1 Monday, 7 June 2004
2 [Closed session -
3 Chamber] [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
9 Good morning to everyone. Before we continue, I'd like to make a
10 few observations. First of all, and I'm addressing the Defence, when I
11 commented on the way the cross-examination was conducted last Friday, I am
12 aware that I should have done that in the absence of the witness. This is
13 for the Defence to know that, therefore, I regret that I did it in the
14 presence of the witness. That's point one.
15 Second point is that when we granted three hours last Friday to
16 the Defence, it might have been understood that this is related to
17 problems on sitting Tuesday. It is not. If it would turn out that, for
18 whatever reason, we'd need more time, we'll take that. It's not the -- I
19 would say the Tuesday agenda which is finally determining whether or not
20 more time should be taken. This is not an invitation and not an
21 encouragement to take more time, but I just wanted to make it quite clear
22 that these kind of practical circumstances are not the prevailing
23 considerations and that it's finally the fairness and the facilities for
24 the Defence that are guiding the Chamber in making its determinations.
25 Then my third observation is that we received two motions. The
1 first one on a request for certification of appeal. We considered that
2 motion. Then the other motion we received is a confidential motion on the
3 fourth motion on protective measures.
4 I take it that the Defence has also received that motion. I
5 specifically asked to bring it to the attention of the Defence because if
6 the motion would be granted, then a videolink takes quite some time to
7 prepare. Therefore, if the Defence would be in a position to express
8 itself on this fourth motion, seeking -- well, not mainly protective
9 measures but testimony by videolink and in closed session, I'd like to
10 hear from the Defence.
11 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, first of all, we appreciate
12 Your Honour's first comment about the comment in the presence of the
13 witness, and we understand that.
14 Secondly, as I'd certainly like to offer my apology if I betrayed
15 my irritation on Friday afternoon. I can't apologise for being irritated,
16 Your Honour. That's another matter, but I can apologise for betraying my
17 irritation, and I realise that the -- what Your Honour said was in fact
18 wrapped in a compliment somewhere, so...
19 JUDGE ORIE: We gladly accept what you just said.
20 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour. The next point is that
21 Your Honour has confirmed it. In fact, for all thoughts we might have
22 about the case, we did not think that the Tuesday timetable was driving
23 that in any case, but thank you anyway, Your Honour. That didn't seem to
24 us to be an issue at all.
25 So far as the motions are concerned, yes, Your Honour has our
1 application on motion in relation to certification. And so far as the
2 other matter is concerned, we are putting in a formal response today, but
3 it might be helpful if I indicate, Your Honour, that we are not objecting
4 to the videolink method of taking evidence in relation to this witness. It
5 seems perfectly sensible in principle, I should say in principle, this
6 Defence team is supportive of videolink evidence, which in many cases is
7 perfectly sensible way of proceeding, we suggest. So you will find us
8 generally supportive of videolink evidence in -- obviously in appropriate
9 cases. There will be some that aren't.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, certainly we -- I'd just like to say
23 something else which could easily be said in Mr. Mueller's presence but
24 not in the witness's presence. Your Honour, the -- we did and have made
25 it clear at the outset of the cross-examination of Mr. Babic and we
1 continue to, that the Defence -- we do not -- we have not had sufficient
2 time to prepare for cross-examination of Mr. Babic, and that remains the
3 position. It leads to this result, Your Honour: That, as I did on
4 Friday, I am prepared -- I put it this way, Your Honour: I do not object
5 to proceeding with cross-examination of Mr. Babic as best I can, exploring
6 what areas I feel equipped to explore with him, as efficiently as I can
7 manage, given the circumstances.
8 The -- there are two aspects, then, that that leaves. One is
9 complying with my obligation under Rule 90(H) to put such aspects of the
10 Defence case as this witness might be able to help with, comment upon,
11 give evidence upon.
12 Again, I will comply with that obligation as much as I can, but it
13 may be with the benefit of hindsight it will be seen that there are
14 aspects of the case which would be covered by that provision, which ought
15 in different circumstances to have been put, which I won't have been able
16 to put.
17 Secondly, and related to that, is the real possibility, it's
18 always there with any witness in principle, but the real possibility that
19 at some point the Defence will ask for Mr. Babic to be recalled. Now,
20 there's no value in dealing with that in abstract, Your Honour, in any
21 detail this morning, because ex hypothesi what we're talking about is
22 something when we're looking at it in due course we will say this is
23 something that we couldn't reasonably have dealt with at the time but
24 which justifies his being recalled. So that is a bridge which has to be
25 crossed as far as the actual content of any such application were
1 concerned. But specifically in relation to this witness, although it's
2 implicit as an underlying point in relation to any witness, but it
3 normally doesn't arise, but we would like to make that observation to
4 record that there is a distinct possibility in relation to Mr. Babic that
5 that will occur. Because we have been faced with two aspects in a
6 nutshell. One is that Your Honour knows the Defence position in relation
7 to preparation for the case generally, which involves such matters as the
8 context and the wider knowledge of the case, which particularly in
9 relation to Mr. Babic, where it brings in the whole aspect of Croatia, has
10 put the Defence under pressure and difficulty, and specifically in
11 relation to Mr. Babic, the quantity of material, given the enormously high
12 pressure timetable of this case over the last couple of weeks. And Your
13 Honour will be perfectly well aware, I'm sure Your Honours will be aware
14 of the enormous pressures over the last week but wouldn't have lost track
15 of the fact that the week before was an exceptionally heavy week with a
16 number of different aspects that directly related to the trial hearing
17 itself and to wider considerations and looking ahead to the case.
18 So we frankly acknowledge that. We're not just acknowledge it,
19 but assert it, Your Honour, that the alternative, which we have seriously
20 considered, was whether, notwithstanding the exchanges on Friday and where
21 we got to on Friday, whether this morning we could simply say, well, we
22 are not properly ready to proceed with Mr. Babic's cross-examination. But
23 the fact is I believe that -- I'm adopting the criterion that so far as I
24 feel that I can explore particular areas with Mr. Babic safely in the
25 sense that it's my judgement on behalf of Mr. Krajisnik I'm not taking any
1 unwarranted risks by going into those areas of cross-examination. That's
2 one criterion but that leaves the whole area of what areas and what
3 matters I might wish to explore further if we had had more time and
4 opportunity to be ready for his cross-examination.
5 So, Your Honour, on that footing, we do expect to -- I'm not
6 expecting that in 20 minutes time I'm going to say, well, that's as far as
7 I can go. I do want to make it clear to Your Honour that we are proposing
8 to go through quite a lot of ground today. We're proposing to meet
9 Your Honour's time limit and we hope that something valuable and efficient
10 will emerge for this trial out of the next less than three hours. But I
11 think, Your Honour, that's probably as much as I can or need say at the
12 moment in relation to matters which, as I said, ex hypothesi to some
13 extent, can't than be elaborated further for precisely the reasons
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there would be a request for recall of
16 Mr. Babic, in general I would say that the Chamber would be surprised
17 under normal circumstances if there would be a request for a recall of a
18 witness at a later stage where the witness has already been
19 cross-examined. Let me express it in this way, that the Chamber would be
20 less surprised, given the circumstances, if such a request would be ever
21 made, and we'll then seriously consider that.
22 MR. STEWART: Yes, but that -- Your Honour, that's a very fair
23 response, if I may say so respectfully, and I think therefore we
24 understand the Trial Chamber and the Defence understand each other in
25 relation to this issue.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I got the impression that Mr. Krajisnik
2 wanted to address the Court. Is that a correct impression or is it not?
3 MR. STEWART: It seems it is, Your Honour.
4 THE ACCUSED: I would like to thank the Trial Chamber for allowing
5 me to address them very briefly. What I wish to say on this occasion is
6 in fact a request. Whenever you find the possibility, I would appreciate
7 it if you would give me an opportunity to express my concern regarding the
8 preparation of this trial. I am very concerned about the way this trial
9 is moving on. I understand the hearing should begin soon, but I beg you
10 to find the time for my address. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What would be anything in addition to what
12 counsel have already expressed, or would there be something -- or would
13 you like to underline what has been expressed by counsel? That's -- I
14 mean the concerns have been expressed. That's maybe clear to you. But
15 we'll give you an opportunity. Let's leave it to that. I'd rather now
16 start with the examination of the -- the continuation of the
17 cross-examination of Mr. Babic, but we'll find soon a moment where we'll
18 give you an opportunity to further address the Chamber.
19 THE ACCUSED: I am not in a collision, in conflict with my Defence
20 counsel, but I would like to add a few points. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll give you an opportunity soon for that.
22 Mr. Mueller may be accompanied into the courtroom. Good morning,
23 Mr. Mueller.
24 MR. MUELLER: Good morning.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Repositioning you in this courtroom doesn't change
1 your position in any way. Then I'd like to have Mr. Babic escorted into
2 the courtroom, and perhaps we should take care that no one breaks his legs
3 over the lifeline of the Defence.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ORIE: I'm so cautious, Mr. Stewart, because I've seen
6 accidents happen with Ferraris before.
7 Mr. Babic, please be seated. I'd like to remind you that you're
8 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
9 your testimony, and I'd also like to remind you to the -- I would say the
10 special attention I paid to these duties when cross-examination started.
11 WITNESS: MILAN BABIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, my other computer is a Dell.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart: [Continued]
16 Q. Mr. Babic, we are considering a number of different meetings when
17 you were giving evidence on Friday. You have given a number of -- or you
18 have been interviewed on a number of occasions in connection with
19 proceedings against you before this Tribunal, haven't you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And in particular, I want to refer you to an interview which you
22 gave on the 11th of January, 1992?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, is that a slip of the tongue that you
24 said 1992? Because that was --
25 MR. STEWART: It is a slip of the tongue, Your Honour. Thank you
1 for -- thank you for pointing that out. 2002, of course, 11th of January,
3 Q. And that's at a time when you were a suspect. That's correct,
4 isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what you -- you were being asked, and this is at page 60 of --
7 for everybody's record, page 60 of the transcript of an interview being
8 conducted on the 11th of January, 2002, and you were being asked about
9 meetings about which you've already given evidence before this Trial
10 Chamber, with Mr. Karadzic. And do you recall, you say there were two
11 meetings that you had in July 1991 on the same day. You first of all met
12 Mr. Milosevic and then Mr. Karadzic and then you went to Celinac and you
13 had a meeting where Mr. Milosevic was not present? That's correct, isn't
15 A. I was at a meeting with Milosevic and Karadzic in Belgrade on the
16 same day as I met with Karadzic in Celinac, if that's what you are
17 referring to.
18 Q. Yes, that's right. And Mr. Milosevic was not present at the
19 second of those meetings, but Mr. Karadzic was; that's correct, isn't it?
20 A. If you mean in Celinac, then no.
21 Q. Yes, I do. The -- and then you -- you've described in evidence --
22 well, in your statement, you said: "I usually ordered a coffee." This
23 was the meeting with Mr. Milosevic. "But Milosevic insisted we drink
24 whiskey. You know he said: Well, I would -- he said, Let's drink to
25 this, and then he offered us cigars. He had a box of cigars. I don't
1 smoke, so I didn't take a cigar, but Karadzic did take a cigar. He lit it
2 up and put it in his pocket." And you said: "These are the picturesque
3 scenes that I remember." And then you commented that you have more of a
4 visual memory.
5 And then you said: "We resumed our meeting in Celinac." That's
6 near Banja Luka - the same evening, and that meeting, as you've described,
7 was mainly attended by people from the area of Banja Luka.
8 The incident that you've described where Mr. Karadzic, or
9 Dr. Karadzic, it is, rather theatrically used a cigar to represent or
10 indicate to Mr. Izetbegovic and his attitude towards Mr. Izetbegovic, do
11 you say that took place at the meeting in Celinac and not at the earlier
13 A. He put one of Milosevic's cigars into one of his pockets and using
14 that cigar he represented or impersonated Izetbegovic in Celinac.
15 Q. And that took place in Celinac and not at the earlier meeting;
17 A. The last time I appeared before the Trial Chamber, I described
18 this attempt at drama in Celinac. I also described the conversation in
19 Belgrade. I described the play-acting.
20 Q. Well, just confirm for us this morning, Mr. Babic, what I put to
21 you was that this theatrical performance by Dr. Karadzic took place in
22 Celinac and not at the earlier meeting in Belgrade that same day.
23 A. In Celinac, it was a very theatrical performance on his part, but
24 in Belgrade he behaved decently before Milosevic. He just explained,
25 without gesturing, without play-acting of the kind he did in Celinac.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, there's some -- it's a bit ambiguous the
2 answer the witness gave on your question when you said: Mr. Milosevic was
3 not present at the second of those meetings, but Mr. Karadzic was; that's
4 correct, isn't it? Then the answer was: "If you mean in Celinac, then
5 no." It's unclear whether the "no" was about the absence of Mr. Milosevic
6 in Celinac or whether that your statement was not correct.
7 Do I understand your testimony to be that the morning session, or
8 indeed the earlier session was in the presence of Mr. Milosevic and
9 Mr. Karadzic, and the second meeting, Mr. Milosevic was absent,
10 Mr. Karadzic was present?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. STEWART:
14 Q. Now, you also -- well, you gave a number of interviews, of course.
15 Another interview in connection with your position as a suspect was on the
16 15th of January, 2002. So that was just a few days after the one we've
17 been referring to. And the reference to that is at page 12. And the
18 question you were asked by one of the interviewers with the initials AC,
19 that you were asked -- the question is: Why was this meeting in -- and I
20 should say straight away that the transcript says: "Why was this meeting
21 in?????" is the way it's typed out. But we believe it is absolutely clear
22 from the rest of the transcript that it was the Celinac meeting being
23 talked about. It's just that the transcriber apparently wasn't able to
24 identify the name or the word at the time. And we'll proceed on that
1 And you said: "Well, Karadzic, I believe it so that Karadzic
2 proposed these initiatives concerning the two Krajina. This is my
3 impression, but I cannot recall precisely the words. So I was there just
4 standing as a figure at this meeting, because this was a meeting with the
5 people from the Banja Luka region. Here he showed," and then the he is
6 clearly Dr. Karadzic, "he showed his domination and that he is a person
7 who ought to be respected."
8 And then Mr. Mueller, who was present, just commented that you'd
9 already given statements about this meeting.
10 And then it was said. Actually by one of the interviewers --
11 well, it was actually lead counsel, as it turned out in the case against
12 you, but actually two matters we did not discuss in -- this in relation to
13 his opposing the united Krajina. And one -- and at one point we left open
14 so far is which regions did Karadzic want to unite. And then you said:
15 "I don't know." Counsel doing the interview said: "Did he not specify
16 it in any way." And you said: "So, well, I don't know in what sense, but
17 he indicated that this would be the Serbian areas. This is how I
18 understood it, but precisely what he thought or understood by that, I
19 don't know."
20 And then you were asked: "And did he indicate what would happen
21 in the areas that are mixed, where the Muslims and the Croats were the
22 majority or half-half?" You said: "No, no. I haven't heard."
23 And you were asked then: "Did he mention why he preferred this
24 united Bosnian Serb territories?" And you said: "Well, I have these
25 political -- I make some political assumptions. I do not know whether
1 this was his position."
2 You were asked: "What did he say?" You said: "But, but, he was
3 a political leader."
4 And you -- that's what you said: "But, but, he was a political
5 leader." And then you continued: "I don't know what he said exactly. As
6 I understood it, that he wouldn't like it to this severed from his zones
7 of political interest. This is what I thought."
8 Now, the impression given by your answers in relation to that
9 meeting, Mr. Babic, is that it was not at all clear to you what Dr.
10 Karadzic was saying and what his plans, to use that word, were; do you
12 A. At that time, I did not provide all the information about
13 everything I knew, and at the end of my interviews I did say that I had
14 more to say, more to add.
15 Q. Then can we move on to the meeting that you have described at the
16 Federation Palace in Belgrade. Your evidence was of a meeting on the 23rd
17 of October. 23rd of October, 1991. You -- on the 30th of November, 2001,
18 you were interviewed, and there are two transcripts on that day. There
19 was earlier in the day, 9.49 a.m., there's a long transcript, 42 pages,
20 and then there's another one. You appear to have resumed after a break to
21 change tapes and get something to eat and so on. And you resumed at
22 15.03. And then at page 2 of that transcript, you were asked about the
23 meeting in the Federal Palace, the one we've just mentioned. And you were
24 being questioned again. It's Mrs. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff. And she
25 asked you -- this is at the foot of page 3: "And in relation to this
1 meeting in the Presidency, when all the other people were present,
2 including Bosnian Serbs like Karadzic, what was the aim of these people
3 round the table in relation to Yugoslavia and the territories?"
4 And you said: "All these people were supporting this federal
5 Yugoslav option. A delegation of Montenegro was present, but I don't
6 think that Momir Bulatovic was present. I don't know. This can be
7 checked. I think that it was the president of the Montenegrin Assembly
8 and some other people. I think that, if I remember correctly,
9 Bulatovic -- or Momir Bulatovic at a certain point accepted these Hague
10 documents and that Milosevic remained isolated, but then at a certain
11 point, I don't know, was it the assembly or who that -- Bulat [sic] then
12 withdrew his" -- then something inaudible. "And in connection with this
13 meeting, I would like to add something: I don't remember that people were
14 explicitly declaring themselves concerning this. Technically speaking,
15 what was happening was that Branko Kostic was counting -- was calculated."
16 And Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff said: "This 50 that you mentioned
17 already, the 52 per cent", and then you said: "What of 52 per cent for
18 Yugoslavia, of what he knows that"
19 And then you were asked: "Yes, and who from the Bosnian Serbs was
20 there? You mentioned Karadzic. Who else?" And you said: "I can't
21 remember. I can't remember. You see, I was really -- I can't remember. I
22 didn't pay so much attention, because I was preoccupied with this problem
23 of Milosevic and the meeting in Paris. You see, they, they, all these
24 people, as I remember, they were more like a decoration, a backdrop, and a
25 backdrop to that statement, which was then issued to the media."
1 And then Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff went on to ask you about some
2 particular people, whether they were present, including, she said: "What
3 about Martic, Milan Martic? Was he present?" And you said: "I don't
4 think so. I believe not, because I think I would remember it." And then
5 so on, to some other people.
6 So do you agree, Mr. Babic, that, first of all, it's crystal clear
7 from that exchange that your memory of who was or was not at that meeting
8 is a very long way from confident and sure?
9 A. I am not quite sure. I don't have a visual memory of the whole
10 meeting. I have some feelings and impressions. And as far as my visual
11 memory is concerned, I said exactly who I remember.
12 Q. And you also, of course, said who you didn't remember, didn't you?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And it's obvious. We don't need to debate or discuss it. It's
15 obvious that among the people you didn't remember was Mr. Krajisnik,
16 because you didn't mention him specifically as having been there. He must
17 have been included in that general category of "you couldn't remember."
18 Do you agree?
19 A. Visually, I don't remember him, but I do have the impression that
20 he was among the four from Bosnia and Herzegovina, in addition to
21 Vucurevic. It is an impression. I don't have the picture in my mind. I
22 cannot describe it, but that's an impression I have.
23 Q. Well, Mr. Babic, we are in any case checking to see in the end
24 whether Mr. Krajisnik was wasn't there. I put it to you on Friday that he
25 wasn't, but we are in fact, I should say, we're conducting checks and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 we're seeing, because -- I make it clear, we don't regard it a matter of
2 certainty at the moment. But what I put to you is this: That if
3 Mr. Krajisnik was there, then your description of how all these other
4 people were more like a decoration, a backdrop, makes it absolutely clear
5 that he played no significant role at the meeting. Do you agree?
6 A. I said something to the effect that Branko Kostic was taking the
7 chair, and in that sense I agree with you. I said that the group of
8 people from Bosnia and Herzegovina was representing the Serbs. That was
9 their role. It was the meaning of their presence there, to represent the
10 Serbs, just as I was representing the Serbs of the SAO Krajina. In that
11 sense, our presence there was significant, and technically speaking, the
12 leading role belonged to Branko Kostic.
13 Q. You introduce a qualification into your answer, Mr. Babic, so I'm
14 going to press you. In whatever sense, apart from presence at the
15 meeting, if Mr. Krajisnik was at the meeting, but apart from that, in
16 whatever sense, he played no significant part in the meeting; isn't that
18 A. He had a representative role. I don't remember him playing an
19 active part. As I said before this Trial Chamber when we discussed this
20 matter the first time, I described the way Branko Kostic did his
21 arithmetics. He counted the people who were in favour of a united
22 Yugoslavia, and that's how he reached the figure of 52 per cent. He was
23 counting the republics and the peoples who were in favour of Yugoslavia.
24 What Krajisnik said about Bosnia and Herzegovina, I don't know. The
25 representatives of Montenegro, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the others,
1 represented these peoples who eventually made the sum of 52 per cent.
2 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour. These -- these -- they're quite
3 unwieldy files on a flimsy -- flimsy lectern, so there's a certain amount
4 of physically moving backwards and forwards of these files.
5 Q. You -- Mr. Babic, there was no interaction between Mr. Karadzic
6 and Mr. Krajisnik that you can possibly remember from that meeting, is
8 A. Do you mean their contributions at that meeting, what they said?
9 Q. Mr. Babic, I mean exactly what I say. There was no interaction
10 between Mr. -- Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik that you can possibly recall
11 from that meeting, whoever was present, is there?
12 A. It is my impression that they were together, they were sitting
13 together. To the right of the chairman, Mr. Kostic, and the other members
14 of the Presidency of Yugoslavia.
15 Q. Well, that's only, Mr. Babic, you only say that because it's
16 absolutely obvious that if Mr. Krajisnik was at the meeting, he and
17 Dr. Karadzic would have sat near to each other. That's obvious, isn't it?
18 A. It is my impression the people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
19 Serbs, were sitting together in a group. To the left of the chairman,
20 Mr. Kostic. But I don't have the picture in my mind, as I said already.
21 Q. But what I'm suggesting to you, Mr. Babic, is this: That it is so
22 obvious and normal that it would have been absolutely extraordinary if
23 whatever Bosnian Serbs were there had not sat somewhere round the table
24 together in a group, wouldn't it? It would have been weird.
25 A. Well, I can give you no comment on that.
1 Q. The -- you gave an interview, as we've indicated, 15th of January,
2 2002, and at page 26 of the session that began at 17.04, you were asked
3 about the meeting that took place in Belgrade on the 31st of January and
4 the 1st and 2nd of February, 1992. And you said -- well, the introduction
5 to the question -- to the answer was: "Were there occasions in 1992 that
6 you and Karadzic met?" Your answer: "Yes." "Can you tell us how much
7 such occasions there were?" "Well, twice." "Can you describe these?"
8 Your answer: "Yes. The first meeting was a large session of the
9 Presidency of Yugoslavia on the 31st of January, 1st and 2nd February.
10 Then the both of was" --
11 MR. STEWART: And, Your Honour, I'm simply reading what's on the
12 transcript, so when it sounds a business disjointed I'm simply reading
13 what it says. "Then the both of was attended the meeting at the round
14 table in the federal palace. He sat diagonally at the other side of the
15 big table from me with Biljana Plavsic, and I think also that Krajisnik
16 attended it, maybe Koljevic from the leadership. The meeting was chaired
17 by Branko Kostic and Jovic. What is his name, member of the Presidency
18 helped me. Borisav Jovic, the other members," and so on.
19 The -- your reference there to Dr. Karadzic sitting diagonally at
20 the other side of the big table from you with Biljana Plavsic, and then "I
21 think that also Krajisnik attended it," would you agree that that your
22 expression of thinking that Mr. Krajisnik also attended it -- makes it
23 clear that you weren't quite as sure about Makes it clear that you weren't
24 quite as sure about Mr. Krajisnik's attendance as you were about Dr.
25 Karadzic and Biljana Plavsic.
1 A. At that moment, I was beginning to remember the situation as the
2 interview was developing, and I must say I didn't know in advance what
3 questions would be asked. And a lot of time had elapsed. And it took me
4 some time to start remembering things, things started coming back. What
5 you quoted was just the beginning of my answer. I was beginning to
6 remember events as I was asked. But I remember the four of them were
7 certainly present, Karadzic, Koljevic, Plavsic, and Krajisnik.
8 MR. STEWART:
9 Q. So your memory has improved since you were being interviewed on
10 the 15th of January, 2002 in relation to this matter; is that right?
11 A. From the moment when I started thinking about these events and
12 these mental pictures, not only did I think about them during the
13 interviews, but in those days and months I went back to the past
14 completely, to the time when these events took place. There were many
16 Q. Are you saying that you can now remember anything at all about
17 Mr. Krajisnik's participation, active participation, in that meeting?
18 A. Yes. He spoke frequently and repeated the words of the other
19 participants, Dr. Karadzic, Borisav Jovic, Branko Kostic. He toed the
20 same line as they did and he took the floor frequently.
21 I know that for certain because out of the four leaders of the
22 Bosnian Serbs, after the first break, Biljana Plavsic left and the three
23 of them remained. It was a three-day session.
24 Q. Well, let's just remind ourselves of what you said in the course
25 of the interview, then, on the 15th of January, and this is at page 31 of
1 the transcript. You were asked: "And Mrs. Plavsic, what did she say?"
2 Your answer: "In the first discussion, the first discussion began at
3 10.00 in the morning on the 31st of January. Everybody had a chance to
4 present their opinions. That was before the first break. Her opinion was
5 different to all others. She was the only one that differed in the sense
6 of wondering how was it if Croatia was not disarming, how come ours were
7 to be disarmed? My opinion was that she was not prepared for the meeting,
8 that she hadn't been briefed, and she honestly -- what she thought after
9 the first break, she was not there any more."
10 Question from Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff: "Do you recall anything in
11 relation to Krajisnik? Did he say anything?" Your answer: "No.
12 Specifically, I do not remember. But they all spoke in the same way.
13 Karadzic, Radoman Bozovic was constantly making fun out of us. Everyone
14 agreed except the SAO Krajina."
15 So at that point, Mr. Babic, you had no recollection of
16 Mr. Krajisnik speaking except in the most general sense, that it was
17 apparent to you that there wasn't any disagreement, apart from
18 Mrs. Plavsic's view. Is that a correct summary?
19 A. Well, it is correct, and that's what I said a few minutes ago. So
20 I cannot quote the exact words, but the same position was repeated by
21 Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik and the others. That's what I talked about
22 and that's what I said a few minutes ago too. So I cannot quote their
23 exact words, but their positions.
24 Q. And how would you now summarise that position that they shared?
25 We're talking about, apart from Mrs. Plavsic, the shared position. How
1 would you describe it?
2 A. There were two matters involved. One was the position itself and
3 the other how this position was imposed on others. The first was to adopt
4 without any modification the security plan for the Krajina, the Vance
5 Plan, as agreed upon by Milosevic, Tudjman, and Kadijevic on the 21st of
6 November, 1991, in Geneva. So that was the core of the matter. Their
7 position was that the plan should be imposed upon the SAO Krajina, or
8 rather, upon me, because I represented the SAO Krajina at the time. So
9 that is what it was all about, to have this position imposed on us through
10 a psychological and physical torture that went on for three days. That is
11 the essence of that position, the essence of that session, and that is the
12 main reason why Momcilo Krajisnik took part in this session too, that this
13 position be imposed on me in particular, even by means of psychological
14 and physical torture. I myself was supposed to adopt the plan regardless
15 of whether others would. So that was the essence of Mr. Krajisnik's
16 position and the things he did, and he agreed on that with everyone except
17 for Mrs. Plavsic. Of course, I exclude here the positions of the
18 government of the SAO Krajina and the representatives of the
19 municipalities of the Krajina who were with me.
20 Q. Well, the position was a complex matter, Mr. Babic, but in its
21 essentials, the position was simply this, wasn't it: That you, the
22 leadership of SAO Krajina, you were in a position to disrupt and
23 effectively destroy the implementation of the Vance Plan, weren't you?
24 A. That's not correct. First of all, we were not and I was not
25 involved in the adoption of that plan. That plan was agreed upon by
1 Milosevic, Tudjman, and Kadijevic, without the Krajina itself. And it did
2 pertain to the Krajina.
3 Secondly, as president of Krajina, I very intensively expounded on
4 the position of the SAO Krajina, seeking for its alteration. When it was
5 adopted, then the Assembly also adopted the plan and Slobodan Milosevic,
6 Radovan Karadzic, Milan Martic, they actually impeded the implementation
7 of the plan that they had imposed on the Krajina themselves.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, as you've indicated in your answer, the problem number
9 one for you was this: The agreement had been reached without your
10 involvement, so that you felt, didn't you, that in some way it had been
11 done over your head, without properly taking account of your interests and
12 without proper consultation with you. That was your position, wasn't it?
13 A. That's your opinion. That's not correct. That is not correct.
14 Q. You --
15 A. As you had put it, it is not correct. That plan did not provide
16 sufficient guarantees for the safety and security of the Serb people in
17 the Krajina, and that is what was discussed. It was a security
18 arrangement. During the discussion -- or rather, to put things more
19 precisely, during the public polemic regarding our rejection of that plan,
20 mine in particular, the plan was modified. The Secretary-General of the
21 UN proposed certain modifications with regard to that plan, namely, that
22 Croatian laws and the Croatian legal system would not be applied in the
23 UNPAs, the UN protected areas. And that was the Krajina. That was a
24 success, if I can put it that way, that we achieved during that
25 discussion, but that was the only thing, only that. But this was adopted
1 by the Security Council. We had our own proposals in terms of
2 modification, and that was one of the proposals that was adopted.
3 However, Slobodan Milosevic did not allow any discussion about
4 modification, any discussion about that plan, and that was the point of
5 the meeting in Belgrade. That was its essence, not to allow any
6 discussion of that plan but to have this plan imposed on the Krajina as he
7 and Tudjman had agreed upon it.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, with respect, you do not answer my question, not for
9 the first time. I asked you whether, first problem for you was that you
10 felt that in some way this agreement had been reached over your head,
11 without properly taking account of your interests, without proper
12 consultation with you. Now, leaving aside the merits and demerits of the
13 proposal and the plan itself, that is correct, isn't it, Mr. Babic: You
14 did have that feeling, didn't you?
15 A. I've already given an answer to that. It is not correct. This is
16 the second time I'm telling you that this is not correct that that was my
17 first problem. The first problem was that which was of a security and
18 safety nature, and it had to do with the people of the Krajina.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Babic, the one doesn't contradict the other. And
20 whether it was your first problem or your second problem. The question,
21 quite simply is: Whether you had the impression that this agreement was
22 reached without sufficient involvement of you and sufficient taking into
23 consideration the interests of the people you represented.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did mention that as a
25 fait accompli.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it was a fait accompli or not, whether you
2 said it before, this is just the question and I do understand your answer
3 to be yes.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I wanted to give an answer
5 to the gentleman, the lawyer, that that was not my primary problem. That
6 was the problem that we had found there already when we started discussing
7 the plan.
8 JUDGE ORIE: But it was, at least, an important problem for you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps that's the essence of
10 the whole thing, that the plan that pertained to the people in Krajina was
11 made without the people of the Krajina or without its representatives, by
12 the people who were waging war: Milosevic and Tudjman. So what was only
13 sought was agreement, consent to that. Well, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
15 MR. STEWART:
16 Q. Mr. Babic, the -- is this correct: That the two particular issues
17 about the Vance Plan which were objectionable to you, two essential
18 points, were, first of all, that you felt that it effectively represented
19 a strong move towards an independent Croatia with boundaries drawn that
20 would include your Krajina? That's correct, isn't it? That was a deep
21 concern of yours and the fundamental objection to the Vance Plan?
22 A. First of all, that was not the political arrangement for the
23 Krajina and did not pertain to a political solution. However, in a way,
24 it suggested a political solution without seeking a status for the Krajina
25 prior to that.
1 Q. So it --
2 A. It was not a political plan. It was a security arrangement. This
3 was on the margins, or rather, it was in addition to that. A political
4 solution was not the main problem then, but a security arrangement.
5 However, what was a problem was that perhaps it could be interpreted in
6 this way: That without a proper agreement, a political solution was being
7 pre-empted. But that was a different matter.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, some of these other issues could keep Ph.D. students
9 busy for a hundred years. But the position was this, wasn't it: That
10 whether or not it was primarily a security arrangement, the Vance Plan, as
11 far as you were concerned, had that clear political implication of going
12 in the wrong direction, as far as you were concerned, because it was
13 increasing the risk that the boundaries of Croatia would ultimately get
14 drawn to include your Krajina; that's correct, isn't it?
15 A. At that moment, that was not the principle issue. It did not
16 constitute the focus of the problem or the discussion. I was clear. I
17 just sought protection for the Krajina in two ways, with a modified Vance
18 Plan and the presence of the JNA, and the other option was the Vance Plan
19 with the presence of UN troops, with UN protection. If you're really
20 interested in my position at that time. And all of this was for the sake
21 of security.
22 Q. Mr. Babic, yes, we are interested. The other major problem
23 related to the other objections was, as you've just mentioned, the fact
24 that the Vance Plan contemplated the withdrawal of the JNA from your
25 Krajina; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Now, so was there any other -- I'm sure you had lots of other
3 objections, but was there any other objection to the Vance Plan at -- on
4 the same level, as important as the considerations that we've just been
6 A. The main objection was how the UN would protect the territory, the
7 SAO Krajina, or rather, the people in the SAO Krajina, and how they would
8 make it possible for refugees to return to have a multi-ethnic police, et
9 cetera. Our primary position was: They should be placed on the
10 separation line between the two warring parties, along the lines of the
11 Cyprus model, where the so-called green line existed. That was the
12 proposal. That is how the JNA would remain in that territory, as an armed
13 force, and all the units that were under its command, including the
14 Territorial Defence. However, the plan envisaged total demilitarisation,
15 that is to say the JNA and the Territorial Defence, but it did allow for
16 the possibility of a regional police and the local police.
17 However, our objection was that the plan pertained only to the
18 initial six months and then it was extended to encompass all of a year,
19 and we believe that that was insufficient in view of all of the changes
20 that took place within the international community and the former
21 Yugoslavia. So we evaluated our proposals in the sense that we accepted
22 the demilitarisation of the Krajina in the presence of the protection
23 forces of the UN, but that the UN should impose a kind of protectorate
24 there, that they politically deal with the area before a political
25 solution is found. That was the final position taken by myself and the
1 top people of Krajina. In February, the Security Council passed a
2 decision to implement the plan and we adopted it the way it was worded in
3 the Security Council. We did not level any further objections.
4 Q. Mr. Babic, would you agree that this was the position. I'm just
5 about to summarise. What I'm putting to you and ask whether you agree or
6 disagree, that you had a very strong disagreement with -- well, both the
7 Belgrade leadership and the Bosnian Serb leadership about whether the
8 Vance Plan would be, first of all, effective, ultimately, and secondly,
9 whether it was fairly taking account of your interests and your Krajina.
10 Now, so far, you would agree with that so far, would you?
11 A. Yes, I did not agree with the position that they presented, and
12 the position they presented was that the plan should be adopted as it was
13 agreed upon between Milosevic and Tudjman. There weren't any big
14 discussions on their part. They didn't even want to speak about the
15 essence of the security arrangement or about our problems or the problems
16 pertaining to our protection. In a discussion about the plan as such was
17 rejected, if I can put it that way.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Babic, you were asked whether you agreed that you
19 had difficulties with the Belgrade leadership and the Bosnian leadership
20 for the reasons given by Mr. Stewart. Your answer until now is: I would
21 say yes, and then you start explaining why you disagreed with that. You
22 are not asked yet to do that. Mr. Stewart is under time restraint. Would
23 you please listen carefully to his questions and then answer them. And if
24 further information is needed, Mr. Stewart will ask you for it.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
1 MR. STEWART:
2 Q. Mr. Babic --
3 A. I beg your pardon, Your Honour. The questions put by the lawyer,
4 by the gentleman, include his own positions. That's why I cannot give
5 mere yes or no answers. I have to elaborate.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Not under all circumstances. It's not necessary that
7 the witness disagrees with the position taken by Defence counsel.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. STEWART:
10 Q. Mr. Babic, may I, with respect, endorsing what His Honour says,
11 you can always start with a yes or no and if the Trial Chamber feel that
12 you must in fairness be allowed to elaborate that answer, I'm sure that
13 His Honour will say so. So I invite you to adopt that course.
14 The -- Mr. Babic, would you also agree with this, then: That
15 whatever disagreements there were, and there clearly were, between you and
16 the Belgrade and the Bosnian Serb leadership and possibly others, about
17 the Vance Plan, there was nothing to indicate that the Belgrade leadership
18 and the Bosnian Serb leadership were motivated in their wish to support
19 the Vance Plan by anything other than a wish to achieve a peaceful
20 solution to the Croatian war? Do you agree?
21 A. No. I mean yes. I think they had other motives.
22 Q. I understand your answer, then, to mean that you don't agree that
23 they were motivated by something other than a wish to achieve a peaceful
24 solution to the Croatian war. That's how I understand your answer. Do
25 you confirm that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Excuse me. I wonder if that's coming across correctly or whether
3 I expressed it correctly?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, double negatives always create
5 confusion. I do understand, Mr. Babic, that your answer is that they had
6 an agenda different from reaching a peaceful solution.
7 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. It's ...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my opinion, yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. STEWART:
11 Q. And what -- well, let's -- we better take them separately, hadn't
12 we? That's a rhetorical question. The -- Mr. Milosevic, what was his
13 different agenda, in your view?
14 A. Divide Bosnia with Franjo Tudjman.
15 Q. Divide Bosnia?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And what do you say, then, was the different agenda of the Bosnian
19 A. I don't understand this question. What does this different,
20 additional, mean?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me try to see whether I can clarify it for you.
22 The first question was whether everyone tried to achieve peace in the
23 Croatian conflict or whether they had other things in their mind. You now
24 explained what the Belgrade leadership had in mind, apart from reaching a
25 peaceful solution. Now the question is: What did the Bosnian leadership
1 have in mind? What did they have on their agenda?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had a common objective with
3 Slobodan Milosevic. And I must add that their objective was not to attain
4 peace in Croatia. Because two or three months later, they carried out the
5 militarisation of Krajina yet again.
6 MR. STEWART:
7 Q. So it's your position -- I had specifically asked you about the
8 Bosnian Serbs. Are you saying, then, that the -- they shared
9 Mr. Milosevic's agenda, or object, of dividing Bosnia with Mr. Tudjman?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And which bit of Bosnia was Mr. Tudjman to get for Croatia in
12 accordance with the Bosnian Serb leadership agenda?
13 A. As far as I know, the area of Bihac, the areas in Herzegovina, the
14 area of Central Bosnia, and I think that at that point in time, all these
15 areas were not very specifically defined by Milosevic and Tudjman.
16 Q. Did you express these views at the three-day meeting in Belgrade
17 at the end of January and beginning of February 1992?
18 A. That is not what the discussion was about, so my answer is no.
19 Q. Mr. Babic, correct me. The discussion was about whether you would
20 accept and support the Vance Plan, wasn't it?
21 A. The Vance Plan was the question under discussion, but I asked for
22 the possibility to discuss a modification of the plan. But the other
23 side, the Belgrade Bosnian side, asked for this plan to be imposed upon
24 us. That was the topic of this three-day meeting. Only questions related
25 to the security arrangement for Krajina. Yes, and Eastern Slavonia and
1 Western Slavonia, yes.
2 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, if that were a suitable break point for
3 the Trial Chamber, it would certainly fit --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stewart, it is. We'll resume at 5 minutes
5 to 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I give an oral decision on the
9 fourth motion for protective measures in the testimony through means of
10 videolink. That's the fourth motion. The motion is granted.
11 Then, Madam Registrar, could you please ... This is just for the
12 information of the parties, because the decision should be given in open
13 session. I'll do that at a later stage. I'll publicly pronounce the
14 decision. So this is just so everyone is aware.
15 Madam Usher, yes, would you please accompany Mr. Mueller into the
17 MR. STEWART: While that's happening, does the Trial Chamber --
18 would you wish to have the formal written response from us in relation to
19 that? We're entirely in Your Honour's hands as to whether we do that or
21 JUDGE ORIE: No. I think if you do not oppose the -- I think it's
22 on the record. Perhaps I -- when I pronounced the decision in open
23 session, then I'll first mention the motion, then that there was an oral
24 response by the Defence. We should have gone into open session for that
25 as well.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I'll pronounce that all in open session.
3 MR. STEWART: Every piece of paper saved is also helpful.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Mr. Babic. May I instruct you,
7 before we continue, to carefully listen to the questions. You're not here
8 to justify whatever political position was taken at that time, either by
9 you or by anyone else, but just to answer the questions.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
11 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to move on to ask you about the meeting which
13 you say took place in Bosanski Novi in either the late summer or autumn of
14 1992. First question, Mr. Babic, is this: Do you think it's possible
15 that you are mistaken, quite significantly mistaken, about the date when
16 that meeting took place?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So if I suggest to you that the meeting -- there was, in fact, no
19 such meeting in Bosanski Novi in the late summer or autumn of 1992, but
20 there was such a meeting, and broadly as described by you, broadly, I
21 emphasise, on the 24th of April, 1993, what do you say about that
23 A. I remember the meeting in Bosanski Novi, which was held before the
24 session of the joint assembly of Republika Srpska and the Serbian Krajina
25 in Prijedor in end October. It was held, I believe, after the funeral of
1 Jovan Raskovic; that is, it was the first time after March 1992 that I
2 entered the territory of Bosnia. I remember that meeting that was held
3 before the Prijedor assembly session held in October 1992, but it was
4 after my first entry into the territory of Bosnia after the outbreak of
5 the war. That is how I determined the broader time frame.
6 Q. It's just that when you were interviewed on the 15th -- I'm sorry,
7 on the 16th of January, 2002, and this is at page 7 of the first session,
8 if indeed there was more than one session, you were asked by Mr. Corin,
9 one of the interviewers, investigators, perhaps if I could just ask a
10 couple of follow-up questions on the joint sessions of the Republika
11 Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina sessions in Bosanski Novi and
12 Prijedor. And then you were asked: "Do you recall the date of the
13 session in Bosanski Novi?" And you said: "No, but what I do think is
14 that it was held prior to the one in Prijedor."
15 Now, Mr. Babic, certainly you were saying you thought it was held
16 prior to the one in Prijedor, but you didn't appear certain about that
17 even at that time; do you agree?
18 A. I am certain that it was held before the assembly session in
19 Prijedor that was held in end October. I am sure of that.
20 Q. And then you were asked in the continuing -- the very same
21 transcript on the same page, you were asked by Mr. Corin: "Do you recall
22 whether there was a single major topic that was dealt with at that
23 session?" And you said: "I don't remember that there was something
24 particular." You were asked: "Do you recall why the session was held
25 jointly, or the two assemblies?" And you said - I think you were
1 questioning - in Bosanski Novi. Mr. Corin said: "Yes." You said: "I
2 don't remember the reasons. What I do remember was that I was the most
3 isolated figure there. I was sitting in the back of the room alone."
4 Now, does that tie in with your recollection now?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you were asked, at page 10 of the same interview, by
7 Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff: "So who had initiated this joint meeting? Do you
8 know that? Was it the Bosnian Serbs or the Croatian Serbs?" And you
9 said: "I don't know who gave the initiative, but formally it was convened
10 by the president of the Assembly." And then you went on: "So it was
11 Paspalj and the other person. Remind me. Krajisnik, Krajisnik." And
12 then: "Was someone present from the federal level or from Serbia?"
13 It doesn't sound from those answers, Mr. Babic, as if you were
14 regarding Mr. Krajisnik as a central figure. You were not even reliably
15 remembering his name at that point, were you?
16 A. What is your question? I'm sorry.
17 Q. Would you agree that you apparently were not even reliably
18 remembering Mr. Krajisnik's name when you were being interviewed at this
20 A. Maybe it was a single moment while I was speaking, but it's
21 impossible that I did not remember Krajisnik's name. Maybe I made a pause
22 in answering, but it is absolutely impossible to suggest that I couldn't
23 remember Krajisnik's name. Maybe it was just a brief pause during the
24 interview. Of course I can remember Mr. Krajisnik's name at all times.
25 Q. Well, let's move on, then. Same transcript, you were asked, very
1 next question: "And was someone present from the federal level or from
2 Serbia?" And you said: "I don't remember." Then you were asked: "Were
3 the military --" and that question seems to have gone perhaps unfinished.
4 And you said: "Well, maybe from Serbia. Then it was Seselj. But then
5 again, I am not sure." And then you were asked about JNA officials.
6 So, now, first of all, at that point you were expressing yourself
7 as not being sure whether Seselj had been there; correct? You acknowledge
9 A. I was sure that Seselj was there. I was answering the other
10 questions, I suppose. I suppose that was my answer to the question about
11 representatives from Serbia and the JNA, but I'm certain that Seselj was
12 there. That is in fact my strongest impression from that meeting.
13 Q. And then you -- it was put to you, same interview, page 11, by
14 Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff: "You say you don't recall the topic, but what was it
15 all about?" And then you say: "I can't remember that there was something
16 particular. As I recall this assembly meeting, joint assembly meeting,
17 had no particular topics, specific topics."
18 Does that now accord with your recollection or perhaps
20 A. I do not remember the details. I couldn't remember them then and
21 I don't remember them now, apart from the general discussion. I don't
22 know whether you referred to it, but I was late in arriving for the
23 meeting and I wasn't very familiar with the details or the background
24 material, the preparations.
25 Q. And then you were asked, page 12 of the same transcript, you were
1 asked about Prijedor. You said, page 13: "I shook hands with Karadzic."
2 That's at the Prijedor meeting. "Krajisnik, and I don't know the others
3 who were there." And at page 14 you said you think it was joint -- the
4 session was chaired jointly by Paspalj and Krajisnik. And that's what you
5 remember, do you?
6 A. Yes, I remember very well that it was a joint session, or rather,
7 it was the session of the Assembly of Republika Srpska, but there was one
8 common point, the discussion of which was attended also by the
9 representatives of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, only
10 for that one item was it a joint session.
11 Q. So when you said in your interview you think it was joint, the
12 session was chaired jointly by Paspalj and Krajisnik, you're now saying
13 that referred only to one specific part of the meeting; is that right?
14 A. Yes, that's the way it was. That joint meeting happened during
15 the session of the Assembly of Republika Srpska, and I remember well that
16 we representatives of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
17 concerning that item of the agenda, the adoption of the declaration on
18 aspirations for unification, were invited to that meeting, and we had a
19 joint meeting during that session, chaired by Momcilo Krajisnik and
20 Paspalj, and I attended that part of the session, that meeting.
21 After the discussion of that item, we left, and there was a break,
22 and after the break, we did not return to the session of the Assembly.
23 Q. Now, so far as the bit of the meeting that was jointly chaired is
24 concerned, would you agree that effectively between the two of them it was
25 in fact Mr. Krajisnik who chaired the meeting, in practical terms?
1 A. Yes. He was the host, in a way.
2 Q. So in relation to that particular meeting, it was absolutely
3 obvious that Mr. Krajisnik was a leader of the meeting, because he chaired
4 it, and would be accorded all the respect and deference due to the chair
5 of that meeting, wouldn't he?
6 A. He was the president of the Assembly of Republika Srpska, whatever
7 it was called at the time. Mile Paspalj was the president of the Assembly
8 of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and they were co-chairman at this
9 joint meeting.
10 Q. Now, you say that in your statement, and I don't think you need
11 have it. It's a tiny bit of it, paragraph 8 of the statement which you
12 confirmed as part of your evidence. You said that "in subsequent years,
13 from 1993 to 1995, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Krajisnik
14 on a number of occasions." But I think in fact we've only heard about one
15 occasion specifically. How many times do you now say that you met
16 Mr. Krajisnik in 1993 and 1994?
17 A. In 1993, I remember one meeting. In 1994, I don't remember any
19 Q. Let's be clear, then. In 1993, the meeting was where and when?
20 A. In Knin, in the summer, the month of June.
21 Q. So in your statement continuing that sentence, the complete
22 sentence is: "In subsequent years, from 1993 and 1995, I had the
23 opportunity to meet and speak with Krajisnik on a number of occasions, and
24 that solidified my understanding." Now, Mr. Babic, we've got what you
25 just said about the visit to Knin, which is unlikely to be in dispute, and
1 you also re-comment your evidence of having sat next to Mr. Krajisnik at
2 dinner in Pale in 1995. But would you agree that doesn't seem to be very
3 much to provide solidification of any understanding of Mr. Krajisnik's
4 role, does it?
5 A. It was enough for me to understand what I was seeing and what I
6 heard from others.
7 Q. Mr. Babic, clear -- Mr. Babic, what I suggest to you is that your
8 statement and your evidence are exaggerating what you know about
9 Mr. Krajisnik and what you have ever seen and observed about
10 Mr. Krajisnik. On reflection, do you think that perhaps that's a fair
11 suggestion to put to you?
12 A. It's not true that it's an exaggeration. That's what I know about
14 Q. Well, when you say in your statement Karadzic and Krajisnik seemed
15 to interact as equals, Mr. Babic, would you agree that your description of
16 all these various meetings and events makes it crystal clear that they
17 were not equals, that Mr. Karadzic was a boss? Wasn't he?
18 A. First of all, they were always together. If I go over all of my
19 meetings with Mr. Krajisnik, he was always with Mr. Karadzic. They were
20 always a team, the two of them. They always agreed and propounded the
21 same opinion. What I heard from other people indicates that in certain
22 matters, Krajisnik was even stronger than Karadzic in Republika Srpska.
23 Even that I heard from others. Karadzic may have had more charisma, was
24 more theatrical in demeanour, but I view them as two equal, very close
25 people. It is a twosome where both members were very close. That is what
1 I know.
2 Q. Can we take it, Mr. Babic, that as far as your own observation of
3 the interaction between Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic is concerned, that
4 what you have been able to tell the Trial Chamber so far about what you
5 saw and heard and where you were is the full extent of your own knowledge?
6 A. I did not say everything that I knew. I met with Mr. Krajisnik in
7 1995 several times during long sessions, where we talked a lot. I heard a
8 lot about him from others, including Aleksa Buha, the foreign minister of
9 Republika Srpska, in November 1994. I heard many important things about
10 Mr. Krajisnik. That is to say, I did not say everything that I know about
11 Mr. Krajisnik. I haven't said it so far before this Court.
12 Q. But we have -- just to make it clear, have we covered, as far as
13 you're concerned, all your firsthand observation and knowledge of
14 Mr. Krajisnik personally?
15 A. I haven't covered everything that I know about him. I learned a
16 lot about him in May 1995, things that we haven't discussed here.
17 Firsthand, of course.
18 Q. Yes. Mr. Babic, I want to make it absolutely clear. I'm not
19 asking you now about anything you have heard from anybody else, all right,
20 so that you and I might both know things about the president of the United
21 States without ever having, in my case certainly, ever having met him.
22 But -- so I'm not talking about that sort of thing. I'm talking about
23 your own firsthand knowledge and dealings with Mr. Krajisnik.
24 Do you say there is anything else of significance in that category
25 that you have not told the Trial Chamber about in the two or three days
1 that you've been giving evidence?
2 A. I can only add to the evidence I have given so far. My knowledge
3 was strengthened in 1995, during the meeting in Pale, for instance, the
4 meeting in May, the 17th of May, in Bijeljina, the 21st in Banja Luka, the
5 31st in Bijeljina again. On those occasions, I had meetings with
6 Krajisnik in person. I learned more about his position and about his
7 union with Karadzic. I learnt that they were both equal forces with
8 different kinds of temperament, but I was able to determine that they were
9 very close and equal in strength. I viewed them as a pair, as a twosome.
10 And they expressed their views, in fact, their same view, in different
11 ways. One was a charismatic person, extrovert and theatrical, whereas
12 Krajisnik was decisive, more business-like, and calm.
13 Q. But the discussion that you've told the Trial Chamber about that
14 you had with Mr. Krajisnik when you sat next to each other at dinner in
15 Pale in 1995, was that the only occasion on which you had anything like a
16 private, two-person discussion with Mr. Krajisnik?
17 A. I spoke with Mr. Krajisnik in tete-a-tetes and in very closed
18 meetings in 1995, in Bijeljina, in the 21st of May in Banja Luka, and the
19 31st of May again in Bijeljina. I believe that at those meetings,
20 including the one in January in Pale, I completed my picture about Mr.
21 Krajisnik and the relationships within the leadership of Republika Srpska,
22 and I gained a very clear picture about all of this. So the answer to
23 your question is yes, I did have more opportunity after January 1995 to be
24 with Mr. Krajisnik.
25 Q. So, Mr. Babic, let's get it clear. You use the phrase
1 tete-a-tete, which --
2 A. No. That's what you said. I used the expression --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note. This is a literal
4 interpretation. Four eyes, plus another pair of eyes, maybe.
5 MR. STEWART: Well, all right. I didn't get all the eyes there,
6 Mr. Babic.
7 Q. The -- apart from Pale, have you -- that dinner, have you ever in
8 your life had a conversation with Mr. Krajisnik - apart from good morning,
9 that sort of thing, not really a conversation - have you ever had a
10 conversation with Mr. Krajisnik to which the only parties and the only
11 people who could hear what was being said were you and Mr. Krajisnik?
12 A. No, not any meetings where we were alone together. Even the
13 meeting in Pale was not one when we were alone, the two of us. I was
14 never alone with him. There were always other people.
15 Q. But the one in Pale, though, the dinner was different, wasn't it,
16 in this sense, do you agree: That at least sitting next to each other at
17 dinner, even with other people at the table, you were able in the normal
18 way to have a conversation which was private to the two of you? Is that
20 A. That's correct. I cannot judge how much other people were able to
21 hear. Our discussion was not secret.
22 Q. And the way -- you've given some evidence about this, and then you
23 also discuss this in your interview on the 19th of February, 2002. This
24 is at page 8 of the first transcript there. And you were being asked by
25 Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff -- well, it doesn't really matter. I can start with
1 your answer towards the foot of this page. "So I understood the basis of
2 all this that Stanisic and Milosevic wanted to have this division of the
3 Krajinas, one of the Knin area and the Slavonia, Eastern Slavonia, and why
4 was this conviction of mine even reinforced? In January 1995, I heard
5 from Momcilo Krajisnik another -- he uttered something rather foolish,
6 that they would get on the basis of us 6 per cent more territory in Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina means 6 per cent more than the 49 per cent, so my
8 conclusion is that there is something terribly wrong."
9 And just to put it in context, we know, don't we, and we've heard
10 this was the percentage being proposed by the -- in the context of the
11 international negotiations, by the contact group? That's right, isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then you were further interviewed, in fact you were
14 interviewed over several days. Then you were being further interviewed on
15 the 22nd of February, 2002. Excuse me one moment. You said, page 4: "As
16 far as this harbour, this court is concerned, this came up in connection
17 with the plan of the contact group. It was on that occasion I heard
18 Biljana Plavsic saying how the Bosnian Krajina would come, the Republika
19 Srpska, the Republika Srpska would come to the cost in the area of the
20 cliffs of Konavle." That's obviously a misprint, the coast. "That she
21 said Konavle, the cliffs of Konavle south of Dubrovnik towards, south of
22 Dubrovnik Montenegro. When did she say that? When did you hear that?"
23 That's the question. Your answer: "It was in 1995 when the contact group
24 plan was discussed, but it wasn't the plan of the contact group. This was
25 their idea they developed in Pale." But where did she say that and were
1 you present? She made a public statement in the holidays somewhere.
2 And then you were asked by -- just skipping a couple of lines, you
3 were asked by Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff: "And the objective, do you
4 know what the objective was in relation to Sarajevo? Did you hear that?"
5 Your answer: "Well, I don't know, but they were always speaking about
6 Serbian Sarajevo. Well, they spoke of Sarajevo, of a part of Sarajevo
7 which would be Serbian, or a part where they would build a new Sarajevo or
8 something like that. This is what I heard in winter 1995 from them, how
9 they intend to build a new Sarajevo."
10 Question: "When you say they, who are they? With whom did you
11 speak?" Your answer: "I think it was mostly Krajisnik who spoke about
13 Question: "Publicly or to you?" Your answer: "We were -- well,
14 we had a social evening. We had a dinner. So I heard two things from
15 him, and it was a bit of a conviction. I didn't understand what he was
16 referring to, and he said: We don't need Sarajevo. Belgrade is enough
17 for us. So I didn't quite understand. He was speaking on the one hand of
18 this new Sarajevo. They don't need Sarajevo, and that Belgrade is --
19 suffices for them."
20 Question: "Who was saying this?" Answer: "Krajisnik, Momcilo
21 Krajisnik." Question: "And where did this talk take place?" Answer:
22 "It was in Pale, in a hotel, at the beginning of 1995."
23 So, Mr. Babic, what you were saying there, and I ask whether you
24 feel able to confirm this now, was that you -- it wasn't at all clear to
25 you what Mr. Krajisnik was suggesting when you had that dinner
1 conversation, was it?
2 A. It was crystal clear to me. I had prior information about
3 Mr. Krajisnik that I received from Buha on the 20th November 1994, which
4 is a month or a month and a half prior to that meeting. So I had some
5 knowledge about the conduct and the opinion of Mr. Krajisnik on the
6 division of territory and the transfer of population. But that game of
7 his, this dribbling and this habit to wrap his ideas into different words,
8 the pretence, was not clear to me. I'm sorry, of course, from Sarajevo.
9 He said that Serbs had Belgrade and they don't need Sarajevo, but I know
10 that later they accused Milosevic, Bosnian Serbs accused Milosevic of
11 having sold Sarajevo. So there was this kind of hypocrisy, two-timing.
12 Q. If it was so clear to you what Mr. Krajisnik had been saying at
13 that dinner, why did you say in the course of the interview that it wasn't
15 A. Well, I did not say everything in the interview. I've already
16 said that. To the investigators, that is.
17 Q. Well --
18 A. They also jumped from one topic to the other. Perhaps I did not
19 always manage to link things up for them, and thus to present an entity.
20 With the permission of the Court, perhaps I could clarify matters and
21 perhaps I could say a bit more about that meeting and about what Krajisnik
22 had said.
23 Q. Well, perhaps you could -- I'm not -- well --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps --
25 MR. STEWART: What permission the Court gives is in the Court's
2 JUDGE ORIE: Especially since the witness offers to tell us more
3 about what Mr. Krajisnik said. That's different from opinion and
5 Please tell us what Mr. Krajisnik said, Mr. Babic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With your permission, I would just
7 like to say first of all what I knew about what Mr. Krajisnik said.
8 Before November 1994, Mr. Aleksa Buha, the then foreign minister of
9 Republika Srpska, said about the meeting between the Krajisnik and
10 Karadzic with the representatives of the Croatian government that had to
11 do with the division of Bosnia and the relocation of the population. What
12 happened after that was my meeting at Pale. So I knew exactly what
13 Krajisnik was talking about.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Babic, you asked whether you could say a bit more
15 about that meeting and about what Krajisnik had said. I gave permission
16 to you to tell us about specifically what Mr. Krajisnik said. So would
17 you please limit yourself to that. Please proceed.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can repeat what I said,
19 Your Honour, at the previous sessions before this Court, at the previous
20 sittings, and what is not being quoted now. Mr. Krajisnik -- I mean,
21 first of all, we talked extensively about different subjects, about
22 different things that were going on in Bosnia, about their positions
23 during the negotiations, et cetera. Then I can repeat what I already
24 said. He made a speech about Sarajevo, that in Sarajevo, the ethnic
25 communities always lived separately. Everyone in their own part of town,
1 that they had kept Serb Sarajevo and that he was prepared to give up on
2 this Serb Sarajevo of his, that they had guarded, because the Serbs need
3 only one capital. They don't need two. And their one capital is
4 Belgrade. And that was actually the introduction leading to the main
5 thing that he wanted to tell me. That is the way I understood this.
6 Basically, that he as a person from Sarajevo was not sorry to give up on
7 his Serb Sarajevo and that I should not be sorry to give up on the Serb
8 Krajina, because he said in the context of the negotiations that they had
9 with the contact group that the Americans would give them 6 per cent to
10 the territories of Bosnia-Herzegovina, actually, 6 per cent, an additional
11 6 per cent of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in exchange for
12 Sarajevo. Those were the details of that conversation.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I think that's in your evidence already. Please
14 proceed, Mr. Stewart.
15 MR. STEWART: Yes.
16 Q. The contradiction that you referred to in the interview, then, was
17 the contradiction, was it, between the idea of giving up Sarajevo
18 altogether, but at the same time, intending to build a new Sarajevo? Is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes. Not only in that sense, but also in terms of what I learned
21 later, namely, they were accusing Milosevic that he had sold Sarajevo. But
22 I heard from Krajisnik before the Dayton Agreement, that is to say, almost
23 a year before the Dayton Agreement, that they were prepared to give up on
24 Sarajevo. Those are the two contradictions that I heard. This is
25 primarily what I had in mind, this accusing of Milosevic, that he had sold
1 Sarajevo, their Sarajevo, in Dayton.
2 Q. Yes. Mr. -- I'll put Mr. Krajisnik's position to you, Mr. Babic,
3 which is this: That there were about 180.000 Serbs in Sarajevo at the
4 time. Does that accord with your knowledge?
5 A. I cannot give the exact figure. A large number of Serbs also in
6 percentage terms, lived in Sarajevo. I know that not a single ethnicity
7 was a majority in Sarajevo, but a large percentage of Serbs did live in
8 Sarajevo, yes.
9 Q. All right. And that it is inconceivable that at that time, in
10 1995, that Mr. Krajisnik would have seriously considered giving up
11 effectively that population of Sarajevo as residents of Sarajevo in return
12 for a percentage, being 6 per cent, of Bosnia and Herzegovina overall.
13 That's what Mr. Krajisnik says. Do we simply take it that you flatly
14 disagree with that, Mr. Babic?
15 A. I categorically assert what I've already said. What Krajisnik's
16 position was in January 1995. It is the opposite of what you said just
17 now, and it's not at the expense of Sarajevo that he wanted to get an
18 additional 6 per cent of Sarajevo, but rather at the expense of the
19 territory of the SAO Krajina, which was part of the Serb Krajina at the
20 time, and Western Slavonia. That is what was discussed. That is the kind
21 of exchange he wanted, 6 per cent of the territory of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina for SAO Krajina and Western Slavonia. Sarajevo was an
23 addition, by the way.
24 Q. Mr. Babic, let's be clear that your evidence is that it was both.
25 We understand that. Your evidence is that Mr. Krajisnik was suggesting
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 both the giving up of your Krajina and Sarajevo. You've made that
2 perfectly clear. Mr. Babic, there's no earthly reason, is there, why
3 Mr. Krajisnik, even if that had been, which he says it wasn't, his
4 thinking at that time, there's no earthly reason why he would have shared
5 that with you, is there?
6 A. There is a reason for that, just as you had put it. 180.000
7 Serbs. I don't know how many actually lived in Sarajevo. And that is his
8 birthplace, Sarajevo. So it's his own town and he was attached to it.
9 That was a major sacrifice for him. That's what he said to me. And he
10 was prepared to give up on that. He was prepared to make the sacrifice,
11 but then I was also supposed to make a sacrifice to give up on my SAO
12 Krajina. That's the context in which he said this. He was quite clear in
13 terms of what he wanted to say.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I'd like to ask one question in between
15 to better understand the testimony of the witness.
16 Mr. Babic, when you say "give up Sarajevo," how did you understand
17 this at that time, to give up the part under the control of the Serbs at
18 that time, which was a part of Sarajevo, or to give up all aspirations on
19 making Sarajevo the -- well, the capital of Republika Srpska? How did you
20 understand? What did that mean to you, to give up Sarajevo?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first thing you said,
22 Your Honour, that is to say that they should give up on that part of
23 Sarajevo that they held at the time.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for your clarification.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
1 MR. STEWART:
2 Q. Is it possible that you made such a suggestion to Mr. Krajisnik
3 rather than his raising it?
4 A. No, heaven forbid.
5 Q. I want to ask you about something else altogether, Mr. Babic. In
6 late 1991, and I'm talking about the very end of 1991 and the beginning of
7 1992, would you have seen yourself, and do you see yourself now, as at
8 that time, as a peacemaker?
9 A. I have already said what I was at the time. At that time I was a
10 Serb ethno-egoist. I was not in favour of the war, and from that point of
11 view I was a peacemaker. But I was also concerned about the Serbs, the
12 fate of the Serbs from the SAO Krajina.
13 Q. So is it right to say that your concerns, as you just described
14 them, went hand in hand with a continuing willingness to take necessary
15 military action in your Krajina?
16 A. If you're talking about the end of 1991 and 1992, military
17 activity had ceased in the Krajina at that time, for the most part. As
18 for previous military activities, I spoke about that at considerable
19 length in the Milosevic trial and before this Trial Chamber, and it was
20 also referred to in my own trial.
21 Q. And in particular, do you recall giving a military order on the
22 26th of December, 1991 to move your forces up in readiness for action
23 against Zagreb?
24 A. I remember that. That was shown to me. And as far as I can
25 remember, I think that I gave an explanation for that, that this document
1 had been simply pushed over to me so that I would place my signature on it
2 and thus be compromised from a political point of view. There was no
3 movement of cannons or other equipment.
4 MR. STEWART: Well, I'm going to show you this document, Your
5 Honour. We've got copies of it. I don't need to hand the witness the
6 English version of it. I have the original or copy of the original.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, that document would get number --?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number D16.
9 MR. STEWART: Now, I have an English transaction, Mr. Babic, but
10 it's a very short document. It might be because it's incomplete and has
11 question marks and bits missing, so perhaps I might just invite you to
12 read it and then we shall get the English translation from the
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that they do not have the
16 MR. STEWART: Yes. I appreciate that, Your Honour. It's a very
17 short document. I hope that isn't a major problem. I'm told they do have
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it is a very short document, as a matter of
20 fact. If you'd just read it slowly, Mr. Babic. And I take it,
21 Mr. Stewart, that we could limit ourselves to the content -- or would you
22 have all the headings be read as well?
23 MR. STEWART: I don't need the headings read, Your Honour, if the
24 Trial Chamber's not concerned about that. But the document is in.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please start reading where it says
1 "one" and then ... Perhaps you read -- start reading where it says
2 "Commander of" and then the 3rd operative zone.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "To the command of the 3rd
4 Operations Zone. Number 1, carry out transfer of VP battery, 130
5 millimetres, to the broader area of S. Madjeri, S. Gradac. Lijevo
6 Sredicko, in readiness for action against the target (Zagreb). X equals
7 74800 [as interpreted], Y equals 76000, Z equal 180. Readiness for action
8 the 27th of December at 12.00. Expenditure of ammunition 0.5 b/k. Report
9 on readiness at 1100 hours. Signature of the commander of the armed
10 forces of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, Dr. Milan Babic."
11 MR. STEWART:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, there's no doubt, is there, this is a document
13 that you signed; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You were the commander of the armed forces of the Republic of
16 Serbian Krajina at the time?
17 A. According to the constitution, yes. I was president of the
19 Q. It was signed either on the 26th of December actually or so close
20 that it makes no difference; correct?
21 A. The date is the 26th of December, 1991. That's what it says here.
22 Q. What I'm simply seeking to confirm is there's no reason to doubt
23 the accuracy of the date is there?
24 A. At that time I was president of the Republic, on the 19th of
25 December I became president of the Republic.
1 Q. You understood what you were signing; correct?
2 A. I do not remember very well.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The question is not whether you remember that, but
4 the main question is whether you understood what you signed. That means
5 if you read such kind of a document, whether you do understand what it
6 says. Of course, whether you now specifically remember on what you
7 understood when you signed it is perhaps a further detail.
8 MR. STEWART: Let's -- with respect to His Honour, I endorse what
9 he just said, Mr. Babic, let's take it in stages.
10 Q. You don't have any difficulty understanding what this document
11 says, do you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You wouldn't have had any difficulty understanding it in December
14 1991 if you'd read it, would you?
15 A. I've already said: I do not recall the content or the moment of
16 reading it, but most probably the answer would be yes. But I do not
17 remember this, so perhaps I can say yes. But I do not recall this
18 particular case.
19 Q. Do you have any recollection or can you say who would have invited
20 you to sign this piece of paper?
21 A. I think it was in a package of documents. Somebody from the Main
22 Staff, Colonel Maksic, I think, brought this in for my signature.
23 Q. Can we be clear what you're saying, Mr. Babic. Is there a
24 suggestion implicit in what you're saying that this order was in some way
25 slipped past you without you appreciating what it was you were
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I want to ask you about something, and you can put that on one
4 side, Mr. Babic - something you said in relation to Kijevo. On Thursday
5 last week, which is Thursday, the 3rd of June, at page 35 of the
6 uncorrected transcript, you've talked about - this is at line 6 - an
7 ultimatum given to the villagers of Kijevo to leave before - these are
8 your words - the artillery barrage actually forced them to leave. Is that
9 right? That was the question. And you said: "Yes. Initially the
10 ultimatum was issued by Martic, several days before the attack of the JNA
11 artillery. I personally protested against this, but I was president of
12 the municipality and the prime minister of the government. However,
13 regardless of my protests, some ten days later, the JNA attack ensued.
14 Following that, I received the information that milicija, Martic's men,
15 and the local TO also participated in the attack."
16 Now, first of all, let us look at that ultimatum.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, what I'm handing in is -- there are two
18 documents. There's a copy of the B/C/S version, which is on a single
19 sheet, and then there is the English translation.
20 Q. Would you like to just refresh your memory, Mr. Babic, by reading
21 the B/C/S version to yourself.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would the original get number D17
23 and the translation, which is a draft translation, D17.1.
24 MR. STEWART:
25 Q. Mr. Babic, you've had a chance to read that, have you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were asked about this on the 13th of January, 2002 in your
3 interview, at page 15 of the first transcript of that day. And in fact,
4 it starts at page 14. I'll start at line 20: "As far as Kijevo is
5 concerned, later I heard that both the army and the Krajina police had
6 information that in Kijevo a police station would be set up by the
7 Ministry of Interior of Croatia." This was in April. This would have
8 been April 1991. I just add the year as a comment myself. "So JNA was
9 already deployed around Kijevo and I assume that Martic also knew this
10 because he was in contact with the military intelligence. I don't believe
11 that they did not inform him about it, and I don't think that -- I don't
12 think that they stopped in any way the police administration from Sibenik
13 to set up its police station in Kijevo, and this police station existed a
14 few months and, and a few months later, Martic issues an ultimatum that
15 they have to withdraw from Kijevo, and this was a publicly issued
16 ultimatum. I don't know -- I don't remember exactly what was published
17 exactly in this ultimatum, but I thought it was an ultimatum to everyone
18 in Kijevo. As I saw it, he made a threat to the entire population of
19 Kijevo. So it wasn't -- I didn't see it only as a correspondence between
20 the police. As I interpreted it, it had a more forcible meeting, and then
21 at risking an internal conflict in Krajina, that would conflict this
22 Krajina. I then made a public statement in the sense more or less that
23 the armed forces in Krajina, irrespective of this, Martic's ultimatum to
24 the police station in Kijevo, the armed forces of Krajina would not
25 disturb, violate the cease-fire. There was already an agreement in a
1 sense between, I believe, the federal bodies and the Croatian bodies, so
2 there was an agreement which prevailed at the time. So this was the form
3 in which I expressed my opposition."
4 And then, after a couple of exchanges, which are not central: "So
5 I was risking attacks at my personality. I was risking it both from the
6 public and the people who had the weapons in Krajina. They could go
7 against me, but nonetheless I made this public statement, so I thought it
8 would be less of a risk that somebody would attack me than to have a fire
9 erupt here."
10 And Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff asked you: "Why did you simply not order
11 Martic? Because you were the president. Why didn't you order?" And you
12 said: "Well, it didn't work like that. It didn't function like that.
13 That's the problem. I couldn't issue orders to him. I was the president
14 of the government, the prime minister, and he, as a minister, was
15 accountable to the prime minister. But this was only -- it was legally,
16 formally -- I didn't have the means to order. I didn't have the power. He
17 had it. I only had the words. He had the armed force, the armed police,
18 the special police. He had a monopoly of power."
19 And you were asked: "Okay. I understand that. Did you ever
20 try?" Your answer: Well, I tried with some political manoeuvres to limit
22 Question: "Did you ever try directly?" Martic: "You can't do
23 that." You: "Well I didn't do it but that was the moment I could have
24 said it personally."
25 Interviewer says: "Then." And you say: "But I was I was aware
1 it wasn't him. He wasn't the one" --
2 Interviewer: "But if you never tried how do you know he wouldn't
3 have obeyed you." Your answer: "Well this was public communication.
4 This was stronger. Here I asked the public for its help, expecting that
5 the public, which I invited to help, that they would influence him, which
6 was the type of -- this was the way communication went. We never talked
7 about these things. He was also physically in another premise."
8 Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff: "Did you -- you if you didn't have the
9 power, did you try to get help to stop Martic from Milosevic, who you said
10 was the boss, to stop the conflict in Kijevo?" You: "No. I didn't talk
11 to anybody."
12 Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff: "But why?" You said: "I assumed they
13 wouldn't take the risk, they wouldn't risk it. I assumed that they
14 wouldn't risk going into a conflict if in Krajina there is the political
15 position that we will not go into a conflict."
16 Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff: "And they is who?" You answered: "Martic,
17 the police."
18 Mr. Babic, you twice in the last 10, 15 minutes, you do seem, do
19 you agree now on reflection, to have a marked reluctance to accept
20 responsibility for your actions? Do you agree?
21 A. You mean that statement before the investigators in Belgrade?
22 Q. Well, let's be very specific. You include, for example, here in
23 your statement that Martic was also physically in another premise. Was
24 that being suggested by you as some reason why you couldn't and didn't try
25 to stop him and try to issue any order to him?
1 A. Not that. I mentioned the reasons already. He had true power. I
2 had only declarative power. And also I had the public. But he had true
3 power, and also the structure that protected him, Stanisic and Milosevic.
4 That's what it's all about. And they practically kept him under their
6 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to show you another document, which is -- you
7 can put that one on the side.
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we're handing up two documents, or two
9 clips of documents. One is a letter, an open letter written by
10 Mr. Milosevic, and it's addressed to Mr. Babic, although it's an open
11 letter. And then -- that's dated the 8th of January, 1992. And then the
12 other document is -- it's headed "reply to the open letter from the
13 president of the Republic of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic," which is a reply
14 from Mr. Babic. I'd just like to clarify one thing, Your Honour.
15 Your Honour, I was just confirming that the translations are as
16 received by us from the Prosecution. The --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand that the first letter of the 8th of
18 January you provide them in two versions, the one is the original one and
19 the other one is a publication about -- or -- because I see --
20 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. It got fully reported in the
21 newspaper. The text seems to have been fully reported.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's the same text?
23 MR. STEWART: But it's, for practical purposes, it seems to come
24 to the same thing, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. STEWART: So the translation on the very top -- well,
2 Mr. Babic, of course, can work from the original B/C/S versions of both
3 these documents.
4 Q. Mr. Babic, do you --
5 JUDGE ORIE: May I just first ask Madam Registrar to provide
6 numbers to me.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number D18.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's the letter of the 8th of January, written by
9 Slobodan Milosevic. And then ...
10 THE REGISTRAR: And the reply to the open letter, D19.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. And I point out that
12 both cases we have the -- what seems to be the original and what seems to
13 be the publication of that same letter. Please proceed.
14 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. So -- well, I -- I can't take it too quickly, because I have to
16 remember to go at a suitable pace for the interpreters, Mr. Babic. But
17 the letter from -- open letter to you from Mr. Milosevic, he says: "I
18 feel it my obligation and responsibility to express my disagreement with
19 your position that you do not want the UN peacekeeping force to protect
20 the territory of Krajina under the Cyrus Vance plan. Rejecting protection
21 by the UN peacekeeping force endangers the most important interests of the
22 Serbian people because it really means refusing to put an immediate end to
23 the loss of human life and abandoning the path of peace in solving the
24 crisis. The sole purpose of the UN presence is to maintain peace.
25 I know that you were informed in detail at the Yugoslav Presidency
1 about the Cyrus Vance plan, which specifies that the presence of the UN
2 peacekeeping forces does not prejudice political solutions and that their
3 task is to prevent any military formations or armed groups from entering
4 UN-protected territories. You were also informed that the only armed
5 formation in those territories, in addition to the peacekeeping forces,
6 would be the local police, which completely guarantees peace and safety
7 for all citizens.
8 I thus consider your negative attitude utterly irresponsible. You
9 should show that the people are making sacrifices to protect themselves
10 from genocide and that they were making sacrifices to protect their
11 freedom and safety, but they should not make sacrifices because of the
12 vanity of any politician. If battles were fought for a just and
13 honourable purpose, the freedom and safety of the people in the Krajinas
14 and their protection from the genocide they were exposed to, then one
15 cannot be against a resolute step towards that goal."
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, may I ask you: Are you going to read
17 the whole text?
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the problem I have is this. I don't
19 particularly want to, in a sense. On the other hand, it's -- I wish to be
20 fair to the witness in enabling -- I'm in Your Honour's hands. I just
21 wish to be fair to him before we get to his reply.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. On the assumption that the cross-examination
23 will not be concluded until the next break, I would like to invite the
24 witness to read or perhaps to reread, because he might have read it
25 before, to reread this correspondence and perhaps you could try to
1 indicate in one or two lines what the correspondence is about and then ask
2 questions to him after the break on this issue.
3 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I may not be very much longer,
4 but that would --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but if you'd read the two letters as a whole,
6 then it would take us considerable time, I take it, especially as the so
7 highly appreciated slow pace you are doing it. So, therefore, the break,
8 especially the second break, could be taken earlier or later. It could
9 even be taken now. The witness could then be invited to read it, to
10 reread it, you spend one or two lines on the correspondence as such, for
11 example, that Mr. Milosevic is criticising Mr. Babic on the position he
12 takes in respect of the Cyrus Vance plan, and then you could ask
14 MR. STEWART: Yes. As a matter of fact, Your Honour, it would --
15 I don't have very much further to go. It probably would be convenient,
16 then, if we were to do that now.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour indicated that as a possibility.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We could do that. We could have the break now
20 until 25 minutes to 1.00, and we would then have -- I'm not saying for
21 your cross-examination, but at least we would have in Court another 70
22 minutes. We'll then adjourn for 20 minutes. We'll resume at 25 minutes
23 to 1.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, Mr. Mueller may be accompanied into the
2 courtroom, and Mr. Babic may be escorted into the courtroom at the same
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Mr. Babic.
6 You may proceed, Mr. Stewart.
7 MR. STEWART:
8 Q. Mr. Babic, you've had a -- you've taken the opportunity of reading
9 both these letters during the break, I take it.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can I just confirm: Mr. Milosevic's letter to you was an open
12 letter. Was your reply to him also written as an open letter, available
13 for publication?
14 A. Milosevic's letter was promulgated on the television on the 8th
15 first, and then it was published in the newspapers on the 9th, and only
16 after that was it sent to me, or rather, was received by me in an
18 Q. That wasn't entirely my question, Mr. Babic.
19 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you to carefully listen to the question.
20 The question was whether you, when you wrote the letter, you intended it
21 to be published as well. That was the question. Your answer was about
22 when you received the letter by Mr. Milosevic, that is, after publication.
23 So the question is: When you wrote your letter, did you intend it to be
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
2 THE INTERPRETER: I.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
4 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you, Mr Babic.
5 Q. Mr. Babic, just taking this particular aspect fairly quickly to
6 avoid repetition, we see the fourth paragraph of your letter. You
7 identify your objection to the constitutional and legal system of Croatia
8 being applied in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Then later in that
9 paragraph, a few lines down, you express your objection to the six-month
10 period. And you also, over the page, in the middle of the second page,
11 short paragraph right in the middle: "Considering the given facts after
12 the withdrawal of the United Nations forces, any action by the Yugoslav
13 army, should it exist in such a situation, would be regarded as
14 aggression." And of course that's in circumstances where the JNA would
15 have already withdrawn.
16 So can we agree that those particular bits, they really
17 encapsulate -- it's more widely expressed in the letter, but they
18 encapsulate the essential points of your disagreement over the plan
19 itself, don't they?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You, at the foot of the first page, you put your alternative
22 proposal, that's your proposal, the other version, including the use of
23 Blue Helmets, or the Blue Helmets, is of course what I mean, along the
24 line of fire between -- and then you say: "The Croatian neo-Nazi
25 aggressors and the defensive armed forces of the Republic of Serbian
2 Did you regard it as helpful in a letter specifically written with
3 a view to publication to make reference to Croatian neo-Nazi aggressors?
4 A. Yes. At the time, that was the terminology in use, and it
5 reflected the prevailing situation. The frame of mind and the state of
6 our consciousness. And it also reflected the vocabulary of the time.
7 Q. And similarly, then, in the last paragraph of your letter, where
8 you refer to "the roots of evil that the Croatian Ustasha are inflicting
9 on us." Same applies to that, does it? It was prevailing language and it
10 reflected your views and feelings at the time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Isn't the reality that it was inflammatory language designed for
13 the -- to keep your own people in your own Krajina happy?
14 A. It was not used for that purpose. It was reflective of my
15 feelings and my views. But it did have the effect that you mention. In
16 that sense, I agree.
17 Q. And in the first complete paragraph on the second page, you say:
18 "As regards of the term of the peacekeeping mission which has been
19 determined to be only six months, we are not ready to be disarmed, to
20 leave our destiny in the uncertain hands of others." Is it fair to
21 summarise that as meaning: We shall fight on?
22 A. No. We do not agree. We will continue to fight, maybe. Maybe.
23 Just tell me where that particular passage is.
24 Q. All right. You don't agree. That's all right. The bottom of the
25 first page of your letter, then, the proposal we -- your alternative
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 proposal we looked at a moment ago, then, about the deployment of the Blue
2 Helmets along the line of fire, and so on, that was at the time, was it
3 not, Mr. Babic, an absolutely unreal alternative which had no practical
4 prospect of being accepted by the necessary parties?
5 A. I do not agree with you. It was the first proposal and it was in
6 fact mentioned by Borisav Jovic in his request to the United Nations for
7 their engagement. It was the first option that was in circulation even
8 before Milosevic and Kadijevic signed this second version and the
9 possibility that the plan would be modified was open. Mr. Goulding was
10 present in Belgrade on the 27th of January and I talked to him. It was a
11 couple of days before this session. Mr. -- I'm sorry. We were talking
12 about the letter, and I have already moved on to the session. I was
13 talking about Mr. Goulding, the under-secretary for peace operations.
14 The answer to your question is that there was a possibility to
15 contemplate, and even to achieve, this deployment of peacekeeping forces,
16 because approval was sought from Krajina for the plan. Krajina was asked,
17 and that's how I understood it, that it was an open possibility for us to
18 make proposals. And then what I just mentioned happened. The
19 under-secretary for peace operations, Marek Goulding arrived and it was
20 discussed, and that was followed by a session of the presidents
21 Q. The position was this, Mr. Babic, wasn't it: There was not a
22 chance in the real world that Mr. Tudjman would sign up to your
23 alternative proposal here, was there?
24 A. Well, at that moment, it was clear that Milosevic does not want to
25 change his agreement with Tudjman either. That's what I understood.
1 Tudjman also stated, on more than one occasion, that the Croatian
2 authorities would immediately take control of the Serbian municipalities
3 in Krajina, and so on and so forth, and one of our reactions is stated in
4 the letter, namely, that we do not accept the validity of Croatian laws on
5 our territory, and this was followed by the report of the general
6 secretary of the United Nations to the Security Council and the Security
7 Council adopted the decision that Croatian laws would not apply on the
8 territory of the Krajina. This is the context.
9 Q. You choose once again not to answer my question, Mr. Babic, but
10 I'm just going to leave it there.
11 A. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Would you please repeat. I did not wish
12 to not answer your question. Even though you seem to think so.
13 Q. Mr. Babic, let's not debate it. I'll put it to you. Please
14 listen carefully and then answer. I put it to you: There was not a
15 chance in the real world that Mr. Tudjman would sign up to your
16 alternative proposal.
17 A. Well, that proposal for modification was imposed on him by the
18 Security Council and he accepted it. It is true that he accepted it. So
19 the possibility for Tudjman to change his stand existed, and he did change
21 Q. To your proposal?
22 A. What I mean is correction and amendment of this plan. One of the
23 amendments to this plan, namely, the modification of the plan that
24 pertains to the application of Croatian laws in the Serbian municipalities
25 in Krajina.
1 Q. The use of the Blue Helmets along the line of fire, as you
2 describe it, no chance of acceptance of that by Mr. Tudjman; correct?
3 A. I thought there was a chance. It would be accepted. That's why I
4 spoke about it. It was a model currently in application in Cyprus.
5 Q. Now, I want to show you, then, the letter which you looked at
6 before. It's a letter of the 19th of December, 1991 that Mr. Krajisnik
7 wrote, and that was -- it was part of an exhibit to Mr. Treanor's -- or
8 brought up in the course of Mr. Treanor's evidence, Your Honour. The
9 Exhibit number is P65 and it had been bundle 6, or folder 6, page 67 from
10 Mr. Treanor's documents. The witness was shown it in the course of his
11 examination-in-chief. So it --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Do you still have copies, Mr. Stewart? Because we do
13 not always bring the 18 binders of Mr. --
14 MR. STEWART: No, no. I understand that, Your Honour. It's a
15 particular document that was --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No. I do understand. But could it otherwise
17 be put on the ELMO? Do we have a --
18 MR. STEWART: We can do that, Your Honour. Tab 67, I think it is.
19 Your Honour, I'd simply like to say, it's one of those -- while it is
20 happening, one of those practical things that Ms. Cmeric has done a heroic
21 job with photocopying. May I just say the face of the fact that she and I
22 arrived about 20 to 8.00 this morning to find the photocopier was once
23 again out of the action in the Defence room. This is a constant problem
24 for us.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It will be put, then, on the ELMO. Is there
1 one copy to be put on the ELMO? And it is a letter, Mr. Babic, of the
2 19th of December, 1991, in which Mr. Krajisnik, president of the Assembly
3 of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, responds to an invitation
4 to be present on the, as it is said, the historic occasion of the
5 proclamation of the Serbian autonomous region of the Krajina, and
6 unfortunately he's unable to attend.
7 Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
8 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, first of all, this is one of those effusive
10 letters which is customarily written by political -- by politicians to
11 other politicians on the occasion of successful elections, establishment
12 of new institutions, significant appointments, that -- it's basically that
13 sort of letter, isn't it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And would you also agree that, maybe not uniquely as a people and
16 as a nation, but it's a very Serbian approach to write in these quite
17 flowery, enthusiastic terms, isn't it?
18 A. I don't know whether this is flowery. It is a political stance
19 that was held at the time by Mr. Krajisnik, and not only Mr. Krajisnik;
20 many others too. It is not particularly flowery.
21 Q. Well --
22 A. Or effusive.
23 Q. Mr. Babic, perhaps it highlights the point, and I'm treading a
24 delicate line. This is not in any way -- there are different cultures.
25 This is not intended in the least bit offensively. Please understand
2 The very fact that you don't see it as flowery supports the fact,
3 doesn't it, that this is a normal sort of language and normal sort of tone
4 for a letter written on such an occasion between Serbs?
5 A. There was no multitude of such occasions. This was a singular
6 occasion of the creation of Serbian Krajina. This is a political letter
7 dedicated to a specific political moment.
8 Q. It's just that you -- the way you dealt with this in your
9 statement and the way you dealt with it in your evidence, Mr. Babic, you
10 were plainly adopting a negative view of this letter, regarding it, as the
11 way you described it, as an inappropriate letter for Mr. Krajisnik to have
12 written. Do you agree?
13 A. I do not understand where you find this interpretation. I think
14 this was absolutely appropriate and completely consistent with the stances
15 propounded by Mr. Krajisnik at the time. I don't see what you find
16 inappropriate about it.
17 Q. Well, are we -- Mr. Babic, are you saying that you don't regard
18 this letter as inappropriate in its content and its tone for the occasion
19 on which it was written?
20 A. It is completely consonant with the occasion on which it was sent
21 and with the general political views that prevailed at the time and the
22 general situation. It clearly expresses a certain political stand
23 concerning the prevailing circumstances, if that's what you're asking.
24 Q. Mr. Babic, I just want to ask you about intercepts. You were
25 asked particularly about one intercept relating to a conversation that
1 apparently took place in June 1991. The reference is last Wednesday, the
2 2nd of June, page 82 of the transcript - between Mr. Karadzic and
3 Mr. Curtis. And you had listened to it and you had been able, it seems,
4 to identify the participants. And you gave evidence that the references
5 to flour and salt and supermarkets and so on, that it was a superficially
6 coded conversation, it had to do with delivery of weapons. May I ask
7 you -- well, I'm sure I may. Mr. Babic, what do you know that enables you
8 to tell the Trial Chamber any more about this intercept and its meaning
9 than can be got by anybody reading it?
10 A. I know the background, the circumstances, the participants, the
11 events, the terminology, the people, the time when this took place.
12 Q. So far as -- as a whole other lot of intercepts that we didn't go
13 to specifically, but they're scheduled as part of your evidence, so far as
14 those other intercepts are concerned, now you say, of course, that you
15 know the people involved. Do you agree that in most cases, what you were
16 telling the Tribunal in that schedule can largely be gleaned simply from
17 reading the text of the intercepts?
18 A. I can say that these texts confirm what I said.
19 Q. Do you say that in relation to any of those intercepts that you
20 have -- those other intercepts, you have some specific, special piece of
21 knowledge in relation to the content of that intercept that enables you to
22 cast extra light on their meaning?
23 A. I've already given my comment in respect of all the conversations
24 I heard. The persons whose voices I recognised, the content of what they
25 were saying. I think that I gave my view on each and every one of them.
1 Is that what you meant?
2 Q. Well, let's take one. I'm trying to avoid going through them all,
3 or at least even a significant number of them, Mr. Babic. But let's take
4 the intercept that is recorded as having been between Mr. Karadzic and
5 Mr. Krajisnik at -- I was looking for a date, Mr. Babic, but it's undated.
6 But you said you thought the date for the particular conversation was the
7 15th or 16th of May, 1991. So it's actually tab 1 of the intercept -- the
8 intercepts that you were asked to look at.
9 MR. STEWART: I wonder if the witness could be given that. I'm
10 not sure physically where this item is. It was ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could you be a bit more precise, Mr. Stewart, as to
12 where to find it?
13 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, in the schedule which was
14 attached, as we understand it, attached to his witness statement. It's
15 detached now physically in my papers, but that's another matter. Perhaps
16 Mr. Tieger can -- it looks as if he's about to help. It looks as if he's
17 eager to help at this moment.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you assist us, Mr. Tieger? We have had these
19 comments on the telephone tabs in -- yes.
20 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
21 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, we --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see that it could perhaps be put on the ELMO
23 and then be enlarged. Madam Usher, could you please put it. It's the
24 top -- the first entry on this page.
25 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
1 MR. TIEGER: And, Your Honour, although the individual intercept
2 transcripts have not yet been distributed, I've indicated earlier that
3 they would be available, and at least we have one -- we have a number of
4 such copies. If that is the nature of counsel's request.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we please zoom in on the top entry and a
6 little bit more to the right, so that the comment -- this is the one, I
7 take it, Mr. --
8 MR. STEWART: Yes, that's right, Your Honour. It's exactly that.
9 I think the date for this conversation is 15th or 16th May. That's
10 exactly it, Your Honour. And the -- yes, in part because the reference to
11 the Presidency session at which Mesic was not elected. Although then my
12 practical question related to the actual -- the transcript itself and its
13 physical whereabouts. I have a copy here.
14 MR. TIEGER: I was indicating that copies of the actual transcript
15 are available and we can provide them now if --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we put -- is there -- is there no copy
17 available at this moment? It's also in the Treanor binder? It's not.
18 MR. TIEGER: Essentially, we can either move for their admission
19 or we can refer back to the position we were in when they were marked
20 originally, which is that they weren't physically marked but they were
21 considered part of the package and would be physically provided before
22 they were moved into admission. So they are here now physically and we
23 can --
24 JUDGE ORIE: They're here physically. Let's just, for the support
25 of the questions put by Mr. Stewart, try to identify its -- could we then
1 have the -- Madam Usher, could you please return that to us so we know
2 where to find it.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: We'll give the B/C/S original to the witness and
5 we'll have the English translation on the ELMO. This is material which
6 has not yet been admitted into evidence. Let's -- we'll just use it at
7 this moment as a document which could be either marked for identification
8 or admitted into evidence at a later stage. I think we need that in
9 evidence, as a matter of fact. Yes.
10 MR. TIEGER: As indicated, and I hope this is clear, all of the
11 intercepts accompany the appropriate declarations.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have not given a number -- numbers yet, but
13 it's identified. It's number 1 on the list which appears on page 7 as an
14 annex to the statement of the witness.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll give the binder already a number. There's no
17 decision yet taken as to the admission, but ...
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P154A, the binder of intercept
19 transcripts accompanying the statement P154, with 33 tabs. And P154B, the
20 CD-ROM of the intercepts.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Everything being on the ELMO, Mr. Stewart,
22 please proceed.
23 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Babic, your summary of -- or your comments on this particular
25 intercept are, first of all, you think the date for this conversation is
1 15th or 16th May 1991, in part because of the reference to the Presidency
2 session at which Mesic was not elected. So there you're effectively
3 talking about a checkable historical event which enables us to date the
4 document, aren't you?
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. You are able to supply the name of the person who was drowned;
7 that's correct, isn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Because you know that that person of that name was drowned, and
10 you suppose it must be him they're talking about; correct?
11 A. Yes. It was Vukasin Soskocanin. I knew that he had purportedly
12 drowned, purportedly. But I did hear other information about this as
14 Q. Well, those are the rumours that you refer to, aren't they?
15 That's the other information you're talking about. That's what you refer
16 to about the rumours that he was killed by his own men or the state
17 security was involved?
18 A. He was dead. Allegedly he had drowned in the Danube. And people
19 who had had contacts with him and others were Borovo Selo told me that it
20 was the DB, the state security, that had killed him. But I did not hear
21 about this as a rumour but as a serious piece of information at the time
22 when I heard about this, and this was at the actual time when it occurred.
23 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Babic. I want to show you another document
24 which comes from a book in this case. We have copies of this,
25 Your Honour. And for the record, I will say, of course, what the book is.
1 It's a book written by Adam LeBor and LeBor is all one word, L-e-b-o-r but
2 the L and the B are capitalised. Adam LeBor who's a -- an apparently
3 English journalist, has worked for the Independent and the Times, among
4 other things. It's called "Milosevic, a biography." And it was published
5 in 2002, first published in Great Britain in 2002. And we've copied, in
6 accordance with what we understand to be the usual practice, we've copied
7 the page before and the page after, as well as the particular page
8 containing the passage which I want to put to Mr. Babic. It's written in
9 English, not surprisingly, Mr. LeBor.
10 The particular passage is in the middle of page 228, and the
11 period being talked about is May 1995 or the summer of 1995. Faced
12 just -- well, Mr. Babic may know enough English to be able to identify
13 the paragraph, but it won't help anyway because we understand that he
14 doesn't sufficiently read English. So it says: "Faced with the" --
15 please listen, Mr. Babic: "Faced with the capture of sector west the
16 international community proposed a plan known as Z-4, considering the
17 future events of that summer of 1995, Z-4 offered unimaginable benefits to
18 the rebel Serbs, including self-determination, their own flag, police,
19 parliament, and a president." And the Serbs being talked about here are
20 the Krajina Serbs in your Krajina, Mr. Babic. "Milosevic supported the
21 plan, as did Tudjman, although with reservations. In a decision of quite
22 remarkable stupidity, the Krajina Serb leaders Milan Martic and Milan
23 Babic, rejected Z-4 outright. Instead, they dispatched troops to join the
24 Bosnian Serb's army attack on the Bosnian government-held city of Bihac.
25 Bihac, cut off by besieging Serbs, had been declared a UN safe area, like
1 Srebrenica, when Srebrenica fell in July, the Bosnian Serb military
2 leader, General Ratko Mladic, launched an attack on Bihac."
3 And then it's correct, isn't it, Mr. Babic, that that was all a
4 military disaster for the Serbs, wasn't it, as it turned out?
5 A. What you quoted just now is not correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Babic --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was tragic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous interpretation continues] ... whether the
9 military outcome was a disaster. No one asked you to confirm that it was
10 a stupid decision or not. It's not -- that's a totally different matter.
11 The only question put to you now is whether the military result was a
12 disaster. Would you please answer the question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am sorry, Your Honour, but all
14 sorts of things were said here, and all sorts of things were quoted that
15 are incorrect. So I do not find the question itself to be clear.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The question, as such, I repeated it, I think, is
17 quite clear. You can forget about all the rest, whether stupid, whether
18 you took that decision, whatever happened: Was the military result a
19 disaster? Yes or no?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Does this concern Bihac or something
21 else? I don't understand the question yet again. What does it
22 specifically refer to?
23 JUDGE ORIE: It specifically refers to the attack on Bihac.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, a disaster. It was a military
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for your answer.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
3 MR. STEWART:
4 Q. And do you agree --
5 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Do you agree, Mr. Babic, that your rejection of the plan known as
7 Z-4 was, therefore, also, as it turned out, a serious error?
8 A. You will have to tell me whether you are saying "you" in the
9 singular or in the plural. I accepted it. Others did not. The question
10 was whether the rejection of the plan contributed to what.
11 Q. Well, all right, Mr. Babic. Let's get it clear, then. When this
12 book refers to a decision of quite remarkable stupidity and then to the
13 Krajina Serb leaders Milan Martic and Milan Babic rejecting Z-4 outright,
14 are you saying that the book is wrong, that you personally did not reject
15 the Z-4 proposal?
16 A. That's right. It's not that I did not reject it. I accepted it.
17 Q. But -- well, what's come across in the translation, these
18 negatives again. You said: "It's not that I did not reject it. I
19 accepted it." So -- yes. It's not that I rejected it. You're saying you
20 accepted it. The book is wrong. That's what you --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, it is not only that he did
22 not reject it. He accepted it as a matter of fact. It's a question of
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's clear, Mr. Babic, you accepted the Z-4
25 plan. Please proceed.
1 MR. STEWART: I'm certainly not going to enter into a quarrel with
2 the interpreters about that, Your Honour. I'll accept what they say about
3 all that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: It's been three times confirmed now, so let's
6 MR. STEWART: If Your Honours will give me one moment. That deals
7 with that point, Your Honour, and concludes my cross-examination.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
9 Mr. Tieger, any need to re-examine the witness?
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 Re-examined by Mr. Tieger:
12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I have two relatively small matters.
13 Unfortunately, I think one may take a little more time to address than the
14 other. Let me begin with that one, if I may.
15 Q. Mr. Babic, directing your attention to the military document dated
16 December 26th, 1991, that was the subject of discussion earlier.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I note that there was at least some discussion about this document
19 during the course of one of your earlier transcribed interviews, and this
20 is tape 10 -- 14 in the period -- on January 14th, 2002, on page 56. And
21 in the middle of the page, you indicate that you wanted to explain the
22 order and that identified the order explained that on December 26 you were
23 the president of Republika Srpska Krajina. In that capacity, I'm
24 paraphrasing now, commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska
25 Krajina -- I'd like to move forward on this. You explain something about
1 the document, including the stamp in the upper left corner, which
2 indicates the autonomous region of Srpska Krajina, staff of Territorial
3 Defence. So it means that this document was drafted in the staff
4 headquarters of TO of Srpska Krajina.
5 You then go on to say that you don't remember the exact point of
6 time, but it must be somewhere about this time, that is, when the relevant
7 operational zones were set up. And now I continue quoting: "Now Colonel
8 Radoslav Maksic, who was the commander of the chief central staff of TO,
9 he brought to me a document in which it was either determined or ordered,
10 or it was an order or instruction, I don't know what type, so it was a
11 kind of an order on the movement, shifting certain artillery units which
12 had the range to reach Zagreb. And he said that I ought to sign that and
13 that this be my order, and I remember that I signed a document, this kind,
14 this content. So to my recollection, this document corresponded to that
15 activity. I did think it over about the circumstances under which this
16 happened, this occurred. It was the time of the debate concerning the
17 Vance Plan, namely, the time the debate on deployment of UN peace forces
18 in the area of the Krajina. You see, even after today, I ask myself why
19 did I, who wasn't involved in the operations of -- in the operational
20 aspects of the units and the operational activities, that I signed and
21 gave my approval that such action be taken on the movement of artillery.
22 It could mean provocation in connection with the activities going on
23 surrounding the Vance Plan. As I see it today, that was foolish. I think
24 that also then my feelings weren't [phoen] of this nature, namely that the
25 obstruction would be carried out in this way. Nonetheless, I did sign
1 such document for Maksic. However, didn't dare not to agree in order to
2 avoid creating an enemy against me out of a person who belongs to the
3 Milosevic group of people, not because of the person himself but to the
4 line that was leading to Milosevic. It was a type of direct personal
5 relationship leading out, and it wasn't a matter of general public
6 discussion. I signed this for Maksic not wanting to impose primarily
7 that. This is my recollection and my feelings.
8 Well, my conclusion today is rather different from what it was at
9 that time. Looking upon those events from today's point, probably I
10 wouldn't proceed in this way. This a later wisdom that started, began
11 developing, having a clear sight of it from 1994 onwards and since March
12 1992 I already had some different views concerning these events."
13 Mr. Babic, does that passage assist you in any way in refreshing
14 your recollection or in otherwise illuminating this document and your role
15 in it for the benefit of the Court?
16 A. The only thing is I still believe that the purpose of all this was
17 to compromise me as a negotiator.
18 Q. Mr. Babic, my second question is directed to the meeting in
19 Bosanski Novi sometime around the late summer of 1992. Mr. Stewart
20 indicated that in an earlier interview there was reference to a joint
21 assembly session of the assemblies of Republika Srpska and RSK. I note
22 that in your statement, you refer to a meeting at which you arrived late
23 and refer to the event in Bosanski Novi in the late summer of 1992 three
24 times as a meeting. Can you tell us whether or not it is your
25 recollection that that meeting was a joint assembly session, some other
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 kind of meeting, or can you illuminate that in any way?
2 A. It was some sort of meeting. As I mentioned, somebody told me
3 that it was a session of the joint assembly, but that did not look like
4 it. It was some sort of meeting. It did not look to me like a joint
5 session of the assembly, or rather, a session of the joint assembly. It
6 looked to me like a very large meeting.
7 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me, Your Honour. If I could have one more
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. That's all I have.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Tieger. Since nothing new has been
12 introduced in this re-examination -- is there -- no, nothing. Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we're accepting that. Yes.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions for you.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to be certain that I've
19 followed your evidence correctly. I seem to have heard you saying today,
20 and I quote, when you were talking about Mr. Branko Kostic, you said, and
21 I quote you in English: [In English] "Technically speaking, he was the
22 leading or he played the leading role or the leading role belonged to
24 [Interpretation] In this context, concerning Mr. Krajisnik, you
25 said: [In English] "Had a representative role. I don't remember him
1 playing an active part."
2 [Interpretation] I would appreciate it if you would explain what
3 you mean by these two comments about these two persons. Do you mean to
4 say that Mr. Krajisnik, in a certain area, had no more than a
5 representative role and did not actually play an active part, or what is
6 it that you actually mean, precisely?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I meant exclusively and
8 specifically only that one meeting held in the palace of the Federation on
9 the 23rd of October, 1991. I meant that technically it was chaired by
10 Mr. Branko Kostic. He was the chairman. And I believe I already
11 mentioned in my evidence that Slobodan Milosevic was actually behind all
12 that. And as far as Momcilo Krajisnik is concerned, I did say these two
13 things. He had a representative role, he had the capacity and the
14 authority to represent the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And when I
15 said that he did not play an active part, I meant the meeting itself. I
16 don't remember him taking the floor and discussing or making speeches.
17 That's what I meant.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
19 My second question could be much simpler. If I understand correctly, you
20 were the president of the SDS party, beginning with 1994 in Krajina, I
21 mean -- 1992, that is. Was that after the death of Mr. Raskovic? Isn't
22 it? And for the rest of the year of 1992, you were president of the SDS
23 party of Krajina, weren't you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me clarify. Until the 29th of
25 November, 1992, I was a member of the Serbian Democratic Party, presided
1 by Mr. Jovan Raskovic. That party had its regional board for SAO Krajina
2 and I was a member of that regional board. I was at the same time
3 president of the municipal board of that party for Knin. After the death
4 of Mr. Jovan Raskovic on the 29th of November, 1992, a group of members of
5 the Serbian Democratic Party, presided by Mr. Raskovic, a group from
6 Krajina, that is, established an independent Serbian Democratic Party of
7 Krajina, of which I became president.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But it is the same party as the
9 SDS, which existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or was it another part
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was another party. It was not
12 the same as the SDS.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] That is to say, it was a question
14 only of name; there was no identity, no relationship between the two
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. Those were separate parties.
17 But even the names were not identical. The names were different. The
18 party in Bosnia-Herzegovina was called the Serbian Democratic Party of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina and was later renamed into the Serbian Democratic
20 Party of Serbian Lands. Whereas the party led by Raskovic was the Serbian
21 Democratic Party, and the party that I presided over and which I helped
22 establish, was the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] All right. Did you then, if I
24 understand well, did your party, the SDS, have any relations with the SDS
25 party which existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Did you coordinate, for
1 instance, your actions, mutually?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. There were certain attempts for
3 our SDS party of Krajina to be included in the SDS party in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina -- Bosnia-Herzegovina, but that did not happen. Our party --
5 parties were in fact opposed, my party and the Karadzic's SDS party. They
6 were conflicting parties.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] My final question, then: It
8 seemed to me that your relations were rather looking -- you were rather
9 looking towards Belgrade, towards the Republic of Serbia, rather than
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that the case?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I've got a few questions for you, and I hope that the
14 interpreters would grant us perhaps five to ten minutes extra so that we
15 could conclude rather than to have to resume next week.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ORIE: May I first ask you a rather general question.
18 Really sensitive issues, were they ever put on paper? And when I say
19 "really sensitive issues," include hidden agendas. Because you spoke
20 about meeting with others where you were invited, not on paper, but
21 invited orally or by telephone, and you would have discussions on
22 sensitive issues. Could you tell us something about to what extent these
23 kind of sensitive issues, that is, also the means to be used to achieve
24 political aims. I'm not specifically talking about your political aims,
25 but more in general. Would that be put on paper?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that it was put on
3 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever see it to be put on paper, matters you
4 considered of a sensitive nature?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Did you have the impression that it was for reasons
7 of secrecy that you would not find those issues on paper? You're nodding,
8 Mr. Babic, but that doesn't appear on the transcript.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have another question for you. You told us
11 about the use of the Ekavian language, and why would someone use the
12 Ikavian [phoen] language to emphasise it as a unifying factor for Serbs if
13 that would also be the language which was used by Croats, or, and that's
14 an alternative question, or is that exactly why you considered this
15 emphasis to be foolish?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is rather a long question.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So I'm inviting you, more or less, to either
18 explain how this emphasis could be used as a unifying factor or to tell me
19 that that's exactly what you find so foolish.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for unification, it was a case of
21 imposing on the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia of a
22 certain linguistic standard that prevailed in Serbia, although I did say
23 that as far as communication is concerned, it is the same language.
24 However, that particular linguistic standard was valid in Serbia. In that
25 sense, unification would mean adapting or adjusting to the linguistic
1 standard prevailing in Serbia. And what was the second part of your
3 JUDGE ORIE: My question was -- I think your testimony was also
4 that it was also used, that same language, by Croats. So if I would
5 choose something to emphasise the unification among -- well, specific
6 people, I would choose something that's exclusive for that group and not
7 used by others as well.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was exclusively used by
9 Serbs. The Ekavian dialect. Muslims and Croats did not use the Ekavian
10 dialect or pronunciation.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Unfortunately, I haven't got the transcript here
12 literally, but either I misunderstood or it has appeared wrongly in the
13 transcript. I do not know, but the matter is clear to me now.
14 May I ask you another -- you told us about documents you gave to
15 the investigators, and you made a distinction between two types of
16 documents, the one you found in the archives and the others -- yes, you
17 seem to have with you and which you did not have to seek in the archives.
18 Is that correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both types of document originated
20 from the archives, but they were in my possession.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but some of them you had already, or -- because
22 it's -- my question would be: Why did you take them with you?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had one type of document that was
24 from the archive in Knin. That related to the legal status of Krajina,
25 and this category encompassed a large number of documents, and I took them
1 because the counsellor, the advisor of the Yasushi Akashi, the
2 then-civilian representative of the UNPROFOR for Yugoslavia, Yelena
3 Guskova, asked me for that type of document. She was interested as a
4 historian. And I had that in my possession ready to be given to her.
5 That's why I had them and that's why they stayed with me.
6 The other category of documents remained in the bureau of the
7 Republic of Serbian Krajina in Belgrade, that bureau, that office, was
8 abolished in 1996. That is another type of document that I possessed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That explains why you had the other documents
10 in your possession which did not directly come from the archives in
11 Belgrade. Thank you, Mr. Babic.
12 You said at a certain moment during your testimony that there was
13 more to add on the subject of the impression on what Karadzic actually had
14 in mind at the Celinac meeting. Could you tell us what there was more to
15 add to what you have already told us?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can clarify, maybe, what it meant.
17 It meant that he would create a unified Serbian territory in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina by expelling Muslims. That's what it referred to.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was your impression. I mean, so what you
20 add is that the means by which you would create that situation is by
21 compelling Muslims --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. Correct.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us a bit more insight on what this
24 impression was based?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it is based on the fact that
1 at that time there were communities of municipalities, like Serbian areas,
2 created by the leadership of the Serbian democratic parties. These areas
3 were separated. There was no way that, according to the principle of
4 majority and referendi they could be united. That's why that attempt
5 failed and that's why Karadzic was against this voting based on the
6 majority principle that was used in Krajina. Because that majority
7 principle would foil his aspiration to unite these territories where Serbs
8 were a minority.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much for these answers.
10 Have the questions of the Bench raised any need for further
11 questions to Mr. Babic?
12 MR. TIEGER: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. STEWART: There's not for the Defence either, Your Honour.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Yes. I was looking at both parties, as a
17 matter of fact.
18 Then, Mr. Babic, this concludes your evidence at this moment.
19 Usually I say to witnesses goodbye and I hope -- in this case, I cannot
20 fully exclude that you would be recalled, although it's not what I expect
21 at this moment, but I cannot exclude that. So, therefore, whether I say
22 thank you for coming and whether I should say thank you for coming and --
23 well, it's not a kind of language, we'll meet again, don't know where,
24 don't know when. So this is just to avoid any wrong impression that this
25 was the last time you would appear here in this -- before this Chamber,
1 who is assigned to deal with the case against Mr. Krajisnik.
2 Nevertheless, thank you for answering questions of both parties and of the
3 Bench, and you may be now escorted out of the courtroom.
4 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, in relation to that document from the
5 book, I think I forgot to ask Ms. Philpott is reminding us that it needs a
6 number and so on.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number D20.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do we need the presence of the witness for your
9 next comments, Mr. Tieger?
10 MR. TIEGER: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd ask Mr. Babic to be escorted out of the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mueller, you're also excused.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE ORIE: For what still has to be said by the parties, do we
17 have to remain in closed session, apart from whether we should have ever
18 gone in closed session, Mr. Stewart? If not, then we'll return into --
19 yes, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, difficult for me to know whether the
21 Court wishes this in private -- in closed session or not, but since it's
22 part of the entire proceeding, it seems to make more sense to me. I just
23 want to move into admission --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As a matter of fact, we are stealing time
25 already from another Trial Chamber. I suggest to the parties that we deal
1 with all the technicalities just at the beginning of the next session,
2 which would be, I think, next Monday, Madam Registrar.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: I suggest that we deal with all these technical
5 materials, if there are any numbers, et cetera, next Monday, so then we
6 can properly prepare for it and we don't have to do it in a rush. Is
7 there anything else to be said at this moment? No. Then we briefly
8 return into open session.
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We're in open session again. I -- in this open
11 session, I repeat what has been said in closed session before today, that
12 an oral decision has been given by the Chamber this morning on a
13 confidential motion which was not opposed by the Defence, in which
14 videolink and closed session was granted. That was the fourth motion. I
15 take it that just the content of the motion was confidential and not the
16 existence of the motion, Mr. Tieger. Is that a proper understanding?
17 Because otherwise I would have to ask the transcript to be redacted.
18 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. I believe that's the correct
20 JUDGE ORIE: So nothing has to be corrected. Then if the parties
21 would get in touch with the -- not with the Senior Legal Officer but with
22 Mr. De Hemptinne, to see whether we could, since we have a break of a
23 couple of days now and the Chamber has received suggestions by the parties
24 on how to proceed, especially on from the 24th of June, and if you could
25 find an opportunity to just briefly exchange views and see whether the --
1 what the Chamber has in mind, and this is just a matter of scheduling and
2 to see whether we should spend more time on hearing evidence in court or
3 whether we should leave more time to the parties to communicate in order
4 to avoid unnecessary presentation of evidence in court. If you'd make
5 yourself available this afternoon, that would be highly appreciated. I
6 announced that for last Friday, but finally I thought it better to delay
7 it until today.
8 Is there anything else the parties would want to raise in this
9 already stolen time?
10 MR. TIEGER: No, Your Honour, there is not.
11 MR. STEWART: Still 15 seconds. Your Honour knows that the --
12 what Your Honour has just described as the ambit of any proposed meeting
13 this afternoon is not the extent of the ambit which the Defence suggests
14 should be considered. Your Honour, I'll say it more clearly, then.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. STEWART: But Your Honour hasn't mentioned time for
17 preparation of the defence case, which you know has been a continuing
18 issue, and that is very much at the forefront of what the Defence has in
19 mind in all such discussions.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's say that if views are exchanged on how to
21 use time, one could also exchange views on what to use that time for, and
22 of course the position of the Defence is not unknown to the Chamber.
23 Then we'll adjourn with a special thanks to the technicians and
24 the interpreters, which helped us out, and already apologies for the other
25 Trial Chamber for stealing 13 minutes of their time. We'll adjourn until
1 Monday, the 14th of June, 9.00, Courtroom II.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Monday, the 14th day of
4 June 2004, at 9.00 a.m.