1. 1 Tuesday, 20th January 1998

    2 (8:30 am)

    3 (In closed session)










    13 Pages 100 to 169 redacted in closed session













  1. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (10.25 am)

    5 (A short break)

    6 (11.00 am)

    7 (In open session)

    8 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask the Registrar to

    9 call out the case number?

    10 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13-AT, the

    11 Prosecutor versus Dokmanovic.

    12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I have the

    13 appearances please?

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

    15 Niemann and I appear with my colleagues, Mr. Williamson,

    16 Mr. Waespi, Ms. Sutherland and Mr. Vos for the

    17 Prosecution, thank you.

    18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?

    19 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I am Tihomir Fila and

    20 together with Ms. Lopicic and Mr. Petrovic I am

    21 representing the accused.

    22 With your permission, your Honour, I have

    23 brought the report that you have requested.

    24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We got it and we

    25 are grateful to you. 1

  2. 1 I understand the Prosecution is going to call

    2 a witness.

    3 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honour pleases, I call

    4 Mark Crawford Wheeler.

    5 (Witness entered court)

    6 JUDGE CASSESE: Dr. Wheeler, may I ask you to

    7 make the solemn declaration pursuant to rule 90(b)?

    8 A. Certainly.


    10 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask you to state your

    11 name?

    12 A. My name is Mark Wheeler.

    13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit.

    14 Dr. Wheeler, before we start with the

    15 examination-in-chief by the Prosecution, may I say that

    16 we did receive your written statement which has been

    17 read by the court, so this will enable us to be aware

    18 of what you stated in that particular document, and

    19 therefore, I wonder whether we might try to focus on

    20 events -- on the events which occurred in 1991. I do

    21 not want, of course, to constrain the Prosecution. The

    22 Prosecution may have other questions, but I just wanted

    23 to emphasise that the main concern of the court is for

    24 events which happened in 1991.

    25 The Prosecutor may proceed.

  3. 1 Examined by MR. NIEMANN

    2 Q. If your Honour pleases. Dr. Wheeler, you are

    3 a historian currently employed as Head of Division of

    4 Humanities in the School of European and International

    5 Studies at the University of Derby?

    6 A. That is correct.

    7 Q. You were educated at the University of

    8 Michigan in the United States, and then you did a PhD

    9 at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom?

    10 A. That is also correct.

    11 Q. You lectured at the in Yugoslav Studies at

    12 the University of Lancaster between 1975 and 1983.

    13 A. Yes, indeed.

    14 Q. And in 1983 did you move to the School of

    15 Slovonic and East European Studies at the University of

    16 London, where you taught modern, eastern European,

    17 Balkan and Yugoslav history until 1994?

    18 A. I did.

    19 Q. And has your scholarly research and

    20 publications centred on Yugoslavia, especially during

    21 the Second World War?

    22 A. It has.

    23 Q. Were you appointed by the British Cabinet

    24 Office to write the official history of the Special

    25 Operations Executive in wartime Yugoslavia?

  4. 1 A. I was.

    2 Q. In 1994 did you become Programme Manager for

    3 the Former Yugoslavia with the charity "Help Aid

    4 International"?

    5 A. That is correct, I did.

    6 Q. And in 1996 did you become project director

    7 in Sarajevo Institute of War and Peace Reporting?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. In March 1997 did you become Chair of the

    10 Media Experts Commission established by the Joint

    11 Implementation Committee on Elections in the United

    12 Nations Transitional Administration in Eastern

    13 Slavonia, Birinja and Western Srem?

    14 A. I did.

    15 Q. In addition to the three years you spent

    16 working in the former Yugoslavia, have you lived and

    17 studied in the former Yugoslavia?

    18 A. I have indeed.

    19 Q. Have you visited one or more of the

    20 Yugoslavia Republics at least twice each year since

    21 1969?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Do you speak the Yugoslavia language?

    24 A. I speak Serbo-Croat.

    25 Q. Now, is your evidence based upon your

  5. 1 personal knowledge and drawn from your own work and

    2 that of other recognised scholars in this field?

    3 A. I certainly hope so.

    4 Q. Have you based your research on conversations

    5 with knowledgeable persons and documents made available

    6 to you by the Office of the Prosecutor?

    7 A. I have.

    8 Q. And since 1980 have you published numerous

    9 books and articles?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Would you look at the curriculum vitae that

    12 is now handed to you and can you confirm that this is

    13 your curriculum vitae? (Handed)

    14 A. Yes, that is my CV.

    15 Q. I tender that, if your Honours please.

    16 Might it be marked with the first exhibit

    17 number of the Prosecution?

    18 Is that acceptable to your Honour? Okay.

    19 Dr. Wheeler, having regard to what his Honour

    20 said about moving as quickly as possibly we can to the

    21 events in 1991, I would just ask you if, briefly, you

    22 can tell us, was there any ethnic persecution adopted

    23 by the participants in the Second World War in the

    24 former Yugoslavia in this particular area?

    25 A. Well, there certainly was. It was notable

  6. 1 that what took place during the Second World War in

    2 Yugoslavia was unique in terms of the scale and the

    3 ferocity of the carnage. South Slavs had occasionally

    4 fought each other before 1941, but never on the scale

    5 that took place in the Second World War.

    6 Q. What was the approach of the Yugoslavia

    7 Communists to the national question during the Second

    8 World War?

    9 A. Well, the Yugoslavia Communist Party sought

    10 to use the national question as one of the vehicles by

    11 which they both pursued a successful resistance policy

    12 and ultimately installed themselves in power and, they,

    13 contrary to the failures of their rivals and opponents,

    14 actually made the national question one of the most

    15 successful of the planks that they offered in order to

    16 achieve power.

    17 Q. Can you describe the nature of the ethnic

    18 violence during the Second World War?

    19 A. Well, the precipitating event in terms of the

    20 violence amongst south Slavs was the German

    21 installation in power in Zagreb of the Ustasha

    22 terrorist organisation. The Ustasha was a fascist

    23 outfit which had been founded in 1929, had been

    24 patronised principally by Italy and Hungary before the

    25 Second World War, but then was put in power by Hitler,

  7. 1 and the Ustashe under Ante Pavelic determined very soon

    2 after achieving power in April 1941 that it was going

    3 to ethnically purify Croatia, doing so by expelling

    4 roughly a third of the Serb or other so-called

    5 "Oriental" parts of the population, converting a third

    6 of the Serb minority to Roman Catholicism and simply

    7 butchering the remaining third, and this actually set

    8 in motion what became a rather more widespread series

    9 of persecutions and reprisals amongst the south Slav

    10 peoples, but the motor force came from the Ustasha

    11 policy of genocide in the vastly expanded war-time

    12 Croatian state.

    13 Q. How did the Communists deal with the legacy

    14 of the fracticidal strife?

    15 A. Well, after the Second World War the

    16 Communist line was that what had happened in terms of

    17 internecine strife in the course of the Second World

    18 War had really been entirely the fault of the occupying

    19 powers, or of their lackeys amongst the old order, the

    20 respective bourgeoisies of the Serbs, Croats,

    21 Slovenians and so forth, and as a consequence it had

    22 nothing to do with them and nothing to do with the new

    23 workers' state that was in the process of formation.

    24 So, by and large what the Communists did was

    25 to try and draw a line under what had happened in the

  8. 1 Second World War and caused people, to the maximum

    2 possible extent, to forget it.

    3 Later on this, of course, would be seen as

    4 having been something of a mistake because there was no

    5 process of expurgation or reconciliation following the

    6 war. There was -- people felt that they somehow were

    7 being forced to forgive and forget in a way which left

    8 some of their wounds untreated, unbound-up.

    9 Q. How did Tito set up his constitutional

    10 structure after the Second World War?

    11 A. Well, the Yugoslavia Communists had a very

    12 definite model in mind, ever since the early years of

    13 the 19th century, Stalin, who was supposed to be

    14 the great communist expert in national question

    15 matters, had decreed that multinational states should

    16 be national in form but socialist in content. What

    17 this meant in the case of the Yugoslavia Communists

    18 coming to power in 1944 was that they had a ready-made

    19 model in front of them in the federal structure of the

    20 Soviet Union.

    21 Of course, in other words, the Republics and

    22 autonomous provinces were effectively decorative in

    23 function, the party had no intention whatsoever of

    24 relinquishing its monopoly of power, but the national

    25 particularities, the national sensibilities of the

  9. 1 various peoples in Yugoslavia, as had been the case

    2 earlier in the Soviet Union, was to be massaged or

    3 otherwise propitiated by the manufacture of a spurious

    4 federalism.

    5 Q. How did the federal Yugoslavia structure

    6 change over the years from World War II?

    7 A. Well, contrary to what either the Yugoslavia

    8 Communists, or Stalin for that matter, had envisaged,

    9 instead of things working out according to the foremost

    10 architectural principle of function following form, in

    11 fact in Yugoslavia it worked the other way around and

    12 form followed function. That is, the various Republics

    13 over the years, contrary to Communist expectations,

    14 acquired more and more effective power, more and more

    15 autonomy. Their respective republican Communist parties

    16 became more and more inclined to look upon the other

    17 Communist parties as rivals, and this was a process

    18 which effectively began in the early 1960s and was then

    19 consummated in the 1974 constitution which in many

    20 respects turned the Yugoslav Federation into what

    21 amounted to a confederation.

    22 Q. Dr. Wheeler, when you are speaking would you

    23 kindly speak as slowly as you possibly can because the

    24 interpreters have to translate into a number of

    25 languages and they have a very difficult task. If you

  10. 1 can assist us by speaking slowly, we would be very

    2 grateful.

    3 A. I will try.

    4 Q. Dr. Wheeler, you mentioned the 1974

    5 constitution. Did this constitution have any effect on

    6 the JNA?

    7 A. Yes. In the early 1970s the national question

    8 and the dangers of the national question had become so

    9 manifest that Tito had been up-lodged in the case of

    10 the so-called mass "pok" or mass movement in Croatia,

    11 to threaten the use of the army to preserve and protect

    12 the achievements of socialism, and of course guarantee

    13 the Party's monopoly of power and Party's unity.

    14 As a result of this experience in 1971/72,

    15 the 1974 constitution actually specified that the

    16 Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA, besides having the

    17 duty of defending the country, had the duty of

    18 defending the socio-political order, that is Communist

    19 power.

    20 Q. How did the 1974 constitution work in

    21 practice, both before and after Tito died?

    22 A. Well, before Tito died -- I should say at the

    23 outset that one of the purposes of the 1974

    24 constitution had been to create a system which would

    25 outlast Tito himself. In other words, it was

  11. 1 a constitution designed to do away with the need for

    2 another Tito. It was designed to cope with the

    3 cessation and create a system that would be somehow

    4 almost a perpetual-motion machine which would be

    5 mutually self-sustaining, mutually-supporting, and it

    6 appeared, in fact, while Tito was alive, to work, but

    7 that, of course, was precisely the problem. It worked

    8 only because Tito was still alive. It worked because he

    9 was there to serve as an arbiter, as a final judge in

    10 all matters of dispute between the various Republics,

    11 between various other economic or social or

    12 geographical interest groups, and therefore, the fact

    13 that the constitution posed very basic problems was

    14 masked.

    15 Upon Tito's death, however, these problems

    16 all became obvious. The high judge rule that Tito had

    17 formerly played was no longer there, of course, the

    18 collective presidency that succeeded him almost always

    19 proved incapable of coming to any sort of effective

    20 consensus, and perhaps in some senses most importantly

    21 the good times that had characterised the 1970s in

    22 Yugoslavia, ever-rising standards of living,

    23 ever-increasing foreign borrowing, these good times

    24 came to an end and so the coincidence of Tito no longer

    25 being there to play pater familiaris or stern patriarch

  12. 1 as required, and then the economy going bad, emphasised

    2 the failures of this, or the incapacity of this,

    3 constitutional system.

    4 Q. Dr. Wheeler, what is the "SJMU memorandum" and

    5 what is its significance?

    6 A. Well, in 1986 a subcommittee of the Serbian

    7 Academy of Sciences and Arts, that is SJMU, produced

    8 a draft memorandum effectively describing the state of

    9 Serbia. I mean that is the condition of Serbia, within

    10 the Yugoslav Federation, and bemoaning the depths to

    11 which it had fallen, bemoaning in particular the

    12 ever-greater demographic alienation of Kosovo, that is

    13 the departure of Serbs and Montenegrins and the

    14 ever-expanding Albanian majority, bemoaning the fact in

    15 which the economic system in Yugoslavia seemed to work

    16 against Serbia.

    17 In any case, this memorandum, although

    18 existing only in draft form, was published, and in

    19 a sense it came a catalyst for demonstrating how much

    20 of a sense of angst, disapproval, despair, existed

    21 amongst a significant part of the Serbian

    22 intelligentsia and therefore potentially amongst the

    23 Serbian masses as well, about the way in which

    24 Yugoslavia after Tito was moving.

    25 This demonstration of a popular mood had

  13. 1 a profound effect on the career of one rising

    2 "aparatchnik" in the Serbian party, that is Slobodan

    3 Milosevic who, although initially condemning the SJMU

    4 memorandum did, eventually, saw the way the wind was

    5 blowing and used it effectively as a vehicle whereby he

    6 came gradually to substitute a Serbian nationalist

    7 agenda for the old socialism or communism.

    8 Q. To what extent did people see a relevance or

    9 legacy of the Second World War in the early 1990s?

    10 A. Well, as the Yugoslav Communist system

    11 atrophied, as the Cold War ended, and as events in

    12 eastern Europe -- elsewhere in eastern Europe showed

    13 what the fate of Communist regimes was likely to be,

    14 there was a general de-legitimisation or crisis of

    15 confidence, crisis of legitimacy for the Communist

    16 regime in Yugoslavia. The Serbs in particular had been

    17 spending the previous several years attacking the

    18 legacy of Tito and Tito himself. In a sense, what this

    19 meant was that people were increasingly coming to

    20 disbelieve all the old Communist orthodoxies that had

    21 prevailed and in this vacuum of belief, nationalism, as

    22 I already hinted, was becoming the new faith, but along

    23 with it was a desire to take up the national struggle

    24 that had prevailed during the Second World War.

    25 In other words, the Communists, having spent

  14. 1 40 years telling the people of Yugoslavia that the

    2 victory of the socialist revolution in the Second World

    3 War was the answer to all of their needs, the answer to

    4 all of their prayers, if I can even say that, there was

    5 this tendency, throughout Yugoslavia, to, in fact,

    6 embrace the devil that the Communists had previously

    7 castigated.

    8 In other words, everything that the

    9 Communists had said, even though in many cases it was

    10 in historical terms true, was disbelieved, and in this

    11 climate of Communist failure, change throughout eastern

    12 Europe, the rendering of Yugoslavia as a state

    13 ever-more insignificant because of the end of the Cold

    14 War, people in a sense abandoned their previous beliefs

    15 and looked for new ones. Well, nationalism was the new

    16 one, and the big nationalist issue, of course, was what

    17 had happened or not happened in the Second World War.

    18 Q. What brought about the downfall of the

    19 Yugoslavia Communist party?

    20 A. Well, that also, of course, was tied in with

    21 the pattern of events generally in eastern Europe, but

    22 in the specific Yugoslav circumstances it all had to do

    23 with what had become the principal plank of Milosevic's

    24 rise to supremacy in Serbia, which was the so-called

    25 "reunification" of Serbia, that is getting rid of the

  15. 1 autonomy of the formerly autonomous provinces of Kosovo

    2 and Vojvodina and the way in which, in order to appease

    3 him, the other republican parties had, during 1988 and

    4 1989, effectively conspired to let him get away with

    5 it.

    6 What this meant was that an increasingly

    7 large number of the populus in the non-Serb-controlled

    8 Republics saw what was going on with the giving-way to

    9 Milosevic as an indication of their own party's

    10 inability to defend their own republican interests.

    11 What I am trying to get around to saying, of

    12 course, is that in January 1990 at the 14th and last

    13 Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the

    14 Slovenes first and then the Croats walked out, in

    15 a sense breaking with the Party and therefore

    16 destroying the Party, in recognition of their own

    17 previous errors in having accommodated Milosevic's

    18 drive for the re-unification of Serbia, the fear, of

    19 course in the non-Serb republics being that, "Today it

    20 is Kosovo and Vojvodina and Montenegro", tomorrow it is

    21 going to be us that are going to fall victim to Serb

    22 centralism.

    23 Q. Why did Yugoslavia find itself having

    24 multi-party elections in 1990?

    25 A. Well, the Communist parties in Slovenia and

  16. 1 Croatia, having broken with the Federal Party, needed

    2 to achieve for themselves new democratic mandates, and

    3 so they embraced multi-party elections, fully

    4 expecting, of course, to win them, but in both cases

    5 they were mistaken.

    6 Q. What was the result of the 1990 elections in

    7 Croatia?

    8 A. In Croatia, very much contrary to the

    9 expectation of the would-be reformed and re-named

    10 League of Communists of Croatia, a new party headed by

    11 Franjo Tudjman, that is the Croatian Democratic Union,

    12 the HDZ, won the elections, not because it won an

    13 overall number of the popular votes but because the

    14 "first past the post", electoral system meant that it

    15 could win an overwhelming majority of the seats in the

    16 "Sabor", the Croatian Parliament, on something like 41

    17 or 42 per cent of the votes. This had been a system

    18 which the Communists or the former Communists in

    19 Croatia had thought would work to their benefit. In

    20 fact, it worked to Tudjman's benefit.

    21 Q. What was the reaction by the Serbs in Croatia

    22 to the Tudjman regime?

    23 A. The Serbian reaction in Croatia was one, by

    24 and large, of profound alarm. The Serb minority in

    25 Croatia, like Serbs in Bosnia or the Serbs in Kosovo,

  17. 1 and Vojvodina before that, of course, had been

    2 profoundly affected by the whipping-up of hysteria

    3 which Milosevic had used in the late 1980s to push

    4 through what he liked to call his "anti-bureaucratic

    5 revolution", and of course the mass media based in

    6 Serbia had helped Milosevic in this regard.

    7 In fact, they had been the principal agents

    8 of his campaign of radicalising Serbs, getting Serbs

    9 terribly excited about what their likely fate would be,

    10 making them demand, whether they were in Serbia or

    11 elsewhere in Yugoslavia, some sort of effective

    12 unification, and so the advent of Tudjman to power,

    13 whose campaign rhetoric had been incautious to say the

    14 least, convinced a tremendous number of Serbs,

    15 especially those Serbs in Croatia who inhabited the

    16 rather backward, poverty-stricken rural areas who had

    17 been most greatly affected by the Ustasha genocide in

    18 the Second World War. This was sufficient to convince

    19 them, in fact, that the Ustasha was back in power and

    20 that Franjo Tudjman was no more and no better than Ante

    21 Pavelic had been in 1941.

    22 Q. What policies were being pursued by Slobodan

    23 Milosevic concurrent with this?

    24 A. Well, of course what Milosevic was busy doing

    25 in 1990 and 1991 was seeking to discover how much of

  18. 1 the Yugoslav Federation he could come to control, and

    2 the Serb minority in Croatia or the Serb minority in

    3 Bosnia, or Serbs, wherever they might be, were his

    4 vehicles for seeking to expand the realm of his power.

    5 At the same time, of course, as it becomes

    6 obvious that the game of increasing Serb power would be

    7 very more easily pursued if the Slovenes were no longer

    8 a part of the picture, Milosevic is dropping hints

    9 everywhere that Slovenia's eventual secession would be

    10 easily accommodated. At the same time, of course,

    11 Milosevic is also seeking to secure his position in

    12 what at that stage was still seen as the principal

    13 bulwark of the Yugoslav state, and that is the Yugoslav

    14 People's Army.

    15 Q. And what was the role of the Yugoslav's

    16 People's Army at this time?

    17 A. Well, when, in the summer of 1990, popular

    18 rebellions break out in the Serb uninhabited pale of

    19 Croatia, that is areas in northern Dalmatia, Lika,

    20 Kordun, when Serb rebellions take place there, local

    21 Serb communities erecting barricades, taking over

    22 police stations, that sort of thing, the JNA is around,

    23 providing weapons, providing advice,

    24 providing encouragement.

    25 This was, at this point, probably something

  19. 1 that did not reflect -- did not necessarily reflect --

    2 an overall view of the high command, but it reflected

    3 the extent to which there was a growing co-mingling,

    4 a growing community of interest between the JNA and the

    5 Milosevic regime.

    6 Q. Perhaps we might, if we could, have a look at

    7 a map on the screen, B2-6, and I have a hard copy of

    8 this that I can tender too, if your Honours please. The

    9 Defence have been provided with a copy. There is a copy

    10 there for your Honours. (Map shown)

    11 Dr. Wheeler, do you recognise the map that now

    12 appears on the screen in front of you?

    13 A. Yes, indeed. That is a map, although the

    14 reproduction on the video scene is not very good, which

    15 shows the pattern of Serb settlement in the Republic of

    16 Croatia. The darker blue indicates areas with Serb

    17 majorities, the lighter blue indicates areas where

    18 there are large Serbian minorities.

    19 Now, that pattern of settlement to some

    20 degree corresponds with the boundaries of the old

    21 Hapsburg military frontier, something which had been

    22 set up by the Hapsburgs, in the 15th and 16th centuries

    23 as a bastion of south-east defence against the Turks.

    24 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, I tender that, your Honour.

    25 A. The significant thing that should be borne in

  20. 1 mind, however, about the map, is that the areas of

    2 Serbian absolute majorities were very sparsely

    3 populated regions, by and large, and so that in

    4 a territorial sense, the Serb-inhabited, or Serb

    5 majority-inhabited areas of Croatia were large, but in

    6 a population sense they were very small. Most Serbs

    7 lived in not in those areas but rather in Croatia's big

    8 cities.

    9 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask the Defence

    10 counsel whether he objects to this map being regarded

    11 as exhibit number 2, exhibit number 1 being the

    12 statement of Dr. Wheeler. Any objection? Sorry, CV.

    13 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I have no objections

    14 as to the admission of the CV of Mr. Wheeler. I have

    15 looked at the maps and they are all authentic and we

    16 accept them as such. My expert witness, an historian,

    17 will bring his maps. Thank you.

    18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So we will have

    19 this as exhibit number 2.

    20 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Wheeler, you touched upon the

    21 attitude of Slobodan Milosevic to cessation by

    22 Slovenia. What was his attitude to Croatian cessation?

    23 A. Well, that was more complicated, and it

    24 probably is safe to say that it evolved with time.

    25 Milosevic, I think, can be regarded as having -- well,

  21. 1 in political terms, of course, Milosevic is and remains

    2 an opportunist of the highest degree, which means that

    3 he goes after whatever is possible. There may have been

    4 a time in the late 1980s when he thought he could

    5 actually Serbianise or exert control over all of the

    6 Yugoslav Federation. It became obvious, however, over

    7 the months that this was not going to be possible, and

    8 he had to accommodate himself to smaller ambitions.

    9 In a sense, ridding the Yugoslav Federation

    10 of the highly troublesome, because western-orientated,

    11 and very self-confident Slovenes, who, of course, did

    12 not have any Serbian minority on their territory, was

    13 going to make it easier to deal with the remaining

    14 Republics where there were large Serbian minorities.

    15 The principle which gradually became the dominant one

    16 as far as Milosevic was concerned was that it was fine

    17 if other Republics wanted to leave Yugoslavia, as long

    18 as they did not take any Serbs with them. So, in other

    19 words, the areas where Serbs lived must remain inside

    20 Yugoslavia.

    21 Milosevic, on the other hand, never imagined

    22 until probably late 1991, early 1992, that he was going

    23 to have any trouble convincing the Muslims of

    24 Bosnia-Herzegovina that they should stay inside

    25 Yugoslavia. They were rather left out of his

  22. 1 calculations until late in the day.

    2 Q. In your opinion, what was Milosevic's

    3 attitude -- sorry, in your opinion, was Milosevic's

    4 attitude compatible with the maintenance of the

    5 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a whole?

    6 A. No, indeed it was not. Slobodan Milosevic was

    7 the first of the secessionists in Yugoslavia. He was

    8 the first person, effectively, to embark upon

    9 destroying the Yugoslav Federation. What was too clever

    10 about his tactics is that he announced possibly, or

    11 proclaimed from every possible pulpit that he was the

    12 arch defender of Yugoslavia, when in fact ever since

    13 embarking on the destruction of Kosovo and Montenegro

    14 and Vojvodina in 1988 and 1989 he was the man who was

    15 destroying Yugoslavia.

    16 Q. What was the progress of Croatian

    17 independence during the early part of 1991?

    18 A. Well, the Croats proceeded rather haltingly.

    19 On the one hand they were vastly aware of the dangers

    20 of getting out of step with the Slovenes, the Slovenes

    21 having decided in a great national referendum in

    22 December of 1990 that they would declare their

    23 independence, or rather, as they spoke at the time,

    24 "seek disassociation", from Yugoslavia, if the country

    25 were not transformed into a loose federation or a loose

  23. 1 association of sovereign republics by June of 1991.

    2 The Slovenes rather set the agenda thereby

    3 for the Croats, and Tudjman, who came to power in

    4 April/May 1990 without any effective armed forces, not

    5 even with a police force that in fact he could trust to

    6 do his bidding, he was obliged to allow the Slovenes to

    7 set the pace.

    8 The Slovenes, on the other hand, were vastly

    9 more prepared for asserting their sovereignty than the

    10 Croats were, but the Croats, nonetheless, could not run

    11 the risk of being left out on a limb by themselves and

    12 therefore subjected, as they thought solely, to the

    13 potential opposition of the regime in Belgrade or the

    14 JNA. So they marched in step with the Slovenes,

    15 although they did not hold their independence

    16 referendum until the middle of May 1991; in other

    17 words, only just a month before the eventual

    18 declaration of independence on 25th June 1991.

    19 But it is fair to say that when Croatia

    20 declared its independence it did not know how it was

    21 going to actually make good on that declaration, unlike

    22 the Slovenes.

    23 Q. And I assume it is obvious from what you say,

    24 but what was the result of the May 1991 referendum on

    25 independence, Croatian referendum on independence?

  24. 1 A. Yes. The overwhelming majority of those who

    2 voted, voted in favour of independence, although again,

    3 not all the options were being excluded.

    4 The Croats, like the Slovenes before them,

    5 certainly continued to see circumstances in which

    6 a Yugoslavia reformed to their taste would be one in

    7 which it might be advantageous for them to live. This

    8 certainly was the tenor of popular opinion, both in

    9 Slovenia and Croatia.

    10 Now, Tudjman himself personally was always

    11 much more of an ardent proponent of fully-fledged

    12 independence than many other people and his Party, or

    13 for that matter, many other people in Croatia were, but

    14 he was prepared to go slowly.

    15 Q. When did Milosevic accept that Croatian

    16 secession was inevitable and what was his attitude to

    17 this?

    18 A. Well, one can cite various points at which

    19 Milosevic accepts the notion that the Croats possess

    20 the right to secede, to go their own way. He was saying

    21 rather frequently that in the early months of 1991, but

    22 of course there was always the caveat, there was always

    23 the exception. The Croats were free to go, but they

    24 were not free to take any Serb-inhabited territory with

    25 them, and of course it was up to him, that is Slobodan

  25. 1 Milosevic and his loyal Serb followers in Croatia, at

    2 that time in Croatia in particular, if we are talking

    3 about Croatia in particular, to define what that

    4 territory was.

    5 Some of it, of course, might be thought, if

    6 you think back to that map we looked at before, as

    7 being obviously, from an ethnographic point of view,

    8 indisputably Serb, but Milosevic and his minions were

    9 not, of course, ready just to stop at that. I mean,

    10 they wanted more, and one of the most common Serb

    11 definitions of what it was they expected to get out of

    12 a Croatia that left the Yugoslav Federation was a line

    13 from Karlobag on the coast through Ogulin, Karlovac, to

    14 Virovitica near the Hungarian frontier. In other

    15 words, that would have been an amputation of a huge

    16 part of Croatia, much of which, of course, was

    17 inhabited by Croats rather than Serbs.

    18 MR. NIEMANN: And it perhaps might assist if

    19 you could point that out to us on a map as best you

    20 can, and if we could have on the computer screen B-1-1,

    21 and I have also copies of that which I can make

    22 available to your Honours.

    23 A. I will try this map.

    24 Is the technician capable of pointing out

    25 Karlobag? I cannot see it on my map. There is an arrow

  26. 1 somewhere there. Oh, I did that myself.

    2 Q. Perhaps we have got the arrow. If that could

    3 be just zoomed in on?

    4 A. Roughly we are talking about this line here.

    5 (Indicating).

    6 Q. If you could just put your pointer to it,

    7 Doctor, I will ask the assistance of the technician and

    8 see whether he could mark it for us at that point.

    9 A. I cannot even read -- I cannot see the

    10 islands, unfortunately, so I cannot actually read. It

    11 is opposite the island of Pag, you will see Karlobag.

    12 Q. Without necessarily being too precise...

    13 A. All right. Without being too precise, if you

    14 can see my arrow, here it is.

    15 Q. Thank you. And I think you have mentioned the

    16 names of the towns which will assist us if we have to

    17 go back to look at that.

    18 A. That was --

    19 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry to interrupt you. May

    20 I ask Mr. Fila whether he would object to this map being

    21 tendered as exhibit number 3?

    22 MR. FILA: I have objections as to the

    23 authenticity of that. That was what Milosevic had

    24 said -- I am sorry, Seselj, not Milosevic, but that is

    25 something to be discussed later on.

  27. 1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Exhibit 3.

    2 A. Yes, I did not actually say that Milosevic

    3 had defined this as his ideal, I said it was a common

    4 expression, and in these months of early 1991, the

    5 Serbian press was full of speculations about the extent

    6 of the territory which ought to be carved out of

    7 Croatia, and this was one of the more common, if it has

    8 to be admitted, extreme versions of what a greater

    9 Serbian state in Croatia should encompass.

    10 MR. NIEMANN: And are you able to agree with

    11 what Mr. Fila said, that it was one of the proponents of

    12 this view was, in fact Seselj? I am sorry, did you

    13 hear my question?

    14 A. You were asking me -- yes, indeed, Seselj was

    15 notorious for having propagated the notion that

    16 Serbia's borders should coincide with wherever a Serb

    17 was buried. This of course gave rise at the time to

    18 lots and lots of rather amusing jokes about how great

    19 "greater Serbia" should be.

    20 Seselj, of course, was also at this time --

    21 Seselj was effectively an ally of Milosevic, hoovering

    22 up the extreme nationalist Serb vote for his radical

    23 party that would have regarded Milosevic as a former

    24 Communist, as someone who was an anathema to them. He

    25 was a sort of a stalking horse for Milosevic.

  28. 1 Q. Turning now to Eastern Slavonia, what impact,

    2 if any, did the Second World War have on this region?

    3 A. Well, Eastern Slavonia was contained in the

    4 Ustashe state, the independent state of Croatia, so

    5 therefore Serbs in that part of the world were

    6 subjected to many of the same persecutions as took

    7 place elsewhere in the independent Croatian state, but

    8 it should be said that it was not an area, unlike, for

    9 example, parts of north-western Bosnia or Herzegovina

    10 which were notorious for containing large numbers

    11 either of rabid Croatian nationalists, or, for that

    12 matter, extreme Serb nationalists.

    13 Given the topography of the region, in other

    14 words it being very flat, nor was there an area where

    15 there was any significant resistance activity, it was

    16 not suited to it, but on the other hand, both Eastern

    17 Slavonia and Vojvodina were certainly notable,

    18 "granaries", support bases for the partisan movement

    19 in the Second World War.

    20 Q. Now, following the Second World War, was

    21 there a German population resident in this part of

    22 Eastern Slavonia and if so, what happened to them?

    23 A. Yes. Banat, Backa and Eastern Slavonia had,

    24 together, a German minority of some half million

    25 persons before the Second World War.

  29. 1 At the end of the war that German minority

    2 either fled or later was expelled on the same pattern

    3 as, of course, happened in large parts elsewhere in

    4 eastern Europe, the so-called Sudeten Germans in

    5 Czechoslovakia.

    6 Q. And after they left, what happened then?

    7 A. Well, this was significant because it

    8 freed-up large amounts of extremely fertile land and

    9 prosperous villages for resettlement by impoverished

    10 Yugoslavs from the "dinorek" or so-called passive

    11 regions of the country. This meant in the particular

    12 instance of Eastern Slavonia that large numbers of

    13 Serbs from northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun, came into

    14 Eastern Slavonia and large numbers of Croats from

    15 Herzegovina came in and these were people who, contrary

    16 to the equanimity or almost sort of political passivity

    17 which was notable in these sort of "fat" regions of

    18 Yugoslavia, these were people who tended towards more

    19 political zealotry, and certainly many commentators

    20 appear to think that interethnic relations,

    21 particularly relations between Serbs and Croats, were

    22 adversely affected by the arrival of these "mountain

    23 men" and their families after the Second World War.

    24 Q. And what is the, or what was the ethnic

    25 composition of the Vukovar municipality?

  30. 1 A. In the 1991 census, the Vukovar municipality

    2 had a population of a little over 84,000. 43.7 per cent

    3 of these were Croats, 37.4 per cent were Serbs,

    4 7.3 per cent were Yugoslavs by declaration, and the

    5 ethnic complexity, continuing ethnic complexity of the

    6 region is shown by the fact that the "others" figure is

    7 is 11.6 per cent, "others", being Muslims, Hungarians

    8 Ruthenes, Slovaks, all manner of people such as had

    9 been planted in that part of the world by the Hapsburg

    10 monarchy in previous centuries.

    11 MR. NIEMANN: I now ask if the map B1-5 could

    12 be brought up on the screen, and I also have copies of

    13 this map to make available to your Honours, and I seek

    14 to tender it as well.

    15 Again, it is a map which has been provided to

    16 the Defence. Perhaps you might just show it to Mr. Fila,

    17 just to confirm that it is the one he has. (Handed)

    18 Might it be marked, "Exhibit 4", "P4"?

    19 Mr. Fila -- oh, Mr. Fila consents. I tender

    20 that, your Honours.

    21 Before I do that, just looking at the map

    22 that you have now been shown; and which appears, also,

    23 on the television screen, can you tell me what that map

    24 represents?

    25 A. Well, it is a map of Eastern Slavonia, and

  31. 1 Western Srem, that part of Croatia. It does not

    2 actually show the municipal boundaries which is -- or

    3 perhaps it does. I cannot distinguish them, in any

    4 case. If the purpose of the question is to ask me to

    5 describe the Vukovar municipality, I suppose I could

    6 say that it was extremely large in geographical terms.

    7 All Yugoslavia municipalities tended to be physically

    8 large, even if their populations were not large, and

    9 when we talk -- when I mentioned before that Vukovar

    10 had a population of 84,000, that was the entire

    11 district, which ranged from Ilok which you will see in

    12 the far east of the map on the Danube, and the

    13 municipality extended virtually to the gates of Osijek

    14 in the north-west, so it was a considerable distance,

    15 40 or 50 kilometres.

    16 Q. Osijek is up to the north of the map?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. And you have mentioned Ilok and Osijek,

    19 Vukovar, of course, being in about the centre as the

    20 city.

    21 A. That is right.

    22 Q. And how far to the west does the opstina go?

    23 A. The Vukovar opstina goes up beyond Trpinja,

    24 if we find the main -- it goes just about up to where

    25 -- you see on the map the "klisa" is an aerodrome. In

  32. 1 fact, that is the border of the municipality. I can now

    2 distinguish what it is.

    3 Q. Thank you.

    4 A. So it encompasses villages like Trpinja,

    5 Bobota.

    6 MR. NIEMANN: And if that has not been

    7 tendered, I tender that, your Honour. I tender that

    8 map.

    9 JUDGE CASSESE: This one? Yes. There was no

    10 objection from Mr. Fila, so it was -- I said probably

    11 the microphone was off, exhibit number 4.

    12 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please.

    13 MR. FILA: No objections. We received it

    14 yesterday.

    15 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Wheeler, I think you have

    16 touched on this, but I think you said that the Vukovar

    17 region was, in the Yugoslav context, considered fairly

    18 prosperous. Is that right?

    19 A. Yes, it was, although it had suffered

    20 tremendously, like all of Yugoslavia had suffered from

    21 the economic whirlwind of the 1980s. It was no longer

    22 as prosperous as it had been. This, of course, was

    23 a political pre-condition for the break-up generally in

    24 Yugoslavia. This sense of break-up was all pervading.

    25 Q. When did tensions mount in the Vukovar region

  33. 1 and did this manifest itself in Borovo Selo?

    2 A. Yes, indeed. Tensions rose in the area

    3 considerably later than they had elsewhere in the

    4 Serbian pail of settlement in Croatia. In other words,

    5 it would have been the summer of 1990 when the

    6 so-called log revolution took place in Knin, and it was

    7 not until late April, beginning of May, that actual,

    8 you know, physical violence was given expression --

    9 this is 1991, of course, April/May 1991 -- that

    10 violence actually came to Eastern Slavonia.

    11 (12.00)

    12 Q. Did any paramilitary groups participate in

    13 this build-up of violence and tension?

    14 A. This was one of the most distinguishing

    15 features about what happened in Eastern Slavonia, and

    16 that is that a goodly part of the incitement to

    17 violence came from outside.

    18 In the spring of 1991 Serbia-based

    19 paramilitary groups established themselves in various

    20 parts of the eastern Slovene area, around Vukovar,

    21 and began seeking to incite the local Serb population

    22 to put up barricades, seek to defend themselves from

    23 the supposedly rampaging hordes of Ustasha who were

    24 coming to slit their throats and generally make

    25 trouble.

  34. 1 Q. Were any of these particular paramilitary

    2 groups that were there, were any of them capable of

    3 being identified?

    4 A. Oh yes. In the early days there were several

    5 groups which set themselves up on the north western

    6 part of the Vukovar municipality, which seemed to have

    7 had separate identities but whose names are not

    8 subsequently notorious, and I certainly do not recall

    9 seeing them named particularly, but the two most

    10 latterly prominent paramilitary groups became

    11 established in the area, Seselj, Vojislav Seselj who we

    12 mentioned before, his so-called "White Eagles",

    13 otherwise known as Chetniks, and otherwise consciously

    14 embracing the legacy of the Serb guerrillas of the

    15 Second World War. His "White Eagles" or Chetniks set

    16 themselves up in Borovo Selo, Arkan, that is

    17 Raznjatovic's, Arkan's Tigers set themselves up in the

    18 Danube-side town of Erdut, and of course it was not, it

    19 seems to me, co-incidental that the great outbreak of

    20 violence in Eastern Slavonia that took place on 2nd May

    21 occurred -- that is in Borovo Selo, occurred in an area

    22 where Seselj's White Eagles had established themselves.

    23 Q. There was a matter which I am not sure we

    24 covered completely. I might just take you back to it

    25 for a second, if I can. You mention that Croatia

  35. 1 declared independence on 25th June 1991; was this

    2 actually implemented at that time?

    3 A. Well, that is a highly technical legal

    4 question. Retrospectively, of course, it is obvious

    5 that it was implemented. At the time, because of the

    6 sudden arrival of the European Community Troika, and

    7 the subsequent conclusion on one of their later visits

    8 of the Brioni Agreement, early in July, the

    9 independence declarations of Slovenia and Croatia were

    10 put on ice for three months. There was a moratorium,

    11 effectively.

    12 Now, it is a question of argument whether or

    13 not their independence, therefore, was effective or

    14 not.

    15 Q. I am not asking you to answer the question.

    16 It is just the question of whether they were, in fact,

    17 independent. I am just asking you what the progress

    18 was.

    19 Now, just going back to where we were when

    20 you were talking of the paramilitaries being in this

    21 part -- active in this part of Eastern Slavonia, what

    22 role did the JNA play in this?

    23 A. Well, in Eastern Slavonia, the role of the

    24 JNA was very much clearer than it had been in other

    25 parts of Croatia earlier. The reason I say that is that

  36. 1 the excuse or the explanation given for JNA involvement

    2 in various outbreaks of unrest in other parts of

    3 Croatia earlier had been that it was there to separate

    4 the combatants, impose peace, generally be

    5 a peace-keeping force. By the spring of 1991, when

    6 trouble comes to Eastern Slavonia, this pretence of

    7 even-handedness on the part of the JNA had really

    8 broken down, and the JNA was interposing itself not in

    9 the interests of peace so much as in the interests of

    10 the Serbian community in that part of the world.

    11 It was certainly becoming the case that the

    12 paramilitaries we talked about before were becoming

    13 integrated with and totally supported by the JNA, which

    14 was a pretty good indication of the extent to which the

    15 JNA was abandoning any notion of simply trying to keep

    16 the peace.

    17 Q. When did the siege of Vukovar commence?

    18 A. There are various dates given. Much of

    19 Vukovar, the centre city of Vukovar was largely cut off

    20 from the rest of Croatia by late July, but the actual

    21 big offensive on the city, the Croatian-controlled core

    22 of the city, began at the end of August. 25th August is

    23 the normal date provided. Some people say 19th August.

    24 Q. What was the ultimate goal of the siege?

    25 A. Well, the goal of the siege was to take

  37. 1 Vukovar. In August the local Serb communities had

    2 declared their autonomy, in other words, created the

    3 second of the new Serb-ruled mini-states in Croatia,

    4 and Vukovar had been designated the capital of that

    5 mini-state, so taking the city was necessary for

    6 political reasons.

    7 Of course, the longer the siege lasted, the

    8 more -- in other words, the small band of Croatian

    9 defenders resisted the onslaught of the Serb JNA

    10 forces, then of course it became a matter of prestige.

    11 The city had to be taken because it had been invested.

    12 A third reason was, of course, that any

    13 further progress into Croatia, in other words any

    14 greater territorial expansion, would have to have

    15 a secure back, rear, and it was necessary to take

    16 Vukovar for sound military reasons as well as the

    17 political and prestige reasons I already indicated.

    18 Q. What Serbian forces were utilised in the

    19 attack on Vukovar?

    20 A. A wide range of JNA and paramilitary forces

    21 took part in the battle. JNA forces coming --

    22 commanded, of course, from Serbia, the overall command

    23 was in the hands, ultimately from October, of General

    24 Zivota Panic, who was commander of the first military

    25 district based in Belgrade, but there were also JNA

  38. 1 units from Bosnia, even from Montenegro, involved in

    2 the battle. The normal estimate is upwards of 30,000

    3 JNA troops and paramilitaries were involved in the

    4 siege and destruction of the city.

    5 Q. And were there any Territorial Defence units

    6 deployed in this attack?

    7 A. Yes. One of the reasons why Tudjman in

    8 Croatia had found himself in such an embarrassing

    9 position from the point of view of actually asserting

    10 Croatia's independence from June 1991 is that the

    11 Territorial Defence in Croatia had been disarmed by the

    12 JNA, in the run-up to the elections in Croatia in 1990.

    13 What this meant was that the Croat elements

    14 of the Territorial Defence did not have any weapons but

    15 the JNA ultimately made sure that the Serb part of the

    16 Territorial Defence did, and so, the -- there was

    17 a residue of what used to be an old mixed Territorial

    18 Defence militia in Eastern Slavonia which had been

    19 armed by the JNA. Of course part of the core of the

    20 defenders, although they had to get weapons later in

    21 from elsewhere, they were also remnants, in some cases,

    22 of the old Territorial Defence system.

    23 Q. What were the Croatian forces confronting in

    24 the Serbian forces in the siege?

    25 A. Estimates vary. There were between 1,000 and

  39. 1 maybe as many as 1,800 Croatian defenders in Vukovar

    2 during the height of the siege. In other words, the

    3 ratio of attackers to defenders was hideously

    4 unbalanced, something like 15 to 1 against the Croat

    5 defenders.

    6 Q. And was there any particular unit, as such,

    7 or identified units of the Croatian forces that

    8 participated in defending the city?

    9 A. Yes. There were three particular elements.

    10 The first was the locally-based agglomeration of

    11 Territorial Defence and local police.

    12 The second was the newly-created Croatian

    13 National Guard, the ZNG, "Zbor Narodne Garde", which

    14 had been created in the summer of 1991. It managed to

    15 get a few units into Vukovar, and then the third

    16 element was the so-called HOS, the Croatian defence

    17 forces. They were a Croatian equivalent of the

    18 militaries we were talking about before. They were

    19 a neofascist paramilitary force which owed its

    20 allegiance to Dobroslav Paraga's Party of Right.

    21 So the exact numbers are unknown to me,

    22 certainly. In other words, the proportions, as between

    23 the HOS, that is these paramilitaries, and the

    24 locally-based defence forces and the ZNG, which was the

    25 creation of a new Croatian army. I am not terribly

  40. 1 sure. We know that the HOS forces were the smallest

    2 component, but exactly their relationship one to

    3 another, I do not know.

    4 Q. Was the JNA military campaign or the Serb

    5 military campaign in the area at the time limited only

    6 to Vukovar, the city of Vukovar, or did it include

    7 surrounding towns?

    8 A. It certainly did not. It was rather

    9 more ambitious than that and this, of course, gave

    10 weight to the suggestion that the ambitions of

    11 Milosevic and the JNA extended well beyond any areas

    12 which had plausible Serb majorities or pluralities.

    13 On 25th and 26th August 1991, for example,

    14 the JNA and its paramilitary allies over-ran the whole

    15 district of Baranja. Baranja was an area that had

    16 a very small Serb population, 20, 25 per cent of the

    17 population was Serb. The bulk of the population was

    18 Croat and Hungarian. Then later on, in the autumn, they

    19 moved in on another area with a very small Serb

    20 population, which was Ilok, on the Danube. Ilok was

    21 a small town, had a Serb population of only 7 per cent

    22 or so, overwhelming majority were Croats and a large

    23 minority of Slovaks.

    24 Both these cases, that is the over-running of

    25 Baranja at the end of August and then the taking of

  41. 1 Ilok in the middle of October, were notable because of

    2 the way in which the JNA itself implemented the policy

    3 that would be later called, "ethnic cleansing". In

    4 other words, the majority populations were simply got

    5 rid of. In the case of Baranja they were allowed to

    6 flee or encouraged to flee. In the case of Ilok, which

    7 was a small town but crowded with refugees from

    8 villages to the south-west of Ilok which had already

    9 been cleansed by the JNA, so that this town of

    10 something like 9,500 people probably had 12-15,000

    11 crowded into it in October of 1991. The JNA simply

    12 moved in, issued an ultimatum and ultimately, the -- or

    13 largely unarmed Croat majority there, lest they be

    14 utterly disarmed and rendered powerless by the JNA,

    15 chose to accept the JNA's offer to get out and so they

    16 were bussed out by the JNA, which is an interesting

    17 example of the army itself manipulating an exercise in

    18 large-scale ethnic cleansing.

    19 Q. Who ultimately succeeded in the siege of

    20 Vukovar?

    21 A. Well, of course, the overwhelming force of

    22 the JNA was ultimately triumphant, but it can be said

    23 quite fairly that the Serbs won the battle but lost the

    24 war. The reason being, of course, is that the scenes of

    25 the utter and total devastation of Vukovar, the

  42. 1 barbarism of it all, combined at the same time with

    2 what was happening in Dubrovnik in the southern

    3 Adriatic, had the effect of losing the Serbs the

    4 propaganda war for the hearts and minds of the outside

    5 world, that they had previously been doing rather well

    6 in. In other words, Franjo Tudjman's new Croatian

    7 regime was very sceptically regarded in large parts of

    8 the outside world, but the heroic Croatian defence of

    9 Vukovar and the suffering that took place there was

    10 going to have the effect of making the Croats look like

    11 good guys, and the Serbs like beasts.

    12 This, of course, was, in military terms. The

    13 Serbs won, but in long-term sense, of course, they lost

    14 the propaganda war and then, of course, in 1995 this

    15 Serb creation itself, Republika Srpska Krajina, and

    16 Milosevic, contrary to what, of course, his role in the

    17 creation of this Serb state in Croatia, and Milosevic

    18 would not, in 1995, lift a finger to defend these

    19 people.

    20 MR. NIEMANN: No further questions, your

    21 Honour.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask Mr. Fila if he

    23 would like to start cross-examination?

    24 MR. FILA: If possible I would like to leave

    25 it for tomorrow, if not, I am prepared to begin now.

  43. 1 We received only half of the translation.

    2 I did not have time to advise my client of the contents

    3 of the statement. I can, of course, start today, but it

    4 would be more preferable for us to begin tomorrow, and

    5 in that way, I could advise my client of the statement

    6 of the witness.

    7 I know I too am in favour of a speedy trial,

    8 but we are dealing here with the territory where the

    9 accused is coming from.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Well, since we still have

    11 almost one hour, we have 57 minutes, because we were

    12 expected to stop at quarter past one, I wonder whether

    13 you would be so kind as to start now, your

    14 cross-examination, for the sake of speeding up the

    15 whole trial. Thank you.

    16 MR. FILA: Yes, yes. I just wanted to know if

    17 it would be possible, but I am ready now.

    18 Cross-examined by MR. FILA

    19 Q. Mr. Wheeler, in the maps that you have shown

    20 us, you have indicated how Serbs moved to the territory

    21 of Krajina in the 15th century and earlier. Was there

    22 a Croatian state in that territory at that time, or was

    23 there another state?

    24 A. Well, yes, in theory, there was certainly

    25 a Croatian state. After 1102 that Croatian state had

  44. 1 come under the Hungarian crown, in an exact

    2 relationship which was, of course, endlessly disputed

    3 by legal scholars then and subsequently, but yes, there

    4 was a Croatian state.

    5 Q. But as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us the ratio of the

    8 population, the composition of the population at that

    9 time, the ratio between Serbs and Croats and what

    10 exactly belonged to Croatia? What regions were Croatian

    11 regions? Were there some other districts, other regions

    12 like Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, or was it all called,

    13 "Croatia"? I am referring to the 15th century and

    14 later.

    15 A. Well, Croatia at that time was, of course,

    16 known as the "Trijun" Kingdom of Croatia, Slovonia and

    17 Dalmatia. The coast, much of Dalmatia, of course, was

    18 under Venetian rule. The population structure at the

    19 time; it was extremely difficult to reconstruct. One of

    20 the whole purposes of creating the military frontier

    21 from the point of view of the Hapsburgs was to

    22 repopulate areas which had been depopulated by virtue

    23 of the continuous waging of war between the Hapsburgs

    24 and the Ottoman Turks over previous centuries. The idea

    25 was to plant a physical barrier of people there, both

  45. 1 Croats and Serbs. Serbs coming from the Ottoman empire

    2 or from other parts of -- well, from the Ottoman

    3 empire, Croats being shipped in and wide numbers of

    4 people -- I mean, the variety of people that ended up

    5 being quite literally planted there as soldier

    6 colonists was extremely great.

    7 MR. FILA: Well, this is the first time

    8 I hear that there were also Croats there coming from

    9 the Ottoman empire.

    10 Which Croats came to Vojna Krajina, which

    11 Croats were in the area of Vojna Krajina? From which

    12 particular region did they come from? I mean, there

    13 were not only Serbs?

    14 A. Oh no, not obviously Serbs. Croats from civil

    15 Croatia and I suspect from Bosnia as well, but I do not

    16 know.

    17 Q. You have the right to make assumptions, of

    18 course.

    19 After the First World War a state was

    20 established. What was the name of that state?

    21 A. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was

    22 established on 1st December 1918.

    23 Q. By the declaration of -- Corfu Declaration?

    24 A. The Corfu Declaration was in 1917. That was

    25 a statement of the intent, ultimately, to form

  46. 1 a Yugoslavia kingdom.

    2 Q. Yes, that is right. What were the borders of

    3 the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and were

    4 they the same as the borders that were established

    5 later on in the Tito's Yugoslavia?

    6 A. No. The Yugoslav state, the Kingdom of Serbs,

    7 Croats and Slovenes came into existence in 1918 without

    8 established borders. The borders were not going to

    9 finally be established until, in fact, 1921, with the

    10 Treaty of Ripolo, which regulated the borders with

    11 Italy. The area that we are most concerned with here at

    12 this trial, Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem

    13 was also an area of dispute. It was only the southern

    14 part of Baranja, most of which of course remains in

    15 Hungary, was only acquired by the Yugoslav state after

    16 what amounted to a considerable military struggle with

    17 the Hungarian Bolshevik regime of Belakun at this time.

    18 Now, the borders that -- I assume Mr. Fila is

    19 asking me about the internal borders. Is that correct?

    20 The internal borders established --

    21 Q. Yes, internal borders, of course. External

    22 borders are a different matter. There were changes

    23 and in 1945 there was a considerable change in the

    24 territory, in the region of history and so on, but I am

    25 here referring to internal borders. I would like to

  47. 1 know when they came into existence and how.

    2 A. The new Yugoslav state in 1918 was ruled by

    3 people who believed that in order to create Yugoslavs

    4 out of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the separate

    5 national existence of people like Bosnian Muslims or

    6 Macedonians or Montenegrins was not recognised at the

    7 time, but in order to make Yugoslavs out of Serb,

    8 Croats and Slovenes, the state should have the most

    9 highly centralised form of government possible. This,

    10 after all, at the time, was established good practice

    11 in Europe. Regional autonomies, regional devolution

    12 were not considered to be good things by progressive

    13 people.

    14 The people who put together the new, 1921,

    15 Mvitodan Constitution in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats

    16 and Slovenes, by and large adopted French precepts, and

    17 of course France was a highly centralised state. So the

    18 new Yugoslavia was divided --

    19 Q. And the national --

    20 A. That was the aim. It was not, unfortunately,

    21 the reality.

    22 Q. When did internal borders come into

    23 existence, and I am referring here to the borders of

    24 Banovina.

    25 A. The Banovina structure came into existence

  48. 1 when King Alexander, in January 1929, established his

    2 royal dictatorship and the idea was that the Banovina,

    3 or "provinces" would be an appropriate translation in

    4 English, that the Banovina would, by -- they were all

    5 named after rivers or significant geographical features

    6 -- that they would complete the process of effacing,

    7 of getting rid of the lingering regional/national

    8 identities which the highly centralist royal regime

    9 wished to establish and so these Banovina cut across

    10 historical boundaries which had come down from the

    11 past, so they were an imposition of ideology and what

    12 was thought to be sound administrative practice upon

    13 geography and history.

    14 Q. Was that a wish of King Alexander, was that

    15 the idea of creating a Yugoslavia, one nation? Could we

    16 put it that way?

    17 A. Yes. It certainly was the same of King

    18 Alexander Karadjordjevic. The problem, of course, with

    19 Alexander's "jugoslavenzvo" Yugoslavism was that it was

    20 indistinguishable from his "srpstvo", from his

    21 Serbianism; at least that was the problem as far as

    22 non-Serbs were concerned.

    23 Q. Who represented a minority.

    24 Did King Alexander say that the Yugoslav idea

    25 would be created, perpetuated through schools and

  49. 1 military barracks?

    2 A. Yes, indeed, but of course let me take you up

    3 on the business of minorities/majorities. All peoples

    4 in Yugoslavia after 1918 were minorities. There was

    5 never a majority. There was a plurality but never

    6 a majority.

    7 Q. That is a relative -- yes. Okay. So

    8 therefore, could we conclude that the idea of the

    9 creation of a Yugoslav nation -- you said that Tito's

    10 regime tried to establish that idea, so could we say

    11 that that idea actually belonged to King Alexander?

    12 A. He was not the progenitor of the notion. The

    13 idea of creating a Yugoslav nation was -- but certainly

    14 as a ruler, yes, in a sense, you could see a lineal

    15 descent, or a connection between the aims of Alexander

    16 and the aims of Tito, and that is to put the Yugoslavia

    17 state on very firm foundations by enhancing the degree

    18 to which the individual peoples embraced a Yugoslav

    19 ideology. However, Tito's notion of how one did that

    20 was rather different from Alexander's. The King had

    21 wished simply to Serbianise the population of

    22 Yugoslavia to the maximum possible extent. He was not

    23 a brutal man, whereas Tito wished to use socialism,

    24 Marxist/Leninist ideology to accomplish the creation of

    25 a new Yugoslav man and woman, but at the same time,

  50. 1 allowing that person to also be a Serb, a Croat,

    2 a Slovene, an Albanian, whatever.

    3 Q. Well, one might put it that way.

    4 The idea of Yugoslavism, could you tell me,

    5 speaking of Tito's Yugoslavia, who declared, which

    6 nation declared themselves as Yugoslavs? The reason why

    7 I am asking this, and I am here mindful of the court's

    8 time, the reason why I am asking you is the difference

    9 in the census between 1971 and 1991, because one -- the

    10 number of Yugoslavs decreased in the meantime, so could

    11 you just explain to us what declared themselves as

    12 Yugoslavs in Tito's Yugoslavia?

    13 A. There were several reasons why people would

    14 opt to declare themselves as Yugoslavs. The common was

    15 simply that they were the products of mixed marriages

    16 and therefore it was not possible -- it was easier to

    17 say you were a Yugoslavian if your mother was a Muslim

    18 and your father was a Serb, for example.

    19 You mentioned 1971. This is an interesting

    20 case. The number of --

    21 Q. The census of 1981.

    22 A. Well, I believe that 1971 was mentioned as

    23 well, because we see an up and down. The 1971 census

    24 saw a vast increase in the number of declared Yugoslavs

    25 in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of

  51. 1 Czechoslovakia.

    2 The number of Yugoslavs in the 1981 census

    3 was also very healthy because it came immediately after

    4 Tito's death and it is extremely difficult now for

    5 citizens of the former Yugoslav Republics to remember

    6 how they wept and how terrified they were at the time

    7 of what was going to happen when Tito died. So then

    8 there is a great increase in the number of Yugoslavs.

    9 Now, by, of course, the 1991 census, we have

    10 had ten years of nationalist euphoria and the number of

    11 Yugoslavs goes right down, and this shows the extent to

    12 which, besides being a measure of the degree of mixed

    13 marriages, declaration as a Yugoslav was also

    14 a creature of political circumstance, and ideological

    15 conviction, so there were various reasons.

    16 (12.30 pm)

    17 Q. Could you be more precise as to the idea of

    18 Yugoslavism? Was it more acceptable for Serbs? Could it

    19 be said that there were more Serbs who declared

    20 themselves as Yugoslavs than Croats, or Macedonians,

    21 Muslims, for that matter. Except for people coming from

    22 mixed marriages. There I completely agree with you.

    23 A. Well, I think in statistical terms the number

    24 of Yugoslavs was overwhelmingly the result of the mixed

    25 marriage phenomenon which itself, of course, was a very

  52. 1 healthy indicator of the degree to which the

    2 various south Slav peoples actually communicated in the

    3 most basic physical sense, but it would be fair to say,

    4 I believe, that more Serbs in most parts of the country

    5 found it easier to call themselves Yugoslavs by the end

    6 of this, the 20th century, than had been the case with

    7 other Yugoslav peoples.

    8 Now, if we are talking about the time of

    9 1918, there were vastly more Croats than Slovenes who

    10 believed that they were Yugoslavs than there were

    11 Serbs, but by the late 20th century probably more Serbs

    12 were willing to embrace the idea of being Yugoslav

    13 than, certainly, Croats were.

    14 Q. Were there any problems created by other

    15 nations who claimed that the idea of Yugoslavism is

    16 just another attempt for Serbs to become even more

    17 dominant, to become the chief, the principal nation in

    18 Yugoslavia, and again I am referring to Tito's

    19 Yugoslavia.

    20 A. Yes, indeed. That was certainly the case that

    21 there were nationalists in amongst most of the south

    22 Slav peoples, who looked upon Yugoslavia as a vehicle

    23 for Serb domination.

    24 Equally, of course, there were Serbs who

    25 looked upon Yugoslavia as a vehicle for Croat

  53. 1 domination, given the fact that Tito was a Croat.

    2 Q. Yes, but they did not really promote the idea

    3 that they should all become Yugoslavs. I mean, Croat

    4 nationalists did not claim that they should all become

    5 Yugoslavian Slavs. I mean, they insisted on their being

    6 Croats.

    7 A. Indeed.

    8 Q. Since it is the wish of the court to speed up

    9 the trial, let me be more precise and come to the

    10 point. You spoke about Tito's regime. It is another

    11 story, but there is a question here that it is quite

    12 important. You have talked about the constitution from

    13 1974, constitutional law and then the constitution. Let

    14 me ask you; have you read the Croatian constitution?

    15 I presume you have.

    16 A. The 1990 constitution? No, I have not read

    17 it.

    18 Q. No, from 1974 when Yugoslavia transformed

    19 itself into...

    20 A. I have read the federal constitution of 1974.

    21 I have not read the Croatian republican constitution

    22 which came at the same time, the new one.

    23 Q. So you cannot tell us which nations are

    24 constitutive nations in Croatian constitution from

    25 1974?

  54. 1 A. Oh I certainly can, because this was, you

    2 know, a very important issue. The Croatian constitution

    3 prior to Franjo Tudjman said that Serbs -- Croats,

    4 Serbs and all other nations living on the -- and all

    5 the Yugoslav nations I guess it was, living on the

    6 territory of the Republic of Croatia are constituent

    7 peoples of the Republic of Croatia.

    8 Q. Does that mean that Serbs had equal rights as

    9 Croats?

    10 A. Yes. Not only did the -- were Serbs

    11 considered to be a founding nation of the Republic of

    12 Croatia, but the Croatian constitution, before Tudjman,

    13 gave equal rights to the Cyrillic alphabet.

    14 Q. To both nations?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Okay. You spoke about the referendum

    17 organised by Croatia. Did Serbs participate in that

    18 referendum?

    19 A. No, they did not. They boycotted the

    20 referendum.

    21 Q. Did they maybe hold their own referendum in

    22 which they decided to remain within Yugoslavia?

    23 A. They did indeed. In August of 1990, Serbs in

    24 the then Serb-controlled parts held their own

    25 referendum.

  55. 1 Q. And what did they decide on that referendum?

    2 A. Well, as you said, Mr. Fila, they decided that

    3 they would remain inside Yugoslavia.

    4 Q. When did they actually disappear from the

    5 Croatian constitution?

    6 A. This is a complicated issue, because it

    7 became involved with Croatia's desire to get itself

    8 recognised abroad, and many changes were made in the

    9 Croatian constitution. But certainly the draft

    10 constitution which Tudjman proposes in the summer of

    11 1990, in other words, soon after coming to power,

    12 commits the absolutely astonishing political error of

    13 demoting the Serbs from the status of a constituent

    14 nation of the Republic of Croatia into a "mere"

    15 national minority and this, of course, in Yugoslav

    16 parlance, which is highly idiosyncratic in these

    17 matters, is a big deal.

    18 It would not be regarded as something

    19 terribly important in other countries, but given the

    20 distinction that prevailed in Yugoslavia between

    21 nations and national minorities, the nations were the

    22 south Slavs, the national minorities were all non-south

    23 Slavs. The relegation to the role of a national

    24 minority was, of course, seen by Croatian Serbs as both

    25 an insult and potentially a threat.

  56. 1 Q. Did they become sort of alive amongst the

    2 Serbs? Did their fears become more pronounced and you

    3 probably are familiar with the case of Jasenovac.

    4 A. Well, indeed. I mean, this is why I referred

    5 to the draft constitution promoted by Tudjman in the

    6 summer of 1990 as a colossal mistake, from his own

    7 point of view, because it played into the hands of the

    8 hate propaganda which had been coming out of Belgrade

    9 for some time, about Tudjman being another Ante

    10 Pavelic, another Ustasha "poglavnik", who was going to

    11 put all Serbs back in Jasenovac, or some place like it,

    12 so yes, the Serbs felt threatened. There is no doubt

    13 about that.

    14 Q. You know, you must have read or watched

    15 something about Jasenovac. What happened in Jasenovac,

    16 during the independent state of Croatia, to Serbs?

    17 There were quite a few camps in Eastern Slavonia as

    18 well and do you know how many people died, perished?

    19 A. The exact number of people who perished at

    20 Jasenovac is not known, which has meant that it is

    21 subject to endless dispute, most of it motivated by

    22 extreme nationalist prejudice, hatred, or triumphalism.

    23 I mean, Franjo Tudjman himself is a principal example

    24 of the way in which the Croats had played a game of

    25 trying to diminish the number of victims at Jasenovac,

  57. 1 which, of course, were not only Serbs but also Jews,

    2 gypsies and anti-fascist Croats, so somebody like

    3 Tudjman himself who, before taking up politics, was

    4 a rather second-rate historian, Tudjman tried to push

    5 the numbers down, whereas of course Serb propagandists

    6 have tried to push the numbers up. Croat numbers go

    7 down, in the case of Tudjman, to as few as 30,000.

    8 And, of course, Serb numbers go up, in the case of

    9 Dedijer, for example, they go up to 700,000 at

    10 Jasenovac alone. Since Dedijer's death, propagandists

    11 have pushed the number up even further.

    12 Q. 700,000, yes.

    13 A. A good guess would be that probably something

    14 like 60-80,000 people died at Jasenovac. It could not

    15 really have been more, because first of all it only

    16 operated early in the war, the Germans put an end to

    17 a large part -- and it was extremely basic, primitive

    18 sort of camp. It was not industrialised death, such as

    19 the Germans were capable of.

    20 Q. Were there any other camps in that territory

    21 where Serbs perished, where Serbs were liquidated, run

    22 by the independent state of Croatia, and here I do not

    23 mean only Serbs but others as well?

    24 A. Yes, there certainly were other such camps.

    25 Jasenovac was the most notorious but there were others,

  58. 1 especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which, of course --

    2 most of which was part of the independent state of

    3 Croatia. There were camps in Eastern Slavonia as well.

    4 As far as I know, they were not -- they did not operate

    5 on the scale as the most notorious ones, but I have to

    6 admit that I am ignorant of the --

    7 Q. But there were such camps.

    8 A. There were such camps.

    9 Q. Do you know, by any chance -- you said that

    10 there was -- that the fact that Tudjman did not mention

    11 Serbs in the constitution, that that affected the

    12 Serbs, but on the other hand you also mentioned the

    13 SANU Memorandum. You probably know that the Serbian

    14 Academy of Sciences and Arts never recognised that

    15 memorandum as its own document. Is that true?

    16 A. Yes, indeed it is true. The memorandum was

    17 only a draft, and the manner by which -- yes, a draft,

    18 and the manner by which it was published was highly

    19 irregular. It was obviously in the interests of -- yes,

    20 it was a stolen copy, but it was in the interests of

    21 one of the principal authors to have it published. But

    22 it had no official character.

    23 Q. And the draft of Franjo Tudjman, deleting the

    24 Serbs from the official constitution, was that of an

    25 official nature?

  59. 1 A. That certainly was, yes.

    2 Q. Thank you. I am saying this, I am asking

    3 this, because the Defence will propose that you see

    4 a tape as to what happened to Serbs, I mean, in

    5 Jesenovaz, during the war. Since you know that

    6 a referendum was held on the status of Serbs, are you

    7 aware of the results of the referendum on the territory

    8 of the municipality of the Vukovar? Did they declare

    9 themselves in favour of remaining within Yugoslavia, or

    10 not?

    11 A. This is a referendum when?

    12 Q. The referendum that was held by the Serbs.

    13 A. In August of 1990? I do not know what the

    14 result in Vukovar itself was. This of course -- as long

    15 as we are talking about whether things were official

    16 and unofficial, the Serb referendum of August 1990 took

    17 place over several days. Only Serbs were allowed to

    18 participate and it was highly unofficial. But I do not

    19 know the result in Vukovar.

    20 Q. If I have understood you correctly, Croats

    21 took part in the referendum that was carried out by the

    22 Croats, and the referendum that was carried out by the

    23 Serbs -- it was Serbs who participated in it, is that

    24 right? But the results were different. One was in

    25 favour of the independent state of Croatia and the

  60. 1 others were in favour of remaining within Yugoslavia.

    2 Right?

    3 A. It is not really possible to equate the two

    4 referenda, although -- I mean, in a legal sense,

    5 because the Republic of Croatia had an official

    6 referendum on 19th May 1991, regarding independence, in

    7 which all citizens of Croatia were eligible to vote.

    8 The Serbs had, in the summer of 1990, an unofficial

    9 referendum organised by themselves in which only Serbs

    10 were allowed to express their feelings about their

    11 continuation in the Yugoslav state.

    12 Q. But you accept that the Serbs, just like the

    13 Croats, were constituent people of the state of

    14 Croatia. Then they have the same rights, both one and

    15 the other.

    16 Now let us move on to Vukovar. We will not

    17 agree on this. That is quite obvious.

    18 You said that the JNA was arming the Serbs,

    19 and the Territorial Defence of the Serbs and the

    20 Croatian Territorial Defence was disarmed so Croatia

    21 did not have any weapons. Who armed Croatia?

    22 A. Well, Croatian forces, Croatian police

    23 were -- the police were distrusted by Tudjman when he

    24 came to power, and of course Croatia had no armed

    25 forces of its own, but certainly from the summer of

  61. 1 1990 tremendous efforts were made, particularly by the

    2 Croatian Defence Minister, Martin Spegelj, to acquire

    3 arms, and the Croatian regime bought arms everywhere it

    4 possibly could, and engaged in rather imaginative --

    5 Q. Hungary, for instance?

    6 A. Yes, mostly in Hungary. There was a lot of

    7 arms flowing around in eastern Europe at the time,

    8 after the demise of the Warsaw Pact.

    9 Q. At that point in time, was Croatia an

    10 integral part of the Socialist Federal Republic of

    11 Yugoslavia?

    12 A. In the second half of 1990?

    13 Q. No, when Croatia started importing arms, when

    14 the Spegelj affair broke out and when the trial was

    15 held in Zagreb. You remember that, do you not?

    16 A. The gun-running was all taking place in the

    17 second half of 1990. The film exposing Spegelj was

    18 broadcast in January of 1991, so the principal arms

    19 activity was taking place, arms import activity was

    20 taking place --

    21 Q. Before?

    22 A. Between June and December 1991.

    23 Q. And was Croatia a part of the Yugoslav

    24 Federation?

    25 A. Yes.

  62. 1 Q. According to the SFRY constitution which you

    2 read, are republics allowed to import and smuggle arms?

    3 A. I assume not.

    4 Q. Thank you. The last time I asked you about

    5 the outcome of the Croatian referendum in Vukovar, we

    6 mentioned the Serb referendum, and what about the

    7 Croatian referendum in Vukovar? How did it fare? What

    8 did the population of Vukovar say in the Croatian

    9 referendum?

    10 A. Again, I do not know the figures for Vukovar.

    11 The overall result for Croatia I do not know, but I do

    12 not know how the vote went in Vukovar.

    13 Given the former Communists, the Party of

    14 Democratic Change had won the 1990 elections in

    15 Vukovar, I would assume that sentiment in favour of

    16 independent Croatia may have been slightly less

    17 overwhelming in Vukovar. It was overwhelming once.

    18 Q. Now let us move on to the actual situation

    19 there. Since you know the history there, whose army

    20 was the JNA?

    21 A. That is a very good question. By the time --

    22 Q. What state?

    23 A. Exactly. The Yugoslav army is an army without

    24 a state.

    25 Q. Yugoslav People's Army. When it was

  63. 1 established, whose army was it?

    2 A. Well, when it was established it was the army

    3 of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. There is no doubt

    4 about that. In 1991 the problem is that the army is

    5 looking for a new state to serve, because the old one

    6 has died.

    7 Q. The question remains when it ceased to exist,

    8 but at any rate, do you know when the Federal Republic

    9 of Yugoslavia was formed? Do you know when it was

    10 formally established and when the Federal Republic of

    11 Yugoslavia was founded, and I am a citizen of that

    12 country, by the way.

    13 A. Oh, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was

    14 not formally established until the summer of 1992.

    15 Q. This Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, did it

    16 have an army?

    17 A. It does now.

    18 Q. The JNA? Is it the JNA?

    19 A. No, the JNA no longer exist.

    20 Q. Thank you very much. That is what I was

    21 interested in.

    22 At the point when Vukovar was happening, do

    23 you know what the national composition, the ethnic

    24 composition of the JNA was in the fighting around

    25 Vukovar?

  64. 1 A. Approximately, yes. About the time --

    2 Q. Percentage-wise -- no, sorry, I interrupted

    3 you. Sorry.

    4 A. What had happened, of course, is that after

    5 the JNA incursion into Slovenia and the general trend

    6 of political developments, there was a massive

    7 desertion on the part of non-Serbs from the JNA, so

    8 that by the time the battles begin around Vukovar, the

    9 JNA is overwhelmingly Serb in composition. In other

    10 words, Slovenes are not there any more, Croats are not

    11 there any more, Macedonians are leaving in large

    12 numbers. I assume that there was a large desertion

    13 rate amongst "kosovars" as well, so both in terms of

    14 the officer core but also amongst the ranks of

    15 conscripts. The army had by that time, in other words,

    16 by the autumn of 1991, become an almost exclusively

    17 Serb force.

    18 Q. Have you heard of General Kadijevic?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Where is he from?

    21 A. General Kadijevic is a product of a mixed

    22 marriage, Serb mother and Croat father, or the other

    23 way around. He is from Croatia, in any case.

    24 Q. Admiral Brovet? Was he a Serb, perhaps?

    25 A. Admiral Brovet is a Slovene.

  65. 1 Q. So there were some Slovenes in the JNA,

    2 right?

    3 A. Oh --

    4 Q. And what was the office that Admiral Brovet

    5 held?

    6 A. He was Deputy Chief of Staff, I believe, or

    7 Deputy Minister of Defence.

    8 Q. If a -- that is right. If a Slovene was the

    9 deputy head of general staff, that meant that there

    10 were some Slovenes in the army. Were there some Croats,

    11 perhaps? Do you want me to give you the names of

    12 officers?

    13 A. I do not want to argue --

    14 Q. Exist even until the present? I am just

    15 asking?

    16 A. Indeed they do exist. Individuals were

    17 confronted with absolutely horrible choices about where

    18 their loyalties lay, and obviously in many cases,

    19 officers -- especially high ranking officers, because

    20 I mean, an awful lot of nonsense has been talked about

    21 the extent to which the JNA were sort of dominated. At

    22 the highest levels it was extremely multinational,

    23 because it operated according to the so-called "kljuc"

    24 or the so-called ethnic key, so there was a fair

    25 proportion of Slovenes, Croats. Not of Albanians, it

  66. 1 has to be said, but of Slovenes and Croats at the very

    2 top of the army, and these people whose careers, whose

    3 privileges, whose whole ideologies, their whole sense

    4 of themselves, was tied up in the army, they were in

    5 a horrible position, and many of them chose to remain

    6 loyal to their institution.

    7 Q. Muslim officers and Macedonian officers and

    8 soldiers, were they still there at the time or, to put

    9 it better, soldiers from Bosnia-Herzegovina, not to

    10 mention them specifically as Muslims or Croats?

    11 A. They were ever fewer, because in all

    12 Republics, including Serbia, as the war developed, more

    13 and more young men were refusing to be conscripted, and

    14 if they were in the army they were leaving very fast.

    15 One of the reasons why the JNA found it so

    16 difficult to take Vukovar, and one of the reasons it

    17 pursued the sort of battle it did, seeking to destroy

    18 the city with artillery rather than simply overrun it

    19 with infantry, was because it was so short of manpower,

    20 and so fearful that the manpower it did possess was not

    21 loyal, and had suffered with the decline and fall of

    22 Yugoslavia itself, a catastrophic fall in morale.

    23 Q. At the time of the struggle for Vukovar, was

    24 there a presidency of the SFRY, and who was on the

    25 presidency if it existed in November 1991?

  67. 1 A. In November 1991, the presidency -- the

    2 federal presidency effectively ceased to operate when

    3 Mesic was not -- did not rotate into the presidential

    4 chair on 15th May 1991.

    5 Eventually, for reasons to do with the

    6 international community's insistence that Brioni, that

    7 Mesic, Stipe Mesic, the Croat, should succeed to the

    8 presidency. He became nominally the president of the

    9 presidency, but he was hardly ever in Belgrade. It

    10 would have been extremely unsafe for him to have been

    11 in Belgrade. The presidency only existed fictionally,

    12 not in reality. So if, effectively, the Yugoslav

    13 People's Army was without any titular constitutional

    14 command. Mr. Kostic was really running the presidency,

    15 regardless of Mesic's supposed chairmanship of the

    16 presidency.

    17 Q. Who was on the presidency? Was Tupurkovski so

    18 the fighting for Vukovar started in August onwards. Was

    19 there a representative of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    20 A. Yes. There was a representative of

    21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Tupurkovski, and I assume

    22 Bogicevic, all stopped going to presidential meetings

    23 in the course of the autumn, just as gradually Ante

    24 Markovic abandoned his federal premiership. This was

    25 a very, very difficult period and chaotic from the

  68. 1 point of view of sort of constitutional niceties.

    2 Q. At that time, one can say, then, that Ante

    3 Markovic was Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, who was

    4 coming and who was not coming, but in nominal terms he

    5 was Prime Minister, right? And at that time did Mesic

    6 say that he was coming to assume that office so that he

    7 would break up Yugoslavia, that he would be the last

    8 president of Yugoslavia?

    9 A. Stipe Mesic said that, certainly, in his

    10 memoirs, and I believe he is quoted to that effect in

    11 the press. The only time that Stipe Mesic actually

    12 tried during this period to exercise his presidential

    13 functions was when he was at the head of an armada of

    14 ferries, "trijakde", going down in to try and relieve

    15 the siege of Dubrovnik in the autumn of 1991 and he

    16 claimed, speaking to Stane Brovet on the telephone,

    17 that he was commanding the navy, to let his armada

    18 through to relieve Dubrovnik.

    19 MR. FILA: When did Croats start leaving their

    20 offices in the presidency? Do you know exactly when?

    21 Your Honour, all of that will be within the

    22 evidence.

    23 A. They gradually left. I mean, Markovic

    24 formally resigned in December. Stipe Mesic did not

    25 attend any more presidential meetings after one that

  69. 1 I think had to take place in September, but the reason

    2 why non-Serbs remained in these federal institutions

    3 was largely the insistence of the international

    4 community, that they should have some residual,

    5 recognised Yugoslav state with which to negotiate. It

    6 was, in other words, for international purposes, rather

    7 than because the federal institutions were any longer

    8 functioning.

    9 Q. Finally, I will conclude by asking you two

    10 more questions.

    11 According to the 1974 constitution, was the

    12 right of peoples to self-determination formulated or of

    13 republics? Peoples or republics? The right to

    14 self-determination up to secession, or was it

    15 prohibited, this right? Was there a theory that it was

    16 taken advantage of once, and that that was it?

    17 A. The commonest theory, of course, was that it

    18 had been taken advantage of once, that at Jajce in

    19 November 29th 1943 it had happened, that that was the

    20 exercise of national self-determination. This was the

    21 second meeting of the anti-fascist council of national

    22 liberation in the Bosnian town of Jajce. Now,

    23 according to the letter of 1974 constitution, the

    24 prologue or the introduction does repeat the right of

    25 peoples, "naroda".

  70. 1 Q. Yes. Not Republics.

    2 A. The right to self-determination, including

    3 and up to secession, belongs to the nations, not to the

    4 Republics. This is a very odd -- if I might add, this

    5 is very odd, given the fact that the entire purport,

    6 the entire thrust of the 1974 constitution, in fact,

    7 was to empower Republics rather than peoples or

    8 nations, but it happens, in this case, Mr. Fila is

    9 correct in his implication.

    10 Q. Can we agree that Serbs are a people too and

    11 that they had that same right?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. Thank you. When were republican boundaries

    14 first mentioned within the SFRY? Because we stopped

    15 when we mentioned Banovina, so let us bring this to

    16 a conclusion and then when the republican boundaries

    17 were established was there some referenda, or did

    18 Communists draw these boundaries at their own

    19 discretion? In other words, are these boundaries one of

    20 the reasons of this senseless bloodshed that occurred

    21 in our country?

    22 A. Well, arguments over boundaries have

    23 certainly become one of the reasons for the bloodshed

    24 that has taken place over the past seven years, but

    25 there is a real problem in talking about the republican

  71. 1 boundaries.

    2 The problem stems from the fact that in

    3 a sense, because, as I indicated before in answer to

    4 Mr. Niemann, the Communists did not take the republican

    5 system in 1946, 45-46 very seriously. It was a national

    6 sentiment, rather than any sort of real national power.

    7 In other words, the Communists took very

    8 seriously indeed the symbolic importance of boundaries,

    9 so the boundaries were almost invariably founded on

    10 extremely sound historical or ethnographic bases, so

    11 the boundaries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, for example, are

    12 the historic boundaries of Bosnia-Herzegovina with, in

    13 fact, one unusual exception, and that is that in

    14 Turkish times, Bosnia had actually had a tiny outlet on

    15 to the Bay of Kotor. They lost that in 1946.

    16 Q. They lost Sandjak too.

    17 A. Well, the Sandjak was actually in a different

    18 category, but there were a series of gains and losses.

    19 Croatia, since we are interested in the area around

    20 Vukovar, Croatia lost Western Srem. That was given to

    21 Serbia both on ethnographic grounds, that the

    22 predominant population was Serbian, but it was also

    23 sensible on geographic grounds to add it to Vojvodina.

    24 So there was a violation of historical precedent there

    25 on the basis of ethnography and economic rationality.

  72. 1 By the same token, Croatia got Baranja then.

    2 Baranja had never been part of Croatia, so as Croatia

    3 loses Western Srem, gets Baranja. It had effectively

    4 been part of Serbia before.

    5 So it is a mixture of historical and

    6 ethnographic reasons behind the boundaries. There were

    7 lots of fights and discussions -- I should not say,

    8 "fights" -- there were lots of arguments and

    9 discussions over them. For example, for our purposes

    10 today, the most interesting one was over Ilok, and that

    11 little salient which Milovan Dilas has insisted in the

    12 end that Croatia should get, because there was a big

    13 disagreement between the Communist parties of

    14 Vojvodina, Srem and Croatia generally about that part

    15 of the world, but -- so there were disputes about

    16 boundaries.

    17 There were all kinds of proposals for

    18 different autonomous areas. Pijade, Mose Pijade, one

    19 of the Communist leaders, had seriously suggested in

    20 the Second World War that there should be an autonomous

    21 Serb area in Croatia, and in fact it was highly likely

    22 until very late in the war that Sandjak would have been

    23 a republic, because Sandjak had its own anti-fascist

    24 council, so these things are all in flux, but they were

    25 simultaneously very important and simultaneously

  73. 1 insignificant at the time. Insignificant because the

    2 Communists were determined that it really would not

    3 matter, but important because they were symbolic of the

    4 affirmation of the separate Yugoslav nations'

    5 identities which the Communists were seeking to

    6 promote.

    7 But the subsequent 1980s Serb version of

    8 reality, that somehow Serbia had been especially

    9 penalised, especially victimised, was a gross

    10 exaggeration.

    11 Q. The point of this question was the following;

    12 were these boundaries treated as administrative

    13 boundaries or did the people have their democratic say

    14 in 1945 and 1946 as to where they would live?

    15 For example, if this means anything to you,

    16 there was never a boundary drawn between Serbia and

    17 Macedonia, and that is why there are problems today,

    18 because the parliaments of Serbian Macedonia did not

    19 ratify this. But this is a different question

    20 altogether.

    21 So, did the people have a democratic say of

    22 their own, where they would live and what side of the

    23 border, et cetera, I mean under the Communists?

    24 A. No, not precisely.

    25 Q. Thank you.

  74. 1 A. It was understood through the "ovnoj" process

    2 that they had. I mean, in theory they had, in practice

    3 they did not.

    4 Q. No. If you recall, half were not in ovnoj.

    5 Just a few more questions -- but, well, formally

    6 speaking, Serbia, as one of the republics in the SFRY,

    7 did it have any jurisdiction under the JNA and the

    8 Territorial Defence in Croatia, and Territorial Defence

    9 generally speaking? Formally?

    10 A. Formally, no.

    11 Q. Thank you. And the territory of Serbia, was

    12 a decision ever passed to annex any one of these

    13 territories of the former Yugoslavia to Serbia?

    14 A. No, it was not. They sought to annex

    15 themselves to Serbia, but Serbia did not accept.

    16 Q. Did any official institution in Serbia,

    17 including the president of Serbia, Milosevic,

    18 officially ask for this kind of annexation? I am not

    19 talking about what was in Milosevic's mind, but

    20 officially.

    21 A. No, not in the period we are talking about.

    22 In fact, the first time that the autonomous region of

    23 Knin proclaimed its union with Serbia, Milosevic was

    24 widely reported to have been extremely annoyed.

    25 Q. Right. There is a large group of questions

  75. 1 pertaining to local self-government and I do not think

    2 that I have enough time today. I would just confine

    3 myself to one further question today.

    4 During the so-called "Balvan revolution", the

    5 "logs revolution", as it was called colloquially, what

    6 was the attitude of the Croat population towards JNA

    7 barracks? We are going to discuss this in detail

    8 tomorrow because in JNA barracks, you will agree with

    9 that, I imagine, members of all nationalities were

    10 present, because we only have conscripts, we do not

    11 have professional soldiers in the army. Right?

    12 So, I am asking you kindly about that, rather

    13 I shall be questioning you about that tomorrow, about

    14 local self-government. You know, self-management, this

    15 wonder conceived by communism, so what the organisation

    16 of municipalities was et cetera, et cetera, so it is

    17 not related to this trial, but I should mention that

    18 I am not a Communist but I had to live in that system.

    19 My time is up, right?

    20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So we will

    21 continue, you will continue with your cross-examination

    22 of our expert witness tomorrow morning.

    23 Before we adjourn I would like to thank you,

    24 Mr. Fila, for being so kind as to comply with my request

    25 that we should start today with the cross-examination.

  76. 1 I wonder whether I could ask the Prosecutor

    2 whether, and how many witnesses he would like to call

    3 tomorrow ?

    4 MR. NIEMANN: Two more witnesses tomorrow.

    5 JUDGE CASSESE: All right.

    6 MR. FILA: I am sorry, are those the two

    7 people from Ilok? May I just know that?

    8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, both from Ilok, your

    9 Honour.

    10 MR. FILA: Thank you, thank you. Thank you

    11 very much. I just want to prepare myself for that.

    12 (1.15 pm)

    13 (Hearing adjourned)