1 Wednesday, 6 February 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case number IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Goran Hadzic.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
15 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
16 For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Alex Demirdjian, and
17 Thomas Laugel.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: And for the Defence. Mr. Zivanovic.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
20 Goran Hadzic, it's Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 The witness -- the witness may be brought in.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning again to you, Dr. Nielsen.
25 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: May I remind that you you're still under oath.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, of course.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, please proceed.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, thank
6 WITNESS: CHRISTIAN NIELSEN [Resumed]
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell: [Continued]
8 Q. Welcome back, Dr. Nielsen.
9 A. Good morning. It's a pleasure to see you.
10 Q. Good to see you too. Now, during our --
11 MR. GOSNELL: If we could have P370, please, brought up, which I
12 believe is a Prosecution tab but I don't have the tab number at hand. In
13 any event, the exhibit number is P370.
14 Q. And this was the document that we were discussing when you last
15 left us a couple of weeks ago, Dr. Nielsen. And during our last exchange
16 of question and answer I was asking you whether this document, which just
17 to remind ourselves is a -- some kind of an instruction or an order,
18 guidance, from the 1st Proletarian Guards Division to unidentified -- an
19 unidentified town command, and we see there's a blank there. It could be
20 a form being sent to several town commands or just one town command.
21 It's not very clear.
22 In any event, the signatory is Mico Delic who's the -- a
23 major-general, and he's the commander apparently of the
24 1st Proletarian Guards Division, and we were discussing this document and
25 I asked you whether this document reflected at least Mico Delic's view
1 that it was necessary to put in place a procedure to permit the
2 occupation of abandoned houses in order, as a means, of maintaining law
3 and order. And you answered in response to that question that that was
4 the hope of some JNA officers as reflected in this document, and I quote
5 you: "That the establishment of such procedures could slow down if not
6 eliminate illegal expulsions," and that's at page 2597.
7 So just to wrap this up, you would agree that at least as far as
8 this document goes, it does reflect an attempt to ensure an orderly
9 occupation of abandoned houses; correct?
10 A. Yes, that is correct. And I think the two key parts of this
11 document are the four questions which are posed at the outset of the
12 document, which show what everyone is concerned about at this time. And
13 also the -- at least in the B/C/S, it is the second-to-last
14 paragraph where they talk about the need to maintain public order,
15 security of the citizens, and that they should not under any
16 circumstances permit the harassment or mistreatment of citizens.
17 Q. Right. And you testified previously that the reason for this was
18 that there was a large influx of Western Slavonian refugees who were
19 putting pressure on local authorities, and they were in fact harassing
20 local residents on some occasions, and as you put it this was creating a
21 "a very volatile situation." Is that right?
22 A. Yes, that is certainly the picture that forms when we review the
23 newest documents that were provided by Belgrade.
24 Q. And if we look at page 2 of the English, which I think is still
25 going to be on page one of the B/C/S, we see sort of a three-tiered
1 decision-making process being laid out here by Major-General Delic. And
2 what he says is in the first instance the authority to determine which
3 abandoned houses are to be occupied by whom should, in the first
4 instance, "be fully transferred to the municipal organs of authority
5 wherever they exist and then where no such municipal organs exist an
6 opinion should be obtained from the commissioner of the municipality."
7 And let me just stop there. Would you agree that there appears there to
8 be a distinction between, on the one hand, saying that transfer the
9 decision making process, if possible, to the local authority, but on the
10 other hand where there's no local authority seek the opinion, the advice,
11 consultation, with the commissioner of the -- of the municipality.
12 Is that a distinction that you see in the B/C/S as well?
13 A. Well, I think both as concerns the English translation and the
14 B/C/S original, there is a mistake in your question. Because you said in
15 your question that where no such municipal organs exist an opinion should
16 be obtained from the commissioner of the municipality.
17 As I read it, it says if no such commissioner exists for the
18 specific municipality then an opinion is to be obtained from the
19 government of the Serb region or district of Slavonia, Baranja, and
20 Western Srem.
21 Q. Well, if we take the whole paragraph what I see this paragraph as
22 saying is: If there is a local authority in place, transfer the decision
23 to them. If no local authority, then in the first instance seek the
24 opinion of the commissioner, and where there's -- if there's no
25 commissioner then seek the opinion of the district government. Is that
1 right or do you think I'm misreading that?
2 A. No, I think we agree that it's a three-step process.
3 Q. Right. And the distinction that I was drawing your attention to
4 was, on the one hand, if there's a local municipal civil organ they
5 should essentially take care of it. But on the other hand, where there's
6 no such local authority, merely seek the opinion of the commissioner, and
7 in the absence of a commissioner, the district government.
8 A. Is there a question?
9 Q. Do you agree with that.
10 A. Yes, I agree with that. And I think, just so I don't forget it,
11 that among the 370 or so documents that we obtained from Belgrade, given
12 that this document, if I recall from the top, it's from the 23rd of
13 December, 1991, that it might be very instructive at some point today to
14 also look at the letter that was sent on the very same day to the
15 military by Mr. Hadzic and to which a response was given by the military
16 on the 25th of December, 1991. Those two documents are among the new
17 documents and in fact deal with precisely this matter. That is, the
18 relationship between the civilian authority, the military authorities, et
20 Q. Would you agree with me that as far as this document is
21 concerned, the implication is that if there is no local municipal organ
22 of authority, it's still up to the town commands to make the final
23 decision on settlement of abandoned houses?
24 A. As we agreed, there is a three-step process which culminates in
25 if the -- if there are no civilian organs of authority available from the
1 municipality and if there's no commissioner, step two, available for the
2 specific municipality, then an opinion is to be obtained from the
3 government of the Serb district.
4 Q. Right. And now I'm trying to discuss with you the implications
5 of that, and what I'm suggesting to you is that even if you've then
6 gone -- let's assume there is no municipal organ, the town command goes
7 to the commissioner, seeks advice, receives some kind of suggestions, but
8 then, at that point, in the absence of any local organs, it's for the
9 town command to execute the decision and make the decision ultimately as
10 to who goes into which houses; right?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. And in fact even the next paragraph, we see that even where the
13 process of letting abandoned houses is actually assumed by the local
14 organs, the municipal civil organs, you'll see there that it says:
15 "Town commands should ensure, regardless of who issues the decision, and
16 especially if the commands do so," -- now just to divert there, it
17 doesn't specifically say town commands, "... and especially if the
18 commands do so, that the houses allotted to refugees from other areas to
19 move in, even on a temporary basis, are first and foremost of those who
20 will most certainly not come back because of the crimes they committed."
21 Now would you agree that this seems to reflect that the town
22 commands are supposed to exercise some ultimate and final authority, even
23 over decisions of the municipal organs in this respect?
24 A. Well, I would agree, as I've stated previously, that this is an
25 attempt to impose a modicum of order and organisation upon what has,
1 based on other documents, been a quite chaotic process. So again, the
2 town commands at this point are being told by the major-general that they
3 are supposed to -- to the best of their ability regulate this to prevent
4 the kind of irregularities that have been witnessed to date. The
5 emphasis is, of course, on permitting the return, as we see in the
6 final -- or following paragraph, rather, permitting the return of persons
7 who were loyal and who have not compromised themselves, which gets back
8 to the four questions that are asked at the outset of the document.
9 Q. And if we look at the top of page 2 of the English it says, and
10 this is in response to the four questions on page one, it says:
11 "We have received the following reply from the command of the
12 1st Military District."
13 And then that reply is purportedly set out in this document.
14 Would you agree with me that that seems to imply that this document
15 reflects the policy that in fact is going to apply in all of the
16 1st Military District?
17 A. That is certainly the aspiration of the command of the 1st
18 Military District in issuing this reply. They, of course, also note that
19 they hope that the -- whatever organs of local authority and police might
20 exist in these municipalities will assist in preventing, as it says at
21 the bottom of the document, any eventual harassment of citizens by those
22 organs or their employees.
23 Q. That's right. And the second-last paragraph in this document,
24 which is on page three of the English, specifically says:
25 "Town commands are particularly responsible for ensuring law and
1 order, security and safety of citizens."
2 Does that bear out what you've just said?
3 A. That is correct. And again as we discussed in January, that is
4 to take place in so far as possible with whatever existing local organs
5 of civilian authority, including the police, do exist in such
7 Q. But this document is saying, Whatever the case may be, you shall
8 ensure these conditions; correct?
9 A. That is correct. But, again, that is not to say that the sole
10 responsibility for doing so was on the military. From this and other
11 documents it is clear, again, we talked about this transitional process
12 in January, where power local authority is gradually being established in
13 various municipalities where it has been absent because of armed
14 conflict. The military is observing a lot of irregularities. In many
15 cases, unfortunately, those irregularities include harassment of
16 civilians or removal of civilians that is being perpetrated by the
17 police, so to the extent that all of these irregularities are occurring,
18 the military at this point is still very keen to say: All other things
19 equal, we have a strong obligation to prevent such irregularities; we
20 have a strong obligation to implement a sense of public order and peace;
21 and if it is possible to do so, we do it in cooperation with municipal
22 and civilian authorities; if not, we still have to do it because no one
23 else is going to do it.
24 Q. And as we discussed at the very beginning of your testimony, one
25 of the reasons we're looking at these JNA documents at all is that they
1 reflect events on the ground. So would you agree that when we see the
2 JNA here saying that this shall be done, that the force -- the town
3 commands should ensure this reflects that they perceive the need to
4 fulfil that role; correct?
5 A. Yes. And I apologise to the court reporter for speaking so
7 I agree with you. There is a -- I can only say an irony present
8 here because, again, the available documentation suggests that the
9 military would very much like to transfer responsibility for these
10 matters to the -- to the civilian authorities, including the police.
11 However, the documents produced by the military, including by the
12 1st Command here, suggest -- or 1st Military District, suggest that in
13 many cases the police, where they did exist, or the civilian authorities,
14 where they did exist, or the district authorities, where they did exist,
15 were unfortunately involved in the type of harassments of citizens and
16 the removal of citizens that the military is keen to prevent here.
17 So the question - and we see this expressed by the military in
18 some cases - is how do we go about fulfilling our aspiration of
19 transferring authority to the civilian authorities when those civilian
20 authorities are, at least in part, engaged in behaviour which we want to
22 Q. Well, it may come as no surprise to you that I reject the claim
23 that this was a function of activities by the district authorities, and
24 we're going to come back to some documents to address that.
25 But what I'm driving at now is would you agree that this document
1 appears to reflect that the only force capable of ensuring law and order
2 in these areas shortly after significant combat operations, the only
3 authority able to do that is the JNA; correct?
4 A. I think we're going in circles a bit here. But, yes, I agree
5 that the military is essentially positioning itself as -- as it were, the
6 guarantor of peace as a last resort. If the other organs are not in
7 place, then the military, as I've said, still has a role to provide for
8 the security of civilians and to prevent these irregularities.
9 Q. So, therefore, this suggests that the other organs are not in
10 place; correct?
11 A. As I have stated repeatedly --
12 Q. Well, if you can answer the question yes or no, all of your
13 answers are on the record. I do understand the nuances that you are
14 placing on this, and the Judges I'm sure will as well, and the
15 Prosecution can follow it up, but now I'm just asking you that specific
17 A. It is not a question that can be answered by yes or no. The
18 briefest answer is that it varied from municipality to municipality at
19 this time as we can see in the documentation, so the answer to your
20 question is yes, this suggests that in some municipalities the other
21 organs are not in place and therefore the military has to perform their
23 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P371, please, which is Prosecution
24 tab 350.
25 Q. Now, you've addressed this document before, Dr. Nielsen, so I'm
1 not going to go through it in its entirety. I just have a couple of
2 specific issues that I'd like to draw your attention.
3 MR. GOSNELL: If we could turn over to page 2 of the English.
4 And just for context, this is dated 25th of December, 1991. It's from
5 Colonel Belic who is the commander of the Ilok town command addressed the
6 1st Guards Brigade Command.
7 And on page 2 we see here, in English, it probably is on page 1
8 of the English, that in Ilok there are 800 vacant houses and flats. Do
9 you have any indication as to whether that is a approximately accurate
10 number or inaccurate number?
11 A. I have no information at present that would allow me to verify or
12 doubt that number.
13 Q. And then it says:
14 "About 150 have been moved into, without authorisation, which
15 will be emptied in the coming period and planned and organised settlement
16 will be required."
17 Would you agree that what seems to be going on here is that
18 Colonel Belic is saying that some people have moved into these houses
19 without the JNA giving what they consider the appropriate permission, and
20 they are now going to go into these houses, remove the people that are
21 there, and then resettle with new individuals. Is that -- does that seem
22 to be what is envisioned?
23 A. Yes, that seems to be what is envisioned. I would also point out
24 that this is the document which, as you noted, we saw previously and at
25 the outset the JNA refers to the fact that unfortunately some of these
1 problems which have emerged are at least in part due to the lack of care
2 of the district authorities of the SAO as stated in the first paragraph,
3 and that is also evident in the letter sent by the JNA command in Ilok on
4 the same day to Mr. Hadzic.
5 Q. And this was the language that you noted as being somewhat
6 obscure about unobjective difficulties and elsewhere, in fact, in -- in
7 very paragraph 1, it refers to what this commander views as the
8 unjustifiable indolence of the district government.
9 Now, leaving aside the pejorative connotations, would you agree
10 that that reflects that there's no indication here that the district
11 government is trying to push aside the JNA's role in Ilok?
12 A. Well, again, that's all spelled out much more clearly in that
13 exchange of correspondence between Mr. Hadzic and the Ilok town command
14 and the 23rd and 25th of December 1991. Speaking on the totality of the
15 new documents obtained from Belgrade, it seems to me a reasonable
16 observation to state that what the JNA command is hinting at here is
17 something stated explicitly in other documents, which is that a number of
18 persons linked to the government of the district were allegedly - and I
19 state allegedly because this is -- I have not been able to verify this,
20 but this is what is stated in the military documents - had allegedly been
21 involved in the removal of citizens from their homes in some of these
22 municipalities. So perhaps that is what the author of this document is
23 referring to.
24 Q. It appears from this document indeed that they consider permits
25 issued by the district government to be unauthorised or improper.
1 Wouldn't you agree with that?
2 A. It's a very interesting question because it goes back to the very
3 first document you showed me in January from Srboljub Trajkovic where he
4 is actually struggling with the question of whether he is supposed to
5 regard the SAO district as legitimate -- a legitimate organ of authority
6 or not. So as of this date, at least at some levels or at some times
7 they're still struggling with this question.
8 Q. Well, that's precisely my point, Dr. Nielsen. When I read this
9 document, and you can tell me whether you disagree or agree, agree in
10 part, when I read this document I get the impression that Colonel Belic
11 seems to view the district authorities with a certain level of contempt
12 and he does not appear to recognise that any permits that may have been
13 issued by the district government are, to him, valid.
14 A. That may be the case for Ilok. As I would again note in the
15 correspondence to which I refer, there is kind of a, for lack of a better
16 term, a dance between the military and Mr. Hadzic in which they both
17 assure each other of their highest mutual respect and desire for
18 co-operation but both, explicitly in the case of the military and
19 implicitly a bit in Mr. Hadzic's letter, suggest that they have not been
20 entirely on the same wavelength as regards this and other issues, and
21 hopefully that can be -- those kinds of difficulties and disagreements
22 can be eliminated in the period to come.
23 Q. I mean, the reason that I -- and what I draw your attention to
24 specifically is that second last paragraph in the document which is --
25 starts on page 3 of the English and goes over to page 4, and what the
1 document says is:
2 "Unauthorised settlement of Ilok is widespread, although this
3 command, i.e., this town command, has not issued a single permit. There
4 is no point describing -- in describing the various cases, but this might
5 have been done by SAO ministers Bogunovic and Ljubo Loncarevic, a former
6 policeman who is now in Backa Palanka, and on so."
7 So what Belic appears to be saying is, here we have permits
8 allegedly issued by Minister Bogunovic. He seems to consider such
9 permits unauthorised.
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 65 ter 6063, which is Prosecution
12 tab 353.
13 Q. Now this appears to be some sort of a response to this previous
14 letter or correspondence from Colonel Belic. And this is from the
15 Serbian district government -- well, it doesn't say government. Serbian
16 district of SBWS, ministry of justice and administration, and the date
17 there is the 29th of December, 1991, and the place is mentioned as Ilok.
18 Now I first of all want to ask you, is this the first document -
19 and I put it to you that this is the case - the first document for anyone
20 associated with the district government that actually appears to
21 originate from the town of Ilok?
22 A. I have no ability to answer that question. I would have to look
23 at the -- all the documents to reach that conclusion.
24 Q. Would you go with my characterisation that it seems to be some
25 kind of a reaction or response to the issues, if not directly the
1 document, at least the issues that are being raised by Colonel Belic?
2 A. Yes. And as I noted, there is a desire to have better
3 co-ordination henceforth.
4 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender that document, please.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Just to make sure, is my learned friend
6 tendering the cover page or the whole -- because it's a -- it's a bundle
7 of about 30 or 40 pages with annexes, from my understanding.
8 MR. GOSNELL: Well, this -- the entire document is being
9 tendered -- proposed for tendering by the Prosecution; is that right?
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We didn't propose it, but we're perfectly happy
11 to have it in.
12 MR. GOSNELL: Well, then I would suggest for simplicity
13 that we -- and we do tender the entire document.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is a document which will be
15 dealt also with our -- another expert, so the substance of it will be
16 discussed. There are tables attached to it which show figures, I
17 believe, on the movement of population and the number of people left per
18 ethnic group before and after the conflict. So I don't know if it is
19 appropriate at this time to deal with it with this witness. But in any
20 case they can be admitted and another witness will look at the substance
21 of the annexes.
22 MR. GOSNELL: In that case, Your Honour, perhaps it'd be simplest
23 just to tender the cover page. Needless to say, the Defence doesn't
24 necessarily accept the reliability of all the figures in the annex. This
25 is purely a matter of convenience.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: So you are tendering the cover page only; is that
3 MR. GOSNELL: If that is logistically possible from the Registry
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I apologise for having added a
9 complication to the matter, but essentially I think that the document
10 does not make sense if it's broken apart. The record reflects what
11 Dr. Neilsen has said about it. And this, as far as the document itself,
12 I don't think would make sense to remove the cover letter separately
13 without the supporting document, so I think the whole document can come
14 in, and the record reflects what Dr. Nielsen has said and other witnesses
15 may comment later on as to the substance of the rest.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: We just came to the conclusion that it would be
17 best to upload this document again and admit it then as such separately.
18 Would that be convenient?
19 MR. GOSNELL: Perfectly appropriate as far as we're concerned.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So you'll upload the document again,
21 separately, Mr. Gosnell, and, for the moment, it is admitted and marked
22 for identification for that purpose.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The first page of 65 ter document 6063 shall be
24 assigned Exhibit D28, marked for identification.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Registrar.
2 Could we have P372, which is Prosecution tab 361.
3 Q. Now, this is a letter from something called the central
4 settlement committee, which appears to be part of the district government
5 of SBWS. And it's dated the 11th of February, 1992. And you -- you did
6 comment on this document during your previous testimony, so again I'm not
7 going to go through it chapter and verse. But somehow the Prosecution
8 didn't ask you about paragraph 2 of this document, and you didn't have a
9 chance to specifically comment upon it. And paragraph 2 says -- and this
10 appears to be some kind of advice or instruction to a particular commune,
11 Mohovo, and what it says is:
12 "We would like to inform you that the government of the Serbian
13 district did not adopt any decisions regarding the moving out of persons
14 of Croatian nationality from the territory of the Serbian district
15 because it is more than obvious that the mere fact of whether or not
16 someone is a Croat or a member of another nationality doesn't represent
17 sufficient grounds for withholding from them the right to stay or reside
18 in the territory of the Serbian district."
19 Would you agree that that appears to reflect that individuals
20 should not be harassed or forcibly removed based on ethnicity.
21 A. I agree that that is what the document says. However, as an
22 analytical observation, it raises the question of whether we can take
23 this document at its face value given that the previous documents we
24 looked at seemed to indicate that at some -- at some level, the district
25 had been involved in perhaps not moving out of -- persons out of Croatian
1 nationality but moving persons in of Serbian nationality, and in the
2 totality of the documentation, particularly the new military
3 documentation from Serbia that I've been able to review, there seemed to
4 be indications in other documents that such moving out of persons of
5 Croatian nationality did take place. But, yes, at -- this document in
6 its third paragraph has a clear statement prohibiting the harassment or
7 forcible removal of persons based on their ethnicity.
8 Q. Well, in terms of the reliability of the content of this document
9 as an indication of actual policy, one of the points that you made during
10 your previous testimony was that documents that don't have wide
11 circulation that are not going out to the public for public consumption,
12 you would say are entitled to all else being equal a higher level of
13 reliability. And wouldn't you agree that this document is just going
14 from the central settlement committee to one commune?
15 A. I think that is true that -- that it is only go to the local
16 commune. However, I analytically treat this document quite differently
17 than a document of the Serbian State Security Service which is what we
18 were looking at earlier, which is state secret or at least -- at the very
19 least an official secret. This is a document that bears no stamp of
20 confidentiality and there is no indication here that anything in this
21 document was designed to be kept confidential.
22 Q. And then in the third paragraph, or the fourth paragraph
23 depending on how you count, you will see that what they're saying is that
24 individuals who -- that individuals could in fact be deprived of their
25 residency on two conditions: If there is "reliable information that
1 they've collaborated with the enemy and Ustasha authorities; and 2, if it
2 is established that their actions are still motivated by such positions
3 and beliefs."
4 Now, would you say that that's also consistent with the position
5 apparently being taken by the JNA in other documents that you've seen?
6 A. It does seem to be consistent with the position taken by the JNA.
7 I would again note that the key word in what you just read is "reliable."
8 And in this very difficult and very tense environment after the period of
9 armed conflict, the indications that I have seen from documents are that
10 not a lot of energy was being devoted to verifying the reliability of
11 allegations that someone of Croat ethnicity had been assisting the Croat
12 authorities and that, unfortunately, led to a number of incidents in
13 which people were attacked or removed from their places of residence.
14 Q. Well, that -- I mean, aren't you mixing apples and oranges there,
15 Dr. Nielsen? I mean, one thing is to say that when -- that individuals
16 of Croatian ethnicity were just attacked as a matter of lawlessness,
17 including by this large number of Western Slavonian refugees who you
18 described as creating a very volatile situation. It wasn't as if those
19 attacks were -- followed some sort of quasi-judicial examination by
20 municipal authorities; correct?
21 A. It is correct that there was unfortunately no procedure, as far
22 as I've been able to tell, put in place to verify the veracity of those
23 allegations and therefore a number of people were subjected to arbitrary
24 treatment on the basis of such allegations. And I would also agree with
25 you that this document, which is being issued in April -- in
1 February 1992, aspires to prevent such things from occurring and notes
2 that the mere fact that someone is of Croatian nationality is not
3 sufficient to justify their expulsion from the territory of the Serbian
4 district. Indications are that from the military documentation that by
5 this point, of course, the number of Croats left in the area is much
6 smaller than it was in November or December of 1991.
7 Q. Is that because a large number of Croats had left simultaneous
8 with the military operations?
9 A. The military documents indicate that, indeed, a very large number
10 of Croats left either prior to military operations or during the military
11 operations. The military documents also indicate that in a number of
12 cases those -- that minority of Croats who did stay after military
13 operations had ceased were in some cases forced to leave or were unable
14 to stay because of the circumstances to which I have referred.
15 Q. And would you agree that this document appears to suggest that
16 decision-making in individual cases resides at the commune level?
17 A. That seems to be the indication. And I would point out that the
18 newly available documentation actually includes lists of non-Serbs; that
19 is, not just Croat, also but Hungarians, Slovaks, Ruthenians, in which
20 those individuals are listed with comments made by local authorities
21 assessing their loyalty to the newly established authorities.
22 Q. And that dove-tail with Prosecution Exhibit 370, which was the
23 one from the 1st Military District where they appear to place primary
24 importance on co-operation with commune authorities in terms of
1 A. Yes. I mean, to the extent that one accepts the legitimacy of an
2 exercise, the point of which is to assess the loyalty of people, then the
3 prevailing assumption was that the local authorities knew who everybody
4 was and therefore were better placed to assess the loyalty of those
5 persons than persons several -- authorities several rungs up the ladder.
6 Q. Well, I don't propose to explore with you the broader
7 implications of the process itself, and I think that you've said that
8 that wouldn't be within the realm of your expertise so I don't propose to
9 do that.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 65 ter 6094 which is Prosecution
11 tab 362, please. And I believe, do I understand that to be under -- not
13 THE REGISTRAR: The document has been already admitted as
14 Exhibit P329 under seal. Thank you.
15 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you for that, Mr. Registrar.
16 Q. Now this document appears to be from the 1st Mechanised Corps
17 Command from the assistant commander for civilian affairs, Colonel Novica
18 Gusic, and he appears to be based in Principovac which, I don't know if
19 you know this, but is just over the border in Serbia not far from Ilok.
20 And if we go to page 3 of the English, which is about the eighth
21 paragraph of the document, Dr. Nielsen. I'm not sure if that would make
22 it on page 1 or on page 2.
23 And it says:
24 "At the end of the presentation, the president of the local
25 commune opened the debate, which reached the conclusion that there were
1 two factions in the village: One, Serbs from Western Slavonia; and, two,
2 Serbs, locals, who worked to protect Croats."
3 Now would you again view this as a further indication that there
4 was this tension or cleavage between refugees moving into the area and
5 local people, including local authorities, who had a much more protective
6 view of their Croatian neighbours?
7 A. I agree that this is actually an excellent indication of a
8 broader phenomenon that we also see in Bosnia, which is that local
9 residents, all other things equal, are more tolerant of continued
10 co-existence with their long-standing neighbours of other ethnicity and
11 that often the appearance of outsiders, some of whom have, of course,
12 been radicalised in their views on multi-ethnic co-existence by the fact
13 that they were themselves expelled from other areas in Yugoslavia plays
14 in, and so we see that the long-standing local inhabitants, which are
15 also often referred to in military documents, actually try to insist that
16 whatever Croats, Hungarian, et cetera, may remain on the territory of the
17 commune or the municipality should be permitted to stay.
18 I should also note, however, though, that the previous
19 paragraph right before the one you read is quite interesting given that
20 this was the same local commune that issued a decision to change the name
21 of the village into Arkanovo, which seems to be somewhat indicative of
22 their views of Mr. Raznjatovic.
23 Q. Well perhaps it suggests that those two sentiments are not
24 completely incompatible.
25 A. That to me would be a complete non sequitur, but -- given what is
1 known about the behaviour of Mr. Raznjatovic in this area, but certainly
2 shows the respect in which he was held by some of the local inhabitants
3 and, indeed, at times also by some members of the military.
4 Q. Now on page 4 of the English, and this is the part that I'm
5 particularly interested in, and the English paragraph starts, "Having
6 listened...," so I think it's about five paragraphs from the bottom,
7 Dr. Nielsen, and it says:
8 "Having listened to their discussion and debate the PK for CP,"
9 and that is that's the assistant commander for civilian affairs, so in
10 other words that's the author of this document, "Having listened to their
11 discussion and debate the PK for CP assigned assign-posts and specific
12 tasks in the establishment and functioning of the civilian authorities,
13 the organisation and formation of TO units, and instructed them in the
14 method of resolving all the problems cited, emphasising in
15 particular ..."
16 And then it goes on to identify three aspects in particular:
17 "The settlement and evacuation committee," the need for newly
18 formed organs of the civilian authorities to organise life in the village
19 including "securing housing and food for people," and 3, "form a TO and
20 police force unit as soon as possible and build the security of the
21 village, the safety of individuals, and the implementation of legal
22 decisions on that foundation."
23 Now we've seen other documents that reflect the same theme, but
24 just to ask you again: Does this reflect that there are few, if any, of
25 these institutions up and running and that the town command or the JNA
1 officer for civilian protection, civilian affairs, is taking a lead role
2 in ensuring that those organisation -- organs are set up?
3 A. Yes, it does.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P373, which is Prosecution tab 363.
5 Q. Now this is a fairly high-level document. It emanates from the
6 1st Mechanised Corps Command. It's dated the 16th of February 1992. So
7 it's from the 1st Mechanised Corps Command to the Military District, and
8 it's from the assistant commander for civilian affairs to the
9 corresponding organ for civilian affairs at the 1st Military District, so
10 I would just suggest that this is a fairly high-level document going from
11 the corps to the Military District.
12 And you did look at this document during your testimony. But one
13 paragraph that you did not address during that testimony is on page 2 of
14 the English, the last full paragraph:
15 "It is indicative that in many cases the relocated Serbs wished
16 to impose their will on long-time residents and to control decision
17 making and power. In someplace -- places there have been unsolved
18 murders and pressure to have the Croatian population move out regardless
19 of whether they are loyal or involved in the Croatian Defence Forces."
20 Now, again, do you see that there -- appears to be in this
21 document as well a recognition of that distinction between refugees
22 moving in and the local population, in terms of their attitudes towards
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And on page 4, under point 4, it says that -- there's an
1 allegation. It says:
2 "Relocated persons have been putting great pressure on the local
3 population because they are inciting the relocation of the Croatian
4 population and of other nationalities. They state that there can be no
5 co-existence there and that they should be relocated and treated like the
6 Croats treated the Serbs. Their incitement has the tacit support of all
7 the organs of authority, ranging from the government to the local
9 Now I assume that you would interpret "the government" to mean
10 the district government, would you?
11 A. Yes, I would. And the district government is, of course, also
12 referred to in the following paragraph.
13 Q. And if we can just turn back to the bottom of page 2 of the
14 English and the top of page 3. And it refers to a very specific problem.
15 It says:
16 "Croatian houses are being occupied and their property is being
17 misappropriated. There are frequent instances of relocated Serb families
18 occupying two or three houses per family. CP," that is civilian affairs,
19 "organs of the 1st Mechanised Corps in co-operation with the town
20 commands, local commune executive councils, and the police are making
21 great effort to prevent such situations."
22 Now do you note that there is a contradiction there. On the one
23 hand he is saying, on pages 2 to 3, the police and the local commune
24 authorities are making great efforts to prevent such situations. And
25 then, over on page 4, he says, their incitement, i.e., the incitement of
1 these refugees who are putting pressure on the Croats, their incitement
2 has the tacit support of all the organs of authority ranging from the
3 government to the local commune.
4 Can you explain how in the same document the author can express
5 two such apparently contradictory opinions?
6 A. I would say that these are only contradictory opinions if we
7 assume that the authorities to which the author refers are monolithic,
8 which they are definitely not. In all of the authorities we have the
9 local commune in, for example, Bapska, which we also saw earlier, where
10 there is an evident power struggle ongoing between the long time
11 residents and the newly arrived persons, perhaps those are the persons
12 who are pushing for the renaming of the commune, and in the police where
13 there were police officers who had worked there for decades. It was the
14 area in which they had grown up and had their entire professional lives,
15 but there were also police officers who had arrived more recently, some
16 of them from Western Slavonia as well, some of them from Serbia or even
17 Montenegro, in some cases, or Bosnia, as well as, of course, the presence
18 of paramilitary forces and various ill-defined nebulous police forces
19 that seemed to be roaming the area and making appearances here and there
20 during this period.
21 So I read this document as a rather accurate reflection of a
22 situation, a very dynamic situation of the type that we discussed in
23 January in which there are certainly a number of the police and a number
24 of the local residents and a number of the local authorities, including
25 probably also members of the district government who wish to prevent such
1 situations, but there are others who are actually and actively
2 contributing to creating these problems that are deplored in this
4 Q. And would you agree that this diversity of attitudes is possible
5 because the institutions of power, at least on the civilian side, are
6 rather weak?
7 A. I agree. And, unfortunately, it seems to be the case that in
8 some municipalities and communes in this period, decisions were taken
9 with a view to protecting Croats, Hungarian, Ukrainians, and others, but
10 those decisions were then overturned or counteracted violently by those
11 forces who enjoyed superiority of fire-power.
12 Q. And would you agree with me that in some cases individuals simply
13 appropriated titles for themselves and said, I am now this or that, I'm
14 holding this or that office, and on the basis of this or that authority
15 I'm going to engage in such activities?
16 A. There are such instances. I would point to one of the military
17 documents that became available in which a person is said to have
18 suddenly proclaimed himself to be, and I quote, "an idol" for the local
19 municipality and asks that everyone treat him as an idol and obey his
20 decisions, despite the fact that he has barely finished secondary school.
21 And he makes a number of decisions which the military view as
22 ill-informed, violent, and completely counter-productive to the
23 maintenance of co-existence between various nationalities. Again, such
24 instances are -- are to be found in the documentation. It is
25 unfortunately the case that after the civilian authorities are
1 established one can find little trace of any effort to actually rectify
2 those wrongs that were committed or to prosecute those persons who
3 arbitrarily asserted such authority and made such decisions.
4 Q. Well, let's take a more pedestrian example than someone declaring
5 themselves an idol, and in fact it's on this very page, and I consider it
6 very significant because it refers to someone who is alleged to be a part
7 of the district government. And you've been referring to allegations of
8 misfeasance and criminal behaviour by such individuals. And it says:
9 "There are also self-proclaimed representatives of the SAO
10 government and the secret police has been appearing, but it is difficult
11 to determine their legitimacy. We have one example in particular. The
12 Serbian police group has been staying in the sector of Bapska village,
13 the wine cellar, and Marko Loncarevic, aka Chetnik, has been introducing
14 himself as the minister of defence of the government and is arming the
15 relocated Serbs with the aim of forming his own groups and detachments."
16 Now, sir, I assume that you know, having looked at the documents,
17 that Ilija Kojic is the minister of defence in the SBWS at this time;
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Have you ever seen any documents suggesting that Marko Loncarevic
21 had a position in the Ministry of Defence of the district government?
22 A. No, I have not.
23 Q. Wouldn't you expect the author of this document to be fully aware
24 that that claim was false by Marko Loncarevic?
25 A. If the author is aware of the falsehood of that claim, he does
1 not make that awareness explicit in this document, but I am sure that the
2 author of this document was quite aware of the situation to which you
3 referred, which is that there were a number of self-proclaimed
4 commanders, leader, et cetera, who were roaming around this area and
5 undertaking such activities at this time.
6 Q. One additional observation of interest in this document is over
7 on page 5. It says:
8 "Another fact is that all levels of," presumably, "civilian
9 authority organs from the local commune to the government do not respect
10 each other and are criticising certain solutions and positions."
11 Would you agree that there was a very fractious relationship
12 between various organs of government? And I believe that you've already
13 said this, but I'll put the question to you squarely: Do you think that
14 there was not only a fractious relationship between levels of government
15 but fractious relationships even within the same government institutions?
16 A. Yes, I agree that there were a lot of disagreements and a lot of
17 conflicts between various personalities during this period including in
18 the district government.
19 Q. Would you agree with me that of all the documents that we've
20 looked at from the JNA, both today and last time, that there's no
21 indication at all that the JNA, at any time, views itself as subordinate
22 to the district government authorities?
23 A. I agree.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have L38, which is Prosecution tab 128.
25 If we could have page 4 of the English, which, I believe, should
1 be near the end of the document. Yes, it is -- it should be on the last
2 page of the B/C/S as well.
3 Q. And this is the minutes of the 17th Session of the Government of
4 the District of SBWS held on 19th of November in Erdut. And item 5
5 says -- and these are the conclusions that have been purportedly
6 unanimously adopted at the session. It says:
7 "JNA units are subordinated to the government of the Serbian
8 district on its territory."
9 Have you -- have you seen any evidence that this conclusion was
10 ever communicated to the JNA?
11 A. I have not seen any direct evidence that this conclusion was ever
12 communicated to the JNA. I would, again, note that the correspondence
13 almost precisely a month later between Mr. Hadzic and the JNA command in
14 Ilok is, to me, the best indication of the SAO district government and
15 the military trying to actually hash out what their mutual relationship
16 is supposed to be given a number of misunderstandings that have occurred
17 on -- in the field.
18 Q. Well, do you have any indication that the JNA subordinated
19 itself, in practice, to the government?
20 A. I have no evidence that the JNA subordinated itself in practice
21 to the government based -- pursuant to this decision. Again, it is
22 perhaps, again, necessary for me to underline that I looked primarily at
23 the police organs in the SAO and, therefore, did not specifically focus
24 on this question, and I'm sure the military expert will be able to speak
25 to this point.
1 Q. Well, he might or might not. I think that's speculation at this
2 point. But what's important is that in the realm of police matters where
3 we've seen a great number of JNA documents, and you've looked at them,
4 there is no indication that in respect of those areas the JNA placed
5 itself -- subordinated -- it subordinated itself to the district
6 government; correct?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. Now I'd like to move to your discussion of Arkan, and during your
9 previous testimony --
10 MR. GOSNELL: We're done with that document, thank you.
11 Q. During your previous testimony, at page 2521, you said, and I
12 quote you, quote your words:
13 "That there were training centres that seemed to have been
14 exclusively under the control of organs affiliated with Belgrade."
15 And then at 2522 you identified those two training centres as
16 being the one at Golubic and at Erdut. And then you went on to testify
17 at 2523 that Arkan, in your view, had exclusive control over that
18 training centre because there was a "general perception" that "he was a
19 person who enjoyed the protection and favour of federal or Serbian
20 organ -- of a federal or Serbian organ based in Belgrade."
21 MR. GOSNELL: Now could we have P194.140. Which is a Defence
22 document on our list.
23 Q. Now you hadn't given the testimony that I just quoted to you when
24 you were shown this document during your direct examination by the
25 Prosecution. But the Prosecution was asking you about how it was
1 possible to reconcile this document with information that Arkan was in
2 the employ of the DB of Serbia. And in the context of that situation,
3 you testified as follows, at page 2509:
4 "I am not certain how I would personally reconcile it other than
5 to simply state that as an analyst this is the documentation that has
6 become available to me and, therefore, I saw fit to include it in my
8 Now that answer was -- was interesting to me because it was
9 somewhat different from the answers that you give in respect of some
10 other documents. In respect of some documents you say that you gave
11 theme credence because they were corroborated by other documents, for
12 example, at page 2439 of your testimony; or that they exemplify a general
13 proposition that you know is supported by other documents, and you said
14 that at 2453. So my initial question to you is: Do you have any
15 hesitation or doubts about the authenticity of this document?
16 A. Well, I do not have any hesitations about the doubts or about the
17 authenticity of this document, and I cite it in footnote 323 of my report
18 on page 51.
19 Q. And that's at paragraph 201 of your report, I believe. And what
20 you say there is -- and it is rather unequivocal, I must say:
21 "As noted previously, Goran Hadzic had in September 1991 in his
22 capacity as the president of the government of the SAO SBWS appointed
23 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, commander of the TO centre in Erdut."
24 And equally unequivocally you then say in the next sentence:
25 "Arkan had until that point served as the commander of special
1 units of the TO of SAO SBWS."
2 Have you -- do you know whether there actually was any such thing
3 known as special -- the -- the TO AO SBWS special forces? Did any such
4 unit exist, to your knowledge, in September 1991?
5 A. I would note that the reason I write this in the report in
6 footnote 3 -- and cite this document in footnote 323 is that, first of
7 all, I'm stating what -- what this document says on its face value.
8 Second of all, there are a number of documents, not a lot but I think two
9 or three in the new batch of documents, also that indicate that there
10 were -- that -- that Arkan was commander of the TO of the SAO SBZS as I
11 call it here, SBWS, during this period. So there are references to such
12 special units having existed. I cannot personally verify whether those
13 special units did exist and I have not seen documents generated by those
14 special units if they did generate such documents.
15 Q. So you're saying that there are documents that you've seen that
16 refers to TO special forces in the SBWS prior to the 21st of September,
18 A. They refer to those special forces existing. As to whether they
19 specifically refer to the date of the 21st of September 1991, I cannot
20 state at this present point in time.
21 Q. Sir, our view is that this document is a forgery. And I want to
22 take you through a few specific elements of this document in comparison
23 with other documents. So to start this process I just want to look,
24 focus on a couple of individual aspects of it.
25 You'll first of all see a reference at the top to the secretariat
1 of the president. Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Is that a formulation, as you sit there now, that you can recall
4 ever having been used in any other document issued by the district
5 government of the SBWS?
6 A. I cannot recall such a formulation having been used elsewhere. I
7 would also point out that as we previously discussed we have very, very
8 few documents from the government as a whole.
9 Q. And we see there the number at the top 1/91, and I'll just ask
10 you to take note of that.
11 One thing I noticed about your report was a fairly strange
12 nomenclature that you referred in your footnote to this document. You
13 referred to 65 ter 1D1630. Now that's not a 65 ter number from this
14 case, so where did you get this document?
15 A. I believe this was among the documents that, if not the initial
16 batch of documents, then one of the batches of the documents that was
17 given to me by the Office of the Prosecutor when I started to prepare
18 this report. I recall a small number of such documents had no ERNs but
19 had only 65 ter numbers, including a small number of documents that had
20 65 ter numbers from the Defence.
21 Q. All right. We're about to turn away from this document, so are
22 you fully familiar with it now that you've had it on the screen in front
23 of you?
24 A. Yes, I am.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. GOSNELL: Could we now have L43, please, which is Prosecution
2 tab 137.
3 Actually, this wasn't the document that I was hoping for. Could
4 we have 65 ter -- 65 ter 00754, which is Prosecution tab 137.
5 Sorry, 65 ter 00754. This is the document?
6 Your Honours, could we take a break and I'll make sure that I
7 have the correct document for you when we return? I apologise for that.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Nielsen, we'll take the first break. We'll
9 come back at 11.00. The court usher will escort you out of the
10 courtroom. Thank you.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, while the witness is being brought
16 in, may I address you with a very small kitchen sink matter.
17 I spoke to my learned friend. I believe he needs the full
18 session now and the third session as well. I was informed that he will
19 try to go as fast as possible, but if needs be would we be capable of
20 sitting an extra half-hour for the purposes of re-examination? As you
21 know, Mr. Nielsen has to fly today.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 00248. Which actually is a document
1 that appears in another document that is on the Prosecution list. And I
2 consulted with my learned friend opposite, who has kindly agreed not to
3 object to this one not being on either of our lists.
4 Well, somehow, that, again, is not the right document. So what
5 I'm going to do is bring it up in the document that is listed. It's
6 01939. That's Prosecution tab 292, and we're looking for page 63 of the
7 English. It should be approximately page 226 of the B/C/S. Perhaps page
9 Yes, this is it. It's under -- under item 69.
10 Q. Now, sir, I understand from your report you do refer to this --
11 to this document at footnote 51 of your report. And you generally
12 consider the documents that are included in Mr. Petrovic's book to be
13 authentic; is that right?
14 A. Yes, in those cases where I have been able to examine the
15 documents because the OTP also possesses other versions of them. They
16 corroborate what are put in this book.
17 Q. That's quite right in respect of this document. I was trying to
18 put you to the gazetted version. In any event the form is the same. But
19 I draw your attention there to the number. It says log number 1/91?
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 MR. GOSNELL: And if we go down to the next page in English. And
23 if we can go to the subsequent page in English, please.
24 Q. Now you'll see that Mr. Hadzic signs as prime minister, that
1 MR. GOSNELL: And if we can just go back now to the top of this
2 document, which is two pages prior. Yes, that's it.
3 Q. Now you'll see there that there is no reference to the
4 secretariat of the president. He refers -- or the heading of the
5 document is "prime minister"; correct?
6 A. Yes. Although I would point out just so we are clear on this
7 that the term "prime minister" in B/C/S can also be translated into
8 English as "president of the government."
9 Q. That's quite right. I thank you for that clarification.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Could we now move to 00261; Prosecution tab 88.
11 Q. And just to follow up on that last question, it doesn't say the
12 office of the prime minister or the secretariat of the prime minister,
13 does it?
14 A. No, it does not.
15 Q. Now, this is a decision on the implementation of regulations.
16 And the number given to this document is you see down -- the date is the
17 30th of August, 1991. Before the date it says, "in Dalj." And the
18 number given is a quadruple-barrelled number 02-3-2/1-1991. Do you see
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And do you consider this document in its form and content to be
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 MR. GOSNELL: We tender this document, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D29. Thank you.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Now the next document in chronological order is
4 P19410 [sic], which is the document in question that we're most concerned
5 with. It's P194.140.
6 Q. Now, in this case you will see the secretariat of the president,
7 and we see the number 1/91. We saw that number in the second-last
8 document, didn't we?
9 A. Yes, we saw that number.
10 Q. And this document is now coming the 21st of September, 1991,
11 which is approximately three weeks after the -- the previous document we
12 looked at, which was on the 20 -- the 30th of August, 1991; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you'll see that there isn't any quadruple-barrelled numbering
15 in terms of the tracking number of this document; right?
16 A. Correct.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P260.253, which is Defence tab 53.
18 Q. Now, this is the -- is the next document in our chronology of
19 district government documents. There's no number here. It's left blank
20 apparently. This comes six days after the -- the vital document that
21 we're focussing on. And you'll see that the nomenclature used is not the
22 secretariat of the president but the secret of the government; correct?
23 A. Correct. There was a secretariat of the government and in the
24 page you showed me earlier from the gazette of the district,
25 the secretary -- you mean the secretariat of the government was also
1 referred to.
2 Q. Yeah, thank you for that information.
3 And, at the bottom we see someone signing for the prime minister,
4 Mr. Hadzic, and then there's a signature; do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I see that it is someone signing for Mr. Hadzic. That is
7 MR. GOSNELL: May we have P196.14 --
8 Q. And just before we leave this document, and this is a technical
9 matter, I'm not sure whether you've captured it. But this is after the
10 constitution has been promulgated and the name of the SBWS has changed to
11 the Serbian District instead of the Serbian Autonomous District, and
12 you'll note that they've left the name "autonomous" in there. Would you
13 agree that that's simply a mistake on their part?
14 A. There were many such mistakes. They were not particularly
15 meticulous in their attention to such details.
16 MR. GOSNELL: If we could have P196.140, which is Defence tab 31.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Gosnell, excuse me. Before
18 showing us another document, I would like to a question to the witness.
19 Witness, you have studied the different institutions, and is it
20 possible to have, on the one hand, a secretariat of the government and on
21 the other hand a secretariat of the president of the government? Is that
22 possible? Because you've done quite a few research. Did you notice
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, that is possible, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] But did you find any examples?
1 Because you have -- you have analysed several texts. If I understood
2 well, this is what Mr. Gosnell is doing now.
3 THE WITNESS: I agree with you, Your Honour. That is precisely
4 what the exercise that we're going through now. I have, however, not, as
5 I responded to Mr. Gosnell, seen a significant number of documents issued
6 by the secretariat of the president of the president of the government,
7 whereas I have seen a significant number of documents issued by the
8 secretariat of the government.
9 Again, unfortunately the state of documentation that we have from
10 the district authorities is very incomplete, and I cannot conclude based
11 on the available documents whether a secretariat of the president of the
12 government existed or not.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It is very
14 clear and I will not ask you any further question about this now.
15 MR. GOSNELL:
16 Q. Now this is P196.140 in front of us. It's dated 2 October 1991.
17 It appears to be a decision. It's number 1/91. And if we can scroll
18 over to page 2, or perhaps just the bottom of the page, we'll see that
19 it's signed by the prime minister, Goran Hadzic; is that correct?
20 A. That is correct. And if I may be so bold as to jump ahead and,
21 as I can clearly see where this is going, there are a number of documents
22 with the registration number 1/91. There are, of course, a number of
23 different institutions within the district that exist and some of those
24 have sub-offices. It is entirely consistent with the operation of
25 government authorities that each such office has at least one set of
1 registration numbers, sometimes more than one, and, therefore, different
2 entities within the government are able to issue numbers with the
3 registration number 1/91.
4 Q. But these are all coming from the prime minister, Mr. Hadzic;
6 A. Close examination of these documents indicates that the
7 letterhead on these various documents is not identical. There are
8 deferences in nomenclature, which mean that even though the signatory may
9 be Mr. Hadzic, he can be signing documents that are issued by various
10 units, as it were, of the authorities of the district.
11 Q. Let's go back to the top of the page, please.
12 This is coming from the government of the Serbian District of
13 SBWS; correct?
14 A. Correct. And if memory serves, one of the previous documents we
15 saw, which also had the number 1/91, was also issued by the government of
16 the Serbian district of the SBWS but, in that case, was -- the header
17 also included the words "secretariat of the government."
18 Q. Yes. Just so you understand and we all understand now, we don't
19 place great reliance on the numbering. It's a factor that may be of
20 interest, relevance. What we do place reliance on is the anomalous
21 reference to the secretariat of the president which is found on one and
22 only one of these various documents, the one in question. I'm just
23 letting you know that now. That's not a question.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Can we go on to the next document, which is
25 P251.245. P251.245, which is Defence tab 52. And I believe it's not to
1 be broadcast.
2 This document is signed by the prime minister, Goran Hadzic. And
3 here we see a reference to the government secretariat again. There's no
4 number. And it's Dalj, the 16th of October, 1991; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And you have no reason to believe, based on its form or content,
7 that this is not an authentic document, do you?
8 A. It is probably a copy of a document and it is somewhat odd that
9 there's no number issued for this order, but I have no reason to doubt
10 that it's authentic. Again, for the reason that they were not very
11 meticulous in issuing such documents.
12 Q. It's not the only document without a number, though, is it?
13 A. No. And, in fact, you can also find documents without numbers
14 that are issued on, for example, non-existing dates, such as the 31st of
16 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have L43, please.
17 Q. This is your report at tab -- at footnote 60, so it's a
18 Prosecution document on their list.
19 And, again, this is a decision signed by the president of the
20 government, Goran Hadzic, and it -- it appears to involve the appointment
21 of an individual to an Executive Council of a municipality. And you'll
22 see there the number 0 -- again, we see this quadruple-barrelled
23 formulation, 02-3-25/1-1991. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P51, which is Defence tab 55.
1 Q. This is a decision dated the 21st of January, 1992, again signed
2 by Mr. Hadzic. And again we see that quadruple-barrelled formulation.
3 And it appears to involve some kind of facilitating the
4 operationalisation of an activity plan to establish civilian authorities.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I don't think we have the right document on the
6 screen. We have a list of the members of the SDS here.
7 MR. GOSNELL: That's not what it should be. Is this P51?
8 Well, I'm going to have to skip that one and I'll come back to
10 Q. I understand that your position is that the documentation that
11 comes out of the government is, in relative terms, relative to, for
12 example, the Republika Srpska, is sparse, but here we have a half-dozen
13 or so documents that are decisions signed by Goran Hadzic as the prime
14 minister. Sometimes there's not always a reference to the government,
15 although there usually is a reference to the government. Sometimes there
16 is a secretariat of the government referred to, I think in two of the
18 But I put it to you that in none of these documents, and actually
19 there are more, in none of these documents that are produced from the
20 period between August and early 1992, is there ever a reference to the
21 secretariat of the president?
22 Now I know that you don't have all the documents at your
23 fingertips, but would agree that that level of anomaly is at least
24 significant in assessing the authenticity of the document?
25 A. I am happy to agree with you that I have not been able to view
1 any other documents issued from a secretariat of the president, and that
2 given that the document cited in footnote 323 is, to date, the only
3 document that refers to such a secretariat, that should be taken into
4 consideration in considering the reliability and authenticity of that
6 Q. But you didn't mention that in your report, did you?
7 A. That is correct. I did not mention any concerns about the
8 reliability or authenticity of that document in the report.
9 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D186, please, which is Defence
10 tab 9.
11 Q. Now, sir, we in the Defence wrote to the government of Serbia to
12 see whether they had this document anywhere in their archives.
13 MR. GOSNELL: And I'm not sure whether we need to be in private
14 session, but perhaps we ought to go into private session.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 2971-2972 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours, thank
6 MR. GOSNELL:
7 Q. Now what I put to you, Dr. Nielsen, just to put a conclusion on
8 this discussion, is you have an anomalous - and we say flatly erroneous -
9 reference to the secretariat of president. We have a reference to what
10 we say is a unit that doesn't exist. You have a reference to Arkan being
11 the commander of that non-existent unit, whereas he never was such a
12 commander. You have a potentially, although we wouldn't place much
13 reliance on this, errant reference number, and when you look at that
14 altogether, and then we will be discussing some contextual factors as
15 well, when you put all that together combined with an absence for the
16 origin for this document, does all that give you any pause as to whether
17 this -- you should have wrote -- you should have given what I say is
18 implicit credence in your report that this is all true?
19 A. I would like to separate my answer into two parts. The first
20 part is a direct response to your question. The second part is a more
21 general observation which, with the Court's permission, I think we would
22 have to discuss in closed session.
23 But the first part which I can deal with in open session is to
24 state that I agree with you that there are many points that you raise
25 which are valid concerning the possible credibility of this document.
1 And those are things that I hope that you and the Court will take into
2 consideration in weighting this document compared to other available
4 I would, however, point out that in the totality of documents
5 that I have been able to review, we do have a very interesting document
6 from November 1991 from General Biorcevic, who was based in Novi Sad, in
7 which he issues a -- I believe it is a machine-gun as a present to
8 Mr. Raznjatovic, and in that particular document in issuing the gun to
9 Mr. Raznjatovic, Mr. Biorcevic or General Biorcevic states that Arkan had
10 held this function as a commander of the TO of the district of Slavonia,
11 Baranja, and Western Srem, and he also refers to special forces.
12 So that's one document that should also be taken into
14 As for whether I should address the second more general point,
15 again, we would need to go into closed session for that.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
17 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 65 ter -- I'm now finished with that
19 document and I'm going to move on to a new subject.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Yes?
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Are you moving to another topic?
23 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, we are.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Then I would like to get this document. Ask
25 Mr. Nielsen --
1 Dr. Nielsen, we are discussing at length now the word "president"
2 and "secretariat of the president" here. President, government
3 president, that's -- those are the terms on -- on the -- the words on
4 this document. But you said that in B/C/S there might be a similarity.
5 Could you explain that, please.
6 THE WITNESS: My -- my only point was to make sure that everyone
7 understands that the term "prime minister" in English in B/C/S is most
8 often "predsednik vlade" which literally means president of the
9 government. In this case, on the B/C/S original, Mr. Hadzic's name and
10 signature appear below the Serbian words "president of the government."
11 That is in the vast majority of cases the term that would be used to
12 refer to a prime minister.
13 In this case, if and - I stress if - a secretariat of the
14 president did exist, then it would in this case seem to refer to not a
15 president but to the secretariat of the president of the government,
16 i.e., the president -- the prime minister.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: And is -- are these words in this document, in
18 B/C/S, different in an important way from all the others we've seen?
19 THE WITNESS: There is nothing in the document at -- at the
20 bottom where Mr. Hadzic's signature appears that differentiates it from
21 other documents.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And in the term -- in the -- in the words
23 in the top, the secretariat of the president?
24 THE WITNESS: As was correctly noted by Mr. Gosnell, and I agree
25 with him, this is a, to date, unique case in which we see this term being
1 used. I do not see this term, "secretariat of the president," in other
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: What is the -- what is the term in -- in B/C/S.
4 THE WITNESS: Well, the term in B/C/S as it appears in this
5 document is "sekretarijat predsednika," secretariat of the president.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 You may proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
8 MR. GOSNELL:
9 Q. So just to clarify the president's -- or to take one step further
10 the president's question, the similarity in translation is between the
11 term "prime minister" and "president"; is that right?
12 A. Yes. I just wanted to avoid any confusion because, for example,
13 in the translation of this particular document, I think we have a
14 suboptimal translation. It says "government president." A government
15 president does not mean anything in English. The correct term would be
16 either president of the government or prime minister.
17 Q. And the anomalous aspect of this -- or the heading of this
18 document is that this is the only document that says either the
19 secretariat of the president or the secretariat of the prime minister;
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to move to another subject that is
23 mentioned in you previous testimony.
24 MR. GOSNELL: And could we have 65 ter 1028 which is Prosecution
25 tab 188.
1 Q. And during your testimony at page 2510, you said that:
2 "Arkan was supported by very significant powers in Belgrade and
3 that he was untouchable."
4 Now would you agree with me that at least as of the 21st of
5 September, 1991, and given your review of the documents, it's not very
6 likely that anything Goran Hadzic could have done would have made Arkan
7 untouchable; correct?
8 A. I find that a very difficult question to respond to. First let
9 me make it clear that it was -- what you quoted from page 2510 was I
10 believe my perception that -- or my observation that it was the general
11 perception in the area that Arkan was supported by very significant
12 powers in Belgrade and that he was untouchable, and it is true that when
13 the military or other authorities refer to the power of Arkan, the aura
14 of untouchability, as it were, that surrounded him, they do generally not
15 tend to refer to that aura existing because of association with
16 Mr. Hadzic but rather to the view that he was supported by authorities in
17 Belgrade, in particular the State Security Service of the Republic of
19 MR. GOSNELL: And if we could go to page 71 of the document on
20 the screen. And this is the 194th SFRY Presidency minutes.
21 Q. And at this stage can you remind you what is General Panic's
23 A. At this particular point in time, if memory serves, he was the
24 Chief of Staff I believe. I'm not entirely certain on -- on a particular
25 date here, but I believe he was the Chief of Staff of the JNA.
1 Q. Would you agree that he might have been the commander of the
2 1st Military District at this stage?
3 A. That could also be true. Again, I'm not an expert on military
4 positions at this point in time. But I do refer to this -- Mr. Panic's,
5 or General Panic's, participation in the SFRY Presidency in
6 paragraphs 205 of my report.
7 Q. Yes. And this is where you refer to Mr. Panic, General Panic
8 saying that Hadzic suns Arkan like some body-guard; is that right?
9 A. That is correct. That's what I have stated. He then goes on:
10 It is necessary to ask Hadzic and tell him to remove that Arkan from that
11 area. And he also mentioned that he had discussed this topic with
12 Mr. Milosevic who was doing, quote/unquote, everything to help resolve
13 the problem.
14 I should note that Mr. Panic, despite concerns about Arkan's
15 activities at this time, also noted, as I state in paragraph 205, that
16 the military had earlier accepted Arkan and thought that he had been
17 carrying out tasks that were of a positive nature, which perhaps also
18 explains why General Biorcevic saw fit in November 1991 to award Arkan
19 with a trophy weapon.
20 Q. Now, what I'd like to do is put General Panic's word in a broader
21 context as they appear in these minutes. And what we see, I believe, on
22 page 71 -- I'm just trying to find the exact start of the passage.
23 Well, let me read it out. And I don't see the exact start, but
24 this is quoted in your report. And this is General Panic saying:
25 "We also must have a serious showdown with Arkan and the White
1 Eagles and all those who are destroying what we are trying to do today.
2 Arkan is led by Hadzic. I was in Knin yesterday, and they were all
3 wondering in way or another what Arkan was doing in the area. He has
4 brought with him as some sort of body-guard. We should call
5 President Hadzic and tell him to remove Arkan from the area. This young
6 man probably wants to prove himself in some way. You know yourselves
7 that he is an international criminal and that he cannot hold this
8 position. While he is good, it is okay to keep him, but when is he not
9 good anymore, he should be removed. This also goes for Jovic."
10 Now if we can skip to page 73 of the English. Let's -- it's
11 actually enumerated at the bottom as page 70. And in this case, it's
12 Borisav Jovic speaking. And Borisav Josic says:
13 "As for these Eagles and Arkan, I think that the army should
14 arrest them pursuant to our order."
15 And then Panic responds:
16 "MUP should do that."
17 And Borisav Jovic says:
18 "No, that is not the starting point. Our position here is that
19 nobody should be expelled."
20 And then he goes on. And then if we skip down to the middle of
21 page -- what is enumerated as page 71, Jovic says:
22 "We did not prevent them from fighting against the Ustashas but
23 we forbid them from expelling innocent people, that's the point."
24 And he goes on at the bottom of the page to say:
25 "So if the army could take up this task, I would gladly assign
1 this task to it, and if they catch him -- if they catch them in the act,
2 they should disarm then and arrest them. Why do they need weapons
3 there ..."
4 And then Panic responds on the next page:
5 "There is no task that the army cannot accomplish as long as the
6 Supreme Command orders it. If the Supreme Command orders us to move out
7 of Bosnia tomorrow, we will do it very simply. We will declare a state
8 of alert and turn our back across the Drina. If we get such an order, we
9 will carry it out."
10 Now just to pause there, reading that response by Panic, do you
11 see that he is -- let me just put it like this. Do you think that
12 Panic's response means that he wants to go along with such an order or is
13 he saying, Well, you can give us any order you want but that would be
14 catastrophic? Or not desirable, let's put it that way.
15 A. Well, I can see how you could arrive at that reading of Panic's
16 comments, but I also think that requires a rather high level of reading
17 into read his, the subtext, if you will, or is presumed subtext of what
18 he is saying. I think the significant thing is, and you read it aloud a
19 little bit earlier, is Panic's initial response which is MUP should do
20 that. I mean, Arkan is a -- is a hot potato, mind you a hot potato that
21 they have themselves created, sponsored, armed, et cetera, and financed,
22 who has now become undesirable, and they're basically passing this around
23 the table. No one seems to want to take responsibility for shutting
24 Arkan down, as it were. And, of course, unfortunately, the historical
25 record shows that Arkan remained active in that area until well into the
2 MR. GOSNELL: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for the
5 MR. GOSNELL:
6 Q. And at the bottom of page 72, as it's enumerated, Kostic says:
7 "Zivota, at a session here I once asked what was the relationship
8 between Arkan and the JNA, and you were the one who told me that he was a
10 Jovic says:
11 "In matters of war."
12 Kostic says:
13 "We should avoid any major clashes now. This should be done in a
14 nice way so that these lads of his can stay, if they want, in the army."
16 "Arkan carried out missions in the area very efficiently. At one
17 point he broke away, but they brought him back, et cetera. However, he
18 is doing Yugoslavia a disservice. He should be called and given a task.
19 Those who sent him there should call him. I do not know who sent him.
20 However, Arkan was present in Bijeljina, Zvornik, around Sarajevo, Knin
21 et cetera. Someone is leading him and issuing tasks to him. We should
22 see who is doing this. It is certain that it is not us.
23 "Arkan is very disciplined when performing tasks. However, his
24 patrons should be the ones to call him."
25 When you read this -- well, let me just ask you generally: What
1 do you think is going on here? Why is Panic -- how is Panic responding?
2 And I couldn't agree with you more in your description of this as a hot
3 potato. Do you think Panic is speaking at face value or do you think
4 that he has a close association with Arkan and is attempting to un --
5 understate it?
6 A. First, I would just like to point out that in the first passage
7 you read, the quote was -- in the B/C/S he says, "Here once I asked what
8 the relationship between Arkan and the JNA and was and you were the one
9 who told me that he was good," not "a good."
10 And in response to your question, there's, again, a clear
11 indication that the army knows who Arkan is. I have a document somewhere
12 in the report from 1982, I believe, almost ten years before this meeting
13 takes place, in which they already knew at that point in time that Arkan
14 was a career criminal who had, in fact, also done a very unpatriotic
15 thing of avoiding compulsory military service in socialist Yugoslavia.
16 So there was no beating around the bush in terms of Arkan was.
17 What I read Panic as saying here, and it's significant to me that
18 he's having this discussion with Borisav Jovic, who is very proximate to
19 Slobodan Milosevic, to me the subtext here is you, the political
20 leadership and the police - which is very much seen as a rival by the
21 military - you unleashed this person and for a while we all agreed that
22 this was desirable. As long as he was helping us with what we deemed to
23 be patriotic and noble activities of asserting our control over that area
24 of Yugoslavia, we were all on the same page and so far so good. But
25 lately he has become a problem and you created this problem so you should
1 clean it up. That is what the military is saying to the civilian
2 leadership because they know -- everyone around this table knows that the
3 State Security Service is not under the control of the military but is
4 rather under the control of the political leadership of Serbia.
5 Q. Do you think the military is saying that to the civilian
6 authorities or do you think the civilian authorities are saying that to
7 the military? And I say that because we have Jugoslav Kostic saying,
8 "Zivota, at a session here, once I asked you what was the relationship
9 between Arkan and the JNA," and you've helpfully corrected the rest of th
10 translation, the point being that Kostic's view appears to be, as
11 reflected here, that Panic had something to do with at the very least
12 blessing his involvement in Croatia.
13 A. I again think that the point is slightly more narrow than that.
14 I think what is going on here is that they are saying at one point you,
15 the military, had no problems with Arkan, and we were all agreed that
16 Arkan's presence out there was desirable and that what he was doing was
17 for the common good. That time has passed. And I think the civilian
18 leadership is chiding Panic, if you will, and saying perhaps there's a
19 bit of hypocrisy involved in suddenly him turning around and saying no,
20 this person is a criminal. But as is clear from the comments here
21 several times, and again this is borne out by many other documents, they
22 all knew, if we go a year back in time before Arkan ever deployed to this
23 area, everyone knew who Arkan was and that they were making a very, very
24 dangerous bargain by engaging this person as part of the armed forces.
25 The other thing that needs to be seen here, and it's reflected in
1 the new military documents, is that the military is, of course, not very
2 happy with and quite intolerant of armed formations that do not subject
3 themselves to their chain of command. And at this point they are trying
4 with mixed success to assert or, rather, resubordinate all so-called
5 volunteer formations, including Arkan's formations, to the military chain
6 of command.
7 MR. GOSNELL: Well, on that point let's have 0247, please,
8 Defence tab 12, page 3.
9 Q. And while we're --
10 MR. STRINGER: Pardon. I apologise for the interruption,
11 counsel. Just -- I was just listening to the two other channels, and
12 again it's a highly complex discussion. Words are being said very
13 swiftly, and I'm watching the court reporter, and I have the impression
14 that people in the booth might be struggling a little bit to stay on top
15 of it. And because it's a rather complicated subject matter, it might be
16 useful just to keep in mind the pace.
17 MR. GOSNELL: I'll do my best. So I was calling 02437. Page 3.
18 Q. And this concerns an attack on a place called Luzac, which is
19 around the middle of November 1991. Does this reflect what you were just
20 saying; namely, that not only are there attempts to subordinate Arkan's
21 groups, Arkan's group, they are actually even expressly listed in the
22 order of battles being undertaken by the JNA?
23 A. I just want to be careful here because I think you're asking me
24 to comment on what, based on my initial reaction to the document, appears
25 to be a page that is not a page produced by the Yugoslav authorities but
1 rather from some kind of report that was filed before this Court either
2 the OTP or the Defence. But I'm happy to agree with you that there were
3 attempts to subordinate Arkan's group during the fall of 1991. Those
4 attempts were unsuccessful. But there were also many operations, as far
5 as I can see from the military reports, where the two co-operated side by
6 side to general satisfaction for both the JNA and Arkan.
7 MR. GOSNELL: Well, the origin of this document is attested to by
8 a witness. And I don't propose to go into that with you. However, in
9 light of what you said, I would nevertheless tender the document now.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I don't think this is the
11 appropriate witness to tender this document. You may -- well, I'm not
12 going to go into who's the author and all - this is for my learned
13 friends to know, but we have a military expert who will be testifying at
14 a later stage. The witness does not -- hasn't seen the document before
15 and cannot attest to the veracity of what's in there or can't comment
16 about what units are being used, what is this attack on Luzac. So I
17 think that the foundation is very weak at this stage.
18 MR. GOSNELL: I --
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: This -- it will be coming up, though.
20 MR. GOSNELL: I withdraw the tendering of the document. Thank
21 you, Mr. President.
22 Could we have P152, please.
23 Q. Now, this is a document that actually you've referred to a couple
24 of times now today. And this is Major-General Andrija Biorcevic,
25 commander of the 12th Corps, and he awards small-arms as a war trophy to
1 the most successful leaders of what he characterises the Serbian District
2 of SBWS Territorial Defence as follows: Radovan Stojicic,
3 Zivko Trajkovic, Zeljko Raznjatovic. Would you regard this as a further
4 indication that Biorcevic views these individuals as subordinated to him?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Well, are you suggesting that the TO is not under federal
7 Yugoslav law subordinated to the JNA at the very least in combat
9 A. I was responding to your very specific question, which is whether
10 this document provides further indication that Biorcevic views these
11 individuals as subordinated to him. There's nothing in this particular
12 document that indicates that these persons were subordinated to
13 Biorcevic. Other hand, there is the phrase most successful leaders of
14 the Territorial Defence of the Serb District of Slavonia, Baranja, and
15 Western Srem. It is my experience both in examining documents from the
16 SAOs and from Bosnia and Herzegovina that just because someone sees fit
17 to award a trophy weapon to someone else, that does not necessarily
18 indicate subordination.
19 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to move to a new topic entirely, and
20 this concerns the emergence of the conflict in Croatia. And you
21 testified on page 2423 that, and I quote:
22 "The very notion of an independent Croatian state was, even under
23 the best of circumstances, likely to create enormous anxiety among at
24 least a substantial portion of the Serb population in Croatia."
25 And you also testified that the historical background to that
1 anxiety was the fact that the only previous precedent of an independent
2 Croatia was the independent state of Croatia created during World War II
3 which you said adopted extremely discriminatory policies against Serbs,
4 jews, and Roma and other minorities and, in your words, "culminated in a
5 genocide against the Serbs and these other minorities on the territory of
7 Is that correct? Is that your view?
8 A. Yes. And as indicated that is not only my view that is, I
9 believe, an accurate reflection of the scholarly consensus regarding the
10 so-called independent state of Croatia that existed from 1941-1945.
11 Q. And at page 2423 you said that Franjo Tudjman had "dabbled in
13 Can you tell us what exactly he said that you would characterise
14 as revisionism?
15 A. Where to begin?
16 Q. Perhaps you could just briefly elaborate on what you meant when
17 you said that he dabbled in revisionism?
18 A. Franjo Tudjman was, during a significant portion of his career, a
19 professional historian who directed the institute for the history of the
20 working movement or workers' movement, rather, in Zagreb. By
21 approximately the early 1960s, he began to produce work, the gist of
22 which was to probe what had happened during the the Second World War,
23 during this so-called independent state of Croatia, and he began to
24 suggest - very controversially - that despite its very nauseous policies,
25 this state had, after all, been the reflection of a true desire of the
1 Croat nation to have their own independent state. And so he gradually
2 and in great depth elaborated this thesis stating that notwithstanding
3 its genocidal policies, which he also then proceeded to minimalise, and I
4 believe in many cases cast even into doubt, he stated that, We have to
5 after all regard this as a success in that we got a state, we Croats
6 obtained our own state. So there is something to be salvaged in this
7 history of the independent state of Croatia.
8 That thesis of his, which he elaborated in numerous works, was
9 not only an anathema to the ruling Communists in Yugoslavia and therefore
10 he was removed from his post, and he eventually also served a prison
11 sentence in Croatia, but also earned him a reputation among many scholars
12 and also later more popularly among Serbs in Croatia as a revisionist or
13 denialist of the crimes that had been committed against Serbs in Croatia.
14 Q. Do you recall whether he said anything specific in terms of
15 negating, denying, minimizing that these events had occurred? The
16 genocide I mean.
17 A. Well, to mention but one thing, he was among a number of Croat
18 scholars who, in the 1980s in particular, tried to revise downwards
19 significantly the number of Serbs who had perished in the concentration
20 camp Jasenovac.
21 Q. Do you remember what was the difference between the historical
22 consensus as to how many victims there were there and Mr. Tudjman's view
23 of that?
24 A. I'm just waiting for the translation.
25 The numbers that were used in the former Yugoslavia as this
1 historiographical debate raged in the 1970s and 1980s, and I believe --
2 perhaps Your Honours are familiar with the term "historikerstreit" from
3 Germany. This was a Serbo-Croat "historikerstreit," a dispute among
4 historians with certain Serbs inflating the number to very large
5 proportions and certain Croats by contrast reducing it as far as
6 possible, I think even to below 60.000 at one point. And for that
7 reason, there were attempts by what I would call more objective scholars,
8 more reasonable scholars to re-examine all the evidence and come up with
9 the most reliable figures, and they indeed produced a figure that was
10 significantly higher than the figure that Mr. Tudjman was willing to
12 Q. What is that figure?
13 A. Again, I think -- and I don't have all of my sources in front of
14 me, obviously. But as I said, based on my recollection at this moment,
15 Tudjman at the very least had reduced the figure to, I think, 60.000 or
16 below, which is significantly less than those scholars I would refer to
17 as being more objective arrived at and by further logic much much less
18 than the most -- well, for lack of a better term, nationalist Serb
19 scholars on the other end of the spectrum had arrived.
20 Q. What is the consensus now amongst historians as to the numbers
21 who were killed?
22 A. I think the best numbers were those provided by the scholar
23 Vladimir Zerjavic, and I do not have the exact number in my mind right
24 now, but I believe it's at least above 250.000 if not above that.
25 Q. And you also testified when you were here last that Tudjman
1 engaged in "inflammable political rhetoric." What did you have in mind
2 when you referred to inflammable political rhetoric? Can you give us
3 some examples of what he may have said.
4 A. Well, as I stated, Tudjman's views on the Second World War and,
5 in particular, the policies of the independent state of Croatia towards
6 the Serbs, Jews, and Roma, were very controversial and were, in the
7 context of the changes going on in Croatia, quite inflammable. I would
8 also note that Tudjman's - what shall we call it? - strong interest in
9 the state symbols of Croat nationhood and statehood, including his
10 fondness for uniforms, emblems that in many cases resembled those used by
11 the Second World War puppet state, the independent state of Croatia, were
12 also seen by not just Serbs but also by non-nationalist Croats as being
13 controversial and provocative. And those, again, were therefore likely
14 to create significant disquiet among the Serb population and made it
15 difficult, if not impossible, for President Tudjman to position himself
16 as someone who would be a leader of all citizens of Croatia regardless of
18 MR. GOSNELL: I see the clock, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Gosnell. I was thinking about adding 15
20 minutes to this session and 15 minutes to the next one so we can perhaps
21 proceed like that.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Now, you also testified that, and this is at page 2423:
24 "The very notion of an independent Croatian state was even under
25 the best of circumstances likely to cause enormous anxiety."
1 And then you went on to testify that:
2 "More Serbs might have been willing to accept the idea of an
3 independent Croatia if," and I quote, "had the HDZ gone about propagating
4 this policy in a more conciliatory manner. Again, this is, I have to
5 say, speculation because the HDZ did anything but that."
6 Now I've heard what you've just said in response to the previous
7 two questions, and there's no reason to recapitulate that, but I was
8 wondering if there's anything else that you have in mind aside from
9 Franjo Tudjman's inflammatory rhetoric and genocide denial that, to you,
10 was relevant to your answer there?
11 A. Well, we referred in January to Mr. Josip Boljkovac, the first
12 minister of internal affairs of the Republic of Croatia, and he is one of
13 a number of actors who have written memoires about this period and who,
14 notwithstanding their involvement in the government that was created in
15 1990, have noted with regret and sadness that the HDZ as the ruling
16 party, and president Tudjman in particular, were not willing to or not
17 able to extend a conciliatory branch of reconciliation and friendship to
18 the Serbs and that this -- therefore, as it were, turned many Serbs away
19 from the possibility of accepting more autonomy for Croatia, if not
20 outright independence for Croatia.
21 I think because we are focussing very heavily on the Croat side,
22 it also is, in the interests of objectivity, that we note that there were
23 a number of scholars and intellectuals on the Serb side, both in Serbia
24 proper and among Serbs in Croatia, who were, as it were, stoking the fire
25 from the other side and also calling into question whether any mutual
1 ethnic co-existence could be possible under a government that was led by
2 the HDZ. But I think, as a matter of historical record, it is clear that
3 the possibilities that did exist for the HDZ to try to make Serbs feel
4 comfortable in Croatia were not exploited by that party and unfortunately
5 certain actors in the party contributed to creating a very hostile
6 atmosphere to Serbs in Croatia.
7 Q. And just to underline, sir, we're not here to litigate the merits
8 of one side or the other. The only purpose of my question is to
9 understand what informed the reactions of -- in particular, Mr. Hadzic,
10 which, of course, the Prosecution has been asserting in various ways in
11 its case. And so that's the purpose -- that's the reason why I'm asking
12 you these questions, just so you understand that.
13 And would you agree with me that in terms of what is the origin
14 or at least what starts the conflict - and I don't mean armed conflict, I
15 mean political contact - is, in effect, the desire to change the status
16 quo by the Croatian government from a republic to in effect, a fully
17 independent state?
18 A. I would like to quite simply avoid answering that question
19 because I do not think that - and in fact I teach my students at
20 university - that it's very unproductive to try and find out who started
21 what, when. This is a -- the process of the disintegration of the
22 Yugoslav state is incredibly complicated and there are many things --
23 many antecedents to what happened in 1990 that we can go back and follow.
24 Just to mention one thing, the desire of Croatia and Slovenia to move
25 towards independence had in and of itself been influenced by what they
1 viewed, correctly or incorrectly, as an attempt by Serbia to impose a
2 recentralisation of the federal Yugoslav state and revise the
3 constitution that had existed since 1974 which had granted significant
4 autonomy to the six socialist republics of Yugoslav. So it's very
5 difficult to see where precisely it begins.
6 Q. That's' very fair point and I don't in any way disagree with you.
7 The reason I asked you the question was because at page 2426 of your
8 previous testimony, which you don't have in front of, the impression was
9 created that perhaps the Serbs were starting six months before the
10 adoption of the constitution to, in effect, militate for a greater
11 autonomy which created the impression of a cause and effect or a sequence
12 of events. But am I correct in understanding that in effect that's --
13 there's either no point or it's impossible to find an answer to that
14 question; is that right?
15 A. That's right. We could go back another six months and find
16 another point and another six months and find yet another point, but I
17 had to start somewhere.
18 Let me just state categorically that it is not the intent of my
19 report to apportion blame for anything that transpired. My report is
20 about stating what we can understand about the process in Croatia based
21 on the available documentation.
22 Q. And also during your previous testimony at page 2428, you said
23 that the referendum that was held in September -- August and
24 September 1990 was self-selective on the part of the Serbs who were
25 trying to conduct that referendum.
1 Now would you agree with me that the reason why it was
2 self-selective wasn't in order to inflate the -- those in favour of
3 greater autonomy. It was simply because the Croatian government would
4 have arrested anyone who had walked into an area where the police had the
5 authority to do so?
6 A. I would not agree that that is the sole reason. That's certainly
7 part of the reason, and as I noted some of this was done quite covertly.
8 But I think there is a significant degree of self-selection here. It is
9 my understanding, based on reading Mr. Petrovic's book, that no one,
10 neither Mr. Petrovic or anyone else involved in this organisation process
11 at the time on the Serb side, had any reasonable expectation that the
12 Croats would support them in such a referendum. It was a moot point and
13 why go about picking a fight at this point with the Croats. Why not
14 instead demonstrate, which they then did, that there was robust support
15 for remaining in Yugoslavia among the Serbs of Croatia.
16 Q. Regardless of the final numbers of the referendum, would you
17 agree that that position, the support for greater autonomy as an anecdote
18 or a reaction to the move towards independence, that the vast majority of
19 Serbs would indeed have supported that greater autonomy under the
21 A. As I stated before, I think we have a chain reaction process that
22 is set into place which, again, can be best summarised by that question I
23 raised in January: Why should be I a minority in your country if you can
24 be a minority in my country? The ethnic demographics, one need only look
25 at the census from 1991 in Croatia or for that matter of fact, Bosnia, to
1 realise that it was impossible both politically, legally, and
2 demographically to create ethnically homogenous states. Once one or more
3 actors started moving down that road, particularly given the past very
4 negative experience of the Second World War that were being manipulated
5 on both sides, it was a tragedy waiting to happen.
6 Q. But would you agree with me that it's possible to have a project
7 of independence, autonomy, separation, whether it be on the Croatian side
8 or on the Serbian side that doesn't necessarily involve ethnic
10 A. In theory, yes. And, again, had everyone, for lack of a better
11 term, been on their best behaviour and had this entire process been done
12 with legal assurances, international observation, and full respect of
13 various international and European conventions on civil and political
14 rights, then things could have ended very differently. As we all know
15 that's unfortunately not the case, and I think it's rather academic,
16 unfortunately, to speculate about that.
17 Q. Well, the reason that I ask that question is because there is the
18 topic, the issue of what kind of rhetoric is appropriate and what kind of
19 rhetoric is designed to encourage discrimination. And -- and I would ask
20 you in respect -- ask you about one specific example.
21 Do you think that the amendment to the Croatian constitution
22 in -- at the Christmas of 1990, I believe it is, in which Serbs were
23 eliminated as a founding nation or a constituent nation of Croatia,
24 whereas Croats became the sole recognised people, in a sense, with
25 constitutional status, do you think that that encouraged -- or do you
1 think that that was in any way attempting to discourage discrimination
2 against Serbs?
3 A. What I think, and I believe I wrote this in the report, is that
4 it certainly reinforced, and among some Serbs created, for the first time
5 the strong feeling that they were going to be second-class citizens in
6 Croatia, that their rights would come after the rights of ethnic Croats.
7 And in that sense, and I believe this is the opinion of a number of Croat
8 politicians, I believe the former president of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic has
9 gone on the record stating as much, that this was a mistake made by the
10 Croatian leadership at the time. It was completely unnecessary. It
11 would have cost them nothing to have kept the Serbs as a constituent
12 nation in the constitution, that this was one of many signals that was --
13 that contributed to the disintegration of the relationship between Serbs
14 and Croats in Croatia. I would also point out again that and -- and an
15 additional significant concept that exists at this point is the notion of
16 victimisation. And so while I understand that there was concern and
17 displeasure among the Serbs that they were no longer a constituent nation
18 among -- according to the constitution of the Republic of Croatia, it is
19 conversely or was conversely a grave and in my eyes highly problematic
20 exaggeration for Serb leaders in Croatia at the time, as some of them
21 did, to assert that this was a road that was going to lead directly to
22 the establishment of concentration camps for Serbs.
23 MR. GOSNELL: I see the clock now Mr. President.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.
25 Before we take a break, let's see where we are going and what is
2 Mr. Gosnell, how long would you need to finish your
4 MR. GOSNELL: I believe another hour should be sufficient. I
5 believe that I have an hour and a quarter, that was my prediction.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: The 15 minutes you have had now. So you still
7 have --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry.
10 So the 15 minutes you have had and there is still 60 minutes
11 left, if we have to reserve 30 minutes for re-direct. Is that more or
12 less what you expect, Mr. Demirdjian.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I will try to be as prompt as I can,
14 Your Honours. Maybe even 20 minutes, but ... yeah.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So then we'll take the break now until --
18 we come back at 1.00. And then we'll sit until 2.30 at the utmost. I
19 think that would suit your travel plans, Mr. Nielsen; is that right.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. I'm very grateful for
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, just to save time I can take care of
4 a housekeeping matter, if I may.
5 At page 62, line 25 of today's transcript, I erroneously referred
6 to transcript page 2343. The proper transcript page is 2423.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 6059, 65 ter 06059.
9 Q. And Dr. Nielsen, I hope you will forgive me. I'm going to jump
10 around a little bit discursively between one topic and the next to make
11 sure I approach things in the sequence that's most important for us, so I
12 just wanted to let you know that.
13 And I'm now calling up a document that was on neither party's
14 list of exhibits but that you've now mentioned, I think, three times, and
15 this is the letter from Mr. Hadzic to the town commander of Ilok. And
16 it's dated the 23rd of December, 1991. And I'm correct in saying this is
17 not referenced in your report; correct?
18 A. Yes. And, Mr. Gosnell just before I respond to this document
19 which I mentioned earlier, can I just say that so that I do not misinform
20 the Court I just wish to very briefly revise the statement I made about
21 the numbers of victims in World War II, in particular Jasenovac, because
22 rather I, as I noted to Mr. Gosnell, didn't feel confident in stating
23 such numbers spontaneously based on memory, I have a book with me that I
24 consulted during the break and I would therefore like to briefly inform
25 you and the Court that the figures cited by Mr. Tudjman for deaths in
1 Jasenovac were I believe 20- to 30.000. That is lower even than I had
2 stated. The figures that Zerjavic, who is regarded as one of the more
3 objective historians on this point, lists for Jasenovac are 80- to
4 90.000. And that the high figures on the other end of the spectrum cited
5 by certain Serb historians, for example Mr. Milan Bulajic, are over
6 600.000. So that gives you range.
7 But I think the upshot of this whole discussion is that one could
8 ask why in the context of Yugoslavia in 1990 it was even necessary to
9 have such a discussion about such a painful topic. And I would again
10 also mention that another, in my view, mistake by Mr. Tudjman was that he
11 tried to rename the square for the victims of fascism in Zagreb into the
12 square of Great Croats which also caused a great deal of controversy both
13 among Serbs and Croats.
14 Lastly, I would just point out that I have the 25th
15 December document in front of me, not the 23rd December document on the
17 Q. I believe the correct number should be 06055. I see my learned
18 friend nodding. Well, before or while this document is coming up,
19 Dr. Nielsen, I have one other small matter that I can address with you.
20 And it was your reference to Arkan becoming a hot potato certainly by
21 April 1992, and you may recall the last time we were here, I put it to
22 you that some individuals might have had a tendency or the urge to use
23 Arkan, references to Arkan, as a way of discrediting, in particular,
24 Mr. Hadzic. And would you agree that in fact those two are related,
25 that, indeed, by a certain date everyone was trying to wash their hands
1 of Arkan and that indeed there was not a claim for Arkan or approval of
2 Arkan, but that there was general disapproval and that tying him to, for
3 example, Mr. Hadzic, was a way of discrediting, Mr. Hadzic?
4 A. I agree that a point arises at which many people, many actors
5 view Arkan as a negative presence and that a number of these actors are
6 trying to wash their hands of him, despite their previous approval of his
7 actions. However, it is not my reading that the documents in which I see
8 Mr. Hadzic's name mentioned together with Mr. Raznjatovic, or Arkan's
9 name, were produced with the motivation or at least not solely produced
10 with the motivation of discrediting Mr. Hadzic. I would also note that I
11 was not able to find instances in which Mr. Hadzic who, I believe, was
12 aware that other people were associating Arkan with him, I did not find
13 any instances in which Mr. Hadzic publicly distanced himself or spoke
14 disapprovingly of Mr. Raznjatovic.
15 Q. Well, for example, if we had an allegation from Milan Martic or
16 for that matter from some -- any other politician who was seeking to
17 discredit Mr. Hadzic, and a convenient way to do that would be to invoke
18 Arkan as a close ally or friend or colleague or someone under the
19 authority of Mr. Hadzic?
20 A. Again, if there's a specific case of such a mention of Arkan in
21 his association with Mr. Hadzic that you are referring to made by
22 Mr. Martic or anyone else, I'm happy to discuss that. But the ones that
23 I cite in the section on Arkan, I do not see any, again, of -- one of
24 those documents as being motivated solely or even primarily by a desire
25 to disparage Mr. Hadzic.
1 Q. Well, the document I have in mind, I don't propose to do to -- to
2 go to it is the report, the DB report, which is based on a source whose
3 initials you note in your report as VDZ. And I believe you've referred
4 to that document before. Would you agree that where we're dealing with
5 someone like that, there would, indeed, be a motivation to do just what
6 I've said?
7 A. I agree that such a motivation could exist particularly on the
8 part of that person. And I believe that for precisely that reason that
9 document needs to be read with that in mind and -- but again, also needs
10 to be compared to numerous other documents in which an association
11 between Mr. Hadzic and Arkan is mentioned.
12 Q. Could we look at page 2 of this document which is the one that
13 you have referred to several times which is a letter to the town
14 commander of Ilok, dated 23rd December, 1991. He says there at the top
15 of the page in English:
16 "I hope that you know that we did not for a moment challenge the
17 army's presence in our area and its involvement in all matters,
18 appreciating it to be a part of a comprehensive process from liberation,
19 through stablisation of the area, to creating conditions for our
20 ministries and civilian authorities to take over and assume full
21 responsibility for their work.
22 "Admittedly, we were never officially informed about the
23 conditions under which the so-called military rule was established in a
24 part of our Serbian district and what it really means in drawing a line
25 between military and our jurisdiction, but the fact is that our efforts
1 were often limited by citing its existence and conditions."
2 Would you agree that what we seem to see here, and, of course,
3 I'm sure that you -- your -- there's always a possibility of ulterior
4 motives, but when you read this, do you have the impression that
5 Mr. Hadzic is expressing some discontent with having been shut out by the
6 army in Ilok?
7 A. I certainly think that there is some dissatisfaction expressed
8 here. It is at least implicitly a criticism of the military when he
9 states that he and the others on the civilian side were not officially
10 informed about the conditions. I read that as a criticism of the
11 military. Why was I not informed?
12 Q. And down at the bottom of the page 2 -- down at the bottom of
13 page 2, it says:
14 "We hope and expect our minister of finance to be given an
15 opportunity to check the situation and the flow of funds on transfer
16 accounts, hoping for your assistance in the matter, all the more so,
17 since economic activity in Ilok was revived, in part through the direct
18 engagement of military organs."
19 And just to go down to the middle of page 3, and this is the last
20 passage I'll bring to your attention:
21 "The government has been told that the settling of Ilok went on
22 rather well and that your commands was competent in all matters.
23 Naturally, we are not bothered by this, but in the spirit of co-operation
24 we would appreciate at least being informed about the criteria according
25 to which it was done, with a possible remark that our approval does not
1 go without saying."
2 Do you have any observation in respect to that passage?
3 A. When read together with the answer that Mr. Hadzic receives later
4 from the military command in Ilok, it becomes clear that the military, on
5 the one hand, and Mr. Hadzic and his government, on the other hand, have
6 clashed over various matters on several occasions, that they have not
7 even eye to eye on at least some matters, and they are referring to that
8 somewhat elliptically but with the overall message that we now need to
9 henceforth better co-ordinate our efforts so that these problems will not
11 Q. Would you say in fact he is trying to use diplomatic language to
12 mitigate or lessen what appears to be some kind of conflict with the JNA
13 in terms of jurisdiction and just information about what's going on?
14 A. He is, I think, indeed, trying, and largely succeeding in using
15 diplomatic language to do as you indicate. Other hand, the military,
16 perhaps as is the case with career military officers, is somewhat less
17 diplomatic in indicating their disgruntlement with the way things have
18 been running up to the present point in their letter two days later.
19 Q. I don't propose to take you to that letter, but that is a, in our
20 opinion, a correct characterisation.
21 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender 65 ter 06055, please.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D30. Thank you.
24 MR. GOSNELL:
25 Q. Dr. Nielsen --
1 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have to P37, which is Prosecution tab 171.
2 Q. Dr. Nielsen, this concerns the discussion that occurs at one of
3 the SFRY Presidency meetings which you refer to at paragraph 206 of your
4 report and which you discussed at page 2486 of your testimony.
5 And this is about Mr. Hadzic's comments in respect of what you
6 refer to as "the topic of forced removal of the civilian population."
7 Now I'll just for it to come up. Could we have the B/C/S
8 version, page 92; and the English version, page 68.
9 That's -- that's nicely centred. Thank you.
10 Dr. Nielsen, I was not clear as to what your actual
11 interpretation is of Mr. Hadzic's words. Could you clarify what you
12 think Mr. Hadzic is saying here?
13 A. Well, I thank you for the opportunity to clarify this. I agree
14 with you. I don't think I was very clear when we discussed this last
16 Just to provide a bit of context because we cannot see it on this
17 page, but immediately preceding Mr. Hadzic there is a long passage in
18 which Radovan Karadzic speaks and he talks about the movement of peoples,
19 and he refers - as I state in paragraph 206 - he asks, "Who will force
20 the Croats from Vojvodina to go to Krajina. Those are nebulous ideas and
21 the word is shocked by them, although India and Pakistan even did also
22 such things. At this moment in Europe it is questionable whether that
23 would be feasible." And to me that -- that is -- the point of departure
24 that Karadzic is essentially saying, You know, at certain points in world
25 history there have been mass movements of people and the world currently
1 views that as abhorrent and it would be therefore doubtful that those
2 kinds of movements would be feasible in Europe at this moment.
3 And then when we get to Mr. Hadzic's comments, his first sentence
4 is, at least the way I translated it, this is not nebulous. And then --
5 and it's very fragmentary in B/C/S, if we could -- could we have the
6 translation scrolled down so I can see. These are -- I will just read
7 the words that follow the sentence.
8 "This is not nebulous. Serbs from Zagreb should resettle and
9 Serbs from Belgrade, and now from this terrain," or "this area, there
10 is" -- that is -- there's many ways you can translate it, "it is out of
11 the question," "that's not to be discussed." But the part I would point
12 out in the translation, the part when Mr. Hadzic says, "And now from this
13 terrain" or "from this area" is missing from the English translation.
14 So as the first order of business, I definitely would say that
15 the statement that he makes, at least the second sentence of his
16 statement, is at the very least ambiguous. But the first sentence to me
17 is very clear. Mr. Karadzic or Dr. Karadzic has just said, "This is a
18 nebulous idea," and Mr. Hadzic -- in referring to population movements,
19 and Mr. Hadzic then says, "This is not nebulous."
20 Q. I'm informed, Dr. Nielsen, that the word "from" does not appear
21 in the B/C/S as being attributed to Mr. Hadzic.
22 A. That is correct. It says -- but it uses the -- if I may be
23 slightly technical, the genitive case, "of this terrain." As you well
24 know, these stenographic records are in many cases imperfect, and indeed
25 as we unfortunately, and again I apologise to the court reporter we see
1 here, sometimes participants at these meetings or sessions speak so
2 quickly that even a word or even a part of a sentence is bound to go
3 lost. But I would again focus my attention, as I did in the report, on
4 the first sentence of Mr. Hadzic's response, which -- where I don't think
5 there's any ambiguity. I translated it as "that is not nebulous." The
6 official translation we have here is, "There is nothing nebulous in it."
7 And if we go back to Mr. Karadzic's statement, the only thing to which he
8 can be referring is this notion of resettlement or population exchanges
9 with -- with certain historical precedents mentioned by Mr. Karadzic.
10 Q. Well, just to try to take this shortly and to summarise, we have
11 Dr. Karadzic allegedly saying it is rather questionable. And then we
12 have Mr. Hadzic saying, No, it's not questionable. It's out of the
13 question. It can't be done. That's not nebulous. Isn't that right?
14 A. Can I please have the previous page of the B/C/S?
15 And I ... if we see in the English, it says, "First of all, the
16 Serbs of Krajina must not be favoured here. On the contrary, they have
17 to be stimulated to go back there."
18 And then slightly later, we have the question: "But who is going
19 to make the Croats from Vojvodina go to Krajina? These are nebulous
20 ideas." "To su maglovit ideje." And my point is that the notion of what
21 is or is not nebulous here, to me, when Mr. Hadzic responds, "There is
22 nothing nebulous in it," to me that is a reaction to Mr. Karadzic's
23 rhetorical question -- or his statement, "These are nebulous ideas." But
24 I'm, again, happy to -- my point is to draw the attention of you and the
25 Chamber to this exchange, and I think with the caveat that I think it
1 might be worth asking for a revised translation, I -- I -- I would hope
2 that everyone reads this and draws whatever conclusions they see fit.
3 Q. Well, looking at the entire context, is it your view that it --
4 that Mr. Hadzic is in any way advocating forcible transfer of civilian
6 A. My reading, my view of this document is that Karadzic is saying
7 historical circumstances and European public and political opinion mean
8 that forcible transfer or exchange of civilian populations cannot occur
9 and that Mr. Hadzic questions whether this is, indeed, true. That is my
10 reading of it.
11 Q. Well, sir, I'm going to give you my interpretation which involves
12 the broader context of the entire passage. And when you read the entire
13 passage, starting with, "I reckon," and there are even some earlier
14 references, but we can see just from this page what is going on I submit
15 to you. And what we see is that Dr. Karadzic is lamenting the departure
16 of Serbs from the Krajina to Serbia and elsewhere which thereby, in his
17 view, weakens the position of the Serbian minority in Croatia. And then
18 he believes -- or then he discusses what I believe he suggests,
19 Dr. Karadzic, that is, is a highly distasteful alternative which is --
20 which he believes has actually been proposed by the Croats, and that
21 distasteful alternative is the full transfer of Croat and Serb
22 populations between the SBWS or Croatia and Vojvodina. At least that's
23 how I read his -- this -- when he refers to "they," when he say, "I
24 mentioned this only to make you cognisant of their way of thinking," he
25 must be referring to someone. Would you agree with me that in saying
1 "their" he may be referring to the Croats?
2 A. That is a possibility.
3 Q. And doesn't the interpretation I've just given accord with
4 Mr. Hadzic's response which otherwise seems anomalous. He says, "Serbs
5 from Zagreb and Belgrade should resettle"; in other words, we would like
6 Serbs who have left or who are elsewhere to come to the Serbian Krajina?
7 A. Well, I think that, first of all, we have agreed on -- by my
8 count the vast majority of items that we've discussed. But on this
9 particular instance I'm going to, for now, stand by my interpretation in
10 page -- in paragraph 206 with, again, the observation that I think it's
11 important that we all read this passage and draw our own conclusions. So
12 as far as we are concerned, we're going to have agree that we disagree.
13 Q. Well, let's just focus on the top two paragraphs on this page
14 where we see Dr. Karadzic saying that:
15 "There should be a centralised service which would take care of
16 the attainment of national goals. This service should be primarily
17 linked to Krajina and should be economically motivated. I do not know
18 much about the laws and maybe you have already discussed this matter, but
19 when it comes to the investment legislation, the taxation, et cetera, I
20 reckon that situation there will be more favourable so that there will be
21 no need for companies from Serbia to send gifts there. They have to be
22 motivated to develop things there based on ownership as the labour will
23 be cheaper down there, the taxes will be lower, et cetera."
24 Now, doesn't it seem to you that there Dr. Karadzic is saying
25 let's figure out a policy that will encourage people to go back to this
1 area from which many Serbs are leaving because they view it as an
2 undesirable place to live?
3 A. I agree that that is -- where the discussion initially comes
4 from, yes.
5 Q. And you're not willing to allow that context to inform your
6 interpretation of Mr. Hadzic's response?
7 A. Well, when we're on the topic of context, I'm also looking at
8 this statement in the context of a much larger series of discussions that
9 take place at these Presidency meetings and where the topic of forcible
10 removal or more euphemistically expressed population exchange is not a --
11 is not -- is discussed frequently or at least at several meetings of this
12 Presidency. And so that is part of the context overall that informs my
13 reading of this passage. But as I stated, I think that I have my
14 interpretation of this. You have your interpretation. And we'll have to
15 leave it at that time.
16 Q. Was Mr. Hadzic a party to those other meetings and conversations
17 that you're referring to?
18 A. He was on some occasions, but I don't have the ability to tell
19 you off the top of my head how many Presidency meetings he attended.
20 Q. None of those are mentioned in your report as substantiating your
21 conclusion about Mr. Hadzic's words, are they?
22 A. It is correct that I do not mention other Presidency meetings in
23 this paragraph of the report.
24 Q. Now, I'd like to move to another topic, and that is paragraphs --
25 about 150 to 170 of your report, concerning police and the RSK.
1 MR. GOSNELL: And we're done with this document.
2 Q. And by my count, there are exactly two documents that show that
3 Mr. Hadzic issued any orders to the police in the RSK. Would you agree
4 that that's the number?
5 A. That is probably correct. I have definitely been able to note
6 that there are very, very few instances of Mr. Hadzic issuing any orders
7 to the police in the RSK, at least as we can determine based on the
8 available documentation. I would, however, just remind the Court that at
9 least according to Mr. Martic in the video that we viewed in January, the
10 participation of the RSK MUP in the the corridor operation in Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina in the summer of 1992 also took place pursuant to
12 instructions issued by Mr. Hadzic.
13 Q. On the instructions and the decision of the Supreme Defence
14 Council of which Mr. Hadzic was a part; correct?
15 A. I would assume that's correct. I do not have the instructions or
16 the decision. I was paraphrasing what Mr. Martic said at the event that
17 we viewed on the video.
18 Q. And the two orders that we see that Mr. Hadzic is involved in
19 concern on the one hand this issue of currency detailers - at least
20 that's our position, your position was that it was narcotics dealers -
21 and about securing the radio and television facilities of the RSK;
23 A. Yes, I believe that's correct.
24 Q. And that's referenced, for the record, at paragraphs 156 and 161
25 of your report. And would you agree with me that those are both areas
1 that could be termed issues of national or strategic significance;
2 namely, regulating currency flows and securing television and radio
4 A. Well, as you mentioned, we have our outstanding disagreement on
5 the first issue. But as regards the securing of the radio television
6 company of RSK, I agree that in the eyes of the RSK authorities, control
7 over the radio/television was a matter of strategic significance.
8 Q. Well, actually, Dr. Nielsen, I recall that we didn't disagree at
9 the end in respect of deliry [phoen]. You did concede that it could well
10 have been a reference to currency speculators; correct?
11 A. I stated that it was one possible interpretation, and I recall
12 that I also stated that the persons who were, based on my experience of
13 examining police documents, involved in elicit currency dealing were
14 typically also involved in other illegal activities, such as narcotics.
15 Q. But you didn't exclude the interpretation that it may have been
16 directed squarely and exclusively at currency speculators?
17 A. I did not exclude the interpretation.
18 Q. And would you say given your expertise as an analyst of police
19 affairs specifically in the former Yugoslavia, that it's in no way
20 surprising that the president of the republic would not be involved in
21 giving operational instructions to the police?
22 A. Just trying to see whether you posed the question in a negative
23 or a positive way.
24 I would state that based on my expertise, certainly in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina there are instances in which the president of the republic
1 would be involved in giving operational instructions to the police. But
2 that in the majority of cases, also in Bosnia-Herzegovina, those
3 decisions tend to be issued through the competent minister of internal
4 affairs and not by the president directly unless it involves urgent
5 national security matters.
6 Q. And whatever may be the case in respect of other republics, we
7 don't see that in respect of Mr. Hadzic in the RSK, do we?
8 A. As I stated, the available record, as you also described it,
9 indicates that we have only those orders that you mentioned available to
10 us that were issued by Mr. Hadzic directly to the police, and then with
11 the caveat that you also mentioned, the instructions, orders, or whatever
12 they may have been precisely, issued with respect to the operation in the
13 corridor in the summer of 1992.
14 So there is absolutely not a significant amount of documents that
15 indicate that Mr. Hadzic directly issued orders to the police.
16 Q. And in respect to that operation in the summer of 1992, you
17 recognise, surely, that that's a military operation not a law enforcement
18 or typical police operation; correct?
19 A. That is correct. The corridor operation was primarily a military
20 operation, and, again, it is one of a number of cases in which various
21 strategic considerations mean that the police are, for all intents and
22 purposes, treated as an armed or combat force.
23 Q. When placed in combat; correct?
24 A. Yes. When deployed in the primary function of defending what are
25 identified as vital national interests of the republic.
1 Q. Right. So none of these three orders emanating from Mr. Hadzic
2 in any way reflect that he's involved in traditional law enforcement
3 activities by the RSK police; correct?
4 A. It is correct that after the establishment of the RSK, there are
5 no indications, as I have been able to see it in the available
6 documentation, that indicate that Mr. Hadzic is involved in law
7 enforcement activities or other routine issues of internal affairs.
8 Q. I'd now like to move to another topic which is a series of
9 questions you were asked by the Prosecution about Bapska, and in
10 particular whether it was the agenda of the SBWS government to take over
11 municipalities that, as of 1941, had a Serb majority but may not have had
12 such a majority in 1991. And at one point you testified at page 2451
13 that it would have -- "It would not surprise me if they had been to the
14 archives and determined that, for example, Bapska had been a Serb
15 majority area prior to 1941."
16 And you were shown a list of population figures suggesting that
17 the population of Bapska included only a relatively few Serbs?
18 Do you remember that testimony?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Now isn't it possible in respect of Bapska, and let's just keep
21 our focus on Bapska for the moment, that the reason that the jurisdiction
22 was extended to Bapska is that it's surrounded on all sides by areas that
23 are substantially majority Serb?
24 A. If there was an area, an enclave, as it were, if that is what
25 you're suggesting, and I'm not familiar with the -- as I stated
1 previously, the ethnic demographics of individual villages, settlements,
2 or municipalities in this region, but if there was an indication that
3 Bapska was an enclave of persons of ethnicity other than Serbian,
4 surrounded by areas that, as you call it, were -- had substantial Serb
5 majorities, then it would not surprise me that some of the actors
6 involved in the military operations in the Autumn of 1991 would have
7 taken a decision to include Bapska in the area over which they wished to
8 exercise jurisdiction.
9 Q. And you'd agree, wouldn't you, that it's not even possible for
10 Serb forces to enter the eastern part of SBWS without going through
11 Bapska, from Serbian territory.
12 A. For me to answer that, honestly I would have to have a map in
13 front of me. So I'm willing to take your word for it, if -- if that is
14 what you are stating, but I do not have a mental map of these settlements
15 in my head. At least not Bapska in particular.
16 Q. So you don't know where Bapska is?
17 A. I know where Bapska is in terms of its location generally
18 speaking, but I do not -- I cannot point to Bapska and tell you right now
19 which particular area of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, or Srem it is in.
20 Q. Sir, I want to ask you briefly about your reliance on
21 Ilija Petrovic's book. And do you accept that his book is reliable as a
22 whole? Are there parts that you consider less reliable? What's your
23 general approach to that book and its reliability.
24 A. I think that I've answered that question quite precisely already.
25 My whole -- my view on the book is that where he describes events in the
1 region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem during the period
2 that I examined, and where I have been able to see those events described
3 elsewhere in other documents that were made available to me, it is my
4 view that, in general, his recollection of those event seems to be quite
5 in conformity with those other documents.
6 Q. So you appear to place emphasis on the fact that you would accept
7 Petrovic's accounts and information to the extent they are corroborated;
8 is that right?
9 A. My preference is, of course, always to have the ability to
10 compare his accounts or anyone else's accounts to other sources.
11 However, again, because of the deplorable state of documentation, there
12 are a number of things that he or others describe that cannot be
13 corroborated because we simply do not have documents about that
14 particular incident. And in those cases, in the absence of such other
15 documentation, and in the absence of an abundant number of instances in
16 which his account does conflict with existing documentation, I included
17 his version here making it clear, of course, that this stemmed from him
18 as a source.
19 Q. Well, let's just take a look at a few examples. At paragraph 21,
20 your sole source for saying that Goran Hadzic was the president of -- I'm
21 sorry, let me find the reference here. Yes. The sole source for your
22 claim that Goran Hadzic was appointed president of the Serb National
23 Council of the SBWS on the 17th of March, 1991, is, at paragraph 45,
24 Ilija Petrovic's claim that's the case.
25 You do include two or three other sources in that footnote but
1 none of them are relevant to that claim; correct?
2 A. That is correct. The sources that I include are in respect of
3 being able to corroborate, for example, his position within the SDS in
4 Vukovar but not in -- in terms of his position as the president of -- or
5 his role in the Serb National Council of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
7 Q. Do you think the fact that Ilija Petrovic correctly identified
8 Goran Hadzic as a member of the Vukovar SDS Executive Board makes his
9 claim that Goran Hadzic was the president of the the Serbian national
10 council more likely? Is that your proposition?
11 A. No. I think you are mischaracterising what I just stated. I'm
12 not making any judgement about Ilija Petrovic's correctness or lack of
13 correctness in identifying Mr. Hadzic in that particular function based
14 on the fact that Petrovic correctly identifies Mr. Hadzic's role in
15 the -- alone in the SDS Executive Board, but again based on a number of
16 additional other events which Mr. Petrovic does explain correctly. This
17 is not the sole instance in which Mr. Petrovic says something that I have
18 been able to corroborate elsewhere. In this particular case, I do not
19 have any other corroboration for it.
20 Q. And despite being president apparently, as discussed in
21 paragraph 22, Goran Hadzic's approval was not required for the
22 declaration of autonomy because as we know at the time that declaration
23 was issued he was in the hospital; isn't that right?
24 A. That is correct. He was in the hospital after the events at
25 Plitvice Jezera.
1 Q. And concerning paragraph 23, which I presume you would agree was
2 a very important letter from the Serbian national council to the SFRY
3 Presidency seeking assistance, dated the 28th of May, that document was
4 not signed by Goran Hadzic. It was signed by Ilija Petrovic; correct?
5 A. I do not have the document in front of me, but, yes, I believe
6 that, as I state here in paragraph 23, it was Ilija Petrovic who was
7 writing on behalf of the Serb National Council.
8 Q. Well, footnote 48 clearly says: "Forwarding letter of
9 Ilija Petrovic at 28 May, 1991," correct?
10 A. Yeah, written -- so writing on behalf of the Serb National
11 Council, Ilija Petrovic.
12 Q. So Goran Hadzic as the president of the Serb National Council is
13 not involved in the declaration of autonomy of March 31st, and there's no
14 indication he's involved in this letter of the 28th of May, 1991, is
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you ever get the impression that in respect of some of the
18 documents that are appended in Mr. Petrovic's book that he might simply
19 have been sitting at a type writer and producing documents to aggrandise
20 his own role in events?
21 A. Well, I think Mr. Petrovic is certainly a person who is very fond
22 of highlighting his own role in events in this area and in these
23 political procedures that lead to the establishment of a Serb Autonomous
24 District. Again, I have, at least based on the documents that I have
25 been able to examine, not found an indication of a -- an instance in
1 which Mr. Petrovic has produced a document that I would be able to, based
2 on other documents, adduce to be a forgery. If that's what you're
4 Q. Have you noticed that many of the documents that are attached to
5 his book are not gazetted?
6 A. Yes. Although I would also note that based on my requests for
7 the gazettes of the Serb Autonomous District, as far as I recall, the
8 collection of Serb Autonomous District gazettes that is in the possession
9 of the OTP is incomplete. We do not, as far as I know, have the full
10 collection of the gazettes.
11 Q. Well, on what basis do you assert that it's not complete?
12 A. On the basis that, at least looking at the numbers of the
13 gazettes that I received, when I requested the gazettes from the OTP, I
14 do not recall that I received every single number so that I could build a
15 full collection.
16 Q. Would you agree with me that there are a great number of
17 footnotes in your report that rely exclusively on Ilija Petrovic's book?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. There are a great number of instances in
19 which I did rely on Ilija Petrovic's book, for the reasons that I have
20 previously stated.
21 Q. Namely, the inadequate state of documentation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. One issue that you didn't discuss in your report or at least not
24 with any degree of specificity is what was going on in the police in the
25 lead-up, in the Croatian police in the lead-up to August 1991. Is there
1 any reason why that was not part your report?
2 A. I refer just as a rather brief background to the fact that there
3 were tensions in the Croatian police and that a number of people, for
4 example, in paragraph 8, I refer to the Croatian police were deploying to
5 police stations in areas populated by a Serb majority. And I refer to
6 the suspension of several employees of the public security station in
7 Knin; that is, the actions that the Croatian police chose to take to
8 thwart what they viewed as illegal attempts to organise an exclusively
9 Serb rule on certain territories of the Republic of Croatia.
10 However, I did not produce - and it was not within the ambit of
11 this report - to produce a section on the ministry of internal affairs of
12 the Republic of Croatia for the period from the multi-party elections in
13 Croatia until the outbreak of armed conflict.
14 Q. One thing that you do opine on, somewhat obliquely at times is,
15 the reasonableness, for example, of Ilija Petrovic raising the specter of
16 the HDZ wishing to establish a regime bearing certain similarities to the
17 independent state of Croatia. And I believe you suggest that's -- that
18 was irresponsible on his part.
19 Wouldn't you agree that in making that suggestion you're relying
20 on assessments about what changes were or were not occurring in the
21 police at that time?
22 A. Well, if you would direct me to a specific portion in the report,
23 then I'm happy to comment on that.
24 However, as we dealt with -- right before the previous break, we
25 dealt with at length my views of the irresponsible activities of various
1 actors on the Croatian side, including the president, and I would also
2 state in that, including certain officials in the police, that -- I -- I
3 do not have a difficulty accepting that the police in Croatia, that is
4 ethnic Croats in the police in Croatia, were using the police to try to
5 move towards an autonomous or independent Croatia and that the police in
6 Croatia played an important and, indeed, crucial role in the formation of
7 an independent Croatian state. Where I believe I differed with
8 Mr. Petrovic, and again I'm speaking a bit from memory here, is that
9 Mr. Petrovic on at least one occasion in his book seems to indicate or
10 believe that Croats, police officers, were drawing up lists of persons
11 who would be executed or incarcerated from the Serb side.
12 Q. But you would agree that there was very serious cause for alarm,
13 given the basis of events that were going on, in particular, in the
14 Croatian police in early 1991. If you were a Serb.
15 A. Yes, I agree that there was very serious cause for alarm. Given
16 the basis of events that were going during that period, and I believe
17 that I also stated that quite clearly earlier today.
18 Q. And you'd agree that it would be reasonable under those
19 circumstances to, as a politician, openly discuss political solutions
20 that would reassure the population; correct?
21 A. Yes. Although that begs the question of what are political
22 solutions that would reassure the population.
23 Q. Well, of course it's very hazardous to speak about entire
24 movements, but at times you have testified - and you did testify last
25 time - that politicians manipulated public opinion in the SBWS. You
1 didn't say that Goran Hadzic manipulated public opinion.
2 But would you agree with me that there were those and it was
3 perfectly possible to espouse a desire for autonomy, greater
4 independence, authority over policing, as a meaningful response to what
5 was going on in early 1991?
6 A. I would agree that in terms of the second half of 1990 or early
7 1991, there were -- there was a possibility to discuss how policing was
8 going to be structured. There were many discussions, for example, about
9 ensuring that the police in various municipalities in Croatia should
10 reflect the ethnic distribution of the population in those
11 municipalities. There were also, at least theoretically, possibilities
12 for discussing how the police could be controlled in a way that if such a
13 way were indeed possible and the possibilities for that were rapidly
14 disappearing as time advanced, in a way that both, for example, Belgrade,
15 Zagreb, and Serbs in Croatia would be satisfied with it. And I would
16 also agree that at least until the events in Borovo Selo, if we are to
17 take Josip Bojkovac's word for it, and I stress this is based on the
18 minister of internal affairs of Croatia's memoirs, according to his
19 memoirs Mr. Hadzic was among those who were involved in such discussions
20 until the events at Borovo Selo.
21 Q. Dr. Nielsen, thank you very much for your testimony.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, re-direct.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honours.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Nielsen.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. I will try to be as brief as possible to make sure that can you
3 catch your plane this afternoon. So let me get right to it.
4 Today -- no, sorry, in January during the first day of
5 cross-examination, my learned friend was asking you about your access to
6 OTP databases in the context of the methodology applied in preparing your
7 report, if you recall that.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: This was at page 2532 for everyone in the
10 Q. And I would like you to explain to the Chamber, just for the sake
11 of completeness, what other, if any, sources did you use for the
12 preparation of your report and in the information gathering efforts?
13 A. Well, first of all I would be remiss if I did not thank
14 Mr. Gosnell and his co-counsel for the very stimulating questions that
15 they posed. So thank you for that.
16 As I stated earlier, I believe that in addition to the access
17 that I had to OTP databases that I used in preparing my report, I also
18 used a number of books that I identified, for example, the book by
19 Nikica Baric, in preparing this report.
20 Q. And -- yes. As an expert on history and police-related matters,
21 how would you qualify your reliance on documents provided by the Office
22 of the Prosecutor?
23 A. Well, from the point of view of methodology, I -- I was of
24 necessity reliant upon the documents provided by the Office of the
25 Prosecutor simply because with the possible exception of certain still
1 unaccessible archives in the former Yugoslavia, there is no repository of
2 relevant documentation that I have access to besides that which the OTP
3 possesses. But I would also state, as I believe I did earlier, that in
4 all cases, in -- when I did identify documents that I thought were
5 relevant or were missing from the documents in -- that I had initially
6 obtained from the OTP, I was in touch with the OTP and asked for those
7 documents to be provided for me if they were available if I could not
8 myself retrieve them from the EDS database.
9 Q. Okay. Now on this issue of availability of documentation, this
10 is an issue that was raised by the Defence at page 2537 in January, and
11 you were asked about the confidence that you placed in the conclusions
12 reached in your report having considered, and I quote from Mr. Gosnell,
13 "the combination of a very sparse documentary foundation with the
14 exclusion of witness evidence." At the time you were discussing the fact
15 that you did not rely on witness evidence.
16 Now, this was asked to you in a general matter without -- manner,
17 sorry, without referencing specific parts of your report, and I would
18 like you to look at the table of contents of your report. I don't know
19 if you have a copy with you.
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And this is, just for reference, 65 ter 2837. I believe the
22 table of contents is at page 2. And I'd like to remind you that at page
23 2506, during your examination-in-chief, when you were asked whether you
24 had seen documents relating to the organisational structure of the MUP
25 and the RSK or the SBWS, your answer was that as far as the SBWS was
1 concerned, the documentation was very, very sparse.
2 Now looking at the table contents, I would like you to look at
3 Roman numeral number II, the general historical and political background.
4 Could you tell the Chamber for this chapter how you would qualify the
5 availability of sources relating to the general and historical
7 A. Well, as we see Roman numeral II consists of four points, and the
8 state of the documentation is such, if I were to rank the various SAOs
9 hierarchically, the state of documentation for the SAO Krajina is by far
10 the best in terms of its completeness and in terms of its availability,
11 followed by the amount of documentation available for the SAO of
12 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, and by far the worst or most lacking
13 set of documentation is that pertaining to the SAO Western Slavonia.
14 Q. And putting aside for a moment MUP-related matters, how would you
15 qualify the availability of sources in relation to the historical
16 background of the conflict in the early 1990s?
17 A. If you are speaking of the entire political context of the
18 conflict in the early 1990s, then, the source base, I think, is -- is
19 quite good, not least because a number of key discussions took place in
20 Belgrade and those have been made available in -- in the form of
21 stenographic records from meetings of, for example, the Federal
22 Presidency. However, if we look at the meetings that took place, the
23 discussions that we know must have transpired in, for example, the SAO of
24 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, then we possess very few sources
25 that stem directly from those meeting, and therefore I had to rely
1 primarily on the available gazetted decisions and, of course, the book of
2 Mr. Petrovic as well.
3 Q. Okay. I will not go through each -- each chapter of your report
4 one by one, but perhaps could you confirm for the Trial Chamber when you
5 were talking about the fact that you had -- that the documentation was
6 very sparse, which -- which chapter or section of your report would you
7 have in mind?
8 A. Well, again, I refer to my context as counsel for the Defence
9 has -- has pointed out, my context is that I come to this subject from
10 preparing an expert report previously on the MUP of Republika Srpska.
11 And when one is used to such an abundance of sources as are existing for
12 the MUP of Republika Srpska, then the available sources for the Krajina
13 area of Croatia are, by contrast, already quite sparse. But as I noted,
14 even within the available sources for the entities created by the
15 Croatian Serbs, the vast majority of available sources pertain to the
16 SAO Krajina and, later, to the RSK MUP, whereas -- and even during the
17 RSK MUP phase to the Knin or western Krajina area and very -- by contrast
18 relatively little documentation exists that enables one to reconstruct
19 what transpired in the SAO SBWS and Western Slavonia. I think it is
20 indicative that both in the direct examination and in the
21 cross-examination we spent by my count the vast majority of the time
22 discussing documents that were more recently obtained from the Serbian
23 military archives, many of which cast great considerable additional light
24 on this subject and that -- that -- that those 370-odd documents give us
25 so much additional information says a lot about how little we had before
1 they arrived.
2 Q. And looking at the last chapter of your report which we -- deals
3 with the co-operation between the police of Serb-controlled entities in
4 Croatia and the MUP of Serbia, again, how confident are you in relation
5 to the availability of material in relation to that chapter?
6 A. Again, there we are assisted by the fact that a substantial
7 amount of that documentation has become available more recently as
8 Belgrade has been more generous with permission to its -- to access its
9 archives, but I also have to state, again, that based on the number of
10 reports we have and something we discussed repeatedly, the numbering of
11 reports, one can easily as an analyst conclude that there must be many
12 many more relevant reports in Belgrade that, if they exist, have not yet
13 been provided to this Court.
14 Q. Very well. Now, this morning, I'm moving to another topic now,
15 we spent a considerable amount of time dealing with Exhibit P194.140
16 which was Goran Hadzic's order appointing Arkan as commander of the TO
17 training centre in Erdut, and this was on page 46 and 47 of today's
19 Now, in one of the questions put to you by my learned friend, he
20 referred to the fact that there's an absence in relation to the origin of
21 the document.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Just for the Trial Chamber's information, there
23 was a request from the Defence to -- to find out what was the origin of
24 this document to the Office of the Prosecutor, and the OTP did inform the
25 Defence that this was obtained from the Defence team of the -- of Jovica
2 Q. Now, you note that -- several times that the authorities at the
3 time were not very meticulous in their way of drafting documents,
4 reports, letters, et cetera, and I would like you to look at Exhibit D30
5 which was just shown to you by my learned friend. This is the letter of
6 the 23rd of December, 1991, by Goran Hadzic to the town commander in
7 Ilok. And it's Exhibit D30.
8 And if we look at that cover page, first page, sorry, can you,
9 first of all, tell us if there is a number on this document?
10 A. No. As previously stated, there is no document number here.
11 Q. And you are aware, and we will come to that in a moment, that
12 there was a response to this document, to this letter.
13 A. Yes, I am aware of that. That response came on the 25th of
14 December, 1991.
15 Q. While we're on this document, I would like you to turn to page 3
16 in the English version, which, by my calculations, should be page 2 in
17 the B/C/S version. And this is a paragraph that my learned friend
18 referred to which starts with:
19 "The government has been told that the settlement of Ilok went on
20 rather well."
21 Are you able to locate that paragraph, Dr. Nielsen?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, the sentence here says that:
24 "Naturally we're not bothered by this, but in the spirit of
25 co-operation, we would appreciate at least being informed about the
1 criteria according to which it was done, with a possible remark that our
2 approval does not go without saying."
3 Now, this last of the sentence, what is Goran Hadzic suggesting
4 here, in your view, when he says that our approval does not go without
6 A. Well, I read it as, first, Mr. Hadzic suggesting that they do
7 need to arrive at joint criteria, that they take umbrage at the fact that
8 they have not been informed what criteria are being used, but that he's
9 also asserting his own authority in stating that just because the
10 military has a certain criteria or because the military propose a certain
11 criteria, this does not necessarily mean that the SAO district government
12 will accept those criteria, that they may have to negotiate.
13 Q. And looking two paragraphs down, the paragraph beginning with:
14 "In connection with this," here it appears that -- well, it does not
15 appear, it is written that Hadzic informs the town commander that the
16 government adopted a decision during a session of the government granting
17 temporary residence to these persons.
18 Now, again in relation to the previous answer you just gave, what
19 can you say about how the government viewed its decision-making on these
21 A. Well, again, as I see it, especially in light of what the
22 military subsequently writes. There had been a number of instances where
23 the military had expressed dissatisfaction with decisions made by the
24 district and vice versa, and in the spirit of better co-operation, they
25 are now trying to initiate a more direct dialogue so that they can engage
1 in solving these problems together. As also discussed, this is in the
2 general context at this time where the military has repeatedly expressed
3 its desire to divest itself of matters that it views as better relocated
4 to civilian authorities, and obviously from the point of view of the
5 district it is of -- in their interest to assert control over such
6 activities and to demonstrate that they can carry them out properly.
7 Q. Now let's look at the answer, which is at 65 ter 6059. And again
8 as pointed out by my learned friend, these two documents were not on our
9 lists but I think we have agreement on -- yes.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I'm not actually sure that we have an
11 agreement, and I -- I apologise if I may appear to be not be taking a
12 consistent position. It's just that now I'm in a position where I don't
13 have an opportunity to look at this document with Dr. Nielsen.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Well, this is a document that was referred to as
15 you mentioned -- as the Defence mentioned three times by Dr. Nielsen this
16 morning. Mr. Gosnell decided to show the letter that Goran Hadzic sent
17 to the town command, and what I wish to do here is to show the response
18 to complete the picture of what was that relationship between the
19 government and the town command.
20 MR. GOSNELL: I would withdraw the objection if I would be
21 granted some latitude, depending on the questions, to ask one or two
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Demirdjian.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Q. So this is 65 ter 6059. Dated 25th of December, you can see at
1 the top left it reads: "Reply to your letter." And it is addressed to
2 Mr. Goran Hadzic.
3 In the English version -- well, we can see the introduction on
4 the first page.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we go to the second page, please, of the
6 English version, which -- I believe in the B/C/S version we'll have to
7 scroll down to the bottom. Yes. Thank you.
8 Q. Dr. Nielsen, do you see the paragraph which begins: "I must
9 admit that I expected ..." Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Okay. Here, there's a discussion going on about how to deal with
12 the issue of -- in resolving the issue of a settlement of refugees from
13 other parts of the country. And if you could see in the middle of that
14 paragraph, at least in the English version - we may need to go to the
15 next page in the B/C/S version. It says here:
16 "I am disappointed to have to say and inform you that the people
17 you entrusted with the resolution of the most important civilian matter
18 at the moment have not demonstrated any shred of necessary skills,
19 resourcefulness, knowledge, and most devastating of all, good will."
20 Now, what is the town commander informing Goran Hadzic of at this
22 A. Obviously the town commander is, first of all, expressing at the
23 beginning of the paragraph his disappointment that the government
24 authorities of the district had not acted as quickly in dealing with the
25 settlement issue as the military might have desired. And then he goes on
1 to state that these assumptions not having been borne out that the
2 civilian authorities would do this. He was also disappointed in those
3 cases where persons were appointed to deal with the -- what he calls the
4 most pressing civilian matter, those persons were not capable and did not
5 perform in a way that the military regarded as being positive.
6 I would just point out that in the B/C/S original it talks about
7 a lack of will. Good well is not mentioned.
8 Q. Lack of well. Okay. We'll submit that for a revised
9 translation. And Dr. Nielsen, if we go to page 3 in the English version,
10 my learned friend read to the part of Goran Hadzic's letter which stated
11 that they are not contesting -- the government is not contesting the
12 presence of the army. And you can see the beginning of that paragraph in
13 the middle of the page:
14 "As you are not contesting the presence of the army in the area,
15 this leads to the conclusion that the army is there not because it is a
16 zone of combat activity and because it is carrying out combat tasks but
17 because you are graciously allowing it to be there."
18 Now, how do you read this comment, that the government is
19 graciously allowing the army to be there in light of the other documents
20 that you have seen?
21 A. Well, it's -- it's -- to me it's a puzzling statement, not least
22 because he then goes on to state that everyone knows that the army
23 arrived before the authorities of the Serb district. So I have no idea
24 whether he is trying to sound facetious or not, but it is certainly the
25 case that the army arrived in many cases before the district authorities,
1 and this term of "graciously permitting us to be there," again, to me, it
2 simply sounds facetious.
3 Q. Now by this stage, and this is something that I believe
4 Goran Hadzic in his letter indicated earlier, that military operations
5 were a thing of the past, and these are letters -- an exchange of
6 lettering at the end of December 1991. Again, in relation to all the
7 documents that you have seen and having regard to the fact that this is
8 at a stage where combat activities are not ongoing, are you able to say
9 anything about the government's position in relation to the presence of
10 the army on its territory at the end of 1991 and early 1992?
11 A. I don't think I would like to make any general comment other than
12 that, as previously discussed, there seems to be some consensus which is
13 not without tension and indeed continues to be with quite tense into the
14 spring of 1992 where the army wishes to divest itself of civilian matters
15 but, at the same time, views with suspicion and, at times,
16 disappointment, the efforts being made by the civilian authorities to
17 take over the burden of performing those tasks.
18 Q. You were mentioning that this may have sounded a bit facetious on
19 the part of Colonel Belic. If we go to the bottom of page 4 in the
20 English version, and we may have to move to page 3 in the B/C/S version,
21 if you look at the bottom of the page in the English version, it says
23 "Mr. President, in order to overcome these problems," et cetera
24 et cetera, "I place my command at your disposal with the wish for life to
25 be restored to normal as soon as possible."
1 And again, I mean, what can you make out of this exchange of
2 letters between Hadzic and Belic in terms of what their relationship
3 seems to be and again in light of what the army is saying here? They're
4 placing their command at his disposal.
5 A. I don't want to make, on the one hand, too much out of these two
6 letters. It is one exchange of letters, though it is a very important
7 one because we also don't have a lot of other such exchanges that go
8 directly between an army command and Mr. Hadzic. But, again, is the case
9 that there have been, as we see in many other documents, an abundant
10 number of irregularities in this area, and they have now decided - this
11 military officer and Mr. Hadzic - to initiate a written dialogue with a
12 goal of better co-operation in the future.
13 As a more general comment, the unfortunate aspect of the totality
14 of the military documentation that stretches into the spring of 1992 is
15 that it in many cases makes clear that these irregularities persisted for
16 quite some months and that also there are no clear indications at all
17 that anyone, paramilitaries, civilian leaders, military leaders, or
18 otherwise were held to account before a court of law or in any other way
19 for the irregularities that had taken place in the preceding period,
20 including as regarded the resettlement issue.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I have one last topic which will
22 last two, three, minutes. If I may have your indulgence. Thank you.
23 Q. A very different topic. Dr. Nielsen, this morning you were also
24 asked about the number of orders issued by Goran Hadzic to the Ministry
25 of Interior. This was at page 84 of today's transcript where you
1 answered in the following way:
2 "It is correct that after the establishment of the RSK there are
3 no indications, as I have been able to see it, in the available
4 documentation that indicate that Mr. Hadzic is involved in law
5 enforcement activities or other routine issues of internal affairs."
6 Now as an expert on police institutions in the former Yugoslavia,
7 if Goran Hadzic as president of the RSK did not involve himself as you
8 say personally in law enforcement or other routine internal affairs
9 issues, is this an indication that he did not have the authority or the
10 power to intervene or involve himself in such matters?
11 A. Well, I refer in the report to the constitutional powers that are
12 vested in Mr. Hadzic in his capacity of president of the RSK. I believe
13 that's on pages 17 and 18 of my report. And certainly as regards his
14 abilities to propose members of the government and to proclaim laws by
15 decree, for example, also one could argue to a lesser extent by even
16 giving awards and recognitions, Mr. Hadzic did have the ability to
17 influence the ministry of internal affairs. As to whether he exercised
18 and how often he exercised those constitutionally-given powers, that is
19 another matter.
20 I would very quickly, however, point out that I at least on one
21 occasion in the report refer to conflicts involving personnel disputes in
22 the police in the RSK after it was formed in February 1992 where at least
23 some of the actors involved tried to get Mr. Hadzic to be involved as a
24 mediator in resolving those very pronounced personnel conflicts.
25 Q. Very well.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I note the time, Your Honours. This concludes
2 my re-examination. I believe that we can leave to tomorrow morning the
3 issue of the admission of the report and the exhibits given that
4 Dr. Nielsen has to depart.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: All right.
6 If there's nothing else for Dr. Nielsen ...
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Nielsen, this brings your testimony to an
9 end. You're now released as a witness. We thank you very much for
10 coming to The Hague one more time, and we wish you a safe journey back
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And, Your Honours, if I may thank Your Honours
15 for your indulgence, as well as those of the interpreters and everybody
16 else in and around the courtroom. Thank you.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.32 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of
21 February, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.