1 Friday, 5 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Madam Registrar, could you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Ms. Gustafson, are you ready to continue your cross-examination.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Skare Ozbolt, I would like to remind you that
14 you're still bound by the solemn declaration that you have given at the
15 beginning of your testimony.
16 Please proceed.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. If we could go back to Exhibit P463
18 which was where we were yesterday.
19 WITNESS: VESNA SKARE OZBOLT [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson: [Continued]
22 Q. Ms. Skare Ozbolt, you will recall this is a transcript of a
23 meeting between President Tudjman and Minister Radic on the 22nd of
24 August, 1995. If we could go to page 9 of the English and page 14 in the
1 And yesterday, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, I asked you a question about
2 whether President Tudjman's statement to Mr. Radic that they should
3 charter flights and boats to bring Croats in from Argentina and Australia
4 was a reflection of his desire to fill the empty spaces that existed
5 after Operation Storm with Croats.
6 And you began your answer by stating:
7 "This was a reflection of the situation that required these empty
8 spaces to be filled in, because otherwise they would pose a danger,
9 strategically speaking. This is a very narrow area, facing the
10 Republika Srpska, and if it is void of people, it was possible for the
11 property to be demolished, incursions were possible to take place, and it
12 was absolutely necessary to have people settle there."
13 And I would like to go to one other passage of this transcript,
14 and this is Mr. Radic speaking at the bottom of the page, on both the
15 English and the B/C/S. In the second paragraph of his speech he says:
16 "Now look, I have been looking around this area a bit, the
17 biggest centres where we should focus on return, regarding the national
18 interest. I have tried to make a chronological order or some kind of
19 hierarchy, and in my opinion, I would like to discuss this with you a
21 "The map of the whole area is of a strategic importance for
23 been critical for us in the history, not Knin, we'll manage to do that
25 If you ask me the first ... I defined five priorities according
1 to the urgency of colonizing these places with Croats. If you ask me
2 this thing right here is the first and the second priority ..." I think
3 we should turn the page in the B/C/S.
4 "We should bring Croats back here urgently, and this area should
5 be urgently colonized with Croats. And we should, by no means, let more
6 than 10 percent of Serbs be here ever again. Because that is where we
7 were cut off."
8 And the president says: "Not even 10 percent."
9 And Mr. Radic says: "Okay, I'm talking about 10 percent. So the
10 first priority of colonizing is right here, in my opinion, Petrova and
11 Svenska Gora, that's where we have to establish some kind of a city
12 sooner or later. We also have Vojnic. And Veljun, a somewhat smaller
13 place. And Vojnic is a bigger place.
14 "However, by our companies opening factories, just as the Serbs
15 did in Licki Osijek, I visited that factory. That looks marvellous.
16 They built apartments for 4.000 people, where we can bring people right
17 away. It's just that we don't have anybody."
18 Then there's a conversation between the two, and Mr. Radic picks
19 up on this subject at page 16 of the B/C/S and page 11 of the English.
20 The second paragraph again. Oh, sorry. Halfway through, approximately,
21 the last sentence.
22 "Let me get back to this, our Licki Osijek should be developed
23 with that area as we stimulate the ones who are abroad and the temporary
24 ones as much as we can, so nothing could happen to us here ever again."
25 And the president says: "It will never happen again."
1 When Mr. Radic refers to "nothing happening to us here ever
2 again," he is referring to the things that happened to the Croats between
3 1991 and 1995. Is that right?
4 A. I hope that is the case. It is difficult to interpret and
5 explain what Mr. Radic meant to say 15 years later.
6 Q. And the strategy as expressed here, as far as -- as far as you
7 know it is to fill these empty spaces with Croats so that nothing happens
8 to the Croats in that area ever again; is that right?
9 A. In 1991, there were over 150.000 Croats in the area who were
10 expelled in 1991. The intention was to bring these Croats back that had
11 been expelled and to put them in their own houses.
12 It is difficult now to comment on the speech of Mr. Jure Radic.
13 His views an ideas oftentimes were not accepted; some were, some were
14 not. He was the minister for reconstruction and refugees, and he had a
15 very challenging situation to face, when it come to providing
16 accommodation for those people. I'm not saying that all his ideas were
17 wise; quite to the contrary, some of them were not. And as for the
18 statement that you put to me, or, rather, that you quoted me as saying
19 yesterday, concerning president's idea to charter boats and airplanes and
20 fill them with them Croats to bring them to settle in Croatia, I think
21 that this is somehow improperly being attached to what is the main
22 subject of our discussion. Our principal topic was the return of the
23 Croats who had been expelled from those areas.
24 When Tudjman spoke, when Tudjman spoke about them, he often had
25 in mind the Krajina leadership and, hence, these transcripts do not
1 reflect sufficiently the actual situation.
2 I also said yesterday that we had a problem with the
3 accommodation for the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who were
4 coming at the time from Banja Luka.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to interrupt you, as I think
6 you have answered my question sufficiently. I just like to go back to
7 what you said at the beginning of your was about Mr. Radic, "his views an
8 ideas oftentimes were not accepted."
9 But isn't the case here that when he says "we should by no means
10 let more than 10 percent of Serbs be here ever again," and the president
11 says "not even 10 percent," President Tudjman is, in fact, accepting
12 Mr. Radic view?
13 A. Franjo Tudjman often had a different story for each of his
14 ministers. It might be that in this conversation he did say that. But
15 we have to look at the context. You have to look at the facial
16 expressions and to -- at everything that transpired between these two.
17 It is difficult to explain because we are looking here only at a
18 transcript. However, none of these things were put into practice later.
19 Q. Thank you. And I'd like to move on to -- back to the property
20 law that you gave evidence about yesterday. And you were asked about
21 requirements to sell property under the law on the temporary takeover and
22 administration of property. And your evidence was:
23 "There was no such requirement. There was a possibility for
24 those who did not wish to return to Croatia to sell their property."
25 Isn't the case, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, that this law, in fact, had a
1 general rule which was to prohibit the sale of these properties by the
3 A. I don't understand.
4 Q. The law on the temporary takeover of property stated that it was
5 prohibited to sell properties under that law, that the Serb who had left
6 the Krajina could not sell their property. That's right, isn't it?
7 A. No. As far as I know, the government issued a decree in 1995 on
8 the temporary takeover of the abandoned property. Later on, the Croatian
9 parliament adopted a law which remained in force until 1998.
10 Q. Let's look at that law then.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Which is D422. And if we could first look at
12 Article 2, which is on page 1 of the English and page 2 in the B/C/S.
13 Q. And paragraph 1 of Article 2 is the one I'm interested in.
14 And that's the provision that put the property of the Serbs who
15 had left the Krajina into the possession of the government.
16 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Your Honour, I object to that a question.
17 I object. I mean, if that's a question, I don't know if it is posed as a
18 question or a statement by counsel. Because if it's a statement by
19 counsel, I object. If it is a question then I think the witness should
20 be given the opportunity to answer.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: I just wanted to look at three provisions of the
22 law and then ask a question.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think that Ms. Gustafson is drawing the attention,
24 and she summarized a certain position and then they'll put questions to
25 the witness.
1 Please proceed.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. And then if we could look to Article
3 5, which, I think, is on the same page in the B/C/S and the next page of
4 the English. And paragraph 1 of this Article refers to the persons --
5 displaced persons, refugees, returnees, et cetera, to whom this property
6 can be granted for use and possession.
7 This paragraph, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, this is the people who were to
8 benefit from this law, this is the displaced persons in Croatia and the
9 Bosnian Croat refugees you were referring to yesterday. Is that
11 A. Yes. The people who were supposed to use those houses were those
12 expellees who had lost or whose status of expellee had been cancelled,
13 and they had to go back. However, their houses were demolished and such
14 people were put up temporarily in the abandoned houses.
15 Q. Thank you. If you could try to just focus your answer on the
16 question I asked, I would appreciate it. Our time is limited.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to Article 11, which is on page 4
18 of the English and page 3, still, of the B/C/S.
19 Q. And if you look at paragraph 1 of this Article, this is the
20 provision that gave the Serbs who had left the Krajina 90 days to return
21 to the Republic of Croatia
22 Is that right?
23 A. That's right.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: And finally, if we could go to Article 8, which
25 is on the previous page of the English; same page in the B/C/S.
1 Q. And it's the first two paragraphs here I'm interested in. The
2 first paragraph says:
3 "As long as the property is administered by the Republic of
5 let for temporary paid or free use, mortgage, or otherwise encumber such
7 And under paragraph 2: "The government can, at the proposal of
8 the minister of the justice exempt certain property from this
10 Having seen this now, does this remind you of the general
11 prohibition of the sale of property under this law?
12 A. Well, I really cannot explain at this moment to you these
13 temporary provisions and make a difference between them and permanent
14 provisions. This was the Law on Temporary Takeover and administration,
15 so it was temporary. Therefore, the whole procedure that followed was
16 affected in a way that everyone who claimed their property was either
17 given it or was allowed to sell it or was offered another property
18 somewhere else in Croatia
19 There were several options offered to both to those who didn't
20 want to come back and those who wanted to come back, and the whole system
21 was in place. Whether it was a good system or a perfect one, it
22 certainly wasn't. But you have to take into account the circumstances
23 and the situation that prevailed at the time.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
25 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President, in the spirit of Rule 90(H)
1 of putting the case to the witness and giving a few disclosure to the
2 Trial Chamber as to the rights of all parties, I think the Trial Chamber
3 should instruct the OTP to have the witness look at Article 7 as well,
4 which gives both sides of the equation of the possessor and the owner.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Putting the case to the witness, isn't that if it
6 does not deal with the matters raised in-chief but -- let me have a look
7 at Rule 90(H). I haven't got it here at this moment.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, this provision is irrelevant to the
9 questions I am asking.
10 MR. KEHOE: It certainly is not.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let me ...
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: And it is something that can be gone into on
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Rule 90(H)(i) gives several categories of
15 subject of cross-examination. The first, subject matter of the evidence
16 in chief; second, credibility; third, where the witness is able to give
17 evidence relevant to the case for the cross-examining party to the
18 subject matter of that case. That's the third category.
19 I think in (ii) clear reference is made to the third category.
20 What Ms. Gustafson is doing, she is dealing with the subject matter of
21 the evidence in chief. And if you consider other matters to be relevant,
22 that is not what the case is, but whether she has dealt with everything
23 you consider to be relevant, then have you an opportunity to put further
24 questions to the witness at a later stage.
25 Ms. Gustafson, you may proceed.
1 MR. KEHOE: If I may --
2 JUDGE ORIE: No. At this moment I allow Ms. Gustafson to
4 MR. KEHOE: Well, Mr. President, at the appropriate time I would
5 like to put my further comment on the record that I can't put on right
6 now. I can do it at the end of the break or the beginning of the second
7 break, but I would like to put it on the record.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before the break you will have an opportunity to put
9 on the record what you wish to put on the record.
10 Please proceed, Ms. Gustafson.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Ms. Skare Ozbolt, a few moments ago you said that this law was in
13 place until 1998. And now you've said -- you've talked about these
14 temporary provisions, and there was a whole procedure. But this was the
15 law that governed the administration, use, and disposition of the
16 property of the Krajina Serbs. Is that not right?
17 A. I said that it seized to be in effect in 1998.
18 Q. Your words were: "Later on" --
19 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be, I like to hear French. But
20 channel 4 is not the channel that I expected.
21 Please proceed.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your words were -- I'll quote them back to you:
23 "Later on the Croatian parliament adopted law which remained in
24 force until 1998."
25 A. Yes. And then it seized to be in effect in 1998.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's be clear, as I said before, let's focus on
2 what we're talking about. We're talking at this moment about this law
3 which was, as the witness said, in force since its adoption, until 1998.
4 If there's -- if we have to pay attention to legislation that
5 came later, we'll do it at this moment; let's not mix up matters. We're
6 now focussing on the law in existence during the period of time
7 Ms. Gustafson is referring to, and the period of time you mentioned.
8 Please proceed, Ms. Gustafson.
9 MS. GUSTAFSON:
10 Q. Well, in fact, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, there was one further amendment
11 to this law in January of 1996, you may recall. It removed the 90-day
12 limitation and in place it stated that the issue of returning and
13 possession and use of property which is under the ownership --
14 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel. If the witness is able to look
15 at the exhibit, which is P475 and put --
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'm not asking -- this is a preliminary to my
17 question, Your Honour. I don't need to put the witness. I'm limited in
18 my time.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, let's first hear what question
20 Ms. Gustafson attaches to it, and if the witness disagrees with anything
21 said, then we'll hear from here.
22 MR. KEHOE: Just for the record, Mr. President, what she's
23 reading is -- what counsel is reading is P457.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Which I was about to inform the Court of.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, let's -- yesterday I urged Ms. Gustafson
1 not to intervene unnecessarily. Let's first wait and see what
2 Ms. Gustafson puts on the record, how she introduces her question, and if
3 there's anything obviously wrong in that, of course, is what she said
4 until now, is that wrong? Is that not correct?
5 MR. KEHOE: [Microphone not activated]
6 JUDGE ORIE: I asked you a question.
7 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, it is not -- but you know that is not
8 what I am saying. What I'm saying is the witness should be given an
9 opportunity to look at the document, period.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first hear what Ms. Gustafson's -- says until
11 now, from what I understand from you, she did not represent anything in a
12 wrong way.
13 Ms. Gustafson, please proceed.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
15 Q. And as I was stating, this amendment remove the 90-day limitation
16 and in place stated that the issue of returning and possession and use of
17 property under the ownership of persons from Article 2 of this law will
18 be regulated by the agreement on the normalisation of relations between
20 And that is Exhibit P475.
21 Do you recall an amendment in January of 1996? And in fact the
22 law in that form remained in place until September of -- I'm about to ask
23 a question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kehoe, let me --
25 MR. KEHOE: Please Judge --
1 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
2 Ms. Skare Ozbolt, Ms. Gustafson draws your attention to an
3 amendment to the law and she asked you whether you remember that there
4 was an amendment. You answered that question with yes. If, for the
5 purpose of answering any question, you'd like to look at an amendment
6 because Ms. Gustafson is putting questions to you that you couldn't
7 answer, but the only question she has put to you until now is whether it
8 is your recollection that there was an amendment. Apparently you
9 remember that.
10 Now if there is any need to consult any document because you
11 couldn't answer the question without looking at it, keeping in mind what
12 Ms. Gustafson is asking you, please ask for looking at it, but perhaps,
13 first, we wait what the question is, she might ask you whether it was
14 published in the -- in a certain newspaper, or whatever, for which you
15 might not need to consult the text itself. If, however, she goes into
16 details asking you questions and if you feel the need to have a look at
17 that document, of course, you should just ask.
18 Please proceed.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
20 Q. Ms. Skare Ozbolt, yesterday you testified that this law at no
21 cost allowed for the confiscation of property because private property is
22 protected in Croatia
23 And in fact private property is protected in Croatia under the
24 constitution. That's right, isn't it? Including Article 50 of the
1 A. [No verbal response]
2 Q. And it's the case, is it not --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Skare Ozbolt, you're nodding yes.
4 THE WITNESS: That is correct. That is correct. Yes, yes,
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... [Overlapping
7 speakers] ... and expression of faces.
8 Please proceed.
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour. And it's the case --
10 A. Yes, everything that you said is correct, yes.
11 Q. And it is also the case that this law was found to be
12 unconstitutional by the Croatian Constitutional Court because it violated
13 Article 50 of the constitution.
14 A. That is correct. And that is why it was abolished.
15 Q. And that was in September of 1997; is that right?
16 A. A little later, I think. But probably, if you have that
17 information, then it's probably correct.
18 Q. Well, let's look at that decision. It's D425.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 8 of the English and
20 page 6 of the B/C/S. And the paragraph that begins: "Article 50."
21 It's about halfway down the page in the English and the same in
22 the B/C/S.
23 Q. And this passage explains that Article 50 of the constitution
24 stipulates that "ownership may be restricted by law in the interest of
25 the Republic ... but only against indemnity equal to its market value."
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. "Article 8, paragraphs 1 and 5, of the contested law, restricts
3 the right of ownership but without indemnity."
4 And then if we skip to the next paragraph, the last sentence:
5 "Consequently the court found that Article 8, paragraph 1 and 5,
6 were unconstitutional."
7 Now, this decision represents the truth about this law; namely,
8 that it restricted the right of ownership without indemnity. Is that
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
11 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I mean, is that testimony by counsel
12 or a question?
13 JUDGE ORIE: It is certainly very leading, which is, of course,
14 in cross-examination --
15 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ... [Microphone not
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- apart from whether it is the truth about law,
18 this is what apparently the constitutional court established as being the
19 legal position expressed by this judicial organ. Whether you call that
20 truth or -- that what the decision says.
21 And I don't think that Ms. Skare Ozbolt is challenging that this
22 is what the constitutional court said. But if she has any specific
23 comment on it, then, Ms. Gustafson, I take it that you would like to hear
24 from her.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, excuse me.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: I can just ask the question in a different way.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but Mr. Kuzmanovic is --
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 The limitation is specifically limited to Articles 8, paragraphs
5 1 and 5, so it's not the truth about the law, which is --
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... this is it exactly why I
7 want to avoid this kind of conclusion whether this is the truth, truth
8 about what, this is it what the decision says. And if Ms. Skare Ozbolt
9 has any comment to make on this as, for example, later decisions denying
10 or overturning this decision, we'd like to hear from her. Let's stop
11 having this kind of discussions. Of course, the questions will be put by
12 Ms. Gustafson with a certain focus as parties usually do.
13 Ms. Gustafson, as I expressed earlier, the question was phrased
14 not with the accuracy this Chamber likes most. But we're talking about a
15 paragraph in a decision of the constitutional court.
16 Let's proceed.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
18 Q. Let me just ask this.
19 A. [In English] Okay.
20 Q. Yesterday when you said the law at no cost allowed for the
21 confiscation of property because private property is protected in Croatia
22 under the law, that's not right, is it? This law in fact allowed for the
23 confiscation of property, did it not?
24 A. [Interpretation] I have to repeat what I already stated
25 yesterday, and that is there was no confiscation of property. There was
1 the temporary seizure of property. The constitutional court
2 characterized parts of this law as anti-constitutional, the provisions of
3 two Articles of this law against the constitution because it did not
4 provide for indemnity for seized property. This was corrected later.
5 And I would just like to draw your attention to the fact that that year
6 the agency for sales of property was formed, and it was pursuant to the
7 agreement for normalisation of relations between Serbia and Croatia
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I rise just for -- to check an
10 interpretation at page 16, line 18, I believe there was an adjective that
11 the witness used with respect to the end of the sentence there. I don't
12 wan to even use the word to be accused of leading her. There's a
13 sentence that ends in line 18. She uses an additional adjective to
14 describe that there, and perhaps we can check with her. Because I think
15 it is important.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 Ms. Skare Ozbolt, you also read English. Could you check
18 whether, on the page which is on your screen, page 18 -- line 18 at the
19 end, whether anything is missing in the translation as written.
20 It now reads: "The provisions of two Articles of this law
21 against the constitution, because it did not provide for indemnity for
22 seized property."
23 Anything missing?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I think that is the sense, but
25 I really ...
1 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then we'll proceed.
2 Mr. Misetic, if there's any need, you know the procedures for
3 having the transcript corrected on the basis of the original. The
4 Chamber, of course, will consider any such -- any such request.
5 Please proceed.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
7 Q. And just to clarify that answer, you said this was corrected
8 later. And you said, I would just like to draw your attention to the
9 fact that that year the agency for sales of property was formed.
10 But that year, are you referring to 1997, the same year of this
12 A. 1998. The normalization of Croatian-Serbian relations took place
13 in 1997, and as part of that, these matters were discussed. In 1998, the
14 agency for the sales of property was formed, and it is still functioning
16 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move now to another topic, which is the
17 negotiations in Geneva
18 statement and you repeated in your testimony that:
19 "A yes in Geneva
20 of the same model of peaceful reintegration as it was implemented in
21 Eastern Slavonia
22 And the first question I'd like to ask you about that is in
23 relation to the decision to launch Operation Storm. And in that regard
24 you have emphasised, I think, the importance of the acceptance or refusal
25 of the RSK contingent in Geneva
1 Did you know that there were actually several factors, both
2 military and political, that caused the Croatian leadership and
3 President Tudjman to view the situation on the 3rd of August as a unique
4 opportunity to attack the Krajina?
5 A. I'm gladly going to tell you what I knew and what I know, but if
6 you can specify which factors are these, the military and political
7 factors that you mean, I will gladly tell you what I know.
8 Q. Okay. Well, you gave evidence that there was a meeting of the --
9 of the VONS of the Defence and Security Council on the 3rd of August and
10 that you came at the end of that meeting with Mr. Pasalic.
11 And at the beginning of that meeting, President Tudjman stated
12 that he had received a call from Mr. Pasalic in Geneva, and he had been
13 told that the Serbs had not accepted, and the talks were over.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: This is, for the benefit of the Court and the
15 parties, at D1454.
16 Q. And then President Tudjman stated:
17 "As far as I am concerned, I think that we must not abandon our
18 decision because of public opinion and the general situation. It is
19 evident that Serb and the supporters of a peaceful solution do not have
20 the biggest say. There is no unity and that the wrangling would continue
21 on end.
22 "It is also evidence that the present balance of forces and the
23 international political situation are such that we were able to undertake
24 -- that we would be able to undertake that action."
25 Were you aware that President Tudjman was weighing these
1 factors - public opinion, the balance of forces, the international
2 political situation - in coming to this decision?
3 A. The facts were as follows. The Republic of Serbian
4 sought, and in some way, wanted to unite with Republika Srpska. At the
5 time 6.000 soldiers and heavy artillery from Serbia arrived in the area
6 of the town of Slunj
7 of discord, and it was not possible to talk with anyone any longer in the
8 SAO Krajina leadership. The situation, the economic situation in Croatia
9 in general, included a lot of problems with the people who were expelled,
10 and the situation was very frustrating in a number of parts of Croatia
11 All of these were elements in deciding about the Storm action,
12 not to speak about the broader context of the events in Bosnia
14 Q. Thank you. And a little later in that meeting, Mr. Granic - who
15 was the foreign minister; is that right - says: "We will not have an
16 another" --
17 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. It may be easier for the witness to read
18 in Croatian, just to bring the exhibit on the screen.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'm just trying to save time, Your Honour. It's
20 a short passage.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. If could guide us to the page,
22 and, of course, it would be preferable if the witness -- I was just about
23 to ask you what page you are quoting from, and that usually doesn't take
24 much time to have it on the screen. You can continue meanwhile, and then
25 if the witness wants to look at it, she can.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: Certainly. It is D1454, page 8 in the English
2 and page 24 in the B/C/S.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Please proceed.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON:
6 Q. And while this is coming up on the screen, Mr. Granic says:
7 "We will not have another opportunity as good as this one when
8 Bihac is still in vital danger. Everything has fallen into place.
9 Everything concerning Srebrenica, Zepa, the Split declaration, the
10 success concerning the Federation, Bihac in danger, the unsuccessful
11 talks, et cetera."
12 A. Yes, Granic also refers to a broader context.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 Now I'd like to turn to the political and military situation that
15 prevailed at the time that President Tudjman decided not to use military
16 force in Sector East.
17 And I believe you stated in your statement that there was a
18 contemplated operation by the name of Operation Long Jump. Is that
20 A. Yes. Yes, correct.
21 Q. And you also referred in your statement to the fact that
22 Sector East was somewhat integrated into the FRY. Is that accurate?
23 A. Correct. It was fully integrated into Yugoslavia, completely
25 Q. And the army of the FRY, the VJ, that was a much more powerful
1 force than the ARSK, right?
2 A. Yes, of course.
3 Q. And a conflict between the HV and the VJ would have been a much
4 more serious, at least, a very different matter than a conflict between
5 the HV and the ARSK; is that right?
6 A. If we're talking about a conflict in the eastern part of Croatia
7 it would have been terrible, and it would have had some terrible
9 Q. And this was a factor for President Tudjman, was it not, the risk
10 that a military operation in Sector East would engage Serbia militarily
11 and would have had these terrible consequences that you referred to?
12 A. Before he became president, Franjo Tudjman was a general, and he
13 was very familiar with the situation and the manner of warfare in that
14 area and the consequences that would arise. There were those in Croatia
15 who did wish to take the military way of resolving the matter of
16 Eastern Slavonia
17 Q. And it's right, is it not, that President Tudjman while he was
18 sure that an attack on the Krajina, on Sectors North and South would not
19 result in a conflict with Serbia
20 Sector East probably would engage Serbia
21 A. According to all of our information, it seemed as if Milosevic
22 would not give up the eastern part of Croatia
23 the signing of the Erdut Agreement -- first the Dayton Agreement and then
24 as part of that a little later, the signing of the Erdut Agreement, it
25 all changed.
1 Q. I'd just like if we can turn briefly to P470.
2 Did you know, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, that President Tudjman met with
3 senior military and Ministry of Defence officials, including
4 General Gotovina, General Cervenko, and Minister Susak on the 26th of
5 September, 1995, to discuss a possible military operation in
6 Eastern Slavonia
7 A. Did I know of that meeting? I probably did. I didn't know what
8 actually was the content of the meeting, though.
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could turn to page 90 in the English and
10 page 109 in the B/C/S. I believe it's at the bottom of the page in the
11 B/C/S, is where the president speaks.
12 Q. And there President Tudjman says:
13 "Wait and let me tell you about Knin and about everything we did.
14 I was sure that there would be no diversion by Serbia and Yugoslavia
15 But here we need to count that there will be such a diversion. I didn't,
16 please ... I'll do everything so that there is no such diversion, but
17 probably there will be one. So, that's an important difference."
18 Were you aware of this important difference, as President Tudjman
19 described it, between Operation Storm and a possible military operation
20 in Eastern Slavonia?
21 A. I can testify only about the conversations that I had with the
22 president when he explained to me why the military option was not used,
23 because I was supposed to then go on and explain that to others. And it
24 was very logical to me, and clear, even though a very small number of
25 people at that time, in 1995, understood what we were saying.
1 Q. Thank you. And were you also aware that there was intense
2 pressure placed on Croatia
3 United States, not to engage in a military conflict in Eastern Slavonia
4 A. I know that there quite a few conversations on that topic. The
5 US of A, at the request of Croatia
6 solution for Eastern Slavonia, and that was one of the prerequisites
7 enshrined in Dayton
8 Operation Storm, to which Croatia
9 American, American general, or, rather, just an American, in order to
10 make sure that the mission would be implemented within the set
11 time-limit, that is to say, one year plus one year, which makes a total
12 of two years, and that everything envisaged in the Erdut [indiscernible]
13 would be implemented.
14 Q. I'd like to just back up in a time a little bit.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P449.
16 Q. This is a meeting, a transcript of a meeting that
17 President Tudjman had with Mr. Holbrooke, General Wesley Clark, and
18 Ambassador Galbraith.
19 And do you recall such a meeting on the 18th [Realtime transcript
20 read in error "19th"] of August, 1995?
21 A. I knew of it.
22 Q. But you were not present; is that right?
23 A. No. No.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we go to page 4 of the English and page 31
25 in the B/C/S.
1 I believe the transcript should be corrected; I may have
2 misspoke. The meeting was the 18th of August, 1995, at line 22, page 23.
3 Q. And here I'd like to look at what Mr. Holbrooke says, which I
4 think is a little to the bottom of the page in the B/C/S.
5 And he says:
6 "I understand, I would like to be very honest, because our
7 administration has been giving you different signals about military
8 activity in the past months. In November, we asked you not to attack,
9 and you did not. In March I flew over here and we agreed, and then you
10 and Gore announced it in Copenhagen
11 the war started again. And when the war started again and when you went
12 into Western Slavonia
13 strategic importance of that operation and the pressure it imposed on the
14 Serbs. So in Washington
15 understanding for the military operation, although we pointed out the
16 right of the Croatian people."
17 If we can go, then, to the next page in the English in page 32,
18 and the next page also in the B/C/S. I think it's at the bottom of the
20 And then he refers to the talks prior to Operation Storm. He
22 "Peter was involved in talks with Babic about the Z-4 plan.
23 There was much confusion. You went ahead. It was a triumph from a
24 political and military point of view. And he used the situation again,
25 he helped again. The only problem are the refugees. If you could bring
1 back those people, if you could hold a speech and say that the war is
2 over, to return. Most of them will not return but tell them to return,
3 emphasise it, at least mention they should return ..."
4 If we could go to the next page in the B/C/S.
5 And -- President Tudjman says: "I would very content if about 10
6 percent of them returned."
7 And Mr. Holbrooke says: "All right. Tell them to return, give
8 them compensation. But if we leave aside the human issue for a minute, I
9 will never forget it, but let's leave it aside for now, you again helped
10 the situation. I would like to make myself clear, since I told you how I
11 feel, secretly and in my heart, which is that you did great things to
12 help peace. I not feel the same about Sector East, Eastern Slavonia. I
13 am firmly convinced that this would be a different situation because it
14 is on the Serbian border ..."
15 And if we could go down to the bottom of the page in the English
16 and to page 34 in the B/C/S, President Tudjman responded and says:
17 "All right, I agree, I am ready -- I am really for a peaceful
19 Mr. Holbrooke says: "I know you are."
20 President Tudjman says: "You know 200 of my men have been killed
21 ... 1400 have been wounded. And if I can effect a peaceful solution,
22 fine. Although the entire Croatian public opinion and the army, they are
23 all ready to move ..."
24 And Mr. Holbrooke says: "Of course, you know. If you attack in
25 Sector East and Milosevic stays out of the conflict, you will win.
1 However, we think he will not be able to stay out."
2 And President Tudjman says: "I know."
3 Does this conversation reflect the military and diplomatic
4 situation at the time, as you recall it?
5 A. Yes. I think that this is a confirmation of what I have already
6 told you.
7 Q. And you were directly involved in the negotiations of
8 Eastern Slavonia
9 A. Yes, that's true.
10 Q. And those negotiations involved Ambassador Galbraith and
11 Mr. Stoltenberg; is that right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. And I think you've mentioned it resulted in the signing of the
14 Erdut Agreement, and that was on the 12th of November, 1995?
15 A. That's right. On the 12th of November, 1995.
16 Q. And Mr. Sarinic, the chief negotiator of Croatia, he was the lead
17 negotiator on your side, on the Croatian side; is that right?
18 A. That's right.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, if I may interrupt you, the Chamber
20 has now listened for quite a while to what considerations led to what to
21 do and what not to do in Eastern Slavonia, which I wouldn't say is of no
22 relevance at all, but if it has relevance, it is marginal.
23 The Chamber, therefore, wonders how much further details would
24 assist it.
25 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, I believe it does have some
1 relevance, and I believe it will become clear. I would be happy to
2 address the Chamber outside the presence of the witness on that matter.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but then let's move to the point. And let's
4 try to then focus on what your point is. For the Chamber it is not clear
5 at this moment what point of such relevance that would justify such a lot
6 of time to be spent on it is at stake.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So then please come to your point as quickly as
10 MS. GUSTAFSON:
11 Q. Now, these negotiations were ostensibly with the Serbs on the --
12 in the Eastern Slavonia area, but it is true that Mr. Milosevic had a
13 greet deal of influence over these negotiations on the Serb side. Is
14 that right?
15 A. Well, there were a number of conversations between Hrvoje Sarinic
16 and Milosevic in the period up to 1995.
17 Q. And in those conversations, Mr. Sarinic sought to secure a deal
18 with Mr. Milosevic that would minimise the number of Serbs remaining in
19 Eastern Slavonia
20 eventual exchange of populations; isn't that right?
21 A. No, that's not true. There was no minimum number of Serbs in
22 Eastern Slavonia
23 president of the state, after I had asked him what was I to do in this
24 situations, and how can I do my job if we had nearly 120.000 Serbs and as
25 many Croats had to be brought back? I asked him how was I going to do
1 that, and he painted a very clear picture for me -- excuse me, let me
2 just finish. I think that would be my answer to your question.
3 All the indigenous Serbian population had to remain where they
4 were at any cost. However, those who had come from other parts Croatia
5 particularly from the Knin area, should return there. And as for those
6 who had come from Serbia
8 Q. You said you knew that Mr. Sarinic was engaged in talks with
9 Mr. Milosevic. Are you saying that he never discussed population
10 exchanges between Serbs in Eastern Slavonia and Croats in the Vojvodina,
11 or are you saying you don't know?
12 A. Your question was that they discussed a minimum number of Serbs,
13 which is not true. They discussed the manner in which these people
14 should be moved, particularly in the way that I just described.
15 Q. Well, let's have a look at what they in fact said.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: And that's at P465.
17 Q. And this is a transcript of a meeting on the 29th of August,
18 1995. It's between President Tudjman and Mr. Sarinic. And in this
19 meeting, Mr. Sarinic describes a meeting he had with Mr. Milosevic about
20 finding a solution for Eastern Slavonia.
21 Did you know about this meeting, either the one with
22 Mr. Milosevic, or the one he had subsequently with President Tudjman
23 describing that meeting?
24 A. I knew of a lot of meetings, but you will understand that it was
25 impossible for me to know what was discussed at each and every one of
2 Q. Well, if we could go page 6 of the English and page 7 of the
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, if would you have said at line 15,
5 page 28, P465, and then would have mentioned the page immediately, then
6 we would have had it on the screen already. Now we have to wait until it
7 is there.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: I apologise, Your Honour. I did want to give the
9 witness a chance to see the cover page of the details of the meeting.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON:
12 Q. Now, here Mr. Sarinic is describing his meeting with
13 Mr. Milosevic. And he said:
14 "Now you know that I told you last time about his view concerning
15 the solution for Eastern Slavonia, that all those who are there should
16 remain there. This time, he said himself that we had to find a solution
17 there and proposed the following, which is an improvement on what was
18 before, but still is not the best. He said like this, all those that
19 came from outside should leave, all Croatian refugees must return. He
20 said those that are there now, what can I do? I can't expel them now,
21 et cetera, let there be a period of time until it all settles down and we
22 will see then."
23 When Mr. Sarinic is referring to Milosevic's earlier position
24 that all those who are there should remain there, he's referring to
25 Milosevic's view that all Serbs then living in Eastern Slavonia should
1 stay. Is that right?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. And then when he refers to Milosevic's new proposal, that all
4 those from outside should leave, that's a reference to a new proposal
5 that the Serbs in Eastern Slavonia who are not from there would leave
6 Eastern Slavonia
7 A. Yes, that's correct. That's correct. The people who arrived
8 with the army, for example.
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to the next page of the
10 English, and page 8 in the B/C/S. I think it's at the bottom of the page
11 in the B/C/S.
12 Q. And President Tudjman here says:
13 "However, did you really mention that we could do it? Exchange
14 the Croats from Vojvodina?"
15 Turn the page in the B/C/S.
16 And Mr. Sarinic says: "Absolutely, he agreed. At one point I
17 told him ..."
18 And President Tudjman says: "All right. Tell me in an orderly
20 Now this is a reference to a proposal that Mr. Sarinic gave to
21 Mr. Milosevic that the Serbs in Eastern Slavonia would be exchanged for
22 Croats in the Vojvodina. Isn't that right?
23 A. I believe that the -- you have taken out of the context of the
24 whole picture.
25 At the time the Croats in Serbia were in a rather bad situation.
1 They were being expelled; they were being intimidated; and they,
2 themselves, were looking for a way out of Vojvodina.
3 One part of the Serbian population did not want to stay in
4 Eastern Slavonia
5 to carry out the relocation in a humane manner of all those who couldn't
6 or wouldn't live any longer in their homelands.
7 So this issue was about a humane relocation, not a forced one.
8 Q. Okay. If we could now look at a meeting that was held the
9 following day, which is P466.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: And it's page 4 of the English and page 8 of the
12 Q. And at this meeting, President Tudjman is discussing a possible
13 proposal for Eastern Slavonia with a larger circle of advisors, including
14 Mr. Granic, Mr. Jarnjak, Mr. Milas, Mr. Sarinic, Mr. Pasalic,
15 Mr. Valentic, Mr. Sokol, and Mr. Zuzul. And I'd like to start where
16 Mr. Valentic is speaking. He says:
17 "I do not know much about these problems, but I know from our
18 department, because it is often mentioned that there is a big number of
19 Serbs from Western Slavonia that live in the area of Baranja and Vukovar
20 (around 30.000 of them). So it means that we should expect the request
21 for their return to Western Slavonia."
22 And President Tudjman says: "That is a special problem, and we
23 are going to concentrate on it."
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to the next page in the English.
25 Mr. Valentic responds, and then President Tudjman says:
1 "The next thing I wanted to say is that we should and we could
2 put it like this. Serbs that came from Bosnia and from other places,
3 they should leave, yes."
4 And Mr. Valentic says:
5 "What? Together with our Serbs?"
6 When he says "our Serbs," that's a reference to Croatian Serbs.
7 Is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And President Tudjman says:
10 "Together with our Serbs, and we have to be very flexible about
11 it because of the international community, we should suggest to replace
12 them with Croats in Vojvodina and Serbia (but we cannot write it
13 down) ..."
14 And Mr. Milas says: "Why? That option has always [sic] been
15 carried out after the war."
16 President Tudjman: "Look, it is better not to complicate life
17 for them and for us."
18 And Mr. Milas says: "That is a so-called option that exists in
19 all the international agreements after the First World War."
20 Mr. Valentic says: "I think the most of them will do it, but
21 that should be done in a clever way, and I'm getting in touch with them.
22 As far as I know, Serbs, and I know them well, 80 percent of them will
24 Then at the bottom of the speech he says:
25 "And I'm not afraid that a lot of them will stay, but I also do
1 not agree that we should suggest the exchange immediately but we should
2 try to play a certain game on a long ball, to say in sports terms."
3 And President Tudjman says:
4 "Yes, but we have to suggest it, that the question is open and
5 they are asking it here."
6 Ms. Skare Ozbolt, this conversation reflects the policy of the
7 leadership to try to minimise the number of Serbs remaining in
8 Eastern Slavonia
9 an eventual exchange of populations. Isn't that right?
10 A. I think that, as you put it, to minimise the number of Serbs does
11 not reflect the situation, because that would involve expulsion of Serbs.
12 The issue here is, and I have to emphasise this, about the Serbs
13 who refused adamantly to stay in Croatia
14 minimizing the number of Serbs. This is about those who absolutely did
15 not want to live in Croatia
16 there, if they didn't want to.
17 Q. Ms. Skare Ozbolt, in this meeting, they're not talking about
18 accommodating people who are desperate to leave Croatia, are they? And
19 whether you call it expulsion, exchange, or humane relocation, this
20 conversation is about a policy of minimizing the number of Serbs
21 remaining in Eastern Slavonia in the negotiations, is it not?
22 A. No. That was not the purpose and the meaning of this
24 I know what was going on. This absolutely does not mean to
25 minimise the number of Serbs in this conversation. They discussed what
1 would happen with the areas once a certain number of Serbs leave.
2 I say again that not all the ideas were brilliant. There were
3 very stupid ideas proffered by the people sitting around the president.
4 But let me tell you again, there was no mention of minimizing the number
5 of Serbs in the aftermaths of Operation Flash, and we are talking about
6 Eastern Slavonia
7 Q. There may have been a miscommunication. I was referring to
8 Eastern Slavonia
9 A. Here we are talking about now about Western Slavonia.
10 Western Slavonia
11 Q. Well, Mr. Valentic raised the problem of Eastern Slavonian Serbs
12 wanting to return to Western Slavonia. Isn't that right? We can go back
13 to the page.
14 A. Yes. So they're talking about the return of Serbs to
15 Western Slavonia
16 Q. And that was one part of it that was mentioned. And then
17 President Tudjman said:
18 "In more general terms, we should put it like this, Serbs that
19 came from Bosnia
20 And Mr. Valentic said: "What? Together with our Serbs?"
21 And President Tudjman said: "Together with our Serbs" --
22 A. Who wished to leave of their own volition.
23 Q. Is that your personnel interpretation of what President Tudjman
24 is saying there?
25 A. That was my personal knowledge.
1 Q. But you weren't at this meeting, and you don't --
2 A. Yes, I said that I didn't attend this meeting, but I draw my
3 statement from my personal knowledge.
4 I was given specific tasks that had to be implemented.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, I am looking at the clock. I know
7 that Mr. Kehoe wanted to raise something.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we will first ask the witness to already
9 start having a break, and then we will he hear from Mr. Kehoe. We will
10 resume most likely at five minutes to 11.00, close to 11.00.
11 Madam Usher, will you please escort the witness out of the
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
16 The moment has passed and -- with regard to the talking about
17 D422, I do recall Your Honour cautioning us during cross-examination
18 about putting things in context when we pluck things out, and I fully
19 accepted Your Honours' guidance in that regard. And giving the full
20 context of what was happening with this piece of property, the
21 Prosecution sees fit to focus on Article 8, when in fact Article 7 and
22 Article 8 are together and are referenced together as to what is
23 happening to that property.
24 And my question or my objection was in fairness to the witness,
25 reading what those two Articles which clearly go together to give the
1 full context of what is going on, I will cover it in re-examination. But
2 that was my position at the time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Ms. Gustafson.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, my questions were about prohibitions
6 on the owners of property from selling that property. Article 7 is about
7 prohibitions on the sale of property to the people who had been granted
8 temporary use of that property. I don't think there was any
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I will cover it. I mean, clearly what
11 was contemplated or the line of questioning was the taking of the
12 property by the Croatian government and just giving it to these people.
13 Now whether or not we think this was a right way do it, when these people
14 housed them, they couldn't sell or dispense with any of that property nor
15 could the people who owned the property until they went back to this
16 commission. So it was on equal footing that they tried to have this
17 commission to organise this thing and people that were in the --
18 JUDGE ORIE: What commission you're talking about now? Let's
19 have the exhibit on the screen so that I can look at it bit better. It
20 was D ...
21 MR. KEHOE: It is D422.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, the evidence of the witness was that
24 this commission was created in 1998.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I was therefore asking what commission we were
1 talking about. Could we have it on the screen. Seven and eight. Okay.
2 If you would give me time to --
3 MR. KEHOE: Take a look at 4 initially because 4 sets up the
4 commission --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, I asked to have an opportunity first to
6 read 7 and 8. And I appreciate your suggestion that I should read 4 as
7 well, but I did not invite you to explain 4 to me.
8 MR. KEHOE: [Microphone not activated]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed -- I'll proceed.
10 Apparently you were referring to the commission mentioned in
11 Article 4, which was a commission set up by the local authorities.
12 Whereas, apparently, you, Ms. Gustafson, were referring to a
13 commission which was created in 1998.
14 Apparently you were talking about two different commissions. So
15 if we first try to avoid that, by the same name, we are talking about
16 different institutions.
17 It is my recollection that the witness yesterday emphasised --
18 well, quite a bit, on that owners were free to sell either to the state
19 or to others. I think by focussing on Article 8 of this law,
20 Ms. Gustafson was challenging that the freedom to sell was as
21 unrestricted or, let's say, as complete as the witness testified about
22 yesterday; and another matter, which complicates, is that the situation
23 apparently changed after decision of the constitutional court, which
24 means that we have to consider what was place in 1995, 1996, 1997, and
25 then, as the witness drew our attention to, that situations changed in
1 1998. And that appears to be the situation.
2 Now, to say that if the witness so much has drawn our attention
3 to the freedom to sell to whomever, then to require from Ms. Gustafson to
4 put the full picture again, also the rights of those who were housed in
5 these properties that they were not able to sell, that, of course, would
6 complete the picture, to the extent the Chamber was not able to read that
7 themselves. Not everything that is in documents should always be put
8 completely to a witness. If it would be unfair to a witness to do it,
9 then, of course, can ask to give a better context. But in view of the
10 testimony of the witness yesterday, which was about the rights of owners
11 to sell to whomever they wanted to sell, I think it was not inappropriate
12 to focus, as Ms. Gustafson did, on Article 8.
13 Let's not -- let try to elicit from the witness the evidence
14 which you, Mr. Kehoe, or you, Ms. Gustafson, consider important. Let's
15 try to refrain from unnecessarily interfering, if the other party is
16 eliciting that evidence. The complete picture we'll have at the end of
17 the testimony as a whole.
18 MR. KEHOE: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and even with the microphone, I would hear.
20 MR. KEHOE: With the microphone off, I appreciate your guidance.
21 And my sole issue in standing up at that time is -- and asking for the
22 full picture is that it started off with property -- Ms. Gustafson
23 referring to this as property confiscation. And that's why I thought the
24 full picture [Overlapping speakers] ...
25 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Yes, but we have a lot
1 of semantic issues. What does mean minimise the population? If you say
2 I would like to say 10 percent of Serbs, is that minimizing? Of course
3 not. Because 2 percent is even less; 5 percent is less; 9 percent is
4 less. So minimizing, it's a word. Confiscation, of course, should be
5 understood in this context as, that's at least how I understood it, that
6 you're deprived of the ownership rights without getting an acceptable
7 amount of money for it, and whether that would be forever or for 30 years
8 or for three years, or just until the constitutional court decides on a
9 matter. Otherwise, or up to the moment that the constitutional or any
10 other court would then change that again, that's -- we are no imbeciles.
11 At least I hope that we didn't give that you impression.
12 If someone is using the word "confiscation," then, of course,
13 this is understood in the context. And if you would look at
14 confiscation, will you see that in the many legal systems that it -- it's
15 different anywhere, confiscation here as a punishment, confiscation as a
16 matter of protecting state interests, confiscation -- well, that's -- it
17 was perfectly clear, we do not focus on the word "confiscation" and then
18 start a comparative legal study on the word confiscation. We are
19 talking, it's short for what Ms. Gustafson finds in this law. And, of
20 course, we'll not take it for granted what Ms. Gustafson -- what the use
21 of the word. I mean, Ms. Gustafson today talked about the attack on the
22 Krajina. We could spend half an hour at least on whether regaining
23 territorial control of an area, is that attack, is that not attack? We
24 -- we understand the language Ms. Gustafson uses and you use, in its
25 context, and we hope that the parties have at least some confidence in
1 that we'll do that, because, if not, I'll have to report to the President
2 that this case will take twice as long as it is scheduled for now.
3 MR. KEHOE: At caution, Judge. The benefit of the doubt goes to
4 the Chamber. It couldn't take twice as long. Just kidding.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You're just kidding. Even that -- Mr. Kehoe, I said
6 we were are no imbeciles, that you were kidding was already understood by
7 us. So no need to explain that.
8 We'll have a break, and we will resume at ten past 11.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.45 a.m.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Ms. Gustafson, just a short
13 procedural matter.
14 A request has been filed for videolink evidence for
15 Witness AG-61, 15th of June. The Chamber understands that all parties
16 agreed that we could hear the evidence in one day, and that the parties
17 agreed on timing, and it's on that basis, if it is not correctly
18 understood, please tell it now or be silent forever. On that basis, the
19 Chamber grants the request for videolink. A formal decision will follow.
20 There is also a still pending motion for a subpoena, in relation
21 to that same witness. The Chamber will put that motion on hold, on the
22 basis that, in the request for the videolink, it was expressed that the
23 witness would voluntarily appear for the videolink. At the same time, we
24 withdraw it now not knowing what the future will bring us might not be
25 very wise. But that's the reason, why the Chamber, at this moment, does
1 not decide on that motion, most likely later to be declared moot or to be
3 Having dealt with this procedural matter, Ms. Gustafson, if you
4 are ready to proceed, please do so. The Chamber would like to add some
5 concerns about the interrupted flow of evidence but also had some
6 concerns on how quickly you went to the core of the issue. What took
7 approximately 20 minutes, if not more, the Chamber thought that it -- you
8 might have reached the same point, and the point, of course, is perfectly
9 clear, in five to ten minutes.
10 Please proceed.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Now, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, I'd like to ask you now about your
13 negotiations in respect of Eastern Slavonia. And the -- in the course of
14 these negotiations, the Croatian leadership was concerned that the terms
15 of this deal might enable the return of Serbs to the Krajina, and you and
16 Mr. Sarinic sought a deal that would prevent such a return.
17 That was the negotiating position you took; is that right?
18 A. Our negotiating position was that Serbs in -- or from the Krajina
19 should return to the Krajina, to the place of their residence.
20 Q. Are you sure about that?
21 A. Of course.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we go to Exhibit P458, please.
23 Q. In these negotiations had you quite a few discussions with
24 Ambassador Galbraith, is that right, you and Mr. Sarinic?
25 A. Yes.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 46 in the English and the
2 fourth translation in B/C/S of this exhibit.
3 Q. This is Ambassador Galbraith's diplomatic diary. And this
4 particular passage is an entry from the 15th of September. And it says:
5 "We had a long conversation about the return of refugees.
6 Sarinic initially was hard-line. He was also concerned about the impact
7 of demographic change in Sector East if the Krajina Serbs and west
8 Slavonia Serbs stayed there. I pointed out that in connection with the
9 Western Slavonia Serbs, he had said that they could stay or return to
10 their homes in Western Slavonia. He replied that that was six months ago
11 and things had changed.
12 "I said strongly that the US could only support a settlement that
13 involved the right of Croatian citizens who are Serbs to remain in
15 Now further down, in the next paragraph he says:
16 "He then said that the key was whether the Croats could get their
17 property back in Sector East. If so, the danger of too many out of area
18 Serbs settling there was less. I said that the Eastern Slavonia Serbs
19 have already agreed to this. But any settlement would have to provide
20 for the right of all Croatian citizens, Croats and Serbs" --
21 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel, could we just go to the next
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: Oh, pardon me, if we could go to the next page.
24 Q. "... to recover their property and to return home. He smiled
25 and said, I expected you to say this."
1 Now, this entry reflects Ambassador Galbraith's insistence that
2 Croatian citizens should have the right to return to their homes wherever
3 they are in Croatia
5 A. No, that is not correct. Sarinic was not against the return of
6 everyone to their own home. After all, that was the policy that we
7 implemented, that everyone should return to their own home. At the time,
8 a large number of refugees from the Krajina came to Eastern Slavonia and
9 the Krajina government was providing assurance to them when they left
10 Krajina that Eastern Slavonia
11 residence. So people believed that they would remain there permanently.
12 You have evidence of that in numerous public statements on television.
13 Serbs from Krajina stated this; simply, there had to be some kind of
14 order imposed in the region of Eastern Slavonia.
15 Later, the procedure, everyone to their own homes, was completed
17 Q. Well, in fact, Mr. Sarinic was concerned that during the
18 transition period in Eastern Slavonia, Serbs from the Krajina would be
19 packed into Eastern Slavonia and, from there, would eventually be able to
20 return to the Krajina, and you and he sought to prevent that. Isn't that
22 A. No. We were not preventing anything in the transition period.
23 We implemented the return of everyone to their own home. Those who lived
24 from Krajina, from Knin, who lived in the eastern parts of Croatia,
25 returned --
1 Q. I'm going interrupt you because my question was not about what
2 happened in the transition period. My question was about Mr. Sarinic's
3 concerns during the negotiations --
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could turn to page 54 in the English
5 and the sixth translation in the B/C/S in this document.
6 Q. This is an entry from the 22nd of September, which was -- do you
7 recall a draft plan for Eastern Slavonia being presented to you by
8 Ambassador Galbraith around this time?
9 A. What draft plan? I don't know. There was -- the only draft plan
10 for Eastern Slavonia was the Erdut Agreement. There was no other draft
11 agreement, or draft plan.
12 Q. Okay. Well, in this entry Ambassador Galbraith is referring to a
13 draft. Perhaps you didn't see it. And he says:
14 "I presented the Eastern Slavonia plan to Sarinic, both the
15 outlying memo and the detailed plan. He reacted angrily, I think
16 particularly set off by the word "autonomy" in the outline memo. His
17 real concern is that the plan would enable the Krajina Serbs to return to
19 ethnic balance there but undoing the ethnic purification of
20 Operation Storm. Politely I told him, Tough. Croatia will have to
21 accept the return of its citizens and the implementation of its
23 This entry, reflects, does it not, Mr. Sarinic's concern that the
24 proposal Galbraith presented to him would allow Krajina Serb refugees to
25 pack into Sector East and eventually return home, isn't it?
1 A. We have to note here that this is the 22nd of September. At the
2 time, there were discussions about an agreement that would later be
3 called the Erdut Agreement. Peter Galbraith here does not give up his
4 Z-4 plan, and he mentioned the word "autonomy" there. However, that was
5 probably something that upset Hrvoje Sarinic, to the point that he showed
7 At the time, when the Erdut Agreement was talked about, we did
8 not talk about people who were expelled. We sought a legal framework for
9 bringing things into order and how to fulfil everything that had to be
10 fulfilled within a two-year period, ranging from the demilitarization to
11 reintegration, and reconciliation. At the time, it was absolutely not a
12 topic of discussion, the return of everyone to their own home.
13 Q. Okay. We'll, let's look at one more entry, which is at page 60
14 of the English. And it is the second-last translation in the B/C/S. And
15 this is now the 2nd of October. And it says:
16 "I flew back and immediately went to see Sarinic. He was
17 difficult on the principles, and, in particular, on the human rights
18 issues. He wanted it to be clear that the right of return applied only
19 to Sector East and not more generally, arguing this was an agreement
20 about Sector East only. Once again, his real concern is that the Serbs
21 could pack Sector East with Krajina refugees. I said the Sector East
22 Serbs would not want to share, but also that Croatia could not escape its
23 human rights obligations. Croatia
24 return, and in point 6, the highest levels of internationally recognised
25 human rights. People were free to settle where they wanted. Vesna said
1 this was before the war. I pointed out that Tudjman had told Clinton
2 during the war that Croatia
3 That reference to Vesna, that would be a reference to you, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... do you recall saying that to
6 Ambassador Galbraith, that people, when he said people were free to
7 settle where they wanted, you said, That was before the war?
8 A. Our discussion was much longer than this one sentence, and I very
9 clearly told him and I remember that, that when everyone returned to
10 their own home, then after that, they could move wherever they wished.
11 But before that, we needed to re-establish the situation that prevailed
12 before the war, before 1991. That was supposed to be the sense of this
13 conversation that we had, and it was the sense of the conversation. And
14 we absolutely guaranteed, and that's how it turned out to be, that
16 no one, however, was able allow that people simply who had been expelled
17 or for whatever reason had left, began to move wherever they wished in
19 original place of residence.
20 After that, they could move wherever they wanted to in Croatia
21 So the essence was to re-establish the situation, as it was,
22 before 1991. After everyone returned to their own home, then they could
23 move anywhere in Croatia
25 And that is what Vesna said.
1 Q. But you said those words to Ambassador Galbraith, right, that was
2 before the war?
3 A. Yes. I used the same words to Ambassador Galbraith that I told
4 you now, but he took them out of context, and the fact that this sounds
5 like this, the way it does, in his diary, is a thing for him. I mean,
6 it's his diary. But now that I have clarified, this is the context that
7 this was stated in. I did provide an explanation now.
8 Q. Thank you. And even after the Erdut Agreement was signed,
9 President Tudjman's policy towards the Krajina Serbs who had left Croatia
10 was that they could not return to Croatia, at least not in any
11 significant number. Isn't that right?
12 A. No, that is not correct.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we have 65 ter 7253, please.
14 Q. Do you recall President Tudjman delivering a speech in Vukovar,
15 around the 8th of June, 1997?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And were you at that speech?
18 A. I think so, yes.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 4 of the English, and I
21 believe page 3 of the B/C/S; I'll just check that.
22 Q. And at the top of page in the B/C/S, you see President Tudjman
24 "Ladies and gentlemen, all those Serbs who are citizens of
1 country and the neighbouring Osijek-Baranja -- sorry, this county and the
2 neighbouring Osijek-Baranja county and the entire Danubian area, if they
3 want to return to their homes in the western parts of Croatia from Pakrac
4 to Knin, they will be allowed to return. About 14.500 have already
5 returned. If they do not want to return, we shall give them compensation
6 so that they can go wherever they wish.
7 "Out of humanitarian reasons, Croatia will resolve individual
8 cases of Serbs who fled Croatia
9 personally invited them to stay. Out of humanitarian reasons, we will
10 resolve their cases so they can return to Croatia to rejoin their
12 "Of course, there can be no question of 200.000 or 150.000 people
13 returning, because then we would again have conflict and war ... nobody
14 in the world can force to us do that."
15 Here, President Tudjman is making clear that the Krajina Serbs
16 and Western Slavonia Serbs then residing in Eastern Slavonia can return
17 to their homes; and individual cases of Serbs outside Croatia
18 for humanitarian reasons but that the vast majority of Krajina Serb
19 refugees who were then outside of Croatia would not be permitted to
21 That's what he's saying there, right?
22 A. Well, what he says here is correct. He invited the Serbs to
23 return to take Croatian papers and to return to their place of residence.
24 When he talked about the mass return of those who caused war, then he
25 said that they would not be able to return for sure.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... stop you there.
2 A. [In English] Okay.
3 Q. When you talk about the mass return of those who caused war, the
4 150.000 to 200.000 Krajina Serbs who were then outside of Croatia, those
5 were the ones who caused war, who would not be able to return? Is that
6 what he saying there?
7 A. [Interpretation] Probably that is what he said. Those who had
8 caused the war and caused horrific incidents in Croatia.
9 Q. And he goes on to say:
10 "In any case, they themselves, 90 percent of them do not wish to
11 return, but such is history. After the World War II around one and a
12 half million people, those called Turks and Muslims, left this region for
14 Following the World War II, over 12 million people have been displaced
15 throughout Europe
16 some good may come."
17 Now, President Tudjman, here is referring to the population
18 transfers that occurred after World War II as the good that came out of
19 the evil of World War II, isn't he?
20 A. Well, the speech needs to be read in its entirety and then
21 conclude what Franjo Tudjman wished to state in this speech what was its
22 message to the Croats and to the Serbs in Vukovar here. He was
23 addressing the Serbs and the Croats.
24 Q. Well, here he was saying that 200.000 or 150.000 Serbs outside
1 after World War II, and he said "out of every evil, some good may come."
2 Those population transfers were considered good that came out of
3 evil. Is that not what he is saying?
4 A. What his message there is that, this war, which was caused by the
5 Greater Serbia
6 nothing after that would be the same because some people didn't want
7 that. And he talked about those who did not wish to return anymore or,
8 rather, he spoke about those who did not wish to accept Croatia as their
9 own state.
10 I can list the context of the conversation. Probably to you this
11 may seem different, but the entire speech needs to be put into the
12 context of that time. It very clearly states, and his message to the
13 Serbian population is that there was a commission formed which would
14 resolve each individual claim and try to establish a situation which
15 would enable the return of normality.
16 Q. You talk about -- you said: "He spoke about those who did not
17 wish to accept Croatia
18 Was the view that the 150.000 --
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Was the view that the 150.000 to 2000.000 Croatian Serbs who were
21 then outside Croatia
22 that right?
23 A. Yes. Those who simply -- well, you have to know there were
24 plenty of those people who said that they would never again live in a
25 Croatian state.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 I'd like to move to another topic now, which is the evidence you
3 gave the Court yesterday about the president's office receiving reports
4 of crimes in the Krajina after Operation Storm. And you stated that:
5 "Such conduct was truly unexpected."
6 And you said that:
7 "Nobody within the government had expected to what took place
8 after Operation Storm. I talked about this with the president. He was
9 rather angry -- upset and angry because of that."
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And I think you've referred to this in your evidence, but I would
12 just like to confirm that many Croats had suffered at the hands of the
13 RSK regime between 1991 and 1995. Is that right?
14 A. That is correct. About 3.000 people were killed, Croats and
15 members of other minorities during the occupation of the Krajina, yes.
16 Q. And many of them had also been expelled, right?
17 A. 150.000 Croats from the Krajina region.
18 Q. And President Tudjman was aware of this, as probably most people
19 in Croatia
20 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand. Knew about what?
21 Q. Knew about -- knew about the crimes that the Croats had suffered
22 at the hands of the RSK regime. He knew about those crimes, right? He
23 knew that 3.000 people had been killed and thousands expelled.
24 A. The fact that half a million people were expelled from the entire
25 area of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, including the north, south,
1 west, and east sectors, was a fact that everyone in Croatia knew. The
2 fact that some 3.000 people were killed from all of those sectors - allow
3 me to finish please - is a fact that UNPROFOR also had data about. This
4 was UN data. And Tudjman did not know about that in the beginning.
5 Q. I'm going to stop you, because you answered my question right at
6 the beginning.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, may I just make one observation, if
8 you would not have put that question, I think no one in this courtroom or
9 outside this courtroom would ever have thought about President Tudjman
10 being unaware of what had happened for four years in his country. Isn't
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: I understand, Your Honour, I thought it would be
13 a simple yes, and I wold move to the next question. But that is a good
14 point [Overlapping speakers] ...
15 JUDGE ORIE: Even if a yes or no could be an answer to a
16 superfluous question, it still remains as superfluous question.
17 Please proceed.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
19 Q. And president Tudjman also knew, as did other members of the
20 Croatian leadership, that revenge for those crimes that had been
21 committed against Croats was a significant factor in relation to the
22 crimes that were committed after Operation Storm, didn't he?
23 A. When there was an analysis, it turned out that this was a matter
24 of revenge.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could turn to P455. And if I could
2 tender the previous exhibit which was 65 ter 7252.
3 MR. KEHOE: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That becomes Exhibit P2536, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 Please proceed.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 1 of the English and
9 page 2 of the B/C/S.
10 Q. This is a record of a meeting between Ambassador Galbraith and
11 President Tudjman on the 10th of August, 1995.
12 And Ambassador Galbraith describes to President Tudjman a report
13 he received about an incident in Sisak. And he says:
14 "I talked about it with Mr. Sarinic. Yesterday I was in Sisak
15 and allegedly just after I left, the first of these convoys from Topusko
16 came and it was exposed to crowd attack. And in a report it was
17 described that people were throwing bricks, rocks, manure."
18 He goes on, and he says:
19 "In the reportage, it was clearly stated" --
20 Sorry I think I have the wrong exhibit.
21 MR. KAY: I can't follow it.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: Is it P455, or did I misspeak?
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: That's better. Thank you.
25 Q. And he goes on. It says:
1 "In the reportage it was clearly stated that Croat policemen --
2 there were around 50 Croat policemen and soldiers, they did nothing to
3 protect people, to protect refugees. In fact it is state in the
4 reportage most of the security service members, they were smoking
5 carelessly and shrugging shoulders, thinking that the violence is
6 something unavoidable. Some of them were laughing."
7 And at the bottom of that speech he says:
8 "In many democratic states, the minister of the internal affairs,
9 after incidents like that, would resign or he would be replaced."
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we go to the president's response which is
11 at page 2 of the English and page 5 of the B/C/S. It's at the bottom of
12 page 2 in the English, and around the middle of the page in the B/C/S.
13 President Tudjman says:
14 "Mr. Ambassador, we cannot deal with this problem without having
15 in mind what happened in Croatia
16 and even today, constantly, from Croat occupied territories, and Croats
17 from Bosnia
18 Then a little later at page 4 of the English and page 7 of the
19 B/C/S, he says:
20 "Those policemen, I assure you, even if they were not wounded in
21 a former Croatian war of independence, they lost for sure, either
22 brother, father, sister or houses were destroyed. Therefore, you have to
23 understand him and what he saw from that point of view as well. It is
24 clear that he should have stopped that as far as his duty is concerned,
25 but, please, I have to take care about everything."
1 Ms. Skare Ozbolt, here President Tudjman is not shocked at this
2 report of crimes against the Serbs or the inaction of the Croatian
3 police, is he? On the contrary he is explaining to Ambassador Galbraith
4 that this is normal and understandable in the circumstances. Isn't that
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I would just objection to the
8 characterization there is crimes against Serbs. It is behaviour, not
9 necessarily crimes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just have a look.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: That's fine, behaviour, the report.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could you please rephrase the question. And
13 you also characterized it as that he would consider it normal and
14 understandable, the understandable I can follow. The normality of it is
15 another matter.
16 Please rephrase your question.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: That's fine. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. President Tudjman found that this -- viewed this alleged incident
19 as understandable in the circumstances; isn't that right?
20 A. No, it's not right. Because you didn't read the first sentence
21 that he uttered and that was that he had issued an order to the minister
22 of the interior to do everything that was necessary, and that they were
23 to be working 20 hours a day in order to implement this order.
24 Then he started to explain, as was his custom on many occasion,
25 and tried to depict the whole situation and all the relationships that he
1 had to deal with.
2 So in the first sentence he clearly said that he had issued
3 instructions to the minister of the interior on how everyone should
4 behave themselves.
5 Q. Thank you. And after receiving a report such as this from
6 Ambassador Galbraith about policemen allegedly standing by and smoking
7 while manure and other items are thrown at a column of refugees, would
8 you have expected President Tudjman to express some concern over this
9 incident with Mr. Jarnjak, either to discipline him, or instruct him to
10 find the perpetrators, something along those lines? [Overlapping
11 speakers] ...
12 A. May I?
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if you could like to add
15 A. Yes. After every such conversation, the president would usually
16 call his minister, tell him everything that needed to be said, warned him
17 about the situation, and just simply told him that these things needed to
18 be rectified. That was his customary approach, and this is probably what
19 he did on this occasion as well.
20 Q. Well, in fact, he met with Mr. Jarnjak the next day, and that's
21 in Exhibit P456, a record of a transcript from the 11th of August, 1995
22 of a meeting attended by Mr. Granic, Mr. Susak, Mr. Sarinic, and
23 Mr. Jarnjak.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we can to page 2 of the English and page 3
25 of the B/C/S.
1 Q. In the middle of the page, he describes this meeting with
2 Mr. Galbraith, Ambassador Galbraith. He says:
3 "He demanded first what Sarinic yesterday in the morning and
4 later he repeated it to me, too, that the minister of the interior should
5 resign because he allowed people -- police allowed people to spit and
6 throw stones to those who were leaving, and then he went there."
7 And then there's a conversation about people in the American
9 And if we go to the next page in the English and page 5 in the
10 B/C/S, Mr. Granic appears to be talking about the negotiations. We won't
11 talk to any Martics or Babics, et cetera.
12 Mr. Susak says: "We're in the driving seat, Mr. President?
13 And then the president says: "Of course, we are.
14 And then Mr. Jarnjak speaks: "From Zagreb Pupovac was making a
15 fuss, which involved others as well. And Pupovac called around saying
16 it's a catastrophe there; they are killing them with clubs, beating them,
17 pounding -- just stop there for a moment.
18 Milorad Pupovac, he was a member of the Sabor, an ethnic Serb.
19 Mr. Jarnjak goes on. You nodded yes, just for the record.
20 [Overlapping speakers] ...
21 A. Yes, yes, he is still an MP.
22 Q. He got a call from a woman who said that 99 percent of all Serbs
23 who went through she Sisak were beaten. "That's horrible, and we need to
24 do something about that. They called everybody. Djukic called me
1 Milan Djukic, he was the vice president of the --
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. [Overlapping speakers]... as a Serb by ethnic cleansing.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. "Djukic called me yesterday; I wasn't there. He probably wanted
6 to say something about that too. And Dzakula that son of a bitch is
7 right on Pupovac's line, and he does everything Pupovac tells him."
8 And I think you give evidence yesterday that Veljko Dzakula was a
9 representative of the Serbs in Western Slavonia and an ethnic Serb as
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And then President Tudjman says:
13 "But what Aahrens said in Germany at the United Nations, the
14 German representative that in former Yugoslavia" -- his statement
15 appears, "not to directly address what Mr. Jarnjak is saying."
16 And then Mr. Susak says: "We put all units, Mr. President of the
17 guard brigade on leave and so on."
18 Mr. Jarnjak: "We should bring back the ones who are outside.
19 For instance, I was with the Samobor Brigade, and those are mainly people
20 who work, businessmen, et cetera.
21 And the president says: "Gentlemen, tomorrow I'm going swimming
22 with my granddaughter, but I will be around ..."
23 Now, President Tudjman here doesn't appear to be upset or even
24 particularly interested in what Mr. Jarnjak is saying about this
25 incident, does he?
1 A. Well, I wouldn't interpret this the way you have just done.
2 Since this was a meeting in which several individuals were involved, he
3 probably had called Jarnjak and conveyed to him everything that he had
4 heard from Ambassador Galbraith. However, he took this meeting as an
5 opportunity only to inform the others about what Mr. Galbraith had said.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we have 65 ter 7258, please.
8 Q. Yesterday you mentioned Slobodan Lang, and I think you described
9 him as Mr. President Tudjman's advisor on humanitarian issues. Is that
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And he was someone that you had some contact with during this
13 time; is that right?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. And you see the cover page. This is a report on the visit of the
16 European delegation to Knin and Donji Lapac, dated the 9th October, 1995.
17 Do you recall receiving this report?
18 A. Yes, I received this report, just as many others I received from
20 Q. And this report, would this have been something that would have
21 been shared with the president as well?
22 A. Absolutely, yes.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 1 of the report.
24 Q. And it states that we talked to General Cermak and Petar Pasic,
25 representatives of UNCRO, and the UN police, as well as the Serbian
1 inhabitants of Donji Lapac.
2 And the first topic is problems presented by the representatives
3 of international organisations. And you will see under point 3 it says:
4 "Regularly monitoring new graves and comparing them to the
5 registry of inhabitants." And then in parentheses "(which is how
6 Varivode was discovered)."
7 Do you know about the incident at Varivode, the murder of the
8 Serbs in Varivode?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That was a particularly high-profile incident at the time, wasn't
12 A. Absolutely, yes.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 3 in the English and
14 in the B/C/S.
15 Q. Under point 4, Mr. Lang says:
16 "I particularly emphasised that it was a good thing that they had
17 compiled a report on casualties along with the daily reports for the last
18 two months, but that they also need to and must request a detailed report
19 on casualties for the last four years."
20 Is this a reflection of the policy of the president's office to
21 ensure that there was a proper recording of crimes against Croats over
22 the last four years?
23 A. First of all, against everybody, including Croats.
24 Q. Okay. And if we look at point 2, just above that:
25 "I warned them that the formula for universal return makes no
1 sense and shows a lack of interest in truly helping people. This kind of
2 return has never occurred before and will not occur now."
3 That's a reference to the return of the Krajina Serbs; is that
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. And directly above that, at point one he says:
7 "I pointed out the need to take care of elderly Serbs as a
8 priority, which made quite an impression on them."
9 Is this related to the project you referred to yesterday as Let's
10 Save Lives?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And was this programme implemented or launched around the time of
13 this report, around the 9th October, 1995?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: If I could tender that report.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It lasted over the winter as well.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: If I could tender that report into evidence.
19 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That becomes Exhibit P2537, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON:
24 Q. I'd just like to turn to another topic now, which is
25 General Cermak.
1 And you were -- gave evidence yesterday about General Cermak's
2 role and his appointment. And you said:
3 "You see, if President Tudjman wanted to appoint a civilian
4 policeman, he would have done so. The emphasise was placed on the need
5 for an individual to be appointed to that job who could bring about the
6 normalization of life there. There were no intentions of introducing any
7 sort of military regime, particularly in view of the delicate situation
8 that obtained there, and in view of the fact that the message had been
9 sent across to the population there had throughout that time been. We
10 want you to remain here and to be integrated into the Croatian system.
11 The appointment of a military person or a policeman of any sort would
12 have come across as some sort of duress or oppression, which was not the
14 Now, first, you gave evidence about going to Knin in
15 mid-September, to the UN camp there. Did you ever visit Knin prior to
16 that time, during August or September?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. So you only went there once, during August and September; is that
20 A. I think once or twice, but I think it was only once.
21 Q. Did you know that when President Tudjman appointed
22 General Cermak, his official title was garrison commander of Knin. Did
23 you know that?
24 A. I had seen that decision.
25 Q. Do you know anything about what the Croatian military laws or
1 regulations have to say about the role or responsibilities of a garrison
3 A. I don't, no.
4 Q. And did you know that, at the time, General Cermak had the rank
5 of Colonel General in the HV?
6 A. Yes. But not an active duty officer.
7 Q. Is it your evidence that he was not an active duty officer, after
8 his appointment by President Tudjman? Is that what you're telling the
10 A. I testified that he had been a businessman who was swiftly
11 transferred to Knin.
12 Q. And did you know that, during August, he signed orders as
13 commander of the Knin garrison, Colonel General Cermak?
14 A. No. No.
15 Q. Do you know anything about how often he met with the civilian or
16 military police in Knin, or what was discussed or decided at any such
18 A. No, I didn't know. I told you, I wasn't engaged or involved in
19 -- in dealings with this area.
20 Q. So I take it, then, that you don't know that he appeared in Knin
21 at the time wearing a military uniform, and that's reflected in videos
22 that the Chamber has received into evidence. Did you know that?
23 A. Yes, I knew that, because I saw him on television every day.
24 Q. And when you saw him on television was he always in a uniform?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, what do we expect to hear from this
1 witness in this respect? Are we going through everything she apparently
2 -- or may not have known?
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: Exactly, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And what's the purpose of that? I mean, we have
5 seen videos, and we were personally able to observe what he was wearing.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, yesterday she gave quite some
7 evidence about his role and responsibilities in Knin. And I would like
8 to explore the foundation of that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But then please focus on, for example, I can
10 imagine, that yesterday - yes, I think it was yesterday - that the
11 witness testified that Mr. Cermak appeared, and that was in answer to a
12 question on whether he condemned any crimes to be committed, that he
13 appeared on a daily basis on television.
14 Now I can imagine that you focus on that. But it became clear to
15 me that the witness had superficial knowledge on what happened exactly,
16 and, of course, television is a bit different because you can watch that
17 from a distance.
18 I'm not saying that you shouldn't further ask questions about
19 this, by the way in which you do it should be as efficient as possible,
20 and that is, go to the core of the issue as quickly as possible.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, Your Honour, that was in fact my last
22 question on this topic, and my last question for the witness.
23 Q. Thank you very much, Ms. Skare Ozbolt.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then you join Mr. Kay in beating the
1 Could I inquire with the parties on how much time they think they
2 would need.
3 Mr. Kehoe, you first.
4 MR. KEHOE: At this juncture, Mr. President, very brief.
5 Fifteen minutes or so.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Fifteen minutes.
7 Other Defence teams?
8 MR. KAY: I have nothing to raise, Your Honour, thank you.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I would have 15 minutes, at most.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that fits well into the time still
11 available, where the Judges may have some questions as well.
12 Before we adjourn, there is one brief matter which was the
13 subject of an informal communication between the Cermak Defence and the
14 Chamber, in which we read kind of an announcement that, if scheduling of
15 witnesses stays as it is at this moment, that Mr. Cermak would prefer not
16 to be present in court on the 18th and the 19th of June. And the Chamber
17 being informed about the reasons why Mr. Cermak would prefer not to
18 attend and also having read the thorough considerations between you,
19 Mr. Cermak, and counsel, before even raising the question what the
20 consequences would be, the Chamber would have no difficulty in accepting
21 a waiver by Mr. Cermak of his right to be present in court on the 18th
22 and the 19th.
23 That's for your information, Mr. Kay.
24 MR. KAY: We're much obliged, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We will then have a break, and we will resume at
1 20 minutes to 1.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, you may proceed.
5 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
7 Q. Ms. Ozbolt, this will be very brief. I just want to ask you a
8 few questions. At the outset I'd like to called up P463. And these are
9 questions concerning the temporary takeover of property.
10 And as that's coming up if I could ask you some lead-in
11 questions. In all of the meetings that you either read about, heard
12 about, or participated in concerning this temporary takeover of property,
13 was General Gotovina participating in anything involved in this temporary
14 takeover of property?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Was he involved in any way of the implementation of this law
17 regarding the temporary takeover of property?
18 A. No.
19 Q. If I can turn back to the exhibit on the screen, which is again
20 this meeting on the 22nd of August involving Mr. Radic and the president.
21 And if I could go to -- pardon me. It's, I believe, the bottom of page 4
22 in the English. And I believe is the -- page 7 in the B/C/S.
23 At the bottom of that page, Mr. Radic notes:
24 "However, one thing I have to tell you is that I visited all this
25 now both by car and ... helicopter. Our men torched a lot, they're
1 torching today as they did yesterday. President, it's no good."
2 If we can turn the page in the English. I'm not certain if the
3 turning of the page is necessary in B/C/S.
4 To the top of page:
5 "I went to Kijevo to see. I know that area very well. There was
6 a village of Cviljane
7 they renewed nice houses and told them everything has been preserved. I
8 got there on the day of the assumption of the Virgin Mary to find
9 everything has been burned down."
10 MR. KEHOE: If we could change the page in the B/C/S, please.
11 Q. "Not in the cities because the authorities have obviously more
12 powerful there, but in the villages."
13 Just stopping there for one moment. Ms. Ozbolt, was it your
14 impression during this period of time that the burning was more prevalent
15 in the outlying villages than it was in the cities and towns?
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could I just ask for a foundation for that
17 question, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
19 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
20 Q. Based on your conversations with president and other officials in
21 the president's office, was it your impression at the time that the
22 burning was more prevalent in villages than it was in the towns and
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Continuing on in this transcript:
1 "It's not the army; it's that fifth echelon, which is under I
2 don't know whose -- what kind of a banner. Put on uniform, wonder about.
3 Those are the worst tramps torching and looting around."
4 Now, Ms. Ozbolt, in the government you ever hear any suggestion
5 by anybody in authority for the Republic of Croatia
6 looting and burning to occur?
7 A. No, no, I didn't hear that.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, Your Honours, in paragraph 16 of the
9 indictment, there are any number of entities that are listed as alleged
10 to have assisted the accused in the actus reus of crimes against the
11 Serbian civilian population and property, and my sentence -- my next
12 question is directed in that vain, paragraph 16, Mr. President,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I don't have it here, but I'll have it on my screen
15 in a second.
16 Q. In addition to governmental officials, you were involved in
17 political events and political parties in the Republic of Croatia
18 you not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Ms. Ozbolt, in all of the political events as well as the
21 governmental contacts that you have, did you hear any individuals
22 suggesting that they wanted this looting and burning to take place?
23 A. I didn't hear that any of the official government representatives
24 would say something like that or order it.
25 Q. Did you ever hear any suggestion in any of these meetings with
1 officials and political meetings that they -- the Republic of Croatia
2 wanted to expel Serbs from the Krajina?
3 A. No, I've never heard of that. I want to direct your attention
4 back to a point in the transcript yesterday concerning your participation
5 in military matters.
6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, this is at page 18.147, and this is
7 going from line 5 to 14.
8 Question by counsel for the Prosecution Ms. Gustafson:
9 "So it's correct to say that you were not involved in matters
10 relating to the function or the operation of the Croatian army; is that
12 "A. That's right.
13 "Q. And you weren't involved in the planning or implementation
14 of military operations, were you?
15 "A. That's correct.
16 "Q. And you weren't present at military meetings when the
17 planning of such operations took place, were you?
18 "A. That's correct."
19 Taking this one step further on, are you familiar with the
20 acronym VONS?
21 A. Of course.
22 Q. And what is that, ma'am?
23 A. It's the defence and national security council; it's an advisory
24 body of the president of the Republic.
25 Q. And who else is in this body?
1 A. There were VONS permanent members and those invited to some
2 meetings by the president, depending on the subject.
3 Q. And did -- on occasion, did those members in VONS include
4 high-level ministers within the Croatian government?
5 A. They included the high-level ministers within the government,
6 including the prime minister, the parliament, president, ministers, the
7 four key ministers. That was the inner composition of VONS.
8 Q. And did it also include the army Chief of Staff for the Croatian
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, during these VONS meetings when you were present --
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: Again, could I just ask a foundation for the
13 frequency of presence of the witness.
14 MR. KEHOE: Certainly.
15 Q. Did you attend these VONS meetings, Ms. Ozbolt; if so, how often?
16 A. It depends. Periodically. I did attend frequently, but I didn't
17 attend all the meetings.
18 Q. And the meetings that you didn't not [sic] attend as the
19 assistant Chief of Staff, would you discuss the results of those meetings
20 with the president or with other attendees?
21 A. Yes. I would know the context of the meeting.
22 Q. During the meetings that you attended, as well as the meetings
23 that you were briefed on afterwards, were police and military actions
24 discussed at these VONS meetings?
25 A. Could you be a little more specific, please?
1 Q. Well, for instance, at a VONS meeting, would a discussion take
2 place as to whether or not a military action should take place, or should
3 go forward, such as on the 3rd of August, prior to Operation Storm?
4 A. I think that this kind of VONS was not in the broader
5 composition, the ones that I attended.
6 Q. Well, in the ones that you attended, and the ones that you were
7 briefed on, did you ever hear it being discussed that the Croatian army
8 should either have a military action or a police action with the intent
9 to expel the Serbs from the Krajina?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Now, in the fall -- we're shifting ahead, and pardon me, I'm
12 going to shift ahead to a topic before I go forward.
13 And one last question on this score. At any of these VONS
14 meetings that you either attended or that you were briefed on after the
15 fact, did you ever hear that anyone at these VONS meetings suggested a
16 plan to loot and burn the Krajina after Operation Storm?
17 A. No, I never heard that, nor was that the direction of the policy
18 that was being implemented.
19 Q. Now, Ms. Ozbolt, I'd like to take you ahead just and touch on
20 some of the topics that you discussed in cross-examination with
21 Ms. Gustafson concerning the return of refugees.
22 In the fall of 1995, and specifically in October, were you aware
23 of the plan for the return of refugees that was suggested or was being
24 put forth by UNHCR?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And let me turn your attention, first, to D690.
2 MR. KEHOE: D690.
3 And, Mr. President, this is a statement of Ms. Ogata the
4 High Commissioner for UNHCR, dated 10 October 1995. If we could just
5 briefly look at the first page.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MR. KEHOE: My apologies, Ms. Ozbolt, but there is it not a --
8 there is not a Croatian translation.
9 THE WITNESS: [In English] It's okay.
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. Do you know Ms. Ogata?
12 A. [Interpretation] Yes, we met several times.
13 Q. Let us turn our attention to -- actually, the bottom of page 3 of
14 this document. And at the last paragraph, I will just read the first
15 sentence. Ms. Ogata says:
16 "Allow me now to elaborate on the issue of peace and the return
17 of refugees."
18 And if we can turn to the next page, and in turning -- in talking
19 about the return of refugees, if we go to the second -- first full
20 paragraph, second in order:
21 "In order to carry out the return operation, I must emphasise the
22 importance of having internationally recognised humanitarian principles."
23 "First of all, it must be voluntarily."
24 Going down two sentences -- excuse me, down to the next
1 "Secondly, repatriation must take place in an organised, phased
3 If we go down three sentences to "returning."
4 "Returning large number of refugees to areas which are not ready
5 to receive them can have ... serious consequences, not only for the
6 refugees themselves, but for the stability in the area concerned."
7 And this next paragraph goes into these phases, if we can.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could the last sentence also be read out to the
10 MR. KEHOE: Sure.
11 Q. "I am thinking particularly of the still-fragile situation in
12 the are of the federation. I envisage the repatriation taking place in
13 three phases: The first should be the return of displaced persons within
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia
15 Now, that first phase. Is that consistent in your opinion with
16 what you were talking about, that people had to go back to their homes,
18 A. Yes, yes, that was the sense of it. This is what we discussed
19 with representatives of the international community.
20 Q. Let us go back down to the last sentence in that paragraph,
21 talking about the next two phases.
22 "The second phase would involve repatriation from other
23 republics within the former Yugoslavia
24 countries which have granted temporary protection or settlement."
25 Again, Ms. Ozbolt, is that plan consistent with the plan that was
1 being proposed and discussed by officials such as yourself within the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: There is no foundation for that question. There
4 has been no evidence of this witness being involved in any such plans.
5 MR. KEHOE: I do believe, Your Honour, that the witness has --
6 JUDGE ORIE: I think question is about consistency with plans not
7 about personal involvement.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd like to know what this witness knows about
9 plans proposed and discussed by officials such as herself within the
10 Republic of Croatia
11 with something someone in the UNHCR said.
12 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, that is an interesting objection given
13 the fact that we had two hours of cross-examination not only about this
14 subject but about transcripts of meetings that this witness wasn't even
15 at and asked whether or not it was consistent --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although I'm not encouraging you for an
17 exegesis because we have done already a lot of exegetic exercises this
18 morning, you may put the question to the witness, and the witness may
19 answer the question.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. Ms. Ozbolt, going through this phased return that Ms. Ogata has
22 in this letter, was this consistent with the plan that the Republic of
24 A. We communicated quite frequently with the director of the UNHCR
25 for Croatia
1 resolution of these problems with that person, which was later placed
2 into agreement, which was subsequently wholly implemented.
3 Q. And my question to you, is this phased proposal consistent with
4 what the Republic of Croatia
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you, Ms. Ozbolt.
7 MR. KEHOE: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
9 Mr. Kay, matters as they were?
10 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Skare Ozbolt.
14 A. [In English] Good afternoon.
15 Q. There was some discussion during the course of your testimony
16 about the temporary law on property, and I just wanted to briefly address
17 that matter. You are aware, are you not, that this law -- you had
18 mentioned the word confiscation, I believe in some responses to your
19 answer. This is a law on temporary possession of property, not on the
20 Croatian government confiscating the property from the property owner;
22 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I said that confiscation of property was
23 not in question, not permanent taking over, but temporary taking over of
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could please put D422 up on the screen,
1 page 11 of both the Croatian version and the English version.
2 Q. While we're waiting for that to come up, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, I'll
3 represent to you that D422 is the transmittal of this final bill to the
4 Croatian parliament. And the section that I'm referring you to is the
5 explanation of the final bill, which is provided by the government to the
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sorry, D427; I'm sorry. Page 9. My error.
8 If we could go to - there we go - page 9 of the English, page 9
9 of the Croatian.
10 Q. In the long second paragraph, toward the middle of that
11 paragraph, there's a sentence that begins with "this," which is on the
12 far right-hand corner. And it says that: "This property, property owned
13 by persons who left the Republic of Croatia
14 now in the aforementioned areas, as well as property" - I'll omit the
15 parenthetical - "owned by citizens of the so-called Federal Republic
17 forms of theft and damage, and the relevant bodies of the Republic of
19 protect this property and thereby also the interests of its owners." And
20 I'll leave it at that.
21 Now, Ms. Skare Ozbolt, does that square with your recollection
22 that the purpose of this law was to protect the property, not to take the
23 property away?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you give me any indication or any information -- strike that.
1 You were minister of the justice in the Republic of Croatia
2 one time; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. From when to when, roughly?
5 A. From 2003, late 2003, to the beginning of 2006.
6 Q. And before you became minister of justice you were obviously in
7 either in the Croatian government or as a member of parliament; correct?
8 A. Yes, I was in the parliament.
9 Q. During the time that this law was in effect, did you become
10 aware, at any point in time, of any homes that were temporarily occupied
11 that were burned or looted by the people who temporarily occupied them?
12 A. No. Those who temporarily took up the property did not burn the
13 houses that they were staying in.
14 Q. This law was later -- or at least part of this law was later
15 deemed to be unconstitutional by the Croatian court, constitutional
16 court, and I won't get into that specifically. But subsequent to that
17 constitutional court decision, the Croatian Government passed another law
18 on refugee return and property together; correct?
19 A. That is correct, yes.
20 Q. And that particular law was used to address property right
21 repatriation by persons who had left the territory of the Republic of
23 A. Yes, correct.
24 Q. Now, were you aware that there were six cases relating to claims
25 for property return, both under the old law, which the Croatian
1 government constitutional court had declared unconstitutional and the
2 subsequent law before the European court of human rights from the
3 time-period of 2001 to 2007. There were six cases before the European
4 court of human rights?
5 Were you aware of those cases?
6 A. Yes, correct.
7 Q. And at least in the --
8 A. At the level of information, yes.
9 Q. Now, were you aware that at least in one of those decisions in
10 August of 2002, the Momcilovic versus Croatia case, the European Court of
11 Human Rights held that the temporary law provision of taking the property
12 was not discriminatory law against ethnic Serbs?
13 A. Yes. At the information level, I did have knowledge.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't have any
15 further questions.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, I have one question in recross.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We often do the Judges' question, and then
20 finally the cross examining party.
21 Judge Gwaunza has one or more questions for you,
22 Ms. Skare Ozbolt.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes, just one question relating to what is
25 recorded in paragraph 10 of your October 2007 statement, and that is
1 paragraph 10 on page 4.
2 There you mentioned positive experiences from the
3 Operation Flash. And my question is that you seem to suggest in the last
4 paragraph of -- sorry, in the last part, or the last few lines of that
5 paragraph that the same positive experiences, perhaps, were not realized
6 in respect of Mr. Cermak and his appointment as garrison commander in
7 Knin. And I just wanted to know - perhaps you could explain a bit more -
8 what you think may have been the reasons for that?
9 A. Your Honours, as I already mentioned, the idea was to copy
10 everything that was done well in Operation Flash to the situation and the
11 situation after Operation Storm. That was precisely the foundation for
12 assigning Mr. Cermak to this post.
13 Firstly, they wanted the team from Western Slavonia to be
14 transferred completely to the area where Operation Storm had been
15 conducted, but this was quite simply impossible, because they were still
16 busy doing their respective jobs.
17 This latter area is much larger and more difficult to normalise.
18 It required a larger number of personnel. And, of course, everyone was
19 surprised by these barbaric acts of burning houses and killing people.
20 As I said, nobody had anticipated or expected anything like that.
21 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Kinis has one or more questions for you.
24 JUDGE KINIS: Continuing previous question, and you also
25 referring during your testimonies that such generic terms that president
1 was very confused about situation, president was angry.
2 But I'm still not -- didn't hear any information, how president
3 and actually power which he had, including he was, at that time, chief of
4 -- chief commander of army. He was at that time also chief of this
5 Defence Council.
6 What kind of actions was prepared in -- or advised in order to
7 prevent such situation? Without generic terms.
8 A. The president issued an order for investigations to be carried
9 out and for the perpetrators to be punished. The state prosecutor's
10 office and the police, I think, brought into custody about 2.000 people,
11 and they processed about 2.000 people.
12 JUDGE KINIS: I don't think that this is a proper answer. But I
13 would a little bit elaborate more this question.
14 If they are following the sequence of events, really, what's
15 happened after massive Operation Storm, then they can consider that many
16 international observers send reports mentioning that, still, military --
17 military contingent was dispatched in this area. I mean, in this area --
18 liberated area. And still there was lot of things which was done
19 directly by militaries. And it is also visible by this transcript which
20 was prepared from -- which was shown to us when -- I think that assistant
21 of president -- Mr. Radic informed president about this situation.
22 But, in 15th -- in spite of that, the situation is very -- was
23 very difficult at that time. In spite of that, on 15th of August, there
24 was issued order allowing every citizen, every -- every civilian to
25 freely enter to this area. And it is not clear for me how it is possible
1 to prevent such event, such atrocities if there is absolutely areas,
2 let's say, out of control. And I'm saying the president was fully aware
3 about this. There is no question, just about individual acts that
4 somebody would brought to somebody to the justice. But what real actions
5 was taken at that time?
6 A. As you could see from the transcript, Mr. Radic visited the area
7 himself, and he said, based on his direct knowledge, that those crimes
8 were not committed by the Croatian army. That was a job to be undertaken
9 by civilian services. And I already said that the president even
10 considered that to be a sabotage carried out by someone who wanted to
11 annihilate the positive effect of Operation Storm.
12 For that purpose, he issued an order for investigations to be
13 carried out in order to find out the perpetrators.
14 JUDGE KINIS: And, finally, I would like to ask you a question
15 regarding Mr. Cermak's appointment.
16 In your statement, in paragraph 10, you mentioned:
17 "I don't know whom Mr. Cermak answered to." And the same, as far
18 as I understood, if I'm understood correctly, you cannot explain what
19 kind of duties he should carried out during that time. And for me, it is
20 not clear, really, if you mentioned this good experience from after
21 Operation Flash, why president office do not apply the same method in --
22 in Sector South.
23 A. Because Sector South is a much larger area than Sector West. And
24 all these events that took place were something extraordinary that was
25 not within the plans, and it was totally unexpected. Therefore, it
1 brought under the question and challenged everything that we had
2 originally planned and wanted to achieve in this area.
3 The Western Slavonia
4 Sector West, than the Sectors North and South.
5 JUDGE KINIS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few questions for you as well.
7 You spoke about the daily appearance of Mr. Cermak on television,
8 and this was in response to a question about whether Mr. Cermak condemned
9 the crimes committed.
10 I'm putting the question to you, but, at the same time, I'm
11 looking a bit to Mr. Kay. Could you give us more details about this
12 daily condemnation of giving his views on whether these crimes should be
13 condemned on television? Because I couldn't say that we have seen no
14 television appearance of Mr. Cermak, we certainly have. But we were not
15 provided with a daily comment of Mr. Cermak on condemnation of crimes
17 A. Mr. President, I said quite clearly that I saw him on television
18 every day in different situations. He was commenting on various
19 developments and events that were taking place.
20 The commission of crimes, however, and everything that took place
21 unexpectedly and without any plan were condemned by everybody, from the
22 president of the Republic downwards. That was really a disgrace.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking about Mr. Cermak appearing, as you said,
24 every day on television, where he expressed his views, in answer to a
25 question whether he condemned the crimes. That's what I was asking for,
1 not what others did.
2 Could you give us further details as to those appearances?
3 Because we haven't -- we haven't seen them in such a -- with such
4 frequency and exactly with this content.
5 A. Really, this should be dealt with by the Defence team, in terms
6 of obtaining the footage from the Croatian television. But I, indeed,
7 did see him in such situations.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I asked you whether you could give us further
9 details apart from the very generic statement that you saw him every day
10 on television in this context.
11 If you can't, please, tell us; if you can, please do as well.
12 A. I believe I saw him making comments and condemning these things.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's, again the general, answer. Could you
14 guide us in more detail on what date, on what context, on what crime he
15 was specifically --
16 A. Unfortunately, I cannot do that. That was a very, very long time
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
19 I'd like to now move to the legislation on the temporary
20 administering of property. Article 10 of the Law, as it was adopted,
21 says that if an owner returns within 90 days after the date the law comes
22 into effect and requests restoration, then the commission shall annul the
23 original decision.
24 Now, if someone did not return after 90 days --
25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, it's Article 11, if I'm not mistaken.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It's Article 11. I'm looking at this moment at
2 D427. Or do I have the wrong one?
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: It should be P475, I think.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P475. Then I'm looking at he wrong version.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: That was the draft.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then let me -- P475. Then I'm making ...
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: I apologise, D422.
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, that was the one that was on counsel's list,
9 422. That's the one that I have.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then I will first have this one. I made a mistake;
11 apologies for that. 422, you said? Yes. I'm getting it on my screen.
12 Ms. Skare Ozbolt, I have to --
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: Page 4.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I first have to ...
15 Yes. Article 11, now, if someone did not claim restoration of
16 the use of his property within the 90 days, what would then happen?
17 Would he have lost his right?
18 I'm not talking about later legislation. I'm talking exclusively
19 about the legislation in force at this moment, when this law was adopted.
20 A. They would not lose their rights. This related to the
21 restitution of property. So this would be a request for the restitution
22 of property.
23 JUDGE ORIE: So --
24 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry to intervene. I think there
25 is an interpretation issue with the witness's last answer.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please repeat your last answer so
2 that we're sure that we understood you well.
3 A. My answer states that the -- the person would not lose the rights
4 to his property. This was pertaining to the return of property.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, was there any --
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, can I ... I need to check with a
7 100 percent Croatian speaker. But there's a word that I'm not being sure
8 is being properly interpreted. It could be my mistake, but I think it's
9 important. If I can have one minute -- one second.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I give you one second.
11 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour, we believe that a word is not
12 being translated properly from the Croatian.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then could you tell us what word it is in Croatian.
14 MR. MISETIC: "Posjed."
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Posjed."
16 JUDGE ORIE: And that was translated --
17 THE WITNESS: [In English] Possession.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Possession, okay.
19 Now what I would like to found out, what would happen if someone
20 did not claim, return -- to be restored in the possession of his
21 property? What would then happen?
22 A. [Interpretation] He could continue to be the owner but would not
23 be the possessor. The possessor would be the person who has taken up
24 residence into the -- in the house, but the other person would still keep
25 their property.
1 MR. MISETIC: Sorry. I apologise --
2 JUDGE ORIE: I do --
3 Perhaps we have now dealt with it.
4 Mr. Misetic, and I'm looking at the booth. I know from my own
5 law studies that one of the most difficult matters was ownership,
6 possession, having someone in your hands.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Posjed."
8 JUDGE ORIE: That is a clearly difficult area.
9 Mr. Misetic, what, according to your sources, would be the
10 translation of a rather complex legal term "posjed"?
11 MR. MISETIC: The interpretation is now correct. It's
12 possession. But there was now a different issue that I had, which is
13 that in page 83, line 10, she said: "Taken up" - blank - "residence."
14 No, no, blank residence. There was temporal aspect to this.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I still try to get an answer to my question,
16 Ms. Skare Ozbolt.
17 You say he would still be the owner, and that was it. He could,
18 although not exercise automatically his ownership rights, would he?
19 A. That is correct. They would have to seek the return of their
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ownership would be unaffected.
22 A. Unaffected.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was there any legislation adopted of on --
24 about this ownership, after the 90 days which you said remained
1 A. These 90 days referred to the deadline for the return. So it
2 would be the expression of the intent for the immediate return. If this
3 did not happen, then they would move in, take up residence. Other
4 expellees would take up temporary residence. Later laws enabled that,
5 really, those who did not wish to return, their property would be sold to
6 the state.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Would be sold by whom?
8 A. The owner who was living in Serbia who did not wish to return to
10 JUDGE ORIE: But you said --
11 A. To the state.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And not to any other private person?
13 A. They could. They could. They could. But the situation, then,
14 was such that that property was not that -- was not worth that much.
15 Actually, the state was offering the best price.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is that a legislation which is announced in
17 Article 15, which reads:
18 "A special law shall regulate ownership over the property, placed
19 under administration pursuant to the previous -- provisions of this law."
20 Is that the legislation you're referring to?
21 A. It's possible. Possible. I really cannot say it like this.
22 JUDGE ORIE: When was that legislation which is announced here,
23 do you know when that was adopted?
24 A. In 1998.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Was that after the decision of the constitutional
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: So there was no legislation adopted, pursuant to
4 Rule 15 any earlier than in 1998? Is that how I have to understand your
6 A. The law enabling the sale and purchase of property was adopted
7 later, yes, in 1998.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that the ownership issues were not
9 regulated in accordance with Article 15 of this Law, for a period of
10 three years, or a little bit less than three years; is that correct?
11 A. The law that was in force was the Law on Temporary Taking Over of
12 Property, up to then.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that law says that the ownership will be
14 regulated by a special law, which, as you told us, was not enacted until
15 after the decision of the constitutional court.
16 A. We're now talking about procedures in the parliament, in
17 proposals that were being drafted. Thus, the next law came in 1998.
18 That is what I can say, or talk about.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say the -- this law was enacted rather
20 quickly but the other one took a little bit more time.
21 I will move to another subject. You talked about
22 President Tudjman. One of the things that came into my mind again and
23 again, in relation to the crimes committed, which shocked all of you very
24 much, and perhaps there being a lack of clarity on who exactly committed
25 these crimes, not excluding for the possibility that these were just
1 civilians, whether or not in uniforms.
2 Now, if you see these things happen on a relatively large scale,
3 was it ever considered to strongly warn the population not to get
4 involved in all this? I mean, you told us that the action taken was that
5 it would be investigated, but it came to my mind that perhaps the
6 president of the Republic would appear on television, on a daily basis
7 perhaps, and say, This should stop; This should not happen.
8 Are aware of any such actions taken by the president?
9 A. As far as I know, the president carried out and ordered his
10 ministers and the government what they needed to do in relation it that.
11 Now, when you ask me whether he publicly talked about this, I am
12 trying to remember if, in his talks or addresses, he touched upon the
13 condemnation of that. I believe that he did. But, really, now, if you
14 were to ask me when and where precisely, I cannot remember.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not talking about speaking about these matters
16 in the margin of others -- matters but just clearly addressing the
17 population, saying, We heard about shocking events. Everyone should know
18 that this is not to be tolerated, and it should stop immediately, whoever
19 committed these crimes.
20 Do you remember any such strong message?
21 A. No.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Was it your experience that the president used and
23 was involved in the use of radio and/or television in achieving his
25 A. It depends, but, yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of any occasion where he gave
2 instructions on how to present certain matters on television, so as to be
3 as effective as possible?
4 A. No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Was he, as far as your knowledge goes, was he
6 involved in details on how to present matters on television; or would he
7 entirely leave that to others?
8 A. Well, I have to tell you that he was not a great media talent, so
9 this was something that was usually done by others.
10 JUDGE ORIE: To present it or -- I was not talking about how he
11 would present it himself but how matters should be presented, perhaps by
13 A. He did have his comments, but he demonstrated a lack of talent
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you ever experience that he used the media
16 in order to -- well, to not -- or to for purposes of deceiving the
18 A. No. Regretfully, he was very -- too direct and not at all
19 perfidious to be able to ... use.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson did not go into any details on a
21 meeting which you said you had not attended. That was on the 31st of
23 Let me read you a portion and then, in relation to your last
24 answer, ask for a comment.
25 The discussion was about whether or not they distribute leaflets
1 in the newly gained or liberated area.
2 The president said, according to these transcript the following:
3 "A leaflet of this sort, general chaos, the victory of the
4 Croatian army, supported by the international community and so forth."
5 And he is describing what could be on the leaflet.
6 "Serbs, you are already withdrawing and so forth, and we are
7 appealing to you, not to withdraw. We guarantee..." And then there's a
8 few words missing. "... this means giving them a way out while
9 pretending to guarantee civilian rights," et cetera.
10 You said he was straightforward. This text suggests that the
11 message is different from what was really meant.
12 Could you, in this context, and in relation to your last answer,
13 give us any observation in relation to this?
14 A. I talked about his addresses, which were direct and never
15 perfidious. The actual strategy of implementing the action was something
16 that he did not create. It was proposed to him.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
18 Ms. Gustafson, you had one question.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: One question, yes. And if I could have P466,
20 page 25 of the English and page 353 of the B/C/S brought up.
21 Further cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
22 Q. Ms. Skare Ozbolt, you were asked a few minutes ago, you were
23 shown an UNHCR document explaining how the return of refugees should be
24 conducted, and you were asked whether it was consistent with "what the
25 Republic of Croatia
1 And I have just one question for you in relation to that answer, which
2 was a yes from you.
3 To get an idea of the basis for that answer, this is a record of
4 a meeting held on the 30th of August, 1995, with the president,
5 Mr. Granic, Mr. Jarnjak, Mr. Sarinic, Mr. Milas, Mr. Pasalic,
6 Mr. Valentic, Mr. Sokol, and Mr. Zuzul.
7 And Mr. Jarnjak says: "And I should mention the other
8 question" --
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: Is this P466? Oh, thank you.
10 Q. "The question is about the Serbs that are coming through Hungary
11 and they coming to knock on our border because they want to come back."
12 "President: Do they have our passports?
13 "Jarnjak: No, they do not have anything.
14 "Sarinic: They have Yugoslav passports.
15 "Jarnjak: I would like to us give them instructions that they
16 should get entry visas in Belgrade
17 "President: I would not give anything. You have to give
18 instructions to the customs that they should not let people without
19 papers to cross border."
20 Mr. Sarnic says: "President, let us get inspired the way it is
21 in Western Slavonia.
22 "It was very positive for us because no one came back. Let them
23 report to the international humanitarian organisations, and then those
24 organisations should give us --
25 "President: Wait a second. He comes from another country, and
1 the customs officer does not conduct politics."
2 And if we go to the next page on the B/C/S. A few lines down the
3 president says:
4 "Therefore we should not have any directions, but just to let
5 them know they cannot come inside."
6 And the next page in the English as well.
7 Mr. Granic says: "According to the agreement in Belgrade
8 are only 204 of them that are registered. And they started to register
9 in Skopje
10 that they started to come here without any papers."
11 And the president says at the bottom of the page and at the top
12 of the next page in B/C/S:
13 "If we let 204 persons come here tomorrow, you would have 1204,
14 and in ten days 12.000. Nothing for now."
15 And my question is simply this: Were you aware of this
16 discussion, its contents?
17 A. I knew about the contents of this discussion in the context that
18 absolutely all who had documents, so we're talking about the return of
19 people who wanted to continue living in Croatia and the precondition was
20 for them to take Croatian documents.
21 Q. I'm not asking you if you know about the context. I'm asking you
22 if you know about this specific discussion, what was said by these
23 participants at this meeting.
24 Were you aware of that at that time?
25 A. I -- I said that the meetings that I did not attend, I was
1 informed about their context, and now I have told you that context.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
4 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, just briefly.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Just very briefly because we are -- I expected, of
6 course, one question to take one minute, where the question alone took
7 five minutes.
8 Please proceed, for a second.
9 Further re-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
10 Q. Ms. Ozbolt, were you aware of a speech that President Tudjman
11 gave in Karlovac on 26 August 1995
12 train where he condemned crimes that had been committed?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to D1451 which was --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Is it do we want to have additional information from
16 this witness, or would you just want to put in a certain context my
17 question? Because that purpose, then, has been served.
18 MR. KEHOE: Well, the particular question is -- is the comments
19 of what he says in his freedom train consistent with what he was telling
20 her in private meetings as to what was transpiring, that this activity
21 was condemned. I mean, she was there when this took place so ...
22 JUDGE ORIE: My questions were how about we addressed the public,
23 whether that would be consistent or not, I think the witness has told us
24 already that there was shock; there was everything. I was primarily
25 focussing not on what he said internally, but how he addressed the
1 public, in what terms.
2 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay. And that's in evidence. [Overlapping
4 speakers] ...
5 MR. KEHOE: It's not in evidence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It's not in evidence?
7 MR. KEHOE: No, it's not.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then we have to look at it. Of course, you
9 will understand it has got nothing to do with you, Mr. Kehoe, that I'm
10 getting a bit more concerned about the time.
11 Could you play it?
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, it is D1451, but it is MFIed, has not been --
13 marked but not admitted, so I must say that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That may have caused my confusion.
15 MR. KEHOE: And I do believe that transcripts were given to the
17 [Video-clip played]
18 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] But my dear Croatian brothers and
19 sisters and all those worldwide who either do not know what the situation
20 has been like in Croatia
21 let me remind you: From biblical times as of the old testament which
22 proclaimed the principle of an eye an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and it's
23 new testament which was unsuccessful in over coming this type of
24 resentment amongst people whom sufferance and evil have been imposed upon
25 so that they never again respond to those who committed evil with evil.
1 No country in the world, not even the most sophisticated armies from the
2 US to Great Britain to Israel were able to prevent incidents from
3 happening during their wars and neither were we able to. Although we
4 condemn all incidents which took place and call upon the Croatian people
5 not to commit acts of retaliation, not to destroy the homes of Serbs who
6 left because this is now Croatian property.
7 MR. KEHOE:
8 Q. Ms. Ozbolt, is that comment on the destruction of property
9 consistent with what President Tudjman told you in discussions with him
10 throughout this period of time?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, we can play the rest of it now. I know
13 time is short. We will tender the rest of it. I'm not sure it's going
14 to take that long to play the rest of it. But I will be guided by
15 Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I was informed that there is no chamber sitting this
17 afternoon. Of course at the same time I'm worried about our interprets
18 and transcribers.
19 If -- how many minutes would still be there?
20 MR. KEHOE: Two minutes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Two minutes. I'm looking whether -- two minutes is
23 MR. KEHOE: Yes. If can just continue on. Thank you,
24 Mr. President. Thank you, translators.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] And we need to shelter our existing
2 380.000 refugees and displaced persons. We need to place them in the
3 homes, houses, and properties which remained -- which are on Croatian
4 land and which are the property of the Croatian people of the Croatian
6 "And today, after having liberated 96 percent of the Croatian
7 mainland and when you take into consideration the total sovereignty of
9 when the Croatian people are celebrating the victorious success of their
10 democracy, the success of their army which we managed to create during
11 the homeland war during circumstances when the whole world was against
12 us, today, those same Croatian people also call upon the remaining Serbs
13 to accept the state of Croatia
14 continue to guarantee them here in Karlovac, as well, which suffered at
15 the hands of those who wanted to concur it and attach it to Greater
17 remain as citizens, but it must be understood that they can never again
18 dream of Karlovac being Kordunovac [phoen] or that they will reign over
19 the whole of Croatia
20 MR. KEHOE: That's the end, Mr. President. At this time, we'll
21 offer into evidence D1451.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, I have no objection, but I just note
23 that Your Honours did not admit this exhibit. It was tendered from the
24 bar table. And in a housekeeping session, I think Your Honours explained
25 that you had looked at the video and decided not to admit it. I have no
1 objection, but I just want to --
2 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a look at it, but it -- certainly, I
3 don't have a clear recollection of that.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, just briefly, the basis was that --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- if any procedural matter which can be dealt
6 with next week, I prefer to do that because we're now 17 minutes over
7 time. It has been played in court. It has certainly gained at least
8 some additional relevance. What was decided or not, we will look it up,
9 and then see whether there is anything still to be decided on the matter.
10 But rather not now at the expense of interpreters and transcribers to
11 continue at this moment.
12 If there's nothing else.
13 Ms. Skare Ozbolt, I'd like to thank you very much for coming to
14 The Hague
15 parties and by the Bench. I wish you a safe return home again.
16 Madam usher, could you please escort Ms. Skare Ozbolt out.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Very quickly, we will sit during the week of the
19 22nd to the 26th of June, five days a week. That was not yet covered by
20 our earlier scheduling.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: What will happen in July is still uncertain, but
23 this is additional information for you. We will not deal with it at this
24 moment, Mr. Kehoe, but you are invited to consider what to do with D1478,
25 looking at D673, we'll hear from you next week.
1 We adjourn, and we'll -- until Monday, the 8th of June, and now I
2 have to look at what courtroom. As far as my knowledge goes,
3 Courtroom I.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.06 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of June,
6 2009, at 9.00 a.m.