1 Tuesday, 15 September 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 I'd like to inform the parties that Judge Kinis, for urgent
12 personal reasons, is unable to sit today and tomorrow. Judge Gwaunza and
13 I have considered whether it would be interests of justice to -- to
14 continue the hearing, and we have decided that it is in the interests of
15 justice, and, therefore, we'll be in court, the two of us, and we'll
16 continue to hear the case. Judge Kinis will have access to the full
17 transcripts and, if need be, the video of -- and audio of the hearings.
18 One second, please.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: We briefly turn into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 21604-21605 redacted. Private session.
1 [Closed session]
11 Pages 21607-21614 redacted. Closed session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honours, would you like me
18 to now escort in the representatives?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so, Mr. Monkhouse.
20 You may remain seated.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
23 Mr. Misetic.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Just before I begin, Mr. President, in terms
25 of timing, if you can tell me when the break will be.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll -- first I would like to put on the
2 record, which is -- has been, until now, confidential, that the Chamber
3 had decided that we would hear the testimony of the next witness through
5 The next witness being Mr. Mr. Akashi. Mr. Akashi, during a
6 closed session hearing in the last half an hour, has already made a
7 solemn declaration that he will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
8 nothing but the truth.
9 As far as timing concerned, I will just consult with the
10 registrar here for a second.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, the Chamber would like you to start
13 your examination-in-chief and we would then take a break at 11.45, that
14 is in five-quarters of an hour from now on. Then we would have half an
15 hour of a break, and then we would conclude at a quarter to 2.00.
16 Mr. Akashi, unfortunately, this morning we had a bad start
17 because we had technical problem with the videolink which now all seem to
18 have been resolved. They have been resolved. We'll start now with a
19 session of five-quarters of an hour, then have half an hour break and
20 then have a last session here in western Europe until a quarter to 2.00,
21 and then we'll continue tomorrow, if that is fine with you.
22 THE WITNESS: It's fine with me, sir.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Akashi, you will first be examined by Mr. Misetic.
25 Mr. Misetic is counsel for Mr. Gotovina, and Mr. Misetic are you ready.
1 MR. MISETIC: I am, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Examination by Mr. Misetic:
5 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Akashi.
6 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Misetic.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if you could please show the witness
8 65 ter 1D2935 which is tab 0 in the binder.
9 Q. Mr. Akashi, I'm going to show you now a witness statement which
10 you signed -- or which I believe you signed and it is dated 20 July 2009.
11 Do you recall this document?
12 A. Yeah, I do.
13 Q. Before coming to court today, have you had a chance to review
14 that statement?
15 A. Yeah, I had a -- a couple of occasions when I reviewed this
17 Q. Okay. And this is a statement dated 20 July 2009. On the bottom
18 of the first page, is that a -- and on the last page, is that your
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. At the time you gave the statement to the Gotovina
22 Defence, did you give it to the best of your knowledge and in accordance
23 with the truth?
24 A. After our conversation, in the last few days, I had an
25 opportunity to consult with my notebook about my various appointments,
1 and, on that basis, I think I must correct the information in
2 paragraph 7. In fact, I was in Zagreb
3 I was in Sarajevo
4 on the 1st of May. I think I was mixing these two operations.
5 Q. Okay. So, in fact, I was going to ask you, in addition to that
6 correction, are there any other corrections at that need to be made to
7 your statement?
8 A. I think there is no need for me to make other corrections.
9 Q. Okay. If I asked you the same questions today in court that you
10 were asked on the 20th of July, 2009, would you give the same answers in
11 court today that are reflected in the statement that is in front of you?
12 A. I'm not sure whether I will give exactly the same answers, but I
13 think essentially these are what took place and what I did. While
14 depending on the nature of the questions now, I may give somewhat
15 different answers to these new questions.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President I move to admit into evidence 65 ter
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 Mr. Hedaraly.
21 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 Mr. Akashi, may I understand your last answer to be that the
24 substance of your answers would be the same, subject to this one
25 correction, but that, of course, it depends on the questions, whether you
1 would give further details or -- but that the substance as it's written
2 down is correct?
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, indeed, Your Honour. That's the thrust of my
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 Mr. Registrar, could you please assign a number to the statement
7 of Mr. Akashi.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The statement will be
9 Exhibit D1646.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D1646 is admitted into evidence.
11 You may proceed, Mr. Misetic.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Akashi, I'm going to turn your attention now to the events of
14 Operation Flash in Western Slavonia, which you've referenced now in
15 correcting your answer to paragraph 7.
16 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could show Mr. Akashi,
17 please, tab 50, which is 65 ter 1D1166.
18 Q. Mr. Akashi, do you recognise this document as a code cable that
19 you sent on the 10th of May, 1995 to Mr. Annan, Mr. Gharekhan,
20 Mr. Goulding, and Mr. Stoltenberg?
21 A. I have not had time to read through this cable but, on the face
22 of it, I have been present at, indeed, those meetings took place. But
23 I -- I have not had time to review the cable.
24 Q. First, as a preliminary matter, we're going to go through many
25 code cables today. If you could explain to the Chamber what your
1 position was and why you were sending code cables on a frequent basis to
2 Mr. Annan in New York
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, there may be some confusion.
4 Mr. Akashi, I think the last question that was put to you by
5 Mr. Misetic was not whether you could, at this moment, confirm the
6 accuracy of what is in this cable, but whether you recognise this
7 document as a cable sent to you on its first appearance. So that is to
8 say whether there is any reason for you to believe that what appears as a
9 cable sent by you, whether there's any reason to believe that it would
10 not be a cable sent by you to Mr. Kofi Annan.
11 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I said that simply because I have not
12 had opportunity to read this cable since -- 14 years ago.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And at first glance --
14 THE WITNESS: That's as simple as that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: At first glance does it look like a cable sent by
16 you and is there anything you -- if just going through it quickly, would
17 there be any reason, at this moment, for you to have any doubt as to
18 whether this is a cable sent to you?
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, it looks as if it was a cable, indeed,
20 I sent to the UN Secretary-General --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: -- at that time.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
24 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Akashi, again, if you could just by way of background explain
1 your position at the time and why you were sending code cables to New
3 A. Mr. Misetic, as you know, I was the Special Representative of
4 UN Secretary-General in the former Yugoslavia
5 responsibility to keep the Secretary-General and the secretariat fully
6 informed of major developments within the purview of my mandate.
7 Q. Okay. Looking at this document, the 10th of May, it refers in
8 the first sentence to a meeting on the 9th of May, 1995, in Belgrade
9 first with President Milosevic and subsequently with Messrs. Martic,
10 Mikelic, Babic, and General Celeketic.
11 Do you recall the meeting in Belgrade on or about the 9th of
12 May with Mr. Martic?
13 A. I wonder whether I should go through the entire cable before --
14 Q. Well, just as a preliminary matter, do you recall meeting with
15 Mr. Martic, Mikelic, Babic, and General Celeketic right after
16 Operation Flash?
17 A. That they -- the cable says so, so I have no reason to believe
18 that the cable is incorrect.
19 Q. Okay. If you look at the second-to-last sentence, the discussion
20 in the cable is about your meeting and about -- with them, with the Knin
21 leadership, and also a separate meeting with Mr. Milosevic.
22 But in your meeting with the Knin leadership the issues concerned
23 Sector West, which was Western Slavonia that you were discussing with
24 them. And if you look at -- on the first page, the second-to-last
25 sentence starts:
1 "Milosevic is firmly of the belief that the area should be placed
2 under the sole authority of the United Nations, and every effort made to
3 allow the Serbs from that area to continue to live there; Martic,
4 however, maintains his position that the United Nations should do
5 everything it can to facilitate the departure of any remaining Serbs."
6 Now, do you have an independent recollection of Mr. Martic and
7 the Knin leadership, after Operation Flash, taking the position that the
8 United Nations needed to facilitate the departure of any Serbs remaining
9 in Western Slavonia?
10 A. I do not have a specific recollection on this point.
11 Q. Okay. If you could turn to page 4 of the document, which is
12 paragraph 7.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, in your witness statement that you gave to the Gotovina
15 Defence at paragraph 2, you stated that you recalled
16 Operation Safe Passage and that that was to ensure maximum safety and
17 security of innocent civilians. And let me now show you some more
18 specifics about this meeting with the Knin leadership. Again paragraph 7
19 says you met for three-hours with so-called President Martic, Mikelic,
20 Babic, and Celeketic.
21 If we turn to paragraph 8, the first sentence says:
22 "On Sector West I explained at length the efforts of UNCRO and
23 other international organisations to address the explicit concerns
24 conveyed to us by the Knin leadership, my conviction that the Serbs
25 remaining were being well looked after, and that the programme of
1 departure for those Serbs wishing to leave was scheduled to begin that
3 Now, if we stop right there, do you recall what you meant when
4 you stated to Mr. -- to the Knin leadership that it was your conviction
5 that the Serbs remaining in Sector West were being well looked after?
6 A. I do not have a specific recollection on this point, but I must
7 have had the -- a general context of our continuing discussion with the
8 leadership of the Croatian government, including Mr. Sarinic. They gave
9 us -- they continued to give us assurances about the safety of the Serbs
10 in Sector West, and so I must have based my belief in that regard on
11 these conversations I had -- I was having in Zagreb.
12 Q. Okay. If you go down in that paragraph towards the middle, at
13 the sentence that begins "after rather extensive discussions ..."
14 Did you find that?
15 A. Which -- what line?
16 Q. It's in the middle of paragraph 8, and it begins: "After rather
17 extensive discussions Martic asked me four questions ..."
18 "After rather extensive discussions, Martic asked me" --
19 A. Yes, now I found the passage.
20 Q. It says:
21 "Martic asked me four questions: 1, how long will it take to
22 move all the Serbs from Sector West to Serb-controlled Bosnia."
23 Do you remember Mr. Martic asking you that question?
24 A. No, I have no recollection about this particular conversation.
25 Q. Okay. If you go down a few lines it says -- you write what you
1 responded. And you said:
2 "I responded that, 1, I could give no time assurances, the
3 important consideration being that the people's right to choose was being
5 Now, do you recall --
6 A. Yeah, I see that.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. No, I'm afraid that I have no recollection of these specific
9 points discussed between Martic and myself.
10 Q. Okay.
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President I move to admit 65 ter 1D1166 into
13 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours that will be Exhibit D1647.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D1647 is admitted into evidence.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Mr. Registrar, if we could go -- just one moment, please.
20 If we could go to 65 ter 1D1176.
21 This is tab 1, Mr. Registrar, in the binder.
22 Q. There concerns a meeting with Milan Babic. And if we -- if you
23 go to the second page, Mr. Akashi, that's the page that I'm interested
24 in. It's from --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- Mr. Kirudja to you. Can you tell the Court --
2 A. What paragraph?
3 Q. Well, first, if you look at the memorandum heading on page 2 of
4 the document. It's to you from Mr. Kirudja. Do you see that?
5 A. No, I don't.
6 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, the first page of this document
7 should be to Stoltenberg from Colborne; is that correct?
8 If I could get the assistance of Mr. Registrar in Tokyo.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I think we've found it.
10 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] It's on the second page, two of
13 MR. MISETIC: That is correct.
14 Q. Now, could you tell the Court --
15 JUDGE ORIE: No.
16 MR. MISETIC: If we scroll up in e-court, it's 2 of 5 in the
17 upper right-hand corner.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's clear to me. Please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Akashi, again, could you tell the Court who Mr. Kirudja was?
21 A. I'm afraid I do not know who Mr. Kirudja is.
22 Q. Okay. Well, it's a memo that was sent to you on the 10th of
23 May discussing a meeting with Mr. Milan Babic, a proposal for Western
25 And if we go to paragraph 2, this is now -- purports to be the
1 words of Mr. Babic. The sentence at the bottom of the stage starts:
2 "We are all interested in the fate of the people in Western
4 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page.
5 Q. "... not remain under Croatian authority. We also know that the
6 Croats have intensified their propaganda campaign to show to everybody
7 that they are ... humane -- that they are a humane occupying force of our
9 Now, the first question, Mr. Akashi, is: Since you don't recall
10 who Mr. Kirudja was, I presume you don't recall this memo specifically?
11 A. What is it, your question?
12 Q. Do you recall receiving a memo like this?
13 A. Yeah, I do not have a specific recollection --
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. -- of this cable.
16 Q. Okay. As -- as a general matter - let me ask you the more
17 general question.
18 As a general matter what information were you receiving from the
19 Knin leadership about the desire of the Serb population in Western
21 or leave Croatia
22 A. In general, we received information about Krajina Serb leadership
23 from our own representatives who are stationed in Knin, including
24 commander of UN peacekeeping force there. And on the civilian side, I
25 remember that we had a very able representative called Jack Greenberg who
1 kept us all [indiscernible] about Knin's Serb leadership's behaviour,
2 and, to the extent possible, their thinking.
3 Q. And do you remember specifically now what the thinking of the
4 Knin Serb leadership was on the issue of whether Serbs should stay or
5 leave Western Slavonia after Operation Flash took place?
6 A. I do not have specific recollection as to which course of action
7 Knin Serb leadership was in favour of: Departure or staying on.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. I have no recollection on that point.
10 MR. MISETIC: I move to admit into evidence 65 ter 1D1176.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, no objections, I understand.
12 Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours that will be Exhibit D1648.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar in Tokyo, the next document will be
17 tab 2 in the binder, and this is 65 ter 1D1177.
18 Q. Mr. Akashi, this is a memo --
19 MR. MISETIC: I'll wait for it come up on the screen here in
20 The Hague
21 Q. This is a memo drafted by you and sent to Mr. Annan on the 9th of
22 May, 1995, and talks about the movement of Serbs from Pakrac. Pakrac is
23 in Western Slavonia. And in the first paragraph you write: "Today
24 marked the successful start of the operation to relocate willing,
25 informed Serbs from Sector West to Bosnia and Herzegovina."
1 And then you discuss what procedures were employed. It says:
2 "This morning approximately 300 Serbs gathered in Pakrac in
3 response to the UNHCR notification by radio of the possibility of
4 departing from Sector West. Each individual was interviewed by the
5 Croatian authorities with respect to their civil rights and then
6 interviewed/counselled by the UNHCR on their right to remain if they so
7 wished. If after this point individual Serbs still wished to department,
8 their names were taken by UNPF staff."
9 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page and go to paragraph 7 it says:
10 "Other villages" --
11 THE WITNESS: Yes.
12 MR. MISETIC: It says :
13 "Other villages/towns are now being examined and a consolidated
14 list of dates for each location will be broadcast by radio to the local
16 And the preceding paragraph discusses the planning of subsequent
17 movements, including when the convoys would be leaving.
18 Q. Now, first, do you have -- does this refresh your recollection
19 about some of the specifics of Operation Safe Passage?
20 A. I'm afraid I do not have recollection about these specific
22 Q. Well, do you have a recollection that the United Nations was
23 involved in transferring Serbs out of Western Slavonia and into Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina
25 A. I'm afraid I do not recall these matters.
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President I move to admit 65 ter 1D1177,
3 JUDGE ORIE: No objections from Mr. Hedaraly.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1649.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D1649 is admitted into evidence.
7 I take that if I do not hear from the other Defence teams that
8 there are no objections against the documents tendered by Mr. Misetic.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Mr. Registrar in Tokyo
12 Mr. Registrar here in The Hague
13 I'm reminded that I need to seek leave to add this to our 65 ter exhibit
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, any objections to the document being
16 added to the 65 ter list?
17 MR. HEDARALY: Let me just look at it. I suspect there are none
18 but I'll -- give me a few seconds.
19 Yeah, no objection.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted to add this document to the 65 ter
22 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, and thank you to counsel.
24 Q. Mr. Akashi, this is a report of -- from UNHCR on humanitarian
25 issues that was sent to the ICFY co-chairman on the 30th of June, and it
1 discusses Operation Safe Passage. And if we could go to page 4 of the
2 document in e-court, and it's numbered page -- numbered page 3,
3 Mr. Akashi, at the top of the page.
4 A. Number?
5 Q. It's numbered page 3, and I'm interested now in --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- in the paragraph that begins in the middle of the page:
8 "The influx of refugees from Western Slavonia ..."
9 A. Yes, I see that.
10 Q. Okay. And towards the end of that paragraph, there's a statistic
11 and it says:
12 "Some 2.100 left Western Slavonia ... via the UNCRO
13 Operation Safe Passage?"
14 And then the next paragraph says: "The Croatian government" --
15 in the middle of the paragraph.
16 "The Croatian government declared that those Serbs who fled
17 Western Slavonia will be permitted to return if it is ascertained that
18 they were legally residents in Croatia
19 UNHCR's involvement in the population movements from Western Slavonia
20 after the restoration of Croatian rule was limited to the counselling of
21 the Serb population about their right to stay or the possibility to leave
22 with the assistance of international organisations. In the latter case,
23 UNHCR ascertained the voluntary nature of such departures. The UNHCR
24 also interviewed refugees arriving from Sector West to Banja Luka."
25 Mr. Akashi, in terms of the departure of the Serb population from
1 Western Slavonia
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well ... yes.
3 Please answer the question. We had to wait, Mr. Akashi, for a
4 while for the interpretation.
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
6 Q. Let me -- Mr. Akashi, I will complete the question. In terms of
7 the departure of the -- the organised departure of the Serbs from
8 Western Slavonia through international organisations, do you have a
9 recollection as to whether it was ever established whether those
10 departures were voluntary or not?
11 A. I think it was a standard policy of UNHCR to ascertain the
12 voluntary nature of movement of the people concerned. Otherwise, it
13 would constitute a forceful departure. So what is mentioned in this
14 paragraph looks to me to represent the standing UNHCR policy in these
16 Q. Okay. As part of determining the voluntariness of the departure,
17 do you know if UNHCR asked Serbs who wished to depart, whether they would
18 sign a document indicating the voluntariness of the departure?
19 A. I do not know the technicality of how the voluntary nature of
20 these refugee departure was ascertained.
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I move to admit 65 ter 1D295 into
24 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1650.
2 JUDGE ORIE: D1650 is admitted into evidence.
3 MR. MISETIC: Let me call up one document, which I may not have
4 any questions for in light of the last answer. But, nevertheless, it's
5 65 ter 1D2914. And it's page 2, paragraphs 8 and 9, Mr. President, go to
6 the issue of the procedures employed by UNHCR to determine voluntariness,
7 and I will move across the bar table do admit this one into evidence as
8 well, and I will proceed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
10 MR. HEDARALY: If we could just have until the break so can I
11 read it.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could it be marked for identification for the
13 time being.
14 Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1651
16 marked for identification.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Akashi, I wish to turn your attention now to the events
20 leading up to Operation Storm.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And do you recall, first of all, attending a meeting with
23 President Tudjman on or about the 29th of July, 1995?
24 A. I do not have a specific recollection of that meeting on the 29th
25 of July with President Tudjman.
1 Q. Okay. Well, fortunately we had an audio recording of the
2 meeting, so I would like to play for you some excerpts of the audio of
3 your meeting with President Tudjman on the 29th of July, 1995. It may
4 refresh your recollection.
5 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, this is 65 ter 1D1166. And if
6 I may just have one moment, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, the top of the audio clip --
8 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I gave -- called out the wrong number.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- was 65 ter 1D2943, if that's the correct number.
10 MR. MISETIC: That's correct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then --
12 MR. MISETIC: It is, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- we know what we are talking about.
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes, thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber was provided with a copy in advance.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, the issue is that in the meeting
17 President Tudjman has his own interpreter present who is conducting an
18 interpretation, so the question for the Chamber is whether you wish for
19 the interpreters in the booths to be interpreting the Croatian followed
20 by President Tudjman's interpreter or should we just let the audio play
21 as is.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think for a better understanding it is
23 important to know how the language spoken by Mr. Akashi was translated to
24 President Tudjman and how the words of Mr. Tudjman were translated to
25 Mr. Akashi, and, therefore, exceptionally, I think that it would be
1 appropriate to -- well not to say to rely upon, but at least to follow
2 the conversation as it was translated at the time. Which, of course,
3 then creates an additional problem in relation to the French translation.
4 It's -- it's the first time that I'm thinking about these problems,
5 because what we then expect from the French translators to first
6 translate what is said in English and then to translate the words as
7 translated in B/C/S. It's a bit of a puzzle.
8 I suggest to the parties that we invite the French booth -- I
9 always am -- don't know exactly the -- oh, the other side, yes, to
10 translate on the basis of the transcript but only to translate the words
11 as spoken by the person himself; that is, for Mr. Akashi, English, and
12 for President Tudjman, the words in B/C/S.
13 I hope that that will work. If have you any problems with that,
14 I'd like to know. I'll move to channel 5 to hear any.
15 Then we'll proceed in this way.
16 MR. MISETIC: Thank you. We are starting at the 26th minute, 59
17 second mark of the tape. And this is page 9 of the transcripts for the
19 Q. Mr. Akashi, we're going to begin now.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 MR. MISETIC: Shall we continue from where we are?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and I think what will now follow is the
24 translation by the interpreter as given at the time.
25 So I think we still can proceed.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 "Mr. President said: We don't -- I don't think we need fear
3 such as human tragedies because as we can see the Serbs are demoralised,
4 deserting their units. So either they will show their readiness to agree
5 to a political solution or they will be -- they will suffer a military
6 defeat. And speaking quite openly, I think both the European Community,
7 the European Union, and the United Nations are quite aware of the Serbian
8 behaviour, and have shown full understanding of the steps Croatia
9 taken in this regard.
10 "So let me repeat: We are for talks, for negotiations, if the
11 peace process should start right away, not in eight days or in a
12 fortnight but in two or three days, but the peace process must start
13 right away. Otherwise, we shall take advantage of the demoralisation in
14 the Serbian ranks both in Bosnia
15 "Therefore, it is not at all fortuitous that Martic, Karadzic,
16 and Mladic have been proclaimed criminals of war, and this I believe that
17 also reflects the general mood, the general position of the international
18 community, and I think the other side should draw its conclusions from
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
21 MR. HEDARALY: I may not have understood the previous guidance of
22 the Court. I thought that everything would be translated to make sure --
23 to understand what was actually spoken by President Tudjman and what was
24 said by the interpreter. I did not get an English interpretation of what
25 President Tudjman directly said. I'm not saying that we need it, but I
1 thought is how it was going to proceed. I just wanted to clarify that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I think I said that exceptionally we would focus on
3 how it was translated at the time and, of course, if there's any need to
4 verify the translation, we have, of course, now the transcript in both
5 languages so there is an opportunity to verify that, if there's any need
6 to do so. At the same time, I'm not quite convinced yet that the B/C/S
7 transcript, as you find it on our screen, is exactly the same as the
8 B/C/S transcript as we -- I mean, on the e-court screen, is exactly the
9 same as the transcript we find in the transcribed version of this
10 conversation as far as B/C/S is concerned.
11 But there's an opportunity to verify that, because it's all
12 written, and most important, at this moment for Mr. Akashi seems to be
13 how his language was translated to President Tudjman at the time, the
14 words he used, and how the language of Mr. Tudjman was translated to him.
15 This gives, I take it, a better orientation. Unless the parties would
16 come with strong reasons to follow another procedure.
17 Then you may proceed, Mr. Misetic.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 "Yasushi Akashi: Mr. President, if you agree, I'd be ready to
20 fly to Knin tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, and to convey your
21 willingness to start serious political talks.
22 "The Interpreter: The president said: If this should lead to a
23 peaceful solution and this means that we should have the immediate
24 reinstatement of the pipeline, meaning within 24 hours, and immediate
25 start of the negotiations of reinstatement of road and rail links, but
2 "Including also political talks on the implementation of the
3 constitutional law of the Republic of Croatia
4 Serbian ethnic community in Croatia
5 self-government ..."
6 MR. MISETIC:
7 Q. Mr. Akashi, did you follow along with the audio?
8 A. Not very well. I missed some -- some -- some of the passages.
9 Q. Well, do you recall you having a discussion with
10 President Tudjman about going to Knin and President Tudjman giving you
11 some of his conditions that the Knin leadership needed to accept?
12 A. I -- I remember that I met President Tudjman on the 29th of July,
13 and the atmosphere at the time was extremely grave and with some
14 forebodings of a major war starting, and I remember also that I made my
15 best effort to counsel self-restraint to President Tudjman. Other than
16 that, specifics escape my memory.
17 Q. Okay.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I move for the admission of the
19 audio of that meeting, which is, again --
20 MR. HEDARALY: 1D2943. We don't object.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1652.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
24 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, you ultimately did go to Knin and have that
1 meeting with Mr. Martic; correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MISETIC: And now, Mr. Registrar, in Tokyo, if you could show
5 Mr. Akashi the document in tab 5.
6 And, Mr. Registrar, here this is 65 ter 1D1586.
7 Q. Mr. Akashi, this is the code cable you sent to Mr. Annan
8 documenting what transpired at that meeting with Mr. Martic on
9 30th of July in Knin. And I'd like to spend a few minutes talking to you
10 about this meeting.
11 Now, in paragraph 1 you describe the document in front of you as
12 a comprehensive summary of that meeting. And in paragraph 2 you write:
13 "I went to Knin with the intention of exacting very specific
14 commitments from the leadership there on measures to be taken that would
15 clearly contribute a stabilisation of the situation."
16 And towards the middle of that paragraph, you note that the
17 meeting lasted for over five and one-half hours.
18 If you turn the page and go to paragraph 3. You describe what
19 commitments you sought from the Knin leadership, and you identify four
20 commitments that you ask them to make.
21 And then the last sentence of paragraph 3 says: "In return for
22 these commitments, I was prepared to order an active deployment of UNCRO
23 forces along the likely main axis of any potential HV advance into the
24 Krajina, provided that the necessary security and freedom of movement'
25 assurances for UNCRO troops were provided by the ARSK, and to dedicate
1 all my efforts of persuasion at convincing the Croatian authorities to
2 pursue negotiations rather than war."
3 Now can you explain what was the intention -- had the Knin
4 leadership accepted these four points, what was "the active deployment of
5 UNCRO forces along the likely main axis of any potential advance into the
6 Krajina ..." intended to do by you?
7 A. Mr. Misetic, what is your specific question?
8 Q. Well, it indicates that you made -- that you were prepared to
9 order active deployment of UNCRO forces along the likely main axis of any
10 potential HV advance in the Krajina. My question is: Why? What would
11 the deployment of the UNCRO forces along the main axis of any potential
12 HV advance have achieved?
13 A. I do not have a recollection as to my thinking when these
14 discussions actually took place.
15 Q. Do you recall any concern that deploying UNCRO forces along a
16 likely main axis of any potential HV advance might put those forces,
17 those UNCRO forces, in harm's way?
18 A. I'm afraid I cannot answer that question, because whatever I say
19 will be based on a supposition of mine today.
20 Q. Okay. Okay.
21 MR. MISETIC: If we go to paragraph 10 of this document, which is
22 numbered page 4. And it's page 4 in e-court.
23 Q. Paragraph 10 states:
24 "The Force Commander" -- who I believe was General Janvier at
25 this meeting, "supported my efforts throughout the meeting, and by making
1 the following explicit points to Martic and Mrksic: ... there was a need
2 for precise, concrete commitments from the RSK to avoid a military
4 And then the fourth point was:
5 "NATO close air support is available for him to use against any
6 force attacking United Nations personnel."
7 Do you see that line?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If -- let me ask you this question: Based on your experience in
10 the former Yugoslavia
11 of attack by the HV, based on your understanding of this entry, would
12 NATO have been called in had there been an altercation then between the
13 HV and UNCRO forces?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Before you answer the question -- Mr. Akashi, before
15 you answer the question, Mr. Hedaraly.
16 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Your Honour. Two points. First of
17 all, that, I think, calls for clear speculation, especially given the
18 witness's recollection so far to that meeting. Second of all, there are
19 four points, so if Mr. Misetic will call for speculation, rather than
20 read two of them at least the whole -- the whole paragraph, all four
21 points, should be put to the witness.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you're invited to give the full context
23 and --
24 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I will be happy to --
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- you further asked the witness about based on your
1 understanding of this entry, where, of course, we would have to know what
2 the understanding of the witness of this entry is before we can fully
3 evaluate this answer.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if could I ask just -- just to give
5 a proffer of what's -- what I'm going to do. If I could ask that the --
6 is there any way for the witness not to listen to --
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid there is not.
8 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
9 JUDGE ORIE: If there's any way that you could postpone that for
10 a couple of minutes --
11 MR. MISETIC: Sure.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then, of course, we could --
13 MR. MISETIC: Sure.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- just before the break hear from you. Yes.
15 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
16 Q. Let me read out the full paragraph for you, Mr. Akashi. It
17 says --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What I had read out:
20 "The Force Commander supported my efforts throughout the meeting
21 and by making the following explicit points to Martic and Mrksic: (a),
22 there was a need for precise concrete commitments from the RSK to avoid a
23 military escalation; (b), Croatia
24 as justification for its own military moves in Grahovo and Glamoc; (c),
25 the RSK cannot complain about the United Nations's inability to implement
1 our mandate if it does not provide us with the minimum degree of freedom
2 of movement needed for us operate; and (d), NATO close air support is
3 available for him to use against any force attacking United Nations
5 Now my question to you, Mr. Akashi, is: UNCRO actually - and we
6 can look at the document if necessary - did implement something called
7 operation active presence, which is Exhibit D288 in this case, deploying
8 UN forces along the main axis of potential attack by the HV.
9 My question to you is: Did NATO, or did you and Mr. Janvier have
10 the authority then to call in NATO to attack Croatian forces if in fact
11 those UN forces came under fire by Croatian troops?
12 A. This specific NATO action is called close air support. It's an
13 action by NATO when UN personnel is under armed attack, and the object of
14 NATO air action will be specifically the weapon which is used actually
15 against the safety and the security of UN personnel. And the weapons
16 attacking UN personnel have to be verified, not only from the air but
17 from the ground.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi, Mr. Akashi.
19 A. And if --
20 JUDGE ORIE: If you do not mind, I'd like to intervene for a
22 I think the specific question by Mr. Misetic was whether you or
23 Mr. Janvier had the authority to call for such a NATO close air support.
24 So the question is less about what that means but, rather, about who had
25 the authority to call for such an action.
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, in this case, there's a standard
2 procedure called dual-key system. In other words, activation of NATO air
3 action has to have not only the UN key but NATO key, in order to be
5 So NATO can use its veto, even if -- even if UN wants it. But I
6 was also describing specific circumstances in which UN will ask for NATO
7 close air support.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, in view of the tapes, which are not
11 serving us for many more minutes, I suggest that we already allow
12 Mr. Akashi to start his break and that you address the Chamber without
13 Mr. Akashi --
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- being able to hear it.
16 Mr. Akashi, a little bit earlier than expected --
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- we'll have a break and we'd like to resume in
19 35 minutes from now, if that suits you.
20 THE WITNESS: That's fine, Your Honour, but I take it that the
21 break is not just form me but for all the personnel involved in these
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you're perfectly right, but the Chamber was
24 informed that you may have some concerns about breaks and timing, whereas
25 all those involved in the proceedings here they know me well enough that
1 I will consider their interests to the extent possible. But I
2 specifically addressed you in this respect. We'd like to see you back
3 and we can interrupt at least the audio at this moment with Tokyo
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you for your humanitarian consideration. But
5 I stood up to many hours of negotiations in the former Yugoslavia.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Then we'll interrupt at least the
8 [The witness stands down]
9 Mr. Misetic.
10 MR. MISETIC: The point of the question is based on the fact that
11 on 4th of August I have a code cable from Mr. Akashi indicating that on
12 the day of Operation Storm he had a meeting with Mr. Sarinic and
13 indicated that NATO close air support was possible because of attacks on
14 Croatian Army troops.
15 So I think he should have, anyway, at least some knowledge of
16 the -- of the situation concerning NATO close air support and --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, as a matter of fact, I interrupted him, I think
18 specifically on the point you're raising now, whether the circumstances
19 to call for close air support by NATO were met yes or no. It was not
20 your question. Your question was about authority.
21 MR. MISETIC: Correct.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So if I want to resume that at any later stage, then
24 MR. MISETIC: We will.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- of course.
1 Now, Mr. Hedaraly, do you still have any concerns about the
2 context, as you said, and whether or not to ask for speculation. I think
3 the witness started answering about conditions under which NATO CAS would
4 be possible, and he apparently has knowledge about the authority to call
5 for such air support.
6 MR. HEDARALY: I think, Mr. President, you are correct, and
7 perhaps rather than showing him first that specific line, if -- in direct
8 examination it may have been more useful to explore that with the
9 witness, first, what his knowledge is, and then it would have obviated
10 any contextual or speculation objection because then we would have known
11 what the witness's knowledge was on that issue and then Mr. Misetic could
12 have explored that further. And if then there was need to show him a
13 specific document or cable, because either it's a contradiction or to
14 refresh his memory, I think that then there would be no objection
16 But I'm happy to wait for Mr. Misetic to resume and how the
17 question will be put to the witness.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, a general invitation to be less leading
19 through documents, and I think --
20 MR. MISETIC: If I may --
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- not affirm further support for the objection
22 Mr. Hedaraly made before.
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I will state that given the
24 witness's ability to recall things independently which I have personal
25 knowledge having tried to take a statement from him, and I think matters
1 have proceeded very slowly this morning on that basis, I can proceed that
2 way of testing his memory and then showing him documents, but I can
3 assure the court that we will be in direct examination into Thursday
4 if --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps even a short introductory question, it would
6 appear that the witness has no specific recollection about certain
7 events, then we could move quickly then to the documents.
8 We will take the break now, and we'll resumed at quarter past
9 12.00, European time.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.46 a.m.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Hedaraly, D1651.
14 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Would that also include that would you not object to
16 having it added to the 65 ter list, if Mr. Misetic would have asked you?
17 MR. HEDARALY: If he would have asked me, I would not have
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then leave is granted to add D1651 to the 65 ter
20 list and it is admitted into evidence.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President. Had I asked Mr. Hedaraly
23 and he not objected, I would have thanked him for not objecting.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 MR. MISETIC:
1 Q. Mr. Akashi, if I could ask to you look at the document at tab 5
2 where we left off.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I --
4 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
5 Q. If we look at paragraph 11.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. It says:
8 "I then tried to pin Martic down on the commitments that I
9 believed he had made during the course of our discussion. I observed
10 that Martic had committed himself to the following ...
11 And it goes through:
12 "(a), ensuring there was no ARSK presence in Bihac, which was the
13 tantamount to an immediate and total ARSK withdrawal from Bihac; (b),
14 that the RSK had no territorial or offensive military intentions toward
15 Bihac; (c), that UNHCR aid deliveries to Bihac would not be hindered by
16 the RSK authorities; and (d), that army commanders should meet right away
17 as early as tomorrow."
18 And if we skip down to paragraph 13, It says:
19 "In the end, agreement was finally reached on the exact wording
20 of the text with the understanding that Martic would sign it. As it was
21 evident that the meeting was concluding, Mr. Matsura, who was with the
22 ARSK, asked me if I had asked President Tudjman to sign a similar
23 document. The answer to that question was, of course, well known to all
24 present, and there had been no mention of the issue at any other time
25 during the meeting. Nonetheless, Martic used it as an excuse not to sign
1 the document. As an alternative, it was agreed that Mr. Matsura, as a
2 fluent English speaker, would read the document out verbatim and in the
3 name of President Martic to the waiting press. I expressed my conviction
4 that by doing so Martic was fully accepting on his honour the terms of
5 the commitments contained in the document. However, when we went down to
6 meet the press, Matsura was the only one from the delegation not to
7 accompany us (except General Mrksic who had left the meeting as soon as
8 final agreement on the text was reached)."
9 Now, Mr. Akashi, what conclusion did you reach by the fact that
10 Mr. Martic refused to sign it and then Mr. Matsura did not come down to
11 read the statement verbatim, as had been agreed?
12 A. I remember that this was with one of the ipsos of great
13 difficulty of negotiating with Martic, and either he changed his mind or
14 he was not -- he did not think through while we were negotiating, and he
15 had a second mind. In the end, I think it was extremely disagreeable for
16 us to negotiate with such a person, and we were all very bitter at the
17 end of that meeting, which, in the end, proved to be fruitless.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Akashi.
19 MR. MISETIC: If we could look just at -- you will see that
20 attached to this document which you sent to Mr. Annan. If you look at
21 the last page, it is a copy of the six-point document, which, at
22 paragraph 15 the code cable you say you are attaching for ease of
23 reference. Another copy of the six-point document that resulted from my
24 meeting in Knin."
25 A. Mm-hm.
1 Q. Do you see the six-point document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D1586 be marked
5 and I tender it into evidence.
6 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1653.
9 JUDGE ORIE: D1653 is admitted into evidence.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Mr. Registrar in Tokyo
14 And, Mr. Registrar, this is Exhibit D1474 for e-court.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, you will see that this is a letter you wrote to
16 President Tudjman about your meeting in Knin with Mr. Martic. And in the
17 cover letter, you wrote:
18 "During discussions today in Knin, Mr. Martic reiterated to
19 myself and General Janvier the commitment of the Knin leadership to a
20 peaceful solution of the conflict. Six specific undertakings were also
21 made. The exact wording of the undertakings made to me by the Knin
22 leadership is recorded on the attached document, which I distributed to
23 the media on my return to this evening to Zagreb."
24 And if we turn to the page, it's the same six-point agreement
25 that was attached to your code cable to Mr. Annan.
1 And my question to you is, if, as you say you were -- I don't
2 have the transcript in front of me, Mr. President, because my transcript
3 has gone down.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I was informed that this is a problem which
5 occurs in all the courtrooms at this moment. So, therefore, I am afraid
6 that we have either to live with it and find solutions or --
7 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
8 Q. I will then try to paraphrase your answer to the last document,
9 Mr. Akashi.
10 If you were disappointed by the fact that Mr. Martic had in fact
11 not agreed to the six-point agreement, may I ask why you then followed up
12 by writing a letter to President Tudjman which seems to indicate that he
13 did accept it?
14 A. You should read carefully this covering letter, in which Martic
15 reiterated his commitment to us to a peaceful solution of the conflict.
16 He also, at one stage, agreed to the six-point undertakings, but he
17 subsequently backtracked on that.
18 So you can see from this covering letter differentiation between
19 Martic's general commitment to a peaceful solution of the conflict and
20 his acceptance of the six points in -- contained in the attached
21 document, where I did not say that there has been agreement.
22 Q. Mr. --
23 A. So a careful distinction is being made between one general
24 commitment and the six specific undertakings.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm going to ask a few more
1 questions on this topic because it relates, for us, to the Brioni
3 Q. So if I may follow up.
4 Mr. Akashi, the wording actually of the letter says simply:
5 "I agree with you on the first sentence."
6 The seconds sentence says:
7 "Six specific undertakings were also made. The exact wording of
8 the undertakings made to me by the Knin leadership is recorded on the
9 attached document."
10 Now, do you recognize that the wording of this letter would have
11 indicated to President Tudjman that, in fact, Mr. Martic had agreed to
12 these six conditions?
13 A. His agreement with us at one point is a matter of historical
14 record, and in order to show that the Knin leadership accepted these six
15 undertakings at some point, we differentiated the general commitment from
16 the historical fact of the acceptance of those undertakings at some
17 point. Maybe this is too fine a point for a casual reader, but I think
18 this is a carefully crafted document.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that -- I'm sorry it's already
21 admitted into evidence as D1474.
22 Q. Mr. Akashi, if we could now turn to Mr. -- or to
23 President Tudjman's response to this letter.
24 MR. MISETIC: This is Exhibit D1475. And it is tab 10, it's the
25 next tab in your binder.
1 Q. Now, Mr. -- first, let me know when you've had a chance to read
2 through the letter, Mr. Akashi.
3 A. I am not able to read Croatian.
4 Q. If the registrar in Tokyo
5 translation of this document in the binder?
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] There doesn't appear to be an
7 English translation immediately behind the B/C/S original, so I'm looking
8 for that elsewhere.
9 MR. MISETIC: It may that be there's inadvertently the Croatian
10 version was put in rather than the English. So let me just --
11 Q. Mr. Akashi, ask you about your recollection. Do you recall that
12 President Tudjman wrote you a letter in response to your letter to him of
13 the 29th?
14 A. I do not have --
15 Q. I'm sorry, the 28th.
16 A. I do not remember Tudjman's letter.
17 Q. Okay. We'll move on.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could go to tab 8 in the
19 binder. This is 65 ter 1D1585.
20 Q. Mr. Akashi, this is a code cable concerning your meeting with
21 Mr. Sarinic on the 4th of August, which is the first day of
22 Operation Storm.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And in the first paragraph, towards the middle, it says -- I'll
25 refer you to Mr. Sarinic.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. It says:
3 "He expressed full understanding for the need to avoid as much as
4 possible civilian casualties and assured me that firm orders had been
5 passed throughout the chain of command that the security of UN personnel
6 was to be fully respected?"
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. "Sarinic also gave official endorsement to the idea that, in the
9 event that the Croatian Army takes long swaths of territory, the United
10 Nations would be permitted to monitor human rights and assist on
11 humanitarian matters."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then skipping that next sentence:
14 "In response to my comment on the possibility of NATO close air
15 support as to protect our troops if they are under fire, Sarinic said
16 that NATO action in Croatia
17 relations between his government and the United Nations."
18 And it says:
19 "Below is a more complete summary of the meeting."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. And then if we --
22 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
23 Yes, Mr. Misetic, someone is listening to keep the right pace.
24 MR. MISETIC: I'm trying myself, Mr. President.
25 If we could go to page 2 of this document. In that carry-over
1 paragraph from the previous page, towards the middle, it says:
2 "I expressed my regret that more than 200 shells had fallen on
3 the town of Knin
4 many of UNCRO's observation posts ... had been targeted, attacked, and/or
5 overrun, that one Danish peace keeper had been killed by direct fire from
6 the Croatian Army, and that two Polish peacekeepers were injured, one of
7 them seriously. Although the ARSK had also shelled some Croatian cities
8 today, such activity was subsequent to the Croatian shelling of Knin and
9 in any case, I insisted it was not a justifiable pretext for shelling
10 urban areas. I informed Sarinic that, after consultations with me, the
11 Force Commander had asked NATO for air presence in areas where UNCRO
12 peacekeepers were under direct threat from the fighting, and urged
13 Sarinic to ensure that the HV commanders were fully cognizant of the
14 United Nations's intention to take all necessary measures to protect its
16 Now, on this paragraph --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
18 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, do you recall this discussion with Mr. Sarinic
20 on the 4th of August?
21 A. I have, yeah, some recollection about the general tone of our
23 Q. Okay. Now you make reference in the code cable to having had
24 a -- consultations with the Force Commander, who was General Janvier
25 asking for NATO air presence?
1 Do you recall the conversation with General Janvier on NATO air
3 A. Not the contents of our discussion, as such.
4 Q. Well, do you recall that NATO air presence had been called in?
5 A. No, I have no specific recollection. We had occasions about
6 possible NATO action, but I do not recall specific discussion between
7 myself and General Janvier in this particular circumstance.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. MISETIC: Well, rather than flipping back and fourth between
10 document, Mr. President, I'm just going to read out a portion of
11 Exhibit D288 which is General Janvier's order for active presence. It's
12 page 6 of that order, which is also, if necessary, tab 6 in the binder.
13 Q. Mr. Akashi, General Janvier, prior to Operation Storm, had
14 ordered an operation known as Active Presence, and he had ordered upon
15 renewed hostilities UNCRO forces shall remain in location; upon renewed
16 hostilities, all actions necessary for self-defence shall be taken; UNCRO
17 forces shall not withdraw nor shall positions be abandoned without
19 And earlier in that order, General Janvier had ordered - this is
20 page 3 of 8 at the top - within the Zone of Separation and the Dinara
21 mountains, UNCRO forces are to be placed in those areas most likely to
22 become either areas of conflict between the warring parties or axes of
24 My question for you, Mr. Akashi, is was there a discussion about
25 deploying UNCRO forces in areas likely to be the main axis of attack of
1 the HV for the purpose of ultimately calling in NATO close air support in
2 order to stop the -- any potential Croatian Army offensive?
3 A. I cannot give a specific answer as to whether there were specific
4 discussions about these questions of UNCRO deployment and NATO air cover
5 for them.
6 Q. Well, you say you can't -- you don't recall specific discussions.
7 Do you recall generally any such policy?
8 A. I have no recollection, but I think, under the circumstances,
9 consideration might have been given to this type of measure.
10 Q. Okay. Now, if we can go back to tab 8, which is the 4th of
11 August code cable.
12 MR. MISETIC: And, again, it was 1D1585. Going to page 3,
13 paragraph 5.
14 Q. Paragraph 5 says:
15 "On the subject of civilians, Sarinic claimed that Croatia
16 like all the people to remain in the Krajina after the operation is over,
17 as it had wished the people to stay in Western Slavonia, and that the
18 human rights of those remain would be guaranteed. Sarinic stated that he
19 accepted UNPF monitoring of the behaviour of Croatian military, police,
20 and civilian authorities" -- I believe it should say "in the field of
21 human rights and humanitarian assistance in the future in areas of the
22 Krajina taken by the HV. He officially accepted my proposal to deploy at
23 least two integrated human rights monitoring teams to each of Sector
24 North and Sector South when conditions would permit. Sarinic also
25 pledged that the entire leadership, from the top to the bottom, would do
1 its best to behave in an civilised manner and assured me that efforts
2 were being made to avoid civilian casualties."
3 Now, Mr. Akashi, my first question to you is: When Mr. Sarinic
4 told you this, did you believe that he was sincere?
5 A. Whether I believed he was sincere?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. This question can only be answered in the context of my press
8 conference statement that day, in which I condemned the Croatian military
9 attack on the Krajinas. And in my subsequent meeting with Sarinic in
10 person I expressed deep regret, and I sought assurance for full safety
11 for civilians as well as for UN personnel and additional assurances for
12 full protection of human rights after the military action was over.
13 So -- and I call your attention to a few words which you did not
14 read out after the sentence which you just read for the benefit of the --
15 of the Tribunal, that -- that Sarinic added to say that, and I quote:
16 "War is a terrible environment and it is the civilians who always
17 suffer the most in such conditions."
18 He was obviously not perhaps contrite but on the defensive.
19 Q. Well, let's look at paragraph 7, which offers some of your
20 conclusions from the meeting. And you wrote:
21 "Generally speaking, Sarinic appeared to be greatly concerned
22 that events would transpire on the ground which would show Croatia in an
23 unfavorable light. Because of these concerns, I believe we can expect
24 generally good cooperation from the Croatian authorities in the areas of
25 our own greatest concern now, namely, assistance to the civilian
1 population and security for United Nations personnel. Although the
2 cooperation will be welcome, to the extent it materialises, it will be
3 the result of Croatian self-interest interest, rather than munificence.
4 Nonetheless, Croatian anxiety over their image in the eyes of the world
5 can be used in an appropriate manner to advance our concerns."
6 Now, can you explain to the Court what you meant in that in terms
7 of advancing your concerns and how Croatian anxiety could be used to
8 advance those concerns?
9 A. I think that this passage requires no explanation. As I have
10 said, our concerns were genuine and serious, and Sarinic, in his rather
11 vain manner, did his best to -- to show his agreement with our concerns.
12 But we were counting on -- on those Croatian interests to maintain its
13 good image in the western countries, because we may be accused of being
14 too optimistic in that regard.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, there is an agreement here that is referred to
16 often in this case as the Akashi-Sarinic agreement to the 6th of August.
17 To the best of your recollection, did the negotiations for that agreement
18 first begin with this conversation with Mr. Sarinic on the 4th of August?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
20 MR. HEDARALY: I apologise for the interruption. It perhaps may
21 make more sense to first ask him about the agreement, what he remembers
22 about it, and then perhaps where it started.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, that's -- Mr. Hedaraly is not very
24 strong in his expression that he would like you to be less leading, but
25 that's certainly what he seeks, and he does it in a gentle way by not
1 firmly objecting but by inviting you to be less leading in this respect.
2 If you would follow his invitation, that might save us a few
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Mr. Akashi, do you recall agreement that you reached with
6 Mr. Sarinic on the issue of human rights in the newly liberated
8 A. That's the agreement on the 6th of August, I take it?
9 Q. Correct.
10 A. I have a general recollection that the agreement dealt
11 essentially with human rights and the right of safe page for Serb
13 Q. Okay. Was the first time -- the first negotiation with
14 Mr. Sarinic that culminated on the agreement of the 6th, the meeting on
15 the 4th of August that is memorialised in this code cable of the 4th of
17 A. What is the question?
18 Q. In other words, this agreement on 6th of August, when was the
19 first time had you a conversation with Mr. Sarinic about human rights
20 monitoring by UNPF in the newly liberated territories?
21 A. We had discussions on these matters in May, with regard to
22 Sector West, and I -- I remember that we also discussed these matters on
23 the 4th, 5th, and the 6th of August.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that Exhibit 65 ter 1D1585 be
1 marked and I tender it into evidence.
2 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1654.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D1654 is admitted into evidence.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Mr. Registrar, if could I have the witness look at tab 63 in the
9 binder, which is 65 ter 1D1596, please.
10 Q. Mr. Akashi, do you recall information regarding the shelling of
11 Knin being given to you on the 4th of August?
12 A. Since the Croatian attack on Knin started that day, I'm sure all
13 the information about the extent and the variety of attacks should have
14 been given to my office.
15 Q. You are not in the heading of the memo, but if we scroll down to
16 the bottom of the page, if you look it says: "Internal distribution,"
17 and the first letters there are SRSG. Would that be you, Special
18 Representative for the Secretary-General?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Now, if you go -- if we look back up at the top and look
21 at the time stamps on this document, it says UNPROFOR communications,
22 4 August, 8.15. And then there is a time stamp on the right-hand side of
23 the document which appears to show a time stamp of 8.41 on the 4th of
24 August, 1995.
25 Now, Mr. Akashi, this is within three hours, three and a half
1 hours, of the Croatian military operation beginning. And if you look at
2 paragraph 2, the information distributed says:
3 "At 0500 hours 4 August the HV commenced a coordinated and
4 concentrated artillery attack on Knin. Over a period of 30 minutes, it
5 is estimated that 200 to 300 rounds landed in the centre of the city. At
6 0530 hours, the concentrated artillery attack subsided, however,
7 harassment fire has continued, with approximately one round every 15
8 seconds landing in the city centre?"
9 First, do you recall this as the initial information that you
10 received about the shelling of Knin?
11 A. Yeah, it corresponds to my general recollection.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked
14 and I tender it into evidence, which is 65 ter 1D1596.
15 JUDGE ORIE: There is no objection by Mr. Hedaraly, I see.
16 Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1655.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D1655 is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. Mr. Akashi, let me go back in time for one moment and this is
21 tab 57 in your binder, which is 65 ter 1D1587.
22 Again, this is a code cable from you to Mr. Annan. And if we go
23 to page 2, paragraph 4(B). It says:
24 "The Croatian government is not prepared to liberate all the
25 occupied territory in the near-term offensive. They appear unprepared to
1 take back parts of Sectors North and South and are unlikely to attack
2 Sector East. Thus, the action would not shed the political weight of
3 refugees from Vukovar."
4 Now, in the days leading up to Operation Storm do you recall
5 whether the assessment was that the Croatian Army would not conduct an
6 operation against all of Sectors North and South?
7 A. I have no recollection in that regard.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked
9 and I tender it into evidence.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No objections, Mr. Hedaraly.
11 Then, Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1656.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D1656 is admitted into evidence.
14 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 The next document is Exhibit D337.
16 And, Mr. Registrar, this is tab 11 in the binder.
17 Q. Mr. Akashi, this is a code cable drafted by you on the evening of
18 the 4th of August. The UNPROFOR communications stamp in the upper
19 right-hand corner has a time stamp of 1947. And it's an update on the
20 current situation in Croatia
21 Operation Storm.
22 MR. MISETIC: And if we turn the page and go to paragraph 4.
23 Q. You wrote to Mr. Annan:
24 "We have been advised by the civil affairs office in Sector South
25 that the Knin leadership have requested UNHCR and UNPF assistance in
1 evacuating approximately 32.000 civilians from Benkovac, Obrovac, Gracac,
2 and Knin to Petrovac and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
3 Now do you recall, on the evening of the 4th, the issue of
4 Krajina Serbs leaving the Krajina?
5 A. I do not have specific recollection of that. By the way, you
6 said I drafted this cable. I -- these cables are usually drafted by my
7 colleagues, either in the civilian sector, or sometimes in the military
8 areas, and it is very occasional that I myself draft something which
9 would be rather of general character on strategic questions than on
10 tactical situations or specifics of negotiations.
11 Q. Okay. Can you tell us who, by name, would have participated in
12 drafting these cables?
13 A. I had seven or eight officials working for me. In addition, I
14 had my military commander and his staff, and we had also representatives
15 deployed in various duty stations.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. So it is impossible to tell you as to who in specific
18 circumstances may have drafted or has sent drafts of various cables.
19 Q. Okay. Well, would Mr. --
20 A. But if -- yeah.
21 Q. Would --
22 A. If they deal with important points and matters, we usually take
23 time to have discussion together.
24 Q. Okay. Would Mr. Tony Bambury have participated in drafting some
25 of these code cables?
1 A. Tony was one of my very diligent, very hard-working young
2 officer, yes.
3 Q. Now going back to this document, do you have any recollection at
4 all about the issue of Krajina Serbs leaving the -- leaving the so-called
5 Krajina on the evening of the 4th of August?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY: That question has been asked and answered at 58
8 lines -- line 12.
9 MR. MISETIC: He said specific recollection, Mr. President. I'm
10 asking now for a general recollection.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 Mr. Akashi, are you able to tell us from your recollection about
13 Krajina Serbs leaving the area and with specific information as to the
14 day and the time when they may have left?
15 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I am simply not able to give you those
16 specific information. Since I was not there at that time, I, Your
17 Honour, as you may recall, I -- I was in Knin on specific dates but not
18 on the 4th or 5th or 6th of July. I was -- I visited Knin on the 7th of
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Akashi, even if you did not personally
21 observe, do you have any recollection apart from having personally
22 observed about issues of Krajina Serbs leaving the area in this
23 time-frame? And I'm talking about civilians.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. If you frame the question in
25 these general terms, my answer will be yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there will be any follow-up question, I
2 leave it to Mr. Misetic.
3 Mr. Misetic.
4 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Just -- I'm -- I think just for the record, the
6 witness stated he was on Knin in specific dates on either the 4th or 5th
7 or 6th of July, but on the 7th of July. I think that's probably a
8 mistake. But just want that for the record. If Mr. Misetic wants to
9 clarify that.
10 MR. MISETIC: I believe that [Overlapping speakers] ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, that might be wise to do. Yes.
12 MR. MISETIC:
13 Q. Mr. Akashi, you indicated you weren't in Knin on the 4th, 5th,
14 6th, but you were on the 7th of July, could you perhaps --
15 A. That's August.
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. I meant August, I'm sorry.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Akashi, on this issue of your general
19 recollection of the fact that Krajina Serbs were leaving, do you recall,
20 generally speaking, what information you received as to where they were
22 A. No, I myself did not have that information.
23 Q. Well, in the code cable that we're looking at, at paragraph 4,
24 you indicate that 32.000 civilians would be going from -- four towns in
25 the so-called RSK to Petrovac and Banja Luka. Can you tell us where that
1 information came from?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
3 MR. HEDARALY: I may have to be a little less gentle this time
4 and object to leading the witness. It seems to me that the logical
5 question is what is the general recollection, what do you know about that
6 when Your Honour asked the question, rather than leading him to a
7 specific line in the document.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think that the witnesses clearly explained
9 that his recollection as far as the general issue is concerned is there,
10 but that it does not go any further.
11 Is that correctly understood, Mr. Akashi?
12 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, you are entirely correct in your
13 understanding, sir.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Under those circumstances, Mr. Misetic is entitled to take the
16 witness to the documents and to see whether that in any way refreshes his
17 recollection or whether it triggers any additional recollection.
18 Mr. Misetic, you may proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Akashi, my question was: That first sentence in paragraph 4
21 of Exhibit D337, do you recall where that information came from?
22 A. No, I do not know that.
23 Q. Okay. Now, in your answer to His Honour Judge Orie, you
24 discussed a trip you took to Knin on the 7th of August. First, can you
25 tell us why you decided to go to Knin on the 7th of August?
1 A. I -- I do not recall as to why I travelled to Knin on that day.
2 But with regard to events in -- in the month of May that year, with
3 regard to Sector West, I remember I kept asking for permission to travel
4 to Sector West and permission came rather late for me to travel. Even on
5 the day I was allowed to travel, my helicopter had to turn back. It
6 would appear that the Croatian military had difficulty giving me
7 permission. So you needed permission not just from Mr. Sarinic but from
8 others as well.
9 So it could be that, in the case of travel to Knin in August,
10 August 7th, there may have been similar problems of permission from the
11 Croatian authorities. But I cannot be very specific on that.
12 Q. Yes. But, Mr. Akashi, my question wasn't about your permission
13 to go. My question is why did you want to go to Knin in the first place.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
15 MR. HEDARALY: I [Overlapping speakers] --
16 THE WITNESS: I think it's almost as both of us --
17 [overlapping speakers] ...
18 JUDGE ORIE: One -- one second, please, Mr. Akashi.
19 Mr. Hedaraly.
20 MR. HEDARALY: And in the beginning of the witness's answer he
21 said he did not recall why I travelled to Knin that day. Then he went on
22 to Sector West.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but it's unclear whether that's specific about
24 the day or -- let me just try to resolve this matter.
25 Mr. Akashi, was it for any specific purpose that you wanted to
1 travel to Knin where you finally travelled on the 7th of August?
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. I wanted to see with my own eyes
3 as to what happened, the conditions of life of my people, my personnel,
4 as well as conditions of the city, as well as living conditions of IDPs
5 which were housed in our military barracks.
6 So I think it is -- was in the nature of my responsibilities that
7 I wanted to get my own personal glimpse of the situation to make my
8 personal assessment.
9 MR. MISETIC:
10 Q. With respect to your answer that you wanted to see with my own
11 eyes as to what happened, the conditions -- the conditions of the city,
12 may I ask why you wanted to -- or what was the purpose of checking on the
13 condition of the city?
14 A. I'm surprised by the question. I think it's an intrinsic part of
15 my responsibility as UN Secretary-General Special Representative in the
16 area, to get first-hand information of the situation only a few days
17 after the major military attack --
18 Q. Well --
19 A. -- and humanitarian tragedy was also unfolding there.
20 Q. Well, let me ask you: Were you aware of allegations that Knin
21 had been indiscriminately shelled?
22 A. I don't recall that.
23 Q. Well, in the code cable we had on the screen before concerning
24 your meeting with Mr. Sarinic, there is reference to you telling
25 Mr. Sarinic or talking to him about 2 to 300 rounds falling on Knin. Do
1 you recall whether one of the purposes of your visit to Knin was to
2 determine the state of the city as it relates to allegations of the
3 shelling of Knin?
4 A. That was part of my purposes, yes. But please do not equate
5 shelling of 2 to 300 shells and indiscriminate shelling.
6 Q. Well, explain what you mean by that.
7 A. I mean exactly what I have said.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could I try to seek --
9 Did you want to say that mentioning 2 to 300 rounding falling on
10 Knin does not mean that the town of Knin
11 also is no evidence of the contrary.
12 Is that well understood?
13 THE WITNESS: That's correct -- that's correct, My Honour. I
14 think one should not go into a realm of speculation. Two to 300 shells
15 could mean indiscriminate shelling, but it could be that all those shells
16 could have been concentrated on military installations. You may have to
17 say you have to stretch imagination a little bit to believe that. But I
18 think we have to be -- we have to try to be as exact as possible.
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. Well, Mr. Akashi, do you recall whether, prior to your trip, you
21 had received allegations that the HV had in fact targeted non-military
22 targets in Knin and that in fact the Knin hospital had been shelled?
23 A. I do not recall that.
24 Q. Well, if we could look at tab 30 in your binder.
25 MR. MISETIC: And this is 65 ter 1D2918.
1 And I need to seek leave to add this to the 65 ter exhibit list,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
4 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted, Mr. Misetic.
6 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. And I'm interested in page 9 of this document. This is a weekly
8 situation report but if you look at the cover page - if we scroll down in
9 e-court - sorry. If we could go back to the cover page in e-court.
10 The cover page says that this a weekly situation report covering
11 the period 31 July through 6 August.
12 MR. MISETIC: And now if we could go to page 9.
13 Q. And it's drafted -- or, sorry, it's sent by you, Mr. Akashi.
14 Now in section D in the first paragraph, it says: "While a full
15 assessment of the situation will not be possible until UN personnel gain
16 freedom of movement in the area, there are initial reports of a number of
17 civilian casualties and apparent targeting of non-military targets by
18 Croatian forces in the Knin area. In a particularly egregious case,
19 UNCRO personnel assisted in evacuation of Knin hospital after it was
21 Does that refresh your recollection about the nature of some of
22 the allegations of the shelling of Knin?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you wait --
24 THE WITNESS: I do not recall --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Akashi. We sometimes have to
1 wait for the interpretation.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, My Honour.
3 I still have no recollection of specific shelling of the -- this
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President --
6 THE WITNESS: I imagine this is a specific hospital called Knin
8 MR. MISETIC:
9 Q. Yes.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D2918 be marked
11 and I tender it into evidence.
12 MR. HEDARALY: No objections.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1657.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, tell us what you recall about the condition of
18 Knin on 7th of August -- the condition of the town itself when you
19 visited the town on the 7th of August?
20 A. Mr. Misetic, even under normal conditions, Knin was not a
21 particularly attractive or clean city, and Knin, on the 7th of August,
22 presented a typical city which has come out of quite a major military
23 assault. The streets were littered with -- with pieces of building and
24 stores had their show windows broken, and particularly it was -- it was a
25 very sad sight to see so many internally displaced persons, child and old
1 men, as well as women, seeking temporary refuge in the UNCRO or military
3 I received representatives of these IDPs. I remember that
4 subsequent meeting with some of the leaders of refugees indicated that
5 they were very sorry that they did not follow the advice given by UN.
6 But, yeah, they began to blame Martic for his lack of true understanding
7 of the situation.
8 Q. Okay. Did you notice any -- any particular -- particularly
9 unusual damage caused by artillery?
10 A. What do you call "unusual"?
11 Q. Well, damage that you normally wouldn't expect from a military --
12 well, let me rephrase the question.
13 Did you notice damage to residential apartment buildings or
14 civilian structures throughout the town that you attributed to artillery
16 A. Some of the houses which looked like residences of civilians were
18 Q. Okay. In terms of your meetings with the UN in the compound --
19 let me ask you first, were you briefed by UN personnel in the compound?
20 A. Yes, indeed, I did.
21 Q. And what did they tell you about what was transpiring in Knin,
22 first, with respect to the behaviour of Croatian troops?
23 A. I do not recall specifically what they told me of -- with regard
24 to behaviour of Croatian forces. But I was very proud of the way in
25 which they opened their accommodations for temporary refuge of Croatian
1 Serb inhabitants. I thought the behaviour of our military in Knin was
2 exemplary. But, of course, despite their best efforts, of course, IDPs
3 were in some kind of a shock, and they presented a very -- very sorry
5 Q. Did you receive in your briefing information that the Croatian
6 Army was engaging in systematic looting of the town?
7 A. I don't remember that.
8 Q. Okay. Mr. Akashi, let me turn your attention to tab 12 of your
9 binder, which is Exhibit D29. This is your code cable to Mr. Annan
10 concerning your trip to Knin.
11 A. Mm-hm.
12 Q. Now, first of all, before I get into the details of this, let me
13 ask you, did you also -- you said you spoke to some of the Serbs in
14 the -- in the UN camp. Do you recall whether they expressed to you a
15 desire to stay or leave Croatia
16 A. I don't remember as to what they wanted to -- to do. I don't
17 remember specifically that any of them wanted to leave Knin. Maybe they
18 were in some kind of daze at that -- at this stage. But it is possible
19 that there was a discussion --
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. -- on that point.
22 Q. Let's look at the code cable. And if we look at paragraph 2, you
24 "My overall impression of the town of Knin is that it suffered
25 considerable damage from artillery fire, which was evident in the
1 streets, where I observed many shops with broken windows, cars damaged
2 and off the road, artillery shell holes in the road, et cetera. However,
3 the damage to the town's structures, while noticeable, was less than I
4 anticipated. Large numbers of homes and buildings were left untouched by
5 the fighting."
6 My question is: In that quotation, you say "it was less than I
7 anticipated." Do you recall what had you anticipated, prior to coming to
9 A. I must have anticipated somewhat larger damage and destruction.
10 Q. Do you know -- do you recall why you would have anticipated that?
11 A. I do not recall why.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. But, maybe, my previous information may have made me thought that
14 it could be larger.
15 Q. Okay. Do you recall visiting the hospital when you went to Knin?
16 A. No, I don't -- I don't remember visiting the hospital.
17 Q. Okay. If you turn to the page and go to paragraph 3 of the
19 A. Hmm. Mm-hm. So I was there.
20 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ...
21 A. It would appear.
22 Q. Yes, I was going to say, it would appear from the document. It
23 talks about what you found, the conditions you found.
24 "The hospital was large and in generally good condition having
25 been hit by only one artillery round."
1 Does that refresh your recollection at all about a trip to the
3 A. In these visits, I go to so many different places that I do not
4 have a specific impression left about the conditions of the hospital.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. MISETIC: Can we go to the next page, which is paragraph 6.
7 Q. Now, you write to Mr. Annan:
8 "In talks with the refugees in the camps and with their two
9 designated representatives, several common concerns repeatedly emerged,
10 in addition to the one on interviews. The most striking aspect of my
11 conversations, however, was the fact that all of those with whom I spoke
12 uniformly expressed a desire to leave Croatia (with the exception of the
13 doctor mentioned above). Perhaps the refugees' greatest preoccupation
14 was, would they be able to freely leave Croatia for the FRY, or,
15 alternatively, Bosnia
16 their departure. The refugees also sought assurances that they would not
17 be expelled from the UNCRO compound, pending a more permanent resolution
18 of their predicament. They also wanted to know whether they would be
19 able to take mobile property with them when they departed, and whether
20 they would be compensated for fixed property left behind."
21 Now, does that passage refresh your recollection about you having
22 conversations with the refugees about their desires as of the 7th of
23 August to leave Croatia
24 A. My answer is yes and no. I think they may have had emotional
25 desire to leave the town of Knin
1 same time, it would appear that they were asking for all kinds of
2 assurances for them to depart from those conditions.
3 So, under these conditions, I think refugees are likely to
4 express all kinds of hopes because of the -- their experiences and their
6 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Akashi.
7 Now, on the 6th of August, the day before this trip to Knin, you
8 had a meeting with Mr. Sarinic at which time the agreement with
9 Mr. Sarinic was signed; is that correct?
10 A. I did not get you.
11 Q. I said: The 6th of August is the day that you reached agreement
12 with Mr. Sarinic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Could you tell us in your own words what you understood the
15 substance of the agreement to be.
16 A. It dealt with the question of safe passage, as well as questions
17 of protection of human rights.
18 Q. Okay. On the issue of human rights, were you familiar, then,
19 with the establishment of Human Rights Action Teams in the newly
20 liberated areas?
21 A. I do not have specific recollection, but, generally, this is what
22 we desired to have established, for the purpose of monitoring
23 humanitarian situations.
24 Q. Okay. At paragraph 10 of your statement which is now in
25 evidence, you said: "I recall the United Nations field teams, including,
1 UNMO, UNCIVPOL, and HRAT" -- which is the Human Rights Action Teams, "all
2 of their field report would have been sent to someone in my office."
3 Now, explain to us when these reports come into your office what
4 happens then?
5 A. It depends on the nature of the reports. Reports from UNMOs are
6 usually looked at by military -- by my military staff. Reports dealing
7 with human rights are looked at by my civilian colleagues. And when a
8 very important, serious information is given, usually my attention is
9 drawn to it. And some of the important questions are dealt with in -- in
10 my discussions on a daily staff meeting.
11 Q. Okay. Now, if -- if a matter is important and let's use, by way
12 of example, you receive reports of -- from the field of human rights
13 violations occurring on the ground and this is brought to your attention,
14 what steps, if any, do you take then?
15 A. I cannot give you a specific procedure. At that -- if it is a
16 question of a serious violation of human rights, civil affairs will study
17 the matter, the extent of severity, as well as -- as the nature of the
18 violations, and I may discuss with civil affairs and with my own staff
19 the implications of such a violation and what action we should take at
20 what level --
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. -- and, of course, New York
23 these violations.
24 Q. Okay. So in terms of -- what I was getting at is what you refer
25 to as -- what actions should be taken at what level.
1 Now, I presume one action is to draw New York headquarters
2 attention to these violations. What other actions might be undertaken
3 in -- if a report of human rights violation comes in?
4 A. For instance, the matter could become urgent subject of
5 discussion with Mr. Sarinic.
6 Q. Okay.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I am looking at the clock.
8 MR. MISETIC: This is a perfect time, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: It's the perfect time.
10 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi, we'll conclude for the day. We are in
12 the early afternoon; you are already the early evening hours. I would --
13 first of all, I would like to instruct you that, since we will continue
14 tomorrow, that you should not speak with anyone about the testimony,
15 whether that is testimony you've given already or still to be given the
16 days to come.
17 We'd like to see you back at the same time tomorrow, and we hope
18 that there will be no further technical difficulties which would cause us
19 to have a break for, as we started this morning, a break for
20 approximately one hour, so we hope to start right away tomorrow. I think
21 it was in your time 4.00, if I'm well-informed.
22 THE WITNESS: That's correct, Your Honour. That's correct.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'd like to see you back tomorrow, Tokyo
24 time, 4.00.
25 And we will adjourn for the day and resume tomorrow, the 16th of
1 September, Western European time 9.00 in the morning.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of
4 September, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.