1 Thursday, 19 November 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Mr. Misetic, are you ready to continue your cross-examination?
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Granic, I would like to remind you that
15 you're still bound by the solemn declaration that you have given at the
16 beginning of your testimony.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 WITNESS: MATE GRANIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Dr. Granic.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have on the screen,
25 please, Exhibit P449. And if we could have page 26 in the Croatian, and
1 page 14 in the English, please.
2 I'm sorry, if we could go forward one page in the Croatian.
3 Q. Mr. Granic, there's a paragraph in the -- towards the bottom in
4 the English and at the top in the Croatian.
5 This is a presidential transcript of a meeting on the 18th of
6 August where Mr. Holbrooke, President Tudjman, Ambassador Galbraith,
7 yourself, and others are present.
8 And I'd like to just briefly explore this topic with you.
9 Mr. Holbrooke there on the 18th of August says, towards the middle of
10 that paragraph that one of the things I've said in my presentation was
11 that the US
12 separate and parallel relationship with Serbia. This is the change in
13 the US
14 We agree to include this in the future. Therefore, let us agree... with
16 And you say -- the president says: "I agree.
17 You say: "Plus a referendum" --
18 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please, in English.
19 Q. The president says: "In two, three, or five years ...
21 Mr. Holbrooke then says:
22 "A referendum, of course, but the matter of secession and
23 separatism leads to another matter and that is how to implement it. When
25 world did not say a word. Why? Because this was a fair vote in peace
2 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in Croatian, please.
3 Q. Even in Ethiopia
4 agreed with the referendum for Eritrea
5 and Eritrea
6 Now, Mr. Granic, to save some time let me see if I understand
7 what is happening here correctly. At this time pursuant to the
8 Washington Agreement, the Muslim Croat Federation already was supposed to
9 have a confederation status with the Republic of Croatia
11 A. When the Croatian Muslim or Croatian Bosniak Federation was
12 created, a confederate agreement was signed between the Federation and
13 the Republic of Croatia
14 concerning that project because everyone was awaiting the end of the war
15 and the entering of peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the final
16 solution for it. This discussion of Mr. Holbrooke with
17 President Tudjman, minister Susak, and myself boils down to the fact that
18 for the first time Mr. Holbrooke said that Americans agreed to it that
19 the same status be accorded to Republika Srpska according to Milosevic's
20 wishes. In other words, for it to establish separate relationship with
22 That is it. What I said about the referendum is basically I
23 meant to inquire what exact degree of such relationship they envisaged
24 within the framework of overall relations.
25 Q. And if I understand what Mr. Holbrooke is saying correctly, but
1 you were a participant, you correct me if I'm wrong, get a peace deal
2 signed, the Bosnian Serbs would then be allowed to have a referendum
3 within a certain number of years where they could decide whether they
4 would seek independence; is that correct?
5 A. These were preliminary discussions in which the possibility of a
6 referendum was not excluded either, as you put it.
7 Later on, when the constitutional principles of the
8 Dayton Accords were laid down, such a referendum was no longer mentioned,
9 much as separation of any particular entity. However, at this point in
10 time, it was still on the agenda.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic.
12 MR. MISETIC: If we could go forward a few pages, going to page
13 17 in the English and page 31 in the Croatian.
14 I'm sorry, if we could go back one page in the English, please --
15 I mean in the Croatian, please, I'm sorry.
16 Q. And beginning at the paragraph at the bottom where Mr. Holbrooke
17 is speaking in the Croatian version and at the top in the English
18 version. There's a brief recap here by Mr. Holbrooke of the relationship
19 between the United States and Croatia
20 "I would like to be very honest because our administration has
21 been giving you different signals about military activity in the past
23 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in Croatian, please.
24 Q. Mr. Holbrooke continues on in the -- after -- after the president
25 speaks and says:
1 "Mr. President, I want to be absolutely honest with you, speaking
2 not only as a US
3 matter, as an individual, as a man who considers himself a friend of
5 that you had justification for your military operation in Western
7 If you can read to yourself that paragraph, Mr. Granic. But he
8 says -- I'm interested in the following passage. He says:
9 "Then we discussed your activities in Livanjsko Polje and there
10 we again said, 'go ahead'."
11 Now Livanjsko Polje, that refers to the Grahovo and Glamoc
12 operation, correct?
13 A. It has to do with several operations. There was a number of
14 operations in early 1995. It was known under the name of the Zima 95 or
15 Winter 95 when the Croatian Army was reinforcing its position --
16 positions. The rest pertains to the Grahovo and Glamoc operations. Both
17 operations went ahead with the approval and understanding of the US. I
18 personally spoke about that with Ambassador Holbrooke.
19 Q. This is what I want to get into because the next sentence I'm
20 interested in. He says:
21 "As you know, we were publicly saying we were concerned but
22 private you knew what we wanted."
23 You were the foreign minister, Mr. Granic. How did
24 President Tudjman know what the United States wanted?
25 A. He knew because we had daily contacts with the most senior
1 officials of the US
2 level as well as Mr. Zuzul. This included state secretary,
3 Mr. Christopher. Then Madeleine Albright who was the special envoy to
4 the UN, and mostly with Mr. Holbrooke during the Washington Agreements,
5 as well as with Mr. Redman and Mr. Gore. Vice-president Gore dealt with
6 the issue when Croatia
7 UNCRO mandate was drafted. This happened with the assistance of the US
8 and vice-president Al Gore.
9 In terms of the specific most delicate issues, we always
10 discussed such matters with the special envoy, Mr. Richard Holbrooke. I
11 was personally in charge of that. Although our ambassador to the US,
12 Mr. Zuzul, also conducted such talks. These were diplomatic and
13 political discussions. At the military level this was done by Minister
14 Susak who spoke with Mr. William Perry, the US defence minister. We also
15 had daily contacts with American military representatives in Zagreb
16 believe this went on on a daily basis.
17 We also had daily intelligence communication with them.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I note that e-court seems to have
20 gone down in the courtroom.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it -- it gives us some problems.
22 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated]
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ORIE: The technicians are working on it.
25 MR. MISETIC: There we go. Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Granic, he continues on in that paragraph and says:
2 "Then the issue of Knin appeared and the Sector North and South.
3 At that point, we were in a very -- Peter was involved in talks with
4 Babic about the Z-4 plan. There was much confusion. You went ahead. It
5 was a triumph from a political and military point of view" -- and I
6 believe, Mr. President, the sentence should say: "And it used the
7 situation again, it helped again. The only problem are the refugees."
8 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in Croatian, please.
9 Q. "If could you bring those people back, if could you hold a speech
10 and say that the war is over to return, most of them will not return, but
11 tell them to return, emphasise it, at least mention that they should
13 The president then comments: "I would be very content if about
14 10 percent of them returned.
15 Then Mr. Holbrooke continues: "All right, tell them to return,
16 give them compensation ..." and he goes on.
17 Mr. Granic, as someone who was present at the meeting, can you
18 tell us what you believe or what you understood President Tudjman to mean
19 when he said: "I would be very content if about 10 percent of them
21 A. This is what I thought of it.
22 I believed President firstly believed that there were great many
23 of those who refused to accept Croatia
24 insurgent Croatian Serbs who took part in the rebellion. That there were
25 many of them who had committed crimes. One mustn't forget that on the
1 Croatian side, 14.000 soldiers were killed -- sorry, 14.000 people, both
2 civilians and soldiers were killed, and 36.000 were wounded.
3 What President had in mind was also that they were exposed to
4 indoctrination for a number of years and that took its toll as well. I
5 believe that was President's thinking at the time.
6 Perhaps I can add another two sentences.
7 Q. You can add what you wish but let me just clarify what my precise
8 question is.
9 Is the President saying here that he would be happy if no more
10 than 10 percent return or that he would be satisfied that up to -- that
11 he could get up do 10 percent to return?
12 A. Precisely the latter point. That it would be good if we managed
13 to have 10 percent of them return. His thinking went along those lines,
14 that it would be good if we can manage to have at least 10 percent of
15 them back.
16 I believe some questions will be put to me that will give me an
17 opportunity to explain how the refugee return programme was developed.
18 But these were the President's thoughts at the time.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic. We will touch on that topic in a little
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit P463 on the
22 screen, please.
23 Q. Mr. Granic, this is a transcript of a conversation between Jure
24 Radic and President Tudjman on the 22nd of August. And I'd like to ask
25 you some questions about that discussion.
1 You -- were you familiar with Jure Radic at the time?
2 A. Yes, very well.
3 Q. Let me -- let me first turn to page 4 in the English, please.
4 MR. MISETIC: Page 7 in the Croatian, please.
5 Q. Now, if we scroll down to -- towards the bottom in the Croatian
6 and in the English, Dr. Radic is talking about the problem of burning
7 that's taking place, and he says:
8 "However, one thing I have to tell you is that I visited all this
9 now both by car and by helicopter."
10 The translation here is -- in English is:
11 "Our men torched a lot. They're torching today as they did
12 yesterday, president, it's no good."
13 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page.
14 Q. "I went to Kijevo to see, I know that area very well. There is a
15 village of Civljane near Kijevo of equal size, a Serb village where they
16 renewed nice houses and told them everything has been preserved. I got
17 there on the day of assumption of the Virgin Mary to find everything has
18 been burned down. Not in the cities, because the authorities were
19 obviously more powerful there, but in the villages. It is not the army,
20 it's the fifth echelon which is under, I don't know whose, what kind of
21 banner, put on a uniform, wander about, those are the worst tramps
22 torching and looting around. That is our property. It's not someone
23 else's. What if he burned down the Serb village near Kijevo where we
24 could accommodate our population?"
25 The last sentence in that entry is:
1 "I'm not telling you hearsay but things I've experienced myself
2 and seen with my own eyes, torching and looting."
3 And the president says:
4 "So we said military police right away and civilian police right
5 after that."
6 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please, in Croatian.
7 Actually, if we could go to page 7 in the English, which is page 10 in
8 the Croatian.
9 Q. The conversation continues on that topic -- I'm sorry.
10 MR. MISETIC: Sorry, page 11; if we could go forward one page,
12 Q. The last sentence there where -- in an entry where Mr. Radic
13 says: "We have to organise ourselves somehow in order to prevent this.
14 The president says: "We talked about preventing this from the
16 Radic says:
17 "We did, everybody's referring to you in a positive context and
18 everybody's referring to you of all the people because you were saying
19 that we shouldn't do that. But that hasn't been implemented. We have to
20 go for VONS or somewhere, let people speak and submit a report on that.
21 Here, I am, all the county executives are telling me about that, all of
23 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in English, please, and
24 turn the page in Croatian as well. And towards the bottom in Croatian
25 and in the middle in English.
1 Q. Radic continues and says:
2 "So, if we have to introduce order anywhere in this area, almost
3 a despotism in a way in the beginning we cannot be without that, because
4 there has to be a boss, one must know who gives orders in each of these
5 segments, and a hierarchy should be established in the authority from the
6 above, regarding colonising and regarding living over there."
7 The president says: "That's what I say. That's in all wars. If
8 we didn't abolish the death penalty for robbery, the Court would shoot
10 And then Radic says: "But we should catch them, some of them now
11 and prevent that because of the relationship with the world and
13 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in English and Croatian.
14 Towards the bottom. That's it. If we could turn the page, I'm sorry, in
15 Croatian as well.
16 Q. Radic says:
17 "They're probably revenging but he cannot get in there because
18 the police control him. So he puts on a military uniform, because now
19 everybody wears a military uniform. Everybody is walking around the city
20 in them, even those who have never been to the army. I think it's
21 primarily" --
22 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in Croatian, please --
23 sorry, back one page in Croatian. There we go.
24 Q. "I think it's primarily the ones who have never even been to the
25 army, the ones who drag that, rob, take away, et cetera."
1 Now, Mr. Granic, this is a private conversation between Mr. Radic
2 and President Tudjman. The description here by Mr. Radic about what is
3 going on on the ground first and foremost that it's not the army, it's
4 people putting on uniforms and going in, people avenging themselves, is
5 that, at that time what you also had understood to be the situation on
6 the ground?
7 A. Absolutely correct. Of course, this is a private conversation
8 between Minister Radic and President Tudjman. But a day or two later, he
9 repeated that at a meeting of their Croatian cabinets, and my personal
10 position and the position of the government was the same. These were
11 criminals, criminals who were torching and looting, most often dressed in
12 uniform. And, generally speaking, in wartime, in those areas, people who
13 had never been to the army or in the police were wearing uniforms. And
14 especially in these situations, because it was easier for them to gain
15 access to various places on the ground, and do their dirty business,
16 therefore, I too, understood that these were criminals, that they were
17 criminal groups very often dressed in military uniform.
18 Q. Now you noted -- you note -- you should note that the president
19 there says:
20 "We talked about stopping this -- preventing this from the
21 beginning." He also says: "So we said military police right away and
22 civil police right after that."
23 Was it your understanding before Operation Storm that the
24 president had issued orders to prevent such criminal conduct?
25 A. I myself, before Operation Storm, already before the 31st of
1 July during the Brioni meeting between the head of state with the top
2 military leadership, I was asked by the president to provide a political
3 and diplomatic appraisal of the military operation. I told the President
4 that in view of the situation in Bihac, in view of the threats by Martic
5 and Karadzic about the creation of a joint state, in view of all of the
6 international circumstances, I said that we would get through the
7 Security Council only with a presidential statement because our military
8 operation fit into the US
9 the most important thing is to comply with the Geneva Conventions, to
10 comply with our obligations towards the UNCRO soldiers and protect them,
11 to make the operation clean, and to make it as short as possible. The
12 president then told me that he would do his utmost to respect the
13 civilians, UNCRO soldiers, and all the property. I know that he made --
14 gave instructions accordingly to Minister Jarnjak because Minister
15 Jarnjak spoke about this on the first day of Operation Storm. Therefore,
16 the President did issue that order.
17 Q. Okay. If we could continue on with this transcript, Mr. Granic,
18 because there's another topic that then begins on that same page.
19 And within that same paragraph that we just finished talking
20 about, Mr. Radic starts a discussion and it says:
21 "Now look, have I been looking around this area a bit, the
22 biggest centres where we should focus on return regarding the national
23 interest. I have tried to make a chronological order or some kind of
24 hierarchy and in my opinion I would like to discuss this with you a bit."
25 "The map of the whole area is of strategic importance for
2 been critical for us in the history, not Knin, who managed to do that
4 MR. MISETIC: If you could turn the page in English, please.
5 Q. "If you ask me, the first I define the five priorities" --
6 MR. MISETIC: If we could change the page in Croatian, please.
7 Q. "According to the urgency of colonising these places with Croats.
8 "If you ask me, this thing right here is the first and the second
9 priority. We should bring Croats back here urgently, and this area
10 should be urgently colonised with Croats, and we should by no means let
11 more than 10 per cent of Serbs be here ever again. Because, that's where
12 we were cut off."
13 The president says: "Not even 10 percent."
14 Radic continues:
15 "Okay. I am talking about 10 per cent. So the first priority of
16 colonising is this right here. In my opinion, Petrova and Zrinska Gora,
17 that's where we have to establish some kind of a city sooner or later.
18 We also have Vojnic and Veljun, a somewhat smaller place, but Vojnic is a
19 bigger place.
20 "However, by our company's opening factories just as the Serbs
21 did in Licki Osijek..." and he goes on.
22 Now, Mr. Granic, it appears that they're looking at a map when
23 they're having this discussion, and Radic talks about settling Croats in
24 the area that they're looking at, and there's a reference to Petrova and
25 Zrinska Gora where we were cut off.
1 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, I would like to pull up a map.
2 It's 65 ter 1D3011.
3 Q. And with the assistance of the usher, Mr. Granic, I would like to
4 have you assist the Court in locating the places that Mr. Radic is
5 talking about here.
6 Now, Mr. Granic, the red line there represents what the RSK
7 actually controlled. The blue line is what they declared should be under
8 their control. With a -- the usher will provide you a blue pen and you
9 can mark on the screen. But can you show the Court where Petrova and
10 Zrinska Gora are as well as Vojnic. If you could circle the area.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could zoom in a little bit on the map.
12 That's it.
13 A. In this area.
14 Q. Can you -- can you circle on the screen, draw a circle around the
16 MR. MISETIC: Actually, can we zoom in a little bit on the map so
17 we can see the names of the counties.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but once zoomed in and marked, we can't change
19 the zoom level.
20 MR. MISETIC: Just a little bit. If we can move the map down a
21 little bit. There we go, and zoom in the upper -- there we go. That's
23 Q. Does that help you see a little bit better?
24 A. This. This is it Vojnic. Vrginmost, Slunj. That's the area.
25 Q. Can you draw a circle. You can touch the screen. Don't worry
1 about touching the screen. Drawn on it, draw a circle around that area.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Now, in fact, Mr. Granic, the RSK right there, when Radic talks
4 about "that's where we were cut off," that was the shortest or the place
5 where Croatia
6 distance or the short amount of the territory that it controlled there,
7 correct? It's about 20 kilometres wide in terms of what Croatia
8 between 1991 and 1995. Correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. In this conversation, is Mr. Radic here talking about keeping
11 Serbs from coming back into the area or moving Croats in?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
13 MR. WAESPI: We know that Dr. Granic didn't attend at this
14 meeting. I object to him speculating of what Mr. Radic or Tudjman meant.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course, he should be rather cautious, but
16 earlier Mr. Granic has already told us that what the thoughts of the
17 President, of President Tudjman were. Of course, we'll understand this
18 as the interpretation by someone who was acquainted with the situation at
19 the time, what his interpretation is. Whether that interpretation is
20 right or wrong, Mr. Waespi, is -- is still to be determined, just as it
21 has to be determined on the basis of what skills, Mr. Granic, even be a
22 medical doctor knows what the thoughts of a person are but rather how he
23 interprets the words of those persons. That has been done several times
24 by the Prosecution, by the Defence, and the limits and the evidentiary,
25 the probative value of these interpretations is for the Chamber finally
1 to make.
2 Therefore, I'm not -- stop Mr. Misetic at the time. At the same
3 time, I don't think that Mr. Granic would disagree with me that no one
4 can know what someone else's thoughts are, although you sometimes can
5 form an opinion about what you think someone else thinks. I take it,
6 Mr. Granic, that you understood that, and in this context, at the same
7 time it has been done several times, let's not spend too much time on the
8 interpretation of words, which sometimes, and I'm referring to some of
9 the words we looked at earlier, the 10 per cent, for example, which we
10 have looked at already many, many times and of which we know exactly what
11 the interpretation from one side is and what the interpretation from the
12 other side is.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President. If I could just -- I
15 appreciate and I'll move forward; however, at the end of the day the
16 Prosecution wasn't at the meeting either nor was I, but we're going to be
17 arguing about how to interpret this text, and to that extent since Mr.
18 Granic was virtually at the top of the state at the time, he may have
19 some additional insight.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you're also aware that the position of
21 a witness is not the same as the position of counsel arguing. We do not
22 expect, as a matter of fact, witnesses to argue but rather to tell us
23 what they know.
24 So, therefore, that you and Mr. Waespi will do it, of course, is
25 only of little relevance for what we expect the witness to do.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. Mr. Granic, is this a discussion about keeping Serbs out of
6 A. Counsel, sir, I agree with what the Prosecutor says. Of course,
7 I wasn't there.
8 Your Honours, I don't want to go into what Radic might have
9 thought, but I know what the positions of Radic were in his capacity as a
10 minister for reconstruction and a minister who was also in charge of
11 demography. His objective was to resettle as many Croats as possible
12 into that empty area. By no means was his intention to prevent Serbs
13 from returning. First of all, Jure Radic did not work for that, and I
14 expect I'll have a lot more to say today about all the work that had been
15 done for the return of Serbs, because I was involved in that.
16 But as for Croats -- as far as Croats are concerned, Mr. Tudjman
17 had created a ministry for returnees in Croatia, and the intention was
18 for as many Croats to be resettled into areas that were virtually empty.
19 Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina or anywhere from all over the world.
20 However, this failed. Only a small number of Croats who been
21 expelled from Bosnia and Herzegovina remained in that territory. The
22 objectives were much higher but only a minimal number of Croats compelled
23 from Bosnia-Herzegovina remained in that area and very few Croats from
24 other countries were resettled there. Most of them stayed in big cities.
25 Most of the Croats expelled from Republika Srpska and other areas of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina stayed in Zagreb
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the map on the screen be
4 marked, and I tender it into evidence.
5 MR. WAESPI: Can I get some foundational material on what these
6 borders represent, where they are from, perhaps other maps that are
7 already admitted before I say anything about --
8 MR. MISETIC: It's directly from the book of maps provided by the
9 Prosecution at the beginning in the opening statements, and the legend is
10 at the bottom left-hand portion.
11 MR. WAESPI: And which map of the booklet?
12 MR. MISETIC: At this point I don't know which number it is, but
13 there's an ERN number at the bottom.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, I can imagine that you want to verify
15 whether Mr. Misetic rightly said that this is a map from the booklet. He
16 is smart enough not to take any risk in this respect. But then it comes
17 as a surprise that it is your own material, but please tell me what the
18 page is, is really not something that -- as far as I'm concerned please
19 verify whether Mr. Misetic is correct. Then the page is certainly
20 something you could agree upon during a break and a conversation of --
21 well, half a minute or less.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm advised it is map 4 in the book
23 of maps.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what the map says itself, as a matter of
25 fact, that my eyes are not ...
1 Map 4, Mr. Waespi.
2 MR. WAESPI: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MR. MISETIC: If we could get a number, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map will become Exhibit number
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, some of these maps have been admitted
10 per agreement among the parties, and I'm not sure whether this one is
11 among them.
12 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
13 JUDGE ORIE: I have no recollection either.
14 MR. MISETIC: It was not.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It was not.
16 Then -- may I then take it, after some inquiries but without
17 having expressed whether you have any objections, that there are no
19 MR. WAESPI: That's correct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: D1817 is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Mr. Registrar, if could have Exhibit P891 on the screen, please.
23 Q. Mr. Granic, I'm going to now discuss with you a little about some
24 correspondence from Foreign Minister Kinkel to you in the third week of
25 August and your response to him. And the first is going to be an ECMM
1 report, if we could look in the middle of that page.
2 It says: "The German foreign minister -- and if we have -- there
3 we go.
4 It says:
5 "The German foreign minister Klaus Kinkel has sent a letter to
6 his Croatian counterpart Mate Granic expressing his concern about the
7 Croatian behaviour towards Serbs and Serb property. According to the
9 exaggerated or even biased reports for causing Mr. Kinkel's reaction."
10 And there's a comment by the ECMM observer.
11 "One has to admire the stamina with which somehow --
12 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in Croatian, please.
13 Q. "One has to admire the stamina with which some politicians are
14 able to stick to their own fabricated lies."
15 MR. MISETIC: Now, if we could turn to 65 ter 1D3005, please.
16 Q. This is a media report from the Croatian news agency which
17 carried your letter in response to Foreign Minister Kinkel, and I would
18 like to go over that with you.
19 MR. MISETIC: Sorry, Mr. President, just one moment.
20 Q. Okay. If we go to the first paragraph towards the upper middle
21 portion, it says:
22 "Minister Granic responded that he received the letter with
23 understanding but that he is also surprised because it is apparent that
24 Minister Kinkel's reactions are based on reports which are exaggerated or
25 even deliberately tendentious. Dr. Granic reminded Minister Kinkel that
1 the UN information and political office in Zagreb stated that they had
2 exaggerated in their reports even during the liberation of Western
4 crimes, and for politically recognisable but however morally unacceptable
5 reasons certain international observers continued with this type of
6 practice after the latest joint operation carried out by the Croatian
7 military and police ...
8 "Minister Granic emphasised in his letter how he does not wish to
9 dissuade his German colleague regarding individual incidents which in
10 most cases were committed by vengeful or reckless individuals and most
11 often those whose own property in many settlements has been entirely
13 "Dr. Granic also noted that these individual incidents, taking
14 into account the size of the area, are in reality small in number, and
15 added that regardless of some past negative experiences regarding the
16 objectivity of their reporting, representatives of the UN, EU, and
17 humanitarian organisations will keep having full freedom of movement in
18 the liberated area."
19 Now, we can stop right there for a moment. Can you explain to
20 the Court when you wrote to Minister Kinkel on the 25th of August, what
21 your thoughts were concerning exaggerated or even deliberately
22 tendentious reports and how that was connected to your experience in
23 Western Slavonia
24 A. Apart from this letter that I had received from Minister Kinkel,
25 at that time, I spoke to him at least five or six times on the telephone.
1 Minister Kinkel was a man of high moral fiber, very sensitive to any
2 human rights violations, and we had a completely open and frank
3 relationship which was tainted by certain exaggerations in the beginning
4 that we had compelled Croatian Serbs. And I was especially sensitive to
5 that, because even if we had wanted to, we could not keep them from
6 leaving. 130 to 140.000 Serbs left during and after Operation Storm.
7 Another thing I was sensitive to, or about, was that Knin had
8 been destroyed due to excessive and undiscriminating shelling which
9 according to all my knowledge was not true. I was also sensitive to the
10 scale of problems that occurred involving looting, torching, et cetera.
11 The UN reports at that time reported accurately. The problem gave cause
12 for concern, but it was not as widespread as certain individuals and
13 media throughout the world claimed. I understood this as an impetus by
14 which I mean that after this letter, and after the phone call made by
15 Chancellor Kohl to President Tudjman which Kinkel and I also discussed,
16 to encourage anyone who had any power in Croatia to do their utmost at
17 the level of the foreign minister, the minister of defence, the
18 government, President Tudjman, they all were encouraged to do their
19 utmost to stop this. And there was a special session of the cabinet
20 devoted to that.
21 I called one reporter from the weekly Globus to tell him all this
22 and to tell him also that this should be given a broad and accurate
23 coverage without hiding anything. I also said that an agreement had been
24 reached within the government and with the president that all
25 international institutions that want to be represented on the ground in
1 order to report should be allowed to. The UN, the UNCRO, Helsinki
2 the European Union, embassies and their military attaches. They were
3 already all on the ground. Later, we allowed the permanent mission of
4 the OSCE and a temporary mission before that.
5 And I want to emphasise on thing, it was one thing after
6 Operation Flash when there was really no serious human rights violations
7 and quite another -- and another thing after my meeting in Geneva
8 6th of August when Reuters reported on that meeting, regardless of the
9 fact that I gave a press conference for 200 journalists, and still the
10 reporting did not reflect what I said at the time meeting.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr.
12 Misetic, page 21, line 20, the witness referred to a specific person or
13 office when he talked about a report, so I -- I don't think that was
14 specifically clear, Your Honour.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I was going to make the same comment,
16 Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Mr. Granic, you said the following, and those who can follow you
19 in your own language said that not every detail was transcribed and
20 translated for us.
21 You said: "I was also sensitive to the scale of problems that
22 occurred involving looting, torching, et cetera. The UN reports at that
23 time reported accurately. The problem gave cause for concern but it was
24 not as widespread as certain individuals and media throughout the world
1 Now, some have heard that you referred to a specific person. If
2 that's correct, could you please repeat to what person you referred?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no one in particular. I had in
4 mind those who reported wrongly. I did not single out a particular
5 medium or person. I did use an example, however, when I said that the
6 Reuters wrongly reported after my meeting in Geneva with Javier Solana.
7 MR. MISETIC: He's focusing on the wrong sentence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think under these circumstances we would
9 allow you to see whether what you had is in line with what Mr. Granic
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Granic, the sentence in English was interpreted as "the UN
13 reports at the time reported accurately." I guess I'll just -- yeah.
14 A. I said that the report of the Secretary-General of the UN,
15 Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, this is what I referred to. It was a balanced
16 report and that it reflected correctly.
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the situation in Croatia
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before you start expanding on the report, we
20 just wanted to check the transcript and you refer to the
21 Secretary-General and not to the United Nations as a body.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. We'll get to the report in a few minutes, Mr. Granic. But let me
25 finish with this --
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. We'll -- let's me finish with this reply to Minister Kinkel.
3 Towards the bottom in English, you say:
5 the remaining property in these areas because it is also part of the
6 wealth of the Republic of Croatia
7 of origin of the owner of the property."
8 Then the next paragraph on the issue of returns says: "When
9 talking about the return of those Croatian Serbs" --
10 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in Croatian, please.
11 Q. "Who left to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that is Serbia
13 government is taking all possible measures to organise the return well
14 which will take a certain amount of time and the co-operation of
15 international humanitarian organisations but also the willingness of the
16 authorities in Belgrade
17 significant part of the newly arrived people and are sending them to the
18 army of the Bosnian Serbs, and Croatia
19 these kinds of injustices and consequences."
20 Mr. Granic, that was your comment to -- or your letter to
21 Minister Kinkel. Explain to the Chamber how the issue of mobilisation of
22 Croatian Serbs into the army of the Bosnian Serbs impacted the issue of
23 the return of Croatian Serbs.
24 A. It had a very negative impact. In general, a refugee return
25 project is a very serious and comprehensive project which cannot be
1 undertaken without the UNHCR. The UNHCR laid down some rules first and
2 foremost out of security and safety.
3 However, as the refugees from Croatia were being recruited and
4 sent to Bosnia-Herzegovina to join the army of Republika Srpska, and as
5 there were threats of terrorist activities, this made us all the more
6 wary, and at that time there were no preconditions to put together a
7 return programme. This is what the UNHCR fully agreed with as well.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic. Was there any concern about the danger of
9 bringing in people who might be -- who might still be combatants?
10 A. Of course, there was. We had to bear in mind that we were still
11 in a state of war with the FRY, and that parts of their army were in our
12 territory in Eastern Slavonia and Baranja. There were daily provocations
13 from Republika Srpska towards Croatia
14 military intervention against Croatia
15 contemplated to an extent. All these things had to be borne in mind.
16 When I say all this, I say it on the basis of all the intelligence data
17 we had.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit on the screen
19 be marked, and I tender it into evidence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
21 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit number
25 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
1 Mr. Granic, may I seek clarification of your last answer.
2 You said you had to bear in mind that you were still in a state
3 of war and that parts of "their army" were on your territory in Eastern
5 Were such provocations also -- took also place in the Krajina,
6 because you specifically referred to Eastern Slavonia and Baranja. What
7 you said after that, would that apply both to the Krajina and Eastern
9 and Baranja?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First and foremost, I focused on
11 Eastern Slavonia
12 were the areas that I had in mind when I referred to the provocations.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated] Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Granic, yesterday we saw Exhibit D1816 which was the
17 transcript of the conversation between President Tudjman and Chancellor
18 Kohl. You have now mentioned that you felt that Secretary-General
19 Ghali's report was something to the effect that it was reasonable.
20 President Tudjman on that conversation with Chancellor Kohl also
21 referenced the Ghali report as a more reasonable assessment of the
22 situation. I would like to take a look at that report.
23 MR. MISETIC: Actually, first, before we do that, if I could take
24 a look at 65 ter 1D3009 which is another presidential transcript of a
25 meeting where you are present. And in the Croatian version, it begins at
1 page 30. Now this we did -- a relevant excerpt has been translated here
2 in English. Page 4 in e-court of the B/C/S, please.
3 Q. The conversation, Dr. Granic, is about -- this is now -- the date
4 is the 9th of September and the conversation is about the fact that you
5 had received a rather sharp note from Minister Kinkel while
6 President Tudjman had received around the same time a conversation from
7 Chancellor Kohl and so the -- you and Mr. Zuzul, Mr. Sarinic, and
8 President Tudjman are discussing how to interpret the two messages.
9 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in English, please.
10 Sorry, sorry, if we could stay on the page. I'm sorry, page 2. It is
11 page 2, I apologise. Yes, the next page in English, please.
12 Q. And the top, Mr. Zuzul says:
13 "The other matter, Steinar told me while still in Paris
14 something like, speaking as a friend and in private, something about
15 Kinkel being angry at me, and then at you, at us, but also at me, because
16 I allegedly went there to, how they understood it, to complain to Kohl
17 about that letter because it says there in the note, because he told me,
18 neither do they know about Kinkel's letter to Granic nor do they support
19 it, and they particularly do not support the fact that the letter
20 appeared in the newspapers because it's not their style."
21 Towards the middle of the page in English.
22 "Because Kohl called Kinkel, maybe it's difficult to say, to
23 account for it, but in any case, Kohl called Kinkel and pointed out to
24 him the difference in conduct towards Croatia
25 side of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
1 And then the bottom of the page in English, if we can scroll down
2 in Croatian, Mr. Zuzul again continues -- Yes.
3 "I said, according to instructions by the President that we feel
4 that the spirit of communication is different when, Kohl's letter on one
5 side, Kohl's telephone call to the President, and Kinkel's letter on the
6 other side, entirely different and with Minister Susak, also different
8 Now, can you explain, Mr. Granic, what was transpiring there and
9 how the Croatian -- you in the Croatian foreign ministry and Mr. Zuzul
10 were interpreting what was taking place between Chancellor Kohl and
11 Minister Kinkel in terms of their policy towards Croatia?
12 A. The position of Chancellor Kohl was definitely the official
13 position of Germany
14 regarding Minister Kinkel, he was always a bit more temperamental. He
15 told me clearly that frequently even concerning small issues he was put
16 under pressure by other colleagues from the European Union, especially
17 the UK
18 held it against him, because I was absolutely certain that he did it with
19 the best of intentions. This only served as an incentive for me to try
20 and do our utmost to stop the evil that was taking place in the liberated
21 area. As a minister though I had to respond in terms of the facts. I
22 had my disposal which I had received from our services.
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D3009 be marked
24 and I tender it into evidence.
25 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number D1819.
3 JUDGE ORIE: D1819 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Mr. Granic, I would like to turn now to the Ghali report, the
6 Secretary-General's report of the 23rd of August, which is Exhibit D90.
7 Again this is a report referenced by you today in your testimony and by
8 President Tudjman in his conversation with Chancellor Kohl.
9 MR. MISETIC: If we could have page 5 in e-court.
10 Q. This is the report about the situation in Croatia. And the
11 relevant portions concerning the situation on the ground in terms of
12 burning, looting, and other criminal activities that were taking place
13 are paragraphs 17 to 19 of the report. If you could read through that to
14 save me having to read all of it. But it talks about a certain number of
15 houses having been noticed to have been burning. 35 to 40 houses in one
16 stretch. One house in Topusko. Reports of -- a few reports of physical
18 Paragraph 19 talks about how the ICRC reported favourably on the
19 access they have been given to all persons detained.
20 Have you read that?
21 A. I did.
22 MR. MISETIC: Now, if we can turn to 65 ter 1D3010, please.
23 Q. And this is the assessment of the Croatian mission to the UN in
24 New York
25 interpreting the Secretary-General's report. It's dated the 24th of
1 August. It was sent to the President and to you, amongst others. Second
2 paragraph says:
3 "The report can be divided into two parts. The first part
4 relates to the assessment of the consequences of Operation Storm (with
5 certain notes on its course) with special emphasis on the humanitarian
6 situation ..."
7 The next paragraph says:
8 "The report can in its entirety be assessed as positive and
9 favourable for the Republic of Croatia
10 entailed in the first part of the document (this involves certain
11 negative assessments of Croatia
12 property as well as jeopardising the safety of UNCRO).
13 "It is indicative that there is not a single sentence in this
14 report which would dispute the political and legal framework of Storm.
15 On the contrary, Ghali's report is written in the manner which fully
16 accepts and protects..."
17 MR. MISETIC: If you turn the page in English, please.
18 Q. "... the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of
20 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in English, please, and
21 go to paragraph numbered 6 in the Croatia
22 "The assessment was the part of the report that relates to the
23 assessments of the humanitarian situation as well as the occurrences
24 during Storm is in most part written correctly with a clearly notable
25 aspiration of the UN secretariat to be objective in their actions and
1 avoid any kind of political assessments of events."
2 The next paragraph:
3 "We would like to turn the attention to paragraphs 17, 18, and 19
4 of the report, which even though they contain some negative assessments
5 against the Republic of Croatia
6 extent of destruction in the liberated territories as a consequence of
7 Storm are substantially smaller than what some earlier assessments by UN
8 observers indicated. When discussing the mass flight of Serbs, emphasis
9 is made in the report that it is 'difficult to assess to what extent the
10 mass exodus of the population of the Krajina Serbs was the result of fear
11 of the Croatian forces and the refusal to live under Croatian authority,
12 or a result of the encouragements to flee by the local leaders.' This
13 removes any possibility of further accusations against the Republic of
15 window for malicious interpretations of the reasons of the Serb flight."
16 And it is signed by Vladimir Drobnjak and the Ambassador Mario
17 Nobilo, Croatia
18 Mr. Granic, two-part question: First, was this assessment of
19 Secretary-General Ghali's report something you relied on in drafting your
20 reports to Minister Kinkel as well as to the - and we'll look at it
21 later - the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Lasso-Ayala. Is
22 the Secretary-General's assessment and -- this assessment of the
23 Secretary-General's report something you relied on?
24 A. Yes, absolutely. As a foreign minister, I accepted this
25 assessment. The President himself also received it, and we discussed it.
1 We concluded that the report and the assessment were fully acceptable to
2 us, and that is should serve as an impetus to actively stop the events
3 mentioned in paragraphs 17, 18 and 19, that is to say, the events in the
5 There was a very clear assessment of the reasons why the Croatian
6 Serbs left the occupied areas. It did -- the report does not question
7 the legitimacy of our operation. One needs to mention that the General
8 Assembly of the UN in December 1995 issued a resolution number 43/49 on
9 the situation in the liberated areas of Croatia whereby the territory was
10 proclaimed part -- part of Croatia
11 one instance that was responsible for the ethnic cleansing.
12 Q. Did you and President Tudjman, as far as you know, consider the
13 Secretary-General's report to be more objective than the reports being
14 circulated by the ECMM and the UN teams on the ground?
15 A. Briefly put, we believed it was the most objective and the best
16 assessment at the moment of the situation in Croatia.
17 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I note the time, and I'm about to
20 shift topics, so it might be a good time for a break.
21 I'm sorry, and I also have to tender the exhibit which is 65 ter
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
24 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number D1820.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
3 We will have a break, and resume at five minutes to 11.00.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, please proceed.
8 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President. Just at the outset I
9 wish to alert the Chamber that Mr. Kay and I have had a discussion, and
10 Mr. Kay will not be cross-examining and so I have -- he is graciously
11 allowed me to use the balance of his time, and I have spoken with
12 Mr. Waespi and unless I finish early, Mr. Waespi is prepared to begin at
13 the beginning of the next session.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's understood, and the Chamber appreciates the
15 co-operation between the parties in this respect.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Granic, I'd like to turn your attention now to Exhibit P641.
19 Mr. Granic, this is a letter from the UN High Commissioner for
20 Human Rights, Mr. Jose Ayala-Lasso and it was sent to President Tudjman
21 on the 18th of August.
22 MR. MISETIC: And in it, in the fourth paragraph, if we turn the
23 page in English, please, and in Croatian.
24 Q. In the fourth paragraph he says:
25 "In this respect, it has been brought to my attention that an
1 extensive wave of looting of the property belonging to the local Serbs
2 took place immediately after the fighting had stopped and the Croatian
3 forces had entered into the region of Krajina. There also appears to be
4 a systematic burning of houses and fields, particularly in the southern
5 part of the region. Fires of evident deliberate origin after the
6 fighting was over have reportedly resulted in the destruction of
7 practically entire towns, such as Kistanje, Djevrska, Otric, and
8 Donji Lapac. This continues even to the present date."
9 MR. MISETIC: Can we turn the page, please.
10 Q. "Moreover Croatian military personnel have been observed where
11 the fires have occurred in some confirmed instances with large
12 cannisters, fire access and similar equipment. And Croatian police and
13 other authorities have been seen passing these locations without taking
14 any apparent steps to stop them."
15 And now, Mr. Granic, I would like to show you Exhibit P642, which
16 is a letter you prepared to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in
17 response this letter.
18 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to the second page, please.
19 Q. Now, in the second paragraph, you write:
20 "First of all, let me reiterate that the President of the
21 Republic, his excellency Dr. Franjo Tudjman, thoroughly rejected
22 allegations in regard to the suspected systematic burning and looting of
23 houses and fields in the recently liberated territories during his press
24 conference on 18 August 1995
25 Croatian Army did not undertake any actions of burning and looting
1 anywhere ... Croatian authorities, myself personally and the Croatian
2 government did everything within their power to prevent the suffering of
3 civilians and damage to civilian structures to the greatest extent
5 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page. Second paragraph.
6 Q. You continued:
7 "As you will recall, during the preparations and execution of the
8 Croatian Army and police operation to recover its occupied territories,
9 Croatian troops were under explicit orders to ensure that human
10 casualties and material damages to property be limited to the absolute
11 minimum. Notwithstanding this as well as taking into consideration the
12 scope of the recent operation, it is possible that some incidents of
13 which you refer to in your letter occurred. Moreover, it is possible
14 that in accordance with the evacuation orders issued by the local Serb
15 leadership, incidents such as these could have been committed by the
16 retreating Serbs themselves.
17 "I assure you that all alleged incidents will be investigated by
18 the competent authorities of the Republic of Croatia
19 of these investigations will become public in due time. In addition, I
20 can further assure that you the Croatian government has taken all the
21 necessary measures to prevent any further incidents from occurring."
22 Now, Minister Granic, I'd like to ask you, the first part I read
23 out and the second part, compared to the second part were you saying that
24 there were no incidents at all of the Croatian Army making any --
25 committing any crime or, in reading that second paragraph, were you
1 saying that despite orders that were given it is possible that some of
2 these incidents did occur, during the operation itself?
3 A. I sent this letter at the request of the President. Before that,
4 of course, I had received information from the Ministry of the Interior
5 and the Ministry of Defence. At that time, we did not have information
6 that the army was committing any kind of crimes, none whatsoever. But we
7 not only understood this letter seriously but after the letter of
8 Minister Kinkel, we had a special open session of the cabinet, where we
9 discussed openly and condemned seriously all incidents of looting,
10 torching, and individual killings. That's all we had in terms of
11 information at the time, and we spoke about it publicly, but we did not
12 have information that all this was being done by either the army or the
13 special police.
14 Q. You don't exclude, however, the possibility that in fact there
15 may have been some incidents of looting or burning that took place during
16 or immediately after Operation Storm, by some members of the Croatian
18 A. Certainly. No reasonable person can claim that such things
19 cannot happen when 200.000 soldiers were on the move. However, we did
20 not have any such reports.
21 Q. Let me ask you, when you say: "We did not have any such reports,
22 are you referring to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
23 A. Primarily the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The foreign ministry
24 received reports exclusively through official channels, from the Ministry
25 of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence, plus, at the time, we had a
1 vice prime minister for humanitarian issues, Dr. Ivica Kostovic, who was
2 a man of great integrity, and his job was mainly to collect information.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, could we have Exhibit P918 on the
4 screen, please.
5 Q. Minister Granic, this is a -- a warning that was sent by the
6 political affairs department of The Ministry of Defence within the
7 Croatian Army.
8 If you look at the second paragraph, it says:
9 "However, because of the irresponsibility of individual soldiers,
10 non-commissioned officers and officers, who compromise the Croatian Army
11 and state through their inappropriate conduct and acts, this success has
12 been partly brought into question. As a result of the above, the
13 possibility exists that the international community could undertake
14 measures which would have unforeseeable consequences for our state.
15 "For this reason, the following -- and following the policy of
16 the Supreme Commander, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, as well as the instructions of
17 the defence minister and the political administration of the defence
18 ministry of the Republic of Croatia
19 prevent the following:
20 "1, the continued torching and destruction of facilities and
21 property throughout the entire liberated territory; 2, the killing of
22 livestock; 3, the confiscation of property; 4, inappropriate conduct
23 toward remaining civilians and prisoners of war, and especially towards
24 members and soldiers of the peace forces."
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
2 Q. This was within the Ministry of Defence, Minister Granic, and it
3 seems to make reference to some incidents that occurred due to the
4 irresponsibility of individual soldiers, NCOs, and officers. Were you
5 aware of this at the time, or was this type of information delivered to
6 you in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
7 A. I was involved in political talks before this dispatch was sent.
8 I did not have this report but I knew this was going to be sent because
9 it was the result of talks at the top political level.
10 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this question: Mr. Granic, we've seen now
11 through the course of the morning that there were discussions between
12 minister Radic and President Tudjman about the fifth echelon and not the
13 regular army committing these crimes. Yesterday you were shown by
14 Mr. Mikulicic --
15 MR. WAESPI: Yes, maybe I have a problem as a non-native speaker,
16 although I understand fifth echelon, what does it mean?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Text used in this conversation so --
18 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- we could ask the witness: What did you
20 understand the fifth echelon to mean?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Criminals dressed in military
22 uniform. That's how I understood it. Criminal groups.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I do not know whether you have done
25 with the previous document. I was just asking myself what evidence this
1 Chamber received.
2 Mr. Granic, this letter was put to you in which there was a
3 certain -- not any person of the armed forces participated in that. I
4 don't know whether you were going to give that a follow-up.
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I was, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then I will wait and see what happens. Please
8 MR. MISETIC:
9 Q. Mr. Granic, my question was going to be, if in fact within the
10 Ministry of Defence they had recognised that there was at least some
11 problem with respect to this, what was the reason that you would have
12 written to the High Commissioner of Human Rights on the 23rd of August to
13 say that the Croatian Army -- if I can quote it, essentially that the
14 Croatian Army did not commit any criminal acts anywhere?
15 A. I wrote exclusively based on information I would get in writing
16 from the defence ministry, from the interior ministry, and it was on that
17 basis that I always wrote my reports. The foreign ministry did not have
18 any special service to deal with this. That's all I can say.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, did you receive any written report that the
20 Croatian Army did not undertake any actions of burning and looting
21 anywhere? Did you receive that in writing?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did receive information from
23 other sources that such things, too, were happening, as individual
24 incidents, and I always vehemently reacted. I informed the President,
25 the minister of Defence and the prime minister --
1 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... this is not an
2 answer to my question.
3 You write or it was written that "the Croatian Army did not
4 undertake any actions of burning and looting anywhere."
5 Now, when asked why you wrote that, you said, I would base, we
6 had no -- we had no facilities to do our own research so I would rely on
7 written reports we received.
8 Now, my question is: Did you receive a written report which said
9 that the Croatian Army did not undertake any actions of burning and
10 looting anywhere?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, Your Honours, at the
12 time when I was writing this report, I had no information that the
13 Croatian Army was responsible for any such crime.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Again, that was not my question.
15 You say, In my communications, I would rely exclusively on
16 written official reports we received. Now, from your answer I still have
17 not heard that what seems to be a firm denial of any involvement of any
18 army member, I have not heard you to say that this was based on written
19 official reports you had received.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour. My answer
21 was based on the written reports I got from the interior ministry and the
22 defence ministry. I did not receive reports saying that the army had
23 committed a crime of the kind that I discussed in my letter to
24 Mr. Lasso-Alaya. I did not receive such reports from the defence
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now I take it that you see the difference
2 between saying, I never received any report confirming your allegations;
3 and no member of the army anywhere ever did commit such crimes. The one
4 is a statement about that you have not received any information from your
5 own services which could confirm the allegations. The other one is a
6 flat denial of such allegations. Not to say, I've not seen any evidence;
7 but it did not happen.
8 There is a difference between the two, and I'm drawing your
9 attention to this difference, so that if you want, that you can make any
10 comments or observations in that respect.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. I can, Your Honour.
12 Your observation was quite correct. I cannot say it's quite
13 certain that no member ever committed a dishonourable act. I mean,
14 member of the Croatian armed forces. Even in this paper called
15 "warning," we read that some people did concern things. However, at the
16 moment when I was writing, I did not have any written reports that a
17 member of the Croatian forces was responsible for any such things. But,
18 of course, I cannot deny the possibility that some did, and that's why I
19 wrote what I wrote to Mr. Lasso-Ayala.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. If I can just follow up, Mr. Granic. If you look back at the
23 paragraph on your screen -- I'm sorry.
24 MR. MISETIC: If we go back to your letter, which is P642,
25 please. If we could go to page 2 again, please.
1 Q. The letter actually it says that you're quoting from the press
2 conference of the President on the 18th of August, not that you're
3 quoting from some report that you received.
4 So the comment is actually a quote from President Tudjman's press
5 conference on the 18th of August; correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. I had to invoke the words of the President
7 on one occasion because the letter was one thing and another thing was
8 the press conference given by the President. And, of course, yet another
9 thing, was that I received information as the foreign minister.
10 Q. And as someone who worked closely with the President, at that
11 time, and he says that the allegation -- he rejected -- the President
12 rejected the allegation of systematic burning and looting of houses and
13 fields, does this denial relate to what we talked about yesterday,
15 get the US
16 A. That is true. It was very painful for us whenever we received
17 such reports. They not only undermined the credibility of Croatia and us
18 all, they undermined the future of Croatia and the upcoming operations in
20 peaceful co-operation, and the people who were responsible for this were
21 working against Croatia
22 Q. And you mentioned I think, peaceful reintegration. You're
23 referring to the reduced Croatia
24 reintegration of Eastern Slavonia. That's what you're referring to,
1 A. Correct, I meant peaceful reintegration in Eastern Slavonia.
2 Because, as soon as Operation Storm ended, talks with the US began
3 already on the 18th, during the visit of Ambassador Holbrooke to Zagreb
4 We started talks about how to peacefully reintegrate Eastern Slavonia
5 Baranja and Baranja as well into the state of Croatia.
6 Q. Mr. Granic, I would like to turn your attention to Exhibit P466,
8 And this is a presidential transcript from the 30th of August.
9 You are present during this meeting as was Minister Jarnjak and
10 President Tudjman, among others.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 55 in the B/C/S, and page 26
12 in the English, please.
13 Yes, I'm sorry, if we could go one page back in the B/C/S. Page
14 53 -- sorry, page 53. I'm sorry, one more page back. Page 53 in
15 e-court. That's it. If we can go back one page in the English, please.
16 Q. Now, if you look on the bottom of your page, Mr. Granic, when
17 Mr. Jarnjak begins to speak, and it's at the top of the English, Mr.
18 Jarnjak says:
19 "And I should mention the other question that became operational
20 now, and I have to say it is not a big one, but it appears. The question
21 is about the Serbs that are coming through Hungary and they are coming to
22 knock on our border, because they want to come back."
23 The President says: "Do they have our passports?"
24 Mr. Jarnjak says: "No they do not have anything.
25 Mr. Sarinic says: "They have Yugoslav passports.
1 Mr. Jarnjak says:
2 "I would like us to give them instructions that they should get
3 entry visas in Belgrade
4 The President says:
5 "I would not give anything. You have to give instructions to the
6 customs that they should not let people without papers to cross border."
7 Mr. Sarinic then comments:
8 "President let us get inspired the way it is in western Slavonia
9 It is very positive for us, because no one came back. Let them report to
10 the international humanitarian organisations and then those organisations
11 should give us ..."
12 And then the president says: "Wait a second, he comes" --
13 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, yes.
14 Q. "He comes from another country and the customs officer does not
15 conduct any politics."
16 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page in English, please, and scroll
17 down in the Croatian.
18 Q. There's a comment attributed to you which says:
19 "According to the agreement in Belgrade, there are only 204 of
20 them that are registered, and they started to register in Skopje
21 did that as well down there. And the third thing is that they started to
22 come here without any papers."
23 The President says:
24 "If we let 204 persons come here now [sic] tomorrow you would
25 have 1204 and in ten days 12.000. Nothing for now."
1 Mr. Granic, can you explain your understanding of that context as
2 well as your comments on the transcript?
3 A. I can explain both things.
4 At that time, there were absolutely no preconditions that were
5 put in place for any refugee return. At that time, there was a possible
6 military intervention of the FRY against Croatia still suspended
7 somewhere in mid-air. It was the time when the government of the
8 so-called Republika Srpska Krajina in exile was formed. At that time,
9 there were -- there was a threat of terrorist attacks against Croatia
10 At that time, some of the refugees were being recruited into the army of
11 Republika Srpska.
12 It is true that a plan for refugee return can only be put
13 together with the assistance of the international community. I reported
14 on the 204 applications in Belgrade
15 still did not have diplomatic relations established. Thus, we had only
16 an office instead of a mission. I reported of the 204 persons who
17 appeared there with our documents. At that point in time, there was no
18 other way to treat this, save for allowing individual arrivals or family
20 I personally did as follows: Firstly, in Dayton, by the Erdut
21 Agreement, the issue of Eastern Slavonia and the process of peaceful
22 reintegration was resolved. This ensured for the stay of all those Serb
23 who wished to stay in the territory of Western Slavonia and Baranja.
24 Q. I'm going to get to that topic in a minute. Let me just first
25 focus you on this specific question:
1 Following up on your answer, was this a discussion to permanently
2 prevent Serbs from ever returning to Croatia?
3 A. Absolutely not. And I have plenty of evidence that I can present
4 to this Chamber to corroborate my assertion.
5 Q. Okay. Let me pose -- show you two other exhibits and then I will
6 give you a chance to comment.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D690,
8 please, at page 4 of that document.
9 Q. Mr. Granic, this is a speech from the UN High Commissioner for
10 Refugee, Mrs. Sagato Ogata on the 10th of October, and I want to ask you
11 as someone who you have testified was personally responsible on the issue
12 of refugee returns to Croatia
13 already testified as well that you worked with Mrs. Ogata, your
14 understanding in the fall of 1995 whether the principles laid out by
15 Mrs. Ogata in this speech were in fact the principles that the Republic
16 of Croatia
17 returns. And in the second paragraph on your screen it says:
18 "In order to carry out the return operation, I must emphasise the
19 importance of having internationally recognised humanitarian principles.
20 First of all, it must be voluntary. People must not be used as pawns."
21 The next paragraph says:
22 "Secondly, repatriation must take place in an organised phased
24 And then toward the bottom of that paragraph she says:
25 "Returning large numbers of refugees to areas which are not yet
1 ready to receive them can have very serious consequences not only for the
2 refugees themselves but for the stability in the area concerned. I am
3 thinking particularly of the still-fragile situation in the area of the
5 "I envisage the repatriation process broadly taking place in
6 three phases. The first should be the return of displaced persons within
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia
8 period, there are also likely to be further population movements as a
9 result of the territorial adjustments between the parties."
10 Then a few sentences down:
11 "The second phase would involve repatriation from other Republics
12 within the former Yugoslavia
13 have granted temporary protection or resettlement."
14 Now Mr. Granic, let me give you an opportunity here -- I know you
15 want to speak about the issue of refugee returns. Did Croatia in fact
16 then have a policy that internal returns were going to take place first
17 and only later, as Mrs. Ogata says, when the security situation is
18 sufficient, would there be returns from other Republics of the former
20 A. All of the principles stated by Mrs. Sagato Ogata, who was the
21 High Commissioner for Refugees, were something that we strictly abided
23 Finally, it was the way the refugee programme was put together in
24 co-operation with them. The issue of displaced persons was being
25 resolved within Croatia
1 the Erdut agreement was signed and the peaceful reintegration process was
2 on the move. During one of my visits to Belgrade, I agreed on several
3 important matters with Minister Milutinovic.
4 Firstly, we agreed that all refugees should be allowed to return;
5 and, secondly, that private property is alienable. The same year, after
6 the so-called Athens Declaration, that is to say, the talks held between
7 heads of states and prime ministers there, a -- an agreement on the
8 normalisation of relations between the FRY and Croatia was signed on the
9 23rd of August. It was Minister Milutinovic and I who signed the
10 agreement. It was the first time that Serbia recognised Croatia
11 its territorial boundaries.
12 The second issue was that all refugees could return and that
13 private property was something that a person enjoys an alienable right
14 to. After everything that was done thus far and following the principles
15 laid down by Ms. Ogata in early April, together with the international
16 community, meaning the UNHCR and the ICRC, as well as with the US and
17 representatives of the EU, we began drafting the refugee programme which
18 subsequently was adopted by the Croatian parliament and government later
19 on in May and June that year.
20 Q. Mr. Granic, just so that the record is clear, all of these things
21 that you've mentioned all took place after the conclusion of hostilities
22 in November 1995; correct?
23 A. Correct. The process truly took off after the signing of the
24 Erdut Agreement, and after that period, we began negotiating, talking
25 with the FRY, and only after all those stages was the plan and programme
1 finally finalised.
2 Q. You were asked yesterday about a hypothetical example where an
3 entire family from the so-called Krajina was -- let's say, in Serbia
4 had no family remaining in Croatia
5 that entire families that did not have a -- a family member in Croatia
6 had to wait to return, was that consistent in your understanding with the
7 policies laid out by UNHCR and Mrs. Ogata?
8 A. It was fully consistent with the principles which were the same
9 for Croatia
10 are the principles of the UNHCR applied to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 in this instances.
12 Q. Now, you've talked about the importance of normalisation of
13 relations with Yugoslavia
14 like to show you a video-clip. This is a statement from -- a press
15 release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs being read out on the 28th
16 of August 1995 after your meeting with the European Union Trojka.
17 MR. MISETIC: And this is 65 ter 1D3008. The transcript has been
18 provided to the booths, Mr. President.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 "[VOICEOVER]: The deputy prime minister and ministry of foreign
21 affairs Dr. Mate Granic received today the representatives of the EU, the
22 French ambassador to Zagreb
23 of the Spanish and Italian embassies, Camilo Villarino Marzo and
24 Benedetto Laterri, at their own request, and also present at the meeting
25 was the representative of the European Commission with the European Union
1 Monitoring Mission
2 "Press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The
3 representatives of the countries of the European Trojka expressed the
4 EU's concern to Minister Granic regarding the situation involving human
5 rights in the liberated areas of the Republic of Croatia
6 that Croatia
7 Minister Granic said that these were individual incidents which before
8 all show the level of frustration people have, and expressed his belief
9 that with the stabilisation of civilian authorities the reasons for
10 concern over the situation regarding human rights will no longer exist.
11 With respect to the return of refugee Serbs from the liberated
12 areas, Minister Granic pointed out that their return will unavoidably
13 depend on the possibilities of achieving a final peaceful solution of the
14 crisis in these areas and the normalisation of relations with the FRY.
15 In present circumstances, individual requests will be received and
16 processed in accordance with Croatian laws. Minister Granic confirmed
17 that the Republic of Croatia
18 implementation of the policy of full respect of human and minority rights
19 and that in this respect it will continue to pursue the path of its
20 democratic and European orientation. Granic informed the representatives
21 of the Europe Trojka that the possibility is also being considered to
22 postpone the implementation of the provisions of constitutional law
23 regarding the establishment of the Knin and Glina districts for a certain
24 period of time until the situation in the field is fully assessed and
25 stabilised. Granic additionally assured the European Trojka that such a
1 possibly solution will in no manner have a negative impact on the
2 constitutional guarantees and protection of minority rights."
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Q. Mr. Granic, can you explain in a little bit more detail you
5 mentioned there on the 28th of August that the issue of return was
6 connected to the normalisation of relations with the Federal Republic
8 A. These were related issues because, at that time, as I have told
9 earlier this morning, parts of the FRY army were still in Croatian
10 territory. As late as the 28th of August, there was a threat of military
11 intervention against Croatia
12 On that day, there was still a danger of terrorist attacks in
14 important for the FRY to accept that concept, and it was necessary for
15 the FRY to recognise Croatia
16 recognised by the FRY on the 23rd of August, 1996. That was the reason
17 why I put it that way at the time.
18 I could only say that under the international conventions and
19 humanitarian law we would only be able to deal with individual returns
20 and only later that an organised plan be put in place. This was already
21 discussed in Dayton
22 overall process was concluded on the 23rd of August 1996 when the
23 agreement on the normalisation of relations was signed.
24 Q. And, Mr. Granic, in that clip --
25 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry, Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D3008
1 be marked, and I tendered it into evidence.
2 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit number
6 JUDGE ORIE: D1821 is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Granic, in that press statement, you also say that some of
9 the incidents are the result of -- that before all show the level of
10 frustration people have. And I'd like to show you one document, which is
11 a press -- press article.
12 MR. MISETIC: It is 65 ter 1D3006.
13 Q. And I just want to give you an opportunity to comment on this.
14 This is an article about an UN film showing slain civilians in
15 Grubori, and the first part of the article deals extensively with video
16 footage that had been broadcast about slain civilians in the village of
17 Grubori and towards the middle then it says:
18 "Almost every structure in this hill-side village was in flames,
19 Knin said. Following a meeting with European union diplomats on Monday,
20 Croatian foreign minister, Mate Granic, called the incidents isolated
21 events which 'expressed the frustrations of people whose property was
22 entirely destroyed'."
23 Mr. Granic, I just want to clarify, your comment, was that
24 related specifically to Grubori, or were you commenting generally on the
25 situation in the liberated areas?
1 A. I didn't have only Grubori in mind. It was a general remark.
2 There was a lot of frustration and acts of revenge undertaken by
3 different people. In cases where an earlier -- a Croatian village had
4 been razed earlier, what followed was that a Serb village would be
5 constantly be destroyed. That is what I had in mind, first and foremost.
6 Q. Mr. Granic, let me show you Exhibit D412, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: Yes, can I suggest that this exhibit be tendered?
9 I can use it in cross-examination. Grubori will be a topic. It
10 might just be easier at this time for transparency purposes.
11 MR. MISETIC: That's fine, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then a number should be assigned.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number D1822.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
15 Mr. Granic, if you would allow me, you said it was a general
16 comment. But did you intend to include the Grubori event in that
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only tell you that, at that
19 point in time, as the foreign minister, I had heard of Grubori as an
20 incident in which there were no crimes involved, based on the initial
21 information we received. It pointed to the fact that this was a conflict
22 incident, in which -- although I don't seem to be able to recall it
23 clearly. In any case, the original information was not that there were
24 crimes against civilians that had been committed but that this was a
25 conflict with either the Croatian Army or the police. This is how it was
1 presented in the public.
2 JUDGE ORIE: My question was whether you intended at the time to
3 include Grubori as one of the incidents you commented on.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Now, Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D412, please.
9 Q. Minister Granic, this is a -- this is the normalisation of
10 relations agreement between the Republic of Croatia
11 Republic of Yugoslavia
12 September, 1996 to the United Nations but it's dated the 23rd of August
13 of 1996. And I'm interested in page 3 of this document, at Article 7.
14 Now Article 7(1) of the agreement ensured conditions for the free
15 and safe return of refugees and displaced persons.
16 Subsection (3) of Article 7 says:
17 "The Contracting Parties shall declare a general amnesty for all
18 acts committed in connection with the armed conflicts, except for the
19 gravest violations of humanitarian law having the nature of war crimes."
20 MR. MISETIC: Can we turn the page, please.
21 Subsection 5 says:
22 "Each Contracting Party shall guarantee the same legal protection
23 to the property of physical and legal persons having the citizenship of
24 the other party, that is, being seated in the territory of the other
25 party, as the one enjoyed by its own citizens, that is, its legal
2 Q. My first question, Mr. Granic, is the issue of general amnesty.
3 Can you explain to us why a general amnesty was agreed for all acts
4 committed in connection with the armed conflicts except for the gravest
5 violations of humanitarian law?
6 A. General amnesty was agreed and signed, because without that
7 precondition, it would have been impossible to make a plan for the return
8 the refugees. On the other hand, without a general amnesty, there were
9 no prerequisites for achieving a lasting peace and security for refugees.
10 In the course of the process of peaceful reintegration, and this was
11 separately agreed for individual areas of Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem
12 and Baranja, and uniformly agreed through this agreement for the entire
13 territory of Croatia
14 been -- who had run away from the Republic of Croatia
15 Republic of Yugoslavia
16 Q. Now, there was an exception made in that provision for:
17 "...violations -- for the gravest violations of humanitarian law having
18 the nature of war crimes."
19 Can you explain to the Chamber what transpired with respect to
20 that provision as it relates to prosecuting Croatian Serbs for war crimes
21 under that allowance, pursuant to this provision?
22 A. I have to say that this provision was in conformity with
23 international treaties. The best international lawyers helped write it
24 into our agreement.
25 During the process of peaceful reintegration in the Croatian
1 Podunavlje, General Klein, an American General and diplomat, who was a
2 fantastic leader of the mission and who contributed to greatly to the
3 success of that mission - it must have been one of the most successful
4 missions of the UN ever - not only asked for general amnesty, he also
5 asked for the number of accused of grave crimes be reduced first to 150,
6 then to 85, and then to 25. That was not simple to do because it
7 involved some pressure on the prosecutor's office. But even that was
8 accepted for the sake of peaceful reintegration. That is a historical
10 Q. Now, just so that the transcript is clear, you're talking about
11 the reduction or a list of -- a maximum of 25 Croatian Serbs who could be
12 prosecuted for the gravest violations of international humanitarian law;
13 is that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Now, in light of what had transpired between 1991 and 1995 in the
16 occupied territories and the number of persons who could be prosecuted
17 being reduced to 25 for those events, as someone who was a vice-prime
18 minister, do you -- was there any consequence, in terms of the
19 prosecution of Croats for war crimes as a result of what was transpiring
20 with the reduction of the number of Serbs who could be prosecuted to 25?
21 A. I have so say this figure of 25 related to Eastern Slavonia and
22 Baranja. Certainly this had an impact on the Croatian justice system,
23 but not because of political pressures from the authorities. It had an
24 impact because prosecutions of crimes by the Croatian side were also
25 slowed down. All the crimes committed after Operation Storm were
1 followed by prosecutions of 3.000 people for 4.000 crimes.
2 Q. And as part of this agreement on normalisation of relations at
3 Article 7 subpart (5) there is this provision concerning property of --
4 people who are citizens of the other side - in this case, people who were
5 living in or citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - enjoying
6 the same rights to property as a citizen of the Republic of Croatia
7 that related to issue of refugee returns and preservation of property of
8 Croatian Serbs?
9 A. Yes, of course. It was certainly related.
10 This was a key paragraph which guaranteed the property of all
11 refugees who still did not have Croatian citizenship. This agreement
12 guaranteed their property regardless of whether they were going to apply
13 for Croatian citizenship or not, or whether they were going to return or
14 not. That's what this document guaranteed.
15 The guarantees given to property by this -- by this agreement
16 were indeed, very important, and this is one of the key paragraphs of the
17 whole document.
18 If I can only add one thing. Every refugee was given guarantees
19 for their private property and legal property by this document. This
20 applied to physical and legal persons alike, regardless of whether they
21 were going to return or whether they're going to apply for Croatian
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I would like to seek some clarification
24 of the previous answer of the witness.
25 Mr. Granic, you explained to us that a number of Serbs, from what
1 I understand, accused of committing very serious crimes, in relation to
2 Eastern Slavonia
3 Then you went on to say that this had an impact on the system.
4 And you then said because prosecutions of crimes by the Croatian side
5 were also slowed down. Well, I understand that.
6 And you said:
7 "All the crimes committed after Operation Storm were followed by
8 prosecution of 3.000 people for 4.000 crimes."
9 We started with the prosecution of Serbs for very serious crimes,
10 and you told us that they were reduced to 25, as far as Eastern Slavonia
11 is concerned. Then you moved on to tell us how many Croats were
12 prosecuted for crimes after Operation Storm.
13 Now, could you tell us how many Serbs were prosecuted for serious
14 crimes apart from the 25 in Eastern Slavonia, how many Serbs were
15 prosecuted for, well, let's say, war crimes in addition to the 25 in
16 Eastern Slavonia
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the exact figure.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us an approximation of --
19 approximately was it also in the numbers of 25 or 50, or was it by the
20 hundreds, or was it by the ...
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, since most of them had run
22 away, most of these were trials in absentia and these later provisions
23 gave them the possibility of asking for a retrial. In other words, there
24 were very few trials of such crimes, because there was no one to try.
25 There were very few cases. I don't know the exact figure, but there were
1 few. They were simply gone. Run away.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you said these were trials in absentia
3 then. Could you give us an indication on how many trials in absentia
4 were then held approximately?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the number. I was the
6 foreign minister. My job was foreign affairs and diplomacy. And I
7 simply do not speculate on the number. There will be experts who can
8 tell you that figure. I don't know it.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you could tell us that there were few,
10 so you must have -- if you can say that there were few, you must have an
11 idea, isn't it?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know for sure that there were 15
13 or 20 trials in absentia, but I cannot tell you the number, the exact
14 number. I don't know it. It was not my field of work.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So numbers at a level approximately the same
16 as the 25 you mentioned. Is that -- so by the tens and not by the
17 hundreds. Is that how I should understand your answer?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would say that that is roughly
19 correct. Because all those who had committed the gravest crimes and who
20 had command responsibility for crimes were then refugees or fugitives.
21 There were very few persons to try.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- but since that was not my area
24 of work, I can't give you any figures.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You're shifting from my question away. If you say
1 there were only few to try, the others were fugitives, then you
2 implicitly exclude the trials in absentia, and my question was focussing
3 among other matters on -- and would at least include trials in absentia.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I heard, Your Honours, I
5 know certainly of 20 cases of trials in absentia. I don't know any more
6 than that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And, therefore, including -- trials in absentia were
8 at a level of approximately the same as the 25 you mentioned earlier, not
9 in the tens, not in the hundreds.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the number of people
11 who were indicted and who were outside the territory of Slavonia
12 Baranja was much higher, in the hundreds, but the trials were never
13 organised because they could not be reached. They could not be found.
14 Only a few trials were held in absentia. But the number of indictees was
15 in the hundreds.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So you say trials which were concluded, that is,
17 judgement rendered and sanction imposed, was by the tens. And that, in
18 the hundreds, peoples were -- people were indicted, but those cases never
19 came to a conclusion in terms of a judgement and sanctions imposed.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit P2616, please.
25 Q. Mr. Granic, this is a -- these are notes from a meeting -- or
1 minutes of a meeting of the 33rd Session of the Council for Co-operation
2 of the International Criminal Tribunal from 6 November 1998.
3 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 5 of this document, please,
4 in English, and page 3 in the Croatian version. If we could -- it is
5 actually at the bottom. Yes. At the bottom in the English, please.
6 Q. Now, Dr. Ramljak who was the ministry of justice at the time and
7 the parties have stipulated that he was the -- became the minister of
8 justice in May of 1998. At point 2, he says:
9 "Events that occurred after the Oluja operation. It seems that
10 it is necessary to reassess the strategy taken two to three years ago,
11 related to not processing the events and crimes committed in the
12 aftermath of the operation, but we need to keep in mind that the council
13 for co-operation with" -- it should be ICTY -- "is not obliged to discuss
14 this issue."
15 Now, Mr. Granic, you were present at this meeting. Can you help
16 us understand what Mr. Ramljak was referring to.
17 A. I admit this is not a very precise conclusion, but let me explain
18 what actually happened at that meeting and a number of other meetings.
19 At that time, there were discussions within our leadership, and
20 we had differences, about whether the Tribunal in The Hague had
21 jurisdiction over Operation Storm. My personal view was that the
22 Tribunal had jurisdiction, and as you can see from these deliberations, a
23 similar conclusion was ultimately adopted, and then the Tribunal or -- or
24 whatever body was established by the Security Council would decide if it
25 had jurisdiction or not.
1 Within that body it was decided to address the Appeals Chamber of
2 the ICTY, a request to decide whether the Tribunal had jurisdiction or
3 not. It was a unified opinion, and we would have the support of the US
4 in requesting from the Tribunal a formal opinion as to whether it was
5 competent, whether it had jurisdiction over the Operation Storm.
6 Another thing that was quite certain was that the councillor of
7 the government of the Republic of Croatia
8 Mr. Rifkind suggested several options, all of them were unacceptable to
9 us. One of them was to sue the Republic of Yugoslavia
10 that until that issue is resolved that Croatia should not co-operate with
11 the Tribunal in The Hague
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry to cut you off
13 because I have limited amount of time left.
14 My specific question is, did you know or do you know what
15 Mr. Ramljak was referring to in saying that "... there was a strategy
16 about not processing the events and crimes in the aftermath of the
18 A. Vice-President Ramljak knew very well that by that time, around
19 3.000 individuals had been prosecuted, but he meant primarily
20 co-operation with The Hague Tribunal and decisiveness in prosecuting the
21 gravest cases, and he personally, like myself, was in favour of that.
22 And when I say the gravest crimes, I mean committed both by Croats and
24 Q. Mr. Granic, my question is in -- this strategy taken two to three
25 years ago, specifically is he referring to the general amnesty that had
1 been passed by the parliament two and a half years prior to that in 1996?
2 A. Correct. General amnesty was adopted, the President granted
3 clemency for some -- in some cases and all of this certainly had an
4 impact on the justice system.
5 Q. Mr. Granic, let me turn to the topic of Mr. Carl Bildt --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you have dealt with this paragraph --
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- and I'm seeking some clarification.
9 Mr. Granic, you said that the -- and let me -- that the policy of
10 not processing events and crimes committed in the aftermath of Operation
11 Storm, that it was referring to the -- let me -- to the general amnesty
12 that had been passed by parliament two and a half years prior to that, in
14 I always understood, but please correct me when my understanding
15 is wrong, that that amnesty was primarily aimed at not further
16 prosecuting Serbs for crimes they had committed during the period of the
18 Is that a correct understanding?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is a correct understanding,
20 Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the text we just read is that there was
22 need for a reassessment, a strategy two to three years ago, related to
23 not processing the events and crimes committed in the aftermath of
24 Operation Storm.
25 The aftermath of Operation Storm, I don't understand to be the
1 period, well, let's say, on from 6th or 7th of August, 1995. Is that
2 correctly understood?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know of any
4 written document or any meeting where this was discussed or any strategy
5 would have been adopted not to prosecute crimes. And I don't think there
6 ever was a strategy in writing or a strategy agreed at state level. I'm
7 certain about that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Granic, in
9 one of the previous questions put to you by Mr. Misetic, you explained
10 what was meant here by this.
11 Now, I asked you simply, a simple question, the aftermath of
12 Operation Storm, what period in time that would cover, and you start
13 explaining that you are not aware of any policy, apparently a policy on
14 which you gave your opinion in the previous question from Mr. Misetic.
15 My question, apart from that was quite simple: Aftermath of
16 Operation Storm, what do you understand that to be?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand this as follows: In
18 fact, I suppose that Vice-President Ramljak meant the time when the
19 general amnesty decision was made. He meant that period. Not just after
20 Operation Storm. At least I don't think so, if I understood your
21 meaning, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I wasn't asking you, as a matter of fact, but
23 you now tell me that what Mr. Ramljak concluded when he said the
24 aftermath of Operation Storm, that he was talking about the period in
25 time around the amnesty laws, when the amnesty laws were adopted.
1 Is that correctly understood?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's probably what he meant.
3 As for the situation after Operation Storm, you can see from
4 deliberations at government sessions, we advocated very vociferously the
5 prosecution of all crimes including crimes committed then.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I asked you earlier whether the main
7 purpose of the amnesty laws were to cover crimes committed by Serbs
8 during the RSK period, and you confirmed that. And now I do understand
9 from your last answer --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you confirm it again.
12 Now from your last answer, I take it that the -- the strategy
13 related to not processing the events and crimes committed doesn't
14 refer -- does refer to the period after Operation Storm, that is, after
15 the RSK period.
16 I'm not slightly but totally confused.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, may I?
18 JUDGE ORIE: If you want to put further questions to the witness
19 it's fine.
20 MR. MISETIC: I do.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Mr. Granic, let's try to clarify this.
24 The Law on General amnesty applied not just to Serbs, it applied
25 to everything that took place between 1990 and August 1996, correct?
1 Committed by anyone in connection with the armed conflict except for
2 serious violations of international humanitarian law, correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Under the law crimes committed after Operation Storm, not
5 classified as war crimes and connected to the armed conflict would have
6 fallen under the general amnesty act passed in September 1996.
7 Was that your understanding at the time?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Ramljak who was not in the Croatian government until
10 May of 1998, I'm asking you, was it your understanding that he is
11 referring to the fact that many crimes were prosecuted but other
12 crimes -- many crimes were not because they would have fallen under the
13 provisions of the General Amnesty Act passed in 1996?
14 A. In 1991, Mr. Ramljak was the vice-president of the democratic
15 union government. What he meant here in item 2, I'm not sure, because
16 such a strategy had never been adopted. The only thing I can say is that
17 it's quite certain that, at the moment the general amnesty was adopted,
18 with clear definition of the period to which it applied, as Mr. Misetic
19 said, it was quite certain at that time when the number of local Serbs
20 who were indicted was reduced from several hundred to 25, it had an
21 impact on the justice system, although I'm quite sure that no one in our
22 political leadership had ever given any instructions about that.
23 That's all I wanted to say.
24 Q. And let me just clarify part of your answers to the Presiding
1 The Chamber has received in evidence many, many documents from
2 the Security Council and the President of the Security Council throughout
3 1996 up to the passage of the general amnesty law insisting on the
4 passage of a general amnesty law for -- because it related to the issue
5 of peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia and the return of Serbs.
6 So the law was passed under pressure concerning the issue of Serb returns
7 but it was -- it broadly covered all acts that fall within the provision
8 of the law between 1990 and 1996?
9 A. That's correct. That's precisely how it was. It covered all
10 acts, and that's a fact.
11 Q. All acts except violations of international law?
12 A. That's correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me put things very clear to you, Mr. Granic.
14 In this document, it is mentioned that there had been a strategy
15 related to not processing the events and crimes committed in the
16 aftermath of Operation Storm.
17 Now, this Chamber, the evidence this Chamber has received is not
18 that a substantial number of crimes were committed after Operation Storm
19 by Serbs. Do you have any information that a substantial number of
20 crimes were committed by Serbs in the Krajina territory in the aftermath
21 of Operation Storm, which I consider to be -- well, let's say, on from
22 the 6th or 7th of August, 1995?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Beyond any dispute, a great number
24 of crimes in that area was not committed by Serbs after Operation Storm.
25 Simply because there were relatively few of them who had remained; and
1 those who remained were mostly elderly.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would we therefore agree that if there ever
3 had been a strategy of not processing events and crimes committed in the
4 aftermath of Operation Storm, that that would not primarily have focused
5 on crimes committed by Serbs?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hypothetically we could say that,
7 if such a strategy had ever existed. As the foreign minister and deputy
8 prime minister, I'm not aware of any strategy not to prosecute. We can
9 only discuss whether there was full decisiveness of the justice system to
10 prosecute all crimes. That is something we could discuss. I personally
11 was in favour of greater firmness in prosecutions, of crimes committed by
12 Croats. But as for any signed or agreed strategy not to prosecute, that
13 certainly did not exist.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The terminology is processing the crimes. But
15 apart from this semantic issue, thank you for those answers.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic. I'm looking at the clock at the
17 same time, and I notice that this is already beyond the time we usually
18 take a break.
19 MR. MISETIC: I had just one last question for him on one topic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That's then -- please put that question to
21 Mr. Granic.
22 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
23 Could we please have Exhibit D747, please.
24 Q. Mr. Granic, the Chamber has heard and seen several times Carl
25 Bildt's statements on the 4th of August, his statements in Geneva
1 of August, the Chamber has seen the memo concerning your meting with
2 Mr. Bildt on 6th of August, concerning allegations of the shelling of
3 Knin, et cetera.
4 This is a letter written to you -- by you to the president of the
5 European Commission. I believe it is dated 8 -- 8 August. And
6 essentially the Republic of Croatia
7 grata and you are complaining about Mr. Bildt's allegations, et cetera.
8 Can tell us why the Republic of Croatia
9 and what impact that had in terms of your relationship with Mr. Bildt
10 throughout the month of August.
11 A. On the 4th of August, that is to say, the first day of Operation
12 Storm, Mr. Bildt accused Croatia
13 especially civilians. On the very first day of the operation, it was a
14 very grave accusations for which we knew was unfounded. There was no
15 barbaric shelling of civilians, it was not random, and it was not
16 excessive. All of the information I had from several sources including
17 some Croatian Generals, the Generals who were in charge of the operation,
18 all that went completely contrary to that allegation. The information
19 was that the Croatian Army behaved fully professionally on that day and
20 that the accusation that came from Mr. Bildt was the worse thing that
22 spoke to Mr. Bildt in Geneva
23 my words at that time, But there was no excessive or random shelling and
24 that there were no significant casualties among civilians. I personally
25 visited Knin on the 8th to reassure myself of that.
1 With the assistance of Mr. Holbrooke, we managed to patch up our
2 mutual relationship in Dayton
3 result of being deeply hurt both as a person and as the minister because
4 it completely went against everything that took place on that day.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Granic.
6 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
8 I do understand, Mr. Kay, you have given up your time which means
9 that --
10 MR. KAY: Yes. Your Honour, it seemed that the matters that were
11 being dealt with by Mr. Misetic, as I told the Court, there would be a
12 convergence of interest. If I could just mention one thing. There were
13 three documents produced by Mr. Misetic: D1813, D1814, and D1815 which
14 had passages within them that would I have brought to the Court's
15 attention through this witness. They weren't statements by this witness
16 at government meetings, but by others that were there, and it would have
17 to been to hopefully assist the Court in looking at those matters.
18 It seems to me that this is a forensic exercise that could be
19 dealt with in a completely different way by me just telling the Court
20 that from our position we consider those to have been very important
21 exhibits and asking the Court, as we know it will, to look at those
22 documents with -- with care, because they contain important statements at
23 the time. I think that that saves court time rather than uses the
24 exercise of questioning to bring something to your attention.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which more or less would create a situation in
1 which Mr. Misetic tendered documents into evidence, and that you deal
2 with the same documents more or less on a bar table basis.
3 MR. KAY: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That is, you explain why concern portions of those
5 documents deserve specific attention of the Chamber.
6 MR. KAY: Yes. I'm grateful to the Court.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Then I take it that either in an oral submission or a written
9 submission you tell us which specific portions you had on your mind.
10 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
12 We will have a break, and we will resume at five minutes past
14 [The witness stands down]
15 --- Recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.08 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue to hear the evidence of the
18 witness, I'd like to briefly address the matter of expert Witness MM-23.
19 A report is there, a lot of the material on which the expert has formed
20 his opinion is not available in English, from what I understand. That,
21 at least, was what the Prosecution told us on the 9th of November.
22 And the Chamber wonders whether that situation is still the same,
23 because to adopt views of an expert, if have you no access to the
24 material on which he has -- on the basis of which he has formed his
25 opinions might be not a very transparent exercise. It might be a great
1 problem for the Chamber even to assess the solidity of these opinions.
2 Could the chamber hear from the Markac Defence any further
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Honour, I will let Mr. Mikulicic address
5 the substantive issues but you will see our response to the Prosecution's
6 motion is due month, so we will have a response to the Chamber by then.
7 But as far as a direct answer to your question, Your Honour, I
8 will let Mr. Mikulicic address that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is correct that
11 a portion of the material referred to by the expert witness was not
12 translated; however, all of the material they referred to was handed over
13 for translation. We receive it in successive portions, and as we receive
14 them we disclose them to the Prosecutor.
15 In addition to that, through our contacts with the Prosecution
16 and based on their choice of priorities, we forward material for
17 translation. Also given some specific sources that the expert witness
18 referred to, we indicated to the Prosecutor that these are public
19 sources, such as books, and we also provided Internet links and libraries
20 where such publications could be per used.
21 We are doing our utmost to enable the Prosecutor as much access
22 to the material as possible. Of course, we are not completely happy with
23 the process as well. But as you know from your own experience, Your
24 Honour, that the problem of translation is something that occurs in all
25 cases and that in a way it also effects both parties and the documents
1 they submit.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Mikulicic. The Chamber just
3 wants to clearly indicate that not having access to underlying sources
4 that that may create a problem in the -- in the use of the expert report
5 as evidentiary material and that's, therefore, to perhaps emphasise the
6 importance of having the material available.
7 Mr. Mikulicic, whether the evidence is to be found in public
8 sources, if I can't read it, I can't read it publicly or privately, it
9 doesn't make that much of a difference. But I do understand that it has
10 your full attention and the Chamber wanted to ensure that this has the
11 proper attention.
12 I only address this matter. I didn't -- we are still waiting for
13 a response by the Markac Defence on other matters which were raised by
14 the Prosecution but this one was a relatively neutral but also a
15 relatively important one. So, therefore, we addressed it.
16 Then -- Mr. Usher, could you escort the witness into the
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Granic, you will now be cross-examined by
20 Mr. Waespi. Mr. Waespi is counsel for the Prosecution.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi:
24 Q. Good afternoon Mr. Granic. You have written a book with the
25 title: Foreign Affairs Behind the Screens of Politics. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we could have 65 ter 7484 on the
3 screen, and I have prepared excerpts from the book. It's 14 pages in
4 English, and 15 in B/C/S. The whole book is about 230 or 240 pages. And
5 throughout my cross-examination, I will be referring to parts of -- of
6 the excerpt and perhaps it could receive now an exhibit number, MFI and
7 later, if foundation is laid, I'd like to tender it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And apart from your use of this document, I
9 take it that if there are any other relevant portions that a selection of
10 the portions could be expanded in consultation with the Defence teams.
11 Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked for
13 identification as P2662.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it keeps that status for a while.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Now, in your testimony yesterday you have discussed the speech of
18 President Tudjman at the UN General Assembly in 1994. This is D1799 but
19 we don't need to -- to get it.
20 And there he talks about the focus on protection for human
21 rights. That's a quote from -- from that speech.
22 Do you remember that -- that -- having discussed that yesterday?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Now, you know him, Dr. Granic, you know President Tudjman. And I
25 think it's your assessment, and I quote from your book.
1 MR. WAESPI: And this is on page 3 in English and B/C/S that:
2 "He was a politician of the old style and didn't understand
3 respect for human rights."
4 Q. And you talk about an instance in Bosnia which you have discussed
5 in your direct evidence as well. You remember, I think you have called
6 Mr. Boban about the closure of the camps.
7 So let me quickly read what you -- what you say here about this
8 topic. And on Wednesday, you discussed that at page 24622. I quote now
9 from -- from your book:
10 "When I informed him about the existence of the Croat-held camps
11 for the prisoners of war, Bosniak civilians in BiH, he became infuriated
12 and changed the expression of his face, comprehending that this is
13 strongly damaging Croatia
14 style, who did not understand the issue of respecting the human rights.
15 He thought that the solution of that problem was a mechanism for exerting
16 pressure on Croatia
17 respond with a counterquestion. What are [sic] the Americans doing in
19 opinion, those were the imperative consequences of war. That was also
20 the reason why he did not steadily insist on the investigations when that
21 was necessary, but he never prevented them. That is why I think that
22 nobody can refer to Tudjman, regardless of the duty one was performing.
23 Everyone, that committed, ordered, or failed to prevent crimes has one's
24 own responsibility."
25 Do you stand by what you wrote in your book?
1 A. I firmly stand by every word I wrote.
2 Q. So his comments about human protection for human rights before
3 the General Assembly was for public consumption, wasn't it?
4 A. No. That was the official position of the Republic of Croatia
5 which had been discussed with the innermost political circles. To be
6 more precise, the closest of his associates - that is to say, we -
7 prepared that speech and he stood by it. He was a statesman and a
8 historian. He was not a diplomat. And as I said, he was of the old
9 school regarding human rights. It is true that he mainly believed it to
10 be as a pressure mechanism employed by the west and exercised on Croatia
11 Frequently even small, minor incidents were used to exert
12 pressure on Croatia
13 all of the most important moves to stop the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to
14 close down camps, and without his support, I would not have been able to
15 do anything.
16 Therefore, at the end of the sentence, at the end of the
17 paragraph, I stated that each one of us has his or her own
18 responsibilities and duties. In all main activities I undertook,
19 diplomatic activities in Croatia
20 President Tudjman's support.
21 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic. Let's move to a second short topic, the
23 In your book, and this is at page 6 in English and 8 in B/C/S,
24 you talk about the fact that you discussed the negotiations with
25 President Tudjman. And then you say that "visibly content" -- it's about
1 the 12th line in English:
2 "Tudjman accepted my opinion and informed me that Thorvald
3 Stoltenberg was insisting on the meeting between the rebel Serbs and
4 representatives of the Croatia
5 both of us that he anticipated that we were soon to launch a determined
6 reintegration of our occupied areas. Tudjman decided that the Croatian
7 delegation in Geneva
8 Ivic Pasalic. He had precise instructions what to accept in Geneva
9 he strictly followed them. We did not expect any serious results from
10 that meeting, but we had to get it over with before the decisive battle."
11 So it was predetermined what would come out from the Geneva
12 meetings. Is that a fair interpretation of your comment here?
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Just to put a full context in that question it
16 will be suggested from our side to read the next, the following sentence.
17 Exactly on the point where Mr. Waespi stopped.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, although everyone is free to put the
19 quote as he wishes to a witness, it sometimes is more efficient to not
20 split up matters.
21 If you could follow the suggestion of Mr. Mikulicic that would be
23 MR. WAESPI: Certainly, Mr. President.
24 Q. "Those days our intelligence officers intensively intercepted
25 Milosevic's telephone conversations so we positively knew that Belgrade
1 was not ready for a serious military retaliation to the Croatian military
2 and police operation. We had many strategic advantages."
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Mr. Waespi.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything I wrote is fully
5 accurate. This means the following:
6 Mr. Pasalic had instructions to accept only an arrangement on
7 peaceful reintegration, and that is something he could do immediately.
8 We did not want any postponements. Absolutely no postponements. Why?
9 Because we were being dragged throughout the mud for four years. They
10 never sincerely approached any peaceful reintegration negotiations.
11 Throughout that period they were committing ethnic cleansing in the
12 territory they controlled. We did not want to miss out on this
13 opportunity, because we had the most favourable international
14 circumstances. We did not want to miss this opportunity to help and save
15 Bihac, which is something I have discussed extensively.
16 Therefore, Mr. Pasic was under instructions to either immediately
17 accept peaceful reintegration or to refuse the proposal. This is exactly
18 the way things stood.
19 MR. WAESPI:
20 Q. Let me turn to a slightly different aspect now.
21 The warnings from the international community before launching
22 Operation Storm. There were warnings, were there not, for instance, from
23 the German government that they would not support such military actions
24 and that it would not be able to protect Croatia from a possible
25 diplomatic reaction in this case.
1 Is that a fair assessment?
2 A. The fair assessment would be that Germany said that publicly they
3 could not support us. I think President Kohl sent a letter to
4 President Tudjman. However, one needs to mention that, at that time the
5 European Union did not play a decisive role in the stopping of the war in
6 establishing of peace. It was the US
7 political world with Owen-Stoltenberg and the rejection of the plan in
8 late 1993 handed over initiative to US policy makers.
9 In our assessments, we relied exclusively on the extent by which
10 our operation went hand in hand with the American peace initiative, and
11 we were 100 per cent right on that.
12 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we quickly could go into --
13 JUDGE ORIE: One second, one second.
14 Yes, it is only now that the French translation has finished.
15 Mr. Granic, even if you would like to leave before the weekend,
16 it certainly will not help to speak any quicker, because this sometimes
17 has a counter-productive effect.
18 Please proceed.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your -- for this
20 caution, Your Honour.
21 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we could turn into private session
22 for a moment.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Page 24837 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 MR. WAESPI: I'd like to turn to 65 ter 7476 which is an
20 interview you gave with Slobodna Dalmacija on the 31st of December, 1995
21 Q. Do you remember, after so many years, having given that
23 A. Yes, I do. I remember having given the interview.
24 Q. Now, on page 4 in English and page 1 in B/C/S; and in B/C/S, in
25 Croatian, it's the second --
1 MR. WAESPI: I don't think that's the right one. I want -- if we
2 go back to 7477. I'm sorry. 65 ter 7477. Yes, that's the interview I'm
3 interested in.
4 Q. In Croatian, Dr. Granic, it's the second column from the right;
5 and in English, it's page 4.
6 There it is stated, answering a question about decision and
7 support what happened immediately prior to Operation Storm, you say that:
8 "A day before Operation Storm, at the meeting of the VONS
9 President Tudjman read the messages from Clinton, Yeltsin, Kohl, Chirac
10 Major, all of them advised Croatia
11 And then you go on to say that:
12 "...the decision to launch the operation was naturally the
13 President's, since VONS was only an advisory body but they were fully
14 supportive of such a decision."
15 Do you stand by what you told the journalist of Slobodna
17 A. Of course, I do. I stand by everything that's been said here.
18 But in journalistic term it is not so clear and requires additional
20 No one at that time said, no, you can't go ahead with this
21 operation, like President Clinton said on the 12th and the 13th November
22 1994 concerning the creation of the corridor towards Bihac, or when State
23 Secretary Christopher called me on the 14th October 1995 saying, Stop
24 there, don't go to Banja Luka. State Secretary Christopher called me and
25 Mr. Holbrooke called Tudjman.
1 In this case, there were only mild recommendations to refrain.
2 There was no clear message, Stop, do not go. My point in this interview
3 was to make clear that it was not an agreement or an understanding
4 wherein the US
5 made the decision himself, after evaluating all the international
6 circumstances, as extremely favourable, and it was our judgement that we
7 were complementing the American state initiative very well. Indeed, we
8 had given prior notification to the US
10 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic.
11 MR. WAESPI: I would like to tender this document, Mr. President.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P2663.
15 JUDGE ORIE: P2663 is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. You talked a lot about Bihac in your evidence in-chief and also a
18 moment ago. But it's correct to say, Dr. Granic, that Bihac was just one
19 factor in the decision to go ahead?
20 A. I agree with you, Mr. Prosecutor. It was one of the factors, but
21 it was a very important one. Ever since November 1994, Bihac had been a
22 constant topic in our talks with the Bosniak side, and a subject of their
23 requests for assistance. It was just one of the factors, but a very
24 important one.
25 Q. But were you aware that President Tudjman, on 31st of July, 1995,
1 and this is the famous Brioni meeting at which you did not attend, I take
2 it; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, I did not attend. But during the break, President Tudjman
4 called me on the phone and asked my opinion in case he decided to go
5 forward with the police and military Operation Storm.
6 He wanted me to give an evaluation from a diplomatic and
7 international legal point of view but especially diplomatic evaluation of
8 possible reactions by allies, friendly states, and reactions of the UN
9 Security Council.
10 Q. Now, did you tell -- you, when he talked to you, or did you
11 become aware otherwise that President Tudjman during that meeting said
12 the following.
13 MR. WAESPI: And this is P461, English page 1, B/C/S page 2. I
14 will read the relevant parts:
15 "Therefore, it is my opinion that our main objective can no
16 longer be to break through to Bihac."
17 And then the next quote:
18 "But if" -- and it's just the next paragraph -- "but if in the
19 forthcoming days we are to undertake further operations then Bihac can
20 only serve as some sort of pretext and something of a secondary nature."
21 And there is another quote on page 10 in English and page 20 in
22 B/C/S. Page 10 it starts at the bottom, and I quote:
23 "President Tudjman says: Generals, officers, although we must
24 not do anything in an ill-conceived manner, we must proceed from the fact
25 that we have achieved such successes from West Slavonia and now in
2 goodwill of the army, the support of a good part of international public
3 opinion, while the enemy is utterly demoralised."
4 And then the final sentence in this paragraph:
5 "Nevertheless, I think that the political situation is so
6 favourable that we should focus on entering Knin as soon as possible."
7 That's the Supreme Commander speaking that Bihac is a -- some
8 sort of pretext.
9 Were you aware of that?
10 A. I was not at that meeting, but I know very well what the
11 positions of President Tudjman were. I know it because I talked to him
12 during those days, including that day.
13 The main objective was to reach Croatian borders and free the
14 occupied territories of Croatia
15 the two most important objectives.
16 Why Bihac? In your quotation, the President does not speak of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina; whereas our third most important goal was to end
18 the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and help our allies. The president, as
19 the Supreme Commander, was telling the soldiers what our objective was,
20 and that was to reach the borders. Therefore, I was not at that meeting,
21 I cannot give you an interpretation, but I know to a certainty what the
22 position was. And I believe you will see precisely from any US documents
23 what I said to Peter Galbraith, what we discussed with the Americans.
24 The first goal was to reach the Croatian borders and, of course,
25 in -- for this objective Knin, as a centre of intelligency was an
1 important target. That's why the action was led by one of the best if
2 not the best Croatia
3 The second goal was Bihac, and the third goal was to help Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina
5 But in the order of priorities, the first one was to reach the
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. President, I'm looking at the clock. We have to
8 finish for this morning.
9 We will resume at 3.30 this afternoon in this same courtroom.
10 We adjourn.
11 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.45 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 3.32 p.m.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon in this extended session for today.
16 Judge Kinis is, for urgent personal reasons, unable to continue
17 sitting in this case for a short period, that means this afternoon. And
18 Judge Gwaunza and myself concluded that it's in the interest of justice
19 to continue to hear the case. And, therefore, we ordered that we would
20 continue. The reason that Judge Gwaunza is moving from one side to the
21 other is just a matter of logging in at the right computer. So just for
22 those who wondered what happened, this is what happened.
23 Mr. Waespi, are you ready to continue your cross-examination?
24 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I am, Mr. President. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Granic, usually if we have only a break during
1 the day I do not remind the witness that he is still bound by the solemn
2 declaration so I will refrain from doing that.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Before the break, Dr. Granic, you said that the Operation Storm,
6 I think, was led by one of the best, if not the best Croatian General.
7 Whom did you have in mind?
8 A. General Ante Gotovina. Of course, the special police force led
9 by General Markac was also involved. The force enjoyed the highest level
10 of reputation in Croatia
11 Q. Which force do you mean? Which force? All the units
12 participating in Operation Storm or specific units?
13 A. When I said "the special police force," I meant the special
14 police force as a whole.
15 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic.
16 You have been very close to President Tudjman; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And you accepted his leadership, and you almost saw a
19 father-figure in him.
20 A. I accepted his leadership. At that point in -- that was a
21 historic moment for Croatia
22 such a figure for a president.
23 Q. And I think Defence minister Susak, he was one of President
24 Tudjman's closest associates. Is that also correct?
25 A. That's correct. I would say, that up until his death, he was the
1 closest associate of President Tudjman's.
2 Q. And when did he die?
3 A. He died in 1998, in early May. I think it was the 4th or the 5th
4 of May.
5 Q. And we're talking about Mr. Susak.
6 A. Yes, yes. Mr. Susak.
7 Q. And, likewise, General Gotovina belonged to the circle of
8 Mr. Susak's closest associates; is that correct?
9 A. Correct. General Gotovina was one of the closest associates of
10 Minister Susak's.
11 Q. Thank you. You discuss all that in your book.
12 Now, you stated in paragraph 8 of your witness statement, which
13 is now Defence exhibit 1797, as follows:
14 "As the minister of foreign affairs and the deputy prime
15 minister, during and after military ... police Operation Storm ... the
16 operation of liberation of the occupied areas of Croatia apart from other
17 numerous international political activities, I participated in, I
18 radically fought for obedience of Geneva Convention's international
19 humanitarian law."
20 Now, why do say that? Why did you have to "fight" for the
21 Geneva Conventions or for the obedience of the Geneva Conventions?
22 A. Because, quite clearly, it was an operation of a greater scale
23 and because such operations inevitably have consequences. There was
24 nothing to point us to what might come after Operation Storm. However, I
25 always made this issue quite clear, and I will be quite precise.
1 When, on the 21st of July, sometime between 1200 and 1300 hours I
2 spoke to President Tudjman, I said that the most significant and
3 memorable thing that we will be remembered by all is how soon we will
4 finish the operation and how strongly we will adhere to international law
5 and international conventions. I said the same on the 3rd of August,
6 1995, when we had a meeting of the National Security Council. I said
7 that our international friends are going to judge us by how closely we
8 stick to the provisions of international and humanitarian law. It was my
9 personal position, therefore.
10 If I may make just one more point. Our friends worldwide,
11 including the Americans and Germans, alerted us to this fact, especially
12 the US
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, just if we could check the date on
15 page 87, line 1.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, my line numbering is a bit different. Is it --
17 it's not a July but the August reference?
18 MR. MISETIC: My transcript actually is different than the
19 LiveNote in the centre. In -- on yours it is page 86, line 24.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 In your last answer, you said: "When" -- and then you gave a
22 date, "sometime between 1200 and 1300 hours I spoke to
23 President Tudjman."
24 Which date were you referring to?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 31st of July, 1995
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. This being corrected, please proceed,
2 Mr. Waespi.
3 MR. WAESPI: Thank you.
4 Q. Now, the Germans -- or the Americans they were referring to the
5 commission of war crimes prior to Operation Storm by the Croatian Army.
6 That's why they told you to be careful; is that correct?
7 A. They cautioned us about adherence to international conventions.
8 We didn't spoke about -- speak about the details. We spoke strictly
9 about the abidance by the provisions of laws and customs of war and
10 international humanitarian law. In other words, treatment of refugees,
11 or, rather, of potential refugees.
12 Q. And when you write in your statement you had to fight radically
13 for it, did you have to fight with somebody, or was it generally
14 accepted, your advice?
15 A. Nobody contradicted me on that score. There was nobody who was
16 opposed to that or who would publicly oppose the position I set out, and
17 I myself did work in favour of that.
18 Mr. Prosecutor, in 1991, I was on the wartime government, and
19 before I became a member of the government as the dean of the faculty of
20 medicine, I was on -- on the -- a member of the medical corps. And in
21 1991, we had already, at that time, issued instructions to soldiers on
22 how to behave themselves and respect Geneva Conventions, should conflicts
23 break out. So this was my position throughout the time.
24 Q. But these instructions didn't work at all times. War crimes were
25 committed by Croatian forces, for instance in the Medak Pocket operation.
1 Is that correct?
2 A. Yes. During operation Medak Pocket, crime did happen, and it is
3 true that crime had been committed on the Croatian side as well.
4 Q. Yes, I'm -- I'm talking primarily now about war crimes by the
5 Croatian Army.
6 A. That's what I meant.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. There were crimes committed by the Croatian Army too.
9 Q. And I believe you do remember having received a letter dated 1st
10 of October by Mr. Mazowiecki, and that's 1993, about what was happening
11 in Medak Pocket. Do you recall that?
12 A. Yes, I do, Mr. Prosecutor. I do remember that. And I will tell
13 the Trial Chamber the extent of what I remember well.
14 Operation Medak Pocket came to my notice on the morning when it
15 started. In accordance with his constitutional powers, the President of
16 the Republic at the proposals of Minister Jarnjak and General Bobetko,
17 proposed that the operation be launched following a period during which
18 Gospic had been constantly shelled, and there were civilian casualties as
19 well as a massacre committed against policemen. The reason was the utter
20 insecurity where -- and it was under these circumstances the population
21 had to live. The operation was completed successfully. That was what I
22 knew about it.
23 When I received the letter from Mazowiecki, according to the
24 procedure in place, I asked the information from the Ministry of Defence
25 and the Ministry of the Interior, since I had a small human rights
1 department, although, at the level of the government, there was a deputy
2 prime minister, Professor Kostalic [phoen] who was actually in charge of
3 that department, of the matter.
4 My first answer or response to Mr. Mazowiecki was not a complete
5 one. I became aware of it later on, however, I provided him with the
6 information that I had at the time and that had been prepared for me.
7 However, the information was not full.
8 As soon as I had all the information in possession, including the
9 fact that there was lack of discipline on the part of the Home Guard,
10 that there were casualties among the civilians as well, and as soon as I
11 received that information, it was at a later date, I believe it was
12 actually at a VONS meeting, I took the following steps: I asked from the
13 President of the Republic that an inquiry be launched immediately into
14 this, and that the responsible individuals be punished.
15 This was what I was able to do -- what was within my power to do.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic? For the completion of the record, I would
17 like to called up 65 ter 7500 and ask you to confirm that this is this
18 the letter Mr. Mazowiecki, at the time, Special Rapporteur, on the former
20 A. Yes, I can confirm that this is the letter. I do remember it.
21 MR. WAESPI: If we can scroll down to the bottom, we see at the
22 left hand your name.
23 I would like to tender this document, Mr. President.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I could just get a proffer from
25 Mr. Waespi as to the relevance of this.
1 MR. WAESPI: To the evidence in general or to this letter?
2 MR. MISETIC: The relevance of this letter and the Medak Pocket
3 operation to the indictment.
4 MR. WAESPI: It shows that war crimes were committed in the past,
5 that the Croatian Army, as we suggest, was prone to committing crimes and
6 it wasn't taken seriously. That's the relevancy of this aspect. That's
7 number one.
8 Number two, the witness talked about Medak Pocket and other
9 operations like Grahovo and Glamoc in his witness statement and he called
10 it I think liberation operations, and I want to state the record clear on
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I guess our position is that the
13 Prosecution, I don't believe, put on evidence of the Medak Pocket
14 operation in its case in chief so to the extent this is now being added
15 for substantive value, I think it opens up new topics that heretofore
16 have not been addressed in the case.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Waespi also told that the witness talked
18 about a Medak Pocket operation in his examination-in-chief so,
19 therefore --
20 MR. MISETIC: I don't recall it off the top of my head. And I
21 don't know the context of what was said.
22 MR. WAESPI: It's in paragraph 20 of the witness statement,
23 D1797. This is a reference to the military liberations operations of
24 Grahovo and Glamoc, to which I will turn in a second. And I'm quite sure
25 that the witness talked about Medak Pocket yesterday or the day before in
1 his evidence.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We'll check that.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I don't see it in paragraph 20 of
4 the witness statement.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just check.
6 MR. WAESPI: I just mention that it relates to Grahovo and Glamoc
7 only in this part. Medak Pocket is in paragraph 17.
8 "I was active, and I participated in reaching decisions on the
9 actions of the Croatian armed force with the purpose of liberation of the
10 occupied territory for instance action Miljevacki Plateau whose objective
11 was to disable the bombardment of Sibenik from that areas, Action
12 Maslenica, action Medak Pocket, Flash, and so on."
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. WAESPI: I'm fairly sure that the evidence of Mr. Theunens
15 addressed Medak Pocket as well.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I think the prejudice under 89(C) to
17 the Defence, given that there's no direct relevance to any -- to my
18 client, certainly, of the Medak Pocket operation to this case. It is two
19 years prior to the indictment period. And it opens up, I think, areas
20 that are not relevant to this case.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied, Mr. Misetic. Although the
23 relevance is not very high, certainly the fact that it was two years
24 before the Operation Storm is -- is certainly not a matter which would
25 prevent Mr. Waespi from dealing with the matter. I think that we
1 received quite a lot of evidence on what happened and still are about to
2 receive further evidence about what happened of the years since 1991,
4 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
5 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry, Mr. Waespi. Just to add on this topic
7 which have to have in mind that the operation Medak Pocket was an issue
8 of a separate trial proceedings which was conducted in Croatia
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Medak Pocket was a matter which was the subject
10 of a case which was initially before this Tribunal and then later was
11 referred to the local courts. The Chamber is aware of that. I take it
12 that Mr. Waespi is aware of that. The ruling is there.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
14 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to tender this
16 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit number
20 JUDGE ORIE: P2664 is admitted into evidence.
21 You may proceed.
22 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. There's also a reference
23 in Mr. Galbraith's diary at P458 that links Medak Pocket to comments
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, Mr. Waespi, as I said before, the
1 ruling is there so there is no need to give further ammunition to a
2 matter which has been decided already.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. And likewise, Dr. Granic, war crimes were committed in the
6 operation for the liberation of Grahovo and Glamoc at the end of July
7 1995, is that correct?
8 MR. KAY: Shouldn't very have specificity about this, war crimes
9 where committed the previous questions about Medak Pocket, in my
10 submission, were absolutely meaningless, and the witness is being asked
11 to agree to something, war crimes were committed, well, what war crimes?
12 A prisoner being slapped? What exactly? If anything is going to be done
13 with this, it has to be put in a way that the witness can effectively
14 deal with it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, the witness felt that he was in a
16 position to confirm as far as Medak Pocket is concerned, but, Mr. Waespi
17 it goes without staying that the probative value if there's no
18 specificity whatsoever in relation to the war crimes, that it's not of
19 great assistance for the Chamber to determine the matters before it.
20 MR. WAESPI:
21 Q. Let me ask you: Are you aware that crimes were committed during
22 the operation liberation of Grahovo and Glamoc which you describe in
23 paragraph 20 of your witness statement, crimes committed by the Croatian
25 A. Firstly, the Grahovo-Glamoc operation was the result of an
1 agreement reached with the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and was a key
2 operation to assist in the lifting of the burden of Bihac.
3 Secondly, from a military point of view, the operation was a
4 successful one, and it helped a great deal --
5 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Waespi did
6 not invite you to tell us the whole story of this operation but asked a
7 specific question, which was: Whether you were aware that crimes were
8 committed during the operation liberation of Grahovo and Glamoc, which
9 you describe in paragraph 20 of your witness statement.
10 Would you please answer that question.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at around about the
12 time of the start of Operation Storm, say for the fact that the operation
13 had been successful, I didn't know anything else. There were no
14 additional discussions about it, and nobody told me anything about it.
15 It was only many years later that I heard that that particular operation
16 had been accompanied by destruction and certain other events. The
17 details surrounding it are still not known to me today.
18 MR. WAESPI:
19 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic.
20 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I would like to show the witness a
21 document, 65 ter 1883.
22 Q. This is an document dated 13 August 1995 signed by commander
23 Captain Adinajic [phoen] from the 72nd Military Police Battalion.
24 And it states in page 2, English and Croatian, that the last
25 paragraph on the following day, and this is the 30th of July, 1995
1 can see from the previous text:
2 "On the following day, members of the Croatian Army 4th Guards
3 Brigade and the 7th Guards Brigade, as well as certain groups (Croatian
4 Army 114th Brigade, 126th Home Guard Regiment) ... came into the broad
5 area of Grahovo from surrounding area, began setting fire to houses in
6 Grahovo and the surrounding villages, in an organised fashion."
7 Now, I take it you weren't aware of this kind of information
8 about what was happening just a few days before Operation Storm was
9 launched and before you made your comments about respect for the
11 A. Well, as far as this document is concerned, I didn't know about
12 it. I have never seen it before. And as for the events like setting
13 fire to things and destruction, as I said earlier on, I heard about all
14 that much later, so I didn't know about this. Especially not during
15 Operation Storm.
16 Q. And Mr. Susak, and there is evidence about this in this case, he
17 didn't tell you that he passed by Glamoc and Grahovo on the 1st of
18 July and was reported to be very disappointed by burning and looting
19 which is especially noticeable in the 4th and 7th Brigade?
20 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, that's from P71, the Split
21 District diary.
22 Q. That's nothing you were made aware of by Mr. Susak?
23 A. No, no, it isn't. I didn't know about that. At that time, and I
24 can tell you straightaway, we met each other at a meeting but we never
25 discussed this, nor did I have any knowledge or awareness of any of this,
1 coming from Mr. Susak.
2 Q. So your comment about radically observe Geneva Conventions, that
3 came out of the blue or based on the experience in 1991, but not by
4 recent events that might have triggered your comment. Is that your
6 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. Very specifically, over the past two day, I
7 have been testifying here and responding to questions from Defence
8 counsel about how the government conducted itself and how I behaved
9 personally after Operation Storm when we received information about the
10 setting fire to houses, looting, and individual crimes, which were
11 committed. All I can say is that sometime in the period between the 25th
12 of August, up until the 1st of September, for example, somewhere during
13 that period of time, when I received information to the effect that the
14 scope of those events and crimes exceeded what I thought they -- what I
15 thought had been happening, when I received this information, then in the
16 space of two days, I talked to all the most responsible people in the
17 country. First of all, with the minister of the interior, Mr. Jarnjak.
18 I talked to him, and I confronted him with the information that I had
20 Q. Yes, we will come to that as it relates to Operation Storm --
21 A. [In English] Okay.
22 Q. -- if that's what you are talking about.
23 But let me just ask a final question on this topic. You were
24 according to paragraph 17 of your witness statement, involved about
25 reaching decisions in the liberation of Grahovo and Glamoc, but you're
1 saying you don't really know what was happening, at least not when it
2 comes to crimes. Is that a fair assessment of your -- description of
3 your testimony?
4 A. [Interpretation] Yes, a very fair assessment, but I didn't know
5 at that time what was happening in Glamoc and Grahovo except for the fact
6 that there had been a successful military operation which vitally helped
7 operation Storm, so that's the only information and knowledge I had at
8 the time.
9 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic.
10 Let's go now to --
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I may just -- just so that the
12 record is clear. Page 86, line 18, Mr. Waespi says he is quoting from
13 paragraph 8 of the witness statement which is now Defence exhibit 1797,
14 and Mr. Waespi uses the word "radically," and maybe I'm wrong but I can't
15 see the word "radically" in paragraph 8.
16 MR. WAESPI: I think it is there at least in my translation.
17 MR. MISETIC: It's not the translation in e-court that I have.
18 MR. WAESPI: Maybe we can go to the B/C/S original. This is what
19 I have. Dated 12th May.
20 JUDGE ORIE: B/C/S original, the document I'm aware of is the
21 document which was filed on the -- on the 11th of November, a filing --
22 no, corrigendum, 10th of November, filed the 11th of November, in which
23 we find a corrected version of the statement. That's the one I have got
24 in front of me. And I can easily look at the e-court version, if there's
25 any reason to assume that it is not the same.
1 And you were quoting from paragraph 8. I do not see the word
2 "radically" appearing in paragraph 8, Mr. Waespi.
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes. But this was certainly the witness statement
4 that was served on us at one point in time. I think there was an issue
5 about the dates. We had two or three different dates. I apologise if
6 I'm working from an outdated witness statement, but then I should have
7 been told that the next statement, the new one is -- has changed or at
8 least a translation.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, on the 11th of November, a motion was
10 filed, to which a corrigendum attached. Now, the motion, as such --
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour --
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- doesn't say that much. It mainly says that
13 earlier you had attached an incomplete version of the English translation
14 and now you say we now attach the complete translation.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: I will try to solve this problem, Your Honour.
16 Mr. Waespi is dealing with the official translation which we
17 obtained recently and we, of course, transferred it to the OTP office.
18 And it is quite obvious then in paragraph 8 there is no such word as
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... What's the --
21 MR. MIKULICIC: If we are looking in the original of the
22 statement then we could easily find that the word "radically" is really
23 in that paragraph.
24 So I don't know where the problem lies, but obviously Mr. Waespi
25 is right when it seceded an original version of the -- Mr. Granic's
1 statement where Mr. Granic is referring that he was radically fighting
2 for the Geneva Convention in that sense.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, under those circumstances, I would
4 prefer that the B/C/S version is read so that we -- I know that -- I'm
5 not asking the interpreters to give the final interpretation but just to
6 find out whether there are any other matters which should be of concern
7 to the Chamber.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I could read this paragraph if --
9 for the purpose of the record.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And, again, this is not in order to get an
11 authorised translation but just to see whether this, at first sight,
12 seems to be the only problem or whether there may be more problems,
13 especially since apparently a word is left out. And if you would allow
14 me ...
15 Please proceed. Mr. Mikulicic is reading paragraph 8.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: So in the original paragraph 8 is going like
17 this. I will read it in Croatian.
18 [Interpretation] "As minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime
19 minister during and after the military police Operation Storm to liberate
20 the occupied areas of the Republic of Croatia
21 political activities, I radically strove for the Geneva Conventions and
22 international humanitarian law to be respected."
23 JUDGE ORIE: It looks as if the problem is limited to that one
25 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
1 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to tender 65
2 ter 1883, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P2665.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. WAESPI: I'd like to come now to the crimes that were -- that
8 occurred in the aftermath of Operation Storm.
9 And you devote one entire chapter entitled: "Crimes" in your
10 book, and this is now P2662. And I would like to call this document up.
11 And it starts in English page 9, and in B/C/S, page 11.
12 Q. And main issues are, you know, when did you hear about the
13 crimes, what did you discuss with the people you mention in -- in this
15 Let me just read you the relevant part.
16 "I received first information about the crimes in the liberated
17 areas from Peter Galbraith, and then other information came from other
18 diplomates and journalists."
19 I'm going stop here. If you recall, when did Peter Galbraith
20 inform you about the crimes?
21 A. These were talks between the 25th and 30th of August, 1995,
22 although, up until that time, I had also received information from Peter
23 Galbraith, so I received information before that too, but they were
24 within the frameworks in general of information which I would receive,
25 that is, official information that I would receive from the Ministry of
1 the Interior. Now, the information that I write about in my book are
2 pieces of information that I received after the 25th, when it was obvious
3 to me that the scope and scale of the destruction, that is to say,
4 setting fire to facilities, crime, looting, and so on, was greater than I
5 had had information about before that.
6 So, as I say, it's sometime between the 25th and 30th of August.
7 Q. You were involved -- you were informed by Mr. Galbraith during
8 that period?
9 A. Mr. Galbraith and some journalists, the Helsinki board and so on
10 so I received information from at least three sources.
11 Q. And then you tasked people in the ministry, verifying that, that
12 occurs in that period, between the 25th and the 30th of August?
13 A. Correct. When I received that, then, first of all, I had the
14 information checked out. I verified it. And the information that they
15 received, that is to say, the people who were in charge of this with me,
16 confirmed that the scope of crimes was greater than I knew about. Until
17 my letter to Kinkel, for example, and Lasso-Ayala and so on. And that
18 the scale of the crimes was greater.
19 Q. And who told you about the scale, and what information triggered
20 your assessment that it's now really becoming a problem? Do you remember
21 what piece of information or what conversation you had made you really
22 change your opinion that it's no longer just media propaganda, as you
23 said, but it is now something that you have got to address?
24 A. Quite simply within the space of two or three days I received
25 more and more information coming in, which I checked out, and the
1 information proved to be correct. And to be more precise, at that point
2 in time, from the Ministry of Interior, my people responsible in the
3 ministry confirmed this, that yes, the scale was greater.
4 So when I was certain about that, then I went into action.
5 Q. So the information received was from the Ministry of Interior?
6 A. They confirmed the information that I had received myself.
7 Minister Jarnjak confirmed this information, because I went to him to
8 consult him first because, of course, he was minister of the interior.
9 Q. And, again, this meeting with Minister Jarnjak, which is referred
10 to at the bottom of page 9 in English, that happened -- can you be
11 precise of when it happened in that time-frame again, towards
12 August 1995?
13 A. The end of August 1995.
14 Q. And then the next paragraph in English on page 2 -- page 10, you
16 "Immediately after the meeting with Jarnjak, I met with Valentic.
17 ... a brief conversation -- in a brief conversation I learned that he was
18 also partially informed about those developments. He was angry and fully
19 supported me when I said I was going meet with Tudjman and ask him to
20 prevent murders, robberies, and arsons."
21 So, again, that meeting with Mr. Valentic happened towards the
22 end of August?
23 A. The same day.
24 Q. And Mr. Valentic was the prime minister?
25 A. Correct, yes. And he strongly condemned such things and lent
1 full support, or, rather, ask that the President wield his authority and
2 stand by us so that we could do everything in our power to prevent the
3 evil from happening.
4 Q. Then you go on and say:
5 "I spoke to General Pavao Miljavac too who briefly explained that
6 the HV units were not committing any crimes."
7 I think you testified yesterday that he was one of the
8 commanders, one of the Generals in charge of Operation Oluja?
9 A. Correct. He was one of the two generals. I think the other was
10 General Miljavac who was in the Main Staff alternatively leading the
12 Q. The meeting with him took place on the same day that you had the
13 meeting with Jarnjak and Valentic or the day after?
14 A. I think that all of that took place on the same day.
15 Q. By the way, where did you meet with him?
16 A. With General Miljavac, I can't remember. We would meet often
17 both in the Ministry of Defence and in the foreign affairs ministry. But
18 as to that particular meeting, I really can't remember now. I can't say
19 where exactly. With Jarnjak it was in the government of the Republic of
21 buildings. With the President, we walked around and were stoic in our
22 discussions, because I was hard hit by this and wanted to depict to the
23 President just how serious the situation was and what we had to do.
24 Q. And he told you one of the commanding Generals or Generals in
25 charge at the end of August that the HV units were not committing any
2 A. Correct, precisely that.
3 Q. And then you go on to say that you believed him, because you
4 received similar information from the field.
5 Now, what information did you receive from the field?
6 A. I had information to the effect that various gangs wearing
7 uniforms and out of uniform were looting, setting fire to houses, looting
8 property, and that individual crimes were being committed.
9 So that was the information that reached me at that point in time
10 and that the scale of those crimes was greater than I had previously
11 believed or knew about.
12 Q. Can you be specific. Can you tell me who the person was or the
13 report that came from the field and made you confirm what you got from
14 General Miljavac?
15 A. Apart from -- well, one of them, for example, was the President
16 of the Helsinki Watch, Mr. Zvonimir Cicak who told me that. Then there
17 was Peter Galbraith who also told me that. Then there were several other
18 respectable journalists who told me that they had information that the
19 scale was grater. So those were the three basic sources and, of course,
20 then it was all confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior.
21 Q. But are you saying that these sources you mentioned Mr. Cicak
22 from the Helsinki Federation, Mr. Galbraith confirmed that the scale of
23 crimes was greater, or did they also confirm that the HV wasn't
24 committing crimes?
25 A. Nobody told me that the Croatian Army was committing crimes,
1 nobody at all. Mostly it was said that people in uniforms were seen but
2 not that the Croatian Army itself was committing crimes.
3 Q. Then you met with Mr. Susak. And that's at the bottom of page 10
4 in English, and in Croatian, page 12.
5 Now, here you say, and I quote: "Susak knew about the crimes,
6 but he also denied that the men under his control were responsible. All
7 he says was: Mate, it is not being done by the regular army."
8 Do you remember the meeting with Mr. Susak?
9 A. Yes. In the office before lunch, in the presidential palace. He
10 said, Mate, those things are not being done by the regular army, and then
11 I said what Jarnjak had told me, that it was necessary to free the area
12 of the army of the soldiers and the Home Guard units, that is to say, the
13 non-professional units. And then he said that he was carrying out an
14 enormous demobilisation withdrawing the army. When I say enormous
15 demobilisation, that means almost 190.000 in the space of two months,
16 although I can't give you the exact figures, and I think from 190.000 it
17 was reduced to less than 50.000, and so he said that many soldiers had
18 already left for operations together with BiH army and the HVO in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And he also said that it was -- that great evil was
20 being done but he said that it was wasn't being done by the regular army,
21 by the regular soldiers.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President, just in terms of context, and I
24 noted that Mr. Waespi skipped over a portion that's related to this, but
25 this is at the top of the page, which I think may have some relevance and
1 provide context to the bottom of the page that we're getting into now.
2 MR. WAESPI: I'm happy to read what whatever context counsel
3 think is necessary.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then please do so.
5 MR. WAESPI:
6 Q. Minister -- if counsel refers to the comment from Mr. Jarnjak:
7 "Minister of the Interior Jarnjak confirmed all the information I had. I
8 asked what we could do to stop lawlessness and killings. He suggested
9 that police should immediately be given control of that area in which
10 anyone could wander as they please. The Croatian Army was transferred to
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina and practically there was no authority to control
12 the situation in the liberated areas."
13 Now your meeting with Susak and the other meetings you mentioned
14 Mr. Jarnjak, did they place -- take place before or after you had
15 received the letter from German Foreign Minister Kinkel?
16 A. That happened later.
17 Q. Which happened later? The letter or the meeting?
18 A. Before the -- well, Minister Kinkel's letter came before and then
19 the talks took place. So it was a warning to me, and I took it
21 Q. And then on page 11 in English, you say that -- or you write
23 "Shocked by the received information but also by Tudjman's and
24 Susak's lack of power to urgently stop the crimes, I decided to take a
25 sharp media approach. And you talk about the interview given to Globus
1 in which you explicitly condemned chaos, delinquency, and so on.
2 Do you remember when you gave the interview to Globus?
3 A. I recently talked to the journalist. I had a briefing with them,
4 not an interview. And I asked -- well, I had a briefing, not an
5 interview and that was around the 1st of September, sometime around
6 there. I can't say exactly when.
7 Now, as far as the question goes, or, rather, the relationship
8 towards this, both President Tudjman and Susak and Valentic and Jarnjak,
9 all of them condemned the crime, but I wanted to have this crime stopped
10 immediately. Immediately. And I considered that if, on the Croatian
11 side, the media were to write about this, that this would help us stop
12 the crimes from taking place. And I did this a number of times during my
13 lifetime, and I was successful. I went to the media and spoke up
14 publicly about certain things that I considered to be good, and that the
15 Croatian public should know about, and that they would be then be
17 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic. Let's move on to a related but slightly
18 different topic. That's the international reaction to these crimes.
19 And I think you testified that you received, in the aftermath of
20 the operation on the 7th of August, concerns by the international
21 community. You were talking about ethnic cleansing was -- was raised and
22 so on.
23 That was on the 7th of August?
24 A. Yes. What I have to say is that, as far as ethnic cleansing is
25 concerned, I rejected it equally energetically as I do know. My position
1 in relation to it remains absolutely the same. Why? Ethnic cleansing
2 did not take place. The rebel Serbs or the local Serbs, as we called
3 them, in a planned way, encouraged by their leaders, moved out of
5 of fear and fearing revenge and there was revenge, and because of -- the
6 indoctrination that they had been subjected to ever since 1987. So my
7 position remains the same as it was on the 7th of August: There had been
8 no ethnic cleansing.
9 Q. And you received a number of communications, either letter or
10 phone calls from the foreign minister of UK, Mr. Rifkind, Susanna
11 Agnelli, foreign minister of Italy
12 happening. That was on the 7th of August?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Let me move forward to the 24th of August. This letter of
15 Mr. Kinkel has been discussed here a couple of times or a number of
16 times. Do you remember having received, actually, the letter of
17 Mr. Kinkel?
18 A. Yes, I do remember receiving it. And I remember speaking with
19 Minister Kinkel before receiving the letter and after.
20 MR. WAESPI: If we could have P2660, please.
21 Q. Now, let me ask you: The letter, would it still be available?
22 A. I don't understand the question.
23 Q. Do you still have the letter of Mr. Kinkel?
24 A. I think I do have it in my archive, but the -- no, I'm not
25 referring to my personal archive. I'm referring to the archive of the
1 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it must surely be there.
2 Q. Now, this is a report in a German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung
3 which you might know. And they report about the fact that Mr. Kinkel
4 wrote you that letter. And please read briefly the article for yourself,
5 if you can.
6 A. I've read it, Mr. Prosecutor.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Granic. Is that a fair report about the letter of
8 Dr. Kinkel that received you [sic]?
9 A. It is more or less accurate. I don't remember every single
10 detail any longer. But he warned me about the arson, looting, and the
11 killing of cattle. He also warned me that the international or the
12 European community would be negative in reacting to that because at that
13 point the European community had suspended the negotiations for trades
14 and co-operation agreement, and this is what the letter was roughly
16 Q. Now, at the same time, you met with the Austrian Chancellor
17 Vranitzky, is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we could have 65 ter 7482, please.
20 Q. And I can already read from a Reuters report titled: Vranitzky
21 warns Croatia
22 "Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky warned Croatia
23 respect human rights saying it was a prerequisite for closer ties with
24 the European Union. Vranitzky who held talks with Croatia foreign
25 minister Mate Granic called on Zagreb
1 rights violations in the Krajina region. Refugees and UN observers have
2 spoken of widespread looting, burning, and abuse of civilians during
4 the region during Zagreb
6 And then talks about 150.000 Serbs who fled. Vranitzky demanded
7 access for international observers to all areas where alleged human
8 rights observations had been reported. Mr. Granic told reporters in
10 and international observers to investigate claims of atrocities. He
11 insisted, however, that the Croatian Army had not been involved in any
12 violations. He said: "Any Croat civilians found to have committed human
13 rights abuse would be brought to justice."
14 And then there's a reference to the article of Mr. Kinkel in a
15 German newspaper.
16 Can you confirm, Dr. Granic, this report as accurate?
17 A. It is more or less accurate. It is accurate in so far as
18 indicating that Chancellor Vranitzky warned me about the information that
19 reached at least Austria
20 ground. That's number one.
21 Number two, he requested that we grant access to international
22 observers on which score I agreed with him, and I proposed on my return
23 to Zagreb
24 to go to Croatia
25 them access, and we also said that we would punish the perpetrators, and
1 I said yesterday that at least 3.000 persons had been processed in
2 relation to the events that took place in the aftermath of Operation
4 Q. Access to the observers, was that from day one, or were they
5 reacted in additional days and maybe also later? Or are you claiming
6 that there was never any restriction to access?
7 A. It was restricted only in -- in the course of the first three
8 days of the operation, whereupon it was granted forthwith.
9 Q. And here we're on the 24th of August, it's still your belief at
10 that time that the Croatian Army had not been involved in any violations.
11 That's your knowledge at that time?
12 A. Absolutely correct, Mr. Prosecutor. My knowledge at the time was
13 that the Croatian Army had not done as much.
14 Q. Let's look at the -- a couple of exhibits talking about crimes by
15 the HV, and you were shown a few already this morning by Mr. Misetic.
16 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I'd like to tender 65 ter 7482,
18 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P2666.
21 JUDGE ORIE: P2666 is admitted into evidence.
22 MR. WAESPI: I'd like to show to the witness, Mr. President,
24 Q. Now, this, Dr. Granic, is dated 6th of August, 1995. It's a
25 daily report. It comes from Colonel Ivan Zelic, from the Split Military
1 District Command, and he reports to the chief of the political
2 administration of the Ministry of Defence, Major-General Ivan Tolj.
3 Do you know General Tolj?
4 A. I know General Tolj.
5 Q. Now, if you look at the Croatian version on page 2 and the
6 English version on page 3, it talks about the entry of the units into the
7 town of Knin.
8 MR. WAESPI: Middle of page 3 in English.
9 Q. "When our units entered the town of Knin we encountered around a
10 thousand persons who had remained in Knin. Also encountered was an
11 entire UNCRO crew in its base hospital and claiming that there was no
12 water or medicines. They were seeking a way to get into the town.
13 Because of the terrain clearing and for security of UNCRO members, they
14 were not allowed to visit the town yesterday. The entry itself of our
15 members and the treatment of civilians was proper and at the required
16 level. However, the behaviour of our members regarding property found
17 was catastrophic. Immediately after entry, the devastation of buildings
18 and uncontrolled collection of war booty began, but military police units
19 had already entered the town and manned the main check-points, preventing
20 further destruction and devastation of property."
21 You have never heard in the first two weeks after Operation Storm
22 of the catastrophic behaviour of HV members when they entered Knin?
23 A. No. This is the first time I'm seeing this document. I was not
24 aware of it.
25 As a minister, I spoke solely with my colleagues and with members
1 of the Croatian government, in addition to the reports that I received,
2 and it was on the basis of the reports that I was receiving, that I
3 responded to my colleagues around the world.
4 Q. Do you think General Miljavac, the commander of -- one of the
5 commanders of the operation, would not have been aware of a report like
6 that that was sent to the chief of the political administration of the
7 Ministry of Defence?
8 A. I had, and I still do have, absolute confidence in General
9 Miljavac. What sort of reports he received is something I don't know.
10 He told me what largely Minister Susak was telling me as well, and that
11 was that the army was not committing crimes. Whether they meant by
12 crimes killings in general or the killings of civilians, I don't know. I
13 wrote about the things that I heard in my book, and this is the first
14 time I've set my eyes on this report.
15 Q. Let's go to the -- one of the documents you were shown this
16 morning by Mr. Misetic, Prosecution Exhibit P918.
17 Now, this is the warning by the office of the assistant commander
18 for political affairs of the Split Military District. And it goes to all
19 assistant commanders for political affairs.
20 And if you look at the last page, you see it receives quite a
21 wide distribution. You see, OG Sajkovic; OG Otric, OG Vrbanac, the
22 commander of the Split Military District for information, again the chief
23 of the police administration. This time, though, of the republic of
24 Herceg-Bosna. Commander of the Knin garrison; again for information.
25 72nd Military Police Battalion and files. So a substantial list of
1 addressees, would you agree with me, Dr. Granic?
2 A. Yes, I would agree.
3 Q. And this is an explicit warning, talking about the irresponsible
4 behaviour of individual soldiers, NCOs, and officers who compromised the
5 Croatian Army and state, and officers are lieutenants and above, of
6 course, captains, whoever can be an officer?
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I've stated already this morning that it's the
8 first time I have seen it. However, what I can say, in political terms,
9 in other words, the conversations -- the daily conversations I had with
10 President Tudjman and in the Croatian government all resulted in warnings
11 to both the Croatian police and the army to prevent crimes from taking
12 place on the ground. Of course, politically speaking the position to me
13 was clear.
14 Now, as for the actual activities of the police and the army and
15 the way they operated, I was really not familiar with that at all, nor
16 did any reports on this reach me.
17 Q. Yes, the point I'm making, Dr. Granic, is this, and I'm not
18 accusing of anything.
19 Here we have a report, a warning on the 12th of August, 1995
20 that goes to a number of addressees. It talks in no unexplicit terms
21 about killing of livestock, destruction, torching, it implicates
22 soldiers, NCOs, officers. It even states that the possibility exists
23 that the international community could undertake measures which would
24 have unforeseeable consequences for our state.
25 So this is a serious, serious warning that might affect Croatia
1 Do you agree with me?
2 A. I do, Mr. Prosecutor. The only thing I can say is that, on a
3 daily basis, daily, I warned the President and all the men -- ministers,
4 and that nobody opposed my view. I had never experienced anyone opposing
5 my position or the -- going against the warnings that I was receiving
6 from all over the world, and I was.
7 Q. Do you think that it's conceivable that not only the letter we
8 have seen before, dated 6th of August but also the letter now, the
9 warning of 12th of August, could have escaped the attention, the
10 knowledge of General Miljavac and Defence Minister Susak?
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm going to object at this point.
12 We've established -- if he wants to now show the book --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
14 MR. MISETIC: I'm not sure what is being impeached here. We have
15 the dates as to when his conversations were. That's been established as
16 the end of August. And if we look at the book and see what is actually
17 being discussed on that date, I'm not sure -- I think the witness is
18 being mislead because there is an assumption in the question that hasn't
19 been established in the book.
20 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, the point I'm making is that both
21 Mr. Susak and General Miljavac knew that the HV was committing crimes and
22 that they lied to the witness when they talked on the 24th or in the
23 aftermath of the 24th of August. I would like the witness to explain how
24 it was possible that he was given that information by these two Generals.
25 MR. MISETIC: First, Mr. President --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Can he explain that?
2 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Can he explain that?
4 MR. WAESPI: I wanted to put to him that he was lied to.
5 [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... if someone doesn't speak
7 the truth to me, could I explain not knowing that I'm not told the truth,
8 just for the sake of argument, I'm using it, I'm not saying it was, but
9 how could I explain what others moved to tell me what they told me if it
10 is not the truth?
11 Of course, you can ask but --
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, my objection is something different.
13 He is -- first of all, I believe the witness said that these
14 discussions were on the 30th of August not the 24th of August. Secondly,
15 again I'm hesitant in front of the witness, but the -- it hasn't been
16 established that what was said on the 30th was that it never happened.
17 The book says he is talking about what was happening at that point and
18 that's why I had Mr. Waespi read the portion of the book at the top of
19 the page as to where the Croatian Army was on the 30th of August.
20 So --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let's --
22 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. WAESPI: The witness told us based on this book that he
25 denied, that Mr. Susak told him, I'm not sure the witness committed
1 himself to a date for the meeting, sometime after 24th of August, the end
2 of August, that Mr. Susak then knew about the crimes but he also denied
3 that the man under his control were responsible. And here we have a
4 chain of documents showing with widespread distribution that Mr. Susak
5 must have been appraised of that. And I want to ask the witness whether
6 he can explain that maybe based on the conversations he had with
7 Mr. Susak.
8 MR. MISETIC: Again, Mr. President, if we can just ask Mr. Waespi
9 to point to the specific portions in the record where it has been
10 established that the discussions about what happened from 4 August to
11 that date of the meeting or whether what's being discussed is what is
12 happening at the time they are speaking.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The only thing, Mr. Waespi, Mr. Misetic is seeking
14 that you are very precise in dates and when quoting conversations or when
15 referring to conversations. That, Mr. Misetic, is -- you're invited to
16 do so that could avoid all kind of confusion.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. WAESPI: Thank you.
19 Q. When you talked about crimes, both -- or with all the
20 interlocutors you had, Mr. Jarnjak, Mr. Valentic, Mr. Susak, were you
21 talking about the specific period of time or just all the crimes that may
22 have happened in the aftermath of Operation Storm until you had that
23 conversation with Mr. Jarnjak, Mr. Susak, and Mr. Valentic.
24 A. We did not specify. Of course, it all related to the situation
25 in the aftermath of Storm up until that date. However, I have to say
1 that my experience with General Miljavac had always been a positive one.
2 Many matters that will probably come to the fore in this case were done
3 by the two of us together.
4 The same is true for Minister Susak. When we disagreed over
5 certain matters he was not a man to lie. I don't know that he did lie
6 about anything, even around the matters that we disagreed about which is
7 only normal in a political party. So there was no reason for me to
8 distrust him, not to believe what he said.
9 Now, the point that I insisted on was that all of us, and
10 especially those who had the political power, i.e., the minister of the
11 interior, minister of defence who had the military police under him that
12 they had to do everything in their power to stop the evil, and I was
13 resolute on that score.
14 MR. WAESPI: Perhaps, Mr. President, it's a good moment for the
16 JUDGE ORIE: It is, Mr. Waespi.
17 We will have a break, and we will resume at 5.30.
18 --- Recess taken at 4.59 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.32 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, you may proceed.
21 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Let me just add a couple of questions on -- on the topic we
23 discussed before the break.
24 Did you have an explanation why nobody informed you about these
25 acts that we were talking about, you know, the continued torching, the
1 killing of livestock as stated in P918, a warning that had a potential,
2 you know, to -- for unforeseeable consequences for Croatia? Do you have
3 an explanation that nobody would have informed you about -- about these
5 A. Well, we were informed that certain things were happening but not
6 the scale of it all. The real scale of things, I received towards the
7 end of August, information about that. Of course, I dealt in diplomacy.
8 I had enormous diplomatic activities to get through, and I wasn't even in
9 the daily round of the Croatian government affairs. And when I
10 travelled, when I received information or heard about information like
11 that, I acted in accordance with my conscious and acted promptly. And
12 quite certainly people didn't like seeing things that happen, or knowing
13 about things like that happen. And nobody opposed the general assessment
14 made that it was very detrimental to Croatia itself and that it destroyed
16 it was the destruction of Croatian property, of Serb citizens doesn't
17 matter, Serb or Croatian, and that it would certainly have serious
18 consequences for Croatia
19 Q. When was it, for the first time, that you were told that the
20 Croatian Army were committing crimes in the aftermath of Operation Storm?
21 A. Much, much later I heard that individuals were involved in
22 certain events, but that was much later. Because, as I said, I devoted
23 all my time to my diplomatic activities, negotiations and so on and so
24 forth. And in fact, I was away from Croatia for quite a lot of time.
25 So I exclusively dealt with diplomacy. We were dealing with
1 peaceful reintegration, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Dayton Accords and
2 negotiations. I was taken up with all that. So in physical terms, I
3 didn't have time to go into any of that, nor was that my remit for me to
4 engage in matters of that kind.
5 Q. So is it fair to say you didn't really know much of what was
6 happening on the ground, on a daily basis, because you were out, you
7 know, being the foreign minister for Croatia?
8 A. That is correct, yes.
9 Q. Now, when you said that you heard about individuals who were
10 involved in certain events, my question to you was: When you were told
11 about the Croatian Army committing crimes, that it was much later.
12 If you can, tell me the month, the week, the day, when did you
13 hear for the first time that members of the Croatian Army were committing
14 war crimes in the aftermath of Operation Storm?
15 A. I can't remember that exactly. Quite simply, it was 15 years
16 ago, after all, so it is impossible for me to reproduce when these things
17 happened and be specific. All I can remember exactly are the meetings.
18 I know when the meetings took place. But, otherwise, I really can't say,
19 because I just don't remember now.
20 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic.
21 Let me move on to another aspect that, again, deals with your
22 role in dealing with the internationals. Another theme of explanations
23 by the Croatian authorities was the isolated nature of the crimes that
24 were observed or noted by the international community, and I suggest to
25 you, you just gave an example when you said a moment ago that you heard
1 about individuals who were involved in certain events, a very vague
2 expression, diplomatic, I take it.
3 I'd like to show you 65 ter 4641. This is a report of the 27th
4 of September, 1995, from your embassy in Geneva about the conversation
5 with the German ambassador, Geert Ahrens. Do you remember Ambassador
7 A. Yes, I do remember him.
8 Q. What was his role?
9 A. Well, he was, in 1991, the German ambassador who helped over the
10 constitutional laws for the protection of minorities and later on he
11 worked in the international -- well, he worked in Geneva and was a member
12 of the conference -- the international conference on the establishment of
13 peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I think he also assisted over the Z-4
15 Q. Now, this is a report that went to you as well, as you can see
16 from the last page, second page in Croatian.
17 Now, you are quoted -- or I'm sorry. Ambassador Ahrens is quoted
18 as follows on page 2 in the English and page 1 in the B/C/S. Ambassador
19 Ahrens, he said that:
20 "Everyday he reads reports from several sources which describe
21 the situation in the former Sector South and North as very unfavorable.
22 No one trusts Croatia
23 whether they were isolated incidents or acts of frustrated refugees.
24 There is an increasing number of indicators which prove that the matter
25 involves intent and a well thought out policy. Houses are still torched,
1 the property of Serbs is destroyed, and there are cases of extremely
2 brutal murders. He asks what advantage Croatia might have to do this
3 when it is more than obvious that most Serbs will not return."
4 Do you remember this letter?
5 A. Looking at it now, I'm beginning to remember, and I can say that
6 this letter is certainly original.
7 Would you like to hear my comments?
8 Q. Yes, please.
9 A. After the beginning of September, there was a dramatic decrease
10 in the number of incidents, and certainly the number reduced rapidly.
11 However, as Geert Ahrens says, it is also certain that they still
13 Now he is asking whether this was a policy. It wasn't a policy,
14 no policy at all, and I agree with his assessment when he says that it
15 can only harm Croatia
16 So anybody engaging in things like this, engaged in crimes not only
17 against the property of those individuals, but it was a crime against
19 Q. Did you talk to him about the comments he made?
20 A. No. At that time, I would meet him from time to time, but I
21 don't remember having done that.
22 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I would like to tender this document.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
24 Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P2667.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P2667 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. I suggest to you, Dr. Granic, that you felt uncomfortable in your
4 role as foreign minister of Croatia
5 complaints of your colleagues at that time, reflected in this
6 communication from your embassy in Geneva.
7 A. In any case, I didn't feel comfortable, particularly since I
8 shared that opinion in full, that every crime all looting and destruction
9 not only was it immoral, but it was very detrimental to Croatia itself.
10 And, of course, for my part, whenever I was sure that something was --
11 something untoward was happening, I wielded my influence, exerted my
12 influence on the government and the President to do everything to stop
13 that evil, and, ultimately, it was stopped.
14 Q. Let me show you a comment by Ambassador Galbraith about your
15 reaction vis-a-vis him about these crimes.
16 MR. WAESPI: And, Mr. President, this is P445 at paragraph 13.
17 Q. And I start reading from paragraph 13 of Mr. Galbraith's
19 "With respect to his reference to the systematic destruction and
20 looting of Serb homes," -- referred to in previous paragraphs -- "the
21 witness" -- who is Ambassador Galbraith -- "explained that he was aware
22 of this from many significant sources of information including his own
23 observations and experiences, embassy officers, military contacts human
24 rights groups, interviews with refugees or stragglers. UN officials,
25 journalists, politicians, and some Croatian officials. With respect to
1 the last, the witness noted that it did not come only from lower level
2 officials but also from Foreign Minister Granic who told the witness on
3 13 October that he had not defended Croatia's conduct after Storm because
4 he couldn't do that. He disapproved of what was happening in the Krajina
5 and he wanted to the make sure the witness" -- Ambassador Galbraith --
6 "understood and didn't associate himself with it."
7 Do you remember meeting Ambassador Galbraith on the 13th of
8 October and having a conversation as remembered by Ambassador Galbraith?
9 A. I met every day or every other day with Ambassador Galbraith, so
10 I can't remember the individual meetings, but the substance of it is
11 correct. Not only that, I asked him to help. And so, at that point in
12 time, every contribution in helping to stop what was going on in the
13 field was valuable. Every contribution. All I can say is that I had
14 support in the Croatian government in that respect, and I had support in
15 the personage of the President of the Republic. He thought that things
16 were exaggerated only to begin with and that it was the result of
17 pressure from the international community. However, after our
18 discussions at the end of September, he came to realize himself once and
19 for all, that it was an enormous problem for Croatia and that it was very
20 detrimental to Croatia
21 So my position was quite clear. Everything that was happening
22 was harming not only the individuals to whom it was happening, but that
23 it was harming Croatia
24 Q. Let me go to another interview, public appearance you had, on 7th
25 October, 1995. And it is reported by BBC.
1 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, this is 65 ter 7485.
2 Q. And BBC
3 And the only incident I'm interested in, or the only part is the few last
4 questions, and I'm reading it out. Perhaps there is no B/C/S
5 translation, so we'll deliver that.
6 "Turning to Krajina, do you agree that a soldier who steals cars
7 is a poorly paid soldier from a banana republic?
8 Your answer: "Our soldiers are very well trained and
9 disciplined. They are some of the best professional soldiers in Europe
10 Following Operation Oluja, there were some incidents which I personally
11 condemned severely: Thieving, houses burnt down, and killings carried
12 out by individual civilians. We will thoroughly investigate these
13 incidents and report to the international community. However, our army
14 has been extraordinarily professional."
15 Now, your comment about the extraordinarily professionality of
16 the army, what did you mean by that?
17 A. Well, two things: First, that the army executed the military
18 part of the operation fantastically well, and secondly, that up until
19 that time I didn't have any information about anything regarding the fact
20 that the army had committed any crimes, as I've already said.
21 MR. WAESPI: I would like to tender this document, Mr. President,
22 pending a translation.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P2668.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P2668 is admitted into evidence.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Now here, Dr. Granic, we have the 5th of October, 1995
5 you're still claiming that, at the time, you did not know that the
6 members of the Croatian Army were committing crimes.
7 Did I understand you correctly?
8 A. Yes, you did understand me correctly.
9 MR. WAESPI: Let's go to D59.
10 Q. This is an interview that General Cermak gave in Slobodna
11 Dalmacija, the same paper I think you gave an interview at the end of
12 December 1995. And I'll read the relevant parts.
13 "Cermak: There is no place for looters in the HV.
14 "Knin, according to Colonel General Ivan Cermak, commander of the
15 Knin garrison, a large-scale operation has been launched to resolve
16 problems related to the illegal occupation of apartments and the looting
17 and torching of homes, acts, regrettably, most often committed by members
18 of the Croatian Army. Some ten warrants have already been issued for
19 arresting and bringing before the military court in Split such soldiers,
20 who, as General Cermak stated, defile the Croatian Army and have no place
21 in it.
22 "Referring to a text published in Slobodna Dalmacija under the
23 headline, Apartment safari, General Cermak said that the claims in the
24 text were completely accurate, but that military and civilian police
25 units have been strengthened so as to prevent illegal actions. General
1 Cermak also said that the commanders of the units whose troops commit
2 criminal offences also bear responsibility.
3 "However, the General added, there is no need for Croatian
4 soldiers to forcibly move into apartments since the issue of solving
5 their housing needs will be given priority."
6 Now, this is, Dr. Granic, a month earlier, a public source, a
7 newspaper, clearly stating that crimes are being committed most often by
8 members of the Croatian Army. How can you, as the foreign minister of
10 Croatian Army didn't commit crimes?
11 A. What General Cermak says here, and he meant that people stormed
12 apartments and looted, he probably knew about that better than I did.
13 And I firmly believe him, if he confirms it, then it means it is correct.
14 I also received information of that scope, saying that there was
15 lack of discipline and that flats were being stormed and so on. That was
16 common knowledge in Croatia
17 looting as well. But my answer there was when you asked me about crimes,
18 I have in mind killings, murder, and so on. So up until that time, I
19 didn't have any information about that, whereas information of this kind
20 started to be given out in October or, rather, the end of September and
21 October. They began to crop up in the media and became public. But not
22 murders and killings. And as far as murders and killings are concerned,
23 I had no information about that at that time.
24 Q. I don't think I asked you about killings and murders. I think I
25 asked you about crimes. And you're not doubting that what's reported
1 here, looting and torching of homes, these are crimes?
2 A. Of course. All of this is crimes. If you forcibly enter
3 someone's house, if it is not your house. Yes, I agree. Torching is a
4 crime, theft is a crime, looting is a crime. But one of the priority
5 things, if you were to ask me, a foreign journalist, for example, were to
6 ask me about crimes then they usually meant crime, killings committed by
7 the Croatian Army, so that was what I had in mind when I gave my answers.
8 That was the priority thing.
9 Q. So let me ask you again. If you remember, when was the first
10 time you heard about crimes such as looting and torching of houses
11 committed by the Croatian Army?
12 A. The first information I got, as far as torching and looting is
13 concerned that they were involved, I began to receive some time in
14 September. I don't know exactly when. What we call rumours. The
15 rumours began to reach me, that there was involvement in individual cases
16 of the army too.
17 Q. So all of August and early September, despite the widespread
18 nature of reporting of international monitors whom, you say, had
19 unrestricted access, you have not heard of cases that members of the
20 army, of the Croatian Army, were involved in looting and torching?
21 A. In the reports, it always said that they were individuals in
22 uniforms. That's how they put it. Uniforms. Not Croatian Army members.
23 So I'm very precise and specific on that point.
24 Now, of course, if nobody or if I received reports saying that it
25 was not the army, and people in the field, various organisations that
1 were there said that -- these crimes were perpetrated by people in
2 uniform, in inverted commas, then I thought that these were criminal
3 groups and that was true whether they were renegade soldiers or criminals
4 or whether it was retaliation and retribution, there were all sorts of
5 things, but it was -- the reference was always made to people in uniform,
6 not the Croatian Army.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President, if we could just check the
9 interpretation on -- let me see.
10 I heard -- I'm sorry, I heard renegade soldiers and I can't see
11 it on the transcript now.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, if you can't find it on the transcript,
14 then, of course, it's -- would you like to have it in or that it is not
15 correctly translated?
16 MR. MISETIC: The latter, and I see the marks, let's -- for
17 example at 128, line 14 if that's the right -- sorry, page 128, line 10
18 I think is where I heard, whether these were renegade soldiers. And if
19 we could perhaps check that.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said demobilized soldiers.
21 MR. MISETIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
22 JUDGE ORIE: Now I'm trying to find the demobilized soldiers.
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I think at page 128, line 10 you
24 will see a caret which I think the transcript will be corrected later as
25 to that portion of the transcript, or it would have been added. I just
1 wanted to --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes that he did say renegade
3 soldiers because she thought she heard the witness say that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, it's clear that it was understood to have
5 been said, and the witness now said that he was talking about demobilized
6 soldiers. And I'm always a bit confused by the page and line numbers,
7 Mr. Misetic, because apparently I have a different page and line
8 numbering compared to yours.
9 MR. MISETIC: No, Mr. President, you and I have the same
10 pagination on our screens but on the centre LiveNote the pagination is
11 different than what's on our individual stations.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now could you give us the context where that
13 word, if you give the words before and the words after, where you --
14 where you think th at the word which now turns out to be demobilized
15 appears so that we know where it should be put.
16 MR. MISETIC: It was after the phrase "criminal groups."
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it still is not entirely clear to me. I see
18 the "criminal groups" but where would then --
19 MR. MISETIC: I will read out the context, Mr. President. I
20 believe the witness was saying: I heard these crimes were perpetrated by
21 people in uniform, in inverted commas, then I thought these were criminal
22 groups, and I believe he said or whether they were demobilized soldiers.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whether that was true or whether they were
24 demobilized soldiers.
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Is that what you said when you explained that these
2 crimes were reported to have been committed by persons in uniform, in
3 inverted commas, did you there explain that these were either criminal
4 groups or may have been demobilized soldiers?
5 Is that ...
6 You see you're nodding yes. That's now on the record.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
9 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. So that I'm clear, when did you hear, if you recall, for the
11 first time, that some members of army units were committing crimes? By
12 crimes I mean, looting, burning, killing, torching?
13 A. Naturally, I cannot remember that. It was 15 years ago. I can't
14 remember a specific date.
15 However, just as General Cermak said here, that there were
16 instances were soldiers stormed apartments, that there was torching in
17 individual cases where there were soldiers too. Yes. And I started
18 receiving first information to that effect sometime in mid-September.
19 That's what I can remember.
20 Q. Thank you, Witness. I'd like to show you P647, and I'm not sure
21 whether you have seen the document before. This is a letter from you,
22 Dr. Granic, to the chairman of the commission on human rights in Geneva
23 I think you might have been shown the document before. And it dates the
24 11th September, 1996; at least that's when it was faxed.
25 Do you recall drafting this letter?
1 A. I have to have a good look at the document before I can tell you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, just to point out, Your Honour, the data on
4 the faxed transmission is from 1996, not 1995.
5 MR. WAESPI: Yes. And in fact I think the document is in -- I
6 might have misspoken, I wanted to say 11 September 1996. And it clearly
7 has to be after August, after 23rd August, 1996, because, in paragraph 1
8 we see a reference to an earlier communication. And frankly,
9 Mr. President, I don't know where I have the date of 11/9/1996 from.
10 Q. But perhaps, Witness, once you have read the whole document, you
11 can enlighten us.
12 A. Could I see the document itself?
13 JUDGE ORIE: You mean a hard copy because it might be difficult
14 for you to [Overlapping speakers] ...
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we either zoom in so that the witness is
17 better able to [Overlapping speakers] ...
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If could I see the top and
19 the bottom part, as well.
20 Which is the correct date of the letter then?
21 MR. WAESPI:
22 Q. That's unknown. I believe we have heard from Elisabeth Rehn
23 about this letter. So I take it that the information that I have, that
24 the letter was written on the 11th of September, 1996 comes from her
1 Do you remember anything more about this letter?
2 A. No, no. I don't remember. If I signed it, then it must be a
3 letter of mine. But I don't recall it.
4 You see, I was minister of foreign affairs for seven years during
5 that difficult period, and I signed thousands of letters. I don't recall
6 this one.
7 Q. Let me go to the third paragraph on the first page.
8 "In this respect the Republic of Croatia
9 occasions that human rights violations occurred in the period immediately
10 following the liberation and reintegration of those occupied territories.
11 The perpetrators were individuals and groups, including some members of
12 army units who were acting contrary to their explicitly written orders."
13 I am interested in a couple of things here. Now you say that
14 among the perpetrators were members of army units. Do you remember where
15 you got this information from?
16 A. If this is indeed the date you told me, then this is absolutely
17 the position that we held at the time. By that time, we had received
18 sufficient information in order for me to be able to write a letter such
19 as this one.
20 The information I had came to me primarily from the Ministry of
21 the Interior, Ministry of Defence. This was official information. Some
22 of the information came from the intelligence service. It was based on
23 the -- it was this sort of information that I could use officially.
24 Of course, as minister of foreign affairs, I received a great
25 deal of information from ambassadors, international organisations. I
1 read the press, and whenever I wrote something officially, that reflected
2 my actual position, my actual view.
3 Q. So it took you or your office quite a while to come to the
4 conclusion, assessment, that it's now "members of army groups" who were
5 among the perpetrators over a year after the incidents.
6 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, that is not what the --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: That's not what the document says, and just because
10 he said it at the time doesn't mean it wasn't said before. So I object
11 to the form of the question.
12 MR. WAESPI: I can rephrase that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
14 MR. WAESPI:
15 Q. Is there another letter or another communication from your office
16 saying that there were members of army units who were committing crimes
17 that precedes this letter here?
18 A. I don't recall it, simply because it happened 15 years ago.
19 However, what is absolutely beyond dispute is that, at the moment
20 I knew this for a fact, I certainly shared my information with
21 representatives of the international community who acted toward the
22 Republic of Croatia
23 Q. And the term here --
24 A. Oh, my apologies, if you want me to be even more precise than
25 that, I can tell you that I most certainly shared my view with
1 representatives of the American administration and the German
2 administration. And we behaved equally toward the specialized agencies
3 of the United Nations.
4 Q. Now the term here that:
5 "The perpetrators including some members of the army units who
6 were acting contrary to their explicitly written orders," what is the
7 source of that? Who crafted this term?
8 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I know that before Storm an explicit order was
9 issued not to violate the Geneva Conventions governing the laws and
10 customs of war. This letter was drafted by excellent diplomats, by
12 Q. And the reference I just quoted relates to explicit orders or an
13 explicit order that was issued before Operation Storm started.
14 Do I understand you correctly?
15 A. I mentioned this one order.
16 However, the meetings we had in the government I remember two
17 things that can easily be proven. One of them is the -- a meeting of the
18 government or at least two meetings of the government, where we issued
19 explicit orders to the effect that there should be no violations of
20 international conventions and that the army and the police should do
21 everything in their power to bring to justice those who were offenders or
22 to prevent them or when there was the crime concerning Varivode. So
23 these are at least three cases involving the government, and there were
24 discussions with the President of the Republic where I'm sure following
25 these discussions the President took steps because of course it was only
1 the president who had powers over the army and he acted upon it and took
3 So, none of these professionals would have drafted something of
4 the sort had they not had something to substantiate it with.
5 Q. Just so that I understand your letter. For me, it suggests that
6 these individuals were acting contrary to their explicitly written
7 orders, which, I think, are orders issued to them, individually written.
8 Am I wrongly understanding this phrase here?
9 A. I don't think that they were issued to them individually. The
10 orders applied to all members of the Croatian Army and the police.
11 That's what I meant. I did not mean that they were individually issued
12 to them. I wouldn't know about any such individual orders. It was the
13 duty of the commanders to implement the orders, and how they executed
14 them, that I don't know.
15 Q. Thank you for that clarification. And the last issue in this
16 letter I'm interested in is just the next sentence thereafter:
17 "For objective reasons the Croatian authorities were unable to
18 prevent a certain number of criminal acts perpetrated by individuals and
19 small groups not under its control?"
20 Can explain me what your -- I think you said extremely
21 intelligent diplomats meant by that?
22 A. Let me tell you right away, they were excellent diplomats and
23 they had experienced the war from its earlier days ever since the
24 aggression on Croatia
25 However, criminal groups are one matter, and, as I said
1 previously, demobilized soldiers are quite another. Those who, at that
2 point in time, were not members of the Croatian Army.
3 And, of course, there were such cases, and this is what we had in
4 mind in referring to it in this letter.
5 Q. Yes. Maybe I'm not clear, and I'm starting to get a little bit
7 Did I ask you what is it meant by "for objective reasons?" I'm
8 interested in that term. What are these objective reasons that --
9 A. The vastness of the area that had been liberated, which was
10 sparsely populated. The movement of great numbers of the Croatian Army,
11 almost 200.000 of them. There were criminal groups which felt that their
12 time had come. There was also the revenge taken by Croatian displaced
13 persons, expelled persons who were going back to their homes and found
14 them burnt down, destroyed, or on fire. Then the demobilized soldiers
15 who were from the area, great numbers of people moving through the area
16 and those were the reason.
17 The territory was vast and difficult to control because it
18 constituted almost 20 per cent of the Croatian territory. That's what
19 was meant here.
20 Of course, this does not justify a single crime that was
21 committed. However, I have to state what the objective circumstances
22 were, where attempts were made to prevent such events.
23 Q. But these objective reasons don't take away the responsibility of
24 the commander to control his units so they don't commit crimes; is that
1 A. As for the military component of it, of course, as far as the
2 army is concerned, every soldier is responsible to his commander, and I
3 don't think we need to discuss that at all.
4 Q. And the other way around as well: The commander for the soldier.
5 A. Of course. The commander is responsible for his soldiers and
6 needs to make sure that the proper procedure is carried out where one of
7 his soldiers is responsible for something like that.
8 This is why the military police is there. As I said, there can
9 be no justification for any such act. But, Mr. Prosecutor, as an
10 individual who was minister of foreign affairs and who can be a bystander
11 and a -- look at it as an observer because I wasn't part of the army or
12 the police, you see that over there, space of several days, 20 per cent
13 of the Croatian territory was liberated, and, of course, that was the
14 target for all the individuals or groups to engage in looting.
15 In addition to this, I said that there were those who engaged in
16 taking revenge for what had happened to them previously. And you could
17 see that's where a Croatian village had been burned, the neighbouring
18 Serb village would soon thereafter burn as well.
19 Q. Let me move on to --
20 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Let me read the next sentence, which allows me to move on to the
24 next topic. It says here in P647:
25 "However, in all cases, where it was established that the crime
1 had been committed, the competent government bodies undertook actions
2 provided for by law to duly prosecute and punish the perpetrators."
3 That's an overstatement, isn't it, in all cases?
4 A. In all the cases -- well, quite certainly one can't say that it
5 was the case for all the case -- the cases that happened. But certainly
6 in all the cases that the government was aware of, and where
7 investigations were carried out. And, as I said, there were 3.000 such
8 cases, or I'm no longer sure whether it was 3.000 cases, 4.000
9 individuals, or 4.000 cases and 3.000 individuals. I think that the
10 latter is true that were tried. In other words, whatever the government
11 and its agencies were aware of, that's what was processed.
12 Now, whether there was full resolution at the time, well, certain
13 issues could be raised. I thought that this should have been done more
14 radically and energetically. If you ask the minister of the interior he
15 would tell you that he did everything in his power. He personally
16 always -- I personally always was for resolute steps to be taken in that
18 MR. WAESPI: I would like to show the witness 65 ter 4792. Mr.
19 President, that's an excerpt, a page from a book by Ivo Josipovic
20 The Hague
21 certainly the whole chapter to the Defence, and the book is certainly
23 Q. Do you know who Ivo Josipovic is, Dr. Granic?
24 A. Yes, I do. I know Dr. Ivo Josipovic.
25 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
1 Please continue.
2 MR. WAESPI: Thank you I apologise for the speed.
3 Q. Yes, can you briefly explain who Dr. Josipovic is.
4 A. He is a professor of international law. He is politically active
5 today as well. He is the presidential candidate of the SDP. However, as
6 far as international law is concerned, I appointed him at the proposal of
7 my associates a liaison officer for the International Criminal Court.
8 Q. So he is a respected lawyer?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 MR. WAESPI: Now let's go to the -- I hope this is the next page
11 or the page thereafter. We might have uploaded the table of contents as
12 well, but I'm only interested in the one page with text. If we can move
13 on. Yes, that's the page in Croatian. And the next one in English. And
14 in English, it's on the top of the page.
15 Let me read out what's said here about the topping [sic] and then
16 about you.
17 Q. This book obviously talks about cooperation between Croatia
18 The Hague
19 "On behalf of IDS
20 parliament Damir Kajn said:
21 "I find the hubbub which has been raised about the Tribunal in
22 The Hague
23 absolutely unnecessary, damaging, and on the verge of the political
25 He added: "The only sensible thing which has happened over the
1 past three months within the ranks of the ruling establishment was the
2 speech delivered by Minister Granic who spoke openly about how Croatian
3 justice had not shown enough determination and perseverance in
4 prosecuting crimes committed in liberated territories, especially after
5 Operation Oluja.
6 "He said that the Croatian people could not be defended by
7 protecting perpetrators of crimes and we were all aware of the
8 unwarranted destruction of thousands upon thousands of houses after Oluja
9 and the criminal killing of 450 elderly males and females."
10 And it goes on to talk about numerous crimes against Croatians.
11 Slobodan Milosevic.
12 Mr. Granic, is that an accurate quote, as far as your comments in
13 the Croatian parliament is concerned?
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
16 MR. MISETIC: If we could break down the quotes so that
17 [Overlapping speakers] ...
18 MR. WAESPI: [Overlapping speakers] ... I asked the witness
19 about -- as it relates to him. But I can -- I can do that.
20 Q. Let me ask you, before footnote 243, those five lines, "the only
21 sensible thing until Operation Oluja." Do you remember having delivered
22 a speech, speaking about how the Croatian justice had not shown enough
23 determination and perseverance in prosecuting crimes?
24 A. From this here, it is not clear to me when -- what Mr. Ivo
25 Josipovic is referring to. I know one thing, and that is that when the
1 constitutional law on co-operation with The Hague Tribunal was passed on
2 behalf of the government I spoke in the Croatian Assembly or Sabor and I
3 put forward the law. I proposed the law in conformity with
4 President Tudjman, the government, and the top echelons of state
5 government. And in proposing this law I expounded why we were --
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- bent on passing it --
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Waespi
9 apparently wants to know whether these are your words. So if would you
10 please focus your answer on whether written or spoken, whether the quote
11 reflects your words.
12 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I think the quote is from Damir Kajn
13 from a member of parliament, and perhaps I can give some context because
14 it is on the previous page. The parliamentary session, do we understand
15 it, in which Damir Kajn made that quoted was in February 1999, so the
16 speech delivered by minister Granic to which Mr. Kajn refers having
17 happened over the past three months --
18 JUDGE ORIE: And I missed that, Mr. Waespi. Nevertheless, the
19 quote apparently is used to reflect what Mr. Granic said, isn't it?
20 MR. WAESPI: This is correct.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And isn't it true that you wanted to the find out --
22 no, let me see -- no, the quote is from -- let me just see.
23 "The only sensible thing" -- and that's footnote 243, I think.
24 That's a quote of what Mr. Kajn said. Is that correct?
25 MR. WAESPI: That's my understanding, Mr. President.
1 So my question to the witness would be --
2 Q. Did you make a speech in late 1998, in which you said that the
3 Croatian justice had not shown enough determination and perseverance in
4 prosecuting crimes committed in liberated territories, especially after
5 Operation Oluja?
6 JUDGE ORIE: So what you would like to know is whether Mr. Granic
7 ever delivered a speech in which he used the words, as in this book, Mr.
8 Kajn is quoted as having spoken them.
9 MR. WAESPI: Correct, Mr. President.
10 MR. MISETIC: If we could just be very precise here because I
11 sense there may be some confusion, and I want to make sure there isn't.
12 We're only talking -- attributing the quote of the portion of a sentence
13 that begins: "After Minister Granic" -- the words Mr. Granic spoke
14 openly about -- the question is whether the rest of that sentence is
15 something he said, not the rest of the paragraph.
16 MR. WAESPI: For the time being, that's correct.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now I ...
18 Could you phrase the question in such a way that it's even
19 understandable for me, Mr. Waespi, which perhaps requires a lot of
21 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. I'm not sure I'm up
22 to it at this moment. But I will do my best.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand it is difficult. Could I assist
24 you. You have read this quote of what Mr. Kajn said, and in this quote
25 he refers to a speech delivered by you, Mr. Granic, in which he says that
1 you would have spoken openly about how Croatian justice had not shown
2 enough determination and perseverance in prosecuting crimes committed in
3 liberated territories especially after Operation Oluja.
4 Now, do you remember that you ever delivered a speech in which
5 you used this language?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember a speech in 1996, when I
7 proposed the constitutional law on cooperation with The Hague Tribunal.
8 And -- well, I remember that.
9 Now, this is a free interpretation of my words. My positions
10 were that the Croatian judiciary should have been far more resolute in
11 prosecuting people for crimes committed after Oluja. And yesterday in
12 response to Defence counsel I said that quite certainly what was
13 happening with the abolition and reducing the number with amnesty and
14 people in Eastern Slavonia and so on, was not stimulating for justice and
15 the judiciary. I was in favour of more resolute steps, more resolute
16 action. Now I don't know about this figure. I don't think I stated a
17 figure at all, but I certainly did say that the Croatian people were
18 not -- would not be defending themselves but defending the perpetrators
19 of crimes and that there was unnecessary destruction and unnecessary
20 killings of elderly men and women, for example. Varivode being an
21 example in point.
22 That was certainly my view, but I didn't -- I don't remember
23 having mentioned any figures.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I think we have now dealt with the -- several
25 portions of the quote.
1 Mr. Waespi, I am aware that I may have contributed to the
2 confusion. Apologies for that. Please proceed.
3 MR. WAESPI: Thank you.
4 Q. Can you be more specific. What should have the judiciary done
6 A. Well, I have already said that the judiciary prosecuted 3.000
7 individuals later. But when I say more resolute, I want to see more
8 speed, more speed in prosecuting. Regardless of the fact that it was
9 very difficult when you had Slobodan Milosevic on the one hand and
10 everything he did, and Karadzic in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so on and so
11 forth, but I personally always strove for greater resoluteness on the
12 part of the judiciary to act. Of course, the political powers can't
13 influence the judiciary but they do have the right to state their
14 political views.
15 Q. And you thought that was lacking from within the judiciary that
16 resoluteness in addressing the crimes that occurred after Operation
18 A. The judiciary in Croatia
19 all trials with great competence, and I believe that the judiciary in
21 best borne out by the fact that The Hague Tribunal has given over certain
22 cases to Croatia
23 the various centre, district centres --
24 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... I do understand
25 that you praise the present quality of the Croatian judiciary, but that's
1 not what Mr. Waespi asked you to tell us about. Although I also can
2 understand that you ask yourself whether you have to tell us again. I do
3 understand that Mr. Waespi wanted -- was seeking your confirmation that
4 you thought that the judiciary had not been resolute enough in addressing
5 the crimes after Operation Storm.
6 I think that is what you said already; but if I misunderstood
7 you, please tell me.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the date is mid-1998, if that's
9 the time we're referring to then it was my position that the judiciary
10 should be more resolute. Not that it didn't prosecute, it did. It
11 prosecuted a large number of cases, and there is a separate book written
12 about that, all the cases that were prosecuted, but I considered that
13 they should be even more decisive.
14 MR. WAESPI:
15 Q. Thank you, Dr. Granic.
16 MR. WAESPI: I would like to tender this page, Mr. President.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P2669.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 I'd like to go to P2616, which is a document, I believe, we have
23 seen today or yesterday. It's the minutes from the Council for
24 Co-operation with the ICTY, dated 6 November 1998.
25 Q. Which is about the time-frame you were just mentioning.
1 Now I think we are already aware who is present here. Ministers
2 of justice and defence; you as the foreign minister; and various topics
3 are discussed; ICJ proceedings, ICTY. And I would like to get to a
4 comment you made on page 3 in English, and also in Croatian. And you
5 discuss these proposals I think by Mr. Rifkind whom you mentioned, I
6 believe, this morning.
7 MR. WAESPI: If we could go to page 2 in both -- in -- page 3 in
8 both versions, please. I hope it's the right document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid it's not --
10 MR. WAESPI: It's P2616. Yes. That's the correct document.
11 Q. I'll read out the relevant part.
12 "Dr. Granic, said that, in his opinion, all the proposals seemed
13 bad from a political point of view. Two points are important in this
14 respect. First of all, prior to the Oluja operation, a part of our
15 territory was occupied, which was confirmed by the UN resolutions [sic].
16 This UN resolution represented the first global battle that was won by
17 the Croatian diplomacy, and it also confirmed that Yugoslavia was
18 responsible for the occupation. Therefore, the fact that there was an
19 occupation and that some areas were occupied is indisputable. Second of
20 all, in defining the Oluja operation, we ourselves called it a military
21 and police operation. So, it was a planned operation and it was executed
22 as planned. Our shortcomings surfaced subsequently after the Oluja
23 operation, when we have not processed possible perpetrators of war
25 Do you stand by that comment here? Is that what you said during
1 that meeting?
2 A. That's what I said at that meeting. That's what I said in the
3 Assembly. That's what I said publicly. Because I considered that there
4 should be even greater resolve in prosecuting those who had committed any
6 Q. And the statement is fairly straightforward. We have not
7 processed possible perpetrators of war crimes. It's not qualified, not
8 enough, or should be more. It is fairly straightforward, you would agree
9 with me?
10 A. I -- well, it's not true that we didn't prosecute anyone. That's
11 absolutely not true. That thesis is not true.
12 Now, when I spoke at this meeting, I had first and foremost in
13 mind what I'm telling you here and now and what I said publicly at the
14 time. We needed a higher degree of resolve in prosecuting. Not that we
15 didn't. 3.000 people were prosecuted. 3.000.
16 Q. Now, these -- the figure of 3.000 prosecuted, I think you also
17 said 4.000 crimes. You mentioned these figures a number of times. You
18 don't really know the details.
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And --
21 A. -- as to the numbers.
22 Q. And you don't know the details, who the perpetrators are, what
23 the crimes were they were prosecuted for, whether there were just
24 criminal reports filed or convictions. You don't know the details of
25 this rough figure, is that right?
1 A. That's correct, I don't know the details. Although I think that
2 before 2000, that is to say, 1999 a book was published about all that.
3 But, of course, it wasn't my job at the time. That's not what I dealt
4 with. I didn't deal in the justice system. It wasn't my job to deal
5 with -- I was speaking as the vice-premier and foreign minister and
6 somebody who was from the top political echelons, and I gave political
7 assessments. That's all.
8 Q. Thank you --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I, nevertheless, Mr. Waespi, ask a few more
11 This number of 3 or 4.000 comes back several times in your
12 testimony. Now would that cover Croat suspects and Serb suspects?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It encompasses everyone, both Serbs
14 and Croats after Operation Storm.
15 JUDGE ORIE: That would be my next question. Not -- you're not
16 referring to crimes committed between 1991 and 1995 but only crimes that
17 were committed after the first days of August 1995.
18 Is that ...
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And it would encompass only crimes committed in --
21 well, let's say in Sector South, that area, or would it be a broader
22 territorial area, which was covered by these 3 or 4.000?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That number refers to events after
24 Oluja, in the area that was liberated. But it also -- but it
25 encompasses, as I said, both Croats and Serbs.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any idea about what percentage of cases
2 was brought against Serbs and what percentage of cases was brought
3 against Croats?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the details, Your
5 Honour, I'm afraid.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Also not an approximate --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I can't say, I just don't
9 JUDGE ORIE: Now the number which apparently is important for you
10 because you mentioned it several time, do you -- what's the source of --
11 of this approximate number?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Government of the Republic of
14 information, and I'm sure you will have at least one witness coming in
15 who will be able to address the details. I can't speak of the details,
16 and I heard the figure from the government of the Republic of Croatia
17 and it was a figure that was bandied about publicly in the media. And I
18 heard it at an official government session, a Croatian government
19 session, and of course, that includes all crimes from the less serious to
20 the most serious. That is to say, including looting, torching, and that
21 kind of thing right up to killings and murder.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
23 Mr. Waespi, you may proceed.
24 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President, although we have no trial
25 chamber following -- I'm moving to the next topic.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you can deal with it in approximately four
2 minutes, that's fine. I would rather avoid going too far beyond 7.00,
3 one or two minutes, no problem, but not more, please.
4 MR. WAESPI: No, it's -- the next topic about the return of the
5 Serbs, and I think we some more time than four minutes for that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then perhaps if you're confident that we could
7 still stick to the schedule tomorrow.
8 MR. WAESPI: I -- I am, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You are. Then I think that we should adjourn for
10 the day.
11 Mr. Mikulicic, any further need to discuss with Mr. Granic any of
12 the lately disclosed document, because my instructions to him will depend
13 on your answer?
14 MR. MIKULICIC: No, Your Honour. Thank you. We don't have such
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Granic, I now instruct you not to speak
17 with anyone about your testimony, whether already given or still to be
18 given. No exceptions this time, so you are supposed not even to speak
19 with the Markac Defence anymore on these matters.
20 And we will adjourn and resume tomorrow, Friday, the 20th of
21 November, 9.00 in the morning, in this same courtroom, III.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Friday, the 20th day of
24 November, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.