1 Tuesday, 22 June 2004
2 [Closed session]
12 Pages 4096 to 4134 redacted, closed session
14 [Open session]
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning. I take it Mr. Okun. Before giving
17 evidence in this Tribunal, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you
18 to make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth,
19 and nothing but the truth. The text will be handed out to you by Madam
20 Usher, and may I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
22 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much. Please be seated.
24 WITNESS: HERBERT OKUN
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Okun, you'll first be examined by counsel for the
1 Prosecution, Mr. Tieger.
2 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
3 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Examined by Mr. Tieger:
5 Q. And good morning to you, Ambassador Okun.
6 A. Good morning, sir.
7 Q. Ambassador Okun, I'd like to begin by providing the Chamber with
8 at least a snapshot of your career and background. I won't go into
9 detail, but I'd like to recite at least some of the highlights and ask you
10 at the end of that to confirm it if you would.
11 First, you were an officer in the United States Foreign Service
12 from 1955 until 1991. And one of the early and remarkable moments in that
13 career was that while serving in the United States embassy in Moscow
14 during the Cuban missile crisis in the early 1960s, you were the person
15 responsible for translating the letters from Chairman Kruschev to
16 President Kennedy; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You were later a political advisor to the NATO Commander-in-Chief
19 in the Mediterranean based in Naples with the specific responsibility of
20 watching and reporting on the situation in Yugoslavia at that time?
21 A. Yes, between 1973 and 1975.
22 Q. And in the late 1970s you were the deputy chairman of United
23 States delegation at the strategic arms limitation talks with the Soviet
24 Union, commonly known as SALT II; is that correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. You also served as United States Ambassador to the German
2 Democratic Republic in Berlin from 1980 to 1983?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were the deputy permanent representative and Ambassador of the
5 United States to the United Nations from 1985 until 1989.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You were special advisor and deputy to the personal envoy of the
8 United Nations Secretary-General from 1991 through 1997, working primarily
9 on Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1991 through 1993, and almost
10 exclusively on the dispute between Greece and Macedonia from 1993 through
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And more specifically from September 1992 through May 1993, you
14 searched as deputy co-chairman of the International Conference on the
15 former Yugoslavia.
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. In 1996 and 1997, you were special advisor to the International
18 Commission on Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And to round it out, during the 1990s, you have served as a
21 visiting lecturer at the Yale Law School in the United States and as a
22 professorial lecturer relations on international relations, international
23 law and international institutions at the School of Advanced International
24 Studies at John Hopkins University in the Washington, DC, area?
25 A. Yes. I have done that beginning in 1992 at Yale until I believe
1 2000 or 2001, and since then at John Hopkins.
2 Q. Now, Ambassador, can I focus for a moment somewhat more
3 particularly on your experience in the field of negotiations, and I'd like
4 to ask you about your experience negotiating treaties, and in this case
5 specifically treaties with the Soviet Union.
6 First of all, how many such processes, how many such treaties have
7 you been involved in?
8 A. Three in a significant fashion, one in a minor fashion, four in
10 Q. Were you involved in the Treaty on the High Seas?
11 A. Yes. I was vice-chairman of the US delegation between 1971 and
12 1972 that negotiated successfully the agreement on prevention of incidents
13 on and over the high seas. It was signed in May 1972 at the summit
14 meeting between President Nixon and President Brezhnev.
15 Q. Were you also involved, sir, in the SALT I talks or the treaty
16 negotiations commonly known as SALT I??
17 A. On the margins.
18 Q. And as indicated earlier you were involved in the SALT II
19 negotiations. Can you tell us in what capacity?
20 A. Yes. I was head of the State Department component and deputy
21 chief of the delegation of the United States that negotiated the SALT II
22 treaty with the Soviet Union. And that treaty was signed at the summit
23 meeting which I attended between President Carter and President Brezhnev
24 in Vienna in June 1979.
25 Q. And, Ambassador, were you also involved in the comprehensive test
1 ban treaty efforts?
2 A. Yes. I was vice-chairman of the US delegation to the trilateral
3 talks between the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union
4 working towards a comprehensive test ban. The treaty was never completed.
5 Q. Ambassador, a few moments ago I alluded to your involvement in the
6 former Yugoslavia during the period 1991 to 1993. I think it's important
7 we elucidate in a bit more detail the nature of that involvement and the
8 nature of the efforts ongoing at that time. First of all, were you
9 involved in the conference on Yugoslavia, and what did that entail? What
10 was that effort about?
11 A. The conference on Yugoslavia was convened by the European
12 Community when it became active at the beginning of the armed conflict in
13 the former Yugoslavia in the summer of 1991. It began in September 1991
14 and ended in August 1992. It was always held under the chairmanship of
15 Lord Carrington, the former British Foreign Minister. It was an EC
16 conference designed to achieve a political settlement for the entire
17 Yugoslav situation, the dissolution of the country, to achieve a peaceful
18 settlement. It met intermittently at irregular [Realtime transcript read
19 in error "regular"] intervals. I attended some of the meetings as an
20 observer, sometimes with Secretary Vance, sometimes alone, but in our
21 capacity as representatives of the Secretary-General of the United
22 Nations. We had no operative role in the conference which was an EC
23 conference with the six Yugoslav republics and the government of the
24 former Yugoslavia.
25 As I say, it existed from September 1991 until August 1992,
1 meeting in different cities. It first met in The Hague in the fall of
2 1991 because the Dutch had held the Presidency of the EC between July 1
3 and December. Then for the first six months of 1992, it met sometimes in
4 Brussels, sometimes in Lisbon, sometimes in London even, because the --
5 the Portuguese held the rotating EC Presidency. And after July of 1992,
6 the UK took the Presidency and the London conference resulted, which ended
7 the EC conference on Yugoslavia and a new conference was called into
9 Q. Ambassador, just two minor points of clarification. First, I note
10 that in the transcript at 43:12, it indicated that the conference met
11 intermittently at regular intervals. I understood you to say irregular.
12 Wonder if you could identify which of those two it is?
13 A. Yes, irregular, not regular. Irregular intervals.
14 Q. And second, you mentioned that the conference met in different
15 cities depending on which country held the chairmanship at that time. Did
16 the conference sometimes popularly or in the media come to bear the name
17 of the city in which it was held?
18 A. Yes, indeed. It was routinely referred to at the beginning as
19 The Hague Conference, and one still sees references to it in historical
20 books. It later became the Brussels Conference or the London Conference.
21 That's rather confusing, but it was always the conference on Yugoslavia.
22 That was how we knew it. But as you know, the press likes to shorten
23 things, and they must do that.
24 Q. Before moving on to the new conference that was convened in the
25 summer of 1992, let me ask you if the conference on Yugoslavia developed a
1 specific plan for implementation in the former Yugoslavia, and if so, what
2 that was called and what its general terms were.
3 A. It did develop one overall plan that it put to the six republics
4 during the conference. There were also numerous minor attempts to resolve
5 specific problems. Fighting, of course, was going on during the entire
6 conference, first in Croatia and then, after March, in Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina. But during the period of the fall of 1991 when the fighting
8 was heavy in Croatia, in October, I believe it was October 18, Lord
9 Carrington put down the elements of an accord, basically a peace plan for
10 the entire Yugoslavia. One could say without any attempt at humour it
11 amounted to a peaceful divorce. It would have allowed for a peaceful
12 separation of the republics. Excuse me. And at the conference, it was in
13 fact accepted by five of the six republics. This was October 1991. It
14 was accepted by Slovenia, by Croatia, by Bosnia and Herzegovina, by
15 Macedonia, and by Montenegro, but it was rejected by Serbia. And it
16 therefore fell into -- into disuse.
17 Looking back, I think it's fair to say that that was the closest
18 the negotiators came to a peaceful resolution of the overall situation in
19 Yugoslavia on a comprehensive basis, and one can also say it was clear
20 which party rejected the proposed solution, since five of the six
21 republics accepted Lord Carrington's proposals and one rejected it,
23 Q. Ambassador Okun, the Chamber has also heard some previous
24 reference to the Badinter Commission. Perhaps you can tell us briefly its
25 connection to the conference on Yugoslavia and its role.
1 A. The Badinter was formed -- the Badinter Commission, known as
2 formally as the Commission d'Arbitrage, the arbitration commission was
3 also formed by the EC at the -- during the summer or early fall of 1991 to
4 resolve juridical questions, the serious ones, that emerged from the
5 break-up of the country. It's call the Badinter Commission, because its
6 chairman was Robert Badinter, the distinguished former French Minister of
7 Justice, and it was composed of other judges exclusively drawn from the
8 supreme courts of the -- of EC countries. It was a very distinguished
9 body as you would expect and may imagine.
10 During its existence, it issued numerous important decisions, and
11 it played -- I think it's fair to say it played an important role in
12 assisting the EC negotiators, and the world, I think, in understanding the
13 dimensions of the Yugoslav problem.
14 If you wish, I can cite examples, but I don't wish to take the
15 time of the Court.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It's not primarily a matter of time of the Court, but
17 the parties are limited in the time they can use, and if there's any need
18 for further specification, the counsel will certainly ask for it.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. Ambassador, I believe you indicated that you and Secretary Vance
22 did not have a formal role in the conference on Yugoslavia. Can you
23 indicate generally to the Court what efforts you and Secretary Vance were
24 engaged in during that period of time and on who's behalf?
25 A. Yes. Our role, in addition to being present and I may say having
1 close relations with Lord Carrington, he and Vance, Secretary Vance, were
2 foreign ministers together, knew each other well, trusted each other, and
3 cooperated without a millimetre of space between them. But our role was
4 to find out what was happening in Croatia, first of all, fact finding in
5 October, and then when it became clear that the EC efforts to obtain a
6 cease-fire had failed on more than a dozen occasions to work out a man
7 just for Croatia, a peacekeeping operation that could assist in reaching a
8 cessation of hostilities in Croatia, because as I mentioned to you
9 earlier, Mr. Tieger, the EC was involved across the entire range of
10 activities in the combat in Croatia. It wasn't just a matter of the
11 conference on Yugoslavia.
12 For example, there were hundreds of EC monitors on the ground in
13 monitoring commission known as the ECMM, the European Community Monitoring
14 Mission. They were all over Croatia monitoring the fighting. The EC
15 sought to end the fighting and issued unilaterally more than a dozen
16 cease-fires, none of which lasted more than minutes. I mean, the ink was
17 barely dry on the paper before they were violated. And so the fighting
18 continued, and it was quite serious. One recalls the siege of Vukovar, a
19 city of 80.000 people, and utterly destroyed.
20 So Secretary Vance and I were charged with ending the fighting in
21 Croatia. And it quickly became clear to us that the imposition of a
22 United Nations peacekeeping operation, if the parties would accept it,
23 could be a means to bring about a cessation of hostilities in Croatia, and
24 that's what we worked on.
25 Q. During the course of those efforts, Ambassador, did you and
1 Secretary Vance meet with leadership figures throughout the former
3 A. Yes, we did.
4 Q. What was the culmination of the efforts to reach a cease-fire and
5 implement a peacekeeping operation?
6 A. Our efforts succeeded on January 2, 1992 with the signature in
7 Sarajevo of the implementing accord which implemented a preliminary
8 ceasefire agreement reached in Geneva on November 23, 1991.
9 On January 2, 1992, Secretary Vance brought together General
10 Raseta of the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, and Defence Minister Gojko
11 Susak of the Republic of Croatia to sign what amounted to an agreement on
12 cessation of hostilities, and they did, and that worked. It held. And so
13 after January 2, there was no fighting any more in Croatia until it
14 resumed a year later. There were, of course, random and occasional acts
15 of violence in Croatia, but the cease-fire held, and the peacekeeping
16 operation was authorised the next month, February 1992, by the Security
17 Council, and that allowed the United Nations peacekeeping force called
18 UNPROFOR to go forward.
19 Q. Ambassador, after the signing of the agreement, did that signal
20 the cessation of the efforts of Secretary Vance and yourself in connection
21 with the former Yugoslavia or did the two of you continue?
22 A. We continued, but our attention broadened to two areas after
23 January. First was to make sure that the cessation of hostilities held
24 because we'd had these dozen or so EC cease-fires, as I mentioned, which
25 did not hold, and that took effort, and monitoring, and care and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 And the other thing that, of course, concerned us was the
3 worsening situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had been a concern
4 throughout the earlier period although there was no organised fighting.
5 But everybody connected with the events in Yugoslavia had one eye always
6 on Bosnia and Herzegovina because it was widely known. It was -- not just
7 widely known; it was unquestionably the case that if there were to be
8 renewed violence that it would be in Bosnia.
9 Q. In part, was there a concern that what had happened in Croatia
10 would be replicated in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes. That was the general concern.
12 Q. And perhaps you can provide the Court with a snapshot of what you
13 came to learn during your efforts had taken place in Croatia. First of
14 all, did you become aware of efforts to forcibly displace persons within
15 Croatia in order to obtain territory claimed by another ethnicity?
16 A. Surely, yes. That was very much the case. We saw it with our own
17 eyes repeatedly.
18 Just to give one example, Secretary Vance and I and some other
19 members of our team were in Vukovar the day after it fell to Serb forces
20 after a two-month seige. The date was November 19, 1991, and we were
21 there in what turned out to be a vain attempt to prevent the Serbs in
22 Croatia and the JNA from killing prisoners who were -- who were held in
23 the Vukovar Hospital. That event has been widely reported unknown and I
24 believe made a subject even in this Tribunal.
25 Beyond that we visited the refugee camps and the displaced persons
1 camps where we saw hundreds, thousands of Croats, in this case, Croatians
2 who had been displaced from all over Eastern Slavonia by the JNA and by
3 the Serb irregular forces who were intermingled. We saw them. We were
4 with them. We talked with them. And one could easily identify who was
5 JNA and who were the Serb irregulars. We saw Arkan, for example, and his
6 men. We did not meet with -- we had the offer but chose not to meet with
7 Arkan. So one saw quite clearly the Serb modus operandi in Croatia.
8 Q. And I know you've given extensive testimony about this before and
9 I don't want to get into detail, but as a quick matter did you come to
10 learn which political official was ultimately in control of the JNA?
11 A. Yes. It was President Milosevic.
12 Q. You mentioned earlier, Ambassador, that the conference on
13 Yugoslavia which you've described eventually gave way to or was in some
14 effect succeeded by a subsequent conference, the International Conference
15 on former Yugoslavia. Can you tell us when that began and what its
16 purpose was?
17 A. It was called into being at a conference in London - excuse me -
18 at the end of August 1992, as I mentioned a moment ago, which was convened
19 by the British government in their capacity as president of the EC. It
20 was clear to all by that time that the conference on Yugoslavia had not
21 succeeded in bringing the parties to a peaceful resolution. Not only was
22 there fighting, but it spread, because by August 1992 there was heavy
23 fighting in Bosnia, although Croatia was quiet. So it was clear that Lord
24 Carrington's conference and the subconference on Bosnia headed by
25 Ambassador Cutileiro unfortunately had not succeeded. So it was felt that
1 a further, stronger effort was required, and they decided to set up
2 conference under the co-chairmanship of the EC and the United Nations,
3 because, as I mentioned earlier, until this point Mr. Vance and I had been
4 operating exclusively for the UN, the Security Council, the
5 Secretary-General, and mostly the two of us, occasionally a few other
6 people as rather individuals almost, with the authority, of course, of the
8 And so immediately after the London Conference met, the combined
9 EC UN conference began to meet in September, early September, the first
10 week of September 1992 in Geneva. It was called the International
11 Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, ICFY. It was chaired by Secretary
12 Vance for the United Nations, and I was the deputy co-chair, and on the EC
13 side Lord Carrington withdrew and he was replaced by Lord Owen. And Lord
14 Owen was the co-chair for the EC with Ambassador Peter Hall as his deputy.
15 And the job of the ICFY, the International Conference on the
16 Former Yugoslavia, was to continue where possible the work of Lord
17 Carrington's conference on some overall issues relating to the break-up of
18 Yugoslavia but primarily to develop a plan for peace, an agreed plan for
19 peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 Q. And concretely, Ambassador, how did the conference go about
21 pursuing that objective?
22 A. It went about that by talking with the parties on the most
23 intensive base possible, this conference was always in session, unlike the
24 conference on Yugoslavia where there would be gaps of weeks before the
25 conference would meet. This conference, Secretary Vance, Lord Owen and
1 myself, was continuous, and so we were in Geneva, we were in Sarajevo,
2 Banja Luka. We were in -- all over Yugoslavia and brought the parties
3 together wherever we could. It was very intensive work as you might
5 We did not, for example, return ever to our home countries. We
6 lived in Geneva to be closer to the scene during the period of September
7 1992 until February 1993. It was an around-the-clock operation because of
8 the seriousness of the fighting in Bosnia.
9 Q. Ambassador, can you tell us about the culmination of the
10 International Conference for the Former Yugoslavia's efforts? What
11 results, what happened, and when?
12 A. The culmination was the presentation to the parties of a plan, the
13 Geneva plan, the Vance-Owen Plan, to end the war in Bosnia. That was
14 January 1993. It had been discussed intensively for the preceding four --
15 three or four months, and it was placed before the parties in January
17 Q. Before we get into the details of those discussions, let me ask
18 you more generally whether the discussions continued among the parties and
19 the representatives of the International Conference on Former Yugoslavia
20 and ultimately what the result of those ongoing discussions after
21 presentation were.
22 A. Yes. After the presentation, of course there were acceptances and
23 rejections, and the plan was complex in certain respects, the conference
24 moved in February to New York to be closer to the United Nations and to
25 decision-makers in Washington. And the follow-on discussions to the plan
1 which had already been presented continued, and changes were made in the
2 plan, some additions, some subtractions.
3 The result was that by the spring of 1993, the situation was that
4 the Bosnian Croats had completely accepted the Vance-Owen Plan. They had
5 indeed accepted it when it was laid down originally in Geneva. They were
6 the first. The Bosnian government, the Muslim side, accepted the plan in
7 March 1993. They -- at the end of March. They had some reservations, but
8 they were not onerous.
9 So at that point, by April the only side that had not accepted the
10 plan were the Bosnian Serbs, and a very intensive effort began - I should
11 say a new level of effort began because the effort was always intensive -
12 to secure their signature. And that finally was achieved in May -- on May
13 2, 1993, when the parties all -- in Athens, Greece. The Greek government
14 called a conference, and Dr. Karadzic signed for the Bosnian Serbs subject
15 to the approval of the Bosnian Serb Assembly. He signed very reluctantly,
16 it must be said. And a couple of weeks later, I believe it was the 15th
17 of May but it was middle of May, the Bosnian Serb Assembly definitively
18 rejected the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and that was the end of the matter.
19 It should be recalled that fighting was continuing during this
20 entire period in Bosnia, because there was never a cessation of
21 hostilities achieved. The negotiators, despite endless hours of work and
22 many others, and governments, were never able, for example, to get the
23 Serbs to stop shelling Sarajevo. The shelling continued all during this
24 period. So this lent the conference an air of deep concentration and
25 intensity, as I think one can understand.
1 Q. Ambassador Okun, during the efforts you described, I know you
2 mentioned you met with leaders of the various parties at different times,
3 did you have opportunities to meet repeatedly with the leaders of the
4 Bosnian Serbs?
5 A. Yes, indeed. It was essential that we meet with the leadership of
6 the warring parties, and we met repeatedly with the Bosnian Serbs as well
7 as with the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian government, which was Muslim,
8 in effect. Indeed we met with the Bosnian Serbs before the fighting
9 began. Our first meeting with Dr. Karadzic, for example, Secretary Vance
10 and I, the two of us, was in December 1991, and when -- the fighting was
11 continuing in Croatia, but there was no fighting in Bosnia. But we met
12 with Dr. Karadzic in December 1991 at the suggestion of President
13 Milosevic. This again was because of concern for the future of what might
14 happen in Bosnia, concern that tragically turned out to be well-founded.
15 So President Milosevic said, "Well, you ought to hear the other side,"
16 because we were talking to other people in Bosnia. So he said, "You must
17 talk to the Bosnian Serbs." We said, "Yes, we quite agree." And within
18 an hour or so we were ushered into the study of Dr. Karadzic. This was in
20 Q. Ambassador, I'll have some questions about that meeting
21 specifically, but before we turn to that, let me ask you quickly if you
22 also had an opportunity to meet repeatedly with Mr. Krajisnik during the
23 course of these efforts.
24 A. Yes, we met with Mr. Krajisnik. Not as frequently as with
25 Dr. Karadzic, but at the most climactic period during -- after January
1 1991, when we had the peace plan in front of us, it was extremely
3 Yes. We met with Dr. -- President Krajisnik through this period.
4 He was, of course, known to us by name and reputation, even before we had
5 met with him because of his importance as a Bosnian Serb leader.
6 Q. Ambassador, I'm going to refer to your journals or diaries in just
7 a moment, but I presume that -- or assume that you haven't necessarily
8 totaled up the number of occasions on which you met with members of the
9 Bosnian Serb leadership generally or with Mr. Krajisnik specifically, but
10 let me ask you if you accept generally that the diaries reflect
11 approximately 50 to 60 meetings with the members of the Bosnian Serb
12 leadership and --
13 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry. Excuse me, Your Honour. I just wonder
14 whether -- whether Mr. Tieger is happy with the date given in the previous
15 answer. It looks as --
16 JUDGE ORIE: January 1991 is of some concern to you when the peace
17 plan was. Yes. I was just about to re-read it and invite Mr. Tieger to
18 seek verification whether the answer -- it reads: "Yes, but at the most
19 climactic period in January 1991 when we had the peace plan in front of
20 us," which caused some -- yes, please.
21 THE WITNESS: Excuse me, that clearly should be January 1993. I'm
23 JUDGE ORIE: I was just checking you.
24 THE WITNESS: January 1993. Thank you, sir. I apologise to the
25 Court for that slip of the tongue.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. Thank you, Ambassador. And thank you, Mr. Stewart.
3 I was asking, Ambassador, whether you accept the reflection in
4 the -- or the totaling of the meetings reflected in the diary as being
5 some 50 to 60 meetings with members of the Bosnian Serb leadership
6 generally and more than 25 meetings which included Mr. Krajisnik.
7 A. Yes. I never counted them, but that certainly is consistent.
8 There were many, many meetings. They were, of course, of varying length.
9 Some were 30, 40 minutes, some were, say, four or five hours. But yes,
10 there were many meetings.
11 Q. Ambassador, you've described for us at least briefly your
12 negotiating experience. Let me ask you if it's important in the course of
13 negotiating efforts for persons involved in those efforts to make
14 assessments of their -- of the positions and the authority of their
15 interlocutors, the persons with whom they are dealing.
16 A. Oh, yes. That's a -- I would say a basic requirement.
17 Q. And is that a skill which persons who repeatedly occupy positions
18 of responsibility in negotiations attempt to develop and perfect?
19 A. Yes. It's something that one learns on the job. Of course, you
20 have to know your brief. That's the first item. But then you have to
21 know whom you're talking to, what they represent, what is their generally
22 accepted level of importance, veracity, that sort of thing. One judges
23 the other interlocutors by face-to-face meetings, by what others say about
24 them, by what you know of their actions. Yes, I think it's
25 important to know with whom you're talking.
1 Q. Having met with Mr. Krajisnik some 25-plus times in the context of
2 the serious negotiations that you've described, can you please give the
3 Court your assessment of his significance and authority within the Bosnian
4 Serb leadership?
5 A. Well, President Krajisnik was without question one of the two top
6 leaders of the Bosnian Serbs, the other being Dr. Karadzic. He was
7 president of the Assembly. He was a member of the SDS, the Bosnian Serb
8 political party. He was on their governing board. He was a member of the
9 Security Council, the expanded Presidency. We knew all that. This was
10 public knowledge. There was no question about that. Karadzic would
11 frequently mention his name when he wasn't in the room.
12 It has to be noted that we met more frequently at the beginning
13 with Dr. Karadzic and Nikola Koljevic, both of whom speak excellent
14 English, and Mr. Karadzic -- Mr. -- sorry - excuse me - Mr. Krajisnik, at
15 least at the time that I was dealing with him in 1992 and 1993 primarily,
16 did not, to my knowledge, speak English, so that this was a barrier and he
17 didn't appear as much. But there was no question that when he was in the
18 room or out of the room, he was always a presence.
19 For example, at the most climactic period in April 1993, when the
20 Bosnian Serbs were the sole party that had not signed the Vance-Owen Peace
21 Plan and enormous efforts and pressure, it must be said, was being brought
22 on the Bosnian Serbs to sign it, President Milosevic called Mr. Vance from
23 Belgrade. Vance was in New York, and I was on the line, of course, with
24 them. And his opening words were after greeting Secretary Vance were,
25 "I've just spoken with Karadzic and Krajisnik, and they have
1 agreed to do the following." He didn't even mention Plavsic, Biljana
2 Plavsic, not at all.
3 There was just no question about that. And Mr. Krajisnik at the
4 meetings was a full participant. That was perfectly clear. So there was
5 simply no question in any of our minds about Mr. Krajisnik's importance in
6 the triumvirate of Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, and Mr. Koljevic, and I
7 would say the duumvirate Krajisnik and Karadzic, because Koljevic played
8 an increasingly lesser role as time went on, and one could see that. I
9 mean, as negotiators meeting with the interlocutors on a steady basis, one
10 could see the relative decline of Koljevic. And also of Plavsic.
11 Q. Ambassador, you mentioned the duumvirate of Dr. Karadzic and
12 Mr. Krajisnik. Did you have a chance to see how the two of them
13 interacted and the views that they held?
14 A. Yes. They're very different types at the person level.
15 Dr. Karadzic is emotional, voluble, even prolix. He's frequently given to
16 exaggerated, wild statements. Mr. Krajisnik was indeed the opposite of
17 that. He's reserved -- excuse me. In our meetings he was reserved, much
18 more of a serious gravamen. I could never detect any animosity between
19 them. I would never even hint at that. But as a matter of personal
20 behaviour, they were very distinct and different types. Karadzic was a
21 wild and woolly character; very intelligent, very shrewd, but all over the
22 place. And Mr. Krajisnik was much more reserved, much more to the point,
23 much graver in his manner.
24 Q. Ambassador, notwithstanding the personality differences, did the
25 two interact as co-equals?
1 A. Oh, yes. That was clear. That was clear. The -- Karadzic would
2 offer the chair to Mr. Krajisnik. He -- it was clear that Dr. Karadzic
3 treated Mr. Krajisnik as his co-equal. There was no doubt of that.
4 Q. And was there any significant difference in their views?
5 A. Not that I could determine. They both strongly upheld the
6 objective of the Bosnian Serb leadership. They were open about it. They
7 spoke in public and private about what they wanted, what they said they
8 needed. There were, of course, differences of emphasis. I could cite a
9 few examples.
10 Mr. Krajisnik tended to emphasise a bit more than Dr. Karadzic
11 Sarajevo, the need to split the city into a Serb section and a Muslim
12 section. This didn't surprise us since he was born in Sarajevo and raised
13 there and represented Sarajevo in the old parliament. Karadzic was born
14 in Montenegro, lived in Sarajevo but was a Montenegrin, and quite proud of
15 it, I must say. He mentioned it frequently. So that was a difference of
16 emphasis. But only emphasis, not a qualitative difference.
17 Karadzic, on the other hand, ranted on a great deal about the
18 genocide against the Serbs. It was rare to have a conversation at any
19 time on any subject with Dr. Karadzic without his introducing - usually
20 within the first minute if not the first 30 seconds - the genocide
21 committed against the Serbs in World War II. That was his emphasis.
22 But in the main and in toto, they all supported -- both
23 Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik were firm advocates of the Bosnian Serb
24 political objectives, their wartime goals. I mean, they both made that
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, if you could find a suitable moment for a
2 break within the next one or two minutes to come.
3 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this would be fine.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we will have a short break until quarter
5 to 1:00.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.48 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
9 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Ambassador, just before the recess, you indicated that
11 Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik were firm advocates of the Bosnian Serb
12 political objectives, their wartime goals. Can you tell the Chamber now,
13 please, what you understood those political objectives or wartime goals to
15 A. Excuse me, sir, my monitor is not working. Should it not work?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher will assist you. You've got a
17 transcript now?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you. It's fine.
19 Yes. All the parties to the conflict, of course the three parties
20 had goals. The Bosnian Serb wartime goals, as they were enunciated to us
21 directly - and publicly as well - were six.
22 First, to have their own state, Republika Srpska, juridical state.
23 Second, the state was to have continuous territory and to be contiguous
24 with Serbia, not chopped up, patches. Third, to be ethnically pure Serb
25 or overwhelmingly Bosnian Serb as they could make it, hence the ethnic
1 cleansing. Fourth, to have a special relationship with Yugoslavia or
2 Serbia as the case may be. Fifth, to divide Sarajevo into a Muslim and a
3 Bosnian Serb section. And sixth, and last, to have a veto power over any
4 residual powers that would be held by the central government of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because it was clear after April 1992, when
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina had been recognised by the EC, recognised by the United
7 States, admitted to the United Nations, that there was going to be a
8 Bosnian state. They wanted a veto power over the decision-making. Those
9 were the six objectives.
10 As I say, the other parties had war aims as well.
11 Q. Ambassador, you made reference on a couple of occasions earlier to
12 your notebooks or diaries. Did you keep records of the meetings held
13 during the course of the conference on Yugoslavia and the International
14 Conference for Former Yugoslavia, and if so, can you tell us about the
15 purpose and nature of those records?
16 A. Yes. I kept records of every meeting that I attended. This was
17 to help me judge what was happening, and of course Mr. Vance as well.
18 It's common practice to do that in diplomatic circles. I always do it for
19 myself. And it's very important to do that, because as we've said and one
20 can see, we met on a continuous basis around the clock, often in one day
21 being in three different cities and holding five or six meetings. The
22 days typically ran 12 to 14 hours. That's not unusual. After all, we
23 were trying to stop a war, and so our efforts were, we hoped at least,
24 commensurate with the suffering of the parties, of the innocent people.
25 And it's very important then to not be confused about who said
1 what to whom and when, and so I kept a record for myself, as I said, for
2 Secretary Vance and others, beginning with our first mission to Yugoslavia
3 in October 1991, and they're at my right here. They're quite extensive.
4 And I must say I never allowed them to be public. After I returned in
5 1993, I never had them transcribed in the United States. They stayed
6 under lock and key in my possession. I would use them, of course. If I
7 had to, I would consult them. But from my possession, they went directly
8 to the Tribunal with no party intervening.
9 Q. Was the original of your diaries brought to this institution and
10 admitted into evidence in the Milosevic case, and is that where it is now?
11 A. Yes. So I'm told.
12 Q. Ambassador, you've mentioned you never allowed the diaries to
13 become public. Were you asked to have these diaries publish at different
15 A. Yes. There was no secret, of course, to them. They sat on the
16 desk in front of me during meetings routinely. Not often when I was the
17 principal interlocutor because it's not polite to be taking notes when
18 you're the sole person talking to one or two other people, but otherwise
19 there was never any attempt to hide them. So everybody knew about them.
20 And journalists knew about them as well. I had journalists come to me and
21 suggested that they be published and that sort of thing.
22 Q. But you declined to do so and did not disclose them publicly until
23 you came to this institution; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct. That's correct.
25 Q. Just to assist us and the Court in reviewing any notations in the
1 diary, is it fair to say that these were not intended to be a stenographic
2 record of the meetings?
3 A. Yes. I'm not a court stenographer. They were notes for myself
4 and Secretary Vance, and they are designed to have everything important
5 down. I don't need to say that in negotiations there's a fair amount of
6 flotsam and jetsam goes by. One hears the same arguments repeatedly from
7 all sides. That's normal practice. I would not take that all down.
8 Usually, "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera," meant we've heard all this
9 before. But all of the important points were down. And anything in
10 quotations was said and noted at the time. I don't put quotation marks
11 around anything I don't hear and write immediately. So I believe they
12 were and are an accurate record of the meetings that I attended.
13 Q. And for portions of the diary entries which are not contained in
14 quotes, did you attempt to paraphrase as accurately as you could?
15 A. Oh, yes. Those are -- that's always the case. It's usually the
16 same words. If I write Mr. X said something is unacceptable, he
17 said "unacceptable." I didn't seek synonyms. I would write down what was
18 said. Yes. It's a very close paraphrase.
19 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, at this time I would like to tender
20 Ambassador Okun's diaries of the conference on Yugoslavia and the
21 International Conference for Former Yugoslavia.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit number P210.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
25 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I'm advised that it may be useful for
1 housekeeping purposes to identify or mark the two separately. They may be
2 contained in separate binders; that is, the conference on Yugoslavia and
3 the International Conference for Former Yugoslavia.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I see in this binder, I see "diary of Vance mission
5 to Yugoslavia," and then we find stars on 11th of October, 1991, and it
6 continues until the 6th of May, 1992, split up in seven diaries.
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I can help you with the nomenclature.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so, Mr. Okun.
9 THE WITNESS: Between October 1991 and May of 1992, I labelled all
10 of those diaries "Vance Mission," 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, et cetera, because we
11 were basically doing that. It was Vance, myself for the UN. With the
12 beginning of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia in
13 September 1992, rather than just continue with Vance mission, which would
14 have been theoretically possible, I began to label them ICFY 1, 2, 3, 4,
15 5, 6, 7. And they are, of course, chronological.
16 The hiatus from May of 1992 to September 1992 does not indicate
17 lack of any activity on Mr. Vance's and my part, but it was much reduced,
18 and I simply didn't keep the diary for that period. But when we went to
19 Geneva, it was, of course, completely clear that we were going to be
20 involved in ongoing negotiations at the highest level and, therefore, I
21 felt it was useful, indeed essential to begin again.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, in the binder in front us we have just
23 the one series until May 1992. Is that what you -- how you would like to
24 have it or --
25 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I understood perhaps incorrectly that
1 that had been discussed with the registry and might be a matter of concern
2 to the registry. As far as -- as far as I can see, it is just as useful
3 and not particularly confusing to designate it as one exhibit. We will
4 have ERN numbers. We will have dates. We can identify it appropriately.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So no further problem at this very moment.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Ambassador, I'd like then to ask you to turn your attention to
9 some of the individual entries in the diaries, and you mentioned earlier
10 that your first meeting with Dr. Karadzic took place on December 2, 1991.
11 Perhaps I could ask you to direct your attention to that meeting.
12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would also indicate for the Court's
13 assistance that the notes from that meeting are reflected in the Sanction
14 presentation currently on the screen.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, Mr. Tieger. I have December 2. Is there a
16 particular page you want me to look at?
17 MR. TIEGER:
18 Q. First, Ambassador, I understand from your earlier testimony that
19 that meeting took place after a meeting with Mr. Milosevic?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Is it correct that during that meeting he encouraged you to meet
22 with Dr. Karadzic?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Ambassador, let me direct your attention, then, to a few specific
25 entries within the notes of that meeting of December 2nd. First I note on
1 the page that you have marked as 45 with a circle at the top right-hand
2 corner an entry that says "RK." I presume that's Dr. Karadzic. And then
3 if you can read to us what that entry says and describe to us its
4 significance, please.
5 A. Well, I had just said, as you see above "RK," you see "HSO,"
6 that's me. I had just discussed the Rome formula for synchronising
7 recognition of the breakaway Yugoslav republics, those that declared
8 independence, and I said if that format wasn't followed, you know, what
9 would happen in Bosnia. You can read: "If not what of BH Macedonia," and
10 his response was the following: "That Bosnia-Herzegovina was very
11 delicate." He said, "We have a special role and rule in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina," meaning that the Bosnian Serbs had a particular role,
13 and it was a dominant role there, that they ruled in Bosnia.
14 He went on to say that the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina do not feel
15 secure without a federal state, especially since the vote, which he called
16 illegal, of October 15th in the Bosnian parliament in Sarajevo in favour
17 of independence. So he made very clear that the Bosnian Serb leadership
18 did not accept that vote.
19 He continued by saying that the genocide during World War II had
20 reduced the Serb numbers, the Serb population in Bosnia. He asserted that
21 before World War II that Serbs constituted 44 per cent of the population
22 of Bosnia, whereas in the 1981 and 1991 census, they had about 31 or 2
23 per cent.
24 He continued by saying that he wanted -- that the Muslims wanted
25 all of Bosnia and that they expected to achieve it via their high birth
1 rate, by a demographic means, because there were more Bosnian Muslims than
2 there were Bosnian Serbs.
3 He continued to say that Izetbegovic, that is Alija Izetbegovic,
4 the president of Bosnia, wanted an Islamic republic, and he cited as
5 examples of that, he said, "Look at where he visits. He goes to Libya, a
6 radical Arab state but not to Tunisia." And then he said that nobody
7 could change the attitude of the Serb people, that is, to remain in a
8 federal state or what was later called a composite state. Actually,
9 Mr. Karadzic used to use the term "composite state" quite frequently.
10 Continuing, Karadzic went on to say that Tito had hurt the Bosnian
11 Serb people. I wrote, "Tito did us dirt," meaning that he had hurt the
12 Bosnian Serb people. He changed the borders. He then said, "We want
13 peace." He also then said that if changes are made, meaning changes in
14 the juridical status of Bosnia, or changes in borders, "Let us also make
15 changes for the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina." "War would be a disaster,"
16 he said. Secretary Vance then said, "Yes indeed, war would be a
18 Q. Now, Ambassador, you mentioned earlier that genocide was a
19 constant refrain and preoccupation of Dr. Karadzic, and as you've noted,
20 it was raised during this meeting at an early stage. What was
21 Dr. Karadzic's point in repeatedly raising the genocide of World War II to
22 you and Secretary Vance?
23 A. Well, you'd really have to ask Dr. Karadzic that question, but I
24 suppose, if I may give you my own opinion, he sought first to elicit
25 sympathy; second, to educate us on the genocide again the Serbs about
1 which we knew long before we met Dr. Karadzic. My first visit to
2 Yugoslavia was 1957, and you know, I didn't need Dr. Karadzic to educate
3 me in detail. I'm sure he knows much more about Bosnian Serb history than
4 I do, but I knew enough to know that.
5 So first he was seeking to elicit sympathy. Second, he wanted to
6 inform us. Third, as I've mentioned previously, he was an emotional man,
7 and I think this was very much on his mind. Indeed he said it so often,
8 even before the fighting began, that I once said to him in a private
9 meeting, "Dr. Karadzic, if you keep talking about the genocide of the
10 Serbs so much, you will commit a pre-emptive genocide." I didn't really
11 think that would happen when I said it. It was before the fighting began,
12 but the tenor of his discussion, the intensity, the ranting on about
13 genocide was very, very noticeable, I must say.
14 I didn't write that down. It was a private meeting between the
15 two of us. In my notes, I mean. But shortly afterwards I did mention it
16 to a journalist, who then put it in a book, saying that Okun told
17 Dr. Karadzic the following. It was something that was an obsession with
18 Dr. Karadzic.
19 Q. Ambassador Okun, was one of the issues of considerable
20 significance, perhaps central significance during the course of these
21 negotiations, the amount of territory within Bosnia and Herzegovina that
22 the Bosnian Serbs laid claim to?
23 A. Yes. That was another constant refrain. And they had a formula
24 for it, and it went this way: We are 35 per cent of the people, but we
25 own 65 per cent of the land. That was the formula. 35 per cent of the
1 populous, 65 per cent of the land. We heard it repeatedly from Milosevic.
2 We heard it from Dr. Karadzic. We heard it from Mr. Krajisnik, Koljevic,
3 Buha, all of them. It was a steady drumbeat, and it was part of their
4 claim to extensive territories in Bosnia, that is, territories for
5 Republika Srpska, their unilaterally declared state.
6 Q. Was the genocide committed against the Serbs during World War II
7 raised in the context of the enunciation of the amount of territory to
8 which Bosnian Serbs were allegedly entitled?
9 A. Yes. That was also a factor. It was said that because of the
10 genocide, Serbs did not have, let us say in 1992, as much land as they had
11 in 1941 when Germany invaded Yugoslavia, and that historical justice
12 required that the former lands or the lands formally occupied by Bosnian
13 Serbs should revert to them in any future disposition of Bosnia.
14 Indeed, that's mentioned, I believe, one can check it. I believe
15 that was mentioned in their May 12, 1992 statement of their political
16 objectives. I believe they referred to that fact, namely that there were
17 more Bosnian Serbs as a percentage in 1941 than there were in 1992 and
18 that that fact should be taken into account in awarding them land.
19 Yes, that was definitely another debating point that they made
20 with us. When I say "debating point," I do not mean to imply that they
21 didn't believe it, but it was clearly a debating point as far as we were
23 Q. And did that --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Would you mind if I ask you for clarification. You
25 started your last answer in saying that in 1941 the Serbs had more land
1 than they had now, and the second part of your answer was about that there
2 were more Serbs than there are now. One is about territory; the other is
3 about population. Did you intend to say that the two were invoked as
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. The Bosnian Serbs claimed that
6 both were true. But principally with regard to the first -- to the Second
7 World War and the events of 1992, they emphasised more the numbers rather
8 than the land, but they invoked both.
9 May I see -- is it possible for me to be shown the May 12, 1992,
10 Bosnian Serb statement of political objectives?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, would you come to that at a later stage
12 or would you --
13 MR. TIEGER: We will be coming to that, Your Honour, and if it's
14 more convenient now, it probably would not be difficult to --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you mind to keep it in the back of your mind
16 and then to come back to it once Mr. Tieger arrives at that date?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes. Have I answered your question, Your Honour?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You certainly have, yes.
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. Ambassador Okun, with regard to your previous answer about the
21 emphasis on the genocide of World War II, did that mean that Dr. Karadzic,
22 Mr. Krajisnik, and the other Bosnian Serb leaders asserted a claim to
23 territory within Bosnia and Herzegovina on which non-Serbs were a majority
24 and Serbs were a minority?
25 A. Yes. They made that explicit. Another example would be their
1 insistence on the area that they referred to as the Ozren mountains, the
2 Ozren mountain area south of Doboj in north Central Bosnia. Dr. Karadzic
3 and others repeatedly referred to their need to hold onto, to gain control
4 of the Ozren area, which was not particularly ethnically Serb, because it
5 was a traditional Serb area. There were Orthodox churches in the area.
6 Bosnian Serb children had been killed there in World War II. So he was
7 asserting a historical claim to the land which was not - any more -
8 overwhelmingly Serb. The fact that it had been was in the mind of the
9 Bosnian Serb leadership valid justification to claim it in the 1990s.
10 That was part of the Bosnian Serb contention, yes.
11 Q. The notes also make reference to a comment by Dr. Karadzic
12 that, "Muslims want the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina: High birth
13 rate." Was the reference to the alleged birth rate of the Muslims a -- a
14 reference that was unique to this meeting or was it a recurring theme?
15 A. It was a recurring theme.
16 Q. And what was the context of raising the Muslim birth rate? What
17 was the issue that prompted its reference and what was Dr. Karadzic and
18 the other Bosnian Serb leaders communicating to you in making that
20 A. The Bosnian Serb leadership held steadily to the point of view
21 that they needed their own Republika Srpska with their own ruling
22 institutions in order to ward off majoritarian rule by the Bosnian Muslims
23 in a unitary centralised state, one man one vote, in which, as
24 Dr. Karadzic said and the others supported, they said Izetbegovic would
25 have an Islamic republic. And therefore, the Bosnian Serb leadership
1 would say that the Bosnian Serb people will be at danger, presumably of
2 another genocide. That was another constant refrain, the birth rate of
3 the Bosnian Muslims.
4 Q. And was the emphasis on the number of Muslims who would live
5 within territories held or occupied by Bosnian Serbs a matter of recurring
6 interest to the Bosnian Serb leadership?
7 A. No. They didn't emphasise that so much because they knew what
8 they were doing. They were removing Muslims from the territory. It was
9 happening, they knew it. They were ordering -- I mean, they were in
10 charge of it, so they were aiming to make the -- their future
11 Republika Srpska as ethnically pure as they could. This was one of their
12 six goals. And they made no secret of that fact, but of course they
13 didn't advertise it either.
14 Q. On the following page, which is marked number 46 in your
15 handwritten entry, you made reference to an entry that said: "If changes
16 are made, also make changes for the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
17 A. Yes. That's territorial. Yes. What he meant was -- he's
18 referring to borders there, and what he meant was if it should develop
19 that changes were made either in Bosnia-Herzegovina's external borders,
20 that is the republic borders as they existed in 1992, or internally, that
21 changes should be made that accommodated the Bosnian Serb leadership point
22 of view.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, may I just interfere, because I'd like to
24 have one more clarification of your previous answer.
25 You were asked whether the number of Muslims who live within
1 territories held or occupied by Bosnian Serbs, whether this was a matter
2 of recurring interest in the Bosnian Serb leadership. I think the
3 question was put to you in relation to your diary entry in relation to the
4 Islamic republic and the -- no, the birth rate. I think it was related to
5 that, which is an entry of December 1991.
6 In your answer, you said that: "They didn't emphasise that so
7 much because they knew what they are doing. They are removing Muslims
8 from the territory. They knew it."
9 When you said that, what time did you have in mind? Did you have
10 in mind December 1991 or whether they later recurrently emphasised the
11 issue? And if you say they knew what they were doing, could you give us
12 an idea of the time you're referring to then?
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you, yes. That refers mostly to the -- to the
14 later period. The question of the birth rate in general is a generic
15 question; that is to say, the 1981 and 1991 Yugoslav censuses showed that
16 the Bosnian Muslims were approximately 44 per cent population of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosnian Serbs 31, 32 per cent. But Dr. Karadzic was
18 saying that the Muslim expectation was that the Bosnian Serb -- excuse me,
19 the Bosnian Muslim percentage of the overall population would rise due to
20 their higher birth rate.
21 I understood Mr. Tieger's subsequent question to refer only to the
22 number of -- to Bosnian Muslims living inside the territories that the
23 Bosnian Serbs claimed for the Republika Srpska, which is why I answered as
24 I did. One was generic, and earlier I answered that question, the
25 question, Your Honour -- the answer you referred to was based on the
1 understanding, on my inference that he was asking about behaviour inside
2 the Republika Srpska.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that is at a later stage, yes.
4 THE WITNESS: That was later.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Ambassador, turning to the reference on page 46 that we were just
9 discussing, "If changes are made, let us also make changes for Serbs in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina," I think you indicated those are changes in the
11 juridical character of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is the clause
12 reading, "If changes are made"?
13 A. Yes. It would be primarily territory but also the juridical
14 character, yes.
15 Q. Let me ask this question specifically: Is Dr. Karadzic concerned
16 here, as you and Secretary Vance understood at the time of the
17 conversation, with the possibility that Bosnia and Herzegovina could
18 become an independent republic?
19 A. Oh, no question about that. That was what the entire problem was
20 all about, yes. Yes. But that wasn't the sole issue at point. He was
21 talking about territory but, yes, he was definitely concerned about the
22 question of Bosnia-Herzegovina being recognised because it had already
23 declared its independence. That is to say, the Muslim government, with
24 the support of the Bosnian Croats, had declared its independence. So by
25 December 2nd, 1991, when this meeting was taking place, everybody knew
1 that Bosnia was going to seek recognition of its declaration of
2 independence, yes.
3 Q. When Dr. Karadzic referred to the -- in the second clause of that
4 entry: "Let us also make changes for Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina,"
5 was that a reference to territorial changes within Bosnia and Herzegovina?
6 A. I think that was a fair inference on our part.
7 Q. Can I ask you to turn to the page marked 49 in the December 2nd
8 entry, which is located on the page bearing the ERN number R0163611 on the
9 right-hand side of the page. And here under another entry, it appears
10 under "RK," the third entry down there is an asterisk, and the entry
11 states: "Tie Serb opstinas to Yugoslavia, otherwise war will result."
12 Can you explain that entry to us, please, Ambassador Okun?
13 A. Well, that of course is a heavy statement, which is why I put a
14 star next to it at the time, because it's rather self-evident, I think,
15 that what Dr. Karadzic was saying, unless the Serb opstinas are tied or
16 linked or somehow juridically connected to Yugoslavia, war will result.
17 That's a very, very strong statement. He made it. I noted it down. I
18 starred it, put a star next to it because of its obvious importance. I
19 mean, having said a few minutes earlier in the same conversation that war
20 would be a disaster, here he is a few minutes later telling Secretary
21 Vance and me that unless the Serb opstinas inside Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 that's what he means, he's not talking about Serb opstinas in an abstract
23 fashion, he says unless the Serb opstinas are - which he didn't define, of
24 course - are tied to Yugoslavia, there will be war.
25 Q. Ambassador, let me ask this plainly if I may. Did you and
1 Secretary Vance understand Dr. Karadzic to be saying in this conversation
2 that unless the Bosnian Serbs got what they wanted, they would attempt to
3 get it through war?
4 A. We didn't have to understand it. It's what he said. He told it
5 to us.
6 Q. Ambassador, can I ask you to turn next to entries of April 16,
7 1992, and those are located, I believe, at ERN range which bear the last
8 four numbers in the sequence of 3810. To be clearer, the full range is
10 A. Yes. What page, Mr. Tieger?
11 Q. Ambassador, if I could direct your attention to the page that you
12 have marked as number 69.
13 A. Page 61, did you say?
14 Q. 69 in your --
15 A. 59 --
16 Q. I'm sorry, 6-9.
17 A. 69.
18 Q. At the top of your entry, which is ERN range 3810. It's 12.05 to
19 12.55 p.m. meeting with Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Koljevic.
20 A. Yes, I have it, sir.
21 Q. On the right-hand side of the page, or at least on page 69 as
22 marked by you, there are two asterisk entries, and if I could direct your
23 attention to the second one in the middle of the page, please, an asterisk
24 with an exclamation point. Could you tell us what that entry reads and
25 why you emphasised it?
1 A. This was Nikola Koljevic speaking, and he said, as I noted, "Today
2 Karadzic and I agreed we should divide Sarajevo," meaning that, "We, the
3 Serbs, should take steps to see that Sarajevo is divided into a Bosnian
4 Muslim section and a Bosnian Serb section." That was repeated to us
5 endlessly by the Bosnian Serb leadership.
6 As I mentioned previously, it formed six of one of -- it formed
7 one of their six war aims, the division of Sarajevo, the division of
9 Q. Ambassador, if I could also direct your attention to entries on
10 the subsequent pages which you have marked 70 and 71. Those are contained
11 at ERN R0163811.
12 The first entry I'd like to direct your attention to is -- appears
13 on the left side of the page. It appears to be Dr. Karadzic speaking.
14 You shorten it as -- or abbreviate it as KARA, and it says: "Sara," or
15 presumably Sarajevo, "is most urgent. People are fighting because they
16 don't know where they're going to live, Kupres, Bosanski Brod, et cetera."
17 The -- well, first, Ambassador, can you explain the significance
18 of that entry, please?
19 A. Well, this is Dr. Karadzic relatively early in the conflict. This
20 is April 16, 1992, the day after the shelling of Sarajevo began,
21 incidentally. This is Dr. Karadzic telling us that the situation in
22 Sarajevo is urgent, and he's asserting that the people are fighting
23 because they don't know where they're going to live, namely that, as he
24 would say, they don't want to live together, but they don't know where
25 they're going to live. So they fight because they are trying to mark out
1 a place to live and that the same thing is happening in Kupres,
2 Bosanski Brod, and other cities.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, may I draw your attention to the fact
4 that it seems to me that we have the wrong page on our screen. I think it
5 should be the next one. You referred to 70, 71 numbering from Mr. Okun
6 and ERN number 3811, whereas we have 3810 on our screen at this moment.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could we inquire just as a -- not as a
8 mischievous remark but we don't know actually what is the value of having
9 this stuff on the screen at all. No human being could decipher anything
10 from it anyway. Can they?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I can read it literally, as a matter of
12 fact. Perhaps the inference to be drawn would be a nasty one. And --
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, problem solved. I hadn't realised --
14 it's my fault. I didn't familiarise myself with the buttons. I'm
15 grateful to Ms. Philpott who's got me to something that is humanly
16 legible. At least by me.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
18 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, apparently there is a -- some kind of
19 problem with the Sanction programme for that particular entry. We can put
20 it on the ELMO, but I believe everyone has a copy. I leave it to the
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The only thing is the public is not able follow
23 it. So if that page could be put on the ELMO, I think it would be
25 MR. STEWART: Just to say, Your Honour, that was really a -- our
1 primary concern because of course we have the -- we have the pieces of
2 paper. It was that, that what's happening outside the courtroom.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I do not know, Mr. Tieger, but perhaps you
4 could pay attention to this. If we look at the video monitor, then we
5 have sometimes a picture which is less clear than what we get on the
6 computer evidence monitor. I don't know how the technicians --
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE ORIE: I learn from Ms. Philpott who is really assisting all
9 of us that usually the Sanction system is showed to the public as well so
10 they, as human beings, can also read it. But if we now use the ELMO, then
11 we can't use at the same time the Sanction. So for one second -- I don't
12 know whether this can be switched from one to another or not.
13 If you put it on the ELMO, Madam Usher, we'll continue and see
14 what the technicians can make out of it.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
16 So temporarily for the pages 70 and 71 we're on the ELMO and then
17 we'll turn back to the Sanction system.
18 Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. Ambassador, you referred to Dr. Karadzic's remarks on page 70 of
21 your entry and to marking out places to live through the fighting. Does
22 he go on in that discussion to talk about areas where the borders of where
23 people will live remain undefined, and does he also go on to explicitly
24 say that the Bosnian Serbs will stop fighting as soon as those borders are
25 clarified, as soon as the territory is identified?
1 Let me direct your attention to page 71 and that remark in
3 A. Yes, I see it. Well, Secretary Vance had said to him, "You tell
4 us you want a separate Serb state," et cetera, and Mr. Karadzic --
5 Dr. Karadzic goes on to say that the Serbs in Bosnia want a constituent
6 state, by which he meant not a central state, basically two or three
7 states within Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say, a Bosnian Serb entity, a
8 Bosnian Croat entity, and a Bosnian Muslim entity under an umbrella of a
9 nominal Bosnian state. So he said that's what Serbs want. And these
10 constituent entities should have some competencies, namely that they
11 should, you know, be able to rule themselves in many areas.
12 And then he continues on by saying that conflicts occur where the
13 map is undefined and that the war is on internal, undefined borders.
14 That's his contention, that the fighting occurs because there is no agreed
15 position among the parties as to where the borders will be between these
16 three ethnic units.
17 Now, one has to bear in mind the date of this discussion, namely
18 April 16, the parties were still discussing the Cutileiro plan and map of
19 March 1992. It was just weeks afterwards. The map had been initially
20 accepted by the three sides. I should more correctly say a draft map.
21 And then the Bosnian government, at the very end of March 1992, had
22 withdrawn its initial acceptance. So this was on Dr. Karadzic's mind, and
23 he's making a claim again for the ethnically based entities to be inside
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he says, "We won't fight after the map is
1 Q. And, Ambassador, is Dr. Karadzic saying to you and Secretary Vance
2 that once the Bosnian Serbs acquire the territory they want or agree with,
3 they'll stop fighting?
4 A. Yes. That was the clear inference to be drawn from that
5 statement. Deciding the map means deciding who has what. So when he
6 says, "We won't fight after the map is decided," that obviously has to
7 mean, "We won't fight after the division of the land is decided." The map
8 was shorthand for that term, of course.
9 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I've been asked to request that five
10 minutes be allocated for housekeeping matters, and if that's the case,
11 we're obviously at the time we must conclude for the day.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just ask Madam Registrar.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, if you ask for five minutes housekeeping
15 matters, there's one minute left. And there are no housekeeping matters,
16 as far as I am concerned, unless the Defence would have anything --
17 MR. STEWART: We did, Your Honour, which was precisely why we
18 suggested in a note to the Prosecution that five minutes was allowed. We
19 now only have one minute --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and I was not informed about it.
21 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, it seems that -- what I was
22 trying to do, Your Honour, in accordance with the injunction always to
23 save time was instead of getting to my feet and wasting time by asking the
24 Trial Chamber, I simply passed a note over to the Prosecution which was 20
25 per cent recognised on this occasion. It's not a big issue between
1 Mr. Tieger and me --
2 JUDGE ORIE: For the housekeeping matters, first of all, do we
3 need Mr. Okun to witness these housekeeping matters?
4 MR. STEWART: It would be preferable if he doesn't, Your Honour.
5 It's not top secret but it's just not necessary and better for the witness
6 if he does have the opportunity of leaving.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Okun, as you may have understood, we will adjourn
8 anyhow within the next five minutes. Tomorrow we'll sit in the afternoon,
9 that is on from 2.15, and we usually continue until 7.00 in the evening.
10 So I'd like to invite you to be present again tomorrow at 2.15 p.m., and
11 at the same time I'd like to instruct you not to speak with anyone about
12 the testimony you have given and you're still about to give in this Trial
14 Then I'd like to invite Madam Usher to accompany you out of the
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 [Witness stands down]
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm happy to start. It's just boring
19 for the witness not top secret for him or anything like that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please start, and since five minutes have been
21 asked, the interpreters are asked to grant five minutes time ahead of
23 MR. STEWART: I probably don't need five minutes, Your Honour, I
24 just want to be on the comfortable side.
25 No, Your Honour, it's only this, Your Honour, to do with the B/C/S
1 translations of parts of Mr. Okun's diaries. We've been supplied with a
2 flurry, and again I don't mean that in any heavily complaining way but
3 we've certainly been supplied with a flurry of emails with attachments
4 with B/C/S translations of sections from the diary over the last few
5 days. And when I say over the last few days, I mean last night and at
6 11.00 this morning, which is quite late in the day. I know everybody has
7 to work hard on these things.
8 It's simply that -- two things really. One is I wonder if your --
9 Your Honour could indicate the importance of it in case there is any sort
10 of security difficulty, but we would like Mr. Krajisnik to be in the
11 building long enough over the next however long it takes for Ms. Cmeric to
12 be able to print out material which she was not able to print out because
13 of difficulties outside and also the -- any leftover material so that Mr.
14 Krajisnik can take this stuff with him to the Detention Unit this
15 afternoon. That's point number one, Your Honour, with respect.
16 Point number two just is we -- we would just ask to know if there
17 are going to be any more translations supplied over the next few hours or
18 the next day or so because the -- if we know in advance, at least we can
19 gear ourselves up to deal with it.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we start with the second question and then
21 respond to the first one.
22 MR. TIEGER: Let me say none are anticipated, but as a matter of
23 complete caution I will check immediately as soon as we break and make
24 sure that all have been sent and received.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the second question was about the
1 printout. Let me just first --
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: As far as the first question is concerned, you said
4 printout. Is it a matter of copying or do you need computer equipment and
5 printers, et cetera, et cetera.
6 MR. STEWART: It's printing, Your Honour. I believe that
7 Ms. Cmeric who operates at least as fast as anybody else in the world in
8 this area would probably need 10 or 15 minutes, something like that. So
9 we're simply asking really to whoever is concerned with this matter that
10 Mr. Krajisnik remains available in the building because otherwise, Your
11 Honour probably knows, that transmitting material by delivering to the
12 Detention Unit, well, it won't work that way.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You see that Madam Registrar is already getting on
14 the phone and keeping in mind that a flat tyre would cause a delay of 15
15 minutes as well, perhaps we will be successful in keeping you,
16 Mr. Krajisnik, for another 15 minutes in the building so that you can be
17 provided with the copies.
18 MR. STEWART: Yes. All however long is necessary, Your Honour
19 but, please, but with the estimate that we think it's going to be about 15
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If it would be impossible, I would like to be
22 informed before Mr. Krajisnik leaves this building.
23 MR. STEWART: That's very helpful. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there's nothing else at this moment, we will
25 adjourn until tomorrow at 2.15 in the afternoon, same courtroom.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of June,
3 2004, at 2.15 p.m.