1 Thursday, 16 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.28 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are sorry about that mishap and the delay.
7 Mr. Whiting?
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask a
11 clarification from the Chamber. We spoke about my need to depart to
12 Belgrade on the 22nd due to my passport problems. According to the latest
13 schedule, there is a trial scheduled for the 27th. Did you decide that
14 there was going to be a session on that day or not? I'm -- this is
15 important for me because, since I lost my passport, first I need to go
16 back to Belgrade to declare it lost, which makes the procedure of issuing
17 a new passport much complicated. After that, I need to get a visa.
18 Hence, I am afraid that I won't be able to return on the 27th. That's why
19 I raise this issue.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, the last time we talked about
21 that issue, we did say that we will not be sitting on the 27th and that
22 you could be away on that day. If according to the latest schedule that
23 day still says we are sitting, I'm sure it must be a mistake. You can
24 take it that we will not be sitting. I think that that's what we agreed
25 on that day. Okay?
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
3 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 WITNESS: MILAN BABIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examination by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Babic. Can you understand me clearly in a
8 language you understand?
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you start, Mr. Babic, can we remind you that
11 you are still bound by the declaration that you took to tell the truth and
12 nothing else but the truth. Thank you very much, Mr. Babic.
13 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Babic, can you understand me clearly?
15 A. Yes, I can.
16 Q. Again, if at any time you can't understand me in a language that
17 you understand, or if you don't understand my question, please tell me.
18 A. All right.
19 Q. Mr. Babic, yesterday when we finished, you were telling us that
20 Milan Martic was appointed on the 27th of June 1991 to the position
21 Minister of Interior after having been formally appointed for a short
22 period of time as Minister of Defence. After Mr. Martic became -- was
23 formally appointed to Minister of Interior I should say who became the
24 Minister of Defence?
25 A. Since no one was appointed Minister of Defence at the time, as the
1 Prime Minister, for a while I performed those tasks as well.
2 Q. Until when did you do that?
3 A. Until that fall, when the new minister was appointed.
4 Q. Who was the new minister that was appointed?
5 A. Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel Milan Tarbuk.
6 Q. And do you recall when he was appointed?
7 A. Perhaps in November. I'm not certain.
8 Q. Yesterday you -- we also talked about how on the 1st of August
9 1991 there was a decision passed in the SAO Krajina to apply the Law of
10 Internal Affairs of Serbia to the SAO Krajina and we looked at and put
11 into evidence that Law of Internal Affairs of Serbia. Do you remember
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you recall how long that law was in effect in the SAO
16 A. That law was in effect until December 1991; more or less it was
17 copied and adopted as one of the laws of the SAO Krajina. It was
18 Milosevic's recommendation that we do not -- we do not declare the Serbian
19 laws in Krajina per se but that we copy them and then put them into force
20 as the laws of the SAO Krajina.
21 Q. When did he make that recommendation?
22 A. He recommended that by that summer, late summer or beginning of
23 fall 1991, when we started putting into force Serbian laws in our
24 territory, but those at the time were not our own laws. He said that we
25 shouldn't state that in such an open manner.
1 Q. Do you know why he stated that?
2 A. He said that the obvious links with Serbia shouldn't be so
4 Q. And why not? Why shouldn't they be obvious?
5 A. He envisaged a concept of creating a new state which would be a
6 reduced Yugoslavia, including the Serbs in all of the former republics, in
7 a way that we should act covertly and take over the territories,
8 militarily speaking, wherever the Serb people lived, and he had the idea
9 of creating this new state in a rather passive way or slowly so that it
10 wouldn't be seen as a Serb expansion but in simply putting together a new
11 Yugoslavia in its reduced forms, and this can be seen from some of the
12 laws put into force on the 1st of April, such as the one by which we
13 attempted to join SAO Krajina with Serbia.
14 Q. I'll ask you more questions about that later, but I'll just ask
15 you this now. Why, in your understanding, did this have to be done
17 A. So that the international community wouldn't accuse Serbia for
18 destroying Yugoslavia and trying to create Greater Serbia, but rather to
19 have things done covertly in terms of what was done by Milosevic from
20 Serbia and the Serbs who supported his concept in creating this new state,
21 as well as so that Serbia wouldn't be blamed by the international
22 community for the war and the break-up of Yugoslavia, to cover its real
24 Q. So what was -- if there was a covert strategy, what was the public
25 position? What was publicly stated?
1 A. The public strategy began being voiced as of the summer of 1990,
2 by putting forward the policies of Milosevic and the Socialist Party,
3 presenting their wish to retain the firm type of federation and to
4 preserve the right on self-determination up to secession, and he advocated
5 such idea with the federal bodies by which republics and municipalities
6 were to voice their opinion on the matter. That was the public view, the
7 right to self-determination, up to secession, in those areas where a
8 certain people was in majority. The covert strategy, however, was
9 creating paramilitary forces, first in Croatia and then elsewhere, then to
10 provoke incidents and to try and include the JNA into the events, first to
11 separate the warring parties and then to deploy the JNA in those
12 territories that were envisaged as the future Serb state and to later on
13 retain the de facto situation that was supposed to have been recognised at
14 a later stage by the international community.
15 Q. We will come back to there topic, as I said.
16 MR. WHITING: For the benefit of the Chamber, the decision that
17 the witness referred to with respect to the creation of the Law of
18 Internal Affairs in the SAO Krajina is actually contained in the 89(F)
19 statement and it's at tab 44.1 and 44.2, just for future reference on that
21 Q. Mr. Babic, you testified yesterday that in May of 1991, it was
22 your initiative to put Milan Martic into the position of Minister of
23 Defence and that your purpose was to weaken him. And you gave some
24 explanations and reasons for that. At the beginning of August of 1991 --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- did you continue to try to get control over the Ministry of the
2 Interior in the SAO Krajina?
3 A. On the 1st of August, that is the same day when Mr. Martic
4 suggested adopting the Law on Internal Affairs, I suggested that we
5 declare a decision on the disbanding of the State Security Services in
6 Krajina to be declared null and void, and that was an attempt to establish
7 government control over the ministry and the state security.
8 Q. Could we look, please, at 65 ter Exhibit 106?
9 Could we scroll down, please?
10 Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
11 A. Yes, I do. This is the decision that was published in the
12 Official Gazette of the Krajina and it was put into force by us.
13 Q. And just so the record is clear, what decision is this?
14 A. The title is Decision to Abolish the State Security Service on the
15 Territory of the Serbian Krajina promulgated by the government of the SAO
16 Krajina on its session on the 1st of August 1991.
17 Q. Who was the head of the state security or DB in the SAO Krajina at
18 that time?
19 A. Dusan Orlovic.
20 Q. Why did you initiate this decision?
21 A. I initiated this decision not only to replace Dusan Orlovic but it
22 was envisaged in a way to abolish overall activities of the State Security
23 Service within the territory of the SAO Krajina. It wasn't only the State
24 Security Service of Krajina headed by Dusan Orlovic but rather it was the
25 state security of Serbia being active in the territory of Krajina. That's
1 the way the decision was formulated in such manner. It was my way to try
2 to do away with the legitimacy of their activities in Krajina and to try
3 to deny and remove their control over the Ministry of Defence. Dusan
4 Orlovic personified the service but close to him there were always Frenki
5 Simatovic and some other people in Krajina and Jovica Stanisic himself who
6 often spent his time there.
7 Q. What activities on the part of the state security in the SAO
8 Krajina were you concerned about at that time?
9 A. They basically managed the Krajina Police, the volunteers units
10 and units that were directly under their command. They were provoking and
11 trying to establish their own system of control and power that wasn't
12 controlled by the government, and it was impossible to control that
13 politically. This included provoking at the front lines, provoking the
14 non-Serb populations as well as provoking all-out conflict. Put in a very
15 few words, they had an overall control of all of the events at that time
16 in Krajina.
17 Q. Mr. Babic, how would they provoke the front line -- at the front
18 lines and provoke the non-Serb populations and provoke all-out conflict?
19 Specifically what did they do to provoke?
20 A. Their activities began in April 1991. At first, they promoted
21 discriminatory policies against Croats. Only Croatian houses were
22 searched and only Croatians were searched for weapons. Then they were
23 provoking in the areas in contact with the Croatian settlements and areas,
24 in particular the settlements controlled by the Republic of Croatia. They
25 tried to provoke incidents and to bring the JNA into the events, which at
1 the time was still being the -- a buffer zone between the warring parties
2 and at the later stage they became militarily active themselves as well.
3 Q. When did that occur, the later stage?
4 A. They began with combat activities as of end of June 1991,
5 throughout the summer, and onwards throughout August and September and
6 throughout the conflict, since this decision took no effect.
7 Q. When you talk about -- talked about these provocations you talked
8 about Croatian houses were searched and Croatians searched for weapons and
9 then you referred to Croatian settlements. Where are these settlements
10 that you're talking about?
11 A. The territory of Knin in April and May, in Potkonje, and Kninsko
12 Polje and Vrpolje were the settlements searched, and those activities
13 incited some press communiques made by the ministry and the then
14 secretary, Mr. Martic, and his aides openly discussed that.
15 Q. Are those settlements that you referred to all within the
16 municipality of Knin?
17 A. Yes, they are.
18 Q. You -- let's go back to this decision.
19 MR. WHITING: And actually could it be moved into evidence,
20 please? 65 ter 106?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document 65 ter 106 is admitted into evidence
22 and may it please be given an exhibit number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 187, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 MR. WHITING:
1 Q. Mr. Babic, this decision of August 1st 1991 to disband the State
2 Security Service in the SAO Krajina, was it successful?
3 A. No. But it created a lot of turmoil in Knin at the time and
4 caused problems to me personally.
5 Q. Could you explain?
6 A. Well, I believe on the same day, and on the following day, the
7 head of the DBA in Serbia, Jovica Stanisic, showed up in Knin and he
8 addressed me in a very strict manner asking me, well, what have you done?
9 And I started to explain in a way that we were going to set up a separate
10 national security agency and that perhaps it would be a good idea for him
11 to assist us in that as an experienced expert in these matters at some
12 point in the future, and in a way I was both justifying myself and on the
13 other hand I was trying to escape from this pressure that he was putting
14 me under but he only scowled really and went off. In other words, he
15 found that unacceptable.
16 On the next day conflicts broke out with his staff, Stanisic's
17 staff, Captain Dragan and Frenki who were in Knin. The occasion was the
18 markings of the TO that were being placed where captain Dragan's units
19 were located, and that led to a further increase of tensions between
20 myself and all of them. If you would like me to give you a description of
21 the events that followed, I could do it now.
22 Q. Let me first ask to bring up 65 ter Exhibit 108.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for clarification of the Bench, "the tensions
24 between myself and all of them," who were the "all of them"?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stanisic, Simatovic, and Captain
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. Mr. Babic, do you see on your screen a document dated the 2nd of
5 August 1991?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. What is that?
8 A. It is a decree on the insignia worn by the members of the armed
9 forces, the Territorial Defence and special purpose units of the SAO
10 Krajina, and it was passed by the president of the government, the head of
11 government of the SAO Krajina on the 2nd of August 1991.
12 Q. And what was the purpose of this decision?
13 A. The purpose was for the armed forces in Krajina to be given the
14 relevant insignia as it is enshrined in all the international standards,
15 in order to fully fit in within a legal system which was being created on
16 the territory of the SAO Krajina. And in order for to us have a unified
17 Defence system which was in the making.
18 Q. If we could scroll down to section 4 of the document, could you
19 read that section, please?
20 A. "All members of the armed forces shall wear the same badge in
21 their caps as the members of the armed forces."
22 Q. Could you read it again? Because I think there was a problem with
23 the interpretation.
24 A. Number 4?
25 Q. Yes, yes, number 4.
1 A. "Members of the police shall wear the same badge on their caps as
2 members of the armed forces."
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
7 please be given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 188, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Babic, I'm going to ask you to explain for us what happened as
12 a result of this decision but I want to show you two other decisions first
13 before we do that.
14 Could we see 65 ter Exhibit number 105, which is also Exhibit 31
15 in evidence?
16 Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
17 A. Yes. It is the decision about the application of the Law on
18 Defence of the Republic of Serbia on the territory of the Serb Autonomous
19 Region of Krajina. It was passed by the government of the SAO Krajina on
20 the occasion of the second session held on the 2nd of August 1991.
21 Q. And why was this passed?
22 A. In order to create a legal basis for the setting up and the
23 unifying of all the TO units in order to have uniform in a single united
24 system of the armed forces in Krajina.
25 Q. This is already in evidence so I won't move it into evidence.
1 Could we see -- well, before we do that, could we look at number 6 on this
2 document? I'm going to read it and ask you could comment on it. "The
3 president of the government of Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina is by his
4 position commander of Territorial Defence, i.e., armed forces of Serb
5 Autonomous Region of Krajina."
6 Did that refer to you?
7 A. Yes. Since in the original law there is no reference to the head
8 of government but the president of the republic as is the case in Serbia.
9 And in Krajina, we had different situation so those powers according to
10 the decree in Krajina would have referred to the head of government, that
11 is to say myself.
12 Q. Were you trying to get control through this decision over the
13 armed forces of the SAO Krajina?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were you successful?
16 A. No, no, I wasn't.
17 Q. Could we look now at 65 ter Exhibit 107, please?
18 Could that be -- I think it's a little hard to read. I wonder --
19 Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
20 A. I do. It is the information about the passing of the decision on
21 the application of the Law of Defence on the Republic of Serbia on the SAO
22 Krajina and it is addressed to, as you can see, presidents of municipal
23 assemblies, commanders of municipal territory defence on the territory of
24 the SAO Krajina, and the date is 2nd of August 1991.
25 Q. Is it from you?
1 A. It is.
2 MR. WHITING: If we could scroll down, please? The -- that's
4 Q. The second paragraph I'll read it out, "In accordance with the
5 said law, the Prime Minister of the SAO Krajina, Dr. Milan Babic, is
6 commander of all armed forces in the Territorial Defence of the SAO
8 Is this a follow-up to the previous document that we saw?
9 A. Yes, it is. It is just a document including the information about
10 the previous decision.
11 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and may it
14 please be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 189, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 MR. WHITING:
18 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to go back now to the decision with respect to
19 the insignia that's Exhibit number 188, from the 2nd of August 1991. You
20 started to explain what happened as a result of that decision. Could you
21 tell us what the result of that was?
22 A. The result was that I encountered a great deal of opposition on
23 the part of the State Security Service and the police force that was under
24 their control at the time, and also I ran into a great deal of opposition
25 and resistance on the part of the commander and the Chief of Staff of the
1 9th Drina Corps. Following the decision on the insignia --
2 Q. I'm going to interrupt you for a moment. The commander and the
3 Chief of Staff of which corps?
4 A. The 9th Knin Corps --
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. -- of the JNA.
7 Q. Thank you. And who was the commander and Chief of Staff of the
8 9th Knin corps?
9 A. At the time, it was JNA Spiro Nikovic and Lieutenant Ratko Mladic
10 was the Chief of Staff.
11 Q. Let's talk about that first. Did you -- what kind of resistance
12 did you get or opposition did you get from them? How did that occur?
13 A. You mean within the police force or the JNA? Which --
14 Q. I'm sorry, let's start with the JNA. What happened with the JNA
15 with respect to this decision?
16 A. The Chief of Staff of the 9th Knin corps, Colonel Ratko Mladic,
17 invited me to the office of the corps commander at their command in Knin.
18 Q. Where was that located?
19 A. In the centre of town, in the centre of Knin.
20 Q. Can you tell us with respect to the fortress which you've already
21 talked about?
22 A. Just below the fortress, about 100 metres below.
23 Q. Did you go to the meeting?
24 A. I did.
25 Q. What happened?
1 A. I was received by Colonel Mladic who was absolutely furious. He
2 was shouting that they would not tolerate any separatist politicians, that
3 they would not acknowledge any of that and that everyone had to be under
4 the same command and wearing the same insignia, and he went to another
5 office and he brought a red star and very angrily he banged it on the
6 table, and he said, "Go on, take that. That's the common insignia." And
7 I just shrugged, and I took the thing, put it in my pocket, and left.
8 Q. What was it that he gave you?
9 A. The red five-pointed star which was the insignia of the JNA.
10 Q. What was the reaction now from the state security and the police?
11 What happened?
12 A. I said to some of the staff, who were in my building at the town
13 hall to create this insignia and to place it on the building at the Knin
14 fort, where the command headed by Captain Dragan was, and also the units
15 which were under the command of the DB. They made the sign and they took
16 it up there, but Captain Dragan said that he wouldn't stand for it, and he
17 said something disparaging about myself, and he sent the man back. And
18 then after that --
19 Q. Mr. Babic, I'm sorry to interrupt you but can you remind us again
20 who Captain Dragan was and what position he held at that time?
21 A. Captain Dragan was Dragan Vasiljkovic and he was known under the
22 name Captain Dragan in Knin. He was an employee of the State Security
23 Service of Serbia and his role was training of special police units in
24 Krajina, as well as the volunteer groups at Golubic camp and he was a
25 commander of a special unit which was under the direct control of the
1 State Security Service of Serbia and at the time that unit was stationed
2 in Knin, and his command post was at the Knin fort at the time.
3 Q. That unit that he directly commanded, what was it called? Did it
4 have a name?
5 A. At the time, they were called "Knindzas."
6 Q. And Captain Dragan and the Knindzas, were they under a command,
7 were they under anybody's command at the time?
8 A. Yes, they were under the command of Frank Simatovic.
9 Q. Now, I interrupted you when you were telling us that the -- you
10 sent the man up with the insignia and then he came back and what happened
11 after that?
12 A. He didn't just send the guy back but he also chased away a whole
13 unit of Territorial Defence from the municipality of Knin, people who were
14 guarding the water supply and the reservoirs that were placed around the
15 fortress, just above and just below the fortress walls. And having heard
16 of what happened, I myself went up to the fort to see what was going on.
17 Q. And what happened then, when you went up there?
18 A. I arrived at the time when Captain Dragan was holding meeting with
19 this unit in the building of the business club. I didn't know that the
20 unit was there at the time so I entered the building, believing that he
21 must be there alone or maybe accompanied with a couple of more people but
22 whether I entered the meeting room I was rather surprised. There were
23 between 30 and 60 people there, uniformed men, his entire unit, and he was
24 sitting at the top table, and since I went in, I continued bravely on my
25 way and I sat on the only empty chair which was next to Captain Dragan and
1 I was later told that Frenki was sitting there before my arrival but
2 whether he heard that I was on my way, he slipped off and hid in the
3 adjoining room.
4 Nobody addressed me. Nobody -- I addressed no one. I just sat
5 there and I heard the end of Captain Dragan's speech, delivered to his
6 unit. He said that politicians are to blame for his departure, and
7 that -- and he told his men that they shouldn't worry about his departure,
8 that he was leaving them in the hands of Frenki. That was the end of his
9 speech. Thereupon everybody got up. Nobody addressed me in any way, and
10 they lined up in front of the building and I went out of the building
11 together with a driver, I think, and maybe there was somebody else with
12 me, and I hurried to the part of Golubic where the buildings housing the
13 municipal offices were situated and there was the second of the executive
14 council of the municipality who had his office there.
15 Q. Mr. Babic, let me just ask you a few questions about what you've
16 just told us. First of all, do you know approximately what date this
18 A. This happened immediately after the 2nd of August, around about
19 that time. Maybe even on the same day or a day or two later, I can't
20 remember. Perhaps even on the same day or the very next day.
21 Q. You've referred a number of times to Frenki and just so our record
22 is clear, it would are you referring to when you refer to Frenki?
23 A. That's Franko Simatovic. He was known in Knin as Frenki. He was
24 an employee of the State Security Service of Serbia and he was the chief
25 of one of its departments, I think the second administration. That's what
1 Milosevic told me.
2 Q. When did Milosevic tell you that?
3 A. Around the 25th or the 26th of August 1991.
4 Q. You told us earlier that Captain Dragan was commanded by Frenki
5 Simatovic. How did you know that?
6 A. When he said that he was leaving the unit to him, under his direct
7 control, that's one source of information, and my other source of
8 information was when I saw Frenki in May in the training camp at Golubic
9 where he was acting as the host. That's where Captain Dragan was training
10 men. Also, Jovica Stanisic told me that they were paying Captain Dragan.
11 Q. When did Jovica Stanisic tell you that?
12 A. In mid-August, after these events that I've started to describe in
13 Belgrade. In August 1991, after Captain Dragan left and after I asked
14 Milosevic to remove Frenki from the Krajina.
15 Q. Do you know why -- you told us about the speech that
16 Captain Dragan made but -- and about the fact that he was leaving, but do
17 you know why he left?
18 A. I assume that he responded too openly and too vehemently. I think
19 that was the reason. The state security wanted to calm the situation down
20 so they sacrificed him.
21 Q. What do you mean he responded too openly and to vehemently? To
23 A. To my decisions, and to the setting up of the system of
24 Territorial Defence and the placing of all forces under a unified
25 Territorial Defence system, and under the control of the government of the
2 Q. And when you say the state security wanted to calm the situation
3 down so they sacrificed him, are you talking about the state security of
4 the SAO Krajina or the state security of Serbia?
5 A. The state security of Serbia. They were its chief protagonists.
6 Q. How far is Golubic from Knin approximately?
7 A. A few kilometres.
8 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, if it's of assistance to the Chamber
9 on page 25 of the atlas, which is in evidence though I don't have at my
10 fingertips the number - it's page 25 - there is a map which shows both
11 Knin and Golubic in the lower right. It's Exhibit 23.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. WHITING:
14 Q. Mr. Babic, you told us that you -- I interrupted you when you were
15 telling us that you had left Knin and you went to Golubic. What happened
17 A. I went to Golubic to tell the secretary of the executive council
18 of Knin municipality that they should not allow Captain Dragan to disband
19 them. However, as I was on my way to Golubic, I was followed by members
20 of Captain Dragan's unit. I didn't even notice them following me right
21 away. It was only when I arrived at the place where this man called
22 Strbac was supposed to be the members of the unit were already entering
23 the village and shouting out to each other, setting up checkpoints. They
24 were shouting, "Go there. You hold this point. You go to that house." I
25 quickly went to hide in the pine woods and they entered the little house
1 and they were yelling, "Who is our man? Who do we have to kill?" That
2 was enough for me to look for a way out right away. I had worked as a
3 dentist in the surgery and I knew about a side entrance leading into the
4 fields, and I used that to escape and to flee to the village of Padzanej
5 [phoen]. From there I called my family and told them to leave town, to go
6 away from Knin. I spent the night there and in the morning I called
7 Slobodan Milosevic and asked him to withdraw Franko Simatovic from the
9 Q. What did he say?
10 A. He said he would.
11 Q. And did that happen?
12 A. I think it did. Either he withdrew him or Frenki went off
13 somewhere and hid but at any rate he wasn't seen in Knin any more.
14 Q. Did he ever return?
15 A. He did, in September. I know that. Certainly after Milosevic
16 said, and I have started to speak about it, he called me to Belgrade, he
17 told me that Frenki was a good guy, that he was getting complaints about
18 him. Milosevic said to him that some of his men were complaining about
19 him appointing a Croat as chief of the second administration. But he said
20 that he was a good guy, that his father had been after the Ustasha, and
21 that he should be sent back to the Krajina.
22 Q. When did that conversation occur?
23 A. This was I think on the 26th of August 1991. On the day the JNA
24 attacked Kijevo.
25 Q. Did you -- do you know -- well you said that Frenki returned in
1 September. How do you know that?
2 A. I saw him myself, and I heard about his activities around Lovinac.
3 I was told that his base was in Korenica as of September.
4 Q. Where is Lovinac?
5 A. Lovinac is a Croatian village in Gracac municipality in Lika.
6 Q. You said you heard about his activities in Lovinac. What did you
8 A. I heard that together with Milan Martic and David Rastovic, and
9 with a mortar platoon from Lapac he had fired at Lovinac, at the police
10 station and at the village itself. I heard from him after these events, I
11 heard him bragging that they had razed it all.
12 Q. Who was bragging? You said "him." Who was "him"?
13 A. Frenki.
14 Q. When did you hear that? When did you hear him bragging?
15 A. In September, after the events around Lovinac.
16 Q. Where did you hear him bragging?
17 A. In a restaurant at the entrance to the Knin fortress.
18 Q. Aside from what you heard Frenki say about this event, do you know
19 what happened at Lovinac, yourself?
20 A. There was a report about these events and also I heard people from
21 Gracac talking about it.
22 Q. And what did you hear in this report and from these people from
23 Gracac talking about? What did you hear had happened in Lovinac?
24 A. People were saying that Martic, Frenki, and Rastovic were carrying
25 out target practice with mortars, allegedly they were firing at the police
1 station but they kept missing and people were laughing at them because
2 they were shooting at the village instead, but they said it all counts as
3 a hit.
4 Q. You mentioned before when you were describing going to Golubic
5 that you -- you mentioned the name Strbac?
6 A. The secretary of the executive council of Knin municipality, who
7 was a reservist in a TO unit which was supposed to be guarding the
8 location for civilian structures of Knin municipality in case of need. He
9 was supposed to be there but I didn't find him there.
10 Q. What's his first name?
11 A. I have forgotten it.
12 Q. Let's go back to Exhibit 31 and Exhibit 189. Exhibit 31 was the
13 1st of August 1991 decision applying the Law of Defence of Serbia to the
14 SAO Krajina, and Exhibit 189 was a communication sent by you on the 2nd of
15 August 1991, to presidents of municipalities stating that you were the
16 commander of all armed forces in the Territorial Defence.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document we have is on screen, is it already
19 MR. WHITING: Yes, that's in fact 189.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that 189? Thank you.
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. I think I asked you but just to get back on to this topic, through
23 these decisions, were you trying to get control of the armed forces
24 including the TO in the SAO Krajina?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And why were you trying to get -- you've already told us why you
2 were trying to get control over the police. Why were you trying to get
3 control over the TO?
4 A. There were two reasons, one general and one personal. The general
5 reason was that there was a need to set up a system based on law. It
6 should be well known who was responsible for what and what their tasks
7 were. My personal reason was that I was the highest ranking and most
8 responsible politician in the Krajina but I had no power. I felt that
9 this might be something I could rely on in implementing my policy in the
11 Q. Did you succeed in getting control over the TO?
12 A. No, no.
13 Q. What happened?
14 A. Not long after these events, and during these events that I've
15 been describing, the enactment of the laws and the conflict with the state
16 security, Milosevic said that Martic should be appointed commander of the
17 TO. That was one thing. Another thing was the influence of the JNA and
18 the control of the Secretariat for National Defence by the federal organs
19 and the JNA. Real control over the Territorial Defence was wielded by
20 Mr. Martic as the commander of the Territorial Defence. I did not fully
21 comply with Milosevic's order to have him appointed commander, but in
22 fact, he carried out this duty until the 30th of September 199.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the year.
24 MR. WHITING:
25 Q. Until 30th of September of what year?
1 A. 1991.
2 Q. Mr. Martic -- Mr. Babic, when did Mr. Milosevic say to you that
3 Mr. Martic should be appointed commander of the TO?
4 A. Sometime at the beginning of August, before the 8th of August.
5 I'm not sure exactly when.
6 Q. Where or how did that conversation occur?
7 A. I don't have a visual image of it in my memory. It was either a
8 telephone message or a message sent through someone. I don't recall the
9 meeting. I do, however, recall the meeting when Martic was in Belgrade to
10 see Milosevic about this issue. That sticks in my memory much more.
11 Q. And when was that?
12 A. That was sometime in mid-August, between the 8th and the 18th of
14 Q. Now, with respect to the first communication, whether it was
15 telephone or message sent through somebody, did you in fact appoint Milan
16 Martic as the commander of the Territorial Defence?
17 A. No.
18 Q. What did you do?
19 A. I appointed Milan Martic deputy commander of the Territorial
20 Defence, trying to put him under government control in that way, and not
21 have him become independent of the government.
22 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit 112 which is Exhibit 37
23 in evidence?
24 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
25 A. Yes. That is the order on the appointment of the deputy commander
1 of the Territorial Defence or the armed forces of the Krajina SAO, which
2 was issued on the 8th of August 1991 by me.
3 Q. And it's Mr. Martic who is appointed as deputy commander?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, after -- just to be clear, after he was appointed deputy
6 commander did he continue to hold the position of Minister of the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How did Mr. Martic react, if you know, to being appointed as
10 deputy commander?
11 A. I don't know precisely because I don't think I had any contacts
12 with him until we had that meeting in Milosevic's office. I thought that
13 he was getting information from Milosevic and through his people.
14 Q. Tell us now about that meeting in Milosevic's office. How did it
15 occur and who was present?
16 A. I was invited to come to Milosevic's office. I arrived there, and
17 when I arrived Mr. Martic was already there. That was my first meeting
18 with Mr. Martic, in Milosevic's office. The meeting lasted for quite a
19 long time, an hour or two, perhaps two hours, but it boiled down to one
20 thing: Milosevic persistently kept repeating that Mile should be the
21 commander of the Territorial Defence, that Martic should be the commander
22 of the Territorial Defence, that Martic should be the commander of the
23 Territorial Defence, in the presence of Martic. Martic was smiling and
24 nodding to show his approval. I don't even remember him saying anything.
25 I kept explaining persistently that Mr. Martic was not qualified to hold
1 that position, that this was something that a general of the army should
2 do, and that I, as Prime Minister, was not in command of the armed forces.
3 This required a professional soldier. That was my defence. That was what
4 I said to Milosevic. The meeting, however, ended in the same way it had
5 begun. I kept repeating my standpoint. Milosevic kept demanding the
6 appointment and Martic kept nodding his approval. And then we parted. It
7 was an exhausting meeting. It went on for a long time. And things were
8 left at that. Martic moved to the command post in the Knin fortress and
9 until the 30th of September he actually was the commander of the
10 Territorial Defence, awaiting his formal appointment to that post. On the
11 30th of September, a general was appointed to that post, with the approval
12 of Milosevic, and pursuant to his decision, and Mr. Martic then
13 demonstratively left that command post and moved to the police station.
14 Q. Mr. Babic, it's time for a break but just for the purposes of the
15 record I just want to clarify one thing in your answer. You said that
16 was -- at the beginning of your answer you said "that was my first meeting
17 with Mr. Martic in Milosevic's office."
18 Just to be clear, was that your first meeting with Mr. Martic or
19 your first meeting with Mr. Martic in Milosevic's office?
20 A. That's when I saw and met Mr. Martic for the first time in
21 Milosevic's office.
22 MR. WHITING: Thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that a convenient time?
24 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. The Court will take an adjournment, and
1 we'll come back at 4.00 this afternoon. Court adjourned.
2 --- Recess taken at 3.33 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
5 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Babic, before the break, you said that Mr. Martic, in August
7 and September, in fact, carried out the duties of the commander of the TO
8 in the SAO Krajina. What did -- can you be more specific? What kinds of
9 duties? What did he do?
10 A. I had very few contacts with him during that period. What I do
11 know as to his activities is the following. I know he cooperated with the
12 command of the 9th corps concerning the engagement of their units for
13 combat activities. I also know that he went to Kostajnica to coordinate
14 activities around Kostajnica and I know that he was arming the zone staff
15 of the TO at Kordun at the time, as TO commander.
16 Q. Can you tell us how you knew all of these things? These three
17 different things that you've just recounted?
18 A. I had good insight in all three. After his appointment, I was at
19 the fortress and I wanted to see what the situation was after Captain
20 Dragan departed. When I came there, between the 15th and the 18th of
21 August, 1991, I found Mr. Martic in the office, together with Lieutenant
22 Colonel or Colonel Zdravko Tolimir, who was chief of security of the Knin
23 corps. They were discussing something intimately but they interrupted
24 their discussion after my arrival. A few days after that, Mr. Martic
25 issued an ultimatum to the police station and the inhabitants of Kijevo
1 and from some of the people who were with the JNA at the time I heard that
2 people from the JNA dictated that letter, put that letter together, to
3 him, but I didn't correlate his meeting with Tolimir at the time, perhaps
4 later. Next time I saw him was in -- after Mr. Vukovic assumed command of
5 this 9th Corps.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the exact date.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was invited to come and meet the
8 new commander and Mr. Martic was invited as well, as well as the commander
9 of corps, the then Colonel Ratko Mladic.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. What's the date of that?
12 A. I can't remember the exact date, sometime in September 1991. That
13 is the same day or the next day after General Vukovic arrived in Knin.
14 Q. What happened at that meeting?
15 A. Vukovic asked Martic to brief him on the deployment of the units,
16 and how they coordinate with the JNA units in the area. He was explaining
17 something on the map, it was unmarked, and General Vukovic asked Mladic to
18 clarify the situation. Mladic was also pointing at some things on the map
19 throughout the area of Northern Dalmatia. They were naming troops and
20 units and General Vukovic was quite astonished. He said, "Where is my
21 corps? I want to see the operations map until this evening and I want to
22 receive a full report." That's what he said at that meeting.
23 Q. Just to be clear, what did Mr. Martic do in that meeting? Did he
24 brief on the deployment of the units?
25 A. First, General Vukovic asked him to brief him on the deployment of
1 his units, that's what he said, his units, and he gave him a marker.
2 Q. And what did Mr. Martic do? What did he --
3 A. He was pointing at some things on the map, more or less. He was
4 looking for certain locations. He was moving about the map, trying to
5 find locations. He had difficulty with some of them. And the general
6 became impatient. He said, "Mladic, you clarify it for me." Since Mladic
7 seemed quite lost as well, the general interrupted the conversation. The
8 map was not marked in any way. It was empty, blank.
9 Q. Mr. Babic, when Mr. Martic started to talk about his units, what
10 units was he talking about?
11 A. He didn't specify their names. He just said that "our units
12 follow your tanks." That's the sentence he uttered.
13 Q. And what did you understand him to mean by that, if anything?
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The
15 witness previously explained that Mr. Martic did not specify anything, and
16 now we are asking the witness to make conclusions and to speculate but
17 what is it you make conclusions about if Mr. Martic did not specify any
18 units? Then these are just witnesses' assumptions.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question is what did he make of that
20 unspecified statement. He can give an interpretation to that statement,
21 can't he? Objection overruled.
22 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Babic, when Mr. Martic said, "Our units follow your tanks,"
24 what did you understand him to mean by that, if anything?
25 A. There were two types of units, TO units, where they were formed,
1 and the special police units. Those are the only types of units he could
2 have had in mind.
3 Q. Where did this meeting take place?
4 A. In the office of the commander of the 9th Corps in Knin.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, you told us about that meeting in response to an
6 earlier question which was to tell us how you knew about the various ways
7 that Mr. Martic was exercising command and you gave three examples,
8 cooperating with the command of the 9th Corps, that he went to Kostajnica
9 to coordinate activities around Kostajnica and that he was arming the zone
10 staff of the TO at Kordun. Can you continue -- and then I asked you how
11 you knew that about with respect to those three points, and you started --
12 you started giving examples. Could you continue answering that
14 A. As concerns the coordination at Kostajnica, I learned about that
15 in relation to the events of arresting or detaining Mr. Martic at Otoka,
16 close to Bosanska Krupa in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That took place between
17 the 8th and the 9th of September 1991 and, of course, after he returned
18 from there.
19 Q. We are going to talk about that subject at length later in your
20 testimony but maybe you could just tell us, who arrested Mr. Martic at
21 that time?
22 A. It is unclear whether he was arrested or whether he was just
23 provisionally kept at the police station to be protected from the masses
24 who gathered in front of the police station, and he was kept inside the
25 police station in Bosanska Krupa in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. How long was he kept?
2 A. A day or two, perhaps one day, one night, more or less.
3 Q. As I said we will talk about that more later in your testimony.
4 But how did you learn about the coordination at Kostajnica through those
5 events? Can you explain that?
6 A. I heard that he went together with Colonel Smiljanic who was the
7 head of security of the 10th Zagreb Corps in the region of Kostajnica to
8 coordinate combat activities in relation to the liberation of Kostajnica.
9 That was the explanation as to why he went up there with Smiljanic.
10 Q. And who gave you that explanation? How did you hear that?
11 A. First I heard that in my telephone conversations with Radovan
12 Karadzic, and then with Martic's aide, Nikola Omanovic, and then, of
13 course, after Mr. Martic returned, and I heard that from some other people
14 that I had contacts with.
15 Q. Nikola Omanovic, who was he? You identified him as Martic's aide.
16 Can you give any more information about who he was, what role he played at
17 that time?
18 A. He was an employee with the Knin police station. By profession I
19 believe he was a fireman and a policeman, and he was one of the two
20 Martic's aides from the very start, from the signing of the petition back
21 in 1990 and throughout the events. At that time, he was Martic's aide in
22 charge of public safety, of sorts, but he was a very close person to
23 Martic. He also managed the training centre at Golubic. He was in charge
24 of administration there.
25 Q. Now, finally, you said that you knew that Mr. Martic was arming
1 the zone staff of the TO at Kordun. Could you tell us how you knew that?
2 A. I received that information from the Commander of Staff, Mile
3 Bakic. I met him when -- as he was transporting a truck of weapons from
4 Martic to Petrova Gora, sometime in August 1991.
5 Q. Is that Mile Bakic or Mile Dakic?
6 A. Dakic, with a D.
7 Q. Where did that meeting occur?
8 A. It was by chance. We met on the road, between Bosanska Krupa and
9 Bosanski Novi, closer to Bosanski Novi, and close to the Ada, which is a
10 motel, in front of a bar, a cafe, and that is in the territory of
12 Q. Who -- do you know who owned that bar or cafe?
13 A. I don't remember. That was outside of the town, a small cafe. It
14 wasn't in Bosanski Novi itself in any case.
15 Q. And what did you learn when you met Mile Dakic? What did he tell
17 A. I asked him what he was doing there. I was on my way back from
18 Belgrade and I stopped by at Bosanski Novi to go to Mile Grbic's
19 restaurant. On my way to Knin, as I came out of Novi, I saw the truck, I
20 stopped because I saw him standing by the truck, and I asked him what he
21 was doing there and he said, "Well I'm transporting a truck of weapons
22 sent by Martic." I asked him where he was going to because I knew that
23 the bridge at Bosanski Novi was controlled by the Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 police. He explained to me that there was another bridge, an old wooden
25 bridge, prior to Bosanski Novi, on the border between Croatia and
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that there is no border check there. He could use
2 that road to go via Glina and Topusko to reach Petrova Gora in the end.
3 Q. And Mile Dakic was -- did he hold any position or who was he at
4 that time?
5 A. He was the then commander of the zone staff of the TO for Kordun.
6 Q. Now, I'm going to go back to an earlier answer that you gave when
7 I -- when I asked you if, as a result of these decisions at the beginning
8 of August 1991 you were able to get control over the TO, you responded
9 that you were not and you gave two reasons. You said Milosevic said that
10 Martic should be commander of the TO, you've explained that. And because
11 of the influence of the JNA and the Secretariat for National Defence. Do
12 you have anything to add to that second part of the answer, any
13 explanation about the influence of the JNA that prevented you from gaining
14 control over the TO at that time?
15 A. The list of military recruits and all the affairs concerning
16 national defence fall under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat of
17 National Defence and its offices in various municipalities. According to
18 the federal law these offices have to contact federal authorities when
19 such questions arise. Both the municipal and the republican level had to
20 contact the federal level.
21 Another obligation they had was to keep their list of people to be
22 mobilised in case of need and to coordinate with the JNA units in the
23 field. That is in their area, concerning the so-called organisational
24 mobilisation issues. And often, such offices could not have functioned or
25 could not do anything in relation to a recruitment or mobilisation prior
1 to them coordinating with the JNA units or with the higher instance of the
2 Secretariat. The other way was that certain municipalities were under the
3 influence of the League of Communists and in particular the movement for
4 Yugoslavia which was the military wing, and as it happened in the field,
5 many people elected were the prominent people who would then have to
6 choose whether they would organise police units or the TO units, depending
7 on whose influence was greater in a particular area, whether the state
8 security or the army's, and that was the situation in the field in 1991.
9 Q. Mr. Babic, yesterday you testified that you had made a number of
10 appointments to TO positions during the fall of 1991. Can you explain to
11 us a little bit how those appointments were made? What was the process
12 for those appointments being made?
13 A. Those appointments first started being made slightly before the
14 1st of August, and it went on throughout August and September for the most
15 part in 1991. After this initiative concerning the setting up of the
16 united system of Territorial Defence within SAO Krajina, I issued a number
17 of decrees and I made several political appointments. I appointed people
18 who I thought embraced the political concept of the system, such as
19 Dr. Jovic or Mile Dakic who was the president of the Independent Yugoslav
20 Democratic Party and some other people, but because of the conflicts that
21 I referred to earlier and because of the resistance put up by the
22 volunteer groups and the 7th Banija division at Banija and because of the
23 resistance from the JNA, these people could exert no influence, and
24 finally I started receiving proposals for the General Staff of the JNA and
25 from Milosevic himself regarding further appointments and that happened by
1 the end of September 1991, and that is when the system as such started
2 functioning, as soon as I started signing the appointments for people who
3 had been sent from Belgrade.
4 Q. How would that happen specifically? Concretely, specifically?
5 That is, how would you receive these proposals from the General Staff of
6 the JNA and from Milosevic himself?
7 A. Well, from Milosevic himself. I mean, I explained that how we
8 started talking about it, at the meeting that Mr. Martic attended as well.
9 I said that Territorial Defence could only be led by an expert military
10 person, such as an army general or somebody else from the army, and that's
11 when the whole story started regarding the setting up of the Main Staff of
12 the Territorial Defence for SAO Krajina. Milosevic dragged his feet a
13 little bit but then in the end he promised his assistance. And --
14 Q. Did you have a further meeting with Mr. Milosevic concerning the
15 setting up of a Main Staff of the Territorial Defence?
16 A. I met him at least once in the beginning of September, perhaps it
17 was the 6th or the 7th of September I can't recall the exact date now and
18 I was also in touch with him once again by the end of September, and I was
19 also in touch with the Serbian Defence Ministry, through Minister Simovic
20 in particular.
21 Q. In these meetings with Mr. Milosevic in September, can you tell us
22 what was discussed concerning the setting up of the Main Staff?
23 A. He said that he would send people for the Main Staff. Since one
24 person put their name forward already, he volunteered, it was a colonel
25 from the command of the defence of the city of Belgrade, who presumably
1 had some military training, and he had all the preconditions to be made
2 general. So he was one of the candidates plus some other people. And
3 Milosevic said that they would send these people down. That was his
4 decision at the time.
5 But time went by, it all lasted for a while, two weeks went by and
6 I called him up and I asked about the staff and he said they are on their
7 way. They will be there tomorrow. But basically, yes, in a couple of
8 days they did arrive. Some officers from the General Staff from Belgrade
9 and they said that they had an order from the General Staff for them to
10 become members of the Main Staff of the TO of the SAO Krajina and I asked
11 who the commander was, whether it was Colonel Maksic who came down with
12 them as well, and they said, no, you should get in touch with Minister
13 Simovic and he'll explain everything. He was the Defence Minister of
14 Serbia at the time. And I called him on the phone from the office of the
15 then command of the Main Staff. It was Martic's office, in fact, within
16 the fortress and he was present there and everybody was waiting to hear
17 what Simovic was going to say and Simovic said we have decided that the
18 commander should be Ilija Djuic.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, I want you to explain something because you
20 testified earlier that you had a meeting with Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Martic
21 in which Mr. Milosevic pressured you to appoint Mr. Martic to be the
22 commander of the TO. And you testified that you didn't do that but now
23 here in September, Mr. Milosevic is agreeing to help you set up a Main
24 Staff of the TO. How did that occur? How did that -- what changed?
25 A. Well, there was an essential change, in fact. The JNA became an
1 active participant in the war, the JNA went to war and under such
2 conditions all TO units automatically came under the command of the JNA,
3 so that he had no further problems about this command issue, with regard
4 to that particular line of command, through the JNA and the TO, and
5 according to my assessment he must have decided that it was no problem and
6 therefore the command should go through the JNA and not the police force.
7 Q. When did that happen, that the JNA became an active participant in
8 the war? When did that change occur?
9 A. By the end of August 1991.
10 Q. Was there a specific event?
11 A. Yes. An attack at Kijevo in the municipality of Knin.
12 Q. When the General Staff was created at the end of September 1991,
13 did that give you any power over the TO?
14 A. No. The Main Staff came under the command of the 9 corps and the
15 zone staff for Kordun and Banija was under the command of the 2nd
16 operational or rather the command of the 2nd Operational Group or zone of
17 the JNA, which was located at Simajic [phoen] under the command of
18 General Spiro Nikovic.
19 Q. Now moving ahead in time to October of 1991, did you have a
20 meeting with General Vukovic of the 9th Corps concerning the TO?
21 A. Yes. With regard to the positions of the TO, supplies, funding,
22 command and so on.
23 Q. Who was present at that meeting?
24 A. The commander of the Main Staff of TO, General Ilija Djuic.
25 Q. And who else?
1 A. I can't remember seeing anyone else.
2 Q. Well, was General Vukovic there?
3 A. Yes. General Djuic and myself went to see General Vukovic.
4 That's the meeting we are talking about.
5 Q. And was there any discussion at that meeting about the command of
6 the TO?
7 A. Yes. It was about who would be in command and whether there would
8 be an independent command for the Main Staff or whether they would have to
9 follow the instructions by the Knin Corps, and I was told to go to
10 Belgrade to see General Adzic and to get in touch with him. And
11 General Vukovic said that he did not have the remit to decide these
13 Q. Did you go see General Adzic?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. What position did he hold at the time?
16 A. He was the chief of the General Staff, the Main Staff, of the JNA.
17 Q. And what happened in that meeting?
18 A. Well, I told him about problems referring to supplies for the TO
19 and the line of command for the TO and he said that the TO would have to
20 be subordinated to the JNA and that there would be no changes there.
21 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit 167, please?
22 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
23 A. I do. It's an information document. It is a report on the state
24 of affairs within the Territorial Defence of the SAO Krajina dated the
25 10th of October 1991.
1 Q. And if we could look at the last page, could we scroll down to the
2 bottom, please? Who is it from?
3 A. From me. In other words, it was prepared by the people from the
4 TO Main Staff and I forwarded it.
5 Q. Who did you forward it to?
6 A. I forwarded it to Belgrade, to Adzic.
7 Q. Did you provide it to him in this meeting that you've just told us
9 A. No. It was sent from the Main Staff of the TO SAO Krajina to
10 Belgrade and I did actually discuss the report with Adzic.
11 Q. Okay. If I could just draw your attention to point 4 there, and
12 if you could read that, please?
13 A. "That the JNA and TO unit powers had to be delimited clearly, and
14 especially with regard to the military involvement."
15 Q. Does it relate to what you were just telling us about, discussions
16 about who would have -- how the command would function over the TO?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
20 please be given an exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 190, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 MR. WHITING:
24 Q. Mr. Babic, after the RSK was formed at the end of 1991, what
25 position did Milan Martic have?
1 A. On the 19th of December 1991, Martic was the Minister of the
2 Interior within the government.
3 Q. And was he at some point formally appointed to that position again
4 when the RSK was formed, if you recall?
5 A. In January, February, or rather in February, there were all sorts
6 of combinations and things being discussed. There were conflicts about
7 the previous government, the forming of the new government, but Mr. Martic
8 on the 26th of February, presumably was reappointed as the Minister of the
9 Interior at Borovo Selo, within the new government.
10 Q. Could we look --
11 A. Or, rather, probably there was a decision about the Matkovic list
12 on the 19th of December.
13 Q. Could we look at document 1860, 65 ter 1860, please?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, could we just establish, 26th of
15 February of which year, Mr. Babic?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 MR. WHITING:
19 Q. Mr. Babic, do you see the document and do you recognise it?
20 A. It is a decision on the basis of which Mr. Martic was appointed
21 minister within the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina. It was
22 dated the 25th of February 1992, and that's the time when I was not in
23 that position.
24 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
1 please be marked, given an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 191, Your Honours.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. And until when did he hold that position within the RSK
6 A. Governments changed. There was Zdravko Zecevic's, then
7 Bijegovic's [phoen] Government, but he seemed to always remain in his post
8 until the beginning of 1994, when he was elected president of the Republic
9 of Srpska Krajina.
10 Q. And when you say that the governments changed, what -- and you
11 gave several names, what are you referring to?
12 A. I'm referring several governments of the Republic of Srpska
13 Krajina, after the 26th of February 1992, or rather on that day, Zdravko
14 Zecevic's government was appointed. Zdravko Zecevic was the president of
15 the municipality of Benkovac and he became the head of the new government
16 of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, and that government stayed in office
17 for about a year until the beginning of 1993, and then Zdravko Zecevic
18 handed in his resignation and Djordje Bijegovic [phoen] was appointed as
19 head of government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina.
20 Q. And your testimony is that during that time, during those various
21 governments, Milan Martic remained as Minister of the Interior?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Now, I want to go back, back to the beginning, back to the fall of
24 1990 and I want to talk to you now about issues related to financing, and
25 financial support. In your 89(F) statement, your signed statement, you
1 said that after the so-called log revolution, Croatia cut off funding or
2 money to some of the municipalities that were involved in that event.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before the witness answers, talking about the
4 89(F) statement, there is a little point hanging about that statement.
5 Maybe we could resolve that before we carry on.
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I raised that with Defence counsel at
7 the break and he told me that he wanted to send me something in writing
8 about it.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, that's between the two of you, but he also
10 owes the Chamber an explanation.
11 Mr. Milovancevic, you objected to this statement being handed into
12 evidence yesterday, although it had already been handed into evidence,
13 because you wanted to check whether it is identical with the statement
14 that had already been admitted into evidence. Have you done so and what's
15 your reaction to that statement?
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The main point of the
17 objection, Your Honours, was that the OTP tendered into evidence a signed
18 statement which we did not have. In the meantime, we read the statement
19 and we noticed four discrepancies in the text. We shall write a brief
20 letter to our learned friend and I believe he will receive it tomorrow
21 morning. I think this is a matter that can easily be settled between the
22 Prosecution and the Defence teams.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you suggesting, therefore, that -- the
24 Prosecution can go ahead and ask the witness questions on that statement,
25 because you will solve the problem --
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. You may
3 proceed, Mr. Whiting.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, just for the clarification of the
5 Court, I think that it's my understanding that those so-called
6 discrepancies may be just corrections of typos, is my understanding, but
7 we stand by our position that the statement is the same. But we'll
8 resolve that between ourselves.
9 Q. Mr. Babic, the question that I'd asked you was do you recall
10 stating in that statement that as a result of the so-called log
11 revolution, Croatia cut off funding to some municipalities that were
13 A. Yes. That's correct. Those were funds, additional funds,
14 intended for the municipalities provided from the republican budget, to
15 add to the funding of the municipalities.
16 Q. What, if anything, did those municipalities do to compensate
17 for --
18 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I thought there was perhaps
19 a problem.
20 Q. Mr. Babic, what if anything did those municipalities do to
21 compensate for those funds that were cut off?
22 A. The municipalities stopped paying funds into the republican
23 budget. They stopped paying the equivalent to the complementary funding
24 they had previously received from the republic. The funds were collected
25 on the territories of the municipalities so it was possible to do this.
1 Q. Did this action of stopping to pay funds into the republican
2 budget compensate for what had been cut off in the other direction or did
3 those municipalities have to seek funding from elsewhere?
4 A. It was not enough. These municipalities were not very well
5 developed, and with the escalation of tensions and the cutting off of
6 communications, the economy became stagnated and began to wither away
7 gradually. Assistance was sought in Belgrade, from Serbia; that's to say
8 from Milosevic.
9 Q. How was that done?
10 A. It was done in several ways. Assistance was sought directly from
11 Milosevic asking him to provide funds for certain companies and
12 institutions. Certain ministries of the Republic of Serbia also helped
13 certain ministries or structures in the Krajina. Municipalities in the
14 Krajina found sponsors among Serbian municipalities. Companies found
15 sponsors in Serbia. These were always in which funds were channelled from
16 Serbia and the Krajina became completely dependent in economic and
17 monetary terms on Serbia.
18 Q. Which ministries from the Republic of Serbia helped ministries or
19 structures in the Krajina?
20 A. The Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the
21 Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Health.
22 Q. Did you have a meeting in December of 1990 with Mr. Milosevic
23 concerning a factory in Knin?
24 A. Yes. The director of the factory asked me to ask Milosevic for
25 assistance. He wanted Milosevic to help pay the debt of the nut and bolt
1 factory in Knin. It owed money to the Split Bank, amounting to some 48
2 million dinars and the factory was actually facing bankruptcy because of
3 this debt.
4 Q. What was the name of the factory?
5 A. Tvornica Vijaka Knin, TVK for short.
6 Q. Did you meet with Mr. Milosevic on this subject?
7 A. Yes. I told him this and I asked for his help. He promised he
8 would solve the problem. He promised to help us and provide the money.
9 Q. Did he?
10 A. Yes, he did.
11 Q. Do you know how he did that?
12 A. He didn't tell us, but I assumed how this was done. Ante
13 Markovic, the then Prime Minister, announced that Serbia had intervened in
14 the payment system of Serbia and pulled out a large amount of money.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Yugoslavia, not
17 MR. WHITING:
18 Q. And when was that announcement made?
19 A. I think it was either at the end of 1990 or the beginning of 1991.
20 I don't recall the precise date.
21 Q. How did the accounting system in the Krajina work at that time, at
22 the end of 1990, beginning of 1991? That is for public structures.
23 A. In all of former Yugoslavia and in all the republics, there was a
24 unified accounting system through which payments were made. As tensions
25 between the Krajina and Croatia escalated, Croatia interrupted payments
1 with Krajina, and payments in May 1991 between the Krajina and Croatia had
2 been cut off, interrupted, and the same happened with respect to the
3 entire accounting system of Yugoslavia. At that time, payments were made
4 in the following way. Companies, municipalities and various organisations
5 opened their accounts, not where they had their headquarters but rather in
6 Belgrade. They would then go to Belgrade carrying cash or taking cash
7 from there. The system was mainly for people to go to Belgrade and take
8 cash from those accounts, carrying it to the Krajina, and to make cash
9 payments. This situation obtained until May 1992, when the Social
10 Accountancy Service was established in Krajina and it linked up with the
11 same service in Belgrade. In this way, the payment system in the Krajina
12 was set up through the same kind of payment system in Serbia.
13 Q. Now, just to be clear, when you said that before May of 1992,
14 companies, municipalities and various organisations opened accounts in
15 Belgrade and carried cash, are you referring -- are those companies,
16 municipalities, and organisations in the Krajina?
17 A. First I have to say there is an error. I may have made an error.
18 Until May 1991.
19 Q. Okay. That's right. Until May 1991. Did you understand my
21 A. Could you please repeat it?
22 Q. I can. Just to be clear, when you said that before May of 1991,
23 companies, municipalities, and various organisations opened accounts in
24 Belgrade and carried cash, are you referring to companies, municipalities,
25 and organisations in the Krajina?
1 A. Yes. According to the regulations that had been in force until
2 then, they had to have accounts in their own municipalities. However,
3 they opened so-called non-residential accounts on a territory which was
4 not their home territory. So instead of opening accounts at home, they
5 opened accounts in Serbia.
6 Q. Now, I forgot to ask you a question about the nut and bolt
7 factory, TVK. Did that factory have any military function then or later?
8 A. Yes. On a small scale.
9 Q. Do you know what it did?
10 A. The factory produced a kind of bomb. It was called a Tikusa
11 [phoen]. The factory supplied some of the materials needed for Frenki's
12 armoured vehicle pool.
13 Q. And when was that? When did it do those things?
14 A. Of April 1991.
15 Q. Now, did -- the SAO Krajina was created at the end of 1990. Did
16 it -- did it at some time have a formal budget?
17 A. The Krajina established or set up its budget after the government
18 was set up on the 29th of May 1991.
19 Q. And where did the money come from for that budget?
20 A. The budget was very impoverished. It was practically
21 non-existent. Initially, funds for the budget arrived from revenue
22 collected in the municipalities in the Krajina. Later on, it was funds
23 from Belgrade or Serbia that flowed into the budget.
24 Q. How was the police in the SAO Krajina financed?
25 A. The police was mainly financed with funds and materiel coming
1 through the Serbian State Security Service and Ministry of the Interior.
2 Q. How do you know that?
3 A. That was the general rule, as it was in the case of other
4 ministries. The information about the funds coming from the state
5 security of Serbia for the Golubic camp was something I personally heard
6 from Jovica Stanisic who was the chief of the state security.
7 Q. And when did he tell you that?
8 A. He told me that in August 1991, after Captain Dragan had left
9 Knin, after he had been withdrawn. He told me that he had been given a
10 large amount of money for the camp and that they were now looking for him
11 to get the money back, as he hadn't spent it.
12 Q. At the government session in July of 1991, did Milan Martic talk
13 about funding or funding of the police?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What did he say?
16 A. He had very big demands for funds for the police. The government
17 of the Krajina was unable to meet these demands. There was very little
18 money in the budget for all kinds of needs that had to be funded from the
19 budget. Mr. Martic, in agreement with the then Minister of Finance, Bauk,
20 used all the funds in the budget which had been earmarked for either
21 things but even that was not enough. So at a government session, he asked
22 for more. We told him there wasn't any more. And he then said that he
23 would work for the one who was paying him.
24 Q. What did you understand him to mean by that?
25 A. That he would work for the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia.
1 Q. Now, could you tell us how the TO was financed?
2 A. The Territorial Defence was financed through the JNA and through
3 the giro account into which funds were paid from the ministry and the
4 government of Serbia, through certain technical channels.
5 Q. Which ministry?
6 A. The Ministry of Defence.
7 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 211, which is also
8 Exhibit 41 in evidence, please?
9 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 MR. WHITING: Could we look at the next-to-last page, please?
12 Q. I'm sorry, I should have asked you what it is.
13 A. Do you want me to read out the correct title? Can you show me the
14 front page, please?
15 Q. Yes.
16 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, could we go back to the front page,
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is a request for necessary
19 ammunition and other military equipment. Addressed to the Ministry of
20 Defence of the Republic of Serbia, to Lieutenant General Tomislav Simovic
21 personally, and the date is the 18th of September 1991. The needs
22 mentioned are the needs of the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina the
23 Main Staff of the Territorial Defence.
24 MR. WHITING: Could we go to the next-to-last page, please? And
25 scroll down to the bottom.
1 Q. Do you recognise the signature on the right?
2 A. Yes. It's Mr. Martic's signature.
3 Q. Do you recognise the stamp?
4 A. Yes. It's the stamp of the staff of the Territorial Defence.
5 Q. Do you recognise the name on the left?
6 A. Yes. Savo Radulovic from the municipal TO Staff in Knin.
7 Q. And tell us again who was Tomislav Simovic at the time?
8 A. He was the then Defence Minister with the government of Serbia.
9 Q. Why is this request for assistance coming from Milan Martic?
10 A. At the time, he was in charge of the TO.
11 Q. Were you aware of this request at the time?
12 A. Yes, I was.
13 Q. Did you yourself have meetings with Mr. Simovic, Tomislav
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. When did those occur and where?
17 A. There were several. We saw each other a couple of times in
18 September of 1991 and then in November of 1991 in Belgrade at his office.
19 Q. What were those meetings about?
20 A. During one of the initial meetings we discussed the organisation
21 of the TO and the needs to finance and equip the TO. During the second
22 meeting, we discussed the peacekeeping operation of the UN in the
24 Q. Why did you speak to Tomislav Simovic, the Minister of Defence of
25 Serbia, about these issues?
1 A. Because there were no finances in the Krajina. There was no
2 equipment, no materiel, to equip the TO. And that was based on
3 Milosevic's recommendation that I go and speak with Simovic.
4 Q. When did he make that recommendation?
5 A. During the discussions we had concerning the forming of the TO
6 Staff in September or late August of 1991.
7 Q. Do you know what the relationship was between Mr. Milosevic and
8 the Ministry of Defence of Serbia?
9 A. Milosevic controlled the government of Serbia and Simovic was one
10 of the ministers.
11 MR. WHITING: Could we look please at 65 ter Exhibit 182?
12 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise the letterhead and the stamp on this
13 document? For the stamp, we'll have to scroll down, please.
14 A. Yes, I do. Those are the stamps of the state authorities of
15 Serbia, the Defence Ministry stamp and the letterhead of the Republic of
17 Q. And what is this document?
18 A. This is a document addressed to the government of Serbia, and
19 information on assisting Serbian areas in Croatia.
20 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence please,
21 Your Honour?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and may it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 192, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 183, please?
2 Q. Mr. Babic, can you see what this document is?
3 A. Yes. This is a document of the Ministry of Defence of Serbia
4 addressed to the government of Serbia. This is information on providing
5 assistance to Serbian districts in Croatia.
6 MR. WHITING: Could we look at the second page of the document,
7 please? That is the second page in B/C/S and the third page on the
8 English. And if we could scroll down on the B/C/S, please?
9 Q. Whose signature is that?
10 A. I can't recognise the signature but it says that it is signed for
11 Lieutenant General Tomislav Simovic. If I can read the signature
12 properly, I believe it says Kuzmanovic. It was probably one of his aides.
13 Q. Looking back to the first page of the document -- I'm sorry, back,
14 I'm sorry, back to that page, that second page, did -- just one question I
15 needed to ask. Do you recognise the stamp?
16 A. This is the stamp of the Defence Ministry of the Republic of
18 Q. Now, if we could go back to the first page, please? I'm just
19 going to read the beginning. I think it's easier if I read it for the
20 purposes of the interpretation. "Assistance has already been provided to
21 the Serbs in Croatia but there is still an urgent need as well as numerous
22 requests and demands for assistance in material supplies and equipment
23 falling under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic
24 of Serbia and for financial resources from the republican budget and the
25 national defence funds of municipalities." And it goes on.
1 Is that consistent with what you knew at the time?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Now, if we could turn to the second page. Now, I'm looking at the
4 second page in the English and I think it's on the second page -- I
5 believe it's the beginning of the third paragraph there on the page that
6 you're looking at, it says, "Since there are no legal grounds, that is
7 providing assistance to meet these needs is not regulated by the law, we
8 propose that these issues be legally regulated by an appropriate decree,
9 especially in view of the fact that these needs are great and can be
10 expected to grow." Do you see that sentence?
11 A. Yes. That was the last paragraph. We couldn't see it in its
12 entirety on the screen. Yes, that's the paragraph.
13 Q. What do you understand that to mean?
14 A. The budget of the Republic of Serbia is put into force based on
15 the decision of the Serbian assembly. That was the legal basis to spend
16 the budgetary resources.
17 Q. And so what does this mean that there is no legal grounds for
18 providing assistance? What do you understand that to mean?
19 A. That the financing and equipping of some structures in the SAO
20 Krajina was done contrary to the existing law in Serbia.
21 Q. Now, looking at attachment 5 of this document, which is page 7 of
22 the B/C/S, page 8 of the English, it gives -- it lists in that attachment
23 figures for different number of personnel for the TOs in various regions.
24 For example in the Knin operational zone, there are -- it's -- it lists
25 12.000 personnel, Lika 5.800, Kordun and Banija is 20.000. Are these
1 figures accurate for that time period?
2 A. Yes, more or less. I can testify as to number 1, 2 and 3. That
3 was the figure, around 30.000.
4 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
5 Your Honour?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
7 please be given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 193, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Now, you've told us that the police in the SAO Krajina was
12 financed through the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia and that the TO
13 was financed in part by the JNA and the Ministry of the Defence of Serbia.
14 What happened when the RSK was formed at the end of 1991, beginning of
15 1992, in terms of the funding of the police?
16 A. The police kept on being financed the same way.
17 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 232, please? Could
18 we scroll down to see the bottom?
19 Q. Do you recognise this -- the signature on this document?
20 A. Yes. That's Mr. Martic's.
21 Q. Do you recognise the stamp?
22 A. Yes. That's the stamp of the Ministry of the Interior of the
23 Republic of Serbian Krajina, dated the 10th of February 1992.
24 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please, Your
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and may it
2 please be given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 194, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. I just want to read the end of it, it says "I would like to inform
7 you that the amount of 38 million dinars is located in the Glina SDK.
8 These funds were paid earlier for the benefit of the TO but since the
9 largest part of the Defence, i.e., the defenders, was financed from the
10 army budget, these funds have been lying unspent for quite some time now.
11 Could you please exert your influence in order for these funds to be
12 transferred to the giro account of the Ministry of the Interior of the
13 RSK," and then it gives the number. "Greetings from your comrade, Milan."
15 Is that consistent with your understanding of how funding was
16 occurring at that time?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. And if we could just look at the front page who is this document
19 to, this letter?
20 A. It was addressed to the Minister of the Interior of the Republic
21 of Serbia for Minister Sokolovic.
22 Q. And finally before the break, when the SVK or the army of the RSK
23 was created, how was it financed?
24 A. The Serb army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, that was the
25 official title, after the 18th of May 1992, is that what you had in mind?
1 Q. Yes, Mr. Babic.
2 A. The army was also financed through the grants from the Ministry of
3 Defence and from the budget of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.
4 Q. The Ministry of Defence of Serbia or the Ministry of Defence of
5 the SAO Krajina?
6 A. The Ministry of Defence of Serbia, as well as donations from
7 Serbia given to the budget of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it's a convenient time.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Court will adjourn for 30
11 minutes. We'll come back at quarter to six.
12 Court adjourned.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.17 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
16 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to talk to you about a different topic, and that
18 is about media. If we could focus on 1990-1991, how did the Serbian media
19 report on the situation in Croatia?
20 A. In the beginning of 1991, the media campaign against Croatia
21 really gathered momentum, and it was shown in the media that Croatia was
22 basically preparing for the slaughter of the Serb population in Knin, as
23 well as the JNA members and their families. In January 1991, as I said,
24 these reports started appearing in the press and all that fell within the
25 framework of the preparations for the disarming of the so-called, as they
1 called them, Croatian paramilitary forces, and basically trying to
2 organise a military coup in Croatia. This campaign obviously, since
3 tensions increased and armed conflict started, this press campaign turned
4 into a real war propaganda at the start of the war.
5 Q. Was there, in the Serb media, talk about history, about things
6 that had occurred in history?
7 A. In the Serb media, these reports appeared much earlier, especially
8 in the course of 1990. There was a lot of talk about genocide perpetrated
9 by the Ustasha regime of the independent state of Croatia against Serb
10 people, and there were daily reports about that, about the suffering of
11 the Serbs, the Jasenovac camp, and all that was mentioned in the same
12 breath as the new Croatian government which was basically suspected of
13 being prone to repeat that.
14 Q. So what was said about the new Croatian government in this media?
15 A. First of all, there was talk about it being a nationalist
16 government, an Ustasha-leaning government or Ustasha completely.
17 Q. What is that a reference to, Ustasha?
18 A. The Ustashas are Nazis, Croats, in fact, who were a puppet
19 government of Hitler's Third Reich on the territory of the then so-called
20 independent state of Croatia. Nazi collaborators from Croatia in World
21 War 2.
22 Q. So it's a historic term from World War II?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. Was the report -- where was this reporting coming from?
25 A. It started and for the most part, continued in Belgrade, in Serb
1 media, the dailies and weeklies appearing in Belgrade, and TV reports as
3 Q. Was the reporting accurate?
4 A. As to the reminders of historic facts, certain accurate historical
5 data were reported but then it was presented in a special journalistic
6 manner and it was brought within the same context of the new Croatian
7 government which was only an assumption, and at the time it was incorrect.
8 Later on, in the course of the war, and especially in the beginning of
9 1991, things escalated so much and the entire Yugoslav general public was
10 acquainted with the film about the Martin Spegelj, and apparently it was
11 funded by the intelligence service of the JNA, the making of the film, I
13 Croatian ministers and the Croatian press, of course, denied the
14 facts presented in that film and it was basically impossible to find out
15 the truth. But for the most part the media exaggerated things, emphasised
16 certain things too much, and after the start of the war, they published
17 inaccurate reports, especially after the unrest around Pakrac in March
18 1991. There were lots of things which were totally inaccurate or blown
19 out of proportion.
20 Q. Was there any discussion in the media, the Serb media, about Serbs
21 and Croats living together in Croatia?
22 A. For the most part, there were references to fears of repeat
23 performance of this genocide by the Croatian authorities. And in this
24 way, they fed Serb fears of the new Croatian authorities and they made
25 them want to somehow defend themselves from Croatia.
1 Q. Were you able to observe what effect this media that you've
2 described had on the population, on the Serb population in Croatia?
3 A. Initially, there was distrust. Then it turned into fear. And
4 afterwards, animosity towards the government.
5 Q. What about towards the Croatian people? Did it have an effect on
6 the Serbs' attitude or feelings about the Croatian people?
7 A. Being reminded of historical events and possible fear of what
8 might happen in the future, of course, increased this feeling of
9 uncertainty and -- which turned into hatred in the end.
10 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I would like to ask a question at this point.
11 Was the media that you're referring to an independent media or was it
12 controlled in some way by the Republic or the Krajina? I'd like to find
13 out that before you proceed.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the most part, the press was
15 under the control of the authorities in Belgrade, in much the same way as
16 the state broadcasting company. There was a local radio station in
17 Krajina, that was all.
18 MR. WHITING:
19 Q. What was the relationship of Slobodan Milosevic to the press in
21 A. Milosevic was in control of the state media.
22 Q. How did he control the state media?
23 A. By appointing directors and editors of the media.
24 Q. And how did he do that in -- what was the mechanism for him
25 appointing directors and editors of the media?
1 A. Through the control exercised through the state bodies, the
2 assembly and the government, and they were the ones who appointed people
3 to those positions.
4 Q. Do you know any specific examples of directors or editors who were
5 appointed by Slobodan Milosevic?
6 A. Yes, I do remember. He himself used to talk about it.
7 Q. When did he talk about that?
8 A. In March 1991, after the events in Belgrade where people were
9 protesting against RTV Belgrade and the director of that TV station,
10 Mr. Mitevic. At the time I visited Milosevic in Belgrade and he said the
11 following: "Here, I gave them a new director," and he gave me his name, I
12 can't recall it now. "His father was a Ljotic man, supposedly they will
13 be happy now." And I also heard about or rather from Zika Milic who was
14 the editor of Politika, it was a daily newspaper, that it was Milosevic
15 who kept him in his post.
16 Q. When did you hear that?
17 A. I met with him in the period between 1990 and 1995, and he said
18 that to me in 1995.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, did you yourself participate in making extremist
20 statements in the media?
21 A. Yes, initially. Initially, it was a bit toned down and then my
22 tone became ever sharper as time went on.
23 Q. When did that happen?
24 A. In the course of 1991 in particular.
25 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit 48, please?
1 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this?
2 A. I do. It is an article from Nin. It's an interviewer I gave to
3 Stefan Grubac who was a journalist for that weekly.
4 Q. And where was Stefan Grubac based? Where did he work as a
6 A. In Belgrade, at the Politika press agency.
7 Q. Can you describe what your relationship was to Stefan Grubac?
8 A. We were fairly close. He was from the area around Knin by origin
9 and he was a journalist in Belgrade and in mid-1991 we actually became
10 friends. He often did interviews with me and sometimes he suggested what
11 I should say, how I should come across, and what I should emphasise or
12 stress or say and so on.
13 Q. And do you know what his relationship was to Slobodan Milosevic?
14 A. Well, through his friends, he had contacts with the Milosevic
15 family, through Snezana Aleksic, who was a close friend of the Milosevic
16 and Markovic family. Actually, he was a member of Mrs. Markovic's party,
17 and Mrs. Markovic was Mr. Milosevic's wife. And through her he even
18 managed to get me Slobodan Milosevic's home telephone number.
19 Q. And when was that?
20 A. That was in March 1991, at the time of the protests and the time
21 when I used to be called to Belgrade to support Milosevic in relation to
22 those protests and about what I wrote in my declaration. Stevo Grubac
23 suggested to me I should be more vocal against the opposition and he said
24 to me, and these were his words, that "that way Milosevic will like it
1 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to go back to this article and if we could go to
2 page 9 of the English and the last page of the B/C/S, I just want to ask
3 you a couple of questions about this article.
4 If you look --
5 MR. WHITING: If we could move it over so that the column on the
6 right is fully visible, because it's cut off now. Thank you.
7 Q. Now, if you look at the first question in the third column and the
8 answer, and on the English it's about halfway down on page 9, there is --
9 in your answer, you refer to the Ustasha-oriented police leadership. As
10 your tone, as you said, became sharper in the media, is this a term that
11 you used, Ustasha?
12 A. Well, the term is Ustasha-oriented, not really Ustasha as such.
13 Q. Okay. But on other occasions did you use the term Ustasha?
14 A. Most often I opted for the other one, Ustasha-oriented, and
15 occasionally I certainly used the term Ustasha, too.
16 Q. Okay. Now if we could turn to the next page in the English, stay
17 on the same page in B/C/S, about halfway down the column on the B/C/S, in
18 response to a question, you say, and this is midway down the page on the
19 English, you say, "As for Slobodan Milosevic he is the president of all
20 Serbs, not only those in Serbia, and he enjoys the support of all Serbs."
21 Did you believe that at the time?
22 A. I did.
23 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and may it
25 please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 195, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. Mr. Babic, still on the subject of media -- it can be taken off
5 the screen, we are done with it. Still on the subject of media, how did
6 the media report on Milan Martic?
7 A. There are several time periods in which Mr. Martic used to appear
8 in the media quite frequently. First of all in 1990, and then in
9 April-May 1991.
10 Q. Well, first tell us about 1990.
11 A. Mr. Martic was promoted as a Serb national hero in his statements
12 in the media.
13 Q. And when was that in 1990?
14 A. Starting in July and August, after the uprising or rather the
15 protests of the Knin police force and the so-called log revolution.
16 Q. And in April -- you mentioned April and May of 1991. What
17 happened then with regards to Mr. Martic and the media?
18 A. Since April 1991, he started holding regular press conferences,
19 together with his staff, at the Secretariat of the Interior of Krajina,
20 and he would talk about the situation and the security situation in
21 particular in the SAO Krajina. He would talk about the police actions
22 with regard to disarming the arrests of Croatian police officers, the help
23 that we were meant to be getting from Slobodan Milosevic in order to arm
24 ourselves. So mostly about these topics. About the cooperation with the
1 Q. What did he say about, if you recall, about disarming and arrests
2 of Croatian police officers?
3 A. He said that they were being successful and that they had arrested
4 several people and he mentioned the numbers, how many of those police
5 officers they were holding.
6 Q. After that, was there any -- were there any other periods where
7 Milan Martic was promoted in the media?
8 A. He was particularly promoted in September, about the detentions
9 and arrests near Bosanska Krupa and Otocac.
10 Q. And that's September of what year?
11 A. 1991.
12 Q. Now, you testified at the beginning of today about a covert
13 strategy and a public strategy that was followed by Mr. Milosevic with
14 regards to the future of Yugoslavia and a state for all Serbs. Do you
15 remember testifying about that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What were Milan Martic's views on that subject?
18 A. He blindly followed Milosevic's policy or the policy of the
19 service. He was a man of the service. That's what we can say about him.
20 What was planned there and what was done there, he continued to do. He
21 was a follower of the -- of Milosevic's security services. And he
22 believed in Slobodan Milosevic as his leader and the leader of all Serbs.
23 Q. How do you know that?
24 A. He talked about it publicly and that was his opinion in private as
25 well. Even after the elections in 1995, both before and after the
1 elections and in the course of 1994 when he became president of the
2 republic, he said that he was going to hand his powers over to Slobodan
4 Q. On April 1, 1991, still on the subject of the covert strategy and
5 the public strategy, the SAO Krajina issued a decision on annexing the SAO
6 Krajina to Serbia, and this is part of your written statement.
7 A. It is.
8 Q. Did Slobodan Milosevic react to that decision?
9 A. Yes, very forcefully, and he asked for it to be withdrawn.
10 Q. Did he say why?
11 A. He said that we had to speak out in favour of Yugoslavia, and that
12 others should leave Yugoslavia but that this was something that shouldn't
13 be stated publicly. That we were not supposed to be talking about our
14 plans in public. Or rather he explained it in his own special way. He
15 said more or less some academics are telling me that you need to be killed
16 for the way you do things. That's how he explained it indirectly.
17 Q. Was this reaction part of the strategy that you talked about
19 A. The action was in line with the arrival at a political goal that
20 he himself had set for everyone, but not openly, not in the public domain.
21 Q. Now, with respect to the referendum that was held in the SAO
22 Krajina in May of 1991, did you have any discussion with Mr. Milosevic
23 about what the wording of the referendum should be?
24 A. Yes, he asked for the question for the referendum to be changed,
25 and for us not to talk about annexation to Serbia but that we should vote
1 in favour of remaining within Yugoslavia and following his intervention
2 the question was indeed changed so that was the way we put the question to
3 the public. "Do you wish us to remain in Yugoslavia together with Serbia
4 and Montenegro and others who wish to maintain the state of Yugoslavia?"
5 Q. Was this part of the same strategy?
6 A. It was.
7 Q. You testified yesterday about the creation of the SDS in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina under Radovan Karadzic.
9 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 26, please?
10 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise that document?
11 A. Yes. It is a letter of congratulation from Mr. Karadzic.
12 Q. And who is it to?
13 A. To me.
14 Q. What is he congratulating you for?
15 A. For the proclamation of the Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina.
16 Q. When was this sent?
17 A. December 1990.
18 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
19 Your Honour?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
21 please be given an exhibit number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 196, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
24 MR. WHITING:
25 Q. Mr. Babic, you've spoken a number of times about a joint session
1 that was held in Grahovo at the end of June of 1998. Can you explain what
2 that session was about? Who was involved, what it was about? I'm sorry,
3 June of 1991. My last case was about 1998. Can you explain what that
4 session was about?
5 A. It was a joint session of the assemblies of the Serb Autonomous
6 Region of Krajina and the Association of Municipalities of Bosanska
7 Krajina and it took place in Grahovo and there was a declaration there
8 about the two parts being brought together.
9 Q. What was the reason for trying to bring these two entities
11 A. The political circumstances in Yugoslavia, the declaration of
12 independence of Croatia and Slovenia. Those were the circumstances in
13 which this happened.
14 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 90, please?
15 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise that document?
16 A. Yes. That's the declaration I was mentioning. Could this be
17 admitted into evidence, please?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
19 please be given an exhibit number?
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 197, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 MR. WHITING:
23 Q. Subsequently was in an agreement on cooperation between the SAO
24 Krajina and the association of Bosanska Krajina municipalities?
25 A. The agreement on cooperation preceded this declaration by a few
1 days. This was on the 27th, whereas the agreement on cooperation was
2 adopted on the 24th of June.
3 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit number 85, please?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just understand one little point? Mr. Babic
5 says this was on the 27th. I see it's dated the 12th of January or is it
6 the date -- 27 is the date of the assembly?
7 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think that if Your Honour looks at
8 the document in its original, that date of 12 January 2002 is handwritten
9 and I believe -- I can ask the witness what it refers to.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.
11 MR. WHITING:
12 Q. Mr. Babic, you see -- can we -- now it's been -- now it's not
13 visible any more. Can we look at the date, the handwritten date in the
14 upper right of the document? There. Mr. Babic -- we lost it again.
15 There. Mr. Babic, do you see that and do you know what that refers to?
16 A. That refers to the year 2002, and these are my initials. This is
17 probably when I handed the document over to the investigators of the
19 Q. Is that one of the dates that you participated in an interview
20 with the Office of the Prosecution?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you in fact give this document to the Office of the
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
1 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Now if we could go to number 85, 65 ter Exhibit 85, please.
3 Do you recognise this document?
4 A. Yes. This is the agreement on cooperation between the SAO Krajina
5 and the association of Bosanska Krajina municipalities, which preceded the
7 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, I would note that in the English
8 translation there is a mistake in terms of the date. It says 24 July
9 1991, but it's evident on the original document that the date is 24 June
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: We note your comment.
12 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. What was the substance of this agreement on cooperation? I'm not
14 going to read through the whole thing but could you just tell us what the
15 substance of it was?
16 A. The substance was that there should be a link-up between the two
17 regions, the SAO Krajina and Bosanska Krajina, that there should be
18 integration in certain areas of public life, and social life. This would
19 be the manner in which the Krajina would be linked up to the rest of
20 Yugoslavia, according to the plans of Milosevic and Karadzic.
21 Q. How was the Bosanska Krajina defined? What constituted the
22 Bosanska Krajina?
23 A. At the point in time when this agreement was signed, it was an
24 association of municipalities in the Bosnian Krajina area where the Serbs
25 were the majority population. They set themselves up as a region or as an
1 association of municipalities and later they changed their name to the
2 Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina. This was one of the so-called
3 Serbian SAO regions which were formed during 1991.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be admitted into evidence,
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
7 please be given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 198, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Babic, in connection with your preparation for this case and
12 also in connection with your testimony in the Milosevic case, did you
13 listen to some telephone intercepts?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were you able to recognise some voices in those intercepts?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Were you also able to identify the substance of what was being
18 discussed in those intercepts or in some of those intercepts?
19 A. Yes. I was able to identify the substance.
20 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, with the assistance of the usher I
21 would like to provide to the Chamber, we already provided this to the
22 Defence, and to the witness, a bundle of intercepts --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MR. WHITING: -- with a declaration attached to the front which I
25 will ask the witness about.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
2 MR. WHITING: The tabs, Your Honours, with the numbers refer to
3 the 65 ter Exhibit number of these intercepts.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. Mr. Babic, could you --
7 MR. WHITING: Could the witness be shown the bundle, please?
8 Q. Could you look at the declaration that is on the front page there?
9 Did you sign that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The declaration states that you listened to the attached
12 intercepts and that you identified the voices and, for the benefit of the
13 Chamber, the last column on the attached spread sheet indicates the voices
14 that were identified by the witness. Is that true? Did you listen to
15 those intercepts that are attached and identify those voices?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would ask that the declaration be
18 admitted into evidence, please. We are going to go through each of these
19 intercepts and play portions of most of them. However, in order to save
20 time I've done it this way. This is how it was done in the Milosevic
21 case, in terms of the identification of the voices, and I'll ask further
22 detail about it with respect to each intercept.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Then the declaration will be admitted
24 into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 199, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
2 MR. WHITING: Lost track of my binders.
3 Q. Mr. Babic, could you look at the exhibit -- the conversation
4 that's marked 87? I believe it's the second one in the bundle.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: In the bundle or in the first spread sheet?
6 MR. WHITING: No. The bundle, please. There should be a tab
7 that's marked 87.
8 Q. Could you take a moment to look at the transcript of the
9 conversation in your language?
10 MR. WHITING: And in the bundle we have provided each intercept in
11 both languages.
12 Q. Mr. Babic, according to the declaration you made, you recognised
13 the voice of Radovan Karadzic when you listened to this conversation. Can
14 you tell us, how many times did you meet Radovan Karadzic?
15 A. More than ten times.
16 Q. Did you have occasion to talk to him on the telephone?
17 A. Yes, more than once.
18 Q. Did you have occasion to hear him speaking also in the media?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, looking at this transcript, can you tell us what this
21 conversation is about?
22 A. This is an interview between Dr. Karadzic and a journalist.
23 MR. WHITING: I'm going to play a portion of the transcript, and
24 if all works well, we will be able on the screen to -- we will hear the
25 intercept, obviously in the original language, and a transcript should
1 play -- synchronised transcript should play on the screen as the
2 conversation is being played. The portion that we are going to listen to
3 starts on page 2 of the English transcript and it starts with where
4 Radovan Karadzic says, "No, no," about halfway down the page. For the
5 benefit of the witness and the Defence, it's page 4 of the B/C/S
7 Q. So Mr. Babic, if you could look at page 4 of the B/C/S transcript,
8 it's about halfway down the page on the B/C/S transcript. And if -- now I
9 think that -- what do you have to -- is this computer evidence? On your
10 monitor, to follow -- to follow the transcript being played, you have to
11 press "computer evidence" which I don't know if that's already been
12 pressed. And if we could play that intercept now.
13 [Audiotape played]
14 MR. WHITING:
15 Q. Mr. Babic, what do you understand is being talked about in that
16 portion of the transcript that was just played?
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I have an objection. The
20 Chamber exhibited the declaration in which Mr. Babic confirmed that he
21 heard certain tapes and recognised certain voices. The questions put to
22 him may relate to whether he recognises the voices on the tape or not.
23 But as for the substance of the conversation, Mr. Babic can testify only
24 if he was a participant in the conversation. For Mr. Babic to interpret
25 what somebody else thought when they were speaking is unacceptable here.
1 The issue at stake is one of the authenticity of the tapes but this will
2 be established in the course of these proceedings. The fact that a voice
3 is recognised doesn't necessarily mean that the conversation was held, in
4 view of all the technical possibilities that are available.
5 So I have now explained my objection, but the substance of the
6 objection is that Mr. Babic cannot testify to what a person meant to say
7 in a conversation in which he was not a participant himself.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question as put by the Prosecution to the
9 witness was, Mr. Babic, what do you understand is being talked about in
10 that portion of the transcript that was just played? Not what is meant.
11 And if Mr. Babic does understand the language that is being spoken and is
12 able to tell us what is being talked about, does he need, then, to --
13 that's not -- I don't see that being a question wanting to know what is
14 meant. He can tell us what is said, can't he?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] With all due respect,
16 Your Honours, I understand what you say, but we have all heard the
17 transcript or seen the translation. Now Mr. Babic is asked to translate
18 into his own words what the participants in the conversation were saying.
19 It is, however, up to the Chamber to evaluate what the content of the
20 conversation was. It's not up to Mr. Babic or even to my learned friend
21 or myself. The Prosecutor can put something to Mr. Babic or ask him to
22 confirm something, but for Mr. Babic now to interpret the substance of a
23 conversation and his understanding of it, when he was not a participant in
24 the conversation himself, falls outside the scope of his testimony. Such
25 a question, Your Honours, could be put only if the other participant in
1 the conversation was here and could be asked questions about what he
2 actually meant to say. Mr. Babic's opinion here is irrelevant. What is
3 important here is what the person speaking meant to say. This is only the
4 personal opinion of a witness who was not a participant in the
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting?
7 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, with respect to Defence counsel, I
8 think that it is just simply incorrect that an individual -- that a
9 witness has to be a participant to a conversation in order to comment on
10 it. Mr. Babic has already testified that he was there in -- involved in
11 the events at the time, specifically involved in events that are being
12 discussed in this transcript, and he has knowledge as a witness of those
13 events, of these individuals, and of what is being talked about, and so he
14 can give his understanding of what is being talked about and that can be
15 of assistance to the Chamber in understanding this transcript.
16 Your Honour is correct, I did not ask him what he meant or what he
17 thought. That it would be going beyond what he could testify about, but
18 he can shed light on this document -- this transcript by testifying to
19 what he understood from his knowledge as a witness, from his participation
20 in the events at the time, and really this is no different than any
21 witness who comments on documents or articles or other things that are
22 shown to them that they didn't themselves author but they have an
23 understanding of because they were involved at the time. This has been --
24 this procedure is followed in every case of the Tribunal, and I think
25 actually any case -- in any national jurisdiction this would be -- this
1 kind of questioning would be permitted.
2 There it was a second -- if I could address it, there was a second
3 objection that was kind of mixed in with the first objection, which
4 related to authenticity. It's not clear to me if Defence counsel is
5 pressing that objection, but that's something that could be dealt with
6 separately. But with respect to Mr. Babic's ability to comment on this --
7 on the transcript and on what is being said here and what he understands
8 that to mean, of course he can do that.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any reply, Mr. Milovancevic?
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] With all due respect to my
13 learned friend, in my view Mr. Babic can give his explanation of the
14 subject of the conversation only if it is not clear from the text itself.
15 In this case, it's quite clear and evident. Mr. Babic is not an expert in
16 constitutional law, he is not a legal expert, he is not an expert of any
17 kind. If the Chamber and the Defence and the Prosecution needs an
18 explanation of intentions, the OTP is trying now to ask the witness, based
19 on a conversation, to comment on the intentions of a person talking to a
21 Your Honours, it's up to all of us to determine this based on
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, while I'm listening very
24 carefully to what you say, I would plead with you to make sure that at
25 least you do represent the facts correctly. I haven't heard that the
1 witness is being asked to comment on the intentions of the person talking
2 to a journalist. What I heard Mr. Whiting to be saying is that he's
3 asking Mr. Babic to tell the Chamber what he under -- what he understands
4 the conversation to have been about, in the context of the history of the
5 time. I don't think that has to do with the intentions of the
6 participants in the discussions. Obviously, the literal meaning of what
7 was being talked about, we will see in the translations. We will also --
8 we can also see what the witness's knowledge, if any, is about what was
9 talked about, not the intentions of the parties. However, be that as it
10 may, I've heard your response. I just want to confer with the rest of the
11 members of the Chamber.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The objection is overruled.
14 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Babic, there has been now a bit of time and I don't know if
16 you still have in mind the portion of the transcript that was played.
17 A. [Microphone not activated]
18 Q. Could you repeat your answer? It wasn't picked up. Do you have
19 in mind the portion of the transcript that was played?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Can you tell us what you understand is being talked about in that
22 portion of the transcript?
23 A. They are talking about the concept by which the SAO Krajina was
24 supposed to be a part of the future state, to be created in the territory
25 of Yugoslavia, that this future state would encompass all Serbs. The
1 concept was the following: Those who wanted to leave Yugoslavia, they
2 could, but the territories such as the SAO Krajina, who wished to remain
3 within Yugoslavia, they will do so in a passive way, so to speak. That
4 was supposed to have been the explanation put before the international
5 public, as well as the Yugoslav public, that this future rump Yugoslavia
6 encompassing all Serbs is not being pursued actively by the SAO Krajina
7 secession from Croatia but that rather Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia and
8 that the SAO Krajina remains within the rump Yugoslavia and joins the Serb
9 territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is what they discussed
10 specifically in this part of their conversation.
11 Q. Is this the public strategy that you talked about earlier in your
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this intercept that -- the
15 exhibit be admitted into evidence, please?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The exhibit is admitted into evidence, and --
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We haven't established the
20 authenticity of this text. The witness recognised the voices. All the
21 transcripts were made from such recordings without prior knowledge of the
22 participants. Such recordings can be done only by a very specific legal
23 procedure following a decision made by the president of the Supreme Court
24 of a republic or any such highest judicial body of a republic. Hence, the
25 question of authenticity remains. The voice was recognised, but whether
1 this conversation really existed, whether it was done in this context,
2 whether something has been omitted, that is something that we should pay
3 attention to. And it is up to the Defence to point to those issues and
4 the Chamber should decide.
5 The Defence believes that this transcript can be marked for
6 identification, but as to its authenticity, we have no such data at this
8 Therefore, this witness, who recognised the voice, is not a legal
9 expert or a technical expert who could provide explanation as to whether
10 all this that we can hear on the recording points to its authenticity or
11 whether something has been cut out or pieces added on to.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting?
13 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, the Defence is actually mixing together
14 two separate objections, as I understand it. The first is authenticity.
15 The second is legality. With respect to authenticity, the Prosecution has
16 on its witness list witnesses who will testify as to the authenticity of
17 these intercepts. As to legality, that's a separate issue which could be
18 litigated separately. That is what I understood him to refer to as to
19 these -- there has to be a proper order for these intercepts to be
20 obtained. And that is a legal issue which actually has been litigated
21 already in the Tribunal, it can be litigated again here and we can deal
22 with that issue separately. I have no objection to the document being
23 marked for identification at this time and later when we have the witness
24 come and authenticate it we will move it into evidence.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe that will then be the quicker -- the
1 convenient way of doing it then.
2 MR. WHITING: That's fine, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then what is it that's going to be admitted?
4 MR. WHITING: What it is, is 65 ter Exhibit 88 and it's -- sorry,
5 87, and it's actually in e-court so the -- I think the Registry can just
6 assign it a number.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Well, then, Exhibit 65 ter 87
8 is admitted for -- it's marked for identification, I'm sorry, and may it
9 please be given an identification number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification, 200,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MR. WHITING: But since the Defence is raising a question about
14 authenticity, I will ask an additional question or two of the witness with
15 respect to the transcript.
16 Q. Mr. Babic, is what you heard and read in this conversation, is it
17 consistent with your -- what you knew about Mr. Karadzic's positions at
18 the time?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Is there -- based on your knowledge of the events at the time, is
21 there anything that causes you to question the authenticity of this
23 A. No.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. WHITING: Could we now look at --
1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, Mr. Whiting, before you go on, is it
2 the entire 87 that is going in or the excerpt?
3 MR. WHITING: The entire 87, please.
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. Mr. Babic, could you look at number 88? According to the
7 declaration, with respect to this intercept, you identified the voices of
8 Radovan Karadzic and Andjelko Grahovac. You've already told us about your
9 knowledge of the voice of Radovan Karadzic. Who -- do you know who
10 Andjelko Grahovac was at the time?
11 A. Andjelko Grahovac, that was his voice. He was the then president
12 of the executive council of the Association of Municipalities of Bosanska
14 Q. Did you have occasion to meet him and talk with him?
15 A. Yes. On a number of occasions.
16 Q. Approximately how many?
17 A. About a dozen, not less than that.
18 Q. Did you talk to him on the telephone?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. I'm going to play -- or let me ask you, could you look at the
21 conversation and are you able to tell us what this conversation is about,
22 just generally what it's about?
23 A. Karadzic states his position to Grahovac that we should work on
24 the integration of the regions but that we should keep silent from the
1 Q. I'm going to play a clip that starts on page 2 of the English
2 transcript. It starts with Mr. Grahovac saying, "Milan Babic was supposed
3 to come here today." In the B/C/S it's at the top of page 2. So if you
4 could go to the top of page 2 and we'll play that clip now. [Check]
5 [Audiotape played]
6 MR. WHITING:
7 Q. Mr. Babic, in that except, Radovan Karadzic says, "You should make
8 an integration but don't sign any contract on it." What did you -- what
9 do you understand him to mean by that?
10 A. We should put the concept into practice but we should keep it
11 hidden from the public. That is, to integrate the Serb territories
12 without the public knowing.
13 Q. I'm going to play a second clip that begins at the top of the
14 page, page 4 of the English transcript, and the bottom of page 3 in the
16 MR. WHITING: Could we play the second transcript, please, the
17 second clip? We don't seem to have sound. Sometimes technology fails us.
18 Q. Mr. Babic, do you see in the transcript where Mr. Karadzic
19 says, "That is very important -- very dangerous because in that case, he
20 can alert the international public and Serbs are creating big Serbia."
21 Do you see that? On the English transcript it's on page 4, about
22 a third of the way down the page, almost half the way down the page.
23 Do you see that, Mr. Babic?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. What do you understand that to mean?
1 A. It's what I discussed a minute ago. If the public were to know
2 that the Serb territories were to be integrated, then the international
3 public would be put on alert as to what was really going on, that is that
4 the Serbs were in the process of creating greater Serbia.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be marked for
7 identification, please?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: 65 ter 88 is marked for identification. May it
9 please be given an exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification, 201,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MR. WHITING: I neglected to ask the same questions about this
15 Q. Is this conversation consistent with what you knew to be the views
16 of Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Grahovac at the time?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Is there anything about what you've heard or read with respect to
19 this conversation that causes you to doubt the authenticity of the
21 A. No.
22 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it's a convenient time.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
24 The Court will adjourn until tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning in
25 Courtroom I.
1 MR. WHITING: Courtroom II, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it Courtroom II?
3 MR. WHITING: That's what I understand, but I could be wrong.
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I defer to superior knowledge. We shall go to
6 Courtroom II.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 Court adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m., to
11 be reconvened on Friday, the 17th day of February,
12 2006, at 9.00 a.m.