
10 was set up.
11 Now, the question arises -- let me say here
12 that the Partisan Army, I was, in 1942, the commander
13 of some 200 partisans. I was a young man of 18 at the
14 time, and all of us were aged between 18 and 25. We
15 were all young men and women. There was nobody older
16 in that war. That was the generation.
17 The communists succeeded in doing something
18 that had never been done before, and that is that, as
19 opposed to the NDH, the Chetniks and the others who
20 based their future on myth, on the myths of history and
21 on hatred towards other nations, the communists taught
22 their partisan fighters that there was no history
23 before them and that history was, in fact, a
24 misconception. It was a barbarianism of the capitalist
25 type, and that for that reason, it should be struck
1 from the political vocabulary, everything that is
2 national. That is one point.
3 The second point is the following: As
4 opposed to hatred towards other peoples, the communists
5 taught their partisans that we were all class brothers,
6 and not only must there be no hatred towards other
7 peoples, but they also taught brotherhood and unity
8 amongst the nations. This utopia on the part of the
9 communists began to rule over the majority of that
10 young partisan generation who fanatically laid down
11 their lives. They were tremendously brave fighters.
12 Then a second question arose, that is, how
13 the individual nations accepted this synthesis, how
14 they reacted to it. There are great differences on
15 that particular point with regard to the participation
16 that the nations of Yugoslavia took in the anti-fascist
17 report, which, I repeat, in 1943 had reached the number
18 of 300.000 partisans.
19 Serbia, in 1941, launched an uprising and
20 played the leading role in raising that uprising. This
21 was also done by Montenegro. But after three to four
22 months, the insurrection in Serbia and Montenegro was
23 stifled. On the contrary, the non-Serb people
24 joined the partisans, because they came to realise that
25 this would no longer be the Kingdom of Yugoslavia,
1 Greater Serbia, but that it would come to be a
3 In that way, the Croats, that is, the Croats
4 with the Serbs in Croatia, who had a great share in the
5 partisan war because they were persecuted by the
6 Ustashe regime, and the main commander of the Croatian
7 army had in his units, under his command, from the
8 summer of 1942 until the summer of 1944, that is to
9 say, two years, he had 50 per cent of all the partisans
10 of Yugoslavia under him. That is, in these Croatian
11 units, half of them were there and half of them were
12 made up of all the other nations of Yugoslavia.
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina was also markedly
14 pro-partisan, because the Serbs outside Serbia
15 supported Tito's movement strongly, so that the
16 partisan movement in Serbia would be revised at the
17 final stages of the war.
18 The war ended in such a way, and I'll be as
19 brief as possible here and I'll condense the Second
20 World War in Yugoslavia, in such a way that the
21 communists had an army of 800.000 soldiers in the final
22 operations for the liberation of Yugoslavia in
23 1944/1945, that they had total power and authority in
24 their hands. They had the party powers, the party
25 police and army, and party rule. It was secret because
1 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was a conspiratorial
2 party, whereas formal power and authority was in the
3 hands of organisations which led the war.
4 The war for the Serb people, for the
5 Serb nationalist ideology, ended in a catastrophic
6 manner. The army of 1941 was lost in the confrontation
7 with the Wehrmacht. The army was defeated. Drazan
8 Mihajlovic's army was defeated in 1944. Immediately
9 after the war, the monarchy was liquidated, so that
10 Serbia was returned back into the frameworks of the
11 ones it had before the Balkan wars, before Montenegro
12 and Macedonia became republics. So it lost those two
14 The communists were more lenient on two
15 points towards Serbia, that is to say, Kosovo, which
16 the communists promised self-determination, guided by
17 Lenin's thesis, which means the right to link up with
18 Albania. So that decision was refuted and Vojvodina
19 came back within the frameworks of Serbia.
20 Q. Professor, on the one hand, in that
21 anti-fascist war and, on the other hand, I think that
22 you will agree with me when I say it was a civil war as
23 well, what were the positions of the Muslims? Who did
24 they side with, because we're speaking about
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina here, for the most part.
1 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, Counsel Nobilo
2 has asked a question, without which we cannot have a
3 whole picture unless we provide an answer. I maintain
4 that in Yugoslavia there were four wars being waged,
5 the liberation war against the occupier, which was led
6 by the communists and the partisans; second, the war
7 between the individual nations of Yugoslavia, in
8 practical terms, the war between Serbia and Croatia or,
9 let me say, a war between a part of the Serbs in the
10 Chetnik movement and all the other nations.
11 Then, and this is important, within each
12 nation, you had a civil war. The Croats, you had the
13 partisans waging wars against the Croat Ustashes. The
14 Serb partisans waged a war against the Serb Chetniks or
15 Chetnik Serbs. The Slovene partisans waged a war
16 against the military units which were fighting for a
17 revival of a bourgeois Yugoslavia. This was a small
18 force, but it existed. So you had four different types
19 of war being waged.
20 But the wave led by the Communists was
21 victorious, and I might say that Stalin helped Tito in
22 such a way that in 1944, in August or the beginning of
23 September, he gave him nine divisions of the Red Army,
24 one motor mechanised corps, four divisions, airborne
25 divisions, and Tito accepted the offer that the second
1 Bulgarian army should enter Serbia, and therefore, the
2 resistance in 1944 was completely broken down.
3 Q. But let us return to the Muslims. Where were
5 A. So the Second World War ended in the fiasco
6 of the idea of Greater Serbia but also the idea of a
7 Greater Croatia with the Ustashes. The partisans were
8 divided into three factions: one was the pro-partisan
9 faction, and they had Muslim brigades. We even had a
10 Czech brigade, a Hungarian brigade, the Sandor Potefi
11 brigade, and the Muslim, the Muslim one, the Hungarian
12 one, some small German units, the Tilman unit, the
13 Ziska Czech unit, and so the Communists were very
14 skilful in using the national burgeoning forces to
15 strengthen their own forces, although, and this is a
16 paradox of history, the Communists were, to a certain
17 extent, anationalist, they were globalists,
18 cosmopolitans, and therefore, they could allow
19 themselves to solve these questions simply.
20 The Muslim practice, tied to the NDH, the
21 other faction, and the third faction, particularly
22 amongst the intellectuals of the day, asked, on several
23 occasions of Hitler, that Bosnia and Herzegovina become
24 an autonomous state under the immediate, under the
25 direct rule or hand of Hitler's Germany.
1 Q. If I have understood you correctly, and I'll
2 try and summarise, the Muslims, in the political sense,
3 went into three factions: one joined the
4 anti-fascists, the second joined the Ustashes, and the
5 third was, let us call it the Muslim autonomous idea.
6 But in the military sense, they belonged to two
7 military formations: the Ustashes and the partisans.
8 Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Thank you. Therefore, not to go on at too
11 great a length, we come to Tito's socialist
12 Yugoslavia. Could you please tell us the ideals upon
13 which that Yugoslavia was built up and how Tito tried
14 to solve the national question, although you've already
15 mentioned that. You said how he placed this question
16 during the liberation -- but when he came to power, how
17 did he solve the national question and what experiments
18 did he introduce to retain Yugoslavia?
19 A. Tito's policy, or the policy of the Communist
20 Party of Yugoslavia, to be more exact, had a drama of
21 its own kind; that is to say, it was triumphant and was
22 heady with this victory and it thought that a new era
23 of civilisation had begun, The era led by the Soviet
24 Union. It said that the West was decadent and that it
25 would disappear as a regime, as a system, as a social
2 Yugoslavia copied everything that Stalin, in
3 the institutional sense, had established. It abolished
4 and banned the multi-party system, it abolished private
5 ownership, private property. It established state
6 ownership. It moved towards a policy of
7 industrialisation and electrification, a rapid change
8 of social structures, and blindly followed the policies
9 and politics of the Soviet Union, of the USSR; and in
10 the peaks of power of the Communist Party of
11 Yugoslavia, they thought that Yugoslavia would one day
12 enter into the Soviet Union as one of its republics,
13 and you have with that with two members of the
14 politburo: Kardelj, who was, along with Tito, from
15 1937 to his death, he was always the No. 2 man in
16 Yugoslavia after Tito.
17 As far as the national question is concerned,
18 there was a utopian vision that nations would wither
19 away, and as socialism was being built up, that nations
20 would disappear, would wither away, the withering away
21 of the nations.
22 In view of the war, intra-nationality war in
23 Yugoslavia during the Second World War, and with regard
24 to the mistrust that was created, any expression of
25 national symbols was banned, nationalist songs and so
1 on, and a great deal of care and attention was paid to
2 prevent any one nation or citizen. There were draconian
3 laws to upset intra-nationality relations. This was
4 very severely punished.
5 This system lasted from the confrontation
6 with Stalin in 1948, when the conflict with Stalin came
7 about. We all know Tito's historical "No" stated to
8 Stalin and the struggle against Stalinism, against
9 Stalin, strengthened Tito's regime. Why? Because the
10 bourgeois forces who ruled in the course of World War
11 II thought that Tito would not be able to tackle Stalin
12 and that his regime would perhaps disintegrate and that
13 Yugoslavia would move towards the West.
14 But, as time went by, the ideological
15 consciousness of the Communists changed to such an
16 extent that those people who said that the Soviet Union
17 was a flourishing garden of a new civilisation, in 1952
18 they stated at the congress that that was the darkest
19 system ever to be encountered in the history of
20 civilisation, and a complete severance, a new ideology
21 started, the ideology of self-management.
22 In this connection, the whole attitude
23 changed, the attitude towards market mechanisms, market
24 mechanisms had to be revived, planning of the Soviet
25 type was abolished, greater autonomy was given to the
1 work organisations, autonomy to the communes, and a
2 radical reduction in the federal government took place,
3 about 100.000 white collar workers were lost in the
4 reforms, the power of the republics was strengthened,
5 and then, along with this wave of anti-Stalinism, the
6 movement emerged for the transition to a multi-party
7 system, and the links between the leading ideologists
8 of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, Milovan Djilas,
9 with Bevan, Bevan with the British Labour Party, with
10 the Socialists and so on and so forth, and Yugoslavia's
11 slow movement towards the West, the West's aid and
12 assistance to Yugoslavia in helping it resist the
13 Soviet aggression, led to a spiritual climate in which
14 Yugoslavia moved towards the Western model, and it said
15 it would establish a model according to Western
17 Djilas was -- not only Djilas but many other
18 people, stood on the threshold of setting up an
19 opposition party and, for example, Djilas's idea of 37
20 communes, Kardelj and Slovenia, 35 were in favour of
21 Djilas's concept. The party, although it was a weak,
22 uneducated intelligentsia, accepted the idea. However,
23 the party piques, Tito, Kardelj, Rankovic, and the
24 other leaders, assessed, and I think they were right in
25 doing so, realistically speaking - it is quite another
1 matter because I personally supported Djilas, I was
2 alongside Djilas in 1953 when he started to raise his
3 platform of this multi-party system.
4 However, through later analysis, I became
5 convinced that Tito was right. He liquidated Djilas
6 politically and, at a meeting of the central committee,
7 stressed the Crown thesis that if Yugoslavia
8 was democratised in the direction of a multi-party
9 system, a civil war in Yugoslavia would be
10 unavoidable. Of course, he did not say that there
11 would be a civil war amongst the Communists, but he
12 considered that the defeated anti-Communist forces in
13 the Second World War, that is, the Croatian rightist
14 pro-Ustashe forces and the bourgeois forces as well as
15 the Chetniks of Drazan Mihajlovic, would use this
16 situation to their own ends and overthrow the regime,
17 the regime would not allow itself to be overthrown, and
18 a civil war would be unavoidable so that we could not
19 move towards democracy at that point, Western
21 A substitute was found in self-management
22 democracy which was a sort of ideological terminology
23 used which meant none other than the democratisation of
24 the party dictatorship, the democratisation of existing
25 dictatorship and not a change of dictatorship.
1 Q. Professor, you said that Tito already, at
2 that time, in the 1950s, came to realise that any kind
3 of democratisation in Yugoslavia would necessarily lead
4 to its disintegration. You also said that, through a
5 later analysis, you came to realise this yourself. Was
6 this confirmed by the events that began with the
7 reforms in 1965 and ended with the Croatian Spring in
8 1971 when they moved towards liberalisation and further
9 decentralisation? Were the trends towards
10 disintegration burgeoning at that time?
11 A. Concerned about the signs of conflict within
12 the Communist party of Yugoslavia, Tito, on the 13th
13 and 14th of March, 1962, convened a kind of summit, a
14 secret meeting, which went on for three days, rallying
15 about 70 people.
16 His introductory statement was, and I quote:
17 "Monitoring the situation, I have come to the
18 conclusion that there is the threat of the
19 disintegration of Yugoslavia. Why did we wage war for
20 four years when our country is beginning to fall
22 This was 18 years before his death, and 28 or
23 27 years prior to the actual disintegration of
24 Yugoslavia. What was it that prompted Tito to be such
25 a good prophet of a bad future? One reason was that he
1 wanted to scare the republican leaders, to force them
2 to obedience because otherwise they would lose power.
3 The other was that, indeed, the disintegration of the
4 Communist party of Yugoslavia had begun.
5 The leading Communist, the Communist leader
6 of Serbia, at a meeting, and I consider this as most
7 instructive, said, "I have read a paper by the Secret
8 Police on what the intelligentsia has on its mind as
9 well as our Communist cadres," and I compared this
10 analysis with an analysis of the Secret Police from
11 1945, and if the vocabulary has changed slightly, it
12 boils down to the same thing, which means, that from
13 within, this disintegration had started, and the
14 Communists were gradually shifting to nationalist
15 positions, and the republics, being formerly states, in
16 fact, according to the constitution and the law, the
17 republics struggled to allow as little funds as
18 possible to go to Belgrade and to get as much as
19 possible from the joint treasury, and the federal
20 government was paralysed; the federal government was
21 unable to meet because of these conflicts.
22 Three years later, Kardelj, that is the No. 2
23 man in Yugoslavia, said, "Comrades, our vision on the
24 withering away of nations is utopian. Not only are the
25 nations not withering away, in fact, they are
1 strengthening because they are becoming modern
2 industrial nations, and the more modern and the more
3 developed a nation is in the economic, cultural,
4 educational and every other sense, the stronger it
5 becomes. Therefore, our thesis on the withering away
6 of nations should be rejected. We must accept
8 He proposed a project with two principal
9 premises: Yugoslavia can be saved only as a
10 confederation or as a union of sovereign states, and
11 the federal government and the federal institutions
12 must become no more than green tables at which the
13 republics will negotiate, reach agreements, and decide
14 jointly. That was the first premise.
15 The second was, "We are wrong with regard to
16 the market," and again I'm quoting him, because I
17 remember it well, "The market mechanism is the law of
18 survival of human society," and then he went on to say,
19 and I'm not quoting him anymore: Therefore, without
20 respect for market mechanisms, we will fall apart.
21 Therefore, these two things, are market mechanism of
22 the Western type and, number 2, a confederation.
23 But then, Mr. President, you will ask: Why
24 didn't he come forth with a third premise on a
25 multi-party system when he had resigned to accept these
1 two? Answer: It was not possible. Again, there was
2 fear of disintegration of the country and of the
3 Communist authorities losing power. They were powerful
4 and they thought that, in time, they would achieve
5 their goal without a multi-party system.
6 And then a non-party democracy was proclaimed,
7 a self-management democracy.
8 Q. Let us digress to make things clearer. Could
9 we call your positions of the '50s and '60s as being
10 the positions of a man believing in Yugoslavia and the
11 chances of that state functioning properly?
12 A. I was a member of two commissions because
13 after Kardelj, Rankovic was removed, he was the
14 vice-president of the republic, and, in fact, he had
15 control over the Secret Police, the UDBA, and then the
16 central committee decided -- or, rather, a year before
17 that, that Yugoslavia should adopt the market
18 mechanism, and a commission was formed, of which I was
19 a member, to draft a project of transition from the
20 economic system in force at the time into a new kind of
21 economic system in which the market would be the
22 dominant force. That was the one commission.
23 On the day that Rankovic fell, by decision of
24 the central committee, I became a member of another
25 commission, the task of which was to study the question
1 of the future of the League of Communists, and a year
2 later, we came to the conclusion that the party should
3 be withdrawn from enterprises, that it should become a
4 kind of educational, ideological propaganda
5 organisation without having actual power.
6 Riding on that wave of democratisation of the
7 party and market mechanism on the other hand,
8 nationalist feelings were given vent to, in Croatia --
9 a nationalist movement came into being in Croatia in
10 favour of a settlement of accounts; in Slovenia as well
11 as in Serbia, a wave of liberalism came to the fore;
12 and I must say that for six years, there wasn't a
13 single case of arrest for any political offences
14 because there was this wave of democracy which
15 overpowered the police and the party, and that
16 democratic wave also tended towards the same goal.
17 Q. A multi-party system and disintegrating
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you explain why Tito interrupted that
21 democratic wave or what is known as "the Croatian
23 A. Tito was a rare politician, an autocrat but
24 an enlightened autocrat who had been through the Second
25 World War, he was wounded in it, he had seen the
1 killing of the Second World War, he had witnessed the
2 people of Yugoslavia, he understood all those things
3 very, very well, and he came to the conclusion that in
4 Yugoslavia, another conflict was in the offing.
5 Kardelj imbued him with fear by saying that
6 things rather like the Potefi clubs in Hungary were
7 emerging or something like the Czech Spring and that
8 two dangers were threatening: the danger of an
9 internal conflict and the danger of a Soviet
10 intervention, and that is why all processes should be
11 brought to a halt except one, except one. Even the
12 market mechanism should be halted, the process of
13 democratisation, the withering away of the party. Some
14 of the power that had been taken away from it was
15 restored, but there was one thing only that shouldn't
16 be touched, and that was the course of creating a
17 confederation as the safest way of preserving
18 Yugoslavia; and in that context and in line with those
19 policies, the 1974 constitution was promulgated which
20 has very many confederate elements of which I should
21 like to name three:
22 First, the right of veto of each member of
23 the federation which meant, in practice, that an
24 Albanian who later became the president of Yugoslavia
25 could veto any federal decision, even an initiative
1 could be vetoed.
2 Secondly, strict parity, the so-called ethnic
3 key. In Yugoslavia, the differences between the
4 smallest and the largest republic is 16, between
5 Montenegro and Serbia, for instance. But they had an
6 equal number of members in the government, in the state
7 presidency, even ambassadorial posts. This ethnic key
8 was applied throughout in the belief -- this was
9 something that both he and Kardelj were aware of --
10 that things should be developed towards a
11 confederation; and then later on, if the republics
12 wanted a multi-party system, they would have one. But
13 the most important thing was to prevent an inter-ethnic
14 conflict, and in their view - they were naive in their
15 belief, as history will show - they believed that it
16 could be saved if this confederate system was
17 established. The 1974 constitution was promulgated,
18 the process of liberalisation was halted, and a
19 bureaucratic blow was inflicted or a firm-hand policy
20 was applied which lasted until his death.
21 But it is noteworthy, it was not the federal
22 centre that applied this firm-hand policy, it was the
23 republican centres. They applied this course, and
24 thereby strengthened the powers of the republics
25 against the federation.
1 Q. So we now come to the beginning of the end.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps -- it is ten to four.
3 We could perhaps have a break, unless your next
4 question is very brief. If not, we will have a break
6 MR. NOBILO: I think, Mr. President, this is
7 the best time to break because we have just come to a
8 new heading, which I have noted for myself, "The
9 beginning of the end of Yugoslavia." Thank you.
10 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We will suspend the
12 I remind you, Professor, you have
13 mentioned -- you said you have given three examples but
14 I've only put down two. You said three points, and I
15 only put down two: equality and the ethnic
16 distribution of all post -- I forgot the third. You
17 can remind me when we come back.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.52 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the
21 accused brought in, please?
22 (The accused entered court)
23 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?
24 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. So we come to something that can be called
1 the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia. During Tito's
2 lifetime, a group of Serb politicians tried to gain
3 some important changes from him and a revision of the
4 1974 constitution. What happened?
5 A. I must explain to the President of this
6 Honourable Court and give him an answer to the question
7 that he put to me regarding confederation and
8 federation. The constitutional definition of the state
9 of Yugoslavia and the constitutional definition of the
10 republics was worded such that the republics were
11 states with the right to secession. And proceeding
12 from such a constitutional definition, it was logical
13 that constitutional provisions should be passed which
14 implemented that concept, and those are the right to
15 veto from the level of initiatives onwards; secondly,
16 not a proportionate, but a parity principle of
17 representation in federal bodies; and third, a special
18 procedure which determined the process of negotiation
19 among the republics and provinces within the
21 Such a constitutional structure met with
22 resistance in Serbia. The leaders in Serbia, two years
23 after the 1974 constitution was adopted, launched an
24 initiative for a minor revision of the constitution
25 along two main lines. First, the things that were
1 overly decentralised should be reduced so that the
2 greater rights should be restored to the federation;
3 secondly, that the autonomy of Serb provinces, that
4 is Kosovo and Vojvodina, should be limited, but Tito
5 rejected this idea in 1976 when he was 85 years old.
6 And, of course, political shrewdness told the
7 initiators of the reform that Tito's days were numbered
8 and that they should wait. He had vast powers, so that
9 no one could halt the process of confederalisation
10 while he was alive, he and Kardelj. And they were
11 quite old at the time.
12 Q. What happened after Tito's death?
13 A. After Tito's death, a serious economic crisis
14 broke out. A 20-billion-dollar debt was incurred. The
15 state of Yugoslavia was no longer able to service those
16 debts. Basic raw materials, especially fuel and oil,
17 could not be imported. This economic crisis, in
18 itself, forced the ruling class in Yugoslavia to come
19 to grips with the problem.
20 Secondly, in 1981, a revolt broke out in
21 Kosovo and, as a result, the Serb question emerged
22 into the front, and the leadership of Serbia renewed
23 its idea of a constitutional revision. As it was not
24 possible to amend the constitution without the
25 agreement of all the republics, including both
1 provinces, a six-year-old tug-of-war started between
2 Serbia and the other republics and provinces, when all
3 the republics and the provinces of Serbia took up a
4 position warfare, if I may call it that. They dug
5 their heels into the constitution, and they completely
6 blocked Serbia's initiative for an amendment or a
7 revision of the constitution.
8 In the meantime, led by the widespread
9 conviction that, as a confederation, Yugoslavia had
10 become an anti-Serb state which does not recognise
11 what is Serbia's by right because of its strength, and
12 in the belief that Serbia was the only one that had
13 been broken up into three states, that is, Serbia
14 proper and two provinces which had the status of
15 federal units; thirdly, that in all the republics, the
16 first signs were emerging of what was then called
17 particularism, separatism. In Slovenia, a liberal
18 movement started to develop. In Croatia, too, there
19 were certain signs, but it was rather passive, on the
20 whole. It just firmly held on to the 1974
22 In short, all the republics defended the
23 constitution so that a popular movement started in
24 Serbia against the constitution on the grounds of the
25 premise that the constitution meant the putting into
1 effect of the old idea of the Komintern to break up
2 Yugoslavia. As you know, the Komintern asked the
3 Communist Party of Yugoslavia to break up Yugoslavia,
4 and the leading politicians in those days were Croats
5 and Slovenes, Kardelj, Tito, Bakaric, and others.
6 It was in response to this movement that
7 Milosevic appeared and who set in practice -- said and
8 implemented the principle that he would no longer
9 negotiate an amendment of the constitution with the
10 republics. He said, "I may negotiate, but I must go
11 outside the existing institutions." And a large scale
12 movement developed which enjoyed the absolute support
13 of the Serb Orthodox Church, the Serb Academy of
14 Sciences which, in 1985, drafted the famous memorandum
15 which, in fact, was a project designed to eliminate the
16 decentralisation in Yugoslavia. So that a movement
17 rallying hundreds of thousands of people were held, two
18 of which, one in Belgrade, one in Kosovo, rallied more
19 than a million people.
20 Milosevic said, "Unless we can achieve it
21 otherwise, we will have to resort to force." Milosevic
22 reckoned that he had at least four or five aces in his
23 hand, which were so powerful and so frightening for the
24 other republics. First of all, he had international
25 support, that is of both the west and the east, not
1 support of him as a person, but support of Yugoslavia,
2 which was a pet of the west and the east. So that
3 anyone defending Yugoslavia, in this case, Milosevic,
4 would surely enjoy the support of the whole world until
5 the very end of both the Warsaw treaty countries and
6 the NATO treaty countries. That was the first ace he
8 Secondly, "I can count on the Communist Party
9 of Yugoslavia," he thought, the party that had created
10 Yugoslavia and in which the Yugoslav spirit has not
11 died. Thirdly, I have created a popular national
12 movement to deal with the Serb question in
13 Yugoslavia. Fourthly, he thought, "I have the JNA,"
14 which had raised to the highest possible level of
15 socialism and Yugoslavia. It was at the top of the
16 pyramid of its beliefs, and that army would defend both
17 socialism and Yugoslavia, and this was confirmed by the
18 army leadership. "Also, I have the Yugoslav capital
19 and the bank of issue." Having that very, very strong
20 hand of cards in his hand and very powerful arguments
21 to support his views, it would be possible to achieve
22 his goals without an armed struggle, because the
23 balance of forces was such that the other republics had
24 much lesser strength and would have to give way. That
25 is how he reckoned.
1 In the meantime, a Copernik-like
2 about-turn took place. The International Community
3 developed in such a way that, in the east, communism
4 fell in 1989. The League of Communists broke up in
5 January 1990. All that remained was the JNA, and the
6 all-Serb national movement. Those two instruments
7 were still in evidence. The others had collapsed.
8 After Milosevic took over power, he
9 continued -- you may not know this. When, in Croatia,
10 the new forces of the HDZ won and when, in Slovenia,
11 the old regime fell, a series of sessions started among
12 the new heads of state or, rather, new heads of
13 republics and provinces in those days. When Milosevic
14 continued with his prior policy of trying to persuade
15 the republics to carry out a reform, while at the same
16 time preparing for other alternatives, in specific
17 terms, for struggle. I could almost end there,
18 because, as far as I know, you will be hearing another
19 testimony that follows on from what I have said.
20 Your Honours, I can say the following: I'm
21 not here to defend anybody's views, because I would be
22 betraying my profession if I did, but I must say that
23 when I reviewed everything, once again, I came to the
24 conclusion that, from the beginning, Yugoslavia was in
25 a crisis and that it eternally lived in a crisis, but
1 that it survived, to a great degree, thanks to the big
2 powers. Because Tito, in 1945, joined the Soviet bloc
3 without any reservations. When he left the Soviet
4 bloc, and as Stalin did not wage war against him, he
5 then sought not to join NATO or the Warsaw Treaty, and
6 he opted for the policy of non-alignment, managing in
7 1961 to hold the first non-aligned summit, and that was
8 his policy.
9 But regardless of the fact that Yugoslavia
10 was a non-aligned country, it could not emerge from the
11 grips of the Cold War. The tendencies towards a
12 multi-party system, which could have provoked a civil
13 war, would have been an ideal excuse for Soviet
14 intervention. So that he had to hold on to power
15 firmly so that the country would not break up.
16 That is my professional conviction. I have
17 tried to be impartial, and I hope, maybe wrongly, that
18 I have succeeded.
19 Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
20 Q. Thank you, Professor. If I have understood
21 well, your main conclusion emanating from the research
22 that you have done, not for the needs of this Court,
23 but for your own scientific studies was that Yugoslavia
24 was not a natural entity and it could not survive
25 without dictatorship. Under conditions of democracy,
1 Yugoslavia, as a state, could not survive.
2 A. Let me add, that was a clash of ideas, ideas
3 as to what Yugoslavia is. For the majority of the
4 ruling class in Serbia, the rule was, either Yugoslavia
5 over which we shall dominate or no Yugoslavia at all.
6 The state ideas of Croatia, Slovenia and, later on,
7 Macedonia were quite the contrary. Either a federal or
8 confederate Yugoslavia or no Yugoslavia at all. So
9 these are two different approaches to Yugoslavia,
10 Yugoslavianism, two concepts which were contrarily at
11 war with one another. And the end came as the way we
12 know it did.
13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Professor.
14 Mr. President, we have completed our
15 examination-in-chief. I have several maps here that we
16 have shown you on the monitor. I have one copy of
17 each, but by tomorrow, we will have small copies for
18 the Judges, Your Honours, and the Prosecution.
19 Could the usher please take these maps from
20 me. The Defence is tendering these exhibits into
22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, these maps have
23 been presented by the Defence as evidence. I suppose
24 that you're going to number them. I also suppose there
25 is no objection on the part of the Prosecution to that.
1 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Once the registrar
3 has given each of these maps a number -- you don't have
4 to do it, of course, right now, Mr. Dubuisson.
5 Now, Professor, you are now going to be asked
6 questions by the Office of the Prosecutor. That is,
7 Mr. Kehoe is going to conduct the cross-examination.
8 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President, Your
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:
11 Q. Good afternoon, Doctor. I haven't had the
12 pleasure to meet you. My name is Greg Kehoe. My
13 colleagues to my right are Mr. Andrew Cayley, and to
14 his right is Mark Harmon. On behalf of the Office of
15 the Prosecutor, welcome.
16 A. Thank you.
17 Q. Doctor, I sat with interest on the historical
18 level of your recitation, and I'd like to ask you a
19 couple of questions, if I may, concerning some aspects
20 of your testimony.
21 If we can go back, initially, to the question
22 that was asked by my learned friend, Mr. Nobilo, at the
23 end of his direct examination, and that had to do with
24 your ultimate conclusion concerning the survival of
1 Tell me if I'm incorrect in this regard,
2 Doctor, please. Your conclusion would appear to be
3 that Yugoslavia could only survive either as a
4 dictatorship or as some type of loose confederation; is
5 that correct?
6 A. Well, the fact is, I would ask another
7 question, and that is that there were a lot of actors,
8 political actors on the scene in Yugoslavia, all the
9 republics, the provinces, the International Community
10 and so on and so forth.
11 Had Ante Markovic, the Prime Minister of the
12 day, who had strong support from the United States of
13 America in concrete terms, President Bush, and Baker,
14 and the European community, the International Community
15 did what it could at the time to save Yugoslavia.
16 The idea was, which was accepted by Markovic,
17 that a transition take place into a pluralistic state
18 of the western democracy type, but that the federal
19 set-up should remain.
20 Had Milosevic and the leaders of Serbia taken
21 long-term negotiations as an option, perhaps a solution
22 could have been found. But it, too, one day would have
23 to end in the way that such a state would enter the
24 European Union, which would, once again -- which would
25 bring it peace.
1 Q. Nevertheless, Doctor, after 1990 and the
2 first free elections in the former Yugoslavia and the
3 setting up of republics, there was a series of meetings
4 between the republics, including President Milosevic,
5 where very vigorous attempts were made to save
6 Yugoslavia; isn't that right?
7 A. I think that those negotiations were more
8 a ruse than the truthful desire to retain Yugoslavia.
9 In fact, Milosevic wanted to break down Markovic, the
10 Prime Minister, because he thought that Markovic wanted
11 to establish capitalism and break down socialism.
12 Slovenia and Croatia wanted to overthrow
13 Markovic because they considered that he was the pillar
14 of Yugoslavia, which it would be difficult to maintain;
15 and through coordinated action on the part of Serbia,
16 Croatia and Slovenia, he did not succeed in what he set
17 out to do.
18 Therefore, in Yugoslavia, there are still
19 polemics to this day. Polemics have started. Was it
20 possible to avoid the disintegration of Yugoslavia and
21 the war? Well, in science, in the realm of science,
22 not social sciences, but science, we can do the test
23 again, repeat the test and see if something succeeds or
25 But in a society, you cannot repeat your
1 experiments, and it is difficult to turn the film back
2 to the pre-war situation, to see whether something
3 could have worked or not.
4 I think that the thesis remains that
5 Milosevic stuck to the course of either having a
6 socialist Yugoslavia or no Yugoslavia at all. That was
7 his key opinion and key stand on political orientation
8 and concept. And he considered that Serbia had really
9 come to a position of inequality and that had to be
10 changed, altered. And the fact that that meant a
11 deterioration for the other republics, I think that a
12 conflict was imminent.
13 And the actors in this Yugoslav drama
14 aspired, either to gain time, or through negotiation to
15 achieve what they wanted, rather than having truthful
16 ideas about Yugoslavia. And the Yugoslav forces were
17 less strong than the anti-Yugoslavia forces in the
18 sense of defending a federate or confederate
19 Yugoslavia. The balance of power was negative for
20 those forces who wished to retain Yugoslavia as a
21 confederate unit, state unit.
22 Q. You mentioned, Doctor, again in one of your
23 last answers in response to questions by my learned
24 friend, that when Milosevic was deciding what to do, he
25 had five aces that he could use -- I should live to see
1 the day when I have five aces. Nevertheless, he had
2 five aces, and I think you called them -- I think one
3 of the ones that you mentioned was he had the
4 nationalistic movement behind him; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. So after these free elections in 1990 and
7 after these meetings, including these six republic
8 meetings during 1991 where the republics were
9 attempting to hold Yugoslavia together, Milosevic was
10 fuelling the nationalistic passions of the Serbs which
11 led to the concept of a Greater Serbia; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Now, was this also taking place: The JNA was
14 making entrees into various regions such as the
16 A. Yes. But you are going to have a separate
17 expose on that. I think that the military piques of
18 the JNA, up until the outbreak of the war, the military
19 piques were not decided and they wavered between being
20 an instrument of Serbia straight-away or to attempt to
21 save Yugoslavia in a way that was not able to succeed.
22 Let me remind you of a discussion I had with
23 a group of some 10 to 15 Generals, the top army
24 leadership in Zagreb, General Kolsak, I came to them
25 for talks -- in fact, they were not talks but a
1 ceremonial occasion, and I said, "Comrades Generals, I
2 know that you would like to have socialism, both
3 socialism and Yugoslavia, and I have nothing against
4 you remaining with those goals in mind, but be careful
5 because one man will destroy both, both sacred ideals,
6 and that is Slobodan Milosevic." None of the Generals
7 had anything to say against that.
8 I am not going to attach great importance to
9 this chance meeting with the Generals of the JNA on
10 that particular occasion, but you know that the
11 Generals did try to convince Milosevic not to amputate
12 Slovenia because, allegedly -- and as an historian, I
13 haven't got documents to bear this out -- but it seems
14 to be the widespread opinion, public opinion, that
15 Serbia, before the war, agreed to have Slovenia step
16 down from Yugoslavia and that Serbia would do nothing
17 to prevent Slovenia from leaving Yugoslavia. However,
18 that is outside the realm of history.
19 Without documents, as a historian, I would
20 not venture to give an opinion on that, how far that is
21 true and how far it isn't.
22 JUDGE JORDA: I have a question of form I
23 would like to ask. When you answer, Professor, I would
24 appreciate your facing the Judges.
25 THE WITNESS: I do apologise.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Please continue.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
3 Q. Doctor, bear with me. At the outset of your
4 testimony, you noted that you were giving one possible
5 interpretation to the break-up of Yugoslavia, and I
6 would just like to ask you about some other aspects of
7 possible interpretations as well, okay, if that's
9 Nevertheless, the passions that were being
10 fuelled on a nationalistic level affected Croatia with
11 the formation of the Kninska Krajina; is that right?
12 A. I apologise, but I did not understand your
13 question. In Croatia, it is true that nationalism
14 developed on the basis of the idea of creating a
15 national state and in response to the danger which came
16 from Serbia. That is certain.
17 Q. In the Krajina, Doctor, the Serbs that were
18 in the Kninska Krajina, which is in the Republic of
19 Croatia, rejected the constitution that was voted upon
20 in the Republic of Croatia?
21 A. I apologise. The Cazinska Krajina is almost
22 100 per cent Muslim and not Serb, Cazinska Krajina.
23 Q. The part of the Krajina that incorporates
24 Knin, if I'm mispronouncing this.
25 A. Ah, yes. That is true then.
1 Q. Now, sir, during that, the Serbs in around
2 Knin attempted to set up their own state; is that
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And you wrote a paper along with various
6 other individuals in 1991 called "Croatia - Between War
7 and Independence" where you discussed the creation of
8 that state in conjunction with the rise of Serb
9 nationalism; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And to be fair, Doctor, you are not the only
12 author of that, there were several of your colleagues
13 who were also authors of that piece; is that right?
14 A. I can't quite recall the article you have in
15 mind, but if you tell me the substance of the article,
16 I will be able to say whether it was mine or not.
17 Q. Certainly. It is a paper that came from the
18 University of Zagreb, it is in English, the document is
19 called "Croatia - Between War and --"
20 A. Yes, yes, I know it, and that's right.
21 Q. You are the first author in a list of
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. And, Doctor, in that paper, you concluded
25 that the formation of a state, such as the Serbs in
1 Krajina, within the Republic of Croatia, was an
2 intolerable situation for the Republic of Croatia, did
3 you not?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. And I think you stated in that paper that
6 "the territorial integrity of the present Republic of
7 Croatia has its historical and political legality and
8 the ethnic structure of its individual parts does not
9 provide any arguments for any kinds of territorial
10 changes at the cost of Croatia."
11 Now, you wrote that in 1991. Do you believe
12 that now, sir?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So, sir, disagreements between -- I'm sorry,
15 go ahead. Sorry.
16 A. We are not dealing here with what I want to
17 be and whether I agree with the process or not, but if
18 an analysis leads to the fact that a movement or a
19 political party wishes to step down, we're talking
20 about the Knin Serbs from the composition of Croatia,
21 then objectively speaking, this leads to war.
22 Let me remind you that this has a long
23 historical background. The Serbs in Knin, especially
24 in the Knin area, Serbs in Croatia, in the partisan
25 war, had, apart from the Knin Serbs, had a lofty role.
1 They were all within the Communist Party and supported
3 However, the Serbs in Knin, in 1939, when the
4 well-known banovina of Croatia was formed, asked for
5 secession, the Knin Serbs. Second, when the
6 disintegration of Yugoslavia came about, the Knin
7 Serbs - in fact the Chetniks - asked to be separated
8 from Croatia and attached to Italy. This was in 1941.
9 Furthermore, in 1944, there was an uprising,
10 a revolt against the partisan Croatia. So this is a
11 long-standing tendency, for Serbs in Croatia not to see
12 the possibility of a livelihood outside the protection
13 of Belgrade, and they are ready to lay down their lives
14 in order to retain Yugoslavia.
15 As this process of the disintegration of
16 Yugoslavia was more or less obvious, they counted
17 upon - and they did this in 1990 - some texts were
18 written, they thought they would form their autonomous
19 province which would become part and parcel of Serbia
20 immediately. However, Serbia was not able to take them
21 in or accept a solution of this kind.
22 Q. Just going back, Doctor, to the Serbs in the
23 Krajina. They first announced their unification as a
24 culturally autonomous entity; correct?
25 A. Yes. For the most part, yes.
1 Q. And thereafter, they brought into the Knin
2 area the formulation and the establishment of the
3 Republic of Serb Krajina, and with that, all of the
4 trappings of a government?
5 A. Yes, a state.
6 Q. This particular situation, according to the
7 paper that you wrote in 1991, was an intolerable
8 situation for the Republic of Croatia, was it not?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. To magnify the problem, Doctor, you
11 discussed, in that paper, the issue of and the
12 participation of the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA;
13 is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And it was your opinion, at the writing of
16 this, that the JNA in the Knin area was merely acting
17 as an army for the Serbs and to protect the Serbs and
18 was participating in the ethnic cleansing of Croats
19 from the Krajina area; is that right?
20 A. That's right.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, I would like to
22 remain within the scope of the examination-in-chief.
23 MR. KEHOE: If you can bear with me,
24 Mr. President, I am offering -- it was a possible
25 interpretation offered by the witness concerning the
1 decline and fall, and if you bear with me during my
2 cross, I will take this around and complete the circle.
3 JUDGE JORDA: But what was stated here -- the
4 articles we are talking about were not tendered in
5 evidence. We don't have to really go through an
6 exegesis of what the Professor wrote in all the various
7 articles. Please remain within the scope -- as much as
8 possible at least, remain within the scope of the
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I'm just
11 going into another interpretation of events.
12 Q. You noted in your article, and I quote: "A
13 problem of ethnic cleansing should be stressed here;
14 that is, firstly, forcing Croats and all other ethnic
15 groups to flee so that only Serbs remain; and secondly,
16 settling Serb colonists in the emptied areas." Do
17 you remember writing that, sir?
18 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
19 Q. You concluded that this use of the armed
20 forces to move the Croats out of the Krajina and the
21 subsequent resettlement of those areas by the Serbs was
22 ethnic cleansing; is that right?
23 A. Well, we'd have to clarify what we mean,
24 Mr. President, by "ethnic cleansing." If an ethnic
25 group is forced to relocate itself on another area,
1 then I think that this could be qualified as "ethnic
3 Q. Doctor, I don't disagree with you. I'm just
4 asking you some questions based on what you wrote. I
5 agree with you that it is ethnic cleansing, and I'm
6 simply asking you the questions as an expert, as a man
7 that knows more than I do.
8 A. Thank you.
9 Q. Doctor, let's turn, if you will, you talked
10 about the -- part of your enviable five aces, you
11 talked about the rise of nationalism that was happening
12 with the Serbs and Milosevic's playing on that rise of
13 nationalism, and I'd like to talk to you now about the
14 nationalistic movement in Croatia.
15 Now, while there was a nationalistic movement
16 in Serbia that Milosevic was fuelling, there was also a
17 large nationalistic movement in Croatia as well; is
18 that right?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. There were individuals in Croatia at that
21 time that wanted to reform Croatia to make it look like
22 something similar to the banovina plan of 1939, the
23 sporasom of Cvetkovic-Macel in 1939; isn't that right?
24 A. I don't know what period the Prosecutor has
25 in mind. In Croatia, there did exist the idea of
1 following Macek's concept of a solution of the
2 relationships between Serbia and Croatia on the basis
3 of the division of Bosnia. That idea did exist.
4 However, one must be aware of the fact that
5 at times like that, when war is imminent, in the air,
6 then the actors of that war have a whole spectrum of
7 different ideas and concepts which are unrealistic and
8 rational and irrational alike which are a ruse to trick
9 the enemy, but precise documents have still not come to
10 view, we still don't have them on a concept of that
11 kind and who wished to realise this.
12 Q. Bear with me one moment, Doctor.
13 Mr. Dubuisson, may I have Prosecutor's
14 Exhibit 16, please? I'm not sure -- well, Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit 16. I'm not sure if the Defence just had an
16 exhibit up there of the banovina, but we can use theirs
17 as well. It's the same. What we're talking about is
18 the banovina of 1939. I'll gladly use your map or
19 mine. Yeah, that's the one.
20 If we can take Exhibit 16 out and just put it
21 on the ELMO, it would be helpful.
22 Doctor, I realise that's not precisely an
23 exhibit that you saw before today, but I think you will
24 agree with me it's similar to other copies of a
25 banovina plan as various cartographers have etched it
2 Doctor, if this is incorrect in any fashion,
3 I'll gladly use the Defence copy. It really don't make
4 a difference.
5 A. This is the map of the banovinas of Croatia,
6 and it is correct.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Doctor, with the nationalistic movement that
10 was rising in Croatia, there were politicians that
11 wanted a reformation of Croatia so it would absorb much
12 of Bosnia, so it would look like the banovina; is that
14 A. Both yes and no. In fact, Croatian policy,
15 during negotiations up to the downfall of the old
16 regime and after the old regime, it had a clear-cut
17 rigid stand, that the results of the Second World War
18 should not be infringed with regard to the boundaries
19 of the republic. So what the constitution of 1974
20 confirmed as the results of the Second World War,
21 Croatian policy considered this to be its primary goal,
22 to retain them. Of course, there were some secret
23 negotiations, and if this went further, I, as an
24 historian, would have to have a document on that. But,
25 of course, a lot was written about the subject and
1 spoken about the subject, that an idea of that kind did
2 exist, and we would require documentation from the
3 Vance-Owen Commission, secret talks with the Serb
4 side, with the Kosovo side, and so on. This is a
5 current political problem for which I am not competent
6 because, as a historian, I would have to have documents
7 to bear that out.
8 Q. Doctor, one of the proponents for a carving
9 up of Bosnia in the early '90s was President Tudjman,
10 wasn't he?
11 A. In formal terms, no, because at the
12 beginning, he insisted on a confederation but
13 respecting all the republics. This was at first. What
14 happened later -- and I repeat -- secret and
15 confidential exchanges of ideas and talks, one should
16 wait for the documents to appear. Nowhere in any
17 Croatian official documents passed by the parliament or
18 any documentation issued by the government or even
19 Tudjman himself, you cannot find anything beyond the
20 view that Croatia cannot agree to a change of the
21 borders of the former republics. That was the official
23 Q. Doctor, bear with me one moment. If we can
24 go to the first tape, and if I could ask the
25 interpretation section to translate a portion of the
1 English into French and Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian, and the
2 discussions, some of the discussions in any event, are
3 in Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian. This is a tape,
4 Mr. President, called "Dispatches," which was a show
5 that was exhibited in the United Kingdom in January of
6 1994. There will be two segments, and I'd like to talk
7 about the first segment first.
8 If we can dim the lights and, Doctor, if you
9 can look at the monitor?
10 (Videotape played)
11 PARTIAL VIDEOTAPE TRANSLATION: ... This was
12 never given in the media, the complete truth about
13 this. (Subtitles follow thereafter)
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Now, Doctor, what you are discussing during
16 that is the secret meetings in Karadjordjevo on the
17 10th and 11th of March, 1991, between President
18 Milosevic of Serbia and President Tudjman of Croatia;
19 is that right?
20 A. Mr. President, I would like to stick to
21 everything that I have said, that these were secret
22 talks, that nothing is known about them, and I would
23 just add that I think that this is a problem with
24 several aspects to it. One of the aspects is, let us
25 call it tactics or rules to avoid, a direct clash
1 between the two largest nations to come to some sort of
2 an agreement, but I never saw any maps on the division
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, nor did I have any such maps.
4 These talks between the so-called
5 delegations, they were so-called expert groups,
6 transformed themselves into a sharp dialogue or
7 confrontation so that the only topic was whether
8 Croatia or Serbia or both or either of them would agree
9 to the inviolability of the results of the Second World
10 War. That was the crux of those talks. The Serb
11 side did not clearly and emphatically ever say that it
12 would respect the borders of the existing republics,
13 because if they had, the war would not have occurred.
14 Q. Well, Doctor, you attended a meeting, and
15 pardon me if I mispronounce the name of this town,
16 excuse me, Tikves, T-I-K-V-E-S, which is near Osijek,
17 on about the 10th of April of 1991, as part of a
18 Croatian delegation that met with a Serb delegation to
19 examine maps and to determine which part was going to
20 go to Serbia and which part was going to go to Croatia;
21 isn't that right?
22 A. No, it is not right. What is right is that
23 meetings were held. I repeat that 95 per cent of the
24 talks centred around the recognition of the 1974
25 constitution, and the borders formed as a result of the
1 Second World War, as regards maps and any concrete
2 divisions, they did not exist. There were only ethnic
3 maps, which is quite natural that this should be
4 discussed too, but I repeat, there are no other
5 documents, as far as I know. We did not at all discuss
6 a division in the sense of delineating borders between
7 Serbia and Croatia in Bosnia-Herzegovina because I and
8 my colleagues did not at all believe, and this was
9 before the war, we did not believe in the realism of
10 such a policy, and we thought that we shouldn't enter
11 into it at all.
12 Q. If I may, Doctor, and I can just move to this
13 exhibit, which is -- whatever the next Prosecution
14 Exhibit is?
15 THE REGISTRAR: This is 464 and the other was
16 463, for the video.
17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Dubuisson, just for
18 record-keeping purposes, there is another clip on the
19 same tape. I don't know if we want to give that second
20 clip another number or make it A or B, whichever is
22 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, may I add
24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course.
25 THE WITNESS: From my presentation, you were
1 able to see that for 150 years, continuously, Bosnia
2 was appropriated, both by the Serbs and by the Croats.
3 I spoke about the Austrian trialism and I omitted to
4 mention that Stjepan Radic said the following. He
5 wrote a book in 1908, a book entitled "Cvijic", in
6 which he said that Bosnia and Herzegovina was the
7 central Serb land.
8 If you look at the map, you will see that
9 Bosnia is west of Serbia and not a central Serb
11 He added: It is not an Alsace and Lorraine,
12 between France and Germany. Bosnia and Herzegovina is
13 for Serbia what Podmoskovlje, the Moscow area, is for
15 And Radic wrote a book, "The Vital Croatian
16 Right to Bosnia-Herzegovina," within the concept of the
17 creation of a third federal or confederate unit within
18 the framework of Austro-Hungary. Ever since then,
19 there has been an idea which has never disappeared, the
20 idea of dividing Bosnia. These ideas existed on both
21 the Serb and the Croatian side. Within that
22 context, it is possible, but I repeat, I have no
23 documents to that effect, and I cannot judge, but as an
24 expert, I cannot express my views on such a document
25 except by saying that in history there was a tendency
1 on the part of both Serbia and Croatia to divide Bosnia
2 up or even to appropriate the whole of it.
3 Q. Doctor, you gave an interview to the
4 periodical Nacional that was published on the 25th of
5 October, 1996, and that article is before you. I
6 direct your attention to the second page of that
7 article on the lower left-hand corner where it begins,
8 and on to the headline, "The Greatest Disagreements."
9 It begins, "Nacional" -- do you see that, Doctor? I
10 don't want to move ahead until you have that. There is
11 a BCS version contained in there. Excuse me, Doctor,
12 this page. That's the page. It begins in the lower
13 left-hand corner, Doctor, with "The Greatest
14 Disagreements." The question from Nacional reads as
15 follows -- and pardon me, Judge, this is an article I
16 have yet to get translated into French.
17 "Nacional: Could you say now who these
18 people were? Answer: The Croatian Generals Fabijan
19 Trgo, Ivan Kukoc. However, the greatest disagreements
20 that Tudjman and I had occurred during the talks on
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the beginning of 1991,
22 following his negotiations with Milosevic, it was
23 agreed that two commissions should meet and discuss the
24 division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tudjman then told
25 us that he had made an agreement with Milosevic in
1 principle and that we would have to work on the maps to
2 work out the practical details.
3 On the Serb side, the talks were attended
4 by a member of the Serb academy, Kosta Mihajlovic,
5 Milosevic's Chief of Cabinet, Kupresic, and pardon my
6 pronunciation, Smilja Avramov and the deputy prime
7 minister of Serbia. Three rounds of talks were held
8 lasting ten hours each in Tikves and in Belgrade.
9 However, these talks did not produce any results. One
10 of the members of our delegation, Josip Sentija,
11 resigned considering such talks absurd.
12 I also tried to warn Tudjman that such talks
13 were pointless. I told him that even if they had
14 agreed in principle, it was impossible to implement the
15 agreement, since there were problems with the maps
16 which, in my opinion, could not be resolved.
17 Endless talks ensued on which side some small
18 valley belonged to, whether it was Serb or Croatian,
19 who had the majority in the town. Moreover, they only
20 let us have western Herzegovina. I warned Tudjman that
21 there were three major obstacles to the division of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that only one obstacle was
23 enough for their agreement to fall through. First of
24 all, the problem of deciding on Croatian and Serb
25 areas; second, the problem of what the Muslims would
1 say to everything. Tudjman replied that they would
2 have nothing to say if the Croats and Serbs agreed.
3 I pointed out the third problem, which was
4 not as serious as the first two, but still remained a
5 problem: What will the International Community say to
6 the agreement? Tudjman replied that the world would
7 accept any agreement coming out of this region."
8 Do you remember giving that interview,
10 A. I have to tell you that in the next Nacional,
11 it was stated that I denied some of the statements
12 because this was an off-record conversation while we
13 were having a whiskey. So I denied the reference to
14 the generals and some other pieces contained in this
16 I think that this is, how shall I put it,
17 intellectual talk among relatively well-known
18 intellectuals who gave themselves the freedom, the
19 license of academics, and that this was no serious
20 discussion. As you know, we gave up the idea and it
21 failed. It was political tactics to delay the war and
22 to gain time. Any day or month gained would justify
23 these kind of tactics.
24 Therefore, until we have official documents
25 from the state, legal documents, all this remains
1 within the limits of guesswork.
2 Q. Did you have this discussion with President
4 A. Yes, but not in this form, and I repeat that
5 the journalist took advantage of much of what was
6 said. It was not an official interview. It was a talk
7 with a group of journalists who gave themselves a lot
8 of freedom in their interpretation of this.
9 Tudjman had a principled position that an
10 agreement needed to be achieved with Serbia, but
11 specifically what should belong to whom, that never
12 came up. This was just speculation, that the ethnic
13 structure of Bosnia was such. You had the Trezin
14 enclave, the Croat majority here, the Serb
15 majority over there, but I repeat, maps did not exist
16 on the division of Bosnia. That is what I claim under
17 all possible oaths.
18 Q. Doctor, President Tudjman wanted to divide
19 Bosnia with President Milosevic, didn't he?
20 A. I cannot confirm that. I repeat that
21 Croatia's policy, from the first day, was that the
22 republican borders must not be changed at any cost.
23 Apart from that, there was just debating, arguing, so
24 as to avoid war, so as to reach some sort of an
25 agreement among two relatively large peoples and to
1 avoid a direct conflict between them. And maybe that
2 was the design behind this whole action in connection
3 with the talks over Bosnia.
4 Q. Nevertheless --
5 A. No documents. Without any documents, I
6 think --
7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We have understood,
8 Professor. You've said it several times. I think we
9 understood what you said.
10 Would you please move to another question,
11 Mr. Kehoe?
12 MR. KEHOE:
13 Q. Nevertheless, Doctor, nobody from the
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina participated in these
15 discussions in Karadjordjevo between President
16 Milosevic and President Tudjman, and nobody from the
17 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina participated in your
18 discussions with the Serbs that took place less than a
19 month after the meeting in Karadjordjevo; isn't that
21 A. Yes. That is what I said, as far as I know,
22 but whether there were talks between Milosevic and
23 Izetbegovic and also between Tudjman and Izetbegovic, I
24 don't know. But I do know, for instance, that in 1991,
25 a delegation of Muslims sponsored by very prominent
1 figures from Bosnia-Herzegovina went to Belgrade to
2 reach a compromise with Belgrade regarding the future
3 position of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So that, too, is part
4 of the political struggle containing elements of ploys
5 and tactics.
6 Q. Doctor, you were there in Tikves and in
7 Belgrade, and nobody from the Bosnian government was
9 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the Prosecutor
10 obviously doesn't like the answer, but Professor
11 Bilandzic has, three or four times, said exactly what
12 he knows about the whole problem. He is just repeating
13 things, and this is a waste of time.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. The objection is
15 sustained. It's almost 5.30, in any case. I think
16 we're going to break now, and we will resume tomorrow
17 at 2.00.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE JORDA: The Court has been adjourned.
20 You may not speak once the Court has been adjourned.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
22 5.29 p.m. to be reconvened on Wednesday,
23 the 9th day of September, 1998 at
24 2.00 p.m.