1 Friday, 4 June 2004
2 [Closed session][
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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,
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.
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.
25 MR. STEWART: Yes, we are, Your Honour. I do have a couple of --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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.
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
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Babic. We had some procedural
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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?
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
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,
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
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
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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,
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
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?
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
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,
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
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
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.
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
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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.
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
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
21 A. I apologise. Do you mean the notes or the documents of other
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
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 any remainders of this kind of documents in the period 1993 -- 1992 and
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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;
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?
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;
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
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 --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
25 Q. No, Mr. Babic. Please. Your answer -- your previous answer was:
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
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
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?
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,
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.
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
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
25 Q. Mr. Babic, there was a session -- I say now I said I knew what I
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?
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
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.
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.