1 Wednesday, 16 September 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. And good afternoon to
6 those who are in attendance in Tokyo
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, could I invite you repeat the case. We --
11 it's -- becomes a tradition that we start with French on the English
12 channel in the morning.
13 Could you please repeat.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
15 is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much.
17 Could I inquire whether my words in whatever language could be
18 understood in Tokyo
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes,
20 I'm happy to report that we can see and hear you clearly.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Monkhouse.
22 I'd first like to inform the parties that the decision delivered
23 by the two remaining Judges yesterday remains in force today. That means
24 that it's in the interests of justice to continue to hear the case in the
25 absence of Judge Kinis.
1 Could I further inquire, Mr. Registrar, who are in the room
2 you're in, in Tokyo
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honours, Mr. Akashi, myself
4 and, pursuant to the Trial Chamber's request for judicial assistance, a
5 representative of the Japanese foreign affairs is also attending.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Monkhouse, for that information.
7 Mr. Akashi you would like to remind you --
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- I would like to remind that you are you still
10 bound by the solemn declaration you have given at the beginning of your
11 testimony yesterday.
12 WITNESS: YASUSHI AKASHI [Resumed]
13 [Witness testified via videolink]
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, I fully understand that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Mr. Misetic, are you ready to continue your examination-in-chief.
17 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
20 Examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Akashi.
22 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Misetic -- good morning, rather.
23 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you one follow-up question to your meeting
24 in Knin on the 7th, or your trip to Knin on the 7th that I didn't ask you
1 We looked extensively at the code cable that you prepared after
2 that trip to Knin, and I had asked you whether you had been briefed by
3 the UN personnel in Knin as to any evidence of systematic looting by the
4 Croatian Army, and you said you did not recall that.
5 Had you been briefed to that effect by the United Nations
6 personnel in Knin, would that have been something that you would have
7 included in the code cable to Mr. Annan?
8 A. In all probability, my answer is yes.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Akashi.
10 Now, picking up where we left off yesterday, you had -- we
11 started talking about the system of reporting and then what measures you
12 would take in the situation where the teams in the field, particularly
13 HRAT, UNMO, UNCIVPOL or UNCRO, would report about human rights violations
14 in the field, and if you received that information, what measures might
15 be taken, and you gave us two examples at the end of the day yesterday.
16 One being that it would be reported to New York; and the second
17 possibility is that you might ask for a meeting with Mr. Sarinic to
18 discuss the matter.
19 Is that -- does that accurately reflect what you stated
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Can you tell us why, upon receiving such reports from the
23 field, you would ask for a meeting with Mr. Sarinic?
24 A. Could you repeat that question?
25 Q. What was the purpose of asking for a meeting with Mr. Sarinic,
1 for example, if you would receive reports from the field about human
2 rights violations? What would you hope to achieve?
3 A. It is part my responsibility as SRSG to discourage military
4 conflict and, if possible, to prevent it; in addition, protection for UN
5 personnel as well as innocent civilian populations, and, as well,
6 safe-guarding of their human rights. These are all part and parcel of my
8 Q. Yes, I understand. Let me start by turning your attention to the
9 document that is tab 15 in your binder.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, that is Exhibit D1534.
11 Q. Mr. Akashi, this is a code cable sent from you, again, to
12 Mr. Annan, on the 16th of August, and it discusses the situation in
13 various sectors.
14 If you could turn your attention to paragraph 7 of this document,
15 which is on page 2.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. The paragraph says:
18 "The arson campaign conducted by the Croatians, which has been
19 under way in Sector South since the 8th of August [sic] has accounted for
20 an estimated 200 houses. Almost the entire towns of Kistanje, Djevrska,
21 and Otric have been torched."
22 Now, to the best of your recollection, is that the information
23 you were receiving as to the total number of houses that had been burned
24 in Sector South as of 16 August?
25 A. I cannot be positive, but I have no need to question the veracity
1 of information in this paragraph.
2 Q. Okay. I'd like to show you a clip, a video-clip right now. On
3 the same day as this code cable you, in fact, had a meeting with
4 Mr. Sarinic, and I would like to show you that clip.
5 MR. MISETIC: There is -- just one moment. One moment.
6 There is 1D1174. And it's report about your meeting with
7 Mr. Sarinic on the 16th of August.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Bunjevac-Filipovic: The future of
10 the UNCRO mandate and the reduction of the number of its troops were the
11 subject of there morning's meeting between the Chief of Staff of the
12 office of the president of the republic, Hrvoje Sarinic and the Special
13 Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Yasushi Akashi.
14 "Reporter: What can be the conclusion of today's meeting between
15 Sarinic and Akashi
16 however both sides are on the same, or rather, good path.
17 "Hrvoje Sarinic: These are a series of meetings during which we
18 will discusses the future UNCRO mandate, the reduction of the forces
19 stationed here. I think that we are on a good path of resolving these
20 issues. You know that a part of UNCRO forces is already leaving Croatia
21 and our discussions are proceeding in this respect.
22 "Reporter: The situation in Slavonia, the repeated attacks of
23 the Serb insurgents on Croatian towns, this is a separate subject.
24 "Hrvoje Sarinic: I have naturally stressed again those basic
25 principles that are guiding Croatian policy in that they must control in
1 the east sector which is naturally, the most delicate at this point the
2 border in the east sector and the part much the border towards Bosnia
3 which is controlled on by the Bosnian Serbs.
4 "Yasushi Akashi: The situation is tense with occasional
5 shellings on both sides, but I believe that there isn't any prospect of
6 major fighting taking place. I bring this conclusion on the basis of
7 contacts and dialogues between the head of Osijek and Baranja county and
8 the representative of the former Sector East.
9 "Reporter: The next meeting between Sarinic and Akashi
10 scheduled to take place in a couple of days."
11 MR. MISETIC:
12 Q. Mr. Akashi --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- it seems that the topics of conversations, at least as
15 reported there, and according to your comments and Mr. Sarinic's
16 comments --
17 JUDGE ORIE: I wondered, Mr. Kehoe, whether the transcript was
18 already -- we don't not only have to wait for the translation but also
19 for the transcript. But for the time being, please proceed. But I think
20 that the transcript is yet not complete at this point, the transcript is
21 not complete, but perhaps difficult to ...
22 Yes, it will be completed later. But not only the translation
23 but also the transcript needs our attention.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I apologise to the court reporter.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. MISETIC:
2 Q. Mr. Akashi, in that video-clip --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- it seems that on the 16th of August, according to the news
5 report and the reported comments made by you and Mr. Sarinic, that the
6 topic of conversation seemed to be deployment of UNCRO troops and the
7 situation there Eastern Slavonia. And I'd also like to show you a code
8 cable that you prepared on the 17th, and this is tab 78 in the binder.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the video be marked, and
10 I tender it into evidence.
11 MR. HEDARALY: Was there a question put to the witness rather
12 than the comment from Mr. Misetic, is -- that being said, we don't object
13 to the admission of it. But I'm just wondering --
14 JUDGE ORIE: The question is still to follow, Mr. Misetic --
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- in view of the fact there are no objections and
17 we will hear questions about it.
18 Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1658.
20 JUDGE ORIE: D1658 is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. MISETIC:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, tab 78 in your binder is 65 ter 2404.
23 A. Is this it? Uh-huh. Yes.
24 Q. It is the code cable for the -- it says -- dated 17 August, but
25 if you look at the first paragraph, it begins by talking about yesterday
1 which obviously would be the 16th of yesterday, and --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I think we have a problem on getting it
3 on our screen and what I saw from your Case Manager, there was some
4 problem with the number which apparently has now been resolved.
5 We are now looking at 65 ter? Mr. Registrar?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are looking at 65 ter numbers
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. MISETIC:
11 Q. Again, the document refers to events that took place on the 16th
12 of August, and if we go to paragraph 2 towards the middle, there's a
13 reference to this meeting that we saw in the video-clip. And it says,
14 Mr. Akashi -- sorry, the topic was:
15 "There are growing indications that forced repatriation of those
16 refugees to Velika Kladusa area may begin today. Mr. Akashi raised this
17 issue with Mr. Sarinic yesterday in a meeting between the two and was
18 given assurances of cooperation by the Croatian authorities and adhering
19 to the international standards for the protection of the refugees."
20 Now, there doesn't appear to be any further reference in the code
21 cable to the meeting with Mr. Sarinic on the 16th.
22 My question to you, based on both the video and the code cable,
23 is: Do you have any reason to believe that you raised any issues of --
24 concerning human rights reports with Mr. Sarinic on the 16th?
25 A. I have no recollection in that regard.
1 Q. Okay. Obviously my question -- I hope you understood, I meant
2 human rights in Sector South. Obviously the issue of the Bosnian Muslim
3 refugees in Velika Kladusa was discussed.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 2404 be marked and
5 I tender it into evidence.
6 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1659.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
10 I'd like to put a follow-up question in this respect.
11 Mr. Akashi, from the fact that --
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- neither in the video --
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- nor in this cable anything is said about human
16 rights or violation of human rights concerns in Sector South. Could we
17 conclude that they were non-existent at that time?
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, my supposition is that in those
19 circumstances, raising the human rights questions would not have been
20 unnatural or illogical. So I would not attribute too much meaning to the
21 fact that -- the difference to it is missing from one cable or another.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, we're going through a series of
25 these just --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. MISETIC: -- so if I could complete the line of question.
3 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry, just for the transcript, I may have
4 misunderstood. I just want to -- if it possible to clarify if someone
5 else understood. Was it "a natural or illogical" or "natural or a
6 logical"? I missed it.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi --
10 THE WITNESS: May I repeat, My Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: I said that from simple lack of reference to human
13 rights, we cannot necessarily deduce that there was no discussion of
14 these matters.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you used a few words on which Mr. Hedaraly
16 seeks clarification, especially in view of what we see in front of us as
17 our transcript. Did you say that raising the human rights question would
18 not have been a unnatural or an un-logical matter to raise.
19 Is that what you said?
20 THE WITNESS: That's correct, My Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
23 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, who was Phillip Arnold?
25 A. Huh? I beg your pardon.
1 Q. Who was Phillip Arnold?
2 A. He was my press spokesman.
3 Q. Okay. Mr. Akashi, I have another video which -- this is from the
4 22nd of August, 1995. This is Mr. Arnold, your press spokesman, in a
5 video-clip, which I believe is 22 minutes on a programme called Slikom na
6 Sliku, which is a national TV programme on the evening news broadcast in
8 stipulation on this so we don't have to play the video - but Mr. Arnold
9 doesn't discuss any issue of human rights violations in the newly
10 liberated territories.
11 MR. MISETIC: If I could ask the Prosecution whether they're
12 willing to stipulate to that.
13 MR. HEDARALY: I think the e-mail correspondence was CC'd to the
14 Chamber. And I think I had expressed the Prosecution's position at that
15 time, which is still the same, which is if we can have the transcript of
16 it, we can review it and see if there is any relevance. The little clip
17 that has been put on the exhibit list for this witness that we have
18 reviewed has a question and answer series, and none of the questions
19 referred to Sector South, so obviously to then conclude from that, that
20 there is no reference to crime just is completely irrelevant.
21 So if we can have the transcript of the full 22 minutes, if
22 that's what Mr. Misetic is seeking a stipulation for, which we had asked
23 now whenever we got the request, then we will be able to respond.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President --
25 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, when was the e-mail copied to the
1 Chamber? Could you ...
2 MR. MISETIC: It was early August, Mr. President, and
3 Mr. Hedaraly has had a complete transcript of the entire video along with
4 the entire video. It's 65 ter 1D1173. It's also in the binder at tab 20
5 and it's the entire 22 minutes were, in fact, transcribed, translated at
6 Mr. Hedaraly's request.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now it seems that Mr. Hedaraly is more
8 hesitant to adopt any conclusions from that rather than that he would be
9 un-waiving, unwilling to stipulate that the issue was not mentioned.
10 Where you say, if you don't ask about it, you'll get no answers in
11 relation to that issue.
12 Now, Mr. Hedaraly, let's focus first on conclusions, have you
13 reviewed the full transcript?
14 MR. HEDARALY: I have reviewed the five pages of transcript that
15 was a -- with the 65 ter number that we received. If that is the full
16 22 minutes, then I can say I have reviewed the complete, if that is those
17 five pages of transcript, then I have -- I thought 22 minutes would be
18 much longer than five pages, so I thought it was the just a small portion
19 that I had.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Not everyone is talking so quickly that it fills
21 pages and pages. Mr. Misetic, are the five pages the full transcript?
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President. The reason the video is long
23 is because the translations going back and forth.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Stipulation apparently sought by Mr. Misetic is
25 whether the issue violations of human rights and commission of crimes is
1 appearing in this transcript, in this video, Mr. Misetic proposing to you
2 that it cannot be found in it.
3 Could you stipulate on that, apart from what conclusions would
4 you draw from that.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Sure. But then I guess -- I would wonder what the
6 relevance of that stipulation or of that fact would be if then there
7 would be no conclusion that we felt would be relevant as a result.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, I think, as a matter of fact, of course,
9 in terms of conclusions that you would say it's irrelevant because you
10 can't draw any conclusions.
11 Mr. Misetic, I take it, will attach some weight to it in drawing
12 conclusions and find the relevance in that, and then the stipulation in
13 itself seems not to be problematic.
14 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, I'm -- maybe I'm misunderstanding
15 something, and if I am, I apologise.
16 The stipulation in itself, I don't see how that can assist the
17 Chamber without the Chamber having actually the context in which that
18 interview was made, what questions were posed; so it's not only a matter
19 of what conclusion to draw from it from the Prosecution standpoint, which
20 we question, but also just a stipulation standing like this, that this --
21 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, that Mr. Misetic
22 proposes to tender the document. That would include all the questions,
23 but in order to save time in Court, not to invite the witness to read
24 through it in full and then to find -- to come to the same -- I should
25 avoid the word "conclusion." But to come to the same finding that no
1 violations of human rights or commission of crimes are mentioned in that
2 interview. That's what, apparently, Mr. Misetic is looking for.
3 MR. HEDARALY: That's fine. The original e-mail was a
4 stipulation in lieu of the transcript. If the transcript is in evidence,
5 then there is no problem with that stipulation.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic that is what you intended to achieve?
7 MR. MISETIC: That is, indeed.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then we don't have to bother the witness reading
9 five pages to find what every person who can read could find.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you. Then, Mr. President I ask that that
12 exhibit be marked, and I tender it into evidence, 65 ter 1D1173.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1660.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: D1660 is admitted into evidence. And the
17 stipulation is on the record, that commission of crimes or violations of
18 human rights were not mentioned during this interview questions and
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Mr. Akashi, if we could then turn to a meeting that took place
23 between you and Mr. Sarinic on the 2nd September. And I'd like to show
24 you an another video-clip of that meeting, which is 65 ter 1D1175.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Reporter: UN Secretary-General
2 Special Representative arrived in Zagreb after talks with the
3 representatives of so-called Serb authorities in Erdut on the temporarily
4 occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia
5 "Yasushi Akashi: Sector East leadership has accepted UNCRO's
6 proposal for a new mandated which included border monitoring between
8 also includes the implementation of the cease-fire agreement from
9 29 March 1994
10 "Reporter: On the border between the Republic of Croatia
11 so-called FRY in the former Sector East, as Akashi explained, nine
12 check-points will be established and regarding other border areas with
13 the so-called FRY, including Prevlaka and Dubrovnik, UN military
14 observers will remain in those areas. Akashi also commented on the talks
15 with the military commanders in former Sector East who have, as Akashi
16 said, affirmed their willingness to adhere to the cease-fire and find a
17 peaceful resolution. According to Akashi, a meeting is scheduled to take
18 place on Monday between the commander of the Osijek Military District,
19 General Djuro Decak and the Serb General Dusan Loncar. In expressing his
20 gratification over the talks which are topics for negotiations on the
21 peaceful reintegration of Sector East of the constitutional system of
22 Republic of Croatia Hrvoje Sarinic stated.
23 "Hrvoje Sarinic: We are on the way of establishing a kind of
24 temporary administration there which would primarily ensure the return of
25 the displaced persons, and afterwards, naturally, the complete peaceful
1 reintegration of that area that to the constitutional system of the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 "Reporter: Answering reporters' questions on Croatia
4 regarding the latest American peace initiative, Sarinic stated that
6 also sufficiently realistic."
7 MR. MISETIC:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, do you recall --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let me ask you there question: From this video it again doesn't
11 appear that human rights issues in Sector South were a topic of
12 conversation. Do you recall having any meeting with Mr. Sarinic from
13 the -- from the 7th of August until -- and through the 2nd of September,
14 specifically on the issue of human rights violations taking place in
15 Sector South?
16 A. Mr. Misetic, I was not in Croatia
17 referred to. I left Zagreb
18 return to New York
19 and then I returned to Zagreb
20 give you a specific answer whether human rights questions, were raised or
21 not raised in my frequent meetings with Mr. Sarinic in the course of my
22 actual presence in Croatia
23 Q. Okay.
24 JUDGE ORIE: For the record, Mr. Akashi --
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- from what I see from here, Mr. Akashi, you're
2 consulting what appears to be a diary and you do it with such precision
3 that even a magnifying-glass assists you. That's -- as I said before, if
4 you want to consult anything, well, we can see it so there's no problem.
5 Whenever you want to consult any notes or any documentary materials,
6 you're invited to tell us, but it's now on the record.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President, I ask that --
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. Inadvertently, my age
10 shows up, apparently.
11 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
12 Mr. President, I would ask that 65 ter 1D1175 be marked, and I
13 tender it into evidence.
14 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1661.
17 JUDGE ORIE: D1661 is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. MISETIC:
19 Q. Mr. Akashi, I'd like to you take a look at the document which is
20 at tab 18 in your binder. And this is 65 ter 1710.
21 A. Yes, please.
22 Q. Okay. This is a code cable drafted by -- or I'm sorry, sent by
23 you to Mr. Annan on the 9th of September, documenting your meeting with
24 Mr. Sarinic on that day. And there a lot of issues that you discussed
25 with him. But if we turn to paragraph 6, which is at page 2, it seems
1 that Mr. Sarinic complained -- let me just read. He says:
2 "He made particular mention of our press and information reports
3 on mass graves as having had an effect on the international community.
4 He insisted that these reports were untrue and should be retracted. He
5 also insisted that the Croatians, particularly General Cermak, had
6 provided UNCRO with all the necessary details to refute such claims. I
7 assured Sarinic that all our reports were factual and refrain from making
8 any sweeping judgements in our press releases. However, while I did not
9 in any way associate the continued burning and looting in Sectors North
10 and South with the government, in some case, Croatian Army and police had
11 been seen in the vicinity of such incidents."
12 And if we go to your witness statement, at paragraph 13, you
13 mention this meeting. You said:
14 "On 9 September 1995
15 with Hrvoje Sarinic. I do not recall raising concerns about the Croatian
16 government being behind the burning, because I did not consider the
17 Croatian government in the narrow, strict sense to be the perpetrator of
18 these acts. I thought that there were individual criminal elements not
19 part of the Croatian government who might have been doing these things,
20 including order criminal, paramilitary groups and roving gangs. Had I
21 received reports that the Croatian government was behind the burning and
22 looting of Serbian property, I certainly would have raised it with
23 Hrvoje Sarinic. This would have been part of my duties as the
24 Special Representative."
25 A. Mr. Misetic, what is reported in those official cables, from my
2 whatever information I may have discussed -- I told you on the phone
3 several weeks ago, because my present memory is not certainly as detailed
4 or as accurate as the information I was communicating to headquarters in
6 Q. Yes, I understand that, Mr. Akashi. But my question to you is:
7 Do you recall ever raising a issue with Mr. Sarinic to the effect that,
8 in fact, the government was behind burning and looting?
9 A. I just want to refer back to the cable you mentioned several
10 minutes ago, which make some specific references to the acts of Croatian
11 Army and the police.
12 Q. Yes. But other than that paragraph, which, again, says you did
13 not associate the continued burning and looting with the government, my
14 question is: Do you recall at any time raising an issue that the
15 government was behind a campaign of burning and looting?
16 A. I cannot be specific, but in those circumstances, all kinds of
17 crimes of commission and omission were discussed.
18 Q. Do you recall anything specifically?
19 A. As I said, my present memory is not very specific.
20 Q. Okay.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1710 be marked,
22 and I tender it into evidence.
23 MR. HEDARALY: Which one is that?
24 MR. MISETIC: The code cable of the 9th of September.
25 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that is will be Exhibit D1662.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Mr. Akashi, I'd ask to you turn to exhibit -- well, let me ...
6 Exhibit 25 -- or, sorry, tab 25 in your binder.
7 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, this is 65 ter 1D1589.
8 Q. Now this is a memo to you from Mr. Annan, and it's dated
9 16 October 1995
10 "During Security Council consultations today, the Russian
11 delegation made the following requests ..."
12 And then paragraph 1 (b)(1) says that:
13 "According to information received by his delegation," which
14 would be the Russian delegation, "in 320 villages visited by UN
15 personnel, 22.000 houses had been burnt."
16 And I'm going to ask you a question about this.
17 MR. MISETIC: But, Mr. President, if I could have this one marked
18 and I tender it into evidence.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
20 MR. HEDARALY: I have no objection.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1663.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D1663 is admitted into evidence.
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Mr. Akashi, if you could turn to the next tab, which is tab 26.
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, this is 65 ter 1D1591.
2 Q. And this is your response to Mr. Annan, dated the 17th of
4 I'm sorry, I failed to read to that you paragraph 1 (b)(5) of
5 that code cable from Mr. Annan to you said: "Could the UN have access to
6 reports by the OSCE coming out the Vienna
7 One report had said that of 21.000 homes visited in the Krajina, 15.000
8 had been destroyed."
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could we go back to that so that we could follow
10 your reading, Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: Yes. This is D1663. It's the next page, please.
12 It's the paragraph (5) at the top.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Akashi, tab 26 - this is 1D1591 -
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- and you write:
18 "Further to paragraph 1 (b)(5) of your MSC-3268, we believe the
19 statistics mentioned in your cable concerning destruction of property are
20 based on a survey conducted by UN Military Observers, which is refers to
21 in a report by ECMM. To our knowledge, no monitors, other than UNMOs,
22 have visited 21.000 homes in the area."
23 Now, Mr. Akashi, do you recall, first of all, what this UN
24 Military Observer survey was about?
25 A. It is the responsibility of UN Military Observers, or UNMOs, to
1 be brief, to constantly monitor the situation under their responsibility
2 and give us their reports, and so this is part of their standard
3 responsibility, and this is simply one example of many such reports they
5 Q. Yes. But I'm asking you now specifically: Do you recall
6 receiving a report from UNMO which would indicate that out of 22.000
7 houses in Sector South, 16.000 had been destroyed or partially destroyed?
8 A. I have no recollection of that particular report.
9 Q. Well, would that be something that would have stuck in your
10 memory, that 16.000 out of 22.000 houses had been destroyed, had you
11 received that information?
12 A. Mr. Misetic, I cannot tell you one way or another.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit, 65 ter
15 1D1595 be marked, and I tender it into evidence.
16 JUDGE ORIE: There are no objections from Mr. Hedaraly.
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that is will be Exhibit D1664.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D1664 is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. MISETIC:
21 Q. Mr. Akashi, while we're on this document, do you have any
22 knowledge or any reason to believe that before the -- this memo of the
23 17th of October, you had sent any information to Mr. Annan indicating
24 that UNMOs were reporting that 16.000 houses had been destroyed or
25 partially destroyed in Sector South up until that time?
1 A. Could you repeat your question again?
2 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that prior to this memo of the
3 17th of October, 1995, you had informed New York of reports by UNMO that
4 16.000 houses had been destroyed or partially destroyed in Sector South.
5 A. If such a fact had been reported by UNMOs, it is most probable
6 that I have received such information and I would have transmitted --
7 transmitted it to New York
8 Q. Let me follow up on that answer.
9 Obviously we can see from the code cables that you dealt with
10 Mr. Annan on a mostly a daily basis. Looking at these two memos - in
11 other words, the memo from Mr. Annan to you asking for an explanation,
12 given what the Russian delegation was claiming in the Security Council
13 and your reply to him - if you, in fact, had already told him of that
14 information, if you had relayed to him previously the findings of UNMO,
15 can you explain why Mr. Annan would have sent you such a memo on the 16th
16 of August, and why in your memo back you wouldn't have just referred back
17 to any earlier correspondence, in which you had previously already
18 advised him of this?
19 A. First of all, Kofi Annan sent me this cable because of questions
20 were raised on the matter in the Security Council, but I have no
21 background as to whether UNMOs have made previous report, or reports, to
22 us on this matter. I -- I am -- I'm not.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, page 22, line 17 start with the 16th of
24 August, although the request by Mr. Annan was dated the 16th of October,
25 and the response was the 17th of October. Did you want to refer to
1 anything else than the 16th of October?
2 MR. MISETIC: No.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That was a mistake. Then we understand your
4 question to relate to the 16th of October request by Mr. Annan to
5 Mr. Akashi in relation to matters raised in the Security Council.
6 MR. MISETIC: That's correct, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. MISETIC:
10 Q. Mr. Akashi, let me show you an exhibit which is marked -- I
11 believe it is P97. This is tab 80 in your binder.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. If you look at the heading, it's dated 13 September 1995
14 and it was sent to UNMO HQ Zagreb. And now this --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. -- gives some allegations concerning a survey done by the UNMOs,
17 and it says, if you look at numbered paragraph 1, under "Main basic
19 "As on 13 September ... out of 18.232 houses in 240 villages ...
20 checked by UNMO, more than 13.600, or 73 per cent, houses have been
21 completely or partly burnt/destroyed after Operation Storm.
22 Approximately 650 houses or only" -- sorry.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. "... or 5 per cent had been destroyed before 4 August."
25 Now looking at this document and comparing it with the memos in
1 October that we just looked at, my question is, first of all, do you
2 recall seeing anything like this in September of 1995?
3 A. I cannot give you a positive answer -- to you whether I had seen
4 such a report prior to this date.
5 Q. Okay. Let me ask you then a general question first.
6 Based on your knowledge of how your office functioned as the
7 Special Representative for the Secretary-General, if, on the 13th of
8 September, your office had received information that following
9 Operation Storm, 73 -- 73 per cent of houses in Sector South had been
10 completely or partly burnt or destroyed after Operation Storm, would that
11 have been something that you would raise with Mr. Sarinic?
12 A. It would appear, on the face of it, that this constitutes a
13 serious enough violation and would have been an appropriate matter of my
14 discussion with Mr. Sarinic.
15 Q. Okay. Let me see if I can -- if I understand your testimony,
16 however, Mr. Akashi. You have no recollection of having seen such a
17 report, and you have no recollection of ever having raised this issue
18 with Mr. Sarinic?
19 A. Actually, you are referring to the situation 14 years ago, and we
20 were involved in a number of critical situations, not just in Croatia
21 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I think I should be forgiven for -- if I
22 do not recall all these details of exchanges which have taken place.
23 Q. Okay. Well, based on your knowledge of how your office
24 functioned, Mr. Akashi, would we expect -- or would you expect that we
25 would find a code cable from you to Mr. Annan passing this information
1 along somewhere on or near the 13th of September, 1995, if, in fact, you
2 had received this information?
3 A. Could you repeat your question, please?
4 Q. I understand your memory has faded, Mr. Akashi, so let me ask you
5 as to how your office functioned.
6 If your office received information that you see in this report,
7 would normal procedure be to relay this information in a code cable to
8 Mr. Annan?
9 A. I think in the normal course of events I -- my office would, in
10 all probability, have transmitted such information to New York
11 Q. Okay. And if you had had a meeting with Mr. Sarinic on this
12 issue, would you expect or would normal procedure be that you would
13 document that meeting with Mr. Sarinic on this topic in a code cable to
14 Mr. Annan?
15 A. I would say yes. But, as you know, there were so many meetings
16 with Sarinic, each meeting dealing with a number of urgent questions.
17 But in the course of these meetings the kind of events mentioned in this
18 particular cable would have come up.
19 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Akashi, let me ask you about something which I
20 believe you have some knowledge of.
21 The Secretary-General, you're aware, would, in this time-period,
22 periodically submit reports to the Security Council on the situation in
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And in his preparation of his reports, would you send him or
1 assist him, I should say, in preparing those reports to the
2 Security Council?
3 A. Yes. Certainly I would have -- or, rather, my office would have
4 assisted Secretary-General's office in preparing these reports to the
5 Security Council.
6 Q. Okay. Let me ask to you look at tab 43 of your binder. And this
7 is, Mr. Registrar, 65 ter 1D2932. I'm sorry, I'm told I need to seek
8 leave to add this to our 65 ter exhibit list?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Is that the 23 August report to the Security
12 MR. MISETIC: I'm getting to that one next, but this is the
13 29 September report.
14 MR. HEDARALY: The further report.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
16 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, no objection to that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted, Mr. Misetic.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Akashi --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, there is a paragraph 5, it's on the first page --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- in this report to the Security Council.
24 A. Mm-hmm.
25 Q. There's references to continuing reports of human rights abuses
1 and of the looting and burning of houses.
2 And if we go to page 4, paragraph 14.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. It says:
5 "The Croatian government has stated that Serbs are welcome to
6 live in Croatia
7 Sectors West, North and South are welcome to return. However, UNCRO
8 continues to receive from its Human Rights Action Teams well-documented
9 reports of human rights abuses and destruction of property. The
10 incidents described in those reports do nothing to restore confidence
11 among the Serb minority. A continuing United Nations presence in Croatia
12 will provide one means of monitoring human rights ..." and then it goes
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If you wish, can you take a look through this report, but there
16 is no mention in this further report of the Secretary-General, of the
17 statistics in the UNMO report, which you looked at prior to this document
18 of the 13th of September about 73 per cent of homes being totally or
19 partially burnt/destroyed in Sector South.
20 A. Mm-hmm.
21 Q. Now let me ask you this question: If your office had, in fact,
22 received such a report from UNMO, would that statistic have made it into
23 the Secretary-General's further report on the 29th of September?
24 A. Not necessarily. I think these reports on the situation in
25 Gracac from the Secretary-General to the Security Council are of rather
1 general information or character, and partly in the interests of
2 conciseness, the -- give the gist of considerations and conclusions which
3 Secretary-General considers necessary and important to give to the
4 Council members. So they are not necessarily exhaustive.
5 Q. So you think -- well, let me ask you this: Do you think this
6 report conveys the gist of an UNMO report that 15 to 16.000 houses had
7 been burnt down in Sector South since the 4th of August and that total,
8 73 per cent of houses in the sector, is it your position that this
9 further report of the Secretary-General contains that, as you call it,
11 A. I think, for instance, the information contained in paragraph 14
12 of this report before us gives sufficient information on the seriousness
13 of the situation, and I think explains enough as to why many refugees, at
14 that point in time, had still -- were still hesitant who go back to their
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President --
18 THE WITNESS: So -- yeah.
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. Sorry, can you complete your answer, Mr. Akashi.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D2932 be marked,
24 and I tender it into evidence.
25 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that is will be Exhibit D1665.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
4 Mr. Misetic, for my understanding of paragraphs 5 and 15, you
5 referred to paragraph 5 as stating continuous violations of human rights.
6 Am I wrong if I read paragraphs 5 and 14 as primarily focussing on return
7 of those who had left and that in paragraph 5 the focus is not primarily
8 on the -- well, to say the -- the -- the numbers of houses, but, rather,
9 on this to continue, which would keep people off from returning as was
10 hoped they would do.
11 I'm just trying to understand the document and whether I'm
12 missing something, if I read 5 and 15 as having its primary focus not on
13 establishing exactly how much damage was there but on what kept people
14 off from returning, in which context violation of human rights and damage
15 done, looting, et cetera, played a role. Is that --
16 MR. MISETIC: I understand that that is the general topic of the
17 report. However, obviously I think you can anticipate that our position
18 is going to be -- what our position is going to be on specifically the
19 statistics in the UNMO report and the direct relevance they would have to
20 an issue of return of Serbs. I mean, if 73 per cent of the homes have
21 been burned down, that might be a factor to consider in whether it's
22 feasible for these people to return in the first place.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You would say that main reason for not
24 returning is that there would be no houses anymore rather than.
25 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... exactly.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I understand your point.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Akashi, if we could -- if I could turn your attention to
5 tab 48.
6 MR. MISETIC: This is it 65 ter 1D1164.
7 Q. And this is now --
8 MR. MISETIC: Just one moment, Mr. President.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 Q. Now, the Secretary-General submitted an earlier report to the
11 Security Council on the 23rd of August, and this is a memo from you to
12 Mr. Annan, in which, it would appear, that you are attaching a draft of
13 that report -- sorry, a revised version of a draft you had submitted on
14 the 20th of August of -- for the Secretary-General to submit to the
15 Security Council.
16 And first my question to you is: Do you recall the report?
17 Generally speaking, do you recall that after Operation Storm, your office
18 was working on preparing a draft report for the Secretary-General to
19 submit to the Security Council?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. Indeed.
23 Q. Now, can you tell us -- this refers to -- obviously the report
24 was prepared pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1009 of the 10th of
1 And my first question to you is: In terms of methodology, what
2 process would your office have gone through to gather information for the
3 report? Can you explain what steps were taken, in order to obtain
5 A. Through our extensive presence in various areas of Croatia
6 particularly in the so-called UN Protected Areas - we have both military
7 and civilian personnel, including UNMOs who monitor the situation and
8 assess the situation from human rights, humanitarian, and security
9 viewpoints. So I think we have in this instances followed standing
10 procedures to gather such information and digest it in such a way that it
11 can be made into a very short, concise and precise report. Usually these
12 drafts are exchanged between Zagreb
13 amendments and only when they are finalised they'll be printed in the
14 form of a Security Council document from the Secretary-General.
15 Q. Okay. So the actual gathering of information would go through --
16 would be done by UNMO, and you indicated military and civilian personnel.
17 Would that be UNCIVPOL?
18 A. Yes. I cannot give you a comprehensive list of all those people
19 who might be involved, but, you know, we have, in addition to UNCRO in
20 the case of Croatia
21 and -- but we always try to verify the information. We do not blindly
22 accept any information.
23 Q. Okay. Now, if we could -- if you could go to the draft, which is
24 page 3 of this document at numbered paragraph 5. There, in your draft,
25 the first sentence reports:
1 "On 4 August 1995
2 Sectors North and South and Knin fell on 5 August following concentrated
4 I'm going to ask you some questions about that when we look at
5 the next document. But if we could now go to paragraph 18, your draft
7 "Representatives of the International Committee for the Red Cross
8 have been given favourable reports concerning the access they have been
9 given to all persons detained in connection with the recent conflict by
10 Croatian authorities."
11 The last sentence says:
12 "The majority of those originally detained have been released and
13 many of those who remain in detention have been transferred from
14 collective centres to district prisons."
15 Is that consistent with your recollection of what the ICRC had
16 indicated were the conditions of persons who had been detained in
17 connection with the recent conflict?
18 A. Mr. Misetic, I have no specific recollection as to the role ICRC
19 was playing in this particular instance, but in the course of normal
20 events, cooperation between UN and ICRC is such that, in this area of
21 ICRC competence, they would provide us with this kind of information.
22 And in view of their high reputation, I think we made use of this
23 information they gave us.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked
1 and I tender it into evidence.
2 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1666.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. MISETIC:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi, if I could turn your attention to tab 16 in your
9 MR. MISETIC: This is Exhibit P64.
10 Q. Now, this is an UNMO report concerning a survey of -- or a
11 provisional assessment of damage caused by HV operations from the 4th to
12 the 6th of August. And it talks about how an UNMO team Podkonje made a
13 provisional assessment. And paragraph 2 reported that:
14 "In general, shelling was concentrated against military
15 objectives. The damage is caused by shelling to civilian establishments
16 is concrete to the close vicinity of military objectives. Only few,
17 three to five
18 My question, Mr. Akashi, you have now testified that UNMOs and
19 UNCIVPOL would be the information gatherers for you to prepare the draft
20 report for the Secretary-General. Do you recall this report and whether
21 it -- this survey was conducted in anticipation of the report that you
22 were assisting with -- assisting the Secretary-General with --
23 A. I do not think so. Mr. Misetic, these kinds of UNMO reports pour
24 into our Zagreb
25 that they were prepared specifically in preparation for, or, in
1 anticipation of the report of the Secretary-General to the Security
3 Q. Well, let me ask you this question: The first sentence in
4 paragraph 2 talks about the shelling was concentrated. And paragraph 5,
5 which is, again, tab 48 of your binder of your draft report which I had
6 shown you earlier, says that Knin fell on 5 August following concentrated
8 Can you tell us where your information came from in your draft
9 report to the Secretary-General that the shelling in Knin was
11 A. I'm afraid I cannot tell you where the information came from. It
12 may have come from multiple sources including this particular report.
13 Q. That leads me to my next question, which is tab 17 in your
15 MR. MISETIC: Which is Exhibit P228.
16 Q. UNCIVPOL did its assessment of damage in Knin. And if you look
17 at paragraph 2, it covers -- sorry. It states:
18 "We covered the whole township and observed several impacts of
19 shells/rockets around the Tvik factory, milicija headquarters, general
20 direction of northern barracks (shells coming from north-east) and
21 between the government house (white house), Knin radio and TV building
22 and the hill-side below Knin castle."
23 Now, your previous answer indicated that your information and
24 report could have come from multiple sources concerning the nature of the
25 shelling in Knin. Would this also be such a report that may have been
1 prepared -- sorry, that may have been considered in drafting your report?
2 A. It is entire possible.
3 Q. And let me ask you about this document. Looking at this
4 document, would this assessment have been conducted in order to assist
5 you in preparing a draft for the Secretary-General?
6 A. Mr. Misetic, I cannot give you either yes or no. I simply do not
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I could have one moment, please.
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, in cooperation -- I will see what
12 Mr. Hedaraly uses in his cross-examination and rather than taking him
13 through additional code cables, I will sit down with Mr. Hedaraly and see
14 if we can bar table remaining code cables into evidence, whatever he
15 doesn't use in cross-examination.
16 Q. And with that, thank you very much, Mr. Akashi. I have concluded
17 my direct examination.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
19 Mr. Akashi, we will have a break, but before we adjourn for that,
20 could I inquire with the other Defence teams how much time they would
21 need for the cross-examinations of Mr. Akashi.
22 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I anticipate I will be under one session.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Under one session.
24 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, depending on what happens in front
1 much me, I may be half a session at most.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Half a session at most.
3 And then, Mr. Hedaraly, I'm turning to you, what could we expect
4 from the Prosecution.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Less than one session.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Less than one session.
7 Mr. Akashi, this leads it my conclusion that we most likely will
8 not finish today but very likely finish somewhere tomorrow morning.
9 We will first have a break. We will resume at five minutes to
10 11.00. And, Mr. Kay, already to inform you, the next break will start at
12 We'd like to see you back in -- at five minutes to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Kay.
16 Mr. Kay is counsel for Mr. Cermak.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
18 MR. KAY: Much obliged, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
20 Q. Just waiting to see if I can see Mr. Akashi. Yes.
21 Hello, Mr. Akashi, I'm asking you some questions now on behalf of
22 Mr. Cermak. My name is Steven Kay.
23 The first matter I would like ask to you look at and consider is
24 a document we have called D28. It's in tab 1 of the file. And if you
25 could just look at this document, Mr. Akashi, and you might --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- remember it. It was the agreement signed by you and
3 Mr. Sarinic. On page 2 of the document, you'll see your signature.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you recollect this document?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And this was the document for the temporary measures to be
8 applied in Sectors North and Sector South; isn't that right?
9 A. Mm-hmm. Yes.
10 Q. And the intention of the agreement was to deal with the revised
11 status or mandate of UNCRO in the liberated areas of Croatia; is that
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. This document was signed by you and Mr. Sarinic on the 6th of
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And it set out the new relationship between UNCRO and the
18 government of Croatia
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Would it be correct to say that previously the areas that you had
21 been upon with UNCRO, as part of the RSK territory, had now changed in
22 their status and the role of UNCRO had changed?
23 A. I -- I cannot make comment on -- on your statement as to whether
24 our mandate with regard to Croatia
25 but certainly the situation has undergone some transformation.
1 Therefore, our tasks became somewhat different. But I'm not an
2 international lawyer.
3 Q. Thank you. Looking at the document, paragraph 2, because you
4 probably need your memory refreshing, deals with the monitoring of the
5 human rights situation and giving the right of information --
6 intervention to UNCRO and other agencies, when appropriate.
7 Can you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And just taking these -- a couple of the issues from the
10 document. Paragraph 3, concerning another issue about allowing the
11 previous inhabitants to remain peacefully; Croatia allowing, with full
12 guarantees for security, departure from those areas of all those
13 expressing their desire to do so, with exception to those who committed
14 violations of international criminal law.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. And in paragraph 4 on page 2 of the document, full
17 access by UNCRO and humanitarian organisations, specifying UNHCR, ICRC,
18 to the civilian population for the purpose of providing for the
19 humanitarian needs of that population.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. "This will be assured by the Croatian authorities to the extent
22 allowed by objective security considerations."
23 And then in paragraph 5, UNMOs, human rights monitoring elements
24 of UNCRO "will carry out surveillance immediately in all areas except
25 where, in the opinion of the local UNCRO military commanders after
1 consulting Croatian Army commanders, the security situation does not
2 permit for such surveillance."
3 That's all I need to look at in the document at this stage, and
4 I've done it to refresh your memory. I want to ask you --
5 A. Thank you.
6 Q. -- this: Was this an already-prepared document that you had, or
7 was it one put together after the 5th August and the Croatian military
8 offensive had been successful?
9 A. Mr. Kay, my notes indicate that I had two meetings with
10 Mr. Sarinic on the 5th of August, and in those meetings I raised a matter
11 of agreeing with the Croatian government on a host of human rights
12 majors. And this agreement signed on the 6th of August, the following
13 day, is one of the products of those discussions in the previous day, I
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 In relation to this document that Mr. Sarinic had signed, did you
17 discuss with him at all the legal status of this agreement within
19 A. Mr. Kay, I cannot be very specific, but I, myself, being an
20 international civil servant with political science background rather than
21 with international law background, I thought it's incumbent with my
22 responsibility to sign this kind of document at the earliest possible
23 opportunity so that we can save some lives and alleviate the suffering of
24 IDPs and refugees.
25 So these pragmatic considerations prepared myself and my
1 colleagues to sign this type of agreement. It is -- we were not very
2 much concerned about the legal or legalistic character of such a
4 Q. Yes, thank you very much, and I accept your answer in respect of
6 In relation to Mr. Sarinic, did you know what his authority was
7 to sign such agreement?
8 A. There was no doubt on my mind that Mr. Sarinic had requisite
9 authority to sign such a document. He's -- he's a man I have dealt with,
10 I have respected, and I knew that he had the full confidence of
11 President Tudjman. He was always efficient, and so no doubt existed in
12 my mind that he had full authority.
13 Q. Did you know what his position and job was?
14 A. He was chef de cabinet of President Tudjman, so far as I knew.
15 Q. Any other job or position that he may have had in the government;
16 did you know if he had any job there?
17 A. I heard that he had some other positions.
18 Q. In relation to this agreement, then, signed with Mr. Sarinic, was
19 there any reason why you didn't sign it with President Tudjman?
20 A. That question did not come up to my mind. I had occasional
21 meetings with President Tudjman himself, but in most cases, Mr. Sarinic
22 acted in full power on behalf of the Croatian government. He was always
23 very business-like and he acted with considerable confidence, and in no
24 occasion was I in doubt that he had less than full authority.
25 Q. In relation to the terms of this agreement, do you know how it
1 was intended to be implemented by Mr. Sarinic?
2 A. I had confidence that the full agreement will be carried out in
3 good faith by both parties.
4 Q. Thank you. Turning now to another document which arises from the
5 7th of August of 1995. If that could be put before you, tab 2. And in
6 that document, if we turn to the page with the stamp 908. And I will ask
7 you some general questions about this document before we look at the
8 content of it.
9 Mr. Akashi, the document you're looking at --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- are the notes of a man called Mr. Bambury who, I believe,
12 acted as an assistant to you; is that right?
13 A. That's right. Tony Bambury was one of the young, very bright,
14 very effective assistants of mine.
15 Q. And after signing the agreement on the 6th of August, you went on
16 the 7th of August to Knin to see for yourself --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- the situation in that town; is that right?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Can you recollect how you travelled to Knin?
21 A. Yes, Mr. Kay. I -- my notes indicate that I left Zagreb at
22 7.45 a.m.
23 10.00 a.m.
24 Q. Thank you. Was the reason you didn't travel by road because of
25 the security situation at that time?
1 A. No, Mr. Kay. I think it was because helicopter is the most
2 convenient and very rapid means of transportation.
3 Q. Thank you. The page we're looking at now, 908, is series of
4 notes written by Mr. Bambury on that day regarding your activities, and
5 can you see in the middle of the page: Knin, Sector South headquarters,
6 HQ, and the date.
7 Can you see that?
8 A. Yes, I can.
9 Q. And it records a briefing. Was that a briefing in the UNCRO camp
10 in Knin as to what had happened in the previous two days or three days?
11 A. Just one second, please.
12 I should think, yeah, this briefing, this concerns note made by
13 Tony Bambury on the briefing given to us on the 7th of August in Knin.
14 Q. Thank you very much. If we go now to the next page, 909.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. We can see on line 3:
17 "In the past the ARSK never available to meet us, wanted
18 emergency meeting/assistance to evac 32.000."
19 Do you recollect being told that that was the situation faced by
20 UNCRO, that the RSK leadership had asked for the evacuation of 32.000
21 Serbs from the region?
22 A. I do not specifically recall discussion on -- on -- on this
23 particular matter.
24 Q. The note being into Mr. Bambury's notebook in that form, would
25 you find it being a reliable note, something that you would rely on?
1 A. I would rely on Mr. Bambury, but I'm not sure whether I would
2 rely on notes made by Tony Bambury in all instances.
3 Q. Thank you. Can we then move through the document. Next page,
4 6910. And we see in the middle of the page, and if I'm saying anything
5 that is unreasonable or unusual, please, anyone, interrupt, but I will
6 say meeting with General Cermak, 7th of August, is what the note
8 Can you see that?
9 A. Yes, I can.
10 Q. And just for the notice of the Court and the record, I intend to
11 do that. I hope that that is an acceptable way of dealing with the
12 evidence, and if I've got anything wrong, please interrupt, but I think
13 it's better for the record and more efficient.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Seems to meet no objections by Mr. Hedaraly, neither
15 by the Court.
16 MR. KAY: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
17 Q. And that's correct, there was a meeting between you, a man called
18 Mr. Min, other people, including Mr. Hussein, General Forand, a
19 Mr. Armstrong, with General Cermak and five Croatian military, plus some
21 Do you recollect that?
22 A. I do not have specific recollection of that meeting --
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. -- but I remember some of the names mentioned.
25 Q. Do you recollect that at that meeting you presented a copy of the
1 agreement signed the previous day between you and Mr. Sarinic to
2 General Cermak?
3 A. I do not recall showing a copy of the agreement to
4 General Cermak.
5 Q. Thank you. We see from the note that General Cermak said that
6 the agreement would be respected.
7 Do you recollect that?
8 A. I have no recollection of that.
9 Q. And you requested "freedom of movement for our military and
10 civilian staff," and you referred in the agreement for the UNMOs and
11 human rights "folks," is the word, to monitor the situation?
12 Do you recollect having a meeting with General Cermak and
13 discussing that?
14 A. Yes. Indeed, my notes made at that time indicated that I had a
15 meeting with General Cermak, and he was quite cooperative. He acted
16 efficiently. And after the meeting, two of us had a press conference,
17 and -- yes. Then I met with 800 refugees, who are very happy to see me
18 visit them.
19 Q. Thank you. We'll just look at the content of this note and to
20 see if you can recollect or deal with any of the issues contained within
21 Mr. Bambury's notes. Do you understand?
22 JUDGE ORIE: But before we do, that I'd like to give an
23 opportunity to Mr. Hedaraly who is on his feet to address us.
24 MR. HEDARALY: I don't know if the record was clear enough that
25 the last answer of the witness when he referred to "my notes made at the
1 time," he was also looking at the note -- his diary or what he had
2 brought with him in the room when he gave his answers, and not to be
3 confused with the notes of Mr. Bambury, based on the Court's previous
4 guidance. I just wanted to make that clear on the record.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi, when you referred to the note, you
6 referred to your personal notes that you were consulting, weren't you?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, that's correct, My Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 Before we continue, Mr. Kay, you briefly mentioned who would have
10 been present during this meeting. Then the name of a Mr. Armstrong came
11 up, a full text search doesn't show any Mr. Armstrong until now, and it
12 is not in my recollection.
13 May I take it that you interpreted JA as referring to a
14 Mr. Armstrong.
15 MR. KAY: [Microphone not activated] Almstrom, A-l-m-s-t-r-o-m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That may explain why --
17 MR. KAY: Almstrom, A-l-m-s-t-r-o-m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then this being clarified, please proceed.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you.
20 Q. If we turn to page 6911 of the Bambury notes, and we have a note
21 here of Mr. Cermak agreeing with that, "concerning the freedom of
22 movement. Wasn't able to earlier because of security reasons, which you
23 understand from this point on get your liaison officer to contact the
24 Croatian military liaison officer and everything will be done through
25 normal channels."
1 First of all, do you recollect a discussion on those lines?
2 A. I don't have a recollection of specific contents of these
3 discussions, but, I had, as I told you a meeting with Mr. --
4 General Cermak, and these were matters within the purview of our concern
5 during that visit.
6 Q. Where we see the reference to normal channels and the liaison
7 officers, are you able to explain in any way what that means?
8 A. As you know, we had a presence in Knin, and there were military
9 officers as well as several civilians. And by normal channels, my guess
10 is that these are the people who serve as normal channels of
11 communication between the Croatians -- Croatian officials and the
12 United Nations side.
13 Q. Thank you. Further on in that page, there's discussion about the
14 essential services in Knin. We've no need to look at that.
15 But we see on the bottom four lines you refer to the 799 refugees
16 in the compound "and need to find ways to help them leave."
17 And Mr. Cermak --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- said: "Everyone can leave the camp, go to their homes, take
20 things from their homes, hope they'll remain in Knin. Hope very much
21 they'll stay but won't do anything to prevent them leaving."
22 And the rest of the text can be read. I won't waste time.
23 Is it correct, you recollect that, discussing the future of the
24 people who had gone to the UNCRO camp in Knin?
25 A. I do not have specific recollection of discussing these questions
1 with General Cermak, but this note of the meeting seems to indicate that,
2 indeed, such a discussion did take place.
3 Q. Turning now onto that page, 6912, further down into the middle of
4 the paragraph:
5 "People are moving freely in the town. Give personal assurances
6 for security. All our contacts will be humane. You will see it."
7 Do you recollect General Cermak being supportive of the need for
8 people to be secure in Knin and to be treated humanely?
9 A. Yes. I recollect that his general attitude was supportive. He
10 was agreeable, and he seemed to be very responsive to our requests.
11 Q. Further on that page, we see he refers to a medical team that had
12 "come from Zadar yesterday." Do you recollect discussion about a
13 Croatian medical team in Knin?
14 A. I do not have specific recollection in that regard.
15 Q. At the foot of that page, you refer to the Croatian government
16 and UN in full agreement.
17 If we turn to 6913, the next page, and you refer to "full
18 protection, human rights, and concrete measures taking to calm the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would this be an accurate portrayal, as far as you think, of the
22 meeting between you and Mr. Cermak?
23 A. I cannot be very specific, but such discussion seems to be in
24 conformity with the atmosphere of our meeting with General Cermak that
1 Q. In the middle of that page, he says:
2 "We'll do everything also to help them, to clean and repair
3 houses. Tomorrow we'll open up a welfare office for the civilian
5 And you state --
6 A. Yes, I do [Overlapping speakers] ...
7 Q. Yes. And then you state:
8 "For those who want to leave, despite our efforts, need to give
9 full guarantees for safe departure?"
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. "Well established procedure for screening those who want to
12 leave. We're ready to start monitoring human rights situation."
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. "Want your cooperation" --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. -- et cetera.
17 A. Right.
18 Q. About this statement, may I ask you this question: Was it
19 already in the mind of the United Nations, UNCRO, and other organisations
20 that, in fact, a large proportion of the Serbian population intended to
21 leave Croatia
22 A. Mr. Kay, I cannot answer your question, but it must have been on
23 our mind that some Serb population who are still in Knin, some of them
24 may wish, indeed, to leave Knin for other destinations.
25 Q. What was the well-established procedure for screening those who
1 want to leave? Can you recollect what that was and explain it?
2 A. I think I was referring to the established procedures which UNHCR
3 apply, to ascertain two wishes of the people, to stay or to leave, to
4 make sure that there's full consent on the part of people concerned as to
5 their movements. And I do not know the details of such procedures, but
7 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Akashi. Would that be an informed
8 consent that they were making in relation to their request to leave?
9 A. I should think that that is informed consent. But I'm not sure
10 what -- what definition you give to "informed consent."
11 Q. If we turn to the next page, 6914.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Cermak is referring to having his guarantees for movement.
14 "People can go to houses and move freely."
15 And then there was a problem concerning -- within the camp, "50
16 or 70 military that will have to pass procedures of interview with our
17 civilian police."
18 Do you recollect that particular issue concerning RSK soldiers
19 having also been in the UNCRO camp with civilians?
20 A. I have no recollection of discussion of this particular question.
21 Q. Do you recollect in the agreement that you and Mr. Sarinic signed
22 that, in fact, there was within one of those clauses acknowledgment of
23 the fact that the Croatian government had the right to detain those
24 suspected of war crimes?
25 It's in paragraph 3 of the Akashi-Sarinic agreement, Exhibit D28.
1 It's a document the Court is well familiar with, Mr. Akashi, before your
3 A. Yes. Yes, exception being made for those had committed
4 violations of international criminal law.
5 Q. And we can see here, you requested a presence throughout the
6 legal process.
7 A. Mm-hmm.
8 Q. And Mr. Cermak said you can be sure of that. Must liaise with
9 the deputy minister of the interior and ensure that everything goes well.
10 A. Mm-hmm.
11 Q. Do you recollect the discussion about the procedure for those
12 concerning the Croatians [sic] who may have committed war crimes?
13 A. I do not specifically recall, but I think in the course of
14 discussion of this kind, these questions are raised, and I think
15 General Cermak was fully cooperative.
16 Q. Thank you. We'll move to page 915.
17 Mr. Cermak refers to two doctors being with him. And we see
18 further down the page you mentioned that HCR was ready to send
19 humanitarian aid convoys to Knin, and Mr. Cermak saying, No problem. And
20 we can see that he would like to address the detained persons as well.
21 Do you recollect that --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- discussion?
24 A. Not specific recollection.
25 Q. Thank you. Does it seem to be accord with the substance of what
1 was being discussed between you and him on 7th of August?
2 A. Yes, yes. It seems to be in general accord to the tenure of --
3 tone of our discussion.
4 Q. Thank you. We turn to page --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, before we move to the next page about the
6 doctors, the last two words, perhaps you could put to the witness -- I
7 read them as "not military," but -- the second entry on the page, "Cermak
8 have two doctors with me."
9 That portion.
10 MR. KAY: Oh, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The last two words of that section read --
12 MR. KAY: "Medical care up to doctors, not military."
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, "not military."
14 MR. KAY: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to ask the witness. Mr. Akashi, could you
16 tell us, have you read that portion of the notes? Did you find it?
17 MR. KAY: On page 915.
18 THE WITNESS: Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any recollection as what "not military"
20 means in this context?
21 THE WITNESS: I -- I have no recollection as to what specifically
22 this phrase was referring to.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Akashi.
24 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 THE WITNESS: Welcome.
1 MR. KAY: If we just turn to page 9916, we see there
2 Mr. Almstrom's name.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, were you put some further questions to Mr.
5 Armstrong, I neither find Almstrom on the transcript of the whole of
6 case, so he is a new person for me.
7 MR. KAY:
8 Q. Could you inform us as to who Mr. Almstrom was and what his role
9 within the UN was at that time?
10 A. Yes, I would be glad to. John Almstrom was in my own cabinet.
11 He was from Canadian military service with considerably more experiences
12 of the former Yugoslavia
13 working persons I ever met in my life.
14 Q. I'm sure he is very grateful, if he's listening, to hear that.
15 In relation to the conversation at this stage, Mr. Almstrom was
16 raising the issue of interviewing males of military age and that the
17 procedures should be handled carefully; otherwise, it contributes to
18 pressure on people to leave.
19 Do you recollect that particular concern of the UN at that time?
20 A. This -- I have no specifically recollection of this conversation.
21 But it is in accord with the general tenure of our discussion and our
23 Q. And we can see Mr. Almstrom said that people had been brought
24 from the Centre of Human Rights who would be -- who could help set up
25 procedures. First of all, the Centre for Human Rights, can you explain
1 the context of that group and what they were doing in Knin then?
2 A. I suppose that John Almstrom was referring to field personnel
3 from the Office of High Commissioner for human rights residing in Geneva
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Cermak said:
5 "We will arrange a meeting between your human rights people and
6 my headquarters tomorrow. Headquarters Knin will always be open to you.
7 I want everyone to be aware of our complying with human rights."
8 Does that reflect the attitude of General Cermak when you met
10 A. Yes, indeed, it does.
11 Q. If we turn to the next page, 6917 --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I'm still a bit struggling with those
13 present. You read that Mr. Hussein was present from the testimony of
14 Mr. Hussein Al-Alfi, it comes to my mind that Mr. Hussein may actually be
15 Mr. Hussein Al-Alfi. Is that --
16 MR. HEDARALY: That is our understanding. It is Mr. Al-Alfi that
17 is referring to --
18 MR. KAY: Yes, I apologise, Your Honour, for not taking that more
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's clear. His testimony also includes that
21 he -- I think that he fetched Mr. Akashi from the helicopter.
22 MR. KAY: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Landing spot.
24 Well now --
25 MR. KAY:
1 Q. Have we answered the question correctly, Mr. Akashi, as to
2 Mr. Hussein being Mr. Al-Alfi?
3 A. I don't remember this name of Mr. Hussein.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember the name Al-Alfi.
5 THE WITNESS: That -- could you give me some more information
6 about him? The name seems to ring a bell.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could he be the civilian coordinator in the area at
8 the time?
9 THE WITNESS: Ah, yes. In that case, he was -- he was a very
10 agreeable colleague of mean.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And could it have been that he was present during
12 this meeting with General Cermak.
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm not absolutely sure. I cannot
14 answer that question.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KAY:
18 Q. Moving to page 6917, we can see there's further agreement there,
19 and then Brigadier General Forand is referred to in the middle of the
20 page. Do you recollect him as the commander of UN Sector South?
21 A. Yes, indeed, I do.
22 Q. And he stated:
23 "Want freedom of movement total and not have it disappear" from
24 when you leave essentially; SRSG leaves?
25 Do you recollect him saying that?
1 A. No, I don't.
2 Q. Do you recollect General Cermak referring to the fact that:
3 "Areas had to be seen to be safe for freedom of movement and that
4 from tomorrow you should be able to move in most of my area of
5 responsibility, including Knin town. If you have any problems, please,
6 see me personally."
7 Do you recollect that?
8 A. Not specific conversation.
9 Q. If we turn to the next page, 6918, do you recollect the
10 Croatian Army legal officer -- liaison officer, sorry. Liaison officer,
11 intervening after General Cermak had spoke -- not doing very well at the
12 moment, am I?
13 Can I rephrase that. After General Cermak had spoken, did you
14 realise that -- did you recollect that the Croatian Army liaison officer
15 intervened to express --
16 A. No, I don't.
17 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ... point of view.
18 A. I do not recollect that.
19 Q. There was an issue that required that:
20 "Continuation of UN operations in the area will be discussed by
21 the Croatian Ministry of Defence. Giving freedom of movement doesn't
22 mean can you have random visits for anywhere?"
23 Do you recollect that?
24 A. No, I don't.
25 Q. And then Mr. Cermak stating:
1 "We're not talking about such larger issues?"
2 Do you remember him addressing the liaison officer as to his
4 A. No, I don't.
5 Q. Thank you. We've no need to go into any further detail on that
7 MR. KAY: If we move to 6919.
8 Q. General Cermak stated:
9 "We've issued orders for the Croatian military to withdraw from
10 Knin and some other towns. Only civilian and military police can enter
11 Knin. All roads will be blocked, and no one will enter without my
13 Do you recollect him stating that?
14 A. I have no specific recollection of these remarks.
15 Q. And then on that page we see a CIVREPCRO, civilian representative
16 of Croatia
17 president -- being present at the meeting?
18 A. No, I don't.
19 Q. Did you know Dr. Lang?
20 A. No, I don't -- I didn't.
21 Q. Thank you. We can see what the record says about his statement.
22 If we turn to the next page, 6920 --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, if there's any thing we're supposed to read
24 from that, you have been most helpful in deciphering the short language.
25 MR. KAY: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So if there's any specific portion you would like to
2 draw our attention to, I would invite you to read it so that all parties
3 understand how you read it.
4 MR. KAY: The last three lines:
5 "Regardless of ethnic origin, all equal citizens of Croatia
6 large numbers left because of misinformation and propaganda."
7 I hope that assists the Court.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 MR. KAY: Thank you.
10 Q. If we go on to page 6920, you referred to there being a press
11 conference. And do you recollect that you described your talks as being
12 cordial with General Cermak?
13 A. Yes, it was generally very cordial.
14 Q. Yes. The passage I want to ask you about is right in the middle.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. "As of tomorrow, UN and other agencies will have freedom of
17 movement in and around Knin. Day after, larger areas depending on
18 security. Agreed together to make maximum appeal to people to stay.
19 Reassure people, nothing to be afraid of ... but if want to go, go in
21 It's the area on freedom of movement that I wanted to draw your
22 attention to, that in your discussions with General Cermak, did you
23 express this correctly, that, as of tomorrow - that would be the 8th of
24 August - UN and other agencies will have freedom of movement in and
25 around Knin, and the day after --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you recollect that? I'll stop there.
3 A. I do not recall specifics, but this is in accord with the general
4 thrust of our discussions.
5 Q. And that the day after "larger areas, depending on security,"
6 which would be the 9th of August.
7 A. I told you that I do not recall specifics.
8 Q. Would it be correct to consider this matter as one in which
9 security of the region played a significant role in relation to where the
10 freedom of movement was to be?
11 A. Yes, indeed.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 If we turn to page 6922, do you recollect one of the journalists
14 at the press conference saying to you:
15 "All people we spoke to want to leave and are afraid they won't
16 be able to. Will the United Nations help them to leave?"
17 And your reply --
18 A. I have no recollection.
19 Q. "UN will help in accordance with well-established procedures for
20 establishing free will."
21 A. I do not -- I do not recall specific exchanges at the press
23 Q. Thank you.
24 And if we could just turn to page 6925, you'll see on line 6
25 something that I -- I put to you earlier about the informed choice, that
1 that was your position, if people decided to leave.
2 A. Uh-huh.
3 Q. As being one of your expressions; that's where I got it from.
4 A. Yes, I -- I look quite well-informed.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. KAY: Thank you I have no further questions.
7 Make this document be made an exhibit, Your Honour.
8 MR. HEDARALY: We have no objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1667.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D1667 is admitted into evidence.
12 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You will now be cross-examined by Mr. Kuzmanovic.
16 Mr. Kuzmanovic is counsel for Mr. Markac, and I'll keep a close eye on
17 the clock here. We'll have a break there 20 minutes from now.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Hopefully I will be
19 done by then.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let's see.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Akashi.
23 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
24 Q. You were asked some questions, Mr. Akashi, about and presented
25 some documents regarding the shelling that occurred, or damage from
1 shelling in Knin, and at the time you said you were in Sarajevo during
2 Operation Storm; is that correct?
3 A. When -- during the operation -- military operation in Sector
4 West, I was in Sarajevo
5 Q. You mean Sectors North and South or Sector West meaning Western
7 Western Slavonia
8 A. Western Slavonia is what I meant.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. That was the operation which commenced --
11 Q. In May of 1995?
12 A. On the 1st of May, I believe.
13 Q. Where were you when Operation Storm began?
14 A. I was in Zagreb
15 Q. Now, you have been to Sarajevo
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Have you been to Vukovar in Croatia?
18 A. Yes, indeed, I was.
19 Q. And when you walked in Knin, you would agree with me, Mr. Akashi,
20 that Knin was nothing remotely resembling Vukovar or Sarajevo, correct,
21 in terms of damage?
22 A. Vukovar was really -- the destruction was so complete that it --
23 it could not be compared to conditions I found in other cities. I --
24 I -- I would not dare to make easy comparisons. Destruction of any city
25 is very painful to watch. But the extent of damage of Vukovar was beyond
1 anything which a normal human being would have experienced.
2 Q. And you agree with me, Mr. Akashi, that the destruction that you
3 saw in Sarajevo
4 what you observed in Knin after Operation Storm?
5 A. I am not sure whether I would use the adjective "remote." But I
6 think Sarajevo
7 in Knin.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'd like, Mr. Registrar, to please pull up
9 65 ter 3D00900. And for the Court's reference and for all in the
10 courtroom, this is a report from Helsinki Watch dated July 1995 of the
11 Croatian military operation in Western Slavonia. Unfortunately, we don't
12 have a translation of this yet. We just received this yesterday,
13 uploaded it into e-court. It's in English, and we will, obviously, have
14 the relevant portions that I'm going to refer to translated, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then I take it that the Prosecution will
16 have an opportunity to comment on whether more portions should be
17 translated and whether more portions are relevant.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Of course, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Akashi, I'd like to refer to you page 2 of the document -- of
22 this particular document and the bottom --
23 A. What document?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is it in the binder.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Unfortunately, Your Honour, I got it yesterday
1 so it's not in the binder.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi --
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- could you please look at your screen because
5 there's no hard copy of this document available in Tokyo.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
7 Q. And my apologies to you, Mr. Akashi, for not having this earlier.
8 We received this yesterday.
9 A. Thank you.
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Could counsel please repeat the
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Certainly. Page 2 at the bottom, the sentence
13 beginnings, "Many Serbs."
14 Q. Before I ask the question relating to this document, Mr. Akashi,
15 you were asked some questions about the exodus of the Serb population in
16 Western Slavonia and also the exodus of the Serb position in Sectors
17 North and South after Operation Storm. This particular Helsinki Watch
18 report discusses what happened in -- in part in Sector West in
19 Western Slavonia, and I will read the portion of this report and then
20 I'll ask you a question or two about it.
21 At the bottom of page 2 the report states:
22 "Many Serbs who remained in Western Slavonia after the offensive
23 have left for Serb-controlled territory in Bosnia or Croatia
24 vast majority of the remaining Serbs have expressed their wish to leave,
25 claiming there is little chance of peaceful co-existence between Serbs
1 and Croat, particularly with those Croats who were displaced from their
2 homes by Serbian forces in 1991 and will now be returning to
3 Western Slavonia
4 Mr. Akashi, it's true, is it not, based on your experience, both
5 in Western Slavonia and in Sector South, that Serb populations who left
6 these areas were repopulated in either Eastern Slavonia, meaning in the
7 area in and around Vukovar, in Serb-occupied parts of Bosnia or even in
8 Kosovo; correct?
9 A. Could you repeat that question again, please, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
10 Q. Sure. No problem, Mr. Akashi.
11 Based on your experience as the Special Representative of the
12 Secretary-General, in Western Slavonia and in Sectors North and South,
13 the Serb populations who left were -- were repopulated in many areas or
14 repatriated in Eastern Slavonia, in Serb-occupied parts of Bosnia
15 even in places like Kosovo; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. That was the policy, at least, of the Federal Republic
20 A. I -- I'm not sure whether it was a specific policy.
21 Q. That's, in fact, though in practice what had happened; correct?
22 A. I -- I would imagine so.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to page 12 of that report,
25 Thank you, Mr. Monkhouse, for your assistance in Tokyo
1 Q. And on page 12 of the report, before the footnotes begin, the
2 paragraph that begins:
3 "Some Serbs who fled from Western Slavonia to northern Bosnia
4 have been resettled in parts of Eastern Slavonia, another
5 Serbian-controlled area of Croatia
6 been expelled from the villages of the Bapska and Tovarnik in
7 Eastern Slavonia
8 been resettled in the Croats' homes?"
9 Now, Mr. Akashi, at least according to the Helsinki Watch report,
10 the experience from Western Slavonia was that when the Serbian population
11 left, it was resettled in areas, for example, in Eastern Slavonia;
13 A. I have no means to ascertain whether that statement is correct or
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to page 13.
16 Q. This particular section of report states:
17 "During the fighting on May 1-2, an estimated 5000 to 7500 Serbs
18 fled Western Slavonia for Bosnian Serb-held regions. More have since
19 fled, and most were initially taken to the Bosnian Serb-held city of
20 Banja Luka
21 of the arriving Serbian refugees are heavily armed, and since their
22 arrival, a series of attacks on Catholic churches and monasteries in the
23 Banja Luka area have taken place."
24 Now, were you privy to UNHCR reports, Mr. Akashi?
25 A. I have no recollection of reports on this particular question
1 from UNHCR or anyone else.
2 Q. Okay. If you look down below, Mr. Akashi, on the same page in
3 footnote 33 of this particular report, there's an indication that UNHCR
4 officials that were interviewed by Human Rights Watch representatives
5 discussed the amount of Serbian refugees who were resettled; for example,
6 2500 were resettled in Bosanski Brod, 1500 in Derventa, and others
7 resettled in Eastern Slavonia which was called another Serbian-controlled
8 area in Croatia
9 Do you recall -- have any specific recollection of the
10 repopulation of Serbian refugees who have left Western Slavonia into
11 other Serb-populated areas of Croatia
12 A. Mr. Kuzmanovic, I have no recollection of having heard or read
13 such UNHCR reports.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'd like to go to page 5 of the report, please.
15 Q. Page 5 of the report, Mr. Akashi --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- generally discusses UNPROFOR, its role, and the UN's role
18 specifically in Croatia
19 paragraph that says, "Despite":
20 "Despite its three-year-long presence in the UNPAs, UNPROFOR has
21 failed to fulfil any part of its mandate."
22 Instead of reading this entire paragraph, I wanted to talk to you
23 just generally about your role, in terms of the United Nations role.
24 Would you agree with me that at least as of May 1, 1995, the
25 United Nations failed in its mission with regard to the UN Protected
2 A. I think it is important not to reach a hasty conclusion as the
3 role played by the United Nations in the UNPAs. You see, in Croatia
4 did play a positive role, in that, at least its presence prevented the
5 resumption of fighting, and it served to maintain a precarious
6 cease-fire. Certainly the other part of its mandate was not fulfilled,
7 in the sense of disarmament to be achieved in these UNPAs.
8 So you can look at it as a bottle half-filled. You may be
9 dissatisfied about the emptiness of it, but if you look at it from the
10 other side, it is still one-half filled --
11 Q. Mr. Akashi --
12 A. -- so it depends on your expectations.
13 Q. Mr. Akashi, would you agree with me that repatriation of
14 non-Serbs in Serb-held areas was one of the goals that the UN failed to
15 do in the UNPAs?
16 A. Yes, in that task UN did not accomplish its objective.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'd like to go to page 1 of the report --
18 actually, page 2, I'm sorry. 1 is the cover sheet. The second
20 Q. The second paragraph reads:
21 "In an unfortunate and premature assessment, UN officials - most
22 notably Yasushi Akashi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative to
23 the former Yugoslavia
24 Croatian authorities had taken place during the offensive. Evidence of
25 wide spread abuse has not emerges, however; the information available at
1 the time was flawed, incomplete and required further investigation and
3 Mr. Akashi, I want to ask you specifically about this section of
4 the report. What prompted you to allege that massive human rights abuses
5 were committed in Operation Flash?
6 A. I am not able to answer this question, unless my statements are
7 placed in the full context of the statements actually made.
8 Q. Mr. Akashi, can you explain to us why you aren't able to comment?
9 A. I cannot respond to partial quotations of remarks that I may have
10 made. Everything has to be interpreted contextually.
11 Q. Mr. Akashi, Mr. Misetic went through with you several documents
12 relating to houses burned, and one of the figures was 22.000 houses were
13 burned, allegedly, after Operation Storm.
14 Now, if true, if there were 22.000 houses burned that's -- would
15 be considered a pretty massive human rights violation, wouldn't it?
16 A. Yes, I would say.
17 Q. Yet in not one single cable, coded written cable report to
18 Kofi Annan in August/September or October of 1995 is any figure mentioned
19 other than 200, in terms of houses burned; correct?
20 Is that correct, Mr. Akashi?
21 A. Which report are you referring to?
22 Q. In the reports that Mr. Misetic went through with you, those
23 coded reports, cables that went to Mr. Annan, Kofi Annan. You didn't
24 mention any of those figures of 22.000 houses or 16.000 houses or however
25 many houses --
1 A. Not a cable but a report.
2 Q. Correct.
3 A. Security Council report.
4 Q. Correct. Or cables, correct? Either one.
5 A. I think it is one of the Security Council reports, which was not
6 as specific as you say.
7 Q. Okay. And you can't recall, as we sit here today, whether you
8 brought this up to Mr. Sarinic in any of your meetings, according to what
9 you told Mr. Misetic; correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: One more question, Your Honour, and then I'm
14 JUDGE ORIE: One more question then, that's fine, because I
15 committed myself to a break at 12.20. Please proceed.
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
17 Q. Mr. Akashi you would agree with me that a figure of 22.000 burned
18 houses is flawed, incomplete, or required further investigation or
19 corroboration; correct?
20 A. I cannot answer that question.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't have any further questions Your Honour.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I would like to move the portions
25 that we referenced of this report into evidence.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps we deal with that after the break, if
2 you wouldn't mind so that we know exactly which portions are tendered
3 into evidence and which -- of which portions we expect translations.
4 Mr. Akashi, we will have a break --
5 THE WITNESS: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- and we resume in half an hour from now, which is
7 our local time, a quarter to 1.00, which may be quarter to 8.00 in your
8 local time, if ...
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, it's 7.30 p.m. in Tokyo
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then our clocks are a bit different. But in a
11 half-hour from this very moment, we'd like to see you back.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.23 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
15 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if the Court would forgive me, there is a
16 correction in the transcript that I'm sure that all parties will
17 understand at page 49, line 19, it's got "concerning the Croatians who
18 may have committed." It's concerning the suspected war crimes actually
19 was the phrase I used. The Court will be aware of this issue.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And what exactly would be the correction, Mr. Kay?
21 MR. KAY: Concerning, I said the suspected war criminals was my
23 JUDGE ORIE: I -- at this moment, I really --
24 MR. KAY: It's concerning the Croatians, and it's the Serbs.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. KAY: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You would say the ... well it will be checked.
3 I have no clear recollection and in view of the answer, I take it that I
4 would not expect Mr. Akashi to have a different recollection, even if
5 would you have phrased the question in a -- a different way because he
6 certainly would have drawn our attention to it.
7 MR. KAY: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's -- that will be verified.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kuzmanovic you would like to tender your --
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour. Before I wanted to do that, I
12 just wanted to thank Mr. Akashi and the Registrar's representative in
14 efficient and helpful.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You wanted to tender the Helsinki Watch July 1995
16 report which we have in English only at this time.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And, Mr. Hedaraly, have you checked with
19 Mr. Kuzmanovic the portions --
20 MR. HEDARALY: I have not check with the Mr. Kuzmanovic. But it
21 may make more sense to have the whole report. There was many sections
22 that were jumped and for the full context, the whole report can be
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, the report will be
2 exhibit D1668.
3 JUDGE ORIE: D1668 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, just for your information, we will
5 make sure that the entire document gets translated.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
7 Mr. Akashi will you now be cross-examined by Mr. Hedaraly.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You will now be cross-examined by Mr. Hedaraly.
10 Mr. Hedaraly is counsel for the Prosecution in this case.
11 Mr. Hedaraly, please proceed.
12 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
14 Q. Good evening, Mr. Akashi.
15 A. Good morning, Mr. Hedaraly.
16 Q. Thank you. First I want to go back on a topic that up was
17 discussed yesterday which is your meeting with the Krajina leadership in
18 Knin on 30 July 1995
19 Mr. Misetic regarding whether there was or was not an agreement with
20 Mr. Martic and others, and the following letter that you sent to
21 President Tudjman, if you recall that discussion yesterday.
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. HEDARALY: If we can first have Exhibit D1653 on the screen
24 here and that will be, Mr. Registrar, in Tokyo, tab 5 of the
25 Gotovina Defence binder, I believe. If you would confirm that for me, I
1 would be very grateful.
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Could counsel please repeat the
4 MR. HEDARALY: D1653. It's a 1 August cable sent by Mr. Akashi.
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honours, I have tab 5 in the
6 Gotovina Defence binder, 65 ter 1D1586. That's an a coded cable dated
7 1st August 1995
8 MR. HEDARALY: That is correct. And that is Exhibit D1653.
9 Thank you, Mr. Monkhouse.
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Thank you.
11 MR. HEDARALY:
12 Q. And I wanted to go page 5 paragraph 13m and you were read a
13 portion of this paragraph yesterday and now I want to read the end of it
14 to you, specifically the last sentence, where you stated:
15 "I then made comments to the press to the effect that I had
16 received explicit assurances from Martic that the RSK authorities
17 considered themselves bound by the full terms of the document, and that I
18 considered them similarly bound."
19 Now, before I ask you my question, let me also show a video-clip
20 of that press meeting and we will show it, if you look on your screen, we
21 will show it via Sanction; that is 65 ter 1D2680.
22 MR. HEDARALY: And, Mr. President, it's a Defence video. We
23 don't have the transcript. It only one minute and Mr. Akashi speaks
24 fairly slowly in it, so we can replay it again if necessary for the court
25 reporter and the interpreters.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we will see whether the interpreters
2 exceptionally will be able to work without the transcript.
3 Let's give it a try.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 "Yasushi Akashi: After five hours and a half of very arduous and
8 non-stop discussions and negotiations in Knin, I was able to get the
9 agreement of the Krajina leadership, consisting of Mr. Martic, Mr. Babic,
10 and General Markasic to the text of our agreement consisting of six
11 points, and this agreement is of great importance in view of extremely
12 tense and dangerous situation in which this ..."
13 MR. HEDARALY:
14 Q. I have stopped the video here just for the sake of my question.
15 If you want to watch the full clip, it's under two minutes, let me know.
16 But my question for you is: Based on the portion of the cable I
17 wrote to you and based on the video where you stated that you received
18 the agreement of Mr. Martic and others, did you, in fact, consider that
19 you had reached such agreement with the Krajina leadership, despite the
20 behaviour of Mr. Martic and Mr. Macura at the meeting?
21 A. I believe that Mr. Martic agreed with us to observe these six
22 points during our meeting. However, as I told you yesterday and is
23 described in my cable to New York
24 his mind, and he decided to backtrack on that, and we were extremely
25 disappointed and disturbed by his sudden change of attitude. I think his
1 colleagues who are with him were also taken by surprise, and, therefore,
2 we wanted to tell the entire press that there was an agreement at some
3 point in time, and then there were subsequent change of mind by
4 Mr. Martic. So I wanted everybody to know that there was agreement; then
5 by some emotional turn of events, only one person in the Knin leadership
6 felt that he could not honour it, he did not want to honour it.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Akashi, for that answer.
8 And when you say he backtracked or did not want to honour it,
9 that's the reference that we saw yesterday to him refusing to sign the
10 document; correct?
11 A. Yes, Mr. Hedaraly. The covering letter of my cable is carefully
12 phrased to indicate these developments.
13 MR. HEDARALY: If we can turn to tab 19 of the Prosecution
14 binder, for the Registrar in -- in Tokyo
15 the e-court system here.
16 Q. And this is a cable -- another cable from you, dated 7 August to
17 Mr. Annan.
18 MR. HEDARALY: And I would like to go to the second page.
19 Q. And if you look at the third full paragraph, which says -- don't
20 have it on the screen yet.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I don't believe that the documents
22 have been released in e-court to the Defence yet. So if we can ask that
23 they be released to us.
24 MR. HEDARALY: Of course.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi, don't worry, this is a technical matter
1 in our e-court system which was raised by Mr. Misetic. It will be
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. HEDARALY:
6 Q. If you have it in front of you, Mr. Akashi, the third full
7 paragraph --
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ... which starts: "My special
10 representative held emergency talks on 30 July with the local Serb
11 authorities in Knin" --
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I don't have it on the e-court
13 screen either, so if we could wait until we could actually follow along.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's see whether ...
15 I think we have it on our screen now.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
17 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
18 Q. The third full paragraph on the second page of that cable which
19 essentially summarises what had occurred the previous week. In that
20 paragraph --
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sorry, Mr. Hedaraly.
22 Your Honour we don't have it on our screens here, and I can't
23 seem to find -- there we go. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Let me try it one more time, Mr. Akashi.
1 "My Special Representative held emergency talks on 30 July with
2 the local Serb authorities in Knin. He secured a six-point commitment
3 from the Krajina Serbs that the ARSK would withdraw fully from the Bihac
4 pocket and desist from further cross-border interference (see Annex A),"
5 which is the six-point text.
6 And let me also show you 65 ter 7398, which is tab 16 of the same
7 binder, which is a 3 August cable. Where at this time, if we go to the
8 second page -- do we have it on the screen?
9 Q. We're having some technical difficulties, Mr. Akashi, but my
10 question for you -- it was another cable that dealt with the word
11 commitment by the Krajina leadership. Hopefully we can resolve it and
12 show it to you soon.
13 My question was: There you referred to commitment. We saw
14 agreement. We heard your answer that -- that Mr. Martic backtracked,
15 refused to sign it, and I'm just trying to get some -- some clarity in --
16 what was your understanding of what the situation was at the end of that
17 meeting, although he refused to sign it? What did you understand the
18 situation to be?
19 A. The end of the meeting, as I recall it, was somewhat confusing,
20 and the confused. After a long negotiations and very serious talks,
21 arguments, counter-arguments, at some point in time, we were able to
22 extract agreement of Mr. Martic on six important matters, and this was
23 observed by his colleagues on the civilian side, as well as on the
24 military side, by RSK. And then -- and the negotiations continued --
25 actually continued for over five hours, and in the end, we left the
1 meeting at about 4.30 p.m.
2 And Mr. Martic, somehow, had a sudden change of mind, and the --
3 originally we discussed and agreed to go before the press to show that
4 agreement had, indeed, been reached. Therefore, sort of a defusing the
5 atmosphere of impending crisis.
6 Q. Thank -- I'm sorry, I thought you were finished, but if you want
7 to finish your answer, please do so.
8 A. Yes. In effect, I wanted to describe a rather unusual atmosphere
9 of that meeting, where there were, sort of sudden changes of atmosphere.
10 But at some point in time, we were certain that there was a set of
11 assurances given to us when they were all clear-headed.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Akashi.
13 MR. HEDARALY: If can I tender 65 ter 1D2680 and 65 ter 7401 into
14 evidence, please.
15 MR. MISETIC: No objection.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter number 1D2680 will be Exhibit
18 P2626; and 65 ter number 7401 will be Exhibit P2627.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P2626 and P2627 are admitted into evidence.
20 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Akashi, we saw yesterday also your correspondence of the
22 evening of 30th of July with President Tudjman. I don't want to discuss
23 them, but if you want to see them, we can. I want to focus on the
24 following day.
25 Were you aware that that day, the 31st of July, President Tudjman
1 met with military advisors to discuss a military operation against the
3 A. I was ignorant of those meetings which you refer to.
4 Q. Okay. Let me show you at tab 3 of the Prosecution binder, which
5 is P461. And if we go to the first page of the English, also first page
6 of the B/C/S.
7 In that meeting it starts: "The president addresses the
9 And the second paragraph -- I will wait for it to come up on the
10 screen here before reading the portion to you. Thank you.
11 And it reads:
12 "As you know, we were determined to undertake further operations.
13 The Grahovo-Glamoc operation was also designed to have an impact with
14 respect to Bihac and to enable Knin to be surrounded. We were determined
15 to start lifting the blockade of Bihac from the west.
16 "However, the situation as it stands now, is that the UN
17 representatives, Akashi
18 this reason, since they are in the process of withdrawing their forces
19 from the Bihac area."
20 For the next paragraph, the next page in the B/C/S:
21 "Accordingly, we no longer have the necessary justification to
22 lift the blockade of Bihac."
23 And the next paragraph again:
24 "Therefore, it is my opinion that our main objective can no
25 longer be to break through to Bihac."
1 Now if we can just jump ahead to page 32, which is the
2 next-to-last page, and it is page 62 in the B/C/S.
3 Just to be clear for everyone in the meantime. What you had
4 discussed with the Krajina leadership the six points, part of that
5 discussion was related to the situation in Bihac; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you said the middle here again where the president talks. It
8 starts with the main problem with UNCRO, with those Japanese bugs.
9 Do you see that portion?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The problem will be with UNCRO with those Japanese bugs. It is
12 their proposal, Akashi
13 submitted proposal that UNCRO would deploy towards Bihac to stop us and
14 would place observers on Dinara. There is then an intervention from the
15 minister of defence, Mr. Susak, which ends with, I wouldn't go to Geneva
16 and President Tudjman responds, Hold on, I'm going to Geneva
17 and not to talk. I won't send a minister but the assistant foreign
18 minister. That's on Thursday.
19 "So I want to hide what we are preparing for the day after. And
20 we can rebut any argument in the world about how we didn't want to talk,
21 but that we only wanted what ..."
22 Now, Mr. Akashi, in your statement to the Gotovina Defence at
23 paragraph 5, you described President Tudjman as a reliable negotiator.
24 Now when you said that, you were not aware of this passage I just read to
25 you; correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And -- well, actually, let me deal with this while we're on the
3 same topic.
4 You also described Mr. Sarinic in your statement as a reliable
5 and professional negotiator; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Akashi, did Mr. Sarinic ever, in front of
8 you, refer to the Serbs as being a cancer in the stomach of Croatia
9 A. I do not remember it.
10 Q. Now, if he had referred to Serbs as a cancer in the stomach of
12 cancer in the stomach of Croatia
13 of him as reliable and professional negotiator; correct?
14 A. I cannot comment on this. I -- my judgement of people I'm
15 dealing with is based on the totality of their personality, their
16 character, their integrity, their consistency, and all these factors.
17 I'm not influenced by any specific words or remarks. Sometimes all of us
18 make slip of tongue, and so my -- I will not be able to give you a
19 categorical answer.
20 Q. That's fine, Mr. Akashi. Thank you for your answer.
21 There was a reference is to Geneva. Do you remember the details
22 of what precisely transpired in those negotiations in Geneva?
23 A. No, I don't.
24 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, to save time, I would propose to
25 bar table 65 ter 1D1593, which is a note by Mr. Stoltenberg who was -- I
1 know that Geneva
2 just propose to bar table so the Chamber has the note of the person that
3 was there. There is no point in asking questions about it to this
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if i could have an opportunity to
6 review. We've just been released these documents.
7 MR. HEDARALY: That was one of the Defence exhibits for this
9 JUDGE ORIE: If that is the case, that comes as a surprise.
10 MR. MISETIC: I didn't hear him say it was a 1D number, so I'm
11 sorry, Mr. President. Yes, then obviously I was going to bar table these
12 as well as I indicated at the close of my direct, so it's fine.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances, Mr. Registrar, 65 ter
14 1D1593 would receive number ...
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that is will be Exhibit P2628.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence from the bar table.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Akashi, we have been discussing here a number of your coded
20 cables that you sent, and I just want everyone to - including myself - to
21 understand exactly the process how these were prepared.
22 So I just wanted to ask you, first of all, when you sent those
23 cables, and I understand from yesterday that you did not necessarily
24 draft them yourself, what was the source of the information that was
25 contained in those cables?
1 A. Mr. Hedaraly, would you specify what cable or cables you are
2 referring to.
3 Q. Sure, I apologise for that. The cables that you would send to
4 Mr. Annan, the type of cables we have been seeing yesterdays and today
5 sent from yourself to Mr. Annan reporting on various aspects of what was
7 A. If you are referring to cables describing my meetings with
8 President Tudjman, Mr. Sarinic, and other leaders I was negotiating with,
9 then, even if the first draft was drafted by one of my colleagues, I
10 carefully reviewed every word of it; and I made necessary changes, if
11 needed, and then, only then, I signed them.
12 Q. And this is for your meetings and negotiations, I understand.
13 With respect to other cables reporting, for example, crimes that occurred
14 or reports that the UN was getting of human rights violations, what --
15 what source of information would you rely on in these types of cables?
16 A. For instance, there were information sent to us by UN Military
17 Observers deployed to many different areas. In those cases, we
18 transmitted their reports and the findings to headquarters without our
19 attempting to make changes or amendments. These were, by their very
20 nature, factual reports. The same applies to reports by human rights
21 observers and teams. They were prepared by professionals in those
22 fields, and without our tinkering with those reports we sent them to
23 New York
24 Q. In the reports that you received from the ground, did you have
25 any reason to believe that any of those reports you were receiving were
2 A. We had no reason to believe that they were inaccurate. Of
3 course, you had to always make allowance for honest human errors,
4 misunderstandings, and, you know, absolute objectivity may be sometimes
5 very hard to attain. But as a matter of -- falsely based ourselves on
6 the impartiality and objectivity of our colleagues, all of whom are
7 working for the United Nations or for very similar organisations, like
9 Q. Thank you very much for that answer, Mr. Akashi. I want to move
10 through a few documents as quickly as possible. I am going to do my
11 upmost to try to complete in the next 15 minutes so that hopefully you
12 don't have to come back tomorrow, pending any questions from the Bench.
13 A. I will try to co-operate also.
14 Q. I have to doubt that you will, Mr. Akashi.
15 If we can go to D1213, which is tab 8 of the Prosecution binder.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I'm just waiting for it to come here on the screen for everyone
18 to follow. But if you can go to page 3 after having looked at the cover
19 sheet and confirm that it is one of the cables that you sent. If you go
20 to the third page, the last paragraph it says:
21 "On more general topic, Mr. Bildt noted that in a meeting with
22 Dr. Granic over the weekend, the latter had said that he believed
23 99 per cent of the population in the Krajina would leave Croatia
24 figure was slightly lower). Granic had also indicated that the Croatian
25 military plan had been designed to facilitate their departure - a form of
1 ethnic cleansing by other means, in Mr. Bildt's opinion."
2 Mr. Akashi, do you remember having this discussion with Mr. Bildt
3 after Operation Storm?
4 A. I do not recall this particular discussion.
5 MR. HEDARALY: If we can then move to the next tab in the
6 Prosecution binder, which is tab 9, which is 65 ter 4129.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes.
8 MR. HEDARALY:
9 Q. I will just wait for it to come up here so everyone can follow.
10 It seem that the electronic version is slower than the physical. There
11 we go. We have it now.
12 It's another cable from you on the 23rd of August. In
13 paragraph three, there is reference there:
14 "Also noteworthy, however, is that a Croatian civil defence
15 officially present at the site" --
16 And I'm sorry but by way of background, this discusses graves in
17 the Knin cemetery. Said that most of the deceased were civilians from
18 Knin who had been killed during the Croatian shelling of the city on 4
19 and 5 August.
20 And then for the last line of the page:
21 "Pending further evidence, there is no basis to conclude at this
22 point that those," turn the page over, "buried in the Knin cemetery died
23 as a result of executions rather than shelling of civilian areas of
25 Mr. Akashi, do you know whether such a determination was made
1 later regarding the cause of death of the individuals in the Knin
3 A. I have no recollection with regard to this particular event.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Akashi.
5 MR. HEDARALY: If I can tendered 65 ter 4129 into evidence.
6 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, my recollection is this is already
7 in evidence. So if it can be MFI
8 MR. HEDARALY: It may be duplicate.
9 JUDGE ORIE: If we have a 65 ter number, I take it that
10 Mr. Registrar can verify within just a couple of seconds.
11 MR. HEDARALY: I just find it.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. HEDARALY: It is P2629 and it is not me who found it by our
14 Case Manager.
15 JUDGE ORIE: There is, therefore, no reason not to move on.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. MISETIC: That would be the new number for this exhibit;
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: This 65 ter number is not known under any exhibit
21 number and, therefore, number then to be assigned would be 2629; isn't
23 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, Your Honour. That will be
24 Exhibit P2629.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections Mr. Misetic? Then P2629 is, after
1 some confusion, admitted into evidence.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 If we can go to tab 20 of the Prosecution binder this time and it
5 is 65 ter 7402. It's a weekly situation report from yourself to
6 Mr. Annan dated 29 August. As we will see when it comes on the screen it
7 covers the period 22 to 28 August.
8 And if we go to the next page, page 2 of this document, in the
9 first paragraph, there's a sentence that starts:
10 "Tudjman dismissed the reports of burning houses and looting as
11 the acts of individuals which were condemned by the government. He
12 reiterated his appeal that the houses of Serbs should not be destroyed -
13 Croatian displaced people would have to be accommodated in the abandoned
15 Q. Do you remember this statement from President Tudjman?
16 A. I cannot -- I beg your pardon, but I cannot locate that passage.
17 Q. Sure. It is in the first full paragraph under, "Croatia
18 It is the sixth or seventh line, which starts, "Tudjman dismissed
19 reports ..." I won't read again. Just read those two sentences for
20 yourself --
21 A. Mm-hmm. Yes.
22 Q. -- and let me know if you remember this statement.
23 A. Mm-hmm. I do not specifically remember these words, but it seems
24 to convey the general sense of our discussions with President Tudjman.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Akashi.
1 MR. HEDARALY: If I can tender 65 ter 7402 into evidence.
2 MR. MISETIC: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P2630.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. HEDARALY: If we can then move to a document we looked at
7 earlier today, D1665, that is at tab 43 in the Defence binder, which is
8 the further report prepared by the Secretary-General to the Security
10 And I would like to go to paragraph 5, which was briefly
11 mentioned --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- but I want to ask you about a specific passage:
14 "Secondly, in the course of the Croatian Army's recapture of
15 Sectors North and South, more than 90 per cent of the ... Serb
16 inhabitants fled from those areas. Though it was hoped that some of the
17 Serb refugee would return to their homes, the continued reports of human
18 rights abuses and of the looting and burning of houses have created a
19 climate which is not conducive to such a development. Indeed, many Serbs
20 from among those who initially chose to remain are now departing or
21 seeking to depart owing to the hostile environment in which they are at
22 present obliged to live."
23 Now, Mr. Akashi, do you -- do you remember that general situation
24 in the Krajina after Operation Storm?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And is that consistent with your recollection of that general
3 A. It is, as reflected in the paragraph you drew our attention to,
4 just -- just now.
5 Q. Thank you. I just have a few more questions with respect to
6 General Cermak.
7 In your -- in your cables and we have looked at a number of them
8 so far today, some we have not seen but are in evidence. And in those
9 cables and in the interests of time I won't go through each of them with
10 you, you described General Cermak sometimes as the Croatian Army
11 commander for the Knin region; sometimes as the HV commander for the
12 region; sometimes as the Croatian Army commander in the area; some other
13 times as the military official in charge of the region. Now I understand
14 that those may not have always been your words, but can you tell us what
15 was your understanding of General Cermak's role in Knin, after Operation
17 A. Could you repeat your question again, please.
18 Q. Sure. I have described to you the different ways in which -- I
19 have read to you the different ways in which General Cermak is described
20 in your cables as Croatian Army commander for the region, for the area,
21 military official in charge of the region and I was asking you if you
22 have -- what is your memory of the understanding of what General Cermak's
23 role was or position was in Knin, after Operation Storm?
24 A. After, did you say?
25 Q. Well, when he arrived in Knin after Operation Storm or -- right
1 after Operation Storm.
2 A. You have referred to various different ways of the military
3 commander of the Croatian Army in the Knin area described in our cables,
4 and so we did not necessarily link all these actions to a single person
5 or a military leader or commander. We were talking about specific
6 actions, specific instances of use of force or violence, which was a
7 manifestation of organised use of force; and so we did not necessarily
8 personalise and link these to the act or actions of one individual.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Akashi, just one last question.
10 When you met General Cermak on 7th of August, did you consider
11 him to be a military person?
12 A. Yes, I did. But I do not necessarily have fixed ideas about a
13 military person, as against a civilian person. Some military person may
14 be more civilian, more humanitarian than usual civilians.
15 Q. Mr. Akashi, thank you very much for answering my questions.
16 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, that concludes our
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly.
19 Could I inquire with the parties how much time needed for
21 MR. MISETIC: Nothing, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Nothing.
23 Mr. Kay.
24 MR. KAY: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: None, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi, I would have a few questions for you but
4 I wonder whether you would be available for another, perhaps, ten minutes
5 so usually we stop --
6 THE WITNESS: Indeed, I am. I'm at your disposal.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it might save you coming back tomorrow,
8 Mr. Akashi.
9 I have the following question for you.
10 Could we have D28 on the screen.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Akashi, you will remember that this is the
13 agreement, if I could briefly refer to it as the Akashi-Sarinic
15 In paragraph 3 of this agreement, reference is made to
16 encouragement "of all those previous inhabitants of the Republic of
18 "All those previous inhabitants," how did you understand this?
19 Would that refer, in your recollection, to those who had been living in
20 the RSK area, which was --
21 A. Your Honour --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 A. -- which particular paragraph of the agreement are you referring?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph 3, second line.
25 A. Paragraph 3.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The previous inhabitants, did you consider them to
2 be those who lived in the RSK before Operation Storm; or would you
3 consider them to be those who had lived in the Krajina area before 1991?
4 How did you understand and how did you intend to agree on the wording
5 "previous inhabitants of the Republic of Croatia
6 A. Your Honour, I just, in my own mind, I did not have a particular,
7 specific time or timing in which they have lived in the Krajinas.
8 English is not my native tongue, nor is it Mr. Sarinic's native tongue, I
9 take it, although his English was much better than mine.
10 So, at least in my mind, it has meant those who have lived, those
11 Serbs who have lived in the Krajinas, up to that time, can remain doing
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 A. Am I clear?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just ... well, of course, I asked you,
16 because under those circumstances, you could have referred to the Serb
17 inhabitants of the Krajina. I am especially interested to know what was
18 specifically meant by the word "previous."
19 Previous referring to earlier time, and, of course, I'm
20 interested to know whether it was recent past or those who had been
21 inhabitants in a period which was further away in history; that is before
23 A. You have a very sharp legal mind, which I don't, and I have --
24 I -- I thought it meant those who have lived there, up to that time.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that answer. I don't know
1 whether the parties disagree with one of your recent observations, but
2 that is not to be discussed at this moment.
3 Then I have one other question to you in ... yes, I would like to
4 take you, again in D28, to paragraph 5.
5 Paragraph 5 deals with the freedom of movement:
6 "Immediately in all areas," as it reads "except where, in the
7 opinion of the local UNCRO military commanders after consulting Croatian
8 Army commanders, the security situation does not permit for such
10 Now, ample time has been spent on your meeting with, among
11 others, General Cermak on the basis of the notes of Mr. Almstrom.
12 MR. KAY: Bambury, My Lord. Bambury.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes, he was, as a matter of fact, I was
14 referring to an observation by Mr. Almstrom, but you're right in
15 correcting me. Could we have that -- I have not written down the exhibit
16 number, Mr. Kay.
17 MR. HEDARALY: D1667.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D1667.
19 Could we have that and could we move to the page with last four
20 ERN digits, 6920.
21 We read on this page, that, as of tomorrow, that the UN would --
22 agencies would have freedom of movement in and around Knin; and the day
23 after, larger areas, depending on security.
24 Now, did you consider a position in which the Croatian
25 authorities said that they would allow, depending on security, a wider
1 freedom of movement consistent with paragraph 5 of the agreement where it
2 was left to the UNCRO command, after consultation with the Croatian
3 military leadership, to determine whether or not security would allow
4 freedom of movement?
5 A. Your Honour, again, I'm not a lawyer with a sharp legal mind, but
6 I thought, at that time, that our discussions in Knin were in accordance
7 with the agreement we -- I had reached with Mr. Sarinic.
8 If my very scarce legal training at the graduate school serves
9 me, there's a difference between two phrases: One, "in consultation
10 with"; and the other is "after consultation with." The difference being
11 that "in consult with" means you had to be in continuous consultation
12 with that person; where "after consultation" means that you consult with
13 somebody but your subsequent action may not necessarily be in conformity
14 with your previous talks.
15 Am I correct?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether you are correct or not, you have
17 explained your position in this respect. Of course, the language in
18 paragraph 5 is somewhere in between. It uses the words "after." But it
19 also said says "after consulting" and not "after having consulted."
20 Let's leave it to that. You have given your answer.
21 I have no further questions for you, Mr. Akashi.
22 Have the questions by the Bench triggered any need to put further
23 questions to Mr. Akashi?
24 Mr. Akashi --- I apologise for first addressing our interpreters,
25 transcriber, and those who are assisting in this courtroom because I
1 went - and I have a bad reputation in this respect - I went 17 minutes
2 beyond the time that was available to us. At the same time, it saves us
3 and saves you from having to come back tomorrow so, therefore, my
4 apologies to interpreters, transcribers.
5 Mr. Akashi, I would like to thank you very much for reserving
6 time in your busy schedule for coming to testify, and you've answered the
7 questions put to you by the Bench and by the parties. The Bench is - and
8 I take it the parties - are grateful for that. You are excused.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, My Honour. I hope my answers
10 did not seem to be excessively evasive but this was due to a lot of time
11 which has transpired between today and when events actually took place,
12 and you understand extremely complex difficult circumstances in which
13 United Nations had to operate with its very rather unclear mandate and
14 with its very limited resources. But there should be no question as to
15 one point, that it was with our utmost commitment to the cause of peace,
16 to the cause of humanity, that we did our very best, which is not good
17 enough in the opinion of some.
18 Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Akashi. I usually wish those who
20 have testified a safe trip home again. In view of your schedule, I don't
21 know whether you are going home or for somewhere else, but wherever you
22 go, arrive safely.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much. You are most gracious.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then we can conclude the videolink with Tokyo
25 you, Mr. Registrar, in Tokyo
1 longer because -- well, I don't have to explain that to you.
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]
4 JUDGE ORIE: We will adjourn for the day. The Chamber had in
5 mind to find time for a housekeeping session before the start of the
6 Cermak case. Therefore, I think it is important to establish,
7 Mr. Misetic, that this was the last witness you wanted to call in the
8 presentation of the Gotovina Defence case.
9 MR. MISETIC: That is correct, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then it might be good that we reserve some time to
11 go through pending issues, lists, MFI
12 properly prepared, the Chamber would prefer to do that on Friday. I am
13 aware that it would keep you here for the Thursday, but experience has
14 taught us that if we are not really prepared for that, it creates more
15 confusion than it resolves; and, therefore, I would like to prepare that
16 tomorrow and then have a housekeeping session Friday morning.
17 Would that meet any objections?
18 MR. HEDARALY: There are no objections on our part. I don't know
19 if Mr. Monkhouse needs to be involved or if someone else can assist from
20 the Registry.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That is exactly -- I started only by saying that is
22 what we had on our mind. Since we have to expect that Mr. Monkhouse has
23 not returned by Friday morning, at least there is an considerable risk
24 that he has not, it might be that we cannot deal with everything because
25 an experienced Registrar is of greatest assistance, and that is
1 especially also one of the issues I'd like to include in the Chamber's
2 preparations of tomorrow. So whether we can deal with everything or if
3 we would conclude that it isn't worthwhile even to give it a try on
4 Friday, then the Chamber would, of course, inform the parties, and then
5 we would have to move to early next week.
6 So, therefore, as matters stand now, we will adjourn until
7 Friday, the 18th of September, Courtroom I, for a housekeeping session;
8 and if that would change, the Chamber will immediately inform the
9 parties, in which case we would resume only after the UN holiday, which
10 is on the 21st of September, Monday, and we would then be in
11 Courtroom III
12 Any questions in relation to this?
13 If not, we stand adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.08 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Friday, the 18th day of
16 September, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.