Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3435

 1                          Friday, 4 June 2004

 2   [Closed session][Parts of Closed Session made public by order of Trial

 3   Chamber]                       [The accused entered court]

 4                          --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.

 5            JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to everyone in this courtroom and also

 6    to those who are assisting us just outside the courtroom.

 7    Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

 8            THE REGISTRAR:  Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus

 9    Momcilo Krajisnik.

10            JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.

11            Before we continue the examination of Mr. Babic, the Chamber

12    confirms reception of a letter dated the 4th of June, 2004, although we

13    have read it in 30 seconds, the Chamber will consider during the next

14    break whether it will deal with the matter at this very moment or not.  We

15    still have to spend more time on it.

16            Then the Chamber has received the Defence motion to postpone the

17    cross-examination of Milan Babic until after his sentencing, a very short

18    motion, which, as far as the arguments are concerned, refers to the

19    submissions made in respect of the testimony of Mr. Deronjic.  The relief

20    sought is first of all the cross-examination of the Prosecution witness

21    would be postponed until after his sentencing, and a second relief sought

22    is the Defence seeks to make oral submissions on this matter.  The Chamber

23    has deliberated first of all on the second relief sought this morning and

24    the Defence is granted ten minutes to further elaborate on it.  The

25    Chamber has kept in mind that, first of all, the contents of the motion in

Page 3436

 1    respect of Mr. Deronjic and the argument exchanged, also the decision

 2    taken in this respect, the Chamber notes that the motion does not submit

 3    any difference between the -- I would say the Deronjic situation and the

 4    present situation with Mr. Babic.  The Chamber also noted that where, in

 5    Deronjic, it was the testimony to be postponed, here it is just

 6    cross-examination, and the motion has been filed after the

 7    examination-in-chief of Mr. Babic had started.  The Chamber, therefore,

 8    gives ten minutes to the Defence to orally make further submissions into

 9    the matter, and the Chamber expects the Defence to not introduce new

10    elements but, rather, elaborate on what is in the motion at this moment.

11            Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.

12            MR. STEWART:  Yes.  Well, Your Honour, thank you very much for

13    that opportunity.  When Your Honour asked me not to introduce new

14    elements, on the other hand, I assume that Your Honour wishes me to say

15    something new rather than simply repeat what's been said before, otherwise

16    there's not much value.

17            JUDGE ORIE:  Use your ten minutes as you deem fit.

18            MR. STEWART:  Yes.  Thank you, Your Honour.  So far as the

19    differences between -- I won't repeat any of what I -- we said in relation

20    to Mr. Deronjic.  Your Honours have that, but it is there.  So far as the

21    differences between the situation of Mr. Babic and Mr. Deronjic are

22    concerned, first of all, the point that we are only seeking to postpone

23    cross-examination.  The reason we are only seeking to postpone

24    cross-examination in relation to Mr. Babic is because we have already had

25    the examination-in-chief.  So we can't postpone that any more.  That

Page 3437

 1    really goes back to a different question, which is why we did not bring

 2    this application before in relation to Mr. Babic.  Therefore, covering

 3    both examination-in-chief and cross-examination.  There are two reasons

 4    for that.

 5            One is a simple practical one, which is, even though the motion is

 6    very short, that's not the primary reason.  We have been absolutely

 7    overwhelmed with things to do.  But that's not really essentially the

 8    reason.  The point is this, Your Honour:  We -- the situation has kept

 9    changing this week.  We -- in effect, we have been trying to understand

10    and see from the bits of information which have been made available to the

11    Defence, in effect, I'll put it bluntly, Your Honour, what is going on. We

12    have been -- as we've indicated before, we and Mr. Krajisnik as well, we

13    have been extremely puzzled as to exactly why events have been happening

14    in a particular sequence, why a particular hearing in another case is

15    listed for hearing, announced to be taking place one day, then the next

16    day or even the same day I believe sometimes it's announced that the

17    previous statements was inoperative and it's all going to be different.

18    We've been very, very puzzled by that.

19            We now simply, on the basis of the submissions we made in relation

20    to Mr. Deronjic, on the Defence side, we no longer see that there is any

21    good reason whatever for Mr. Babic's evidence to be heard before he is

22    sentenced.  And we simply reiterate our submissions in the Deronjic case

23    to this extent:  That our submission was there that unless there is some

24    significant practical obstacle to having a sensitive witness, sensitive in

25    relation to the content of this case, giving his evidence when he is freed

Page 3438

 1    of any possible incentive in relation to his imminent sentencing, then

 2    that opportunity should be taken.  The fact that it cannot be taken in

 3    relation to examination-in-chief is in a sense not quite so serious,

 4    because, after all, the whole point of cross-examination is that a witness

 5    can qualify, withdraw, modify, anything at all that he has said in

 6    examination-in-chief under cross-examination, because it's not until he

 7    has completed his evidence that that is his evidence.  So most of what is

 8    achieved by -- I wouldn't go so far as to say all, but a very great part

 9    of what is achieved by deferring a witness's evidence so that he is

10    relieved of any possible incentive in relation to the question of

11    sentencing is achieved if that happens certainly before the beginning of

12    his cross-examination, and to some extent it's achieved if he is able to

13    complete his evidence at all after he is sentenced.

14            In the present circumstances, it seemed, for example, that in the

15    light of announcements made in the last 48 hours, I think it is,

16    Your Honour, that there wasn't, in fact, any significant practical

17    obstacle to Mr. Babic's sentencing taking place soon.  It was announced

18    yet again on the 2nd of June, which is two days ago, it was announced by a

19    spokesman for the Tribunal that Mr. Babic's sentencing would take place on

20    Monday morning.  That was withdrawn I think later the same day.  But in

21    the light of the comments that Your Honour made and the explanation that

22    Your Honour very kindly gave to us earlier this week as to what the

23    practical difficulties were in relation to that scheduling, it seemed that

24    against those comments, that the position in the other case, and of course

25    the thing is when I'm addressing this Trial Chamber, that is another case,

Page 3439

 1    that that other Trial Chamber, which of course is in fact Your Honours,

 2    the three of you, but that other Trial Chamber apparently was in a

 3    position and there was no difficulty about Mr. Babic's sentencing taking

 4    place soon.

 5            We do understand, and we have always respected and, with respect

 6    to, supported the practical questions in relation to the immediate

 7    scheduling, for example, on Tuesday.  We understand that fully and we

 8    don't create any difficulty or objection or suggestion that there's

 9    anything wrong about that.  That's perfectly natural, reasonable.

10    However, it is apparent that there isn't, and in effect never has been,

11    any serious question of any long deferral in relation to the sentencing of

12    Mr. Babic.

13            We have also become significantly troubled by what is emerged in

14    the last couple of days in this court in relation to possibilities of

15    refusal on the part of Mr. Babic to give evidence.  The Court expressed

16    strong opposition, in effect, if I may put it that way, but there was

17    strong dissatisfaction with the notion that any witness might say that he

18    might refuse to give evidence on an occasion yesterday.  The Court didn't

19    make any such comment earlier when it was indicated that Mr. Babic might

20    in slightly different circumstances simply refuse to continue with his

21    evidence.  The fact that on two occasions now we have had suggestions that

22    Mr. Babic might in some circumstances refuse to give evidence does add to

23    the Defence's concerns as to the position of Mr. Babic as compared to

24    Mr. Deronjic.  And one of the things that we would distinctly ask to know

25    is whether there is, in fact, any concern at all on the Prosecution's part

Page 3440

 1    or the Trial Chamber's part that if Mr. Babic is sentenced, that he will

 2    not then willingly return to give evidence.  Because it must be a simple

 3    fact whether the Prosecution have that concern or not, and whether the

 4    Trial Chamber have that concern or not.  Because if that concern is there

 5    at all, then we submit the Defence should know that there is that concern.

 6    Because that is a highly relevant factor, because the very fact that there

 7    is that concern itself indicates the reasons why it is dangerous for a

 8    witness in Mr. Babic's position to complete his evidence and have it

 9    finalised, subject -- he can always be recalled, of course.  The Trial

10    Chamber always has that discretion.  But on the face of it, have his

11    evidence completed before he is sentenced.  If there is that concern, it

12    has a strong tendency to reinforce at the very objection which was made on

13    the Deronjic motion, which is repeated here, and it becomes stronger.  So

14    we do certainly ask to know that concern.  If we are told that, frankly,

15    by the Prosecution and the Trial Chamber, of course we would respect

16    frankness.  I don't mean any disrespect there. But if we are told that is

17    no part of anybody's concern, at least that eliminates one element from

18    the whole consideration.  It doesn't remove at the basic point that when

19    in relation to such -- an apparently important witness, we'll all make or

20    submissions in due course when his evidence is completed, as to how

21    important his evidence is.  But it's quite plain that the nature of the

22    topic and the nature of his evidence and the way that Mr. Babic has

23    approached it, it's quite plain that he is regarded by the Prosecution as

24    a significant element of the case against Mr. Krajisnik.

25            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Stewart, may I remind you that there's one minute

Page 3441

 1    left.

 2            MR. STEWART:  Well, Your Honour, I said I would keep to the ten

 3    minutes and I will keep to the ten minutes and in fact may I offer

 4    Your Honours 45 seconds as a present from the Defence this morning.

 5            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Tieger, any need to respond?

 6            MR. TIEGER:  Perhaps simply, Your Honours, to note the

 7    Prosecutor's submission that the various factors raised by Mr. Stewart do

 8    not meaningfully distinguish this matter from the relevant circumstances

 9    of the Deronjic case, and in fact the belated filing of this motion,

10    underlines the reason for a meaningful distinction between those two

11    circumstances if the practice followed in the Deronjic situation and that

12    should be completed here is to -- if we're to deviate from that.  So I

13    don't think sufficient distinctions have been drawn, and there's no basis

14    for this motion.

15            JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Tieger.  The Chamber will withdraw. We

16    have deliberated this morning on the motion before, having heard the

17    further submissions of the parties.  But you would not be surprised if we

18    speculated on what we might hear, so therefore, it might not take that

19    much time to reach a decision.  We'll withdraw and the parties are

20    instructed to remain available to restart soon.

21                          --- Break taken at 9.22 a.m.

22                          --- On resuming at 9.41 a.m.

23            JUDGE ORIE:  The Chamber will give an oral ruling on the motion

24    filed by the Defence yesterday.  The motion, as far as the relief sought

25    under number 1, is denied.  A decision will follow, giving, in writing,

Page 3442

 1    the reasons for the rejection of the motion.  The Chamber makes,

 2    nevertheless, a few observations in respect of it.

 3            First of all, the Chamber expects the Chamber in the Babic case,

 4    and this Chamber can know, to give its judgement on the exclusive basis of

 5    the material presented to it in that case, and hearings have been closed.

 6    That's the first observation.

 7            The second observation is that the matters pointed at by the

 8    Defence, which raised some questions that these matters were considered by

 9    the Chamber, and the Chamber is in a position to establish that there is

10    not a relation between those questions and concerns which would cause and

11    would justify the delay of the cross-examination of Mr. Babic.

12            The third observation is that the Chamber has considered the

13    relatively late filing, and the reasons given for it by the Defence, when

14    reaching its decision.

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21            This is the decision and the observations.  The written decision

22    will follow.  And we'll now continue the hearing of evidence.

23            Mr. Stewart, is the Defence ready to start cross-examining Mr.

24    Babic?

25            MR. STEWART:  Yes, we are, Your Honour.  I do have a couple of --

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Page 3444

 1    just a couple of observations to make before Mr. Babic comes into court.

 2    I'm grateful for assurances contained in what Your Honour has just said.

 3    In return, I would also like to offer this assurance as to -- the Trial

 4    Chamber please understands that the filing of the motion was not related

 5    or motivated in any way by a simple wish to defer cross-examination of

 6    Mr. Babic for practical reasons.  We would make those submissions frankly

 7    and independently, and will if necessary make them independently in

 8    relation to lack of preparation and so on.  That was not part of the

 9    motivation in relation to that.

10            JUDGE ORIE:  Let me tell you, Mr. Stewart, that the Chamber

11    doesn't need this assurance.

12            MR. STEWART:  I'm very grateful for that, Your Honour.  I do

13    appreciate that very much.

14            Your Honour, the other matter is a practical point which is

15    that -- that was a practical point.  It's a point related to Mr. Babic's

16    testimony.  We -- after the exchange yesterday and the decision in

17    relation to 92 bis, we just reminded ourselves on the Defence side that at

18    various points in his written statement, which is in evidence, Mr. Babic

19    says -- I'll just pick a random example, really.  It's in the last

20    paragraph, paragraph 15.  "I spoke in my testimony in the Milosevic trial

21    about Mladic", and in the previous paragraph, "I spoke in my testimony in

22    Milosevic".   We understand the position to be that although his statement

23    referred to that, those bits of his Milosevic trial testimony which are

24    not in, that in effect, those phrases in his statement should in effect be

25    excised and treated as not there because he's given his evidence orally on

Page 3445

 1    the matters which Mr. Tieger explored with him and the particular limited

 2    number of pages are in.

 3            JUDGE ORIE:  The Chamber understands the position to be that if he

 4    says:  "I testified about these issues in the Milosevic trial", that since

 5    those portions are not tendered and not in evidence, that it's limited to

 6    the mere fact that he testified on these issues in the Milosevic trial,

 7    whatever the relevance of that would be.  So if you would contest that,

 8    you could limited yourself to say:  Did you testify on those issues?  Or

 9    we put it to you that you did not testify on those issues.  And then he

10    could say, for example:  I did that on pages so-and-so and so.  Because

11    that's what remains in evidence.

12            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, that -- with respect, what Your Honour

13    has just said a hundred per cent reflects our understanding, but we wanted

14    it confirm.  I can also assure Your Honour that the likelihood of time

15    being spent in cross-examination by my challenging Mr. Babic as to whether

16    he did talk about a particular topic in the Milosevic trial is about 0 per

17    cent.  So we wish to assure you on that.

18            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Tieger, I did not give you an opportunity to

19    respond to it, but it seems clear to me that at least the Chamber, by

20    reducing the 1.100 pages to 6, that means that the rest is not in

21    evidence.  So the only meaning of such -- of those parts of the statement

22    is that he did.

23            MR. TIEGER:  No.  There was no need for the Prosecution to

24    respond, Your Honours.

25            JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

Page 3446

 1            MR. STEWART:  May I simply then also -- sorry.  Just turning on my

 2    microphone just to say thank you for that, Your Honour.  Simply to say

 3    this, yes, in answer to Your Honour's question, yes, I am ready to proceed

 4    with cross-examination of Mr. Babic.  I do simply want to say this,

 5    though, Your Honour, first:  I'm not ready in the sense of what I regard

 6    as normal, satisfactory state of preparation and readiness to examine a

 7    witness.  In my and -- well, really the whole of my team's professional

 8    judgement, we are not in that adequate state of readiness.  But I did say

 9    to the Tribunal that I would begin Mr. Babic's cross-examination this

10    morning.  I did say that we would do our very best professionally to be

11    ready to do that.  We have complied with one of those.  We are about to

12    comply with the other of those.  We will meet our assurances and

13    undertakings.  It was expressly mentioned Your Honour, and the bridge that

14    we have to cross -- if at any point I do feel that I simply ought not, in

15    fairness to Mr. Krajisnik, to simply continue without any observation or

16    contesting of that position, then, Your Honour, it will be my professional

17    duty to say so, and I will say so.  And then we -- that is a bridge that

18    when we come to it, if we come to it, the Trial Chamber then no doubt will

19    cross hand in hand with all of us.

20            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Whether there are any bridges on the road,

21    we'll hear that from you and we'll see that.

22            Then the security is invited to accompany Mr. Babic into the

23    courtroom.

24                          [The witness entered court]

25            JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning, Mr. Babic.  We had some procedural

Page 3447

 1    issues, so that kept you waiting for 50 minutes.  Mr. Babic, may I remind

 2    you that you are still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at

 3    the beginning of your testimony.  I would like to add to that that, since,

 4    of course, this Chamber and the Prosecution and the Defence and yourself

 5    are aware of your present position where you have been found guilty in

 6    your own case and that you're still awaiting sentencing, that the solemn

 7    declaration is the only basis on which you should answer questions put to

 8    you, especially since you're now beginning to answer questions by the

 9    Defence.  I just wanted to remind you that this is what is expected from

10    you as a witness.  I hope you do understand that and that it's of -- it

11    would not even be of any use to do anything else.  Is that understood,

12    Mr. Babic?

13            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  It is clear.

14            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Stewart, please proceed.

15                          WITNESS:  MILAN BABIC [Resumed]

16                          [Witness answered through interpreter]

17                          Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:

18       Q.   Mr. Babic, good morning.

19       A.   Good morning.

20       Q.   Mr. Babic, I'm going to ask you quite frequently about parts of

21    your evidence that you have already given over the last couple of days in

22    this trial, and I will refer from time to time specifically to passages of

23    evidence.  On the whole, they will be short passages.  I don't believe you

24    will have any real difficulty, Mr. Babic, in understanding and following

25    what I'm putting to you by way of what it is you've already said.  If, of

Page 3448

 1    course, you find at any time, well, it's difficult to absorb what I'm

 2    saying without seeing in front of you what you have said, and that will

 3    have to be interpreted for you, I think, then please inform the Trial

 4    Chamber, and generally, of course, if at any time my questions to you are

 5    not clear, then I wish you to -- not to try to answer them while they're

 6    not clear, but to ask specifically for them to be clarified, because that

 7    does sometimes happen.  But I will, as the phrase goes, do my best.

 8            Mr. Babic, you -- I'm also going to refer to some passages in the

 9    statement, which is part of your evidence that you made on various dates,

10    most recently in March of this year.

11            In your statement, and also in your evidence -- and this is at

12    page 26, for everybody else's record, pages 26 and 27 of yesterday's --

13    it's at the moment the uncorrected transcript.  Of course, that's what we

14    have available currently.  You -- in fact, it goes on to page 27, the

15    particular point.  You said this, and I'll just quote you your statement.

16    It's a short passage, paragraph 11.  You say the "misuse of history went

17    further than World War II.  Many of the Bosnian Serb leaders referred to

18    Muslims as Turks.  This expression was used in Bosnia.  This is a term

19    that goes farther than the simple derogatory sense and expresses a

20    hostility rooted in history."

21            The -- you just mentioned this, really, in your evidence, oral

22    evidence, and I don't believe that what you said really added anything to

23    that.  Do you suggest, first of all, that this is a term that is ever used

24    by Mr. Krajisnik?

25       A.   I spoke generally about that.  I do not remember Mr. Krajisnik

Page 3449

 1    using that term.  But I spoke in a general sense.  A lot of people used

 2    that term.  A lot of people from the leadership of Bosnian Serbs.

 3       Q.   Such as who?

 4       A.   Most often, I could hear it from Dr. Vukic.  Perhaps others as

 5    well, but I cannot recall individual instances now.  Right now, what comes

 6    to mind is Dr. Vukic, from Banja Luka.  He used to use that term "Turk"

 7    very frequently.

 8       Q.   It's a term -- we have heard some evidence in this case in the

 9    course of which it got shouted out from a crowd at a public meeting.  Is

10    that a situation in which you are familiar with having heard the use of

11    the word or heard of the use of the word "Turks" in a derogatory sense?

12       A.   I seldom attended large gatherings in Bosnia.  Therefore, I do not

13    know about that.  I attended two or three gatherings in Bosnia in 1990.

14    One was in Crni Lug, in Grahovo, and in Drvar.  Those were public

15    gatherings, and I do not remember such terms used there.

16       Q.   Are you aware of any public statements in which Mr. Krajisnik has

17    used such a term?

18       A.   No.

19       Q.   And you remember no private occasion on which Mr. Krajisnik has

20    used such a term; is that correct?

21       A.   I do not remember any particular occasion, specific occasion.

22       Q.   Well, I'm going to press you, but on that, Mr. Babic, just explain

23    what I mean here.  You might not remember any specific occasion on which

24    you have had porridge for breakfast, but be sure that you have had

25    sometimes porridge for breakfast.  So I'm going to press you to answer my

Page 3450

 1    question, put it in this form:  Do you say that you have ever heard

 2    Mr. Krajisnik use that term?

 3       A.   I cannot recall Mr. Krajisnik using that term.

 4       Q.   In your statement at -- it's paragraph 9, and again, I don't think

 5    I need trouble you to have the statement in front of you.  It's a very

 6    short, fairly simple point.  You said that:  "Krajisnik, Mr. Krajisnik,

 7    was a strong proponent of replacing the western variant of Serbian speech

 8    with the Eastern.  When he came to Knin in 1993, when I was mayor, he

 9    inquired why we hadn't made the transition.  The apparent purpose was to

10    have the Serbs separate in all ways, including their speech.  Along with

11    others in Knin, I considered this foolish and unnecessary."

12            Now, my case manager, who knows everything, has told me more than

13    I ever thought I would hear or know about the language issues, but I --

14    the position is this:  That there's something called Ekavica; is that

15    correct?

16       A.   It is called Ekavian dialect in the Serbo-Croatian language.  So

17    Ekavica is a more vulgar term than Ekavian dialect.

18       Q.   Well, I apologise for that.  Is this what we're talking about,

19    then?  You've given it the correct label, apparently.  That's what we're

20    talking about, are we, that Mr. Krajisnik was a proponent of?  Is that

21    correct?

22       A.   Yes.

23       Q.   It's what you speak, Mr. Babic, isn't it?

24       A.   Currently, I'm mixing dialects, because I was born in an area

25    where Ikavian dialect was used, then I was schooled in Ekavian.  So it's a

Page 3451

 1    mixture.  When I speak to my mother, I most frequently used Ikavian

 2    dialect because that's what she is accustomed to.

 3       Q.   Mr. Babic, very interesting topic.  I'm sure the Trial Chamber

 4    don't want to know today a huge amount about the details, so I won't go

 5    any further there.  But I would like to ask you, then:  What is -- what's

 6    the point that you were making?  Because there must be one in paragraph 9

 7    of your statement?  In other words, so what if Mr. Krajisnik is keen on

 8    this particular language issue.

 9       A.   In my view, this is one aspect of the issue advocated by

10    Mr. Krajisnik.  So it's one aspect, one dimension of it, which, in my

11    view, has a role to separate, to draw a line of division, more

12    psychologically in a way.  Basically, the aim is to make a distinction

13    between people using two different variants.  Mr. Krajisnik wanted to

14    unify the Serbian language among the Serbian people, on one hand, so that

15    there shouldn't be any problems in communication.  Because this is the

16    same language, even though there are two dialects.  So in a linguistic

17    sense, there was this movement to unify the language, and this issue has

18    existed both in Serbian and in Croatian for decades.  In my view,

19    Mr. Krajisnik advocated the unification of the Serbian linguistic

20    standards, and he wanted the Ekavian variant to become dominant one.  This

21    is one side of it.

22            And another side that existed in Bosnia, that was also advocated

23    by Mr. Krajisnik was to separate this group from other groups, such as,

24    for example, Croats, who also used Ekavian dialect, just like Serbs in

25    Bosnia and Herzegovina.  So this dimension of introducing Ekavian dialect

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Page 3453

 1    in Bosnia and Herzegovina among the Serbs there had also this aspect aimed

 2    at separating this group from other linguistic groups in Bosnia and

 3    Herzegovina.  So this is -- this other dimension, this other aspect that

 4    is contained in my written statement.  In my view, this other component,

 5    this other aspect, is not a communicational one, but rather psychological

 6    and emotional one.  This is how I see this attempt to separate people,

 7    more on the psychological dimension than on any others.

 8            I believe this to be ridiculous and unnatural, because Serbs in

 9    Bosnia and Herzegovina traditionally have always spoken Ikavian dialect,

10    and I know this because a lot of people saw this attempt as an unnatural

11    imposition of something that doesn't come natural to them.  This is why we

12    refused this in Knin, because we found this to be unnatural attempt to

13    change linguistic standards which were deeply rooted in Krajina and in

14    Knin.

15       Q.   Well, you've made it clear in your statement, and that's

16    reinforced by what you've just said, Mr. Babic, that you considered, the

17    phrase used in your statement, Mr. Krajisnik's position and attitude to

18    this to be foolish and unnecessary, and that's clear from what you've just

19    said.  But do you say -- is it any more than that?  Is that what you're

20    saying?  Does it go beyond being foolish and unnecessary?

21       A.   I said that there were two dimensions.  One was to unify

22    linguistic standards among all Serbs, which goes along with a political

23    position of Mr. Krajisnik on unitarisation [phoen] and unification of all

24    Serbs. So this is just one element of that unitarisation of Serbs.

25            The other one, the other dimension, is, in my view, inappropriate

Page 3454

 1    and detrimental to international relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

 2    which is this attempt to separate and to distinguish one group from other

 3    groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This is a separatist tendency, which is

 4    not only ridiculous and foolish but has also much stronger political

 5    connotations.

 6       Q.   Perhaps I should make it clear, because there's a very difficult

 7    one that when what gets translated into English is as "international"

 8    there and I understand the interpreters' difficulties means "between

 9    nations", that talking about it in between nations within the country

10    concerned?

11            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  In -- when listening, it was inter, and then a

12    small pause, and then national.

13            MR. STEWART:  That's right.  For transcript readers in due course,

14    I wanted to clarify that.

15       Q.   In your evidence yesterday, Mr. Babic, and the reference here is

16    at page 36 and 37 of the transcript, you - at least I think it is - you

17    referred to meeting Mr. Seselj.  Whether that's the precise page

18    reference, I'm not absolutely sure, but it probably doesn't matter,

19    because you clearly did refer to that anyway.  The -- Mr. -- is it fair to

20    say that Mr. Seselj was - I hope I'm reasonably near the pronunciation -

21    could be described as a hard-liner?

22       A.   Are you implying that I used that term or is this a new question

23    for me?

24       Q.   No.  My question to you, Mr. Babic.  You didn't use any such terms

25    that got translated as hard-liner.  You would understand what I mean,

Page 3455

 1    however it's coming across to you in translation, but you would understand

 2    what I mean by hard-liner, would you?

 3       A.   I couldn't really say what you understand under that term, the

 4    hard-liner.  Perhaps you should explain that.

 5       Q.   Perhaps I should, Mr. Babic.

 6            THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

 7            MR. STEWART:

 8       Q.   Yes, Mr. Babic.  I think I should, then.  Somebody taking the

 9    position he took, which in Mr. Seselj's case was that he was a strong

10    nationalist, wasn't he?

11       A.   Even more than that, or shall I say even worse than that.

12       Q.   Perhaps the best thing, Mr. Babic, is to ask you to describe what

13    you saw as Mr. Seselj's political position.

14       A.   Simply speaking, his political platform was the creation of the

15    Greater Serbia in the territories, regardless of whether the Serbs

16    represented majority in those territories or not.  This went against basic

17    principles of democratic self-determination of peoples, and this

18    represented an imposition of a national will of hegemony of one ethnic

19    groups, in this case, the Serbs.  To me this is more than extreme

20    nationalism.  I'm not a political scientist, so I couldn't really give you

21    a proper qualification of this. But this is how I see it.  Now, as to the

22    specific attitude that he had with respect to my political views, he was

23    against my political views, which were for self-determination of nations,

24    starting from the municipality as a basic administrative unit in the

25    former Yugoslavia, which was seen as the smallest unit where this

Page 3456

 1    self-determination could have been implemented.  The municipality was

 2    defined in the constitution of federal Yugoslavia and of other republics

 3    as the smallest administrative unit, at least that's how I understood it.

 4       Q.   Now, you were asked by Mr. Tieger, actually, the reference was

 5    correct, 36 and 37, you were asked by Mr. Tieger yesterday about

 6    Mr. Seselj, and did he identify the borders of Greater Serbia, the state

 7    in which all Serbs should reside, to which your answer was:  Yes.  You

 8    were not then asked what he did identify as the borders of Greater Serbia.

 9    So that supplementary question, then, is the one I'm putting to you now.

10    What did Mr. Seselj identify as the borders of Greater Serbia, the state

11    in which all Serbs should reside?

12       A.   He said very precisely that the western borders of the Greater

13    Serbia would go from Karlobag, Ogulin, Karlovac, Virovitica, and then the

14    eastern and other borders would be former borders of the existing

15    Yugoslavia.  So his project would include a lot of territory, perhaps two

16    thirds or three quarters of Croatia.  The entire Bosnia and Herzegovina,

17    Montenegro, and Macedonia.  This was his project of Greater Serbia.  He

18    advocated it, printed maps, printed various publications, elaborated on

19    this.  So this was well known.  The concept of the Greater Serbia that he

20    advocated was well known.

21       Q.   And you talked about his project.  How did you understand

22    Mr. Seselj had in mind that this goal would be achieved?

23       A.   By using force.  By occupying the territory.

24       Q.   And what is the -- as far as you can remember, what is the

25    earliest time at which you remember this being Mr. Seselj's position?

Page 3457

 1       A.   I recall that starting on the 25th of July, 1990, when he came to

 2    Srb, in my view, he wanted to compromise the Serbian Assembly which was

 3    meeting in Srb at the time.  He had with him one of the first editions of

 4    a magazine called "The Greater Serbia".   I did not meet him personally,

 5    but other people said that some hundred thousand people went to the local

 6    stadium where the rally was held, the local assembly, and Seselj went in

 7    another column, carrying the magazine called "The Greater Serbia".   So he

 8    passed through this mass of people and everybody saw him.  I remember that

 9    Croatian media reported not only on the Srb rally, Srb assembly, but also

10    on Seselj.  They reported in great detail.

11            THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

12            MR. STEWART:

13       Q.   Thank you.  This magazine called The Greater Serbia, as far as I

14    remember this is the first time this has been mentioned in the course of

15    this trial, where was it published?

16       A.   It was published by Seselj.  Whether it was under the auspices of

17    the Serbian Chetnik Movement and later on by the Serbian Radical Party, I

18    don't know.  I don't know where it was published either.  But it was

19    published by him.  I know that it is currently being published by the

20    Serbian Radical Party.  That party is the publisher of that magazine

21    currently, and Seselj is the chairman of that party.  Therefore, he and

22    his party or his movement are the publishers.  I don't know where it is

23    being printed, though.

24       Q.   I don't think we'll worry about the details of where it's actually

25    physically printed, Mr. Babic.  The -- Mr. Seselj is the president of that

Page 3458

 1    party now.  That's what you've just said.  When did he first become the

 2    president of that party?

 3       A.   Dr. Seselj initially established the Serbian Chetnik Movement,

 4    which exists to this day, and he, Mr. Seselj, has the rank of the Chetnik

 5    Vojvoda, which was conferred to him by Momcilo Djuic.  I don't know

 6    whether he transformed this movement or established in parallel the

 7    Serbian Radical Party.  I don't know that.  I couldn't tell you exactly

 8    when this party was first set up, but I know that in Krajina it emerged in

 9    early 1992.  This is when it started creating local boards.  And I'm sure

10    that it existed in 1991 as well.  So the party might have been established

11    in 1990 or in 1991, but I couldn't tell you exactly when.

12            Following the falling apart of a group where he, Mirko Jovic, and

13    Draskovic were together, I think that movement was called the Serbian

14    Renewal Movement or something like that.  So they split.  Draskovic

15    organised his party, Jovic organised his party, and Seselj organised the

16    Serbian Chetnik Movement, which later on transformed itself into the

17    Serbian Radical Party, or perhaps they existed in parallel; I'm not sure.

18       Q.   Just very briefly, because if we need to know more, we can go

19    along if necessary further.  But Momcilo Djuic that you mentioned, who was

20    he?  Is he, or was he?

21       A.   I know about him from history, from what people said about him. He

22    was, before World War II, an orthodox priest in the village of Strmica

23    near Knin.  During World War II, or at the beginning of World War II, he

24    renounced his priesthood and participated in the uprising of Serbs against

25    the Independent State of Croatia and the fascist occupation of Yugoslavia,

Page 3459

 1    in the ranks of the Serbian Ravna Gora Movement.  That was a Chetnik

 2    movement led by General Draza Mihajlovic. He was a commander in the Second

 3    World War of the so-called military formation which was called the Dinara

 4    Chetnik division.

 5            In 1944, in October, or in December, he left Knin with a large

 6    number of his unit members.  He withdrew to Italy, where the allied forces

 7    transferred him and his followers to Western countries.  They mostly went

 8    to Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.  He went to the United

 9    States, to California, where he founded an organisation, an association of

10    citizens.  I don't know exactly what it was called under US laws.  But it

11    was a Serbian Chetnik Movement, a non-profit organisation, and he was the

12    organisation's president.  And he was at its head up until a couple of

13    years ago, when he died.  He continued to hold the rank of a Chetnik

14    Vojvoda, which was conferred on him in World War II.  I don't know the

15    rules of the organisation, but under those rules, he had the right to

16    confer the title to other -- on other people.  So he could name or appoint

17    new Vojvodas.  So that is what he did for Dr. Vojislav Seselj.  He

18    conferred on him the title of Chetnik Vojvoda during his visit to the

19    United States.  I don't know whether this was in 1989 or 1990.

20       Q.   Returning to Dr. Seselj:  Is he -- what, he's a man in his 60s

21    now, is he, as far as you can tell?

22       A.   Dr. Seselj is a few years older than I am.  I don't think he's in

23    the 60s.  He's two or three years older than I am, so he's maybe around

24    50.  I think that he was born in 1952 or 1954.  I'm not sure.

25       Q.   Thank you, Mr. Babic.  That's quite specific enough for my

Page 3460

 1    purposes.  Thank you.

 2            When you first became aware of the Radical Party and Dr. Seselj,

 3    what was your own degree of political activity?

 4       A.   At the time, I was a member of the Serbian Democratic Party, a

 5    president of the party's municipal board, president of the Knin

 6    municipality, and president of the Serbian national council.  I think at

 7    the time I was already the president of the Serbian National Council.  In

 8    1990, at the end of summer or the beginning of the fall, in Belgrade, I

 9    met him in Belgrade.  So I did know about him or of him as of July 25th.

10    Before that, I heard about Vojislav Seselj and his party.  I heard that he

11    had fled from Sarajevo because he was politically persecuted and arrested

12    by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  And after he served a long

13    sentence in the prison in Zenica, he moved to Belgrade.  I know for sure

14    that for a while he was at the same employment bureau as I was.  I know

15    that he was there on the records like I was, of the same bureau.  I was on

16    the same bureau as a high school graduate, because at that time I hadn't

17    completed my university degree.  So the same officer who held my files and

18    he said that he was looking for a job for him as well because he had just

19    moved to Belgrade and that he was a lawyer.

20            As far as his party, it appeared in Krajina at the end of 1990. It

21    existed in 1991.  I'm not sure exactly when the party was founded, whether

22    this was in 1990 or 1991.  I think I've already talked about this.

23       Q.   Would you say that back in -- well, let's say 1991, because the

24    period you've just given includes of course the later year.  Would you say

25    in 1991 that Dr. Seselj's party was less influential in the politics of

Page 3461












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Page 3462

 1    your part of Croatia than your own party, the Serbian Democratic Party?

 2       A.   You said something wrong -- something to the effect that it had a

 3    lesser influence than my own party.  I don't know.  Perhaps the question

 4    wasn't interpreted properly.  Could the interpreter please repeat the

 5    whole question.

 6       Q.   Is that the easier way of doing it?  I can repeat the question, if

 7    that's the more suitable way of doing it.  I think it probably is.  The --

 8       A.   There was some confusion in the question.  The interpreter missed

 9    something and then added something.  I would like to hear the whole

10    question again, please.

11            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, perhaps I can clear up the question

12    over a break, if this is the time that the Trial Chamber would wish to

13    break.

14            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  This is approximately the time we usually have

15    our break, so if it would be a suitable moment for you, then we would

16    adjourn until 5 minutes to 11.00.

17                          --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

18                          --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.

19            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  The witness may be escorted into the courtroom.

20      Mr. Stewart, as far as your letter is concerned, although we gave it

21    some attention, I can't give you any results of the -- of our

22    considerations at this moment.

23            MR. STEWART:  [Microphone not activated] ... Your Honour.

24            JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.  I think we finished somewhere where

25    a question was about to be repeated for Mr. Babic.  Please proceed,

Page 3463

 1    Mr. Stewart.

 2            MR. STEWART:  Yes, Your Honour.  I think there was, unusually,

 3    there was one slight slip in the way the question was transmitted to the

 4    witness.

 5       Q.   What I was asking you, Mr. Babic, was whether, in 1991,

 6    Mr. Seselj's party was significantly less influential in the politics of

 7    your part of Croatia than your own party.

 8       A.   In 1991, I think -- or rather, I'm sure that in 1991, the Serbian

 9    Radical Party did not exist in the ARK Krajina in an organised manner.  I

10    don't know whether it existed in Eastern Slavonia.  I'm not sure.  As far

11    as the influence of the parties, that's something that I would like to

12    say.  Something that was characteristic for the Serbian Chetnik Movement

13    and the Radical Party of Vojislav Seselj.  The movement and the party,

14    it's a leader party, so the leader is the person who promotes and

15    represents the party.  So it would be more correct here to speak about the

16    influence of Dr. Vojislav Seselj on political events rather than the

17    influence of his party.

18       Q.   Well, Mr. Babic, that slightly seems to follow from what you've

19    said.  In 1991, then, do we understand you to be saying that, in line with

20    the answer you've just given, the Serbian Radical Party didn't exist in an

21    organised manner, but Dr. Seselj existed and was active and a person to be

22    certainly noted in the politics of your part of Croatia?

23       A.   Yes.

24       Q.   Did you regard him as a positive, negative, or neutral influence

25    and force in those politics?

Page 3464

 1       A.   I said that his first appearances were counter-productive.  They

 2    were very negative.  The influence over the political processes that were

 3    under way in Croatia in 1990 was negative.  It was a radical discrediting

 4    of the politics or the policies conducted by Serbian leaders in Croatia at

 5    the time.  So in that sense, we can say that this is something that also

 6    happened later.

 7       Q.   And you described -- I just want to explore with you a bit the --

 8    Mr. -- Dr. Seselj's platform, as I think it has been called.  You said

 9    that he had in mind that his goal, his Greater Serbia goal, would be

10    achieved by violence.  Can you -- did you know any more in 1991, let's

11    say?  Let's take the middle of 1991 as our point of reference for the

12    moment.  Did you know more about the means by which such a goal was to be

13    achieved through violence, according to Dr. Seselj's platform?

14       A.   Are you speaking formally about the platform?  If that -- if this

15    is the topic that we're speaking about, specifically the platform, are we

16    speaking about the platform in general or are we speaking about the

17    platform specifically?  But I can respond precisely to the latter part of

18    your question.

19       Q.   You've asked me a question by way of clarification, Mr. Babic.

20    I'm not -- I used the word "platform," which is what comes across in

21    translation.  I'm not confining my question to any formal document or

22    pronouncement.  To clarify, then, I am asking you whether you knew more in

23    mid-1991 about the means by which Dr. Seselj's goal of the Greater Serbia

24    was, as far as his views are concerned, to be achieved through violence.

25       A.   I can say what I know.  In mid-1991, and if we're talking about

Page 3465

 1    May, on that day I found out from Vojislav Seselj that his volunteers were

 2    taking part in the fighting in Borovo Selo against the Croatia police and

 3    that two of them were killed.  So I don't know.  At that time through his

 4    volunteers he was taking part in the fighting which the so-called parallel

 5    structure, the Serbian DB and the Serbs from Borovo Selo were waging

 6    against the Croatian government.  I know about that specific event.

 7       Q.   The reason I'm asking you is this, Mr. Babic:  You gave your

 8    evidence earlier this week, yesterday and in your statement, you have

 9    given your evidence about Dr. Seselj.  You have referred to Dr. Seselj's

10    Greater Serbia policy, if I just give it that brief label.  You have told

11    the Trial Chamber this morning that the means by which Dr. Seselj was

12    apparently going to achieve that goal was by violence.  So that's what

13    you've said you know so far.  So now I'm asking you what else, if

14    anything, you know about the methods and strategy, if you like, which

15    Dr. Seselj had expressed, which were apparent to you, for the achievement

16    of his goal.

17       A.   I did not mention the word "apparently" in any sense.  As far as a

18    response to your question, I told you already one piece of information.

19    This is another piece of information from November 1991.  Vojislav Seselj

20    at the time was a professor in Pristina, and through the media he was

21    explaining the objectives that it was necessary to occupy Slunj in Croatia

22    and Vukovar as soon as possible and that these were military priorities in

23    the operations.  In that period, I can't remember specifically the time he

24    explained that it was necessary for the army to take up the borders, the

25    Karlobag-Ogulin-Virovitica line.  This was at the end of December in 1991,

Page 3466

 1    and in early 1992, when he armed his volunteers himself, and he armed them

 2    for the conflicts that were taking place against the army of Croatia.  He

 3    supported them.  This was something that was organised by the Serbian

 4    Ministry of Defence.  These are some specific details that I recall at

 5    this time from that period.  I also know that when the war in Bosnia

 6    started, this was publicly broadcast over television that he was

 7    confirming the title of Chetnik Vojvoda to the commanders of his units,

 8    the ones that were fighting in Bosnia in the Romanija area and the Pale

 9    area.  This is what I recall; I do not wish to improvise on anything.

10    This is as much as I want to say.

11            I also remember that at a rally on the 2nd of May, near Plitvice,

12    I listened to his conversation with General Andrija Raseta.

13    General Raseta was the deputy commander of the Zagreb army district at the

14    time and he was holding the buffer zone around the Plitvice hotels in

15    relation to the Croatian police.  At this rally, he met with Andrija

16    Raseta, Seselj, and I listened to a conversation which was at the time

17    interesting to me.  I wasn't quite knowledgeable about the hierarchy of

18    the Serbian Chetnik Movement at the time.  So I heard from Seselj in

19    person when he was explaining to Raseta that the Vojvoda rank was --

20    corresponded to the rank of colonel in the JNA.

21            At the time, on May 2nd, 1992 -- 1991, he introduced himself as a

22    Chetnik Vojvoda, an equivalent rank to the rank of colonel in the JNA.

23       Q.   Mr. Babic, I want to be fair to you.  In the course of that

24    answer, you said you "didn't wish to improvise on anything.  This is as

25    much as I want to say."  Do I understand when you say "this is as much as

Page 3467

 1    I want to say" that in fact you were saying this is as much as you can say

 2    on the subject?

 3       A.   Yes.  As far as my specific knowledge is concerned, I do not want

 4    to generalise.  I want to tell you some specific details.  Of course, I

 5    mentioned his public advocacy that the army should take up the borders of

 6    the Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line, and I also told you about

 7    some things that I heard about him and that some -- and also some things

 8    which I heard directly from him.  I wanted to be specific.  I did not wish

 9    to improvise. I wanted to be specific about what I know.

10       Q.   Now, you indicated that the Radical Party, whenever exactly it was

11    formed, that -- I think you described as being a leader party, so that it

12    made more sense to talk in terms of what Dr. Seselj said and thought and

13    did than the party.  But was it -- well, it wasn't a one-man party,

14    presumably.  Did Mr. -- Dr. Seselj have any identifiable associates who

15    were also influential in support of his policies and his party, in

16    whatever formal or informal way it existed?

17       A.   When I said a leadership or a leader party, I was thinking of the

18    way the party was organised, where the leader enjoys a considerable amount

19    of authority.  When I was talking about a leader party and the way it

20    presented itself in the media, the way it presented its policy, what I

21    meant was that Dr. Vojislav Seselj held the main word.  He was the

22    promotor of the party.  Of course, its hierarchy and organisation was also

23    operative.  But at the time, it had this organisational structure in

24    Serbia, and Dr. Vojislav Seselj, assisted by the socialist party and its

25    voters, was elected as a deputy to the Serbian parliament at the time, as

Page 3468

 1    a representative of that party.  However, when we're talking about the

 2    territory of Croatia and the Krajina area, as well as Bosnia and

 3    Herzegovina, in 1990 and 1991, we viewed Dr. Seselj as the president of

 4    the Serbian Radical Party, a person who had a lot of media influence

 5    personally, not only as a party person, but personally, a person who was a

 6    Chetnik Vojvoda, who had his military formations and volunteers in Croatia

 7    and in Bosnia.  So in that sense, in the 1991 period, that is how I am

 8    referring to Vojislav Seselj.

 9            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Stewart, may I ask you, I got the impression that

10    this was not an answer to your question.  Since you asked any identifiable

11    associates who were also influential.  So I thought that you were asking

12    for persons on the top level in that party, close associates to

13    Mr. Seselj.  I would not mind if you would then interfere and ask the

14    witness to answer your question.

15            Mr. Babic, I'm not saying that it's not interesting what you tell

16    us, but it was not an answer to the question of Mr. Stewart.  Would you

17    please listen carefully to his questions and answer specifically what he

18    asks you.  If he wants to be more, you can be assured that he'll ask you

19    for it.

20            Please proceed.

21            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, yes, Mr. Babic can be assured.  I'm

22    grateful for that, Your Honour.  I'd be particularly careful this morning.

23    I haven't wanted to interrupt Mr. Babic.  So I am grateful for

24    Your Honour's help in relation to such a matter.

25            JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

Page 3469

 1            MR. STEWART:

 2       Q.   Mr. Babic, yes, in principle, you could take it that I would like

 3    answers as specifically as you can manage to my questions.  So I was

 4    asking you if you could give some names of other people at the top of

 5    Dr. Seselj's organisation.

 6       A.   I can say that as far as the people who were in the organisation

 7    of Dr. Vojislav Seselj and his party and who were relevant for Krajina and

 8    Croatia, I know Rade Leskovac, Rade Leskovac who was the president of the

 9    Executive Board of the Radical Party for Krajina after it was established

10    in 1992 or 1993.  I don't know exactly when.  As far as the leadership of

11    the Radical Party, I know that the deputy president of that party for

12    several terms of office, I think from the very beginning, but I cannot be

13    quite sure, was Tomislav Nikolic.  Todorovic was the president of the

14    Executive Board. I'm trying to remember the other names.  I know some

15    other people, of course, but at the moment I cannot recall their names.

16       Q.   If they come back into your mind, Mr. Babic, please let the Trial

17    Chamber know at any point.

18            The -- my case on behalf of Mr. Krajisnik is that he never met

19    Dr. Seselj.  Do you know anything that would contradict that position?

20       A.   I'm sure that Mr. Krajisnik had a meeting with Mr. Seselj in

21    autumn of 1992 in Bosanski Novi.  That was a gathering or an assembly

22    presided over by Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Seselj was a speaker there.  I

23    don't know whether they sat together during the break.  However, Seselj

24    did address the gathering.  I cannot remember the exact moment when he

25    went to the podium to speak; however, I remember him sitting in the first

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Page 3471

 1    row.  I remember that event.

 2       Q.   I should qualify something I said.  It's -- I don't say that

 3    Mr. Krajisnik has never in his whole life met Dr. Seselj, but my case is

 4    that in 1991 and 1992, or before that, he hadn't.  But you've given your

 5    answer on that.  In relation to 1992, anyway, so there clearly is a

 6    difference identified.

 7            Can you then give more specific details about that meeting with --

 8    in Bosanski Novi?  You say the autumn of 1992.  Are you able to be more

 9    specific about the date?

10       A.   I think that that was between August and the assembly that was

11    held in Prijedor at the end of October.  So sometime during that period.

12    I cannot give you the exact date.  I received information that the

13    assembly of Republika Srpska and the assembly of Republika Srpska Krajina

14    was held there, as I was a deputy of the assembly of Republika Srpska

15    Krajina, I went to see what was going on, although I did not have an

16    official invitation.  I came there convinced that it was a joint assembly,

17    but when I saw what was going there, I wasn't so sure about that.  The

18    people were gathered there, some 120 people, in a hotel in Bosanski Novi.

19    Mr. Krajisnik and some other people presided over the event.  I think that

20    there were some people from Krajina there as well.  I was late in

21    arriving, and I went before the assembly ended.  I saw that Dr. Seselj was

22    present.  He gave a speech very typical of him, about Serbian unification

23    and unification of Serbian lands.  I couldn't give you any more specifics,

24    but this is what I remember about that gathering.

25       Q.   Now, you say it was after the funeral of Mr. Raskovic.

Page 3472

 1       A.   I think so, but I'm not sure exactly when that was.

 2       Q.   You think it was after the funeral; is that your position?  But

 3    you're not sure?

 4       A.   That's right.

 5       Q.   So where your statement, in paragraph 8, expressed that in

 6    unqualified terms, which is does in the third sentence, "this meeting in

 7    Bosanski Novi was after the funeral for Raskovic," you're now telling the

 8    Trial Chamber, it's apparent from your answer, that you can't express it

 9    in those unqualified terms?

10       A.   That's what I said, because I cannot remember the exact date.  In

11    my view, I could say with great reliability that that was between funeral

12    of Raskovic and the assembly in Prijedor, which was in late October.  The

13    funeral was in late August.  The assembly was held in late October in

14    Prijedor.  So most likely it was in that period of time, but, as I cannot

15    recall the date, I cannot guarantee this.  This was why I say "most

16    likely."

17       Q.   Yes.  Mr. Babic, it's not just that you can't --

18            THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

19            MR. STEWART:  I'm so sorry.

20       Q.   I want to make it clear, Mr. Babic.  It isn't just now that you

21    can't recall the date; it's that you have reduced your degree of assurance

22    about it being before or after the funeral of Mr. Raskovic, haven't you?

23       A.   I'm fairly certain that that was between the funeral of

24    Mr. Raskovic and the other event.  And I say this with a very great degree

25    of certainty that that was between the funeral and the other event,

Page 3473

 1    although there is a minor possibility that it was held at another time.

 2    But definitely before the end of October 1992.

 3       Q.   When you were, as you clearly were, politically active in 1991 and

 4    1992, did you keep a diary?

 5       A.   No, not a diary, but some kind of a notebook where I would record

 6    what happened during the meetings and so on.  I did that quite frequently.

 7       Q.   So you didn't keep a diary of your future and forthcoming

 8    appointments?

 9       A.   Generally not.  I simply noted down what happened at the meetings

10    or during the events where I was present.  Sometimes I would do it during

11    the event itself.

12       Q.   Were you working as -- well, you were a working politician, no

13    doubt, but were you working in some other paid activity during 1991 and

14    1992, alongside your political activities?

15       A.   My paid function was president of municipality of Knin from May of

16    1992 until early 1994.  This was my paid function.  This was my job for

17    which I was paid.  And then from 1994 and on to 1995, I don't think that's

18    relevant, because your question pertained to 1992; isn't that right?

19       Q.   That is correct, Mr. Babic.  You said you didn't keep a diary.

20    Was a diary kept for you by a secretary or personal assistant in your

21    office?

22       A.   As I have said, I had my notes about the events.  I did not have a

23    typical diary that I would keep every day.  I simply occasionally wrote

24    down some notes.  My secretary would also record various things, telephone

25    calls, meetings, and so on.  Yes, she had her own notes too, certainly.

Page 3474

 1            JUDGE ORIE:  May I just ask you a question, Mr. Stewart, not being

 2    a native speaker.  Mr. Stewart, you're asking about a diary and at the

 3    same time you refer to a future and forthcoming appointments, which I

 4    would put as -- I would call that an agenda.  Is there any confusion about

 5    a book in which you write down appointments and a book in which you write

 6    down whatever you experienced or what you intend to do or what you have

 7    experienced?  I'm not quite sure.  I also understand from the witness's

 8    answers that he seems to say "I did write down what I experienced," which

 9    I would do in a different book from where my appointments are written

10    down.

11            MR. STEWART:  We all have different practices, Your Honour.

12            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

13            MR. STEWART:  I, after a hundred or a couple of hundred years,

14    giving up the battle to try to get the English version of the English

15    language adopted throughout the United States.  The difference between

16    agenda and diary, Your Honour, is basically a difference between English

17    and American, with respect.  What we would call a diary in England is

18    commonly called an agenda by Americans, which is simply I'm afraid why I

19    use the word "diary."  I therefore --

20            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, but just to avoid the confusion, when the

21    witness answers to the existence of any notes written down where you were

22    seeking other information, that might be -- if there's no confusion, fine,

23    but it came into my mind.

24            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, I had -- I take Your Honour's point.  I

25    had attempted to deal with that confusion by very expressly, it's just

Page 3475

 1    gone offer the top of the screen, by very expressly referring to a diary

 2    of forthcoming appointments.  I had really tried very hard to make that

 3    distinction to avoid the confusion.

 4            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  At the same time, the answers of the witness

 5    mainly relate to what he experienced during meetings and not -- Mr. Babic,

 6    has it become clear to you that Mr. Stewart was asking you whether there

 7    was any book in which you would write down any appointments for the

 8    future, apart from perhaps writing down notes on what was said or what you

 9    thought or -- well, whatever?  Was that clear to you?  And if not, would

10    you then please respond to the question whether you kept in a book a

11    record of meetings you would have.

12            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I said.  The

13    question was whether I kept a diary.  In our language, a diary is

14    something where you record your daily events, things that happened that

15    day.  I said that I did not keep that kind of a book.  I would

16    occasionally write down notes after the events, or sometimes even during

17    the meeting I would note down what was transpiring at the meeting.  I did

18    not make notes and plans for forthcoming meetings, except that

19    occasionally in my calendar I would write down that on such-and-such date

20    I was supposed to have a meeting.  I would do that occasionally, but not

21    regularly.

22            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Now the word "calendar" is introduced.  That's

23    how it is on my computer as well.  If you want to write down an

24    appointment, it goes under the part where it says calendar.  I don't know

25    whether you referred to that, but I will not further interfere.  It seemed

Page 3476

 1    there was some confusion.

 2            MR. STEWART:  Well, Your Honour, there may be.  The calendar is an

 3    American phrase for this reason.  We use it in a different way.  So I am,

 4    I hope, if somebody looks at the transcripts and thinks this is an

 5    incompetent way of dealing with it, I won't lose any sleep over that.

 6    The -- I specifically attempted to make it absolutely clear what I was

 7    talking about and I believed I had.

 8       Q.   Mr. Babic, I am asking you whether -- and if you've already

 9    answered it, then I'm afraid that's too bad because we're just going to

10    have to get it clear.  I am asking you whether you kept any sort of book,

11    notebook, in which were noted future appointments, so that next Wednesday,

12    the 25th of whatever it is, you're going to such-and-such a meeting.  So

13    that it reminds you that you've got to go, so you don't lose track of it

14    and miss things.  Did you have any sort of book, notebook, notes of that

15    form in 1991 and 1992?

16       A.   As I've said, I would occasionally write that down or I would

17    circle a date in the calendar as a day when I had something to attend.  I

18    would note down that, yes, something was forthcoming on such-and-such

19    date, and what exactly it was.  I would do it occasionally, not regularly.

20       Q.   Well, Mr. Babic, do you agree it's very clear from what you've

21    just said that if you could circle a date in the calendar as a day when

22    you had something to attend, then that notebook in which you were doing

23    that circling was exactly the sort of thing I'm describing, whether it's

24    called a diary, calendar, agenda, whether that comes across as three

25    different words in your language, that's what you had, didn't you?

Page 3477

 1       A.   Yes.  I had those kinds of papers.  So it wasn't one document or

 2    book, but different ones.  Sometimes that would be a small calendar that I

 3    would carry in my pocket.  Sometimes it would be a notebook in which I

 4    would record events.  Sometimes I would simply write it down on a piece of

 5    paper that was in my pocket.  So I had those kinds of notes.

 6       Q.   Mr. Babic, does any -- do any of those items, does any of that

 7    material that you've described of yours survive today?

 8       A.   Very few.

 9       Q.   So which do?

10       A.   I have something dating from 1994 and 1995, whereas for 1990 and

11    1991, that remained back in my apartment in Knin.  So there is some

12    documentation there.  After the Croatian operation called Storm.

13       Q.   Have you ever been asked, in connection with any interview given

14    to -- in relation to this Tribunal, have you ever been asked for any such

15    material?

16       A.   They asked me generally whether I had a diary, and I responded

17    that I would occasionally keep notes.  But they didn't ask me to surrender

18    any notes, no.  They asked me for documentation pertaining to certain

19    events.  I did have some documentation, and I was able to trace it.  I had

20    documentation for a specific reason, which I explained during the

21    investigation.

22       Q.   Can we be clear, then, Mr. Babic, of this material that you have

23    referred to over the last two or three minutes, has any of it at any time

24    been handed over by you, obviously temporally, has any of it ever been

25    handed over by you, obviously temporally, has any of it ever been handed

Page 3478

 1    over by you to any investigator or interviewer in connection with any

 2    proceedings or prospective or possible proceedings in this Tribunal?

 3       A.   No, not that kind of material, except for official documents.  So

 4    I had a large number of official documents and I turned that over.

 5       Q.   Who has access to your apartment in Knin?

 6       A.   I heard that a Croatian colonel lives there now.  Now, who had

 7    access to my apartment prior to him, I don't know.  I assume Croatian

 8    authorities sent some other people there, because they are the ones which

 9    let other persons have the use of my apartment.  I assume that Croatian

10    authorities did that.

11       Q.   Mr. Babic, if anybody else knows, I don't.  You'll simply have to,

12    please, say.  Were you arrested or did you surrender voluntarily in

13    relation to the indictment against you before this Tribunal?

14       A.   I surrendered voluntarily.

15       Q.   And when was that?

16       A.   That was on the 26th of November of last year.  Last year.

17       Q.   And at that time, when you surrendered voluntarily, was the

18    material that you've -- these documents that you've just referred to over

19    the last five minutes or so, it is now in your apartment in Knin as you

20    describe?

21       A.   I apologise.  Do you mean the notes or the documents of other

22    kind?

23       Q.   Any of it, Mr. Babic.

24       A.   I don't know what exactly was in my apartment in Knin at the time.

25       Q.   Mr. Babic, it was your evidence about this material.  You are the

Page 3479












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Page 3480

 1    one who told the Trial Chamber where it was.  I don't know, Mr. Babic. I'm

 2    just asking the questions.  The material which you have referred to over

 3    the last six minutes or so, where was it -- well, was it in your apartment

 4    in Knin when you surrendered?

 5       A.   The material that I turned over to the investigators of the

 6    Tribunal in 1991 was with me in Belgrade at the time, and this was what I

 7    turned over to the investigators.  The remaining documentation, the one

 8    which remained in my apartment in 1995, I don't know where it is now, nor

 9    do I know who had access to it.  In November of last year, I didn't know

10    where the material from my apartment was.  I don't know exactly to which

11    material you are referring.

12            JUDGE ORIE:  Perhaps before further confusion arises, I'd like to

13    put one or two questions to Mr. Babic.

14            Mr. Babic, when were you for the last time in your apartment in

15    Knin?

16            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 2nd of August, 1995.

17            JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.

18            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, excuse me.  I'm going to have to scroll

19    back to what the witness said a little while ago.

20            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  The question came into my mind when the witness

21    referred to the Operation Storm.  So therefore, I got the impression that

22    you asked questions on the basis that Mr. Babic would have lived in his

23    apartment until late last year and then voluntarily surrendered.  I'm not

24    sure that, but --

25            MR. STEWART:  I wasn't making -- I don't make too many

Page 3481

 1    assumptions, Your Honour, when I just don't know something.

 2            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Yes.

 3            MR. STEWART:  I wasn't there.

 4            JUDGE ORIE:  I did put this question to the witness, and you may

 5    proceed.

 6            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, as I said, I do need to scroll back to

 7    see what was said.

 8       Q.   What you said, Mr. Babic, was, and this is at -- it's at 21 --

 9    38:21.  38:21 is the reference.  Thank you.  It's at 11:35:16.  I'd asked

10    you just above that:  "Mr. Babic, does any, do any of those items, does

11    any of that material that you've described of yours survive today?"  You

12    said:  "Very few."  So I asked, not surprisingly:  "So which do?"  That

13    being the clear implication of what you were saying.  Your answer was:  "I

14    have something dating from 1994 and 1995, whereas for 1990 and 1991, that

15    remained back in my apartment in Knin, so there is some documentation

16    there after the Croatian operation called Storm."

17            So my questions since then have proceeded, not surprisingly,

18    Mr. Babic, on the basis of your answers, because you're the one that

19    knows.  That is why I'm asking you those things.  But let's be clear,

20    please, Mr. Babic.  You've told the Tribunal there is some documentation

21    there.  Not -- now, of course I know you haven't been anywhere --

22       A.   I apologise.  I apologise.  Perhaps it was a slip of tongue on my

23    part or not.  How would I know whether there is any documentation in my

24    apartment remaining from 1995?  All I said was that the documentation

25    stayed, remained, in my apartment in 1995, and I don't know who had access

Page 3482

 1    to it, who has had access in the meantime.  So I don't know what remained

 2    of it.  There is a Croatian colonel living there, and I don't know what

 3    happened to my items which were left there after the 4th or 5th of August

 4    of 1995.  I referred to the documentation that I had with me when I said

 5    that in 2001 I turned that over to the investigators of the Tribunal.

 6       Q.   Yes.  I think, Mr. Babic, there was another slip of the tongue in

 7    your answer there, because when you said:  "How would I know whether there

 8    was any documentation in my apartment remaining from 1995," in fact I was

 9    asking you specifically about the documentation which you had referred to

10    from the period -- now, I don't remember whether you said 1990, 1991, or

11    1991 and 1992, but that's not a material difference.  So that was -- do

12    you agree, that was a slip of the tongue?  We were talking about the

13    earlier period, weren't we?

14       A.   No.  When I said whether it remained, I know that it remained,

15    that it was left behind, but whether it is still there, whether somebody

16    came into the apartment, threw it away, burnt it, whether Croatian police

17    seized the documentation, that's what I don't know.  I don't know what

18    happened to it after I left.  I know that it was left behind when I left.

19    My books, my clothes, my items, my property.  I know that it was left

20    behind.  But whether after the Storm operation somebody came in, seized

21    it, burned it, threw it away, I don't know what happened to it.

22       Q.   Mr. Babic, I do understand what you were saying there now.  This

23    sometimes does happen as we pass through the languages and so on.  I do

24    see what you're saying there.

25            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Stewart, may I ask you.  I would be interested to

Page 3483

 1    know whether the witness testified about any notes, documents, whatever,

 2    in 1994, 1995.  And then he moved to 1990 and 1991.  What happened with

 3    anything that was created in 1992 or 1993 still remains unclear.  I don't

 4    know whether it's relevant or not.

 5            MR. STEWART:  Well, Your Honour, I quite agree.  It's a -- we --

 6    we're trying to do these other things, but I quite agree, it's a gap to be

 7    plugged if possible.

 8       Q.   We -- as His Honour correctly points out, Mr. Babic, we've talked

 9    about documentation from 1990 and 1991, and perhaps 1992.  We talked about

10    documentation from 1994 and 1995.  What about the period in between?  What

11    about such items in relation to the period 1993 and I think possibly early

12    1994?

13       A.   As I've been explaining, I spoke about two different periods.  I

14    was an official of Krajina up until February of 1992, and this is one

15    period of my political activity.  Following that, I was in a way

16    ostracised.  I was in opposition.  I was president of the Knin

17    municipality.  However, that's a different period in my political life.

18    And starting in April of 1994, I became a minister in the Bosnian

19    government.

20            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Babic, may I stop you?  Would you again listen

21    carefully to the question.  The question is whether any of such documents,

22    any -- I would say any written remainders of where you would have written

23    down when and with whom to meet, at what days, whether they do still

24    exist.  If it's a different period, fine, and if you were in a different

25    position, but that's not the question.  The question is whether there were

Page 3484

 1    any remainders of this kind of documents in the period 1993 -- 1992 and

 2    1993.

 3            Mr. Tieger.

 4            MR. TIEGER:  Just one, I believe, small matter of clarification,

 5    Your Honour.  That's the reference in the last line of the witness's

 6    answer to becoming a minister in the Bosnian government in April of 1994.

 7    I believe that that may require some clarification.

 8            MR. STEWART:  Certainly if it's literally true, Your Honour, it

 9    would cast a different light on all sorts of things, so it probably does.

10            JUDGE ORIE:  Might be the third slip of the tongue or a wrong

11    translation, but we do not know yet.  But please proceed.

12            But, Mr. Babic, before entering into this new issue which

13    Mr. Stewart certainly will seek clarification, could you answer his last

14    question.

15       A.   I was a minister of foreign affairs in the government of Republika

16    Srpska Krajina.  Just to correct the record.  And as for the other, I

17    think I was clear.  I said that my private notes that I had for 1991 and

18    1992 and 1990 were in my apartment in Knin, and they were left behind

19    after I left in August of 1995.  Some official documents, some documents

20    from the archives that I had about the events from 1991 and 1992 in

21    Krajina --

22            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Babic, I have to stop you again.  The question

23    was not, and you are now repeating your answers on the earlier documents,

24    the question was about 1992 and 1993.  So that's the period not covered

25    yet by your answers.  Please answer the question of Mr. Stewart.

Page 3485

 1       A.   Yes.  I have some notes from 1993, 1994, and 1995.

 2            MR. STEWART:

 3       Q.   Can you just briefly indicate the circumstances in which you did

 4    leave your apartment in Knin in 1995.

 5       A.   I was called by the American ambassador from Zagreb, Peter

 6    Galbraith, to continue talk about the Z 4 plan and the proposal of the

 7    international community for the Krajina, and to discuss topics such as the

 8    implementation of the economic agreement with Croatia and the question of

 9    the engagement of the Serbian army of the Republic of Srpska Krajina in

10    the Bihac pocket.  So at the invitation of Mr. Galbraith I went to the

11    American embassy in Belgrade to talk with him.  There were two proposals

12    where these talks should take place, Brod, at Jadran or the US embassy in

13    Belgrade.  So we agreed to meet at the US embassy in Belgrade where we had

14    this meeting.  After that I did not manage to return to Knin.  Because in

15    the meantime, the Croatian offensive or the Croatian operation Storm

16    began.

17       Q.   Were you living with your family in the apartment in Knin up to

18    the time -- up to 1995?

19       A.   With my wife, two children, and my mother-in-law.

20       Q.   And when you went to Belgrade to have these talks with the US

21    embassy and others perhaps, did your wife -- just shorthand:  Did your

22    wife remain for the time being in the apartment in Knin?

23       A.   She took her mother to a regular -- for regular treatment at the

24    oncology clinic in Belgrade.  Her mother was ill, so she had to go for

25    regular treatments at the clinic.

Page 3486

 1       Q.   Yes.  That's -- what is the -- I'll rephrase the question, then.

 2    Did any of your wife and children remain living in the apartment in Knin

 3    when you went to Belgrade?

 4       A.   I was the last one to leave the apartment, and I locked the

 5    apartment after I left.  My wife was at the hospital with her mother, and

 6    my children were on their summer vacation with my sister.  So when I left

 7    the apartment at that time, I was alone.

 8       Q.   Expecting to return?

 9       A.   Yes, of course.

10       Q.   And do you know -- do you know anything about what happened to

11    your apartment -- well, first question is, then, you talk about Operation

12    Storm.  You've referred to those difficulties.  When did that begin?

13       A.   On the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th of August, 1995.

14       Q.   Which was how long after you had left to go to Belgrade?

15       A.   I said that I left perhaps on the 2nd or the 1st of August.  It

16    was one day after my statement and the agreement with Ambassador Galbraith

17    that we accept all agreements in order to resolve the situation in

18    Krajina.  So these were the circumstances.  I don't know how many days had

19    passed.  This was within two or three, or three or four days.

20       Q.   Was it in fact just -- whether it's good, bad, or whatever.  Was

21    it in fact just luck or chance that this offensive began just a few days

22    after all of you had left the flat in Knin, or did you -- I'll add to that

23    question.  Or did you anticipate such trouble and, therefore, move you and

24    yourself, family, out for that reason?

25       A.   No.  It was a coincidence.  As far as I'm personally concerned, I

Page 3487

 1    can say that the political circumstances and the reasons why the Croatian

 2    offensive began at that time, I can say that I was the president of the

 3    Krajina for seven days at the time.  I accepted the negotiations of the

 4    international community to resolve the Krajina status.  Our delegation in

 5    Geneva also agreed to those negotiations.  After that, there was a

 6    response by the Croat representative that Serbs were allegedly buying

 7    sometime for something, and that was their pretext for them not to enter

 8    into the negotiations and to accept the agreement and for suddenly

 9    implementing the operation in Krajina.  My interpretation was that

10    Croatia, because of our agreement to negotiations, carried out that

11    operation immediately in order to prevent those negotiations from taking

12    place.  This is my interpretation of why Croatia carried out that

13    aggression or that operation to occupy the Krajina and to expel the

14    population, the Serb population from Krajina at that time.  But this is

15    not something that was a topic of our conversation.

16       Q.   So the position is this, is it, that at that time, in early August

17    1995, your expectation was that, subject to dealing with your mother's

18    medical condition and problems, your wife was expected to return to Knin,

19    that at the end of their summer holidays away with, I think it was your

20    sister, your children were expected to return to the apartment in Knin,

21    and subject to your political obligations and meetings and commitments,

22    you were also expecting to return to the apartment in Knin?  Is that a

23    correct summary?

24       A.   Yes, except that you mentioned my sister.  My sister did not live

25    in Knin.  She lived in Belgrade.

Page 3488












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Page 3489

 1       Q.   It doesn't matter.  We can read the transcript on that one,

 2    Mr. Babic.

 3            And is it -- you may have already said this.  Is it correct, you

 4    have never even once gone back to your apartment in Knin since then?  Is

 5    that correct?

 6       A.   Yes.

 7       Q.   And as far as you know, has -- have any of your wife, any other

 8    member of your family, ever gone back to the apartment in Knin since then?

 9       A.   No.

10       Q.   Has anybody else ever gone back to the apartment in Knin at your

11    request or on your behalf?

12       A.   No, except on that day when the people from Knin were leaving.

13    I'm not sure whether the neighbour who had the key to our apartment went

14    into the apartment or not.  But nobody entered the apartment at the

15    request of myself or my family.  After a while, we asked some of our

16    neighbours who had left who was living in our apartment, and we got the

17    reply that a Croat army colonel was living in the apartment and that it

18    was not possible to have access to the apartment.

19       Q.   And the position has been for a very -- obviously it is now,

20    Mr. Babic.  I don't wish to be flippant, but the position has been for a

21    number of years that you have not been able safely to go back to Croatia;

22    is that correct?

23       A.   Of course.

24       Q.   Since when?

25       A.   I don't know exactly since when, but since the Croatian

Page 3490

 1    prosecution in Split or Sibenik issued an indictment against me for

 2    secession from Croatia, for separating off from Croatia.  There were court

 3    proceedings conducted of a political nature on charges of secession from

 4    Croatia and for jeopardising the territorial integrity of Croatia.  These

 5    court proceedings ended in a verdict which, under the law of amnesty

 6    adopted by the Croatian assembly, was annulled.  But regardless of that, I

 7    never felt safe enough to go back to Croatia.  I was pardoned or amnestied

 8    under the Croatian law, but I have not yet entertained the thought of

 9    going back to Croatia.

10       Q.   When was the -- I apologise.  I normally like to be on top of such

11    details, Mr. Babic, rather than having to ask you, but when was the

12    indictment against you issued in Croatia?

13       A.   I don't know exactly.  I found out later from the media that an

14    indictment was issued.  Exactly when it was issued, I don't know.  I

15    wasn't notified of it and I did not attend any kind of proceedings that

16    are connected to that case.

17       Q.   When, then, did you first find out about the issue of the

18    indictment?

19       A.   I cannot tell you precisely.  I wasn't really paying attention to

20    that.  I wasn't sure whether it was true or just a provocation.  In

21    Belgrade, after 1995, I was informed that this had actually happened, and

22    I received some more specific information about that from people who were

23    also on one of the indictments.  So in Belgrade, after 1995, I found out

24    more details about this.

25       Q.   Mr. Babic, you said you couldn't tell the Trial Chamber precisely

Page 3491

 1    when you first found out about the issue of the indictment.  But can you

 2    give the Trial Chamber at least some indication of the time when you first

 3    found out about it?

 4       A.   This was mentioned before 1995.  I think somebody reported it --

 5    of it.  But I don't know exactly when.  I wasn't following the Croatian

 6    press at the time when this was discussed, so I'm really not sure.

 7    Somebody at some point told me about this before 1995, but I did not know

 8    any specifics.  So I'm not able to be precise about this.

 9       Q.   So before 1995 was before you'd left Croatia?

10       A.   Yes.

11       Q.   So you remained in Croatia for at least some period, having had

12    information that there was an indictment against you?

13       A.   I was in Krajina, to be specific.  We had the political approach

14    that this was a part of Croatia, and it was necessary to resolve the

15    status of that area within Croatia through political negotiations.  At the

16    time, I physically was not under the control of Croatian authorities.  I

17    lived on a separate area, where there was Serb authority, the authority of

18    the Serbian Republic of Krajina.  But we were not formally under the

19    authority of the -- under the jurisdiction of the Croat government.

20       Q.   So is it to be understood as this, in summary, then:  Although you

21    knew about the indictment from a practical point of view, you felt safe

22    before the time that you finally left Knin, but after that, as a result of

23    Operation Storm, you no longer felt safe to go back to Croatia?  Is that a

24    correct summary?

25       A.   Yes, simply speaking.  Yes.  I believe that this was a political

Page 3492

 1    proceedings that was being conducted against me and that with the

 2    resolution of the political crisis, this would be resolved.  However,

 3    after Storm, it was unsafe for anybody to return.  All the people from

 4    Krajina were expelled, the houses were burned, crimes were taking place.

 5    It was a horrible event.  Few people would have dared to go back.  To this

 6    very day, a large majority of people do not dare go back, even though

 7    efforts are being made for people to return.

 8       Q.   Do you still -- I'm making an assumption that you owned it before,

 9    but do you still own the apartment in Knin?

10       A.   Under laws at the time in force in Croatia and in the whole of the

11    former Yugoslavia, I had the rights to use the apartment for an indefinite

12    term.  As for your question, if I'm still enjoying that same right under

13    the laws of the new Croatia, I was supposed to buy back or purchase my

14    apartment when this period -- this period to buy the apartment was at the

15    time when the laws of the Republic of Croatia were not valid in Krajina.

16    There is still the question that I am asking and that other people are

17    asking.  We still do not own our apartments, but we do have the right to

18    inhabit or temporary right to -- we have the tenancy rights to this

19    apartment and we have lost this right because we did not apply to buy the

20    apartment within the deadlines set.  This is now being set right.  The

21    Croatian government is trying to make it possible for those who had

22    tenancy rights to buy the apartments.  This is still quite an open

23    question that is not resolved.

24       Q.   Have you, since you left in 1995, have you made any attempt to in

25    any way to retrieve or at least preserve any of your belongings that were

Page 3493

 1    in the apartment when you left in August 1995?

 2       A.   The only thing that I asked my neighbour to do, the neighbour who

 3    used to go there, is to see whether it would be possible to have access to

 4    the apartment.  After I was informed that a Croatian colonel is there, was

 5    living there - his last name was Jakelic or something - I stopped, or I

 6    gave up asking for anything from my apartment.

 7       Q.   When can you say that happened, i.e., that's to say when did the

 8    Croatian colonel, as far as you know, move into your apartment?

 9       A.   I don't know when he moved in.  I think my neighbour went to the

10    apartment a year later, perhaps in 1996 or 1997.

11       Q.   Well, it's only that you said:  "After I was --" well, I'll

12    rephrase the question.  When were you informed that a Croatian colonel was

13    in your apartment?

14       A.   In 1996 or 1997.

15       Q.   Now, you say that you had an opportunity to meet with or be with

16    Mr. Krajisnik in the period 1991 and 1992, you thought, four times.

17    Remember?  And that's correct?

18       A.   That's correct, yes.

19       Q.   But it's also correct, isn't it, to start with that, you never had

20    any meeting with Mr. Krajisnik at all at which only the two of you were

21    present?

22       A.   I said that I attended joint meetings with him on four occasions.

23    Each of these four occasions were attended by Mr. Krajisnik, myself, and a

24    large number of other people.

25       Q.   And is it correct, Mr. Babic, that the only time that you can

Page 3494

 1    recall having any private discussion with Mr. Krajisnik is, so far as it

 2    was private, the discussion which you say you had with him at a dinner in

 3    1995?

 4       A.   It was on several occasions, in 1993 for the first time, in

 5    January 1995, in May 1995, and then perhaps in late May or early June in

 6    1995, twice.  I was with him on five occasions in groups of two or three

 7    or alone.  In 1993 and 1994, I think it was on five occasions that I was

 8    alone with Mr. Krajisnik or in the company of two or three other people.

 9       Q.   Do you say that -- do you say that --

10            MR. STEWART:  Excuse me one moment, Your Honour.

11                          [Defence counsel confer]

12            MR. STEWART:  Thank you, Your Honour.

13       Q.   Do you say that on any occasion in 1991 and 1992, that you were at

14    the same meeting as Mr. Krajisnik, that there were as few as two or three

15    other people present?

16       A.   I said that I had met him in 1993 and 1994.  As far as 1991 and

17    1992, I said that I had attended four meetings at which Mr. Krajisnik,

18    myself, and a lot of other people were present.

19       Q.   Now, I'd just like to, as quickly as we can, before we look at any

20    particular meeting, I'd just like to do a sort of checklist with you,

21    Mr. Babic, so that we know what we're talking about here.  First of all,

22    you say that you met -- I want to keep this as brief as possible.  You'll

23    get a chance to answer questions about each of these meetings, so yes or

24    no as near as possible, please.  You say you met Mr. Krajisnik on the 23rd

25    of October, 1991, at the Federation Palace in Belgrade; is that correct?

Page 3495

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   You say that you met him on the 30th and/or the 31st of January,

 3    1992, in Belgrade, just to remind you, at a meeting at which, among

 4    others, Mr. Mladic was present; correct?

 5       A.   It was a three-day meeting.  The 31st of January and the 1st and

 6    2nd of February, 1992.

 7       Q.   Okay.  But that meeting, anyway.  We'll leave aside date

 8    discrepancies.  So that's second meeting.  You say that you met

 9    Mr. Krajisnik, or you were at a meeting, you were both present at a

10    meeting in Bosanski Novi, that we've considered already this morning

11    briefly in a slightly different context.  That's the one around

12    Mr. Raskovic's funeral.  Correct?

13       A.   Yes.

14       Q.   And you say that you met Mr. Krajisnik, you were both present at a

15    meeting on the 30th and/or the 31st of October, 1992, in Prijedor;

16    correct?

17       A.   Yes.

18       Q.   And those are, throughout 1991 and 1992, those are the four

19    meetings that you recall at which you and Mr. Krajisnik were both present,

20    and there are no others that you recall; is that correct?

21       A.   That is correct, yes.  I don't recall any other meetings.

22       Q.   And then your evidence has been, just to complete this, that after

23    1992, your evidence was that you met him on a number of occasions between

24    1993 and 1995, but you -- is it correct you are not able to be specific

25    about how many?

Page 3496

 1       A.   I remember exactly.  It was on five occasions, and I remember the

 2    time and the circumstances of the meetings.  I don't recall if there were

 3    any others.  But I know definitely the time and the circumstances for the

 4    five meetings.

 5       Q.   So that's five meetings during the period 1993 to 1995 inclusive;

 6    correct?

 7       A.   Yes.  One in 1993 and four in 1995.

 8       Q.   And you never met Mr. Krajisnik at all in 1994; is that correct?

 9       A.   I don't remember meeting him.

10       Q.   And is it correct, and it would seem to tie in a bit with some of

11    the other things you've said this morning, that after 1995, you never met

12    Mr. Krajisnik until seeing him in this courtroom ever again?  Is that

13    correct?

14       A.   No, I didn't meet him.

15            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, we're very close, I think, to the time

16    where the break comes.  If that isn't inconvenient to the Trial Chamber,

17    it would be as suitable a point as any to break.

18            JUDGE ORIE:  Then let's take it.  We'll adjourn until 20 minutes

19    to 1.00.

20                          --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.

21                          --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.

22            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.

23            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour --

24            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

25            MR. STEWART:  -- But --

Page 3497












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Page 3498

 1            JUDGE ORIE:  That happens when I want to become efficient and then

 2    things go completely wrong.

 3            Yes, the witness may be escorted into the courtroom.

 4            MR. STEWART:  It would speed things up, Your Honour, of course,

 5    always, but that's another matter.

 6            JUDGE ORIE:  You're soliciting to have a kind of a civil law

 7    trial.

 8            MR. STEWART:  No comment, Your Honour.

 9            JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.

10            MR. STEWART:

11       Q.   Mr. Babic, we ran through a sort of checklist of meetings that you

12    say you and Mr. Krajisnik were both present at in the course of 1991 and

13    1992.  The first one is the one you referred to in paragraph 7 of your

14    statement, though, as far as we see, there's nothing added to it in your

15    oral evidence given this week.  You say that you believe you first met

16    Mr. Krajisnik at a meeting on 23rd October 1991, at Federation Palace

17    during the discussions regarding the support of Yugoslavia.

18            First question, Mr. Babic, is:  How confident are you about the

19    date of the 23rd of October, 1991, and specifically the 23rd October?  I'm

20    not quibbling about what you're saying about the year.

21       A.   I'm confident that it was after the 20th of October, after the

22    meeting in Banja Luka on the 18th of October, and that was before the 25th

23    of October.  Also, I believe that somewhere in my notes I had some

24    chronology of the events, based on which I concluded that it was on the

25    23rd of October.

Page 3499

 1       Q.   And what notes are you referring to in that answer?

 2       A.   I wrote down a chronology of events as a reminder for myself as I

 3    was preparing to meet with the investigators of the Tribunal.  Based on my

 4    recollections and the documents I had.

 5       Q.   And did you hand over that note to the investigators?

 6       A.   They didn't ask me to.

 7       Q.   My question was, Mr. Babic:  Did you hand over that note to the

 8    investigators?

 9       A.   No.

10       Q.   And you've already said they didn't ask you.  Did you offer them

11    to them?

12       A.   No.  I simply did it in order to organise my recollections for my

13    own purposes.

14       Q.   When you were being interviewed by the investigators, did you have

15    that note in front of you?

16       A.   No.

17       Q.   What was the point of preparing a note to refresh your

18    recollection and then not to have it with you at the very meeting for

19    which it was prepared?

20       A.   Before I went to the meeting with them, I wanted to organise my

21    thoughts, my recollections, because quite a lot of time had passed in the

22    meantime.  And at that first meeting I had with the investigator, whose

23    name I cannot pronounce, sometime in October of 2002, I was told that,

24    when I asked for the meeting, this investigator came as well, and they

25    inquired as to the time and place where we could meet, and they said it

Page 3500

 1    would last for several days, that they were interested in the events from

 2    1990, 1991, and 1992.  They said that that was the period of time that

 3    they were interested in.  And after that, I sat down and I went back in my

 4    thoughts to that time and wrote down some notes.  The investigation itself

 5    lasted for quite a long time.  There were four instances.  And after they

 6    put questions to me, I would immerse myself back into that time, into

 7    those months, in order to organise my thoughts, and I wrote down some

 8    lists and some notes.  The investigators asked me whether I had diaries,

 9    whether I had notebooks, and I gave them an answer similar to the one I

10    gave you here today.  They didn't ask me whether I was making any notes at

11    the time.

12       Q.   Well, Mr. Babic, I have to ask you again.  You prepare a note to

13    collect your thoughts about these events.  You are going for a meeting

14    with investigators for this Tribunal, which charges people with serious

15    crimes.  Having done that, you're asking this Trial Chamber to accept that

16    you then didn't bother to take the note with you to that meeting?  Is that

17    your evidence?

18       A.   That was the chronology of events that I wrote down for myself.  I

19    didn't know what they were going to ask me.  I don't even know whether I

20    had it with me on that occasion.  I think it wasn't.  I think I left it

21    back at home, because it was made just for myself.  Perhaps had somebody

22    asked for it, I would have produced it, but at any rate, it wasn't used

23    during the interview.  Perhaps it was in my bag when I was at the meeting,

24    but I know that I did not use it at the meeting during the interview.

25       Q.   Were you accompanied by a lawyer or any other form of

Page 3501

 1    representative at that interview?

 2       A.   Yes.  An attorney was always present during the interview.

 3       Q.   Are we talking about the interviews that were held in March this

 4    year, or are we talking about an interview longer ago?

 5       A.   I'm referring to the interviews in October, November, December

 6    2001, January 2001, February 2001.  Oh, I apologise, I apologise.  2002.

 7    So those interviews.  This is when I gave my first statement to the

 8    investigators.

 9       Q.   Now, you referred a few minutes ago, when you were talking about

10    this chronology that you didn't take with you or that you might have had

11    in your bag, you said that was based on your recollection and the

12    documents you had.  So my next question, Mr. Babic, is:  What were those

13    documents?

14       A.   The documents I turned over to the Prosecution, the documents

15    which were official documents from the archives pertaining to the Serbian

16    autonomous region Krajina and Serbian Republic of Krajina.  Some of them

17    were in my possession, in view of the circumstances about which I informed

18    the investigators, and some were in the bureau of the RSK's government in

19    Belgrade.

20       Q.   Well, to get that clear:  The documents that were in the bureau of

21    the RSK's government in Belgrade, were you able to use those for the

22    purposes of preparation of your chronology?

23       A.   Yes.  Some documents remained in my possession after March of

24    1996.

25       Q.   No, Mr. Babic.  Please.  Your answer -- your previous answer was:

Page 3502

 1    "Somewhere in the bureau of the RSK's government in Belgrade."  So it is

 2    quite clear you are not there talking about documents in your possession;

 3    you are talking about documents which were somewhere else, in the bureau

 4    of the RSK's government in Belgrade.  So what I was asking you was whether

 5    you were able to use those documents.  Did you have access to those

 6    documents for the purposes of preparation of your chronology?

 7       A.   I said that, yes, partially those documents from the bureau of the

 8    RSK's government which were left in my possession after May of 1996.  That

 9    was the answer I gave previously.

10       Q.   Mr. Babic, your answer was:  "The documents I turned over to the

11    Prosecution, the documents which were official documents from the archives

12    pertaining to the Serbian Autonomous Region Krajina and Serbian Republic

13    of Krajina, some of them were in my possession, in view of the

14    circumstances about which I informed the investigators, and some were in

15    the bureau of the RSK's government in Belgrade."

16            Now, to be analytical about it, Mr. Babic, there are two classes

17    of document there, those in your possession -- do you see?

18       A.   Yes, that's right.  Let me just correct.  From the bureau of the

19    government, that means that they were not located in that bureau but

20    originated from that bureau.  They were in my possession, and I had taken

21    them from the government's bureau in Belgrade sometime in May of 1996.  So

22    both of these sets of documents were in my possession in late 2001.  It's

23    just that some originate from the archives in Knin and the others

24    originate from the government's bureau in Belgrade.

25       Q.   Mr. Babic, I hope I make full allowance for the fact that being

Page 3503

 1    cross-examined is more stressful than doing the cross-examining.  But I

 2    would, please, ask you to help the Trial Chamber, and me, incidentally as

 3    a secondary point at my cross-examination, by trying to be very careful

 4    about the questions and be as careful as you can about the answers?

 5    The --

 6       A.   Yes.  I will try to.  Thank you.

 7       Q.   Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. Babic.

 8            So just to clear that up.  Can we take it, then, that the only

 9    documents that you used for the preparation of this chronology were

10    documents which were in fact in your possession?

11       A.   Yes.

12       Q.   And were they all handed over to the -- well, whether it's the

13    investigators or the Prosecution, and whether that's the same thing, were

14    they all handed over to officials of this Tribunal, or offices.

15       A.   Yes.  The one that pertained to the topic of investigation.

16       Q.   Well, can we take it -- you say the ones that pertain to the topic

17    of investigation.  All the documents that you used for the -- in the

18    preparation of your chronology?

19       A.   Yes.  These documents are the documents of the Assembly of

20    Republic of Serbian Krajina, the government of the SAO Krajina, the

21    Assembly of the SAO Krajina.  There are a lot of those documents,

22    decisions, appointments.  A large number of documents.  So these

23    documents.

24       Q.   Can you give the Trial Chamber some idea of the quantity of

25    material that you're referring to?  Dozens of pages?  Hundreds of pages?

Page 3504

 1    Some broad indication?

 2       A.   I think more than a hundred.

 3       Q.   But less than 500?

 4       A.   Yes.

 5       Q.   So there was a joint government session of the government of the

 6    SAO Krajina and the government of Republika Srpska, in Banja Luka, in

 7    October 1991; correct?

 8       A.   No.

 9            MR. STEWART:  Could Your Honour give me a moment?

10                          [Defence counsel confer]

11            MR. STEWART:

12       Q.   Was -- I thought you had said, but maybe not - I ask you now - was

13    there any sort of a meeting in Banja Luka relatively shortly before the

14    meeting that you mention on the 23rd of October at the Federation Palace

15    in Belgrade?

16       A.   I mentioned a meeting two days earlier, on the 20th of October,

17    1991.

18       Q.   And was that meeting -- well, I'll put it in an open way to you,

19    Mr. Babic.  What was that meeting on the 20th of October?  It was a

20    meeting of whom, for what?

21       A.   On the 23rd of October, the meeting was held in the Federation

22    Palace in Belgrade.  It was officially called by the Presidency of

23    Yugoslavia, based on my information.  It had been scheduled pursuant to an

24    instruction from Slobodan Milosevic, who attended only the beginning of

25    the meeting.  The media did not report him attending the meeting at all.

Page 3505

 1    And there were representatives of the Republic of Serbia attending, the

 2    socialist Republic of Serbia.  No.  I apologise.  Republic of Serbia.  The

 3    Republic of Montenegro --

 4       Q.   I will interrupt you on this occasion, if I may.  First of all,

 5    and I don't mean this question in the least bit offensively or it doesn't

 6    have some hidden meaning to it.  Are you very tired at the moment,

 7    Mr. Babic?

 8       A.   No, absolutely not.  You speak about meetings, diaries.  Then you

 9    come up with a meeting of the 20th in Banja Luka, the 23rd in Belgrade,

10    and I have to shift mentally from the events on the 20th of October in

11    Banja Luka without any warning from you to the events on the 23rd in

12    Belgrade.  This is why I have to prepare myself, both visually and

13    mentally, to tell you about this.  I'm not tired, not.

14       Q.   Fine, Mr. Babic.

15            JUDGE ORIE:  Let's concentrate on questions and answers.  You were

16    asked, Mr. Babic, about a meeting that would have taken place shortly

17    before the meeting of the 23rd of October.  Could you tell us what the

18    purpose of that meeting was and who attended that meeting.

19            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand the question,

20    Your Honour.  I did not understand it just a few minutes ago because I

21    thought the question was about the 23rd of October.  So I apologise.

22            The meeting on the 20th of October, 1991, in Banja Luka, was

23    called by Dr. Karadzic.  I was notified about the meeting by Slobodan

24    Milosevic, who told me that I should attend it.  I went to Banja Luka.

25    There were representatives of the political leadership of Serbs in Bosnia

Page 3506












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Page 3507

 1    and Herzegovina, Western Slavonia.  I was there.  I don't know whether

 2    there was anybody else from SAO Krajina there as well.  It was a small

 3    gathering, perhaps 20 people.

 4            The meeting was called pursuant to The Hague Conference about the

 5    former Yugoslavia, and the purpose of the meeting was to have

 6    representatives of Serbs in Bosnia, Western Slavonia, and SAO Krajina give

 7    support to policies of the leadership of Serbia, as presented at The Hague

 8    Conference.

 9            MR. STEWART:

10       Q.   And did those 20 -- those 20 people, it would seem to follow, very

11    clearly, on your evidence, would include Dr. Karadzic; correct?

12       A.   Yes.  He called the meeting.  He chaired the meeting, gave a

13    speech, promoted this gathering in the media, and this was more a media

14    promotion of the meeting than a very significant meeting, in terms of its

15    content.

16       Q.   Significant enough, though, for Mr. Milosevic to have got in touch

17    with you and say that you should attend?

18       A.   That's right.

19       Q.   And for what reason did Mr. Milosevic -- what reason did

20    Mr. Milosevic give you for you to attend?

21       A.   Well, first of all, I have to say that Mr. Milosevic has a very

22    peculiar way of explaining things and expressing himself, so I have to say

23    about two or three sentences about that, with your permission.

24       Q.   Well, it's the Trial Chamber's permission, Mr. Babic, but so far

25    as you need mine, with respect, you have it.

Page 3508

 1            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Please do so.

 2       A.   Thank you, Your Honour.

 3            I think that I was in Belgrade.  I cannot remember exactly.  After

 4    Milosevic's call, I came to his office very soon thereafter, after the

 5    meeting.  When I came there, Mr. Milosevic was very angry.  He was cursing

 6    Momir Bulatovic, rather, his mother.  He called him a traitor, threatened

 7    him with Branko Kostic, and so on.  That was after Mr. Bulatovic at

 8    The Hague Conference accepted the proposal of Mr. Carrington, the

 9    international facilitator, concerning the future of Yugoslavia.  That was

10    in contradiction of Milosevic's views at the conference.  And after that,

11    he told me that I need to go to Banja Luka, that Mr. Karadzic would

12    explain to me there what is to be done, that we need to express support to

13    Yugoslavia, and he even provided an aeroplane for me to travel from

14    Belgrade to Banja Luka, as a result of which I arrived at Banja Luka that

15    very day and I found Karadzic there.  The meeting was held, and, as I

16    said, this meeting was in fact a media promotion of the view taken by

17    Milosevic at The Hague Conference.

18            MR. STEWART:

19       Q.   So what was the -- there clearly was a difference of view.  What

20    was the divergence of view, then, between Mr. Milosevic -- well, first of

21    all, who was Mr. Bulatovic?

22       A.   President of the Republic of Montenegro.

23       Q.   And what was the divergence of view between Mr. Bulatovic and

24    Mr. Milosevic?

25       A.   Mr. Bulatovic, at the second Plenary Session of The Hague

Page 3509

 1    Conference, accepted the document on the future organisation of

 2    Yugoslavia, whereby it was envisioned that all those republics who seek

 3    independence will gain it.  And there were three models of future

 4    relationships between these units.  One was the federation, the second one

 5    was confederation, and the third option was independence.  That was the

 6    content of that document.  Milosevic supported the view that Yugoslavia

 7    needs to be continue on.  He advocated the federation model, that option.

 8    This is briefly his position.  Pragmatically-speaking, Milosevic was

 9    the only representative from Yugoslav republics who refused or declined to

10    accept that proposal.

11       Q.   And did you have an indication from Mr. Milosevic in advance of

12    the meeting when he contacted you of what Mr. Karadzic's position was in

13    relation to that divergence between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Bulatovic?

14       A.   I don't remember exactly, but it was well known.  It was known to

15    me as well, that Karadzic shared Milosevic's view.  That was a well-known

16    fact.  I don't remember whether there was an actual discussion about it at

17    the time, but the matter was completely clear.

18       Q.   And did you go as the principal representative of the SAO

19    Krajina?

20       A.   Where?

21       Q.   To the meeting in Banja Luka on the 20th of October.

22       A.   I was a representative from Krajina, a representative of the

23    government of the SAO Krajina.  That was my role, my official role.

24       Q.   And what was Dr. Karadzic's official role?

25       A.   Officially, he was president of the Serbian Democratic Party of

Page 3510

 1    Bosnia and Herzegovina, and factually, he was one of the main leaders,

 2    political leaders, of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 3       Q.   He was, effectively, the representative of Republika Srpska,

 4    wasn't he?  I'm sorry.  He was -- I beg your pardon.  He was effectively

 5    the main, the principal representative of the Bosnian Serbs, as the, in

 6    effect equivalent of you, as the principal representative of the SAO

 7    Krajina government?

 8       A.   First of all, this was not an official meeting where people had to

 9    appear in their official roles.  There were a number of people there, not

10    just main representatives.  From Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was

11    Dr. Karadzic, and also people from Banja Luka.  So not all of the main

12    leaders from Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This was a small gathering, and it

13    wasn't only the representatives exclusively who were there in their

14    personal capacities.  So I couldn't interpret it in the way that you

15    depicted it, that I was the main representative from the SAO Krajina and

16    that my counterpart from Bosnia was Dr. Karadzic.  That's not how I would

17    describe it.  In my view, I believed it then and I believe it now, this

18    was a gathering that was used to promote views, and it was attended by the

19    people who frequently appeared in public in media.  As I've said in the

20    beginning, this was a media promotion of a political position.

21       Q.   So how long did the meeting itself last?

22       A.   Not long.  I don't think it lasted more than an hour.  In my view,

23    long enough to have TV cameras tape what was going on and to have the

24    participants give statements.

25       Q.   Were the press admitted to the meeting itself?

Page 3511

 1       A.   Yes.  The Belgrade TV crew was there.  There were also other

 2    television crews, but I cannot recall who they were.

 3       Q.   Was Mr. Krajisnik there?

 4       A.   As far as I recall, no.

 5            MR. STEWART:  Would Your Honour give me a moment?

 6                          [Defence counsel confer]

 7            MR. STEWART:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 8       Q.   Mr. Krajisnik was there, Mr. Babic, wasn't he?

 9       A.   It's possible.  I said that I don't recall him being there or not.

10       Q.   So if Mr. Krajisnik says he was there, can we take it that you

11    wouldn't dispute that?

12       A.   I'm telling you what I know.

13       Q.   All right.  I'll rephrase it.  If Mr. Krajisnik says he was there,

14    you know nothing whatever that would enable you to dispute that; is that

15    correct?

16       A.   I'm not disputing anything.  I'm just telling you what I recall

17    and what I know for sure.  I don't understand the question.  In what sense

18    should I be disputing anything?  I don't think it's up to me to dispute

19    anything.  I'm just telling you what I know and what I recollect.

20       Q.   Mr. Babic, by contrast, a meeting that you say Mr. Krajisnik was

21    present at on the 23rd of October, 1991, at the Federation Palace in

22    Belgrade, is a meeting that Mr. Krajisnik says he was not present at.

23       A.   I remember that the president of the Assembly of Bosnia and

24    Herzegovina was there in that capacity; namely, this was following the

25    departure from the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly.  I don't know whether

Page 3512

 1    the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina was already

 2    formed, but in that sense, he was representing the people, the Serb people

 3    of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 4       Q.   Well, when you say you remember that the president of the Assembly

 5    of Bosnia and Herzegovina was there in that capacity, that's not exactly a

 6    coded expression, is it, Mr. Babic?  The president of the Assembly of the

 7    Serbian Republic was -- of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was Mr. Krajisnik,

 8    wasn't it?

 9       A.   I would like to clarify something that I have already said.  I

10    know that Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik was the president of the Assembly of

11    Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In the middle of the month, the Serb

12    representatives left the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly and established

13    the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I cannot

14    remember what date this was established.  At the time, in Belgrade,

15    Mr. Krajisnik was one of the representatives of the Serbian people of

16    Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I apologise.

17            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Babic, the question simply is whether

18    Mr. Krajisnik was present at that meeting in this palace on the 23rd of

19    October.

20            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I recollect, yes, he was.

21            JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.

22            MR. STEWART:  I've managed to convince my own team that I know

23    what I'm talking about, Your Honour, so with that assurance I'm going to

24    continue.

25       Q.   Mr. Babic, there was a session -- I say now I said I knew what I

Page 3513

 1    was talking about, but the -- there was the founding assembly of Republika

 2    Srpska on the 24th of October, 1991.  Do you recall that?

 3       A.   I think that it was called the Assembly of the Serbian People of

 4    Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I'm sure that that's what it was called.

 5       Q.   I think you are correct about that, Mr. Babic.  Thank you.  I

 6    think you are correct about that at that point.

 7            But -- although that isn't in the end the substance of the

 8    question.  So with that correction, and you seem to have a pretty good

 9    recollection, then, do you recall that there was the founding assembly of

10    the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 24th of October, 1991?

11       A.   I said that it was held approximately at that time.  I cannot

12    recall the exact date.  I think it was between the 13th and the 15th of

13    October, 1991.  The deputies of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina

14    left the assembly, and within a short period of time, within seven to ten

15    days, the Serbian Assembly -- the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia

16    and Herzegovina was formed.  That's what I know.

17       Q.   Mr. Babic, I'll put it to you and see whether you disagree, even

18    if you may be uncertain about the dates.  Do you know anything that would

19    enable you to disagree with it was the 14th or 15th of October that the

20    events involving the walking out of the Serb deputies in the Assembly of

21    Bosnia and Herzegovina occurred, and you are right, it was around ten days

22    later, it was the 24th of October, 1991 that there was the first assembly

23    of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  If I put it to you that

24    those are the historical facts, do you know anything which enables you to

25    say that that is wrong?

Page 3514

 1       A.   You just have given me a speech.  I am not disputing historical

 2    facts.  That is my answer.  What I do know is that there was a period from

 3    when the Serb deputies of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina left the

 4    session of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly, relating to the voting on

 5    the declaration of a sovereign or independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. That

 6    was the cause.  And this happened in October 1991.

 7            A few days after this event - I don't know if you mentioned the

 8    24th, or I'm not disputing the date, I didn't provide a specific date -

 9    the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed.

10    That is what I know about that event.  You're asking me if I'm disputing

11    historical facts.  No, I'm not.

12       Q.   And do you know anything about the practical difficulty for

13    Mr. Krajisnik that, in preparation for the founding assembly of the Serb

14    People of Bosnia and Herzegovina in -- on the 24th of October, 1991, on

15    the 23rd of October, 1991, Mr. Krajisnik needed to be and was in fact in

16    Sarajevo, preparing for that event?  Does that jog your memory at all?  Do

17    you know anything at all about that?

18       A.   I don't know any specific actions, but I know that the founding

19    was something that was being prepared for.  I don't know what

20    Mr. Krajisnik was doing in Sarajevo at the time.

21       Q.   So leaving aside Mr. Krajisnik for the moment, who do you -- who

22    else - let's put it that way - do you recall being at the meeting at the

23    Federation Palace in Belgrade on the 23rd of October, 1991?

24       A.   Branko Kostic, Borisav Jovic were there, Sejdo Bajramovic, the

25    fourth member of the Presidency of Yugoslavia from Vojvodina.  I will try

Page 3515

 1    to remember his name later.  Then the president of the Assembly of

 2    Montenegro was also there, Slobodan Milosevic was there, Radovan Karadzic

 3    was there, Momcilo Krajisnik was there, Nikola Koljevic, Biljana Plavsic,

 4    Peko Dzakula, Goran Hadzic were also there, and some other people.

 5       Q.   Well, you've re-asserted that Mr. Krajisnik was there, Mr. Babic.

 6    Are we taking it that whatever the historical facts, you have a clear

 7    recollection in your mind that Mr. Krajisnik was at that meeting on the

 8    23rd of October, 1991, in Belgrade?

 9       A.   That was also a historical fact.

10       Q.   Was that -- that meeting attended by the press?

11       A.   Yes.  I know that it was filmed for television, and I don't know

12    who else from the media was there.  The meeting was reported in the media.

13    I also remember that the media did not report Slobodan Milosevic as being

14    present.  I don't know who they said was present, but I do remember that

15    the media did not report Slobodan Milosevic as being present, even though

16    he did attend the meeting.  I don't recall the other things the media

17    reported about the meeting.

18       Q.   Mr. Babic, just why do you draw attention to the fact that the

19    media didn't report Mr. Milosevic as being present, even though he was?

20    What's the -- why does that feature in your answer?

21       A.   It was significant for me, and it made a strong impression on me

22    personally, because I discussed something with Milosevic.  I responded to

23    his pressure that I should attend a meeting in Paris with international

24    representatives regarding my statement for -- in favour of international

25    representatives relating to The Hague Conference and The Hague documents.

Page 3516

 1    That was important for me.  After that meeting I practically fled from

 2    Belgrade and I did not go to Paris because of the pressure from Milosevic.

 3    And later I saw a clip of that meeting saying that it was attended by the

 4    representatives from Bosnia, from SAO Krajina, from Herzegovina, from

 5    Montenegro.  I cannot remember which people were said as to have chaired

 6    the meeting, and many of them were mentioned, except Milosevic.  This was

 7    important to me.  I simply had the impression that he wanted to conceal

 8    his presence, although he was the organiser of it all, in order for it to

 9    appear in public that the Serbs from Bosnia and Croatia, and the

10    representatives of Montenegro and Serbia, who were not mentioned there,

11    were disputing The Hague documents and supporting his policies on their

12    own initiative, without his input.  That was the conclusion.  This was

13    something that was obvious.  And this is why this was important to me, and

14    this is why I'm constantly referring to this occasion with Milosevic.

15       Q.   This is a hypothetical as far as the Defence is concerned,

16    Mr. Babic.  If Mr. Krajisnik had been at that meeting, which you say he

17    was, he would have, as far as you know, do you agree, he would have had

18    neither the ability nor any motive to have the media conceal his

19    attendance at the meeting?  Do you agree with that?

20       A.   I don't know really if I can comment on that.  I assume that he

21    wouldn't have a motive for that.  I don't know.  My answer is:  I don't

22    know.

23       Q.   On the question of ability, then, you'd agree that Mr. Milosevic

24    seems to be consistent with evidence you've given, Mr. Milosevic did have

25    the ability to manipulate the media to that degree?

Page 3517

 1       A.   Yes, over his own media, yes.

 2       Q.   What was the main -- if there was a main point, what was the main

 3    point of that meeting on the 23rd of October, 1991, in Belgrade?

 4       A.   Well, you can draw the main point from Branko Kostic's conclusion

 5    after the meeting, and during the meeting, the main topic was to calculate

 6    the percentage of the population from the territories of the former

 7    Yugoslavia who were supporting Yugoslavia, the concept of the Federation,

 8    the policy promoted by Slobodan Milosevic.  At the end of the meeting,

 9    Branko Kostic calculated that, based on the representatives of Serbs from

10    Montenegro and from Bosnia and Herzegovina and from Croatia, something

11    over 50 per cent of the population of Yugoslavia was in favour of

12    Yugoslavia the way it was promoted or supported by Slobodan Milosevic.

13    Perhaps we're talking about 52 per cent or something.  I cannot remember

14    the exact figure, but it was over 50 per cent.  And this is something that

15    Branko Kostic announced.

16       Q.   You were there throughout the meeting, were you?

17       A.   Yes, I would say yes.  I think so, yes.  I cannot remember the way

18    the meeting ended, but, according to what I remember, after it was

19    finished, after the meeting was finished, I left Belgrade by a side route.

20    But as far as I remember, I think that, yes, I was there until the end.

21    It never occurred to me or I never thought that I left before the meeting

22    was completed.  I cannot specifically recall now the way the meeting was

23    ended, when Kostic said that it was over and what we did and how we left.

24    But I do recall his conclusion and the percentages, which means that that

25    was at the end of the meeting.  That's how I can tell that I stayed until

Page 3518

 1    the end.

 2       Q.   And could you then describe the process, as briefly as you can,

 3    but the process of the meeting by which percentage support from the

 4    populations of the different constituent elements of Yugoslavia were

 5    established by the particular representatives at that meeting.

 6       A.   First, based on the presence of the representatives themselves. It

 7    was noted that the president of the Assembly of Serbia, of Montenegro, and

 8    other officials of Serbia and Montenegro represented the entire republics

 9    of Serbia and Montenegro.  It was noted that representatives of Serbs from

10    Bosnia and Herzegovina represented all of the Serbian people from Bosnia

11    and Herzegovina there.  It was four of them.  Perhaps there was somebody

12    else.  And it was noted that representatives of the SAO Krajina, of the

13    SAO Western Slavonia and Eastern Slavonia and Baranja represent that

14    entire region.  So that is how we had the percentage of 52 per cent of the

15    population in favour of Yugoslavia, according to that particular

16    calculation.

17       Q.   Were you personally convinced of the correctness of that

18    calculated conclusion?

19       A.   I assume that it could be correct, or approximately.  I didn't

20    really dwell on the particulars.

21       Q.   Who chaired the meeting?

22       A.   Branko Kostic, the vice-president of the Presidency of the SFRY.

23    At the time he was formally at the head of the rump Presidency of

24    Yugoslavia, which was comprised of only four officials, four

25    representatives of the republics of the former Yugoslavia.  Four did not

Page 3519

 1    take part.  So it was four members from the total of eight of the former

 2    Presidency of Yugoslavia who were disputed the right to represent the

 3    Yugoslavia by The Hague Conference.  Kostic was the name of also the

 4    fourth representative from Vojvodina.

 5            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, I really have got to the point where,

 6    where I go next in this cross-examination is into an area where I am

 7    frankly not feeling equipped to go.

 8            JUDGE ORIE:  How much time would it take you to get there?

 9            MR. STEWART:  Well, not today, Your Honour.

10            JUDGE ORIE:  Not today?

11            MR. STEWART:  No.

12            JUDGE ORIE:  Is this a proposal to adjourn until Monday?

13            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, it has to be, because that is, with

14    respect, that is the only -- that is the only logical conclusion.  I

15    cannot go further into the cross-examination today on that basis, so the

16    answer must be yes.

17            JUDGE ORIE:  Do you have any idea how much time you would need on

18    Monday?

19            MR. STEWART:  I'm likely to need something approaching a full day,

20    Your Honour.  It won't be just a -- it won't be just an hour or so.  As

21    Your Honour can see, we have the other meetings on that checklist, and

22    Your Honour can see some of the other areas.  So it can't be a short

23    session.  There's no question of that.

24                          [Trial Chamber confers]

25            JUDGE ORIE:  As I indicated before, Mr. Stewart, the Chamber would

Page 3520

 1    take into consideration the -- well, we said the position at 4.00 this

 2    afternoon we would look at how the cross-examination was conducted.  We

 3    have considered that, and we had already some discussion on the

 4    cross-examination during the last break.  The Chamber grants you three

 5    more hours next Monday, and that's it.

 6            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, I note what Your Honour has said.  It's

 7    a pre-emptive decision.  I note what Your Honour has said.  I can do no

 8    more than note it.

 9            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  It's a decision, and if there's any need to

10    change the decision, of course, if time comes, but until now, the Chamber

11    was not impressed in the usual way it is by the efficiency of this

12    cross-examination.

13            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, may I comment on that?

14            JUDGE ORIE:  No, rather not.  I just gave -- I noted that some

15    questions were put two, three times to the witness.  His answers were

16    often dealt with in a way which could have been more efficient.

17            MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, the only comment I wish to make is that

18    I do not accept the stricture, with respect, Your Honour.

19            JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, you do not agree with me.

20            MR. STEWART:  No.  Respectfully, I do not.

21            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Tieger, is there -- since you might be then

22    surprised that we would adjourn until next Monday, is there anything still

23    to be discussed at this very moment?

24            MR. TIEGER:  No, Your Honour, nothing that I'm aware of.

25            JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Stewart, is there anything else on the agenda

Page 3521

 1    which you would need to raise at this moment?

 2            MR. STEWART:  No, Your Honour.

 3            JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

 4            Mr. Babic, this means that we'll continue next Monday, and I'm

 5    looking at you, Madam Registrar, whether it would be in the same

 6    courtroom.  I note that it's at 9.00 in the morning.

 7                          [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

 8            JUDGE ORIE:  We'll then be in Courtroom II next Monday, and we'll

 9    adjourn until then.

10                          --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,

11                          to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of

12                          June 2004, at 9.00 a.m.