1 Monday, 22 October 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Registrar, can we have the appearances,
6 please -- sorry. Can you call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 May we have the appearances, please.
12 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Your Honours, and all of
13 Your Honours, everyone, counsel. Douglas Stringer, with Sarah Clanton,
14 intern; Uros Zigic; and our Case Manager, Thomas Laugel.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
16 For the Defence, please.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
18 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to each and everyone in and around
20 the courtroom. Mr. Usher, can you bring in the witness, please.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Dzakula. We resume with your
23 cross-examination. I remind you that you are still under oath.
24 WITNESS: VELJKO DZAKULA [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Dzakula.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Let us first clarify one thing that you already mentioned on
7 Friday. That reference to the incidents that took place in the first
8 month of 1991 and that were directed against the Serbs in Croatia. Can
9 you please tell us, were there many such incidents?
10 A. Yes, there were.
11 Q. Thank you. Among other things during your examination-in-chief,
12 spoke about the referendum that -- or, rather, two referenda that were
13 held in Croatia before the cessation and that were actually held by the
14 Krajina Serbs as well as in the regions where Serbs lived. Among other
15 things, you explained the difference in the question on referendum posed
16 in SAO Krajina because the question there was whether they wanted to join
17 with Serbia, unlike the other regions, like Slavonia, Baranja, and
18 Western Srem, where the question was whether they wanted to remain in
20 Can you tell us what were the results of these referenda and,
21 more specifically, do you know what position was taken by the Serbian
22 authorities, or the Assembly of Serbia, with respect to the referendum
23 that was held in Krajina; that is to say, with the question, do you want
24 to join Serbia. Did Serbia accept such an aspiration or not?
25 A. I don't remember what was the position of the Assembly of Serbia.
1 All I remember is that during negotiations prior to the referendum,
2 Milosevic was against the procedure that was implemented in SAO Krajina.
3 Regarding the unification with Serbia, he said that he can support only
4 our wish to remain within Yugoslavia. Now as for any support on the part
5 of the assembly, I don't know about that.
6 Q. After that referendum, do you know if some joint organs of Serbia
7 and SAO Krajina were created. Were some MPs from Krajina admitted into
8 the Assembly of Serbia, provided that they wanted it to become part of
10 A. No, not that I remember.
11 Q. Thank you. You spoke extensively, and many questions were put to
12 you concerning Vojislav Seselj, his activities, and his views, including
13 the issues that related to the Serbian Radical Party that he was the
14 president of and the Serbian Chetnik movement.
15 My question is: The Serbian Radical Party and the
16 Serbian Chetnik movement, the period 1990/1993, were they in power in
17 Serbia? Or were they opposition?
18 A. They were opposition.
19 Q. Was the situation identical in Montenegro?
20 A. As far as I can remember, Seselj was not present in Montenegro.
21 Q. I wasn't referring to Seselj in terms of his being in Montenegro.
22 I was just referring whether he -- to the fact that I want to know if the
23 Radical Party was there in opposition as well.
24 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, they were in opposition as well.
25 Q. The same situation prevailed in the Yugoslav parliament. Would
1 you agree with me?
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's note: The witness responded
4 yes, I would.
5 Could the counsel please repeat the question.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, the interpreters noted --
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I note it, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please repeat your answer to the
9 question whether the same situation prevailed in the Yugoslav parliament,
10 whether he was in opposition. I am talking about Seselj and his radical
12 A. Seselj's radical party was in opposition in the Yugoslav
13 parliament as well.
14 Q. Was the situation the same in Slavonia, Baranja, and
15 Western Srem?
16 A. Yes. Because as soon as the war started in Krajina, there were
17 no parliamentary activities any longer, so there were no political
18 parties active either in the authorities or in the opposition. The
19 parliament of the Serbian Krajina was not made up of political parties.
20 Q. The similar situation was in Western Slavonia. He was not in
21 power, or, rather, the Serbian Radical Party was not in power there
23 A. No, they weren't.
24 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, counsel, I apologise for the
25 interruption. I'm just looking at page 4, line 21 where the transcript
1 reads that: "Because as soon as the war started in Krajina, there were
2 no" -- oh, parliamentary, I'm sorry. I saw the word "paramilitary" but I
3 was misreading it. My apologies.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC:
5 Q. [Interpretation] So let me just finish with this. According to
6 your knowledge, the Serbian Radical Party was in opposition later in
7 Republika Srpska, i.e., in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. Yes, that is correct. The Serbian Radical Party was in
9 opposition later in Republika Srpska as well.
10 Q. At the moment, I'm interested in the following: You said that
11 the programme of the Serbian Radical Party and the Serbian Chetnik
12 movement, if I'm not wrong, was to have the boundary of Serbia
13 encompassing certain parts of the federal units that, at that time, were
14 part of Yugoslavia. There was mention of some regions in Croatia,
15 Macedonia, et cetera.
16 At that time - and I'm talking about the 1990s - were there any
17 political parties that believed that Croatia should include parts of
18 other federal units, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina or Serbia? Let me be
19 more specific. I know that there were some parties there who believed
20 that Croatia should occupy even the area of Zemun, which is a Belgrade
21 neighbourhood. Do you remember the existence of any such parties in
23 A. Initially these political options were on the table, but it turns
24 out that the HDZ continued claiming certain territories in
1 Q. There were extremist political parties in Croatia, or would you
2 describe them as such?
3 A. Yes, there were Croatian extremists parties in Croatia.
4 Q. But they were not in power there either.
5 A. No, they were not in power.
6 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you about item 5 of the
7 programme of the Serbian Chetnik movement; that's Prosecution Exhibit 16.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have it on our
9 screens once again. And I'm particularly interested in one section that
10 I think was left out. And I'm talking about item 5.
11 Q. I don't know if you can see it.
12 A. I can see it, but --
13 Q. If you have problems, I can give a copy to you so that you can
14 look at it.
15 A. Yes. Now I can see it now.
16 Q. They are talking here -- maybe I should read it. It's very
18 "Systematic, economic and political effort to enable all members
19 of the Serbian ethnic minority in Albania, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and
20 Greece to resettle to Serbia as well as to allow all Serbian emigrants in
21 European and trans-Atlantic countries who so wish to return."
22 Is the emphasis here on the resettlement only on those who want
23 to return?
24 A. Well, that's what it says at the very end of this statement.
25 Q. The reason I'm asking you about this is that early 1990s or prior
1 to 1990s, would you agree that a lot of people used to live abroad for a
2 variety of reasons, whether they be economic, political, or some other
3 reasons and that this was nothing uncommon in Serbia, Croatia, and all
4 other republics?
5 A. Yes, I remember that.
6 Q. Do you remember that in 1990, the Yugoslav authorities advocated
7 such policy that would include all emigres, not only Serbs, and that they
8 would be granted return - provided they wished to do so - to their home
9 country and that proper living conditions should be secured for them?
10 A. Yes, there were such kind of invitations.
11 Q. Let me ask you something else. I'm not going to dwell too much
12 about the historical background that you provided with regard to the
13 Chetniks and Ustasha. I don't think that this is so important at this
15 Can you tell me this: Do you know that Goran Hadzic was on --
16 engaged in a very vehement argument with Dr. Vojislav Seselj?
17 A. I don't know about that, whether that was the case or when. I
18 know that one of his associates from the government of SBWS was
19 Mr. Leskovac, who was the president of the Serbian Radical Party for that
20 region of Slavonia.
21 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zivanovic, the last exchange, I'm not clear as
22 to whether the argument of which you asked was -- you're talking about
23 one event or whether you're talking about a prolonged disagreement.
24 Could you expand on that, please.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, I'll do Your Honours.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thanks.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tell me this, please: Did you see in the media as of 1992 or
4 1993 that Mr. Seselj attacked verbally Goran Hadzic, accusing him of
5 criminal conduct, betrayal, and whatnot?
6 A. Yes, for a short while, although I don't remember when exactly.
7 Seselj's practice was that one day he would be on very good terms with
8 someone, and the next day he attacked them. On the third day, they would
9 get together again, and so on and so forth. So I was never able to judge
10 when he was on honestly good terms with anyone. I never agreed with him
11 because I just couldn't go back and forth like that. As for the people
12 he attacked, it turns out that they partnered with him quite regularly
14 Q. You will remember that in 1993 in Republika Srpska Krajina there
15 were presidential elections.
16 A. Yes, that was in late 1993.
17 Q. Do you remember who were the presidential candidates running for
19 A. I think Milan Babic, Milan Martic, Goran Hadzic. Well, I was in
20 jail at the moment, receiving some special treatment, so I can't recall
21 all the details very well.
22 Q. Yes, indeed. Your stay in prison occurred at the same time as
23 the electoral campaign that I wanted to ask you about. But let me ask
24 you this: Who did Dr. Vojislav Seselj support at those elections?
25 A. I think he supported Milan Martic, although I'm not certain. I
1 believe I said Martic, and I see Babic in the transcript.
2 Q. Do you agree with me that he supported Milan Martic because he
3 didn't see eye to eye with Goran Hadzic, politically speaking; otherwise
4 he probably would have supported Hadzic?
5 A. Yes, most likely. As it turned out, Goran Hadzic lost the
7 Q. Thank you. You mentioned Rade Leskovac. Do you recall when the
8 Serb Radical Party for Krajina was established?
9 A. You mean the SAO Krajina or Republika Srpska Krajina?
10 Q. Either way. When was the party established in order to cover
11 that area?
12 A. At the beginning of the war, I believe.
13 Q. Let me ask you this then: Do you know whether Rade Leskovac at
14 the time when he was, I believe, deputy minister in the SBWS government,
15 was he a member of the SDS? Was he elected as a member of the SDS?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Serb Radical Party.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know he spoke on behalf of the
18 Serb Radical Party, although I don't know how he was appointed.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Before becoming a member of the Serb Radical Party, do you know
21 if he had been a member of another party?
22 A. He probably had been, although I don't know which one. Perhaps
23 the League of Communists? I'm not sure.
24 Q. I had the SDS in mind, the Serb Democratic Party.
25 A. I don't recall that, because he did not attend the meetings of
1 either the regional board or any others. I didn't see him at our
2 gatherings until the beginning of the war, or for as long as our region
3 functioned as such, as well as the SDS.
4 Q. You met Goran Hadzic in the -- at the Obrovac meeting in
5 March 1991. Until June, until the conversation you discussed with the
6 Prosecutor, did you have occasion to see him at that time; that is to
7 say, between late March 1991 and the Obrovac meeting and your meeting in
8 Belgrade which occurred in late June 1991, as you said?
9 A. Yes, I did meet with Goran Hadzic sometime in April or May. He
10 seemed quite depressed at the time. He was down after the time he had
11 spent in jail and one could observe a change in him. He was quite
12 introvert and no longer spoke out clearly and loudly. He seemed in a bad
14 Q. Why did you see each other in April or May; and where?
15 A. We met in Borovo Selo upon his release from prison. I was there
16 when he came out and we talked then.
17 Q. What did you talk about in Borovo Selo, and how come you were
18 there since you did not live there?
19 A. That is correct, I do not live there, and I did not live there.
20 But since I was in contact with Mr. Degoricija, who was directly involved
21 in having Mr. Goran Hadzic released from prison, I was asked by him to be
22 in Borovo Selo when Goran returned, to help him out as a human being,
23 because he had had a hard time in prison. That was the main reason why.
24 I simply wanted to wait for Goran to arrive because we were in the same
25 political party and serving on its Main Board. We were also on our way
1 back from Obrovac when it happened. And I believed my support was
2 necessary and welcome. There was no particular conversation as such. We
3 simply awaited him so as to try to involve him in politics again.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move to the private session, please.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we go into private session, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 447 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one expected that the police
24 would enter the village once the barricades were removed and that they
25 would open fire on houses and people. All of us who were involved felt
1 betrayed at the time, and we also felt that someone was trying to use our
2 trust to further their own agenda. And, of course, it had a certain
3 impact on the sentiment in the area.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let us try to clear up one thing you said a moment ago. You said
6 Goran Hadzic remained living in Borovo Selo. Do you assert that, or do
7 you know that, or is that an assumption, or simply a mistake?
8 A. No, I didn't mean solely Borovo Selo. I was talking about the
9 general area of Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem. That's what I had in
11 Q. Mr. Dzakula, do you know whether representatives of SBWS,
12 sometime in April 1991, had some talks with the then-US Ambassador to
13 Belgrade, Mr. Warren Zimmermann?
14 A. No, I'm not aware of that, and, therefore, I cannot remember.
15 Q. I have information that you were involved in these talks, but
16 it's probably erroneous. I'm going to check it.
17 Can you tell me this: Did you have a meeting - and I'm talking
18 about the regional board of the SDS -- did the board hold a meeting in
19 the village of Pacetin in April or May 1991?
20 A. I don't remember that. I know that there was a meeting in
21 Slavonia and Baranja, and I think it took place in Beli Manastir when
22 Mr. Vojo Vukcevic was under pressure and there were requests for his
23 resignation. That was in Beli Manastir. As for Pacetin, I don't
24 remember attending that meeting.
25 Q. You know that Goran Hadzic used to live in the village of Pacetin
1 at the time.
2 A. Yes, I know that he was born there and that he lived there.
3 Q. If I told you a detail which says that this meeting was suspended
4 at one point in time due to a telephone call for Mr. Ecimovic, who -- no,
5 sorry, not, Ecimovic. Sasic, who was also present at this meeting and
6 actually the call had come from Mr. Degoricija. Would that refresh your
8 A. I don't know why, but I keep thinking that this was the
9 Beli Manastir meeting that had to do with Vojo Vukcevic. That's the one
10 I remember. I don't remember the other one.
11 Q. And was this meeting interrupted due to a telephone call by
12 Mr. Degoricija to Mr. Sasic?
13 A. I know that Mr. Sasic said that there was a telephone call for
14 him, but I don't remember any further details.
15 Q. You spoke about a meeting that you had in late June 1991 in
16 Belgrade and your encounter with Mr. Goran Hadzic. Was that an
17 accidental meeting or was that something that was pre-arranged?
18 A. I think that we had agreed to meet in Belgrade.
19 Q. Can you remember how you reached this agreement?
20 A. Probably by the phone.
21 Q. Do you remember, was it you who called him?
22 A. I don't know who called whom, but I think we communicated on the
24 Q. You had his telephone number at the time, didn't you?
25 A. I probably did. I don't know. That's how we communicated.
1 Q. Do you know at all where he was living at the time?
2 A. I think in Pacetin.
3 Q. And you had his phone number there?
4 A. Well, I know I had a telephone number, but I cannot remember
5 where that phone was, in which place. All I know is that we agreed on --
6 on the phone.
7 Q. What was the reason for that meeting between the two of you,
8 regardless of whether you called him or not. Because if you called him,
9 apparently you had a reason to meet with him and vice versa. If he
10 called you, he had a reason to see you. Can you tell me what was the
12 A. As far as I can remember, the purpose was for us to exchange
13 information about what was happening all over the place. We hadn't seen
14 reach other for quite a long time and that was one of the additional
15 reasons for us to meet. And, now, looking back, I think that one of the
16 reasons was the establishment of the Serbian Democratic Forum, which took
17 place in Lipik. It's just coming back to my memory at this moment.
18 Q. You said that that occurred in late June 1991. Can you please
19 tell me, correct me if I'm wrong, I know that on the 25th of June, the --
20 Croatia declared its independence and that was followed by Slovenia on
21 the 26th of June. So that was the period when these two former Yugoslav
22 republics declared their independence.
23 A. Yes, that is correct. That was the date when Croatia and
24 Slovenia declared their independence.
25 Q. According to the information that I have, on that same day, JNA
1 units set off from Slovenia. They left their barracks and -- in Slovenia
2 and Croatia; do you remember that?
3 A. Yes, I do. I'm waiting for the interpretation.
4 Q. Practically this engagement of the army in a way was a kind of
5 premonition of the war that was coming. Would you agree with me?
6 A. Yes. Yes, that indicated that war was coming, in a certain way.
7 Q. JNA unit already faced armed resistance on both the part of the
8 Slovenian forces and the Croatian forces. Do you agree?
9 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, they were faced with the
10 resistance only by the Slovenian territorials; whereas, Croatia didn't
11 interfere at that juncture at all, which was heavily criticised by the
13 Q. Let us clarify this point. The -- Croatia didn't interfere. In
14 other words, it did -- is not [as interpreted] prevent the JNA from
15 passing through on their way from Slovenia. Do you think that that was
16 the reason for the criticism that came from Slovenia?
17 A. If I remember correctly, Slovenia criticised Croatia for not
18 reacting in a similar way as Slovenia did; but they, rather, let all
19 these forces pass through and leave Slovenia.
20 Q. In this context of all these developments, and you will remember
21 that that was the time when mobilisation started - it even started even
22 earlier - but at the time, reservists were being mobilised in Serbia
23 [Realtime transcript read in error "Slovenia"], Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
24 even in Croatia.
25 A. Yes, I heard of the mobilisation of JNA reservists.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I think that in the transcript
2 instead of "Slovenia" it should read "Serbia," that the mobilisation was
3 carried out in Bosnia and Serbia.
4 Q. In that context, can you please tell me how did you understand
5 this? You said that Goran Hadzic had told you that he was going to war.
6 Now, against the backdrop of all these developments, how did you construe
7 those words of his, if those were his actual words, as you claim, that he
8 was going to war?
9 A. He didn't say those words, I'm going to war. That's for sure.
10 Secondly, as far as I remember, there were skirmishes already breaking
11 out in Slavonia. There was shooting which also indicated the beginning
12 of a war. That is the reason why I understood his position to be that he
13 was going to war, because, similarly, the war in Krajina was already
14 starting at that time.
15 Q. At the time, towards the end of June 1991, what kind of powers or
16 authority did Goran Hadzic have to decide whether to go to war or not to
17 go to war? Did he had -- any armed force at his disposal that he could
18 engage in order to go to war? Except, of course, of what every citizen
19 was subjected to, and that is mobilisation.
20 A. No, he didn't have any powers or -- nor did he have any armed
21 force at the time. However, he told me he had a meeting with a retired
22 general. He did mention his name, but I can't remember it. And after
23 that meeting, the two of us met. That's why I feel that that was his
24 sentiment at the time that he was on the right path and that his decision
25 was right.
1 As I say, I don't know what he specifically discussed with this
2 man, but, after that conversation, he made this decision.
3 As I said, he did mention his name, although this name didn't
4 mean much to me at the time. Therefore, I didn't remember it.
5 Q. So my basic question is: How did you understand his statement
6 that he was going to war?
7 A. Well, in the event of war, he would support such an option and
8 that he would find a way to become involved in it somehow.
9 Q. The Prosecution showed you Exhibit 22. It's an article from
10 "Politika" daily of 26 September 1991. If necessary, I can give you a
11 hard copy of the article if you can't see well, although I'm not going to
12 ask you about details of the article.
13 Can you please look at the subheading where it says that a
14 constitutional law was adopted and they explain what this was about. And
15 if you read the last sentence in the subheading -- or I'm going to read
16 it to you:
17 "The law will be in effect provisionally until the Yugoslav
18 crisis is resolved."
19 You know that, on the 25th of June, Croatia declared independence
20 and Slavonia did so on the 26th of June. Do you remember that under the
21 agreement with the then-European community, it was agreed for these
22 decisions not to be implemented until the 8th of October, 1991?
23 A. Yes, I do. That the -- I remember that the European community
24 wanted a moratorium to be imposed on any decisions taken by any republic
25 in that period.
1 Q. And it was done precisely because there were attempts to resolve
2 the Yugoslav crisis by political means in order to avoid a war. Do you
4 A. I do agree that it was just one of many attempts to try to
5 resolve the conflict peacefully.
6 Q. Do you agree with this assertion that the law was to be in effect
7 only until the Yugoslav crisis is resolved, as it says here? Yes, so:
8 "This law will be in effect provisionally until the Yugoslav
9 crisis is resolved."
10 So that it is --
11 A. Well, if I read what it says, one could interpret it that way. I
12 did not, however, take part in the drafting of that law, and I was
13 unaware of its true meaning.
14 Q. In my understanding, if the Yugoslav crisis had been resolved
15 politically at the time, in other words, had Croatia remained part of the
16 Yugoslav federation, this law would not have been in effect any longer.
17 Do you agree with my interpretation?
18 A. I can suppose as much by looking at the last sentence from the
19 subheading only.
20 Q. Tell me this: In 1991, when in a way it was becoming obvious
21 that Yugoslavia as a state was in a state of crisis, do you know that
22 many governments and many international organisations supported the
23 territorial integrity of Yugoslavia in 1991?
24 A. Yes, that was the impression that most of us had, that the
25 international community was in favour of preserving Yugoslavia within its
1 boundaries, which, at the time, were internationally recognised.
2 Q. Let us establish another thing. As of June, when you had that
3 meeting in Belgrade, in 1991, until December, when there were some
4 further discussions surrounding the Vance Plan, you did not meet
5 Goran Hadzic anymore?
6 A. As far as I recall, I did not. Not until early December.
7 Perhaps the 8th or 9th.
8 Q. You also testified about the establishment of the Serb democratic
9 forum. Among other members, Dr. Jovan Raskovic was also a member of the
10 SDF, perhaps even its president; am I correct?
11 A. He was present at Lipik at the founding assembly but he was not
12 its president. The organisation was then presided by
13 Mr. Milorad Pupovac, but Jovan Raskovic was present, as well as
14 Dusan Zelenbaba, Jovan Opacic, and some others from Knin who were in the
15 SDS leadership at the time.
16 Q. Please clarify for us who Dr. Jovan Raskovic was, briefly.
17 A. Dr. Jovan Raskovic was a member of the academy of sciences, an
18 intellectual and the SDS president in Croatia. He was its founder and
19 one of the people who initiated its founding. That is in briefest terms.
20 Q. By profession he was a physician?
21 A. Yes. He specialised in psychiatry.
22 Q. We were told before that within the SDS there was a hard-line as
23 well as the softer line, so to speak. Where would you place him within
24 that range? Which line did he belong to?
25 A. Dr. Jovan Raskovic represented the moderate democratic line of
1 the SDS, or faction of the SDS.
2 Q. Where did he reside in 1990 and 1991?
3 A. In Sibenik, in Croatia, on the Adriatic Coast.
4 Q. Sibenik was never part of the SAO or Republika Srpska Krajina,
5 was it?
6 A. No. Sibenik was never within the SAO Krajina or
7 Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Do you know that the Croatian authorities prohibited
9 Dr. Jovan Raskovic from coming to Sibenik?
10 A. I do recall that. And I also recall that his house or flat was
11 ransacked, looted.
12 Q. Do you know that there were negotiations conducted with the
13 Croatian authorities about his return?
14 A. Yes. As far as I recall, there were some talks along that line.
15 Q. Do you remember who participated in that exercise on the Croatian
16 and Serbian side?
17 A. I think Professor Raskovic himself, as well as Vojo Vukcevic on
18 the Serb side; on the Croatian side I think there was Tudjman and an
19 advisor of his who was recording it all, if that's the part of the
20 conversation you have in mind.
21 Q. Are you talking about a conversation which was secretly recorded
22 and later publicised, made use of, as a pretext, as an excuse for having
23 Dr. Raskovic removed from his position. Is that the conversation you're
24 referring to?
25 A. Yes. Apologies. I have that meeting in mind which was attended
1 by Mr. Raskovic which was also secretly recorded without his knowledge
2 and then published in the media in order to comprise his position.
3 As for another meeting, and that's what I had in mind, I don't
4 recall that one in particular. I know there were attempts at different
5 meetings and that Raskovic tried time and again, but unless you specify
6 it exactly, I am a not sure what happened and when.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic. Mr. Zivanovic, I would like to
8 have clarified what position of Mr. - what is his name? - Raskovic was
9 in danger because of this negotiations and who did record them.
10 I -- the witness said:
11 "I have that meeting in mind which was attended by Mr. Raskovic
12 which was secretly recorded without his knowledge," so I would like to
13 know who recorded it, "and then published in the media in order to
14 compromise his position."
15 This position is what?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What was Mr. Raskovic's position at the time when the
18 conversation was secretly recorded?
19 A. Politically speaking, he was the president of the SDS in Croatia.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [In English] I would refer now on our Exhibit 21.
21 It is one of the exhibit that should not be present at the screen. And
22 my line of questions will go to this, but it is for your information or
23 for the information of Your Honours and my friends from the Prosecution.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: No need to go into private session,
25 Mr. Zivanovic?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We could -- we could go to the private session.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
3 [Private session]
11 Page 460 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours. Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you tell us what he understood by that. What was that
1 supposed to mean, the pacification of municipalities? What did you do
3 A. He wasn't specific at all. It was a brief conversation which I
4 can recount now. He told me, You are to be blamed and you are
5 responsible for the pacification of the five municipalities, and you are
6 to be blamed for the war not having broken out in this area. As I was en
7 route to the establishment meeting of the SDF in Lipik, and the goal of
8 the forum was to find a peaceful political solution, some people from the
9 Main Board of the SDS stood up to me, refusing to attend that meeting,
10 and I think he used that as an incentive to ask for my removal from that
12 Q. Just one clarification. I think that you just mentioned the word
13 "passivization," but I understand that previously you spoke about
14 "pacification." Are you using these two terms as synonyms or is it a
15 mistake? Was the word used wrongly?
16 A. I may have used both words because how I understand it is that I
17 was working towards peace and not towards fueling war. And I -- I didn't
18 use these two words with any distinguishable meanings between the two.
19 Q. On the 12th of August, you formed the Serbian Autonomous Region
20 of Western Slavonia and that was also the time when the government was
21 elected. That's on page 299 of the transcript.
22 You also said that your primary contacts, because you wanted to
23 launch negotiations with Croatians, were Degoricija and --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the second
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you tell us when did you launch this initiative?
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I'm going to repeat at
4 the interpreter's request. So launch negotiations with Degoricija and
5 Lerotic, who at the time was an advisor to President Tudjman.
6 Q. So my question is: When did you launch this initiative to
7 initiate contacts and to start negotiations?
8 A. Immediately after the establishment of the SDF in Lipik,
9 Mr. Pupovac and I often met and had talks with both Zagreb and Belgrade
10 in an attempt to find a peaceful solution. When I was with my associates
11 in Western Slavonia, we decided to establish SAO Western Slavonia in
12 order to be able to continue to communicate with the authorities in
13 Zagreb that would be conducive to a peaceful solution. We realised that
14 the situation was very volatile and that there was danger of it spreading
16 Q. The Serbian Democratic Forum, if I understood you correctly, was
17 set up in December 1991, or 1990 perhaps?
18 A. The Serbian Democratic Forum was established in the first week, I
19 think, of July 1991, end of June or the first week of July 1991.
20 Q. Then I misunderstood you. Now, I understand what the activities
21 of the Serbian Democratic Forum were but I'm interested now to hear what
22 were the activities of the government of the SAO Western Slavonia because
23 Serbian Democratic Forum is not a -- an organ of authority. When did
24 you, as the government of the SAO Western Baranja first contacted
25 [as interpreted] the Croatian authorities and expressed your wish to
1 enter into negotiations, because, if I understood you correctly, that was
2 the main purpose of establishing this forum?
3 A. To make it easier for you to understand, this was not the
4 government as in SAO SBWS and Krajina, the governments that were fully
5 fledged governments and that had their Official Gazette, et cetera.
6 Instead it was just a group of politicians, SDS politicians, in
7 Western Slavonia, who, on that same day, the 11th, set off to meet with
8 Mr. Pupovac in Zagreb and to start negotiations with the Croatian
9 authorities, which was to arrive at a peaceful solution. I think that we
10 already established some direct contacts two days later.
11 Q. At the time Mr. Pupovac was in Zagreb, wasn't he?
12 A. Yes, he was in Zagreb.
13 Q. I suppose that you communicated with him by phone, and you told
14 him on the phone what you wished to accomplish?
15 A. No. He came to Western Slavonia, and this is where we discussed
16 these matters. He came to Western Slavonia the very next day.
17 Q. When you say "the very next day," that is actually two days after
18 the government was set up.
19 A. On the 13th.
20 Q. So, to recapitulate, on the 12th you called him by phone and told
21 him more or less why you wanted to get in touch with him, and then the
22 next day on the 13th he went to Western Slavonia, and he wanted to have
23 some more detailed discussions with you.
24 A. Yes. With me and my colleagues.
25 Q. At the time, did he bring any messages with -- from the Croatian
1 authorities? Did -- had he already had some preliminary contacts with
2 anyone from the Croatian leadership? I'm talking about the 13th, when
3 you met with him.
4 A. No. He hadn't, but he just told me that we did a good thing and
5 that, all together, we are going to seek a permanent solution through
6 these contacts. The same contact was established in the case of
7 Goski Kotar [phoen] and a peaceful solution was reached there eventually.
8 Q. I suppose that Mr. Pupovac returned to Zagreb on that very same
10 A. Yes, he went back to Zagreb that same day.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, maybe it is time for break,
12 Your Honours.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
14 Mr. Witness, the Court Officer will now escort you out the court
15 for the break.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: We take the break and come back at 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Dzakula, I'd like to put a question to you
24 that I neglected to raise when we were discussing the meeting between
25 Professor Raskovic and President Tudjman.
1 You said that the meeting had been secretly taped. Can you tell
2 us who was it who taped the meeting secretly?
3 A. It was on Tudjman's orders, but I can't recall the politician's
4 name. He is no longer active. I think he was his advisor.
5 Q. In other words, it was the Croatian side who secretly taped the
7 A. Yes, the leadership of the Republic of Croatia.
8 President Tudjman himself issued the order to tape the meeting.
9 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to the Serbian Democratic Forum. The
10 forum was set up in July of 1991, as you said. Were the positions of the
11 forum generally known to the Serbian and Croatian public at large; in
12 particular, with regard to the peaceful resolution of the Yugoslav
14 A. To the extent that it was achievable, media-wise. In the
15 SAO Krajina, access was denied. There were already skirmishes, and war
16 was brewing in Eastern Slavonia. So there were attempts made at
17 spreading the views through the media, to the extent possible.
18 Q. Were your activities known in Croatia? Did the Croatian media
19 cover your activities? Was it known that you existed and that you were
20 trying to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the conflict?
21 A. The establishment of the forum was known but not to the extent we
22 would have wished to.
23 As for the Croatian leadership, they were not interested in our
24 ideas, positions, or objectives.
25 Q. In other words, the Croatian leadership was aware of the
1 existence of the Serbian Democratic Forum and was acquainted with their
2 goals but did not take an interest in dealing with it. Is my
3 understanding correct?
4 A. Yes, your understanding is correct. Once we were established, we
5 visited Belgrade and Zagreb in order to let ourselves known to both
6 sides, but none of the sides were interested in knowing anything about
7 our activities, views, or objectives.
8 Q. Both the Croatian and Serbian sides - that's to say, the
9 leadership on both sides - knew who the members of the forum were. For
10 instance, they were aware of you, Professor Raskovic, and other members?
11 A. Yes. The meeting was known to all. There were more prominent
12 intellectuals such as Svetozar Livada and Professor Gajo Petrovic. There
13 were more prominent figures than me. There were important intellectuals
14 among Serbs who expressed their support by either being at that meeting
15 or by sending an expression of support, because they felt that it was an
16 important event.
17 Q. When the government of the SAO Western Slavonia was set up and
18 when you were elected as the prime minister, the Croatian authorities
19 knew that you were a member of the Serbian Democratic Forum whilst
20 discharging these positions, and, of course, they knew what the positions
21 espoused by the forum were?
22 A. Yes, they knew of both these events as they unfolded.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [No interpretation] [In English] Sorry, may we
24 move into private session, please.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
1 [Private session]
11 Page 469 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. According to your testimony, only two days later, two days after
6 your peace initiative, on the 14th of August units of the MUP of Croatia
7 got into Okucani and that was when fighting started.
8 A. Yes. No more than two days later, the Croatian police got into
9 Okucani. According to what my friends told me, there -- that was quite
10 timid an attack, so the local population managed to repel that first
11 attack without the assistance from the JNA or anyone else. But then the
12 attack was restaged in the afternoon, and the JNA emerged as a force that
13 would separate the warring parties, as it were.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Dzakula, could you please give us the date of
15 that first attack, just because there's something not really clear in the
16 transcript? The date of the -- of that first attack by the Croatian
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on the 14th of
19 August, Okucani came under attack from the Croatian police forces; that's
20 to say, the Okucani inhabitants did.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In your area among the people you knew, was it interpreted by
25 anyone as a response to your peace initiative?
1 A. It was by some. Others thought that it was a game of nerves,
2 because there were tensions on both sides. Both sides were anticipating
3 an attack to come from the other side, as it were. So that's how the
4 Okucani reaction came about. Anyway, the event did upset the local
5 population, and some of my friends felt that the peace initiative that I
6 pushed for did not stand a chance, really.
7 Q. And immediately thereafter, you had some troubles with
8 Mr. Vezmar, virtually the following day.
9 A. Yes. He's my nemesis.
10 Q. During examination-in-chief, two documents were shown to you.
11 Just for the sake of refreshing our memories, let's look at them again.
12 Let's start with P24. It's a request send by the commander of the
13 Territorial Defence. The name is illegible, but it is addressed to the
14 Serbian Radical Party in Belgrade in which he is asking for volunteers to
15 be dispatched. You remember that? I'm sure you have seen this.
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. At the same time, we can also take a look at P26. It's been
18 shown to you as well. And I think that it's also being sent by the
19 territorial staff of Territorial Defence of Podravska Slatina, but again,
20 I don't think we can clearly see the name of the person who signed it.
21 It's dated the 19th of October, 1991. And this is a repeated request for
22 volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party.
23 Now, what I'm interested in is the following: In October, when
24 these volunteers were requested, was there something significant going on
25 in Western Slavonia in that period?
1 A. Yes, there was. On the 15th of October, 1991, a first exodus of
2 the population from the municipality of Grubisno Polje took place, and
3 they were joined by the army. When I say "the army," I mean the local
4 Territorial Defence and other local people because there were no JNA
5 units there.
6 When this exodus started, in military terms, it disrupted the
7 stability of the territory that was being defended at the time because it
8 directly jeopardised the position of Daruvar and Podravska Slatina
9 municipalities. This left a gap that was devoid or void of any
10 population or any local people who could put up any resistance or
12 Q. Speaking about an exodus of population and the abandonment of
13 this territory by the TO, you're talking about the Serbian population in
14 the Serb-held territories; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. I'm talking about the Serbian population and the Serbian
16 Territorial Defence of Grubisno Polje municipality.
17 Q. In a nutshell, this defence line or one section of that line that
18 existed until October 1991, was disrupted because there were no JNA units
19 deployed there and the TO also abandoned these positions. That is why
20 I'm under the impression that that was the reason why the TO commander
21 was asking the Serbian Radical Party to sent volunteers.
22 A. Well, that was not the only reason. These positions that they
23 themselves were holding - and I'm talking about Podravska Slatina TO -
24 they were undermanned and, therefore, it was impossible to close this gap
25 between the Serbs and the Croats. Therefore, I think that at the time
1 they wanted to reinforce their ranks, although I cannot know exactly what
2 this commander had in mind as his aim because I was not in touch with
4 Q. But, at any rate, one can say that the event that you have just
5 described that was happening on or around the 15th of October coincides,
6 in time, with these requests?
7 A. Yes, that happened immediately after these events. And also the
8 Territorial Defence of Daruvar municipality was rather shattered and was
9 going to pursue the same policy.
10 Q. Speaking about the exodus, as you said, the one that took place
11 on the 15th of October, was that the end of the exodus or was it
12 continued intermittently at a later stage? Later, of course.
13 A. The exodus continued in intervals. Around the 1st of November,
14 or maybe a little bit later, there was exodus of TO and population of
15 Daruvar. And then, on the 15th of December, Podravska Slatina did that,
16 then some parts of Orahovica, Slavonska Pozega, and then on
17 23rd of December, 1991, elements of the Territorial Defence of Pakrac
18 municipality all the way to the Pakrac-Pozega main road. They withdrew
19 from that area on the night between the 23rd and the 24th.
20 Q. And this was all Serbian population; right?
21 A. Yes, the whole population was Serb. There may have been a Croat
22 here and there, or some members of other ethnic communities, because
23 there were quite a few mixed marriages, but this was just a low number in
24 comparison with the entire population that was on the retreat. Because
25 we are talking about exclusively Serb villages. The people who lived in
1 towns managed to flee in a different way, and here we are talking about
2 the rural population of that area, the Serb rural population.
3 Q. Do you perhaps know the number of the people involved? Roughly
4 speaking, of course. I'm not expecting you to give me a precise figure.
5 A. If you're going to discuss any total number of the Serbs in
6 Western Slavonia, there were some 80.000 of them there. As for the
7 number of people who fled at that point in time, well, about half of that
8 number, say 40- or 50.000 people, withdrew between the
9 15th of October and the 24th of December.
10 Q. Can you tell us where those people went once they left
11 Western Slavonia?
12 A. They went via Banja Luka. Some of them ended up in
13 Eastern Slavonia, in places like Ilok and Sarengrad, as well as other
14 towns in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia and Western Sirmium. Some ended up in
15 Vojvodina, while others went towards Serbia proper.
16 Q. Where did they find accommodation upon their departure from
17 Western Slavonia? Where were they accommodated in Vojvodina and Serbia?
18 A. Once they arrived in Banja Luka, first, they were accommodated in
19 reception centres. In Eastern Slavonia, I heard that they entered
20 Croatian villages, where Croats used to live. In Serbia, they placed
21 them in vacation centres, hotels, and refugee centres which were
22 established at the time. And they were many of those, in particular, in
23 Vojvodina and the environs of Belgrade.
24 Q. What happened with their houses in Western Slavonia? What
25 happened with the villages they abandoned? Who came there?
1 A. Following the exodus, the villages were burned and looted in
2 succession, although some villages remained intact, such as Ceralije near
3 Slatina and Bastaj [phoen] near Daruvar. The villages that were well
4 developed were preserved and Croats from Kosovo were moved in. The other
5 villages were mined, torched and looted, and the remaining civilians were
7 Q. Who did all that? Who torched the villages and killed the
8 civilians who were left behind? Who set up explosives?
9 A. The Croatian army. In the words of Mr. Stipe Mesic, who was
10 Croatian president, apparently one of the ministers submitted a report to
11 President Tudjman that Western Slavonia was to be torched in three
12 shifts, meaning round the clock. They worked at it non-stop. It was all
13 done by the Croatian army.
14 Q. You spoke at length during examination-in-chief about the
15 Vance Plan. First of all, I'd like us to clarify something, because in
16 several places in the transcript, you used both "the Vance Plan" and "the
17 Vance-Owen Plan." Since, to my knowledge, these were two separate plans,
18 I wanted to know whether you were indeed discussing the two separate
19 plans, or did you have in mind only one, the Vance Plan, and the
20 Vance-Owen term, so to say, is when you misspoke?
21 A. I can't believe I mentioned the Vance-Owen Plan, although I
22 cannot be concern. If I did, I must have misspoken. The plan in
23 question is the Vance Plan, drafted by Cyrus Vance, a UN representative,
24 and was supposed to cover the Republic of Croatia.
25 Q. As far as I know, in the transcript, we find it on page 327 and
1 onwards. I believe it was on the 18th and the 19th of October. Then we
2 have it at pages 368 and 377 on the 18th of October. It is on pages 326
3 to 330. It was used on multiple occasions, the term "Vance-Owen Plan."
4 This is what I want clarified: When you mentioned the
5 Vance-Owen Plan, it's a mistake. It should be the Vance Plan; correct?
6 A. Only the Vance Plan should be mentioned. Being as hard-headed as
7 I am, I believe I only discussed the Vance Plan rather than the
8 Vance-Owen Plan. I can't imagine myself making that mistake, but for the
9 sake of argument, let's say I did make a mistake. In any case, it is the
10 Vance Plan.
11 Q. It could be a mistake in the transcript, indeed. In any case,
12 that has been dealt with now.
13 I'm interested in this: Can you tell us when you learned for the
14 first time of this possibility that the UN were to be included in trying
15 to resolve the Yugoslav crisis by sending a peacekeeping force to former
17 A. It was in early December, following the 2nd or the 5th of
18 December. I heard that there was some discussion about that and that an
19 agreement had been reached for peacekeeping forces to enter the area.
20 Q. Were you notified or do you know at all who asked for the
21 engagement of peacekeeping forces of the UN?
22 A. As far as I recall, Yugoslavia asked for it, although I am not
23 certain. Believe me, I was so deep in the problems of the people in
24 Western Slavonia and whether we would survive or not, since we were left
25 alone to our own devices and particularly because we were cut off from
1 receiving media reports, that news only arrived subsequently, and once
2 you have information coming your way in that manner, it is difficult to
3 put them in sequence. We were completely cut off. At times, I was in
4 villages where there was no electricity, no telephone communication. We
5 could barely receive any news by radio. So the period of the exodus was
6 particularly difficult and cumbersome.
7 Q. In other words, in late 1991 and early 1992, you were busy
8 dealing with refugee problems in Western Slavonia, and you did not pay as
9 much attention to some other events happening elsewhere?
10 A. Well, if you will, as early as December 1991, in particular on
11 the 9th and the 12th of December, I participated at sessions of the
12 Yugoslav government, where the topic of the Vance Plan was discussed.
13 When I returned following the second session on the 12th of December, I
14 came upon the Serb exodus in Western Slavonia which took place on the
15 15th, on the 15th of December. I simply encountered the long columns of
16 people fleeing, and I was involved in these discussions of peace plans.
17 It was difficult to believe that at such a time when we were discussing a
18 peace process and the arrival of peacekeeping forces the entire area was
19 to be left void, empty of the population because no Serbs were left,
20 since so much pressure was exerted on them. So, on the one hand, I was
21 taking part in those talks, and at the same time people were leaving
22 Western Slavonia as the Vance Plan was being discussed.
23 Q. In the transcript, when discussing the Vance Plan on page 312,
24 lines 17 to -- through 20 you said that on the 2nd December, some
25 agreement was signed and that the Vance Plan was proposed.
1 Could you clarify that part for us? Tell us what was it that was
2 signed, because I didn't understand that part? What was signed on the
3 2nd of December, 1991?
4 A. I always go back to that date, the 2nd of December, unless it was
5 the 2nd of January. Believe me, so many years later I can't recall. But
6 I think it was the 2nd of December when a peace agreement was signed in
7 Sarajevo between Yugoslavia and the UN about the Vance Plan and the
8 arrival of the Blue Helmets. I know that it was in Sarajevo, and I
9 believe it was on the 2nd of December when the peace agreement was
11 Q. I don't think the date is correct. I think you said the correct
12 date a moment ago. In any case, it's been a long time and no wonder you
13 may have made a mistake. You said that something was proposed, too, on
14 the 2nd of December. Can you remember what it was that was proposed?
15 A. Well, I seem to recall the peace plan, unless you can specify or
16 remind me of anything else. I don't remember anything else.
17 Q. On page 322, lines 2 through 12, you said that the leaders of the
18 Serb Autonomous District of the Serbian Krajina were against the plan
19 initially. When did you learn for the first time that Goran Hadzic was
20 against the plan? Was it at the Presidency session you attended or
22 A. Well, there are minutes where you can read about Mr. Hadzic's
23 position. He attended one session, and he did not attend another. Babic
24 at the outset did not come at all because he was vehemently against it.
25 Mr. Hadzic and Ilija Koncarevic and the people around them defended their
1 position by saying that it was unacceptable. I don't want to repeat the
2 entire minutes, but later on as it turned out, Mr. Hadzic accepted the
3 Vance Plan and he backed it up.
4 Q. I have minutes here from the Presidency session dated the
5 9th of December, 1991. Please bear with me.
6 Just one thing more before I show you the minutes. You said that
7 Goran Hadzic was in charge of negotiations with international
8 representatives and that Milosevic supported him in that? You recall
10 A. I do recall having said that.
11 Q. Do you know why did representatives of the international
12 community conduct talks with Goran Hadzic in the first place?
13 A. Well, he was the president of the SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Sirmium and international representatives at the time were still
15 open to negotiations with regional leaders and politicians. In the Vance
16 Plan, furthermore, it states that the local authorities will remain as
17 such at that moment. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the
18 international representatives engaged in talks with Goran Hadzic, who was
19 the president of the SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Sirmium.
20 Q. Talking about the Vance Plan, inter alia, you said that
21 Yugoslavia was to guarantee the implementation of the Vance Plan. What
22 does it actually mean?
23 A. I did say that and it has to be put in a wider context. First of
24 all, they were to convince local leaders to have the Vance Plan accepted
25 and implemented. During the meetings we held, on a number of occasions
1 due to the fear and reserve of some leaders, the then-Yugoslav Presidency
2 also obliged itself to be the guarantor of security and safety in the UN
3 areas. In other words, should anything happen, they were to be included,
4 too. They wouldn't leave the Serbs there to their own devices. Since
5 Yugoslavia was one of the signatories, and we from the Krajina did not
6 have any contact with the Croatian authorities because we were in
7 conflict with them, it was normal to expect Yugoslavia to appear as
8 guarantor pending the arrival of UN forces. That's how we saw it;
9 whereas, some others saw Yugoslavia as the guarantor even later.
10 Q. What were these fears or reserves of the Serbs in Croatia and
11 their political leaders, as well as the leaders of Yugoslavia and Serbia,
12 vis-a-vis certain provisions of the Vance Plan? Did any of the
13 provisions raise doubts or cause concern?
14 A. The most important reservation was that, according to the
15 agreement, the UN forces under Vance Plan, were not planned to be
16 deployed along the separation line between the Croatian army and the JNA
17 and other forces. On the other -- or, rather, the plan was to have these
18 forces deployed in SAO and if provided that the Croatian army, the JNA
19 and other forces would stay away from that area, 5 kilometres.
20 Now, the plan envisaged that there would be no military in the
21 area. The only force there would be the police with side-arms and that
22 created a lot of problems. In some contact that I read about which
23 involved Mr. Hadzic as well, I think that Mr. Vance said that they were
24 going to recognise Croatia within its borders, whatever happened. Now
25 this statement and the fear that was displayed by the leadership and the
1 population --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, Mr. Dzakula, could you please slow
4 down a little bit. The interpreters have difficulty following you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will. I apologise, Your Honours.
6 Let me just focus again.
7 So this was supposed to be placed again under the jurisdiction of
8 the Republic of Croatia. The then leaders believed that through fighting
9 and as a result of fighting, they will never again be part of Croatia.
10 That is why they insisted to have UNPROFOR troops deployed along the
11 separation line as a guarantor for the objectives that they achieved and
12 also as a guarantee that the Croatian army was not going to penetrate
13 that area and capture it militarily.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Was there also fear of the announced withdrawal of the JNA from
16 that area?
17 A. Yes. There was a lot of fear, especially in SAO Krajina and the
18 former Slavonia and Baranja and Western Srem. Because the JNA was very
19 much involved there in the fighting that was going on in that area.
20 As for Western Slavonia, there was no such fear because we almost
21 did not rely on the JNA at all because it was covering only one-fourth of
22 our area. We solely relied on the UN forces.
23 Q. More precisely, at that time the SAO Western Slavonia practically
24 was non-existent. It didn't have its own territory. Would you agree
25 with me? And I'm talking about the period of the Vance Plan.
1 A. I don't agree with you. Western Slavonia, if you are talking
2 about the Serb side or the Serb TO, was holding part of the territory of
3 Western Slavonia between Nova Gradiska -- there was the municipality of
4 Okucani and all the way up to the town of Pakrac and the village of
5 Kricak [phoen] in Pakrac municipality.
6 So, at that time, we were holding Okucani municipality and part
7 of Pakrac municipality. It was under the control of the Serbian army, or
8 TO, if you wish. So that is the area that was reached by the JNA, and
9 this coincides exactly with the area that we managed to hold in military
11 Q. Can you tell me approximately how much of the territory of the
12 SAO Western Slavonia are we talking here about.
13 A. Definitely at least one-fourth.
14 Q. So, to recap, the Serbs of Croatia were afraid, first of all,
15 that the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army, or the JNA, would result in
16 their being attacked and they would not be able to maintain these
17 territories and that they won't be able to defend themselves; am I right?
18 A. Yes, you are. I'm still waiting for the transcript. I am not
19 hesitating with my answer.
20 Q. I don't want to put several questions to you at once. Then they
21 were afraid that they would be sent back or reintegrated into the
22 Republic of Croatia?
23 A. Yes, that was one of their fears.
24 Q. And they were also afraid that in the wake of the withdrawal of
25 the JNA, Yugoslavia would lose its sovereignty over that territory
2 A. Yes. But they were more suspicion and doubtful about their own
3 power, and they -- they were not sure whether with the forces that they
4 had at their disposal could defend the territory on their own.
5 Q. Did they believe that UN troops were supposed to come in that
6 area would provide sufficient protection for them, equal to the one
7 provided by the JNA?
8 A. There was no such belief among the leadership, but part of the
9 population believed that, especially once the UN troops arrived and they
10 became acquainted and closer with each other.
11 Q. When you say "part of the population," are you referring to
12 Western Slavonia?
13 A. I am talking about all population. Later on, it turned out that
14 the communication between the UN and the local people was good, and they
15 became friendly, and they were spending a lot of time together. So they
16 trusted them.
17 Q. I am not talking about personal contacts between UN peacekeepers
18 and locals. I'm talking about the UN troops or UN units. Did the
19 population have confidence that they were capable of providing them
20 protection identical to the one that the JNA used to provide?
21 A. I am sure that the JNA instilled in them much more confidence and
22 much more security. However, later on they accepted the UN forces. But
23 initially, the departure of the JNA was a tremendous shock, as was the
24 announcement of the arrival of foreign troops.
25 Q. Can you please tell me what kind of protection was there in
1 place, the protection of this territory following the acceptance of the
2 Vance Plan?
3 A. In response to your short question, I need to give you a long
4 answer, but I'll try to be brief, and I will say it was different,
5 different in SAO Krajina and Western Slavonia and SBWS. And I can
6 explain this in detail, both to you and the Honourable Chamber.
7 Q. Please do.
8 A. Since the Vance Plan, among other things, envisaged
9 demilitarisation, which means disarming, the point of disarming meant
10 that in that area there could not be two armies. We discussed that in
11 great detail with UN forces, because if there were two armies then the UN
12 would be wedged between two armed parties. And, in that scenario, they
13 wouldn't assume the responsibility for the protection.
14 We had an opportunity to see that happening in Western Slavonia.
15 When demilitarisation was effected, the UN assumed a responsibility and
16 there were no incursions into the territory nor entry by the Croatian
17 forces into Western Slavonia all the way until Operation Flash in
18 May 1995. As far as SAO Krajina is concerned, already in 1992, the
19 Miljevacka plateau incident took place, then the Maslenica incident in
20 1993 and Medacki Dzep in 1993 as well. In these three locations the
21 Croatian army entered the territory with their forces and killed a number
22 of soldiers and a lot of civilians in Medacki Dzep as well. The aim was
23 to demonstrate that the UN forces were not providing protection to that
24 area. And this showed what the essence of demilitarisation was.
25 Mr. Martic insisted on having an army armed with long barrels.
1 He insisted on having his own army, but it turns out that it was not
2 capable of defending the area on its own against any form of aggression
3 or incursion by the Croatian army and police. And, on the other hand,
4 the UN did not think it was incumbent upon them to defend this
5 demilitarised area. To all of you it might seem like a legal catch, but
6 this is the essence. The militarisation, had it been effected and if
7 this would happen nevertheless, then it would seem that the UN were not
8 undertaking their obligations. And we all know that the main reason was
9 fear and I think that was the reason why Mr. Martic wanted to have his
10 own army because later developments showed that the Army of the
11 Republic of Serbian Krajina did not have enough capacity to preserve this
12 area from police and army actions undertaken by the state of Croatia, and
13 the UN forces were not utilised to carry out the tasks that they were
14 obliged to undertake according to the agreement.
15 Now, when we discussed the situation in Western Slavonia and when
16 there was an announcement of an impending attack, General Zabala told me,
17 We have undertaken upon us that if you do not take to -- up the arms we
18 are going to protect you and I'm going to direct my soldiers against the
19 Croatian army if they attack you. However, if you get hold of heavy
20 weapons, we are going to pull out and we don't want to be involved in
21 that. And thanks to that, we preserved our status until 1995.
22 I think I was clear enough.
23 Q. Yes, you were. And in May 1995 was retaken by the Croatian army.
24 Do you agree?
25 A. Yes, I do. And I can explain. You are right that when you say
1 in May 1995, Croatia occupied Western Slavonia in Operation Flash. After
2 we were dismissed from our posts in 1993, Martic set up new civilian
3 authorities, and he militarised this area again by setting up army and
4 police with long barrels which was not the case before that.
5 So when this happened in May 1995, unfortunately, we had an army
6 but it was not capable of defending the area and, again, the UN just
7 pulled back. Thanks to our people who managed to keep one patrol of UN
8 soldiers, we managed to establish communication with the UN and to seek
9 cease-fire. And I can tell you that thanks to our exacts with
10 General Zabala and the UN, the 5.500 people who were left in encirclement
11 managed to survive because they knew we were in favour of negotiations
12 and peaceful solutions. If we were not militarised, again I'm sure that
13 the UN would have defended us, but as it turned out, due to the
14 circumstances, their mission was not fulfilled as the plan was.
15 Q. In a nutshell, you think that your government was not -- had your
16 government not been replaced the Croatian Operation Flash would never
17 have happened.
18 A. I'm sure that had this area not been militarised, there would be
19 no incidents that took place on the highway. Although I cannot guarantee
20 that the Croatian side would not attempt something, they may have done
21 so, but I am sure that in the course of the peace process, we would have
22 gone too far for them to catch us unawares. I am quite sure, because we
23 had an upper hand in this process because, believe me, the Croatian side
24 did not support our initiative either because we were a thorn in the
25 Croatian side as well, because on many occasions including the Daruvar
1 agreement that we signed and which could have cost us our lives, they
2 wanted to deceive us on that agreement, too. However, when you're at war
3 and when you represent the people living in your area, you have to react.
4 And it turned out that the after Medacki Dzep, Miljevacka plateau and the
5 Flash, we still had to negotiate, because there's no other alternative.
6 We were quite aware of that. The UN failed to help us only after the
7 Daruvar agreement because they left us on our own and they gave into
8 Martic's requests. Had that not been the case, the Western Slavonia
9 would not have faired as it did. We had responsible people and we
10 enjoyed authority among our people.
11 In such a small area, there were a lot of people; for example,
12 there were 17 people sharing the same house, because their only wish and
13 aim was to return to their homes. Only people who are refugees, people
14 living in other people's houses, one can only try to understand what they
15 were thinking and wishing. However, we were the Croatian side that
16 didn't want to grant this, and we also had people in Krajina who were --
17 opposed that. Our desire was to live in our houses, but, unfortunately,
18 not under the conditions that we strived for, and it's still the case
19 nowadays. I apologise for this long answer.
20 Q. Mr. Dzakula, out of all you have explained, my impression is
21 this, and please correct me if I'm wrong: The Croatian side would have
22 taken back that territory no matter what the case was, but they would not
23 have had an excuse if there had been no armed Serbs there. Am I correct?
24 A. That's not what I said.
25 Q. I'm not saying you said it. I said it was my conclusion. And do
1 correct me if it is inaccurate.
2 A. Yes. I still believe honestly, although I'm not a naive person,
3 that they would not have dared do it the way they did, but they would
4 have tried through various initiatives or small incursions. However, we
5 acted, and then they reacted. Unless we act, the other side takes over
6 and we are forced to react, and that's how the things panned out. We had
7 to have had a peace initiative. It was our utmost obligation.
8 Unfortunately, the Serbs did not have it, and the Croatian side made best
9 use of it.
10 Q. Just before the break, one last question: Tell me, when you
11 discuss the peace initiative, do you include in that, or do you believe
12 that such initiative meant accepting the political requirements the
13 Croatian side had? In other words, that you should accept all of their
14 requests. In that case, they would have no need to act. You would have
15 agreed to the Croatian army entering and, hence, any incidents would be
17 A. No, it's a mistake. When we discussed the return of Serbs to the
18 villages in Pozega and Pakrac, which were Croat controlled, we had agreed
19 with a Canadian battalion and we had a condition that the Croat police be
20 removed from that area, because the villages in question were exclusively
21 Serb, and that only CIVPOL or the UN police remain. We wanted people to
22 return and we did not trust the Croatian police. The Canadian battalion
23 accepted that condition.
24 As for the Croatian conditions imposed on us, they had every
25 right to table them, but we had no right to accept anything that the
1 people living there did not want.
2 As for the agreements we signed, it was approved by the SAO
3 Western Slavonia Assembly to negotiate and sign, provided the assembly
4 ratified it. We knew what the burden of responsibility was. We knew we
5 had to keep the people informed and to follow the procedure. It was up
6 to the people to decide which political settlement they would accept for
7 the area.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: We'll take the break now.
9 Mr. Usher, if you would escort the witness out of courtroom.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned. We'll be back at 12.45.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Dzakula, we will continue discussing the
19 Vance Plan, but we will turn to the Presidency session held on the
20 9th of December, 1991, which both you and Goran Hadzic attended. This is
21 Prosecution Exhibit P28.
22 From page 3 in both versions of the minutes, one can see that the
23 chair of the session, Branko Kostic, sets out the items of the Vance Plan
24 item by item.
25 Next, there follows a debate which you will surely remember,
1 where both Branko Kostic, and Borisav Jovic - that's the same Presidency
2 members of Yugoslavia - took an active part as well as others.
3 Before I quote the words by Goran Hadzic which I believe is very
4 important, I will take you to some of the points of the interventions by
5 Branko Kostic and Borisav Jovic to see if you remember any of it and what
6 your position was.
7 Branko Kostic -- that's page 19 of the Serbian text and page 15
8 of the English - Branko Kostic says that the way in which the
9 international forces of the United Nations were engaged automatically
10 excludes the areas from what could be the jurisdiction of the Croatian
11 authorities. Do you recall that portion of what was said?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. What was your position in that regard? Did that truly reflect
14 what the plan said or not?
15 A. In that area, there was only the UN that had jurisdiction over
17 Q. Thank you. Now I'm quoting from page 23 of the Serbian version
18 and 17 of the English. He goes on to say that the agreement would be
19 signed by Yugoslavia and the UN Security Council only. It -- excluding
20 Croatia. Do you recall that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Next, that the Security Council would not interfere with the
23 numbers of members of armed formation of the MUP of Croatia and that,
24 similarly, it would not interfere with the numbers of armed members of
25 the police in the Serbian Krajina. This is page 29 in Serbian and 21 in
1 English. Do you recall him saying that?
2 A. I do. I'm listening carefully to what you're reading out.
3 You're referring to the numbers, that they would not be interfering with
4 the number of policemen present there?
5 Q. The numbers of armed members of internal affairs of Krajina.
6 A. Yes. In other words, policemen.
7 Q. Next, it was Borisav Jovic's turn to speak. He said, among other
8 things -- and that's page 31 of the Serbian version and 23 of the
9 English. Among other things he said:
10 "In fact, with this we are ensuring that the United Nations
11 preserve our achievements."
12 Was that your understanding as well, that the United Nations be
13 would preserving what had been achieved?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. He went on to say what would happen in the event of the excursion
16 of the Croatian police into the area after the withdrawal of the JNA.
17 So he says at page 32:
18 "Do not think that we, as the Presidency of Yugoslavia find it
19 less of a cause for concern when the army withdraws and that we are not
20 concerned what might happen if the Croatian forces break through. If
21 they head forward, so will we, and much faster than them."
22 That's page 23 in Serbian and 24 in English.
23 Let me now explain to you why I cited these particular pages. We
24 will move onto what Goran Hadzic had to say. That's page 37 and 38 in
25 English. I'm sorry, that's pages in Serbian. And pages 27 and 28 in
2 He said as follows:
3 "I would like to say something with regard to my contacts with
4 Henry Wynaendts in The Hague and Paris. What he told us over there is
5 something that I can see coming into effect here. I am pleased that
6 there are such optimistic views of these positions, although I am the
7 pessimist. However, I am optimistic in terms of the ultimate victory.
8 Wynaendts said, We will recognise Croatia, whatever the cost, and you
9 will remain within the Republic of Croatia under a special status. These
10 positions are not a prejudice. They do not anticipate what will happen.
11 They are a prejudice. It is not a pure chance that they are mentioning
12 the Republic of Croatia. It is not by chance that they are mentioning
13 it. When they say that our goal is to preserve Yugoslavia. That is
14 true. However, when everything is said and done I will state two things
16 I will proceed to quote from this later. From what I have read
17 out, would you agree with me that what Goran Hadzic in fact said here was
18 that the Vance Plan --
19 MR. STRINGER: Apologise for the interruption, counsel.
20 Your Honour, in the transcript just before the page disappears
21 toward the top, page 58, line 17, the transcript at the moment, if --
22 unless it is changed will attribute -- there's a statement here: I'm
23 optimistic about the final victory. And the statement is attributed to
24 Mr. Hadzic in the exhibit which is the minutes. However, the transcript
25 unless it is changed will attribute that statement to Mr. Wynaendts and I
1 just wanted to note that for the record.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, I failed to say that is under inverted
3 commas, sorry. [Interpretation] For the sake of correction, let us say
4 that this was inverted commas:
5 "We will recognise Croatia no matter what happens and you will
6 remain having special status within the Republic of Croatia."
7 These are the words that Goran Hadzic quoted as having coming
8 from Wynaendts. Everything else that was said were Goran Hadzic's words.
9 I just wanted to make that distinction.
10 Q. This is my question for you: Based on the quoted words uttered
11 by Goran Hadzic, would you conclude that it was his position that the
12 Vance Plan was, in fact, a plan that was to materialise something that he
13 had already heard from Mr. Wynaendts. In other words, that the Serbian
14 Krajina would remain within Croatia?
15 A. To the extent I followed statements read about them and recall,
16 the Vance Plan was a peace process which had nothing to do with the
17 political settlement --
18 Q. I am sorry to interrupt you. I'm only asking you now about what
19 Hadzic had to say. Do you take his words that I've just quoted to you to
20 mean that he saw the Vance Plan the way he just described it; in other
21 words, that it was a materialisation of what Wynaendts had already told
22 him? We don't want to go into the Vance Plan and what it had to do with.
23 A. Yes. According to how Mr. Hadzic saw it, this was -- the
24 Vance Plan was a way of keeping them within Croatia and, hence, probably
25 his reaction to it.
1 Q. I'm reading the last two paragraphs of his intervention at the
2 time and we will, of course, go back to what has been said as well.
3 At page 40, the last two paragraphs, he says as follows:
4 "I don't want to try and persuade all those present here because
5 I am convinced that we are of the same opinion. What I will have to say
6 will be in different words. Perhaps we will want to say what the
7 position is like and what it is that the people will accept. I'm sure
8 that the people from the three Krajinas can come to an agreement. We can
9 convince one another but it is not important and makes no sense because
10 we cannot go back with just any kind of view-point. What we got here is
11 that the Serbian Krajinas may stay within the Republic of Croatia, while
12 the Republic of Croatia itself is being given independence by the mere
13 fact that the JNA is withdrawing for Croatia. The JNA has so far been
14 the only footing, the only representative of Yugoslavia and the rump
16 "Do not take my speech as too bitter or arrogant but our opinions
17 should be based on better premises. We should see what is really best
18 for us and then say it. It is bad but it is the best option so far. We
19 should not be trying to convince one other instead of something that, in
20 my view, is not correct."
21 Do you understand what Goran Hadzic said here as meaning that the
22 leadership should come out with truthful facts and tell the people what
23 was at stake, rather than disseminate misconceptions or delusions about
24 staying within Yugoslavia, and I mean the Krajinas and everything else?
25 A. This is Goran Hadzic's interpretation because he had additional
1 discussions like the one with Mr. Wynaendts which had to do with the
2 political settlement. If you place these discussions that he had in the
3 context of the Vance Plan then his view is that the Vance Plan was in the
4 service of it; whereas, I said that these were two separate processes.
5 Ultimately, Mr. Hadzic accepted the Vance Plan as something that was
6 binding on all these issues, whereas the Vance Plan proper did not deal
7 with the political resolution.
8 Q. Nobody said from among us here that the Vance Plan offered a
9 political solution. Rather, that it was in the service of finding one,
10 and I did say that that was what Mr. Hadzic had to say.
11 A. Mr. Hadzic's interpretation was that the Vance Plan had a role to
12 play in the process of finding a political solution, and that was his
14 Q. Thank you. He said, among other things right at the start and
15 I've already quoted that: I am please that there are such optimistic
16 views of these positions, although I myself am a pessimist. Would you
17 say that in saying this he meant those positions presented by
18 Branko Kostic and Borisav Jovic that I quoted earlier on?
19 A. Yes, I believe that Goran Hadzic did not trust their explanation
20 of the Vance Plan and the political positions.
21 Q. Thank you. This was something that the Prosecutor asked you
22 about. It's just that the question as it was put outside of the context
23 may distort of whole picture about Goran Hadzic's address at this point.
24 He said, I would agree with Yugoslavia being preserved in such a way as
25 to deploy even more JNA forces in Croatia than has been the case before
1 much. Now let's tie it in with what he says at the end, which is that:
2 We should place our view-points on more solid grounds. Look at what is
3 more favourable for us and say, Well, this is what the situation is like.
4 It is bad but it is the best so far.
5 Would you say that in a way by saying this he says, We have said
6 that we are committed to Yugoslavia but obviously nothing will come of
7 it, and it has to be said loud and clear?
8 A. Well, to be frank, I did not analyse, really, the meaning of his
9 words but listening to what you have to say, I can conclude that he was
10 upset by the fact that he was not going to achieve what he wanted to
11 achieve and that he would not have the military support to go as far as
12 he wanted, although I must say at the time I did not really examine his
13 words to see what it was that he meant. I'm merely, by listening to your
14 words now, trying to summarise it. Because he was trying to tie in the
15 political process with the Vance Plan whereas I saw these two processes
16 apart. Of course, I didn't have the sort of contacts that perhaps
17 Mr. Hadzic had where he spoke of political solutions, the peace process
18 was set in motion, and it had to be implemented as such. There was no
20 Q. Let us clarify one thing: You say that he realised that he was
21 not going to be able to achieve what he wanted to. What did he want to
22 achieve? He spoke of the preservation of Yugoslavia and, in fact, this
23 was the situation of the majority of the Serbs that -- at the referendum
24 that had been carried out in Slavonia, Baranja, West Srem, as well as in
25 all the other Krajinas. That was not his personal will. Would you
2 A. Well, it was his personal wish to preserve Yugoslavia, to have
3 Krajina become a federal unit. This was something that most of the
4 political leaders talked about, dreamt of and wished for. But I think he
5 was confronted with the fact that with the withdraw of the JNA that odds
6 were much lower. Of course, he had many more contacts and much more
7 information that he could put together. But I repeat, these were
8 processes that only had to be launched and they were not directly related
9 to the Vance Plan. They kept seeing the Vance Plan as a means for a
10 political solution; I myself did not, so it's difficult for me to
11 empathise with what he might have thought about it.
12 Q. I can go on to read the rest. He said, among other things, that
13 he believed that the JNA and the ZNG could not be treated the same way,
14 that the National Guards Corps was a paramilitary Ustasha formation,
15 et cetera. Tell me, in the context of the then-legislative framework and
16 we're talking about December 1991, Yugoslavia was still the only state
17 that existed in the area as an internationally recognised state. Would
18 you agree with me?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Croatia was not yet recognised as an independent state?
21 A. No, it wasn't.
22 Q. Under the constitution and all the regulations in force in
23 Yugoslavia, was the National Guards Corps, the ZNG, a legal formation?
24 A. No, it wasn't. Not under the constitution. Nobody was, save for
25 the JNA.
1 Q. He also goes on to talk about the cease-fire and that they agreed
2 with the cease-fire as was the general practice in the world by the green
3 belt. I personally don't know what the green belt stands for. Is it the
4 separation line, is it a more general area? But it -- it is of no
5 concern for us at this point.
6 I'm interested in something else. Did you see anywhere in his
7 intervention that he said that he was opposed to the Vance Plan?
8 A. All of his doubts expressed in his intervention pointed to the
9 fact that he was not in favour of it. He did not say, I agree to the
10 Vance Plan and it is something that we need to adhere to. And he did not
11 say so openly until I think it was on the 19th of January.
12 Q. These words that I have quoted for the third time, does it not
13 confirm, does it not speak in favour of his accepting it? He says, Let
14 us base our reasoning on sounder grounds. Let's see what's best for us,
15 and let's say this is the situation. It may be bad but it's the best one
16 thus far.
17 Wasn't this his call to face the reality, although he believed it
18 not to be the best solution but it was a solution given the political
19 imbalance and that nothing better could be expected under such
21 A. I honestly believe that Mr. Hadzic was aware of the real
22 situation but he dared not speak openly in favour of the Vance Plan until
23 he gauged the reaction in the field. He was aware of it all. That is
24 probably why he was absent for the second meeting, and by the third
25 meeting the field was set and then he decidedly spoke out. He did
1 address doubts and fears here but he wasn't clear. He didn't say, Yes,
2 we are going to accept it as there is no alternative. When one discusses
3 a peace plan you cannot be skeptical or discuss things. You have to
4 agree or not. I think he was aware of it all, but at that point in time
5 he did not publicly accept it.
6 Q. You, too, spoke during that session meeting?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you accepted the plan?
9 A. Yes, I did. Things were clear with me. I wasn't important.
10 They knew I was in favour of such things. And you can see that I was not
11 invited to any sort of talks like Babic, Martic and others were. It was
12 known beforehand that as regards Western Slavonia things were clear. And
13 I have to be honest, we did have it a bit better because our military
14 component was no match and had no military record to show and we could
15 clearly set out our decision. But even if that were not so, we were
16 always clear on such matters. And I have in mind the political
17 leadership of Western Slavonia.
18 Q. You see, Mr. Dzakula, I read your contribution, and you discuss
19 the exodus of the population at length, although that had not been
20 concluded by that time. You mentioned a number of things. However, when
21 you address the Vance Plan at some point, which is page 114 in the
22 English -- in the Serbian, sorry. And 85 in the English.
23 This is what you say --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Zivanovic wait
25 for the page to appear on the screen.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. "Don't let this have any influence over your thinking and
3 decision as you have to see and consider there is a bigger and different
4 problem. That means starting to resolve it in different ways and a
5 decision doesn't have to be made tonight."
6 It is my impression that you did not accept the Vance Plan
7 either; am I correct.
8 A. If we take this portion of my statement, it doesn't come clear
9 that I accepted it.
10 Q. I understood you to have accepted it.
11 A. I did. This was not the only discussion at a meeting. There
12 were also discussions during the breaks, and my position was always
13 clear. There was -- there was no mention whether Dzakula was against the
14 Vance Plan and you have gone through all these minutes and there's no
15 mention of it. It must have been clear to all.
16 Q. You see, this is what I'm interested in. You say Goran Hadzic
17 was against the Vance Plan and that's how he spoke out on the
18 9th of December and that you were in favour of it. I don't know what
19 went on during the breaks, but if we read the minutes of the meeting, I
20 conclude that neither was Goran Hadzic against the Vance Plan, nor that
21 you were in favour of it.
22 A. If we go by the minutes, you won't find it that I was in favour.
23 Q. Thank you. You see, I'm asking you this for another reason.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [No interpretation] [In English] May we move into
25 private session, please.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
2 [Private session]
11 Page 503 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. The Prosecutor showed you L2. It is the UN Security Council
9 Resolution. We're interested in item 13 on page 5. You will see
10 item 13. I believe it is towards the end. I'm trying to find it because
11 my e-court seems not to be working. Inter alia -- well, first of all,
12 this is an annex which is Mr. Cyrus Vance's report. Inter alia, it is
13 stated that at least one leader of the Croatian Serbs is against
14 accepting the Vance Plan. I'm speaking from memory, of course, because I
15 don't have the document before me.
16 A. I don't find that in item 13, that at least one of them was
18 Q. It is the last sentence:
19 [In English] "Initial reactions which Mr. Vance received from
20 them before he left Yugoslavia confirm their support for this approach.
21 However, it has become clear but from his discussions with other
22 interlocutors and from statements to the press that at least one leader
23 of the Serbian communities in Croatia was not at that time able to accept
24 all aspects of the concept and operational plan."
25 [Interpretation] This is an annex that goes with this document.
1 That's Mr. Vance's report, so he is explicitly mentioning only one person
2 that is not accepting the plan.
3 A. He said at least one. But what date is that?
4 Q. I think it's the 13th of December, but we can check that on
5 page 3. Perhaps page 1?
6 A. All right. If it is 13th then it is after the 9th. But he said
7 at least one. He wasn't specific, so you're not completely right,
8 frankly speaking. I don't know with whom he talked about this issue.
9 Q. That's the 11th of December, which is following this Presidency
10 meeting. I also don't know who he spoke with, but I think the one means
11 Milan Babic.
12 A. Definitely Milan Babic.
13 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor showed you document P30. It's a
14 public exchange of letters between Slobodan Milosevic and Milan Babic.
15 They were published in the "Politika" daily.
16 Do you know if -- or, rather, shall we agree that the only topic
17 addressed in this correspondence and the motive behind it was that Babic
18 didn't want to accept the peace plan, the Vance Plan?
19 A. Yes. Mr. Milosevic's motivation was to appear in the media and
20 to settle the scores with Milan Babic and his policies because
21 Milan Babic was opposed to the Vance Plan.
22 Q. Do you know if Mr. Milosevic or maybe somebody else wrote such
23 letters to Mr. Hadzic?
24 A. No, I'm not aware of that, and I never read any such thing in the
1 Q. You attended a meeting of the Presidency on the
2 12th of December, 1991. That's Prosecution Exhibit 29. That's the
3 meeting that was not attended by Mr. Goran Hadzic?
4 A. Yes, I remember that.
5 Q. Do you recall -- because I see here that some other
6 representatives from Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem were present as
7 well, do you recall what they said with regard to the Vance Plan? You
8 will agree that the Vance Plan was again on the agenda.
9 A. I believe that Ilija Koncarevic expressed some reservations
10 towards the Vance Plan, and so did Martic and Paspalj.
11 Q. Tell me, please, what was the post that Ilija Koncarevic
12 occupied; do you remember?
13 A. Well, later, he was the deputy Speaker of the
14 Assembly of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. He was a prominent
15 figure and always attended these kind of meetings. And I think that at
16 that meeting, Milosevic inquired about Hadzic and Babic, because he
17 obviously held their opinions in high regard.
18 Q. You have been shown video footage made during an assembly session
19 that you said was held in Beli Manastir. On that occasion, the
20 government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was elected on the
21 26th of February, 1992. In this footage, you recognised Goran Hadzic and
22 Stevo Bogic. You recall that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. You were practically on the same government with Stevo Bogic.
25 Did you recognise anyone else?
1 A. Yes, I did. Vojin Susa, who was the minister of the judiciary.
2 And sitting next to Stevo Bogic was the minister of education, but I
3 don't remember his name. And also Mile Paspalj, the Speaker of the
4 Assembly, because he chaired the meeting.
5 Q. You recognised him, too?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look again at this
8 video-clip. That's P35.
9 Q. Can you please indicate Mr. Paspalj in this clip?
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm told by the Registrar that if a video has to
14 be played, you have to play it.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I haven't prepared it for -- I believe that it is
16 in e-court and that it could be played by the Registrar.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Videos are not uploaded in e-court,
19 Mr. Zivanovic. They're only available on CD.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I didn't know that, sorry.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you assist, Mr. Stringer.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No --
23 MR. STRINGER: I think that, first of all, for the record, P35 is
24 the still photograph that was tendered into evidence that was taken from
25 the video. So the video itself is still 65 ter -- well, but in any
1 event --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry, we can perhaps start with the photo and
3 see whether Mr. Dzakula can answer the question based on this photograph.
4 I'm not sure, but it's worth a try.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The person that I encircled is
6 Mr. Stevo Bogic. The one next to him with black hair and the parting,
7 was the minister of education from Eastern Slavonia. I still cannot
8 remember his name.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation.
10 Q. I suppose that Paspalj was some place else in this photo?
11 A. Yes, he was chairing the meeting. And Vojo Susa is sitting in
12 this row, to the right from Goran Hadzic and Stevo Bogic towards me.
13 Q. Can you tell us if in this video-clip you recognise someone from
14 Western Slavonia, for example?
15 A. No, it was a very short video and I didn't pay attention.
16 Q. How about Krajina, the then-SAO Krajina?
17 A. Yes. I said Paspalj, and I indicated him.
18 Q. This is what I wanted to ask you, and I can do so even without
19 the clip: According to my information, or, rather, the information
20 available to us, this is not the video of the 26th of February, 1992.
21 A. I remember this assembly meeting, and I remember that president
22 of the republic, Goran Hadzic, was there, and I see Mr. Stevo Bogic here
23 in this photograph. I saw Vojo Susa, and I saw Paspalj.
24 Now, where that took place, there are a lot of video-clips. They
25 all look almost the same.
1 Q. Well, if not now, we're going to play this video for you
2 tomorrow. But you recognised the hall, and this is right, this is
3 exactly the hall in Beli Manastir. However, according to my information,
4 the meeting of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina held on
5 the 26th of February, 1992, was held in Borovo Selo, not in
6 Beli Manastir.
7 A. I still think it's Beli Manastir now.
8 Q. According to some other information that I have, the venue where
9 the meeting took place was actually a gym, not the regular meeting hall
10 of the assembly. And there are stands in this gym, and there's a
11 handball, or, rather, basketball court there. Do you remember that?
12 A. I know that I attended this assembly meeting, and I am convinced
13 that it took place where I said. Now, these details that you are
14 quoting, I don't remember them at all. I know that this was an assembly
15 meeting. I know that I was there. And I know that it took place in
16 Beli Manastir.
17 Q. Do you remember, for example, that there were stands on both
18 sides of the hall, sports stands that one normally see in a gym or in a
19 sports hall?
20 A. Well, come on. I cannot remember such details.
21 Q. You see, according to some information that we have, and I think
22 that it is somewhere in the transcript. I cannot find it exactly on
23 which page at the moment. But if you listened to what the anchor was
24 talking about, or the voice-over on this footage, he said that that was
25 an assembly meeting of the SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem and
1 not of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
2 A. But we cannot hear it now.
3 Q. It's in the transcript. It's no problem. And that the assembly
4 was actually held on the 19th of December --
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, I think Mr. Stringer could assist
7 MR. STRINGER: Yes. Just to suggest, our Case Manager has pulled
8 it up, and if counsel would like we can -- we can run the video that
9 you're referring to, or tomorrow you can do it. However you choose.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'd be very grateful to the Prosecution if we can
11 watch the video now.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Did you see Mr. Paspalj?
15 A. The one who chaired the meeting?
16 Q. Let's play it back.
17 A. Well, as I'm looking at it now, that's Paspalj. And I also saw
18 Vojin Susa. Vojin Susa is from Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
19 There was no way that Paspalj could have chaired this meeting.
20 Q. Let me ask you one more thing: The president of the republic was
21 elected on the assembly meeting held on the 26th of February, 1992. Also
22 elected was the government. And you were elected as one of the deputy
23 prime ministers.
24 Can you please tell us, how did it come about that you were
25 elected to this office?
1 A. Well, before the meeting, we all got together, and it was agreed
2 that presidents of the three SAOs would be deputy prime ministers and the
3 president of the assembly would be president of the three SAOs. And this
4 was something that took place immediately before the beginning of the --
5 Q. Who was it that agreed on that? Who took part in it?
6 A. Martic, Zecevic, Goran Hadzic, and several other people from the
7 three regions, I believe.
8 Q. Out of those who were appointed deputy prime ministers - and I
9 believe you mentioned something to that effect previously and there's no
10 need to go into private session - that Bosko Bozanic, too, was a deputy
11 prime minister, so there were four in total.
12 I wanted to ask you this: Since you said that the
13 prime ministers of SAO governments were to become deputy prime ministers,
14 I wanted to ask you whether any of them was the prime minister in any of
15 the SAOs, like Mr. Bozanic or Stevo Bogic?
16 A. Since Goran Hadzic was to be the president of the republic, it
17 was said that in Eastern Slavonia it was to be someone else and Martic
18 was to be the same person for Krajina. I couldn't decide who would be
19 the person on that end. Zecevic was also agreed upon, and proposals were
20 made for the respective districts.
21 Q. In other words, there was no key that was used in terms of SAO
22 prime ministers should become deputy prime ministers of the future
23 government of the RSK.
24 A. Realistically speaking, it wasn't possible because the SAO
25 Krajina prime minister was Babic who was out of the picture by then,
1 politically speaking. President of the SBWS government was Goran Hadzic
2 who became the president of the republic. So I was the only
3 prime minister remaining and I became deputy prime minister for the new
4 government, and then the other positions were filled in. I don't know if
5 Goran Hadzic suggested Bogic and Zecevic came from the area of Knin. So
6 they suggested Jovo Kabalar and you reminded me now that Bosko Bozanic,
7 too, was to be another deputy prime minister. There could have been no
8 one else.
9 Q. The Prosecutor also asked you about the Presidency meeting on the
10 2nd of March, 1992. The new prime minister of the RSK, Zecevic,
11 discussed that there would be panic if 15.000 Croatian refugees returned
12 to Benkovac. You recall that?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. And you said you did not share that view of his.
15 A. I did not.
16 Q. At that time, on the 2nd of March, 1992, you were already deputy
17 prime minister.
18 A. Right.
19 Q. I'm interested in what your reaction was when the prime minister
20 of your government speaks of panic and yet you disagree. Did you speak
22 A. I discussed it with Mr. Zecevic. For a long time, we had several
23 days en route to the US and back, we discussed the very issue of refugee
24 return and we had plenty of time on our hands. I told him that that was
25 the moment when he should start working on the return process and the
1 opening up. Because they won't be transporting tomatoes from Zadar to
2 Belgrade if Knin was closer. And yet he said he was aware that the
3 problem was a grave one and that the people wanted to return but that he
4 was not ready for that. In those initial stages, it didn't mean anything
5 to me to confront Zecevic right away. It turned out eventually that
6 Dzakula was right. After our conversations to New York and back, he told
7 Goran Hadzic that I was in favour of co-habitation with the Croats. No
8 one else could have. So I was closely observed in terms of what I was to
9 say. And I had to gradually prepare them to what was inevitable. Once I
10 was a member of the government, demilitarisation was supposed to be set
11 in motion, thus creating preconditions for returns and that was to be the
12 fruit of all my labour in that vein.
13 Q. You say you were closely observed. Please explain. What does it
15 A. Since I was in favour of the peace option, since in the time of
16 war I did not put myself forth as someone who would be in favour of the
17 war option, as it was believed that Western Slavonia was lost because of
18 my passivism because I was against fighting, they observed me. They
19 observed my statements, especially when I publicly condemned the crimes
20 of Seselj's volunteers in Western Slavonia. And there were a number of
21 such statements of mine, and many people were sensitive to it because I
22 stood out. I didn't discuss firm boundaries. I wasn't saying, Let's
23 leave Croatia. My rhetoric was far more moderate. Had I started right
24 away at the session to discuss the return of Croats they would have told
25 me I was crazy, and from that point on any dialogue with them would have
1 been made impossible, especially with Zecevic. He was in panic what to
2 do in terms of Croatian return. As soon as I made a move in that
3 direction I was immediately summoned.
4 Q. Well, since you say your positions were different, they stood
5 out, and I believe you even said that most ministers in the government
6 had different positions, I'm interested how was it that you were
7 elected -- appointed in the government in the first place?
8 A. Quite simply, when the peace agreement was signed, they needed
9 such a leader who would accept the peace process, who would support it,
10 because the Yugoslav Presidency met for the first time with the people
11 from Krajina and Eastern Slavonia which had a much firmer stance towards
12 the Vance Plan, and the people in charge of some other operations were
13 comprised. Thus, I was accepted as the key solution for
14 Western Slavonia, in terms of the peace process.
15 As regards your question about the ministers, there were sessions
16 of government in Western Slavonia in Okucani when I insisted an agenda
17 item was the return of refugees, and it was Stevo Bogic whom we saw in
18 the picture who came to me and cautioned me. He said, Veljko, brother,
19 you will remain alone. No one will support you in the return process.
20 The only person who supported to me to some extent was Milan Martic, who
21 was the minister of the interior, because he saw that I was much in
22 favour of returns. And then he said, I agree that returns are important,
23 but the conditions are still non-existent. There was this constant
24 excuse that there were no conditions for the refugees to return. Believe
25 me, though, that no one worked on those conditions save for us in
1 Western Slavonia. The condition, the basic condition for refugees to
2 return was demilitarisation and it was only Western Slavonia who did so.
3 Others turned a -- simply did not want to discuss that because they did
4 not want Croatians returning to Krajina.
5 Q. You say you were accepted as the key person in terms of solutions
6 for Western Slavonia within the peace process. That's what I understood,
7 and I believe it is so in the transcript.
8 What did this key role of yours consist of? What was this key
9 solution? Were you supposed to have a peace mission as a member of the
10 government? Please explain.
11 A. I did have a peace mission in terms of Western Slavonia. At the
12 moment when decisions were being made, there was a need for someone from
13 the field in Yugoslavia who enjoyed a certain authority in a Serb
14 community, such as Western Slavonia, and to have that person placed in
15 the position of deputy prime minister. It was widely known that I was in
16 favour of the peace process. There was never a question whether Dzakula
17 would accept or not; whereas, the other positions were discussed at
18 length. So that was my role for Western Slavonia, not necessarily in the
19 government but locally. And I always initiated such topics.
20 Q. When did you initiate such topics in the government which had to
21 do with the peace process?
22 A. First and foremost, I was in favour of demilitarisation, trying
23 to explain the importance of it. I even discussed it with Milan Martic
24 as well as the commander of Sector South. And only once we had
25 implemented this process of demilitarisation, we created a return
1 programme. We even went so far as to ask for a meeting with Milosevic
2 because we thought he would exert his influence over the Krajina
3 government. There was a delegation from Western Slavonia which had
4 prepared a return programme, had the programme ratified by the assembly
5 and went to see Milosevic with the programme. He said that it should be
6 further elaborated and supported and then there was another government
7 session. When I arrived in Knin, they agreed to have a session in
8 Western Slavonia to see what to do with it. That was the thrust of my
10 Q. Let me conclude then. Within the government you had a very
11 important role, which had to do with demilitarisation, return of
12 refugees, if I understood well?
13 A. Apologies. It wasn't a great role in the government, but I
14 discussed it. We, as ministers and deputy prime ministers, enjoyed the
15 same status. However, I worked in the field, and everyone knew about it.
16 I set things in motion as envisaged by the Vance Plan.
17 Finally, the Under-Secretary-General of the UN, Marrack Goulding,
18 came to Okucani in December to congratulate in -- on the way we
19 implemented the Vance Plan, to congratulate on the demilitarisation and
20 return of refugees. Myself and my team were congratulated for what we
21 had done. It was an enormous success at the time because it was
22 completely non-existent elsewhere.
23 Q. I'm asking you this because I understood your testimony on
24 discussing your role in the government, I understood you said you were in
25 charge of forestry.
1 A. Correct. In the government, I was in charge of forestry and
2 economic affairs but I also had a role to play in Western Slavonia about
3 the implementation of the Vance Plan and the results were visible and
4 widely known. You could have seen in the documents that Mr. Goulding
5 discussed it, as well as Mr. Nambiar, or anyone from the international
6 community who were present there and who worked on the implementation of
7 the Vance Plan. When I proposed the forestry law at the assembly -- I
8 also founded the council for forestry in the Krajina, and then I also
9 discussed the things that we were obliged to implement when we accepted
10 the Vance Plan.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, it is that time.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
14 So the usher may escort the witness out of court. Mr. Witness,
15 Mr. Dzakula, I remind you that you are still under oath, and we hope to
16 finish your testimony tomorrow morning. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tomorrow 9.00, same courtroom.
20 Court adjourned.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd of October,
23 2012, at 9.00 a.m.