1 Wednesday, 9th September 1998
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.10 p.m.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please be seated.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please have the accused
7 brought in? I would like to see if all the interpreters
8 can hear me. Very good. I hope you've been able to
9 take advantage of this morning as we all have. The
10 Office of the Prosecutor hears me. And the accused
11 hears me, the Defence. I see. Very well.
12 MR. NOBILO: Good afternoon, Your Honour, I
13 hear you well.
14 JUDGE JORDA: I see we're ready to resume.
15 Before we bring in the witness, I don't want to be
16 mistaken about his name. I believe his name is Dusan
17 Bilandzic. Yes.
18 (The witness entered court)
19 WITNESS: Dusan Bilandzic.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Professor, do you hear me?
21 Very well. Please be seated.
22 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Professor, are you ready to
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, thank you.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Cross-examination
2 has not been completed. Therefore, I give, without
3 further ado, the floor to Mr. Kehoe.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:
5 MR. KEHOE:
6 Q. Thank you. Good afternoon, doctor.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Doctor, in your testimony yesterday in
9 response to some questions by my learned colleague,
10 Mr. Nobilo, you noted that every nation, and I
11 apologise, I'm dealing from page 11.288, counsel, line
12 14: "Every nation passes through this phase. It is a
13 phase of nationalism which turns into chauvinism and
14 leads to war. Every nation is to apply another
15 principle in addition to the ethnic principle, at
16 least one, and that is the principle of historic
18 "I have the right, as a leader of a nation,
19 to establish borders along those countries who, at some
20 time in history, say, a thousand years ago, were within
21 the composition of my one-time ruler."
22 Do you recall saying that, sir?
23 A. Yes; that is correct.
24 Q. I think, and correct me if I'm wrong at any
25 point in this series of questions, Doctor, in
1 conjunction with that you highlighted for the Court the
2 studies by the, I believe, 19th Century linguist, and
3 again, if I'm wrong on the "19th Century", please
4 correct me, but the 19th Century linguist Vuk Karadzic,
5 who noted that because people in the Balkans or certain
6 areas of the Balkans, I believe you noted from Salonika
7 to Constantinople, spoke essentially the same language,
8 they were one nation, and when asked what nation he
9 noted that nation was a Serb nation.
10 I think you testified that that, in
11 conjunction with some other factors, fuelled the belief
12 for a Greater Croatia; is that right?
13 A. That is partially correct, but partly, I
14 think, you misunderstood, as you misunderstood the
15 interpretation of the first two principles, that is the
16 ethnic principle, and the historic right to a national
17 state, which I think has been quite totally
18 misinterpreted but I shall explain that.
19 Q. Certainly. Certainly.
20 A. The ethnic principle is -- has been more or
21 less accepted in our civilisation. It was advocated by
22 the American president, President Wilson, and the
23 Russian leader Lenin, the right of nations to
24 self-determination on the basis of their ethnic or
25 national affiliation.
1 As for the principle of rights based on
2 history, the historic right to lands that used to
3 belong to someone in the past, this was never accepted,
4 nor did I interpret that principle as being a correct
5 one, but this was advocated by those who had the idea
6 of creating greater national states outside the ethnic
8 So that is not my position, nor has that been
9 accepted as something generally applicable in modern
10 civilisation. Which doesn't mean to say that wars are
11 not waged in the name of that principle. They have
12 been waged in the past and they are being waged today.
13 As for the second point, our time is limited
14 for me to explain this, but these are shades of meaning
15 in defining the ethnos from the Austrian border to the
16 Black Sea, Salonika and so on. This was a period when
17 the ideology of Panslavism was prevalent, as well as
18 the ideology of Yugoslavism, so that theoreticians
19 for certain political aims and for certain other
20 reasons, added to this the following thesis, that these
21 were still not sufficiently crystallised or
22 sufficiently developed national consciousness, that
23 these were peoples who had still not differentiated
24 among themselves, who are mixed together using the same
25 or a similar language, but advantage of the Serb
1 language was that it could become that pillar which
2 assisted by the political actions of the state, and, of
3 course, by other means, would speed up the process in
4 support of this main nucleus, which, according to
5 Karadzic, and to Tucic (Phoen) was Serbia itself.
6 So there are various shades of meaning to
7 that theory, and because of the limitation of time I
8 had to simplify some of these theoretical premises.
9 Q. I understand, Doctor, but you do reject the
10 thesis of Karadzic, that for instance, Croats, living
11 in the Balkans are all Serbs? You reject that argument
12 of Vuk Karadzic?
13 A. Absolutely, yes.
14 Q. Now, Doctor, during your time as a historian
15 and as a politician, you are familiar, and again we are
16 talking on the discussion, the point you brought out
17 yesterday on a possible interpretation of the break-up
18 of the former Yugoslavia, and during your time as a
19 historian and as a politician, you were familiar with
20 the writings of President Tudjman, and I believe in the
21 article that we have before you, and if it's not it can
22 be placed before the witness, Exhibit 464, you noted in
23 this Nacional article that, "Tudjman never published a
24 single article without letting me read it first."
25 So you were intimately familiar with his
1 ideas; were you not?
2 A. Mr. President, that is not true.
3 MR. NOBILO: I have an objection.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I will give you the floor, but
5 first I would like to know, is this a Prosecution
6 exhibit, the document we saw yesterday?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it is an exhibit we saw
8 yesterday. 464 is the number.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Mr. Nobilo, you have
10 the floor.
11 MR. NOBILO: The Prosecutor is trying to
12 cross-examine the witness about scholarly and other
13 works by President Tudjman. However, the subject of
14 the examination-in-chief was not the life of President
15 Tudjman but the break-up of Yugoslavia. And President
16 Tudjman, just before the break up of Yugoslavia, took
17 over the lead in Croatia, and in that period he had not
18 written anything. So he was not a relevant factor
19 until he became the leader of Croatia. He was not
20 relevant in the life of the former Yugoslavia.
21 So this is a cross-examination beyond the
22 scope of the examination-in-chief.
23 A. Mr. President, this is a very free journalist
25 JUDGE JORDA: One moment, please. Let's make
1 sure we maintain some order. I'm not sure if I
2 understood the question -- first of all I would like to
3 hear the question put by the Prosecutor on this matter
4 and then I will turn to my colleagues. It seems that
5 the witness wishes to respond to the question, but I
6 have retained the observation you have made,
7 Mr. Nobilo. Now, very quickly, will you please tell me
8 the sense of you question and after that I will consult
9 with my colleagues.
10 MR. KEHOE: The sense of my question and the
11 cross-examination is this, Mr. President: The witness
12 has offered us an explanation for the decline and fall
13 of the former Yugoslavia, laying the fault, in large
14 part, on President Milosevic of Serbia.
15 In part, if you recall the testimony
16 yesterday, one of the five things or five powerful
17 items that the witness testified that Milosevic used,
18 was the nationalistic fervour that Milosevic, for lack
19 after better word, drummed up in Serbia and elsewhere
20 for the Greater Serbia movement.
21 He noted at the outset of his discussions,
22 Mr. President, that this was one possible
23 interpretation. I am attempting to cross-examine this
24 particular witness on a parallel similar, dissecting
25 cause for the decline and fall of the former
1 Yugoslavia. Case in point, we talked yesterday about
2 the meetings in Karadjordjevo where quite clearly this
3 witness in a newspaper article on the 25th of October
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Let me now consult with
6 my colleagues.
7 Thank you, my colleagues. Your objection is
8 overruled, Mr. Nobilo. Mr. Kehoe you may continue with
9 your questioning and the line that you have just
10 clarified. Please go on.
11 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Doctor, as a historian and as a politician,
13 you are familiar with some of President Tudjman's
14 writings, especially on the national question, are you
16 A. May I make a remark? Regarding the
17 interpretations of history. The historical sciences
18 take the position that it is not possible to give a
19 definitive interpretation of history. Hundreds of
20 monographs have been devoted to Napoleon, for instance,
21 and each author pretends to be correct. I have spoken
22 to students and saying I wish we had ten different
23 textbooks, historical textbooks about the history of
24 the Croatian people or any other people, because it is
25 never possible to say that only one interpretation is
2 A British historian, whose name I cannot
3 recall, has written a book entitled "The History of the
4 Habsburg Monarchy." I have read it and I could write
5 an anti-history.
6 Therefore, in history as a science, there is
7 no final definitive truth. History is always open to
8 various interpretations, and that is my position as a
9 scholar, and that is why I said that this is one
10 possible interpretation, and that others will follow.
11 Q. Doctor, I --
12 A. I can understand you because you are not a
13 historian and you need not know that history opens
14 up --
15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Professor, it's a legal
16 discussion, this is not a historic conference. I
17 understand you have a great number of things to say,
18 but we need to cut back to the subject at hand. The
19 Prosecutor has put a question to you, I'll ask that the
20 Prosecutor put a question to you and you respond to
21 that question. I understand what you mean by
22 historical interpretations, but I would like for
23 Mr. Kehoe to put his question briefly to you, and that
24 he do so immediately, and then that he receive a
25 response from you.
1 MR. KEHOE:
2 Q. Doctor, I appreciate that the British
3 historians that wrote the history of the Habsburgs,
4 being it Crankshaw, be it McQuiggan or be it
5 Wheatcroft, which I believe are all British?
6 JUDGE JORDA: Do not go back to the old
7 British monarchy issue, please. Ask your question with
8 regards to the issue at hand, otherwise we will never
9 be able to get out of the issue about a historical
10 conference. Please ask your question with regards to
11 the article Nacional, thank you.
12 MR. KEHOE:
13 Q. None of those first historians became the
14 President of the Republic Croatia, did they?
15 A. I don't understand the meaning of that
17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, please ask the
18 question that you now wish to ask. The British
19 monarchy is not really our favourite question, but of
20 course, if you're interested in that subject please go
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. President Tudjman wrote a book called
24 "Nationalism in Contemporary Europe". You're familiar
25 with that book, are you not?
1 A. I have not held that book in my hands. I did
2 read the book the war against war, and the book on the
3 creation of socialist Yugoslavia, and occupation during
4 the second world war, because it is not correct, I have
5 to caution you. As a rule, do I not authorise
6 interviews that I give to the press. I leave that up
7 to the consciousness of the journalists -- the
8 conscience of the journalists. And journalists, as you
9 know, that is their profession, tend sometimes to
10 exaggerate things, to overemphasise, to leave out other
11 things, so it is not true that I have read everything
12 that Tudjman has written, or rather, that he didn't
13 publish anything before I read it that is a complete
14 invention. I repeat, I do not authorise my interviews,
15 and all the journalists in Zagreb know this.
16 Q. Can we put Exhibit 16 back on the ELMO,
17 please? For counsel's ease of purposes for the next
18 line of questions, we'll be talking about Exhibit 19.
19 Exhibit 19, for Your Honours' clarification,
20 is Franjo Tudjman's book, "Nationalism in Contemporary
22 Now, Doctor, I will read you a portion of
23 this, beginning on the top of page 113. And in this
24 discussion, Doctor, the author, Dr. Franjo Tudjman is
25 discussing the decision to unite Vojvodina with Serbia,
1 and he notes, after analysing some factors:
2 "According to the same yardstick,
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina should have been made part of the
4 Croatian Federal Unit. Bosnia-Herzegovina were
5 historically linked with Croatia, and together they
6 comprise an indivisible geographic and economic
7 entity. Bosnia-Herzegovina occupy the central part of
8 this whole separating southern Dalmatian from northern
9 Panonian Croatia.
10 The creation after separate
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina makes the territorial and geographic
12 position of Croatia extremely unnatural in the economic
13 sense, and, therefore, in the broadest national
14 political sense very unfavourable for life and
16 Now, we turn to the map that's before you.
17 "These factors largely explain why the 1939
18 agreement between Belgrade and Zagreb included the
19 following areas of Bosnia into the banovina of
20 Croatia. The whole of western Herzegovina and Mostar,
21 and those of Bosnia districts where the Croats have a
22 clear majority, Bugojno.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
24 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry.
25 Q. Bugonjno, Fojnica, Travnik, Derventa,
1 Karadzic and Brcko.
2 On the next page and I will not read the
3 entire page, but starting from the first full
4 paragraph, counsel.
5 "An objective examination of the numerical
6 composition of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 cannot ignore that the majority of the Muslims in its
8 ethnic character and speech" -- excuse me, "the
9 majority of Muslims is, in its ethnic character and
10 speech, incontrovertibly of Croatian origin. Despite
11 religious and cultural distinctions created by history,
12 the vast majority of the Muslims declared themselves
13 Croats whenever an opportunity arose."
14 And we move, counsel, for the sake of
15 reading, to the bottom of the page, the last two
16 sentences. I'm sorry.
17 MR. HAYMAN: If the witness could be provided
18 with -- counsel is reading from Exhibit 18. But what
19 has been provided to him is a map of the Vance-Owen
20 Plan, which is Exhibit. So the witness doesn't have
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. That's right.
24 The last two sentences --
25 JUDGE JORDA: When and the judges have
1 nothing at all. Nor do the interpreters, so although
2 you have read slowly, what is on the ELMO at the
4 MR. KEHOE: That is a map of the bonavina.
5 JUDGE JORDA: I see we have the map before
6 us. As for the rest of the objection from
7 Mr. Hayman --
8 MR. HAYMAN: Counsel meant to put this book
9 passage before the witness, I think. What was provided
10 to him is a map of the Vance-Owen Plan, which is
11 Exhibit 19, so the witness isn't able to follow the
12 quotations that counsel is reading. I simply ask that
13 Exhibit 18, which is the book except, be provided to
14 the witness so that he can have the benefit of being
15 able to see the printed text, although it is not in his
16 native language.
17 MR. KEHOE: What I can do, Mr. President, is
18 do that, read it slowly as it's being interpreted. The
19 matter on the ELMO is the bonavina plan, it is not a
20 map of anything else other than the bonavina plan and
21 that's what's being discussed in this article by
22 President Tudjman. So I have two sentences left to
23 read, Mr. President, and we will move on.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Please go on then, but please
25 read slowly so that the witness can follow. And the
1 contents of the passage of President Tudjman. I'm
2 sorry, one moment.
3 Professor, would you like for us to have this
4 passage reread slowly in your language so that you
5 understand fully the question which will be placed to
6 you there after? Would you like for us to have this
7 reread? I'm referring to the passage from
8 Mr. Tudjman's book.
9 A. Mr. President, it's not necessary.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you much.
11 MR. KEHOE: My learned colleague was
12 correct. This is Exhibit 18, my personal records were
13 incorrect. I apologise in that regard.
14 Q. The final sentence I will read to you, and I
15 will not read any further, and after citing various
16 facts, Dr. Tudjman writes that on the basis of these
17 facts, we arrive at the conclusion that a majority of
18 the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is Croatian.
19 Now, Doctor, did President Tudjman ever tell
20 you that?
21 A. No. But if you would like to hear my
22 interpretation of the quotation from President
23 Tudjman's book, I must tell you, unfortunately, that I
24 have not read that text, and even if I had read it, it
25 would require a certain amount of time to prepare for a
1 scientific analysis of this text which cannot be made
2 ad hoc, because such text require such an approach.
3 And secondly, in historiography in
4 Yugoslavia, both in Serb history and Croatian
5 history, there is the thesis that the Muslims are a
6 Slav people who, at a certain point in time, converted
7 to Islam. According to the Serb version, these were
8 Serbs who converted to Islam, and a certain section of
9 Croatian authors, in fact it was the dominant theory in
10 the 19th Century that they were Croats.
11 So this is a generally known fact in
12 history. This is nothing new. But I wouldn't like to
13 elaborate on this issue, because in that case we would
14 have to apply the standards of historical science.
15 Q. Well, Doctor, when you went to Tikves in
16 April of 1991, you knew that President Tudjman's
17 position --
18 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I apologise to my
19 learned colleague, but we had an objection yesterday,
20 and the court sustained it, that questions related to
21 Tikves and Karadjordjevo have been covered repeatedly
22 and been dealt with. So we're going back to what the
23 court ruled out yesterday.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, there are, with
25 all due respect, there are numerous questions -- not
1 numerous, but several very important issues concerning
2 this very important secret meeting in Karadjordjevo
3 that need to be asked of this witness. Keeping in mind
4 that this is not a historian who simply wrote or
5 thought about this issue, this is a historian who was
6 sent to a meeting by President Tudjman to discuss
7 secretly with other Serbs issues concerning the
8 division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 THE WITNESS: Mr. President --
10 JUDGE JORDA: The Chamber has the following
11 opinion: First of all, the rule with regard to the
12 cross-examination. That rule has been established to
13 ensure the proper conduct of these proceedings.
14 At the same time, you must show some
15 flexibility at times because this is not a mechanical
16 rule; rather it is a rule of common sense and left to
17 the discretion of the judges. That is the second
19 The third observation in this same are, Mr.
20 Nobilio, is that the judges and this Chamber feels that
21 it is their duty, when it is necessary, to request as
22 the rules of procedure allows them to do so, that we go
23 to the very depth of any particular issue, so that we
24 can exhaust any aspect of any particular question.
25 This thing the judges feel that the issue of
1 Karavo Istasin (Phoen), even though you do not see the
2 importance that should be attached to this.
3 Nonetheless, on this particular principle alone we
4 determine that Mr. Kehoe will be permitted to ask
5 questions about this place of meeting.
6 It is the judges who solemnly believe that we
7 must, whenever possible, ascertain the truth and
8 therefore we will allow the question to be put to the
9 professor on this issue.
10 Therefore, Mr. Kehoe, you may proceed with
11 your question.
12 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Doctor, you knew in 1991 --
14 JUDGE JORDA: Pardon, on this issue, perhaps
15 I might conclude by stating and reassuring the Defence
16 that you do indeed have the right for a rejoinder
17 following this cross-examination.
18 Please go on, Mr. Kehoe.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. Doctor, you knew in 1991 that in Croatia,
21 there was a group of politicians that advocated the
22 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that part of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina would be incorporated into the
24 Republic of Croatia; isn't that correct?
25 A. That is an assumption which you are taking as
1 being absolutely correct. Croatian policy, at that
2 time, held very firmly, adhered firmly to one stand and
3 that is that the borders of the republics of the former
4 Yugoslavia according to the constitution are state
5 borders and Croatia does not accept any change in the
6 borders. As far as other matters are concerned, as a
7 confrontation was expected, there could have been some
8 steps taken about which I have absolutely no proof
9 either written or oral and what I said I remain
10 adamant. I think that I elaborated it yesterday and I
11 really have nothing to add to this subject.
12 Q. Doctor, you gave an interview to the -- on
13 the tape that we heard, dispatches where you said the
14 truth about the Karadjordjevo meeting was never
15 officially published. They were secret talks, but the
16 impression was given to the media and that the talks
17 were only about the disputes between Croatia and
18 Serbia, nothing else. Did you not say that on the
19 tape, Doctor?
20 A. I don't know if they were secret and they
21 were secret, not only those, but the practice was
22 introduced after the regime was changed in Yugoslavia
23 that all, practically all the meetings, I think all
24 meetings, in fact, were secret meetings. So if they're
25 secret, then I don't know what they could have
1 discussed there because I have no documents on the
3 Q. Doctor, if you want, I will run the tape back
4 for you because it's very brief. But did you say in an
5 interview on camera that we reviewed yesterday that
6 these were secret talks and that the truth about those
7 meetings had not been revealed?
8 JUDGE JORDA: Hold on a minute. If you wish
9 to have the tape played, then, please, we can have it
10 played and that will be very short and very simple.
11 Judge Riad would also like to have this tape replayed.
12 I don't know about Judge Shahabuddeen, but we can do
13 so. The judges do wish for this to be done. So let us
14 play this tape once again and that way the professor
15 will be able to hear his on words and be able to say
16 whether or not he stands by them. Mr. Nobilo.
17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, there seems to be
18 a misunderstanding. The professor has confirmed that
19 they were secret and that he has no information about
20 that. He keeps repeating that. Despite that fact, my
21 learned colleague is raising new questions as to what
22 happened there. What is there on the tape is what he
23 says to stay there. It was a secret meeting and I have
24 no information on those talks.
25 JUDGE JORDA: This is a fundamental
1 difference this time because this time it is the judges
2 that are requesting that the tape be replayed.
3 MR. KEHOE: Gentlemen in the video booth,
4 it's the first clip.
5 (Videotape played)
6 JUDGE JORDA: All right, Mr. Kehoe, please be
7 very direct, very concise with the very concrete
8 question you wish to put in the course of your
9 cross-examination of this witness.
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. Doctor, I go back to my initial question.
12 These were secret talks between the Serbs and the
13 Croats, weren't they?
14 A. Every man on the street will tell you that if
15 the mass media did not publish a communiqué and
16 documents from some talks, every citizen will tell you
17 if you ask him what the talks were and what kind of
18 talks they were. They will say they were secret talks
19 because they were not publicly disclosed, so they
20 cannot be classified or qualified in any other way.
21 You can't qualify a meeting, you have to say that it
22 was a secret meeting. I see no other logical
23 explanation. That is quite logical.
24 Q. Both the Serb government and the Croatian
25 government misled the media on the purpose of those
1 meetings in Karadjordjevo, didn't they?
2 A. As far I remember, neither the Croatian nor
3 the Serbian government, they didn't explain anything to
4 the mass media, I don't know where that source comes
5 from, that they published anything. I don't remember
6 the source. I have no source in my possession that any
7 explanation was given of that meeting.
8 Q. But President Tudjman, Doctor, told you about
9 the secret, didn't he? He told you that he had made a
10 deal with Milosevic about the division of Bosnia,
11 didn't he?
12 A. Not quite in that way. You asked me whether
13 those two governments, the Serbian and the Croatian
14 explained to the public. That was the question about
15 the meeting. And I said that I don't know, I didn't
16 know. Tudjman didn't tell me that he had decided on --
17 but that he wanted to see the relationships between
18 those two states. And I repeat what I have already
19 said five times. The expert group had an academic
20 discussion over the question of whether to recognise
21 the borders of the existing republics and then left
22 because the Serbian delegation, they parted then,
23 because the Serbian delegation considered that these
24 were not state borders and we considered that they were
25 state borders and that is all that I have to say about
1 the meeting.
2 Q. I turn your attention, again, Doctor, Exhibit
3 464, the newspaper article that we discussed yesterday,
4 because I think that I need to clarify some points from
5 the statement that you just made. Is that article
6 before the witness? If we can turn again to the second
7 page in the lower left-hand column, Doctor. Do you need
8 your glasses, Doctor? We can wait. Please. Just a
10 Mr. President, the witness needs his
12 THE WITNESS: I can see well enough. Thank
14 MR. KEHOE: Are you sure, sir?
15 JUDGE JORDA: Take your time Professor.
16 MR. KEHOE: I agree with my colleague, it's
17 difficult to read. If we want to take a moment to wait
18 for his glasses, it might be a little more expeditious
19 all the way around.
20 JUDGE JORDA: It's one's fundamental rights
21 to be able to read with one's glasses, Professor. Take
22 your time. Take your time, Professor.
23 THE WITNESS: Okay.
24 MR. KEHOE: I think we're ready to proceed,
25 Mr. President, the witness has his spectacles.
1 JUDGE JORDA: You may now ask the witness
2 whether or not he has taken the time to read. Have you
3 done so, Professor? Are you ready to respond to the
4 question? Have you read the document?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, but I don't understand the
6 substance of the question. I can just tell you what I
7 said yesterday.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I am in the same position
9 as you, Professor, I would like for the question to be
10 repeated. Mr. Kehoe, please be very clear in your
12 THE WITNESS: The questions are quite unclear
13 to me.
14 JUDGE JORDA: That's another issue.
15 Mr. Kehoe, please, from the reading that has
16 been done by the witness of this excerpt from this
17 newspaper, would you please specify or clarify for
18 these judges, which part of the interview you're
19 targeting because I am not clear on that. What section
20 are you referring to?
21 MR. KEHOE: Page 4, I believe. I believe on
22 your copy, it's the middle of page 3, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE JORDA: I have the English version here
24 before me.
25 MR. KEHOE: Yes, unfortunately, we only have
1 the English at this point.
2 JUDGE JORDA: That's not the issue. All
3 right. Professor, we are on page 3.
4 Mr. Kehoe, ask your question very clearly.
5 MR. KEHOE: If I might have one point of
6 clarification on that. This is at page 3 on the
7 English translation. However, the doctor has before
8 him a two-page article in BCS and for him it's on page
10 JUDGE JORDA: Now we understand one another,
11 please ask you question.
12 MR. KEHOE:
13 Q. Doctor, you noted in an answer to a question
14 several moments ago that you did not know what happened
15 at these secret meetings in Karadjordjevo --
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. But you stated in this article in Nacional
18 what Tudjman told you. And you noted -- you can read
19 along with me -- at the beginning of 1991, following
20 his negotiations with Milosevic, it was agreed that two
21 commissions should meet and discuss a division of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tudjman then told us that he had
23 made an agreement with Milosevic in principle and that
24 we would have to work on the maps to work out the
25 practical details. Did Tudjman tell you that?
1 A. As far as the Nacional is concerned I said
2 yesterday that in the next issue of the Nacional that I
3 denied part of the interpretations which I gave. That
4 is the first point.
5 Second, the journalists, some journalists
6 tend to be very free when they make -- they give their
7 titles. So, for example, in this Nacional, it states
8 that I elaborated on a map on the division of Bosnia.
9 That is of quite -- a very free interpretation,
10 formulation by the journalist. A free formulation of
11 the headlines to make the paper attractive to readers.
12 But there is no document on that and I must say that
13 Tudjman only spoke about the fact that on the basis of
14 agreements of principle we should look into the
15 possibilities. And we were to understand that we
16 should just question the opposite side in the sense of
17 their political goals for the forthcoming war. So
18 Tudjman did not tell me that he had decided upon the
19 division of Bosnia, but that he was looking into --
20 that he was asking the opposite side about their
21 political goals. I said that yesterday, I repeat that
22 here today and I think that state policy was different,
23 which is borne out by the fact that the policies were
24 realised, were implemented.
25 Q. Doctor, is your testimony that Tudjman did
1 not tell you that he had agreed with Milosevic in
2 principle on the division of Bosnia; is that your
4 A. That there should be negotiations with the
5 opposite side as to how to treat Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 But a direct division of Bosnia in the sense that we
7 have agreed to divide Bosnia along this line, that was
8 absolutely never present in my talks with Tudjman.
9 Q. Let's go down two paragraphs in that article,
10 in the article that's before you, 264. In the article,
11 the paragraph that begins, "I warned Tudjman"... Do
12 you see that, Doctor?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. "I warned Tudjman that there were three major
15 obstacles to the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
16 that only one obstacle was enough for their agreement
17 to fall through. First of all, the problem of deciding
18 on Croatian and Serbian areas. Second, the problem of
19 what the Muslims would say to everything." Tudjman
20 replied that they would have nothing to say if Croats
21 and Serbs agreed. I pointed out the third problem,
22 which was not as serious as the first two, but still
23 remained a problem. What will the International
24 Community say to the agreement? Tudjman replied that
25 the world would accept any agreement coming out of the
2 Doctor, did you have that discussion with
3 then President Tudjman?
4 A. Let me explain it to you. I said yesterday
5 that I, together with a group of journalists in the
6 Nacional, drank whiskey and discussed the topic. And
7 on that occasion I explained these three obstacles as
8 my own personal explanation, interpretation of that
9 historical moment. And they gave this as if I had said
10 it to President Tudjman. I spoke to the journalist as
11 my vision and it was incorrectly quoted there. So I am
12 the author of those theses, which I presented to the
13 journalist as being my own thesis. I did not say that
14 they were Tudjman's. They were my own; whereas they
15 interpreted them as if I had told them that this was
16 something that Tudjman had said -- as I had said to
18 Q. You noted that you had filed a retraction on
19 this article in the first of November 1996 edition of
20 Nacional; is that right?
21 A. Two or three issues later, because the
22 Nacional did not wish to publish my criticism. And
23 what it did publish it once again left out a large
24 portion of my answer. So that I had some polemics with
25 the Nacional. When they received my reply, they
1 promised to publish it in its entirety, but they failed
2 to do so.
3 Therefore, I consider that this discussion
4 about newspaper articles is something that I, myself,
5 could not stand behind because very often they are
6 talks which one has with journalists and sometimes they
7 have the aim, even for me personally, of placing
8 something for the public for different reasons. And I
9 don't like to speak about these things as a scientific
10 worker myself.
11 Q. The retraction does not retract the
12 conversations that you had with Tudjman, does it?
13 A. I said, before your question, I said that
14 part of the answer, my answer was not published. Part
15 of my retraction was not published by the Nacional.
16 They did not want to publish this and I said that
17 before you asked your question.
18 Q. Now, sir, there are several photographs in
19 that article of you, as well, are there not?
20 A. I see two photographs of me here, nothing
22 Q. Were those photographs taken in a barroom?
23 A. I can't remember. If I were to remember all
24 these details, if one was to remember all the details
25 of one's life, I don't know. It's impossible to know.
1 I don't know where they got the photographs from.
2 Perhaps they were taken at the editorial office.
3 Perhaps they took it from one of their files, their
5 Q. Well, the fact was that a Nacional reporter
6 came and took those photographs of you for this
7 article, didn't he?
8 A. I repeat, I have already answered that
9 question. I don't know whether they took the
10 photographs then. It's impossible to recall all these
11 details in life because had I been able to recall all
12 these details, I would not be a scientific worker, I
13 would be something else. Perhaps they took their
14 documents then, but I don't know.
15 Q. You do not recall, Doctor, that the Nacional
16 photographer came and took these photographs of you; is
17 that your testimony?
18 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President --
19 JUDGE JORDA: Wait a moment please. Don't
20 forget, I also have this. I need to maintain order in
21 these proceedings.
22 Mr. Nobilo, you have an objection. Please
23 make your objection first and then I will say what I
24 have to say about that matter. Please make your
1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, whether the
2 photographs were taken then or were taken from the
3 files, this question has been answered by the witness.
4 So the Prosecutor is repeating the same question and is
5 getting the same answer.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, please, I think you're
7 saying, if I understand correctly, you're saying that
8 you want us to respond in the place of the witness. If
9 I understood that's your objection, then that's okay,
10 that's sustained.
11 Now, Mr. Kehoe, you've asked questions, the
12 answer was given to you by the witness. The witness
13 says he does not remember. That's fine. That's how it
14 is. We're going to end on the issue of the Nacional
15 newspaper. I believe he stated that there was a
16 retraction, if I understand correctly. You stated that
17 there was a retraction. Then, after that, it did not
18 go as you wanted it to. The problem is not that issue
20 But Mr. Kehoe, do you have any further
21 questions you wish to put to the witness? Then I must
22 remind the witness that when he responds to questions,
23 he must respond facing the judges. It is not a
24 dialogue between you and the prosecution.
25 So, Mr. Kehoe, have you ended with this
1 cross-examination dealing with the issue of what
2 Mr. Tudjman stated and the interview regarding the
3 Nacional newspaper? Please, go on, tell us how many
4 more questions you have?
5 MR. KEHOE: On this particular question, I am
6 going to ask the witness to read the retraction,
7 because I think it's important, given the context of
8 this interview --
9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, very well.
10 Mr. Nobilo, the retraction is part of the
11 cross-examination. Do you have an objection on this
13 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, because the
14 witness said that the retraction was published, but
15 that an important portion of his retraction was left
16 out by the newspaper and it didn't publish it. So I
17 consider the question answered.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I understand. But your
19 objection is not sustained. But the Prosecution I
20 understand wanted to ask a question regarding the
21 retraction and indeed that retraction is part of the
22 interview, so what is your question?
23 MR. KEHOE: The question is Mr. President,
24 Your Honours, I would like to show this retraction to
25 the doctor and ask him to identify it as the copy of
1 the retraction that appeared in the 6th of November,
2 1996, edition of Nacional. I just got this this
3 morning, given yesterday's testimony. I do not have a
4 copy in either English or in French. I will ask the
5 witness to read it into the record. I have provided
6 copies of this retraction to the three respective
7 booths. I believe everybody has it to assist it in
8 their interpretation in English and in French.
9 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I believe that it
10 is not proper for the witness to read the newspaper
11 here now. It is not something that is customary in
12 this court.
13 The Prosecutor's office may read it and then
14 the witness can confirm what is being read.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but perhaps the witness
16 may agree to read. So we can go faster. Professor, do
17 you agree to read this document so that we can
18 interpret it?
19 Professor, I'm addressing you directly.
20 Professor, do you agree to read this retraction in your
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Now, each judge has
24 the Serbo-Croatian version. Do the interpreters also
25 have their copies of the retraction?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, yes, yes.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I see that they're saying
4 So I see that since the Professor agrees to
5 read it -- Professor, please go on and read this
6 article. It's not very long, and deals with your
7 incomplete, as you have stated, retraction, but it is
8 the retraction that you submitted and the one that is
9 being presented to you by the Office of the
10 Prosecutor. We are listening to you. Go ahead.
11 A. My interview published in issue number 49 of
12 the Nacional was not authorised, and in view of the
13 trust that I have in journalist Mladen Plaset, I did
14 not expect him to take such freedom in interpreting,
15 literatise, licentia poetica my words. However, this
16 has not substantially distorted what I said.
17 The problem occurred after the interview was
18 published, when talking over a drink, in addition to
19 the two of us there were several other journalists with
20 whom I conversed about various events.
21 In the course of that conversation, I spoke
22 about the year 1991, about the dramatic preparations
23 for a military push, about Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 within the framework of the overall Yugoslav crisis and
25 Serbia's attitude towards that republic.
1 In conversations of this kind, one
2 spontaneously mixes reminiscences with present-day
3 views of things, so that an interpretation emerged with
4 is not authentic and some points in it are not even
5 truthful. This applies, in particular, to Generals
6 Trgo and Kukoc. Namely, prior to the military
7 intervention in Slovenia, I travelled from Zagreb to
8 Belgrade two or three times and talked to several
9 people. The Federal Prime Minister Anto Markovic, the
10 Foreign Minister Budimir Loncar, the previous Prime
11 Minister of the Federal Government Branko Vikolic, the
12 Serbian writer Dobrica Cofic, men in the Central
13 Committee of the Legal Communists of Yugoslavia, as
14 well as several retired generals, among whom were these
15 two above named.
16 From all these conversations, as well as all
17 the rumours going around Belgrade, one could conclude
18 that the military would not watch quietly and
19 indifferently the dramatic debates in the presidency of
20 the Socialist Federal Republic at the time, but that
21 they were preparing for a military intervention.
22 Therefore, Generals Trgo and Kukoc were not
23 my source of information, but I learnt from the
24 information from the talks I had with these people.
25 Unfortunately, in the shortened version of the
1 interview, the names of several other senior officers
2 of the JNA were left out, so that only the names of
3 Trgo and Kucic remained, as if they had announced the
4 intervention, which is quite incorrect.
5 The same can be said about the division of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Namely, in that story, there was
7 an intermingling of information and my subsequent
8 experiences and present-day views in connection with
9 those events. I claim categorically that mostly the
10 Avnoj borders were discussed, the borders between the
11 former republics of Yugoslavia, where as a result of a
12 fierce argument broke out in which I defended those
13 borders while the Serbs attacked them as the work of
14 two Croats, that is Tito and Subasic, who were Prime
15 Ministers of two parallel Yugoslavia governments, Tito
16 of the Partisan Government and Subasic of the Royal
18 Of course, the Serbs those added to those
19 the names the names of Kardelj, and the pre-war
20 Comintern policy of breaking up of Yugoslavia, all of
21 which was intended to serve as the basis of their main
22 thesis that those borders cannot be accepted.
23 That was how this conversation turned into a
24 kind of round-table, rather like the round-table
25 discussions that historians have.
1 I claim categorically that I did not see maps
2 on the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina. For me as a
3 historian, and a chronicler of the time in which we
4 live, it was a challenge to participate in those
5 debates which gave me an opportunity to link the
6 present with history, and that was the main thing. The
7 time will come when this issue will re-emerge and then
8 historiographic elaboration of a problem will be made.
9 This is all.
10 May I add to this that what is written here
11 is what I said. First, that we were discussing things
12 over a drink; secondly, that there was an intermingling
13 of current reports with my own reflections and
14 thoughts; so that an interview was produced from which
15 it is not possible to draw the conclusion that a
16 division had been ordered or agreed, et cetera, et
18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Professor. You may
19 now, Mr. Kehoe, ask one question regarding this issue.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. Doctor, this retraction contains no
22 retraction concerning your discussions with President
23 Tudjman, does it?
24 A. Mr. President, I have three or five times
25 already said that my retraction was not published in
1 its entirety and I do not understand this.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I've taken note of that,
4 Mr. Kehoe, the witness has stated -- he says
5 five times, but nonetheless, he said that his
6 retraction had the not been fully published in its full
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Now, Doctor, after these secret meetings that
10 you participated in in Tikves, you withdrew from these
11 discussions concerning the division of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't you, because you did not
13 approve of them?
14 A. I withdrew because I had achieved what I had
15 wanted to achieve as a historian. Of course, I did not
16 agree during this overall situation at the time
17 already. I had the feeling that chaos and turmoil
18 would ensue. And I withdrew for a number of reasons,
19 not only the one that you are alleging, but I felt that
20 the whole issue was not clear, it had not been defined,
21 that I didn't really know what the politicians wanted
22 on either side, and that myself as a scholar, as a
23 professional, had no place there because the policies
24 were contradictory.
25 On the one hand, there was a firm decision to
1 defend the republican borders. On the other hand there
2 was talks going on which I was not familiar with,
3 state, parastatal talks, I don't know. So there were
4 several reasons why I gave up my participation in that
6 Q. But the talks continued, didn't they?
7 A. I don't know anything about that, because
8 that group of experts fell apart, or was disbanded,
10 Q. Well, you testified, did you not, several
11 weeks ago in the case of Prosecutor -- versus
13 JUDGE JORDA: Please ask your question,
14 Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE: I simply asked the witness
16 whether or not he testified in that proceeding.
17 JUDGE JORDA: I suppose if you're asking the
18 question then you must know that he was present. At
19 least I hope the Office of the Prosecutor knows
20 already. So please move on.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Well, in that particular discussion, Doctor,
23 you noted that, "I resigned from the continuation of
24 the talks." And then you went on to note, "Q. In no
25 way do I imply any criticism of you," this is by the
1 Prosecutor, "I am merely endeavouring to elicit --
2 eliciting the facts. But the fact of the matter is
3 that following the meeting between Tudjman and
4 Milosevic, you were assigned as a member of this
5 commission to endeavour to reach an agreement with the
6 Serbs on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
7 that your concern at that time was the fate of the
8 Muslims." The answer is, "Yes. As soon as I saw what
9 was happening, from a kind of historical curiosity I
10 accepted to take part in the talks."
11 And later on you say, "I cannot say what
12 happened afterwards because the contacts probably
14 Do you recall saying that, sir?
15 A. The word "probably" is something I wish to
16 underline, because interstate contacts between Belgrade
17 and Zagreb were constant, diplomatic, non-diplomatic of
18 various kinds. It's quite logical that contacts and
19 links were not totally interrupted, but I personally do
20 not know anything about them.
21 Q. Well, Doctor, is it your belief that after
22 your departure from those talks that those talks
23 concerning the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 A. My belief is not important.
1 MR. NOBILO: Objection.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I agree with Mr. Nobilo. It
3 seems that the question has been asked already.
4 MR. NOBILO: Yes. The witness has quite
5 clearly said, on several occasions, that he has no
6 knowledge about what happened later. Therefore, the
7 grounds for this question do not exist, because the
8 witness has said that he doesn't know what happened
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, perhaps you might rephrase
11 your question unless -- we're going to be going on to
12 the break. Do you have another question about these
13 meetings in Karadjordjevo, if so, please go ahead.
14 MR. KEHOE: I do not, Mr. President. The
15 witness has answered the question as far as I'm
17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, very well. Do you have
18 many more questions in your cross-examination,
19 Mr. Kehoe?
20 MR. KEHOE: It's difficult to say, Your
21 Honour. I would say probably an hour or so.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We're going to take
23 our first break of ten minutes. We're going to
24 reconvene at 20 minutes to the hour.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.45 p.m.
2 (The accused entered court).
3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, please go on.
4 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Mr. President, Your
5 Honours, thank you.
6 Q. Doctor, you resigned from this commission
7 because you did the not accept the concepts about the
8 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you disagreed with
9 what was happening, so as a Communist of 50 years you
10 left; isn't that right?
11 A. I have already answered that question, adding
12 the fact that the situation was so complicated that I
13 didn't consider myself competent to continue to be
14 involved in a dramatic situation, so that I have
15 already answered that question and explained what I
16 have just added.
17 Q. On page 225, at line 20 of your prior
18 testimony in Aleksovski, you noted, "I publicly came
19 out against the radicalism, both Serb and Croatian,
20 because as I know, for 50 years I was a Communist, and
21 I don't accept the concepts about the division, so
22 that's why I resigned."
23 Now, that was your testimony in the
24 Aleksovski case, is that correct?
25 A. Yes. I was always in favour of moderate
1 policies and against radical ones, because I myself
2 went through the radical policies of the revolution,
3 socialist revolution, and I had had enough of this
5 Q. And you did not agree with the policies of
6 division that President Tudjman advocated, did you, as
7 it pertained to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. I didn't claim that, and I claim today that
9 I'm not sure of that, because it wasn't explicitly
10 stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be divided,
11 but that the overall situation should be examined.
12 Q. Well, Doctor, in early 1994, President
13 Tudjman called upon you to go to Belgrade as a
14 representative of --
15 MR. NOBILO: I apologise to my learned
16 colleague, but in our examination-in-chief, we reached
17 as far as the break-up of Yugoslavia, that is 1990.
18 About the years that followed and the duties of this
19 witness in '93, '94, in the independent Republic of
20 Croatia is something we did not discuss, so this is
21 quite outside the scope of the examination-in-chief.
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I will tell the
23 Court exactly the question that I'm going to ask.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, please. Finish with your
25 question first.
1 MR. KEHOE:
2 Q. Doctor, you were called upon to go to Serbia
3 as a representative for the Republic of Croatia as part
4 of a reconciliation mission with the Serbs; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Prior to leaving, you had a discussion with
8 President Tudjman in early 1994, where he said, "I know
9 that you do not agree with my policy in Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina." Did he not say that to you?
11 JUDGE JORDA: Hold on. Before the witness
12 responds to that question, I would first like to see
13 whether or not the Judges would like for this question
14 to be put under Rule 70. The Rules of Procedure give
15 the Judges the right to put a question -- rather, under
16 Rule 90, the Judges do have indeed the right to put a
17 question to the witness. First let me consult with my
19 The Trial Chamber -- and this will also
20 account for the following questions, deems that Rule 90
21 does indeed -- rather, 98, dealing with additional
22 evidence presented by the witness, the Trial Chamber
23 may order either party to produce additional evidence,
24 and it may, if appropriate, summon witnesses and order
25 their attendance, but in this case the Judges do have
1 the right to give the Defence the right to re-examine
2 on issues which are not covered in
4 Mr. Kehoe, you may ask your question.
5 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
6 Q. Doctor, in this discussion with President
7 Tudjman in early 1994, he said to you, "I know that
8 you, Dr. Bilandzic, do not agree with my policy in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina." And that was the policy of a
10 division in Bosnia-Herzegovina that you didn't agree
11 with; isn't that so?
12 A. I really cannot remember that I said that,
13 and even if I did say that it had been said, I simply
14 cannot remember that. I did not hear such a statement
15 from president Tudjman, even if it was published in the
17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we should like to
18 learn the source from which the Prosecutor is quoting.
19 Secondly, we would like to have a copy, because it
20 seems to me that the Prosecutor has added his own
21 interpretation to this quotation. If allegedly
22 President Tudjman said, "I know that you do not agree
23 with my policy in Bosnia-Herzegovina," and then the
24 Prosecutor added, "That was the division of Bosnia,
25 wasn't it?" So I think this is improper.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, let's be very
2 clear. You mentioned quotations. Would you please
3 give us the source, otherwise, it would seem that
4 you're giving an interpretation of what the witness had
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. The source
7 is, again, Exhibit 264, the newspaper article from
8 Nacional, and on the second to last page, and in the
9 area, Doctor, if you can look the at Exhibit 264 --
10 JUDGE JORDA: 464 is it not, Mr. Registrar?
11 MR. KEHOE: I apologise, Judge, 464.
12 Q. And do you see, Doctor, in the area on the --
13 I believe it's your second page, starting with "Free
15 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please underline
16 where that sentence is, Mr. Kehoe? I don't see it.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Yes, Your Honour. In the English version
19 it's on page 6. If I can point to it, Your Honour,
20 it's right here. On page 6. I realise this is a
21 rather unscientific method, but --
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Riad has placed
23 it before me. Thank you.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Now, Doctor, you said in this article in
1 Nacional that President Tudjman said to you you do not
2 agree with my policies in Bosnia-Herzegovina but it
3 would be good if you went to Belgrade. Do you see that
5 A. What it says here is -- I should like to
6 repeat what I already said. I can't find it here, but
7 I don't think that is important, Your Honours, because
8 I do not absolutely recall Tudjman saying that to me,
9 and we have already spoken about this sufficiently,
10 that is, that I protested with the Nacional, saying
11 that it had misinterpreted many of my thoughts, and I
12 cannot recall President Tudjman saying that to me.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Kehoe.
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Well, place us in time and help us with this,
17 You were recalled from Belgrade in May of
18 19595; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you had spent 15 months in Belgrade on
21 this diplomatic mission?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So any invitation by President Tudjman for
24 you to undertake this diplomatic mission would have
25 taken place in late 1993 or possibly early 1994; is
1 that right?
2 A. You're thinking of when the mission was
3 suspended, the agreement was more or less tête-à-tête
4 that I would go to Belgrade for only a few months
5 because I had retired and I had my own obligations with
6 respect to writing books and I stayed for longer than
7 originally had been agreed.
8 Q. But the undertaking per the request of
9 President Tudjman, was made to you by President Tudjman
10 in the, say, last half of 1993; is that accurate?
11 A. No. Your Honours, this was about 15 days
12 prior to my departure for Belgrade. That was my first
13 contact when I learned that he would like me to go to
14 Belgrade, maybe 10 days before I actually left.
15 Q. So help me out here, Doctor, I am just trying
16 o tie down the time frame here for the purposes of the
17 record. If you came back in May of 1995, and you were
18 there for 15 months, you must have had this discussion
19 in late December 1993 or early January of 1994, unless
20 my math is wrong; is that approximately right?
21 A. I am repeating. Ten days or so prior to
22 leaving for Belgrade, I was called to go on that
23 mission, nothing more than that, Your Honours.
24 Q. And prior to that time, you had expressed
25 disapproval, publicly you had expressed disapproval of
1 the policies of the Republic of Croatia as it pertained
2 to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; did you not?
3 A. I don't know what source you are referring to
4 and what kind of non-approval you are referring to,
5 what you mean as a member of the opposition. Ever
6 since the first day of the establishment of the
7 independent state of Croatia, I was a member of the
8 presidency on behalf of the opposition and to this day
9 I am a member of the opposition. And as a member of an
10 opposition party, I often spoke critically about the
11 regime because that is the logic of a political
13 Q. Well, I guess we'll go into this in a little
14 more detail, Doctor. You wrote a book that we talked
15 about yesterday, where you criticised the establishment
16 of the Kninska Krajina, because it established a state
17 within a state of the Republic of Croatia and, as such,
18 presented an intolerable situation for the Republic of
19 Croatia; do you recall that discussion?
20 A. Yes, the League of Communists of Croatia of
21 whose central committee I was a member, from the first
22 day of the conflict with Milosevic's policies, always
23 pursued a policy of defence of Croatia and it remains
24 that that policy remains in force to this day. And
25 within the framework of that policy, I was naturally
1 against this so-called Balvan Revolution or Log
3 Q. And that revolution started as a cultural
4 grouping and ultimately turned into I believe what you
5 described yesterday as an entity that had all the
6 trappings of statehood; is that right?
7 A. No, that is not right. On the 19th of July,
8 1990, the people of Knin took up arms. They cut wood.
9 They put up obstacles to block traffic between Croatia
10 and its coastline. They blocked the main road and the
11 conflict started immediately there. Cultural autonomy
12 was just a way of legitimising the so-called Balvan
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I apologise for
15 objecting again. Of course the Defence appreciates the
16 right of the Trial Chamber to call for evidence of its
17 own, but it appears -- we would just like the time that
18 is being used for this not to be counted as the Defence
19 time as this is quite outside the examination-in-chief
20 and, therefore, it is based on a different grounds than
21 the regular cross-examination.
22 JUDGE JORDA: You are not incorrect. But we
23 would like to see whether the Prosecution has further
24 questions which is of great interest to the Chamber and
25 to the judges.
1 Please understand, Mr. Nobilo, that when you
2 have a witness who is very close to those in power in a
3 historical and a political knowledge that also
4 interests the judges a great deal.
5 Now I turn to Mr. Kehoe to see whether this
6 cross-examination which you are carrying out with
7 questions, which, once again, I repeat, the judges find
8 of great interest must nonetheless ask the question
9 about the time. Are you in agreement with that, Mr.
11 MR. KEHOE: Absolutely, Judge. I mean, if
12 the Court wants to suspend the time against the Defence
13 on that score, the Prosecution has no objection to
15 MR. HAYMAN: Our records indicate that about
16 30 minutes was within the scope and the rest of the
17 examination has focused on personal contacts with
18 President Tudjman and the witness' views about policies
19 of the Republic of Croatia after the disintegration of
20 the former Yugoslavia.
21 MR. KEHOE: The problem, Mr. President, with
22 that analysis is this --
23 JUDGE JORDA: No, I propose to be flexible.
24 We, the judges, have stated that on the Rule of 98 that
25 these questions can be of interest to the Blaskic
1 case. However, you do, indeed, have the right to
2 re-examination. If indeed time has been taken from
3 you, you will not sacrifice your right to
4 re-examination. That will be granted to you. But,
5 nonetheless, please do not abuse this flexibility that
6 we are showing. This witness is here. He has also
7 appeared in other cases. He was a very important
8 political agent in the events that took place in that
9 area. We understand you have many questions for you.
10 However, please do not digress in your
11 questions, please do not multiply them, backtrack,
12 otherwise we have great difficulty in understanding
13 what questions you are asking. Please put your
14 questions directly and please try to make strong
15 efforts in this area. We do not want to have any
16 further incidents as we have seen just now.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Doctor, going directly to the point.
19 Yesterday in your testimony, you were strongly opposed
20 to the establishment of the Republic of Serb Krajina as
21 it was the establishment of a state within the state of
22 a Republic of Croatia; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You also, sir, were strongly opposed to the
25 activities that led to the establishment of the
1 Croatian community of Herzeg-Bosna and the ultimate
2 creation of the Republic of Herzeg-Bosna, were you
4 A. Your Honours, the idea about establishing
5 Herzeg-Bosna itself until the process was completed, I
6 was not included and cannot testify as to that.
7 Q. That particular movement, Doctor --
8 JUDGE JORDA: Professor, we have asked you
9 whether or not you were against it or not. This is a
10 question which is of interest to the judges. We've
11 asked you whether you yourself were against it. If you
12 do not answer the question now, I can tell you that
13 right now I, myself, will ask you that question. So
14 please try to respond to that question now or in a
15 moment. It's a question which id very clear. Yes or
16 no, were you against the creation of the Herzeg-Bosna
18 THE WITNESS: When Herzeg-Bosna was created,
19 then I came to learn that it had been established and
20 that is why I did not assume a public stand because
21 about the initiative and the process of creating
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Herzeg-Bosna, I knew nothing.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Please go on, Mr. Kehoe.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Well, you knew, doctor, that the Croatian
1 community of Herzeg-Bosna, when it was established on
2 the 18th of November, 1991, had a goal of becoming a
3 part of the Republic of Croatia; did you not learn
4 that, sir?
5 A. Your Honours, I don't know where the source
6 comes from because I did not have any decided stands on
7 Herzeg-Bosna and I had retired from political life
8 already at the time and I did not participate in this.
9 So I have no stand on Herzeg-Bosna here until it was
10 already formed. I have already said that.
11 Q. Well, you do know, doctor, that the goals of
12 the Croatia community of Herzeg-Bosna were annexation
13 with the Republic of Croatia; you do know that, don't
15 A. No, I don't know the source that I knew that
16 Herzeg-Bosna should be annexed to Croatia. I don't
17 know where the source comes from. That is, that I knew
18 about this and that I was against it or anything about
19 it, in fact.
20 Q. Well, sir, you perceived that that creation
21 of the Croatian community of Herzeg-Bosna, was an
22 effort to divide the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 didn't you?
24 A. Your Honours, that was a live process which
25 began, which lasted in its ultimate goal. What it was
1 to be, I did not know of it, nor could I have known.
2 And I always took the view that the constituents of
3 each nation be respected. And I never said decidedly
4 anything about Herzeg-Bosna, so I don't know the source
5 of this.
6 Q. Let's move ahead, Doctor. You believe and
7 concluded as a historian that after the establishment
8 of the Vance-Owen Plan that the authorities in
9 Herzeg-Bosna had concluded that they could do what they
10 wanted; didn't you conclude that?
11 A. Not quite like that. I condemned, that is to
12 say I have not got the right to condemn, but I stated,
13 I said that I considered that neither the Republic of
14 Srpska or Herzeg-Bosna should have the position which
15 would lead towards a definite division. I said this on
16 several occasions, but in precise terms, my own policy,
17 my own positions, I did not declare, but I did say that
18 I did not consider it to be a good idea.
19 Q. You concluded that the granting of Bosnian
20 Croats citizenship in the Republic of Croatia was a
21 mistake, didn't you?
22 A. Perhaps I just noted that it had been done,
23 but I did not qualify this either as a mistake or as a
24 good thing either.
25 Q. You also concluded that representation by
1 Bosnian Croats in the Sabor was also a mistake; didn't
3 A. I don't know where you have the resource that
4 it was a mistake. But I was against the fact -- let me
5 be more precise. I supported, but I do not have a
6 stand on this, nor did I ever have a stand. I never
7 said anything about the matter of representation. But,
8 intimately, I thought that this was not the right
9 solution. I don't remember saying anything or writing
10 anything about that.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, when you're going to
12 be citing something, I hope that you will name the
13 source if you're going to quote from some document.
14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
15 Q. But, Doctor, your positions were consistent,
16 you were against the formation of the Kninska Krajina,
17 within the Republic of Croatia in the same way that you
18 were against the establishment of the Croatian
19 community of Herzeg-Bosna and the Republic of
20 Herzeg-Bosna because it would lead to the break up of
21 individual republics; isn't that right?
22 A. In principle, I assumed that stand, but when
23 the Prosecutor, Your Honours, say that I expressly
24 stated, then this is a mistake. I don't recall having
25 expressly stated this. Because a mistake is that kind
1 of qualification. It can mean one thing or another.
2 They're all relative matters. And taking part in
3 political life, particularly when you're a member of
4 the opposition, one allows oneself the right to
5 overdimensionalise in order to make it difficult for
6 the ruling party.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, this is a question
8 of methodology. I think you must respect the rigorous
9 principles of methodology. Either you ask the witness
10 his opinion and then the witness will give his
11 opinion. Or, you should list the facts and then ask
12 him to comment on those. You cannot pile on questions,
13 approximative questions, you, it seems, did so and so.
14 And then end that with a question by saying, therefore,
15 if you're against such and such a thing. Do you follow
16 me? Do you follow what problem I have? Is it a
17 question of methodology in your questioning. This is a
18 procedure that must be followed. Either you ask the
19 opinion of the witness. That is your absolute right.
20 But, you should not start off with a question from
21 which the answer is already there. Then, derive a
22 certain answer from that. And this is an intellectual
23 exercise which is not very clear. So please make an
24 effort in this regard. Thank you.
25 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
1 Q. Doctor, do you know a reporter by the name of
2 Jasmina Kuzmanovic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you give an interview or comment to her
5 on the 21st of July, or it was published on the 21st of
6 July, 1993, on a wire service known as "Associative
8 A. That is possible, Your Honours. I had
9 interviews with hundreds and hundreds of journalists.
10 Now, whether I gave this particular person an
11 interview, I don't have records on this in my personal
12 documents or anywhere, so I don't remember. I don't
13 know the sense of the question. The question is not a
14 direct question.
15 Q. Well, Doctor, let me get more direct on the
16 question. During the midst of the war between the
17 Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats, did you express
18 your displeasure of the policies of the Republic of
19 Croatia in saying if one divides Bosnia, why shouldn't
20 one divide Croatia? It's a logical consequence. Did
21 you say that?
22 A. I don't remember that. It can possibly be
23 stated, but I don't recall --
24 JUDGE JORDA: Now here's a question of
25 methodology once again. You have that article, I
2 MR. KEHOE: I do, I do, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE JORDA: You don't even know what the
4 date of the article is. So, please, when you have an
5 article, please specify which article you are referring
6 to, otherwise we will lose a great deal of time. I
7 don't even have the year. So, please, you can say you
8 gave to such and such a paper on such and such and date
9 and then we can end with that and the witness can tell
10 you what he feels, what he thinks about that. Let's
11 continue on that vein Mr. Kehoe, but not to keep going
12 around the issue.
13 MR. KEHOE: With respect, Mr. President, I do
14 believe I led in before the question that this was an
15 article that was published approximately on the 21st of
16 July, 1993 by an Associative Press reporter.
17 Q. You do not recall giving that particular
18 interview; is that right?
19 A. Absolutely not. I have at least 2.000 pages
20 of interviews and who can remember an interview,
21 particularly in that dramatic situation.
22 Q. Well, let me ask you, Doctor, during July of
23 1993, did you believe that the Croatians were
24 attempting to divide Bosnia?
25 A. Your Honours, this is also a strange
1 question. My stand of principle was always to retain
2 the results of the partisan war. That is to say, this
3 republic. And it is from those positions that I always
4 defended these stands. And then, of course, in one or
5 another interview, following a policy of that kind, and
6 as I was a member of the opposition, I could have said
7 one thing or another. So whether I thought one thing
8 or another is difficult for me to say. I cannot define
9 it. I cannot remember precisely what exactly I said in
10 July 1993, what I thought in July 1993.
11 Q. Then, maybe we can refresh your recollection,
12 Doctor, by going to the second clip and I believe
13 that's 463-B, if I am not mistaken, Mr. Dubuisson. If
14 we can play that next clip again. Again this is
15 another excerpt from dispatches.
16 Excuse me, video room, can you start that
17 from the beginning with the volume, please. And the
18 lights, please, if you could dim the lights.
19 (Videotape played)
20 Q. Do you recall that interview, Doctor?
21 A. Well, the question, as a member of the
22 opposition party, of course I remember. I wanted to
23 explain and I was close to the view that this was a
24 state of fact. And from that state of fact to politics
25 and what should be done is a long road, a large step to
2 Q. Did you conclude that the Croatian community
3 of Herzeg-Bosna was attempting to establish a state
4 within the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. I only took note of what had been done. I
6 did not conclude anything. My statement talks about
7 what they did within their territorial unit. And I
8 have no stand there, what they were thinking of doing
9 in the future.
10 Q. In any event, Doctor, you concluded that the
11 Croats from Herzegovina thought that the division of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina was done and that they could do
13 whatever they wanted; isn't that right?
14 A. Well, you used a bit of licentia poetica
15 there. I did not say that, poetic licence. It was a
16 dramatic process which was ongoing and it was to end
17 later on according to the logics of recognition because
18 Croatia was later to recognise, not later, but it
19 definitely recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina and an
20 organisation within Herzeg-Bosna was both military and
21 political because at that time in the aggressive war
22 against the JNA and Serbia and so on and so forth,
23 something had to be done in that direction.
24 Q. Doctor, let me go back for one moment before
25 we conclude. In your paper that you wrote, "Croatian
1 Between War and Independence." A paper that was
2 published by the University of Zagreb in 1991. And in
3 your conclusion, you state the following thing:
4 "Criminal deeds go hand in hand with criminal lies.
5 This is an old and often proven truth."
6 Doctor, do you believe that today as much as
7 you believed that in 1991?
8 A. Your Honours, criminal deeds go hand in hand
9 with what? I don't understand the sense of the
10 sentence. It alludes me. If I wrote it, then the
11 interpretation is completely unclear and the
12 Prosecutor's interpretation is unclear. What does it
13 mean? Criminal deeds are criminal deeds.
14 Q. I will read it for you one more time. And I
15 quote as follows on page 90 of your book: "Criminal
16 deeds go hand in hand with criminal lies. This is an
17 old and often proved truth." Did you write that?
18 A. Even if I did write it, I think that it is a
19 little -- that it has two meanings and it is not
20 sufficiently clear. A criminal deed, something has to
21 precede criminal deeds and you lawyers know that. You
22 have to have intent beforehand or some sort of action,
23 preparation for some thing. And criminal lies, it
24 states that criminal lies are also criminal deeds. Is
25 that the sense of the question? Whether I consider
1 that lies are criminal deeds? It is not a very clear
2 sentence and I doubt that I could have written a
3 sentence which lacked clarity of that kind. Or perhaps
4 it is a question of translation. I don't understand
5 the exact sense, either of the sentence or the
7 JUDGE JORDA: The sentence does not go on too
8 much further. Otherwise it seems that we are arriving
9 at a paradoxical situation, where the author of the
10 sentence would have to receive an explanation from
11 someone else about that sentence means.
12 MR. HAYMAN: Perhaps if we have it in the
13 native language in which it was written, the witness
14 can see it. If we have it in BSC, Your Honour, that
15 might cut through the problem.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. We have a possible
17 difficulty. I understand the witness to be reacting to
18 a proposition which says that a criminal lie is a
19 criminal deed. The sentence which was quoted to you
20 was, however, a little different. That criminal deeds
21 go hand in hand with criminal lies. From that, there
22 is no necessary inference, criminal lies are always
23 criminal deeds.
24 THE WITNESS: I agree, Your Honours, with
25 that interpretation made by the judge.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you Judge Shahabuddeen
2 having clarified that issue. Mr. Kehoe, do you have
3 any further questions?
4 MR. KEHOE: No, Mr. President, I do not. No
5 further questions.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, Mr. Nobilo. Now,
7 you realise the re-examination should be within the
8 scope of the cross-examination.
9 MR. NOBILO: That's right. But I suppose
10 with additional questions I could enter into a new
11 cross-examination outside the examination-in-chief.
12 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:
13 Q. In any event, Professor please explain to the
14 Court whether there is a difference in expressing
15 assertions in a political struggle and presenting
16 assertions in a scientific work, including professional
17 expertise given before this Criminal Chamber?
18 A. Yes, there is a difference, absolutely.
19 Because statements, Your Honours, in a political
20 struggle, are something that is aimed at having your
21 political adversary disqualified. And when we're
22 talking about science, then the approach must be quite
23 different. The methods might be quite different and
24 the statements different. And I assume that this holds
25 true in a court of law as well.
1 Q. Have I understood you correctly in saying
2 that the weight and precision and quality of one, that
3 is statements said in the heat of political argument,
4 and a different weight is placed on something that you,
5 as a scientist, write or state or something which you,
6 as a scientist, state before a court of law?
7 A. The ethics of science has its own ethics and
8 political struggles have their own ethics which are
9 different according to my view.
10 Q. You are a member of the strongest opposition
11 party in the Republic of Croatia and whether it is --
12 is it the aim of your opposition party to overthrow
13 president Tudjman's power and party, of course, in a
14 parliamentary manner?
15 A. I think I can confirm this because the whole
16 meaning of having an opposition party is to come into
17 power one day. And, of course, in Croatia this means
18 by parliamentary methods today.
19 Q. You -- we heard mention of the Nacional a lot
20 of times, is this a pro-government newspaper or
21 anti-government newspaper?
22 A. It's expressly opposition anti-government and
23 expressly critical. And I always follow the Nacional
24 and I must say, unfortunately, that I don't very often
25 agree with them because at times they overstep the code
1 of conduct and morals -- well, not morals, that's a
2 little heavy, but they overstep the frameworks of Buto
3 in order to inflict a blow to the regime and the ruling
4 party. And I have the impression I could also supply
5 you with documents because I myself am convinced of
7 Q. In a young democracy, such as Croatia, is
8 that the characteristic of the majority of newspapers?
9 A. Also in this case I think, Your Honours, this
10 is a broad question. But I must say one thing and that
11 is that the mentality that reigns the Mediterranean
12 mountainous mentality in polemics does not always take
13 care of content and style, but very often they react
14 very sharply and heatedly. In Croatia we have several
15 newspapers who are in the forefront of this kind of
17 Q. Would the Nacional, do you assess that the
18 Nacional is also politically oriented like your own
19 party as an opposition in the direction of overthrowing
20 the existing powers that are in Croatia?
21 A. Yes, it's far more critical than my own
23 Q. In Croatia, in our political discussions
24 there, when we speak of division, the division of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, does this encompass a division
1 within the state, that is who is going to be dominant
2 in power within? And the same term, is it used in the
3 division of the same state into two, three or more
4 parts? Am I right in saying the same term, "division",
5 is used for breaking up Bosnia-Herzegovina and also
6 when we mean division in the local division of
7 government within Bosnia-Herzegovina? Am I right
9 A. Well, I think that politics and the processes
10 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, from the first day to the
11 present, are such that the term "division" is really
12 used both for a policy of Bosnia as an entirety, that
13 is that the division must ensure constituency of the
14 three basic elements. Those who wish to have the
15 division of Bosnia also use the same term "division".
16 So this is rather a confusing term, a
17 confusion of terms, terms which are not quite clear,
18 and daily politics uses, intentionally, these confusing
19 terms, both the ruling party and the opposition parties
20 use this term.
21 Q. In concrete terms, is Bosnia divided into two
22 ethnicities today -- entities in keeping with the
23 Dayton Accords?
24 A. Well, the Dayton Accords, in fact, divided
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the opposition overemphasises
1 this assessment, that the International Community
2 divided Bosnia and that it now keeps it divided. This
3 is particularly widespread, the accepted widespread
4 view in the opposition parties.
5 Q. Well, from -- we discussed Karadjordjevo a
6 great deal, so I won't dwell on that, but you said that
7 you did not see any document from a meeting in
8 Karadjordjevo, and that President Tudjman did not tell
9 you the contents of the talks there.
10 A. Absolutely.
11 Q. And now I'm asking you whether anybody -- any
12 other member of the Croatian delegation who was present
13 in Karadjordjevo told you about the contents of the
14 talks in Karadjordjevo between the representatives of
15 Croatia and Serbia?
16 A. Absolutely not. Neither the Minister, nor
17 the Prime Minister, nobody told me this.
18 Q. So just with one sentence, can we definitely
19 conclude and discard all doubt that you have no
20 knowledge on the talks in Karadjordjevo and what was
21 discussed in Karadjordjevo?
22 A. Absolutely not.
23 Q. Tikves. You said that the meeting in Tikves
24 boiled down to a discussion on whether the boarders
25 from the Second World War can or cannot be changed.
1 Can you tell me in precise terms whether this related
2 to the external borders of Yugoslavia or the republican
4 A. Your question -- even in my interview in the
5 Nacional, says that -- and that is the frequently
6 quoted Nacional is an important source here, that
7 practically the entire talks were -- evolved in a
8 polemics as to which borders were meant. The talks
9 gave me the impression, a strong impression, that both
10 sides, in discussing borders, understood that they were
11 dealing exclusively with internal borders, because none
12 of the sides brought into question external borders.
13 Q. Professor, could you please make it clear to
14 the court; in our political terminology, when we say
15 "internal borders," do we have in mind the borders of
16 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and
17 so on and so forth?
18 A. Absolutely, completely. There is no dilemma
19 there. We have in mind exclusively the republican
20 borders, which according to the 1974 constitution, were
21 defined as the boarders of the states of the
22 republics. So state borders are borders -- internal
23 borders between the republics.
24 Q. Having said that, may we conclude, in view of
25 your previous statement, that you, together with the
1 other representatives from Croatia, advocated no change
2 for the boarders of Croatia and Bosnia?
3 A. While I took part in those talks the answer
4 is yes, and after me and before me I don't know.
5 Q. To objectvise the situation, at that time --
6 in that time span, that is the armed insurrection of
7 the Serbs in Krajina, which brought into question
8 Croatian state borders, Croatia could allow itself the
9 political luxury of bringing into question its internal
10 borders within Yugoslavia.
11 A. The political-military-international
12 situation in the early spring of 1991 was such that it
13 reached a climax. That is to say, it was the time when
14 preparations for a military coup were being prepared,
15 and when the Minister of the army went to the Soviet
16 Union, to Marshal Jasov (Phoen), and Croatia found
17 itself in a situation which was a difficult one, so
18 difficult that any serious policy, anybody serious at
19 the time would not have opened a front of that kind.
20 Q. We have heard you were an expert working with
21 the peaks of Croatian power and authority during the
22 disintegration period of Yugoslavia. Now, I ask you
23 the following: At that time, or afterwards, and we're
24 now entering into the region, right up to the present
25 day, whether you ever saw one official document of the
1 Republic of Croatia which would demand, request, the
2 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. As far as I know, a document of that kind
4 does not exist. I had occasion to look at the
5 documents of our Sabor, or parliament, of the
6 government, of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, as far as
7 I was able through the mass media, and as far as I know
8 I don't know of any document of that kind.
9 Q. I have asked you officially. Did you see a
10 secret document of the organs of Croatia seeking for
11 this division?
12 A. No, absolutely not.
13 Q. Would you please tell the Court what state in
14 the world first recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. I think that it was Croatia.
16 Q. In the diplomatic world, when a state is
17 recognised, what does that mean in view of its
18 territory and borders?
19 A. It means that the side recognises the
20 integrity of the country recognised.
21 Q. What does that mean?
22 A. It means that in the case of Yugoslavia and
23 recognition of mutual -- whether Serbia, Slovenia,
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina Montenegro, whatever, that the
25 signing and the international recognition meant
1 recognition of its existing borders. That is political
2 practice. And that holds true for Slovenia, with which
3 we do have diplomatic relations. It holds true for
4 Macedonia and also for Serbia, although -- that is to
5 say Yugoslavia. Although with Yugoslavia, we have the
6 problem of the Prehlika (Phoen) area, that although
7 that is a specific issue. However, Yugoslavia and
8 Croatia recognised existing borders, and existing
9 borders are always recognised.
10 Q. Without side-stepping, did Croatia recognise
11 Bosnian borders?
12 A. Yes, yes, of course it did.
13 Q. Is recognition by the Republic of Croatia of
14 Bosnia, was that before or after Karadjordjevo or can
15 you remember?
16 A. Karadjordjevo was while Yugoslavia existed as
17 an internationally recognised state. Therefore, we
18 could not have spoken at that time. It was, let's say,
19 one year before the international recognition of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and nine months or eight months
21 prior to the international recognition of Croatia,
22 Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and four months prior to
23 the beginning of the war.
24 So we're dealing here with Yugoslavia, which
25 was still an internationally recognised state.
1 Q. Therefore, Professor, the recognition of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina by Croatia came after
3 Karadjordjevo. That's what you wanted to say?
4 A. Yes, one year later.
5 Q. Now tell me, in relation to Karadjordjevo,
6 how much time elapsed before the Great War broke out
7 between Serbia, the JNA and Croatia? How long after
9 A. I didn't understand the question.
10 Q. From the moment of the meeting in
12 A. Yes, I understand.
13 Q. Yes. From Karadjordjevo to the outbreak of
14 war between Serbia and Croatia, how much time elapsed?
15 A. About four months. Yes, about four months
16 later. The real war began in the summer of 1991, and
17 up until then, there were outbreaks in Krajina, Knin.
18 Clashes existed in Pakrac, Dalj and so on and so
19 forth. These were clashes that broke out. But a
20 frontal attack by the JNA began on Croatia from Serbia
21 in the summer of 1991.
22 Q. Professor. You have a great deal of
23 scientific, political and every other kind of
24 experience, so could you tell the Court, as a
25 historian, as a politician, what do you conclude from
1 the fact that the war broke out after Karadjordjevo, a
2 war in which the large town of Croatia was destroyed,
3 Vukovar, the holy place of Croatia at Dubrovnik and so
4 on? What do you conclude from that fact, that the war
5 broke out four months after the meeting in
6 Karadjordjevo? What is your conclusions regarding what
7 happened or did not happen in Karadjordjevo?
8 A. Your Honours, this is a very interesting
9 question to which history will certainly be able to
10 provide an answer, but it is self-explanatory, without
11 going into a thorough analysis, that a bloody war
12 between two parties should not have occurred if those
13 opposing parties had reached some kind of a mutual
14 agreement. Because if there was an agreement, then
15 there's no way to explain why the war broke out,
16 because as is known, the war was indeed bloody. The
17 JNA had about 15.000 killed soldiers and 40.000
19 Q. On whose side?
20 A. On the side of Croatia. And about ten towns
21 were destroyed. So it is quite incomprehensible that
22 such a brutal and bloody war could have occurred after
23 any kind of agreement.
24 Q. Therefore, 15.000 dead, 30- to 40.000 wounded
25 and about ten destroyed towns after Tudjman and
1 Milosevic had agreed on everything, according to you
2 that is absurd?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, that
5 is all.
6 A. Your Honours, may I make a request?
7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Doctor. We are going to
8 have a break now before the Judges will be asking you
9 questions. Would you like to add something?
10 A. I just wanted to say that my wife is very
11 sick, and I have plane tickets for tomorrow morning.
12 If perhaps you could devote a little more time to me
13 today, I have to go back urgently, because I've been
14 told today that my wife has to go into hospital for
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. You are right to point
17 that out, Professor, but I believe that after the break
18 we will finish with the questions from the Judges. So
19 you will be free to go as of this evening.
20 We'll stand in recess for 20 minutes.
21 --- Recess taken at 4.50 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 5.15 p.m.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Please have the accused brought
25 (The accused entered court)
1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I believe I
2 neglected to offer the exhibits that I discussed during
3 my cross-examination into evidence and with the Court's
4 permission, I would like to do that at this time.
5 JUDGE JORDA: No objections?
6 MR. NOBILO: We would like to ask the
7 Prosecutor to specify which exhibits and documents he
8 is referring to because he used a variety of
10 JUDGE JORDA: The video, I presume, Mr.
12 MR. KEHOE: The video is broken down into 463
13 A and 463 B. The article, the Nacional article of the
14 25th of October, 1996, is 464 and 464 A and the
15 retraction of which there is only a BCS version is
16 465. Those are the exhibits.
17 MR. NOBILO: We have no objection, Your
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. They have been
20 admitted as numbered. Is that right, registrar?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is correct, Your
23 JUDGE JORDA: Professor, we are now coming
24 close to our conclusion, but now the judges have
25 questions for you. I will now give the floor to Judge
2 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Professor. Can
3 you hear me?
4 A. Good afternoon, Your Honour, yes, I can.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Indeed, I listen with great
6 interest to your testimony which is of great historical
7 dimension and I wish I could listen much more and read
8 you more, I hope.
9 Just a few things I need clarification in my
10 mind in what you said. One of them interests me in
11 particular, not only with regard to your testimony, it
12 is the rights which you mentioned, the rights of a
13 nation could be based on ethnic principle or could be
14 based on national ethribution or based on history. And
15 you seem to identify the ethnic principle with the
16 principle of national ethribution and you said
17 ethribution is tantamount to self-determination.
18 I would like more clarification because I
19 thought the ethnic principle is more linked with race.
20 Is that what you meant that ethnic principle can be the
21 basis of a nation or has it a wider scope? Is my
22 question clear? Concerning the ethnic principle, what
23 did you mean by it?
24 A. Your Honour, in European theory of a nation
25 is a social community comprising several elements. It
1 should have several elements: Language, culture,
2 history, and, in particular and most importantly, an
3 individual feeling of a certain person, the conviction
4 of that person that he belongs to a certain nation.
5 I distinguish nation from race because I
6 don't like the term race. But if we were to accept it
7 in the conventional and popular sense, then within a
8 race, there may be several nations. For instance,
9 though this is not my strong point. For instance,
10 among Arabs, there may be 10 nations. Among the Slavs
11 who are not a race, but a large social grouping, there
12 are about 10 states. So nation is something narrower.
13 And nation according to European criteria can no longer
14 be subdivided. It remains a whole.
15 As for the principle of self-determination,
16 this is a political category, which may or may not be
17 allowed to a nation to resort to, that is to
18 self-determine itself.
19 According to Stalin's policy, for instance,
20 this right to self-determination was not recognised
21 until the Soviet Union was disintegrated. As for these
22 two terms: Ethnic is national; ethnos, that is
23 belonging to a particular situation, an ethnos becomes
24 a nation when it becomes conscious of definite
25 political goals. The ethnic principle is the principle
1 for the formation of nations, but the historical
2 principle is one that I do not recognise. In other
3 words, I do not recognise the right of, for instance,
4 former empires because they used to govern certain
5 peoples, have the right to gain control of those
6 peoples again. Though any right may be abused,
7 including the right to self-determination, as well as
8 the right to historical borders.
9 In the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, both of
10 the two larger nations ought, or to be more precise,
11 both Croatia and Serbia over a period of 150 years
12 equally claimed the right over Bosnia-Herzegovina in
13 the name of the ethnic and in the name of the
14 historical right. I don't know whether I have been of
15 any assistance. Therefore, in Europe, you have nations
16 such as the German nation, the French nation, the
17 Russian nation, the Italian nation, the Croatian
18 nation, the Hungarian nation. Those are nations.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Just to go to your last
20 affirmation. When you said Croatia and Serbia are
21 claiming rights over Bosnia based on ethnic principle
22 and on historical ground, what is the historical
23 ground? And what is the ethnic principle in this
25 A. That tendency is 150 years old. It emerged
1 in the middle of the 19th century as an idea and a
2 tendency, as a plan, as a project. The starting point
3 was that both parties believed that the Muslims were
4 actually Slavs, but they were Serbs or, in the other
5 case, Croats. Both parties proceeded from the belief
6 that they are of a certain faith. Because, when the
7 Muslims came into being, there were no nations in
8 Europe at the time in the sense in which that concept
9 was established with the French Revolution.
10 When Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1500 something was
11 captured by the Turks, all was that they found there
12 were Slavs of Catholic faith and Orthodox faith. And
13 then later on, national ideologues said that the
14 Muslims who converted to Islam were exclusively
15 Catholics. That would be one theory in Croatia.
16 In Serbia, Karadzic and other theoreticians
17 claim that they were all Orthodox who converted to
18 Islam. Therefore, they remained Serbs, but they only
19 changed their religion, which scientifically cannot be
20 proven quite precisely because the social consciousness
21 in the middle ages differed substantially from social
22 consciousness today.
23 JUDGE RIAD: At least the fact remains, the
24 bottom line is that they were Slavs? The Bosnians were
1 A. That is correct.
2 JUDGE RIAD: They are sometimes called Turks,
3 is that a right description?
4 A. That is true too. But they changed
5 ethnically, although I do not know their history very
6 well. But during the Osmanly Rule, Turks did settle in
7 Bosnia and in time they came to recognise themselves as
8 Turks, as Bosniaks, as something rather vague, so that
9 the research done so far into this issue are quite
10 lacking, even though all three parties have their own
11 interpretations, today's Bosniaks, former Muslims and
12 the Serbs and the Croats each have their own versions
13 about the situation as it was in the middle ages.
14 JUDGE RIAD: What is the version of the
15 Bosniaks themselves?
16 A. The version of the Bosniaks, I will be
17 referring to contemporary views. The Bosnian Muslims
18 always considered themselves a separate people. And
19 when nations were being formed, the nations of the
20 Croatian and the Serbian nation, they took the position
21 that, or they aspired towards becoming an autochthonous
22 factor and that tendency was weak because some of them
23 really did consider themselves Serbs and other Croats,
24 but as of the end of the 19th century, and especially
25 with the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and
1 Tito's socialist Yugoslavia, they tended increasingly
2 to see themselves as a separate national unit. And the
3 Constitution of Yugoslavia recognised this for the
4 first time this figured in the population census of
5 Yugoslavia in 1971. Therefore, today, they have
6 definitely become a formed national community which has
7 this national consciousness of being a separate
9 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you so much for your
10 information. Just another question which comes to my
11 mind and you are not obliged to answer it. When you
12 spoke of the negotiations in Kresovo between President
13 Tudjman and President Milosevic, you just said that it
14 was on how to treat Bosnia-Herzegovina. What did you
15 mean by "How to treat Bosnia"? What does the meaning
16 of "How to treat?" Did you have a definition or rather
17 an explanation of it?
18 A. As I did not get completely clear and precise
19 instructions or information that indeed it had to do
20 with a division, something I didn't believe in, but let
21 me say in passing, I saw that assignment as a
22 political drive conducted before the war. The aim of
23 which was to test the enemy, which from whom one
24 expected the war to start, to see the views regarding
25 that problem. And, secondly, to gain time.
1 However, as intimately I favoured an integral
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you know when one personally
3 believes in something, he is not prone to accept such
4 directives. But I can claim with emphasis that I
5 received no document about the Karadjordjevo meeting,
6 nor was I orally told that, except to the effect that
7 we should test what the views of Serbia were regarding
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and to see the possibility of coming
9 to some kind of an agreement.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Professor.
11 A. Thank you too.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Judge
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Professor Bilandzic, as
15 the president has told you, the Tribunal is not a
16 college of historians and we are grateful to you for
17 coming forward to help us. I shall be sufficiently
18 prudent, I hope, not to enter into areas which are
19 really beyond my reach.
20 So I will ask you just one or two questions
21 and let me begin with Mr. Djilas. Were you referring
22 to the prominent Yugoslav writer?
23 A. Yes, who was also a politician.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: He had more than one
25 dimension to his character. He was both politician and
1 writer. I didn't know that.
2 A. That's right.
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now as you can
4 appreciate, the Bench has an interest in the
5 Karadjordjevo meeting. I understand, perfectly I hope,
6 the position which you have expressed. You heard of
7 it, but you never saw anything and you're not in a
8 position to say authoritatively what may or may not
9 have happened at Karadjordjevo; am I right?
10 A. Right.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, would I be right,
12 however, in supposing, Professor, that you would have
13 heard stories circulating that the meeting at
14 Karadjordjevo was about dividing Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. Yes, there were such rumours.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, would you,
17 Professor, as a scientific person, have thought that
18 that was an important question?
19 A. Yes, I agree.
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you, sir, have
21 felt that your scientific pursuits would at least have
22 encouraged you, if not required you, to probe the
23 nature of the alleged agreement?
24 A. If I live for another five or six years, I am
25 75-years-old, I hope that in five or six years' time, I
1 will learn not only about that, but a whole series of
2 events. It is well-known that some events from the
3 Roman times are being discovered today. Or, for
4 instance, some discoveries are being made about the
5 political and social life in the former Soviet Union
6 and the former Yugoslavia, so that a time distance is
7 required to be able to clearly, fairly and
8 scientifically to analyse the past.
9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I understand you then to
10 mean that, yes, you recognised that this was a matter
11 of importance which could properly engage the mind of a
12 scientific historian, but you considered that a time
13 factor in the material factor required a deferment of
14 close examination in order to arrive at an objective
15 appreciation of whatever may have happened?
16 A. Exactly so.
17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you see,
18 Professor -- well, I know you saw it. Would you like
19 to recall the clip which you saw yesterday and today,
20 television clip. I think you prepared on it. After
21 you prepared and spoke, Mr. Letica also appeared on the
22 television clip? Another person? Yes. Am I right in
23 my recollection, I did not take down his words, but I
24 recall him speaking about maps and dividing
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you recall him speaking about
1 those matters?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you know him?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you ever see that
6 clip before today?
7 A. I think it was shown in the programme, the
8 break up of Yugoslavia, the BBC movie. And I did watch
9 that BBC film. And I remember that he appeared in that
10 film. And I can tell you, quite frankly, that any maps
11 about a division, I never saw. Whether he knows
12 anything about that, I never discussed that with him.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I understand that
14 perfectly. You, yourself, have never had any knowledge
15 of maps. But, looking at the television programme at
16 the time, did you have any reason to think that he was
17 not telling the truth?
18 A. The TV programme was done quite fairly and
19 honestly and I omitted to mention throughout my
20 testimony here that I joined political life in 1939. I
21 joined the communist movement. The communist movement
22 very emphatically, but very emphatically, accused the
23 Serbian and Croatian bourgeois of dividing Bosnia. And
24 ever since 1939 for some 50, 60 years, and even before
25 that actually, the communists had an entirely different
1 concept. In the war of 1941, they decided that Bosnia
2 had to be an equal state, one of the federal units.
3 And for us communists --
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Professor, perhaps I
5 should explain. I am not asking about your own
6 position. I am only asking whether at the time you
7 thought that Mr. Letica was not telling the truth.
8 A. I can't give you a very clear answer.
9 Because Letica too is not very clear. He said there
10 were maps, but he did not say I saw those maps. And I
11 never asked him, so I don't know. I just wanted to end
12 by saying that we communists were very rigid and this
13 entered our blood stream, the belief that Bosnia had to
14 prevail, that it had to exist.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I understand your
16 position perfectly, Professor.
17 May I ask you a supplementary question on
18 this point. At the time when you saw this clip, did
19 anyone in authority in Croatia come forward to assert
20 that Mr. Letica was not telling the truth?
21 A. In Zagreb, there was no public debate in
22 political and scientific circles about this programme,
23 so that I didn't have the opportunity to hear what
24 individuals or the public thought about this TV
25 programme or specifically about Letica.
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, Professor, we know
2 that from what you have said that you have objected for
3 the reasons which you have given, was a division of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is your position. Would I be
5 right in understanding you to mean that the fact that
6 you objected to the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7 implied that you knew it was a plan to divide
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina? That is what you objected to?
9 A. In political life in the mass media and in
10 the public in general, the topic of Bosnia was
11 constantly on the agenda. And I often reacted to this
12 story about Bosnia-Herzegovina, saying that we have to
13 abide by the 1974 constitution. But in concrete terms,
14 I cannot say anything more than I have already said. I
15 am a little tired too.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I understand. And I
17 wouldn't weary you too much. I am about to conclude in
18 one or two more modest questions, if I may. The
19 president may have his little quota to add -- I
20 shouldn't say little, but he will have his quota to
21 add, but I am sure he will take note of your desire to
22 escape, shall we say.
23 Now, you were, Professor, a member of the
24 commission, the commission was established formerly by
25 law, by proclamation, by edict, how was it set up?
1 A. The term used was not a commission, but an
2 expert group, which was to question the other side as
3 to its intentions regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina and
4 generally to get an idea of the strategy. In those
5 dramatic circumstances, which were extremely dramatic,
6 and the war was impending, and we needed to know what
7 the other protagonists in the drama were thinking, and
8 in that context this was this talk about
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Were there any terms of
11 reference of the expert group?
12 A. No. Absolutely none.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, the commission
14 encountered some difficulties which you have
15 explained. Were those difficulties related to the
16 principle of dividing Bosnia-Herzegovina, or did they
17 relate to difficulties arising from implementation of
18 the principle of dividing Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. The question is a very good one and most
20 inspiring, even for my future reflections.
21 Psychologically, mentally, whichever way you
22 want me to put it, we were obsessed with the problem of
23 the totality of the political conflict on the soil of
24 the former Yugoslavia, and our attention focused -- we
25 were simply -- I can't find the right word. We were so
1 preoccupied with the problem of whether we would emerge
2 from an impossible situation, or would blood flow in
3 streams. And for this reason the expert group focused
4 on the problems of Yugoslavia as a whole.
5 First we needed to resolve the question of
6 Yugoslavia as a whole, and we will solve it if we stick
7 to the rule that the republics are states and thereby
8 we will avoid war. That is how the whole debate --
9 rather than being dedicated to Bosnia-Herzegovina, 59
10 per cent of it was orientated towards Yugoslavia as a
12 What Serbia's project was regarding the whole
13 of Yugoslavia and what Croatia's project was regarding
14 the whole of Yugoslavia, we were simply intoxicated by
15 this problem and this topic, and a way out of the
17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: One remaining little
18 area of interest. In your -- in speaking of your
19 correction, your published partial correction of the
20 Nacional article, it was said there, and I recorded the
21 terms: "This has not substantially distorted what I
23 In other words, in your correction you were
24 pointing out certain errors, but you were saying,
25 "Those errors have not substantially distorted what I
1 said." Do you remember that part? And you wrote that
2 correction with your own hand or typewriter.
3 Would that statement also apply to the
4 unpublished part of your correction? Would you be
5 prepared to say, in relation to the unpublished part of
6 your correction --
7 A. In this retraction, I also said that the
8 interpretation regarding the future obstacles to the
9 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina were not given by
10 President Tudjman, but that I was the one who told them
11 that. But they left that out. They probably had a
12 particular design in mind.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: We all know what
14 difficulties reporters can be.
15 So let me ask one last question. If
16 President Tudjman and President Milosevic had an
17 agreement to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina, would you
18 regard that as a matter of substance? Would I then be
19 right in supposing --
20 A. If you wish to hear my personal opinion then,
21 not today -- not just today but then at the time, I
22 thought that those two leaders wanted to manoeuvre each
23 other and to outwit each other by various proposals and
24 ploys. On one hand to delay the war as far as Croatia
25 was concerned, and as far as Serbia is concerned, to
1 attract Croatia to involve it in a game that would not
2 have been to the benefit of Croatia. That is why I
3 said that our mission of the expert group had mostly to
4 do with Yugoslavia as a whole.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Politicians, every so
6 often, engage in playing poker games with one another.
7 We know that. You know the expression, "poker game"?
9 Now, if your first published statement in
10 Nacional referred to an agreement made at Karadjordjevo
11 between the two presidents, then would I be right in
12 supposing that the retraction which you later made was
13 not intended to apply to that matter?
14 A. In the part that I was referring to the three
15 obstacles, that did apply, that is that it was not true
16 that I said that to President Tudjman, but I said it to
17 them. Otherwise, I'm afraid I didn't get the gist of
18 your question.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Oh, let me put it back
20 this way then: In your retraction, you said that the
21 errors of which you complained did not distort the
22 substance of the first publication. And my second
23 question was this: If the first publication quoted you
24 or referred to you as referring to Karadjordjevo as
25 establishing an agreement to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 would you regard that as a matter of substance?
2 A. In my response, a part of which was left out,
3 I said, first of all, that it was to them that I spoke
4 about those three obstacles; and secondly, I said that
5 I never saw any maps, and for some strange reasons,
6 they left that out of my retraction.
7 I tried to write a third retraction, but you
8 see, sometimes the newspaper editors have rather unfair
9 treatment of the author, and they wish to give the
10 impression that they will not change their own
11 positions or their own policies.
12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Professor, you encourage
13 me to ask further questions, but it's five minutes to
14 6.00. You're not so well, and Madam herself is not so
15 well, so I will turn the matter back to the President.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Yes, indeed. The
17 witness had requested that we be able to finish this
18 evening, so if Judge Riad or Judge Shahabuddeen, if you
19 have any more questions to ask, you may do so.
20 I see. Very well. I understood you to say
21 that you are tired. It has been a very long
22 examination-in-chief and a long cross-examination, but
23 I have a need for some clarification.
24 How long have you been in opposition to
1 A. Yes, I am. As a member of the Central
2 Committee of the Communist party of Croatia, I took
3 part in the continuity of that party which changed its
4 name and became the Social Democratic Party, and which,
5 of course, performed radical changes of its ideology
6 and politics, rejecting the essential traits of
7 Communism. One a uniparty system, second a
8 single-party system, Marxist ideology, the economy, and
9 accepted a multi-party system quite truthfully, adopted
10 market mechanisms and so on and so forth.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Now I'm going to get to my
12 question. I'm sorry for interrupting you. My question
13 is very simple. You are in opposition. How long have
14 you been in opposition to Mr. Tudjman? That's a very
15 clear, simple question. '88, '89, '90?
16 A. We have been the opposition since the time of
17 the formation. That is when we lost power. We lost
18 power, the Communists, the former Communists, we lost
19 power in May, in the first parliamentary elections of
20 May 1990. And we were forced at the time to join the
21 opposition, and to the present day we have been the
22 opposition, hoping that perhaps at the next elections
23 we will once again take part in the formation of a new
24 ruling power.
25 JUDGE JORDA: All right. I understand that
1 is the objective of every opposition is to try to form
2 a new government.
3 If I understand correctly, Mr. Tudjman would
4 call upon you as an advisor. And what kind of
5 functions would you carry out? Are they secrete, are
6 they official or unofficial? He would perhaps ask of
7 you to go on a mission, perhaps to Serbia. What type
8 of role did you play? And I imagine it must not have
9 been a very comfortable one. Do you understand my
11 Were you a confidante of President Tudjman,
12 or did he call on for other purposes? I don't quite
13 understand your role.
14 A. Thank you. Since 1939, we were the members
15 of the Communist movement. Both of us were Communists,
16 therefore, both of us were partisan for four years.
17 Both of us --
18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I understood all of that,
19 but if you want us to let you go very early or very
20 quickly, please try to respond directly to the
22 A. Then we continued privately from the former
23 regime. We considered to have contacts from time to
24 time. And when we had to go to Belgrade, he started
25 out from the fact that I lived in Belgrade for 20
1 years, and that I knew many people there, particularly
2 the Belgrade intelligencia, and it was quite normal for
3 him to come to the conclusion that a man of my format,
4 who knows the politicians of Serbia and the
5 intellectuals of Serbia, would be useful to establish
7 JUDGE JORDA: That's a very clear answer.
8 Now, the following question I'd like to ask is about
9 your party. I understand that you are an imminent
10 member of your party.
11 Now, in its own platform, during all these
12 events, did that include a very clear opposition to the
13 issue of Bosnia? Was that one of the central matters
14 in opposition to Tudjman, or did you have other
15 opposition platforms dealing with culture, dealing with
16 the economy, et cetera, or was that a very important
18 And when you met with Mr. Tudjman, because as
19 we've said, you were friends, you said, "My party will
20 not accept that position with regards to that issue."
21 The central point, the pivotal point of the
22 divergence of views between the party and myself lay in
23 the fact that we had a different project with respect
24 to the manner of privatisation of the former socially
25 owned property, with regard to relationships towards
1 the mass media, with respect to the relationship
2 towards state -- legally governed state, based on the
3 very rule of law. And we, who for 50 years tried to
4 realise an ideology, encountered a debacle. We
5 failed. And we considered that we would have to enter
6 a bourgeois society much more decisively, and to
7 develop institutions -- all civil institutions on the
8 multi-party type. And it is the practice of the side
9 that triumphs that once it comes into power, by its
10 very nature, regardless of who the individuals are, it
11 does have the tendency towards authoritarianism.
12 We, however, feel that we have been healed of
13 that disease. I think so. Perhaps we'll be bad too
14 once we come into power, and that is the central
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I understand. We are not
17 here in a political Tribunal, but let me continue with
18 my line of reasoning.
19 So I understand your party was a classical
20 opposition party which had differences with the party
21 in power on various issues. But during the crucial
22 years in 1988 to 1990, given the tragedy that was
23 preparing, in your annual meetings of your party, did
24 it ever issue any strong oppositions, as I have
25 understood, of the maintenance of the internal
1 borders? Is that the case, or did you not deal with
2 that issue?
3 A. Communist Party of Croatia was well-known
4 that it was too -- overly-Titoist, and that it was
5 rigid in standing behind the principles of the
6 inviolability of inter-republic borders. And not only
7 that, but we did not, up until the beginning of the
8 downfall of Yugoslavia, we never and even in our
9 imaginations and let alone in reality, did we think
10 that we would agree to a change of borders. We never
11 did that. For us, that was a cannon for the
12 Communists. A dogma, their creed.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I see. So the question I would
14 like to ask now is that during this entire development
15 of a propaganda both in Central Bosnia and perhaps also
16 in Zagreb, and in respect of this possibility for some
17 sort of annex, whether on a cultural basis or
18 historical basis in which this part of Bosnia should
19 become part of Greater Croatia, my question is the
20 following: Did your party do anything? Did it not
21 only state its position but did it also carry out any
22 action? Did it publish any articles? Did it denounce
23 this type of propaganda? Did it state that
24 International Humanitarian Law would be put at risk and
25 all other republics would end up losing...
1 Did your party do anything? And I assume you
2 also heard this propaganda. What is your feeling on
3 that issue? How did your party define itself in
4 relation to that?
5 A. Let me first put right something I said a
6 moment ago. When I said that we were in the opposition
7 from the very first days, I forgot to mention that in
8 the summer of 1991, at the moment of an all-embracing
9 war with the JNA and Serbia, that the so-called
10 government of democratic unity was set up in which the
11 vice-president of my party was the vice-premier of that
12 government of the new regime, and he was there in that
13 post for about one year or a little less, and then in
14 real terms it definitely became what it did.
15 The party never, because we didn't know, at
16 least the public did not know and we did not know, the
17 party never decidedly, at the time when the news came
18 that the meeting was held in Karadjordjevo, it did not
19 decisively say anything, but it always repeated that it
20 stands -- it assumes the positions of the inviolability
21 of the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not only that
22 particular party, but this was the stand assumed by the
23 Croatian Popular Party, the Croatia Peasants Party.
24 All of them took that position, all the three or four
25 major parties. The others are not important. They all
1 came out for an unified Bosnia.
2 But you know, when a nation finds itself in
3 war, then the opposition has to retract its horns
4 somewhat. And in order to -- for the purposes of
5 defence, I must state a fact that perhaps you don't
6 know. Never in the history of Croatia did an event
7 occur which occurred in 1990 and 1991, in the war, and
8 that is that three men could not be found who would
9 move towards the side of the aggressor. This fact
10 happened for the first time in the history of Croatia.
11 Croatia, in the Second World War, was tragically
12 divided into two armies which fought for four years,
13 but in this war this did not happen.
14 So as I say, the war and the aggression
15 unified the people to such an extent that the
16 opposition, under such circumstances, did not wish, nor
17 could it sharply criticise the ruling party, because
18 the public would see this as an attack on the newly
19 created state of Croatia, and, therefore, the
20 opposition refrained from doing so.
21 Now it has no such considerations, no such
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I understand that
24 when there are tragic events like this one, the
25 opposition party is obliged to try to nuance its
2 My following question is the following:
3 Given the traditional basis of your party and the
4 revolutionary history of Communism, during the war
5 against -- when the war against Serbia ended, if it had
6 been proven before you that your country, here we are
7 no longer in the tragic situation of national unity, if
8 it had been proven in one way or another that your
9 country had participated in one way or in another in a
10 plan to infiltrate, or military actions or propaganda
11 into Bosnia, if that had been the case, would you have
12 condemned such an act?
13 A. If it had the power of doing so, it would not
14 have done that, and that emanates from its political
15 strategy, its political doctrine.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. You have
17 fully answered all of the questions. I understand you
18 must be very tired, Professor. I hope that you will be
19 able to catch your plane, and that above all, when you
20 return you will have better news about your wife.
21 Would you like to add something, perhaps?
22 No? Otherwise, it is ended.
23 A. Yes, I do. Your Honours, I am fully
24 conscious of the vast responsibility that you have
25 taken upon yourselves, because although right and law
1 focuses on man and the individual, you yourselves not
2 only have a man before you, an individual, but you have
3 several nations before you, nations which have gone
4 through this terrible catastrophe.
5 I know full well that you have your
6 consciences and you are aware of the lofty burden that
7 you are bearing, but I have a very happy experience,
8 that is that the Trial Chamber has demonstrated here
9 legal ethics, a Code of Conduct, a legal Code of
10 Conduct which I have found very pleasant, and I must
11 say that I find that your correct attitude is to be
13 If I have helped you in clarifying the
14 situation to you, I am very happy. And as I say, you
15 have a very difficult task you, and as they say, may
16 God help you in your deliberations.
17 Thank you once again. I am happy to have had
18 the opportunity of helping you.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Professor, I can tell you
20 already now that you have aided us a great deal, and I
21 can speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say you
22 have our gratitude for having spent two very long days,
23 and we wish you a very serene and agreeable return to
24 your family.
25 Do not leave, do not move as yet. Tomorrow,
1 I believe, Registrar, we are meeting at 10.00 in the
3 THE REGISTRAR: That is correct, Your
5 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, we all stand
7 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 6.15
8 to be reconvened on the 10th day of
9 September, 1998 at 10.00 a.m.