1 Tuesday, 13 December 2005
2 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOKO: May the Registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-95-11-T, the Prosecutor versus Milan Martic.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yesterday we had a few outstanding issues to be
10 dealt with today. Maybe we should start with them before we go into the
11 opening statements.
12 The first issue that was outstanding was the question of
13 discussing the guidelines and the standards governing the admission of
15 Are there any comments from the Prosecution?
16 MR. WHITING: No, Your Honour. We are agreeable to the proposed
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting.
19 Mr. Milovancevic?
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we first came
21 across this particular instruction yesterday. We have studied it, and we
22 shall comply with the deadline and file a written motion on all these
23 issues, with your permission, of course. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
25 The next issue was relative to the length of the Prosecutor's case
1 and the number of witnesses. The determination has to be made in terms of
2 section -- with Rule 73 bis(C) and we really never did make that
3 determination yesterday.
4 Mr. Whiting, we would like to hear from you first of all on the
5 number of witnesses that you are -- the Prosecution intends calling
6 relating to the 92 bis issues and the 94 bis issues and see whether there
7 isn't anything further than that that can be added to that list.
8 Let me say that I think the Chamber is aware that the Prosecution
9 is filing 20 92 bis statements. Is that correct?
10 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I don't have the number on the -- on my
11 fingertips but that sounds correct.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That sounds correct, okay. The Chamber is
13 concerned to make sure that the time available is used as efficiently as
14 possible and to that end, we would like to ask you a few questions about
15 some of the witnesses that are not necessarily on the 92 bis list, to find
16 out if the time allocated to them cannot be further curtailed.
17 The first one is your MM-1, your very first witness. Given the
18 statement of agreed facts that was filed from the bar yesterday, the
19 Chamber wanted to find out from the Prosecution whether the Prosecution is
20 not in a position to reduce those hours for that particular witness. It
21 seems as if the major issues that that witness is likely to testify on are
22 already covered in the agreed facts. Is that correct or not correct?
23 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, it's certainly true that some of the
24 issues that the witness might touch on are covered by the agreed facts.
25 However, I think that the number of hours that we have estimated is still
1 nonetheless appropriate because this witness was the most important
2 political figure in the region where the crimes occurred during 1991. He
3 has an enormous amount of information and an enormous number of documents
4 and evidence pertaining to -- not just to the background that is covered
5 by the agreed facts but by -- but about the charges themselves, and in
6 particular, the relationships among various entities, the joint criminal
7 enterprise among very important figures within the joint criminal
8 enterprise, which is -- which has a number of components, both in terms of
9 entities and figures, both within Croatia and in relation to Serbia. This
10 witness has just a lot of detail about those events because of his rather
11 unique position as the president of the Serb region within Croatia. So
12 I -- it may very well be that we will able to get through his evidence
13 more quickly and we will try to. I would like to. But this is one
14 witness where -- and obviously he's much longer than all the other
15 witnesses. And this is one witness where that may end up being
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 What about Witness MM-14? I see he's introducing exhibits, and
19 can't be he added to the 92 bis witnesses?
20 MR. WHITING: Well, that's something I could certainly discuss
21 with Defence counsel. This witness will be introducing a large number of
22 documents that were obtained by the OTP and that relate directly to the
23 structure of the police within the SAO Krajina or the Serb entity within
24 Croatia. In many ways goes to the heart of the matter because, of course,
25 this Accused was in charge, in command, of that police so the structure of
1 the police force under his command within the various municipalities
2 within the SAO Krajina will be a critical, important component of this
3 case so it may be important to have this witness come before the Chamber
4 and testify. I would note that it's not a particularly long witness and
5 it may be even shorter than the eight hours that we have predicted. But I
6 will take the Court's suggestion and see with Defence counsel if there is
7 some -- if Defence counsel would agree and perhaps there is some way that
8 this evidence could be put in through -- in written form.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Chamber is -- to the Defence witness. May you
10 please perhaps consider doing the same with respect to MM-16, MM-17,
11 MM-18, MM-28, MM-64, and MM-74. If the Prosecution can try to reach an
12 agreement with the Defence to introduce 92 bis evidence for those
13 witnesses, even if they are called for cross-examination possible
14 re-examination, that would be fine, but at least we could curtail the
15 evidence-in-chief part of it.
16 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour. Certainly I will undertake to do
17 that. I think -- just forecasting I think that it should be -- I would
18 predict that we could reach agreement with respect to 16, 17, and 18,
19 perhaps also with respect to 28 and 74. 64 may be one that would be more
20 difficult to reach agreement on but I will undertake to discuss with
21 Defence counsel all of those witnesses.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Chamber would be grateful for whatever
23 agreement you can reach. Thank you so much.
24 One item which wasn't an outstanding issue but which came to light
25 is the question of scheduling of the case. Looking at the Court calendar,
1 it appears that two more dates have been allocated to this case, namely
2 the 30th and 31st of March. Would the Prosecution have any objection to
3 sitting on those days?
4 MR. WHITING: No, not at all, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 Mr. Milovancevic, would the Defence be inclined to sit on those
7 two days, the 30th and 31st of March?
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. That disposes of the outstanding
11 We can now move on to the opening statements.
12 Mr. Whiting.
13 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 May it please the Court. In the late 1980s, the former
15 Yugoslavia, then known as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or
16 SFRY composed of six republics and two autonomous provinces, began to
17 break apart. Some of its republics, in particular the republics of
18 Slovenia and Croatia, began to push for independence. However, a group of
19 Serb leaders within the former Yugoslavia, including the Accused Milan
20 Martic, embraced a very different conception, a conception not of
21 autonomous or independent republics but, rather, a conception of a single
22 Serb state, a state for all Serbs, that would cut across the borders of
23 the republics to unite all the areas in the former Yugoslavia where Serbs
24 were in the majority, where they constituted a significant proportion of
25 the population, or where they had a historic claim.
1 The Serb leaders who embraced this conception sought specifically
2 to carve out the Serb areas from the republics of Croatia and Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina, in order to join them together with Serbia and Montenegro to
4 create a single Serb state. This goal of a single Serb state was referred
5 to by various names. Greater Serbia, enlarged Serbia, or a state for all
7 This case is about war crimes and crimes against humanity that
8 were committed by the Accused, Milan Martic, as he and others tried to
9 implement this conception and create a separate Serb state within Croatia
10 that would become part of this state for all Serbs. The planned area of
11 this state included what's known as the so-called Serb autonomous region
12 of Krajina in Croatia, an area along the Croatian border with Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina with Knin being its largest town.
14 If we can switch to the Sanction on the computer and I would
15 advise the Chamber to press on the computer evidence button, we are
16 showing now a map of Croatia, and we can see the border that runs on the
17 right side there, on either side -- is it?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are not there. Now we are there. We are with
19 you now.
20 MR. WHITING: Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we just start with the map again?
22 MR. WHITING: Yes. I'm showing -- there is a map of Croatia and
23 you can see on the right side, on either side of the red arrow, the border
24 with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it's along that border -- we seem -- has
25 the Court lost it on the computer?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: It lost us.
2 MR. WHITING: I don't know if this is a problem in the AV booth
3 or -- has it come back?
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Yes.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not on our screen. Okay, there it is. Okay. I'll
6 try this again. This is a map of Croatia, and we can see the border with
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina on either side of that red arrow and that is -- it
8 is along the border that is the Krajina region of Croatia and the red
9 arrow, which we'll zoom in on, points to Knin. This map and others will
10 be provided to the Chamber and entered into evidence in due course.
11 Now, while the Serbs constituted a minority population in Croatia
12 as a whole, in the Krajina region of Croatia, they represented the
13 majority. On the next map that I will show, we can see the different
14 ethnic groups within Croatia in 1991. This is based on the 1991 census.
15 And you can see along the border in the kind of pinkish colour, Mr. Black
16 will draw a circle around it, the pinkish colour represents the
17 predominantly Serb area, and that is the Krajina region in Croatia,
18 whereas the blue colour in the rest of -- in other areas, I should say, of
19 Croatia, represents the majority Croat areas.
20 The case against this Accused is at bottom simple and
21 straightforward. The evidence will show that the Accused and others had a
22 common criminal purpose which was successfully achieved for a number of
23 years, to rid this planned Serb state in Croatia of the Croat and other
24 non-Serb population that resided there. They sought to create this
25 homogeneous Serb state through a campaign of persecutions, often referred
1 to as ethnic cleansing.
2 Croat and other non-Serb civilians became the enemy. In the areas
3 of the planned Serb state where they existed, Croats and other non-Serbs
4 were targeted with discriminatory measures, restriction of movement,
5 forcible removal, imprisonment, torture, and murder, in an effort to drive
6 them away. Their properties were looted and destroyed so that they would
7 never have a home to return to again.
8 In this opening statement, I will provide an overview of the
9 evidence that the Prosecution expects to prove in this case. I will not
10 review all of the evidence, nor will I attempt to touch on all aspects of
11 the charges against this Accused. That has been done in our various
12 written filings. The purpose of this opening statement is simply to
13 provide a road map of the case to the Chamber. During this opening I will
14 also show some exhibits, including some video clips, all of which we
15 expect to be entered into evidence during trial.
16 The story of this case begins in January of 1990. By this time,
17 Serb leaders and the media, including this Accused, were already taking
18 the first steps towards ethnic conflict and ethnic separation, portraying
19 the majority Croat population in Croatia as a threat, a danger, to the
20 Serb minority population in Croatia thereby instilling fear in the Serb
21 population. It is often fear, of course, that allows one ethnic group to
22 consider another ethnic group, neighbours in this case, as the enemy.
23 Now, there is no doubt that on the other side, there were
24 ethnically based incidents perpetrated by certain Croats against Serbs.
25 In addition, there was at times, an insensitivity on the parliament of
1 Croat leaders to the concerns of the Serb population, particularly when
2 these leaders resurrected various symbols from Croatia's past that the
3 Serb population had come to associate with the Croatian fascist regime
4 from World War II. Perhaps here, right at the outset, it is important to
5 state clearly the Prosecution's view that the conflict in Croatia, like
6 virtually any conflict, was not strictly one-sided. Certain events on the
7 Croat side, no doubt contributed at times to the rising tensions and
8 ethnic conflict.
9 However, as a matter of law and a matter of fact, nothing that
10 occurred on the Croat side at any time during this story justified the
11 crimes charged in this indictment.
12 The evidence will show that Serb leaders, including this Accused,
13 exploited the tensions and fanned the flames of fear among the Serb
14 population, claiming even that the Serb population was threatened with
15 imminent genocide at the hands of the Croat majority.
16 These Serb leaders fostered a feeling of fear among the Serb
17 population in order to create support for a separate, homogeneous Serb
18 state. In February of 1990, Serbs in Croatia founded a political party to
19 represent their interests. The Serbian Democratic Party, known as the
20 SDS. The platform of the SDS recited all of the problems faced by Serbs
21 in Croatia and it evoked the threat of genocide.
22 In addition the platform stated, and I quote, "We shall strive for
23 an administrative division of Croatia into regions and municipalities
24 which would reflect more appropriately the ethnic structure of the area in
25 which we live." In other words, redraw the regional and municipality
1 lines that existed in Croatia along ethnic boundaries.
2 The SDS party further advocated autonomy for territories within
3 Croatia with, and again I quote, "A special ethnic composition." So from
4 the very beginning, the SDS embraced both fear, evoking the threat of
5 genocide, and ethnic separation.
6 In 1990 the Accused, Milan Martic, was a police inspector in Knin
7 in Croatia, in the heart of the predominantly Serb area of Croatia. A
8 word about structure and terminology here.
9 Within the republics of the former Yugoslavia, the police, which
10 unlike the army of the former Yugoslavia, was organised on the republic
11 level, performed two functions, ordinary police functions to preserve
12 civil order and state security functions. In 1990, the police force in
13 Croatia was ethnically mixed, comprised of both Croat and Serb officers.
14 The police fell under the Ministry of the Interior and both the police and
15 the Ministry of Interior are often referred to as the MUP or the M-U-P.
16 So we will hear references to the MUP generally, to MUP officers, to MUP
18 At times, there will also be references to the SUP or the S-U-P.
19 That simply refers to a regional office of the M-U-P or MUP. In this
20 regard, we will sometimes hear references to a SUP office or SUP officers.
21 Going back to the story, in early 1990, as a police inspector in
22 Knin, the Accused, Milan Martic, aligned himself with the founder of the
23 SDS, Jovan Raskovic, and began to promote ethnic separation and the fear
24 of genocide at the hand of the Croats.
25 Martic at this time began to organise the Serb policemen as a
1 separate force within the Croatian police. In an interview in 1994, the
2 Accused, Milan Martic, speaking about this time, said, "That at that time
3 I was working on awakening the patriotic consciousness with the Serbs,
4 telling that Croatia was preparing another genocide against Serbs." Let's
5 turn back to the development of the Serb political structures in Croatia.
6 As I said, in January of 1990, the Serb political party, the SDS,
7 was founded. In April and May of 1990, the first multi-party elections
8 were held in Croatia. The SDS party won a majority in four municipalities
9 which are shown on a map on the Sanction. Again, if you press computer
10 evidence that's the best way to see the items on the Sanction. You can
11 see the four municipalities that would be at the core of the intended
12 Serbian entity in the Krajina of Croatia: Knin, Gracac, Benkovac, and
13 Donji Lapac.
14 The president of the SDS party -- they are shaded in green on the
15 map. The president of the SDS party in the Knin municipality, and the
16 president of the Knin municipality itself, was a man by the name of Milan
17 Babic, an important figure in this story who would, during 1990 and 1991,
18 become the highest political leader of the separate Serb political entity
19 in the Croatian Krajina, which was first known as the Serbian autonomous
20 district of Krajina, or SAO Krajina, and later known as the Republic of
21 Serbian Krajina or RSK after it joined with two other Serbian autonomous
22 districts in Croatia.
23 Babic was therefore the political counterpart to Milan Martic.
24 Babic became the president of the planned Serb state in the Croatian
25 Krajina while Martic became the commander of its armed forces.
1 Martic and his followers within the police rejected the new
2 Croatian police uniform which Martic said was a symbol of the Croatian
3 fascist state of World War II. And in July of 1990, he and a mob of
4 unruly Serb policemen faced down the Croatian interior minister, who was
5 Martic's ultimate superior in the government, and who had come to Knin
6 with his aids in order to try to calm the growing unrest.
7 The Accused later bragged about how much he had scared the
8 interior minister and his aides on this occasion and about how these men
9 required Martic's protection in order to leave Knin safely.
10 Now, as Martic began to organise the Serb policemen in the
11 Krajina, he did not act alone. Rather, he had critical help and support
12 from the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia or what's called the MUP of
13 Serbia. This help and support came through two of its most important
14 figures, Jovica Stanisic and Frenki Simatovic, both leaders within the
15 Serbian MUP, both indicted in a separate case at this Tribunal, for many
16 of the same dilemmas are charged against this Accused.
17 Stanisic and Simatovic, who themselves were under the control of
18 Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, provided essential support to Martic and the
19 Serb police in the Croatian Krajina, in the form of direction, financial
20 support, and weapons.
21 Throughout the time period of this case, Martic, his associates in
22 the Serbian MUP, and Milosevic will sometimes be described as a parallel
23 structure. While Martic held positions and functioned within the local
24 Serb political police and military structure in the Croatian Krajina, he
25 also had loyalties and was responsive to Serb leaders in Serbia who shared
1 his goal of a separate state for all Serbs.
2 Over time, the Accused Martic's loyalty to those Serb leaders
3 outside of the Croatian Krajina became stronger than ties he had to the
4 political figures within the Krajina, including Milan Babic. Also, as we
5 shall see, Martic eventually received the support not just of the Serbian
6 MUP and of Serb political figures in Serbia but also of the Yugoslav army,
7 which was known as the JNA, which in August of 1991 ended its official
8 stance of neutrality in the conflict and entered the war in Croatia on the
9 side of Serb forces. But we are getting a little ahead of the story.
10 Let's go back to 1990 for a moment where we see the two
11 intertwined developments that are central to this case. First, as we have
12 seen, the Serbs in Croatia began organising themselves in the Krajina into
13 a separate political and geographic structure. This movement which
14 started with the aspirations of the SDS, the Serb political party, at the
15 beginning of 1990, quickly led to the creation of various political
16 structures within the Krajina that were meant to serve as a separate
17 government for Serbs in Croatia. By the end of 1990, less than a year
18 later, Serbs in the Croatian Krajina had in fact created a separate
19 political and geographic structure which was comprised of Serb
20 municipalities and villages in the Krajina. This entity would be in
21 existence in one form or another until August of 1995. But it was never
22 recognised as a separate state by the international community.
23 For this reason, we will hear references to the so-called Serbian
24 autonomous district of Krajina or SAO Krajina, and the so-called Republic
25 of Serbian Krajina, or RSK, which, as I mentioned earlier, was created by
1 combining the SAO Krajina with two other Serbian autonomous districts in
2 Croatia, the SAO Western Slavonia and the SAO Eastern Slavonia Baranja and
3 Western Srem. More on that later.
4 The second development that occurred in 1990 -- the first
5 development is the political development -- the second development that
6 occurred in 1990 was the creation, under the direction of Milan Martic,
7 the Accused, of a separate Serb police force in the Croatian Krajina that
8 would act as the muscle and the armed forces of the Serb political and
9 geographic structure. By the end of 1990, this force was also firmly in
10 place and under the Accused's -- under the command of the Accused, Milan
11 Martic. The force was known by various names, such as Martic's Police,
12 Martic's Milicija, the Marticevci, meaning Martic's men, or the SAO
13 Krajina Milicija. This force was comprised of Serb police loyal to Martic
14 as well as other Serbs in the Krajina who took up arms and supported
16 Going back to the political development in the SAO Krajina in
17 1990, let's take a moment to trace the steps in 1990 that led to the
18 creation of a separate Serb political structure in the Croatian Krajina.
19 I talked about the elections where the SDS won a majority in four
20 municipalities. In June of 1990, Milan Babic and others established what
21 they called the association of Serbian municipalities much northern
22 Dalmatia and Lika, which was the first formal step towards creating a
23 separate Serb political and geographic entity. Northern -- northern
24 Dalmatia and Lika refer to regions within Croatia and as shown on the map
25 now being shown on the Sanction, the association of Serbian municipalities
1 of northern Dalmatia and Lika included the municipalities of Knin,
2 Benkovac, Gracac and Donji Lapac, the four municipalities where the SDS
3 had won the majority, plus the municipalities of Obrovac and Korenica.
4 In July of 1990, a Serbian assembly was held in the town of Serb,
5 a town which is within the municipality of Donji Lapac and which is going
6 to be shown on the map that is on the Sanction now, by zooming in on that
7 area of Croatia, and we can see Knin and just to the north of Knin being
8 indicated by the red arrow is the town of Srb where the Serbian assembly
9 was held in July of 1990.
10 This assembly was attended by approximately 100.000 Serbs, mostly
11 Croatian Serbs, including members of the SDS, presidents of Serb
12 municipalities, Serbian deputies in the parliament of the Republic of
13 Croatia, and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
14 Here I'm going to show you -- this is a -- some photos of the
15 assembly, and the crowd, the enormous crowd, is visible, and the next
16 photo is a photo of Milan Babic addressing the crowd in Srb.
17 The assembly adopted what was called a declaration on the
18 sovereignty and autonomy of the Serbian people, which took a number of
19 further steps towards the creation of a separate Serb state in Croatia.
20 It declared that the Serbian people constituted a sovereign nation within
21 Croatia and it established both a Serbian assembly as a representative of
22 the Serbian people, and a Serbian national council to act as the executive
23 body. Finally the declaration stated that if Croatia remained within
24 Yugoslavia, then the Serbs in Croatia would demand cultural autonomy. But
25 if Yugoslavia became a confederation of independent republics, then the
1 Serbs would demand both political and territorial autonomy. These were
2 further steps towards defining a separate Serb state within Croatia.
3 When the Serbian national council next met in August of 1990, it
4 called for a referendum to be held among Serbs on the question of -- on
5 the question of autonomy for Serbs in Croatia. This was a referendum that
6 was held among Serbs. And 99.7 per cent of those who voted supported
7 autonomy. But the greater significance of this referendum which occurred
8 in August of 1990 lies elsewhere. This referendum brought together in a
9 dramatic fashion the two strands that were developing at this time that I
10 have referred to, the separate Serb political and geographic entity that
11 was being established by Milan Babic and the other Serb leaders and the
12 Serb police force under the control of the Accused, Milan Martic.
13 This occurred because, on the 17th of August 1990, the Croatian
14 government declared the referendum within the Serb communities to be
15 illegal and the Croatian police began to take steps to interfere with the
16 referendum. The Serb police under Martic's command, reacted, seizing
17 reserve police weapons and distributing them to Serbs. As Martic himself
18 later said in an interview, "We took care not to give militia weapons to
19 Croats. I personally ordered the militia to take all the long weapons
20 with them and to safeguard the rest of the arms day and night."
21 The Serbs also erected blockades in Knin and elsewhere under
22 Martic's command in order to stop the Croatian authorities from entering
23 the area in what became known as the "log revolution," so named because of
24 the logs that were sometimes used in the blockades.
25 This event cemented Martic's role as leader of the Serb police in
1 Croatia and it showed the willingness of the Serb police under Martic's
2 command to take up arms, to fight for the separate Serb political and
3 geographic state that was being created.
4 By this time, Martic no longer considered him self to be under the
5 authority of the Croatian government at all. Watch him speaking to a
6 reporter a few weeks after the beginning of the log revolution and listen
7 to what he says about the Croatian government. The video will be played
8 on the Sanction and a transcript of what is being said in English will
9 appear below the video and has been synchronised to play in time with the
11 If that could be --
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. WHITING: In August of 1990, at this time, at the time of the
14 log revolution, at the time Martic cemented his control over the Martic's
15 Police, Martic sought even more control from Serbia. He sent a message to
16 leaders of Serbia, including Slobodan Milosevic, that the Serbs in Croatia
17 needed either more weapons or the support of the army of Yugoslavia, the
19 As I mentioned earlier, the JNA at this time claimed officially at
20 least, to be taking a neutral stance between the two sides of the conflict
21 in Croatia and purported to intervene only to act as a buffer between the
22 two sides.
23 But after August of 1990, that is during the remainder of 1990 and
24 the first half of 1991, Martic and his police sought to draw the JNA into
25 the conflict on the sides of the Serbs by provoking clashes with the
1 Croatian government. So let's move ahead now to the end of 1990.
2 In December, there was a further formalisation of the separate
3 Serb political structure in Croatia. The association of municipalities of
4 northern Dalmatia and Lika was transformed into an entity called the
5 Serbian autonomous district of Krajina or SAO Krajina, which included all
6 the municipalities that had been included in the association of
7 municipalities of northern Dalmatia and Lika as well as other Serb
8 municipalities and villages in the Krajina area that wished to join. This
9 was the entity in existence in the fall of 1991 during many of the crimes
10 charged in this indictment.
11 On the screen is a map of the municipalities and areas that were
12 part of the so-called SAO Krajina by April of 1991, and they are coloured
13 in green on this map.
14 The area of the SAO Krajina increased in part through fighting and
15 conflict, by the end of 1991, and this map shows the larger area that was
16 under the control of the SAO Krajina by the end of 1991. And Mr. Black is
17 drawing in red the area of the SAO Krajina by the -- at the end of 1991.
18 The other areas are other SAOs, Serbian autonomous districts that I will
19 refer to later. But the area in red is the SAO Krajina.
20 The SAO Krajina which was created in December of 1990, had both an
21 assembly and an executive council. Milan Babic became the president of
22 the executive council of the SAO Krajina, while on January 4th of 1991,
23 Milan Martic was appointed to the position of secretary of the interior of
24 the SAO Krajina, with full control of Martic's Police. On April 1st 1991,
25 the executive council of the SAO Krajina passed a decision joining the SAO
1 Krajina to the Republic of Serbia, a further step towards joining together
2 the Serb areas of the former Yugoslavia into a single Serb state. The
3 executive council also declared that the constitution and the laws of
4 Serbia and of Yugoslavia would apply in the SAO Krajina instead of the
5 laws of the Republic of Croatia.
6 In May of 1991, another referendum was held in the Serb areas of
7 Croatia on the question of whether the SAO Krajina should stay with Serbia
8 and Montenegro within Yugoslavia. Again, this was held in the Serb areas
9 in the SAO Krajina and the referendum was approved by 99.8 per cent of
10 those voting.
11 At the same time, the Republic of Croatia was itself moving
12 towards independence from the former Yugoslavia. In May of 1991, a
13 referendum on the question of independence was held in Croatia but it was
14 boycotted by the SAO Krajina. It passed by 94 per cent of those voting.
15 On June 25th of 1991, Croatia declared independence. However, in
16 agreement with the European Community, Croatia agreed to suspend
17 implementation of its independence until October of 1991.
18 Within the SAO Krajina, Martic's position became further defined,
19 and on May 29th of 1991, he was elected by the assembly to be the Minister
20 of Defence of the SAO Krajina, while the position of interior minister was
21 given to another, more moderate individual. Martic resisted this move,
22 however, and one month later he re-assumed his position as interior
23 minister. During this entire time when he was defence minister and then
24 when he re-assumed the position as interior minister the Accused Milan
25 Martic retained full control over Martic's Police or the SAO Krajina
1 Police. Also at this time something of a rivalry developed between the
2 two main Serb leaders in the Croatian Krajina, Milan Babic and Milan
3 Martic. While the two men shared many of the same goals for the Serbs in
4 Croatia, they nonetheless competed for power.
5 However, the evidence will show that Babic never seriously
6 challenged Martic's hold over the armed Serb formations in Croatia and
7 Babic's role remained almost entirely a political one. In the summer of
8 1991, Babic did try to assert control over the Serb elements of the
9 Territorial Defence forces in the Krajina. Now, a word of explanation
10 here about the function and role of the Territorial Defence within the
11 former Yugoslavia.
12 In addition to the army, the JNA, there also existed what was
13 called a Territorial Defence, often referred to as the TO, which existed
14 more on the local level within the republics. The Territorial Defence was
15 generally staffed by older individuals and was often commanded by officers
16 who were retired from the JNA. During peace time, the Territorial Defence
17 fell under the command of the president of the republic, while during
18 wartime it was under the command of the army, the JNA. In Croatia,
19 therefore, the Territorial Defence would fall under the control of the
20 Croatian government except during wartime when it would pass to the JNA.
21 Now, when the SAO Krajina came into existence in Croatia, there
22 was an effort to put the Territorial Defence units that existed within the
23 SAO Krajina under Serb control. And, as I said earlier, in the summer of
24 1991, Milan Babic, as president of the SAO Krajina, sought to take control
25 of these Serb territorial units within the SAO Krajina and he tried to
1 form a command structure to run them.
2 However, this effort was never successful. First of all, those
3 Serbs who wanted to take up arms in the SAO Krajina for the most part
4 either joined the JNA or Martic's Police, and so in many areas in the SAO
5 Krajina, the so-called Territorial Defence existed on paper only and had
6 no personnel.
7 Second, Martic himself sought to assert control over the
8 Territorial Defence. In August of 1991, Babic was pressured by Milosevic
9 to appoint Martic as the deputy commander of the Territorial Defence in
10 the SAO Krajina and moreover, certain units of the Territorial Defence
11 were loyal only to Martic. The evidence will show that at the end of the
12 day, Martic had more control over the Territorial Defence than Babic did.
13 Moreover, during actual military operations, such as those that
14 occurred during the fall months of 1991, the Territorial Defence units
15 were subordinated to the army, to the JNA, and as we will see in a moment,
16 in -- by August of 1991, on the eve of the war, the JNA and Martic's
17 police were fully aligned.
18 Now, earlier I said that in the latter months of 1990 and the
19 first half of 1991, Martic and his police sought to provoke clashes with
20 the Croatian authorities in order to draw the JNA into the conflict on the
21 side of the Serbs. In March of 1991, for example, Martic's Police took
22 over Plitvice national park. The location of that is being shown on the
24 Plitvice national park is an important tourist attraction in the
25 municipality of Korenica, one of the municipalities that had joined the
1 SAO Krajina. And Mr. Black will zoom in on that. There it is on the map,
2 in the northern part of Korenica. Fighting broke out between the Croatian
3 MUP -- this again in March of 1991 -- fighting broke out between the
4 Croatian MUP and Martic's police and one policeman from each side was
5 killed. The JNA then entered the conflict and imposed a cease-fire.
6 Other similar clashes occurred during the early months of 1991.
7 In addition, Croatian civilians began to come under attack within
8 the SAO Krajina. In April of 1991, a Croatian restaurant near Knin was
9 destroyed by an explosive. Martic was in charge, of course, of the police
10 in the SAO Krajina but the news report that we are about to show you
11 captured his attitude towards attacks on Croat civilians at this time.
12 And we will play that report on the Sanction, and again, the transcript of
13 what's being said will appear beneath the video and will be synchronised,
14 if that could be played now.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. WHITING: According to this news report, Martic said that
17 since the police was focused on defending the borders of the SAO Krajina,
18 they had no time to investigate crimes committed against Croat civilians.
19 The real turning point in the conflict occurred, however, in
20 August of 1991. As is visible on the map that is being shown now on the
21 Sanction, Kijevo, which will be pointed out by a red arrow, is a village
22 that lies just to the south of Knin. At that time, Kijevo was a Croatian
23 village that lay between Knin to the north and several Serb villages to
24 the south. The Accused, Milan Martic, in August of 1991, wanted to take
25 control of this village and he issued an ultimatum to the Croatian
1 authorities to abandon the police station in Kijevo, warning the civilian
2 population of an attack if this was not done. Then, the significant part
3 of this event occurred.
4 The JNA abandoned its official policy of neutrality and openly
5 entered the conflict on the side of the Serbs. After Martic's ultimatum
6 expired, JNA forces, elements of Martic's police, and the local Serb
7 Territorial Defence unit all under the unified command of the JNA,
8 attacked, took control of and cleansed Kijevo of all Croats living there.
9 In an interview in 1994, the Accused, Milan Martic, spoke very openly
10 about the attack on Kijevo, the cooperation between his forces and the
11 JNA, and Milan Babic's opposition to this attack. Martic said, "Babic
12 thought the question of Kijevo could be solved in a different way. He
13 even issued a statement that Kijevo shouldn't be attacked. However, my
14 opinion was stronger, and in coordination with the JNA, we did it my way.
15 We gave the infantry, police and civilian, and the logistics was provided
16 by the JNA. We conquered Kijevo." Martic also said in the interview, "To
17 be honest, we seem to be superior to the Croatians and they were running
18 away. We didn't care about the victims. We wanted to liberate our
19 blocked villages. Of course, there were a few burnt houses. That's the
20 way it goes in these actions with artillery. We thought it wouldn't last
21 long, and we were right. Colonel Mladic was there as well, and he was
22 pleased. It was the first JNA success. They weren't very successful in
23 Slovenia and Croatia before this. It was his personal success, and I was
24 happy for him, and us, for doing the job well." Colonel Ratko Mladic, who
25 was then the Chief of Staff of the JNA 9th Corps in Knin himself spoke
1 about the operation.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt you? Has the quote not ended? Are
3 you still quoting?
4 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, the quote has ended.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where.
6 MR. WHITING: For doing the job well, at the end of well.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Say it.
8 MR. WHITING: I will.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's not closed.
10 MR. WHITING: I'll make sure to indicate that on future
11 quotations, Your Honour.
12 Colonel Ratko Mladic, who was then the Chief of Staff of the JNA
13 9th Corps in Knin himself spoke about the operation in Kijevo during a
14 speech at the 16th session of the Assembly of the Serb Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina held on the 12th of May 1992 in Banja Luka. The
16 accused Milan Martic was present for this speech. Mladic said, "The Knin
17 corps was successful because under a single command in the zone of the
18 corps, were the JNA, the TO, and Martic's Police. Isn't that right,
19 Martic? And because he and I -- I call him and say, "Given me 40
20 policemen here at Kijevo, and you took part in the fighting, isn't that
21 right, Milan? And we did what we had planned."
22 General Veljko Kadijevic, who was federal secretary of the JNA
23 later wrote in a book called "My View of the Break-up," that from the end
24 of summer of 1991 the task of the JNA was to, "Protect the Serb people in
25 Croatia in such a way that all regions with a majority Serb population
1 would be completely freed from the presence of the Croatian army and the
2 Croatian authorities."
3 He further explained that this was accomplished in, "Full
4 coordination with Serb insurgents in the Serbian Krajina."
5 From August of 1991 on, as charged in this indictment, the JNA,
6 the Accused, Milan Martic, and his police, Serb Territorial Defence units,
7 and some Serb volunteer units, attacked Croat villages in the SAO Krajina
8 and on its borders, engaging in a coordinated campaign of persecutions of
9 Croat and other non-Serb civilians.
10 The purpose was to cleanse the intended Serbian state of
12 The attacks were often preceded by shelling and blockades.
13 Typically the attack itself was led by the JNA with the other Serb forces,
14 including Martic's Police coming in afterwards to ethnically cleanse the
15 village. In connection with these attacks, Croat and other non-Serb
16 civilians were forcibly removed from their villages, arbitrarily arrested,
17 detained, beaten, tortured and murdered.
18 Cultural and sacred sites of non-Serbs, as well as private
19 property belonging to non-Serbs were intentionally destroyed and
20 plundered. These attacks were particularly intense from August of 1991
21 until January of 1992, at which time a cease-fire was implemented. The
22 persecutory campaign continued, however, through 1995 and, as a result of
23 this campaign of ethnic cleansing, nearly the entire non-Serb population
24 of the SAO Krajina was either removed or was killed.
25 I will not describe in detail all of the attacks that occurred
1 during this campaign of persecutions. I will just touch on a few.
2 Dubica, Bacin, and Cerovljani are villages which are on the border between
3 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Croatian municipality of
4 Kostajnica, and it's being shown on the Sanction now where those villages
5 are located in Croatia.
6 In 1991, these villages had mixed populations, though with a
7 majority of Croats. Before September of 1991, there were armed clashes
8 between Serb forces and Croatian forces, but in September of 1991, the
9 Croatian forces withdrew and the Serb forces, in particular Martic's
10 Police and his Serb Territorial Defence unit, took control of the
11 villages. Martic's Police establish a police station in Dubica, one of
12 these villages. In September of 1991, the Serb forces arrested a number
13 of Croat civilians in these villages and detained them. The detainees
14 were used as human shields and as mine detectors when Serb forces were
15 looting houses. The detainees were beaten and abused, and some were
16 ordered to carry the bodies of other dead detainees. Houses belonging to
17 Croats in these villages were burned. On October 20th of 1991, these Serb
18 forces, including, in particular, elements of Martic's Police rounded up
19 some 53 elderly civilians from Dubica and took them to a fire station. If
20 you look at the ages of these civilians on Annex I of the indictment, you
21 will see that many were more than 60 or 70 years old. One woman was 90.
22 Ten of these civilians were released, apparently because of connections
23 that they had to Serbs. But the remaining 43 were executed the following
24 day along with a number of elderly civilians from Bacin and Cerovljani.
25 Saborsko is a village located near Plitvice in the Ogulin
1 municipality and it is being shown on the Sanction now.
2 In August of 1991, it was a large village inhabited almost
3 entirely by Croats. Nearby, were the villages much Poljanak, Lipovaca,
4 and Vukovici, but these villages were surrounded by Serb-controlled
5 villages. Starting in August of 1991, Serb forces began shelling
6 Saborsko, driving away many of its non-Serb civilians. In the following
7 months, Martic's Police and other Serb forces arrested Croat men from
8 Saborsko and the other Croat villages. These men were detained and in
9 many cases brutally beaten. In late October and early November, Poljanak,
10 Lipovaca, and Vukovici, and, finally, Saborsko were all attacked by Serb
11 forces. Croat civilians were deliberately and intentionally massacred
12 during these attacks.
13 In Vukovici, for example, Serb forces removed eight civilians from
14 a house, including some who were elderly and others who were female, lined
15 them up against the house and simply executed them. Then they went into
16 the house and executed a man who was too sick to leave his bed. On
17 November 12th of 1991, Serb forces mounted a full-scale attack on Saborsko
18 itself. Saborsko was first attacked by JNA planes dropping bombs and then
19 by Serb soldiers who pulled civilians from basements where they had taken
20 shelter, separated the men from the women, and executed some 20 men. All
21 of the inhabitants of Saborsko were driven from the village and all of the
22 houses in the village and the Catholic church were then burned to the
24 Skabrnja and Nadin are a pair of villages in the part of the Zadar
25 municipality that borders the municipality of Benkovac. This part of the
1 Zadar municipality broke off and joined with the SAO Krajina. They were
2 ethnically mixed villages but they were strategically important because
3 they were situated on a road linking Zadar with Benkovac. Serb forces
4 began to shell Skabrnja and Nadin in September of 1991 driving away many
5 of the civilian residents. On November 18th and 19th, Skabrnja and Nadin
6 were attacked by the JNA, Martic's Police, and the Benkovac local Serb
7 Territorial Defence unit. As in Saborsko civilians were pulled out of
8 cellars where they had hidden and were summarily executed. In all some 38
9 civilians were executed in Skabrnja and another seven in Nadin. Others
10 were arrested and detained during the attack. In the following months,
11 another 26 civilians were killed by Serb forces in and around Skabrnja.
12 The result of these attacks? These previously mixed villages were
13 ethnically cleansed of their non-Serb inhabitants.
14 These are just some of the attacks by Serb forces on Croat
15 villages and civilians that occurred during the fall months of 1991.
16 These and others will be proven during trial.
17 I've touched on these only to show the pattern of the ethnic
18 cleansing campaign. Villages with Croat populations were first put under
19 siege, blockaded, and then often shelled. Individual Croats were arrested
20 and detained. The villages were then attacked and the remaining Croat
21 civilians were either driven out, arrested, or murdered. The Croat parts
22 of the villages were destroyed to ensure that the Croat civilians could
23 not return. All of this done by a combination of Serb forces working
24 together, the JNA, Martic's Police, and local Serb Territorial Defence
1 During this time, Milan Martic was unquestionably in command of
2 Martic's Police and was therefore the most important commander of local
3 Serb forces within the Croatian Krajina itself, and Milan Babic was the
4 highest political leader of the Serbs in the Krajina. The Accused Martic
5 worked together with other Serb leaders in Croatia and Serbia and with
6 other Serb commanders of Serb forces toward the common goal of achieving
7 an ethnically homogeneous Serb state in Croatia.
8 Your Honours, I pause because I'm not sure when Your Honours wish
9 to take a break. Now would be an appropriate time for me if that's--
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: It appears this is an appropriate time. I think
11 this is the time we can take the break. We will take an adjournment and
12 we will come back at ten to four.
13 Court is adjourned.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 3.51 p.m.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting.
17 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 At the end of November of 1991, a cease-fire in Croatia was
19 negotiated between Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudjman, and
20 General Kadijevic of the JNA, under the auspices of Cyrus Vance, who was
21 then acting as a United Nations special envoy. It is significant, of
22 course, that this cease-fire was negotiated by Milosevic, further evidence
23 of his connection to the Serb forces in Croatia.
24 The negotiated agreement which are became known as the Vance Plan
25 was formally signed at the beginning of January 1992 and established what
1 were called United Nations Protected Areas, known as UNPAs in Croatia that
2 were monitored by UN peacekeeping forces. The agreement contemplated the
3 withdrawal of the JNA, the lifting of the blockade of JNA barracks, and
4 the demilitarisation of Serb forces in Croatia.
5 The goal of demilitarisation, however, was circumvented when Serb
6 forces in Croatia simply renamed themselves as police units. They were
7 called special police units or the PJM, and they retained their heavy
8 weapons, including weapons and resources left by the withdrawing JNA.
9 Now, initially, Milan Martic opposed the Vance Plan but then he
10 was persuaded to accept it. Milan Babic, however, remained opposed to the
11 Vance Plan, fearing that a JNA withdrawal from Croatia would leave the
12 Serbs there unprotected. This stance by Babic put him on an open
13 collision course with Slobodan Milosevic, who had negotiated and who
14 supported the plan. A collision course that would cost Milan Babic his
16 In December of 1991, the SAO Krajina transformed itself one more
17 time and became the Republic of Serbian Krajina or RSK. Initially, Milan
18 Babic was the president of the RSK and Milan Martic continued as the
19 interior minister in charge of all police forces. In February of 1992,
20 two other Serb areas in Croatia that had organised themselves as Serb
21 autonomous districts, the area of Western Slavonia and the area of Eastern
22 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem joined the RSK. Now, the map being
23 shown now shows the areas that fell under the control of the RSK after
24 February of 1992. We are familiar with the area that was the Krajina.
25 The next area to the right is the SAO Western Slavonia. And then the
1 final area to the right bordering on Serbia is the area of Eastern
2 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. These areas combined formed the RSK.
3 Now, in February of 1992, at the time that these areas joined
4 together to become the RSK, Milan Babic was voted out as the president of
5 the RSK and was replaced by Goran Hadzic. This was in part because of
6 Babic's opposition to the Vance Plan. Milan Martic, however, continued as
7 the minister of the interior of the RSK.
8 Now, let's pause here for a moment to talk about Milan Babic who
9 in this story has just lost his job as president of the RSK. As I said,
10 during 1990 and 1991, Milan Babic was the highest political leader of the
11 Serbs in the Croatian Krajina. While he competed with Milan Martic for
12 control of the local Serb Territorial Defence forces in the SAO Krajina,
13 the evidence will show that he never exercised effective control of these
14 forces, and that Milan Martic was in fact the principal commander of these
15 forces -- of local Serb forces within the SAO Krajina. Nonetheless, in
16 his political role, Milan Babic provided critical support to the campaign
17 of persecutions against Croat and other non-Serb civilians in the SAO
18 Krajina from August of 1991 until February of 1992.
19 For his role in these events, Milan Babic pled guilty at this
20 Tribunal on January 22nd 2004, to being a co-perpetrator of a joint
21 criminal enterprise that committed the crime of persecutions, a crime
22 against humanity, and the same crime that is charged in count 1 of the
23 indictment against this Accused, Milan Martic. Before pleading guilty,
24 Milan Babic cooperated with the Office of the Prosecutor and he testified
25 in the ongoing trial against Slobodan Milosevic. Following his guilty
1 plea, Milan Babic received a sentence of 13 years imprisonment which he is
2 now serving.
3 Let's turn back now to the events in February of 1992. As I said,
4 Milan Martic continued as the Minister of the interior of the RSK in
5 command of the police. During 1992, the RSK organised a Territorial
6 Defence which then became an army which was known as the SVK. The SVK was
7 the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The special police units
8 under Martic's command were formally incorporated into the military
9 structure of the RSK. From 1992, until 1995, Serb forces in the RSK,
10 including Martic's Police, continued to persecute the few remaining
11 non-Serbs within the RSK.
12 Now, at the end of 1993, a presidential election was held in the
13 so-called RSK. And guess who ran in that election? Milan Babic against
14 Milan Martic. Martic received considerable and critical support from
15 Slobodan Milosevic, and in the second round of voting in 1994, Martic was
16 elected the president of the RSK. Now, let's watch a video of Martic
17 during this campaign for president and let's hear how he talked about his
18 relationship with Milosevic at this time, if the Sanction could be played.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. WHITING: As it is clear from this video clip, Milan Martic in
21 the presidential campaign continued to advocate a single state for all
22 Serbs and he made clear his allegiance to Serb leaders outside of Croatia,
23 namely Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader.
24 He pledged to pass the baton, if he were elected, to our all-Serbian
25 leader, Slobodan Milosevic.
1 Now, when he became president of the RSK, Milan Martic became
2 commander of all the military forces of the RSK. During 1994 and 1995,
3 the international community sought to resolve the status of the RSK within
4 Croatia in what became known as the Z-4 process. Z being a reference to
5 Zagreb and 4 a reference to the four international entities that
6 participated in the negotiations, the United States, Russia, the United
7 Nations, and the European Union.
8 The difficulty was that the Serb leaders in Croatia continued to
9 seek independence for the RSK while the Croatian government continued to
10 be resistant to a separate Serb state on Croatian territory. In early
11 1995, the Z-4 process resulted in a draft agreement that would have
12 granted the RSK considerable autonomy. Milan Martic, however, rejected
13 this plan.
14 The representative of the United States during the Z-4 process was
15 the United States ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith.
16 Ambassador Galbraith met with Milan Martic in late 1994 at which time
17 Martic suggested that in the event of military action by the Croatian
18 government, the RSK would launch a rocket attack on Zagreb. This is in
19 1994, this discussion takes place. Ambassador Galbraith told Milan Martic
20 in no uncertain terms that a rocket attack on Zagreb would constitute a
22 In 1995, when the Z-4 process stalled, the Croatian government did
23 in fact initiate military action against the RSK, attacking first the area
24 of Western Slavonia on May 1st 1995 in what was known as Operation Flash.
25 In reaction to this attack on Western Slavonia, despite having been
1 explicitly warned by Ambassador Galbraith that it would constitute a
2 crime, Milan Martic ordered the firing of 12 Orkan rockets on the city of
3 Zagreb and other areas on May 2nd and May 3rd. These rockets were fitted
4 with cluster bomb warheads which, the evidence will show, are designed to
5 explode in the air, spraying thousands of small ball bearings which are
6 designed to kill people or do damage to lightly armoured vehicles. These
7 rockets hit residential and commercial areas of Zagreb and killed five
8 civilians and wounded 146 others on the first day, and on the second day,
9 killed two more civilians and wounded 48 more. On the Sanction is a map
10 showing the areas of impact of the rockets in Zagreb. The five rockets in
11 the upper left of this map hit right in downtown Zagreb.
12 Now, let's listen to the Accused, Milan Martic, taking
13 responsibility for these rocket attacks on the radio within a day of the
14 attacks being launched. I warn you that the sound quality as it's played
15 through the Sanction system of this radio transmission is a little bit
16 difficult at times to hear. There is a little bit of interference, but
17 the transcript will be played on the Sanction as the radio transmission is
19 If we could play that now.
20 [Radio transmission played]
21 MR. WHITING: As Milan Martic says in that transmission, "My order
22 to shell Zagreb ensued." Of course, the accused Martic has admitted on
23 numerous occasions, even here at this Tribunal, that he ordered the rocket
24 attack on Zagreb. In this radio statement that we just heard, Martic
25 makes it clear that the attacks were either pure retaliation or a tactic
1 to terrorise the Croats in order to force them to stop their own military
2 attacks or to forgo any future military attacks. Needless to say, neither
3 reason constitutes a legitimate or lawful justification for Martic's
4 murderous attack on the civilian population of Zagreb. Later, Martic
5 tried to claim that the attacks were aimed at military targets. The only
6 arguable military targets, however, within the centre of Zagreb were
7 buildings such as the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of the Interior
8 or the presidential palace. There were some army barracks but they were
9 located outside the city, no where near where the rockets fell.
10 The cluster bomb rockets used in the attacks are completely
11 useless against buildings such as the ministries of defence and interior
12 as they are designed solely for attacking personnel or lightly armoured
13 vehicles spread out over a large area, and there will be evidence about
14 this at trial.
15 The truth is, Your Honours, Milan Martic intentionally targeted
16 civilians in Zagreb or was aware of the substantial likelihood that his
17 actions would target civilians, and, as Ambassador Galbraith warned, doing
18 so was a crime.
19 Let's watch a few clips, this without transcript, just visual
20 images, of the damage that was inflicted in the areas of Zagreb and the
21 terror that was caused. In watching these clips, it will be obvious that
22 these attacks targeted civilian areas.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. WHITING: A little more than two months after these attacks on
25 Zagreb, on July 25th of 1995, Milan Martic was publicly indicted by this
1 Tribunal for these attacks. He remained a fugitive for nearly seven years
2 until he was threatened with arrest by the authorities of Serbia and was
3 therefore forced to surrender to this Tribunal.
4 That is a brief summary of what the evidence will show happened in
5 this case. There are many components to the story and various players.
6 But as I said before, the story is essentially a simple one. The Accused
7 and others conceived of a separate Serb state in the Croatian Krajina to
8 be joined to other Serb areas to create a state for all Serbs. They
9 pursued a common purpose to create such a state and through the commission
10 of crimes they cleansed the planned state of virtually all Croats and
11 other non-Serbs.
12 A word about the evidence that will be used to prove these facts.
13 The evidence presented by the Prosecution will include witnesses who will
14 come to testify before you, written testimony admitted under the Rules of
15 the Tribunal, contemporaneous documents, and public source materials.
16 None of these sources of evidence necessarily has more weight than any
17 others, and it is the nature of these cases and the evidence that some
18 facts will be proven primarily by written statements or documents.
19 Our goal on the Prosecution side during this trial will be always
20 to present a true and accurate picture of what happened in Croatia during
21 the relevant years, to do justice to all of the evidence, and to focus on
22 the role and the responsibility of this Accused for the crimes charged in
23 the indictment.
24 That is our responsibility to this Chamber, to the parties, to the
25 victims and to the world that is watching.
1 Having set forth a summary of the facts, let me just say a few
2 words about the law. I will not try to address all the elements of the
3 crimes charged for they are many; this has already been done in various
4 written filings. But let me just say something about the modes of
5 liability charged in this case. The Accused, Milan Martic, is charged
6 under Article 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute for all of the crimes. The
7 indictment alleges that as commander of Martic's Police and other Serb
8 forces, such as units of the Territorial Defence, and later as president
9 of the RSK in command of all the Serb forces of the RSK, Milan Martic
10 planned, ordered, and instigated or aided and abetted others to commit the
11 campaign of persecutions against the Croat and other non-Serb population,
12 as well as the other specific crimes charged in the indictment, including
13 extermination, murder, imprisonment, torture, inhumane acts, cruel
14 treatment, deportation and forcible transfer, wanton destruction of
15 property and plunder, and unlawful attacks on civilians. It is
16 specifically charged that Martic was a direct perpetrator of the crimes
17 that occurred at the prison in Knin. With respect to all of the crimes
18 charged in the indictment, it is alleged that the Accused intended that
19 the crimes be committed or was aware of the substantial likelihood that
20 his actions would result in their commission.
21 The indictment also alleges that the Accused, Milan Martic,
22 committed all of these crimes through his participation in a joint
23 criminal enterprise, along with other Serb leaders and forces in Croatia,
24 in Croatia and outside Croatia, including Serb leaders and forces from
25 Serbia. The charge is that Milan Martic acted together with these other
1 Serb leaders and entities to accomplish the purpose of the joint criminal
2 enterprise, that is the forcible removal of Croats and other non-Serbs
3 from the territory of the planned Serb state in Croatia through the
4 commission of crimes. Milan Babic you will recall plead guilty to having
5 committed the crimes of persecution through his participation in this same
6 joint criminal enterprise.
7 The evidence will show that Martic worked in close coordination
8 with other members of the joint criminal enterprise including Slobodan
9 Milosevic, Jovica Stanisic, and Frenki Simatovic, and others of the
10 Serbian MUP, the JNA, Milan Babic, and others, in order to accomplish the
11 goals of the joint criminal enterprise. This is not a charge of guilt by
12 association. Milan Martic is not guilty because he associated with the
13 wrong people. Rather, the evidence will show beyond a reasonable doubt
14 that Milan Martic is guilty of the crimes charged in the indictment
15 because he and others had a common purpose to cleanse the Serb territory
16 of Croatia of non-Serbs and undertook actions to achieve this common
18 This mode of liability is a recognition of the fact that these
19 kinds of crimes are rarely accomplished by one person acting alone or even
20 by a single entity. Rather they can only be accomplished by various
21 entities working together toward a common goal. An individual is guilty
22 and is responsible for the acts of the joint criminal enterprise if it is
23 proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he knowingly and intentionally
24 participated in the joint criminal enterprise and sought to further its
25 criminal aims. The indictment alleges that the crimes charged in the
1 indictment were within the scope of the purpose of the joint criminal
2 enterprise or, in the alternative, that the purpose was the forcible
3 removal of the Croat and other non-Serb population, counts 10 and 11 of
4 the indictment, and the other crimes were a natural and foreseeable
5 consequence of affecting that common purpose.
6 Finally the indictment also charged that the accused Milan Martic
7 as the commander of subordinate forces committing the crimes alleged in
8 the indictment either failed to prevent the commission of the crimes or
9 failed to punish them.
10 The evidence will show that the crimes that were being committed
11 were well known, were repeated, that Milan Martic was aware of them, and
12 that he did nothing to prevent them or to punish them.
13 Your Honours, this brings me to the end of my opening statement.
14 Let me say only in closing that it is our respectful submission that once
15 the evidence is presented to you and it is submitted, it will show beyond
16 a reasonable doubt that the Accused committed the crimes that are at issue
17 in this indictment.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 Mr. Milovancevic, you indicated yesterday that Mr. Martic might
21 exercise his right in terms of Rule 84 bis to make an opening statement.
22 Is that still the position?
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
24 Mr. Martic has prepared his own opening statement, which should
25 take about 45 minutes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 Then, before Mr. Martic makes his statement, the Chamber just will
3 explain a few of his rights to him.
4 Mr. Martic, the statement you are about to make is not a solemn
5 declaration. It is not sworn testimony, in other words. However, its
6 probative value may be looked at, at a later stage, and it might form part
7 of the evidence, depending on what evidence comes out in either
8 corroboration or contradiction of what you may have said. Let me warn you
9 here that you are not forced to make any statement at this stage. It is
10 your right to defend yourself by remaining silent, if you so wish, and if
11 you choose to make a statement, you must do so voluntarily and freely.
12 You have the right not to confess any guilt or to testify against
13 yourself. May I also say that I hope your statement will be kept relevant
14 to the issues before the Court in this matter, and not be intended to make
15 irrelevant statements that have nothing to do with the case.
16 I hope, Mr. Martic, you understand, and if you do, please say so,
17 and you may proceed to make your statement.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand everything. I still
19 wish to make a statement.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. You may proceed.
21 [Defence Opening Statement]
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, after more than 1.300
23 days of detention in Scheveningen I have concluded that the indictment
24 against me fed by dubious witnesses has been becoming more and more
1 If I were to trust the other side in these proceedings, at least a
2 little, I would probably end up a nervous wreck. In my madness I would
3 probably tell them I am guilty, do whatever you like. However, I have not
4 reached such a state. God knows during those days when I was one of the
5 leaders of Serbs who were persecuted in Croatia, which had just seceded in
6 Knin and in any other place, all I did was protect every citizen of the
7 Republic of Serbian Krajina regardless of their ethnic or religious
8 affiliations. I protected them from wrongs that might have befallen them
9 in the middle of that war. I have pleaded several times not guilty.
10 Today, after so much time, I have to repeat these same two words: Not
11 guilty. While I read the indictment sometimes I was thinking about giving
12 up the reading of the indictment in which everything with the exception of
13 my first and last names is erroneous, and arbitrary, as I hope the Defence
14 will show.
15 The indictment creates a lot of confusion about both date and time
16 and events and places proving that I was somewhere that I was physically
17 not present and that I did things that I simply didn't do. It was only
18 rarely and with reluctance that I requested my Defence to apply for my
19 provisional release. The reason for this is simple. Until I prove my
20 innocence, there is no freedom that would suit me. I would feel the same
21 here in detention in Scheveningen or enjoying perceived freedom elsewhere.
22 What I want is really freedom. I want the truth and the suffering of the
23 Serbs in the Republic of Krajina in Croatia to be known. That truth
24 matters more to me than my personal freedom or even my life. It is true
25 that I, Milan Martic, former police Minister of the Republic of Serbian
1 Krajina, as well as the last president of that unfortunately temporary
2 state, intend to prove the innocence of my people, of my Krajina people,
3 here before you. They too suffered with me and not because of me, in the
5 I will stand here to defend my people from those who took
6 everything from my people and from me personally. I will be defending
7 them from those who should be the ones with the obligation to prove that
8 there was a reason to commit genocide against the Serbian people. These
9 are the conclusions that my defence and I have reached after more than
10 three and a half years of my detention.
11 It is quite apparent that the OTP is not interested in getting at
12 the truth of what happened in the former Yugoslavia. For the OTP, there
13 is no such thing as Yugoslavia, in terms of being a sovereign state back
14 in 1990 and 1991. The OTP does not want to know about real perpetrators
15 or those who gave the orders for crimes to be committed. What they want
16 to do is artificially single out certain events and view them as the truth
17 of what happened in the former Yugoslavia. They have construed a theory
18 about a joint criminal enterprise. According to the indictment I myself
19 played one of the leading roles in this alleged enterprise, aimed at
20 "destroying," as it reads, "all non-Serb population in predominantly Serb
21 territories with the objective of creating a purely Serbian state." The
22 claim is quite absurd, and leads to obscuring a crucial fact. In the
23 former Yugoslavia, the gravest and most serious crimes of all against
24 international law was committed. It was a crime against peace itself, a
25 sovereign European state was shattered.
1 By adopting this position, the OTP and solves from responsibility
2 the real perpetrators of this crime against peace, the separatist
3 leaderships of the former Yugoslav republics, Slovenia, Croatia, and
4 later, Bosnia-Hercegovina, as well as those international players who
5 backed them throughout this bloody process.
6 By doing this the OTP chooses to ignore some leading principles of
7 international law established by the Nuremberg trials. The shattering of
8 the sovereign state of Yugoslavia by aggression was committed by
9 separatist force who is enjoyed -- who enjoyed the open support of
10 international players. The OTP seems to be neglecting this or glossing
11 over it. They represent this to have been an aggressive war waged by the
12 Serbs of Yugoslavia. The Serbs were peacefully living in Yugoslavia but
13 they tried to show the Serbs as having committed this crime in order to
14 establish a purely Serbian state.
15 Simple facts will do to disprove the allegations of the
17 The Serbs in the former Yugoslav Republic of Yugoslavia according
18 to the 1991 census made up as many as 581.000 inhabitants of the republic.
19 This is official data. I am not even mentioning the 20.000 people who
20 declared themselves as Yugoslavs, 95 per cent of which were Serbs.
21 Throughout the civil war in the former Yugoslav Republic of Yugoslavia
22 since 1990 and all the way up until the end of 1995, more than 500.000
23 Serb citizens were expelled.
24 During the military operations, executed by the Croatian police
25 and paramilitary units in the Republic of Serbian Krajina throughout this
1 period of time 7.000 Serbs were killed, 1.100 predominantly Serb villages
2 were razed to the ground. In the Serbian Republic of Krajina, 30.000 Serb
3 houses were destroyed.
4 50.000 flats were taken from Serbs from the Republic of Croatia
5 and the Republic of Serbian Krajina and their tenancy rights were denied,
6 although Croats were allowed to buy the flats under these same conditions.
7 The value of all these flats that were confiscated is estimated at about
8 30 billion euros.
9 These are real consequences of what happened in the former
10 Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. And they are no
11 more than partially reflected in indictments raised before this Tribunal
12 against the Croatian generals, Gotovina, Markac, and Cermak, charged with
13 prosecuting the Serbian population of Krajina during the -- during
14 Operation Storm, which began on the 4th of August 1995 and continued for
15 some time.
16 The indictment faced by six leaders of the Croatian Defence
17 Council and the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina lists the following charges
18 against the accused: There is a whole series of grave and serious crimes
19 involving the political leadership of the Republic of Croatia which
20 intended to create a pan-Croatian state which would have included a great
21 deal of Bosnian territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The genocide against
22 Serbs started in 1990 and continued until 1995. It is only partially
23 addressed in these indictments. The Prosecution mentions the genocide
24 committed by the Axis powers back in the Second World War. Croatia was
25 then part of a fascist alliance and called itself the independent state of
1 Croatia at the time, the MDH. It was a quisling creation which covered
2 today's territories of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The independent
3 state of Croatia organised and perpetrated a blood-curdling genocide
4 against its Serbian population under the following slogan: "One-third to
5 be killed, one-third to be christened, one third to be expelled."
6 In the concentration camp of Jasenovac alone, 700.000 Serbs were
7 killed as well as 30.000 Jews and Roma. In 1990 and 1991, in the
8 territories of the former Yugoslavia, there was an eruption of separatist
9 movements in both Croatia and Slovenia. On that very same day, the 25th
10 of June 1991, they declared independence, their independence, from
11 Yugoslavia which ran counter to the constitution of Yugoslavia and
12 principles of international law. The Serbs in Croatia found themselves
13 facing an extremely difficult situation at there point in time. According
14 to the then constitution of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which was
15 still valid in 1991 I quote, "The Socialist Federative Republic of Croatia
16 is a national state of all Croats, all Serbs, and all its ethnic
17 minorities." This is Article 1 of the constitution of the Socialist
18 Federative Republic of Croatia.
19 This constitutional provision was a result of the fact that
20 following the victory of the anti-fascist forces in the Second World War,
21 Orthodox Serbs forgave Croats for the genocide that they had committed
22 against them. They agreed to organise their ethnic Serb territories in
23 cooperation with the Croatian people and establish the people's Republic
24 of Croatia which was later to become the Socialist Republic of Croatia.
25 There was only one condition, however. The condition was that the
1 Croatian authorities would not sever the links between the Serbs in
2 Krajina and the Serbs in other territories of the Croatian state.
3 This provision contained in their own constitution and the
4 political will of Croatia's Serbs was disregarded by the new Croatian
5 government and the new Croatian assembly or parliament. They seceded from
6 Yugoslavia and declared their independence from Yugoslavia, thereby
7 denying a provision from their own constitution about the sovereign
8 position of Serbs in Croatia, thereby denying them a constituent status
9 and turning them into a national minority. The secessionist government of
10 Croatia conducted an aggression from within in the sovereign state of
11 Yugoslavia by blocking the barracks and committing acts of terror against
12 its Serbs. The then president of the HDZ, General Franjo Tudjman, who was
13 to become president of the Republic of Croatia, at the founding assembly
14 of the HDZ in the Lisinski concert hall on the 24th of February 1990 in
15 Zagreb pronounced the following sentence, "The independent state of
16 Croatia was not merely a quisling creation and a fascist crime. It was
17 also an expression of the historical ambition of the Croatian people." And
18 if I may add, a blood-curdling notion to all Serbs in Croatia.
19 Nevertheless, this one sentence was an abridged political platform
20 of the LDZ which found Croatian fanaticism by its political actions. The
21 well respected German magazine, Der Spiegel, covered the imminent
22 elections in Croatia in the following way on the 16th of April 1990. "The
23 HDZ has the greatest chances to win these elections. They represent an
24 extremist group openly dreaming about a sovereign Croatia. They have
25 territorial claims on the neighbouring country of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
1 they are fanning the flames of ethnic hatred against the Serbs. They are
2 led by the former general, Franjo Tudjman, whose ideas very much resemble
3 those of the fascist Croatian state in the Second World War. He advocates
4 an independent Croatia."
5 The Serbs in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia in
6 1990 and 1991 were shocked by the measures taken by the Croatian
7 government, which were the same as those that were taken in the fascist
9 Practically overnight, the Serbs ceased to be a constituent ethnic
10 group in the Republic of Croatia by a decision of the Croatian government.
11 Croatia was proclaimed to be a state of Croatian people only. These were
12 obvious references to the NDH laws from 1941 with Article 2 determining
13 that a member of the NDH could only be a person of Aryan ethnic origin.
14 There were legal provisions on ethnic origin establishing who was to be
15 considered a Jew and who was to be considered a gypsy. These very same
16 provisions were then applied to the letter on the Serbs. In conditions of
17 mass nationalistic hysteria fanned by the HDZ, the Serbs became a target
18 of pogrom and acts of terror in Croatia. The new Croatian authorities
19 requested the Serbs to sign declarations of loyalty in order to be able to
20 be -- to obtain Croat citizenship. Throughout 1990 and 1991, Serb
21 employees were fired en masse from their jobs in Croatia because of
22 failure to comply with the new legal authorities in the Republic of
23 Croatia. That was the alleged reason.
24 All of Croatia's Serbs were inevitably reminded of the legal
25 provisions on the protection of Aryan blood in honour of the Croatian
1 people passed and adopted between 1941 and 1945 in the territory of the
2 independent state of Croatia invoked by Franjo Tudjman in his speech on
3 the 24th of February 1990 as his own and defined by him as a legitimate
4 expression of the historical ambition of the Croatian people.
5 What else could this fact have meant for the Serbs, the fact that
6 they were being fired en masse merely because of their ethnic background
7 and because of their Orthodox faith? The order was reintroduced to
8 establish the ethnic backgrounds of all state officials and this is
9 something that was adopted from the old NDH laws.
10 Your Honours, it is quite clear that as I followed the work of the
11 HDZ and the constitutional changes that were taking place at the time,
12 just like other Serbs in Croatia, I was greatly worried and concerned
13 about these developments. It was because of these reasons and certainly
14 not because of any enterprise, least of all a criminal joint enterprise,
15 that I sided with the Serbs who were being discriminated against. I am
16 proud of there fact.
17 In 1990 and 1991, in the territory of the socialist Federative
18 Republic of Croatia, about 10.000 Serb houses were mined and booby
19 trapped. Flats were taken away by force from their rightful Serb owners,
20 and the same thing happened to Serbs all over again that had happened
21 between 1941 and 1945 in the independent state of Croatia where racial
22 laws were applied and where a legal provision existed on property needing
23 to be declared by all non-Aryan or Jewish owners. This same provision was
24 applied to Serbs as well in the NDH throughout the Second World War.
25 Based on these Aryan laws all of the Serbs' property was taken away and
1 confiscated as though the Serbs were some inferior race. At the founding
2 session of the HDZ on the 24th of February 1990 in Zagreb, Franjo Tudjman
3 brought and gave prime seats, as it were, to prominent criminals from the
4 Second World War who had been hiding from the law somewhere abroad.
5 In Croatia, a climate of general hatred against Serbs is created.
6 Serbs are attacked openly on the state television over the radio, hate
7 speeches are a frequent feature of Croat politicians.
8 As Der Spiegel pointed out back in mid-April 1990, they started
9 creating and encouraging fanatical hatred toward Serbs which were now
10 being insultingly referred to as Chetniks, and this name was not used by
11 accident. The mechanism of propaganda in addition to speeches and
12 activities aimed at spreading fear covered all Serbs. All Serbs without
13 exception were marked as Chetniks. They reversed thesis and they did that
14 on purpose. Chetniks were used in order to insult all Serbs as a nation,
15 because Chetniks in prior wars were known as warriors, thus implying that
16 all Serbs are aggressive murderers prepared to commit murder without
17 notice. And thus, they created a climate in which it was easier to commit
18 a collective crime.
19 In the fascist independent state of Croatia, in the course of the
20 Second World War, Cyrillic alphabet was banned by law. All Serb cultural
21 institutions were also banned, and all Serbs had to declare the property
22 they possessed in the independent state of Croatia. This property was
23 later confiscated. Serbs just like Jews had to wear a band on their arm
24 sleeve indicating that they were Orthodox. The new authorities of Franjo
25 Tudjman throughout 1990 and 1991 created an atmosphere in which just like
1 during the independent state of Croatia, it was possible for various
2 establishments to put up signs saying, "Serbs prohibited from entering
3 this establishment." In the independent state of Croatia, this
4 prohibition also applied to Jews and Romas.
5 The new leadership of Croatia in 1990 and 1991 not only accepted
6 the values of the independent state of Croatia and applied Ustasha methods
7 but they also used identical symbols. They introduced a new Croatian
8 symbols, the checkered flag which was the flag that flew during the time
9 when hundreds of thousands of Serbs died during the Second World War. The
10 term for policeman was the same one as the one used during the independent
11 state of Croatia. They also erected monuments to the worst criminals from
12 the Second World War, throws who killed the most Serbs. The units of
13 Croatian army were named after the names or named after war criminals from
14 the Second World War. As for the Croatian army, I should really refer to
15 it as the paramilitary because that's what it was.
16 What Serbs did in Croatia was an attempt to self-organise and to
17 try to protect them through democratic means. Serbs used amendments to
18 request that the Serbs be reinstated as a constitutive nation. However,
19 this was something that the Croatian parliament refused in 1990. Serbs
20 warned that the secession of Croatia was anti-constitutional, represented
21 a crime, based on the international law. However, Croatian authorities
22 disregarded this just like many other signals, and they became more and
23 more brutal in their attitude towards Serbs, instituting a process to
24 convert Serb children into Catholicism, which is a form of genocide. The
25 new government of Croatia did not respect the OECD declaration, which was
1 adopted on the 19th of July 1991, which supported unity and territorial
2 integrity of Yugoslavia. Croatia disregarded international law and
3 recommendations given by the Conference on Organisation of Security and
4 Cooperation in Europe and, contrary to these recommendations, carried out
5 a secret process of arming various units which used fascist greetings and
6 fascist symbols. Serbs were beaten, intimidated, their houses were mined
7 and destroyed throughout 1990 and 1991.
8 The Serbs in Croatia responded to this attitude of Croatian
9 government by showing their support for preservation of Yugoslavia as a
10 federal state with existing federal units. The Serbs demanded to have
11 their own cultural autonomy within the Republic of Croatia. We are
12 talking here about the cultural autonomy.
13 In the case of disintegration of the Yugoslav state, the Serbs in
14 Krajina wanted the same principle to be applied as the principle used for
15 self-determination of Croats and Slovenes. They wanted the same benefit
16 to apply to them within Croatia. The Serbs in Krajina, within their
17 ethnic territory, wanted the protection for themselves both territorial
18 and institutional. However, Croatian government displayed arrogance and
19 disregarded these requests, responding to them through antidemocrat
20 measures. The Serbs in Croatia established a community of municipalities
21 where there was a majority of Serb population. This was envisaged in the
22 constitution of the Republic of Croatia; however, Croatia prevented this
23 establishment by unlawful and forcible means. After Croatian authorities
24 refused all attempts of Serbs to organise and harmonise these relations
25 within Croatia, Serbs decided, in order to protect themselves, to
1 establish within their ethnic territory the SAO Krajina and, later on, the
2 Serbian Republic of Krajina in 1991. It was then that Croatia began an
3 undeclared war against Serbs living in the Serbian Republic of Krajina,
4 which previously was known as SAO Krajina.
5 When pursuant to the resolution of the Security Council of 1991,
6 the territories populated by Serbs in Croatia were placed under the
7 protection of the UN, and when, in the territory of the Serbian Republic
8 of Krajina in 1992, the peace forces of the UN known as UNPROFOR arrived,
9 in that area, just like in the territory throughout the Republic of
10 Croatia, the Yugoslav army withdrew in accordance with the Vance-Owen
11 plan. The territory of the Serbian Republic of Krajina became a territory
12 protected by the UN, where federal regulations were supposed to be
13 applied, those of Yugoslavia, not regulations of Croatia. This is what
14 Vance Plan stipulated. The objective of deploying UN forces in Yugoslavia
15 in Croatian territory where Serbs constituted a majority or a significant
16 minority, and in which ethnic tension led to conflicts prior to that, was
17 precisely to create conditions for negotiations on a peaceful resolution
18 of the Yugoslav crisis without forecasting its outcome.
19 Local police of the Krajina Serbs was recognised by Vance Plan and
20 Security Council resolution establishing the UN mission in Yugoslavia. It
21 was recognised as police which was supposed to act in the protected area
22 under the control of the international forces. Territorial Defence of
23 Krajina, of the Serbian Republic of Krajina, was demobilised in accordance
24 with the Vance Plan. Their weapons were placed under double key in UN
25 depots. The Serbs from Krajina accepted Vance Plan. They implemented
1 this plan, just like the authorities of Yugoslavia did, the authorities
2 which created all the conditions necessary for the arrival of
3 international forces following which the JNA forces withdrew from that
5 However, the expectations of the Serbian people in the Republic of
6 Serbian Krajina that the forces of the UN would protect them were not met.
7 Even before the forces of the UN were fully deployed, Croatia carried out
8 an aggression against the protected area. This took place at the
9 Miljevacki Plateau on the 21st of June 1992. It was then that 40 members
10 of the Serbian Territorial Defence were brutally killed. After they
11 butchered them they were thrown into ditches.
12 Their remains were removed in the presence of international
13 observers. This behaviour of Croatian authorities which in 1992 not only
14 attacked the area protected by the UN but also refused to implement the UN
15 resolution 762 dated the 26th of June 1992, demanding them to withdraw
16 from this territory, but just like the Ustashas in the Second World War,
17 they dumped the killed Serbs into ditches. At the meeting of the military
18 leadership of Croatia in March of 1992, the president of Croatia,
19 General Tudjman, explained that Croatia has achieved a miracle. It
20 created an army, I'm now quoting him, "numbering 200.000 people, together
21 with police," and it was this military force that enabled Croatia to
22 violate all norms of international law and all requests of the
23 international community.
24 In January 1993, Croatian army launched a new aggression against
25 the UN-protected area. They did so by carrying out an operation called
1 Maslenica. It was begun on the 22nd of January 1993. In a front which
2 was almost 100 kilometres broad, they attacked from the south of the -- of
3 the Serbian Republic of Krajina. It was on that occasion that Croatia
4 seized a large piece of territory in Kotari and took control of the Peruca
5 hydropower station. A lot of Serbs were killed during that operation in
6 Serbian villages, Smokovic, Kasic, Zemunic Donji, and other villages where
7 Serbs from ethnically mixed villages, for example, Murvica, Zemunic
8 Gornji, Police were either deported or killed, their property destroyed
9 and churches wrecked.
10 Hundreds of Serbian civilians perished in this aggression. A lot
11 of them were deported, whereas UN resolution 802 dated the 25th of January
12 1993 stipulating that Croatian forces need to withdraw was disregarded by
14 All of this was taking place up until mid-1993, at which time the
15 second general of the UN, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, reported on the 15th of
16 May 1993, to the UN Security Council that a pogrom had been carried out
17 against Serbs in Croatia. He stated on that occasion that 251.000 Serbs
18 were expelled from Croatia only until the 18th of March 1993. This
19 involved the Serbs who, under the terror carried out by Croatian
20 authorities had to leave their homes, flats and their employments in
21 Croatia outside of the territory of the Serbian Republic of Krajina, which
22 is to say outside of the territory under UN protection.
23 There were no armed conflicts in those areas and the Serb
24 population was expelled from there only because of their ethnicity. The
25 Security Council was speechless upon hearing this.
1 Logically, this resulted in a new act of aggression by Croatia
2 committed in the area of the Medak pocket on the 9th of September 1993.
3 On this occasion, three Serb villages were totally destroyed, Divoselo,
4 Citluk, and Pocitelj. 88 Serbs were killed or went missing, mostly
6 The Croatian side in mid-September surrendered to the Serb side a
7 total of 52 bodies. UNPROFOR managed to retrieve another 18. Another two
8 were retrieved by members of the Serbian Krajina and one last body was
9 found as late as April 1995.
10 High UNPROFOR officials back in 1993 conveyed to the leaders of
11 the Serbian Krajina messages from the Croatian authorities and leaders,
12 more specifically General Janko Bobetko, head of the General Staff,
13 supreme staff, the Croatian army. I quote, "Tell the Serbs that the long
14 Croatian arm will eventually catch up with them."
15 These were messages that an OTP witness spoke about, Mr. Charles
16 Kirudja. These were messages passed on to the Serbs before the Medak
17 pocket operation. What was this message by the Croatian authorities
18 supposed to mean? This has been explained by an UNPROFOR General Jan Kott
19 who on the 19th of September 1993, visited the area and stated as follows.
20 I quote, "I have found no signs of life or people or animals on my way
21 through several villages that we passed. Destruction was total,
22 systematic, and deliberate."
23 There were no Serbs -- Serb prisoners. Either they escaped or
24 they were dead.
25 Mr. Kirudja spoke about the protest that he launched with the
1 Croatian authorities over their racist attitude, of the racist attitude of
2 the Croatian military and government, to the members of the Kenyan
3 battalion of UNPROFOR. The same thing was reiterated by General Satish
4 Nambiar and General Eraprop [phoen]. If Tudjman's Croatian government
5 found it difficult to put up with armed members of UNPROFOR, if they
6 belonged to the wrong ethnic background or religious background, it was
7 quite clear that what lay in store for the Serbs was an unprecedented
8 disaster. As early as 1992 the Croatian President Franjo Tudjman stated
9 as follows. I quote: "There would have been no war had Croatia not
10 wanted one."
11 That same year, the Croatian president, General Tudjman, took the
12 floor at a meeting of the Croatian leadership and said that the Croatia --
13 that Croatia only accepted the peacekeeping forces in order to avoid
14 further material destruction and, even more importantly, to be granted
15 international recognition. He said they with would use the presence of
16 peacekeeping forces to prepare their own military units.
17 This was precisely what Croatia ended up doing.
18 All the while, it kept accusing the Krajina Serbs of a lack of
19 cooperation, failure to cooperate, and of acts of aggression. All the
20 while, all the Serbs were doing were just remaining on their own land,
21 trying to get themselves organised and enjoy the international protection
22 from a massacre that was in the offing and about to be committed by the
23 Croatian forces. Every attempt to reach a political solution was
24 interrupted and dismantled by Croatia while creating an appearance of
25 political cooperation.
1 Just like the cease-fire agreement signed on the British ship
2 Avenger in September 1993 was used to put a stop to the operations in the
3 Medak pocket, likewise on the 1st of January 1995, on the 1st of May 1995,
4 the Croatian government violated the Zagreb agreement from 1994 to cease
5 all hostilities and again attacked a UN-protected area.
6 On the 1st of May 1995, the Croatian army and police forces
7 launched a synchronised attack on Western Slavonia, UNPROFOR soldiers had
8 been given advance notice and simply let the Croatian soldiers through.
9 The Croatian soldiers only took several days to seize the entire area.
10 Following this act of aggression, barely 800 Serbs remained of the
11 original 22.000 living in the area. Over a span of several days, 284
12 civilians were killed, 57 of whom were women and eight were children.
13 About 1400 members of the Serbian army were taken prisoner.
14 Whole columns of scared Serbian folk were passing by. They were
15 fleeing Western Slavonia and seized by panic on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of
16 1995, these people tried to seek shelter in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They
17 were fired at by heavy artillery from all sides, fired at by the Croatian
18 police and army. This was a veritable massacre. Unprotected civilians on
19 horse-drawn carts, vans, and lorries, were fired at by mortars, hand-held
20 rocket launchers, and even bombed by Croatian planes. All the leaders of
21 the Serbian Krajina appealed to the special envoy of the Secretary-General
22 of the United Nations, Yasushi Akashi to stop this massacre, but the
23 Croatian authorities failed to respond in any way.
24 The OTP believes that I am responsible because on the 2nd and 3rd
25 of May the army of the Serbian Republic of Krajina fired several artillery
1 missiles on Zagreb, thereby killing seven civilians and wounding many.
2 The OTP submits that this operation had no military justification. All
3 this was happening at a time when the Serbian Krajina army was no longer
4 able to protect the Serbian civilian population that was being subjected
5 to a severe massacre and the UN were obviously unable to stop this
6 Croatian aggression. This appeared to be the only way to stop the
7 massacre being perpetrated by the Croatian army. Following detailed
8 reports to the United Nations drafted in the first 10 days of May 1995,
9 stating the exact number of those killed and their names, it was
10 established that Serb civilians were massacred who had joined convoys on
11 their way out, and this massacre had been perpetrated by the Croatian
13 There is an UNPROFOR document indicating that the Croatian
14 authorities were using water tankers and hoses to wash the blood of the
15 Serb civilians off the roads that the Serbs had been massacred on, in
16 order to keep this fact hidden from international observers. These
17 reports are numerous and quite detailed but the OTP does not want to know
18 about these reports. I am the only one to stand indicted here. I, a
19 representative of those Serbian victims. The objective being to hide the
21 Encouraged by the indictment against me, as soon as 50 days after
22 Operation Flash, with no investigation having been conducted and on
23 account of the fact that none of the Croatian leaders were accused of this
24 brutal aggression and ethnic cleansing of the entire area of Western
25 Slavonia, the Croatian leaders decide to -- decided to complete their plan
1 to entirely destroy the Krajina Serbs.
2 They started on the 4th of August 1995, and Operation Storm began.
3 The entire Croatian army with the cooperation of the Croatian police had
4 seven times the might of the Serbian defence forces. There was renewed
5 aggression, this time under the protection of -- against an area protected
6 by the UN. Within a space of seven days, they occupied the area of north
7 Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun, and Banja. They were given support by the BH army
8 as well as air support by the US Air Force. They used heavy artillery
9 fire to spray the entire territory of Krajina and all its settled areas,
10 villages and towns. According to information provided by UNCRO within a
11 space of 24 hours Knin was targeted with 2500 shells and mortars of
12 different kind, about 30.000 soldiers of the Krajina army were not able to
13 resist this synchronised attack by a force that was seven times as big and
14 as strong. Bitter experience had taught them and there was a huge column
15 of refugees containing more than 200.000 people who were now on their way
16 to Bosnia and Herzegovina looking for salvation. Again, these unprotected
17 and helpless civilians were being pounded by artillery and even bombed by
18 planes as they were about to cross into Bosnia and Herzegovina. The exact
19 number of casualties was never established.
20 More than 1.934 persons are still listed as missing, 524 of whom
21 women, about 1500 members of the Serbian Krajina army survived captivity.
22 About 3200 elderly or disabled people who refused to leave their
23 homes were sent to camps. The Krajina area was devastated, looted,
24 burned, and razed the to the ground. UN military observers in October
25 1995, and I'm only talking about sector south, recorded as many as 22.000
1 Serb houses that had been destroyed.
2 What do all these facts show? In the period of time relevant to
3 the indictment, Croatia's Serbs, as an ethnic minority, merely tried to
4 defend themselves from pogrom and from impending genocide. Alas, they
5 failed, despite the presence of UN peacekeeping troops. The true
6 objective of the Croatian authorities was stated in no uncertain terms by
7 the president of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, on the 15th of
8 January 1996, in the Croatian parliament when he said, "Operation Storm
9 has been successfully completed and the main internal problem of the
10 Croatian state has thus been solved."
11 Of course, this must be a reference to Serbs. I'm quoting General
12 Franjo Tudjman, something he said in February 1990 at the founding session
13 of the HDZ about the independent state of Croatia not having been only a
14 quisling creation and a fascist crime but also a true expression of the
15 historical ambition of the Croatian people has thus reached its fruition.
16 The fascist state of NDH had as its ideologue, Dr. Ante Starcevic who was
17 on record as saying that the Serbs were an inferior race and should be
18 struck down with an ax.
19 The NDH, the independent state of Croatia committed a horrible
20 genocide against Serbs between 1941 and 1945. The new Croatian leadership
21 adopted the same ideas and the same policies in order to again commit a
22 genocide against Croatia's Serbs. Today there are as good as no Serbs
23 left in Croatia as a result. In the light of these facts, facts that are
24 no doubt easily available to the OTP, I hope the Defence will succeed in
25 showing that this indictment against me as a high-ranking official of the
1 Republic of Serbian Krajina is entirely inaccurate and unfounded.
2 The indictment reverses the roles of the victim and the
3 perpetrator. The responsibility of Croatia for the breaking up of
4 Yugoslavia, both a historical responsibility and a factual responsibility
5 is beyond doubt. An opportunity came along to commit another genocide
6 against the Serbian population. We from Krajina could not allow that.
7 This trial gives me a chance to present details on the sufferings of my
8 people who have been exiled.
9 Your Honours, I was born in an area where there can be no wheeling
10 and dealing between justice and injustice. I will not be punished by you,
11 since I have already been punished by life itself. It is from
12 Scheveningen that I am watching the injustice done against my people.
13 This is a much more serious matter for me, and much more difficult to cope
14 with than any sentence that will be imposed against me as an individual.
15 God knows I have done my best to protect my people and I have done my best
16 to protect every individual seeking help and protection.
17 Finally, those who know me know full well that I was the first to
18 oppose any wrongdoing or any crime being committed.
19 Thank you. If I may be allowed something outside my opening
20 statement, I do have an objection to make about the interpreters.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may, sir.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You see, Your Honours, maybe the
23 interpreters are not doing this deliberately but the interpretation I am
24 getting is interpretation in a language that I can only describe as
25 grotesque. When you're receiving interpretation into English, it must be
1 the same thing, I suppose. However, I have taken down a number of words
2 that Pavelic's minister, Mile Budak, invented during the independent state
3 of Croatia. The same words are now being used for my interpretation, the
4 interpretation that I'm receiving. I'm quoting a mere handful of these:
5 "Naputak," meaning "instruction"; "priopcenje," meaning "report" -- just
6 a minute, please. "Potkapak" [phoen] meaning "proof" or "evidence";
7 "stozer" meaning "headquarters." I don't believe that the interpreters
8 are doing this deliberately. Maybe they were just born at a later time.
9 This language was created by Mile Budak, and was only used by the
10 independent state of Croatia between 1941 and 1945. This language was as
11 if it were re-invented when Franjo Tudjman emerged as the loader of the
12 new Croatian government. I would like to ask the interpreters to please
13 try and take this into account and avoid using these words.
14 There is a language that is still used in Croatia, that used to be
15 valid before all of this happened. That language I do not mind, but these
16 words being used bring a much darker memory to my mind.
17 This is no problem for you because you're getting the same sort of
18 interpretation for both varieties, for both different words used, but I,
19 as a human being, am greatly disturbed by there practice.
20 Thank you very much, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Martic. We've heard what
22 you've got to say.
23 I think this brings us to the end of the proceedings for today.
24 It doesn't appear that there is any need for another session
25 tomorrow. The matter will then stand adjourned to the 16th of January
1 2006, at 3.45 in this courtroom.
2 Court stands adjourned.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.19 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Monday the 16th day of January,
5 2006, at 3.45 p.m.