1 Thursday, 24 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
9 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
11 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic. Thank you.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence -- oh, I'm sorry, the appearances,
14 please, starting with the Prosecution.
15 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. For
16 the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer; Sarah Clanton; Case Manager,
17 Thomas Laugel; legal intern, Sarah Munsch.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
21 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell, with
22 Philipp Mueller, legal intern. Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Stringer, are you ready to proceed?
25 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour, I believe so. We're having some
1 technical problems with my Case Manager, but I think for the time being,
2 we'll be okay.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Please proceed.
4 WITNESS: GORAN HADZIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer: [Continued]
7 Q. Good morning, Mr. Hadzic.
8 A. Good morning.
9 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have 65 ter 2434, which is
10 tab 836.
11 Q. Mr. Hadzic, do you recognise the two men that we're seeing in
12 this photograph?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you tell us who that is.
15 A. In the uniform is Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan; and the person in
16 the white shirt is Boro Zivanovic.
17 Q. And this is the same Boro Zivanovic that we were talking about
18 yesterday as the person who was the president of the
19 Beli Manastir Executive Council?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we tender that into evidence.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P3218. Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER: Could we please move into private session,
25 Mr. President.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 10239-10244 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
11 MR. STRINGER:
12 Q. Mr. Hadzic, yesterday we looked at the Law on
13 Territorial Organisation, Article 14, and we saw there and talked a bit
14 about the -- the fact that the government of the SBWS had authority to
15 choose those persons who would serve as Executive Council members for the
16 municipalities. Do you remember that? Those people were chosen by the
18 A. I remember that, but those people were not elected by the
19 government, just confirmed by the government. The government elected
20 presidents of the Executive Councils who formed their own teams by
21 themselves, and they would then propose a list to the government which
22 would generally be accepted. We didn't have to know all of these people
23 and theoretically it wasn't possible to know all of these people because
24 it was a matter for the president of the Executive Council who had been
25 given the mandate.
1 Q. Well, under your own legislation, the Executive Councils'
2 responsibility was to implement and answer to -- I should say implement
3 SBWS government policy and to answer to the SBWS government. We agree on
4 that? That's how it was envisaged in the legislation?
5 A. That is what it said in the law and in some theoretical way you
6 could not be responsible to the government that was not --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the last word
8 Mr. Hadzic said.
9 MR. STRINGER:
10 Q. The interpreters missed the last word of your answer.
11 A. They could not have been responsible to some other government of
12 some other state who was not from that area.
13 Q. And so when we see Mr. Zivanovic here doing the things that we've
14 been talking about this morning and at the end of yesterday, what we're
15 seeing is that this is a person who is shown himself willing to implement
16 SBWS government policy in his municipality of Beli Manastir; correct?
17 A. Mr. Zivanovic was elected as the president of the Beli Manastir
18 Executive Council at a time when the government had not yet been formed,
19 and since the territory of Beli Manastir municipality was almost 100%
20 preserved during war operations, they had a completely preserved cadre
21 structure, so he was elected to this position by the citizens of Beli
22 Manastir. The government confirmed what the citizens of Beli Manastir
23 elected only at the end of the year.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Hadzic is kindly asked to slow down.
25 MR. STRINGER:
1 Q. Mr. Hadzic, the interpreters are asking if you can please try to
2 slow down in your answers.
3 A. I apologise.
4 Q. Not to drag this out too long, but we looked at it yesterday, the
5 decision appointing Mr. Zivanovic to be the president of the
6 Beli Manastir Executive Council is a decision that appears over your
7 name, over your approval; correct? And we understand the process that
8 led to that, but in order to make that happen, it has to be approved and
9 signed off on by you, and that's what you did. True?
10 A. As opposed to you, I am not a lawyer so I am surprised by the way
11 you put your question. This was adopted by the government of Slavonia,
12 Baranja, and Western Srem, and I signed the decision of the government.
13 I was the president of the government, equal -- the first among equals,
14 and this was the proposal of the citizens of Beli Manastir. The
15 government accepted that, and I signed it.
16 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 562, Exhibit P2400.
17 Q. Mr. Hadzic, the last document that we looked at was dated 1st of
18 September, 1992. Now this is an article from "The Independent," from the
19 27th of September, 1992. So a few weeks later. And in the text here, as
20 you can see at the very beginning, Mr. Zivanovic is quoted as saying:
21 "This is now the land of the Serbian people. And so it will stay for the
22 next thousand years. If the Croats do not like it, we will start a new war."
23 Moving down to the fourth paragraph, it says that:
24 "More than 50 Hungarians and Croats have been murdered in recent
25 weeks. No suspects have been arrested. Almost every Croatian church in
1 the region has been blown up. No Catholic priests are tolerated. In
2 this UN-protected zone, Croats and Hungarians have no protection against
3 Serbs, who rob them, beat them, expel them from their homes or kill them.
4 At the same time, the local authorities are bussing in Bosnian Serb
5 refugees to fill vacated Croatian or Hungarian homes. Once inside, the
6 Serbs are not allowed out again."
7 Mr. Hadzic, you were fully aware of this campaign of terror and
8 persecution that was being directed against non-Serbs in Beli Manastir
9 during this period of time, weren't you?
10 A. Of course not. I don't see a link between this newspaper article
11 and myself or your question about this article, for that matter. These
12 things in the article are so nebulous that they are really impossible to
14 Q. Well, if you're someone who got a family member killed or if
15 you're someone who was driven out because you weren't Serb probably
16 wouldn't be so nebulous to you. We're not talking about nebulous things;
17 we're talk about a campaign of violence and terror. And I'm asking you,
18 sir, you knew about this. You had to have known about this. It was
19 simply too big for you not to know about.
20 A. Mr. Stringer, when I said "nebulous things," I did not have the
21 victims in mind. I empathiee with the victims. Both my family and
22 myself suffered. I'm talking about refugees being bussed in from Bosnia.
23 Those things are nebulous. In 1991, they were propaganda. And even
24 those with little information know that this is not true. And we are
25 discussing things now as if it were 1991 and not 2014. What refugees
1 would have arrived from Bosnia in 1991 when Bosnia was still not in war?
2 I apologise for using the term "nebulous" but I don't know what else to
3 use. Refugees, in Beli Manastir, from Bosnia, in 1991, and especially I
4 can't comment upon other people's words, quoting Borivoje Zivanovic. I
5 was not present when he said that. He never told me anything about that.
6 I don't know anything about that.
7 Q. Let me put my question to you again because you did not answer it.
8 This campaign of terror and violence directed against non-Serbs
9 in Beli Manastir is something that you knew about. True?
10 A. Of course not. I didn't know. The conflicted lasted for a
11 relatively short time in Beli Manastir. After that, military authorities
12 took hold. And whatever I heard about any unlawful acts, people were
13 arrested and prosecuted, to the best of the ability of the government in
14 which I was the Prime Minister.
15 Q. I think you're mistaken. In your previous answer a moment ago
16 you seemed to think that this is from 1991, questioning why would Serb
17 refugees be coming from Bosnia in 1991, I think I mentioned at the
18 beginning -- this is September 1992; September 27th of 1992. So in fact
19 the conflict was fully engaged in Bosnia at that time, and there would
20 have been refugees from all three groups fleeing Bosnia. True?
21 A. I don't have information to that effect. I don't know that
22 refugees came to Baranja from Bosnia at any time. Whatever I heard, I
23 can only tell you that refugees were from Western Slavonia and from some
24 cities in Croatia. This is the first time I hear that somebody thought
25 that they were coming from Bosnia. Those refugees had to arrive from and
1 through Bosnia because they did not have a territorial contact with
2 Baranja via any other territory or via any other state.
3 Q. So if representatives of international organisations, such as
4 UNPROFOR and other international organisations, are present in
5 Beli Manastir writing about a campaign -- what is essentially a campaign
6 of violence and terror against non-Serbs and if articles are being
7 published about it in the press, here the foreign press, this is all
8 information that you in fact didn't know yourself?
9 A. What I knew and what I could deal with resulted in trials. You
10 mentioned UNPROFOR here as if UNPROFOR had been there as tourists and
11 is -- as if they were international monitors in white clothes. They
12 accepted the responsibility to provide security for all of the population
13 in the whole territory when they took over the responsibility for the
14 territory from the JNA. It applied across the board. They were not
15 tourist there. They were not rapporteurs or reporters.
16 Q. Right. So your government, your people aren't responsible for
17 protecting all of the population in the area that you control? Now
18 you're passing that responsibility off to UNPROFOR. You're washing your
19 hands of this. Is that what you're telling us?
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't say that.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, may we know in the context of the question
24 what does it mean "your government"? Is it the government of the SBWS or
25 RSK government and on which period it is related to?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you clarify, Mr. Stringer.
2 MR. STRINGER: This is September 1992. This is the RSK.
3 Q. Counsel's right. It is not your government. Rather, it is a
4 body, an Executive Council, that exists within your republic. That is,
5 the republic that you're a president of.
6 Rather than blaming UNPROFOR and others for doing the work that
7 your government -- sorry, the RSK government should have been doing,
8 perhaps the RSK government and its president should have been doing more
9 on its own to protect non-Serbs, such as removing someone like
10 Borivoje Zivanovic from his position; correct?
11 A. At the beginning of your question, you said that I shifted blame
12 and washed my hands off. I'm not saying that UNPROFOR was to blame. I'm
13 saying that the Serbian people who tried to implement laws in the
14 territory and UNPROFOR had a joint task and split the responsibility of
15 providing normal life for everybody in the area. As far as my engagement
16 is concerned, I did my best to carry out my part of the task. It was a
17 well-known fact how authorities functioned and in whose competence that was,
18 generally speaking. But it was not just the obligation of the Serbian
19 side, an unilateral obligation; UNPROFOR had the same obligation. If not
20 an equal share of -- of -- of the obligation or more of the obligation,
21 then at least an equal share. I'm not saying that I'm washing my hands
22 of all responsibility and that I'm shifting blame.
23 MR. STRINGER: Well, if we could go to page 2 of this in the
24 English. And it's the second full paragraph under the heading that says
25 page 76. So it would also be page 2 of the B/C/S.
1 Q. You mention UNPROFOR, Mr. Hadzic. There's a reference in this
2 paragraph to a statement by Blandine Negga, an UN civil affairs
3 co-ordinator in eastern Croatia. You heard her evidence in this trial.
4 The fact is she was constantly trying to bring to your attention and the
5 attention to other Serb authorities in the area the level of crime and
6 violence directed at non-Serbs; correct?
7 A. To this question and to this assertion, I first have to say that
8 technically this is not correct. Ms. Negga, whom I respect a lot, said
9 it herself here, that she could never communicate with me directly, and
10 you say, "she sent this to you." When you say "to you," who do you mean?
11 Do you mean me personally? The question sounded to me as if Ms. Negga
12 sent this to me, and that is not correct.
13 Q. Can we agree that she was constantly attempting to bring these
14 issues to the attention of your subordinate, that is, others who were
15 members of -- Serbian authorities in the region?
16 A. Define what you mean when you say "my subordinates."
17 And based on what law would they have been subordinated to me?
18 Apart from my secretary or my driver, for example.
19 Q. We'll come back to this, Mr. Hadzic, when we talk about your
20 powers as president.
21 MR. STRINGER: I'd like to go to page 3 of this document, fourth
22 paragraph from the end.
23 Q. In your direct examination, Mr. Hadzic, and I came back to it
24 already in the cross, we discussed the incident involving Arkan and
25 members of the UNPROFOR battalion, the Belgian battalion at the Batina
1 bridge. Do you recall that?
2 A. I remember that we discuss that.
3 Q. Now, looking at the fourth full paragraph from the bottom of
4 this, it appears that Mr. Zivanovic, Borivoje Zivanovic, does not have
5 good relations with the peacekeepers either. He says:
6 "They are worse than the Ustasha Croatian Fascists active during
7 the Second World War. Only the swastika is missing."
8 You were in fact aware, Mr. Hadzic, of Mr. Zivanovic's
9 dissatisfaction with the UNPROFOR peacekeepers in Beli Manastir. True?
10 A. Mr. Zivanovic never said that to me, not in so many words.
11 Actually, we never discussed that topic. He was the president of the
12 municipality, and he was in direct communication with the government.
13 Q. Well, he was in direct communication with you as well, wasn't he?
14 A. Well, we were on speaking terms. When I saw him, we greeted
15 the -- each other, but as far as this matter is concerned, we did not
16 share the responsibility.
17 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 561, 65 ter 1278.
18 Q. This is an article from "Politika." 26th of September is the
19 date of the publication, 1992. So this is just one day before
20 "The Independent" article that we were just looking at a moment ago.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, may I ask to zoom in the B/C/S text, please.
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. The name of the article is "Goran Hadzic in Baranja: We are in
24 favour of peace and agreement." Do you have that article, Mr. Hadzic?
25 Are you able to see at least the first two columns of it on your screen?
1 A. Yes, I can see the first half of the text, the first two paragraphs.
2 Q. And this is putting you in Beli Manastir on the
3 25th of September, 1992. The end of the first paragraph it reports that
4 you've said that:
5 "If Croatia wants war, it will have it to the bitter end."
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would suggest if the witness could see whole
8 B/C/S text before he answers the questions.
9 MR. STRINGER: I disagree. We --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm listening, Mr. Stringer.
11 MR. STRINGER: Well, this is all new, as far as I know, in this
12 trial. I know the Defence's preference was to put hard copies to the
13 accused. We're following the procedure that's been followed from day
14 one. All of these things are on the list that went across to the
15 Defence. If they want to make the image smaller so he can see more of
16 it. But I -- I disagree, Mr. President. And, frankly, if I may
17 respectfully suggest that the number of interruptions seems to be
18 increasing on matters that aren't justified.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, we're banned to show to Mr. Hadzic the
21 Prosecution's list because suggestions of the Prosecution. And because
22 of that, Mr. Hadzic is entitled to see this document at least before he
23 answers the question.
24 MR. STRINGER: He can have my copy, Mr. President. The text is
25 small. I don't know if he can read it. With your permission, we could
1 at least try.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's not a bad idea, Mr. Stringer.
3 You realise, of course, Mr. Stringer, that Mr. Zivanovic is right
4 about the ban.
5 MR. STRINGER: The ban.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: The Defence was not allowed to show -- to show
7 your documents to the witness.
8 MR. STRINGER: Yes, I do. I do. I stand corrected on that.
9 Q. Are you able to read that, Mr. Hadzic?
10 A. The letters are very small. However, I was able to read the
11 first part on the screen. I can provide a comment on the Prosecutor's
12 question. This is very clear. In the title I say, "We are in favour of
13 peace an agreement." What follows is that we will wage a war only if
14 Croatia wants that, because we do not want it. That would be my answer
15 to your question, sir.
16 Q. I actually hadn't -- I don't know that I had actually put a
17 question to you yet. The first question was going to be simply whether
18 you remember being in Beli Manastir on this day, 25th of September, and
19 making an address.
20 A. I don't remember precisely. But I suppose that that was the
21 case, since it was published in a newspaper.
22 Q. I'd like to move down three paragraphs to the paragraph that
23 begins with the words:
24 "Misunderstandings between official, civilian authorities, and
25 representatives of UNPROFOR ..."
1 Do you see that?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. I'll just continue to read:
4 "... were most characteristic of Baranja. According to the
5 president of the Beli Manastir municipality, Borivoje Zivanovic, since
6 the very arrival of the Belgian-Luxembourg battalion to this area,
7 members of Lieutenant-Colonel Zanmari Zoken's unit permanently favoured
9 "In Zivanovic's opinion, even in those critical days when the
10 return of the refugees to Baranja was announced, the Belgians did not
11 succeed in hiding their favour for the Croatian side."
12 And it continues on, says:
13 "We demand and we shall do it officially through ours RSK
14 government that the UN forces of Baranja, pertaining to the
15 Belgian-Luxembourg battalion be withdrawn from Baranja, said Zivanovic."
16 And then continues:
17 "Hadzic agreed with that statement and promised that the
18 government was going to officially forward the request to the competent
20 Now, Mr. Hadzic, this raises a few questions. First of all,
21 again, I'm going to put it to you that your presence there in
22 Beli Manastir on the 25th of September is such that you would have been
23 fully aware of the campaign of violence and terror directed against
24 non-Serbs that we've been seeing about -- that we've been seeing in the
25 earlier documents from this very same period of time. You did know about
2 A. What are you basing your inference from? I couldn't find
3 anything in the text. I did know some things and I'm willing to share my
4 knowledge with you. But in the text, I am not able to find any
5 references to that.
6 Q. I'm not suggesting there are. I'm suggesting to you that as
7 president of the RSK who was there on the ground with Mr. Zivanovic, you
8 were aware of what was going on in this area of Beli Manastir. Your
9 presence there and your position put you into knowledge of what was
10 happening there. Isn't that true?
11 A. That doesn't have to mean that. My presence there was for the
12 opposite reason, to deal with the problems that were present all over the
13 territory of the RSK, to prevent them, and to process those who were
14 involved in committing crimes against anybody, Serbs and Croats, and the
15 like. We had similar problems not only in Baranja but all over the place.
16 We had problems with UNPROFOR everywhere. The Belgian battalion was nothing
17 special. We had similar problems and objections against the French
18 battalion. A couple of months before this meeting, in June, there was the
19 Croatian operation on the Miljevac plateau and UNPROFOR did not protect the
20 population, and we had objections. In the previous text, someone imputed
21 to Borivoje Zivanovic that he mentioned swastika in some of his speeches.
22 This is not true. He didn't say that. And obviously there were
23 objections against the work of UNPROFOR, the Belgians, the French, the
24 Russians, and everybody else. I promise that in my contacts with the
25 representatives of UNPROFOR I was trying to deal with those problems.
1 Q. Well, then if that's the case, Mr. Hadzic, then what you've told
2 us a few minutes ago is not true, because a few minutes ago before we
3 showed you this document, I asked you, I said:
4 "You were in fact aware, Mr. Hadzic, of Mr. Zivanovic's
5 dissatisfaction with the UNPROFOR peacekeepers in Beli Manastir. True?"
6 And you said that:
7 "Mr. Zivanovic never said that to me, not in so many words."
8 I'm looking at page 18, line 1:
9 "Actually, we never discussed that topic. He was the president
10 of the municipality, and he was in direct communication with the
12 A. You have just confirmed my words. I never heard Zivanovic
13 mention Fascist or a swastika. I've never heard those before. I told
14 you that Mr. Zivanovic was an official of the government -- or, rather,
15 he reported back to the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
16 These are two separate things.
17 Q. But you did not tell the truth when I asked you a few minutes ago
18 whether you had discussed with Mr. Zivanovic, whether you were aware of
19 his dissatisfaction with UNPROFOR. In fact now you're telling us you
20 were. And you've only admitted it because I showed it to you in the
22 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. You misunderstood me completely. You
23 mentioned Fascists, a swastika, and I said that I never heard it before.
24 At that meeting I did not talk to Mr. Zivanovic. There were at least 15
25 or 20 other people at that meeting. Everybody was engaged in
1 conversations, including Mr. Zivanovic. Dissatisfaction with UNPROFOR
2 existed not only in Baranja, but also in Slavonia, in the Knin area, in
3 Dalmatia, everywhere. It was a notorious fact that there was a lot of
4 dissatisfaction with the work of UNPROFOR everywhere.
5 Q. And you were aware of Mr. Zivanovic's dissatisfaction; correct?
6 A. I don't remember that. I see that he mentioned that at the press
7 conference. Maybe somebody else from Baranja told me that and not
8 Zivanovic, about the Belgian battalion and minor problems, but I never
9 thought that it would be the same level with Fascism. I've heard it only
10 today from you.
11 Q. You just said, "Maybe somebody else from Baranja told me
12 that ..." This article puts you in Beli Manastir with Zivanovic, and
13 here you support him and you agree with his statement and you say that
14 the government is going to officially forward the request to the
15 competent authorities to have the Belgian battalion removed. I mean, you
16 are completely with Mr. Zivanovic on this issue of UNPROFOR, aren't you?
17 A. No, no, this was the journalist's comment. I said that I would
18 pass it on to the government as far as my authority went to sent a
19 protest because of the Belgian battalion's conduct. But I did not want
20 the Belgian battalion to withdraw, nor was that under my jurisdiction.
21 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 411, which is L57.
22 Q. And as that's coming up, Mr. Hadzic, I can tell you what we're
23 going to do now is talk a little bit about the Executive Council for
24 Vukovar municipality.
25 It would be page 98 of the English. This, again, is from the
2 And in the B/C/S, the page is going to be ending with the numbers
3 9351 in the upper right-hand corner. So about 23 pages down.
4 I'm looking at the law -- the decision to appoint the
5 Executive Council of Vukovar Municipality. Do you have that, Mr. Hadzic?
6 At least --
7 A. I see it, yes.
8 Q. And this is the -- referring to a session held on the
9 4th of December, 1991 and here we see five individuals appointed to the
10 Executive Council of Vukovar municipality.
11 MR. STRINGER: And then if we could just go to the end of the
12 decision, the bottom, just so that we can see the date and the approval.
13 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this would appear to have been approved by you on the
14 5th of December, 1991, as prime minister; correct?
15 A. We discussed this a couple of minutes ago. This was adopted by
16 the government, and I signed it as a government decision.
17 Q. Now, we know and -- well, you're -- the adoption by the
18 government and you're signing it as the prime minister in fact is the
19 procedure that's envisioned under your own legislation. You're just
20 exercising the authority that exists under your own legislation. Nothing
21 unusual or remarkable about this, is there?
22 A. Well, I don't know. That's how I understand it. I'm not sure I
23 understand it in the best way. But I was supposed to sign each
24 government decision, and if I was not there, if I was absent, then it
25 should have been signed by the deputy prime minister.
1 Q. Well, and these people were appointed to the Executive Council
2 because, again, they could be counted on to implement and carry out SBWS
3 policy. True?
4 A. In the theoretical sense, the way you're putting it, that would
5 seem like that. However, it was not actually like that. We had problems
6 in setting up the civilian authorities in the municipality of Vukovar.
7 We found one person who satisfied both the fighters from the city and
8 from the villages, because he was from Negoslavci but was working in
9 Vukovar. So that this was a compromise that was approved. And later
10 Srbobran Bibic formed his team by himself and proposed that the government
11 just give its formal approval. We didn't know most of these people. I
12 didn't know them, and the ministers in particular didn't know them.
13 Q. You just said that, "We found one person who satisfied the fighters."
14 And would that be number one here, Mr. Vujovic, Miroljub Vujovic?
15 A. No, I didn't know Miroljub Vujovic was a fighter at the time.
16 Well, there was this combat. The fighters' group, they were against the
17 government. They felt the government sat in Erdut, didn't do anything.
18 They wanted to form a parallel government as a fighters' government and
19 then I tried to find a solution there that would make everybody happy,
20 and that is why Srbobran Bibic was proposed. But then he a problem in
21 resolving that particular problem in the field so he, in turn, put
22 somebody's name forward. It was no longer up to the government. It was
23 Srbobran Bibic's discretionary right to form his own team.
24 Q. Miroljub Vujovic was the Petrova Gora TO commander on the day
25 that Vukovar fell; correct?
1 If I can just -- before you begin, just to save us time, I know
2 it's your position that you're going to say that you didn't know that at
3 that time. You're going to say that you didn't know Vujovic was the TO
4 commander on the 18th of November. And I know that's your position. But
5 can we agree now, at least based on what you may have learned later, that
6 he was in fact the TO commander, Petrova Gora, on the 18th of November?
7 A. What you said is correct, that I found out about it later and
8 that later was when I came here, to the Detention Unit and when I heard
9 that from people who were with me at the time. At the time when they
10 were in Vukovar, I don't have to name the person who told me that, that
11 it was at Sljivancanin's proposal. The JNA appointed him as the TO
12 commander within two days, TO Vukovar. And then they were the ones who
13 were supposed to sign that, but upon the insistence that he be appointed
14 he was actually appointed on the 18th as you said. This is something
15 that I heard here. Even three years ago I didn't know that at the time
16 he was the commander of the Vukovar TO. I thought it was Dusan Jaksic
17 who was at that position. I had met Jaksic at Velepromet.
18 Q. You're also aware that Miroljub Vujovic was convicted of his
19 involvement in the 200 or so executions that occurred at Ovcara -
20 correct? - on the 20th of November?
21 A. I know that, just like you know that.
22 Q. So it turns out that he managed to get himself appointed to the
23 Vukovar Executive Council on the 5th of December, 1991. True?
24 A. Well, I don't know if he managed to get himself elected or if his
25 name was put forward by somebody else.
1 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 1495, 65 ter 6080.
2 Q. Now, this is dated the 21st of January, 1992. And this is the
3 Secretariat of National Defence of Vukovar. Do you know what that is?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And before I ask you about that, it appears here that Mr. Vujovic
6 now is the secretary of the Secretariat of National Defence. Could you
7 please tell us what was the Secretariat of National Defence and what was
8 Mr. Vujovic's position, or what did that -- that position involve?
9 A. I cannot say that now precisely because this is not my profession
10 or field of interest, but I know that this was appointed by the president
11 of the municipality. It was a secretariat that dealt with mobilisation
12 and that sort of thing, those issues.
13 Q. You were aware that Mr. Vujovic held this position
14 in January of 1992? Again, I understand your position. You didn't know
15 about his background as TO commander and involvement at Ovcara, but
16 setting that aside, do you agree that he was in this position as of
17 21 January, 1992?
18 A. I agree with you that he was, but I most sincerely would like to
19 say that I do not recall that I knew that at the time or that anybody was
20 obliged to tell me that.
21 Q. But what you're seeing here, in any event, is not something that
22 you have -- you don't doubt that or question that at this point?
23 A. I have no reason to question it or to confirm it in any
24 particular way, because I really don't know anything about it.
25 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we tender that into evidence.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P3219. Thank you.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 532, Exhibit P1879.
5 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this is now moving out to August of 1992 in Vukovar.
6 This is coming from the RSK MUP. And it's reporting on a number of
7 things. The one I wanted to ask you about is at the bottom of page 1 of
8 the English. It's the fourth paragraph of the document. The
9 paragraph begins with the words:
10 "With the previous oral approval of the president ..."
11 Do you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. "... of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Goran Hadzic, on
14 31 July, 1992, a Crisis Staff was formed in Vukovar comprising
15 Vukovar Executive Council President ... Visic; Deputy Executive Council
16 President, Mirko Jagetic; the secretary of the Secretariat for
17 National Defence, Miroljub Vujovic; Vukovar SUP chief, Dragan Djukic; and
18 the commander of the TO Staff, Zoran Vranjesevic. According to the
19 conclusions of the first meeting of the Crisis Staff ...," according to
20 this document, it continues:
21 "... they intend to suspend all RSK laws and introduce people's
22 tribunals that would pass on-the-spot sentences ranging from acquittal to
23 execution. Police chief Milos Vojnovic and Vukovar court president who
24 attended the meeting opposed these conclusions."
25 Mr. Hadzic, do you recall giving an oral approval as president on
1 the 31st of July or giving an oral approval that authorised the formation
2 of this Crisis Staff that's referred to here?
3 A. I don't recall that. I don't think I gave that or ever discussed
4 that with anyone.
5 Q. Well, did you become aware that, as is indicated here, there were
6 some people who were actually opposing what sounds to be sort of a
7 vigilante law, this people's tribunal. Did you hear talk of trying to
8 establish people's tribunals in Vukovar?
9 A. Your Honours, I'm hearing this here for the first time. I didn't
10 even read that in these papers that I received. Perhaps it just skipped
11 my attention among the papers that I received. I don't recall that.
12 Q. When did you learn that Miroljub Vujovic had actually been the TO
13 commander, Petrova Gora, as of the time that Vukovar fell?
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would ask redaction of this last
17 answer of Mr. Hadzic.
18 MR. STRINGER: I think our position would be that, so far,
19 counsel has failed to say why a redaction would be justified.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: I was more or less waiting for that,
21 Mr. Zivanovic.
22 Should we go into private session to discuss this?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
25 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 MR. STRINGER:
17 Q. Mr. Hadzic, you are aware that shortly after the fall of Vukovar
18 and the events, the crime that occurred at Ovcara on the
19 20th of November, Miroljub Vujovic was among those fighters who actually
20 went back to Belgrade and was received by the JNA leadership as part of a
21 ceremony and a dinner. It was widely reported. You were aware of that?
22 A. No, I didn't know that at the time. I saw that here in some
23 footage, and I was surprised.
24 MR. STRINGER: If we could have tab 972, P2287. And we'll wait
25 to hear from the interpreters. This is a video.
1 THE INTERPRETER: We're ready.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "On the occasion of the completion
4 of combat activities, Army General Veljko Kadijevic and his -- on the
5 occasion of completion of combat activities in the area of Vukovar,
6 Army General Veljko Kadijevic received at the Federal Secretariat for
7 National Defence several of his commander who participated in military
8 operations in this area.
9 "Reporter: Army General Veljko Kadijevic and his associates made
10 a reception on the occasion of completion of combat activities in the
11 area of Vukovar for the following personnel: Commander of the
12 1st Military District, Lieutenant-General Zivota Panic; commander of the
13 Operative Group 'North,' Major-General Andrija Biorcevic; commander of
14 Operative Defence 'South,' Colonel Mile Mrksic; and commander of airborne
15 unit of the First Air Force and Anti-aircraft Defence Corps,
16 Colonel Branislav Petkovic."
17 MR. STRINGER:
18 Q. We've stopped it there, Mr. Hadzic. The name was mentioned. Did
19 you recognise General Biorcevic there in the line?
20 A. You cannot see it on this footage anymore but I did see him at
21 the beginning of the video.
22 Q. Can you tell us if and when you see Mr. Vujovic?
23 MR. STRINGER: We'll continue now.
24 [Video-clip played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "He complemented them for their
1 triumph. The Federal Secretariat for National Defence stated that the
2 reception was also attended by several commanding officers, soldiers, and
3 volunteers who distinguished themselves during the fierce fighting in the
4 streets and catacombs of the fortified city. In a lengthy conversation,
5 General Kadijevic commented all the participants of an almost two-month
6 long battle which ended in a bitter defeat and in capturing of the elite
7 Ustasha formations and of numerous ZNG /National Guard Corps/ and foreign
8 mercenaries. Pointing out that the success in a combat endeavour,
9 fearlessness and striving of the commanding officers, soldiers, and
10 volunteers demonstrated in the Vukovar operation, shall represent a great
11 boost and an inspiration to all soldiers and commanding officers in the
12 Yugoslav People's Army."
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. There is Vujovic, the third
14 person from the end.
15 MR. STRINGER:
16 Q. Okay. Mr. Hadzic we just learned that you have identified him.
17 You said he is the third person from the end. Can you describe what he
18 is wearing.
19 A. A new green uniform that he had received that morning so that he
20 could change into it.
21 Q. How do you know that he received the uniform that morning?
22 A. Well, without moving into private session, this is something that
23 I had heard here once I arrived. And then it will be clear to you how I
24 found out.
25 MR. STRINGER: I don't -- I don't think we need to do that,
1 Mr. President, unless it's the Chamber's wish.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stringer.
3 MR. STRINGER:
4 Q. Did you want to add something, Mr. Hadzic?
5 A. And I recognised General Aco Vasiljevic here also. He was at the
6 meeting. It's the person who testified here.
7 Q. And which one is he?
8 A. I saw him there, at the table. They were wearing ceremonial
9 uniform, not combat uniforms, but ceremonial uniforms. He was sitting at
10 the table.
11 MR. STRINGER: If we could please have --
12 Mr. President, actually -- actually, I could probably do this
13 document in two minutes. Tab 1502, P00329.
14 Q. Staying with this issue of Executive Councils, Mr. Hadzic, I
15 wanted to take a look at what was happening in Bapska at that level.
16 This is the 13th of February, 1992. Minutes of a meeting held
17 12th February, 1992, in Bapska between local civilian authorities and the
18 assistant commander for civilian affairs. And this then goes on to
19 describe what was discussed at the meeting. There's a reference to a
20 Mr. Savicin, secretary, Mr. Kulic, and five members of the
21 Executive Council. Also members of the local commune are there, as well
22 as the TO commander and his deputy and others whose names we can see.
23 Someone from the Bapska staff TO. TO Staff named Janic and another one
24 named Jaric.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry, yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, my screen doesn't work.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Shall we take a break, Mr. Stringer?
3 MR. STRINGER: It's the time anyway, Mr. President. Sure.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 Court adjourned.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, Mr. Stringer. There's a sort
9 oral ruling I would like to read out.
10 On 23 June, 2014, the Defence filed a motion in which it seeks an
11 order pursuant to Rule 66(B) and 68 of the Rules directing the
12 Prosecution to (i) disclose any and all agreements between the
13 Prosecution and witnesses who have testified or are scheduled to appear
14 in this case; and/or confirm -- that's number (ii) that all such
15 agreements in its possession or knowledge have been disclosed.
16 On 7 July, 2014, the Prosecution responded that it communicated
17 to the Defence that it had conducted a search for all relevant agreements
18 relating to Prosecution witnesses. The Prosecution informed the Defence
19 that with the exception of one agreement, which has already been
20 disclosed, it had not located any such agreements. The Prosecution
21 further stated in the responses that it is currently undertaking searches
22 to determine whether it has any agreement concerning the witnesses
23 identified on the Defence's Rule 65 ter witness list and will disclose
24 any such agreements as and when they are located.
25 Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Chamber is
1 not satisfied that the Prosecution has failed to discharge its obligation
2 under Rule 66(B) or Rule 68 of the Rules.
3 The Chamber therefore dismisses the motion.
4 Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.
5 MR. STRINGER:
6 Q. Mr. Hadzic, before the break, we were just starting to look at
7 P00329, and I think several of the computer screens were off and so I'll
8 just start over with the introduction to this document. It's from the
9 12th of February, 1992. It's in Bapska. And it's the minutes of a
10 meeting between the local civilian authorities and the assistant
11 commander for civilian affairs. And it's -- indicates that the meeting
12 was attended by five members of the Executive Council, as well as the
13 local commune president and the secretary, also attended by the TO
14 Defence commander and his deputy, a representative of the agricultural
15 processing complex, and then representatives of the Bapska TO Staff, and
16 then the president of the commission for resettlement and evacuation
17 Branislav Jaric and a captain, a security officer from the Ilok
18 counter-intelligence group.
19 Do you know Branislav Jaric, the person here as the president of
20 the commission for settlement and evacuation?
21 A. No, I have never heard of him.
22 Q. Now, on the second page of the English, the bottom quarter of the
23 page, it describes the progress of the meeting, and it's indicating here
24 that before the beginning of the BD which is combat operations. I think
25 the legend for that is somewhere. But BD, if I may suggest, refers to
1 combat operations. Oh, it's right there.
2 The village numbered 1750 inhabitants, 550 of whom remained after
3 the liberation, Slovaks, 5 Hungarians, 518 Croats, of those remaining.
4 And we'll talk more about numbers like this later. It's referring to 108
5 empty houses in the village. Is it true, Mr. Hadzic, that in Bapska and
6 elsewhere throughout the SBWS during this period - early 1992 - it was
7 local officials of Executive Councils and local communes who were
8 involved in issues regarding settlement, particularly settlement
9 involving houses that were left emptied by people who had left?
10 A. As regards Bapska and the minutes, first, I have to say something
11 we can all see, although I'm not understand -- everyone can understand.
12 This was a meeting between organs of the military and organs of civilian
13 authorities appointed by the military, so it is a meeting of the military
14 administration because they all belonged to that part of the JNA. They
15 had no consultations whatever with the SBWS government and no single
16 appointment listed here had anything to do with the government.
17 Q. Moving to page 3 of the English, the fourth full paragraph there,
18 it says that at the meeting on 11 February, the local commune issued a
19 decision to change the name of the village and that it should be called
20 Arkanovo. Do you see that?
21 A. I can see it in the English version. Let me find it in the
22 Serbian. I can see it.
23 Q. You were aware that the local officials in Bapska wanted to
24 change the name of Bapska to Arkanovo?
25 A. I wasn't aware. How could I have been aware? If this situation
1 were not so serious, this would strike me as ridiculous.
2 Q. Well, at least what they're purporting to do here is to change
3 the name of Bapska and what they're doing is pursuant to the Law on
4 Territorial Organisation that we discussed yesterday, which, under your
5 legislation, actually empowered municipal councils to change the names of
6 places such as this. Isn't that true?
7 A. What we discussed yesterday was one thing. This is military
8 rule; it's a different thing. However, what you said about our
9 discussion yesterday is true.
10 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 508, P00138.
11 Q. Now, this is the 5th of June, 1992, in Erdut. And what is
12 happening here, Mr. Hadzic, is that the Erdut local commune and its
13 president, Mr. Dokic, have issued a decision to transfer ownership of the
14 building of the Serbian Volunteer Guard -- sorry. I will back up on. At
15 its regular session on the 3rd of June, 1992, the executive committee
16 discussed a request of the Serbian Volunteer Guard to approve to them,
17 that is to say, to grant them, the use of the former Orasje local commune
18 and made the following decision. The executive committee of the Erdut
19 local commune hereby transfers ownership of the building to the
20 Serbian Volunteer Guard.
21 This is in Erdut, Mr. Hadzic. Do you know what is the property
22 or the building that's referred to in this decision?
23 A. I am not familiar with the building. I've never seen this
24 document before. I only know that the Orasje local commune was on the
25 right-hand side as one goes from Dalj to Most. I was not aware they had
1 their premises though. That part of Erdut is called Orasje.
2 Q. And indeed under the -- pursuant to the legislation we were
3 talking about yesterday, the transfer of ownership of a facility like
4 this to the Serbian Volunteer Guard would necessarily have to be
5 consistent with the policy of your government otherwise this local
6 commune would be acting beyond its authority. True?
7 A. I think this local commune did not work within its remit and in
8 keeping with its authority, although I am not familiar with the document.
9 I don't know anything about it. In my view, the municipality was the
10 lowest level of socio-economic organisation that could do so. Local
11 communes were on a different level and had to deal with some specific
12 issues raised by inhabitants, but I cannot discuss this any further.
13 Q. Well, actually, from the earliest part of the conflict, isn't it
14 local --
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, just last sentence of Mr. Hadzic was not
16 translated. So he might repeat it.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you, Mr. Hadzic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can the last part of my answer be
19 back-translated to me so that I am reminded?
20 MR. STRINGER: I could read it back, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. Mr. Hadzic, at page 38, line 7, your answer was:
24 "I think this local commune did not work within its remit and in
25 keeping with its authority, although I am not familiar with the document.
1 I don't know anything about it. In my view, the municipality was the
2 lowest level of socio-economic organisation that could do so. Local
3 communes were on a different level and had to deal with some specific
4 issues raised by inhabitants, but I cannot discuss this any further."
5 And then that's apparently -- that's where it ends.
6 A. Yes. There was some confusion. Local communes could only deal
7 with some basic issues regarding the inhabitants, some local issues. I'm
8 not certain they had the right to decide on property matters. I'm not
9 certain, though, because I'm not a lawyer. I had been the president of
10 the local commune in my village, and I know that we were not entitled to
11 deal with such things.
12 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 381, Exhibit P00168.
13 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this is the decision appointing a gentleman named
14 Milan Ilic from Bijelo Brdo as president of the Executive Council of the
15 Dalj municipality dated the 18th of December, 1991.
16 This is an appointment that was approved or one that you signed
17 off on in your capacity as prime minister?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you know Mr. Ilic prior to this date, the 18th of December?
20 Did you know anything about his background or his profession?
21 A. Yes. Milan Ilic was a high school teacher. I used to know him.
22 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 1201, Exhibit P2415.2398.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, the Registrar has -- tells me that
25 it is an under seal document, 1201.
1 MR. STRINGER: Then we would request to go into private session,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: But your list doesn't indicate it as being
4 confidential or under seal?
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. There's no problem, Mr. Stringer.
7 MR. STRINGER:
8 Q. Mr. Hadzic, we were talking about Ms. Negga, Blandine Negga,
9 earlier. This is something that she wrote in June of 1992 directed to
10 Mr. Thornberry. And we were talking about September 1992 before in
11 Beli Manastir. And here we see she's writing about Beli Manastir - this
12 is the third line of the document - referring to the incidents of
13 murders, expulsion, threats, et cetera, particularly in the
14 Baranja Beli Manastir.
15 A. Yes. We could see from the exhibits that most of the cases took
16 place in Beli Manastir and that they were processed.
17 Q. Now, skipping down three paragraphs, she refers to a meeting with
18 local officials and writes:
19 "Civil affairs and UNHCR accepted the invitation of the officials
20 given at the meeting at Beli Manastir to attend a weekly meeting held
21 each Monday at 9.00, together with the heads of councils of opstinas at
22 Erdut. Only Mr. Milan Ilic was present. Since the abuses of human
23 rights are proliferating and threats to both minorities and members of
24 UNPROFOR are increasing, it was decided to lay these incidents before the
25 council and ask their intervention in curbing the milicija and Red Berets
1 and so compel the law enforcement branchs to do their duty."
2 Mr. Hadzic, were you aware of Red Berets being present in the
3 area of Beli Manastir?
4 A. I wasn't aware of it at the time.
5 Q. You became aware of it later?
6 A. I clearly remember that I was made aware of it in 1995 after an
7 incident in which some people had been beaten up and then I was informed
8 about it. Otherwise, I didn't know of their presence. I also heard that
9 a residence which used to be a federal building had been plundered, and
10 that the Red Berets were there before that, but that was also after 1993.
11 Q. And here in the next paragraph she actually describes an incident
12 involving torture of civilians by the Red Berets, acts of terror by the
13 TDF - I'm not sure exactly what that is - against minorities:
14 "The brutal murder of an old man by crushing his skull into the
15 ground and the slitting of his throat within hearing distance of his
16 78-year-old mother, expulsion of property, people, and the immediate
17 occupation of their houses and the beating of minorities," et cetera.
18 Mr. Hadzic, you're the president of the RSK. This is June.
19 Isn't it likely that you were hearing about incidents like this, such
20 brutality and violence that was happening so frequently? You must have
21 known. I'm going to put it to you one last time.
22 A. I don't see from this document that I was informed of it by
23 Ms. Negga. Let me tell you this: Whatever I may have heard I never used
24 my authority in order to obstruct any investigation or processing. I
25 remember that in one of the indictments we could see here -- I seem to
1 remember that a Hungarian had his skull crushed. I'm not sure if this
2 was the same incident, but it was a matter for the court, and not me as
3 the President. In any case, I'm trying to explain the following:
4 Mr. Ilic, who we saw was appointed president of the Executive Council in
5 Dalj, he was soon afterwards elected by the municipality for the Executive
6 Council president in SBWS, so in a way became a regional government
7 presided over by Milan Ilic. They were in charge of local policy.
8 Q. I have never seen in this trial one time that you ever spoke out
9 against crimes being directed against non-Serbs. Did you ever actually
10 go public and strongly criticise and condemn crimes like this? I don't
11 think I've ever seen it.
12 A. As for the fact that you didn't observe that, it's a different
13 matter. But as of the day I turned 18 and became a rational person, I
14 always treated everyone one the same, Serbs and Croats. It was
15 completely normal for me to condemn any kind of injustice, as I do now.
16 I don't see how you failed to observe that when I address the Court. I
17 expressed my deepest regrets for the victims. If you want me to put it
18 in even stronger words, I am very willing to do so. As for you not
19 noticing, I'm not sure that's -- that is my fault.
20 Q. I'm not noticing that you ver said anything about it in 1991 or
21 1992. And I'm not asking you about your personal views and what you tell
22 us is your personal conduct. I'm asking you in your capacity as the
23 leading Serb politician in Croatia at the time. You never once spoke out
24 and condemned the criminals, Red Berets, the others who were doing these
25 things in places like Beli Manastir and Erdut; correct?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, the question is unclear in the first
4 "I'm not noticing that you said anything about it in 1991, 1992."
5 I don't know what material or documents Mr. Stringer refers to.
6 MR. STRINGER: Well, I'm referring to the fact that there are no
7 materials or documents. I'm suggesting to the witness that we've never
8 seen a document or a piece of evidence indicating that he publicly
9 condemned crimes that we've been talking about today.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: As far as I understand, he refers to the material
11 selected for this trial, by him. Or -- or something -- something else.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think the question is perfectly clear,
13 Mr. Zivanovic. And Mr. Stringer can move on.
14 MR. STRINGER:
15 Q. Let me move on by asking you this, Mr. Hadzic. You've referred
16 to the -- the judicial system and the proceedings in Beli Manastir. From
17 that, can we conclude that essentially your way of dealing with crimes
18 against non-Serbs is to simply passively let the judicial system run its
19 course? That was -- that's your contribution?
20 A. As for your use of the term "passive," I won't even comment on
22 When I provided my previous answer, it was interpreted to me that
23 I -- you said I never distanced myself from all these things. In any
24 case, when discussing 1991 and 1992, any crimes that I was aware of I
25 condemned, clearly. I said a few days ago, if you'll recall, speaking
1 from the heart, that, at the time when the war was over, any crime
2 committed against non-Serbs to me personally was as if a crime had been
3 committed against me or a member of my family because it directly eroded
4 the political position of the institution I tried to represent in the
5 world. So I condemned it in the -- in the most serious way I could, and
6 that included not only myself but all those who were my associates as
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Again, I would ask if the witness could repeat
9 his answer. What was -- what he -- how -- how -- how it was translated
10 to him the term that he was passive. Because I think that it is not
11 transcribed or translated -- his answer was not accurately transcribed or
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: So this is about the term "passively,"
14 Mr. Zivanovic?
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: The part of his answer from line 16 to -- to
16 line -- to line 21.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Was all that not -- not correctly translated,
18 Mr. Zivanovic? I -- I must say I'm a little bit confused.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know whether it was inaccurately
20 translated or transcribed, I'm not sure. But I know what the witness
21 said when he -- he answered --
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So this is about the question whether the
23 witness ever condemned publicly in 1991 or 1992 these crimes. And you're
24 asking for the witness to repeat his answer.
25 So could the witness, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What Mr. Prosecutor said that I was
2 passive, that is not correct. And when I said I didn't want to comment,
3 that's because I didn't want to use a word that would not have been
4 appropriate and therefore impolite. When I learned about a crime, I
5 condemned it most severely. And I thought that the enforcement bodies
6 had to work and do their job properly.
7 Your Honours, if I am being labelled as passive, does it mean
8 that I should have investigate crimes and arrest people as president of
9 the republic? I thought that was not my job. If somebody thinks that I
10 should have done that as well, then I am in the wrong. I really could
11 not go around, roam the area and arrest people who had committed crimes.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honour, I'll ask audiotape and correction of
13 transcript or interpretation. Thank you.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
15 Yes, Mr. Stringer.
16 MR. STRINGER:
17 Q. Mr. Hadzic, coming back to this document we're looking at which
18 is the Negga memo of 25 June, 1992, what she's writing about here is
19 having described all of these things to Mr. Ilic in her meeting with him.
20 And so then we see in the second full paragraph on page 2 of the English
21 Mr. Ilic's response which is that while he was sympathetic, he himself
22 had not committed any of the crimes and that indeed the same thing was
23 happening on the other side. It was difficult to solve a century-old
24 problem even 15 years. He held forth on the history of the area and the
25 agreements reached in the early 1900s whereby the territory was decreed
1 belonging to the Serbs and Croats and that they will divide the land and
2 separate themselves one from the other. He eventually returned to the
3 purpose of our meeting and pledged that at future meetings all local
4 heads will be present and if we were unable to solve problems they could
5 be specifically discussed at which point the local leaders would be
6 called to account.
7 Mr. Ilic was appointed by you to be in charge of the Dalj
8 municipal council because he shared the policy of dividing the land and
9 separating Serbs and Croats. True?
10 A. Your Honours, I will comment upon this, although I really don't
11 think that there is room for any comment.
12 Milovan Ilic was appointed towards the end of 1991 at the
13 proposal of the local communes of Dalj, Bijelo Brdo, and Erdut to become
14 president of the Executive Council of the municipality of Dalj. A couple
15 of months later, the regional assembly elected him as the president of
16 the regional council in my absence and unbeknownst to me. When it comes
17 to this meeting between Milan Ilic and --
18 Q. Okay. I'm not asking you about what happened later. I'm asking
19 about this meeting. So if you could just address the meeting which
20 you're just about to do. We'll talk about Mr. Ilic's other positions in
21 a minute.
22 A. At that meeting, he was in a different position, not in the one
23 that you mentioned. He attended that meeting as the president of the
24 regional council. And if you will allow me, I would like to say that I
25 have no include about that meeting. I'm not aware of his positions. I
1 never heard what his positions were. I see this for the first time.
2 This has absolutely nothing to do with me or anything else for that
3 matter. At that time Milan Ilic on the 25th June was president of the
4 regional council. He had been elected by the regional assembly, not by
5 the government. At that time the government did not even exist.
6 Q. The views expressed by Mr. Ilic here, I'm going to put to you,
7 are the same views he held back in December 1991 when you appointed him
8 to the Dalj municipal council. And all we're seeing here is that
9 adherence to your policy. He's now risen to a higher level. Isn't that
11 A. Not true. I did not know anything about his positions either
12 then or at the time when he attended his meeting -- this meeting. This
13 is the first time I'm reading about those positions, if this indeed is
14 correct. I did not appoint him as the president of the municipality of
15 Dalj. I just signed off the government's decision that resulted from the
16 proposal put forth by the local communes that I mentioned.
17 Q. And if his response to being confronted with all of these crimes
18 and violence being directed against non-Serbs, if his response to all
19 that is simply to point out that the other side is doing it too, that's
20 also consistent with your own view and your own way of dealing with being
21 confronted with crimes; isn't that correct?
22 A. When?
23 Q. At any time, during 1991 through 1993.
24 A. Of course not. If Croatia was committing crimes -- crimes
25 against Serbs and if somebody -- if the Republic of Serbian Krajina is
1 committing crimes against Croats, they didn't have the right to do that.
2 They should be – had to be arrested and tried. If Croatia didn't want to
3 try its own criminals, I had nothing to do with that. When I pin-pointed
4 problems, those were the problems of refugees, when Serbs were persecuted
5 from Western Slavonia, arrived in Eastern Slavonia, and we did not know
6 where to accommodate the Croats who would have wanted to return. We
7 wanted reciprocity; i.e., we wanted Croats to go back to where they had
8 come from in order for the Serbs to be able to come back to their own
9 homes. This is the only time when I vote reciprocity. When it comes to
10 committing crimes, there's no reciprocity.
11 Q. Before the break, when I was asking you about Mr. Zivanovic in
12 Beli Manastir, we were looking at those documents from September 1992 and
13 there was a reference to a lot of Serbs coming in from Bosnia. Do you
14 remember when we talked about that?
15 A. I remember that.
16 Q. And if I recall correctly, your answer was that you didn't know
17 anything about that at that time.
18 A. I said that that was not nebulous, that I didn't know anything
19 about Serbs arriving from Bosnia.
20 MR. STRINGER: If we could go, please, to page 3 of the English.
21 It's the fourth paragraph down from where we are currently in the B/C/S.
22 There's a reference to a Mr. Kvesic, governmental representative for
24 Q. Do you see that, Mr. Hadzic?
25 A. No, I do not. Now I do.
1 Q. Do you know Mr. Kvesic?
2 A. No, I don't. Judging by the family name, he did not represent
3 the Serbian community. He represented the Croatian community. Unless
4 there's a mistake in the family name, I don't know.
5 Q. Here, he is referring to some 25 to 30.000 newcomers to that
6 region from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he is requesting
7 clarification on UNPROFOR's position on that matter. The infiltration of
8 Serbs who had not resided there prior to hostilities would certainly have
9 a negative effect on initiating the process of return of displaced
10 persons to the region as their houses would be occupied. How is it
11 possible, Mr. Hadzic, that 25 to 30.000 newcomers could be coming into
12 Baranja without your knowing anything about it, including people coming
13 in from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. Your Honours, I'll take this opportunity and give you an example
15 to illustrate the whole situation.
16 All who have arrived here have come via Amsterdam airport. Now,
17 if somebody said that my family who had arrived from Serbia came from
18 Amsterdam, because they passed through Amsterdam, that would be wrong.
19 These are refugees from Croatia, from Western Slavonia, who had to travel
20 by road via Bosnia, they passed through Bosnia by road. They are not from
21 Bosnia. They are from Western Slavonia, but they passed through Bosnia,
22 just like everybody arriving in Holland has to land in Amsterdam,
23 including my family. I'm sorry for being so banal in my example. But I
24 had to. I was aware of the refugees from Western Slavonia, but I never
25 heard that these were refugees from Bosnia. I am aware of ten, 15, 100
1 people at the most who arrived from Bosnia. That's all.
2 Q. Can we agree that some 25.000 or so Serbs from outside Baranja
3 were being resettled in the region, that they were coming to live in the
4 region at this period of time, in June of 1992.
5 A. I am not aware of the exact number, but I know that a number of
6 refugees arrived. They were not tourists. Their houses had been destroyed
7 or burned down. They were expelled. They had to find accommodation
8 somewhere. That's why they came. They didn't come of their own will.
9 Q. Well, and they're coming there because there is empty, available
10 housing that has been created for them by the expulsion of the Croats and
11 the Hungarians and the other non-Serbs who were living there. True?
12 A. A large number of Croats and Hungarians left the territory
13 together with Croatian forces and those houses were preserved. Nobody
14 destroyed them and their original owners, the same Croats, still live in
15 those houses, and Hungarians as well.
16 Q. Well, we've been looking today at reports like the one of Ms. Negga
17 and the other documents about this campaign of terror and violence, what
18 I'm saying is a campaign of terror and violence against non-Serbs in
19 Baranja. Don't you see any connection between such a campaign directed
20 against non-Serbs and the departure of non-Serbs from those areas?
21 A. A majority of non-Serbs left the area together with Croatian
22 authorities and the Croatian police, a vast majority.
23 As for the crimes committed by individuals, those crimes were not
24 organised by the authorities. Those were individual crimes committed by
25 individuals which we tried to detect, elucidate, and process, and we
1 managed in doing that. I condemned those crimes severely. I have always
2 been against crime. I was against crime then and I still am.
3 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 46, 65 ter 1D02759.
4 Q. While it's coming up, Mr. Hadzic, this is something you've
5 already referred to, just to get this confirmed. This is going to be a
6 news report from the 26th of May, 1992.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: It seems to be under seal, Mr. Stringer; is that
9 MR. STRINGER: Apologies. 2759.1, which will be the redacted
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Do we have a tab number for that one?
12 MR. STRINGER: We will -- we will check, Mr. President. The
13 tab number I have is for the unredacted one, unfortunately.
14 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this is a report. And here we see president
15 Milan Ilic making a statement on behalf of this Vukovar regional council
16 or I should say the regional council as an organ of the
17 Grand People's Assembly of the region of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
19 Could you just describe for us what was this body that he's now
20 associated with?
21 A. This is very clear. After the elections, after I was elected as
22 the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, my position as the
23 prime minister of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem remained empty.
24 The same assembly that was convened for the first – for the second time
25 on 25th of September, 1991, which elected the government in which I was
1 the Prime Minister, was reconvened and elected the regional council for
2 the region with a reduced number of minister and other things, but I
3 didn't get involved in that. I was not part of that. Milan Ilic was
4 elected as the president of the regional government.
5 Q. So the region being SBWS?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So although it's a different title, is he sort of stepping into
8 the shoes that you had held as the -- I don't want to say the
9 prime minister but sort of the lead executive of the SBWS?
10 A. At that time, when I was in that position, the name of the body
11 was the government and formally I was the president of the government.
12 Later on, that was the Executive Council of the same body in
13 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. The same assembly, consisting of
14 100 deputies, elected those people as well.
15 Q. Well, again, just to be clear on what Mr. Ilic's position, then,
16 is, is he the -- is he the ranking executive, then, referring to
17 executive or executive branch of the SBWS government?
18 A. Yes. He was the president of that executive body.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we tender this into evidence.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P3220. Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER: Could we now please have tab 582, Exhibit P3065.
25 Q. Mr. Hadzic, staying with Ilic and the regional council, this is
1 the dated the 28th of October, 1992. It is a letter directed to a
2 Mr. L. V. Moore, deputy chief of operations, Sector East. And we can
3 look at the bottom, but it's a letter coming from Mr. Milan B. Ilic,
4 president of the regional council.
5 MR. STRINGER: And if I could ask the Registrar just to move to
6 the bottom of the B/C/S version so that we can just confirm that. I
7 apologise. The bottom of the original version, the English.
8 Q. And now going back to the top of the document, this relates to
9 efforts of the international community to get access to the -- the site,
10 the killing site at Ovcara, in order to conduct an exhumation. And
11 Mr. Ilic here is indicating at the beginning that a letter that they had
12 taken up at the regional council, Mr. Moore's letter concerning a request
13 for permission for an exhumation of a possible mass grave in the area of
14 the farm Ovcara near Vukovar. He says:
15 "This question was considered at number 7 of the agenda and
16 following conclusion has been achieved: That kind of permission we
17 cannot sign or allow, not at this point of time, and not in the way you
18 started possible actions on the mentioned questions."
19 And then he continues on explaining his position on this.
20 And, actually, in item 2, as I read it, Mr. Hadzic, he seems to
21 be suggesting that it's possible that people buried at that location
22 actually could have been parts of the Croatian armed forces, Ustasha, or
23 I should say that it relates to a crime possibly committed by the
24 Ustashas or the Croatian armed forces against civilian inhabitants would
25 not been suitable for them and then now trying to shift the blame for
1 that across to the Serb side.
2 So do you remember this, Mr. Hadzic? You testified about the
3 Ovcara exhumation and your involvement in getting it approved. Do you
4 remember during this period of time Mr. Ilic actually was opposed in
5 telling the international community that they would not allow access to
6 the site?
7 A. I can't remember that. I was not informed about that in the
8 first place.
9 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 658, P1909. And we would
10 need to go into private session for this, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 10291 redacted. Private session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
2 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 686, Exhibit P190.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MR. STRINGER: Apologies, Mr. President. I believe this is also
5 under seal. We'd need to move into private session.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
7 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. Mr. Hadzic, we're going to shift gears a little bit here. I have
24 been asking you about things said and done by others. Now I am going to
25 ask you about some things said by you during these years, 1991 through
2 MR. STRINGER: If we could please have tab 215, Exhibit P144.
3 Q. And as that's coming up, Mr. Hadzic, I can remind you about your
4 testimony on the direct examination. You were asked to comment on this
5 article during your direct. I'm looking at pages 9635 to 9639 of the
7 And before we look at what you said on direct, let's just go to
8 the part that you were asked to comment on in the article. In the --
9 under the third heading -- and just so we know, this is an interview with
10 you as president of the SBWS government, 4th of September, 1991. And
11 under the third heading there on the situation in SBWS now which
12 territories are under the control of your government, this is what you
13 say. And this is September 1991:
14 "The best situation is in Baranja. Serbian liberators control
15 80 per cent of the territory ... Ustashas hold the border near Bilje. We
16 expect entire Baranja to be liberated soon."
17 And then we get to the part you were asked to comment on in your
19 "It's good for Baranja that the Hungarian population returned
20 their arms given to them by Ustashas. They do not help us much in our
21 fights, but they do not hinder us too as they recognise our sovereignty.
22 The Croat, the native ones, the so-called Sokci, they are passive too.
23 Croats, Herzegovina men, Dalmatians, even Zagorje men, all of them who
24 settled after 1941, they are very dangerous as they know that one of our
25 goals when we gain control is to return all Pavelic volunteers. That is
1 incase they do not resist us. Incase they resist, then it is
2 self-explanatory what will be with them."
3 In your direct examination, Mr. Hadzic, you drew a distinction
4 between more passive people who live in the flat land areas, if I can put
5 it that way. You said that in your view are experienced people who come
6 from mountainous regions tend to be more aggressive. Do you remember
8 A. I do, yes.
9 Q. Right from the start if we can talk about one group of people
10 that you were looking to move out of SBWS, it would be descendants of
11 Croats who came from Western Herzegovina during the Pavelic era. Can we
12 agree on that?
13 A. I spoke like that publicly but that was a political thesis of
14 mine that in some way was not realistic. I wanted to cause some sort of
15 political conflict between domestic Croats, peaceful ones and those who
16 were aggressive. And in a way I drew to my side those Croats who were
17 there from many years ago just like I was.
18 MR. STRINGER: Would this be the time for the break,
19 Mr. President?
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Indeed, Mr. Stringer. Thank you.
21 Court adjourned.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stringer.
25 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Hadzic, at the time of the last break, we were looking at
2 P144, and it is still on the screen. And I was asking you about your
3 statement singling out or distinguishing between Croats in the region who
4 were native, more passive ones, and then those who settled after 1941,
5 the Herzegovinians and Dalmatians. And you had said that this was a
6 political thesis of yours. You spoke like that publicly but it was a
7 political thesis. In some way, not realistic.
8 The reality is, Mr. Hadzic, isn't it, sir, that by singling out
9 one group to be targeted, that is, Herzegovina Croats, you were
10 signalling to all the people in the region that that particular group was
11 one that could be lawfully singled out and targeted. Isn't that true?
12 A. Of course, it's not. In keeping with my constitutional
13 obligations according to the only state that existed at the time and that
14 was the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia I had a right and
15 obligation to defend it. Like Mr. Vasiljevic said if he was a witness
16 here that every sports club had the same obligation to defend the state.
17 I defended my state from the people who attacked it and it was attacked
18 most by the people from that region. They attacked the state.
19 Q. Well, when you talk about returning all of Pavelic's volunteers,
20 since we're talking about an era that was some 50 years prior to this,
21 1941 to 1991, in fact what you are talking about now are targeting people
22 who are descendants of people who came after World War II. You're
23 lumping them all together as a group that needs to be sent out. Isn't
24 that true?
25 A. That's not correct. This is a political statement. Pavelic's
1 volunteers were already very old at the time and the people who were born
2 in the region enjoyed the same rights as I did. I wanted to cause a
3 rift between the locals and the newcomers. But I did not have to do that
4 because that rift had already existed. It pre-existed those events and
5 it still exists in Croatia.
6 Q. In fact, sir, this was an irresponsible statement that you made,
7 irresponsible as a leader of the Serbs, targeting any specific group of
8 people based upon historical events of some 50 years ago. Isn't that
10 A. Mr. Stringer, I was not a career politician. I did not expect my
11 political career to last more than a couple of months. I gave those
12 statements without thinking much. I adapted them to the situation at
13 hand. I really did not pay too much attention to any details, nor did I
14 ever think what the implications of my statements could be, whether I
15 could one day stand accused of crimes because of those statements.
16 Q. Well, isn't it true that the implications -- and you knew it at
17 the time, the implications would be that at least as to one group of
18 people living in that region, descendants of Herzegovina Croats, the
19 implications are that they are now fair game to be targeted by the
20 Serbian population throughout your district. Isn't that true?
21 A. Of course not. Those people that I had in mind were on the other
22 side of the front line and their weapons were aimed at us. They could
23 not be targeted either or more less based on my words. They targeted me.
24 We targeted them in the same way. I could not make any decisions about
25 them because they were on the other side, and from that side, they
1 launched attacks on the state that we were trying to protect and
3 Q. In the next paragraph of this --
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer --
5 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- before you move to the next paragraph, I would
7 have a follow-up question for Mr. Hadzic.
8 Mr. Hadzic, you say here that:
9 "One of our goals is to return all Pavelic volunteers. That is
10 in case they do not resist us. In case they resist, then it is
11 self-explanatory what will be with them."
12 That reads like a threat, doesn't it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If this is what I said, it may sound
14 like a threat, but I did not say that. This has been miscommunicated.
15 How would they have been able to return under our authority given the
16 fact that they were attacking us? It is completely illogical.
17 This is a public session, so I would like to say that this was a big
18 mistake on my part. I got to know these people later and they are the
19 same as me. So I was totally mistaken when I called them what I did.
20 But this is something that I hold against the locals. They like the
21 people, they love their people just like I love mine. I am saying this
22 more because of them than because of this trial and, of course, I have to
23 say this for myself. I need to say this.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue, Mr. Stringer.
25 MR. STRINGER:
1 Q. What you were doing here, Mr. Hadzic, is exploiting the already
2 existing ethnic tensions. Trying to divide the people, Croat against
3 Croat, as well as Serb against Croat, and to exploit that in a way that
4 would result in weakening the Croatian side or strengthening the Serbian
5 side. Isn't that true?
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, of course it's not true. There were two sides in
7 that war. I didn't have any intention. I was on one side and I wanted
8 my side to prevail, for Yugoslav to be preserved, and for as many people
9 as possible to join that cause and ultimately for the bloody war to be
11 Q. The people who resisted the establishment of the
12 Serbian Autonomous District of SBWS were going to be killed. Isn't that
13 the threat that you're making here?
14 A. Of course not. Only those carrying arms and shooting at us could
15 expect the same response from us. And those who were unarmed and who
16 were not shooting at us, how should they have been killed?
17 Q. Well, we know now, don't we, after a year and a half of this
18 trial, that hundreds and hundreds of unarmed people who were not shooting
19 were in fact targeted, killed, and driven out of your
20 Serbian Autonomous District only because they were not Serbs. Isn't that
22 A. Well, you're putting it that way, but I can't confirm this. Your
23 words were tendentious, you're saying "my Serbian district." At that
24 time there was one and only state of Yugoslav and a lot of Serbs were
25 expelled from Croatia which was one of its regions. I'm not justifying
1 anything. I'm not justifying things that happened in Slavonia, Baranja,
2 and Western Srem for me expelling people from their homes is a crime.
3 Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were expelled from Krajina. I'm not
4 saying that -- because 250.000 people were expelled from Krajina, I'm not
5 saying that they had the right to expel even one Croat from Slavonia,
6 Baranja, and Western Srem. But it was war time. I could not influence
7 any of these events. I didn't have a say. I couldn't say much at that
9 Q. Well, just one last follow-up on that, Mr. Hadzic, and then we'll
10 move on. But the fact is that you could in fact influence it and you did
11 have a say, and that's what we're reading here in your public statements.
12 You did have a say. And what you were saying was that, what we've just
13 read here.
14 A. If you think that my words had any influence, you're welcome to
15 your opinion. But from 1995 on, when we were left to our own devices, I
16 mean, the Serbs in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, I did have a say
17 but you know how that ended up. At that moment, I did not have a say.
18 You know who drew all the strings. You know even better than I do who
19 made all the decisions. I didn't have a say at all.
20 Q. The next paragraph here, you say:
21 "The seat of our government is in Dalj. The part along the
22 Danube river is free. Borovo Selo is in that area."
23 So at this period in fact, the government was still located in
24 Dalj, this being the 4th of September, 1991; is that right?
25 A. I don't know. It's possible. I don't remember. I said that at
1 the beginning of September we were transferred to Erdut, but I can't
2 remember when that was.
3 Q. Okay. And because I noticed that if we go down a couple of the
4 sections, if we move past "JNA Serbian fighters," if we move past "it is
5 obvious co-operation" to the next heading that says "you have constituted
6 the government," page 5 -- sorry, page 3 of the English. You say again
7 there in paragraph 2, "The government is operating here in Dalj."
8 So that, again, that would indicate to me that during this early
9 September you were still based in Dalj as the government?
10 A. Well, this is not contrary to what I said. I don't know the
11 exact date. In any case, at the beginning of September, we moved to
13 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 32, 1D00826.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Hadzic, this is backing up just a few days from the day
15 of the earlier article. This is 29th of August. And this is in
16 Beli Manastir, actually. An interview with you on the 28th of August,
17 saying that Beli Manastir was visited by you on that day along with
18 Ilija Kojic, Ilija Koncarevic. This is secretary-general of the
19 government but perhaps that's a mistake. We know he was the president of
20 the assembly; correct?
21 A. I don't see the text. Actually, the letters are too small. This
22 is the journalist's interpretation. This just goes to show how correct
23 journalists sometimes are in what they write.
24 Q. Let's see if he's correct in some of the other things he is
25 reporting here, these journalists.
1 In the next paragraph, you're quoting as saying that:
2 "The government has full control over the territory of SBWS. And
3 we will endeavour to solve problems without much trouble."
4 You continue to say:
5 "About 80 per cent of the territory of Baranja has been
7 And then you continue on to say -- first of all, let me ask just
8 you to comment on that. When you say here, "80 per cent of Baranja had
9 been liberated," that's probably about correct, isn't it, by the end of
10 August? That was the case in Baranja?
11 A. I don't know. I heard that from somebody. I didn't tour the
12 entire area to see it for myself. I can't read the text. The letters
13 are too small and now everything is blurred.
14 Q. Mr. Hadzic, I can give you my copy of it, if you'd like to read
15 from the hard copy. Again, it's small, but if you have the ability.
16 A. If the letters are the same size, then there's no point. If the
17 letters are a bit bigger, then, yes, please. Otherwise, no thank you.
18 Q. No, mine are the same size, unfortunately. If we can do our
19 best, what I'd like to read to you from the -- again the same
20 paragraph in the English, and we'll see if we can get it set up for you
21 better in the B/C/S. I see the Registrar has tried to make a larger
23 A. This is exactly the same as your copy.
24 Q. Well, let's just see if we can work on the screen as best we can
25 with it being enlarged there.
1 The quote that's attributed to you that I'm interested in here is
2 where you say:
3 "We will invite all the Serbs outside Serbian countries, the
4 Serbs from Zagreb, Rijeka, and other parts of the current Croatia who do
5 not wish to stay in the Ustasha state, to come to Baranja, as Baranja is
6 Serbian. There are [sic] empty houses here, which the Ustashas moved
7 into after 1941, and they will not be coming back."
8 Are you able to find that part of the text in the Cyrillic?
9 A. I can see that part, but I can't read it. I don't remember that
10 I said that. Not in this way.
11 Q. Well, would it then be a coincidence because, of course, just in
12 the previous article from 4th of September, you're making a reference to,
13 again, 1941 and those who settled after 1941, and so I'd suggest to you,
14 sir, that it's no coincidence. You're in fact saying the same thing
15 here, just on a different day.
16 A. I said that I don't remember this. You can interpret my words
17 any way you want.
18 Q. But it would be consistent with what you've told us earlier, that
19 this was a political strategy of yours to try to divide Croats between
20 those who were the long-standing Croats who had been living in the region
21 versus those descendents of Croats who came after 1941. So, again, if
22 you're repeating that statement here, it is consistent with what was said
23 earlier, wasn't it?
24 A. I've already answered that question.
25 Q. And what you're doing here is to now sort of suggest the
1 second -- the flip side, if you will, of the overall objective, which now
2 that Croats are out, now that the houses are empty, you can encourage
3 Serbs to arrive from other parts of Croatia in order to populate those
4 empty houses and to contribute to changing the demographic ethnic
5 composition of this area so that it will be Serb; isn't that correct?
6 A. No, not correct. The Serbs you mentioned, I don't see what towns
7 they are from. They were already refugees. They had been expelled from
8 Croatia and they were paying high rents for the emptied apartments in
9 Bosnia and Serbia. They could come to Baranja and settle there
10 temporarily until the moment their status was completely resolved.
11 Q. Well, you say "temporarily," but, actually, it sounds a bit more
12 permanent to me. According to the article here, you're quoted as saying,
13 "The Ustashas who moved into --" should say, "Those who moved in after
14 1941," you say, "they will not be coming back." So this doesn't sound
15 temporary, Mr. Hadzic, it sounds like a long-term programme in order to
16 resettle Serbs into Baranja.
17 A. Well, let's not confront each other. There's a factual situation
18 in Baranja. They returned. Their houses remained intact. The Serbs who
19 were expelled from Western Slavonia, by contrast, their houses were
20 destroyed, burned down, and they did not return. So we don't have to
21 make any assumptions. The Trial Chamber is seized of facts and they know
22 what happened just like God knows everything that happened. We're
23 talking about past events. We are talking about something that is over.
24 There's no need for any of us to make any assumptions because the facts
25 are known.
1 Q. Well, the fact is that this article, your quote here, doesn't
2 refer to Western Slavonia. This refers to Serbs much farther away, in
3 Zagreb and Rijeka.
4 A. This is an even better example. That the Serbs from Zagreb and
5 from all the other towns did not return to their places of origin, or, if
6 they did, they did in very small numbers, or, as chemists would put it,
7 in traces.
8 Q. Moving down two paragraphs to the very bottom of page 1 of the
9 English. This is the paragraph that begins with the words:
10 "I am particularly pleased with the inter-ethnic relations on the
11 ground ..."
12 And then moving down to just two lines above the bottom of the
13 page in English, we see a reference again to the -- the Sokci or the
14 Catholic, as you say, the native Croats:
15 "The Sokci, Catholic inhabitants of Backa, Srem, and Slavonia who
16 are close to our mentality, never caused us any trouble. This evil has
17 been brought upon the first, second and third peoples by the Croats,
18 Herzegovinians, who, as Serbs, were converted 200 to 300 years ago."
19 So, again, we're seeing, as we did in the previous article,
20 Mr. Hadzic, you're referring to the -- the native Croats, as you referred
21 to them. These are the more passive ones; correct?
22 A. Well, I said that I don't recall that text, but that is how the
23 journalist reported on it, and we can see that here. But I don't know
24 what was said precisely. But when the journalist said that
25 Ilija Koncarevic was the secretary-general of the government, if he made
1 an error in such a basic important thing then we can imagine what sort of
2 errors he could have made in things of minor importance.
3 Q. You could be correct there, Mr. Hadzic, except, again, for
4 that -- for the Chamber to accept your premise there, they'd have to
5 conclude that it's just a complete coincidence that different couple of
6 journalists are writing the same things down in another article, the one
7 that we looked at previously, the one that your lawyer talked to you
8 about during your direct examination; that's P144. Now we're with 1D826,
9 and so, Mr. Hadzic, I'm putting it to you that this is not a coincidence.
10 If fact, you did say these words. They're consistent with the words
11 you've already said in the other article.
12 A. I am saying now that we never had any problems with the native,
13 peaceful Croats which shared -- who shared our views. And had I been
14 asked and my Serbs from Slavonia and Baranja, the natives, as well as the
15 Croats, native from there, there would never have been any war. The war
16 would never have happened there at all. This is no secret. Even the
17 Croats themselves say that. I used all my powers, everything that I had
18 at my disposal, intellectual, and other powers I expended going to Zagreb
19 attempting to prevent any possible conflicts that might have broken out.
20 I could -- I didn't even assume that it would come to war. War happened
21 independently of me. The Yugoslav army got involved. At that time I
22 provided a statement for the newspapers but at that time nobody ever
23 asked me about anything. Actually, nobody even read that among the
24 population of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. It wasn't even
25 arriving there.
1 Q. Two paragraphs down, there's a reference you've already alluded
2 to, to Mr. Koncarevic. It says:
3 "Speaking about the exchange of prisoners, Ilija Koncarevic said
4 there were problems from the Croatian side, created by ... Seks by not
5 respecting the agreement reached in Borovo Selo."
6 And, again, just so we can all remember, Mr. Hadzic,
7 Ilija Koncarevic, he was your minister of information, or was soon to be
8 your minister of information, since this is not yet 25 September, 1991.
10 A. Could we please read that name again and then remember yourself
11 whether that is correct or not. Because it's not correct.
12 Q. You're right. I'm wrong. Koncarevic was the -- he became on the
13 25th of September the president of the Great National Assembly.
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Here, we see him speaking about the exchange of prisoners, and he
16 refers to Mr. Seks. Could you tell us who Mr. Seks was, please.
17 A. Mr. Seks, at the time, was a representative of the Croatian
18 authorities. I don't know what his function was at the time. Perhaps he
19 was vice-president of the assembly or president of the assembly. But I
20 remember that he was a commissioner for Slavonia and Baranja, appointed
21 by the Croatian government.
22 Q. Do you recall the problems or the issue of the prisoner exchange
23 that Mr. Koncarevic is referring to here?
24 A. I don't remember it precisely. This is something that Koncarevic
25 was in charge with, together with the federal government. Sometimes I
1 would hear from him what was going on, but I didn't have any official
2 information, and I didn't know any details. This was at the level of the
3 JNA and the federal government. Koncarevic was included by the Serb side
4 to make lists of Serbs that were on the Croatian side so that they could
5 request an exchange.
6 Q. These prisoners were held in Beli Manastir? That's what's
7 indicated here.
8 A. I don't know. I really don't know.
9 Q. A few weeks after this -- and this is getting off the point just
10 a bit, you recall the testimony of Ambassador Ahrens who talked about
11 coming to meet with you in Borovo Selo in early September of 1991?
12 A. Yes, I remember. That was evidently about ten days after this
13 article. This was on the 6th or 7th of September.
14 Q. At that time, there were prisoners there at the police station in
15 Borovo Selo; correct?
16 A. I heard that here from Mr. Ahrens.
17 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we tender this into evidence,
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P3221.
21 MR. STRINGER: Could we have tab -- could we have tab 229,
22 Exhibit P2955.2913.
23 Q. Mr. Hadzic, we have referred -- talked about this article already
24 in the cross-examination. I think it was also something in your direct
25 examination. It's an article from 20 September. And in paragraph 3 of
1 the English there's a reference to Mr. Petrovic, the information
2 minister, and that's the part I was asking you about before. Do you
3 remember that?
4 A. I do, yes.
5 Q. And then moving down three paragraphs from there -- and I can
6 give you my hard copy of this if you want to read it. It's a bit better
7 than the last one.
8 A. I would be grateful.
9 Q. Okay. It's the article entitled, "the western borders of
10 Slavonia are an open issue."
11 Do you have that?
12 A. Yes. But the title is: "The western borders of Slavonia are
14 Q. On the bottom of the page of the English version, and for you,
15 Mr. Hadzic, it's going to be the sixth paragraph, there's a quote
16 attributed to you that says:
17 "'People from Herzegovina, Imotska region, and Zagorje who were,
18 however, colonised in our districts by Pavelic during the war will be
19 given return tickets,' said Hadzic. Further to the question, 'Do you
20 have problems with colonised Serbs who are extremists?' Hadzic replied,
21 'No, we do not.'"
22 And then concludes, referring to your statement, that you
23 belonged to a family that had lived in the district for the past 750
25 Here again, Mr. Hadzic, we see a journalist reporting in a
1 publication during the very same period of time, a statement, again,
2 where you refer to people colonised by Pavelic here, them being given
3 return tickets. So, again, this is consistent with your political
4 strategy of trying to distinguish between or divide so-called native
5 Croats from Croats who came in the post-World War II era?
6 A. You could conclude that from this, and that's what I said, that I
7 used that as a sort of political game or platitude.
8 Q. But the fact is a person reading this, particularly in the very
9 insecure and ethnically charged environment in which these statements
10 were being made at the time, someone reading this could indeed conclude
11 that their soon-to-be prime minister is telling them it's okay to drive
12 away people who were descendants of those Herzegovina Croats who arrived
13 after 1941. Isn't it quite likely someone could conclude that it's okay
14 to do that?
15 A. That's not very likely because I really didn't think that, and I
16 didn't implement that. This was a statement calculated as a completely
17 different effect, for a completely different effect, with the intention
18 of bringing a certain section of Croats closer to us.
19 Q. And in the process, driving another section of Croats away,
20 physically away. True?
21 A. No, that would drive them away. They were already on the other
22 side. They were the side that was shooting at our side. They were
23 already on the other side.
24 Q. Well, I would assume that those people who had wives and children
25 and grandparents, family members who were not shooting, and quite
1 possibly Herzegovina Croats and other Croats who weren't participating at
2 all in the conflict, they were all caught up in this as well, weren't
4 A. Of course not. These people who stayed on our side, who did not
5 shoot, they were the same for me as my mother and father and my children.
6 Q. The fact is, Mr. Hadzic, when you or anyone else in a position of
7 leadership sends a signal that it's okay to target a group that is
8 different from yourself, that basically opens the door for targeting all
9 groups that are unlike yourself. And isn't that what turned out in the
11 A. When do you mean, "in the end"? When the Serbs were expelled
12 from the Krajina or at the end of the first part of the war?
13 Q. I'm talking about the Hungarians who were expelled from Baranja,
14 we'll talk about the numbers shortly, Hungarians who were expelled from
15 the Planina area just above Erdut. It just doesn't stop with
16 Herzegovina Croats; right? Once you've opened the door to it, everyone
17 is at risk, and that's what happened.
18 A. No, I apologise. I didn't mean to provoke anyone. But you said
19 "at the end," and that's why I asked which end did you mean. Because in
20 my view, this did not happen at the end. It happened as part of the
21 military clashes during the war. This is why I asked "at the end," when.
22 I didn't mean to be provocative.
23 Q. We're talking about this period August, September, right now.
24 These are the dates of the articles we're talking about. And you say
25 this was happening -- expulsions were happening during the period of the
1 military conflict, but it's also true that the expulsions were happening
2 at the same period when you were making public statements like this.
3 Isn't that true?
4 A. I was not receiving information at the time of any expulsions
5 taking place. If you read carefully the text we read before these last
6 two, I told you I was still waiting for a telephone line in Dalj. At the
7 time we did not even have a phone line at our disposal to be able to
8 work. So it was a nascent government with no conditions in place
10 Q. Mr. Hadzic, if innocent people who were descendants of
11 Herzegovina Croats -- just them, if innocent descendants of
12 Herzegovina Croats were expelled from the SAO SBWS during this period,
13 would you accept responsibility for having contributed to that based upon
14 these public statements you're making against them?
15 A. If someone is expelling innocent people, no matter what their
16 ethnic background, it's a serious crime in my eyes. It was not my
17 intention to set such things in motion, such expulsions. It never even
18 occurred to me.
19 Q. But now looking back on it as we sit here today, if that
20 happened, would you accept responsibility for having contributed to it,
21 based on having said this thing -- these things publicly at the time?
22 A. I said a moment ago and apologise for having made that great
23 mistake for dividing such people. They were just as good as me or the
24 next person. But as I said, no one had even read this in Slavonia and
25 Baranja. There was no impact. There was no electricity, they couldn't
1 follow TV, and newspapers were not being sold. So there was no effect,
2 at least not to the extent you expect it to have. In any case, I believe
3 people should not be distinguished between no matter what they were born
4 like. Croat, Serb, or Hungarian. The people I mentioned here were the
5 people who, at the very beginning of the war, were on the other side,
6 firing at us.
7 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 428, Exhibit P37.
8 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this is the -- from the record of the notes -- sorry,
9 the record of the meeting of the SFRY Presidency held on the
10 2nd of March, 1992. We're going to look at two parts of this. One part
11 you looked at in your direct examination, and another part you did not.
12 We can see from the first page here it's a list of all the people
13 attending. You're there as president now of the RSK. You're accompanied
14 by Mile Paspalj, who is president of the RSK Assembly; Mr. Zecevic, who
15 was the prime minister; Veljko Dzakula was there; your RSK defence
16 minister, Mr. Spanovic; and we can see all the others.
17 MR. STRINGER: If we go to page 58 of the English and bottom of
18 page 78 of the B/C/S.
19 Q. Here we see, Mr. Hadzic, not your statement. We've been talking
20 about things you've said. This is not something that you've said. This
21 is something that was said by the prime minister who accompanied you to
22 this meeting. And in the third paragraph of Mr. Zecevic's remarks, and
23 he is referring to the situation in Benkovac. Now, we haven't spoken
24 about Benkovac yet, but Benkovac is a town that's over in the
25 Knin Krajina; right? It's not in the SBWS but it's, rather, in the
1 Knin Krajina?
2 A. Yes. Can I have the next page in the B/C/S version so as to
3 follow what you were reading.
4 Q. That's right. It does continue over to 78. Sorry, 79. And what
5 he says here is that:
6 "It's not my intention to bother you with specific situation in
7 Benkovac but the -- this town is specific when it comes to refugees.
8 We're thinking only about our refugees. And we would like them to come
9 back and they are welcome here. I'm in panic when I think that 15.000
10 Croats would return to Benkovac and they are mostly peasants emotionally
11 linked to the soil. They are now compacted in Zadar area along the
12 costal area. I fear the excess ignited by our people. This issue is a
13 complex one. The instincts made our people burn anything that belonged
14 to Croats in order to prevent them from coming back to their homes. The
15 truth is that we cannot live together, that we do not want to live with
16 them anymore. But there is also another type of truth, which is
17 recognised by a democratic world, in which claims that these people have
18 the right to return to their homes. I really cannot imagine how we are
19 going to organise life then. I guess we will have to think about it
20 later. I'm picturing it like this, well, gentlemen, the schools will
21 teach Cyrillic and you hate it so much that you will simply have to
22 leave. This is what is awaiting us."
23 Now, Mr. Hadzic, we could go through this document, the rest of
24 it. I'm going to suggest to you -- I'm going to put it to you that you
25 sat passively by as the RSK prime minister said this. You didn't object
1 or distance yourself from it because what he is doing here really is just
2 setting out what was the RSK policy at the time and that was to prevent
3 the Croat people from returning to Benkovac. Isn't that true?
4 A. It is very difficult for me to answer your question the way you
5 put it because you conclude that I sat there passively. I was not the
6 person in charge of the meeting, and it was not my duty to correct each
7 and every speaker. Now, if I thought the way you think, or if I thought
8 the way an attorney thought -- would say that I didn't need deal with it.
9 I don't want to be impolite but I didn't find it necessary to respond to
10 the position of a person who said some words and who goes by a certain
11 first and last name.
12 Q. Do you share the views that were expressed by Mr. Zecevic here?
13 Did you share the view at the time that --
14 A. Of course I do not share his views. Because of his political
15 stance, Mr. Zecevic was replaced soon afterwards, perhaps not immediately
16 but at some point later.
17 Q. Well, let's now talk about what you said when your turn came to
18 speak. And this is also the same exhibit, P37. And now we're going to
19 move to page 68 of the English, page 92 of the B/C/S.
20 And, Mr. Hadzic, this is the part that you were asked to comment
21 on in your direct examination, and I've got some follow-up questions
22 about it.
23 And we can actually move back a few pages, if you'd like.
24 Perhaps you'll accept my suggestion that who's talking here above you,
25 who is speaking before you begin to speak, is Radovan Karadzic, who was
1 also attending this meeting, and this is the passage where there's the
2 discussion about whether it was nebulous to think about Serbs moving in
3 from elsewhere. Do you remember this issue?
4 A. I remember this comment of mine.
5 Q. So, again, Dr. Karadzic is observing or saying:
6 "But who is going to make the Croats from Vojvodina to move to
7 Krajina? These are nebulous ideas seen as abhorrent by the rest of the
8 world, though India and Pakistan did exactly the same thing."
9 He goes on to say:
10 "It is rather questionable if anything like that would be
11 feasible in Europe at the moment. I mentioned this only to make you
12 cognizant of their way of thinking and of their hopes. Their greatest
13 hopes are invested in your gradual migration as you will not be organised
14 enough and thus enable to hold on down there."
15 And this is where you say:
16 "There is nothing nebulous in it. The Serbs from Zagreb should
17 resettle, as well as those from Belgrade, and it is out of the question
19 Mr. Hadzic, we've been talking a lot of about Croats and other
20 non-Serbs going out. It was also part of the plan and the policy,
21 actually, to resettle Serbs into the RSK from other parts, not because
22 they necessarily have been driven away, but, actually, just to, again,
23 solidify and to consolidate Serb demographic control over all areas of
24 the RSK. Wasn't that your policy? Resettlement: Serbs in; Croats out.
25 A. It was not my policy. Perhaps it was interpreted slightly
1 differently as if you said that the Serbs left Croatia voluntarily, that
2 they had not been expelled. I simply wanted to ask you if it is your
3 position in these proceedings?
4 Q. Our position is that it was RSK policy to resettle Serbs into --
5 sorry, to resettle Serbs into areas controlled by the RSK and by the
6 SBWS. Among those Serbs being resettled were unquestionably Serbs driven
7 out of other areas of Croatia such as Western Slavonia.
8 A. Thank you. It is clear now.
9 As regard this is sentence, I was interrupted and did not
10 continue. Then Sejdo Bajramovic took the floor. I said that it was
11 nebulous because it already happened, the Serbs had already been expelled
12 from Zagreb and they were supposed to resettle in Belgrade, according to
13 the Croatian plan at least, and that the Serbs from this area could not
14 be driven out. There was no mention of that. A Serb from our territory
15 would not resettle in Belgrade. That's what I was trying to explain.
16 This discussion was not only about Serbs but Croats as well. I said that
17 this had already happened to the Serbs. That this process had been completed
18 by then. That the Serbs had left the large cities of Croatia and that
19 was not something that we had to decide about. It was already 1992.
20 Q. I'm going to put it to you, Mr. Hadzic, that in fact what you're
21 saying here, what you're defending as something that is not nebulous, is
22 in fact a policy that goes back to the very earliest part of 1991 when
23 you were associated even with the SNC, when it was about firstly
24 delineating borders, and, secondly, moving populations in order to
25 separate Serbs from Croats. And if we fast forward now to this meeting
1 in March of, 1992, about 14 -- 13, 14 months later, it's the same policy.
2 And that's what you're referring to here, isn't it? Continuation of
3 establishing a border and then moving populations, exchanging them, in
4 order to separate the people.
5 A. No, you are completely off. I simply responded to Karadzic's
6 words. I said that it was not a point of discussion because the Serbs
7 had already been expelled from large towns and went to Belgrade. They
8 did not come to Krajina. They did not come to the area. So it has
9 nothing to do with what you just said.
10 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 705, P2327.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Hadzic, before I ask you about -- well, if we could just
12 scroll to the next page of the B/C/S, please.
13 This is an interview with you as president of the RSK entitled,
14 "Osijek shall be Serbian." And before I ask you about what's contained
15 in it and we could enlarge it, if necessary. The bottom right-hand
16 corner of what you're looking at, Mr. Hadzic, can you see the date? Can
17 you tell us what the date of this publication is.
18 A. The 17th of September, 1993.
19 Q. And now perhaps if we can zoom out a bit just so that you can see
20 more of the article generally.
21 Do you recall this interview? Do you recall having spoken to
22 this person in September of 1993?
23 A. I do not. And I can't see the name of the journalist.
24 Q. Let's take a look at a couple of parts of this and then -- and in
25 fact my version of this is bigger, if you'd like to have it.
1 A. I would appreciate that.
2 Q. What I'd like to take you to, Mr. Hadzic, is on page 2 of the
3 English. You were asked a question. The question is:
4 "You think that there shall be no more saboteurs?
5 Then you answer. Your answer begins:
6 "No, there shall only be some exchanges of fire along the
8 Do you see that?
9 A. Can you tell me at least approximately where it is in Serbian? I
10 was reading the text so I wasn't listening carefully. Sorry.
11 Q. It's the fourth question you were asked:
12 "You think there shall be no more saboteurs?"
13 A. I can see it. Yes, I can see it now.
14 Q. And in your answer there you say:
15 "There shall only be some exchanges of fire along [sic] the
17 And then continuing:
18 "All we need to do is to correct the border to Eastern Slavonia
19 so that Osijek and Vinkovci can become a part of the Serbian state."
20 And, again, you were asked under what conditions. And your
22 "It would be done in such a manner that Serbs from Rijeka, Pula,
23 Zagreb, and other Croatian cities would move to Osijek and Vinkovci.
24 "Q. What would Croatia receive in return for Osijek and
1 And you say:
2 "Apartments, houses, farms, vast wealth owned by urban Serbs who
3 left Croatia already. 2- or 300.000 people."
4 And your next answer you say:
5 "Yes, I'm talking about a peacetime solution, the reasonable
6 solution. At the moment it is 99 per cent unachievable. This is why I
7 think that we shall get Osijek and Vinkovci in an escalation of conflict
8 initiated by the Croatian side."
9 So, despite what you've said repeatedly about these resettlements
10 being of a temporary nature, what we're seeing here is actually what you
11 had in mind as a long-term permanent solution to what you saw as the
12 problem, and your solution was to simply resettle Serbs from other areas
13 of Croatia and to separate Croatian and Serb people from each other.
14 That's your solution to the problem, as you see it, isn't it?
15 A. Of course not. I will not ask you whether it is really your opinion
16 because I don't want to appear provocative, but at that time, in 1993, in
17 Rijeka and Zagreb there were no Serbs left. And even if there were any
18 Serbs, it didn't even occur to them to move there. I don't remember this
19 interview, nor this journalist. I have never heard of him, and I don't
20 think I have ever given this interview. If I did, it must have been part
21 of a pre-election campaign or trying to divert or deter a Croatian attack
22 that I was convinced was forthcoming. I just wanted to make a sort of
23 hollow threat, trying to protect the people of Slavonia and Baranja –
24 the Republic of Serbian Krajina. It was not only unreal, it was crazy.
25 Osijek alone as the city had a larger population than the entire Serbian
1 District. As for all Serbs coming from Zagreb and Rijeka, it would not
2 have been even up to 10 per cent of the Osijek population. It simply
3 wasn't an option that was discussed.
4 I'm not sure I gave this interview. If I did, I was trying to deter
5 Croatia from attacking us, threatening that we could then take Osijek,
6 but we neither wanted that, nor would we have been able to do it. And
7 even when the JNA could have taken Osijek in 1991, of course it did not
8 take it, why would it take Osijek – well, and at the time I could not
9 exert any influence on the JNA in any case.
10 MR. STRINGER: I'd like to go to the last exhibit on this, Mr. President.
11 It would be really a great breaking point if I could just get through the
12 last exhibit because it then moves into a whole new subject matter.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: I would need a few -- a few minutes -- for a few
14 administrative matters, Mr. Stringer, but go ahead.
15 MR. STRINGER: Maybe I'm pushing my luck because it's a videotape.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: If it's really wrapping up an important issue, I
17 think we better go on with it.
18 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. This would be tab 1000,
19 P2886. And what we can do here is start -- I'm interested in the text that
20 begins at page 4 of the transcript which is at time code 3 minutes, 27.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We have page 4. We will
22 simply have to find the right part on the page.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. STRINGER: We're just about there.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Journalist: A moment ago, you
2 mentioned Republika Srpska. How do we co-operate with them?
3 "Goran Hadzic: Serbian people in these territories must live
4 together. Practically speaking, they must live in one state; formally
5 speaking, it is of the least importance how this state is going to be
6 called. After the referendum here and in Republika Srpska, it is clear
7 that we will live unified and together. We have to agree everything with
8 Republika Srpska, practical issues related to the unity, and after that
9 the formal issues as well. In addition to the practical issues that are
10 already being dealt with by unified parties, we expect that the
11 Serbian Democratic Party of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and of
12 Republika Srpska will soon be unified.
13 "Journalist: Today you attended a meeting of the Regional Board
14 of the Serbian Democratic Party. What are your impressions?
15 "Goran Hadzic: I am satisfied with the work of the party in this
16 area, where we are now, especially in Baranja, Slavonia, and
17 Western Srem. I am not satisfied about other parts of Krajina where some
18 individual mistakes have been done, like setting up of fractions.
19 However, we are on our way to unify all the fractions and to build up
20 again a strong party of the Serbian people. I can tell you that with
21 full responsibility that I am sure we will realise that because none of
22 all the leaders of all individuals who have, in a way, chosen to follow
23 another direction, did not turn away politically from the final goal, the
24 self-determination. This the final goal, that the Croatian and Serbian
25 people don't live together. So all our other disputes should be
1 considered as our internal matters and people should not worry about
2 that. However, the people are worried, but there is no reason for that.
3 I mean, we are unified with regards to the final goal of our Serbian
5 "Journalist: Mr. President, you are the president of the
6 Republic of the Serbian Krajina. Do you have something you would like to
7 tell your people?
8 "Goran Hadzic: Well, I can tell you that we have come quite some
9 distance on this journey and it is evident that the objective has been
10 accomplished. The Serbian people will live in one state and that's what
11 we want for other nations as well, to live together. And we will strive
12 to that goal that the Croatian people will live together as well as the
13 Slovenian. Muslims will receive their small state and everybody will be
15 "Journalist: But in the case of aggression against our
16 territory, what will happen to them?
17 "Goran Hadzic: In the case of aggression against our territory,
18 it is clear that Croatia cannot fight even against the
19 Republic of Serbian Krajina, so in case they would choose to fight us and
20 Republika Srpska, I think the Croats in Zagreb should think carefully
21 about the place where to evacuate."
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. Just really briefly, Mr. Hadzic. What you said here was actually
24 your view, and it was the policy of the RSK, and that's that the final
25 goal that the Serbian and Croatian people don't live together. This is
1 in 1993. It was the goal from the beginning, and it was the goal in 1993
2 as well, wasn't it?
3 A. That was not the goal from the beginning and in 1993, and I said
4 that in the election campaign. We wanted to stay in Yugoslavia. That
5 was our goal, but I knew already then that Yugoslavia had formed a
6 separate constitution. I could not say that publicly, and the way I did
7 so I was saying what I had to say. But it was already clear in which
8 direction we were moving. And that was not the direction that I was
9 talking about just now.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Hadzic.
11 MR. STRINGER: That would be my last question for today,
12 Your Honour, but not for the cross-examination.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
14 Before we adjourn, I would like the parties to give us an
15 indication, if they can, for planning purposes of the remaining time
16 Mr. Hadzic will be on the witness-stand after the recess.
17 Mr. Stringer, you are now at 17 hours cross. Do you have any
18 indication to give us?
19 MR. STRINGER: So, in theory, I think that would leave us with
20 about 14 or 15 hours, which my sincere hope would be not to have to use
21 all of that. But to be honest, Your Honour, I have -- I cannot say for
22 sure when we're back in court on the 18th of August, whether what I've
23 prepared at that time will -- will go for 15 hours or whether it would go
24 for 12. I think that it's fair to assume that with the redirect
25 examination, assuming there would be re-direct, that we could count on
1 filling that first week back. But I would certainly strive to time it so
2 that we do not extend into the next week.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, do you have any indication about
4 eventual re-direct.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We will have re-direct. That is certain. But I
6 cannot say my estimate at this point of time before the Prosecution
7 complete his cross-examination.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Fair enough.
9 Mr. Hadzic, the Court will adjourn for three weeks now. For the
10 duration of the recess, you remain a witness and under oath. You
11 therefore cannot discuss your testimony with anyone, except as provided
12 for in our access to counsel decision of 2 July, 2014. So the parameters
13 of our access to counsel decision remain in effect.
14 I wish everyone in and around the courtroom either a happy
15 vacation period or a productive non-sitting time, or, if it so happens,
17 One last thing for which I'm asking everyone's attention. After
18 the recess, the Court will resume not on Monday but on Tuesday,
19 19 August. But the Court will, nevertheless, sit four days that week,
20 which means from Tuesday till Friday, Friday included.
21 Thank you. Court adjourned.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.08 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day
24 of August, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.