1 Friday, 19 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 the case
7 IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Good morning to each and everyone in
10 and around the courtroom.
11 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
14 Douglas Stringer, appearing for the Prosecution, with Sarah Clanton and
15 Uros Zigic, and our Case Manager, Thomas Laugel.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 For the Defence, please.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
19 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
21 So we're waiting for the witness.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Dzakula. We will continue with
24 the examination-in-chief by the Prosecution, Mr. Stringer. I remind you,
25 Mr. Dzakula, that you have still under oath.
1 WITNESS: VELJKO DZAKULA [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you.
4 Examination by Mr. Stringer: [Continued]
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Dzakula. Can you hear me well and understand
7 A. Good morning. I hear you well and I understand you.
8 Q. Now, yesterday when we finished, we had been talking about the
9 three Serbian Autonomous Regions. We talked about the conflict, the war
10 in Croatia and then we were talking about the Vance Plan which brought us
11 into -- to the end of 1991. What I'd like to now do is to move into 1992
12 and ask whether there was a change in the structure, the political
13 structure, of the three SAOs in Croatia during the early part of 1992,
14 whether they were organised differently.
15 A. Yes. In early 1992, in February, or rather on the
16 26th of February, there was an Assembly meeting in Baranja at which the
17 Republic of Serbian Krajina was constituted and that included the three
18 areas: SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem; SAO Krajina; and
19 SAO Western Krajina. Now they constituted one single republic which was
20 named the Serbian Krajina.
21 Q. If we could please call up Exhibit 65 ter 809. Okay,
22 Mr. Dzakula, you see it on the screen in front of you. If we could
23 perhaps make it a little bit bigger so we can read it. Are you able to
24 recognise this document, Mr. Dzakula?
25 A. Yes, I do recognise it.
1 Q. And what is this?
2 A. This is the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
3 which reports about the decision to proclaim the constitution of the
4 Republic of Serbian Krajina.
5 Q. And drawing your attention to the first full paragraph that
6 appears under the title, decision to proclaim the constitution, I just
7 want to address one question regarding to the dates that appear in
8 this -- in this document. And again you're not going to be able to see
9 it on the screen. Tell me if you can. I'm referring to the
10 paragraph that says: The constitution of the RSK which has been adopted
11 on the session, the Serbian Autonomous Krajina on 19th of February, 1991.
12 And then the date, 19th of February appears a couple of more times in the
13 document there.
14 Do you recall if that is actually a correct date that the RS --
15 excuse me, the SAO Krajina had adopted the constitution?
16 A. No. The date here is incorrect.
17 Q. And if we can just set that one aside then and I would like to
18 move to the next exhibit, which is 65 ter 0995. And again if we could
19 make it bigger, there are two corrigenda here and I would like to direct
20 your attention to the second one.
21 Are you able to read that document as it appears in front you of
22 you, Mr. Dzakula?
23 A. Yes, now I can.
24 MR. STRINGER: This is tab 27, I should have mentioned,
25 Your Honours. The constitution is tab 26.
1 Q. Do you see here a reference to the -- the 19th of February, 1991,
2 date that we just saw in the constitution?
3 A. Yes, I can see that.
4 Q. Okay. And now what is this constitution -- or this corrigendum
6 A. The corrigendum says that the decision to promulgate the
7 constitution of the Republic of Serbian Krajina should not be with the
8 date 19th February 1991 but rather 19th of December, 1991, in three
9 places. The decision on the promulgation of the constitution law and
10 implementation, instead of date 19th of February, 1991, the date should
11 also be 19th of December, 1991, which means it's a correction of the
13 Q. And is this consistent with your own recollection of the date
14 that the RSK constitution was first adopted?
15 A. As for the adoption itself, I heard about it in the media because
16 Western Slavonia did not take part in that on that particular date with
17 its assembly. We did participate on the 26th of February, 1992, but this
18 was the promulgation. I believe that it was just in writing and that the
19 three assemblies did not actually meet on that date, because they
20 couldn't have met.
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we're going to come back to the
23 constitution in a few moments, but I have that as one of the agreed
24 documents and we would move that into evidence at this time. This is
25 0809 as part of the law library.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: So only 0809?
2 MR. STRINGER: Well, I meant I was --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: And the corrigendum?
4 MR. STRINGER: And the corrigendum as well. It was my intention
5 also to ...
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked with an L number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 809 shall be assigned
8 Exhibit L-3, and 65 ter document 995 shall be assigned Exhibit L4.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MR. STRINGER:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, you made a reference then to the 26th of
13 February, 1992, I believe, and just as an overview as an introduction
14 because we'll look at some of the documents, can you tell the Chamber
15 essentially what happened then on the 26th of February, 1992?
16 A. On the 26th of February, 1992, in Beli Manastir in
17 Eastern Slavonia, or, rather, Baranja, the three assemblies met: The
18 Assembly of the SAO Krajina, the SAO of Western Slavonia, and the SAO of
19 Baranja and Western Srem. On that day, the Republic of Serbian Krajina
20 was constituted with a new constitution, or rather, the amendments to the
21 constitution. On that day, the president of the Republic of Serbian
22 Krajina was elected as well as the prime minister and the government with
23 the ministers and also the Speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of
24 Serbian Krajina with his deputies.
25 Q. And you just referred to amendments to the constitution.
1 Mr. STRINGER: Could we please call up Exhibit 0954. We're going
2 to have make a bit of a change on the translation. Now we see -- now we
3 see, I think, what is the first page or the page that corresponds to the
4 original language version on the screen.
5 Q. Mr. Dzakula, can you -- first of all, can you read this and tell
6 us what it is.
7 A. The font is quite small for me to be able to read it.
8 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps we could give the witness the binder that
9 has this document. It's tab 30. Excuse me, tab 28. Tab 28 in the --
10 from the binder.
11 Q. Mr. Dzakula, while that is being pulled out for you, it's been
12 made bigger on the screen.
13 A. Yes, I'm listening to you and waiting for the question.
14 Q. Okay. What can you tell us about this document then? What is
16 A. It is a decision on proclaiming amendments 1 to 6 to the
17 constitution of the republic of the Serbian Krajina.
18 Q. And if I could just direct your attention to amendment number 1,
19 here is says:
20 "The territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina shall comprise
21 the Serbian districts of Krajina, Slavonia, Baranja, Western Srem, and
22 Western Slavonia."
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I see that.
25 Q. My question is this: You've -- yesterday in your testimony you
1 described a split or a going of different -- taking of different roads as
2 between yourself and Mr. Hadzic. The question here is: Why did you
3 support or why did you agree to join the RSK then at this point?
4 A. Well, the Vance Plan envisaged that local authorities would be
5 accepted in the area where war was being waged. As Mr. Hadzic had
6 adopted the Vance Plan and so did the others, I believe that that was the
7 moment, perhaps, to resolve the issue together because it was practically
8 impossible to be separate. Because, according to the agreement envisaged
9 by the Vance Plan, Yugoslavia was the guarantee of its implementation,
10 and at that moment we could only find support in the then-Yugoslavia
11 because that was what the Vance Plan envisaged.
12 Q. And then going to amendment number 2 the first paragraph of that:
13 "The assembly of the RSK shall appoint and relieve of his post
14 the president of the republic and shall control his work."
15 Do you know who was appointed, if anyone, who was appointed by
16 the Assembly to be the president of the republic then?
17 A. On that day the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
18 elected, or, rather, appointed Goran Hadzic as the president of the
19 Republic of Serbian Krajina.
20 Q. And then amendment number 3, paragraph number 1, did Mr. Hadzic
21 propose a candidate for the position of prime minister?
22 A. Yes, he did. Goran Hadzic immediately after being elected
23 appointed Zdravko Zecevic as the prime minister or the premier of the
24 government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
25 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution tenders 954. Again
1 it perhaps could be for the law library.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked as an L number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 954 shall be
5 assigned Exhibit L5. Thank you.
6 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 65 ter 0951. Sorry,
7 Your Honour, it's tab 30. This is tab 30.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, on this document I want to direct your
9 attention to item number 140.
10 A. Yes, I can see that. The decision on the election of the
11 prime minister and government ministers of the Republic of Serbian
13 Q. And what's the date of this?
14 A. The date is -- let me just have a look. The
15 26th of February, 1992.
16 Q. And as you've already said, this is where Mr. Zecevic was elected
17 prime minister.
18 A. Yes, Mr. Zecevic was elected as the prime minister on that day.
19 Q. And then you appear in item number 2 as a member of the
20 government; correct?
21 A. Yes, I am listed under number 2.
22 Q. And did you have a portfolio or a specific area within the
23 government that were responsible for?
24 A. Later on, I was appointed as the deputy prime minister to take
25 care of the development of the economy, forestry in the first place,
1 because that was my profession.
2 Q. And at the very beginning of your testimony you indicated that
3 you held a -- a position within the government itself?
4 A. Yes. I said that I was the deputy prime minister in charge of
6 Q. Now I'd like to ask you to look at the person named in number 4
7 here, Stevo Bogic. Who was he?
8 A. Stevo Bogic was also a deputy prime minister from
9 Eastern Slavonia.
10 Q. Did you know him before the RSK was formed?
11 A. No, I -- I did not know him earlier. I only met him then.
12 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would tender 951 also
13 for the law library.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 951 shall be
16 assigned Exhibit L6. Thank you.
17 JUDGE HALL: If I may, Mr. Stringer --
18 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Witness, you have in answer to Mr. Stringer's
20 question, described Mr. Bogic also as a deputy prime minister.
21 I have two questions arising out of that. How many deputy prime
22 ministers were there?
23 And the second question is whether persons with the designation
24 of deputy prime minister had a higher status than the other persons who
25 were ministers.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there were three
2 deputy prime ministers: The first one was Jovo Kablar, the second was
3 Stevo Bogic, and the third was myself. I was in charge of forestry. We
4 did not have a special status. The reason was that the three
5 SAO Krajinas had joined so the idea was that the former prime ministers
6 should now retain the position of deputy prime ministers as the
7 representatives of their SAO Krajinas. And as Mr. Goran Hadzic had
8 become the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, then the
9 second-ranking man from their government became the prime minister. We
10 did not have any special status, especially I did not because I was in
11 charge of a marginal area in their view and that was forestry. They
12 believed that politics and security were far more important.
13 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, sir.
14 Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
16 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [No interpretation]
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Technical glitch. Can you hear me?
21 MR. STRINGER: I believe the -- [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear me now?
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Is that already now?
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Fine. Very good.
1 Mr. Dzakula, you said -- again, transcript page 6, line 20, you
2 said that after having been elected president, Goran Hadzic nominated
3 Mr. Zdravko Zecevic.
4 If we could have the document again uploaded, the document that
5 we had earlier. Thank you.
6 Here we are.
7 And on this document, 65 ter 954, we see that the assembly
8 elected Zdravko Zecevic as prime minister. So the question that I have
9 is the following: The assembly did elect a prime minister, the person
10 that was nominated by the president; right?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] If I were continuing the same
13 train of thought, all the ministers that you have here listed on 954,
14 including yourself, were nominated by the president and then elected by
15 the Assembly; right?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That is what the document
17 says, and that was official. But before the assembly session we had an
18 agreement about who would be the member of the government from which
19 SAO Krajina. So before the assembly was convened and before the voting
20 it was already agreed who would be the prime minister, who would be the
21 deputy prime ministers and who would be the ministers in charge of
22 specific areas. And then formally, the prime minister,
23 Mr. Zdravko Zecevic, who was elected read out in the assembly the names
24 of the members of the government for the sake of form. It even says here
25 in this document that we were all ministers though there was a decision
1 that there would be three deputy prime ministers, whereas, the others
2 would be just ministers.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: One last little detail, Mr. Dzakula.
5 You said there were three deputy ministers, and you explained
6 why, but then I see four names on the list, on top of the list, without
7 any specification, and the fourth one is Bosko Bozanic. Was he a deputy
8 prime minister as well?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think so. It's difficult
10 to remember specifically his case, but I don't think he was. He was a
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
13 Mr. Stringer.
14 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Mr. President, what we'd like to do is to play a sort video-clip
16 and I'd ask the witness to look at it. We'll come back with some
17 questions. We're less -- the Prosecution, I should say, is less
18 interested in what is said. We're going to try to use the video to ask
19 Mr. Dzakula to identify some people.
20 I'm sorry, this is from 65 ter 4945 -- no, I'm sorry. 4924. And
21 it's what we call video 3865.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 "Voiceover]: Reporter: The Great National Assembly of the
24 Serbian region of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem has adopted the new
25 constitution proclaiming the Republic of Serbian Krajina. This new
1 country comprises the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina and the
2 Serbian region of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem with Knin as its
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: I see Mr. Zivanovic on his feet, Mr. Stringer.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, Your Honour, Mr. President. I have no
7 sound on my equipment.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So now I have sound so please go ahead.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I cannot follow the video.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: You don't have sound? Okay.
11 MR. STRINGER: Let's just -- we can replay it.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Shall we replay the video?
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. STRINGER: Okay. Was counsel able to hear that?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. Thank you.
17 MR. STRINGER:
18 Q. What I'd like to do, Mr. Dzakula, is just go back to the
19 beginning of this, and we're going -- just going to stop this a couple of
20 places along the way, and I'll ask you some questions.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 MR. STRINGER: Okay.
23 Q. And the first question is whether you recognise this -- the room,
24 the hall, that these people are in.
25 A. Yes. That was the hall in which the Assembly of the Serbian
1 Republic of Krajina was held on 26th of February, 1992.
2 Q. Now, where was this hall located?
3 A. Well, somewhere in the centre of Beli Manastir, in a building. I
4 don't recall how it looked like, but it was in the centre of the town.
5 Q. Okay. And then in this frame here, do you recognise
6 Goran Hadzic?
7 A. Yes, I do. He is sitting in the front row. He has his hand on
8 his forehead. And I think he is wearing a uniform.
9 Q. Okay. I'll just ...
10 [Video-clip played]
11 MR. STRINGER:
12 Q. Do you recognise the man sitting next to Goran Hadzic here?
13 A. Sitting next to him is the person that I don't know. I know,
14 though, the person sitting behind him.
15 Q. Okay. Who's the person sitting behind him? And if it is
16 possible to take the pen with this particular image, perhaps you could
17 indicate -- not possible. Okay.
18 It's not possible with the pen, Mr. Dzakula. Can you just tell
19 us who are the -- who is the person you are talking about. Where is he
20 positioned in respect of Mr. Hadzic?
21 A. Sitting right behind Mr. Hadzic, the person with black hair, a
22 moustache and a beard, and it seems that he is looking at the camera.
23 Q. And who is -- who's that person?
24 A. That's Stevo Bogic who was elected vice prime minister at this
1 Q. Okay. Now you've indicated -- were you -- were you at the
2 assembly in February of 1992 when these events occurred?
3 A. Yes, I was. I was sitting somewhere in the rear rows.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. STRINGER: I'm just going to, with Your Honours' permission,
6 play it one last time from the beginning.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would propose to
9 make a still photograph from this video and to indicate who Mr. Bogic was
10 as he has been indicated. I'm not sure if the Registrar can suggest a
11 way we can do it directly from the video. But perhaps at the break we
12 can make a still and ask the witness then to make the marking on the
13 still photograph, if that's the easiest.
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: If you can make the still, Mr. Prosecutor, and
16 give -- give the photograph to the Registrar he can publish it then
17 after the break and we can do whatever needs to be done.
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. Laugel has indicated he thinks he can make the
19 still from where he is sitting now, so we'll work on that.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks.
21 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 65 ter 946.
22 Q. And on this one, once it comes up, Mr. Dzakula, we'll ask you to
23 focus on item number 139.
24 A. Yes, I am looking at it.
25 Q. And what is item number 139 here? First of all, can you tell us
1 what this is from?
2 A. This is a decision published in the Official Gazette of the
3 Republic of Serbian Krajina, signed by President Mile Paspalj. And here
4 we have Article 139 and that is a decision on the election of the
5 president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and it reads that
6 Goran Hadzic is hereby elected president of the Republic of Serbian
7 Krajina. This took place at the first regular session of the Assembly of
8 the RSK held on the 26th of February, 1992.
9 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender 946
10 into the law library.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Shall assigned Exhibit L7. Thank you.
13 MR. STRINGER: Now if we could go back to the constitution, which
14 is Exhibit 809, and it might move things faster to give the witness the
15 document in the hard copy.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Which is tab 26.
17 MR. STRINGER: This is tab 26.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, there, do you have the decision to proclaim the
19 constitution of RSK?
20 A. Yes, I do. I have it in my hands.
21 Q. And a few minutes ago, we focussed on the first paragraph that
22 had the erroneous dates, 19th of February, that were subsequently
23 corrected to 19th of December. Do you see that?
24 A. This paper that I have, again, says 19th of February, 1991.
25 Q. Okay. What -- based on your knowledge, what exactly happened on
1 the 19th of December? Where did the RSK constitution come into effect or
2 where was it promulgated? What is the relevance of the
3 19th of December date, which is the correct date?
4 A. Well, the 19th of December was, if I remember correctly, when
5 Croatia announced their break-away from Yugoslavia, and I think that on
6 that date they wanted to enhance the constitution for the Republic of
7 Serbian Krajina.
8 Q. It's a bit confusing because the dates are wrong here. But here
9 it says that the RSK constitution was adopted by the SAO Krajina on the
10 19th of December -- would be December with the corrected version. And it
11 also indicates the same for the SBWS and Western Slavonia. And, again,
12 taking the corrigendum into account, this indicates that all three SAOs
13 accepted the RSK constitution on the 19th of December, 1991. My question
14 is whether that's correct?
15 A. This is not correct because the three Assemblies did not meet on
16 that day. I am sure about the Western Slavonia Assembly, and if I
17 remember correctly, the Assembly of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem
18 and did not meet either.
19 Now speaking about these dates, I think at that time there was
20 talk about dismissal of Mr. Milan Babic, who was still active in
21 SAO Krajina at the time and that this joint meeting of the assemblies
22 never happened.
23 Q. In any event, all three of the SAOs accepted the constitution as
24 amended then on the 26th of February, just to round it off - is that
25 correct? - February 1992.
1 A. Yes. Yes, the 26th of February, 1992. That was the date when
2 all three Assemblies of the SAOs accepted or adopted the constitution of
3 the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
4 Q. Could you please turn to Article 68 of this document, the
5 constitution. Article 68 is on page 18 of the English version. Excuse
6 me, page 19.
7 Do you have that, Mr. Dzakula?
8 A. Yes, I can see Article 68.
9 Q. This relates to the assembly. Article 68, also 69, 70 and
10 subsequent articles, do these relate to the powers and duties of the
11 assembly of the RSK under the constitution?
12 A. Yes. This relates to the role and the function of the assembly
13 in the RSK.
14 Q. And then moving on, if you will, to Article 78, which is on
15 page 22 of the English translation, does this relate to the powers and
16 function of the president of the republic?
17 A. Yes, precisely so.
18 Q. As well as Article 79, 80, 81, 82, and other articles. This is
19 the section that relates to the president.
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. And then the role and function of the government of the RSK then
22 is addressed, beginning with Article 84; is that correct? If you could
23 move to 84 in page 26.
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. And then, finally, if you could move to Article 102. Article 2
1 [sic] is on page 30?
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, why are we doing this? Why are
3 we -- why do we need the witness to say, Yes, this is the section on the
4 president's function and, yes, this is -- we can read that ourselves, no?
5 MR. STRINGER: Yes, of course, Your Honour. I guess I'm going to
6 be asking the witness a few more questions about specifically the powers
7 of the president of the republic as they were exercised, and so this was
8 simply a way to try to introduce the various functions. But --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Sorry for the interruption.
10 MR. STRINGER: This is just going to take -- actually, probably
11 the most relevant one is the one we're now coming to which is
12 Article 102, because I want to talk in a few minutes about the president
13 and the armed forces of the republic.
14 Q. Do you see that Article 102 relates to the armed forces?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Okay. Now, the question, Mr. Dzakula, is: In your capacity as a
17 deputy prime minister, did you ever have any dealings with Goran Hadzic
18 in relations to the armed forces, armed forces of the RSK? Any dealings
19 with him, did you observe him interacting with the armed forces or
20 military units of the RSK?
21 A. Yes. I had an experience in January 1993. After the
22 20th of January, to be more precise.
23 Q. Could you tell the Chamber about that experience, please.
24 A. On the 19th or the 20th of January, the Croatian army attacked
25 Maslenica which is situated due south of Knin. A few days after that,
1 our commander in Western Slavonia received an order to get the tanks on
2 the move that were previously stored in a warehouse according to the
3 agreement on two keys which means that UNPROFOR was supervising that and
4 to head to -- for Nova Gradiska and another place.
5 We met with --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down. There are
7 too many names and titles.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you please slow down a little bit for the
9 interpreters, especially when you with giving names, places and dates so
10 that they can interpret correctly. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll do that, Your Honours.
12 So, in the course of those few days after the 20th of January,
13 when a meeting took place with the persons listed, we briefed each other
14 about what was happening, and who issued an order. It turns out that the
15 order was issued by General Novakovic, the commander the Army of RSK, to
16 our commander in Western Slavonia, Jovan Cubric. He was a commander as a
17 matter of formality but he was in civilian clothes. When I asked him
18 what was the meaning of that, he said that we had to attack Gradiska and
19 Novska which were the places under the control of the
20 Republic of Croatia.
21 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. Dzakula, I think counsel has an
22 intervention to make.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honour, I would object to the -- this line
24 of questioning of my learned friends because Novska and Gradiska were not
25 part of the indictment.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
2 MR. STRINGER: The evidence is relevant to showing Mr. Hadzic's
3 relationship and command over armed forces of the RSK and it's true that
4 these specific places are outside -- actually, it's -- it's -- it's we
5 disagree. We're now in 1993. Mr. Hadzic is president of the republic of
6 the RSK which includes all these areas, so we don't think it's outside
7 the scope of the indictment for this particular time-frame. If we were
8 talking about 1991, before Mr. Hadzic was president of the combined
9 territories of what had been the three SAOs there might be a point. But
10 here it's 1993. Hadzic is president and commander under the constitution
11 of the armed forces of the RSK, and so evidence relating to his command
12 and control over those armed forces is relevant so long as it's dealing
13 with issues that are inside the RSK.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Shall I continue?
16 MR. STRINGER:
17 Q. Yes. Please continue.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: But slowly, Mr. Witness. Continue, but slowly.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll do my best, Your Honours.
20 At that time, I asked Colonel Jovan Cubric, commander in the
21 Western Slavonia, to ring the commander of the Army of the Republic of
22 Serbian Krajina, Mr. Novakovic, and to talk to him. And that's what he
24 I started talking to Mr. Novakovic and asking him why he had
25 issued such an order. He responded by saying, Who are you, and what is
1 your position? I introduced myself. I said my name was Veljko Dzakula,
2 the vice prime minister of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, to which he
3 said, I have nothing to discuss with you. I have my Supreme Commander,
4 Goran Hadzic, the president of the republic, and I am carrying out his
5 orders. And he hung up.
6 I asked our commander at that point to establish a communication
7 between me and the president of the republic. I don't know how he
8 managed to do that, but we spoke for a short period of time over the
9 telephone, that is to say, Mr. Goran Hadzic as the president of the
10 republic, and I as the vice prime minister. I asked him why he had
11 issued such an order to General Novakovic, which he passed on to our
12 command, in relation to a tank attack on Novska and Gradiska to which he
13 said that we were encircled by Ustasha forces that were preparing an
14 impending attack on us.
15 I told him that I consulted our commander, as well as
16 representatives of UNPROFOR, and that there was no danger of that kind at
17 all, to which he said, If you are sure, I'm going to withdraw my order.
18 The same situation repeated three times in the course of two days. So he
19 again repeated an order to General Novakovic, and General Novakovic
20 ordered again for an attack to be launched on Novska and Gradiska. We
21 reacted to this in the same manner, and, as a result, Goran Hadzic again
22 withdrew his order. After that, we were asked to provide written
23 guarantees with our signatures that we were assuming responsibilities if
24 anything happened in the event of attack by the Republic of Croatia on
25 our territory. A number of us signed this document. We assumed the
1 responsibility, and through our command, we send it over to
2 General Novakovic, as well as to the president of the republic,
3 Goran Hadzic. We wanted to reassure them that there was no threat and
4 that we did not want to be in the breach of the accepted Vance-Owen Plan
5 on demilitarisation.
6 I have to explain this. From General Zabala [phoen], the
7 commander of Sector West, we received written guarantees that they were
8 going to defend us but only if we did not remove our heavy weaponry from
9 the warehouse because only under such circumstances can he use his
10 UNPROFOR troops for defending us in case we were -- come under an attack
11 by the Croatian forces. If we drove the tanks out and started
12 shooting --
13 Q. I -- I apologise for cutting across. I think you've moved beyond
14 what was the -- the -- the main point here. And if the Defence or the
15 Chamber wants to ask you more about the issue with UNPROFOR, they will.
16 But I'm looking at the clock and I'd like to keep us moving, if I may.
17 Do you know where Goran Hadzic was located at the time that you
18 spoke to him, as you've just described, about the order to attack?
19 A. I was told that they reached him on the telephone line in
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. STRINGER: Now, Mr. President, we'll got that still photo,
23 and perhaps now would be a good time to put that back up and see if we
24 can finish off that issue.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
1 MR. STRINGER: As now been given -- it's been now given
2 65 ter number 4924.2.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, with this item, you can actually take the pen,
4 and if you would kindly place a circle around the person that you were
5 mentioning or identifying as Mr. Bogic.
6 A. This is Mr. Stevo Bogic.
7 MR. STRINGER: Could I ask that we give this now photograph as
8 marked a number, and the Prosecution would tender that in evidence.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 MR. STRINGER: So, Mr. President, we're tendering the photo not
11 the video itself at this time.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 4924.2 marked by the
13 witness in court shall assigned Exhibit P35. Thank you.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. STRINGER:
16 Q. Mr. Dzakula we'd like to show you another short video-clip and
17 again ask you if you can identify some people. This is from 65 ter 4945.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: That will be tab -- you have it, Mr. Usher.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 "[Voiceover]: Goran Hadzic: May God be with you, heros!
23 "Public: May God with you.
24 "Goran Hadzic: I greet you all in the name of all the citizens
25 of the republic of Srpska Krajina and please allow me to thank you for
1 all you did for us all. You standing here before us, you are the new
2 Obilics and Sindjelics, the new heros whose actions will be written about
3 in the history of the Serbian people. You and our brothers who gave
4 their lives will be entered into history books as saints who spilled
5 their blood for the freedom of the Serbian people. Through this act
6 which you had carried out, you show that the Serbian people were never on
7 their knees and never asked anybody for mercy, that we can accomplish all
8 that we want by ourselves. And from this place here we sent a joint
9 message to all the wheelers and dealers of the world that the Republic of
10 Serbian Krajina is not for sale. No price can be put on our freedom and
11 we will not sell it for any money in the world. We are now in a very
12 difficult situation encircled on all sides by our enemies but we have
13 never yet been so unified and determined to defend our freedom as we are
14 today. And what is the most important? We are aware of our enemies, and
15 nobody can fool the Serbian people anymore with some new 'brotherhood and
16 unity,' some new deceits. All citizens of the Republic of Serbian
17 Krajina are equal and will be equal regardless of their ethnicity, but it
18 must be known that this is the Republic of Serbian Krajina and those who
19 accept that can live here. Those who do not want to accept it can leave
20 the Republika of Srpska Krajina. Now I don't want to tire our brave
21 troops in the sun anymore. I would like to thank them once again and to
22 publicly announce here for the first time that from today we have two new
23 generals of the Serbian army. Those are Borislav Djukic and
24 Milan Martic. Cheers and thank you!"
25 MR. STRINGER:
1 Q. First question, Mr. Dzakula, is whether you personally were
2 present at this rally or this speech that we've just seen?
3 A. No, I was not present.
4 Q. Do you -- are in a position to identify or tell us who
5 Milan Martic is? He's named in that ...
6 A. Yes. He is mentioned, and he is visible in the footage.
7 Milan Martic was the minister of the interior, in charge of the police.
8 Q. And Borislav Djukic?
9 A. Borislav Djukic was one of his assistants.
10 Q. And now it is indicated in the video Mr. Hadzic said that there
11 are now two generals of the Serbian army. Do you remember that?
12 A. Yes, I remember that. Boro Djukic and Milan Martic were
13 appointed as the new generals of the Army of the Republic of Serbian
15 Q. And do you know who appointed them?
16 A. They were appointed by the then-president of the Republic of
17 Serbian Krajina, Goran Hadzic.
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender that
19 video which is 65 ter 4945.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is one that -- I apologise.
22 THE REGISTRAR: This video shall be assigned Exhibit P36. Thank
24 MR. STRINGER: With the usher's assistance, I think it would be
25 better if we could take the next exhibit out of the binder. It's 65 ter
1 961. 961, which is tab 31.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, just to clarify, the previous --
4 the previous exhibit, or previous document, the video-clip, is it 4945
5 full or 4945.1?
6 MR. STRINGER: .1.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: .1.
8 MR. STRINGER: Just the clip itself.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay, thank you very much.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Then, just a correction for the record, 4945.1
11 shall be assigned Exhibit P36. Thank you.
12 MR. STRINGER:
13 Q. Mr. Dzakula, now you have this exhibit in front of you. Can you
14 tell us what it is and tell us if you recognise this.
15 A. Yes, I recognise it. These are the minutes from the session of
16 the Presidency of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia --
17 THE INTERPRETER: And could the witness please repeat the date.
18 MR. STRINGER:
19 Q. Can you please repeat the date of the document, Mr. Dzakula.
20 A. The meeting was held on 2nd of March, 1992.
21 Q. And looking at the first page, we see that you were present along
22 with Mr. Hadzic. Mr. Zecevic, Milan Martic are some of the people
23 present. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I can see that.
25 Q. Now, what I would like to do is to pass over the first section of
1 this. There's an introductory section made by General Adzic and
2 Veljko Kostic and others. They're talking about Travnik and places now
3 where the war has spread to Bosnia-Herzegovina by this time. If you
4 would please turn, Mr. Dzakula, to page 43 of your version, page 31 of
5 the English.
6 A. I have found it.
7 Q. So we see here that Mr. Hadzic makes some remarks as president of
8 the RSK.
9 A. Yes, I can see that.
10 Q. I'd actually like to move then down to the next speaker,
11 Mr. Milan Martic.
12 A. Yes, I have found that too.
13 Q. And the second paragraph he mentions Mr. Milan Babic, but I want
14 to pass over that.
15 A. Yes, he does mention him.
16 Q. And the middle of the next page in English which is about, for
17 you, Mr. Dzakula, about six paragraphs down.
18 And Mr. Martic is talking about pulling the army out. And then
19 in the next paragraph he makes reference to "a transformation we are
20 about to undertake."
21 Do you see that?
22 A. Yes, he see it.
23 Q. And then we'll just move down one more time and then I'll ask you
24 a few questions. Mr. Martic says in the next paragraph that:
25 "Therefore, I implore you - I think there are some obstructions,
1 things are moving slowly -- rather slowly - to speed up this
2 transformation, the transformation of the police in the first place,
3 which is supposed to remain a tangible force ..."
4 And then he continues:
5 "To have everything ready before the United Nations arrive - the
6 military element - so that we can react fast ..."
7 Now you were present at this meeting, Mr. Dzakula. Can you tell
8 the Chamber what sort of transformation Mr. Milan -- or, excuse me,
9 Mr. Martic is talking about here?
10 A. Well, Milan Martic is talking about the transformation of the
11 army into the police which should be an armed formation that would
12 welcome the troops of the United Nations and have the situation as it is.
13 He was not happy about the pace of the events, especially the equipping
14 of the units and the tempo at which they were being formed.
15 Q. Now under the Vance Plan was it envisioned that the arm would
16 actually be transformed into the police?
17 A. No. The Vance Plan envisaged that the army would be disarmed,
18 that the JNA would leave the territory of Krajina where the war was going
19 on, and that the only armed formation could be the police - the local
20 police, as they called it - with short-barrelled weapons.
21 Q. And based on what you know and saw, did that actually take place?
22 Did the JNA leave, and did the local police only have short-barrelled
24 A. The JNA did leave the territory successively according to the
25 agreement as the UNPROFOR troops arrived. However, the police kept their
1 long-barrelled weapons and in the demilitarisation process. Only the
2 police in Western Slavonia carried short-barrelled weapons, that is to
3 say only pistols; whereas in the remaining parts of the Republic of
4 Serbian Krajina, that is to say the former SAO Krajina, and Slavonia,
5 Baranja and Western Srem, police continued to carry long-barrelled
7 Q. If you would please move to page 61 of your version of the
8 minutes and page 44 of the English. Towards the bottom of the English,
9 page 44, Mr. Dzakula, remarks of Mr. Ilija Koncarevic. Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, I can see that.
11 Q. All right. And what was his position at the time in the RSK?
12 A. Ilija Koncarevic was the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly of the
13 Republic of Serbian Krajina.
14 Q. All right. And then in the second paragraph of his remarks, he
15 is addressing Mr. Mitrovic. And he says:
16 "But at the moment we really desperately need financial support
17 because we are unable to organise local government without financial
18 resources. That is why we wrote to SFRY Assembly. Our requests were
19 processed there to match the methods of financing Banja Luka, Skoplje,
20 Montenegro. Therefore, we would be much obliged if you could release
21 these short-term resources urgently as we are penniless."
22 Mr. Dzakula, as a vice-president or a deputy prime minister of
23 the RSK government, is that an accurate statement of the financial
24 situation of the RSK here in early March 1992?
25 A. Yes, this is correct information. At the time we depended
1 completely on the funds we were receiving from Yugoslavia. We did not
2 have any resources of our own at that time.
3 Q. Then if you could please move to page 65 of yours, page 48 of the
4 English. Now, at that point, Mr. Paspalj is speaking and, Mr. Dzakula, I
5 think you've mentioned him, but who was Mr. Paspalj?
6 A. Mr. Mile Paspalj was the Speaker of the Assembly of the Republic
7 of Serbian Krajina.
8 Q. And here, on your page 65, top third of the English, page 48 he
10 "I would only like to say something in addition to the discussion
11 of Minister Martic."
12 And then it continues:
13 "...namely, that these are the times when we expect every
14 assistance from you, both financial and physical assistance, including
15 military and any other assistance necessary to put this machinery in
16 motion (and Ilija made a good point in this respect) - we all are running
17 on private funding ..."
18 So again, is this an accurate statement of the extent to which
19 RSK was depending on Serbia for financial and material assistance?
20 A. Yes. We did not have any resources of our own.
21 Q. Now on page 67 to 71 of your version, beginning at page 49 of the
22 English, just the next page, Mr. Dzakula, now you speak. And as you
23 indicate in your first remarks, you're speaking about the Serbian
24 district of Western Slavonia only. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I can see that.
1 Q. And you say:
2 "We have initiated talks with Minister Goulding which should be
4 And then you say, "it concerns the enlargement of the region."
5 This is top of page 50 of the English. And here you're talking about
6 various places and enlarging the territory. Again, I think we -- we
7 touched on this yesterday. What was your objective here, in terms of the
8 Vance Owen protected areas and where they should fall within
9 Western Slavonia?
10 A. Well, I used that moment as Mr. Jovic was at the head of the
11 committee for negotiations with UN for us to attempt once again to expand
12 the UNPROFOR zone so as to include the places we have mentioned earlier,
13 Pozega, Slatina, Orahovica and Donji Miholjac so that this territory
14 where war was ongoing and that Serbs had left as refugees would be
15 protected by the UN and so that the people could return there.
16 MR. STRINGER: Just a correction for the record. Page 31,
17 line 7, I referred to the "Vance-Owen Plan" and that was a mistake. It
18 is just the "Vance Plan."
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 MR. STRINGER:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Dzakula, if you could now turn to page 79 of yours,
22 page 58 of the English. And here we see Mr. Zecevic speaking. And he
23 makes a statement here. He is talking about 15.000 Croats from Benkovac.
24 Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I can see that section.
1 Q. And I won't read the whole paragraph, but just a part of it. He
2 says he is in a panic when he thinks that 15.000 Croats would return to
3 Benkovac. And then he goes on to say:
4 "The truth is that we cannot live together and we do not want to
5 live with them anymore."
6 Now this position, or I should say this statement about the
7 Croats from Benkovac, first of all, did you share the view expressed by
8 Mr. Zecevic here?
9 A. No. I did not share his opinion, and this was generally known.
10 Q. Now, was this opinion, was the position of Mr. Zecevic here, was
11 it shared, to your knowledge, by other people in the RSK government?
12 A. The majority of the ministers shared Mr. Zecevic's opinion,
13 especially if they had to state their opinion in public.
14 Q. Does this -- or to what extent, if any, does this statement
15 reflect the policy of the RSK government regarding return of non-Serbs
16 into parts of the RSK?
17 A. Well, that was the official policy, that the non-Serbs could not
18 return to the RSK territory with the constant excuse that the conditions
19 for that had not been met yet.
20 Q. Now, did this policy have an impact on the return of Serbs to the
21 areas that you're talking about in Western Slavonia?
22 A. It certainly did. Because that policy was opposed to the return
23 of Serbs to the areas that were not as we used to say at the time under
24 Serbian control but it was UNPA areas, and it was militarily and in the
25 civilian sense controlled by the Croatian side. So this was also not
1 allowed for the Serbs to return, once again, with the excuse that the
2 conditions for that had not been met.
3 Q. Now, at this point in time - again, March of 1992 - do you know
4 what Mr. Hadzic's own views were on this point, on this issue, about
5 Croats and Serbs returning to live together in these areas?
6 A. He was not in favour of the return of either the Serbs or the
7 Croats or for a life together.
8 Q. Did you have any conversations with Mr. Hadzic about this issue
9 around this period of time?
10 A. Yes, I did. I talked to him, I think, in late April or early
11 May 1992, when a government session was held in Eastern Slavonia. I
12 think it was in Erdut. Mr. Hadzic invited me to talk with him. I
13 attended a government session, and then I came to his office. He was
14 accompanied by Arkan, who was well known as a warrior. He just greeted
15 me briefly and asked me the following: Brother Veljko, is it true that
16 you advocate co-existence with the Croat? I looked at him and I could
17 see that Arkan was looking at me in a very pronounced manner. I replied
18 that that was not true and that that was not the case. He asked me again
19 and he said, I will trust you if you tell me whether you are or not. And
20 I said, No, I'm not advocating that. He said, All right. And I went
21 back to the government session.
22 Q. Why did you say you were not advocating that?
23 A. Well, the question itself was strange, and also in the presence
24 of Arkan, who was quite ruthless to people who did not express Serbdom as
25 he thought was fit, I was not courageous enough to confirm my beliefs in
1 front of them because I was afraid of consequences that could follow, and
2 later on I really did experience that.
3 Q. Last question before the break, if I may, Mr. President, just a
4 brief description of the place, the location where this conversation
5 occurred. You said his office. Where was that?
6 A. That was in a building with high walls. I think it was a castle
7 or something like that where we were having the government session. It's
8 an old building fenced in. It used to be some sort of a farm or sort of
9 a agricultural co-operation, something like that. But I did not really
10 notice much of that because I was burdened with other concerns and
12 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, we will take the break now, come
14 back at 11.00. The Court Usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: We'll take the break.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, we were told that you want to raise
21 an issue about documents before the witness comes in. Sorry?
22 MR. STRINGER: I apologise --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Oh, it's the Defence. Sorry.
24 Mr. Zivanovic, sorry about that.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Your Honour, I just tried to put this issue before the beginning
2 of my cross-examination. I already spoke with Mr. Stringer about it.
3 Anyway, on my Defence exhibit list, there is one document. It is under
4 21. It is -- sorry, may we move to the private session, please.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 382-383 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: The witness may be brought in.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Dzakula, before the break, we were looking at the -- the
10 minutes of the SFRY meeting from the 2nd -- excuse me,
11 2nd of March, 1992. I've got one last item I'd like to draw your
12 attention there. If you could go to your page 92, page 68 of the
14 If you could turn, please, to page 92 of that document, the
16 Here, Mr. Dzakula, Mr. Hadzic makes a statement, and I think that
17 it's first useful to see what he's responding to. And these are remarks
18 preceding Mr. Hadzic made by Radovan Karadzic. And toward the end of
19 Mr. Karadzic's remarks, he talks about:
20 "Passing the initiative over to the Croats so they were prepared
21 to swap. 150.000 pieces of their best land in Vojvodina for 150.000
22 Serbs. Who is going to make the Croats from Vojvodina move to Krajina?
23 These are nebulous ideas seen as abhorrent by the rest of the world,
24 though India and Pakistan did exactly the same thing. It is rather
25 questionable if anything like that would be feasible in Europe at the
2 And then Mr. Hadzic then responds:
3 "There is nothing nebulous about -- in it. The Serbs from Zagreb
4 should resettle, as well as those from Belgrade, and it is out of
5 question now."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. So the question here, we've been talking about resettling Serbs
9 back into the places where they lived in Western Slavonia or in the RSK.
10 Here, Mr. Hadzic is talking about resettling Serbs from other parts that
11 are not in the RSK. Was that his view as well moving Serbs into the RSK
12 from outside.
13 A. Yes, that was his position. He thought that the Serbs from
14 Zagreb should move to the Krajina.
15 Q. That's all have I for these minutes, Mr. Dzakula.
16 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution tenders into evidence
17 65 ter 961.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P37. Thank you.
20 MR. STRINGER:
21 Q. Before we move to the next document, Mr. Dzakula, I wanted to ask
22 you. We've talked about various people who were in the RSK government or
23 associated with it during 1992. Do you know who Milan Ilic was?
24 A. I didn't hear his last name. I only heard Milan.
25 Q. Ilic. Ilic.
1 A. Milan Ilic. At the moment, I cannot remember anyone by that
3 Q. Okay. The next exhibit is 65 ter 1104, which is tab 34.
4 MR. STRINGER: Actually, Mr. Registrar, I think we can work with
5 this -- with the remaining documents, actually, on the screen. None of
6 them are as big as these last minutes have been.
7 Q. Do you see 1104 on the screen, Mr. Dzakula?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And have you seen this before?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. Now, it's from 18th of May, 1992, a declaration authorising the
12 return of emigrants and displaced persons. And was this declaration
13 published in the Official Gazette of the RSK?
14 A. Yes, it was published in the RSK Official Gazette.
15 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to item 2 paragraph 2 where this
16 is referring to the individuals taking part in the civil war on the
17 territory of what is now Republic of Serbian Krajina from 6th of April,
18 1941, to the 15th of May, 1945, and who did not violate international
19 regulations regarding war crimes who were not in the so-called NDH;
20 that's the independent state of Croatia, et cetera. And then moving to
21 item 3:
22 "All individuals to whom the provisions of this declaration refer
23 may return to any part of the territory of the RSK without any
24 preconditions or consequences."
25 And this is over the name of Mile Paspalj.
1 Mr. Dzakula, I wanted to ask, the reference to this World War I
2 period here, and these people that are referred or would be covered by
3 this, what this is about. Can you describe what this relates to?
4 A. First of all, it was World War II, not World War I, because we
5 are talking of the period between April 1941 and May 1945. This pertains
6 to part of the Croatian population that was settled during the
7 Second World War by Ante Pavelic in the territory of Croatia. They
8 mainly came from Western Slavonia and were resettled in Eastern Slavonia
9 so this relates to them, because the majority of them were members of the
10 Ustasha army, and the presumption was that this referred to their right
11 of return.
12 Q. Now, yeah, I did mistakenly refer to this as the World War I
13 period. I just want to clarify something that you said.
14 You said that these were Croats -- at least what we have on the
15 transcript here, is that they came mainly from Western Slavonia; is that
16 correct? You're referring to Croats who came from Western Slavonia
17 during World War II?
18 A. No, those were Croats from western Herzegovina and they were
19 resettled to Eastern Slavonia during the reign of Ante Pavelic.
20 Q. And can you tell the Chamber just very briefly roughly the
21 location. Where is the western Herzegovina region located?
22 A. Well, it's somewhere close to Mostar and Ljubuski that area.
23 That is western Herzegovina. And right -- to the right of Mostar towards
24 Serbia is eastern Herzegovina.
25 Q. And this is in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. Yes. That's in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. So then who were the people that could be covered by this who
3 were being authorised to return to any part of the RSK?
4 A. As far as I understand this, this means persons who were Croats
5 who moved in, in the period 1941-1945, and I think that they moved into
6 houses - I don't know who they belonged to - but, anyway, those were
7 Croats, and some of them being members of the Ustasha forces were
8 probably rewarded by given dwellings in that area.
9 Q. And those Croats, then, who were living in these regions of RSK
10 from World War II, what was to be their status now under this or how
11 would they be affected by this declaration?
12 A. Well, many of them would have been affected in that you -- they
13 wouldn't be able to return to their former places of abode and their
15 Q. And this refers to -- authorises the return of all emigrants and
16 displaced persons who were residing in the territory of what is now RSK
17 and who were forced to leave or voluntarily moved. That's in Article 1.
18 Do you see that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. And so now who are the people who are authorised to return to
21 this RSK territory?
22 A. Well, that is a reference to domicile Croatian population that
23 have been living together with Serbs for several centuries. Or maybe
24 Serb or Hungarian or other refugees belonging to other ethnic groups.
25 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 1104.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P38. Thank you.
3 MR. STRINGER: The next is 65 ter 1035. It's at tab 33. And we
4 want to look at item 134.
5 Q. Mr. Dzakula, do you recognise this decision? Have you seen it
6 before your testimony today?
7 A. Yes, I have seen it, and I do recognise this decision.
8 Q. And it's a decision on the return of refugees.
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And in Article 2, it provides that the secretariat of the
11 interior would carry out a background check on people requesting to
12 return to verify whether the individual was directly or indirectly
13 involved with any enemy unit or nationalist and fascist party. The
14 question here is: What enemy units or nationalist or fascist parties
15 does this refer to?
16 A. Well, this was probably reference to members of the ZNG and the
17 Croatian army and police. And speaking of nationalist or fascist
18 parties, they definitely meant HDZ and other ... and other similar
19 parties operating in the territory of Croatia.
20 Q. So under this legislation, someone who is a member of the HDZ
21 party would have to be identified, or would be identified within the
22 process of deciding who could come back?
23 A. Precisely so.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I object. I object. Although the witness
1 already answered the question. The witness said - it is line -- sorry,
2 line 7, page 43, that it is "probably." And I don't understand why to
3 ask any interpretation and what -- how it was implemented if he -- he is
4 not sure that -- it is -- he -- it is in the way as he explained, as he
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
7 MR. STRINGER: I accept that the witness said "probably," and --
8 if I could perhaps ask a different question to deal with it.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
10 MR. STRINGER:
11 Q. If you could tell us, Mr. Dzakula, just in general terms, whether
12 you know whether this -- how it would have impacted the ability of Croat
13 people from these regions to actually return to the RSK? How would this
14 legislation have effected their ability to come back, if you know?
15 A. Very much so. Because many of them were either members of the
16 HDZ or they participated in the military formations. So that on the
17 basis of such a decision, only a few Croats could return.
18 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we tender 65 ter 1035 perhaps for the
19 law library. It's a decision in the RSK Gazette.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked with an L number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 1035 shall be
23 assigned Exhibit L8. Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is tab 38, 65 ter 314.
1 Q. Mr. Dzakula, I'd like to -- what you see is a newspaper article
2 in front of you. This is from "Borba," September 1991. Are you able to
3 read it on the screen there?
4 A. Yes. But just the big letters that says the borders depend on
5 the strength and capital of SAO Vukovar Virovitica and Moslavina is the
6 outpost of the Serbian Autonomous District, and so on, and only room for
7 indigenous Croats in the SAO.
8 Q. We could try to make it bigger, but then you lose the document.
9 Perhaps we could just take from the binder instead. It's tab 34 --
10 excuse me, 38. 38. I apologise it's hard for you to read. It's a small
11 copy. There are some -- there are some statements attributed to
12 Mr. Hadzic in this article and I'd like to ask you about them. In the
13 second paragraph, the quote that is attributed to Mr. Hadzic is that:
14 "The capital of this district is Vukovar, not yet liberated but
15 we hope that this will happen soon."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes, I can see that.
18 Q. Again, we've moved back to September of 1991. Do you know if in
19 fact that's the case, that it was intended that Vukovar would be the
20 capital of the district SAO SBWS?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Moving a few lines down, there's a reference here to ministers
23 attending the -- from the SAO government attending a press conference
24 with Mr. Hadzic. And that:
25 "The Croatian side was offered relocation as a solution. Serbs
1 from non-Serbian lands would move to the SAO while the Croatian minority
2 would move from the SAO to Croatia."
3 Do you see that?
4 A. Yes, I can see that.
5 Q. Now, a few minutes ago in that last presidential -- or, excuse
6 me, the SFRY transcript we saw that Mr. Hadzic made a reference to people
7 moving from Zagreb. Do you recall that?
8 A. Yes, I recall that.
9 Q. So what we're seeing here in this article and these words, is
10 this consistent with Mr. Hadzic's view, based on what you've seen and
11 heard from him, about the place for Serbs and Croats within the district?
12 A. Yes. That corresponds with that.
13 Q. Now, moving down a couple of paragraphs, there's another quote
14 attributed to Mr. Hadzic that says:
15 "We want not only the Serbs to return but also the indigenous
17 What is that about, indigenous Croats? And then he continues:
18 "We divide the Serbs and Croats into those that are indigenous
19 and newcomers."
20 He refers to the genocide suffered by the Serbs in the last war
21 and refers to the colonisers from western Herzegovina, Imotsko and parts
22 of Zagorje. So the question is: Who were the indigenous Croats that
23 Mr. Hadzic is referring to here?
24 A. The indigenous Croats are the ones who lived there for centuries
25 together with the Serbs. One lived in one villages and the others in the
1 other villages. Sometimes they were even mixed together in the area of
2 the Eastern Slavonia.
3 Q. Does that relate to the legislation we saw a little earlier on
4 return of refugees and emigrants?
5 A. Yes. One could say that it refers to that.
6 Q. Okay. And then moving down, it's stated is that:
7 "But many Croats became colonists after the war. You don't think
8 they were Ustashas too?"
9 Mr. Hadzic says:
10 "Their parents were Ustashas ... I really do not want to enter
11 into discussion ... a large number of Croats are democratic people and
12 I'm afraid that there has been a misunderstanding. I'm speaking about
13 the extremist Croats who started everything."
14 My question here, Mr. Dzakula, is, based on your own experiences
15 in Western Slavonia, was it -- in your view, is it -- would you support
16 moving populations linked to where people were living in the World War II
18 A. No. Such an idea never occurred to me.
19 Q. Do you think it's a practical or achievable objective?
20 A. It's impossible. It just means creating new conflict and
21 promoting hatred.
22 Q. And then it continues. He's asked:
23 "Are you talking about a crime that is carried in their genes?
24 And the answer is:
25 "No. But it is a fact that some of the Croatian population has
1 something in its genes, a hatred of Serbs."
3 Mr. Dzakula, again, I asked you a question yesterday about
4 statements coming from high-level political people along these lines.
5 What effect would this have on a listening population?
6 A. Well, it would provoke hatred and distrust and at the time such
7 messages fell on fertile ground, and the distance between the Croats and
8 the Serbs grew while the fear that they were feeling was also growing.
9 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, Prosecution tenders 65 ter 314.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This document shall be assigned Exhibit P39.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is a video. 65 ter -- sorry.
14 JUDGE HALL: Before you go on, Mr. Stringer, if I might
15 intervene. Going back to the last exchange with the witness, I notice
16 that Mr. Zivanovic didn't raise an objection about the possible
17 speculative nature of the answer that you were eliciting from him.
18 But, Mr. Witness, could you explain why you were of the opinion
19 that you expressed about the effect that this would have on a listening
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, because if you point your
22 finger at certain people and say that they have hatred in their genes,
23 which I don't think is natural or could be proved, then you are
24 insulting, you are blaming, and you are instilling fear among the Serbs
25 from such people. And among the Croats, you are making them feel that
1 they are genetically faulty and that they have an inborn hatred of
2 another people.
3 So such statements are certainly irritating, and they cause a
4 rift between the peoples who used to live together.
5 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
6 MR. STRINGER: For the record, the next exhibit, the video, it's
7 4872.1. It's a video-clip from the bigger video 4872.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 "[Voiceover]: Anchor 1: 'The issue of western borders of
10 Slavonia, Baranja, Western Srem is open.' This was said by the president
11 of the government of these regions, Goran Hadzic, and his talks with
12 journalists in the Belgrade international press centre. On this
13 occasion, he reminded about the proposal of the Serb National Council of
14 these areas to establish this border if necessary with the help of moving
15 Croatian and Serb position population in the border area.
16 "Reporter: The Serbian Autonomous Region of Slavonia, Baranja,
17 and Western Srem is no longer in Croatia. The issue of western borders
18 is open and the government of the Serbian Autonomous Region advocates a
19 democratic way of solving this and by respecting the will of the people.
20 Goran Hadzic, president of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, told this
21 to local and foreign journalists in the international press centre in
22 Belgrade. Information minister, Ilija Petrovic, reminded the borders
23 according to the London contract are Ilova-Moslavina-Virovitica, and then
24 also on the proposal of the National Council that the Croatian state
25 assess whether one of the solutions would be moving the Serb and Croatian
1 population. When asked by the journalists where the tanks have been
2 summoned from Belgrade Goran Hadzic replied.
3 "Goran Hadzic: The tanks belong to the JNA and I can tell you
4 that within the borders of the president Republic of Croatia, the JNA is
5 if not in greater peril than equally periled as the Serb people who live
6 there. They are going there to liberate their colleagues, soldiers.
7 "Reporter: When asked several times about who was invited to
8 return to these regions, Hadzic expressed the wish for return not only of
9 Serbs but of native Croats as well. Serb people did not endure genocide
10 by the native Croats but by the colonists Ante Pavelic brought to western
11 Herzegovina, Croatian Zagorje and Imotsko. They were the first ones to
12 raise arms and mine Serb houses. In order to establish a normal life, we
13 will have to present them with a return ticket. Hadzic also said Serbia
14 should take care of women and children refugees and not of able-bodied
15 men. Stating the data on the SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem,
16 Goran Hadzic stressed that there were 150.000 inhabitants living there
17 and that its capital was Vukovar, which has not been liberated yet, but
18 this did not mean it would not be. Goran Hadzic replied to the TAS
19 reporter that his government offered 20 imprisoned guards to Croatian
20 authorities in exchange for two missing Soviet journalists.
21 'Unfortunately,' Hadzic said, 'our government does not know where they
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Mr. Dzakula, the question here is there's a reference again to
25 the native Croats and to those who had been brought from -- or the Croats
1 from western Herzegovina, Imotski, those places. Is this again a
2 reference to the same Croats that we talked about earlier, those that
3 came during the World War II era?
4 A. Yes, precisely so.
5 Q. And recognising that you're not from the Eastern Slavonia area
6 yourself, but if you know, were there significant numbers of Croats
7 living in the SBWS region during 1991/1992 who originated at some point
8 from western Herzegovina?
9 A. Yes, there were many Croats who had come from western Herzegovina
10 to the area of Eastern Slavonia.
11 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we tender that exhibit, 4872.1.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This document shall be assigned Exhibit P40.
14 Thank you.
15 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the next - excuse me - exhibit is
16 tab 37, 65 ter 5203.
17 Q. Mr. Dzakula, the original language version of this is English.
18 You will have a translation in your language with you. Have you -- did
19 you have a chance to look at this document before your testimony today?
20 A. Yes. During the proofing session, I had an opportunity to look
21 at this document.
22 Q. Now, this is a cable from Mr. Nambiar with UNPROFOR in Belgrade
23 to Mr. Goulding, whom you've already told us about, dated the
24 9th of July, 1992. Subject is meeting with Krajina authorities. It
25 indicates that on that day, Mr. Nambiar had met with Mr. Hadzic as well
1 as yourself and a Mr. Avezavic [phoen], all from the RSK.
2 First question is: Do you remember the meeting that is referred
3 to in this document?
4 A. Yes. I remember the meeting with Mr. Nambiar.
5 Q. And in paragraph 3, here he writes about the introductory remarks
6 made by President Hadzic stating that the RSK government intended to
7 comply fully with the Vance Plan and Security Council Resolution 762. He
8 just returned from a visit to Sector East, was quite satisfied with the
9 general situation, except for the continuing incidents of expulsions and
10 intimidation which he considered to be done by criminal elements.
11 First, Mr. Dzakula, the question of Sector East, what area does
12 that refer to?
13 A. It refers to the former SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
14 Q. And, based on you're being a vice-president of the RSK
15 government, do you agree that Mr. Hadzic intended to comply fully with
16 the Vance Plan, as is indicated here?
17 A. He advocated it publicly but he was not willing to implement it
19 Q. What parts was he not willing to implement fully?
20 A. Well, the first thing was that he was unwilling to carry out the
21 demilitarisation which was a precondition for everything else because the
22 area of Eastern Slavonia is part of the RSK, and Krajina was never
24 As for the return of the refugees there was also talk of
25 conditions not having been met for their return but the conditions were
1 not created as a realistic foundation for the refugees to be able to
2 return where they had left.
3 Q. Now, paragraph 8 of this document, Mr. Hadzic indicates that he
4 passed strict instructions on prosecution of criminals who engage in
5 expulsions. There are references to crimes -- incidents and expulsion
6 against non-Serbs in the preceding paragraph, paragraph 7.
7 The question is here during this period - this is July 1992 -
8 were you and other members of the RSK leadership aware of continuing
9 incidents of expulsions and coercion against non-Serbs?
10 A. I heard such information mostly from the Croatian media when they
11 would show Croats leaving Eastern Slavonia and southern part of Dalmatia.
12 They confirmed that they were provoked, beaten, and mistreated.
13 Q. But here you were actually being informed about it personally by
14 high-level UN representative; correct?
15 A. Yes, precisely so. In the meetings, they would sometimes tell us
16 that they were still security problems --
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment. Just one more moment,
18 Mr. Witness.
19 Mr. Zivanovic.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It was leading question.
21 MR. STRINGER: I agree, it was leading, and I apologise. If I
22 could rephrase it.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
25 MR. STRINGER:
1 Q. -- in meetings that you had with international representatives,
2 did representatives of the international community raise the issue of
3 crimes being committed against non-Serbs in the RSK?
4 A. Yes. Talking with Mr. Nambiar and other UN representatives, I
5 received such information. We had a similar problem, that is to say, the
6 mistreat of Serbs who were on the Croatian side. So in this context, we
7 talked about the suffering of both peoples.
8 Q. Then if you would move to paragraph 10. There's a statement
9 attributed to Mr. Hadzic here that they were prepared to accept all
10 non-Serbs who were willing to return to the UNPAs, but, at the same time,
11 it must be realised that "even if all non-Serbs were to return, the Serbs
12 would still remain in majority."
13 End of quote. You mention that the return of non-Serbs to
14 Eastern Slavonia would be dependant on the return of Serbs to
15 Western Slavonia where a lot of burning and looting of Serb houses had
16 taken place.
17 The question here, Mr. Dzakula - if you know - from parts of the
18 SBWS, was the SBWS territory a majority-Serb territory to begin with?
19 A. No. Those who had military control were not Serbian by majority
20 at the very beginning.
21 Q. And now in the next paragraph, you speak, and you're again -- now
22 you're talking about Sector West and the Serb villages which lie outside
23 the UNPAs? Again, you've mentioned this before. What was your objective
24 here in raising this issue with the UN representative?
25 A. As Mr. Nambiar was the top UNPROFOR man in charge of Yugoslavia,
1 I considered it important to inform him about the problem in the Vance
2 Plan which omitted one part of municipalities and towns with Serbian
3 villages where war was ongoing and from which villages the Serbs had
4 fled. I said that it was very important to include them in the area,
5 perhaps as pink zones, just so that security would be guaranteed to them
6 and so that people could return to their homes.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 5203.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P41. Thank you.
11 MR. STRINGER: Next exhibit is 5292. 65 ter 5292.
12 Q. Mr. Dzakula, here is another one of the UNPROFOR documents from
13 Mr. Nambiar to Mr. Goulding with a copy to Special Envoy Cyrus Vance
14 dated 13 November 1992. And it refers to a visit to Sector West and a
15 meeting that Mr. Nambiar had with you at your request and you spoke about
16 a visitation programme. Do you remember this meeting?
17 A. Yes, I remember the meeting.
18 Q. Okay. You go on to talk about the visitation programme and then
19 you said, according to this, that you -- you stressed that the Knin
20 authorities were not convinced about the judiciousness of your approach
21 and that you were coming under increasing pressure from them to talk a
22 tougher line. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I can see that.
24 Q. And is that how it was? Were you getting pressure from the Knin
1 A. Yes, I was pressured by the Knin authorities.
2 Q. Then you go on. You ask for tight controls of the UNPA borders
3 and the other sectors, convincing the Knin authorities to accept
4 disarmament and demobilisation. Were those your objectives at the time?
5 A. Yes, that was my goal and that was incorporated in the Vance Plan
6 that we had adopted all together.
7 Q. And then in paragraph 2, you emphasise "the problem in
8 Sector West and Sector East were interlinked."
9 And that:
10 "The return of non-Serbs to the UNPAs could be taken up only in
11 conjunction with the return of Serbs to the Croatian area."
12 Do you see that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Now, was your view on that point shared by the Knin authorities,
15 as you referred to them?
16 A. Well, the Knin authorities did not share this view relating to
17 the return because they kept saying that conditions were not in place yet
18 that would allow for the return to happen.
19 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 5292.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P42. Thank you.
22 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 5304.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula, this is another one of the UNPROFOR cables from --
24 this is going from Mr. Goulding to Mr. Nambiar. The subject is: Letter
25 from Dzakula. This is dated the 4th of December, 1992. Do you remember
1 sending a letter? And your letter is attached to it. Do you remember
2 sending a letter to Mr. Goulding at about this time?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And what was your objective in sending this letter? What was the
6 A. Well, I wanted to draw their attention to the problems in
7 Sector West and beyond. I mean, beyond UNPA areas that did not enjoy any
8 protection and that people there were facing a lot of problems.
9 Q. And we have your letter that's attached to it. It's the third
10 page. Begins on the third page, I believe. And here you're describing
11 the situation that the Serb population was dealing with in some of these
12 parts of Western Slavonia. Do you remember this?
13 A. Yes, I do. I do.
14 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution tenders 5304.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P43. Thank you.
17 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 5968.
18 Q. Do you recognise this document, Mr. Dzakula?
19 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
20 Q. It's dated the 18th of February, 1993, in Daruvar. And just a
21 few sentences, because we're reaching not only the end of the session but
22 also the end of my time with you. Can you just give us in a few
23 sentences what this agreement was about.
24 A. This agreement was signed in Doljani, Daruvar municipality
25 between representatives of the Serb and Croatian authorities, Daruvar,
1 Okucani, Novska, and other places. In order to achieve the normalisation
2 of relationships as an extension of the implementation of the
3 Vance Plan --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
5 MR. STRINGER:
6 Q. Mr. Dzakula, sorry if you could please just slow down again.
8 A. I apologise to the interpreters and the others as well. So that
9 was a token of goodwill that would lead to the normalisation of relations
10 between representatives of Croat and Serb authorities in order to create
11 preconditions for the return of refugees. It is impossible to launch the
12 process of return without representatives of the local authorities
13 previously discussing it and making preparations that were necessary, and
14 all of that was done under the supervision of the United Nations who were
15 to monitor the process and support it.
16 Q. What was the geographical scope or the territory that was covered
17 by the Daruvar agreement?
18 A. Well, it encompassed some five municipalities which means the
19 greater part of Western Slavonia, as indicated in the map.
20 Q. Okay. And we see your name on it. You and others from
21 Western Slavonia then were involved in the negotiations that led to this?
22 A. Yes. The names you see there are the names of the signatories to
23 the Daruvar agreement.
24 Q. And just to point out, Mr. President, on the original version, we
25 don't have a signed copy of this.
1 Mr. Dzakula, are you in a position to say whether, in fact, the
2 agreement was signed by the people whose names appear on the top of this?
3 A. Yes. All of these people named here signed the agreement.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. STRINGER: Prosecution tenders 5968.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P44. Thank you.
8 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 5362, tab 44.
9 Q. Mr. Dzakula, this is another UNPROFOR document. It's being sent
10 from an UNPROFOR official named Wahlgren to Mr. Kofi Annan at the UN in
11 New York with a copy to Mr. Vance. And it's attaching correspondence.
12 It's actually attaching one of the other UNPROFOR cables. And it's
13 attaching actually notes of a session, the parliamentary session of the
14 RSK in Okucani on the 20th of April, 1993. Now, have you had a chance to
15 look at this document before your testimony today?
16 A. Yes, I have seen this document while I was preparing to give
18 Q. And in order to make things go faster, I've got a hard copy here,
19 and if I could perhaps just, with the usher's assistance, pass it over to
20 you, it will be faster to move through because the clock is ticking.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I just like to -- to let know the
23 Trial Chamber that we haven't received any proofing note about the
24 Prosecution meeting with this witness, and he mentioned at two -- two --
25 two or three times that he had a look at some documents during the
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
3 MR. STRINGER: Well, I -- first of all, the subject matter of the
4 Daruvar agreement is the -- covered by proofing notes. We're checking
5 our proofing notes now. It's our recollection that this was addressed,
6 not only with the witness but the information was passed across to the
7 Defence. But I'd have to look at the proofing note from a few months ago
8 to confirm that.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: But Mr. Zivanovic says he didn't receive any
11 proofing notes. Did you --
12 MR. STRINGER: No, Mr. Zivanovic has received two extensive
13 proofing notes about some of the -- the -- the proofing that's taken
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, we didn't receive any.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
18 MR. STRINGER: I think --
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could I suggest you discuss this during the break
20 and come back to us with an answer whether yes or no.
21 MR. STRINGER: Yes, sure. Just -- well, we'll discuss it during
22 the break. Maybe before the break what I can do is ask the witness some
23 questions about the topic without referring to this specific document
24 or ... or are we to just move on?
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Which document are we talking about here?
1 MR. STRINGER: This is the document with the -- the UNPROFOR
2 document attaching the minutes of the Okucani meeting.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes. But am I -- why should you ask the witness
4 about this document without going into it? I don't --
5 MR. STRINGER: Well, I -- if -- if -- maybe I misunderstand
6 counsel. I don't know -- he saying he doesn't have a proofing note. I
7 don't know if he is saying that he doesn't know if this is an issue
8 that's part of the direct examination. Maybe I don't understand.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you -- could you remind me of the document
10 number, Mr. Stringer, before we get an answer from Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. STRINGER: It's 5362.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: 5362.
13 MR. STRINGER: Which is tab --
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's okay.
15 MR. STRINGER: -- 44.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: 3-6-2. Okay. [Microphone not activated] I'm
18 Mr. Zivanovic, do you have a problem with the use of this
19 document now?
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No. No, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. But, in the meantime, I see that it is
22 that time. We will come back to this after the break.
23 What is your prognosis, Mr. Stringer, for the end of your direct?
24 MR. STRINGER: We are at the very end. We have this document,
25 which we've just currently got on the screen, and then two more. And
1 they'll both be fast, I think within ten minutes or so after the break.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you very much.
3 So, Mr. Dzakula, we go for the break now, and we will be back --
4 back at 12.45. The usher will now escort you out of the courtroom.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 I'd just like to clarify my previous address to the Chamber as to
13 proofing notes of the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mm-hm.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. Stringer provided me two copies of two
16 proofing notes. They were disclosed to the Chamber but -- to -- to the
17 Defence - sorry - on 24th July and 17 and 20 September. However, it was
18 disclosed not as a separate document but in disclosure batch, containing
19 many documents.
20 And I recall on the paragraph 13 of your order where you said
21 that proofing notes shall be distributed to the Trial Chamber, the
22 Registry, and the opposing party as soon as possible after the conclusion
23 of the proofing session. In my understanding, it has to be done as a
24 separate document not as part of a disclosure batch. Thank you.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
1 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President - excuse me - just to clarify,
2 there are two proofing notes of two meetings that occurred last July and
3 then again last September and both of those were disclosed on the
4 28th of September. They were disclosed in the batch. This is all before
5 the time that we had the Chamber's guide-line on the specific requirement
6 or provision on the proofing notes. I regret that it was not -- that the
7 Defence didn't find it after it was disclosed last September, and
8 obviously now the procedure on proofing note disclosure will be carried
9 out under the -- under the guide-line.
10 And so our apologies to that. We didn't bring the prior practice
11 on this particular witness into compliance with the guide-lines that were
12 issued a few weeks ago.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: So we can consider this as a start of the trial
15 MR. STRINGER: I would like if it will be considered that way and
16 we will certainly modify the practice.
17 There are no more proofing notes that are from a more recent time
18 than last September.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think there was a scheduling issue as well.
20 MR. STRINGER: Yes. Just to raise the issue of potential timing
21 with the short court week next week, counsel has indicated that they plan
22 to take their full six hours or so with the cross-examination of this
23 witness, and that they will be seeking five hours for the
24 cross-examination of the witness who follows, and that's -- I think --
25 it's beyond sort of the normal two-hour but obviously the Defence can
1 address the Chamber in that. I should say the normal doubling of the
2 time taken on direct.
3 But, in any event, if we take six hours for this witness, and
4 possibly five for the one that follows, we're now into about 11 court
5 hours when we've got eight court hours available or scheduled next week,
6 Monday, Tuesday, and then the one hour or so that remains today.
7 So just to raise the possibility and to suggest perhaps if the
8 Court might be inclined to take extended session next week if it would
9 enable us to get this witness -- the next witness, I should say, through
10 his direct and his cross-examination so that he doesn't then have to go
11 home and he is still under oath and gone for ten days or so and he would
12 have to come back, which we would suggest is not the preferable practice.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's first hear from Mr. Zivanovic about his
14 request to have -- let's say -- yeah, double -- almost double the normal
15 time for cross-examination for this witness.
16 Mr. Zivanovic. You asked for five hours for cross.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
18 The witness statement, amalgamated witness statement of this
19 witness, is very voluminous. It addressed many issues and many
20 individuals and many events, and also it involves many documents, many
21 documents that we should address. And I think that five hours will be
22 appropriate time for cross-examination of this witness.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you give us an indication about the number of
24 documents you will -- do you -- do you know?
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Not right now, but ...
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Not right now. Okay.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I could do it in due course.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's just try to figure this out.
4 So we -- we still have, for cross-examination now, we have six
5 hours. One hour and a half for your direct of the next witness,
6 Mr. Stringer?
7 MR. STRINGER: [Microphone not activated] Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Seven and a half, and five. Twelve ...
9 The problem with extending sitting, the extending sittings, is we
10 would -- we would need more than one. What, two, three, four?
11 MR. STRINGER: As it currently stands, if the Defence uses their
12 full six hours to cross-examine Mr. Dzakula, then that takes us into
13 Tuesday really right there, because four hours for Monday, an hour or so
14 today, and then into Tuesday. Really, it's --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: I really wonder. Because the problem with
16 extended sitting for the moment is if we would have to sit full days,
17 let's say, to get there, is that members of the Bench are engaged in --
18 in -- in deliberations and need that time as well, because there are
19 deadlines and whatnot. So I think that's practically impossible.
20 If with this witness we go into Tuesday, by all means, I would
21 rather -- I would rather suggest not to call this witness for Tuesday
22 then. And -- and bring him over to next week.
23 MR. STRINGER: That's certainly acceptable to the Prosecution. I
24 think we need to get the process going of cancelling his flight and
25 whatnot. But if the Chamber is -- wants to take the witness on the
1 following Monday, then that's how we'll do the scheduling.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just to make sure, I think we are sitting on
3 Monday in the afternoon. Am I right? Anybody has an agenda at hand?
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, no. I mean the -- the mean the next -- the
6 next Monday, the 29th. Yeah. That's in the afternoon; right? No?
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: So we're not sitting that Monday. We're sitting
9 on Tuesday. The first time then is on Tuesday in the afternoon.
10 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we're looking at the court schedule
11 that's on the TribuNet, and, yeah, they have this case, Hadzic, in this
12 Courtroom, I, on Monday and Tuesday next week, the 22nd and 23rd, from
13 9.00 --
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, no, the week after, I mean. The week you
15 should bring -- yeah, Mr. Savic then.
16 MR. STRINGER: Yes. We will -- whichever -- if it's Monday or
17 Tuesday, we'll have Mr. Savic here ready to go first thing.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you very much.
19 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: And, finally, Mr. Zivanovic, the Trial Chamber
22 will grant your request for three hours for -- for six, no, five hours,
23 I'm sorry. Five hours for cross-examination of that witness.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: And the usher may bring the witness into the
1 courtroom, please.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: You may proceed, Mr. Stringer.
4 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Dzakula, before we continue, I want to go back to just one
6 bit of your testimony from earlier today to ask for a clarification.
7 I'm looking at page 32 of today's transcript, line 13, and I'll
8 just read this to you. Mr. Dzakula, you testified that -- and this was
9 late April or early May 1992:
10 "Mr. Hadzic invited me to talk with him. I attended a government
11 session, and then I came to his office. He was accompanied by Arkan, who
12 was well known as a warrior. He just greeted me briefly and asked me the
13 following, Brother Veljko, is it true that you advocate co-existence with
14 the Croats?"
15 Mr. Dzakula, my question is if you could just clarify who was it
16 that asked you that question, whether you -- or do you advocate
17 co-existence. Was it Mr. Hadzic? Because it's a little bit ambiguous in
18 the record. Did Mr. Hadzic ask you the question or was it Arkan that
19 asked you that question?
20 A. Mr. Goran Hadzic asked me that.
21 Q. Okay. Now, if we could come back to the document we were talking
22 about before the break. This is 65 ter 3562, attached to this the
23 UNPROFOR people are sending the minutes or the session of the RSK in
24 Okucani on the 20th of April, 1993. And you have it there. Your --
25 in -- in your language --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- and just I'd like to ask a couple of questions about this.
3 First of all, were you present at this session of the RSK parliament in
5 A. That was the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. I was
6 present both as the deputy prime minister and as a deputy in the
7 parliament, a deputy in the assembly, the People's Assembly of the
8 Republic of Serbian Krajina.
9 Q. And just at the beginning of this, it indicates that several
10 Serbian visitors from all over former Yugoslavia were in attendance. Do
11 you see that?
12 A. Yes, I can see that.
13 Q. Okay. And it indicates here that Mr. Hadzic was introduced as
14 the president of the RSK.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. I want to draw your attention, please, to item 4. In the second
17 paragraph of item 4 says:
18 "Two prominent Serbian leaders from Western Slavonia, namely
19 Mr. Dzakula and the formed information minister of RSK, Mr. Ecimovic were
20 relieved of all their political functions because of their signing of
21 agreement with the Croats (the Daruvar agreement of 18 February 1993).
22 They immediately stormed out of the parliament."
23 Mr. Dzakula, the first question is: Is that a correct statement?
24 Were you relieved of your function at the time; and, secondly, is it
25 related to the Daruvar agreement?
1 A. We were chased out of the parliament session of the Assembly of
2 Republic of Serbian Krajina without an opportunity to say anything. We
3 were just told that we could not attend any longer and that we had no
4 rights in the sense of being actively engaged in politics, in any manner
6 Q. And why is that? Why were you told you couldn't attend any
7 longer and that you wouldn't be actively engaged in politics anymore?
8 A. We were told that because we had signed the Daruvar agreement
9 which they declared to be a traitorist act because there could be no
10 negotiations or signing of any documents with the Croats, and that was
11 the main objection due to which they prohibited us any further activity.
12 Q. Now, moving down three paragraphs from there, it says here that:
13 "A delegate from Daruvar directed a query to Mr. Paspalj
14 regarding some 200.000 Deutschemarks allegedly given to Mr. Dzakula and
15 his collaborators for signing the Daruvar agreement. He branded Dzakula
16 as a traitor."
17 Mr. Dzakula, are you aware, or did you become aware of
18 allegations that you had received money for signing the Daruvar
20 A. I heard that story later on, though I was present at the assembly
21 and no such questions were asked, but that we were branded traitors and I
22 personally was branded a traitor. That was happening all the time.
23 Q. Is it true that you -- is the allegation here correct? Is it
24 true when they said you received 200.000 Deutschemarks for this?
25 A. No, it has nothing to do with the truth. It's just a silly thing
1 to say.
2 MR. STRINGER: Prosecution tenders 5362, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P45. Thank you.
5 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit, Your Honour, is from tab 45.
6 65 ter 1621.
7 Q. Mr. Dzakula, do you recognise this document?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And what is this?
10 A. It's a degree -- decree on disbanding the regional council of the
11 Serbian region of Western Slavonia signed by the president of the
12 republic, Goran Hadzic.
13 Q. This is dated the 28th of April, 1993. Were you aware of this at
14 or about the time it happened? Were you aware of this decree?
15 A. Yes, I was aware of the decree of our removal and disbanding of
16 the council and the appointment of new people.
17 Q. Just in a couple of sentences, please, what was the regional
18 council that's referred to here and why was it disbanded, if you know?
19 A. The regional council according to the statute when the amendments
20 were adopted it was no longer the SAO Western Slavonia. Autonomy was no
21 longer stressed because there was no necessity for us to be autonomous
22 within a republic but we were just the Serbian region. We had our
23 assembly and the regional council was like a mini government of
24 Western Slavonia. As we made decisions and had activities relating to
25 demilitarisation and normalisation of relations it was too irritating for
1 the authorities in Knin. They had a grudge against that. And as the
2 Assembly of Western Slavonia also made a decision that we were entitled
3 to negotiate and to sign documents and give all documents that we signed
4 for verification to the assembly, they believed that that assembly and
5 regional council had to be disbanded because they closely co-operated
6 with us and implemented our policy. And so they appointed new people who
7 then pursued completely different policy which was identical to the
8 policy of the then political and military leadership of the Republic of
9 Serbian Krajina.
10 Q. Were there particular -- any particular actions or agreements
11 which this regional council entered into which led to its being disbanded
13 A. Well, the signatories to the Daruvar agreement were also members
14 of the regional council and that was sufficient for the president of the
15 republic and the prime minister to make such a decision.
16 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 1621 into
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P46. Thank you.
20 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is 65 ter 1842. It is tab 47.
21 Q. Mr. Dzakula, can you read this one? Can you see this document?
22 A. Yes, I can see the document.
23 Q. It's in Glina, the 18th of October, 1993. It's the county court
24 trial chamber passing a decision to extend for the accused
25 Veljko Dzakula, Dusan Ecimovic and Mladen Kulic for another 30 days.
1 What is this about? Can you tell the Chamber what this document relates
3 A. This is one in a series of documents which we received in the
4 district prison in Glina from the district court when we were arrested on
5 21st September 1993 because of the signing of the Daruvar agreement and
6 with the suspicion that we had been spying and working for the Croatian
7 side and that I and my colleagues were working on the cessation of a
8 portion of the RSK which would then be joined to Croatia. This was one
9 of the decisions to keep us in custody, to extend it, while the
10 proceedings were going on.
11 Q. And now moving to page 2 of the English, in the -- under the
12 heading of the explanation, it says -- well, according to the
13 Criminal Code, perpetrators of the crime of endangering territorial
14 integration, the highest sentence can be passed.
15 Can you tell the Chamber specifically whether this is the crime
16 that you were charged for and what the potential consequences were of
18 A. Well, for the crime that I was charged with, a death sentence was
19 envisaged, and this is why it was binding. I'm not sure how legally this
20 was to be termed but I was to kept in custody as long as the
21 investigation was not completed. So the court was obliged to do that.
22 Q. Can you tell the Chamber how long in total you were held in
23 custody under these charges?
24 A. Well, I was in prison on two occasions for a total of about 110
1 Q. What became of these charges against you? What was the outcome
2 of this case?
3 A. I was released by the investigating judge, Nikola Suznjevic, who
4 believed that there was no need for me to be in custody. He passed a
5 decision that I had to remain in the territory of the RSK and that the
6 investigation would be continued. He told me himself that he did not see
7 any reason for holding me in custody, that he was under pressure to do
8 that, that he would release me from prison and that he would then resign
9 from his position and that there was certainly the position that both of
10 us would be killed because they saw me as a great enemy and they saw him
11 as someone who was supporting me in this.
12 Q. Now, to your knowledge, did this investigation ever result in an
13 indictment or criminal charges against you under the RSK system from this
15 A. The investigation was never completed.
16 Q. Mr. Dzakula, thank you.
17 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we've -- that completes the
18 Prosecution examination-in-chief.
19 May I tender 1842, however, before I forget.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
22 Exhibit P47. Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Cross-examination.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Dzakula. My name is
2 Zoran Zivanovic, and in this case, I am the Defence counsel of
3 Goran Hadzic.
4 A. Good afternoon. I apologise, as I was warned that I speak
5 quickly, I now follow the interpretation on the screen, and when I see
6 that it is finished, I will then answer to your questions so I wouldn't
7 be warned again. But I'm sure they will admonish me again, because I'm
8 certain I will forget this.
9 Q. I will also take up your suggestion and it will be useful as we
10 both speak the same language.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move to the private session, please.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we go into private session, please.
13 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you were born in Croatia.
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. And your family was living there before the Second World War.
16 A. Yes, before the Second World War, my entire family lived there.
17 Q. Based on the information that I mentioned in private session, I
18 was able to discern that your parents, while they were children, were
19 incarcerated in an Ustasha camp during the Second World War; is that
21 A. Yes. Both my parents were detained in Ustasha camps in the year
22 1942, the so-called Jasenovac camps.
23 Q. I also saw that their families were all killed during
24 World War II; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. Can you tell me, please, up until 1991, you used to live and work
2 in Croatia; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. You knew a lot of Serbs who lived in Croatia.
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Were there families, like yours, experienced similar family
7 suffer and trauma during World War II?
8 A. Yes, they experienced similar things and traumatic events during
9 the Second World War.
10 Q. Did that have any influence on the political affiliations of
11 Serbs in Croatia and which led them not to accept the cessation of
12 Croatia from Yugoslavia in 1990/1991?
13 A. Yes, it did.
14 Q. Would you agree with me that that had an impact on their
15 orientation in that at the first multi-party elections they voted for the
16 Communist party of Croatia and the Party of Democratic Changes?
17 A. Yes, I agree with that statement.
18 Q. It also had some effects later when the League of Communists of
19 Croatia-Party of Democratic Changes failed them in their expectations
20 and, consequently, they joined the Serbian Democratic Party?
21 A. Yes. That had an impact on their decision to join the Serbian
22 Democratic Party.
23 Q. Yesterday, you described various forms of discrimination against
24 Serbs in Croatia in 1991. That's on page 256, but you cannot see it.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I refer to the page 256, lines 18 and 19.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I spoke about various forms of
2 discrimination against Serbs.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You didn't provide any details in that respect. However, you
5 spoke extensively about that --
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move again into private session, please.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we go into private session, please.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 424-425 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Among other things, you also spoke about barricades. Can you
7 tell us who actually set up these barricades in these areas; and what was
8 the reason underlying such a move?
9 A. The barricades were erected in Knin in order to prevent the new
10 Croatian authorities from sending the police in and changing its ethnic
11 composition. In other parts, such as Banja and Kordun, Western Slavonia,
12 people erected barricades because of fear to avoid history repeating
13 itself. Because, at the time, the Croatian army, who called themselves
14 Ustashas, encircled those villages and slaughtered the population. They
15 were so terrified that they wanted to avoid any form of repetition of
16 those events, and this was an initiative that came from elderly people
17 who lived in Serb-majority villages.
18 Q. Mr. Dzakula, tell me, what was the reaction, although yesterday
19 this was an issue that was tackled. What was the reaction to the
20 introduction of a chequered flag as a symbol of the Croatian police and
21 army and in general?
22 A. The reaction was ferocious by the Serbs initially when the flag
23 with the star was replaced by the chequered flag and when the insignia of
24 the army of the police were also altered, and they said this was
25 reminding them of the independent state of Croatia. The star was a
1 common symbol of their struggle against fascism and they thought that the
2 reintroduction of this symbol was something that was going to divide them
3 again, and Serbs found it really very difficult to accept that.
4 Q. The distribution of these squares in the, chequered flag, did
5 that have any significance at all?
6 A. Yes, it did. During the independent state of Croatia, this
7 chequered flag started with a white square which is a symbol of the
8 Ustasha. And the first proposal for the Croatian coat of arms was
9 identical to that, but then they gave up on that idea and they accepted
10 that the first square would be red, in order to avoid any comparisons
11 with the -- the Ustasha symbols.
12 Q. Yesterday, you spoke about one part of the programme of the
13 Serbian Democratic Party in Croatia that relates to the cultural and
14 political autonomy of Serbs. Could you please give us some more details
15 as to what exactly that relates to?
16 A. We wanted to preserve our identity in Croatia, including our
17 script and our culture and everything that is a characteristic of a
18 nation. Because we saw that, due to constitutional changes, the Cyrillic
19 script was not equal to the Latin script and we believed that the SDS,
20 through their activities, should include these issues as a mode of
21 protection for us and the protection of our characteristics that makes us
22 a nation.
23 Q. Apart from the Cyrillic script, was there anything else that
24 could be described as part of the cultural and political autonomy?
25 A. Well, the language, by all means.
1 Q. I have information that you were a member of a delegation in
2 1991, sometime in March of that year. I'm talking about a delegation of
3 Serbs from Croatia who went to have talks with Franjo Tudjman, the
4 then-president of Croatia. Do you recall that?
5 A. Yes, I remember that.
6 Q. Can you tell us what were the topics of the talks.
7 A. This was after the events in Pakrac on the 2nd of March, when
8 there was an armed action between the active-duty policemen and the
9 reserve police forces and when around 40 reserve policemen who were Serbs
10 by ethnicity were arrested. The regional board of the SDS took the
11 decision that a delegation comprising five men - including Goran Hadzic,
12 Ilija Asic [phoen], Dusan Ecimovic, myself, and, at the moment, I cannot
13 remember who was the fifth member - was to go and meet with the president
14 of the Republic of Croatia for talks about the incidents that had taken
15 place so that these men would be released from prison, and we discussed
16 particularly the cultural autonomy, the safety of all citizens, calming
17 the situation down, and these were the topics of our talks.
18 Q. Was the fifth member of the delegation perhaps Vojislav Vukcevic?
19 A. Yes, that's correct. I haven't seen him for a long time, and I
20 have already forgotten them.
21 Q. At the time, did your delegation make any requests relating to
22 cultural autonomy, political autonomy, or any other requests, apart from
23 the requests that the arrested people be released?
24 A. Yes. On our behalf, the requests were submitted by
25 Mr. Vojislav Vukcevic.
1 Q. Can you perhaps remember now what all this related to?
2 A. I think that it had to do with the script and the language, but
3 as for other details, I know that we were concerned about the incidents.
4 But we had a whole list of everything that we wanted.
5 Q. Do you remember whether there was any talk about the chequered
7 A. Yes, we did discuss that too.
8 Q. Was there any talk about the impossibility of receiving the
9 Cyrillic press from Serbia?
10 A. Yes, that was also on the agenda.
11 Q. As -- judging by the information I have, I think you were
12 received really properly in Zagreb. Not only you, but the Serb
13 delegation that arrived there.
14 A. Yes. We were received, because I think that the state leadership
15 was concerned about the situation which had arisen at that time. And at
16 least at that point they showed the will to listen to us and to see what
17 could be done.
18 Q. When you say that the state leadership was concerned about the
19 situation at that time, do you have in mind the incident in Pakrac which
20 happened immediately before the meeting? Or do you have something else
21 in mind?
22 A. Yes, I'm speaking precisely about that incident which happened in
23 Pakrac because that was the first armed conflict in the territory of the
24 Republic of Croatia. It was unexpected and surprising.
25 Q. I'm sorry, just for the sake of the precision of the transcript I
1 have the impression that you -- yes, yes, it has been corrected. Because
2 the 1st Military District was mentioned but now it has been removed.
3 Of all the requests which were examined at the time and which had
4 been submitted by the Serbian delegation can you remember whether any of
5 the requests were adopted?
6 A. These men were released. And, as for the rest, nothing was
8 Q. Did the then-President Tudjman immediately tell you that those
9 requests could not be met or did he perhaps leave a door open for
10 negotiations and talks concerning those issues?
11 A. He did not reject our requests because he dwelled for a long time
12 on the history of Serbs and Croats living in the area, and he left ample
13 room for further talks.
14 Q. The meeting was quite used in the Croatian media. As far as I
15 know, there were reports about it on the TV and in other media. Would
16 you agree with that?
17 A. Yes. It was big news. Many people followed it carefully and
18 listened to what was said.
19 Q. Please tell me what was the impact of the meeting and the media
20 reports on the event on the Serbs in Croatia? What was the impression
21 they had, at least the ones you know?
22 A. Some of them condemned that, the fact that we went to talk to the
23 president of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman. On the other hand,
24 one part of Serbs supported that because they believed it was very
25 important to have a dialogue and to seek for solutions as part of this
2 Q. When you say that one part of the Serbs opposed such relations or
3 would not attend to that kind of negotiations, can you tell us what the
4 reasons were? What were the reasons that the people usually mentioned to
6 A. Well, people were not willing to enter a dialogue. When they
7 disagreed with someone, the majority would then be of the opinion that
8 there would be no talks and no discussion with that other side. That was
9 something that was common to everyone in the area. Because we did not
10 know how to talk. We did not have this sort of experience.
11 Q. And can you tell us what was the position that the Croats had to
12 these contacts and talks? Was there a similar division like the one that
13 existed among the Serbs or was it somewhat different among them?
14 A. The Croats supported the talks and the dialogue to a greater
15 extent because they saw that from a different angle. They believed that
16 the fact that we were talking with the leadership of the Republic of
17 Croatia, we recognised the leadership as legitimate in one way and that
18 we were trying to find a resolution based on that, because they could see
19 there was also another faction which refused any sort of talks.
20 Q. Please, tell me, at the time when you already went to these
21 talks, were there already incidents of Serbs moving out of Croatia or
22 Croats moving out of specific areas where the Serbs were the majority
23 population? Did -- had that process already begun?
24 A. The process of the moving out of the Serbs had begun. I think it
25 was in the area between Slavonski Brod, Osijek, and Djakovo. There were
1 some villages that extended as a sort of chain between Western and
2 Eastern Slavonia, and I heard that people, that is to say, Serbs, were
3 moving out of those villages.
4 Q. Those were practically the first months of the year 1991.
5 A. Well, it was as early as in April or May 1991.
6 Q. As those villages are close to Western Slavonia and the place
7 where you lived, were you aware why these people were moving out of those
8 particular villages?
9 A. I was told that they were subjected to provocations, insults and
10 threats, and that they wanted to preserve their property, their lives,
11 and that, out of fear, they abandoned the area.
12 Q. Does that mean that at the time their property and their lives
13 were already threatened?
14 A. Yes, those were the beginnings, and that was the direction to
15 which events were going.
16 Q. Let me ask you something else now, please, connected to what you
17 just told us now. When people feel some sort of threat, they usually
18 address the police and seek protection. Did they address the police,
19 asking them to protect them from these forms of protection
20 [as interpreted]? I mean the regular police which existed in Croatia at
21 the time.
22 A. I believe they did. Judging by my later experience where, in the
23 municipality of Pozega, people also complained about receiving threats
24 during the months of June and July, or perhaps somewhat earlier than
25 that, the police would come when those who made the provocations were
1 leaving or when they had left a specific house so they never found them.
2 Q. And could the victims themselves identify those who had attacked
3 them and inform the police, accordingly?
4 A. It was difficult to identify the attackers because usually they
5 had some sort of balaclavas on their heads and they would visit people
6 late at night.
7 Q. Are you aware if, at that time, someone from this area was held
8 responsible for such attacks against the Serbs living in villages that
9 you talked about just now?
10 A. No, I'm not aware of anything like that.
11 Q. And are you aware -- or, rather, did you have some communication
12 with the police? Since you were one of the leaders of the
13 Serbian Democratic Party, did you communicate with the then-Croatian
14 police; and did you point out to them that this sort of the situation was
15 arising in their territory?
16 A. Yes, I did point out to everything that I had heard, that I knew,
17 and that was reported to me.
18 Q. And there were many incidents like that.
19 A. Yes, quite a few. And there were also provocations and attacks
20 against the Croatian households; I'm talking about the territory of the
21 Pakrac municipality. So that we began to deal with the reconciliation
22 process. We were trying to alleviate the consequences, because then
23 revenge started in Serbian villages against some Croatian families.
24 Q. When you say revenge or revanchism, what I understood you to
25 mean, was that attacks against the Serbs in certain villages between the
1 Eastern and Western Slavonia happened somewhere else as opposed to the
2 attacks which were carried out in Pakrac and which were directed against
3 the Croatian population. So it did not happen in the same places, that
4 both Serbs and Croats were attacked in same places, but, rather, in some
5 places Serbs were under attack and in others it was the Croats. Did I
6 understand you properly?
7 A. Yes, you did. You understood me properly. In the first villages
8 that you just mentioned the Serbs were in the minority, and they were
9 subjected to greater provocations, and in other cases the Croats were the
11 Q. Just tell me this as well. Did any of your associates someone
12 from the local authorities have the responsibility to deal with these
13 issues, these provocations which occurred, to co-ordinate with the
14 police, and inform them about this? I suppose that you were not in
15 charge of that, that it wasn't within your remit and there was somebody
16 else who was supposed to do that as part of their work?
17 A. Well, if you mean -- in my community, the local authorities did
18 that because the president of the Executive Council was a Serb, and the
19 president of the municipal assembly was a half-Serb and half-Croat. So
20 it was easier to maintain this sort of dialogue. At the time the new
21 police had arrived, and they attempted to calm down the situation. I'm
22 talking about 1991, after April and May.
23 In other municipalities, our activists, the activists of the SDS,
24 primarily the leaders, went to have talks or established contacts.
25 Q. I suppose that they also received similar answers from the
1 police, just like you, when you contacted them.
2 A. Yes. They faired similarly or in an almost identical way.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I complete for today my cross.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Zivanovic.
5 Mr. Witness, we'll adjourn for the day, and we'll adjourn for the
6 weekend, so you will be back, we hope, on Monday morning, 9.00, the same
8 I must remind you that you are still on your oath and that you
9 cannot discuss your testimony with anybody, and you can't speak with any
10 of the parties.
11 Thank you very much. You may now leave the courtroom.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have understood,
13 Your Honours.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 22 day of October,
18 2012, at 9.00 a.m.