1 Thursday, 18 October 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic [French on English
9 MR. STRINGER: [No interpretation].
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Oh, okay. I did hear that, and I didn't -- I
11 just changed the channel and it seems to be all right now, but ... I
12 don't know. Anything to be done? Is it okay now? Thank you.
13 Good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom. May we
14 have the appearances, please, starting with the Prosecution.
15 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours.
16 Douglas Stringer, appearing on behalf of the Prosecution, with
17 Sarah Clanton and Uros Zigic, who is an attorney from Serbia, as well as
18 our Case Manager, Thomas Laugel.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 For Defence.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours.
22 For Mr. Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic, lead counsel, and
23 Mr. Christopher Gosnell, co-counsel. Thank you.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 Mr. Stringer, your next witness is ready?
1 MR. STRINGER: I believe so. Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May he be brought in.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Witness. Thank you for coming to
5 The Hague to assist this Tribunal. Do you understand me in a -- do you
6 hear me in a language you understand?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you, and I wish you
8 good morning too.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Could you please tell us your name,
10 date of birth, and ethnicity, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Veljko Dzakula, born on
12 the 19th of March, 1955, and my ethnicity is Serbian.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You are about to read the solemn
14 declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth. I
15 need to point out to you that the solemn declaration that you are about
16 to make exposes you to the perjury -- to the penalties of perjury should
17 you give misleading or untruthful evidence.
18 Please read the solemn declaration now.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You may be seated.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 WITNESS: VELJKO DZAKULA
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Your witness, Mr. Stringer.
1 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Examination by Mr. Stringer:
3 Q. Good morning, Witness. Good morning, Mr. Dzakula.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. Could I ask you first just to tell us how you're currently
6 employed. Where do you live? What do you do?
7 A. I live in Pakrac, in the Republic of Croatia, and I'm the
8 President of the Executive Board of the Serbian forum, which is a NGO
9 which offers care and legal assistance to the refugees who are returning,
10 helping them to integrate into the Republic of Croatia, and also to face
11 the legacy of war crimes.
12 Q. Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background,
13 what sort of professional training you've had.
14 A. I graduated from the faculty of forestry in Belgrade. Up until
15 1991, I worked in that profession as an engineer, and later on, I was in
16 charge of the forestry state in Pakrac. And in the beginning of the war,
17 I stopped working as a professional, but I launched the career in which
18 I'm involved to this day.
19 MR. STRINGER: Could I ask the registrar, Your Honour, to call up
20 65 ter 2563.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, could I ask you, when calling
22 exhibit numbers, to give the tab number as well, please.
23 MR. STRINGER: Yes. Tab number 1. Apologies.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's very helpful. Thank you.
25 MR. STRINGER: I'll try to remember to do that.
1 We are largely going along chronologically, or numerically,
2 according to the outline that Your Honours have.
3 Oh, I should also mention this, as we put the map up.
4 Q. Mr. Dzakula, we have binders of the exhibits for you also in hard
5 copy which we can give to you now; we've got them here. Some of the
6 longer documents we're going to get to --
7 MR. STRINGER: Sometimes the witnesses prefer a hard copy to more
8 around and orient themselves, Your Honour, and -- so we'll have that
9 possibility as well.
10 The binders are for the witness, I think. We can put them on the
11 floor, perhaps, and -- because I don't know that we're necessarily going
12 to get to them.
13 Q. Mr. Dzakula, if I could ask you to look on the screen in front of
14 you, because I think, for this exhibit and many of the others, it won't
15 be necessary to go into the binders because it takes a little more time.
16 But if there is any document that we're asking you to look at that, that
17 you'd prefer to just see in the hard copy paper, just let us know and we
18 can -- we can take you to it.
19 A. All right. I'm looking at it right now.
20 Q. Now, what we see here, Mr. Dzakula, is a map of Croatia, and I
21 wanted you to just give us an indication of where you live, where you
22 come from, Pakrac. You can take the pen in front of you and indicate
23 just by touching the screen.
24 A. Here is Pakrac. That's Western Slavonia, so I have indicated
1 Q. And put a number 1 just beneath that.
2 A. [Marks].
3 Q. Okay. Let me ask you to indicate roughly, generally, the area
4 of -- excuse me, Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, Western
5 Srem, and put a 2 next to that, just so the Judges know where that area
7 A. Well, Eastern Slavonia extends from the border with Hungary in
8 the east, next to Vukovar. Baranja is up there, and then Eastern
9 Slavonia and Western Srem. Actually, it ends here. All of this is
10 Western Srem. And that's number 2.
11 Q. Okay. And then a third area that I'd like to ask you about,
12 moving to the west and to the south, the area of Knin and what we could
13 refer to as the Knin Krajina. Could you indicate that for us, please,
14 with number 3.
15 A. Well, the Knin Krajina would include the area up here from Dubica
16 and then roughly like this. There it is. That was the area of the Knin
18 Q. Okay. Can you put a number 3 next to that, please.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. And since you've indicated the borders for the others, could I
21 ask you just to indicate what you consider to be the border or the
22 territory of Western Slavonia, the area of number 1.
23 A. Well, the Western Slavonia implies this area. That's it.
24 Q. And that's the area that the number 1 is sitting inside.
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. STRINGER: Now, we have another map. If we could put
2 up 2316.
3 Oh, if we could -- sorry. If we could take this screen, this map
4 as it's been marked and give it a number, please.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Map under 65 ter document 2563 marked by the
7 witness in court shall be assigned Exhibit number P12. Thank you.
8 MR. STRINGER:
9 Q. Now, the next one, Mr. Dzakula, is another map, 2316.
10 MR. STRINGER: I don't know if it's possible to focus in just a
11 little bit without losing too much of it, but we can try. That might
12 help. That's good. Thank you, Mr. Usher.
13 Q. Now, you've indicated this area already on the first map. This
14 is generally what's number 2. Could you again just indicate for us the
15 areas within Eastern Slavonia that we call Baranja, Slavonia,
16 Western Srem.
17 A. This is Baranja. This is Slavonia. And this is Western Srem, if
18 I should draw the line to include all of it.
19 Q. So going from north to south: Baranja becomes Slavonia, which
20 becomes then Western Srem?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Now, with the Chamber's permission and if there's no objection, I
23 propose to ask the witness just a couple of slightly leading questions
24 about the position, the positions that he held during the period 1991 to
25 1993. Let me ask the question and then we'll see whether it's
2 Mr. Dzakula, during 1990 and 1991, were you a member of the
3 Regional Board and then president of the Regional Board of the Serbian
4 Democratic Party - that is, the SDS - for the Slavonia region in Croatia?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. Okay. And how long did you remain associated with the SDS?
7 A. Up until the outbreak of the war.
8 Q. And when you say "the outbreak of the war," for you, when is
10 A. Well, I would say the 19th of August, 1991. That was when the
11 war began in Western Slavonia.
12 Q. And in August of 1991, then, at the time that you've just
13 mentioned the war began, were you appointed to the position of president
14 of the government of the Serbian Autonomous District of Western Slavonia?
15 A. On the 12th of August, 1991, I was appointed prime minister of
16 the Serbian Autonomous Region of Western Slavonia.
17 Q. And how long did you hold that position?
18 A. I held this function up until the 26 of February, 1992.
19 Q. And in February of 1992, the time you've just indicated, did you
20 become a deputy prime minister of the Republic of Serb Krajina, the RSK?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. How long did you hold that position?
23 A. I held that position until March 1993, when I was suspended.
24 Q. Mr. Dzakula, I'd like to take you back to the spring of 1990, a
25 time when the parties agreed there were multi-elections held in Croatia.
1 Could you give the Chamber just a few sentences, a description of the
2 multi-party elections, the party that you were associated with at the
3 time, and how the results affected you?
4 A. In the spring of 1990, the first multi-party democratic elections
5 were held in Croatia. Some nationalist parties appeared, such as the
6 HDZ, AKDU, and others, but there was the former Communist Party which was
7 then called the League of Communists of Croatia and the Party for
8 Democratic Changes. I voted for this option, like the majority of the
9 Serbs, and this is the political party which we supported because we
10 believed that, through it, we would determine our future in democratic
11 Croatia with the majority Croatian population.
12 However, once the elections were over, the Croatian Democratic
13 Union had won and they established the new authorities. During their
14 rule, it showed very quickly that the League of Communists of
15 Croatia-Party for Democratic Changes was overlooking and neglecting the
16 Serbian citizens and their interests and turned a deaf ear to the
17 reactions of the Croatian Democratic Union which, very quickly, through
18 its extremist activities, began to carry out various forms of
19 discrimination against the Serbs. We could see that the League of
20 Communists of Croatia-Party for Democratic Changes which we had supported
21 wanted to shun its responsibility and neglect our interests, and we were
22 faced with the situation that in five municipalities in the south of
23 Croatia around Knin, Serbian Democratic Party had achieved certain
24 results in the elections and had five deputies in the parliament.
25 Q. Thank you. I'll ask you about the Serbian Democratic Party in
1 just a moment.
2 Now, the Party for Democratic Change that you've just referred
3 to, is that also referred to shorthand as the SDP?
4 A. Yes, today it's the SDP.
5 Q. Okay. And back at this time, did you know Goran Hadzic, say,
6 during the latter half of 1990?
7 A. I met Goran Hadzic in late May 1990 or thereabouts.
8 Q. What was the nature of your acquaintance at the time, how did you
9 meet him?
10 A. We met on the occasion of the foundation of the Serbian
11 Democratic Party in the region of Slavonia, in the Republic of Croatia.
12 So there were representatives from all towns who met, and he had come
13 from Vukovar.
14 Q. Okay. So at some point then did you change and become associated
15 with the Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS?
16 A. On the 9th of June, 1990, the Serbian Democratic Party was
17 founded in Pakrac and I was one of its founders at the time.
18 Q. And what about Goran Hadzic? Did he also become associated with
19 the SDS?
20 A. Yes. I think that in the month of June there was a founding
21 Assembly in Vukovar, and we then began to link up at the regional level.
22 Q. Now, I want to ask you to briefly describe the change that
23 Croatia made to its constitution in December of 1990 and how that
24 affected or -- affected you and your thinking.
25 A. Well, they immediately adopted that the Serbs were an ethnic
1 minority rather than a people, which was a historical right that we had
2 achieved because Serbs had given a great contribution through the wars,
3 especially the anti-fascist struggle, and this was a form of
4 discrimination, which was a message that we had a smaller value now, that
5 we were no longer a people but, rather, an ethnic minority. And then
6 reactions to that began. It was a sufficient signal for Serbs to be
8 Q. Now, you just mentioned reactions.
9 MR. STRINGER: Oh, before we move on to the next exhibit,
10 Mr. President, could we mark the exhibit that's currently on the screen.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter document 2316 marked by the witness in
13 court shall be assigned witness number P13. Thank you.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. STRINGER: Now, if we could call up exhibit 65 ter 00073.
16 Q. Mr. Dzakula, while that's coming up, you just mentioned that
17 reactions began on the Serb side to some of these developments in
18 Croatia. Now, the document that you see in front of you, can you tell us
19 what that is?
20 A. This is a statute of the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina.
21 Q. Can you in a -- in a few sentences just give us and the Chamber
22 an overview of specifically what the Serbian Autonomous District of the
23 Krajina was?
24 A. The Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina represented the
25 joining of several municipalities in which the Serbs were the majority
1 population. From Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, Lapac, Korenica; later on
2 Glina, Vojnic, Vrgin Most, Dvor, Kostajnica also joined, all the way up
3 to Pakrac. But in the beginning, it was limited to five or six
4 municipalities. They wanted to associate themselves in a territorial and
5 political whole so as to represent the interests of the Serbian
6 population in this area.
7 Q. Now, the area of the -- what we'll call the SAO Krajina, does it
8 roughly correspond to the Knin Krajina that you drew out on the map a few
9 minutes ago?
10 A. Yes, it completely corresponded with the Knin Krajina.
11 Q. Who was the political leader of the Serbs in the Krajina region?
12 A. In the area of this Krajina of which this was the statute, the
13 political leader was Milan Babic.
14 Q. Did you know him?
15 A. I met him at the founding Assembly in Pakrac on the 9th of June,
17 Q. And, over time, did you become familiar with or aware of
18 Mr. Babic's views in terms of the political objectives of the Serbs in
19 the Knin Krajina region?
20 A. Immediately after our founding Assembly at the meetings of the
21 Main Board of the SDS in Knin, we could hear the political ideas and
22 positions of Mr. Milan Babic, and it turned out very quickly that they
23 were unacceptable for us.
24 Q. Now, at this period of time, which -- you've just mentioned the
25 founding Assembly of the Main Board of the SDS in Knin. That was the 9th
1 of June, 1990?
2 A. The 9th of June, 1990 was when we held the founding Assembly in
3 Pakrac founding the SDS.
4 Q. When was this meeting of the Main Board of the SDS in Knin that
5 you've just mentioned?
6 A. I think that took place during the month of July. That's when we
7 had the meetings of the Main Board and when we joined, and they were held
8 at 15 or 20 days intervals.
9 Q. Okay. That would have been, for the record now, just the month
10 of July 1990.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What was it about Mr. Babic's views that you found to be
14 A. First of all, he did not conduct himself democratically. He did
15 not accept other people's opinions. He was against dialogue with the
16 Croatian authorities, and it turned out that whenever the Croatian
17 authorities made a move, he would make an opposite move on his side as a
18 Serbian move. And he did not accept democratic behaviour of the
19 representatives of the SDS from other areas, especially if they were
20 tolerant to the majority population and if they were interested in a
21 dialogue with them. And very often he would criticise them for that and
22 tell them that these were traitorous moves that they were making.
23 Q. Coming back to this exhibit, which is 073, I'd like to direct
24 your attention to Article 1 which, I think, is just on the next page of
25 the original language version. Article 1.
1 Mr. Dzakula, can you read Article 1 on the screen?
2 A. Yes, I can.
3 Q. Now, Article 1 indicates that the Serbian Autonomous District for
4 the Krajina would bear the form of territorial autonomy within the
5 composition of the Republic of Croatia. Do you see that?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. Now, we talked about Mr. Babic's views at this time. What, in
8 general, was your view? What did you see as the solution or a way to
9 resolve the issues of Serbs and Croats during this period?
10 A. At that time, we were not thinking of any sort of autonomy. We
11 believed that together with all the Serbs in Croatia we would resolve our
12 question through a cultural and political autonomy, not a territorial
13 one, because the majority of Serbs lived outside of the territory of the
14 Krajina, and we believed that we would need to take into account the
15 all-encompassing interests of all the Serbs residing in Croatia.
16 Q. Now, when this decision on the SAO Krajina came out, did you
17 become aware of it at some point? How did you find out about this?
18 A. I found out about it in the media, that it was set up. This is
19 how it went with Mr. Babic. We would find out about his moves from the
20 media, and this is what happened in this case too.
21 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we -- we move 73, ter 73 into
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, should -- shouldn't this rather be
24 in the law library?
25 MR. STRINGER: I don't know that it's -- we don't have a law
1 library that I'm aware of, Mr. President, in terms of documents that have
2 been accepted. It was more our understanding that all of the documents,
3 the preference was to tender them through witnesses, even documents like
4 this. It's not one of the agreed documents, I should add. There are a
5 number of those, but this isn't one.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 73 shall be
9 assigned Exhibit Number P14. Thank you.
10 MR. STRINGER:
11 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, the next one is what we call 65 ter number 141,
13 Now, Mr. Dzakula, again, if you're having trouble with this
14 document or if you want to see it on paper, we can put the paper version
15 in front of you.
16 A. It's a little bit difficult for me to read it. I don't think
17 that my glasses are quite good.
18 MR. STRINGER: This one is tab number 4, for the record. And
19 maybe if we could just take it from the binder, it would assist the
21 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, this is entitled a decision on calling a
22 referendum on the accession of the SAO Krajina to the Republic of Serbia.
23 Do you recognise this document?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. The date is 30th of April, 1991. When did you become aware of
1 this development?
2 A. A day or two after that I was informed that a decision was made
3 to call the referendum.
4 Q. So were you involved in this in any way?
5 A. Not in the actual decision-making, no.
6 Q. Now, we just looked at the previous document, the declaration on
7 SAO Krajina, which related to -- well, let me ask you this: Is there a
8 significant -- in your view, any significant differences between the
9 decision on SAO Krajina that we just saw and now this decision from April
10 1991 on accession to Serbia?
11 A. The difference is in the statute which viewed the SAO Krajina
12 within the Republic of Croatia; whereas, this new decision talks about a
13 referendum to join the Krajina to Serbia and Montenegro and all those
14 others who wished to preserve the integrity of Yugoslavia.
15 Q. What was your position on the question of accession or potential
16 accession to Serbia getting out of Croatia?
17 A. I was against accession to Serbia and the other republics, and at
18 that time there was a political debate or argument with Babic because we
19 wanted to have a referendum on staying in Yugoslavia without any kind of
20 accession of territory in any form.
21 Q. All right. Now, if you'll turn to Article 2, which is on page 2
22 of the English, Articles 2 and 3. Mr. Dzakula, there do you see a
23 reference to a referendum?
24 A. I see it, yes.
25 Q. And what's the referendum about as it's set out in this document?
1 A. According to the document, it states that the question will be:
2 "Are you in favour of the accession of the Krajina to the
3 Republic of Serbia and of Krajina staying in Yugoslavia with Serbia,
4 Montenegro, and others who wish to preserve Yugoslavia?"
5 Q. Okay. Now, did you consider that to be different from the
6 referendum that you and others had in mind?
7 A. Totally different, because we did not have -- were not in favour
8 of the referendum as it is put here. We were against that.
9 Q. Now, do you know if this referendum went forward?
10 A. I believe that it did in the Knin Krajina area. They did what
11 they wanted to do there.
12 Q. And do you know the results of that -- the referendum that was
14 A. I think that a vast percentage, 95 to 100 per cent, of the Serbs
15 came out in favour of the referendum on the 12th of May. But there were
16 two questions: One concerning us in Slavonia; and the other one in
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we move 141 into evidence.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Before we do that, Mr. Stringer, could you ask
20 the witness when he says at page 16, line 4, his last answer, "But there
21 were two questions: One concerning us ... and the other in Krajina."
22 Is that meaning two referenda?
23 MR. STRINGER: I understand the question.
24 Q. Mr. Dzakula, we're referring to a referendum. Were there --
25 you've indicated there were two questions. Are you saying there were two
1 questions on this referendum, or were there different referendums?
2 A. There was one referendum on the 12th of May, but the questions
3 were different. One in Slavonia and one in Krajina. The difference was
4 that, in Slavonia, we were in favour of staying in Yugoslavia; whereas,
5 Krajina was in favour of accession to Serbia. But the referendum was
6 held in one day.
7 Q. So was there a different referendum that was held in your area,
8 the Western Slavonia area?
9 A. In our referendum, the question was whether -- "Are you in favour
10 of staying in Yugoslavia?"
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. What was the result of the referendum that was
12 held in your area on staying in Yugoslavia?
13 A. In our area, all those who came out in the referendum were in
14 favour of remaining in Yugoslavia.
15 Q. So at this point in time, Mr. Dzakula, you say you wanted to stay
16 in Yugoslavia, but how did you envision that to take place at a practical
17 level, a political, territorial, cultural level?
18 A. We expected that the Croatian state would understand the wishes
19 of the Serbian people in Croatia, that they wanted to live in Yugoslavia,
20 which they had created together and that they swore would keep intact.
21 So the referendum was more like an act of warning for them to take our
22 position into account and that Croatia should not go for succession,
23 because that would be breaking all the ties with Yugoslavia, and that
24 meant that there would be a conflict of major scale because it meant the
25 destruction of Yugoslavia that we had created together.
1 Q. Okay. And just to talk about what was happening on the Croatian
2 side, then, perhaps you could tell Your Honours about what was happening
3 on the Croatian side in terms of moves toward independence of Croatia or
4 secession from the SFRY.
5 A. The executive political authorities in Croatia at the time was
6 making moves towards leaving Yugoslavia. They made a decision at the
7 Assembly that Croatia wanted to leave Yugoslavia and to become an
8 independent and sovereign State of Croatia.
9 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, I think I still have a pending
10 request to move 141 into evidence.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Indeed. Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 141 shall be assigned Exhibit P15.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. STRINGER:
15 Q. Mr. Dzakula, I want to take a bit of a sidestep here and talk
16 about another person and another set of political views. Do you know who
17 Vojislav Seselj is?
18 A. I know who Vojislav Seselj is.
19 Q. Can you tell the Chamber who he was in 1990, 1991?
20 A. He was the president of the Serbian Radical Party, which was
21 established in Serbia, and he declared himself to be a Chetnik Vojvoda,
22 and that is how he acted.
23 Q. I think this would be a good time if you could indicate to the
24 Chamber in a few sentences because they're going to be hearing the words
25 Chetnik, and they're going to be hearing another word, Ustasha, in this
1 trial. Could you give the Chamber a description of what those words --
2 where they come from, what they mean?
3 A. The words Ustasha and Chetnik have a historical meaning from
4 World War II. Chetniks is older than that.
5 In the Second World War, the Ustashas were the army of the
6 independent State of Croatia, and they committed atrocities against the
7 Serbian people in the Republic of Croatia, burning and killing civilians.
8 They established Jadovno, Jasenovac, Jastrebarsko, Cicak, Stara Gradiska
9 concentration camps. They also slit the throats and killed Serbs in
10 other places of execution. Those crimes of theirs caused a lot of fear
11 among the Serbs.
12 The Chetniks, especially in World War II, were part of the
13 Yugoslav army under the command of Draza Mihajlovic, a general, and they
14 also committed crimes against non-Serbs, against Muslims, and Croats.
15 Chetniks in the Republic of Croatia were only in the southern area, in
16 Dalmatia, around Knin. There weren't any Chetniks in other parts of
17 Croatia. The partisans were there. There were only a few Chetniks,
18 perhaps in southern Lika.
19 The Chetniks made the Croats very afraid in turn, because they
20 committed crimes against Croats in World War II, because they were part
21 of the Italian army. The Chetniks were part of the Italian army until
23 So these terms are understood by the people in Croatia. The word
24 Chetnik made the Croats very afraid, and the word Ustasha made the Serbs
25 and the Muslims very afraid.
1 Q. Mr. Seselj -- or excuse me, Mr. Dzakula, I got the impression
2 that you might be speaking a bit too fast for our interpreters, so if you
3 could perhaps pause at the end of sentences, it would help them to give
4 us all an accurate interpretation.
5 MR. STRINGER: Now, if we could call up 65 ter 47, 00047. And
6 this is tab -- tab 5, Your Honours.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, can you tell us what this document is?
8 A. This is the political platform of the Serbian Chetnik Movement.
9 Q. And have you had a chance in preparations for today's testimony
10 to -- to read this? Are you able to indicate to us whether it accurately
11 sets out the platform of the Chetnik Movement?
12 A. Yes, I have read it, and it does correctly state the political
13 platform of the Chetnik Movement.
14 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to the first paragraph of this
15 document, first numbered paragraph, number 1, after the introductory
16 paragraph. Again, if you're having trouble reading that, tell us and --
17 A. I can see it.
18 Q. There's a reference here to the renewal of a free, independent,
19 democratic Serbian state comprising, and I'm paraphrasing, all Serbdom
20 and Serbian lands. And then it goes on to refer to its borders being --
21 its borders in relation to a number of different countries, Serbian
22 Macedonia, Serbian Montenegro, Serbian Bosnia, et cetera.
23 This sounds to me like a territorial component of the platform.
24 Can you describe for Your Honours what exactly this is about?
25 A. This political platform Vojislav Seselj planned a new Serbian
1 state in the Balkans which would encompass Macedonia and then the former
2 republics of Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Croatia,
3 Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun, Banja, Slavonia, and Baranja, which
4 he, all of them, referred to as Serb lands. This is the
5 Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag line which Seselj quoted very often as part
6 of Greater Serbia, comprising of a number of former republics and parts
7 of Croatia where the Serbs were an ethnic majority.
8 Q. And then drawing your attention to the paragraph that's
9 numbered 5, paragraph 5. This item refers to resettling Serbs who were
10 ethnic minorities in other countries such as Albania, Romania, et cetera.
11 Was there a settlement or a demographic aspect from what you know to the
12 platform of the Serbian Chetnik Movement?
13 A. Yes. In the Serbian Chetnik platform, there was that demographic
14 component, these new territories which would be included in Greater
15 Serbia, how they would be populated by Serbs from surrounding countries
16 and other parts.
17 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we move 65 ter 47 into evidence.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P16. Thank you.
20 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 65 ter 2810. It's another
21 map. Now, if I could ask the usher to perhaps enlarge this a little bit.
22 That's fine. Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you just mentioned the line, the
24 Karlovac-Karlobag-Virovitica line. Do you see that indicated on this
1 A. I do.
2 Q. So can you describe what would be the territory of Serbia
3 according to the platform of the Serbian Chetnik Movement that we've just
5 A. Well, Greater Serbia would include Macedonia, Serbia, Albania -
6 parts of it - Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and parts of Croatia.
7 That would be Dalmatia, Lika, Banja, and Slavonia. This is Slavonia,
8 Banja, Kordun, Lika, Dalmatia.
9 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Dzakula. We had -- we had the pen set a different
10 way. Perhaps if we can take a back down to its original size and then
11 you can mark these areas for us so we can see what you're talking about.
12 Okay. Hold on just a second. Don't touch it yet.
13 A. According to the Chetnik platform of Vojislav Seselj, Greater
14 Serbia would include Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, Slavonia, Banja, Kordun, Lika, Dalmatia.
16 Q. Can you just indicate with a border, as you did before, what it's
17 area in total.
18 A. This is the border with Croatia. It goes down this way. Then
19 there's Macedonia. There it is.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we move 2810 into evidence.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 MR. STRINGER: Does it need to be given a new number first?
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's the marked one you want to have exhibited?
1 MR. STRINGER: Yes. Yes, Your Honour. As marked I should have
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
4 MR. STRINGER: 2810 as marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P17. Thank you.
6 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit I'd like to call up is
7 65 ter 142, which is tab 7.
8 Q. Mr. Dzakula, are you able to indicate for us what -- what this
10 A. This is the title of a book by Vojislav Seselj. It means -- the
11 title is "Sizifovska Sudovanja, "Long Judgements," and these are some of
12 his thoughts.
13 Q. Then I'd like with the usher's assistance to take us to page 49
14 of the original language version, which will then correspond to page 1 of
15 the English version. And then actually if -- we're going to need to sort
16 of carry over to the next page of the Serbian.
17 But, Mr. Dzakula, can you read the bottom of the page, the
18 original language text there?
19 A. Yes, I can.
20 Q. All right. And then if we can continue over to page 50 of the
21 original language version.
22 In this passage, Mr. Dzakula, Dr. Seselj refers to a Serbian
23 state that would encompass all Serbian lands, and then he refers to a
24 number of countries, I think, the ones that we've referred to already on
25 the map. Do you see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. So is it consistent with the view or the platform of the
3 Serbian Chetnik party on the territorial aspect of its platform?
4 A. Yes. This has been consistently conveyed from the Chetnik
5 political platform.
6 Q. Now I'd like to take you to page 53 of your version, the original
7 language version. Page 6 of the English. And the words appearing at the
8 bottom of page 6 of the English, and sort of the -- halfway down the --
9 page 53 of the original language. You can -- can you read that,
10 Mr. Dzakula, or is it too small?
11 A. The letters are too small for me.
12 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps with this one we could give to the witness
13 the paper version. Again, it's tab 7. It might also save some time.
14 Q. So, Mr. Dzakula, if you could go to page 53 there of your
16 A. Yes. I am looking at it now.
17 Q. Starting at about halfway down, I'll start reading from the
19 "The Serbian people in Serbia is above all endangered by this
20 economic crisis."
21 Do you see that?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. And then the next paragraph:
24 "The new Ustasha leader and Tito's general, Franjo Tudjman, has
25 unsheathed an Ustashas kama and put it under the Serbian people's throat.
1 Serbian men and women out there, over there are trying to save their bare
2 lives. Furthermore, it is the obligation of all Serbs to help them
3 defend from the crazed Ustasha beast."
4 Now, do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Now, as a Serb, as a person who was involved in politics at the
7 time, were you aware and were Croats in general hearing statements like
8 this from people like Mr. Seselj and others?
9 A. Well, such statements of Vojislav Seselj frightened the Croatian
10 people and were an additional provocation which they reacted to.
11 MR. STRINGER: All right. I should say, Mr. President, for the
12 record, we see on the first page of the translation this is from an
13 interview given by Mr. Seselj in May of 1991.
14 Q. And as someone who was yourself a political leader, could you
15 indicate -- give us your view on the impact that language like this would
16 have had coming from someone who was himself a political leader?
17 A. Well, such statements also instilled additional fear among the
18 Serbs. They were concerned and frightened by Tudjman's policies anyway,
19 and this way in which he spoke caused additional fear among the Serbs and
20 distrust in the authorities.
21 Q. Now, just to continue down to Dr. Seselj's answer to the next
22 question. This is still on page 53 of your version. Here Mr. Seselj
23 indicates that the Serbian Chetnik Movement is organising the sending of
24 volunteers. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Now, at some point, did you become aware that the Serbian Chetnik
2 Movement was sending volunteers to -- outside of Serbia, to places like
4 A. Yes. One could hear as early as at the beginning or in mid-1991
5 that volunteers were getting together. I heard about the first ones from
6 Vojislav Seselj in the media, that they were sent to the area of Eastern
8 Q. Now, there's a reference here to Borovo Selo on the -- I think
9 the fifth line of the English text, and we'll talk about that a little
10 bit later.
11 And then, Mr. Dzakula, if you could go to page 54 of your
12 version. Page 8 of the English. And, Mr. Dzakula, for you it's about a
13 little more than halfway down the page. It's the text that appears just
14 above the journalist's question.
15 Now, here Mr. Seselj says that it's time --
16 "The time is now that we, the Serbs, make an end to the federal
17 authorities that have no chance of disarming the paramilitary Ustasha
18 formations. Let us present them with an ultimatum. Either they will do
19 it as soon as possible or we, the Serbian Chetniks, would begin disarming
20 the Croats and much more blood would surely be shed in that case than
21 should the army be disarming them."
22 Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, yes. I can see that extract.
24 Q. My question here is whether you recall during this period of time
25 people were discussing what should be the role of the Yugoslav People's
1 Army, the JNA, in the conflict, in the events that were taking place in
3 A. I remember at the beginning there were some discussions to the
4 effect that the Yugoslav People's Army should be at the separation line
5 separating the two sides that were in conflict.
6 Q. At some point, did people start calling for the role of the JNA
7 to change?
8 A. Well, after the incidents in Pakrac, Plitvice, and Borovo Selo,
9 the Serbs requested that the JNA should protect the Serbian population to
10 a greater degree and protect them from the Croatian state and the
11 Croatian police.
12 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we move 142 into evidence.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P18. Thank you.
15 MR. STRINGER: The next item, Your Honours, is tab 8. It's
16 65 ter 119.
17 Q. You've just mentioned some incidents, Pakrac, Plitvice,
18 Borovo Selo. Now, Mr. Dzakula, this is a photograph. We don't have the
19 specific day or place it was taken. We have a general time-frame.
20 We see barricades here. Can you tell the Chamber a little bit
21 about what was happening in terms of the physical separation between the
22 peoples during this period is the setting up of barricades like this.
23 A. Well, as early as in March, they began to --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please.
25 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 May we see the reference about the text. This picture, this
3 photo, about the place and time when this photo was taken.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think Mr. Stringer said something about --
5 MR. STRINGER: I think is generally indicates the time-frame. We
6 can -- if the usher wants to zoom in, to give us an indication of what
7 the text says. And we could get an interpretation of it if --
8 THE INTERPRETER: "Serbian rebellion in Croatia, 1990 to 1995."
9 And the caption below the photograph reads "Armed Serbs guarding
10 barricades in Eastern Slavonia, March 1991, DCR."
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: My question is who made this comment? Who made
12 this description of the photo?
13 THE INTERPRETER: And interpreter's correction: The month is
14 April rather than March 1991.
15 MR. STRINGER: To be honest, Mr. President, we're not interested
16 in the text, and we can delete the text. It's simply the photograph, the
17 image, that we're interested in, and so if counsel's troubled by the
18 text, we could perhaps submit a redacted version of it. I don't know who
19 actually made the -- or wrote the words or printed the words on the
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: All right. Are you satisfied, Mr. Zivanovic?
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER: So with Your Honours' permission, we will -- we
25 can modify this exhibit to remove the words and then we can tender it in
1 that way.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Do we need to do that, Mr. Zivanovic?
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, that's enough. Thank you.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
5 MR. STRINGER:
6 Q. We see barricades here, Mr. Dzakula. Can you indicate to the
7 Chamber when barricades starting appearing in these parts of Croatia,
8 either Eastern Slavonia, the Knin Krajina, Western Slavonia?
9 A. Well, in the Knin Krajina, the first barricade was set up on the
10 17th of August, 1990. And later on, it expanded towards Gracac and
12 In Western Slavonia, sometime in February 1991, after the events
13 in Pakrac, it spread to Eastern Slavonia, in March and April, especially
14 after what happened in Plitvice on the 1st of April. And the barricades
15 were set up between the Serb and Croat villages, and the Serbs set up the
16 barricades to defend themselves from raids -- nightly raids of possible
17 Croatian terrorists as they called them then. And the Croats also set up
18 barricades because there was mutual distrust. The Serbs were doing that
19 because they remembered their historical experience because in the night,
20 during the Second World War, their villages would be surrounded and they
21 would all be liquidated. So now they wanted to defend themselves from
22 something that they were worried about and frightened of.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you just mentioned a place called Plitvice, and I
24 would like to spend a few minutes talking about that.
25 If we could come back to the map, which was 65 ter 2563. And
1 this was tab number 1. And if we could enlarge that just a tad. That's
2 great. Thank you.
3 Mr. Dzakula, if you could take the pen, could you indicate the
4 location of this place called Plitvice that you mentioned.
5 A. Plitvice is somewhere here between Gracac and -- thereabouts.
6 Q. Can you make a --
7 A. It's all right.
8 Q. Okay. Why don't you write the word Plitvice next to it and -- to
9 the right of it, just so that we know.
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, can you tell the Chamber -- just describe
12 what Plitvice was. We understand there was a national park there.
13 A. Plitvice, or the Plitvice Lakes, is a national park, very
14 beautiful and renowned, with big waterfalls and always had a cultural
15 significance for the area.
16 Q. In March of 1991, was Plitvice inside the boundaries of what was
17 declared as the SAO Krajina?
18 A. Yes. It was within the borders of the proclaimed SAO Krajina.
19 Q. And at that time, do you know if authorities in the SAO Krajina
20 took steps to take control over the Plitvice park?
21 A. Well, in late March a decision was made to take over control of
22 the administration of the Plitvice lakes, because it was considered to be
23 of national importance.
24 Q. Were there any enterprises as well, businesses, that the Krajina
25 authorities asserted control over as part of this?
1 A. It was a big tourist enterprise with several catering facilities
2 and hotels employing more than 1.500 people. So it was an important
3 economic facility, and the Krajina authorities wanted to appoint their
5 Q. Now, can you briefly, in a few sentences, just give an overview
6 to the Chamber in terms of what happened there at the end of March 1991.
7 A. Well, on the last day of March 1991, in the morning that was
8 between the 31st of March and the 1st of April, the police forces of the
9 Croatian government entered the area, and there was an armed conflict
10 between the Krajina police led by Milan Martic and the Croatian policemen
11 and Specials. The combat lasted several hours. Some people were killed
12 and wounded, and it ended with the arrests of certain people.
13 Q. Who was Milan Martic at this time?
14 A. Milan Martic was first a local policeman in Knin, and in Krajina
15 he was the minister of the police. That was the SAO Krajina at the time.
16 He was the minister of police and organised police activities in the
18 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the next exhibit is one that we ask
19 to be into private session.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, before we move on, could I ask the
21 witness when he said it ended up -- it ended with the arrest of certain
22 people, I would like to ask who arrested who?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is a well-known
25 After the police activities, the Croatian police arrested
1 Mr. Goran Hadzic and Boro --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were members of the Main Board
4 of the Serbian Democratic Party, and on the previous night, they left a
5 meeting in Obrovac together with us via Lika, and they were going to
6 their homes. It was really cold, and it started snowing so Goran Hadzic
7 and Borislav Savic stayed in Plitvice overnight. They slept there. And
8 in the morning, they were surprised and arrested by the Croatian police.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
10 MR. STRINGER: We're going to be coming back to that in a few
11 moments, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Registrar, can we go into private session,
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 281-282 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I thought Mr. Zivanovic had an
2 objection. I'm not sure if he wanted to make an objection before I moved
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think the problem is solved now.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, okay.
6 MR. STRINGER:
7 Q. Mr. Dzakula, we've got a couple minutes before the break. You
8 mentioned this earlier, the arrest of Mr. Hadzic and another person named
9 Borivoje Savic. What was Mr. Hadzic's position or -- or function at the
10 time of this, as well as that of Mr. Savic?
11 A. Both of them were members of the SDS Main Board. And in addition
12 to that, Mr. Hadzic was also the president of the SDS for Vukovar;
13 whereas Boro Savic was, I think, the deputy president or his deputy.
14 Q. And they had been attending a meeting with you and others in
15 the -- in the area; is that correct?
16 A. It was a meeting of the SDS Main Board, which was held in
17 Obrovac, and it was our attempt after the incident in Pakrac to have the
18 Main Board make the decision to negotiate with the Croatian authorities.
19 The president of the party, Mr. Jovan Raskovic, also attended, and most
20 of the members of the Main Board, except for Milan Babic and his group,
21 from the area of Benkovac, Knin, Gracac, and Lapac.
22 Q. Okay. And just before the break, you've indicated then that
23 Mr. Hadzic and Mr. Savic were arrested. Can you indicate where they were
24 and what they were doing at the time they were arrested? I take it this
25 was after the meeting had ended.
1 A. As we were returning from Obrovac, there was a storm when we
2 entered the area of Lika. It started snowing, and there was a proposal
3 that we should all spend the night in Plitvice, but those of us from
4 Western Slavonia decided to go home because that was closer to there.
5 And Boro Savic and Goran Hadzic stayed at a hotel at the Plitvice lakes
6 to sleep there during the night and then they would resume their journey
7 in the morning. And when the conflict broke out between the Serbian
8 police and the Croatian police in the morning, he was arrested, and I
9 could see on TV that they were being branded as terrorists, though it had
10 nothing to do with them.
11 So, in short, they were arrested and they were taken to prison.
12 MR. STRINGER: And we can talk about that more after the break,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
15 So, Mr. Dzakula, we'll take the break now, and we will come back
16 at 11.00. The usher will escort you out of the courtroom now. Thank
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
22 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President. While the witness is
23 being brought in, we can put on the record that a redacted version of the
24 photograph that was discussed before the break has now been submitted to
25 the registrar so that it can be a part of the record.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And can we then have the exhibit number as
2 part of the record, Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 119 shall be
4 assigned Exhibit Number P21. Thank you.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Dzakula, have you caught a cold since you arrived here in
10 The Hague?
11 A. No. No.
12 Q. Okay. I was going to say, if you need any tissue paper or
13 something, let us know.
14 Before the break, you described the incident at Plitvice and the
15 arrest of Mr. Hadzic along with Borivoje Savic. Could you tell the
16 Chamber, please, based on what you know or learned at the time, about the
17 arrest and what happened after they were arrested by the Croatian
19 A. After they were arrested by the Croatian authorities, they were
20 taken to prison in the Zagreb area. Later, I got in touch with
21 Mr. Degoricija, whom I knew from before, who was the assistant police
22 minister, and I asked him how Mr. Hadzic and how Mr. Borivoje Savic were.
23 He told me that they were in prison, that they were beaten, that they had
24 bruises on their face and body. I asked them -- I asked him that they be
25 released from prison, to which he replied that they had to wait some time
1 for the bruises to fade so that then they could go back to their
3 Q. Now -- and I take it then that Mr. -- at some point Mr. Hadzic
4 and Mr. Savic were released.
5 A. They were, yes. After some 20 days or so, I don't know exactly
6 when, they were released and allowed to return to Vukovar.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I just object as to translation. It is in
9 line 25 of the page 37 and after that in line 2 of the page 38. The
10 witness said they had a black colour, and it was translated as bruises.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, could we have the witness repeat
12 his answer with this -- in this regard.
13 MR. STRINGER:
14 Q. You've heard the exchange, Mr. Dzakula. Can you repeat what it
15 was that Mr. Degoricija said to you about the condition of Mr. Hadzic.
16 A. He told me that Mr. Hadzic was black in the face from the beating
17 that he received from the police who had arrested him and that he was
18 waiting for this colour to fade from his face so that he could be
19 released home.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. STRINGER:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, you'd been working with Mr. Hadzic previous to
23 this incident, and we'll talk about your dealings with him after this
25 Can you tell the Chamber whether you based on your own personal
1 experience and dealings with Mr. Hadzic, whether you noticed any change
2 in Mr. Hadzic's views, his political views, his views on the Serbs and
3 the Croats in Croatia.
4 A. Right from the time that I met Mr. Hadzic and when we co-operated
5 in the Serbian Democratic Party, he was very tolerant, democratic
6 leanings. He took into account a democratic dialogue, and together with
7 me, he disagreed with Milan Babic's position and the position of that
8 group in Knin. At meetings which we attended, Mr. Hadzic was even
9 insulted by Milan Babic's associates, Marko Dobrijevic and Petar
10 Stikovac, who insulted Mr. Hadzic saying he was a Ustasha because he was
11 tolerating the Croatian flag in Vukovar.
12 At that time, Goran Hadzic was in favour of talks, of dialogue --
13 for dialogue. He was very patient in persisting with that until the
14 events in Plitvice. Even the day before the Plitvice incident, he was in
15 favour of a dialogue, together with me with the Croatian authorities, in
16 order to resolve everything in a peaceful way, and this is because of all
17 the events in Pakrac.
18 Even after the events in Pakrac, Goran Hadzic, together with me
19 and others, went to see Tudjman, the president of the Republic of
20 Croatia, so that we could agree on a peaceful resolution of the incident
21 and the conflicts that were ongoing.
22 And then after the events in Plitvice, when Mr. Hadzic was
23 arrested and beaten and taken to prison, where they called him a
24 terrorists -- terrorist and all kinds of other names, his position
25 changed. As soon as he returned to Vukovar, his positions became more
1 radical, and he didn't have any trust in the Croatian authorities
2 anymore, and he was no longer prepared as he was before for any kind of
3 talks or dialogue with these authorities.
4 Q. And then a few months after he was released, did you have a
5 conversation with Mr. Hadzic about your position and his position on the
6 way forward?
7 A. Mr. Hadzic and I would meet after those incidents. But sometime
8 at the end of June 1991, we met in Belgrade, and then after a meeting
9 when I came back, he asked me how I was, what was going on, I told him,
10 and then he said how he had resolved to go for war, how he could no
11 longer envisage a normal life together in the Croatian state or any
12 co-operation with the Croatian authorities. I told him that I did not
13 want to embark on war. I told him that I saw what happened in Pakrac on
14 the 1st of March, that everything was clear to me, and then he still
15 decided that he was going to go for it, but he didn't show any
16 intolerance towards me or my positions, but he had made a firm decision
17 for himself that, as far as he was concerned, the military option and the
18 option of war were the only options.
19 Q. Now, after you had that contact or that conversation with
20 Mr. Hadzic in Belgrade in June of 1991, did you have any subsequent
21 contacts with him during the rest of 1991 or ...
22 A. Not in 1991. Actually, in late 1991, in December at meetings in
23 Belgrade of the Presidency of Yugoslavia. So in late 1991, in December.
24 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would now call up
25 exhibit 65 ter 819, which is tab number 10. And this is a document that
1 we're going to move around a little bit. It's got a number of pages, and
2 it may move things faster if we could give it to the witness in the hard
4 I can add, while that's being done, Mr. President, that this --
5 this is an agreed document. It was one of the 56 that have been the
6 subject of some recent communications between the Chamber and parties.
7 We could mark it as a law library exhibit, and perhaps we could talk
8 about this more later. But 56 is a fairly small number of documents that
9 actually could fall within a law library, and since there isn't currently
10 agreement on additional ones, then we could end up with a situation where
11 legal related documents, some would be in a law library, but perhaps
12 others wouldn't because they're not agreed between the parties, and the
13 Chamber's guideline on the law library was -- was that the documents
14 would have to be agreed.
15 So for a lot of documents, such as decisions and laws, gazettes,
16 things of that nature, for which there's not currently agreement, they
17 would not fall into a law library, and so we could have similar types of
18 documents in a law library, other types of documents that are not in the
19 law library. And so we're in the Chamber's hands on how to handle that,
20 but this is certainly one of the agreed documents, and, by its nature, it
21 would certainly be well suited to a law library.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. The Chamber will discuss about this, but
23 at first sight, I think it's a useful distinction to have those agreed
24 upon in the law library and those not -- that are not agreed upon in the
25 normal exhibits.
1 MR. STRINGER: Very well, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: But we'll come back to you on that.
3 MR. STRINGER: Okay.
4 Q. Witness, do you recognise this document that you're looking at
6 A. I do.
7 Q. And does this appear to be the SBWS gazettes for 1991?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. Now, I would like to draw your attention to a few of the
10 laws or items that are contained in this, and the first one that I want
11 to take you to is the law or the item that's given the number 3 of 91,
13 MR. STRINGER: And this is on page 5 of the English, Your
15 Q. Do you see a constitutional law on the Serb region of Slavonia,
16 Baranja and Western Srem?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Now, if you move to the end of this document, which is found on
19 page 13 of the English, it's dated the 25th of September, 1991.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Again I would object to the translation. It is
22 translated as "constitutional law," but in the original text it is
24 MR. STRINGER: Well, I think the declaration, and I could
25 obviously be corrected on this point, but the declaration is the very
1 first item, and I'm skipping over that to a different item.
2 Perhaps I can just ask the witness whether he sees a
3 constitutional law in the gazette.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It states "Constitutional law of
5 the Serbian region of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem."
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I objected to the first page of the document.
7 The first page of the document, not the Article 39.
8 MR. STRINGER: Well, I'm not talking about the first page.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Has the first page been translation -- translated
10 as "constitutional law"?
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, it was translated as "constitutional law" as
12 the title of the document.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: So --
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: As the title.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- so now you're talking about the document and
16 not about the witness's statement and the translation of what he said.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. I spoke about document, not about witness
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Then I would suggest that you ask for an official
20 correction of the translation.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It appeared when I -- when I look at the document
22 the first time, it -- I think that was a different text. That was
23 constitutional law as the title. Sorry.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: So -- now just to make sure. You're still
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Or is it okay now?
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, no.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: You're not objecting anymore?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No. I withdraw my objection.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
7 Problem solved, Mr. Stringer.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Simply the question is this since it's an agreed document, and we
10 can sort out the translation issue later, did you become aware of these
11 events -- this event taking place in Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem
12 on the 25th of September, 1991? Did you hear about a constitutional law
13 and the formation of a government there?
14 A. I heard about that later from the media.
15 Q. Okay. And did you ever hear who then became the president of the
16 government of the SBWS, what we're calling SBWS?
17 A. Yes, I did. That was Goran Hadzic.
18 Q. And just real quickly, because it is an agreed document, did
19 Article 18 of this constitutional law and some subsequent articles that
20 come after it, do those relate to the establishment of a Great National
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then Article 6 relates to a government having executive
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we move 65 ter 819 into evidence, and
2 when Your Honour -- and we can give it an L number, if you want to put it
3 in the law library.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we do that, Mr. Registrar?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 819 shall be
6 assigned Exhibit Number L1. Thank you.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. STRINGER:
9 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you said you heard about this development -- these
10 developments, I think, in the media. Were you involved at all yourself
11 in the establishment of the SAO SBWS?
12 A. No. No. I was not involved in any way.
13 MR. STRINGER: Now the next item is 65 ter 332. It's tab 11.
14 Q. This is a short document, Mr. Dzakula, although it's a newspaper
15 article, so the text might be small. This is a report from "Politika" on
16 the 26th of September, 1991 on a meeting in Slavonia, Baranja and Western
17 Srem on a constitutional law -- sorry, in Beli Manastir.
18 Mr. Dzakula, first, if you could just indicate, tell us where
19 Beli Manastir is located.
20 A. Beli Manastir is in Baranja, in Eastern Slavonia, on the border
21 with Serbia, Hungary and Eastern Slavonia.
22 Q. On the date of these events, the 25th of September, 1991, did you
23 know what was taking place in the SBWS region in terms of any armed
25 A. In Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, war was raging between the
1 Croatian Army and the Serb Territorial Defence at the time around
2 Vukovar, Beli Manastir, in that whole area.
3 Q. Now, this article refers to statements of Dr. Seselj at the
4 Assembly meeting. First of all, I should ask: Were you present at the
5 Assembly meeting that's referred to here?
6 A. No, I was not present at that Assembly meeting.
7 Q. About five paragraphs from the bottom of the article, a quote is
8 attributed to Dr. Seselj where he says that:
9 "The JNA is also Serbian, and it is our only army."
10 You mentioned earlier, and I asked you earlier about calls for a
11 change in the role of the JNA. Do you recall that, when we talk about
12 that earlier?
13 A. I do, yes.
14 Q. And is this consistent with what you'd said earlier, then, on
15 this topic about the role that the JNA would play for Serbs in Croatia?
16 A. As the incidents spread and events turned into war, the army
17 crossed over to the side of Serbia, because Yugoslavia was being attacked
18 as a hostile army, and the Serbs desired that it steps on their side as
19 soon as possible, and this is what it actually did.
20 Q. And then in the next paragraph, Dr. Seselj refers to foreign
21 troops having no business being present but suggesting that if they did
22 come, they could place themselves along this Virovitica-Karlobag-Karlovac
23 line. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And is this a reference to the -- the Greater Serbia territory
1 that we discussed earlier in your testimony?
2 A. Yes. That is Mr. Seselj's reference. It's a well-known
3 reference, the Karlovac-Karlobag-Virovitica line as a boundary of
4 Greater Serbia.
5 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution moves 65 ter 332 into
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P22. Thank you.
9 MR. STRINGER:
10 Q. Okay. Let's -- let's talk about your area, Mr. Dzakula,
11 Western Slavonia. What the Serbian Democratic Forum?
12 A. The Serbian Democratic Forum was registered as a non-political,
13 non-government, non-party organisation in December 1991.
14 In mid-1991, it was an initiative by Serb intellectuals and a
15 part of the SDS to unite the Serbian question and to try with the Serbian
16 authorities in Belgrade and the Croatian authorities in Zagreb to
17 establish a dialogue between them in order to try to avoid the
18 ever-growing conflict that was occurring between the Serbs and Croats or
19 the Serbs and Croat authorities in Croatia. So that part of the Croatian
20 intellectuals -- Serbian intellectuals in Croatia included certain
21 intellectuals, Jovan Raskovic, Milan Opacic and others. It was a very
22 wise initiative with the best of intentions and its objective was to
23 see -- to find a way to overcome the -- the emerging conflict.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes that we did not hear the
25 names of all the intellectuals that the witness referred to who were part
1 of that Serb initiative.
2 MR. STRINGER:
3 Q. Mr. Dzakula, were you a part of that initiative?
4 A. Yes, I was a part of that initiative from the SDS in Slavonia.
5 There was a meeting held in Lipik. It was a founding session. The
6 meeting could for the be held in the Kordun area because there were
7 threats from the Krajina area that they would prevent this meeting, so it
8 was held in Pakrac. The organisation was constituted and some
9 conclusions were adopted then.
10 Q. You anticipated my next question. Was this initiative welcomed
11 by everyone in the SDS at the time?
12 A. Unfortunately not. A small part of the SDS supported it. The
13 SDS of Babic in Krajina did not support it; also the SDS in Slavonia did
14 not support it either. It was a small group, but it was a group that was
15 powerful enough to persist along that path.
16 Q. Did your involvement in the Serbian Democratic Forum actually
17 bring any personal consequences to you during the summer of 1991?
18 A. It did. The very fact that we met in Lipik caused some shooting
19 around the house in which I lived. And later, on the 15th of July, I was
20 invited to come to Kraguj village near Pakrac to attend a meeting with
21 the Serbs from that village because reportedly they were afraid.
22 When I reached the village, at the culture hall in the village, I
23 was met by a man called Jovo Vezmar who, up until the 2nd of March, 1991,
24 had been the chief of police in Pakrac, and after the incidents in March,
25 he escaped to Serbia. I was surprised when I saw him at this culture
1 hall. Our conversation was a very short one. He just told me that I was
2 responsible and that I was to blame for the pacification of five
3 municipalities in Western Slavonia, that the war did not break out there.
4 He gave me a 48-hours ultimatum to leave Pakrac, to resign from my
5 position in the company, to stop with my political activities, and that
6 unless I did that, I would be murdered.
7 Q. So then what did you do?
8 A. Well, I informed my closest associates with what happened. The
9 next morning, luckily they shared my political thoughts. And then I
10 called the general manager at the headquarters in Bjelovar. Then I left
11 Pakrac and went to meet Professor Jovan Raskovic, who was the president
12 of SDS. I complained to him about the ultimatum, and he immediately
13 asked me to go and find refuge in Serbia, because people had already
14 arrived from Knin to inquire about me. So that I should go away in order
15 to save my head for a while until he made some arrangements. I went to
16 Vrnjacka Banja, and after eight or nine days, the professor called me to
17 come back, and then we talked and he told me that I could return and that
18 he believed that there was no danger any longer.
19 Q. Now, after you returned to Pakrac, what happened on the 12th of
20 August, 1991?
21 A. On my return to Pakrac, due to the events which were going on
22 both in Eastern Slavonia and Baranja where war was raging, we made the
23 decision to form the SAO Western Slavonia with only one purpose, that the
24 area would distance itself from the events in Eastern Slavonia and in
25 Baranja. And when we formed the SAO Western Slavonia, we would try to
1 negotiate with Croatian authorities and thereby try to avoid possible
2 conflict and the war which was already at our door.
3 Q. Now, we talked about the establishment of the SAO for the SBWS.
4 Had you in Western Slavonia been consulted or participated in the Eastern
5 Slavonia initiative?
6 A. The initiative of the Eastern Slavonia is something we did not
7 participate in. When I heard that it was formed, I asked Goran Hadzic
8 why we hadn't been included in these arrangements, and then he told me
9 that they did not have enough time for that but that they had space and
10 room for us to be involved in their institutions.
11 Q. Did you wish to be involved in their institutions?
12 A. No, we did not want to participate in their institutions.
13 Because the moment when Goran Hadzic told me that he was going to war and
14 that the war option was the only solution for him, I talked with my
15 political associates, and we made the decision that we would establish
16 our own SAO Western Slavonia so that it wouldn't be under the wing of
17 anyone else's policy and so that nobody else would think that we were
18 part of the war option. We were doing anything that we could to avoid
19 the war and try to reach a peaceful resolution through dialogue.
20 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, could we call up 65 ter 2819. It's
21 a map. Tab 12.
22 Q. Mr. Dzakula, if you could, just indicate with the pen for us the
23 territory of the SAO Western Slavonia as it was envisioned or declared.
24 A. This in blue was the envisaged Western Slavonia where in our view
25 Serbs made up the ethnic majority, a relative one or perhaps even an
1 absolute majority.
2 Q. Okay. And new we're getting ahead just a little bit. But to the
3 end of 1991, at the end of 1991, can you indicate what's the territory of
4 Western Slavonia that was actually controlled or held by the Serb people
6 A. In late 1991, we can see here -- I will indicate it with a red
7 line. This was the area of the Western Slavonia that was under the
8 control of the Serbian authorities.
9 Q. So that was actually the territory that was held.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. So, for the record, the larger area being the declared
12 territory, and the smaller area that's been marked is the area that was
13 actually held by the Serb people there at the end of 1991.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
15 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm afraid that we'll have a problem with this
17 marking because there are red marks all over the place.
18 MR. STRINGER: Let me -- I understand. Perhaps I could do it a
19 different way that would make it clearer.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
21 MR. STRINGER: Can the registrar take those markings off and
22 we'll start over again. Apologies.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula, can you indicate with a number 1 the area that was
24 the territory of the SAO Western Slavonia as declared or as envisioned?
25 Put a number 1 in the middle of it.
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Okay. And then perhaps using a line, you could make a number 2
3 and then point with the line to the area that you've just described which
4 was the territory actually held inside the red border.
5 A. [Marks].
6 MR. STRINGER: Okay. Thank you.
7 Your Honour, we tender this map. If it could be given a new
8 number now and tendered into evidence.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2819 marked by the
11 witness in court shall be assigned Exhibit Number P23. Thank you.
12 MR. STRINGER:
13 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, you indicated that the government of SAO
14 Western Slavonia was formed to negotiate with the Croatian government.
15 Was there a primary contact person or interlocutor that you had dealings
16 with who was in the Croatian government?
17 A. The contacts were focused on Mr. Degoricija and Mr. Lerotic who
18 was an advisor to the president.
19 Q. Do you recall the position of Mr. Degoricija?
20 A. He was the assistant minister of the interior, but
21 President Tudjman had assigned him to hold talks with Serbs in all areas
22 in order to try and find a resolution without a conflict.
23 Q. Now, after the SAO Western Slavonia was formed on the 12th of
24 August, 1991, could you describe for the Chamber how the government was
25 formed and the extent to which it was able to function in the area of
1 Western Slavonia?
2 A. The government of the SAO Western Slavonia was founded on the
3 12th of August. As for the members, there were several members of the
4 Regional Boards of SDS from Daruvar, Okucani, Pakrac, Podravska Slatina
5 with the goal that the political body should try to find a political
6 resolution through dialogue. The government itself never met after it
7 was formed, nor did it ever pass or adopt any documents or regulations or
8 laws. It was a political body which attempted to find a resolution.
9 The actual power in the area was the Territorial Defence with its
10 staffs and commands in all municipalities and at the regional level.
11 They had the actual power because, due to the conflicts and after the
12 conflicts which broke out, they formed the civilian authorities. And as
13 time went by and as their influence diminished because they were losing
14 territories, their power diminished, and our authority was growing,
15 because everyone was looking for a way out of the whole situation.
16 Q. In a few sentences, if you could just describe for Your Honours
17 the incident that occurred on the 14th of August, 1991, two days after
18 the SAO Western Slavonia was declared.
19 A. After the declaration of the SAO Western Slavonia, we were
20 convinced that we would find a peaceful resolution. However, in the
21 morning of the 14th of August in Okucani and also in Grubisno Polje, so
22 it means in the north and in the south of Western Slavonia, incidents
23 between the Croatian police and the citizens of Serbian ethnicity began.
24 Those incidents in the area of Okucani grew into a widespread conflict in
25 which the JNA which arrived from Daruvar and Bjelovar was also involved,
1 and this lasted up until -- for two or three days. So these two
2 incidents --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Witness -- Mr. Witness, could you slow down a
4 little bit. You're going too fast for the interpreters.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. All right. Thank you.
6 I will.
7 Such incidents, which began with conflict, disturbed the Serbian
8 population additionally. And on the 19th of August, a widespread
9 conflict broke out.
10 MR. STRINGER:
11 Q. Mr. Dzakula, on the day -- you mentioned the conflict breaking
12 out there on the 19th of August. Did something happen the day before, on
13 the 18th of August?
14 A. On the previous day, I was arrested and taken to Kraguj village
15 to Jovo Vezmar. He was putting on a JNA uniform and he informed me that
16 they were going to war, and I should make up my mind whether I was with
17 them or against them. Because if I were against them, I would be killed,
18 and I should be very careful about what I would do on the following days.
19 So I was kept there in a house, in a sort of home detention, and
20 in the morning on the 19th of August, I was taken in front of the staff
21 of Territorial Defence in Branesci village where I saw a big confusion.
22 There many people in uniforms who were preparing themselves to start an
23 attack against Pakrac. Some people shouted that I was a traitor, that
24 they should kill me and what was I doing there, and the man who was
25 standing there did not forbid them to shout, but he didn't allow them to
1 fight with me.
2 Around 5.00 a.m., they took me from there to Dereza village, and
3 people were living it to go into combat. They were frightened. They
4 didn't know what was going on. They asked me what was going on, and I
5 told them, "Well, you see that the war is going on. Be careful. Don't
6 kill anyone without any reason whatsoever. Be very careful and wary."
7 And the man who was next to me said, "Shut up. You have no right to
8 speak." And he took me back to Branesci, and the war really began.
9 Q. You said that you were taken to a man named Vezmar. Is it the
10 same person you'd been taken to before in July?
11 A. Yes, it is the same person they took me to on the 15th of July.
12 He was the commander of the Territorial Defence Staff in Pakrac on the
13 19th of August.
14 Q. Now, after the conflict began, did you have any interaction or
15 participate in the conflict yourself or with the TO that you've just
17 A. I did not take part in the conflict. I was a silent observer,
18 watching from the sides as far as I was allowed to. I tried to make
19 contacts with the Territorial Defence during the lulls. I met with a few
20 people from the Pozega municipality in Dragovic. We talked because they
21 recognised me. They asked me what was going on, and I told them, "Well,
22 you see the war was broken out, so make sure that in the war you do not
23 commit any crimes because you will be held responsible sooner or later."
24 After I said that, on the following day, I was summoned again to
25 the Command of the Western Slavonia staff where I was met by
1 Veljko Vukelic and Jovo Vezmar. And, once again, Jovo Vezmar told me,
2 "I'm telling you once again not to spread defeatism among our soldiers
3 because if you continue to do that we will liquidate you." And after
4 that, I did not have any contacts of the kind with him.
5 MR. STRINGER: Could the witness be shown 65 ter Exhibit 408.
6 This is tab 13. This is a short document, so I think we can work with it
7 on the screen.
8 Q. Mr. Dzakula, I don't know yet if you've mentioned the Serbian
9 Radical Party. Can you tell us what the Serbian Radical Party was.
10 A. Yes, we did mention the Serbian Radical Party and its president
11 Vojislav Seselj. The Serbian Radical Party, inter alia, tried to enlist
12 volunteers in Serbia and send them to the front in Eastern Slavonia and
13 Western Slavonia and also to the Krajina region.
14 Q. And just in the upper left-hand corner, where is
15 Podravska Slatina.
16 A. Podravska Slatina is in the north-western Slavonia close to the
17 Hungarian border to the north of the Pozega municipality and the
18 neighbouring Virovitica municipality.
19 Q. Now, this document is -- the subject is a request for help and
20 manpower directed to the Serbian Radical Party in Belgrade. The question
21 here is whether at any time you became aware or heard that Serbian
22 Radical Party volunteers had come to fight in Western Slavonia.
23 A. Yes, I heard that they did come, because Ilija Sasic, who was
24 from Western Slavonia, from Podravska Slatina, was in close contact with
25 Vojislav Seselj, and he made sure that their volunteers would come to
1 that particular area in order to help their Territorial Defence in the
2 combat and the war which were ongoing in that area.
3 MR. STRINGER: We can just set that aside. I've got a few more
4 of these that I'd like to show the witness, Your Honour, and then I can
5 tender the group of them.
6 The next is 65 ter 425.
7 Q. Can you see that well enough on the screen, Mr. Dzakula? It's a
8 bit faded, the original language version.
9 A. I can see it.
10 Q. Have you had an opportunity to look at this document before your
11 testimony today?
12 A. Yes, I had an opportunity to see it.
13 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber just in a couple of sentences
14 what -- what this is.
15 A. It's a document from the staff of Western Slavonia reporting
16 about the Western Slavonia area, and the seven municipal staffs which are
17 listed by municipality - Grubisno Polje, Pakrac, Daruvar, Pozega,
18 Okucani, Novska and others - with the names of commanders and commanders
19 of smaller units who were involved in staffs according to their
20 functions. The names of units, battalions, companies. This is a
21 detailed overview and a description of the military forces through the
22 staffs of municipalities and towns who were members of the staff of
23 Western Slavonia and who were involved in direct combat with the
24 Croatian Army.
25 Q. Now, if you look at the very top of the second page of this
1 document in your version, and in English it's just about a quarter of the
2 way down. That's a reference to the Municipal Staff TO Pakrac. And you
3 see the name, Commander Vezmar, Jovo.
4 A. Yes, I can see that.
5 Q. Who is that?
6 A. Jovo Vezmar was the commander of the TO staff in Pakrac. It was
7 the same man who was the chief of the police in Pakrac up until the 2nd
8 of March and who, on the 15th of July, gave me the ultimatum to leave
9 Pakrac and who, on the 18th of August, arrested me in order to let me
10 know that they were going to war. So this is the very same man.
11 Q. Do you know if at any time Mr. Vezmar held a position in Serbia?
12 A. Mr. Jovo Vezmar escaped to Serbia after the 2nd of March, to
13 Pancevo, where he worked in the police. He was some sort of chief or
14 inspector. He came to the front in Western Slavonia. And at some point
15 in late October, he left Western Slavonia, and once again he returned to
16 the Serbian MUP in Pancevo. Later on he was retired from that position.
17 Q. Now, when you said 2nd of March and then late October, what year
18 or years are you talking about?
19 A. All of that happened in 1991. What happened on the 2nd of March
20 and also in October, 1991.
21 MR. STRINGER: The next document is 65 ter 462.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, the first document in this series we looked at
23 was dated the 16th of October, 1991. That was number 425. Excuse me.
24 It was 408, dated the 12th of October, 1991.
25 This one, again, has the reference to the Podravska Slatina TO.
1 Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, I can see that.
3 Q. And, again, going to the Serbian Radical Party in Belgrade. Do
4 you see that?
5 A. Yes, I can see that too.
6 Q. All right. So then is this -- is this further to your testimony
7 or related to your testimony about having learned of Serbian Radical
8 Party volunteers coming to fight in Western Slavonia?
9 A. Yes, it's connected with the same topic.
10 Q. And the next document is 65 ter 714. Mr. Dzakula, where is
12 A. Novska is to the south-west of Slavonia, at the border with
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So both -- there's Okucani, and then to the right
14 from Okucani towards Zagreb is Novska.
15 Q. Now, this is another request coming from the TO staff, a TO
16 staff, for volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party. There's a
17 reference here to -- directly to Dr. Seselj.
18 My question is whether you know or heard if Dr. Seselj himself
19 personally came into the Western Slavonia region during the conflict
20 there in late 1991.
21 A. Yes. It's a document which was also sent to the Radical Party,
22 Mr. Vojvoda Dr. Seselj requesting assistance.
23 Vojislav Seselj did visit Western Slavonia in late October, at
24 some point in October 1991, and he went precisely to the Vocin and
25 Podravska Slatina area. Zvecevo, Vocin, Podravska Slatina in order to
1 visit his units. He made a tour of inspection, he talked to them, and he
2 was accompanied by the commander of the staff of the Western Slavonia TO.
3 Q. Mr. Dzakula, the documents we've been looking at cover the period
4 October, I think, to -- October and November. You said the conflict
5 began on the 19th of August.
6 Can you describe just in general terms and briefly can you give
7 an overview of how the conflict played out in Western Slavonia during
8 this period of time and its impact on the civilian populations living
9 inside the area?
10 A. After the incidents on the 14th of August, 1991 which happened in
11 Okucani and Grubisno Polje, on the 19th of August in the morning, there
12 was a general attack of the Serbian Territorial Defence on Pakrac,
13 Novska Gradiska, Daruvar, Grubisno Polje, Slatina, Virovitica, Orahovica,
14 that is to say, from all sides. There was an all-out attack. And their
15 goal at the time was to establish some sort of border which would be
16 moved from the Serbian villages.
17 Q. Do you think you could --
18 A. Should I slow down?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. I will.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, you are going very fast, and I am
22 even wondering, are you reading from a text?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I'm not reading.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have any text in front of
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: I was just wondering.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will repeat. After the incidents
4 on the 14th of August, 1991, in the area of Okucani and Grubisno Polje,
5 on the 19th of August, there was a general attack by the Serbian
6 Territorial Defence on all the towns in the area from Novska,
7 Nova Gradiska, Pakrac, Daruvar, Grubisno Polje, Slatina, Pozega, and
9 I must say then that our commanders thought that the war would
10 last five days, so they did not warn the civilian population about what
11 could happen to them. So many of them, sensing that there would be a
12 conflict, left the towns that I mentioned and took shelter in the
13 villages where the Serbs were a majority in order to wait for the outcome
14 of these events. The war did not proceed in the desired manner and at
15 the pace foreseen by the commanders. It stretched to several weeks and
16 then months.
17 At the very beginning of the war, we had a lot of wounded, but
18 there were no doctors and no hospitals, so that many of the wounded died.
19 They succumbed to their wounds because of bleeding because there was
20 nobody to treat them. It was strange that nobody sent any medical
21 supplies, not even by helicopter. This happened only after 60 days, by
22 which time many had already succumbed to their wounds.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Let me, if I may, just jump in at this point, Mr. Dzakula, and
25 give you some specific questions.
1 We looked earlier at a map where you indicated the territory of
2 Western Slovenia -- Western Slavonia as it was declared and then the
3 smaller area in which you indicated the area actually held by the
4 Serb TO. Is that correct? Do you remember that?
5 A. I remember that.
6 Q. Okay. Now, during this period of time and, indeed, in the months
7 that followed, can you just indicate generally, and we'll talk about it
8 in much more detail, what happened to Croats, if you can generalise, what
9 happened to Croats who found themselves in Serb-controlled areas, and
10 what happened to Serb civilians who now found themselves living in
11 Croat-controlled areas?
12 A. In the Western Slavonia area, which was caught up in the war, the
13 villages inhabited by Croats were places where some crimes occurred --
14 rather, some Croats were killed. And then Bacin and some other villages
15 close to Slatina, as well as the Croats in Vinogradi above Pakrac were
16 victims of crimes by Serbian extremists who used the war in order to take
17 their revenge on those they did not respect or like.
18 The same thing happened to Serb civilians in areas controlled by
19 the Croatian authorities. They were also killed, taken away, arrested,
20 beaten, and liquidated. This happened in Zagreb also and in towns such
21 as Sisak, Gospic, Pakracka Poljana, Daruvar, Gospic. They were taken to
22 Kerestinac, a camp near Zagreb. They were taken to the fair near Zagreb,
23 and also there was a prison in Pakracka Poljana where they were
24 liquidated. Civilians were victims, both Serbs and Croats respectively,
25 in areas either under the control of the Croats or under the control of
1 the Serbs.
2 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, at this time the Prosecution moves
3 into evidence 65 ter 425, 408, 462, and 714.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 408 shall be
6 assigned Exhibit Number P24.
7 65 ter document 425 shall be assigned Exhibit Number P25.
8 65 ter document 462 shall be assigned Exhibit Number P26.
9 65 ter document 714 shall be assigned Exhibit Number P27. Thank
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
12 MR. STRINGER:
13 Q. Mr. Dzakula, as a result of these events that you've just
14 described, or at least partially as a result, do you know whether in late
15 1991 the international community got involved and proposed an agreement
16 or a plan to end the conflict in Croatia?
17 A. Yes. In late 1991, I think on the 2nd of December, an agreement
18 was signed. The Vance Plan was proposed, which supposed to provide an
19 option to resolve the conflict that broke out in the area of the former
21 MR. STRINGER: Could I ask the registrar to put up exhibit 3623,
22 65 ter 3623. It is tab 19.
23 Now, on this one, Your Honours, the English version is the full
24 document, which is the Security Council Resolution, and attached to which
25 is Annex 3, that is primarily what we're interested in here. So on
1 page 15 of this, that's where we want to go.
2 The -- the translation into the witness's language is only
3 Annex 3. The entire document has not been translated, just the part
4 we're going to ask him to talk about.
5 Q. Mr. Dzakula, just moving ahead into 1992. During 1992, as the
6 president of Western Slavonia, were you involved in discussions -- I
7 should say as -- in 1991 as well, were you involved in discussions about
8 the Vance Plan and did you participate in negotiations and talks
9 involving the Vance Plan?
10 A. In late 1991, at approximately the 15th of December and on, and
11 then in early 1992, I did take part in talks about accepting the
12 Vance-Owen Plan as a peaceful solution for the conflicts which broke out
13 in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
14 Q. And later on, did you actually meet with representatives of the
15 international community on this issue?
16 A. Later, in April 1992, I was part of a delegation of the Republic
17 of the Serbian Krajina in New York to see Mr. Marrack Goulding, the
18 under-secretary of the United Nations, where -- along with the
19 president -- or the Prime Minister Zecevic and Deputy Prime Minister of
20 Yugoslavia Borislav Jovic and the defence minister of Republika Serbian
21 Krajina, Spanovic, we attended talks on the topic of the Vance-Owen Plan
22 and its implementation.
23 Q. Can you give the Trial Chamber just a general overview or
24 description of the main aspects of the Vance Plan, when it came into
25 being? What were the main points of the Vance Plan?
1 A. Well, the first thing was to achieve a lasting cease-fire and
2 that forces of the United Nations will deploy inside the RSK territory at
3 the time that was affected by war, that, in agreement with the then-local
4 authorities, the plan would be implemented, primarily implying the
5 demilitarisation, the return of refugees until the final political
6 solution to the issue.
7 Q. And just looking at this document here, the English page 16, we
8 see a reference to United Nations Protected Areas. It's farther down the
9 document in your language, Mr. Dzakula. Let me ask you about that in a
11 The reference here is to protected areas, and you can see they
12 relate to Eastern Slavonia, Western Slavonia, and Krajina. Do you see
13 those references, Mr. Dzakula?
14 A. I do, yes.
15 Q. Do those protected areas correspond, in general, to the areas of
16 what we're calling the SAOs, the Serbian Autonomous Districts, in
18 A. Generally speaking, yes, except for Western Slavonia.
19 Q. Explain what the difference was for Western Slavonia.
20 A. According to this peace plan, there were no other municipalities
21 mentioned that were affected by war, and that is Pozega, Orahovac, and
22 Slatina. They were left out. We never found out why that was so. And
23 because of that, we frequently made the objection that those three
24 municipalities as well, due to the war there and the refugees, should
25 also be part of the UN peace plan.
1 Q. Now, you made a reference to demilitarisation. What was to be
2 the role of the -- the peacekeepers coming in, what we're calling the
3 UNPROFOR peacekeepers?
4 A. The arrival of the peace forces was supposed to mean that they
5 would be the only military force in that area, that there would be no
6 other armies, and they were supposed to provide lasting protection for
7 the population there and enable the return of the refugees.
8 That meant that the Yugoslav People's Army was to leave that area
9 and that the long barrelled and heavy weaponry was supposed to be placed
10 under the control of the United Nations under a double key, as it was
11 referred to, under the control of the United Nations.
12 Q. Can you briefly describe your understanding of the role of the
13 police that was envisioned under the Vance Plan.
14 A. The way I understood the Vance Plan was the way it was written.
15 Meaning that there would be no military forces, that the long and heavy
16 weaponry would be placed under double key in depots, that the police
17 would be the only armed formation with only short-barrelled weapons,
18 meaning that they would only have their side-arms, no machine-guns,
19 automatic rifles or any other type of long-barrelled weapon.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, would be this be an appropriate
22 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
24 Mr. Dzakula, we'll take the break now and come back at 12.45.
25 The court usher will escort you out.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: We take the break now.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Your Honour, before the break, my colleague Ms. Clanton very
10 helpfully pointed out that I had skipped over part of my outline.
11 Q. And so, Mr. Dzakula, I'd like to step back in time just to cover
12 one incident that I meant to cover earlier after we spoke about Plitvice
13 in March of 1991.
14 What happened at Borovo Selo in early May of 1991?
15 A. On the 1st of May, 1991, a bus of Croatian police entered
16 Borovo Selo, and then they began to fire at houses. Within a few
17 minutes, there was a response by the people who lived in Borovo Selo.
18 This battle lasted for several hours. And then the Yugoslav People's
19 Army came to help, to protect and pull out the Croatian policemen who
20 were deployed around the fields there and in the local houses.
21 Q. Now, from what you know, was it only local Serbs who were
22 involved in that conflict or were there Serbs present who were from other
24 A. I heard from the media that there were volunteers of the Chetnik
25 duke Vojislav Seselj in Borovo Selo and that they also took part in that
1 fighting in that village.
2 Q. And we can go back to it if we need to, but do you recall if
3 there was a reference -- if Mr. Seselj made a reference to Borovo Selo in
4 the interview that he'd given that was published in his book which we
5 talked about earlier?
6 A. Yes, I do recall in that article, and as well as on numerous
7 other occasions, Mr. Seselj said that his volunteers also took part in
8 that fighting.
9 MR. STRINGER: And, for the record, Mr. President, that is the
10 document at tab 7. It was 65 ter 142. I don't recall the exhibit number
11 that it's now been given, but that's the reference that we're making.
12 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Dzakula, just moving now forward again to the
13 Vance Plan where we left off before the break. With the usher's
14 assistance, I'd like you to look at 65 ter Exhibit 770.
15 MR. STRINGER: And before we do that, the Prosecution moves into
16 evidence the current exhibit which is up, 3623.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Once again, Mr. Stringer, wouldn't that be
18 something for the law library?
19 I perhaps should specify that it's not only -- well, should those
20 documents be agreed upon or not? Of course when a law is concerned,
21 there can be discussion about the interpretation of the law, but as long
22 as it's not discussed that it is a law that was in force at the moment, I
23 think those documents belong in the law library.
24 MR. STRINGER: We certainly have no objection to that, Your
25 Honour. This is a Security Council Resolution. The attached -- the
1 annex is the text essentially of the Vance Plan as it's been described by
2 the witness, and no objection to it being marked as a law library
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Has the Defence a position on this?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 The Defence position is that all documents should be tendered
7 into exhibits, not through legal library, because the concept of legal
8 library is not known in the Rules of this Tribunal or in the Statute, and
9 it is our position that it should be tendered as all -- all other
10 documents, into exhibits.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, there is perhaps a
13 misunderstanding here. If documents are not agreed upon, they have to be
14 tendered and admitted, but the only issue here is whether we give it a P
15 number or an L number, and we would prefer legal documents, texts of
16 laws, et cetera, give them an L number.
17 About this one, the Prosecutor is tendering it, and either we
18 admit it -- we admit and mark it as a P number, or we admit and mark it
19 as an L number. That's the only difference. It's not -- it's not that L
20 documents don't have to be tendered if they're not agreed upon.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: As to -- as to the documents, we mentioned 56
22 documents earlier, and the Defence agreed with authenticity of these
23 documents, but we have -- we might have some other interpretation of some
24 provisions of these documents. So that's it.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah. No problem about that.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Okay.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So this document is admitted and marked as
3 an L document, an L exhibit.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 3623 becomes
5 Exhibit L2. Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is marked as 65 ter 770, and that
8 is tab 20. And these are minutes of a long meeting, and I suggest it
9 might be faster and more efficient to provide the witness with the
10 original language version of these in the paper. We're going to be
11 moving around the document quite a bit.
12 Q. Mr. Dzakula, do you see -- the document that's in front of you
13 that's been marked as 770, have you had a chance to look at that
15 A. Yes. Yes, I did have the chance.
16 Q. Can you just briefly tell the Chamber what this is, what the
17 document is.
18 A. These are minutes from a meeting of the Presidency of the
19 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia held on the 9th of December,
20 1991 in Belgrade.
21 Q. Were you present at this meeting?
22 A. I was.
23 Q. And as indicated on the first page of both versions, was
24 Goran Hadzic present at the meeting?
25 A. Yes, he was.
1 Q. And I'll mention just another -- a couple other names.
2 Milan Martic, you've mentioned who he was at the time. Was he present?
3 A. Yes, he was present. He was minister of the interior of the
4 SAO Krajina at the time.
5 Q. And Radovan Karadzic, as well, was present.
6 A. Yes, he was there too.
7 Q. Now, we'll talk about this in a minute, but Milan Babic, who
8 you've already described, was not present, nor was Slobodan Milosevic.
9 Do you recall that?
10 A. I do. Milan Babic did not attend the meeting, nor did
11 Slobodan Milosevic.
12 Q. Do you recall what one of the main reasons or topics for
13 discussion was at this meeting?
14 A. The main topic was the Vance Plan, how to accept it, to discuss
15 it, what it represented, what options for protection it provided, what
16 would be the good solutions, and so on.
17 Q. Now, we see Branko Kostic here is vice-president of the SFRY
18 Presidency at the time. Did he essentially chair the meeting?
19 A. Yes. He was present, and he chaired the meeting.
20 Q. Okay. And the first ten or so pages, then, of the transcript
21 that follow, and we're for the going to talk about them specifically, but
22 this appears to be an overview that Mr. Kostic gave regarding various
23 aspects of the Vance Plan that was being proposed at the time.
24 What I'd like to do is direct you first to page 18, Mr. Dzakula,
25 of your version, page 13 of the English. And, in this part, Mr. Kostic
1 is still speaking, and he says -- this is about two-thirds of the way
2 down the English text. See if you can follow along with me, Mr. Dzakula.
3 He says:
4 "Regardless of the fact that practically in the territory of all
5 Serbian Krajinas, we basically reached together with the Yugoslav
6 national army the Territorial Defence and the Serbian volunteers'
7 detachments, the borders of those territories where the Serbian people --
8 where the Serbian people present an ethnic majority ..."
9 And he says on to say: " ... we have a large and complex
10 task ..."
11 Now, my first question is whether this is consistent with your
12 own knowledge of the composition of the Serb forces that were present in
13 Croatia and the Krajinas during this period, Yugoslav national army,
14 Territorial Defence, and Serbian volunteers.
15 A. Yes, they acted together in the area, and they were keeping a
16 certain area under their control.
17 Q. Now, then on page 22 for you, Mr. Dzakula, page 16 of the
18 English. Again, this is Mr. Kostic speaking. This is toward the top of
19 the English. Kostic says:
20 "... if Slobodan Milosevic had not gone to The Hague, he
21 probably would have been here today, because it was our intention to ask
22 him to join -- to come and join in our efforts."
23 Mr. Dzakula, the question here is if you could just in a few
24 sentences describe what was the role of Serbia and President Milosevic in
25 respect of these discussions and the consideration of the Vance Plan.
1 What role did Yugoslavia play?
2 A. Well, I think the role of Yugoslavia and primarily
3 Slobodan Milosevic was crucial for the adoption of the Vance Plan,
4 because the leaders of Eastern Slavonia and SAO Krajina were initially
5 opposed to any adoption of the Vance Plan. Therefore, they exerted
6 themselves as much as they could in the Presidency of Yugoslavia and
7 other republics to convince the leaderships that the Vance Plan was the
8 best and, at the moment, the only solution. They explained that at
9 length. Very long meetings were held. And they did that with the aim to
10 convince the political police and military leaders of the SAO Krajina and
11 Eastern Slavonia that the Vance Plan was the only possible option and
12 that it should be adopted as such.
13 Q. Okay. We'll talk about that more. The next part I'd like to
14 take you to is paragraph -- excuse me, page 37 for you. I think it's
15 toward the bottom, Mr. Dzakula. Twenty-seven and 28 of the English.
16 And on this page, we see that Goran Hadzic starts speaking.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And here he makes reference to some contacts he'd had with a man
19 named Henry Wynaendts in The Hague and in Paris, and he's talking about
20 what Wynaendts had said.
21 My question was whether you were aware that during these months,
22 the late months of 1991, Mr. Hadzic was involved in negotiations and
23 talks with people like Mr. Wynaendts who were members of the
24 international community?
25 A. Yes, I was aware of this, because the media reported about it in
1 detail so that the people would be informed about what was being prepared
2 and negotiated.
3 Q. And based on your knowledge and what you observed, was
4 Mr. Hadzic's participation in international negotiations something that
5 Mr. Milosevic and the Serbian leadership supported and approved?
6 A. Yes, it was. They supported the talks and the negotiations which
7 Mr. Goran Hadzic had with international representatives.
8 Q. And then moving down a couple of short paragraphs, Mr. Hadzic
10 "I would agree with the statement that Yugoslavia should be
11 preserved by means of sending the army back to the Republic of Croatia,
12 even in the bigger extent than before."
13 Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Does this relate to the conversation that you'd had or reflect
16 the conversation you'd had with Mr. Hadzic earlier in June of 1991?
17 A. Yes. It corresponds with the positions he expressed then.
18 Q. Okay. And then in the next paragraph, he says:
19 "We are being given promises for something that already is the
20 case in our territories with the exception of a small part of
21 Western Slavonia - the ZNG is not present in the Krajinas."
22 Now, my first question is he -- you've described the situation in
23 Western Slavonia at the end of 1991 and how it -- tell us again how it
24 differed from the situation on the ground in the other two SAOs, Krajina,
25 and SBWS?
1 A. By contrast with the SAO Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western
2 Srem and the other Krajina, which were militarily under the control of
3 the JNA and the Territorial Defence, the whole areas which were
4 envisaged, and as for Western Slavonia, it was perhaps only one-third of
5 the territory of the declared SAO Western Slavonia was under the control
6 of the Territorial Defence and the Yugoslav People's Army, which means
7 that more than two-thirds of the territory was under the control of the
8 authorities of the Republic of Croatia.
9 Q. And just quickly, there's a reference, I think, we haven't dealt
10 with yet. He refers to the ZNG, the ZNG. What is that?
11 A. The National Guard Corps was actually the corps of the future
12 Croatian armed forces.
13 Q. So the ZNG at the time was the Croatian National Guard.
14 A. Yes, precisely.
15 Q. And then in the next paragraph, Mr. Hadzic says that in his
16 region they'd placed the TO within the structure of the armed forces and
17 he could not allow the discussion on a subject treating equally the JNA
18 and Ustasha units, the ZNG. And he makes a reference to -- he says:
19 "It is stated here that the JNA and the ZNG are being disarmed."
20 Do you know what was Mr. Hadzic's position on disarmament under
21 the Vance Plan, at least at the time of this discussion in early December
23 A. Initially in the first talks about the Vance Plan, Goran Hadzic
24 was not in favour of the disarmament on part of the JNA or for the
25 adoption of the Vance Plan as it had been envisaged.
1 Q. And if you can now go to page 112, Mr. Dzakula. Page 83 of the
3 Mr. Dzakula, here -- we see here that you make a statement.
4 That's what I'd like to draw your attention to. Do you have that?
5 A. Yes, I see it.
6 Q. You say here that -- you refer to your brothers from Krajina who
7 liberate their own territories and strongly maintain them within the
8 borders lines.
9 What was your -- why were you making these statements about the
10 situation in Western Slavonia? What's the point you're trying to make
12 A. First of all, I wanted to point out to the problems about the
13 Vance Plan which did not cover the areas which I mention here as the ones
14 where the UN should be deployed on the one hand. On the other, I wanted
15 to try to and explain to them that the peace process should be used for
16 the return of refugees to the entire area where war had been waged and
17 that for that we needed tolerance, and we also needed the acceptance of
18 the entire Vance-Owen Plan.
19 Q. Now, at the time of this meeting, were you satisfied with the
20 military situation on the ground, the status quo, on this day, the 9th of
21 December, 1991?
22 A. No, I was not satisfied at all, because the military solution, in
23 my view, was no solution at all. It was unnecessary. But once we had
24 it, I was dissatisfied because many areas remained unprotected, and there
25 were no UN representatives there as well.
1 Q. Now, was your view shared by Mr. Hadzic for the SBWS; and also,
2 what was the view of the SAO Krajina people here, Mr. Martic?
3 A. They showed a form of egotism. They were satisfied because the
4 area where they lived was resolved very well. But that did not resolve
5 satisfactorily the entire Serbian question within the Republic of
6 Croatia, including Western Slavonia.
7 Let me repeat: The Vance-Owen Plan offered wider possibilities
8 than what they wanted to achieve by their military plans.
9 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution offers 65 ter 770,
10 the transcript of that meeting.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
13 Exhibit Number P28. Thank you.
14 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps if we could have the usher's assistance to
15 remove that one and -- but we're going to move to another transcript of
16 another meeting. This is 65 ter 791. Tab -- sorry --
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Twenty-one.
18 MR. STRINGER: Twenty-one. Thank you. I'm not good with
20 Q. Mr. Dzakula, I believe you've also had an opportunity to review
21 this document in advance; correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And is this the Presidency meeting minutes from the 12th of
24 December now, three days later, 1991?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And as indicated here, was -- do you recall was President
2 Slobodan Milosevic present at this meeting?
3 A. Yes, I remember.
4 Q. Radovan Karadzic, Milan Martic.
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. You were present?
7 A. I was present too.
8 Q. Do you recall if Mr. Hadzic was present at this meeting?
9 A. I think that he did not attend that meeting, either he or
10 Milan Babic.
11 Q. Okay. And on that point, Mr. Dzakula, if you could go to the
12 page that in your version is marked with page 168 at the top. Page 24 of
13 the English. I believe there that, in fact, President Milosevic notes
14 that neither Mr. Hadzic and Babic are present. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I can see that, where he notes that and wonders where they
17 Q. Now, do you recall what was the purpose of this meeting, or what
18 were the main -- what was the main topic of this meeting?
19 A. Once again, the topic was the Vance-Owen Plan and how to convince
20 the leaders of these areas, that is to say the SAO Krajinas, to accept it
21 as it was.
22 Q. Now, if you'll go to page 179. Page 32 of the English. You'll
23 see that President Milosevic makes some statements about the Vance Plan.
24 If you could just tell us, Mr. Dzakula, what was
25 President Milosevic's position on the Vance Plan at this time, 12th of
2 A. At the time, Slobodan Milosevic advocated that there was no
3 alternative for the Vance-Owen Plan and that, at the moment, it was the
4 best possible solution, that it should be accepted in the interests of
5 the Serbs in the Krajinas or the SAO areas so that they could live on
6 peacefully rather than continuing with armed conflict and war, because
7 there was no strength for that anymore, either in the army or among the
9 Q. Now -- excuse me. If you'll move ahead to page 194 of yours.
10 Page 43 of the English.
11 Now, you've indicated Mr. -- it's been noted that Mr. Babic is
12 not present. Here Milan Martic speaks, and based on this text, could
13 you, in your own recollection, could you tell the Chamber what was the
14 position of Mr. Martic and the SAO Krajina in respect of the Vance Plan.
15 A. At this meeting, Mr. Milan Martic presented the positions of the
16 Assembly and government of the then-SAO Krajina, which were not willing
17 to accept the Vance-Owen Plan. They did not want to change the decision
18 because they were not willing to make any changes. They were afraid of
19 the responsibility that they would have to accept, and they insisted on
20 the position that they couldn't do anything or change their position to
21 the Vance-Owen Plan without appropriate decisions, and that was why
22 Milan Babic did not come to attend the meeting. They were afraid to make
23 any concessions at this meeting without his presence.
24 Q. And now if you'll move on to page 212, 212 of yours, page 56 of
25 the English, where we see remarks made by you.
1 A. One hundred and twelve.
2 Q. Two hundred and twelve.
3 A. Two hundred and twelve. Yes, I'm following.
4 Q. Okay. Now, on page 57 of the English, it's about the fourth
5 paragraph of your comments, Mr. Dzakula. You say that:
6 "I do not wish to influence you, but if there is a problem in
7 Western Slavonia, why does it have to be the case with other territories
8 as well? You probably cannot understand and realise it yet, because you
9 have not been in such a situation."
10 Again, you're talking about the situation in Western Slavonia.
11 What was your position on whether the Vance Plan should be accepted for
12 Western Slavonia?
13 A. We in the Western Slavonia accepted the Vance-Owen Plan. It was
14 perhaps easier for us because our military representatives did not put up
15 any resistance because they had lost territories in the field, in the
16 military sense of the word. And we realised that even though not the
17 entire area was covered by the Vance-Owen Plan, I mean Orahovica,
18 Slatina, and Pozega as I said earlier, we did realise that the Vance Plan
19 did not have any alternative, that it should be accepted, and that only
20 with it we could have permanent peace and return refugees to the area.
21 We wanted to help them to realise that the fact that they at the moment
22 had a specific area under their control was not permanent, that they
23 should accept the Vance-Owen Plan in order to stop any further conflict,
24 and it was possible to implement the peace plan and return refugees to
25 the entire area.
1 Q. And finally at the very end of the meeting, page 96 of the
2 English, page 268 of the original text, Mr. Kostic here --
3 A. What was the page? I'm sorry.
4 Q. Two sixty-eight. It's the very end. It's the very last page.
5 A. Yes. I have found it.
6 Q. Here Mr. Kostic notes again that Babic and Hadzic were not
7 present. Do you know whether Hadzic and Babic then appeared and
8 participated in any subsequent meetings at the Presidency about the
9 Vance Plan?
10 A. Yes. There were other meetings, and there was a big one that
11 lasted for 52 hours which was attended by both Goran Hadzic and
12 Milan Babic, as well as many others, where the acceptance of the
13 Vance-Owen Plan was discussed, and also its pros and cons.
14 Q. Do you recall approximately when this meeting occurred, the
15 52-hour meeting that you've just described?
16 A. It was held at some point in mid-January 1992.
17 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 691.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P29. Thank
21 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 65 ter 3467, and this is a
22 short document that we can work with on the screen, I think.
23 Q. The question here, Mr. Dzakula, is if you recall, then, whether
24 disagreement between Mr. Babic and Mr. Milosevic with regard to the
25 Vance Plan spilled out into the public and the result of this on
1 Mr. Milosevic's relationship with Mr. Babic.
2 A. Well, it's clear that through the media Milosevic settled his
3 accounts publicly with Milan Babic, and the message was that he could not
4 keep the Serbs from Krajina as hostages of his policy. And the message
5 in the media was also a message to those were like-minded and everybody
6 who supported him.
7 The consequence of all this was that Mr. Milan Babic was
8 politically removed and could no longer play the leading role in the area
9 of the SAO Krajina or in the main activities in the following period. He
10 was rejected both by the Assembly and the people in the SAO Krajina.
11 Q. And just for the record, the document we're looking at here,
12 3467, these are two letters, one published by Babic, and then a response
13 published by President Milosevic?
14 A. Yes. Correspondence between Milan Babic and Slobodan Milosevic
15 began at this point. And Milan Babic turned out to be a weak opponent;
16 whereas, Slobodan Milosevic won a political victory and eliminated
17 Milan Babic from the political activities in the Krajina area for the
18 next several months.
19 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 3467.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P30. Thank you.
22 MR. STRINGER: I think I misspoke. The original -- the first
23 letter was Mr. President Milosevic and then the response came from
24 Mr. Babic.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, may I ask one clarification from
1 the witness.
2 Mr. Witness. Mr. Dzakula, you said that Mr. Babic was removed.
3 And my question is replaced by whom?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He used to be the president of the
5 SAO Krajina, which ceased to exist several days after that, because on
6 the 26th of February, Goran Hadzic became the president of the republic,
7 and the Assembly, which had a session about the acceptance of Vance-Owen
8 Plan, was chaired by Milan Paspalj without the presence of Milan Babic.
9 So he wasn't present, nor did he have an opportunity to say anything.
10 This is why I think that he was politically marginalised at that point.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. STRINGER: And we are going to go into that in more detail in
13 the next few exhibits, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Dzakula, if we could now put up 65 ter 910, please. And
15 this -- we can see if it will work on the screen. Maybe it is faster.
16 Mr. Dzakula, do you see this document? Can you recognise it?
17 A. Yes, I see it. This is from the meeting of the Presidency.
18 These are the stenographic notes of the meeting held on the 29th of
19 January, 1992, commencing at 1700 hours.
20 MR. STRINGER: If I could ask the usher's assistance. It might
21 actually be faster to work with the paper version because we are going to
22 be moving around this document. It's tab number 23.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula, we don't see your name in the first part of this
24 document. Do you know or do you recall whether, in fact, you were
25 present at this meeting?
1 A. I really cannot recall at this moment about this 29th of January.
2 Q. I'd like to ask you a couple questions about it anyway. And as
3 we see on the bottom, toward the bottom of the first page, item number 1
4 on the agenda is a report by Mr. Jovic on his visit to the United Nations
5 in the US.
6 Now, if you could go to page 11, Mr. Dzakula, and the rest of us
7 to page 6.
8 A. Yes, I see it.
9 Q. Mr. Jovic is speaking, and he's referring to discussions with
10 Cyrus Vance. Do you know who Cyrus Vance was?
11 A. Yes, I do remember. He's the one who conceived the peace plan
12 for the former Yugoslavia.
13 Q. And then there's a reference also to a Goulding, and I think you
14 mentioned him already.
15 A. I did, yes. He was the UN under-secretary.
16 Q. Okay. And here in this section there's discussion about what
17 laws will apply inside of what would be these UN-protected territories.
18 Do you see that?
19 A. I do, yes.
20 Q. And then on paragraph 7 of the English, and for you, Mr. Dzakula,
21 the bottom of page 12, they're suggesting that Goulding should talk to
22 Babic and Hadzic, and now he's going to talk to Dzakula too.
23 A. Babic. Babic. I see it, yes.
24 Q. Now, do you know whether discussions took place between
25 Mr. Goulding, and Messrs. Babic and Hadzic about the Vance Plan?
1 A. I think that it was in Belgrade.
2 Q. All right. And did you have any discussions yourself with
3 Mr. Goulding?
4 A. In April 1992, later, I had talks with Mr. Goulding regards the
5 Vance Plan.
6 Q. And now, Mr. Dzakula, if you'd go to page 22. It's page 12 of
7 the English. And now for -- in the English version, it's the bottom half
8 of page 12.
9 And here Mr. Jovic is saying that he'd been informed about his
10 talks with Hadzic, Babic, and Tudjman, and he indicates that Goran Hadzic
11 had accepted the plan but requested clarification.
12 A. I see that, yes.
13 Q. And then he goes on to describe the talks between Goulding and
14 Babic, indicating that Babic --
15 A. I see that as well. I do, yes.
16 Q. And then continuing on to the next page in English, the end of
17 the paragraph where he says that Babic rejected the plan.
18 So the question here, Mr. Dzakula, is: Again, based on your own
19 involvement, I know you weren't present at this meeting but you were
20 involved in these discussions generally, does this accurately set out the
21 positions of Mr. Hadzic and Mr. Babic in respect of the peace plan now at
22 this time, which is 29th of January, 1992?
23 A. Yes, it does refer to the positions, because Mr. Hadzic accepted
24 the Vance Plan, but Mr. Babic never did. He was always against it.
25 Q. Okay. And then moving on to page 14 of the English, and,
1 Mr. Dzakula, I think for you this is page 23. The paragraph that begins
2 with "As for Babic, we will assume a political obligation ..."
3 Do you see that?
4 A. No, I still don't see that.
5 Q. Okay. I'll read the sentence, and perhaps you'll be able to find
7 "As for Babic, we will assume a political obligation to continue
8 to talk and create a political climate to overcome this issue ... as it
9 has been done in Eastern and Western Slavonia."
10 A. This is on page 25.
11 Q. Okay. My apologies.
12 A. I found it, yes. I have it now.
13 Q. This reference to creating a political climate to overcome the
14 issue, what's that a reference to, if you know?
15 A. Well, this is in reference to the political elimination of
16 Milan Babic, because he was very firm in his rejection of the Vance Plan.
17 Q. All right. And now, Mr. Dzakula, if you will move down about
18 seven paragraphs, you'll see that one of the participants here, Petar
19 Gracanin, speaks.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And he makes a reference to you.
22 A. Yes, he does mention me in a very short sentence.
23 Q. You've told us what your position was, and then Borislav Jovic
25 "We will talk with Dzakula, so we will have two for and one
1 against. Now, they will accept Dzakula so that we can have this
2 politically for the public, that there are two Krajinas and that for the
3 time being one remains."
4 Do you see that?
5 A. I see it, yes.
6 Q. So does that accurately reflect the way that ultimately the issue
7 of -- the position on the Vance Plan was resolved among the Serb
9 A. Yes, it does reflect the way we accepted this immediately without
10 any immediate to convince us so that there was no need for this
11 conversation that is mentioned here, because they knew our position. We
12 were in favour of that, whereas Milan Babic from the SAO Krajina was not.
13 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, Prosecution tenders 65 ter 910.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P31. Thank you.
16 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 65 ter 5139.
17 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you would not have seen this at the time, but have
18 you seen that document in preparation for your testimony today?
19 A. I did, yes.
20 Q. And this is a cable to the UN Secretary-General from
21 Mr. Goulding, and he's a sending a copy to Cyrus Vance, and it's dated
22 28 January 1992. So just the day before the transcript that we just
24 Now, here in paragraph 2, Mr. Goulding describes the results or
25 the outcome of his discussions with Mr. Hadzic and Babic. Do you see
2 A. I see it, yes.
3 Q. And this is where he sets out the position on the Vance Plan as
4 he understood it to be from them, that is reflecting the position of
5 Hadzic and Babic here in items (a) through (e).
6 A. Yes, I see that too.
7 Q. And then just moving ahead to the next page. In paragraph 3,
8 then Mr. Goulding sets out his response to the various objections that
9 had been raised by Hadzic and Babic. Do you see that?
10 A. I do, yes.
11 Q. And then in paragraph 4 he says that: "On the basis of these
12 clarifications and especially (a) above, Hadzic said that he accepted the
13 plan and would co-operate with the UN force. However, Babic and his team
14 would not be moved."
15 A. I see that, yes.
16 Q. So based on what you knew and your involvement in the various
17 discussions on the Vance Plan, Mr. Dzakula, is the information set out in
18 this document an accurate reflection of the various positions,
19 clarifications among the parties during this time?
20 A. Yes. This document accurately reflects the state of affairs and
21 how things were happening at that time, yes.
22 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution moves into
23 evidence 5139.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
25 THE REGISTRAR: It will be assigned Exhibit Number P32. Thank
2 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 3459.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, the English in this exhibit is the original
4 language version of the document, but it appears to have been written by
5 Mr. Babic. It's dated February 9th of 1992. Do you know about this
6 document? Do you know what this is -- were you aware of -- of what's
7 described in this letter?
8 A. Yes. I know what was happening. These were last attempts by
9 Mr. Babic to convince the international community that the Assemblies
10 that were going to be held adopting the Vance Plan were illegal, because
11 he wanted his positions to be respected. He could not stop the
12 inevitable process from happening and the will of the Krajina people to
13 accept the Vance Plan, but he wanted to represent this as illegal and
14 illegitimate, which was not correct.
15 Q. Now, in this letter, Mr. Babic makes reference to an Assembly in
16 a place called Glina. If you know, what happened in Glina at this
18 A. The SAO Krajina Assembly was held in Glina which accepted
19 unanimously the Vance Plan as a solution for the area of the former
20 Yugoslavia, and so the SAO Krajina accepted the Vance Plan so none of the
21 representatives who were there would, in future, oppose the plan.
22 Q. And there's a reference in the second paragraph to General Adzic
23 and Branko Kostic from Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav Presidency, having come
24 to Glina. Do you know if that took place?
25 A. Yes. They came to explain to the people, to convince them of
1 the -- their safety, that Yugoslavia would give them their support. When
2 the people representing Yugoslavia came to them to Glina, it was a
3 message that they would not be left alone, that they were going to help.
4 And it was a message to the leadership that was going to accept the
5 Vance Plan that they were not alone in doing this.
6 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, Prosecution moves 3459 into evidence.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P33. Thank you.
9 MR. STRINGER:
10 Q. Mr. Dzakula, the next exhibit I want to know you is actually a
11 short video-clip that is 65 ter 4809. It's now been given the number
12 4809.2 to distinguish it from a different clip that the Chamber saw
13 yesterday from the same video, and so we can just take a moment to get
14 ourselves into Sanction.
15 Okay. Let's -- if we can now run this clip.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] All that has been happening, as you
18 said, the last few days is very sad, but unfortunately anticipated. I
19 have been expecting it since I have some bad experiences with the work of
20 the party whose Main Board member I was and with the events that occurred
21 in Knin two years ago, similar to those here and now. Our stand, our
22 government's stand, is that the unity of the Serb people --"
23 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me. We cut off the very first part of it.
24 I think the audio wasn't quite up. And if we -- if we may, I'd like to
25 start it again from the beginning so that we can take the reporter's
1 question, the question that Mr. Hadzic is responding to here.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover]
4 "Journalist: Mr. Prime Minister, the attitude of the government
5 of the SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem on past events, the Glina
6 Assembly, the Knin Assembly, the letter of Dr. Milan Babic to
7 Boutros-Ghali, its dismissal and everything that was happening during the
8 last few days.
9 "All that has been happening, as you said, the last few days is
10 very sad, but unfortunately it's anticipated. I was expecting it since I
11 have had some bad experiences with the work of a party whose Main Board I
12 was and with events that occurred in Knin two years ago, and similar to
13 those here and now. Our stand, our government's stand, is that the unity
14 of the Serb people must not be questioned in any case. We are respecting
15 the majority will of the Assembly representatives, that is the Serb
16 Assembly in Glina, and we shall adhere to that will, whatever they
17 decided is what we shall be devoted to.
18 "When you mentioned the Assembly, there is the Assembly of the
19 SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem in Bela Crkva, there is the
20 Assembly in Knin, actually in Glina, which is having sessions the last
21 couple of days. There are differences in the constitution of either
22 Assembly on the level of the Serb Republic of Krajina. What is all this
24 "Goran Hadzic: Our government is currently preparing for the
25 arrival of the Blue Helmets, it is clear that there can be no peace in
1 these areas unless the Blue Helmets arrive, or if total war should
2 continue until the Ustasha's army is utterly defeated, only then there
3 could be peace. Otherwise, in this case, there can be no peace
4 whatsoever. Our opinion is well known, the Blue Helmets should arrive
5 the conditions established for the people to declare its will in a
6 democratic way. The current situation on the frontiers is very
7 complicated, the Ustashas regularly violate the cease-fire, which
8 will continue unless the Blue Helmets arrive shortly. I'm afraid that
9 the Ustashas will completely breach the truce and that the war will
10 continue, with incomprehensible consequences for this part of Europe,
11 maybe even for the whole of Europe. Thus I hope that Boutros-Ghali will
12 today propose that the United Nations come to our area. I have just
13 returned from the Vukovar Hospital, where I visited the wounded who were
14 injured in the meantime, during this violation of the cease-fire. My
15 village was attacked as well, the village I was born in, with artillery
16 fire, and in accordance with the standing orders we did not respond to
17 the firing, since we do not want to be accused. The representatives of
18 the European Community were there, I do not know about the United Nations
19 ones, and they saw that the attack was committed, I do not know if they
20 will judge objectively and say who is to blame. We have not responded to
21 the attack, but I fear that we will have to react in the next case of the
22 violation of the cease-fire, since they were using 155 and 205-millimetre
23 Howitzers, causing horrible destruction. Moreover, I do not know how are
24 we to keep our soldiers from fighting back, since we are being shot at
1 "Journalist: This is what they want, to provoke a reaction.
2 "Goran Hadzic: It is clear that they want that, as the arrival
3 of the Blue Helmets, the way it was planned, does not suit them, since
4 the Blue Helmets will pressure them to recognise the system which is
5 constitutionally legal, that is our system, so they do not want to have
6 them. However, we have to be smart enough and have enough patience to
7 maintain the truce, but I say that I fear if the arrival of the
8 Blue Helmets will be postponed, that the cease-fire will not hold.
9 They're now clearing the mines around our territory and will probably
10 attempt a frontal assault with the tanks they unfortunately captured or
11 actually received from some JNA officers and which they are receiving
12 non-stop even from Switzerland and Germany. They are preparing for a war
13 and will probably attempt an assault, but I'm an optimist and believe
14 that should the Blue Helmets arrive in seven to ten days, at least their
15 advance contingent, shall be prevented. Should they not arrive by end of
16 the month, there will be a total war, a war to annihilation, which means
17 that we will probably have to penetrate deeper into the territory now
18 controlled by Croats and then sit around the table to talk. However, I
19 propose that we do so before the clash and that we agree, before the
20 fight begins, on possibly the same issues as we will anyway have to, but
21 after the large losses. There are huge losses that should have been
22 avoided, had this been respected ... our proposals and our will, the
23 things we propose before the war, namely that the Serb people in Croatia
24 have -- were not supposed to be an ethnic minority and did not want to
25 live, these Serbs in their ethnic regions did not want to live in Croatia
1 but in Yugoslavia instead, as they had already declared twice, that is
2 either in Serbia or in Yugoslavia."
3 MR. STRINGER:
4 Q. Mr. Dzakula, just a couple of questions about this and then we
5 can finish for the day. First of all, the footage here, do you recognise
6 this television footage? Does it appear to be from the region?
7 A. I do recognise this speech by Mr. Hadzic. This was somewhere in
8 Eastern Slavonia.
9 Q. Now, earlier we looked at the letter that Mr. Babic wrote to
10 Boutros-Ghali on the 9th of February, 1992, and the whole incident of
11 Mr. Babic being moved out of the way, if I can put it like that. Does it
12 appear that that's what Mr. Hadzic is talking about in this video when
13 he's asked questions?
14 A. Yes. At the beginning of the clip, he was talking about the
15 event in Glina, an unfortunate incident as far as he was concerned, and
16 that unity was necessary, and he said that there were always problems
17 when he went to Knin, that that reminded him of events from before. So
18 this is a discussion about this process of the political elimination of
19 Milan Babic.
20 Q. Now, you were president of the SAO Western Slavonia at the time.
21 During these days, 1991, early 1992, did you wear a uniform?
22 A. No, I never wore a uniform or had weapons.
23 Q. And as the president of the government of the one of the SAOs,
24 did you consider public statements about a war to the annihilation or
25 making a deeper penetration into the territory controlled by Croats,
1 statements like that would promote the Vance Plan, the peace process that
2 was being discussed at the time?
3 A. Well, I did not tend to give such statements. It never occurred
4 to me to do that. Had I ever given a statement of that kind, that would
5 have been played on Croatian television every day in a desire to present
6 me as an extremist. I knew that nothing would come out of making
7 extremist statements and that tolerant dialogue was required in order to
8 reach some sort of understanding and solution between Serbs and Croats.
9 Extremist statements only encouraged hostilities, such as that event and
10 other events.
11 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we can -- this is actually a very
12 good time for us to break.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is this -- have you finished with this video
14 footage, or --
15 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour, we have, and we tender it. My
16 apologies. That is --
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
18 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P34. Thank
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
21 Mr. Dzakula, this is the end of your testimony for today, but
22 only for today. You will come back tomorrow at 9.00 in this same
23 courtroom, and you are still under oath. That means that you cannot
24 discuss your testimony with anybody, and you're not allowed to talk to
25 any of the parties until the end of your testimony.
1 Do you understand?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. The court usher will now --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- escort you out of court.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.03 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day
10 of October, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.